West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The tiny-house encampment Camp Second Chance will stay on the city-owned Myers Way Parcels at least one more year beyond the end of its current permit extension next March – with one big change:
The city will lease the land currently being used for the camp to Fauntleroy Church, which will take on the camp as what its pastor Rev. Leah Bilinski describes as a “missional outpost.”
This was announced at tonight’s public meeting about the encampment’s future, held at the city Joint Training Facility, a few blocks north of the site the camp’s been on for more than three years. (We recorded video of the meeting and will add it when it’s ready – update, both clips added inline below.)
The church and city reached a deal earlier this week – after the Fauntleroy congregation voted on Sunday to move ahead – but would not confirm it until tonight’s announcement; we had an embargoed conversation with Rev. Bilinski in advance. This had been months in the making, and the city had made no secret – as we reported back in June – that finding a faith-based sponsor would be an option. (CSC got its start at a church in unincorporated King County before moving to West Seattle in the summer of 2016.)
As explained by both the pastor and the city, the agreement is a draft right now, to be finalized within the next few months. LIHI remains the camp operator, with a contract with the city (we have a request out for the current amount of city money it receives), and “the city will continue to monitor the village for compliance and performance.” LIHI will also have an agreement with the church, spelling out who’s accountable for what in the partnership.
Speaking to the meeting tonight, Rev. Bilinski said, “We’re doing this because our faith calls us to follow Christ” – to stand with people in need, including those who are homeless, and -“we believe in the residents of Camp Second Chance … I don’t know a person who has walked into Camp Second Chance without being impressed,” and hopeful. It’s a strong community, she declared, “and we’re delighted to be a part of that.” Read More
The holiday season at Westwood Village kicked off tonight with the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s monthly After-Hours event. In our photo above are board chair Lauren Burgon with new Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) co-proprietor Lauren Wiggins; attendees started the evening at Wyatt’s and roamed to other businesses. The Chamber has an even-bigger holiday event coming up – featured in our West Seattle Holiday Guide – Mix, Mingle, and Jingle on December 5th.
P.S. One big change at WWV this holiday season – no Santa photos, except for two Saturdays you can come take “selfies with Santa,” 2-4 pm December 14 and 21st.
Just filed with the city: A new proposal for 6016 California SW, to replace the small mixed-use building and house currently on the site. As we reported two years ago, a 38-unit microapartment building was proposed previously. Now a newly filed site plan proposes seven townhouses- three live-work units facing California, four residential-only units behind.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Just a few hours before tonight’s Sound Transit “neighborhood forum” in West Seattle (6 pm, Alki Masonic Center), the ST Board‘s regular meeting centered on a briefing/discussion about the effects of Initiative 976:
We were downtown for the meeting, which – after an occasionally raucous public-comment period – began with ST staffers briefing the board. First – “where we are” in terms of ST’s current timeline for expansion programs. If revenue were cut, the projects through 2024, the board was told, would be the “last places” they’d cut. But the projects starting with 2030 – projected opening date for the West Seattle extension – potentially different story.
General counsel Desmond Brown then opened with toplines on “what 976 says and does.” … “The provisions repealing our taxes do not take effect at this time,” but rather once $2.3 billion in outstanding bonds and debt are paid off – and it’s up to the board when those debts/bonds will be retired.
(Added – from the slide-deck printout, the relevant ballot-pamphlet language:)
The outstanding bond contracts provide for motor-vehicle-excise taxes and rental-car rates staying at the current rates until those are paid off. Brown said. He also noted that the initiative is now being challenged in court, and if it stands, there will probably be an ensuing lawsuit about when that debt has to be retired. Could ST be forced to retire it sooner? There’s legal precedent on that, Brown said.
CEO Peter Rogoff pointed out that other agencies “that feed passengers to Sound Transit” – such as Metro – are nonetheless facing “very serious” challenges because of 976. Other transit agencies face a “devastating” loss of revenue, and service to their users. “Sound Transit cares deeply about what happens to all our partners,” Rogoff said.
Chief Financial Officer Tracy Butler picked up from there. If the bonds were “defeased,” it would mean $7.2 billion less in revenue through 2041, and the agency could run out of “financial capacity as early as 2029” – which means ST could have to cancel or delay projects and/or reduce services.
But delaying wouldn’t be much of a solution, Butler said. Say, projects are delayed by five years – that could cost $6 billion more in capital costs, %16 billion in added interest through 2061, and could delay a “tax rollback” for 12 years, costing taxpayers $25 billion more in additional taxes through 2061 “to fund a delayed voter-approved program.”
Board chair John Marchione said the reason voters approved ST3 was a recognition that transit expansion was long overdue. “This is our region’s transportation catch-up plan” and the investments require a tax investment. “The only available sources are the sales tax, property tax, and MVET. Nobody loves writing a big check for (vehicle renewals)” but he believes voters spoke loudly with ST3 – and that was louder than the margin, in the ST district, spoke with 976:
After a closed-door executive session, the board emerged to discuss its “response to 976.” It was first announced that ST won’t take any of its own legal action right now – they have to keep reviewing the “legal issues” and monitoring the other litigation. So individual board members were invited to speak. Only two did, neither from Seattle/King County. The first warned that the board had best not just focus on its “district” but should pay attention to the “frustration” elsewhere in the region and state. And he said the valuation discrepancy that led to the taxation rate made that frustration worse. “We have got to get this resolved – people need to believe they’re paying car tabs based on an accurate valuation of their vehicle.” Another board member said it’s important to keep the pressure on the Legislature.
So bottom line remains “too soon to say” what happens next, but there’s a chance West Seattle light rail could be delayed or even canceled as part of a worst-case scenario.
Earlier in the meeting:
PUBLIC COMMENT: In this section of the meeting, before the 976 discussion, Youngstown property owner Dennis Noland spoke first, thanking the board for agreeing to include the Andover/Yancy alternative in environmental studies. He was followed by Tim Eyman, author of 976, who called his initiative an “overwhelming repudiation” of ST. “People outside Seattle have no voice any more.” Eyman then declared he was running for governor next year and at that point got booted from the microphone, with an explanation that “campaigning” isn’t allowed. Someone briefly chanted “let him talk” while someone counter-chanted “No campaigning.” … Other speakers were both pro and con 976. Two speakers in particular called out the effects that 976 could have on people with disabilities.
TONIGHT’S MEETING: Again, if you see this before 6 pm, that’s when ST’s West Seattle “neighborhood forum” begins – all welcome – Alki Masonic Center, 4736 40th SW.
ADDED: Post-board meeting, ST published this statement from board chair Marchione.
Four weeks after Mayor Jenny Durkan‘s most-recent walking tour in West Seattle, she’s announced that two local areas are part of “extra holiday patrols” planned by Seattle Police. From a news release just sent by the mayor’s office:
To help enhance public safety for Seattle residents and visitors during the holiday season, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and Chief of Police Carmen Best announced today that the Seattle Police Department (SPD) will begin extra holiday patrols in nine areas across Seattle on November 30 and continue them through December. SPD will also deploy specific operational plans and patrols on both November 29 (Black Friday) and December 31 (New Year’s Eve) …
… Neighborhoods that see high volume of holiday shoppers and holiday events with emphasis patrols will include:
Downtown retail core between 3rd and 6th Avenues between Olive and Union
Westwood Village/Roxhill Park
West Seattle Junction/California Ave SW
Residents and visitors in areas with extra holiday patrols can expect to see an increased presence by SPD officers both on foot and on bikes.
Earlier this year, Mayor Durkan and Chief Best announced pre-summer and summer emphasis programs to improve public safety and address maintenance needs in neighborhoods across Seattle.
Emphasis patrols are a recognized practice in police departments across the country and an evidence-based strategy to fight crime. They are also a decades-long strategy in Seattle.
In 2019, the emphasis patrols, combined with the work of City departments to address maintenance needs, showed positive results. Officers in emphasis zones made contact with hundreds of individuals, offering services, referrals to Law Enforcement Assisted-Diversion (LEAD), warnings, and citations. Residents have reported increased visibility by SPD officers.
Holiday emphasis patrols will not reduce regular SPD and City of Seattle operations, including police patrols and criminal investigations throughout Seattle; regular operations and criminal investigations will continue. SPD will continue to evaluate the impact to understand continued and future deployments in those and other areas.
As part of her 2020 Proposed Budget currently being considered by City Council, Mayor Durkan proposed including $847,000 to continue those community-based emphasis patrols at 2019 levels in 2020.
As of November 20, 2019, Citywide crime is down six percent compared to the same time in 2018.
These won’t be the first such patrols in those areas of West Seattle – precinct leadership has mentioned them multiple times before in local community meetings.
12:27 PM: The response to that crash on the westbound West Seattle Bridge near 1st Avenue S. has just been upgraded to “rescue extrication” and that half of the bridge is being closed at the scene.
12:31 PM: Firefighters have extricated one person from the wrecked vehicle and SFD says she is in “stable condition.”
12:35 PM: As this SDOT camera view looking westward shows, one eastbound lane is blocked too:
12:45 PM: One westbound lane is now open.
1 PM: SDOT cameras now show only the inside westbound lane is blocked; other lanes have reopened.
1:15 PM: All cleared.
11:57 AM: If the sky stays clear – a “legendary meteor shower,” explained here, might be visible tonight. Here’s what West Seattle’s longtime skywatching expert Alice Enevoldsen says:
Ok, West Seattle. 8pm-9:30pm LOOK EAST. There might be a meteor outburst (100s of shooting stars) for 15 minutes in that window. Highest probability is 8:50pm.@westseattleblog
I'm still sorting out my stargazing plans for tonight. https://t.co/gSFQ2ZtWde
— Alice's AstroInfo (@AlicesAstroInfo) November 21, 2019
And some bonus advice added by @WestSeaWx: “Might I add, get as high in elevation as possible w/an unobstructed view.” The absolute highest elevation in West Seattle – the entire city, in fact – is in Myrtle Reservoir Park (35th/Myrtle), though its eastward view is NOT unobstructed. Forecast, meantime, looks clear and cold.
ADDED 4:02 PM: Alice will be out watching and you’re invited to join her:
I'll be at the "Observe here" red star.
(Ignore the yellow star)@westseattleblog @SouthSeattleCC
8:15pm-9:30pm tonight 11/21/2019#UnicornMeteorShower (potential meteor outburst) pic.twitter.com/f2AMd8xzaV
— Alice's AstroInfo (@AlicesAstroInfo) November 21, 2019
First, from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide:
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE HOLIDAY KICKOFF: The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s November “After Hours” event kicks off the holidays at Westwood Village, starting at Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) at 5:30 pm. (2600 SW Barton)
And from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
SOUND TRANSIT BOARD TALKS I-976: Two weeks after the election, the Sound Transit Board talks about the effects of I-976 during its 1:30-4 pm meeting at the boardroom downtown. Here’s the agenda (PDF); you can watch live here. (401 S. Jackson)
CLIMATE CHANGE: Presentation tonight at the West Seattle (Admiral) Library, 5:30 pm. (2306 42nd SW)
WEST SEATTLE LIGHT RAIL: What happens next? This Sound Transit “neighborhood forum” is meant for you to hear about and talk about it. 6 pm at Alki Masonic Center in The Junction. (4736 40th SW)
SHAUNA AHERN: The author of “Gluten-Free Girl” reads from her new book “Enough” at Paper Boat Booksellers, 6 pm. (6040 California SW)
EXPLORER WEST MIDDLE SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: Future middle-schooler in the house? You’re invited to learn about Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor) at tonight’s open house, 6:30 pm. (10015 28th SW)
CAMP SECOND CHANCE’S FUTURE: As announced last month, the tiny-house encampment’s future will be addressed a city-convened meeting at the Joint Training Facility in southeast West Seattle at 6:30 pm. (9401 Myers Way S.)
ALKI COMMUNITY COUNCIL: Board meeting at 7 pm, community welcome, Alki UCC parlor. (6115 SW Hinds)
SCREENAGERS, NEXT CHAPTER: The documentary focuses on how to help your teens deal in a screen-focused world. As previewed here, a free showing (donations accepted to cover costs) starts at 7:30 pm in the auditorium at Chief Sealth International High School, presented by the CSIHS PTSA. All welcome. (2600 SW Thistle)
ECLECTIC ROCK: Three bands at Parliament Tavern, $8 cover, 9 pm. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
Northwest Girlchoir has sent out a regional call for new singers:
Know any girls who love to sing? Northwest Girlchoir has openings for new singers in grades 1-12 to join us in January 2019 – auditions and enrollment are happening right now! Learn musicianship, vocal technique, and performance skills, all while building lasting friendships in a supportive community.
Now in its 47th concert season, Northwest Girlchoir has empowered and inspired thousands of girls and young women in our region to lift their voices in chorus with others. Choristers perform for thousands of audience members at concerts held across the greater Puget Sound Region and on tours nationally and internationally.
Grades 1-2: Easy online registration is now open for girls entering grades 1-2 to join Prep Choir! Members learn music in a fun and nurturing environment as they prepare for exciting mainstage concerts. Sign up online at www.northwestgirlchoir.org/registerforprep
Grades 3-12: Fill out the Audition Request form online to join one of Northwest Girlchoir’s five progressive choir levels! Auditioned choir members enjoy performing at mainstage concerts, in the community and at special events, and even on tours. Learn more and sign up to audition at www.northwestgirlchoir.org/audition
Scholarships: Scholarships are available for every choir level and we encourage families to apply.
Contact email@example.com for more information or call the office at (206) 527-2900.