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.
In the neighborhood you might call south Morgan Junction or western Gatewood, neighbors are joining forces to take the most effective action in fighting crime – watching out for each other. They’ll be going around the neighborhood with invitations, but here’s an early alert, in case you’re in that neighborhood or know someone who is:
Our townhome complex has noticed increased suspicious behavior and crime in our neighborhood, so we are coming together to start a Block Watch. Join us for a kick-off meeting, where we can all meet each other and a Seattle Police Department Crime Prevention Coordinator will help us get organized and share crime prevention tips.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Gatewood Elementary’s Lunchroom (4320 SW Myrtle St)
Being a part of the Block Watch will not require much work on your end – just a commitment to watching out for each other and reporting any suspicious activity. For more information, visit seattle.gov/police/blockwatch. Hope you can join us!
Your neighbors in the townhomes off California & Myrtle
c/o Kati Davich
Kati says the area they’re targeting is roughly “on California from Frontenac to Othello and on Myrtle from Fauntleroy,” but others in the vicinity are welcome too. (And to everyone who has or is forming a Block Watch – be sure to get involved with the West Seattle Blockwatch Captains Network, too!)
Though the Seahawks didn’t quite pull it out tonight against the 49ers, in a parallel competition, their semi-surrogate – West Seattle’s own Gatewood Elementary – won! We first heard last weekend about P.E. teacher Alex Beaty‘s $1,000 Donors Choose funding request for a sound system making it into a promotional vote tied to tonight’s Thursday Night Football game, up against a San Francisco school – and tonight multiple Gatewood supporters messaged us to say Gatewood won; congratulations! (By the way, the other school gets 50 percent of its funding request, so it’s not winner-take-all.)
(Photo by Patrick Sand)
Police were still talking to people at the scene, so we don’t have official information on how it happened, but a vehicle went up the embankment at Fauntleroy and Myrtle and took out one of the signs that the Gatewood Elementary PTA announced last February.
(Photo by Nick Adams)
No injuries reported.
A major function of the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce is to bring local businesses together so they know about and can potentially work with each other. Toward that end, the Chamber sponsors a monthly “After Hours” event, held at a different local business every time. Thursday night, Swedish Automotive (WSB sponsor) in Gatewood hosted visiting Chamber members; in our photo, that’s Chamber board chair Dave Montoure of West 5 at left, with Chamber staffer Terry Ahern and Swedish proprietor Dave Winters. Next week will mark two years since Swedish Automotive moved into its spacious, sustainability-focused location at 35th and Kenyon.
First of two reports from tonight’s Fauntleroy Community Association board meeting:
(WSB photo added Wednesday afternoon)
While FCA board members say they’re fine with the Seattle Police plan to install a fixed speed-monitoring/ticketing camera in the Gatewood Elementary school zone on Fauntleroy Way, they say the current southbound warning light needs to be moved. (That point also was made in comments on our Sunday night story about the forthcoming camera.) Ahead, the letter FCA is sending to the city:
After a wave of stolen-bike reports, this morning, a stolen car – Ann hopes you can help find hers:
This morning we woke up to find that my 2000 green Honda CRV had been stolen. It was parked outside our home in the 3900 block of SW Austin St. [map] SPD has been notified. It has an aftermarket spare tire on the back and a yellow KEXP sticker on the upper right side of the back window and a worn Rat City Rollergirls sticker on the left side of that same window. We would appreciate everyone keeping an eye out for it.
West Seattle’s Gatewood Elementary is one of four schools citywide whose speed zones have been chosen by the Seattle Police Department for fixed speeder-catching cameras. That’s according to an SPD report to be delivered during this Tuesday’s meeting of the City Council Transportation Committee. The report explains:
The radar-based devices will issue tickets only when the school beacons are flashing (during school hours). Speed violators will be issued tickets with variable fines that will match the cost of a ticket that would otherwise be issued by an officer.
According to the report, the camera should be up and running before school starts September 5th; we’ll be checking this week on installation status.
The same document (which is dated June 11th) includes a status report on the city’s “speed van,” which was first shown off outside Gatewood almost four years ago (WSB coverage here). The report details multiple problems that plagued the van and forced its replacement last spring, while noting the new one is much simpler for officers to use, and had double the “capture rate” once it was deployed before last school year ended.
UPDATE, 4:44 PM MONDAY: Just talked with SPD’s program manager for this, who says, first of all, they have since updated the memo – the fines are not variable; they are fixed – $189. The camera will be on Fauntleroy, and will be installed sometime in the next few weeks.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch prowling incidents reported today – one house, one car – read on: Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Watch: 2 prowling reports…
With the school year ending this Friday, the campaign is on to make sure kids keep reading during summer vacation – and Gatewood Elementary is busy today with a special way to encourage that: Principal Rhonda Claytor shared the photo and explains, “Students brought in gently used books from home during the month of May, and today we are having a school-wide book exchange to send students into the summer with some new reading materials. Happy summer reading, Gatewood Gators!” (P.S. The Seattle Public Library summer-reading program is now under way too – with info for all ages here.)
Just out of the WSB inbox from Andrea, who began, “Just wanted to get the word out about a brazen solicitor who stopped by today:” Click to read the rest of West Seattle door-to-door alert: ‘Brazen’ solicitor…
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