West Seattle, Washington
With Seattle Public Schools scheduled to start Wednesday, we have three notes tonight:
CONTRACT TALKS: We hope to hear more Tuesday about the district’s contract talks with Operating Engineers Local 302, the union for several categories of staff including culinary services, custodians, grounds, security, and alarm monitoring. SPS acknowledged Friday that the contract had expired Thursday but insisted, “It is not unusual to go past the contract end date for these negotiations.” The South Seattle Emerald reported that union reps speaking at last week’s school-board meeting said talks had been under way since spring but the district just made its first money proposal a week earlier. Meantime, the question many are asking is whether teachers would refuse to cross the picket line if this union goes out on strike. There’s been no public statement on that, though it’s been requested that teachers not step in to do the work IUOE members would do. (Tuesday morning semi-update: We asked SPS for the latest. They sent us a statement that is word-for-word what they published on the SPS website Friday. So, no update yet.
NOT-READY PORTABLES: After we reported a week and a half ago that West Seattle High School‘s new portables were in place in the parking lot, a commenter said staff had been told they won’t be ready to occupy for the start of the year.
We asked SPS if that was true, and if so, why. Spokesperson Tina Christiansen replied, “According to the senior project manager, it’s an issue with the availability of electrical contractors.”
WEST SEATTLE ELEMENTARY CEREMONY: Last month we showed you the renovations and expansion at West Seattle Elementary School, where classes are resuming after two years at the former Schmitz Park Elementary.
WSES will celebrate the project before school on Wednesday morning, combined with their red-carpet rally to welcome the students, starting around 7:15 am
As we’ve been noting since mid-August, some students are already back in class. Most of those who aren’t yet are about to be. Here’s who starts tomorrow (Tuesday, September 5th):
Tilden School (WSB sponsor)
Watch out for more people walking and biking, and more traffic in general in school zones.
In a Labor Day tradition, a new American flag was raised today at Alki Masonic Lodge in The Junction. The VFW assisted – with the old flag, below, are state commander Traci K. Williams (Renton #1263) and Thomas Snead (Puyallup #2224):
The old flag will be kept at the lodge in honor of a former lodge master who passed away this year. Also at today’s ceremony were members of the youth group Rainbow Girls:
Rainbow Girl Malyia Williams gave a brief speech about what the flag stands for:
Lodge 152, which is at 40th/Edmunds, has a public event coming up later this month – Oktoberfest on September 23rd.
4:38 PM: Almost 3,300 customers are out of power as of moments ago in north West Seattle. We’re working to find out if this is related to police blocking off Avalon Way between Charlestown and Yancy, where SFD has an hour-old “wires down” call.
4:55 PM: We’re getting reports of restoration, at least for some. (added) The map shows it’s down to 483 homes/businesses.
5:07 PM: Those still out are close to the original “wires down” call on Avalon, where the southbound direction is about to reopen, while northbound remains closed. (added) SFD tells us at the scene that the “wires down” were the result of a pole fire; SCL is bringing in a new pole, so the northbound side of Avalon will likely remain closed at least a few hours.
8:03 PM: We went through the work zone (since uphill on Avalon, aka southbound, remains open), and the crews are still working with the new and replacement poles. Also note that the continuing outage has lights dark at the Avalon/Spokane/Harbor intersection, which means it’s an all-way stop.
8:28 PM: Other lights on Avalon are affected too – commenter KD says 35th/Avalon is still out.
11:07 PM: Not restored yet.
1:30 AM: Still out, and public-safety personnel just told dispatch that the SCL crew told them it might take another two hours.
5:30 AM: Commenters report power was restored just after 2:30.
ADDED 1 PM TUESDAY: As promised, we asked SCL about the cause. The reply from spokesperson Jenn Strang: “The cause was the center wire came loose from its head pin. When it came down, it contacted the cross arm and started the fire. We received a report of a smoking wire from Seattle Fire and were responding prior to the outage occurring. Our operations staff was able to quickly reduce the outage down to the smaller number affected. The crew deemed it necessary to replace the entire pole.”
Last week, we reported on the city’s release of the draft Seattle Transportation Plan – an outline of goals and actions laying out a potential path forward on how people will be getting around for the next 20 years, and what projects/policies/funding it would take to get there. The first big announcement was that the city wants your feedback. Now, three more notes:
CITY COUNCIL COMMITTEE BRIEFING: Tuesday (September 5th) at 9:30 am, the City Council’s Transportation and Public Utilities Committee meeting will include a briefing on the draft plan, which eventually will require a council vote to be finalized. No vote is planned at this meeting, but there is a public-comment period at the beginning. The agenda explains how to comment and/or how to watch/attend, online or in person – and if you just want to graze the toplines, it also includes this slide deck prepared for the briefing.
WEST SEATTLE BIKE CONNECTIONS: We just got word today that he draft plan will be a major topic of discussion when West Seattle Bike Connections meets Tuesday night, 6:30 pm at High Point Neighborhood House (6400 Sylvan Way SW). All are welcome.
DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT: Along with the release of the draft plan itself, the city also has outlined its potential effects in a Draft Environmental Impact Statement, for which a formal comment period is open through October 16th. This is an entirely separate voluminous document, which you can find linked here, along with a summary and information on how to comment.
P.S. Reminder that there are two more midday “pop-ups” this week at West Seattle libraries where you can talk with SDOT reps – they’re at the end of our original story.
On this Labor Day, we have news from West Seattle’s professional, non-profit theater ArtsWest (WSB sponsor), where more than 100 local artists are employed each year. The 2023-2024 season – themed “Sometimes I Dream …” – begins with “Matt & Ben,” written by Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers, directed by Zenaida Rose Smith. ArtsWest’s announcement explains:
… Matt & Ben serves as a perfectly funny introduction to a season that explores how different people pursue their dreams and promises audiences a refreshing way to end their summer. … Matt & Ben is a witty and irreverent play that reimagines the lives of Hollywood’s beloved bro-buddies, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, in the 1990s, just before they skyrocketed to fame. In a hilarious twist, Kaling and Withers wrote the roles for female-presenting performers. Seattle actors Nabilah Ahmed and Jacquelyn Miedema will portray the two Oscar-winning actors as they navigate fame, friendship, and the fateful script that would eventually become “Good Will Hunting.”
ArtsWests artistic director Mathew Wright calls it a “biting and brilliant comedy about celebrity and the Hollywood dream.” After a preview performance at 7:30 pm Wednesday (September 6th), “Matt & Ben” will continue at 7:30 pm Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and 3 pm Sundays, through October 1st. You can get tickets online by going here.
Good morning! Holiday notes:
–Metro is on a Sunday schedule
–West Seattle Water Taxi is also on a Sunday schedule
–Sound Transit buses and light rail are on Sunday schedules too
-If you’re going to an area of the city with pay-station street parking, there’s no charge today
-Check local traffic cams here, citywide cams here
Last day of the season for city outdoor aquatic facilities – After today, city-run wading pools, sprayparks, and outdoor pools are all closed until next year – so it’s your last day for Colman Pool, open noon-7 pm, and Highland Park Spraypark (1100 SW Cloverdale), 11 am-8 pm. The forecast so far doesn’t seem to meet the bar for opening Lincoln Park’s wading pool, but the hotline (206-684-7796) will say for sure after 9 am.
Last scheduled night of the season for 10 pm closure and beach fires at Alki
Community stand-up paddleboarding – Alki Kayak Tours’ weekly 6 pm SUP event is scheduled from Seacrest (1660 Harbor SW) at 6 pm.
Art on the Corner – artist’s home-studio sale benefiting food banks, ~8:30 am-5:30 pm at 39th/Holden
NOT HAPPENING TODAY
WEATHER AND SUNRISE/SUNSET
Partly sunny by afternoon, with a high in the upper 60s. Sunrise will be at 6:31 am, sunset at 7:43 pm.