day : 22/03/2012 11 results

Police in the living room: ‘Conversation’ in Arbor Heights

(Sgt. Joe Bauer shows neighbors a map of burglaries reported in the past month)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

JoDean Edelheit‘s neighbors might have wondered why police cars were in her Arbor Heights driveway Monday night – if not for the fact the neighbors were all in her living room with the uniformed visitors.

The Seattle Police Department has been offering the opportunity for these “living-room conversations” for a while – explaining them as opportunities to explore community concerns in informal settings. Monday afternoon, in fact, the SPD Blotter blog-format website published a short story about two recent ones. And that was not long after we got the call from JoDean, inviting us to the one scheduled to happen at her house hours later.

She hosted a dozen neighbors and four SPD reps. The questions weren’t surprising, but some of the answers were.

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Followup: Crowd at WSHS to take on the Tox-Ick Monster

Once again, the Sustainable West Seattle presentation on how NOT to feed the Tox-Ick Monster – how to reduce runoff and help Puget Sound heal – drew a crowd tonight. Thanks to diver/photographer Laura James (who has seen Tox-Ick up close and personal) for the update and the photos – she says they drew the 50-plus needed to qualify for a $1,000 prize to go toward a runoff-fighting raingarden at WSHS:

That’s student Sage accepting the check. If you didn’t make it to one of the presentations in this series, no worries – you can view the PowerPoint, and video, online! Just go here.

Bon voyage to West Seattle Water Taxi crew hero

(May 2011 photo, courtesy of Roger)
That was the scene near Seacrest last May when the West Seattle Water Taxi crew rescued a diver in distress (WSB coverage here). The whole crew was honored as heroes in a special ceremony weeks later (WSB coverage here), but in particular, Aaron Barnett was hailed for quick work in getting into the water to help the diver.

Today was Aaron’s last day with the Water Taxi service, we are told by two WSB’ers who ride the Water Taxi, including Paul Swortz – who took the recent photo of Aaron you see at right. Both Paul and another WSB’er, Tim, e-mailed to say that Aaron got a warm sendoff, including donuts and coffee this morning, special announcements this afternoon. We missed the chance to try to catch an interview with Aaron, but Tim says he’s going back to school. Good luck, Aaron!

Seacrest switch: City says Marination will be ‘delayed’

Now we know why the city postponed the open house that had been scheduled next week for community members to meet the proprietors of Marination, which won the concession contract for Seacrest Boathouse. The city Department of Planning and Development says the plan needs an additional type of permit. The Parks announcement, headlined “Marination opening at Seacrest Boathouse delayed,” explains:

Since early March, Marination has been working with Parks to prepare and submit architectural and design plans for remodeling and tenant improvements of the boathouse. Most of these proposed improvements are for the interior of the building. As Marination was preparing to submit its building permit application to the City’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) on March 8, DPD staff informed Marination that additional review would be necessary for a conditional use permit needed for the restaurant use.

The space in question is the kitchen area that was formerly a boat repair space. The need for a restaurant permit was not anticipated, since the boathouse has been used primarily as a restaurant/food service facility since the late 1990s. A conditional use permit typically takes two to four months for review and approval. This timeline will likely delay Marination’s anticipated opening of June 2012.

Seattle Parks and DPD are working closely with Marination to complete this process and continue to work toward an early summer 2012 Opening. There will still be an Open House at the Boathouse in late spring to introduce Marination to the public and to provide the public with an update.

Marination co-owner Kamala Saxton had actually told WSB last month that they hoped to be open by July, fearing a June estimate might be too optimistic – but that was before this twist in the process.

8:14 PM UPDATE: We just talked with Greg Whittaker of Alki Kayak Tours. Last month, he and Marination’s Kamala both told WSB that they had agreed (though it wasn’t 100 percent finalized) that AKT would stay on as subconcessionaire for watercraft, skate/bike rentals, and all the things AKT had been doing. Tonight, Greg says his business is the official “interim concessionaire,” to cover the longer-than-expected gap till Marination can take over. We asked if that means anything different from what AKT has been doing and he mentioned one thing – they’ve agreed to sell beverages! Exactly how that’s going to work, they haven’t figured it out yet, since his interim deal with the city is brand-new. Meantime, we also have asked Marination for comment; stay tuned.

Update: 99/Viaduct partial closure tonight; more traffic notes

(UPDATED 8:41 PM with more traffic effects tonight, and tomorrow)

Drive 99? Note that the weekend closure mentioned on the sign is NOT the only Highway 99 closure ahead:


EARLY SATURDAY TILL EARLY MONDAY: 99/Viaduct is closed both ways, 6 am Saturday till 5 am Monday (if it reopens earlier, we’ll publish an update).

THEN, TWO WEEKS LATER: The Viaduct/99 will close again from 11 pm Friday, April 6th, till 5 am Monday, April 9th.

ADDED 8:41 PM: Sorry to have not had this all in one place sooner but there are a variety of things to note for tonight, and tomorrow, besides tonight’s overnight 99/Viaduct closure. First, from the weekly lookahead:

*Tonight, per SDOT: “The 1st Ave S off-ramp from the West Seattle Bridge will be closed overnight. The 4th Ave off-ramp will remain open from the Spokane Street Viaduct for access to the SODO and downtown area.”

*Also tonight, per SDOT: “The northbound on-ramp from S Royal Brougham Way to the Alaskan Way Viaduct (SR99) will be closed overnight.”

*And more for tonight: “A single eastbound lane on the Spokane Street Viaduct will be closed overnight. Access to I-5 will be maintained.”

*Yet more for tonight: “Eastbound S Spokane St will be closed between East Marginal Way S and 1st Ave S each night.”

*And for Friday morning, this too from SDOT, announced late today: “Tomorrow morning, March 23, motorists traveling in the vicinity of the Seattle Center may encounter heavier traffic than usual. Between the hours of 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. a crowd of 3,500 or more will be attending a private event at the Key Arena. Traffic could build in the area as early as 7 a.m. and likely will impact the morning commute between the Center grounds and I-5. Charter buses will be unloading and loading attendees during the event on streets near the Key Arena.” (Multiple WSB’ers tell us the “private event” is the Amazon all-hands meeting.)

DESC Delridge project: Tax-credits decision today

March 22, 2012 4:49 pm
|    Comments Off on DESC Delridge project: Tax-credits decision today
 |   DESC Delridge project | West Seattle news

(Delridge streetfront view, from project renderings shown to Design Review Board)
Delridge Community Forum, one of the groups that has been closely tracking DESC’s 66-unit Delridge Supportive Housing project, reports that the state Housing Finance Commission approved its request for Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (explained here). (We have messages out to WSHFC’s media liaison.) That follows approvals for city, county, and state funding. Land-use and construction permits are still pending with the city; DESC hopes to start construction by year’s end. The project’s Community Advisory Committee, meantime, meets next Tuesday (March 27), 6:30 pm, at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (see the agenda here).

SPU trailblazer retires: Meet Kerry Copeland of West Seattle

(Photos courtesy Seattle Public Utilities)
By Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

March 2nd was the last day of a 30-year career for a West Seattle woman who has been called a “trailblazer” and a “pioneer.” In the beginning, though, the names she was called weren’t so complimentary.

Kerry Copeland has just retired from Seattle Public Utilities, where she was one of the first female water-line workers hired in the 1980s.

Being a water-line worker is being “on the front line.” It’s hard work, with lots of digging, often in difficult weather conditions. When SPU started recruiting women, Copeland was interested because she’s always been very physical and attracted to non-traditional jobs. “One of our tests was digging a 2×2 trench within a certain amount of time. We went to the West Seattle Reservoir to do it, and the place looked like a graveyard because so many groups of people had been digging trenches!”

Copeland passed the test and became one of the first women on the “front line.”

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Where will ‘green stormwater infrastructure’ go? County reveals potential sites

(WSB photo of test site at 34th/Trenton, March 2011)
Fifteen months after announcing its plan for “green stormwater infrastructure” to reduce combined sewer overflows (CSOs) at Barton Pump Station by the Fauntleroy ferry dock, the county has narrowed down the potential sites where it might place raingardens and swales to keep stormwater from overwhelming the system. (It’s been testing in the neighborhoods – with equipment like the truck above, as well as drill rigs – for the better part of a year.) Here’s the map showing which streets (in green) have been identified for closer study:

(Sorry, the streets weren’t named on that map, but you can see a larger version, along with the accompanying letter and “fact sheet,” by going here.) News of the map follows King County’s announcement of two meetings, March 28 and March 31, promising status updates. Read the announcement in full, ahead:Read More

Metro Route 120’s future, and more, @ Delridge District Council

From last night’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center:

METRO ROUTE 120 – OPEN HOUSE AHEAD: A team of Metro reps came to talk about Route 120, which travels the length of Delridge on its current route between downtown and Burien. They noted that it’s one of the system’s top-10 most-used routes, averaging 7,000 people a day. And there are changes ahead, they said, including: A northbound bus-only lane on Delridge between Oregon and Andover, for peak hours (off-peak, they said, it can be used for bikes and parking). They also plan to reduce the number of stops along the entire route, spacing them to a quarter-mile apart instead of an eighth of a mile, which they described as an efficiency issue. Most important: If you want to get full details of the planned changes and offer comments, Metro is having an open house in a month, 5:30-7:30 pm April 24th at Youngstown. (That news is so fresh, it’s not even on Metro’s website yet, but it will turn up there soon, they promise.)

(P.S. Another Metro open house of potential interest – downtown on March 29th, there’s one about the impending elimination of the Ride-Free Zone. Full details here.)

Also at last night’s DNDC meeting, City Council President Sally Clark – a note about her appearance, ahead:Read More

West Seattle road work: Repaving for 1 more block of California SW

Just in from SDOT:

Our Street Maintenance paving crews plan to resurface California Avenue Southwest between Southwest Hudson and Southwest Dawson streets [map] toward the end of next week. They expect to keep the street open to both directions of travel as well as the sidewalks. The schedule is weather dependent — both for completing the projects they are doing before this one, and for this project.

They’re promising an official advisory when they have a better idea of exactly which day(s). This will be the fifth block of California SW south of The Junction to get repaved/resurfaced in the past half-year – last September, it was the block from Edmunds to Hudson, and then in December, it was Findlay to Graham.

West Seattle Thursday: Gear-swap dropoff; Sunrise Heights preparedness; tackling Tox-Ick…

(“Inch worm” moth larvae at Lincoln Park, photographed by Machel Spence)
Winter just won’t let go, even though all the creatures and plants of spring, big and small, are determined to move on. At least we didn’t get the snow here on the peninsula. From the WSB West Seattle Events calendar, highlights for today/tonight:

WSHFC TALKS DESC FINANCING: 1 pm downtown, the last chance for public comment regarding financing of the proposed 66-unit Delridge Supportive Housing project at 5444 Delridge Way SW. Here’s our preview from last night.

GEAR-SWAP DROPOFF: Mountain to Sound Outfitters is having its semi-annual gear swap Saturday and Sunday – but first, you need to drop off your no-longer-needed gear! Today and tomorrow, 3 pm-7 pm at M2SO (though the swap will be at the VFW Hall across the street this weekend), which is at 3602 SW Alaska. More details here.

WINE TASTING: At West Seattle Cellars, 5:30-8 pm: Wines from Gecko Wine Company and Michael Florentino Cellars, with winemaker Brad Sherman.

SUNRISE HEIGHTS PREPAREDNESS TRAINING: Sunrise Heights is gearing up to be sure neighbors are ready for anything, with the help of a city grant, and a special 2-hour Sunrise Heights Emergency Preparation and Planning (SHEPP) session tonight is a major step. Join neighbors in the multipurpose room on the north side of Westside School. Snacks and pizza provided; supervised play area for kids available. 6-8 pm; more details here.

MULTI-CULTURAL NIGHT DURING WORLD WATER WEEK AT SEALTH: Families are invited to sample food and enjoy student entertainment at 6 pm at Chief Sealth International High School.

WEST SEATTLE DEMOCRATIC WOMEN: Starts with dinner at 6, West Seattle Golf Course (4470 35th Ave SW). More details on the WSB calendar entry, and at Screening and discussion of “Inside Job” about the global financial crisis. Reservations required, call (206) 935-3216 or e-mail ASAP to be sure there’s still room.

TAKE ONE HOUR TO HELP PUGET SOUND, AND WSHS: Tonight, with just one hour, you can find out simple ways to help Puget Sound by preventing/reducing toxic runoff from everyday activities – AND you can help West Seattle High School win a $1,000 grant for a raingarden project – which they’ll get if at least 50 people show up. 7 pm at WSHS – details here.

‘LITTLE VOICE’ AT ARTSWEST: 7:30 pm curtain time for tonight’s performance; details and online-ticket-buying link on the ArtsWest website.

LIVE MUSIC: 9 pm, Lian Light, Jori & The Push, Death’s Three Daughters at Skylark Café and Club; 10 pm, jazz at Locöl (details here).

UPDATE, SOUTHBOUND VIADUCT CLOSED TONIGHT, AND FULL CLOSURE THIS WEEKEND: Just a reminder in case you have missed the announcements – southbound Highway 99 is closed overnight tonight, from Denny Way to the West Seattle Bridge; then that same entire stretch of 99 and Alaskan Way Viaduct is scheduled to close in both directions from 6 am Saturday till 5 am Monday for inspection and maintenance work.