West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The lower-level meeting room at The Kenney was full for tonight’s Morgan Community Association meeting, and everybody there had the chance to vote on some big decisions – including spending thousands of dollars:
MORGAN NEIGHBORHOOD FUND: MoCA has no dues but does have this fund that resulted from the settlement of the neighborhood appeal of the project that became the Viridian Apartments. In settling the appeal, its developers agreed to donate $25,000 to MoCA, though the organization was not a party to the appeal. MoCA has never done anything with the money, but now has two applications for a share of it.
Vice president Phil Tavel presented the applications – one for restoring and protecting the mural behind the California/Fauntleroy Starbucks/Peel & Press/etc. building.
(WSB file photo)
P&P (WSB sponsor) proprietor Dan Austin has been exploring the project for 2+ years; the family that owns the building has committed some money, and told Austin they have no plans to sell the building. The family says it’ll contribute $3,000; the total cost, Austin says, would be about $10,000 – $8,500 with a discount the artist has offered – and he’s applied for $5,000 from the fund.
The other proposal to spend some of the money was for contributing to the HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability Final Environmental Impact Statement citywide-coalition appeal, which MoCA and dozens of other community groups around the city are supporting. The coalition has raised about $15,000 so far; MoCA is proposing contributing $5,000 from the fund.
Tonight, award-winning writer Jesmyn Ward, visiting Seattle from Mississippi, is speaking at Benaroya Hall downtown. Local students and teachers got the chance to hear from her this morning at Chief Sealth International High School. The report is courtesy of Sealth faculty member Katie Hubert, who also shared the student-made photograph above:
Jesmyn Ward, two-time National Book Award winner, fielded questions from an assembled group of about 150 students and their teachers.
Ward, a first-generation college graduate, spoke of her youthful self’s academic drive and the encouragement she received from her parents. They wanted her to study “practical subjects” as an undergrad, but, “I didn’t feel the love, you know, when I was studying other subjects. And so, even though I thought I was disappointing my parents, I decided I would study what I love. That’s why I majored in English.”
She said her intention following graduation was to take a couple of years off, then, “take the LSAT, and do something smart with my life.” But life had other plans. “Six months after I graduated from college, my brother died. He was 19 years old, and he was coming home from work, and he was hit from behind by a drunk driver.”
“It was at that moment that everything changed for me. All these concerns I had about what people expected of me because I’d gone to college, all of a sudden those things didn’t matter any more.” She realized she didn’t have “infinite time.”
“Anyhow, I asked myself, if you die tomorrow, or next week, what did you do with your life that would give it meaning, and the immediate response was, writing. I want to write stories.”
She answered questions from students ranging from her favorite authors (James Baldwin and William Faulkner), books she found influential (As I Lay Dying and Their Eyes Were Watching God), and whether her life or formal education were more influential. (Her formal education.) She described her writing process (she doesn’t use an outline), how to combat writer’s block (do an exercise such as having two characters meet at a coffee shop), and how to end a chapter (make sure there’s tension).
Ward won her first National Book Award in 2011 for her second novel “Salvage the Bones,” and her second one in 2017 for “Sing, Unburied, Sing”; she is the first woman to win two NBAs for fiction. She also received a MacArthur “Genius Grant” last year.
Mason at the Antique Mall of West Seattle e-mailed to say burglar(s) hit the store earlier this week:
The incident occurred sometime between 11:30 pm Monday night and 6:00 am Tuesday morning at the front entrance of the Antique Mall of West Seattle (4516 California Ave SW). The intruders made their way into the store after drilling out the front-door lock. It is suspected that they did not stay long as only the front few cases were disturbed and the number of items reported to be missing is minimal. This does of course further raise concern for potential future attempts at our store and other stores in the Junction as this sort of crime is becoming more frequent.
We have re-keyed the locks and readjusted our security system. Of course we don’t keep any cash in store after hours and we suggest that other area businesses update/increase their security as well.
If you have any information for police, the incident number is 18-019526.
Today we have a semi-rare case of advance notice that a film/video crew will be in West Seattle for commercial production. This Sunday night (January 21st), between about 5 pm and 10 pm, Seattle-based StraightEIGHT will be working on California SW between SW Oregon and SW Alaska, location planner Dave Drummond tells WSB. He says he can’t disclose “what product it’s for,” but what they’ll be doing is “filming a car traveling on California between Oregon and Alaska.” (Repeatedly.) Police will be there to help them manage traffic, which will be “held” intermittently, a few minutes at a time. Drummond is doing advance work right now to talk to businesses in the area and work out other details. So in case you see the crew Sunday night – and related equipment/vehicles staging nearby – now you know!
Seattle Fire crews were on the scene of a dumpster fire in The Arroyos for several hours this morning – so, given the recent wave of suspicious dumpster fires elsewhere in the city, we asked SFD what they’d found out about this one. Just got the update from SFD spokesperson Kristin Tinsley that this one was “ruled accidental, caused by improperly discarded oil-staining rags. The material spontaneously combusted.” A neighbor says it was a construction-type dumpster.
12:54 PM: Thanks for the tips about a sizable police response on Puget Ridge, along 18th SW near SW Juneau. Police tell us they are dealing with a person believed to be in crisis who is inside a residence. They’re hoping to make contact and get them out safely.
2:54 PM: We’ve confirmed with police what neighbors reported in comments – the person is out of the house and in custody, safely, no one hurt.
Fare changes are under consideration for Sound Transit Express buses, including Route 560, which serves West Seattle. One option – a flat fare, whether you are riding the bus through one zone or two – would mean a fare increase for Route 560 and other one-zone riders:
They’re taking comments right now via a survey, via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), and by phone (866-940-4387). A public hearing is planned too – noon Thursday, February 1 in the Ruth Fisher Boardroom at Union Station (401 S. Jackson St.).
(Surf scoters in flight, photographed by Mark Wangerin)
Busy night ahead in West Seattle – the highlights:
LEARN ABOUT DELRIDGE WAY CHANGES FOR RAPIDRIDE H LINE: It’s a two-event night at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, focused on the plan to convert Metro Route 120 into the RapidRide H Line. First, 5-6:30 pm, learn from and talk with SDOT and Metro reps about possibilities not only for the bus line itself, but also changes on Delridge – rechannelization and more, as previewed here. This is a drop-in meeting. (4408 Delridge Way SW)
TALK ABOUT DELRIDGE WAY CHANGES FOR RAPIDRIDE H LINE: Second event of the night – join your neighbors and the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council to talk about community needs, concerns, and ideas about the bus route and road changes. Also at Youngstown, starting at 7 pm; all welcome. (4408 Delridge Way SW)
MORGAN COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION: 7 pm at The Kenney, quarterly meeting for MoCA, with – as previewed here – a big agenda including City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, HALA MHA, and the Lowman Beach Park seawall. See the full agenda here. All welcome. (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW)
WORDSWEST LITERARY SERIES: Nancy Pearl and Susan Landgraf are tonight’s headliners for the January edition of WordsWest Literary Series at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7 pm, as previewed here. (5612 California SW)
DENNY IMS PTSA: 7 pm PTSA meeting at Denny International Middle School, with the featured topic “Alcohol and Drug Refusal Skills.” (2601 SW Kenyon)
BASKETBALL: Girls-varsity home games tonight, both at 7:30 pm, for West Seattle High School vs. Seattle Prep (3000 California SW) and Chief Sealth International High School vs. Lakeside (2600 SW Thistle).
DEADGRASS: 8-11 pm at Parliament Tavern, featuring the music of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead. No cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
THERE’S MORE … on our complete-calendar page.
10:35 AM: Just in from Washington State Ferries – after two days on a 2-boat schedule, the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run will return to 3 boats today, now that M/V Issaquah has been cleared to return to service. WSF says it’s not yet certain exactly when the regular schedule will be restored but promises an update, which we’ll add here when we get it.
1:49 PM UPDATE: WSF says the route returned to the 3-boat schedule as of the 1:25 departure from Fauntleroy.
9:09 AM: As mentioned a short time ago in our daily morning-traffic coverage, there’s a crash at Delridge and Trenton. Turns out (thanks for the tips!) a car is on its side, so this might not clear quickly, and we’re breaking it out into a separate report. No major injuries reported – the SFD dispatch does not include a medic unit.
9:16 AM: Our crew has talked to police at the scene and reports two vehicles are involved; no one is hurt. Delridge is completely blocked at the scene just north of SW Trenton, and tow trucks have been called.
10:21 AM: Just went back to look – scene is now clear, road fully open again.
6:58 AM: Good morning. As we begin, a Seattle Fire response is arriving at a collision on the Western Avenue offramp from northbound 99/Alaskan Way Viaduct.
FERRIES: Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth continues the two-boat schedule today.
7:07 AM: Via scanner, SFD has just told dispatch that the 99-at-Western incident isn’t a crash, it’s a broken-down school bus, so their units are being dismissed.
7:56 AM: SFD medical response at 26th/Genesee.
8:50 AM: Crash at Delridge and Trenton. Avoid the area. (Note: We’re covering the crash separately, here.)
Last week we previewed an MLK Day work party for the forest at Fairmount Playfield … and forest steward Christine Deppe just sent us that photo of everyone who showed up on Monday!