Story and photos by Jason Grotelueschen
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Admiral neighbors and community leaders came together Tuesday night for a meeting of the Admiral Neighborhood Association, to discuss music, regional transit, neighborhood improvement, business community support and a variety of topics.
The ANA meeting, held at The Sanctuary at Admiral, was the second meeting as president for David Hancock, the group’s new leader.
Toplines from the meeting are below:
SUMMER CONCERTS: Stephanie Jordan, ANA’s coordinator for the popular Summer Concerts at Hiawatha series (happening Thursday nights from July 18 through August 22 on the east lawn of Hiawatha Community Center), shared the names of the 4 musical acts currently scheduled to appear, with a couple of dates to be announced soon:
- 7/18: TBA
- 7/25: TBA
- 8/1: Alec Shaw (YouTube) (folk rock)
- 8/8: Ranger and the Rearrangers (YouTube) (gypsy jazz)
- 8/15: The Highsteppers (YouTube) (soul and R&B)
- 8/22: Caspar Babypants (YouTube) (songs for the kids — and grownups, too — back by popular demand)
Jordan also gave an update on the positive collaboration with the community center (which provides the stage for the event, and a portion of the publicity) and reiterated the need for volunteers — she said that she would finalize the list of needed volunteer roles in time for ANA’s May meeting.
Board members in attendance thanked Jordan for her work in planning the concerts (community co-sponsors include WSB), gave their approval of the lineup as it stands, and discussed the good timing of being able to promote the concerts at two of the community’s biggest annual events in July (both of which ANA participates in): West Seattle Summer Fest (July 12-14) and the West Seattle Grand Parade.
OFFICER REPORTS: Larry Wymer, vice president, gave a quick update about last week’s SW District Council meeting (WSB coverage here), which featured city staffers’ presentation about homelessness and housing issues. Carrie McCann, treasurer, provided an update on the group’s budget and noted that ANA has a new agreement to serve as a “fiscal sponsor” for neighborhood grants being applied for by the Morgan Community Association (MOCA). Delores Kannas, secretary, said that work is underway to “go paperless” and store the group’s agendas and notes electronically, with links from the ANA website. Membership coordinators Sofia Velling and Susan Staples also gave updates: Velling noted that the group’s recent Adopt-A-Street cleanup in Admiral went well, and that she’ll commit to ramping up the advance promotion to get more volunteers for the next cleanup (which had been scheduled for June 1, but will likely be moved to accommodate city-wide emergency preparedness drills happening that day). She also reported that she is updating ANA’s membership email list. Staples noted that she doing some training on social-media strategies, and has a meeting next week with Yun Pitre from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods to discuss opportunities in the community.
P-PATCH AND GRANTS: Hancock reported that later this month he will be attending a meeting of the Associated Recreation Council to discuss the idea of establishing a “p-patch” community garden space in Admiral, which Hancock described as a “personal passion” for him. He discussed the Hiawatha area as a possible candidate, but encouraged anyone with ideas about suitable Admiral property should reach out to him. He noted that the department of neighborhoods has a detailed list of requirements, including a “uniform minimum size” of 4,000 square feet, and of course access to sun and water. Hancock also said that he and Kannas have attended workshops about securing neighborhood grants and matching funds, which could help with community activities such as a p-patch. Other board members noted the popularity and long waiting list (“7-8 years”) of the p-patch near the Alaska Junction, in addition to the fact that “45% of people in the area are renters,” which would suggest strong public demand.
BUSINESS NEIGHBORS: A special guest at the meeting was Lynell Ray from Counterforce Taekwondo West Seattle, a new martial arts studio she owns with her husband Matthew Ray (aka “Master Ray“) at 3270 California Ave (the space formerly occupied by Lee’s Martial Arts). Ray said they have been running martial arts schools for 15 years, and in fact she and her husband met 18 years ago while training at the facility they just purchased. She said that she attended the Tuesday meeting because her and her husband believe strongly in getting themselves and their students involved in the community — “what we do is a lot more than kicking and punching,” she said, “and as we grow we want our students to be active with community service.” She noted that “90% of our students are kids who live in the area,” so it’s a natural fit. She said their studio has grown from 30 students to 70 students in just a couple of months.
ANA board members asked Ray what the group can do better to help local businesses like hers, and Ray responded that strong cross-promotion of events is a great start. Ray asked if ANA wants more participation from neighborhood businesses, and Hancock said “yes,” absolutely. This prompted a discussion about the history of the Admiral merchants organization, which ANA vice president Larry Wymer was involved with in the past, but he said the organization now isn’t active beyond annual Halloween trick-or-treating in Admiral. Wymer agreed to share with Lynell a list of “4-5 Admiral businesses” that he knows are looking to get more involved. Lynell said that one of the things she and her husband appreciate about the area is that “there are a lot of small businesses independently owned and operated” and that working together is crucial.
This segued into a discussion about the importance of area businesses and groups collaborating to keep the neighborhood sidewalks and common spaces clean. Lynell agreed, and noted that most small business owners are renting their property and there may be confusion between the owners and landlords about who is cleaning sidewalks etc. Velling, who organizes the Admiral cleanup events, noted that this is a great opportunity for ANA to forge relationships about the cleanups with area businesses and to work together.
WS LIGHT RAIL: Wymer, who also works in the field of traffic planning, gave a quick update on recent happenings regarding the planned light rail expansion to West Seattle in 2030 (see WSB coverage of Sound Transit’s lively Q&A in Pigeon Point earlier this week, including the latest route information, and a recent meeting of East Junction neighbors). As we’ve reported, April 2nd is the new extended deadline to comment on the plan (and its various alternative routes) via the online open house. Wymer reminded attendees that the project is now in the 3rd and final round of scoping, and that although the Admiral neighborhood won’t be directly affected by any of the proposed routes, the plans will have a significant impact on West Seattle as a whole, and neighbors should definitely submit their feedback. Unofficial photographic renderings of the proposed Sound Transit routes were also on display Tuesday night:
OTHER ITEMS: Attendees discussed upcoming citywide emergency drills happening on Saturday June 1 (see West Seattle Be Prepared site here), noting that Hiawatha is a key hub for that. Another neighbor put in a plug for the West Seattle Timebank (see recent WSB articles about the TimeBanks founder visiting Seattle, and a successful sewing program) and encouraged people to get involved — the group has “40-something different affiliated organizations, with several hundred people involved,” and Hancock said ANA would discuss the idea of becoming a Timebank-affiliated group at ANA’s next board meeting.
- Thursday 3/21: District 1 Candidate Forum for City Council candidates from 7-8:30 pm at American Legion Post 160 (3618 SW Alaska St),
- Tuesday 3/26: D1 community network meeting, 7-9 pm at Duwamish Longhouse
- Tuesday 5/14: Next ANA meeting (special guest from Seattle Public Libraries)
- Saturday 6/1: Admiral Adopt-A-Street cleanup (NOTE: will likely be changed to accommodate city-wide emergency preparedness drills)
- Sunday 6/23: West Seattle Garden Tour (per neighbor Karen, “tickets are now on sale online, it’s a lot of fun” and the group raises money to fund various projects in West Seattle)