West Seattle, Washington
Just a week and a half till the 4th of July – and West Seattle’s one and only Independence Day parade is looking good! You’ll recall that longtime coordinator Sherri Chun has passed the baton to new co-coordinators, and we have updates from one of them, Jackie Clough of Alki Party Treasures (WSB sponsor), who tells WSB:
*Sponsors are enabling the Hamilton Viewpoint event after the parade to be a lively kid-friendly event as always, with games and concessions.
*West Seattle politicians will help get things going as usual – Admiral resident and former Mayor Greg Nickels at the start, West Seattle resident and County Councilmember Joe McDermott at the kickoff of the post-parade games.
*You’ll see a few days of parade promotion at Walking on Logs, courtesy of WestSide Baby, which will be promoting the Stuff the Bus diaper drive there by then. Speaking of which … Jackie says there’ll be a diaper drive at the parade to benefit WS Baby. She suggests it’s a “kids helping kids opportunity.”
*Janelle Maroney, recent Chief Sealth International High School graduate, will sing the national anthem.
*The parade has a Facebook event page to which you can RSVP (or at least “join” it for a reminder) – find it here.
The parade starts same time, same place as always – 10 am, 44th/Sunset in North Admiral (map) – come be part of it!
A change in dates for the first of the Rotary Club of West Seattle‘s three berry sales this summer means that strawberries will be on sale THIS Friday and Saturday – and the deadline for advance orders is this Wednesday morning. It’s one of the ways the Rotary raises money for its community projects, including the annual Children’s Holiday Shopping Spree. See the prices and sizes here (but the strawberry dates are different – moved up, as we just mentioned); follow the links to place an advance order. Then you’ll pick up your berries on the specified dates, Friday 1-5 pm or Saturday 10 am-5 pm at West Seattle Produce. Raspberries and blueberries are coming up in July. If you miss the advance-purchase date there *might* be same-day sales available – but no guarantees.
ORIGINAL REPORT, 5:57 PM: We’re on our way to check out an emergency response that has escalated to a hazardous-materials response in the 3000 block of Avalon Way. Avoid the area; updates shortly – and yes, that’s why you are seeing a helicopter overhead; it’s TV. Emergency crews on scene say there’s a “strong smell of gasoline” at the site, which was once a church.
6:08 PM UPDATE: We’re on site – the action is close to Avalon/Yancy. Adding the top photo, sent by Jeff. At least one TV chopper still overhead. No word of any injuries; investigators still trying to find the source, as far as we know. Via the scanner, they’re discussing air-sample readings that so far aren’t showing anything discernible. SFD’s public-information officer has been dispatched so we’ll have a steadier source of information shortly.
6:30 PM UPDATE: A million apologies for our server getting overloaded and shutting down. It’s been reset and hopefully that will be the end of it – we keep increasing capacity and it still isn’t always enough for the next breaking story, so we keep exploring new options for something close to infinite bandwidth. Meantime, nothing new here – fire crews have yet to pinpoint the source, so far as we hear – still investigating all around the building – but keep avoiding the area. For those who are worried about hazardous fumes – there’s been NO confirmation of anything risky – this is all mostly a precaution because of the previously mentioned “strong smell of gasoline.”
6:43 PM UPDATE: Thanks to area resident Jeff, who has the overview of part of the scene and has been updating us – adding another of his photos above this update. He’s seen SFD crews first bring in a tarp, then bring in fans, and he noticed the smell getting stronger at one point, but he hasn’t seen them bring anything out. Also of note, the official incident address has been updated to 30th/Adams.
7:05 PM UPDATE: This is now officially scaling down. Bottom line, according to SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore, they didn’t find anything (except evidence of squatters, which neighbors tell us has long been a problem). If you’ve had trouble placing this building – here’s a wider view from William, who lives across the street:
So SFD says the air is safe, no one ever needed to evacuate, and they’ll be packing up. Traffic is moving on Avalon.
7:46 PM UPDATE: Back at HQ; added the photo above showing the big turnout of SFD vehicles, and here’s our video of Moore’s briefing:
As SFD was wrapping up, SPD was going to take a look around, per scanner traffic. So we’ll be following up to see if anything was determined regarding the presence of squatters in the building.
Less than 24 hours after he got out on bail – as reported here last night – Alan Polevia is back in the King County Jail, for investigation of residential burglary, as of just before 3 pm. We just confirmed that via the jail register after getting a telephone tip. We had checked earlier on a King County Sheriff’s Office search in the Seola area; KCSO had no official information but area residents told us it all started with someone being spotted hopping a fence and running through back yards. We do not yet know if Polevia is linked to that but will update with whatever we find out about how he wound up back in jail.
1:08 PM TUESDAY, UPDATE: We still have not confirmed 100 percent that it’s the same incident, so that’ll have to wait until after his bail hearing at mid-afternoon. KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Kathleen Larson did confirm there was an arrest in the Seola-area case – a suspect (born the same year as Polevia, if somehow it turns out not to be him), finally cornered … in a tree.
Seattle Public Schools is sending an alert about portable deliveries coming up this week and next. From Tom Redman:
· Gatewood Elementary, one single portable (one classroom) scheduled to be delivered on Wednesday, June 26 between 10 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. The route, assigned by SDOT, is Fauntleroy to Myrtle, turning left to the school.
· Chief Sealth International HS, one double portable (two classrooms), scheduled to be delivered on Monday, July 1, between 5:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. via the Kenyon Street (north) entrance to the campus. (Not sure of the route yet- SDOT will notify us later this week)
· If there are “no parking” signs to be located on any streets on the route, they will be placed in advance of the delivery day, in accordance with SDOT requirements.
The district’s been talking about more portables for crowding relief since last fall. We’re checking to see what other portables, if any, are slated for West Seattle schools before fall.
(UPDATE: Here’s the official Council news release)
(Updated Tuesday – Archived meeting video now substituted above – public comment starts 27 minutes in)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 2:43 PM: The City Council is in the middle of public comment right now, preceding the rest of this afternoon’s agenda, which starts with the proposal to give an as-yet-unspecified human-services organization $500,000 for shelter and other assistance to be given to “Nickelsville” campers, so they can be moved out and the camp closed by September 1st. You can watch live, while the meeting is under way, by clicking “play” above. Three commenters have spoken so far, all expressing concerns about the item – two regarding accountability, and one in opposition. As we publish this, Joanne Brayden, known as “JoB” here on WSB, is speaking about her experience volunteering to help the camp residents, and urging the council to use this expenditure to also help those living in other “encampments,” such as the nearby greenbelts. “There are families there, and children – we need to help them,” she concluded. The public-comment period is open to any topic on the agenda, so the person following her is speaking about something else. Updates as we go.
2:53 PM: Highland Park Action Committee co-chair Billy Stauffer is speaking now. He reinforces the request for using part of the money to get “campers” out of the greenbelt. “As people leave Nickelsville, the greenbelt will see more and more campers,” he warns. He also suggests the restoration work Nature Consortium has been doing in the greenbelt – some of which, he says, has been undone by “campers” – could use some support. He reminds the council this is the third summer Nickelsville has been occupying the 7116 W. Marginal Way SW site without authorization.
3 PM: The formal discussion of the bill now begins. It’s a substitute version – we’re not seeing the new version on the agenda; here’s what’s currently there. Council President Sally Clark says this was introduced “a couple weeks ago” (actually, it was introduced just one week ago). She says the substitute version has some “technical” changes – including cleaning up language about what other cities had done, and spelling out accountability for what’s being done with the money and who is spoken to, setting a mid-August date for a formal report on how it’s going. Clark addresses the HPAC request about the greenbelt and says they’d have to talk about whether that comes out of this money or additional money. She also alludes to a discussion during this morning’s Council briefing meeting regarding the greenbelt-restoration issue (we’ll check that out later). “This is not a small undertaking, but that should not stop us from trying,” Clark concludes, opening the floor to comment from other councilmembers.
Councilmember Sally Bagshaw suggests the issue of campers in the greenbelt(s) could be addressed by changing the language; Clark expresses concern about that, particularly since the number of such “campers” is unknown. Councilmember Tim Burgess notes that the most recent city budget has money specifically earmarked for “encampment cleanups” and protocol for how it can be used.
Councilmember Nick Licata, who wasn’t one of the seven councilmembers who sent the mayor the “close it by September 1st” letter that sparked this bill, says he will support it. He thinks there will need to be more money to deal with people in greenbelt encampments.
Councilmember Bagshaw says she agrees with him and others that this is “a start.”
3:15 PM: The bill passes unanimously. Who gets the $500,000? Last time we asked the Human Services Department last week, that was yet to be worked out.
4:26 PM: Here’s the official Council news release. Another encampment issue comes up tomorrow – a 5:30 pm hearing on Councilmember Licata’s proposal to expand the zones where they could be allowed.
4:52 PM: We’re listening to the video of the morning “briefing” meeting mentioned during this one; starting around 20 minutes in, there was extensive discussion about how this should be monitored and what if it’s not as successful as they hope. (See for yourself, here.)
Announced today by the West Seattle Junction Association – the music lineup for this year’s West Seattle Summer Fest (co-sponsored by WSB), coming up July 12-13-14; see it here. Kicking it all off, Caspar Babypants at 11 am Friday 7/12. Other highlights include Not Dead Yet, Hobosexual, and the Rat City Brass. Meantime, you can find the vendor/organization list here (you’ll find us in the Information Booth at the heart of the festival zone again this year). As always, West Seattle Summer Fest is a three-day extravaganza that’ll be out in the street on California SW between SW Edmunds and points just north of SW Oregon, as well as on SW Alaska between 44th SW and 42nd SW. And there’s a pre-funk too – the night before Summer Fest, on Thursday, July 11th, the streets will close for setup and it’s a great time to wander while enjoying the West Seattle Art Walk‘s Junction venues.
ADDED 3:38 PM: Some other notes – starting with, the food. This year the food court is on SW Alaska east of California, instead of west as in past years. And yes, deep-fried PB&J sandwich provider Peanut Butter Goodness is back.
Big house-fire callout to Genesee Hill – 4100 block of 47th SW. First engine on scene reports nothing visible – turns out to be “food on the stove.” We’re en route to doublecheck, but just letting you know, in case you saw the big response, that’s what it’s about.
Congratulations to West Seattleite Bob Lunke (inset photo), retired U.S. Army Reserve Lt. Colonel, who is among the first group of veterans to become King County HERO Program graduates, honored by County Executive Dow Constantine and County Councilmembers this morning. The official announcement explains that the county “is assisting veterans making the transition to civilian work through the Heroes Employment Reintegration Opportunity (HERO) Program. The program offers six-month paid internships to qualified veterans, along with support services tailored to men and women re-entering the civilian workforce.” The county says Lt. Col. (ret.) Lunke interned with the Community and Human Services Department’s Community Services Division; his military service started with Army ROTC at the UW in 1980 and continued with 30 years in the Army Reserve, including four tours of duty in South Korea and two in Iraq. You might also know him as co-owner of West Seattle’s OutWest Bar! You can find out more about the county’s program for veterans by going here.
Thanks to Tom Erler from Restoration Logistics LLC for sharing the photo of their work today with Puget Soundkeeper Alliance at Lincoln Park. As previewed here Sunday, it’s a creosote cleanup – he says they’re “removing at least 2 tons worth of creosote & pressure treated debris from Lincoln Park beach. Work started at 7:30 and (is) continuing until mid-afternoon.” (There was a similar cleanup at Lincoln Park last year, too.)
Historical side note pointed out by a reader regarding the creosote industry in the area in general: The enterprises of the Colman family, whose many local contributions included Lincoln Park’s popular outdoor Colman Pool, included a creosote company that was founded downtown and, as noted in this HistoryLink article, later moved to West Seattle. Under later ownership, it eventually became a Superfund cleanup site and is now home to Jack Block Park and adjacent Port of Seattle container facilities.
ADDED TUESDAY MORNING: One more photo from Tom Erler:
He says that by the time they were done, the removal totaled closer to 4 tons!
New information from Gigabit Squared for the first time since the excitement over its announcement four months ago that its plans for mega-fast Internet service would include West Seattle as one of 14 “demonstration neighborhoods.” (Here’s our February report.) This morning, GB2 sent a news release with its projected pricing when it launches its first neighborhoods (listed as the West Campus District, First Hill, Capitol Hill , and Central Area). You can read the full news release on the GB2 website; here are the toplines, and their reply to our WS-specific followup:
Thanks to Lynn Hall for sharing that photo of ferry traffic this morning in the Luna/Anchor Park area. The ferry under tow – M/V Evergreen State – was headed for scheduled work at Vigor Shipyards on Harbor Island; the other one is the M/V Kaleetan, currently on the Seattle-Bremerton run. Activities both on the shore and inland are part of today’s list of highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
LOWEST TIDE OF THE SUMMER: -3.7 feet is as far out as the tide is going this summer, and today is the second consecutive day you’ll see that along our shore – 12:06 pm, to be specific. Beach naturalists will be out 10 am-2 pm at Constellation and Lincoln Parks, as noted in this look at the Sunday low-low tide.
COUNCIL VOTE ON ‘NICKELSVILLE’: As reported here last week, the City Council is to vote at 2 pm today on giving a not-yet-specified agency $500,000 to manage the relocation of “Nickelsville” encampment residents so the site can be cleared by September 1st. (City Hall; live on Seattle Channel)
DELRIDGE GROCERY: With a year until the co-op grocery store is scheduled to open in DESC’s new Delridge Supportive Housing building, the focus for tonight’s meeting at Delridge Library is on fundraising – details in the calendar listing. 6:30 pm; all welcome. (5423 Delridge Way SW)
QUICKSTART TENNIS: This program to help kids learn tennis fun and fast is scheduled to start tonight at community centers around the city – info here (including how to register).
(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; other cameras are on the WSB Traffic page)
7:28 AM: Stormy for a summer day, anyway, rainy and breezy. Updates as we get them.
7:45 AM UPDATE: Just confirmed a tree down on 48th SW between Seaview and Lowman Beach (map).
The road’s still open – the tree is in the uphill lanes.
9:11 AM: Problem on northbound 99 – Deborra reports “a police car with lights flashing on left lane northbound 99 just south of the ferry terminal, traffic backing up.” The backup is clearly visible on the 99/Lander camera on the WSB Traffic page.