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…
Thanks to Gatewood Elementary PTA president Nicole Sipila for the photo and report about today’s big event:
Just wanted to share an exciting surprise with you about the students and staff of Gatewood Elementary today. Six Mariners came to talk to the kids about being apart of the Dream Team, D = Drug Free, R = Respect, E = Education, A = Attitude & M = Motivation. Manager Eric Wedge, John Jaso, Dustin Ackley, Kyle Seager, Jason Vargas, and Felix Hernandez all spoke about how important it is for kids to succeed in life to stay drug free, show respect for themselves and others, to stay in school and do well, to keep a positive attitude, and to be motivated to succeed.
Also, the students of Gatewood enthusiastically took Felix Hernandez’s two-extra-books-a=week challenge! It was a very special and exciting day for the Gatewood community. A big Thank You to the community outreach team of the Mariners for a great surprise!
More details in an MLB.com writeup we just found on the Mariners’ website.
Thanks to Michelle Riggen-Ransom for the photo taken at The Kenney (WSB sponsor), where she helped chaperone two 3rd-grade classes from nearby Gatewood Elementary this morning as they read their poetry to residents:
The poems were great, ranging in topics from soccer, writing, nature and the elusive Seattle sun. Third-grade teacher Amy Griffin did an amazing job organizing the event – the kids were very well-behaved and The Kenney residents were all smiles during and after the performance.
After the reading, children presented hand-written, original poems to their new friends. Attached is a photo I took of some of the kids, with teacher Ms.Griffin on the left. And here’s a quote from The Kenney’s Activities Director Amy Seebeck that she just sent over to Ms. Griffin: “Just wanted to thank you so much for coming today. Our residents absolutely loved having the kids here. Also wanted to extend a special thanks to those who went to our memory care unit. That was so special for them. You made our day!”
Very proud of our third-graders and a big thank you to Amy Griffin for putting together this lovely event!
Another ravine got some TLC on Saturday – Orchard Street Ravine in Gatewood. Cindi Barker shared the photos, and she reports, “We were planting bare root plants in a huge, just cleared area, and also filling in some gaps in previously planted areas. The weather held off until the end, it was a very productive day.”
Don’t know where Orchard Street Ravine is? Here’s a map.
(Screenshot from 3/7/12 school-board meeting video)
Gatewood Elementary visual-arts specialist Julie Trout was in the spotlight at this week’s Seattle School Board meeting, honored as Teacher of the Year for the Puget Sound Educational Service District, which includes 35 districts. Here’s the clip – forward to about 2 minutes in:
Julie is now a contender for state Teacher of the Year. We had hoped to catch up with her at Gatewood’s “Bids for Kids” auction last night, after a fellow teacher told us she had “planned and designed all the student art projects” that were featured. We didn’t cross paths, but did see her students’ work, including these creations:
As is the case at most of the school galas, participants really get into the spirit. Gatewood had a Hollywood theme; Tracy Chantorn was channeling Audrey Hepburn as she handled drawing tickets:
Prime time for school auctions – which have become indispensable for raising money to supplement the basics, in an era of public-funding challenges – continues at other local schools throughout this month.
Continuing our series of announcements for local schools’ upcoming dinner/auction fundraisers – one week from tonight, it’s the Gatewood Elementary PTA‘s “Bids for Kids” (5:30-9 pm March 9th at The Hall at Fauntleroy):
We’re hoping for glamour, fun and a few “celebrity” appearances with this year’s silver-screen theme. All of the money raised goes directly to support the children in our diverse community of learners. Money raised at past auctions has been used to help start new arts, music, supplemental math and science programs over the past year and to provide scholarships for after-school enrichment programs. Gatewood is an all-inclusive community and we are committed to ensuring that all of our children thrive with access to enriching activities, support, and engagement.
At Gatewood we believe that changing the world is possible – especially with the support of our community. We welcome your support and everyone is invited. Our auction website includes a description of live and silent auction items and you can bid by proxy if you cannot attend! Check it out at http://www.gatewoodauction.org/home/
Live auction items include the opportunity to be a Top Gun fighter pilot for a day with Air Combat USA, family snowshoe package, Sounders ticket packages and signed memorabilia, getaways and more!
Just received from the Gatewood Elementary PTA‘s 2011-2012 Board – that photo, and this explanation:
We are proud to show off our two new signs at Gatewood Elementary. They are located at the corners of Myrtle and Frontenac along Fauntleroy Way SW. This is the final piece of our Operation Imagination project that included a new big toy on the playground, construction of an amphitheater, and of course the goats, who helped us with our ivy problem. This has been many years in the making and many parents who started on the project have sense moved onto middle and high school. Big thank you to them and everybody still at Gatewood who have been so instrumental in this fabulous project. Welcome to Gatewood.
Out of the WSB inbox, from Ron:
Someone stole our White Wells Cargo Trailer last night from the Gatewood area. The license plate is 1384 TI. It was filled with wood from my remodel and cabinet-making projects. The thieves cut the locks preventing them from towing it off and removed it from our alley.
6:42 PM UPDATE: Added a photo provided by Ron.
The ‘crop’ those Gatewood Elementary students (and others) helped “harvest” is now out in the world, supporting good work. From Gatewood teacher Darren Radu:
Once again this year, kids from all across the school worked together to bring in close to 400 pounds of pennies (and other coins) as part of the 2011 Penny Harvest. We shipped our bags of coins to the local Penny Harvest offices on Thursday.
In the New Year, we will convene a Philanthropy Roundtable, where students from each grade will research organizations working for justice in the community, country, and world, and determine which organizations are in most need of support. The Philanthropy Roundtable will then allocate grant funds from the pennies raised to these organizations. One of the Roundtable’s most important criteria is ‘leverage per dollar’ – the Philanthropists use their research to allocate funds in a way that works most effectively to make a positive difference in the world. Last year, Gatewood students awarded Penny Harvest grants to Save the Children Japan, Southwest Boys and Girls Clubs, and the Nature Consortium. Students weighed the impact of their decisions and made the final call on where to send the money.
The attached photo shows some of our many ‘harvesters’ with a few of the 30-pound bags they filled.
You can find out more about the Penny Harvest here:
Much ‘Gator Gratitude’ goes out to our Gatewood neighbors, families, and friends, for supporting this worthwhile work!
7:51 PM: A few minutes ago, we heard two loud blasts that couldn’t have been far from WSB HQ in Upper Fauntleroy/south Gatewood. Mindful that these are usually fireworks, we didn’t call police, but someone did, as the scanner indicates two units are responding to check the area, after a call from someone in the California/Thistle area.
8:01 PM: Via Facebook, someone nearby says it was fireworks, adding that she saw the “sparkly” aftermath. No indication via the scanner that police have found anything, but we’ve got someone out looking around the area too.
We couldn’t cover this one in person because it was at the exact same time as the “prolific burglar” sentencing this afternoon, but just got the results from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office: The judge went with the prosecution’s recommendation for John C. Siegel, who pleaded guilty to setting his wife’s Gatewood home on fire last June. His sentence totals 20 months (as broken down in our earlier report on the guilty plea)
Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports this afternoon:
Thanks to everybody who shared tips about police activity in Sunrise Heights in the past hour or so, near 35th/Webster. Police were chasing suspects in at least one burglary – and that general area, as reported here previously, has been a target lately; we don’t know if it was this same suspect, but there was a scanner report a while ago about a break-in attempt at 36th/Myrtle, not far away. At least one person has been arrested/detained. We’ll add details as soon as we get them.
And from Pigeon Point – pilfered packages and mail were found at noontime today, some with addresses from some distance away: Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Watch: Burglary investigation; mail theft…
Police are investigating the crash that left this car upside-down on SW Kenyon just west of 35th SW – right next to Swedish Automotive (WSB sponsor). Nobody hurt, they told us at the scene – the driver got herself out of the car quickly, and firefighters called as a precaution had already left by the time we got there minutes after the 911 call. A car on the other side of the street had front-end damage, and police said it appeared the flipped car had nicked that one. Traffic on 35th wasn’t affected, but SW Kenyon was blocked on the west side of 35th till the car could be taken away.
Be extra-aware of burglars this holiday season. So warned the most recent newsletter from Seattle Police crime-prevention coordinators citywide. Though the burglary rate has dropped lately, according to Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Paulsen, a couple of cases have attracted attention these past couple days – some of which might even play into a citywide “pattern” that police are trying to break right now. We have that story plus a followup on a stolen car (including what the thief did with a card also stolen from the victim) – read on: Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Watch: Burglar(s) alert; stolen car found…
(6/28/2011 photo courtesy Kathryn)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
One of our periodic peeks into various court files to check on ongoing cases has just yielded news: There’s been a plea bargain in last June’s arson/domestic violence case in Gatewood. It happened three weeks ago, but we just spotted it now, and it does not appear anyone else has reported this yet. The fire happened on June 28th; the only person hurt was the defendant and home co-owner, 40-year-old John C. Siegel, whose injuries were later described as self-inflicted. He was found sitting outside the home as it burned.
The case drew extra citywide attention because Siegel had just gotten out of jail a month earlier after a plea bargain in a domestic-violence case that also yielded a charge of threatening a judge (as reported by Seattle Weekly). He is a lawyer and has been representing himself in this case, as he did in that one; the list of files in the four-month-old arson case is longer than many lists from cases that have been going on for years, and full of documents he wrote by hand while in jail (where he’s been since the fire). Here’s what we found out about Siegel’s plea bargain: Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Watch: Plea deal in domestic-violence arson…
Three West Seattle Crime Watch reports to share tonight, from the WSB inbox, including a break-in attempt late today whose victims say police told them about a “roaming” burglar, plus another burglary and a car theft – read on (**added Wed. morning, an additional burglary report): Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Watch: ‘Roaming’ burglar; car theft; more…
Two West Seattle Cooper’s Hawk tales: First, Tom Furtwangler shares the top photo of a juvenile hawk spotted outside his Gatewood home – sighted by his wife, who happens to be urban-nature author Lyanda Lynn Haupt. Tom says it was there just a few minutes, and quotes Lyanda as saying, “I think it’s a male because it’s small for a Cooper’s, but that’s just speculation. It’s a hard time of year for newly fledged birds because they are just learning to hunt. I hope he makes it!” This provides the perfect lead-in to two other Cooper’s Hawk photos shared this week by nature photographer/writer Trileigh Tucker:
The first photo shows a young Cooper’s Hawk practicing her landing skills on a snag in Lincoln Park, and although the second photo (a different young female) looks like she’s showing off her new jewelry, she’s actually just getting ready to scratch her nose.
The bands they’re wearing were put on as part of an eight-year study being conducted to learn about Cooper’s Hawks’ nesting ecology and winter site fidelity. So readers should look carefully and see if they can find banded hawks in West Seattle! Sightings can be reported to the Washington Ornithological Society’s research page at wos.org/research — look for the instructions for “Accipiters and Merlins” at the top of the page.
Trileigh is now writing about her sightings, and celebrating “the beauty and power of next-door nature,” online here. She says her site “focuses on local natural history (especially Lincoln Park, of course!), and what we can learn both about nature and about ourselves from being attentive to the natural world in our backyards and beyond. Come take a look!”
Thanks to everyone who sent notes tonight wondering about sirens/police searching/etc. Sometimes, it’s nothing. In this case, we have information on two cases, after checking with police. First – the Wash House in the 6300 block of 35th SW (map) was robbed just after 9:30 pm. Southwest Precinct Lt. Alan Williams says the robbers were described as “four young-adult-age suspects, one of whom was armed with what appeared to be a semi-automatic handgun.” It was later found and turned out to be a pellet gun. It was used to hit the laundromat clerk in the head; Lt. Williams says Seattle Fire crews treated the clerk for a “laceration.” No arrests so far. We also asked about officers searching in the Gatewood area, around the 6700 block of 38th SW (map), in the 11 pm hour. He says a resident called 911 after hearing “noises outside her home”; officers searched but didn’t find anything.
Just in from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office: Charges are now filed against 40-year-old John C. Siegel, the man arrested Tuesday night in connection with the fire that investigators say was set that morning at the Gatewood home he co-owns. The charges are 1st-degree arson/domestic violence and domestic violence/violation of a court order. Siegel remains in jail, awaiting arraignment on July 14th; he was arrested after being treated at Harborview Medical Center for a wrist injury that has been described as self-inflicted. Prosecutors have asked that his bail be set at $1 million. More after the jump: Click to read the rest of Gatewood fire suspect John Siegel charged with arson, domestic violence…
We’re just out of the King County Jail courtroom again, waiting for a potential appearance by Gatewood arson suspect John C. Siegel. Again today, he didn’t appear (no reason given, but suspects do have the right to waive an appearance), and the judge ordered that he continue to be held without bail. King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office spokesperson Dan Donohoe tells us that Siegel will only be slated to appear tomorrow if they have not filed charges by afternoon. If they do file charges tomorrow, his next appearance would be for arraignment. Here’s our original report on his arrest Tuesday night, which links back to our earlier coverage of the Tuesday morning fire that did $100,000 damage to the home he co-owns on 39th SW near Orchard Street Ravine.
(Photo courtesy Kathryn)
Just in from the Seattle Fire Department - this morning’s fire in the 7100 block of 39th SW has been ruled arson. (Here’s our as-it-happened coverage from earlier.) We were just at the scene, where two SFD crews are keeping watch, and yellow tape remains across the south side of the property (the photo above shows the west side of the property):
(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
SFD says damage to the structure totaled $75,000, damage to the contents totaled $30,000. Harborview Medical Center had confirmed to us earlier that the man brought there from the fire scene was in satisfactory condition; he is one of the people listed on county records as co-owners of the home. We talked to Detective Jeff Kappel in the Seattle Police media-response unit; he says no one is under arrest so far, since SFD had just made the arson determination, which means SPD’s investigation is just now getting under way. Meantime, tonight’s SFD news release says a firefighter also suffered “minor burns to his ear.” As reported earlier, crews found the fire burning in three separate rooms inside the home.
(WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
The fire was reported by neighbors who called 911 around 10:30 this morning; fire crews got it under control within 15 minutes of arrival.
(TUESDAY EVENING NOTE: This fire has now been ruled arson, and we have started a new story here.)
(Photo courtesy Kathryn, added at 1:02 pm)
10:37 AM: On our way to check out the house-fire call in Gatewood, 7100 block of 39th SW.
(WSB photo by Tracy Record)
11:03 AM: One man taken to hospital.
(Photo courtesy Ben, taken shortly after firefighters arrived)
11:08 AM: Back from the scene – we still have two people there. We talked to neighbors who called 911 and said that at one point, a corner of the house was fully engulfed in flames. They didn’t see anyone else brought out of the house – just the man who was taken to the hospital. (We saw him on the stretcher before he was taken away – he appeared to be alert.) This is in a very steep area near Orchard Street Ravine. And yes, this is why choppers are here – TV news. Police are there to help investigate as well as to keep traffic away from the area.
(Video by Christopher Boffoli)
11:13 AM: Fire Department spokesperson Kyle Moore has just briefed media at the scene (video added 12:51 pm). Crews arriving at the fire about half an hour ago found the fire burning in three different areas of the house. The man who was taken to the hospital was found out front, Moore says, suffering from burns.
(WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
12:13 PM: The address for the fire has been revised from the one that was originally on the 911 log. Research indicates that it may indeed have been vacant, as a commenter noted. Police are not confirming an arson investigation at this point. They have taped off the scene; SFD calls the fire “suspicious” since it was burning in three different spots – two bedrooms and the kitchen – when they arrived.
(WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
12:58 PM: We have confirmed the identity of the man who was taken to the hospital; he is listed in county records as a co-owner of the house. He is listed in satisfactory condition. We have also just gone back to the fire scene to check on the investigation; police and firefighters are still there – still no official cause, but we’re likely to find out within a few hours.
David B found that on his door in northern Gatewood (near West Seattle Thriftway) when he arrived home this evening and sent the photo, while wondering:
I am wondering if this is legitimate. It seems odd to me since this has no contact info and is not at least sponsored by the city. Have you had anybody report the same thing ?
Not recently. However, if you roam the Web, you will find many references to this sort of thing – some reported as scams, some not, one even described as an “emergency cash generator.” We checked the city business-license database and the state corporations database, and there’s nothing called “Community Sign Painting” in either one. Doesn’t mean this isn’t potentially legitimate – but unless you meet the people and ask to see their license, buyer beware.
Eagle-eyed WSB’ers have found stolen cars before – maybe you’ve seen this one. Out of the WSB inbox, from Angele:
My car was stolen between 7 pm Sunday night and 7:30 am Monday morning. It’s a white, 4 door, 1992 Nissan Maxima. Lic. #506SUN. It was stolen from California and Portland [map]. The car was locked, nothing visible on the inside, and the security system was intact. If anyone sees this car, please call 911. Thank you.
Tomorrow it’s back to school for Seattle Public Schools students, including those at West Seattle’s Gatewood Elementary, where 4th/5th-grade teacher Darren Radu shared some news and photos just before the break :
Gatewood students are completing their work on the Philanthropy Roundtable. Kids from grades K-5 came together to research organizations working for justice in the community, country, and world, in order to determine where to allocate a $1000 grant from last fall’s Penny Harvest. This year student leaders awarded Penny Harvest grants of $250 each to local organizations Nature Consortium and Southwest Boys and Girls Club, and $500 to the global relief group Save the Children Japan. Kids had some guidance from teachers, but did most of the research and made the final decisions on where to send the money themselves.
4th and 5th grade students have also been hard at work making paper cranes for Japan, supporting Students Rebuild. After a lot of patience and perseverance (it’s tougher than it looks to make those birds!), students folded 639 cranes to send, raising $1,278 in support of Japanese rebuilding efforts.
Thanks to all the families and community members for contributing to and supporting these efforts at Gatewood!
In case you’re wondering, the school year has two months left – according to the online SPS calendar, elementary and K-8 students’ last day is June 21st; for middle and high schools, it’s June 23rd.
(HELICOPTER NOTE: The Channel 7 chopper some have asked about in the 11 am hour was shooting this scene.)
Close call for a Gatewood family this morning! Mark Brent tweeted a photo after that tree fell this morning on the back of his house; we went over a short time ago to get the photo you see above, and to find out more about what happened. Mark told us his wife was inside that part of the house when she heard a noise – and suddenly, the tree came crashing down. Neither she nor anyone else was hurt. They’re currently working to find somebody to come over and take care of the tree; he says there are a couple other nearby trees that are of concern too.
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