West Seattle, Washington
They’re known more for washing (and styling) hair than for washing cars, but today the staff of Illusions Hair Design (WSB sponsor) became volunteer vehicle-scrubbers to raise money for Pencil Me In For Kids. When we dropped by the car-wash site outside the West Seattle Eagles‘ HQ in The Junction during the car wash’s final hour, they were already closing in on 30 cars. Speaking of volunteer power, we got an “after” photo from Saturday’s last round of portable-painting at Pathfinder K-8:
Those three are from the Highland Park Action Committee (from left, Jessie, Dina Johnson, Blair Johnson), which maintained a presence at White Center Jubilee Days all weekend as part of its campaign against the two potential city jail sites in southeast West Seattle. (Wondering about the costumes? Blair’s is obvious; Jessie and Dina were going with the WCJD “Pirates” theme.) HPAC’s next meeting is 7 pm tomorrow (Monday) night, Highland Park Improvement Club @ 11th/Holden, where they’ll plot strategy for Saturday morning’s city-organized jail-sites forum @ South Seattle Community College‘s Brockey Center (9 am-noon). Dina also sent photos from an entirely unrelated event – the Mediterranean Fantasy Festival this weekend at Hiawatha:
That’s Habib, dancing solo. Dina shared a few more Medfest photos, which (if you’re viewing this from the home page) are a click away:Read More
The forum this morning at North Seattle Community College was intended to focus on the proposed Aurora site, though the city had said discussion of any of the 4 sites (including the two in West Seattle) would be welcome. We’re expecting an update from Highland Park Action Committee reps in attendance, but in the meantime, the P-I has posted a story. 9:05 PM UPDATE: HPAC tells us members will be at Summer Fest in The Junction tomorrow gathering signatures, and they’ve sent a report from Ken Knoke, who attended today’s north-end forum:Read More
As reported here this morning, Seattle and other “north and east King County cities” are now looking to team up on construction of a new misdemeanor-offender jail, because of the cost savings suggested by preliminary results of a new feasibility study. The Highland Park Action Committee, which has been leading the opposition to the two West Seattle sites on the city’s “final four” list of locations, has now weighed in with its reactionRead More
Just in from the city – Seattle and “other north and east King County cities” are now looking at building one jail for the misdemeanor offenders the county says it eventually won’t be able to handle, instead of each city (or smaller combinations thereof) building its own – based on the results of a new “feasibility study.” The question would remain, where would a semi-regional jail be built; at last month’s Delridge District Council meeting (WSB coverage here), City Councilmember Sally Clark said, â€œOther cities think a regional solution is great … as long as it (the jail) is in Seattle. Meantime, we’ll be pursuing reaction on this morning’s announcement; for starters, read on for the news release just sent by the city:Read More
Highland Park Action Committee leaders continue their tour of West Seattle community groups, tonight visiting the Fauntleroy Community Association‘s monthly meeting. HPAC chair Dorsol Plants and vice chair Rory Denovan told the FCA about a letter that’s being drafted asking the Port of Seattle to support them in opposing the two potential city-jail sites in West Seattle, particularly the West Marginal Way/Highland Park Way site; HPAC contends the site’s location near the Duwamish Waterway and its industrial area means a jail “has enormous potential to permanently impair efficient movement of freight” and would run counter to the port’s Seaport Shoreline Plan, which the HPAC draft letter says “calls for discouraging non-industrial uses in the industrially zoned area around Terminal 115.” Next scheduled event in the city’s jail-site-vetting process: A public forum at 9 am Saturday at North Seattle Community College, intended to focus on the Aurora site that’s on the “final four” location list (with the two West Seattle sites as well as a spot in Interbay), but open to anyone. All WSB coverage of the jail-sites fight, by the way, is archived here.
Latest in the process of deciding where the city might build a new jail for misdemeanor offenders – with “final four” potential sites including two in southeastern West Seattle: City Councilmember Sally Clark made this point while speaking to the Delridge District Council last month (WSB coverage here) – the city contends that even if the county extends its jail-space agreement with Seattle and other cities – as the County Council wants to do — that doesn’t stop the city’s jail-planning process. Here’s the news release just issued by the city, in which officials explain why: (ADDED 5:02 PM – following the city news release, we’ve added the one the county just sent, which notes toward the end that the county is currently below once-projected jail population)Read More
Six days after the first city-organized public meeting about the two proposed misdemeanor-jail sites in West Seattle (photo above; complete WSB coverage here), the city sends word of two online updates: “written feedback” and video from the meeting, posted here, and what’s described as “a document describing the public forum format,” posted here (the format itself generated some controversy and complaints during last week’s meeting). The next scheduled city-organized meeting is July 12 at North Seattle Community College and is intended to focus on the Aurora site; WSB coverage of the jail-sites fight, stretching back to first word of the “final four” location list including the two WS sites, is archived here.
-The proposal for King County to reopen talks with cities regarding extending the agreement for jail services – potentially pre-empting the need for the Seattle city jail that might wind up sited in West Seattle – moved out of the county council Committee of the Whole today and goes next to the full council. (Dow Constantine represents you there; here’s how to contact him.)
-We’re watching the Seattle City Council meeting (live on cable 21 or online here) and they’ve just passed the somewhat-controversial Multi-Family Tax Exemption for developers, 7-1 (Licata, no) and a bill on condo conversions, 8-0. Will add links shortly. P.S. The council’s Viaduct briefing is finally about to start (4:05 or so).
-If you have something to say about whether a new parks levy should be on this fall’s ballot, and whether what’s in the levy proposal is what you’d want to pay for, another hearing has just been set – July 10 (a week from Thursday), 5:30 pm, City Hall, before the city council’s Parks Committee (chaired by West Seattle-residing Councilmember Tom Rasmussen).
That two-minute video shows you the most emotional moments — out of MANY emotional moments — at tonight’s city-organized public forum about the two West Seattle sites that are among the “final four” possible city-jail locations. Highland Park Elementary teacher Laura Drake truly brought down the house; we were at a table with Highland Park Action Committee leaders and members, and some were dabbing at tears after Drake finished. Concern, as well as raw emotion, also centered around the process, the meeting’s format, the lack of background information about how the city whittled down its original list of sites, and much more – here’s our full report (finalized in the early am):Read More
The jail meeting has wrapped up aside from “individual conversations” for which city reps have stayed, and Highland Park residents among others are busily engaging them in those conversations. The meeting got very emotional at times, particularly in the last 15 minutes or so during which the city reps were supposed to be addressing the concerns raised by small groups – but meeting attendees became very frustrated with the lack of specifics. Bottom line is that the city held this to gather public comment and notes that the final decision is still about a year away – a key point on the timeline will be a consultant study due next month that supposedly will show whether the city is on the right track in pursuing a low-rise option, or should perhaps pursue a high-rise option, which could send the whole thing back to the drawing board. Also ahead – the County Council is reportedly going to talk Monday about the proposal to extend its jail agreement with the cities. More to come.
We’re at the Machinists’ Union Lodge in South Park for the first of two city-organized public forums on the two proposed West Seattle sites in the running for a possible city misdemeanor jail. The Highland Park Action Committee has a big presence here, of course – that’s HPAC’s Dina Johnson above, in the lodge hall with one of the signs group members have brought (cameraphone photo, sorry it’s not clearer). We’re NOT currently planning to liveblog the meeting – but if you are interested in occasional updates, follow us on Twitter, where we probably will post a few updates (twitter.com, and sign up to follow westseattleblog) if the wireless signal holds – a little spotty so far. The actual meeting doesn’t start till 6:30 – right now folks are milling about chatting; some citywide media crews are here. The agenda will include a “brief background presentation” at 6:40, small-group sessions to gather public comments and report back to the full group; at 8:40, it’s “city responses to issues raised,” closing comments at 8:55, meeting scheduled to end at 9 pm. (If you missed this one, the second city-organized public forum is July 26 at South Seattle Community College, 9 am, and HPAC will meet again 7 pm July 21.) 7:39 PM UPDATE: Highland Park Elementary teacher Laura Drake brought down the house with a speech full of fury and heartfelt emotion – some people are actually crying – we have it on video and will post it as soon as we get home when this is over; we can guarantee you’ll see part of it on the 11 pm news (though tv self-limits to about 20 seconds – we’ll show you the whole 2 to 3 minutes).
JAIL: Tonight is the first of two city-organized public forums about the two potential jail sites in West Seattle. This one’s in nearby South Park, 6 pm, 9125 15th Place S. (Archived WSB coverage of the jail-sites fight map). (is here.)
VIADUCT: This afternoon, city, county and state officials will discuss where the search for a “central waterfront” Viaduct replacement stands, before the Viaduct Stakeholders’ Committee has its next meeting. We’ll be at the briefing downtown at 2 pm; the public is welcome at the committee’s meeting, 4 pm, City Hall.
SAFETY: If you’re in southeast West Seattle or White Center, the South Delridge/WC Community Safety group meets tonight, 6 pm, St. James Place (9421 18th SW). As with the nawly renamed West Seattle Crime Prevention Council, this group focuses on crime and other safety issues and gets updates from law enforcement – with free dinner as a bonus.
CAMPAIGNS: West Seattle’s three state legislators – Sen. Joe McDermott, Rep. Eileen Cody, and Rep. Sharon Nelson – are having a joint reelection-campaign kickoff event at Youngstown Arts Center, 5:30 pm.
Those are just four of today’s highlights – see more on our West Seattle Events Calendar.
With three nights to go till the first of two city-organized public forums on the two potential city-jail sites that are in southeast West Seattle, the Highland Park Action Committee got together again tonight to strategize in advance. Part of their plan is to research and counter some of the documents the city is citing as reasons why a jail wouldn’t be detrimental to this community (or either of the other two with potential sites). In particular, they are poking holes in this study posted on the city’s jail-info website, taking issue in particular with whether that federal study has any relevance to effects a jail might have here:
That’s HPAC’s Kathleen Voss, saying that trying to apply the findings of that study to the situation here is a real case of apples-and-oranges. HPAC chair Dorsol Plants also noted that even where there might be economic activity tied to a jail, the money from jail workers buying lunch in Highland Park, as he put it, would not outweigh the money lost by families that wouldn’t buy homes in HP because of a jail nearby. HPAC continues its activism on a variety of fronts, including an online petition that’s linked from its jail-info page, but the next big focus is Thursday night’s city forum, 6-9 pm at 9125 15th Place S. in South Park (map). HPAC will hold its next monthly meeting July 21 (7 pm, HP Improvement Club), so members will have a chance to confer before the city’s second public forum (July 26, 9 am, South Seattle Community College). But as Plants warned tonight’s 50 or so attendees, “It’s going to be a long fight.” To catch up with all WSB coverage on the jail-sites fight, check out the newest-to-oldest archive page here.
TONIGHT: The Highland Park Action Committee meets tonight (7 pm, Highland Park Improvement Club, 11th and Holden) to continue strategizing opposition to the two HP-vicinity sites (map) on the city’s “final four” list of potential jail locations. THURSDAY: The first of two city-organized public meetings focusing on those two sites — this one’s in neighboring South Park (6 pm @ 9125 15th Place S., map here); the second meeting is July 26 at South Seattle Community College. More on all planned city forums here; city info page on jail-site search here; HPAC jail-sites info page here; all WSB coverage on the jail-sites issue is archived here.
That’s King County Sheriff Sue Rahr, talking about one of the budget cuts she may have to make if the county’s budget picture still looks ugly by fall; she says the thought of having to stop investigating certain kinds of crimes makes her “sick.” She spoke Friday night at SeaTac City Hall, in one of several public meetings she’s called to talk about potential effects of massive budget cuts ordered by county leadership; the possible cuts in the criminal-justice system could affect West Seattle not only through services the county provides for the city such as prosecution, but also because many of the cuts would have to be made in the ranks that serve unincorporated areas such as White Center, right next door. But the first headline of the night for West Seattle interests was what the sheriff had to say when asked about the jail-sites situation – and that’s where our full report begins;Read More
… and so would either of the other two jail sites, for that matter. Sheriff Sue Rahr was asked about the jail controversy during the meeting she called tonight in SeaTac to talk about possible massive budget cuts in the county’s criminal-justice system. She says it’s her “personal opinion as your elected sheriff” that the county should “build out” the Regional Justice Center in Kent instead and that cities shouldn’t be in the jail business, period. More on that, and what else she had to say about the possible cuts – which could affect everyone in King County, though particularly our White Center neighbors for whom the county provides on-the-street law enforcement — when we write up our full report later tonight. Side note, lovely view from the south side of the SeaTac City Hall parking lot:
Belated report on last night’s monthly meeting of the Delridge District Council, one of two “district councils” in West Seattle (as per the city’s “district” map) – Community Harvest of Southwest Seattle is getting ready for the second year of its program to harvest fruit from residents’ trees; City Councilmember Sally Clark talked about the latest changes in the process for reviewing neighborhood plans (and got to hear about some hot local issues since she arrived early, including the jail-sites fight); details ahead:Read More
It’s the last time we’ll be able to tell you about the West Seattle Community Safety Partnership … because its monthly meeting tonight at the Southwest Precinct ended with a new name. That and other info from the meeting, ahead:Read More
Last week, new Highland Park Action Committee chair Dorsol Plants told the 34th District Democrats (WSB coverage here) that the city had agreed to disclose the reasons 31 sites were dropped from the semi-finalist list of 35 sites (now down to 4, including two in southeast West Seattle). Today, the city sends word that information is posted online (read it here). 6:47 PM UPDATE: Two more jail-sites-related notes — The County Council Committee of the Whole was briefed today on the proposal to extend the county’s contract with cities while a “regional” solution to the jail problem is pursued; the county’s update says no action was taken and the proposal “remains in committee.” Also, we have added a new “category” tag here on WSB for our archived coverage of the jail-sites issue, dating back to the announcement of the “finalists” list six weeks ago; here’s the direct link to all our stories, newest to oldest (you can find it again any time from the “Categories” list toward the end of the sidebar to the right). ADDED AT 9:09 PM: We also have word tonight from HPAC that there’s an e-petition available for online “signing” to express opposition to the jail sites – you can find it here.
That’s longtime Highland Park resident Monica Cavagnaro, talking to the 34th District Democrats last night about how her neighborhood has evolved, and why HP is fighting the inclusion of two nearby sites (map) on the city’s list of four finalists for a potential new city misdemeanor-offender jail. The jail-sites fight was the big item on the 34th Dems’ monthly meeting agenda; more ahead on that, and other items:Read More
Three quick updates in the fight over where the city might build a potential new jail for misdemeanor offenders (it’s announced 4 sites as finalists, and 2 of them are in southeast West Seattle): First, the city’s added another page to its informational web site — the new Frequently Asked Questions page features its answers to some of the questions it’s received. Second, two more neighborhood groups discussed their positions on the issue last night; the Fauntleroy Community Association‘s board “voiced its opposition to the siting of jails in residential areas on the basis of land-use planning policy and the unnecessary costs and logistics of inmate transfers and lack of access to services needed by inmates (legal, bail, and city services),” according to Lynn Olson; meantime, we were at the Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting as members considered whether to sign on to a letter officially opposing the sites, and it’s decided to abstain for now. Third, the 34th District Democrats will discuss the jail-sites fight at their regular monthly meeting tonight, 7 pm, The Hall @ Fauntleroy.
Two big agenda items at tonight’s Westwood Neighborhood Council meeting at Southwest Community Center: The future of the Denny Middle School site, once the school’s torn down after its replacement is built on the Chief Sealth High School campus, and the fight over the two southeast West Seattle sites on the city’s “final four” list of possible misdemeanor-offender jail locations — read on:Read More
Two notes on the fight over whether the city will build a new misdemeanor-offenders jail on one of 2 sites in southeast West Seattle, a site elsewhere in the city, or not at all: First, the mailing list for project info got an update today, noting that the city’s Municipal Jail web section has several new links. We’ve already told you about two of them — a summary of interviews with community leaders before the four “finalist” sites were chosen, and the announcement of upcoming public meetings. The others include: Collections of comments the city already has received online (broken out by day); questions city reps have been asked at meetings including May 20 in Highland Park (no answers yet, those are promised later; here’s the WSB coverage of that meeting); an aerial photo of the King County Regional Justice Center in Kent which the city calls “an example of how a jail can be a good neighbor”; a federal study of crime rates in neighborhoods with jails. Meantime, the next West Seattle meeting to take up the jail issue will be the 34th District Democrats‘ monthly meeting this Wednesday night, 7 pm, The Hall @ Fauntleroy.