day : 25/01/2016 10 results

Handling homelessness: Mayor speaks Tuesday; HPAC talks RV ‘safe lot’ Wednesday

9:59 PM: Two events of note over the next two nights:

JUST ANNOUNCED – MAYOR’S SPEECH ON HOMELESSNESS: Mayor Ed Murray‘s office just announced that he’ll speak live to the city Tuesday night at 7:30 pm via Seattle Channel (cable 21, or, with an update on what’s been done since he declared homelessness an emergency two months ago. He’ll be speaking from Mary’s Place Family Center in North Seattle, which is a shelter for women and families that opened last summer in a City-owned building.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT – DEPUTY MAYOR AT HPAC: Related to the emergency, the mayor announced last week that he would open two “safe lots” for people living in RVs and other vehicles, one of them in Highland Park, a paved lot adjacent to the former unauthorized encampment at West Marginal Way SW and Highland Park Way SW. The community council for that area, the Highland Park Action Committee, meets Wednesday night, and says city reps who are confirmed so far include Deputy Mayor Hyeok Kim and District 1 Councilmember Lisa Herbold. The meeting’s at 7 at the Highland Park Improvement Club (12th SW/SW Holden).

10:53 PM P.S. Just published on SPD Blotter, a roundup of cases the department cites as proof it’s “committed to addressing criminal behavior associated with car campers.” No West Seattle cases are mentioned, but several were in SODO.

‘Youth Voice, Youth Choice’: Participatory budgeting, round 1, with West Seattle gathering

January 25, 2016 8:10 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle politics

Youth around the city have the chance to decide how $700,000 of the city budget will be spent, via the Participatory Budgeting Initiative, and the next step will include seven gatherings, one in West Seattle. The city’s announcement:

Youth Voice, Youth Choice, the City’s new Participatory Budgeting (PB) Initiative for youth, kicks off this week with the first of seven idea assemblies to be held across the city. This is the first stage of the program which gives youth the opportunity to decide how to spend $700,000 of the City’s budget.

The idea assemblies are where the public can brainstorm ideas for projects they would like to see in their communities. Anyone can attend and participate. The dates and times are:
· January 28 from 4 – 6 p.m. at Meridian Center for Health
· February 3 from 3 – 5 p.m. at UW Ethnic Cultural Center, Unity Room
· February 4 from 4 – 6 p.m. at Greenwood Library
· February 9 from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. at Douglass Truth Library
· February 10 from 4 – 6 p.m. at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center
· February 18 from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. at New Holly Gathering Hall
· February 23 from 5 – 7 p.m. at Seattle Center Armory, Loft Room #2

Once the public assemblies are completed, the next stage involves youth volunteers who will turn the ideas into concrete proposals with help from Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and City staff. Seattle youth will then get to vote for the projects they would like to see implemented. Once the projects are decided, City staff and local agencies will implement the projects.

Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a democratic process where community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. This initiative began here last July when Seattle Mayor Murray and former Councilmember Nick Licata announced the launch of a citywide youth PB process. Youth Voice, Youth Choice is managed by the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods (DON) with the goal of empowering youth to make decisions on how to spend a portion of the budget.

Need more info? The city’s youth engagement strategic adviser Rahwa Habte is at 206-615-2008.

From the WSB Forums’ new Lost and Found section: Missing jewelry, found money

After eight years of keeping the only all-West Seattle online clearinghouse for lost-and-found pets, we’ve been asked often if WSB has any place to post lost-and-found items that AREN’T dogs, cats, chickens, etc. With our recent changes, we’ve been able to add a lost-and-found NON-pet section to the WSB Forums – see it here. Among the listings there already are two posted today – money found on California SW, and family-heirloom jewelry lost at Westcrest Dog Park. Maybe you can help!

Meet new Community Police Team officers @ West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network

January 25, 2016 3:28 pm
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 |   Crime | Safety | West Seattle news

They’re the police officers you go to about neighborhood nuisances and other persistent problems – not the “happening NOW” emergencies, though their work can mean less of the latter: The Community Police Team, or CPT. The Southwest Precinct has two new CPT officers, John O’Neil and Clayton Powell, after losing two to reassignments and promotions; you can meet them at tomorrow night’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network meeting. You don’t have to be a captain, or even part of a block watch, to be there – WSBWCN welcomes everybody. The meeting also will include a crime-trend update from precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis. It starts at 6:30 pm Tuesday at the precinct, 2300 SW Webster.

Demolition for Dakota Place Park expansion

(WSB photo)

Thanks to Bill for the tip: Almost two years after the City Council approved the purchase of 5,750 square feet of land to expand Dakota Place Park, a milestone for the project has finally happened – the demolition of old structures to clear most of the site.

When councilmembers approved the $715,000 purchase in March 2014 – using money from the Parks and Green Spaces Levy – Parks had said it would demolish the three 1927-built houses, plus a garage and shed, “as soon as possible” but that the California-fronting commercial building would stay for now.

We talked today with Donald Harris from Parks. He says the tenants in the commercial building could be there for up to five more years, under terms of the lease they had worked out with the property’s previous owner, so “you’re not going to see any full redevelopment of the property for a while.” (He says there’s a chance the building’s tenant might be interested in leaving sooner.)

They’re talking with neighbors about what they’ll be doing in the meantime with the area that’s now being cleared – Harris says they’ll likely “plant some grass, do a little landscaping, make it usable, at least.” Before anything more is done with it, money would have to be found and a design process would follow. It’s not in the budget right now, not even with the Park District funding approved by voters – “this addition occurred after the work program was in place,” Harris told WSB.

Dakota Place Park itself, centered on a city-landmark substation building, opened in 2009.

VIDEO: Motor home burns in driveway

(Photo courtesy Mel)
12:00 PM: Thanks to the texter who sent the photo from a car fire that Seattle Fire crews are currently fighting in the 9000 block of 14th SW. It’s a fire with potential exposure to the adjacent house, and that’s why the response is larger. Updates to come.
(Photo courtesy DRW)
12:06 PM: SFD says it was a motor-home fire in a driveway (reader photo added). It’s out, and the cause is under investigation.

12:40 PM: Just went by. The investigator is still on scene. We confirmed that no one was hurt.

4:34 PM: SFD spokesperson Corey Orvold tells WSB the cause hasn’t been determined yet, but damage to the vehicle and its contents totaled $1,200.

ADDED MONDAY NIGHT: We received the clip above via text. We’ll be checking again Tuesday on whether SFD figured out how the fire started.

Schmitz Park Elementary: New school opening this fall; kindergarten tour tomorrow

(WSB photo of under-construction school, earlier this month)
The construction of both new West Seattle elementary campuses – for Schmitz Park at Genesee Hill (above) and Arbor Heights – is on schedule for their planned openings this fall, Seattle Public Schools tells us. And if you will have a kindergartener going into Schmitz Park this fall, principal Gerrit Kischner invites you to their upcoming tours – 9 am tomorrow (Tuesday, January 26th) and Wednesday, February 10th:

We are still hosting tours this year because we want families to start getting excited about our program. Next year, it will be the same great teachers and the same great community in a brand new, beautiful space! We will showcase our five Kindergarten classrooms, give parents an opportunity to observe upper-grade classrooms as well, and share pictures and ideas for how our program will maximize the advantages of our new space. Whether families choose to tour or not, please remember that Kindergarten registration is now open for attendance-area schools, and the sooner families register their youngsters, the better we will be equipped to plan for their coming!

Kischner adds that the new school’s name hasn’t been finalized yet but so far they’re calling it “Schmitz Park at Genesee Hill.” But be sure you go to the CURRENT campus for the upcoming tours – 50th SW/SW Spokane.

TUESDAY: Learn to paint, or brush up on your skills

January 25, 2016 10:17 am
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 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

(File photo, courtesy C & P Coffee)
Not only is C & P Coffee Company (longtime WSB sponsor) a hub for coffee and conversation, live music, and events – classes are taught there too. Co-proprietor Cameron calls our attention to a series starting tomorrow night – watercolor painting. The instructor is well-known local artist Jennifer Carrasco, who teaches a six-week series of evening classes, 6-8 pm Tuesdays, both for those learning to paint and those who want to refine their technique. E-mail the instructor – – for more info and to sign up.

West Seattle Monday: Benefit, book, budget…

January 25, 2016 8:41 am
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 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous


(Sharp-shinned hawk hunting, photographed by Mark Wangerin)

Here’s what’s happening as the week begins – mostly highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

LAST WEEK FOR FREE TREE-CYCLING: If your Christmas tree hasn’t been sent off for composting yet – this is the last week you can do it for free with curbside pickup or South Transfer Station dropoff. After January 31, you will have to cut it up and dispose of it with your yard waste.

GATEWOOD ELEMENTARY KINDERGARTEN TOUR: 9 am, meet in the school library. If you didn’t see this in time or hear about it otherwise – 9 am February 11th is your next chance. (4320 SW Myrtle)

AFTERNOON BOOK GROUP: 2 pm at Southwest Library. This month, they’re reading “Exit Ghost” by Philip Roth. (35th SW & SW Henderson)

SANISLO SCHOOL TOURS: 6 pm, prospective parents are invited to tour Sanislo Elementary with principal Bruce Rhodes. (1812 SW Myrtle)

UNDERSTANDING THE SCHOOL BUDGET PROCESS: From Seattle Public Schools: “Have you ever wondered how school funding, staffing and budgets are determined, but never knew who to ask? The Seattle Public Schools finance team is excited to present an evening dedicated to understanding the school budget process.” Your new school-board rep Leslie Harris flagged us on this to get the word out. 6 pm at district HQ. More info here. (3rd S. & S. Lander)

GAME NIGHT AT MEEPLES, BENEFITING SHELTERBOX: We’ve reported here before about ShelterBox – which brings needed shelter and supplies to disaster and crisis spots around the world. 6:15 pm-8:30 pm, tonight’s game night at Meeples Games (WSB sponsor) benefits ShelterBox, and brings you a chance to learn about their work, too. (3727 California SW)

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: January’s final Monday

January 25, 2016 6:07 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(Click any view for a close-up)

6:07 AM: Welcome to the new week – and the last Monday in January. Notes to begin with:

FERRIES BACK TO FULL STRENGTH: As of last night, the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run is back to full capacity, with M/V Issaquah replacing M/V Tillikum.

HIGHWAY 99 LANE CLOSURES CONTINUE: Today starts the second week of closures north of downtown. So far, they haven’t affected the northbound commute from here.

21ST AVENUE SW: Delridge-Highland Park Greenway work continues between 22nd and Dawson, according to the newest update.

RESTORATION WORK AT CONSTELLATION PARK: The emergency sewer-pipe-repair work wrapped up on Saturday but crews are expected back, possibly soon as today, to wrap up work where they were digging at 63rd SW/Beach Drive SW.

SOUND TRANSIT FARE INCREASE: We’ve already mentioned the Water Taxi‘s fare increase coming up March 1st. Also raising fares on that date: Sound Transit, including Express buses like 560, which serves our area and will see a 25-cent increase. A special new fare for low-income adults will take effect March 1st. See all the new fares here.

8:34 AM: Seattle Fire medical response has been taking up one lane at 21st and Roxbury, near Holy Family, but not for much longer, and eastbound traffic has been getting around by using the center lane. We went over to check; they were helping a person with a medical issue – no crash involved.