day : 25/02/2019 11 results

ELECTION 2019: Brendan Kolding ‘all in,’ vying for City Council District 1

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Brendan Kolding‘s bid for the Seattle City Council District 1 seat isn’t his first run for elective office.

But it is his first “all-in” campaign, he says.

Continuing our series of candidate interviews, we sat down with Kolding recently to find out more about why he wants this job and what he’ll do if he gets it.

First, what he means by “all in” – he’s “playing to win,” including fundraising. His campaign, announced last month, now has a website. He’s broadened his campaign focus, which in his two runs for the State Legislature were focused on education.

He believes his biggest qualification – and, it’s clear, his major motivation – is his profession: Law enforcement.

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Celebration of Life planned Saturday for Sharon VanHoutte, 1958-2019

Family and friends will gather Saturday to celebrate the life of Sharon L. VanHoutte. Here’s the remembrance they’re sharing with the community:

Sharon Louise VanHoutte
January 6, 1958 – February 20, 2019

Our “lucky penny” Angel

Sharon L. VanHoutte, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, brought joy and happiness to all lives she touched. Shortly after her 61st birthday, Sharon peacefully passed away on February 20, 2019, and went to heaven, where she will live eternally with her savior.

Sharon lived her entire life in West Seattle. She met the love of her life, Curt, and married in 1979. They had two children, Shawna and Ryan, whom she loved and adored.

She was the woman who had everything done at the end of the day. Her diligence allowed her family to live simply and love life. She might as well have published Good Housekeeping. She liked to cook, dance, garden, walk Alki Beach with Curt; they attended all their kids’ sporting events and participated in school field trips. Sharon cherished her Christmas Eve hors d’oeuvres spreads and her infamous snowmen collection.

Sharon was preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Virginia Cocherl, and sister Chris. She is survived her husband Curt, daughter Shawna (Tim), son Ryan, granddaughter Laylina, Mom (in law) Pat, brother Steve, sisters Donna (Bruce), Holly, Kellie (Tony), and in-laws Vicki (Dean), Karen (Mark), and Scott. Numerous nieces, nephews, and friends who were like family to her because family was most important. She was dearly loved and will be missed by all.

There will be a celebration of life March 2nd, from 12 pm-4 pm, at St. Bernadette’s Parish Hall. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Seattle Children’s Hospital or a charity of your choice.

“Where love is concerned, too much is not even enough.” -Pierre Beaumarchais

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

Here’s how Seattle Public Schools will handle snow make-up days

(Madison Middle School on snowy February 9th, photographed by Aidan Grambihler)

As announced by Seattle Public Schools – here’s how they’ll make up for the days lost to snow earlier this month:

The winter weather and related schedule changes have been a challenge for many and we thank you for your patience. In February, school closed for five days due to the series of snow storms.

This year’s school calendar included two make-up days in June (June 21 and 24); the three additional make-up days will be added to the calendar following those days as outlined in the 2019 Collective Bargaining Agreement, with the Seattle Education Association. The last day of school for students in grades preschool through 11 will be June 27.

The priority of the district is to provide high-quality instruction to all our students and ensure they are academically prepared. The decision to extend school until June 27 was made with this goal in mind and in consultation with the Seattle Education Association. While we recognize extending the school year may be challenging for some families, we also know that the amount of instructional time a student spends with their teacher is one of the most important factors in learning.

High school graduation dates will not change. In order to meet the state’s instructional time requirement, the last day of school for students in 12th grade will be June 20. Students will be expected to finish any outstanding coursework or exams required for graduation. High school principals will communicate further updates specific to their school over the coming weeks.

Chief Sealth International HS and West Seattle HS are both scheduled for June 13th graduations.

About the police response in High Point

Thanks to the readers who messaged us, wondering about a police response in High Point. They mentioned seeing officers in multiple locations, so we went looking around and found police near 34th/Graham. They told us this was related to a stolen car and suspects being taken into custody who might be linked to robbery cases. That’s all we have in the early going; we will have to follow up tomorrow to get full details.

FOLLOWUP: Sweeney family’s Triangle ‘potential redevelopment’ process begins

(King County Assessor’s Office photo)

Four weeks ago, the Sweeney family announced they would soon be meeting with the city to start the process of exploring redevelopment of their West Seattle Triangle property – particularly the Alki Lumber site. Now, early-stage documents generated by that process have appeared in the city’s online files. The overview notation is: “Potential redevelopment of 4440 Fauntleroy Way SW and 4406 36th Ave SW”; One associated document offers the general assessment, “A large W. Seattle Triangle redevelopment proposal. Total development does not appear to be formulated yet.” But another document in the file gives some hints at possibilities. Here’s an excerpt:


Over four generations, the Sweeney family has assembled over 3.5 acres of real estate in what, today, is known as the West Seattle Triangle (WST), an area bounded by Fauntleroy Way SW, SW Alaska Street and 35th Avenue SW. The properties are distributed over six blocks and range in size from approximately 1.5-acres to 1.0-acres, including:

• 4440 Fauntleroy Way SW (Alki Lumber)
• 4406 36th Ave SW (Alki Lumber)
• 4500 36th Ave SW
• 3512 SW Alaska Street
• 4609-4623 36th Avenue SW
• 4517 37th Avenue SW

Since 1938, the two northernmost half-block properties fronting Fauntleroy Way, SW Avalon Way, and 36th Avenue SW have been home to the Alki Lumber & Hardware Co., one of Seattle’s few remaining independent lumberyards. With the exception of the 0.4-acre Dearborn Lumber warehouse site, located on 37th Avenue SW, the remaining three properties are organized along both sides of 36th Avenue SW, creating a North-South spine of potential development running through the center of the Triangle neighborhood.

The Owners would like to confirm planning considerations and potential permit paths for the phased, coordinated redevelopment of the two Alki Lumber sites – extending their commitment to the neighborhood for generations to come. In total, these two Project sites are anticipated to include underground parking; approximately 30,000 sf of ground floor retail, market/hardware, and commercial office functions; and approximately 270,000 sf of multifamily residential use.

Again, no specific proposal is on file yet. In their January announcement, the family said, “Our goal is to establish a vision and a master plan for the future of our properties to benefit the West Seattle Triangle community, which serves as the gateway to the peninsula. This will be a long-term, multi-year, phased approach.”

VIDEO: Northwest Insurance Group’s new art, by an artist you might recognize

You might know West Seattle artist Desmond Hansen (above right) best for his signal boxes. He also works on commission – and today we learned one of his latest works is in the Northwest Insurance Group (WSB sponsor) office of John Moore (above left), who shared the photo as well as this time-lapse video:

John explains that he recently asked the artist – who’s also a client of his – to “create a unique piece of art for our office and somehow tie it into our new logo. I am a big fan of his work and sometimes get lost in the depth of his detail and imagery. He approached me with a couple of concepts and I chose the one featured here. He spent 3 days working on it and I couldn’t be happier.” (NW Insurance Group, by the way, is headquartered at 5431 California SW.)

BIZNOTE: After 2 years, ZOOM+Care proceeding with West Seattle Junction location

Almost two years ago, we reported on window signage at the former money-lending storefront at 4012 SW Alaska announcing that ZOOM+Care was on the way. It’s been idle since then, but a “site plan” document that has just appeared in city files indicates that the project is proceeding. We have an inquiry out to the company, which was recently taken over by PeaceHealth, asking when they expect to open.

5 for your West Seattle (and beyond) Monday!

(The Olympics are out this morning, and James Bratsanos photographed them)

In the hours ahead …

AFTERNOON BOOK GROUP: 2 pm at Southwest Library. This month’s book: “The Sympathizer ” by Viet Thanh Nguyen. If you want to get ready for next month’s meeting, the book will be “The Spiral Staircase” by Karen Armstrong. More info here. (9010 35th SW)

COUNCIL CONSIDERS HALA MHA AMENDMENTS: Following last week’s 107-speaker public hearing, a 2:30 pm City Council meeting will consider the fate of possible changes to the HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning. All documents are linked from the agenda. Public-comment period at City Hall; live stream at (600 4th Ave.)

WHICH PROJECTS DO YOU WANT TO SEE FUNDED? Tonight’s the rescheduled South Park meeting for prioritizing proposed Neighborhood Street Fund projects in District 1. 6:30 pm at South Park Hall. Details are in our preview – including how to participate online (by Friday!) if you can’t get to the meeting. (1253 S. Cloverdale)

FAMILY STORY TIME: Bring your kid(s) of any age to High Point Library for tonight’s story time at 6:30 pm. (3411 SW Raymond)

QUIZFIX TRIVIA: 7:30 pm at The Skylark. All welcome, free, prizes! (3803 Delridge Way SW)

UPDATE: Why Gatewood Elementary ‘sheltered in place’ for a short time this morning

ORIGINAL REPORT, 9:34 AM: Thanks for the tips. Gatewood Elementary briefly sheltered in place this morning – it was over before we even could confirm it, and now we have details. Seattle Public Schools spokesperson Tim Robinson tells WSB, “Around 7:45 am today, a crossing guard was parking her car in the school parking lot. A woman jumped in and said she had a gun. The crossing guard jumped out, the woman who made the threat took off in the car. Police came and took a report. Just as a precaution, the school was put into shelter-in-place (a step below “lockdown”) as the students and staff were arriving to school. The shelter-in-place was lifted at 8:10 am.” We’re following up with police.

11:56 AM: As is sometimes the case, now that some investigation has ensued, the story is different. The case number finally appeared, categorized as “harassment/threats,” so SPD media relations was able to look it up for us. The car was NOT taken, they say; a woman did threaten to take the car, the victim ran away in fear for her safety, and at some point the person who threatened her left the area and was not found.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Back-to-school Monday watch

February 25, 2019 6:56 am
|    Comments Off on TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Back-to-school Monday watch
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(SDOT MAP with travel times/ Is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE/ West Seattle-relevant traffic cams HERE)

6:56 AM: Good morning! Seattle Public Schools students are back in class today after midwinter break. No incidents/alerts so far in our area.

7:11 AM: A couple of reminders – the 4th Avenue exit lane/ramp on the eastbound bridge is officially back to “all traffic” status, after work on Saturday; Ride2 is, as of today, open for advance booking.

7:46 AM: Still no trouble reports.

TERMINAL 5’S FUTURE: Commissioners to vote Tuesday on sending modernization project to bid; lease vote in March

image1 (52)
(July 2016 aerial of West Seattle with Terminal 5 at left, shared by David)

It’s been almost three weeks since the long-awaited announcement of a tenant for Terminal 5, enabling the Port of Seattle to move forward with a $340 million plan to modernize T-5. Managing members of the Northwest Seaport Alliance – the port commissioners of Seattle and Tacoma – meet this Tuesday to vote on sending the project out to bid; their votes on the leases for T-5, short term and long term, were also originally set for this meeting but are now not expected until March 19th. Tuesday’s agenda has links to the documents that have been made public so far. From those documents, here’s the overview recapping what the $340 million project is intended to do:

Program Objectives
Program objectives include a terminal that is capable of handling two ultra-large class vessels, by early-2023. The improved wharf will support up to 12 cranes and provide ship-to-shore power for vessels berthed at the facility. …

Scope of Work
The Berth Modernization Project includes reconstruction of the waterside and landside crane rails, slope stabilization, berth deepening, and electrical supply/distribution upgrades, new fender system, and structural rehabilitation of the dock.

The upcoming program authorization request will cover construction of the Berth Modernization Project, tenant reimbursable stormwater treatment construction, and design and permitting of the remaining Uplands Improvement Project elements.

The Berth Modernization Project construction documents are ready to advertise, allowing work to begin as early as June 2019. Completion of the project would be phased to allow operations to begin in the north berth (Phase 1) while construction of the south berth is underway (Phase 2).

The north berth is where Matson would move on an interim basis, relocating from Terminal 30, as announced when the T-5 plan was revealed earlier this month.

Meantime, if you are wondering exactly where the $340 million is coming from, we asked port spokesperson Peter McGraw. Since this is an NWSA project, Seattle and Tacoma will basically split the cost. He adds:

Port of Seattle will be using a combination of tax levy cash, currently in the Harbor Development Fund that was set aside for this purpose, and general obligation bonds.

The Port of Tacoma anticipates using existing cash reserves generated through operations and previous borrowing. No additional Port of Tacoma debt will be required to fund this program.

There will also be investments from the proposed terminal operator.

That’s SSA, which is expected to invest up to $140 million in the T-5 first phase ($50 million in cranes, $50 million in “backland paving/improvements,” $35-$40 million in yard equipment).

The aforementioned levy is a countywide tax from which the port gets some of its money and has long been collecting below its authorization level. This document includes an explanation of this year’s levy increase:

… median household property tax payment to the Port would increase by $1.39, going from $68.80 per year in 2018 to $70.20 per year in 2019. In 2018, of the $5.6 billion that King County collected in property taxes, just 1.3 percent went to the Port of Seattle. The property tax levy made up less than five percent of the Port’s cash revenue in 2018.

McGraw says, “The Port has included the T-5 modernization program into its tax levy uses for the past few years before the levy increase, set aside in the Harbor Development Fund. Although T-5 is part of our waterfront re-visioning, the bulk of the increase is going toward … other waterfront projects.”

Meantime, the next three weeks before the T-5 lease vote on March 19th, McGraw says, will be used to “complete due diligence on the leases, which are decades-long commitments involving many entities, including local companies and international cargo carriers.”

Tuesday’s meeting starts at 9 am at the Conference Center on the south side of Sea-Tac Airport, and will include a public-comment period. If you have a comment on the T-5 plan, you can also contact the NWSA via e-mail.

P.S. Tuesday’s agenda also includes more on the future of Terminal 46, part of which the Port of Seattle is proposing using as an added cruise terminal. The groundwork is being laid by an agreement between the NWSA and the port that says 29 acres at the north end of T-46 would be used as a cruise facility starting in 2022. $200 million – half – its cost is envisioned as Port-funded, the other half by its prospective tenant.