West Seattle, Washington
By Patrick Sand and Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog co-publishers
With new development proposals appearing in West Seattle almost daily, the Southwest District Council is ready to keep a closer watch on what’s going on.
At tonight’s meeting, the SWDC – made up of reps from councils and organizations around western West Seattle – took steps toward forming a Land Use Subcommittee.
It’s a tool used elsewhere in the city (Queen Anne, for example), often providing a more consistent way for projects to get an early unofficial community review; right now, it’s literally and figuratively all over the map – sometimes developers engage community councils or round up stakeholders, sometimes they don’t.
SWDC co-chair Vlad Oustimovitch observed that development is one of the most top-of-mind topics in the area right now, along with transportation and public safety, so this is a natural move. He’s hopeful its members also can reach out to other neighborhoods to figure out more ways of collaborating when faced with similar challenges. The subcommittee’s membership isn’t final yet; once it’s up and running, it will provide regular reports to the council.
Also at tonight’s meeting: A farewell from Ed Pottharst, one of the neighborhood-district coordinators who has served this area for three years.
Ed’s not leaving city service, though – not even leaving the Department of Neighborhoods; he says a job came open working with the matching funds that help so many neighborhoods make dreams come true, so he’s moving to that side at the end of the month. His successor is being sought.
*Co-chair Sharonn Meeks brought up the Fire Station 32 rebuild (here’s our newest report) and the suggestion that electricity service be undergrounded in the area as part of the project, lest downed power lines keep crews from responding in case of catastrophe. She plans to talk with the city.
*New Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Wilske came to introduce himself.
*New West Seattle Chamber of Commerce CEO Lynn Dennis came to introduce herself, and said the WSCoC would resume sending a representative to the SWDC meetings, which hadn’t happened regularly for a while.
The Southwest District Council meets first Wednesdays, 6:30 pm, at the Senior Center of West Seattle.
GREEN SPACE COALITION TOUR WITH COUNCILMEMBER RASMUSSEN: Community advocates including members of the West Seattle Green Space Coalition, who hope to keep the long-deactivated sites as open space, hosted Councilmember Tom Rasmussen this morning on a tour that started at the Dakota site on Genesee Hill:
Rasmussen tells WSB, “I support the efforts of the community to keep the sites as open space. The challenge is finding the funds to do so. I am researching and checking how we can do that.” Some City Light sites have become parks – in West Seattle, those include Dakota Place Park north of The Junction and Nantes Park along Admiral Way – while others in the city have been sold to housing developers. Five of the West Seattle sites are zoned for single-family homebuilding; the one on 9th SW near Westcrest Park is zoned Lowrise 2.
We couldn’t stay for today’s full tour, but organizers were expecting also to visit the Fauntleroy and Andover sites. We reported back in December about what City Light described as “cleanup” work at the latter site on Pigeon Point, work to which the WSGSC had taken exception because of vegetation removal; the city says it’s continuing that work. From SCL’s environmental-compliance manager William Devereaux:
Tree cutting and clearing was completed several weeks ago. The final phase of work involves the actual digging up of the contaminated soil putting clean soil in, reseeding grass, and replanting. NRC Environmental Services, a company from South Park, is carrying out the work. I heard that there were some questions regarding chalk/paint lines outside of the site. Before we dig on any site we have to have all of the utilities located to ensure that we do not disturb them. There will not be any digging outside of our substation site and the SDOT right of way immediately adjacent to the site.
When we start working on the SDOT right of way portion, there will be one-way traffic only, with flaggers between 21st and 22nd Ave SW on SW Andover St and between SW Charlestown St and SW Andover St on 21st Ave. This portion is not anticipated to start until next week. We are anticipating that the entire soil removal and backfill will be complete within 2 weeks.
One of the advocates on today’s tour, Cass Turnbull of PlantAmnesty, contends that “it makes little sense to choose a remediation method before the final disposition of the property is determined.” She says that if it’s determined the sites will be kept as green spaces, there are other ways of dealing with the reported low-level soil contamination that has had the city cutting and digging.
The Green Space Coalition is planning to take its case to the City Council’s Energy Committee next week. It’s up to the council to make the final decision on the ex-substations’ future, once SCL has made its recommendations.
From the family of Robert “Bob” McCoy, who died this week at age 81:
Robert “Bob” McCoy passed away March 3, 2014, with his family by his side.
Bob was a resident of West Seattle for 50-plus years. He started his career at Forest Lawn Funeral Home in 1964 and retired in 1998. He was a member of the White Center Eagles.
Bob was born February 2, 1933, in Seattle, to Harold and Jessie McCoy. He was raised in Kent and attended Kent Meridian High School. He is survived by his wife Ilene of 60 years, daughter Debra and her husband Joe Ruskamp, daughter Linda and her husband Michael McGee, daughter Barbara, son John, and daughter Pam and her husband Cary Hood, 10 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren, and his brother Jack McCoy of Vancouver, Washington. He was preceded in death by his sister Helen and his brother Phillip.
Memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 15th, 1:00 pm at Yarington’s/White Center Funeral Home, 10708 16th Ave SW. Reception follows, 2:30-4:30 pm at the White Center Eagles, 10452 15th Ave SW.
(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
(Photo courtesy Click! Design That Fits/MeganAuman.com)
Designer, maker, educator, and entrepreneur Megan Auman has traveled a path from metalsmith to painter (and now fabric/fashion designer) that has led her to also create “Designing an MBA,” which she’ll talk about at Click! Design That Fits in The Junction next week – focusing “on helping craftspeople and designers actually make a living doing what they love.” The rest of the announcement:
Friday, March 14th, 7 pm to 8:30 pm • “The intersection of creativity and business: a conversation with Megan Auman.” In her talk, Megan will discuss the intersection of creativity and business, what it takes to develop successful business models for the artistically minded, and why profit is essential to creative businesses. Time will be provided for a question and answer period.
The event is free, but you need to go here to RSVP.
P.S. Megan will be at Click! the previous evening (Thursday, March 13th) too, for West Seattle Art Walk, 6-9 pm.
A charge of first-degree murder is now filed against 20-year-old Jose Jesus Gonzalez-Leos of White Center in connection with the killing of his ex-girlfriend’s mother in High Point last December. He is the man arrested last Saturday on suspicion he killed 46-year-old Nga Nguyen, found dead in her closet on December 14th, from strangulation and blunt-force head injury. Charging documents say he broke into Nguyen’s apartment through a second-story window on December 14th after going there in hopes of speaking with the victim’s daughter. The documents allege he killed her with a motive including sexual gratification; evidence described in the charging papers includes DNA found on the victim’s body that matched Gonzalez-Leos’s saliva. He is described as having no apparent felony history, though, as we reported last Saturday, online records indicate he is facing charges of stolen-property trafficking in south King County, and court documents say he told investigators he is addicted to meth and marijuana. He is scheduled to appear in court on March 19th to answer the charge; his bail remains set at $2 million.
ADDED 9:18 PM: More information from the charging documents:
1:37 PM: We’ve heard from a few people about that sighting off Lincoln Park – and just got the photo from Paul via the WSB Flickr group. He and others wondered if it’s in distress; we pointed them to Seal Sitters – our area’s and Paul reports they suggested it might be a “rafting” sea lion, which, now that we’ve seen the photo, we would tend to agree. Paul points out the apparent injury on the sea lion’s fin. We’re not sure what if anything can be done to check on whether it’s in distress, but did want to publish this to share some information for anyone else who notices it – the photo makes it clear it’s not a whale, which some had suspected. (Here’s a 2011 story featuring photos of sea lions rafting and fishing, also off Lincoln Park; rafting is also explained toward the end of this page on the Seal Sitters website.)
11:59 PM: See comments for a vigorous discussion and more information, including the correction that this was “sailing” rather than “rafting.”
That’s the trailer for “Midway,” a film by photographer/filmmaker Chris Jordan telling the story of plastics pollution in the Pacific through birds whose stomachs are filled with it. On Tuesday, March 25th, Jordan will be the public keynote speaker for this year’s World Water Week at Chief Sealth International High School – plastics pollution is the focus of the fourth annual edition of the weeklong “idea festival” organized by social-studies teacher Noah Zeichner and his students, as explained here:
We started WWW four years ago during our first year as an international school. We chose the theme of water because we thought it would be relevant to students and teachers and of course, it is one of the most critical global issues on the planet. WWW is a weeklong series of assemblies, synchronous lessons, a student conference, evening keynotes, service learning, and celebration. Each of the four years has had a sub-theme. The first year it was global scarcity and local conservation. The second year was food security. Last year was sanitation (toilets). This year’s theme is plastic pollution. We wanted to help students see the interconnections between all of these complex global issues, with water at the center of it all.
Students leading WWW this year are 11th graders Aisaya Corbray and Paloma Robertson with the support of senior Tasha Addington-Ferris, with dozens of others working in support. World Water Week also is tying in this year with the Sealth 9th graders’ Water, Ecology, and Sustainability Team (WEST) Project, which they will be presenting to 8th graders at adjacent Denny International Middle School. The WEST Project work will be on display during a resource fair preceding Chris Jordan’s appearance on March 25th, and the WWW team hopes you will join them that night. Here’s the full schedule of what they will be working on, including a student conference all day Wednesday, March 26th. Stand by for more as WWW gets closer.
(Barrow’s goldeneyes, photographed by Flickr member “old desolate,” shared via WSB Flickr group)
With an inch of rain reported overnight, it’s excellent weather for waterfowl. All of the following, meantime, happens indoors, so you don’t need feathers, webbing, or even an umbrella. From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
‘FAMILY LOVE LETTERS’: A free workshop described as “estate planning with a heart,” 11 am at Alki Community Center. (5817 SW Stevens)
DRAZE AT WEST SEATTLE HIGH SCHOOL: Not a public event, but worth noting in advance – WSHS students will be hearing today from a local musician whose newest song/video addresses a topic relevant to our area and others around the city (and beyond) – neighborhood changes. Announced by teacher Rebecka McKinney:
Seattle rapper, Draze, will be at West Seattle High School to talk about racism and gentrification to hundreds of WSHS students as a follow up to their recent units on racism through the plays Fences (12th grade) and A Raisin in the Sun (9th grade). Draze will also perform his recently released song, “The Hood Ain’t the Same.”
In a time when gentrification is receiving national and local attention, this is a great opportunity for WSHS students to think critically about the issue and how racism continues to impact equity.
(3000 California SW)
SOMALI STORY TIME: All are invited to the High Point Library for stories, rhymes, and fun entirely in the Somali language, 5 pm. (35th and Raymond)
MINIMUM WAGE HEARING: The City Council’s Select Committee on Minimum Wage and Income Inequality officially kicks off its work at 6 pm tonight with a public hearing at Town Hall downtown. Full details here. (1119 Eighth Avenue)
SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: This group of reps from community councils and other organizations around western West Seattle has its monthly meeting at 6:30 pm, Senior Center of West Seattle in The Junction. All welcome. (California/Oregon)
‘THIRD’: Opening night for ArtsWest‘s new production “Third,” written by Wendy Wasserstein. 7:30 pm curtain. (4711 California SW)
Remember that splash of sunshine on Monday afternoon? It arrived at just the right moment for the West Seattle High School baseball team, parent Greg Slader reports:
High School Baseball started on Monday and West Seattle enjoyed a brief glimpse of sunshine at Monday’s practice. This year’s team returns 10 seniors from last year’s team, which made a fantastic run in the state tournament to 2nd place. The pre-season jamboree is scheduled for March 15th in Liberty @ 10 am.
After that, the WSHS team has two games at home at Hiawatha, hosting Garfield on March 18th and Ballard on March 20th. Two games against crosstown rival Chief Sealth International High School are on the schedule for April 30th (at Southwest Athletic Complex) and May 2nd (at home).
(Latest bridge and Viaduct views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
At least at the moment, the rain’s a lot lighter than it was just a few hours ago. But the overnight deluge has left “standing water” – aka big puddles – in many a place, so please be careful, however you’re getting around.
I-5 WORK THIS WEEKEND: More expansion-joint (earthquake safety) work is happening late Friday through early Monday – this time, resulting in collector-distributor lane closures on northbound I-5; full details here.
7:43 AM UPDATE: Thanks to the texter (206-293-6302 any time) who reports the roadway is “totally under water” on West Marginal Way SW, just north of Highland Park Way.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Punctuating two Seattle Police witnesses’ testimony about evidence, a passerby witness was put on the stand Tuesday by the prosecution in the Morgan Junction murder trial.
They started the day listing six witnesses they thought they would get through – but in the end, only three of them were heard from, the first one a holdover from Monday, the third one to continue today.
Between legal arguments and breaks, total testimony time tends to add up to about 4 1/2 hours a day.
As Tuesday began with SPD fingerprint examiner Betty Newlin continuing on the stand, questioned by deputy prosecuting attorney Mari Isaacson, the subject was fingerprints and their presence or lack of same on pieces of evidence in the case.