West Seattle, Washington
One night later than planned, because of last night’s rain, the first meant-to-discourage-lawbreaking red markings are being applied right now to the bus lane approaching, and on, the eastbound West Seattle Bridge. Our quick Instagram clip takes a closer look:
During a brief hard-hat-required photo op with the SDOT crew and Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, first thing we learned was that “markings” is the word because it’s NOT paint. “Paint” was the word used in the city announcement we published – but shortly after arrival in the work zone tonight, talking with crew leaders, we were informed 2′ x 3′ red plastic strips comprise the markings. They’re laid down after the surface is pressure-washed, and then they’re sealed.
Street paint would wear off quickly, it was explained. The plastic is tinted throughout, so it holds its color even as some of the surface wears away. And this is a bright “traffic red” color, in case you were in the contingent thinking red wouldn’t show on a dark, rainy morning/night. In addition, a reflective material tops the plastic strips – looking like frost, to our eyes:
That’ll catch your headlights in those dark hours. The crew started work tonight on the bus lane right after it heads east at the corner of Spokane/Avalon, and were headed toward the high rise when we left. Councilmember Rasmussen said (video) he was glad to see the start of work on one of the items on the 27-project West Seattle Bridge-Duwamish Waterway Corridor action plan (reported here last night) that his Transportation Committee will review tomorrow – but he also spotted a few things, as we stood along the south side of the bottom of the onramp, such as missing pavement – “you need to get someone out here tomorrow to fix that,” he admonished – and one tattered item suggesting the sidewalk might not have been swept in a few years:
A few decades, maybe. Anyway, if you drive the eastbound bridge – and/or eastbound lower Spokane, east of Avalon – you’ll see red for at least a few years, which is how long the $200,000 application is expected to last.
DOES THIS JEWELRY CHEST SOUND FAMILIAR? Amy, who found it, is all but certain it’s tossed-aside burglary loot:
Hi, I found a large wood jewelry chest dumped in some shrubs in the alley behind where I live. I suspect it belongs to someone whose home was (burglarized) and dumped after they took all the contents. I live near California / Findlay. Wood (cherry colored), 17 x 11 5/8 x 9 1/4, the top lifts up, 3 narrow drawers, burgundy lining. There is a small gold plaque on the top that could be engraved but isn’t. Each side has a gold handle. Sticker on the bottom says: Eureke Mfg. Co, Division of Reed & Barton Silversmith’s Norton MA -2766, also stamped 9/99.
When last we exchanged notes, she was reporting it to police, too. (ADDED: Commenter says this is a silverware chest.)
SPEAKING OF BURGLARIES: Here’s a screenshot from the Seattle Police crime-reports map, showing seven reported burglaries/attempts in West Seattle in the past seven days:
Four are linked (on the city-website version) to reports with details: Last Tuesday night in the 2100 block of 49th SW, a video-game console was stolen; the victim thinks the burglar got in through an unlocked door … Last Tuesday morning in the 8700 block of 16th SW, a resident called police about a man who appeared to be trying to break into a garage off the alley; when confronted, he said he thought it was his friend’s house, and walked away (description: “white male, approximately 6′ tall, wearing dark jeans, a black sweatshirt and a black baseball hat” and carrying a black suitcase “with clothing sticking out of it”) … Earlier last Tuesday morning, in the 9400 block of Delridge Way SW, someone pried open the main entry door to Last Monday in the 9400 block of 7th SW, a house was broken into, its door kicked in and a window smashed, but nothing appeared to have been taken – spots of blood, possibly from the intruder(s), were noticed and sampled for evidence.
WINDOW MYSTERY: From Matt in Fauntleroy:
Sometime early Sunday morning (between 5:00-7:00 AM, I would guess) a window at my house (45th & Director) was hit with an unidentified object.
It looks like it was shot with a bb/pellet gun but I have been unable to locate any bb/pellet/bullet. I did call the police and they sent an officer over. He was unable to determine what broke the window, but guessed that it was either a rock or a bb. Just thought I’d let you know in case anyone else in the area suffered the same misfortune.
If you did … be sure to report it.
ONE MORE REMINDER: Tomorrow night brings the next crime prevention/safety meeting in West Seattle, 6:30 pm Tuesday, as the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meets for the first time since summer recess. Agenda details are on the WSBWCN website. (No, you don’t have to be a BW captain, or even member, to be there – all welcome.)
5:56 PM: Two quick transit-related notes:
REROUTES FOR CHINESE PRESIDENT’S VISIT: As first reported back on Friday night, traffic and transit challenges are expected between tomorrow morning and Thursday morning while the president of China visits the area. He’s flying into and out of Paine Field in Snohomish County and staying in a downtown Seattle hotel. Metro has just published its full list of expected reroutes; no West Seattle-downtown routes appear to be involved, but for those who transfer and/or work in the area, here are the details.
CITY COUNCIL BRIEFING ON METRO CANCELLATIONS: In our followup last week on Metro‘s recent cancellations, which have seemed to be disproportionately affecting West Seattle routes, it was mentioned that Metro GM Kevin Desmond would brief the City Council Transportation Committee tomorrow. That agenda’s gotten busy, including the new West Seattle Bridge-Duwamish Waterway Corridor report (covered here last night), so the briefing/discussion has been postponed until next week – Monday, September 28th, at the Seattle Transportation Benefit District (full council wearing different hats) meeting, which follows the afternoon City Council meeting. No specific time yet – we’ll be tracking it.
ADDED 6:52 PM: Regarding the first item above – Bill asked in comments about the president’s arrival time. Haven’t found an official direct source so far but the Everett Herald, closest major publication to the arrival airport, says 9:30 am tomorrow. We’ll have the newest information in our daily traffic/transit update first thing in the morning.
That’s the video just published by the Seattle Channel from last Thursday’s first local post-primary forum (dubbed a debate, but not really in that format) featuring the finalists for Seattle City Council District 1 (West Seattle and South Park), Lisa Herbold and Shannon Braddock. It’ll be shown on SC’s cable channel (21) sixteen times between now and October 1st, so if you want to watch that way, here’s the schedule:
Mon, Sep 21, 7:00 p.m.
Tue, Sep 22, 5:00 p.m.
Wed, Sep 23, 4:00 a.m.
Thu, Sep 24, 12:00 a.m.
Thu, Sep 24, 11:00 a.m.
Thu, Sep 24, 4:00 p.m.
Fri, Sep 25, 1:00 a.m.
Fri, Sep 25, 7:00 a.m.
Fri, Sep 25, 8:00 a.m.
Sat, Sep 26, 4:00 a.m.
Sun, Sep 27, 8:00 a.m.
Mon, Sep 28, 8:00 a.m.
Tue, Sep 29, 4:00 p.m.
Wed, Sep 30, 4:00 a.m.
Wed, Sep 30, 2:00 p.m.
Thu, Oct 01, 6:00 p.m.
And if you’d like to see and hear the candidates in person, you have at least four more chances:
The next local, open-to-the-public forum on the schedule is 6:30 pm Tuesday, October 6th, at Fauntleroy UCC Church (presented by the League of Women Voters and Westside Interfaith Network). That’ll be followed by 6:15 pm October 13th at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center (presented by the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce and West Seattle Transportation Coalition), along with 7 pm October 14th at The Hall at Fauntleroy, presented by the 34th District Democrats‘ regular meeting; and one set for October 15th at the High Point Library (not on the calendar yet so stay tuned for the time).
Every fall, the Seafair Clowns and Stoneway Concrete visit a local school with much-needed supplies for students – and this year, their special stop happened this morning at Highland Park Elementary. They brought along some friends you might recognize from TV, politics, and law enforcement:
West Seattle’s own Officer Lumpy posed for our photographer with HP Elementary principal Chris Cronas and Stoneway’s Michelle Derington, who organized the extravaganza:
They brought 650 backpacks and expected to give away 500, with the remaining going to area foster children. Plus, they brought some other helpful supplies – tissue, copy paper, and, for the school’s greenhouse and garden, potting supplies:
Another West Seattle church has just announced new leadership. Here’s the announcement from Fauntleroy Church:
A quorum of members voted unanimously Sept. 20 to select Rev. Leah Atkinson Bilinski as senior minister of Fauntleroy Church UCC. The 335-member congregation has been engaged in a nationwide search for new pastoral leadership since Rev. Dr. David Kratz retired in January 2013.
“Rev. Bilinski comes to us with a wealth of experience in preaching, youth programs, service and outreach, pastoral care, and administration,” said Sarah Finney, moderator of the congregation. “We know Leah will be a wonderful addition to our church and to the wider community.”
When asked why she had applied, Rev. Bilinski said she has longed to serve what she found at Fauntleroy Church – “a well-engaged, thoughtful, and very aware congregation.”
An ordained minister of the United Church of Christ, Rev. Bilinski received a bachelor’s degree in anthropology alongside an elementary teaching certificate from Grinnell College in 1999, then a masters of divinity from Eden Theological Seminary in 2007. Her experience includes six years as copastor at St. Peter’s UCC in Washington, MO, and four months as acting pastor of Ebenezer “Stone Church” UCC in Gerald, MO. She has also had leadership and administrative roles in UCC youth programs and chaplaincy experience in hospital and elder settings.
She currently lives with her husband and two-year-old daughter in Washington, MO, southwest of St. Louis, and will move to West Seattle to start her new pastorate on Nov. 29, the first Sunday of Advent.
SIDE NOTE: One of the church’s most popular community events, the twice-yearly Recycle Roundup, is coming up this Sunday (September 27th), 9 am-3 pm, in the lot outside the church at 9140 California SW; our recent preview includes information on what can and can’t be dropped off for recycling, for free.
A draft “North Delridge Action Plan” has been taking shape with feedback including discussion at gatherings such as the one above at Delridge Community Center back in June and at the Delridge Day festival last month. But does it align with YOUR priorities for the area? Come talk about it at DCC, 6-8 pm Tuesday, September 29th (one week from tomorrow) – child care and snacks provided. Important note – it’s not just about “North” Delridge, the announcement points out:
The North Delridge Action Plan team is collaborating with two other City projects, and will help direct their ongoing work. The Delridge Way SW Multimodal Corridor Study seeks to transform Delridge Way SW (from SW Roxbury St. to the West Seattle Bridge) into a safer and healthier public space with more predictable movements of people and goods. SPU is developing a Natural Drainage Systems (NDS) Partnership Program. This program will achieve the water quality goals identified in the Plan to Protect Seattle’s Waterways by working with sister agencies and community partners to deliver high-value neighborhood improvements.
Delridge Community Center, site of the Sept. 29th meeting, is at 4501 Delridge Way SW.
ORIGINAL REPORT, 10:29 AM: The community coalition that’s been trying to convince the city not to sell off a group of ex-substation sites, mostly in West Seattle – saying we’ll regret the lost open space – has just discovered that a decision is near.
At Wednesday morning’s meeting of the City Council Energy Committee, City Light will ask official permission to sell eight sites (there originally were nine, but one in the Rainier Valley has been transferred to Seattle Public Utilities). Aerial views and addresses of the sites are here. Two (in south Highland Park, below, and Burien) are planned for sales to other public agencies:
Two (in Fauntleroy and Delridge, below) might go to community non-profits:
The other four (three in West Seattle, below – in Genesee Hill, Pigeon Point, and north Highland Park – one in SeaTac) will, at this point, just plain go up for sale:
Here’s the slide deck the council committee will be shown:
(Other meeting documents are here.)
This all goes back more than two years; in summer of 2013, Seattle City Light announced it was “studying” what to do with the surplus substations. A formal public hearing was held in fall 2013. Individual community groups took a look at the sites in their respective areas, such as the Highland Park Action Committee‘s discussion of the Dumar site in September 2013; the Genesee-Schmitz Neighborhood Council has been focused on the Dakota site’s fate. The two nonprofits hoping to purchase sites are the Fauntleroy Community Association, looking at raising money to buy the Fauntleroy site, and Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, hoping to get the Delridge site.
Sale of the remaining four would bring $1.2 million into the city treasury, SCL estimates, adding that – as noted in the slide deck – they’ve already asked other city departments, including Parks, about their interest, and found no takers, aside from the aforementioned SPU transfer.
The Seattle Green Spaces Coalition – founded as the West Seattle GSC, focusing on the substation sites but expanding citywide to advocate for open-space preservation – says it didn’t even get notification this was coming up for council consideration this week, but rather found out by reading the committee agenda sent out at the end of last week. It’s asking supporters to contact the mayor and the council, which certainly can be done with any opinion on the proposed sale, pro or con. As with most council committee meetings, there’ll be a public-comment period on Wednesday as the 9:30 am meeting gets under way; it’ll be shown live via Seattle Channel, cable channel 21 and online at seattlechannel.org. Once the committee has considered the City Light recommendation, it’ll move on to the full council for a final vote.
ADDED 12:10 PM: City Light spokesperson Scott Thomsen clarifies the process: This Wednesday’s Energy Committee meeting is when the bill to “dispose” of the surplus ex-substations will be introduced; a briefing is planned but not a vote – that would come at a subsequent meeting. Also, reviewing the full agenda, this item IS listed as an official “public hearing.”
(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:49 AM: Good morning! No incidents in/from our area so far. Alerts/reminders:
THIS WEEK’S BIGGEST ALERT: First circulated by the city on Friday – word that traffic, particularly downtown, could be snarled during the visit of China’s president tomorrow through Thursday morning. As we note, though, he is flying into and out of Paine Field in Snohomish County, not Boeing Field as is often the case with VIP visits, so that means his arrival and departure will *not* have those “I-5 closed near the WS Bridge” effects.
RED PAINT FOR THE BUS LANE: Also announced late Friday by the city, the bus lane on the eastbound bridge will get red markings, as have several other non-West Seattle streets, in hopes of deterring illegal non-bus use of the lane. The painting was supposed to start last night but rain postponed it; the work will be done over three nights once it resumes, which could be tonight.
Related to that …
27 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE/DUWAMISH WATERWAY CORRIDOR TRAFFIC: The bus-lane markings are the first of 27 items on a “project list” that’s the result of a long-promised look at what could be done about bridge-and-vicinity traffic. Our report published last night is your first look at the list and accompanying report, which will be formally presented to the City Council Transportation Committee tomorrow.
9:22 AM NOTE: If you missed it in comment discussion below: Did you see a “Viaduct Closed” beacon-equipped sign flashing this morning? No, The Viaduct was *not* closed; responding to our inquiry via Twitter, SDOT says there was a “malfunction.”