West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
At the same meeting where the West Seattle Transportation Coalition heard about Washington State Ferries‘ work on a plan looking ahead to 2040, the WSTC board added a member who won’t even be middle-aged when that year arrives.
West Seattle High School senior Sam Cleary ran for and won a spot on the WSTC board, with plans to serve at least through the end of the school year. He said that seniors are expected to get involved in something about which they are passionate, and transportation is his chosen topic.
Board chair Michael Taylor-Judd disclosed that board elections are running behind the schedule laid out in the group’s bylaws, but due to some members’ absences, they won’t be able to hold more voting until next month’s meeting. Deb Barker noted that while she intends to remain on the board, she will be stepping out of the secretary role.
LOOKING INTO WASHINGTON STATE FERRIES’ FUTURE: WSF planning manager Ray Deardorf was the guest – arriving an hour late because of the post-Viaduct-crash downtown traffic snarl.
(WSB file photo)
Love going out on the beach at low tide to explore? Consider doing it this summer as a volunteer beach naturalist helping others learn about our shore and its wildlife. Here’s the announcement from the Seattle Aquarium:
Why do barnacles stand on their heads? What do sea stars like to eat? How do moon snails lay their eggs? Learn to answer these and other fun questions by volunteering as a Seattle Aquarium Beach Naturalist this summer. Naturalists receive training in the spring, and then spend three low-tide days educating beach visitors about inter-tidal life and beach etiquette at one of twelve Puget Sound beaches. Orientation for new naturalists will be held on Tuesday, March 13 at 6:30 PM. If interested, please register here or contact the Seattle Aquarium by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 206-693-6214.
The beaches visited by the volunteers usually include two in West Seattle, at Constellation and Lincoln Parks.
Next Monday, the full City Council has the final vote on what’s known as the “controls and incentives” agreement that’s the final step of the city-landmark process for the Hamm Building on the NW corner of California/Alaska in the West Seattle Junction. That follows a committee discussion and vote this past Wednesday that had one twist of note.
At 16:15 into that Seattle Channel video of the Finance and Neighborhoods Committee meeting, the committee gets briefed on the agreements for a new landmark downtown and for the Hamm Building (known officially as the Crescent-Hamm Building for two of its original tenants). The agreement finalizes what part of the property is protected – “the exterior of the building.” (You can read it here.) At the table with Councilmembers Sally Bagshaw and Bruce Harrell, and Erin Doherty from the city Landmark Preservation staff, was Tracey Hsia, a member of the family that owns the Hamm Building. Before the vote, Harrell said he’s always interested in feedback on the landmarking process. Hsia replied by saying that her family, which has owned the 92-year-old building for more than 35 years, “kind of felt like we were attacked” – the landmark designation was proposed by community organizations, and had so much support that they felt there was “no way we could fight it.” She stressed, however, that the family had, and has, no plans to make changes (aside from having a new tenant moving into the ex-Corner Pocket space next month, as noted here).
Also speaking at Wednesday’s meeting (at 5:42 in the video, during the public-comment period) was Jeff McCord, executive director of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, which played a key role in the process of pursuing landmark designations for the Hamm Building and for the Campbell Building across the street. Monday’s final vote is expected during the 2 pm full council meeting at City Hall.
Interested in helping launch a neighborhood dinner club in West Seattle? Lee Kellett is leading a kickoff meeting tomorrow and you’re invited. Don’t bring food – this is just about talking through the idea, and signing up if you’re interested after hearing about the proposed format. 4-5:30 pm Saturday (January 27th) in the Rotary Room next to the entrance of the West Seattle YMCA (3622 SW Snoqualmie; WSB sponsor). You’re also welcome to bring ideas for the club’s name as well as “a copy of a favorite recipe that we might include in a future menu” – optional, not mandatory.
Still trying to grasp what the Housing Affordability and Livability Act (HALA)-related upzoning proposal is about? The slide deck above (also viewable here) might help – it is from the agenda for Monday morning’s meeting of the City Council “select committee” that is starting its official work on the citywide upzoning proposal for HALA’s Mandatory Housing Affordability. The proposal includes upzoning in “urban villages” (West Seattle has four – Junction, Admiral, Morgan, and Westwood-Highland Park) as well as all commercial/multifamily property. The document’s title dubs it the “megabriefing.” All councilmembers are on the “select committee,” which meets at 10:30 am Monday at City Hall, with a public-comment period scheduled as part of the meeting. They’re expected to work on the plan at least into late summer before a vote.
P.S. If you’re a big fan of the small print, the full ordinance, as first proposed, is among the links you’ll find here.
FIRST REPORT, 11:53 AM: According to a PA announcement our crew just heard at Chief Sealth International High School, “shelter in place” has just ended. This comes as police were called to the campus again today, one day after what was described as a “disturbance” brought them there and led to “shelter in place” throughout Thursday afternoon. We don’t know yet if today’s incident – in which a juvenile was taken into custody – is related to what happened yesterday, an incident for which a letter was sent home to parents last night. While it was not sent directly to WSB, several parents sent it to us late last night and early this morning, and we were working on a followup as we got word of today’s incident. The letter from principal Aida Fraser-Hammer:
Dear Chief Sealth International School families:
Teenagers have a complex social life, and sometimes situations that occur in the evening impact the climate of a school community in following days. Today, several students continued a dispute about an incident that happened several days previously. As the dispute escalated, a fight ensued and a larger disturbance was created that required additional Security Office and Seattle Police Department (SPD) support. The school partnered with SPD as we responded together to the dispute. SPD continued their presence through the end of school to ensure that students were safely dismissed.
Please know that we take safety for our students very seriously. District procedures were followed and the situation was resolved quickly and safely.
We are committed to doing everything we can to keep our students safe. We will continue to work with our students on skills to resolve conflict peacefully. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. I will be happy to speak with families and guardians directly.
District spokesperson Kim Schmanke confirmed to WSB that “procedures” yesterday included being in “shelter in place” throughout the afternoon as a “precaution.” While SFD was called to the campus at 11:30 am during yesterday’s incident, they tell us today that no one needed to be transported. We had a request out for the police report on the Thursday incident and also are seeking more information on what happened today, and will add anything more we find out.
ADDED 3:45 PM: SPD has just told us that the report from Thursday’s incident is not yet available but, according to police spokesperson Det. Mark Jamieson, “It was a fight disturbance between several students … This appeared to have started over an unreported incident off campus a week prior. There were no arrests made and officers were around campus at the end of school to ensure no further incidents occurred. ” Regarding today’s incident, Det. Jamieson adds: “Today there was a second disturbance involving several students at Chief Sealth. This appeared to be a continuation of yesterday’s disturbance. One 17-year-old male was arrested. The fight broke up and school resumed.”
P.S. The Chief Sealth PTSA’s annual safety meeting – at which topics include the difference between shelter-in-place and lockdown – is coming up on February 7th, 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House High Point (6400 Sylvan Way SW).
ADDED 6:34 PM: Just received from principal Fraser-Hammer, the letter that has gone to families tonight:
Dear Chief Sealth International School families:
I want to notify you of another unfortunate event that occurred at school today. This incident involved a confrontation between four students during lunch. Given the situation that occurred yesterday, and in a spirit of precaution and prevention of further escalation, we immediately called the Seattle Police Department (SPD) and decided to go into a shelter-in-place mode. When Sealth goes into a shelter-in-place, Denny does as well.
Both district security and SPD responded and after we assessed the situation, the shelter-in-place was ended at both schools, returning our campus to a normal school day.
SPD and the district are continuing the investigations, including determining if yesterday’s and today’s incidents are related.
Given these recent occurrences, it is important for us as staff and community members to get together to talk about next steps and ways to prevent situations like this. Please join the Chief Sealth PTSA at their next meeting on 2/7/2018 in High Point at Neighborhood House at 6:30 PM where the topics will include safety within the community and at school. Please also talk with your students about how to solve problems proactively and reporting potential situations that might cause student conflicts. As you are aware, our schools have support for students including counselors, conflict resolution programs and administrative support.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact either of us. We will be happy to speak with families and guardians directly.
Alki Bike and Board is celebrating its 30th anniversary of family ownership, and has joined the WSB sponsor team for the occasion. Here’s what proprietor Stu Hennessey wants you to know about his Admiral District business:
It has been 30 years since the Hennessey family bought what was the Alki Bike Shop on Alki Beach. Since those days, much has changed, including the location. In 1991, the bike shop moved to the Admiral District for easier customer access and a bigger building. The name Alki stayed with the company as they settled into the current location at 2606 California Ave. SW.
In the meantime, much has changed about bicycle use, and the need for a simpler and healthier way to get in and out of West Seattle became the foundation of bicycling in West Seattle. The shop that once sponsored competitive athletes now serves the growing population of daily commuters, family riders, and baby boomers who have changed their riding style as they get older.
Being one of the first Electric Bike shops in a city that has a lot of hills, Alki Bike and Board has created what is now known as a Seattle Proof Electric Bike that will handle Seattle’s hilly terrain without wearing out in a short time.
Every January, the Alki Bike and Board repair shop offers half-price bike tuneups through March 1st. This is a good time to get ready for spring before the repair rush gets fully started.
The Hennessey family members that you will meet when you visit the shop include Julian Hennessey, his mom Gabi Hennessey, and dad Stu Hennessey. Another son, Patrick Hennessey, now lives in Leavenworth, Washington, where he has become a leader in promoting a variety of year- round outdoor sports that include downhill mountain biking and speed kite-flying.
The Hennesseys are the fourth owners of the Alki namesake bike shop since it was first opened by Rex Clark in 1936.
Alki Bike and Board is at 2606 California SW, online at alkibikeandboard.com.
We thank Alki Bike and Board 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.
Friday has arrived! You knew it eventually would. And here are highlights for the rest of today/tonight:
NEW EXHIBIT: Today is the second day for the new exhibit at the Log House Museum, “Navigating to Alki: Early Maps of the Duwamish Peninsula.” The museum is open noon-4 pm. (61st SW/SW Stevens)
ATTRACTING BIRDS TO YOUR GARDEN: Even if you’re not already at this month’s West Seattle Garden Club meeting, you’re invited to join them at Daystar for the 12:45 pm presentation on attracting birds to your garden. Or show up earlier with your brown-bag lunch! More info here. (2615 SW Barton)
QUESTIONS ABOUT ADDING OUTDOOR PRESCHOOL TO LINCOLN PARK? Tonight, 6-7 pm at the Dakota Place Park building, you’re invited for info and Q&A about Seattle Parks‘ expansion of outdoor preschool to Lincoln Park and what Roots & Sky Nature School plans to offer. (4304 SW Dakota)
STEVE ITTERLY: Singer-songwriter at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)
TAP STATION TRIVIA: 7 pm, final trivia session at Tap Station, which, as we have reported, is closing after Sunday. (7900 35th SW)
SWEET, SWEET MUSIC: Concert and dessert at Fauntleroy Church, 7:30 pm: “The Fauntleroy Women’s Ensemble will perform a mix of secular and sacred music in the sanctuary, backed by percussion and didgeridoo.” (9140 California SW)
THERE’S MORE … on our complete-calendar page.
Early this morning, hundreds of volunteers were out working to find out the annual answer to the question of how many people are homeless in King County. Here’s the news release:
This morning, between 2 and 6 a.m., nearly 1,000 volunteers spanned across King County for Count Us In 2018, the annual Point in Time Count of individuals experiencing homelessness, coordinated annually by All Home. The unsheltered street count was conducted as a full canvass of all 398 census tracts in King County. Count teams included guides with current or prior experience of homelessness, who were compensated for their time and expertise with their assigned count area.
“Homelessness is a local and national emergency,” said United States Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. “Walking block by block through streets booming with construction but then under the freeway in areas peppered with tents was a stark reminder of the deep inequities of wealth and income in our city. We can and must do better. The fact that we see thousands of people living unsheltered, in the streets and in cars, is a moral and institutional failure. I will do everything I can at the federal level to build the affordable housing we need, provide the support systems necessary for people to live and fix a broken tax system that benefits only the few. Solving this crisis will require all of us —government, business, nonprofits and communities — to share responsibility for real solutions. Count Us In is a crucial part of those efforts – I want to thank the dedicated volunteers who canvassed every part of King County and I am grateful to be a part of and to represent a community that cares so deeply about the vulnerable.”
Continuing with the nationally recognized methodology introduced at last year’s Count, the full range of count activities includes a street count of people living unsheltered, a count of people living in shelter or transitional housing, a qualitative survey of people experiencing homelessness, and specialized approaches to counting subpopulations, including youth/young adults, families, and those living in vehicles. Local advocates, service providers and Applied Survey Research (ASR), a Bay-area research firm contracted to help conduct the Count, have all been active and valued partners in the planning and implementation of Count Us In 2018.
“The fact that nearly one thousand volunteers joined us for tonight’s count demonstrates that our community is coming together to confront the homelessness crisis,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “It is that shared purpose and commitment that inspires the work we are doing with partners to ensure that everyone in King County has a safe, warm place to sleep at night.”
While the Count’s core purpose is to collect data on the needs of people experiencing homelessness, it also provides an excellent opportunity to increase awareness and spark action. A successful and accurate Count is an essential component to informing local strategies to address homelessness and to making homelessness rare, brief and one-time.
“The Count is a great example of what can be accomplished when our neighbors, housed and unhoused, come together,” said Kira Zylstra, Acting Director of All Home. “Achieving our vision of ending racial disparities and making homelessness rare, brief and one-time will require the whole community engaging in solutions.”
A comprehensive report of Count Us In findings, including data on youth, vehicle residents, chronic homelessness and other specialized populations will be available in May of 2018. Point In Time counts are a requirement for communities that receive federal grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Data collected from Point In Time counts across the nation are published on the HUD Exchange website and provided annually to Congress as part of the Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR).