West Seattle, Washington
Why just have photos of your pet when you can have a painting – one done with love, because you did it yourself? When Krystal Kelley at Mind Unwind in The Admiral District mentioned a new class just launched there, we couldn’t resist asking for a photo. Krystal says “Paint Your Pet” is for all skill levels – bring a photo for inspiration, paint an 11×14 canvas, with instructors guiding you through a “grid process and basic acrylic painting techniques to ensure you have a recognizable painting.” Supplies included. 2 hours, $30, voila. Dates/times here.
(WSB photo from December 2012 Rotary Children’s Shopping Spree)
The impending closure of the historic Sears store in SODO (reported by The Seattle Times [WSB partner] Friday) has a West Seattle effect: The Rotary Club of West Seattle suddenly finds itself trying to figure out the future of its Children’s Holiday Shopping Spree, the club’s signature project for more than 40 years. Every year on the first Saturday in December, Rotarians and a volunteer force of hundreds have brought ~100 local kids to the store for a practical-yet-fun shopping event that also includes breakfast and lunch in the same building, as well as Santa photos and holiday songs. So when we heard about the closure news over the weekend, we sought out Rotary reaction; today, club spokesperson Dave Nichols tells WSB, “Our leadership was informed by the folks at Sears. We are gathering facts and options; our goal is to figure out a way to continue to serve our community as we always have.” According to the Times story, 79 people will lose their jobs when the store and the nearby Sears Auto Center close in June. There’s no word yet of another tenant for the space in the building, which is owned by Nitze-Stagen & Co.
Acting as the board of the newly created Transportation District, King County Councilmembers have officially voted to call an April 22nd vote on Proposition 1 – a car-tab fee ($40 more than what is charged now, since $20 of it replaces an expiring $20 fee) and sales-tax increase (1/10th of a percent) to raise money to cover the rest of Metro‘s funding gap and the cost of road repair/projects. Read the full text of what they approved here; for all the numbers, go here. Here’s how a county news release sums up what the measure will do if approved by voters:
·Increase the King County sales tax by 0.1 of a percent for ten years;
·Establish a $60 vehicle fee;
·Distribute 60 percent of the net revenues of the ballot measure to provide funding to maintain Metro transit service hours at current levels. If any funds remain after maintaining transit service hours, evenly split the remaining funds 50/50 between transit and unincorporated road purposes;
·40 percent would go to cities for transportation improvements and the county for unincorporated area road purposes allocated based on population;
·Specify that the funds must be used for transportation improvement projects contained in the County’s, Cities’ or Puget Sound Regional Council’s approved transportation plans (as updated by the individual jurisdictions);
·Establish a low-income rebate program that rebates $20 of vehicle fee for vehicle owners whose household income is less than 45 percent of the county’s median household income.
After 20 years, the U-Frame-It shop at 3239 California SW is looking for a new location in West Seattle. Back in December, we reported a residential-development proposal for the site that has been home to the framing shop all these years; now, U-Frame-It proprietor Tom Sweeney confirms to WSB that they were just given notice last week that they’ll have to clear out: “February 18, we were given a Notice to Terminate Tenancy, effective March 31, 2014.” The site has both a demolition permit and a lot/parcel-split application under review. It was rezoned to NC2-40 along with the rest of the block during the 2007-2010 upzone that also paved the way for the 3210 California SW mixed-use project across the street, but this particular part of the block is proposed for single-family homes/live-work units. The site also includes Amante Pizza, but we haven’t reached them yet to find out their plans.
Though the city has scrapped the plan to try to increase recycling (among other goals) by decreasing trash pickups, as our story last Friday noted, they still hope to urge residents to try other means. One would be increasing the number of people who recycle food scraps. Seattle Public Utilities is offering a freebie if you’re still reluctant:
Last year, Seattle residents helped divert more than 125,000 tons of food scraps and yard debris from the landfill through composting. Fans at Safeco Field helped recycle or compost more than 90 percent of their waste. To recognize their efforts, Seattle Public Utilities and the Seattle Mariners are offering free kitchen compost containers to Seattle residents to help store and carry kitchen scraps to their food and yard waste carts.
On Wednesday, February 26, from 11 am to 3 pm, Seattle residents who pledge to recycle and compost will receive a collector’s edition Felix Hernandez Kitchen Caddy.
This is happening at five locations in the city during that four-hour span – among them, the Southwest Neighborhood Service Center at 2801 SW Thistle (co-housed with Southwest Pool and Southwest Teen Life Center). In case you’re off-peninsula at that time and interested in checking out another location, they’re all listed here. One container per household.
By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog
This edition of The WSBeat contains summaries written from reports on cases handled recently by Southwest Precinct officers – generally cases that (usually) have not already appeared here in breaking-news coverage or West Seattle Crime Watch reports, but that might at least answer the question “what WERE all those police doing on my block?” Or on the bridge, or the beach, or …
*A father and adult son got into an argument on the 13th: Son claimed that dad had kicked him 15 times and tried kicking him down a flight of stairs. Officers found no marks or injuries on the young man (who declined medics). Dad admitted he was upset to discover his son had sold a bicycle (the son’s transportation to work) and gotten a $300 loan from a local business. His dismay grew when he found $300 worth of lottery scratch tickets littering the floor. The young man decided to collect some of his belongings and leave.
Three more summaries ahead:
For the West Seattle route, that’s 75 cents more if you pay cash, 50 cents more pre-paid, 25 cents more for seniors/disabled people and youth 6-18 (prepaid). Kids 5 and under remain free. The Ferry District’s announcement also says West Seattle Water Taxi ridership for last year was up almost 3 percent over the year before.
ADDED: It should be noted that since the Water Taxi doesn’t run on weekends during the winter, the fares technically go up Monday (March 3rd).
11:25 AM: King County Executive Dow Constantine calls it “great news for everyone who commutes on the SR99 corridor, especially those coming from West Seattle and Burien.” His office has just shared a letter from WSDOT (read it here), saying the state has agreed to extend “mitigation” money – funding bus service covering effects from Highway 99 construction – through the end of next year. That money was to expire in the middle of this year, leading to one round of Metro cuts in June. This does NOT affect the larger round of cuts expected to ensue systemwide when other funding expires, and that’s the funding that would be replaced by what’s in a ballot measure that’s expected to go to voters in April – depending on the outcome of a vote this afternoon. More to come.
ADDED 11:52 AM: In case the PDF link above doesn’t work for you, here’s the letter from WSDOT, embedded via Scribd:
Our area’s County Councilmember Joe McDermott says, “This wildly successful mitigation service has moved more people through the Alaskan Way Viaduct while reducing the vehicles using it. As a C Line commuter, I am pleased the state is continuing the funding as the project continues.”
And he reiterates the earlier point that this is only a partial reprieve – while it extends funding for the service hours added to make up for the 99 construction’s effects, there’s still a gap that would require cutting up to 17 percent of Metro’s service systemwide.
McDermott and the rest of the council, sitting as the Transportation Benefit District board, will take public comments at 3 pm today in council chambers at the county courthouse downtown before potentially voting to send a measure to the ballot asking voters to approve a car-tab fee and sales-tax increase to cover that gap and raise money for roads. Later in the day, the Move King County Now advocacy group plans a kickoff of its campaign for the ballot measure (5:30 pm at the pub Fado, 1st/Columbia downtown). The extension follows the county’s ongoing lobbying efforts to get the state to agree to one, as Executive Constantine’s transportation adviser Chris Arkills told the West Seattle Transportation Coalition at its meeting earlier this month (WSB coverage here).
MORE BACKSTORY: For an explanation of the “mitigation” money, its history (dating back to the 2008 announcement), and the cuts that Metro planned if it wasn’t extended, see this WSB story from December.
A little over two weeks after we reported installation under way on the east end of Seacrest Park, just west of Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor), the Luna Girls sculpture is installed and out from under its protective tarp. That’s artist Lezlie Jane with her privately funded 15-foot-long, nine-foot-wide creation, which she describes as “flame-cut from slab steel”; thanks to Mark Jaroslaw for sending the first photo. Jane’s website for the sculpture includes and explains their names – from left, Emily, Gunvor Katja, and Lorna.
P.S. There’s more, including video from the installation, on the Southwest Seattle Historical Society website.
(Judith Caldwell, left, with husband Daniel, pouring bronze at their Top Hat studio)
West Seattle artist Judith Caldwell – whose work includes the trolley-car art atop Junction bus shelters – has a big new project. Though it’s not in this area, it’s a high-profile citywide project that will be created with lots of help and input, including, she hopes, other West Seattleites. She’s been chosen to be part of the design team creating a new playground at Seattle Center – between the Armory (former Center House) and EMP – here’s the concept/schematic:
Caldwell explains, “We are trying to connect with young people all over the city to help us generate the text, images, and other ideas that will guide the design of the playground.” There’s a kickoff event this Saturday, and after that, Caldwell says, “we will be holding workshops around the city in the coming months, at libraries, community centers, and other venues, to get kids involved.” Read on for the official news release:
(Seal pup watched this weekend by Seal Sitters near Jack Block Park; thanks to Cormac for the photo!)
As a brand-new week begins, here are highlights for today and tonight from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, as well as previews published recently:
SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS OPEN ENROLLMENT: If you “want to request a different school or program assignment for the 2014-15 school year,” as the district describes it, or if you didn’t register your incoming kindergartener or otherwise new student, the two-week Open Enrollment period starting today is for you, and you should submit a “choice application” by 4 pm March 7th. If you already have an assignment for next year, you should have received a letter confirming it, and you do NOT need to take any action now. If you DO need to apply – all the info’s here.
KIERKEGAARD BOOK CONFERENCE: 9 am-1 pm at First Lutheran Church of West Seattle, all are welcome at a conference discussing Rev. Ron Marshall‘s new book “Kierkegaard for the Church” – backstory in our video-anchored preview over the weekend. (4105 California SW)
TRANSPORTATION BENEFIT DISTRICT: Will the King County Council, sitting as the board of the newly created Transportation Benefit District, vote today to put the Metro/roads money proposal on the ballot for an April vote? The meeting’s at 3 pm, council chambers in the downtown courthouse, background details here. (3rd/James)
FAMILY STORY TIME: 6:30 pm, free as always, High Point Branch Library. (35th/Raymond)
FREE MODERN-DANCE CLASS: Adults are invited to a free modern-dance class for beginners, taught by Adrienne Krieger, 7 pm at Gildenfire Dance in White Center. Details in our listing. (10011 13th SW)
YMCA CAMPAIGN TRIVIA NIGHT: 7 pm, it’s trivia at The Bridge benefiting the annual fundraising campaign for the Y (WSB sponsor) – details in our listing, including how to register in advance. (California/Graham)
LIVE MUSIC: Singer/songwriter/guitarist Carl Tosten performs 7:30-10 pm at Locöl Barley & Vine. (7902 35th SW)
(More cameras, and other info, on the WSB Traffic page)
6:55 AM: Soggy but nothing else to report so far on routes through/from West Seattle. It’s back-to-school day for Seattle Public Schools after the week-long mid-winter break, so take note of that. And remember that this weekend will bring the semi-annual Highway 99/Alaskan Way Viaduct inspection closures – as explained here, the shutdown is happening in phases, including parts of 99 north of downtown, NOT a wall-to-wall all-weekend closure.
7:47 AM: First complication of the morning – a multi-car crash reported at Fauntleroy/Hudson (map). So if you’re headed toward the bridge from Fairmount Park or southward, we’d advise California or 35th until we hear more about this.
7:55 AM: Per scanner, sounds like this is NOT a big blocking crash. (But if you pass it and find out otherwise – let us know – 206-293-6302, text or voice, provided you are not at the wheel … thank you!)
‘TEMPORARY COMMUTER’ NOTE DU JOUR, 8:56 AM: Commute note – since we’re headed downtown almost daily when covering the Morgan Junction murder trial, thought we’d add notes here (and try some alternate commutes when we can). Today, regular old (sorry for adding to traffic) single-occupancy-vehicle commute. Upper Fauntleroy to parking garage near King County Courthouse, 28 minutes, 8:08 to 8:36. It was 12 minutes to the 4th Avenue exit off the Spokane Street Viaduct, and then 16 more minutes along 4th – took a few light cycles to get off the offramp, and then things got sluggish around the stadiums. (We took the same route last Thursday, 20 minutes, but some families vacationed during the school district’s midwinter break, so we didn’t count that as regular traffic volumes.)