West Seattle, Washington
From around the Web tonight: Updates on the drilling platform Polar Pioneer and the protest barge Solar Pioneer, both still in West Seattle waters. We’d photographed the latter tonight from Don Armeni Boat Ramp after noticing it had moved, which was expected after it ran afoul of the Coast Guard, among others, as Sydney Brownstone of The Stranger has been chronicling. Tonight our partners at The Seattle Times had an update too; here’s their backstory about the barge. It’s now anchored out of the prime dive zone.
Meantime, Brownstone reports tonight that the state Department of Natural Resources is concerned Polar Pioneer might be taking up too much space in the West Waterway adjacent to T-5. So it’s asking Shell some questions, with a June 1st deadline for answers. That’s three days before the deadline for Shell, T-5 interim lease-holder Foss Maritime, and the Port of Seattle to respond to the city’s Notice of Violation, as reported here last Tuesday.
SIDE NOTE: No new protest plans reported here. But in Bellingham tonight, an activist is reported to have fastened herself to the anchor chain of a Shell barge, the Arctic Challenger.
(Highland Park Spraypark, WSB file photo)
The forecast right now isn’t looking much like warm sunshine tomorrow – but it’s still the first day of the year for Colman Pool at Lincoln Park and for West Seattle’s only spraypark, at Highland Park. We mentioned this a week and a half ago in a roundup of start dates for Seattle Parks‘ outdoor water facilities in West Seattle; for a citywide perspective, check out this recent update on the city’s Parkways website. To get specific: Colman Pool’s first pre-season swim session starts at noon tomorrow (full schedule here); Highland Park Spraypark will be open daily starting tomorrow, 11 am-8 pm (per the citywide schedule that also includes wading pools, which don’t start opening until late June).
It’s state-championship season for high-school athletes in several sports, including golf, with a West Seattle High School golfer headed to the Tri-Cities in a few days to compete. From Kristin Gibson:
West Seattle Wildcat Zach Gibson will compete in Boys 3A State Golf Championship May 26-28 at Canyon Lakes Golf Course in Kennewick, WA. Zach qualified last fall by placing 10th in the Metro District Championship. Good Luck, Zach!
Checking our archives, Zach went to the state championships last year, too.
4:49 PM: Twice nominated, and rejected, for city-landmark status, the Charlestown Court apartments across from the ex-Charlestown Café are coming down.
Townhouses will replace them, as we’ve reported previously.
5:40 PM: We’re adding images and backstory. Video:
And – thanks to Bryce for the tip that demolition was under way; unexpected at 4 pm on a Friday going into a long holiday weekend. This site has been on our watchlist for many weeks, and we’ve driven by daily to check for signs of impending teardown, but hadn’t been by today, until that tip.
Back in 2008, with a different demolition/development proposal pending for the site, the city Landmarks Preservation Board rejected a bid for landmark status, saying basically that it was nice-looking but not “special.” The proposal to replace it with a four-story apartments-over-retail building was scrapped later that year, and a new proposal emerged, one that would have preserved its distinctive facade:
(2008 NK Architects proposal incorporating Charlestown Court facade; eventually scrapped)
A land-use permit was granted in early 2009 but the project stalled in the economic downturn, and the apartments remained status-quo until early 2014, when we discovered a new teardown-to-townhouses proposal in the city files. Here’s the concept in the files, from architects S&H Works – 4 buildings, 2 townhouses in each one:
Last summer, as part of the process, Charlestown Court was again considered, and rejected, for landmark status. That cleared the way for the project getting under way now.
SIDE NOTE: Its block is about to have a whole lot of building going on – it’s across the street from the former Charlestown Café, with live-work and townhouses slated to fill that site, and a few doors down on the west side of California, demolition is expected soon at 3829 California, with a 29-unit apartment building to replace it. While demolition was under way to the north, we noticed firefighters training in the now-vacant building:
ADDED 9:54 PM: Sent by Jackie (who has also mentioned this in the comment section):
We saved the azalea, though! The kindest operator and my neighbor, who owns the truck, helped get it up and out of harm’s way. Thank you, Cajun Excavating! You made our day.
Meantime, we went back before sunset to see if the south side of the building had been taken down since we left; it had.
It’s been one of our favorite stories to cover every year we’ve done this – but next Friday will be our last chance to report on another round of “Laps With Lou“: Pathfinder K-8 PE teacher Lou Cutler is retiring. For 12 years now, on a day close to his birthday, he has been joined by students and other members of the Pathfinder community in running one lap for each year he’s been on the planet, with pledges for Make-A-Wish, the nonprofit for which he’s spent almost 20 years volunteering. This year, Lou and friends will run 64 laps around the field. You’re invited to cheer him on, one last time, starting at 8:45 am next Friday (May 29th) on the field at Pathfinder (1901 SW Genesee on Pigeon Point). You can pledge/donate in advance, too – just go here.
One more transportation-related item: If you live and/or work and/or drive, ride, walk, run along Delridge Way SW, you’re going to want to take this survey. It was mentioned in the announcement of a June 6th city-led workshop regarding three projects – the Delridge Multi-Modal Corridor Study, the Delridge Action Plan, and Delridge Longfellow Creek Basin Natural Drainage Systems Partnership. The workshop is planned for 9:30 am-noon June 6th (a Saturday) at Southwest Teen Life Center (2801 SW Thistle)
(Slide deck from last night’s meeting)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“Who can we contact to derail this program?”
That question was asked by one attendee at last night’s contentious meeting about the Admiral Way Safety Project, but could have come from almost anyone who spoke. We hadn’t planned to record the meeting on video but grabbed five minutes of public comment via phone; if you weren’t there, this is a taste of how it went:
This was the first standalone meeting about the project, and at one point during the meeting SDOT reps said it would be the only one – but before the meeting’s end, Admiral Neighborhood Association president David Whiting asked them to commit to another one, and they agreed.
The proposal for SW Admiral Way between California SW and 63rd SW is intended to improve safety by adding a bicycle lane and narrowing vehicle lanes. That would require removal of about 200 street parking spaces, per SDOT’s calculations, on alternating sides of the street. While SDOT initially contended that the proposal would still preserve more than the number of spaces they found occupied during their research, what has drawn ire is the timing of that research: They took counts last December, not during the warm-weather months that fill Alki-area parking spaces for blocks around.
The way in which this proposal emerged also has drawn criticism.
The heart of the decision over this fall’s transportation levy: What will you get for your money? Two weeks after Mayor Murray and SDOT director Scott Kubly went public with the revised proposed $930 million “Move Seattle” transportation levy (WSB coverage here), it’s officially appearing on the City Council’s Introduction and Referral Calendar – which means that you can read the “fine print.” That includes the proposed “ballot title,” what you’ll see before you vote in November, assuming the language isn’t changed:
CITY OF SEATTLE
PROPOSITION NO. 1
The City of Seattle’s Proposition 1 concerns replacing funding for citywide transportation maintenance and improvements.
If approved, this proposition would replace an expiring levy and fund bridge seismic upgrades, transit corridor and light rail station access projects, pedestrian and bicycle safety projects, upgraded and synchronized traffic signals, street maintenance and improvements, freight mobility projects, and neighborhood street fund projects.
It authorizes regular property taxes above RCW 84.55 limits, allowing collection of up to $95,000,000 in 2016 and up to $930,000,000 over nine years. The 2016 total regular tax limit would be $3.60/$1,000 assessed value, including approximately $0.62 additional taxes.
Should this levy be approved?
You can read the legislation in its entirety here – keep in mind the City Council now will start its review, with public-comment opportunities along the way – including a 5:30 pm public hearing at City Hall on June 2nd – before a final version is sent to the county in August. (This link also includes info on how to comment on it right now. And a new stack of “public outreach” links has just been sent around by SDOT – you can find them here; the links on that page include the map we’ve embedded atop this story.)
(Male black-headed grosbeak, photographed by Mark Wangerin)
The holiday weekend is about to start! If you’re headed out, be safe and have a great time; we’ll be here covering what’s going on in West Seattle, as usual, including daily advance word of calendar highlights, like these:
WEST SEATTLE GARDEN CLUB: This month’s meeting starts with 10 am registration and continues until 2 pm, at Daystar Retirement Village. Bring your own lunch; beverage and dessert are included in the $5 registration fee. (2615 SW Barton)
SOFTBALL PLAYOFFS: 5 pm, it’s West Seattle High School‘s next game in the district playoffs, vs. Ballard HS at Southwest Athletic Complex. (2801 SW Thistle – ballfields are on the SW Trenton side)
‘DINGO’ FUNDRAISER: Dessert plus bingo at and for West Seattle High School, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Children’s Miracle Network, 6:30 pm “but it’s OK if you’re late,” organizers say. Details here. (3000 California SW)
LIVE MUSIC: Our calendar has listings for 5 pm at Salty’s (WSB sponsor), 7 pm at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), and 9 pm at The Skylark. (Missing anyone? Please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks!)
(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
The 3-day holiday weekend is almost here. No problems in/from West Seattle so far. Here are the Memorial Day reminders again:
MEMORIAL DAY TRANSIT NOTES: On Monday – Metro will be on its Sunday schedule; the West Seattle Water Taxi will also be on a Sunday schedule; and Sound Transit Route 560 too. Regular weekday schedule for the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth Washington State Ferries route; here’s the system-wide overview.
Encore performance this week for part of the cast of Lafayette Elementary‘s recent musical! From Luckie:
Lafayette Elementary was invited to performed a scene from this year’s school play, “The Barnyard Musical Mystery,” at the May 20 Seattle Public Schools board meeting in the John Stanford Center auditorium. It was broadcast live on Channel 26 (see the archived video above).
“The Barnyard Musical Mystery” is a one-hour play written by Lafayette Elementary parent Laurie Utterback, who also directed it along with fellow parent volunteer Joel Oltyan and Lafayette’s multi-arts teacher Melia Scranton. A cast of 80 students in third through fifth grade rehearsed after school once a week beginning in January, and performed the play on May 7, 8, and 9 at the Chief Sealth International High School auditorium.
The performers at Wednesday’s school board meeting:
Jane, grade 5
Daisy, grade 4
Audrey, grade 4
Millie, grade 4
Zhaiarah, grade 4
Mason, grade 5
Myah, grade 4
Stella, grade 4
Jordan, grade 4
Lafayette Elementary is very proud of the dedication, enthusiasm, and teamwork shown by all of its talented young actors!