West Seattle, Washington
Tomorrow morning is the last City Council public hearing on the city budget before councilmembers go into the final stretch of budget revisions for the next two years. As reported here last week, presentation of a “balancing plan” incorporating some of the council’s proposed changes was delayed a week after new revenue numbers came in lower than hoped. But tomorrow morning’s public hearing is still on, and now you can show support for, or opposition to, spending proposals before the “balancing plan” is finished. Here are West Seattle-specific amendments that have been proposed by City Councilmember Lisa Herbold:
FAUNTLEROY BOULEVARD: $15 million over the next two years to revive the Fauntleroy Way Boulevard Project (shelved until light rail’s likely route became clearer). Here’s how the amendment document describes it:
This Council Budget Action would add $7.5 million Transportation Fund in 2023 and $7.5 million Transportation Fund in 2024 (one-time) in the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) for the Fauntleroy Way SW Boulevard (MC-TR-C046) CIP project. This project was previously funded by the 2015 Move Seattle Levy. SDOT placed the project on hold in 2018 while the corridor was under consideration by Sound Transit for the West Seattle Link light rail extension. The Sound Transit Board has selected a tunnel to West Seattle [Junction] as the preferred alternative, which would no longer conflict with the Fauntleroy Way SW Boulevard project. The Fauntleroy Way SW Boulevard project completed final design in 2017 …
This project transforms Fauntleroy Way SW into a boulevard. The project elements include: a planted median, signature lighting fixtures, a protected bicycle facility, a pedestrian zone with sidewalks and planting areas including street trees, pedestrian lighting, potential stormwater infrastructure and art, as well as safety improvements for crossing movements for all modes. These safety improvements include bicycle and pedestrian crossings, signals, reconfigured intersections and bulbs, and pavement improvements
That’s part of a tall stack of transportation-related amendment proposals you can see here.
This one, we’ve mentioned before:
KEEPING LADDER 13 AND MEDIC 26: This would add about $6 million over the next two years to keep the Seattle Fire resources that were originally added to this area because of the bridge closure – Ladder 13 (now at Station 37 in Sunrise Heights) and Medic 26 (now at Station 26 in South Park). Previously our area had only one ladder truck and one medic unit, both based at Station 32 in The Junction. Here’s the explanation from the amendment document:
This Council Budget Action would add $439,000 GF in 2023 and $1.2 million GF in 2024 (one-time) to the Seattle Fire Department (SFD) to support the permanent operation of resources that were implemented temporarily during the closure of the West Seattle Bridge. These resources are a ladder truck at Fire Station 37 and a medic unit at Fire Station 26. To meet the temporary need, SFD kept in service vehicles that were past their replacement age, but the department would need to purchase new vehicles if the need for them were permanent. One-time funding would support (1) the maintenance\ costs of a ladder truck until its anticipated replacement in late 2025 and (2) the maintenance costs of a medic unit until its anticipated replacement in late 2024. One-time funding would also support the training of eight SFD firefighters as paramedics to staff the new medic unit.
In addition, this Council Budget Action would add $4.3 million GF in 2023 (ongoing) to support the staffing costs associated with both resources. The Council Budget Action would increase SFD’s minimum daily staffing level from 216 to 222, but no funding is added to train new SFD recruits because current SFD firefighters would staff the new ladder truck and medic shifts on an overtime basis. Ongoing funding is also added, beginning in late 2023, to support the pro-rated lease costs for the new medic unit. On an annual basis, these costs are $72,000 per year. There would be a 2025 one-time cost of $2 million, for a new ladder truck, associated with this Council Budget Action, and at the time of that vehicle’s delivery SFD would begin incurring a pro-rated annual lease cost of $164,000 per year. These costs would be included in the 2025 Proposed Budget.
The amendment document goes on to say that the two added units make a difference in response times:
SFD data suggest that removing the medic unit at Fire Station 26 would triple the department’s response time to Advanced Life Support calls in the area of the station, such that SFD response would be well outside the NFPA response standard. SFD data also suggest that removing the ladder truck at Fire Station 27 would double the department’s current response time to fire calls in the south part of West Seattle, although it would remain within the NFPA response standard.
You can read the full amendment in this document.
HOW TO SPEAK OUT AT TUESDAY HEARING, OR OTHERWISE: Since tomorrow’s hearing starts at 9:30 am, online registration begins at 7:30 am – it’s explained here. As the agenda explains, you can also speak in person at City Hall. The hearing will go until everyone signed up to speak has had their turn. Or if you’d rather just send email with your thoughts on these or other budget matters, firstname.lastname@example.org is the address. There’ll be one more hearing just before the budget is finalized, but this one is at a pivotal moment.
Today’s high was 45, nine degrees below the normal high for this date, and the temperature’s heading lower. The newest forecast update says lows could be near freezing the next few nights, with daytime highs in the low 40s. In addition to the emergency shelter that’s now open at the West Seattle Veteran Center (3618 SW Alaska), there’s also a daytime warming center at the Salvation Army campus in South Delridge, 8 am-7 pm weekdays (9050 16th SW).
Two West Seattle Bridge notes:
WESTBOUND TROUBLE SPOT: After yet another crash Thursday night where the westbound West Seattle Bridge meets the ramp from southbound Highway 99, we inquired again with SDOT, which had told us after the first four crashes that it couldn’t figure out any particular problem there. In the meantime, we received this dash-cam video today from a reader who reported being involved in Thursday night collision – you’ll see it about :30 in:
Also, in a comment on last week’s crash report, a reader posted this link to a compilation of traffic-cam video from the prior recent incidents. Meantime, here’s the reply sent by SDOT today in response to our Friday inquiry:
We continue to monitor the area after each request. We have not found any construction related issues as we have not worked there since the opening of the bridge in September. Given the number of crashes to date, those vehicles could be leaving oil and other fluids on the roadway. We will take a closer look at this on nights this week as we will be doing work on the West Seattle Bridge. While we do that work we will take a closer look at the trouble spot again and will try to get a sweeper if available, to pass over the area.
(As we were writing this, an SPD dispatcher told officers they’d received a call about a new problem at that same spot, but we watched the live video camera as SDOT’s control center scanned the area looking for evidence of a crashed or stalled car, and none was found.)
OVERNIGHT WORK: Regarding the aforementioned work, here’s that SDOT announcement:
We will be conducting overnight closures of westbound lanes on the West Seattle Bridge Tuesday, November 8 through Thursday, November 10 to complete sign installation and adjustment work.
11:00 p.m. Tuesday – 5:00 a.m. Wednesday: Right hand lane and off-ramp to Harbor Island closed for westbound travelers on the Spokane St Viaduct approaching the West Seattle bridge.
11:00 p.m. Wednesday – 5:00 a.m. Thursday: All westbound travel lanes on the Spokane St Viaduct approaching the West Seattle bridge closed. Access to westbound lanes on the West Seattle Bridge from southbound SR-99 will be maintained during this period.
11:00 p.m. Thursday – 5:00 a.m. Friday: All westbound travel lanes on the Spokane St Viaduct approaching the West Seattle bridge closed. Access to westbound lanes on the West Seattle Bridge from southbound SR-99 will be maintained during this period.
A signed detour route, directing travelers across the Spokane St Swing Bridge (low bridge) will be in place during the closure. Once work is complete, all westbound travel lanes on the bridge will be restored.
Five notes in West Seattle Crime Watch:
GUNFIRE THIS MORNING: 911 got calls around 10:30 am of gunfire heard near 29th/Barton. The preliminary SPD report isn’t in yet but the communications team confirms evidence of gunfire was found – a damaged car window. If you have any information, the incident number is 2022-299590. (added) Seattle Public Schools confirms that the former Roxhill building, now home to several SPS programs, was in shelter-in-place for about 20 minutes because of this. ADDED TUESDAY: Here’s the SPD summary made available today:
Passenger in a gray sedan fired multiple gunshots at another vehicle near 29 AV SW/SW Barton Street. Officers responded and recovered several shotgun shells at the scene. Citizens were walking in the immediate area during the incident, however no one was shot or injured. (Victim) called and vehicle contained evidence consistent with being fired upon.
2 GUNFIRE INCIDENTS SATURDAY NIGHT: We reported briefly on the incident in High Point just before 10 pm Saturday. Here’s the SPD summary:
Officers responded to a report of shots heard near 29 Ave SW and SW Morgan St. Additional calls to 911 indicated that possible parties involved were running in multiple directions. A possible victim description was provided by callers and officers located him near the scene. The victim was uninjured and stated that he and 2 friends had just arrived at the location after visiting a cannabis dispensary in White Center. As they were about to park an unknown male emerged from an alley and began firing at them without provocation. The victim(s) immediately fled on foot. The single suspect fled the scene on foot and an area check did not locate him at this time. Evidence of a shooting was recovered from the scene. Guardian One was unavailable and a K9 Track was not feasible. … Two vehicles and 2 homes were struck by gunfire. Victims were notified of the damage.
Commenters mentioned an incident earlier in North Delridge. Here’s the summary for that incident, reported just before 8 pm:
Officers responded to 5000 block of 25 Ave SW to a report of shots heard along a nearby park. Officers located the scene and found evidence of a shooting in the middle of the road. Witnesses had limited information and no suspect physical description or vehicle description were provided. An area check found no injured persons and no property damage.
If you have any information, the incident numbers are 2022-298318 for the High Point case and 2022-297207 for the North Delridge case.
Also today, two reader reports about car prowls overnight:
FAUNTLEROY BREAK-IN: From Tom:
Someone overnight broke into my car and broke out a small window in the back. They got in, took all paperwork, and also broke the ignition.
No police report # yet.
GATEWOOD BREAK-IN: Laura reports a car break-in overnight, second one in a week on her block in Gatewood. The report number is 2022-923925.
Thanks to Lacey for the tip. More than three dozen customers are mapped as out of water at the moment, mostly along 18th SW just east of Holy Family Church/School. The outage is attributed to “emergency repairs.” Lacey says Seattle Public Utilities reported that crews are fixing a broken water main. Sometimes this kind of work can affect water service beyond the immediate outage zone, so if you’re anywhere near there and experiencing water problems, that could be the cause – but let 206-386-1800 know, just to be sure. (Update: SPU says this was fixed as of 3:10 pm.)
We were in The Junction on Sunday morning when those election workers visited the King County Elections drop box to pick up ballots. As of this morning, KCE has only received 37 percent of the ballots sent out countywide; in West Seattle/South Park, the percentage is a bit higher, 38.6%. There are three drop boxes in West Seattle where you can take your ballot until 8 pm tomorrow (Tuesday, November 8):
–Junction (the one shown above – south side of SW Alaska just east of 44th SW)
–High Point Library (northeast side of the library, 3411 SW Raymond)
–South Seattle College (in front of the admin building, 6000 16th SW)
There are also official drop boxes in White Center and South Park; here’s the full countywide list. You can also send your ballot via USPS mail – no stamp required – but it must be postmarked by tomorrow, so if you’re going to do that, do it today. USPS mailboxes are scattered around the area, but there are drive-up/ride-up boxes at both local post offices (4426 California SW in The Junction and 2721 SW Trenton on the north side of Westwood Village). Here’s our overview of what’s on your ballot.
Here’s what’s happening for the rest of today/tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
FOOD DRIVE: One more week to donate holiday-dinner staples via the West Seattle Food Bank drive at Daystar Retirement Village (2615 SW Barton; WSB sponsor) – see the wish list in our calendar listing.
TOY DRIVE: As reported earlier this morning, it’s Day 1 for a seasonal toy drive at John L. Scott Westwood (WSB sponsor; office in the Westwood Village breezeway just east of ex-Bed Bath Beyond/Spirit Halloween), benefiting the Forgotten Children’s Fund – drop off unwrapped toy donations on weekdays 9 am-5 pm.
FREE COMMUNITY YOGA CLASSES: Tonight and every Monday in November, 5 pm and 6:15 pm at High Point Community Center (6920 34th SW) with Ms. Maria “for all ages, shapes, and sizes.” Bring your own mat or borrow one at HPCC.
MIDDLE SCHOOL INFORMATION NIGHT: Representatives of more than a dozen area middle schools – public, private, parochial, charter – are in one place to talk with you, tonight at 6 pm in the gym at Our Lady of Guadalupe (7000 35th SW). See the list in our preview from last night. It’s a free event, but preregistration is requested – go here.
CRAFTING AND CREATIVITY NIGHT: 6-10 pm at The Missing Piece (9456 35th SW), explained in our calendar listing.
Have a West Seattle/White Center event to list on our calendar and in our daily preview lists? Please send info to email@example.com – thank you!
Holiday donation-drive season is beginning, and some have asked us about toy drives. We’ll have a list in our forthcoming West Seattle Holiday Guide, and we’re also publishing announcements as we receive them. This drive at John L. Scott Westwood (WSB sponsor) starts today:
John L. Scott Westwood and John L. Scott Ballard/The Madrona Group are taking toy donations/money donations from November 7th-December 15th. We are working with THE FORGOTTEN CHILDREN’S FUND, which works to give underprivileged children and their families a truly Merry Christmas. With the support of our Seattle community, we are able to purchase, wrap, and have Santa and his Elves deliver gifts every year.
The Forgotten Children’s Fund began when a boy named Craig wrote a letter to Santa Claus in December of 1976. That letter never got delivered to Santa’s North Pole, but it did reach a restaurant in Seattle called Francisco’s. The letter immediately captured the heart of Mr. Dick Francisco, and the Forgotten Children’s Fund was created to help others in similar situations. The FCF currently operates in King County, Lewis County, North Counties (including Skagit, Island, Snohomish and Whatcom Counties) and Chelan Counties of Washington State. Visit forgottenchildrensfund.org to donate, volunteer or just learn more about this organization
The kids are under 12 years old. The most-requested items are Legos, LOL dolls, Barbies, action figures, Sonic, Paw Patrol, Lincoln logs, Hot Wheels, unicorns, sport balls, arts & crafts, science projects, etc. We can always use gift cards for the older kids.
Please bring your unwrapped gifts to: John L. Scott Westwood at 2600 SW Barton Street, Suite A-6 (Westwood Village), Monday-Friday 9 AM to 4 PM. You can also use the QR code below to donate.
Checks can be made to THE FORGOTTEN CHILDREN’S FUND P.O. BOX 365 MOUNT VERNON, WA 98273 Questions? Contact Natalie Trius at 206-938-5572 or firstname.lastname@example.org
8:05 AM: Southern Resident orcas are in the area, southbound toward Alki, reports Kersti Muul, who says they’re from L Pod.
8:45 AM: See comments for updates.
9:44 AM: Thanks to everyone for those updates! Kersti noted in her most-recent comments that (a) all three of the endangered Southern Residents’ pods were represented – J, K, and L – and that they’d turned around and headed back northbound.
6:24 AM: Crash on the eastbound bridge by 99 exit.
6:55 AM: Clear.
6:03 AM: Good morning. It’s Monday, November 7th.
More rain expected – high in the 40s.
The outside southbound lane of West Marginal Way north of the Duwamish Longhouse has reopened as planned. So only one ongoing closure remains – the east end of Sylvan Way just west of the Home Depot entrance.
–Metro buses are on their regular schedules; watch @kcmetroalerts for trip cancellations/reroute alerts.
-The West Seattle Water Taxi is on its fall/winter schedule (still daily, all dayparts, but no late Friday/Saturday runs). No service this Friday for Veterans Day.
-Still a 2-boat schedule for WSF’s Triangle Route (check here for alerts/updates).
High Bridge – here’s the camera at the top.
High Bridge – the view from its southwest end (if SDOT points the 35th/Avalon/Fauntleroy camera that way).
Low Bridge: Or nearby, depending on where SDOT points the camera.
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, most 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.