West Seattle, Washington
A problem that’s been before the City Council off and on for more than 10 years is back in the spotlight at a council-committee discussion tomorrow (Wednesday).
The problem: Vacant buildings. It’s been 9 1/2 years since the issue gained some attention when a Delridge community advocate invited councilmembers, department heads, and others on a tour of problem properties in eastern West Seattle.
The vacant-building problem has been addressed with incremental legislation over the years. But it’s still a problem. Stats prepared by Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s staff for tomorrow’s meeting of the Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee show that West Seattle/South Park District 1 had the most vacant-building-related complaints last year of any of the city’s seven council districts – 95.
95 complaints – but only 2 properties in D-1 were enrolled in the city’s vacant-building-monitoring program. Beyond that, Herbold’s staff found that 44 District 1 addresses accounted for 284 Seattle Police responses last year alone, while 66 houses in West Seattle are signed up for SPD’s criminal trespass program. The slide deck (48 MB PDF) to be presented by Herbold assistant Alex Clardy also shows multiple examples of vacant, deteriorating properties in West Seattle and South Park.
The point of tomorrow’s briefing is to look at what might make the vacant-building-monitoring program more effective; this report from the Department of Construction and Inspections looks at a variety of possibilities, including changing the standards for enrolling properties in the program. For example, the report notes that properties slated for redevelopment usually aren’t enrolled because they’ll be demolished before long. (The report does not address the length of time that can elapse between the initiation of a redevelopment plan and demolition – sometimes years.) Another possibility addressed by the report is a “temporary caretaker” program in which good-quality vacant properties could be made available through nonprofits/social-service agencies identifying people who could live there until demolition is imminent.
You can see how the discussion goes by going to City Hall, or watching Seattle Channel, for tomorrow’s 9:30 am PLUZ committee meeting.
Short week, so we might as well look ahead to the weekend already. It’ll start with a beer-and-bowling benefit at West Seattle Bowl, on behalf of the families helped by the Seattle Ronald McDonald House, which tells WSB that lanes remain for Bob’s Bowl-A-Rama, 7-10 pm Friday (September 7th):
Gather your friends, family, or coworkers for an awesome night of bowling, beer, and raffle prizes! Proceeds from lane sales, raffle tickets, and Bob’s Ales will all go toward supporting RMHC.
Tickets? Tickets are sold per bowling lane. For $200, you and up to 7 others get bowling shoe rentals, 3 hours of unlimited bowling, and tickets for Georgetown Brewing Co’s beer! Pre-payment is required. To purchase tickets, call Jeff Swanson at West Seattle Bowl, 206.932.3731 or email him at email@example.com.
Who Can Attend? This is an all-ages event! Not a great bowler? No worries! Turn on the bumpers or ask for a ball-roller.
Who was Bob? Bob was a child fighting cancer at the House who came to us all the way from Alaska. During his stay, he went to a local camp for seriously ill children where he met his camp counselor, Manny Chao, the brewmaster of Georgetown Brewing.
The two hit it off and an instant friendship was formed. When Bob passed away, Manny decided to brew a beer in his honor every year on May 14th, Bob’s birthday. Georgetown Brewing donates 100% of the proceeds of Bob’s Brown Ale to RMHC.
5:12 PM: Thanks for the tips. A crash at 38th and Fauntleroy is at least partly blocking the road. No SFD callout so apparently no injuries but SPD is on the scene. One driver apparently hit a streetlight pole.
5:20 PM: Texted photo added. The texter says at least two vehicles were involved. This is on the westbound/southbound side of Fauntleroy. (Per SDOT, those lanes have since been blocked by police, along with one lane going the other way.)
5:26 PM: Metro says Routes 116, 118, and 119 are rerouted off Fauntleroy because of this. And per scanner, this is going to be “shut down for a while” because City Light can’t get a crew there quickly.
5:40 PM: That photo is from SDOT, which reports all lanes of Fauntleroy are now blocked at the crash scene.
5:52 PM: Another photo added, tweeted by @michaelkmason. S/WB traffic is being diverted up Oregon.
7:02 PM: The live camera on the city map shows the closure continues; City Light doesn’t appear to be on site yet.
7:42 PM: SDOT camera shows that City Light is now on scene to repair the pole.
9:04 PM: Just went by. They’re still working.
11:00 PM: Live SDOT camera shows still closed, SCL still working.
12:18 AM: Fauntleroy has just reopened, more than 7 hours after the crash.
Even more reader reports. Hope you can help make reunions happen. Maybe even arrests.
STOLEN BLACK CR-V: From Scott:
My car was just stolen (less than 2 hours ago) from Schmitz Park School area. Its a 2003 Honda CRV black, black wheels, All Terrain tires, lifted about 3 inches over stock so NOT your average CRV. Plate # BCK 6863. Police have been notified.
Scott adds that the CR-V “didnt have carrier basket on top when stolen.”Call 911 if you see it.
And two more bicycles in the “found, likely stolen/dumped” files:
FOUND RED BICYCLE: From Jenny:
Outside my apartment this morning. Westhaven Apartments at 2401 SW Holden Street.
FOUND GREEN BICYCLE: From PM:
This bike has been sitting near by house for almost 2 days now and I think it was likely stolen and dumped here (High Point, off of Cycle Drive). Looks like it is a Fuji Supreme (green).
If you think a bicycle shown here might be yours, let us know.
It’s been a couple weeks since we first mentioned this, so one more reminder before Wednesday arrives … the new school year starts at West Seattle Elementary at 7 am tomorrow (Wednesday, September 5th) with the “Be There Rally.” You’re invited to be part of the line of people “dressed for success” and welcoming students with high-fives, applause, and cheers as they arrive. More backstory in our August preview. The school is at 6760 34th SW.
On this date 92 years ago, Seattle Public Schools‘ Tom Redman told the 100+ people gathered to celebrate Roxhill Elementary’s new home, the Sunrise Heights school opened its doors as EC Hughes Elementary. Now, after $14 million in upgrades, it’s Roxhill at EC Hughes, and classes start tomorrow. “Welcome to THIS Roxhill,” declared principal Tarra Patrick, exuberantly.
While this morning’s ceremony honored the past – including an invitation to Hughes and Roxhill alums to stand (Redman noted the presence of a 1949 Hughes alum) – it also looked to the future. Not just the school’s future, but also the levies that SPS will send to the city’s voters in February. School Board president Leslie Harris (who represents West Seattle and South Park) lamented “levy confusion” among voters.
She also noted that one of the levies, BEX V (which has yet to be finalized – more on that in a separate story), is expected to include money for playgrounds, something that hopefully will alleviate the problem that forced the independent community group Friends of Roxhill to raise money to upgrade the Hughes playground, which wasn’t part of the renovation project. Friends of Roxhill president Shawna Patterson Lystra, a second-grade teacher at the school and parent of a third-grader, was also a speaker at today’s ceremony.
She hailed the school/community partnership, saying she was “excited about today and excited about what the future has in store for us.” New SPS superintendent Denise Juneau – attending what we believe was her first Seattle ribboncutting – also voiced excitement: “We are excited for this new chapter in the life of your school … Go, Roxhill Stars!”
We recorded all the speeches on video (added Tuesday evening):
Then it was on to the ribboncutting, with all the kids in the room invited to join the dignitaries (who included members of the project team, too):
Tours followed, starting along the hallway displaying reminders of Roxhill’s history as well as the renovations readying its students for a bright future:
We didn’t tag along for the rest of the tour – we brought you a look inside after the work was done earlier this summer. (Backstory on the Roxhill-to-Hughes move was also part of our preview published Monday.)
4 reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch:
STOLEN KAYAK: From Alex:
My kayak was stolen from the roof rack of my car on the night of Sept. 2. It’s a dark green NC-15 with yellow seat. My car was parked on 48th Ave SW. Police report is T18010975. We’ve had a streak of car/yard prowls in the recent weeks.
STOLEN BIKE: From Trissa:
We live on Pigeon Point which is experiencing a recent spike in thefts from sheds & yards. Sometime during the week of August 18-26th, someone stole our son’s bike from our front shed. We didn’t notice it was missing right away, so we didn’t check our security footage before it was recorded over. … Since others have had luck getting their bikes back, here’s a picture. The serial number which is embossed on the bottom of the frame is AHAX8J6025. It is a Haro 16” Flightline mountain bike. The police case number is 2018-907913.
STOLEN PURSE/KEYS: If you see a green crossover purse cast aside somewhere … it might be Lynette‘s purse, stolen from her car. She’s canceled her credit cards but is hoping the purse might still contain some keys she would really like to get back.
FOUND BIKE: Diane found a likely-stolen-and-dumped bicycle described as “a racing bike, FELT Z 80, blue, with white handles. It was stuffed in the blackberry bushes behind my house, in the alley.”
What’s ahead for the rest of your Tuesday, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
RIBBONCUTTING @ ROXHILL ELEMENTARY AT EC HUGHES: As previewed Monday, 11 am ceremony followed by tours of the renovated historic campus in Sunrise Heights. (7740 34th SW)
SOUTH SEATTLE COLLEGE ADMISSIONS WORKSHOP: Interested in applying to South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), especially as a transfer student and/or to get professional/technical training? This 5 pm workshop is for you – full details in our calendar listing. (6000 16th SW)
THE WHALE TRAIL: Tonight’s Orca Talk, as previewed here, will teach you about harbor porpoises in the Salish Sea – as well as providing an update on the Southern Resident Killer Whales. 7 pm at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) – get your ticket in advance. (5612 California SW)
THERE’S MORE! Our complete calendar is here; if you have something to add, please e-mail us the info, firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
It’s a big week for school-age kids and their families. But if you have a baby in the family – this invitation is for you! The photo and announcement are from Becky Huntley:
Babies, babies, babies! Bring your parent (or grandparent) to our Parent-Infant class. You will find fun things to explore (or examine!), bubbles, stories and music time. Your grownup will find other adults to talk with … and a professional parent educator to answer questions, offer support and the latest information about child development and guidance. We meet Wednesdays from 12:30 to 2:30 on the South Seattle College campus beginning Sept 12. Contact Becky at huntleybecky (at) gmail (dot) com for information – and see our website at www.westseattlepreschools.org
SSC, if you’re not already aware, is in West Seattle – 6000 16th SW on Puget Ridge.
6:56 AM: Good morning! No incidents reported in/from West Seattle so far.
BACK TO SCHOOL: Here’s our list of who goes back when – several local schools start today.
STADIUM ZONE: The Mariners’ homestand vs. Baltimore continues tonight, 7:10 pm.