West Seattle, Washington
(Seattle Channel video of PLUZ committee meeting Tuesday. Design Review discussion starts 1 hour, 53 minutes in)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
If the city’s Design Review process is dramatically overhauled, as currently proposed, it could cut one or two months off the time it takes a development to get through the permitting process. The speed-it-up aspect was touted at the start of the mayor’s announcement earlier this month that the proposal was ready to go public.
But is that the most important goal? That’s one of the questions being considered by the City Council’s Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee, which got its second briefing Tuesday on the proposed Design Review changes.
They were told the all-volunteer Design Review Boards around the city have a backlog (although here in West Seattle, for example, as of this writing, the Southwest Design Review Board has only one project on its calendar, the September 7th review of 2222 SW Barton (the official notice was published today, but we reported on the scheduling two weeks ago).
One reason for scrutiny of the proposed changes: Design Review remains the only part of the project-vetting process that requires public meetings for some projects. If these changes pass, fewer projects will have to go through Design Review – and most of those that do will have fewer, if any, meetings. The overall changes are summarized in this council-staff memo:
1. Require early community engagement by applicants with the community;
2. Modify the thresholds above which design review is required. To ensure consistent application, thresholds will be based on the total square footage in a building instead of dwelling unit counts, use and zone;
3. Establish new thresholds to determine the type of design review required based on site and project characteristics;
4. Change the composition of design review boards (DRBs) to replace the general community interest seat with a second local residential/community interest seat and allow more than one Get Engaged member to participate on the boards; and
5. Modify and update other provisions related to design review.
At Tuesday’s briefing, city staffers focused on two components – the “new thresholds” and the “early community engagement.” The latter would in effect replace the first public meeting for some projects – with a new type of “outreach” that developers will be expected to arrange.
7:06 PM: Feel like dancing? The east lawn at Hiawatha Community Center is doing dance-floor duty right now with The Disco Ballz performing @ the Admiral Neighborhood Association‘s second-to-last Summer Concerts @ Hiawatha show. Of course, it’s also OK to just sit there and listen, whatever your preferred self-provided seating might be:
The show’s on until 8 – while Hiawatha’s official address is 2700 California SW, the east lawn is along Walnut, south of Lander.
ADDED 8:05 PM: Some video from their version of “Boogie Oogie Oogie,” the disco classic by A Taste of Honey:
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) August 18, 2017
Yes, people got up and danced! One more video clip to come with that (added – here it is):
And a photo:
If you can’t quite see her, the guy in the middle has a tiny dancing partner. Speaking of tiny dancers –
next week, the season finale for this free concert series – with co-sponsors including WSB – will bring them out in abundance, for the ever-popular kindie rock of Caspar Babypants (6:30 pm Thursday, August 24th).
Just announced by SDOT:
Summer break is winding down, and next month Seattle’s youth head back to school. The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is launching Operation TREE-IAGE (Triage) to make sure that the city’s Safe Routes to School locations are clear of overgrown vegetation so that students have a safe and clear walking path. This important safety project will prune trees and vegetation along school routes to improve safety as part of Vision Zero so that drivers have clear visibility of traffic control signs such as STOP, CROSSING and SPEED LIMIT. Crews will be targeting areas around Seattle’s 59 public elementary schools.
Beginning Monday August 14, through Friday August 18, 6 teams of SDOT inspectors began inspecting routes along Seattle School District elementary schools looking for areas where trees or other vegetation blocks the visibility of school zone signs, beacons, signals, and sidewalks.
Beginning Thursday August 17th, SDOT staff began notifying adjacent property owners if their sidewalk was partially blocked by vegetation.
On August 21 through September 1, SDOT and contractor crews will focus along these school routes to prune overgrowth before classes begin this fall to clear sidewalks for students who walk to school, and make sure all traffic control signs, signals and beacons are free of overgrowth so drivers can adjust their speeds accordingly.
All major tree pruning operations will be overseen by an ISA certified arborist (as required by City Ordinance). Most SDOT gardeners are ISA Certified Arborists and/or Certified Horticulturists. All pruning crews will include experienced Urban Forestry Gardeners to ensure the best outcomes.
SDOT will also be engaging Seattle residents to share information on tree trimming and vegetation maintenance requirements in the right-of-way. In addition, SDOT is working with Seattle Department of Construction and Inspection to educate residents of the City’s weeds and vegetation ordinance.
Questions? 206-684-TREE or Seattle.Trees@seattle.gov.
By Judy Pickens
Special to West Seattle Blog
The Ugandan library that started as an ambitious idea in West Seattle is now open for business.
The 200-square-foot library, stocked with nearly 5,000 donated books, opened July 24 in the Hope of Children and Women Victims of Violence compound in Ndejje Central Zone south of Kampala, where English is commonly spoken. Run by a small staff backed by refugees and volunteers, the non-profit supports people traumatized by violence and extreme poverty with education, health care, and social entrepreneurship. Most are refugee children from South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Congo, and other African countries.
Alina Guyon, going into her junior year at Holy Names Academy, spearheaded “Libraries for All,” from writing the business plan to stocking the shelves. Long interested in the plight of refugees, she chose the project for the impact it would have and as a way to earn her Girl Scout Gold Award.
The All the Sky Foundation got the ball rolling by offering Alina a $25,000 grant toward expenses. She put out a call in December for book donations, with VAIN Hair Salon as the principal drop-off point for West Seattle residents. Fauntleroy Church UCC and Hope Lutheran School donated by the boxful. Alki Lumber and Home Depot came through with building supplies and Better Built Barns in Salem, Oregon, signed on to prefabricate the building. Gifts from family members and friends rounded out the budget.
A shipping container left West Seattle in mid-April, packed with 8,000 pounds of building components and books. Alina, her mother Sheryl Guyon, and builders Patrick Anderson and Justin Laughery then finalized plans to meet up with the container in mid-July in Kampala.
After several days on site to get acquainted with the refugee agency and area, Alina and Sheryl faced the unexpected challenge of getting customs to release the container. A little assertiveness with “higher-ups” ended the standoff, leaving the crew only three and a half days to assemble and stock the library.
Each day was long and hot and the paint was barely dry when they hung the curtains right before the opening celebration.
Uganda has the fastest-growing refugee population in Africa, and violence and protracted poverty deprive many children of an education.
Through newly appointed librarian Alice (above), a 19-year-old refugee from the Congo who spent a year concentrating on learning English, Hope of Children and Women Victims of Violence will sustain free access to the library’s resources and offer movie screenings and other community events to foster literacy.
“None of this would have been possible without all the amazing support I received from people all along this journey,” said Alina. “A BIG thank you to everyone!”
Visit libraries4all.com to read more about this project and subscribe to receive updates.
Today we’re welcoming Alki Kids Place as a new WSB sponsor:
Alki Kids Place (AKP) is a popular children’s activities program sponsored by Alki United Church of Christ (Alki UCC), located at 6115 SW Hinds, in the heart of Alki.
Enrollment is now open for AKP’s school year program, beginning Wednesday, September 6, for children aged 5 through 12, at alkikidsplace.org.
Alki Kids Place was founded in 2008 as a ministry of Alki UCC. Since its inception, the program has served hundreds of Alki/West Seattle families seeking quality, affordable programs in a safe, caring, and nurturing environment. In addition to the School Year component, AKP offers a summer day camp and expanded sessions when Seattle schools close for the day.
Cynthia Barrientos is the new director of Alki Kids Place. An accomplished educator with extensive experience in children’s programs, Cynthia notes that she is “delighted with this opportunity to serve our community.” She began her career as an elementary classroom teacher in Auburn. She has also served as Director of Seattle’s K-12 Homeschool Resource Center and as Director of Extended Day Programs for Westside School, where she facilitated after-school activities. Most recently she served as school administrator for Alki UCC’s partner synagogue, Kol HaNeshamah.
As director of Alki Kids Place, Cynthia says her goal is “to ensure an inclusive, safe, creative and playful environment with an emphasis on mindfulness activities and environmental stewardship.” She looks forward to meeting AKP parents and families at an “Alki Kids Place Open House,” scheduled for Thursday, August 31, from 4:00 to 6:00 pm at Alki UCC. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We thank Alki Kids Place for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
Three reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch so far today:
DUMPED CARRIER: Reader Datamuse wonders if you recognize that Sears X-Cargo carrier, which they found dumped in their Highland Park yard Sunday morning; neighborhood-level inquiries yielded no information so they’re sharing the photo West Seattle-wide here. P.S. Datamuse adds, “If there was anything in it before it was dumped, it’s gone now.” If it might be yours, let us know.
APARTMENT-GARAGE BREAK-IN: From a Junction 47 resident (California/Alaska/42nd):
I heard odd noises in our alleyway around midnight last night. I looked out my window to try and figure out what it was coming from. It was hard to see, because my apartment window can’t see the ground of the alleyway, but I was able to deduce that 2 guys were opening the resident garage door with a jack. I called the police and explained the situation to them as they were trying to open the door. I stayed on the phone with the operator continuing to give information and updates as we waited for an SPD unit to arrive. Unfortunately, the 2 guys were able to get the door open, get inside for some time (while 1 stood outside to watch guard), and drive off in their car before the unit arrived.
I was pretty disappointed with SPD, because they had ample time to catch these guys – at least 30 minutes to respond. I stayed up until a little after 1am to see when the unit would show up, but never saw any police show up in the alleyway.
While disappointed, I don’t blame the SPD. I understand they must allocate their scarce resources carefully, and this call was not life-threatening, so it probably ended up low in their priority – probably even lower, once the crime was over, and the guys were gone. That said, I think the operator could have been more clear about ETA of the unit. If I had realized it would take 30+ minutes for a unit to arrive, I might have yelled out the window to try to scare them away and prevent the break-in.
I went down into the garage this morning to see if there were any cars broken into. I did not see any, but did see a bike rack had been sawed into and a bike was stolen from the bike room. This is the 4th time that our bike room has been broken into (that I am aware of).
SUSPECTED PACKAGE-THEFT ATTEMPT: From Nicole on 46th SW between Juneau and Raymond in Seaview:
(Wednesday) I witnessed a man and a woman entering the yard of our neighbor across the street, in an apparent attempt to take packages from their front porch. This was around 12:20 pm.
They must have seen me/someone because they decided against it and ran to their car.
My husband was able to run out and get their license plate # as they sped away heading S on 46th Ave.
The car was a newer white Honda Accord; the plate number, which started with AA, was provided to police. Nicole adds, “Our next-door neighbor had her packages stolen a few weeks back.”
Imagine not having to cross the Duwamish River to get to your job. There are just a few ways to make that dream come true – telecommute, start your own (local) business, or … get a West Seattle job. Yes, they do exist. We showcase them in the West Seattle Jobs Offered section of the WSB Forums (listings are free for local businesses) – and now, the first-ever Westside Job Fair is in the works! Presented by the West Seattle Junction Association and the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce (and co-sponsored by WSB), the job fair is set for 10 am-1 pm Wednesday, September 6th, at Great American Diner and Bar in The Junction (4752 California SW). Bring your resumé, because participants – the list, so far (more to come), is here – will be interviewing on the spot.
Highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
COMMUNITY CLEANUP: Seattle Neighborhood Group is organizing a community cleanup starting near the Delridge Library at 10:30 am. (5423 Delridge Way SW)
WADING POOLS AND SPRAYPARK OPEN TODAY: Lincoln Park wading pool, 11 am-8 pm; Highland Park spraypark, 11 am-8 pm; Hiawatha wading pool, noon-6:30 pm; EC Hughes wading pool, noon-7 pm. (Find addresses here)
SONGWRITING: Kids are invited to write a song based on their favorite picture books! 1:30-2:30 pm at High Point Library. (35th SW/SW Raymond)
END-OF-SUMMER PARTY: 3 pm at West Seattle (Admiral) Library. Games, awards, refreshments – all ages welcome. (2306 42nd SW)
SUMMER CONCERTS AT HIAWATHA: 6:30-8 pm, the Disco Ballz boogie back in time to the ’70s on the east lawn at Hiawatha Community Center, as previewed here. Free – bring your own chair/blanket/dancing shoes. (Walnut/Lander)
PARENTS OF TODDLERS: Support group for parents of 1- to 4-year-olds meets at In Tandem Midwifery, 6:30 pm – drop in or pre-register; info here. (4522 44th SW)
WHITE CENTER VIOLENCE PREVENTION SUMMIT: Happening in South Delridge, 6:30 pm, King County Sheriff John Urquhart and County Council Chair Joe McDermott top the bill for the White Center Violence Prevention Summit. Presented by the White Center Chamber of Commerce at Speed of Sound Studios. (9409 Delridge Way SW)
LATIN AMERICAN MUSIC … with Correo Aereo at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)
Family and friends will gather on August 25 to pay tribute to Nancy A. Qualls, and are sharing this remembrance with the community:
NANCY ANN QUALLS, 5/30/1946 TO 7/17/2017
Nancy was born to Leolla and William Qualls at Providence Hospital in Seattle. Most of her life was spent in West Seattle. In high school she was involved in Spades, a volunteer program that assisted handicapped kids to go on outings. This experience drew her to become a special-education teacher. She attended Central Washington University in Ellensburg. While she was there, her father suffered a heart attack and she had to leave school to help support the family. Her time working at Kentucky Fried Chicken convinced her to return to college to finish her degree after his recovery.
She took a teaching position at Woodside Elementary in Burien, where she also lived. Teaching was something she loved, and she enjoyed the companionship of the others there. She met and married her husband during this time. He accepted a forestry position in Madras, OR, and Nancy commuted back and forth to Ellensburg to pursue her Masters degree. At the age of 28 on one of her trips, she had a horrible car accident that left her brain-injured and paralyzed on the right side. Her mother cared for her in Madras, and when her husband left her, she moved back to Seattle.
It was due to her strong and stubborn nature and incredible willpower that she recovered enough to walk again. Eventually she was able to live a mostly independent life with the help of her family and friends. As she aged, she needed to use a powered wheelchair to get around. She was busy going full speed ahead in her chair; taking the bus to the Junction, swimming at the YMCA, visiting Starbucks, Barnes and Noble Books, Easy Street Records, etc. She loved embroidery and drawing trees in the parks. She loved the ocean and became fascinated with Native American culture, particularly the Lakota.
After her mother died, she lived at The Kenney briefly, at Daystar Assisted Living, where she enjoyed going to Westwood Village, and lastly, Normandy Park Senior Housing. It was here she fell and broke her hip, had hip replacement, and was doing well in rehab. She took a turn for the worse and died at Highline Hospital the evening of July 17, 2017.
Join us on Friday, August 25, at 2:00 pm in the chapel at West Side Presbyterian Church, 3601 California Ave SW, for a memorial celebrating Nancy’s life.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
7:20 AM: Good morning! No current incidents reported in West Seattle or on the major outbound routes.
REPAVING CONTINUES: Day 3 of SDOT repaving SW Admiral Way between Lander and Stevens [map].
It’s been a long road for the Delridge Grocery Co-op. Is their food store getting close to reality? The “professional market study” mentioned in our update last September is in, and DGC says “the results are favorable” but – “there is a lot to think about.” They hope you can help with that by showing up for their next step: A town-hall meeting 6:30 pm Wednesday, August 30th, at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW).