West Seattle, Washington
If you get the chance to stop by Juneau Street Market sometime soon, Sami Ibrahim would appreciate your business.
As reported here, the little corner store, owned by Sami since 2011, was rocked twice by crime in the span of one week.
Five days after that, a violent attack that made regional news – with the 71-year-old clerk badly injured by a would-be robber, saved by bystanders. Though this time there was an arrest, the store was again left in disarray, some stock destroyed.
Sami says his clerk is out of the hospital and recovering at home. As reported here last week, her family is crowdfunding, and generous community members have already surpassed the first goal. She has a long road to travel to heal.
As for the shop, Sami says he’s not looking for donations. He invited us to come down and visit the store so you would be reminded that the shop is still open. Business has been down since the crimes, but business is what the store needs to recover (insurance won’t cover the entirety of the damage and loss). The store, he says, is the same neighborhood place it’s always been and he welcomes everyone to come see for themselves. He’s also grateful for neighbors’ support over the years – they’re “cool people,” he says.
And while you’re there, you’ll see a photo of his brave clerk on the counter, with a reminder of the GoFundMe campaign that’s helping her.
(Juneau Street Market is at 5901 California SW.)
One more story about lights on one of the longest nights of the year: Several people have e-mailed to point out another chronic streetlight outage on the high bridge. Those lights ar the responsibility of Seattle City Light, and they’re certainly on the utility’s radar, spokesperson Scott Thomsen tells WSB. City Light is working with SDOT, he says, to come up with a traffic-control plan for repairs, which he says SDOT usually wants to see done at night or on the weekend to reduce traffic impact: “We are asking for a lane closure with a blinking, moving SDOT truck following our yellow City Light truck as the repairs are made. They whole job should take about 5 hours once we get the crew in place.” As for a timeline, he says that depends on how much longer it takes SDOT to review/approve the plan.
We have featured this display at 36th/Roxbury a few times in the past, but the photo and note from Megan were a reminder that it’s the season to see everything through fresh eyes – she and her family are new arrivals and this caught their attention while they were out looking at lights the other night. So thanks for the suggestions (with or without photos) – firstname.lastname@example.org – one week until Christmas Eve! (See what we’ve shown previously by scrolling through this WSB archive section.)
The mayor’s announcement today of $75 million for “affordable” rental housing includes money for one West Seattle project that’s already been mentioned here multiple times, the new Transitional Resources apartments in the 2800 block of SW Yancy, not far from TR’s headquarters on Avalon Way. Back in September, TR’s CEO Darcell Slovek-Walker told WSB they’re proceeding with the project, saying they would soon be “submitting funding applications to develop up to 44 studio units in two buildings.” This city grant is apparently one result. The city announcement doesn’t include the specific award amounts but this Office of Housing document indicates TR requested $3.8 million. TR says the new building, replacing three old houses, “will serve adults in need of behavioral health treatment and support to live independently in permanent housing,” as with their other properties, which as of September provided housing to 85 people.
Last week we reported on the $5.2 million listing for properties owned by, and adjacent to, The Kenney (WSB sponsor). The site at 46th/47th/Othello was at one point under consideration for redevelopment as apartments. Since last week’s mention of the listing, we’ve received an update on The Kenney’s status and future plans from its operator Heritage Ministries:
The Kenney is currently affiliated with Heritage Ministries, a New York, not-for-profit provider of senior housing and services for the elderly. Heritage Ministries operates in four different states at 9 different locations including The Kenney in Seattle. The Kenney formally affiliated with Heritage just over 3 years ago after many years of financial struggles and 2 years of interim management under an agreement with Ontrack Solutions, a for-profit management company.
When The Kenney affiliated with Heritage in May of 2015, it had secured debt of $21.8 million and was losing over $3 million per year. As a result of the affiliation and under Heritage’s oversight, the overall secured debt now stands at under $15 million and annual losses have been drastically curtailed, but there is still work to be done.
With this new affiliation, The Kenney has begun taking steps to become a more viable, long-term retirement option for seniors in West Seattle. A significant step was taken earlier in 2018 when The Kenney ceased to operate skilled nursing beds at the location. According to President David Smeltzer, “The 20-bed skilled nursing unit was not a viable product. It was too small to be able to operate efficiently, was comprised primarily of semi-private rooms, and could not compete with larger facilities for the more profitable, short-term rehab portion of the business. We saw an opportunity to reduce operating losses while providing very similar care and services in our Lincoln Vista assisted living apartments which are all private units consisting of both efficiency and one-bedroom apartments. We now offer many of the same services in a much newer building and in a much nicer environment.”
The Kenney is now in the process of totally renovating the old skilled-nursing area along with another former assisted-living wing to create a much more appealing memory care unit that will also enable it to increase the number of residents served with these needs from 13 to 20 with more room to grow in the future. This space will also offer private rooms, larger dining and activities spaces, and an improved access to outdoor spaces.
In addition to these moves to improve the facility, The Kenney has been gutting and remodeling the older apartments in two original buildings, Seaview and Sunrise. When Heritage took over, many of these units did not even have kitchens. Under this new leadership, smaller efficiency apartments have been combined to make much more appealing two-bedroom and one-bedroom units.
In addition, The Kenney is also well into the process of constructing 5 new townhomes on the corner of Fauntleroy and SW Othello. They have been working with architects Shoesmith Cox, who designed the units and is leading the project through the City of Seattle permitting process. The Kenney is hopeful that construction on these homes will begin in 2019.
Two years ago, The Kenney held a meeting with community residents to discuss the townhome project as well as plans to build additional apartments on the corner of 47 Ave SW and SW Othello. However, with further analysis, Kenney management has determined that a more critical need for The Kenney is the continued improvement of its existing facilities and infrastructure. The revised plan calls for complete renovations of all existing buildings and apartments, the improved Memory Care unit referred to above, brand new elevators, and perhaps most importantly, a brand new dining facility to be built above the current Memory Care unit. This new dining facility will offer a variety of seating options with restaurant-style dining and provide a better flow of traffic through the facility for residents and guests alike.
President and CEO Smeltzer stated, “Due to the financial struggles The Kenney had prior to their affiliation with Heritage, The Kenney was unable to keep the facilities up to date and provide the
amenities which a retirement community in today’s market is expected to provide. We are working hard to overcome these obstacles to create a safe, secure, and appealing environment where seniors from West Seattle and beyond can find an affordable option for retirement with a continuum of vital services. We believe this can best be accomplished by accessing the capital that currently exists in the community rental properties on 47 Ave. SW and using it to bring The Kenney up to current standards while assuring that we maintain its rich history.”
The new townhomes at Fauntleroy/Othello were described at last July’s Morgan Community Association meeting. The skilled-nursing closure was first announced more than a year ago.
Can’t tell how long it’s been in circulation, but a survey linked from the Water Taxi website has only three days left, and while it’s billed as a survey “to address bicycle capacity issues,” it includes questions of interest to all Water Taxi riders, not just those who bring bikes on board. One question asks whether the Water Taxi should charge extra for bicycles brought on board, and if you think so, how much. The county says the survey is open through Wednesday; you can start it here.
This past summer, a change in the lighting at BNSF Railway‘s yard in SODO was glaringly obvious, so to speak, for some east-facing West Seattle residents. The railroad said in a Twitter exchange with one West Seattleite three months ago that it planned to make changes. Finally, those changes are being made. Max tipped us today that BNSF regional spokesperson Courtney Wallace had sent word that work is under way, and she confirmed to WSB:
We are installing a series of color filters that are meant to resolve the brightness issue and will be re-aiming the current fixtures. Work on the north side of our SIG yard has been completed by our environmental team. Filters will be applied to lights in the main SIG yard this Tuesday and Wednesday 12/18-12/19 and continuing on Friday. We hope to have the project complete by this weekend.
(SIG stands for Seattle International Gateway.) Though east-facing West Seattleites are used to port and bridge lighting, the brightness of these fixtures were described by multiple people we heard from as “light pollution.”
11:55 AM: As noted here over the weekend, Seattle Parks-owned Southwest Pool had to close because of damage caused during Friday night’s windstorm/power outage. The closure continues today, according to this newly posted update:
Until further notice this week, SW Pool is closed due to boiler heat exchanger damage during a power outage. A new system is being ordered Monday 12/17 and we will reopen as soon as we can.
The pool was one of 10,000-plus homes, businesses, and other buildings that lost power for hours when 50+-mph winds blew through on Friday night.
12:45 PM: Via Twitter, Seattle Parks says the pool is expected to reopen around 3 pm today. We’ll check on its status then.
GIVING TREE: Time’s ticking! Donate by Friday for families at Hickman House via the tree at CAPERS. (4525 California SW)
AFTERNOON BOOK GROUP: 2 pm at Southwest Library. This month’s title is “The Snow Child” by Eowyn Ivey. (9010 35th SW)
WE 3 CAROLERS: Singing for shoppers tonight at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor), 5:30-7:30 pm. (4201 SW Morgan)
FAMILY STORY TIME: 6:30 pm at High Point Library. (3411 SW Raymond)
RIPPIN CHICKEN: 9:30 pm, Rippin Chicken performs at Parliament Tavern. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
10:17 AM: Seattle Fire says the “fire in building” callout at Cal-Mor Circle in Morgan Junction (the cylindrical apartment building at 6420 California SW) is a kitchen fire. They’re on scene “working to extinguish” it.
10:24 AM: Fire is reported to be “tapped” (out).
If you’re doing some holiday baking this week – a little extra can go a long way. The Christmas People are gearing up for their free community Christmas dinner in West Seattle, and for delivering hundreds more meals to people in need.
To make those meals merrier, they are looking for 3,400 homemade cookies! If you can bake some and drop them off, they’ll be at the Alki Masonic Center in The Junction (4736 40th SW) every day from Saturday (December 22) through Christmas Day, 9 am-3:30 pm. Questions? Fred Hutchinson at 206-719-4979, email@example.com.
P.S. They’re also inviting kids to a party there on Saturday, 1-3 pm, to decorate cookies and aprons and make holiday crafts.
7:06 AM: Good morning. No traffic incident or transit alerts so far for our area.
NEW SERVICE STARTS: Today is the first day that Ride2 is serving part of West Seattle, as announced last week. Here’s how it works, including where and when.
8:09 AM: Thanks to the texter who sent this pic of a Ride2 van on standby in North Delridge:
If you try it – today or someother time soon – we’d be interested in hearing from you.