day : 23/05/2013 12 results

Design Review Board tells 4745 40th SW team to return for a second round of ‘early guidance’

The Southwest Design Review Board got its first look tonight at the 150~-apartment project proposed for 4745 40th SW – and asked the development team to take a second pass at Early Design Guidance. Bottom line: This means the project will be reviewed at least two more times.

As summarized toward the end of the two-hour meeting, with more than two dozen people in attendance, board members were particularly concerned with its ground floor and how its live-work units and lobby will relate to the new city park that’ll be on the north side of the site, among other factors. Most of those who commented on the project tonight identified themselves as residents of a condo building facing the sharply upward-sloped west edge of this project’s site; one noted that the parcel, part of which now holds a two-story office building, was zoned for four stories until a few years ago. (Now it’s partly zoned for six stories, partly for eight.)

Board members want the developers, Encore Architects and purchasers Alliance Residential, to also reconsider the massing options and the project’s relationship with the alley from which its parking garage will be entered, among other aspects. (It was also mentioned tonight that the project plans .7-.8 of a parking space per unit, though its location near the RapidRide bus line means it is not required to offer any parking.)

The project’s early-design “packet” was revised before the meeting, making changes to what had been made available via the city website, and we’ve been provided with a new copy – see it here. If you couldn’t make the meeting, the city planner assigned to the project, Bruce Rips, continues to accept comments, on issues beyond design too; bruce.rips@seattle.gov.

‘Power of poetry’ at Denny International Middle School Poetry Slam

With just weeks to go until they move on from Denny International Middle School, headed for high school, dozens of young poets have just put on quite a show. Denny principal Jeff Clark shares photos from last night’s Eighth-Grade Poetry Slam – and this report:

The third annual Eighth-Grade Poetry Slam was a huge success at Denny International Middle School! The event was skillfully emceed by 8th grader Isiah Davis, who introduced nearly 50 Denny Poets. Their words were beautiful, thoughtful, and provoking. Congratulations to our outstanding scholars and their amazing teachers — the power of poetry is alive at Denny International!

One of those teachers, Colin Slingsby, shares his view too, including an observation about a tragedy that touched the 2012-2013 eighth-grade class:

The quality of the thought, writing, and emotion that students invested into their work came through last night as they presented. Many attendees mentioned how moved, touched, and inspired they were by the poetry shared by our 8th grade students.

This year’s 8th grade class was particularly challenged this year by the hardship of losing a classmate and friend Lucie Hernandez, and there were some particularly poignant tributes to Lucie written for this year’s Denny Poetry Slam. The Denny staff and 8th grade Literacy teachers are extremely proud of our students for their bravery and courage in sharing their stories and emotions so powerfully at yesterday’s poetry slam.

You might recall that Lucie was one of two teenagers killed in a deadly in South Park last November; this WSB report from last fall included a tribute her schoolmates created.

West Seattle giving: Schmitz Park 2nd-grade team helps WS Food Bank!

Thanks to both Schmitz Park Elementary teacher Alison Aylesworth and West Seattle Food Bank operations manager Steve Curry for sharing the word of a cool event at SP today. First, from Ms. Aylesworth, who also shared the photos:

The second grade team at Schmitz Park: Ms. Noreng, Mr. Wuth, Ms. Veling and Ms. Aylesworth’s classes participated in a food packaging service project for the West Seattle food bank. Each class packaged bags of rice that were labeled and signed by each child participating.

The team bagged 150 pounds of rice!

The students in Ms. Aylesworth’s class were inspired to donate more food in the future, donate hair to agencies like Locks of Love and instead of presents at their birthday parties they would gladly take donations for the food bank!

Way to go, Schmitz Park second graders!

Steve Curry adds, “This event was developed in conversations between the school and WSFB after the wonderful 100-day food drive initiated earlier in the year,” and also notes that the aforementioned “food-drive-related birthday parties are becoming very popular in our community and serve a wonderful dual purpose of teaching positive values to youth while assisting the food bank’s mission.”

Update: Emergency response under West Seattle Bridge; 1 person dead

3:56 PM: The big emergency response to West Marginal Way/Spokane is for a report that someone might have jumped or fallen off the high bridge. Seattle Fire confirms that’s what was reported to them.

4:27 PM: We are on the high bridge westbound right now. There is a slowdown to 99 because of police cars with a white car on the shoulder at the top of the high rise, blinkers on. A tow truck is getting ready to tow it.

4:33 PM: Two commenters say they saw it happen – someone got out of that car and went over the bridge.

Suicide, while difficult to discuss, is an epidemic – taking five times as many lives in King County as homicide. If you or anyone you know has had thoughts of self-harm, please know there is help available around the clock, via the Crisis Clinic hotline: 206-461-3222.

4:45 PM: Seattle Fire spokesperson Kyle Moore confirms that the person found under the bridge “is deceased.” The last bridge death reported here was four months ago.

5:48 PM: The photo we have added above is the crew from the Medical Examiner’s office, arriving in the area just after 5 pm. It is their job to make the official identification of victims and determination of cause of death, and to make sure family members have been notified.

Followup: No crime in the case of ‘Zipper’ the dog, says Seattle Animal Shelter

Remember the case of a dog found in a car at Westwood Village? The Seattle Animal Shelter promised to announce when its investigation was finished – and that announcement has just come via this update on its website, The Scoop:

As previously reported in The Scoop, on Sunday April 21, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) removed a small dog, Zipper, from a vehicle in a West Seattle grocery store parking lot. Included in the original police report was a witness statement that the car had been in the same spot for six days, prompting speculation that Zipper may have been locked inside without food or water during that entire time. If this turned out to be true, it would have been a clear case of animal neglect and/or cruelty, which the Animal Shelter, the SPD and the City of Seattle take very seriously.

We received numerous calls from people checking on Zipper’s welfare from as far away as Florida and New York. We sincerely appreciate the public concern and support for Zipper, as it is the mission of the Seattle Animal Shelter to foster safe, healthy and caring relationships between people and animals in our community. However, Zipper’s situation is an example of why it is important for us to be able to conduct a thorough investigation before jumping to conclusions with only limited information.

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West Seattle Memorial Day 2013: Forest Lawn service Monday

In case you wondered, we checked with Forest Lawn (6701 30th SW; WSB sponsor) and yes, the traditional Memorial Day service is on for Monday, 2 pm, in conjunction with American Legion Post 160, which has a Facebook event page for it. (Here’s our coverage from last year.)

Good luck! West Seattle High School baseball team on the road to Final 4

A low-key, but high-hopes, sendoff this morning for the West Seattle High School baseball team. Around 9 am, they boarded a bus and headed eastward, bound for Pasco, site of the Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association‘s high-school-baseball semi-finals and finals, a trip made possible by their two wins last Saturday. Tomorrow morning at 10, at GESA Stadium in Pasco, WSHS faces Mt. Si. The winner will advance to Saturday’s 4 pm championship game against the victor in tomorrow’s 1 pm game between Kennewick and Auburn Mountainview. (Here’s the official bracket.)

West Seattle road work: Delridge/Holden intersection closure set for May 31-June 3

An update from SDOT as Phase 3 of the Delridge Way repaving project proceeds – the next intersection closure is tentatively scheduled to start at the end of next week:

May 31 – June 3: Delridge Way SW & SW Holden Street Intersection Closure

All work is weather-dependent

Most of the intersection of Delridge Way SW and SW Holden Street will be closed from 7 p.m. Friday, May 31, until 6 a.m. Monday, June 3, for roadway restoration and storm drain installation. This work is part of the Seattle Department of Transportation’s Delridge Way SW Paving Project that is rebuilding much of Delridge Way SW between SW Orchard and SW Roxbury streets.

For the closure of the Delridge/Holden intersection, the detour will be as follows (see attached map):

· Northbound traffic on Delridge Way SW – Take SW Thistle Street to 35th Avenue SW to SW Morgan Street/ Sylvan Way SW/ SW Orchard Street to Delridge Way SW

· Southbound traffic on Delridge Way SW – Take SW Holden Street to 35th Avenue SW to SW Thistle Street to Delridge Way SW

During the week of June 3, the roadway will be striped between SW Henderson and SW Thistle streets, the areas of Phases 1 and 2. Street parking will be eliminated and lanes will be temporarily shifted for up to four days while striping is completed

Seattle Public Schools bringing back ‘mid-winter break’

After one year without it, it appears the one-week “mid-winter break” is returning to Seattle Public Schools next year. This year, what had been the “mid-winter break” week was bookended by three-day weekends. But a full week is back in the district’s announcement today of key dates for next year’s calendar – read on for the announcement published on the district website:

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West Seattle Thursday: Design Review; Duwamish in 3-D; more

(Mark Wangerin photographed the violet-green swallow “in the rain along Longfellow Creek”)
Heading for a 4-day holiday weekend? Many are this year, particularly since school is out Friday through Monday for Seattle Public Schools and others that follow its calendar. Meantime, another busy news day is under way but we’re taking a moment to mention four things from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

COMMUNITY ORCHARD OF WEST SEATTLE: Every Thursday, 3-5 pm, you are invited to come join in work parties at the orchard, north end of South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) campus – details here. (6000 16th SW)

ARBOR HEIGHTS ELEMENTARY DESIGN TEAM: The group that’s been meeting to shape the new Arbor Heights Elementary before construction begins is scheduled to meet at the school again today, 4 pm. (3704 SW 102nd)

DUWAMISH RIVER IN 3-D: Another unique event that’s part of the final weeks of your chance to have a say in the future of Seattle’s only river – 6 pm tonight at Sandbox Sports, 5955 Airport Way S. in Georgetown – details here.

DESIGN REVIEW BOARD: As previewed here last night, the board reviews the 150-or-so-apartment project 4745 40th SW for the first time, 6:30 pm, Senior Center of West Seattle; see the meeting “packet” (renderings, info) by going here. (California/Oregon)

NIGHTLIFE: Multiple listings for live music, karaoke, and more tonight – see them in today’s section of our calendar.

Update: Highland Park’s new spraypark closer to opening

9:13 AM: Busy night and morning since this announcement was made at last night’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting (details on other items later) but we wanted to share before too much more time passed: Highland Park’s new spraypark (1100 SW Cloverdale) might open as soon as this weekend! The news came from Pete Spalding, the West Seattleite who chairs the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Oversight Committee. The spraypark is on the site of the former Highland Park wading pool; at one time it was proposed for a very simple spray feature, but Highland Park neighbors led by Carolyn Stauffer, now co-chair of HPAC, campaigned three years ago for a share of the levy’s first Opportunity Fund round, and the city eventually secured the funding for a more extensive project. Sprayparks are considered desirable not just because they’re fun but also because they conserve water better than wading pools and don’t require staffing. We’ll continue checking with Parks regarding the spraypark’s status for this weekend – Saturday is the date when sprayparks citywide are scheduled to start operation for the season; currently it’s forecast as cloudy and showery. (Our photo was taken through the fence after last night’s HPAC meeting.)

ADDED 10:21 AM: The spraypark area also is likely to get some money from the next round of Opportunity Fund spending. We just talked with Parks’ Rick Nishi for details of other items mentioned by Spalding at HPAC last night: The Oversight Committee is recommending funding for better pedestrian access to the spraypark/playground area, and the art project involving the small building at the site is in the plan too. Final approval will have to come from the City Council, but the committee made its recommendations at a meeting this past Monday night. Funding was freed up, Nishi explained, when a project involving improvements for Camp Long cabins had to be removed from the proposal because of logistical/bureaucratic challenges.

12:57 PM: Karen O’Connor from Parks e-mailed to say that while the spraypark is close to completion, they still need inspections that could take up to 2 weeks, so don’t get too excited yet. She adds that its dedication is likely in late July-early August, after artwork is complete at the spraypark.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday alerts, including bridge crash, Roxbury crash

(Live view from the west-facing WS Bridge camera; other cameras are on the WSB Traffic page)
7:19 AM: Just getting word of a crash on the eastbound bridge. (update) Texters say it apparently involves a scooter rider, and multiple lanes are blocked.

7:32 AM: Emergency personnel are still tending to the scooter rider on the ground. If you haven’t headed out yet, avoid the high bridge – try the low bridge or go through Highland Park or points south to get to the 1st Avenue South Bridge. Feeder routes are reported to be backed up too, especially Fauntleroy to 35th.

7:41 AM: Via Twitter, @jamesmahler says a tow truck has arrived for the scooter, and fire/medic vehicles have cleared, taking the rider to the hospital. Everything we’ve heard so far suggest the incident might only have involved the scooter – other cars were stopped for a while, but those were drivers who pulled over to help.

8:15 AM: The crash scene has since been cleared. We have messages out to both SFD and SPD hoping to find out more, particularly regarding the rider’s condition.

(Photo of scooter-crash scene, courtesy Winston)
8:28 AM: Seattle Fire spokesperson Kyle Moore says the rider is a woman “approximately 30s,” not seriously hurt, taken to hospital as a precaution.

9:37 AM: Eastbound Roxbury is blocked by a crash at 14th/15th – car hit a tree; two people taken to the hospital.

10:34 AM: Metro reports buses in the area are back on their regular routes, which means the scene on Roxbury is clear.