West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The city’s work to replace undersized water mains in Arbor Heights – a problem spotlighted by water-supply trouble during a house fire last August – is expected to start this month.
That’s part of what Seattle Public Utilities told more than 60 residents who gathered for a community briefing/Q-A session last week at Arbor Heights Community Church, barely a block from the home that burned August 27th.
The first work will be on a relatively small stretch along Roxbury:
But the rest of it – see the full map here – won’t happen until this fall. Why the gap? That’s part of what was explained.
In case you haven’t heard – the marriage-equality bill has just passed the State Senate, 28-21, and now goes to the State House. It was announced at the Southwest District Council meeting that we’re currently covering at South Seattle Community College – and generated a round of applause. Our state would become the 7th to legalize same-sex marriage; more from our partners at the Seattle Times.
ADDED 8:33 PM: Local leaders are starting to share their reaction – first, West Seattle-residing King County Executive Dow Constantine – read on:Read More
(UPDATED THURSDAY AFTERNOON with fire cause)
(WSB reader video added 5:38 pm, courtesy Lola Peters)
5:16 PM: Fire crews have just arrived and already are saying the fire is under control. It’s in the 5600 block of Fauntleroy, near Fairmount Park. Fauntleroy is being blocked off at Findlay because of the fire units. More to come.
5:22 PM UPDATE: The response is being downgraded to what SFD calls a 2 + 1 + 1 – they’re canceling several of the units. Still avoid the area for a while. No injuries are reported.
5:38 PM UPDATE: Southbound Fauntleroy Way has just reopened.
5:55 PM UPDATE: Fire crews tell us at the scene that this started as a kitchen fire, and the flames spread to the roof. Nobody was home when it started. Investigators aren’t sure yet what caught fire in the kitchen – it’s not safe for them to go onside yet.
THURSDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: From Seattle Fire spokesperson Kyle Moore:
(The fire) was caused by unattended food on the stove, according to a Seattle Fire Investigator. The kitchen fire caused an estimated $45,000 in damage to the home located in the 5600 block of Fauntleroy Way SW.
Ladder Company 11 arrived at 5:08 p.m. to find smoke coming from the roof of a locked 1-story home.
Engine Company 37 and 36 joined firefighters from Ladder 11 to perform an aggressive attack on the fire and quickly contained the flames to the kitchen area. The fire burned the kitchen cabinets and extended into the attic. The flames were completely extinguished in 10 minutes.
Firefighters remained stationed outside the home until 11 p.m. to ensure the flames did not reignite.
4:15 PM: Metro has just published its revised proposal of route changes for this September, timed with the debut of West Seattle’s RapidRide Line C. The list starts here; we’re reviewing now to add the highlights for West Seattle, but wanted to make sure you knew it was live, so you can do the same. The first public briefing on the changes is scheduled for tonight’s Southwest District Council meeting, South Seattle Community College board room (6000 16th SW), 7 pm. There’s also an online survey, and (as reported here earlier) two West Seattle open houses ahead, as well as some informational tabling (here’s the calendar with all locations and dates).
UPDATED 4:51 PM: Some toplines of what Metro says has changed from what was proposed last fall:
For Route 22:
Change from November 2011 suggestion
Metro is no longer proposing to completely replace Route 22. During public outreach in November 2011, we heard that loss of transit service in Arbor Heights would negatively affect many riders, and the steep slope between California Avenue SW and Fauntleroy Way SW, will make the RapidRide C Line inaccessible to many Gatewood residents.
For Route 37:
Change from November 2011 suggestion
*Keep some service on Route 37.
During public outreach in November 2011, Metro heard that this service is important to riders along Beach Drive SW and Alki Avenue SW because steep grades and distance make it difficult to reach alternative service. Metro will continue to analyze ridership patterns and the overall transit network, and may consider more changes in this area in the future.
For Route 55:
Change from November 2011 suggestion
*Operate trips during peak hours to downtown Seattle in the morning and to the Admiral District in the afternoon to prevent overcrowding on the C Line.
For Routes 56/56X:
Change from November 2011 suggestion
Increase the speed of Route 56 Express by skipping the stops at SW 26th Street and Chelan Avenue SW.
8:27 PM NOTE: We’re currently at the Southwest District Council meeting, where Metro is doing its first community briefing (as previewed earlier). Highlights to come. Outreach continues all month; Metro’s final recommendation has to go to King County Executive Dow Constantine in mid-March, and it will go through the County Council, with an expectation that they would “take action” in May.
(May 2011 photo by Debra Salazar Herbst)
Again this year, the West Seattle 5K and “car-free day” Seattle Summer Streets events will be on the same day at Alki – and this year, that day is May 20th. May sound far away, but registration for the fundraising run/walk is open now! Denise Lathrop shares the news:
West Seattle High School PTSA is proud to sponsor the fourth annual West Seattle 5K Run/Walk on May 20, 2012 at Alki Beach. Funds raised from the West Seattle 5K will support music, arts, communications and other emerging needs at West Seattle High School. This is a great community event and provides an opportunity for everyone to participate.
Online registration is now OPEN! For more information or to register for the West Seattle 5K or donate go to: http://westseattle5k.com/
If you are interested in helping to plan or sponsor our event contact Denise Lathrop at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-941-3924
(WSB is a 5K co-sponsor again this year.)
Just in from King County – your next chance to get an update on plans to reduce sewer overflows into Puget Sound by building “green stormwater infrastructure” like rain gardens in neighborhoods feeding the Barton Pump Station:
People are invited to learn about King County’s progress on a project to control combined sewer overflows (CSOs) from the Barton Pump Station in West Seattle through green stormwater infrastructure.
A public meeting is planned on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at Westside School, 7740 34th Ave. SW. from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
The announcement continues ahead:Read More
We checked back with SDOT to ask where they’re at on the promised plan for how to make sure you have more notice of future major bridge closures like last weekend’s eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct closure, which backed up traffic in a big way for most of Saturday, but wasn’t mentioned on electronic-message signs (like the one at right, photographed Saturday by Craig). They’re already taking smaller steps – like promoting the mailing list you can join for alerts about the SSV Widening Project (the e-mail signup has always been on the official city info-page, but it used to be buried at the bottom – now it’s at the top). And they’re promising to let everyone know within a day or two what else they’ll be doing in the future to try to reduce the surprise factor. Meantime, as we noted, we’re doing our best to keep daily reminders atop the BIG STORIES list on the WSB sidebar, and when we get advance word of daytime/weekend major closures, we’ll give them a permalink too. (No weekend/daytime closures on the horizon – see the list here.)
(TOPLINE: Short-lived scare in The Junction, all over now)
11:30 AM: A fire call in the 4500 block of 42nd SW has some evacuations under way. We’ll be there shortly.
11:35 AM UPDATE: 42nd is blocked off north of SW Alaska, as you can see in the photo above, sent by Dale (thank you!). Scanner traffic has mentioned a “suspicious package”; we’re checking with authorities on scene. We’ve also just talked with Leon Capelouto, owner of the building, who says he believes the first report came from a manager at Altamira Apartments in the building.
11:40 AM UPDATE: Police confirm it’s a suspicious package – they heard about it around 11 am. The caller reported what looked like “a box of dynamite.” The Arson and Bomb Squad has just arrived, according to SPD spokesperson Det. Mark Jamieson.
The evacuations are just as a precaution. Patrol units are there, helping with traffic control. Evacuees are gathered in various spots nearby.
Det. Jamieson says the “package” is apparently inside the building.
11:51 AM UPDATE: All clear, police and fire tell us at the scene – the “suspicious package” turned out to be a box of road flares. The road is reopening and those who were evacuated will be allowed back inside.
(Pileated woodpecker digging for termites in a Highland Park utility pole; photo by Mike York)
Our daily preview is often about what’s likely to make news today/tonight, in addition to activities/events from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar, traffic alerts, etc. And indeed, a news preview tops today’s list:
REVISED METRO PROPOSAL DUE OUT TODAY, DISCUSSED IN WEST SEATTLE TONIGHT: Sometime today, Metro is expected to publish its revised “restructuring” proposal for West Seattle’s route system, meant to take effect this September when Rapid Ride Line C launches here. The first proposal circulated late last fall and stirred some controversy by proposing to cut service in some areas; a Metro rep told the Admiral Neighborhood Association in December that the cuts in North Admiral would be softened a bit for this revision, but we haven’t heard any other previews, so we’re awaiting Metro’s release of the full revision (watch here). THEN – Metro is on the agenda to talk about it at tonight’s Southwest District Council meeting, public welcome, 7 pm at the board room at a target=”_blank” href=”http://southseattle.edu”>South Seattle Community College (which is in the Robert Smith building front-center on the campus at 6000 16th SW).
ALSO ON THE SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL AGENDA: Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, who chairs the Parks and Neighborhoods Committee (renamed/refocused from last year), is scheduled to visit.
AND SPEAKING OF BIG ROAD PROJECTS: The Alaskan Way Viaduct South Portal Working Group meets for the first time in a few months, for a briefing on/discussion of how the tunnel and South End projects are affecting this side of the bay, 4 pm, Sound Transit board room downtown.
EARLY DISMISSAL FOR SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS STUDENTS: Today is a two-hour early-dismissal day for school staffers’ professional-development work.
ON STAGE IN THE JUNCTION: At ArtsWest – All Through the Night, 7:30 pm. Purchase tickets online, or through the ArtsWest Box Office: 206-938-0339.
GET GROWING: At the West Seattle Tool Library tonight, “Introduction to Indoor Winter Gardening,” 7-9 pm. From the announcement: “There’s no reason to let the cold weather stop your veggie gardening. Learn how to grow an indoor winter garden quickly and easily, as well as how to get things started for the spring ahead.” Instructor is Christina Hahs. Sign up online: http://wstoollibrary.org/calendar/introduction-to-indoor-winter-gardening/
NIGHTLIFE: At 8 pm, it’s weekly Quiz Night at Beveridge Place Pub, explained by BPP as: “This is a weekly event we have been hosting at the pub for about 10 years, it is a great mix of regulars, new players, tough questions and good times. $2.00 a person, teams of 2-6 people. Winning team takes 80% of the pot, 2nd place the other 20%. There’s even a prize for last place, AND beverages that get you “bonus points”!”
TIME TO BUY! Tickets are scheduled to go on sale for Northwest Hope and Healing’s STYLE ’12 tenth annual Look Good, Feel Good, Do Good! fashion show, 7 pm Showbox SODO. nwhopeandhealing.org.
Like the totem pole stolen from a West Seattle park two-plus years ago, this one goes in the “they stole WHAT” file. That’s University of Washington professor Philip Thiel with a 70-inch, 1,260-pound propeller that was about to be donated to Seattle Parks for a north-end installation, till thieves made off with it in the U-District yesterday. Parks put out the citywide alert late yesterday, but didn’t have a photo till this morning; now that it’s available, even though the theft did NOT happen in West Seattle, we’re helping get out the word. If you happen to see it, Parks would like to hear from you at 206-684-7241 (and we’re sure police would, too).
Forecasters say the rain will ease up later, but there’s apparently standing-water trouble out there – via the WSB Facebook page, Sharon reports, “The on-ramp from Delridge to the West Seattle Bridge is flooded once again!” Any other problem spots you see, let us know so we can share the heads-up (but of course, please don’t call/e-mail till you’ve arrived!).
Tonight (Wednesday), the girls-varsity basketball teams from West Seattle High School and Chief Sealth International HS face off for the final time this season. That’s what their male counterparts did Tuesday night, in a game won by the visiting Seahawks at WSHS, 63-48. The summary, ahead:Read More