West Seattle, Washington
Three weeks later than originally announced, the drainage project at Westcrest Park has begun. We had been checking on it after reader reports that the work wasn’t happening, even though the city had announced it would begin in mid-October. Today a reader texted that the main off-leash area is closed and the temporary OLA is open. The work is expected to continue until spring of next year.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
SDOT has proposed a permanent route for the Delridge/Highland Park “Stay Healthy Streets,” with some current blocks to be dropped – but keeping the stretch that’s been the source of the loudest community concerns. They’re nonetheless asking for opinions, and hosting an outdoor “open house” today on 11th SW by Highland Park Elementary, 2-4 pm. In advance of that, SDOT reps were at Wednesday night’s HPAC meeting to talk about the Stay Healthy Streets as well as traffic-mitigation/calming events elsewhere.
STAY HEALTHY STREETS: first, a little backstory. These streets are closed to through-traffic, open to drivers who live, work, study, or otherwise have business on them, and open to people walking/running/riding/rolling in the street. The city launched the SHS concept early in the pandemic as a way to get around with more social distancing, but has expanded the mission beyond the pandemic, and is now making many of them permanent. The Delridge-Highland Park SHS network (designated in May of last year) would be the second in the city (after Greenwood) to be made permanent, SDOT’s Madison Linkenmeyer told HPAC.
She recapped what they’ve heard from the community:
5:14 PM: Seattle Fire is sending a “rescue extrication” response to the 7700 block of 11th SW [map]. The report is of an overturned car with one person inside. Updates to come.
5:16 PM: First unit arriving reports a driver hit a tree.
5:40 PM: Added a photo. (update) We’re told the driver is being taken to the hospital via private ambulance, indicating his injuries are not life-threatening. There was a second person in the car, our crew was told, who declined medical treatment.
Eight years have passed since Seattle City Light declared its ex-substation at 16th/Holden to be surplus, along with several others in West Seattle, and proposed putting it up for sale. The site’s underlying zoning was for single-family housing, but community members counterproposed that commercial development might be better. It was rezoned for mixed use a few years later – as described during a Highland Park tour with then-Mayor Ed Murray in 2017 – but has continued to sit idle.
Now there are some possibilities in play, and HPAC heard about them at tonight’s meeting. City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who shepherded the rezoning years ago, first explained that City Light still owns the site and remains amenable to a no-cost transfer of the site to the city Office of Housing. So OH and Enterprise Community Partners have been evaluating the feasibility “to explore further what’s possible at the site.” She said they’re opening a dialogue to “get moving on a path forward.”
Enterprise Community Partners’ Jess Blanch explained her organization is national and works on affordable housing from policy to finance to development. “We cover it from end to end.” She directs the program Home and Hope – housing on publicly owned tax-exempt land, like this site. She says “a few issues are in play” – it’s zoned NC-40.”Given the site size [10,000 sf], it is really too small of a site for affordable rental housing, the way (that) is financed.” But affordable homeownership might be a possibility. It would have to be 100 percent “public benefit” for the land to be given for this purpose – that means low-income community members – making no more than 80 percent of the area mean income – would have to be served in its commercial space, such as a food bank or preschool. It could also be live-work space.
Erika Malone from the Office of Housing explained her department doesn’t develop, own, or manage projects so if the property is transferred to them, they would then put out a Request for Proposals. The site would have to be developed as “permanently affordable housing.”
Herbold said that “if there’s interest in a ground-level use that provides a public benefit, it makes it more possible to develop the property for affordable housing.” They wouldn’t be able to do a low- or no-cost transfer if it was going to be ground-floor retail and housing above it – they’d probably have to sell it to a for-profit developer.
HPAC co-chair Kay Kirkpatrick said having commercial space there would be a public benefit in its own way because Highland Park needs more walkable businesses; the guests said that wouldn’t meet the technical definition of public benefit. Kirkpatrick and attendees pointed out that an adjacent property is currently up for sale. But that site (about 5,000 sf) wouldn’t add enough land to make affordable rental housing “pencil out,” said Blanch.
Some brainstorming ensued; community ideas about ways to have a business that served low-income residents included a FareStart-type café, serving the public and training people emerging from homelessness.
So what’s the next step? Herbold said they want to know if HPAC would be OK with a potentially non-commercial ground-floor use. Then the Office of Housing would explore seeking a nonprofit homeownership organization – Community Land Trust, Habitat for Humanity, for example. “There are still a lot of iunknowns regarding what’s possible,” Malone said. Then discussions between oH and SCL would ensue; if they worked out how it could be transferred, Permanently affordable homeownership vs. development that would include bjusinesses – which would mean a for-profit developer.
Enterprise has worked up some concepts, Herbold said. Blanch said she didn’t want to share those publicly but said the site could hold 8 to 10 townhouses, for example. Since the site is adjacent to single-family homes, that puts “some constraints’ on the “developable envelope.” Or, “condo apartments” would be an option.
What kind of a timeline are they working on? Kirkpatrick asked. Enterprise has a contract with the city that’s being renewed at least through next year, Blanch said. So a decision on a direction can apparently wait until early next year (this was HPAC’s last scheduled meeting until January).
(We’ll report on the rest of tonight’s HPAC meeting – two discussions with SDOT – in a separate story Thursday.)
This week, SDOT plans two Highland Park appearances – online Wednesday, in person Friday – to talk about the potential future of Delridge/Highland Park “Stay Healthy Streets.”
Join us Friday, October 29, to kick off your Halloween and Día de Muertos weekend!
We are evaluating making your Delridge-Highland Park Stay Healthy Street a permanent community feature and need your feedback on ways to create a space that reflects your community values and needs.
Enjoy kids’ activities, giveaways, treats, and more!
Location: Stay Healthy Street on 11th Ave SW, next to Highland Park Elementary (between SW Cloverdale and SW Trenton streets)
Date: Friday, October 29
Time: 2 to 4 PM
Learn more about this Stay Healthy Street on our website.
Proposed permanent route
Above is a map of the proposed permanent route of the Delridge-Highland Park Stay Healthy Street. We hope to see you on Friday, October 29 or hear from you by calling 206-727-3565 or emailing email@example.com.
We will also be attending the virtual Highland Park Action Coalition meeting on Wednesday, October 27 from 7 to 8:30 PM if a virtual event works better for you.
The SHS stretch that’s drawn the most opposition over the months is on SW Trenton, but that doesn’t appear to be proposed for removal – we’re doublechecking on that with SDOT.
ADDED TUESDAY: SDOT’s Madison Linkenmeyer responded to our followup: “Right now we are proposing keeping that section of SW Trenton St. This is based on the speed data, traffic volumes, bicycling and pedestrian data, and focused outreach to the people living on SW Trenton St. We’ll also bring more detail on this at the HPAC meeting. In addition to input on the proposed route, we’d like to hear from the community what education and engineering strategies might work to encourage people passing through the neighborhood to stay on arterial streets, such as S Henderson St, instead of diverting onto neighborhood streets like SW Trenton St.”
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
HPIC’s all-volunteer board took a big step down that path by leading an online community “town hall” Wednesday night. Now that they’ve maneuvered through some of the most arduous immediate tasks such as dealing with insurance, it’s clear that they can do more than simply rebuild all or part of the historic building at 12th/Holden: They could re-envision the site’s future by answering the question “What does the community need this building for?”
The June 25th fire came toward the end of major renovations – we reported on the project just a month before the fire – but as trustee Kay Kirkpatrick showed in an HPIC-history presentation during the Wednesday night meeting, HPIC was building on what it inherited. The building itself dates to 1924, five years after the club started; its evolution over the years has included additions, changes, even alterations to expand its dance-floor space in post-war years.
Kirkpatrick’s presentation also shone a spotlight on other evolving needs and priorities over the years – first showing the community work parties to pave the parking lot in the 1970s …
… and then the “de-paving” that created the front patio and stormwater features in the 2010s:
Even without structural/site alteration, HPIC’s mission has pivoted over the years – most recently, as a community mutual-aid center in the first year of the pandemic, when it became a center for getting food to families in need, especially during the early months when Seattle Public Schools campuses were closed and the district hadn’t figured out how to resume meal distribution for students.
Along with revisiting the club’s history, the meeting, led by HPIC board president Nicole Mazza, also recapped what’s known about the fire – more about where it started than how or why it started:
And that brought the discussion to where HPIC stands in working with its insurer – which has determined that up to $750,000 would be available for rebuilding, treasurer Shannon Harris said.
The questions they’re asking include: What does the next building look like? Do they save part of the building or rebuild it from the ground up? The dilemma presents what was termed “an opportunity to build with intention and create a unified vision for the neighborhood.” To fulfill that, the question that must be answered: “What does the community need this building for?”
The board will not answer that question alone. They’re inviting community members to be part of the process in the months ahead, leading to a final design for the project by spring. when they can seek permits and hire a contractor.
But this is about more than a building. It’s about people. Even in the post-fire months, HPIC has worked to keep serving the community.
They’ve repurposed city grant money – with the city’s permission – to obtain what’s needed for outdoor events, including portable restrooms and storage. That helped them go ahead with some events such as the three summertime Giant Garage Sales.
The more people involved, the more creative and innovative the ideas will be, the more they can do. So, Mazza explained, HPIC is also using this time to “revisit the board structure.” They want to be sure it’s “diverse and sustainable.” Years ago, 501 Commons helped them move from a membership organization to a charitable organization, so they’ll help now with the board reinvention.
Getting involved with the board’s future is one way community members can help with “HPIC 2.0.” Other ways: Join in the upcoming discussions. Donate to the rebuilding fund. Become a club member – increasing revenue from dues would help HPIC stabilize their operational funding (especially until they can regularly host events, which along with rentals were a major source of money pre-fire). Members get to join in club decisions. And – volunteer! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out what you can do, offer an idea, or ask a question.
Thanks for the tip: Highland Park’s Morning Star Mini-Mart (8855 9th SW) is closing. We stopped by this morning to confirm, and learned that Friday is the store’s last day. Its famous barbecue is no longer available – the equipment’s already dismantled. The store is closing because the property has been sold. The listing says it’s been up for sale for two months, asking price $1.5 million, and that a sale is pending. The 13,000-square-foot site is zoned for potential 4-story mixed-use; store staff has heard that “offices” are on the way, but no redevelopment permits are on file so far. The listing also notes the site’s held a store for more than 30 years.
Three and a half months after a fire heavily damaged the century-old Highland Park Improvement Club community hub, its board is ready to talk about what’s next. They’ve announced an online town-hall meeting for 7 pm next Wednesday (October 13th): “Learn about the details of the fire, our plan to rebuild, what we are doing in the interim, and how you can help. Bring your questions!” Information for viewing/calling in/participating is here.
Another long-planned Seattle Parks project is about to get started. Here’s the announcement we received late today:
Seattle Parks and Recreation awarded the construction contract for the Westcrest Park Off-leash Area Drainage Improvements project to OMA Construction Inc. The contractor will mobilize and set up construction fencing the week of October 18.
The main off-leash area and the north parking lot will be fully closed during construction. In response to community input in 2019, SPR will construct a temporary off-leash area to the north of the existing site and west of the small/shy dog area in a space that is currently lawn. It will be set up prior to closure of the existing off-leash area for public use. The existing shy/small dog area will remain open. People interested in accessing the temporary off-leash area can access it through the south parking lot.
We anticipate reopening the parking lot and improved off-leash area in spring 2022. After construction, the contractor will restore the temporary OLA back to lawn.
Over the past few years, the maintenance project has grown from a simple drainage improvement project to a $505,000 project that will address drainage, access, and erosion. Funding is provided by the Seattle Park District Major Maintenance and Asset Management Fund. For more information, please visit seattle.gov/parks/about-us/projects/westcrest-park-drainage-improvements. If you have questions about the project please contact the project manager, Janice Liang at Janice.Liang@seattle.gov.
While not mentioned in the announcement or on the project page, the city told us back in May that the closed play structure would be replaced as part of this project.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Changes in the traffic-safety plan for 16th SW were part of what HPAC – the community council for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge – heard about at its September meeting.
This was HPAC’s first meeting after summer break, led by co-chairs Kay Kirkpatrick and Craig Rankin. Before the updates from SDOT, a port team presented an update:
TERMINAL 5 & PORT OF SEATTLE: From the Northwest Seaport Alliance and/or Port of Seattle, Lindsay Wolpa, Peaches Thomas, Steve Balaski, T-5 program manager Emma Del Vento, and Curtis Stahlecker were all at the meeting. Wolpa gave a presentation, starting with an overview of the NWSA (the ports of Seattle and Tacoma) – 3 million cargo containers each year, 58,000 jobs – then recapped the T-5 project toplines. Balaski explained what the port’s trying to do to help with the worldwide supply-chain jam:
They are “feverishly working” on how to address this, and how to keep their export clients’ goods flowing.
HPAC – the community organization for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge – resumes monthly meetings this week with hot topics including traffic and crime. Here’s the announcement:
We welcome all back for our first meeting of the 2021-22 season. This month we’ll be hearing from Seattle Police Department with neighborhood crime trends, plus the Port of Seattle sharing impacts we can expect to neighborhood traffic as Terminal 5 reopens in January 2022.
Finally, we will be hosting Home Zone and Reconnect West Seattle team members from SDOT for a report out on the projects they are working on. There have been some changes in direction, particularly for residents on 16th Avenue SW, we’ll have them explained at the meeting with opportunities for suggestions and comments.
If you are noticing new detour route incursions of vehicles, or other traffic pattern changes to report, your voice is needed!
See you at 7 PM on Sept. 22 – virtually on Zoom during the HPIC rebuilding process.
Happening tomorrow! Just received the announcement from Samuel:
He says they’re planning to “have four grills going”! Here’s a map.
MONDAY UPDATE: Setup photos just in from Samuel – here’s the raffle table:
And those grills:
The Highland Park Corner Store has been open five months, mostly as a coffee shop – but now it’s ready to open as a true corner store. It’s closing early today, at noon, to get ready for a real “grand opening” weekend. Here are the details from proprietor Meaghan Haas:
We’re opening the inside of our store starting at 7 am on Saturday. Moving forward our hours will be 7 am-8 pm daily.
In addition to our coffee, pastry and readymade service, we’re adding locally sourced grocery staples, beer and wine to our offerings. We also now have indoor seating, as well as a covered and lit outdoor patio.
Our initial beers on tap are all from breweries that are female-, BIPOC-, and/or LGBTQ-led:
Marzen – Bosk Brew Works
New Zealand IPA – Metier Brewing
Tangerine Hefeweizen – Peddler Brewing
Mosaic Pale Ale – Stoup Brewing
We’re working with the folks at Walden Selections (also West Seattle residents!) to find delicious and affordable natural and organic wines – in bottles, in cans, and by the glass. Our grocery staples feature offerings from local West Seattle vendors including Milpa Masa tortillas and Seola Bees honey. We’ll continue with our current coffee service featuring QEDCoffee, and still have fresh pastries daily from Macrina Bakery.
To celebrate our Grand [Re]Opening, we’ll have some fun additions to the store on Saturday and Sunday:
CocinaMX 32 (the genius team behind Sunrise Tacos) will pop up with tamales Saturday 11 am-2 pm (while supplies last; we sold out pretty early last time!)
We’ll have some free hot dogs Sunday 11 am-2 pm (again: while supplies last).
And the talented folks in the neighborhood will keep us in good music with DJ sets throughout the weekend.
We’re excited to continue to grow what we offer to Highland Park and West Seattle!
Highland Park Corner Store is at 7789 Highland Park Way [map], former site of a mini-mart, once planned for demolition and redevelopment until West Seattle entrepreneur/preservationist John Bennett bought it, fixed it up, and leased it to Haas.
If you or someone in your family is looking for outdoor public vaccination clinics – here are two in West Seattle this week. As previously mentioned, a vaccination pop-up is planned during tonight’s Created Commons event at Westcrest Park (9000 8th SW, north of the P-Patch), 6-8 pm. And Neighborhood House High Point Center (6400 Sylvan Way SW) is hosting a clinic 4-6 pm Friday (September 3rd) in the parking lot behind the building. Both are offering Pfizer, which means people 12+ can get vaccinated. No appointment needed for either clinic.
With a spirited, arms-outstretched yell, Leah Okamoto Mann set the tone for the start of the multi-day Created Commons event she and Lelavision partner Ela Lamblin are presenting at Westcrest Park: Don’t hold back. Those in the opening-night spotlight certainly did not. Lamblin mesmerized attendees with music from the stamenphone:
The grant-funded event’s intent is to blend art and science – indeed, the emcee is a professor, not a performer. Dr. Sinead Younge‘s spirit, too, was boundless – as she periodically led everyone in a Ghanian call-and-response to be sure they were paying attention. She spoke about health as a human right.
She introduced Duwamish Tribe members including Ken Workman, who spoke of how this area’s First People are still here – “the hills, valleys, rocks retain the memory of the people … these people are all around you.”
He offered words of gratitude and welcome in other Northwest tribes’ languages. Then came the exuberance of dance, with the Pacific Islander Student Alliance from UW Tacoma:
They concluded by inviting attendees onto the stage for what they described as a Samoan tradition, dancing around a “princess,” Angelina, an 8th-grader who’s been dancing with them this summer. Every Indigenous culture celebrates with dance, observed Dr. Younge, before the mood turned somber. ” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>“Orca Annie” Stateler and Odin Lonning, from Vashon Island, spoke – and drummed – about the Southern Resident Killer Whales’ plight:
Annie told the tales both of individual whales that have been lost in recent years, and the overview of their troubles – too little food, and also how losses have affected their families.
With orcas, as with humans, she observed, losing an elder means you “lose an encyclopedia of knowledge.” What can you do to help? “Listen to Indigenous elders,” she said, not just white “experts.” And examine your daily life – recycling, food choices, energy use. They closed after Odin presented a spoken-word lament about “no longer knowing” the killer whales. Dr. Younge offered her hope that it would move people to action. The night concluded with a chance for everyone to “flap the wings” of Lelavision’s sculpture Interspecies Communication, which towers over the stage:
If you go to Westcrest Park (9000 8th SW) during Created Commons noon-8 pm this weekend or next, you too can “flap” the sculpture. Look for it and the canopies north of the P-Patch. See the full schedule here – in the Saturday spotlight, a mini-version of DNDA‘s Arts-in-Nature festival, 3-8 pm, with music, dance, spoken word, and other art. It’s all free and casual – wander in, wander out, bring a picnic.
Last week, we previewed a first-ever event coming up at Westcrest Park (9000 8th SW) – actually a series of events spread over nine days, tomorrow (Friday, August 27th) through Sunday, September 5th – transforming part of the park into a “Created Commons,” hosted and curated by Lelavision. The Created Commons will feature what the overview describes as “BIPOC-centered performances, kinetic musical-sculpture, eco-art installations and workshops, wellness offerings, and science panels to cultivate our health as a community.” Now that it’s almost here, we have updates.
The first event is at 6 pm Friday (calendar listing here), honoring the Duwamish Tribe, with other participants sharing “stories, music, and tales of their activism on behalf of the resident Orcas in the Salish Sea.” On Friday night, families in need can get free groceries at the park, thanks to Free Food for All. A highlight this Saturday (August 28th) is the Arts in Nature Festival Showcase presented by Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, 3-8 pm, a mini-version of the annual festival, promising music, poetry, and dance.
As you can see in the full Created Commons schedule on Lelavision’s website, this isn’t just a spectator event – there are opportunities for participation. That includes the vaccination pop-ups we mentioned yesterday as well as free wellness classes:
Those are just some of the events – we’re adding listings to the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar too. And along with scheduled events, Lelavision will bring its kinetic sculpture Interspecies Communication (seen in South Park in 2017) to the park for community interaction, noon-8 pm all four weekend days (August 28-29, September 4-5). All events over the course of Created Commons are free, funded by grants and sponsorships.
Want to feel as good as those volunteers felt after a community cleanup in Highland Park/South Delridge? You can help neighbor Vivian McPeak – who sent the report and photos – organize another one:
Last weekend Seattle Hempfest teamed up with The Full Spectrum (America’s only LGTBQIA+ cannabis advocacy group) to send our volunteers out into multiple Pac NW communities to pick up trash and discarded plastics. We called the project The Great Community GreenSweep.
We hit neighborhoods in Lake City, Capitol Hill, Mukilteo, Tacoma, and West Seattle, to name a few. In West Seattle, we focused on the area of Highland Park at Delridge north of Roxbury all the way to Henderson … up and down Henderson to Barton, and up to 16th Ave SW, cleaning areas that were seriously strewn with litter and trash on both sides of the street and sidewalks. Those areas are now nearly pristine and looked as if they had not been cleaned for some time.
TommySound on Delridge hosted our safety training and served as a meeting space.
There is still a lot of trash on Henderson (especially around the bus stop near Barton) and surrounding streets. I personally live near 16th and Henderson. I am wondering if there are others in my neighborhood who would be willing to join me on some coming weekend to finish the job? Anyone interested can contact me at email@example.com
McPeak is “especially concerned about discarded single-use plastics that break down into microplastics and end up washed into drains bound for Puget Sound, where they pose a potential threat to wildlife and the biosphere.”
One more theft to report today – this time, Derek‘s motorcycle:
My white 2000 Harley Davidson Road King police motorcycle was stolen at 1 am this morning on 11th Ave. SW and SW Holden St. Neighbors say they heard it take off around 1 am so I assume ignition was busted. I am offering a cash reward for information leading to my bikes recovery and/or an arrest.
Plate is WA 8G1755; police incident # is 21-215522.
P.S. Motorcycle theft is technically “auto theft” by state law, and that’s one of the categories of crime addressed in this month’s newsletter sent today by Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner:
Back in 2017, we photographed the portable kinetic sculpture “Interspecies Communication” during a daylong event at Duwamish Waterway Park in South Park. Now the sculpture and its creators – Vashon Island-based Lelavision – are coming to Westcrest Park in West Seattle for a nine-day “celebration of art and science.” From the announcement:
On August 27-September 5, 2021, Lelavision will animate West Seattle’s Westcrest Park with BIPOC-centered performances, kinetic musical-sculpture, eco-art installations and workshops, wellness offerings, and science panels to cultivate our health as a community.
As part of the Created Commons initiative, the performance and production company Lelavision (choreographer/organizer Leah Okamoto Mann and sculptor/musician Ela Lamblin) will provide a neighborhood celebration featuring BIPOC-centered performances, wellness offerings, and science panels utilizing their interactive kinetic sculpture, Interspecies Communication. This large sculpture — 50 feet long and 32 feet wide — depicts a whale and a bird. Visitors can make the bird “fly” from 12 pm to 8 pm each weekend of the event, by setting its wings in motion.
This family-friendly, zero-waste event is free and open to the public. All are encouraged to bring picnics, camping chairs, blankets, and filled water bottle, which will help them stay hydrated during the fun. Composting and recycle bins will help keep the park clean. Visitors should pack out all other trash in the spirit of leaving the park better than we found it. Vashon Island Growers Association will provide free organic produce, and a variety of food trucks will be on site, including delicious ice cream from event sponsor Full Tilt Ice Cream. There is limited parking at the park, but plenty of surface street parking. No alcohol will be permitted on site.
An Indigenous-centered opening will kick off the nine-day event on Friday, August 27, at 6 pm. Orca Annie & Odin Lonning, UW Tacoma Students from the Pacific Islander Student Association, will share stories, music, and tales of their activism on behalf of the resident Orcas in the Salish Sea. Duwamish Tribe representatives Ken Workman, Nancy Sackman, and Billie Jane Lakey will also be present. Donations for Real Rent Duwamish will be collected throughout the event to honor the Duwamish Tribe and acknowledge the unceded land the event will take place upon.
On Saturday, August 28, 12 pm – 8 pm, the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association (DNDA) will present an Arts in Nature Festival Showcase, a condensed version of the well-loved annual Arts In Nature Festival that has offered an eclectic experience of art and performance in a local park for 22 years. Starting at noon, the park will be full of art on the paths, fun in the field, sound baths, roving dancers, and more. Between 3:00 and 8:00 pm, poet LASH will co-MC the main stage performances, with movement artists Danza Symbiosis, Seattle Capoeira, and Noelle Price with cellist Gretchen Yanover. Music features include Troy Osaki, Jennifer Moore, and Holy Pistola.
Sunday, August 29, from 12 pm to 3 pm, the park will come alive with activities and eco-arts in the field and with trail animations. From 4pm to 8pm, the festival will feature performances curated by artist and activist dani tirrell and a science panel on health-care access. Panelists include Candace Jackson of the African American Health Board of Seattle and Dr Sinead Younge, Director of the Social Justice Inquiry and Praxis Institute in the Andrew Young Center for Global Leadership at Morehouse College. Performers Dandy (David Rue & Randy Ford), Northwest Tap Connection, Majinn (Michael O’Neal), J Mase III, Kutt’N’Up, and Malicious Vixens will take the stage following the panel. The evening’s finale will be a community dance party with DJ dark_wiley. Pop-up vaccines will be available on site.
On Tuesday, August 31, from 6 pm-8 pm, the festival will create a community event in honor of Overdose Awareness Day in collaboration with artist and counselor, Alexia Jones, the Executive Director of R2ise and Dr Seema Clifasefi of UW’s HaRRT Program (Harm Reduction, Research, Treatment). Vaccines will also be available on this day.
Friday, September 3, 6 pm-8 pm will feature a drumming circle with artist Sumayya Diop. Some drums will be provided, or participants can bring their own percussion (including clapping, stepping, and heartbeat).
Saturday and Sunday, September 4 and 5, 3 pm-8 pm Jack Straw Cultural Center joins Lelavision in presenting BIPOC poets, musicians, and dancers, including Hula Halau O’keala’Akua Naniloa Mana’oakamai; Jack Straw Writers, hosted by Anastacia-Renee; and music by JR Rhodes. Sunday’s presentations will include a Community Bon Odori; music by Nic Masangkay, Trio Guandalevin, and Seattle Kokon Taiko, and Jack Straw Writers, hosted by E.J. Koh.
You can also see the schedule details here.
Thanks to Ingrid for noticing that SDOT‘s Highland Park Way/Holden traffic camera has been showing a very non-West Seattle scene for at least a few days. We’ve had the camera image in our traffic-cam lists for months, and hadn’t changed the link; investigating further, we found the SDOT Travelers’ Map has also changed the view for that location:
So we checked with SDOT. Spokesperson Ethan Bergerson responded:
The portable camera was moved last week to NE 45th St and Roosevelt Ave NE in the U District to monitor detour traffic during the WSDOT Montlake Bridge closure. We plan to move it back to West Seattle when that construction project is completed in a few weeks. We had actually purchased a new portable traffic camera so that we could monitor conditions in both locations, but unfortunately the parts did not all arrive on time due to supply chain issues. So there’s some possibility we may be able to re-install a camera Highland Park Way SW & SW Holden St sooner depending on when the new camera components arrives.
The camera’s description as “portable” refers to its technically temporary status – it was placed at the intersection after the temporary signal was rush-installed the week after the West Seattle Bridge closure almost a year and a half ago. A permanent camera with upgraded technology is expected to be part of the permanent signal, now on hold until after the bridge reopens next year.
Another way to show West Seattle pride – Highland Park Improvement Club merch! It’s part of what you’ll find outside HPIC (1116 SW Holden) today during the summer’s second Giant Garage Sale – happening outdoors, less than two months after the big fire that ravaged the historic building.
Just like any good Giant Garage Sale, sellers are offering a variety of stuff – with some helping out their hosts too:
Another way to support HPIC – have a drink:
The portable bar survived the fire and is set up again today for thirsty Giant Garage Sale’rs. As for the post-fire recovery, HPIC’s Kay Kirkpatrick tells us they’re still dealing with the insurance company. Fencing is the newest addition around the century-old building:
But as is evidenced again today, HPIC isn’t letting the fire damage push it out of its community-centered role – watch for other outdoor events while the summer/fall weather allows. (P.S. As a nonprofit, they’re also continuing to accept donations, here.)
Thanks for the tips! After reader questions about the future of the bright-green building at 11th/Henderson, we made contact with its owners, who bought the property late last year, and found out about their plan:
Addy’s Pet Shop is on the way this fall. David Leischner and wife Cortney are the building’s owners, and he’s busy remodeling:
He explains that they live in Highland Park “and we would drive by the building every day. During the start of the pandemic, I was helping out a friend at his pet store in Wallingford, Wally’s Pets, which is where the idea of opening our own shop began. We would walk our dog, Addy, past this building frequently to Westcrest dog park. We feel fortunate in our decision when you consider the location of the building to the dog park and the great neighborhood we live in.”
So far they’re on schedule to open Addy’s Pet Shop on October 1st. Hours will be 10 am-7 pm Tuesdays through Sundays, closed Mondays. They’ll specialize in dog and cat supplies – food, treats, toys, carriers, leashes, collars (no fish or reptile supplies).
P.S. This is not the family’s only new venture – their second child is due soon, too!
Shortly after the West Seattle Bridge’s abrupt closure in March 2020, SDOT installed a traffic signal at Highland Park Way and Holden – an intersection where community members had long been begging for help. The signal was described at the time as “temporary.” It was scheduled to be replaced by a “permanent” signal this fall. Today, SDOT announced it’s pushing back construction of the permanent signal until after the West Seattle Bridge reopens. From the announcement:
We originally scheduled construction at this intersection for fall 2021. Out of sensitivity for Highland Park neighbors who are already experiencing increased traffic, and the travelers who use the intersection, construction on the signal will now begin after the bridge reopens in 2022. This is to ease the impact on people living in Highland Park of more congestion and more cut-through traffic. We expect to select a contractor later this year.
Prior to the high bridge closure, we had already been working with the community to better understand needs for this intersection. The Highland Park community had been asking for changes at this busy intersection, which has been the site of several crashes and safety issues. Poor sight distances, high speeds, travel lane confusion, and a lack of curbs and crosswalks for pedestrians have contributed to these issues.
The project has reached final design and we expect to select a contractor for building the changes next year after the high bridge reopens to traffic.
The final project design includes:
• A more durable traffic signal with metal poles that have signal lights instead of lights connected to wooden poles.
• The signal will also include traffic cameras to monitor and adjust the signal in real-time, as well as vehicle detection in the pavement so the signal can recognize when a person driving is waiting at the light.
• Rebuilding all four corners of the intersection with new American with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible concrete curb ramps and curb bulbs.
• Painting permanent crosswalks at each crossing.
This is the intersection where a roundabout once was proposed, but eventually scrapped because required grading cost too much.