“This is not your grandfather’s amateur radio service,” points out the West Seattle Amateur Radio Club, inviting you to stop by Field Day on the south side of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus any time before 10 am tomorrow. What’s Field Day, you ask?
Every June hams across the country take their radios outside and run them free of the electric grid. Joining with members of the Auxillary Communications Service (amateurs who work with Seattle Department of Emergency Management) and the Puget Sound Repeater Group, West Seattle Amateur Radio Club members will operate radios and communicate with other hams around the world from West Seattle. We operate using power we generate including solar panels and batteries. We build our stations in the 24 hours prior to the event
Yes, you’ll see that big antenna in our top photo – with which they’ve even been talking to the International Space Station – but then there’s smaller equipment:
(The water bottles, we were told, are just for counterbalance.) The club explains further:
As a group, some of us just built our own software defined radios. The only analog part of these radios is the antenna connection. We are deploying a wide area microwave network and in doing so are learning mesh networking and how to offer services across our homebrewed internet. Knowlege like that will make hooking your printer up a snap next time. We routinely use digital modes that allow effective communication using 1/1000th the power needed just a decade ago. While some of us still employ large antenna arrays for worldwide communication, it is now possible to work the world with a very modest station.
We peeked in the main tent, and found Jeff:
Anyone you find will be happy to talk with you (as well as with whomever they’re transmitting to and receiving from). Outside, talking to Curt, we were reminded that amateur-radio operators are deeply involved in emergency preparedness – and in other tasks that need close communications coordination – even on the sidelines at the West Seattle Grand Parade (watch for them July 19th).
On West Seattle’s Puget Ridge, this house demolition happening now is big news – it’s the long-awaited removal of the house on the future site of Puget Ridge Edible Park (18th/Brandon). Thanks to Stu Hennessey for the photo and word that demolition has begun. PREP has been in the works for years – here’s our March 2011 report about volunteers working on the plan after the city agreed to buy the 3/4-acre site with Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund money. As noted on the project page, the vision for PREP is “to create an urban community farm which is a neighborhood meeting place, a community food garden and a test site for environmentally conscientious sustainability.” We’ll be following up on where the park-development plan goes from here, now that the site’s being cleared.
Big event under way all weekend at South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) – the annual Communications Academy for volunteer emergency communicators, though, as evidenced by what we spotted outside, you’ll find lots of professionals there too. They include today’s keynoter Bill Schrier, the West Seattleite who is the former Seattle city IT boss and now works in the state’s CIO office – he tweeted from the event:
— Bill Schrier (@billschrier) March 22, 2014
Community college isn’t just for 2-year degrees any more, so a new name is in the works for West Seattle-headquartered South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) – it will become South Seattle College. That’s part of a district-wide change, as this announcement explains:
At its meeting March 13, 2014, the Seattle Community Colleges District Board of Trustees voted unanimously to change the name of the District to Seattle Colleges and to change the names of the colleges to North Seattle College, Seattle Central College, and South Seattle College.
The decision came after a year-long exploration of national and statewide trends; opinion surveys of students, employees and community partners; and consultation with business and civic leaders and representatives from Seattle Public Schools.
All three of the District’s colleges offer bachelor’s degrees now.
The 4800 block of 21st SW on Puget Ridge (map) is open again now that Seattle Fire units have cleared that crash scene. The driver of the car that hit the tree (which is atop a sloping stretch of West Duwamish Greenbelt open-space) was taken to Harborview Medical Center; her injuries were not major, according to emergency-radio information. A tow truck just arrived as we were leaving the scene, so the car will be gone soon too.
9 PM: In the kitchen before tonight’s “Gifts from the Earth” gala at South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor), that’s SSCC alum Bruce Cougan from Harry’s Chicken Joint (also a WSB sponsor) at right, with cook Joe. (They were, of course, frying chicken.) Bruce is one of six SSCC alums on the roster of 15 chefs cooking for the fundraising celebration of SSCC’s award-winning culinary, wine, and hospitality programs.
Once again this year, tickets for “Gifts from the Earth” were sold out well in advance of the event. In addition to the food and wine, and a silent auction, a live auction was planned, including a new “Fund a Dream” feature during which guests were scheduled to hear from student Candis Outson, second from right in our next photo:
She was planning to explain how her scholarship at SSCC helped put her on the path to make dreams come true – as encouragement to guests to pledge to the fund that will help make more scholarships available. She also is one of the SSCC students on the cooking team tonight, and is shown in our photo with Brandon LaVielle (left) and Evan Garrard (right) from Emerald Cove Catering, and Shannon Higgins (second from left). The gala is still under way as we publish this; we’ll update later when we hear how much was raised.
10:32 PM UPDATE: SSCC has just announced that Gifts from the Earth raised a record $210,000. More than a quarter of that, $58,000, came from the “Fund a Dream” pledges, the school says.
For the first time ever, South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) is sending a team to the national Aerospace Maintenance Competition,coming up in Las Vegas this March. The team’s members are all women, points out CrystalRose Hudelson, who thinks it’s particularly exciting as interest in STEM studies and professions grows among women and girls:
Hudelson spoke with us at the team’s first meeting on Thursday. She is vice president and founder of the SSCC chapter of the Association for Women in Aviation Maintenance; her teammates are Jennifer Lesher, Melissa Wang, Sarah McKenna, and Agnes Choung, and their coach is SSCC instructor Mary Hadley – Hudelson says they’re all donating their time and energy to make this happen. The school’s two-year Aviation Maintenance Technology program has more than a half-century of history – read about it here – and it’s hoped this will attract more female students, who currently comprise four percent of the project’s 200+ enrollment.
The Vegas competition, by the way, isn’t just for students – it includes professional categories too, and features 16 scheduled events, each allotting up to 20 minutes for completion. We’ll check back with the SSCC team as the competition draws closer!
**SERIES LOCATION/TITLE HAVE CHANGED – SEE UPDATED STORY**
We’ve mentioned this in side notes in book-related stories in recent days, but finally have a chance now to share the full announcement! The Southwest Seattle Historical Society, South Seattle Community College‘s Northwest Wine Academy, and Barnes & Noble/Westwood Village are co-sponsoring a series of events with local authors and award-winning wines. For those who like to plan ahead, the entire 9-month schedule is out. The series, “Words, Wine, and West Seattle,” is planned for the first Friday of each of the next nine months, October 4th through June 6th, 4-6 pm at the NWA on the north side of the SSCC campus, admission free (donations accepted for SWSHS and/or NWA).
See the full lineup on the SWSHS website – or in the scrollable flyer below:
NWA is on the north side of the SSCC campus, 6000 16th SW.
South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) might be one of the few schools in the country that can toast its own successes and milestones with its own wine. SSCC’s award-winning Northwest Wine Academy was the setting for Thursday afternoon’s “Salute to South” community reception, looking ahead to the start of the new school year on Monday. As usual, president Gary Oertli was there to oversee the party, at right in our photo below with professor Mike Hickey:
Oertli spoke about the renovation of the building that’s now home to the wine academy:
He mentioned many school and community leaders in attendance; among those we saw was Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals, at center below:
He was there circulating news of the “Words, Wine, and West Seattle” author-readings series that will bring local writers to SSCC every month for the year ahead, 4-6 pm on first Fridays, starting with Stephanie Guerra on October 4th – you guessed it, at the Wine Academy HQ on the north side of campus.
A year in the making, the Village Cooperative School is a Kindergarten through 2nd grade multi-age school based on a cooperative-school model where students, parents and teachers, learn, explore, work, and grow together.
Affiliated with the South Seattle Community College Cooperative Preschool Program, the school is housed on the SSCC campus. Class is held Monday-Thursday from 11:30 am-3:30 pm. Tuesday classes are led by the Vashon Wilderness Program and will rotate throughout parks in Seattle.
In addition to a small, intimate classroom setting and a parent education component, the Village Cooperative School offers:
· Project and play based learning that is emergent, experiential, student led and teacher supported.
· The integration of art, music, language arts, science, math and social studies through applies learning.
· Individual and group learning with an emphasis on community building, cooperation, mutual respect, problem-solving and conflict resolution.
A few spaces remain in this year’s class; questions are welcome at email@example.com.
Continuing to spotlight some of what’s ahead, while also tracking what’s happening today – The Seattle Chinese Garden on Puget Ridge wants to make sure you know about its Kite Festival tomorrow (Saturday, August 10), 2-6 pm:
Come fly a kite at the Garden’s ridge-top site! Bring your own or buy one at the festival for a fun afternoon with family or friends. Activities for all ages include kite flying demonstrations, competitions, and kite painting. Put your own creative stamp on one you paint yourself — materials provided.
The festival also includes music and dance performances and a demonstration of eagle painting by artist George Yiqiao of Luoyang, China. Everyone will find something to enjoy at the festival, including refreshments such as Chinese bakery treats and tea.
The garden is on the north side of the South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) campus at 6000 16th SW.
(Photo by Glenn Gauthier for SSCC)
South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) recognized its scholarship donors and recipients last night at the annual Friends of the College Dinner. SSCC says 125 of its 240 scholarship-receiving students were in attendance; the awards totaled more than $600,000. More information from SSCC communications director Kevin Maloney:
South also announced a new endowment scholarship that was established in memory of Stephen K. Rockwood. This award will be given to students from South’s renowned Culinary program in his honor.
South alumnus John Titus, President and CEO of Aero Controls Inc., was recognized with the 2012-2013 Outstanding Alumni Award:
Titus was honored for his generous support and donation of aviation equipment for classroom use and as a member of the Aviation Technical Advisory Committee. Additionally, Titus made a surprise announcement that he will establish an endowment scholarship for aviation students at South.
The evening was capped off by recognizing 19 members of South’s faculty with annual development grants for their outstanding work in the classroom.
ORIGINAL REPORT, 11:45 AM: Thanks to the WSB’er who just texted us (206-293-6302 any time) that picture of truck vs. car at/near the curve by 16th/Dawson (location and map updated). It’s causing traffic trouble for vehicles including at least one Metro bus, we’re told. No word of injuries so far (no fire/medic callout, either); we’re headed to the scene to find out more.
12:20 PM UPDATE: The bus has gotten through. But the scene isn’t clear yet and it may be a while. Added the photo above, by co-publisher Patrick Sand.
1:24 PM UPDATE: Route 125 is back to normal, Metro has texted.
(Photo by SSCC’s Glenn Gauthier)
Thanks to South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) for sharing that photo from today’s grand-opening celebration at the new Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) center, highlighted in our “West Seattle Tuesday” morning roundup. SSCC communications director Kevin Maloney explains, “The AANAPISI center staff provides culturally appropriate student services to support and assist students in achieving their educational goals and increase the mobility of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in higher education.” Joining in the ribboncutting were SSCC president Gary Oertli and college-system chancellor Dr. Jill Wakefield, who are on the left side of the photo with SSCC student Mathew Apelu, while at right is Kendee Yamaguchi, executive director of the Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs. The new center is on the second floor of the SSCC Library.
4:19 PM: Just got some information about a situation that led to a campus-wide alert at South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor). According to Seattle Police spokesperson Det. Jeff Kappel, police were investigating “a threat” – he wouldn’t get any more specific than that. No injuries, no arrest reported. Our tip came from a reader whose spouse reported a lockdown situation for a while at the school; we have been unable to reach anyone at SSCC for comment, but the reader says the “all-clear” was just given.
4:53 PM UPDATE: Added a photo of the two police cars that were outside the school when we went by. No further details on the threat, though a spokesperson at the community-college system’s central communications office says there’ll be a followup message for the campus tomorrow.
5:02 PM UPDATE: Just got a call back from vice president of student services Rosie Rimando, who says that this started with a report from a student, who said another student had made a “threat of gun violence on campus.” Rimando says, “Within minutes it was reported to security, and while SPD began an investigation, we went into shelter-in-place, basically a lockdown, across campus.” She says that was a preliminary precautionary measure until they “confirmed that the student in question [who allegedly made the threat] was not on campus and not in the area at all.” That student, she says, has since been contacted and is “suspended from campus” while the investigation continues. A schoolwide team is also taking this, she says, as “an opportunity to brush up on our emergency-response plan,” but “we don’t feel like there is any danger” to the campus or surrounding community.
ADDED FRIDAY AFTERNOON, 1:30 PM: Associate vice president for college relations and advancement Elizabeth Pluhta e-mailed us the official statement on what transpired yesterday, including a note about a past incident brought up in the comment section:
Late Thursday afternoon a student reported a threat of gun violence on campus by another student. Campus Security and Seattle Police were immediately called, and Seattle Police began investigating on campus. The college also instituted “shelter in place” precautions, which included locking buildings and rooms, and notifying staff and students. Once Seattle Police confirmed that no threat was present on campus, the “all clear” was given. The student making the threat has been contacted and is suspended from campus pending a conduct investigation.
Using the phrase “lock down” in our message may have been stronger than necessary, but our first reaction was to be protective until more was known about the situation. And, had there been an active threat, there are other emergency communication tools that would have been used.
The college regularly conducts emergency preparedness training sessions and emergency drills. We will review our response to this situation in order to continue improving our safety and security on campus.
Regarding the pistol found in the backpack on campus in December, that student faced disciplinary action through the normal student conduct process. Student privacy laws prevent us from discussing the specific result.
We subsequently asked her about the alert that was sent out, since some said they didn’t receive it, but our original tip came from someone who said their spouse had seen “e-mail” about the lockdown:
In this situation we used a computer “pop-up” system that sends a message to all computer screens on campus, over-riding anything on the screen at that time. If there had been active danger, we would have added a voice message through our outdoor speaker system, and we also have a warning system that can send a voice message to all campus telephones, using the speakerphone feature. In addition, all college staff and students are encouraged to sign up for Campus Alerts, where we send a text or e-mail message to the phone or computer the subscriber lists. The Campus Alert sign-up is available on our website.
Three dozen fruit trees on trellises at the Community Orchard of West Seattle are in need of somebody special to plan their care and their future. Here’s the announcement from COWS:
The Community Orchard of West Seattle, located at the South Seattle Community College North Entrance (6000 16th Ave SW), is currently seeking an Intensive Fruit Trellis Volunteer Coordinator.
Did you know the 1/8-acre Community Orchard site contains 36 dwarf trellised fruit trees? These trees must be weighted and pruned in a very specific manner to stimulate fruit production. When done properly, the trellis can produce incredible apple yields in just 3 years time!
COWS is seeking someone to help plan the next steps for our intensive fruit-tree trellis and other fruit-bearing trees.
The perfect volunteer would be a landscape/horticulture student or experienced gardener with knowledge of fruit=tree care and maintenance.
This person will help to research high-intensive trellis care, and develop a plan for the long-term management of this important resource.
For more information about this volunteer position, please contact the Community Orchard @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Next Monday, the new school year starts at South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) on Puget Ridge. Today, they’re celebrating receiving the “military-friendly school” designation again:
South Seattle Community College has been designated by G.I. Jobs magazine as a “Military Friendly School” for 2012 – 2013, the third year in a row.
G.I. Jobs polled more than 7,000 schools across the country to compile its “2013 Guide to Military Friendly Schools.” Criteria for making the list included efforts to recruit and retain military and veteran students, results in recruiting military and veteran students, and academic accreditations. The recognition honors the country’s colleges and universities for their work in welcoming military veterans and enhancing their student experience.
The honor ranks South in the top 15 percent of all colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide that are doing the most to embrace those who have served their country.
South was noted a good choice because of the college’s experienced staff and personal commitment to ensure that each and every veteran that comes to South has all the means necessary to complete his or her academic goals.
Ta-da! You saw it in the shop at South Seattle Community College‘s Automotive Technology zone one week ago (WSB coverage here), and today, the Schumacher Racing hydroplane rolled out, showing off its new look. (Official name, so you can watch for it during Seafair in August: The #37 Miss Beacon Plumbing H1 Unlimited Hydroplane.) Video and more photos, coming up.
ADDED 9:54 PM: Scroll through our sequence of photos and video as the event unfolded, starting as one last component was carried over to be placed atop the hydro:
Today’s biggest Spring Clean event was in White Center, with hundreds of volunteers – many of whom gathered at the plaza in Greenbridge to celebrate afterward. We have more photos on our partner site White Center Now. Just a few miles north, in Highland Park, this was Spring Clean day too, with multiple locations – we photographed volunteer Craig at the SW Kenyon street end slope near 14th SW:
And north from there, on Puget Ridge, Tasha Mosher shares a photo, explaining, “Puget Ridge volunteers rocked the clean up today! Here is a picture from the clean up at the Myrtle Stairs. Ilah Mosher joined approximately 15 other volunteers to pick up garbage, clear storm drains, and prune back weeds and shrubs. Fun was had by all!”
Congratulations to everybody who joined forces today – and so many other days – to brighten up their neighborhoods.
Tomorrow you have at least three chances to get out and help clean up local neighborhoods! Spring Clean events are planned in Puget Ridge, Highland Park, and White Center. And we’ve just received a request to put out the call for volunteers on behalf of Puget Ridge – from Tasha Mosher:
Residents of Puget Ridge will be cleaning up the neighborhood as part of the City’s annual Spring Clean campaign tomorrow from 10 am to noon. Neighbors will meet at 5644 17th Ave SW to pick up supplies and form work teams at 9:30 am.
Other neighbors will be meeting at 10 am at Sanislo Elementary, including the team that will be cleaning and restoring the natural area at the school. There will also be a team cleaning the Myrtle steps as a combined effort with volunteers from the North Delridge Neighborhood Council.
If you can help tomorrow, just show up in one of those spots! As for the other two = White Center Spring Clean has ended registration for participants, but Highland Park is welcoming help, and you can get details here. Anybody else spring cleaning tomorrow?
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.
(Click image for larger view)
Tonight, another look at an old Puget Ridge farmhouse that apparently sparked a fair amount of curiosity and imagination last weekend, after we published a photo Mike Gerber took during the St. Patrick’s Day snow showers. He sent three more photos this weekend and explained:
A surprising number of people asked for some additional information on the old house in the photo you ran last Saturday. Here’s a better angle of it. As for it being the oldest orchard house in Seattle, there’s very little in the historical record about this particular section of West Seattle and so it’s difficult to date it.
The area was covered in enormous old growth forest prior to the 1870’s, and the very valuable and spectacular trees were cut and turned into a hodgepodge of small farms and orchards and over the next 20 years. The construction is consistent with that era and it would seem logical that the trees growing closest to Elliott Bay would be the first to go.
I also met a wonderful and very credible old guy a number of years ago who had lived next to the orchard at one time. He said the house had been built in the 1880s, but that it had been vacant since the Depression.
During the construction of our home we came across four piles of very old lumber that turned out to be the collapsed remnants of small shacks, probably where orchard workers once lived. Under one of them we found two perfectly persevered ‘skat’ playing cards that were made in Germany in the early 1900s, where many of the workers came from.
Skat is considered the national game there and is played everywhere.
It would be interesting to know if any other readers have anything to add to the history of this relatively little-known area.
The location is described in the comment section following last weekend’s story.
One more photo from this morning’s snow – Mike Gerber shares what he describes as “a photo of snow falling on the last remains of the oldest fruit orchard in Seattle. The building in the foreground is the original farmhouse, built in the 1880s, and stands as a reminder of the thousands of Eastern European immigrants that tended these vast orchards that once stretched from Pigeon Point all the way past Burien.
The site is on Puget Ridge, as described on a website Mike has for a house he’s selling nearby.
The Community Orchard of West Seattle continues to grow – in more ways than one – on the northeast side of the South Seattle Community College campus (6000 16th SW). And SSCC’s horticulture zone is where you’ll find the COWS seed sale till 3 pm today – with more than seeds:
Strawberry and chive plants were on sale too, just $1 each. Look for the canopy and the signs leading you into one of the Landscaping/Horticulture buildings, where you’ll find the sale, just north of the north parking lot. For a closer look at the orchard site itself, they’re offering Health and Harvest Tours every Tuesday afternoon, 2-4 pm.
By Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Using a concept that originated in China, where people would gather in park corners or on street corners to practice their English, the Seattle Chinese Garden on the north side of the South Seattle Community College campus is hosting a series of “corner” gatherings to teach Chinese language and culture.
The first one is tomorrow.
According to Julia Freimund, program director of the Seattle Chinese Garden, this series is a collaboration between the garden, Chinese Language Teachers of Washington, The Confucius Institute of Washington and Chief Sealth International High School. Instructors from each organization (Freimund, Chunman Gissing, Donna Tang, in photo at right, and Pollyanna Wang, who took the photo) have been creating a curriculum meant to teach Chinese culture and language in a fun, hands-on way.
(Photo by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
Thanks to everybody who e-mailed us about what turned out to be another case of a watchful neighbor tipping police to a burglary. It happened in the Puget Ridge area; police at the scene near 18th and Brandon told us they had five people in custody. Here’s how SPD says it unfolded: A neighbor called around quarter till noon to say two people who had arrived in a car were kicking in a door, then while police were on the way, the neighbor called back to say both suspects were in the house. Police got there and wound up taking five people into custody, all apparently headed to the precinct for questioning. Too soon to know if there’s any chance they are connected to other break-ins, but we’ll follow up.
ADDED 3:10 PM: A little more info from Lt. Pierre Davis at the Southwest Precinct, who declares this, “Our West Seattle community and police partnership at work again” – He says, “Our officers, upon getting the info via 911, was able to locate and make the stop of the suspect vehicle. Upon the stop of the vehicle, two of the suspects fled on foot but were later apprehended by investigating officers. The witness was able to ID the subjects and their vehicle.”
In case you wondered about the big police response in the Puget Ridge area this past hour (21st/Holly) … turned out to be something of a false alarm. What looked like someone with a gun turned out to be someone with a pellet gun/airsoft-type gun, roleplaying a bit too realistically, apparently – according to scanner traffic, it looked to at least one witness like a holdup in progress, and that report is what sent police rushing to the scene.
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