West Seattle, Washington
$1.81 a month to raise more money to save the “last, best” green spaces from disappearing.
That’s what King County Executive Dow Constantine is proposing charging property owners in a ballot measure he announced today at White Center Heights Park.
The cost, Constantine says, is what the owner of a “median-priced” home in King County would pay if voters approve the measure, which he is asking the County Council to place on the November general-election ballot.
Even at that, he says, it’s not an entirely new tax – he says it would bring back what property owners used to pay for the half-century-old Conservation Futures Program. The announcement explains:
Land conservation in King County – and 13 other counties – is largely funded by the Conservation Futures program that the state created 50 years ago. A series of actions by the state has dramatically reduced the amount of revenue that the program can generate for counties. Voters have the option to restore the local program to its original rate of 6.25 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value from its current rate of 3.12 cents. That would cost the owner of a median-value home about $21.75 more per year.
Constantine was joined at the park – setting of other media events for environmental programs – by De’Sean Quinn, the Tukwila City Councilmember who co-chairs the Land Conservation Advisory Committee, as well as Open Space Equity Cabinet co-chair Michelle Benetua, Trust for Public Land’s Northwest director David Patton, and King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski. Here’s our video of what they said:
The money raised by this would, according to the announcement, “accelerate the Land Conservation Initiative, a regional partnership of communities, cities, farmers, businesses, and environmental leaders to protect 65,000 acres of the highest conservation-value open space.” Constantine launched the initiative three years ago. The land it’s saved includes a five-acre site in North Highline. That’s one of the sites intended to bring public green space closer to more people; Constantine said that 20 percent of the people in King County don’t live close to any. It’s about equitable access, climate change, wildlife protection, and more, he said while making the case. Quinn lauded him for the “political will” to push for this “to meet the urgency of now.”
WHAT’S NEXT: Dembowski, who chairs the Transportation, Economy, and Environment Committee, will sponsor the proposal. Councilmembers have until late July to approve sending it to the November ballot. Meantime, the Land Conservation Initiative continues working on potential sites to protect – not only via buying them; sometimes other tools are used, such as conservation easements, or the purchase of development rights, to take the pressure off property owners. Constantine said they can’t comment on what’s in negotiations or under consideration, for obvious reasons.
Safety at and around Westwood Village has long been a hot topic. So you might be interested in attending a community meeting just announced for June 7th. Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner asked us to help get the word out: “We are holding a Westwood neighborhood Block Watch meeting. We have invited Daystar Retirement Community, as well as Westwood Village Property Management and Security. We are hoping our community will join us to talk about safety, how to communicate with one another, and how to report effectively.” It’s an online meeting set for 6 pm Tuesday, June 7th; you can participate via the link in our calendar listing.
The West Seattle High School softball team has one more chance in the district playoffs after a tough loss today at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex. Their game against Lake Washington HS ended in the fourth inning after the Kangaroos ran up a 15-0 lead.
Shortstop Lina Delgado (above with pitcher Paige Delaney) got the Wildcats’ only hit. WSHS plays Bishop Blanchet tomorrow (Friday, May 20th) at 1:30 pm at NCSWAC (2801 SW Thistle) in a loser-out game; winner plays again at 5:30 pm, with a state-tournament berth at stake.
That’s the current sign in front of Louisa Boren STEM K-8 at 5950 Delridge Way SW, but the district is proposing changing to a lower sign with an illuminated message board, as shown in this rendering:
Since that would require a zoning departure (exception), city review and approval are required, and public feedback is being sought right now. The district cites these reasons for switching to the message-board sign:
1. Changing image signs make it easier to alert families and the community to events taking place at the school.
2. Messages can be displayed in multiple languages.
3. This is an equitable way to communicate about school events since not all families have equal access to technology.
The two-sided sign would use one color of lighting, no flashing allowed, and would only be illuminated between 7 am and 7 pm, and only on days when school is in session, the district says. The message-board part of the sign would be 5’6″ wide and 3’8″ high. You can see more information about the sign here, and you can email comments by June 24th to Nelson Pesigan at the city Department of Neighborhoods, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Matthew hopes you’ll keep an eye out for his stolen motorcycle:
STOLEN: from street on 3600 block of 44th Ave SW
2016 Triumph Thruxton. Blacked-out Engine, custom cowl and cluster gauge. Custom license plate: HEY HO. Custom wave side panels. Aftermarket piggyback shocks. Was black with gray vinyl striping, but that could easily be peeled off in an attempt to conceal. If that is peeled, then has a gold stripe up the tank. Last seen in West Seattle last night. Any help to recover is welcomed. Reward. No questions asked. VIN ends in 9777.
Anyone on 44th with a Ring camera could check for a car or truck with a trailer sometime between midnight and 8 a.m. last night – contact Matthew at mazoomors (at) gmail.com or share it with Seattle Police by calling 206-625-5011 and using case number 22-126196.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Angela Rivers‘s dad started West Seattle Coins on the southeast corner of California and Oregon in 1979. Her mom had a hair salon in the back. She and her brothers “grew up in there,” she recalls.
But suddenly, it’s the end of the line for the West Seattle Junction shop (which changed its name to Bellevue Rare Coins for unified branding with the company’s four other shops outside the city, but remains under the same family’s ownership).
You’ll recall the West Seattle shop closed after a robbery last month, and announced it would stay closed while remodeling and improving security. That was the plan until the landlord, the Senior Center of West Seattle, informed Bellevue Rare Coins that rather than allow extensive remodeling, they wanted to end the lease – originally running through next year – early, so they could expand Senior Center operations into the corner space. After the Senior Center sent us an announcement of this late Wednesday, we contacted BRC to find out about their plans, and that’s how we ended up speaking with Rivers today.
“It was a shocker. We didn’t see this coming,” she said. “It took us by surprise.” She also described it as a “double whammy” in the wake of the robbery (part of a regional rampage for which suspects are in custody), which in turn happened just three weeks after a glass-smashing attack at the store.
Here’s how the Senior Center explained it in the announcement sent to us:
Bellevue Rare Coins has been a great tenant and member of the Junction business community. We made this decision because Bellevue Rare Coins had recently announced plans to invest in tenant improvements in that space. The Senior Center staff and board are currently in a strategic planning process that include future plans for that space, and it was very likely that we were not going to renew their lease when it expired at the end of 2023.
Our future plans include an entrance on the California Ave. side of the building, which would help our community members find and access our facility. It may also be used in the future as an extension of our current Café, which offers freshly prepared soups, salads, sandwiches, and coffee weekdays to members and non-members of all ages.
Our short-term plan is to make this corner space available as a “pop-up” event and retail space. As we outline our next steps in our strategic plan, we will share our vision and get feedback from the community.
We want to thank Bellevue Rare Coins for their partnership as a longtime tenant.
Rivers says reopening without remodeling wouldn’t have worked because it’s “not a functioning store” given the damage from the robbery as well as the needed security upgrades, which she says they’ve since put in place at their other stores. Those other stores (in Bellevue, Issaquah, Lynnwood, and Tacoma) are all going strong, she says, so they’re “going to make the best of this” and might find another Seattle location, maybe even in West Seattle, someday. Meantime, she wants local customers to know, “We’ve enjoyed every moment of being part of the West Seattle community.”
COMMUTE STATION: West Seattle Bike Connections and partners are hosting a commute station tomorrow (Friday, May 20th) along the path under the bridge – this time, not just the 6-9 am morning commute period, but also 4-7 pm afternoon/evening commute too. If you’re riding, stop by for treats, swag, simple on-the-spot bike repairs, and info on the upcoming East Marginal Way project, among other things.
COSTUMED BIKE PARADE: Alki resident Guy Olson is organizing the return of “Alki Daze” festivities this weekend, highlighted by a 2 pm costumed bike parade on Sunday (May 22nd). All welcome – just show up at 63rd SW and Alki Avenue SW before the ride starts. (It’ll head down Alki eastbound to 54th.)
Today we’re welcoming a new WSB sponsor, Sound Credit Union (4730 California Avenue SW). New sponsors get an opportunity to tell you about what they do, so here’s what Sound Credit Union wants you to know:
At Sound Credit Union, we’re West Seattle through and through. We know it. We love it. But what makes West Seattle so unique? With so many well-loved features and landmarks, it can be hard to agree on a favorite, but no list would be complete without including The Junction.
To visitors, or even just those new to the neighborhood, the crosswalk at California Avenue SW and SW Alaska Street can seem puzzling. The light turns red, and traffic stops in all directions? Pedestrians can cross whichever way they want? What is this madness?!
But the beauty of The Junction — known as “pedestrian scramble” — is that it puts people first. And as a local not-for-profit credit union, we’ve always put people first. We’re known for our personal touch, our great interest rates, and our active support of local organizations: we helped more than 290 community organizations just last year alone!
And right now we’re celebrating West Seattle by giving away free T-shirts* featuring that quirky, people-first crossroads at The Junction to anyone who walks into our location on California, just a few steps from the all-ways intersection we all know and love.
Come in and say “hello” for your free T-shirt! And if you open a checking account at our West Seattle branch location, we’ll even throw in $100*. We’re Sound Credit Union, and we’re worth crossing the street for. Diagonally, if you want!
Sound Credit Union is located at 4730 California Avenue SW, just south of SW Alaska Street in The Junction, and is open 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Monday–Friday and 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Saturday. You can find us online at soundcu.com, and you can contact our West Seattle location by phone at 800-562-8130, ext. 8220.
*Visit soundcu.com/junction for offer details.
We thank Sound Credit Union 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.
Another corner commercial building in one of West Seattle’s junctions is up for sale. This time it’s the building on the southwest corner of California and Fauntleroy in Morgan Junction, home to Peel & Press, Pet Elements, Starbucks, Subway, and West Seattle Vision, and a ~39-space parking lot. It’s listed as “26,668 square feet with future development potential with NC3-55 (M1) Zoning” at an asking price of $6.2 million. According to county records, the building last sold 20 years ago for $2.2 million. Records also show that two properties to the south, same side of the street, have sold recently – the Ivy Court mixed-use building (6525 California SW) for $12.3 million last November, and the Marnae Apartments (6533 California SW) for $6.6 million last month.
P.S. We should note that the former WaFd building kitty-corner from the newly listed building (6428 California SW) still has a FOR SALE sign up; we’ve never found a public online listing for it, so we don’t know the asking price.
Some owners of stolen cars have found them by looking around. In Christy‘s case, she just happened onto hers:
My vehicle was stolen last night in front of my apartment building at (3800 block of) Beach Dr. SW. There have been numerous car thefts and break ins in this area lately.
I was fortunate enough to have found my car at 38th Ave SW and Andover around 9 am this morning. It was by chance that I found it while taking an Uber to an appointment that was two blocks from where I found my car. My car was still running and the ignition was badly damaged. The police came and took a report. There was a plastic tool kit that was left by the car thief that the police took as evidence.
I was really lucky. I know others have not been so lucky. I would like people in this area to be aware that this is happening. I know these car thieves will be back if they are not stopped.
She’s checking with neighbors to see if there’s any security-camera imagery to add.
Here’s what’s happening in the hours ahead:
FOOD POP-UP: Chef Gino Williamson of The Home Skillit says he’s popping up in Delridge today near The Home Depot, now until 2 pm, with brisket sandwiches and smoked-brisket tacos. (Webster & 24th SW)
(added) SCHOOL DINE-OUT FUNDRAISER: Got this today:
Eat at Panda Express in Burien today to benefit Louisa Boren STEM K-8
WHEN: Thursday, May 19, 2022, 10:00 AM until 9:30 PM
WHERE: Panda Express, 15842 1st Ave S, Burien
-Order online at PandaExpress.com and enter code 336677
-Bring this flyer on your phone or on paper to the restaurant
WHY: 20% of sales will be donated to Louisa Boren STEM K-8!
LOW-LOW TIDE: Another excellent afternoon for a walk on the beach – the tide is out to -3.4 feet at 2:03 pm.
SOFTBALL PLAYOFFS: West Seattle High School plays Lake Washington in the district softball tournament, 3:30 pm at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle).
CODE GAME NIGHT: That’s the theme of tonight’s West Seattle Timebank online meeting, 6:30 pm. You’re invited! Our calendar listing explains how to attend/participate.
BOARD GAME NIGHT: Come try something new at Meeples Games (3727 California SW), 6:30-10 pm.
AT THE SKYLARK Doors at 7, music at 8 for The Pazific, Black Mama, Julie C at The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW). $10 cover.
Have an event to list on our calendar/in our daily lists? We’re adding more daily – email email@example.com – thank you!
If the weather’s kept you out of the garden, no worries, it’s not too late to get set up for a productive summer! Friends of Roxhill Elementary has extended its fundraiser until May 24th – five more days to order. In case you missed the original announcement in March:
We are partnering again with Flower Power Fundraising to sell flower bulbs, kitchen garden herbs, sprouts, seeds and more to bring some joy to your home garden or window sill this spring.” Go here to shop. You can support a specific Roxhill student by writing their name in “Give Credit for This Sale to” at checkout. Friends of Roxhill Elementary gets 50% of the profits from every order. Questions? firstname.lastname@example.org
6:03 AM: Good morning; welcome to Thursday, May 19th.
The National Weather Service predicts a partly sunny day with the high around 60. (Yesterday only hit 57, 10 degrees below the seasonal norm.)
BUSES, WATER TAXI, FERRIES
Metro is on its regular weekday schedule, but watch @kcmetroalerts for word of reroutes/trip cancellations.
Ferries: WSF continues on the two-boat schedule for Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth. Check here for alerts/updates.
As we first reported last night, SDOT says the eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct will be closed late Friday through early Monday for expansion-joint and pothole work.
Tomorrow (Friday) is Bike Everywhere Day, and West Seattle Bike Connections is co-sponsoring a station under the bridge for both commute periods – 6 to 9 am and 4 to 7 pm.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
787th morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
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.)
1st Avenue South Bridge:
South Park Bridge:
West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way:
Highland Park Way/Holden:
The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):
Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Text or call us (when you can do so safely) – 206-293-6302.