West Seattle, Washington
Thanks to Karin for the photo and report from West Seattle High School‘s first soccer win of the season today:
WSHS girls’ varsity soccer team beat Ingraham 3-0 today in their first league game of the season. Annie Murphy, Olivia Williams, and Lindsey Hage each scored goals for the Wildcats. Next game is a big one against Nathan Hale on Sept. 19: Varsity at 3:30 p.m. at Walt Hundley Playfield, and JV at 3:30 p.m. at Addams Playfield. Go, Wildcats!
Here are the game stats from our partners at The Seattle Times.
Got a call from SPD (late this afternoon) that the Volvo had been spotted and verified by an officer to be on 29th between Cambridge and Barton – less than 1000 feet from where it had been taken. Nothing missing and so far it seems to run with no differences. Glovebox was locked as it had been when reported missing. My wife suspects a new computer-based theft tool was being tested – the 1999 S70 is the first Volvo to have a chip required for the ignition to start.
And we just heard from Karen, whose twice-stolen car is back:
1998 Honda CRV you posted on this a.m. has been recovered approximately 1 1/2 miles from where it was stolen. Thanks to West Seattle resident who called it in to police. No damage.
P.S. Our report on tonight’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting – no bombshells, but a wide-ranging discussion of area concerns/trends – will be up sometime tomorrow.
Thanks to Mike Russell for that photo, which he captioned: “First flight of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, as seen from West Seattle just before landing.” That landing was at 4:17 pm, according to our partners at The Seattle Times, five hours after the jet left Paine Field in Everett – their story’s here.
4:30 PM: Seattle Public Schools is out with its “Growth Boundaries” proposal, and there’s one big headline for West Seattle (along with multiple others): The plan includes the community-driven suggestion that West Seattle’s STEM school, in its second year, stay at Boren and become K-8 STEM at Boren “in the future.”
STEM parent representatives are here (in scarves, in our photo) – they just heard, and they’re smiling. Boren was intended to be the school’s temporary home, and you might recall that the district had proposed in May that the current Schmitz Park Elementary campus become STEM’s permanent home when it’s vacated after the completion of the new school at Genesee Hill. The STEM PTA counterproposed last month that either they move into Fairmount Park Elementary when it’s reopened, or that they stay at Boren and expand to a K-8. They got key community support too, from groups including the North Delridge Neighborhood Council. And now – that’s the draft proposal.
Fairmount Park, meantime, is still proposed as a neighborhood school once it reopens next fall – its expansion and upgrade work is under way right now:
And here are the newly proposed West Seattle attendance maps – first, for the Madison service area, which would include Fairmount Park:
FP is also proposed as part of an “optional” West Seattle pathway for students in the top-level-gifted APP program:
And here’s the other attendance-area map, showing what feeds into Denny:
(ADDED: Even more detailed maps are posted now on the district website – one for each individual school – see those here)
(back to original report) The plan also proposes:
*The current Schmitz Park Elementary campus would become an “early learning center”
*The former EC Hughes – which Westside School (WSB sponsor) will vacate after finishing their new campus – will become the “emergency/interim” campus that Boren had been
Meantime, we are at the School Board work session that is about to start, with lots more information about what is being proposed here, and we will be reporting here “live” as it happens – stand by!
4:37 PM: The board briefing is under way. They’ve been told that the citywide changes proposed today would unfold between now and 2020-2021 – “not all at once.” We’ll add more document links as soon as we can. First group of topics is special services, including “academically gifted” (APP), and the new proposal for an “optional pathway” at Fairmount Park and Madison is explained as taking some pressure, potentially, off the existing south pathway (Thurgood Marshall to Washington); the north region is proposed for two full pathways but the south APP numbers are described as too big for one, not big enough for two.
4:47 PM: The full West Seattle-area International School pathway is now proposed too: Concord or Highland Park (both remaining primarily “attendance area” schools as well) to Denny to Sealth. Next: Elaboration on STEM, and the proposal for K-5 STEM at Boren to become permanent as eventually K-8 STEM at Boren – the timeline for expansion, district managers explain, would be tied to the need for Arbor Heights to co-locate at Boren over the next two school years while its school is rebuilt. Asked to specify a year, district managers say 6th grade would (under this plan – which isn’t final yet) start in (updated, per document) 2015-16, with 7th added 2016-17, 8th added 2017-18. They point out, a few minutes later – as had been noted in the proposal from the STEM PTA – that this plan means there will be an option school in each of West Seattle’s two service areas, Madison (Pathfinder K-8) and Denny (now, K-8 STEM).
5:17 PM: No updates re: West Seattle because the board had just spent a lot of time extensively discussing one proposal for another part of town (re: Pinehurst K-8). But now it’s time for some general discussion on the program proposals districtwide – and board member Michael DeBell said he’s particularly pleased about the K-8 STEM recommendation. Meantime, we should note that West Seattle’s board member Marty McLaren is not here because she is ill.
5:34 PM: Now they’re on to the boundaries – see the maps higher up in this story. One line on the overview: “Strong emphasis on continuity of current elementary attendance area boundaries” – of course, in West Seattle, there will be some change with Fairmount Park becoming an attendance-area elementary when it reopens next fall.
6:07 PM: The boundaries were not discussed in detail – so we don’t have any extra enlightenment to share beyond the maps shown above (click here to see larger sizes – it’s the “map packet” sent out to media earlier). One West Seattle datapoint here – district managers are suggesting “implement(ing the) optional APP pathway in West Seattle to mitigate Washington MS APP enrollment growth until Meany BEX IV project is completed.” One more reminder – these are all proposals, and not final until the board’s votes following a round of public meetings that’s about to start.
Now a few more Southwest-area details – district managers correct their earlier verbal mention of the start date for middle school at Boren; as the documentation says, they’re proposing fall 2015 for 6th grade to start there. The Arbor Heights co-location over the next two school years (fall 2014 to summer 2016) would be the last “interim” usage of Boren, and EC Hughes (once Westside leaves) would become the interim/emergency space in this area. (It was used that way before Westside leased and renovated it.)
6:28 PM: Tracy Libros from district staff warns “this isn’t going to fix everything – it’s going to get worse before it gets better” regarding handling growth. Meantime, as meeting wraps up, a reminder that the LONE community meeting planned in West Seattle to go over all this is one week from tomorrow, Wednesday 9/25, 6:30 pm, in the commons at West Seattle High School (3000 California SW). If you have questions or comments, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The meeting’s a wrap.
1 PM: We’re at the Senior Center of West Seattle, where the upstairs meeting hall is filled with people here to see and hear the two men vying to run Seattle for the next four years, Mayor Mike McGinn and State Sen. Ed Murray. This is expected to last an hour; we will be updating here live. We also are rolling video, so if all works out, we’ll be able to add that to this later. (ADDED 3:32 PM: Here it is, in its entirety, starting with the center’s executive director Karen Sisson and moderator Lucy Gaskill-Gaddis:)
1:05 PM: Five-minute opening remarks from each candidate, starting with McGinn. He goes through introductory comments – why he ran four years ago, how he took off in the “deepest economic recession since the Great Depression.” He contends Seattle has the “fastest-growing urban economy in the nation.” After listing a few other things, he reiterates, “We DO have economic growth.” He says they made a promise to neighborhoods like West Seattle that have been “accepting growth,” promises not yet kept, such as how transportation and other infrastructure will be handled. He mentions that Sound Transit (whose board he’s on) is studying getting light rail to West Seattle. He says, “I want to invest in all our neighborhoods,” including making it “safe to walk.” His 5 minutes are up.
1:11 PM: Now, Murray’s introduction. He gets quickly to his West Seattle roots, including his time at Holy Rosary School, and how he doorbelled with his mom when he was five “for John Kennedy for president.” He says “West Seattle is a special place,” and promises it “won’t be an afterthought” if he is elected. Moving on to his legislative work, he says he is working with seniors’ best interest in mind – he talks about regulation for home-health-care workers. As for why he’s running for mayor, he touts himself as “bring(ing) people together … I think Seattle is craving leadership that is willing to sit people down at a table” to find solutions “not just ideologically based, but (to) move us forward as a city.” Then: “This is a city that has a public safety problem … a transportation problem .. that cannot be blamed on the Legislature alone …” He mentions Tatsuo Nakata (not by name)’s death at the 47th/Admiral crosswalk in 2006, and accuses McGinn of “resistance” to the long-sought-after crosswalk there. The mayor says “That’s false.” (Here’s what happened: He had proposed money for a beacon and to study a traffic signal there; the City Council then upgraded that to full funding of a signal.)
1:15 PM: Now to Q/A. Audience members have filled out cards with questions. First one read by moderator Lucy Gaskill Gaddis: Transportation problems and density with many apartments on the way and Metro facing more cuts. “What practical solution do you advocate” to those, she asks. Murray first: “We’re going to have to create a high-tech war room of (many jurisdictions’) officials” to make sure that traffic can move through. He says he’s feeling “positive” about a transportation solution in the Legislature. He says “you can’t starve cars without transit to replace it.” Next, McGinn – he starts with an attempt at correcting Murray regarding the 47th/Admiral light, and touts current paving projects that are under way such as Delridge. Then: “This tunnel project … isn’t going to do that much for us in the long run.” Transit is the only way to solve things, he says. He says “a legislative session or something else” is needed to solve things. “Our local transit money is being held hostage to highway projects around the state.”
(EDITOR’S POST-DEBATE NOTE: Here’s our coverage of what happened re: the signal)
Murray rebuttal: “You can bash Olympia or you can choose to work with Olympia. Your senators (state) are not the reason transportation is not moving forward … What we’re missing is a partnership with the city of Seattle,” instead of bashing Olympia.
McGinn rebuttal: He says the legislature has “underfunded” many things. He addresses Murray directly: “You couldn’t keep control of the Senate, you couldn’t manage the budget … I’m not blaming everyone in Olympia … that was your job to keep the majority.”
1:24 PM: New question: What role do communities and social issues play in land use policy and development? First McGinn: Affordability is important. He says he’s appointed a stakeholder committee that’s drawing up a report. “If you ask for too much, (developers) won’t use the incentives to build affordable housing.” He gets quickly to the Whole Foods/4755 Fauntleroy Way SW alley-vacation opposition and why he thinks that wages are important.
Murray: He says he supports the concept of what the mayor did but “not how (he) did it” – after sighing, “The attacks go on.” He also responds to something McGinn said earlier regarding accountability and goes on to point out city fraud – rather than replying to the question that the moderator had asked.
New question: Public safety, and what will they do about it? Murray first brings up the Justice Department/Seattle Police situation, going back to the beginning, and suggests that the city fought the feds and instead led to “years of a police force that was in turmoil… and remains in turmoil.” And: “We have to admit we have a problem … not all crime is down in all parts of the city … We have to move forward on public safety” and mentions a Junction business walkthrough and hearing from businesses: “The same thing I hear from downtown, the same concerns.”
McGinn: “I would love to have a discussion about the future … but Sen. Murray’s campaign has not been about the idea, it’s about saying I can’t get things done, I can’t work with people. … Let’s talk about crime. When I took office, we did in fact have a police department not trusted by the community.” He says he took action including bringing in a Community Police Commission. And he touts the announcement earlier today of 15 more officers to be added. He says Murray passed bills that put felons on the street without dealing with mental-health issues. Murray rebuttal: This year, we expanded social services bigger than anything since the Johnson Administration, and mentions a Medicaid expansion which will mean “mental health funding … for people on the streets.” And he talks about people being released because they are “not violent offenders” after being accused of having “too many people” behind bars … “we were able to close an entire juvenile facility because we could put them in programs with best practices.” McGinn rebuttal: “I was referring to Senate Bill 5891 … with respect to mental-health services … we do have a situation where this state is 50th in terms of mental-health beds available.” He says interim Police Chief Pugel testified about the situation in Olympia, and a bill is pending to eliminate a tax exemption for tourists, to use the money to spend on mental health – “But the business community objected, the same business community that’s funding his campaign.” He accuses Murray of “pretty neat trick” to vote to let felons out without voting for mental-health funding.
1:37 PM: New question: What will you do or have you done to preserve industrial job base? McGinn: Funding a freight master plan, working with the Port to mitigate traffic impacts … “When you cross the West Seattle Bridge, you’ll see the new Harley Marine building … we changed the rules for that …” to accommodate their headquarters. He says he is working on job training because he hears from industrial firms that they need qualified people. “We’re fortunate to have multiple thriving sectors.”
Murray: “This city’s traditional industrial industry is a key part of the future of our economy … Preserving and growing that has not been a priority of this administration.” He says that both the SODO and Ballard industrial areas should be addressed with plans, and mentions the possible sports arena (which McGinn did not mention) could affect industry and that should be dealt with. He also mentions that Nucor’s predecessor, Bethehem Steel, is where his father worked. He says he would work with the Port to “design a brand-new industrial plan.” He then brings up the mayor’s claim about campaign funding: “(He) inferred my supporters are rich” and mentions supporters who are not. He says he’s “not trying to divide the city by saying ‘he’s the rich guy'” … “I’m not trying to divide this city.”
1:41 PM: Last question, budget priorities for the city? Murray: “Serious inventory of our infrastructure – not just the roads and streets, but also (utilities) …. when infrastructure fails, it’s the poor and elderly who get stuck. You can see it in New Orleans, you can see it back east … #2, public safety … #3, deal with the backlog of major maintenance … of crumbling sidewalks and streets … Then he mentions he’d like to see some of the talent from past administrations come back “so that our budget will be a sustainable budget and not a budget where you read about … fraud that was never addressed.” McGinn: “We discovered that fraud, removed that person …” And then he accuses Murray of not taking responsibility for an issue he had to deal with. “Our big challenge is that we are a growing city and not everyone gets to share in that prosperity … What we’re doing: #1, Early Learning Academy … working with the council on a plan for universal preschool … We’ve increased our spending on basic infrastructure 37% in the past (few) years even without new funding from the state … Transit Master Plan, working to get Sound Transit to the ballot by 2016 so our neighborhoods will get the transit they need … If the state won’t act (on transportation) we’ll figure out how to get the money we need.” He mentions again his roots as a neighborhood activist.
1:46 PM: Murray’s five minutes of closing remarks: He compliments the WS Senior Center for reaching out to LGBT seniors. “As I mentioned before, I have worked in Olympia for 18 years,” and he mentions that it took a long time for some things to get done, like the 17 years it took to pass marriage equality. “That’s what Olympia is like … you have to get people to the table…that’s why I want to be mayor … that’s the kind of leadership Seattle is craving.” He mentions he’s been endorsed by several City Councilmembers, “unusual when you have an incumbent who’s running.” He says West Seattle legislators have endorsed him as has County Councilmember Joe McDermott and the 34th District Democrats: “it’s good to be home in West Seattle … I want to work to bring this city together … I want to be a mayor who doesn’t spend two years fighting with the state over the viaduct.” He accuses McGinn of waiting four years to announce programs and says he will make announcements from the start. He says he grew up here as a “poor kid,” if “that kid from 61st Street would grow up to be the mayor of Seattle.”
1:50 PM: McGinn’s closing remarks – he says yes, Murray’s been a uniter, and rattles off corporation names. Then he says, yes, we all get contributions from all over the place. He says, “We’ve gotten a lot done … leading the nation in jobs … innovative new programs to hire local workers … doubled the Families and Education Levy … all of our libraries open on Sundays … rebuilding the Rainy Day Fund … and none of those things happened all by themselves … it took a team of people, the mayor and City Council .. to get them done … imagine what we can do if … I’ve been to ‘mayor’s school’. … I have made myself available, held myself accountable, passionate about this job, working to divest from fossil fuels, want universal preschool ….This city can be a leader demonstrating what it means to the world to live as a multicultural society … and other cities will look at us and say, ‘We want to be that city.’ … I would love to continue to be your mayor.”
1:53 PM: The forum is over and the two shake hands. A few minutes of mingling is promised for the standing-room only crowd. It was intense and lively and pointed; our words cannot quite convey it as well as the video will, and we will upload it as soon as we get back to HQ.
For the first time in five years, Southwest Youth and Family Services‘ annual gala will feature a guest speaker who’s not only famous in his own right, but near and dear to SWYFS’s longtime leader Steve Daschle … his brother, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. The gala is 5:30-8:30 pm this Saturday at The Hall at Fauntleroy; tickets are still available here. In advance of his return to West Seattle, Sen. Daschle spent a few minutes chatting with WSB by phone from Washington, D.C. – read on:
That trailer is one of several signs suggesting that major work is imminent at the Equity Residential development site at California/Alaska/42nd. The former retail buildings on the site have been vacant for more than a year, with their previous tenants told to clear out by the end of July last year so the project could get going – then various dates for demolition slipped by, and the company finally stopped commenting publicly. Some wondered if it would somehow lie inactive and empty for years, something like a reverse version of Spruce, the former “Hole” (now well under way a few blocks east). But more of its permits have just been issued, like this one issued Friday, and a source close to another area development says they’ve been notified demolition is expected to start in the next two weeks. Here’s another sign:
On Saturday, Seattle Fire crews were working inside the west building, at California/Alaska; they told us they were holding drills, which is not uncommon for buildings on the brink of demolition (for which permits were issued last fall). The project, in case you’ve lost track, started under former owners Conner Homes, which sold the site to Chicago-based Equity Residential for $11 million in December 2011, after getting design approval and an (underground) alley vacation; it’s planned for two 7-story buildings totaling about 200 apartments, with ground-level retail and an underground parking garage with ~265 spaces. (Equity has not responded to our repeated requests for comment on the project’s status.)
In about two hours, Mayor Mike McGinn will be in West Seattle for a campaign forum with challenger State Sen. Ed Murray (details in our daily preview). Right now, he’s just wrapping up another announcement about what will be in his 2014 budget proposal, to be unveiled in its entirety next week. Here’s the news release, which also includes word of SPD’s new Code of Ethics:
Today at Atlantic Street Center, Mayor Mike McGinn announced funding for 15 new police officers in the 2014 Proposed Budget.
Be on the lookout for Karen‘s car – stolen again:
Stolen last night from front of house 7300 block of 29th SW, 1998 RED HONDA CRV with roof bike rack and bike rack (Thule) attached to back spare tire. Police report filed. This car was stolen almost a year ago and found 11 days later, 16 blocks away.
Those seven thefts (the circle with a “2” in it denotes a car theft and a different crime) were reported between the 10th (last Tuesday) and 16th (yesterday). Car-theft details are not made available, so if it ever happens to you (we hope not!), please do what Karen did and send us the basics so we can help get the word out. One theft per day is average in this area, according to the past few months of online stats.
(Susana shared the photo husband Brian Meister took on Saturday)
Word of the day: Meetings – some that matter to West Seattle are not *IN* West Seattle. News will emerge from most if not all of them. All are open to the public, in case you are interested in hearing/seeing for yourself, firsthand. And we have a few other highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, starting with a side-by-side look at the mayoral-election rivals:
MAYORAL FORUM IN WEST SEATTLE: The McGinn-vs.-Murray battle comes to West Seattle this afternoon for the first (and only, so far as we have heard) time in the general-election campaign, with vote-counting just 7 weeks away, vote-casting starting sooner. Public’s welcome – 1 pm at West Seattle Senior Center. (California/Oregon)
VIADUCT STAKEHOLDER ADVISORY GROUP: The community stakeholders groups that now have a joint meeting quarterly (or so) will get together today 4-6 pm at Safeco Field‘s Ellis Pavilion to hear the latest on topics including the about-to-resume tunnel-boring process.
SCHOOL DISTRICT BOUNDARIES ETC.: Another not-in-West-Seattle-but-of-major-interest meeting is happening in downtown – at 4:30 pm, the Seattle School Board meets for a work session on the long-awaited “growth boundaries” draft, which will redraw some boundaries for next school year and – of particular interest here – either change or reaffirm the district’s previously voiced intent of making Fairmount Park Elementary a neighborhood school when it reopens, expanded, in fall 2014. The K-5 STEM community is waiting to hear results of its campaign to either move to FP (instead of the district-proposed Schmitz Park, when it is vacated in 2016) or stay at Boren with room to become a K-8. The district is offering an embargoed media briefing late this morning but saying it will not publicly release the proposal until the start of the board meeting. It’s open to the public, but does *not* include a public-comment period. 4:30 pm, district HQ. (3rd/Lander)
TRANSIT/TRANSPORTATION MEETING: Will the State Legislature take action on transportation money before its next session – possibly helping Metro Transit avoid cuts? The Senate Transportation Committee is touring the state to see what people have to say, and the first metro-area meeting is tonight in Bellevue, 6-9 pm. (Stevenson Elementary, 14220 NE 8th)
JUNCTION NEIGHBORHOOD ORGANIZATION: 6:30 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle, the third meeting of the relaunched community council for The Junction and The Triangle. Development-related topics – and how to make sense of processes like alley vacation – are on the agenda, which is detailed in our calendar listing. All welcome. (California/Oregon)
CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL: 7 pm at the Southwest Precinct, the WSCPC is back from summer break. You’ll hear about crime trends, as well as hearing from tonight’s guests, the principals of adjoining Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School, and there is an opportunity to bring up your neighborhood concerns, too. (Delridge/Webster)
LIVE AT EASY STREET RECORDS: Campfire OK performs at 7 pm, live, in-store, free, all ages. (California/Alaska)
ALAUDA BELLYDANCE SHOWCASE: Tonight marks its fourth anniversary at Skylark Café and Club, 7:30 pm, free/all ages. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; other cameras are on the WSB Traffic page)
Nothing out of the ordinary in this morning’s commute so far. Road work reminder – SW Orchard between Delridge and Sylvan is now closed westbound, as part of the main page for the Delridge Repaving Project. Later this week, the ramp from northbound I-5 to the West Seattle Bridge will be closed overnight Thursday night-Friday morning for expansion-joint work, and then all weekend, 7 pm Friday-early Monday.
7:52 AM: And if you will find yourself driving in or near downtown late tonight/early tomorrow, two not-far-from-here closures you might want to be aware of: Up to 3 lanes of northbound I-5 are closing at Mercer, 9 pm-5 am, per WSDOT; northbound 99 will be closed from the Battery Street Tunnel northward to Valley St, 10 pm-5 am.
9:07 AM: Thanks to those who tipped us to a crash at California/Oregon; Kelly tweeted a photo:
— Kelly Donovan (@kdbokay) September 17, 2013
California northbound was briefly blocked at the scene, per scanner traffic, but no serious injuries reported.