Thanks to everybody who called our attention to a state alert about sewage spills that briefly led to a warning to stay out of the water at multiple beaches including Alki. That “closure” is no longer in effect, according to a state update. But just so you know what happened:
The Washington Department of Ecology is investigating sewage treatment failures at King County’s two largest sewage treatment plants. The following is the latest information Ecology has on the unauthorized discharges at the West Point Wastewater Treatment Plant and Renton Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Early this morning, the West Point Wastewater Treatment Plant released an estimated 3 million gallons of untreated sewage for approximately 27 minutes, after backup pumping systems failed during power disruptions at the plant. The system diverted incoming wastewater to an emergency outfall near North Beach in Discovery Park.
On July 18, there was a different power failure at the county’s Renton Wastewater Treatment Plant, resulting in potentially limited disinfection of treated wastewater. This limited disinfection lasted approximately 50 minutes. The Renton plant discharges into Puget Sound, about two miles offshore, northwest of Duwamish Head in Seattle.
Ecology is investigating both incidents as unauthorized discharges that would violate the state’s water quality permits for the facilities. The county reported the incidents to Ecology. Ecology anticipates taking necessary enforcement actions after its full investigation.
The release of sewage into Puget Sound has prompted local health departments to issue several beach closures. Ecology keeps a list of current beach closures online. We advise the public to check with their local health departments for beach closure updates.
If you scroll down this page, you’ll see the list in King County has been revised to ONLY Discovery Park beaches. Alki is OK.
Today we welcome one of our newest WSB sponsors, Spa Phoebe. Here’s what proprietor Phoebe Lind (below with therapy dog Franklin) wants you to know about what she offers:
Phoebe says, “We are a client-based establishment, meaning we gear all our services to fit the client’s needs. We believe that every person is unique and their body responds differently to different modalities.” She also says that the reviews and emails Spa Phoebe has received since opening last September talk about how clients find that she and her staff truly care about their needs and comfort and about how she and her staff are happy to accommodate clients’ specific goals in a safe, inviting, and professional space.
Spa Phoebe offers reiki, Swedish, prenatal, hot-stone, oncology, and deep-tissue massage. You can also book facials, waxing, and lash- or brow-tinting appointments, and you can book a session for a body treatment like a scrub, wrap, or an infrared sauna blanket or bio mat.
She adds that one of her clients calls Spa Phoebe her “happy place,” while others look forward to seeing her and her dog Franklin. Others say they keep coming back because Phoebe has created a place where you can appreciate the calm environment the spa offers.
One by one, the canoe families are leaving Alki Beach, carrying their wooden canoes to the water and paddling off to the next stop, hosted by the Suquamish Tribe on the Kitsap Peninsula, ultimately headed for the Lummi Nation, this year’s hosts at journey’s end. (And yes, this is what the helicopter is circling Alki for, a TV chopper.) More photos to come.
Hugs and handshakes last night from friends and family of Husky Deli proprietor Jack Miller, after the Southwest Design Review Board gave unanimous approval to the project that will be his business’s new home.
It’s not the final step, though, in the permit process for the project, which Miller says could start construction in about a year (depending on how it fares in the city’s infamous backlog).
But it’s an important step. The board had no major critiques in its second and final look at the project, one year after its first. Here’s how it went:
The gallery upstairs at the Senior Center/Sisson Building was full as the meeting began, a now-rare board meeting as city rule changes significantly reduced the types of projects that need this level of review.
City planner Joe Hurley – who took over the project since the first meeting – laid out the process and observed, “Great to see a big crowd out for this interesting project.” Four of the five volunteer board members – chair Crystal Loya, Scott Rosenstock, John Cheng, and recent appointee Alan Grainger (all West Seattle residents) – were present.
PROJECT TEAM/ARCHITECTS’ PRESENTATION: As they had done at the July 2018 review, project partners Ed Hewson and property owner Miller spoke first, both reiterating their deep local ties. Hewson said the project had been three years in the making. Miller told the 87-years-and-counting story of Husky Deli. “The store’s badly in need of remodeling” after 50 years at is current site. “We want to do it right …it’s a very important project to all of us … We want to keep the flavor of Husky. … It’s really going to be a nice project.” Here’s the design packet (or here, on the city website):
The architect, Jenny Chapman of Ankrom Moisan Architecture, is also a West Seattle resident and said she’d been a customer of Husky Deli since 1980. “When I went into architecture, this is the kind of project I dreamed of having.”
73 units, 45 off street parking spaces, ~5,000 square feet of retail are the project’s current stats, and Chapman said “we want to create an amazing retail experience for our primary retail tenant, Husky Deli.”
She mentioned that HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability had upzoned the site to 95’ but the project is staying at the planned 7 stories (two fewer than the new zoning would allow). Her presentation focused on how the architects had responded to feedback from the first review a year ago. She also noted that this is an infill site, meaning the lots north and south of it are likely to be redeveloped someday.
The residential entry facing California has been scaled down and a curved element has been added that will include part of the Husky Deli storefront. The upper levels are being set back so the street focus is on the storefront. The building architects are working with Husky Deli’s space designers. The sidewalk will be at least 13 1/2 feet wide. The seating will all be on the property, not spilling into the right of way, said Chapman, but there will be a walk-up ice-cream counter enabling ice-cream service to continue into the night without requiring the entire store to stay open late. She also showed lighting elements both natural and artificial, from a skylight created by the residential floors’ setback, to a pathway with light from the store helping illuminate it.
The alley will have a better rear entrance for Husky – double door – than the current location.
A second-floor amenity space (whose location was frowned on by the board last year) has been eliminated in favor of an expanded 7th-floor space, but it’s still 500 square feet more than what’s required, Chapma said. She also described the exterior details – a mix of dark and light – all the way down to a brick she said reminded her of “Husky Flake” ice cream. Some of the exterior’s “crisp diagonals” echo the “half-timbering” of Husky’s current facade, she noted.
Landscape architect Karen Kiest said they’ll be adding a street tree, “tons of bike racks” to conform with the city’s changed requirements, and planters. The rooftop amenity area will have planters too. Also at the ground level, Chapman added, the chandeliers and “original Husky (neon) sign” are “coming with us.” One more note – while Husky purple is too “saturated” to make sense, some lavender will be part of the alley-side touches.
BOARD QUESTIONS: This part of the meeting included Grainger – a new SWDRB member – complimenting Chapman on the packet’s excellence. Loya asked Chapman to answer “What makes this a great design?” Reply: “It both honors the spirit of the West Seattle Junction … with a crisp scale and a more modern approach … a simple design but one that is extremely edited, extremely tapered.”
What’s essential to the design? Reply:”Borrowing design cues from (the current) Husky Deli … an interpretation of the spirit of Husky Deli.”
PUBLIC COMMENT/QUESTIONS: Only a few, despite the big turnout. Is Husky occupying the entire 5,000 feet? Miller said there’ll be another tenant for the southern 2,000 square feet.
What about the residences? “Mostly 1 bedrooms, a few studios, one 2-bedroom,” said Chapman. The commenter said that didn’t seem to be likely to result in a diversity of residents. The reply explained that the site was not so big: “It’s a layout-of-the-building (issue), that’s how it worked out.” How many of the 45 parking spaces are committed to retail? “None.” Loya reiterated that parking is not under the board’s control. Planner Hurley said the project is code-compliant.
Since the zoning has changed, why not add another story? The architects explained that one more story would affect the way the building had to be built.
Local business owner John – a few blocks south – said “thank you” anticipating his employees will be walking up to have lunch.
Former Design Review Board member Deb Barker noted the project is deviating from the Junction’s two-story-base design guidelines, by presenting a one-story base. She encouraged them to keep th alley garage door “as pedestrian-friendly as possible.” She also urged application of CPTED principles. But she said she’s disappointed in the top of the building and would have liked to see cornices – as designed, in her view, it’s “vanilla, bland … does no service to the building, owners, product …” She also encouraged adding larger residential units.
Architect and new West Seattle resident Jess Zimbabwe said it’s a great project and commnds “what it contributes to the urban pattern.”
Neighbor John, who lives across the alley from the project, asked about garbage/recycling.”It will all be inside, staged on the alley on pickup days,” replied Chapman. What about privacy? “There’s 49 feet between the buildings,” she replied. “We studied the relationship between these buildings very carefully.”
DELIBERATIONS: First it was noted the city was recording audio of the meeting – as of just a few months ago. (We’ve been covering SWDRB meetings for 12 years and that’s a first!). No major criticisms arose in the first time around the table; Rosenstock acknowledged the unit-size-mix concerns are valid but not really in the board’s purview. The board disagreed with the public comment that the top of the building was too bland. They discussed the color mix a bit; they’re recommending a “more graphic treatment” on the building’s back side. Cheng and Loya voiced concerns about “quite a lot of layers” happening in the trim that will be visible to pedestrians; Grainger thought they would be concentrating more on the canopy. He also observed that the brick is being used more like “tile” – so a majority of board members voiced support for using brick “above the canopy (along California)” too – “more unified materials for the whole base,” as Loya summarized.
Other points of discussion: Signage – should Husky have two blade signs? “That doesn’t bother me,” Loya said. Miller noted from the gallery that they also could consider gold-leaf window signage such as the current shop has. … The walk-up ice-cream window and street furniture – maybe that area should be furniture-free so that there’s room for people to line up? Miller clarified that the outside window wouldn’t open until late at night – maybe even starting at 10 pm, running into the wee hours. The SWDRB recommended that the architects review the space allotted for queueing. … For the mural on the south side of the building, they liked the black-and-white-photo-inspired rendering. On the back side, they feel the envisioned color scheme needs some work. “A more creative way to integrate color” into that side, is how they summarized it. … They support the material palette as proposed. … Overall, no significant point of contention emerged, and they unanimously approved advancing the plan out of the design-review process.
IF YOU HAVE COMMENTS … on the design or any other aspect of the project, you can email them to planner Hurley at firstname.lastname@example.org, who will continue to work with the project team, including preparing the final report on this decision.
PROJECT TIMETABLE: We spoke briefly with Miller after the meeting. Construction could start in a year if all the permits are in hand. It will likely take about two years, so you can expect at least three more years in the current location for Husky Deli. Miller says he hopes to plan a fun way to move – he imagines some of the store’s components moving down the block in a community chain of shopping carts. But there’s lots of time to plan.
COLMAN POOL CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC: Another swim-meet closure today.
CANOE JOURNEY DEPARTURES: The Paddle to Lummi resumes around 11 am, we’re told, with canoe families leaving Alki after spending the night with the stop-hosting Muckleshoot Tribe. Time approximate, though. (2701 Alki SW)
(SDOT MAP with travel times/ Is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE/ West Seattle-relevant traffic cams HERE)
7:27 AM: Good morning! No alerts or incidents reported right now in our area.
STADIUM ZONE:Mariners are back home starting tonight, 7:10 pm vs. the Angels.
TUNNEL CLOSURE TONIGHT: The NB 99 tunnel is scheduled to be closed 11 pm tonight through 9 am Saturday.
SATURDAY STREET CLOSURES – WEST SEATTLE: The West Seattle Grand Parade will close California SW south of Admiral Way, to Edmunds, by 8 am tomorrow, until early afternoon. Some side streets near the start and end of the route are used for staging and breakdown. The NO PARKING signs are up for 7 am-3 pm on affected streets. Bus reroutes are linked here.
WEEKEND STREET CLOSURES – WHITE CENTER: On Saturday, the White Center Jubilee Days street fair will close 16th SW all day and into the night between Roxbury and 100th. On Sunday, the Jubilee Days parade will close 16th in the morning between 100th and 112th.
Parade day is almost here! Saturday at 11 am, the West Seattle Grand Parade will start at California/Lander, headed southbound to California/Edmunds. Every year we watch and listen as parade coordinators meet to put the final lineup together, so that we can share some preview info with you. Tonight – some of the performing participants you’ll see!
(Pathfinder K-8 Unicycle Team in a past West Seattle Grand Parade)
*The famous unicyclists from Pathfinder K-8
*Jump-rope stars from West City Ninjas and RopeWorks (2018 entry in above video)
*Cheer teams from local high schools
*Seafair Pirates and Clowns
And of course, this remains the ONLY area parade with two motorcycle drill teams – it’s the only U.S. appearance by the Vancouver, B.C., PD team, and the hometown Seattle PD team is part of the Grand Parade too. The two groups of motorcyclists take to the street before the rest of the parade, and if you are in The Junction, you’ll see the PAWrade on California between Genesee and Edmunds first. (You can be part of it too – and/or you can start your morning even sooner with the Float Dodger 5K leaving Hiawatha and taking to the parade route at 9:30 am.) One more preview to come before parade day!
He was a last-minute booking – the Chamber had long planned to host County Executive Dow Constantine at this month’s lunch meeting, but he canceled yesterday, and first-year Sen. Nguyen agreed to appear instead.
We recorded it all on video:
Text toplines ahead:
“I thought we had a decent year” in the Legislature – “at least if you’re a Democrat.”
The Microsoft manager described his new role as “a fascinating journey.”
4,000 or so bills get introduced each year – less than 10 percent pass – much of the discussion is whether something is really even worthy of discussion.
He said he’s found himself seen as the Legislature’s tech expert by default, just because of his job with a tech giant, though he’s not that much of a technologist.
Sen. Nguyen talked about the 4 committees on which he serves, including Rules, “where the power is.”
Issues for which he fought included the Washington State Scholarship, funded by B&O tax changes. (He said he had tried to exempt smaller businesses but that didn’t pass.) Also clean energy – the electrification of “basically everything” – and environment. And homelessness – “it is three times more expensive to take somebody out of homelessness than to keep them housed.”
Back on the electrification subject, he spoke of state funding for Terminal 5 shore-power capability. Also in maritime matters, funding new ferries.
He also says he’s keenly interested in “uplifting voices … that are not usually there.”
His opening remarks were relatively short, so, he said, he could maximize Q&A time.
First question: Will Legislature take up a potential income tax in light of the recent ruling?
Up to the Supreme Court first, he said.
Second: What about low-carbon fuel standards – California has them, we don’t, for example.
“Maybe” – due to some strong opposition in state power (the Transportation chair, Sen. Steve Hobbs, for one). “We’re literally at an impasse right now.”
He has three kids (including a new baby) plus that fulltime Microsoft job. Does he sleep?
Three to four hours a night.
Parks funding? Alki needs cleanup, an attendee said.
May not be much the state can do, Nguyen replied, but he’ll work to see what can be done including working with the city.
Speaking of the city, another attendee asked, why did he endorse Councilmember Lisa Herbold? The attendee said her use of the term “Chamber of Commerce” pejoratively particularly rankled him.
The senator said he believes there’s a difference between the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce – which has a PAC that has endorsed one of Herbold’s challengers, Phil Tavel – and a local-level chamber like this one.
What about condo reform as part of affordable housing?
Sen. Nguyen noted the liability-reform bill that passed and also talked about empowering municipalities.
How does the Legislature define affordability?
He acknowledged, not quite the same way the average citizen would.
Sen. Nguyen was also asked about the social-media videos he recorded and published during the session. “Why did you walk so fast?” He really was rushing between meetings! He hopes to get more people involved in the process. For example, when legislation affecting people in prison came up, he arranged participation via Skype for people incarcerated in Monroe. For legislation involving homelessness, people came to Olympia from West Seattle tiny-house village Camp Second Chance.
What’s up with encampments on state-owned right of way along freeways?
The state is working on it, he said.
Another question about homelessness: Where in general is it on the state’s radar?
Sen. Nguyen talked about how many people experiencing homelessnes are seniors and/or disabled people. He said he saw the crisis coming because he’s been working on the issue since he was in college. He is “meeting with regional partners” to see who’s doing what and how they can be supported. Twenty percent of the homeless population is chronically homelessbut 80 percent are experiencing it on a one-time basis and supporting keeping them housed is a great way to reduce the problem, he said.
Also while talking about homelessness, mentioning his volunteering at Camp Second Chance and his personal opposition to sweeps, that’s when the senator said: “Some of my positions are controversial because I don’t care about getting re-elected.”
Speaking of elections – is state-paid postage for ballots affecting turnout?
More low-income voters and people of color voted as a result, he said.
How can regular people make a difference at the Legislature?
“If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu,” he quipped. Email. Call. “The biggest thing you can do is show up.” And make yourself heard.
The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce won’t have a lunch meeting in August, but the next one, in September, will be the annual State of the Port lunch at Jack Block Park. Watch wschamber.com for updates.
Just in from an Arbor Heights resident – this clip showing a package thief in a “Just Do It” T-shirt. The victim reports:
We had a few packages stolen from our porch today, and this dude seemed to be making the rounds (I’m assuming because a lot of Prime Day stuff was getting delivered).
If it’s helpful to anyone, here is the video from my doorbell … it seems like others have had the same people steal from them today as well.
The resident also sent this clip from a neighbor’s camera showing a different thief but apparently the same vehicle. We’ll add the police-report number when available. This kind of incident usually can be reported online – police continue to reiterate that it’s really important for everything to be reported.
Just in from the Admiral Neighborhood Association – the first Summer Concerts at Hiawatha show, scheduled for 6:30 tonight, is RAINED OUT – the gym at Hiawatha is not available as a backup. No word yet if Sway Wild will be rescheduled. Five more Thursday night concerts are scheduled – here’s hoping for better weather!