West Seattle, Washington
Questions followed our short Tuesday update on how the new Seattle-voter-approved funding for Metro will be spread out – and thanks to Anthony Auriemma from City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen‘s office, we have some answers.
(WSB photo: RapidRide C Line bus photographed today on California SW)
WHEN WILL RAPIDRIDE LINES C AND D SPLIT? That’s scheduled for next year, with 20,000-40,000 more service hours to be funded to cover what it’ll take to “extend and split the 2 lines,” Auriemma says, adding, “Councilmember Rasmussen is interested in finding ways to speed up the implementation of the planned split.”
WHAT ABOUT THE 21? Along with the 100 hours to improve Saturday reliability, the 21EX “will also see another 250 hours of service to improve weekday reliability (essentially, to ensure that the 21EX will arrive when it is actually scheduled to arrive, instead of being chronically late),” according to Auriemma. And that’ll be it for the 21 this year.
GENERAL QUESTIONS/INFO: The website for the Seattle Transportation Benefit District has been updated with more information on the upcoming service changes, including an FAQ – go here. Granular details such as schedule specifics aren’t available yet, but “will be rolled out as we move closer to the June service changes.” As noted in our Tuesday update, June is when the new car-tab fees will be added, while the tenth-of-a-percent sales-tax increase starts in April.
(WSB photo, taken this afternoon)
The new location of West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor) at 2743 California SW, about a mile north of its original location, is almost ready to go, and the grand opening is set for this weekend, 10 am-6 pm Saturday and 11 am-5 pm Sunday. WSR’s Lori McConnell says vendors will be on site – Asics, Adidas, Saucony, Mizuno, Superfeet, GU/Probar/Protec on Saturday, Hoka and Pearl Izumi and Goretex on Sunday. They’re also planning raffle prizes including shoes and activity trackers as well as gifts available with purchases, plus an 8 am group run set for Sunday (“complete with coffee and donuts afterward, and raffle prizes!” says Lori). The new ground-floor space – for which WSR is the first tenant – is being shared with Elite Sports and Spine, which will be opening early next month, with an open house of its own, but will also have reps on hand during WSR’s grand opening. We first reported the WSR move back in November; the new location has about a third more space than the Charlestown Center space in which WSR launched almost five years ago.
Last night at the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting – as reported here afterward – SPD Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Wilske noted that burglary and auto theft are down in this area. Above, one of the slides shown at today’s every-other-week SeaStat crime-stats briefing at SPD HQ shows the exact numbers.
Also from today’s slide deck (which you can see in full here), a closer look at the recent robberies that victimized local students:
Slightly closer look at the two maps – the blue boxes represent incidents, the pink/red ones just show geographical reference points:
As Capt. Wilske said last night, no new incidents have been reported since last week – of course, keep in mind that school was out the first two days of this week – and extra police patrols are continuing TFN.
A celebration of life for Frederick W. Burns is planned for March 1st. His family shares this remembrance:
Frederick Wycliffe Burns passed away suddenly February 8, 2015 at Swedish Hospital surrounded by family. Born February 27, 1947, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Fred was a lifelong Seattle resident and Husky fan. He graduated from the University of Washington School of International Business and worked in the municipal bond business for more than three decades.
Fred was passionate, charismatic, and had a huge heart. He was dearly loved by many, including Shari, the love of his life; his daughter and son-in-law Catherine and Olivier Humbert, grandchildren Camille and Theo, his parents Donald and Elaine Burns, and his predeceased brothers Billy and Don Burns.
A celebration of life will be held on Sunday March 1, 2015, 4-6 pm, at Salty’s on Alki.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
When we last reported January 12th on the plan for West Seattle’s first charter school, its prospective operator, California-based Summit Public Schools, was planning to organize an informational community meeting; today, it announced two local dates.
As first reported here in early January, the school is proposed for the 2 1/2-acre Freedom Church site (above) on the southwest corner of 35th/Roxbury. Summit already has approval for two other charter schools in Seattle and Tacoma, and plans to apply to the state Charter School Commission for permission to open a high school here. Charter schools are publicly funded and were approved by voters in our state in 2012. The two meeting dates just announced by Summit, if you’re interested in finding out more about their plan, are 6:30-7:30 pm Thursday, February 26th, Southwest Branch Library (35th/Henderson) and 6:15-7:15 pm Tuesday, March 17th, White Center Library (11220 16th SW). Meantime, the project continues proceeding through the permit process, according to city Department of Planning and Development files.
(Photo from a harvest day last year; courtesy Jennifer Babuca)
This next season of gardening at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church will be even more fruitful than the last one. In addition to being part of the coalition growing food to donate via Lettuce Pray, the garden is expanding its mission, and kids are invited to help make that happen, starting this weekend:
St John Episcopal Church and the Seattle Farm School are partnering to transform St John’s Just Gardens into a children’s learning garden on the St John’s grounds. We are inviting children and their adults to learn how to plan, start and grow their own organic garden, with workshops, tasting events and other fun events to be held throughout the spring, summer and fall months. We will also have dedicated beds for kids to pick and sample some of their produce as they visit or pass by the gardens. Our hope is to physically expand the gardens over time so that this can become a resource for the community for many years to come.
We are inviting all to a Garden Kickoff Party on Sunday, February 22, 12 pm at St John the Baptist Episcopal Church. Come hear all about the garden plans, sign up to volunteer at the garden, organize, do artwork, and so much more! Bring your kids!
Then, on Sunday, March 22, 12 pm: Garden planning and seed starting! Learn all about square foot gardening, help plan the garden boxes and do some hands-on seed starting for the garden!! Bring your kids!
Both events will be in the youth room at the church, 3050 California SW, adjacent to the south side of West Seattle High School. A light lunch will be provided to participants. More backstory’s on the Seattle Farm School website.
Mayor Murray presented his “State of the City” address on Tuesday afternoon. If you missed it, here are three links:
The only scripted mention of West Seattle was this: “Sound Transit 3 is our path forward to build new light rail connections within the city, including to Ballard and West Seattle. These vital connections would link our growing light rail system to Puget Sound’s largest job centers.”
Of course, the speech overall was about the entire city, so most if not all of what was mentioned will potentially affect us all. Since West Seattle/South Park will have its first District 1 City Councilmember by the time the mayor gives his NEXT “State of the City” speech, we asked each of the eight current D-1 candidates for a one-paragraph review of the mayor’s speech. We didn’t make the request until early evening, a few hours after the speech, and gave them until this morning to respond. All 8 did. Read their mini-reviews ahead, in the order in which we received them (P.S. after the final one, we have two quick updates on the council race in general):
I like the Mayor’s presentation. I like and agree with the growth approach, particularly growing without displacing. I like and agree with the transportation integration and sustainability aproach. I like the emphasis on and agree with the improvements to infrastructure and particularly the focus on light rail to West Seattle and Ballard. I like and agree with the utility reduction approach and the gender equity approach. I like and agree with the housing affordability approach, especially the commitment of funds for a kick-start. I like and agree with the early learning and the youth employment. And, I like and agree with the business help and growth and the approach for the city to reach out and visit businesses and those normally not participating. I like and support the community policing and SPD reform and I am impressed and agree with the performance metrics tool page and the budget analysis tool page. Overall, I’d say Mayor Murray was moving the Executive branch in a direction I completely support and would help with as a Councilmember. The Mayor also knows how to thank and was very gracious in his words to Tom Rasmussen, Nick Licata and others. He’s very optimistic, and so am I, and I think he’s right on in most areas he covered.
Mayor Murray’s State of the City address spoke well of his goals to address income and opportunity inequality, fair distribution of public resources, affordability, job growth, mobility, and police accountability. The challenge with a speech like this, I think, is to be inclusive of the many the issues a diverse populace cares about while also proposing the means to move forward. 1) The Mayor acknowledged that infrastructure investments aren’t keeping pace with the needs caused by growth in our neighborhoods. Will he propose impact fees to insure development helps to pay for those sorely-needed investments? 2) Applying principals of equity and race and social justice to our 2035 Comprehensive Plan is a great objective. I would argue that those principals are included in some of our CompPlan policies already, but we haven’t had a commitment to self-correct when we don’t meet them. For instance the CompPlan policies that strive for preservation of existing housing and 25% affordable housing development as part of our overall new housing growth goals. We are succeeding at neither. What will be different under the 2035 Comp Plan? 3) Similarly, the Mayor’s commitment specifically to enhanced citizen oversight as part of police accountability; of the Community Police Commission’s recommendations for citizen oversight, what will he propose to the Council? 4) The area of housing affordability was an area that I most wished that the Mayor would have charted some clear direction. He referenced already existing housing development funds he’ll use implementing the HALA committee recommendations, but not all of the HALA’s work is devoted to building housing. A crucial portion of their work relates to the need for new laws to help renters and those to also require developers to pay their fair share. It would have been helpful for the Mayor to signal his explicit expectation that HALA recommendations also address these issues of social justice and equity.
As I watched the mayor give his state of the city speech today I was struck as much by what wasn’t said as what was. The mayor mentioned several neighborhoods, including West Seattle, but South Park was left out. The Mayor lauded transit improvements and increased service across the city, but unfortunately West Seattle is still underserved by our transit system. The mayor didn’t mention the biggest mega-project in Seattle, or address the public’s concerns about the tunnel’s cost, management and problems. The maritime and manufacturing industries were stressed as big parts of our planned economic growth, but the tech industry wasn’t. I agree that Seattle is a vibrant and innovative city, but I know that more can be done to harness our potential without leaving people behind.
I agree with Mayor Murray that Seattle is a great city and one of the fastest growing urban cities in the country. I understand this brings both opportunities and challenges. I however believe that it takes a whole united community to address many of the challenges the Mayor noted. I think that many of our community partners (non-profits; churches; organizations; schools) are better suited to deliver services underneath a community goal. I strongly believe the City of Seattle’s responsibility instead of growing government is to focus on the core issues upon with we were originally founded and that is to provide life; safety and infrastructure services for the people and businesses that live in our city. We have a lot of aging infrastructure that needs to be the focus of our attention. Accommodation of the growth the Mayor spoke of particularly here, in District 1 needs to be targeted and specific. It is plainly evident that something that works on Capitol Hill doesn’t necessarily work here, in West Seattle.
I appreciated several parts of the speech, especially the plan to do more for our public schools. However, I didn’t hear enough about affordability. West Seattle has long been a great middle-class community with affordable rents and housing prices. That’s starting to change and we need more aggressive timelines for action. HALA is moving in the right direction, but it still took four months to write a problem statement and we won’t have recommendations for another four months. That’s too long, we have the fastest rising rents of any city in the country. It’s getting too hard for many people who work here, to live here.
I am glad to hear the Mayor is supportive of a Sound Transit 3 plan that includes West Seattle. West Seattle and South Park may not be an island, but the lack of innovative transportation solutions have made us feel like one. With the rapid increase of new housing, the West Seattle Transportation Coalition has been working with the city on a proposed West Seattle Transportation Corridor. This is a perfect place to start the implementation of the Move Seattle initiative. As a parent, I have always thought of West Seattle as an affordable and safe place to move when starting a family – I will do everything I can as a Councilmember to maintain that. I support the Mayor’s renewed emphasis on more equitable development. Innovative ideas like incentives to developers who add affordable family housing units, re-writing the failing Multi-Family Tax Exemption, and supporting more housing on city owned property is the direction Seattle needs to head. The need for more peace officers building community, and fewer officers following the protocols of a war zone are also critical. With the Seattle Police Department undergoing contract negotiations, the Mayor should look to make concrete changes in how officers are hired, disciplined, and held accountable for their actions. As your representative for District 1, I look forward to working with the Mayor on addressing Seattle’s needs.
I liked the Mayor’s recognition of our areas of great progress –priority hire, minimum wage rollout and universal pre-k for examples. I was also pleased to hear him acknowledge some our shortcomings – racial and income inequalities, lack of affordability for many in our communities and a need to find better ways to engage with everyone who lives here. I am raising my three kids in this community and they are attending our public schools. I want them to experience a community and a city that is economically vibrant, culturally diverse and supports working families. I will continue fighting for more access and connections to transit, public safety resources and education, affordable housing, technology access, and finding the balance to accommodate our growth and unique neighborhoods. District 1 is a community that makes change through our partnerships with non-profits and community groups. I believe that although we have many common issues throughout Seattle, we need strong neighborhood representation accessible to all people, and representation with the experience to work across boundaries and get things done for District 1. The districts system for council elections was not supported to further isolate and separate neighborhoods, but to strengthen the collective ideas and energy of our city and neighborhoods. I look forward to working with our community, other city councilmembers, and our mayor to fulfill the potential of West Seattle and South Park.
I appreciate that Mayor Murray addressed the need for a better coordinated approach to economic development in the City. I did not hear any specifics on how the Mayor plans to coordinate that effort but I would encourage the Mayor to include a seat at the table for our small and independent businesses that are the backbone of our local economy. I am thrilled that the Mayor acknowledged the critical need for light rail between West Seattle and Ballard. I look forward to hearing from the Mayor’s Housing Affordability Advisory Committee when their recommendations are presented in May.
Thanks to the candidates for responding! Two related notes:
CLARK NOT RUNNING: City Councilmember Sally Clark announced this morning that she is not going to run after all. That makes her the third current councilmember to announce that decision, after Tom Rasmussen and Nick Licata. Clark had declared for one of the two at-large seats, so she would have been on ballots in this area.
NEXT CHANCE TO SEE/HEAR THE CANDIDATES: Thanks again to everyone who attended and participated in our “First Look” candidates’ forum, featuring the 4 who were in the race as of the time (February 5th – Capestany, Helmick, Redmond, and Tavel). The next one, presented by VIEWS (Visualizing Increased Engagement in West Seattle), is now official – Saturday morning, March 14th, at the Senior Center of West Seattle. It will start with an optional breakfast to raise $ to cover costs (VIEWS is an all-volunteer group) at 9 am, followed by an introductory/mingle half-hour at 10, and the forum itself at 10:30. No webpage so far but here’s the Facebook event page.
(UPDATED LATE WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON with progress report)
9:47 AM: Last week, WSDOT said the Highway 99 tunnel contractor would likely start the process this week of trying to get the tunneling machine to move 20 feet ahead so its damaged cutterhead can be pulled from the 120-foot-deep pit dug next to the Viaduct. This morning, there’s word the process has begun. As of 7 this morning, according to WSDOT’s announcement, the machine had made it about three feet forward:
The machine must mine through 20 feet of unreinforced concrete to reach the pit. The duration of this effort will depend on the machine’s ability to mine through the concrete while operating with a damaged seal system. STP anticipates the machine may overheat, as it has during their most recent attempts at mining. If the machine becomes too hot, they will take a break for it to cool down before resuming.
The image above is from the WSDOT page displaying several “live” construction cameras. (P.S. The south side of the pit, where it’s expected to break through, is on the left side of the photo.)
4:32 PM: WSDOT has just posted another update – saying the machine has now gone six feet.
(Longfellow Creek, photographed by Laura Goodrich, shared via the WSB Flickr group)
What’s up, you ask?
HOME WITH ONE OR MORE LITTLE ONES? See the calendar for multiple events today – from storytimes, to play-and-learn, to support groups.
WEST SEATTLE KIWANIS: Thinking about getting involved with local service clubs? The Kiwanis Club of West Seattle meets at 6:30 pm Wednesdays at the Senior Center of West Seattle and you’re welcome to drop in. (Oregon/California)
DELRIDGE DISTRICT COUNCIL: 7 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. This month’s agenda includes an SDOT briefing on the Delridge/Andover/northward safety project as well as Port of Seattle reps on the free April boat tour for West Seattleites (see our coverage of the SW District Council earlier this month) and an update on the Seattle City Light “surplus” properties. All welcome. (4408 Delridge Way SW)
WORDSWEST LITERARY SERIES: 7 pm at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), Sarah Steinke and Jennifer D. Munro are featured this month, on “Humor & the Body” – details in our calendar listing. (5612 California SW)
SPEAKING OF HUMOR … COMEDY NIGHT! 8 pm at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), this month’s comedy showcase takes the stage, hosted by West Seattle’s own Mona Concepcion, with featured performers including Cris Rodriguez – details here. (6451 California SW)
NIGHTLIFE APLENTY: Karaoke, trivia, open microphone, live music … see where and when, by browsing our full calendar.
(WS high/low bridges and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning! Texter reported lower-bridge traffic stopped; SDOT says the bridge was open for marine traffic, and (update as of 6:54 am) now open to surface traffic.
WASHINGTON STATE FERRIES NOTE: The ferry Kitsap is out of service, which could increase Southworth-to-Fauntleroy traffic until the situation is remedied.
DELRIDGE/ANDOVER PROJECT BRIEFING TONIGHT: If you have questions about the project getting under way from Delridge/Andover northward – last previewed here two weeks ago – an SDOT briefing is on the agenda for tonight’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting, 7 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW).