West Seattle, Washington
New information just in from Seattle Police on the High Point gunfire mentioned here Sunday afternoon. Though no victim was found after police arrived at the scene at 35th/Morgan, SPD says that about half an hour after the gunfire was reported, “dispatch notified officers a 20-year-old male was dropped off at Harborview Medical Center with a non life-threatening gunshot wound to the leg. The victim reported he was putting gas in his car … when he heard multiple gunshots, one of which struck him.” Police found “multiple shell casings and other possible evidence” and say that witnesses described “two possible suspects, one a female in her 20’s with blonde hair and a male in his late 20’s with dreadlocks, possibly firing shots at a silver sedan that was last seen speeding away from the scene.”
One more highlight from the big, bright weekend just past – 5 scenes from one of its biggest events, the fifth annual West Seattle Bee Festival! Co-organizer Karen Berge shared the photos. Above, that’s the hive demonstration with Lauren Englund, founder of the West Seattle Bee Garden, who first shared her dream here on WSB five years ago. The biggest bee at the festival was human-made:
The Big Bee led the kids-and-pets parade, a collaboration with High Point’s Vietnamese community, with coordination by Seattle Housing Authority‘s Thu Thai Duong.
The festival’s main organizer Deborah Vandermar, meantime, was instrumental in organizing a new activity – Pop-Up Sewing, inside Neighborhood House High Point:
Back outdoors, the Plant Swap “was amazing this year,” Karen reports. There are leftovers – if you are interested in free plants, they were left next to the bee enclosure in the Bee Garden and are yours for the taking, she says. And from the vendor and community-resource fair, West Seattle Be Prepared made preparedness education fun:
That’s Cindi Barker and the “Wheel of Misfortune.” So many more participants – you just had to be there! If you missed it, maybe next year … the sixth annual West Seattle Bee Festival is already taking shape. And you can visit the Bee Garden any time, on the north side of High Point Commons Park (here’s a map).
Thanks for the tips. Multiple people reported hearing gunfire near 35th and Morgan in High Point, and now police have Morgan blocked off east of 35th as they investigate. No victims reported; we don’t know yet what if any evidence of gunfire they’ve found.
The first major festival of spring/summer is almost here! The West Seattle Bee Festival will turn High Point Commons Park and vicinity – including the West Seattle Bee Garden itself – into a hive of activity on Saturday starting at 10 am (after the 8:30 am Honey Run). In the top photo, that’s one of the organizers, Deborah Vandermar from the High Point Open Spaces Association, after she and co-organizer Karen Berge (who took the picture) put up the banner at Walking on Logs along the southwest end of the West Seattle Bridge.
A special aspect of the Bee Festival is that it’s educational as well as fun. Toward that end, don’t miss the hive demonstration at the Bee Garden on the north end of the park at noon. Yes, there are bees at the Bee Garden, and the woman whose dream it was, Lauren Englund, is their keeper. If the weather’s truly good on Saturday, she might even do a second demonstration, Karen tells us.
When you’re there, don’t miss what’s happening inside Neighborhood House High Point, on the south end of the park. Art and science activities for kids start with costume-making at 10 am for the parade at 11 am; artists Hosanna Tekle and Ellen Rivers will work with parade participants on costumes, and then host art activities in the afternoon. Also inside, Karen adds, “Non-kids can learn how to build a house for Mason Bees or bring favorite clothing items to Pop-Up Sewing and learn to repair them.” Deborah’s putting that together, Karen says, adding that Seattle Housing Authority‘s Asmeret Habte has been working on music, activities, and food – the latter is highlighted by a noon-1:30 pm international-finger-food buffet.
Environmental sustainability and organic gardening are big focuses too, and Karen has been organizing the Vendor Fair (11 am-2 pm) with participants from those areas, including the Puget Sound Beekeepers Association, Honeybee Conservancy, Tilth Alliance, Camp Long naturalists, Rent Mason Bees, P-Patch program, mobile farm stand ROAR, Nature Stewards/Weed Warriors, six businesses with bee-related products, and community-resource organizations including the West Seattle Timebank, West Seattle Food Bank, West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network, West Seattle Be Prepared, Nature Consortium, Neighborcare Health, SHA Family Self-Sufficiency Program … plus the Seattle Police Department (until ~12:30) and Seattle Fire Department (starting ~12:30) are planning to stop by.
The plant/seed/tool swap is on for 11 am-2 pm, too; if you have more flower/vegetable starts than you can use, bring them to the festival, along with extra seeds, garden tools, or related books. Here’s an overview of how the festival will be laid out:
Find even more festival information online, here!
By Talajah Williams, student reporter
Special to West Seattle Blog
For the first time since introducing chess in 2012, West Seattle Elementary had five students who earned the right to compete at the state level.
Only two students qualified in past years.
This year, those five third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students played in the 2017 Washington State Elementary and Middle School Chess Championships on April 29th in Tacoma. Although they did not bring home top trophies, they did their school proud.
All played five matches; one won three out of five and two won two out of five.
Competition was stiff. A hundred schools from throughout the state were represented by more than 1,000 students. Other West Seattle schools at the tourney were Fairmount Park Elementary, Lafayette Elementary, Pathfinder K-8, and Madison Middle School.
“We strive to provide different avenues of success for our students, especially those whose rudimentary grasp of English makes success on state tests a steep challenge,” said Ritchie Garcia, who’s in his first year running the program for second through fifth grades. He also coaches the 45-member after-school chess club.
“With chess, no language barrier inhibits bright minds from excelling.” he added. “Even those lacking English proficiency can have the immediate reward of being able to demonstrate their intelligence and critical-thinking skills.”
The five students qualified for state by winning at least three local competitions. Every win is announced on Husky News, the school’s TV show, and during an assembly. Trophies are beginning to fill cases outside the school office.
Just this school year, fourth grader Sabrina Ali decided to give chess a try after seeing the enthusiasm of other students and Garcia’s skill as the coach. She found she liked it – and proved she was good enough to go to state. She overcame a case of nerves to face five opponents on the floor of Tacoma’s convention center.
“Even if students don’t win, chess prepares them for life,” said Garcia, “because it helps them think critically about the decisions they make.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Thanks to Judy Pickens for the first tip about this achievement and coordinating making the student-written report and coach photos available. And congratulations to all!
10:46 AM: If you’re wondering about the police response along 32nd SW in south High Point – it’s a standoff with someone we are told is a suspect in a domestic-violence-related incident. No word of any injuries. But avoid 32nd for a few blocks south of Morgan until this is resolved. More to come.
11:01 AM: We’re trying to verify this, but it appears the situation is winding down. Our photographer saw one person taken into custody and officers subsequently went into the residence to be sure no one else was inside (and have already emerged).
11:09 AM: It’s over and the street’s reopening.
(WSB file photo: West Seattle Bee Festival parade participants)
We’re continuing to count down to more of West Seattle’s awesome spring and summer events, and we are now just 3 weeks away from this year’s West Seattle Bee Festival, 10 am-3 pm Saturday, May 20th, at High Point Commons Park, home of the West Seattle Bee Garden, just north of HP Neighborhood House at 6400 Sylvan Way SW.
Before the festival, you’re invited to be part of the Honey Run at 8:30 am:
The Honey Run is a free, informal, fun run for all ages that takes place at High Point Commons Park. One lap around the park is 1K. Runners compete to see how many laps they can do, and in how short a time. The earlier start time will allow runners or walkers time to do more laps – last year, the parade was on their heels on the same course.
The kids’ and pets’ parade is at 11 am, after an hour of getting ready – face painting, dressing up as bees and flowers, etc. It will be led by the Big Bee, which organizers explain is “a huge puppet and drum inspired by the traditional dragon dance from Asia. The High Point Vietnamese community designed, built and will operate this exciting spectacle!”
Other West Seattle Bee Festival features:
*See, and learn more about, bees, with Puget Sound Beekeepers. Find out how you can help bees survive and thrive. (Hive demo at noon!)
*Music and food
*Street fair showcasing businesses, community groups, and organizations focusing on environmental sustainability, providing community resources, and/or helping support bees. The fair also includes a Plant/Seed/Tool Swap again this year – “bring your excess plants, seeds, or tools … and take home what you find!” It’ll be near the north end of the fair, which runs 11 am-2 pm.
*Unusual pollinators, presented by Woodland Park Zoo noon-2 pm (above, Jungle Nymph photographed last year)
*Art activities for kids with artist Kimisha Turner
Watch the Bee Festival webpage as the festival gets closer!
After our drippy winter and early spring – the sun was out in full force for this morning’s egg hunts. We photographed some of the younger egg-hunters at High Point Community Center – as they looked around the play equipment, and on the tennis court:
Egg-hunting equipment has gone far beyond Easter baskets – this young participant had a unique tote:
More egg-hunt coverage to come.
Be part of history – the first-ever Loop the ‘Lupe event in West Seattle. Our Lady of Guadalupe is launching the obstacle course and 5K fun run/walk on June 4th at Walt Hundley Playfield (kitty-corner from the church and school, at 34th/Myrtle), and sponsoring WSB right now to help get the word out.
Not only will Loop the ‘Lupe include a 5K and an obstacle course, organizers add that the lineup for that day (start times here) also includes “a quarter-mile, flat, obstacle-free ‘Senior Saunter‘ for those aged 50+ and a ‘Youth Dash‘ for kids younger than 8.”
Loop the ‘Lupe is a benefit for the Walmesley Center at OLG, as explained on this page where you can donate to support the center even if you can’t be part of the June 4th event:
… the Walmesley Center at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish (is) a valuable community resource that hosts numerous athletic events and social outreach programs that benefit all of our West Seattle neighbors, whether they’re members of the parish or not. The Walmesley Center has hosted more than 20,000 kids and families through its athletic programs since its opening. The Center is also the place where more than 3,000 people every year volunteer and take part in events like free community meals for seniors, blood drives, flu shots, and and presentations on social justice concerns.
Sign up for Loop the ‘Lupe by next Saturday (April 15th) and you get the early-registration rate, $25 – you can do it right now by going here.
P.S. Here’s the course map.
Thanks to Nicole Sipila for the photo and report!
The High Point Community Center Girls Rec 12U team won the Seattle Parks and Rec Championship for 2017.
Many of these girls have been playing together since 2nd grade. They went undefeated in the regular season, with one loss in pre- season. Tonight they won an intense game against Laurelhurst Community Center.
Congrats to Coach Gaither and Coach Dabbs for leading these young ladies to an extra-special season. The parents are so grateful to these volunteer coaches.
In the photo: Top row – Coach Gaither, Hailey D, Lauren, Paloma H, Vivian G, Nora J, Coach Dabbs. Bottom row – Kailey B, Delaney S, Katie H, Hannilore P. (Not pictured, Lane N.)
In need of clothing? Stop by the High Point Library Monday afternoon 4-6 pm. West Seattle Helpline will be hosting a pop-up edition of its Clothesline clothing bank at the library – just drop in. If it goes well, we’re told, it could become a quarterly event at the branch. (HP Library is at 35th SW and SW Raymond.)
2 pm tomorrow at High Point Library (35th SW/SW Raymond), your WSB co-publishers are honored to be in the spotlight at SouthWest Stories. That’s the monthly speaker series co-presented by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society and the Seattle Public Library. But since we’re much more about writing than speaking, the format is a bit of a changeup – it’ll be a conversation with SWSHS executive director Clay Eals, himself a longtime journalist. The occasion: This year, we’re marking WSB’s 10th anniversary as a 24/7 news source for the peninsula. See you at the library!
Thanks to Brian Callanan for the photos from Our Lady of Guadalupe, which hosted visitors from the nearby High Point mosque for a potluck dinner on Friday night.
That’s Father Jack Walmesley and Imam Osman Yusuf. Hundreds of people came for fellowship.
The church and mosque are just blocks apart.
The next Seattle Parks play area set for renovation in West Seattle is in High Point. Two public meetings have just been announced so you can see and talk about the design options, and whether or not you can make one or both of those meetings, the Parks Department has an online survey up about the project right now. You can answer the survey here. The meetings are both at High Point Community Center (6920 34th SW), both on Saturday afternoons, 1-3 pm February 25th and 1-3 pm April 8th. The project – which is south of HPCC, near the tennis courts – has $700,000 in funding from the Seattle Park District levy.
By Cliff Cawthon
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Neighborhood House’s High Point Center is a place where neighbors gather almost every day of the year.
But Saturday afternoon had something extra – a Neighbor Day gathering with an emphasis on welcoming and celebrating the neighborhood’s immigrant communities amid the Trump Administration’s attempts at what’s being called the “Muslim Ban.”
“A lot of people who we work with could be affected by the immigrant ban,” explained Megan Demeroutis, Neighborhood House’s Family Resource Center supervisor. Demeroutis said that the potluck’s international flavor and the activities were meant to bring people together in the mixed-income Seattle Housing Authority– managed community. Read More
8:55 PM: Seattle Fire has sent a “full response” to Bridge Park at 3204 SW Morgan in High Point. First units on scene report it’s a laundry-room fire on the first floor.
9 PM: To be precise, per scanner, it’s a dryer fire, and it’s out. No injuries reported. Most units are being dismissed. The ones staying behind will be clearing smoke from the first floor, but report that’s the only floor affected.
1:16 PM: Three weeks after the High Point Library reopened following a month-plus renovation/upgrade project, it’s party time! Until 3 pm, you’re invited to help celebrate. City Librarian Marcellus Turner is here (at left in the top photo, with HP library staff) and speaking at 1:30 pm. Treats and kids’ activities (book-themed, of course!) too:
The branch is at 35th SW and SW Raymond.
1:40 PM: “We’re really happy to have you back home,” Turner has greeted patrons (and staff), lauding the upgrades here, including the kids’ area, joking that the newly decorated wall means different things to different people – he saw lily pads, while someone else suggested it looked like an aloha shirt. If you haven’t been to the branch since the reopening, some of the biggest changes are small but mighty – additional outlets all around the space, so you can plug in and get your work and/or studies done. (SPL’s full rundown of the changes is here.) While the party’s on until 3, the library’s open today (and all Sundays) until 5.
7:05 AM: Thanks to the texter who reported that water service is out for some High Point residents near 34th SW and SW Holly. They report Seattle Public Utilities says it’ll be out for a few hours.
12:45 PM: More info from SPU spokesperson Ingrid Goodwin: “SPU crews continue to work to repair a vertical break on an 8-inch water main on 34th Avenue SW. Water is anticipated to be back on for customers by 1:30 pm today and crews are expected to be done with the repair and off the street by 3 pm. Crews initially throttled the water main around 4:45 am, which caused some customers to be immediately out of water. About 68 water services are impacted.”
The High Point Library (35th/Raymond) is open again after five weeks of renovations and additions. So we just stopped by to see some of what’s new. Above – the new “accent wall” highlights what’s been added to the kids’ area. In the foreground of our photo is a new filtered computer station also added to the kids’ area, and a new tablet to use. One big – and yet small – feature you’ll see everywhere … new outlets to plug into … your laptop, your charger cord, whatever.
The outlets are at tables, in activity rooms, even inbetween added “soft seating” on the adult side (photo above). In the lobby, you’ll see a new digital display letting you know what’s coming up at the library – visible through the entrance door even if you pass by when the library’s closed:
And at the desk – a self-checkout station that is now fully accessible:
Those are just some of the additions/upgrades! When we stopped in shortly after opening time at 1 pm, some patrons had already arrived to check things out, including Sydney, enjoying the kids’ area:
Thanks to Sydney’s dad Jon for that photo – and thanks to Lisa and Ken on the library staff for showing us around. They point out that a few things have yet to be completed – and a few items are still on the road, expected to arrive later this week, delayed by bad weather back east; the meeting room by the entrance has some new connectivity features that are still being worked on, too. You can read more about the renovations/updates here, including your invitation to join City Librarian Marcellus Turner at the High Point branch for an official celebration on January 29th.
Reminder for Seattle Public Library users: The High Point branch (35th SW/SW Raymond) reopens tomorrow after a five-week closure for renovations, plus additions including “hundreds of new books, DVDs, and CDs for children, teens, and adults.” SPL says both the branch and book drop will be open again as of 1 pm Monday; details are here, including plans for a celebration on January 29th with City Librarian Marcellus Turner in attendance.
When the Seattle Public Library closed its High Point branch at 3411 SW Raymond two weeks ago for refurbishing, the reopening date was TBD. Today, SPL set the date – 1 pm January 9th is when the branch will reopen. From the announcement:
… The 12-year-old branch closed Dec. 5, 2016, so the worn carpeting could be replaced. While the building was closed for that work, the Library also took the opportunity to make other interior improvements that support the changing ways that patrons are using libraries and respond to the thoughtful comments the Library has received from the public.
Improvements included reconfigured holds, teen and children’s areas, additional seating and power in seating areas and at tables, and technology and sound quality enhancements in the meeting room. When the branch reopens, it also will have hundreds of new books, DVDs and CDs for children, teens and adults.
SPL also plans a celebration later in the month – 1-3 pm Sunday, January 29th, with refreshments and a 1:30 pm speech by City Librarian Marcellus Turner.
(WSB file photo: Portable bound for West Seattle Elementary in 2012)
School may be out for winter break, but that doesn’t necessarily mean an absence of activity at local campuses. West Seattle Elementary School is expecting a big delivery this week, for example: Seattle Public Schools spokesperson Tom Redman tells WSB that a one-classroom portable is to be delivered to WSES this Wednesday (December 21st). He adds, “SDOT has determined the schedule for delivery to be during the day between the morning and afternoon rush-hour time frames.”