West Seattle, Washington
Story and photo by Linda Ball
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Motivated by last week’s hate crime against the Endres family on Pigeon Point, 10 concerned neighbors got together tonight to talk about what they could do to make the family feel safe in their community.
On Tuesday night last week, someone left a racist, threatening note on the door of the Endres home. The disturbing message made it clear that the author did not appreciate her mixed-race children.
Rachel Glass, the precinct committee officer for the area, organized tonight’s meeting at a nearby coffee shop. Read More
While spot outages are reported fairly frequently, we’ve received several reports of this one, so it could be relatively widespread – we’ve heard from Comcast customers from North Delridge east to Pigeon Point. One customer says they’ve been told it’s supposed to be back on by 10 pm. Any other areas?
2:25 PM: Retiring last year as PE teacher at Pathfinder K-8 didn’t keep Lou Cutler from coming back for his traditional birthday-month run to raise money for Make-A-Wish. One lap for every year, which meant 65 today – and this time, battling asthma, he walked more than he ran, but nonetheless made it through every one of those laps over the span of five hours, from just after 9 am to just after 2 pm. Above is our iPhone video as his final lap wrapped up, in the company of Pathfinder students who streamed out of the building to finish it with him, chanting “Go, Lou! Go, Lou!” Many were with him at the start:
We’ll be adding photos a bit later. You can still donate to Make-A-Wish, for whom Lou’s been a wish-granting volunteer for more than 20 years – just go here.
ADDED 9:53 PM: Two photos that, like our video above, bookend this year’s inspiring-as-ever event. First, from the morning:
And then, right after that 65th lap, the group photo:
Today was the 17th time Lou’s done this, by the way.
Two and a half years after Seattle City Light started the process of figuring out what to do with a set of surplus ex-substations, mostly in West Seattle, “for sale” signs have just gone up at the first one to be offered for sale on the open market. It’s the Andover Substation at 2100 SW Andover on Pigeon Point; Pete Spalding reported the sign sighting this afternoon; we subsequently went over for a photo. We also checked with the city Department of Finance and Administrative Services, after discovering that the listing is so new, the city webpage for it isn’t set up yet, though linked from here. FAS spokesperson Julie Moore tells us they’re working on the webpage and in the meantime, the broker working for the city has a listing here. It says the minimum bid, due by the end of April, will be $400,000 for the 8,002-square-foot parcel; the city had listed the site’s appraised value as $350,000. It’s zoned LR-1 (lowrise residential development).
BACKSTORY: Of the surplus substations discussed since summer 2013 (all shown here), this is the only one in West Seattle currently listed for sale. As per terms of the ordinance approved by the City Council in December, the city has delayed the sale of the Dakota (Genesee Hill) and Dumar (north Highland Park) sites for two years to give community groups a chance to muster plans; it’s also delayed the Fauntleroy site’s listing for a year, while the Fauntleroy Community Association surveys the community about possible fundraising to purchase it. As for the other West Seattle sites, the city is working on a county purchase of the White Center site (actually on 8th SW in Highland Park) for stormwater retention (update – maybe not – we’ve found a listing for that one too, separate story ahead), and with the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association on a plan for it to buy the Delridge site for educational use.
12:05 AM: Just a reminder that 22nd SW and SW Andover – and 22nd on both sides of the intersection – is closed overnight for Seattle Public Utilities‘ emergency sewer work. They adjusted the end time to 5 am after hearing concerns from area residents worried about getting out to work/school/etc. If the work isn’t finished tonight, SPU said, they’d have to continue Monday night, so we will check later this morning to see if that’s planned, or not.
8:21 AM: As commenter Sam-C noted earlier, this did NOT wrap up at 5 am after all. We just drove to Pigeon Point to see if it’s still continuing – and verified that it is, so these closures still apply. We’re checking with SPU to see about an estimated reopening as well as whether more work will be happening tonight.
Meet another of your neighbors who’s doing what she can to help people in need. Stephanie Endres created Stephanie’s Lifeline, and organized this afternoon’s Backpacks Bring HOPE event, filling 100 backpacks with basics – first-aid kits, toiletries, some food and beverages. We visited her HQ on Pigeon Point to see the results:
Next step, delivering to the recipients. The slogan on Stephanie’s website: “It’s better to do something small than do nothing at all.” Here’s how to get involved.
West Seattle’s newest community-created playground is officially open. It’s at Pathfinder K-8 on Pigeon Point, whose principal David Dockendorf wielded the ribbon-cutting scissors:
One of the parents who led the project through years of fundraising and volunteer work parties, Kelly Guenther, emceed the celebration:
Along with the play equipment, you’ll find a message here and there:
It was a true reason to celebrate, after more than a year and a half of work:
And now, it’s all about playtime.
See all the steps along the way via the playground project’s official website.
(WSB photo, August 2014)
That volunteer work party more than a year ago was one of many events along Pathfinder K-8‘s path to its new playground … which is now about to officially open. The Pathfinder PTSA has announced a community celebration for next Thursday afternoon:
Please join us in celebrating our community’s accomplishment and to show appreciation to those who helped make this project possible. Event includes accolades, ice cream and of course, kids demonstrating how to enjoy the new playground!
Thursday, October 8 – 3:30-4:30 pm
Questions to: email@example.com
The school is at 1901 SW Genesee. Much of the journey to making this a reality – volunteer work, construction, fundraising, sneak previews – is chronicled on the project website.
Thanks for the photos from Pigeon Point! First, more roadside safety work:
AT 21ST/GENESEE: Paula Bamburg sends the views of SDOT crews working on curb ramps at this intersection where community members “painted” a mural at the intersection earlier this year (WSB coverage here). She adds, “I’ve enjoyed watching the workers/artists doing their thing in the concrete medium. Fun to watch their teamwork, communication, timing and craft.”
The ramps and sidewalks are part of the Delridge-Highland Park Neighborhood Greenway, by the way. Not too far to the northwest:
NEW SIGN ON ANDOVER: Pigeon Point has another new signpost and shingle on the SW Andover hill. Thanks to Pete Spalding for sharing the photo:
P.S. This one got us to thinking about neighborhoods with their own signage, whether handmade or a little more official. The Alki rocks came to mind, as did signage for Fairmount Springs, Westwood, The Junction, Highland Park, Puget Ridge, The Arroyos … what/where are we missing?
“No Parking” signs are up in the Pigeon Point area already, to clear space for movement of a portable classroom scheduled to be delivered early tomorrow at Pathfinder K-8. Tom Redman from Seattle Public Schools sends word of the impending delivery; he had mentioned earlier this summer that Pathfinder was among the local schools that would get portables before the new school year. He didn’t have delivery-route specifics, but Pete Spalding from Pigeon Point tells WSB the signs are up “on Andover from Delridge to 21st Ave SW, then all along the west side of 21st to Genesee and then on both sides of Genesee to 19th.”
Something new on the street at the intersection of 21st and Genesee on Pigeon Point (map) – a mural, meant for safety more than beautification, though it certainly offers the latter. What you see above is the finished product (though our photo, taken in afternoon shadows, doesn’t do it justice); this morning, we stopped by while it was a work in progress:
That photo shows just a few of the neighbors who pitched in today to get it painted.
Toni Wells, current chair of the Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council, led the charge along with Ned Sander, renowned for his neighborhood signage, and Alon Bassok. Neighbors had hoped for a traffic circle at the intersection, but that wouldn’t have worked for the school buses turning to head to Pathfinder K-8. So this was painted, with SDOT permission and community donations of time and money.
The mural incorporates elements inspired by the nearby greenbelt and Duwamish River, with the help of Native artist Roger Fernandes. The most important element: Neighborhood spirit, embodied in the chalk addition we spotted when checking back late this afternoon:
We heard police dispatch to a report of a purse theft on Pigeon Point tonight – didn’t hear the circumstances, but this reader report has since come in:
We (were) at Pathfinder School 8th grade graduation; my cousin had a emergency call to make, she left her purse on her seat, and she came back. it was gone – not even a few minutes. It’s a pink Michael Kors purse, has all her ID, passport, and all her important information. Today 6-8 pm. We didn’t see who took it; we called police, let the principal know; she had a sick family member (who) had a seizure and needed to take the call. If someone knows who took it, please return it – thanks.
Or, if you find it discarded somewhere – let police know.
If you haven’t gone to a candidate forum yet in the first-ever City Council District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) race yet – maybe you don’t just want to sit down and listen to people answering questions from a table up at the front of the room – tomorrow night’s event in Pigeon Point might be for you. The Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council has invited the candidates over for a round of “candi-dating” – circulating from table to table, so you and your tablemates get to talk with one candidate at a time. That’s at 7 pm Monday (June 8th), Pathfinder K-8 cafeteria (1901 SW Genesee), all welcome. The primary election is August 4th, so the start of voting is only about six weeks away.
(Lou’s first lap – everybody takes off, then he finally joins)
Hundreds of people are running and walking the Pathfinder K-8 playfield right now with PE teacher Lou Cutler to raise money for Make-A-Wish.
(Lou starts 2nd lap, as volunteer marks it on the official easel)
It’s been a remarkable event every year – this is Lou’s 12th annual birthday run, one lap for every year he’s been alive, 64 laps this year – but it’s more emotional than ever right now, because this is the last one before Lou retires. Here’s what he said right before it all began at 9 am:
To help him celebrate, former students are here too – and it’s extra-festive because it’s “Fandom Day” at Pathfinder, with many kids wearing costumes or accessories in tribute to characters they’re fans of – superheroes, manga, you name it.
Today’s superhero, however, is Lou, who just finished lap #6 as we write, and got lots of warm greetings before the run:
You can donate in his honor to Make-A-Wish – an organization for which he volunteers aside from the annual run, too – by going here.
NOON UPDATE: Stopped by for a few minutes to see how it’s going:
Lou’s still going strong. As is everybody along for the run – including his longtime head cheerleader, Pathfinder teacher Andy Darring:
(That photo was from the early going.)
1:37 PM: He did it!
As of a short time ago, 64 laps, with most of the school coming back out to the playfield to join him for the last two, and everyone chanting (as you can hear in the video), “Lou! Lou! Lou!”
Run’s over but you can still donate.
Made a decision yet on who you’re voting for in the first-ever City Council District 1 race? Still lots of time to decide, with primary ballots due August 4th, and your next two chances to see and hear the candidates are coming up within the next two weeks:
MAY 27 (THIS WEDNESDAY): “South Park Shows Up!” is not your standard candidate forum, South Park community members promise. They are planning a pop quiz on South Park facts, in fact. But West Seattleites are invited too – and kids’ activities are promised as well as food. 7 pm Wednesday at the SP Neighborhood Center, 8201 10th Avenue S.
JUNE 8 (2 WEEKS FROM TONIGHT): Most local neighborhood councils have had visits from several City Council candidates. The Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council is planning a full-fledged forum, 7 pm June 8th at Pathfinder K-8 (1901 SW Genesee), all welcome.
Any other D-1 forum dates locked in? Please let us know – editor@ westseattleblog.com – thanks!
It’s been one of our favorite stories to cover every year we’ve done this – but next Friday will be our last chance to report on another round of “Laps With Lou“: Pathfinder K-8 PE teacher Lou Cutler is retiring. For 12 years now, on a day close to his birthday, he has been joined by students and other members of the Pathfinder community in running one lap for each year he’s been on the planet, with pledges for Make-A-Wish, the nonprofit for which he’s spent almost 20 years volunteering. This year, Lou and friends will run 64 laps around the field. You’re invited to cheer him on, one last time, starting at 8:45 am next Friday (May 29th) on the field at Pathfinder (1901 SW Genesee on Pigeon Point). You can pledge/donate in advance, too – just go here.
6:12 AM: Thanks to the neighbor who texted us about the Seattle Fire response at a house on Pigeon Point in the 4000 block of 23rd SW (map). They report firefighters put out a “visible porch fire.” No report of injuries.
6:20 AM: Adding photos texted by the same neighbor (thank you!). SFD’s fire investigator has been sent to the scene. One person was home, according to SFD, and got out OK.
8:55 AM: SFD was just leaving when we went over for a look about an hour ago; they’ve now announced the fire’s cause, damage estimate, and that two pets did not survive:
Fire Investigators determined a basement fire in a 2-story home was caused by improperly discarded smoking materials under the porch of the house. The damage estimate is $50,000 to the building and $20,000 to the contents.
The 911 call came in at 5:46 a.m. reporting smoke coming from the back of a home located in the 4000 block of 23rd Avenue SW. When firefighter arrived they found the lone occupant of the house outside. The crews searched the house and did not find anyone else inside. It took fire crews 20 minutes to control the flames and 40 minutes to completely extinguish the fire.
There were no injuries. The occupant evacuated with one of his 2 dogs. His other dog and a cat did not survive the fire.
4 weeks to go until Pathfinder K-8‘s big annual auction fundraiser, and tickets are still available, as are donation opportunities. Here’s the update we were asked to share:
Calling all Pathfinder families and alumni! Pathfinder K-8 will be celebrating our 21th Annual Auction, “Starry Night,” on Saturday, March 21 (5:00 pm) at The Hall at Fauntleroy. All money raised will go directly to the unique programs at Pathfinder that support our expeditionary learning, like our Earth Project, tutoring, camping trips and environmental education. Pathfinder educates students to become passionate, lifelong learners, respecting themselves, others and the environment.
We have received several generous donations from West Seattle businesses and Pathfinder supporters. Our students and families are also creating original works of art and gift baskets for our auction. Donations are being accepted until March 2. It will definitely be an exciting evening of giving and community building.
Tickets are on sale at: http://pathfinderk8ptsa.org/auction/ which is also where you’ll find contact information if you would like to donate something.
5:41 PM: The hilly stretch of SW Andover east of Delridge is closed right now because of a crash – for a while only half the road was blocked, but fluid from the crash has apparently caused vehicles to slide on the other side, so police have closed the entire hill. No word yet on how long cleanup will take; no major injuries reported from the crash.
8:07 PM UPDATE: Just went by – the hill is clear and open.
The photo is courtesy of Pigeon Point’s Pete Spalding, who explains:
One of the issues the Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council has been looking for ways to address has been the ongoing issue of folks letting their dogs run loose at the fields at Pathfinder School. One of the ideas discussed at our last meeting was putting up a sign. Here is the sign.
West Seattle’s official off-leash area is at Westcrest Park (map and info here).
(Photo by Holli Margell)
Glass art as a holiday gift? That’s one way to support the playground project that Pathfinder K-8 has embarked on. Organizers explain: “Having been awarded significant grants from both the City and County, we are working to raise $50,000 in cash from our school families and broader community. We have a lovely donor recognition program that will be a lasting symbol and legacy of your gift to our community. Please see the giving levels” here. Hint – the glass tiles are part of it; you can fund one (or more) with an inscription to forever be part of the new playground; see the design here.
Another back-to-school event announcement to share:
The Pathfinder Back-to-School BBQ is August 28 from 5-7 pm. The PTSA invites the Pathfinder K-8 school community and Pigeon Point neighbors to celebrate the new playground paint and kick-off our 2014-2015 school year. Food and drink provided. Details about this and other events can be found at our new PTSA website. pathfinderk8ptsa.org
P.S. Thanks to ALL the parents, PTA leaders, volunteers, staffers (and sometimes students) who share announcements/news here so we can help get the word out too – here’s how