West Seattle, Washington
When Mayor Murray previewed his public-safety budget last Friday, our coverage noted his mention of “more than 100 micropolicing plans” in progress. Tonight, Seattle Police mentioned those plans in the context of the newest crime statistics.
The precinct-by-precinct crime-stats breakouts for May, June, July, and August aren’t out yet, but the citywide numbers are, and SPD Blotter reports they show an overall increase, led by a 44 percent citywide jump in auto theft. The SPD Blotter update also says: “The Department is using the crime data as part of a new program it’s launched, called SeaStat, that’s aimed at quickly addressing crime hotspots based on analysis of crime data and community reports of incidents.” In addition to computer analysis, “SeaStat also takes community views into account through regular meetings where the department can hear directly from residents if its efforts are working. The community feedback, and analysis of crime data, will be used to adjust the precinct community policing plans now under development.”
In West Seattle, local precinct leadership has been consulting neighborhood groups while drafting those plans. Just two examples: The North Delridge Neighborhood Council is looking for feedback from its community on the latest revision of a proposed North Delridge plan, linked from the NDNC website; and if you are in the Alki/Beach Drive area, the Alki Community Council is looking for feedback on that area’s draft plan when it resumes monthly meetings tomorrow night (Thursday 9/18, 7 pm, Alki UCC parlor, 6112 SW Hinds).
Meantime, we’re awaiting the precinct-specific (West Seattle and South Park comprise the Southwest Precinct) crime-data updates and could hear tomorrow (per our Twitter exchange with SPD, below) when that’ll be available:
@westseattleblog Don't have precinct data finalized yet but should be soon. We'll see if we can get an ETA tomorrow.
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) September 18, 2014
You can see the citywide updates on this page (which, at the bottom, links precinct-by-precinct data through April).
Signs of upcoming demolition at another future West Seattle construction site: Thanks to Eddie for the tip that the telltale fence is up around 4400 SW Alaska, an 8-unit apartment building scheduled to make way for a building with 5 stories, 36 apartments, 2 live/work-units, and 5 offstreet-parking spaces. It received key city approvals back in July, after passing Design Review in February. It’s about a block south of a similar-size building for which construction is starting, with site demolition just last week, 4535 44th SW.
(PHOTO ADDED THURSDAY AFTERNOON, with digging & trucking under way)
Just got word that tomorrow is the start of the next major phase of the Murray Combined Sewer Overflow control project – digging the hole for the million-gallon tank across from Lowman Beach:
Now that the contractor has completed secant pile installation, crews will begin digging to clear space for the underground storage tank tomorrow, September 18, 2014. Excavation will be complete by early 2015. Crews will dig out an area about 80 feet deep and 100 feet wide. All of the material removed will be trucked off site. These activities will bring as many as 55 trucks per day to the project site to load and haul off material. Trucks will access the project site from 48th Avenue SW or Lincoln Park Way SW. Please be aware of traffic as trucks move in and out of the site.
(Click map for full-size, PDF version of map)
More info is on the county’s site for the project; if you have questions or concerns, there’s a 24-hour hotline at 206-205-9186.
P.S. As discussed in comments about an hour after we first published this, when the county announced these routes in February, they were labeled “primary” and “secondary” (see the map in the story we published back then). Now they are labeled entry/exit with a warning that either route might be used at any time by any truck, depending on a variety of conditions.
(added) Following further discussion – here’s the PDF including the county’s full announcement, also embedded below:
West Seattle’s next festival is two days away – Holy Rosary School‘s WestFest, 6-10 pm Friday and 10 am-10 pm Saturday. Along with information you can browse on the festival website, organizers have announced the highlights and entertainment schedule:
·NEW THIS YEAR AT WESTFEST: TODDLER TIME!
Bring your preschoolers to Toddler Time at WestFest! Holy Rosary is bringing the Carnival of Community to our younger West Seattle residents this year! From 10 am-12 pm on Saturday, they can enjoy a discount on 3 rides exclusively for them! We are also featuring a clown who will twist up creative balloon animals, PLUS we have an interactive dance session from the fabulous instructors of Sundancers! After all that fun, they can take in a magic show at noon. There are a lot of food options to add fuel to all this activity so stick around for lunch and treats too!
· We brought the book sale back, so bring your family and friends to WestFest to browse! You can “Fill A Bag For $1 Or A Donation” during the last 2 hours of the sale (4p-6p) on Saturday.
· We are proud to announce our 2014 Stage Lineup:
(WSB photo, taken early this afternoon)
That bright new play equipment at Schmitz Park Elementary was ready for kindergarteners’ morning recess today, two and a half months after the early-morning fire that left the previous playset unusable. Exactly what caused the June 26th fire has never been pinpointed. Nobody was hurt, but the fire destroyed $50,000 worth of equipment that was only a year old. SPES principal Gerrit Kischner tells WSB, “The District moved very quickly to find the funds necessary for purchasing the replacement in time make the order (very impressive in light that a five-week lead time was necessary from the manufacturer to land the material before school started).”
Six things to mention before the day gets much further along:
ARTHRITIS FUNDRAISER @ MASSAGE ENVY: Today’s the biggest day of Massage Envy (WSB sponsor) multi-week fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation – $10 from any hour-long massage or facial goes to the AF. Details in our calendar listing. (2513 SW Trenton)
DOGS-IN-THE-POOL WEEK CONTINUES: Just ask Willis (whose person texted us the photo below). It’s fun!
5-7 pm at Arbor Heights Swim and Tennis Club, the third of six sessions for dogs only/no people, except, you do have to stay at the pool while your pup’s in it. Fundraiser for the club’s teams. Details in our calendar listing. (11003 31st SW)
DELRIDGE DISTRICT COUNCIL HOSTS PORT, CITY COUNCIL, SDOT: Port Commissioner Courtney Gregoire, City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, and newly confirmed SDOT director Scott Kubly are the guests – in that order, per the agenda – at tonight’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council, 7 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. Got a question? Bring it! (4408 Delridge Way SW)
WORDSWEST LITERARY SERIES DEBUTS: 7 pm at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), a new writer-organized, writer-spotlighting series debuts, WordsWest (as previewed here) – more info in our calendar listing. (5612 California SW)
NIGHTLIFE: Theater, comedy, bingo, karaoke, trivia, open microphone, all in tonight’s listings!
Two West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports. First, a burglary report from last night, at a home near 51st SW and Admiral Way. The report was forwarded on behalf of the burglary victim’s family:
Mom’s laptop and my DSLR camera and lenses are gone, they took some alcohol, looked for pills, smashed the sliding glass door. Found out they took an antique jewelry/music box from mom’s childhood that had sentimental value.
Also, Eric reports his motorcycle has been stolen:
Just wanted to advise WS residents that a black Harley Davidson motorcycle was stolen (license plate 8C4988, with whitewalls and black handlebars) from Link Apartments on 38th and Alaska. Sometime between Sept 6th and Sept 16th from the “secure” garage. If anyone sees it around, please call police.
Next crime-prevention-related meeting in West Seattle is the WS Block Watch Captains’ Network, Tuesday (September 23rd), 6:30 pm at the Southwest Precinct, including updates from SPD. You don’t have to be a BW captain to attend – all welcome.
(WSB photo of Dively & Desmond, substituted for originally posted Twitter image)
10:02 AM: We’re at King County’s King Street Center, where Metro Transit general manager Kevin Desmond and the county’s budget boss Dwight Dively are briefing the media on what County Executive Dow Constantine will propose for Metro in his budget, due out next Monday. Since Metro is of special interest to our transportation-challenged peninsula, we’re here to report the toplines live.
First, from the news release handed out:
*Beyond the September 2014 (no West Seattle routes involved) and February 2015 (that plan announced two weeks ago includes, for West Seattle, deleting Route 22 and changing the 21, 116X, and 125) cuts, 80,000 hours in cuts (half the March number) are suggested for March 2016 – so much in play, they aren’t saying which routes that might affect.
Dively says they’re creating budget efficiencies through health-care costs, saving $3 million for transit over the next two years. Also, diesel prices have gone down. Sales tax, though, he describes as “volatile” – and the forecast they’re using now came out in August, and isn’t much different than what they had in March.
Desmond is recapping some of the steps Metro has taken in recent years and insisting “We have not stopped for a second trying to find ways to keep service on the road, to stretch our dollars further, whether from our expense budget … or capital budget … We don’t want to cut service. Our mission is to transport people every single day …”
Here’s what he says has changed, leading to savings that in turn mean fewer cuts:
*Buying 40 fewer buses, saving $40 million in capital budget
*Negotiated better prices on buses they are buying, saving $50 million (also capital program)
*Job injuries/worker comp claims/lawsuit claims – saving $13 million
*Vehicle maintenance “process improvement” – $2 million
*Reducing service means fewer drivers, $3 million less spending, 335 jobs lost at Metro over next 2 years
*Fuel conversion saving $1 million
*Paratransit costs, “most expensive product that Metro operates” (Access service), $7 million savings
*Full list in news release
So bottom line, 400,000 service hours to be cut, instead of once-forecast 550,000. But Desmond says they know that’ll still be painful. First 151,000 hours kick in September 21st.
10:15 AM: Now he gets to the Seattle transit-money ballot measure in November. “If the Seattle measure passes, the February service changes will automatically be deferred until June 2015 to allow Metro and the city time to enter into service contracts – all of the cuts would be deferred, not just the Seattle cuts.” He says they still look forward to adding service sometime. August ridership figures show a 3 percent increase, and, says Desmond: “At the same time we are reducing the system, what we really should be doing is growing.” He acknowledges overcrowded buses around the county, unreliable buses because of traffic – “We need to solve these problems and this budget doesn’t allow us to do that.” He says the system is 900,000 hours short of what might help fix that.
Now Q/A – what about the transit workers who rejected wage freezes, how does that figure into this? Desmond says the situation now goes to binding arbitration. If the transit workers had accepted the freezes, that would have saved $8 million – equal to 80,000 hours of service cuts. “We do not expect to get an arbitration decision until the second quarter of next year,” Desmond said. Otherwise, the budget currently incorporates the “basic cost-of-living increase” for those and other workers.
Next question, “How do you respond to those who say you’re using scare tactics to get people to approve a tax increase?” Desmond points to the fact “we’ve been talking about this for six years. … We’ve not been hiding this from anybody through that entire six-year period.” (Editor’s note: Here’s a 2008 mention on WSB.) He talks about committees and task forces that have been going through the system and how it works, “totally out in the open” over those years. “We were the only transit system in this state in 2011 … that convinced the state Legislature to give us another tool to keep service on the road.” Though they’ve figured out how to save 150,000 hours in cuts, he says 400,000 hours worth are still painful, and “six years of kicking the can down the road in terms of stopgap measures and one-time savings … we’ve got to put a stop to that. … We don’t want to continue to lurch back and forth with the public.” He says they’re still at risk of having to keep cutting if the economy has a downturn at this point.
Desmond says they’re hoping that they can get to the point where they can “look at making some improvements” in Seattle lines that are currently overcrowded. Should downtown businesses chip in with head taxes or in other ways? Desmond says he doesn’t want to “get into that” but that there are already ways that the business community is helping, including pre-paid fare products. Dively also points out that head taxes are a city-only tool – not available to counties, in our state – and it’s up to the city to figure out how it wants to raise money. Desmond, then, turns back a question meant to elicit a “why should Seattle voters approve the ballot measure?” answer. He just mentions that the area is growing and transit should be growing, not contracting.
10:29 AM: Desmond mentions SDOT’s new director Scott Kubly, saying that Kubly is “really excited” about finding ways to improve the right of way for buses so they don’t get stuck in traffic and therefore delayed as often.
We ask about fare increases – Desmond points out the one scheduled for March of next year, and beyond that, he says that it would likely be a dialogue with the county council since the executive is not proposing another fare increase before 2018. He mentions the oft-cited stat that Metro’s basic fare will have doubled since 2008, when next year’s increase kicks in (at the same time a new low-income fare takes effect). “We always have to be thinking hard and struggling to find the right pricepoint …” appealing to “discretionary” riders as well as those who have no alternative.
10:35 AM: Briefing over – full complement of regional media was here too. If you want to read the full news release, it’s here.
Make music! The West Seattle Community Orchestras are almost ready for this year’s season – just a few weeks away – and are sharing this announcement to let you know what’s new this year, as well as what’s continuing, so you (or another musician in your household!) can sign up:
Develop your musical skills as West Seattle Community Orchestras expands your opportunities for the fall session. There is a group for just about everyone!
► NEW! Wind Symphony (concert band) for students and adults, 6+ years’ experience on woodwinds, brass, and percussion. Particularly in demand for this new group are trumpets, baritones, trombones, tubas, and saxophones. The group will be playing classic wind band/concert band favorites including Liberty Bell March, Flourish for Wind Band, and Overture for Winds.
► NEW! Student Beginning Strings Ensemble for students (3rd -12th) in first year of school participation or private lessons. This ensemble will enhance the learning students are already receiving in a fun, encouraging atmosphere.
And there’s more: Read More
Congratulations to Dorothy and Everett Wright of West Seattle, who just celebrated a big anniversary. From their daughter Wendy Hobson:
Everett and Dorothy Wright celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary (August 19, 2014) with a party a few days later at their daughter’s home with family and friends.
They got married on their fourth “date,” after meeting in Chicago at Christmastime in 1943 when Dorothy went to stay with her sister. Dorothy’s oldest sister was married to Everett’s older brother. They went out to dinner – then Everett (who was in the Air Force in 1944) went back to Louisiana. They wrote to each other for 8 months. He came back to Chicago on leave, proposed, and they got married a few days later. They took the train to North Dakota and spent their honeymoon with her parents on the farm.
In 1956, they moved from Chicago to Seattle, following Dorothy’s sisters and their families. They had a 2.5 year old daughter and a 3-month-old son, no job, no house. Everett went out to look for a job and at his first stop, called Dorothy to say he was hired and that he was starting that day! A few weeks later, they purchased the home on Genesee Hill where they still live.
Everett retired from Sundstrand Corp in Redmond in 1983 and Dorothy retired from Sears in SODO in 1986.
Everett bought his first computer when he was 80, learning to surf the internet. At 85, he decided to learn to play the bass guitar (figuring that because it only had 4 strings, it would be easier) to keep his mind sharp. At almost 96, he is still curious about everything.
Dorothy joined the Y after she retired and has enjoyed 30+ years of water aerobics. She is a big Mariners fan.
They both enjoy going on the senior bus to the Tulalip and Muckelshoot Casinos monthly. They are the parents of Wendy (Michael) Hobson and Brad (Colette) Wright, and grandparents of Aaron & Shawn Hobson and Carson Wright.
Milestone anniversary in YOUR family? Let us know!
(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Another quiet start to the commute. Rainy weather is forecast tonight, though, so tomorrow might be a little trickier.
ROAD WORK: Today is the first of two days scheduled for East Marginal Way paving north of the bridge. … We just double-confirmed with WSDOT that tonight’s Highway 99 closure is CANCELED, though as of this writing it’s still on their website. (Thanks to Metro for noting the cancellation in a general text alert yesterday.)
TRANSPORTATION NEWS NOTES: 10 am today, Metro/county officials plan a media briefing about what’ll be in County Executive Dow Constantine‘s budget proposal next week regarding transit. … 7 pm tonight, the monthly Delridge District Council meeting at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center includes three transportation-related guests – Port Commissioner Courtney Gregoire, City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, newly confirmed SDOT director Scott Kubly.