West Seattle, Washington
A new addition to the RainWise-enhanced grounds of Peace Lutheran Church in Gatewood – a new permanent sign explaining the stormwater-diverting program and the congregation’s commitment to it. In the photo sent by Pastor Erik Kindem is congregation president Michael Truog, who is also chair of the church’s Green Team. So next time you walk or ride by 39th SW/SW Thistle, take a look! You can also take a look at this PDF showing what’s on the sign. (The church celebrated its RainWise improvements at an event we covered last year.)
Just out of the WSB inbox:
The video is from Mark Bader in Gatewood, who explains:
I’ve enjoyed putting up Christmas lights for years, but this year, at the urging of my wife, I’ve taken the plunge and synchronized my lights to music. I have a collection of songs – some that I’ve written and recorded – that are synced to lights, and you can tune your car radio to 103.3 to hear the music. My style of sequencing is more gentle and slow, with washes of color and motion that match the mood of the music. I try to stay away from lots of flashing. A friend said of my show, “It’s just like Disney!”.
“Austin Street Lights” is at 3711 SW Austin St, and the show runs from 4 pm to 10 pm each night. Tune your radio to 103.3 to hear the music.
We are of course adding this to the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, where you’ll also find holiday concerts and other performances, Santa stops, tree lots, special events, church services, and more – we keep adding them as we get them – firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
Thanks to the texter who tipped us to this: Police have recovered another stolen car, and arrested 2 suspects. This time, it ended in a Gatewood apartment parking area, on SW Orchard just east of California [map]; the silver Acura above is the stolen car. SPD tells us an officer spotted it being driven nearby and pulled the driver over after verifying the car was stolen. They were still on scene awaiting a tow truck to impound the car. We don’t know anything about the suspects yet but will be watching the jail register.
8:36 AM: Thanks for the tips – first we got a text about a “boom” in Gatewood, then Matt e-mailed about a transformer/fuse blowing near California/Myrtle, and now the Seattle City Light outage map shows 49 customers out in that area. Estimated restoration is after noon, but remember that those are just “guesstimates” and it could be sooner (as was the case with the most recent West Seattle outage of note) or later.
1:26 PM: The original estimated restoration time has now come and gone, and there’s a new one, 3:43 pm. The map also now attributes the outage to “tree.”
2:28 PM: And the outage has ended, sometime in the past hour, after 5+ hours.
The Gatewood Elementary playfield project has hit a milestone – and one student has a fundraiser Sunday to help cover the rest of the gap. First:
From Linnea Westerlind:
Thanks to generous donations from our school families and West Seattle community, we have raised $40,517.45 for a new Gatewood Elementary playfield! Principal Kyna Hogg announced the total to our kids at an assembly this morning. To celebrate this fundraising effort the kids got to wear pajamas and have an all-school dance party today.
We are so grateful to the support of community and want to say thank you! We are within reach of our goal to raise $50,000 to complete the full playfield project. We are continuing to take donations via our online site: gatewoodplayfield.org and by donations of checks or cash to the Gatewood Elementary School office. We can’t wait to see our 400 elementary and preschool kids enjoying an amazing new outdoor play space soon!
One of them will be Gwen, whose mom Elissa e-mailed to tell us about her planned fundraising sale this Sunday:
Our daughter Gwen is in the 2nd grade at Gatewood. Her favorite thing right now is collecting little Japanese puzzle erasers; she has dozens of them. She also is really passionate about donating her money to help Gatewood build a new playground and soccer field. So she came up with the awesome idea to sell brand-new erasers, in the package, to help raise money for the playground.
We squared things away with Wildwood Market to give Gwen a venue for selling the erasers. She’ll be at the store on Sunday, Nov 19, from 1 pm to 4 pm, or until she’s out of erasers. If she sells all the erasers we bought for the sale, she can make a huge contribution to the playground fund. Even better, her handsome dad works for a company that doubles charitable contributions, so your eraser money will go twice as far.
Erasers will be $2 each or 3 for $5, and they’re brand new, unopened, official and genuine, direct from the US Iwako distributor (the real deal). Get there early for the best selection, we have a mix of little animals and little rubber desserts. 100% of the eraser money will go straight to Gatewood on Monday morning, and Dad’s company will follow up with a matching grant.
Wildwood is at 9214 45th SW.
Thanks to Linnea Westerlind for the photo of Gatewood Elementary students and mascot today outside West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor), where she reports they had a “fun, soggy time” talking to people about the Gatewood Playfield Project (featured here earlier this week). Less than a week into the campaign, they are about a quarter of the way toward their goal of $50,000 to replace the rutted playfield so the students – and neighbors, outside school hours – have someplace decent to play. This new video shows you what it’s all about:
The video was put together, with dozens participating in a shoot during yesterday’s day off from school, by alumni dad and local videographer Barry J. White, who donated his time. Want to help? Here’s how.
As previewed in our coverage of last month’s Morgan Community Association meeting, the Gatewood Elementary PTA is raising money to fix the school’s playfield, and the campaign has officially begun. Here’s the announcement:
The campaign runs through November 17 and aims to raise $50,000 from donations from parents, neighbors, local businesses and community members.
THE PRESENT: The Gatewood Elementary playfield is in terrible condition with poor drainage that is prone to flooding and uneven ground that is no longer usable for sports or activities. Kids are choosing to play sports on the asphalt instead of the playfield.
THE FUTURE: Plans for the new Gatewood playfield include:
High-quality grass playing field and new irrigation
New track for running/walking/biking
Nature-inspired play spaces with logs, boulders and native plants
New wheelchair-accessible play area with a unique “Gatewood Gator” sculpture
Trees to provide much-needed shade
WHO BENEFITS: More than 400 Gatewood elementary and Cottage preschool students use the playfield every school day. Cottage’s summer program serves more than 50 kids. The new playfield and track will also be a fantastic new amenity for our West Seattle neighbors to use during non-school hours.
FUNDING: The Gatewood Elementary PTA has been awarded a $100,000 matching grant from the city of Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods. We need to raise an additional $50,000 to complete the project.
CONSTRUCTION: The PTA plans to complete construction on the new playfield this school year. The project is out for contractor bidding right now. The last day to submit a sealed bid is Monday, Dec. 4, at 11 a.m. Details available on request.
You can donate online at gatewoodplayfield.org. The PTA also welcomes business sponsorships – you can e-mail email@example.com for details, or if you have questions. The PTA notes that it “is a 501c3 nonprofit and donations are tax-deductible to the extent determined by law.”
9:47 PM: A Seattle Fire “heavy rescue” response is on the way to 35th/Southern in Gatewood, where a vehicle is reported to have flipped, with someone trapped inside. Per scanner, southbound 35th is blocked at the crash scene. More to come.
9:52 PM: We’re now hearing 35th is blocked both ways at the crash scene. Avoid the area [map].
9:54 PM: SFD has freed the person from the vehicle.
10:02 PM: Police tell us the car flipped after the driver hit a tree.
10:09 PM: The driver, described only as male, is being taken to Harborview Medical Center by SFD medic unit. 35th may be closed another hour or so at the crash scene.
10:22 PM: And to be clear, only one car involved, only one person in the car, we’re told. Adding more photos. We’ll update when the road’s open again.
11:42 PM: We haven’t heard an update on the road but SFD has fully closed out of the call.
1:56 PM: The photo and stolen-car report are from Eric:
It is a 2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid, burgundy/dark red color. License plate #AYC6610. It has a small dent in the rear door. It was stolen sometime Saturday night at 37th Ave SW and SW Kenyon St. in the Gatewood neighborhood.
The police have been notified, but I’m offering a $250 reward if you find it, so please call 911 and then call (removed) to let me know too.
UPDATED EARLY THURSDAY: Eric reports the vehicle was found – by his wife, who spotted it along 35th SW between Henderson and Barton.
2:06 AM: Seattle Fire is sending a “heavy rescue” response to 40th SW and SW Thistle [map] on the Gatewood/Fauntleroy line for a report of a box truck hitting a house. We’re on our way to find out more.
2:23 AM: SFD is working to free the driver from the truck.
2:36 AM: Firefighters have cut the driver, a man believed to be in his late 20s, out of the truck. Medic unit will take him to the hospital. SFD says he is in ‘stable’ condition. No one hurt in the house; a neighbor tells us the residents apparently weren’t home.
2:57 AM: Firefighters have patched a spot on the corner of the house where the truck stopped. Some of the SFD units are leaving.
3:15 AM: We just left too – but first, once we were able to get closer, saw more of what happened, a story told by torn-up shrubbery and fencing: The truck appears to have gone onto the wrong side of the road just east of 40th SW….
then westbound across 40th and into/through the side yard, behind shrubs and fencing, of the house east of the one that it finally hit, also crossing an alley in the process:
Via scanner, SFD has just cleared the scene, and when the truck is towed, the Department of Construction and Inspections will have to check the house to see if it’s safe to inhabit.
10:23 AM: A Seattle Fire “full response” is on its way to a possible house fire in the 4100 block of SW Monroe in Gatewood.
10:27 AM: Most of the SFD units have been canceled, with the fire having been a small exterior fire, per scanner, but police are on scene, our crew reports upon arrival, and we’re hearing a medic unit being dispatched for someone believed to be ill/injured.
12:35 PM: Police investigators are still on scene, looking at both a vehicle that was up on the home’s lawn and at the area that’s possibly where the small fire started. We’ll be checking back with SPD later this afternoon to see if there’s an update.
10:15 AM: Look familiar? Maybe something stolen in a car prowl, or … ? Suzanne found the basket and items strewn in the street in Gatewood, so it’s likely they weren’t simply “lost” (otherwise, we do have a “lost/found/non-pets” section you are welcome to use in other circumstances). If they’re yours, please text her at *number removed*. (She’s reported this to police, too.)
4:13 PM: Suzanne tells us the items have been claimed, so we have removed her phone number.
9:33 AM: Thanks to Ron for the tip. He says a “loud explosion” preceded the power outage that Seattle City Light‘s map says is affecting 81 customers. It started about 10 minutes ago; while the restoration time is estimated to be 5 pm, keep in mind that’s just an estimate and will likely change.
2:20 PM: Still out, according to the map, which updated the estimated restoration time a while back, to 3:40-ish pm. We passed a City Light crew on the west side of California near the outage zone while heading southbound a short time ago – don’t know if it’s related and couldn’t stop, but we’re checking for updated info.
ADDED TUESDAY: The power was restored Monday evening. SCL spokesperson Scott Thomsen tells us that the cause was failure of an underground transformer.
11:47 AM: ‘Epic!’ is how proud mom Alex describes the fresh-baked-treats-and-lemonade sale that her daughter Ysabel and friends have going right now at the northeast corner of California and Portland in Gatewood [map], raising money to help Hurricane Harvey storm survivors in Texas. The treats, baked with big help from Ysabel’s dad, include Texas-shaped cookies:
Running things when we stopped by were Ysabel, below right, with Quincy at left and Sam in front:
As mentioned in our preview, Ysabel has had benefit bake sales before; her mom’s matching proceeds and family employers will be matching too. The sale is scheduled to go until 2 pm but that of course is “while supplies last,” so stop by soon if you haven’t already!
3:37 PM: This comment has an update, and thanks, from Ysabel’s dad – including the grand total, pre-matches, of $1,249.08!
FRIDAY: That photo is from 2013, when Ysabel raised money for typhoon relief in the Philippines. In 2014, she raised money for Oso mudslide victims. Last year, she and friends raised money for Louisiana flood relief. And this Sunday, she’ll be selling treats and lemonade to help the Red Cross help Hurricane Harvey flooding survivors. Stop by the northeast corner of California and Portland in Gatewood 10 am-2 pm on Sunday (September 3rd) to buy goodies she’ll be making with her dad (who her mom describes as “a wonderful baker”). Whatever she raises will be matched by mom Alex, and that donation in turn will be submitted for Tableau and Starbucks matches. We’ll remind you again Sunday morning!
ADDED SATURDAY: Alex sent photos of baking in progress:
And the results being stored for the sale:
We’ve heard from multiple people about possible gunshots heard around 10 pm – and we heard them ourselves in the distance. People in Sunrise Heights and Gatewood say they called 911 and were told many others had. Monitoring the scanner, we haven’t heard about anything that would confirm gunfire – casings or property damage; please let us know if police are in your neighborhood and seem to be finding something.
For the second consecutive day, Gatewood stabbing suspect Ryan Cox refused to appear for his scheduled bail hearing, according to King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office spokesperson Dan Donohoe. So another one has been scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday), and Cox remains in King County Jail, three days after he was taken into custody, accused of stabbing a 40-year-old West Seattle man multiple times after a confrontation at California and Orchard. The victim’s friends and family say he will survive. Prosecutors are expected to make their charging decision on Monday; as we detailed on Wednesday, Cox has been in and out of the criminal-justice and mental-health systems for years.
Two days after the Gatewood attack that left a 40-year-old West Seattle man in the hospital with serious injuries, two new developments, including the first hearing for the suspect. First, for everyone who asked how they could help the victim and his family – this crowdfunding page has been set up, identifying the victim as Court Heeter. From the page:
As many of you have heard, Court was the victim of a violent knife attack on Tuesday, Aug. 8, near his home in West Seattle. He sustained many life-threatening stab wounds and was fortunate to have Good Samaritans and first responders get there in time to save his life. He is now recovering in the hospital with his wife and family at his side.
Court is a strong man and is expected to recover from his physical wounds beautifully. He is indeed also a very lucky man to have survived an attack of this magnitude – we are so thankful he is here with us.
People are asking how to help. Meals are always thoughtful but in some cases can be disruptive to a household with small children that is already experiencing stress. In addition, a steady stream of visitors is overwhelming for this private family.
Obviously, there will be medical bills and other costs associated with this tragedy. As friends of the Heeter Family we are concerned about what lies ahead as he starts to work through what has happened.
Let’s come together and raise some money to ease any extra burdens we can for this family. Whether it be for a family vacation, medical bills, groceries, house cleaner – Whatever the Heeter Family needs money for let’s help provide it. Thank you for any donation amount or positive thoughts and prayers you can provide.
Again, the link is here.
Next – the hearing information, just in: As we first reported yesterday morning, police identified the suspect as 39-year-old Ryan J. Cox, who has been in and out of the criminal-justice and mental-health systems, as detailed in this followup yesterday afternoon. After police first took Cox into custody at the scene of Tuesday night’s attack, he was taken to the hospital for what investigators said were self-inflicted stab wounds; last night, he was medically cleared to be booked into King County Jail, and this afternoon, he had what was scheduled to be a bail/probable-cause hearing. According to King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office spokesperson Dan Donohoe, Cox “refused to appear in court”; the judge ruled there was probable cause to continue holding him, and set a bail hearing for tomorrow afternoon. The document provided for the hearing has the same narrative information that we included in yesterday afternoon’s followup, with the addition of Cox’s claim that he stabbed Heeter – who police say was unarmed – in self-defense, claiming he had clashed with the victim the night before. The probable-cause document also notes that law enforcement does not want to see Cox released, because he is “very aggressive” and because the incident involved “assault with a deadly weapon.”
We will update again tomorrow after the second hearing.
10:18 PM: Seattle Fire and Police are on the scene of what medical radio transmissions describe as a double stabbing at California and Orchard [map]. Two men, both around 40, are being taken to the hospital.
10:39 PM: WSB’s Christopher Boffoli is at the scene and reports that California is closed between Myrtle and Othello. The stabbings are reported to have happened out in the street.
10:55 PM: Though SPD has not yet commented at the scene, they’ve just tweeted that one man stabbed the other and then himself, so no one else is being sought. Seattle Fire says one man was transported with life-threatening wounds, one with non-life-threatening.
11:04 PM: While we are still waiting for a more-detailed account from police, multiple witnesses – at the scene and by phone – say the man with the life-threatening wounds was in his car when attacked by the other man. The car is reported to be the white SUV in our photo above.
12:20 AM: Police at the scene continue to decline comment, referring inquiries to media relations, so we likely will not learn anything more until later this morning. Christopher reports that as of midnight, the road was still closed as the investigation continued.
7:32 AM: So far, still no additional information from police. Meantime, a commenter identifying herself as the victim’s wife posted overnight that he was in surgery.
8:07 AM: Here’s the entirety of what police just posted to SPD Blotter, the first official information since one tweet late last night:
The male victim, age 40, is at Harborview Medical Center with life-threatening injuries while the suspect, 39, is also at Harborview with non-life-threatening injuries.
On Tuesday, August 8th at 10:00 pm, Southwest Precinct officers responded to a call of a fight and stabbing near California Avenue SW and SW Orchard Street. Officers arrived and located both the victim and suspect. The victim had extensive injuries to his chest, head, and upper arms. Seattle Fire medics arrived and treated the victim at the scene and then transported him to the hospital. The suspect also had stab wounds to his thighs, which he stated occurred during the course of the attack.
It is unknown what led up to the confrontation, but witnesses interviewed at the scene confirmed that the suspect attacked the victim and that the victim was not armed. It is unknown what the relationship is between the two men, if any. Officers recovered a knife at the scene and submitted it into evidence.
The suspect was also treated at the scene and transported to the hospital, where he remains under police custody. Once the suspect has been cleared medically he will be booked into the King County Jail.
Detectives will conduct the follow up investigation.
This remains an active and ongoing investigation.
8:51 AM: As just noted in comments, police have confirmed to us by phone that the suspect, who remains in the hospital at last report, is Ryan Cox. WSB policy usually precludes identifying suspects until and unless they are charged, but given the neighborhood history with Cox, this is an unusual case and we are making an exception. That history goes back to 2009, when he was arrested in connection with graffiti vandalism involving homophobic slurs. At the time of his arrest, police said then, he was carrying a knife.
(added) It has been three years since he was last mentioned on WSB, after his release from jail following completion of a sentence for an assault case in which he pleaded guilty in 2013. As we mentioned in comment discussion below, we’ve checked city, county, and state records and no recent criminal cases were shown – the most recent case of any kind was a citation last December for “consuming/possessing open container of liquor in public,” according to the Municipal Court website. Before that, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor trespassing in August 2015.
ADDED WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Cox was booked into jail just before 8 pm tonight.
If you’re part of the Gatewood Elementary community, you’ve probably already heard, but the district is now publicly sharing the announcement that the school’s new principal Kyna Williams is on the job as of this month. She formerly led Destiny Charter Middle School in Tacoma. From Superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland‘s letter:
Kyna Williams was one of multiple candidates interviewed by a hiring committee that included school staff, parents, principals, and central office staff before being recommended for the consideration of the Superintendent and Chief of Schools. The committee was impressed with her commitment to social justice and her experience with school culture building. She is a strong instructional leader and relationship builder.
Ms. Williams most recently served as Founding Assistant Principal, and ultimately the Principal at Destiny Middle school in Tacoma, where she created and implemented positive behavior supports and school-wide culture systems and a system of professional learning for educators in a brand-new middle school. She has also served as a school leader in Washington, D.C. where she facilitated teacher engagement programs, coached and supervised teams of teachers, and oversaw a teaching residency program. She has also taught math and science and tutored literacy skills.
Principal Williams earned her Masters in Elementary Education from Chaminade University in Hawaii; her Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Minnesota; and was a Teach for America corps member.
I would like to extend my thanks to Principal Connie Aleman for working to create an inclusive environment for all students. She has worked diligently to create systems to support students’ social and emotional well-being so that all students can access learning with success at Gatewood.
Principal Williams is excited to be joining the Gatewood Elementary community, and is looking forward to
working with the students, staff, and families to build a place where all stakeholders have high
expectations of students and believe that every student can succeed.
8:44 PM: Thanks for the texted tip – 53 homes are without power in Gatewood, the Seattle City Light map confirms. No word yet what caused the outage; the estimated restoration time is after 2 am, but remember that those times are “guesstimates” at best – could be sooner, or later. (Let us know if you see a repair truck – text or call 206-293-6302, our 24/7 hotline – thanks!)
10:30 PM: The map is now updated to attribute the outage to “bird/animal” – which is in line with the first comment below. No change in the restoration guesstimate, though.
5:39 AM: Power was restored early this morning – see comments.
Just announced by Seattle Public Schools: After the school year ends, Gatewood Elementary principal Constance Aleman will be moving across the peninsula to take the newly created position of assistant principal at West Seattle’s most populous elementary school, Genesee Hill. She has been principal at Gatewood for four years. Letters have gone out to both schools’ communities – here’s what Aleman said in her announcement:
It is with mixed emotions I am writing to inform you this will be my last year at Gatewood Elementary School.
After four amazing years and careful consideration, I have decided it is the right time for me to pursue a new leadership opportunity. I have accepted a role at Genesee Hill Elementary; I am excited to stay within the West Seattle community and to work more closely in the areas of Special Education, social-emotional learning, and family engagement. As difficult as this is for me, I feel confident I am leaving this school in great shape and ready to continue the amazing work of providing academic excellence for each student.
While seeking new opportunities brings some excitement, I want you to know this was not an easy decision for me. I’m indebted to so many incredible friends and colleagues who have made my experience here a lifelong memory. At Gatewood there are positive, innovative, and hardworking staff, and a supportive and positive group of families. I cherish the brilliant, caring, and committed students. It has been an honor serving all of you the past four years. As much as I will miss this community, I will cherish the memories and reflect fondly upon them as I move forward in both my professional and personal life.
As we wrap up the year, I am hopeful you continue on the path we have laid together. Together we have worked toward the mission of fostering a school climate of compassion, academic excellence, problem solving, creativity, and cultural awareness. It inspires me to see the school, families, and the community working together for the social, emotional, physical, and intellectual development of each student. This mission lives with you. Your relentless commitment, drive, and compassion for our students will ensure that our mission of excellence continues on!
I will finish out the school year at Gatewood and my first day with Genesee Hill will be July 1. The formal search process for hiring a new principal is underway as we look forward to the next school year. The process will include an opportunity for Gatewood staff and the community to provide input. Executive Director of Schools, Helen Joung, will communicate updates to the staff and community.
Thank you all for your kindness and support. I have appreciated it more than you can imagine. And thank you all for your continued commitment and dedication to our school, staff and students. It is because of you that I know Gatewood will continue to be the very best school ever!
Constance Aleman, Principal
Gatewood Elementary School
You can read the message sent by Genesee Hill principal Gerrit Kischner to his community here.
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.