West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Three topics dominated this month’s Alki Community Council meeting: The Harbor Avenue RVs, the Stone Cottage’s future, and the Alki Point “Healthy Street.”
ACC president Tony Fragada facilitated the meeting, held hybrid-style – in person at Alki UCC and online – on Thursday night; we covered it via Zoom.
HARBOR AVENUE RVs: Alki-area residents who have been demanding action from the city to make the RV residents move say they’re not getting it, while the roadside encampment grows (it’s up to 12 RVs and trailers, plus associated vehicles including an old school bus and a truck full of wooden pallets, at last count). Discussion with SPD’s night-shift commander Lt. Nathan Shopay focused on what police can and can’t do. If crimes are being committed, call 911. If you’re just upset that they’re there, police can’t do anything about that. There is still an interdepartmental city team meeting weekly – Lt. Shopay says he attends that meeting – and they discuss the status of various encampments around the city, but he says they’re “inundated” with demands for action. Nonetheless, he says, keep reporting concerns via Find It Fix It and sites will move up the priority list. This area’s new point person for LEAD, Michelle McClendon, jumped in to talk about outreach done with RV residents like those on Harbor. She said their methods include “motivational interviewing, trauma-informed … this does not happen overnight.” They “assess each person’s needs” – some qualify for permanent supportive housing, for example. But she reminded attendees that even if they offer someone services, they can’t be forced to accept the offer. As for the perennial issue of enforcing the 72-hour parking rule, Lt. Shopay was asked if bringing Parking Enforcement Officers back into the Police Department would help; Most likely, he replied, though it’d not clear yet how long that will take.
STONE COTTAGE SITE SEARCH: Almost a year and a half has passed since the historic Stone Cottage was moved from its location at 1123 Harbor Avenue SW because of then-imminent (since stalled) development.
It remains in storage on Port of Seattle land while the preservationist volunteers who worked to save it tackle the next task: Finding a permanent home. Two of those volunteers, Mike Shaughnessy and Deb Barker, came to the ACC meeting with an update; Shaughnessy recapped the effort to date, and pre-pandemic progress with a proposal that they fix up the Stone Cottage and then donate it to Seattle Parks and Recreation – a proposal that he said was gaining traction until COVID shut down everything down and set back many Parks projects, Now, in addition to that, Parks is under new leadership, with recently appointed Superintendent AP Diaz, so they are “starting from scratch … taking a ‘Hail Mary’ approach” to pitch the project again. If Parks doesn’t want it, they’ll find a site. Whatever happens, the “Save the Stone Cottage” effort will soon go into Phase 2.
ALKI POINT HEALTHY STREET: SDOT hasn’t made a final decision on the permanent “design” for the stretches of Beach Drive and Alki Avenue north/east of 63rd SW. As shown during a community meeting in November (WSB coverage here), they’re looking at a variety of traffic-calming features. A few community advocates recently hosted SDOT director Greg Spotts for an unpublicized visit to the area. They said he was particularly interested in the idea of restricting parking adjacent to Constellation Park, saying he talked about Stonehenge in the UK once allowing parking so close to the historic stones that it took away from the attraction. Their contention is that the Healthy Street doesn’t need added features such as traffic circles and chicanes – they think the city should just focus on emphasizing traffic calming at the entry points (63rd/Beach and 63rd/Alki). They also want to see some parking preserved for area residents as well as for visitors; the 63rd/Beach area is particularly problematic, it was noted. ACC members agreed to send a letter of support to the city.
NEXT MEETING: The ACC meets third Thursdays most months, in-person and online; watch alkicommunitycouncil.org for updates.
West Seattle Runner (2743 California SW; WSB sponsor) says it’s time to think summer – they’re announcing that they’ll again present the West Seattle Float Dodger 5K right before this year’s West Seattle Grand Parade. The date: Saturday, July 22nd. The reason they want you to know this so early: Registration will open February 1st, at a discount rate through February 22nd. If you haven’t run or walked the Float Dodger before, it starts in The Admiral District and heads south along the parade route down California Avenue SW before heading back – with root-beer floats post-race! (Here’s our coverage, with video, from last July.) There’ll be a kids’ dash again this year too (no registration fee for that). It’s all a benefit for the West Seattle Food Bank. We’ll remind you when registration opens in a week and a half – or, keep an eye on floatdodger5k.com!
On a soggy day like today, in a usually damp city like ours, it may be hard to imagine a world without water. But that’s what West Seattle author Susan Whiting Kemp did for her new novel “The Climate Machine.” Pre-orders are being accepted now for the e-book, officially publishing February 4th. Her announcement says the movel is about “a botched effort to combat climate change.” Here’s the synopsis:
No one seems to know why the waters are vanishing from the Northwestern United States. In the greater Seattle area — an area of over three million people — crime and chaos reign as society collapses.
Marella Wells, a young employee at a worldwide chemical company, thinks she may have discovered what is happening to the water. But there is no way to alert authorities and no time to spare.
With her mentor-boss and a displaced college student, Marella travels through the depleted regions of the Pacific Ocean to stop the run-away Climate Machine.
Along the way, the small band of unlikely warriors must battle for survival through unprecedented droughts, storms, and fires. To make matters worse, a violent religious doomsday cult is at their heels. If Marella and her companions fail in their mission, all life on Earth will perish.
This is the author’s first novel; she is one of three short-story writers who contributed to “We Grew Tales,” published in paperback and e-book formats. Options for “The Climate Machine” pre-orders can be found here and here.
You’ve heard a lot about the upcoming “king tides,” but the flip side of that is, we’re also in a period with very low low tides too – though this time of year they happen late at night, so they’re not as conducive to exploring. Nonetheless, some people were out last night, including Rosalie Miller, who shared four photos (thank you!) – above, Painted Anemone; below, Mottled Star:
The next two: Monterey Dorid and Gumboot Chiton:
Rosalie summarizes her experience as, “Amazing night at the beach! A gala of marine life and low-tide enthusiasts.” Tonight the low-low tide is even lower than last night – it’ll be out to -3.6 feet at 10:32 pm.
The areas served by the community coalition HPAC – Highland Park, Riverview, South Delridge – have been through a lot of transportation issues in recent years, particularly the two and a half years of traffic overload from the West Seattle Bridge closure detours. But the reopening of the bridge didn’t solve everything. If you live/work/study/do business in those areas, check out HPAC’s first meeting of 2023 this coming Wednesday (January 25), when guests will include new SDOT director Greg Spotts, visiting to hear about the area’s transportation concerns and ideas. Another guest of note: Michelle McClendon is the new LEAD project manager for the Southwest Precinct area, and she’ll be there to talk and hear about public-safety issues. And HPAC co-chair Craig Rankin will talk about the new West Duwamish Greenbelt Trails map, reported on and discussed here last month. One more hot topic: The city’s Comprehensive Plan update, which the meeting announcement points out “has numerous implications for the future way our community grows. Notably the plan lists our area as one with a high risk of displacement.” All this and more is part of HPAC’s agenda for 7 pm Wednesday, online. Attendance info, via video or phone, is in the full announcement on HPAC’s website.
West Seattle Autoworks (7501 35th SW; WSB sponsor) is cleaning up after two break-ins overnight, one of which was a crash-and-grab.
First, their office was broken into around 7 pm. The burglar(s) took an empty safe. According to their security cameras, they were in a red Honda CR-V. Then after 6 am, a white van rammed the garage door on the south side of the building. The door was damaged and a battery charger and a diagnostic tool were taken.
Security video shows the van being backed into the building twice, and three burglars getting out, with one also hitting the building with some kind of tool:
West Seattle Autoworks wants customers with vehicles at the shop this weekend to know that all of their keys are safe – and they are now being kept off-site; no customers’ vehicles were damaged or otherwise touched. If you have any information, the SPD incident # is 23-019442.
SATURDAY: Sent by John:
Our blue 2018 Hyundai Elantra was stolen from in front of our house on 35th Ave between Holly and Willow. WA Plate #BIH3868. Please call SPD if you see it. Thank you.
This happened Thursday night/Friday morning.
SUNDAY: See comments – John’s car was spotted by a reader. However, his Seal Sitters equipment inside is missing – if you see cones or signs dumped somewhere, let us know!
This midwinter weekend begins relatively quietly:
SATURDAY MORNING ULTIMATE: 8 am at West Seattle Stadium (4432 35th SW), drop in and play with the West Seattle Ultimate Frisbee Family.
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 Saturdays. (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)
TALK WITH YOUR SCHOOL BOARD REP: Leslie Harris, who represents this area on the Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors, will be at High Point Library (3411 SW Raymond) at 2 pm to talk with and hear from community members.
Something to add to our calendar – event, class, game, music, theater, comedy, outdoor activity, fundraiser, or … ? Email info to firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!