West Seattle, Washington
(cameraphone photo added 10:56 pm)
10:49 PM: 16th SW is closed between Webster and Myrtle (map) because of a crash – at the scene, we’re seeing one badly damaged car that hit a tree on the east side of 16th. The team that investigates serious crashes appears to be arriving, so it may be closed a while, and we’re seeing buses being re-routed. Police at the scene aren’t saying anything so far about the fate of the person/s who were in the car. 11:16 PM: SPD Media Unit’s Det. Mark Jamieson confirms it’s a fatal crash, but won’t have other details until the Traffic Collision Investigation Unit – which goes out to major crash scenes – finishes its work in the hours to come. 11:50 PM: Thanks by the way to Cheri for the tip on this, and also thanks to Katie for the research assist in looking this up – it appears this is the first deadly West Seattle crash since this one on The Bridge last August.
(Photo by Christopher Boffoli, added 1:05 am)
ADDED 10:20 AM: There’s a short item on SPD Blotter this morning about the crash, but the only new information is that the driver was male, and was northbound on 16th SW before hitting a pole and then the tree. His ID would have to be made public by the county Medical Examiner, which isn’t likely to happen before mid-afternoon. 10:16 PM: According to the ME’s media-update line, the victim was 44-year-old Darryl A. Mason, who is in public databases as having a West Seattle address.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
More than 100 people filled, and spilled out from, tonight’s South Park Neighborhood Association meeting, facing a county rep who came to confirm the South Park Bridge – their “lifeline,” many called it – is virtually certain to close June 30. (The time is even set – 7 pm.)
The fury: “If this was the University or Fremont or Montlake Bridge … would you be doing this? You come here so casually to tell us you’re closing it!”
The fear: “If you shut that bridge, you’re going to be cutting my arm off, and I’m going to bleed to death.”
The frustration: “It’s very clear that you all know what’s at stake. I know what’s at stake. The captain of the port knows what’s at stake. But somehow that voice, that story has not penetrated the powers-that-be that make the decision (regarding funding).”
The fighting spirit: “Who do we need to contact NOW to get the money we need for the bridge? We can’t undo the last 13 or 40 years, but we need to get the money NOW.”
The voice of frustration was that of Gael Tarleton, Seattle Port Commissioner, the only elected official present at the meeting, though representatives were there on behalf of King County Executive Dow Constantine, County Councilmember Jan Drago, and City Councilmembers Sally Bagshaw and Mike O’Brien. Tarleton was not a scheduled speaker, but finally spoke up from the sidelines, where she was one of several dozen standing against the walls when the South Park Neighborhood Center‘s chairs were all gone.
Update on the new Eness Restaurant at 3247 California SW (map; ex-Beato spot) – heard tonight from one of the proprietors, Khadidja Romari Belambri, who says they’re hoping to open next week, maybe as soon as Tuesday or Wednesday. She also says they had a huge response to job openings they advertised: “I received more than 200 resumes and I was really surprised! I did not expect to receive that many … I wish we had a big restaurant to hire as many as possible but we have only 4 positions open.” (We previewed Eness here in late January.)
Three announcements for young sports baseball and basketball players in our area:
LEARN FROM THE CHAMPS: That photo shows the triumphant Seattle Lutheran High School Men’s Varsity Baseball Team (2009 Tri-District Tournament Champions) from last year – and this weekend, they’re hosting a baseball clinic for Baseball Players 5-10 years old, March 13-14. You can find out more at the SLHS website.
WEST SEATTLE/FAUNTLEROY YMCA SPORTS SIGN-UPS: Next round of sign-ups start this Thursday at the Y (WSB sponsor). They’re registering for Youth T-ball/Baseball and Adult Co-ed Softball – go to the Y website to find out more; they’re also looking for coaches – e-mail Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested.
BASKETBALL TRYOUTS: As previously announced on partner site White Center Now, this is the first of two nights for 4th through 8th grade basketball players to try out for teams at the Salvation Army Community Center in WC. If you missed tonight’s sessions, you’ve got another chance on Thursday – full details on WCN.
Galen at West Seattle Nursery says they accidentally left a cart like that one outside the gate last night – and this morning, it was gone. “We know it’s our fault for leaving it out, but we would really appreciate it if anyone sees it around town and recognizes it to let us know. Or, if whoever took it would kindly bring it back, we would be eternally grateful – absolutely no questions asked.” (The nursery’s at California/Brandon – map – 935-9276 – and even now on Twitter, @wsnursery.)
We’re welcoming a new WSB sponsor today – peace.love.basketball, the distinctive apparel (and online basketball community!) from Sonya Elliott‘s Full Court Design. (That’s Sonya and daughter Charli at left, in peace.love.basketball sweatshirts.) As always, new sponsors get to tell you about their businesses: Sonya started Full Court Design less than a year ago and says that she enjoys not only sharing her love of basketball but also meeting players, parents and coaches that “each have their own inspiring story. I meet teams that are dealing with adversity and their coaches want to share with them the positive message on our peace.love.basketball shirts, teams that are powerhouses and teams that are out on the court purely to have fun.” She’s also focused on environmental consciousness – the T-shirts are organic cotton; sweatshirts are organic cotton and recycled polyester. “Having this company also gives me a way to give back to the community in new ways, raising money for charities I believe in. We kicked off this season raising money for Hiawatha Community Center & the Healing Center and this month, for March Madness, 50% of profits will go to the Melissa Erickson Foundation in our MO vs. ALS promotion, to help the former UW basketball player’s fight against ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). … During the summer I run a Peace.Love.Basketball Summer Shooting Challenge where athletes can download a free shooting chart to track their shooting, and with registration they receive an encouraging note mid-summer and a T-shirt and sticker at the end of summer. … I really enjoy working with young kids and sharing my love of the game.” Sonya played at EWU, and is now a 14-year resident of West Seattle who coaches 2 basketball teams through Hiawatha Community Center, helps with Madison Middle School‘s basketball program, and coaches football through Alki Community Center. For more, go to peacelovebasketball.com (and on Facebook, “fan” peace.love.basketball here).
We originally checked out today’s City Council Transportation Committee meeting – during which we happened onto the Pigeon Point briefing – because of an agenda item about the city’s bridge-inspection program. The committee’s chair, Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, had shared photos with us recently after a tour that preceded today’s briefing – he and SDOT reps visited some of the city’s bridges, and his photos you see above and below show the “low bridge” from outside its control tower. No major news in this morning’s briefing, but interesting numbers: 146 city-owned bridges in Seattle (almost 170 others are owned by other entities); 46 of them are more than 60 years old, like the Admiral Way Bridge (cool historic construction shots here), and replacing them would cost the city about $1.5 billion, so they’re trying to prolong the bridges’ life. “Intrusion of water” is the main reason concrete bridges (like Admiral, which is “concrete truss”) fail, the committee was told; not because the concrete goes bad, but because water seeps in, corrodes the steel rebar, which in turn expands and starts breaking up the concrete. The city has steel bridges, too, and its main preservation work for those involves painting each one at least every 18 years; the repainting program costs $1 million-plus each year. Bridges are inspected routinely, following federal standards.
By the way, did you know the “low bridge” is the only bridge of its kind in the world?
Just a few more weeks for young women to apply to enter this year’s Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu competition (photo from our coverage of the 2009 coronation). You’ve heard “it’s not a beauty pageant, it’s a scholarship competition” before – it’s truly the case here, and in addition to having college money up for grabs, there’s also the chance to represent West Seattle at appearances around the region – we remain the ONLY community that still has its own parade float, and the Hi-Yu court travels with it. There’s $2,000 scholarship money for the Queen and $1,000 for each Princess; March 31 is the deadline to apply – you can get the form here (also download the accompanying letter here). For eligibility info, check out our previous report.
The City Council’s Transportation Committee – chaired by West Seattle-residing Councilmember Tom Rasmussen – just got briefed by SDOT staff on the Pigeon Point road closure/detour/parking-restriction situation, and how the “unpleasant surprise” factor might be avoided in a future situation. Rasmussen, of course, was very familiar with the details, because he responded to neighbors’ requests for help and visited Pigeon Point (photo left) the weekend before the 23rd SW homebuilding-related closure took effect on Feb. 22. This discussion happened during the “SDOT director’s report” section of this morning’s committee meeting – acting SDOT chief Peter Hahn yielded the floor to SDOT’s Eric Widstrand, whose recap included this official map showing the originally proposed detours (etc.) and the revised version. The map also clearly shows what Hahn acknowledged was unusual about this situation – a road closure in one area, with major impacts on people living blocks away. Widstrand acknowledged that the main heads-up for the public was the original detour sign that some interpreted to say Delridge was closing, as first reported here on Feb. 10. (One clarification: Widstrand told the committee that developer Jon Riser had “notified” WSB, but we did NOT get any sort of “notification” from him or the city before the Delridge sign went up, though he did participate in a site discussion, quickly answered our request for comment, and was lauded for working with neighbors once he heard their concerns.) The mea culpa boiled down to: In most closures like this, apparently it’s OK to leave the notification to the developer – SDOT issues permits for thousands of closures every year. But an unusual situation like this should raise a red flag, and, Widstrand said, could be grounds for a community open house a month before closures/changes kick in. Rasmussen noted that could have saved a lot of time and trouble here, explaining that though Metro apparently didn’t consider the optimal reroute because of a tree in the way, neighbors told him that if they’d been brought into advance discussions, they could have explained that the neighbor who owns the tree would be happy to have it trimmed.
During a recent visit to Denny International Middle School, we spotted that poster in the hallway. Took the photo with the intent to follow up – and before we got around to doing that, we got a note from “lunch lady” Doree Fazio-Young, who told us all about it: This Friday, she and her manager Sue Trainer – who’ve worked together as Denny “lunch ladies” for 20 years! – are hoping EVERY student at Denny will eat lunch at school. If they do, Doree and Sue could break what Doree says is a Seattle Public Schools record, and Denny record, “for feeding everyone in attendance at school that day.” Not only will they be working hard to serve hundreds of lunches, they’ll also be celebrating two special occasions: Doree turns 50, and Sue marks 30 years at Denny (10 years before Doree got there!). By the way, lunch at Denny isn’t just your average school lunch – it’s the regionally renowned Denny Diner (as explained here), which is why you see that phrase in the poster. Lunch at Denny starts at 10:45 am, but of course Doree and Sue start working on it hours ahead of time.
PARKS PROGRAM REGISTRATION: Noon today marks the start of sign-ups for spring courses at local Seattle Parks facilities including community centers and pools. To browse and register online, go here.
And now, those five neighborhood meetings, in alphabetical order, including one that’s outside West Seattle but of importance to our area because of the topic:
JUNCTION NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Ginomai at 42nd/Genesee, 6:30 pm. ADDED 11:23 AM: There’s a key item on the agenda, development design guidelines – Diane has added a letter from JuNO president Erica Karlovits in comments – read it here.
1) Update on the Brandon Natural Area
2) Streets Fund Projects Reminder
3) Update from the Transportation/Pedestrian Committee
4) Update on the Skate Park
5) Delridge Park Clean Up reminder, and P-Patch note
SOUTH PARK NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Not usually on our list, but tonight it is, because this meeting will include an official King County update on the status of the South Park Bridge, which the county says it will have to close at the end of June unless testing shows it’s safe enough to leave open longer. The meeting starts at 7 pm, South Park Neighborhood Center, 8201 10th Avenue S. (map).
And if you’re looking for diversions …
EVERY TUESDAY: Regularly scheduled events at local nightspots includes rock trivia at Feedback Lounge, 8 pm, and open turntables at Skylark Café and Club, 6 pm (both are WSB sponsors), plus Starlite Singer Songwriter Night at Shadowland in The Junction, 9:30 pm.
(Photos in this story courtesy John Lang unless otherwise credited)
In our Saturday report on this year’s Fairmount Ravine cleanup, we mentioned that organizer John Lang had found an apparent transient camp earlier in the week and asked for police help before the volunteer event. There was a lot more to the story, as you’ll see now that John has written up his account of not only the cleanup but also the discovery, and a close call he had along the way, as well as what they’re hoping for the future:
The 18th annual spring cleanup was a great success! 23 people participated on the sunny and warm Saturday. There was participation from students from Kennedy, O’Dea and West Seattle High Schools including one who drove all the way from Federal Way. That is dedication!
That’s our photo of the teens – John’s story continues after the jump, including what happened when he discovered the camp – and was attacked by the campers’ dog – plus, how your help might be needed (not just for future cleanups):Read More
Chris Curtis from Neighborhood Farmers’ Market Alliance, which manages the West Seattle Farmers’ Market and six others, shared some good news: NFMA farmers donated 47,000 pounds of fresh produce and food to regional food banks last year – about six tons of that, from West Seattle. Curtis says there’s no donation requirement for participants – farmers are asked to consider donations at day’s end, particularly if they have produce that can’t easily “go back on the truck and on to another market.” Donated food, according to Curtis, is “generally collected at the end of the market day by food-bank volunteers, then stored, packaged and distributed to food-bank clients within 48 hours.”