The semifinals of the Seattle Public Library‘s Global Reading Challenge are under way downtown – and we have our first word of a West Seattle team making it to the GRC’s finals: SPL’s Mary Palmer tells us the Super Ultimate Nerdy Ninjas from Arbor Heights Elementary did well enough today to advance to the March 18th final. One more West Seattle team has yet to have its semifinal round – that’s Roxhill, tomorrow.
Speaking of schools: Super Ultimate Nerdy Ninjas win Global Reading Challenge at Arbor Heights ElementaryFebruary 13, 2014 at 12:09 pm | In Arbor Heights, West Seattle books, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 3 Comments
(Pre-competition: The Super Ultimate Nerdy Ninjas! Clockwise from lower left: Mackenzie; Brynn; Hydia; Sandy; Mila; Zack; Abdi)
It’s Global Reading Challenge time again! The Seattle Public Library/Seattle Public Schools citywide competition is in its on-campus rounds, and our parent correspondent at Arbor Heights Elementary – one of nine local elementaries listed as competing this year – shared the report and photo of how Wednesday afternoon’s on-campus competition went for AH’s teams:
It was a nail-biter!
Ten teams of 4th and 5th graders.
An afternoon of questions, teamwork, and answers.
Several rounds of questions, finally ending with a very rare 3-way tie: on to a lightning round!
Astoundingly, these three teams went a whopping SIX lightning rounds before one team finally emerged victorious: The Super Ultimate Nerdy Ninjas! They will go on to the semi-finals at the Central Library; from there, one team will advance to the City Final on March 18th.
Here’s the list of books that are being used this year. Along with Arbor Heights, Alki, Concord, Gatewood, Highland Park, Lafayette, Roxhill, Sanislo, and West Seattle are on the competition list. Your school on that list? Let us know how the GRC is going! – email@example.com – thank you.
Progress toward a safer Westwood “transit hub” was one of the updates at Tuesday night’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meeting.
(WSB photo, December 2013)
BUS UPDATE: WWRHAH chair Amanda Kay Helmick said she’s “pleased they’re listening to us” – “they” meaning some of the agencies that participated in the walking tour of the Westwood Village/Roxhill Park “transit hub” back on December 30th (WSB coverage here). The first progress comes in the area shown in our photo above – 25th SW along the east side of the shopping center, where, Helmick says, she’s been told some layover zones will be moved. The Sound Transit 560, for example, will move further south next month, closer to the southeast corner of Westwood Village, for a little more distance between it and the driveway shown above. But there’s no word of a change yet for the “Wall of Buses” created by layover zones on Barton, alongside Roxhill Park; Metro said it needed a little more time to figure out if there’s anything they can do, Helmick said. But there will be a 70-foot no-parking zone by the crosswalk – “it’s not going to stop the stacking” but it’ll definitely give everyone a little more space, for starters, she said.
Speaking of Roxhill Park, it was the focus of two other items:
(Rendering from Bassetti Architects‘ 8/2013 presentation of new Arbor Heights design)
Only one West Seattle item in today’s edition of the city’s Land Use Information Bulletin: The first meeting of the “Development Standards Departure Advisory Committee” for the Arbor Heights Elementary rebuild. To translate – this is the advisory committee that will consider whether to recommend approval of zoning exceptions for the project. As spelled out in the official meeting notice, “the School District is requesting modifications for greater than allowed height, less than required parking, and on-site bus loading” – also mentioned when committee recruitment was announced in October. Here’s our report on the design presentation last August. All are welcome at the committee’s meeting, 6:30 pm Tuesday, February 18th, in the library at AHES (37th SW/SW 104th).
(Photos by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
8:16 PM: Fire and police are on the way to a “heavy rescue” incident at California/SW 106th. More as we get it.
8:47 PM: One-car crash; a man drove into a rock wall.
He was not seriously injured but was being given a field-sobriety test while our crews were there, and was handcuffed and taken into custody after that.
11:03 PM: Updating the location to California/107th, rather than 106th as dispatched. Christopher pointed this out but we had failed to note it here until commenter Gordon mentioned it.
(WSB reader photo)
2:18 PM: Big Seattle Fire response en route to the 3400 block of SW Roxbury. More to come.
2:24 PM: 35th is closed south of Roxbury. This is believed to be a chimney fire.
2:40 PM: Adding photo. SFD confirmed to us at the scene that it was a chimney problem; no injuries, no evacuation required. Most of the units assigned to the call have been canceled, though Ladder 11 is still on site, with crews on the roof investigating.
2:44 PM: Ladder 11 has finished its investigation -”no heat signature” over any of the fireplaces, so it’s wrapping up at the scene too.
2:57 PM: The road’s reopening; Metro has texted that bus service is returning to its normal route.
(Click image to see full-size map)
Residential streets in Arbor Heights and Fauntleroy will get a bit of a facelift this summer – with a process called microsurfacing that SDOT is using instead of chip seal. The map above shows the general project area, but that does NOT mean every block of every street will get this treatment. But some preparation work is starting now:
To prepare the streets for microsurfacing, SDOT crews will make minor repairs such as filling potholes, depressions and cracks. Locations identified as candidates for such repairs may be marked with white paint.
Trees and vegetation will be trimmed as necessary to allow the microsurfacing crews to complete their work.
The project area is divided into five sections. The northeast section will be prepared first, and SDOT will prepare each section before moving onto the next.
The prep work will begin as early as January as weather permits and may continue into the summer. This work is expected to occur intermittently as SDOT deploys crews for this project and for other maintenance projects throughout the city.
Full details about the project are here, including contact info at the end of that page if you have questions.
(WSB photo from December 30th, alongside ‘Wall of Buses’ by Roxhill Park)
Eight days after leading a tour of the Westwood Village “transit hub” and its challenges (WSB coverage here), a followup discussion will be part of the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council (WWRHAH) meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) night, 6:15 pm at Southwest Branch Library. Here’s the agenda just sent by chair Amanda Kay Helmick:
6:15-6:20: Introductions & Community News:
6:20-6:25: Review Bylaws
6:25-6:35: Infrastructure Committee Update: Update from Committee Leader, Chris Stripinis.
6:35-6:50: Metro & Stakeholders December 30th Walk Update: With Amanda Kay Helmick, and Joe Szilagyi
6:50-7:40: Roxhill Park Updates: Updates on efforts to clean up the park; Rehydrating the bog; lighting; Grants
7:40-7:45: Wrap Up: Breakdown the room; library locks up promptly at 8 pm.
The library is at 35th/Henderson; all are welcome.
Following up on last month’s meeting (WSB coverage here), the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council last night continued its discussion of Roxhill Park safety improvements. The line-of-sight blockage caused by Metro buses on SW Barton remains a major concern, as does the lack of light in the park – note our photo above, taken early this evening by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand, who was at last night’s WWRHAH meeting. One of the ideas that has picked up steam: Lights around part of the park’s perimeter. WWRHAH president Amanda Kay Helmick said she had talked with Chris Arkills, transportation adviser to County Executive Dow Constantine, about the possibility of at least illuminating Barton in the bus-stop areas. The park’s restroom/playground areas would be an area of focus, too. New Department of Neighborhoods district coordinator Jenny Frankl talked with the council about grants they might pursue for the park.
Another major item on the agenda: The latest on the Barton Combined Sewer Overflow control project. Mary Wohleb from the county Wastewater Treatment Division briefed WWRHAH, saying gas-line and tree-transplanting work is done. Work is still to come for the heart of the project, building raingardens/bioswales starting next year in planting strips along 15 blocks (see the map here). The county will maintain those raingardens, she explained, and has already worked on timetables of general and seasonal maintenance. Attendee Rory Denovan told Wohleb that the county should consider more native plants for the raingardens, saying that some of the plants mentioned on the project website are non-native and invasive. The county announced last week that it’s chosen a general contractor for the $5 million project, Goodfellow Brothers; the next round of public meetings is planned for January 23rd and 25th. Project planning and community discussion have been under way for more than four years; our earliest reports are from fall 2009.
For more notes from the WWRHAH meeting, check out secretary Joe Szilagyi‘s detailed summary on the WWRHAH website.
3:26 PM: Emergency crews are rushing to the 9700 block of 33rd SW (map). It’s an “assault with weapons” call per 911 log.
3:31 PM: Most of the units are being called off, per scanner. Our crew is still on the way to seek details at the scene.
3:38 PM: Whatever this was, radio traffic indicates no serious injuries. Police are talking to at least two people. Our crew is awaiting a chance to get info.
3:43 PM: Police say two roommates got into a fight; one accused the other of stabbing him. They’ve confirmed, no serious injuries. A private ambulance has arrived. Noisy scene because pets at the home were audibly agitated, including a dog and a goose.
You’re never too young to volunteer, and here’s photographic proof: Students Lowen and Meah are working right now at Arbor Heights Elementary School‘s Fall Cleanup. The parent volunteer who shared the photo says they’re among at least 10 kids who are helping out; the work party continues around the AHES campus until noon.
ADDED 11:25 AM: More volunteers – Taytum, two-almost-three; Tiffany, parent; kindergarteners Derek and Kieran:
Any time you want to help out – browse the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, which is where we list community cleanups as well as a multitude of other events, from live music to neighborhood meetings to library programs and way beyond!
From the latest edition of the city Land Use Information Bulletin, members are now being recruited for a committee that will review zoning “departures” – exceptions, basically – for the new Arbor Heights Elementary School. From the official notice, here’s what they want for the committee makeup:
1. A person residing within 600’ of the proposed site.
2. A person owning property or a business within 600’ of the proposed site.
3. Two representatives of the general neighborhood.
4. A representative-at-large to represent city-wide education issues.
5. Two representatives of the Arbor Heights PTSA.
6. A representative of the Seattle School District.
The proposed “departures,” according to the notice, involve “greater height, less-than-required parking and on-site bus loading.” If you’re interested in being part of the review committee, the notice explains how to apply; do it by the November 6th deadline. (Under the current construction schedule, this is Arbor Heights’ last year in the current, much-deteriorated building.)
(WSB photo from Monday night: Medic unit just outside Roxhill Park)
So you can plan early – the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council has just gone public with the agenda for its next meeting on November 5th, including safety at Roxhill Park and Westwood Village, following recent incidents such as the Monday night assault and ongoing concerns. Read on for the agenda:
9:46 AM: Lots of questions about temporary installations along/near 35th SW in Arbor Heights, including the one in our photo – a tall, skinny pole fastened to city poles and signs, topped by small cameras. We at first thought this might be related to more city improvements for safety along the route to Arbor Heights Elementary School, and asked SDOT if the cameras were theirs; they said no, not theirs (but they have been getting questions too!). We found a phone number on one of the boxes and tried it; received a call back from a rep at IDAX, which owns the equipment. The cameras are “counting cars,” he explained, as part of a traffic analysis related to AH Elementary. We’re checking with the school district right now to see if it’s part of the preparation for building the new AHES (this is the last year the existing building will be in use) or for something sooner (the school has just implemented a new pickup/dropoff traffic plan, as noted in its newsletter), and we’ll add whatever we find out. The IDAX rep, meantime, said that they are keeping the cameras up through today so they can compare traffic today (with no classes at the school) to measurements from a school-in-session day like yesterday.
11:24 AM UPDATE: SPS spokesperson Tom Redman tells us it’s “for the traffic study we are performing as part of our SEPA checklist requirements” for construction of the new AHES. (SEPA is short for the State Environmental Policy Act, as explained here; traffic is one of the factors considered in SEPA reviews of projects.)
We’ve added this to our daily traffic watch already, but are also noting it separately here because a somewhat busy route connecting Arbor Heights, Shorewood, and White Center is blocked right now – SW 106th by 32nd, where a pickup truck has gone off the road and dented a fence on the north side of 106th. At least one person is being taken to the hospital by private ambulance.
3:51 PM UPDATE: Just checked – and the road is open again.
Thanks to the reader who texted photos from a late-night motorcycle crash in the 11000 block of 35th SW in Arbor Heights (map) and reports the rider “hit some mailboxes on the right side of the road and then crashed,” apparently after swerving to avoid a trash can in the road. The photo above shows those mailboxes. Radio communications with medics after the crash described the rider as 41 years old and believed to have been traveling at high speed at the time of the crash.
Via Twitter, SFD verified that the motorcycle rider was in stable condition with arm fractures when taken to the hospital.
Video: Transit advocacy, development discussion top Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meetingSeptember 11, 2013 at 12:25 pm | In Arbor Heights, Development, Neighborhoods, Transportation, West Seattle news, Westwood | 3 Comments
Our video from last night’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meeting shows two of the meeting’s central discussions. In order, here’s what and who you’ll see on the video:
*From the start, Elena Perez for Getting It Right for West Seattle, the group lobbying for changes in the 4755 Fauntleroy Way project, proposed for ~370 apartments, ~600 parking spaces, a Whole Foods Market, and other TBA retail, before its Mayor McGinn-opposed alley vacation comes to a City Council vote this winter.
*21:47 in, chair Amanda Kay Helmick starts the discussion of forming a West Seattle Transit Coalition, born from WWRHAH’s intense focus on Metro cuts and changes affecting the area (such as the eventual Highway 99 tunnel), so that the peninsula has a unified voice. They have drafted a letter and have been circulating it among community groups; they plan to “ask for the moon” of what West Seattle needs regarding traffic, rather than complaining about what’s missing now. The possibility of requiring development impact fees for transit funding was also brought up. Next step is likely an organizing meeting later this month.
Before these discussions, the meeting started with an in-depth discussion of the concept of organizing and producing Roxhill Park Day next year, with both a mega-work party and a neighborhood festival, funded with the assistance of a hoped-for city grant (applications due soon). You can find more background on the WWRHAH website.
Next month, WWRHAH is scheduled to return to its first-Tuesday meeting schedule; you can watch for announcements at wwrhah.org, which is also where WWRHAH secretary Joe Szilagyi‘s meeting minutes will be published when they’re ready (at which time we’ll add a link here too).
ADDED THURSDAY AFTERNOON: As promised, here’s the link to the newly published meeting minutes/notes on the WWRHAH site.
As Arbor Heights Elementary approaches teardown and rebuild, it had to be reviewed for potential city-landmark status. As originally reported here last month, that review before the Landmarks Board was set for today – and tonight, one of the board’s newest members, Deb Barker of Morgan Junction, mentioned at the Southwest District Council meeting that the board decided unanimously NOT to consider AH for landmark status.
11:12 AM: In case you’re wondering about the police presence in Arbor Heights – officers responded to what apparently was a call about prowlers, and have been trying to track down multiple suspects. Per the scanner, it sounds as if at least one possible suspect is in custody. We don’t know if there was an actual break-in, but have a crew in the area trying to find out more.
11:26 AM UPDATE: Police tell us neighbors called in the report of suspected prowlers spotted in an alley and yards (added: in the 35th/105th area). At least one person is being taken in for questioning. Scanner traffic also indicates police are looking for a car that is believed to be related to the case, described as a silver Impala with chrome wheels.
2:34 PM UPDATE: Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Pierre Davis confirms that the suspect was booked into jail – and lauds the “great work by neighbors.”
The three men arrested last Wednesday night after allegedly holding up a woman in Arbor Heights and trying to rob a man in Fauntleroy have just been charged. 22-year-old Hassan I. Abdirizak, 19-year-old Abdulkamir A. Ahmed, and 21-year-old Najib A. Aden are each charged with two counts of first-degree robbery and one count of attempted first-degree robbery. Though investigators say they are suspected in other robberies – the documents say “additional charges are likely” – the charges filed today are for the Arbor Heights and Fauntleroy incidents and a robbery earlier that same night on Beacon Hill. The documents do not mention any other West Seattle incidents; Ahmed is alleged to have claimed the three, and others, were involved in 7 holdups on Capitol Hill. The documents do confirm what we found in research last week – no known criminal history for Abdirizak and Ahmed, but Aden was arrested in June for theft and harassment. Accordng to police, the car in which the three were found in Arbor Heights (WSB photo above) belongs to Aden’s aunt. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office asked that bail remain set at $250,000 each (8:12 pm update: that’s where it stayed); the three, none of whom lists a West Seattle address, are scheduled to be arraigned on September 9th.
(Photo courtesy Cori Roed)
It’s an annual tradition – AFTER Arbor Heights Swim and Tennis Club closes its pool for the year, its teams will raise money by inviting dogs over to swim again this year! The pool at 11003 31st Avenue SW plans five 2-hour sessions:
Tuesday, Sept. 17th 5-7 pm
Wednesday, Sept. 18th 5-7 pm
Thursday, Sept. 19th 5-7pm
Friday, Sept. 20th 5-7 pm
Saturday, Sept. 21st 10 am-12 pm
There are a few prerequisites – see them, along with other details, on the official flyer. No people in the pool (again, this is AFTER the human swims end for the season) but dog owners will have to stay at the club while their pets are in the pool. $10/donation per dog or $25 for a pass for the entire five-day run.
11:43 PM: Thanks to everyone who’s sent tips/questions about police activity in north Arbor Heights, near 35th/Roxbury. Police have detained three people; we’re working to find out what for.
12:10 AM: Our crew at the scene has learned so far that this is a robbery investigation. The original scene is apparently near 35th/104th; closer to Roxbury, police were searching a car. No details beyond that.
ADDED WEDNESDAY MORNING: The car (in our photo above) was impounded to be searched for evidence; one item recovered, per scanner traffic, was a purse belonging to a victim. Commenter “Neighbor” confirms this was a street robbery; we expect to get more details from police later this morning and will ask if there’s any suspicion it’s related to the holdup about 24 hours earlier in Admiral (reported here, with backstory on other recent cases).
10:15 AM UPDATE: Police say the suspects were responsible for three robberies/assaults last night – and are believed to be linked to other cases. From SPD Blotter:
Three men are now in custody following a series of robberies that stretched from Holly Park to Fauntleroy to Arbor Heights last night in a span of about 90 minutes.
The first robbery occurred at a bus stop at Beacon Avenue South and South Holly Street just after 10:00 pm. A woman was waiting for a bus when she was approached by a suspect armed with a black semi-automatic pistol. The suspect had a bandana covering his face, and demanded the victim’s cell phone. The victim handed over the phone and the suspect pushed her to the ground before he fled the area on foot. A witnesses driving by stopped to assist the victim and called 911. Officers conducted a search, including with a K9, but the suspect was not located. The victim had a few bruises on her elbow and hand, but did not require any medical attention.
Later, at about 11:10 pm, officers from the Southwest Precinct responded to a report of an assault with a weapon at Fauntleroy Way SW and SW Wildwood Place, just south of the Fauntleroy ferry dock. The adult male victim told officers he was walking to catch a ferry when he was confronted by an unknown male suspect. The suspect said something to the victim and then struck him on top on the head with the butt of a gun. The suspect then ran off without taking anything from the victim. Officers contacted the victim. He declined any medical treatment and left to board his boat. The suspect was not located.
About twenty minutes after that, 11:30 pm, officers from Southwest responded to the Arbor Heights neighborhood for a report of an armed robbery. A woman was walking in the 10400 Block of 35th Avenue SW when a suspect wearing a white hooded sweatshirt approached her from behind, grabbing her purse from her shoulder, yelling at her “Give it to me! Give it to me!” He then pointed something at her forehead, which the victim believed was a gun. The victim screamed for help and the suspect ran off east on 104th. Moments later, the victim and a neighbor saw a car drive by them with the suspect inside. Arriving officers made a high risk vehicle stop at SW 98th Street and 35th Avenue SW and took three males into custody.
Officers observed a woman’s purse inside the car, along with a blue bandana and several cell phones. A black handgun was observed under the front passenger’s seat. The suspect car was photographed and then towed to the processing room awaiting a search warrant.
The victim positively identified the suspect wearing the white hooded sweatshirt as the suspect who had robbed her minutes earlier and positively identified her purse in the car.
Detectives from the Robbery Unit responded to the scene and will be responsible for the follow up investigation. It is very possible that this trio of suspects are responsible for a number of armed street robberies that have occurred in various neighborhoods citywide this summer.
Detectives spent most of the night interviewing the suspects.
The suspects, ages 19, 21 and 22, will be booked into the King County Jail following their interviews with detectives.
It has a new playground … a new skatepark … and now, Roxhill Park is in line for a big day of TLC from neighbors, led by the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council (WWRHAH). The nascent plan is one of many topics tackled at last night’s WWRHAH meeting, per the detailed meeting notes published by council secretary Joe Szilagyi. As it has been throughout the council’s months of existence, traffic safety was high on the discussion list too, particularly SW Roxbury issues. If you’re in the WWRHAH area, make plans to be there in person next month (usually the 1st Tuesday – this month was an anomaly – watch wwrhah.org for meeting updates).
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
As the recommended design for the new Arbor Heights Elementary School made its public debut last night, the community Q/A expanded beyond the facility’s look and layout.
AH principal Christy Collins reassured the community that, although the school is moving toward an “eSTEM” (environment, science, technology, engineering, math) curriculum, it will remain a neighborhood school. And, Collins said, the new facility will even better serve the school’s role as a “community cornerstone” in Arbor Heights.
Also: While there are still School Board formalities ahead, district reps reiterated that the project remains on its accelerated timeline, with AH scheduled to move to temporary quarters at Boren right after the coming school year, so construction work can get going.
Now, as for the design, here’s how the presentation unfolded:
Keep in mind, this is basically a required, routine action, triggered by impending demolition/rebuild – as is similar consideration for Genesee Hill. Nonetheless, public notification is mandatory, and here it is, as just sent by the Department of Neighborhoods, which includes the Landmarks Board:
The Landmarks Preservation Board will consider landmark nomination for Arbor Heights Elementary School at 3701 SW 104th St. The meeting will be on Wednesday, September 4 at 3:30 p.m. in the Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 5th Avenue, 40th Floor in Room 4060.
The public is invited to attend the meeting and make comments.
Questions about Seattle Public Schools‘ plan for the new Arbor Heights Elementary School? The district has announced a community meeting with updates and Q/A. It’s set for 7 pm August 7th. Here’s the announcement:
Dear Arbor Heights community,
Seattle voters approved the Seattle Public Schools Building Excellence IV (BEX IV) Capital Levy in February 2013, which includes the project to replace the existing Arbor Heights building with a newly constructed elementary school building on the Arbor Heights site.
The meeting will be presented by representatives of Seattle Public Schools capital projects team and Bassetti Architects and will include information about the projects’ early design progress. You will be able to learn more about the project scope, schedule, existing conditions and design explorations, ask questions and give feedback.
This will happen at the current AH Elementary, 3701 SW 104th.
Last night was a busy night for community-group meetings. We made it to Fauntleroy (story here) and Admiral (story to come), but for coverage of the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Council, we point you to this thorough summary just published on the WWRHAH website by council secretary Joe Szilagyi. Topics included how to advocate for a safer SW Roxbury, one Arbor Heights neighborhood’s push for a traffic circle (here’s their online petition), and asking the city to help the county stave off those potential Metro cuts. Watch WWRHAH’s website and Facebook group for TBA info on the August meeting.
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