‘Thank you a hundred times over’: Friends of Gatewood postscript

October 9, 2014 at 3:13 am | In Gatewood, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 27 Comments

(WSB photo: Gatewood Elementary, SW Myrtle side)
Three and a half hours after publishing our Wednesday update on the Friends of Gatewood “keep a teacher” fundraising drive, we updated it with the official district announcement that the drive had met its goal. But the final word comes from the parents who organized and took action so quickly, and their public message of gratitude:

Today we received the wonderful news that we raised enough funds to keep our teacher that ensures that there will be no relocation on October 10th as the district letter originally mandated. Friends of Gatewood raised $66,758.52, the Go Fund Me account that was created last night raised around $1000. The online donation site will be closed since we met our goal.

This accomplishment is shared with many, many people with our school, West Seattle and supporters beyond. The vigor, concern and passion expressed by so many people made this goal a reality; the process exemplifies that improvements need to be made in many areas, that the problems are real and complex, and that our students and teachers will not take the brunt of the inadequacies of an imperfect public school system.

All schools are unique by virtue of the individuals who occupy them. Gatewood Elementary’s infrastructure is more unique than the typical public elementary school. We stand by our students’ needs and our teachers to set them up for success. Thank you a hundred times over for answering the call for help.

With gratitude,
Friends of Gatewood
Nicole Sipila
Laura Kincade
Natasha Turcinovic-Hissong

Previous WSB coverage:
Wednesday 10/8
Monday 10/6
Saturday 10/4
Friday 10/3
First report, Thursday 10/2

Update: Why police are at Gatewood Elementary

October 8, 2014 at 2:30 pm | In Gatewood, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 41 Comments

2:30 PM: Police are at Gatewood Elementary right now investigating a report that a child threatened a teacher with a knife. No one has been hurt; we’re there and we have talked to staff. They don’t expect this to interfere with normal dismissal this afternoon. (And if you’re noticing a TV helicopter, this is the report they’re checking out.)

2:46 PM: The district has issued a short update via Twitter: “No injuries at Gatewood after teacher reportedly threatened w/knife. Special-needs student being taken to hospital for evaluation.” Per police-radio communication, the student is 9. As noted in our ongoing coverage of the Gatewood teacher-funding situation, the school has an inclusion program for EBD (emotional/behavioral disorder) students.

‘We’re being held for ransom’: Anger voiced by Gatewood Elementary parents told to raise $90,000 to keep a teacher

October 8, 2014 at 10:19 am | In Gatewood, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 49 Comments

(1:44 PM UPDATE: SPS says in a statement that “Gatewood teaching staff will remain intact” because of the fundraising campaign – full statement is at the end of this story)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

They’re raising the money, but they’re angry about it.

While one group of Gatewood Elementary parents filled the chairs at School Board director Marty McLaren‘s regular community-conversation meeting last night, another led a fundraiser at a private home, toward their goal of raising $90,000 – described by some as “ransom” – to keep Seattle Public Schools from removing a teacher from their school.

Though they learned about the planned cut less than a week ago (here’s our original report), their fundraising campaign – including a hastily organized Saturday bake sale – has brought in $52,000.

That impressed McLaren, who opened last night’s meeting by saying, “I just want to acknowledge the extraordinary show of force that the Gatewood community has made … my sense is that many people from West Seattle proper have really invested in this. It’s really something.”

But also really something the parents can’t believe they have had to do.

“I am outraged,” declared one attendee. “I am just outraged that a major-city school district would try and pull a stunt like this … I cannot believe we are being asked to pay for a teacher salary. This is a major city, I cannot imagine this happening anywhere else in the country.” She drew applause.

“We’re being held for ransom for someone else’s mistake … and it feels precedent setting,” said another. “I don’t want a single dime of that money to go to the district that has a record of poor judgment and misuse … I feel it’s going to happen to another school.”

Click to read the rest of ‘We’re being held for ransom’: Anger voiced by Gatewood Elementary parents told to raise $90,000 to keep a teacher…

Followup: ‘Biggest bake sale imaginable’ Saturday as Gatewood Elementary families raise money to keep a teacher

October 3, 2014 at 8:36 pm | In Gatewood, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 54 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

One day after news began to spread of a district-ordered teacher-reallocation move affecting two local elementary schools, one is launching a short-time, big-sum fundraising drive: $90,000 needed by Wednesday, to keep from losing a teacher.

We first reported Thursday afternoon on the situation that could result in one teacher being moved from Gatewood Elementary to newly reopened Fairmount Park Elementary. Fairmount has more students than planned for, the district says, while Gatewood has fewer first-graders than planned for.

While the district has not publicly identified the teacher that would be moved from Gatewood to Fairmount Park, Gatewood parents say the current version of the plan would move first-grade teacher Ms. Morgan. Parent Tracy Clarkson sent the photo at right, her twin daughter and son with Ms. Morgan, who is their teacher. Says Clarkson, “We are longtime West Seattlers, but new to Gatewood. We cannot lose this teacher!”

Another parent e-mailed more details about what will happen tomorrow, and beyond:

Gatewood is mobilizing. We need to raise $90,000 by Wednesday morning. We have about 10% thus far. Disbelievingly, our beloved teachers have each committed $500.

The parents of Gatewood and their children are planning to hold the biggest bake sale imaginable tomorrow starting at 10 a.m. at California and Myrtle and going on throughout the day.

We ask for any community support from everyone. Even if not a monetary donation, we appreciate moral support, too. The families and teachers could sure use it right now.

A donation account was set up late today at Chase Bank; you can donate at Chase and tell them it’s for “Friends of Gatewood.” Parents say online fundraising is not an option because they have to have the cash in hand by Wednesday morning, and online donations wouldn’t be disbursable that way.

They are hoping at least to get a time extension, and say that the district’s executive director of schools in this area, Israel Vela, indicated support for that in phone calls today to parents who had left him messages about this.

Meanwhile, the district responded to a followup question we had sent yesterday. At the ribbon-cutting for Fairmount Park on September 2nd, the day before the new school year began, it was announced they anticipated opening with 380 students. The current enrollment cited by the district is just below that. So why is an adjustment being made just now? District spokesperson Lesley Rogers replied with this backstory:

In August we decided to fund an additional teacher (the student projection [for Fairmount Park] went from 290 to 329, or 39 additional students). This was part of an overall district assessment that resulted in 26 schools having adds or pulls, with a net 2.0 addition. We also added in 2 schools based on high urgency (Arbor Heights and Alki Elementary).

We decided to wait to address FTE [full-time-student equivalent] adjustments due to the traditional student movement, wait list, data cleanup, and no-shows that happens in the first 2-3 weeks of school. The student enrollment reached 368 at 9/22 (Fairmount Park).

The other component was the budget situation. Our mitigation fund was depleted after the last 2 adds. We decided to wait to find out what schools have significantly lost student enrollment, as Gatewood, to transfer FTEs.

Overall, we are waiting for the official 10/1 counts that will be reported on 10/12 to recommend more staffing adjustments. At the same time we are using the current student count to identify the hot spots adjustments and deploy/execute earlier.

We’ll continue to follow up.

ADDED 5:26 AM SATURDAY: Overnight, we received the letter to the community, drafted by organizers of the fundraising drive. Click (or scroll) ahead to read it:
Click to read the rest of Followup: ‘Biggest bake sale imaginable’ Saturday as Gatewood Elementary families raise money to keep a teacher…

Have you seen Rick’s work van? Stolen early today in Gatewood

September 27, 2014 at 1:02 pm | In Crime, Gatewood, West Seattle news | Comments Off

From Rick:

My work van with all of my tools inside was stolen from in front of my home at 39th and Holden. It is a 2003 Ford Ecovan with Relius Marine in large blue and green lettering. The license # is A46580Z. The police have been informed. The van was stolen after 1:00 a.m. or so on September 27, 2014. I am out of business without my tools & van. Please call Rick at 253-350-4263 with any information.

And call 911 if you see it – don’t approach a suspected stolen car, police advise, since you never know who or what might still be in it.

Election 2014: Gatewood forum Sunday on I-591, I-594

September 26, 2014 at 6:01 pm | In Gatewood, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 2 Comments

With ballots going out in mid-October, the “November 4″ election is closer than it seems. Just announced by Rev. Erik Kindem from Peace Lutheran Church in Gatewood, a forum this Sunday on two of the statewide initiatives you’ll be voting on:

Peace Lutheran Church is hosting a forum on two firearms-related initiatives that will be on the ballot in November: I-594 (text here) and I-591 (text here).

. I-594 would expand current criminal background-check requirements to include all gun sales and transfers in Washington State with specific exceptions.

. I-591 would limit the circumstances in which firearms can be confiscated and would limit the ability of government agencies to require background checks.

Stacy Anderson from FAN (Faith Action Network) will be leading the forum, which will begin at 12 noon. Peace Lutheran is located at the corner of SW Thistle and 39th Avenue SW in West Seattle. Members of the public are invited to attend.

Followup: What happened when the Gatewood Elementary Class of ’56 reconnected

September 6, 2014 at 3:30 pm | In Gatewood, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | Comments Off

Back in April, we shared the announcement of a reunion for the Gatewood Elementary School Class of 1956. Now, the followup – Carol Stoner shares the photo above and this report on how it went!

We finally managed to locate more than 70 of the original list of 90. Most of us had not seen the school since the remodel in 1991, and we spent much of the tour reconciling our memories with the new reality.

The Class of 1956 attended Gatewood before the ‘gator was its mascot, when wooden desks with iron grillwork legs were bolted to the floor, and empty inkwells clanged if you flicked them during study time. Cloakrooms in the back were filled with wet coats, dripping boots, and lunchboxes with baloney sandwiches on white bread. No actual library; books were shelved in Mr. Acedo’s sixth-grade classroom, and choosing 35 books for your class was brief, stressful, and done very quietly during his class if you were book monitor that month. And, even in 1956, the wooden stairs leading up into the school had deep indentations, hollow treads, where former students, perhaps parents and grandparents, had trudged in previous decades.

On August 22nd, twenty-eight ‘Woodies reunited for a tour of the remodeled school and a catchup picnic in Lincoln Park. They found the wooden steps had been replaced, but delighted in the fact that the century-old banisters had been retained. Gone also were the wooden desks and cloakrooms, giving the rooms a modern feel and more space. The class picture on the front steps and the tour itself was much like herding cats, but a good time was had by all.

The picnic following at Lincoln Park, catered by Husky’s, was great fun. We heard apologies for remembered slights: “I’m sorry I pushed you off the table in Kindergarten, but I wanted to nap there” or “Sorry I teased you so much, but you were so cute when you blushed.” Episodes were told about teachers who had impacted our lives for good and bad, but we heard no bad stories about missing classmates, only “Remember how fast he ran?” or “She was so funny! Do you remember when she…?” We also told stories on ourselves, and it turns out that little candy store across the street from school must have made a fortune!

Although most of us shared the grade-school experience with one class for seven years, we split into two groups in ’56, some going to Madison and some to Denny. Some classmates we hadn’t seen in 58 years. Since then our classmates have built homes, airplanes, businesses, and families. They have climbed mountains, written books, worked in law enforcement, education, and health care. They have been firefighters, commercial fishermen, and researchers. They’ve worked with numbers, words, machinery, and people. It was a joy to reconnect with old friends, to remember cloakrooms, wooden desks, and inkwells, and when we were all twelve.

Gatewood is an official city landmark, by the way. P.S. Follow the link to the April announcement to see class photos from back in the day.

Update: Police search in 35th/Myrtle area

August 31, 2014 at 8:39 pm | In Gatewood, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 8 Comments

8:39 PM: Just in case you’ve seen the police search near Myrtle Reservoir Park – police tell us they are looking for someone they had pulled over who turned out to have a warrant out for his arrest, and took off running.

9:04 PM: No arrest yet, but we’re continuing to monitor.

MONDAY AFTERNOON: Here’s an update.

Update: Small kitchen fire at Gatewood home

August 31, 2014 at 4:38 pm | In Gatewood, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

4:38 PM: Big Seattle Fire response for a possible fire at a house on SW Ida just west of 35th SW (map). First crews to arrive aren’t seeing anything. More to come.

4:54 PM: Small kitchen fire at a house on the south side of SW Ida, quickly put out. The elderly resident who was cooking when it happened is being taken to the hospital to be checked out.

West Seattle schools: Gatewood Elementary combined event next week

August 21, 2014 at 9:13 am | In Gatewood, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | Comments Off

Not to rush the end of your summer, but Seattle Public Schools‘ first day is now less than two weeks away, and some schools have get-ready-for-the-new-year events even sooner. Like this announcement we just received:

Gatewood Elementary would like to get the word out that this year the K-5 Meet & Greet, Volunteer Fair and Ice Cream Social will be combined on Thursday, August 28th, with a staggered start.

We hope you can join us! This will give your child an opportunity to find out your child’s class assignment, meet their new teacher, interact with new friends and take a small tour of the school and classroom.

K-1 @ 5:30 to 6:15 pm
2-3 @ 6:00 to 6:45 pm
4-5 @ 6:30 to 7:15 pm

Thanks again in advance to the parents, PTA leaders, volunteers, staffers (and sometimes even students!) who share big news here so we can help get the word out too – here’s how.

Happening now: Buy lemonade in Gatewood, help fire victims

July 26, 2014 at 2:55 pm | In Gatewood, How to help, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

2:55 PM: Thanks to Alex for the photo – she says this lemonade and cookie sale at California/Portland in Gatewood (map) is raising money to help the Red Cross help fire victims in our state. (We’re waiting to hear back about how long they’ll be there.)

ADDED: If you didn’t already see the comment – congrats to the lemonade-and-cookie sellers for raising almost $200, which will be multipled by matching donations. If you missed the stand but would like to help, here’s what the Red Cross is doing in the fire zone, and how to donate.

West Seattle Crime Watch followup: Gatewood burglary suspect charged

July 17, 2014 at 10:53 pm | In Crime, Gatewood, West Seattle news | 12 Comments

Following up on the Gatewood burglary spree first reported here Wednesday – the suspect is now charged with three counts of residential burglary. And we’ve learned that a warrant was already out for his arrest before police found him after the burglaries Saturday afternoon, because he’d missed a sentencing hearing a day earlier. Plus, he has an extensive record dating back more than half his life, to age 14.

The suspect is Jason Edward Wyman, who turned 33 the day before his arrest. The police report lists a Westwood address for him. He is charged with burglarizing three homes in Gatewood; in two cases, the police report says, he was interrupted by people who were home at the time and had left doors unlocked or open; in a third, he stole from a guest house. At least one victim has surveillance video showing him with items stolen from her home.

“The defendant’s brazen behavior is alarming,” prosecutors wrote in the charging documents, noting that while burglary is not a violent crime, entering occupied residences can quickly escalate to violence. They go on to describe him as a “flight risk” with “17 warrants since 2000, based on 15 bookings at King County Jail.”

Last Friday, Wyman was supposed to appear for sentencing in a theft case dating back to last August – and failed to show up, leading to issuance of a $10,000 warrant for his arrest. His criminal history spans three states and includes at least one conviction for escape. He had struck a plea bargain in the case, which involved a day last August in which he was caught on video stealing a TV and two computers from the Renton Wal-Mart; according to court documents, and was going to be recommended for a residential DOSA sentence – that’s the program involving mandatory drug treatment.

Now, if Wyman is convicted of three counts of residential burglary, he faces up to 7 years in prison. According to the King County Jail Register, his current bail is set at $50,000. We’ll keep the case on our watch list.

Helicopter over Fauntleroy/Gatewood: Tour company

June 14, 2014 at 2:55 pm | In Fauntleroy, Gatewood, Helicopter, West Seattle news | 8 Comments

In case you also noticed the small yellow helicopter circling/hovering over Gatewood/Upper Fauntleroy (almost directly over WSB HQ for a while, so we grabbed a bit of video), thanks to Shannon for noting in a Twitter discussion that it was a tour-company helicopter. (Photo added, shared by Rey via Facebook)

Update: Crash in Gatewood at 37th/Thistle; no injuries reported

April 13, 2014 at 4:49 pm | In Gatewood, West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 6 Comments

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
4:49 PM: No serious injuries reported in a collision involving two cars at 37th and Thistle in Gatewood (map), with one car on its side, but westbound Thistle is blocked until a tow crew arrives.

5:05 PM: Added a photo. Our crew doublechecked at the scene and police confirmed, no one required medical attention at the scene. The road should be clear shortly. P.S. Thanks to the people who called and e-mailed to let us know about this.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Shot fired in Gatewood fight

March 9, 2014 at 7:08 pm | In Gatewood, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 24 Comments

Seattle Police say somebody fired a gun during a street fight overnight in Gatewood. 911 calls reported up to 100 teenagers fighting near 36th and Othello (map) around midnight; just as officers were getting there, other calls reported a possible shot fired. Police say they saw about 30 teens as they arrived, all of whom fled. They also found a shell casing on the street and what the SPD Blotter report describes as “two intoxicated adult male victims,” one of whom told them that several male suspects wearing black clothing and black ski masks got out of a black car and tried to fight him, with one pulling out a gun and firing it into the air. No injuries, no arrests.

See how ‘Ask This Old House’ helped West Seattle homeowners

January 20, 2014 at 2:51 pm | In Gatewood, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

Gatewood residents Patrick and Chelsea King got some high-profile help last June when Tom Silva and Ask This Old House” pitched in on their crown-molding project. We mentioned it here; they promised to let us know when the episode went online – and they just sent word it’s now available for viewing – the first 11 minutes of this clip. If you’d rather see it on TV, the online schedule says this episode will run again this Friday and Saturday on KBTC Channel 12 and Monday and Wednesday of next week on KCTS Channel 9.

Gatewood power outage – but not a surprise this time

December 11, 2013 at 9:12 pm | In Gatewood, Utilities, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

If you have noticed while driving California SW south of Morgan Junction that a section of Gatewood is in the dark – it’s planned, according to a note we received from Lee, who says a notice was distributed saying the power would be out starting around 8 pm, for up to 11 hours. It’s not on the city’s outage map, so we don’t know how wide the area is, but this is part of the zone still served by some of Seattle City Light’s oldest equipment, which is scheduled for replacement.

10:19 PM: Power is back on!

West Seattle holidays: First bazaar @ Peace Lutheran Church

December 7, 2013 at 12:07 pm | In Gatewood, Holidays, West Seattle news | Comments Off

A silent auction of Christmas Barbies is one of the most unusual things you’ll find at the first annual Peace Lutheran Church holiday bazaar, under way right now at the church in Gatewood. Handmade items too (including knit scarves to keep you warm!) – and if you are short on decorations for your tree, the ornaments on this one are all up for sale!

Lunch is being served, too, until 1 pm. Peace Lutheran is at 39th/Thistle.

Brief power outage at Gatewood Elementary, but it’s over

December 5, 2013 at 9:58 am | In Gatewood, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | Comments Off

Just in case you have ties to Gatewood Elementary and heard something about a power outage – we went there to check as soon as people started texting us (206-293-6302, any time) about it. We confirmed at the school that while power WAS out for a few minutes, it’s back on now. Checking with Seattle City Light to see if they have information on what happened.

Update: Cookies & cider for Philippines typhoon relief

November 16, 2013 at 11:52 am | In Gatewood, How to help, West Seattle news | 8 Comments

From Alex in Gatewood, whose 8-year-old daughter, she explains, “wanted to do something to help the people in the Philippines”:

If you’re in West Seattle this afternoon (Sat Nov 16th, 1-3ish) please stop by the corner of California & Portland (up the hill, south of Morgan Junction). Enjoy fresh-baked, homemade cookies & warm spiced cider. Donations will go to the Red Cross for Philippines relief.

Our ongoing list of West Seattle ways to help with typhoon relief (including a concert/service tomorrow) is here.

ADDED 2:42 PM: Still time to go get cookies and cider. Photos shared by Alex:

3:51 PM UPDATE: Over, and successful! Alex’s update:

We raised $272.31 for Philippine relief efforts. This amount will be matched by me, and the full amount donated to the Red Cross ($544.62). Thank you to everyone who supported us today!

Debris in Gatewood neighborhood: Any plane missing a window?

November 12, 2013 at 1:19 pm | In Gatewood, Safety, West Seattle news | 22 Comments

1:19 PM: That photo shared by Pam in Gatewood shows what she and her neighbors believe are aircraft parts – “metal frame, clear plex of a window” – that fell in their neighborhood within the past hour and a half. Some hit a roof, some turned up in a yard. They’re wondering if anyone else found something similar, and they’re contacting aviation authorities. An eastbound approach to Boeing Field does go over part of Gatewood, and Pam says they heard a plane just before this happened. No injuries reported.

2:27 PM: Per comments, the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

Request from police: Got video recorded within a square mile around Gatewood Elementary?

October 24, 2013 at 6:12 pm | In Gatewood, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 13 Comments

So far, there is no evidence of an actual abduction related to the reported sighting near Gatewood Elementary today (here’s our earlier coverage; [added] here’s an SPD Blotter update) BUT police have a request for you tonight, in hopes it will help them figure out what DID happen, if anything:

Southwest Precinct Sgt. Joe Bauer, asks that, if your home or business is within a square mile or so of the school (which fronts on both Myrtle and Frontenac just west of California; map) and you have a video-camera system – or happened to be rolling video in the area for any other reason – please check it, particularly for the time period between about 12:30 pm and 1 pm today. If you see anything at all that might be of interest to police related to this investigation, please e-mail Sgt. Bauer at joseph.bauer@seattle.gov.

Update: Police search in West Seattle after child reports seeing possible abduction

October 24, 2013 at 12:55 pm | In Gatewood, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 79 Comments

(SCROLL DOWN for newest information)

12:55 PM: We need to say for starters that this is ***NOT yet verified*** BUT we don’t want to wait any longer before putting something out in case it is.

This is all according to scanner information. SPD has just tweeted something we will add in a moment.

Police got a call that a man was seen “duct taping” and putting a child in a pickup truck near Gatewood Elementary School. The truck was described as silver, no canopy. The man was described as wearing a black robe and blue jeans.

Every officer in the area is on the lookout, while the school is doing a head count to make sure no one was missing.

We have a crew on the way to the school to see if this has been verified. If we hear anything more about the description of the POSSIBLE truck, we will let you know.

12:58 PM UPDATE: All SPD has tweeted is “Officers investigating possible student abduction in West Seattle. Still working to confirm. More details to come.”

Our crew is now in the Gatewood Elementary area, but there’s no additional information available there so far.

A bit of added description information: The possible suspect is a white male, in his 30s/40s. The possible victim was described as wearing a pink top, 6 to 12 years old, long black hair.

The description being broadcast citywide says the report comes from a 6-year-old who reported seeing this happen at a “nearby house.” That house is reported to be on the Frontenac side (north side) of the school. That street is currently closed off.

Police are continuing to put out information via Twitter, all details we have published already. Still no word of anyone being CONFIRMED missing.

1:17 PM: Police have reiterated via Twitter that there is no verification of anyone missing yet but say they “do not believe a child was taken from a school.” Commenter Steph, who is a Gatewood parent, says she has spoken with the school office and they said ALL students there are accounted for.

1:38 PM: We’re monitoring all info channels, but there is nothing new.

1:59 PM: If you saw police with a silver truck on 48th SW a short time ago – it was checked out but determined NOT to be related. Meantime, Seattle Public Schools public affairs says that while Gatewood’s doors are locked as a precaution, they are not technically in lockdown or shelter-in-place status, and are still working out dismissal details, though expecting it to be at the regular time.

2:21 PM: Police are still keeping an eye out for any potential vehicles but otherwise standing down a bit. No word of an actual missing child anywhere, but nor has the sighting been explained. If anything new emerges, we’ll add it here.

2:26 PM: There’s been conflicting info about Gatewood’s status between what parents were told and what the district told us. We just got a call from the school directly, and here’s the CURRENT information: The school is not currently sheltering-in-place. Dismissal and after-school activities will be normal.

5:52 PM – A REQUEST FROM POLICE: Southwest Precinct Sgt. Joe Bauer asked us to publish this request: If your home or business is within a square mile or so of Gatewood Elementary (which fronts on both Myrtle and Frontenac just west of California) and you have a video-camera system – or happened to be rolling video in the area for any other reason – please check it, particularly for the time period between about 12:30 pm and 1 pm today. If you see anything at all that might be of interest to police related to this investigation, please e-mail him at joseph.bauer@seattle.gov. (We are also mentioning this in comments and will post it separately.)

7:46 PM: SPD Blotter has just summarized what police have learned so far, but the bottom line remains: “At this point, officers have not found any evidence that a crime occurred.”

The Gatewood Bed & Breakfast: New West Seattle Blog sponsor

October 16, 2013 at 4:09 pm | In Gatewood, West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 15 Comments

Today we welcome a new WSB sponsor, The Gatewood Bed and Breakfast. Here’s what its proprietors want you to know about this beautiful century-old West Seattle home, now open as guest lodging:

(The Gatewood‘s main room, with proprietors Margaret and Mary)
In 1910, British-born Francis Harper built The Gatewood for his wife Pontine and six children. The home holds more than 100 years of stories and history of the families who have lived here and after whom our guestrooms are named: the Harpers, Clarks, Frosts, and Odekirks.

Although only a short drive to downtown or the airport, the home is tucked away in a peaceful greenbelt with beautiful grounds and picturesque views. It is also a very walkable distance to Lincoln Park. To Margaret, Lincoln Park is an integral part of the experience of The Gatewood.

The Hayes family purchased the house in 1987 to raise their children and provide a place for her large, extended family to gather and bond. With the intent to restore the property with consideration of its era, they feel very fortunate to be the latest keepers of this wonderful place in West Seattle. The Hayes’s, as well as lots of aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents, created many fond memories at this extraordinary place. At Thanksgiving it became a tradition for everyone to take a leisurely walk together down to Lincoln Park and back to walk off the large meal … and avoid the dishes.

Margaret Hayes (current owner) and her daughter Mary are also in contact with the four previous owners’ families in order to capture their stories and extend the welcome back to their family home. The response has been remarkable. Some have even stayed at the house since its conversion to a B&B and expressed their deep appreciation for the loving care taken in the restoration.

In the desire to share this gem of a house, Margaret converted the residence into a Bed & Breakfast. We are confident that the environment will provide a restful, calming experience for everyone who visits. West Seattle is a unique place – the residents here genuinely care about their neighbors, local businesses, and the community as a whole. We feel we can be that home-away-from-home for those who are visiting West Seattle and extend that community and connection to them. Whether it’s the interaction with the hosts, the grounds, or the home itself, we provide guests an intimate experience. We are proud to be here in West Seattle and value greatly the support provided by the community.

We do provide recommendations to West Seattle restaurants and services for our guests. We also have partnered with several local Seattle artists to display their works throughout the house.

The Gatewood Bed and Breakfast is at 7446 Gatewood Road SW; you can see photos and book a reservation online at gatewoodwestseattle.com. Or, call 206-938-3482.

We thank The Gatewood Bed & Breakfast 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.

Reader report: Girl says man in van followed her in Gatewood

October 11, 2013 at 9:56 pm | In Gatewood, West Seattle news | 27 Comments

Reader report: A 12-year-old girl told her parents – who in turn told police – that she was followed around 8 pm tonight in Gatewood, near 39th/Webster (map), by a van described as “light-colored, beat-up,” driven by a man described as “middle-aged, with dark brown hair.” She reported the van followed her for a few blocks as she walked home from a friend’s house and at one point flashed its lights at her; she started running when she noticed it, and hid on the side of her house because nobody was home yet. Her father then arrived and saw the van as the girl ran to the parent’s car; the van took off at that point. The family just wanted to share the alert; we’re checking to see if police have anything to add.

Also today: Gatewood playdate, with new principal

August 18, 2013 at 11:40 am | In Gatewood, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 1 Comment

One more Sunday afternoon event called to our attention that didn’t make it into our calendar:

The second playdate to welcome new and returning families will be held on the Gatewood playground (today) 1-3 pm. This is a great opportunity to reconnect with friends and make new ones. As an added bonus, our new principal, Connie Aleman, will be there until about 1:45 pm to meet the Gatewood community.

West Seattle schools: Connie Aleman announced as new principal of Gatewood Elementary

August 12, 2013 at 10:17 pm | In Gatewood, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 7 Comments

Thanks to the Gatewood Elementary parent who shared the announcement from Superintendent José Banda, e-mailed today:

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Connie Aleman as your new principal, effective August 12, 2013.

Ms. Aleman comes to Gatewood from Wedgwood Elementary, where she was assistant principal last year. She is committed to a collaborative approach and we believe she will be a great fit for the Gatewood Elementary community.

Prior to joining the team at Wedgwood, Connie Aleman served as a STAR Mentor for Seattle Public Schools. In this role she worked with first- and second-year teachers to provide one-to-one mentoring and coaching. She previously worked as a principal intern at Alki Elementary and as site coordinator for summer school at Bagley Elementary. Ms. Aleman has taught elementary and middle school grades in Seattle Public Schools and also was the primary teacher for the autism program at Families for Effective Autism Treatment.

Ms. Aleman earned a Master’s in human development at Pacific Oakes College and a bachelor of arts in drama from the University of Washington. She holds Washington State principal and teacher certifications, and has participated in ongoing professional education and training.

Connie Aleman was selected after a hiring process that included input from staff and families. The selection team committee was particularly impressed with her coaching experience and experience with initiatives used at Gatewood such as the inclusion model.

The superintendent’s note concluded with a reminder that Gatewood’s principal of eight years, Rhonda Claytor, is moving on to lead Leschi Elementary, as announced July 3rd.

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