West Seattle, Washington
Two waves of color in the sky at day’s end – thanks for the photo! First the double rainbow – above, from Birgit Petersen at Seacrest; next, from Doug B. in The Junction:
And from J&R at Constellation Park:
Then the sunset! From Jim Spraker:
And from Mark Dale:
Like this evening’s weather, tomorrow’s weather looks … mixed.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Sound Transit‘s light-rail planning for West Seattle should reach out to tweens and teens, because they’re the ones whose lives will be most affected.
That was one suggestion heard at this morning’s West Seattle “neighborhood forum,” next step in the official ST planning process for the line set to open in 2030, assuming the fast-tracked planning process stays on track. And given that the event was promoted as a way for you to share your neighborhood values
About 130 people showed up, ST estimated, out of about 180 who RSVP’d; ST set up an overflow room on the second floor of the Masonic Center in The Junction, and about 20 people gathered there.
A few opening remarks were offered by King County Council chair and District 8 (West Seattle, White Center, etc.) rep Joe McDermott, who also is on the ST Board, reminding everyone that if they are frustrated with West Seattle bridge backups, they should be excited about this part of one of the nation’s largest transit infrastructure expansions, And he recapped that in order to speed it up, they are front-ending as many decisions as possible, and that’s why they need “to have the best possible ideas …” He urges people to “stay in touch … as you have ideas over the coming months” – 11 months, to be specific, until the decision on what to study.
McDermott co-chairs the project’s Elected Leadership Group – which will have its second meeting May 17th – and another of its members, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, was at the forum this morning and acknowledged, but chose not to address the crowd.
That moved things along to the first presentation, as introduced by consultant Dennis Sandstrom, ST’s Stephen Mak with an overview on the project and the process, noting that the Stakeholder Advisory Group already has met four times (we’ve covered all four – most recently April 24th). His presentation starts at 7:15 into our clip, which starts with Sandstrom and McDermott:
And then, the first round of small-group conversation, a half-hour about “neighborhood values.”
Conversation at the table next to ours (not pictured) kicked off with a Delridge resident who said he’s born and raised in West Seattle. One person says they were involved in neighborhood planning. One person stressed the need for input from people 12 years old and up – because this will be a larger part of their lives than many of the rest of us. Right after him, a retiree says he doesn’t worry about traffic any more but he does worry about whether this will be serving the points south of us, and he also worries about conserving green space and small-town feel. Next person says he worries about how to get to the airport – “I want to see us more connected to the rest of the area.” He’s lived here 10 years.
At a Junction table, participants were voicing concerns about the potential for an elevated track. One says it would “shatter The Junction.” Some worried about the displacement of businesses in The Triangle if the track cuts through there. Tunneling fans seemed out in abundance, including this woman who said she was selling T-shirts:
When the half-hour was up, participants voted to chug ahead with the second presentation and conversation (the sun outside the windowless Masonic Center was a bit too tempting perhaps). Next up at the podium was ST’s Sloan Dawson of ST, who said he does station planning and would talk about what it’s like when light rail comes to your community.
He leads off our second clip, followed by another appearance for Stephen Mak recapping the routing/station concepts that have emerged in this “Level 1” stage of the process:
Dawson mentioned that the projects serve “many different place types,” and then how the existing transportation network interacts with what will be built. “Planning good integration with other transit services” like buses is vital, Dawson said. (And emphatic discussion at tables underscored that.) He reiterated that “we’re doing (station location work) earlier than we’ve ever done it before” with the West Seattle/Ballard extensions.
He handed the microphone back to Mak, who went through the alternatives that have emerged for consideration so far, starting with the “representative project” (“the starting point”), and other West Seattle possibilities – even including the ones that the stakeholders had suggested dropping, which lent a bit of confusion if you’ve been following the process closely.
Another half-hour of discussion followed at the tables.
One table was boggling over the elevated idea. “It’s going to be like 150 feet tall.” Another person was alarmed at how elevated track looks at Northgate.
Over at The Junction table, parking concerns kept emerging. Also, as we circulated to listen in, there were concerns about being sure the station locations are matching the areas that are already densifying.
Because it’s a large group, they decided not to “report out” table by table, but instead invite everyone to stop by the tables, and to ask facilitators to stay at their tables to answer questions and/or summarize for anyone interested, and after two hours, that’s where it wrapped up, with promises to get the feedback to the groups through which it’s being filtered.
Next touchstone in the process involves one of those groups: The Elected Leadership Group meets 2-4 pm May 17th (Sound Transit board room at 401 S. Jackson). That will include a public-comment period, we confirmed with ST staff, unlike the stakeholder group meetings (next one for them, May 30th). It also will likely be shown on – or at least recorded by – the Seattle Channel. And then – Level 2, which will include another neighborhood forum.
Just a reminder that if you are interested in updates about and from West Seattle’s only city-sanctioned encampment, Camp Second Chance, the C2C Community Advisory Committee is back to its regular first-Sunday meeting schedule this week – 2 pm tomorrow (Sunday, May 6th) at the Arrowhead Gardens community room. AG is at 9200 2nd SW, a few blocks north of the camp’s location on Myers Way. Our coverage of last month’s meeting is here; official minutes are in the C2C section of this city webpage.
By Judy Pickens
Special to West Seattle Blog
The red-light district in Kolkata, India, is a long way from home for Fauntleroy resident Alina Guyon but it’s where she and her mother, Sheryl Guyon, spent two weeks in April to create the second Libraries for All resource.
As reported here in August, Alina’s first venture was to plan, fund, ship, assemble, and stock a 200-sq. ft. library in an impoverished suburb of Kampala, Uganda, that has become a waystation for women and children fleeing violence in several African countries. With that one complete, she turned her attention to creating a safe learning place for the children of brothel workers in a different but equally challenging setting.
Using a grant from the Seattle-based All the Sky Foundation dedicated to gender equity, Alina collaborated with New Light, a non-profit working to break the cycle of prostitution by educating and housing scores of children and aiding their mothers. While there, Alina met with young children to broaden their understanding of the potential of girls and women.
New Light identified a space for the library, books were shipped, and travel plans made, only to have the space fall through and the container get held up in customs. As in Uganda where customs proved problematic, Alina and Sheryl had to do their best with what was at hand.
They cleared a corner in one of the agency’s homes, put down a rug, installed shelves, and stocked them with 400 locally donated books in Bengali and English. Shortly after returning home, they learned the hundreds of books donated in West Seattle would soon be on the shelves, too.
Over the winter, Libraries for All became a non-profit through Visions Made Viable, an incubator for social visionaries and entrepreneurs. This alliance provides legal, fiscal, and administrative services so Alina can focus on the work itself.
Two awards recently recognized that work. In March, King County Red Cross gave Alina a Youth Spirit of Service award and, on May 3, Seahawk quarterback Russell Wilson’s Why Not You Foundation honored her with its Washington Youth Leadership Award.
Next up could be a project very close to home to enhance library resources at the Mary’s Place shelter in White Center. Visit www.libraries4all.com to read more about these projects and subscribe to updates.
In case you haven’t already found them – we want to make sure you know that, as promised, the West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day map/listings went live this morning! We’ve spent the past week-plus putting it all together, and now with one week until the big day – Saturday, May 12th – you can start looking around to see (if you’re not one of the 330 sellers) who’s selling what and where. It’s always great to hear from people who not only find treasures (and, as some ads tout, “things you never knew you needed”) but also get to meet more of their neighbors face-to-face.
Got some time to spare right now? Get over to Highland Park Elementary! The photo and invitation are from Connie Wolf:
The Highland Park Elementary PTA was hoping that May 5th would feature a Grand Opening Party for our school’s new playground, but as is typical for big projects, the construction took much longer than expected. Happily, as of yesterday, all the construction is complete! The work we have left to do is to move the engineered wood fiber (play chips) under our new net climber and slides. It’s a big job and a good workout. If you have an hour or two to spare, please join us [now] to get the “pit” filled in. Thank you everybody for your support!
10:16 AM: Thanks to Jim Borrow for the photos! Along with everything else happening today, it’s the first day of shrimp fishing in Elliott Bay – until 1 pm or until the limit is caught, as explained in the state Department of Fish and Wildlife announcement.
Jim explains that photo”was taken toward Bainbridge Island; you can see a few boats off Alki in the foreground with the buoys for the shrimp pots near the boats. In the background you can see all the small boats in the area around Blakely Rocks near Bainbridge.” And keep in mind that with the 1 pm closing (west of Alki Point, it’s even earlier – 11 am), it will be very busy around Don Armeni Boat Ramp early this afternoon. The state hasn’t yet announced the next date(s).
ADDED SATURDAY EVENING: Above and below, two photos from our pass through Don Armeni as many boaters were leaving just before 1 pm.
(American Robin, photographed by Mark Wangerin)
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, highlights for your sunny West Seattle Saturday:
REFRESH/RESTORE DAKOTA PLACE PARK: 9 am-noon, you can join West Seattle neighbors to help give this neighborhood treasure a spring facelift. Bring your own tools and gloves. (California/Dakota)
ST. JOHN’S RUMMAGE SALE: Day 2 of St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church‘s big rummage sale, 9 am-3 pm. (3050 California SW)
SOUND TRANSIT NEIGHBORHOOD FORUM: Your next chance for involvement in the route/station location planning for West Seattle’s future light-rail line is today, at Sound Transit’s first West Seattle “neighborhood forum,” as previewed here. 10 am-12:30 pm, Masonic Center in The Junction. (4736 40th SW)
CINCO DE MAYO AT MISSION CANTINA: Lots going on at Mission Cantina (WSB sponsor) this Cinco de Mayo, 10 am-2 am, from brunch to a pig roast and more! (2325 California SW)
SPRING CLEANUP AT THE LOG HOUSE MUSEUM: As previewed here, the home of West Seattle’s history welcomes volunteer help today, 10 am-2 pm. (61st SW/SW Stevens)
THE SHACK’S RELAUNCH PARTY: You’re invited to stop by the coffee-and-more shop for its relaunch party, explained in our calendar listing, 10 am-1 pm. (2920 SW Avalon Way)
BYSTANDER INTERVENTION WORKSHOP: 2 pm at Admiral UCC Church – here’s what this free workshop is all about: “Bystander Intervention provides participants with tools and tactics for intervening on another’s behalf. Defusing a challenging situation and protecting someone experiencing harm or abuse is an important part of helping and supporting people in our community.” (California/Hill)
WEST SEATTLE MEANINGFUL MOVIES: This month, “Artificial Intelligence and What It Means to Be Human,” a guided series of short videos, plus discussion as always. Doors open at 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House High Point; more info in our calendar listing. (6400 SW Sylvan Way)
MAURICE TANI: In concert at Kenyon Hall, 7:30 pm, this singer-songwriter will be performing “country- and jazz-tinged songs were intimate stories about love and loss in the modern world, sung in a distinctive, resonant baritone.” (7904 35th SW)
SOUTH SOUND TUG & BARGE: “Two sets of resistance songs” at West Seattle Brewing, starting at 8 pm. No cover. (4415 Fauntleroy Way SW)
SEE WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING … by browsing our complete calendar!