West Seattle, Washington
A night to remember for the West Seattle High School volleyball team, first win of the season in a home match against Bainbridge High School.
The visiting Spartans took the first game 25-16 but then the Wildcats won the match by taking the next three, 25-8, 29-27, and 25-23. The last two were especially hard-fought by first-year head coach Abby West‘s players.
Next up for the Wildcats, they’re at home again Tuesday night, 7 pm varsity, vs. Skyline. Here’s the season schedule.
After four months as its interim director, Highland Park resident Andrés Mantilla is now officially in charge of the city Department of Neighborhoods, confirmed today by the City Council.
He succeeds Kathy Nyland, who led the department for three years following Bernie Matsuno‘s four-year tenure. Mantilla has worked for the city in a variety of roles for the past decade, detailed here with other info about his background. The announcement of his confirmation quotes him as saying, “I am deeply appreciative of the power that community engagement and inclusive outreach has in building a more equitable Seattle. I look forward to working with community and neighborhood groups as we continue this important work.” (Photo from seattle.gov)
From the WSB inbox:
In the interest of warning other early morning runners/walkers, I had a disturbing encounter this morning around 6:10 while running north on California between Genesee and Charlestown.
A vehicle moderately slowed down beside me just north of Genesee and must have circled the block and did it again north of Dakota, but this time paced me for a few seconds. I then noticed the vehicle pull off to the side north of Charlestown as I approached that intersection. I crossed the street to the 7-11 and watched the vehicle proceed south on California after slowing in front of the 7-11. It was an old (’70s/maybe early ’80s) two-tone brown large “SUV” with the rear window rolled down or missing. Be alert, runners and walkers!
Special thanks to the 7-11 employee and Vanpool at the gas pump for being so helpful to me!
Just a few blocks uphill from Washington State Ferries‘ Fauntleroy terminal, you can drop in until 7 pm at Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW) to find out about/comment on the WSF Draft Long-Range Plan. Among the easel displays, the ferry of the future:
The proposed plan would have three 124-car hybrid-electric ferries serving Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth by 2029. Other big changes on this route would include a second slip at Southworth by 2026. The long-range plan – which is supposed to look all the way ahead to 2040 – also covers climate change:
And it covers budget woes – with one board saying the system only has half the funding it would need to make it’s proposed plan reality. If you can’t make it to this open house, you have until late October to comment via this online open house. The so-called Triangle Route, meantime, has a much nearer-term change in the works – a new schedule for the first time in a long time (here’s our most-recent report on that process). We just got the schedule for three meetings specific to THAT proposed change:
-Fauntleroy, 5-7 pm October 23 (Fauntleroy Church)
-Vashon, 6-8 pm October 24 (Vashon Island High School)
-Southworth, 5:30-7:30 pm October 25 (Harper Church)
Despite a community outcry, South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) will close its Pastry and Baking Arts program. Back in April, the recommendation to close the well-regarded program to save money was announced, and led to impassioned pleas, including those made at an impromptu meeting that included many local baking/restaurant luminaries. The timeline for the decision was extended, but now it’s been made. Here’s the statement we just received from SSC:
South Seattle College has decided to close the Pastry & Baking Arts program. The decision comes after assessment of findings from a year-long program viability review that all programs go through, extensive discussion and analysis with stakeholders, and weighing a variety of factors, including:
*Declining enrollment over the past several years and low student-to-faculty ratio
*High instructional costs
Students, faculty and staff have been notified of the closure and the college is focused on providing support to those directly impacted:
The college will provide our current cohort of 17 pastry students with support to complete their education. Instruction and Student Services will work collaboratively in that effort and a student success team is in place to specifically support our students on an individual basis. Those students will start class the first day of Fall Quarter.
Campus administrators, human resources and union representatives are in the process of meeting with program faculty and staff to discuss options and make plans.
Statement from South Seattle College President Rosie Rimando-Chareunsap:
“As a member of South’s community for 18 years, I witnessed and truly valued the Pastry & Baking Arts program’s contributions to our college history and student success. It serves as a good example of how we support our community’s career interests and industry workforce needs through the programs we offer. Those interests and needs evolve over time, and with the serious challenges facing Pastry & Baking Arts today it is, unfortunately, no longer fiscally responsible to continue running the program. It is paramount that we be good stewards of taxpayer dollars and student tuition.
“I greatly appreciate the students, staff, community members and pastry industry representatives taking time to share their perspective on the quality and value of the pastry program, and every student who chose our program to pursue their passion in pastry and baking arts. South continues to operate a great Culinary Arts program, and I want future pastry chefs to know Seattle Central College – our sister institution – has an excellent pastry and baking program.
“South Seattle College remains committed to offering a comprehensive range of programs that meet demand from students, community, and industry partners, and ensuring resources are used effectively.”
In a recent interview with WSB (story later this week), the new president said the program had “more than double the average cost per student” compared to other SSC programs.
(Added 6:20 pm: Full unedited video of briefing)
1:02 PM: Here’s the full news release:
Mark your calendars. In early 2019, the new State Route 99 tunnel will open, offering travelers a direct route from Seattle’s stadiums to the Space Needle.
To open the tunnel, the Washington State Department of Transportation must first realign the state highway, and then move SR 99 from the seismically vulnerable Alaskan Way Viaduct into the tunnel. This intensive work will last about three weeks and prompt the longest major highway closure to ever hit the Puget Sound region.
“The opening of the SR 99 tunnel will be an historic event in the state’s transportation history,” said Brian Nielsen, administrator of the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program. “Before we can celebrate, we have to get through an unprecedented closure that will require all of us to change our behavior.”
WSDOT’s current plan is to close SR 99 through Seattle beginning Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. Closing SR 99 through Seattle is the only way crews can finish building the highway and the eight new ramps that will allow travelers to enter and exit the new tunnel
Travelers should expect region-wide congestion for up to six weeks as crews complete final connections to and from the new tunnel. In addition to the three-week closure:
*The off-ramp from southbound SR 99 to South Atlantic Street will permanently close one week earlier than the viaduct.
*The new off-ramp from northbound SR 99 to South Dearborn Street will require up to two weeks of additional work after the tunnel opens.
Get ready, make a plan
When the viaduct closes, 90,000 drivers who normally use the Alaskan Way Viaduct will need to find another way to get to, or through, downtown Seattle. During past Alaskan Way Viaduct closures, congestion increased on all major highways throughout Puget Sound as well as on local streets.
While WSDOT is working closely with the Seattle Department of Transportation, King County Metro and other key transportation agencies to keep traffic moving during this challenging time, help from drivers is critical.
“We need drivers to change their habits for three weeks to prevent gridlock,” said Nielsen. “We recognize everyone’s strategies will be different based on their needs, but consider other ways to get to and from your destination, if you can.”
When Seattle Tunnel Partners finished disassembling the tunneling machine Bertha in 2017, WSDOT estimated the tunnel would be open in early 2019. While there was optimism this date could be moved up, a number of factors influenced the decision to stay with the early 2019 date:
Construction progress: WSDOT has several contractors that must complete work to be ready for the three-week SR 99 closure. Scarsella Brothers, Inc. will then build the final tunnel and ramp connections. Some of this work, like road striping, is weather dependent.
Public notice: Starting in January ensures that contractor work will be complete and we can provide a specific date much further in advance. The public’s help will be critical and this will give everyone time to plan.
Holiday travel and commerce: WSDOT and its partner agencies are committed to keeping people and goods moving during the busy holiday season. Avoiding a major highway closure between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day helps achieve this goal. There are also fewer major events in early 2019 than there are during the last quarter of 2018.
Per the Legislature’s decision, the SR 99 tunnel will be tolled as a part of the project’s financing plan. The tunnel will be free to use when it first opens.
Additional details about the closure, tunnel opening and the future tolling of the tunnel can be found at www.99tunnel.com.
1:50 PM: The briefing is over and we’re headed back to HQ. We recorded it all on video and will be uploading that. Also, some West Seattle-specific details: Paul Brodeur from the King County Water Taxi said it will run a two-boat schedule on weekdays during the closure, with shuttles also doubled, and there will be extra parking including a lot at Pier 2, at Don Armeni, and along Harbor Avenue.
3:26 PM: Bus reroutes during the closure are already mentioned in route-specific pamphlets as part of Metro’s service-change announcement – but the language suggests they were expecting the closure to be much sooner, so we’re asking Metro if the January timing will change anything. Metro’s new deputy general manager Terry White said at the briefing that the stops for the 12 routes that will have to be rerouted are still being finalized.
6:20 PM: Just added our full unedited video of the briefing and Q&A from this afternoon.
11:56 AM: Thanks for the tips! A “full response” fire call in Arbor Heights, sent to a house near SW 97th and 31st SW [map], was quickly downsized, but several units are still on scene, so we’re on the way to find out more.
12:08 PM: This was a kitchen fire – but not a cooking fire. We’re told the stove, accidentally turned on, ignited some nearby items. Quickly extinguished; no one hurt.
6:25 PM: Neighbor Alan sent this photo of Lou the puppy, who he says was rescued by firefighters:
Another West Seattle missing-person alert from SPD:
MISSING: Jacqueline Dupras, 74. Diagnosed with dementia and increasing memory issues. 5'3", 135 lbs., reddish grey hair, green eyes. Unknown clothing description. Last seen Sunday in the 1900 block 46th Ave SW. Call 911 if seen. pic.twitter.com/cpON5jvJyg
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) September 17, 2018
Jackie has long been active in the community, so many know her.
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
SOUTHWEST POOL REOPENING: As announced Friday, the pool’s closure for upgrades has been cut short, and it instead will be open on a “limited schedule” that you can see here (PDF), including noon-6:30 pm today. (2801 SW Thistle)
GIVE THE GIFT OF LIFE: 1-7 pm blood drive at Peace Lutheran Church in Gatewood, closed 3-4 pm for a break. (39th SW/SW Thistle)
EARLY DESIGN OUTREACH FOR 5616 CALIFORNIA SW: 4 pm at High Point Library, it’s the second “Early Community Outreach for Design Review” meeting in West Seattle since the new process launched. This time, as previewed here, the project is 5616 California SW, proposed for eight townhouses. (3411 SW Raymond)
VOLLEYBALL! The West Seattle High School volleyball team plays Bainbridge HS, JV/C games at 4:30, varsity at 6. It’s Middle School Night – explained in our preview. Admission free! (3000 California SW)
WASHINGTON STATE FERRIES’ FUTURE: By year’s end, the state ferry system has to finalize its next long-range plan – through 2040 this time – and send it to legislators. 5-7 pm, stop by Fauntleroy Church to learn more about what WSF envisions in its draft plan and/or to add your comments. (9140 California SW)
FOR THE FULL LIST … see our complete calendar!
9:29 AM: If you’ve noticed the police presence in/around Lincoln Park – we just went down to find out. Officers say a man tried to rob the gas station/mini-mart just north of the park and might have fled into the park, so that’s why they’ve been searching. The description broadcast on police radio: “Light-skinned black male, light facial hair,” wearing a baseball-style cap over a pulled-up hoodie with three reflective strips on it and cut-off sleeves, black pants, running shoes. If you have any information, call 911.
9:33 AM: Our crew subsequently went over to the gas station, where they were told it wasn’t an attempt, it was indeed a robbery, and the robber got away with some money. Detectives are there talking with them now.
9:09 AM: Tomorrow’s the day for this year’s West Side Job Fair – 10 am-1 pm Tuesday (September 18th) in The Junction, with more than 30 local employers interviewing for more than 100 jobs. From office to restaurant, medical practices to schools, and more. Just show up, and be sure to bring multiple copies of your resumé – the West Side Job Fair is at Great American Diner and Bar (4752 California SW). WSB is media sponsor again this year, since we work all year to connect employers with prospective employees via free job listings.
9:09 PM: Here’s the updated list of employers planning to be there and the positions for which they’re hiring.
7:10 AM: Good morning! No incidents reported in/from West Seattle so far.
FERRIES’ FUTURE: 5-7 pm tonight, Washington State Ferries is at Fauntleroy Church for the West Seattle open house about its draft long-range plan – backstory here.