West Seattle, Washington
After a question about work under way now at currently vacant EC Hughes Elementary (7740 34th SW) – likely to be the new home of Roxhill Elementary starting in fall 2018 – we followed up today with Seattle Public Schools.
As we reported back in October, the district planned to take the ~$14 million Hughes renovation project to bid early this year, and district capital-project manager Paul Wight tells WSB today that’s still the plan: “The Capital Department is preparing the documents for bidding. We will advertise this project on February 7th, open bids on March 8th, award the contract in April and start construction in May.”
Our photo above, taken this morning, shows some signs of work there now. Wight says it’s “critical maintenance” that must be done before the renovation work:
The Seattle Public Schools Facility Department has cleaned up the front landscape, removing some unhealthy vegetation and trimming up heathy trees and plants. They are also repairing the historic wood windows from the interior of the building. Our Masons are working on the brick repairing mortar by tuck pointing the brick as well as installing seismic ties around the egress points of the building. The brick will be cleaned, resealed, and anti-graffiti coating installed.
The city Department of Construction and Inspections, Wight adds, is reviewing the permit drawings and is expected to issue the permit “within the next month or two.”
One more thing: The public is welcome to the district’s next meeting with the Roxhill Elementary PTSA, which Wight says is set for 6 pm February 13th at
Roxhill EC Hughes. (Our report on the district’s briefing with the PTSA last fall is here.)
2:15 PM: If you saw the big Seattle Police response in Sunrise Heights/Westwood – with a brief appearance by the Guardian One helicopter – here’s what we’ve found out: Someone saw a package theft in progress, called 911, and gave police a description of the alleged thieves’ vehicle. Police arrived, spotted the car, stopped it in an alley east of 35th and Thistle, and took two people into custody. (Thanks to @MetPatrick22 for the tweet about the search, which was first we’d heard of this.)
2:30 PM: Since this happened such a short time ago, SPD media relations doesn’t have details yet, but they were able to tell us that the original theft report was near 35th/Trenton, not too far from the arrest scene.
FIRST REPORT, 4:09 AM: A full Seattle Fire Department response is starting to arrive at an address near 35th and Myrtle, and reporting that they see flames. They’re blocking all lanes of 35th at the scene.
4:16 AM: The fire is described as tapped/”knocked down” but there’s some concern about wires.
4:27 AM: Our crew is on scene and reports that while the address on the 911 log is that of Our Lady of Guadalupe, this fire was in a
shed detached structure behind the house on 35th immediately *south* of the church. SFD’s investigator is on the way to try to find out what caused it. No injuries reported.
4:53 AM: SFD is still on scene mopping up. We’ll check back at the scene when it’s more fully light out.
4:59 AM: Top photo added, showing the burned structure engulfed in flames, taken by nearby resident who says, “Very thankful to neighbor who woke us up.”
5:35 AM: We just checked back at the scene. 35th SW is open again. SFD has a crew still on scene protecting against flareups, including putting more foam on a tree to which the flames were spreading before the fire was out.
In our photo, you can see the charred remains of the burned structure behind the chain-link fence. Neighbors say a car was damaged, too.
Though the old location of the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) preschool has been demolished as the Y gets ready for Thursday’s groundbreaking on its expansion, it’s still offering preschool, and has announced an expansion. The new location for the Y’s preschool is the former E.C. Hughes Elementary in Sunrise Heights, and the Y is adding four classes of “quality and affordable
halffull-day, year-round child care for children ages 2.5 to 5 years old between the hours of 7:00 am and 6:00 pm.” The program is described as “values-based with an emphasis on building self-reliance through our core values: Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility.” Teachers are experienced and professional, and the curriculum includes enrichment activities such as Spanish, swim lessons, cooking classes, and music time. Open enrollment is under way, including tonight during an open house that starts shortly, 5 pm-6:30 pm. EC Hughes is at 7740 34th SW; if you can’t stop by tonight, contact Sissi Kamalii at 206 201 0696, email@example.com, or Emilia Varga at 206 399 5704, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For five months – since a windstorm last fall – the iconic cow atop John’s Corner Deli at 35th/Webster has been more like a side of beef. Until today! Thanks to Patricia for sending the photo, which came in before we could follow up a tip from West Seattle Autoworks (WSB sponsor) across the street. Patricia declares the sight, “Udderly marvelous!”
Thanks to Todd at West Seattle Autoworks (WSB sponsor) for the tip – demolition is under way in the 7700 block of 35th SW, at the site of the future Clearview Eye and Laser headquarters, formerly Red Star Pizza and two old houses. Seattle Fire crews were practicing at the site last weekend, generally a sign that demolition is about to start.
It’s been almost two years since we first reported on the plan; Red Star was at that point looking for a new location, but ultimately just closed and didn’t reopen. The three-story clinic project passed Design Review last April; here’s one of its final renderings:
(Renderings by PB Architects)
And we’ll note again that John’s Corner Deli at 35th/Webster is staying – that part of the property is *not* part of the clinic project.
Barely a block away from the SFD training we showed you last hour, you can get a closer look right now at where some of West Seattle’s firefighters spend their time when they’re not out on calls (or training) – the Neighbor Appreciation Day open house at Station 37 (35th and Holden) continues until 1 pm. You’ll see Engine 37, one of the department’s SUVs, and some of the gear firefighters use – kids welcome too! We’ll add a few more photos a bit later.
2:38 PM: Added, as promised. Above and below, it’s always the potential future firefighters who seem to be most impressed.
The SFD reps seem to enjoy the chance to explain their jobs and gear, too.
Station 37 is West Seattle’s newest station, fully rebuilt in 2010 at a site a few blocks south of its old one, a city landmark that’s long since been sold to a private owner. But it’ll lose that designation next year, after the Station 32 rebuild in The Junction, finally expected to get under way this spring.
Thanks to Brian for the tip – before demolition at the future site of Clearview Eye & Laser‘s new building at 7520 35th SW, Seattle Fire crews are training there today. Right now, they’re atop the house south of the former Red Star Pizza building, with chainsaws audible over the rumble of 35th SW traffic.
Both structures are slated to be torn down before the three-story clinic project (which passed Design Review last April) starts going up, as is the residential building just north of the ex-restaurant.
SFD often uses doomed buildings for training, with owners’ permission.
P.S. For fans of John’s Corner Deli (with the still-tipped cow on the roof), that’s NOT part of the project site, so it’s staying.
(WSB photo from 2015 Neighbor Appreciation Day open house @ Station 37)
Announced today by the Seattle Fire Department – Station 37 in Sunrise Heights will have an open house again this year for Neighbor Appreciation Day. Set your calendar for 11 am-1 pm Saturday, February 13th. It’s the only West Seattle fire station participating this year. Station 37 is at 35th SW and SW Holden and is only five years old; it’s currently home to Engine 37 and Medic 32, the only SFD medic unit based in West Seattle fulltime.
The newest reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch:
ARBOR HEIGHTS CAR BREAK-IN: From Shaun:
Wanted to report that our Chevy Tahoe had two windows busted out last night. Perp(s) took diaper bag with my wife’s wallet inside along with various other property, daughter’s new bday purse, CD’s….Theft occurred at approx. 3 am and set off car alarm. Car was parked at curb in front of our house.
Shaun is near 39th SW/SW 106th in Arbor Heights; when we followed up to get that information, he added, “I’ve learned that the perp/s attempted to rent 4 video games at a Redbox at 5 am. The kiosk in question is located at a 7-Eleven near 112th St S and 8th Ave S.” (We found it on Google Street View.)
HIGHLAND PARK PACKAGE THEFT: Erika near 17th SW/SW Kenyon thought her package had been stolen, then contacted Amazon and was told it actually hadn’t been delivered – and then the sad truth: “My neighbor just came by with a ripped-open package that she found in our alley near her garbage, with one item found intact on the ground and another taken out of its packaging and it’s gone. … The contents included a bag of dishwashing detergent pods and a tub of Honest brand pregnancy belly balm. What a score.” She says this stirs up bad memories from a burglary last summer, but want to be sure everyone’s aware of “activity in our neighborhood.”
MAIL THEFT: From Corey:
I wanted to report continued mail theft in Highland Park neighborhood. I have now found mail discarded on lawns and stuffed in bushes on
three different occasions/3 different addresses, around 18th-20th Ave SW and Trenton St. The first occasion was in late November, the second
right before Christmas, and (Friday) January 22nd. The mail has all been from homes in Highland Park and within a few block of where I found it.
MAILBOX BREAK-IN: Mike reports this happened to his mailbox in the 7300 block of 35th SW in Sunrise Heights.
ALSO IN SUNRISE HEIGHTS: Todd at West Seattle Autoworks (WSB sponsor) reports a potential case of casing outside the shop at 35th/Webster around 9 pm Thursday night. They reviewed video from their surveillance camera after noticing it was “tilted up – as if someone had pushed it out of place.” The video shows someone walking in front of the camera and hiding his face, then a few minutes later walking back and pushing the camera up while walking under it. Todd says they didn’t find anything else out of place or damaged but wanted to alert the neighborhood.
Thanks to everyone who shares reports via West Seattle Crime Watch – once you’ve reported it to police, share it with your neighbors all around the peninsula by e-mailing email@example.com – for breaking news (once you’ve called 911), text/call 206-293-6302 – thank you!
Just one West Seattle project in today’s city Land Use Information Bulletin:
(Image from April 2015 Design Review packet, by PB Architects)
The city has granted a key land-use approval for the future 7520 35th SW home of Clearview Eye and Laser, currently headquartered at Westwood Village. The three-story, 29-offstreet-parking-space project won Southwest Design Review Board approval last April (here’s the report); plans show the former Red Star Pizza building and a residential structure south of it will be demolished to make way for the clinic. Today’s approval opens a two-week period for anyone interested in appealing the approval; here’s how. It’s been a year and a half since first word this project was in the works.
For the second time in a decade, a windstorm has taken its toll on the iconic cow (steer?) atop John’s Corner Deli in Sunrise Heights, via gust-powered cow-tipping. Soon as the folks across the street at West Seattle Autoworks (WSB sponsor) mentioned it, we remembered its disappearance during the 2006 Hanukkah Eve windstorm. So far today, the bovine fixture at 35th/Webster is still in view – just lying down on the job.
3:15 PM UPDATE: @MetPatrick tweeted this photo of The Cow being secured:
— Patrick kelly (@MetPatrick22) November 17, 2015
Now you won’t have to worry that it will next become, as Craig put it in a comment, “ground beef.”
As first reported here September 30th, Seattle Public Schools is planning to renovate, expand, and reopen EC Hughes Elementary as the new home of what’s currently Roxhill Elementary. Since our original report, the district has proposed a boundary change to get ready for that, with a meeting tomorrow (Monday) night to discuss it. These changes were NOT in the amended West Seattle boundaries that were circulating before a West Seattle meeting earlier this month, but the district says the new boundaries will go before the School Board for action in November, to take effect next fall, so now is the time to speak up. As you can see on the map above – click it to go to a full-size version on the SPS website – the changes for fall 2016 (though Hughes is not expected to reopen until 2018) now include moving two areas from West Seattle Elementary to Roxhill. Tomorrow’s meeting is set for 6:30 pm-7:15 pm at the Hughes building (7740 34th SW), with Spanish, Vietnamese, and Somali interpretation available.
(WSB photo added 7:32 am: The pile of what was the ‘campfire’ is visible by the door)
7:02 AM: Thanks to the tipster who texted to say Seattle Fire crews are at the former Red Star Pizza building in the 7500 block of 35th SW. The call is a “1 Red,” which means it’s not a full-on fire; we’re on our way to check. The restaurant closed early this year; the building has been long slated for demolition as part of the site of the new home of Clearview Eye Clinic.
7:20 AM: Someone had started what looked like a “campfire” type fire in front of the building – they don’t know who – and an ember caused a small fire in the awning, SFD tells us at the scene. No major damage, no one hurt, and they’re wrapping up. Traffic is not affected on 35th; the remaining engine, which won’t be there much longer, is off to the side.
After the big move, Westside School has tons of free stuff to give away! On Friday, October 2, from 10 am-3 pm, Westside School will be opening the doors of its old building and giving away tons of great school furniture.
Chairs of all sizes
Come check it out at 7740 34th Ave SW. Everything is first-come, first-served.
And yes, Hoffman says, they’ve already worked with recipients before just opening the doors for this: “We spent quite a bit of time giving away items to local schools, but still have a bunch of stuff.”
1:44 PM: Looking for something to do this afternoon? After King County Councilmember Joe McDermott and project manager Mary Wohleb ceremonially cut a big yellow ribbon, raingarden tours are under way in Sunrise Heights and Westwood until 4 pm – find the map here. It’s all to celebrate the completion of 91 roadside raingardens in planting strips spread across 15 blocks in those two neighborhoods, to keep stormwater out of the combined-sewer system and, in turn, keep untreated wastewater from overflowing into Puget Sound when the Barton Pump Station in Fauntleroy is overwhelmed. This is one of two King County Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) reduction projects in West Seattle that date back to early public meetings in 2009, and it was the county’s first-ever project of this type (the other project is the million-gallon Murray CSO storage tank being built across from Lowman Beach Park).
ADDED 3:24 PM: First, our video of the short round of speeches that began the event – Kristine Cramer from the KC Wastewater Treatment Division spoke first, then Councilmember McDermott and Wohleb.
As McDermott pointed out, “Neighbors spoke up, and the county listened.” That hinted at the pre-construction controversy for both West Seattle CSO projects. After early meetings dating back to 2007, three options for reducing the Barton basin (map) overflow were presented in 2010, and this was one of them; the other two involved stormwater-storage facilities on the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse back lot, or under upper Fauntleroy Way across from the ferry dock, which generated much opposition, given the historic unofficial park status of the area.
Once the “green stormwater infrastructure” plan was announced in late 2010, that too generated skepticism – the city had tried it in Ballard and that did not go well, to say the least. In 2011, the county tried to calm the most common concerns with a special meeting to address them.
Before today’s ceremony, we talked with project manager Wohleb, who said none of the fears had borne out, so far. No ponding, for example – if anything, she said, the bioswales are draining water more quickly than expected. While this coming fall/winter will be the first rainy season post-completion, some raingardens were done before last winter, so we asked if they have any data. Not so far, in part because the Barton Pump Station itself has been out of commission for construction, too, KCWTD says.
Wohleb also had words of praise for the entire project team, including the contractors >Goodfellow Brothers and designers SVR. Also mentioned today: The copious amount of communication with neighbors (look at all the block-by-block updates on this page, just as an example).
WHAT’S NEXT: If the county needs more stormwater to be taken out of the system, four more blocks could get raingardens – shown in the project map above as “delayed”; they were designed and permitted, just in case. If you’re in the project area and interested in a home raingarden or cistern, the rebate program through RainWise is funded through next year; check it out to see if you’re eligible.
And note that projects like this are in the works for Highland Park and South Park – here’s the county project page for that.
Something to say about the Barton CSO project? The county has set up an online survey – just go here.
The rain falling right now reminds us of what’s coming up Sunday afternoon in the Sunrise Heights and Westwood neighborhoods – the King County Wastewater Treatment Division‘s celebration of the completion of the Barton Combined Sewer Overflow Control project. 15 blocks now have roadside raingardens after two seasons of construction; a ceremonial ribbon-cutting is planned at 1 pm Sunday at 32nd SW and SW Kenyon, and then from 1:30-4 pm, tours will be offered of “three recently planted blocks.” It’s also a chance to get updated information about the project, including the ongoing RainWise program, offering incentives for people in the target area to install rain gardens and/or cisterns. This project has been much-discussed, going all the way back to early meetings six years ago, so now that it’s done – whether you’re coming to the celebration or not – the county’s offering a survey for feedback – find it here.
Thanks to the tipsters who messaged us this morning with word that passers-by had spotted broken glass and signs of a break-in at Café Osita in Sunrise Heights. They had alerted police but were worried the owner might not know. We went over to the shop at 7349 35th SW and found out owner Andrea had already been alerted by the building manager; the shop indeed had been burglarized, and the laundromat next door had been broken into recently as well. Café Osita isn’t usually open on Sunday anyway; Andrea and her husband are cleaning up the aftermath and told us the shop will be open tomorrow as usual. They estimate the damage and losses will total at least $500.
(Renderings by PB Architects)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The planned Clearview Eye Clinic at 7520 35th SW won approval from the Southwest Design Review Board last night, after major design changes in response to previous critiques.
“They listened, hard,” observed fill-in board member Jill Kurfirst, who also had filled in during an earlier meeting on this project, “and hit it out of the park.”
The board still had suggestions, of course. Here’s what they saw, and how the meeting went:
Medic 32 is now temporarily housed at Station 37 (at 35th and Holden) because its permanent base, Station 32 in The Triangle, is soon to be demolished and rebuilt. The other crews from Station 32 should be at its interim location (4731 40th SW, future city park site) by now (we’ll be checking). Back to 37’s open house today:
visitors of all ages enjoyed learning what Seattle Fire crews do – even the engine and truck crews go out to more medical calls than actual fires.
Most years, Neighbor Appreciation Day has more than one fire-station open house per area, but 37 was the only one today because of work under way or about to get under way at 32, 29 (in Admiral), and 11 (in Highland Park). Station 37 is West Seattle’s newest fire station, opened in 2010; the city closed and sold off its previous location at 35th and Othello (now a private residence).
Today’s impromptu wildlife theme continues, this time away from the shore – We’ve received three reports of coyote sightings in Sunrise Heights around mid-afternoon. Jeremy shared the photos (taken from a distance – we cropped them), after seeing two “wandering down 27th near Othello” in the 2 pm hour.
Not long after that, Ellery saw two coyotes that “just strolled by in front of my house on 32nd Ave at Holden St.” That’s also where Sarah reported seeing them. (Here’s a map showing both aforementioned locations.)
If you haven’t seen coyote mentions here before … we’ve been publishing reader reports of sightings for more than seven years; here’s the archive. The more awareness, and the more that we all follow advice such as not leaving food out, the more likelihood of continuing to minimize closeup conflict. (The state Fish and Wildlife “Living with Wildlife” page that we usually recommend seems to be inaccessible right now, so here’s another page full of info/advice.)
West Seattle Crime Watch reports have included more than a few smartphone thefts, but never one quite like this. It’s believed someone threw a rock through a window in order to steal an iPhone – whose owner was asleep right next to it. According to the Seattle Police report summary, this happened early Sunday morning on 28th SW in Sunrise Heights. The victim said she had been sleeping on a couch when a football-size rock smashed through the window directly above her. She ran to check on the three young children who also were home; they were OK, so she went to get her phone to make a call – and couldn’t find it. She told police it had been plugged in to charge, on the edge of the couch, under the window. Glass from the broken window cut her hands and legs, so Seattle Fire responded for medical aid. Police had already been called by a neighbor who heard the breaking glass followed by the victim’s scream. Turns out the rock had been picked up from right outside the house, where it was used as a doorstop. The victim and police deduced the phone had been stolen once they tried to call it and found it was going immediately to voicemail; its owner said that’s not the way it was set when she had plugged it in. Police did not find the rock-throwing thief/thieves.