West Seattle, Washington
The man accused of attacking another man who tried to stop him from assaulting a woman in The Juncton is now charged. We first reported on the incident New Year’s Day. 39-year-old James M.Johns is charged with second-degree assault, his bail upped to $150,000. Charging documents say Johns has 10 felony convictions in 20 years, including burglary and possession of a stolen car, and 10 misdemeanors, including two DUIs. The original call on New Year’s Day reported a man beating a woman who was on the ground at California/Edmunds; they had left before police arrived but witnesses pointed their car and police stopped it. Meantime, they found the victim, who told police he had been walking from the grocery store with his wife and two children when he saw Johns beating the woman. As a third man, who apparently knew Johns, tried to break it up, the victim told Johns to leave the woman alone – and then, court documents say, Johns punched him in the face, hard enough to break a bone. As for the woman who had been attacked, police say she denied having been assaulted, and that as they took Johns away, he gave that woman his PIN number so she could get money to bail him out. The jail register shows he got out on bond after one day when his bail was set at $10,000, but when the charge was filed Monday, it was raised to $150,000 this past Monday, and the register shows he’s been back in custody since then. His arraignment is set for January 16th.
Seal Sitters just received results from the radiographs taken of our most recent dead California sea lion, towed from Constellation Park to Don Armeni boat launch for necropsy on the 3rd. This is the sea lion that had originally washed ashore on a private beach further south on Christmas Day.
The X-rays confirm that the animal was shot in the head. Projectiles will be removed from the skull and turned over as evidence to NOAA Office of Law Enforcement.
The most current Fall/Winter statistics to date of pinnipeds (seals and sea lions) confirmed shot dead in Central and South Puget Sound now stand at 9. An additional 4 deaths are suspicious, but cause was not confirmed.
For more info, go here.
As always, please report all marine mammals on shore, live or dead, to Seal Sitters’ hotline @ 206-905-SEAL (7325).
A year earlier, at least a dozen shot sea lions were found in central Puget Sound.
West Seattle – thank you so much for your patience and understanding as we complete these necessary roadway improvements!
We are pleased that we were able to reopen the intersection of SW Alaska St and 35th Ave SW ahead of schedule on Sunday, this past weekend. At this time, we do not plan to schedule another intersection closure at 35th Ave SW and SW Alaska St.
As a reminder, for the safety of our crews and your fellow residents, please follow posted detour routes and do not disturb traffic control. As we approach potential winter weather, our posted traffic control is especially crucial to maintain safe use of the road for everyone.
What to expect this week and next week
35th Ave SW and SW Alaska St: we have restricted left turns onto SW Alaska St from 35th Ave SW. This closure will be in place for several weeks
Zone E (35th Ave SW from SW Avalon Way to SW Alaska St): we are currently working in the center turn lane of 35th Ave SW, north and south of SW Alaska St.
Zone F (SW Alaska St from 35th Ave SW to 36th Ave SW): as soon as the week of January 20, we will begin demolition of the north side of SW Alaska St.
As we begin work on SW Alaska St, please follow King County Metro’s Rider Alerts to stay up to date on bus stop changes.
We have asked SDOT for an interview to ask some big-picture questions regarding the project’s status and what remains to be done; watch for that story next week.
6:01 PM: The January 2020 West Seattle Art Walk is happening now, all over the peninsula! First venue we visited is Verity Credit Union (4505 California SW; WSB sponsor) in The Junction, spotlighting artist Jenna Hanson (above) tonight. The Art Walk has officially expanded to Admiral as of this month – more on that here, and more photos later.
6:52 PM: In Admiral, we stopped first at West Seattle Grounds (2141 California SW):
That’s artist Morgan Smaller and her puppy Vespa. Below, Emily Juarez at Zelda Zonk Consignment (2210 California SW):
The Art Walk is on until “late,” with closing hours differing venue by venue. See the map/venue list in our morning highlight list.
Lots of questions about the helicopter activity over The Junction. As we’ve answered everyone who messaged us, it’s just TV, checking out the anti-war demonstration (which we previewed here last night). So far not the size of last month’s pro-impeachment rally but participants are following the same pattern as that one, walking with the light in the Walk-All-Ways crosswalk at California/Alaska, so no traffic impacts.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Will we see significant snow soon?
While the forecasters keep watch on that, “We want to make sure we’re ready as a city. … we’ve got plans,” Mayor Jenny Durkan assured the media gathered for a briefing/Q&A at the city Emergency Operations Center downtown this afternoon. We were there and recorded it all on video, which includes other city/county officials:
A big theme: The “shovel your sidewalk” theme we noted earlier this week. The mayor stressed: “If we hit the snow period … check on your neighbors if you can. …. And help them shovel their sidewalks … our sidewalks are the way that people can get around in our city.” Go get a snow shovel or salt if you don’t have yours yet – flashlight batteries too, “candles and warm blankets,” her advice continued.
Sidewalk-responsibility awareness was boosted in a resolution sponsored last year by West Seattle/South Park Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who was also at the EOC.
Though Herbold didn’t take the podium, she spoke with reporters afterward to elaborate on the sidewalk plan: The emphasis is on arterials in urban villages, followed by arterials on other transit routes. Here’s a city memo she provided post-meeting outlining the resolution and the resulting awareness campaign:
Street-use inspectors will be out checking on sidewalks in those priority areas, said SDOT director Sam Zimbabwe. They will notify people “who aren’t taking their responsibility seriously” – if a notification doesn’t get action, a citation can follow; Herbold said potential fines range from $50 for residential violations to $250 for commercial property (the former is a reduction, also outlined in the memo above).
Sidewalks aside, Zimbabwe also said the winter-response plan has been updated. For plowing, buses’ snow routes, emergency access, schools are priorities. Protected bike lanes will get snow-clearing attention too. But whatever your vehicle, “Don’t drive if you don’t have to during a snowstorm. … Pay attention to road-closure signs.” He mentioned the SDOT map (PDF) showing which routes will be prioritized for plowing. “We haven’t radically changed the level of plowing that we’re going to do.” What they did last year regarding plowing seemed to go fairly well, he said. The current plan – subject to change as the forecast evolves – is that snow-focused staff will start deploying Sunday evening; “equipment is ready – salt, plows.”
Since the city has 35 snowplows to cover its 70 million square feet, Mayor Durkan counseled patience: “Don’t expect your neighborhood will be plowed immediately.”
“Stay informed” was the advice from Emergency Management director Barb Graff. She also pitched alert.seattle.gov and Smart 911, and reiterated getting supplies “that you might need … Go ahead and do your shopping now.” Snow is charming “for the first eighth of an inch,” she observed … after that, not so much.
The mayor also vowed that they’d be able to bring unsheltered people inside. “We will open cold-weather shelters and have more capacity.” Human Services Department director Jason Johnson elaborated: “Every winter we extend capacity of shelter capability – 85 additional beds,” and they plan to open 100 more beds at Seattle Center starting Sunday night. That’s an overnight-only shelter, he added, but the Armory will also be open during the day for people to stay out of the cold.
Regarding transit, Metro deputy general manager Terry White advised people to check metrowinter.com early to get briefed on “what services are available in your area.”
He promised, “We’re ready regardless of whatever Mother Nature (brings)” – communication consolidation is what they’ve been working on.
In closing, “Government is only part of the equation,” said the mayor. As for that patience she advised – apply it to forecasters too: “Half the time they predict it, it doesn’t come.”
Three more HALA-upzoned parcels on 41st SW in Morgan Junction have a redevelopment proposal: Two buildings totaling 56 units, according to this early-stage site plan (PDF) filed with the city this week. The parcels are 6308 and 6314 41st, plus, on the corner, 4023 SW Graham. The site plan shows a three-story, 14-unit building fronting 41st, with a five-story, 42-unit building behind it. A Texas-based company, StoryBuilt, is proposing the project, described in city files as follows:
The project is made up of 56 homes with a mixture of townhomes, flats, and split-level residences along with 33 surface and below grade parking spaces access(ed) off an alley.
There’s already an apartment proposal across Graham to the north, and townhouse proposals to the south. The latter sites, plus the parcels in this new plan, were part of the upzoning-anticipation listing we reported in 2017, but records don’t yet show a sale.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
One of two major West Seattle projects funded by last year’s Seattle Public Schools BEX V levy is well into the planning phase.
The $22 million plan to expand West Seattle Elementary in High Point has cross-peninsula ramifications, as the school will be relocated to the former Schmitz Park Elementary for a year while the construction is under way.
The expansion is intended to add capacity at the school, which is currently more than 100 students past what would be a “right-size” enrollment of 320 and is expected to keep growing. This and the future rebuild of Alki Elementary were the largest West Seattle projects on the list of what’ll be funded by BEX V, approved by more than two-thirds of Seattle voters last February.
The first phase of planning, convening a School Design Advisory Team, is already over, according to the district’s project manager Paul Wight. He says the SDAT meetings – in a process explained here – concluded in mid-December. “In all we had 7 meetings and the team was made out of the Principal. staff, teachers, students, parents, and neighbors.” Attendees are listed on the minutes pages, which are linked here and go into details of what was discussed and suggested throughut the process.
Wight tells WSB that next, “The architect, Miller Hayashi, is finishing up the schematic design and we are moving forward with Design Development. We will be going through permitting this year and starting construction on the addition and renovation work in the summer of 2021. It will be approximately a 14-month construction project and school will reopen in the Fall of 2022.”
WSES will move to the former Schmitz Park Elementary (5000 SW Spokane) for the 2021-2022 school year; district spokesperson Tim Robinson says portables (which proliferated before the SP program moved to the new Genesee Hill Elementary) will be added to handle the full WSES population. District projections show the school is expected to have about 437 students enrolled that year. The move is a change from the original plan, which was described in 2018 as something that would be done without requiring the school to temporarily vacate. Schmitz Park currently houses a preschool program.
We start your Thursday highlights with a new map/venue list for tonight’s West Seattle Art Walk:
(Or see it here in PDF.) The WSAW (co-sponsored by WSB) has expanded to The Admiral District! So you have more places to go tonight, starting at 5 pm – not just places showcasing artists, but also food and drink specials for Art Walk-ers. Here are this month’s highlights.
Also from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar (which is experiencing some technical flutters right now, so the full calendar might not be available immediately, but individual pages are):
ANTI-WAR RALLY: 5 pm, a “no war with Iran” demonstration is planned in The Junction. (California/Alaska)
AVIATION PROGRAMS OPEN HOUSE: Thinking about going (back) to school to learn a new trade? Learn about these programs at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), 6-6:30 pm.
Details are in our calendar listing. (6000 16th SW)
STONE HOUSE @ PARK BOARD: As previewed here, the city Board of Park Commissioners‘ meeting downtown at 6:30 pm is scheduled to include a presentation on the “concept” of relocating the 1123 Harbor SW “Stone House” to Alki Beach. The meeting includes a public-comment period. (100 Dexter Ave. N.)
AT THE SKYLARK: Beast Folk, Obol, Reality Check, 7 pm live music at The Skylark in North Delridge. $8 cover. 21+. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
From the city’s twice-weekly bulletin, applications are in for three West Seattle projects, opening two-week comment periods:
5616 CALIFORNIA SW: This is the site immediately south of C & P Coffee (WSB sponsor). 8 townhouses are planned, in 3 buildings, with 5 offstreet-parking spaces. The notice, linked here, explains how to comment. It’s not the first public-comment period for this proposal.