West Seattle, Washington
Among the city officials in Highland Park for tonight’s Find It, Fix It Walk was George Scarola, director of homelessness. We took the opportunity to ask him if anything had changed regarding the city’s non-prioritization of the unauthorized RV camp that started setting up off 2nd SW between Highland Park Way and West Marginal Way two weeks ago. He told us the city in fact had just posted a warning there today that those on the state-owned site will have to clear out by June 1st. While, Scarola said, they understand that the campers are trying to set up a self-managed community, the site is just not suitable for camping, and the state has other plans for it.
6:54 PM: After gathering at Highland Park Improvement Club, community members and city officials are headed to Riverview Playfield, first scheduled stop on tonight’s Find It, Fix It Walk. See the route here and join along the way! We’ll be updating on Twitter with a full report here later.
7:58 PM: 2nd to last stop – the 14th/Holden stairway.
8:20 PM: The mayor, who left the spotlight to others most of the way, concluded the walk by declaring it the most positive one he had been on. Details, photos, video
later on Friday morning!
5:07 PM: While checking out the new speed-limit signs on Harbor, we continued to Alki to look for signs of Seattle Police presence, with another summer-like evening on the way, two nights after 23-year-old Jordan D. Thomas was shot and killed. Here’s what we found:
That’s the Mobile Precinct, which we spotted parked at Marine and Alki. And a short distance east at 57th/Alki, an SPD bus:
SW Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis tells WSB that emphasis patroling, through the holiday weekend and “mostly geared toward weekends and warmer days where we’ve seen an uptick in vehicular and pedestrian traffic,” will include “Mobile Precinct visibility, bicycle patrols, and an extra foot beat patrol.”
Meantime, we asked SPD today about the murder investigation. Nothing new to report, Det. Patrick Michaud told us.
10:39 PM: At tonight’s Find It, Fix It Walk, we asked SW Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith about the bus. He explains that it’s used to transport the bike squad. Meantime, we drove along Alki about an hour ago. The bus was gone but the Mobile Precinct was still at Marine/Alki, with an SPD SUV a few vehicles west of it.
Earlier this month, we reported that principal Ruth Medsker is leaving West Seattle High School at the end of this year, headed for Lincoln High School. This afternoon, Seattle Public Schools just announced that WSHS’s next principal will be Brian Vance, who’s been leading Roosevelt HS. Here’s the letter sent to families:
Dear West Seattle High School community:
I am pleased to announce that Brian Vance has been selected to be the new principal of West Seattle High School.
Mr. Vance was selected because of his vision for social-emotional learning for high school students within the Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports framework, his culture building experience as principal in several different comprehensive high schools, and his experience developing and leading work in high school advisories.
Mr. Vance has served as principal of Roosevelt High School since 2007. Under his leadership, the school has made significant progress to close achievement gaps, and established a school culture that promotes rigorous instruction for all students, and has been recognized for its academic and performing arts successes numerous times. Prior to that, Mr. Vance was the principal of the Center School from 2003-2007.
Mr. Vance holds a Master of Education in School Counseling from University of Maryland, a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Hobart College, and an Administrative Certificate from the University of Washington’s Danforth School of Educational Leadership.
Principal Vance is excited to be a part of the West Seattle community that he calls home, and continuing the momentum built by the staff and students around student achievement and positive school climate. His official start date will be July 1, 2017. We will be scheduling opportunities for staff, families and students to meet Mr. Vance before the end of the school year.
I would like to extend my thanks to Principal Ruth Medsker for serving as principal for the past seven years. Her deep commitment to the West Seattle community is greatly appreciated, and Principal Vance looks forward to build on the foundation to lead the school into the 21st century.
Welcome Principal Vance to West Seattle High School.
Dr. Larry Nyland
Seattle Public Schools
2:02 PM: Two weeks ago, we reported that SDOT told a City Council committee the Harbor Avenue SW speed-limit drop from 35 mph to 30 mph would happen “soon.”
Now we have a date: Tomorrow. And a reader just called to say that signage is going up – we’re off to check.
SDOT originally planned to reduce speed limits on five West Seattle arterials, including Harbor, by the end of 2015, but the changes have been rolling out more slowly.
2:50 PM: Down here on Harbor, all the signage we’re seeing so far says 25 mph, not 30 as announced. We’re checking with SDOT.
4:08 PM: SDOT spokesperson Sue Romero just confirmed to WSB that those are the wrong signs: “We are redirecting a crew to install the proper signs, which will be 30 mph, before the end of the day today.”
P.S. This isn’t the first mistake involving speed-limit signs in our area – remember the “20 HPM” signs two years ago?
10:36 PM: We went back to Harbor Avenue to check:
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) May 26, 2017
(2015 photo by Long Bach Nguyen)
We’ve arrived at the time of year when you don’t have to be in the sky or on the water for a good look at the historic Alki Point Lighthouse. Summer tour season starts this weekend! From Debra Alderman on behalf of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary:
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will again be leading free tours for the public at the Alki Point Lighthouse most Saturday and Sunday afternoons Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend.
This weekend the group plans to offer tours on Saturday, Sunday, and Memorial Day Monday as well.
Hours: 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. (last group enters site at 3:40 p.m.)
All ages welcome, but only those 6 and up may go to the very top of the lighthouse tower.
The Lighthouse is at 3201 Alki Ave. SW. Questions? email@example.com
If you use Highway 509 just south of West Seattle/White Center/South Park, you’ll want to know about a big project that’s about to get going – repaving northbound 509 between S. 112th and S. 168th, starting in about a week and a half. The project also will replace sections of guardrail with concrete barrier, and that work will require some lane closures on the southbound side too. The project page is here; today’s news release with project details is here.
(Wednesday sunset photo from Constellation Park, by Vy Duong)
Here’s what’s big today/tonight!
LOW-LOW TIDES BEGIN: Tides get really low during the holiday weekend, and it starts today with a -2.5 foot low-low tide at 11:12 am. Go beach-walking … but tread lightly!
BEER TASTING AND VETERANS’ FUNDRAISER: Pelican Brewing is at The Beer Junction 5-8 pm and half the proceeds go to the West Seattle VFW, with Memorial Day poppies being distributed too – details in our calendar listing. (4511 California SW)
HIGHLAND PARK FIND IT, FIX IT WALK: Doors open at Highland Park Improvement Club at 5:30 pm for pre-walk mingling, and then the walk starts at 6:30 pm – see the map and description of planned stops in our preview (if you can’t join at the start, join along the way). This is your chance to come show city leaders (including department heads as well as elected officials) what you want to see fixed in Highland Park. (1116 SW Holden)
WSHS STUDENT SHOWCASE/13TH YEAR PROMISE SCHOLARSHIP EVENT: 6 pm at West Seattle High School, more than 100 career-tech student projects are on display, and the event also will include information about the 13th Year Promise Scholarship – one free year of college – adding WSHS in a year. Details in our calendar listing; all welcome. (3000 California SW)
2-DEVELOPMENT PUBLIC MEETING: 6 pm tonight at the Senior Center/Sisson Building, the city is convening a by-request public-comment meeting about two microhousing projects in one block of California SW, 5952 and 6016, as previewed here. (4217 SW Oregon)
TASTE OF WEST SEATTLE: The big West Seattle Helpline fundraiser at The Hall at Fauntleroy, with more than 40 food/beverage providers is tonight. Helpline says “a limited number of tickets” for 6:30 pm general admission are expected to be available at the door. (9131 California SW)
MUCH, MUCH MORE on our complete-calendar page!
6:59 AM: Good morning! No incidents in/from West Seattle so far.
7:38 AM: Still quiet. So we’ll take a moment to look ahead to some transportation-related events tonight:
8:20 AM: The relative quiet continues. We’ve heard, however, that the port-truck traffic backup early this morning – long before we got the morning traffic report rolling – was particularly intense. We’ll be working on an update about this – if you have any anecdotes/information to share, firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks!