West Seattle, Washington
10:01 PM: Looking for something to be hopeful about as we wrap up another week? Consider the youth who showed off projects tonight at the Denny International Middle School STEM Fair.
7th-grader John Nguyen, for example, invented wearable technology to generate power/heat for its wearer. He’s working trying to find electricity sources for parts of the planet that still struggle with generating energy. Power generation was also these two girls’ goal:
8th graders Mara Golden and Leah Golan took trash from the lunchroom and used bacteria to turn it into usable methane. Like John, they were concerned about providing energy that wouldn’t worsen climate change.
7th grader Alisaundria Hardwell, meantime, was exploring DNA – not only what it is, but what it looks like:
And the daunting project name of The Helpful, Friendly Solar Death Ray was supplied by 8th grader Ptolemy Bear:
Ptolemy says this can help with cooking, too. These projects and others were all shown off at Denny in an hour-and-a-half event tonight that was open to the community and showcased in our morning calendar preview.
ADDED SATURDAY AFTERNOON: We’ve received a few more photos – first, congratulations to 7th-grade winner Shea Gilbert, whose photo was texted to us:
Her project involved hydroponics. And from Denny principal Jeff Clark, photos from the ceremony during the fair – note the faculty wearing lab coats in bright Denny Dolphins blue:
Clark adds, “I am so proud of the impressive projects our amazing scholars created! Our science teachers, who supported them every step of the way, are awesome! I am also thankful for the huge turnout and support from our community! Go Dolphins!”
You’ve probably seen – or at least heard – the sea lions and seals who hang out on that mooring buoy off West Seattle’s northeast shore. Christopher Boffoli‘s photo provides a drone’s-eye view from more than 300 feet up (drone operators are required to stay below 400 feet). It also gives us a reason to remind you about the rules on the ground – we talked earlier this week with Seal Sitters at a taped-off stretch of Alki, east of the end of the sandy beach, and learned about what happened to Taffy the harbor seal. Most of the marine mammals on the buoy are California sea lions, by the way.
Two more updates related to the Spokane Street cleanup, now that we’ve arrived at the end of the week. We had asked city spokesperson Julie Moore for some stats and “what’s next,” and here’s that information:
Over the two-day cleanup all along Spokane Street (trash pickup and encampment removal from near the bike trail), the City removed approximately 108 tons of trash and debris. As I described in my earlier email, the area along the bike trail where tents were removed on Wednesday will be an emphasis area and once posted, the City will remove new tents that may try to locate there.
While we are considering options for moving the RVs from that location, we do not have an immediate timeline for doing so. In general, the City is focusing efforts on working with individuals in tent encampments, especially the ones with the greatest public health and safety concerns for the individuals and the surrounding community. The Navigation Team is connecting with those individuals to find solutions that fit their needs and will help move them into safer living situations. Other City crews are addressing the trash related to encampments and illegal dumping in general around the city.
In the meantime, some of the individuals living in the RVs have been collecting trash in bags and setting it out for pickup. The City is amenable to working with them to continue the effort to manage their own trash as we work on a longer-term plan for moving people to alternative shelter or housing situations.
Our crews have repaired nine of the lights under the West Seattle Bridge. Six remain out. Repairing those requires creating clearance around ground vaults where RVs are currently parked. We’re working with Finance and Administrative Services on a plan for when and how that can be done. That work can be accomplished without moving all the RVs.
We’ve also been asking him about the lights that are out on the high bridge, since some commenters wondered about those – Thomsen’s update on that: “We continue to work with SDOT to restore the lights on top of the bridge; that work could be done in about a week.”
3:54 PM: Seattle Fire has sent a “rescue response” to the scene of a reported multiple-vehicle crash in the 3700 block of West Marginal Way SW. We’re on the way to find out more.
3:57 PM: Looks like no major injuries – most of the SFD units, including the medic units, have been dismissed.
4:09 PM: Our crew confirms no serious injuries and no impact on traffic in the area.
Just got this announcement that Admiral Veterinary Hospital (2231 California SW) is closing after today:
After 30 years, Dr. Don Shaffer has retired (a little earlier than expected – he had originally planned to retire in the fall). Cheryl, a vet assistant who has been at Admiral since 1989, wants to let everyone know that she’s been immensely happy to know and serve all the many cats & dogs (and one turtle) who have come in for treatment. Also, the many, many good people who are their parents. The office will still be open on a limited basis for clients to pick up copies of their records (for at least the first half of April). Please call for coordination of pick-up times at 206-937-4940 (please leave a message).
Ruth, who sent the notice, says she and Pam are retiring; Cheryl will be taking care of her grandson.
We’re still waiting for city reps to provide a wrapup of this week’s operation along Spokane Street east of the low bridge (6:50 pm update – here it is), one week after the attack that brought conditions there to wider light – but in the meantime, we have answers to a question a few have asked: What if tents appear again in the area where they were cleared for encroaching on the bicycle path?
We asked city spokesperson Julie Moore, who explained that this is now an “emphasis area”:
People should report encampments/illegal camping by calling the Customer Service Bureau at 206-684-2489 (CITY) or using the Find It, Fix It app. See Encampment Cleanup Process Overview for what happens after an encampment is reported.
The area where tents were removed along the bike trail at Spokane Street and the West Seattle Bridge this week will now be considered an emphasis area (see more on what that means below) and will be posted as such later today. The Navigation Team will do the posting and will work with any folks who have moved back into that area to move them out. As with the cleanup this week, at this time this designation only applies to the area along the bike trail and does not apply to the RVs and tents under the bridge between the two lanes of Spokane Street.
Emphasis Areas – Per our new encampment removal rules (aka MDARs), the City may identify specific areas as emphasis areas, which are places where an encampment has become a consistent problem. The removal of tents and belongings from posted emphasis areas does not require notice as with other encampments, though we will still store personal belongings. The City will post signage at an emphasis area, stating that: camping is prohibited, any material found in that area may be removed without further notice, where personal property is stored and how the owner can retrieve their belongings.
When designating an emphasis area, the City will make a determination based on the totality of the circumstances of the particular location. No more than 10 emphasis areas will be identified as such at any one time, and those locations will be listed on the City’s website (we’re working on that and the map will be posted under the Unauthorized Encampments page no later than Monday).
Meantime, we’ll have a separate update when we hear back about the overall cleanup operation. Seattle City Light also had told us that the long-malfunctioning lights in that area would be working again by tonight; if you ride or run through that area this evening, please let us know what you see.
If the Highway 99 tunneling machine keeps digging at the same pace of the past few days – 61 feet between yesterday’s update and today’s update, and 127 feet to go – next week could bring the breakthrough. Just a reminder that WSDOT and Seattle Tunnel Partners are NOT opening the site for the public to watch it happen, but they’re working on some kind of a live feed. Once the machine gets to the end of the line, it will be broken into pieces, which is why they’re calling what you see above “the disassembly pit.”
11:43 AM: An out-of-place car led to a decision to have Pathfinder K-8 on Pigeon Point “shelter in place” today. Here’s the letter just sent to families by principal David Dockendorf:
I want to share with you an incident at Pathfinder K-8 this morning that prompted me to call a Shelter In Place as a precautionary measure for safety of our students and staff. Overnight, a car was driven on the pathway between our playground and 21st and runs through the greenbelt. I called 911 and the District Safety and Security team to inform them that the car ended up deeply buried in the mud and that there was a man sitting in the driver’s seat. When I went to investigate the situation, I talked to the man for a few minutes and his behavior appeared to be somewhat erratic and disjointed. I notified him that 911 had been called.
After conferring with the Safety and Security department, we made the decision to go into Shelter in Place out of an abundance of caution. During a Shelter in Place, we lock all doors, we keep all students inside the building/classrooms. Teaching and learning continues; students may use the bathroom, and middle school students can switch classes as normal. Within the classrooms we ask that teachers close the window blinds and lock their classroom doors. Lights remain on and teaching continues as usual.
I have communicated with all teachers regarding the incident and have asked them to speak with their students.
The police have been dispatched to the incident and are expected to arrive shortly.
I am proud of how calmly teachers and staff have talked with our students to help make them feel safe and secure and that when incidents arise like this; the safety and security of our students is a top priority and we have a plan and protocol we follow closely. I anticipate calling the Shelter in Place off once the police arrive and ensure the area is safe.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
1:50 PM: The “shelter in place” ended at 12:20 pm – our apologies for not adding this update sooner; the school sent a second update to families (and to us) at that time.
Friday’s here – last day of March! Four options for the rest of the day and tonight …
BONNIE & CLYDE @ WSHS: A musical adaptation of the crime-and-romance classic is onstage again tonight at West Seattle High School‘s Theater, 7:30 pm. Details in our calendar listing. (3000 California SW)
STEM FAIR AT DENNY: You’re invited to Denny International Middle School tonight, 6:30-8 pm. Principal Jeff Clark says, “Our scholars have been working hard on their science and engineering projects all month. Please join us to see the projects and celebrate their achievements!” (2601 SW Kenyon)
‘WEST END GIRLS’: As previewed here on Wednesday, this is a drag extravaganza, produced and hosted at The Skylark by West Seattleite Cookie Couture. At 8 pm, watch the new episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race; at 9:30 pm, the live show goes on. Ticket info and more in our calendar listing. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
ROCK X 3: Melodramus, Megasapien, Lark Vs. Owl at Parliament Tavern, 9 pm. $5 cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
It’s the new-business question we’ve been asked the most in recent weeks – when is the Westwood Village Ulta Beauty store opening? Today, we finally have the answer. We first reported back in June that Ulta would be taking over the former Pier 1 Imports space, after we found the information in the city permit files; the company wouldn’t confirm at the time, but the store has taken shape in recent months. Finally, they’ve announced the grand opening weekend as Friday, April 14th, through Sunday, April 16th. This is one of about 100 stores the chain expects to open this fiscal year; it has almost 1,000 stores nationwide.
Girl Scout generosity and resourcefulness were on display at West Seattle (Admiral) Library Thursday afternoon. Troop 44398 members were putting together more than 200 craft kits to donate to kids who are getting care at Children’s Hospital, inspired by a desire to help after finding out that one troop member’s sister would be going there for brain-tumor treatment. Assembling the kits was an intense amount of work!
This was an all-West Seattle enterprise, as the kits to make polka-dot lanterns were from West Seattle-based Trendy Crafts, whose co-founder Julie Rasmussen says they “can be easily crafted from a hospital bed.”
6:55 AM: Friday’s here. No incidents in/from West Seattle so far this morning.
WEEKEND ALERT: Highway 520 across Lake Washington will be closed all weekend for work, so that’ll put extra pressure on I-90.
8:25 AM: Crash on NB 99 at Lander.
8:49 AM: Multiple reports that because of the crash – blocking two lanes – the C Line has been diverted to the SODO Busway.
8:52 AM: More than just the C Line, per Metro:
Transit Alert – Rts 21, 55, 56, 120, 121, 125 & the C Line are rerouted off Alaskan Wy Viaduct; Use stops on 1 Av or on 3 Av in Seattle.
— King County Metro (@kcmetrobus) March 31, 2017
9:08 AM: Right now the SDOT camera we use most mornings for Highway 99 at Lander, above, is showing the truck that’s at the heart of the two-lane blockage.
9:31 AM: All clear, says SDOT.
11:03 PM: On partner site White Center Now, we’re covering a shooting that happened in WC about half an hour ago. A man has serious but not life-threatening injuries. The shooter is said to have fled north toward Roxbury so Seattle Police are helping with a wide-ranging search in case he’s in West Seattle. Updates as we get them.
12:04 AM: No further information from KCSO, but we expect to get more details later this morning and will update here and on WCN.
Earlier this month, SDOT opened the floodgates and poured out updates and feedback-requests for 4 West Seattle projects. Tomorrow is the deadline for most of the associated surveys, so we’re providing the links one more time:
DELRIDGE RAPIDRIDE H LINE: The main question for you in an “online open house” (which we explored in this story) is, Option 1 or Option 2, when Metro Route 120 changes into the H Line in 2020? The survey is open through tomorrow – find it here.
FAUNTLEROY BOULEVARD: After briefings and walking tours, your last chance for feedback on the design, landscaping, and construction detours/duration for this project is at the bottom of the SDOT project page, and tomorrow is the deadline for this too.
Here’s our most-recent report, after going along on both walking tours; here’s our report on last month’s briefing at the West Seattle Transportation Coalition.
Two more projects, both the result of community proposals, don’t have input deadlines, but sooner is better than later:
HARBOR/SPOKANE/AVALON IMPROVEMENTS: This one has changed the official map since we first reported on the feedback phase – look at that link for the old one, which singled out possible parking removal and protected bike lane on the west side of the project, and now mentions (new map below, found on project page tonight) that Avalon is set for paving in two years and that community input might change the design:
The questions SDOT has for you, and the address to use to answer them, are on the project page.
CHIEF SEALTH WALKWAY IMPROVEMENTS: The questions about this project are also on its SDOT page. In this case, the map is the same one made public two weeks ago:
You can browse WSB archives of transportation-related stories, including the projects mentioned above, by going here.
The photo is from a trip to the State Capitol today by staffers and board members of West Seattle Helpline, as the State Senate unanimously passed a resolution, SR 8615, in honor of its work supporting local families by providing emergency services and preventing homelessness. At center of the photo is 34th District State Senator Sharon Nelson, who praised WS Helpline in a speech on the Senate floor, acknowledging its staff and several board members staff of the West Seattle Helpline (Chris Langeler, Theresa Sundin, Layla Al-Jamal Judkins, Joan O’Brien) and several members of the board (Nick Naubert, Tracey Byrne, Rev. Ron Marshall, Mike Entzminger). Senator Nelson’s office organized a clothing drive among legislators and staff members and had a carload of donated clothing for WS Helpline’s newly expanded Clothesline. Here’s our coverage of last weekend’s Clothesline open house – here’s one of the rooms that’s ready to go, a dignified and easy-to-use space for the people in need of the donated clothing:
You can still donate here to help the Helpline get every room in the new space in shape.
Tonight, salmon are in the spotlight at The Whale Trail‘s Orca Talk. Right now, we have two updates involving local salmon and the people who track them:
Spring is when coho smolts leave Fauntleroy Creek for their two years in saltwater and creek volunteers have documented the first to head for Puget Sound.
Soft trapping of smolts at upper- and lower-creek locations began in mid March and Dennis Hinton found a healthy 4-5 incher on March 20. He and Pete Draughon check both traps daily to count the fish before sending them on their way.
“The number of smolts to survive their year in Fauntleroy Creek tells us a lot about habitat conditions here – the health of the creek,” Dennis said. “Like the number of spawners in the fall, smolt numbers have varied widely over the 14 years we’ve been monitoring, from a high of 157 in 2012 to 19 last year.”
Most of the smolts are likely coho released as fry by students in the Salmon in the Schools program. Creek volunteers will be supporting 19 releases involving about 750 students starting in late April.
Among the schools in that program is West Seattle Elementary, which got a visit earlier this month from biologist Steev Ward – who gave students a close-up look at what’s inside a fish:
Ward’s presentation took about an hour, explaining the fish’s internal systems, how they worked, what’s different from ours. The students asked about topics including the salmon’s digestive and nervous systems, and they learned that a salmon has a small bone in its head that helps it hear.
They asked Ward how many fish he had dissected; he said he’d lost count, maybe in the thousands. What would happen to what’s left of this one, they also asked. It was to be buried at his house, since the possibility of contamination meant the carcass couldn’t just be placed back in a stream.
From South Seattle College (WSB sponsor): A gathering today at SSC looked ahead to the expansion of the 13th Year Promise Scholarship, which within a year will be available to both of our area’s public high schools:
Seattle Public Schools (SPS) senior leadership and administrators visited South Seattle College (SSC) on Thursday morning, March 30, to learn more about the 13th Year Promise Scholarship that currently provides one year of tuition-free college to graduating seniors from Chief Sealth International, Rainier Beach and Cleveland high schools. The program will expand to include West Seattle High School graduates starting with their 2018 class.
SSC President Gary Oertli and our SPS guests discussed the creation a college-going culture in southeast and southwest public schools, where elementary students have an understanding and expectation that college is a reality in their future, regardless of economic circumstances, because of the 13th Year program.
SPS attendees included Superintendent Larry Nyland, Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning Michael Tolley, School Board Director Leslie Harris, Executive Director for Southwest Region Helen Joung and Executive Director for Southeast Region Kelly Aramaki. Also in attendance were administrators from elementary, middle and high schools from the southeast and southwest regions.
The 13th Year Promise program is being expanded with the help of money allocated in the new city budget.
One week from tonight, the Southwest Design Review Board will get its first look at the newest proposed project at 3257 Harbor Avenue SW, now proposed for 30+ townhouse units – depending on which design alternative moves forward – a short distance north of the bridge. The “design packet” that the board will review, and take public comments about, is available for public preview – see it embedded above, or on the city website, here (57 MB PDF). This will be an Early Design Guidance review, so that means it’s focused primarily on the size, shape, and site placement of the project. The packet by Lemons Architecture PLLC shows three options for how the units would be arranged on the site (starting on page 21). The meeting is at 6:30 pm Thursday, April 6, at the Sisson Building/Senior Center (4217 SW Oregon).
BACKSTORY: A different proposal, centered on apartments, went through one Design Review meeting in 2014, but then was shelved, and we reported first word of the new townhouse plan last fall.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
For the first time in six years, the Southwest Precinct has its own Crime Prevention Coordinator.
As first reported in our coverage of this week’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting, Jennifer Burbridge is the new CPC. Mark Solomon has done double CPC duty for the Southwest and South Precincts since the retirement of Benjamin Kinlow in 2011; this year’s city budget included funding for each precinct to have a dedicated CPC (a civilian position with SPD).
You might know Burbridge already, as she explained in this message about what she’ll be doing:
As some of you may know, for the last two years I have worked out of the SW Precinct as the Seattle University Graduate Research Analyst, specifically tasked with the Micro-Community Policing Plan (MCPP) project.
In my new capacity, I will be working closely with the SW Precinct community, as well as the officers of the SW Precinct, in order to decrease crime by developing, implementing and coordinating a variety of police programs in the area of crime prevention.
I will organize special Seattle Police Department functions such as Night Out, Community Cleanups and help organize and participate in the annual Precinct Picnic. I will also be regularly attending Block Watch and community crime-prevention meetings. Over the next few months, I will be receiving a variety of helpful trainings and certifications.
Having a dedicated CPC for this community, Burbridge believes, will mean “more time, more involvement, and more outreach,” and “consistent, specialized crime prevention attention” for each community within the precinct’s jurisdiction: “Hopefully the work I will do for this community will be beneficial and well-received, but will also have a direct impact on reducing the crimes our community deals with.” She adds that she hopes to “make a difference when it comes to crime in this area. I hope that the work I do will have a lasting effect on the community, the precinct, and the community members here. I honestly believe crime prevention is not only extremely important, but I also think it can be immensely effective – and I am so looking forward to being part of the solution.”
We also asked Burbridge why she decided to go into public-safety work:
As cheesy as this may sound, I truly want to make a difference.
When I began my Master’s Degree program in Criminal Justice at Seattle University, I thought the way I was going to make a difference was through the corrections system, specifically in probation or parole.
However, through my Master’s program, I was selected for the amazing opportunity to be an intern for the Seattle Police Department at the SW Precinct. I can honestly say that this internship changed my life. I found a passion that I didn’t know that I had. I truly discovered how much I enjoy working with law enforcement and working towards a productive solution. In our society today, there are a great deal of negative views pushed toward the police, and I find it extremely beneficial to have working partnerships between the community and the police. I am very excited and feel very fortunate to play a small part in making these partnerships successful in the SW Precinct area.
And her last message for you as she gets started as CPC: “If you have questions about crime prevention or would like to speak with me about your crime concerns, please feel free to email me at: Jennifer.Burbridge@seattle.gov. I will get back to you just as soon as possible.”
We got a couple questions about a state ferry under tow off West Seattle right now. It’s the former M/V Evergreen State, built in 1954, sold earlier this year. Its new owners bought it for $300,000 and plan to use it in the Caribbean, according to this Washington State Ferries news release. But it’s not headed there yet – it’s headed to temporary moorage and is expected to be towed to Grenada later this year.
West Seattle/South Park residents proposed more than 200 ways to spend almost $300,000 in city grant money for park/street projects … and tonight is your last chance to help decide which ones will move on to a vote. From Jenny Frankl at the Department of Neighborhoods:
This will be the final meeting to decide what projects will move forward. Meeting kicks off @ 5:30 p.m. @ the Southwest Branch of the Seattle Public Library (9010 35th Ave SW).
*If you are just now plugging into this process, first and foremost, welcome! Secondly, just wanted to quickly catch you up – In the previous three meetings for District 1, each D1 project that has been submitted has been reviewed and scored twice (with the exception of those listed below). This meeting tomorrow will be to select from the projects that received the highest scores from those two reviews.
*For those of you who have attended one of these prior meetings, this meeting will be slightly different than the others so far, so I also wanted to give you a better idea of what to expect.
We will be reviewing three sets of projects, that you can find on the updated District 1 Project Map:
*The projects that were scored the highest in the previous District 1 project development meetings and indicated by green pinpoints
*The projects that were scored twice, but the two scores varied greatly are indicated by yellow pinpoints
*The projects that still need to receive their second review are indicated by red pinpoints
In tonight’s meeting, you all will review the orange & red projects first. Once we receive their additional scores, we will tally up their collective scores, and add the highest scored projects to the other list of projects that have scored highly in this process. You will all then review and prioritize the overall list of highly-scored projects.
The goal for the meeting is to select 10 of these projects that will first advance to SDOT/Parks for a thorough feasibility and cost assessment, and then on to the ballot in June!
Anyone is welcome to participate tonight, whether you’ve been to one of the previous review meetings or not.
As first reported here back in January, this is the city’s new process replacing what had long been vetting of proposals and projects through neighborhood-district councils, until the mayor’s decision last year to cut the city’s ties with, and nominal funding for, those groups. (The two in West Seattle, Southwest and Delridge, are continuing on as independent organizations meeting monthly.)
Morning through night, some options for your Thursday;
DEMENTIA-FRIENDLY STORY SHARE AND SKETCH: New weekly program at High Point Community Center, 10 am-noon: “A free storytelling and art-making experience for people living with memory loss, led by skilled facilitators. No experience necessary, all materials provided. Care partners welcome.” More info here. (6920 34th SW)
TINKERLAB DROP-IN CRAFTS: All ages welcome at this weekly drop-in STEM-based crafts event at High Point Library, 4-5:30 pm. More info here. (35th SW/SW Raymond)
TAP STATION TRIVIA NIGHT: Monthly trivia event, all ages, free to enter, 7 pm. (7900 35th SW)
LIVE MUSIC @ WHISKY WEST: Jim Marcotte at 7 pm, no cover, 21+. (6451 California SW)
ORCA TALK: Tonight’s edition of The Whale Trail‘s speaker series focuses on saving salmon, without which our Southern Resident Killer Whales will starve. 7 pm at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor). Ticket info and more details are in our calendar listing. (5612 California SW)
‘BONNIE & CLYDE’ AT WSHS: Opening night for the new West Seattle High School production, “a thrilling musical with a non-traditional score” – 7:30 pm, WSHS Theater. More info in our calendar listing. (3000 California SW)
THERE’S MORE! – on our complete calendar.