West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Repair work to reopen the 19-months-closed West Seattle Bridge is now just weeks from starting.
That’s part of what the bridge’s Community Task Force heard during its monthly meeting, held online Thursday evening. Here’s how it unfolded:
BRIDGE-TOUR THOUGHTS: Since the advisory group’s last meeting, members had been invited to tour the bridge – in visits similar to the media tour we covered last month – and CTF co-chair Paulina López of the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition invited members to offer their thoughts.
Quick reminder of four opportunities to get vaccinated in the next four days – two for COVID, two for flu:
COVID VACCINATIONS AT OLG: As previously reported, Our Lady of Guadalupe is hosting a clinic on Sunday, 9:30 am-1:30 pm. Our story includes the link for making an appointment. Pfizer and Moderna available, first, second, and (Pfizer) boosters.
COVID VACCINATION IN SOUTH PARK: No appointment needed at the South Park Senior Center (8201 10th Ave. S.) 9 am-1 pm Tuesday (October 19th), where all three vaccines are available, including Pfizer boosters. (Here’s the flyer.)
FLU SHOTS THIS WEEKEND: All community members are welcome at the flu-shot clinics 10 am-4 pm Saturday at Madison Middle School (3429 45th SW) and 10 am-4 pm Sunday at Chief Sealth International High School (2600 SW Thistle). Details and the registration link are in our original report.
New this Halloween: Alki Beach businesses are launching a trick-or-treat event!
Outer Space Seattle proprietor Caitlin Huertas says it’s happening 10 am-noon the day before Halloween – Saturday, October 30th. Her business is one of at least six that will be participate – they’ve set up a website with the map of who’s in so far.
Seattle Public Schools has had transportation trouble since the start of the year. Now school-bus service is about to be slashed. The district announced today that 142 bus routes around the city – almost a quarter of its 600 routes – will be suspended as of Monday. The district says that on top of the ongoing driver shortage that its bus provider First Student has been experiencing, “More driver shortages are expected on October 18 when Washington state law requires all school district employees – including third-party contractors – to be vaccinated against COVID-19.” Here are the only students the district guarantees will continue to get transportation:
*Students receiving special education services whose IEPs specify transportation as a related service.
*McKinney Vento (families experiencing homelessness) and foster students.
*Students with a 504 plan that includes transportation services.
*Schools that serve large numbers or high proportions of historically underserved students.
*Schools at interim sites.
(That last point would include West Seattle Elementary, whose students are at the former Schmitz Park Elementary this year while an addition is built at WSES.) The district so far has not released a list of which specific routes are affected but says more than 6,700 students will be affected, and that families of students who use bus services will get an email before day’s end with information on their student’s route status. (Thanks for the tip on this!)
(HPIC photos unless otherwise credited)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Three and a half months after the heartbreaking early-morning fire that heavily damaged the century-old Highland Park Improvement Club building, it’s time to start shaping the site’s future.
HPIC’s all-volunteer board took a big step down that path by leading an online community “town hall” Wednesday night. Now that they’ve maneuvered through some of the most arduous immediate tasks such as dealing with insurance, it’s clear that they can do more than simply rebuild all or part of the historic building at 12th/Holden: They could re-envision the site’s future by answering the question “What does the community need this building for?”
The June 25th fire came toward the end of major renovations – we reported on the project just a month before the fire – but as trustee Kay Kirkpatrick showed in an HPIC-history presentation during the Wednesday night meeting, HPIC was building on what it inherited. The building itself dates to 1924, five years after the club started; its evolution over the years has included additions, changes, even alterations to expand its dance-floor space in post-war years.
Kirkpatrick’s presentation also shone a spotlight on other evolving needs and priorities over the years – first showing the community work parties to pave the parking lot in the 1970s …
… and then the “de-paving” that created the front patio and stormwater features in the 2010s:
Even without structural/site alteration, HPIC’s mission has pivoted over the years – most recently, as a community mutual-aid center in the first year of the pandemic, when it became a center for getting food to families in need, especially during the early months when Seattle Public Schools campuses were closed and the district hadn’t figured out how to resume meal distribution for students.
Along with revisiting the club’s history, the meeting, led by HPIC board president Nicole Mazza, also recapped what’s known about the fire – more about where it started than how or why it started:
And that brought the discussion to where HPIC stands in working with its insurer – which has determined that up to $750,000 would be available for rebuilding, treasurer Shannon Harris said.
The questions they’re asking include: What does the next building look like? Do they save part of the building or rebuild it from the ground up? The dilemma presents what was termed “an opportunity to build with intention and create a unified vision for the neighborhood.” To fulfill that, the question that must be answered: “What does the community need this building for?”
The board will not answer that question alone. They’re inviting community members to be part of the process in the months ahead, leading to a final design for the project by spring. when they can seek permits and hire a contractor.
But this is about more than a building. It’s about people. Even in the post-fire months, HPIC has worked to keep serving the community.
They’ve repurposed city grant money – with the city’s permission – to obtain what’s needed for outdoor events, including portable restrooms and storage. That helped them go ahead with some events such as the three summertime Giant Garage Sales.
The more people involved, the more creative and innovative the ideas will be, the more they can do. So, Mazza explained, HPIC is also using this time to “revisit the board structure.” They want to be sure it’s “diverse and sustainable.” Years ago, 501 Commons helped them move from a membership organization to a charitable organization, so they’ll help now with the board reinvention.
Getting involved with the board’s future is one way community members can help with “HPIC 2.0.” Other ways: Join in the upcoming discussions. Donate to the rebuilding fund. Become a club member – increasing revenue from dues would help HPIC stabilize their operational funding (especially until they can regularly host events, which along with rentals were a major source of money pre-fire). Members get to join in club decisions. And – volunteer! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out what you can do, offer an idea, or ask a question.
12:38 PM: The report and photo are from Juan:
I had my car stolen yesterday, 10/14, from the parking lot of the Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex at 2600 SW Thistle St (across the street from Chief Sealth HS) around 5:15 pm. The car is a black 2008 Cadillac CTS, Washington license # AHN6141.
The car had been parked in the parking lot next to the temporary COVID testing center for less than 30 minutes before it was stolen. According to a witness, the car was towed away by a white tow truck by an older white male. The car was parked legally and there are no private tow signs in the lot.
Calls to the local tow services (that I could find) had no information on the vehicle being transported or impounded, so I have reported the car stolen to the police.
If you see Juan’s car, call 911.
1:47 PM: Juan says his car was found. It had been “mistakenly towed.” (added) We asked Juan how that happened: “They were supposed to tow another car with the same make and model that was in the lot. The person who had the car towed to their house called me and let me know they had my car.”
A post-summer tradition is back – before draining and cleaning its pool for the off-season, Arbor Heights Swim and Tennis Club is opening it to dogs. Here’s the announcement we just received from a club member:
Monday 10/18 through Friday 10/22, 4:30-6 pm
Saturday 10/23, 11 am-1 pm
Per day per dog $5, or $20 per dog for a full week pass – CASH ONLY
Dogs only in the pool – no people
No lifeguard on duty
Owners must remain at the club and in control of their dogs
Dogs must be healthy, up to date on shots, and well socialized to people and other dogs
Come prepared to pick up your dog’s poop!
The club is at 11003 31st SW.
(Photo by Theresa Arbow-O’Connor)
Here’s what’s happening in the hours ahead:
CITY COUNCIL BUDGET REVIEW: The second round of department-by-department budget reviews is under way. Today’s sessions (one that started at 9:30 am, and another starting at 2 pm) include SDOT and SPD; the agenda, with slide decks, is here; watch here.
LIVE GLASS BLOWING & ‘PUMPKIN PATCH’: Visit Avalon Glassworks (2914 SW Avalon Way) 11 am-4 pm to see live glassblowing and browse the art-glass pumpkin patch.
REMEMBERING FRANCES SMERSH: The artist and co-founder of Click! Design That Fits will be celebrated at The Hall at Fauntleroy at 3 pm, following her 11 am funeral at St. Joseph on Capitol Hill – details here.
WEST SEATTLE SKI SWAP DROPOFF: 3-7 pm, registered sellers for this weekend’s West Seattle Ski Swap can drop off their items at the VFW Hall (3602 SW Alaska).
HIGH-SCHOOL SPORTS: Soccer: 4 pm, West Seattle High School girls’ varsity hosts Football hosts Camas at Walt Hundley Playfield (34th/Myrtle): 7 pm, West Seattle High School plays Ingraham at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle); Chief Sealth International High School is on the road, 7 pm at Nathan Hale. Tonight’s game at West Seattle Stadium (4432 35th SW) is Garfield vs. Seattle Prep.
LIVE MUSIC IN NORTH DELRIDGE: At The Skylark, Dragontail Peak headlines a triple bill, 7 pm doors, 8 pm show, $10 cover.
LIVE MUSIC AT THE BEACH: 8 pm at J&J Public House (2808 Alki SW), live music led by Grammy winner Andrew Gouché. $10 cover.
We often announce school-related fundraisers, but this one is the first of its kind – student-crafted dog houses for sale! The photos are from Chief Sealth International High School career/technical education teacher Mario Martinez, who sent photos of some of the dog houses made by woodshop students.
The teacher explains, “The prices range from $75 to $150. The money raised is used to buy more materials for the woodshop.” If you’re interested, email email@example.com.
6:03 AM: Good morning!
Cloudy again – with a high around 60.
ROAD WORK – TODAY
26th SW – Now closed southbound between Roxbury and Barton for street upgrades to prepare for RapidRide H Line.
ROAD WORK – THIS WEEKEND
Multiple advisories from SDOT:
-We’ll be working on replacing concrete panels in the intersection of 16th Ave SW and SW Austin St in the northbound direction. This work is anticipated to begin on Saturday between 7 AM and conclude as early as 5 PM. The lanes will remain closed on Sunday as the concrete cures. The area will be reopened before the Monday morning commute.
-On Saturday as early as 6 AM, we will also be installing missing delineator posts on East Marginal Way SW between S Spokane St and S Atlantic St. The work is anticipated to last until 2 PM.
-On West Marginal Way SW in the vicinity of Puget Way SW, Urban Forestry crews will be working in the area tree trimming and brush cutting as early as 7 AM to 3 PM on both Saturday and Sunday. There will be traffic impacts on the southbound travel lane.
-This weekend, we’ll continue working on the new pedestrian signal at the Duwamish Longhouse as part of the West Marginal Way SW Improvements project. We’ll begin work as soon as 6:30 AM and finish as early as 4 PM on Saturday and Sunday. This work is anticipated to have periodic lane closures on West Marginal Way in both directions throughout the weekend.
BUSES, WATER TAXI, FERRIES
Regular Metro schedule, except for the rerouting in RapidRide H Line work zones – on 26th and 15th SW in particular. Lots of canceled trips lately, so watch @kcmetrobus for word of those.
For ferries and Water Taxi: Both change schedules starting Saturday – here’s the Water Taxi info; here’s the ferry info.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
570th 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:
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 movable bridges opening for boats or barges? The @SDOTBridges Twitter feed is working again. (1st Ave. South Bridge openings are also 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.
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