West Seattle, Washington
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.
1:18 PM: Sunshine got you in the mood to grow something? Check out this year’s Westside Plant and Garden Art Fair, on until 3 pm today (and again 10 am-2 pm Sunday) at WSUU, 7141 California SW, in Gatewood. You can do more than shop – right now, until 2 pm, for one, Kevin Pinnell, “The Balloon Man,” is there to make balloon sculptures for kids. Live music until 2:30 pm, too.
ADDED SATURDAY EVENING: Thanks to Jonathan Rawle for the next two photos:
Above, WSUU member Eileen Duffy was showing her young friend Binegar what’s in the raffle prize baskets. Below left, plant volunteer Rose Sheppard offered advice on plant selection:
Again, you can check out the second day of the fair 10 am-2 pm Sunday.
Time for the next steps in the Gatewood Elementary playground project, and you can help, in a variety of ways. From Sandy Lennon:
The final draft design for the SW corner of our playground — based on student and community priorities — will be presented this coming Monday, May 8, 6-6:30 pm in the school cafeteria just before the general PTA meeting. Karen Kiest, landscape architect, and Gatewood’s playground steering committee will present the design, explain next steps in fundraising and implementation, and take questions and final feedback from our community.*
And, we need your help to make playground improvements a reality!
To apply for a $100,000 implementation grant from the City’s Neighborhood Matching Fund in June, we need to come up with $50,000 worth of community match in the form of volunteer hours, cash, and in-kind donations. Could you, family, and/or friends pledge:
-volunteer time for work parties? All ages welcome!
-a cash donation?
-a donation of food and drinks for work parties?
-If you are a contractor: help with heavy equipment or irrigation work?
-If you own a plant nursery or landscaping business: donated/discounted trees, soil, mulch, sod, boulders, logs or other needed materials for improvements?
It all counts toward our match, so come and lend your support for playground improvements. If you can pledge to help but can’t make the meeting on Monday, please email Sandy Lennon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On that note, save the date! Second Gear Sports, our West Seattle sports-consignment store, is donating 10% of sales on Sunday, May 21, to playground improvements. Gear up for your summer sports on May 21 and help us on our way to a better playground.
*Playground design work has been generously funded by a Small Sparks grant from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods’ Neighborhood Matching Fund and the Gatewood PTA.
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 email@example.com or (206) 386-1735.
· Kevin Knutz, Magnum Power Project Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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!