West Seattle, Washington
We’ve reported before on the plan to replace that old house at California/Willow with a seven-unit rowhouse building, most recently when it was approved last month. We noted then that since we first wrote about the plan last year, the plan had changed to include one offstreet-parking space instead of the original five. The notice says it’s expected to generate demand for seven to 14 spaces, but since what the city considers “frequent transit” is within 1,320 feet, it doesn’t have to include any parking. Neighbors have filed an appeal and have a pre-hearing conference with the city Hearing Examiner tomorrow. It’s not just the downsizing of the parking plan, they say in their appeal, but also they say the change wasn’t communicated. This is a block and a half north of a redevelopment plan that caused a hubbub over lack of offstreet parking four and a half years ago; that appeal was eventually settled and the 30-unit building went up.
One more youth-sports league is registering players right now! Michelle Riggen-Ransom sends news of the Champions League:
Champions Baseball League invites players with special needs to come and play baseball in a fun, supportive team environment! Sign-ups are open for the upcoming Spring season, and all the details are on the website. There’s no charge for players to join, and players even get free team hats and shirts.
At a high level:
– Participants can be any gender and between the ages of 4 and 23 years-old, or those who remain in a school setting, with special needs that would prevent them from playing in a traditional baseball or softball program.
– The season will be Sundays for three weeks starting with a skill-building and introduction to the game on May 20th at 1 pm. We will then play games for two weeks starting June 3rd. All events will be at our Pee Wee fields in West Seattle.
– No previous baseball experience needed! Players can do t-ball or coach pitch, and have a buddy from one of the West Seattle teams work with them if they want or need it. Open to anyone in the Seattle area, not just West Seattle.
It’s so much fun; last year so many people in the community showed up on Sundays to support the team, cheer on the players, BBQ, and just generally have a good time together.
Here’s the official sign-up form and info: http://westseattlebaseball.website.siplay.com/champions
Still have questions? Send them to Michelle Riggen-Ransom, email@example.com. Let’s…PLAY BALL!!
Early reminder that Wednesday is Bike to School Day. If you’re anywhere near a school, you’re likely to see more riders that morning. And two local schools have shared their plans:
ALKI ELEMENTARY: The photo is from Alki’s Bike Rodeo last Wednesday afternoon, a tune-up for Bike to School Day, which Chris Nutter is coordinating. On Wednesday, Alki Elementary-bound riders are invited to join either of two “bike trains,” both gathering at 6:40 am, departing at 6:50 am – one at Me-Kwa-Mooks Park on Beach Drive, one at Anchor/Luna Park. Both are expected to get to the school by 7:20 am for a group photo, with “giveaways and snacks” promised in the school cafeteria and prizes for all riders.
LOUISA BOREN STEM K-8: This school is having a bike train on Wednesday, too. Joe Laubach is coordinating and says they will be gathering at Greg Davis Park (2600 SW Brandon) between 8 and 8:15 am Wednesday. Riders K-4 are asked to have a parent or other adult join the bike train with them. Joe adds, “Bring a helmet, a bike lock, and your big smiles for this event. While supplies last, students biking to school on May 9 will receive a fun prize! We’ll also have some snacks to keep us fueled for the ride!” He also adds that if there is “more than a light drizzle” that morning (current forecast calls for a “chance of showers”), the rain date will be Friday.
Anybody else planning a bike train? Let us know!
MONDAY EVENING: Thanks to John LaSpina for this photo of a West Seattle photo-op by singers who are more than 3,600 miles from home. The Fóstbræður all-male choir, from Iceland, performed at the grand opening of the new Nordic Heritage Museum on Saturday and has a show tonight at Plymouth Congregational Church. John caught them in the Duwamish Head sunshine around 3 this afternoon.
ADDED TUESDAY: Thanks to Erla for sharing, in a comment, video of the choir singing on our shore:
That photo is from Jim Borrow; thanks to everyone who sent word of that submarine passing West Seattle a little more than an hour ago. Since many military vessels don’t show up on trackers, we haven’t yet figured out which one it is.
Seven years after our state went to voting by mail, our county is removing the need for you to buy a stamp for your ballot. The announcement from the King County Council this afternoon:
No Stamp? No Problem! The Metropolitan King County Council today approved legislation allowing the Department of Elections to send voters postage-paid envelopes to return their ballots in this year’s primary and general elections.
“Increasing accessibility to free and fair democratic elections is central to all of our civic institutions,” Said Councilmember Dave Upthegrove, Chair of the Council’s Budget Committee and prime sponsor of the legislation. “This measure puts a ballot box at the end of every driveway, and I’m excited to be a part of its passage.”
“Voting is the foundation of our democracy. By eliminating the postage ‘poll tax’, King County is taking an important step to dismantle a barrier that keeps some from exercising their right to vote,” said Councilmember Rod Dembowski, co-sponsor of the ordinance.
Washington became a vote-by-mail state in 2011. While the Council and King County Elections worked to increase the number of ballot drop boxes available to voters throughout the county, approximately half of the ballots received are still sent by mail. Prior to today’s action all voters were personally required to place postage on their ballot.
In prior elections, when a voter forgot to place on stamp on a ballot, some post offices would send the ballot to King County regardless, but would charge the county $1.70—more than three times the current postage rate. Other post offices would not forward the ballot at all.
“We should be doing everything in our power to improve access to democracy countywide and I am confident that prepaid postage will go a long way towards doing just that by breaking down barriers to participation,” said Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles, co-sponsor of the ordinance. “I’m confident that our action today will result in prepaid postage on ballots being implemented statewide.”
“Prepaid postage has been proven to increase voting in a cost-effective way,” Said King County Council Vice Chair Claudia Balducci. “I commend our King County Elections Director for continually looking for ways to improve voter participation in our elections, which is so fundamental to our democratic form of self-government.”
The measure is widely expected to increase voter access and participation. Elections conducted a pilot project this winter, sending 65,000 voters in Shoreline and Maple Valley prepaid return envelopes. The percentage of total ballots returned by mail during the pilot was 74-percent. This was a vast increase compared to 43-percent participation in the 2016 General Election.
The legislation now allows election officials to send prepaid return envelopes to all voters, but with the US Postal Service charging King County a rate of 50 cents for those returned by mail. Wise and county election officials estimate a 10 percent increase in the number of ballots returned by mail rather than drop boxes with prepaid postage.
The legislation passed Council with a 7-2 vote. In support of the measure were Councilmembers Upthegrove, Dembowski, Kohl-Welles, Balducci, Gossett, McDermott and von Reichbauer. Councilmembers Dunn and Lambert voted in opposition.
Ours would be the first in the state to provide postage-paid ballot envelopes.
(WSB file photo)
Our area’s only 4th of July parade is now less than two months away, and that means the countdown is on, as is the fundraising to cover costs. West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade coordinator Emily Williams (who you might know from Fit4Mom West Seattle) has the announcement:
The 24th annual 4th of July Children’s Parade in West Seattle is right around the corner!
This isn’t your typical parade, the kids ARE the show! Riding on bikes, wagons or in their strollers together with their families, they entertain onlookers by waving flags and showing off their festive attire and decorations. The parade weaves roughly a mile, through the neighborhood of Admiral, down to Hamilton Viewpoint Park; it’s the cutest family-friendly event of the summer!
After the parade, children enjoy old-fashioned gunny-sack races, arts and crafts, and various activities presented by local businesses as well as popsicles sold by the Admiral Neighborhood Association and eats from several local food trucks.
Many community members and local businesses come together year after year to keep this longstanding West Seattle tradition alive. Now in its 24th year, the Children’s Parade is truly an event for and by the families of West Seattle.
Nicole Lutomski, Megan Erb and Emily Williams are facilitating the event this year NEED YOUR HELP to COVER ALL THE COSTS!!
There is opportunity for both individual contributions through the Crowdfunding Page or the established PayPal Account as well as several business sponsorship levels. If your business would like to host a kid craft table or simply donate to the event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss details.
The parade starts at 10 am on July 4th (a Wednesday this year) from 44th/Sunset in North Admiral (map), and if you’re new – no preregistration required, just show up to be in (or watch) the parade! Post-parade activities start at Hamilton Viewpoint Park at 10:45 am, and diapers will be collected for WestSide Baby.
Today we welcome Innate Vitality as a new WSB sponsor! Here’s what proprietor Kara Krause, NTP, would like you to know about her studio:
Innate Vitality is a small boutique wellness studio located in the Brace Point community, near Endolyne Joe’s. We offer a wide variety of modalities: Pilates, strength training, barre, yoga, Nutritional Therapy, and Reiki. What makes Innate Vitality unique is our community of members – who are in every age and fitness range – and we can design a health and wellness program that best fits your individual needs.
Group classes and private sessions are available to accommodate all fitness levels from beginners to athletes. So, if you want to eat and feel better or if you’re training for an event, Innate Vitality has a program for you. Our strong community membership base and small class size offers a caring and supportive environment to encourage you on your wellness journey!
Our Pilates studio is equipped with a wide variety of state of the art STOTT apparatus. All of our Pilates instructors are STOTT trained, a method that pairs the Joseph Pilates repertoire with functional movement that is scientifically based. Our Pilates reformer classes are small, never more than four people, which allows for more attention to the participants at affordable group rates.
Come check out our community! Here’s what our clients are saying:
“After seeing immediate progress with Reformer classes at Innate Vitality, my physical therapist happily gave me the green light to continue the classes and discontinue the PT I had started for left hip pain.” -S.L.
“….my results have been outstanding. From going to having been told I needed a lower back fusion to doing a Pilates program and personal training – I am no longer in pain and discomfort due to my back issues and will not be needing any surgery…” – A.H.
Services ~ Pilates ~ Yoga ~ Barre ~ Strength & Conditioning ~ Nutritional Therapy
Click here to visit our website. Use code WSB18 and get 25 percent off any package right now!
We thank Innate Vitality 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.
12:58 PM: Police have just taken a man into custody after a search along SW Juneau on both sides of Delridge. We caught up with the discussion (thanks to everybody for the tips) in the middle of the search but just checked with SPD media relations to see what it was about: They say it started with a hit-and-run crash in the 5400 block of 26th SW. The suspect has been detained near 23rd and Juneau.
1:03 PM: This is near Louisa Boren STEM K-8; parents are messaging us that the school is/was in “lockdown” as a result, but again, the search is now over. Knowing this was happening near the school, we had a message out to the district asking if any precautions had been taken, but hadn’t heard back.
1:12 PM: Our crew just arrived at STEM and has been told they were sheltering in place but they just got the all-clear from police, so that’s ending.
1:23 PM: Added a photo of the car involved in the hit-run. The suspect, meantime, was going to the hospital via private ambulance.
3:08 PM: STEM K-8 principal Ben Ostrom sent this letter to families:
Dear STEM K-8 Families,
I want to share news of an situation that your student may want to talk about with you. At approximately 12:45 p.m. today, STEM K-8 went into lockdown for approximately 15 minutes.
In response to a car accident north of our school, there was police activity that involved several officers with drawn guns and canine units. To be safe, STEM went into immediate lockdown until we were notified that the suspect had been apprehended. I am proud of how well our students and staff responded, and there was no danger to students or staff.
Alki Point to Pigeon Point to High Point …. North Delridge to North Admiral to North Shorewood … Highland Park to Lincoln Park to Luna Park … Seaview to Riverview to Ocean View … and many points inbetween. Just about every neighborhood in West Seattle is represented in the 330+ sales on the map for this Saturday’s 14th annual West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day. Over the weekend, in case you haven’t seen it yet, we published both versions of the map – you’ll find both here, the clickable/searchable/ zoomable online version and the link to the printable packet of map sections and listings. The best sales are the ones you can walk around the corner to, so you can meet/talk with your neighbors … but of course there are big sales, business sales, multi-seller sites, fundraisers, etc. Also read the listings closely to find who’s starting before and/or ending after the official 9 am-3 pm sale window, if you’re interested in making a longer day of it. We’ll start publishing some custom lists tonight. P.S. So far the forecast looks awesome!
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, as we get going on another week:
EZRA FURMAN BOOK READING: Ezra Furman is a singer-songwriter – and an author, too. He’s written a book about Lou Reed‘s “Transformer” and will read from, and sign, it tonight at Easy Street Records, 6 pm. (California/Alaska)
FAMILY STORY TIME: So maybe the kids aren’t quite old enough for a rock ‘n’ roll book reading. No problem – bring them to story time at High Point Library, 6:30 pm. (35th SW/SW Raymond)
PUGET RIDGE NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL: Tonight the group celebrates one full year of meetings! A pizza party is planned, as well as an update from SDOT’s Ching Chan on the work near Sanislo Elementary. 6-8 pm. All welcome, kids included. Different location this month, by the way. (6700 17th SW)
PREVIEW THE REST OF THE WEEK … by browsing our complete calendar when you can spare a minute or two!
Another banking biznote today: Personal banker John Babauta is saying goodbye to the West Seattle branch of HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor). He’s staying with the company, moving on to the investment-services division, but will no longer be based in WS. If you don’t know John for his work at HomeStreet, you may know him for his community involvement, including service on the board of the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association. You have until his last day on Friday, May 18th, to stop in and wish him well. Branch manager Nam Le says that because of John’s departure, “Our wonderful team is looking to hire an all-star banker to our West Seattle team at HomeStreet Bank.” The job is posted in the WSB Forums’ West Seattle Jobs Offered section.
If you are in the Westwood area and noticing police at Chief Sealth International High School: They’re questioning three students in connection with what was first reported as an assault – another student hit and knocked down near 26th and Thistle – and then changed to a report of “strong-arm robbery” (no weapon). Police spotted someone described as a possible suspect and two companions walking into the school. We went down to find out more; police say they’re still talking to everyone involved to sort it out, and principal Aida Fraser-Hammer tells us school is proceeding normally. We’ll check back with SPD later.
6:58 AM: Good morning! No transit alerts so far this morning, but we have one traffic alert, for the westbound bridge, from SDOT: “The offramp from the West Seattle Bridge WB to SW Spokane St is closed due to a collision.” If you were headed for that offramp, you’ll have to use Delridge instead.
7:23 AM: That has cleared.