West Seattle, Washington
(WSB photo, from left – Phillip Tavel, Shannon Braddock, Jody Rushmer, Brianna Thomas, Karl Wirsing, Chas Redmond, Arturo Robles, Pavel Goberman, Lisa Herbold)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
In the first-ever City Council District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) race, there’s been at least one candidates’ forum each month since February. The race has been fluid, and the participant lineup hasn’t been the same twice.
Tonight brought the first forum featuring all nine of the candidates that are in the running (as of the end of the official filing period last Friday).
About 60 people filled the seats in the Fellowship Hall at Fauntleroy UCC Church for the forum that the League of Women Voters of Seattle/King County co-presented with the Westside Interfaith Network; LWV’s Lucy Gaskill-Gaddis moderated, after an introduction by Boots Winterstein.
As we’ve done with all the previous forums, we recorded this one on video, and will add that here when it’s ready. (UPDATE – Here it is:)
Ahead, we did our best to summarize as it went:
In West Seattle Crime Watch tonight:
BASEBALL GEAR STOLEN: Pauline hopes you’ll be on the lookout for what car prowler(s) took in Westwood:
Today 2 baseball bags were stolen out of The back of my SUV in the 8100 block of 32nd at Thistle: A large rolling baseball bag with black and orange youth catcher’s gear, a Rawlings catcher’s mitt and a Rawlings baseball glove; a black and orange catcher’s helmet and a black batter’s helmet and an Easton S 500 baseball bat, and a baseball backpack with a blue batters helmet in it.
This has been reported to police.
MULTIPLE CARS DAMAGED IN HIT-AND-RUN: Last night in the 2800 block of SW Morgan in High Point, at least four cars were damaged by a hit-and-run driver. Sasha shared photos of some of the damage:
No injuries were reported. Scanner traffic later in the evening indicated that police were investigating a possible suspect found elsewhere in High Point, asleep in a car and reportedly under the influence, but we haven’t yet been able to confirm whether that resulted in an arrest.
WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL TOMORROW: Tuesday night, 7 pm at the Southwest Precinct, come find out about the latest crime trends and stats in West Seattle and South Park, bring your neighborhood concerns/questions directly to local police leadership, and learn about gangs from a panel of former gang members. The precinct is off Webster just west of Delridge.
If you need broadband wi-fi at home or work or school … the library can help. Seattle Public Library unveiled SPL Hotspot today – a program through which you can check out a wi-fi hotspot and use it for up to three weeks. A grant from Google got the library system 150 of the mobile hotspots – you need your own computer to use them, but by midsummer, the system’s getting 75 hotspot-bundled laptops available for checkout too. Here’s how the program works.
1:57 PM: The anti-Shell protest at Terminal 5 is wrapping up; demonstrators are walking back toward the low bridge to cross it on the way back to this morning’s starting point.
Demonstration update: Demonstration has moved to Terminal 5 access ramp. Lower Spokane St Swing Bridge now closed to accommodate march.
— seattledot (@seattledot) May 18, 2015
2:14 PM: The SDOT camera overlooking the low bridge showed the group as it crossed a few minutes ago:
TV helicopters are back overhead to capture the scene, but aren’t likely to stay nearly as long, since it’s not newscast time, unlike this morning.
2:47 PM: The bridge is open again and demonstrators are back at the starting point. We covered the morning march in our daily traffic watch; here are a few more photos from the day and video from the T-5 arrival:
As our images show, Seattle Police had a sizable presence at many spots along the way and near the demonstration; there’s been no word of any arrests. This was the line at the T-5 entrance just before the march arrived:
And here’s our video of their arrival:
This was the last of the major demonstrations/rallies announced before the Polar Pioneer‘s arrival last Thursday. At last report, it’s still scheduled to be joined at T-5 by Shell’s other drilling vessel, the drillship Noble Discoverer, which is docked in Everett. The city’s contention that the Port needs a different permit to host oil rigs, which has been formally appealed by both interim-leaseholder Foss Maritime and the port itself, remains unresolved.
Tomorrow, like today, will start with protesting – but this time it has nothing to do with offshore oil drilling. Tomorrow is the day Seattle Public Schools are closing because of their teachers’ one-day walkout.
We first reported the plan two weeks ago; we also reported the plan by Chief Sealth International High School teachers and other staffers to have an “informational” event outside the school 8 am-10 am tomorrow. Now we know that almost every high school in the city – including Sealth and West Seattle High School – will have informational picketing to start the day, with teachers from other schools joining in. Mandy Cook, a teacher at Schmitz Park Elementary, was first to tell us about this, saying she’ll be at WSHS: “As teachers, we want to inform our parents as to why we are not teaching their children that day.” She shared the flyer we’ve embedded above; as it notes, parents, students, and community members are welcome to join in. The morning events will be followed by a march and rally downtown.
P.S. WSHS special-education teacher Jennifer Hall shared her letter to the school’s PTSA board, explaining the walkout. Read it, ahead:
The monthly WordsWest Literary Series has already highlighted many talented local writers – but this month’s edition really has something they can crow about: A rare West Seattle appearance by best-selling author Lyanda Lynn Haupt. She and poet Allen Braden are reading this Wednesday (May 20th) at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) in the next WordsWest event, as announced:
From backyard bestiaries to the farms of White Swan, nature slays us. From the intelligence of crows to the many chambers of a cow’s heart, we learn to look again at the commonplace life that surrounds us. For the May 20th, 2015 edition of WordsWest Literary Series, Washington poet Allen Braden and West Seattle naturalist Lyanda Lynn Haupt, will join us for a night of natural highs. This month WordsWest is again very grateful for a grant from Poets & Writers that allows us to pay our writers for their time and talent.
Allen Braden is the author of A Wreath of Down and Drops of Blood (University of Georgia) and Elegy in the Passive Voice (University of Alaska/Fairbanks). His poems have been anthologized in The Bedford Introduction to Literature, Poetry: An Introduction, Best New Poets and Spreading the Word: Editors on Poetry. He teaches at Tacoma Community College.
Lyanda Lynn Haupt is a naturalist, eco-philosopher, and speaker whose writing is at the forefront of the movement to connect people with nature in their everyday lives. Her most recent book is The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild (Little, Brown 2013). Her previous books include Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness (Little, Brown 2009), awarded the 2010 Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award; Rare Encounters with Ordinary Birds (Sasquatch 2001), winner of the 2002 Washington State Book Award; and Pilgrim on the Great Bird Continent: The Importance of Everything and Other Lessons from Darwin’s Lost Notebooks (Little, Brown 2006).
Every third Wednesday, 7 pm, at C & P Coffee Company, WordsWest hosts literary events that range from readings by published local and national authors, to craft discussions and guided writing explorations for every experience level. Each month a community member from a local, independent business shares his or her favorite poem as part of the Favorite Poem Project. On May 20th, we welcome Eric Jordan of The Office Junction. WordsWest is curated by West Seattle writers Katy E. Ellis, Susan Rich, and Harold Taw.
C & P is at 5612 California SW.
(ADDED 12:11 PM: WSDOT slide deck as presented to City Council this morning)
10:35 AM: The damage to the Highway 99 tunneling machine is “more extensive” than expected, but not more extensive than they were expecting to fix. That’s how it was just announced by WSDOT’s Todd Trepanier during the scheduled periodic Highway 99/tunnel project briefing for the City Council. For as long as the briefing continues, we’ve embedded it above (click the “play” button to access the live Seattle Channel stream). Trepanier specifically mentions machine sealing that’s been “stripped away.” Trepanier says Seattle Tunnel Partners hasn’t said what caused it, and doesn’t have to, under terms of the design/build contract, but councilmembers are pressing the point.
10:42 AM: First among them is Councilmember Mike O’Brien, who wants to know the schedule and says he’s nervous every day the Alaskan Way Viaduct stays open. Trepanier says that the contractor has told them they’ll have a revised schedule next month. Councilmember Tom Rasmussen asks if there’s some deadline for this to get going again; Trepanier says they want the contractor to “take the time that (they) need” but adds on followup that the contract does include deadlines with monetary consequences. Those deadline dates are not close, though, Trepanier says. He tries to move along but O’Brien asks again, do they have any idea what went wrong? Trepanier replies no, that’s between the contractor and the machine’s manufacturer. He continues showing images of the damage (no slide deck provided yet). “If everything is going wrong like this right now, how do we know (it’s OK) before it gets back in the ground (and resumes tunneling)?” asks Councilmember Sally Bagshaw.
Next, it’s on to a report about ground settlement in the area. One report has reached the conclusion that the drawdown of an aquifer by the “dewatering” for the access pit caused November’s settlement. But that has stabilized, Trepanier goes on to say. “That type of settlement is no longer going to continue,” they believe. In all, he adds, three reports related to the settlement are out – and they don’t all agree with each other regarding other points. One specific area, he adds, is believed to be an area “where there’s always been a problem” predating the dewatering.
11:03 AM: Trepanier is showing charts with details of which engineering firm says what. This part of the briefing has lasted much longer than the one about the specific damage has been found in the tunnel machine. After a few minutes of details, he recaps that they disagree with the city over what’s to blame for the Pioneer Square water main that needs to be replaced – “it’s always been a problem” in their view, before the tunnel-project dewatering. He also says that they haven’t found noteworthy structural damage in the area. He also says the aquifer related to the dewatering should eventually have a “rebound effect … when the pump shutoff takes place.”
11:21 AM: WSDOT moves on to an update on what other work is being done while the tunnel machine is being fixed. On this side, the South Operations Building is taking shape, he notes. And WSDOT is writing its response to the city’s evaluation of the Viaduct, Trepanier adds.
11:29 AM: Briefing is over. We’re taking down the live-video window; we’re expecting the slide deck from WSDOT in a bit and will add that when it’s available.
11:43 AM: WSDOT has published its own summary, here.
12:11 PM: And now we’ve received the slide deck, and added it atop this story.
Two notes this morning in the District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) City Council race:
CANDIDATES’ FORUM TONIGHT: Be at Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW) tonight for the District 1 forum presented by Westside Interfaith Network and League of Women Voters-Seattle/King County. They describe the format as moderated with some opportunity for audience questions. Doors open at 6 pm, forum at 6:30 pm.
HELMICK SIGNATURES UPDATE: As reported here Friday night, seven months of campaigning might have come to a dead end for Amanda Kay Helmick, who was determined to get onto the ballot via gathering signatures. 1,200 valid signatures are required to make the ballot in lieu of that same number of dollars; Helmick was the only District 1 hopeful going that route. Hours after we covered her taking petitions to the King County Elections office in Renton at noontime Friday, she was notified she’d fallen short by 26. Helmick has since obtained a list of the 147 names that KC Elections had ruled invalid and as of late last night said she had “already found 10 people on the list that are completely unaware and shocked about their status. I have posted the list on my website in case others want to see their status and have it rectified. If someone’s name is on THIS LIST, King County Voter Services has challenged their right to vote. The names were found to be non-registered voters in District 1.” She has posted on her website’s home page what anyone who finds her/himself on that list is asked to do.
WHO’S IN: If anyone has withdrawn or anything else major has changed since filing closed on Friday afternoon, King County Elections will be updating this page at some time later today. But in the meantime, the District 1 race has nine candidates (listed this time in surname-reverse-alphabetical order): Karl Wirsing, Brianna Thomas, Phillip Tavel, Jody Rushmer, Arturo Robles, Chas Redmond, Lisa Herbold, Pavel Goberman, Shannon Braddock.
(SCROLL DOWN for updates)
(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:03 AM: We’re starting the morning with the usual traffic watch, including updates on how/whether the anti-drilling protest – previewed here – is affecting things, until/unless it becomes big enough to break out into a separate story. (It’s not scheduled to start until 7 am.) Updates to come.
At the protest gathering spot. Also saw bike officers heading toward T-5 entrance pic.twitter.com/q1gXP436N8
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) May 18, 2015
6:37 AM: We dropped off our crew about 15 minutes ago. No commute/low bridge effects so far. Only a few dozen people in view (and as expected, a full contingent of regional media). Police are at the gathering point and while headed eastbound, we saw bicycle officers heading from the Chelan Café vicinity northwest toward the T-5 entrance. Again, if you’re noticing helicopter(s), at this point it’s TV, related to this. Our crew, by the way, has learned the plan – subject to change – is to march over the low bridge toward T-5 starting around 7:30. (In our tweeted photo above, note the portable barricades; during the December 2011 Occupy protest there, police blocked the road with them at one point.)
7:02 AM: The aerial view just shown on KING matches what our crew reports from the ground – about 100 people so far. No other traffic trouble spots so far – sunny morning, so don’t forget your shades.
7:11 AM: Until/unless major traffic effects start, we’re just posting photos to our Twitter feed – go here if interested. Bicycle riders should note that this is having some effects on the path there.
7:20 AM: March is about to begin. From our crew at scene: Police plan to close WESTBOUND LOW BRIDGE while it proceeds so it can move more quickly. EASTBOUND LOW BRIDGE TO REMAIN OPEN. Per scanner, police estimate about 500 demonstrators.
7:27 AM: Entire bridge closed after all (LOW bridge) while protesters head for T-5. Will update when that changes. Here’s a “live” SDOT camera showing the low bridge:
7:43 AM: Per scanner, police are reopening the low bridge now that the protesters have all crossed. Again, this is not affecting the high bridge or other routes. You can check the Chelan/Marginal camera in our top grouping to see what’s happening at the west end of the low bridge.
7:51 AM: Protest march now at Terminal 5, which is NOT on a major traffic route. SDOT confirms low bridge is open again:
Demonstration update: @SeattlePD has reopened the lower Spokane St Swing Bridge in both directions to traffic.
— seattledot (@seattledot) May 18, 2015
8 AM: No traffic effects currently unless you are trying to get onto T-5, which hasn’t been busy since it was officially closed last July.
8:06 AM: Adding photo of demonstrators milling at T-5.
What happens next, we don’t know yet – police are there, and also standing by in case the group decides to march back across the low bridge, though that was NOT in the plan published in advance – there had been an intent voiced to shut T-5 down all day if they could. Meantime, the commute overall remains normal – no incidents in/from this area.
8:21 AM: Looking ahead to tomorrow – remember that Seattle Public Schools will be closed Tuesday for the one-day teacher walkout to protest legislative lack of action on school funding. Teachers are planning morning gatherings at WSHS and Chief Sealth; more on all this in a separate story later.
9:20 AM: Back from picking up our crew and also checking out T-5 from a different angle:
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) May 18, 2015
No word of any arrests in connection with the protest but police remain deployed and alert; one drove over to check us out while we were peering through the barb-wire-topped T-5 fence at the end of the driveway into Jack Block Park. We’ll continue to monitor this through the day and will have a separate story later with some of the morning’s scenes, but otherwise, we’re on to other news.
Members of the West Seattle High School Band and Orchestra, directed by Ethan Thomas, are wrapping up an extended-weekend trip to California – thanks to Band Booster President Steve White for the report and photos:
Our first stop after arriving at LAX (on Friday) was at the LA Farmers’ Market – where both the orchestra and band (above) performed.
We (then were) on our way to a local college for a clinic and some music instruction, then a group dinner at Medieval Times.
Saturday was spent at Disneyland, with a recording session in the evening, where the students experienced recording a soundtrack for a movie clip.
Sunday there were performances in the park by both groups [orchestra above] and more free time at the park.
Monday morning, both groups will take a tour of Hollywood and the Dolby Theater, then spend the afternoon at the Santa Monica Pier before returning home.