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.
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.
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.
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)
(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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
(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 email@example.com. (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.”
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.
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: 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.
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.
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.
Keep watch for this light-blue 1992 Subaru Legacy, license plate 062ZXW. Its owner sent the photo and reports, “Our beloved Subaru was stolen from the 4100 block of SW Rose today. Please keep your eyes open.” Call 911 if you have seen it or have any information about it.
(P.S. We hope you never have to deal with vehicle theft – but just in case, be sure you have a photo of your car, pickup, bicycle, scooter, whatever, handy – take one with your phone right now and save it. This car’s owners happened to have one and perhaps it will help in the search.)
Another West Seattle school is changing principals. Just forwarded by a parent at Gatewood Elementary:
Today I’m announcing a leadership change at Gatewood Elementary that is effective for this coming school year.
After serving as your principal for eight years, Ms. Rhonda Claytor has been appointed principal of Leschi Elementary.
One of the things that the Leschi community is excited about is that Ms. Claytor works collaboratively with staff, families, and community members. Thank you for working with her to create a great learning community at Gatewood.
Ms. Carmela Dellino, Executive Director of K-12 schools for West Seattle, will lead the process to identify a new principal for Gatewood. We will move quickly to form a hiring committee and will keep you informed of the process. We are committed to finding a strong principal who is a great fit for your community, and who will build on your many successes.
Please join me in thanking Ms. Claytor for her years at Gatewood Elementary.
Seattle Public Schools
Gatewood is the fifth public school in West Seattle with a principal change for next year, after Madison Middle School (here’s our story from last month), Sanislo Elementary (here’s our story from April), Lafayette Elementary (here’s our story from April), and Chief Sealth International High School (here’s our story from last month).
2:43 PM UPDATE: Since we published this, a sixth change has been announced (Alki Elementary).
PHOTO CREDIT: Inset photo of Rhonda Claytor is by Gail Ann Photography.
Almost three years ago, when we toured the then-newly built facility that Swedish Automotive (WSB sponsor) was about to move into, we reported on its environmentally friendly features – including the potential for adding solar-power system in the future. Now, that future is here, with a 9.6-kilowatt system being installed – Swedish Automotive shared the photo with that news, and, as noted in a detailed report on their website, with the hope of more to come. See more photos in this album linked from the Swedish Facebook page.
“I did my best to represent West Seattle,” Patrick King says, after a visit to his Gatewood home this past week by the show “Ask This Old House.” Patrick and wife Chelsea – in the photo above with the show’s crew and a local subcontractor and lighting tech – bought the mid-20th-century-built house on SW Elmgrove in 2011. He says they contacted “Ask This Old House” to seek help with their kitchen floor last November. Then, two months ago, they were contacted when the show started looking for projects in this area. For the show, they learned how to install crown molding, which Patrick says “really looks great.” Contractor Tom Silva hosted the show filmed here, he says, flying in from Boston this past Tuesday with associate producer Heath Racela; Patrick took them to lunch at Cactus on Alki, and he says they “used the Seattle founding monument on Alki as the opening scene for their show” – here’s a photo he took of Silva and the crew by the water:
Racela tweeted this photo of the project in progress at the Kings’ home:
The crown molding project in Seattle is moving along nicely. pic.twitter.com/SHFGCOmr0J
— Heath Racela (@HeathRacela) June 26, 2013
The episode will stream online first, possibly as soon as this September, in a Seattle episode that also included two homes from Issaquah: “I’m proud I was able to influence the show with a little West Seattle flavor,” Patrick told WSB. “It was an exhausting couple of days but it was really fun.”
They’re among our area’s youngest philanthropists – students at Gatewood Elementary who’ve just made some big spending decisions. Teacher Darren Radu shared the photo, and tells us about the Philanthropy Roundtable:
Roundtable Reps have met weekly over the past couple of months to determine where to allocate a $1000 Penny Harvest grant. They’ve come together to survey community members about local, national, and international needs, research organizations, and eventually determine the organizations most worthy of support. One of the goals is to find those organizations that create the greatest positive impact for the least amount of dollars. Students were the key drivers of decisions, and had the final say in where the money went.
This year, the Roundtable came to consensus on donating to Kaboom! (building playgrounds in urban areas), Children’s Defense Fund (specifically with gun safety in mind), and Treehouse (providing foster kids with support to pursue their dreams). The kids were delighted to have this small but significant positive impact on their world!
(Photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand unless otherwise credited)
Even before we got to the big room with the big party last night at The Hall at Fauntleroy – Gatewood Elementary‘s annual Bids for Kids auction, whose organizers invited us to stop by – the sight above brought us to a full stop: A tree hung with old-fashioned rabbit’s-foot keychains, popular trinkets in the ’60s-’70s. Worked perfectly with the sign, given that the theme was Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, which also meant it was no surprise to spot more than a few hats in the crowd:
Also in keeping with the theme – this Cheshire Cat cake from the “dessert dash,” donated by Melinda Pond:
(Photo by Doug Branch)
Student-made artworks were among the auction items – as was this teacher/student (among others) collaboration:
The card with the puppet theater explained that the Team Lake Union kindergarteners of Nancy Carney and Charlene Higuchi worked on designs and sock puppets for the theater, which was built by Carney’s husband. Congratulations to everybody at Gatewood, including auction chair Ava Barnes and the numerous volunteers it takes to put on this kind of event. (Got a fundraiser coming up at YOUR school? Please let us know!)
Thanks to Gatewood Elementary parent Jennifer Dempsey for a peek inside the school, where the halls are decked in a theme that carries through to a big event Friday night:
The students, teachers, and staff of Gatewood Elementary are celebrating Alice in Wonderland week in preparation of the annual Bids for Kids auction this Friday. Under the fabulous direction of art teacher Rachel Moreau, each class not only created fun Alice-themed decor to decorate our hallways, but also produced an original piece of art to help raise money for our school. The students are dressing up as their favorite characters on the day that they have art class, and the class with the most participation will win a tea party.
P.S. Some of the art projects that will be auctioned off are shown in the photos.
If you’re going – the full auction catalog can be previewed online.
A message for you from Gatewood Elementary students, forwarded on their behalf by teacher Darren Radu (who also shared the photo):
We are 4th grade students of Team Mt. Si at Gatewood Elementary. Our big goal is to have a positive effect on the systems in our world. We’ve been studying the electoral system and watching the election. Did you know that many people who can vote forget to or choose not to? Today we did some service to encourage people who think that it’s not important to vote. What happens in elections affects all of us because the people who are elected make big decisions and create our laws.
We walked from Gatewood to Morgan Junction while we were holding up our signs. We did a bunch of chants like, “when I say vote, you say ‘for America’!’. We chanted: “Vote! For America!” A lot of people honked and waved at us as we marched and chanted. People were interested in what we were doing. Many people told us that they already voted and we cheered for them.
We made signs and showed people that we kids care about the election. We can’t vote because we’re all little, but we’re encouraging our elders to vote. We think it’s a shame that not everybody votes who can. If we could vote, we definitely would!
We hope that you can help us spread the word about why voting is important.
The 4th Grade Students of Team Mt. Si
Back in August, we brought you first word that Seattle Police planned to place the city’s first fixed automated speed-detection cameras in school zones including Fauntleroy Way SW by Gatewood Elementary. SPD has just announced that camera and three others around the city are officially in operation as of today – read about it on SPD Blotter. There’s been a speed-camera-equipped van in the area for the past four years – and it’s the subject of this hot topic on the WSB Forums – but no fixed cameras till now. SPD says violations caught on the new camera will be “warnings only” until November 26th, when school reopens following the Thanksgiving break. That’s when ticketing – $189 per – will kick in.
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