Admiral Neighborhood Assoc.: Politics, parade, concerts, traffic …

Story and photos by Jason Grotelueschen
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

About 25 people gathered Tuesday night at Admiral Church for the monthly meeting of the Admiral Neighborhood Association.

The agenda included a forum for local political candidates, a discussion of the “rechannelization” proposal for Admiral Way (as a follow-up to SDOT’s open house earlier in the afternoon), an update on a possible pedestrian signal at 47th SW & Admiral Way, a recap of the successful 4th of July Kids’ Parade, and an overview of the group’s final preparations for the Summer Concerts at Hiawatha series (co-sponsored by WSB, beginning 2 weeks from tomorrow).

After kicking off the meeting, ANA president Katy Walum allowed each of the 5 political candidates in attendance to speak about their respective candidacies and platforms.

STATE REP: All 4 candidates for 34th District State Representative, Position 2, were there:

MIKE HEAVEY: A “4th-generation native of Seattle” who worked for Dow Constantine during his successful King County Executive campaign, Heavey stated that his “number 1 goal is to get education back on track.” He expressed concern with Tim Eyman’s “disruptive anti-tax measures” and vowed to keep them in check, which being a strong advocate for overall tax reform. When asked about the Admiral “rechannelization” discussion, Heavey described it as a tricky problem but “an example of what happens when government overreacts.”

MARCEE STONE: (photographed with ANA’s Jim Cavin) A native of White Center and Highland Park with a 20-year legal career, Stone highlighted her passion for service by offering an example of “fighting against cell phone towers in our neighborhood” and getting people together to make a difference. Stone added that “the most important thing I can tell you is that I love these neighborhoods and know what it takes to raise kids and educate them.” When asked about the proposed Admiral Way project, Stone responded that she currently lives on Fauntleroy Way (site of a similar rechannelization project) and doubted that “it had really made things any safer.” Stone noted her support of a progressive income tax and extension of unemployment benefits – when pressed on the latter by an attendee, Stone emphasized the importance of “big projects, to get people working” such as the viaduct replacement and Duwamish cleanup.

JOE FITZGIBBON: (at left in photo with Geoffrey “Mac” McElroy) A native of Burien, Fitzgibbon cited his 3 years of work as a legislative assistant for Rep. Sharon Nelson, whose open seat he and the other three are seeking, including an active role in “helping us work through a severe budget crisis.” He pledged to be a strong advocate for education, and to help reform “our 75-year-old tax system.” When asked about transportation, he noted that the Admiral rechannelization “may actually put more people in harm’s way,” and mentioned that West Seattle is feeling like “more and more of an island” with recent developments such as the South Park Bridge closure, viaduct work, and economic challenges for the King County Water Taxi. When pressed about his perceived
lack of small-business or private-sector experience, Fitzgibbon responded that he was raised in a small-business family, and fully understands the challenges.

GEOFFREY “MAC” MCELROY: Since speaking at the May ANA meeting, McElroy has been a regular attendee and contributor at numerous West Seattle events and forums. As a small-business owner (running Mac’s Triangle Pub in South Delridge) with a military and transportation background, McElroy is the only independent candidate in the race (Heavey, Stone and Fitzgibbon are all running as Democrats). McElroy called the campaign process “a fascinating way to get to know your community,” and stressed his belief in the need for change in politics – “the classic definition of insanity is to do the same things again and expect a different result.”

(Editor’s note: This week we are running individual stories about all four candidates in that race – two published so far, two to come – they’re with coverage of the race in this archive)

KING COUNTY COUNCIL CANDIDATE DIANA TOLEDO: Diana Toledo, one of four candidates for King County Council District 8 (a nonpartisan position), was also in attendance and spoke at the ANA meeting. Citing her 15 years of experience working for King County, she emphasized her reputation for “standing up for what’s right” and “enforcing responsible reform and cutting red tape.” A Seattle native, Toledo pledged to “cut wasteful government spending” – when pressed for details by an attendee, she emphasized that doing so “has been a huge part of my job for 15 years.” (Editor’s note: We have a series of reports in the works on the four candidates in this race, too.)

After 80 minutes of remarks from the 5 candidates, ANA president Walum brought the meeting back to “regular business” and led the discussion of the previously scheduled agenda.

(ANA concession/T-shirt stand at Hamilton Viewpoint after 7/4 parade)
SHIRTS AND CONCESSIONS: Ann Limbaugh, ANA treasurer, reported that the group made $560 in t-shirt sales (32 sold) and concessions (popsicles and treats) after the 4th of July Kids’ Parade in North Admiral. Walum noted that she was able to get “popsicle coolers” from Herban Feast (she thanked Mac McElroy for his earlier offer to provide coolers), and that the “popsicle cart” was rented. Everyone agreed that the event was a success, and Walum thanked all of the volunteers and coordinators for their time and effort, and encouraged everyone to think ahead to next year regarding a continuing (perhaps expanded) role for ANA in the parade. Walum held up the group’s new shirts and jackets (to a chorus of “oohs” and “ahs”) and encouraged attendees to promote the merchandise – it will all be for sale at the upcoming Hiawatha concerts this summer. More on those:

SUMMER CONCERTS AT HIAWATHA: Limbaugh also reported that just over half of the group’s treasury balance will go toward paying bills for the upcoming Summer Concerts at Hiawatha series, presented by ANA. In case you missed the lineup, here it is:

July 29 – The Starlings
August 5 – Back Burner
August 12 – Pearl Django with special guest vocalist Greta Matassa
August 19 – Caspar Babypants and The Board of Education
August 26 – Camille Bloom
September 2 – West Seattle Big Band

Walum announced that two of the concerts will also be benefit events – West Seattle Food Bank on August 5 (food/cash donations will be accepted), and WestSide Baby for the “kids’ concert” on August 19 (diapers and clothing donations will be accepted, along with cash). On those same two days, ANA will have two face-painters at the concerts to keep the kids looking good. Also, the group will continue to provide flowers onstage during the concerts. To promote the concerts, the group has 250 new handout posters (many of which were distributed to attendees, to hang up around the neighborhood) and two big new banners (see photo above – they feature a large “top section” that’s reusable for future years, with a swappable bottom strip that has annual sponsors and info.)

SUMMER FEST: Walum reported that ANA had a presence in the Community Zone at last weekend’s West Seattle Summer Fest, and “sold a few t-shirts and had great conversations with people” despite having “not the best booth location – we were kind of tucked away.” Attendees agreed that it was great for ANA to be represented, and that an improved booth location next year would be even better.

SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL/HOMESTEAD: Jim Del Ciello provided a report about the recent SW District Councill meeting (WSB coverage here and here). He noted that the group voted to provisionally (pending a few more votes to be received by e-mail) approve membership for the Genesee/Schmitz Neighborhood Association, heard a report about crime in the neighborhood, and heard from King County Councilmember Jan Drago about transit issues. Del Ciello also reported about the “This Place Matters” event that brought more than 200 people (the newest official count) to Alki Homestead on July 4 – see the official video above, newly completed by event organizers – and the group thanked Del Ciello for his efforts on both.

ADMIRAL RECHANNELIZATION: See our separate story for the group’s discussion of this, which happened right after the city’s separate meeting on the proposal.

47TH & ADMIRAL SAFETY: Karl de Jong praised Walum for the ANA
presentation she led at the 34th District Democrats‘ meeting on June 9 (WSB coverage here), on the subject of the often-discussed intersection of 47th and Admiral – the scene of a pedestrian death in 2006. Walum reported that she sent follow-up e-mails to the mayor’s office (no response yet) and to Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, Transportation Committee chair and West Seattle resident. Rasmussen’s office replied that they are “very familiar with the intersection” and are anxious to hear from SDOT after they finish a September 2010 “pedestrian count study” in that area to determine if a signal is needed. Walum said the odds are still stacked because so few signals are installed in Seattle each year., but she remained hopeful. Attendees agreed that having Rasmussen and SDOT representatives at a future ANA meeting would be good.

ANA LOGO & WEBSITE: Sylvia Rolle reported that she and others have been working hard on new logo templates and “color palette” branding for ANA, and will have mockups at the group’s next meeting.

ADOPT-A-STREET: The next date is Saturday, August 28, at 9 am. Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) is onboard to provide snacks and coffee for volunteers – that’s also where to meet to join in the cleanup.

CALIFORNIA AVE REZONING: Group members were reminded there’s a public hearing regarding the California Ave. SW zoning change on August 18 at 9 am, in the city Hearing Examiner‘s chambers on the 40th floor of the Municipal Tower downtown.

SAFEWAY ALLEY VACATION: Walum reported that ANA support has been unanimous in support of the Admiral Safeway “alley vacation” and that a letter expressing that support will be submitted prior to the meeting of the City Council’s Transportation Committee at 9:30 am on July 27 (WSB preview here).

POLICE “NIGHT OUT”: Walum noted that she is actively working to get Seattle Police Department representatives to attend future ANA meetings. She had met with Community Police Team Officer Jon Kiehn. Other attendees also noted the upcoming “Night Out” in Seattle on August 3, and encouraged attendees to organize and attend these events in their own neighborhoods (you can sign up online here).

The Admiral Neighborhood Association meets the 2nd Tuesday of the month, 7 pm, at Admiral Congregational Church (California/Hill). There is no August meeting – next meeting is Tuesday, September 14.

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