West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
One is the date ST will release the final Environmental Impact Statement for the West Seattle extension, which has to happen before the ST board finalizes the routing and station locations.
The other is the date the Ballard extension is projected to open – important for West Seattle because light rail from here won’t go all the way downtown (and beyond) until then; riders from West Seattle will have to transfer in SODO.
ST’s Leda Chahim and Jason Hampton provided the updates – no slide deck, so we don’t have visual highlights. Chahim first spotlighted the split between timelines for the West Seattle and Ballard extensions, since various factors led to the West Seattle “preferred alternative” being identified first, rather than the two extensions’ planning processes rolling along in parallel. Then Chahim said they’re not expecting to publish the final EIS for West Seattle until next year – and not early in the year, either; she said it would be after the first quarter. The most-recent timeline had been “late 2023,” which is still on the ST project website tonight, though Chahim said some updates would appear there soon.
She also said the final EIS will incorporate the “further studies” items – they’ll all be fully analyzed. Otherwise, they’re “still working on details’ but expect community engagement “this fall” for the stations and design concepts. Before then, they’ll be out at fairs, festivals, and the Farmers’ Market, to get reacquainted with the community.
WSTC’s Deb Barker asked for more about the status of “refinements” (aka the “further studies” items). Hampton took on that reply. He recapped what’s been studied – potential access improvements for the Delridge station and shifting a station entrance for The Junction. Chahim said the ongoing project website will be updated in the next few days. So with Ballard on a different timeline, what will that mean for the gap between trains from West Seattle going to SODO and going beyond? The additional work on Ballard has taken almost two years so that extension is now not expected to open until 2039 – which means a seven-year gap, previously five years (Chahim said 2032 is still the projected date for West Seattle). West Seattle RapidRide routes to downtown will continue for all those years, Hampton said.
Barker wondered what ST is doing to educate candidates, considering that this fall’s local elections will bring lots of changes (for example, two Seattle ST board members are not running for re-election, King County Councilmember Joe McDermott of West Seattle and City Council President Debora Juarez of North Seattle). Chahim didn’t know of anything in particular.
WSTC chair Michael Taylor-Judd suggested that ST needs to think about incorporating commercial space at stations, considering the “much-loved” neighborhood businesses that are likely to be displaced. He talked about how the supportive-housing Cottage Grove Commons building included space for the nonprofit Delridge Grocery Co-op, which has taken a while to really blossom but is finally getting there.
The Sound Transit updates followed an appearance by Metro reps to discuss one specific service:
TRAILHEAD DIRECT: This is a seasonal service for taking transit to a faraway hike! Ryan Miller from Metro talked about the program, which started with a pilot in 2017, then expanded to connect with Seattle light rail in 2018 and to serve destinations that people were asking about. They “started the program to mitigate parking access” but learned that the program really was about equitable access to outdoor destinations. That led to a new route from South King County in 2019. The pandemic led to a time of re-evaluation; they brought back two popular routes, from Issaquah and from Capitol Hill, in 2021. That year, though, they also were affected by the operator shortages that have plagued the entire system. So now they’re focusing on the route from Capitol Hill, and “that’s where we’re at for this season,” said Miller.
In Q&A – what’s the cost? Same as other transit – no special fare. (That also means free for 18 and under, interjected Metro’s Al Sanders.) And the buses do have bicycle racks. In response to another question, Miller said the lessons they’ve learned from Trailhead Direct have helped them when planning service restructuring, to include parks and other destinations. WSTC’s Barker pointed out that Alki service is spotty since Route 37 is long suspended; Miller noted 50, 773, and 775 still run. What types of coaches does Trailhead Direct use? asked WSTC’s Kate Wells. They tend to be a “little smaller” than the standard Metro coach, Miller said. The drivers are with Hopelink, so they don’t come from the pool handling general Metro service.
BOARD ELECTIONS: Three members were re-elected; no one was nominated for three vacant positions, so if you’re interested, contact WSTC and get involved.
NEXT MEETINGS: WSTC remains on an every-other-month schedule – so the rest of the year will include July 27th, September 28th, November 16th (tentative), 6:30 pm. They’re still mulling locations in hopes of holding hybrid meetings (in-person and online).
A lot of clowning around today at the Educare Early Learning Center in Greenbridge. They were participating in Red Nose Day, which raises awareness and money to help little kids. “A few years ago, my brother walked into a restaurant to meet me with a big red nose on his face. I burst out laughing and then went in for a hug,” recounts one of the participants, West Seattleite Nancy Woodland, executive director of Learning Communities Foundation. On behalf of Educare Seattle, she picks up the story from there:
The Red Noses are eye catching, goofy and fun. For Educare Seattle, they are a connection point to joy and a meaningful way to illuminate the importance of early learning, especially for families facing poverty.
More than 110 children enter Educare Seattle each day to engage in learning through child-care and preschool programs designed to ensure the littlest among us have access to high quality learning with a “whole family” approach. Children are greeted by teachers who look like them, honor their stories and celebrate their traditions. Parents and caregivers are recognized as their children’s first and most important teachers and have access to family support services and leadership opportunities in equal proportion.
“Partnering with a parent for resume’ support, basic needs assistance like diapers or gas funds or to gather their input for a staff hire is an integral part of our program design. It’s not an add-on or an extra because nothing is more important than centering the child and recognizing that the grown-ups surrounding them, each of them, is a part of that child’s story,” says Mai-Chi Kelly, Family Advocate. “Here, parents have power and voice and always have.”
Programs like these benefit from Comic Relief’s annual Red Nose Day campaign, now in its ninth year, raising life-changing funds to help end the cycle of poverty and ensure children are safe, healthy, educated and empowered across the U.S. and around the world. The campaign’s iconic Red Noses, symbolizing hope and positive change, are on sale nationwide starting today at longstanding Red Nose Day partner Walgreens.
Please consider stopping by Walgreens to pick up a Red Nose. Please donate directly to Comic Relief here, where funds will be collected nationally and distributed through partners or, as Educare Seattle’s story is being gathered to be shared over the coming year, invest in local early learners at Educare Seattle here.
(A grant from a previous Comic Relief Red Nose Day funded playground improvement at Educare Seattle so more STEM-based lessons can occur outside, rain or shine. The project was completed today.)
Educare Seattle is an innovative early learning center in White Center. Families meeting “income and circumstance” criteria receive childcare and attend preschool in a setting built on four pillars that combine to lead to a racially just and humanizing learning system.
Now in its fourteenth year, the Educare building at 625 SW 100th holds Educare, Heritage Head Start and Seattle Preschool Programs. The White Center Community Development Association holds its Kaleidoscope Play and Learn programs there weekly.
Relaunching now that doors can be open again, staffing levels are starting to even out and new faces with big ideas are reconnecting to plan for the future.
Woodland adds, “Even with 13 years working at WestSide Baby, I didn’t realize there was a magical place several blocks away.” The WestSide Baby model focuses on provides basic needs for children without connecting 1:1 to the families and children. “Connecting with WestSide Baby’s new Executive Director, Michelle Hankinson, this week just drove home that White Center is home to incredible nonprofits and the pandemic sent many into crisis management mode. It’s time for us all to reconnect in service to children and families.”
Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to learn more about board leadership opportunities, event support, sponsorship opportunities, or even just to see the program for yourself. She adds, “As I checked in with my brother about the Red Nose memory today, he said ‘I noticed it because it was goofy but I bought it because I saw it was connected to something good. The fact that it made folks laugh was an added bonus.’”
Planning your Memorial Day weekend – or thinking about other ways to enjoy the outdoors on warm, sunny days? Here’s a new option: a Tree Walk in Fauntleroy Park. The Fauntleroy Watershed Council sent the announcement to us to share with you:
Something new is happening in Fauntleroy Park, thanks to the Fauntleroy Watershed Council and the West Seattle Garden Tour. Botanical markers now identify 12 iconic Pacific Northwest trees and shrubs along main trails and each links by QR code to species details.
Stroll through this beautiful remnant of a coastal forest with your smart phone to access text on the council’s website about distinguishing features of each species, their symbiotic relationship with wildlife, and their importance to Coast Salish nations. Remember to stay on trail and refrain from collecting these plants as mis-identification can be dangerous and harvesting can deprive wildlife of food and shelter.
Lindsey Conrad led the team of volunteers that created the walk. A grant from the garden tour funded the markers and added to the council’s stewardship fund for restoration maintenance. For more about local flora – and a chance to win a native plant for your garden – stop by the council’s booth at Garden C during the June 25 tour.
Anticipate trees and shrubs on the walk at fauntleroywatershed.org/index.php/park/treewalk.
Find garden tour information and purchase tickets at westseattlegardentour.org.
Learn how to support the council’s stewardship fund at fauntleroywatershed.org/index.php/donate.
In White Center tonight and West Seattle tomorrow, you have opportunities to see, hear, and support student musicians:
TONIGHT AT FULL TILT ICE CREAM: Thanks to Peter for the tip on this. At 7 pm at Full Tilt Ice Cream in downtown White Center (9629 16th SW), Teenage Graffiti – whose members are Madison Middle School students – perform with Wall Drugs. Peter says the show is free but donations are appreciated.
(Kassa Overall’s NPR Tiny Desk concert last month)
FRIDAY NIGHT AT EASY STREET RECORDS: ESR proprietor Matt Vaughan says this is one you don’t want to miss. Maybe you haven’t heard of Kassa Overall yet – but Vaughan says his rise is exactly why student music education needs to be fought for:
This Friday, Easy Street Records will launch the release of ANIMALS, a new album by Seattle native and visionary drummer, producer, and rapper Kassa Overall with an exclusive daylong event.
The day will culminate with a live performance at 7 pm, featuring local musicians and friends along with talented local youngsters, including students from the recently canceled jazz program at Washington Middle School, where Kassa attended.
Entry is guaranteed with an ANIMALS record. The limited edition clear vinyl can be purchased at Easy Street Records [in person or online].
If somehow you haven’t been to Easy Street, it’s on the northwest corner of California/Alaska in The Junction.
Two reader reports in Crime Watch this afternoon.
CAR-WASH ASSAULT: This happened in White Center but the victim’s mom wanted to get the word out widely:
I just wanted to make readers aware that there is risk of assault at the Car Palace car wash [10450 16th SW]. Two weeks ago, my 19-year old daughter was getting coins from the bill changer at the car wash. It was about 10 am.
She was groped from behind by a man who was about 5’5″ with dark hair. He was filming himself groping her with his camera. When she yelled, he took off running. She was so upset that she unwisely leapt into her car to follow him.
She followed him in her car to a nearby street where he hid under a bush. She then called her dad, who called the police. They saw the man enter a house nearby. They waited for 3 hours for the police, or in this case the sheriff, but no one came. There is currently just one car assigned to White Center.
Last night, the sheriff’s deputy came to interview my daughter. They cannot interview the suspect until the single deputy gets a partner for safety reasons.
At the very least, we’d like to warn other women that Car Palace may not be safe when you are alone, even in broad daylight on a busy street.
(Update: Incident # C23017252.) We’re checking on the KCSO staffing situation, as they recently assigned a new “storefront deputy,” according to briefings at the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council, which we cover monthly for partner site White Center Now.
CAR-THEFT ATTEMPT: The photo and report are also via email:
On May 21, my car was vandalized in an attempted auto theft on 56th and Alki (and is not functional as the result of an attempted theft and damaged ignition). Attached is a picture. The car was parked outside my residence, and I feel showing this information on West Seattle Blog is instructive for others. A police report was filed.
We’ll add the report number when we get it. (UPDATE: It’s 23-139708.)
Thanks to David for the report: “Looks like we have brown water coming out of our faucets in Upper Gatewood area of West Seattle (I’m near the intersection of 39th Avenue SW and SW Holden).” He called Seattle Public Utilities – always report it via 206-386-1800 – and they attributed it to annual hydrant testing; as noted here last week, a change in procedure is believed to be stirring up sediment (mostly rust) in the lines more than previously.
Though Friday was the last day to file, King County Elections briefly listed a surprise 9th candidate for Seattle City Council District 1 on its website Wednesday [screenshot]: Vincent Auger, whose mailing and email addresses cross-referenced to the local Socialist Workers Party HQ. Some hours after we spotted that, the list went back to the previous eight, whose names will appear on the ballot in this order:
Jean Iannelli Craciun
We asked KCE about the mysterious, short-lived “ninth candidate” and got the answer this morning from spokesperson Halei Watkins, who said Auger “is a declared write-in candidate for D1 but he should not appear on the website as a listed candidate.” (Nor on the ballot, though as always there’ll be a line where you can write in anyone you want.)
Meantime, we are now 12 days away from our first in-person forum in the race, Tuesday, June 6, at Our Lady of Guadalupe‘s Walmesley Center (35th/Myrtle). We’ve invited all eight candidates who formally filed. We’re presenting the forum in collaboration with the District 1 Community Network; the coalition’s organizations have been invited to submit questions, and we’re also opening that invitation to you – send suggested questions to email@example.com and please put D-1 CANDIDATE QUESTION in the subject line. We plan to get more questions and answers during the forum by keeping strict time limits. If you want to be there to see and hear the candidates for yourself, doors will open at 6 pm for an informal community information fair, and the forum will start at 6:45 pm. Voting starts when you get your ballot after they’re mailed July 12th, and ends August 1st.
Starting our list, three community meetings tonight:
SUPERFUND CLEANUP: 6 pm online, the EPA is hosting a meeting to explain the new Superfund cleanup proposal for the Duwamish River’s East Waterway alongside Harbor Island, as previewed here, where you’ll find the meeting-access link.
WEST SEATTLE TRANSPORTATION COALITION: 6:30 pm, online, with guests from Sound Transit (for a West Seattle light-rail update) and Metro, plus board elections. We’ll add the video/phone access info to our calendar listing as soon as we get it.
Here’s what else is happening today/tonight:
CONVERSATION & FRIENDSHIP CORNER: 1 pm at Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon).
WEST SEATTLE UKULELE PLAYERS: All levels welcome to this weekly 1 pm gathering. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to see where they’re playing today.
THURSDAY FOOD-TRUCK POP-UP: 4-8 pm at Highland Park Corner Store (7789 Highland Park Way SW), Swagg-n-Wagon will be visiting.
HIGHLAND PARK RUN CLUB: Also at HP Corner Store, meet up at 6:30 pm for a three-mile run!
There’s even more in our calendar!
Before school gets out for the three-day Memorial Day weekend, Roxhill Elementary plans a fun(draising) Jog/Walk-A-Thon, and community support is welcome – here’s the announcement we were asked to share with you:
Roxhill Elementary would like to announce we are hosting a Jog/Walk-A-Thon FUNDRAISER this Friday, May 26th! We are raising money for our 5th graders to have the experience of attending NatureBridge, an overnight camp on the Olympic Peninsula, next fall.
This trip will build confidence, build community, and connect our young learners to the wonder and science of the natural world. Our goal is to raise at least $6000 to off-set the cost of the trip to the school and families and ensure each student can attend. You can make a pledge on behalf of a Roxhill student, or just make a flat donation. Visit our fundraising page via School Pay to make a donation!
6:03 AM: Good morning. It’s Thursday, May 25th, two workdays to go until Memorial Day weekend!
WEATHER & SUNRISE/SUNSET TIMES
Today’s forecast: Sunny, high in the low 70s. Sunrise was at 5:21 am; sunset will be at 8:52 pm.
*If you travel near the West Seattle side of the 1st Avenue South Bridge, here’s an alert for work that might start today.
*Expect Don Armeni Boat Ramp and vicinity to be extra-busy because of today’s four-hour spot-shrimp season.
Metro – Regular schedule, but trip cancellations are still possible. *Looking ahead to Memorial Day, buses will be on Sunday schedules.
Water Taxi – Continuing the spring/summer schedule, including late-evening runs Friday and Saturday nights. The West Seattle WT *does* run Memorial Day, on a Sunday schedule.
Washington State Ferries‘ Triangle Route continues on the 2-boat schedule; sailing cancellations remain possible on short notice, so check here for alerts/updates and see Vessel Watch for boats’ locations.
SPOTLIGHT TRAFFIC CAMERAS
High Bridge – the main camera:
High Bridge – the view from its southwest end (when SDOT points the 35th/Avalon/Fauntleroy camera that way):
Low Bridge – east-end vicinity:
1st Ave. S. Bridge – another route across the river:
Highway 99: – northbound side at Lander.
BRIDGE INFO: Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed to see if the city’s movable bridges are opening for vessel traffic.
If you see trouble on the bridges/streets/paths/bay, please text or call us (when you can do it safely, and after you’ve reported to authorities). Thank you!
1:25 AM: Seattle Fire is sending a “full response” to a building in the 9000 block of 18th SW [vicinity map]. 911 callers reported seeing flames. Updates to come.
1:28 AM: First arriving units confirm it’s a “working fire.” SFD describes it as a “vacant building.”
1:35 AM: Firefighters have told dispatch it looks like the fire “started on the outside.” City records show the house, sold after foreclosure last fall, has been the subject of multiple “vacant building” violations, most recently last month.
1:42 AM: They’ve declared the fire “tapped” (out).
1:52 AM: No report of injuries. Some responders are being cleared to leave.