day : 18/09/2014 11 results

Followup: Where the dirt from overflow-control tank dig is going, and other questions answered

September 18, 2014 10:12 pm
|    Comments Off on Followup: Where the dirt from overflow-control tank dig is going, and other questions answered
 |   Environment | West Seattle news

One of West Seattle’s biggest digs is under way.

Excavation started today at the site of King County’s Murray Combined Sewer Overflow control project, a million-gallon underground tank across from Lowman Beach. The announcement published here Wednesday – noting that up to 55 trucks a day will travel two nearby routes – brought lots of questions in WSB comments, so we asked KCWTD’s Doug Marsano for answers. We also went to the site overlook along Lincoln Park Way for a firsthand look (see the short video above, and the photo added here).

HOW MUCH DIRT? At an earlier community meeting, it was described as “enough to fill Colman Pool twice.” Specifically, we now know – 21,000 cubic yards.

WHERE IS IT BEING TAKEN? Basically, east King County: “Cedar Hills Landfill at 16645 228th Ave SE, in Maple Valley, and Reserve Silica Corporation on Black Diamond Road in Ravensdale.”

ARE THE TRUCKING HOURS SAME AS THE WORK HOURS? The latter, according to this week’s update, are 7 am-6 pm. But, we learned today:

Haul hours are 8 am- 3:30 pm. There may be additional trucks entering or leaving the site outside of those hours, but the bulk of the trips will occur between during haul hours.

IS IT ‘UP TO 55 TRUCKS A DAY’ FROM THE START, OR RAMPING UP? The latter, replied Marsano: “Today, for instance, crews removed about 30 loads. The most intense period will be through early October when the tank hole is relatively shallow. Truck trips will slow to about 20 a day (or 3-4 an hour) when the hole is at its deepest.”

WHERE ARE THE TRUCKS STAGING? “The initial plan is to stage trucks on Fauntleroy. Adjustments will be made as necessary to ease congestion and accommodate ferry traffic, including use of 48th Ave and the east side of Beach Drive.”

The project website is here; the 24-hour project hotline, for questions or to report problems, is 206-205-9186. Current timeline for completing the storage-tank facility is the second half of 2016.

Saving the sea stars: Marine Disease Emergency Act introduced in Congress

(File photo, courtesy Laura James)
New hope that the mystery killer ravaging the sea-star population might be identified and stopped: “Diver Laura” James – whose sea-star monitoring project was just featured nationally again, in this MSNBC story – sent this announcement from South Sound U.S. Rep. Denny Heck:

To address the sea star wasting syndrome and other major marine disease emergencies, this week Representative Denny Heck (WA-10) and the Puget Sound Recovery Caucus introduced the Marine Disease Emergency Act. The proposed legislation would establish a framework for declaring and responding to a marine disease emergency, and to provide the science community with the resources to proactively protect marine ecosystems from being irreparably damaged by cascading epidemics.

The Marine Disease Emergency Act establishes a declaration process for the Secretary of Commerce, acting through the Administrator of NOAA, to declare a marine disease emergency. The proposed bill outlines the factors needed for a 120-day rapid response plan, including the necessary engagement of individuals and entities at federal, regional, state and local levels to assist in a coordinated and effective response aimed at minimizing the impacts and preventing further transmission. The legislation also requires a post-emergency report detailing current disease status and providing recommendations for improving responses to future marine disease emergencies.

The Marine Disease Emergency Act establishes a national data repository to facilitate research and link different datasets from across the country, as well as a “Marine Disease Emergency Fund” under Treasury in order to accept donations from the public and the industry.

“Sea stars do not function underwater in a vacuum,” said Representative Denny Heck, who represents the South Puget Sound area. “They are in fact a keystone species vital to the ecosystem. When these species face an epidemic, we must engage the scientific community in an organized, rapid-response approach to determine what can be done to halt the damage to our oceans. This could be a sign of a deeper problem.”

Professor Drew Harvell of Cornell University, who studies the ecology and evolution of coral resistance to disease, expressed support for the new policy, saying “Disease outbreaks of marine organisms are predicted to increase with warming oceans and so it’s very welcome to see legislation like the Marine Disease Emergency Act introduced.”

“When you pierce the surface of our picturesque water vistas, what’s underneath is not OK. We have sea stars that are wasting away, pulling themselves apart and limbs disappearing from their bodies. That is not OK. And it’s only getting worse,” said Sheida Sahandy, executive director of the Puget Sound Partnership. “We need the ability to respond to these kinds of emergencies as quickly as we would an earthquake or a hurricane. This action creates the support for the kind of nimble response that is required in order to react to fast-acting threats to our ecosystem.”

Representatives Heck and Kilmer co-founded the Congressional Puget Sound Caucus last year to reflect their commitment to preserving the Puget Sound. The caucus is the only Congressional working group devoted exclusively to promoting Puget Sound cleanup efforts, and builds on the legacy left by former Congressman Norm Dicks, a longtime advocate for the health of the Puget Sound. The caucus continues to be focused on promoting the three region-wide Puget Sound recovery priorities: preventing pollution from urban stormwater runoff, protecting and restoring habitat, and restoring and re-opening shellfish beds.

The question now – will the bill pass and become law? Laura is working on gathering grass-roots support, and we’ll update with ways for you to voice your opinion, if you are interested.

Biznote: Annie’s Nannies moving headquarters to West Seattle

(Annie’s Nannies staff photo, by Denise Danzer)
Big year for the regional child-care agency Annie’s Nannies (WSB sponsor). It’s celebrating 30 years in business, and now, it’s just announced a headquarters move – from Ballard to West Seattle. On October 6th, according to the announcement, Annie’s Nannies will open its new office at 6041 California SW (Suite 105), on the north end of Morgan Junction. Chief Operating Officer Teah Achman is quoted in the announcement as saying, “We’ve been ‘space-challenged’ for a while now. West Seattle is a good fit for the business and our staff.” Founder Annie Davis adds, “I started this business in my bedroom with $1,500 and a phone. Since then, we’ve found top jobs for thousands of people, but it’s been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs with the economy.” Along with child-care professionals, Annie’s Nannies also coordinates hiring of family assistants, elder companions, and other personal employees.

Update: Big Seattle Fire response after gas line cut in Arbor Heights; no injuries, repairs under way

(WSB photo, added)
3:22 PM: Big Seattle Fire callout categorized as “natural gas leak – major” in the 9800 block of 34th SW. More to come.

3:28 PM: Some of the responding units are being dismissed. Crews on scene say it’s a 2-inch line, cut during construction activity.

3:37 PM: Our crew at the scene says Puget Sound Energy has arrived to shut off the gas. It’s a residential construction site. (You can see the excavator behind the truck.) No injuries. The smell – which should dissipate soon – is most noticeable to the north. P.S. Our crew says a TV helicopter has arrived in the area.

4:13 PM: Just in case you live in the area and are wondering what you’ll find when you get home – the SFD response is closed; the gas line is being fixed; SFD has confirmed no injuries, no evacuations.

Port possibilities, crosswalk concerns @ Delridge District Council

(Terminal 5, photographed earlier this week by Don Brubeck)
A triple bill of transportation-related guests at last night’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting – Seattle Port Commissioner Courtney Gregoire, City Councilmember (chairing its Transportation Committee) Tom Rasmussen, and just-confirmed SDOT director Scott Kubly, who, in his third West Seattle appearance in two weeks, heard about safety concerns outside two local schools.

First: With the expanse of closed-and-idle Terminal 5 in the line of sight for thousands of West Seattleites daily, its future was a major topic for Commissioner Gregoire.

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Meet your neighhhhh-bors @ SPD Mounted Patrol open house

(WSB photo from Delridge Day, 8/6/14)
On the heels – or hooves – of the Seattle Police Mounted Patrol Unit appearance at last month’s Delridge Day, here’s your next chance to see the unit’s horses and humans: This Saturday, it’s the second annual open house at their West Seattle home base. We’re giving you an extra nudge because Sgt. Jim Scott says they really want to make sure you know about the chance to come visit them. The Mounted Patrol is based alongside Westcrest Park in Highland Park (9000 8th SW – directions here); the open house runs noon-5 pm and is hosted by the nonprofit Seattle Police Foundation, whose announcement mentions riding demonstrations at 1 and 4 pm, plus free hot dogs.

Getting your postal mail in the evening in West Seattle lately? Here’s why

(WSB photo: Westwood Village post office)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Last night, our U.S. Postal Service mail arrived at 6:30 pm. A few nights earlier, it arrived after 8 pm. Several WSB readers have e-mailed mentioning the same thing, and wondering why they’re getting deliveries so much later than before. Today, we have the answer. Our inquiry to the regional media-relations rep was referred to a USPS supervisor who’s been working out of the Junction Post Office branch, Janet Doyle, who had all the answers, plus a few datapoints we hadn’t heard before:

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Six possibilities for the rest of your West Seattle Thursday

September 18, 2014 10:33 am
|    Comments Off on Six possibilities for the rest of your West Seattle Thursday
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(River otter near Jack Block Park – yes, ours are ‘river’ otters, even in salt water! Photo by Mark Wangerin)
We’re diving right into Thursday! First, please remember, what we spotlight on these daily lineups is only part of what’s on the calendar for any given day/night, and you can always browse ahead at (or click the CALENDAR tab on any WSB page):

FIREFIGHTERS ASK YOU TO HELP ‘FILL THE BOOT’: 1-6 pm today and tomorrow, West Seattle firefighters will be part of the annual fundraiser for MDA. Our preview includes the locations where you’re likely to see them.

‘HEALTH AND HARVEST’ AT THE COMMUNITY ORCHARD: This weekly session at the Community Orchard of West Seattle – ever been there? – is part work party, part tour, part Q/A; details are in our calendar listing. 5-7 pm, north end of the SSC campus on Puget Ridge. (6000 16th SW)

ARBOR HEIGHTS PTA MEETING/BACK-TO-SCHOOL BARBECUE: 6 pm, back-to-school barbecue, followed by the first PTA meeting of the year at 7 pm, all at Arbor Heights Elementary‘s interim location at the Boren Building. (5950 Delridge Way SW)

ALKI COMMUNITY COUNCIL: 7 pm at Alki UCC, with topics including potential development in the purview of the city’s Shoreline Master Plan and feedback on the Southwest Precinct’s proposed neighborhood-policing plan for the Alki area. (62nd/Hinds)

UNPLUGGED! Musicians and singers welcome for the monthly non-amplified open-microphone session hosted by the Seattle Classic Guitar Society at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7 pm. (5612 California SW)

‘THE MOUNTAINTOP’: Second week of performances at ArtsWest (WSB sponsor) for the Northwest premiere of award-winning “The Mountaintop,” which re-imagines the last night in the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (4711 California SW)

EVERYTHING ELSE … is on the calendar!

West Seattle development: Key approvals for 18-house subdivision proposed at 2646 SW Holden

(WSB photo from January 2014)
From today’s city Land Use Information Bulletin: Key approvals are in for the 18-house subdivision proposed for that 73,000-square-foot site at 2646 SW Holden (map), which stretches to a smaller amount of frontage on SW Webster, all just west of the Navos mental-health facility.

We reported on the proposal at the end of last year, when it was reactivated in the city site after being dormant for some time, following “streamlined design review” approval. Today, the land-use-permit decision has been published (read it here). The decision details why the city believes the development would not substantially disturb the “steep slope” area on the site, though it acknowledges the development will result in “increased surface water runoff due to greater site coverage by impervious surfaces” and “loss of plant and animal habitat.” . Each three-story house would have a two-car garage; part of the site is zoned single-family, part is zoned low rise. While the site was up for sale when we last reported on this proposal, county property records show it hasn’t changed hands since becoming the property of Madrona Glen LLC two years ago. More than 30 of the trees on the site would be removed under the 18-house plan, 10 of them classified by the city as “exceptional.” Today’s publication of the approval opens a two-week period for potential appeals (that process is explained here).

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday watch; transportation news notes

(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Thursday’s commute is on. We start with notes:

WATCH OUT FOR TRUCKS: As reported here last night, the county says excavation will start today at the sewer-overflow-control project across from Lowman Beach, and for several months, that means up to 55 truck trips a day on two stretches of road.

ROAD WORK: If everything is according to SDOT schedule, East Marginal Way paving north of the bridge continues today, and Highway 99 lane closures continue overnight tonight.

TRANSPORTATION NEWS NOTES: If you missed our coverage of Metro’s newest budget outlook – projecting fewer cuts in the long run – see it hereWashington State Ferries sends the reminder that its fall schedule takes effect Sunday.

9:04 AM UPDATE: Thanks to Don Brubeck from West Seattle Bike Connections for this photo of the work on East Marginal:

Don says, “Here is a shot of the paving work in progress on East Marginal Way South, north of South Hanford St. Crews are removing the curving RR tracks and ties. This is another good step by SDOT for safety for bike riders – the curving cracks caused by the buried tracks are a hazard. It should help the paving last longer, too. Maybe until a real roadbed reconstruction is done to actually hold up to heavy truck traffic on the poor fill soils.”

Followup: New court action in West Seattle foreclosure fight

Today marks one month since the last public event related to the foreclosure/eviction fight involving Jean and Byron Barton and the Morgan Junction home his family owned for decades. August 18th was the day Jean Barton joined in a protest against King County Sheriff John Urquhart, days after its detectives removed her and her family from the house, saying they were being arrested for trespassing. That was four weeks after they had been formally evicted amid a crowd of demonstrators, with Byron Barton carried away on a stretcher.

While the protests and press conferences have faded away, the Bartons’ lawsuit continues, and we have a followup. Making a periodic check of the online files in the case Wednesday, we noticed the Bartons’ lawyer had filed a motion for default judgment against the entities they’re suing, JP Morgan Chase, Quality Loan Service of Washington, and First American Title:

At the heart of the motion: The Bartons’ lawyer Jill Smith pointed out that while the lawsuit was filed in early May, four months had passed and none of the respondents had filed a response. Chase and QLS acknowledged being served, but hadn’t filed responses; FAT hadn’t even acknowledged being served. A deadline was set, and Chase finally filed this response:

The other two respondents did not. We checked with Smith via e-mail on Wednesday, and she replied that they “are awaiting the judge’s signature on the Order for Default Judgment against Quality Loan Service Corp. of Washington and First American Title. JP Morgan Chase filed a woefully inadequate Answer to the Complaint last week, but nevertheless, we will not likely be able to obtain default against Chase.” (This court action does not involve the company that bought the house at a foreclosure auction in April; its “unlawful detainer” eviction action against the Bartons, however, remains under appeal.)

We asked Smith about the Bartons’ housing status, and she replied, “Mr. Barton is still in the facility in Columbia City and Mrs. Barton and her sons made other arrangements after the eviction for their well-being. They are all still seeking long-term housing that will allow them to all live together again.”