West Seattle, Washington
We’re just out of the Southwest District Council‘s monthly meeting, where one of the guests was City Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the committee that oversees public safety and technology. His committee was the one that originally signed off on the Seattle Police grant that led to the surveillance cameras that have been put up along with a “wireless mesh” communications system. Since SPD indicated that the third public meeting about the cameras, which we covered at Golden Gardens two weeks ago, would be the last, we’ve been trying to find out the next step; Mayor McGinn‘s office told us this week they don’t have a timetable for making a decision.
Tonight, Harrell – a candidate for mayor – was asked about the cameras during the SWDC meeting, and he indicated his primary concern is the fact they can “rotate” toward residential areas. Asked to clarify whether he supports activation of the more than two dozen cameras now installed, he said only if they either are rendered physically incapable of rotating toward residential areas, or if some sort of physical shield is placed preventing them from ever “seeing” residential areas. He said that’s what he wants to see instead of the programmed “masking” that SPD Det. Monty Moss, who heads up the program, has repeatedly demonstrated. Asked when the camera issue would come back before his committee, Harrell said he first wants a written briefing from SPD about the protocol for camera use here in West Seattle; he’s been verbally briefed, he said, but he wants to see the plan in writing. It’s been three months since his committee vetted a new city law requiring that type of documentation, and more, before the city could use surveillance cameras. (Our coverage of the surveillance cameras dates back to late January, when we learned about them after WSB readers noticed their unannounced installation; our archive, newest to oldest, is here.)
His appearance touched on other topics, and the council also heard from Department of Planning and Development Director Diane Sugimura regarding two current hot-button issues, small-lot homes and microhousng; toplines to be reported separately.
Back in April, a spokesperson for The Kenney (WSB sponsor) announced that the continuing-care retirement center was seeking a “sponsor” to take over its operations, and that there were four prospects. Three were named at the time; one of them, Wesley Homes, which operates centers in Des Moines and Auburn, is now the front-runner. Here’s the announcement just in from a representative of The Kenney:
Wesley Homes, based in Des Moines, Washington, has presented a letter of intent to further explore sponsorship of The Kenney in West Seattle. The letter of intent was presented to and accepted by The Kenney board of directors on June 4, 2013.
It is the next step in the process of completing due diligence before Wesley Homes makes a decision to become the new non-profit sponsor. Due diligence typically involves an in-depth review of the operations, physical plant, legal issues and finances, including discussions with the bank lender. The due diligence is expected to take several weeks.
Non-profit sponsors are governed by a volunteer board of directors and within the non-profit sector, the term “sponsorship” is used instead of “ownership.” The Kenney board of directors had interviewed and accepted letters of interest from four potential sponsors.
The other three organizations all cited that they were interested, but that the timing of the transaction or other factors outside of The Kenney prevented them from moving forward at this time.
In today’s complex health care environment, affiliation with another sponsor has proven to benefit senior living providers and the residents they serve. Being part of a larger sponsoring organization often presents opportunities for group purchasing of supplies and equipment resulting in significant savings. Larger sponsoring organizations also have the capacity to implement more efficient systems for billing, accounting, nursing services, dining programs, human resources and marketing.
The Kenney has been under interim management since summer 2012 and the interim management will remain in place through the sponsorship process. Interim Chief Executive Officer, Ed Mawe, with Ontrac Management Services continues to provide staff leadership. The quality services to residents continue in the fine tradition of The Kenney.
According to its website, Wesley Homes has been in operation since 1944, and is associated with the United Methodist Church.
(WSB photo from June 2012)
It’s become an annual tradition for West Seattle Windermere and the WS Junction Association to offer a chance for you to recycle unwanted electronics AND get old documents shredded, all at the same time, same place. 10 am-1 pm this Saturday (June 8th) is the time, the 42nd SW parking lot behind Windermere (south of SW Oregon) is the place. P.S. Wondering what recyclables they’ll accept? Here’s the list.
No matter what year you attended West Seattle High School, you’re welcome at the All-School Reunion this Friday (June 7). Event chair Jim Biava (WSHS Class of 1971) asked us to remind you it’s just two days away. We asked him for the schedule of events:
5:00 pm: Doors open
5:00 – 6:00 pm: Pick up programs, name tag & roam the halls
6:00 – 7:15 pm: Individual CLASS REUNIONS in assigned rooms
7:00 – 7:30 pm: “Meet Our Hall of Fame” video presentation in the Theater, accompanied by WSHS student musicians
7:15 pm: Alumni dismissed to the Theater
7:30 – 9:00 pm: PROGRAM in the Theater, including Scholarship Awards & Hall of Fame
This year’s Hall of Fame inductees, who are already featured on the new official WSHS Alumni Association website, are Kathleen Stake Brose (Class of ’75) and John Jasperse (Class of ’53). In addition to the events above, classic cars will be on display along SW Stevens, in front of the school, 4:30-7 pm; from 5-9 pm, at the west entrance, you can buy food/drinks and support the WSHS music program; and 5-9 pm, alumni merchandise will be on sale in the Alumni Room.
It’s so summery on Alki today, the banners are now up for a big event that’s just one month away – the Seafair Pirates Landing. They’ll arrive at midday Saturday, July 6th. Other big events at the beach this summer include the Alki Art Fair, July 20-21, and the Alki Beach 5K Walk/Run on August 25th. (And of course events all over West Seattle, stretching months into the future, are listed on our calendar, ready for your perusal any time.)
11:37 AM: Half-hour or so ago, three military helicopters passed over southern West Seattle; now it seems at least one has made multiple passes over north West Seattle. We’re checking, but haven’t seen them ourselves, so descriptions appreciated to help us sleuth – thanks!
P.S. We’ve already checked with the Mariners and, while they have a student event happening at Safeco Field right now prior to the day game coming up in an hour-plus, they say it’s not a stadium flyover.
11:48 AM UPDATE: Just added a photo courtesy of Jameson, while we continue calling around… (Added later: Video from Danny:)
(And from the earlier triple flyover in south West Seattle, a photo from Megan:)
12:13 PM UPDATE: Mystery solved! The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers confirms its commander, Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, is being toured around the area. The spokesperson doesn’t know exactly what they were looking at in West Seattle, though, only that the visiting commander was out on a chopper tour that had included a project at Seahurst just south of us. The Corps runs the Ballard Locks, but we also note with a quick bit of web research that it was project manager for construction of the high bridge three decades ago. We checked with the Corps after recalling reading about another of its officials on helicopter tour to the south of us this time last year.
ADDED 1:59 PM: This may, it seems, have been two separate flyovers, and the commander might just have been the earlier one. Just got a note from Leslie Barstow with Boeing Field, who says, “The King County International Airport’s Air Traffic Control Tower has informed airport staff that the helicopters were Army Blackhawks doing an ‘extraction’ exercise over Alki. They have completed their exercises for today.”
Metro‘s just issued a reminder of its Saturday (June 8) service change. Here are the revisions directly affecting West Seattle routes:
· RapidRide C and D lines: A new southbound weekday trip will be added to Westwood Village leaving Bay 3 at the Alaska Junction at 5:12 a.m.. Also, in an effort to balance passenger loads, the RapidRide C and D line schedules will be adjusted during the morning peak period.
· Route 56, 57: The southbound Route 56 trip to Alki leaving Fourth Avenue and Wall Street at 3:28 p.m. will be converted to a Route 57 trip to Genesee Hill. Also, westbound Route 57 trips will end at Bay 2 instead of Bay 1 at the Alaska Junction in West Seattle.
(From left, Metro’s Victor Obeso; Delridge District Council chair Mat McBride; Metro’s DeAnna Martin and Doug Johnson. Photo courtesy Joe Szilagyi)
With side effects of last fall’s big changes still rippling, and the possibility of cuts ahead if new funding isn’t found, Metro Transit remains a hot topic, even for those who don’t ride its buses regularly. For the new Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council (aka WWRHAH), it’s the #1 topic its members want to know about – not surprising, given that the Westwood Village area is being increasingly utilized as a transit hub, and that last fall’s cuts hit especially hard in Arbor Heights. So last night, WWRHAH devoted the entirety of its meeting to hearing from and talking with Metro reps. If you couldn’t be there, here’s our video – in two parts, since there was a five-minute break during the meeting. Part 1:
Here’s part two:
That ends a few minutes before the meeting did, as our camera operator had to run out to breaking news. If you don’t have time to listen to/watch the video, WWRHAH secretary Joe Szilagyi published detailed notes via the council’s website late last night, and you can read them here.
P.S. Metro reps are making another appearance in this area tomorrow night, as part of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting, 7 pm Thursday (June 6) at NH Fire District headquarters, 1243 SW 112th.
SIDE NOTE: Just as we were finishing this story, Metro announced details of its June service changes, taking effect Saturday. Here’s the regionwide page; we’ll have a separate West Seattle breakout shortly.
Thanks to John Hinkey for today’s featured photo, taken after sunset Tuesday and sent to us late last night. Just so happened that your editor here was on the state ferry M/V Kaleetan from Bremerton a short time later, when it came to a stop in Rich Passage, with no announcement; walking around the outer deck to investigate, we spotted the sub and its escorts – the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Osprey, a smaller USCG vessel, and two tugs. We shared an iPhone photo via Instagram at the time, but were happy to see John’s much-better photo come in later.
Now, on with highlights for today/tonight:
AFTER-SCHOOL NATURE WALK: 3:30 pm, explore the “Snakes, Beetles and Butterflies of Camp Long” with naturalist Stewart Wechsler – details here. (5200 35th SW)
BICYCLE MASTER PLAN OPEN HOUSE: 6-7:30 pm (with a presentation at 6:30), at City Hall downtown, your first chance to hear about the draft update of the city’s Bicycle Master Plan – more info here. No meetings are planned in West Seattle, but there’s a “South Seattle” edition one week from tonight – follow the aforementioned “more info” link for location/time. (5th/Cherry)
MICROHOUSING ON SW DISTRICT COUNCIL AGENDA: There’s been a change in the agenda for tonight’s Southwest District Council meeting since the first preview we published – while Diane Sugimura, director of the city’s Department of Planning and Development, is still scheduled to speak with the group about “microhousing,” the separate discussion of local school projects has been postponed, and instead, City Councilmember Bruce Harrell will be on hand to talk about the council’s legislative agenda. Meeting’s at 6:30 pm, Southwest Teen Life Center. (2801 SW Thistle)
DENNY/SEALTH CONCERT: The next-door-neighbor middle and high schools present their end-of-year vocal and orchestra concert tonight, 7 pm, Chief Sealth International High School Auditorium. Details (including a pre-concert reception) in our calendar listing. (2600 SW Thistle)
They came from behind to beat St. Louise of Bellevue. Down 8-1 in the 3rd inning, the team comes back to win 10-8. With good defense, solid pitching and timely hitting, the OLG Bulldogs came back in thrilling fashion to claim the CYO title, in a game played at Walt Hundley Field.
Players: Kellen, Cristian, Nathan, Matthew, Caitlin, Jackson, Issac, Issac, Brandon, Aidan, Luke, Jaiden, Chase
Coach Jon also credits Coach Peter and the fans for their roles in the big win.
The 35th anniversary party may be over, but the fun never stops at Illusions Hair Design (WSB sponsor). The salon opened for business on June 1st, 1978, and wrapped up the anniversary festivities with a raffle drawing Tuesday afternoon (shortly before we stopped by for the group photo – that’s proprietor Sue Lindblom at left with her team). It raised almost $900 for Pencil Me In For Kids, which gets school supplies to students in need. You can donate to PMIFK any time at Illusions (5619 California SW) or via its website.
(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; other cameras are on the WSB Traffic page)
Quiet start to the commute, but a note for those who travel through SODO – you’ll note activity at Safeco Field this morning, an event with thousands of students arriving for Weather Education Day; after that, the Mariners have a day game.
TRAFFIC APP, ANYONE? The city says it’s working on a traffic app, among other things, and wants to know your general thoughts on what it should be offering for smartphones, tablets, etc. If interested, take this really short survey.