West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?”
That was part of a collection of quotes from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., read aloud by those in attendance on this MLK Day night at a special Westside Interfaith Network meeting, devoted to rallying support for keeping city-sanctioned Camp Second Chance in place in southeast West Seattle.
Three city reps were there to hear the testimonials that drew applause and the occasional “amen!” during the gathering that filled the Fauntleroy UCC Fellowship Hall with more than 100 people: Jackie St. Louis and Lisa Gustaveson from the city Human Services Department, and City Councilmember Lisa Herbold.
The timing is critical because the encampment is close to the end of its second sanctioned year (following nine unsanctioned months) on the city-owned Myers Way Parcels. City law currently says two years is the maximum stay allowed for an encampment. Another group, the Highland Park Action Committee, is meeting Wednesday to listen to arguments about whether it should or should not support an extension. Throughout tonight’s WIN meeting, speakers including camp residents made the case that the camp must not be forced to leave.
Cinda Stenger, a lay leader at Alki UCC who is also on the Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee, noted that the church has built 13 “tiny houses” at the site. (We have chronicled these reports in our coverage of most CAC meetings.) She said this is the only Seattle community that can build on site at a sanctioned encampment. “If this camp is to move, this powerful work will no longer be possible,” she said, calling the relationship between community supporters and the camp “a love affair. … Everything is about relationships … If they are to be relocated or worse, disbanded, (the city) will be breaking our hearts.”
She recapped Camp Second Chance’s backstory, with a group breaking away from a Tent City, launching on a site outside the city, then moving to the Myers Way Parcels (without authorization at first, and after a brief time on private property across the street).
Stenger said C2C, which usually has about 50 people living on the site at 9701 Myers Way S., is vital because there’s not enough low-income housing for the campers to move into. “If the camp has to move, the level of disruption to (campers’) lives is unconscionable.” Most have jobs and/or take classes, she noted.
She handed the mic to Willow Fulton, who chairs the CAC and lives near the camp, just south of the city/county line.
Just can’t get enough of the moon! From the WSB inbox tonight – above, the skyline moonrise, photographed by Susanna Moore (from WSB sponsor Niederberger Contracting); below, one more multiphase look at last night’s incredible eclipse, from Dan Ciske:
Dan says, “All taken over a 3+ hour time frame from our West Seattle deck, then merged into a collage.” (If you missed last night’s as-it-happened eclipse coverage, with other contributed photos, it’s here.)
While we were out covering a meeting (story to come), residents near WSB HQ in Upper Fauntleroy noticed brown water. Even before we returned home to notice it’s affecting us too, they checked with Seattle Public Utilities, which told them it’s likely the result of hydrant usage during this afternoon’s fire call. So we’re using the occasion as a reminder – that’s one reason for discolored water, but always doublecheck with SPU at 206-386-1800 if it happens to you, because among other things it might be first sign of a water break. Here’s the official city advice on dealing with discolored water.
As announced by the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network for Tuesday night ([corrected] 6:30 pm January 22nd):
Our main presentation topic is 9-1-1, something most of us take for granted until something goes wrong…
Our guest speaker will be Kayreen Lum, the E-911 Outreach and Training Specialist for King County. She will talk about the recent 9-1-1 outage, what caused it, and what to do if it happens again. She’ll also explain when and how to use the relatively new option, to send text messages to 9-1-1 (which is now available in Seattle and King County).
As always, a police briefing/Q&A will be part of the meeting too. WSBWCN meets at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster), all welcome – you don’t have to be a Block Watch captain or even member.
4:13 PM: Seattle Fire is sending a “full response” to a possible house fire in the 8400 block of 42nd SW (map). Updates to come.
4:19 PM: Crews on scene report it appears to be just a dryer fire, “confined to the laundry room.” Biggest task ahead – ventilation.
4:23 PM: Fire’s out.
4:40 PM: No injuries reported. Most originally responding units have been dismissed.
The West Seattle gift shop Alair is moving – but not far. Proprietor Shandon Graybeal sends word that she is moving to a larger space at 3270 California SW (former home to Equilibrium Fitness).
It’s just a few doors down from her current location at 3280 California SW, but with about 600 more square feet of space, “so we can start offering more print services (for screen printing and invitations, etc), calligraphy classes and pop ups, and eventually we’d like to have a letterpress back there. That’s years down the road though.” Alair is having a Moving Sale through month’s end – “offering 20% off everything and … a big section that’s 50% off,” open 10 am-6 pm Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11 am-4 pm Sundays through month’s end. She says she’s hopeful there won’t be much downtime for the move and expects to open the new storefront sometime in February, with a Grand Reopening party in March. She adds a special thanks to customers who’ve been patient as she has “had to utilize the ‘Back in 10’ sign a ton recently” and to other businesses that have been supportive. Alair is in its third year of business.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a Day of Service for many – among them, thousands of volunteers organized via United Way of King County. Dozens of them are helping out at WestSide Baby‘s regional headquarters in White Center – including a big group of Starbucks workers, many of whom brought along their own kids.
WestSide Baby relies on a lot of volunteer help to “process gently used donated items and prepare them to be distributed to children in our community … quality checking clothing items, getting clothes on our shelves and filling actual orders from hundreds of social workers who help local low-income families.” Among the items they’re quality-checking, car seats:
The MLK Day of Service also points out that “WestSide Baby is the only social service agency in West King county area that collects, inspects and distributes free diapers, clothing, cribs and safety gear for babies and children. More than 114 local social service agencies, including shelters and food banks, rely upon us to provide critical necessities for low-income families.” WestSide Baby executive director Nancy Woodland says they have an ongoing need for volunteers, especially with car seats.
Contact WS Baby if you can help – here’s how.
At the start of the holiday weekend, a celebration at West Seattle High School – a bittersweet one. The final regularly scheduled home game for high-school sports teams is traditionally Senior Night. WSHS honorees included their standout girls’ basketball team (third in the state last year), some of whom have played together since childhood. From the announcements on Friday night – Anissa Babitu is journeying the farthest, going to Fiji for college:
Jasmine Gayles, hoping to pursue a career in law:
Kelsey Lenzie, headed for the University of Portland:
Grace Sarver, headed for WSU:
Also honoring the seniors – the younger teammates they’ll leave behind:
The team went on to a 59-51 victory in their Friday night game against Roosevelt and are 13-2. They’re playing Prairie this afternoon at Showare Center in Kent, in the King Showcase; you do have another chance to see them without leaving West Seattle – at Chief Sealth International High School at 7 pm Friday, February 1st.
5:30 AM: Good morning! Schools and most government facilities are closed; Metro‘s on reduced-weekday service; Sound Transit has some changes; both the West Seattle and Vashon Water Taxis ARE operating.
6 AM: Still relatively quiet, regionally too.
6:20 AM: No news is good news! Here’s the WSDOT wrap on week one of Viaduct-less commuting.
6:45 AM: West Seattle Bridge still flowing. I-5’s picked up.
7:06 AM: East end of the eastbound bridge has slowed but the westbound’s still well below usual.
7:30 AM: Forecast – mostly cloudy today, no rain expected until Tuesday morning.
8:05 AM: Still uneventful. Even the official SDOT description of West Seattle Bridge traffic is “light.”
8:30 AM: Watching the live-video bridge cams, it looks like a weekend out there. By the way, there’s another no-school day next week – Wednesday, January 30th, it’s the “day between semesters” for Seattle Public Schools.
8:55 AM: Wrapping up a quiet holiday commute. We’ll as always cover any breaking traffic news during the day/night, and will be back on AM watch at 5:30 Tuesday. Tips always appreciated at 206-293-6302 (our 24/7 hotline, text or voice) – thank you!