August 2021

‘Priority Hire’ approval to create local construction jobs for West Seattle Bridge repairs

USDOT approval paves the way for federal funds and direct support in economically distressed communities

information from Seattle Department of Transportation

by Katie Olsen on August 31, 2021


The U.S. Department of Transportation has approved the City of Seattle’s request to use “Priority Hire”, requiring that the contractor repairing the West Seattle Bridge hire from local economically distressed communities as it works to reopen the high-bridge by mid-2022.

“Our top priority is supporting our residents and neighborhoods most affected by the bridge closure. Through Priority Hire, now we can support our communities in another way by providing high-quality, family-wage construction career access and direct opportunities to small businesses that have been disproportionately impacted over the past year.” 

Mayor Jenny Durkan


White Center Block Party raises more than $20,000 for fire victims

Donations, a pub crawl, silent auction and raffle all raised funds

The White Center Block Party on Aug. 29 raised more than $20,600 to benefit seven businesses that were damaged in an arson fire on July 5. That fire which began at the Lumberyard Bar, quickly spread through the all wooden structure to the others in the building through the ceiling. That meant fire fighters could not enter the building to fight the flames from inside. The result was either total destruction or heavy smoke damage.

A series of GoFundMe pages were set up to help and they quickly drew donations. But more was needed to aid the employees suddenly out of work.


The mural of the Discovery moves east (about 30 feet) at West 5

If you've ever had a meal or drinks at West 5 in the junction, or if you are of a finer vintage, and recall dining at the Vann Brothers Restaurant a couple of decades ago, you will likely recall a large painting, a mural in fact of the HMS Discovery. The Discovery was the ship upon which Captain George Vancouver first sailed into Puget Sound. 

Ever since 2002 when the painting was rescued from the Vann Building basement it has hung in the back of West 5, on the south wall where it's provenance and meaning were known to only a few.

Now it has been moved to a place where it can be seen more readily and the story of the ship, and it's Captain and crew can be learned and remembered. It was moved on Sunday to the north wall near the entrance of West 5 “Discovery” was painted by Fred Oldfield in the early 1950s. The new location is visible to the general public from the sidewalk.


White Center Block Party Benefit shaping up to be a special event

Auction items include an autographed Eddie Vedder ukelele, and dinner for four at new gourmet restaurant TOMO

The fire that swept through seven businesses in White Center on July 5 prompted a remarkable outpouring of support for those businesses with GoFundMe pages getting remarkable support. But of course while those efforts were met with gratitude and saw several businesses announce soon after, plans to reopen, the employees and their families who were put out of work plus the extended White Center community were affected too. 

That meant something more needed to be done. Donna Chan at Macadon's and others in the business community put together a White Center Block Party Benefit, set for Sunday August, 29 from 12 noon to 7pm

They are closing the block from 16th SW to the 98th SW and you are invited. The event is FREE and will feature live music on the stage at Drunky Two Shoes BBQ.



SDOT adding a school zone safety camera at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic School on 35th Ave SW between SW Willow St and SW Othello

information from Seattle Department of Transportation

School goes back into session starting next week! That means sharing the road with children walking, biking and taking the bus to school. We all have a part to play to keep kids and families safe: drive the speed limit, obey signs, and expect more families and kids on our sidewalks and streets.   

People driving should slow down and pay attention. Follow the speed limit to avoid getting a ticket when school zone safety cameras are turned back on. 

Starting on September 1, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) will turn on school zone safety cameras throughout Seattle. Cameras are located around the city and automatically send tickets to drivers photographed speeding. Lights on the signs will flash on school days during arrival and dismissal, warning drivers to slow down, keep our students safe, and avoid getting a ticket in the mail.  


West Seattle road rage incident leads to shooting

information from the Seattle Police Blotter

Police seized two guns after a road rage incident led to a shooting that caused a flat tire, just west of the lower West Seattle Bridge on Tuesday afternoon. 

At approximately 4:50 p.m., police responded to a road rage incident near West Marginal Way Southwest and Southwest Spokane Street. Two vehicles – a Honda and a Subaru – were involved and occupants of both vehicles (each car had a male driver and one female passenger) called 911 to report the incident. Accounts of the incident differed from car to car, as did several witness accounts. Police developed the following approximation of the events:


Junction parking lot land future still being mulled by ownership group

Development looking more likely as more offers are expected; Hospital still under consideration for 42nd SW if not sold to Community Roots for affordable housing

By Patrick Robinson

In the most recent set of minutes, dated July 27, from the West Seattle Trusteed Partners Executive Committee a picture emerges of 'wait and see' on the future of the land now comprising the largest parking lots in the West Seattle Junction, though offers are being actively weighed.