West Seattle, Washington
10:43 PM: Turns out the server switchover we mentioned Friday night, to address recent intermittent site slowness, needs a bit more tinkering – and the tech team is set to do it tonight, right after 11 pm. As a result, WSB will have a bit of downtime – maybe 15, 20 minutes, we’re told. As always, if there’s breaking news in the interim, we’ll get the word out in our other major channels – Facebook (here), Twitter (here), and if needed, our other websites, White Center Now and The South Park News. Thanks yet again for your patience.
6:42 AM NOTE: The tinkering is finally over as of about half an hour ago, and WSB has fully moved onto a more-powerful new server. Seems to be running well, but it’s early, so if you hit any speed bumps, please let us know.
Earlier this week, the new Westwood/Roxhill/Arbor Heights community council heard from Seattle Police crime-prevention coordinator Mark Solomon (here’s our report). Later in the week, he addressed two recurring topics in his periodic community newsletter – the rules regarding door-to-door sellers, and when it’s OK to call 911. You might find the advice helpful, so if you aren’t on his mailing list, check out the newsletter in its entirety here, courtesy of the West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Allstar Fitness‘s prospective new owner Sam Adams says the court documents don’t tell the whole story.
After members of the club, which is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, contacted WSB yesterday about court documents they’d received, we reported on those documents and other recent filings, which ask a judge to “reject and terminate the contracts” of “long term prepaid members” who bought their memberships before last August’s bankruptcy filing (reported here in October), without otherwise defining “long term prepaid,” but saying that would be about 2,100 contracts.
Even before that, we had messages out seeking a conversation with Adams, the former Seahawks (and other teams) pro football player turned health-club entrepreneur, to find out more about his plans for West Seattle’s biggest fitness club, which he says he will rename the West Seattle Athletic Club.
This morning, he called. He claims that while the court documents say about 2,100 membership contracts are proposed for termination, he intends to honor “99 percent of them.”
Just in from Washington State Ferries:
The Klahowya will be out of service on Monday, March 11, due to necessary repairs to the vessel. Fauntleroy, Vashon and Southworth will be operating on a two-boat schedule. Updates will occur as more information becomes available.
We’ll update this story if the plan changes tonight; there’ll also be updates in tomorrow’s edition of our daily transit/traffic tracker.
As previewed here, you had a chance to ask questions directly of the man who runs the Seattle Department of Transportation if you had gone to the Southwest District Council meeting this past Wednesday night. A few people took advantage of the opportunity to bring up neighborhood problems as well as larger issues. We recorded the wide-ranging 47 minutes of Q/A on video. If you can’t spare 47 minutes to listen – here are direct links to some of the topics (note – if the links don’t go to the spots they should, drag the playback bar on the YouTube window of the full clip above to the minutes/seconds spot mentioned):
14:00 – The bus bulbs at California/Fauntleroy
16:00 – Bus lanes on SW Alaska
21:31 – With increased development in The Junction, how involved is SDOT? “There are days we can’t go to The Junction because there’s no place to park.” Density is based on the city’s Comprehensive Plan, Hahn noted. He cited South Lake Union rezoning. “With 1,000 more apartments going up in The Junction, does SDOT say, we need (something) to help with traffic … ?” Hahn observed that the same question came up at the Sustainable West Seattle Transportation Forum last year (here’s our coverage, with video), and mentioned the alley-vacation process (frequently covered here) requiring “public benefit” from the developer. He mentioned that one developer downtown wound up buying another streetcar for the city. So, he was asked, could developers buy another bus, or ?
27:30 – Who makes the decisions to add bus bulbs, reduce lanes, etc.? asked another attendee, and how can the “silent majority” have their feelings known? “It’s not like individuals are just making up stuff,” Hahn said, citing again the city’s Comprehensive Plan, ultimately saying it’s a reflection of the City Council. He also says they often hear from people with a specific interest, more bike facilities, for example, so whatever your opinion is, come to meetings and have it heard.
31:00: SW Alaska on the RapidRide route through The Triangle – including parking and traffic concerns as well as unfulfilled promises about making that stretch a “pedestrian corridor,” with street trees. Ongoing parking issues exist, with parking commitments made to businesses between 36th and 38th in jeopardy again. Hahn says he could come out to walk the area and see the issues.
39:00 – Density in The Junction is already 104 percent of what was projected, but the capacity of the street has been reduced.
At 41:50, Vlad Oustimovitch from the Fauntleroy Community Association summarized much of what had been said to Hahn in the preceding half-hour-plus: “It’s almost like somebody deliberately designed something to not work.”
SDOT will be back in West Seattle this week – at the North Delridge Neighborhood Council meeting tomorrow (Monday) night (6:30 pm at the Delridge Library), for example, a rep will discuss the new parking restrictions on SW Genesee to make more room for buses (here’s our February story on those changes).
Photos by Nick Adams, on assignment for WSB
Report by Fairmount Ravine resident John Lang, special to WSB
Blue skies and warm weather greeted a record-number 39 volunteers for the 21st annual Fairmount Ravine cleanup.
Thank you to all the ambitious hard-working neighbors who participated Saturday morning.
It was great to see so many new faces this year, especially those who live adjacent to the ravine.
There have been homeless people periodically camping in this area and that was the case Saturday.
Seattle Police quickly responded and politely moved 5 individuals and their property away so the ambitious community of workers could clean up trash.
Needless to say, there was so much trash that it filled two full-size pickups (thanks, Randy and Tim!)
We discovered four encampments, three in the woods and one under the bridge. Two were within 50’ of a residence.
Three were cleaned up and the fourth will need to be addressed in the near future, as the work crew ran out of energy. The bridge provides an attractive dry cover and all campsites provide relatively obscurity.
Unsupervised homeless camps are an absolute mess of garbage, discarded clothing and other water-soaked articles, and without any latrine provisions. These are very difficult to clean up considering the steepness of the hillsides.
We encountered widespread evidence of drug use, which is also a concern.
That aside, it is gratifying to see the result of everyone’s hard work and their willingness to make West Seattle a great place to live.
EDITOR’S POSTSCRIPT: Even before we published this, an area resident e-mailed to say she was so grateful to the neighborhood volunteers she saw out working yesterday, but, she added, she is seeing transients back under the bridge today and “throwing trash in the ravine”; she asked, “Is there anything we can do?” Contacting the SPD Community Police Team is one suggestion; a CPT officer had mentioned at a recent community-group meeting that there had been some encampment abatement elsewhere.
Three West Seattle business notes to share:
VENTANA CONSTRUCTION CELEBRATES ITS TENTH: Above are Anne and Clarence Higuera, owners/founders of Ventana Construction (longtime WSB sponsor), photographed during an open-house celebration Friday night marking their business’s 10th anniversary. They shared thoughts about the milestone on the Ventana website, describing their work as something that “affords us the opportunity to meet new people every day and talk with them about the dreams for their home, and after some careful planning, make those dreams come true.” Congratulations!
HARRY’S CHICKEN JOINT UPDATE: We reported last week on the new restaurant’s delivery-to-Beveridge-Place-Pub launch; today Harry’s announced via Facebook that the restaurant (former Meander’s/Jade West space) will open this Wednesday.
ALSO OPENING NEXT WEEK: West Seattle’s fitness-business boom continues. The next to open will be Inspire West Seattle, in the California SW-fronting building north of Admiral Safeway, whose owner tells us they’re formally opening on March 15th. We first reported on Inspire’s West Seattle plan back in August.
From SPD Blotter this morning:
Officers are investigating a possible drive-by shooting that occurred last night in the 2000 Block of SW Cloverdale Street [map]. No one was injured, but a parked car and a house were struck.
Officers from the Southwest Precinct responded to a report of shots fired last night around 10:35 pm at that location. The occupants of the home told officers they heard the bullets hit the house, but did not hear any gunshots. Officers located a parked car that had been hit by a bullet, and a bullet was removed from the wood door frame on the house. It is presumed that the shots came from a car on the street. Officers conducted an area check, but did not locate any suspects.
Perhaps in recognition of the fact it’s an adjustment day for everyone, with Daylight Saving Time arriving overnight, there’s not much on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar today. The biggest one-time-only event: Tryouts for West Seattle Little League players, as previewed here on Friday. P.S. If you’re looking for the new sunrise/sunset times, you can always find them – along with forecasts, tide times, and more – on the WSB Weather page.