West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Less than a year into its existence, the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council has taken on some of the area’s thorniest issues – safety in Roxhill Park, Westwood Village, and environs.
Chair Amanda Kay Helmick called it “the meat of the meeting” for WWRHAH last night; she was one of the volunteers who helped build Roxhill’s new Castle Park playground and says she’s there with her family at least three times a week. She wants to apply for a grant for the park – but wants public input “what should we do with the money?”
That opened a discussion about the park’s components – which go far beyond the newly renovated playground and the newly installed skatepark. Safety topped the list because of incidents in recent months from armed robberies to an incident just last weekend in which someone was threatened with a knife at the playground.
The discussion led to revelations including a Seattle Police announcement that the park now has regular foot patrols.
Again this year, West Seattle American Legion Post 160 and Auxiliary are inviting local veterans and their families – all branches, active duty or reserve – to a free dinner commemorating Veterans Day. The gourmet Italian dinner will be served 5-8 pm this Sunday night (November 10) at the West Seattle Veterans’ Center (longtime home to Post 160), 3618 SW Alaska in The Triangle. Here’s more info via the official flyer.
We’ve been hearing for a while about a major slowdown on southbound 99 headed this way, and now we know why – a crash right at the bridge. One WSB’er who passed it while riding Metro Route 55 reports, “There is a three-car accident in the left lane, just before the WS Bridge ramp. An ambulance and cop are on the scene. Avoid the area!”
Almost a year has passed since Life Care Center announced it would close its nursing home at 47th/Admiral, and we finally know a bit about the 1 1/2-acre site’s future, the source of much speculation and more than a few questions. For some weeks, the real-estate listing has had the notation “pending” – as in “sale pending” – but there’s no public information until the sale closes, so we’ve just kept watching public records. Then a WSB reader pointed us to a recent magazine interview in which the CEO of Redmond-headquartered Aegis Living mentioned the company had property in West Seattle. Today, a company spokesperson confirmed that Aegis “has the property under contract.” For further details on their plan – whether renovation or new construction – we’re awaiting an interview with CEO Dwayne Clark later this month; no applications are in city records yet. Aegis Living has 14 locations in the Puget Sound area, in addition to 15 in California and one in Nevada, and describes itself as “a leader in assisted living and memory care.”
WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON: If you liked last Saturday’s weather – stand by for a possible encore tomorrow. The National Weather Service has just announced a wind advisory will be in effect for our area and the rest of the Western Washington lowlands, 3 am to 8 pm tomorrow. Right now, the alert – read it here in its entirety – forecasts wind out of the south, 20-30 mph with possible gusts to 45. (Last Saturday’s peak gusts were around 60.) We’ll update here if the forecast changes with the NWS’s next review cycle this evening.
THURSDAY MORNING: Overnight, NWS pushed the advisory back, to 7 am-8 pm Thursday – here’s the new text.
(Photos by Christopher Boffoli for WSB – initial cameraphone photos replaced Wed. evening)
2:12 PM: There’s a report of a crash on the Admiral Way hill north of the bridge, 3500 block, with a major emergency response. We’re on our way to find out more.
2:21 PM: Added a photo. We don’t know yet about the condition of anyone who had been in the vehicle.
2:28 PM: Christopher Boffoli reports from the scene that the driver of the car, a Nissan Z, got himself out of the wreckage and does not seem to be seriously hurt. Both Christopher and co-publisher Patrick Sand, also there, report that some traffic is getting around the scene – but we’d still advise avoiding the area if you can.
5:04 PM UPDATE: The scene cleared some time ago, as noted by a commenter (we have since driven through the area as well).
A second vehicle was involved; we asked Seattle Fire spokesperson Kyle Moore about the drivers’ conditions, and he replied, “AMR transported a male in his 30’s in stable condition with minor scrapes to HMC. He was from the car that was rolled over. The female driver of the other car declined treatment or transport.”
Don’t lose that election spirit yet! Less than 24 hours are left in a quick-and-easy online vote – and one of the three candidates is the West Seattle woman featured in the video you see above, Tari Coffey. She is a finalist to become Verity Credit Union‘s next “Verity Mom” – a yearlong role. And as you can see in Tari’s video, her campaign includes promoting West Seattle! Voting ends at noon tomorrow. The vote has NO strings attached – no requirement to “like” or sign up for anything – just go here.
On the same day that one of King County’s two current combined-sewer-overflow-reduction projects in West Seattle will be the subject of a pre-construction meeting (see our West Seattle Wednesday preview), the other one enters a new phase. As part of the Barton CSO project in Westwood and Sunrise Heights, 24 trees that will be transplanted into new homes – some public right-of-way, some private property – over the next three weeks, as a three-person contractor crew works to dig them up and move them, starting today. The transplants are meant to ensure the trees won’t be destroyed to make way for the bioswales/raingardens that the county is installing, starting next March, to capture rainwater before it gets into the combined-sewer system, therefore helping to keep millions of gallons of raw-sewage-contaminated water from overflowing into Puget Sound when the Barton Pump Station gets overloaded during storms. As shown in the photo we took this morning, the trees that are to be transplanted have been marked with ribbons and notes.
You might have noticed that some demolition work started today at 4755 Fauntleroy Way – aka the Whole Foods (and ~370 apartments as well as other retail) site – but that does not mean the project has its final approvals, and it has nothing to do with the results of last night’s mayoral election (you might recall that the “alley vacation” needed for the project became a campaign issue, when Mayor McGinn told SDOT not to approve it). What’s happening here, a project spokesperson told WSB today, is demolition of the former gas station on the Fauntleroy/Alaska corner, so that its tanks can be dug up and the site can be cleaned up.
This work will take about three weeks, according to the project spokesperson. (Even if the site had remained under its previous ownership, the tanks were slated for removal and replacement – we had been watching permits and processes there for a long time.) As for the aforementioned alley vacation, it still has to go before the City Council Transportation Committee, which wouldn’t happen any sooner than next month. As SDOT’s street/alley-vacation specialist Beverly Barnett told the Junction Neighborhood Organization in September, the proposal remains open for public comment.
(Photo by Mark Wangerin – common loon snacking on a starry flounder)
Before we get any further into Wednesday – highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
MADISON MIDDLE SCHOOL BOOKFAIR: One of the school fundraisers we’re spotlighting is the Madison Middle School Bookfair – and in addition to on-campus purchase opportunities, there’s a way to participate online too – explained in our calendar item.
‘GROWTH BOUNDARIES’ THIRD DRAFT AT SCHOOL BOARD MEETING: While the vote is two weeks away, the introduction of the third and potentially final draft of the “Growth Boundaries” for Seattle Public Schools happens at tonight’s meeting. (Here’s our report from Friday, when the draft was published – read the comments for more info from people who’ve been reviewing it.) The meeting starts at 4:15 pm, but this isn’t until the 6 pm (and beyond) section, which also includes the Intermediate Capacity-Management Plan, featuring the designation of E.C. Hughes as a future emergency site and the change of Boren to be the permanent home of K-5 (future K-8) STEM. Here’s the agenda. (3rd/Lander – comments also are still being taken at email@example.com)
MURRAY CSO ‘PRE-CONSTRUCTION MEETING’: Before construction gets going on the Murray Combined Sewer Overflow Control storage-tank project across from Lowman Beach Park, King County Wastewater Treatment Division invites you to a meeting tonight for information and Q/A re: what’s about to happen. Fauntleroy Church, 6:30 pm. (9140 California SW)
SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: Tonight’s meeting includes a briefing on the city’s move toward requiring owners of unreinforced-brick buildings to retrofit them for earthquake safety, as previewed here last weekend. The council also will talk about new leadership for next year. 6:30 pm, Southwest Teen Life Center. (2801 SW Thistle)
‘POWER OF PARENTS’ AT WSHS PTSA: As previewed here earlier, the West Seattle High School PTSA invites the community to a “Power of Parents” workshop during tonight’s meeting, 7 pm in the school library. (3000 California SW)
ALSO AT WSHS – ‘DIARY OF ANNE FRANK’: The West Seattle High School Drama Club production – previewed here earlier this week – continues tonight, 7:30 pm, at the WSHS Theater. Details in our calendar listing. (3000 California SW)
MEDICAL MARIJUANA GROWERS’ MEETING: As noted here earlier this week, the new Association of Cannabis Breeders and Growers – working to keep the medical-marijuana industry from being rendered extinct by the new recreational-marijuana industry – is having its first meeting at 8 pm at the VFW Hall in The Triangle. (3601 SW Alaska)
See our calendar for even more of what’s up tonight, tomorrow, next week, next month, and beyond!
About 100 people came to Hope Lutheran last night for the safety presentation offered to the community in the wake of recent incidents near local schools. Leading it was Kim Estes of Savvy Parents Safe Kids, at center in our photo below with daughter Arden at left and Hope principal Kristen Okabayashi at right:
The heart of the advice: Small conversations you can have with your kids, frequently, as in shorter than a minute, just to help drive the message home.
Key points: Myths about people to be wary of – it’s not always some obviously scary-looking person; it might even be someone known to you. When difficult situations arise, talk calmly with your kids; they will be more open if they know you aren’t panicking and won’t be, and you’ll make more progress.
In particular, Estes promotes 10 rules which she suggests posting on your refrigerator or someplace else that you and your family can easily find and refer to them – see them here (you can download them from that link too).
Q/A after the presentation was dominated by technology-related questions – when is it OK for a child to have a cell phone or e-mail address? for example. Estes pointed out that 13 has been set by many services as the minimum age, and in her view, simple cell phones are a good idea as kids move into their middle-school years. But, she reiterated, it is vital to keep an eye on how your kids use phones/computers/technology.
It’s playoff time for many fall sports – and last night, we stopped by Southwest Athletic Complex as Metro League girls-varsity soccer teams including West Seattle High School played post-season games. The Wildcats – winners of so many shutouts during the regular season – were held scoreless by Seattle Prep, 2-0.
Their postseason continues Thursday; we’re still checking on schedules.
P.S. We appreciate time/place info on any and all playoff games involving other schools and sports; postseason schedules aren’t as easy to track down! firstname.lastname@example.org – and good luck to all!
(East-facing camera on the West Seattle Bridge; see other cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Some spot problems on northbound I-5 downtown in the past hour-plus, but all are reported cleared, and there’s no current word of anything else on the roads from here.
99 CLOSURES THIS WEEKEND: If you missed it Tuesday afternoon, here’s the latest reminder from WSDOT about what’s closing this weekend and when.
3 PM: Avoid the Admiral Way hill between the bridge and the viewpoint – there’s a flipped-car crash. Traffic’s getting through but slowly.
6:19 PM: If you haven’t seen our separate story, there’s a crash on southbound 99 right by the bridge exit.