West Seattle, Washington
Know a middle- or high-school student who loves to play basketball? The Junior Class at West Seattle High School is hosting another 206 Bangout tournament, and inviting girls and boys in 6th through 12th grades from all over the area. Two more weeks for players to register, and they’re looking for referees too. Class of 2016 event coordinator Jaimie Bell says the tournament is three weeks from today, with the signup deadline a few days earlier:
The West Seattle High School Junior class is hosting a 3 x 3 Basketball tournament “206 BANG OUT” on Saturday, April 4th. This event is for 6th – 12th grade kids, with open divisions for all skill levels, from 9-3 pm in the WSHS Gym. Cost is $20 dollars per team. A team of 4, with 1 sub and 3 players.
To sign up, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or pick up a registration packet outside the Activity Center inside WSHS. Entry deadline is April 1st.
We are also looking for experienced people who would like to help with refereeing at this event.
Bring your friends, bring your family, and take it to the hoops!
Three notes and a reminder tonight:
BURGLARY: From Liz in Arbor Heights:
Our house at 100th and California Ave SW was burglarized this past Tuesday, March 10th, sometime between 7 and 10am. A Good Samaritan on Marine View Drive called SPD when she spotted the burglar tossing keys (stolen from a dresser in our home) into some shrubbery. SPD then traced the keys back to my husband.
We returned home from work to discover our house a mess, and that our laptops, iPads, and other miscellaneous items were stolen. The thief had climbed our fence and tossed a rock through a bedroom window to gain entry.
We have reported the incident to SPD, along with the description of a suspicious person we noticed that morning. Just a day and a half after this occurred, our next-door neighbor reported that someone had broken into her car!
Neighbors, please be on the alert. We are new to Arbor Heights (just bought our home 6 months ago) and have been very dismayed at this recent rash of issues across the neighborhood.
MISSING MAIL? From Dotti tonight:
Just wanting to let you know we just spotted a man trying to get into our bank of mailboxes on 25th between Findlay and Juneau. I reported it and do have a description if anyone is missing their mail today.
STOLEN? OR LOST? Christine spotted these items by the 37th/Findlay staircase and shared a photo, wondering if perhaps they were stolen and dumped:
If you find something of value, you can always notify police, who can store it in evidence (maybe there’ll even be a “reunion”).
WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL: Your monthly chance to hear from and talk with local police is during the WSCPC‘s monthly meeting next Tuesday (March 17th), 7 pm, Southwest Precinct (Webster/Delridge).
6:20 PM: A crash involving as many as five vehicles is blocking southbound traffic at California/Myrtle, just south of the south Morgan Junction business district.
6:32 PM: Our crew reports that no one is seriously hurt, and no one will have to go to the hospital. That also means the scene will be cleared sooner rather than later, since no serious injuries means the major investigation team won’t be needed. Police are on scene and trying to sort out exactly what happened. Traffic remains down to one lane for both directions, so if you can avoid California between Frontenac and Myrtle for a while, do so.
6:37 PM: Update (via scanner) – now California is closed both ways until the crash is cleared. Photo added (two vehicles out of the frame).
7:38 PM: Just announced (via scanner) – scene’s clear and road has reopened both ways.
8:00 PM: Added photo shared by Sean, above, with a wider view of the scene, from earlier.
(WSB photo: New owner Dennis Schilling looks at SWSHS’s Clay Eals holding historic photo of Fir Lodge)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“Is this a dream?”
That’s what City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen said was the reaction he couldn’t shake, when he learned that the Alki Homestead/Fir Lodge has a new owner and that its restoration is on a path to reality, six years after the fire that left the landmark closed, vacant, and deteriorating.
He was among those speaking this morning on the steps of the Fir Lodge’s former carriage house, now the Log House Museum, at a media briefing to formally announce the historic log building has a new owner, as first reported here last night. That new owner, Mercer Island builder/investor Dennis Schilling, also was there along with former Homestead owner Tom Lin and historic-preservation advocates including Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals. (Added) Full video:
In his prepared speech, Eals declared, “Our theme this morning is gratitude, and in our book, everyone involved is a hero.”
SWSHS board president Marcy Johnsen enthused during her turn at the podium, “I can’t tell you how excited I am.”
The historical society’s interest in the Homestead/Fir Lodge included an easement granting parking rights for the LHM, and its agreement to give up some of that made this possible, as Schilling hopes to fund the renovation by building a small apartment building in that lot. He expressed gratitude that SWSHS was “giving up some of the parking so I can afford to pay for the remodel … I’m doing this to try to restore the building … it’s pretty exceptional.”
Schilling also had warm words for Lin, as they worked to make the deal happen. Lin said, “We had many (prospective) buyers along the way, and I turned down many buyers because I didn’t think they were appropriate … when I first met Dennis, I knew he had a track record (from restoring the Shoremont) … It took us six years to find the right buyer.”
Expressing relief as much as excitement were advocates from what Eals described as the “Homestead coalition,” the regional organizations who have been working on this. One of them, Chris Moore from the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, recalled the Homestead being included in the “Most Endangered Historic Properties” list six years ago. “As we all know, preservation does not happen overnight … it has been a long history … we preserve buildings because … ultimately we love what they represent, their stories. What is wonderful about this event is that … all of you are now part of the Homestead and part of that story.”
Michael Herschensohn from Historic Seattle says this building is “critical to the fabric of (the city’s history).”
Also speaking, Flo Lentz from 4Culture, and West Seattle Chamber of Commerce CEO Lynn Dennis, who said she’s thankful that in addition to all the memories people have shared, that there will be future chances to make new memories.
Councilmember Rasmussen was the final speaker: “All of us have been hoping for this day and weren’t sure we would see this day. … I hope the (new owner) realizes we’re pulling for you, we want to see you succeed … If you should hit a few bumps along the way, call me at any time, and I’ll be there to help you.” He says he has always had a staff person assigned to the project.
Eals concluded by holding up the iconic This Place Matters photo from the event five years ago urging restoration of the Homestead, noting that many of those on the porch this morning were here when almost 200 people were gathered in the street in front of the Homestead for a group shot on July 4, 2010. This was our view that morning:
Eals said other events are ahead, including another advocacy rally on July 4, 2015 – “This Place STILL Matters.” Then he invited questions.
We asked what had been asked in comments on last night’s story – will the day come when people will be back inside the Homestead for fried-chicken dinners? Schilling replied: “I hope so, I don’t know exactly what the commercial business will be on the first floor, I hope it will be a restaurant, I don’t know anything about operating restaurants,” but he would hope to find someone to lease it to to make it a restaurant. By the way, if you never got a chance to go there in its heyday as a restaurant – here’s a video published to YouTube by SWSHS, courtesy of Schilling:
Someone asked about the potential 6-unit apartment building proposed for the parking lot next to the Homestead. “Is anybody speaking for the neighbors regarding ‘giving away’ the last potential open space (on the block)?” Eals addressed that, saying the “prize” is restoration of the Homestead, which will be expensive; the SWSHS had an easement for use of the parking lot and has been involved because of that. “This issue of restoring the Homestead has been before us for six years, and it’s a huge financial undertaking. … There is not a day that goes by that I don’t hear, what’s going to happen to the Homestead?”
What’s next for the restoration? Schilling was asked. He talked about the complicated city process involving the Landmarks Review Board and its Architectural Review Committee, so regarding the timeline, “Your guess is as good as mine.” (We reported in January on his first public meeting with the ARC.)
Eals wrapped up by saying he loved that it was raining because “the best things in Seattle happen in the rain.”
Here’s the official news release:
You can also read it on the SWSHS website. Meantime, we recorded the entire briefing on video that we’ll add to the story when it’s processed later today/tonight. We’ll also continue covering the Homestead’s road to restoration; we have an ongoing coverage archive, in reverse chronological order, here.
9:36 PM: The video of this morning’s event is now embedded in the story, between paragraphs 3 and 4.
(UPDATE: All video now added – at-large candidates’ pitches plus full District 1 candidates’ forum)
(District 1 participants, post-forum. From left: Helmick, Thomas, Redmond, Tavel, Capestany, Koch, Herbold, Braddock, Goberman)
10:04 AM: We’re at the morning’s second big West Seattle event (first one here) – the VIEWS-presented City Council candidates’ forum at the Senior Center of West Seattle. First, a short segment with at-large candidates before 10 of the 11 District 1 hopefuls are grilled.
(VIDEO CLIP ABOVE: Alex Tsimerman, followed by David Trotter)
At the microphone first, Alex Tsimerman, well-known for his appearances during public-comment periods at City Council meetings. He contends a “mafia” controls government and should be overthrown.
Second at the podium, David Trotter, who like Tsimerman has filed for atlarge Position 8. pic.twitter.com/0uQcEl292e
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) March 14, 2015
Second, David Trotter (above), who begins by saying the minimum-wage law “codifies poverty … by exempting most of the businesses in the city.” He, like Tsimerman, has filed for at-large Position 8. (Note: Trotter is a West Seattle resident.)
(VIDEO CLIP ABOVE: Jon Grant, followed by John Persak and Tim Burgess)
Up third, Jon Grant (above), who also is running in Position 8. He is a tenants-rights activist who accuses city leadership of giving “utmost deference to developers.” He says candidates need a “level playing field” if democracy is to be preserved.
4th Pos. 8 candidate, John Persak pic.twitter.com/slo9bS0rOD
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) March 14, 2015
4th Position 8 candidate, John Persak (above), who also speaks of development concerns, and then goes on to transportation, “a huge issue for West Seattle … we have to figure out ways to give incentives for people to take other means of transportation, not to force them out of their cars, but to give incentives.”
And the 5th up for Position 8, CM Tim Burgess pic.twitter.com/A0IH8UIevq
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) March 14, 2015
And the 5th candidate for Position 8, current City Council president Tim Burgess (above), says he wants to “keep doing this work” because he wants to “keep getting good things done.” First thing he touts is the transit-funding measure.
(VIDEO CLIP ABOVE: Bill Bradburd, followed by Lorena González)
10:20 AM: On to at-large Position 9. Bill Bradburd, who says he got involved when a “big box shopping mall (was planned) for Little Saigon,” is speaking, and development is his big issue – “I want to bring back a community voice to the neighborhood-planning process.” He draws the first audience applause of the morning by saying that the city should be charging impact fees.
2nd Pos. 9 candidate to speak, Lorena Gonzalez pic.twitter.com/u5isiJGeF3
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) March 14, 2015
Second and final Position 9 candidate here, also the first woman to speak, Lorena González. She talks about her advocacy background and “progressive values” and commitment to fighting for gender/racial/economic equity. (Note: González is a West Seattle resident.)
(VIDEO ABOVE: ENTIRE HOUR-LONG, NINE-CANDIDATE DISTRICT 1 FORUM)
10:29 AM: Emcee Michael Taylor-Judd from VIEWS says 10 of the 11 District 1 candidates RSVP’d, though one is not here (David Ishii) so far. Pete Spalding from VIEWS reads a brief statement from Dave Montoure, the one candidate who said he couldn’t be here, because of a “long-planned family vacation,” per VIEWS. Taylor-Judd then explains the organization, which has been around to some degree for six years, but is now trying to ramp up into a peninsula-wide community-building group.
D-1 at forum, from left, Helmick, Thomas, Redmond, Capestany, Herbold, Goberman, Tavel, Braddock, Koch pic.twitter.com/I7yO5efI2M
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) March 14, 2015
Each candidate will be asked for a quick one-minute introduction involving their community work (present/past). First, Amanda Kay Helmick, a Westwood resident, co-chair of WW-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council, co-founder of West Seattle Transportation Coalition. Second, Brianna Thomas, a Junction resident, who lists her boards as Working Washington, Washington Bus, 34th District Democrats, Church Council. Third, Chas Redmond, a Gatewood resident, whose volunteer work includes the Junction Association’s upcoming historical survey, plus producing Alki, Delridge, Morgan festivals. Fourth, George Capestany, who lists his fabled goat feeder on Jacobsen Road as his most-recent community work, as well as work he’s done with children with autism (including one of his own). Fifth, Lisa Herbold, a Highland Park resident, who notes she has worked as assistant to Councilmember Nick Licata for 17+ years and also was on the Neighborhood House board. Sixth, Pavel Goberman, who says he immigrated from the USSR, and is in the health/fitness business. Seventh, Phillip Tavel, a Morgan Junction resident, who says he’s working on the Morgan Junction Community Festival and has long done Wednesday night trivia at Talarico’s, where a fundraiser for the Y is coming up next week. Eighth, Shannon Braddock, an Admiral resident, who is and has been on the WestSide Baby, West Seattle Food Bank, and Lafayette Elementary PTSA boards, and is chief of staff for County Councilmember Joe McDermott. Ninth, Tom Koch, who mentions that he helped with the Admiral District Adopt-A-Street cleanup last weekend.
10:43 AM: Question for each: What form of transportation do you primarily use, and what WS transportation issue would you work on first? The answers:
Thomas – Bus/walk. Increasing access to some of the WS bus routes – like the hourly 22, and Alki, with no service in the evening.
Redmond – Bus/walk. Would work with SDOT to add lane to the offramp to 99 from the West Seattle Bridge.
Tavel – Car. Increasing access to bus routes – mentions the 37 and “other underutilized areas of WS.”
Herbold – Bus (Route 131). Making sure Bridging the Gap renewal has more money for sidewalks, pedestrian improvements, Fauntleroy Boulevard project.
Goberman – Transit because, he says, he can’t get a driver license due to problems in Oregon that affect him here. That seems also to be the problem he’d work on.
Tavel – Car. Increasing bus access to West Seattle so it’s “not 90 minutes to Fremont” – “for our bus system to work, you have to be able to get anywhere.”
Braddock – Car/bus. Renewal and expansion of Bridging the Gap levy and would continue to fight to make sure state is providing viaduct-mitigation money for extra bus service; also mentions expanding Route 120 service.
Koch – Walk/drive. Get development projects to “pay their fair share” so there would be more money for expanding transit. (He says $200 million “left on table” without development fees. Draws applause.)
Helmick – Walk/bus/drive. West Seattle Corridor Project; would like to see a busway to get buses moving from WS to downtown, plus rapid transit for WS.
10:52 AM: First lightning-round question: Are patrol boundaries for SW Precinct too large?
No – Helmick, Redmond, Tavel,
Waffle – Koch, Braddock
Yes – Others (except Goberman, who doesn’t raise his)
Second lightning-round question: Do you support the new homeless encampment ordinance?
Waffle – Helmick
No – Capestany, Tavel
Yes – Everyone else
Ever testified at a City Council meeting?
Thomas Capestany Herbold Goberman Tavel – no
Others – yes
Support city advocating for legislation enabling rent control?
Helmick Capestany Tavel – no
Braddock – waffle
Others – Yes
Do you support renewal of Bridging the Gap levy?
All – Yes
Should Seattle develop its own broadband utility?
Herbold – Waffle
Capestany – No
Other seven – Yes
Non-lightning round, with Dorsol Plants of VIEWS taking the podium: What’s the most common crime in D-1 and what would your priority crime problem to work on be?
Redmond – Property crime; would work with police on Block Watch programs
Capestany – Breaking and entering; agrees with Redmond, and work on community spirit, mentions “diligent” older neighbors
Herbold – Home and car break-ins; restore community-service officer program that SPD had before the recession
Goberman – Break-ins; need more punishment to reduce crime
Tavel – Property crimes but most disturbing thing is rise in robberies; get more police out there, walking, bicycling beats, patroling
Braddock – Property crimes; need more police officers and need officers to be out of their cars, on the streets; also educating neighbors and getting them more involved with each other
Koch – Agrees with Tavel, property crimes BUT robberies most disturbance; applauds increases in police budget but not breakdown in trust between police and community, so will hold SPD accountable
Helmick – Property theft; police-hiring system needs work to screen for people who don’t just look at community as enemy/suspicious/doing something wrong
Thomas – Property crimes; better use of technology to look at what’s happening and who are we stopping/where/why, also wants to look at the concerns about the depolicing of South Park
Next question: How do we protect the history and character of West Seattle while still protecting business and enabling affordable housing for future generations?
Capestany – Fan of development to some degree but keep in mind that what works in other neighborhoods doesn’t necessarily work here.
Herbold – Growth goals have come with an unfulfilled promise; supports impact fees and linkage fees so development pays its fair share; opposes Director’s Rule on redefining parking requirements.
Goberman – Worried about money taken by politicians, has a plan to create jobs but doesn’t want to see environment destroyed.
Tavel – Growth is going to happen, but has to be responsible, intelligent, sensitive to community, whose interests should get more weight in this. Developers can get a weekend retreat with politicians but citizens get 2 minutes’ access only.
Braddock – Supports impact/linkage fees, thinks developers need to be brought to table in community talking about what we want to see, be “cooperative.”
Koch – Wouldn’t be running if city had done decent job on development issue. Has built affordable housing without public subsidy, has built public schools. “We’re doing everything the wrong way here … community is not listened to … the process is broken.” Says city has had right to impose impact fees for 25 years but “hasn’t gotten around to doing it.”
Helmick – Interested in preservation districts like Pike-Pine. Need to build more buildings because if we don’t, prices will keep going up. But doesn’t have to be “canyons,” can be townhomes like in Westwood.
Thomas – Agrees with most of what’s been said. Diversity of housing stock important – needs to be ‘accessible and affordable,’ and while Amazon’s economic engine is important, some cultural challenges are “leaking into our neighborhoods .. that we need to address.” Families need “someplace to grow into.”
Redmond – Transit-Oriented Development doesn’t work, need the transportation to go along with the development. Working directly with developers can make a difference, as has been done in Morgan Junction (where he’s been on the neighborhood council).
11:12 AM: More lightning round. First question – Do you support the current body-cam pilot project with SPD?
Helmick is lone “no”
Would you support allowing police to not carry firearms while patrolling in West Seattle?
Helmick and Thomas are the only “yes”
Do you support construction of third stadium in SODO?
Only yes answers are Capestany and Herbold
Are you capable of communicating with voters in a language other than English?
Goberman, Redmond, Capestany, Koch say yes
Do you support SPD using Guardian One helicopter in WS?
All yes except Thomas says no
Would you work to help make sure dogs could use pools before public pools are closed for cleaning (which has been tried at some)?
All answer yes or waffle, with some quizzicality about the question itself (submitted by community, ViEWS explains)
11:17 AM: Not lightning round. “Inside District 1 is a neighborhood with lowest life-expectancy in the city. Name it and say what you would do to fix it.”
Herbold – South Park, continue fixing Duwamish problems
Goberman – not sure but would do his best for all citizens of West Seattle/South Park
Tavel – South Park, knows the air quality is even worse than the river quality, speeding up Duwamish cleanup and regulating industries would be most important
Braddock – Duwamish Corridor, continuing to restore public-health clinics is important
Koch – same community in his answer, city budget priorities are important, and collecting more money (development fees) could help with this problem too
Helmick – Delridge, because there’s no access to good fresh food; Delridge Grocery will be starting up and trying to bring fresh food to Delridge, also, improving walkability in area, bike lanes, must be done
Thomas – South Park, “children can’t breathe,” and Delridge, “kids can’t eat.” Need to fix those problems, city hasn’t been able to incentivize a grocery store on Delridge; also in SP, air-quality problem
Redmond – Both Delridge & SP have serious health problems. City could help with providing race/social-justice funding for Delridge Grocery as it does for other kinds of enterprises/activities. For SP, stronger pushback against EPA Record of Decision, remove more toxic material from the river before we cover it up.
Capestany – South Delridge. Get healthy food. He thinks the area should have three grocery stores.
(By the way, the correct answer to “lowest life-expectancy in the city” is – North Delridge. In the 60s.)
One more question: What plan do you have for the city’s own Myers wetland (Taylor-Judd mentions the “Save Myers Park” meeting happening simultaneously)?
Goberman – Not familiar with it
Tavel – Does need to be protected
Braddock – Agree with protecting it, but we’re having trouble with maintenance in other parks, need to study more
Koch – Protect it
Helmick – Very familiar with this area, wetlands protection important, once land is gone, it’s gone, for preserving it
Thomas – Not familiar with it
Redmond – Preserving wetlands very important, not much preservation in that area
Capestany – For preserving any wetland
Herbold – To preserve it, the city first has to look at not selling it.
11:28 AM: The event is now breaking into “speed-candi-dating” in small groups. We’ve recorded the preceding part of the event on video and will add here when it’s ready, later today/tonight.
11:59 PM: We’ve now added all of our video clips embedded inline above – three clips totaling all of the Position 8/9 candidates’ quick pitches, and the full hourlong unedited District 1 forum. As far as we know, your next chance to see the candidates together will be at the District 1 forum the 34th District Democrats‘ are planning for their next meeting, April 8th.
(Photo by Brian Allen)
Happy Saturday! Lots going on. Highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES’ FORUM: Second one of the season, presented by VIEWS (Visualizing Increased Engagement in West Seattle)! With 10 of the 11 District 1 candidates plus several of the at-large candidates, at the Senior Center of West Seattle. Starts with 9 am breakfast (optional, by donation) and mingling; the forum starts with at-large candidates making brief pitches at 10, and questioning of the D-1 candidates will start around 10:30 am. (Oregon/California)
SCOUTING FOR FOOD: Reminder that in some West Seattle neighborhoods, Troop 282 and others will be dropping off reminders this morning about this door-to-door food drive, and coming back for your donations next Saturday – explained here.
WSPC RUMMAGE SALE: 9 am-2 pm, second and final day of the megasale at West Side Presbyterian Church. You never know what you’ll find:
(Doesn’t EVERYONE need a vintage Candy Striper outfit?) Go see what you find – hundreds of families have donated items! (3601 California SW)
THE GENERAL STORE SEATTLE GIVE-BACK SALE: 10 am-7 pm, go check out new WSB sponsor The General Store Seattle during a unique sale in which 5 percent of your purchase will be donated. (3400 Harbor SW)
‘SAVE MYERS PARK’: Community advocates who would like to see at least part of the Myers Parcels in southeast West Seattle saved as open space invite you to an organizational meeting 10 am-noon at the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition‘s offices. Backstory’s in this WSB report. (210 S. Hudson)
REAL ESTATE CAREER DAY: 10:30 am, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate Services (WSB sponsor) welcomes you to its Jefferson Square offices to find out about a real-estate career. (4700 42nd SW, Suite 600)
PINE LAKE CELLARS TASTING ROOM: Noon-5 pm, stop by to taste award-winning wines from Pine Lake Cellars (WSB sponsor), maybe even, they hint, their soon-to-be-released white wine. (3400 Harbor SW, street level)
WEST SEATTLEITES IN ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE: 12:30 pm downtown, the annual parade includes at least two West Seattle entries that we spotted on the lineup – the marching bands from West Seattle High School and Denny International Middle School. (Parade route here)
SALAMANDER SEARCH AT CAMP LONG: 2 pm, free, designed for kids 6 and up – check to see if the rain’s affecting the plan. Info’s in our listing. (5200 35th SW)
‘I CRAWLED FOR MS’ FUNDRAISER: Pub crawl starts at 3 pm at Shadowland, raising money to fight MS. Details in our listing. Wear orange! (California/Oregon)
Bout 1 at 5:45 will be Southside Revolution Cadets vs. Kitsap Derby Brats – Tootsies.
Bout 2 at about 7:10 will be Southside Revolution Rebels vs. Cherry Bomb Brawlers from Spokane.
Doors at 5:15pm, $10 General Admission Adults, $5 Children 6-12, Free for Children under 5.
Roll on over to the rink! (9646 17th SW)
THERE’S EVEN MORE ON THE CALENDAR – see for yourself here!
(WSB photo, March 4)
Now that Interim Fire Station 29 is up and running on the 44th/Ferry/Hill triangle – barely a block north of where permanent FS 29 is getting quake-safety upgrades – the Admiral Neighborhood Association took a look at its future during this month’s meeting: