West Seattle, Washington
Metro‘s next round of proposed cuts went public this evening, a list of proposals to kick in next February. But they come with a big caveat – if Seattle voters pass the mayor’s transit-funding proposal in November, the February cuts would be postponed until June, and might not happen at all.
First: Here’s the official announcement, with this list-at-a-glance:
As you can see, a few West Seattle cuts are on the list: Route 22, already a shadow of its former self (it once went all the way downtown and is now just a circulator), would be deleted. Part of its service area would keep transit via a change in Route 125, whose proposed revised map looks like this:
Cuts/changes would be also be in store for Route 21, which would be reduced from 15-minute intervals on weekday middays and Saturdays to 30-minute intervals, and for Route 116X, which serves West Seattle on its way to/from the Vashon ferry, cutting three trips a day.
Metro/county reps who talked with WSB via phone conference tonight, after the release of this plan, say the full list of cuts proposed for February equals roughly half what was originally set to be cut through September of next year. And they point out that the West Seattle proposals reflect changes made after public comment on earlier proposals – for example, Route 50 is being left alone.
But passage of the transit money measure in November wouldn’t guarantee cancellation of these cuts – the city and county could work out a different set of buybacks, for example, maybe even involving changes to be made this month (not involving West Seattle routes). And they don’t know what would be needed in terms of belt-tightening after February cuts – that would be worked out in the county’s September 2015 budgeting.
For now, these proposals are expected to go to the County Council within the next two weeks, so that action would be finalized before the council’s focus turns to the budgeting process. Something to say about this new plan? West Seattle’s County Councilmember is Joe McDermott, whose contact info is here; he’s also the council’s current budget chair.
8:48 PM: Police and fire are just starting to arrive at a reported rollover crash on the eastbound bridge. It’s parallel with Admiral, according to scanner traffic. More to come.
8:53 PM: The crash was originally reported as westbound; scanner discussion indicated eastbound; but
a caller two callers who passed the scene tell us the overturned car is in the westbound lanes. So this is likely to affect traffic in both directions, although one lane is remaining open eastbound, we’re hearing.
9:02 PM: Update – one lane is open in each direction, and again, this is at or near the Admiral exit (out of camera range). No word of injuries.
8:47 PM: It’s often the clouds that make a sunset spectacular … even if they seem ominous. Our somewhat stormy evening brought dark-cloud views in two directions – above, Jacqueline’s photo looking westward; below, Lise’s photo looking to the northeast:
Thanks for sharing!
9:28 PM: We should mention, these clouds brought big rain to some other parts of the area. And even more beautiful sights here – Mark Dale has shared this:
Newest forecast says clearer, warmer weather will return, so summer’s not quite done yet.
9:50 PM: And shortly after we updated … the rain began here, in earnest, as you are probably well aware!
“It’s amazing!” That’s what we heard one new Fairmount Park Elementary student exclaim while walking the school’s halls after this afternoon’s standing-room-only ribboncutting event celebrating the school’s expansion and reopening after a seven-year closure. You might have gotten a sense of that amazement, checking out some of the features shown in our walkthrough story earlier today. But it’s the school’s community – with more than 380 students expected tomorrow, 40 or so above the most-recent estimate we had – that is most astounding. Principal Julie Breidenbach pointed out it was a leap of faith for many families who already had started their children’s elementary years elsewhere, and that it’s more than double what the district expected the school to re-start with:
She was joined onstage by dignitaries including the district’s new acting Superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland, and West Seattle’s School Board rep Marty McLaren:
Even West Seattle’s highest-ranking elected official, King County Executive Dow Constantine, was there, and he shared reminiscences including his memories of some involvement with Fairmount Park’s first phase of life, as well as some thoughts as a new dad who’ll be taking his daughter to her first day of school in a few years.
So much work has gone into “breathing life into the new building,” pointed out interim PTA president Hillary Shaw:
Those weren’t even all the speeches – but we have to get to the main event: The ribboncutting itself, which came after words of acknowledgment from principal Breidenbach and district construction-projects manager Jeanette Imanishi.
The event even had dessert – ice cream, served in the cafeteria/auditorium – and then it was off to look around:
Students and families got to meet teachers, too:
All the while, finishing touches were continuing – we spotted this worker painting lines on the north playground:
Tomorrow morning, it’s the real deal – time for school, again, at Fairmount Park. (And remember, that also means a school speed zone on Fauntleroy Way for the first time since 2007.) P.S. Other schools have changes too, including bell times, and we’ll be looking at those in a story later tonight.
(August 27 photo by BETTINA HANSEN/THE SEATTLE TIMES, republished by permission)
4:06 PM: The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has just filed charges against Estevan Sanchez, accused of stealing an SUV from outside the Seamart store in Highland Park last Wednesday, with its owner’s baby daughter in the back seat; the car was ditched in the middle of a street in Greenbridge, with the baby still inside. Sanchez, a 25-year-old Highland Park resident, is charged with second-degree kidnapping and theft of a motor vehicle. As first reported here the night of his arrest, he already had warrants out in connection with domestic-violence cases involving his longtime girlfriend – one relating to an incident this past June in which he allegedly stole her car. “His dangerous and callous actions demonstrate a total disregard for human life and the safety of the entire community,” prosecutors write in the charging documents. More to come.
ADDED 4:24 PM: More from the charging papers’ narrative, signed by deputy prosecuting attorney Ian Ith:
Announced by Mayor Murray this afternoon:
As parents ready their kids for the first week of school, Mayor Ed Murray today unveiled his plan to reorganize of the city’s education and support programs into a new Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL), the first of several proposals the mayor will make in his first city budget.
The new structure will enable the city to better coordinate existing work and resources on behalf of students of all ages, improve collaboration with Seattle Public Schools, colleges and child-care providers, and increase performance measurement of the city’s work to support educational outcomes.
Unpleasant surprise for a West Seattle couple whose SUV was stolen while they were away for the holiday weekend. But maybe you can help them get it back, if you see it. From Rebecca:
My boyfriend and I arrived home last night to discover his car stolen and we made a police report. According to our landlord, the car has been gone for a “couple days,” so we are guessing it was stolen Sat night after we left town. It is a dark blue ’90s Isuzu Rodeo and has a W. SEA sticker on the back window and his back license plate cover says “Patrick” on it. It also has some paint damage on the driver-side door. There was no glass on the ground in the area it was parked, so we are assuming none of the windows were busted out.
Please call 911 with any info on its whereabouts.
ADDED: Found – see comments.
(Renovated hallway in original FPES building. WSB photos by Tracy Record)
In about four hours, on the day before classes begin for 2014-2015, Seattle Public Schools‘ new acting superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland will be in West Seattle. He’ll join in a ribboncutting ceremony at newly expanded/renovated Fairmount Park Elementary School (3800 SW Findlay; map), reopening after a seven-year closure. We showed you photos of the completed overhaul two weeks ago (thanks again, Joe!). Then last week, we had the chance for a guided walkthrough with SPS construction-project manager Jeanette Imanishi (whom we last met for a walkthrough at the renovated Boren Building two years ago, before K-5 STEM opened there). Both the old building and the new wing to its east are full of light and color, whether you look up at the colored glass letting light into a stairwell:
Or across the courtyard, at new tile accents outside (replacing old panels that contained asbestos, which was removed from other features of the old building too, including its floors):
Or down, at the refinished gym floor, where equipment awaits the students:
The gym also sports a water-bottle filler:
Updated technology touches are everywhere – note these outlets dangling from the ceiling:
It’s September, and the community groups that took all or part of the summer off would usually be getting back to their normal schedules. But two of them have a different plan for this month. Tonight, the first Tuesday, would usually be the regular meeting night for Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council, but here’s what’s on the schedule instead, as announced by Joe Szilagyi:
One more month of a slightly different WWRHAH schedule!
No meeting tonight as we’ve mentioned — the next one will be a joint meeting with the Highland Park Action Committee at their meeting space on Wednesday, September 24 at 630 pm. This meeting will be dedicated to and focusing on Seattle Police across our two areas and South Delridge. Bring your questions — we’ll have all the key staff from the Southwest Precinct there!
Meeting: HPAC & WWRHAH joint SPD meeting
Date: Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Time: 630 pm-830 pm
Location: Highland Park Improvement Club, 1116 SW Holden
Here’s the Facebook event if you want to join that or share it.
If you live in one of those areas and have concerns/questions for SPD, that meeting will be particularly crucial, as the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council has canceled its September meeting because of health challenges among its leadership.
(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
First day after summer’s last holiday weekend, and the weather is certainly fall-ish. While tomorrow is the biggest back-to-school day, some start this morning:
WHO’S BACK TO SCHOOL TODAY: Some independent schools start the new year today, including Holy Rosary (noon dismissal), Hope Lutheran, Our Lady of Guadalupe. *Added* And via Twitter, @SudsyMaggie reminds us that Vashon Island schools are back today too – some WS kids commute to them via the Fauntleroy ferry.
REMINDER – NEW SPEEDING-TICKET CAMERAS ON ROXBURY: When you see flashing school-zone lights on Roxbury this week, that also will mean the new speeding-ticket cameras by Holy Family (20th/Roxbury) and Roxhill Elementary (30th/Roxbury) are in operation. (Added: HF zone is in effect today – Roxhill, not until tomorrow:)
The city has said the first month’s tickets will be warnings, and then in October, the grace period’s over.
OVERNIGHT LANE CLOSURES ON HIGHWAY 99: Announced late last week:
Tuesday, Sept. 2 to Friday, Sept. 5
· Crews will reduce southbound SR 99 to one lane between South Atlantic Street and South Spokane Street from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night.
Tuesday, Sept. 2; Thursday, Sept. 4 – Friday, Sept. 5
· Crews will reduce northbound SR 99 to one lane between South Spokane Street and South Atlantic Street from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night.