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.