day : 21/04/2016 11 results

FOLLOWUP: Elected as a delegate last Sunday? One more step!

10:20 PM: Even if you weren’t part of it, you might recall the discussion of last Sunday’s long-running caucus in the 34th Legislative District (West Seattle, White Center, Vashon, and vicinity). The lists of who got elected are posted – but according to one precinct-committee officer who e-mailed us, urgent action is needed. Here’s the note we received Jennifer Knutson, Precinct 1252 PCO:

Long story short, because they were counting delegates so late … most of the delegates didn’t get their paperwork filled out – and it must be filled out by TOMORROW in order for both Clinton and Sanders delegates to be seated. We need your help getting the word out to our West Seattle/Burien neighbors.

Here’s the link from the 34th Dems.

Here’s what they say:

If you were elected as a delegate or alternate you need to submit a delegate form by Friday to this email address:

Here is the delegate form and here is the Alternate Delegate form.

If you already completed one of these forms on the day of the caucus, you still need to submit again.

Contact Chair Marcee Stone-Vekich with questions. Her contact information is here.

Here is the credentials report for the caucus (PDF).

7:26 AM FRIDAY: See an update from the 34th chair in comments.

Highland Park Improvement Club building closed TFN after ‘eyebrow’ collapse

(WSB photo)

West Seattle’s historic Highland Park Improvement Club building is closed until further notice after an overhang, described as the”eyebrow” of the building, collapsed late today. Nobody was hurt, but the collapse raised safety issues and that means the much-used almost-a-century-old building at 12th and Holden is off-limits for now. Its regular uses include classes – yoga was scheduled tonight – as well as meetings and HPIC events such as Corner Bar and Movie Night; it’s also rented out for special events. We covered its 90th-anniversary celebration in 2009 – read HPIC’s history here – and it’s where we hosted the first candidate forum of last year’s historic City Council District 1 campaign, in February 2015.

(Photo by Billy Stauffer)

Seattle Fire and Police were at the scene to help secure things. So were HPIC leaders, who told us they first heard about this from an apartment resident across the street who reported looking out her window and simply seeing the awning fall down, without even much of a sound. Seattle City Light was en route to check if any power lines were in a precarious spot if the rest of the awning came down. We’ll be following up with HPIC about repair plans and needs.

BREAKING: City to delay bridge-closing Fauntleroy Expressway work to avoid Viaduct-closure overlap

4:59 PM: Just got word that the city has changed its mind about launching the bridge-and-more-closing Fauntleroy Expressway bearing-pad re-replacement project next week, right before the tunneling-related Alaskan Way Viaduct closure starts. Paul Elliott from SDOT just told WSB the bridge work will be delayed at least until mid-May.

6:06 PM: Backstory now that we’re (briefly) back at headquarters – the April 27th start date for this city work was announced just hours before the state announced the April 29th start date for the Viaduct closure, though it had been in the works for many months. When city, county, and state reps briefed the media on the Viaduct closure back on Monday, we asked the SDOT rep why they were still going ahead with the overlap. He mentioned they didn’t think there would be a problem because the bridge closures for this work would be late at night and early in the morning. We pointed out that the under-the-bridge surface daytime lane closures were more of a concern to commenters, and he said he would “take that back” to SDOT HQ. Back to this afternoon: Paul Elliott says an advisory is expected out tomorrow. And if you were still catching up to what this was all about – you might have seen the portable signboards in spots like Fauntleroy Way west of the bridge, talking about bridge closures 4/27-4/29 – that was for this (again, now postponed).

ADDED FRIDAY MORNING: Here’s the official city announcement.

After Tacoma lead concerns, Seattle Public Utilities asks you to run your water for 2 minutes after 6-hour periods of non-use

(UPDATED 8:11 PM with link to information now posted on SPU website)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

“We think our water’s safe. Having said that, we’re going to make sure there’s no cause for alarm.”

So said Andy Ryan from Seattle Public Utilities when we talked with him a short time ago about a new round of water testing and investigation that SPU has launched because of a situation in Tacoma involving lead.

The two cities’ water systems are NOT linked, but the situation that Tacoma uncovered MIGHT also be happening in a small part of Seattle’s service area, so SPU is advising a specific precaution: Until they find out for sure if the lead problem is happening anywhere here too, any time you have NOT run the water in your home or business for six hours, turn on a faucet and run it for two minutes before using it.

This is NOT just a West Seattle thing, and NOT related to the rust/sediment situation that led to the flushing that’s been happening here (just last night, we were out with the flushing crew and were starting to work on that update, when we found out about this and found ourselves writing this completely different water-system story instead).

What Tacoma has been doing, Ryan explained, is looking for galvanized-steel service pipes in their system that are connected to water mains with “a piece of lead pipe called a gooseneck.” He says Tacoma, Seattle, and many other cities have some of those goosenecks because their systems are so old. But they don’t know exactly where those goosenecks are – many are near older houses “built before good records were kept,” explained Ryan.

SPU DOES know where the galvanized lines connect to the water mains. There will soon be a map on the SPU website showing where those are – about 2,000 in Seattle, they believe. That will help them accelerate looking for the goosenecks. Ryan said there had already been an effort to replace them when crews found them, and they’ve been trying to find ways to step up the search. Tacoma, he explains, came up with a way to test water inside galvanized-pipe areas to look for heightened lead levels, and that’s what led to the current concerns, after a handful of samples came back. “As soon as we learned about this, we immediately started to figure out what that meant for our system,” Ryan told WSB. “Short answer is – we don’t know (yet).” So they’re launching the same kind of testing in the galvanized lines to see what turns up.

It should be noted, though, that Seattle Public Utilities has already been routinely testing its water for lead and other undesirable metals such as copper, “greatly exceed(ing) regulators’ standards.”


We visited the lab (March photo above) for our recent story about “who’s watching your water?” related to the ongoing effort to reduce the incidences of “brown water” here. (And yet again, if you haven’t followed our coverage, “brown water” does NOT involve lead – it’s basically rust that’s stirred up in the cast-iron water mains, and even visible levels of it are not a health risk. Lead is basically invisible. It has not turned up in Seattle tests, Ryan says.)

Meantime, they’re hoping to get some samples back “really quickly” to see if what Tacoma found “is applicable here.” Since the locations of possible problems aren’t known yet, “we are asking everyone to just be extra cautious – run your water for two minutes if it’s been sitting in the pipe for more than six hours.” That’s being advised out of “an abundance of caution,” he stresses. “Prior to hearing back from Tacoma, we had not considered, nor had regulators considered, these galvanized pipes and gooseneck fittings to be an issue.” There are some differences between how Tacoma and Seattle run their systems, he notes, particularly the treatment methods, which could lead to a different level of corrosion in their pipes, in turn meaning that what’s detected there will NOT turn up here. But they have to find out.


Until you hear otherwise from SPU, follow the “run the water for two minutes after it’s been in the pipes for six hours” advice TFN. Keep watch for a map on their website showing the “general areas of the 9,000 galvanized service lines, maybe four percent of all our service lines. 2,000 of those might have the gooseneck fittings.” (Those fittings used lead because it was more flexible and less likely to break, he explained.)

If you have questions – SPU already has a special phone number: 206-684-5800.

When the aforementioned map, and any other information, is online, we’ll link that here too.

BOTTOM LINE: For now, SPU is asking *everyone* to run their water for two minutes after six hours of non-use. (So, when you wake up, and when you get home from work, if your residence is empty during the day.) That will soon be narrowed down to the 9,000 or so customers who are connected to water mains via galvanized-steel piping. The lead goosenecks are only believed to be in use for a quarter of those connections, but that will be the most difficult thing for SPU to narrow down.

8:11 PM UPDATE: SPU’s website now has information, linked from its left sidebar, which points you to this page. No location information yet on where the city believes it has the galvanized piping that could be connected to the aforementioned lead-containing gooseneck fittings, but it promises, “More information about potentially impacted homes will be posted here soon.”

EARTH DAY: Community cleanup & playground planning @ Highland Park Elementary

April 21, 2016 2:19 pm
|    Comments Off on EARTH DAY: Community cleanup & playground planning @ Highland Park Elementary
 |   Environment | Highland Park | West Seattle news

Celebrate Earth Day weekend by helping out with a community cleanup. We’re mentioning the ones we’ve heard about – yesterday, we featured Saturday’s North Delridge cleanup, and today, this announcement from the Highland Park Elementary School PTA:

Saturday is the second annual HPE Earth Day Cleanup. This year we are working together with the Playground Planning Committee to both clean up the school and design our future playground. The Earth Day portion of the event will meet at the front of the school from 9:00 – 12:00, rain or shine. Come prepared to clean up and beautify the school grounds. The playground planning portion of the event is from 8:00 – 4:00. Come to either event, or both. Stay for 30 minutes, or all day! Coffee and lunch will be provided.

HPE is at 1012 SW Trenton. The Highland Park community also has a series of neighborhood cleanups planned – more on that later – and if you’re looking for volunteers for your cleanup, we’d love to help; e-mail the information to – thanks!

HAPPENING NOW: Earth Day art installation on Alki


11:29 AM: Thanks to the texter who sent that photo just as we were heading out to check on this art installation under way right now on Alki. The display has been in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar for tomorrow for a while, since it’s an official Earth Day event, but it’s so big that it’s being assembled today, sponsored by the thrift-shop chain Value Village, “using thousands of pieces of used clothing to represent the amount of clothing that ends up in the landfill.” VV is hoping you’ll instead be inspired to “reuse and recycle.”

1:51 PM: Just back from Alki. This is happening east of the Bathhouse, across from Pepperdock, on part of the north side of the path and continuing down onto the beach. A closeup look reveals messages like this:


The installation is striking, from any direction:


We were asked via Instagram what happens to the hundreds and hundreds of pounds of clothing after the installation’s run tomorrow is done. (update) A VV spokesperson says the clothing all came from the chain and afterward: “Each piece of clothing will be sent back to Savers/Value Village to be sorted through the typical process at their local recycling center in Fife.”

@ Morgan Community Association: Park expansion; festival update; Lowman’s future; more…

Now the rest of the story from last night’s Morgan Community Association meeting:


FUTURE PARK-EXPANSION SITE: We reported last month on the last business leaving the Parks-owned commercial building at 6311 California SW that will be demolished to expand adjacent Morgan Junction Park. MoCA president Deb Barker said Parks sent word that they will soon be boarding up the building and ringing it with a chain-link fence and “no trespassing” signs, since they’re already having trouble with squatters who apparently have gotten in by breaking through the building’s “rotten” roof. The fencing will be removed for a mural project during the Morgan Junction Community Festival on June 18th; demolition of the building is expected soon after the festival, Barker said.

ABOUT THAT MURAL: MoCA is looking for someone to lead the project, which will guide local kids in creating a vision of the future park expansion. Interested? Contact MoCA ASAP – contact info’s on the group’s website.

AND SPEAKING OF THE FESTIVAL: MoCA’s been making progress signing up vendors and bands – nothing to announce just yet. The “Bite of Morgan” food samples, donated by local restaurants in recent years, will not be back this year. Food trucks, a popular feature the past few years, will be.

LOWMAN BEACH SEAWALL: David Graves from Seattle Parks brought an update on the shifting seawall at Lowman Beach Park. The city is looking for a grant to study it, but even before that, there’s one big concern: Addressing the problem could require taking out the little park’s tennis court. Parks doesn’t know much about its usage before the Murray CSO storage-tank project took over much of the park but nonetheless promises to bring this issue and others regarding Lowman to the community, with public meetings expected.

SDOT GRANT: MoCA is proposing another use for $24,000 available from SDOT to buy “street furniture” – spending it instead on repairs for the gravel alley behind businesses on the east side of California SW north of Fauntleroy. This is something that’s been a thorn in the area’s side for a long time and has even been proposed for city grant funding before – most recently in 2013, when this WSB story explained the problem. The street furniture money had a caveat anyway – maintenance and liability insurance. MoCA leaders say in other neighborhoods, that’s a responsibility placed on business owners rather than a community council.

HALA FOCUS GROUP MEMBERS: The meeting also included a brief chat with locals who had been chosen for the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda “focus group” neighborhood spots. As you can see on page 4 of this list, five people from the Morgan Junction Urban Village area were chosen, including MoCA board member Cindi Barker, who was on the original HALA advisory committee. In general, local reps hope to provide the focus group a perspective on what life south of downtown is like for people struggling to get by.

The Morgan Community Association meets quarterly on third Wednesdays, 7 pm, at The Kenney – keep up to date between meetings by checking in at

West Seattle Thursday: Saving whales; Design Review doubleheader; Timebank; more…


Thanks to Lindsi Griggs for that adorable photo of ducklings in Longfellow Creek! Now, on to our calendar highlights:

TINKERLAB: Today’s session of the free, all-ages, drop-in STEM-related-activity session is at High Point Library, 4-6 pm. (35th SW/SW Raymond)

WEST SEATTLE TIMEBANK: Give some time, get some time! From our calendar listing for the WS Timebank event – 6 pm, orientation for new members; 6:30 pm, potluck and conversation; 7 pm, introductions and guest speaker Stu Hennessey, recently returned from a journey to Cuba. All this happens at the Senior Center of West Seattle. (California SW/SW Oregon)

DESIGN REVIEW X 2: As previewed here Wednesday, two projects will go before the Southwest Design Review Board tonight, both with opportunities for public comment: A 15-apartment North Admiral building, 1606 California SW, at 6:30 pm; a 54-apartment mixed-use Junction building, 4532 42nd SW, at 8 pm. Both reviews are upstairs at the Sisson Building/Senior Center. (California SW/SW Oregon)

NORTHWEST HOPE AND HEALING FASHION SHOW: “Style ’16” is sold out so this is just a reminder that if you DO have tickets, tonight’s the night at Showbox SODO – raising money for West Seattleite-led and -founded Northwest Hope and Healing, which helps breast-cancer patients.

‘HOW WE SAVE WHALES FROM SPACE’: The Whale Trail presents researcher Bruce Mate, 7 pm at The Hall at Fauntleroy; doors open at 6:15. Full details in our calendar listing. $10 ($5 for kids under 12) – advance tickets available here. (9131 California SW)

OPEN MICROPHONE – UNPLUGGED! The monthly acoustic open-microphone event at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) is tonight, 7 pm. More info in our calendar listing. (5612 California SW)

BELLY DANCING: The free monthly Alauda showcase is at 7:30 pm tonight at The Skylark in North Delridge. All ages! (3803 Delridge Way SW)

And one note about what’s NOT happening:

ALKI COMMUNITY COUNCIL CANCELED: No April meeting for the Alki Community Council, which otherwise would meet tonight (third Thursday).

FOLLOWUP: Seattle Summer Parkways briefing @ Morgan Community Association; planning meeting tonight

(WSB photo from east end of closure zone on first “car-free day” in 2008)

9 AM: New information about this year’s “car-free day” event September 25th on Alki, which, as reported here last month, will be the first one since 2014. An SDOT representative told the Morgan Community Council last night that the event now officially known as Seattle Summer Parkways (previously, Seattle Summer Streets) will also be the first one in several years to close Alki and Harbor Avenues all the way to Don Armeni Boat Ramp. That’s the distance spanned during the first event in 2008; a lane will remain available for residents to get to and from their homes if needed. Entertainment and other plans will be out as the event gets closer. This was one of more than half a dozen topics on the MoCA agenda – full report to come.

ADDED 10 AM: One more note about Summer Parkways – there’s a planning meeting tonight, starting at 5:30 pm at Alki Community Center (5817 SW Stevens), to review the route and brainstorm activities before heading out to walk the route for half an hour and “build a vision” for the event. All welcome.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday watch; 8 days until Viaduct closure

April 21, 2016 6:03 am
|    Comments Off on TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday watch; 8 days until Viaduct closure
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6:03 AM: Good morning! We start as almost-usual by looking ahead:

NEXT MONDAY: Road repairs start Monday (April 25th) on 26th SW south of Westwood Village. Here’s the updated city-issued alert.

NEXT TUESDAY: The draft version of Sound Transit 3 includes light rail to West Seattle. For it? Against it? Want to make sure it’s done a certain way? Have ideas for doing it better? Take some time to go to the official West Seattle meeting next Tuesday (April 26th) – open house starts at 5:30 pm, presentations at 6 (King County Metro’s long-range plan is being discussed too), your chance for commenting throughout (and take the online survey ASAP) – West Seattle High School, 3000 California SW.

NEXT WEDNESDAY: The Fauntleroy Expressway (west end of high bridge) earthquake-safety-cushion re-replacement project is scheduled to start April 27th with a series of overnight closures plus some surface Spokane St. lane closures at other times under that section of the bridge. Still awaiting final-final word from SDOT.

FRIDAY, APRIL 29TH: The Alaskan Way Viaduct‘s two-weeks-or-so tunneling closure is set to start in 8 days, BEFORE the morning commute. Lots of info here, including a reiteration that the surface streets/paths/sidewalks UNDER the Viaduct are not expected to have to close.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen instruments; off-leash-area alert; bike found – stolen?

At this week’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, police said car prowls remain rampant. And we have more to report here:


INSTRUMENTS STOLEN: Maggie e-mailed that image along with her report that this happened in The Triangle:

My partner and I are musicians who were traveling through Seattle this week, visiting family, and had our car broken into and all our instruments stolen. Among the stolen gear was a rare parlor guitar, handpainted with no maker/label, from the early 1900’s. We are hoping it will surface at a pawn shop or music store somewhere so we can get it back… any help getting the word out would be so appreciated.

OFF-LEASH AREA ALERT: Two readers reported seeing/hearing evidence of multiple car prowls in recent days at the Westcrest Park Off-Leash Area, and the police-report map confirms it.

DETECTIVE AT WSBWCN NEXT WEEK: Also on the topic of car prowls/thefts, Seattle Police Detective Scotty Bach is the guest at next Tuesday’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting, sharing expertise on prevention and deterrence. 6:30 pm (April 26th) at the Southwest Precinct, all welcome.

One more reader report:

BIKE FOUND – STOLEN? From Steve, the photo and report:

Early in the morning of April 19th, a bike appeared in the alley behind 63rd Ave SW on the North side of Admiral. It is a Raleigh M20 Aluminum frame Mountain Sport Bike (2005?) with Shimano cranks and shifters.

Steve shared additional details that the owner would know – if this is your stolen bike, let us know and we’ll connect you.