West Seattle, Washington
On Wednesday, thanks to a reader tip and photos, we reported on the new emergency-communications tower going up by Myrtle Reservoir Park, at the city’s highest elevation. Our initial inquiries left a lot of questions unanswered but we connected with the right people today and they answered those questions by putting together this news release:
The Puget Sound Emergency Radio Network (PSERN) Project is upgrading and expanding the current, aging King County Emergency Radio Communications System (KCERCS). A West Seattle radio tower, located on land owned by the City of Seattle is part of that. It’s located on an existing KCERCS site and the PSERN Project is replacing the tower as part of a critical emergency radio system upgrade.
PSERN will primarily be used by law enforcement, fire fighters, and other emergency personnel to communicate with each other during E-911 activities – from small incident responses to major emergencies like earthquakes. The PSERN system is comprised of 61 radio towers engineered to provide the best coverage available using direct, line-of-sight technology between towers to communicate with each other, in combination with other technologies. This is not a 5G cellular site; the technologies are different.
The tower will be ready to respond to emergencies after construction and testing is complete. Construction of the new PSERN tower and equipment installation will take another six to nine months to complete. The old tower will then be torn down.
The project began its work on the West Seattle tower location in late summer 2019 and has followed local jurisdiction permitting requirements, including a land use sign on site. Additionally, the project chose to pay an additional cost to paint the tower a color allowing it to better blend in with its surroundings.
Construction and materials costs for the PSERN West Seattle tower equipment are approximately $800,000, paid for out of the PSERN Project.
PSERN was approved by King County voters in April 2015.
PSERN is an 800 MHz digital network.
The system will cover all populated portions of King County, along with the three major highways in the eastern part of the county.
It is a large, complex program comprised of more than 80 subprojects. That includes the 61 radio sites based around the county in a wide variety of terrain, 19 dispatch centers, deployment of up to 19,000 radios, and other system components.
PSERN Project Partners/Owners:
Eastside Public Safety Communications Agency (EPSCA)
King County – lead agency
City of Seattle
Valley Communications Center
The system vendor is Motorola.
When the project is complete, the system and all project assets will be operated by a new municipal nonprofit corporation, the PSERN Operator.
P.S. We found documents for the project permits in city files, which shows it’s been in the works for four years. The tower is 140 feet tall.
That’s the West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays ornament this year – and you can get one during the first event, starting tomorrow! WSB is a co-sponsor of Hometown Holidays again this year and so we’re bringing you the announcement:
They say it’s better to give than to receive. But choose to give local this holiday season, and you’ll receive even more.
Make a date to shop at the Junction Holiday Preview November 8th – 10th. Your favorite Junction shops will be hosting events, specials, and sales as you begin to gather ideas for the holidays.
An exciting addition is a new (!) collectible West Seattle Junction ornament that’s yours free when you spend $20 or more. Limited ornaments on each day at participating businesses. Look for the adorable ornament picture in the front window of the store.
Same one that’s atop this story! P.S. Some participants are listed here.
7:13 PM: As the Metro League tournament continued at Southwest Athletic Complex, the West Seattle High School girls’ season came to an end tonight with a 1-0 loss to Holy Names.
The Wildcats’ opponents scored a goal at 52 minutes, and that was it.
8:41 PM: Photos added.
Three weeks until Thanksgiving! At West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) until 7 pm, a storeful of sampling awaits you, to help you plan for the holidays.
Wander through the store, meet the vendors, see what’s new.
Thriftway is at California/Fauntleroy.
3:35 PM: Just in – the third round of general-election results. For Seattle City Council District 1 (West Seattle/South Park):
Lisa Herbold – 13,330 – 53.53 %
Phil Tavel – 11,482 – 46.11 %
Herbold’s 1,800+-vote lead is up from about 700 votes yesterday, 500 votes on Tuesday. About 11,000 ballots remain to be counted in D-1. King County Elections plans to release two counts tomorrow, 4 and 8:30 pm.
3:49 PM: As for the other six City Council races, two notes: In D-3, Kshama Sawant has gained major ground on Egan Orion, now fewer than 800 votes and three percentage points behind; in D-7, Andrew Lewis has pulled ahead of Jim Pugel, by 300+ votes. Statewide, Referendum 88 is still losing (but narrowly); I-976 is still passing.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“Kind of sad … but things change.”
So mused Tamsen Spengler, who is now the former co-chair of the Southwest District Council, after its vote last night to disband.
Its remaining active members aren’t dropping out of community advocacy; most of them are active with the relatively new District 1 Community Network.
The SWDC was a holdover from the days before the city declared West Seattle and South Park as District 1. Southwest was one of 13 neighborhood districts comprising the city, two in West Seattle.
Each district had a council as a sort of umbrella group for community organizations and institutions in the area. Before then-Mayor Ed Murray‘s abrupt move in 2016 to cut the city’s ties with the district councils, they had a few basic roles, as recapped last night before the vote: Vetting and making recommendations on applications for some city grants, and serving as community point people for information about some city initiatives and projects.
In exchange, the city provided some administrative support – with one coordinator per district until cuts in xx, and $500 annual funding to cover meeting expenses, generally room rental. The district councils also sent reps to a citywide council that talked about big-picture issues.
Though the councils declared defiantly after the Murray move that they would keep going, the ranks have shrunk. West Seattle’s other neighborhood-district council, Delridge, has gone on indefinite hiatus after a meeting at which there were four attendees, none of whom wanted to take the baton from the group’s longtime leader, who had made it clear he needed to move on.
Nine people showed up last night to discuss and decide the SWDC’s future. Much of the discussion focused on how, while the SWDC has been wheezing along, the D1CN – launched almost a year ago – has had energy and collaboration. And a relationship with the city – Councilmember Lisa Herbold or a member of her staff have been at every D1CN meeting, it was noted. South Park reps are part of it too, so it’s truly D1-wide.
So after a little more discussion to ensure those present were ready to vote on pulling the plug on the SWDC, that’s what they did. If you’re interested in getting involved with D1CN, its next meeting is 7 pm November 26th at the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse (4705 W. Marginal Way SW).
Our archived coverage of the last decade of Southwest District Council meetings is here.
Today we’re welcoming a new WSB sponsor, Urban Animal, a pet-care clinic now open at 17th/Roxbury in White Center. Here’s what they would like you to know
We strongly believe in “people and pets over profits” and that all pet owners should have access to affordable, high quality, option-based pet care. To that end, we employ some of the most highly trained general-practice veterinary professionals in the area who are committed to providing “gold standard” veterinary care to every patient that visits Urban Animal. Most of our doctors have advanced training beyond veterinary school, and many of our staff have worked in referral and specialty medicine practices. Our unique walk-in model allows us to help people and pets when they need it most. Whether it’s a routine exam, vaccine, or an urgent-care situation, they don’t have to wait to get an appointment to have their pet’s needs taken care of.
Our clients often say they feel the difference with Urban Animal immediately when they walk thru the door. Our staff is not only focused on the patients (pets) but also on our clients’ individual needs and situations. We often hear that people appreciate our candor and “zero up-sell” approach, which is part of our option-based, affordable-care philosophy. We firmly believe that the cost of owning a happy, healthy pet shouldn’t be overwhelming.
We are committed to giving back to the communities we serve and support a number of non-profit organizations throughout Seattle including Mary’s Place and Pet Project. This allows us to provide pet care for those who often need it most but can’t afford it. The pets in these people lives often make a world of difference to them.
Urban Animal‘s White Center location is at 9610 17th SW, open 8 am-8 pm Mondays-Tuesdays, 9 am-6 pm Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays (closed Thursdays), 206-257-1524.
We thank Urban Animal for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
Three West Seattle business notes:
FUNERAL HOME’S NEW HOME: The “for lease” sign just went up this week outside what had been Howden-Kennedy Funeral Home at 35th/Ida in Gatewood. The H-K website noted an address on Rainier Avenue. So we contacted Len Burton-Hardin with H-K, who confirms, “The owners sold the property. Howden-Kennedy and myself are affiliated with our sister funeral home Columbia Funeral Home.” H-K, founded a century ago, had been in Gatewood since 2013, when they left their longtime Fauntleroy/Alaska location, part of the site that now holds The Whittaker.
NOW OPEN: The fitness business continues booming in West Seattle. Another opening – Body by Impulse, in the ActivSpace building at 3400 Harbor SW. It’s the second Seattle location for the studio, which specializes in workouts featuring “electro-muscle stimulation.” (Thanks to Reid for the tip.)
CANCELED: Back in July, we mentioned city permit applications for two potential new tenants at Westwood Village. One of those applications, for the nationwide chain America’s Best Contacts and Eyeglasses, has been withdrawn, according to city files; the docket notation says, “Lease negotiations did not move forward & client cancelled the project.”
Highlights for the hours ahead:
HOLIDAY TASTE: The West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) sampling event is happening at the store 4-7 pm. (4201 SW Morgan)
SOCCER: West Seattle High School girls play for Metro League 4th place at 5 pm at Southwest Athletic Complex vs. Holy Names. (2801 SW Thistle)
DESIGN REVIEW FOR 4508 CALIFORNIA SW PROJECT: As previewed here, the Southwest Design Review Board will take another look at this West Seattle Junction mixed-use project tonight at 6:30 pm, Senior Center/Sisson Building. Meeting includes a public-comment period. (4217 SW Oregon)
‘A FEW GOOD MEN’: Opening night of the West Seattle High School Drama Club production, 7:30 pm curtain. Here’s a preview:
Ticket info (veterans free!) in our calendar listing. (3000 California SW)
WEST SEATTLE SOUL: Big night of funk/soul music at Parliament Tavern, 9 pm. $10 cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
AND MORE … see the full lineup on our complete calendar.
Here’s a unique West Seattle volunteer opportunity:
Do you have a baby who was born in July or August? Would you like to volunteer with your baby to help nurture empathy in children? Highland Park Elementary is looking for parents with infants who are between 2-4 months old to volunteer about once per month during the school year.
What is Roots of Empathy?
Roots of Empathy is an evidence-based classroom program that has shown significant effect in reducing levels of aggression among school children while raising social/emotional competence and increasing empathy. The program has been widely evaluated across three continents for two decades and is proven to result in improved empathy, increased emotional understanding, decreased aggression and bullying and improved pro-social behavior among participating students. Research also demonstrates that these improvements are sustained and even strengthened over time.
Above is a brief introductory video that explains how Roots of Empathy works and why a baby is such a powerful teacher of empathy. Roots of Empathy was also recently featured on NBC’s Today – you can view that segment here.
If you would like to volunteer as a Roots of Empathy Family, please contact the Roots of Empathy Program Manager, Melissa Soltani, at email@example.com
6:58 AM: Good morning! No current incidents or alerts in our area. Fog in spots, though!
TUNNEL TOLLING: This is your second-to-last toll-free Highway 99 tunnel day – tolling starts 5 am Saturday.
TUNNEL CLOSURE: The tolling starts a little later in the NB tunnel, which will be closed 10 pm Friday to 8 am Saturday.
8:15 AM: Stalled vehicle blocking one lane of NB 99 north of the bridge.