West Seattle, Washington
Singer/songwriter Naomi Wachira will serenade you on what promises to be a warm, clear Thursday night, second Summer Concerts at Hiawatha show of 2015. Above is her official video for “African Girl,” published in 2013, the year she was labeled “best folk singer in Seattle”; find more of her videos, including live-performance clips, here. Music starts at 6:30 pm and usually goes until about 8 on the east lawn of Hiawatha Community Center (Lander/Walnut) – bring a chair, blanket, family, friends, dinner, and be ready to relax. (WSB is proud to be a series co-sponsor again this year.)
When we and others published the first announcement of wi-fi hotspots available to borrow from the Seattle Public Library, a long waiting list developed quickly – WSB reader Diane was on it and chronicled the wait. Now, with another grant, SPL has more than doubled the number available, as announced today:
Thanks to an additional $80,000 grant from Google, The Seattle Public Library has added 200 more Wi-Fi hotspots for Library patrons to check out. The devices provide patrons with free, mobile broadband Internet service for three weeks.
The Library used an initial grant from Google to buy 150 hotspots and launched the lending program on May 18. In the first week, nearly 1,000 patrons placed holds on the devices.
“Clearly, even in a high-tech city like Seattle, there is a huge need for additional broadband access,” said Marcellus Turner, Seattle’s city librarian. “These devices help close the digital divide for Seattle residents who live on low incomes.”
Some Library patrons had requested more devices after the initial launch. The Library now lends a total of 326 devices and librarians use another 24 hotspots during outreach programming.
Many patrons believe the Wi-Fi hotspots provide an exciting new spin on the public library system’s foundational service – ensuring equal access to information for all.
“This is the coolest thing ever,” one user commented. “Kudos to The Seattle Public
Library for carrying a traditional mission of libraries into the Internet age.”
The Seattle Public Library is the first public library in the United States to make
the hotspots available to all its cardholders. For more information, call the Library 206-386-4636 or Ask a Librarian.
Thanks to Denise for the photos from Sanislo Elementary School‘s playground, which she reports, “has a new coat of paint! Per [principal] Mr. Rhodes, a Sanislo parent/family repainted the playground. So nice & bright for the kids!”
Seattle Public Schools students are at the exact midpoint of summer vacation – six weeks since the last day of last year, six weeks to the first day of next year (September 9th). Are you having a school-beautification project before the fall? Please consider letting us know (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can cover it – thanks!
Two Seafair/U.S. Navy notes:
FLEET ARRIVING, PARADE TOMORROW: Thanks to Lynn Hall for that photo of the guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey (DDG 105) arriving today in advance of the Seafair Parade of Ships tomorrow and tours Thursday-Sunday. As first previewed here last week, the Dewey is one of seven ships (U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, Canadian Navy) you’ll see in the seagoing parade, which should pass West Seattle’s north-facing shores around 1 pm tomorrow.
BLUE ANGELS TECHNICIANS AT SSC ON FRIDAY: Three years ago, we covered a Blue Angels pilot and support-crew member speaking at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) on Seafair Friday. This year, two technicians from the support team are due at SSC, which says the presentation is open to the public:
Two US Navy Blue Angels technicians will hold an hour-long presentation and audience Q&A at South Seattle College on Friday, July 31, to provide a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes support that goes into Blue Angels performances, including the Seafair shows this weekend.
The presentation occurs from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on July 31 in the Olympic Hall Auditorium at South’s West Seattle campus. The free event is open to the public, with limited seating available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Petty Officer of the Navy 1st Class Zoltan Prestridge (aviation maintenance control team) and Petty Officer of the Navy 2nd Class Cyrille Sandusky (aviation electrician crew chief) will discuss the background and training that led to their position with the Blue Angels, and what it’s like to ensure the safety of pilots’ planes as they perform aerial stunts.
The Blue Angels’ visit was coordinated by the Association for Women in Aviation Maintenance (AWAM) Chapter 19, a student club made up of female aeronautical technicians in training at South. Whether training in the Aviation Maintenance Technology or Aerospace Composite Technology programs at the college, the experience will be memorable for South aviation students.
“We share an industry and a passion (with the speakers) … and their experiences are highly educational and motivational for all of us,” AWAM club member Sherry Loeser said.
Olympic Hall is on the south end of the campus (6000 16th SW). The Blue Angels’ practice airshow that day isn’t until 1:40 pm, enabling the technicians to visit in the morning.
(City photo from Find It, Fix It walk last July in the Central District)
More than one year after the city launched a series of “Find It, Fix It” walks, one is finally scheduled for West Seattle. According to the Department of Neighborhoods‘ “West Seattle News You Can Use” newsletter, it’ll happen in North Delridge on October 3rd. Months away, but you can get ready:
Save the date! On Saturday, October 3, 2015, Mayor Murray’s Find-It/Fix-It Community Walk is coming to Delridge! The proposed walk route will include areas in and around the SW Brandon Street node.
In 2014, Mayor Ed Murray initiated Find It, Fix It Community Walks, a series of Mayor-led walks that help improve neighborhoods one block at a time. During these walks, neighbors, police, and City officials walk together to identify physical elements in the neighborhood that make it feel unsafe or poorly maintained. Examples include overgrown trees, graffiti, street light outages, and litter. Once the elements are identified, the City and community work together to fix the problems.
To date, nine Community Walks have been held throughout the city, resulting in hundreds of infrastructure improvements – from new trash and recycle bins to upgraded street lights.
– See more (here).
INTRODUCING COMMUNITY PROJECT GRANTS
This year’s walks come with an added bonus. In partnership with Cities of Service – a national nonprofit that works with mayors to implement high-impact volunteering strategies – up to $5,000 in Community Project Grants will support community-led revitalization projects in each walk neighborhood ($25,000 total). …
The goal of Community Project Grants is to support the volunteer efforts of community members who are working together to improve the appearance and safety of their neighborhoods. The community engagement from this process builds unity and a common purpose that strengthens neighborhoods. For more on last year’s walks head HERE.
WAYS TO GET INVOLVED
All are welcome to participate in the walk on October 3rd, but there are other ways to get involved as well. You and your community group can apply for grant funds to do an small improvement project, or you can serve on the Community Walk Action Team. For more information, contact the Mayor’s Find-It/Fix-It Team or contact Kerry Wade (Neighborhood District Coordinator) at email@example.com or via phone at 206-733-9091.
(ADDED: Seattle Channel video of committee meeting – SDOT director’s report starts 1:44 in)
SDOT has “already started making some changes” to the SW Admiral Way Safety Project plan, director Scott Kubly just told Councilmember Tom Rasmussen and the rest of the City Council’s Transportation Committee.
Rasmussen had told us that a briefing would be part of today’s meeting; it happened during Kubly’s periodic “director’s report” presentation, which as usual addressed multiple issues, though only two were discussed before the committee, including this one. (See the full pre-submitted written version of his report above.)
Rasmussen expressed an overall concern about the public-input portion of projects like this – suggesting, as residents have said, that it would be better for agencies to come out and say, there’s an issue we want to address in your neighborhood, and ask for ideas on addressing it, rather than beginning the public-input process by showing up with a proposed plan that invariably draws a negative response, with some walkback invariably following.
Kubly’s response to that was to say that it could stretch out a process for so long that people would lose interest – and/or that an entirely different set of participants/stakeholders might turn up if a year or so elapsed between the start of the discussion and the presentation of a plan. He also pointed out that some projects, like this, are outgrowths of existing “modal plans” (in this case, the city’s Bicycle Master Plan).
But he did acknowledge that community input is leading to some changes already in the plan, which was first presented in April with changes to Admiral Way west of California SW including addition of a bicycle lane, other channelization changes, and removal of 200 on-street parking spaces. When SDOT said it had done parking studies in December to generate its contention that the parking wasn’t needed, community members’ jaws dropped, pointing out that peak parking season in the area is summertime because of Alki Beach Park usage. SDOT agreed to study the parking again in mid-summer; Kubly indicated that “data collection” is under way (as project manager Emily Ehlers had told WSB last week).
“Allow us to collect the data in July, see what that data suggests is the right solution for meeting all of our goals – predominantly safety, for all users,” implored Kubly, adding, “We’ve already started maing some changes based on what we’ve heard … We’ll add back a lot of the parking in the highest-demand areas but without sacrificing some of the safety improvements that we’re making – we’re going through an iterative process … we’ll go back to the public with some design modifications we’ve made,” including changes to where the bicycle lane would be buffered from parked cars and where it would be buffered from the travel lane. The written version of his report says the next public meeting might not happen until September.
More than an hour and a half before Kubly’s appearance at meeting’s end, Admiral Way residents Jackie Ramels, Chris Thayer, and Brenda Gage spoke during the general-public-comment period that started the committee meeting. Thayer mentioned that Alki and Schmitz Park are both parks “with no dedicated off-street parking,” as even acknowledged by the city website. Gage mentioned that she and her three small children would have to cross Admiral Way if parking is removed in front of her house. She voiced a wish that “SDOT (would have been) more collaborative with us.” She also expressed gratitude for the 47th/Admiral light and crosswalks that opened recently, and mentioned that the group’s online petition is up to almost a thousand names. (Rasmussen also mentioned the signal/crosswalks before the meeting concluded – he and Kubly were there for its “completion celebration” two weeks ago, as reported here.)
When this meeting’s archived video is available online via the Seattle Channel, we’ll add it to this report. (NOTE: As of late night, it’s been added.)
“When all gets orange, summer is over,” is how Flickr member alextutu1821 captioned that photo, sharing it via the WSB Flickr group. Not over yet, but late July means it’s time to savor every day! Warm sunshine is forecast for the rest of the week, including the rest of today/tonight – here are highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
CENTRAL AREA AQUATIC TEAM EXPANDING TO WEST SEATTLE, EVALUATIONS TONIGHT: This year-round swim club for ages 6-18 years is expanding to West Seattle and inviting interested families to team evaluations tonight and Thursday, 5 pm, at WS Health Club. You don’t have to be a member, and CAAT stresses, “This isn’t a tryout; there is a place on the team for all swimmers.” More info here. (2629 SW Andover)
SPOKE & FOOD BIKE-TO-DINNER BENEFIT: 5-10 pm tonight, 20 percent of the proceeds at participating restaurants – in our area, that’s The Westy (21+) and Proletariat Pizza (all ages) – goes to Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. Bicycling to dinner is encouraged! More info here.
FREE TRACK RUN: 6:15 pm, meet at West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor) for a free group run! (2743 California SW)
BLOCK WATCH CAPTAINS’ FOCUS GROUP: 6:30-7:30 pm, the next “focus group” invited to talk with Southwest Precinct research assistant Jennifer Burbridge about neighborhood policing plans and crime/safety concerns is the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network. If you’re involved with a block watch, you’re invited to be there – more info on the WSBWCN website. (2300 SW Webster)
THAT’S NOT ALL … see more of what’s up today/tonight by going to our calendar.
As the free-summer-meals program for local kids continues, tomorrow brings a bonus – Field Day activities at 15 sites around the county, including three in West Seattle – featured below in bold:
On July 29th from 12 pm-2 pm, United Way of King County is organizing a Summer Meals
Field Day! It will be taking place at 15 meal sites in King County. These sites are Northacres Playground, Judkins(lower) Playground, Cal Anderson Park, Beacon Hill Playground, Georgetown Playground, Othello Playground, E.C. Hughes Playground, Highland Park Elementary, Roxhill Playground, Maplewood Playground, Royal Hills Apartments, Angle Lake Park, Midway Park, and Parkside. Any child 18 and under is welcome to come and participate in the fun field day activities and enjoy a free lunch!
For more info about free summer meals, here’s the announcement we published two weeks ago.
(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
THURSDAY-SUNDAY I-90 REMINDER: Every day this week, we’re reminding you about the Thursday-Sunday I-90 bridge closures during Blue Angels practices/performances – two on Thursday and one per day Friday-Sunday.
9:09 AM: If you haven’t left yet, don’t head for northbound I-5 – a crash is blocking two lanes just north of the exit from the West Seattle Bridge.
9:24 AM: Per WSDOT (and “Happy Tuesday” in comments), the scene is clear.
(UPDATED Tuesday night with added comment from Port of Seattle)
(Port of Seattle graphic with modernization-plan toplines, from 2014 slide deck)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Among the more than 30 people in attendance were residents of East Admiral, neighbors of T-5, concerned about port-related issues with which they’ve long dealt.
One major question of the night: Why the port felt it does not need a new environmental-impact review for the upcoming modernization project. A related city comment period was coming to a close as the meeting was held, but it didn’t involve a full-fledged review.
Port managers contend one isn’t needed because T-5 won’t be handling more volume. That’s a contention the residents are challenging with an online petition, and a stack of formal comments (see their letters by going here and choosing the “documents” tab).