day : 25/10/2009 11 results

WSDOT’s Alaskan Way Viaduct earthquake-simulation video

According to the YouTube stats an hour ago, few had seen that rather nightmarish simulation of Earthquake Vs. Viaduct online before Robert tweeted about it (and posted about it in the WSB Forums) within the past hour – even though YT says it was posted online on Friday. Turns out it was the subject of the newest item (posted around 9 tonight) on the WSDOT Blog, with guest author Ron Paananen, who’s been heading up the viaduct-replacement project. He wrote, “The specter of another major earthquake … is always present. That is why we are determined to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct before Mother Nature makes the decision for us.” Even if the current tunnel proposal follows the timeline that’s been outlined so far, The Viaduct is still scheduled to stay in service until 2016; results from this weekend’s safety inspections are due to go public by Friday. MONDAY MORNING UPDATE: The viaduct project’s communications team says, in an overall update just e-mailed, that the video is based on a 2007 report but is being made public now in response to “a public disclosure request.” The update also includes more information on the forthcoming emergency-closure system that was announced over the weekend – see it here.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen bike, plus: Trail of a stolen car

Two items to share: First relates to the bike you see in the photo at left. Andrea sent the photo along with a Crime Watch report: “My son had his bike stolen off our (well lit) porch in the early hours of the morning (Saturday). It was a very nice bike that was given to him as a present when he was adopted. It’s black and silver and has the words MAGNA and BUSTED on the frame in large letters. If you see this bike or have any information on it please contact us at (206) 932-9100.” She added in a follow-up exchange, “It really concerns me, because the person would have had to walk right up on our porch under the glare of the porch light to take it.” They’re at 37th and Edmunds (map) by the way – just a few blocks from where a theft reported earlier this weekend was later resolved. Although it’s not so much a happy ending, we do have the unusual opportunity to share multiple angles on how the case of the stolen Hyundai played out – read on:Read More

Concerned about city budget cuts? 1 more chance to speak out

While we’ve been focusing on the election for Seattle Mayor and four councilmembers (among other offices) in a little more than a week, the current Seattle City Council has big decisions to make regarding the current mayor’s proposed budget. Tomorrow night is your last chance to speak out at a public hearing – this one’s at 5:30 pm in City Council chambers downtown (map). One of the advocacy groups working to muster supporters at the hearing is Friends of the Seattle Public Library; even if you can’t be there, if you are concerned about cuts in library hours (and more closure dates like this summer’s furlough), they invite you to sign their petition on Facebook – it has 1,500+ virtual signatures and they’re hoping to have 2,000 by tomorrow night’s hearing. The Budget Committee‘s chair, Councilmember Jean Godden, is also offering a chance for you to call in with budget comments before the hearing: 206-684-0481, 4:30-5 pm tomorrow.

Election 2009, City Council Position 2 closeup: Richard Conlin

checkbox.jpgTonight we continue our city-candidate closeups; we took a look at them all before the primary election, and with the general election nearing, we’re checking back in with the finalists in five city races – mayor and council. We’ve already looked at mayor (Mike McGinn here, Joe Mallahan here), City Council Position 6 (Nick Licata here, Jessie Israel here) and City Council Position 8 (Mike O’Brien here and Robert Rosencrantz here); tonight, it’s Council Position 2, and we’ll conclude tomorrow night with Position 4.

By Jack Mayne
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Richard Conlin is coming to the end of his third term as a member of the Seattle City Council and is currently council president. He says he has done a lot in the past 12 years, but has the steam to do more in the next four.

Discussing the committees he has led, Conlin says, “I have been chair of neighborhoods, of transportation, and of the environment and utilities committees. With each one of those, I have taken major initiatives and moved those forward. In neighborhoods, it was neighborhood plans and tripling the neighborhood matching funds. In transportation, I got the Bridging the Gap started, got Sound Transit approved through the city process and got bicycle and pedestrian plans underway. In environment, I reshaped our solid waste standards, did forestry work and the local food initiative and just finished the drainage code.”

“Each time I have taken an area of the city, I have done something really creative and innovative,” he says, “and that is what I want to do in my next term. There are lots of things I am looking at as possibilities, and I have the energy to work on it.” He’s challenged on the ballot by West Seattle resident David Ginsberg.

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Election 2009, City Council Position 2 closeup: David Ginsberg

checkbox.jpgTonight we continue our city-candidate closeups; we took a look at them all before the primary election, and with the general election nearing, we’re checking back in with the finalists in five city races – mayor and council. We’ve already looked at mayor (Mike McGinn here, Joe Mallahan here), City Council Position 6 (Nick Licata here, Jessie Israel here) and City Council Position 8 (Mike O’Brien here and Robert Rosencrantz here); tonight, it’s Council Position 2, and we’ll conclude tomorrow night with Position 4.

By Jack Mayne
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

City Council Position 2 candidate David Ginsberg — the only West Seattle-residing council candidate on the November ballot — isn’t that happy about the decision to build a deep-bore tunnel, but he says he will support the project unless there are some unforeseen increases in its cost.

“I think the decision that has been made amounts to a large misallocation of public resources on a small piece of highway that will essentially bypass downtown, and the solution won’t work for a portion of our freight and many of our commuters,” Ginsberg says. “But the decision has been made and it’s taken eight long years to get to this point. Barring big changes in projected costs or mobility, I’m not inclined to revisit this decision, although if there are big changes in projected costs to the city I’ll lead the fight for a better solution. The opportunity to reconnect downtown to its waterfront is the single greatest benefit of both this solution and the surface/transit option, and we must not let this opportunity pass us by as we did with the Seattle Commons.”

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Alaskan Way Viaduct open again – inspection work ended early

October 25, 2009 4:46 pm
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 |   Alaskan Way Viaduct | Transportation

The closure was scheduled till 6 pm but (as often happens) the inspection work ended early and The Viaduct is open again to traffic. WSDOT says they’ll make the inspection results public by Friday.

Free trees! Deadline’s coming up for West Seattle applications

(Lincoln Park photo courtesy of Shannon)
Our tree-laden parks are great, but neighborhoods need trees too, which is why 4 short-on-trees West Seattle neighborhoods are among 6 citywide that are eligible for free trees from EarthCorps and the city. While we’ve reported the giveaway before, EarthCorps’ Lina Rose (a West Seattleite herself) wanted to send out one more reminder, with the deadline looming:

Local environmental restoration non-profit EarthCorps has teamed up with the City of Seattle to provide free trees to residents of the Beacon Hill, Georgetown and West Seattle Junction/Genesee Hill and Westwood/Roxhill neighborhoods. These communities have some of the lowest canopy cover on residential property in the city (19%, 17%, 19% and 17% respectively) and some of the highest planting potential.

Through the program, residents of the targeted neighborhoods can apply for free trees for their property and street planting strips. Trees will be available for residents to pick up in early December. A workshop on proper tree planting and care will be provided for tree recipients. Tree watering bags will be provided next spring to ensure the young trees thrive. Houses outside of the target areas listed above are not eligible for the program this year.

Seattle currently has 23% tree cover. In the 1970’s, Seattle had 40% tree cover. Seattle has set a goal to retain some of that tree cover – and the many benefits that go along with trees – by reaching 30% tree cover by 2037. But we can’t reach that goal without the help and support of Seattle’s residents! Over 85% of the land in the city is privately owned. This means that we cannot meet the goal by only planting in parks and along streets – we need residents to plant trees around their homes and businesses as well.

For more information on the program – if you’re in one of the target neighborhoods – contact: Lina Rose, EarthCorps Project Manager, , 206.793.2454. For more general information and to download an application, go here.

Deadline is November 16th.

West Seattle filmmaker’s “Double Down Live” to premiere here

October 25, 2009 1:09 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle people | WS culture/arts

West Seattle filmmaker Jamie Burton Chamberlin sends word that “ZZ Top: Double Down Live” is now out on DVD – “the first historic concert performance ever to be approved for release by the band,” he says. It packs “28 years of hard rock, blues and boogie” into almost 2 hours. Disc 1 features footage from a 1980 performance in Germany; Disc 2 comes from Chamberlin’s travels with the band in 2008, documenting more than 70 shows in the U.S. and Europe, with performances, interview clips and backstage footage. In connection with the international release, Chamberlin says “Double Down Live” will have its Seattle premiere at the Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor) on November 12th, in conjunction with the next West Seattle Art Walk. Earlier this year, we covered the screening of Chamberlin’s “Gearhead” at West 5 – the venue’s first-ever movie showing!

“A home with history”: The West Seattle adventure continues

“Community-collaborative news” at WSB means this can be a place for you to tell your story. Twice this year, we have heard from a local chiropractor who first followed up our coverage of his March kayaking mishap with his own account, and then shared the story of his purchase and renovation of an older Morgan Junction home. After the latter, he promised followups, and today we have one:

Story and photos by Dr. Scott Redfern

On August 30th I published a story of my purchase of “a home with history” (see it here). I enjoyed the many responses, so the story continues.

Shortly after the last piece, I had a banner day. The handyman I hired hooked up the gas dryer I found on craigslist. I was very excited because, you see I have never owned my own washer and dryer. I am a virgin homeowner. He also fired up the water heater and it works.

To top it off, the furnace I was told was broken had its flywheel reattached and heat doth pour out. I was so happy I think I jumped up and down. Triple the pleasure of owning the house. Truly a landmark day.

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Today: Farmers’ Market decorating; Fauntleroy Creek drumming

October 25, 2009 9:34 am
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 |   Fun stuff to do | West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

PUMPKIN DECORATING AT WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: It’s the Sunday before Halloween, and kids of all ages (even the “kid at heart” ages) are welcome to try their hand today. Meantime, here’s the Ripe ‘n’ Ready list for today’s market, open 10 am-2 pm at 44th/Alaska.

FAUNTLEROY CREEK DRUMMING: 5 pm, bring a drum if you have one (but don’t worry if you don’t – your presence is what matters) to the Fauntleroy Creek overlook across the street (and up the embankment) from the ferry dock (map). This is an annual tradition to help “call the salmon home” to the restored creek.

PLUS … other events this afternoon include the second of 2 days of Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival screenings at Admiral Theater, an open house at the brand-new Lien Animal Clinic building, and more – see the West Seattle Weekend Lineup!

Viaduct closed again today; new plan for emergency closures

The Alaskan Way Viaduct will close again today – scheduled for 6 am-6 pm – for the continuation of its semiannual inspection. During Saturday’s closure, at the ceremonial signing of the tunnel agreement, Gov. Gregoire revealed plans for a new system to quickly and automatically close The Viaduct if a quake hits – with, among other things, gates on approach ramps; according to this story at (WSB partner), the federally funded system will be installed next year.