West Seattle, Washington
At the Highland Park Action Committee‘s regular meeting this past week, the group followed up on its special Riverview Playfield gathering two weeks earlier:
PLAYFIELD PROTECTION: The issue is figuring out what would be the best way to keep vehicles off the playfield, where some drivers do donuts on the grass in the warm months, on the snow in wintertime. Recently chain-link fencing suddenly appeared, much to residents’ surprise; Seattle Parks explained that the idea went back to the Find-It Fix-It Walk two years ago. But Parks quickly got the message that it wasn’t welcome, and so now the neighborhood is talking about options for replacing the 100+ old creosote-contaminated utility poles that currently serve as a low barrier between parking and playfield. The conversation at the meeting will continue this week, and interested neighbors will be looking at other parks for ideas, as well as considering CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) ideas, before HPAC talks abaut it again next month.
EVENTS: Much happening in Highland Park and vicinity. Corner Bar at HPIC on May 3rd; neighborhood cleanup May 4th; Art Lounge at HPIC on May 10th; the annual wine fundraiser Uncorked at HPIC on May 18th. Two West Duwamish Greenbelt walks of interest, too – bugs on May 4th, “Walking on Native Land” with Ken Workman on June 1st. Looking way ahead, a Labor Day weekend bike ride on August 31st will also celebrate history, as HPIC marks its 100th anniversary.
MAY MEETING: May 23rd – also previewed here – HPAC will get a Highland Park Way/Holden update from SDOT and will talk more about the proposal to merge HPAC with Riverview and South Delridge.
Sent on behalf of Girl Scouts Cadette Troop 43779:
Mary sent the announcement, explaining, “The troop is earning their Silver Award by getting the community involved for a good cause.” Wyatt’s Jewelers (2600 SW Barton; WSB sponsor) is at Westwood Village and you can find its hours online; same with Second Gear Sports, which is at 6529 California SW.
(Added Monday: ST-created slide summarizing what ELG recommends – from this PDF doc)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Though County Councilmember Joe McDermott reiterated “This is just the beginning” of the West Seattle to Ballard Sound Transit light-rail planning process, Friday’s meeting of the Elected Leadership Group that he co-chaired was part of the end of the opening act of that process.
It comes after almost a year and a half of meetings, including the one on Friday, as well as a variety of public engagement and feedback that all wraps up with two meetings next month that are to result in the Sound Transit Board officially deciding what routing/station possibilities should be studied for the project’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement.
Five of the 11 ELG members (roster here) are also on the ST Board (roster here) – McDermott, King County Executive Dow Constantine, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers, plus Seattle City Councilmember Debora Juarez (replacing recently resigned CM Rob Johnson). Before the board makes a final “what to study” decision at its May 23rd meeting (1:30 pm, ST board room downtown), its System Expansion Committee – which has no ELG membership overlap – will talk about the project at its May 9th (1:30 pm, ST board room)
On Friday, co-chair City Councilmember Mike O’Brien remarked that “it seems like yesterday” when the ELG first met 16 months ago (WSB coverage here).
ST CEO Peter Rogoff reiterated that the ELG decisions, and those to be made by the ST Board next month, are not decisions about what to be built, but “alternatives to be studied.”
In the 2-plus hours that followed, one other major issue came up repeatedly – money. But first, the ELG’s final meeting began with public comment, which ran for about half an hour and starts at nine minutes into our first clip (following introductory discussion):
Thanks to Scott at Seattle Dive Tours for the report and photos:
On Saturday, April 27th, Seattle Dive Tours coordinated an underwater clean up at Seacrest Park. 10 divers committed their time to clean up debris found underwater and were able to remove around 100 pounds of debris from our ocean.
West Seattle-based and West Seattle-owned Seattle Dive Tours coordinated the event to help clean up their primary dive site. They used Project Aware’s Dive Against Debris program to provide education and a PADI dive specialty certification that included a short presentation from an environmental scientist. After collection, all the debris was weighed, sorted and cataloged by a volunteer from the University of Washington’s School of Marine and Environmental Affairs.
Project Aware’s Dive Against Debris program collects data from divers and dive businesses around the world to assist in aggregating data of marine debris to better understand this issue confronting our world.
The most interesting item found was a tennis racket while the heaviest item was a car tire. As always, there is always a plethora of plastic spoons found. Previously, Seattle Dive Tours owner Scott Flaherty recovered a McDonald’s coffee stir spoon that hasn’t been produced since the early 1990s. This is just another reminder that plastics do not break down. Sadly, the vast majority of the debris is always found closer to water taxi at the buoy line.
Just before the almost-over State Legislature session began, in our pre-session conversations with local legislators, 34th District Rep. Eileen Cody told us she had hopes for approval of a “public option” for health insurance. This news release we received today says it’s on its way to reality:
A bill passed April 27 by the Washington State Legislature would create a public option for health care coverage, available through Washington’s Health Benefit Exchange. The plan would be known as Cascade Care, and would be the first public health insurance option in the nation.
Senate Bill 5526, sponsored by Sen. David Frockt (D-Seattle), and led in the state House of Representatives by Rep. Eileen Cody (D-West Seattle), will give Washingtonians who purchase healthcare coverage on the individual insurance market an option that would decrease the cost of premiums, copays and other out-of-pocket expenses. Gov. Jay Inslee also supported the legislation, and worked with lawmakers throughout the process.
The bill passed with a 56-41 vote in the House, and a 27-21 vote in the Senate. It now goes to the governor for signing.
“Under the current administration in Washington DC, health care policy has gone backward,” Frockt said. “Their policies have led to dramatic increases in premiums and deductibles for our residents who don’t have employer-sponsored coverage (and) rely on coverage from our health benefit exchange.”
Cascade Care will lend predictability by establishing standard benefit packages that are easier for consumers to understand and navigate, and will lower cost sharing — which includes deductibles and copays. The plan will also make cost sharing more transparent and predictable.
“Cascade Care is the next step in affordable and accessible health care for everyone and further demonstrates the Democratic desire to ensure access to care. It is that dedication that has led to the state’s lowest uninsured rate ever and a guarantee of essential health benefits to keep Washington families healthy,” said Rep. Eileen Cody, Chair of the House Health Care & Wellness Committee.
Cascade Care will be available to all Washingtonians, regardless of income, who are not covered by employer health plans. Washingtonians who receive care through an employer, Medicare, or Apple Care will not be affected.
“Every Washingtonian deserves access to consistent and affordable health insurance,” Frockt said. “We need to ensure that people in every county of our state have options to buy into the individual market. Cascade Care takes imperative steps to establish lower premiums and deductibles. This new option with standardized plans will not only make insurance coverage more affordable, but will allow people to have better access to care when they need it.”
Yesterday we featured a reader photo of the Golden Pheasant that’s been seen around southwestern West Seattle – today, these photos from Arbor Heights. Turkey?
You might recall the spate of turkey sightings three years ago (though some disputed what it was).
Looks like West Seattle will again be tons lighter after the twice-annual Recycle Roundup, with 1 Green Planet crews on site right now at Fauntleroy Church. The second hour is wrapping up; we stopped by in the first hour and found a steady stream of recyclers:
No charge for dropoffs – check check this list before you go. And be aware the crew has the discretion to refuse items; we haven’t heard of that happening much over the years but one commenter this morning says their plastic-and-fabric office chair was not accepted.
Another caveat – while this continues until 3, please don’t wait until the last minute! The volunteer organizers/coordinators will appreciate that. Fauntleroy Church is at 9140 California SW; here’s a map.
(Alki sunset, photographed by Jenn Popp)
Sunday highlight, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
BENEFIT RUMMAGE SALE: Hope Lutheran youth continue their big benefit sale today, 8 am-11 am, to raise money for travel. Half off! (4456 42nd SW)
RECYCLE ROUNDUP: 9 am-3 pm, it’s your springtime chance to drop off a wide variety of recyclable items, free, in the Fauntleroy UCC church parking lot. Just check this list to see what’s being accepted and what’s not. (9140 California SW)
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: Something new every week now that we’re in the heart of spring – last week, we noticed asparagus, rhubarb, lettuce, and the annual arrival of Vashon Island plant growers Langley Fine Gardens, among others. 10 am-2 pm in the street in The Junction. (California SW between SW Alaska and SW Oregon)
ROCK AND GEM SHOW: 10 am-5 pm at the Masonic Center, the free annual West Seattle Rock Club show continues. (4737 40th SW)
DIY BIKES: 1-4 pm:
DIY Bikes will be offering free bicycle maintenance at the West Seattle Tool Library to get ready for bike month, May 2019. Bring your bike, replacement parts if needed and time to learn some basic maintenance tips and get ready to ride.
(4408 Delridge Way SW)
‘WIZARD OF OZ’: Final performance of this student production at Seattle Lutheran High School, 2:30 pm curtain in the gym. (4100 SW Genesee)
COMEBACK MAN: Live “cross-genre music with elements of blues, rock, jazz, and rap” at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 3-5 pm. No cover. All ages. (5612 California SW)
ALL-AGES OPEN MIC: Signups start at 3 pm for the monthly free all-ages open mic at The Skylark. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
BLUEGRASS JAM: “Bring your instruments, bring your voice” to this jam starting at 7 pm at Parliament Tavern. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
LOOK INTO THE FUTURE … by browsing our full calendar, here.
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