West Seattle, Washington
Back in January, we told you about West Seattleite John Bennett‘s purchase, with business partners, of neglected commercial spaces in the heart of South Park. Perhaps the crown jewel of those spaces was the 1920s-era South Park Hall, a large second-floor space including a stage, a kitchen, and lots of room. Bennett told us at the time that they hoped to keep it an event venue – and that’s exactly what transpired. We heard this week from the two other West Seattle entrepreneurs who have made that happen, Heidi Herr and Corina Luckenbach, who you might know from Admiral Bird – and now, as proprietors of South Park Hall. They are offering a $100/hour introductory rental rate through November; the space holds 175 people and has A/V capability as well as the aforementioned kitchen and small stage, plus a bar and renovated restrooms. Luckenbach says, “We are super proud of what we were able to do and to keep it looking as original as possible.” The newly renovated venue (1253 S. Cloverdale) has a website with lots of info at southparkhall.com.
Story and photos by Marika Lee
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
One parent said he didn’t learn of changes at his son’s school, Concord International Elementary, from the school or the district, but by asking his son what he did at school in Spanish that day. His son’s reply: “Nothing.”
That was just one of the experiences shared at Tuesday night’s community meeting in South Park to voice concerns about the changes to the Spanish/English dual-language program at Concord.
Another Concord parent, Paulina Lopez, said at the meeting organized by the Concord PTA, “I have always been very strong on bilingualism. That is why I chose Concord. It came to my surprise that there were changes. One reason was because I wasn’t aware of the changes when the year started.”
As reported here last Friday, with the changes, reading and writing are being taught primarily in English.
The rain stopped in time for the welcoming ceremony and performances at Duwamish Waterway Park (7900 10th Ave. S.) in South Park, where you have until 9 tonight to see the Seattle debut of Lelavision‘s kinetic/musical sculpture Interspecies Communication, also seen at Black Rock City (aka the annual “Burning Man” festival in Nevada – video here).
The performance continues at Duwamish Waterway Park, where other flight sounds have since interrupted (jets) pic.twitter.com/YfqMkfxLxz
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) September 30, 2017
The welcoming featured Duwamish Tribe chair Cecile Hansen
Then those gathered at the park saw Vashon-based Lelavision‘s duo ascend the sculpture, and then descend to continue the event.
Participatory “human murmuration” was to follow, and then what Leah Mann promised would be a big dance party. We’re not sure what’ll be happening if you head over when you see this, but the sculpture itself is a sight to see. According to the Kickstarter page with which money was raised for the project, Lelavision hopes it will eventually find a permanent public home.
P.S. Thanks to Tom, who tipped us off to this!
We took that photo in the parking lot on the southwest corner of 17th and Roxbury at midday today after tips about a big law-enforcement presence – primarily Seattle PD, though the lot is south of the city/county line. Police at the scene told us they were arresting at least one suspect for whom they had a warrant. Now, the details are in via SPD Blotter:
Seattle Police and King County Sheriff’s deputies arrested two men at a gang member’s funeral in White Center on Wednesday as part of an ongoing anti-violence emphasis effort in the Southwest Precinct.
Police and deputies were on hand at the funeral Wednesday following a shooting one night earlier outside a home on 12th Avenue and Donovan Street in South Park.
On Tuesday, associates of the deceased gang member had gathered at a home near 12th Avenue and Donovan Street for a viewing.
During the event, several attendees were targeted in a shooting outside the home, leaving a 20-year-old man with serious gunshot injuries.
In an effort to prevent any further violence, SPD officers and King County Sheriff’s Deputies maintained a presence outside the funeral in White Center on Wednesday. Following the services, officers recognized one man, who had a warrant for unlawful possession of a firearm and a department of corrections violation.
Deputies also arrested a second man, a convicted felon, who was found in possession of a pistol.
Detectives continue to investigate Tuesday’s shooting, and patrol officers are conducting emphasis patrols in the area.
9:50 PM: We’ve received a few questions about all the sirens audible to the east a short time ago (we heard them from here, too). Per scanner, a man has been shot in South Park (in the 1000 block of S. Donovan), which as you probably know, is part of the Southwest Precinct too, so many officers rushed to SP from West Seattle. We don’t know anything more about the circumstances or the victim – who’s being taken to Harborview – but police are looking for suspects, possibly in a black car.
ADDED WEDNESDAY MORNING: SPD reports that the 20-year-old victim is recovering, and has a few details in this post just published on SPD Blotter.
Photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand unless otherwise credited
The annual Fiestas Patrias parade in South Park celebrates not only Latin American cultures but their importance in the U.S., and that was more poignant and urgent than ever this year.
Underscoring the issue of justice, King County Superior Court Judge Veronica Alicea-Galván was this year’s Grand Marshal:
More than 60 entries, with hundreds of participants, paraded and performed down the route.
Horses and riders from Charros of Washington concluded the parade, and we have some video too:
Charros of WA at end of Fiestas Patrias parade in South Park pic.twitter.com/fhzcrxNXMO
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) September 16, 2017
Earlier in the parade, different kinds of horsepower were on display:
3:18 PM: As we continue previews for some of this weekend’s big events – here’s a quick reminder about the Fiestas Patrias parade and festival tomorrow in South Park. The parade starts at 11 am Saturday at Sea Mar Community Care Center (1040 S. Henderson) and ends at South Park Community Center (8319 8th Ave. S.) – route details are in our calendar listing. Fiestas Patrias “commemorates the independence of Latin American countries, many of which celebrate their national independence day in the month of September,” festival organizers explain. The festival is at the community center post-parade, with food, music, games, and performances until 6 pm. Everyone’s invited!
ADDED 3:53 PM: Thanks to Huy Hoang at Sea Mar for the list of parade participants – more than 60! – see it here.
Story by Tracy Record
Photos and video by Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers
Anger flared at times as a standing-room-only crowd filled the South Park Neighborhood Center last night to hear from, and talk with, city reps who declared themselves committed to community safety.
The meeting was requested by community members weary of dealing with issues from gunfire to garbage to squatters, and suggesting a “disconnect” between city words and community reality.
We recorded it all on video, which you can watch, unedited, below:
“I understand your issues well,” said Kathy Nyland, Department of Neighborhoods director – and Georgetown resident – opening and facilitating the meeting.
She thanked the crowd for its patience while the city got the meeting organized.
City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, whose district includes South Park, said its issues have been at the forefront since she took office but it’s clear “I need to do more. … It takes a lot of vigilance to address issues in this community and other communities that are difficult and complex.”
Never mind Mayweather vs. McGregor. Last night’s big local battles were in the ring at Duwamish Waterway Park in South Park, as Lucha Libre Volcánica‘s luchadores put on a show following the Duwamish River Festival.
Above, the purple-costumed luchador is The Joker, who lost to the crowd favorite Peligro.
Below, El Dragon Dorado took on Milky Burrado (in beige):
El Dragon was the victor. Bonus photo if you missed it in comments on our Saturday daily preview – this one posted by Steve shows just how high-flying lucha libre can be:
Lucha Libre Volcánica is not only a lucha-libre troupe, it also is home to the only school in Puget Sound for lucha libre. The luchadores perform in South Park at least once a year, with shows elsewhere throughout the year.
(WSB file photo – Alki Kayak Tours @ Duwamish River Festival)
Another big Saturday event we’re previewing – the 11th annual Duwamish River Festival! The Duwamish runs along much of West Seattle’s eastern border, and this annual event presented by the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition celebrates not only efforts to improve the waterway, but also the cultures of those who live along it. The festival is headquartered at Duwamish Waterway Park in South Park, with free boat and kayak tours of the river, free food and entertainment, community environmental and health resources, and more. It runs noon-6 pm on Saturday (August 26th) and will be followed by an annual favorite – masked Mexican-style wrestling with Lucha Libre Volcánica at 6 pm in the park.
(WSB file photo – Lucha Libre Volcánica @ Duwamish Waterway Park)
DRCC’s latest update says the festival’s entertainment lineup includes:
Amigos de Seattle, Guatemala
Madcap Pusher Band of Georgetown
Bopha Lokei Cambodian Dance
Meshika Dancers,Danza Kalpulli Tlaloktekuhtli
Angeles de Mexico
Thai Classical Music and Dance
Northside Drill and Step Team
Chaotic Noise Marching Band
And the Duwamish Tribe opening the day!
Duwamish Waterway Park is at 7900 10th Avenue S.
Less than three weeks until school starts. Here’s a way to help local students succeed this school year:
The Seattle Public Library is seeking Homework Help volunteers who have a passion for helping elementary, middle, and high school students learn and succeed in school.
Homework Help volunteers support students’ academic success by helping them develop literacy and mathematics skills, understand homework assignments, and prepare for college. Volunteers coach students in all academic subjects and may also specialize in college-prep subjects.
Most of the students are first-generation Americans who speak a language other than English at home. Volunteers will interact with children and teens in small groups and individually. A volunteer commitment throughout the school year is requested. Those volunteers who have variable job and/or school schedules can be scheduled as substitute Homework Helpers at least twice a month.
Eleven branches – including, in our area, High Point and South Park – will offer homework tutoring, reading support, and educational games September 11th through June 14th. South Park is particularly in need of bilingual volunteers who speak Spanish. Find out more about the program here; if you’re interested in an application packet, contact SPL volunteer-services coordinator Anne Vedella at firstname.lastname@example.org by August 25th.
(Map from agenda for January 18th City Council committee meeting)
When last the City Council was briefed on the status of the city’s two potential annexation areas, back in January, there was talk that the smaller one – the Duwamish Annexation Area in the South Park vicinity – might go to the area’s 87 voters this summer.
That didn’t happen. And now we’re learning that the proposed Duwamish Annexation is on hold because of a costly issue the city wants the county to address first. That’s according to new information procured by, and provided to WSB by, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s staff.
According to a memo to City Councilmembers from city staff, here’s what the mayor’s office wants to see happen before going any further:
With potential sewer-related costs in the range of $14–$50 million, the Executive has taken a position that the County must address and fund the installation of a sewer system prior to the City pursuing annexation.
According to another memo, this time from the longtime mayoral point person on annexation issues, Kenny Pittman, those issues are primarily in the “Sliver” section of the potential annexation area, where some have septic systems instead of sewer access. Pittman also wrote that King County was told of this two months ago and has not responded. (We’re following up with King County to ask about that.) But Pittman told the council that, independent of the sewer issue, the city was prepared to address public-safety needs in the “Sliver” with SFD responses and SPD patrols, as part of the departments’ work “in the overall South Park neighborhood.”
All this led Councilmember Herbold also to ask about the status of the much-larger proposed annexation of White Center and vicinity (the North Highline area on the map at the top of this story). Her staff was told that whether it moves forward at all will depend on “the position of the new administration” – whoever is elected mayor to succeed Ed Murray. We asked the 14 candidates who were at last Saturday’s Sustainable West Seattle forum at Summer Fest whether they supported annexation; the prevailing answer was, if the residents want to be annexed. That still would require sending a proposal to the area’s 8,600+ voters; the city memo lays out a possible timeline in which City Councilmembers could decide in August 2018 whether to take annexation to North Highline voters in November 2018.
Photos by Leda Costa for WSB
It’s our area’s only river, and it remains a heavily industrialized waterway. It’s also where the Duwamish Rowing Club is continuing to grow. Part of that growth – its second annual regatta this past Saturday.
That brought supporters and rowers to the shore at Duwamish Waterway Park in South Park and the river’s waters beyond.
While we were there, Ria Delora and Molly McDonald (above and below) rowed for DRC in a youth race against Lake Stevens. Read More
Last year the Duwamish Rowing Club made history with its first regatta on the Duwamish River, and this Saturday the club’s doing it again – the second annual Dieter Hotz Cup Regatta, 8 am-noon, from Duwamish Waterway Park [map] in South Park. Free community breakfast, too! We’re mentioning it today in case you hadn’t already seen it in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar. The Duwamish Rowing Club is the only rowing club in this area (SP, West Seattle, White Center, vicinity) and all are welcome to come watch as well as to find out more about the all-ages Learn to Row program that’s starting next month.
Six months ago, we covered a walking tour in South Park led by neighbor Jeff Hayes, showing ongoing trouble spots to a city delegation including Councilmember Lisa Herbold and representatives of various departments. It was illustrative not just for people in or interested in South Park, but anywhere in the city, West Seattle included, where there are trouble spots for which neighbors are trying to get city help. In Hayes’ neighborhood, some situations have improved – we reported in January about the new ownership for vacant commercial spaces – and some are still problems, like the one the city “abated” again today.
This house is next to Hayes, at 1037 South Cloverdale, and he says this is the third time in six months that crews have been sent in to clean up. Much of the work had been done before we got there this afternoon, but they were impounding a vehicle (top photo) and a pickup truck bed that had been turned into a trailer (photo above this paragraph) – Southwest Precinct Community Police Team Officer Todd Wiebke told us at the scene that it had stolen tabs. He also told us two more houses in the area have abatement set for later this week.
We asked one of the agencies involved in the cleanup today, the city Department of Construction and Inspections, for details, and spokesperson Wendy Shark replied, before the cleanup: “We have an abatement order to remove outdoor junk and other miscellaneous items from this property … The conservation corps will be assisting us with the clean-up, Bio-Clean will assist us with the removal of any hazardous waste on the property and SPD will be there as well.” The line item on the SDCI website traces back to a complaint originally made in January, one of many involving this address over the years. (The backstory of the house and its owner was told in this radio report last year.)
11:28 AM: Thanks for the tips – we heard from two people in Highland Park/Riverview before this big power outage even appeared on the Seattle City Light map. More than 2,000 customers (homes/businesses) are out.
11:37 AM: As the map shows, the outage also stretches into parts of White Center and South Park. The SCL map now has a restoration-time “guesstimate” of 2:31 pm – but keep in mind, could be sooner, could be later. We haven’t yet heard what caused it – if you’re seeing SCL trucks, please let us know, since that’s usually a clue. // And remember that dark traffic signals = all-way stops. Someone just messaged us to say there’s already been a crash at 8th/Roxbury.
12:07 PM: West Marginal/Highland Park Way is another major intersection with the lights out, and people “driving recklessly” as a dispatcher relayed a little while ago (monitored via scanner). SCL says a crash is what caused this and they’re still hopeful of having the power back on by 2:30ish.
12:38 PM: Added two photos from 8th/Roxbury – above, SPD is helping with traffic there (there’s a crash and a stalled vehicle); below, SDOT working with the signal box (and a generator).
12:43 PM: At least part of the area has the power back, per comment and texts, after about an hour and a half.
12:54 PM: The SCL map has updated and says the outage is about two-thirds of its original size – now 1,300+ customers, mostly south/east of West Seattle.
1:08 PM: Now down to 560+ customers out.
1:35 PM: And now just a handful.
Our neighbors at the South Park Senior Center have Rainbow Bingo fundraisers, as does the West Seattle Senior Center, and SP has a special search under way – they want to make sure West Seattleites hear about it too:
If you can’t read the flyer – in short, they’re looking for a couple who would be interested in having their wedding as part of South Park Rainbow Bingo on June 10th: “There will be guests and dinner and drinks, a beautiful wedding cake just for you … all legally officiated by Aunt Betty Malone.” In less than 100 words, explain why you and your fiancé/fiancee are THE couple for this wedding – e-mail to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org by May 20th.
Concord International School is in South Park, but serves part of West Seattle too. And you can stay right here in WS next Saturday night to be part of its benefit dinner/auction supporting what Lesley, who e-mailed us about it, describes as a “very small PTA who supports an incredibly diverse, predominantly low-income population.” She adds that besides reaching out to help Concord’s students and teachers, reasons for you to go include “some awesome stuff to bid on and a delicious dinner.” The party’s at Highland Park Improvement Club (12th SW/SW Holden), 7 pm Saturday. You can buy a ticket right now by going here – only $20/person, $35 couple.
Story & photos by Tracy Record and Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers
Last month, we brought you the story of a walking tour in South Park, organized by community advocate Jeff Hayes, who has been relentlessly working to get the city to help with SP trouble spots. Toward the start of the tour, he gathered those in attendance, including City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, outside a prime cluster of commercial buildings on the southwest corner of the busiest intersection in South Park – 14th Avenue South/South Cloverdale [map] – to point out that the storefronts were mostly empty and under ownership that wasn’t doing much to change things.
Turns out, that ownership was in the process of changing. And we have since heard from one of the new owners, a West Seattleite who already has bought and renovated property in two neighborhoods – Luna Park and Georgetown. John Bennett bought the South Park corner buildings in partnership with Scott Horrell, proprietor of nearby Loretta’s Northwesterner, and Hank Dufour, a construction-company proprietor.
Bennett invited us to come tour the buildings, which they have been cleaning out, and are seeking tenants for. Read More
Story by Tracy Record
Photos by Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers
The mural along the alley exhorted, “Love where you live.”
We saw it during a walking tour of the section of South Park where Jeff Hayes has lived for going on two decades. He organized the tour out of love for his community – but promised it would not be a pre-planned, pre-sanitized, city-sanctioned walk. Indeed, other sights along the same alley fulfilled his promise.
About a third of the two dozen or so walkers were from the city, including Councilmember Lisa Herbold and representatives from her staff and those of Councilmember Lorena González, Mayor Ed Murray, and the Department of Construction and Inspections. An hour before Monday night’s sunset, participants gathered at a South Park food store/eatery, Phoralé, for introductions, before heading out.
Important preface: This isn’t a story about how bad things are in South Park. There are all too many neighborhoods in Seattle where this kind of tour could be organized. It reminded us, in fact, of one we covered in North Delridge – also organized by a neighbor/community advocate, also with councilmembers and other city reps in attendance – almost eight years ago. Read More
6:30 AM: We’ve received several questions about a strong smell of smoke in West Seattle. No fire calls here but for the past couple hours, SFD has been battling what’s described as a trash fire inside the South Transfer Station on the west edge of South Park (several miles away), and that’s generated a lot of smoke, so we’re thinking that must be what people are noticing. Seattle Public Utilities operates the station and says it will be closed today because of the fire, so if you were planning a dump/recycling run, you’ll have to go elsewhere.
7:45 AM: Update from SFD via Twitter – this is the view INSIDE the transfer station:
Progress approx 70% contained. pic.twitter.com/PWCfqBUTR3
— Seattle Fire Dept (@SeattleFire) October 28, 2016
This has been a stubborn fire – the SFD log shows the first response goes back to 12:36 am.
9:23 AM: More details on the fire and the closure, from SPU:
Seattle Public Utilities’ South Transfer Station is closed today, while firefighters and utility workers deal with the aftermath of a fire on the station’s tipping floor.
The fire at the three-year-old station, in South Park, started around 12:45 this morning. The cause is unknown at this time. Transfer station fires are often caused by materials — such as marine flares or chemicals — that have been improperly disposed of.
For information on where to dispose of household hazardous waste, including station locations and hours, contact www.HazWasteHelp.org or (206) 296-4692.
At 8:10 this morning, the fire was 70 percent contained.
While the station is closed, SPU is asking self-haul customers to take their garbage to the utilities’ old transfer station, at 8100 2nd Ave. S., which is adjacent to the new station. Compost and recycling cannot be accepted at the old station today.
Director of Solid Waste Ken Snipes said fires occasionally occur at garbage transfer stations, and the new station is built to withstand them. Damage to the station—if any—has not yet been assessed.
We’ve learned that this crash near the South Transfer Station between West Seattle and South Park today resulted in a citation for the school-bus driver involved. Seattle Public Schools, which contracts with the bus company, didn’t have information on what the citation was for, but did confirm to WSB that the driver was cited. Seattle Fire reported that no one was hurt in the midday crash at West Marginal Way South and South Holden; the bus was carrying two preschoolers, and one child’s dad tells WSB they were being transported from a preschool program at Fairmount Park Elementary.
Photos by Leda Costa for West Seattle Blog
Saturday’s Fiestas Patrias parade and festival in South Park were a show of pride – pride in community, pride in heritage, pride in spirit. Hundreds lined SP streets to watch and cheer, as parade participants marched, danced, and rode toward the South Park Community Center.
Tradition melded with modern reality for some:
Jessica Ramos and Yesenia Gonzalez of the South Park Women’s Group wore handmade dresses that promote recycling. But before we get to more of the festival – photos of the parade! Read More