West Seattle, Washington
(WSB file photo)
One of the headlines from tonight’s Fauntleroy Community Association board meeting: The Fauntleroy Fall Festival will return next month, but with pandemic modifications. It’ll be a drive-up/ride-up event, 2-5 pm Sunday, October 24th, in the Fauntleroy Church parking lot (9140 California SW). Organizers plan stations where you can stop for some take-home versions of festival traditions – paper salmon hats, birdhouses, pumpkins. They’re planning an RSVP system where you can sign up for an arrival time slot, to avoid traffic jams. More info to come soon.
(WSB photo inside the West Seattle Bridge, last Thursday)
The Port of Seattle is giving the city $9 million to help cover the costs of the West Seattle Bridge project – and getting some commitments in return. Details are in a “memorandum of understanding” approved today by port commissioners. Here’s the draft document:
From that document, here’s where the $9 million fits in the funding picture:
Here’s what the port gets: Priority handling of city construction-related permits for the Terminal 5 modernization project, certain levels of access to the West Seattle low bridge, a chance to review the bridge-repair plans “to ensure maritime operations are fully considered.” And the port and city will work together on transportation projects including truck parking to minimize backups, the East Marginal Way corridor, and design of the West Marginal Way 2-way protected bike lane “to maximize safety for all users and minimize freight impacts.” The $9 million is to be paid in three installments, starting “after the City has reopened the West Seattle High Bridge with full access consistent with prior operations (7 lanes) and shown progress satisfactory to the Port on other provisions of the agreement (this is expected in mid-2022).”
Here are the details of the low-bridge access specified in the MOU:
a. SDOT will authorize up to 550 roundtrips per day for workers required to support international marine cargo operations at T5.
• Between 7 am and 3 pm, SSA Marine and ILWU will minimize trips to 100 one-way trips per hour within those daytime hours.
• Outside of those hours, SDOT will authorize up to 200 one-way trips per hour
b. In coordination with the Port and the NWSA, while the high bridge remains closed, SSA Marine will provide flex-hours for up to 180 ILWU workers to ensure that they arrive at T5 prior to 7 am as well as provide on-terminal truck queuing starting at 6 am.
c. “T5 Labor” includes ILWU Locals 19, 52 and 98, mechanics and SSA. Each entity and members will follow existing application procedures with applications due by the 15th of each month for authorized low bridge access in the following month.
d. The SSSB is to be used only by T5 Labor only when dispatched across the Duwamish or when traveling across the Duwamish between marine cargo terminals.
e. ILWU trips to terminals other than T5 continue to be authorized when a worker is dispatched across the Duwamish; however, those non-T5 trips are assumed and expected to NOT be higher than as of the date of this MOU (averaging 10 trips per hour maximum). These trips are counted as part of the authorized trip numbers listed above.
f. ILWU and mechanic individual trips are limited to no more than two-round trips per day.
g. ILWU and SSA Marine’s coordination is necessary to enforce the authorized trip target. A pattern of exceeding the authorized trip target will result in the City directly engaging with SSA and ILWU and giving both entities an opportunity to take corrective action with their users.
• Following engagement, any persistent and on-going patterns of excessive use by authorized users could result in a reduction of ILWU/SSA access to the low bridge.
h. Once T5 reopens to marine traffic, SDOT, ILWU, SSA Marine and NWSA will regularly communicate to ensure coordinated execution.
i. NWSA will work with SDOT in advance of Terminal 5 opening to develop a terminal data reporting strategy and provide regular terminal data updates to inform low bridge access predictions and management.
For truck access, the MOU says that for one “the City will continue design to rechannelize S Spokane St east of the T-18 main gate entrance to improve traffic flow near the East Waterway Bridge, and will carry out the project at the City’s cost in 2022 after the WSHB opens to traffic.” Also, the port and city will work “to establish multiple drayage truck parking areas … for the benefit of both Duwamish Valley residents and truck drivers serving the marine cargo terminals.” For possible parking area, one on 11th SW with 25 truck-parking spaces, and potentially “near East Marginal Way, under the Spokane St viaduct and nearby areas as depicted in Exhibit E with the intention to develop up to 70 additional parking spots.”
The parking spots are supposed to be ready by the end of 2022, pending City Council approval. Then in early 2023 the city and port would collaborate on a plan for at least 100 more truck-parking spaces at site(s) TBA, possibly on city-owned property along the east side of East Marginal Way between Hanford and Holgate, also noted in Exhibit E.”
Voting in the general election is just over two weeks away – ballots go out October 13th. If you haven’t decided yet who you’re voting for in local races, you have a variety of opportunities coming up to watch candidate forums. Tomorrow (Wednesday) at noon is the next one – mayoral candidates Lorena González and Bruce Harrell will answer questions about homelessness in an online forum presented by the nonprofit Resolution to End Homelessness. Organizers say it will include an audience-question period toward the end, Go here to register for the Zoom link
Two reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch:
SPRAY-BOTTLE ASSAULT: This happened to Chris in Admiral:
A young (early 20’s), white male, wearing a baseball cap, backpack, and with a milk crate with a rolled-up sleeping bag at the bus stop in front of Circa, sprayed me, the front door, and the bushes in front of Circa. He used a generic household spray bottle that appeared to contain a yellow liquid. There was no smell. I yelled at him to stop and he backed off but he walked forward and sprayed more at my legs and the restaurant.
He sprayed the liquid into his own mouth, laughed, and went back to the bus stop bench. I yelled at him to stop several more times and then a Circa employee unlocked the door. I went inside Circa to pick up my order and saw him get on the 128 bus. I informed the Circa employee and pointed out the liquid drops on the front-door glass.
FENCE-JUMPING PROWLER: From PD:
I thought I’d share vids of a guy that jumped my fence and snooped around my house around 2 am Monday 9/27 – (9200 block of) 21st Ave SW.
After months under a “BUS STOP CLOSED” cover, some of the signs along Route 22 have reappeared, as the suspended route’s return gets closer. Metro‘s fall “service change” is Saturday (October 2nd), and the 22 will return – weekdays only – as part of it. Our breakout of other West Seattle changes is here.
Chao is making sandwiches today for the third-to-last day before Sub Shop #9 in Morgan Junction closes permanently. The little sandwich shop has been at 6058 California SW for more than two decades, according to the announcement posted on its door, which says:
… Due to the pandemic and other financial hardships, we have decided to close our shop. Thank you for your loyal patronage for over 22 years; we wish you all the best for a happy and prosperous future.
From our family to yours, we hope you all stay safe and healthy during the pandemic; together we will get through this.
Sincerely, Chao, Jessie, Eric, and Sean
The shop is open until 5 pm (regular hours are 11-5). Thursday will be the last day. (Thanks to Marco for the tip about the impending closure.)
The property is owned by the family that owns O’Neill Plumbing (WSB sponsor) next door. Tim O’Neill tells WSB they haven’t decided yet what’s next for the site, which, he adds, has had past incarnations as a cleaners and real-estate office.
The Alki Elementary PTA is celebrating designation as a National School of Excellence by the national PTA – the only one in Seattle Public Schools, one of seven in the state, 351 around the country. Working to support schools and families is a challenge for all-volunteer groups like this in regular times – but it’s taken extra creativity and perseverance during the pandemic. Mel Spiker from the Alki PTA explains some of what they did – and their message for other school communities:
First, our community of families faced many obstacles during school closures. Families were faced with food insecurities, schools were faced with implementing remote learning, children were facing isolation and social emotional challenges, and our community was exiled from our beloved school building that acts as a hub of activity and support for all our families. I want to congratulate our community and express gratitude to all our families and local business owners for standing shoulder to shoulder supporting children in West Seattle.
We were not able to fundraise as we had been able to in the past, which led to our PTA standing in solidarity with local business owners that so generously gave to our children by donating services and goods for our annual auction. We pivoted our fundraising to support both our families and our local business owners by creating themed ‘pop-up’ family-focused activities. For example, Ampersand Cafe hosted our pumpkin patch last fall, where families purchased donated pumpkins from QFC along with carving kits and Halloween goodies, all locally sourced. We also had this sort of pop-up for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Thanksgiving, and others – each showcasing locally sourced items.
We aggressively pursued grants from National PTA and were awarded Phase I and II cycles of TikTok- and Mathnasium-sponsored COVID Recovery grants ($5k and $2k), allowing us to build a food pantry, offer IXL Math online supports for all students at Alki, purchase supplies to protect staff and students from COVID when schools reopened, and brought a large number of virtual programs into the homes of our families to foster a feeling of connection while we were all apart; some included:
-Cooking classes with a local chef out of Pike Place Market
-Karate lessons with local dojo in West Seattle
-All-school assembly addressing bullying, by a world champion BMX stunt rider
-Game Nights to include BINGO, Wheel of Fortune, and Family Feud
-Yoga hosted by a local yoga studio
I’d also like to bring light to the lack of funding for public schools. Our PTA had been paying for our counselor and school nurse but quickly realized the practice is unsustainable to continue. Our advocacy committee worked with WA State PTA and the Seattle Council PTA to bring forward a legislative proposal to fully fund our children’s mental health and to adequately staff schools with school nurses. Alki’s proposal was voted in by PTA delegates as our State’s No. 1 legislative priority for the next two years, and National PTA invited us to take part in their National Convention Healthy Minds Summit to present our advocacy efforts to an audience of PTA leaders across the country.
Second, I hope to inspire other local PTA units to enroll in the School of Excellence program to strengthen family-school partnerships and to guide them toward creating a welcoming school climate where all children are included and regarded as an irreplaceable asset.
Applications for the program are being accepted through October 15th – find out more here.
The pandemic has been a challenge for nonprofits, missing the usual opportunities to gather supporters for celebratory fundraisers. Some have had live events online. Transitional Resources – headquartered in the Luna Park area – has produced an online event you can watch when you have time, to learn about – and potentially support – TR’s work “to stop the cycle of homelessness and institutionalization.” Here’s the announcement:
Transitional Resources serves our neighbors living with the most serious forms of mental illness by pairing behavioral health services and supportive housing to help people get off the streets and live successfully in the community.
We have missed gathering with our community, and we can’t wait until we can safely gather with you once more! But since we aren’t quite there yet, in lieu of an in-person event, we’ve put together a virtual program about what TR has been up to. We invite you to watch and hear more about our work, get inspired by our clients’ stories, and learn how individuals like you can make a difference. This exclusive content will be available through October 7. You can visit TR’s website to view it.
We need our neighbors to know that Transitional Resources is still out here, providing the continuous, community-serving care that our clients need. Like many organizations, the past year and a half has been extraordinarily challenging for us, and the support of our community has been critical to our continued operations. We’ve faced another year of canceled events, enhanced safety protocols, plus the additional challenge of constructing a brand-new building during a pandemic. We are proud to say that TR has been able to support our clients throughout these challenges, keeping people safe and healthy, and our new building will help us to increase our capacity and services to even more people. We depend on the community to help us persevere through these challenges, and we would appreciate your support as we continue to provide services to those who need it most.
You can watch the video here, and/or make a gift to support TR here. P.S, They’re hoping to open their new building on SW Yancy next month.
6:02 AM: Good morning!
Showery, cool again today – with another 60-ish high..
26th SW – Final week for northbound 26th SW closure between Roxbury and Barton; King County crews expect to switch to southbound net week.
25th SW & Barton – More county-led RapidRide prep work.
Delridge project – No major work this week, SDOT says.
Buses are on regular schedules today – except for the rerouting in RapidRide H Line work zones. Watch @kcmetrobus for word of canceled trips. Reminder – the fall “service change” is this Saturday; we previewed the West Seattle changes earlier this month.
For ferries and water taxis, regular schedule today. Doc Maynard is back on the WSWT run. Watch @wsferries for ferry updates.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
553rd morning without the West Seattle Bridge. Here are views of other bridges and routes:
Low Bridge: Automated enforcement cameras remain in use; restrictions are in effect 5 am-9 pm daily – except weekends; the bridge is open to all until 8 am Saturday and Sunday mornings. (Access applications are available here for some categories of drivers.)
West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way:
Highland Park Way/Holden – Update – we asked SDOT about the camera angle again last week, and it’s been readjusted:
The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):
The 1st Avenue South Bridge (map):
For the South Park Bridge (map), here’s the nearest camera:
Are draw/swing bridges opening for boats or barges? The @SDOTBridges Twitter feed will tell you. (1st Ave. South Bridge openings also are tweeted on @wsdot_traffic.)
See all local traffic cams here; locally relevant cameras are also on this WSB page.
Trouble on the streets/paths/bridges/water? Please let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.
One last time before leaving office in a few months, Mayor Jenny Durkan gave her annual budget speech tonight.
But what she chose to mention is only a fraction of what’s in the 768-page “budget book.” We read through key department sections of the $7.1 billion budget, as well as the accompanying Capital Improvement Program that spans into 2023 and beyond. Here are notes of (mostly) local interest:
SDOT: Of course the agency’s $718 million plan has all the money expected to be needed to fix and reopen the West Seattle Bridge. It also has $5 million for maintenance on three movable bridges, including the West Seattle low bridge, and the 4th Avenue South bridge. But the most eyecatching West Seattle item is in the Capital Improvement Program – penciling in 35th Avenue SW repaving for 2023, Morgan to Roxbury. Where the $35 million would come from, they haven’t decided yet.
PARKS & REC: West Seattle’s three landbanked park sites – 48th and Charlestown, 40th SW in The Junction, and the addition in Morgan Junction – were put on hold for the pandemic. But the $283 million Parks budget for next year includes money to get them going again. Other named West Seattle projects would include energy-efficiency woork at Hiawatha (which is already closed for renovations) and some money to support closing-time security at Alki Beach.
POLICE: The $365 million plan is slightly more than last year. Here’s what the mayor said about it in her speech:
We’ll also continue to address public safety challenges. Like many of you, I believe it’s a false choice to say we must choose between investing in effective community alternatives OR investing in having enough well trained police officers.
We need both.
This budget ensures we have enough police officers AND alternatives to police interventions, particularly for people in crisis. Like HealthOne, a program I launched before the pandemic that sends medics and social workers instead of police to certain 911 calls.
My budget also adds 125 new officers and one million dollars for officer hiring incentives, and new resources for training and oversight. I hope the City Council joins me to support this approach for true community safety, and not buy into false choices.
The alternatives would include adding six Community Service Officers as well as moving money to “specialized triage” and a Regional Peacekeepers Collective.
Those are just a few sections of the many in the budget – you can browse them section by section by going here. Some departments have started publishing their own summaries – including Parks, SDOT; watch for others here.
WHAT’S NEXT: The City Council, meeting as the Select Budget Committee, will review and amend the mayor’s plan over the next two months. Meetings start Wednesday, with individual department presentations; here’s the agenda for that day (watch for subsequent meetings’ agendas here). Three public hearings are planned – 5:30 pm October 12 and November 10, 9:30 am November 18, all online, so you can comment from wherever you are – go here for more info on how to attend/participate. You can also email councilmembers any time – here’s how.
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