day : 30/03/2015 14 results

City Council passes final plan for up to 3 more encampments

Exactly two months after our first report on a city proposal meant to facilitate three more encampments in Seattle, the final version of the plan won unanimous City Council approval today. Here’s the news release that followed:

City Council unanimously adopted legislation today allowing for new interim use permits for as many as three transitional homeless encampments on property owned by the City of Seattle, private parties, or educational major institutions in most of Seattle’s non-residential zones. The encampments will serve some of the 2,813 people homeless in Seattle, providing a safe and managed site for people to sleep and reside.

The encampment proposal originated from the Mayor’s Emergency Task Force on Unsheltered Homelessness, which was based on a bill proposed by Councilmember Nick Licata in 2013.

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Shell drilling fleet @ Terminal 5: West Seattle rally, march Sunday

Though the Port of Seattle‘s Terminal 5, expected to host part of Shell’s Arctic-drilling fleet, is in West Seattle, the challenges to the lease have mostly been taking place elsewhere – in public-comment periods at Port Commission meetings, and in legal action at the King County Courthouse. This Sunday, that changes, with a rally in The Junction followed by a march to Terminal 5. Stu Hennessey sent the announcement:

What: Large turnout expected to encourage the Port of Seattle to rescind the lease agreement with Foss Marine and Shell Oil for Terminal 5 in West Seattle. A march will be made after the monthly “All Walk Encouragement Rally”

Where: The West Seattle Alaska Junction

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM Press Availability
1:00 PM to 2:00 PM Event and march
2:00 PM to 3:00 PM Speakers and rally

This will be a 1.5 mile march from the Alaska Junction in West Seattle to the entrance to Terminal 5. The March will follow the monthly “All Walk Encouragement Rally” which takes place at SW Alaska and California Ave. SW in West Seattle.

To recap the backstory and where things stand:
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West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen car; plus, how many police the Southwest Precinct has

First, in West Seattle Crime Watch, one reader report today:

STOLEN CAR: From Taylor in Arbor Heights:

Our 1999 red Jeep Cherokee was stolen from our driveway early this morning in Arbor Heights. We are at the 9600 block of 41st SW. Our neighbor reported a white Camry trolling the neighborhood around 4-5 am around when the paper gets delivered. Just an FYI for others.

The plate is in the @getyourcarback tweet. This is one of two auto thefts logged for West Seattle so far today; the other was in the 4100 block of 58th SW, but since we haven’t heard directly from anyone on that, we don’t know what type of vehicle was taken there.

Now, a side note. This Wednesday, the City Council’s Public Safety Committee meeting looks at the state of SPD staffing around the city. And a report prepared for that meeting is already online, showing the numbers for all precincts, and what share of patrol staffing they have compared to what share of “911 call hours” comes from each precinct. See the report here; quick preview, the SW Precinct has the lowest number in both categories.

The 2 pm meeting Wednesday at City Hall also will include a 90-day update on the SPD body-cam experiment (which is only in the East Precinct) and the swearing-in of new Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins.

In case you wondered: Washington State Ferries’ new Samish is on sea trials again right now

March 30, 2015 5:25 pm
|    Comments Off on In case you wondered: Washington State Ferries’ new Samish is on sea trials again right now
 |   Seen at sea | West Seattle news

(WSB photo added: M/V Samish in Elliott Bay early this evening, after sea trials off western WS)
We’ve just received a flurry of calls about a ferry off west-facing West Seattle shores, outside the usual lanes and apparently closer to shore than ferries usually get, plus, one texter says it’s “going in circles.” We mentioned it on Friday but if you missed that – it’s just the new, Vigor-built ferry Samish, out on sea trials before it officially joins the fleet. (The larger Tacoma, which had also been testing off WS following repairs, is now back on the Bainbridge run.)

1 more day for discount earlybird West Seattle 5K registration!

March 30, 2015 4:59 pm
|    Comments Off on 1 more day for discount earlybird West Seattle 5K registration!
 |   How to help | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

Quick! If you appreciate a deal – sign up for this year’s West Seattle 5K Run/Walk by tomorrow (Tuesday) night, in order to get the earlybird rate. It’s the eighth annual fundraising run/walk on Alki Beach, set this year for 9 am Sunday, May 17th, presented by and benefiting the West Seattle High School PTSA, with co-sponsors again including WSB. Go here now to register and get the lowest rate!

Next new place to eat/drink at Alki Beach: Gelarto expanding to West Seattle with gelato, espresso, more

Gelarto Italian Ice Cream and Global Arts, founded on Bainbridge Island, is expanding to add an Alki Beach location.

We discovered this in the city permit files over the weekend, with remodeling work planned at 2648 59th SW, former home of Alki Beach Dog. After sending a note to Gelarto’s proprietors, we went by the Alki site this morning to look, and found “COMING SOON – GELARTO” information already up in the window. We have since heard back from co-proprietor Jennifer Al-Abboud, who shared a detailed backstory:

We love West Seattle and considered moving there when searching for a home back in 2012. We were teaching overseas at the time, and there was very little inventory during our short search window so we landed in Poulsbo and ended up on Bainbridge where we now reside in a tiny 607 SF condo we share with our cat Jazz. We opened Gelarto in late August 2013 amidst threat of teacher layoffs, and we have since retired from teaching to pursue our gelato passion full time. We pride ourselves on having a strong owner presence, and we run the shop by ourselves with exception of the busy summer months.

Gelarto has been well received on Bainbridge Island, but our product offerings are limited due to a voluntary good-neighbor policy with the cafe next door. Despite strong community support, a seasonal product in a seasonal location proves challenging in the slow months when our small shop requires only one of us to run it. So in order to maximize our human resources and provide year-round sustainability, we decided to reach out across the water in search of a second location. While we intend to stay small and independent, we always felt West Seattle would be a natural fit for our family business if we ever decided to expand, so we started pounding the pavement in November.

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PHOTOS, UPDATES: Highway 99 tunnel machine’s big lift

2:54 PM: In case you haven’t already heard – the last and biggest to-be-repaired part of the Highway 99 tunneling machine is on its way up. Here’s the latest from WSDOT; you can check out the construction cameras here, but nothing spectacular is visible right now – this will be going on, slowly, for hours to come. We’ll update!

4:15 PM: Via Twitter:

Mike Lindblom, transportation reporter for The Seattle Times (WSB partner), says the cutterhead is expected to be all the way up and out by 7.

4:42 PM: Newest photo via Twitter:

9:07 PM: The cutterhead is out, and horizontal, facing down. Just took this screengrab from the WSDOT camera:

MIDNIGHT: WSDOT says Seattle Tunnel Partners has stopped for the night and will “wait until morning to place the SR 99 tunneling machine’s front end on the repair platform. The piece will remain suspended above the platform until a fresh crew arrives in the morning to complete the lift.” Meantime, West Seattle photographer Paul Gordon was at the site as the cutterhead came into view, and shared this image:

If the repair work goes the way they hope it will, STP says tunneling could resume in August – 20 months after it stopped.

FOLLOWUP: Two dozen volunteers remove almost one ton of trash from Fairmount Ravine

(First two photos courtesy of John Lang – above, some of the 24 volunteers who helped)
Under the Admiral Way Bridge, volunteers of all ages helped clean up Fairmount Ravine this past Saturday – and as coordinator John Lang reports, the job was a bit easier this year thanks to added assistance from city agencies:

The 23rd annual Fairmount Ravine Cleanup was a big success on Saturday 3/28. Thank you to the 24 volunteers who participated, young kids to seniors; about half removed trash under the Admiral bridge and the other half climbed the steep hillsides to remove invasive ivy from the mature trees.

The community appreciates SDOT reinforcing the fences at the corners of the bridge. It has reduced the amount of illegal activity under the bridge yet the hard working volunteers removed almost one ton of trash from the ravine!

Over 50 garbage size bags were filled with trash filling up the DOC flatbed truck hauling the trash to transfer station. Fortunately, homeless encampments were less of an issue this year.

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
We greatly appreciated participation by officers Flores and Lucas, with the Seattle Police Department, sweeping the area of any potential squatters prior to cleanup and helping with traffic control. Three cheers to our local merchants Metropolitan Market, Starbucks, and Zatz a Better Bagel for their generous support of this community effort.

Thank you to everyone who made this year’s cleanup a success. It is a great example of community pride and putting into action the teamwork necessary to tackle a difficult situation.

The ravine is along Fairmount Avenue, a much-used driving, riding, walking, running route between Admiral and east Alki.

From burgers to baseball, and beyond: West Seattle Monday

March 30, 2015 10:30 am
|    Comments Off on From burgers to baseball, and beyond: West Seattle Monday
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(Photo by John Bartell: One more view of the yacht race we featured on Saturday)

Happy Monday! A few notes for today and beyond:

RESTAURANT OPENING: Blue Moon Burgers on Alki plans to open its doors at 1 pm today, as reported here Sunday. (2504 59th SW)

HIGH-SCHOOL SPORTS: Two varsity home games this afternoon, both with Chief Sealth International High School teams, both at 4 pm, both at Southwest Athletic Complex. The softball team is hosting Bainbridge; the baseball team is hosting Ballard. (2801 SW Thistle)

FAMILY STORY TIME: Songs, rhymes, AND stories, for the whole family. 6:30 pm at High Point Branch Library, free. (35th/Raymond)

THEY ASK, YOU ANSWER Monday night is trivia/pub quiz night: Our calendar includes trivia at Christo’s on Alki (7:15 pm, 2508 Alki SW), trivia at OutWest Bar (7:30 pm, California/Brandon), Quiz Night at Skylark (7:30 pm, 3803 Delridge Way SW), and pub quiz at Shadowland (8 pm, California/Oregon).

FROM HOLY WEEK SERVICES TO EGG HUNTS … Easter/Passover/spring-celebration information from here through Sunday has a WSB page of its own. Please let us know if you have anything to add – – thank you!

Memorial for Don Smathers this Wednesday in The Junction

We promised to let you know when we heard about memorial plans for Don Smathers, whose death at age 65 was reported here one week ago. We now know the gathering will be at 5 pm this Wednesday (April 1st) at Junction Plaza Park.


March 30, 2015 6:16 am
|    Comments Off on TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Last Monday in March
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)

The weekend Highway 99 closures are over and it’s on with a new week. First, in case you missed it over the weekend:

(WSB photo)
That’s the new Water Taxi, M/V Sally Fox, christened during an afternoon public celebration this past Saturday. It happened on Vashon Island, which Sally Fox will serve, but we covered it because it’s twin to M/V Doc Maynard, which will take over the West Seattle route this fall. P.S. This is the last week of the weekday-only schedule for the WS Water Taxi; the 7-day spring/summer schedule starts next Monday, April 6th.

ROAD WORK THIS WEEK: The second half of a 2-day resurfacing project on California Avenue SW in Fauntleroy was rescheduled to this Wednesday, April 1st.

BERTHA’S BIG LIFT: As first shown in this report last Friday, the big red-frame crane is in place over the Highway 99 tunnel-machine access pit alongside The Viaduct, and WSDOT says its contractor is likely to bring up the last, biggest piece of it for repairs sometime this week. It’ll be a painstaking process – possibly up to 16 hours long.

Now, on with the commute watch. If you see a problem and can text/call safely/legally, our always-on hotline is 206-293-6302.

UPDATE: Smoldering paint can brings Seattle Fire response to house near 26th/Roxbury

2:37 AM: If you’re hearing the sirens – Seattle Fire is en route to a possible house fire near 26th/Roxbury. Updates as we get them.

2:41 AM: First units on scene aren’t seeing anything. They’re detecting a “light odor of smoke,” though. The dispatcher had told them the house is believed to be unoccupied and had recently been sold.

2:45 AM: “Paint can burning in the kitchen” is what they’ve found, and they’ve handled it. Most of the units are being dismissed.

3:27 AM: Remaining units are leaving, and the call will be closed.

Mayor Murray’s West Seattle visit, report #2: 1-on-1 questions

(WSB photo from Saturday’s mayoral visit)
As reported here in-depth on Saturday, Mayor Ed Murray spent about 2 1/2 hours in West Seattle that day, including a walking tour of The Junction and Triangle, and a “coffee chat” with about 20 in attendance. After all that, we had the opportunity to ask the mayor a few questions one-on-one. Ahead, our questions – inspired by recent reader comments and community-meeting discussions – and his replies:

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TRAFFIC ALERT UPDATE: Highway 99 north of Battery Street Tunnel reopens early

March 30, 2015 1:45 am
|    Comments Off on TRAFFIC ALERT UPDATE: Highway 99 north of Battery Street Tunnel reopens early
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

According to a WSDOT e-mail alert sent to media a few minutes ago, the work on Highway 99 north of the Battery Street Tunnel also has ended early, and 99 is now fully open. (South of the tunnel, the Alaskan Way Viaduct has been open since Saturday night; its inspection took only one day instead of two, so it did not re-close on Sunday.)