West Seattle, Washington
More than a week and a half after a person was found dead along southbound Highway 509 a few miles south of here, investigators have finally identified her publicly. The King County Medical Examiner’s Office says she was 16-year-old Keyaleas Brewer. But they have not yet determined how she died nor whether her death was a case of homicide; a spokesperson says that could take days, weeks, or months. So the King County Sheriff’s Office has made one more request for help: If you were driving on southbound 509 between the 1st Avenue South Bridge and South 112th between 5 am and 7 am on Friday, October 7th, and have dash-cam or any other type of video, detectives want to hear from you. You can send information anonymously via p3tips,com or contact them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org – refer to case #C22033455.
King County Elections has started mailing ballots for the November 8th election, and you can vote as soon as yours arrives – drop boxes open tomorrow (or just drop it into USPS mail, no stamps needed). Something new this time – the county has launched ballot alerts. From today’s announcement:
Voters can now opt in to receive text or email notifications as their ballot is processed, making it even easier to know that their vote counted. Ballot alerts will also let voters know if there is an issue with their signature that they need to resolve before their vote can be counted. Alerts are available in English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
You can sign up by going here (the option will come up on the second screen). Here’s our preview of what you’ll see on your ballot when it arrives. Election Night – when the voting ends and vote-counting begins – is Tuesday, November 8th,
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
On Tuesday, we reported on a microapartment project in The Junction. Across 44th SW from that site is a relatively new all-studio building that is in the process of being sold. That alone is not unusual – a check of commercial real-estate listings will show that apartment buildings are often on the market (and some sell without ever being publicly listed). However, this deal is unique: Post-sale, the Vega Apartments (4528 44th SW) are to be managed as “affordable housing,” according to a letter sent recently to nearby residents. A WSB reader forwarded it to us. The letter reads:
SRM Development is in contract to purchase the Vega Apartments located at 4528 44th Ave SW.
SRM is partnering with the Urban League of Seattle to preserve rents at affordable levels for 99 years and offer resident services. Our goal is to create and maintain safe, quality affordable housing options for individuals and couples in urban Seattle neighborhoods.
The Vega is an existing 5-story apartment building in West Seattle, built in 2017, which includes 58 studio units. It will serve tenants ranging from 50% or below of the Area Median Income (AMI) up to 80% of AMI, which ranges from $45,300 to $66,750 for an individual or $51,800 to $76,250 for a couple living in Seattle.
The acquisition offers a unique opportunity for low to moderate income residents to afford to live where they work and with close access to public transport line, which meets to goals and objectives of the City of Seattle’s Consolidated Plan for Housing and Community Development. We are seeking financing for the acquisition and management of the Vega Apartments in part from the City of Seattle Office of Housing.
SRM and Urban League are grateful for the opportunity to provide and maintain more affordable housing in the West Seattle neighborhood and look forward to being long-term community partners.
The letter also points to a page on SRM’s website which says this is one of six apartment buildings around the city that would be involved in the deal; the others are all outside West Seattle. The information on the page otherwise largely replicates what was in the letter sent to neighbors. It also links to a current page for Vega, showing vacancies for ~240-square-foot studios at rents ranging from $1,325 to $1,425.
So what would change for current and future tenants if this partly publicly funded deal goes through? And will the deal proceed if public funding is not obtained? We have been trying to get answers to those and other questions, but both SRM Development and the Urban League have not responded to our inquiries. The city Office of Housing would only say, through spokesperson Nathan Haugen, “We can confirm that SRM and Urban League have applied for funding … We unfortunately cannot comment any further as we are currently in process of closing out any awards.” According to the Office of Housing’s website, the department was accepting applications through mid-September for shares of $44 million in its Rental Housing Program. The notice says in part:
Seattle OH seeks to fund projects that:
• Combat residential displacement in communities that have experienced and continue to be at greatest risk of displacement.
• Address essential preservation and rehabilitation needs in existing OH-funded properties.
• Deliver new housing in geographic locations that offer access to transit, job centers, and services
According to this industry-publication report, the SRM Development executive who signed the letter about the West Seattle plan was hired by the company last year to head a new “affordable housing” division. One more note: Five of the six buildings involved in the pending deal are owned by West Seattle-headquartered Blueprint. We’ll continue following up.
2:24 PM: That’s how it looked from Don Armeni Boat Ramp at midday today, and the online readings indicate it’s only gotten worse – right now those levels are higher than anything we’ve seen in repeated real-time-map checks during this early-fall smoke. The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has officially extended the regional air-quality alert seven more hours, until midnight tomorrow night. And the air (lack of) quality is having other effects – just heard over Seattle Fire radio, for example, an order for all firefighters to cease non-essential activities such as training and head back to their stations. If you have to go outside, and are wondering if a mask would help, here’s a state fact sheet about that. As for what to do to protect indoor air quality, this page has some suggestions about that. Yes, rain is still expected by Friday.
3:37 PM: Seattle Public Utilities just announced that it’s closing transfer stations for the rest of the day because of the high smoke-pollution levels. … We saw a few headlines going by elsewhere declaring Seattle currently has “the worst air in the world” and verified that it’s the worst CITY air in the world right now – see the real-time worldwide list here.
THURSDAY PM NOTE: The alert has been extended again, until 10 am Friday.
A reader looking at the Seattle Fire 911 Real-Time log entries from early this morning asked us about a callout to an address that cross-checked to West Seattle Bowl. We looked at the incident-specific page and it indicated that some units were dismissed before arriving and all the rest were dismissed within eight minutes of arrival, so it appeared to be a false alarm, but we asked SFD to be sure. Spokesperson David Cuerpo tells WSB, “The 911 caller saw tiki torches across the way and mistook it for a fire.” (West Seattle Bowl is co-housed with the “tiki bar” Three 9 Lounge.)
Just got word of another vaccination event in West Seattle this weekend. This one is offering the monkeypox vaccine to those who meet current eligibility criteria, and COVID boosters too. It’s happening at Arthur’s (2311 California SW) 7-10 pm Saturday (October 22). Arthur’s proprietor Rebecca Rice explains, “With the difficulty of finding a COVID booster, combined with the stress and fear in our community surrounding Monkeypox, representatives from King County Public health approached us to organize a safe and private space for vaccinating. This Saturday, we will open our doors to anyone seeking the Monkeypox vaccine. Along with this opportunity, Alki Beach Pride has partnered us with our local Safeway pharmacy to offer Covid boosters to those who choose to receive them. We are really hoping to see a great turnout and have worked diligently with the Admiral Pub, Alki Beach Pride, and King County Public Health to provide a space for individuals that is safe and welcoming.” No appointment needed – just show up. If you can’t get to this, watch here for other vaccination events.
As always, the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar has the full rundown on what’s ahead for today/tonight. We did want to remind you about three one-time events:
FRAUD-PREVENTION WORKSHOP: 1 pm at Daystar Retirement Village (2615 SW Barton; WSB sponsor). Free. Call 206-937-6122 to see if there’s still room.
MADISON MS FUNDRAISER: 5-9 pm dine-out fundraiser at Chipotle in The Junction (4730 California SW) – our calendar listing has the code to use to be sure the school gets its share of the proceeds from your order.
MORGAN COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION: MoCA’s quarterly meeting happens at 7 pm online. The agenda is in our calendar listing – which also includes how to view/call in to the meeting – and it includes one recent hot topic: The future of the landbanked Morgan Junction Park Addition site, and the unofficial skatepark that’s been created there.
For its fall fundraising, the Alki Elementary PTA is hosting a “pumpkin patch” one week from today, It’s happening 4-6 pm Wednesday, October 26th, as people who pre-order from its list of seasonal specialties – pumpkins and treats – pick up their order. You can get yours in through today, with items available from Pan de Muerto, Pumpkin Shortbread Cookies, and Salted Caramel Cupcakes to “Monster-Making Kits.” Go here to browse and order.
P.S. Alki PTA also has a “dine-out fundraiser” tomorrow at Ounces.
6 AM: Good morning. It’s Wednesday, October 19th.
Mostly sunny, mid-60s today, but first, possibly another round of morning fog; meantime, forecasters now expect rain to arrive by Friday afternoon.
-The plan to close the westbound West Seattle Bridge tonight for sign-related work is canceled, to be rescheduled.
-The SPU project closing the east end of Sylvan Way appears to have begun.
Metro buses are on their regular schedules; watch @kcmetroalerts for trip cancellations/reroute alerts.
Still a 2-boat schedule for WSF’s Triangle Route (check here for alerts/updates).
The West Seattle Water Taxi is now on its fall/winter schedule (still daily, all dayparts, but no late Friday/Saturday runs).
High Bridge – here’s the camera at the top.
High Bridge – the view from its southwest end.
Low Bridge: Open to all.
1st Ave. S. Bridge: The alternate route.
Highway 99: Here’s the northbound side at Lander.
All functional city traffic cams can be seen here (new URL), many with video options; West Seattle and vicinity-relevant cameras are also on this WSB page … Are movable city bridges opening for vessels? Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed.
If you see trouble on the roads/paths/water, please text or call us (when you can do so safely) – 206-293-6302.
Two thefts in West Seattle Crime Watch:
BLACK ACURA: From J:
Black Acura. p=,1991. Stolen from Graham and SW 46th area on Saturday night 10-15. Plate: 217-ZRG
No police report # yet; we’ll add it when we get it. (10:21 AM UPDATE: The number is 2022-278442.)
CAMERA & BAG: Alec is visiting from out of town and reports this theft:
This morning at 7:00 am my car was broken into and my Canon camera was stolen\. Also a dark green hiking bag 55L with important documents inside. This occurred on SW Andover and 21st Avenue SW. Below is a photo of the bag.
Police report # 2022-922448.
If you think you’ve found either of Alec’s items, let us know and we’ll connect you.