day : 07/10/2015 13 results

‘Irreplaceable’ – and stolen: Arbor Heights bench honoring a baby

This marble bench graced ARK Park at 42nd SW and SW 102nd in Arbor Heights, in memory of a little life lost, until a heartbreaking discovery: Someone has stolen it. They had to have known it was a memorial, given this plaque:

Allexandra Ramona Kimball is the park’s namesake and inspiration; as noted here in 2009, the first anniversary of her birthdate was the day ground was broken for the park. While the land is owned by neighboring Arbor Heights Community Church – which also operates ARK Preschool in her memory – it was created for the entire neighborhood, and has been the site of block parties and other celebrations. The bench is described as “irreplaceable to those who were affected by her short, sweet life.”

Home stretch for Murray CSO project across from Lowman Beach

October 7, 2015 9:31 pm
|    Comments Off on Home stretch for Murray CSO project across from Lowman Beach
 |   Environment | West Seattle news

(King County photo)
A milestone for the Murray Combined Sewer Overflow Control Project across from Lowman Beach Park – the tank is complete, and construction is starting for the building housing it. It’s been eight years since community members started hearing about the need for a project to reduce overflows into Puget Sound, almost five years after the announcement of the plan to locate it on what was a residential block, and almost two years since site work began. Announced tonight by the King County Wastewater Treatment Division:

King County’s contractor finished the concrete work for the Murray CSO Control facility’s one million gallon underground storage tank. Building the storage tank required some of the most intense activity on the project. King County and its contractor deeply appreciate the community’s patience while crews built the tank.

The facility building will have three rooms to house mechanical and electrical equipment. It was designed to follow the slope of Lincoln Park Way SW behind it. The building will be 20 feet tall at its highest point. Construction of the facility building will continue into Spring 2016.

Work to connect the underground storage tank to the Murray Pump Station will continue while the building is constructed. This work will increase congestion and cause traffic delays of up to 15 minutes and parking restrictions on the 7000 block of Beach Dr. SW. Please stay safe. Follow
the directions of flaggers and signs when near the site.

The project is intended to dramatically reduce the number of overflows from the Murray Pump Station at Lowman Beach, from an average of five per year – and five million gallons total – down to no more than one.

EARLY TRAFFIC ALERT: Alaskan Way Viaduct inspection closure planned for Halloween weekend

From today’s quarterly meeting of the Alaskan Way Viaduct Stakeholders meeting:

The dates are set for this year’s semiannual AWV inspection closure – scheduled for Halloween weekend, 6 am-6 pm on Saturday, October 31st, and again on Sunday, November 1st. The Viaduct will be closed both ways between the West Seattle Bridge and Battery Street Tunnel. WSDOT said at this afternoon’s meeting that besides the inspection, they’ll do some maintenance as usual – in particular, fire-suppression systems in the BSTunnel need some work.

Also at the meeting, WSDOT played the video that we featured here earlier in the day, showing what’s been happening with the tunneling machine as work continues to get it ready to start tunneling again later this year. The Viaduct closure that’s expected when the machine goes beneath the structure could last up to two weeks. Assuming everything goes as currently projected, the machine will stop in a long-planned “safe zone” just outside the edge of the structure, so it can get a checkup to see how it’s doing after what would be the first few weeks of digging.

What the people who want your City Council votes were saying at the Fauntleroy forum

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

With four weeks left until the general election – the night the voting ends and the vote-counting begins – a forum in Fauntleroy last night featured the six candidates for the three City Council seats that will be on your ballot.

“This is a unique election,” observed Boots Winterstein from the Westside Interfaith Network (WIN), which co-presented the forum with the League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County, whose Lucy Gaskill-Gaddis served as moderator.

The format put most of the questions to all of the candidates – for City Council District 1, West Seattle/South Park, Lisa Herbold and Shannon Braddock; for at-large (citywide) Position 8, Jon Grant and Tim Burgess; for at-large Position 9, Bill Bradburd and Lorena González.

The sharpest differences were evident between each of the two sets of citywide candidates; in the local race, it was more subtle, with little all-out disagreement. And District 1 is where the forum Q/A began.

Read More

SATURDAY: 16 adorable kittens – and lovable mature cats! – at city’s West Seattle adopt-a-thon

That’s Miles, our ex-shelter cat and official WSB assistant, suggesting you might want to add a feline family member this Saturday, when the Seattle Animal Shelter returns to West Seattle for an adopt-a-thon. He’s not available but dozens of cats are – including, we’ve just learned, 16 kittens, among them Bento and Sushi (city-provided photo below):

Here’s the basic info about the event:

The Seattle Animal Shelter will host a cat adopt-a-thon on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015, at the High Point Community Center, located at 6920 34th Ave. SW. The event runs from noon to 3 p.m. and features numerous kittens and cats of different breeds. Cats available at this event have been living with foster parents, who are available at the event to share information about the personality and habits of the cats with potential adopters, helping to make a perfect match.

“With our monthly neighborhood adoptathons, we hope to continue to spread the word about the joys and value of adopting shelter pets and saving lives. If you have room in your home and your heart for an orphaned animal, this is a great opportunity to come and see some of the wonderful pets available from our foster-care parents,” said Don Jordan, Seattle Animal Shelter director.

Adoption prices range from $45 to $135 (plus applicable license fees) and include:

● Initial vaccinations
● Deworming
● Feline Leukemia testing
● Certificate for free health exam at local veterinarians
● Spay or neuter
● Microchip
The Seattle Animal Shelter has a foster-care program to rehabilitate sick and immature dogs and cats. Donations from the city’s “Help the Animals Fund” pay for veterinary care for these animals while they are being fostered.

Or maybe Nellie or Robbie.

VIDEO: See what’s left to do before Highway 99 tunneling resumes

If you’ve wondered what’s happened in the six weeks since the repaired cutterhead was lowered back into the Highway 99 tunneling machine’s “access pit” – and what’s left to do before Seattle Tunnel Partners turns it back on again – that video should answer your questions. It’s provided by WSDOT and narrated by STP’s Chris Dixon, who’s in charge of the project. We’re also expecting to hear a status report at the quarterly Highway 99 stakeholders’ meeting later today. (And yes, according to a recent city doc, transportation officials are still expecting to close the Alaskan Way Viaduct for about a week and a half while the tunnel machine passes directly beneath it. No way to know when that’ll be until the machine again gets going, and stays going – it’s currently “forecast” for February.)

BIZNOTE: West Seattle Nursery expansion work starts next week

That’s a rendering of the new expansion building that West Seattle Nursery is about to start work on next door. We reported on the expansion plan early last year. Nursery owner Mark Smith owns the old house on the site and had hoped to give it to someone who would be interested in moving it to another location, but that didn’t work out, so it will be demolished next Monday. The expansion is designed by Parie Hines of LD Arch Design (WSB sponsor) will include “a new houseplant and gift shop; a coffee bar; a classroom; storage; and office space.” (Find more details of the building, especially its sustainability features, on the LD Arch Design website.) This will clear the way for the original WSN building to have an expanded garden center with more tools, accessories, and furniture. The project – to be built by Ventana Construction (also a WSB sponsor) – is expected to be finished by the end of March.

Seattle Police’s Real Time Crime Center goes public

October 7, 2015 11:59 am
|    Comments Off on Seattle Police’s Real Time Crime Center goes public
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle police

While saying it’s been in operation for two months, Seattle Police just officially unveiled what they’re calling the Real-Time Crime Center, as a key component of a strategy titled “Agile Policing.”

The RTCC is a room at SPD headquarters downtown where a commander, analysts, and others are monitoring, and responding to, trends detected in real time around the city, tracked on a big board showing how many calls are open at any given time, what types of calls (divided into three “priority” categories), and where, updated every six seconds. The screengrab above is from a demonstration by SPD chief operating officer Mike Wagers during the Seattle Channel‘s live webcast of the announcement; we’ll add or substitute the video clip when it’s available via SC later. Here’s the official news release via SPD Blotter; we have a few more notes from having monitored the announcement live:

It’s centralizing analysis and data-sorting functions rather than having, as SPD Chief Kathleen O’Toole called them, “islands of information” at precincts and other locations. SPD says it’s also enabling information to be sorted and interpreted more quickly in a way that can assist officers in the field. One example given was a “shots fired” call, in which 911 might receive more than a dozen calls from people, each offering a fragment of information that could be a puzzle piece usable for solving/tracing it – what was heard, what was seen, was there a car, part of a license plate – all to be put together and sent to officers rather than expecting them all to sort and decode the puzzle pieces while busy with everything else in the field.

Right now, SPD says, the RTCC is being staffed Mondays-Fridays 8 am-4 pm and Tuesday nights-Saturday nights 4 pm-2 am, but that could change if they determine different scheduling would be better. They were asked what live cameras are being used, if any; only SDOT cameras that are also visible to the public, SPD replied – not any current or future police cameras (dash cams, body cams, the never-activated surveillance cameras).

Don’t let the rain change your ways: Water-saving still urged

We’ve had (and are having) some rain, and water-saving has topped the city’s request, but don’t stop now, the regional water utilities are imploring you in this update:

Fall has arrived, but consistent fall rains have not. Everett, Seattle, and Tacoma remain in the second stage of their drought response plans. The water systems rely on fall rains to fill the reservoirs so there is enough water for people and fish. Customers in the region have reduced their use over the past eight weeks by a total of 14 percent. The cities are asking their customers to continue to reduce their water use.

This time of year is critical in the salmon life cycle, as they migrate back from the ocean and travel up their native rivers to spawn. Both the amount and temperature of water in rivers affect their ability to conserve energy, avoid predators and successfully spawn.

… The total water level in SPU’s reservoirs is at 74 percent of what would be typical for this time of year.

Read More

West Seattle Wednesday: Port, transportation levy, Timebank @ SW District Council. Plus – dancing, learning, quizzing, donating …

(Steller’s Jay, photographed on Tuesday by Mark Wangerin)

Your daily look into the future – the next 12 hours or so of it, anyway – from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar (which always includes more daily happenings than what we highlight here, so please jump over and browse through when you get a minute):

FREE MUSIC/MOVEMENT CLASS … for toddlers! 10:30 am Wednesdays at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center; details in our calendar listing. (6400 Sylvan Way SW)

WSHS CURRICULUM NIGHT: Families of current West Seattle High School students are invited to “Curriculum Night” at 6:30 pm. From the school newsletter: “Pick up a copy of your student’s schedule and a map of the building in the Commons. Administration, counselors and other school support staff will be on hand to greet you. Spirit gear, PTSA memberships and auction tickets will be sold. Our Culinary Arts students will be serving cupcakes, coffee, and cold drinks. After the opening, you will go to each of your student’s classes for 10 minutes. Don’t miss this important night to connect!” (3000 California SW)

HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH CELEBRATION: 6:30 pm at Delridge Community Center, featuring a performance by Joyas Mestizas. Refreshments too! (4501 Delridge Way SW)

SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: 6:30 pm at the Sisson Building in The Junction. Agenda highlights:

6:40 p.m. West Seattle Timebank
-Tamsen Spengler, President

6:50 p.m. Port of Seattle – Terminal 5 Modernization Project
-Paul Meyer, Environmental Manager

7:10 p.m. Move Seattle – Proposition 1 Discussion
-Let’s Move Seattle Campaign, CM Tom Rasmussen & Anthony Auriemma
-Keep Seattle Affordable, Eugene Wasserman

(California SW & SW Oregon)

TONIGHT’S TRIVIA: 8:30 pm at Talarico’s Pizzeria in The Junction. (4718 California SW)

And something you can do any time today/tonight:

EARLYBIRD DEADLINE FOR SOUTHWEST SEATTLE HISTORICAL SOCIETY GALA: From SWSHS executive director Clay Eals: “Today (Wednesday) is the early-bird deadline to save on Champagne Gala Brunch tickets – $85. People can purchase them at that price online or by dropping a check (in an envelope) in our museum mailbox (61st/Stevens) by midnight.” Here’s a new video invitation, featuring Catherine Gruye Alexander, daughter of the first Homestead chef in 1950, Bob Gruye – she and brother Rob will be speaking at the gala, which is themed “Coming Home to the Homestead“:

Also announced by SWSHS – the live auction of the November 7th gala will include log sections of the Homestead. More info on the gala, happening at Salty’s on Alki and with The Kenney as presenting sponsor (both are also WSB sponsors, and WSB is a media sponsor for the gala) can be found here.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Car prowl leads to burglary

In West Seattle Crime Watch:

(Screen grab from SPD police-report map, filtered to show car prowls)

CAR PROWL TURNS TO BURGLARY, PLUS, THE STATS: Those are all the car prowls on the Seattle Police report map for West Seattle right now – 16 of them, dated from last Wednesday (September 30th) to last Sunday (October 4th). The default map view is supposed to show the entire past week, but we usually notice a few days lag, and indeed, checking Tweets by Beat (which we aggregate automatically on the WSB Crime Watch page), we see three more from the past two days, so that’s 19. And that’s not even counting the one reported to us this morning by Paul from the 3800 block of 34th SW (map) – that would be the 20th in one week – which he says preceded a burglary:

At approximately 4:05 am today, our dog started barking and we heard someone getting in a car and heading down the alley behind our house, between 34th and 35th. I went into our attached garage and found the garage door to be open and some items were missing. We quickly discovered that the burglars had broken into our car which was parked in the alley and gained access to the garage door remote.

If you could, please ask readers if anyone on or around the 3800 block of 34th SW or 35th SW saw any people or cars around 4 am today, or if they have any security camera footage that they could review. A car prowl is one thing, but a break-in while we’re at home is pretty brazen and unnerving, and any help would be appreciated.

Police did respond and investigate, Paul says. Meantime, another reader report from the queue:

ONE MORE CRIME WATCH NOTE: You might call this one a drive-by theft. It happened Sunday evening, Barry reported – “… a black backpack with wallet, cell phone, and medicine was stolen from the end of the blind alley off Walker between California and 44th. Construction crew working on our house were preparing to leave and were collecting their equipment when a SUV drove down to the end of the alley snatched the backpack and backed out of the alley very quickly.” It was a black Billabong backpack and has been reported to police.

NEXT WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL MEETING: 7 pm Tuesday, October 20th, at the Southwest Precinct – come hear crime updates and bring your concerns for Q/A with police.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Rainy Wednesday updates

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
7:04 AM: Rain’s back. One incident just reported – a crash toward the east end of the SW Roxbury corridor, at 3rd and Olson.

7:44 AM: The SFD call for that crash has closed.

7:59 AM: As commenters are noting – traffic is just a general mess. As the WSDOT traffic tweeter put it:

8:34 AM: Alert texted/tweeted by Sound Transit: “All ST Express buses are experiencing 20-40 min delays due to slow moving traffic due to the rain and previous collisions or disabled vehicles blocking lanes.” (The Express buses include Route 560, which runs to/from the Westwood area.)

West Seattle schools: Portable leaving WS Elementary on Saturday

October 7, 2015 12:16 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle schools: Portable leaving WS Elementary on Saturday
 |   High Point | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

One more school note: Heads up for the High Point area – a temporary portable used for the start of the school year at West Seattle Elementary will be removed from campus this Saturday morning (October 10th), now that a new one to be used TFN is in place. The district says the 12′ x 56′ modular structure is scheduled to be moved out at 9 am Saturday “via the site access gate at the intersection of 34th and Willow Streets. The city will coordinate with us and may or may not place traffic signs on the street(s) being affected.”