day : 14/05/2013 15 results

Metro money mess: 3 1/2-hour hearing draws hundreds

(King County photo)
Will state legislators be impressed? They were the real target of tonight’s County Council committee hearing inviting people to voice their concerns about Metro’s warning of “devastating” service cuts if nothing is forthcoming to replace special funding that expires next year. The Times estimates the crowd at about 400, and multiple sources say more than 100 people signed up to speak, with the hearing finally ending after 7:30 pm. Coverage links:

*Coverage on the Metro Matters website

*Tweets, photos in a Storify aggregation

*Seattle Times (WSB partner) coverage by transportation reporter Mike Lindblom

*Daily UW report, focused on student participation at hearing

If you’re just catching up, our coverage of Metro general manager Kevin Desmond‘s April 1st briefing explains what’s going on, with links to ways in which he says service might be affected. From that story, the map of potential West Seattle changes (shown again at today’s hearing, according to Joe Szilagyi from the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council):

(Metro summary of what West Seattle/White Center might face, with a clearer view of the map shown above, here)
More recently, here’s our Tuesday report following a WSB interview with Desmond, mostly on behalf of the skeptics who still aren’t so sure crisis looms. So what happens now? Depends on the Legislature; HB 1954 – reintroduced when the special session started Monday – remains the bill to watch, for now.

Fight graffiti vandalism: Join local cleanup this Saturday

Graffiti/tagging vandals strike anywhere and everywhere – the photo above is a blurred version of a defaced wall back in 2009 at a local school that was getting hit over and over again. Parents fought back there. Wherever you are, you can challenge this kind of vandalism – as long as there’s help. That’s where you come in. You can join a community cleanup this Saturday to paint out graffiti/tagging vandalism in the Delridge area (and if you don’t feel like painting, trash-pickup help is needed in the area too). Meet at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW, at 10 am Saturday (May 18th). This is the start of a graffiti-fighting campaign that organizers expect will also eventually include mural-painting to protect and beautify targeted areas. Questions? Contact David Bestock at Youngstown, or 206-935-2999.

Update: 1st Avenue closed after deadly crash

4:49 PM: Thanks for the tips that 1st Avenue is closed in the Georgetown area, north of the 1st Avenue South Bridge. According to the Seattle Fire Department, a car vehicle hit a pedestrian this afternoon at 1st and Findlay – a 70-year-old woman suffered life-threatening injuries. Investigators are now at work in the area. No update on how long it will be closed, but if you would take 1st to or from the bridge, find an alternate route.

5:49 PM UPDATE: According to SPD Blotter, the 69-year-old woman hit by a pickup truck in this crash has died.

6:22 PM UPDATE: SPD estimates 1st will reopen around 7:15 pm.

Mayor proposes two options for ‘Nickelsville’ site, including possibility of keeping it as a ‘semi-permanent’ encampment site

4:23 PM: One day after the second anniversary of the “Nickelsville” encampment’s return to a mostly-city-owned site in West Seattle (here’s our Monday report), Mayor McGinn says he sees two options for the site – and one of them is to pass a proposal that would allow it to be converted into a “semi-permanent” encampment site. The other option – sell the site to Food Lifeline as that agency has sought, but only after the council passes a bill that would enable more possible encampment sites at “non-religious” locations. Both options are outlined in a letter he has sent to City Council President Sally Clark; read it here (or here, added, uploaded to Scribd):

Mayor McGinn's letter re: 'Nickelsville' by WestSeattleBlog

We received it in response to our query sent to the mayor’s office yesterday asking where the mayor stood on the issue.

4:33 PM UPDATE: Though the mayor’s letter says he prefers the option of selling the site to Food Lifeline once he’s sure the residents of Nickelsville will have somewhere else to go, Highland Park Action Committee chair Carolyn Stauffer, whose group had asked the mayor and council not just to promise to move Nickelsville out but to set a date, is not happy. Her response, shared with us via e-mail:

We have been holding off on contacting a lawyer with high hopes for our elected leaders, but now see the need to speak with one as soon as possible. If anyone out there could help us, please email any names or contacts that might be interested in helping HPAC pro-bono to

4:55 PM UPDATE: We’ve started checking with city councilmembers and their staffs to find out what’s next – since this broke late in the day, we will still be finding out more tomorrow, but for starters, the office of Councilmember Nick Licata – who proposed the “non-religious encampment” bill that the mayor says he would support – says both options will be discussed in the committee he chairs, Housing, Human Services, and Health Care, a week from tomorrow (May 22nd) at 2 pm. Licata favors proceeding with that bill and a Food Lifeline sale, according to staffer Lisa Herbold.

6 PM UPDATE: We’ve also heard back from Council President Clark. She says she is reserving substantive comment until a briefing tomorrow, but adds, “I can say that I’d like to see people living at Nickelsville find open doors into housing as soon as possible, and I’d like to see Food Lifeline land their new facility in the city.” And a statement has just arrived from Revel Smith, on behalf of SHARE/Tent City 3, not regarding Nickelsville specifically, but regarding the ordinance, which Smith says they consider “redlining,” because of what they understand is a “residential zone restriction,” which they oppose because, they say:

• Restricting camps by Ordinance from Residential Zones unfairly plays on, and accommodates, irrational fears of homeless people.
• Residential Zoning Restrictions EXCLUDE 65% of all available land in Seattle!
• NO other city or jurisdiction in King County — many of which also have Encampment Ordinances — restrict camps from Residential Zones. Therefore, there is NO REASON for Seattle to do so.
• It’s a big step back from the successful modus operandi of Tent City3 during 10 years of our operation (2002-2012) under a Consent Decree which did not have any Zoning Restrictions.
• And finally, if it’s OK for churches in Residential Zones easily to host camps (under the Religious Encampment Ordinance), why not vacant private land in those neighborhoods too? Churches can’t carry the weight of solving homelessness all on their own.

We’re checking to see if the text of the ordinance is available online.

Police motorcade training in West Seattle again today

Many questions about the police motorcycles spotted in the area – it’s more motorcade/escort training, confirms Seattle Police.

Mayor at Youngstown with city arts director Randy Engstrom to announce arts-funding partnership

2:06 PM: Former Youngstown Cultural Arts Center director Randy Engstrom [right, above] is back at the center right now for a big city announcement regarding arts education: New money for visual-arts and music education for all students in Seattle Public Schools. Engstrom points out that arts funding is a social-justice issue as well as an important underpinning for industry. The program, he says, aligns at the district level as part of the strategic plan, as well as working with principals of all schools, “so that by junior high we haven’t left any of our students behind.” The funding, he says, comes from higher-than-expected revenue from the city admission tax from venues including the new Seattle Great Wheel; 75 percent of those taxes are supposed to go to “arts-related programming.” (The family behind the big ferris wheel has representatives here too.) The implementation will begin with the Central Pathway, says Mayor McGinn, who’s part of the announcement here too: “Arts really define Seattle as a city, too … this is a very, very exciting day,” he said. Also part of the announcement: Carri Campbell, who is the school district’s program manager of Visual & Performing Arts, and says those arts will be increased “in every single school,” and assistant superintendent Michael Tolley.

2:16 PM: “Arts education is one of the academic assurances we put in place” with the switch to neighborhood schools a few years ago, Tolley points out. In Q/A, we asked how this will be rolled out; it’ll take six years, says Campbell, and the second pathway – after Central, where this will be inaugurated – hasn’t been determined yet, so we don’t know when it will get to West Seattle schools.

3:02 PM: The event’s over; the full news release is here.

P.S. One more note – the value of arts education was touted by a Youngstown veteran, professional breakdancer Sammy Tekle, who is now a teaching artist at Orca K-8, introduced by Engstrom:

Summer Concerts at Hiawatha lineup for 2013; first show July 25th

Just announced by Katy Walum from the Admiral Neighborhood Association – the lineup for this year’s series of Thursday night Summer Concerts at Hiawatha: Glenn Crytzer and his Syncopators kick things off on July 25th; then it’s The Dusty 45s on August 1st; Impossible Bird on August 8th; Massy Ferguson on August 15th; Fly Moon Royalty on August 22nd; and Strong Suit on August 29th. Read on for the full announcement with background on the bands:

Read More

Mayor proposes $900,000 in East Marginal safety improvements, $500,000 for lower Spokane St. and vicinity

(5/7/2013 photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
Less than two weeks after 54-year-old Lance David died at East Marginal and Hanford after his bicycle collided with a truck, and one week after participating in a memorial ride to that site, Mayor McGinn says today that he’s asking the City Council to approve $900,000 in safety improvements to that area, and about half a million for lower Spokane St. and feeder roads such as Delridge and Admiral. Read on for the official announcement, which includes other proposed work around the city:

Read More

West Seattle Crime Watch followup: Stolen gun found

We reported here Monday on a big police response and search on the south side of Southwest Athletic Complex. Our information trail ended with police searching for a gun after discovering one of the suspects had bullets. Today, SPD Blotter picks up the trail, explaining that “Boomer” the bomb-detecting K-9 found the gun – which turned out to have been stolen in a burglary two weeks ago. The report says three suspects were caught; the two oldest ones, both 16, were booked into juvenile detention.

West Seattle scene: Not the ‘sold’ sign you thought it was

This story is from the “looks can be deceiving” file. Messages/questions we’ve received suggest that more than a few people who have seen those two real-estate shingles in the 4800 block of Beach Drive believe the “sold” sign means the historic-landmark Satterlee House/”Painted Lady of Beach Drive” finally has a buyer, after years on the market. No, the 107-year-old Satterlee House has NOT been sold; it is still on the market. The “sold” sign is for the house to the south, 4872 Beach Drive; we confirmed that with its selling agent, Dan Mullins, who tells WSB that while that house is not an official landmark, it has a long history of its own: “It was built about 100 years ago for the Chinese consulate.” He says the family buying it wants to “restore it to its original beauty.”

Meantime, a couple of people who e-mailed us also wondered about the work crew you see on the Satterlee House’s front lawn in the background of our photo, recalling that the “lawn” is actually on the books as three separate lots (which was part of the subject of the long court fight that ended at the state Supreme Court’s doorstep three years ago). According to the permit shown in online city records, it’s side-sewer-repair work.

P.S. Here’s the current listing for the Satterlee House, on the market right now for $1,595,000 (down more than $600,000 from its 2008-2009 listing price).

West Seattle Soccer Club invites you to watch big-time soccer on the big screen @ Admiral Theater

Want to watch a soccer-championship match on a big screen? The West Seattle Soccer Club is offering you the chance, sponsoring the 2013 UEFA Champions League final match live at The Admiral Theater on Saturday, May 25th. Doors open at 10:30 am and will close when they reach capacity – everyone is welcome, first-come, first-served. Free admission; you’re asked to bring a “kid-friendly food item” to benefit the West Seattle Food Bank. Read on for the full announcement, as shared by WSSC:

Read More

West Seattle Tuesday: Community Orchestras’ 10th-anniversary concert; Metro hearing; WSHS music benefit; more

(Photo by Machel Spence: Cute – itchy! – duckling that strayed a bit from its mom on Sunday)
Today’s highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

TRIANGLE PARKING DISCUSSED BY COUNCIL COMMITTEE: Live right now, webcast via the Seattle Channel (online and on cable channel 21), the City Council Transportation Committee is meeting, and its agenda items include a parking study done in The Triangle, as SDOT works on a parking plan for the area.

LOCAL ATHLETE IN INTERNATIONAL SOCCER MATCH: We brought you the story last week of Special Olympics athlete Christian Freitas representing Chief Sealth International High School and all of Seattle on the USA team in an international soccer tournament. 10 am today is the team’s match vs. top-seeded Paraguay, according to this update. You’re invited to “follow the action” here.

‘SALUTE TO VETERANS’ LUNCH: 11:45 am at the Senior Center of West Seattledetails in our calendar listing. (California/Oregon)

METRO HEARING: If you want to show support for funding to stave off Metro cuts – 4 pm today at Union Station downtown (401 S. Jackson) is the big County Council hearing, as discussed in our story yesterday featuring an interview with Metro GM Kevin Desmond. Here’s the Metro page with information about the hearing and how to comment if you can’t get there.

WEST SEATTLE HIGH SCHOOL MUSIC BENEFIT: Starting at 5 pm, dine tonight at Abbondanza in Morgan Junction and a portion of the proceeds benefits the West Seattle High School music program. Here’s our earlier preview. (6503 California SW)

COMMUNITY ORCHESTRAS’ 10TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT: The West Seattle Community Orchestras celebrate their 10th anniversary with a gala concert tonight, starting at 6:30 pm, Chief Sealth IHS Auditoriumdetails here; free, but donations appreciated at the door. (2600 SW Thistle)

ADMIRAL NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: The ANA‘s monthly meeting is at 7 pm on the lower level of Admiral Congregational Church. (California/Hill)

FAUNTLEROY COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION: FCA‘s monthly board meeting is at 7 pm at Fauntleroy Schoolhouse‘s meeting room. (9131 California SW)

West Seattle 5K this Sunday: Register online by tomorrow!

The Walking on Logs sculpture by the pullout near the southwest end of the West Seattle Bridge is decked out in advance of the fifth annual West Seattle 5K, coming up this Sunday (May 19th). Thanks to race director Jeff Mensing for the photo! Three timeline points ahead for WS5K, which is organized by and benefits the West Seattle High School PTSA in its work to help the school and its students:

ONLINE REGISTRATION ENDS TOMORROW: You can sign up until Wednesday at

PACKET PICKUP/IN-PERSON REGISTRATION SATURDAY: Noon-6 pm (May 18th) at West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor) at California/Charlestown.

RACE DAY SUNDAY: The race starts just after 9 am. Alki and Harbor Avenues will be closed along the usual WS5K footprint, to Don Armeni; then most of the waterfront roadway will reopen around 11, except for the stretch that will be closed until 5 pm for the Alki edition of Seattle Summer Streets (aka “car-free day”), 56th to 63rd. Here’s the map:

WSB is co-sponsoring West Seattle 5K again this year as we have since the start, and will be an on-site participant in Summer Streets, which features some big fun this year highlighted by the Alki Beach Creeps’ Costumed Bike Parade at 1 pm – see you there!

West Seattle scene: Matson workers’ Harbor Island encore

The Matson Navigation team on Harbor Island shares news of another community-service project. The photo and report are from Jackie, who has updated us in recent years on their efforts including storm-drain stencils on Alki and cleanup work in the Terminal 10 area:

This year we reached out to the Port with hopes of cleaning up the same Terminal 10 site, and this past Thursday we made that happen. We took advantage of the clear blue skies and sunny weather, and worked alongside Port employee George Blomberg to tidy up the area. We did heavy weeding (a portion of the weed pile is shown in the photo), and also planted several small trees in the area. It was really fulfilling to work to keep this site looking healthy and clean so the wildlife there could continue to enjoy it. And as always, it was a nice opportunity to enjoy the great weather Seattle has had, and spend some time with coworkers doing something good for the community and environment.

WSB is about good news like this in addition to 24/7 coverage of what you need to know about breaking news, community issues, transportation, development, schools, politics, etc. – so thanks to Jackie, and to everyone else who continues to share these kinds of reports!

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday on the move

May 14, 2013 7:36 am
|    Comments Off on TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday on the move
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; other cameras are on the WSB Traffic page)
Nothing reported to be out of the ordinary right now on the main routes in and around West Seattle. The weather’s chillier than recent mornings but has calmed from yesterday. One note from Metroits customer-service phone line is having trouble.

Speaking of Metro, today at Union Station, 4 pm, is the County Council committee hearing at which it’s hoping for a show of support from system users concerned about cuts if there’s no funding solution during the Legislature’s special session. (Details in this WSB story from Monday.)

Road-work reminder #1: SDOT confirmed on Monday that tomorrow (Wednesday) is when Phase 3 of the Delridge Way repaving project starts, which means a new southbound detour between Holden and Thistle.

Road-work reminder #2: A separate, one-day paving project also is scheduled tomorrow on Delridge, at 23rd, as announced last week.