West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
With eight weeks until the August 6th primary election -and five weeks until ballots go out – our area’s largest political organization made its endorsement decisions tonight.
We start with the marquee race:
SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 1: Incumbent Lisa Herbold and challengers Phil Tavel and Brendan Kolding were all nominated for endorsement in the West Seattle/South Park race. The endorsement went to Herbold with 76 votes; Tavel got 19, Kolding got 5. Here’s the announcement:
Here’s what happened before the voting:
9:15 PM: Thanks to Robert for the tip: 119 customers are out of electricity in Upper Alki. Robert says a “loud bang” preceded the outage. No cause listed yet. Checking the SCL outage map, we also note a 19-customer outage in The Junction blamed on “equipment failure.”
11:23 PM: Map indicates the Alki-area outage has been resolved.
Congratulations to West Seattle Coworking (6040 California SW; WSB sponsor), announcing its second anniversary, with a gift for you:
To our loving West Seattle Community:
Thank you! We are happy to have made it 2 years (and counting). For those who don’t know us, we are a West Seattle family with four kids. We live, shop and work in West Seattle. Most of the money we make gets spent back in the community. We offer a shared office space in the heart of the Morgan Junction.
At West Seattle Coworking, a remote/solo worker can find private desks, a meeting space, phone rooms and access to all sorts of office equipment on a 24/7 basis. We are a great resource for those who work from home and need a bit more than what a coffee shop can offer. To celebrate our second anniversary, and say thank you, we are offering a promo of $49 for one week of coworking. Call us for info and to reserve your spot @ 206.531.0557 or email email@example.com. Again, thank you from the West Seattle Coworking family.
Crystal and Rosario
The sign on the door confirms it: West City Sardine Kitchen at 3405 California SW is closing after tomorrow (Thursday) night. Its building has been sold; it’s been on the market (as a blind listing) for more than a month and a half. We haven’t been able to contact the restaurant/building owners; the two employees working when we stopped by a short time ago said the staff got the news of the impending closure a few days ago, although at the time it didn’t seem the closure would be quite this fast. What’s next for the site? No info on that yet – no public filings of any kind so far. West City opened almost six years ago, two and a half years after the abrupt closure of another venue, The Bohemian, in the same space.
Two notes today related to the Highway 99 tunnel:
TOLLS DELAYED: WSDOT confirms what was first reported by citywide media earlier today – that the tunnel tolling, originally expected to start this summer, is now delayed until fall. The state is switching vendors for its tolling system and won’t be ready to go this summer as originally planned.
TRAFFIC ALERT: Last night, we reported that WSDOT said Alaskan Way Viaduct demolition is now at the midway point and moving southward. As part of that, lane closures on surface Alaskan Way just north of the NB 99 pre-tunnel exit might back things up, spokesperson Laura Newborn warns:
At 4 a.m. on Friday, June 14, crews preparing for viaduct demolition will reduce Alaskan Way to one lane in each direction between South King and South Dearborn streets. This lane reduction will last more than a month. Narrowing the roadway is the only way for crews to safely prepare and demolish this section of viaduct. Because this section of Alaskan Way is near the SR 99 northbound off-ramp at South Dearborn, travelers may encounter backups on the northbound off-ramp and, potentially, the northbound mainline entering the tunnel.
We expect the heaviest congestion will occur during peak travel periods, special events and on weekends, when ferry traffic increases and cruise ships are in town. Travelers approaching downtown from the south should plan ahead for longer drive times and consider alternate routes or ways of getting around, including transit and the King County Water Taxi.
What happens to RVs after they’re towed? The city told us that one, which we happened to spot last March, was a private tow ordered by its owner for repairs. But sometimes even the ones in the worst shape wind up auctioned or resold and back on the streets. According to a news release from the mayor’s office this afternoon, she’s hoping to change the rules:
Mayor Jenny Durkan announced new steps today to stem the supply of hazardous vehicles by preventing the re-sale of towed cars and recreational vehicles (RVs) and preventing the rental of hazardous vehicles to vulnerable individuals. The City will continue its work through the RV Remediation Program to clean up the public right of way to mitigate the public health hazards of debris, garbage and waste adjacent to RVs.
“We have an obligation to protect public health and ensure that our neighbors are not living in inhumane conditions. And we will hold accountable those who prey on vulnerable people for profit,” said Mayor Durkan. “We will continue to work for holistic solutions and do more to connect people with services and housing – and we will continue to invest in the strategies we know have an impact, like our Navigation Team.”
To stem the supply of dilapidated and hazardous vehicles in Seattle, Mayor Durkan has directed all City departments to begin applying additional criteria on whether a car or RV that has been towed by a City contractor meets the definition of a public health hazard. In the event an RV is designated as a public health hazard, it will be destroyed instead of re-sold back into the market at auction. Her directive will focus on preventing the re-sale of vehicles that meet the Junk Vehicle criteria set by the state and vehicles that are posing significant public health, fire, or safety hazards.
Next week, Mayor Durkan will transmit legislation that updates the Seattle Municipal Code to fine predatory landlords who rent cars and vehicles including RVs in poor and inoperable conditions to vulnerable populations. The legislation will require remediation of up to $2,000, which will go into a restitution fund for vehicle occupants.
The new steps build on the RV Remediation Program established by Mayor Durkan in May 2018 to mitigate the negative impacts to public health and safety, from RVs in the public right of way. In the pilot, City teams engage individuals living in RVs and vehicles to voluntarily move their vehicles to allow for cleaning and the removal of garbage, debris, and inoperable or unsafe vehicles left behind. Last year, the program resulted in 161 tons of garbage and debris removed.
The program has resulted in 173 vehicles being towed because they were inoperable, unsafe or posed a threat to public health, but in 2018, 60 of the 173 – 53 percent – had been removed from a clean-up site with significant safety and health risks returned to the marketplace. As a part of this effort, the City can now more easily deem a vehicle unfit to return to the market and process it for disposal.
KOMO TV reported last fall on what they dubbed “the RV auction shuffle.” Meantime, Real Change News reported half a year before that, that the city had spent $225,000 in 2017 on towing and disposing of RVs.
1:47 PM: Police have 9th SW blocked near SW Kenyon in Highland Park right now – both ways, according to radio communication, so avoid the area. This started as a report of a domestic-violence incident; police are trying to talk with a possible suspect but he is inside a residence and reported to be refusing to respond.
2:04 PM: Photo added; the standoff continues, and 9th remains blocked between Kenyon and Elmgrove (map). We don’t have details of the original incident but it apparently did not involve serious injury, as there has been no SFD medic dispatch to the area.
2:39 PM: Situation is wrapping up; police have gone into the house. 9th SW should be at least partly reopening shortly.
3:49 PM: We followed up with police. They tell us the suspect wasn’t in the house when they went in. Also, no injuries involved in the original incident, which involved “threats.”
The video and report are from Michael in east Arbor Heights:
This cool guy stole my shoes from front porch midnight June 10th. Joke’s on him because they were stinky as heck after golfing in the morning and going in the trash anyway. Just thought it provides a good look for someone who’s obviously casing the neighborhood and stealing things off people’s front porch.
P.S. One more reminder that Arbor Heights (and Westwood/Roxhill-area) residents are invited to a focus group tonight to discuss crime/safety/policing issues – here’s the info.
Hundreds more local high-school seniors will celebrate their graduation tomorrow, with Chief Sealth International HS‘s ceremony at 5 pm, West Seattle HS‘s ceremony at 8 pm, both at Southwest Athletic Complex. They will be cheered by family and friends, who often bring all sorts of celebratory items. One such item has drawn the attention of Seattle City Light: Mylar balloons. The utility has launched an awareness campaign to warn people that these balloons carry a unique risk, if they go astray, of causing power outages. If you want to use them anyway, SCL has some advice and requests – explained here.
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, which as always includes even more:
CRIME/SAFETY FOCUS GROUP: 6 pm at Southwest Library, residents of Westwood, Roxhill, Arbor Heights are invited to come talk about crime/safety/policing issues to help update the area’s “micro-community policing plan.” (9010 35th SW)
34TH DISTRICT DEMOCRATS: Our area’s largest political group meets tonight to make primary-election endorsements. The list is in the announcement in the group’s newsletter. 7 pm at The Hall at Fauntleroy. (9131 California SW)
MADISON MIDDLE SCHOOL CONCERT: 7 pm, the Spring Jazz Concert (Jazz Lab, Jazz II, Jazz Ensemble). in the Madison Middle School Commons. (3429 45th SW)
YADA YADA BLUES BAND: 9 pm at Parliament Tavern. No cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
If your neighborhood is among those with a “micro-community policing plan” (explained here), it’s time for an update, so focus groups are being held around the Southwest Precinct area. We just got the list from the precinct’s Seattle University intern who is organizing the groups, Taylor Lowery; two have already happened but if you’re in either of those neighborhoods and didn’t participate because you didn’t hear about it, let her know – firstname.lastname@example.org. As in the past, these are groups held without SPD presence, but the feedback ultimately goes to them to update the plans.
7:32 AM: Good morning. Possibly record heat today. The NB 1st Avenue S. Bridge has one lane blocked after an earlier crash. Some transit/traffic notes:
FERRY WORK: As previewed here, work starting tonight on the Fauntleroy dock will cancel some late-night sailings.
4TH AVENUE SW: One-day closure south of Roxbury this Friday.