West Seattle, Washington
Tonight at West Seattleite-owned SODO Park, the nonpartisan civic-engagement nonprofit Municipal League of King County presented its 52nd annual Civic Awards – and one of the biggest awards of the night went to County Executive Dow Constantine, the James R. Ellis Award for Regional Leadership. “We work best when we work together,” he said, talking about some of the highlights of his two-plus years leading county government, including getting the push for a new South Park Bridge over the final hurdles. He was accompanied by parents Lois and John Constantine and partner Shirley Carlson, and quipped he wanted to thank them for making “the 8-minute drive from West Seattle” to be there for him.
Another political leader who grew up in West Seattle, State Sen. Ed Murray (at right in the next photo), shared the Warren G. Magnuson Award with State Sen. Steve Litzow (photo left) for their bipartisan leadership in getting the marriage-equality bill passed this past session:
And we were humbled that WSB was among this year’s honorees (full list here), for Government News Reporting of the Year. City Council President Sally Clark, who had nominated WSB, introduced your editor here (accepting the award solo because co-publisher Patrick Sand was covering the BEX-IV meeting – video and notes up shortly). She spoke of the ever-growing role that online-only neighborhood news services like this one play in informing and engaging their communities. Since WSB is a community-collaborative news service, this belongs to you too:
A few other West Seattle notes – County Councilmember Joe McDermott was one of a dozen or so other West Seattleites who said hi (you can see him in this photo we took from the stage)
And we want to thank our table captain, West Seattleite Clayton Graham, a Municipal League board member. Tonight’s event coincided with a day we celebrate each year, the anniversary of our arrival in Seattle in 1991; back then, it took us only days to determine that West Seattle was where we wanted to live, and we are so happy to be, with you, part of a beautiful, inspiring community. Thank you.
From a crime-trends update to a thorough Downtown Waterfront/Seawall briefing to updates on two city-led environmental projects (and how you can get involved with them), it was another info-packed Southwest District Council meeting last night:Read More
Just announced – April 21st is the day you can plan on shopping The Junction and saving 10 percent, during another edition of The Junction’s Tax-Free Day for All, as merchants offer you discounts equivalent to the sales tax you’d pay. As in years past, you’ll be able to identify participating stores and restaurants – yes, there will be food/beverage deals as well as other merchandise! – because each one will have a red balloon outside. See the full list of more than 40 participating businesses by going here.
The local family-oriented sustainability group CoolMom has been working on this for months, and now it’s about to launch – its Think Outside the Car project. They’re planning an event at Westside School (WSB sponsor) on April 28th that will have a festival flavor, with a kids’ bicycle rodeo, live music, and even food trucks. Read on for the announcement:Read More
3:26 PM: Two traffic alerts – one RIGHT NOW, one for overnight tonight. First, southbound I-5 is blocked at I-90 because of a truck crash. Here’s the current webcam view of the scene:
WSDOT says backups stretch all the way to Northgate. So if you are headed this way from anywhere NORTH of I-90, do NOT use southbound I-5 – use 99 or surface streets.
3:51 PM UPDATE: Tow trucks are at the scene on I-5. However, note that southbound 99 is reported to be slow going – here’s a webcam:
AND also slow, according to one commenter, 1st Avenue South. So the best advice might be, for now, just stay put till this has a chance to get straightened out.
4:24 PM UPDATE: Southbound I-5 has been cleared and reopened. Our standard caveat, though – remember that backups don’t clear instantly, so things may still be slow through the commute.
(back to original report) Second, SDOT just announced the westbound Spokane Street Viaduct will be closed overnight tonight after all, 10 pm-5 am, for the fourth consecutive night – and again, that means you will not be able to get onto the West Seattle Bridge from I-5 or Beacon Hill during those hours (access from 99 will NOT be affected). They are still working on plans for this weekend and next week. (But remember, the Alaskan Way Viaduct is already scheduled to close from Friday night till Monday morning.)
Next Monday, the City Council is scheduled to get a briefing on the U.S. Geological Survey‘s latest scientific analysis of earthquake hazards in Seattle. The briefing slides have just been published along with the meeting agenda – see the presentation here. It’s part of an every-six-years process to update the hazard maps so that building codes (etc.) can take the conditions into account. Here’s the big headline:
That said – the Seattle Fault is the one closest to West Seattle, and the presentation says the chance of an earthquake stronger than magnitude 6.5 on that fault in the next 50 years is about 5 percent. The rate of that kind of earthquake anywhere around Puget Sound in the next 50 years is about 15 percent. As for a mega-quake on the coast somewhere, around 9.0 magnitude (akin to the one last year in Japan)? 10 to 14 percent chance of happening in the next 50 years. But don’t get complacent … if a 7.0-ish quake happened on the Seattle Fault, we’d be in the “extreme shaking” zone, per this scenario:
We’ll await Monday’s briefing (9:30 am at City Hall) for more context. But in the meantime, be sure you’re prepared – westseattlebeprepared.org can help (including the “Emergency Communication Hubs” – memorize the location of the one nearest you!).
Prudential Northwest Realty, led by West Seattleite Mike Gain, now has something in common with household names such as Dairy Queen, See’s Candies, GEICO Insurance, and Fruit of the Loom: It is now owned by a company that belongs to Warren Buffett‘s Berkshire Hathaway. Ahead, the news release announcing that HomeServices of America is buying PNW Realty – which will not be changing its name, according to the announcement:Read More
In case you haven’t heard (we’ll admit, we hadn’t) – the Seattle School Board voted unanimously last night to NOT ask the state to waive two makeup days looming because of this winter’s snow. That means the last day of the school year will be June 22nd (one day was made up on January 27th).
P.S. Here’s the district news release sent around this morning.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes this morning:
THE CASE OF THE PEPPER-SPRAY-ARMED SHOPLIFTING SUSPECT: Seattle Police put this one on their SPD Blotter website this morning. Last night around 8:30 pm, they say, a shoplifting suspect at Admiral Safeway pepper-sprayed store security and a bystander, and then took off running. He allegedly tried to spray police too, when they caught up with him in a nearby alley, eventually using a Taser to stop him. All this, SPD Blotter says, over $32 in merchandise. You can read their full summary here.
BURGLARY INTERRUPTED: At last night’s Southwest District Council meeting (full report to come), SW Precinct operations Lt. Pierre Davis said burglaries, auto thefts, and car prowls are still down. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t happening at all – in the Fairmount Park area, Donny came home Monday evening to discover his home had been ransacked – he sent this photo as police investigated:
From Donny’s e-mail:
I arrived home near 37th and Findlay, interrupting a burglary. Two of my doors were severely damaged when pried open; every room in my home had been ransacked with many valuables missing.
He says it’s believed there were several burglars involved, including someone “acting as a lookout,” and his neighbors had noticed an “older, rose-colored long vehicle” in the area.
A holdover photo from Tuesday evening’s memorable rainbow sightings – Jessica caught the rainbow over the totem pole at West Seattle Rotary Viewpoint Park (35th/Alaska). Whatever today holds weather-wise, we do know some of what’s on the schedule. From the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:
No bridge closures scheduled tonight, but some ramp and surface changes around the bridge – detailed here. ***Updated at 4 pm, SDOT now says the westbound Spokane Street Viaduct WILL close overnight again tonight.*** And we’ll be checking on the progress for the paving work south of The Junction.
TODDLER EGGSTRAVAGANZA AT HIGH POINT COMMUNITY CENTER: Activities start at 10 am, with an egg hunt at 11 am (“sharp”!) – details on the event-calendar page. (6420 34th SW)
TOWN HALL AT SSCC ON TRAYVON MARTIN CASE: Noon-1 pm at Brockey Center on the south side of South Seattle Community College‘s campus, it’s a Town Hall on race and social-justice issues evoked by this nationally discussed Florida case, with “an open forum followed by small-group discussions.” (6000 16th SW)
WINE TASTING AT WEST SEATTLE CELLARS: Thursday is “free tasting” night at new WSB sponsor West Seattle Cellars, 5:30-8 pm. Tonight, Italian Wines from Vias Imports (details here), with Chris Zimmerman, who according to WS Cellars’ newsletter is bringing “food tidbits” to enhance the experience. (P.S. If you’re a first-time visitor to WS Cellars, check out this offer.)
BEX IV SCHOOL-LEVY COMMUNITY-INPUT MEETING: The first draft of possibilities for next February’s ballot levy – which could range from half a billion to more than three-quarters of a billion dollars – includes a proposal that would close Roxhill Elementary and “merge” its “program” into Arbor Heights Elementary, one and a half miles away. (Here’s our coverage of a Tuesday night meeting at AH.) Other West Seattle possibilities include building a new Schmitz Park Elementary at closed Genesee Hill, as well as reopening Hughes Elementary (now being leased by Westside School [WSB sponsor]), and possibly renovating and reopening Fairmount Park Elementary. One option also includes an addition to West Seattle Elementary. What do you think – about these ideas, or something you would rather see instead? The only West Seattle meeting about the first draft of district options is 6:30 pm tonight, Denny International Middle School. Preview the meeting materials with links on the right side of this district page. (2601 SW Kenyon)
MUNICIPAL LEAGUE CIVIC AWARDS HONOR KING COUNTY EXECUTIVE AND WSB: The 6:30 pm event’s happening in SODO – at West Seattleite-owned Herban Feast/SODO Park – but we’ll be there to represent because WSB is an honoree: The Municipal League of King County is presenting its 58th annual Civic Awards tonight. The big-name West Seattleite on the list is King County Executive Dow Constantine, who’s receiving the James R. Ellis Regional Leadership Award. We’re honored to accept the Government News Reporting of the Year Award, explained on the Muni League website as being for “comprehensive coverage, high-quality reporting and strong commitment to covering important local government issues.”
RELAY FOR LIFE WEST SEATTLE: From organizers, via the R4LWS Facebook page: “Our next team captain meeting is (tonight), April 5th, 7 pm at Bridge Park – ALL team captains, team members, and prospective participants are welcome. Come out and get your questions answered and learn more about relay, and help us plan the event of the year! Questions? please ask! Hope to see you all there!” The cancer-fighting-fundraising relay is June 15-16. (3204 SW Morgan)
MAUNDY THURSDAY: Holy Week services continue at many local churches; Tibbetts United Methodist Church (WSB sponsor) sent us word of their Maundy Thursday service tonight, 7 pm (details on the event-calendar page; 3940 41st SW).
8:48 AM: You can’t miss it along busy SW Thistle outside Chief Sealth International High School right now – a bus wrapped with C-SPAN ROAD TO THE WHITE HOUSE cable-channel promotion. We stopped and went into the school office to ask why. No, not there to cover a candidate visit – the bus is there for social-studies students to tour today, as a lesson about the election process, as they approach (or reach! for many seniors) voting age.
11:41 AM UPDATE: After publishing this photo, we got word of a chance for anyone and everyone to tour it tomorrow in High Point:
Hi all, we are fortunate to have the C-SPAN bus at High Point Center tomorrow, April 6th, from 2:30 until 4:30pm. The bus is equipped with the latest interactive technology, including Touchsmart computer kiosks to access C-SPAN resources, a public affairs quiz, and equipment needed to create television programming and web content. We are excited to invite all youth to come tour the bus!
HP Center is at 6400 Sylvan Way SW.