(Click image for larger view)
What you see above is a major step in volunteers’ quest to get a better playground for Pathfinder K-8 and its Pigeon Point neighbors (along with anyone else in West Seattle who’ll want to come play there): The design by Johnson Southerland debuted at a meeting Monday night. It’s the result of a community-participatory process, and dozens of people were there to get a look:
The meeting also was an ice-cream social, popular with the youngest participants as well as the parent volunteers.
Next step for the playground committee and its helpers – fundraising to get the playground built!
It could cost up to $100,000; grant money (beyond what was obtained to make the design happen) is being sought to cover at least part of that, with more fundraising details to come. It’s hoped that ground can be broken next year. Watch pathfinderplayground14.wordpress.com for more on the design and the project!
The big moment is almost here: The Pathfinder K-8 PTA invites you to be there Monday night as its playground design is revealed:
Pathfinder K-8 and our neighbors are very excited about next Monday’s unveiling of the playground design that was created through a community process funded through a Department of Neighborhoods Small and Simple Grant. The design took pieces from three distinct concepts and integrated comments from many. Once this playground concept is built, it will truly be a resource for not only our school, but a destination for all of West Seattle. To that end, everyone is welcome to join the design unveiling on Monday, June 16th at 5:30 at Pathfinder K-8 School in the Pigeon Point neighborhood. Ice cream social to follow immediately! For project details, please visit our blog (here).
Pathfinder is at 1901 SW Genesee.
9:09 AM: The sun’s out and they’re off – Pathfinder K-8 PE teacher Lou Cutler and hundreds of students, as Lou’s annual Make-A-Wish birthday run began minutes ago on Pigeon Point. He runs a lap for every year of his life – and he’s about to celebrate his 63rd birthday, so it’ll be 63 laps this year.
Students from the school join him throughout the morning, and were the first ones out of the gate (short video clip here, if you can’t see it below):
They started the run before 9 am to inspirational songs including Macklemore‘s “Can’t Hold Us” and “Gonna Fly Now” (the “Rocky” theme).
Even if you can’t go cheer on Lou and friends in person (every lap, he stops at an easel on the sidelines to mark it off, as shown in the photo above), you can donate online. We’ll be checking back!
12:26 PM: He’s still going – about a mile’s worth of laps to go. (The entire 63-lap distance this year comprises more than 10 miles, Lou said toward the start.)
1 PM: He did it!
ADDED: The group photo is a post-run tradition:
Lou’s way in the back. The blue slips show how many laps were run by each participant – up to 63.
ADDED: Pathfinder parent and photographer Holli Margell shares two photos – first, one that shows how much the kids stake in their support of Lou – her son Cooper, exuberant over 27 laps:
And Lou with Teacher Andy, not only a one-man cheer squad but also emcee of the event, with his bullhorn:
A (relatively) short but scary drama played out Friday afternoon on Pigeon Point – a search for two children who got lost. We did not have enough information to report on it until now, with the details that accompanied the photo:
Yesterday afternoon a large amount of SPD officers converged on the greenbelt behind Pathfinder (K-8) in search of two missing girls (ages 3 & 9). The younger one had run into the woods and her older sister followed to find her. They couldn’t find their way out and were missing for 2+ hours. Officers spent a long time searching the greenbelt for the children. Thankfully, they were found by Officer Nicholson. They were barefoot, soaking wet, and shivering. She carried them both out and returned them home. The girls were very cold and scared but safe.
I wanted to share this picture with your blog readers. All of the officers who searched for these children exude the professionalism and compassion that makes the Southwest Precinct truly outstanding.
Officer Jenifer Eshom
(Art by Pathfinder parent Shannon)
Our area’s latest community-fueled school-playground project – for Pathfinder K-8 School on Pigeon Point – is proceeding, and welcoming more help! Outreach co-chairs Holli Margell and Toni Wells share this update:
We have chosen a design company that has the skills to translate our needs and dreams into reality: Johnson Southerland. Their designs can be played on at Seward Park, Salmon Bay, and Concord Elementary.
Mark your calendars for our first community meeting on April 30th, 5:30-7 pm at Pathfinder K-8 School. Please come, and bring your kids. Your participation at this meeting counts not only toward shaping our playground design, but also toward volunteer hours required for our next grant application (the big one that will help us actually build it).
The time you commit to volunteer will help us get the Large Neighborhood Matching Grant to build it. For example, attending each design meeting (3 x 2 hours) equals 6 pledged hours. We also need folks who can put up posters, help host our three community meetings, and make sure every family in the community knows about the project.
Save These Dates: April 30th, 5:30-7:00, May 20th, June 18th (there will be ice cream)!
Where: Pathfinder K8 School, 1901 SW Genesee
And, here’s a photo from a table top display of sorts that a parent, Shannon, made:
(Photo by Chris Wells)
Give Pathfinder K-8‘s playground project a boost – if you use the playground there now, or expect to in the years ahead, answer a quick survey. Here’s the backstory and the link:
Pathfinder K-8 is pleased to announce that we won a Neighborhood Matching Fund Small and Simple Grant to rebuild our playground! With $25,000 we can get started by hiring a designer, and recruiting volunteers to match the funds through donated time. Our plan includes hosting 3 public meetings to develop the playground in a way that best serves you, the school and community. A huge thank you to Seattle Department of Neighborhoods for helping our community work together to build a better playground.
Want to help us get started? We need your input! Anyone who uses the playground is encouraged to participate. Please tell us what matters to you at the Pathfinder K8 Playground by filling out our short online survey.
Holli Margell and Toni Wells
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
If you drove, walked, or rode past 21st/Andover in Pigeon Point on Friday, you might have noticed the crew working at the old Seattle City Light substation on the northwest corner. It’s one of the six West Seattle “surplus” sites that City Light is looking to unload.
A reader wondered if a decision about this site’s fate had already been made, considering that the tree work being done by the crew yesterday looked extensive. So we checked with City Light – and found out it’s more than tree work. SCL spokesperson Scott Thomsen tells WSB it’s part of a cleanup at the site, after soil sampling at the site turned up contamination beyond what’s considered acceptable for residential property.
Pathfinder K-8 on Pigeon Point had about 300 special visitors for lunch today – it’s the annual day that grandparents/elders are invited to join Pathfinder students. Two of the grandparents we recognized in the crowd were busy community volunteers Sandy Adams and Jim Guenther, with grandson Chase, a Pathfinder second-grader:
The visiting elders/grandparents didn’t all arrive at once – lunchtime is in shifts, as it is in most schools.
Thanks to principal David Dockendorf for the invitation to stop by; he tells WSB it’s “one of our best school events.”
PATHFINDER SIDE NOTE: Today’s the last day to order pies in the school fundraiser, for pickup next week – go to the WSB Holiday Guide and scroll to the “Holiday Fundraisers, Donation Drives, Other Giving Opportunities” list.
After an early evening full of lightning, thunder, and pouring rain, the weather cleared just in time for Pathfinder K-8 students, families, and staff to conclude their pre-school year barbecue with a special ceremony: The dedication of a newly created mosaic sign at the school’s entry off SW Genesee. Students all collaborated with artist-in-residence Julie Maher, in the next photo, helping cut the ribbon with Pathfinder PTSA co-president Martin McGurl:
“The kids were my inspiration,” Maher said. “She took our idea for a design and really ran with it .. This could be in a museum,” mused principal David Dockendorf (at left in the photo above with McGurl and Maher), just before the ceremony concluded with a chance for everyone to come see the mosaic up close.
The principal also gave shoutouts to Pathfinder’s art teachers Marci Golden and Suzanne Wakefield. There’s so much detail in the mosaic, no photo could do it justice – you’ll have to go to Pigeon Point and take a look!
One of the most joyful annual fundraisers in West Seattle is happening right now on the playfield at Pathfinder K-8 on Pigeon Point. Today marks the 10th time Pathfinder PE teacher Lou Cutler has, in honor of his upcoming birthday, run one lap for each year of his age.
Today, that means 62 laps with Lou, who does not run alone – Pathfinder students and staff join him on the field too, and track the laps (above); students track their own laps too:
This is a fundraiser for the regional branch of Make-A-Wish, for which Lou has volunteered more than a decade (we talked to him about it in-depth before his birthday run in 2011), helping make dreams come true for children living with life-threatening medical conditions. Lou started around 8:45 this morning and hit the halfway point while we were there an hour ago, so he likely has less than an hour to go. You can cheer him on, wherever you are, with an online pledge via his Make-A-Wish page.
A followup today from Jeanne Turner, who along with husband Mark shared first word of the Pigeon Point sinkhole last weekend:
SDOT arrived at 19th SW and Charleston on Pigeon Point this morning with a crew and equipment to fix a sinkhole that opened up Sunday afternoon. Dan Doyle of SDOT (a fellow West Seattleite) said the hole appears to be 18 inches to 2 feet deep. Today they will knock out the concrete and fill the hole with rock and gravel to stabilize the area. This will be covered with asphalt for a temporary fix until they can pour concrete. Because the area is relatively large, affecting four concrete slabs, SDOT will probably wait until spring to make the permanent fix.
Thanks for the update and photo!
The neighbors of Pigeon Point are known for their block parties – like one of West Seattle’s biggest Night Out block parties, and regular community cleanups. But tonight was one of a kind – thanks to a contest won by neighbor Thomas Prowell:
That’s Thomas, with wife Wendy Prowell and their dogs Ginger and Baxter – and the Taco Time NW Traveler food truck. Thomas won a TTNW contest for the Traveler to come cater a private block party with free food and drink for up to 75 neighbors, and tonight was the night. (Taco Time NW, by the way, was founded in White Center half a century ago and now operates more than 70 TT restaurants.)
That’s what it said on longtime community activist/volunteer Pete Spalding‘s birthday cake last night at the Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), where wife Kerry Hughes organized a surprise party:
Back in their home neighborhood of Pigeon Point, one of the trademark signposts held a tribute:
Pete has led the Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council multiple times, as well as chairing the citywide Parks and Green Spaces Levy OVersight Committee, serving on the board of the West Seattle Food Bank, and countless other councils/groups/projects. His awards include being honored as this year’s “Westsider of the Year” by the WS Chamber of Commerce.
After a burglary wave a few months back, some promising news about crime was heartening to the 20-plus people in attendance at last night’s Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council meeting.
Southwest Precinct operations Lt. Pierre Davis said West Seattle-area burglaries/car prowls were at a “historic low” in May – “the bad guys just aren’t playing here right now.” The Pigeon Point neighborhood itself is “pretty quiet right now,” he added. Attendees were invited to ask questions – and their biggest concerns involved speeding through the neighborhood (which includes a couple of straightaways). Before Lt. Davis left, a meeting attendee called out that he wanted to express thanks for everything that Seattle Police have done while being “severely tested” recently – and that sparked a round of applause.
Much of the rest of the meeting included other public-safety topics, from Block Watches to traffic calming: Click to read the rest of Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council: Crime down, traffic up, & more…
Three hours and 61 laps around the Pathfinder K-8 field on Pigeon Point are in the books for the school’s PE teacher, Lou Cutler, in his annual fundraising run for Make-A-Wish (donation link here), for which he’s also a volunteer (2 years ago, we photographed him as a little boy’s wish came true here in West Seattle). One of the remarkable things we’ve noticed while covering this the past few years is that it’s not even remotely all about Lou – we heard shouts of “WE did it!” from some of his young running partners. Our video above captured the last part of the last lap, and the celebration afterward. Next thing Lou did? Got some of the students to pose for a photo, waving their bright green slips (on which laps were checked off). Only THEN did he pose too.
1:13 AM: Very busy night for police in West Seattle, and they’re investigating another incident now – a rollover crash on the eastbound West Seattle Bridge. According to scanner traffic, police have found the crashed vehicle – but no one inside; two people may have taken off.
(Scene where victims were found, 23rd/Andover, photo via Twitter from @salishseagirl)
1:15 AM UPDATE: One “patient” is said to have been found near the bridge, in Pigeon Point.
1:24 AM UPDATE: One of the fire engines on this call is now asking for ambulances for TWO patients.
1:43 AM UPDATE: Via Twitter, Cheryl reports both patients on stretchers and going into the ambulances.
ORIGINAL 1:43 PM REPORT: So far we’ve gotten reports from Pigeon Point and Puget Ridge that some are without power. City Light‘s “system status map” happens to be down right now for maintenance, but we have a call out to the utility to find out more about what’s going on. Please let us know if you’re reading this via something battery-powered because the outage is affecting you too.
1:53 PM UPDATE: Just heard back from Scott Thomsen at City Light. He says the outage is affecting 2,061 homes/businesses. They’re not sure about the cause but he says dispatchers got a report of “balloons in the wires” somewhere in the area – and if that’s the problem, he says, it should be a quick fix (p.s., Scott adds, please DON’T release balloons, especially the mylar ones, they’re bad news for power lines); if that’s not the cause, it may not be so quick. The boundaries SCL lists – which are never precise, so this does NOT mean everyone in this area is powerless, nor does it mean no one is without power outside the “boundaries” – are Brandon SW on the north, SW 106th on the south, 21st SW in the west, 10th SW in the east. In comments here, and via the WSB Facebook page, we’re also hearing that part of West Marginal Way South – which is part of South Park – is affected too.
2:18 PM UPDATE: Thanks for all the updates. Some in Highland Park report their power’s back on. Haven’t heard from other areas yet.
4:21 PM UPDATE: No formal followup info from SCL yet but more people have reported getting their power back. The “system status” map is back too and indicates one lingering trouble spot, in Puget Ridge.
If you’ve headed eastbound on the high-rise West Seattle Bridge in the past hour-plus, you probably drove right by the Pigeon Point Spring Clean volunteers, hard at work in the little 22nd SW street-end park that’s something of a well-kept secret (“hidden jewel” is how Pigeon Point’s Pete Spalding describes it). It’s an annual tradition and they’ll be at it till about noon.
Though we apologize for not having heard about it while it was happening (not everything’s on the scanner, so your text/call to 206-293-6302 is always helpful!), we DO now know why a sizable police response spent a while on Pigeon Point yesterday afternoon: Seattle Police media-relations Det. Mark Jamieson looked it up for us. Someone reported a suspicious item in a mailbox in the 4100 block of 20th SW (map). The police report says it was described as a plastic milk container with a screw top and foil, and it appeared “burnt.” Officers called in Arson/Bomb Squad specialists to have a look. The eventual determination, according to Det. Jamieson: It was “a device used to smoke marijuana.”
More than 40 people gathered at the Pathfinder K-8 cafeteria tonight for a Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council meeting that primarily served as the annual holiday potluck – the first year the community party wasn’t at the home of the late community activist Vivian McLean, who died this past spring.
There was a bit of business for the group to handle, before they got down to serious revelry: The recent rash of burglaries, which has hit Pigeon Point hard, as well as several other parts of West Seattle. The group was briefed by Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. (second-in-command) Pierre Davis, who didn’t have news of any new arrests, but did answer questions, and provided a general update.
Two updates on tonight’s roster of neighborhood meetings: First, thanks to Pete for pointing out that we had omitted a mention of the Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council‘s meeting tonight; it’s their holiday potluck, Pathfinder K-8 (1901 SW Genesee), 6:30 pm. On the agenda is an update from Seattle Police on the rash of burglaries lately in that area (several of which have been included in West Seattle Crime Watch reports). Also – if you are going to tonight’s North Delridge Neighborhood Council meeting (agenda here), thanks to Diane for reminding us that the location has changed; it’s not at the usual spot, but instead at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW).
Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports this afternoon:
Thanks to everybody who shared tips about police activity in Sunrise Heights in the past hour or so, near 35th/Webster. Police were chasing suspects in at least one burglary – and that general area, as reported here previously, has been a target lately; we don’t know if it was this same suspect, but there was a scanner report a while ago about a break-in attempt at 36th/Myrtle, not far away. At least one person has been arrested/detained. We’ll add details as soon as we get them.
And from Pigeon Point – pilfered packages and mail were found at noontime today, some with addresses from some distance away: Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Watch: Burglary investigation; mail theft…
The Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council e-mail list has been abuzz about that coyote, photographed last Tuesday afternoon “on Genesee and 20th Ave SW (map), heading toward the headwaters of Puget Creek in the greenbelt adjacent to Pathfinder K-8,” according to Joni. We requested the photo after reading her account of the coyote trying to get into the chicken enclosure at her home, which is near the school. Joni says somebody tried to shoo the coyote away but it “didn’t even blink … and stuck around long enough” to be photographed. She has since raised the fence on the chicken enclosure, and reminded neighbors on the list, “Please don’t leave food out for animals, and keep your pets safe!” She also shared the link that we include in most coyote reports – “living with coyotes” info from the state – including what to do when you see one.
The Grouchos are back. They’re tougher to see than during their previous appearances on the north-facing slope alongside the eastbound West Seattle Bridge (our photo is from 2007) – but, as Patt posted on the WSB Facebook wall today, they’re back. Until last year, they seemed to appear magically each spring. This year, it turns out, they actually reappeared a few weeks ago, according to West Seattle writer Mark Bourne, who had chronicled them in the past; we contacted him this afternoon to mention the new sighting, and he pointed out he’d already written about it (with new photos showing they’ve multiplied!). Who puts them there? Still a mystery.
The famous Pigeon Point community signpost along SW Andover has held a tribute to longtime community advocate Vivian McLean – painted by Jim Sander – since shortly after news of her death started circulating a week and a half ago. When we published our first report about Ms. McLean’s passing at age 90, memorial plans hadn’t been finalized yet, but according to Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council chair Brita Long and the Seattle Times (WSB partner) obituary published today, they have: A celebration of Ms. McLean’s life is set for 2:30 pm next Saturday, April 9th, at Delridge Community Center.
Just four months after a well-attended community celebration in honor of her 90th birthday, legendary Delridge community activist Vivian McLean has died. That’s according to Brita Long, new chair of the Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council, who announced it to PP neighbors a short time ago and gave us permission to report it here. She says Ms. McLean’s family is asking for privacy right now, and will announce memorial details when arrangements are finalized. Ms. McLean’s legacies are many; we mentioned a few in our report on last November’s celebration, including her role as a co-founder of Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association. And Vivian McLean Place at 5423 Delridge Way SW, which includes housing as well as the Delridge Library, was named in her honor.
Quick West Seattle Crime Watch note tonight - Jeri on Pigeon Point asks you to be on the lookout:
Late Sunday night or early Monday morning, March 13th or 14th, a 2003 white Subaru Outback, Washington license plate ACE 4203, was stolen from a driveway near 21st & Charlestown on Pigeon Point.
Seen it? Let police know.
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