West Seattle, Washington
1:36 PM: Five hours ago, we got a tip that port trucks were backed up in a big way on East Marginal Way, north of Spokane. It’s apparently continued since then – but, per the scanner, the trucks are now dispersing, about 15 minutes after we took the screengrab you see above. They have reportedly been waiting to get into Terminal 46 off Alaskan Way, but, also per scanner discussion, police are saying that terminal is now closed for the day. We have an inquiry out to the port in hopes of finding out more. Truck traffic is of particular interest right now as one of the issues factoring into the environmental review of the Terminal 5 big-ship-readiness project, which has another hearing 5-8:30 pm tonight in The Junction (as previewed earlier).
2:35 PM: Haven’t heard back from the port yet but we’ve just heard police via scanner say that 46 is “open again.”
6:48 PM: Port spokesperson Susan Stoltzfus talked with us briefly at the T-5 hearing, saying all they could figure is that the trucks were “over-dispatched.”
Need help with a garden/plant problem? This weekend, you’ll have a chance to find that help at the Delridge P-Patch. 10 am-2 pm Saturday (June 11th), it’s hosting a Master Gardener Pop-Up Clinic – one of just four sites around the city chosen to host one, according to Ta Pemgrove from the P-Patch. You can of course just show up to ask for advice, but it’ll be really helpful if you can answer this poll to provide information on what you need help with. The garden is at 5078 25th SW.
Two of the special events happening during Art Walk:
MURAL TOURS: Featured tonight, as spotlighted last night, two chances for a short walking tour of some of West Seattle’s historic murals, led by Clay Eals from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society (seen below at the “Bank Day” mural, during a preview tour with the Art Walk committee):
The tours are free. Meet at Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (4410 California SW; WSB sponsor) before the tour times at 6 and 7:30 pm.
PAINTING EXHIBITION AND GREETING CARD LAUNCH: At VAIN (WSB sponsor) during the Art Walk, you’re invited to a cocktail reception for “Apartment Life Paintings” by West Seattle’s own Michael Doyle, also featuring a worldwide launch party for his line of greeting cards and prints. 6-9 pm. (4513 California SW)
Also happening around West Seattle today/tonight:
WINE TASTING: Also on the north side of campus at SSC, noon-7 pm, the Northwest Wine Academy‘s spring release of new wines is accompanied by free tastings and bites. Details in our calendar listing. (6000 16th SW)
DELRIDGE GROCERY FARMSTAND: 4-7 pm in the Super 24 lot, fresh-grown produce sold again this summer by the volunteers working on the Delridge Grocery Cooperative project. On the list this week: Apples, arugula, butter and romaine lettuce, beets, carrots, kale, spinach, strawberries, Swiss chard. (5455 Delridge Way SW)
DUOS SUMMER HAPPY HOURS: Duos in Luna Park is going public again three nights a week for happy-hour events during the summer, Tuesdays-Thursdays. Each night has a theme, and tonight it’s Americana night. 4-9 pm. (2940 SW Avalon Way)
SECOND PUBLIC HEARING FOR TERMINAL 5 DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT: We covered the first one Tuesday in Georgetown so you’d know how this will go – the Port says it’ll be exactly the same format. If you have something to ask or say about the proposed quarter-billion-dollar project to expand operations/capabilities at T-5 in West Seattle, this is the time/place, 5-8:30 pm at the Alki Masonic Center in The Junction – presentation at 6, followed by questions/comments. (40th SW/SW Edmunds)
SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP: 5 pm at Southwest Athletic Complex on the upper turf field, it’s the West Seattle Girls Softball 15U championship game, possibly 2 games depending on how the 1st one turns out, our tipster says. Darigold Royals vs. Bridge Electric. (2801 SW Thistle)
GRADUATION: Seattle Lutheran High School‘s ceremony is at 7:30 pm in the gym. Congratulations, Class of 2016! (41st SW/SW Genesee)
RIPPIN CHICKEN: Get funky at Parliament Tavern, 9 pm, no cover. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
MORE FOR TODAY, TONIGHT, BEYOND … on our complete calendar.
One West Seattle project of note is in today’s edition of the city’s twice-weekly Land Use Information Bulletin:
COMMENT TIME FOR 5414 DELRIDGE WAY SW: We first reported in April that the project proposed to replace a house at 5414 Delridge Way [map] had changed from what went to the Southwest Design Review Board last year. Today’s bulletin brings the official notice that the new project is now in “streamlined design review,” and comments are being accepted now. You can see the design proposal in PDF format by going here. It includes the description:
The proposed project consists of a street-facing 3-story structure containing 2 commercial units and a separate 3-story structure containing 4 residential units. The owner has developed three similarly planned projects just two lots to the south. The main tenant of the commercial space will be the owner’s business, Community Care, which provides services for children with behavioral challenges. It is a design goal to build a recognizable building that incorporates San Francisco-inspired Victorian detailing similar to a historical photo from 1906 that he has long admired. It is the intent of this project to inspire future development in Delridge that takes great care in materials, detailing, and design, whatever its style may be. This project also includes four parking spaces accessed from the alley. Designated parking for the commercial space will not be provided. … At the owner’s expense, the remainder of the unpaved alley on this block will be paved. This is not a (city) requirement for this project.
“Streamlined design review” means no public meeting, so if you’re interested in commenting, the notice explains how. The deadline is June 22nd.
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:31 AM: Good morning! No incidents in/from West Seattle so far this morning.
BRIDGE CLOSURE: Tonight, 9 pm-5 am, another closure of the west end of the bridge, last one for the week, as the Fauntleroy Expressway earthquake-safety-cushion project continues. If you are headed westbound, you’ll have to exit at (or before) Delridge. If going westbound, you won’t be able to enter the bridge at 35th/Fauntleroy. Next closure after tonight will be Sunday night.
8:09 AM: Michael tweets that truck traffic is heavy on lower Spokane. (Seems to happen every Thursday.)
8:59 AM: A texter warns of “gravel all over the left lane to I-5 north up from Spokane Street.”
The idea of turning the six tennis courts west of Southwest Pool into an indoor tennis center is still in the early exploration stage.
But that’s the stage at which it’s important to talk things through, a lot, and about 50 people showed up to do that on Tuesday night at Chief Sealth International High School.
Lisa Corbin is the community member leading the campaign. She explained how the idea originated four years ago – the backstory’s on this fact sheet – and that a city Small and Simple grant was paying for a feasibility study by Jack Kamrath of Tennis Planning Consultants.
Kamrath said he’s in town to get the next part of that study going and expects to have it finished by summer’s end. The next phase will look at the potential market for the center and will focus on finding out how many people play tennis “from time to time” in order to gauge potential demand, which then would determine how many courts are needed. He’s already done two mapping surveys, one to determine how many people live within 15 minutes’ driving distance and how many live within 18 minutes. Those numbers, he said, range from 360,000 people to nearly 515,000.
Building this kind of structure, he said, would take about six months once permits are issued. The site (formerly part of the Denny International Middle School campus, still owned by Seattle Public Schools) already has power, water, sewer, drainage infrastructure in place; along with the courts, which would need to be refinished, it would have restrooms and storage areas. So far, Kamrath said, discussions that he and Corbin have had with the city have not turned up any major speedbumps.
Questions included what the center would cost. As noted in the FAQ sheet made available, it’s estimated to be around $4 million. It’s expected that would come “from multiple public and private sources” (though NOT school-district funds). And it would be self-sustaining once operational, bringing in money from lessons, court fees, and league play. It would likely be managed by a concessionaire, much the same way that Premier manages city golf courses. Too soon to say how all this would balance out with school use. And if you are recalling that the site was mentioned as a potential future elementary school, the FAQ says the district has told the group they don’t envision school construction on the site “for at least the next 28 years.”
Watch here for word of the next community meeting and other updates.
West Seattle’s historical murals can’t be taken for granted. So far just this year, one’s been removed without warning; another’s been defaced with vandalism so big it would take thousands to fix. The quarter-century-old murals are fragile treasures, to say the least. Thursday, during this month’s West Seattle Art Walk, you’re invited to learn about them during two short free walking tours of the murals in The Junction.
These photos are from earlier this spring, when we went along on a sort of proto-version of the tour, with Art Walk committee members and Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals, who will be the leader tomorrow night and has published this invitation on the SWSHS website.
In The Junction, the murals range north to south from the refurbished Hi-Yu Parade scene on the side of the Post Office (top photo) to the scene facing the parking lot off the west side of California just north of Edmunds, meant to mirror what you’d see if you stepped just a bit to the east from there:
Even if you’ve read the plaques next to most of the murals, you’ll learn something tomorrow night – like their Easter eggs, the tributes, the inspiration. Meet at Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (4410 California SW; WSB sponsor) right before the tours start at 6 and 7:30, and check out other Art Walk venues before/after if you have the time!
This Friday night, a local youth group invites you to help do a good deed for the tiniest members of our community. Here’s how:
West Seattle Rainbow Assembly #18 will be hosting a community baby shower on June 10th at 6 pm for the benefit of the Pediatric Interim Care Center. There will be a potato bar, games and dessert. Please come and meet the members of WS Rainbow and help out a worthy cause.
The baby shower will be held at the Alki Masonic Center located at 4736 40th Ave SW. Please enter through the doors on the parking-lot level.
PICC is a center that cares for babies born drug-exposed and medically fragile. A list of items that are on their wishlist include: hand sanitizer; cotton/terry sleepers with snap fronts (size small & medium) in white or pastel colors; disposable diapers (size small or medium); antibacterial soap; latex/vinyl gloves (medium & large; powered & non-powdered); Johnson’s Baby Powder with Cornstarch; Johnson’s baby shampoo; and cash donations are also welcome.
There is a list of items which are also needed on an occasional basis found on their website that do not relate directly to the care of the babies (i.e. bleach, toilet paper, Kleenex, etc)
We would welcome your donations if you are not able to attend. This event counts towards the girls’ community service hours and brings them a lot of joy. Please attend!
Questions? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Since its opening, a community tradition has grown – toys kept at the park for young visitors to share.
This afternoon, all but a few of those toys are gone.
Attention: Seattle Parks and Recreation Jesus Aguirre, Superintendent Christopher Williams, Deputy Superintendent
In the last month, there has been a mass exodus of toys from West Seattle’s Ercolini Park – two pick-ups in the last two weeks! We’re heartbroken and our children miss their toys!
After the first removal, parents rallied and donated toys for the use of hundreds of toddlers and children in our community. The large majority of them were taken by the City this morning. All of the push carts are gone. We’re left with a few tricycles and other toys that the littlest community members aren’t old enough to play with. We’re told a neighbor has filed a complaint, leading the Department of Parks and Recreation to take action. With no means through which to negotiate with the neighbor, we’re asking you to please also take into account the wishes of the larger community.
Wasn’t Ercolini gifted to the city for precisely this reason? Ercolini is special BECAUSE of the toys. Without them, it’s every other park in Seattle. Our children have learned to walk at Ercolini, ride bikes, share with other children, discover empathy, and experience true community. For the parents, we have a place to take them, meet other parents, it’s a space that encourages outdoor time and interaction in a way that other parks can’t. Ercolini is unique and should be kept that way.
We ask the following:
– Please limit the frequency of toy removal to a more cyclical time frame. Families have donated toys to replenish the loss and those toys should have a reasonable life span for the children’s use, and/or;
– Only take the broken toys and/or set up an area for parents to deposit broken toys for the City to pick up rather than taking all or most of them. We’re happy to partner with the City on this, and/or;
– Please arrange an opportunity for us to work with the neighbors requesting removal so we can reach a mutually beneficial agreement; and/or
– Suggest an alternative to removing the toys. Many thanks in advance for considering our requests.
-West Seattle Parents Who Care
As of the moment we’re hitting “publish” on this story, that online petition has more than 430 signers.
After hearing about this – thanks for all the tips! – we asked Parks about the toy takeaway, and spokesperson Dewey Potter replied: “The Park Code has a section that prohibits leaving things in a park. We know that some people like to bring supplemental toys to play areas, and we have tried to walk a middle ground. The toys the crew removed this morning were either old or broken, and there are still many left at the playground. The crew has had complaints from people who had tripped or nearly tripped, so they did post signs in the park. People apparently are not paying attention to the signs, so the crew tries to walk that middle ground by going by once a week to remove any toys that are worn or broken or could present an obstacle or a hazard. Ercolini Park has an unusually large number of toys that are left behind — the crew chief once counted four dozen. We would encourage people to leave only toys that are in good repair.”
Meantime, what happened to the toys taken away by Parks crews – are they somewhere awaiting pickup, or did they just get dumped? We’re waiting for the answer to that.
ADDED WEDNESDAY EVENING: That response, also from Parks spokesperson Potter: “The toys from previous pickups are gone. The crew chief took a quick look at the toys that came in today. She saw signs of wear on the toys on the top of the load and asked the staff about their condition. Their guideline was that they removed toys with damage of any kind. The toys are in the packer truck and cannot be retrieved.”
On sunny days, visitors to Alki generate a lot of trash. On the beach side, Parks struggles to keep up with it, as reported here before, and as a few regional news organizations noted earlier this week. But today, outside the park boundaries, Alki has one less trash can – apparently, because it was used too much. Diana e-mailed Metro to ask about the trash can that disappeared from the stop on eastbound Alki at 61st SW and shared the response she received today:
Thank you for your recent case submittal, advising Metro Transit of your concerns about maintenance and lack of trash can at the bus stop on 61st Ave SW & Alki Ave SW. I appreciate your use of public transportation and I regret the circumstances that made it necessary for you to contact us.
This trash can at this stop was pulled due to excessive trash from the coffee shops and not our bus patrons. Our shelter cleaning crews are not (there) everyday and the amount of trash that was being dumped was a factor in the removal of this trash can. A trash can will not be re-installed.
“Coffee shops” would apparently be a reference to the Starbucks store that’s a few steps down and the Top Pot store to the west of that. And as to how much trash is NOT too much, we’re contacting Metro to follow up.
(Wednesday evening note: We’re expecting Metro’s response tomorrow, so look for a followup.)
(UPDATED 5:53 PM with comment from tree/lot’s owner)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Barely three blocks as the crow flies from where the illegal cutting of 100+ trees sparked a regional uproar, the potential legal cutting of a single tree is inspiring a quiet revolt.
Among the leaders – a neighborhood 9-year-old.
This tree and its situation are quite different from the now-notorious, deciduous-tree-dominated “clearcut” on public land in the Duwamish Head Greenbelt. This is an evergreen, on private land, a small lot over which it towers, a Ponderosa Pine labeled an “exceptional tree” by city standards, even in the arborist report for the proposal to build a house on the ~3000-square-foot site where it grows, at 3036 39th SW.
The city is currently in a comment period for the project, but as a standalone single-family-house proposal, it didn’t hit our radar until reader Catherine Darwin posted about it in the WSB Forums, starting the topic “Large Ponderosa Pine on 39th SW.” Read More
Five biznotes today:
ULTA TO WESTWOOD? The big Westwood Village space vacated by Pier 1 Imports has a new tenant on the way, according to city permit files: Ulta Beauty. The beauty-products retailer has almost 900 stores, according to its recent first-quarter-earnings report, including not-so-far-away Southcenter. We have a message out to their corporate HQ. (Update: Corporate response – “I don’t have anything to share with you at this time.”)
WONDERING ABOUT WHOLE FOODS? We’ve been asked recently about the latest timeline for Whole Foods Market to open in The Whittaker, the big mixed-use project under construction at 4755 Fauntleroy Way SW. So we asked a company spokesperson. Reply: “Second half of 2017.” (The apartments are opening sooner.)
KIZUKI, THE SAGA CONTINUES: Elsewhere in The Junction, the #1 “when is it opening?” question continues to involve Kizuki Ramen and Izakaya in Junction 47. The newest public answer: “Near the end of this month.”
TALARICO’S REMODEL: Several people asked what’s going on at covered-up Talarico’s Pizzeria in The Junction. Back in mid-May when we reported on the old Schuck’s sign uncovered out front, we mentioned that the restaurant explained this was all part of a front-end remodel including the windows. (Update: They’re reopening at 5 pm today.)
WHITE CENTER NOTES: In case you hadn’t seen our coverage on White Center Now – a county permit-application sign says the recently sold Chevron at 15th/16th/100th is set for a Starbucks and Popeye’s. In our followup attempts, the former has no comment aside from a generic “we’re always looking for new locations”; we haven’t reached media relations at the latter yet. … And if you are following the White Center Dairy Queen saga, which started with an abrupt shutdown blamed on “register failure” and has included allegations that the franchisee didn’t pay employees for their final two weeks, two tipsters spotted equipment being hauled out yesterday. We have a message out to DQ corporate. (Added 11:36 am – Just got a call back from DQ corporate, which is checking with the “territory operator” to find out the location’s fate. … Added 3:12 pm: The corporate spokesperson says this will NOT be reopening as a DQ.)
Happy midweek! Highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar for today/tonight:
LOCAL-BUSINESS MEETUP: Noon-1:15 pm, come visit our area’s only coworking center, West Seattle Office Junction (WSB sponsor), and network with your fellow local business entrepreneurs. (6040 California SW)
THE GREATEST MOVIES YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF: Wednesday-afternoon series continues at Senior Center of West Seattle, 1 pm, with Spencer Tracy in “Me and My Gal.” $1 members/$2 nonmembers. (California SW/SW Oregon)
LANDER STREET BRIDGE OPEN HOUSE: This revived SDOT project in SODO is of major interest in West Seattle, as a way to keep things moving over the train tracks. If you have questions, today’s 4-6 pm open house in SODO is one place to get answers – there’s also an “online open house” now accessible here. Stop by Metropolist.
AMERICAN LEGION POST 160: 6 pm on second Wednesdays is the monthly meeting at Post 160 in The Triangle. (3618 SW Alaska)
ULTIMATE FRISBEE: 6 pm Wednesday is “coed,” at Fairmount Playfield – more info here. (5400 Fauntleroy Way SW)
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: During tonight’s 7 pm meeting of the 34th District Democrats, district state legislators Reps. Eileen Cody and Joe Fitzgibbon and Sen. Sharon Nelson are scheduled to present an update on what’s been going on in Olympia. See the full agenda here. Meeting’s at The Hall @ Fauntleroy. (9131 California SW)
COUNTRY COVERS: That’s what you’ll hear from The Loose Heels at Parliament Tavern tonight, 8:30 pm. No cover. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
SOMETHING FOR THE CALENDAR? Please e-mail us the info – plain text in the body of your e-mail – at least a week in advance (the earlier the better!), email@example.com – thanks!
4:15 AM: A “full response” is arriving at a possible house-fire call in the 8100 block of 30th SW [map]. More to come.
4:19 AM: It’s a garage fire, SFD has tweeted. The response is being scaled down and its investigator is on the way.
4:29 AM: Our crew is at the scene and confirms that the fire’s out but a detached garage is damaged, as is a car inside it. No one hurt.
4:36 AM: SFD’s investigator has arrived to figure out what caused this. (Sunday’s early-morning garage fire, you might recall, was blamed on improperly discarded charcoal briquets. We’ll check back on this one later in the morning.)
10:19 AM: SFD spokesperson Lt. Sue Stangl tells WSB the garage fire is suspected to have been set, so Seattle Police are investigating. We went back a short time ago for a daylight look at the damage:
The arson tipline is 800-55-ARSON.
Three West Seattle Crime Watch notes tonight. First one’s a followup, from Sarah:
Remember the Gibson guitar and Fender amp that were stolen out of my son’s car? They were recovered by the police after the robber tried to sell them this week at a Capitol Hill pawn shop! We had serial numbers that we had given to the police pawn shop squad (a very important step: make sure that happens so that they alert pawn shops). We are very happy and relieved! The broken car window was a $50 deductible, but all things considered, a good outcome to what had been a very no-good bad-day two weeks ago.
Second, recognize this potentially stolen-and-abandoned bicycle? Amy sent the photo:
She says it’s been parked on a sidewalk near EC Hughes Playground, and that it has a broken chain. If you recognize it, let us know – comments or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Third and final, a new round of safety advice from SPD, in the latest newsletter from Crime Prevention Coordinator Mark Solomon. Read it here as a two-page PDF.
(T-5, empty since summer 2014, in center of 2015 photo by Peter West Carey)
We went to tonight’s Terminal 5 Improvements Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement public hearing in Georgetown mostly to find out the format so you know what to expect at the one in West Seattle on Thursday night.
So you can plan, here’s the format:
5-6 pm, open house
6 pm, presentation, including project background and information on the environmental-review process
6:30 pm, opportunity for attendees to ask “clarifying questions”
6:45 pm until 8 pm (depending on how many speakers), public hearing
8-8:30 pm, open house
Spanish and Vietnamese interpreters were available.
After a welcome by Port Commissioner Fred Felleman, an overview of the “project purpose” was offered, showing that while the current T-5 (which has been closed to cargo for two years now) is set for 136′ maximum ship width, the largest ships out there now go to 193′, and that’s why they need to make it “big-ship ready.”
The project is sponsored by the Port of Seattle and the Northwest Seaport Alliance – its partnership with Tacoma – but Seattle is the lead agency and responsible for the environmental review, which it originally wasn’t going to do – then, after considerable citizen urging, it changed its mind, saying it had discovered that the project was likely to be big enough to mandate one anyway.
As you’ll see in the DEIS, three alternatives are reviewed: Read More
4:54 PM: Eight months after kicking her boyfriend’s toddler son to death in their Morgan Junction apartment, 21-year-old Alicia Goemaat pleaded guilty today to second-degree murder. We just found that out after checking court files. Goemaat was arrested less than a week after 17-month-old Drue Lehto was found dead; investigators say she kicked him and then placed him in his crib, where he was found. She eventually was reported to have said she was mad at Drue for fighting with her own young child over a toy. Second-degree murder is the charge originally filed against Goemaat last fall; we have no other details of today’s hearing but will update with anything more we find out. Her sentencing is set for July 8th.
6:18 PM: We now have information from KCPAO spokesperson Dan Donohoe regarding the sentencing recommendation: “The sentence range is 123 to 220 months in prison, and prosecutors will recommend 140 months.” (That’s 11 years, 8 months.)
(Map from July 2015 slide deck about 35th SW plan)
When last we checked in on the 35th Avenue SW Corridor Safety Project – which changed the configuration of lanes on 35th, from Roxbury to just south of Morgan, last fall – SDOT’s Jim Curtin told WSB that the plan for Phase 2, and stats on Phase 1, were expected to be out in May. That month has come and gone; we checked in again today to ask where things stand. Curtin’s reply:
We’ve adjusted our schedule to coordinate outreach with another SDOT effort that may have implications for 35th Avenue SW – the West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway. As you know, greenways are safer, calmer non-arterial streets prioritized for people walking and biking. We need residents to help us determine the best route for the greenway as well as locations for crossing improvements (the routes identified in the BMP are merely suggestions).
We’re aiming for the week of July 11th or 18th for our first meeting, where we’ll share preliminary data for Phase 1 of the 35th Avenue SW project, start the discussion about the Neighborhood Greenway route, share draft plans for Phase 2 of the 35th Ave SW project, and solicit feedback from residents. We also intend to host walking tours like we did for Phase 1 in August.
As a community-collaborative news organization, we cover many things that start with tips, questions, or other messages. Our followup with Curtin today was inspired by a note from Bob Neel. You might know him as an opponent of the rechannelization; he launched a Change.org petition against it last year. Today, he e-mailed both to wonder about the status of Phase 2 and to ask if we would publish the links to two new petitions he’s started. While there is no way for any online poll or petition to be anything resembling scientific (that’s why we don’t set up our own), he’s interested in comparing results from pro and con petitions.
He writes: “For those who like the lane reduction, here is a petition for SDOT to extend the project. For those who are not in favor of the lane reduction, here is a petition for SDOT to go back to 4 lanes. I have attempted to word each petition in a balanced, neutral way so that there is no inherent bias. I’d really like to see a large response to these petitions so that we can get a representative ‘pulse’ of the neighborhood reaction to the project.”
(If you do choose to sign one – or even if you don’t – consider commenting here to say why!)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
It’s now up to the state Court of Appeals to decide whether to uphold the manslaughter conviction of Lovett Chambers for shooting and killing Travis Hood by Morgan Junction Park in January 2012.
Three Court of Appeals, Division 1 judges and two lawyers – neither of whom were on the original defense/prosecution teams – spent 21 minutes on the case in the COA’s Downtown Seattle chambers this morning.
Chambers was charged with murder while contending self-defense; a King County Superior Court jury found him guilty of the lesser charge of first-degree manslaughter in April 2014 (during which the file photo at left was taken – he was not at today’s hearing), and he is serving an 11 1/2-year sentence.
While his appeal brief (read it here) argues seven points, this morning’s arguments focused on just the first one: The claim that the jury should not have received an instruction about finding him guilty of manslaughter.
He shot to kill, his lawyer David B. Koch argued. Read More
Not all the summer traditions are outside in the sunshine. Just in case you hadn’t seen it in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, the third annual Swing Into Summer swing dance with the West Seattle Big Band @ The Hall at Fauntleroy is now just a week and a half away, on Friday, June 17th, sponsored by the West Seattle and Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor), Fauntleroy Church, and the Fauntleroy Community Association. Get your $15 ticket here, and then show up at 6:30 pm for a dance lesson, followed by dancing, listening, and spectating, 7-9 pm. Food and drink concessions will be available from DSquared. Free child care if you put in a request – 206-932-5600 or email@example.com.
(Click to see full-size PDF)
11:17 AM: For the first time since the city Finance and Administrative Services‘ “draft recommendations” about the Myers Way Parcels came out – May 25th, as first reported here – we’re hearing from the group that’s been the loudest voice for keeping the site as open space.
The Seattle Green Spaces Coalition calls FAS’s three-part recommendation (update – here’s the PDF summarizing it) “short-sighted,” saying that the city has been less than thorough in evaluating the site’s ecology and its value, and in reaching out to the community. Here’s its statement:
The 33 acres of Myers Parcels is the largest plot of undeveloped land that the City of Seattle owns. It provides a wide range of benefits for the City of Seattle, and people in the White Center, Highland Park, South Park, Roxbury, Delridge and Georgetown neighborhoods. The City’s Finance & Administrative Services (FAS) Department issued a formal Notice of Excess Property for a large area of Myers Parcels on January 15, 2016. But it only distributed notice to a limited number of people. Then on May 25, 2016, FAS presented its draft recommendation for disposing of Myers acreage at the Highland Park Action Committee meeting.
The Seattle Green Spaces Coalition (SGSC) finds the draft recommendation short-sighted, and calls on FAS to withdraw it. It also calls on FAS to significantly increase engagement with the affected neighborhoods, and to re-assess the Myers Parcels ecology.
The FAS Department’s top-down recommendation runs contrary to Mayor Murray’s Equity and Environmental Action Agenda, which call for grassroots, community-driven planning.
FAS recommends breaking up and selling off parts of Myers Parcels, before it has assessed the current value of this forested area, which contains a watershed with two streams that feed clean water into the Duwamish River.
SGSC is working with numerous individuals and community organizations, such as White Center Community Development Association (WCCDA), Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association and others, to demand robust community engagement, and clear strategies to promote environmental sustainability and social justice.
The FAS recommendation presents nothing new. It does not take into account any of the 400+ comments sent to FAS, nor the more than 800 signers on SGSC’s change.org petition calling for the City to stop the sale until communities are fully involved in the future of this site, and new environmental studies are conducted.
FAS recommends using part of the land immediately south of the Joint Training Facility for an expanded parking lot, selling the flat portion of the site for a commercial warehouse operation, and keeping the unmarketable wetlands and critical slope, with the addition of a possible adventure park on the critical slope above SR 509. FAS does not take into account that Myers Parcels holds origins of Hamm Creek, part of the most fragile link in Chinook Salmon Recovery, and within the Superfund Site of the first five miles of the Duwamish River. Its plan does not keep that watershed healthy, or help to restore the Duwamish River and promote salmon habitat. While we are spending millions of taxpayer dollars to clean up the Duwamish River, it makes no sense to jeopardize this watershed. As a city we should be improving it, not building warehouses around it.
The land has healthy, mature trees that filter water, retain storm water run-off, control erosion, clean the air and help keep the city cool. They create a green buffer for the communities of South Park and White Center. Decreasing the green buffer by selling it for warehouse operations will degrade air quality with increased car and truck pollution. Increased hardscape will also increase stormwater runoff. The inclusion of an adventure park can also potentially degrade the forest and wildlife habitat.
FAS’s recommendation to “slice and dice” this land, selling off parts of it, fails to recognize the land’s value as a whole. In a true “balance,” clean water and clear air would clearly win out over more warehouses that South Park and White Center do not need.
Seattle Green Spaces Coalition demands meaningful community engagement and a valuation of all the benefits this land does and can continue to provide. If we are going to live up to the commitment of the Equity & Environment Action Agenda and our Climate Action Plan, important questions must be answered:
· What is the most environmentally friendly use of the land?
· What is healthiest for the neighborhoods?
· What ecosystem services will the proposed uses provide or reduce?
· Will wildlife habitat be enhanced or reduced?
· Will it be of use and used by the diverse communities?
· What will its value be in the future for different uses?
· How broadly will the land serve diverse community and the City?
· How will it impact the watershed and recovery of the Duwamish River?
· What are the land’s unique features and role in the ecosystem?
· What will be the interplay of planned upland development of housing and the land?
· Who will benefit from commercial development?
· Would alternate uses such as fee activities benefit or exclude neighboring communities?
So far, over 850 people have signed Seattle Green Spaces Coalition’s online petition demanding a robust, transparent and inclusive community engagement so that all people can participate in the decision-making process.
The city’s webpage with information about the parcels is here. Two weeks before the draft report came out, we toured part of the site with FAS reps, community members, and City Councilmember Lisa Herbold – see that report here.
ADDED 12:49 PM: We checked back with FAS’s Hillary Hamilton, who provided electronic versions of the draft-recommendations map and summary, both of which you’ll now see above. She says a public meeting is still planned but that they’re not yet ready to finalize the announcement. Meantime, comments are still being taken, she reiterates:
Comments are taken continuously through the review process, and a full report of people’s names and comments will be provided to the City Council before any decision is made. People can send comments at any time; we will acknowledge receipt. Those who contact us can be sure to be on the mailing list for updates. Email or regular postal mail is encouraged to Daniel Bretzke, Real Estate Services, Dept. of Finance and Administrative Services. Email is Daniel.firstname.lastname@example.org. Postal address is Daniel Bretzke, FAS Real Estate Services, P.O. Box 94689, Seattle, WA 98124-4689.
(Violet-green swallow photographed by Mark Wangerin)
Happy Tuesday! Here are a half-dozen highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
LOW-LOW TIDE, WITH BEACH NATURALISTS: One more day of a low-low tide, with sunshine, if you have the chance to get out on the shore and explore at midday. The tide will be out to -2.8 feet at 1:09 pm. Seattle Aquarium volunteer beach naturalists will be available at Constellation Park (south of Alki Point) and Lincoln Park (near Colman Pool) 10 am-2 pm.
TERMINAL 5 HEARING: If you have something to say about the Port of Seattle’s proposal to upgrade West Seattle’s Terminal 5 as its primary “big ship” terminal, tonight is your first of two chances during the “draft environmental impact statement” stage of the project. The public hearing is happening at the Georgetown campus of South Seattle College (WSB sponsor); another one is planned Thursday in West Seattle – information on both is here. (6737 Corson Ave. S.)
DINE OUT FOR HOPE: Coastline Burgers is donating part of tonight’s proceeds to the DC trip fund for nearby Hope Lutheran School during tonight’s dine-out fundraiser, 5-9 pm. Art sale, too! More info here. (4444 California SW)
INDOOR TENNIS IN WEST SEATTLE? 6-8 pm at Chief Sealth International High School, come hear about – and comment on – the proposal for an indoor-tennis center on the Seattle Public Schools-owned site that now holds outdoor courts just west of Southwest Pool. Organizer Lisa Corbin says the program will start around 6:15 pm and public comments will start around 7:15. Here’s a fact sheet about the project, and a document with FAQs. (2600 SW Thistle)
MORE! for today, tonight, beyond – just check our complete calendar.
7:54 AM: Seattle Fire is already scaling back what was a “full response” to a possible house fire in the 9000 block of 39th SW [map] – it’s reported to be a “small electrical fire” that’s already out.
8:05 AM: Our crew is at the scene and confirmed that description of what happened. Remaining fire crews are making one last check of the attic at the house to be sure nothing’s smoldering. No injuries.