day : 05/01/2017 11 results

SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: Alive and well and independent

January 5, 2017 11:10 pm
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 |   Southwest District Council | West Seattle news

Toplines from the first Southwest District Council meeting of the new post-city-support era, last night @ the Senior Center/Sisson Building:

DISTRICT COUNCILS CARRY ON: Co-chair David Whiting (from the Admiral Neighborhood Association) opened by noting that this was the first SWDC meeting without city funding for a meeting space (the $500/year was cut as part of the mayoral decree that neighborhood district councils would no longer have official city ties). He wanted to be sure it was clear that the mayoral decree did NOT dissolve the council, which, like its counterparts around the city, is going forward independently. And, he said, after talking with reps from some of the other district councils, SWDC is doing so with what seems like even more energy and determination than some others. As part of the mayor’s decision to sever ties, a Department of Neighborhoods coordinator is no longer assigned to assist the group; SWDC member Cindi Barker (who represents the West Seattle Emergency Communication Hubs) asked that the coordinator who used to have that role, Kerry Wade, receive a formal invitation to attend anyway, along with her boss, DoN director Kathy Nyland.

POLICE UPDATE: Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith provided a crime-stats briefing. The precinct made more arrests in December than the previous two months – package-theft suspects among them, since that’s such a prevalent crime during the holiday season, and some car-prowl suspects too. Morgan Junction remains the current West Seattle hotspot for car prowls, Lt. Smith said, likely because emphasis patrols in The Junction and Westwood areas resulted in thieves moving elsewhere. He added that the precinct is working with the City Attorney’s Office to step up the focus on frequent offenders with regard to car prowls (which by themselves are misdemeanors, which is why the City Attorney handles them). He also said SPD and Parks had been involved in a campsite cleanup in the Longfellow Creek area where some residents had been linked to car and package thefts.

The Southwest District Council continues to meet on first Wednesdays, 6:30 pm, Senior Center/Sisson Building (4217 SW Oregon). All welcome.

Design Review doubleheader, report #1: Second round of Early Design Guidance ordered for 4220 SW 100th


By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

For the first time in months, the Southwest Design Review Board had a full house – this time for the first look (aka “Early Design Guidance”) at nine live-work units proposed at 4220 SW 100th in Arbor Heights.


At meeting’s end, they told the project team to come back for a second round of Early Design Guidance, after an intense hour and a half of comments, questions, and concerns.

The project’s assigned city planner Tami Garrett asked if anyone had questions before the meeting – and they did. About parking, and even about who the board members were and how they were appointed. (Like the city’s other DRBs, they are volunteers, appointed by the City Council. When there’s an opening, it’s announced publicly, with a call for applications.)

Three were present – Matt Zinski as chair, with Robin Murphy (a fill-in and former member) and Alexandra Moravec.

Here’s how the meeting unfolded: Read More

ROAD-WORK ALERT UPDATE: New repair schedule for West Seattle Bridge streetlights

SDOT has just changed the schedule for closures to facilitate repairs of the streetlights toward the west end of the West Seattle Bridge. Instead of Sunday and Monday nights, here’s the new plan:

Work to repair street lights on the Fauntleroy Expressway (West Seattle Freeway), planned for next week has been rescheduled from overnight hours to daytime. The work will occur Tuesday and Wednesday, January 10-11, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. If the work has not been completed in those two days, the work will continue Thursday, January 12.

Westbound work will occur between 9 a.m. and noon on these days, and will require the closure of the Admiral Way exit. Motorists who would use this exit are asked to consider taking the Harbor Ave SW/Avalon Way SW exit instead.

Eastbound work will occur between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on these days, during which the eastbound curb lane will be closed. The closure will extend from approximately where the roadway turns in and out of West Seattle to the Delridge Way SW onramp.

Meantime, the unrelated WSDOT closures of northbound Highway 99 north of the WS Bridge are still on the same schedule originally announced, Friday night into Saturday morning and Saturday night into Sunday morning – details here.

Expanded West Seattle YMCA opens Friday


The newly expanded West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) just got the final inspection clearance, and it will open tomorrow morning! That’s the word from Joleen Post at the Y. She and Josh Sutton gave us a sneak peek this afternoon. Above, the new front/entrance, now facing SW Snoqualmie Street. Inside, the new fitness center is, well, the centerpiece:


The fitness center spans 5,700 square feet and is right on the east side of the entrance hall. On the west side, a community gathering room that can hold up to 170 people (and has a kitchen):


When we stopped in, final setup was still under way – the huge reception area will have furniture in place before you see it tomorrow:


A few expansion features have a little more work to be done, such as the family changing rooms, but they’ll be ready soon. Outside the building, by the way, the parking lots WILL be open when the doors open at 5:30 tomorrow morning. And of course, some expansion features are already in use, like the ones we spotlighted back in November.

Tomorrow, one way to get your first look at the expansion is during Family Night. Or, one of the three Try It Tuesdays starting next week. Lots of special events are scheduled – see the full list here. If you’re not a member yet, you’re welcome at the special events too – and if you are considering joining, note that there are no joining fees if you sign up this month.

BACKSTORY: The groundbreaking celebration for the expansion work was just seven months ago. At that time, the Y also celebrated the designation of the block of SW Snoqualmie in front of its new entrance as a “festival street”; the first event was the last screening of last summer’s West Seattle Outdoor Movies series, and Sutton says the Y will soon put together a committee to come up with a list of events for this summer – not just the movies, but more. If you’re interested, contact him at

Another ship bound for temporary Terminal 5 stop: USNS Sgt. Matej Kocak

The Port of Seattle doesn’t know yet whether the proposal to berth USNS Bob Hope at Terminal 5 in West Seattle will be accepted. But another Military Sealift Command ship is on the way for a short stay, according to port spokesperson Peter McGraw:

(Military Sealift Command photo)

He says USNS Sgt. Matej Kocak is scheduled to arrive at T-5 next Monday and stay for about a week. It’s a “dry cargo-carrying surge sealift ship,” slightly smaller than the Bob Hope – 821 feet. According to, it’s currently docked in Tacoma. The ship is named for a World War I U.S. Marine Corps hero. It made headlines two years ago for running aground off Okinawa. During its temporary T-5 stop, it will join the soon-to-be-scrapped Matson Lurline.

Lisa Herbold begins second year as Seattle City Councilmember for West Seattle, South Park

(WSB photo, April 2016: Councilmember Herbold during brief break between appointments at a ‘district office hours’ session)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

This week marked the start of Lisa Herbold‘s second year as the first City Councilmember for District 1, West Seattle and South Park – one year since her swearing-in ceremony on January 4, 2016.

As we had done just before she took office, we invited her to sit down with us for an interview.

At the time we talked in December 2015, she had just been declared the winner of a race that had nine candidates on the primary ballot – with even more in the running before that lineup was finalized – and ended with her winning the seat by a 39-vote margin over Shannon Braddock.

Herbold won’t be up for re-election for three years. But we couldn’t resist asking, at the start of our conversation, if she is considering running for the biggest gig on this year’s city ballot.

Read More

TRAFFIC ALERT UPDATE: Viaduct onramp at 1st/Columbia open again after collision investigation

10:48 AM: As mentioned earlier in the morning traffic watch, a collision investigation at 1st/Columbia has closed the SB Alaskan Way Viaduct onramp many use to get to West Seattle from downtown. A pedestrian has life-threatening injuries, according to Seattle Fire, and Seattle Police are expected to be on scene investigating for several hours. We’ll update when there’s word it’s reopened.

11:18 AM: This is affecting transit too:

1:17 PM: SDOT has just tweeted that the investigation is over and the intersection and onramp are open again. We haven’t heard any updates about the pedestrian.

1:44 PM: On SPD Blotter, police say the incident started with a truck headed southbound on 1st colliding with a car headed west on Columbia; the pedestrian and a third vehicle were then hit.

FOLLOWUP: Comment time for land-use application at Arbor Heights charter-school site

(WSB photo from last week)

Last week, we brought you an update on the plans for remodeling and addition work at the ex-church/ex-supermarket at 9601 35th SW that is set to become charter school Summit Atlas this fall. As mentioned in our update, the formal land-use-permit application is now on file with the city, and that meant a new public-comment period would soon begin. Today’s Land Use Information Bulletin brought the official notice – see it here. If you’re interested in commenting, here’s how. The permit is required for the second phase of the project, involving a two-story addition to make more space for the school; work is expected to start soon on the first phase, which mostly involves interior remodeling of the existing building. (Our report from last August included a look at a building elsewhere in the city that the charter company already has remodeled, telling us the plan for use of the Arbor Heights space is similar.) Deadline for comments, meantime, is January 18th.

UPDATE: Death investigation after RV fire in SODO

10:09 AM: A few people have asked about the report of a person found dead after a fire under the east end of the West Seattle Bridge in SODO early today. Here’s the Seattle Fire Department news release sent to us and other media:

On Thursday, January 5, 2016, at approximately 3:20 a.m., the Seattle Fire Department responded to reports of a motor-home fire at the intersection of 1st Avenue S and S Spokane Street [map] after receiving notification from the Port of Seattle Police Department.

Firefighters arrived to heavy smoke under the [Spokane Street] viaduct and immediately began firefighting efforts. During the search, firefighters located a deceased adult inside the vehicle. A secondary search concluded there were no additional occupants and the fire was under control by 3:29 a.m.

Fire Investigation Unit members are currently investigating the cause and estimated damages for this incident. Seattle Police Department were also on scene.

This is outside the Southwest Precinct‘s jurisdiction; we’re checking with SPD media relations for any additional information on the death investigation.

10:39 AM: Just went to the spot where this happened; it is just east of the 1st/Spokane intersection. The RV (shown in a Seattle Times photo here) has already been towed, leaving behind only some debris and broken glass.

FRIDAY NOTE: The Medical Examiner’s list of cases for today includes what is apparently this one, an SPD-investigated death that has been ruled accidental, the result of smoke inhalation. The victim was identified as 37-year-old Daniel Jackson.

West Seattle Thursday: Design Review doubleheader and more…

January 5, 2017 9:09 am
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 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(Photo by Long Bach Nguyen, looking south over West Seattle this past Tuesday)

From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

FAMILY STORY TIME: 10:30 am at Southwest Library, optimal for ages 1-5. Free as always. (35th SW/SW Henderson)

DESIGN REVIEW DOUBLEHEADER: Two projects go before the Southwest Design Review Board tonight at the Senior Center/Sisson Building – at 6:30 pm, the first look at the nine live-work units proposed at 4220 SW 100th in Arbor Heights (the design packet is here), and at 8 pm, the second look at an apartment building proposed for 3039 SW Avalon Way (the design packet is here). Both will include chances for public comment. (4217 SW Oregon)

EARLY DAYS SUPPORT GROUP: Evening sessions of this support group for parents of babies up to 1 year old are 6:30-8:30 pm at In Tandem Midwifery. Details in our calendar listing. (4522 44th SW)

NORTH HIGHLINE UNINCORPORATED AREA COUNCIL: If you live/work in White Center or other parts of the unincorporated area just south/east of West Seattle, this is your community council, and you’re invited to tonight’s 7 pm meeting at the North Highline Fire District’s HQ. Here’s what’s on the agenda. (1243 SW 112th)

READ THE KORAN IN 4 WEEKS: The next 4-week session of First Lutheran Church of West Seattle Pastor Ron Marshall‘s long-running class starts tonight, 7 pm; details are in our calendar listing, including how to check if there’s still room. (4105 California SW)

SEE OUR FULL CALENDAR for more of what’s up tonight, tomorrow, this weekend, and beyond!


(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

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

7:01 AM: Good morning! No incidents in/from West Seattle reported so far. Weather-wise, it’s even colder this morning – low 20s right now in Seattle, and the colder-than-normal (but dry) weather will continue at least through tomorrow.

ROAD CLOSURE ALERTS: Four closures coming up in the days/nights ahead, as published here last night – two closures of northbound Highway 99, Friday night into Saturday morning and Saturday night into Sunday morning, and then two involving part of the west end of the West Seattle Bridge, Sunday night into Monday morning and Monday night into Tuesday morning. Full details of both sets are here.

8:59 AM: Per scanner, police are responding to a crash reported in the West Seattle HS area (3000 block of California). No one hurt, no traffic-blocking, but the emergency response could change that, so we’re mentioning it.

10 AM: If you’re heading toward the Viaduct downtown, avoid the 1st/Columbia entrance – there is an incident there reported to involve vehicles and a seriously injured pedestrian.