West Seattle, Washington
Although this year’s biggest election will be the City Council primary in August, that won’t be the first election of the year. You’ll get a ballot in less than three weeks for the February 14th special election, with just one measure on your ballot: Seattle Initiative 135. Not familiar with it? Here’s the text that you’ll see:
City of Seattle Initiative Measure 135 concerns developing and maintaining affordable social housing in Seattle.
This measure would create a public development authority (PDA) to develop, own, and maintain publicly financed mixed-income social housing developments. The City would provide start-up support for the PDA. The City Council would determine the amount of ongoing City support. Before it transfers any public lands for nonpublic use, the City would be required to consider a transfer to the PDA. The PDA’s Charter would govern the election, composition, and duties of the PDA’s Board of Directors.
So what’s “social housing”? Here’s how the organization behind the initiative explains it:
Housing created outside of the private market, publicly financed and publicly controlled. Unlike public housing models in the United States, social housing does not rely on profit motives, the private market or private partnerships, which creates permanent affordability and housing free from market speculation. Residents and their homes are shielded from the free market, with specific measures prohibiting the sale and marketization of social housing to ensure it remains in the public’s hands, for public use.
Also from their FAQ page, the explanation of “who will pay for it?”, since the city “start-up support” does NOT include funding:
Our initiative follows the path of the Pike Place Market and the monorail. This is a multi-step process. We are setting up the structure and the vision to get this public developer started, then we will begin raising money. We are pursuing several options, but money that is available today will not necessarily be the extent of what’s available tomorrow.
Once the public developer is established, they can receive and request funds from city, state, federal governments, as well as private donations if those donors feel so inclined.
You can read the full text of I-135 here. For a slightly shorter overview, see this page on supporters’ site (which also includes the full text). The House Our Neighbors political committee of Real Change gathered signatures to get it on the ballot. No opposition campaign is registered, so far. Ballots are scheduled to be mailed January 25th. Not registered to vote? Here’s how to do it.
If you have questions for police – a neighborhood concern, ongoing problem, unsolved case – you can attend both or one of these community meetings in the week ahead:
WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL: 7 pm Thursday (January 12th), Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster). Much of this meeting is set aside for community Q&A. If you can’t go to the precinct, our calendar listing has info on video or call-in participation.
SPD has released information today about a crash last night at Walnut/Hinds in which they are investigating a teenage driver for DUI. Above is a photo sent to us today by a neighbor; police say two people were taken to the hospital after the 6:30 pm crash, including the “male juvenile” driver. Police say witnesses told them the driver was speeding before hitting another car and then a utility pole, Their report continues:
Officers also observed drug paraphernalia in the suspect vehicle. A Seattle Police Drug Recognition Expert responded to evaluate the male driver of the suspect vehicle, who exhibited signs of impairment. Officers obtained a search warrant for a blood draw. The male juvenile suspect was processed for driving under the influence and ticketed for additional traffic citations, then released to his guardians.
His age wasn’t in the report, and the case isn’t yet in the public files of the Municipal Court website. Here’s another neighbor photo of the damage done to the utility pole, which is now leaning:
Neighbors say there have been multiple collisions at this intersection.
Thanks to everyone who’s sent photos of the sailboats off West Seattle this afternoon! Above, Chris Frankovich‘s view from Seola; below, Brooke Gozstola‘s view from further north:
And from Mike Fischer, who notes that this is the Three Tree Point Yacht Club‘s Duwamish Head Race.
Now that we’re past winter break, we’re in the heart of high-school basketball season. Varsity teams from both local schools had games last night. Both West Seattle High School teams played Seattle Prep at home – according to the Metro League scoreboards, the girls won 48-31, boys won 48-44. Chief Sealth International High School played at Nathan Hale – girls won 41-21, boys lost 46-37.
NEXT GAMES: The West Seattle girls are scheduled to play this afternoon at Peninsula HS in Gig Harbor; both Chief Sealth teams play Lincoln at home next, boys at 7:30 pm Tuesday, girls at 7:30 pm Wednesday; the West Seattle boys play at Garfield at 7:30 pm Tuesday.
While looking for transit-related information, we happened onto a Metro survey – in this case, a survey that’s being used to find participants for a study seeking feedback on “trip-planning tools like maps, schedules, and alerts.” The deadline for the survey is tomorrow; its questions involve demographics and transportation habits. They’re offering incentives – drawings for $100 gift cards among people who take the survey, and $150 compensation for respondents chosen for the study. If you’re interested, you can answer the survey here.
LOW BRIDGE CLOSED: Reminder that the West Seattle low bridge is in its third week of being closed to all street and path users until it’s fixed, and there’s no date estimate for that yet.
SATURDAY MORNING ULTIMATE: 8 am at West Seattle Stadium (4432 35th SW), drop in and play with the West Seattle Ultimate Frisbee Family.
TILDEN SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE 10 am-noon, prospective families are invited to visit this independent K-5 school (WSB sponsor) that’s “been providing academic, engaging, individualized education since 1985, in West Seattle.” Our calendar listing explains its location at 4105 California SW.
BRIDGE SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE 10 am, this cooperative elementary school serving children 5-11 in multi-age classes welcomes prospective families. (10300 28th SW)
HARBOR SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE 10 am, prospective families with 4th-8th graders are invited to visit this independent K-8 school on Vashon Island, (15920 Vashon Highway SW)
SEATTLE CHINESE GARDEN: 10 am-4 pm, the garden’s centerpiece courtyard is open, while the rest of the garden’s grounds are accessible dawn to dusk. More info here. (5640 16th SW)
FREE WRITING GROUP: 10:30 am in West Seattle, registration required – full details in our calendar listing.
VIETNAMESE CULTURAL CENTER: Open to visitors noon-3 pm, as noted here. (2234 SW Orchard)
LOG HOUSE MUSEUM: The home of West Seattle’s history is open to visitors noon-4 pm. (3003 61st SW)
WINE TIME: The tasting room at Viscon Cellars (WSB sponsor) – selling wine by the glass or bottle – is open 1-6 pm. (5910 California SW)
FREE COMMUNITY HEALING NIGHT: 6:30 pm at Alki Beach location that will be sent to you upon registration – see our calendar listing.
Something to add to our calendar – event, class, game, music, theater, comedy, outdoor activity, or … ? Email info to firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
On this first post-holiday weekend, you might be taking down the tree, lights, etc. So here’s one more reminder about recycling:
TREES: If you have curbside pickup, you can put yours out in 4-foot-max sections, through month’s end. Or, take your tree – up to three per vehicle – to the not-far South Transfer Station. (Here’s the original announcement.)
LIGHTS: You have dropoff or even mail-in options if you have lights, working or not, that you want to recycle – King County’s website has an updated-for-this-season list.