West Seattle, Washington
(How 9051 20th SW should look to passersby along Delridge, per project team’s description)
9051 20th SW – 41 apartment and live-work units over retail – is done with the Design Review process. Its third and final session before the Southwest Design Review Board was relatively short, since there was no public comment. Your editor here was the only person in attendance besides the board, the project’s designated city planner, and the project team. “It seems very few people show up just to say ‘hey, I like the project’,” one board member observed at the meeting’s end. (The other side of the Senior Center‘s 2nd floor, though, had a rollicking party going.) The building will be 4 stories along 20th SW, 3 stories along SW Barton, with big trees on two sides – Norwegian Sunset Maples along 20th and elms around SW Barton, “at the request of SDOT,” per the landscape architect, who pointed out that the full planting list is in the “information packet” available online.
Board members had a few concerns:
Along Dumar Way, a busy connector between two major eastern West Seattle arterials (Delridge Way and 16th SW), crews from Seattle City Light contractor Kemp West have been out trimming tall, fast-growing cottonwood, alder, and maple trees to get their branches away from power lines – in hopes of reducing the chances that even a minor storm will push branches into the nearby power lines and cause outages. We met with City Light’s Scott Thomsen at the site this afternoon to talk about storm readiness – not just for utilities, but for all of us. As we talked, the trimming crew continued its work:
The ongoing tree-trimming program, Thomsen says, has had a noticeable reduction on the number of outages happening when those smaller storms hit. But in an area with so many trees, there’s really no way to eliminate the possibility of outages in case of a big storm – so you need to be ready. And this year, weather analysts including Cliff Mass say, we may have a “neutral” year instead of El Niño or La Niña, and those years have a higher likelihood of BIG storms. So don’t wait till there’s a forecast of imminent storminess. Be ready with batteries, backup food/water supplies, etc. Check out this checklist from the regional Take Winter By Storm campaign – you’ll hear even more from them on Monday, when they’re briefing the regional media for an official launch.
P.S. A frequent question about the tree-trimming is why the trees tend to look rather, well, stark when the crews are done. Thomsen reminds us that the cutting is done in a manner that not only achieves the goal – get out of the power lines – but also keeps the tree healthy, and the “rectangular” cuts you often see meet that goal. It’s all done by tree crews licensed to work near power lines, and under the supervision of a certified arborist. This year alone, they’ve trimmed along 625 miles in the city.
5:46 PM: According to the Construction Look Ahead that SDOT updates every Thursday – see it here – westbound lower Spokane Street will be open all the way from 6th Avenue S. to East Marginal Way by 6 am tomorrow. That’s the last major piece of the four-year project to widen the elevated roadway, add an eastbound offramp at 4th Avenue South, and consolidated westbound on/offramps at 1st Avenue, among other components.
9:50 PM UPDATE: Just checked while coming home from an errand downtown – and the entirety of lower westbound Spokane Street is now OPEN. Photo to come. (For a trip down Memory Lane, here’s our first in-depth story before the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project started construction 4+ years ago. There’s also a project timeline at the bottom of the SSVWP city home page.)
10:50 PM NOTE: If you’re wondering about the designs on the columns – it’s art commissioned for the project.
Orcas have been spotted north of Elliott Bay, according to Jeff Hogan from Killer Whale Tales, and if they keep heading south, they might be in the West Seattle vicinity by sunset. Not a sure thing – but we’re letting you know so any sightings don’t come as a surprise! Let us know if you get a glimpse. It’s been six days since the last spate of West Seattle sightings.
(Photo from SW Design Review Board’s 9/27/2012 meeting)
Tonight (6:30 pm, Senior Center of West Seattle), the Southwest Design Review Board convenes again, this time to review 9051 20th SW for what might be the final time. Ever wonder, who’s on the board and how they got there? The city is recruiting right now – for openings citywide including two on the Southwest DRB. See the official announcement to find out how to apply –
Six notes in today’s West Seattle Crime Watch roundup …
BILLBOARD CAMPAIGN: Last month, a new campaign to use billboards to spotlight unsolved murder cases was announced. We covered the event, and spoke there with Dwight K. Guy, widower of Greggette Guy, whose March murder along Beach Drive has gone unsolved for seven months. Organizers told us one of the billboards would highlight two West Seattle unsolved murders; we hadn’t photographed it yet but took that picture today along Harbor Avenue, across from ActivSpace, where it’s up with photos of Mrs. Guy and of Kaari Higgins, whose January 2011 death in Fauntlee Hills was classified as a homicide months later. No breaks reported yet in either case – call 911 if you know anything, or send an anonymous online tip.
STOLEN CAR: From Angela:
My 2004 Cadillac Escalade was stolen sometime between midnight and 7am this morning. I live at 47th Ave SW and Alaska street. Plate number AHR8062.
POSSIBLY STOLEN BICYCLE, FOUND: From Chris:
Early (Wednesday) morning I found a mountain bike in the alley at California and Graham. It was partially disassembled and its location seemed pretty suspicious. In the event that it was stolen, it is going to be turned over to the Seattle Police. It is a 14″ blue Jamis Ranger SX. If you happen to hear of a stolen bicycle with this description from other readers, please refer them to SPD.
HIT-AND-RUN – SEE ANYTHING? From Julie:
My car was sideswiped (Tuesday October 23, 2012) while parked in front of the West Seattle Christian Church on 42nd Ave SW between SW Oregon and SW Genesee. If you have any information on who could have hit it, please contact me at email@example.com. My car is a 2008 Charcoal Grey 4 door Jetta.
CAR BREAK-INS: From Steven:
This morning, around 3:15 am, my neighbors truck was broken into. The driver-side window was broken, but the alarm scared the bad people away. We live in the 6700 block of 39th Ave. SW.
Also, from Hilari:
Someone rifled through our car on 14th and Kenyon Monday night. Nothing was in there but some change in the ash tray, which was taken. They just left a mess of papers from our glove compartment.
Be sure to report such crimes even if nothing major was taken – you can even do it online.
ORIGINAL REPORT, 2:10 PM: Two outages of note – Right now, water is out along a stretch of 35th SW, says Dawnee, who lives near 35th/Findlay; she says crews told her it was “emergency repairs.” We’ll check with Seattle Public Utilities. Earlier, 69 “customers” (homes/businesses) were out for a few hours in part of Highland Park. After someone asked us about it we checked and noted that it was labeled a “planned outage.” Seattle City Light told us it was to enable tree-trimming near power lines; we asked how notice is given, since the person who contacted us said it caught him by surprise – spokesperson Scott Thomsen says usually notice comes in postal mail a couple weeks ahead of time.
4 PM UPDATE: SPU’s Ingrid Goodwin explains the water outage:
SPU water crews were performing routine maintenance when they encountered a problem that required an emergency shut-down of the watermain. About 80 homes and 6 hydrants were without water for about 15 minutes while crews corrected the problem. Water was restored to all customers about shortly after 2 pm.
A memorial is planned tomorrow in Newcastle for former West Seattleite Jim Baugher, who died last weekend. Here’s a remembrance shared by those who knew him well.
Jim L. Baugher, former West Seattle resident, passed away suddenly from a pulmonary embolism at the age of 47 on October 21, 2012.
Jim lived life to the fullest and was an inspiration to many. He was vibrant, smart, and loved to laugh. While he never claimed to be perfect, he continually strived to learn, to grow, and to inspire others. We are so grateful for the short time we had with Jim, and his accomplishments and approach to life are worth sharing so you can get to know the Jim we knew.
As a father of four, he cherished each child for who they were as an individual. Through his oldest son Tim, he was given the gift of two beautiful twin granddaughters, Madeline and Ava, and witnessing Tim (27) blossom from a son into an invaluable friend. He was so proud of Zach (25), who recently graduated from Evergreen College, and who shared his love of skiing and adventure. His son Skyler (13) wowed him with his artistic talents, kind nature, and exceptional smarts. His only daughter, Analise (5, with him in photo above), had daddy wrapped around her finger from the day he laid eyes on her in China, where he served as her anchor as she transitioned from orphan to daughter. Analise is a kindergartener at Lafayette Elementary.
Bill, Kathy, and Don were still on duty at the West Seattle Bike Connections outreach station under the bridge when we caught up with them just before they wrapped up for the morning. In addition to offering treats and information about the new bicycling-advocacy group (here’s the original announcement in the WSB Forums), they also counted bicyclists till about 9 am, and report 254 came by that spot where three trails meet, under the high bridge and at the west end of the low bridge. Also there throughout the morning – till just before we showed up – the trio told us, was Stu Hennessey of Spokespeople West Seattle and Sustainable West Seattle, with which WSBC is joining forces. A major goal right now is to give West Seattle a strong voice as the city’s Bicycle Master Plan is updated; keep up with future meetings (next one – 8:30 am Saturday at C & P Coffee [WSB sponsor]) and comment opportunities via their Facebook page, where you also can post your “top ten list” for bicycling-improvement priorities in the area.
(Finally rainy enough for mushrooms! Lincoln Park photo by Machel Spence)
Before the day gets too much further along – a few calendar notes for this afternoon/evening:
‘LITTLE ITALY’ DINNER: Enjoy Italian food, wine, and music at Merrill Gardens-West Seattle (WSB sponsor), 5-7 pm. Bring a non-perishable-food donation for the West Seattle Food Bank. RSVP by calling 206-932-5480.
SOUND TRANSIT ROUTE 560 CHANGES: The “open house on a bus” is tonight, 5-7 pm – find out about the changes proposed for Route 560, the Sound Transit Express bus route that serves West Seattle. Look for the ST bus at 29th and Barton.
TASTE GERMAN WINES: West Seattle Cellars (WSB sponsor) will feature German wines during their regular free Thursday night wine tasting, 5:30-8 pm.
DESIGN REVIEW: The apartment/retail building planned for 9051 20th SW goes before the Southwest Design Review Board tonight for the third and possibly final time. See the “packet” here with what they’ll present. 6:30 pm, Senior Center of West Seattle.
VOLLEYBALL PLAYOFFS: Chief Sealth International High School plays at 7:30 tonight in their gym (they’re hosting the tournament) – vs. either Eastside Catholic or Holy Names, depending on what happens earlier in the day.
SOUTH PARK HAUNTED HOUSE: The South Park Haunted House opens tonight from 7-8:30 pm, and is also open the next two nights from 7:30-9:30 pm at the South Park Community Center. Teens are free; all other ages, $2. Children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult.
More nightlife – among other things – on the calendar!
(Photo by Christopher Boffoli)
With Halloween on Wednesday this year, the next three days feature many more local events/activities than you’ll find on October 31st – so we wanted to direct your attention one more time to the WSB Halloween page, where we’ve listed everything we have heard about and have found (still time to add more if we’re missing something – firstname.lastname@example.org). That includes the business-district trick-or-treat events: Admiral Treats and Treasures 3-6 pm tomorrow, Junction Harvest Festival Sunday (10 am-2 pm with trick-or-treating noon-2), Westwood Village 5-7 pm on Halloween. Check out our list of West Seattle (and a bit beyond) activities for ALL ages – here.
(Live view from the only WS Bridge camera currently in operation; see other cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
7:06 AM: Happy Thursday! No trouble reports in the immediate vicinity right now.
If you bicycle to work – the new West Seattle Bike Connections group is out by the low bridge, meeting and greeting riders, till about 9:45 am, as previewed here.
For bus riders: If you didn’t catch it in the Wednesday comment thread, Metro has announced more details about the buses to be added to Routes 120 and 55 next Monday:
The two new morning trips on Route 55 are scheduled to leave from the Admiral District at 6:37 and 8:20 AM, and arrive on Seneca Street at Second Avenue at 7:08 and 8:51 respectively. The added Route 55 afternoon trips are scheduled to leave from Blanchard St in Belltown at 4:54 and 5:17 PM.
The two new morning trips on Route 120 are scheduled to leave from the Burien Transit Center at 6:26 and 7:14 AM, from Westwood Village at 6:50 and 7:39, and arrive on Third Avenue in downtown Seattle at about 7:25 and 8:15 respectively. The added Route 120 afternoon trips are scheduled to leave from southbound on Third Avenue at Pike Street at 4:45 and 5:11 PM.
8:10 AM UPDATE: Bridge and buses both reported to be lighter than usual today – including two tweets (here and here) re: RapidRide. Which reminds us – the Sound Transit “open house on a bus” meeting is tonight, too.
10:11 PM NOTE: Buried in the weekly Construction Lookahead, we found a city note that the rest of surface westbound Spokane Street would open by tomorrow morning. Checked it out about an hour ago, and discovered it’s already open. Separate story (with photo) here.
And the post-season is on! Tuesday morning, we featured this week’s post-season schedule for West Seattle High School and Chief Sealth International High School. Now the first big game is history: Sealth scored a soccer shutout at home against Blanchet on Wednesday afternoon, 1-0, with Darienne Gibson scoring the goal and Blanchet being kept away from the goal by goalkeeper Nicole Roed, according to the Sealth Athletics Facebook page. Cross-country and volleyball are scheduled today.