Catching up with more local school-related news: Ten students from West Seattle Elementary School were among the participants at the citywide Girls On The Run 5K earlier this month. The photo shared with us also includes teachers, parents, and community volunteers who serve as running buddies, including accompanying their assigned “buddy” in the 5K after weeks of preparation. GOTR isn’t just about running – it’s also about empowerment and character development, helping build self-esteem. Those involved with GOTR at WSES include teachers Colleen Farrell, Amber Simonton, and Hannah Ory, along with afterschool coordinator Alex Cali. As mentioned here on WSB before, GOTR runs on plenty of volunteer power, so if you’re interested in getting involved (WSES is one of six West Seattle schools involved), go here to find out how.
Congratulations to West Seattle Elementary Chess Club members who did very well at a regional chess tournament before the Thanksgiving break. The fifth-grade team placed third overall and two students qualified for the state tournament, Rory Moriarty Carey and Jimmy Oto. Thanks to Ritchie for sharing the news.
(P.S. – You might recall that chess at WSES made news last spring, when the school was visited by international chess star Phiona Mutesi.)
7:40 PM: Suddenly Sylvan Way, which runs through High Point between Upper Morgan and Delridge, is a hot spot for crashes. Police and fire are currently at the scene of another one near Sylvan Way/Sylvan Heights (map). No details yet, but it’s affecting traffic, with at least one lane blocked.
8:24 PM: The crash involved just one vehicle; it ran into a fence and took out a tree. Police told us at the scene that no one was hurt. This was very close to the spot where a driver hit a tree two nights ago.
If you’ve driven Sylvan Way east of High Point this evening, you might have noticed the car crumpled into a tree on the south side of the street. Looks bad, but police told us at the scene that the driver was not hurt.
(Thanks to @hommesea for tweeting that photo)
12:33 PM: Thanks to everybody who texted about this. A driver hit a utility pole on Sylvan Way just east of High Point, and the eastbound side of the road is closed, so if you’re trying to get from High Point to Delridge, you’ll have to go another way. The westbound (uphill) side is open. Police tell us nobody was hurt, but Seattle City Light is headed out to figure out if the pole has to be replaced.
P.S. SCL says this has left two customers without power.
1:31 PM UPDATE: In comments, Terri says it’s now closed both ways.
5:40 PM: Still closed at last report and Metro has been rerouting 128. We went by around half an hour ago – the closure is far from the actual crash scene so no way to tell what kind of progress they’re making.
8:30 PM: As Egan reported about 20 minutes ago in comments, it’s now open again. Thanks to everyone for the updates.
(Photo courtesy Michelle)
One person was taken to the hospital after that flipped-vehicle crash near 30th/Graham in High Point about an hour ago. Thanks to Michelle for the top photo. She reports that, “My husband and I heard a loud crash and then the sound of a car speeding away at a very high speed. We came out and found a car flipped in the intersection, with 1 man inside. The man seems to have some injuries, but was able to climb out of the car with some assistance.” At least one parked car was damaged (at right in the photo). This was originally dispatched as a “heavy rescue,” but the response was scaled back when it was determined the person in the vehicle got out OK.
Officers at the scene told us the man did not have life-threatening injuries.
(WSB photo, substituted for cameraphone photo that was originally published)
8:11 PM: Big Seattle Fire/Police response on the way to Sylvan Way/SW Morgan in High Point, for a reported two-car crash, with one car on fire, and people reported to be trapped in the other car. More to come.
8:22 PM: Two people are reported to be injured – one seriously. The scene is just east of Neighborhood House’s High Point Center at Sylvan/Lanham, on the westbound side of the road. The more-seriously hurt patient will be taken to the hospital by SFD medic unit, the other by private ambulance. Police are investigating the possibility of DUI.
8:38 PM: Eastbound lanes will be reopened soon, police are saying, while westbound will be closed a while. The crash involved a Honda Pilot and Subaru Forester (the latter is the one that caught fire, and is in the foreground of our top photo). At this point, the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad is *not* being called out, which indicates they expect both people to survive. A 128 bus was having some trouble getting through the area a few minutes ago, so if you rely on that route, you might seem some delays.
9:34 PM: SPD just announced via emergency radio that Sylvan is open again, both ways.
10:08 PM: Just published to SFD’s Fire Line website, a summary identifying the Subaru’s driver as a 26-year-old man who was pulled, unconscious, from the burning vehicle by a Good Samaritan before fire crews arrived. He was “alert, oriented and conscious when medics transported him to Harborview Medical Center,” SFD reports. The driver of the Honda Pilot is described only as male; he’s the one who was taken to the hospital by private ambulance, indicating less-serious injuries.
FIRST REPORT, 7:18 PM: We’re at High Point Community Center along with a crowd we’d estimate to number at least 200, at what was supposed to be an informational/Q-A meeting about the Seattle Housing Authority‘s controversial “Stepping Forward” rent-increase proposal.
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) September 30, 2014
SHA executive director Andrew Lofton barely got through the pre-planned slide deck, with chants and shouts between almost every line.
After a few attempts at Q/A – really, just Q, because SHA said it would not answer any of the questions – one man shouted that those in attendance were being insulted and should walk out.
Many did, and went into the gym, where they and protesters rallied, with City Councilmember Kshama Sawant on hand.
(Added 9:26 pm – here’s our video of what Sawant told them, amplified via “human mike”:)
Others, meantime, stayed behind, and some spoke about the “stepped” rent increase proposal, which could take a subsidized household now paying $50 in rent, up to $1,000 in the fifth year. Even those who said they supported the concept of encouraging self-sufficiency said unemployment is high and there’s no guarantee anyone can get work, no matter how hard they try.
This man says unemployment is high and he is worried about people find self-sufficiency pic.twitter.com/Ik9Ncq1Tar
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) September 30, 2014
There were declarations that while SHA is calling for tenant accountability, no one is calling for developer accountability to provide more low-income housing.
The meeting is now in an “open house” phase at which those with questions are seeking answers in one-on-one conversations.
9:26 PM: Above, we’ve added our video of what Councilmember Sawant said after “the other meeting” convened in the Community Center’s gym – we had one crew in each room.
Our full video of the meeting in the original room, including all of the protests and the presentation they punctuated, will be added after we get it uploaded later tonight. (Added: Here it is:)
Meantime, Sawant told those gathered in the gym that the SHA meeting was “a joke” and called for “a big action in City Hall” on October 15th.
Opponents of “Stepping Forward” have a petition, and details of their position and objections, online here.
Meantime, the “next steps” slide in the official presentation said a possible “workforce pilot” would begin late this year, and that the proposal would be revised, more public comment taken, a recommendation made to SHA’s Board of Commissioners, then a phase-in with about 4 years from Board approval to full implementation, “rent changes no earlier than 2016.”
“We don’t want it revised!” someone yelled. “We want it gone!”
One more West Seattle Crime Watch reader report tonight – an attempted strong-arm robbery. Jacqueline sent this note:
I wanted to let you know that I called the police and reported an incident that happened just before 8 pm this evening, 9/26/14. I stopped at the Walgreens at the corner of 35th & Morgan in West Seattle (High Point neighborhood), right across from the West Seattle Food Bank. I was stopping quickly to return a dvd rental at the Redbox. When I was getting out of my car, a man approached me and grabbed a hold of my car door handle and tried to grab my purse. I immediately screamed extremely loud, and since I still had my right side of my body partially inside of my SUV, I started beeping my horn and the man backed off, and I also swung my door open at him to try to get him away. I screamed so much and got everyone’s attention in the parking lot with the sound of my horn.
I was able to get back into my car and get the heck out of there. I pulled out onto 35th Ave SW and drove up a few blocks and called 911. Here is the description I gave the police:
(First two photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
3:44 PM: Police and fire are responding to a report of a man shot in the leg near 30th SW and High Point Drive SW. Officers are with him and SFD medics are arriving. Updates to come.
3:57 PM: The victim is an 18-year-old man described as having a small-caliber-handgun wound through the back of his calf. He’s on the way to the hospital. No arrest reported yet. According to our crews on the scene, it’s actually in the southeast part of High Point, near the 30th/Sylvan area where Forest Lawn has its headquarters building.
4:12 PM: Via SPD Blotter, here’s what police are saying:
Officers began receiving calls just after 3:30 p.m. Friday of a fight involving up to 20 people in the 3000 block of High Point Way SW. Officers rushed to the scene and found an 18-year-old that had been shot in the leg. Witnesses pointed officers towards a group of people who had made their way through a cemetery and disappeared. … Officers continue to scour the area looking for the suspect in this case. The only description provided of the shooter is a black male, 5-foot-8, 150 pounds wearing a red shirt. Officers are asking anyone who spots the suspect to call 911 immediately.
According to radio communication, police believe they have found the (or a) gun in the area.
(This photo and next by WSB’s Christopher Boffoli)
5:21 PM UPDATE: Still no word of an arrest. The aforementioned gun can be seen in the photo above, under a car. Though only one victim has been confirmed at this point, multiple shots were fired, indicated by the markers:
(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
For the 10th year, Seafair Clowns stopped at a local school for a big supplies giveaway. Today was the big day, and this time, the recipients were students at West Seattle Elementary in High Point. Seattle firefighters and police were there to help too:
That included Fire Chief Gregory Dean:
And West Seattle’s own “Officer Lumpy” got a big smile from West Seattle Elementary principal Vicki Sacco:
Also part of the event – Stoneway Concrete and Gary Merlino Construction.
(WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
6:52 AM: Now a second fire response – again, it’s always a big response for a building, until crews get there and evaluate – this time, 6400 Sylvan Way SW, which is Neighborhood House in High Point.
6:56 AM: SFD reports it’s a kitchen fire at High Point Center. They’re reducing the response, canceling some of the units that were headed that way. The biggest challenge, per scanner, is dealing with the automatic sprinkler system.
7:07 AM: SFD’s investigator won’t be able to get to this scene until he’s done at the fire on SW Barton in Westwood.
9:40 AM NOTE: WSB’s Christopher Boffoli checked back at the center a short time ago and says they were finishing cleanup and expected to open for the day shortly.
It doesn’t get much fresher than a stand selling organic produce right next to the big garden where it’s grown, and that’s what’s happening until 7 pm at the High Point Market Garden Farm Stand (32nd/Juneau), during this season’s first weekly opportunity for public purchases. Here’s the produce/price list for this week:
High Point is one of two Market Gardens that are part of the city Department of Neighborhoods community-gardening program. The produce stand will be open to the public every Wednesday, 4-7 pm, through the end of September.
(2011 WSB photo from High Point Market Garden)
This Wednesday is your first chance to buy fresh organic produce picked steps away from the point of sale – opening day for the High Point Market Garden Farm Stand, just announced by the city. It’s at 32nd/Juneau (map) and it’ll be open 4-7 pm Wednesdays, July 9th-September 24th. The first harvest is expected to include spinach, carrots, leafy vegetables, new onions, peas, turnips, and radishes. The city announcement adds that the stand and its counterpart at NewHolly “accept EBT cards and participate in Fresh Bucks which doubles consumers’ first $10 spent on the card.
Local public-school enrollment continues to rise, and even new construction/expansion isn’t taking all the pressure off some campuses. Latest evidence: Today, a portable classroom is arriving at West Seattle Elementary in High Point, according to Seattle Public Schools spokesperson Tom Redman. He says it’s a “single-classroom portable -to be used as a homeroom.” According to district numbers featured here last month, WSE expects 443 students this fall, up about twenty from last year.
One more round of graduation congratulations tonight: A commencement ceremony at The Hall at Fauntleroy celebrated the 14-member Class of 2014 from Middle College High School‘s High Point Center campus, a Seattle Public Schools program also known as the School for Social Justice and Community Engagement.
Congratulations to the graduates, in alphabetical order:
Congratulations also to their administration, faculty, and staff, led by MCHS principal Cindy Nash, at right below with West Seattle’s school-board rep Marty McLaren:
MCHS’s location at High Point Center facilitates environmental education and volunteering, including participation in Keep High Point Green, featured here earlier this year.
8:51 PM: Seattle Fire has sent a major “fire in building” response to Stewart Manor, the 72-unit Seattle Housing Authority apartment building at 34th and Morgan (map). It’s been described on the scanner as a “room fire.” This will affect traffic traveling Morgan/Sylvan east of 35th.
9:01 PM: Firefighters have reported over the radio that the smoke appears limited to the fifth floor and it does not appear to be a major fire – they’ve just declared it “tapped”, originating in the kitchen, and are working on ventilation; no injuries reported.
9:11 PM: Many of the units are being dismissed; firefighters are monitoring air inside the building to be sure it’s safe for residents to go back to unaffected apartments.
9:29 PM: Our crew was told at the scene that no one was home in the unit where the fire started on a stove. That unit probably won’t be inhabitable tonight but other residents should be let back in the building soon.
(December 2013 WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
After James St. Clair was hit and killed walking across 35th at Graham in the High Point area last December, longstanding concerns about 35th were aired again – and in February, the city announced a road-safety project. Today, SDOT sends word of a change ahead even before the safety project officially begins this fall:
SDOT is moving forward with operational changes at the intersection of 35th Avenue Southwest and Southwest Graham Street [map] this month. Residents living nearby will receive the attached postcard later this week in regard to this work.
SDOT will be installing “right turn only” signs on Graham Street at the junction with 35th. This operational change will improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers. Once the signs are installed, drivers going from Graham to 35th will be limited to right turns only.
The signs will be installed before the end of June and additional changes to this
intersection will be considered through the 35th Avenue Southwest Road Safety Project which will kick off in October.
35th/Graham also was the site of the collision that killed Susanne Scaringi in fall 2006.
The sun’s appearance in time for this afternoon’s 10th-anniversary celebration at the High Point Branch Library is appropriate, since it graced the Miller Hayashi Architects-designed library’s dedication in June 2004 too, according to the Seattle Times (WSB partner) archives. On that day, this became the third location in 62 years to hold High Point’s public library.
Even if you aren’t interested in borrowing library materials, you can check out the branch for events such as story times (our top photo, in fact, shows a story time of sorts – when we stopped by a few minutes ago, library staff and patrons were sharing memories); they’re usually on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar as well as the library’s online calendar of events. This afternoon’s celebration, meantime, continues at the branch (35th/Raymond) until 3:30 pm. (And when you visit, don’t miss the art!)
Beautiful weekend for baseball – including the game that crowd came to watch at Walt Hundley Playfield in High Point on Saturday afternoon. Not your standard baseball game, though:
The reason for the sign? The game was “beep baseball” – designed so sight-impaired players can hear the ball:
That’s the ball, which really does beep, and is 16 inches around. Listen to hear it in this short clip from one at-bat:
As previewed here a few weeks ago, they extended a special community invitation to their “awareness event,” playing a team from the Seattle Police Department – in black, with special specs that are worn by all players:
This is the second season for the Sluggers, coached by Kevin Daniel
Want to see – and hear – the Sluggers in action? Here’s their schedule.
P.S. According to an update on the Sluggers’ Facebook page, they won 7-0.
One lane is blocked each way on 35th SW in the High Point area because of a crash – thanks to the person who texted to let us know. Police at the scene tell us no one was hurt, but it’s slow going in the area so avoid it there for a while if you can. In all, police confirm three cars were involved.
Just announced – plans for a new celebration of Juneteenth – “the second Independence Day” – in West Seattle, set for June 22nd. Here’s the announcement (starting with some history), from High Point resident Liz Davis, shared by community builder Shukri Olow:
Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free.’
This summer will not pass without two opportunities to celebrate freedom, June 19th and July 4th. Do you remember your first Fourth of July? The first time you drove a car? What about your first kiss? Did you have trepidation and enjoyment at the same time? Were there Internal and external fireworks? Celebration and excitement? The exploration of something new yet unknown can bring many different, sometimes conflicting feelings.
That’s what I think the enslaved Africans in Galveston were feeling summer of 1865 when they received the announcement from the Union Major-General Gordon Granger, “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor…” This announcement was two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed into law. Over the years the celebrations and realization of freedom have grown.
Are you ready to celebrate this summer? You may have mixed emotions about this celebration. You may not have heard of this day of independence. No matter how you feel about Juneteenth, The Juneteenth Committee invites you to celebrate FREEDOM. Volunteers of The African American community at High Point are working with community partners including Seattle Housing Authority Community Builder to bring entertainment, spoken word, and food from the rich and uniquely West African and American culture known by many different descriptions; Black American, Soul/Soul Food or African American, to name a few. Children and adults will have lots to taste, touch and eat at this inaugural High Point Juneteenth Celebration. Sunday, June 22, 2014 2-6 pm at The Neighborhood House High Point Center, 6400 Sylvan Way SW!
Mayor Murray, Superintendent Banda, Council President Burgess coming to West Seattle to announce Seattle Preschool ProgramMay 14, 2014 at 7:45 pm | In High Point, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 29 Comments
Mayor Ed Murray and Seattle Public Schools Superintendent José Banda will be back in West Seattle tomorrow morning for a big announcement – what’s expected to be a tax levy to raise money for universal pre-kindergarten in Seattle. They will announce what’s described in a media advisory as the “Seattle Preschool Program proposal” during an 11:30 am event at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center, joined by City Council President Tim Burgess (who has been a leading advocate of the proposal), State Rep. Ruth Kagi, and State Department of Early Learning Director Bette Hyde.
(WSB staff photos unless otherwise credited)
Hey, without spring showers, you don’t have bee-friendly flowers. So the showery weather is actually auspicious for the second annual West Seattle Bee Festival, underway at High Point Commons Park until 3 pm. It started right after the parade, led by the West Seattle High School Marching Band, ended at the park:
Added: Parade marchers:
(Photo courtesy Kerry L.)
(Parade video later.) Added: The WSHS band, with music director Ethan Thomas:
(Photo courtesy Anne Weglin)
As for the bees, you can peek into their enclosure in hopes of a glimpse:
You can also talk to bee experts like the folks from the Puget Sound Beekeepers Association, who are in the street-festival zone along the east side of the park:
Fun kid activities can be found throughout the festival zone:
And good neighbors too, like Deborah Vandermar from the High Point Neighborhood Association on behalf of the Keep High Point Green project:
But it’s not a festival without you – so buzz on over before 3.
7:03 PM: Just in case you see the law-enforcement helicopter overhead: The King County Sheriff’s Office has been over High Point for a bit assisting with a search – but the person that was being sought has been found. So, according to the scanner, the helicopter might be Alki-bound, where, in an unrelated incident, we’ve heard about a guns-drawn stop in the 1700 block and are trying to get details on that. Thanks for all the tips and texts – 206-293-6302 any time!
7:08 PM UPDATE: The High Point search that’s now over was for a missing child, Guardian One has tweeted. Still trying to get info on the Alki situation. Thanks to Mike and Steve for photos and to @ohwellmaybenot for tweeting this one:
— ohwellmaybenot (@ohwellmaybenot) May 1, 2014
ADDED 12:38 AM: We finally have been able to get a bit of information about the nature of the Alki response, thanks to Southwest Precinct Lt. Paul Leung. He didn’t have access to the full report, handled by an earlier watch – we will see if we can track that down later this morning – but it was a “gun call” (no shots fired that we know of).
While the officers did stop the vehicle that was reported to them, they did not find the gun that had been the subject of the original complaint.
Just mentioning in case you heard/saw the big dispatch to 6300 block of High Point Drive about 15 minutes ago – crews have given it the “food on the stove” label so far; our crew has verified at the scene. Units are being dismissed.
(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
FIRST REPORT, 4:06 AM: Seattle Fire crews have just started arriving at Sylvan Way/SW Holly (map) after a “heavy rescue” dispatch. The first unit on the scene, Engine 11, reported via radio that there’s a rolled-over car at the scene. Three people were reported to have gotten out of the vehicle. More to come.
4:29 AM: Our crew at the scene says this is just east of Forest Lawn Cemetery (WSB sponsor), near Sylvan Ridge Townhomes. The vehicle was believed to have been westbound. One person has been taken to the hospital by private ambulance. A tow truck is already on scene so while Sylvan is blocked now, probably won’t be closed much longer.
4:50 AM: Just added photos. The car took out a streetlight pole; police were notifying SDOT.
1:25 PM: One bit of followup information – police tell us there were actually two people in the car, not three, both in their 20s. Though only one went to the hospital, both reported minor injuries.
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