West Seattle, Washington
1 lap down, 65 to go for Lou, who is a retired, beloved PE teacher here. pic.twitter.com/bS8QGQpQKa
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) June 2, 2017
9:40 AM: That’s Lou Cutler finishing his first lap a short time ago at Pathfinder K-8, where the retired PE teacher celebrates his birthday every year by running one lap for each year of his age, as a fundraiser for Make-A-Wish.
This morning, speaking to students and others just before starting his 66-lap day, Lou declared it “the greatest day of the year”:
We’ll be checking back at Pathfinder (1901 SW Genesee if you want to stop by and join in – and here’s his donation-drive link).
12:51 PM: We’re back at Pathfinder. After a little more than three hours, Lou’s finishing Lap 53 of 66.
Students filter in and out throughout the day – while Lou and teacher Andy were close to alone on the field, we’re told a couple of Pathfinder grades are about to rejoin them. The laps so far total 9 miles, we’re told.
1:42 PM: Minutes ago, Lou finished the 66th lap:
Lou did it again! Lap 66 just completed pic.twitter.com/NmbvQJAmdM
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) June 2, 2017
Loud cheers and chants of LOU! LOU! LOU! echoed around the field. And then, the victory photo:
Lou’s been a “wish-granting” volunteer for MAW for more than 20 years, even longer than he’s been doing this run. His actual birthday is later this month, so he’s still only 65, and as he started the second-to-last lap, with that number, he hollered, “A great year to be alive!”
P.S. And yes, he says he plans to do it again next year.
(WSB file photo)
Showers or shine, this year’s edition of Laps with Lou is on for Friday! That’s the latest from retired Pathfinder K-8 PE teacher Lou Cutler, who will return to the Pathfinder field on Pigeon Point this Friday for his annual Make-A-Wish fundraising run. It’s linked to his birthday, so every year he runs one lap for every year he’s celebrating, and this year that’ll be 66 laps! Students and staff join Lou throughout the day, and you’re invited to come to Pathfinder to be part of it too. He plans to get started at 8:45 am this Friday (June 2nd). He’s been doing this for 18 years, and pledges have raised more than $66,000 to grant wishes for local children with life-threatening medical conditions. Lou himself has not only been raising money for Make-A-Wish but has also been a volunteer wish-granter for 21 years. Whether or not you can be at Pathfinder (1901 SW Genesee) Friday to cheer him on and/or run a lap yourself, you can donate to Make-A-Wish in his honor by going here.
11:43 AM: An out-of-place car led to a decision to have Pathfinder K-8 on Pigeon Point “shelter in place” today. Here’s the letter just sent to families by principal David Dockendorf:
I want to share with you an incident at Pathfinder K-8 this morning that prompted me to call a Shelter In Place as a precautionary measure for safety of our students and staff. Overnight, a car was driven on the pathway between our playground and 21st and runs through the greenbelt. I called 911 and the District Safety and Security team to inform them that the car ended up deeply buried in the mud and that there was a man sitting in the driver’s seat. When I went to investigate the situation, I talked to the man for a few minutes and his behavior appeared to be somewhat erratic and disjointed. I notified him that 911 had been called.
After conferring with the Safety and Security department, we made the decision to go into Shelter in Place out of an abundance of caution. During a Shelter in Place, we lock all doors, we keep all students inside the building/classrooms. Teaching and learning continues; students may use the bathroom, and middle school students can switch classes as normal. Within the classrooms we ask that teachers close the window blinds and lock their classroom doors. Lights remain on and teaching continues as usual.
I have communicated with all teachers regarding the incident and have asked them to speak with their students.
The police have been dispatched to the incident and are expected to arrive shortly.
I am proud of how calmly teachers and staff have talked with our students to help make them feel safe and secure and that when incidents arise like this; the safety and security of our students is a top priority and we have a plan and protocol we follow closely. I anticipate calling the Shelter in Place off once the police arrive and ensure the area is safe.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
1:50 PM: The “shelter in place” ended at 12:20 pm – our apologies for not adding this update sooner; the school sent a second update to families (and to us) at that time.
5:59 PM: Thanks for the tips: Power is out in parts of northeast West Seattle, and apparently it’s not all shown on the outage map, which now shows 15 customers out in Pigeon Point/North Delridge – at and near Delridge/Andover – but we’ve also heard from Victoria in Riverside, who says “we are out down here too,” on 16th and 17th SW. This is likely related to a crash in the 4500 block of West Marginal Way SW that another texter says involved a vehicle hitting a utility/light pole – we’re checking on that. If you’re also out of power but NOT on the City Light map, please let us know in comments (after you’ve called SCL to let them know your outage is not showing – 206-684-3000).
6:04 PM: Now the map is updated to 356 homes/businesses out of power. Adding a screengrab.
6:51 PM: Just back from the crash scene, which is on the east side of West Marginal Way SW – affecting the northbound lanes – just north of the Duwamish Longhouse. The pole was snapped in two and dangling; the vehicle that hit it was about to be towed. Adding photo. Meanwhile, some have the power back – the count is down to 288 on the SCL map. One crew was at the scene and reported to be calling for more help.
7:39 PM: As reminded by commenters, this is affecting some traffic signals too – if you arrive at one that’s not working, that makes it an all-way stop – do NOT go through without stopping.
9:23 PM: The SCL map has now recalibrated the restoration guesstimate to “pending,” which seems in line with what commenter Amy found out.
11:56 PM: The outage is now in its seventh hour, with the current potential restoration time estimated around (corrected) 4 am. (Let us know if you’re back sooner!)
1:52 AM: And after about eight hours, the outage is over.
That photo was tweeted at us earlier this evening by Peter, who says he spotted the deer on Pigeon Point. Though we have published many wildlife sightings over the years, none of them involved deer, aside from this WSB Forums post from someone wondering earlier this year if there were any around. They are not uncommon around Western Washington overall, though, according to this state Department of Fish and Wildlife one-sheet.
Thanks to Travis for the photo and the report from tonight’s biggest event on Pigeon Point, a yearly tradition: “This is just a handful of the over 50 pumpkins carved at the annual Pathfinder K-8 Pumpkin Carving Night. Special thanks to our principal David Dockendorf and to the school for giving such a great forum to get together and for being wonderful people.”
(What’s next as Halloween approaches? Check out our guide – where Friday fun starts with all West Seattle kids 5 and under invited to trick-or-treat at Holy Rosary!)
Traffic and crime/safety issues are in our toplines from last night’s Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council meeting:
TRAFFIC: SDOT‘s Jim Curtin was the guest, to talk about and listen to a variety of neighborhood issues. Among them: Overgrowth on 21st and 22nd SW that makes it difficult for drivers to see when making a left turn. The blackberries are close enough to scratch your car sometimes. One attendee said part of the overgrowth is on private property, in which case, they were told, the Department of Construction and Inspections would have to be involved. Curtin talked about some work ahead on Delridge that should be done soon if the weather cooperates, the painting of a “fog line”/”edge line” to define the travel lanes north of Orchard, as first described in this WSB report from last January.
(WSB photo from January, looking north on Delridge near Myrtle – existing ‘fog line’ is toward the left)
Lanes that in some places are up to 20 feet wide will be restriped to 11 feet.
Bus and dropoff traffic at Pathfinder K-8 was a topic too. Principal David Dockendorf said his school is starting new safety patrols to help with crossing and traffic, especially where the buses load and unload. One attendee said buses were using a route that they supposedly weren’t allowed to; they were directed to contact Seattle Public Schools‘ transportation department.
Any way to have Pigeon Point solid-waste pickup scheduled to happen outside school-dropoff hours, to reduce traffic conflicts? asked one person. Curtin said he would look into that.
CRIME/SAFETY: From the Seattle Police Southwest Precinct, commander Capt. Pierre Davis, Operations Lt. Ron Smith, and researcher Jennifer Burbridge were all in attendance. She circulated the newest micro-policing plan for Pigeon Point and announced the upcoming citywide Public Safety Survey (which will be available online starting Saturday). Responses will be crucial, said Capt. Davis, to augment planning for neighborhoods’ safety needs, besides what 911-call data reveals. He also urged people to call 911 when something’s happening, and said they still believe crime is under-reported. And he announced that five new officers have just been assigned to the precinct.
Attendees brought up concerns about camping in the West Duwamish Greenbelt. Lt. Smith said Community Police Team Officer Todd Wiebke continues to be the point person for homelessness-related issues (he’s reachable at email@example.com).
One more note: The SW Precinct (2300 SW Webster) will again be a dropoff spot for Drug Takeback Day, 10 am-2 pm on Saturday, October 22nd.
Just in case anyone on Pigeon Point hasn’t already heard … your neighborhood council meets tomorrow (Monday) night – 7 pm in the library at Pathfinder K-8 – and is hoping you’ll be there. Pete Spalding shared the agenda overview, featuring guests you’ll probably have questions for:
We will begin with the principal of Pathfinder giving us a beginning of the school year update and an opportunity for neighbors to ask questions.
Then we will be joined by Jim Curtin from SDOT. Jim will give us an update on local transportation projects that will impact us in the next few months. Neighbors will have a chance to ask Jim questions about neighborhood transportation issues.
And then we will have Pierre Davis and Jennifer Burbridge with SPD join us to give us an update on our neighborhood policing plan.
Pathfinder is at 1901 SW Genesee.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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!