You can help! Be part of the ‘town hall’ about Highland Park Elementary

August 3, 2015 at 2:17 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

On August 17th of last year, an important conversation was convened at the Highland Park Improvement Club – community, city, and school leaders talking about how best to support Highland Park Elementary School.

On August 17th of this year – two weeks from tonight – you’re invited to the school library for the next installment in that conversation. Announced today:

*Highland Park Elementary School Town Hall Meeting*

Monday, August 17, 2015 @ 6:30 pm
Highland Park Elementary School Library, 1012 SW Trenton

The Highland Park Elementary PTA invites the community to a meeting to discuss our neighborhood school. We will learn about results from this past year, what the plan is for continued improvement, and the long-term vision for the future of Highland Park Elementary.

*Questions? Contact HPE PTA President Holly Briscoe, hollybriscoe@hotmail.com*

The school’s population continues to grow, projected at about 385 students in the coming school year.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Police investigating attack on teen

August 1, 2015 at 2:36 pm | In Crime, Highland Park, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

Just published on SPD Blotter:

Detectives are asking for your help finding a man who attacked a girl late Wednesday night.

A 15-year-old female was walking along 14 Ave. SW approaching SW Cambridge St. at 11:15 p.m. Wednesday when a Hispanic male in his mid 40s grabbed her from behind, tried to cover her mouth, and began pulling her toward a parked SUV.

The girl screamed, alerting two witnesses who stopped to help. The suspect fled to his waiting blue SUV, possibly a newer Jeep, with a plate beginning in “A,” and sped off, leaving the girl behind.

Detectives are now requesting your assistance in finding the suspect. Witnesses said the suspect is heavyset, five foot eleven, and was wearing blue jeans and a blue shirt. If you have any information in this case, please call (206)625-5011 and speak with officers.

PHOTOS: Celebrating Westcrest Park’s expansion

July 25, 2015 at 5:45 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 3 Comments

More than six years ago, work began to “bury” West Seattle Reservoir in Highland Park, creating land for a Westcrest Park expansion. And now, the park work is finally done. A ribboncutting ceremony this morning kicked off the official celebration, two weeks after the fences came down to open the expansion to the public. See the man with the white beard helping cut the ribbon? That’s Marshall Dunston, who named the park Westcrest decades ago:

We’re told that was the result of a contest (update: see a 1976 photo on the Parks website). At the podium in the photo above is Brian Hawksford, who represented Mayor Murray’s office today; Michael Shiosaki from Seattle Parks represented Parks Superintendent Jesús Aguirre. Also represented in abundance: West Seattleites having fun at the 20-acre park expansion!

In addition to the newly built features including ziplines and play equipment, Parks brought in a bouncy house for today’s celebration:

Also invited, local food vendors, including White Center-headquartered Full Tilt Ice Cream, whose founder Justin Cline was staffing the truck:

If you haven’t checked out the park, the expansion end is near 8th/Cloverdale.

SATURDAY: Westcrest Park celebration to include bouncy house, art dedication, obstacle course, food truck, music…

July 20, 2015 at 2:37 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 4 Comments

2:37 PM: When Seattle Parks officially opened the five-years-in-the-making Westcrest Park expansion almost two weeks ago, they mentioned a July 25th celebration. That’s coming up Saturday, and today Parks shared more details: Music, balsa-wood planemaking, a bouncy house, and an obstacle course from Camp Long will all be part of the 11 am-1 pm party next Saturday. Plus the dedication of Flyers (part of which is in our photo above), the park expansion’s wind-spun public art by David Boyer. If you’re new – this all happened because the city decided to bury what had been an open-air reservoir in this area of Westcrest Park, and that made room for more park space on top, including a new permanent play area.

6:16 PM: We’ve verified a few more details with Parks spokesperson Karen O’Connor: The What Up Dog food truck will be there (maybe you’ve seen it recently at Don Armeni Boat Ramp) and music will be by Correo Aereo.

Open house tomorrow to show off Fire Station 11′s million-dollar upgrade

July 17, 2015 at 8:37 am | In Highland Park, West Seattle news | No Comments

Just announced by the Seattle Fire Department: You’re invited to an open house 11 am-1 pm tomorrow at Fire Station 11 in Highland Park (northeast corner of 16th/Holden) to see the results of its million-dollar safety upgrade. See the details here. (The time is concurrent with the West Seattle Grand Parade, but if you want to go to both, our tip – watch the parade from the start of the route at California/Lander.) SFD has two other projects under way in West Seattle – upgrades at FS 29 in Admiral and a complete rebuild of FS 32 in The Triangle; both are at interim locations as a result.

The wait is over: Westcrest Park expansion atop West Seattle Reservoir finally opens tomorrow

July 7, 2015 at 2:05 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 11 Comments

(City of Seattle photo by Jason Huff: ‘Flyers,’ installed @ park expansion last year)
More than five years in the making, the Westcrest Park expansion at West Seattle Reservoir finally opens tomorrow.

On Wednesday, July 8, 2015, Seattle Parks and Recreation will open the 20-acre expansion of Westcrest Park at the West Seattle Reservoir, located at 9000 8th Ave. SW in the Highland Park neighborhood of West Seattle. The new park expansion is the fifth reservoir lid-park collaboration between Seattle Parks and Recreation and Seattle Public Utilities (SPU).

The 20-acre expansion of the park captures panoramic views of the mountains and city skyline, while integrating a range of multi-generational amenities. Features include a flexible great lawn, a new play area with two zip-lines and a hillside slides, swaths of native prairie, strolling paths, parking and streetscape improvements, restrooms, and public art.

(Added: WSB photo taken today)
A mix of oak species will provide strategic shading, frame views and contribute to Seattle’s urban forest and habitat for generations to come. Site Workshop collaborated with the community, Seattle Parks and Recreation and SPU on designing the park and Mid-Mountain Construction built the park.

A new public artwork by David Boyer, “Flyers,” was installed in the park [photo above]. The piece consists of 15 bird- and plane-like kinetic sculptures mounted on steel poles. Grouped in three locations around the park, the sculptures will move to face the wind and the articulating tails will pivot as the wind blows. His inspiration for Flyers comes from airplanes in the SeaTac flight path and birds in the Duwamish Greenbelt. The artist worked with Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle Parks and Recreation and local community members to develop the wind-driven artwork. Flyers was commissioned with SPU and Seattle Parks and Recreation’s 1% for Art Funds and managed by the Office of Arts and Culture.

In addition, the Department of Neighborhoods constructed a P-Patch in Westcrest Park featured in our park design. This feature is funded by the community garden funding included in the Parks and Green Spaces Levy.

Seattle Public Utilities has replaced open reservoirs with underground structures to improve the quality and security of Seattle’s water supply. That replacement also provided for new park space at Jefferson Park, Cal Anderson Park, Myrtle Reservoir Park and Maple Leaf Reservoir Park.

Seattle Parks and Recreation will host a community celebration for Westcrest Park expansion at West Seattle Reservoir on Saturday, July 25, 2015 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

City-authorized West Seattle encampment? Former site listed as ‘potential future’ site on new map the mayor just made public

June 29, 2015 at 4:56 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news | 54 Comments

When the city launched a process to come up with three sites to house up to 100 homeless people each, it was promised that they’d come up with a list of city-owned properties as the next step. Now, we have the first list. No West Seattle sites on the “preferred” list, but one familiar site is on the “potential future locations” list – while the address on the new map (7115 2nd Avenue SW) is slightly different, the “Glassyard” description indicates it’s at the site of the original home of the encampment calling itself “Nickelsville” (which was evicted almost two years ago). See the map above; here’s what the mayor’s office announced:

Today Mayor Ed Murray released a map of City-owned properties most suitable for new permitted encampments to serve at least 200 individuals experiencing homelessness. The mayor will transmit a resolution on the encampment sites to the Seattle City Council tomorrow.

The three preferred City-owned sites for 2015 are:

· 2826 NW Market Street for approximately 52 residents.
· 3234 17th Avenue W for approximately 70 residents.
· S. Industrial Way between 5th and 6th Avenue S for approximately 78 residents.

Four City-owned sites were identified as potential future locations:

· 8030 15th Avenue NW for approximately 36 residents.
· 3830 4th Avenue NE for approximately 64 residents.
· 7115 2nd Avenue SW for approximately 95 residents.
· 7110 Rainier Avenue S for approximately 32 residents.

“Permitted encampments are not a permanent solution to the crisis of homelessness we are experiencing in Seattle,” said Murray. “These encampments will provide a safer community environment than sleeping under a highway overpass or on a park bench. Residents will have improved access to services and we hope to open the door to permanent housing as quickly as we can.”

This year the mayor proposed and the City Council unanimously adopted an ordinance that allows up to three permitted encampments of no more than 100 persons each on City-owned or private property. Each location will be permitted for one year, with the possibility of permit renewal for an additional year. Each site must be vacant for one year between encampments.

“The One Night Count, tells us that there were over 2800 people in our community living without shelter this year,” said Councilmember Mike O’Brien. “Identifying city-owned sites for transitional encampments is an important next step. I look forward to working with community to establish up to three sites where people can stay safely and in community as we seek permanent housing solutions.”

“I am right by Mayor Murray’s side as we create safe spaces for community members who are without shelter,” said Councilmember Sally Bagshaw. “Managed encampments will offer the most basic resources for people, such as a 24-hour shelter with public health services, hygiene facilities, and potentially access to electricity. I wholeheartedly support this approach which will make our city better for all of us.”

Before recommending the sites, Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development reviewed more than 135 vacant City-owned parcels. The ordinance adopted by the Council limits encampment locations to unused property in non-residential zones, excluding park properties. Each encampment must be at least one mile from other legal encampments.

The City estimates that one-time start-up costs for the encampments will be $32,000, with annual lease costs and services for encampment residents of approximately $200,000 already provided in the 2015 budget.

Seattle’s Human Services Department (HSD) has selected two encampment operators through a qualification review process: SHARE and Nickelsville. The encampment ordinance requires that operators have prior experience managing shelters, low-income housing or homeless encampments. The Murray Administration continues to reach out to other faith-based and non-profit organizations that may be interested in operating an encampment.

The encampment operators are responsible for safety and security within the camp and residents will be screened by the operators for acceptance. A third organization, Low Income Housing Institute, will provide case management services to individuals living in the encampments.

HSD contractors and staff will make regular site visits to support SHARE and Nickelsville, and coordinate public health, medical outreach and food assistance.

“A place to store your things, sit and talk with friends, and rest your head at night are taken for granted by most of us,” said Mark Putnam of the Committee to End Homelessness in King County. “For many, however, these are not givens. Encampments can offer a temporary safe place for people to be human, while working to get back into stable housing.”

“The Mayor rightly sees the crisis facing people experiencing homelessness as requiring a response that includes the safety and community of sanctioned encampments,” said Michael Ramos of the Church Council of Greater Seattle. “We welcome this step to expand the continuum of care to meet this most basic of human needs.”

Encampment operators will form a Community Advisory Committee to respond to community concerns, review operations standards, and work with neighbors when encampments move to new permitted sites.

More information is available on HSD’s website.

On that page you’ll find this FAQ as well as backstory. The previous encampment site was known as 7116 W. Marginal Way SW so we have a followup question out to the mayor’s office regarding the address discrepancy.

5:04 PM: Quick reply from Murray spokesperson Jason Kelly, just after we published this: He confirms the “potential future location” on 2nd SW is the same site where there’s been an encampment in the past, an SDOT-owned parcel adjoining state-owned land.

West Seattle safety: Next set of ‘rectangular rapid-flash beacons’ going in @ Highland Park intersection

June 23, 2015 at 9:57 am | In Highland Park, Safety, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

Thanks to Beef for the photo from 11th SW and SW Holden in Highland Park, where SDOT’s installing another set of “rectangular rapid-flash beacons” in hopes of making it safer for people to cross. West Seattle’s first set has been up for about a month at California/Dakota north of The Junction, as reported here; a third set is in the works for the new crosswalk in front of the Boren Building at 5950 Delridge Way SW, home to K5 STEM and interim home to Arbor Heights Elementary (for one more year).

UPDATE: 1 taken to hospital after Highland Park motorcycle/car collision

June 9, 2015 at 11:46 am | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 5 Comments

11:46 AM: A reported motorcycle/car collision at 11th and SW Holden in Highland Park is leading police to detour traffic off Holden. (Westbound traffic is being diverted at 9th, per scanner.) No information yet about injuries or circumstances.

12:07 PM: Police say the motorcycle rider, described only as “male,” was taken to Harborview Medical Center by a Seattle Fire medic unit. Our photo shows the motorcycle, which has already been righted and moved to the roadside. The road likely will be reopened soon, as the victim does not have life-threatening injuries and so the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad will not be called out, we’re told.

UPDATE: Kitchen fire in the 8600 block of 13th SW

June 8, 2015 at 3:47 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | Comments Off

3:47 PM: Seattle Fire has a big callout going to a house in the 8600 block of 13th SW (near SW Trenton). The first units on the scene report seeing “light smoke.” More to come.

3:51 PM: Via scanner, this has just been confirmed as a kitchen fire, “food on the stove.” Lots of smoke in the house, though. Most SFD units are being canceled.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Parkgoer’s warning; stolen chairs

June 3, 2015 at 8:55 am | In Crime, Highland Park, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes this morning:

PARKGOER’S WARNING: Police were in Highland Park Tuesday afternoon looking for what was dispatched as a man asking women for hugs. Then overnight, a reader e-mailed us to say that the man “groped” her while she was at Westcrest Park playing with her child “and attending to the garden.” She added, “This same man also appeared at the park next to the Highland Park Elementary playground, which I happened to be at after the P Patch. I informed the other parents and then called the Police.” She says he is known to him, is developmentally disabled, and apparently “tends to run away from his foster parents and go to the parks where he asks for hugs from girls. If you ever see him, he is about 6’3″ about late teens with blondish hair, call the police and let them know.”

HAMMOCK CHAIR THEFT: Also in Highland Park, a case of chair theft:

Our hammock chairs were stolen off our front patio Monday morning between 5:30 and 8 am. We live on the corner of 11th and Holden Street. Chairs are rare (made in Hawaii, available only [online]) and we have never seen anything like them. Any and all help relocating them is much appreciated.

Please call police if you’ve seen them.

West Seattle scene: Sunshine finally catches up with spraypark

May 27, 2015 at 4:09 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | Comments Off

Thanks to Alicia for the photo – finally, sunny, warm weather, on the sixth day of the 2015 season at Highland Park Spraypark, open 11 am-8 pm daily at 1100 SW Cloverdale until summer’s end.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Have you seen this scooter?

May 23, 2015 at 3:38 pm | In Crime, Highland Park, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

A thief stole Cynthia‘s scooter overnight:

2009 Genuine Buddy Scooter (orange) with trunk box stolen last night/this morning on the 8100 block of 13th, between Elmgrove and Thistle. [map] License Plate is 4B9633. Police report has been filed under incident number: 2015-169636

If you see it, call 911 and refer to that case number.

SIDE NOTE: We just checked the incident-response map and so far that’s the only vehicle theft reported in this area today.

Reader reports: Recognize either of these ‘found’ bicycles?

May 20, 2015 at 9:13 am | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, Westwood | 2 Comments

Within minutes of each other late last night, two reader reports came in (editor@westseattleblog.com) about bicycles found in West Seattle – stolen and dumped? or? – Above, Alicia spotted that child-size bicycle in the 8800 block of 30th SW, “lying out on the grass parking strip across the street from our house – for a few days now. It’s a newer bike and looks like it was ditched. Perhaps stolen.” Below, Alan spotted this bicycle “in a location where we have had multiple dumped stolen bikes (14th & Holly)”:

He added, “This one looks like someone may have found it in the woods and brought it out to the street. The tires are flat and the chain is rusted. Still, it looks like a bike that someone cared about at some point.” We’ve suggested to both that the bicycles be reported to police, but in the meantime, in case they look familiar, we’re sharing the photos and reports.

West Seattle scene: Highland Park Community Spring Clean-ers

May 8, 2015 at 9:22 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

This e-mailed photo solved a mini-mystery for us …

Someone texted us last weekend and said they were pleasantly surprised to have seen people picking up trash in Highland Park. They didn’t know who or why. Neither did we, and the busy pre-WSCGSD week proceeded without further word – until the photo above arrived with this explanation:

We thought we would share a little neighborhood news for Spring Cleaning inspiration. A group of us from the 9000 block of 12th and 13th cleaned up 10 bags of trash all along Henderson and south of Henderson on 11th, 12th and 13th Ave this past Sunday.

If other blocks want to join in, the city is holding their annual Spring Clean and
they will give you supplies and pick up the trash from your block. All info here.

We know at least one other West Seattle neighborhood has Spring Clean plans this weekend. Get yours going too! (And you’re welcome to send us a photo afterward so we can let your West Seattle neighbors know what a cool thing you did. From left in the pic above are Irene Davis, Blair Johnson, Sarah Rudinoff, Wendi Sargent, and Jessica Bomball.)

Highland Park Elementary PTA: Final meeting of the year Monday!

May 3, 2015 at 9:26 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | Comments Off

Just about six weeks left in the Seattle Public Schools year, and that means some PTAs/PTSAs are meeting soon for the last time until fall. Holly Briscoe tells us that the Highland Park Elementary PTA has its last meeting of the year tomorrow night – Monday (May 4th) – starting with a potluck dinner 5:30-6 pm, then continuing with business including electing next year’s board. All welcome. HPES is at 1012 SW Trenton.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen truck; swapped plates; bicycles found/sighted; mail theft

April 27, 2015 at 3:42 pm | In Crime, Highland Park, Luna Park, West Seattle news, Westwood | 1 Comment

West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports to share:

LUNA PARK TRUCK THEFT: Bob discovered this morning that someone had taken his white Chevy Blazer from what’s supposed to be a secure garage at City View Apartments in the Luna Park area. License plate 105YGD – call 911 if you see it.

STOLEN PLATES: From Andi:

This morning I discovered someone had swapped my back license plate on my car with someone else’s. I have reported them as stolen, so if anyone sees plates ASU6665 call the police. The ones they put on the car were ANK8876, and the officer said he recognized them from a call this morning. I live on Trenton & Delridge [map] if anyone saw anything.

This happens more often than you might think, so it’s always worth a quick glance at your plates every time you go out to your vehicle, if it’s parked outside.

POSSIBLE STOLEN BICYCLES: Two posts in the WSB Forums regarding bicycles -
**Vintage Puch bicycle found in a Westwood/Roxhill-area backyard
**Redline bicycle frame spotted in Admiral in unusual circumstances

HIGHLAND PARK MAIL THEFT: In the 9400 block of 10th SW (map), Fran A spotted several mailboxes open this morning, with mail littered on the street, including an envelope that was supposed to contain her husband’s new driver’s license.

Highland Park Uncorked: 3 weeks away; sign up ASAP to join in and/or be a sponsor

April 25, 2015 at 6:13 pm | In Highland Park, How to help, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

Love wine? Love sidewalks? Love solar power? Support all of the above – and then some – by attending and/or sponsoring Highland Park Uncorked. It’s happening three weeks from tonight (Saturday, May 16th) at Highland Park Improvement Club. Here’s how it works:

Each person brings a bottle of their favorite wine, priced at $15 or less. You are assigned a table. The bottle is placed in a brown paper bag, given a number and eventually placed somewhere on your assigned table. You don’t worry about that, as you relax with the wines from the award-winning Northwest Wine Academy, mingle with your neighbors, and munch on a wonderful spread of food prepared by our talented gastronomes.

When the tasting starts, you will go to your assigned table and your table captain will walk you through the process. Everybody tastes the wines that each person at their table brought and end up voting for the best. The winning wine from your table progresses to the finals where they are all tasted and the top three are chosen. There is still lots of wine at your table to further “examine” and enjoy with your tablemates.

Raffles too, and something new – the “Wine Aroma Challenge“! Find more details about Highland Park Uncorked here. Oh, and about the sidewalks? HPIC is raising money not just to support its ongoing operations as a community hub and event venue, but also to help with grounds improvements for its almost-century-old site at 12th/Holden. It’s received grants and donations for raingardens, a cistern, a courtyard, and future solar panels – but it’s also (as explained and shown here) had to spend more than $15,000 to fix broken sections of sidewalk and to replace part of its roof. Every bit of fundraising helps, HPIC says. So:

*Want to be a sponsor? (WSB is signed up to co-sponsor again this year.) Go here.

*Just want to save a spot at the table? Go here – HP Uncorked has sold out in advance in previous years, so don’t gamble on just showing up at the door.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Police search in Highland Park

April 24, 2015 at 2:14 am | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | Comments Off

2:14 AM: Police, including a K-9 team, are searching right now in the Highland Park Elementary vicinity (and beyond). We don’t know what preceded the search but they’re looking for someone who has an arrest warrant on record.

2:49 AM: Sounds like it started with circumstances including a car, a report of a fight, and two people fleeing, including the car’s owner.

Looking for work? ‘Priority Hire’ to be spotlighted at Highland Park Action Committee this Wednesday

April 20, 2015 at 2:12 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Jobseekers might be interested in this Wednesday’s monthly meeting of the Highland Park Action Committee. As just announced by HPAC:

We will be having a guest speaker talking about *Priority Hire* joining us for Wednesday’s HPAC meeting: The City of Seattle recently passed a Priority Hire ordinance which will improve access to construction employment and improve training programs for workers in need of family-wage jobs. The ordinance prioritizes the hiring of residents that live in economically distressed areas in Seattle and King County on city funded construction projects- and 98106 qualifies. See this website for more information.

Also on HPAC’s agenda, District 1 City Council candidate Chas Redmond. 6:30 pm potluck precedes the 7 pm meeting Wednesday (April 22nd) at Highland Park Improvement Club, 12th/Holden.

UPDATE: 3 taken to hospital after one-car Highland Park crash

April 20, 2015 at 4:22 am | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 3 Comments


4:22 AM: Another sizable response to a crash scene – this time, one vehicle is reported to have hit a tree in the 9000 block of Henderson Place (map) in Highland Park, with two people reported to be trapped. Both are reported to be conscious.

5:04 AM: Just back from the scene. The response was upgraded to “heavy rescue” while we were en route – second one of the night in West Seattle. Firefighters cut the driver out of the car, a 22-year-old man who medics took to Harborview.

Two others were hurt but got themselves out of the car, according to SFD, and were taken to the hospital by private ambulance. The road will be closed both ways at the crash scene while the investigation proceeds.

6:30 AM: Henderson Place is still blocked off at the crash scene; use 9th SW instead.

3:17 PM: Police confirm they are investigating the possibility of DUI.

‘Assault with weapons’ response on 9th SW

April 3, 2015 at 7:05 am | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 1 Comment

7:05 AM: Police and fire are headed for the 8100 block of 9th SW. The call is “assault with weapons”; the initial reports are that someone has a gunshot wound, possibly self-inflicted. We’re headed over to find out.

7:08 AM: Per scanner, most of the SFD units are being canceled, but they’re calling for a chaplain.

7:32 AM: Police cars were visible at the scene, but the officers were in the house and unavailable to talk to. A reminder in the meantime … the local 24-hour hotline from the Crisis Clinic: 206-461-3222.

West Seattle Crime Watch followup: Plea bargain in Highland Park theft of SUV with baby inside

April 1, 2015 at 3:33 pm | In Crime, Highland Park, West Seattle news | 11 Comments

Just found during our periodic check of open case files: A plea bargain in a crime that drew regional attention one afternoon last August, after an SUV was stolen from outside a Highland Park mini-mart with a baby in the back seat.

(8/27/14 photo by BETTINA HANSEN/THE SEATTLE TIMES, republished by permission)
25-year-old Estevan L. Sanchez pleaded guilty last week to auto theft and unlawful imprisonment – reduced from second-degree kidnapping – for stealing the vehicle from outside the Sea-Mart store at 16th and Holden last August 27th with a 10-month-old girl in the back seat. According to court documents from the plea bargain and from the original charges, the baby’s father ran into the store with the vehicle’s engine running, but the SUV was supposed to be locked and unable to be shifted out of “park.” Instead, Sanchez got in and drove it away even as the baby’s father ran out of the store and yelled for him to stop. 15 minutes later, the vehicle was found abandoned in White Center’s Greenbridge neighborhood, with the baby safe inside; Sanchez, a Highland Park resident, was found within the hour at 17th and Roxbury.

He already was wanted on warrants from a domestic-violence case in which he injured his girlfriend and her 11-year-old son, attacking her with a stun gun and knocking him down just before stealing her car.. As part of this plea agreement, Sanchez has pleaded guilty to reduced domestic-violence charges in that case too. In all, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is recommending 19.5 months in prison – a little over a year and a half – for Sanchez, who has been in jail for seven months since his August arrest. King County Superior Court Judge Monica Benton is scheduled to sentence him on April 17th. .

West Seattle scenes: Mini Pow-Wow at Highland Park Elementary

March 21, 2015 at 1:46 am | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS culture/arts | 6 Comments

Dancing, drumming, and dinner were part of the festivities last night at Highland Park Elementary, as Native community members, family, and friends gathered for a Traditional Mini Pow Wow. We photographed Duwamish Tribe chair Cecile Hansen after the blessing she gave to open the event:

This was the second year of the event.

The group Niksokowaak – “all my children, all my relatives” – organized the Pow Wow.

Highland Park Elementary shows off for visiting educators

March 16, 2015 at 7:46 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 1 Comment

4th-grade PE students had an audience at Highland Park Elementary School this morning.

Physical-education professionals are gathered in Seattle for the SHAPE (Society of Health and Physical Educators) America national convention this week, and today dozens of them visited several SPS campuses to check out unique programs, such as flag football that’s played at HPES as part of an NFL collaboration:

Teacher Kevin Schmidt leads this program at Highland Park.

What the kids showed off today are drills they do after their teacher explains the objective, as the students write it down:

Once they have grasped the goal, it’s on with the drill. Highland Park Elementary, by the way, was the only West Seattle stop for the visitors from the conference, and it was the first school they visited on their all-day citywide tour.

@ Highland Park Action Committee: From crime to campaigning

February 27, 2015 at 3:01 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Crime trends, a possible solution, and a campaign pitch comprised most of this month’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting, Wednesday night at HP Improvement Club.

First, the crime trends, presented by Community Police Team Officer Erin Nicholson:

If you don’t have time for the clip, three notes:

Click to read the rest of @ Highland Park Action Committee: From crime to campaigning…

@ Highland Park Action Committee: About the roundabout…

February 1, 2015 at 7:21 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news | 26 Comments

Roundabout (above) or signal, to ease the traffic woes at Highland Park Way and Holden? Not that the city has money for either, yet, but the concepts have been roughed out and we were there as SDOT’s neighborhood-traffic guru Jim Curtin talked about them at this week’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting:

Click to read the rest of @ Highland Park Action Committee: About the roundabout……

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