day : 14/06/2010 12 results

How to Walk/Bike/Ride more easily? West Seattleites speak out

(Additional details of Monday night’s meeting added 9:40 am Tuesday – scroll down)

Story and photos by Jason Grotelueschen
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

About 40 attendees from Delridge and other West Seattle neighborhoods gathered at Delridge Community Center tonight to discuss Mayor Mike McGinn‘s Walk/Bike/Ride initiative – its goals and potential effects on the area.

Here’s how the initiative is described by the mayor’s office:

Walk/Bike/Ride is a multi-year initiative that supports projects and programs making walking, biking, and riding transit the easiest ways to get around in Seattle. It serves all people, regardless of age, income, ethnicity, or ability. It uses transportation investments to create quality places and reclaims our streets for communities.

It was the third of four community meetings around the city this month (Bitter Lake and South Beacon Hill happened earlier; Northgate is next week) at which organizers are seeking answers to the question: “What needs to change in your neighborhood in order to make walking, biking, and riding transit easy?”

Tonight’s event in the Delridge CC gym kicked off with an introduction from the mayor’s transportation policy analyst Rebecca Deehr, followed by a presentation from Barbara Gray from the Seattle Department of Transportation (above), and a lively Q&A session. Read More

West Seattle scene: Alki sunset, as the clouds roll in

Alki photographer David Hutchinson sent that photo a short time ago … and we could just sit here looking at it all night. So we’re publishing it fast so you can see it too. After a surprisingly sunny day, forecasters say we should expect a gray day tomorrow, maybe even some thunderstorms. Might not even crack 60 degrees. (June 14th and we haven’t put the flannel sheets away yet.)

34th/Barton P-Patch closer to reality after City Council vote

The empty lot on the southwest corner of 34th and Barton is closer to becoming a P-Patch after city councilmembers voted unanimously today to declare it “surplus” for Seattle Public Utilities, meaning SPU can transfer it to the Department of Neighborhoods for community-garden use. That’s been in the works for more than a year (we got first word at a Parks and Green Spaces Levy Oversight Committee meeting in May 2009); next step should be a community design meeting, according to what a city rep told the Westwood Neighborhood Council in April.

West Seattle Hi-Yu invitation to Junior Court hopefuls, and sponsors

June 14, 2010 9:58 pm
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 |   West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival | West Seattle news

(WSB photo from July 2009)
Two announcements tonight from the West Seattle Hi-Yu Summer Festival, as their biggest events of the year get closer: First, the photo above is from last year’s Junior Court Coronation – and tonight Hi-Yu is putting out the call for girls who’d like to be considered for Junior Court this year. From Hi-Yu’s Deena Mahn:

The Hi-Yu Summer Festival is fast approaching and the float will be traveling to the following communities soon: Marysville, Port Orchard and Burien, to name just a few.

Also, it’s that time of year to look for NEW JUNIOR COURT ROYALTY FOR THE 2010-2011 YEAR. The current court of royalty – Queen Kailin, Princess Isabella and Princess Kaitlin – will be crowning new girls on Friday, July 16th at the Hiawatha Fun Fest.

For an application, click here to open the document, fill it out and mail it in BY MONDAY, JULY 12. ALL INSTRUCTIONS ARE IN THE DOCUMENT. Try out to be part of Hi-Yu royalty and have fun making new friends!

A few things you might want to know before you click – age requirement is “between the ages of 8 and 11 by September 1st.” Also, girls must live or attend school in West Seattle (zip codes 98106, 98116, 98126, 98136, 98146).

LAST CALL FOR SPONSORS! Hi-Yu is putting out one last call for sponsors as they get ready to send the Summer Festival Souvenir Book to the printer. (Supporters are recognized in the front of the book.) Hi-Yu Festival president Tim Winston says, “Due to the economy, our sponsor level is down slightly, while insurance costs for the float, etc. have increased. All sponsorships help with the Float program, the Scholarship Program, and Hi-Yu events.” They’re not looking for a big commitment – the $50 and $100 levels help a lot; e-mail if you’re interested. They don’t have online donation set up but you can send a check to West Seattle Hi-Yu Summer Festival at P.O. Box 16130, Seattle, WA 98116.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Arrests in robbery, burglary today

We received a few notes earlier about police activity near the 35th/Morgan market (map) and a few blocks north near the High Point library branch. Southwest Precinct Lt. Ron Rasmussen tells WSB that both scenes “were related to a robbery at the (market). Three juveniles were arrested by our officers in the area of the library. No suspects outstanding.” He also says that in another incident this afternoon, police arrested a juvenile burglary suspect “who entered a woman’s house in the 9200 Block of 26th SW [map] while she was at home.” (Another reminder that if you’ve got questions/concerns about crime, precinct leadership will be at tomorrow night’s monthly meeting of the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council as usual, 7 pm; also scheduled to be there, City Attorney Pete Holmes.)

West Seattle scenes: If life hands you a sea lemon …

(top video added 6:39 pm – baby sunflower sea star on the move!)

Notice a lot of school buses around West Seattle today, not at the usual hours? One last low-tide field trip before school gets out for the summer. Among the volunteer beach naturalists out again today was John Smersh of Click! Design That Fits (which, like the naturalist-program-sponsoring Seattle Aquarium, is a WSB sponsor). He shared the photos and video, and reports:

A great day today with lots of kids on field trips to the beach! We will be doing another weekday beach session tomorrow from 11 am to 2 pm (low at 1:39 pm). The last photo is a Sea Lemon, which is a type of sea slug. There was one young gal from one of the schools who had picked that as “her” animal to find, and I don’t believe she ever did… by the time I found this one she had left.

You’ll find the naturalists tomorrow at Constellation Park (south of Alki Point) and Lincoln Park (near Colman Pool).

Running Hope Through America, running through Alki tomorrow

June 14, 2010 3:25 pm
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 |   How to help | West Seattle news

Two women running across America in a novel way – running in each of 50 states (often with local runners joining in), but not all the way across them – will be on the run in West Seattle tomorrow. John Wallace, the guy who made news here for a running milestone last December, is spreading the word about Running Hope Through America. He’s helping Lisa Smith Batchen (who’s been averaging 50 miles a state) and Sister Mary-Beth Lloyd (averaging about 20) on their quest to raise money to help orphans; Washington is their 46th state, and they’ll start the local leg from Salty’s on Alki at 6 am tomorrow. Here’s the Facebook event page. You’re welcome to join them at 6 tomorrow morning – to run part or all of the way, or “just” to cheer them on – and/or you can donate to the cause right now.

Budget cuts followup: Wading pool schedule; Parks maintenance


(2008 WSB photo of Delridge wading pool)
Two followups to this morning’s news about city budget cuts: First, the wading pool schedule is now available as a PDF on the Seattle Parks website. Here’s the document; the highlights –

Delridge: Thursday-Friday-Saturday noon-6:45 pm, starting June 26th
EC Hughes: Wednesday-Thursday-Friday noon-7 pm, starting June 30th
Hiawatha: Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday noon-6:45 pm, starting June 28th
Highland Park: Closed (awaiting conversion to spray park)
Lincoln Park: Every day 11 am-8 pm, starting June 26th
South Park: Sunday-Monday-Tuesday noon-7 pm, starting June 27th

That leaves eastern West Seattle with no 7-day-a-week pool, a situation that stirred some controversy two years ago (Delridge eventually got a seventh day). Also a note on the Parks budget cuts regarding maintenance — a little more insight comes from an internal memo that Acting Superintendent Christopher Williams sent to Parks employees:

We will hold three park maintenance positions vacant in each Park District for the last half of 2010. This will save about $0.3 million but will have a serious impact on our ability to maintain our parks to their current excellent standard. The Parks Division is also working on some ways to test different reduction strategies this summer to try to identify the ways that have the least impact on the public.

Again, from our earlier report, the full presentation given to councilmembers this morning can be seen here.

Flag Day 2010: Old Glory in The Junction

West Seattle Junction Association guy-of-all-trades Don told us during Sunday’s Health Fair that he would make sure Old Glory graced California SW for Flag Day today … and the promise was kept. No fluttering in the breeze so far since the air is fairly still, but if you go to The Junction, you will see the Stars and Stripes all along the way. Today is the 233rd anniversary of the day the flag was adopted by the Second Continental Congress.

Update: City announces midyear budget cuts

(We’ll continue to update this story through the afternoon as reaction comes in – scroll down)
ORIGINAL 10:46 AM REPORT: The City Council’s special Budget Committee meeting has just begun; this will be the first official word of what cuts will be made to make up for extra red ink in the current budget year; We’ll post as it happens. It’s being pointed out that these cuts do NOT require council approval. Note: The presentation is online, according to our friends at My Green Lakesee it here. We’re reading it now.

ONGOING COVERAGE: Budget boss Beth Goldberg‘s first announcement: In light of the Fremont fire that killed five over the weekend, NO reductions in the Fire Department.

From the budget document – wading pool effects: Lincoln Park remains open 7 days a week. (Goldberg is telling the council that the decision was based on keeping the most-used wading pools fully open. Other decisions, she says, were made based on “geographic equity.”)

Wading pools open 3 Days per week (in our area – there are other 3-day schedules around the city):
Delridge, EC Hughes, Hiawatha, South Park (Goldberg says the scheduling decisions were made based on the busiest day of the week and the days on each side of that day; as of this writing, the Parks website is not updated)

Highland Park wading pool remains closed (it’s set for conversion to a spray park; Goldberg is noting during the briefing that spray features are cheaper to operate than regular wading pools; she says the city’s total wading-pool budget is just under half a million dollars a year)

ALSO FROM PARKS: No community center/swimming pool closures this year, no lifeguard cuts. The description of cuts does not mention any program cuts, but does note a 5% reduction in maintenance (no elaboration yet)

LIBRARIES: Current hours will be maintained at all locations (but there are cuts, like $500,000 cut from the collection fund)

(added 11 am) POLICE: From the document linked above:

Leaves 21 new sworn officer positions related to the neighborhood policing program vacant, saving $2.1 million

(added 11:19 am) Goldberg says there are more SDOT cuts to come – “as we go deeper, the decisions get uglier.” The document linked above goes into detail about that department’s challenges.

11:56 AM: The meeting’s over. The mayor has a media availability at 12:15 to comment on the cuts.

12:19 PM: News releases are starting to come out with reaction to the cuts. We’ll publish the ones we get – starting with, after the jump, Councilmember Jean Godden, who says she’s concerned about the 21 police jobs that won’t be hired:Read More

Also this morning: County hearing on animal services

We’ve mentioned the City Council‘s upcoming briefing on midyear budget cuts – watch for word on that after the meeting starts at 10:30 – but there’s something else governmental to keep an eye on this morning: We know of at least two West Seattleites planning to testify at the animal-services-proposal hearing at the County Courthouse downtown – details after the jump:Read More

West Seattle Monday: Walk/Bike/Ride; city cuts; park pitches

June 14, 2010 6:12 am
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 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(Sunday evening photo taken in the Alki area by Eilene Hutchinson)
Using a fan paraglider is ONE alternative means of transportation – three more conventional modes are under discussion in West Seattle tonight, as the mayor’s Walk/Bike/Ride initiative comes to Delridge Community Center at 6 pm to ask you questions such as: What would make it easier to get around our area without a car? (Regardless of whether you can or can’t make the meeting, you can fill out this online ballot to share your thoughts.) … Also today/tonight, two other city government-related events with West Seattle ramifications, though they’re happening off-peninsula: First, 10:30 this morning is when we will all find out how the city will cut an estimated $12 million from its budget for the rest of the year – there have long been rumors that some parks facilities/programs would be affected, for example, but finally the speculation will end when the City Council, sitting as the Budget Committee, is briefed this morning on whatever cuts, in whichever departments, will be made. (Seattle Channel will show it live and we hope to have a streaming window here on WSB, too.) … Speaking of Parks, tonight is when West Seattleites who are pitching for a share of the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund get to make presentations to the Levy Oversight Committee. See the applications and staff ratings here; the open house starts at Magnuson Park‘s Workshop/View Ridge Room at 5:15, presentations start at 6:30. … More of your Monday on the WSB West Seattle Events calendar.