West Seattle Blog... » West Seattle schools http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Wed, 27 May 2015 18:49:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 Congratulations, WSHS softball team! Trevor Leopold is Metro League ‘Coach of the Year’; 9 players honored http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/congratulations-wshs-softball-team-trevor-leopold-is-metro-league-coach-of-the-year-9-players-honored/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/congratulations-wshs-softball-team-trevor-leopold-is-metro-league-coach-of-the-year-9-players-honored/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 22:16:50 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=311466

(WSB photo: Coach Leopold and some of his players at SWAC last week)
As the West Seattle High School softball team looks ahead to its first state-tournament game on Friday, it’s celebrating a stack of Metro League honors! Just in from WSHS:

Metro Coach of the Year
Trevor Leopold

1st Team All-Metro
Gabby Wenn – Pitcher
Annalisa Ursino – Outfield

1st Team All-Division (Mountain)
Sam Hemmert – Catcher
Emma Atkinson – 1st Base
Lucy Mead – 2nd Base
Charli Elliott – Shortstop
Spritle Hirano – Outfield

Honorable Mention
Bryn Snodgrass – Outfield
Rachel DeVore – 3rd Base

Congratulations to all!

WEST SEATTLE BOOSTER CLUB FUNDRAISER FOR SOFTBALL TEAM: As was the case when the WSHS girls’ basketball team went to state, the softball team’s trip is expensive as well as exciting. The nonprofit West Seattle Booster Club is collecting donations to help them cover costs. From the letter they’re circulating in the community:

After taking second place in the Metro League Championship and making it through both Districts and Regionals, the team plays their first State Tournament game on Friday, May 29th at 9:00 am in Lacey, at the Regional Sports Complex.

They would love your support and to hear West Seattle fans loud and proud cheering them on. Additionally, since the team will be in Olympia May 28-30th for the tournament, they are seeking donations of any amount to assist with meals and lodging.

Donations are being accepted by us, the West Seattle Booster Club (WSBC). We are a nonprofit organization devoted to supporting ALL athletic programs at WSHS. Our goal is to further athletic programs and activities at the high school that the school budget cannot cover. We would love to have you join us in this particular case to help our girls with their amazing season.

Your tax-deductible donation, no matter the size, would be of great benefit to ease the financial burden on the school ,and on the girls and their families.

Easiest way to donate is online: westseattleboosterclub.org/donate

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FOLLOWUP: Plan for West Seattle’s first proposed charter school proceeding on multiple fronts http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/followup-plan-for-west-seattles-first-proposed-charter-school-proceeding-on-multiple-fronts/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/followup-plan-for-west-seattles-first-proposed-charter-school-proceeding-on-multiple-fronts/#comments Mon, 25 May 2015 20:46:30 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=311401 Less than five months after we discovered the plan for what would be West Seattle’s first charter school, its prospective operator has officially submitted its application to the state.

California-based Summit Public Schools is asking the Washington State Charter School Commission for authorization to open what would eventually be a 6th-through-12th-grade campus at what’s now the Freedom Church/Jesus Center, a former supermarket site on the southwest corner of 35th SW and SW Roxbury. Summit says it would phase in the seven grade levels, starting in fall 2016 with 6th and 9th grades. (Charter schools are publicly funded but privately operated, as explained here.)

Summit has approval to open its first two schools in our state this fall, both high schools – one in the International District and one in Tacoma. Last week, when Seattle Public Schools were closed on May 19th, Summit brought members of the future first Seattle class over to the Roxbury/35th site to paint murals for the school opening in the ID this fall, which is still being remodeled.

They were advised by Native American artist Andrew Morrison, who also worked with young artists on the signal-box mini-murals along Delridge two summers ago:

But back to the Roxbury/35th plan. It’s making its way through the city system, with a site plan now on file showing more details than the one we first reported on at the start of the year:

In addition to renovating the main building – the former grocery store – two 2-story additions are planned along the Roxbury side of the property (shaded in the “site plan” sketch above), and a one-story addition to connect the one at the Roxbury/35th corner to the main building. The site-plan document says the additions will total more square footage – more than 27,000 – than the existing building (23,000+).

For parking, 65 motor-vehicle spaces and 52 bicycle spaces are proposeed. Though the document says the school could eventually bring 125 cars, the prospective school operators say they only will be required to have spaces for half that many because the site is close to frequent transit – the RapidRide line stops right across the street. The bicycle-space count is 22 more than the city requires.

HOW TO HAVE A SAY: The land-use-permit application is in the system as #3019454, if you’re interested in commenting. No public meeting is required, as this is not going through Design Review. Meantime, the process for approval of the charter school itself is outlined here; the Charter School Commission must set a date for a public forum on Summit’s application to open the school, but as far as we can tell from the commission’s calendar, it has yet to be announced. We don’t yet have the official application document for the proposed school, but hope to procure it later this week, and will publish another followup when we do.

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High-school sports updates: WSHS’s state-bound track athletes; 1st state opponent set for softball; Ultimate league championship http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/high-school-sports-updates-wshss-state-bound-track-athletes-1st-state-opponent-set-for-softball-ultimate-league-championship/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/high-school-sports-updates-wshss-state-bound-track-athletes-1st-state-opponent-set-for-softball-ultimate-league-championship/#comments Mon, 25 May 2015 02:09:42 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=311376 More state-championship news about local high-school athletes. First – from the update earlier this month on West Seattle High School track athletes who were headed for districts, WSHS athletic director Trevor Leopold has news of who qualified for state:

Cass Elliott (300 Meter Hurdles)
Chris Nunez (300 Meter Hurdles)
Chaaka Trahan (110 Meter Hurdles, Long Jump)
Natalie Fuller (Triple Jump)
Lexi Ioane (Shot Put)
Lani Taylor (100m, 200m, 400m)

The State Track championships will be held at Mt. Tahoma High School in Tacoma starting Thursday May 28th – 30th

Leopold coaches the softball team, which as we’ve been reporting, is also state-bound, and he shares an update on the schedule:

Their first game is against North Central High School out of Spokane on Friday, May 29th, at 9:00am. The games take place at the Regional Athletic Complex (in Lacey).

And congratulations to the Westside Ultimate Coed team, which won its first League Championship and sent us the photo and update:

West Seattle High School’s ultimate frisbee team, Westside Ultimate, in its 3rd year of existence, wins its Disc NW divisional League Championship. Westside finished the season undefeated with wins over Garfield, Chief Sealth, Bainbridge Island and others and entered the season-ending tournament as the number 1 seed. With a win over Bainbridge Island 2 weeks ago and wins over Aviation and Mercer Island in the final 4 last Saturday, Westside Ultimate takes its first championship after losing close games in the finals the last 2 years. Westside also graduates 4 seniors; Shadid Baker, Devon Dascher, Greg Rosas, and Daniel Thomas.

Championship game:
Westside 15 – Mercer Island 7

Final 4:
Westside 13 – Aviation 4

(Any updates on other schools’ athletes/teams headed to state? editor@westseattleblog.com – thanks!)

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Seattle Public Schools says it’s closing Middle College High School’s West Seattle program http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/seattle-public-schools-says-its-closing-middle-college-high-schools-west-seattle-program/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/seattle-public-schools-says-its-closing-middle-college-high-schools-west-seattle-program/#comments Sun, 24 May 2015 00:48:28 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=311287

(WSB photo from MCHS High Point’s 2014 graduation ceremony at The Hall @ Fauntleroy)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

With just a few weeks to go in the school year, Seattle Public Schools has abruptly announced that one of its high schools in West Seattle won’t reopen next year.

In a letter dated May 18th, the district told families that it’s closing alternative Middle College High School‘s High Point campus, also known as the School for Social Justice and Community Engagement, after almost 20 years, citing declining enrollment. (If you’re not familiar with the overall MCHS program, it’s explained here.)

A statement on MCHS’s staff-maintained website suggests they’re not going without a fight:

The faculty and staff at Middle College High Point are very disappointed with this decision and are working with our community supporters, parents and students to prepare an organized response to this decision and to challenge the justification for closure.

It’s only been three years since MCHS’s West Seattle program went through a major transition:

It was booted from the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus after 15 years – also a situation that came to light late in the school year (spring 2012). Finding a new home for the program that year turned out to be a bumpy process; at one point, it was to be moved to portables at the Boren Building, but that was an unpopular proposal on many fronts and the district ultimately moved the program to Neighborhood House’s High Point Center, which we visited in fall 2012:

Longtime MCHS teacher Alonzo Ybarra – himself a graduate of the Middle College program – reached out to us then and also shared first word of the closure announcement, which has to date not been the subject of a district news release, nor is it reflected on the district’s website as of this writing. We asked district administration several questions on Friday but were told we wouldn’t be able to get answers until Tuesday. We also have asked West Seattle’s school-board rep Marty McLaren for comment.

The letter from the superintendent offers the current students options including moving to another MCHS campus (all are in North Seattle – Northgate, University of Washington, Seattle University) or to their neighborhood high school:

Ybarra offers this statement in counterpoint:

The letter from the Superintendent asserts that the district is closing Middle College High Point due to low enrollment and future projections. This explanation is problematic for the following reasons.

First, Middle College High Point has existed for 19 years in West Seattle and has historically maintained the highest enrollment of any Middle College site. Our current enrollment, although down from past years, remains on par with Middle College at the Northgate Mall except for the fact that they have 30 additional DCHS students who are online students that do not attend school daily.

Second, the faculty and staff at Middle College High Point were prevented from continuing to develop our school wide interdisciplinary curriculum based on critical thinking, social justice and service learning. Our principal, openly stating that she did not support our efforts, forcefully imposed an arbitrary schedule that severely diminished our abilities to deliver exciting and creative curriculum and instruction. Preventing MCHS HP teachers from building on the momentum of successful curriculum and instruction at our school had a negative impact on student morale, attendance and enrollment numbers.

Third, our principal moved a staff member, without discussion or warning, directly undermining our efforts to recruit underserved African immigrant students who reside within the High Point community. Undermining efforts to work with the community to enroll new students clearly contributed to diminished student numbers. Throughout the 2014-2015 school year we’ve seen an approximate 30% decline in enrollment although it should be noted that we’ve been prohibited from enrolling new students by order of Michael Tolley since April 7th. We’d normally add 10-15 new students during second semester in preparation for the following school year.

Ybarra also shared this video created by a recent graduate:

We expect to have a followup on this once we get answers from the district after the holiday weekend, and we will be following up on the staff’s aforementioned plans for a “challenge.”

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VIDEO: Biggest turnout yet for annual Denny-Lincoln Bike Classic http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/video-biggest-turnout-yet-for-annual-denny-lincoln-bike-classic/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/video-biggest-turnout-yet-for-annual-denny-lincoln-bike-classic/#comments Sat, 23 May 2015 18:23:40 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=311293

If you saw a big group of bicycle riders this past hour or so in Westwood or Fauntleroy – this is probably who you saw: The Denny-Lincoln Bicycle Classic‘s almost 50 riders. Biggest group yet, the ride leaders announced as they gave everyone a big round of safety reminders before taking off from the path on the north side of Denny International Middle School (2601 SW Kenyon).

After heading out on the western path through the Denny-Sealth campus, they mustered on 26th SW, bound for SW Thistle. This, by the way, is the third annual Denny-Lincoln ride – so named because the destination is Lincoln Park, where the group planned a lunchtime barbecue.

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Softball postseason: West Seattle HS takes 4th in district tournament http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/softball-postseason-west-seattle-hs-takes-4th-in-district-tournament/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/softball-postseason-west-seattle-hs-takes-4th-in-district-tournament/#comments Sat, 23 May 2015 14:01:44 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=311277

(WSB photo: From left, WSHS’s Charli Elliott and Annalisa Ursino, with Ballard’s Savannah Furia sliding into 2nd)
Next up for the West Seattle High School softball team: State tournament play in Lacey on Friday, after their fourth-place finish in the district tournament at Southwest Athletic Complex last night. In a rematch of the Metro League final a week earlier, Ballard HS went home with the win over the Wildcats, 7-1. WSHS put the ball in play against Ballard pitcher Sage Nicholson more than they had last time, but not enough to get on the scoreboard in a big way. Charli Elliott pitched, with WSHS’s Gabby Wenn still out with an injury; Elliott also got the RBI for the Wildcats’ lone run, which was scored by Lucy Mead. The state-tournament brackets aren’t out yet; we’ll update with the WSHS game time and opponent when they are.

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Also headed for state: West Seattle HS golfer Zach Gibson http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/also-headed-for-state-west-seattle-hs-golfer-zach-gibson/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/also-headed-for-state-west-seattle-hs-golfer-zach-gibson/#comments Sat, 23 May 2015 02:33:46 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=311230

It’s state-championship season for high-school athletes in several sports, including golf, with a West Seattle High School golfer headed to the Tri-Cities in a few days to compete. From Kristin Gibson:

West Seattle Wildcat Zach Gibson will compete in Boys 3A State Golf Championship May 26-28 at Canyon Lakes Golf Course in Kennewick, WA. Zach qualified last fall by placing 10th in the Metro District Championship. Good Luck, Zach!

Checking our archives, Zach went to the state championships last year, too.

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VIDEO: Lafayette Elementary students perform for Seattle School Board http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/video-lafayette-elementary-students-perform-for-seattle-school-board/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/video-lafayette-elementary-students-perform-for-seattle-school-board/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 14:47:09 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=311203

Encore performance this week for part of the cast of Lafayette Elementary‘s recent musical! From Luckie:

Lafayette Elementary was invited to performed a scene from this year’s school play, “The Barnyard Musical Mystery,” at the May 20 Seattle Public Schools board meeting in the John Stanford Center auditorium. It was broadcast live on Channel 26 (see the archived video above).

“The Barnyard Musical Mystery” is a one-hour play written by Lafayette Elementary parent Laurie Utterback, who also directed it along with fellow parent volunteer Joel Oltyan and Lafayette’s multi-arts teacher Melia Scranton. A cast of 80 students in third through fifth grade rehearsed after school once a week beginning in January, and performed the play on May 7, 8, and 9 at the Chief Sealth International High School auditorium.

The performers at Wednesday’s school board meeting:

Jane, grade 5
Daisy, grade 4
Audrey, grade 4
Millie, grade 4
Zhaiarah, grade 4
Mason, grade 5
Myah, grade 4
Stella, grade 4
Jordan, grade 4

Lafayette Elementary is very proud of the dedication, enthusiasm, and teamwork shown by all of its talented young actors!

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District softball playoffs: WSHS loses; plays Ballard again Friday http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/district-softball-playoffs-wshs-loss-another-game-tomorrow/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/district-softball-playoffs-wshs-loss-another-game-tomorrow/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 03:16:47 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=311172

(WSB photo: WSHS’s Spritle Hirano in the foreground)
8:16 PM: At the district softball tournament tonight at Southwest Athletic Complex in Westwood, West Seattle High School lost to Lake Washington HS, 3-2. But they’re already guaranteed a spot in the state tournament, and they’ll play again tomorrow at 5 pm, vs. the loser of Ballard vs. Bainbridge Island, who are playing right now. More to come.

EARLY FRIDAY: It’ll be a rematch – WSHS vs. Ballard for the second consecutive Friday night. Last week, it was for the Metro League championship; this time, for third place in the district tournament. More of Thursday’s game details, courtesy of our partners at The Seattle Times:

Pitcher Gabby Wenn, above, drove in both WSHS runs before having to leave the game with a hamstring injury. Below, that’s Annalisa Ursino scoring the second of those runs,

The Wildcats, coached by WSHS athletic director Trevor Leopold, are 21-5.

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Classroom to courtroom: Chief Sealth IHS students’ mock trial http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/classroom-to-courtroom-chief-sealth-ihs-students-mock-trial/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/classroom-to-courtroom-chief-sealth-ihs-students-mock-trial/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 23:49:45 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=311159

The photo and report are from Chief Sealth International High School teacher Noah Zeichner:

49 Chief Sealth International HS seniors participated in a mock trial (Wednesday) at the UW School of Law as part of the UW Street Law program. Students in my American Government classes have been preparing for several weeks, with the help of three UW law students. Students played various roles, including prosecutors, defense attorneys, witnesses, and bailiffs.

The case involved a high school senior who was charged with murder in the first degree. The defendant was found not guilty of all charges. The two judges were played by practicing public defenders and the jury was played by UW law professors.

Read more about the UW Street Law program here.

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Congratulations! Five West Seattle HS student athletes honored http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/congratulations-five-west-seattle-hs-student-athletes-honored/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/congratulations-five-west-seattle-hs-student-athletes-honored/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 23:18:38 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=311154

The photo is from West Seattle High School athletic director Trevor Leopold, who shares this report on a lunchtime event downtown today:

These West Seattle High School students were honored at The Washington Athletic Club by the 101 Club. From left to right are Carter Mensing, Annalisa Ursino, Charli Elliott, Isabella Burzynski, and Joey Kane. All the Metro League schools have students who were there and nominated. Charli Elliott was awarded a scholarship at the luncheon. She has a 4.0 GPA and 11 Varsity Letters. 4 Soccer, 4 Basketball, 3 Softball. She is attending Pacific University in Oregon in the fall and going to play basketball.

Congratulations to all!

(SIDE NOTE: Coach Leopold and athletes Elliott and Ursino take to the field at Southwest Athletic Complex with the rest of the WSHS softball team less than an hour from now – 5 pm – for a district-tournament game against Lake Washington HS.)

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West Seattle scene: Immigration workshop @ Denny IMS http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/west-seattle-scene-immigration-workshop-denny-ims/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/west-seattle-scene-immigration-workshop-denny-ims/#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 04:19:46 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=310974

Though classes were canceled for the protest walkout earlier today, some scheduled events did go on at Seattle Public Schools. Among them, an immigration workshop held tonight at Denny International Middle School. Principal Jeff Clark shared the photo and report:

This evening we were pleased to open our doors to our community for a workshop on immigration with information regarding new policies from President Obama’s administration. In addition to our featured guest speakers, we were pleased to have several organizations here as resources. Families enjoyed dinner and were appreciative of all of the information shared.

We would like to thank our guest speakers from Colectiva Legal, as well as all our partners including: 21 Progress; Pacific Northwest Regional Carpenters; the Denny, Roxhill, and Sealth PTSAs; Roxbury Safeway; City Year; and Community in Schools for all of their support! In addition, thank you to the following Denny staff for all of their efforts in making this possible: Ms. Clausen, Ms. Amaral, Ms. Olsen, Ms. Bowie, Mr. Carr, Mr. Blackman, Mr. Smith, Ms. Brown, Ms. Rangel, Mr. Baker, Ms. Nestor, Ms. Lehman, Mr. Mosser, Emma, Riley, Maryross, and Kevin! Go, Dolphins!

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Softball postseason: West Seattle beats Bellevue in 1st district-tournament game http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/softball-postseason-west-seattle-beats-bellevue-in-1st-districts-game/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/softball-postseason-west-seattle-beats-bellevue-in-1st-districts-game/#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 02:16:34 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=310961

(WSB photos: WSHS’s Charli Elliott scoring the first run of the game)
At Southwest Athletic Complex, the West Seattle High School Wildcats softball team has just opened district tournament play with a victory over Bellevue HS, 7-2. Their next game is Thursday at 5 pm, same place they played today, Southwest Athletic Complex; the game to determine their opponent is just getting under way.

9:22 PM UPDATE: Lake Washington is who the Wildcats will play on Thursday – LWHS just beat Bishop Blanchet, 14-2. Meantime, we have a few more details and photos from the WSHS-Bellevue game.

Gabby Wenn again pitched a complete game for WSHS. It was a pitchers’ duel through four innings; then in #5, West Seattle scored 5 unanswered runs against Bellevue pitcher Dejah Rogers; the full WSHS order came to the plate before Bellevue could get three outs. After that, LWHS picked up two runs in the top of the sixth, but then the Wildcats added two more in the bottom, and that was it.

WSHS coached Trevor Leopold tells us his team is now guaranteed a spot in the state tournament in Lacey, . But first – they face the Kangs.

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VIDEO: Local educators start walkout day with roadside demonstrations http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/happening-now-local-educators-start-walkout-day-with-roadside-demonstrations/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/happening-now-local-educators-start-walkout-day-with-roadside-demonstrations/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 16:12:47 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=310876

As Seattle educators start their one-day walkout to protest the state of education funding, the promised picketing at local high schools gave way to lively demonstrations at busy intersections nearby. We are just back from two locations: First, two quick video clips we first published to social media: Above, many of those who gathered at Chief Sealth IHS are on the corners at Delridge/Thistle; below, many of those who gathered at West Seattle HS are on the corners at Admiral/California.

By our rough count, at least 150 were at Delridge/Thistle, more than 100 at Admiral/California, and some others are also at 35th/Fauntleroy and 35th/Thistle. Both groups included educators from the respective high schools’ feeder schools as well as the high schools themselves. Andrea, below, teaches at Roxhill Elementary:

Around 10, they’re scheduled to head downtown and join others from around the city for a rally and march.

ADDED 9:31 AM: Adding photos. First one was texted to us:

Tiniest striker. Her name is Dixie Norris and she is supporting all the teachers, especially her mom Nicole Nichols who runs the autism program at Chief Sealth.

In the middle of the Admiral demonstrators, we found County Executive Dow Constantine:

Other messages were interspersed with the exhortations about education funding:

At both sites (as you can hear in our quick video clips above), lots of horn-honking from passing drivers.

Shared by Schmitz Park Elementary supporters – this video:


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TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday updates; public schools closed http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/traffictransit-today-tuesday-updates-public-schools-closed/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/traffictransit-today-tuesday-updates-public-schools-closed/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 14:13:53 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=310865

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
7:13 PM: No outbound challenges reported so far. The major reminder this morning is that Seattle Public Schools are closed for the day (here’s why). Educational pickets at local high schools are planned 8-10 am, and then a rally/march downtown. Route/time details are in the city’s weekly traffic-alert roundup.

7:38 AM: In comments, a report that the crossing arm is stuck down at Lander in SODO, blocking a Route 21 bus and other vehicles trying to cross.

7:46 AM: Moving again, says SeattleTimeBandit, after 45 minutes.

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