West Seattle, Washington
When more than 100 people gathered to talk about neighborhood planning, past/present/future, in that air-conditioned room at Youngstown Arts Center on one of those record-setting-sizzler nights in late July (WSB coverage here), city reps promised there’d be a followup meeting this fall. As noted here last week, the date was recently set for November 5th; tonight, we have the official announcement and the official location, thanks to Sharonn Meeks, who’s president of the Fairmount Community Association and is on the citywide Neighborhood Plan Advisory Council. Here’s the city announcement she forwarded:
During June and July, many neighbors joined in meetings and many other hundreds participated in on line questionnaires to review the Draft Neighborhood Status Reports and comment on changes— good, bad, and unexpected —that have occurred since Seattle’s Neighborhood Plans were written in the late 90’s. We explored growth, transportation, housing, economic development, utilities, neighborhood character, open space and parks, public services, public safety. The Planning Commission’s reports on comments can be reviewed at http://www.seattle.gov/planningcommission
So, what did we hear?
Come to the November meeting in your area and find out.
The Neighborhood Plan Advisory Committee (NPAC) and the Seattle Planning Commission want to report back to you on the trends that emerged so far and to get your help to identify the continuing priorities and new issues that should be emphasized in the final Status Reports and a State of the Neighborhood Report that will be presented to the City Council and Mayor. These reports will contribute to policy decisions including decisions about whether or how to updates neighborhood plans. Your input will also be important as NPAC shapes its recommendations on conducting, prioritizing and funding updates to the neighborhood plans listed below.
All Meetings at 6-8 pm.
Thursday, November 5th Mercer Middle School, 1600 S. Columbian Way [map]
Admiral, West Seattle Junction, Delridge, Georgetown, Morgan Junction, Westwood-Highland Park, Columbia City Hillman City Genesee, Rainier Beach
Tuesday, November 10th Seattle Central Community College, 1701 Broadway
Queen Anne / Uptown, Belltown, Pike Pine, First Hill, Eastlake, Capitol Hill, Central Area
Thursday, November 12th North Seattle Community College 9600 College Way N.
Broadview/Bitterlake, Haller Lake, Aurora Licton Springs, Crown Hill / Ballard, Greenwood/Phinney Ridge, Wallingford, Fremont, Green Lake, Lake City, University Community
For more information, contact David Goldberg at email@example.com or (206) 615-1447
Though you might have seen some TV warnings of overnight wind, the National Weather Service says that for the city, the worst of it isn’t expected till Wednesday. Maybe up to 25 mph tonight and tomorrow, but gusts up to 40 mph are in the Wednesday outlook.
Most of the SHARE-organized group that is supposed to be targeting Councilmember Tom Rasmussen‘s Beach Drive-area neighborhood tonight is actually camping out along Beach Drive, in the parking strip in front of condos in the 3700 block of Beach Drive, across from Cormorant Cove and several blocks downhill from Rasmussen’s neighborhood (where three of them were planning to set up camp). As noted here earlier, since the group spent the night in Mayor Nickels’ North Admiral neighborhood on September 28th, it has moved on to several other councilmembers’ neighborhoods, including three nights near Councilmember Tim Burgess’s Queen Anne home; it’s lobbying for $50,000 in bus-voucher funding with no strings attached.
Back from School Board rep Steve Sundquist‘s Q/A session on the proposed school-attendance-area maps, arranged by the PTSAs of Schmitz Park, Lafayette and Alki Elementary Schools, and there was one big headline: Sundquist says the maps for West Seattle were WRONG out of the gate when announced last week – the Denny Middle School and Chief Sealth High School attendance areas ARE supposed to be, and will be redrawn to be, exactly the same, which in turn will affect some elementary boundaries. The divergence led to questions in comments on our coverage last week, from people puzzled by why Denny/Sealth would not have the same attendance area, since they will be sharing a campus soon. (Sundquist said Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson had announced this error – and one other, affecting part of North Seattle – at last week’s School Board meeting, the night after the proposed maps were made public, but we can’t find any mention of this online anywhere, and he acknowledged tonight that the error hadn’t been explained on the district website yet – in fact, the Sealth website still points to our original story with the two now-revealed-to-be-erroneous maps.) Nonetheless, Sundquist urged attendees – who peaked at more than 70 during tonight’s meeting in the Schmitz Park gym – to provide feedback to the district based on how the proposed maps appear now (firstname.lastname@example.org, and those 2 meetings coming up in West Seattle later this week). And there was plenty of feedback tonight on other components of the plan – (added 6:39 am) – read on:Read More
(WSB photo from last Tuesday)
Just last week, we showed you crews putting down the new artificial turf for Hiawatha Playfield. Got word this afternoon from project manager Garrett Farrell that it turned out to be defective, so it has to be pulled up and replaced, which is sliding the completion schedule a bit. He says:
Contractor Field Turf began installing the new artificial turf on October 6th. Defects were found in the fabric and they have moved immediately to replace the product at Hiawatha.
The first load of new material will be on site Friday 10/16/09 with the balance arriving next week.
This delay has impacted our project schedule. All remaining work at Hiawatha is weather dependent.
Parks is actively coordinating the re start of the field turf installation with rubber surfacing of the new track scheduled to start 10/19/09.
Farrell adds, “Field Turf has done several great installs for Parks and knew right away that this was not consistent with the product they supplied to date. The old stuff will stay in place until we get all the new stuff here next week; then it will get replaced.” Watch the Hiawatha project website for schedule updates – according to Farrell, if the weather isn’t too bad, intensive efforts by FieldTurf could keep them on track for completion before Thanksgiving.
We went to the new Interbay Whole Foods this afternoon – opening its doors for a public reception of sorts from now till 8 pm today, then officially opening at 8 am tomorrow – mostly to see if we could find out anything about the on-hold store here. We also wanted to meet regional spokesperson Vicki Foley, who has helped us get answers to WF questions over these many months (she’s based in Vancouver, B.C., so we’d never talked in person before). Nothing new re: West Seattle from their standpoint, she says – the official word is that they’re waiting for everything to get “sorted out.” That means, in particular, the court fight; two of the lawsuits over the project have been consolidated and have almost 200 documents on file (we check the online records at least twice a week). Because so many firms (construction, consultants, engineering, Whole Foods itself, etc.) are party to the suits, each document comes with a long list of who has to get a copy. In the meantime, she says, West Seattle remains the only “under development” store in the Seattle area, though she says their real-estate team is planning to tour prospective Washington/Oregon sites before the end of the year. So if WF ever does come here, what’ll you see? They’re launching kombucha bars in their Allegro coffee shops, for one, starting with Interbay:
That’s Josh from Townshend’s Tea Company, installing the kombucha machine while we were visiting this afternoon. Looking at the rest of the store, it’s the first grocery we’ve seen with neon:
For a few more photos of the Interbay store, check out this story from our fellow independent community-collaborative neighborhood-news site, MyBallard.com. Meantime, as for the status of the legal action regarding the West Seattle site (where, if you haven’t been following the story, construction now has been stalled for a year, with a huge hole sitting empty at 39th/Fauntleroy/Alaska) – various hearings are coming up regarding the foreclosure action that was filed (here’s our most recent story).
SDOT has now sent word of work this week on another section of Beach Drive, in addition to this one:
SDOT paving crews have been given the go-ahead to pave a block on Beach Drive SW, from SW Oregon Street to SW Snoqualmie Street starting Wednesday, October 14 and possibly continuing through Tuesday, October 20.
First the crews will grind off the old surface and then they will lay new asphalt. When they are grinding, (Wednesday and possibly Friday) one lane will remain open in each direction, with bicycles sharing the same lane as motor vehicles, and the crews working from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. When they are paving (possibly Friday, and could extend into Monday and Tuesday of the following week), all traffic will share one lane, assisted by a traffic flagger, and the crews may work as late as 6 p.m. Sidewalks will remain open.
The paving is needed to restore the street surface.
Kate shares a Genesee Hill sighting – read on:Read More
(From left, Chas Redmond, city attorney candidate Pete Holmes, former City Council candidate Dorsol Plants)
Voting starts later this week; vote counting starts on the official Election Day, three weeks from tomorrow. So campaigning, and campaign coverage, revs into high gear, and if we get word a candidate’s campaigning/speaking in West Seattle, we’ll be there. This morning, city attorney hopeful Pete Holmes visited The Junction to talk with supporters (like the two well-known West Seattleites in our photo above), reporters and businesspeople. He is challenging two-term city attorney Tom Carr, a West Seattleite; Holmes lives in the Seward Park area. While many candidates in other races are somewhat mellow about drawing distinctions between themselves and their opponents, not this one. At his Junction visit today – the first of at least five campaign stops on this day alone, he told us – Holmes again sought to contrast himself, for example, on the issue of how to fight graffiti vandalism:
For his part, Carr describes graffiti vandals/taggers as his “personal pet peeve.” (We talked with Holmes about several other issues and will add more to this report.) Both candidates were in West Seattle last month for a debate before the West Seattle Democratic Women; here’s our coverage; here’s the city Voters’ Guide with more information on both candidates.
They started with a sleepout in Mayor Nickels’ North Admiral neighborhood – they then moved on to the non-West Seattle abodes of several city councilmembers – and tonight, SHARE says, they will be back in West Seattle, sleeping outside Councilmember Tom Rasmussen‘s Beach Drive-area home, and by the shore nearby. From their news release:
Mr. Rasmussen lives on a small street. Our protesters will (divide) into two groups. Some will sleep outside of his house while the majority will sleep on the strip by the beach one block away.
SHARE says its main point of contention is a request for $50,000 from the city for bus vouchers; the city has said it would provide the money if SHARE promised not to close its shelters, a promise SHARE has said it cannot make because of funding challenges.
(September WSB photo of Westside Pharmacy owner Michael Ng by Keri DeTore)
This would usually be fodder for the WSB Forums’ Freebies/Deals/Sales section – but Westside Pharmacy (California/Brandon) has made headlines here a couple times in the past month, for the QFC move and then for the armed robbery (with the arrested/rearrested suspect) so its “goodbye sale” (just out of the WSB inbox) announcement is news too – they’re selling off remaining inventory at the old location from medical supplies to soda-fountain chocolate sauce – read on for their announcement:Read More
(Westcrest Reservoir construction photo from last spring)
As work continues on the West Seattle (Westcrest) Reservoir lid, the city is taking another step toward construction of the park atop it. A published notice indicates the Parks Department is now seeking letters of interest and statements of qualifications from landscape architects (deadline 10/26). The notice says construction is set to start in early 2011, and includes:
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The vision for this site is to create an innovative park addition adjacent to Westcrest Park that can accommodate a variety of park features and recreational uses, while seamlessly integrating the reservoir lid with the surrounding park. The project area is approximately 20 acres.
Park funding is coming from the Parks and Green Spaces Levy approved by voters last year. Highland Park Action Committee has been working to stay closely involved with the park-development process, including discussion during its Westcrest “mini-summit” in June (WSB coverage here).
COUNTY FURLOUGH DAY/COLUMBUS DAY CLOSURES: Another $-saving furlough day for King County, though courts are open; federal offices and banks are closed for Columbus Day, no mail either.
ROAD WORK ALERTS: Reminder, today’s the day SDOT starts rebuilding a small section of Beach Drive. Here’s our original alert. And the bike lane (etc.) work on Fauntleroy Way south of Morgan Junction continues too (here’s last week’s story on that).
SCHOOL NOTES: Got questions about the proposed attendance boundaries just made public as part of Seattle Public Schools’ assignment plan? Listen to what West Seattle’s school-board rep Steve Sundquist has to say in an appearance tonight at Schmitz Park Elementary, 6 pm, presented by the Schmitz Park, Lafayette and Alki PTAs. Meantime, a book fair with part of the proceeds benefiting Roxhill Elementary is happening tonight at Barnes and Noble-Westwood Village, 6 pm; use the voucher that you can download here.
COUNTY EXEC CANDIDATES’ ENVIRONMENTAL FACEOFF: Not in West Seattle but not far – King County Executive hopefuls Dow Constantine and Susan Hutchison are scheduled to focus on environmental issues at a forum at 6:30 pm tonight, Seattle Aquarium. (Here’s the original announcement.)
(added 8:59 am) CAMPAIGNING IN THE JUNCTION: With voting starting later this week (ballots are to be mailed at midweek), campaigning is intensifying – city attorney candidate Pete Holmes plans to be in The Junction at 11 am today, talking with supporters and reporters (and anyone else interested) – he’s starting near Talarico’s, according to his campaign.