West Seattle, Washington
Thanks to Chief Sealth International High School social-studies teacher Noah Zeichner for the report and photos:
A group of 12 Brazilian high school students and 1 teacher visited Chief Sealth today for a few hours. They ate lunch in the cafeteria with ASB student leaders and went on campus tours. They attended my Global Leadership class where they worked in small groups with CSI students. They are here as part of the Youth Ambassadors Program for South America. Two Chief Sealth students and one teacher have participated in the program in past years and two CSI students have applied to travel to Brazil this summer.
The Youth Ambassadors (YA) Program is a three-week exchange for high school youth (ages 15-18) and adult educators focused on civic education, community service, and youth leadership development. Subthemes include human rights, multiculturalism, social justice, and social transformation.
Participants engage in a variety of activities such as workshops on leadership and service, community site visits, interactive training, presentations, visits to high schools, local cultural activities, homestays, civic education programming in Washington, D.C. or the capital city of the partner country, and more.
Follow-on activities with the participants are an integral part of the program, as the students apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired by planning service projects in their home communities.
Program Goals, as defined by the Department of State:
. Promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of South America;
. Prepare youth leaders to become responsible citizens and contributing members of their communities;
. Influence the attitudes of the leaders of a new generation; and
. Foster relationships among youth from different ethnic, racial, religious, and national groups and create hemispheric networks of youth leaders, both within the participating countries and internationally.
Read more about the program here.
We’re using that photo with permission of NOAA Fisheries–West Coast, which just reported late today that its researchers found another baby with J-Pod in Puget Sound: “Using photos taken by the researchers, the Center for Whale Research confirmed this is a new calf, designated J55. The calf was in close proximity to both J14 and J37, so we don’t know who the mother is just yet, and it may take a few encounters before we know. The calf seems to be just a few days old and in good condition.” NOAA had sad news too – what appeared to be a dead newborn calf spotted with J31, a 20-year-old female they say “has never successfully calved … It is estimated that at least 50% of calves do not reach their first birthday, so unfortunately this sad event is not unusual.” Before J55, the last orca-baby announcement was five weeks ago, when we got word of J54. This one is the ninth calf for the Southern Resident Killer Whales in a little more than a year.
Joe McDermott, who’s represented West Seattle and vicinity – from White Center to Vashon – in the King County Council since 2010, is now its chair. He spent a decade in the state Legislature before joining the council, to which he was re-elected without opposition last fall. Here’s the full news release. He hasn’t yet announced, though, if he’s still considering running to succeed the area’s “other” McDermott (U.S. House Rep. Jim).
4:19 PM: If you’re headed to or from Morgan Junction, the California/Fauntleroy intersection has trouble in just about every direction because of a crash. No word yet on injuries. More to come.
4:27 PM UPDATE: We’ve added a photo of one of the two cars involved – it’s still facing the wrong way in the northbound lanes and police tell us a tow truck might still be half an hour away. The other car is north of the bus stop. Vehicles are getting through in part by using the center lane.
WSDOT wants to be sure you know about emergency road work tonight on southbound I-5 right before the West Seattle Bridge exit. From 9 pm to 5 am tonight (Tuesday night into Wednesday morning), they’ll close up to three left lanes for expansion-joint-repair work. The exit lane for the bridge and one through lane will remain open, but you could find unexpected backups, so WSDOT is sounding the alarm.
1:35 PM: Just announced by Mayor Ed Murray: One of the “safe parking” lots that will be opened for RVs is the former site of the encampment that still, in other locations, calls itself “Nickelsville” – in Highland Park, at the West Marginal Way/Highland Park Way intersection.
We went down to check the site, where the parking lot – which appears to have been recently cleaned up – still holds signage from the last encampment closure, September 2013. In addition to our photo above, here’s an aerial photo from the city’s announcement:
We’d been working to confirm this since hearing that citywide reporters had mentioned this morning that a “Delridge” site would be announced, but without any information on the location. (The city refers to all of eastern West Seattle as the “Delridge” district.)
Unofficial RV parking zones have turned up in West Seattle recently – including the one mentioned here in mid-December, along SW Andover adjacent to the Nucor plant. But they haven’t generated the furor that had been reported in some north-end neighborhoods.
From the city’s news release, which says the lot is expected to be open within a month:
In response to the continued crisis of homelessness on the streets of Seattle, Mayor Ed Murray issued an emergency order to expedite the siting of two safe lots in Ballard and Delridge for homeless individuals and families living in recreational vehicles and cars.
“These are not long term solutions to end homelessness, but temporary locations that can be managed to provide a safer environment for those living on our streets and have less impact on our neighborhoods,” said Murray. “The City’s active case management services will reach out to those experiencing homelessness and living in their vehicles, with the goal to help move them to permanent housing as quickly as possible. These safe lots will also help reduce the public health issues currently impacting several of our neighborhoods.”
The new safe lots are part of the City’s overall actions under Mayor Murray’s Proclamation of Civil Emergency on homelessness that has spurred the opening and expansion of new shelters and authorized tent encampments, and increased investments in services and outreach. Opening the new safe lots will occur along with additional trash pickups in neighborhoods, as well as renewed enforcement of the City’s existing parking rules and addressing public safety issues that have arisen in recent months.
“When Mayor Murray declared the state of emergency, the direction given to us was to take significant steps to immediately help those in need living on our streets and address underlying causes of homelessness. Since then, Seattle has expanded outreach services, opened up space for nearly 300 individuals in new shelters or authorized tent encampments and we have invested more in prevention services. Today’s announcement of new safe lots is another part of this larger effort under the state of emergency to provide immediate, short term assistance,” said Catherine Lester, Director of Seattle’s Human Services Department. “In addition to the authority under the Mayor’s emergency orders, we will be able to stand up these safe lots quickly thanks to the fast work of our partners including local service providers, other City departments and WSDOT.”
To expedite the siting and permitting of the safe lots, Mayor Murray is exercising powers invoked under his Proclamation of Civil Emergency on homelessness issued on Nov. 2, 2015. The mayor will send the emergency order to the City Council today, where it can be approved, rejected or amended.
Expected to begin operations in 30 days, the two safe lots can hold up to an estimated 50 vehicles. Each site will have sanitation and garbage service, as well as case management assistance for those experiencing homelessness in order to build pathways to permanent housing. All residents must abide by a code of conduct policy that will prohibit drugs and violence, and require residents to be good neighbors.
The Ballard site, the Yankee Diner parking lot at Shilshole Ave. NW and 24th Ave. NW, is owned by Seattle Public Utilities. The Seattle Department of Transportation has been in negotiations with the Washington State Department of Transportation to acquire the Glass Yard lot at West Marginal Way and Highland Park Way SW for the Delridge site. The City and WSDOT are discussing the terms of the sale of the property and will likely require future legislation to finalize the purchase and sale agreement. But to accommodate the Mayor’s emergency order, WSDOT has agreed to allow the City to use the site as a safe lot in the intervening period during these negotiations. …
Read the entire news release here. We’ll continue to update, and we’re told this is expected to be on the agenda for the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting at 7 pm tomorrow (Wednesday) night at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.
5:27 PM: The Highland Park Action Committee has confirmed that Councilmember Lisa Herbold – who led a council briefing about the city’s policy on encampment sweeps shortly before this announcement – will be at HPAC’s next meeting, 7 pm Wednesday, January 27th, at Highland Park Improvement Club (12th SW/SW Holden).
10:44 PM: Councilmember Herbold has written about the RV-lot decision, briefly, at the end of a report on her concerns about the recent sweeps and this morning’s briefing about them – read it in its entirety here.
12:49 PM: Thanks for the tips – a natural-gas leak in The Triangle is reported to have led to the evacuation of the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) – early word is that it’s not believed to be at the Y itself, but Seattle Fire is at the scene and making sure everybody’s safe. We’re en route and will have an update.
12:58 PM: Fire and police vehicles are blocking eastbound Avalon just west of 35th, so avoid the area.
1:11 PM: Seattle Fire is leaving. They tell us they’ve done some safety checks, and Puget Sound Energy is on the scene, and it’s been determined it’s safe for those evacuated to go back in. Per comments, Alki Lumber was among those evacuated, and firefighters tell us the Luna construction site was too – we saw hard-hat workers standing on the north side of Avalon. Josh Sutton from the Y says it’s reopening at 1:30 pm.
TWO STOLEN CARS: First report is from Jenica:
My car was stolen from in front of my house. It is a 1999 2-door white Honda Civic, it has Acura rims, a spoiler and a moon roof. License plate number ALF0062; there is some paint missing on the passenger side rear bumper. I’m a single mom with a really tiny income, I can’t afford to buy another car. The police said cars are often found within a few miles from the owner’s home. I need all the eyes I can get out there as I have no way to go out looking for it very far.
(update) That theft happened on Pigeon Point; we don’t yet have a location for the next theft, reported by Austin: “My car was stolen this past weekend and I would really appreciate it if people kept an eye out for it. Last I saw it didn’t have any bumper stickers or distinguishing marks other than a couple scrapes on the rear right bumper. Honda Accord LX 1991 – White. License Plate: 515-ZRH.”
BURGLARY: Jim says his neighbors’ home was broken into on Monday morning:
They are on the corner of Spokane and 56th. The burglar entered the home when no one was there, but (one resident) returned home while one person was still inside the house. They were looking for valuables and did get away with their daughter’s laptop. … There was a new white 4 door sedan parked across the street on 56th that must have been waiting. It drove up the dead end and down (Spokane), and the SPU driver (who was helping [the victim]) saw someone limp up 56th (southbound) the same direction the car went.
WATER-TOWER GRAFFITI VANDALISM: Two people messaged us about graffiti vandalism on the Charlestown water tower. We went over; it’s entirely obscene/vulgar and showing you a blurred photo wouldn’t do much, but we did contact Seattle Public Utilities to ask how soon they planned to remove it. Obscene/hate graffiti vandalism is priority for removal, spokesperson Andy Ryan says, and also reminds you of the ways to report graffiti vandalism as soon as you see it:
·Use the city’s “Find It, Fix It” smartphone app.
·Call Seattle’s Graffiti Report Line to report graffiti on public or private property, 206-684-7587—or use the online Graffiti Report Form.
·Call the Seattle Police Department at 206-625-5011 to file a police report when graffiti appears on your property.
·Call 911 to report graffiti in progress. (Graffiti vandals must be caught in the act to be prosecuted.)
Private property with graffiti that has not been removed in a reasonable amount of time may be subject to fines under the Graffiti Nuisance Ordinance. Graffiti is typically removed:
·Within 10 business days for public property, within 45 to 60 days for private property.
And if you haven’t seen our earlier mentions – the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meets tonight, all welcome, 7 pm at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster).
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
BLOOD DRIVE: Can you donate? Consider going to the Clock Tower at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), 10:30 am-4:30 pm, with a 12:30-1:30 pm break. (6000 16th SW)
ENCOURAGING BACKYARD COTTAGES: Not in West Seattle, but of interest: 6 pm at the Filipino Community Center, a city-presented gathering ” to get public input on potential land use code changes that would encourage greater production of backyard cottages (also called detached accessory dwelling units or DADUs).” More info here. (5740 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way S.)
EVENING BOOK GROUP: 6:30 pm at High Point Library; this month’s title is “Kindred” by Octavia Butler. All welcome. (35th SW/SW Raymond)
WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL: Come hear from and talk with local police, and hear from an insurance-industry expert on the latest tactics used by car prowlers/thieves. 7 pm at the Southwest Precinct, all welcome. (2300 SW Webster)
TRIVIA NIGHT TO BENEFIT THE SENIOR CENTER: As previewed here on Monday, you’re invited to play trivia with host Phillip Tavel (the longtime Talarico’s trivia host) at, and to benefit, the Senior Center of West Seattle. Doors open at 7 pm, play starts at 7:30 pm. Here’s how to sign up in advance. (California SW & SW Oregon)
HIGH-SCHOOL BASKETBALL: 7:30 pm, the West Seattle HS boys-varsity team hosts Rainier Beach. (3000 California SW)
STARLIGHT SINGER/SONGWRITER NIGHT: 9-11 pm at Shadowland. (California/Oregon)
AND THERE’S MORE ... on our complete calendar!
If you’re inviting people to come see your school this winter as families make decisions about next school year – please let us know about your tours/open houses so we can include them in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar and daily highlight lists! We’ve already heard from some schools, and would like to feature more. Just send the where/when/what basics to firstname.lastname@example.org – along with who (are the prospective students welcome too, or is this adults-only, etc.) – in the body of your e-mail, with as much advance notice as possible, as is our request for all potential calendar events. Thank you!
6 AM: Good morning! This is the first morning commute since the lane closures on Highway 99 began north of downtown, so we’ll see today how/whether they affect traffic. The basics:
*Median lanes close in both directions between the Aurora Bridge and just north of Mercer Street.
*An additional lane will close at night and during several weekends including Jan. 23-24.
*All traffic may use the southbound bus-only lane during the first phase of this work. Drivers should use caution since buses will travel – and stop – in the outside lane with other vehicle traffic.
We’ll be watching the traffic in and from West Seattle, of course, as always. If you see a problem we haven’t mentioned yet, and you are *not* driving, please text or call our hotline, 206-293-6302.
8:57 AM: So far this morning, regional traffic reports indicate that those north-of-downtown lane closures have backed up SB 99 more than NB 99. West Seattle and vicinity, meantime, has been incident-free this morning, at least according to everything we monitor.