day : 22/11/2017 12 results

CITY BUDGET: What’s in it for West Seattle and South Park

November 22, 2017 9:33 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle politics

(Seattle Channel video of today’s budget signing)

The two-month-long process of changing and finalizing next year’s budget ended today with Mayor Tim Burgess signing what the City Council passed a day earlier. So what’s in it for our area? Here’s how West Seattle/South Park City Councilmember Lisa Herbold – who led the budget process this year – broke it down in her weekly update:

*Funding for public safety coordinator and pedestrian/lighting improvements identified by the South Park Public Safety Task Force

*Statement of Legislative Intent report from SPD by March 16 about solutions to vehicle-noise enforcement and cruising in Alki (which could also affect Fauntleroy and Belltown)

*Expand the Ready to Work project into District 1. There are unique challenges facing immigrants and refugees living in SW Seattle. The Ready to Work model is designed to support Seattle residents who are English learners and hinges on the intensive centralized and neighborhood-based support available to these English learners. The special features of this project include level 1-3 ESL classes, 12 hours a week of classes focused on supporting English learners to succeed in a professional environment, intensive case management, and curriculum focused on digital and financial literacy. The Ready to Work expansion is currently in its planning phase and is slated to open in April of 2018.

*Funding to plan and design walkable, bikeable path uniting the Georgetown and South Park neighborhoods to enhance walkability between Georgetown and South Park’s historic “Main Streets” and connect the heart of the Duwamish Valley

*Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD): expansion of LEAD to North Precinct, and to begin taking referrals from the SW and South Precincts, and a Statement of Legislative Intent to expand LEAD citywide in 2019

*Addition of $1 million for participatory budgeting (done through the Neighborhood Parks and Streets Fund), which, in 2017, funded projects in Delridge, Westwood/Highland Park, High Point, and South Park

*Vacant Building Monitoring Program: While working on legislation earlier this year to modify maintenance and demolition standards related to vacant buildings I worked to add an amendment that would require the department to present the Council with legislation by March 31, 2018. Requiring property owners to register vacant and foreclosed properties allows the City to register properties to ensure they are maintained and secure, and are not a nuisances to the public. The City has experienced a significant increase of complaints about vacant buildings – between 2013 and 2016 we saw an increase of 58%. Of those, District 1 has the second highest amount of complaints at 189 between 2013 and 2016.

That is only part of Councilmember Herbold’s budget wrapup (which you can read in full here). She also lists key points under these headings:

-Human Service and Homelessness
-Public Safety
-Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development and Arts Committee
-Fiscal responsibility

And finally, she writes about what’s next for the “head tax” proposal – explaining the resolution that the council passed, days after their 5-4 vote against including it in next year’s budget:

Often, we talk about economic prosperity not lifting all boats, but the proposition we are faced with — and the reason the Employee Head Tax was proposed — is because economic prosperity has not only failed to help everybody, but this economic prosperity has hurt some people, as noted in the Mayor’s proposed budget. I believe that the beneficiaries of that economic prosperity must do more to address the impacts of prosperity that has not been shared by all.

In seeking a budget that had, at its core, a principle of fiscal responsibility and sustainability, I proposed a progressive, ongoing revenue source to support a surge in affordable housing production – to more than double the units built with Housing Levy funds – to meet the great need of people living without homes. Instead of passing that ongoing revenue source, the Council passed Resolution 31782. This resolution requires the Council to assemble a task force to be appointed by December 11. This task force will develop recommendations for a dedicated progressive revenue source to support people experiencing or at high-risk for homelessness and to raise no less than $25 million a year. This task force will deliver recommendations by February 26, 2018, and the Council will take legislative action by March 26. 2018. This is a huge win for those who have been waiting for something big and bold to address the city’s civil emergency on homelessness.

The full list of council changes to the mayor-proposed budget is here.

CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Charge filed against man accused of breaking into sleeping family’s home

November 22, 2017 7:16 pm
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 |   Crime | West Seattle news

One count of residential burglary was filed today against 20-year-old Jorge Cruz-Benitez, arrested after a burglary in Highland Park on Saturday morning. As reported here on Monday, one of the home’s residents, David, widely shared his story of being awakened by his niece screaming after one of her three young children told her about the intruder. He then confronted the man, ordered him to leave, finally pushed him out of the house, and then led police to him after driving around and finding the suspect near South Seattle College. Court documents say Cruz-Benitez told police after his arrest that he thought he had entered a friend’s house, though he also said he hadn’t been to that friend’s house before; the victims told police that they later noticed things had been taken out of closets in the house, and that their garage had been gone through. The charging documents say Cruz-Benitez has a criminal history including second-degree robbery as a juvenile, and domestic-violence assault earlier this year. He remains in King County Jail in lieu of $30,000 bail, and is scheduled for arraignment December 6th.

CLOSE CALL: Street blocked after utility pole’s mystery fall

FIRST REPORT, 5:02 PM: Police are blocking 24th SW just south of SW Webster [map], across from Home Depot’s south driveway, right now because a utility pole fell. It fell toward, but between, two of the multiplex residential buildings on the west side of 24th.

No one was hurt. The weather was calm at the time, so the cause of the fall is a mystery so far. (Thanks to the person who texted us about this!)

7:34 PM: Just went by to check; crews are still there working. Also, per the City Light outage map, 90 customers in the vicinity are without electricity.

About the police response at West Seattle Stadium

We’ve received several questions about a police response in the parking lot at West Seattle Stadium. SFD was originally dispatched on an “assault with weapons” call at 3:15 pm; a person was found dead inside a car, and SPD just told us at the scene that it’s a suspected case of suicide. They are awaiting the Medical Examiner.

If you or someone you know are having thoughts of self-harm, the Crisis Clinic’s 24-hour hotline is is 206-461-3222.

West Seattle church’s townhouses-plus-park project hits a HALA hitch

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Four years after the West Seattle Church of the Nazarene initiated a project to build six townhouses on part of its open-space property, the requested rezone is finally coming to the City Council, with a committee vote expected next Monday night.

It aims to build more housing than original zoning would allow. But in a twist, the Mandatory Housing Affordability component of HALA – the city’s campaign to encourage exactly that – could put a hitch in the plan, though MHA hasn’t been imposed citywide yet, and wasn’t even proposed until long after this project started making its way through the system.

Read More

TREE TIME: More holiday arrivals in West Seattle

November 22, 2017 3:17 pm
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 |   Holidays | West Seattle news

Looking for West Seattle Christmas trees? What you see above are some of the ones that arrived today at Junction True Value (4747 44th SW; WSB sponsor), and we’ve updated the tree section of the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide. Their selection includes Noble, Grand, and Fraser Firs. Trees also have arrived and are available today at West Seattle Nursery (California/Brandon; Noble Firs first, more to come) and Home Depot (Delridge/Orchard). We also noticed while out this afternoon that the tree lots are being set up at Tony’s (35th/Barton) and the Alki space that is summertime home to Wheel Fun Rentals (253- Alki SW). Holy Rosary‘s lot (42nd/Dakota) opens Friday. More tree info in the Holiday Guide – and if you notice someplace missing, or want to add information, just e-mail – thank you!

P.S. We include wreath sales, too – for example, the legendary Pathfinder K-8 handmade wreaths, raising money for outdoor education, will be available in The Junction for three Sundays starting this weekend (November 26th) during the Farmers’ Market, 10 am-2 pm.

WEST SEATTLE WEATHER: Rainbow after the rain

Thanks to Kyle Asplund for sending the rainbow photo. It really is partly sunny out right now and unseasonably warm – 64 degrees at the top of the hour at Boeing Field! Current forecast is for a showery, breezy Thanksgiving, not this warm but above average temps.

FOLLOWUP: State grant denied for Highland Park Way roundabout, but SDOT says design will continue

(Early design for proposed Highland Park Way roundabout)

Just in from Highland Park Action Committee co-chair Michele Witzki – word from SDOT is that the hoped-for state grant to help pay for a roundabout at Highland Park Way and Holden did not come through. Witzki forwarded this response she received from SDOT’s Jim Curtin, after asking for an update on the grant status:

Somehow, we did not receive the grant for this project. We are extraordinarily disappointed and I know you are as well. I have raised this issue to leadership here at SDOT. We will be meeting soon to discuss our next steps. As you know, we have allocated more than $200k in local funds for design and survey/design will continue into 2018. I hope to have more information soon.

As reported here in September, there was big support for the $1 million-plus state Transportation Improvement Board grant that SDOT had sought to supplement $500,000 in money that it had allocated. Part of that had been announced by Councilmember Lisa Herbold during last May’s Find It, Fix It Walk in Highland Park – after Witzki recounted the long history of problems at the intersection and disappointment in trying to get it fixed:

The roundabout was first proposed by Highland Park community advocates almost five years ago, as a way to calm the dangerous and increasingly busy intersection at the top of the Highland Park Way hill.

West Seattle Wednesday: Cowboys in the Campfire; Buckets of Rain; poems and stories; pre-Thanksgiving giving; more…

November 22, 2017 9:49 am
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 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(Male bufflehead, photographed by Mark Wangerin)

What’s ahead for the rest of your Thanksgiving Eve Wednesday, from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide (where you’ll find all the Thanksgiving info you need – restaurants, grocery stores, coffee, workouts, free dinners, more) and year-round Event Calendar:

LAST-MINUTE TURKEY DONATIONS: Both the West Seattle Food Bank (35th/Morgan) and White Center Food Bank (8th/108th) are open – WCFB until 5 pm, WSFB until 7 pm.

BABY STORY TIME: 11:30 am-noon at High Point Library, bring your baby (up to 1 year old) for stories, songs, and rhymes. (3411 SW Raymond)

COMMUNITY MIC WITH POETRYBRIDGE: You are the featured reader at this month’s Poetrybridge event at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. “Featuring your stories and poems of gratitude, generosity, and renewal.” (5612 California SW)

COWBOYS IN THE CAMPFIRE: Ticketed show (buy yours here) at Easy Street Records, 7 pm, featuring Tommy Stinson (The Replacements/Guns N Roses/Bash & Pop) and partner-in-crime Chip Roberts (Uncle Sippy). All ages. More info in our calendar listing. (California/Alaska)

BUCKETS OF RAIN, WITH FOOD DRIVE: As in, food drive for the West Seattle Food Bank. Bring nonperishable food to donate and you get in free to the 8 pm Buckets of Rain show at Parliament Tavern. Otherwise, $5 cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)

Something for the calendar or Holiday Guide? E-mail is the best way to get us the info – no posters, flyers, or attachments needed, just the basic what/when/who/where, – thank you!

Service planned next Tuesday for Donald E. Gochnour, 1934-2017

November 22, 2017 9:00 am
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 |   Obituaries | West Seattle news

Family and friends will gather next Tuesday in memory of Don Gochnour, and are sharing this remembrance with the community:

Donald Earl Gochnour, 83, of Seattle died on November 16th, 2017, at his home in West Seattle.

He was born in Wenatchee on August 17, 1934, to Albert Ross and Helen Gochnour. Don was a longtime West Seattle resident who worked for Boeing and retired in 1996.

Don was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting and fishing as well as family camping trips. He loved to bring laughter to others by telling them his jokes and playing jokes on them.

Don is survived by his wife of 61 years, Inge; daughters Judy, Linda (Jim Clark), and son Dan (Julie); grandchildren Eric (Cheryl), Troy, Heidi (LaMarr), Chris, Amy (Justin Fowler), and Brian; and great-grandchildren Marcell, Josiah, and Hope.

There will be a graveside service at Forest Lawn in West Seattle on 11/28/2017 at 2 pm (friends and family are welcome to attend), and a celebration of his life will be held at a later date.

Donations in his name may be made to The American Cancer Society.

Condolences may be left in Don’s online guestbook at Arrangements entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Home of West Seattle.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thanksgiving Eve Wednesday watch, with holiday weekend alerts

November 22, 2017 6:58 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

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

6:58 AM: Good morning. No incidents reported in/from West Seattle so far.

HOLIDAY 4-DAY WEEKEND ALERTS: Before you check out for the holiday, here are the alerts for the days ahead:
No Water Taxi on Thursday/Friday
Metro buses on Sunday schedule for Thanksgiving Day, “reduced weekday” schedule Friday
Sound Transit buses are on Sunday schedule for Thanksgiving Day, weekday schedule Friday
My Macy’s Holiday Parade on Friday morning will close some downtown streets (and will include some West Seattleites!)

NEXT WEEK: Anti-bias educator visits West Seattle to help parents ‘have courageous conversations’

November 22, 2017 4:00 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

If you are, or ever have been, involved with West Seattle Cooperative Preschools, you know they’re about educating parents as well as kids. The organization’s next free parent-education event is coming up next week, and in case you haven’t already seen it in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, here’s a preview: Speaker Debbie LeeKeenan will lead a workshop one week from tonight (November 29th), to “provide families with a framework and practical tips on how to respond to children’s comments and questions about differences and how to have courageous conversations about potentially challenging topics.” LeeKeenan is co-author of “Leading Anti-bias Early Childhood Programs: A Guide for Change.” You can register for the workshop here; it starts at 7 pm next Wednesday, and is happening at Alki UCC (6115 SW Hinds).