West Seattle, Washington
(Duwamish Head, photographed from Smith Tower by Robert Spears)
(updated) Seven happenings you should know about for tonight:
ROXHILL BUILDING’S FUTURE: 6-7 pm at Roxhill Elementary, you’re invited to come find out more about what programs/services will be in the building after the elementary school moves north to renovated EC Hughes. We reported some toplines here earlier this week. P.S. We’ve confirmed this is a drop-in meeting – no presentation. (9430 30th SW)
LONGFELLOW CREEK PROJECT MEETING: A flood-reduction-and-trail project proposed in North Delridge along 24th SW will be discussed at this meeting we recently previewed, 6-8 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. (4408 Delridge Way SW)
RECYCLED PAPER COLLAGE WORKSHOP: 6 pm at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) with artist Linda McClamrock. Sign up here for this one and/or future dates. (5612 California SW)
DESIGN REVIEW FOR 4220 SW 100TH, 4800 40TH SW: Doubleheader tonight for the Southwest Design Review Board at the Senior Center/Sisson Building – 6:30 pm review of 8 townhouses and 1 live-work unit at 4220 SW 100th (see the design packet here), 8 pm review of 56 apartments and 4 live-work units at 4800 40th SW (see the design packet here). Both reviews will include public-comment opportunities. (4217 SW Oregon)
MADISON CONCERT: Madison Middle School‘s orchestra and jazz concert is tonight, 7 pm. (3429 45th SW)
NORTH HIGHLINE UNINCORPORATED AREA COUNCIL: If you live just south of West Seattle, tonight’s the monthly meeting of your community council. We previewed the agenda on our partner site White Center Now. 7 pm at North Highline Fire District HQ. (1243 SW 112th)
SEATTLE LUTHERAN GRADUATION: First of West Seattle’s three high-school graduation ceremonies – the commencement for Seattle Lutheran High School‘s Class of 2018 is scheduled for 7:30 pm in the gym. (4100 SW Genesee)
SEE WHAT ELSE IS UP FOR TODAY, TONIGHT, BEYOND … via our complete calendar.
Thanks to Samantha for noticing the “no parking” signs east of Seacrest, at Harbor and Fairmount, and asking what we knew. We checked them out yesterday and could only tell that the impending project involved SDOT, so we checked back today and the sidewalk’s being dug up.
So if you’re walking/riding in the area, you’ll have to detour. The signage indicates the work could last into next week.
P.S. If you see “no parking” signs or other hints that some kind of road/sidewalk work is on the way, please let us know! Very few projects bring advance advisories, but if we get word, we can share the news with others.
A fun and rewarding way to start your weekend if you care about helping make it easier to get around in local parks! From Colin, one of your neighbors who have been working on walkability on the trails in the West Duwamish Greenbelt:
Come join us to improve the Puget Park trail this Saturday (June 9th) from 9-noon, followed by a neighborhood BBQ. Community support is needed to continue Puget Park trail improvements. Several neighbors have come together to lead this Puget Ridge family friendly community event with a BBQ to follow. Please stop by and give whatever time you have; every little bit helps – even just swing by to say “thank you.” Our presence and participation at this event demonstrates to Seattle Parks that we care and appreciate improvements they are making to the parks in our neighborhood.
How you can help: Continue trail improvements, mainly constructing a transition in a steep section of the trail and spreading gravel that has already been staged in the area where it needs to be spread.
When: Saturday June 9th, 9am to noon with neighborhood BBQ to follow
Where: Puget Park trailhead at 19th Ave & Dawson SW. Address: 1900 SW Dawson St
Prepare: Wear sturdy shoes and work gloves. Tools provided
Questions? E-mail Colin at email@example.com.
(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)
7:01 AM: Good morning. One incident to report so far:
That’s Bonair in upper Alki, where a tree/limb has fallen and is blocking the road. Thanks to those who sent photos and tips (206-293-6302 any time)!
8:16 AM: If you use East Marginal Way S., note that it’s currently blocked between 14th Ave. S. (the South Park Bridge) and Ellis, because of a police response.
8:20 AM: The suspect who police were trying to get out of a car after a collision is now reported to be in custody and East Marginal will be reopened, per scanner.
11:04 AM: Caller says city crew is on Bonair now cleaning up the tree trouble.
One more meeting from last night to tell you about – the open house for the SW Avalon Way rechannelization/repaving plan. No new information emerged – it was meant as a chance to comment on and ask questions about what SDOT recently revealed, the “30 percent design” version of the project.
Above center is Luna Park entrepreneur John Bennett, who is concerned about parking – while the proposal has changed from an early version that removed dozens of spaces uphill, where now a weekday 6-10 am transit lane is proposed, this one takes out a dozen spaces on the west side of Avalon, and Bennett fears The Shack coffee shop will be especially hard-hit. Councilmember Lisa Herbold has been working with SDOT to try to minimize the parking loss; above left is her legislative assistant Newell Aldrich (Herbold was at the HALA hearing a few miles away).
Also there, West Seattle Bike Connections‘ Don Brubeck (second from left above). The design incorporates protected bike lanes on what is a fairly busy route to and from the “low bridge” as well as Alki. Various concerns along the corridor included helping buses move more smoothly and dissuading drivers from using side streets. There were also requests for turn signals at the Avalon/Genesee light. Here’s an “aerial view” of what’s in the 30 percent plan, as previewed here last month:
WHAT’S NEXT: Project spokesperson Adonis Ducksworth says that after this open house for the 30 percent design, they hope to have the project up to 60 percent for another round of commenting in the fall. Construction is expected to happen next year, starting in the spring. Along with rechannelizing Avalon as shown here (PDF), the project will repave it all the way from the bridge to where it ends at Fauntleroy, along with 35th SW south of Avalon to Alaska – where reconstruction is needed due to water damage – and Alaska from 35th to 36th too. Beyond last night’s open house, here’s your chance to comment through June 24th – an online survey about the project.
(WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
8:51 PM: A Seattle Fire “full response” is headed to the 2200 block of Sunset Avenue SW [map] in North Admiral for a possible house fire. More to come.
8:55 PM: SFD says it’s a dryer fire and is canceling most of the responding units.
9:10 PM: WSB’s Christopher Boffoli has confirmed that at the scene and says the remaining SFD crews are just helping clear out smoke.
As we reported at the end of last week, the Salmon in the Schools program has wrapped up this year’s releases into Fauntleroy Creek – but there are leftover fry, so you are invited to the creek on Saturday to experience what it’s like. If you haven’t already seen the announcement, Judy Pickens from the Fauntleroy Watershed Council explains what’s happening:
This spring more than 700 students in the Salmon in the Schools program entrusted their coho fry to Fauntleroy Creek, where they will grow until heading to saltwater next spring. Schools were especially successful this year in rearing their fish from eyed eggs, as was Jack Lawless, who rears fish for schools in the program that loose a lot or for preschools that don’t bring their own to release.
The Fauntleroy Watershed Council invites the community to put Jack’s remaining 200 fish in the water on Saturday, June 9, 1:00-3:00 pm at the big bridge in Fauntleroy Park. Volunteers will be on hand to keep everyone dry and answer questions about salmon, habitat, and the Fauntleroy Watershed Stewardship Fund.
Enter the park from the SW Barton Street kiosk and turn left at the trail T a few yards ahead. The bridge is about a three-minute walk east on a nearly flat, well-maintained trail. Expect to kneel on a rock at the water’s edge to release your fish; no boots are required. Dogs will need to be secured away from the water.
Can’t easily walk? The trail is suited to a walker or wheelchair. Can’t easily kneel? You’ll still be able to get up close and personal with your fish.
Here’s a map to the park.
We confirmed this afternoon with the DEA that a West Seattle raid early today was part of a regional “drug-trafficking ring takedown” by multiple agencies. A reader asked us about police near 20th and Holden in the 6 am hour; when we heard about the regional operation, we asked whether that location was part of it, and learned it was. We don’t know yet how many arrests – the reader reported seeing “several people in handcuffs” – but here’s the full news release about the regional operation:
In the fourth major drug trafficking ring takedown in as many months, federal, state and local law enforcement officers fanned out across King, Pierce, Snohomish, Skagit and Thurston Counties to execute search warrants and arrest more than 35 members of a drug trafficking organization, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. Today’s arrests are the fourth takedown in a series of cases aimed at reducing drug and gang violence in Seattle, South King and North Pierce Counties. Those taken into custody today (appeared this afternoon) in U.S. District Court in Seattle.
“Over the last four months, more than 80 drug dealing conspirators moving meth, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl have been taken off our streets where they preyed on destructive addictions and used gun crime to further their trade,” said U.S. Attorney Annette Hayes. “For more than a year, local police worked with federal partners to build these cases, with the goal of addressing the shifting crime problems in South Sound communities.”
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has directed U.S. Attorneys to deploy their resources to identify and address ‘hot spots’ of violent crime. Working with local law enforcement across the South Sound, federal law enforcement identified Seattle, the Rainier and Kent Valleys, and North Pierce County as an area of concern for drug and gun crime. Today’s takedown comes on the heels of three other law enforcement efforts involving wire-taps and surveillance to dismantle sophisticated drug trafficking rings linked to violence in those areas. The first takedown involved five defendants trafficking crack cocaine in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood; the second, in March resulted in twenty arrests of heroin and meth traffickers operating primarily in South King County and the Tacoma area; and in May, a third takedown dismantled two criminal groups trafficking methamphetamine in south King County.
“DEA is in a race to save lives,” said Keith Weis, the Special Agent in Charge for the Pacific Northwest. “These strategic operations have stopped some of the most violent criminal groups operating throughout the Puget Sound Region from pushing dangerous drugs onto our communities most vulnerable members facing life or death struggles against addiction.”
“The FBI is committed to holding violent gang members accountable for their actions,” said Special Agent in Charge Jay S. Tabb Jr., of the FBI’s Seattle Field Office. “The level of violence committed by these individuals has been detrimental to the South Sound community for years. Today’s arrests mark a major step toward addressing this problem.”
According to records filed in the case, conspirators trafficked cocaine, heroin, oxycodone, illegal marijuana and fentanyl. Associates of some of the traffickers arrested today were shot and some killed in various shooting incidents in both Seattle and south King County. On the wiretap law enforcement heard conspirators talk about various shootings after they occurred, including the September 4, 2017 shooting outside a Renton hookah lounge. Among other things, conspirators discussed getting firearms after being shot at by rival gangs.
Taken together, these four operations resulted in the seizure of 75 guns, more than 95 pounds of methamphetamine, more than 32 pounds of heroin, more than 7 pounds of cocaine (both crack and powder) as well as ecstasy and fentanyl. More than $327,000 in cash and 22 vehicles also were seized.
In addition, today alone law enforcement seized 12 pounds of heroin, more than 2 kilos of cocaine, a pound of methamphetamine, 124 pounds of marijuana, 41 firearms and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash.
“Today, hundreds of law enforcement professionals came together to make our neighborhoods safer, taking criminals and drugs off the street and possibly saving lives,” said Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best. “As a former Narcotics commander, I recognize the tireless work that goes into these investigations. Together with our federal and local partners, we have orchestrated one of the largest investigations in recent memory. A special thanks to the FBI, DEA and the US Attorney’s Office. This level of collaboration is unprecedented.”
“The U.S. Marshals have always believed in the power of collaboration, and the effectiveness of combining the resources and expertise of our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners for the common good. Today, that tradition of collaboration continues and we are proud to be a part of it”, said Acting U.S. Marshal Jacob Green.
The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The defendants in these cases face a variety of drug and gun charges. The penalties range from five years in prison to a maximum of life in prison depending on the pertinent charge.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. This investigation was led by the Seattle Police Department Gang and Narcotics Units, FBI Seattle Safe Streets Task Force, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Other agencies providing investigative assistance include ATF, USMS, and the U.S Bureau of Prisons.
Today’s searches and arrests involved agents and officers from: DEA, FBI, ATF, HSI, USMS, SPD, Auburn Police Department, Bellevue Police Department, Bothell Police Department, Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Des Moines Police Department, Everett Police Department, Fife Police Department, Kent Police Department, King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO), Kirkland Police Department, Lakewood Police Department, Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, Marysville Police Department, Monroe Police Department, Mount Vernon Police Department, Mukilteo Police Department, Pierce County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO), Renton Police Department, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, Snohomish County Drug and Gang Task Force, Tacoma Police Department, Thurston County Narcotics Task Force, Tukwila Police Department, U.S Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Washington Department of Corrections, Washington State Patrol, and the Yakima Police Department, and the following regional SWAT teams, SPD SWAT, Valley SWAT, North Sound Metro SWAT, Region 1 SWAT, Pierce County Metro SWAT, King County Sheriff’s Office TAC-30, Washington State Patrol SWAT, Pierce County Sheriff’s Office SWAT, and Bellevue SWAT.
In addition, the operations were conducted with the support of the FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG) and SWAT teams from the FBI’s Salt Lake City, Portland, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Denver field offices. DEA’s Special Response Team’s (SRT) from Seattle, Los Angeles, Denver, and San Diego assisted in today’s operations. This investigation was supported by Northwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) and the Special Operations Division (SOD).
The DEA also told us warrants were served at three White Center locations – in the 9700 block of 9th Place SW, 10600 block of 4th Avenue SW, and 1400 block of SW 116th.
The Aviation Maintenance Technology program’s hangar at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) hosted a high-profile event today: Governor Jay Inslee and County Executive Dow Constantine were among the speakers at the presentation of a study about aerospace-manufacturing competitiveness. The study showed, the governor said our state is “the best place to make a new mid-market airplane.” That’s a reference to Boeing‘s impending decision on whether – and where – to design and build just such a plane, and the study is part of an effort to convince the company to do it in Washington. Our state’s advantages for the industry have been long known, Inslee added, but now a study proves it. The industry is worth $76 billion to our state’s economy, he noted, and as a result has an “aerospace-friendly ecosystem.” Here’s the study announcement; here’s the full report (PDF). And here’s TVW video of the media briefing at SSC:
Executive Constantine said SSC – which he described as “West Seattle’s own university” – was a great place for the announcement because of its role in training the next generation of workers for the industry. “We are working to preserve aerospace jobs and strengthen the state’s entire supply chain,” he declared. He and Inslee are both members of the state’s council leading a “multi-pronged, broad-based, statewide campaign to demonstrate Washington’s position as the site with the lowest risk and highest return on Boeing’s potential investment to design, produce, and assemble the new airplane.”
WOMAN INJURED BY MASKED ATTACKER WITH CONFETTI GUN: Thanks to Kim for the tip on this and the photo. We didn’t make it to Westwood Village while this was unfolding but obtained the police report today. A 35-year-old man is in King County Jail today after being arrested Tuesday afternoon for investigation of assault. Police say he was wearing a Guy Fawkes mask and “soccer shin plate armor (plastic), with other various plastic armor plating underneath everyday clothing,” while walking on the east side of Westwood Village shooting people with a confetti gun. Seattle Fire checked one woman for minor injuries after she reported being hit in the eye. This was the suspect’s fourth booking in less than a year.
SIGNATURE SQUABBLE: Sorry to say, SPD tells us no report resulted from another Tuesday afternoon incident we briefly, and popularly, mentioned on Twitter, after hearing about it on the scanner:
And now, scanner: "An (incident) that could only happen in West Seattle – two signature-gatherers are in a shoving match outside Trader Joe's" (Actual quote)
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) June 5, 2018
The few lines in the SPD system say that a “petitioner” – it was not specified which campaign they were gathering for – was arguing with people, and the manager called police, who said the person could be “trespassed” (required to leave, and stay off the premises) if the situation persisted. Officers left and a while later, there was another call, but the manager called back and canceled before they arrived.
Two reader reports:
PLAGUED BY PACKAGE THEFTS: Kelli at Zippy Dogs in north Morgan Junction writes:
We are located over in the 6000 block on California Ave between Graham and Raymond streets. Our townhomes and businesses are having packages stolen on a very regular basis. The pictures show their faces, body type, build. White male, 20’s, heavy tattoos, he wears beanies and cap, sometimes has backpack. White female, 20’s, longish brown hair, she seems to be the lookout and he grabs packages. She helps carry the loot.
(Monday) they were carrying 3 bags stuff full of packages and a Rite Aid rolling basket loaded with their packages. These two yahoos have been caught stealing packages on our security cameras and (Monday) we followed them down California Ave while they walked to McDonald’s; unfortunately, the cops were shorthanded and busy and never made it to the scene for an hour and a half. They were long gone. They hang out at the Juneau Market (California and Juneau) and McDonald’s (California and Holly). They are very active, and walk up California Ave and nearby alleys, side streets and through a lot of townhome complexes that are easy targets especially if they have access to alleyways.
They have provided all their photos and videos to police, whose report number from Monday is 18-202147.
VANDALISM: Received via text:
My name is D and I was getting ready to work when I found my car, a Honda Fit, vandalized on my carport behind Pagliacci Pizza.
The gas door and lid were torn off, heavy scratches on the rear quarter panel and flattened tire.
There’s blood spots around the tire; the person might be hurt.
WEDNESDAY, 12:45 PM: If you’re trying to call a business and having trouble getting through … it might be the Comcast business-phone outage that’s affecting our area and others in the country. Here’s the Comcast tweet about it:
We are aware that there is an issue with our Comcast Business Voice service and we apologize for the inconvenience. We appreciate our customers’ patience as we work to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
— Comcast Business (@comcastbusiness) June 6, 2018
So far we’ve heard from (updated) three West Seattle businesses affected.
THURSDAY, 9:39 AM: Two commenters just mentioned the trouble’s not resolved. And Comcast confirms that via Twitter:
Outage Update: Phone services for most customers have been restored. Unfortunately, a small group continue to see issues. We are working hard to restore services to all and apologize for this inconvenience. For further assistance: https://t.co/0jurMjmRaQ
— Comcast Business (@comcastbusiness) June 7, 2018
A busy summer ahead for road/trail/sidewalk projects in West Seattle. SDOT has just sent a sheaf of notices about more work that’s about to start. We’ll spotlight each of them, starting with the Harbor/Spokane Intersection Improvements, a community-initiated project via the Neighborhood Street Fund. The official pre-construction notice (see it here) explains:
As soon as Monday, June 11, we’ll start construction of safety improvements for people walking, biking, and driving at the intersection of Harbor Ave SW and SW Spokane St. Work will last approximately 6 weeks. During this work, crews will:
■ Install a bike-only signal at the northeast corner of Harbor Ave SW and SW Spokane St and bike-only crossing across to the southwest corner of the intersection
■ Add a curb bulb at the northeast corner of Harbor Ave SW and SW Spokane St intersection
■ Restripe the crosswalks at the intersection
■ Replace existing jersey barrier and vegetation along the Alki Trail approaching Harbor Ave SW
■ Install a bike ramp on SW Avalon Way at SW Spokane St
There’s some backstory on this project in this WSB report from two years ago. Meantime, the new info above isn’t on the project website yet but we’re told it will be soon.
P.S. According to the city bidding website, the contractor will be C.A. Carey, which submitted the winning bid for a package of five projects in the south section of the city, including this one and the walkway project in Westwood (our next update!).
(Evening Grosbeak, photographed by Trileigh Tucker)
Midweek highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
PUGET RIDGE PLAYGROUND: The little playground known as the “tot lot” is one of the West Seattle playgrounds getting an overhaul, and if you visit the playground between 4 and 6 pm, you can see and comment on the final design. (6029 21st SW)
ART RECEPTION: 4-6 pm at Providence Mount St. Vincent, you’re invited to the annual reception for the art display with work by residents and students of The Mount’s intergenerational child-care program. (4831 35th SW)
ALKI ELEMENTARY PTA: Time change for tonight’s last meeting of the year – 6 pm. Students reading poetry, too! (3010 59th SW)
NUCOR, PORT AT SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: The Southwest District Council‘s monthly meeting at 6:30 pm at Senior Center of West Seattle continues the late-spring theme of sustainability/environmental discussion. Guests are expected from the port and Nucor. See the full agenda and guest list here. (4217 SW Oregon)
JIM PAGE @ C & P: Singer-songwriter performs at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)
Got something for the calendar? firstname.lastname@example.org – just tell us what, when, where, who, with as much advance notice as possible – thank you!
(WSDOT image – tunnel’s south portal is toward lower center)
By Randall Hauk
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
The Washington State Transportation Commission held an open house and public input meeting at High Point Community Center last night, seeking public comment on tolling proposals for the Highway 99 tunnel.
It was the second of three Seattle meetings between the commission and residents. Commissioner Roy Jennings opened the meeting by reminding those in attendance that the decision to toll the tunnel had already been made and was no longer up for debate. The commission instead was seeking input on a trio of toll-rate options.
Though all three plans are projected to meet the project’s fiscal obligations by 2045, they differ in price fluctuations throughout the day, as well as how increases are scheduled.
Last night, we chronicled the City Council’s HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning public hearing in West Seattle as it happened – you can read toplines from all of the more than 50 speakers in that report here. This morning, our video of the 2+-hour hearing is ready to go, and we’re publishing it separately here since an unfixable technical glitch has cut off commenting on last night’s story.
In the video, you’ll see and hear city staffer Sara Maxana‘s presentation on toplines of the upzoning proposal, followed by each speaker stepping up to the microphone. City Councilmembers did not speak or vote – this was a chance purely for the public to speak. Four were present – District 1’s Lisa Herbold, citywide reps Lorena González (also a West Seattle resident) and Teresa Mosqueda, and Rob Johnson, who chairs the council’s land-use-related committees this year. No date is set yet for the council’s vote; the appeal of the HALA MHA Environmental Impact Statement filed by a citywide coalition of neighborhood groups is scheduled for hearings starting later this month.
(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)
7:02 AM: Good morning. We just checked around and so far, no incidents reported in/from West Seattle.
(Rotary photo: From left, Garbriella Rackner, Daniela Hernandez, Marcus Evans, Suscha Walker, Emily Mills; Maria DiFores)
Announced Tuesday night by the Rotary Club of West Seattle:
The Rotary Club of West Seattle awarded $19,200 in scholarships to six West Seattle students on June 5th. The monies came from two scholarship funds: Student of the Year and Gambriell.
The Student of the Year scholarship is available to students who have been Students of the Month in the immediately preceding academic year.
Students of the Month is a program which honors outstanding students in West Seattle high-school programs. Each month of the academic year, all five participating school programs name a student who is worthy of recognition.
Those students, along with a school counselor, family members, and others important in the student’s life, are invited to be guests at the noon luncheon meeting of the Rotary Club of West Seattle held on the second Tuesday of the month at the Alki Masonic Center.
At that meeting, each student gives a short talk about his or her accomplishments and aspirations and receives a packet of information and gifts from the club. Students of the Month are encouraged to apply for Student of the Year scholarships.
The high-school programs responsible for the selection of the students are Chief Sealth International High School, Career Link/Alternative High Schools, Seattle Lutheran High School, West Seattle High School and Southwest Youth and Family Services.
Students of the Year for 2018 are Maria DiFores from Career Link, Emily Mills also from Career Link, Daniela Hernandez from Seattle Lutheran, and Garbriella Rackner.
The Gambriell Scholarship can be awarded to any student in Seattle, but preference is given to those who reside in West Seattle and those who would not be able to attend college or further their education without the scholarship. Variable amounts are awarded each year, depending on how many students apply.
Gambriell Scholarship recipients for 2018 are Marcus Evans from Chief Sealth, Emily Mills from Career Link and Suscha Walker, second-year student at the University of Washington.
(WSB photos added post-hearing)
6:03 PM: The first big West Seattle meeting about HALA (Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda) MHA (Mandatory Housing Affordability) upzoning was December 2016, “open house” style, centered in a crowded Junction restaurant. Tonight, a year and a half later, as the proposal inches closer to a City Council vote, a public hearing is under way in the relatively cavernous Chief Sealth International High School auditorium. It’s starting with a short refresher on toplines for District 1 (also presented to councilmembers yesterday) – here’s the slide deck:
Tuesday slide deck by WestSeattleBlog on Scribd
We’ll be updating as this unfolds, and we’re recording video, as is Seattle Channel.
6:07 PM: Three councilmembers are here as the hearing begins – West Seattleites Lorena González (who has citywide Position 9) and Lisa Herbold (District 1 rep) and committee chair Rob Johnson. City staffer Sara Maxana is giving the presentation that will be followed by public comment. The slides she’s going through are the ones in the deck – if you haven’t checked yet to see what changes are proposed for your neighborhood, you can use this online map. Even if you have been keeping up with the proposal, you might consider reviewing the deck “At the end of the day, what this program is about is trying to get new income- and rent-restricted housing” for the city, Maxana wraps up.
(From left, Councilmembers Herbold, Mosqueda, González, Johnson, and Johnson staffer Spencer Williams)
6:15 PM: Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda is here now too. A group from the MLK County Labor Council is speaking first as the public hearing begins; Councilmember Johnson says about 40 people are signed up to speak. The labor group’s members say they are for the proposal because the area needs more affordable housing and their members can’t afford to live in the city. Next is Matt Hutchins, a West Seattleite who says he is “lucky” because he can live here, but he is worried about others who can’t. He’s also worried about whether he will be able to age in place, and whether his daughter will be able to live in the area where she is growing up. “Building more homes for people who need them is a fundamental societal necessity,” he says. “I want to keep West Seattle livable, affordable, vibrant, growing.”
Next, Delridge resident Kirsten Smith is first to speak for a group of architects who support MHA. Another member says they feel “more affordable housing” is needed. Yet another member says the city’s in a crisis and has only a “finite amount of land … we believe density is the answer and change needs to begin now.”
They’re followed by Laura Loe, who identifies herself as a “renter in the U District.” She reads a statement from someone else saying that there need to be apartments in 90 percent of the city.
The next man says that he agrees Seattle needs more affordable housing. He is concerned about parking availability in neighborhoods like Fauntleroy, where people park and catch Rapid Ride C Line. He would like to see more of an investment in infrastructure. He said increased density in Ballard has not resulted in more affordable housing. He gets the first major applause of the night and Councilmember Johnson tries to dissuade it – “if we get 30 seconds of applause after every speaker, we’ll be here all night.” Reply some in the audience, “That’s OK!”
He’s followed by a speaker who said that even “affordable” housing won’t be affordable for many. Next, a man who says he’s a 30-year resident and lives near Jefferson Square. “I don’t believe anyone here is against affordable housing – the concern here is responsible growth.” That draws more applause. “I am not against growth – I would like to see the council take their time,” he says, after a brief riff of complaining about traffic.
Next, Jill Fleming from Alki, who says she has lived in West Seattle most of her adult life. It’s a place where “you don’t have to own a McMansion” to have a view. She is supporting MHA because she thinks that means more will be able to afford to live here. She’s followed by an 11-year-old Junction resident who says there are no kids in the area and families need houses to live in. After her, Christy Tobin-Presser, who is involved with the Junction Neighborhood Organization’s appeal of HALA MHA’s EIS, says she’s concerned that the proposal would not add new residents but would replace those who live there. She tells the council they have a responsibility to those who live here as well as those who want to.
After her, a man who voices concern about displacement of people in current affordable units. He’s worried that building out the affordable units promised by HALA MHA will take too long. He’s followed by a woman who recalls the “crazy meeting” in December 2016 that we mentioned above. “For people who are making the decision … think of how you would feel if you were vilified (as) a NIMBY …I don’t like the way this is coming in and sweeping as if some people count and others don’t.”
Former Junction Neighborhood Organization leader René Commons is at the microphone next, holding a green I LIVE in West Seattle sign that we’ve seen around the auditorium.
If you drive SW Barton west of Westwood Village [map], you might have noticed those hand-lettered signs. Residents on the block tell WSB they were startled to find out that a school-zone flashing beacon was about to be installed there – considering that the nearest school, Roxhill Elementary, is about to move, as we’ve been reporting for the past 2+ years. We also noticed a flashing beacon being installed Sunday in the same spot on SW Trenton, near 30th SW:
30th SW in that area is slated to be part of the new West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway, with work starting soon, so first we checked with that SDOT project’s spokesperson; he said the beacons aren’t part of their project, and pointed us to SDOT’s Safe Routes to School program. Here’s how that program’s manager Ashley Rhead explained it, replying to us today:
The SDOT Safe Routes to School program evaluates speeds in school zones on arterial streets on an annual basis and makes recommendations for improvements based on this data. SW Trenton St has an existing 20 mph school speed zone. Last year, Seattle Public Schools assigned SW Barton St and 30th Ave SW as an adult crossing guard location. For that reason, we evaluated speeds on this corridor as well.
On both streets, we found an 85th percentile speed of 34 mph, considerably higher than the 30 mph speed limit. 30th Ave SW is a walking route to school for Denny Middle School and Chief Sealth High School. SDOT is also installing a neighborhood greenway along this corridor later this year. We expect this improvement to further increase the number of people walking and biking along this route.
With that said, we are revisiting the decision to install 20 mph flashing beacons on SW Barton St and collecting additional information. The plan to install the beacons is on hold for the moment. We have reached out to the school district to confirm whether SW Barton St and 30th Ave SW will continue to be an assigned crossing guard location, how many Denny Middle School and Chief Sealth High School students live southwest of this intersection within the school walk zones, and what education program will be housed in the Roxhill building next year.
We actually reported on the latter yesterday, with more information added to our story this morning. The programs include special education and one location of the alternative high school Interagency Academy; other details are expected at the community meeting planned for 6 pm Thursday at Roxhill (9430 30th SW). On Thistle, by the way, which borders the Sealth/Denny campus, the existing school-zone beacons don’t start until east of 28th SW.
(2014 US Army Corps of Engineers photo of failing seawall)
For the first time since last summer, we have an update on the plan for seawall work at Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook. We just received this explanation from Seattle Parks of what’s about to happen:
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), the City of Seattle, and Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) are collaborating on the Emma Schmitz seawall repair. Together we are ensuring a successful cost-sharing program to restore shoreline protection at Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook in West Seattle. SPR entered into a Project Partnership Agreement with the Corps for the replacement of the seawall. The Corps is responsible for the design of the seawall, and one of the steps in the design process is to take soil borings to inform the final design. Drill equipment will be on site for several days starting the week of June 4.
Built circa 1927, the 450-foot stretch of seawall supports important City and County infrastructure, including a 54-inch sewer main, various Seattle Public Utilities drainage and wastewater lines, and Beach Drive Southwest road. The seawall is badly deteriorated, with a 30 percent chance of failure in the event of severe storm or tidal conditions. The new seawall will be built approximately 2 feet seaward and 2 feet higher than the existing wall, thus significantly improving the grade of this scenic viewpoint for the enjoyment of park users as well as ensuring long-term stability.
The implementation cost of the recommended plan is estimated to be more than $2 million, and will be cost-shared with 65 percent federal funds and 35 percent non-federal funds. The non-federal sponsor, SPR, is responsible for all lands, easements, right-of-ways, relocations, and/or disposal areas which are controlled by the sponsor.
The Corps is designing the seawall, and SPR will be designing the park amenities on top of the wall area. SPR will be holding a public meeting to provide information and gather input on these park amenities.
For more information on the boring and soil collection please visit (here) or SPR Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook page.
From Tim at West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor), a request to look for “random items” taken in a car prowl last night, including one of sentimental value:
A partial list includes a collapsible plastic crate (black and grey) that had a few qt cans of paint, some books on running, a zippered clear bag that had a bunch of little things inside, including some replacement plug ends for extension cords, some maps, CDs, small little tools, and other misc. stuff, and a small 12v tire inflator. They took everything out of our center console, which ironically included a tiny book of the Constitution.
Also in the console was a few CDs, one of which was from our friends memorial. It was all of her favorite songs and had “Andrea” written on it. The Andrea CD is the only thing we really want back, the rest is all replaceable.
I assume that the thieves will dump most of this stuff somewhere since they can’t sell it for drugs, so we ask people to look out for a pile of these things. Keep whatever you find, but please let us know if you find the Andrea CD, we would really appreciate it.
2:04 PM: Southbound 35th SW is blocked right now at SW Thistle after a crash reported to involve two cars, and police are looking for two people reported to have run/walked away from one of them. They were last seen westbound on Thistle, “possibly bleeding.”
2:07 PM: Now police are saying one person – all we’ve heard are that both were believed to be male – might have left NB on 35th, and the other might have been subsequently seen near 37th/Cloverdale.
2:15 PM: A K-9 officer is in the area and might be joining the search.
2:25 PM: Police have one person in custody a few blocks south of the crash scene. He was reported to have been hiding in a Honey Bucket.
2:57 PM: Crash scene is clear. Here’s where police found the man:
SFD was called to check on him for possible crash injuries.
10:53 PM: The suspect, 30, is in King County Jail, booked for investigation of hit-and-run. The jail register shows it’s his fourth booking in just under a year.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
This is the week Denny International Middle School librarian Jeff Treistman has been working toward all year.
When the week’s over, he hopes to have put thousands of books in the hands of hundreds of Denny students to get ready for summer reading.
But they’re not from a list of required reading.
Treistman believes the solution to the dreaded “summer slide” – backsliding in progress, when school’s not in session – is choice.
So, by rounding up donations and grants for a year-long Home Library Project, he has put together a book fair this week that’s more like a book carnival – he’s calling it the Book Bazaar. Not just traditionally text-dense books, but even comic books! And whether their families can afford it or not, participating sixth-graders will end the week with books to take home and keep.
We visited the Denny library to talk with Treistman after a staffer at another school told us about his project. He’s in his ninth year as librarian, after three years as a math teacher. He explains that his project had its roots when he dealt with a challenge of supporting about 100 “reluctant readers.” As he “got deep into reading motivation,” he realized that “the most powerful thing is reading for pleasure.” So he set out to figure out how to support that – somewhat antithecal to the standard “here’s what you WILL read” assignments.
So that kids could get books to keep, not just borrow, he needed some funding. Grant-writing hadn’t been in Treistman’s wheelhouse before, but his first attempt – from the American Library Association – was a success and that gave him confidence to try more, ultimately bringing in $18,000! He also secured donated books from publishers and authors (including Nicola Yoon‘s “Everything, Everything”), and as he got ready for the Book Bazaar, a corner of the Denny library was brimming with boxes of them.
Will the summer-slide theory pan out? He says they’ll find out in the fall, and is confident they’ll “be able to measure some kind of impact … If I can prove it, I have a really strong advocacy piece!”
So here’s what he’s doing all week: The Book Bazaar is open to everyone in the library throughout the school day. Tomorrow evening, they’re having pizza, and more than 20 students will read poetry. Wednesday and Thursday are when Comics Dungeon will join the party, setting up in what serves, the rest of the time, as the computer lab.
Bottom line, Treistman hopes the Book Bazaar will provide the answer to what he’s ultimately asking those “reluctant readers”: “Do you hate reading, or just hate reading what the teacher assigned you?”
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