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Talking traffic, crime, leadership @ Admiral Neighborhood Association

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The Admiral Neighborhood Association‘s every-other-month meeting tonight featured reps from two city departments that handle the bulk of the most contentious community issues, SDOT and SPD – not to give presentations, but to answer questions on whatever attendees wanted to talk about.

The meeting was facilitated by ANA vice president Joanie Jacobs (who’s rising to president as a result of tonight’s elections – more on that later) at Admiral UCC Church.

SOUTHWEST PRECINCT POLICE: Lt. Mike Watson opened by asking if anyone had any questions. Jacobs said she knew multiple businesses had experienced burglaries, including an Admiral restaurant just a few days ago. What can they do? “Look out for each other,” he said, for starters. Camera video is helpful. So are signs such as “this area is being video-monitored.” He noted he was asked at a past meeting about catalytic-converter thefts, so he brought that stat – 2,120 citywide so far this year – West Seattle is averaging 40 or 50 a month. They can be sold for up to $350. Toyota Prius, Honda CR-V, Lexus RX-400, Honda Element are all popular targets. Don’t try to confront a thief – people have lost their lives doing that – call 911. Someone else brought up street racing, and neighbors who don’t have valid license plates. Street racing should be reported, Watson said, because there’s a regional task force working on it. Then another person asked about expired tabs. Watson mentioned they’re not allowed to pull people over for them. But a parking-enforcement officer can cite a parked car for expired plates/tabs. What about the double shooting on Alki? The victims both survived, but no one’s been arrested. From the SPD dashboard, he cited some West Seattle stats – robberies are up 18%, aggravated assault up 12%, motor-vehicle theft up 43%, 105 shots-fired incidents so far this year. Cars are usually stolen to commit other crimes, he noted. Despite all that, “West Seattle is the safest part of the city – by far. … You can feel safe here.” (He attributes that in part to strong block watches.) One last question: How’s police staffing? “Down 450-500,” he said. One attendee thanked Lt. Watson for excellent service from officers who responded when he was in a car crash recently.

SDOT: Introduced as being there on a “fact-finding mission” was Matt Beaulieu, there to listen to questions. He was accompanied by Danielle Friedman from the Department of Neighborhoods. First issue, trying to cross Admiral’s south side. There are no crosswalks for several blocks south of the business district, residents pointed out. A resident near the Admiral Way Viewpoint totem pole mentioned crashes from speeding drivers, An SDOT traffic study was mentioned as having found 40 as the “average” speed in the area – “so that means 5,000 drivers are going 60.” The resident who mentioned it has long agitated for traffic calming there. Another attendee brought up the graph of survivability at various speeds. Another attendee talked about the crossing at 47th/Admiral having been installed after a deadly crash, but not getting heeded because “it’s in an odd spot.” What about speed cameras? Some recent laws might loosen up the current restrictions on school zones only, “Photo enforcement is a powerful tool, but you install it and hope it fails” because people stop speeding, Beaulieu said. Friedman mentioned that the recent study of West Marginal Way, blocking off a southbound lane to simulate the conditions during the future protected bike lane, really resulted in slower driving.

What does it take to get something installed? Most of it is based on collision history, when they decide where to spend money, Beaulieu said. So for starters, make sure crashes get reported to police, because otherwise SDOT has no data to refer to. He also noted that they’re studying the best way to deal with arterials. And be sure to contact SDOT directly – maybe they can’t help initially, but your problem will at least be on their radar.

Another question: Aren’t traffic deaths up since Vision Zero began? Beaulieu acknowledged, “We are not trending to zero.” Isn’t it making things worse? The attendee had worked on a school safety committee and requested a four-way stop but said SDOT was resistant – yet now there are new 4-ways and crosswalks by West Seattle High School and Madison Middle School. Aa for VZ in general, Beaulieu mentioned one of the first actions new SDOT director Greg Spotts had decreed – a “top to bottom” review of the program, in hopes of figuring out why it’s not working.

Another resident near 39th/Hanford, close to a new crosswalk, noted that the intersection has numerous crashes each year, some taking out utility poles. Can you put speed cushions on arterials? That’s an “evolving practice” too, said Beaulieu.

Also mentioned – gratitude to SDOT for repaving much of California north of Admiral. (Though there was some puzzlement on why one particular block was skipped.)

ELECTIONS: The meeting ended with a chance to nominate and vote on leadership for net year. Elected to lead ANA in 2023 (and shown left to right in photo above):
President Joanie Jacobs
Vice President Stephanie Jordan
Secretary Carrie McCann
Treasurer Bridgett Markillie

They were the only nominees, and were elected in unanimous approval of the slate.

(Board members, committee leads, and an adopt-a-street coordinator are other roles in the ANA, and they’d love to have more community participation.) Voting was open to members, who pay a $25 annual fee to belong.

P.S. ANA has a business membership program too – $50/year – and plans to more actively promote local businesses. Businesses are donating $25 gift cards for a raffle at ANA meetings, and Mission Cantina donated one for tonight – the winner was drawn before meeting’s end.

EVENTS: This Saturday, Admiral Church is hosting a Christmas Market (as featured in our calendar and West Seattle Holiday Guide). West Seattle Grounds (which Jacobs manages) has launched a toy drive – that will be in our Holiday Guide shortly – and donors get a discount. She also mentioned the Festival of Trees gala at Brookdale Admiral Heights.

SUMMER CONCERTS: After missing three years for the pandemic and venue unavailability, the 2023 concert series will happen one way or another, either Hiawatha if it’s available by summer, or Hamilton Viewpoint. “Our goal this year is that IT WILL HAPPEN,” Jacobs vowed.

NEXT MEETING: ANA is having general meetings every other month, so the next one is likely on the second Tuesday in January, which will be January 10, 7 pm at Admiral Church (4320 SW Hill). Watch connecttoadmiral.org for updates.

Live, work, study, play in Admiral? Got traffic/crime concerns? Here’s where to go Tuesday night

It’s been a busy few months in Admiral, from the first-ever Admiral Junction Funktion to business-district trick-or-treating, and now it’s time to get ready for the winter holidays. It’s also time to look ahead to next year, while addressing current concerns, and that’s all part of what the Admiral Neighborhood Association plans to do at its next general community meeting, 7 pm Tuesday (November 15) in-person at Admiral Church (4320 SW Hill). Here are agenda highlights:

* Representatives from SDOT to listen to some Admiral specific traffic and road related issues.
* SW Precinct representative to give an update
* Our election of officers for 2023
* Other neighborhood updates

Bring your questions/comments – or just go watch/listen – all are welcome. ANA’s general community meetings are every other month; here’s our report on the last one in September.

From transportation to bunnies @ Fauntleroy Community Association

November 9, 2022 12:01 pm
|    Comments Off on From transportation to bunnies @ Fauntleroy Community Association
 |   Fauntleroy | Neighborhoods | West Seattle news

We covered two community meetings last night – here are two brief notes from the first one, the Fauntleroy Community Association‘s monthly board meeting:

TRANSPORTATION: FCA invited new SDOT director Greg Spotts to the neighborhood for one of his “walking tours,” and he accepted. He’ll be visiting next month. Ferry-related traffic is always high on the list of Fauntleroy community concerns, so that’s likely to be a central topic.

FALL FESTIVAL REPORT: FCA doesn’t present the Fauntleroy Fall Festival but does support it, and received a report last night on the October 23rd event, the first full-fledged Fall Festival since 2019.

(WSB photo from last month’s festival)

About 2,000 people attended over the course of the afternoon. A new feature, the bunny “petting zoo” (above), was a hit. Some of the volunteers are already interested in next year; the date’s not set yet but will be soon.

The Fauntleroy Community Association meets second Tuesdays, 7 pm, most months, at Fauntleroy Schoolhouse; updates and info can be found at fauntleroy.net.

WEDNESDAY: New SDOT director Greg Spotts @ HPAC (update – he canceled)

Last month, new SDOT director Greg Spotts talked with the West Seattle Transportation Coalition (WSB coverage here); now, he’s scheduled as the spotlight guest for this month’s meeting of HPAC, the community council for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge. Got a question about which way the transportation policy in the city is going? This is your chance to ask – or just to listen to what he has to say, with so many transportation issues having emerged or intensified in the HPAC neighborhoods during the bridge closure. The meeting will be held online at 7 pm Wednesday (October 26th); video/call-in info is on the HPAC website, along with details of what else is on the agenda. All welcome.

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: HPAC says Spotts had to cancel due to a conflict.

Unofficial skatepark, future EV-charging station, more @ Morgan Community Association’s fall meeting

Here’s what was discussed at last night’s quarterly meeting of the Morgan Community Association, held online and facilitated by MoCA president Deb Barker.

‘MORGAN MINUTE’ QUICK UPDATES: Barker recapped the September 24th Lowman Beach shoreline-restoration celebration (WSB coverage here) … The MoCA board still has an opening for vice president … MoCA still hopes to honor a former board member, the late Eldon Olson, with some kind of tribute – maybe a bench – in the area (though Seattle Parks doesn’t offer those commemorative opportunities any more) … The former Ivy Court mixed-use building at 6525 California SW has undergone remodeling and has a new name, The MorganBeveridge Place Pub will host musician Joshua Dennis as part of next month’s West Seattle Art Walk, 6-7:45 pm November 10th.

WHAT’S NEW IN MORGAN JUNCTION: Marcella Andrews introduced herself and her new business Transform Pediatric Physical Therapy. Among their offerings are 12-week treatment packages as well as group classes and camps. They help “any child who’s a little bit different from other children” and utilize a gym setting as well as a garden setting (with chickens) in a converted garage.

POLICE: New night-shift Lt. Nathan Shopay introduced himself. No one had questions for him but he said that since taking over the shift command, he’s noted a startling wave of gunshot calls all over the city. Right now the staffing level averages 10 officers a night “which is usually enough” but if there’s one big call, suddenly that occupies everyone. As Barker stressed, with Lt. Shopay vigorously agreeing, it’s vital to file a report about any and every kind of crime that happens; he stressed that the department is data-driven in terms of assigning resources so if they don’t hear about everything, they don’t know what’s going on. He shared his email address for community members with night-shift concerns: nathan.shopay@seattle.gov

MORGAN ELECTRIC-VEHICLE CHARGING LOT: We’ve covered this previously (here and here). Seattle City Light had three reps at the MoCA meeting with an update on the project at 4118 SW Morgan, a substation site until 2002. Construction is scheduled for late 2023, so it will be vacant and bare for another year – that’s in part because there’s a long lead time for ordering the necessary equipment. SCL’s Jacob Orenberg said environmental cleanup at the site should be finished before month’s end; it began (including tree removal) last month. He showed an updated site layout:

The driveway will now open onto SW Morgan rather than Fauntleroy or the alley on the site’s east side. The site will likely have “passive drainage” as well as incorporating CPTED principles. Answering questions about expected traffic, it’s likely to start at 22 users and eventually grow to as much as 80.

That’s a tiny fraction of the current daily traffic on the streets bordering the site. Based on other sites, they expect usage to be focused between 7 am and 10 pm. What’s next: Design documents will be finalized in the next few months and permits will be sought early next year; the station should be open to the public by early 2024.

SCL’s Victor Couto then answered more questions that had been asked previously. The Junction EV-charging station is the most popular in the city, with about 13 sessions per day, averaging about half an hour each. (Along with South Seattle College [WSB sponsor], it’s one of only two public fast-charging stations in West Seattle.) None of SCL’s current charging stations has as many chargers as this one will have – the highest number currently is 4 (this one is planned for 8 “second-generation fast chargers” which should last about 10 years).

Other questions included whether any temporary uses might be considered during the year before construction starts – food trucks, for example? Orenberg said he didn’t know but would inquire. Who will be dealing with non-charging customers – people using it for parking, camping, or? Couto said generally SCL security, which would “work with local resources.” Security would only be scheduled to visit once a month unless needed. The site will remain fenced (as it is now).

EARTHQUAKE PLANNING: Cindi Barker continued her series of MoCA presentations focused on a community plan beyond simply “show up at the hub.” That includes working with The Kenney (WSB sponsor), Gatewood Elementary, and local businesses about how they can be assisted in the aftermath of a disaster. They had a productive meeting with the school, which would work in an “incident management” mode with the principal serving as “incident commander” if catastrophe struck. They’ll be talking next with the PTSA, likely next month. They haven’t been able to engage with The Kenney yet.

MORGAN JUNCTION PARK ADDITION: This long-“landbanked” site north of Morgan Junction Park has become a source of contention in recent weeks, while it continues to remain vacant after development money “went away,” as Deb Barker put it, during the pandemic. As noted here, local skaters have turned it into an unofficial skate park The Seattle Park District‘s proposed budget would restore funding – but possibly not for several more years, Meantime, as has been discussed for many months, funding does exist for environmental cleanup at the site, removing concrete and contaminated dirt and bringing in new soils, seeding it, maybe creating some simple trails until actual park development happens. But, she said, we’re now in the season when sites like this can’t be dug up and exposed – so the remediation work won’t happen before spring. Mike Schwindeller of Seattle Parks said that despite what we’d been told just a few weeks ago, the site likely won’t be opened to the public until summer – digging could start in early spring but hydroseeding and grass establishment would likely stretch to summer.

Schwindeller said they’ve heard about the desire for skating features and they’ve also heard from neighbors upset about the noise, Parks is removing skate features and says they’d be open to revisiting design that could lead to integration of a “skate dot” when the park is developed.

Josh Radick, who launched the petition drive to try to save the unofficial skatepark, spoke, saying the skatepark started with “a local dad” mentioned the empty “slab” at the park site. They started cleaning up the site, “threw a few ramps down,” and said “we got a lot of love.” People donated materials, even immediate neighbors. Kids “started showing up … it was kind of empowering,” and they hoped to create something playful, small, with learning opportunities, not as big and intimidating as Delridge. They eventually poured concrete to build a ramp, and joy ensued. “We really want to be sure this is a thought-out, active space,” not just another “piece of grass with a couple benches.”

He handed off to Zac Corum, who said this has all led to a coalition led to parents who want more opportunities for beginning skateboarders. They really want to focus on getting active use into the design before the park is (eventually) built. They cited opportunities they see for the short run and long run.

Corum also said it’d be helpful to get information on the true health risk of the site right now. They asked for MoCA’s help, and had suggestions for using the site both post-cleanup and longer term.

So where do things stand? Schwindeller said they’re going to continue to try to “secure the site” – so far, Barker said, all they’re seeing is zipties on the fence and pieces of paper warning against unauthorized use. “Your methods are jokes,” she said flatly. She also pointed out that MoCA asked years ago to activate the site – so now there’s activation, and Parks is trying to shut that down, so “frustration” has resulted.

What does “skate dot” mean? she asked. “Skateable features integrated into the site, not a big bowl,” for example, said Schwindeller. The supporters warned that “mixing use” could wind up in injuries and skateboarders don’t want that.

So what’s next? Revising the design, Barker observed, would require a whole new public process – which had happened years ago, resulting in the existing design.

Attendee John Kinmouth wondered if there’s some middle ground that could be reached to permit interim use of the site. Is there any way to “follow other DIY traditions in the community, where they’ve been allowed to continue?” he wondered.

Cindi Barker recalled the bruising 2007-2008 battle to try to get skating incorporated in the Myrtle Reservoir Park dessign (here’s a sample of our coverage). She said that basically, rather than asking MoCA to shoulder this, the supporters themselves need to marshal neighborhood support and work with Parks. And she voiced disappointment that the skaters hadn’t come to MoCA sooner, “The bone you gotta pick is with Parks – when you work that out,” they’ll be happy to support it.

“We’re not going to go back to square one” with the old design, promised Schwindeller. He said they could bring in a “sub-consultant,” maybe someone like Grindline, to work on possibilities. There was also talk of surfacing this to new Parks Superintendent AP Diaz. The discussion concluded with a suggestion from Deb Barker that a meeting be set up sometime soon to hash through everything.

DEPARTMENT OF NEIGHBORHOODS: Rosa Garcia, now filling in as community-engagement coordinator, introduced herself and offered to help as a liaison between community members and city departments.

NEXT MEETING: MoCA meets quarterly, so the next meeting is January 18 – 2023!

-Tracy Record, WSB editor

From 16th SW concerns to stormwater-storage tank plan, here’s what happened at HPAC’s monthly meeting

Safety and stormwater were hot topics as HPAC – the community coalition for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge – met online this past Wednesday night.

SOUTHWEST PRECINCT: New third-watch (nighttime) commander Lt. Nathan Shopay was a guest. He was surprised to find how busy it is “deep into the night” in West Seattle/South Park – it’s the quietest precinct but still busy. “We augment a lot – a minimum amount of officers we have to get to (via volunteers) to get to 10 officers a night.” He said they run many “emphasis patrols,” including Westwood Village, and extra staffing for gun violence. He says cross-precinct dispatches to or from South Precinct are common. “Our priorities are … enough officers to serve the community (plus handling) shots calls, anything gun violence related, and we’re still going after all our violent offenders.”

16TH SW SAFETY: With the increase in RVs along 16th SW near South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), crime/safety concerns, said an attendee who works at the college. “I’m at a crossroad where I don’t know what to do with the situation.”

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Highland Park, Riverview, South Delridge: HPAC would love to see you Wednesday night!

September 27, 2022 7:01 pm
|    Comments Off on Highland Park, Riverview, South Delridge: HPAC would love to see you Wednesday night!
 |   Neighborhoods | West Seattle news

Summer’s over and community groups that went on summer hiatus are reconvening. Next one: HPAC – the community coalition for Highland Park, Riverview, South Delridge – meets Wednesday (September 28th) night online. Transportation (farewell, bridge-detour traffic) and safety – an SPD rep is expected to be there – are hot topics. So is the West Duwamish Wet Weather Storage Facility that’s being planned in the area. All are welcome – more details, and the info for attending by video/phone – can be found here.

The Great Pumpkin Search needs you, ferry-dock talk resumes, other notes from Fauntleroy Community Association’s September meeting

September 20, 2022 9:01 pm
|    Comments Off on The Great Pumpkin Search needs you, ferry-dock talk resumes, other notes from Fauntleroy Community Association’s September meeting
 |   Fauntleroy | Neighborhoods | West Seattle news

Key topics from the Fauntleroy Community Association‘s September meeting:

GREAT PUMPKIN SEARCH: This is happening October 8th – new format – and volunteer help would be appreciated. Here’s the announcement the FCA is circulating:

You can look forward to “The Great Pumpkin Search,” presented by the Fauntleroy Community Association. This fun event for the whole family will be on Saturday, October 8, from 2 to 5 pm. The Association will have a booth set up in the square across from Endolyne Joe’s. The pumpkins will be hidden in the streets that spoke out from that square. There will be little pumpkins easy to find for the wee ones and larger pumpkins harder to find for the grownups. As a bonus, there will be a few prize pumpkins to find. All of this is on a first come, first serve basis. We also encourage you to take a picture if you find pumpkins and post them on social media and tag it #FCAPumpkinSearch. Just like the Spring Egg Hunt, we would love volunteers to hide the pumpkins, but the area will be more concentrated around the square. If interested, please call or email Candace Blue, 206-401-8406, leeblue2@hotmail.com.

FAUNTLEROY FALL FESTIVAL: Coming up two weeks after that, this year’s Fauntleroy Fall Festival. Organizer Reed Haggerty said that while they’re bringing it back in-person this year, it won’t be exactly what you remember from before the pandemic, because costs have risen so much. While The Falconer will be back with birds, the petting zoo won’t. They’re also still in discussions on what can be done regarding features such as the climbing wall/bouncy toys. But many festival-favorite activities will return for sure – salmon-hat-making, pumpkin-painting, etc. Festival date is Sunday, October 23rd, 2-5 pm.

FERRY DOCK REPLACEMENT: Tomorrow (Wednesday, September 21st) brings the first Community Advisory Group meeting for the dock-replacement project since May. The FCA point person on Washington State Ferries issues, Frank Immel, said not much had been happening over the summer, but he expects narrowed-down replacement options to be presented at Wednesday’s 6 pm online meeting. (Here’s how to watch.) Also related to the dock project, FCA president Mike Dey said community advocates are still circulating petitions asking the City Council to hold to a 1990s resolution against expanding the dock’s footprint. The FCA recently supported a booth at the Farmers’ Market soliciting support.

NEXT FCA MEETING: The Fauntleroy Community Association meets second Tuesdays, 7 pm, most months, in-person at Fauntleroy Schoolhouse (9131 California SW) and online. Watch fauntleroy.net for information between meetings.

Police, party, parks, more @ Admiral Neighborhood Association

Want to connect with neighbors, businesses, others in Admiral? The Admiral Neighborhood Association hopes to help, and is having general meetings every two months these days to talk about it. Here’s what happened when the ANA invited everyone interested to pull up a chair on Tuesday night:

ANA vice president Joanie Jacobs facilitated the meeting at Admiral Congregational Church. As she said in welcoming the dozen-plus attendees, “We’re all here because we care about the Admiral neighborhood.”

Here are highlights of what they talked about:

ADMIRAL JUNCTION FUNKTION: It’s been almost three weeks since this first-time street party. In open discussion, one attendee described it as a “good start,” suggesting that in the future maybe more prep time could be planned for businesses. The relatively last-minute organizing was because the grant that helped fund the party wasn’t received very far in advance, Jacobs noted. She lauded the businesses that sponsored entertainment. Bebop Waffle Shop owner Corina Luckenbach hailed the “great energy.” Jacobs said people who stopped at the ANA booth were happy to have something going in their neighborhood. Another resident was happy to see restaurants “packed.”

SOUTHWEST PRECINCT POLICE: Lt. Mike Watson, second-watch commander (day shift), was there. Nothing major going on, he said. What are the top reasons for calls in this area? he was asked. Car prowls, auto thefts – he had a citywide stat on the latter, 483 all of last year, 708 so far this year. What can people do? “Don’t leave any valuables in your car … get a steering-wheel lock … send police video of suspicious folks you see on your home security video.” Please report everything, he urged – “we’re a data-driven department.” One resident mentioned a chronic shoplifter he frequently encounters at a local store. “I’m sure he’s been arrested multiple times,” suggested the lieutenant. “He has,” said the attendee. “There are multiple components of the justice system,” noted the lieutenant. In ensuing back and forth, the resident mentioned a recent encounter with the chronic shoplifter but hadn’t called police. “Why not?” asked the lieutenant. “What’s the point? He’s gone.” The lieutenant was resolute in urging that reports be filed. Another resident mentioned speeding problems. “Have you asked SDOT for traffic-calming humps?” Yes, they’ve worked with the city – and they’re trying to get organized again. They’re also hoping to get a light in the area. After a discussion of traffic safety, Lt. Watson shared more crime stats, citywide – all major types, including property crime, are up double-digits. Asked about staffing, he noted the department was down “about 400 officers.” He didn’t have specifics about the SW Precinct. What about morale? “We’ve been beat up a lot … (but) we’re hanging in there.” What are the top types of incidents you’ve been called for that you shouldn’t be? The lieutenant declined to directly answer that one but had some advice: “Even the most mundane (incident) can turn violent … just call us.” One attendee talked about a person who seemed to be overdosing; SFD and SPD were called, and the person said they didn’t want help. In that case, Lt. Watson said, they have no choice but to back off. Somebody else talked about a person who was shot in the neighborhood in an abandoned car about which police had been notified. If someone is living in their car the lieutenant noted, they can’t do anything about it.

HIAWATHA INACCESSIBILITY: ANA couldn’t have summer concerts or even an outdoor movie at Hiawatha Community Center park this summer, having been told that there would be work under way … but there wasn’t. Parks declined to send a guest to this meeting but sent info via email. The official timeline: Two projects remain planned for Hiawatha, the community center stabilization project – “They’re still waiting on a FEMA grant” – hoping to have grant approval in late September, would then proceed with bidding, work to be done in winter. (Back in June, Parks told us they expected grant approval “shortly.”) Hiawatha Play Area Renovation/Relocation – got approval in late July, hoping bid this fall, construction in winter. Next year they’ll have a backup plan if the Hiawatha projects are further delayed – likely Hamilton Viewpoint.

ADMIRAL CHURCH’S FUTURE: Anita Shaffer from the church council said they’re continuing on conversation and have no new info to share – just that progress is being made. There was a survey Rev. Andrew Conley-Holcom summarized some of the original conversations dating back four years. The planning got shelved as COVID – and then came the focus on land trust; they’re talking with Homestead CLT about viability. “Our congregation is really committed to staying in this neighborhood” rather than selling for the “gobs of money” the site would likely bring, Rev. Conley-Holcom stressed. He recapped the type of affordable housing that’s largely not being built – 65 to 85 percent of AMI. Something that fits into the neighborhood, as the pastor said. The church has been here since 1899 – “we want to continue to be a part of this neighborhood, not apart from it.” They’ll have more community conversations when there’s something more to talk about.

UPCOMING EVENTS: Admiral District trick or treating is set for 3-6 pm October 31st this year … Next ANA meeting will be at 7 pm November 15th … A “.5K beer run,” sort of a pub crawl, is in the works for early next year.

ONLINE: Watch connecttoadmiral.org for updates.ndee volunteered to handle.

Live, work, play, shop, study in Admiral? Here’s what to do on Tuesday

September 11, 2022 10:41 am
|    Comments Off on Live, work, play, shop, study in Admiral? Here’s what to do on Tuesday
 |   Neighborhoods | West Seattle news

If you have any connection to the Admiral area, the Admiral Neighborhood Association would love to see you Tuesday. ANA is having a general meeting at 7 pm at Admiral Church (4320 SW Hill). Concerned about crime/safety? An update from the Southwest Precinct is planned. Want to talk about the recent Admiral Junction Funktion street party? They’ll be doing that too. And you can find out in advance about what’s planned in Admiral this fall. Just show up! (Inbetween meetings, you can also check out the group’s website, connecttoadmiral.org.)

CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: With rapist still at large, North Delridge residents to gather

No arrest yet in Monday’s North Delridge sexual assault, nor do detectives have any new information to release, Seattle Police tell WSB today. But area residents plan an action Friday night. “We want to bring awareness and support, and make the authorities look at us and do something,” says one neighbor. Another tells WSB the neighborhood’s reaction began with anger but then led to a search “for ways to bring more attention to this issue.” They plan to meet up at Cottage Grove Park at 5 pm tomorrow (Friday, August 19th) to place teal balloons around the neighborhood; that’s the color for sexual-assault awareness. They’ll also be circulating flyers. They want to ensure everyone knows this happened. The victim was attacked around 6:15 pm Monday; police searched the 26th/Juneau vicinity and beyond for hours, but SPD has released few details and only a description of what the attacker was wearing.

PHOTOS: Night Out 2022, with parties around West Seattle!

7:23 PM: Thanks to JoDean for the annual invitation to stop by her Arbor Heights neighborhood block party for a photo! It’s Night Out all around the U.S., a time for community-building block parties, with an emphasis on how neighbors can help each other stay safe. Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner tells WSB that more than 230 block parties are registered for West Seattle and South Park tonight. We’ll add more photos later.

ADDED: Games and entertainment enhanced the night at many parties. Above, Gary‘s block in Fauntleroy had a bouncy toy to keep the littlest attendees enthralled. Below, Jon‘s block (46th SW west of The Junction) had a cornhole game:

From Dragonfly Park in North Delridge, Laura sent this clip with the live music they were enjoying:

Laura explains who was playing: “It’s Doc HighDr8 tha PHilosoRaptor with Willie knockz and penny passion. Their band is Tha Nothin. Then there’s Rachel McDonald from the band OuijaBoob on ukelele. Finally Damian playing a mean harmonica. They just all came with their instruments and created some great original tunes on the spot! It was a really great evening and much needed.” … South of Admiral on 46th SW, Al says, Space Tractor was onstage:

At Steve Cox Memorial Park in White Center, the Teen Program‘s Family Night Out offered a treasure hunt and related-theme activities:

Via text, a group photo texted from the Night Out party in the 6700 block of 38th SW and Warsaw. “Love our neighbors — old & new!” the texter enthused.

We heard about new neighbors at a couple of our stops – people excited to welcome new arrivals. … From the 9000 block of 21st SW, Greg (a pro photographer), sent a drone pic of neighbors at his party:

And from Kelly’s party off Admiral between Walnut and 41st:

Kelly says, “We have a busy street that a thousand plus people cut down every day. We have such joy blocking it for 4 hours and bringing the neighbors together! Biggest turnout since 2019. Good to have the neighbors back together. Love WS! Pizza ordered locally from Pagliacci’s!” … Allison in Arbor Heights sent a pic from her block party near 108th & 36th SW:

Thanks to everybody who sent pics!

Seattle Department. of Neighborhoods needs a new director, again

Six months to the day after Mayor Bruce Harrell announced Greg Wong as his choice to lead the Department of Neighborhoods, he’s made another announcement about Wong … bumping him up to Deputy Mayor. The announcement says Wong’s appointment follows the resignation of Kendee Yamaguchi, who had been a deputy mayor for seven months.. Department of Neighborhoods deputy director Sarah Morningstar will lead DoN while a new permanent director is sought; she’s been with the department for four years, after 16 years as an educator. Wong had spoken to the District 1 Community Network about his DoN plans just last month.

COUNTDOWN: One week until Night Out returns

July 26, 2022 9:00 am
|    Comments Off on COUNTDOWN: One week until Night Out returns
 |   Neighborhoods | West Seattle news | West Seattle police

One week from tonight – on Tuesday, August 2nd – side streets around West Seattle (and beyond) will close for neighbors’ block parties during the return of Night Out. It’s a national community-building event with history going back almost 40 years. To close your (non-arterial) street for a Night Out block party, all you have to do is register here.

P.S. If you’re having a party, Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner has an offer for you:

On Monday August 1st (the day before Night Out) from 10 am – 2 pm I will be at the SW Precinct, in the community meeting room, to provide you with crime prevention materials, swag, and goodies to give away at your parties!

Please feel free to come by during that time to pick up whatever you might need/want for your get-together.

I will have a variety of goodies, and they will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

If you’ve never been to the precinct, it’s at 2300 SW Webster; the community room is right off the public parking lot on the south side of the building.

‘Not as bad’ summer discussed @ Alki Community Council

Roughly midway through the summer season at Alki, it’s “not as bad as years past.” So observed Seattle Police Southwest Precinct Officer Tammy Frame, first guest at this month’s Alki Community Council meeting online and in person this past Thursday night.

That’s not to say the beach has been trouble-free. Some residents were there with complaints. But there was general acknowledgment that the early beach closure – 10 pm, with fires to be out at 9:30 pm – makes a “significant difference.” One resident said, “A lot of the noise and rowdiness has evaporated.’ Even the Fourth of July was “much quieter,” attendees agreed; Officer Frame said the (unannounced) street closures that night were planned because police were “expecting a bigger crowd.”

Fast, loud driving continues to be a concern on Alki and Harbor Avenues, though, and one attendee specifically wanted to discuss aggressive driving and other problems on 56th SW, especially from people coming downhill toward the beach from Admiral Way. Neighbors have been asking for traffic-calming measures but “getting the runaround” including suggestions to apply for a variety of city grant programs that are either inactive or not applicable for transportation projects. Officer Frame suggested contacting Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner for clearer information on possible solutions.

As for the Harbor Avenue concerns – not just aggressive driving, but also the continuing presence of RVs – one local condo complex is hosting a meeting with police this week and has invited reps from other complexes too. Asked how best to voice concerns about RVs, Officer Frame mentioned the Find It Fix It app, as well as contacting the Parks Department, which she described as the current “lead” on encampment issues. But she also stressed, if/when you see crime or “suspicious activity,” call 911 – “we need data” to quantify concerns, she stressed.

One more note before the shorter-than-usual meeting wrapped up – the Alki Elementary rebuild project has an “environmental checklist” online now for comment – find it linked from this page (scroll down to Alki Elementary, click the plus sign to expand; you’ll also find info on how to comment).

NEXT MEETING: The Alki Community Council will take August off, so next meeting is September 22nd.

Street safety and more discussed at Morgan Community Association’s July meeting

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The Morgan Community Association‘s quarterly meeting last night started with what’s become a more-urgent-than-ever topic in West Seattle after two traffic deaths in less than three months:

(WSB photo, May 6)

CHANGES AT CALIFORNIA/FINDLAY: The city’s semi-new traffic engineer Venu Nemani was at the online meeting to talk about improvements to California/Findlay in the wake of the crash that killed 30-year-old Nicholas Wolf in May as he crossed the street just north of the intersection, headed to his home. SDOT recently announced the crossing on the south side of the intersection will be upgraded fron flashing overhead lights to a pedestrian-activated “half-signal.”

Nemani noted that the intersection falls in the middle of almost a mile of California without signals, and that it’s one of only a few RapidRide stations without a signal nearby.

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Terminal 5, Department of Neighborhoods, West Seattle Dog Park Coalition, more @ District 1 Community Network

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The heart of summer is usually light on community meetings, but the District 1 Community Network had an information-packed July meeting this past week.

Three topics brought guests to the online meeting.

TERMINAL 5: The Northwest Seaport Alliance – which oversees cargo operations for the ports of Seattle and Tacoma – had updates on Terminal 5, the West Seattle facility that opened one “modernized” berth to ships earlier this year and continues construction on a second berth. For one, they’re now not expecting operations to launch at that second berth until early 2024.

As of the meeting on Wednesday night, the first berth had handled 38 vessel calls, out of 299 total in Seattle and Tacoma during the same time period.

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WEDNESDAY: Department of Neighborhoods director @ District 1 Community Network

Some community groups are on summer hiatus, but not the District 1 Community Network. The coalition of community advocates from West Seattle and South Park is meeting online tomorrow (Wednesday, July 6th) at 7 pm, with a city department head as guest: Greg Wong, director of the Department of Neighborhoods. The DoN’s mission has evolved in recent years, through multiple mayoral administrations, so this is a chance to hear/ask about its focus as Mayor Bruce Harrell‘s first year continues. Also on the D1CN agenda: The Port of Seattle, the West Seattle Dog Park Coalition, and the Fauntleroy Community Association‘s latest feedback in Washington State Ferries‘ dock-replacement process. All are welcome to attend and participate in D1CN meetings; connection info is in the agenda. (Here’s our coverage from D1CN’s conversation with the mayor last month.)

Why park grass is so tall, and what else we learned at Alki Community Council’s June meeting

Seattle Parks‘ new regional crew chief and the Southwest Precinct‘s day-shift commander were guests at the Alki Community Council‘s June meeting, held in-person and online last night.

SEATTLE PARKS’ CREW CHIEF: Insights beyond Alki were shared by Kristy Darcy, recently promoted to crew chief for Seattle Parks’ southwest area, a position left open when Carol Baker retired from a 40+-year career. First – for everyone wondering about the tall grass at local parks – for one thing, it’s growing faster than usual everywhere because of the wet, cool weather. For two, even though they’ve just done a lot of hiring, they still don’t have all the staff they need to keep up with the 85 parks and 13 athletic fields for which they’re responsible. They’re trying their best to catch up, though.

They’re also catching up with gardening – two gardener positions have been filled and they have someone working in that role full-time for the first time in two years. This past week, the newly hired gardeners were working to get the grounds of Colman Pool ready for its opening tomorrow (Saturday, June 18th). Next week, they take on the flower beds near the Alki Bathhouse – Darcy, who used to be a Parks gardener, ordered 1,400 annuals, and they’re hoping for volunteers to show up and help plant them next Friday – just show up, noon-4 pm June 24th.

Darcy shared one odd anecdote from Alki (we also heard a bit about this from a reader) – that someone tried to pry the plaque off the Denny Party monument at 63rd/Alki early Thursday. A person driving by apparently scared off the would-be plaque thieves.

In all, the staff has gone from 14 to 30 people, Darcy said, and they have two extra people to help at closing time, particularly helpful now that the early closing time for summer (10 pm) is in effect.

SOUTHWEST PRECINCT: Lt. Michael Watson, second-watch (day shift) commander, was there to answer questions about Alki. He noted that the summertime “emphasis patrol” is back, and also that the 10 pm closure doesn’t just apply to the beach – Don Armeni Boat Ramp is also being closed at 10 pm too, to try to cut down on the racing and other vehicle-related problems. The motorcycle crash earlier in the week near Don Armeni was brought up, but no new information emerged. Lt. Watson did mention something that’s come up at other community meetings – if your security camera captures “criminal activity” and a suspect can be identified from it, that could be enough for “probable cause” for an arrest.

The Alki Community Council meets on third Thursdays at 7 pm most months – watch alkicommunitycouncil.org for updates.

Starting his sixth month on the job, Mayor Bruce Harrell talks with District 1 Community Network

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Whatever you’re concerned about, Mayor Bruce Harrell wants you to know he is working on it – or has just hired, or is about to hire, someone who will be.

That was the theme during his first guest appearance answering questions from the District 1 Community Network during its monthly meeting online tonight.

MAYOR HARRELL: This was the mayor’s first appearance at any public West Seattle community-group meeting. He opened by saying he’s trying to be “transparent in what we’re trying to do,” taking action “with kindness, with data … we don’t mince words … we work seven days a week.” D1CN prepared questions in advance to start with. First, he was asked about city neighborhood-district councils, which were supported by the city until two mayors ago. (D1CN is a hybrid successor to what were the Southwest and Delridge Neighborhood District Councils covering west and east West Seattle respectively.) Harrell said he hired Greg Wong as Department of Neighborhoods director to determine “in neighborhoods, what works best?” He said he hopes to have, “maybe by end of summer,” “a strong recommendation on what the new kind of neighborhood network should look like.” He asked for neighborhoods’ input on that.

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RETURNING: Night Out block parties

Yet another summer tradition is returning this year for the first time since 2019: Night Out block parties to celebrate community safety. Southwest Precinct crime-prevention coordinator Jennifer Danner just announced that registration is open if you’re interested in closing your (non-arterial) street for a block party – find the link here. Night Out is the first Tuesday in August, so this year that’ll be August 2nd. (Here’s our coverage of 2019’s Night Out around West Seattle.)

Mayor Harrell’s Q&A with District 1 Community Network set for Wednesday

The District 1 Community Network – a coalition of West Seattle/South Park advocates – finally gets its long-planned visit from Mayor Bruce Harrell this Wednesday (June 1st). It’s an online meeting, all welcome; the group has questions lined up, but only gets half an hour with the mayor, so there won’t be much if any time for open Q&A, but the group has been discussing questions spanning a variety of topics, from public safety to transportation to land use to homelessness. (On that last topic, this appearance will be on the day after Harrell’s scheduled Tuesday announcement of his long-awaited plan to deal with the crisis.) The meeting is at 7 pm Wednesday; viewing and call-in information is in our calendar listing for the meeting.

Visit a West Seattle fire station on Neighbor Day

May 5, 2022 6:39 pm
|    Comments Off on Visit a West Seattle fire station on Neighbor Day
 |   Neighborhoods | West Seattle news

(WSB file photo)

We can’t guarantee you’ll get to sit inside a fire engine, but all five of West Seattle’s fire stations will be open to the public 11 am-1 pm Saturday (May 7th) for the citywide celebration of Neighbor Day. They are:

Fire Station 11 in Highland Park (16th/Holden)
Fire Station 29 in North Admiral (2139 Ferry SW)
Fire Station 32 in The Triangle (38th/Alaska)
Fire Station 36 by the bridge (3600 23rd SW)
Fire Station 37 in Sunrise Heights (35th/Holden)

SFD says everyone’s welcome and encouraged to visit, but just remember the firefighters are still on duty in case of an emergency, so there’s a chance they might have to suit up and head out while you’re there.