day : 15/01/2014 9 results

West Seattle scene: First full moon of 2014

We are happy to be able to share this photo by Alki’s David Hutchinson. Just after sunset, we were walking along Don Armeni, where we found him staked out waiting to see if the moon would make this kind of appearance. No sighting by the time we moved on – but eventually, it showed up, spectacularly.

ADDED MONDAY MORNING: David shares this link with some trivia about last night’s full moon – and why it was nicknamed the “Minimoon.”

What will the Highway 99 tunnel tolls be? Draft recommendations focusing on $1 to $1.25

While WSDOT and its contractor deal with the issue of why the Highway 99 tunnel machine is stalled and how to get it unstalled – another matter is moving forward: Deciding how the tunnel will be tolled. The committee working on the issue met Tuesday afternoon, somewhat overshadowed by a major transportation announcement made elsewhere, so we followed up today.

The materials from the meeting are now available online. A final recommendation won’t be voted on until next month’s committee meeting, but right now, this slide deck and this text document lay out the case for this potential draft recommendation: $1 midday, overnight and weekends; $1.25 during peak periods, 6-9 am and 3-6 pm weekdays. To reduce “diversion,” they’re also looking at dropping it to 75 cents in the off-peak daytime hours, with a possible one-hour extension to weekday pm peak.

This would raise $1 billion over 30 years. Here’s how that might break out:

The committee is described as concerned with the cost of collecting the tolls – fully a third of what they bring in. And it’s looking at other ways to discourage diversion, including recommending studies of “regional tolling.” This may still evolve between now and next month’s meeting, February 19th.

Neighbor Appreciation Day: 3 West Seattle fire-station open houses

January 15, 2014 6:08 pm
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 |   Neighborhoods | West Seattle news

Plans are in the works for Seattle’s Neighbor Appreciation Day on February 8th – and fire-station open houses are among the most popular features every year. The schedule is out, and it looks like this year, you’ll be able to stop by Fire Station 11 at 16th/Holden in Highland Park, Fire Station 32 at 38th/Alaska in The Triangle, and/or Fire Station 37 at 35th/Holden in Sunrise Heights. Tour times on February 8th (a Saturday) will be 11 am-1 pm. What else can you do on Neighbor Appreciation Day? See the suggestions here (including e-card templates).

SPD shakeup: Southwest Precinct commander Kessler to become assistant chief

3:19 PM: Changes continue at the top in Seattle Police – and now there’s a West Seattle ripple effect: This afternoon multiple sources confirm to WSB that Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Joe Kessler is becoming an assistant chief. Just yesterday, he told us about the promotion of his second-in-command, Pierre Davis, to captain. This follows Mayor Ed Murray‘s recent announcement of Harry Bailey as interim chief, with previous interim chief Jim Pugel returning to assistant chief, a rank from which three men have recently or are about to have departed. No other details yet about exactly what this means for West Seattle police leadership, but we expect to find out more during next Tuesday’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting at the precinct, if not sooner. Kessler worked in the downtown administration before returning to lead the local precinct one year ago.

ADDED 7:02 PM: Capt. Davis confirms that he “will be commanding this precinct until other decisions are made.” And Assistant Chief Kessler’s promotion, among others, is now officially mentioned on SPD Blotter.

ADDED 10:29 PM: A farewell note from Kessler:

As I prepare to move once again from the Southwest Precinct, I would like to take a minute to thank all of you for allowing me to come back “home” again last year. After spending two and a half years as your Precinct Commander prior to my departure in 2010, it was my great pleasure to have the opportunity to come back to the Southwest Precinct and again serve this community.

The men and women of your Precinct bring a high level of professionalism and pride to their work.

It is only through your support and working together that creates the great environment that allows our officers to provide the quality of service you have come to expect. I have appreciated the hard work of you and our community leaders who have developed strong working relationships with our officers to make this community safe.

Again, it has been a pleasure to serve your community and thank you for your support and I look forward to working with you in the future.


A/Chief Joe Kessler
Southwest Precinct

Saturday afternoon set for James St. Clair’s Memorial Walk

(December 29th photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
The date and time are now set for the memorial walk in High Point honoring 69-year-old James St. Clair, hit and killed two and a half weeks ago at 35th and Graham. We reported last week on Seattle Neighborhood Greenways‘ plan for the walk, in connection with local groups including the High Point Neighborhood Association, and following HPNA’s meeting last night, it’s set for 1 pm this Saturday, January 18th, starting in front of High Point Branch Library (35th/Raymond). Participants will walk south to the crash site, and then two more blocks to Neighborhood House’s High Point Center to talk with city representatives about safer streets. SNG says the mayor’s office, SDOT, and SPD will participate.

Mr. St. Clair was the second person in seven years killed at that intersection; 27-year-old Susanne Scaringi died after her bicycle collided there with a car in 2006. In 2007, 85-year-old Oswald Clement was hit and killed at 35th/Othello; in 2008, 39-year-old Gregory Hampel lost his life near SW Dawson; in 2011, 24-year-old Andrew Seffernick died at 35th/Juneau. There have been repeated calls for safety improvements.

SNG says Mr. St. Clair, a member of the Tlingit people who had lived in High Point less than a month before his death but had been in Seattle more than 30 years, was born in Hoonah, Alaska. His brother, Oscar Jacob St. Clair, is quoted in the group’s announcement as describing James, who walked with a cane, as strong, independent, funny, and outgoing:

“I thank you from the bottom of my heart for recognizing Jim. For seeing all people, even poor people. Our family, my brothers and sisters, are in sorrow. I pray a positive light will happen because of this. A lot of people need to walk in the evening. They want to go to the grocery store like Jim did on his last night. I hope in his memory we see brighter lights, a stoplight, a safer community.”

More about Saturday’s memorial walk is on the SNG website, here.

Followup: Every-other-week garbage pickup? Briefing @ Admiral Neighborhood Association

Turns out last night’s Admiral Neighborhood Association briefing on the every-other-week garbage-pickup proposal was the only one on Seattle Public Utilities‘ schedule – because they’re the only group who asked for a briefing. So if you weren’t there, you missed your chance to ask questions – though SPU does have a wider-scope meeting next month in West Seattle; more on that shortly. Last night, ANA heard from SPU’s Brett Stav:

He recapped the pilot project in 2012 in four parts of the city, including a section of Highland Park. The full report on that can be read online via a link here; toplines were also part of his slide deck presented last night – see it in its entirety:

Seattle Public Utilities' every-other-week trash-pickup briefing at Admiral Neighborhood Association

Most of the questions Stav was asked centered on whether the project truly saves money – the city contends it could save up to $6 million a year. A concern brought up multiple times in WSB comments was voiced by ANA past president Katy Walum – the effect on people with small children who have diapers to dispose of. (That, as noted in the slide deck, aligns with some of the results from the pilot project – “higher satisfaction” with the every-other-week pickup was reported by homes with no diaper usage.) Current president David Whiting wondered what’s in it for people who are already working to reduce their trash.

The final decision is up to the City Council, which already took one action potentially paving the way, including a commitment to making a decision by this March, on whether to go citywide with every-other-week pickups starting a year after that. Two advisory committees already have reviewed the proposal; SPU says the Solid Waste Advisory Committee recommended doing it; its Customer Panel did not. Before going to the full council, it would likely go to the council’s Seattle Public Utilities and Neighborhoods Committee, chaired by Councilmember Sally Bagshaw. (Opinions? E-mail

Now, that February meeting. 6 pm February 13th, SPU will be at High Point Community Center (6920 34th SW). It’s about SPU’s “Strategic Business Plan,” regarding the future of the services the department provides – garbage, recycling, water, sewer, drainage. You don’t even have to wait for the meeting to have a say – here’s an online survey you can take right now.

2nd West Seattle Chess Tournament now open for student signups

January 15, 2014 10:03 am
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 |   Fun stuff to do | West Seattle news

(WSB photo, February 2013)
The second-annual West Seattle Chess Tournament is in the works for February 8th, and players from kindergarten through 8th grade are welcome to sign up starting now. Last year was the first year for this tournament hosted by the Schmitz Park Elementary Chess Club (in cooperation with the Lafayette Chess Club) and sponsored by ChessMates; SP is the site again, and players from all over the peninsula are welcome. Organizers say, “This is a great opportunity for children in West Seattle to try out a chess tournament in a local and intimate venue; all children are welcome, they need not have participated in a chess club.” For more info – on participation and/or supporting the tournament – e-mail coach Jeremy Higgins at

West Seattle Wednesday: Morgan, Delridge District meetings; WSHS student production; co-working; comedy…

Thanks to David Syferd for sharing the photo of a California sea lion he described as “a new Beach Drive neighbor.” Here are some ways you can get out and meet your human neighbors – or at least find out what they’re up to:

FREE CO-WORKING DAY: 10 am-3 pm, you are welcome to co-work for free at West Seattle Office Junction (WSB sponsor) – bring your work, your lunch, your collaborative spirit. (5230-B California SW)

TRANSPORTATION FORUM FOR ISSUES AFFECTING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: As previewed here on Tuesday, this discussion is set for 2 pm today at West Seattle (Admiral) Branch Library. (2306 California SW)

HIGH-SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Lots of it! From our preview of this week’s schedule: The Chief Sealth International High School girls’ basketball team is home tonight vs. Holy Names, 5:45 JV, 7:30 varsity; the Seattle Lutheran High School basketball teams are home vs. Bear Creek tonight, girls at 5:30 and boys at 7; the West Seattle High School girls are home tonight vs. Rainier Beach, JV 5:45 pm, varsity 7:30 pm.

MORGAN COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION: 16 items on tonight’s agenda for the quarterly meeting of MoCA – from development to the city’s “pedestrian-mapping” project to the date of this year’s Morgan Community Festivalsee it here. All welcome, downstairs meeting room at The Kenney (WSB sponsor), 7 pm. (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW)

DELRIDGE NEIGHBORHOODS DISTRICT COUNCIL: 7 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, with the agenda including the potential Seattle Parks ballot measure and whether district-council boundaries might change to align with the new City Council districts. (4408 Delridge Way SW)

‘THE BROTHERS GRIMM SPECTACULATHON’: West Seattle High School‘s student-directed winter show opens in the WSHS Theater tonight, 7:30 pm: “The fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm are turned on their heads in this fast-paced, rollicking ride as two narrators and several actors attempt to combine all 209 stories ranging from classics like Snow White, Cinderella, and Hansel and Gretel to more bizarre, obscure stories like The Devil’s Grandmother andThe Girl Without Hands.” More info here. (3000 California SW)

FREE COMEDY: Tonight’s the monthly comedy lineup at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), hosted by West Seattle’s own Mona Concepcion. 8 pm, free! See the lineup on the FL website. (6451 California SW)

FULL MOON: As noted in Alice Enevoldsen‘s most-recent Skies Over West Seattle report, tonight’s the full moon – check the moonrise/moonset times (hey, the sky COULD clear here and there) on the WSB Weather page.

MUCH, MUCH MORE … on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, for today AND tonight. Check it out!

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday updates

(Latest bridge and Viaduct views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Wednesday begins quietly. Updates as/if needed! Reminder – today, Seattle Public Schools get out two hours early, so watch for school buses, school zones, kids walking and riding bicycles, etc., earlier than usual.

8:08 AM: Slow going but no major problems. Two story links from Tuesday transportation coverage here, if you haven’t seen them already:

*County announces ballot proposal for Metro, road funding
*West Seattle Transportation Coalition Q/A with city, county, state reps

5:56 PM: For the homeward commute- crash on the westbound bridge, backing things up to I-5. Commenter “Enough” says it’s right by the 1st Avenue S. exit on the Spokane St. Viaduct section of the westbound bridge.