West Seattle, Washington
Stu Hennessey (above center, standing) and other community members pitched the plan to Seattle Parks 8+ years ago, and the city bought the site with levy money. We reported on the site’s history back in 2011.
Today, volunteers were planting lettuce today; other greens planted earlier in the year are coming in. You can get involved both with tending PREP and sharing in the harvest – monthly work parties are always the second Sunday this time of year, 4-6 pm, so the next one is Sunday, May 13th – bring tools and seeds if you have them!
Another idea for your weekend, if you’re not out of town for spring break – one of West Seattle’s newest parks could use some help this Sunday. From Stu Hennessey:
Get an early start on Earth Week by attending the Puget Ridge Edible Park garden party this Sunday from 4-6 pm. We will be ready to plant a few beds of lettuces and other greens. We also will need some muscle to erect a grape trellis and move a table.
Peas, parsnips, and radishes are already up and doing well. This year we have over 40 planting beds so come help us bring local and nutritious food to Puget Ridge.
The park is at 5265 18th SW and has been years in the making.
(UPDATED APRIL 10 with Dr. Brown’s withdrawal)
After an extensive nationwide search, South Seattle College has named four finalists for the position of president. Students, faculty, staff and community members are invited to attend public forums where candidates will share their background, qualifications and vision for the college, followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience.
The finalists and public forum schedule are as follows:
Monday, April 9, 2018 | 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. | South Seattle College Olympic Hall Auditorium (OLY 120)
Dr. Tod Treat, Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, Tacoma Community College
Wednesday, April 11 | 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. | South Seattle College Olympic Hall Auditorium (OLY 120)
Dr. Chemene Crawford, Vice President for Student Services and Enrollment Management, El Centro College
Friday, April 13 | 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. | South Seattle College Olympic Hall Auditorium (OLY 120)
Dr. Alanka Brown, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs/ Dean of Arts and Sciences, Frederick Community College
Monday, April 23 | 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. | South Seattle College Olympic Hall Auditorium (OLY 120)
Dr. Rosie Rimando-Chareunsap, Vice President for Student Services, South Seattle College
Immediately following each public forum, from 2:30 – 3:00 p.m., candidates will answer questions from current South Seattle College students. In addition to the forums, each candidate will participate in a full day of campus interviews with students, various campus representatives and Seattle Colleges District leadership.
Anyone interested in learning more about the candidates can visit the South Seattle College President Search webpage. Attendees will be able to provide feedback on the candidates at the website above and with paper forms provided at the forums. That feedback will help inform the Seattle Colleges Board of Trustees’ decision.
The presidency is open because Gary Oertli retired after last year; Peter Lortz has been serving as interim SSC president. The college’s main campus is in West Seattle, at 6000 16th SW on Puget Ridge.
ADDED APRIL 10TH: SSC says Dr. Brown has withdrawn her candidacy, so the April 13th event is canceled.
Which type of play equipment would you like to see at Puget Ridge Playground (6029 21st SW) when it’s renovated? The images above are from the a Seattle Parks survey that just opened – and you’ll also be able to talk about it at the newly announced community meeting, 5-6:30 pm Monday, April 16th. This is one of three local park playgrounds that’ll be overhauled in the months ahead.
That’s Chef Instructor Christopher Harris with the finishing touches on what’s actually a cake “for a very lucky four-year-old’s birthday party this weekend,” as SSC’s communications director Ty Swenson explains.
The real-life Komodo dragons are native to Indonesia and grow to about eight feet long.
P.S. The program does do work like this by commission – “generally ¼ to ½ what a retail cake artist would charge,” per SSC.
You might recall that photo, provided by police on Monday when they announced the Sunday arrest of a man at a house on Puget Ridge. As we noted in an update to the story, he was released from jail Monday night on personal recognizance. Now, he’s back in jail, and he’s been charged: One felony drug charge is filed against 28-year-old Gregory Lee Thompson. The charging papers say police found “evidence of drug-dealing activity” at Thompson’s house – baggies and scales, along with the 400+ pills and meth listed in the police report. And the documents say prosecutors believe the 19 guns that also were found – though they are not the subject of a specific charge at this point – “increase the risk that the defendant will commit an act of violence as part of his drug dealing activity.” A $20,000 arrest warrant was issued when the charge was filed, and that’s why Thompson is back in jail as of this afternoon, just before he was due in court for a trial-readiness hearing in another drug case. That hearing has been rescheduled for next Friday.
1:06 PM: The photo and report are just in via SPD Blotter:
Officers served a search warrant in West Seattle Sunday morning (and) found hundreds of pills and 19 guns.
Southwest Precinct Anti-Crime Team Officers converged on a home in the 7000 block of 18th Avenue SW Sunday at 10 a.m. and arrested a 28-year-old man as he attempted to flee through the back door of the house.
Officers searched the home and found 189 hydrocodone pills, 276 amphetamine pills, 3.5 grams of methamphetamine, 11 handguns, five rifles – one of which was modified with a bump stock – and three shotguns. Officers placed all of the weapons into evidence pending further investigation.
Officers booked the man into King County Jail for narcotics-related charges and will work with the prosecutor’s office on possible weapons charges.
8:40 PM: According to the jail register, the suspect was released this evening.
A sweet scene in the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) Pastry & Baking Arts Department this afternoon. The photo is from SSC’s Ty Swenson, who explained that Chef Instructor Christopher Harris and students were “working on a Chihuly-inspired sugar sculpture for a Chihuly Garden & Glass employee party at the Museum of Flight.” They were scheduled to finish by 5 pm and take it over in time for the party. The department is part of SSC’s renowned Culinary Arts program.
12:54 PM: Thanks for the tips about a sizable police response on Puget Ridge, along 18th SW near SW Juneau. Police tell us they are dealing with a person believed to be in crisis who is inside a residence. They’re hoping to make contact and get them out safely.
2:54 PM: We’ve confirmed with police what neighbors reported in comments – the person is out of the house and in custody, safely, no one hurt.
New information today about Thursday’s home-invasion robbery on Puget Ridge. An area resident has provided Seattle Police with images of what police say might be the getaway vehicle – likely a silver 4-door 1999 Buick, with one particularly distinctive feature: Lug-nut covers missing on both passenger-side wheels.
Otherwise, police say there’s not too much more than what we originally reported – it happened just before noon in the 5200 block of 18th SW, and they don’t know why this particular house was targeted. Four people forced their way into the house; at least two had handguns. They are described only as black, male, with dark hoodies covering most of their faces. They demanded cash, and were told the people in the house had none. One resident was “pistol-whipped outside the house” before the robbers broke in; they took “nothing of value,” SPD Det. Mark Jamieson told WSB this morning, and let barely two minutes after they arrived. Robbery detective St. John is investigating – call 206-386-4050; the incident number is 2018-004202.
ORIGINAL 12:47 PM REPORT: Police are in the 5200 block of 18th SW on Puget Ridge (south of Dawson), after a report of a home-invasion robbery. It’s still early in the investigation, but so far, they have been told that four armed men, described only as black, wearing black hoodies, and black masks, broke into the house. At least one person was home, a man who suffered a facial injury. The robbers are believed to have gotten away in a vehicle, though SPD tells us there are conflicting descriptions. We also don’t know yet what if anything they took. Robbery detectives are on their way to the scene; we’ll check back later for an update.
FRIDAY MORNING NOTE: The report was not available yesterday but we’re renewing our request this morning. The final classification of the call, meantime, was “strong-arm robbery.”
Back in March, we mentioned three West Seattle sidewalk projects were in the works for this year; the city-provided map above accompanied the announcement. With the year almost over, we found that two of them have slid to 2018: The city is currently seeking bids to build the sidewalk along 35th SW between SW 100th and SW 106th in Arbor Heights and a shorter stretch near Sanislo Elementary on Puget Ridge, plus a project outside West Seattle in the same solicitation. No word on the status of the third project, one block of SW 104th in Arbor Heights.
On Mayor Jenny Durkan‘s second day in office, she made her second visit to West Seattle, taking her first step toward fulfilling one of her campaign promises – two years of free community college for all Seattle high-school graduates. The program she calls Seattle Promise is set in motion by an executive order she signed at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), which for almost a decade has been home to a program called 13th Year Promise. That program offers a free year at SSC to graduates of certain Seattle public high schools – currently including Chief Sealth International High School, and starting next year, to also include West Seattle High School.
Durkan’s plan is for ultimately all Seattle graduates to be able to get two years of free community college. But the order she signed at SSC – read it here – first guarantees a second year for those in the 13th Year Promise program this year, and then sets up a process for figuring out how to pay for expansion, with a plan due by next March:
Identify how existing resources and funding sources, including federal, state or regional
funds, the Families and Education Levy and Seattle Preschool Program Levy renewal, the
Seattle Public school local levy renewal, and philanthropic resources, can be deployed to
maximize student access to the Promise Program.
To underscore the mention of the levies, two paragraphs later, the mayor’s order directs two departments to “immediately consider the Seattle Promise College Tuition Program for inclusion in the proposal for the renewal of the Families and Education Levy and the Seattle Preschool Levy in 2018.”
This afternoon’s announcement was held with a gathered backdrop of SSC students – who were hailed as the real “dignitaries” at the event – plus others including City Council President Bruce Harrell (who spoke), Councilmember Sally Bagshaw (who did not), SSC and Seattle Colleges leaders including the system’s chancellor, Dr. Shouan Pan.
Dr. Pan said this program will be a “gamechanger” for many. (Added) He was the first speaker; here’s our video of the full event:
We also saw former SSC president Gary Oertli, who was beaming, saying the 13th Year Promise program “was my baby” and expressing pride that it’s up for expansion. Speaking of expansion, the event was held in the foyer of newly opened Cascade Hall on the northwest side of the SSC campus. While classes are being held there now and some faculty members have moved into offices, its formal dedication is still a few months away. It’s headquarters to the SSC nursing program, and we got a quick peek this afternoon into classrooms such as this hospital simulation area:
SIDE NOTE: So far, no third-day-in-a-row plan for a mayoral visit tomorrow – she has announced a visit to Capitol Hill, where she’ll tour small businesses (as she did during a campaign visit to West Seattle a few months ago) before announcing the creation of a Small Business Advisory Council.
The photo is from Brigit, who wonders if these are stolen items:
There’s some items at the bottom of 16th and Orchard that I initially thought might be free, but looking again, they look to be in basically perfect condition so it made less sense as to why someone would dump them. There’s no “free” sign, either.
Attached is a photo: a blue and black umbrella stroller that looks to be brand new, crutches in perfect condition, and a small pet crate.
The Occam’s razor answer is that they’re likely free but I thought I’d email and check if any of the blog readers knew more.
If you know – please comment (or if you’d rather not, you can e-mail us at email@example.com – thank you!)
While South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) is known for its culinary program (among other things), there’s not much food on campus or nearby when lunchtime rolls around for its 1,000+ students and staff. So starting next week, a food truck will be on campus (near the Clock Tower) most weekdays. Lori Johnson of the Washington State Food Truck Association (WSFTA) explains that one of SSC’s sibling campuses, North Seattle College, started a food-truck program a month ago, and that caught the attention of SSC’s Administrative Services department. So they’ve been working with the WSFTA to bring food trucks to the Puget Ridge campus. Johnson says, “The new mobile dining program will begin November 13th, where vendors, who must be licensed to vend in the City of Seattle, can sign up for Mondays through Thursdays from 10 am to 1 pm.” The schedule is online and frequently updated. Interested food-truck proprietors can contact the WSFTA at 360-223-3801 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
More trouble on Puget Ridge – the photos and report were just texted to us, and flesh out a bit of scanner traffic we heard a short time ago:
My fence and bushes were just destroyed by a hit-and-run driver fleeing the scene of a prior hit-and-run at 16th and Dawson. They left behind their GMC bumper.
The guy hit the first car and was chased by the son-in-law of the car’s owner. They hit our property while fleeing the person who was chasing them. They were heading down the hill toward Delridge. Probably long gone over the bridge.
Or – they could have stayed on-peninsula. So be on the lookout for a GMC vehicle missing a bumper like that.
Something new to see at the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) Arboretum! The photos and announcement were sent by Arboretum volunteer Marie McKinsey:
Until last month, only a few aged markers identified the gardens and habitat of The Arboretum at South Seattle College. But with a generous grant from the West Seattle Garden Tour, five new interpretive signs are now installed.
The colorful new signage illustrates some of the Arboretum’s top features, with information on its history and decades of student-designed plantings. They mark the garden’s redwoods, the movement of the Arboretum’s wildlife, and the outstanding Coenosium Rock Garden, the Arboretum’s collection of rare and dwarf conifers.
David Olszyk, president of the American Conifer Society Western Region, said, “This is a beautiful melding of the obsessive collector and the artist. This place is truly a work of art.”
Terrie Shattuck, a former Arboretum intern and graduate of South’s Landscape Horticulture program, created graphics and text for the signage, which SeaReach Ltd of Oregon fabricated.
Members of the Arboretum’s advisory committee prepared the signage for installation by Brett Cureton. And the West Seattle Garden Tour’s gift made it all possible. The Arboretum at South is a public botanical garden destination, and people enjoy it all year — bringing the kids, walking the dog or just taking time out. Find the Arboretum at South Seattle College at the north edge of campus, 6000 16th Ave SW. It is open every day.
7:26 PM: Thanks for the tips about a big police response in Puget Ridge a little while ago – we have talked to police in the area and they tell us it started in Riverview, with an intruder reported in a house near 12th SW and SW Orchard, ending with a suspect being taken into custody at 16th SW and SW Dawson. Subsequent scanner traffic indicates that a vehicle apparently associated with the suspect, at the latter location, will be impounded.
7:34 PM: While the homeowner wasn’t home at the time of the break-in, their dog was, and police have made sure the dog is safe.
3 PM: From the Seattle City Light outage map, that’s the area where 302 customers (homes/businesses) are affected – plus a couple spots along West Marginal Way SW – by a power outage that started about 20 minutes ago. Thanks to Billy for the tip; we’ve heard from others that the power flickered in some other areas. No word yet on the cause; restoration is estimated around 9 pm but again, as in all outages, that’s just an estimate, could be sooner, could be later.
3:55 PM: SCL says “equipment failure” is the cause, and has moved the restoration estimate to 7:34 pm.
4:44 PM: Power restored. Thanks to Dee for the update, saying the electricity was back in time to see the Seahawks win!
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Tomorrow (Thursday), new South Seattle College interim president Peter Lortz will celebrate the 150 students who comprise the school’s tenth 13th-Year Promise class, the biggest-ever group to take advantage of a free “13th year” of education.
13 is a significant number for the school’s new leader for another reason, too.
That’s how old Lortz was when he realized what career he wanted to pursue.
The story emerged while we were talking with him in his new office – steps from his previous office as vice president of instruction – on campus a few days ago.
He was talking with his mom and declared that he wanted to teach college biology.
Exactly why, he doesn’t quite recall. But it wasn’t a big surprise. Both of his parents went to college; his mom was a teacher, his dad an engineer. “I knew what I wanted to do and my parents knew how” to help him get there.
His pathway was clear – and he has spent most of his subsequent years helping students find their own pathways.
At least – the first part of his pathway. While it wasn’t immediately clear that community colleges were where he would find his education calling, since Cincinnati wasn’t a hotbed of such schools, he started turning that way while in graduate school at Miami University (Ohio).
“I was talking to my adviser about master’s versus Ph.D.,” Lortz recalled, and the adviser asked what specifically he wanted to do. The answer was the same one he had at age 13: Teach college biology.
If he wanted to teach at a university, the adviser explained, he would need a doctorate, and he would likely spend a lot of time pursuing grants, doing research, “peek(ing) in the lab every so often.”
Is that what you want to do? asked the adviser.
“No,” Lortz recalled answering. “I want to teach biology.” With a master’s degree, he was told, you can teach at community college.
After some time in Utah and Colorado, he ended up back in Cincinnati, teaching anatomy and physiology at what was Cincinnati Tech College. He took an interest in the Pacific Northwest, sent out resumes, got one nibble that was “not a good fit,” so he just headed out to Seattle to take a chance. He got teaching work at North Seattle College right away, “and I was hooked.”
10:46 AM: Not a cloud in the sky this year as the 10th annual West Seattle Car Show cruises through its first hour on the north side of the South Seattle College campus (6000 16th SW). Reasons to visit:
-Cars of every color and size, spanning decades
-If you drive yours here, free leak and light checks – ask as you enter the campus
-Music – DJ with the classics right now, The Disco Cowboys performing live at 1 pm
–Double Up food-truck tent serving “vegetarian Trinidad street food,” next to the …
–Northwest Wine Academy, with award-winning beverages
–Seattle Chinese Garden, free admission for its open house starting at 11 am
-50/50 raffle – tickets at the info booth on the northeast side of the show (look for the bright blue canopy)
-Free raffle for a drone – get a “bingo card” and have the vendor booths check off the boxes for you
-Motorcycles on display too
-Applaud the winners at the awards ceremony (~2:30 pm, with the show wrapping by 3 pm)
The show is presented again this year by West Seattle Autoworks and Swedish Automotive (which, like SSC, are WSB sponsors – and we are one of the show’s co-sponsors). No admission charge – just come wander!
11:15 AM: Here’s a special group of cars at today’s show – Sunbeams!
And if you like pickles and jams, look for Broken Spoke Cannery from Beacon Hill, next to the orange VW camper. We asked what’s popular – it’s the hot dills:
Along with the raffle tickets at the info booth, also be sure to ask how to vote for your favorite show participant in the People’s Choice Award. Meantime, we just checked out what’s happening inside the Wine Academy building on the north side of the show grounds:
Wine, soda, coffee, snacks, and (not in our pic) an activity table for the kids. Back to the cars:
12:18 PM: Tours of the SSC Automotive Technology program – which car-show proceeds are supporting – are set for 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm. Meantime, the stream of spectators continues, gawking at classics like this one:
1:06 PM: Our portable hotspot is a little glitchy up here at the show, so we’ll add many more photos from HQ later, including the winners, now about an hour and a half away from being announced. And The Disco Cowboys are about to start playing!
Disco Cowboys mashup of Funkytown and Brick House @ West Seattle Car Show pic.twitter.com/5gmJTep8Mh
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) August 26, 2017
1:35 PM: And there they are, in our video clip above, with a mashup of “Funkytown” and “Brick House.” If you’re more an Abba fan, part of their “Waterloo” cover is on our Instagram feed.
2:35 PM: They’re getting ready to hand out the awards – depending on how things go, we’ll either add the list and photos here, or publish a separate story (and we’d link to it here).
8:27 PM: We don’t have a simple list matching trophies to cars, so adding to this will take some time. But first – this 1960 Chrysler Imperial was a double winner – including the “people’s choice” trophy honoring the car show’s late founder Michael Hoffman:
This Nissan Figaro won “best Asian car”:
This 1973 F-100 won “best truck”:
Still adding more winning vehicles. And here’s a group shot of the winners after the trophy ceremony:
This was the biggest show yet since the move to SSC, where, it was announced, next year’s show is already set for Saturday, August 25, 2018.
With a VERY big weekend ahead, we’re planning previews throughout the day today, starting with one more reminder about the 10th annual West Seattle Car Show, presented by West Seattle Autoworks and Swedish Automotive (WSB sponsors)! 10 am-3 pm tomorrow (Saturday, August 26th).
If you have a vehicle to show off – you can enter same-day – find the form (and fee info) here – load-in starts at 8 am on the north side of the Puget Ridge campus of South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor). Show proceeds support SSC’s Automotive Technology program.
If you’re planning on being a spectator, entry is free, and the show is more than just a chance to look at cars – there’s music – the Disco Cowboys, live! as well as a DJ – kids activities, vendors, the Double Up food truck (Caribbean cuisine), other adjacent attractions including SSC’s acclaimed Northwest Wine Academy and the Seattle Chinese Garden (which is having an 11 am-4 pm open house), and a chance to get your own car checked out for oil leaks and bulb safety (just mention it to the parking volunteers when you arrive).
We’re proud to be a co-sponsor again this year and look forward to seeing you there!
(WSB file photo)
Just announced by South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), a change at the top. Here’s the news release we just received:
After a 45-year career in higher education and nearly a decade at South Seattle College, President Gary Oertli will retire on August 31, 2017. South’s current Vice President of Instruction Peter Lortz has been appointed interim president, starting Sept. 1.
“My nearly ten years at South Seattle College has truly been the highlight of my career,” President Oertli said. “This college has such a strong culture focused on student success and a commitment to creating an environment that honors equity, inclusion and multiculturalism. That culture exists because of our dedicated faculty and staff, and amazing students.”
Oertli became president of South Seattle College in August of 2010, and had served as interim president prior to his permanent appointment. As South’s leader, Oertli encourages staff and faculty members to ask, “What is best for our students?” as the most important factor in any challenging decision. He also advocates for great customer service and creating a family atmosphere at the college, where students know they are supported, appreciated and can ask anyone for help.
During his tenure, the college was recognized for having the largest increase in full-time diverse faculty in the state, saw students recognized nationally for their achievements, and became a U.S. community college leader in implementing a “guided pathways” model for increasing student success. He also worked closely with the South Seattle College Foundation, and through their partnership the 13th Year Promise Scholarship program (providing one year of tuition-free college to high school graduates in surrounding communities) expanded from one high school to four and gave hundreds of students the opportunity to attend college.
“One of my greatest hopes is to see the 13th Year Promise Scholarship expand to all high schools in the Seattle Public Schools system,” Oertli said. “We are striving to create a college-going culture where every first grader in our city will raise their hand with confidence when asked, ‘Who here is going to college?’ ”
A West Seattle native, Oertli is a graduate of Chief Sealth High School who went on to earn his Master of Education degree at the University of Washington, where he later served as Alumni Association president. His higher education career began at Edmonds Community College, where he worked his way up from part-time instructor to interim president. He then became president and CEO of Shoreline Community College before transitioning to the Seattle Colleges District, where he held leadership positions at Seattle Central, North Seattle and South Seattle College.
Peter Lortz, who will serve as interim president from Sept. 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, was appointed by Seattle Colleges Chancellor Shouan Pan. Lortz has served as vice president of instruction at South since January of 2015. Prior to that, he served as interim vice president of instruction, dean of the Math and Sciences Division and as a full- and part-time faculty member at North Seattle College. He obtained a Master of Science degree in Zoology and a Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences. Additionally, he is a graduate of the Washington Executive Leadership Academy and Powers of Leadership Retreat Series.
“I am extremely honored and excited to be taking on this role,” Lortz said. “I am particularly honored to follow in the great path that Gary Oertli has laid before South Seattle College.”
A national search will be conducted in the upcoming academic year to select South Seattle College’s next president.
The fall semester at SSC starts on September 25th.