West Seattle, Washington
Around the same time we were checking out tonight’s big police response in Highland Park, there was also an emergency call at 35th SW and SW Willow in Gatewood. The scene was clear by the time we got there to check, but the online incident log indicated someone was taken to the hospital by Seattle Fire Department Medic 32, and we did just get some information from SFD spokesperson Lt. Harold Webb. He says a “young male” was taken to Harborview Medical Center wth “facial injuries,” in stable condition. The rider, who was wearing a helmet, “apparently went over handlebars after going off a drop” at a park, which we believe would have been Myrtle Reservoir Park.
By Talajah Williams, student reporter
Special to West Seattle Blog
For the first time since introducing chess in 2012, West Seattle Elementary had five students who earned the right to compete at the state level.
Only two students qualified in past years.
This year, those five third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students played in the 2017 Washington State Elementary and Middle School Chess Championships on April 29th in Tacoma. Although they did not bring home top trophies, they did their school proud.
All played five matches; one won three out of five and two won two out of five.
Competition was stiff. A hundred schools from throughout the state were represented by more than 1,000 students. Other West Seattle schools at the tourney were Fairmount Park Elementary, Lafayette Elementary, Pathfinder K-8, and Madison Middle School.
“We strive to provide different avenues of success for our students, especially those whose rudimentary grasp of English makes success on state tests a steep challenge,” said Ritchie Garcia, who’s in his first year running the program for second through fifth grades. He also coaches the 45-member after-school chess club.
“With chess, no language barrier inhibits bright minds from excelling.” he added. “Even those lacking English proficiency can have the immediate reward of being able to demonstrate their intelligence and critical-thinking skills.”
The five students qualified for state by winning at least three local competitions. Every win is announced on Husky News, the school’s TV show, and during an assembly. Trophies are beginning to fill cases outside the school office.
Just this school year, fourth grader Sabrina Ali decided to give chess a try after seeing the enthusiasm of other students and Garcia’s skill as the coach. She found she liked it – and proved she was good enough to go to state. She overcame a case of nerves to face five opponents on the floor of Tacoma’s convention center.
“Even if students don’t win, chess prepares them for life,” said Garcia, “because it helps them think critically about the decisions they make.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Thanks to Judy Pickens for the first tip about this achievement and coordinating making the student-written report and coach photos available. And congratulations to all!
Thanks for the tips. We just checked out what was reported as a sizable police response in Highland Park, near 12th and Thistle. It’s wrapping up; responders at the scene tell us it involved a “person in crisis.” No injuries, we’re told.
In a week and a half, on Sunday, May 21st, the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse celebrates its centennial. Part of the celebration will be a “group hug” photo like the ones organized in each of the past three years for the Log House Museum totem pole (2014), the Alki Homestead rescue (2015), and the Admiral Theater renovations (2016). Unlike those three, this one will not have hundreds of elementary schoolchildren in attendance – and while alums of the former Fauntleroy Elementary (1917-1981) have been invited, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society says everyone is invited to be in the photo. Here’s a video invitation:
The photo – to be taken by Jean Sherrard of “Now and Then” fame from a 26-foot-high Pacific Rim Equipment Rental scissor lift – is set for 11:30 am on May 21st, right after a flag-raising ceremony and a few brief speeches, and then the centennial celebration will continue until 3 pm, with a variety of activities – find out more here, and set your calendar to be there and celebrate an important part of West Seattle history!
Out of the inbox this afternoon, from Lorabeth:
I wanted other WSB readers to know there is a dive-bombing crow guarding territory immediately in front of the entrance to the Admiral Branch of the Seattle Public Library.
He hit me in the head and made several more attempts as I hurried to get out of the area. I think there may be a nest in one of the trees near the front steps.
I called the library and also alerted them. Will wear a hard hat next time!
WDFW’s ‘Living With Wildlife‘ one-sheet about crows includes info about dive-bombing.
Today we’re welcoming one of the newest WSB sponsors, Sleepers In Seattle, headquartered in The Junction. Here’s what they would like you to know about what they offer:
Our tagline reads, “More Sleeper Sofas Than Anywhere Else.” If you need a sleeper sofa, you’re in luck — because we have the best selection in the world, and we are the experts.
People come to Sleepers in Seattle because we have over 100 different sleeper models in stock, and literally millions of custom options. Other stores carry 2 or 3 sofa beds, usually in brown. Once people get to us, our expert staff helps them find the perfect sleeper sofa for their needs, considering style, size, comfort, and upholstery. We often send customers home with swatch samples so they can get a better sense of how the piece will fit with their existing decor. We’ve been doing something right, because Sleepers In Seattle is proud to have called West Seattle home for over 25 years!
Sleepers In Seattle has more than sleeper sofas – recliners, too! Right now they have a sale on Stressless recliners – 10 percent off. Some of the 26 different recliners are in stock; others can be ordered from the store or online.
Sleepers In Seattle is in The Junction at 4741 California SW, open 10 am-6 pm Mondays-Saturdays, noon-5 pm Sundays. Call 206-932-8500 or 888-922-SOFA.
We thank Sleepers In Seattle for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
The biggest news at last night’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting was word of speed bumps on the way to another waterfront trouble spot. That was revealed during this month’s SPD briefing:
SOUTHWEST PRECINCT BRIEFING: Community Police Team Officer Jon Flores was at ANA to talk with attendees. He brought stats:
In Admiral, residential burglaries are down 7 percent year to year; 16 have been reported so far this year, compared to 23 by this time last year. Car prowls have been a big issue and year to date the numbers are up, 61 in Admiral year to date as of today, 41 to this time last year. The precinct is proactively patrolling West Seattle hotspots, including undercover – “you won’t see us there, but we’ll be there” – such as Lincoln Park.
Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis, Officer Flores said, wants people to know that the precinct is working with the Traffic Enforcement division to have patrols on Alki this summer. And he also the SW Precinct Bicycle Team is now “fully functional” and will be deployed in Admiral and Alki this summer as things get busier. In general, as summer nears, Alki becomes the area where officers also are told to be if they are not on emergency responses somewhere else, “to set the tone.”
Officer Flores added that he is working with some neighborhoods on traffic calming and ongoing problems, such as the section of Beach Drive that worked with SDOT to get the OK for speed bumps.
We’ve been trying to get an update on Phase 2 of SDOT‘s 35th Avenue SW project, which has gone without a public update for 9 months now, since an “open house” last August and a followup walking tour. Today, we found an update in the Vision Zero progress report published as part of the agenda for the City Council’s Sustainability and Transportation Committee meeting Friday morning. The report includes summaries of several road-redesign projects around the city, including 35th, which was rechannelized south of SW Holly in fall 2015:
35th Ave SW
On 35th Ave SW, a 1.75 mile redesign and speed limit change has reduced collisions and speeds.
Left-turn collisions have been virtually eliminated. The street redesign has also allowed SDOT to mark new pedestrian crossings.
While we’ve successfully reduced speeds on this street, it took some tinkering with signal timing and public feedback to get operations dialed in.
After initial implementation, we nearly eliminated collision types like sideswipes and left turn crashes.
We did, however, see an increase in rear-end crashes, on Saturdays in particular (which is not uncommon with projects of this nature). We collected additional data and began tweaking signal timing on Saturdays. Since then, we’ve improved operations on 35th and rear-end crashes on the weekends are down by 72%.
To date, there have been zero serious or fatal collisions since redesigning the street.
We’ll release a before and after report in summer 2017 and our work on the northern segment of the corridor will begin in earnest shortly thereafter.
That’s the full text of what the new Vision Zero report says about 35th SW (you can find it on page 15 of the report). When the city held an open house last August, it had promised the next discussion of Phase 2 would be “early” this year.
(Spotted sandpiper, photographed by Mark Wangerin at T-107 Park on the Duwamish River)
Here are highlights of what’s happening for the rest of today/tonight:
GIVEBIG, UNTIL 11:59 PM: If you missed it earlier, here’s our list of West Seattle and White Center nonprofits accepting donations as part of this year’s GiveBIG drive, which continues until 11:59 tonight.
OPENING DAY: As reported here earlier this week, Sushi Samurai‘s Alki location opens today, 11:30 am-7 pm. (2758 Alki SW)
AUTHOR ANGELA FLOURNOY @ SW LIBRARY: 12:30-1:40 pm, the author of this year’s Seattle Reads book, “The Turner House,” Angela Flournoy, is at Southwest Library to discuss and sign her book. (35th SW/SW Henderson)
HOMELESSNESS UPDATE: During the City Council’s 2 pm Human Services and Public Health Committee meeting, an update on the city’s homelessness crisis is scheduled. The meeting’s at City Hall downtown, and live on Seattle Channel. (600 4th Avenue)
METRO LEAGUE TRACK AND FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Day 1, this afternoon at Southwest Athletic Complex. (2801 SW Thistle)
CLOTHING/JEWELRY FUNDRAISER: 5-8 pm at the Junction RE/MAX office, Rosemary Blackwell and Marion Lisko are selling fashion clothing and jewelry to raise money for the National Kidney Foundation. (4400 SW Alaska)
CHIEF SEALTH IHS PTSA: 7 pm at Chief Sealth International High School in the Confucius Center: “We will be voting on the 2017-18 budget, updating our Standing Rules and electing new Executive Board Officers.” Light refreshments. (2600 SW Thistle)
THE BILLY JOE SHOW: 8-11 pm, live music at Parliament Tavern. No cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
LOTS MORE FOR TODAY/TONIGHT … on our complete-calendar page!
Two “trains” of enthusiastic bike riders converged on Alki Elementary this morning for this year’s Bike to School Day. Actually, some riders used other human-powered forms of transportation:
The volunteer crossing guard at 59th SW and Alki SW was Alki parent Ken Harmell. Two groups gathered to ride to school this morning, one from Me-Kwa-Mooks, one from Anchor Park.
Thanks to Chris Nutter, who coordinated today’s event, for letting us know about it!
6:59 AM: Good morning! No incidents currently reported in or from West Seattle.
BIKE-TO-SCHOOL DAY: It’s happening today around Seattle.
EARLY DISMISSAL DAY: Seattle Public Schools are out two hours early today.
7:20 AM: Thanks to Kelly for first word of this – the Highland Park Way/West Marginal Way SW signal is flashing, and that’s backed up eastbound traffic all the way up the hill, and then some. Avoid.
7:26 AM: At left of Kelly’s photo, that’s an SDOT crew on scene, but the Traffic Operations Center didn’t have word of this until a moment ago.
The annual GiveBIG one-day mega-donation drive, coordinated by the Seattle Foundation, has begun. Again this year, we’ve put together a local list, with each organization name linked to its GiveBIG info/donation page – starting with the people who sent info when we put out a call for it earlier this week, followed by other organizations in local zips:
West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network (the link goes to the Seattle Neighborhood Group – in “comments,” specifically mention that it’s for WSBWCN so they will receive the $)
Alki Co-Op Preschool
Concord International School Greening Project
Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association
Duwamish Rowing Club
Duwamish Tribal Services
Empower Mentoring Program
Fauntleroy Children’s Center
Furry Faces Foundation
Holy Rosary School
Khambatta Dance Company
Legal Counsel for Youth and Children
Opera On Tap
Plumbers Without Borders
SafeFutures Youth Center
Seal Sitters (link takes you to ARC; write Seal Sitters in “comments” field so they’re credited)
Seattle Chinese Garden Society
Seattle Green Spaces Coalition
Seattle People of Color Salon
Seniors Creating Art
Somali Family Safety Task Force
South Seattle College Foundation
Southwest Seattle Historical Society
Southwest Youth and Family Services
Technology Access Foundation
The Kenney Foundation
The Service Board
The Village of Hope
Twelfth Night Productions
Urban Homestead Foundation
West Seattle Food Bank
West Seattle Helpline
Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation
Wheelchairs For Nigeria
White Center Community Development Association
White Center Food Bank
White Center Library Guild
YES Foundation of White Center
The donate-a-thon is on until 11:59 pm tonight. While the Seattle Foundation is not offering a “stretch pool” this year – as explained in its FAQ for donors – it’s offering other incentives.
P.S. If we missed a local organization – please e-mail us, including your GiveBIG link, and we’ll add!