West Seattle, Washington
3:33 PM: The greening of Gatewood Elementary‘s schoolyard continues. This afternoon, volunteers are working to build and install raised garden beds – and Sandy Lennon tells us about two chances for everyone to get a look this week at what else is going on:
We’ve been working hard and are gaining momentum in improving our playground and learning garden at Gatewood Elementary.
*To support our learning garden, our online fundraiser through Seattle Seed Co. continues through this week. Order organic seeds and/or other garden-related goodies here. (See the flyer here.) Gatewood receives 50% of proceeds. Thanks for your support!
*We recently won a $5,000 Small Sparks grant from the City’s Department of Neighborhoods to complete design and construction documents for improvements in the southwest corner of our playground (our playfield).
*We’ve been working this school year to gather information and ideas and confirm the school’s priorities for that space, and we have a few draft design sketches ready for community viewing and feedback. We’ll be posting the sketches at our PTA meeting on Monday night, March 13, 6:30-8 pm in the school library, and at our Art Walk / Open House on Thursday, March 16, 5:30-7 pm on the main floor of the school. Community members are invited to stop by, take a look, and leave comments that will be considered as we finalize the design. For a preview, you can go here.
Gatewood Elementary is at 4320 SW Myrtle.
ADDED 5:55 PM: “Here’s what our group of volunteer students, parents and teachers accomplished today,” Jeannie wrote, sending us this “after” photo:
Seattle City Light has just gone public with its next round of locations for utility-pole replacements, in Gatewood, Upper Fauntleroy, Highland Park, and Burien. Embedded above (and also available on the SCL website) are five 2-page flyers for different areas, each one with its own map(s) – note that what you see above is the first of FOUR map pages, one every other page, so be sure to scroll through or check the SCL website directly; below, the announcement from SCL:
Starting in mid-to-late March 2017, Seattle City Light’s contractor, Magnum Power LLC, will be replacing aging utility poles in parts of its service territory. This project will enhance electrical reliability by replacing older poles in the system. The installation of new poles, wire and equipment relocation is an important investment in infrastructure.
Crews will be working in the following areas:
· SW Elmgrove St to SW Sullivan St (east of California Ave SW)
· SW Holden St to SW Southern St (west of 35th Ave SW)
· SW Thistle Street to SW Henderson St (west of 35th Ave SW)
· SW Kenyon St to SW Trenton St (east of Delridge Way SW)
· SW 122nd St to SW 126th St (west of 1st Ave S)
Highlights from the project:
· The entire project is anticipated for completion by the end of 2017. Daily work hours are from Monday through Thursday, 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Crews may be working in other areas before transitioning to these construction areas.
· The new poles will be placed alongside pre-existing poles. They will meet standard heights and widths required for overhead power line construction. This may mean that poles in your area will be slightly taller and approximately two inches wider than existing poles.
· Once the electrical equipment is relocated, it may take several months before the other companies with utilities on the existing poles make their transfer(s). We will continue to monitor/coordinate these efforts as needed to facilitate the removal of old poles.
For more information, customers can contact:
· Percy Schlimm, Sr. Electrical Service Representative at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 386-1735.
· Kevin Knutz, Magnum Power Project Manager at email@example.com or (360) 904-8318.
SCL says that if you’re affected, you’ll be getting all this information directly, too. (This round includes our area of Upper Fauntleroy, we notice, so we’ll be watching to see when the direct customer communication arrives.)
ADDED NOON WEDNESDAY: For the record, our notice arrived via postal mail this morning.
Just found out about this tonight at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor), where organizer Sierra Shea was handing out flyers: For the next three days, you can drop off new or gently used blankets at Gatewood Elementary School to help the children of Mary’s Place. The organization helps homeless families around Seattle (and will be operating a family shelter soon in White Center). Blanket dropoffs are welcome Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, March 1-3, 7:30 am-3:30 pm, at the school, 4320 SW Myrtle. If you have questions, text or call Shea at 206-265-2362.
Concerned about public-school-funding problems, from the district’s “levy cliff” to the state’s McCleary Decision? Your next chance to find out where things stand, and what concerned citizens can do, is tomorrow night. The Gatewood Elementary PTA invites everyone – whether you are affiliated with their school or not – to their meeting tomorrow night (Monday, January 9th), 6:30-8:30 pm in the cafeteria (4320 SW Myrtle). The announcement shared by vice president Melissa McNeel says their special guest is Heidi Bennett, a longtime advocate who’s been the Legislative Chair for the statewide and citywide PTSA/PTA organizations, among other involvement. Child care will be available for the meeting, as will interpretation services in Spanish and Somali.
(WSB file photo)
If you use West Seattle’s longest stairway – along the SW Thistle right-of-way, east of Lincoln Park, west of Northrop Place – you might have noticed some markings along its top section this fall, suggesting plans for future work. In fact, SDOT is planning “improvements” on the 61-year-old stairway next year. It’s the only West Seattle stairway on the map/list of 10 citywide slated for SDOT work in 2017. If you use the stairway, here’s a survey open until December 30th, asking what you would like to see done, and what the city should know before its project begins.
Thanks to Megan K for the photo and report from Gatewood Hill, with encouragement for all their West Seattle neighbors to give to fight hunger:
A sincere thank you to all those who donated non-perishable food items to the West Seattle Food Bank last night! A big shoutout to our neighbor Patrick Shandy, for promoting the drive and collecting all the food. It’s never too late to donate; your contributions mean a lot :)
The photo and report are from Kate:
There is a car on my block that has been there for a week or so, and has not moved. The front and back plates have been removed. I suspect it is a stolen vehicle and that someone may be looking for it. I have reported it as an abandoned vehicle. It is in the Gatewood neighborhood, on 37th Ave SW, just to the south of Holden. It is a black, late 90s, early 2000s Volvo wagon with a lot of bumper stickers. The door to the gas tank is also missing. There appears to be some kind of wood shelves in the back.
“Nice chatting with you, neighbor.” That friendly goodbye, said as one participant left the “peace gathering” at Myrtle Reservoir Park tonight, summarized what it was all about – neighbors gathering with neighbors. We stopped by around 45 minutes into it, and at least 50 people were there.
It was informal – candlelight, pizza, children running around and playing. And a lot of talk. One person told another that she was worried some ongoing issues won’t be resolved in her lifetime. And certainly, nothing was going to be resolved in one night. But Mary Ellen Cunningham told us she had the idea for the gathering, while having trouble sleeping last night.
Sarah, who sent us first word of the gathering this afternoon, tells us tonight, “Thanks to all who came out to the peace gathering tonight – I know many were encouraged simply by your presence.” She adds that a mailing list is being set up “regarding further gatherings and ways to come together as a community,” so if you’re interested, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to be included.
2:10 PM: Just out of the WSB inbox from Sarah, who describes this as a “peace gathering”:
Join us tonight at 5 pm at Reservoir Park on 35th & Myrtle for a time of being together as a community. This isn’t about joining to stand against our new president or the people who voted for him. It’s about joining together to stand FOR love, FOR justice, FOR equality, and to give a space for those who are grieving and afraid.
Bring warm jackets, picnic dinner, candles, games or instruments. We look forward to seeing you there.
3:02 PM: Sarah adds that this is a family-friendly gathering
5:42 PM: We are stopping by the event right now. Several dozen people of all ages are here, on the north side of the park by the play area.
Back in August, we published an invitation for you to get involved with Gatewood Elementary‘s quest for a “green schoolyard.” It’s moving ahead, despite a recent setback, and your involvement is still heartily welcomed, says Sandy Lennon:
We’ve posted the final permaculture design proposal for a Gatewood learning garden/outdoor classroom (here). Take a look! We are currently soliciting feedback on the design from our school staff, community, and the school district.
· If you’re interested in the Gatewood project, or generally interested in green schoolyards, learning gardens, or permaculture in schools, you can sign up to follow our conversation at: gatewoodgreenschoolyard.org
· We learned recently that we were unfortunately not awarded a Neighborhood Matching Fund grant for green playground design work in this round of funding. We will be meeting this week on Thursday, November 3, 5:00-6:30 pm in the school library, to de-brief on City feedback, review the 2006 Gatewood conceptual master plan, discuss our current vision and possible staging of work, and determine next steps for both the playground and garden. Our principal, PTA leadership, and a representative from the school district will be participating. Gatewood families and interested neighbors are encouraged to join us.
Gatewood Elementary is at 4320 SW Myrtle.
3:50 PM: What started as a house-fire response has now switched to a “rubbish fire that spread to brush” in the 7300 block of California SW in Gatewood [map]. We’re on the way to check it out.
4:01 PM: The last SFD unit was pulling away as we got there. So, it’s out, and wasn’t major.
You can help Gatewood Elementary get greener – by helping plan playground improvements and/or renovating the school garden. Here’s how:
Help us imagine and design a greener schoolyard at Gatewood Elementary!
We are applying for a Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF) grant to design playground improvements to renovate active play spaces and provide more opportunities for connection with nature and outdoor learning. Think shade trees, natural play areas, wildlife habitat, etc.
We want your input and need your help to win the NMF grant, as we need to demonstrate community match/engagement through pledges of volunteer time. Could you attend any evening design meetings next spring (there will likely be three meetings, Jan-Apr 2017)? If you are a Gatewood family, neighbor, or interested community member, please join us! Children and teens are more than welcome.
To pledge your time, please email Sandy Lennon (email@example.com) with names (of all participating family members), address/zip, phone, email, and the amount of time you can offer. If you don’t want to share all contact info, an email or phone contact is fine.
We are also hoping to begin rejuvenation of our school garden to be an awesome learning garden, outdoor classroom, and permaculture demonstration project. If you’re interested in helping with this project, we’d also love to hear from you.
11:17 AM: Seattle Fire has sent an “automobile rescue” response to a crash scene reported at 35th and Southern [map] in Gatewood. Per scanner, southbound 35th SW will be closed at Elmgrove. More to come.
11:27 AM: Our crew just arrived. Two cars involved – a VW Bug and Ford Escort.
SFD had to cut into the latter to get to a patient. No word yet on injuries.
11:37 AM: Neither driver is seriously hurt, so this will not be a long-running investigation situation; the Escort’s driver will be taken to a hospital via private ambulance to be checked out.
11:50 AM: KM mentioned the southbound Route 21 reroute in comments – and now there’s an official alert from Metro:
Transit Alert – Rt 21 is rerouted off SB 35 Av SW btwn SW Holden St & SW Thistle St. Use the stops on 35 SW at Holden St or at Thistle St.
— King County Metro (@kcmetrobus) August 26, 2016
12:!5 PM: Reroute’s over, meaning the road’s open again, per Metro alert. Also, we’ve added two more photos from the SFD response earlier.
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) July 30, 2016
Someone will have a roof over their head soon, thanks to volunteers and donors at Peace Lutheran Church, carrying out an idea from the church’s most recent confirmation class (14- and 15-year-olds). Today is the second of four days that they’re spending building a “tiny house” to be donated to the Low-Income Housing Institute.
One of the youth who came up with the idea, Katharine, told us that $2,200 was raised to buy the materials through a deal LIHI has with Home Depot. Now they have the kit and are assembling it right outside the church in Gatewood, also supported by a $250 grant from Thrivent that funded items like gloves, food for volunteers, and even the T-shirts they’re wearing.
Which of the city-sanctioned camps managed by LIHI will get it, that’s up to LIHI, the Peace Lutheran volunteers say; the nonprofit will pick it up once it’s ready to go sometime Monday.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports tonight:
STOLEN CAR: Rebecca‘s neighborhood in Gatewood has been hit again by car thieves. Her car was taken two months ago; we published her report, and an observant neighbor spotted the car nearby. Tonight, she says, two sisters visiting the neighborhood reported someone stole their car just feet from where Rebecca’s was taken in the 3900 block of SW Elmgrove [map]. It’s a 2009 Nissan Versa, baby blue, WA plate ending in 632, “trim near driver-side door hands loose near keyhole.” Call 911 if you see it.
DOORSTEP THEFT: In the 9000 block of 4th SW [map], Sheila reports a doorstep theft last night:
Our neighbor returned a car battery recharger he borrowed, left it on the front step at 10 pm. We have video of a man quickly walking up the front walk at about 11:20, grabbing the small pouch with the charger in it, and walking quickly away. I’ve reported to police. … The guy was wearing a hat so can’t see his face. Short, apparently dark hair is best we’ve been able to make out. Coat with bright tape (like safety jacket) and high-top sneakers.
P.S. Reminder – this month’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting is next Tuesday (June 21st), 7 pm, at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster; map).
P.P.S., ADDED FRIDAY MORNING: WSCPC president Richard Miller tells WSB that the guest on Tuesday will be SPD’s Chief Operating Officer Brian Maxey, who will be able to speak about the operations of the 911 Center, among other topics.
A little help can make a big difference. That proved true this morning in Gatewood, where resident Jill Boone decided to organize a spring cleanup once she found out nobody else had something planned for the area. Despite the chilly rain, a small, stalwart group got the job done:
We had three families for our Gatewood litter clean-up out in the rain this morning, picking up litter from the water tower Park to Holden, especially the bus stops. Two big bags of trash were picked up. If you are a smoker, please dispose of your cigarette butts somewhere besides the ground!!
Here are a few photos of the Morelands and the Boones. Many thanks to the City for Spring Cleanup support. We hope to do this again on a day when it’s a bit drier to be out and about.
Not too late for your own community cleanup!
The second and final day of the first-ever Westside Plant and Garden Art Fair is on! We stopped in just as the gate opened at 11 am and were pointed to the sign you see above, celebrating what a huge success Day 1 was. If you get there soon, you’ll still find some plants:
But there’s lots else to see and do, including kids’ activities. This is all happening in the lot outside Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation at 7141 California SW in Gatewood.
Before you go, browse the official website!
5:17 PM: A big Seattle Fire response is arriving at a possible house fire in Gatewood, in the 6700 block of 36th SW [map].
5:20 PM: Early arrivals have made the preliminary assessment – as monitored via scanner – that it’s a “small smoldering fire in the attic.”
5:22 PM: All but three SFD units are being dismissed. Those remaining on scene report “water on the fire.”
5:28 PM: Our crew has arrived and confirms that firefighters have extinguished the small fire in the attic, believed to be electrical in origin. No injuries reported.
Just in from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office: 22-year-old Malik R. Jones is charged with first-degree burglary in connection with the Saturday morning break-in (WSB coverage here) in which a Gatewood woman was startled awake by an intruder touching her. State law incorporates assault in this particular charge (read the law here), so it covers the alleged touching as well as the burglary itself.
Prosecutors are asking that Jones’s bail remain set at $100,000, though his only criminal history is described as a “reduced DUI charge” resolved three months ago in Pierce County, where he is believed to live. Allegations in the document are largely what we reported on Monday, after his bail hearing, except for the added information that the cell phone stolen from the victim was later found outside the house, “smashed to bits.” More to come …
$100,000 is the bail amount set today for the 22-year-old man arrested early Saturday for allegedly breaking into a Gatewood home and trying to get into bed with a woman asleep with her 5-year-old. We first reported the incident on Saturday morning after hearing from the victim.
From the narrative of the incident written by police, used to determine there’s probable cause to hold the suspect:
(The victim) was woken up by male touching her face and shoulders. She thought it was her husband and said, “Honey, what is it?” An unknown male said, “It’s OK. He’s asleep.” The male kept saying, “It’s OK.” She tried to turn on her nightstand light but the suspect grabbed her wrist, restraining it. He held her wrist for a bit, but then she was able to pull away and turn the light on and call for her husband. The suspect turned away and walked off. The suspect was a (black man), 20’s, about 5’6 with short hair, wearing a gray and green checkered shirt and jeans, apparently intoxicated. She did not know the suspect and he did not have permission to come into her home or to touch her. Her cell phone had been charging on her bedside table but it was now missing.
At 0332, Officer Gindhart saw the suspect walking in the alley just south of the location. Officers detained the suspect … At 0342, I transported (victim) to the location. She immediately recognized the suspect Officers were contacting, and positively identified (him) as the person who burglarized her home, touched and restrained her without permission. Officer Gindhart read (the suspect) his Miranda rights from his SPD resource booklet and asked if he understood. He said, “Yes.”
Officer Ginhart transported (the suspect) to SW Precinct. I spoke with (the suspect). He said he thought he was going to a house his brother rented for a big party all weekend. He said he was looking for his brother. He was affected by alcohol and/or drugs, with watery eyes, slurred speech, and an odor of intoxicants on his breath. He said he never touched anyone or took a cell phone. He was later booked into KCJ for Investigation of Burglary.
(A neighborhood party was mentioned in WSB comment discussion over the weekend.) Online records show a dozen cases for the suspect, all in Pierce County, but no felony charges/convictions. Prosecutors will decide later this week whether to file charges.
7:20 PM: Reader report from Ron:
Sunday afternoon 1/31. someone had target practice with my back window of our car. We heard the car alarm sound and when we checked our car, there were BB-sized dents around the window. Unfortunately the back window was gravely shot and is not expected to recover. Amazing that this took place in broad daylight. That takes a special kind of person. We are located on the 6700 block of 37th Ave SW in Gatewood [map]. Hopefully we are the only ones who were victimized by this type of idiocy.
10:37 PM: In comments, Ryan reports a similar incident, 7700 block of 32nd Avenue SW.
MIDDAY MONDAY: And more reports in comments. We’re working on a followup.