TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Rainy Tuesday updates; ‘Fauntleroy Boulevard’ open house tonight

September 23, 2014 at 6:58 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | No Comments

(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning! Wet roads now that the rain’s arrived, but no major problems overall on West Seattle-area routes.

OVERNIGHT HIGHWAY 99 CLOSURES: WSDOT’s schedule for this week continues:

Tuesday, Sept. 23 and Thursday, Sept. 25
Crews will close all lanes of northbound SR 99 between South Spokane and South Atlantic streets, and the eastbound South Spokane Street ramp to northbound SR 99, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night.

Crews will close up to two lanes of southbound SR 99 between South Atlantic and South Spokane streets from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night.

Wednesday, Sept. 24
Crews will close all lanes of southbound SR 99 between South Atlantic and South Spokane streets, and the Columbia Street on-ramp to southbound SR 99, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night.

‘FAUNTLEROY BOULEVARD’ OPEN HOUSE TONIGHT: The city is almost midway through design for major changes to Fauntleroy Way between the bridge and SW Alaska, in the “Fauntleroy Boulevard” project; the mayor’s budget, unveiled yesterday, includes $500,000 to finish the design. Tonight, 5-7 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle (Oregon/California), drop in and offer comments/ask questions at a key stage in the process, after taking a closer look at what’s planned so far.

West Seattle High School homecoming Friday! Band tunes up at Husky Stadium; Booster Club invites you to postgame party

September 23, 2014 at 1:07 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

7 pm this Friday, it’s the West Seattle High School homecoming game, with Rainier Beach visiting at Southwest Athletic Complex. Two WSHS notes, looking ahead, starting with the band:

BAND TUNEUP: Rich DeVore of the WSHS Music Boosters shared photos from the 62nd High School Band Day at Husky Stadium last weekend, with 35 WSHS Marching Band members among the more than 2,000 high-school-band members participating from across the state. They’re the blue-and-white group at left below:

The event included a performance by all the visiting band members (which Rich says included Chief Sealth International High School) at halftime of the UW-Georgia State football game. You can cheer for them right here in West Seattle during Friday night’s game here in West Seattle, when they’ll perform a halftime show, under the direction of Ethan Thomas.


The West Seattle Booster Club invites you to celebrate WSHS Homecoming with us. This *Friday, September 26th, 7 pm, is the Homecoming Football game at SWAC – please come and cheer on the Wildcats.

After the game, please join us for a “5th Quarter Rally” at Pecado Bueno in the West Seattle Junction. Mingle with friends and family and celebrate our amazing school and students! (Adult function – over 21 only). We hope to see you. Thank you for your support!

Happy fall! Equinox sunset watch with Alice at Solstice Park, plus views from beyond

September 22, 2014 at 7:51 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 3 Comments

As of 22 minutes ago, autumn has arrived! Above, our quick Instagram clip of Alice Enevoldsen talking astronomy and weather with the youngest attendees at her Solstice Park sunset watch – 22nd time she has led an equinox/solstice watch! (added) As usual, she brought a planetary prop:

Sometimes, the littlest detail attracts attention – like the armband with her name:

Color streaked the sky as Alice explained where the sun lines up for the equinox:

She answered a variety of questions, not just about the equinox – for example, she was asked questions about the official times of sunset and sunrise and how they’re determined – locally, for example, they don’t seem to take the Olympics into account, so she points out the sun usual disappears behind the mountains about ten minutes before the listed sunset moment. Between sunset watches, Alice writes about other astronomy news on her site, and every month or so, she writes a new edition of “Skies Over West Seattle” for WSB.

SUNSET, FROM ELSEWHERE IN WEST SEATTLE: Below, James Bratsanos shared the full-strength sunset view we didn’t quite get from Solstice Park (where the sun sets behind Lincoln Park’s beautiful forest this time of year):

(added) A few more sunset views have since come in:

(Photo copyright 2014, Eric Shalit/Box Turtle Design)
From John Bartell at Brace Point:

P.S. Looks like rain’s in store for the first day of fall.

Get ready to recycle more: Seattle to require food-waste composting

September 22, 2014 at 6:16 pm | In Environment, Utilities, West Seattle news | 21 Comments

Don’t look at it as a ban on throwing away your food scraps, suggested City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw before this afternoon’s vote – look at it as expanded recycling. And with that, she and the rest of the City Council voted to require recycling of food scraps and compostable paper, starting next year. The enforcement teeth won’t be very sharp – $1 fines, and only after a “massive” informational campaign – but the city believes this is what’s needed to jolt the “stalled” shrinkage of Seattleites’ recycling rate. (Also, as noted on the city website, “Food waste is one third of the residential garbage in Seattle … and is transported by train 300 miles to an Oregon landfill.”) Details of how it would be enforced are in this slide deck from a briefing earlier this month.

Later start time for teenagers in Seattle Public Schools? You’re invited to be on the task force

September 22, 2014 at 3:28 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 13 Comments

Seattle Public Schools have long been urged to look at later start times for its oldest students. The School Board decided to review the idea, and now, the district is setting up a task force, according to today’s announcement, which invites you to apply:

Recent sleep research indicates that adolescents’ normal sleep patterns and health may be supported by later school start times. Seattle Public Schools is forming a year-long task force to analyze a potential change in bell times throughout the district. The task force members will review the sleep research and study potential implementation impacts including benefits and challenges for starting elementary schools earlier, and middle and high schools later.

Click to read the rest of Later start time for teenagers in Seattle Public Schools? You’re invited to be on the task force…

Update: Mayor presents budget proposal; West Seattle toplines – miniature-golf course, $ to finish Fauntleroy Boulevard design, keep SPD Mounted Patrol

September 22, 2014 at 2:06 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 20 Comments

2:06 PM: Click the “play” button above and you’ll get the live webcast, under way now, of Mayor Murray‘s budget speech to the City Council. We’ll be linking the documents and noting toplines here as it goes (and as we review the docs). **Update: Post-speech, window above now takes you to ARCHIVED video of speech**

BUDGET DOCUMENTS: Find them here. Wondering how to navigate them? That’s explained here. Direct link to the full budget is here.

From our first search for West Seattle mentions in that document:

*On page 28, our area described as a “current construction hub”
*On page 101, a miniature golf course to be installed at the West Seattle Golf Course in about a year
*On page 150, a renovation project is mentioned for the West Seattle (Admiral) Library Branch
*On page 414, $500,000 to finish design for the Fauntleroy Boulevard plan. (Remember, your Q/A/info opportunity is at tomorrow night’s open house – details in our newest update.)

2:22 PM: Those are just the outright “West Seattle” mentions; we’re now going through to look for what are certainly many other points of interest. The mayor, meantime, has spoken of reforming the budget process, of “coordination” in development reviews, of “ending the transportation-mode wars.” Speaking of transportation, more school-zone cameras are on the way (though specific locations are not noted). In public-safety and human services, he is proposing a new office to focus on domestic violence and sexual assault, and he has acknowledged that despite the city’s investment in helping homeless people, homelessness is not ending, and there has to be a better way.

(added) Another West Seattle note, from the SPD budget overview:

In addition, the proposed budget continues funding for maintenance staff and expenses associated with the SPD’s Horse Patrol Unit. Private resources will no longer be available to support the ongoing costs of this unit in 2015. Therefore, General Funds are being provided to continue this valuable public safety service.

The Mounted Patrol, you’ll recall, is based in Highland Park (and just had an open house on Saturday).

2:36 PM: The mayor’s speech has ended. We’re continuing to look for toplines. The council is in recess; we’ll substitute the archived video later when it’s available.

3:05 PM: Joe Szilagyi points out in comments that the budget includes money to fix the Schmitz Park Bridge.

3:57 PM: Replaced previous “live video” window above with embedded archived video of mayor’s speech.

5:12 PM: This is not West Seattle-specific, but likely of interest to many – from the Department of Planning and Development budget, page 248-249:

Seattle’s Design Review program is one of the principal opportunities for members of the public to interface with development projects. Design review is intended to influence the design of projects consistent with citywide and neighborhood-specific design guidelines. As development activity has increased, the Design Review program has come under increased scrutiny. A challenge identified during public participation in project review is that many communities are concerned about the direction of certain land use policies and have non design related concerns.

In response to these two issues, DPD will evaluate potential changes to the design review process and will explore new ways to improve public engagement in the planning and land use policy areas. The department will begin this work through surveys and focused public discussions with community stakeholders to gather information about the design review process, and will report on general findings. The department will evaluate, identify, and draft Land Use Code revisions based on this community work. The department will also begin a process to engage communities, provide information about growth and development issues, and provide opportunities for dialogue outside of the design review process. The work will be conducted through public meetings and online engagement, and be targeted toward different neighborhoods and demographics throughout the city. The pilot program will include citywide events with opportunities for dialogue, and will include feedback to community participants. This work will be done in 2015 and 2016 by shifting existing resources and revising the City Planning work program.

WHAT’S NEXT? The entire budget calendar for the next two months, including two major public hearings (neither in West Seattle), can be seen here.

West Seattle scene: Marijuana message materializes at ‘Walking on Logs’

September 22, 2014 at 12:41 pm | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 31 Comments

The so-called “dancing children” who comprise the Walking on Logs sculpture along the Fauntleroy Way end of the West Seattle Bridge sometimes are decorated with T-shirts. Today, they’re wearing black T-shirts bearing the message “Marijuana is safer than alcohol.”

After getting the tip from Jake, we went over to see if the T-shirts listed a sponsoring organization, maybe fine print, or on the back. Nope. No banner or signage nearby either (aside from campaign messages for a couple of people running for judge). The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce has long kept the list of authorized “Walking on Logs” decorators, so we’re checking to see if someone signed up to promote this message – the first pro-cannabis display we recall seeing there – but CEO Lynn Dennis is out of the office today. Looking around online, we did find a Federal Way group that offers T-shirts like these.

P.S. Authorized or not, it’s not the only marijuana message on the bridge right now; on the westbound leg of our bridge trip to check this out, we took note of the Dama Cannabis billboard alongside the Spokane Street Viaduct just before the 99 overpass.

More free parking in The Junction: New program starts with Wallflower, Elliott Bay, Talarico’s

September 22, 2014 at 11:14 am | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 8 Comments

Three Junction businesses in the heart of the current construction zone – on California and 42nd between Alaska and Edmunds – are involved in the launch of a new program that’s adding validated free parking, courtesy of the two contractors at work there. The announcement sent by the West Seattle Junction Association explains how it works:

Construction companies, Andersen and Compass, have teamed up with the West Seattle Junction Association to offer parking relief to customers of businesses who neighbor their construction projects. With these two projects combined, more that half of the 4700 block of California/42nd is under construction. As part of developing the sites and making public safety a top priority, the projects have taken upward of 20 on-street parking spots. Adjacent businesses are feeling the pinch since they are surrounded by construction activities and lost parking.

The City of Seattle’s Access Seattle Team, composed of members of the Department of Transportation and the Office of Economic Development, helped facilitate a solution for area businesses. Both Andersen and Compass have agreed to help fund a new free parking program intended to aid their business neighbors. Customers of participating businesses can now get up to two hours of free parking in Jefferson Square’s underground parking garage using Diamond Parking’s Call to Park service. Elliott Bay Brewery, Wallflower Custom Framing, and Talarico’s Pizzeria are launching the program, but more on their block may join.

How it works: Customers of participating businesses will park in the Jefferson Square underground garage on 42nd Street and immediately bring their license plate number to business staff who will pay for 1-2 hours of free parking. Customers will be responsible for staying within the specified time or can add time using Easy!

This program is available now; please give it a try! Construction may be noisy and sometimes inconvenient, but Junction restaurants and retailers still need your business to keep what’s familiar to our West Seattle neighborhood. Though The Junction may be changing, your tried-and-true businesses will stay the course. This program is available on a trial basis through January 2015.

Thank you to Compass General Construction, Andersen Construction and the City’s Access Seattle Team, for their collaboration and support.

West Seattle Monday: Fall equinox sunset watch; Highland Park Elementary PTA; ‘Monster Dash’ training run; more…

September 22, 2014 at 10:30 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 2 Comments

(Great blue heron at Constellation Park – photos above and below are both by Gary Jones)
Highlights from the listings for today/tonight on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

REMINDER – BOEING FIELD EMERGENCY DRILLS: All week long, as noted here last night.

BUDGET SPEECHES: Both King County Executive Dow Constantine and Mayor Ed Murray are formally presenting their budget proposals today, 11 am and 2 pm respectively. We’ll be reading the fine print looking for proposals of particular local interest.

‘BEING HUMAN’: As the new academic year begins at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), a new exhibit, curated by Kathy Liao, opens in the SSC Art Gallery. Exhibit info is in our calendar listing. Gallery admission’s free, and the gallery is open 10 am-4 pm. (6000 16th SW)

‘CHAT WITH CHAS’: The next coffee chat with Chas Redmond, the only candidate actively campaigning so far for the West Seattle/South Park district City Council seat on next year’s ballot (David Ishii also has filed), 5-7 pm at Uptown Espresso in The Junction – informal drop-in. (California/Edmunds/Erskine)


Highland Park Elementary School is having the first PTA meeting of the school year from 5:30 – 7:30. The meeting will be held in the school cafeteria. A light dinner will be served starting at 5:30, with the meeting beginning a 6:00. Come share your thoughts about HPE: what you like about our school, as well as your hopes and dreams for our future. All are welcome!

(1012 SW Trenton)

WELCOME FALL @ ALICE’S EQUINOX SUNSET WATCH: Even if you’ve been to one of Alice Enevoldsen‘s equinox/solstice sunset watches before, you’ll notice three special features tonight – explained in her preview. Get to Solstice Park around 6:30; the actual sunset’s around 7 pm, and as a bonus, you could even hang around for the fall equinox to arrive at 7:29 pm. Solstice Park is on the slope behind the tennis courts across from north Lincoln Park. (7400 Fauntleroy Way SW)

TRAIN FOR THE ‘MONSTER DASH’: In advance of next month’s West Seattle Monster Dash, you’re invited to join training runs starting tonight at 6:30; meet in the south lot at Lincoln Park. (Fauntleroy/Cloverdale)

AND OF COURSE THERE’S MORE … for today, tonight, and beyond, on our calendar!

Out: ‘Microhousing.’ In: ‘SEDU.’ And it’s your turn to comment

September 22, 2014 at 8:59 am | In Development, West Seattle housing, West Seattle news | 23 Comments

The word “microhousing” does not appear anywhere in the brand-new official city notice announcing that it’s your turn to comment on the revised proposed city rules for it. That notice, published today, and includes the toplines of the latest changes in the rules the City Council is considering, including the new official name “SEDU”:

*Creates a definition for small efficiency dwelling units (SEDU).

*Clarifies the definition of dwelling unit.

*Establishes required components of SEDUs, including a 150-square-foot minimum sleeping room area, a 220 square foot minimum total floor area, a food preparation area (sink, refrigerator, countertop, cooking appliance) and a bathroom (sink, toilet, shower or bathtub).

*Limits the issuance of Restricted Parking Zone permits to no more than one per
SEDU or congregate residence sleeping room.

*Requires Streamlined Design Review to be applied, in all zones, to congregate
residences and residential uses that are more than 50 percent comprised of SEDUs if they contain between 5,000 and 11,999 square feet of gross floor area.

*Limits the construction of congregate residences that do not meet certain ownership or operational requirements to higher density zones that are located within Urban Centers and Urban Villages

*Increases the minimum required area of communal space in a congregate residence
from 10 percent of the total floor area of all sleeping rooms to 15 percent of the total floor area of all sleeping rooms.

*Creates a new vehicle parking requirement of one parking space for every two
SEDUs for areas of the City where vehicle parking is required for multifamily residential uses.

*Increases bicycle parking requirements for SEDUs and congregate residences to 0.75 bicycle spaces per SEDU or congregate residence sleeping room.

*Requires the bicycle parking required for SEDUs and congregate residences to be covered for weather protection.

*Allows required, covered bicycle parking for SEDUs or congregate residence sleeping rooms to be exempt from Floor Area Ratio limits if the required parking is located inside the building that contains the SEDUs or congregate residence sleeping rooms.

*Calls on the Department of Planning and Development to complete an analysis of the City’s vehicle and bicycle parking requirements and present its recommendations for regulatory changes to the City Council by no later than March 31, 2015.

That last point, as mentioned in our coverage last week, goes beyond microhousing.

So if you have something to say about any of this, say it now – in e-mail or postal mail to Councilmember Mike O’Brien, (the postal address is in today’s notice seeking comment), before October 6th. Again, what’s above is an excerpt from today’s notice, highlighting recent changes in the proposed microhousing (SEDU) rules. You can see the entire Council Bill by going here.

SIDE NOTE: In case you’ve lost track – two microhousing projects have opened in West Seattle, at 4546 Delridge Way SW (file photo above) and 3266 SW Avalon Way, with at least three more planned – 3268 SW Avalon Way, 5949 California SW, and 3050 SW Avalon Way.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Monday on the move

September 22, 2014 at 6:59 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 2 Comments

(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning! No trouble so far on West Seattle-area routes.

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL for South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), which means more traffic around/to/from its campus at 6000 16th SW.

OVERNIGHT HIGHWAY 99 CLOSURES: WSDOT has announced closures each of the next 4 nights:

Monday, Sept. 22 and Wednesday, Sept. 24
Crews will close all lanes of southbound SR 99 between South Atlantic and South Spokane streets, and the Columbia Street on-ramp to southbound SR 99, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night.

Tuesday, Sept. 23 and Thursday, Sept. 25
Crews will close all lanes of northbound SR 99 between South Spokane and South Atlantic streets, and the eastbound South Spokane Street ramp to northbound SR 99, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night.

Crews will close up to two lanes of southbound SR 99 between South Atlantic and South Spokane streets from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night.

7:24 AM: Text report of a stalled Route 131 bus on Highland Park Way downhill, with passengers off the bus. Also, commenter “Trickycoolj” reports that the early trouble on northbound I-5 in Southcenter – a late end to an overnight closure for City Light work – has added traffic to Highway 99 northbound. The closure is over now, but the residual effects aren’t.

West Seattle sunsets: Photos from tonight; equinox viewing tomorrow

September 21, 2014 at 10:22 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 1 Comment

(Photo by Greg)
Thanks to everyone who shared photos from tonight’s sunset. In addition to publishing a few for starters (and we’ll likely add to them later), here’s one more reminder that you are invited to watch TOMORROW’s sunset, minutes before the fall equinox arrives, with “Skies Over West Seattle” correspondent Alice Enevoldsen at Solstice Park – details here. Now, back to tonight’s showstopping sunset:

(Photo by Chris Frankovich)
The fiery pink intensified as the sun disappeared behind the Olympics:

(Photo by James Bratsanos)
The forecast suggests tomorrow’s sunset won’t be much like this one, but we hope to see you at Solstice Park anyway (if you haven’t already followed the link, note that Alice plans bonus info, including next month’s partial solar eclipse and the MAVEN Mars mission).

If you wondered what was going on in Schmitz Park tonight …

September 21, 2014 at 9:17 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks, WS culture/arts | 11 Comments

After several texts and e-mails asking what was going on in Schmitz Park – crowd sounds and music, carrying for a distance – we went over just in time to see everybody leaving, with someone explaining it was a “one-time theater performance” for which the producers had a permit until 9 pm. Just got back and now a web search turns up more details. “Din V: A Convergence” was a joint production of Washington Ensemble Theatre and the band Kithkin, free but with only 100 tickets available, given out at a Capitol Hill coffee shop earlier this month. Full description on this Facebook event page.

One more ‘first day of school’: South Seattle College, tomorrow

September 21, 2014 at 8:32 pm | In Puget Ridge, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 4 Comments

(WSB photo, taken this afternoon)
Fall quarter starts tomorrow at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor). According to the official announcement, changes for fall include a new Bachelor’s Degree program, Sustainable Building Science Technology, a “90-credit degree program (that) offers industry professionals a pathway to becoming a skilled Building Science Professional. The program emphasizes upper-division coursework that focuses on the complexities of building science, energy codes, building codes and facility management.” Also: What were known as the International Programs at SSC are now under the umbrella of the renamed Center for International Education, which moved to a new space on campus over the summer, housing services ranging “from aiding international students … to Study Abroad programs and international staff/faculty exchange opportunities.”

P.S. Registration for SSC classes is still open, even with school starting tomorrow – here’s the info on that.

Followup: Discovery Shop in The Junction gets its new window

September 21, 2014 at 6:07 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

Almost four weeks after someone smashed the big front window of the nonprofit Discovery Shop in The Junction, the plywood’s down and a new window’s up. The shop’s chair Winni Field says, “We’d like to extend a giant thank you to the West Seattle community for their support, both emotional and financial, while our store front was boarded up. We’d love the community to stop by and admire this window!” Volunteer Suzanne Rowe, who first told us about the window, adds, “Everyone affiliated with the shop has been very moved by the generosity of our West Seattle Community. Since the incident happened almost 4 weeks ago, people have been coming into the store with cash donations and/or merchandise to give us to resell. That support helped us to expedite the installation of the replacement window.” So far as we know, the vandalism case remains unsolved.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Seaview burglary loot to look out for; also, where else burglars have struck this week

September 21, 2014 at 4:44 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

The latest West Seattle Crime Watch reader report is from Gabrielle, whose Seaview home was broken into sometime in the past few days. When she sent a brief note, mentioning items of sentimental significance were missing, we asked if any additional details were available so people could keep an eye out – in the shrubbery, on CL, maybe even eventually in pawn shops. Here’s her report:

Our home was burglarized while my husband and I were away on a short vacation. It happened sometime between 11:30 am Thursday 9/18 and 5:30 pm on Saturday 9/20. We are located at 46th Ave SW and Brandon Street. [map] Many small items were stolen, while they seemed to leave anything of significant weight/couldn’t be carried by one person. Many jewelry items, small power tools, and an iPad were taken. Items of high sentimental value are as follows and should be looked out for at pawn shops:

-18k Gold Locket, 1/2″ diameter, Floral Engraving, Highly Sentimental
-Diamond Necklace Pendant & White Gold Chain, 1 karat total weight, 4 square diamonds set in white gold
-3/4 karat heart-shaped ruby solitaire on yellow gold band, Highly Sentimental
-Tiffany’s Stainless Steel Heart Tag Necklace, Custom Engraved G.D.S.
-Tiffany’s Stainless Steel Heart Tag Bracelet, Custom Engraved G.D.S.
-Handmade/Custom Letterpress Jewelry Wall Case, Highly Sentimental
-Nordstrom Necklace & Earring Set Round CZ with Pave Setting, sterling silver setting/chains

The burglars came though our front door, prying open a lock and damaging jamb. No other entry point was found. We are in the middle of a large-scale first floor renovation, which may have made it appear the home was vacant. Most of the items stolen were from 2nd floor. Seattle Police was called immediately, Case #14-315312.

This has been a terrible experience for us but we will try to remain positive. Most important thing we could tell our neighbors… Make sure your home is harder to break into… nothing to guarantee it won’t happen, but as many deterrents as possible can’t hurt.

SIDE NOTE: Checking the West Seattle Tweets by Beat (which includes dates, addresses, and incident types, no other details), here are the other burglaries reported in West Seattle earlier this past week (residential unless otherwise noted):

Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Watch: Seaview burglary loot to look out for; also, where else burglars have struck this week…

THIS IS ONLY A DRILL: Boeing Field emergency drills all week, starting tomorrow

September 21, 2014 at 3:33 pm | In Not WS but we're mentioning it anyway, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

King County International Airport – better known to most as Boeing Field – will be the scene of two “mass-casualty-incident drills” each of the next five weekdays, and since you might notice all the emergency vehicles in the area, this is a heads-up. As the official announcement put it, “Because officials are trying to create a realistic response, the media is asked to help us notify the public that this is only a drill … and is a potential visual distraction.” Boeing Field isn’t that far from eastern West Seattle, and past drills have caught notice and brought questions here, so we’re sharing the alert too – click ahead for the details (quoted from the advisory sent to us and other media in the region):
Click to read the rest of THIS IS ONLY A DRILL: Boeing Field emergency drills all week, starting tomorrow…

West Seattle demolition watch: Next ‘microhousing’; school rebuilds

September 21, 2014 at 1:08 pm | In Development, West Seattle housing, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 8 Comments

Three updates from West Seattle’s current demolition/redevelopment/rebuilding boom:

PERMIT APPLICATION FOR NEXT ‘MICROHOUSING’ SITE: On Friday, the demolition-permit application turned up in the city’s online files for 3268 Avalon Way, the microhousing building set to go up between the 35th/Avalon 7-11 and its sibling Footprint Avalon I building. A temporary-power pole has already been up in front of the site for a while. The new microhousing rules, including clarity on number of units, won’t be affecting this project or others already in the pipeline; note the last line of the screengrab from the city webpage:

Each “unit” in current city code stands for up to eight individually rented sleeping rooms.

GENESEE HILL SCHOOL DEMOLITION: Now in even higher gear. Here’s what we were to see from SW Genesee after the end of Friday’s workday:

The current Schmitz Park Elementary program is scheduled to move into a new 650-student campus (not much more capacity than the current SPES enrollment) here in 2016.

ARBOR HEIGHTS SCHOOL DEMOLITION: This is now moving quickly too. Thanks to Mike R. for the end-of-week view:

The new Arbor Heights Elementary‘s capacity won’t be determined by the school board until next year.

Happening now: Take it away! Busy ‘Recycle Roundup’ in Fauntleroy

September 21, 2014 at 11:11 am | In Environment, Fauntleroy | 2 Comments

That’s the most unusual item we saw during a brief stop at the Fauntleroy Church Green Committee‘s “Recycle Roundup,” under way until 3 pm – someone’s recycling a watercooler. Tons of items (literally) are dropped off during these six-hour, twice-yearly, FREE events – and one-third of the way into today’s roundup, it’s busy:

1 Green Planet‘s team will unload your stuff and get it into their containers. Just make sure what you’re taking is on this list. If you want to recycle something that isn’t, the committee’s Green Ideas” handout (with other sustainable-living advice) has suggestions.

P.S. The church lot is at 9140 California SW, but don’t try to drive south on the California straightaway to get there – it’s a short section that is best reached by heading west on SW Barton from 35th and following the curves (and name change), or by heading southbound past the ferry dock, and following the eastward curve up toward and just beyond the Endolyne business district.

Looking for someone to sing with? Seattle Metropolitan Glee Club might be looking for you.

September 21, 2014 at 10:47 am | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 1 Comment

Next Tuesday is just the second week of the season, so this citywide group rehearsing in West Seattle is still recruiting:

Ladies, are you interested in singing with an amazing group of women, but don’t know where to go? The Seattle Metropolitan Glee Club, a non-profit women’s singing group, is looking for new members this fall. Rehearsals are on Tuesdays from 7:15 – 9:15 p.m. at the ActivSpace building on Harbor Avenue SW in West Seattle. … After a casual audition, we hope that you will be able to join us. Please send an email to, or check out our website at for more information.

West Seattle Sunday: Options for your final day of summer

September 21, 2014 at 6:21 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 3 Comments

(Sunrise glow photographed by John Westrock, shared via the WSB Flickr group)
With the fall equinox on Monday night (you’ll be at Alice‘s sunset watch, right?), today is the final full day of summer, and the weather is cooperating with the concept. As for what’s on the calendar:

FERRY SCHEDULE CHANGE: Washington State Ferries switches to its fall sailing schedule today. See it in PDF here.

RECYCLE ROUNDUP: 9 am-3 pm, if it’s on this list, you can bring it to Fauntleroy Church and drop it off with 1 Green Planet, during the year’s second and final Recycle Roundup, free! (9140 California SW)

LINCOLN PARK NEEDS YOU: Friends of Lincoln Park welcome your help with today’s work party, 9 am-noon. It’s a big, beautiful park with much to be done. Details in our calendar listing. (Fauntleroy/Rose)

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: Year-round! See what’s new from the farms, the fields, the orchards (and the kitchens). 10 am-2 pm. (44th/Alaska)

TAILGATE IN HIGHLAND PARK: Before the Seahawks-Broncos rematch, tailgate at Highland Park Improvement Club – doors open 11 am, barbecuing 11:30 am, details on the HPIC website, go Hawks! (12th/Holden)

FREE TOMATO TASTING/TESTING: At Junction TrueValue, noon-3 pm, explained here. (44th/Edmunds)

COMMUNITY FESTIVAL: Noon-3 pm at High Point Community Center and adjoining Walt Hundley Playfield, Bethany Community Church is presenting a free (bring a nonperishable food donation) family festival with bouncy toys and more. Details in our calendar listing. (34th/Myrtle)

PET OWNERS’ DISASTER PREP: Got pet(s)? Make sure your disaster-preparedness plan takes them into account. Learn how at a free workshop, 1:30 pm at Southwest Branch Library; details in our calendar listing. (35th/Henderson)

STEVE GRIGGS ENSEMBLE PRESENTS A CUP OF JOE BRAZIL: 2 pm at West Seattle (Admiral) Library, a narration and music program about jazz saxophonist Joe Brazildetails here. (2306 42nd SW)

‘THE MOUNTAINTOP’ MATINEE: 3 pm at ArtsWest (WSB sponsor); tickets available online. (4711 California SW)

‘THE RUSSIANS’: Presented by Music Northwest, 3 pm at Olympic Recital Hall on the campus of South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), details here. (6000 16th SW)

TRIVIA NIGHT: Sunday night trivia with KJRW at West Seattle Brewing Company, 7:30 pm. (4415 Fauntleroy Way)

AND THERE’S EVEN MORE … for today, tonight, and beyond – on our calendar!

Update: Suspected DUI driver hits taxi, parked car in north Morgan Junction

September 20, 2014 at 10:27 pm | In West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 9 Comments

(Ford at right is the suspect’s car; at left, parked car that was hit)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 10:27 PM: A driver is in custody, under investigation for DUI, after a multiple-scene crash north of Morgan Junction.

(Taxicab that was hit, ending up on southbound California)
First scene was on the southbound side of California just south of SW Raymond (map), where the suspect is reported to have hit a cab, then driven eastbound on SW Raymond, going over a traffic circle, and coming to a stop after hitting a parked car on Raymond between 42nd and 41st.

(Traffic circle, with shrubbery torn out when car went over it)
Police, fire, and witnesses all tell us no one was hurt; witnesses say the allegedly intoxicated driver stayed at the second scene and seemed aware of what he had done. SFD has cleared the scene but it might take a while for the wrecked cars to be cleared on Raymond; the taxi on California is already gone. Thanks to everyone who texted and tweeted about this.

UPDATE, 5:49 PM SUNDAY: The driver, 39 years old, spent five and a half hours in jail before getting out this morning; his bail was $1,000.

Ferry update: WSF down one boat, trying to catch up, on Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route

September 20, 2014 at 9:15 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

M/V Tillikum remains out of service on Washington State Ferries‘ Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route, explained only as “due to operational constraints.” In the newest update, WSF says it’s adding more sailings on M/V Evergreen State to try to catch up. This all comes on the eve of WSF’s fall schedule taking effect tomorrow; no word yet on whether they’ll be back to 3 boats by then.

One more nudge: Recycle Roundup tomorrow at Fauntleroy Church

September 20, 2014 at 7:59 pm | In Environment, Fauntleroy, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Twice a year, the Fauntleroy Church Green Committee brings in 1 Green Planet to collect dozens of types of items that are recyclable but not routinely picked up in your curbside service. Tomorrow is this year’s second Recycle Roundup, 9 am-3 pm at the church parking lot (9140 California SW; map). Here’s the list of what you can drop off, with a few notes about what you can’t. As usual, no charge for your dropoff (the Green Committee does accept donations to help cover the cost, if you are so moved; they’ll also be offering a flyer with some green-living tips).

More West Seattle volunteering: Tilden 5th graders @ Dakota Place

September 20, 2014 at 7:46 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks, West Seattle schools | 1 Comment

(Photo courtesy Karin Beck)
Meet some of the youngest volunteers helping keep local parks from being strangled by overgrowth. These are fifth-graders from Tilden School (WSB sponsor), and their teacher Karin Beck shares the update:

In 2010, Tilden School officially adopted Dakota Place Park. Since then, the students and faculty have been removing invasive species, weeds, and trash from the park grounds. This week, the new crop of fifth graders began their role as park stewards, something they’ll continue throughout the school year. Additionally, this community service project will tie in with an ongoing learning partnership with IslandWood and Nature Consortium. The goal is for these kids to be more aware of their impact on nature and to understand their ability to create positive change.

West Seattle schools: K-5 STEM, Arbor Heights volunteers work to make things ‘a lot’ safer

September 20, 2014 at 4:14 pm | In Delridge, Safety, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

(WSB photos)
Way back in January, when the Seattle Schools Traffic Safety Committee convened at the Boren Building, they heard K-5 STEM parents and staffers warn that existing safety challenges in and around the parking lot would only intensify when Arbor Heights Elementary moved in starting this fall. And it’s indeed been busy, to say the least – so this morning, volunteers gathered for a “parking-lot party” to fix what they could – a lot of painting, for example (top photo), and weeding/de-mossing.

Bigger issues remain to be solved, beyond the scope of a weekend work party – see our report on this past week’s Delridge District Council meeting for more on that – but progress is progress, one step (or paintbrush) at a time.

Happening now: Open house at Seattle Police Mounted Patrol HQ in West Seattle

September 20, 2014 at 1:22 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

The first arrivals at the Seattle Police Mounted Patrol Unit‘s second annual Open House found it pretty exciting to meet the horses face to face. Above, Officer Laura Wollberg and Chance impressed a young visitor. You’ll find the horses and officers in and around their barn on the west side of Westcrest Park in Highland Park – Charlie got a last-minute touchup:

Along with meeting the horses and seeing demonstrations (one riding demo should be under way now, and another’s at 4, plus you’ll see how they go through “desensitization training”), you can get a behind-the-scenes look at barn operations. You might call this the pantry:

Some of the inventory, being put to good use:

For today’s open house, human treats are on hand too – free hot dogs and chips:

We asked the unit leader Sgt. Jim Scott (below, with Dozer) if visitors need to know anything else. He reminded us there’s parking inside the gate, too (that’s on the right when you drive in from 8th, where an SPD vehicle is marking the entrance).

The open house continues until 5 pm today.

P.S. It’s been three years since the Seattle Police Foundation, a nonprofit that supports events like this, stepped up to coordinate a community campaign to support the Mounted Unit.

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