West Seattle, Washington
The city-supported Ready-to-Work program has just expanded into West Seattle, and the city councilmember who pushed for it, District 1’s Lisa Herbold, visited its local classrooms on Monday. RTW is a program overseen by the city’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, which explains that it “combines English as a Second Language classes with computer literacy instruction and case management to help immigrants gain job readiness skills and take steps toward economic self-sufficiency.”
The West Seattle classes are at Neighborhood House‘s center in High Point, now one of three locations around the city where RTW is offered. Spring classes started earlier this month. You can find out more about RTW by going here.
10:55 AM: What was at first a medical response has changed to an “assault with weapons” response at 6920 34th SW, which is the address for High Point Community Center. We are on our way to find out more.
11:01 AM: Emergency vehicles have 34th SW blocked in front of the community center.
11:05 AM: SPD confirms that someone has died and they believe it’s suicide but are screening with the Homicide Unit.
11:22 AM: For those wondering about exactly what area is affected – since the same corner also includes Walt Hundley Playfield and Our Lady of Guadalupe – the playfield is open, and being used. There’s police tape around the south and east sides of the community center, as well as the street continuing to be blocked off in front. We will be going back to check a bit later.
12:23 PM: The road has reopened, and the Medical Examiner is there to remove the victim’s body. We talked again with SPD media relations and they say the victim, described only thus far as male, was found on the steps on the south side of the community center, and that they are proceeding with the belief that he died by suicide; officers found a gun nearby.
As always, when reporting on suicide, we want to remind you that help is available 24/7 for anyone contemplating self-harm – call the Crisis Clinic, 206-461-3222.
(WSB file photo from past drill)
Early heads-up in case you can help – three weeks from tomorrow, neighborhood volunteers could use your help during another disaster drill. Here’s the announcement:
Imagine if all power and normal communications were down – what would you do?
Come see what your community is doing to be prepared.
April 28, 2018, 9:00 am – noon
Join us as a participant or a volunteer!
Emergency communication hubs – predetermined meeting places you would go for information in case of a catastrophic loss of regular communication – will be “activated” citywide for the drill, including three in West Seattle. Show up at one of them to be part of the April 28th drill:
• Fauntleroy United Church of Christ (9140 California SW)
• High Point Neighborhood House (6400 Sylvan Way SW)
• Pigeon Point (20th SW/SW Genesee)
Even if you can’t participate in or even observe this drill, check the West Seattle hubs map to learn the location nearest you, just in case:
You’ll find more West Seattle-specific preparedness information at westseattlebeprepared.org.
P.S. To sign up in advance as a volunteer/participant, or if you have a question, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
So many eggs, so little time! Lots of kids showed up for the season’s first West Seattle egg hunt today at Forest Lawn Cemetery (WSB sponsor) in High Point. So many, in fact, they told us they had a bonus early hunt after starting their mini-festival at 10 am, in addition to the scheduled one at noon.
The rest of the local egg hunts are next Saturday and Sunday, as listed on our Easter Etc. page.
Forest Lawn, meantime, hosts its annual nondenominational Easter Sunday sunrise service a week from tomorrow, at 6:30 am.
Not far from the scene of a 6-hour standoff that followed gunfire two weeks ago, police are investigating a report of gunshots heard in High Point. Texters tell us it happened near Lanham and Graham; reportedly it followed an argument, with someone being “shot at while running to a car.” No reports of any injuries, nor have police found any evidence so far, according to radio transmissions. (The man arrested after the standoff earlier this month, Wario Abdullahi, remains in jail, charged with gun violatios, with the register listing his bail at $200,000.)
Artist Desmond Hansen was just finishing that portrait on the signal box at the northwest corner of 35th SW and SW Morgan when we saw him and pulled over for a photo. It’s been three days since we first showed you his other creations, painted on signal boxes in Morgan Junction. In a comment on that story, he mentioned he was thinking about painting Bruce Lee, among other Seattle-linked luminaries – and now, he has.
8:57 PM: Thanks for the tips – police are investigating what, according to scanner traffic, is confirmed gunfire in High Point; they have found shell casings. We’re off to find out more.
9:09 PM: Police are on Lanham Place SW, just north of SW Graham, investigating, but not commenting.
10 PM: Police are still there, trying to make contact with someone possibly connected to the incident, and they will be blocking off streets nearby to keep people away until this is resolved.
10:35 PM: Not resolved yet. Meantime, we got a phone call from a neighbor who said she wanted to publicly thank police for their rapid response when she called after hearing the gunfire.
11:08 PM: Officers are still working strategically and deliberately to resolve the standoff.
MIDNIGHT: Standoff continues. We’re monitoring for the duration.
1:08 AM: Standoff continues.
2:13 AM: Five and a half hours now since the original call.
3:01 AM: As best we can tell from monitoring radio, this is wrapping up – an ambulance has been brought in to transport the person police had been working to take into custody. We’ll seek the official report for followup information later this morning.
ADDED 10:53 AM: That followup info just arrived via SPD Blotter:
A 26-year-old man is in custody and several guns have been recovered following an extended call Wednesday night into Thursday morning in the High Point neighborhood in West Seattle.
On March 7th, just before 9:00 pm, officers responded to several reports of shots fired in the 6000 block of Lanham Place Southwest. Officers located bullet damage to a parked vehicle in front of an apartment building. Additionally, it appeared that several items had been thrown from a third-floor apartment onto the ground below. As officers were containing the building, someone threw two handguns out of the window. Officers attempted to make contact with the occupants but to little avail. Officers believed the male suspect inside the apartment was in crisis.
After a prolonged standoff, officers obtained a search warrant for the apartment. With the assistance of SWAT, Gang Unit detectives, and K9, officers made entry into the apartment where the 26-year-old suspect was arrested without incident. Inside the apartment, several additional handgun magazines and ammunition was located and collected for evidence. One of the handguns that was tossed out the window was reported as stolen, while the other had been reported as missing.
The suspect, a convicted felon, was booked into the King County Jail for weapons violation. Detectives will handle the follow-up investigation.
We’ll be checking on the suspect’s background and will add more when we have i.
Now that this is less than a week away – in case you haven’t already heard, the city library system has a one-day closure coming up next Wednesday:
All locations of The Seattle Public Library and the book drops at Central Library will be closed Wednesday, March 7 for a staff in-service day. Regular operating hours will resume Thursday, March 8.
West Seattle has four library branches, and South Park’s library is just a bit to the east. The map and list of all SPL locations citywide is here.
Almost every day, our calendar listings feature cool free programs you can enjoy at local Seattle Public Library branches. This past Sunday, we were invited to stop by the High Point Library to photograph one of them – a workshop about “E-Textiles.”
Participants learned how to use sewing machines – and how to add electronic components to their projects:
The result could be, for example, a T-shirt with embedded lights. Checking the library system’s Calendar of Events, we note that a shorter, kid-geared “e-textiles” session is planned as part of Tinkerlab, at the West Seattle (Admiral) Library, 2:30-4 pm March 21st.
The West Seattle Bee Garden in High Point is headed for spring – in need of a bit of help. From Lauren Englund:
We’ve lost our handyman at the WS Bee Garden, who is moving back home to the midwest. With a few small projects on the horizon (replacing a broken sign, and fixing a piece of broken plexiglas protecting the mosaic) we’re in need of a volunteer with some basic building/carpentry skills.
If you might be able to help – here’s how to contact Lauren.
Charges are now filed in a case that’s attracted some national attention because of the defendant’s profession. 36-year-old High Point resident Jess Cliffe is charged with one count of commercial sexual abuse of a minor for allegedly buying sex from a 16-year-old he met online. Cliffe is described as the co-creator of the popular online game Counter-Strike. He’s been mentioned before here on WSB for his work on the website Vintage Seattle, noted when he moved to West Seattle in 2008, as well as volunteer work at what was then Kitty Harbor, mentioned here in 2010.
Charging papers say Cliffe’s arrest follows an investigation dating back to last June, when detectives interviewed a 16-year-old girl who said she “began to use (an online dating site) to meet with men who offered to pay her money to have sex with her.” She identified two men, and one, police say, turned out to be Cliffe. When detectives first met with her, she told them she had discontinued her contacts with him at some point between April and June. She said they made arrangements mostly via texting and that he picked her up at an intersection near her Beacon Hill residence and drove her to his house in High Point. She said they had at least three encounters in which he paid her $300 for an hour, including one in which she said he recorded video without her consent. She said she wasn’t sure he knew her age; he told detectives he thought she was in her early 20s, and they say her profile on the website said she was 18.
After five months of investigation, the documents say, police went to Cliffe’s house last Wednesday; he agreed to meet them an hour later at the Southwest Precinct, where he is reported to have told them he was a user of multiple dating websites, but when shown a photo of his accuser, he initially said he didn’t recognize her. That changed, the charging documents say, after detectives showed him call and text logs they obtained via a search warrant – he said he only had one meeting with her; she mentioned three. When told she was 16, the documents say, he “acted as though he was surprised to learn that before saying that a person has to be 18 years old” to join the dating website, and “immediately began questioning the legal responsibilities of the website for not incorporating an effective system to prevent minors from creating (an) account.” Police subsequently arrested him, and he was booked into King County Jail early Thursday, with his bail set at $150,000 on Friday; he got out Friday night after posting bond. Next step in the case will be arraignment in about two weeks.
If you have, or know, kids/youth at risk of hunger, Seattle Public Library wants to remind you about Kids’ Café – free afterschool meals at High Point (3411 SW Raymond) and South Park (8604 8th Ave. S.) branches every weekday during the school year:
The Seattle Public Library has partnered with Food Lifeline, Boeing and the USDA to bring healthy and kid-friendly foods to three Library locations. Free after school meals will be available for all youth ages 18 and under for the remainder of the school year, through June 22, 2018.
All kids are welcome — no proof of income, address or citizenship is ever required. Kids Café meals are specifically selected to appeal to kids’ notoriously picky palates and to meet their special nutritional guidelines.
Library programs are free and everyone is welcome. Free parking is available at all three locations. No meals during the Library’s holiday closures.
Visit the High Point branch 2:45-3:30 pm weekdays, the South Park branch 3:45-4:15 pm weekdays.
Story and photos by Judy Pickens
Special to West Seattle Blog
Since the first West Seattle tournament for elementary students, in 2013, chess has been proving its benefit in area schools. Now West Seattle Elementary has hosted its first state-qualifying tournament.
The all-day scholastic event today drew 104 participants from schools across the city, including multi-grade teams from Fairmount Park, Lafayette, Alki, Holy Rosary, Genesee Hill, Roxhill, Arbor Heights, and West Seattle elementaries. At the end of the day, Chess Ratings Northwest updated each student’s rating based on performance after five rounds of play. Those who earn high-enough ratings in multiple meets will qualify for the state elementary tournament in April in Pasco, the largest state meet in the country.
West Seattle Elementary introduced chess in 2012. According to teacher Ritchie Garcia, the game of strategy is proving especially helpful for the school’s many English-language learners.
“Chess provides a different way for students who are not yet proficient in English to demonstrate their abilities, especially critical thinking,” he said. “They have the immediate reward of making a smart move and even winning.”
Chess is on the schedule every week in every classroom at the school, plus students can join the after-school chess club.
Given that many West Seattle Elementary families are recent immigrants, only about a dozen students usually have funding to attend a tournament, Garcia explained. “By hosting, our club members were able to compete for free in a rigorous event and we could offer other students a discount on registration.”
From the West Seattle Transportation Coalition:
We survived #BlackFriday and #CyberMonday … but what about #TransportationThursday?
The West Seattle Transportation Coalition November meeting is this Thursday, November 30, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. at Neighborhood House High Point Center (6400 Sylvan Way SW).
We have a great program on tap. Washington State Ferries Senior Planning Manager Ray Deardorf will be there to talk about the ferry system’s future plans and Sound Transit will also be on hand with a high-level view of ST3. Please join us for what promises to be a very informative evening.
This will be our last meeting of the calendar year. Our next meeting will be on Thursday, January 25, 2018.
If you missed WSTC’s last meeting – a special forum about transportation alternatives, particularly for the mobility-challenged – here’s our coverage.
Three reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch:
STOLEN CAR: Be on the lookout for Robert‘s car:
Our car is a 2013 Chevy Sonic LT hatchback with noticeable bumper stickers.
It was stolen from the parking lot of our apartment at the Overlook at Westridge on 600 SW Kenyon St between 6:30 and 9 PM last night 11/17. The police incident # is 17-426990. License plate # ANU8386.
Call 911 if you see it.
ROCK THROWN THROUGH WINDOW: This also happened in Highland Park, near 12th/Thistle:
Around 10:30 pm (Wednesday, November 15th), 3 boys walked past our house, threw a rock, broke our bay window, and ran away.
Luckily, no one was injured. The victim has security video and has filed a police report – the number is 17-910494.
HEAVY-LIFTING BACKYARD THEFT ATTEMPT: From Christopher in High Point:
Our back porch light went out and I hadn’t had the time to replace it for about a week or two – in the meantime someone (last night 11/17/17) went into our backyard and tried to steal my BBQ. It’s a green egg so they could not do it (it’s ceramic and weighs over 200 lbs). The reason I know it happened yesterday sometime is that I was in my backyard before work about 8:30am on 11/17 and everything was in order. I woke up this morning to find the following:
Moral of the story – keep your porch lights on and if your BBQ doesn’t weigh > 200lbs like mine then lock it down.
P.S. Another reminder that the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meets Tuesday, 7 pm at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster) – if you have a neighborhood crime concern/question, bring it so you can ask about it.
The painted pumpkins are guarding the treats at the Forest Lawn Cemetery and Funeral Home (WSB sponsor) Fall Festival, on until 3 pm on this sunny afternoon. The main attraction: A horse-drawn carriage for hayrides:
Forest Lawn fall festival until 3 pm. Free rides from parking lot at 6701 30th SW, circling cemetery across the street. pic.twitter.com/4WKqGE7P8x
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) October 15, 2017
The rides are looping around the cemetery, but the carriage is loading outside the Forest Lawn building at 6701 30th SW, steps away from the treats (including caramel apples and popcorn) and beverages. All free!
A week of crosstown competition between Chief Sealth International High School and West Seattle High School teams continued this afternoon with soccer at Walt Hundley Playfield in High Point. The Seahawks were the home team.
The visitors dominated the game, and the Wildcats went away with their first win (after two draws), 8-1.
Thousands of students in our area went back to school today – but before the day began at West Seattle Elementary, staff and supporters literally rolled out the red carpet, subsequently lined with cheering fans:
This smile-inducing scene from early this morning was the second annual “Be There” rally at WSES.
Taking inspiration from an event back East, community members were invited to show their support with high-fives for the arriving students:
It’s an exciting start to the year not only for WSES’s students but also for the school’s second-year principal Pamela McCowan-Conyers:
Again this year, we spotted our area’s City Councilmember Lisa Herbold in the “Be There” crowd:
(P.S. She has a community Q&A at tonight’s Southwest District Council meeting.)
Anything cool at YOUR school, today or beyond, please let us know so we can share the news!
2:56 PM: Sorry this took a while, and thanks for all the calls and texts about the helicopter search in the High Point area. We finally found police on the ground to ask – on our second trip to the precinct: A medic call just before 2 pm near Neighborhood House High Point was for a pedestrian hit by a hit-run driver. Police were looking for what was described as a male driver in a silver SUV. Hasn’t been found yet. The victim was not seriously hurt, so far as we know – they weren’t transported by Seattle Fire medic unit – but we’re confirming with SFD.
5:16 PM: SFD says the victim was a boy, “approximately” 13, taken to the hospital by private ambulance in stable condition.
What better way to let your kids learn about bees and their vital role in our ecosystem, than by taking them to the West Seattle Bee Garden for Kids’ Day, presented by the Puget Sound Beekeepers Association? Above, you can watch the bees without getting too close. Earlier, it was story time:
Art activities are keeping other young visitors busy:
And the grownup visitors might be interested in buying honey to support the nonprofit PSBA:
The event’s on until 2 pm. The WS Bee Garden is on the north end of High Point Commons Park – scroll down this page for a map.
Less than three weeks until school starts. Here’s a way to help local students succeed this school year:
The Seattle Public Library is seeking Homework Help volunteers who have a passion for helping elementary, middle, and high school students learn and succeed in school.
Homework Help volunteers support students’ academic success by helping them develop literacy and mathematics skills, understand homework assignments, and prepare for college. Volunteers coach students in all academic subjects and may also specialize in college-prep subjects.
Most of the students are first-generation Americans who speak a language other than English at home. Volunteers will interact with children and teens in small groups and individually. A volunteer commitment throughout the school year is requested. Those volunteers who have variable job and/or school schedules can be scheduled as substitute Homework Helpers at least twice a month.
Eleven branches – including, in our area, High Point and South Park – will offer homework tutoring, reading support, and educational games September 11th through June 14th. South Park is particularly in need of bilingual volunteers who speak Spanish. Find out more about the program here; if you’re interested in an application packet, contact SPL volunteer-services coordinator Anne Vedella at email@example.com by August 25th.
Just in case you heard all the sirens a short time ago and wondered – what was a relatively sizable Seattle Fire dispatch to the 3000 block of SW Raymond in High Point was downsized quickly when a kitchen fire (according to radio communication) turned out to be nothing more than that. One engine was kept on the call.
P.S. Likely unrelated but we also got a text asking about a burning smell in the Admiral area. No other fire calls working anywhere in the city right now, so that one’s a mystery.