day : 08/07/2014 12 results

‘Head tax’ and parking tax for transit? Councilmember Licata pitches 34th District Democrats on Wednesday

If Seattle’s going to increase taxes to raise money to avoid bus cuts, which (if any) taxes would you prefer? As reported here two months ago, Councilmembers Nick Licata and Kshama Sawant are proposing commercial parking and employer “head” taxes instead of the sales-tax increase favored by Mayor Murray. Licata will be at the 34th District Democrats‘ meeting at The Hall at Fauntleroy tomorrow night to pitch the idea and seek the group’s endorsement, after the proposal comes up for a discussion and possible vote by the Council Finance and Culture Committee (which he chairs) at 2 pm – read the proposal here. In short, the proposal would raise commercial-parking taxes 5 percent, to 17.5%, and create a “head tax” of $18 per employee per year. The council could pass it without sending it to voters. Here’s the resolution the 34th Dems will consider at their meeting; the agenda is here.)

West Seattle summer: 1 week until Hi-Yu Concert in the Park

(WSB file photo)
Just in case this isn’t already on your calendar: A West Seattle summer-outdoor-music tradition is just one week away – 7 pm next Tuesday (July 15th), the West Seattle Hi-Yu Concert in the Park, featuring the West Seattle Big Band. Bring your family, friends, picnic dinner, blanket and/or chairs, and enjoy great music for free on the east lawn of Hiawatha Community Center (2700 California, but the concert area faces Walnut, to the east).

Update: Stolen car crashes at Walnut and Hinds, 1 teenager hurt

4:42 PM: In South Admiral, the big fire/police response in the past 15 minutes or so was for an “automobile rescue” call at Walnut and Hinds (map). Turned out not to be as bad as reported, so many of the responding units have been canceled. Our crew is en route to find out more.

5:04 PM UPDATE: Added a photo. We’re told the car was stolen from a lot at/near the YMCA building in The Triangle; it hit a tree. Police say a juvenile from the car was injured and taken to a hospital; others were in the car and took off running.

5:47 PM UPDATE: Added a photo that includes the tree (thanks to Paul for sending).

7:37 PM UPDATE: The photo above this line was sent by Mark, whose tree was hit in the crash. He tells us, “This is the 3rd accident of this type (my other huge cedar got hit by some joyriding kid last year) at this location in 7 years. … The city needs to put in traffic circles here. If I had been home, they would have totaled my car, because that is exactly where I park every night.”

THURSDAY AFTERNOON NOTE: We’ve been trying for a couple days to get more information from police. So far, one important update from the information originally available at the scene – the person who was hurt, and trapped in the car, was a passenger, not the driver. We’re still following up on a few more points before writing an update.

Followup: Bike-corral breakthrough in The Junction; installation soon

FIRST REPORT, 4:35 PM: A week and a half ago, we published an open letter decrying the delay in installing the planned West Seattle Junction bike corral. Today, in a comment on that letter, an SDOT spokesperson says there’s a resolution and installment is nigh:

We’ve been working with the developer at this corner on a system for requesting temporary closure or removal of the corral should construction require access to the entire frontage curb space. In the meantime, we are planning to move forward with the installation of the corral on the east side of California Ave SW, immediately south of Alaska St, and expect this to happen later this month.

The city already has 25 bike corrals (see the list, and a photo of what they’re like, by scrolling down this page) – but none in West Seattle; this will be the first.

ADDED 9:55 PM: West Seattle Bike Connections has been working to make this happen and sent this news release tonight:
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West Seattle Summer Fest countdown: Meet ‘Seymour History’

Three days until West Seattle Summer Fest – our area’s biggest party of the year, in the heart of The Junction, Friday-Sunday, July 11th-13th. We’re continuing to roll out previews of what you can see and do, and today we have an update from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, which will have a booth at the fair to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the “high bridge,” partnering with Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor). SWSHS’s Clay Eals sends word that in honor of another anniversary – the state’s 125th birthday – you can “meet” Seymour History at the booth. That’s Seymour at left; he is a 10-inch-high doll replica of an Olympic Marmot, the state’s official land mammal, available for photo ops at the booth, where you can also enter a contest to win him or other prizes including two “History Is Not for Wimps” T-shirts, the book “Washington Curiosities,” and four guest passes to the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma. If you stop by the booth 11 am-3 pm on Summer Fest day 1 this Friday, you’ll also meet staffers from the Washington State Historical Society; other hours, SWSHS volunteers will do double duty as Seymour’s handlers, while also leading the bridge-a-versary activities including an interactive art opportunity and more chances to buy commemorative T-shirts and coffee beans. Get ready for everything Summer Fest has to offer by browsing the official site here.

Questions for local politicians and elected officials? West Seattle Chamber/GSBA event tomorrow

Today is the deadline for advance registration for an event tomorrow night offering you the chance to mix, mingle, and chat one-on-one with more than 20 candidates/elected officials from around the region. It’s co-presented by the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Seattle Business Association, 5:30-7:30 pm Wednesday at The Sanctuary at Admiral (42nd/Lander). We checked with WS Chamber CEO Lynn Dennis to find out about the format and who has RSVP’d. She confirms, no political speeches – but if you want to do a bit more than just wander around the room, a “bingo-mingle card” will be offered with suggestions of who to look for, including West Seattle business owners (fill in 5 of the 9 bingo squares and you’ll be able to enter a drawing for free airline tickets from Alaska/Horizon Air, the event sponsor). Click ahead for the list of who’s RSVP’d, who’s likely, and how to get a ticket (with the discount rate for WSCC/GSBA members expiring end-of-day today):
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West Seattle road work: Morgan Junction businesses still open

July 8, 2014 2:01 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle road work: Morgan Junction businesses still open
 |   West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news

(WSB photo taken this morning)
Just drove through Morgan Junction near the California SW paving zone. While the east-west part of the main intersection is open, unimpeded, right now, it’s one lane each way in the actual paving zone between Fauntleroy and Holly, and that means no street parking next to the businesses on the west side of the street. On behalf of their business and others in the area, Second Gear Sports asked if we’d remind you (a) they ARE open as usual despite the road work, which is scheduled to continue until Wednesday evening, and (b) there’s still other parking you can use while you’re visiting the businesses – alongside/behind the Subway/Pet Elements/WS Vision/Starbucks building, or across California in the Thriftway or BECU ATM (etc.) lots.

Followup: More details of the Fauntleroy Expressway re-do plan

(2012 WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
How did more than 600 “bearing pad” cushions get installed on the Fauntleroy Expressway end of the West Seattle Bridge with a design flaw that made them too soft? The City Council Transportation Committee got a few more answers in a briefing this morning. The agenda including that briefing is what led to our report last Friday about the problem, which means that much of the work done two years ago, requiring multiple nighttime closures so the bridge deck could be jacked up for bearing-pad installation, will be re-done next year.

First: What exactly was the problem?
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Extra work Saturday at sewer-overflow project by Lowman Beach

(Project site aerial photo by Long B. Nguyen)
Work is scheduled this Saturday (July 12th) at the sewer-overflow-control project across from Lowman Beach, where King County is building a million-gallon underground storage tank to reduce overflows from the nearby Murray Pump Station. The county sent special notice of this today since it’s outside the bounds of the usual work; the notice says the work will be done between 9 am and 5 pm Saturday, and: “Nearly all the work will be completed with hand tools. No drilling, pumping or other construction activities will occur. Some materials may be moved around the site with a forklift.”

The notice described the work as “repairs” so we followed up to ask what was broken; project spokesperson Doug Marsano replied that it is “general maintenance work on the drill equipment used to install the outer ring of the tank. Some of the project’s support equipment may also be maintained in order to prevent breakdowns. Doing the maintenance on Saturday when the equipment isn’t being used helps keep the project on schedule.” And so far, he said, it is “going well and is on schedule.” That schedule calls for completion in 2016.

West Seattle Tuesday: 5 ways to get involved with your community

July 8, 2014 9:18 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Tuesday: 5 ways to get involved with your community
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

As is usually the case for the second Tuesday of the month, it’s a busy night for community meetings. Highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

BRIDGE WORK RE-DO @ CITY COUNCIL TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE: As first reported here last Friday, the 600-plus “bearing pad” cushions installed to strengthen the Fauntleroy Expressway end of the West Seattle Bridge three years ago all need to be replaced. This morning at 9:30 am, the City Council Transportation Committee’s meeting includes the official briefing on what happened and what’s happening next. If you can’t get to City Hall, watch live via Seattle Channel – on cable or online. (

SUMMER LUAU: The Senior Center of West Seattle is celebrating summer with an island-style lunch party, 11:45 am. Check to see if there’s any room left. (Oregon/California)

*editor’s note – this happens WEDNESDAY* WATCH THE WORLD CUP SEMI-FINALS: 1 pm in the air-conditioned meeting room at High Point Branch Library, you’re invited to watch the World Cup semifinals with fellow fans. Doors open at 12:30 pm. (35th/Raymond)

HIGH POINT NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: 6 pm meeting at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center. (6400 Sylvan Way)

SOUND TRANSIT @ WEST SEATTLE TRANSPORTATION COALITION: Though right now Sound Transit service to West Seattle is just a bus route, ST is of intense interest because it’s updating its Long-Range Plan and might include a light-rail route for this area. As previewed here Sunday night, two ST reps are scheduled to talk with WSTC tonight. 6:30 pm, Neighborhood House’s High Point Center. (6400 Sylvan Way)

HELP A GUIDE DOG GROW UP: Find out about becoming a guide-puppy-raiser by attending a West Seattle See Dogs meeting – just happens to be one tonight at The Kenney (WSB sponsor), 6:30 pm. (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW)

PARK DISTRICT FORUM @ ADMIRAL NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: As part of tonight’s ANA meeting at The Sanctuary at Admiral, the August 5th ballot measure to create a permanent Park District will be discussed by supporters – including City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen – and opponents. The agenda also includes a look ahead to the ANA-presented Summer Concerts at Hiawatha series, which starts on July 24th. No ANA meeting in August, so this is the last one until September 9th. (California/Lander)

FAUNTLEROY COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION: 7 pm in the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse meeting room, with the agenda announced as including:

discussion of play streets, the possibility of conducting another community survey, traffic issues, boat storage at Cove Park, new neighbor bags, an update on the Fauntleroy Swing into Summer Dance, reports on the Southwest District Council and Ferry Advisory Council, and issues related to our partners, the Fauntleroy Community Service Association (owners of the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse).

No FCA meeting in August, so this is the last one until September 9th. (9131 California SW)

NIGHTLIFE: Music, bingo, trivia, karaoke … see tonight’s listings on our calendar.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday notes, including California SW repaving south of Fauntleroy Way

(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
First thing on the list this morning: SDOT is scheduled to start two days of work today, repaving a block of California SW in Morgan Junction, just south of Fauntleroy Way, where the intersection was repaved weekend before last. The work schedule is 7 am-7 pm. The city says it will maintain one lane of through traffic “in each direction,” though the weekly “lookahead” says California will be closed – we’ll check after 7 am and update here.

SUMMER FEST REMINDER: We’ll remind you every day – Thursday night at 6 until late Sunday night, California SW closes between Edmunds and Genesee and SW Alaska closes between 44th and 42nd for West Seattle Summer Fest (presented by the WS Junction Association, co-sponsored by WSB). That means bus reroutes, too, now published on Metro’s site – again, these are for Thursday night (July 10th) through Sunday night (July 13th) – each link goes to the Metro PDF explaining what will change and where:

*RapidRide C Line
*Route 50
*Route 55
*Route 57
*Route 128
*Route 773 (Water Taxi shuttle)

8:37 AM: Thanks to Jennhx for confirming that the repaving zone on California *does* have one lane open each way.

10:31 AM: Via Twitter, Wonder reports a crash has Northbound 99 down to one lane just before the stadium zone.

Congratulations! West Seattle Little League Majors prepare to play in state tournament on home field

Meet another set of district-champion West Seattle Little Leaguers – the Majors, who will take their District 7 title into state play on their home field, Bar-S, where their division’s tournament will be played starting Saturday. We mentioned their win briefly in this story over the weekend; now, thanks to Porter Hammer, we have the victory photo, and the roster:

Manager – Jason Woodward
Coaches – Stan Debiec, Jon Muench
Players – Max Debiec, Konrad Gerhardt, Ulee Hammer, Will Holmes, Paul Johnson, Henry Muench, Justin Murphy, Walker Nelson, Isaac Patchen, Jackson Sullivan, Jack Summers, Kenji Suzuki, Jarek Woodward

The tournament starts Saturday (July 12th) and runs through the following Saturday (July 19th): here’s the bracket/schedule, and you’ll see that the West Seattle team is scheduled to play its first game at 1 pm Saturday vs. the champs of District 4 in southwestern Washington.