West Seattle, Washington
That big backhoe sits tonight atop what was the traffic circle at Fairmount and Forest in Admiral – which we last visited on Friday afternoon, as neighbors and passersby became increasingly worried about a growing sinkhole (first mentioned here a week ago):
(WSB photo from last Friday)
What was the traffic circle, and sinkhole, in the center of the intersection south of Fairmount Ravine is now the site of an emergency construction project to remove and replace 50 feet of “collapsed” sewer main under the street. That’s according to a notice posted at the site, which has even more heavy equipment standing by, beyond the backhoe atop the ex-circle:
One neighbor we spoke with this afternoon says the broken pipe and water from last week’s rain backed up under the street surface, and that led to the sinkhole problem. The Seattle Public Utilities notice says the emergency work will take about two weeks and may continue through weekends. In the meantime, what would have gone through the damaged pipe will be routed, says SPU’s notice, through a temporary line, so that service isn’t interrupted to nearby homes.
Story and photo by Jack Mayne
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Tomorrow night is your chance to cheer and honor Ron Angeles, as he gets ready to retire from his City of Seattle work as a neighborhood district coordinator on March 15th.
Friends and colleagues have organized a community celebration 6-8 pm Thursday at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. But before that – time to look back, and look ahead.
Angeles is known best, and most recently, in West Seattle as the coordinator for the Delridge Neighborhoods District, before the Department of Neighborhoods‘ recent reorganization of district coordinators.
Just in from Nancy Woodland of WestSide Baby, which helps thousands of local families but can’t do it without you:
The PERFECT Snow Day project awaits you and your kids!
As you are searching for gloves and boots, many of the families we serve are in cramped living spaces with inadequate heat. Warm clothes are needed today! After filling orders this week for local children in need, WestSide Baby’s clothing shelves are extremely depleted. I hope you will consider a closet-clean out day with your kids to be a worthwhile, non-TV, do “something for other’s” way to fill a few hours if the snow or school holiday keeps you cooped up this week.
WestSide Baby provides essentials to local children (newborn to size 12) in need by collecting items from local families and distributing them through more than 90 local social service agency partners like food banks, public health and many more. Just in these 3 weeks of February, we have been unable to fill 17 Clothing Bags, 14 requests for shoes and many winter coats. We strive to meet the very real need and we need your help! In the next few days, we have existing orders to fill for many clothing articles including pants and shirts at 15 requests each. Even after a wonderfully discounted shopping spree today of larger size children’s clothes at Again and A Gain Consignment, one of our wonderful on-going sponsors, we were through those bags by day’s end.
A complete and detailed list of the clothing items we currently need can be found on our How to Give section of our website. Our facility is open for donations again on Saturday from 10-1 but we also have many drop-off locations throughout West Seattle and Burien if you can reach them easier. We also have many unfilled requests for items such as car seats, strollers, portable cribs and toddler beds (not twin) but we are slightly overstocked on toys. Feel free to leave the toy purge for another day!
(Refresh for latest pic from WS Bridge & 1st Ave. S. Bridge cams, more on the WSB Traffic page)
5:31 PM: We are in Admiral, heading south, and it’s snowing, though not too heavily. You?
6:02 PM: Back at HQ in Upper Fauntleroy, it’s very, very light. Moving the bridge cameras from our morning preview to this story for anyone who still has to hit the road(s).
6:18 PM: Steady, still not heavy. Meantime, an update from the city Emergency Operations Center just arrived in the WSB inbox, including:
19 plow trucks with salt spreaders are pre-positioned around Seattle. Snow routes have been pre-treated with magnesium chloride salt brine, emphasizing elevated structures. The department has been working 12-hour shifts for 24-hour operations since 9 a.m. this morning.
(We noticed pre-treatment marks on arterials including SW Thistle when we headed north pre-sunset.) The city also says that so far, Thursday is expected to be “a normal day for garbage, recycling, and food/yard waste collection,” so please have everything out by 7 am.
(Video added 6:53 pm)
7:38 PM: Bigger flakes. Meantime, the city reports it’s closed the EOC until 5 tomorrow morning, at which time it’ll monitor the morning commute.
8:18 PM: Cars are coated in snow up here in Upper Fauntleroy, after two-plus hours of steady snowfall. Yards/planting strips are frosted too. Not the street, so far, but temps are close to freezing. Note that while it’s not so bad around here, to the north and to the south, different story, so if you have to drive into Snohomish or South King County (among other areas) … be forewarned.
9:04 PM: Metro has now announced all its Southwest King County buses are on snow routes. Some of them go through White Center. West Seattle is mostly still on regular routes, though, but keep an eye on the Metro map/list.
9:51 PM: The weather experts are in with their late-night thoughts. About an hour ago, Cliff Mass warned “it’s not over yet.” But the National Weather Service has downgraded the “winter storm warning” to a “winter weather advisory” for Seattle. As you have likely seen elsewhere, there’s been major snow to the north, and to the south, but ours hasn’t amounted to much more than a hearty dusting.
10:43 PM: And suddenly we’re having the heaviest shower we’ve seen all day/night – with some sticking to the road. Perhaps Cliff Mass was right. (video added 10:59 pm)
The latest West Seattle Crime Watch reports from the WSB inbox include an “open letter” from a theft victim to the thieves, whom she believes were at an unauthorized party at her house, asking that two items with keepsake value be returned; plus, a stolen car to watch for, and more:Read More
After days of installation work (you’ve seen it in progress if you’ve driven SW Thistle this past week), the front of Chief Sealth International High School‘s auditorium is now graced by a portrait of its namesake, in the school colors, in a two-sided louvered style – red if you’re looking west, blue if you’re looking east.
Before it was repainted during the two-year renovation project, that section of the auditorium’s facade simply bore the lettering “Chief Sealth High School” – here’s the previous look, and here’s an even older view. (The story of Chief Sealth/Seattle himself is told here, at HistoryLink.org.)
12:41 PM: Moving up from the south – we were just in White Center, where it started to snow; headed back toward West Seattle and now it’s a pretty good shower in Westwood.
12:53 PM: We’re in Highland Park and the snow shower has just stopped … no, wait, flurrying again … Speaking of Highland Park, if you didn’t see this in the WSB Forums, by the way, Zippy’s is closing at 2 pm just in case.
1:02 PM: Sunny in Fauntleroy! Seriously. So we’re moving on with the rest of the news and will bring snow coverage back to the top as warranted.
4:19 PM: Still no snow sightings since then, though the clouds have grow a bit darker.
12:01 PM: Since the flake-free night gave way to a flake-free morning in West Seattle, we’re checking around to see what the weather folks are predicting for this afternoon. The popular weather analyst Cliff Mass published a “nowcast” this past hour on his website, acknowledging areas like ours have been in a shadow while other areas (like Snohomish County) have been walloped, but saying that pattern is now breaking down. However, he says in capital letters, “THIS WILL NOT BE LIKE NOV. 22ND.” As for the National Weather Service, its midmorning “forecast discussion” also acknowledges the “shadowing” but predicts for later today, “SHOWERS WILL INCREASE … AND AN INCH OR TWO OF SLUSHY SNOW WILL OCCUR MOST AREAS AWAY FROM WATER AND ABOVE 100-200 FT IN ELEVATION.” The broadcast translations of most of this are discussing mid-afternoon or later. The NWS warns that the “models” remain inconsistent, but tonight looks even potentially snowier. So don’t assume nothing’s happening because nothing’s happened yet – might, or might not. (Yes, we know, we’ve seen this all before.)
ADDED 12:06 PM: Just after we published our update, Metro sent theirs. No route changes yet, but they’re chaining up and warning they expect to move to snow routing later – info after the jump (and we’re watching for other transportation/transit agencies’ plans too; will add to this story as they come in):Read More
Want cleaner streets and sidewalks? Here are two more opportunities in addition to the March 5th “Clean Up Your Act” volunteer effort noted here. First, Admiral Neighborhood Association president Katy Walum posted a reminder about their Saturday Adopt-A-Street event (free breakfast AND lunch!) as a WSB comment:
… The Admiral Neighborhood Association will be having our quarterly Adopt-a-Street cleanup this Saturday, February 26th, from 9-11 am. Any interested volunteers are welcome to meet with us at 9 am at the Admiral Metropolitan Market, and spend an hour or so picking up litter in and around the Admiral business district. We will provide safety vests, gloves, bags, and trash grabbers. Metropolitan Market will provide volunteers with fresh coffee, fruit, and pastries, and a sack lunch after the cleanup to reward you for your efforts. Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Hope to see you litter-busters there!
And we also got word of a cleanup along West Seattle’s longest staircase, the SW Thistle Street stairs between Upper Fauntleroy and Lincoln Park. Neighbors and other stairway users will gather at its lower end at 10 am March 5th; more details in this Facebook event invitation.
(Refresh for latest pic from WS Bridge & 1st Ave. S. Bridge cams, more on the WSB Traffic page)
You never know when those snowy forecasts WON’T come true, so since it was a snow-free night, we’re starting the day by looking ahead to what’s scheduled as if everything will go on as planned. (If bad weather does arrive and you cancel something – PLEASE let us know, and we’ll help get the word out!) Topping the list: Highland Park Action Committee‘s monthly meeting, 7 pm, Highland Park Improvement Club (12th/Holden) …In The Junction, West 5 – which just celebrated its own 8th anniversary – hosts the 8th anniversary party for Georgetown Brewing Company, starting at 6 pm (full details here) … PoetryBridge.net has its monthly night of poems and stories tonight at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 5612 California SW, with featured poets followed by open mike, 7 pm … Looking for work? Free job-search workshop at South Seattle Community College‘s WorkSource Center, 4:30 – 6 pm, focusing on “online job search basics” … Weekly “project knitting” class meets 7-9 pm at CAPERS (questions? 206-972-6945, Marguerite) … Two WSB sponsor notes: The Westside Professionals business-networking group meets at 8 am, The Kenney; and it’s the first day for the Northwest Flower and Garden Show (reading the list of exhibitors, so far we’ve found one from here – West Seattle Nursery is part of the Container Show) … Check in with us for weather/road updates and other news, all day long.
Timing was perfect for Sustainable West Seattle‘s transportation-focused community forum last night – this is another pivotal time for our region, trying to envision the future through a cloud of present-day problems, like budget cuts that threaten transit even as more people try to move away from cars.
The main room at the Senior Center of West Seattle held a sizable crowd for the forum – but in case you weren’t there, we recorded the entire forum on video, two hours broken into three pieces of about 40 minutes each, all included in this story. Top clip has SWS’s Brian Allen introducing the event before introductory remarks from each panelist: West Seattle-residing City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who chairs the council’s Transportation Committee, moderated the forum and answered questions, as did panelists Chris Arkills, the transportation expert on King County Executive Dow Constantine‘s team; Martin Duke from Seattle Transit Blog, Brice Maryman from SvR Design, and Peter Hahn, director of SDOT. (As you’ll hear Rasmussen joke, Hahn would’ve been excused if he had been fidgety, with his department having triggered its Snow/Ice Plan.) For the second 40 minutes, the panelists quizzed each other a while, then moved on to answering audience questions:
The clash of economic reality and transportation needs was a recurring theme – Arkills, for example, had dire warnings of looming Metro cuts, if “a sustainable funding base” is not found. And then there were those who just wanted help cutting through the thicket of information to find out what’s really happening with major projects right now:
You’ll have more opportunities ahead to speak out about transportation in our area – for example, as King County’s Arkills reminded attendees, Metro will start a new process this fall of opening the entirety of West Seattle’s bus-route network for discussion – looking ahead to the RapidRide era that’ll start in fall 2012, do other changes need to be made to serve the peninsula better? As for the city, Mayor McGinn mentions a West Seattle light-rail line now and then – will that turn up on the ballot sooner rather than later? And watch the City Council – SDOT’s Hahn said part of the Transit Master Plan will go to Rasmussen’s committee this Friday (watch here for that agenda). Also watch the community-association meeting announcements we feature here, since agencies like WSDOT, SDOT and Metro often make the rounds of those meetings with presentations on current and future topics.
(P.S. We don’t know yet how soon they’ll turn it around, but Seattle Channel was on hand recording last night’s forum on video, too.)
2:19 AM: We’re hearing a chopper in the distance, and via Facebook/e-mail, we have a few other reports, from Westwood to Highland Park. Checking on it. (If you are seeing ground police activity anywhere in that area, let us know – sometimes that’s the main clue.)
4:39 AM NOTE: The helicopter left shortly after we published this. As for what it was doing – no reply yet from police, but whenever we do finally get info later this morning, we’ll add it to this …
11:38 AM NOTE: Heard back this morning from Lt. Ron Rasmussen at the Southwest Precinct, who couldn’t find any evidence it was related to an SPD case. So now we’re checking with King County Sheriff’s Office, to whom the lone law-enforcement chopper in the area (Guardian One) belongs, in case it was a county case that just happened to spill over here.
4:23 PM NOTE: We finally got a bit of information, but not much. King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. John Urquhart says it was a KCSO case – but he hasn’t been able to rustle up the information on anything beyond, an arrest was being made. Not a big deal, he insists.
(Photo by Melissa Edwards)
Presidents Day was no holiday for some local families who traveled to Olympia to advocate for education funding – amid a continuing budget crunch. Schmitz Park Elementary PTA President Fiona Preedy shared a report:
West Seattleites were well represented at the PTA Focus Day held in Olympia on Presidents Day, with Gatewood, Schmitz Park, and Lafayette parents rallying to ask legislators to better fund K-12 education.
Thanks to all the families that gathered, chanted, and made the rounds of legislators. Gatewood families – Erika Schreder and Greg Peters with Hannelore and Sarah, and Grace Bennett with her son Henry and his friend Elias; Schmitz Park families – Emily Carlson with Oliver, Emily, and Oscar, Melissa Edwards with her son Keaton, Fiona Preedy with Rowan and Aidan; Lafayette’s Lisa Schubert and her daughter Mai Li.
We had a great time, learned a lot about how government works, and we hope that we had an impact on how Olympia views funding our children’s education.
If you’d like to know more – here’s the Washington State PTA page about budget advocacy. If you want to support the cause, here’s what Schmitz Park PTA legislative chair Naheed Nizam advises:
Contact Sen. Sharon Nelson, Rep. Eileen Cody and Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon and ask them not to impose any further cuts on K-12 funding. In addition … remind our legislators that “It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex” – Washington State Constitution, Article 9, Section 1.
Links to all three legislators’ pages – with their contact info – can be found here.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
A lesson in how to call 911 – what to say, what not to say, when to call, when not to call – comprised the heart of Tuesday night’s West Seattle Blockwatch Captains Network meeting at the Southwest Precinct.
Teaching the lesson, Kayreen Lum, a King County 911 program manager. We’ve heard this lesson before, from different presenters, before different groups, but every time there is something new to learn:Read More