day : 01/07/2014 11 results

Here’s how Seattle Police are handling Alki Beach this week

(Photo by Don Brubeck)
What’s the police plan for Alki this 4th of July? We’ve been talking to Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Wilske, who says that for starters, they’ve had additional patrols daily this week to “set the tone” for the 4th and also to guard against anything stemming from last Wednesday’s fight/stabbing. The precinct commander added that there are regular-duty officers specifically assigned to the beach, especially on third watch (evening and early am), and SPD continues “to use officers to close the beach at (11 pm), as well as requesting the assistance of the traffic unit and the parking enforcement unit when they are available to deal with some of the traffic congestion issues.” On the 4th of July itself, he says, “We will have a significant presence of both bike and foot officers starting about 4:00 pm on Friday. We are not planning to close down streets, particularly Alki, unless we have to for some reason such as clearing a path for the Seattle Fire Department. We will be continuing the emphasis on Saturday the 5th, and have it scheduled for every Friday and Saturday through the summer.”

West Seattle Baseball’s 8U All-Stars off to the World Series!

(Photo by Rob Castillo)
July is not only the month for All-Stars to shine in the Major League Baseball world, it’s also time for youth baseball All-Stars too – and we have news of a West Seattle Baseball team on the way to the Pinto World Series. Leah shared the announcement:

Heat Advisory Warning – The West Seattle Baseball 8U All-Stars are on fire!

Congratulations to the West Seattle Super 8’s All Star team for winning the 8U PONY Regional Tournament at the Pee Wee Fields over the weekend. The championship results in the chance for these kids to go show their stuff at the Pinto World Series in San Jose on July 17-20. This is the third 8U Regional Championship that West Seattle has won since the tournament started in 2009, but the first time it has been sanctioned by PONY and resulted in a trip to the World Series.

The team will be doing a fundraiser to help cover some of their travel expenses. Look for more information to come on that. Congratulations, boys!

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: Here’s the GoFundMe site where you can chip in to help.

West Seattle traffic alert: ‘Low bridge’ out of commission right now

7:07 PM: Thanks to the texter who just sent word that the “low bridge” has been closed to traffic for about 40 minutes. Checking SDOT via Twitter, they report it’s “closed due to some gate issues” and that it should be fixed soon. Updates as we get them.

10:25 PM: No official SDOT updates since then; we’ve been watching this traffic camera and haven’t seen a vehicle cross.

On second look, Seattle Parks discovers, and plans temporary fix for, seawall damage from stolen car pushed into water

Remember the car stolen from Queen Anne, found upside down in the water off Emma Schmitz Overlook?

(Photo republished with permission of Beach Drive Blog)
That’s the photo from Beach Drive Blog‘s original report early Sunday morning, June 22nd. We followed up with Seattle Police and Parks the next day and published this story. Right after the crarsh, Parks didn’t find noticeable seawall damage, but on second look, that assessment has changed. Update today from Parks spokesperson Joelle Hammerstad:

The crews who maintain the parks couldn’t tell if there was damage, but when our engineers went out there, they definitely found some. Please see attached pictures.

We are going to truss up the wall with structural steel as a temporary measure as we await a full replacement. We have been working with the Army Corps of Engineers for some time on a replacement project, and we expect that the replacement will happen sometime within the next two to three years.

BDB reported on the replacement plans back in April.

West Seattle development: Demolition at 4745 40th SW; 3 new teardown/rebuild plans

Demolition-for-redevelopment notes today:

4745 40TH SW TEARDOWN UNDERWAY: Thanks to Maris for the heads-up on Monday that backhoes had taken up position at the 40th/Edmunds project site. They hadn’t started work by day’s end but this afternoon, they’re taking down the office building on site, former home to businesses including what might be West Seattle’s biggest tech firm, Tango Card. (You’ll recall our story last August about its search for a new WS location, which it found not far away, in Jefferson Square.) 4745 40th SW won final Design Review approval in December (WSB coverage here), and applied for the demolition permit in March. is slated for 150 units and 115 parking spaces, with some live-work units and a relatively small commercial space on the ground floor, adjacent to the future city-park site to its north. (That site in turn will soon be the temporary home of Fire Station 32 while that station is rebuilt on its site in The Triangle at 37th/38th/Alaska.)

THREE DEMOLITION-PERMIT NOTES: From the city files today, all in single-family-house projects:

*1 DOWN, 2 UP AT 4316 SW THISTLE: A demolition-permit application is in for the site of this 106-year-old Gatewood house across from the top of the fabled Thistle stairway, as well as early word of two houses to replace it, pending a lot-boundary adjustment which has a case number but no documents on file so far; county data for the 7,500-sf site does show two lot numbers.

*1 DOWN, 1 UP AT 3426 38TH SW: The permit has just been granted for demolition of this 106-year-old bungalow, with a new house slated to replace it.

1 DOWN, 1 UP AT 4707 14TH SW: A demolition permit is sought for this 85-year-old house on 15,000 sf of land, where records show one new house is planned.

West Seattle development: New architect team and changes for 3824 California project, as next Design Review meeting approaches

(Click image to see full-size PDF)
After two Early Design Guidance meetings ended with the Southwest Design Review Board basically saying “try again,” the developer of the former Charlestown Café site at 3824 California SW has hired a new architect going into its third round of EDG (scheduled for 8 pm July 10th, as previously noted). A spokesperson for developer Intracorp tell WSB that Johnston Architects is the firm now on the project, replacing Caron Architecture: “Their designs are quintessentially Northwest with an organic nature and human scale that Intracorp is seeking to capture for the 3824 California Ave. community. Intracorp has also added a new landscape architect, Karen Kiest, to the team. This team brings an immense amount of experience and creativity to the process of creating great places.” The proposal is now for 28 townhouse and live/work units instead of 30, and the list ahead was provided as a summary of major changes:

Read More

West Seattle Tuesday: Three highlights for today/tonight

(Photo by Danny McMillin, at South Alki on Sunday – click image for larger view)
As the holiday nears, the calendar thins out a bit – but we have a few things of note for the hours ahead:

WADING POOLS & SPRAYPARK HOURS TODAY: Warm day in progress – so here are ways to stay cool! City wading pools open today are Lincoln Park (11 am-8 pm), Delridge (12-6:45 pm), South Park (12-7 pm). Highland Park Spraypark is open 11 am-8 pm.

WEST SEATTLE BIKE CONNECTIONS: Lots on the agenda for tonight’s monthly meeting, 6:30-8 pm, at HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor) in The Junction – details on the WSBC website. (41st/Alaska)

CHORAL CONCERT: 7:30 pm at Fauntleroy UCC Church, “Vashon Suite: No Bridges,” composed by Bronwyn Edwards, performed by the Vashon Island Chorale. Details on the church website. (9130 California SW)

LOTS OF NIGHTLIFE! Live music, trivia, bingo, more – see the individual listings on the calendar page.

West Seattle 4th of July: Security, lights at 3 local fields

Seattle Parks is again planning to keep the lights on at synthetic-turf fields to discourage fireworks, and says security will monitor for extended hours, too. This time, it’s planned for both Thursday and Friday (July 3-4). Three West Seattle fields are on the list for security monitoring 9 pm-4 am and lights 8:45-11 pm: Delridge, Hiawatha, and Walt Hundley, all of which have been renovated in recent years. We’re adding this to the WSB West Seattle 4th of July page, still open for other holiday info if you have something to share – – thanks!

Not registered to vote? Want to vote in August 5th election? Hurry!

Reminder from King County Elections – time’s running out to get in on the August 5th election, which is more than a primary – it’s also when Seattle voters will decide whether to approve creation of a Park District with permanent taxing authority to raise money for Seattle Parks:

Citizens who want to vote in the August 5 primary election have until Monday, July 7 to register to vote or update voter registration information online or by mail. King County Elections will mail primary election ballots to all registered voters on July 16, so it’s important that citizens register to vote and keep their address and other information, including their signature, updated.

Voters can check to make sure their registration information is current by:

* Using My Voter Guide online
* Calling the Voter Hotline at 206-296-VOTE (8683)
* Visiting King County Elections, 919 SW Grady Way, Renton. Weekdays 8:30-4:30
* Visiting the Voter Registration Annex, 500 4th Avenue, Room 440, Seattle. Weekdays from 8:30 am to 1 pm and from 2 pm to 4:30 pm

How to register to vote

* Online
* By mail
* In person

Voters who miss the July 7 deadline to update their registration should still contact the Elections office to update their information for future elections. King County residents not currently registered in Washington can register in person at the Elections office through July 28.

Who can register?

To be eligible to register to vote, you must be:

* 18 years old by election day (August 5)
* A United States citizen
* A legal resident of the state of Washington
* Not under the authority of the Department of Corrections

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Toasty Tuesday, July 1st

July 1, 2014 6:53 am
|    Comments Off on TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Toasty Tuesday, July 1st
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(WS high/low bridges and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Welcome to July 2014! Forecast temperatures near 90 are the big news today. Traffic-wise, so far, the nearest trouble is south of our area; nothing on the major routes through/from West Seattle and vicinity.

4TH OF JULY: Planning ahead for Friday? Transit changes for the holiday are all listed already on our special West Seattle 4th of July page (as well as West Seattle events/activities for the day). If you have something to add, please let us know, as we’ll be updating all the way up until the holiday – – thanks!

‘West Seattle: Let’s Talk,’ suggested the city. Here’s what ensued.

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Not growing is not an option, says the city. So, reps from three city departments asked at a first-of-its-kind meeting in West Seattle, what should that growth look like, and where should it happen?

Another question posed: How do we make room for the people moving to Seattle now and for those who will need housing in the future – such as current residents’ kids?

Questions like those were at the heart of the city-organized event in West Seattle this past Saturday, titled “Let’s Talk.” The documents you see throughout this story weren’t presented slide-deck-style, but instead were on easel-borne boards around the room. The meeting was formatted loosely, in hopes of conversation, and that, we can vouch, was under way from the start.

Then, about half an hour into the event on the upper floor of the Senior Center of West Seattle (with decorations lingering from Rainbow Bingo the night before), a few minutes of speeches were offered, but more in the explanatory vein than declaratory – and then the conversations resumed.

Two city department directors were among the city staff on hand, Diane Sugimura (above right) from the Department of Planning and Development, Bernie Matsuno from the Department of Neighborhoods. Not long after the brief speeches, they wound up in a conversation circle with more than two dozen attendees in the back of the room, near the bingo board.

Back in the rest of the room, one-on-one conversations continued, and dozens of other attendees continued perusing the boards. We asked for digital copies so we could share them with you here. (Most are self-explanatory; the ones atop this story show options for what it would take for the city to become carbon-neutral by 2050, with now-digitized red or green dots regarding whether attendees liked or disliked specific options.) Here are the main boards – the first one was displayed at the room’s entrance to set the stage, and then the next eight with lots of information about development and growth in West Seattle, zoning, how to give feedback on development, and questions too:

Noticing the conversation group setting up with Sugimura and Matsuno, we took notes. “We want to be able to participate in the decisionmaking,” said one attendee, and that was at the heart of almost everything else.

The questions, concerns, and suggestions were many (please note, the following are paraphrased bullet points, not exact quotes unless contained within quotation marks):

-West Seattle’s transportation infrastructure isn’t made for intensive growth.

-The city permit system is an expensive hassle.

-Why isn’t development focusing on streets that could handle it, say, 35th SW?

-People need to get involved in the Comprehensive Plan process (Seattle 2035).

-City reps should come back for an intensive three-to-four-hour summit to really talk in depth with and listen to West Seattleites.

-Neighborhood groups are small and don’t network and don’t know the “rules, codes, options” so they are outgunned when prolific developers come into the neighborhood with a project.

-The city needs to push out development information – perhaps an app – it’s not good enough to have it just there waiting to be discovered; an app should keep checking what’s happening in an area of interest you identify, and push out the information to you when something is planned in your area.

*West Seattle needs a hospital. Matsuno said the city can “encourage” it, but has no authority to force a health-care organization to build one. “Well, ARE you ‘encouraging’ it?” asked one attendee. Reply: “In conversations with any kind of businesses, we encourage them to go where they are needed.”

*West Seattle needs employers so fewer people will have to commute outbound. This generated a significant amount of discussion, with Matsuno saying you can offer incentives for employers, but you can’t force them to locate in a specific area. One participant said she was a commercial banker and “the way you do it is to give them money.”

*”Regular” people are being pushed out by “wealthy” people.

*Applications by prolific developers often show up with “sloppy paperwork,” leaving neighborhood advocates wondering “how did this get through?” and suggesting there should be a penalty for repeat offenders. Couldn’t a computerized review check for chronic offenders?

*The issue of projects with little or no parking came up. Sugimura noted that the mayor had asked for a review of that, and “we are in the middle of it.”

*Why doesn’t West Seattle have a transit center “like Burien”? Sugimura said she wasn’t familiar with the Burien Transit Center. The centralizing of bus routes at Westwood was mentioned. One attendee countered, “But it’s all on the perimeter and there’s no parking.” The city of Seattle doesn’t build parking garages, pointed out city reps, so “it always takes somebody (private) willing to put money into it.”

*Projects are reviewed on a standalone basis, without the “cumulative effects” of changes in a specific area being considered. One attendee said the parking study done for a 40-unit project didn’t take into effect other apartment projects within a block or two.

*Environmental reviews are not triggered if, for example, a single-family house is being replaced by a single-family house.

*What about a “cap and trade” type of program? one attendee suggested – requiring developers to “replace the affordable house they’re destroying” when a “$300,000 bungalow” is demolished and replaced with a $1 million house.

11:30 came, and the discussion circle was wrapped up. Two community-group reps volunteered themselves as liaisons for a followup meeting with the city to get and share information on what would be done with what DPD, DON, and SDOT heard at the meeting. So watch for that (we’ll be following up, and information will be circulated through community councils too). And, as was exhorted several times, get involved in the Comprehensive Plan process – there were boards for that too:

SIDE NOTE: During the brief “remarks” portion, attendees were asked to raise their hands in reply to questions such as how long you’ve lived here and whether you own or rent. A quick look around revealed mostly people who’ve been here more than a few years, and almost entirely homeowners. Some suggested maybe the Saturday morning meeting time was wrong – but it’s a frequent observation that evening meetings aren’t convenient either – so, if you’ve read this far but didn’t go, was it a matter of time? Or?