West Seattle, Washington
Three Seattle Public Schools-related notes tonight:
COMMUNITY CONVERSATION WITH YOUR SCHOOL BOARD REP: Leslie Harris, elected Seattle School Board rep for West Seattle and South Park, heard about a lot of hot topics during her first community conversation gathering last month (here’s our coverage). If you have something education- and/or district-related on your mind, you’re invited to her next one, tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon, 3-4:30, at High Point Library (35th SW and SW Raymond).
CHIEF SEALTH IHS SHOWCASE: It’s not the typical open house – Chief Sealth International High School is showing off its programs 6-7 pm next Tuesday (February 23rd). From principal Aida Fraser-Hammer:
The strong academics offerings – the IB Diploma, IB Career Program, Academies of Finance and Hospitality & Tourism, Spanish Immersion, UW in the High School, Running Start, etc. – and robust athletics opportunities – Football, Basketball, Volleyball, Baseball, Swimming, Golf, etc. – will be spotlighted. There will also be a showcase of special project opportunities for students such as ecology projects, career apprenticeships, international travel, and much more.
All are welcome.
FINAL LEVY RESULTS: King County Elections certified the February 9th election results today. Both SPS levies were approved with 72 percent of the vote. The final turnout in Seattle – 30 percent.
The Highland Park man arrested after a short standoff on Thursday is out of jail. And we’ve found out what he told police was his reason for firing a single shot outside his house: The 39-year-old suspect told officers he did it because he was tired of cars going by his house on 16th SW and revving their engines.
That’s according to the police document submitted for the 39-year-old man’s bail hearing today. As a convicted felon – with a “taking a motor vehicle without permission” conviction on his record – he wasn’t supposed to have a gun, so he’s under investigation for unlawful firearm possession. The document says he gave police permission to search his house, where they found a silver .357 revolver under his pillow, a rifle and bulletproof vest in his closet, and a .22 revolver in a cabinet. He eventually admitted the .357 is the one he fired into the ground, and officers found the bullet.
At today’s hearing, the judge allowed him to go free on personal recognizance, but he’s expected back in court next Tuesday. By then, prosecutors might have decided whether to charge him.
FIRST REPORT, 5:53 PM: SW Genesee is blocked from 42nd SW east because of what Seattle Public Utilities tells us is a “collapsed sewer main.” Crews are on scene investigating, to figure out the problem and how to repair it. More to come – in the meantime, avoid the area.
6:21 PM UPDATE: We’ve just talked with crew chiefs at the scene. The problem actually originated atop the bluff where 41st dead-ends on the east side of Seattle Lutheran High School. This board covers a “void” (aka sinkhole) there:
It was discovered after one house on the dead-end had a sewer-backup problem, the crew says. They are working at the bottom of the slope, on Genesee, to stop the flow that apparently had some wastewater coming up through a manhole.
Then, they told us, they have to use a camera to look into the lines to figure out how extensive the problem is before bringing in a contractor for repairs, likely on Monday – if the problem extends through the slope, it’ll be a major repair job.
As for the road closures – the crew is likely to be there another few hours. Updates as we get them.
4:31 PM: The buzzer has just sounded in the gym at Bellevue College, and it brought an end to the West Seattle High School boys’ season, with an 71-40 loss to Rainier Beach. The Wildcats’ season under head coach Keffrey Fazio will be remembered for highlights including its early 8-game winning streak (see the season schedule/results here).
7:51 PM: Photos added. #22 Yusuf Mohamed led WSHS scoring with 13 points, followed by #5 Abdullahi Mohamed with 7, #24 Carter Golgart and #4 Chaaka Trahan with 6 each, and #2 Kendall Green with 5. WSHS brought a spirited cheering section:
You might notice some familiar faces – from the WSHS girls’ basketball team, which plays Mercer Island tomorrow for third place in the district playoffs, 1:15 pm at Bellevue College.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports this afternoon:
MURAL VANDALIZED: One of West Seattle’s award-winning murals has been vandalized. While in The Junction at lunchtime, we noticed the tagging, in black paint, on the “First Duwamish Bridge” mural that covers the north side of the building south of the parking lot behind Northwest Art and Frame. While tagging/graffiti vandalism is rampant here and elsewhere, this is the first time we can recall seeing it actually done to one of the quarter-century-old murals around The Junction. We called Susan Melrose at the West Seattle Junction Association; she said that other murals have been tagged and the WSJA picks up the cost of paintovers – she’s contacting their preferred firm Goodbye Graffiti right now.
STOLEN BACKPACK SOUGHT: Ethan‘s car was hit by thieves overnight:
Ethan lives near Juneau/Fauntleroy and says, “The only thing that was taken was my school backpack. It’s a white and blue Dakine. My school work was only valuable to me and I’m hoping the folks that stole it may have thrown it out their window. Hoping West Seattle can help me track it down.”
Avoid 12th/Thistle in Highland Park for a while – a big contingent of Seattle Public Utilities repair/water crews is here, along with police, after a driver took out the hydrant in our photo, on the northeast corner. Police tell us the driver was distracted – reported to have been arguing with someone else in the car. No injuries. (Thanks to Eric for the tip!)
During the transportation discussion at this week’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting, SDOT reps made a point of confirming that a crosswalk will be installed soon at 35th and Kenyon. This was requested by local businesses as part of the 35th SW Safety Corridor Project. Notably, it’s a spot where there used to be a crosswalk – one of the West Seattle crosswalks removed in 2007 for what the city cited at the time as safety concerns.
So, after this week’s confirmation of the crosswalk comeback, we followed up with SDOT’s Jim Curtin, 35th SW project manager, to ask what has changed, besides the lane striping, that now makes it feasible to bring back the crosswalk. His reply in its entirety:
SDOT revised our crosswalk policy back in the mid-2000s after national studies found that uncontrolled (no signal or stop sign) marked crosswalks across four or more lanes of traffic did not provide a sufficient level of safety due to the multiple threat collision (where a driver in one lane stops for a pedestrian in the crosswalk but vehicles in other lanes do not – this was illustrated in most of our presentations for the 35th Ave SW Safety Corridor). Now that we have one lane in each direction on the southern segment of 35th, we can consider adding new marked crossings at intersections.
We heard repeatedly that a marked crossing was needed at Kenyon during outreach for the 35th project. A crossing here would provide better access to the existing transit stops on either side of 35th and connect the neighborhoods on the east and west side of the corridor. The crossing will also help pedestrians reach the popular businesses at Kenyon and provide a potential school crossing if the E.C. Hughes building is reopened by Seattle Public Schools. After a thorough evaluation of the intersection, including numerous site visits and pedestrian counts (to gauge demand), a new marked crosswalk has been approved for 35th Avenue SW and SW Kenyon Street.
Design was started quite a while ago and we’re poised to install the new crosswalk with rapid flashing beacons in late spring or summer (weather permitting, of course).
Those are the types of beacons added in recent months at several West Seattle crosswalks, in neighborhoods including The Junction, Highland Park, Delridge, and Puget Ridge.
Before we get too much further into Friday, four highlights from the many options on our calendar:
BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS: 3 pm at Bellevue College, the West Seattle High School boys face Rainier Beach in a win-or-go-home game. (3000 Landerholm Cir SE)
FISH FRIDAYS: The Knights of Columbus invite you to fish dinners during Lent, in the Our Lady of Guadalupe gym. 6-8 pm, they’re serving up pub cod, fries, and slaw. More info here. (35th SW/SW Myrtle)
Go see our complete calendar for tonight’s full lineup … and browse ahead for a look into the future!
Thanks to Todd at West Seattle Autoworks (WSB sponsor) for the tip – demolition is under way in the 7700 block of 35th SW, at the site of the future Clearview Eye and Laser headquarters, formerly Red Star Pizza and two old houses. Seattle Fire crews were practicing at the site last weekend, generally a sign that demolition is about to start.
It’s been almost two years since we first reported on the plan; Red Star was at that point looking for a new location, but ultimately just closed and didn’t reopen. The three-story clinic project passed Design Review last April; here’s one of its final renderings:
(Renderings by PB Architects)
And we’ll note again that John’s Corner Deli at 35th/Webster is staying – that part of the property is *not* part of the clinic project.
Know someone – and/or someplace – that does such a great job, you would love to see them be recognized for it?
The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s annual Westside Awards might be the way to do it. It’s now nomination time, per the announcement from Chamber CEO Lynn Dennis:
Each year the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce requests businesses and residents of the West Seattle community to nominate:
Westside Business of the Year
Westside Emerging Business of the Year
Westside Not-for-Profit of the Year
Westsider of the Year
Nominations and comments are submitted to the selection committee. We thank everyone for taking the time to tell us why a business or individual should be considered for this award. Yes, you can nominate yourself or your business and the number of votes is not the criteria for winning. It is the nominee that best qualifies.
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:31 AM: Good morning! Friday has arrived. No area incidents so far.
8:48 AM: Still no incidents to report but one weekend alert – eastbound I-90 lane closures you should know about, if you’re planning to cross the lake. WSDOT has details.
(Preferred “massing” – just size and shape; details come later – for 3039 SW Avalon Way)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Alley or Avalon?
The city will have to decide how 3039 SW Avalon Way’s parking is accessed – if it has parking at all.
That’s one aspect of the ~70-apartment project that was discussed, but not settled, at its first Southwest Design Review Board meeting, during the second half of Thursday night’s SWDRB doubleheader.
The presentation was led by Steve Fischer and Peter Johnson from NK Architects. You can see the renderings in the “packet” by going here. As they were for the first meeting of the night, all five SWDRB members (bios here) were present for this one.
Because it’s in a “frequent-transit” zone, the project isn’t required to have parking, but currently is designed with 21 spaces. How they would be accessed is the heart of the aforementioned issue: