West Seattle, Washington
When the District 1 Community Network met a month ago, participants agreed the West Seattle Bridge closure needed some kind of community advisory group. Since then, one’s been announced, and that’ll be part of the discussion at D1CN’s meeting this Wednesday night (June 3rd). The agenda includes an informal West Seattle Bridge Update, plus a discussion of the new Community Task Force, and then a city Department of Neighborhoods rep will present a preview of the Neighborhood Traffic Project Prioritization Process that’s scheduled to start next week. Wrapping up the bridge discussion, the group will hear briefly from Bob Ortblad, who suggests an “immersed-tube tunnel” if the bridge needs to be replaced. Other topics include the proposed West Seattle Sports Complex and an appeal of the 4508 California SW development plan.
You’re welcome to be part of the meeting at 7 pm Wednesday:
*Link is here
*Meeting ID: 222 985 415
*Password: 625318 (only needed if you manually enter the meeting number)
Phone number: 669-900-6833
Meeting ID: 222 985 415
Historic Highland Park Improvement Club has continued to be a community hub despite operational constraints during the pandemic. And it’s getting some TLC, too. The update is from HPIC trustee Kay Kirkpatrick:
While we are closed due to the Stay-Home Order, activity continues at the Highland Park Improvement Club.
As readers may know, we are helping distribute food to children and families in need Monday – Friday from the club parking lot. (11 am-1 pm)
In addition, we are taking advantage of the down time by doing some long-needed building repairs using a facilities grant from King County 4Culture.
On Saturday, our contractor team from Metis Construction, a worker-owned company here in Seattle, landed and staged a re-enforcing roof beam into the center of our 100-year-old building. Taking advantage of a brief break in the rain, they lifted and fed this 3500-pound steel beam from the parking in through the side of the historic hall.
Inside, they will be lifting it into place over the next couple of weeks to stabilize the roof support structure, and get the club building ready for whatever the next 100 years throws at us.
In “normal” times, HPIC (at 12th/Holden) is a nonprofit community hub for a wide variety of activities and events – classes, celebrations, meetings, more.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The proposal to remove one downhill lane of Highland Park Way traffic and add an uphill protected bicycle lane is shelved for now.
That was the big headline from last night’s HPAC discussion with SDOT, a week and a half after that particular detail of the Highland Park Way/Holden safety project update came to light, sparking controversy.
Instead, SDOT will focus on figuring out how to expand the trail along the downhill lanes.
But first, HPAC got a West Seattle Bridge update that segued into traffic issues. SDOT’s Heather Marx recapped where things stand and what’s been done related to traffic effects – all of which we’ve reported on, but if you’re interested in a recap, check out this SDOT post from earlier this week, and our most-recent update. On the bridge itself, they’re preparing for Pier 18 work, and the new Community Task force and Technical Advisory Panel will have their first meetings the week of June 8th.
Traffic-mitigation projects will be focused on what can be done in less than a year and for less than $100,000 because that way SDOT doesn’t have to send them out to bid and can move faster. Plans, she said, will address effects on SODO, South Park, Georgetown, Highland Park, Riverview, South Delridge, Roxhill – in other words, the areas now getting barraged with detour traffic. When the draft traffic-mitigation plans are out, they’ll look for community prioritization. The timeline for the plans is approximately:
That’s soprano Ellaina Lewis, performing a surprise show in a West Seattle neighborhood this past weekend. L’Nayim Austin explains:
My husband and I celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary this weekend. Since we are social distancing, we couldn’t celebrate in the usual way (dinner and show). So, as a surprise for my husband, I commissioned a West Seattle friend and opera singer, Ellaina Lewis, to perform a short opera outside our home (following social distancing recommendations).
It was a lovely performance enjoyed by my husband, and everyone else in the neighborhood. The weather cooperated, and Ellaina’s beautiful soprano voice was magical. Two neighbors took videos.
Perhaps next time one of your readers needs a bit of celebration, they might consider hiring a local artist for an outdoor serenade. A little art during these times goes a long way to raise the soul.
(In the other clip, she sings an Elvis Presley classic.) P.S. Happy anniversary to L’Nayim and husband!
If you live and/or work in Highland Park, Riverview, or South Delridge, your community council HPAC invites you to the monthly meeting online tonight at 7 pm, featuring guests from SDOT. The main topic: The newly unveiled details of the Highland Park Way/Holden Safety Project. A brief West Seattle Bridge update is planned too. See the agenda, and how to access the meeting via Zoom or phone, by going here.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Would removing parking solve the problem of drivers gathering along West Seattle’s public waterfront?
That was one of the suggestions as residents of three Alki-area neighborhoods dominated the discussion at the Alki Community Council‘s onlne meeting last Thursday night.
The meeting began with an update from Southwest Precinct operations commander Lt. Steve Strand. While police have launched their seasonal emphasis at Alki, he warned that the city’s COVID-19-related budget crunch is reducing the amount of money available for overtime to staff those extra assignments (and others). Nonetheless, extra officers were planned for two of the three days on Memorial Day weekend.
Addressing the driver-gathering concerns, he said the “Stay Healthy Streets” designation for Beach Drive by Constellation Park (and then Alki Avenue west of 63rd) was inspired by the ongoing problems there. The situation worsened after the Don Armeni Boat Ramp parking lot was closed, he noted, displacing the “car clubs” who liked to gather there. He acknowledged that the problem keeps shifting, and noted that they’re “looking at long-term solutions” if, as has been suggested by SDOT, the Constellation Park-side change is temporary.
Neighborhood-group meetings continue online, for those that choose to host them that way. Next one is tonight, the Alki Community Council, at 7 pm. This is the ACC’s first meeting since the city’s much-discussed move to turn part of Alki Avenue and Beach Drive around Alki Point into a “Stay Healthy Street.” Topics also include an upcoming discussion scheduled between Beach Drive neighbors and police, and Piers 1/2. The ACC meeting tonight will be online at this link, ID 930 5612 1563 and PW 167267, or by phone at 253-215-8782.
Back on March 26th, we published video sent by Richard in the Fairmount Park area,spotlighting his neighbor Anton‘s nightly saxophone serenades. Today, Richard sent this update:
Pretty amazing dedication and spirit in our community. Every evening, rain or shine – Fairmount Park’s neighbors come out at 6 pm to enjoy Anton’s performances. We all observe “physical distancing” while his performances entertain us during this pandemic. Anton, with the support of his wife (Dawn), has been awesome: his first serenade was on March 24th – 57 straight days and going strong!
Any longrunning pandemic traditions in YOUR neighborhood?
Reader report from North Delridge via text:
With Seattle Parks grounds crews overwhelmed, these neighbors and others decided to mow out most of Puget Blvd. Park (Sunday) evening for the little kids to run. One was even using a push mower. Good social distancing too.
The area is adjacent the Delridge P-Patch.
Too cute to wait until the nightly roundup! Lana sent the photo and update on the dragon we first featured four weeks ago:
A kind Gatewood neighbor has been making cloth masks. Today she dropped off one for the Gatewood Dragon. The Gatewood Dragon has several daily visitors. Our plan is to leave the Gatewood Dragon up until the quarantine has lifted. Don’t want any sad or worried faces when the Gatewood Dragon returns to work.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
As city leaders make decisions about the West Seattle Bridge‘s future and the impacts of its long-term closure, who can/should speak for the peninsula?
That was a major topic at the May meeting of the District 1 Community Network, a coalition of West Seattle and South Park community advocates, with 30 people in attendance via videoconferencing/phone.
D1CN members weren’t suggesting their coalition should or could take on that role. But in the course of two hours’ discussion, an idea took shape:
In pre-pandemic times, the Fauntleroy Community Association‘s annual membership meeting was held in conjunction with a big community gathering, the Fauntleroy Food Fest. This year’s FFF was set for March 17th – and then, like so many other events this spring, had to be canceled. But FCA is still having an annual meeting, 7 pm tomorrow (Tuesday, May 12th), via Zoom, and community members are invited. Details and the registration link are here.
First Little Free Libraries; now, the “Little Free” movement has expanded in a variety of ways, and here’s another one! The report and photo are from Brad:
My partner has installed a shoebox full of love letters for neighbors inside our Little Free Library. She’s deemed it the Little Free Love Letter pop-up and it’s pretty adorable, full of kind, funny, thoughtful cards for anyone to take and enjoy. She’s always been a serious card-giver, but here she’s taken it to a new level. She knows people are struggling out there, big problems or small; she’s sending some handmade love. So please, stop by and grab a letter! If you’re feeling inspired, feeling the love, drop one off for a random neighbor! 3224 61st Ave SW
If your neighborhood hasn’t been visited by Seattle Fire and/or Police during one of the past three Friday nights – maybe this week! SFD and SPD will be out this Friday (May 8th), 6:30-7:30 pm, for what has just been announced as one last round of “Friday Night Lights,” with vehicles from both departments traveling through neighborhoods around the city as a show of support/solidarity. The plan is to visit areas in the highlighted sections of this map.
The West Seattle Bridge is on the District 1 Community Network‘s monthly agenda, tomorrow night at 7 pm, online – not an SDOT presentation, but rather a community discussion. D1CN is a coalition of community members from a variety of groups and organizations, but anyone from West Seattle or South Park is welcome. Here’s the agenda:
Introductions and Approval of Minutes 7:05
WS Bridge (7:30 – 8:00)
*WS Bridge Update – WSTC, Deb Barker & Larry Wymer
*WS Bridge Alternative Routing – SPNA Aley Thompson
*WS Bridge Discussion – Brainstorming
West Seattle Bike Connections – Bob Winship (8:00 – 8:15)
Racial & Social Justice Tool Kit – Randy Wiger (8:15 – 8:30)
Call for New Proposals (8:30)
New projects or activities that we want to launch
You are welcome to join the meeting via Zoom or by phone (call 669-900-6833; meeting ID: 222 985 415; password: 625318).
That’s Gwendolyn, editor-in-chief of West Seattle’s newest neighborhood-news publication, with “this week’s issue, hot off the presses,” explains Laurel, who sent the photo and report:
We wanted to let you know about a news publication that has been created in response to the coronavirus shutdown. Gwendolyn, a Gatewood second-grader, has started her own newspaper called The Daily Excitement. It’s a weekly! She has gotten the whole family involved and we also have guest reporters from around West Seattle and as far away as Arizona and Portland. We’ve published 5 issues so far and we are going strong. You can find it at thedailyexcitement.com. and readers can write to us with feedback or submissions at email@example.com. All are welcome.
Five issues are already online! We just browsed the first one; topics include gardening, birding, and cooking, with the last category featuring the headline “Salted Caramel Sauce: Dangerous, or Delicious?”
Reminder of two events tonight addressing the West Seattle Bridge closure:
DIGITAL TOWN HALL: City Councilmembers Lisa Herbold and Alex Pedersen are hosting this, with an SDOT preentation and community Q&A, 5-6:30 pm. You need to RSVP here; the link will be sent about an hour in advance to everyone who RSVPs. (Update: 2,200+ as of this morning, according to Herbold’s office.) That link also will explain how to ask a question. Go here to RSVP. (4:22 pm update: Livestream will be here.)
HPAC MEETING: 7-8 pm, the community council for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge – neighborhoods now carrying the weight of bridge-detour traffic – will meet online, with an SDOT guest. Unlike the city-organized town hall, there is an attendance limit for this meeting, so they ask that only people from those three communities participate. Details are here.
Something to do on this gray afternoon, if you haven’t done it already – make your window/yard display for Earth Day – which is tomorrow! Last week, we published the call from the Care for Creation team (from Holy Rosary and Our Lady of Guadalupe parishes) to “place Earth-related photos or illustrations in windows or signs in yards to demonstrate solidarity with our planet.” Businesses are participating too – here’s the very first photo we received, from Cynthia at West Seattle Chiropractic, who says this is in the window at their (temporarily closed) clinic:
We’ll be showing more tomorrow – send a photo of YOUR display to firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
Two more art sightings shared by WSB readers – first, via text:
My daughter and I are making weekly installations in our sidewalk garden. This week is Where the Wild Things Are. We love to see little kids spot these with their families. We’re 372x SW Ida in Gatewood.
And via email:
Wanted to send a message about some fun that somebody set up in the Barton Street P-Patch; an egg hunt of sorts that I spotted with my kids . They had fun going the through to find all of the eggs! Thanks to whoever organized it.
What are YOU seeing? email@example.com or text 206-293-6302 – include your name so we can credit you – thank you!
Through these stay-home weeks, we’ve seen – and heard about – displays from teddy bears in windows to chalk art on sidewalk. Here’s a suggestion we’ve received for next Wednesday, April 22, in honor of Earth Day. From Vince Stricherz:
To mark the 50th anniversary celebration of Earth Day on April 22, the Care for Creation team from Holy Rosary and Our Lady of Guadalupe parishes is urging people all over West Seattle to place Earth-related photos or illustrations in their windows or signs in their yards to demonstrate solidarity with our planet.
There is only one Earth and it needs our attention. While we can’t get together right now, we can still show our hope and love for our common home. One possibility is for kids to make drawings around themes of clean water and air, and healthy soil. You also can download and print images such as the one below. As we walk around our neighborhoods, we hope to see lots of pictures celebrating our treasured Earth.
If you join in, send us a photo! firstname.lastname@example.org or text 206-293-6302 – thank you!
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
With at least another month of staying home ahead, community groups are getting into the virtual groove.
The latest: The District 1 Community Network, which gathered 20 people by videoconferencing and phone this past Wednesday night.
They represented organizations including the Admiral Neighborhood Association, Fauntleroy Community Association, West Seattle Be Prepared, Morgan Community Association, Alki Community Council, West Seattle Transportation Coalition, Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Coalition, West Seattle Junction Association, HPAC, South Park Neighborhood Association, West Seattle Bike Connections, West Seattle Blockwatch Captains Network, and more.
Spotlight guest: City Councilmember Lisa Herbold.
Two organized plans for Saturday night neighborhood fun:
PIGEON POINT ‘STREET DANCE’: Pete on Pigeon Point shares the PP plan:
There’ll be a social-distancing street dance in the neighborhood on Saturday night at 5:30 pm. Just come outside and bust a few moves. Decide who will provide music on your section of the block!
Certainly an idea that’s adaptable/adoptable anywhere.
WEST SEATTLE SINGALONG: Kerriann sent word of this: 7 pm Saturday night, a peninsula-wide singalong to Seattle band Foo Fighters‘ 2003 song “Times Like These.”
Let’s gather together (in song) as the strong West Seattle community that we are! On Saturday, April 4th, at 7 pm, join your neighbors in singing “Times Like These” by Foo Fighters!
Sing out of your windows, open your front door, stand in your yard, driveway, or on the sidewalk! We can come together while still social-distancing!
You can find the lyrics online in many places; here’s one.
The photos and explanation are from Hal:
A neighbor left a nice note in my mailbox. I don’t know who left it but it was very nice. I drew a heart on a separate piece of paper and taped them both to my house’s front window, I thought maybe the person who wrote it might see that it was appreciated.
Thanks to the friend who suggested Hal share it with us, so we could share it with you!