Story and photos by Jason Grotelueschen
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Transportation issues and community involvement took center stage at Tuesday night’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting at the Admiral Church, as the group also celebrated a busy summer of activities and looked ahead to the future.
After welcoming attendees to Tuesday’s meeting and making a few announcements, ANA president Katy Walum walked through some highlights from the Southwest District Council meeting on September 1(see WSB coverage here). Walum encouraged those interested in ANA activities to consider attending SDC meetings in the future.
Next, it was on to the rest of the agenda:
ALASKAN WAY VIADUCT: Representatives from WSDOT and SDOT were on hand to give a presentation about the latest details of the Alaskan Way Viaduct/Tunnel and Seawall Replacement Program, with an emphasis on the “South Portal” component that will affect West Seattle residents making their way downtown and to all points north.
WSDOT’s Matt Preedy (a West Seattleite) led the presentation, along with Mike Johnson and Lara Gricar from SDOT. Using an interactive simulation (also available online) to illustrate the various phases of the project, they walked through the challenges that motorists will face during construction, but emphasized the eventual benefits of the project. (Read WSB’s archive of viaduct-related coverage).
HIAWATHA CONCERTS: The second year of ANA’s popular Summer Concerts at Hiawatha series wrapped up on September 2 with a great evening featuring the West Seattle Big Band. Walum thanked the volunteers in attendance for their efforts in making the concerts a success, took names for 2011 concert volunteers, and announced that next year’s likely concert dates would be: July 28, August 4, 11, 18, 25, and September 1. (Scroll down to the end of this post for more concert-related comments from Walum, from our post-show interview with her on September 1).
ADMIRAL ADOPT-A-STREET: ANA officers reported that 18 people participated in last Saturday’s “Adopt-a-Street” cleanup project. It was noted that “some businesses keep their front sidewalks cleaner than others,” and that perhaps ANA could send a friendly letter to neighborhood businesses to highlight some of those who do it well, and to encourage businesses to have a receptacle available for garbage (or cigarette butts, for some).
FUTURE ANA PROJECTS: Walum led a discussion about “what ANA does and how it relates to our goals,” and everyone in attendance agreed that the Hiawatha concerts were an ideal “cornerstone event” for the group to build and grow upon. Several attendees suggested that continuing to reach out to Admiral-area businesses and surrounding residents to build community is a key goal. With that in mind, the group plans to get more involved with the Admiral District trick-or-treating in October (Friday the 29th, 3-6pm). Other ideas include a “sing-along movie” and “mother/daughter tea,” as well as continuing support of the annual 4th of July “kiddie parade” in north Admiral. (scroll down for more comments from Walum, from a previous interview)
CALIFORNIA AVE. UPZONING: The group briefly summarized the recent rulings on the California Ave SW “upzoning” proposal (here’s our coverage archive), and Walum thanked Dennis Ross and Mark Wainwright (not present) for their dedication to the effort. Admiral residents can still address concerns about the decision to City Council staffer Michael Jenkins: Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org
GOOD SIGNS: 47th/ADMIRAL: Walum had “some good news for Admiral” regarding the ongoing effort to get a traffic signal installed at the 47th/Admiral intersection to address safety concerns. In addition to a letter received from Tom Rasmussen’s office back in June, Walum received an August 20th letter from Mayor McGinn. Walum read from the letter, which indicated that SDOT’s Valerie Lee is working in September to get accurate traffic counts at the intersection, to help “make the case” for a signal. Walum was encouraged that SDOT waited until school was back in session, and that they’ll be doing the counts during high-traffic times (630-930am and 330-630pm), to ensure a solid result. Though hopeful, Walum emphasized that she was also told by SDOT that “only two signals” are typically installed in Seattle each year. The decision about 2011’s signals will be made in December 2010.
NO “RECHANNELIZATION” FOR ADMIRAL WAY HILL: Attendees talked about last week’s announcement from SDOT that all existing lanes of traffic on Admiral Way north of the West Seattle Bridge will remain intact, as the city does some “restriping” to still accommodate bike traffic as well as pedestian needs at City View. (previous WSB coverage here)
Before adjourning, ANA officers encouraged people to attend tonight’s 7pm meeting at West Seattle Golf course, to discuss new driving range ideas.
The Admiral Neighborhood Association meets the 2nd Tuesday of the month, 7 pm, at Admiral Congregational Church (California/Hill). Next meeting is Tuesday, October 12.
***SIDEBAR: READ ON FOR A PREVIOUS WSB INTERVIEW WITH ANA PRESIDENT KATY WALUM:
The second year of the Admiral Neighborhood Association’s popular Summer Concerts at Hiawatha series wrapped up September 1 with a great evening featuring the West Seattle Big Band. After the show, ANA president Katy Walum (pictured above, introducing WSBB at the show) stopped by WSB’s table (we’re a proud sponsor of the series, along with other great supporters) to talk about the concerts and to offer some thoughts for their future.
Walum, who helped launch the series last year, described its growth as an “amazing experience; there’s incredible support and positivity for this event in this community, and I have been overwhelmed sometimes by the great response.” She emphasized that “we wouldn’t be here without this great community and their word-of-mouth support, the volunteers and sponsors, and Seattle Parks and this incredible facility and staff,” gesturing toward the at Hiawatha Community Center and its expansive east lawn, where the concerts are held.
She said 2010 was a “great year” for the 6-concert Thursday series, and that the crowds seemed “consistently higher than last year,” with the Caspar Babypants / Board of Education show on August 19 being the pinnacle (Hiawatha staff counted roughly 1,100 people).
“We grew really fast in just two years” in terms of crowds, Walum said. “Last year (2009), people initially really weren’t sure about the whole thing, bringing in bands and local business support and expecting crowds to come.”
The people did come (here’s our wrap-up of last year’s finale, also featuring WSBB) and the crowds had fun, which encouraged Walum and ANA’s then-president Mark Wainwright that they were on to something. So, the concerts were back in 2010, under Walum’s leadership. When asked what they did differently in 2010 versus last year, Walum said “we wanted to build on the momentum, get posters put up earlier and more broadly, secure more sponsors, and build more ‘buzz,” all of which I think we did.” She said their posters made it “futher south” (south of Morgan Junction) this year, and drew people from all around West Seattle.
Walum said she grew up in Portland “going to concerts at the zoo when I was 7 or 8, dancing with my sister up by the stage.” She said she wanted to help create something comparable here, to take advantage of what we have. “We have this beautiful park (Hiawatha) that people enjoy during day, but what about the evenings when parents can actually be with their kids and enjoy summer weather? Parents love it because they can go right up front and let the kids dance.”
“It’s something that people can get excited about, and puts a smile on their face every time.”
Walum said that having six weekly concerts in the series “feels like the right number,” since the goal is to utilize Hiawatha in the time between Hi-Yu event (mid/late July) and the start of school. She added that people seemed to enjoy the bands selected this year (7 bands were selected out of 55 that applied) and helped achieve the goal of having “something for everyone; no generational divide.”
ANA treasurer Ann Limbaugh also stopped by WSB’s table to say that the credit for the series’ success goes to Walum.
“Katy did the lion’s share of the organizing, and we’ve heard from so many people in neighborhood about how well things have gone off,” Limbaugh said. “It’s been awesome.”
Walum said she’s excited for next year’s concerts, and the continuing success and growth of the series. In addition to the PCC food truck with samples for the kids (a mainstay for both years of the concerts), she said she’d like to get “a few more food carts on board for our shows next year. We’re really excited about the Icecycle ladies and their Full Tilt ice cream bars (new in 2010), but I’d also like to get some main course options out on Walnut Avenue during the show.” Walum knows that many families enjoy bringing picnic dinners to the show, which is terrific, but she’d love to “help concertgoers with food options for the concerts, and to really highlight some of our amazing local restaurants to complement the amazing local music!”
ANA’s new “Admiral” t-shirts sold well this year, Walum said, and the new “tattoo design” was well-received. She’s looking forward to doing more with merchandise next year.
Looking back at the summer, Walum emphasized that the concerts wouldn’t be possible without “the incredible support we’ve received from Seattle Parks, and from Hiawatha CC in particular. This concert series at Hiawatha Park really, really couldn’t have happened without the faith of those folks in my vision, and their willingness to lend a hand and give their resources to make it a reality. We all have parks in our communities; we all appreciate them. But I hope that through this event we can really come to love our community’s park, Hiawatha, as its oasis; as its spectacular living room where we can sit back and relax and enjoy each other and create special memories.”
In the future, Walum is interested in getting ANA involved with new opportunities (like a “sing-along movie for families and the Admiral Junction trick-or-treating), as well as continuing the group’s support of popular events like the adopt-a-street program and 4th of July “kiddie parade.”
Walum stressed that ANA always needs new ideas and volunteers, and anyone is welcome to get involved by sending e-mail to Katy, visiting the Admiral Neighborhood Association website, or attending the group’s monthly meetings – 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Admiral Congregational Church basement meeting room. All are welcome, and you can come and participate or just listen in on the conversation.