West Seattle, Washington
One of West Seattle’s play-area renovations is almost done – the one at E.C. Hughes (2805 SW Holden). Margaret emailed WSB to ask, “We are excited to see that the park looks very close to opening. Is there a grand opening planned?” As you can see in our view through the construction fence, the project indeed looks just about complete. So we took the question to Seattle Parks. The reply from spokesperson Karen O’Connor: “The project manager is working to get final items completed for this project and open to the public as soon as she can. The fencing will be down and play area open to the public by the end of the year. We will not be having a ribbon-cutting event.” The project was originally planned for construction last year; we first reported two years ago that citywide inspections following the discovery of termite damage at Lincoln Park South Play Area had discovered it at E.C. Hughes too. (As reported here last month, construction of Lincoln Park’s project has slid to next year.)
The week’s first announcement from Mayor Jenny Durkan heralded a nine-figure investment in “new, affordable rental homes.” The only West Seattle project on the list is one that’s been in the works a while, the Seattle Housing Authority‘s Lam Bow Apartments replacement project. The announcement and citywide list are here. The Lam Bow project (6955 Delridge Way SW) will replace both the building destroyed in a 2016 fire and the one left standing. The total 82 units to be built are up from 51 in the original complex. The cost of the project was estimated earlier this year at $35 million. Today’s announcement of citywide investments notes:
Funding sources for the Office of Housing investments include the 2016 voter-passed Seattle Housing Levy, incentive zoning and Mandatory Housing Affordability payments, $32 million in Real Estate Excise Taxes and over $13 million through retained sales taxes, made possible by changes in state law authorized by the 2019 Washington State Legislature and Seattle City Council.
A check of online files shows the Lam Bow project is still going through the city permit process.
As we continue featuring West Seattle Christmas lights nightly through the season, thanks to Sonia for the photo: “An annual favorite of ours.” It’s at 3431 48th SW (also featured previously – here’s a 2012 photo courtesy of the display’s creators, the McKean Family). We appreciate tips, with or without photos – here’s how to reach us. And here’s our archive of past featured lights.
One month ago today, the Highway 99 tunnel became a tolled roadway, after 7 months free of charge. Pre-tolling, local transportation authorities projected that up to 50 percent of would-be tunnel users would start avoiding it when tolling began. A few days in, they said the avoidance – officially known as “diversion” – was less than they had expected. Now they’ve crunched more numbers and report that trend contnues. The details are in this post on the WSDOT Blog today, which declares “tunnel usage remains high and exceeds forecasts”:
Prior to the start of tolling on Nov. 9, 2019, about 77,000 vehicles used the tunnel on average weekdays. Since tolling started, roughly 20,000 fewer vehicles are using the tunnel – about 26% less. This drop is less than the 35% to 50% predicted. However, the story is more nuanced. Peak travel volumes in the tunnel remain high. Mid-day volumes are lower, likely due to less crowding on city streets.
The WSDOT report goes into analysis of how travel time has been affected, including buses – among the sample routes mentioned, WSDOT says the 120 stayed the same in the morning, but took “less than 2 minutes longer” in the pm. Also mentioned: “Roughly 80% of vehicles in the tunnel are using either a Good To Go! pass or Pay By Plate.” (If you don’t, you get a bill by mail, sent to wherever your car is registered to.)
Dr. Claudine Kubesh, MD, is now practicing in West Seattle, and we’re welcoming her as a new WSB sponsor. Here’s what she would like you to know about what she does:
“I do both conventional medicine and functional medicine, which focuses on root-cause resolution. This combination addresses the whole health spectrum from optimal health to acute medical concerns. Finding the root cause of symptoms and optimizing the body’s ability to heal and be vibrant is empowering. This is medicine for your life.
“Most often I hear about Gastrointestinal symptoms, fatigue, sleep disturbances, hormone imbalances, and mood variability. We work on finding the root cause of their symptoms and optimizing their health. Most often I will hear, I feel better than I did 10 years ago. They feel healthier, more vibrant and empowered. That empowerment involves helping patients find the tools they need to improve their daily lives through a combination of wellness programs and health promotion.”
Dr. Kubesh‘s new office location is 4522 44th SW in West Seattle. For an appointment, call 206-557-4844 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We thank Dr. Claudine Kubesh, MD, 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.
You may know him mostly for his signal-box portraits, but West Seattle artist Desmond Hansen does a lot more – for example, commissioned murals like this one in progress today at the new Junction location of My Three Little Birds (4736 California SW; WSB sponsor). Proprietor Jennifer Young told us about the mural, so we went over for a photo. She moved the kids-stuff store to the new, larger location from Morgan Junction back in October.
Homeless and at-risk Veterans and their families will be offered a “hand up” at the ninth annual Seattle Stand Down on Thursday, Dec. 12 and Friday, Dec. 13, 2019 at the Georgetown Campus of South Seattle College (located at 6737 Corson Avenue South). The Seattle Stand Down is a one-stop shop for resources and services available to Veterans who currently lack permanent housing or simply need a “hand up” in order to prevent homelessness.
Representatives from local businesses, non-profits, educational institutions and all levels of government will be on hand with volunteers to provide medical screenings, eye exams, dental services, legal aid, employment opportunities, housing assistance, case management referrals, haircuts, personal hygiene items and meals. Providers offer services specifically for women Veterans including health care, advocacy, counseling, employment and personal care.
Services and resources will be provided on campus at several locations, including the Gene Colin Education Hall – Bldg C, 6737 Corson Avenue South. Parking passes will be made available to veterans receiving services.
The event is put on by The Seattle Stand Down, a volunteer team of veterans dedicated to supporting veterans experiencing homelessness.
10:57 AM: We’ve confirmed that at least two suspects have been arrested in a recent series of armed business robberies, and that at least one remains in jail today, an 18-year-old held in lieu of $500,000 bail. His arrest traces back to last Wednesday’s stop of a stolen car near Roxhill Park (photo above), but he was not one of the four people taken into custody at the time. As a result of that stop, though, detectives developed information that led them to this suspect. Here’s how the preliminary probable-cause documents explain it:
The documents specifically mention a MetroPCS phone-store holdup earlier Wednesday afternoon in Burien, involving four masked robbers, one with a gun. Detectives who responded “were aware of an ongoing robbery series, which included the robbery of another MetroPCS store on November 30th” (this one in White Center) and a stolen gray 2014 Toyota Camry linked to some of the robberies, carjacked in Seatac on November 27th. But something else – not specified in these preliminary documents – led them to pull over the stolen black Toyota Prius at 30th/Cambridge. Not long thereafter, they found the Camry in High Point – we photographed it that night but couldn’t confirm its connection until now.
The documents say police subsequently “found the cash register that was taken from the MetroPCS in Burien in the area …pried open (and) empty.” On Friday, detectives spotted the 18-year-old suspect at 27th/Trenton and followed him to Southwest Athletic Complex, where they arrested him. The court documents say they found an unloaded gun in his pocket, and that he’s a convicted felon so should not have been armed. The report indicates it was a theft conviction and that law enforcement would object to his release (a standard yes/no question on these documents) because “(the suspect) and associates have been on a robbery spree for the past few weeks. The robbery crew has been armed and physically assaulted victims.” Meantime, SPD has just confirmed to WSB that last Friday’s SWAT-involved arrest in High Point involved a juvenile suspect in the spree:
That unfolded not far from where the Camry was found Wednesday night. SPD says they’ll have more info on all this later today; we’ll update when it’s available.
ADDED 12:14 PM: Here’s what’s now on SPD Blotter. Additional details: The suspect arrested in High Point is 17; the spree involved “approximately a dozen armed robberies in West Seattle, Ballard, Sea-Tac, Burien and White Center over the past several weeks”; and they’re still expecting to arrest others.
ADDED 3:55 PM: We’ve just obtained the probable-cause documents related to the 17-year-old suspect. They say he confessed to eight armed robberies. The ones for which he is being held include the phone-store robberies, a shoplift-turned-robbery at Roxbury Safeway on November 29th, and two robberies we’ve previously reported on – the Lucky 5 holdup at 35th/Henderson on December 1st and an alley holdup in The Junction (which was followed up, police say, by the robbers returning to steal the victim’s car). The documents also say the 17-year-old was found, when arrested, to have a gun, and as was the case with the 18-year-old, that was illegal because he too has a felony record – two robbery convictions. (added) On second reading of the documents, we note the 17-year-old was also reported to have confessed to “various thefts of cash registers, packages from the porch of a residence, as well as liquor from grocery stores.”
FAMILY STORY TIME: 6:30 pm at High Point Library. (3411 SW Raymond)
2 EVENING BOOK GROUPS: Both tonight, 6:45 pm:
*Southwest Library (9010 35th SW), discussing “The Uncommon Reader” by Alan Bennett
*West Seattle Library (2306 42nd SW), discussing “House of Mirth” by Edith Wharton
CONCERT: Christmas Festival Concert at Holy Rosary, 7 pm, doors open 6:30 pm: “Seattle Christian School will present its annual Christmas choral concert.” Free-will offering. (42nd/Genesee)
3 TRIVIA/QUIZ NIGHTS: Here are your Monday night options:
*Best of Hands Barrelhouse (7500 35th SW), 7 pm, $2/person, 21+
*The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW), 7:30 pm, free, all ages
*Parliament Tavern (4210 SW Oregon), 8 pm, $2/person, 21+
6:59 AM: Good morning. So far, no alerts or incidents.
BRIDGE OPEN/CLOSED LINK WORKING AGAIN: The @SDOTBridges Twitter link we use above for “bridge open or closed?” info is working again; it was down for a week and a half.
WEEKEND CLOSURE REMINDER: We’ll be reminding you daily this week that the 35th/Alaska intersection is scheduled to close this weekend for work, starting at 7 pm Friday.