West Seattle, Washington
Back in May, when reader questions led us to ask Seattle Parks about the almost-viewlessness of some viewpoints like Admiral Way, they told us they were “pausing any view trimming while we review and update our viewpoint and tree trimming policies.” That process is happening now, and the city’s advisory Board of Park Commissioners got a briefing at its meeting this past week:
It’s the last big topic of the meeting, 1 hour and 33 minutes into the video (which you also can watch on the Seattle Channel website if the embedded version above doesn’t work for you). The briefing was presented by Parks’ Kathy Nyland and Jon Jainga, who brought along this document explaining where things are at:
They explained that a Viewpoint Advisory Team has been convened and has already met twice. It’s focusing on the 16 officially designated-by-the-city viewpoints (five of which are in West Seattle – Admiral Way [Belvedere], Charles Richey, Emma Schmitz, Hamilton, Rotary), though a fair amount of discussion at the meeting kept sidetracking to issues such as how to get other parks treated as viewpoints. But Parks can barely take care of what they already have: “We’ve got a maintenance problem and a capacity problem,” said Nyland. She and Jainga explained that not only does Parks have too few maintenance crew members for the 280,000 trees in the system, the work at some steeply sloped parks is too dangerous and requires hiring specially trained tree experts. Plus, they added, rules and practices have changed, and even if they had enough staff, they couldn’t do some of what used to be OK for maintaining views (tree-topping was mentioned). So they’re talking about what they can do, and where. Maybe figure out ways to have environmentally sustainable and not-labor-intensive landscaping in some areas, Jainga suggested, noting that Seattle is now a Bee City and a Bird City, among other things.
Interim Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams elaborated on the cost issue, saying Parks has to make decisions such as, maintain viewpoints or maintain ballfields? Money also factors into those considerations, he said, because organizations pay to use fields, while “views are free.”
The briefing document says Parks is considering using four viewpoints as “pilot” sites to try out whatever they come up with, adding, “This will allow us to ‘course correct’ as necessary before implementation across all designations.” The proposed “pilot” list includes Admiral Way and Hamilton Viewpoints.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Viewpoint Advisory Team is meeting again on October 10th and 24th (6 pm at Parks HQ downtown, open to the public) and after that is expected to return to the Parks Board with a final report and recommendations.
You might know Jim Sander best for his quirky Pigeon Point neighborhood signs. At the 27th annual Southwest Library community art showcase, you can see his salute to a notorious chapter in West Seattle (and beyond) history – if the name Rolf Neslund isn’t instantly recognizable, catch up here. Other art at the show – which you can see at the library during its regular hours for the next month – doesn’t have quite that level of backstory:
Above, the balloons are by Jeff Ferry, the orca by Adrienne Salzwedel. The next work is by John deMars:
Here’s one of the artists on hand for this afternoon’s opening reception, Gordon Miller:
His work is titled “Three Tree Point.” Volunteers served refreshments at today’s reception:
Another component of the showcase: Free all-ages art classes at Southwest Library (9010 35th SW) on the next five Saturdays – see the list here!
Three sightings of note, in case you wondered too:
CAMP LONG: We received multiple questions late today about a big gathering at Camp Long that has police directing traffic. Hundreds of members of Ethiopian Orthodox churches from around the region are at the park for the annual observance of Meskel (Finding of the True Cross). The city’s Special Events Committee agenda from August notes that this is an annual event that has “grown to require (a) Special Event Permit.” Erika J. Schultz of The Seattle Times photographed the celebration at Camp Long two years ago (scroll down this page).
BEACH DRIVE: Beach Drive Blog noted a sizable turnout of motorcycle riders at Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook this morning. The occasion: The local edition of the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, raising money and awareness for men’s health issues.
PUGET SOUND: Thanks to JayDee for this Saturday photo:
That’s the SS Cape Intrepid, a ready-reserve ship long moored in Tacoma, headed out on sea trials, last seen on the MarineTraffic.com tracker as it entered open ocean outside the Strait of Juan de Fuca last night. (JayDee also contributed a photo of this ship almost exactly nine years ago!)
Our periodic check of files in notable West Seattle criminal cases has turned up a significant development in one: 26-year-old Keelan T. Malone has been found incompetent to stand trial in last June’s burglary/sexual assault near 13th/Roxbury, and sent to Western State Hospital for attempted restoration of competency. We reported in July that the competency evaluation was ordered, two weeks after two charges were filed against him, burglary with sexual motivation and indecent liberties. The evaluation results were presented at a hearing this past week during which Superior Court Judge Sean O’Donnell ordered Malone sent to Western State for up to 90 days. The next hearing in the case is set for December 20th.
2:08 PM: A “rescue extrication” response (formerly “heavy rescue”) is on the way to 47th/Charlestown, where a vehicle is reported to have gone through a fence and overturned. Updates to come.
2:14 PM: Charlestown is closed in both directions at the scene.
2:19 PM: WSB’s Christopher Boffoli is on scene. Vehicle right-side up; photo added. Everyone is out of the vehicle, per SFD. No word on injuries.
2:25 PM: Update from Christopher: “Looks like everyone is out ok with no serious injuries. An eyewitness tells me the car was headed eastbound up the hill and for whatever reason could not make it up and came down backward.” (If you’re indoors – it’s been raining for a while.)
As covered here this past week, the mayor’s budget plan is out and the City Council‘s review is on. One night before the first big public hearing next Thursday, West Seattle/South Park Councilmember Lisa Herbold will speak to the Southwest District Council. Besides discussing the budget process (which she is also updating on her website), she is also planning to talk about where the “vacant building” enforcement stands. She’s one of three guests on the agenda for Wednesday’s SWDC meeting, 6:30 pm at the Senior Center/Sisson Building (4217 SW Oregon, upstairs).
Welcome to the last day of September! Highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm, see what’s fresh, in the street in the heart of The Junction. (California SW between SW Oregon and SW Alaska)
VICTOR JANUSZ: Live music at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor), 10 am-2 pm. (1936 Harbor SW)
MEET THE CREATOR OF TIMEBANKS: 1 pm at Neighborhood House High Point, as previewed here last week, West Seattle Timebank hosts Dr. Edgar Cahn, who founded and leads TimeBanks USA. All welcome! (6400 Sylvan Way SW)
MEET THE ARTISTS: 2-3 pm at Southwest Library, meet your West Seattle neighbors who are showing their work in the 27th annual Southwest Artist Showcase, at its opening reception. Enjoy coffee and dessert while you’re there! (9010 35th SW)
In celebration of Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday, Nightingale by Pamela Gerke brings Nightingale’s story to life through original music and scenes of her life in a 2-act musical that reframes and makes relevant her image for modern audiences.
Thanks to Ted Johnson for the photo from last weekend’s Admiral UCC performance. Admission free. (4831 35th SW)
MARC SMASON: Live music at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 3-5 pm. (5612 California SW)