Puget Ridge – West Seattle Blog… http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Thu, 22 Feb 2018 11:34:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Puget Ridge raid subject charged, back in jail http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/crime-watch-followup-puget-ridge-raid-subject-charged-back-in-jail/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/crime-watch-followup-puget-ridge-raid-subject-charged-back-in-jail/#comments Sat, 17 Feb 2018 00:35:18 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=909189

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.

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WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Puget Ridge raid nets drugs, guns http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/west-seattle-crime-watch-puget-ridge-raid-nets-drugs-guns/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/west-seattle-crime-watch-puget-ridge-raid-nets-drugs-guns/#comments Mon, 12 Feb 2018 21:06:01 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=908746

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.

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WEST SEATTLE SCENE: Sweet art at South Seattle College http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/west-seattle-scene-sweet-art-at-south-seattle-college/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/west-seattle-scene-sweet-art-at-south-seattle-college/#comments Sat, 20 Jan 2018 02:31:48 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=906685

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.

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UPDATE: About the police response on Puget Ridge http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/about-the-police-response-on-puget-ridge/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/about-the-police-response-on-puget-ridge/#comments Wed, 17 Jan 2018 20:54:45 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=906520

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.

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CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Recognize the suspected getaway car in Puget Ridge home invasion? http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/crime-watch-followup-recognize-the-suspected-getaway-car-in-puget-ridge-home-invasion/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/crime-watch-followup-recognize-the-suspected-getaway-car-in-puget-ridge-home-invasion/#comments Fri, 05 Jan 2018 19:04:24 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=905562

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.

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WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Home-invasion robbery on Puget Ridge http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/west-seattle-crime-watch-home-invasion-robbery-on-puget-ridge/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/west-seattle-crime-watch-home-invasion-robbery-on-puget-ridge/#comments Thu, 04 Jan 2018 20:47:46 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=905477 (WSB photo)

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.”

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FOLLOWUP: 2017 sidewalk projects you won’t see until 2018 http://westseattleblog.com/2017/12/followup-2017-sidewalk-projects-you-wont-see-until-2018/ http://westseattleblog.com/2017/12/followup-2017-sidewalk-projects-you-wont-see-until-2018/#comments Thu, 14 Dec 2017 19:53:43 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=903747 (City-provided map from March 2017)

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.

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VIDEO: 2 days, 2 West Seattle stops for Mayor Jenny Durkan , visiting South Seattle College to launch expanded free-college program http://westseattleblog.com/2017/11/2-days-2-west-seattle-stops-for-mayor-jenny-durkan-visiting-south-seattle-college-to-launch-expanded-free-college-program/ http://westseattleblog.com/2017/11/2-days-2-west-seattle-stops-for-mayor-jenny-durkan-visiting-south-seattle-college-to-launch-expanded-free-college-program/#comments Thu, 30 Nov 2017 00:14:13 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=902215

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.

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READER REPORT: Seen on Puget Ridge – dumped? Or free? http://westseattleblog.com/2017/11/reader-report-seen-on-puget-ridge-dumped-or-free/ Sat, 11 Nov 2017 22:39:12 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=900652

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 editor@westseattleblog.com – thank you!)

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NEW ON CAMPUS: Food trucks at South Seattle College starting next week http://westseattleblog.com/2017/11/new-on-campus-food-trucks-at-south-seattle-college-starting-next-week/ http://westseattleblog.com/2017/11/new-on-campus-food-trucks-at-south-seattle-college-starting-next-week/#comments Tue, 07 Nov 2017 23:08:37 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=900109 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 lori@wafoodtrucks.org.

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READER REPORT: Double hit-and-run on Puget Ridge http://westseattleblog.com/2017/10/reader-report-double-hit-and-run-on-puget-ridge/ http://westseattleblog.com/2017/10/reader-report-double-hit-and-run-on-puget-ridge/#comments Thu, 19 Oct 2017 08:40:02 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=898095

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 texter is near 22nd/21st SW, and explains:

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.

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Been to the Arboretum lately? New interpretive signs installed http://westseattleblog.com/2017/10/been-to-the-arboretum-lately-new-interpretive-signs-installed/ Sat, 14 Oct 2017 20:18:53 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=897594

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.

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WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: 1 in custody after police search http://westseattleblog.com/2017/09/west-seattle-crime-watch-1-in-custody-after-police-search-on-puget-ridge/ http://westseattleblog.com/2017/09/west-seattle-crime-watch-1-in-custody-after-police-search-on-puget-ridge/#comments Sun, 24 Sep 2017 02:26:45 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=895836 (Added: WSB photo)

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.

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WEST SEATTLE POWER OUTAGE: 300+ customers in Puget Ridge, North Delridge http://westseattleblog.com/2017/09/west-seattle-power-outage-customers-in-puget-ridge-north-delridge/ http://westseattleblog.com/2017/09/west-seattle-power-outage-customers-in-puget-ridge-north-delridge/#comments Sun, 17 Sep 2017 22:00:52 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=895265

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!

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A year of change ahead for South Seattle College and its interim president Peter Lortz http://westseattleblog.com/2017/09/a-year-of-change-ahead-for-south-seattle-college-and-its-interim-president-peter-lortz/ http://westseattleblog.com/2017/09/a-year-of-change-ahead-for-south-seattle-college-and-its-interim-president-peter-lortz/#comments Thu, 14 Sep 2017 06:56:03 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=894516 (SSC interim president Peter Lortz, photographed by WSB’s Patrick Sand)

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.”

Along the way, after more than a decade of teaching, he moved into administration as dean of math and science at North; his career then took him to South, where he’s been VP of instruction for more than three years, and now, 23 years after arriving in Seattle, he has succeeded retired SSC president Gary Oertli as interim president, to serve the entire year while the requisite nationwide search is conducted for the permanent appointee.

The new role already has changed his summer – most years he goes fishing in Colorado in the summer, but not this year.

Lortz appears to be having a great time anyway, still settling into the new office that currently has a view of the construction fence for the new building – now to be known as Cascade Hall – that’s being built, as well as browning grass.

And Lortz is excited about what’s new this year, as the fall quarter approaches – official starting date, Monday, September 25th.

When we met for this story, he said SSC had just received word of state approval for its revamped nursing program, and that’s exciting. “Nursing was one of the big projects I knew I’d have to take on,” including envisioning what a district-wide nursing program would look like for South and its sibling schools.

Now, the program approval is intersecting with completion of the new building. “I’m giddy to share that we’re going to have our first cohort of nursing students under this program, be on the second floor of the new building.”

Something else that’s big for him in this year of serving as president, Guided Pathways, the initiative that “will really change how we interface with students … from the instruction side, it creates clear … maps for the students, ‘here’s what you need to do to get into (a) program,’ instead of saying, here are 200 classes to choose from, here’s an adviser, and here’s what you need to do.”

Guided Pathways also is “more intentional about supports along the way … instead of asking, are students college-ready, we’re asking, are colleges student-ready?”

South Seattle College is a trailblazer with this – one of about 30 colleges in the American Association of Community Colleges. Guided Pathways improve efficiency as well as clarity, as they keep students from “getting lost in the maze.” Lortz explains that the average student “is taking 40 or so more credits than they need,” with some of those credits being redundant, “various classes (that) all counted for the same thing,” but nobody told them. And it’s not necessarily a “too much of a good thing” situation – in some cases, students taking more classes than are needed for their goals could lead them to run out of financial aid, for example. So it’s expected to improve completion rates – which South intends to double – as well as retention rates.

Lortz says it’s been “fascinating” not only to “rethink how the college works with the students,” but also “how parts of the college work with each other.” One college in the Southeast more than doubled completion rates via a Guided Pathways type of program – but it took more than 12 years, so this is no overnight transformation. South’s been on the path since 2014, he explains. And they’ll continue celebrating incremental improvement.

And now his career has changed, with a larger “scope and scale” than ever. “When I was a teacher, I used to say that I set the stage for the students to do well – as an administrator, I’m setting the stage for the deans and faculty to do well. And now I’m setting the stage for the college to help the students.”

He is optimistic that “I can make a big impact if I get this right.”

His studies in biology and ecology, Lortz says, “and how things interrelate, absolutely translates to helping me do my job.” Even the college itself is an organism, we suggest, and he agrees.

As is the larger community, and so how South Seattle College connects to West Seattle in general is something Lortz wants to improve. How much transformation is possible in his year, that’s hard to tell, but “it’s been on my mind.”

And the school itself already has so much to celebrate. He sees it as “a very balanced college, in terms of the mix of programs that it offers” – he rattles off a list including wine, horticulture, auto body just for starters – as well as the services it offers students. “It’s just amazing to me, the richness” of the school’s offerings.

Yet its future isn’t guaranteed because of one big question mark – the funding issue. “The community-college funding model is not sustainable,” Lortz declares. He says he’s well aware of the state’s overall funding struggle – and, he notes, “I have 15- and 11-year-old daughters, and I want (sustainable) K through 12 funding too.” But for the task immediately before him, leading a college that needs not only to survive but to thrive, “this funding model is taking its toll not only on the ability to fund programs, but to retain talent.” “We are attracting this incredible talent … (but) when I call and make the offer, (mentioning) the salaries, the conversation is over” – the budget situation means they can’t offer enough to seal the deal with that “incredible talent,” which he finds “sad.” There’s room to grow, but the college is “underfunded,” and those situations “seem counter to each other.”

The 13th-Year Promise program, which offers a free year of college to graduates from certain Seattle public high schools, is a bright spot. With partnership from the city, West Seattle High School will be added (participating schools already include Chief Sealth International High School) starting next year, and the program is expected to expand to South’s sibling schools, so they’re sharing their knowledge in developing the program.

On Thursday, Lortz will speak to the 150 13th Year students who have been going through orientation this week. And then next week, he has another speech to give – the presidential speech looking ahead to the new quarter. He will have 20 minutes to set the tone for the year ahead. As a longtime teacher, he notes, he has no problem speaking for long periods – if anything, figuring out how to fit it all into 20 minutes is the challenge.

But he’s looking forward to it, and to the opening of Cascade Hall later this fall – along with the nursing and allied health programs on the second floor, and their faculties on the third floor, the new building will include space for adult basic education and ESL on the first floor, programs that are prioritized at South, not afterthoughts as they are in some places.

The project also includes a big open space, “to create a more commons-type area, with (even more of a) college feel. … I think it’s really going to change the feel of the college.”

And that, it seems, is the theme, as he settles in to lead SSC through what’s likely to be a transformational year in more ways than one.

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