West Seattle, Washington
The end of the school year is in sight, and that means Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor) eighth-graders are looking ahead to their new beginnings as high-school students next year. On Wednesday, they presented their “Change the World” projects, an annual assignment by teacher Tim Owens. We stopped by and recorded one team talking about their project, advocating for healthy, sustainable, affordable food for people experiencing poverty. In the photo above are Zach Carver, June Oto, Ainsley Yukawa, and Bijan Zavareei, who is speaking in our clip below:
Owens says the students have been working on their projects for five months. Their presentations were made over the course of about an hour and a half. Read more about this year’s projects here.
P.S. Explorer West is celebrating its 20th anniversary with an alumni reunion tomorrow (Friday, June 3rd), 4-7 pm, starting at the campus, 10015 28th SW, with appetizers and faculty visits; at 5:30 pm the reunion moves to nearby Roxbury Lanes for bowling, hosted by EWMS.
SOUND TRANSIT 3: The Sound Transit board follows up last week’s announcement of revisions to its light-rail-expansion plan (including moving up West Seattle light rail to 2030) with a special meeting this morning, under way now until noon at the ST board room downtown. Here’s the agenda. You can watch live here. (401 S. Jackson)
PRESCHOOL STORY TIME: 10:30 am-11 am at Southwest Library, for ages 3-5. (35th SW/SW Henderson)
DELRIDGE GROCERY FARMSTAND: Starting today and every Thursday all summer long, 4-7 pm, the Delridge Grocery Farmstand is back at the Delridge P-Patch with fresh produce for sale. (Delridge Way and Puget Boulevard)
WEST SEATTLE YMCA EXPANSION GROUNDBREAKING: 4:30-6 pm, you are invited to the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) for a groundbreaking celebration as its expansion revs up. Bounce house, face-painting, games, photo booth, more, free for all! Brief program at 5 pm. (4515 36th SW)
SPIRITS FOR SPORTS: Join the West Seattle Booster Club in raising money at tonight’s “pub stroll” fundraiser, 6-9 pm in The Junction, various locations – details here.
LANDFILL HARMONIC ORCHESTRA: Free concert at 7 pm at Providence Mount St. Vincent. The Landfill Harmonic Orchestra from Paraguay includes musicians who live next to a giant landfill; their instruments “are made entirely out of garbage.” (4831 35th SW)
NORTH HIGHLINE UNINCORPORATED AREA COUNCIL: Live/work in White Center, Top Hat, Boulevard Park, or somewhere else in unincorporated North Highline? 7 pm at the NH Fire Station, your community council meets tonight. The agenda is previewed on our partner site White Center Now. (1243 SW 112th)
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:28 AM: Good morning! So far, no incidents in/from West Seattle.
BRIDGE CLOSURE TONIGHT: Final closure of the week for the Fauntleroy Expressway seismic-cushion work, 9 pm-5 am; the next one after this will be Sunday night into Monday morning.
7:31 AM: Still nothing out of the ordinary.
A few hours after Wednesday’s announcement, Seattle Summer Parkways coordinator Jordan Adams briefed the Southwest District Council, during its June meeting. The plans sound bigger than any of the previous “car-free days” in the area held 2008-2014.
One key point he mentioned: While Alki Avenue will be closed in its entirety between 63rd and 56th during the event (see the map above), the closure will be only one lane from 56th eastward (the water side of the street). Otherwise, the lineup for the 11 am-4 pm street party is taking shape; he told SWDC, “We have a few food trucks participating, and we’re opening the event with a 10K run … a bunch of groups already have signed up to organize events, we have a bike parade, a full music stage on Alki Beach, also up at the boat ramp.” (The run is the Orca Half, first reported here last week.) Also part of it: A fun way to work on emergency preparedness – cargo-bike trials in conjunction with the West Seattle Emergency Communication Hubs.
Adams is also inviting other organizations to be part of the Summer Parkways event (technically on the first Sunday of fall, as someone pointed out during the SWDC discussion), promotionally and/or offering an activity, no fee required- here’s the application.
9:15 PM: Lafayette Elementary in Admiral is getting its wish – an earlier schedule next year. Thanks to the parents who pointed us to today’s announcement, which is posted on the school website as well as having been sent home on paper. When the district announced new “bell times” last fall (WSB coverage here), mostly to try to get older students onto later schedules, Lafayette was the only elementary school in West Seattle that was left in late-start “Tier 3” – and its 9:30 start time was even scheduled to move five minutes later. But today, Lafayette leadership announced that the request to move to Tier 1 had been granted, one of only two of the 11 districtwide requests that the district was able to honor, according to this letter from assistant superintendent Pegi McEvoy. Next school year’s start time and end time at Lafayette will be 7:55 am and 2:05 pm. (Lafayette file photo from SPS website)
ADDED 4:16 PM THURSDAY: Thanks to the commenters who provided additional information. Here’s the official district reply to our request for the list of the 11 schools that asked to be moved up and which school besides Lafayette had the requested granted:
The district was able to move Bailey Gatzert and Lafayette to Tier 1 while keeping transportation “budget neutral”:
1. Bailey Gatzert
2. Orca K-8
3. Thurgood Marshall
4. K-8 STEM at Boren
8. John Hay
9. View Ridge
10. Catherine Blaine K-8
11. Cascadia@ Lincoln
6:10 PM: Weeks after equipment showed up for clearing the site, work started today on the mixed-use project at 4505 42nd SW in The Junction, across the alley from the Senior Center of West Seattle. This project got final Southwest Design Review Board approval early last year after four meetings over the course of a year. It is set for 7 stories including 40+ residential units, ~6,000 square feet of lodging, and ~4,500 square feet of retail, with 14 offstreet parking spaces; owner Leon Capelouto has said that tenants interested in parking beyond that will be able to access it in the garage for his Capco Plaza building less than a block south at 42nd/Alaska. The “lodging” was described during Design Review as nine furnished units to be offered for “minimum one-week, maximum one-month” use, expected to appeal to “corporate types.” (Thanks to NLB and Eddie for the tips that site work had begun.)
ADDED 7:55 AM THURSDAY: Thanks to NLB for this clip of demolition work continuing this morning:
— NLB (@g7on) June 2, 2016
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Tonight, the Southwest District Council‘s June meeting includes a discussion of an in-progress city review that could eventually determine whether the SWDC and the city’s other 12 district councils continue to exist.
One of the arguments for district councils is their advocacy for their respective jurisdictions getting their fair share of city attention and money, in programs like the Neighborhood Street Fund.
Since their last monthly meetings, members of both SWDC and its eastern West Seattle counterpart, the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council, have decided which five community-proposed NSF projects they’re forwarding to the city for consideration.
1st-through-5th-ranked by the Southwest District Council (western West Seattle):
1. Improvements at Harbor Ave SW & SW Spokane Street
2. Improvements at 39th Avenue SW and SW Oregon Street
3. Rapid Ride Bus Stops, Morgan Junction
4. Improvements on Fauntleroy Way
5. Traffic Circles, Sidewalks, and Safety Improvements in Arbor Heights
1st-through-5th-ranked by the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council (eastern West Seattle):
1. Modernize the Intersection of 16th Ave SW & SW Holden Street (Highland Park)
2. (tie) Complete SW Barton Street
2. (tie) Roundabout for Highland Park Way/SW Holden St
4. Brandon St Sidewalks (Delridge to High Point)
5. Safety Improvements to 26th Ave SW and/or 25th Avenue SW (Connecting Chief Sealth HS and the Westwood Village Bus Hub)
Both sets of decisions followed project-proposers’ presentations at the respective district councils’ meetings, and review of written applications – this document explains the criteria for evaluation.
No project is guaranteed funding just because the district council supports advancing it; the city’s pot of money is finite, and the Neighborhood Street Fund is citywide, opening for applications every three years, available for
up to $90,000 $100,000-$1,000,000* for a project making it all the way through the process. But sometimes even projects that don’t get NSF funding land on SDOT’s radar. If you’d like to know more about any or all of the 10 aforementioned proposals, scroll ahead (or jump from the home page) for more details on each, excerpted from the community proposers’ applications – sometimes brief, sometimes detailed: Read More
Thanks to Marco for sharing the scene from Admiral Way, when a mallard mom and ducklings got some help making it across the street just west of 42nd SW. Marco adds, “Props to the guy who was keeping them safe in traffic!” A closer look:
(We can’t quite guess where mom was headed – Hiawatha? – or coming from, for that matter – can you?)
That’s the clearest image of the truck shown on security video, entering and leaving South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) in a span of less than 10 minutes, before and after Tuesday morning’s smash-and-grab ATM theft at Brockey Center (here’s our original report; here’s our followup on the damage done). While tracking technology led police to the ATM safe in an Arbor Heights backyard within a few hours, they have not yet found the truck or made arrests. SSC provided the video to WSB – here are the two sections showing the truck arriving and departing (at a time when the main-campus entrances on 16th SW are gated):
SPD describes the truck as a “white Chevrolet pickup truck with a crew cab” and asks that anyone with information about it, and/or anything else related to the theft, call the Southwest Precinct burglary unit at 206-233-2623.
A new move today in the city’s attempts to address the affordable-housing crisis: New rules proposed to crack down on alleged abuse of the new technology-enabled short-term-rental market. Here’s the announcement, just out of the WSB inbox:
Mayor Ed Murray and Councilmember Tim Burgess today announced a proposal to prevent long-term rental units from being converted to short-term rentals, while still providing residents the flexibility to earn additional income by renting out their homes.
The measure focuses on commercial operators who use platforms, such as Airbnb and VRBO, to rent multiple properties year-round. Approximately 80 percent of existing short-term rentals in Seattle will see no new regulations.
“Property owners are shifting hundreds of homes from the long-term residential market to short-term rental platforms like Airbnb, and in doing so dangerously reduce our housing supply,” said Councilmember Burgess, chair of the Council’s Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods and Finance Committee. “At the same time, Seattle homeowners offering short-term rentals in their own homes earn valuable supplemental income. These proposed regulations focus narrowly on the commercial operators that take advantage of home-sharing platforms to exacerbate our housing crisis.”
Under the proposed rules, any property may be provided as a short-term rental for up to 90 nights in a 12 month period. Only properties that are the primary residence of the short-term rental operator will be allowed to rent past the 90-night threshold. The primary residency requirement will curtail the growing year-round commercial operation of these platforms.
“We must protect our existing rental housing supply at a time when it is becoming harder for residents to find an affordable home in Seattle,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “This proposal ensures that apartments and houses are not being used exclusively as short-term rentals, while still providing a means for homeowners to earn some extra money by occasionally renting out their property.”
Consistent with current City rules, all short-term rental operators must secure a City business license tax certificate and pay all applicable taxes.
“Our communities are facing steep rent increases and having difficulty staying in their homes, and the fast growing short-term rental industry is making it worse,” said Rebecca Saldaña, Executive Director at Puget Sound Sage. “The Mayor and Councilmember Burgess have started an important conversation about how short-term rentals should help, and not hurt, people who want to stay in Seattle.”
The small percentage of operators renting their primary residence for more than 90 nights will be required to also obtain a City regulatory license. This license will require proof that the unit being rented is the operator’s primary residence, proof of liability insurance that covers the short-term rental use, a local contact number for guests, a signed declaration that the unit meets building and life safety codes, and basic safety information posted for guests in the unit.
Under the proposed regulations, all short-term rental platform companies will also need to obtain a new regulatory license with the City. The platforms will be required to give the City limited data on a quarterly basis necessary for enforcement of the proposed law.
More information on the proposals can be found in these documents:
The proposal is due to get its first council review before the Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods and Finance Committee two weeks from today, 9:30 am Wednesday, June 15th.
Brand-new month, and here’s how it starts – with highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
NEIGHBORHOOD DISTRICTS VS. COUNCIL DISTRICTS: A City Council committee talks this morning about the draft report resulting from last year’s council request that the Department of Neighborhoods look at realigning the city’s 13 “districts” with the 7 new council districts. 9:30 am, live on Seattle Channel if you won’t be at City Hall.
TODDLER STORY TIME: For ages 1-3, 10:30-11 am at Southwest Library. (35th SW/SW Henderson)
HIGHLAND PARK SPRAYPARK: Another warm, sunny day, so we’re reminding you that HP Spraypark – the only spraypark in West Seattle – is open 11 am-8 pm daily through Labor Day. (1100 SW Cloverdale)
NETWORKING MEETUP: Noon-1:15 pm, you’re invited to visit our area’s only coworking center, West Seattle Office Junction (WSB sponsor), and meet your fellow nontraditional workers/entrepreneurs/etc. at this week’s networking meetup. (6040 California SW)
THE GREATEST MOVIES YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF: Wednesday-afternoon series continues at Senior Center of West Seattle, 1 pm, with Paul Newman and Patricia Neal in “Hud.” $1 members/$2 nonmembers. (California SW/SW Oregon)
ULTIMATE FRISBEE: 6 pm Wednesday is “coed,” at Fairmount Playfield – more info here. (5400 Fauntleroy Way SW)
SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: 6:30 pm at the Sisson Building/Senior Center, the Southwest District Council’s agenda this month includes an update on the Alki “car-free” event planned September 25th for Seattle Summer Parkways and a discussion of the future of neighborhood districts vs. council districts – same item a City Council committee is discussing this morning. (California SW/SW Oregon)
JIM PAGE, LIVE: Singer-songwriter at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)
TRIVIA AT TALARICO’S: Never been to popular Wednesday night trivia at Talarico’s Pizzeria? Maybe tonight’s your night. 8:30 pm. (4718 California SW)
WONDERING WHAT ELSE IS UP? Just browse our complete calendar.
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:28 AM: Good morning! No incidents in/from West Seattle so far. Today’s updates:
*Another Fauntleroy Expressway seismic-cushion work bridge closure tonight, 9 pm-5 am.
*Seattle Public Schools are out two hours early today
*Sewer-repair work is scheduled to continue on 35th between Juneau and Raymond.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: SDOT plans to install 80 signs on the West Seattle Bridge this weekend, marking it off in “zones” in hopes that will help emergency responses get to the right places.