West Seattle, Washington
Two more reports to share tonight – but first, another plug for tomorrow night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting. If you have any concerns you’d like to bring directly to Southwest Precinct police leadership, this is exactly the place to be; also, tomorrow’s guest speaker is King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg, which means you’ll get to hear – and ask – about what happens to crime suspects *after* they’re arrested, including the recently launched Repeat Burglar Initiative. 7 pm, public meeting room at the precinct (Delridge/Webster, parking lot and building entrance are off Webster). Now, speaking of burglary, the latest reports:Read More
From the “School Beat” e-newsletter just distributed – Seattle Public Schools superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson (who was at the Denny event this morning, photo left) has scheduled “coffee hour”-style meetings around the district, and one is in West Seattle (the only evening meeting, too): 6:50-8 pm September 29th at High Point Community Center (6920 34th SW; map). Big week for HPCC – two nights later, it hosts a community meeting with Parks boss Tim Gallagher (7 pm October 1).
As soon as SDOT announced the Fauntleroy Way road work – repaving, rebuilding, “rechannelizing” – was almost done, the questions began, including, why isn’t it all blacktop? We arranged to chat and stroll with SDOT project manager Jessica Murphy to get some answers as the work wrapped up.
(looking north across Fauntleroy at 42nd SW, foreground in shadows)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Now that the end of the Fauntleroy Way repaving/rebuilding work between Edmunds and Holly is here – and so are the “rechannelization” lines – new questions have surfaced (as have new features).
SDOT explained along the way that the stretch of Fauntleroy covered in this $3+ million dollar project (first revealed here last October, with the lane-reconfiguration “rechannelization” plan first made public in November) is a three-section road: Concrete on each side, asphalt down the middle where a gap once existed with thoughts a streetcar track would be built.
When I sat down with SDOT’s Jessica Murphy – a West Seattleite, by the way – at a Morgan Junction coffee shop last week to talk about the project, she brought along a few more specifics about that history – the east section of the road was built in 1927; the west, 1949; and the last major work on the road, including the section where the streetcar track never got built, was 1984.
The roots of what you see today – some spots that are blacktop adjoining some spots that are not – are in 1984, when sections of cement roadway were overlaid in asphalt. It’s particularly noticeable stretching west from Fauntleroy/Graham (map):
Murphy says the asphalt overlay is not considered necessary any more – the asphalt doesn’t add any “structural benefit,” but does add cost — putting it over the west stretch, for example, would have cost $200,000 more, but “added no lifespan.”
That said, two points are worth noting: Once a road is overlaid with asphalt, she says, it needs to stay that way, in no small part because the utilities and other features are built to work with the road at that height (generally two inches over the concrete road base). Also, perhaps most notably, even though your eyes would tell you otherwise, nothing has changed in this project – the section where you see asphalt now is where there was asphalt before – the section where you don’t, didn’t have it. Over time, the two-tone look will soften, she says, adding that the black marks on some of the concrete, blamed on trucks driving over the “tack,” will go away too.
Two days before the grand opening of the Junction QFC supermarket in Capco Plaza at 42nd/Alaska (map), the sign on its west side has just gone up – thanks to Brian from TouchTech Systems in The Junction for the photo. As noted here last week, the ribboncutting is set for 7 am Wednesday. We also have a footnote on our story about Westside Pharmacy closing as its owner and staff move to the new QFC store’s pharmacy – Westside (California/Brandon; map) has posted a sign saying its doors will close for good at 6:30 pm Tuesday, as they work to transition the prescriptions in time for the new pharmacy to open the next morning.
(Sunday photo by WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli)
As promised, we checked with the Seattle Housing Authority today regarding what one of the Stewart Manor residents told WSB contributing photojournalist Matt Durham after yesterday morning’s fire – that there are no sprinklers, and that it was dark inside. SHA spokesperson Virginia Felton looked into the questions for us. First, regarding sprinklers:
Stewart Manor does NOT have sprinklers. The building was built before they were required and it would be very expensive to retrofit with sprinklers. One of our construction managers estimated half a million dollars to add sprinklers to Stewart Manor. Because of how most of our high rise buildings are built, they are highly rated for fire safety in spite of not having sprinklers. They are made of concrete and masonry with steel framing. In every instance where I have known of a fire in our high rise buildings, it has consistently been restricted to the one unit where it started. This was also the case at Stewart Manor. Even though the smoke damage is extensive, the fire damage is limited to the fifth floor apartment where the fire originated.
So what about emergency lighting? We asked if its absence was why the resident reported dark hallways. Felton’s reply:
All our apartment buildings are equipped with standard illuminated exit signs. The taller ones have been fairly recently equipped with backup generators that run the elevators and hallway lights if the power goes off. At six stories, Stewart Manor is NOT equipped with a back up generator. In any event, back up or emergency lighting only becomes functional if there is a power outage, which was not the case with this fire at Stewart Manor. The hallways were dark (and hot) because of the thick smoke. Investigation this morning shows that some exit signs (made of plastic) melted from the heat that rose to the ceiling in the hallways.
(Sunday photo of firefighter Bennett from Ladder 7, taken by WSB contributing photojournalist Matt Durham)
She also tells WSB that cleanup crews have been at the building all day today, working on cleanup, and that more residents will be able to return to their apartments later in the day “and we will make sure everyone has a place to stay.” According to the Seattle Fire Department report yesterday, the fire – which sent three people to the hospital for what SFD described as “minor smoke inhalation” – started with someone heating shoe polish to shine shoes, and did $175,000 damage.
They thrilled Delridge Day at Youngstown Arts Center on May 31, as you can see in our video, and Vicious Puppies Crew is back for one of this weekend’s many major West Seattle events – the LINKS community barbecue at Delridge Community Center Playfield (across the street from Youngstown; map) 2-6 pm this Saturday. The event’s to support and celebrate the work that Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association (DNDA) is doing, and DNDA board chair Howie Martin sent along the plan for LINKS – with a menu including grilled steak strips, chicken and veggie sausages, hot dogs, salads, cooked greens, sliced melon, and pies; activities including a bouncy structure for young attendees; live performances including (besides Vicious Puppies Crew) poetry, music, a Youngstown youth showcase. The weekend is fun-filled but since this all stretches across four hours, you can make time to drop by! More on the other big events as the week rolls on.
Today we welcome one of our newest WSB sponsors, AmazonFresh, the new grocery home-delivery service from Amazon.com. We offer new sponsors the chance to tell you about their business, and here’s what AmazonFresh would like you to know: Since November 2007, 2,000 of your West Seattle neighbors have experienced the convenience of having all their perishable and non-perishable groceries delivered to their doorstep by AmazonFresh. Unlike other grocery delivery services, AmazonFresh was designed from scratch to take your busy life into account. Same day and next day delivery is standard. They can deliver before you wake up and you don’t need to be home to get delivery. If you want to be home (or your order contains alcohol), you can choose from dozens of 1-hour time slots. Delivery is available 7 days a week including Sundays. For doorstep deliveries, AmazonFresh leaves your groceries in secured, temperature-controlled totes. In addition to these convenience benefits, AmazonFresh has a great selection of local products including produce and dairy. You can even get many of your favorite Amazon.com books, video, baby, toy, and kitchen products delivered with your groceries. Need popcorn, movie, and popcorn maker for a Friday night? No problem. Last but not least, AmazonFresh has multiple ways to save including daily deals, bulk purchases, and automatic delivery discounts. Best of all, these discounts can be “nested” so that customers can take advantage of not 1 but 3 different discounts on the same item! By combining discounts, customers can save up to 70% on certain products. Give AmazonFresh a try today.
Thanks to AmazonFresh for sponsoring 24/7 independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news here on WSB – the full sponsor team is here, with info on how to become part of it! (Photo credit: JetCityOrange)
Leading his school’s first assembly as Denny International Middle School – that second word is brand-new this year – principal Jeff Clark offered a well-received explanation for his bright outfit. He spoke within the past hour to a cafeteria filled with the 700-strong student body that speaks more than 22 languages, according to a fact sheet Seattle Public Schools media liaisons handed out. Clark also pointed out the visual representation of that – these flags hanging overhead:
Part of the new “international school” program includes Spanish/English immersion – Denny teacher Leticia Clausen is teaching a humanities block in Spanish, and is shown in our next video introducing costumed students who performed a dance from the Mexican state of Oaxaca:
(A sign of Denny’s new focus – as Clausen left the stage, the teacher next to whom we were standing thanked her in Spanish; she replied, “De nada.” The language focus at Denny also includes Mandarin Chinese.) Other performers this morning: Denny’s marching band and steel drummers; toward the middle of this clip, you’ll see Marcus Pimpleton, who is leading music programs at Chief Sealth High School this year as well as his duties at Denny:
The students (and teachers, who lined both sides of the cafeteria) also heard from SPS Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson, who will appear a few miles east at Concord Elementary School tomorrow morning as part of a similar celebration – Concord, which is in South Park but considered part of SPS’s West Seattle region, is also an international school as of this year (here’s the original announcement), which the district says sets up a pathway from Concord to Denny. They are two of five international schools in the SPS system, along with Stanford, Hamilton and Beacon Hill. ADDED 1:08 PM: One more clip – the actual Oaxacan dance:
Three major community meetings are ahead this week in West Seattle, all extending an invitation to you, two with speakers/guests bound to be of high interest:
TUESDAY – WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL: After a summer hiatus, the grass-roots group that brings together law-enforcement leaders and community members each month will reconvene Tuesday night, 7 pm, Southwest Precinct meeting room (Delridge/Webster; map). Special guest this month: King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg (left). If you have questions about what happens to crime suspects once they’re arrested and why, this is the person you want to hear from – his office decides on what if any charges are filed, and how to prosecute the case.
WEDNESDAY – DELRIDGE NEIGHBORHOODS DISTRICT COUNCIL: Reps from key community groups and organizations in the eastern half of West Seattle will gather at Youngstown Arts Center (4408 Delridge; map), 7 pm.
THURSDAY – ALKI COMMUNITY COUNCIL: When the ACC meets at Alki Community Center this Thursday at 7, they’re expected to hear from Tom Lin, owner of the historic Homestead Restaurant, closed since a fire eight months ago. Because of the building’s landmark status, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society has expressed concern about its future post-fire, and brought up the situation at the Sept. 2 Southwest District Council meeting. After ACC rep Tony Fragada told the SWDC that Tom Lin would be briefing the Alki group this week, they tabled the topic to wait and see what’s planned for the property and how best to offer help. The public is welcome at the meeting too, though you have to be an ACC member to vote on anything (membership information is here).
What else is up this week? Check the WSB West Seattle-wide Events calendar page any time.
This site among many others has had contentious car vs. bike discussions – and over the years of course the “road rage” of car vs. car erupts from time to time – but this is one of the first “bike vs. bike” clashes we’ve heard: Longtime WSBer Todd in Westwood tells the story:
(Sunday), wife, 5 y.o. daughter and I decided to get the bikes out and take them down to Alki, as this may be the last nice Sunday in a while. We parked down by the 7-11 on Alki Ave and rode around Jack Block Park, then off to the beach.
I had daughter on the “trailer bike” attatched to my bike with wife behind us. We had jsut passed Anchor Park, when a very angry “LEFT” was yelled at me, then “!!!LEFT!!!” again. I was passing pedestrians and with the trailer bike, it isn’t very easy to make quick moves in either direction. The NOW extremely angry road bike yells “I said LEFT” then passes me on the left and punches me, luckily he got me in the upper arm instead of the face. This in turn almost made me crash. I stopped to process what had just happened, now daughter is scared and crying. I yell back at him telling him I am calling 911 to report it, he yells back ” F__K YOU, A__ h__e”, So we found an officer down the beach and made out a report. He will be charged with misdemeanor assault. But he is nowhere to be found.
We walk the bikes down the beach to get coffee, run into some friends and lo and behold, jerk man rides by. I follow him and call 911. They caught the dude and he will be charged. I don’t know what happened to him next. I heard him tell the officer he didn’t have i.d., should be interesting. A couple then stops us on the beach to tell us they had witnessed the whole ordeal and are willing to help. (Thank you so much, folks! )
Let’s hope justice can prevail and at least show my daughter that the bad guys get caught.
(This also was posted in the WSB Forums.)