Home stretch for Murray CSO project across from Lowman Beach

October 7, 2015 at 9:31 pm | In Environment, West Seattle news | No Comments

(King County photo)
A milestone for the Murray Combined Sewer Overflow Control Project across from Lowman Beach Park – the tank is complete, and construction is starting for the building housing it. It’s been eight years since community members started hearing about the need for a project to reduce overflows into Puget Sound, almost five years after the announcement of the plan to locate it on what was a residential block, and almost two years since site work began. Announced tonight by the King County Wastewater Treatment Division:

King County’s contractor finished the concrete work for the Murray CSO Control facility’s one million gallon underground storage tank. Building the storage tank required some of the most intense activity on the project. King County and its contractor deeply appreciate the community’s patience while crews built the tank.

The facility building will have three rooms to house mechanical and electrical equipment. It was designed to follow the slope of Lincoln Park Way SW behind it. The building will be 20 feet tall at its highest point. Construction of the facility building will continue into Spring 2016.

Work to connect the underground storage tank to the Murray Pump Station will continue while the building is constructed. This work will increase congestion and cause traffic delays of up to 15 minutes and parking restrictions on the 7000 block of Beach Dr. SW. Please stay safe. Follow
the directions of flaggers and signs when near the site.

The project is intended to dramatically reduce the number of overflows from the Murray Pump Station at Lowman Beach, from an average of five per year – and five million gallons total – down to no more than one.

EARLY TRAFFIC ALERT: Alaskan Way Viaduct inspection closure planned for Halloween weekend

October 7, 2015 at 7:40 pm | In Alaskan Way Viaduct, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

From today’s quarterly meeting of the Alaskan Way Viaduct Stakeholders meeting:

The dates are set for this year’s semiannual AWV inspection closure – scheduled for Halloween weekend, 6 am-6 pm on Saturday, October 31st, and again on Sunday, November 1st. The Viaduct will be closed both ways between the West Seattle Bridge and Battery Street Tunnel. WSDOT said at this afternoon’s meeting that besides the inspection, they’ll do some maintenance as usual – in particular, fire-suppression systems in the BSTunnel need some work.

Also at the meeting, WSDOT played the video that we featured here earlier in the day, showing what’s been happening with the tunneling machine as work continues to get it ready to start tunneling again later this year. The Viaduct closure that’s expected when the machine goes beneath the structure could last up to two weeks. Assuming everything goes as currently projected, the machine will stop in a long-planned “safe zone” just outside the edge of the structure, so it can get a checkup to see how it’s doing after what would be the first few weeks of digging.

What the people who want your City Council votes were saying at the Fauntleroy forum

October 7, 2015 at 5:07 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 3 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

With four weeks left until the general election – the night the voting ends and the vote-counting begins – a forum in Fauntleroy last night featured the six candidates for the three City Council seats that will be on your ballot.

“This is a unique election,” observed Boots Winterstein from the Westside Interfaith Network (WIN), which co-presented the forum with the League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County, whose Lucy Gaskill-Gaddis served as moderator.

The format put most of the questions to all of the candidates – for City Council District 1, West Seattle/South Park, Lisa Herbold and Shannon Braddock; for at-large (citywide) Position 8, Jon Grant and Tim Burgess; for at-large Position 9, Bill Bradburd and Lorena González.

The sharpest differences were evident between each of the two sets of citywide candidates; in the local race, it was more subtle, with little all-out disagreement. And District 1 is where the forum Q/A began.

Click to read the rest of What the people who want your City Council votes were saying at the Fauntleroy forum…

SATURDAY: 16 adorable kittens – and lovable mature cats! – at city’s West Seattle adopt-a-thon

October 7, 2015 at 3:04 pm | In High Point, Pets, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

That’s Miles, our ex-shelter cat and official WSB assistant, suggesting you might want to add a feline family member this Saturday, when the Seattle Animal Shelter returns to West Seattle for an adopt-a-thon. He’s not available but dozens of cats are – including, we’ve just learned, 16 kittens, among them Bento and Sushi (city-provided photo below):

Here’s the basic info about the event:

The Seattle Animal Shelter will host a cat adopt-a-thon on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015, at the High Point Community Center, located at 6920 34th Ave. SW. The event runs from noon to 3 p.m. and features numerous kittens and cats of different breeds. Cats available at this event have been living with foster parents, who are available at the event to share information about the personality and habits of the cats with potential adopters, helping to make a perfect match.

“With our monthly neighborhood adoptathons, we hope to continue to spread the word about the joys and value of adopting shelter pets and saving lives. If you have room in your home and your heart for an orphaned animal, this is a great opportunity to come and see some of the wonderful pets available from our foster-care parents,” said Don Jordan, Seattle Animal Shelter director.

Adoption prices range from $45 to $135 (plus applicable license fees) and include:

● Initial vaccinations
● Deworming
● Feline Leukemia testing
● Certificate for free health exam at local veterinarians
● Spay or neuter
● Microchip
The Seattle Animal Shelter has a foster-care program to rehabilitate sick and immature dogs and cats. Donations from the city’s “Help the Animals Fund” pay for veterinary care for these animals while they are being fostered.

Or maybe Nellie or Robbie.

VIDEO: See what’s left to do before Highway 99 tunneling resumes

October 7, 2015 at 1:48 pm | In Alaskan Way Viaduct, West Seattle news | 14 Comments

If you’ve wondered what’s happened in the six weeks since the repaired cutterhead was lowered back into the Highway 99 tunneling machine’s “access pit” – and what’s left to do before Seattle Tunnel Partners turns it back on again – that video should answer your questions. It’s provided by WSDOT and narrated by STP’s Chris Dixon, who’s in charge of the project. We’re also expecting to hear a status report at the quarterly Highway 99 stakeholders’ meeting later today. (And yes, according to a recent city doc, transportation officials are still expecting to close the Alaskan Way Viaduct for about a week and a half while the tunnel machine passes directly beneath it. No way to know when that’ll be until the machine again gets going, and stays going – it’s currently “forecast” for February.)

BIZNOTE: West Seattle Nursery expansion work starts next week

October 7, 2015 at 1:18 pm | In Gardening, West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 25 Comments

That’s a rendering of the new expansion building that West Seattle Nursery is about to start work on next door. We reported on the expansion plan early last year. Nursery owner Mark Smith owns the old house on the site and had hoped to give it to someone who would be interested in moving it to another location, but that didn’t work out, so it will be demolished next Monday. The expansion is designed by Parie Hines of LD Arch Design (WSB sponsor) will include “a new houseplant and gift shop; a coffee bar; a classroom; storage; and office space.” (Find more details of the building, especially its sustainability features, on the LD Arch Design website.) This will clear the way for the original WSN building to have an expanded garden center with more tools, accessories, and furniture. The project – to be built by Ventana Construction (also a WSB sponsor) – is expected to be finished by the end of March.

Seattle Police’s Real Time Crime Center goes public

October 7, 2015 at 11:59 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | No Comments

While saying it’s been in operation for two months, Seattle Police just officially unveiled what they’re calling the Real-Time Crime Center, as a key component of a strategy titled “Agile Policing.”

The RTCC is a room at SPD headquarters downtown where a commander, analysts, and others are monitoring, and responding to, trends detected in real time around the city, tracked on a big board showing how many calls are open at any given time, what types of calls (divided into three “priority” categories), and where, updated every six seconds. The screengrab above is from a demonstration by SPD chief operating officer Mike Wagers during the Seattle Channel‘s live webcast of the announcement; we’ll add or substitute the video clip when it’s available via SC later. Here’s the official news release via SPD Blotter; we have a few more notes from having monitored the announcement live:

It’s centralizing analysis and data-sorting functions rather than having, as SPD Chief Kathleen O’Toole called them, “islands of information” at precincts and other locations. SPD says it’s also enabling information to be sorted and interpreted more quickly in a way that can assist officers in the field. One example given was a “shots fired” call, in which 911 might receive more than a dozen calls from people, each offering a fragment of information that could be a puzzle piece usable for solving/tracing it – what was heard, what was seen, was there a car, part of a license plate – all to be put together and sent to officers rather than expecting them all to sort and decode the puzzle pieces while busy with everything else in the field.

Right now, SPD says, the RTCC is being staffed Mondays-Fridays 8 am-4 pm and Tuesday nights-Saturday nights 4 pm-2 am, but that could change if they determine different scheduling would be better. They were asked what live cameras are being used, if any; only SDOT cameras that are also visible to the public, SPD replied – not any current or future police cameras (dash cams, body cams, the never-activated surveillance cameras).

Don’t let the rain change your ways: Water-saving still urged

October 7, 2015 at 10:44 am | In Utilities, West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 1 Comment

We’ve had (and are having) some rain, and water-saving has topped the city’s request, but don’t stop now, the regional water utilities are imploring you in this update:

Fall has arrived, but consistent fall rains have not. Everett, Seattle, and Tacoma remain in the second stage of their drought response plans. The water systems rely on fall rains to fill the reservoirs so there is enough water for people and fish. Customers in the region have reduced their use over the past eight weeks by a total of 14 percent. The cities are asking their customers to continue to reduce their water use.

This time of year is critical in the salmon life cycle, as they migrate back from the ocean and travel up their native rivers to spawn. Both the amount and temperature of water in rivers affect their ability to conserve energy, avoid predators and successfully spawn.

… The total water level in SPU’s reservoirs is at 74 percent of what would be typical for this time of year.

Click to read the rest of Don’t let the rain change your ways: Water-saving still urged…

West Seattle Wednesday: Port, transportation levy, Timebank @ SW District Council. Plus – dancing, learning, quizzing, donating …

October 7, 2015 at 9:54 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 1 Comment

(Steller’s Jay, photographed on Tuesday by Mark Wangerin)

Your daily look into the future – the next 12 hours or so of it, anyway – from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar (which always includes more daily happenings than what we highlight here, so please jump over and browse through when you get a minute):

FREE MUSIC/MOVEMENT CLASS … for toddlers! 10:30 am Wednesdays at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center; details in our calendar listing. (6400 Sylvan Way SW)

WSHS CURRICULUM NIGHT: Families of current West Seattle High School students are invited to “Curriculum Night” at 6:30 pm. From the school newsletter: “Pick up a copy of your student’s schedule and a map of the building in the Commons. Administration, counselors and other school support staff will be on hand to greet you. Spirit gear, PTSA memberships and auction tickets will be sold. Our Culinary Arts students will be serving cupcakes, coffee, and cold drinks. After the opening, you will go to each of your student’s classes for 10 minutes. Don’t miss this important night to connect!” (3000 California SW)

HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH CELEBRATION: 6:30 pm at Delridge Community Center, featuring a performance by Joyas Mestizas. Refreshments too! (4501 Delridge Way SW)

SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: 6:30 pm at the Sisson Building in The Junction. Agenda highlights:

6:40 p.m. West Seattle Timebank
-Tamsen Spengler, President

6:50 p.m. Port of Seattle – Terminal 5 Modernization Project
-Paul Meyer, Environmental Manager

7:10 p.m. Move Seattle – Proposition 1 Discussion
-Let’s Move Seattle Campaign, CM Tom Rasmussen & Anthony Auriemma
-Keep Seattle Affordable, Eugene Wasserman

(California SW & SW Oregon)

TONIGHT’S TRIVIA: 8:30 pm at Talarico’s Pizzeria in The Junction. (4718 California SW)

And something you can do any time today/tonight:

EARLYBIRD DEADLINE FOR SOUTHWEST SEATTLE HISTORICAL SOCIETY GALA: From SWSHS executive director Clay Eals: “Today (Wednesday) is the early-bird deadline to save on Champagne Gala Brunch tickets – $85. People can purchase them at that price online or by dropping a check (in an envelope) in our museum mailbox (61st/Stevens) by midnight.” Here’s a new video invitation, featuring Catherine Gruye Alexander, daughter of the first Homestead chef in 1950, Bob Gruye – she and brother Rob will be speaking at the gala, which is themed “Coming Home to the Homestead“:

Also announced by SWSHS – the live auction of the November 7th gala will include log sections of the Homestead. More info on the gala, happening at Salty’s on Alki and with The Kenney as presenting sponsor (both are also WSB sponsors, and WSB is a media sponsor for the gala) can be found here.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Car prowl leads to burglary

October 7, 2015 at 9:04 am | In Crime, West Seattle news | 14 Comments

In West Seattle Crime Watch:

(Screen grab from SPD police-report map, filtered to show car prowls)

CAR PROWL TURNS TO BURGLARY, PLUS, THE STATS: Those are all the car prowls on the Seattle Police report map for West Seattle right now – 16 of them, dated from last Wednesday (September 30th) to last Sunday (October 4th). The default map view is supposed to show the entire past week, but we usually notice a few days lag, and indeed, checking Tweets by Beat (which we aggregate automatically on the WSB Crime Watch page), we see three more from the past two days, so that’s 19. And that’s not even counting the one reported to us this morning by Paul from the 3800 block of 34th SW (map) – that would be the 20th in one week – which he says preceded a burglary:

At approximately 4:05 am today, our dog started barking and we heard someone getting in a car and heading down the alley behind our house, between 34th and 35th. I went into our attached garage and found the garage door to be open and some items were missing. We quickly discovered that the burglars had broken into our car which was parked in the alley and gained access to the garage door remote.

If you could, please ask readers if anyone on or around the 3800 block of 34th SW or 35th SW saw any people or cars around 4 am today, or if they have any security camera footage that they could review. A car prowl is one thing, but a break-in while we’re at home is pretty brazen and unnerving, and any help would be appreciated.

Police did respond and investigate, Paul says. Meantime, another reader report from the queue:

ONE MORE CRIME WATCH NOTE: You might call this one a drive-by theft. It happened Sunday evening, Barry reported – “… a black backpack with wallet, cell phone, and medicine was stolen from the end of the blind alley off Walker between California and 44th. Construction crew working on our house were preparing to leave and were collecting their equipment when a SUV drove down to the end of the alley snatched the backpack and backed out of the alley very quickly.” It was a black Billabong backpack and has been reported to police.

NEXT WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL MEETING: 7 pm Tuesday, October 20th, at the Southwest Precinct – come hear crime updates and bring your concerns for Q/A with police.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Rainy Wednesday updates

October 7, 2015 at 7:04 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 29 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
7:04 AM: Rain’s back. One incident just reported – a crash toward the east end of the SW Roxbury corridor, at 3rd and Olson.

7:44 AM: The SFD call for that crash has closed.

7:59 AM: As commenters are noting – traffic is just a general mess. As the WSDOT traffic tweeter put it:

8:34 AM: Alert texted/tweeted by Sound Transit: “All ST Express buses are experiencing 20-40 min delays due to slow moving traffic due to the rain and previous collisions or disabled vehicles blocking lanes.” (The Express buses include Route 560, which runs to/from the Westwood area.)

West Seattle schools: Portable leaving WS Elementary on Saturday

October 7, 2015 at 12:16 am | In High Point, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

One more school note: Heads up for the High Point area – a temporary portable used for the start of the school year at West Seattle Elementary will be removed from campus this Saturday morning (October 10th), now that a new one to be used TFN is in place. The district says the 12′ x 56′ modular structure is scheduled to be moved out at 9 am Saturday “via the site access gate at the intersection of 34th and Willow Streets. The city will coordinate with us and may or may not place traffic signs on the street(s) being affected.”

West Seattle schools: Another taste of food literacy at Sanislo

October 6, 2015 at 10:12 pm | In West Seattle books, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

Food literacy was back on the menu today in the Sanislo Elementary library, as Katherine Pryor – author of “Sylvia’s Spinach” and “Zora’s Zucchini” – came to visit. First- and second-graders rotated through over the course of the morning. Sanislo librarian Craig Seasholes featured “Zora …,” the newer of the two books, with kindergarteners back in June, and wrote about it here. Pryor’s publisher is Readers to Eaters, whose co-founder Philip Lee visited Sanislo last year. (Check out all the Readers to Eaters books here.)

Pryor talked to the students about growing food, including how she gardened in the back of a pickup truck one summer. In a re-enactment of the story about Sylvia, they all got to taste spinach leaves, in case they hadn’t before – and we hear some spinach was to be planted in the school garden beds, too.

CONGRATULATIONS! ‘Pathways to Excellence’ awards for Denny IMS, Chief Sealth IHS

October 6, 2015 at 8:41 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 3 Comments

(Photos courtesy KCTS 9 - above, at Chief Sealth IHS; below, at Denny IMS)
In a program that premiered tonight, KCTS announced that Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School are two of this year’s three “Pathways to Excellence Award” recipients:

KCTS 9 is pleased to announce the 2015 Pathways to Excellence Award winners, recognizing schools in Washington state that are helping low-income students and students of color achieve at higher levels, making measurable progress in closing the achievement and opportunity gaps. Each school is improving teaching and learning and expanding connections with families and communities in meaningful ways. The honorees are selected by KCTS 9 in partnership with the Washington State Board of Education.

The 2015 honorees are:

Denny International Middle School, Seattle Public Schools, West Seattle
Chief Sealth International High School, Seattle Public Schools, West Seattle
Chinook Elementary School, Auburn School District, Auburn

My School, Our Future: 2015 — a new half-hour special on KCTS 9 — looks at the three Washington State schools to see how dedicated teachers, families and students are working together to beat the odds. See their stories and those of past award-winners, at KCTS9.org/pathways.

Ensuring that all children, regardless of racial, ethnic or socioeconomic background, have fair and equitable access to quality learning experiences is one of the great challenges of our time. Across the country, schools are struggling to fully serve low-income students and students who have been traditionally underserved — including African Americans, Latinos, and American Indians — and ensure that all students find a pathway to success. When we hear about the opportunity gap — the disparity in access to the quality educational resources needed for all children to be academically successful — the headlines are usually quite grim. Fortunately, some Washington schools are generating good news. These bright spots are an inspiration to parents, teachers, principals and communities, showing that there are strategies that are working to combat the persistent gap in educational equality and provide students with the skills they need to succeed in school and life.

You can watch the feature about Sealth here; about Denny, here. On TV, the full half-hour program about all three schools will be shown on KCTS 9 on October 17th, October 20th, and October 31st – check the schedule for more information.

Why new Fire Station 32 isn’t under construction yet – more than a half-year after old one was vacated, 9 years behind original levy schedule

October 6, 2015 at 3:24 pm | In Triangle, West Seattle news | 23 Comments

(From Fire Station 32 “schematic design” packet dated August 2013, by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The rebuild of West Seattle’s Fire Station 32 is now running nine years behind the schedule that was originally projected when voters passed the levy to fund it and a tall stack of other projects.

We’ve learned that its construction is now not expected to start until early next year – which will be about a year after its crews were moved to interim locations.

When the station’s Engine 32 and Ladder 11 moved to a temporary site early this year, demolition of the original station was supposedly imminent. But more than half a year has passed, with no sign of work. After a reader e-mailed to ask what was going on, so we started looking into it.

What we’ve learned is that it’s going out to bid again – and now it appears that Station 32′s crews will have been out of the old location a full year by the time the teardown begins, meaning they’ll be in temporary quarters for about two years. (E-32 and L-11 are now in temporary structures on city-owned land that’s set for a future park, along 40th SW between Alaska and Edmunds, while Medic 32 is currently based at Station 37 in Sunrise Heights.)

The Station 32 rebuild was part of the $167 million Fire Levy approved by voters in 2003. It was a nine-year levy, so property owners aren’t paying it any more. But the presentation given to the City Council that year promised the city would “implement the program over the shortest possible time period to minimize the risks of inflation.” Page 19, the program schedule, shows the Station 32 project as expected to be complete by the end of 2007:

And now, as the end of 2015 approaches, this project hasn’t even started construction yet.

Design started three years ago, as noted on the periodic status/schedule reports posted on the Fire Levy website. (The most recent status/schedule report, however, posted less than a month ago, shows the site as under construction, which it is not.)

Fire Levy projects are now managed by the city’s Finance and Administrative Services department. When we checked with FAS last winter, a spokesperson told us (as reported here) demolition and construction was expected to start by late February – of this year.

Responding to our latest inquiry, FAS spokesperson Cyndi Wilder tells us the project has to go out to bid again:

Initially, this project was bid out through an alternative contract method called general contractor/construction manager (GC/CM), which allowed the general contractor to assist in the design process through a pre-construction services contract. The GC/CM process, following design, allows the City the option to negotiate with a selected construction firm to determine an appropriate construction cost.

The City and the contractor were unable to agree upon a negotiated cost that fits within the City budget. This week, the City is in the process of cancelling the pre-construction contract and will quickly move to a traditional bidding process for construction, where the entire construction contract will be awarded to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder. We anticipate beginning demolition on the old Fire Station 32 facility in the first quarter of 2016.

According to the project’s city webpage, the GC/CM contract had been awarded to BNBuilders (which has its own page for the project here).

We don’t know what if anything the schedule changes have cost the city. The project is budgeted at $18.6 million, according to the latest online financial report; the actual construction cost was cited at $10.6 million in various places including this solicitation for subcontractors, under the BN Builders contract. The new FS 32 was designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (BCJ), whose designs were shown to the community at this 2014 open house.

The Fire Levy has an Oversight Committee that still meets periodically, with its next meeting scheduled for December 15th. Its meeting minutes are online, but recent editions have few details other than who was in attendance and the number of projects in progress. Earlier, more detailed sets of minutes shine some light on the overall delay, first indicating that some early challenges included big project-cost inflation in the first few years after the levy’s passage, with some of the cost increases attributed to factors such as China buying much of the world’s steel and estimates having been based on “suburban” fire stations rather than “urban.” The earliest mention we found of FS 32 in meeting minutes was November 2007, when its architect was about to be announced; BCJ was described as being in “pre-design” as of the July 2008 meeting minutes. At the November 2008 meeting, several postponements were announced, and at that time, the committee was told that Station 32 would be done in 2011. The next year, the project was listed as “being deferred” due to the shortfall in Real Estate Excise Tax received by the city. Later in 2009, meeting minutes said the project would start in 2010; toward the end of that year, a new delay – a request to search for a different site. The next mention of a new schedule came in 2011 – when it was declared to be starting in 2012. Then suddenly the February 2012 minutes say FS 32 would be complete “after 2015.” Every set of minutes from that year says the same thing, and then the specific mentions cease.

P.S. West Seattle’s Station 37, mentioned above as interim home to one of FS 32′s units, was a levy project too – shown on that original 2003 schedule as expected to be finished by the end of 2007, opened three years after that. Other local levy projects include upgrades at Station 36 (North Delridge), Station 11 (Highland Park), and Station 29 (Admiral); the first two are complete, the third still under way (and, like FS 32, listed on that City Council pre-levy presentation as projected for completion by 2008).

YOU CAN HELP! Be a tutor for program at 2 West Seattle schools

October 6, 2015 at 1:50 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 4 Comments

A tutoring program serving schools around Seattle, including two here, is looking for help. Maybe you can answer the call. Here’s the announcement:

Invest in Youth is a Seattle-based non-profit organization that provides free tutoring to local elementary students across the city, including at Roxhill Elementary and Fairmount Park Elementary, both in West Seattle. We are looking for volunteer tutors to work with students this school year. Will you join us this fall?

Tutoring begins in early October, runs through May and takes place once every week at one of our six conveniently located schools across the city.

The program is pretty straight-forward. Each tutor is matched with the same student for the whole school year and the pair works together on things like playing math games, reading stories or working on homework, for an hour once a week. Educational materials and activities, training and support, and heartfelt appreciation are provided at every session.

The impact of Invest in Youth’s tutoring program is dramatic:

· 100% of classroom teachers agreed that Invest in Youth was a valuable resource for their students.
· Students in our program made an average gain of 10 points on their MAP tests, which is twice the national average.
· Our volunteers collectively provided more than 3,000 hours of FREE academic support to students in need during the 2014-2015 school year.
· Tutors felt that the lasting bond they form with their student is the most meaningful element of the program.

We are looking for volunteer tutors to join us this fall. Apply today!

For more information or to apply to be a tutor, please visit our website: www.investinyouth.org or contact Alison at aallen@investinyouth.org. Can’t commit to the full school year? Become a substitute tutor or share this with your friends who might be interested.

FOLLOWUP: Alicia Goemaat charged with murder in Morgan Junction toddler’s death

October 6, 2015 at 11:16 am | In Crime, West Seattle news | 14 Comments

Just in from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office: 20-year-old Alicia J. Goemaat is now charged with second-degree murder in the death of her boyfriend’s 17-month-old son, Drue Lehto. The allegations are the same as described at the time of her bail hearing last week – that she kicked Drue in the abdomen twice, then put him in his crib, and that’s where the child’s father found his son dead after returning from a trip to the store; court documents say she later confessed to kicking Drue after becoming angry when he and her son, a few months older, fought over a toy. Goemaat remains in the King County Jail, now awaiting arraignment, with prosecutors asking that her bail remain set at $1 million.

As shown here last night, neighbors have started a sidewalk-side memorial for Drue; his father’s family is raising money online for his funeral, and gave us permission to use the family photo shown above.

West Seattle Tuesday: ‘Land Use 101′ at WWRHAH; candidates for City Council District 1 and Positions 8/9 in Fauntleroy; more

October 6, 2015 at 10:35 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 3 Comments

(Today’s sunrise from Sunrise Heights, tweeted by @MetPatrick22)

Four weeks until Election Day; your ballot will arrive next week, so tonight is a great chance to check out your City Council choices, among other options highlighted below – from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

MATH BUDDIES: 4 pm drop-in program (first-come, first-served) for K-5 kids to get math help at West Seattle (Admiral) Library, explained here. (2306 42nd SW)

WEST SEATTLE BIKE CONNECTIONS: Open agenda for tonight’s monthly meeting, 6 pm at HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor) in The Junction – check out WSBC’s website for details and for other recent news about the group. All welcome. (SW Alaska & 41st SW)

‘LAND USE 101′ AT WWRHAH: Find out how to figure out what it means when a sign suddenly turns up on your street indicating something’s about to be torn down or built, whether there’s any chance for public comment, and more, in community advocate and former land-use planner Deb Barker‘s “Land Use 101″ presentation, the main event at tonight’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meeting, 6:30 pm at Southwest Library. (35th SW & SW Henderson)

CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES: Tonight brings the first of four forums in West Seattle over the next 10 nights. This one’s at 6:30 pm at Fauntleroy UCC Church, presented by the Westside Interfaith Network and League of Women Voters, featuring candidates in the three races that’ll be on ballots here – District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) and at-large Positions 8 and 9. (9140 California SW)

‘BOOKTOBERFEST’ TRIVIA: Tonight, librarians challenge you to trivia at Westside Public House in The Junction, as “Booktoberfest” continues. 7:30 pm – info in our calendar listing. (4752 California SW)

And a biznote:

WHY BAKERY NOUVEAU IS CLOSED: A reader was worried to see the shop dark and a sign on Bakery Nouveau‘s door in The Junction; no worries, it’s just maintenance work – today’s the second and final day of a two-day closure.

FOLLOWUP: Bail set at $25,000 for suspect in Saturday house fire

October 6, 2015 at 9:40 am | In Crime, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news, Westwood | 3 Comments

(Police and fire investigators at scene on Saturday)
An 18-year-old man is in jail, suspected of setting the fire that damaged a house in the 9200 block of 31st Place SW on Saturday afternoon. SFD confirmed on Monday that the fire had been ruled arson, but we weren’t able to confirm until this morning that a suspect is in custody. Court documents say he is the boyfriend of the 18-year-old woman who was found outside the house, “screaming and crying,” as it burned. She is reported to have told investigators the suspect lived inside the house, and that when they had argued earlier in the day, he had threatened to set it on fire. She also said the house, described by SFD and in an online complaint as “vacant,” had belonged to a relative of her boyfriend and that he had been staying there because he was otherwise homeless. A neighbor told police he had seen the man walking away from the house just before an “explosion” that preceded the fire. The suspect was found “on a pathway near the Roxhill Park entrance,” according to the probable-cause document, and recognized by officers “from prior contacts” (he does not, however, appear to have a criminal record, either felony or misdemeanor). He was booked into King County Jail on Saturday night; on Monday afternoon, a judge set his bail at $25,000. Prosecutors have until tomorrow to file charges.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday updates & alerts

October 6, 2015 at 6:28 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | No Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
No incidents of interest to our area, so far.

ROAD WORK ALERT: The city says it’s continuing work at the intersection of 21st Ave SW and SW Genesee St on Pigeon Point (as seen here on Friday) and that the intersection “will be closed to southbound traffic” for a few more days “while crews install new sidewalk and curb ramps. A signed detour will be in effect to direct southbound traffic around the work: From 21st Ave SW travel east on SW Charlestown St to 20th Ave SW; then travel south on 20th Ave SW to SW Genesee St. … Crews have also begun surveying the area where 22nd Ave SW merges into 21st Ave SW. As part of the greenway project, we will install a new sidewalk, pavement and curb ramp.” This is part of the Delridge/Highland Park Neighborhood Greenway project.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Published here on Monday, here’s first word of a big project that will affect one mile of Delridge Way next year – the complete replacement of the streetlight system between Myrtle and Henderson, plus a lighting upgrade for the SW Holden stairway.

Remembering little Drue: Neighbors’ tribute in Morgan Junction

October 5, 2015 at 10:11 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 2 Comments

As they had promised in the note published here this morning, neighbors created a sidewalk-side memorial tonight for 17-month-old Drue Lehto, who died eight days ago of internal injuries that police say his father’s girlfriend confessed to causing by kicking him. They told us other community members had stopped by to add small tributes – stuffed animals, candles, flowers. It’s in a tree well along the sidewalk in the 6500 block of California SW, just south of the Morgan Junction apartment building where Drue died; you are welcome to add to it, they said. Meantime, the accused killer remains jailed in lieu of $1 million bail; we’ll likely hear from prosecutors tomorrow about charges.

Seen from West Seattle: ’12′ shines from downtown skyline

October 5, 2015 at 9:21 pm | In West Seattle news, WS & Sports | 3 Comments

For the first nighttime home game of the Seahawks’ season, the big bright “12″ was back downtown. We photographed it shortly after Seattle’s 13-10 win over the Detroit Lions. This was the Seahawks’ only scheduled Monday Night Football appearance this year; they’re set for a Sunday Night Football home game on November 15th, hosting the Cardinals.

9:49 PM P.S. Via Twitter, we learn Zillow is now the largest tenant in the building.

FOLLOWUP: Crash victim’s mother asks for help finding hit-run driver

October 5, 2015 at 8:13 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 13 Comments

(Family photo, taken the day Alex left Harborview)
That’s Alex, who survived a crash on Fauntleroy Way north of Lincoln Park four weeks ago. His mother Katie e-mailed to say that investigators are still looking for the driver who left the scene:

On 9/8/15 around 9:30 pm my son was involved in a hit-and-run accident on Fauntleroy and Othello. He was admittedly going over the speed limit when a white truck pulled out in front of him, cutting him off. The driver of the truck then stopped in the middle of my son’s lane, causing my son to hit the back driver’s side quarter panel. The impact threw him off his motorcycle and into two parked cars. The motorcycle slid for quite a ways in the middle of Fauntleroy. The driver of the truck then backed up, looked at my son, and then drove off … leaving my son screaming in pain, asking for help.

Click to read the rest of FOLLOWUP: Crash victim’s mother asks for help finding hit-run driver…

CONGRATULATIONS! National honors for Chief Sealth International High School Academy of Business

October 5, 2015 at 5:29 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 2 Comments

Congratulations to Chief Sealth International High School for again being recognized as having one of the nation’s top career/vocational business academies. From Gary Perkins, who also shared the photos:

For the third consecutive year, the Academy of Business, which includes both the Academy of Finance and Academy of Hospitality & Tourism programs, was awarded “Model Status” by the National Academy Foundation, an award given to only a select number of business academies across the country. NAF is a leader in the movement to prepare young people for college and career success and operates in more than 650 academies across the 50 states. For over 30 years, NAF has refined a proven educational model which included industry-focused curricula, work-based learning opportunities through summer internships and job shadows, and a relationship model that connects the classroom to the workplace.

There are only five NAF academies in the entire state of Washington, with two of those located here at Chief Sealth Int’l. Over the past five years, the graduation rate for the Academy of Business has exceeded 99% and over 95% of those that graduate have gone on to college or post-secondary education.

In the pictures are juniors and seniors from the Academy of Finance and Academy of Hospitality & Tourism. Also included are Gary Perkins (Academy Coordinator/Instructor) and Jenny Austad (Academy Instructor). You can find out more about the program by E-mailing Gary Perkins at gaperkins@seattleschools.org

What do orcas and ants have in common? Find out when The Whale Trail’s new Orca Talk series begins

October 5, 2015 at 3:30 pm | In West Seattle news, Wildlife | No Comments

That photo by Araya Casey Photography is one of several shared with us after orcas swam past West Seattle on Sunday (see others here). If you’re among our area’s many orca fans, you will want to hurry up and get your ticket for the October 13th event that will lead off The Whale Trail‘s new Orca Talk season, with world-renowned author and orca expert Erich Hoyt speaking October 13th at The Hall at Fauntleroy. His talk titled “Ants, Orcas and Creatures of the Deep” is one of three stops in the region on Hoyt’s “Orca Tour 2015.” Wondering what in the world ants and orcas could have in common? Don’t miss the chance to find out – you can get your ticket right now through Brown Paper Tickets. (When Hoyt spoke here two years ago, he filled the house!)

Big Seattle City Light project on the way for Delridge: Mile-long streetlight-system replacement, plus stairway lighting

October 5, 2015 at 12:49 pm | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 12 Comments

(Part of the stretch of Delridge where the upgrading will happen)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Another big city project is headed this way.

We got first word of this while talking with one of the many city department reps who came to West Seattle on Saturday for the mayor-led Find It, Fix It walk in Delridge (WSB coverage here). It isn’t in the area on which the walk focused, but it’s in an area where many people will be affected by the work as well as by its results. Here’s what’s up:

Next year, Seattle City Light plans to replace and upgrade the Delridge Way SW streetlights and their infrastructure between SW Myrtle and SW Henderson. That’s a 1.1-mile-long stretch (see it on this map).

The Delridge Way SW Streetlight Infrastructure Upgrade Project entails much more than changing to LEDs (which won’t happen on other West Seattle arterials until 2017) – SCL says the light installations themselves have issues with wiring, grounding, and even siting/spacing, so the entire streetlight system along that stretch is being redesigned and replaced.

Along with new streetlights along Delridge, the project also will include lighting improvements on the SW Holden stairway between Delridge and 20th SW, the focus of safety concerns after robberies earlier in the year (yes, this is the same stairway where goats did some cleanup work last spring).

And, SCL says, some power-cable work will be done in areas where “injection” repair work failed.

Here’s the city overview of the type of work that’s expected to happen during this project:

City Light contractors will be trenching within the right-of-way. They will work within planting strips whenever possible, but will be demolishing sidewalks in some locations. New sidewalks and curb cuts will be installed as necessary and trenching across streets will be required in some areas. Sections of sidewalk will be closed while work is taking place. Roadways may be redirected for short periods of time when trenching across streets is taking place. Residents will be notified if driveways will be blocked.

SCL says the work is not expected to require or cause power outages.

The full scope of the project is still being planned, with its design not expected to be complete until March of next year, and bidding to follow in April; construction is expected to happen June 2016-January 2017. We’re checking on the estimated cost, as the SCL budget proposal for next year doesn’t list this (or other) specific projects.

YOU CAN HELP! What Chief Sealth IHS’s Clothing Closet needs

October 5, 2015 at 11:02 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

New and “gently used” items would be greatly appreciated by students in need at Chief Sealth IHS – here’s how to help:

The Clothing Closet is open and looking for donations!

Chief Sealth International High School PTSA — along with CSIHS staff and Key Club — coordinates the Clothing Closet, where students in need can get clothing, school supplies, and toiletries at no cost. The Clothing Closet relies on donations to keep its shelves stocked.

Here are some things that we’re currently in need of:

new men’s and women’s athletic and dress socks
new men’s underwear — preferably stretchy boxer briefs of all sizes
new women’s underwear – preferably cotton bikinis of all sizes
gently used athletic shorts — all sizes
gently used sweatpants, athletic-style pants, yoga pants, and leggings — all sizes
gently used men’s belts — casual and dress

You can drop off donations at the collection box in the Main Office. We’ll also have a collection box outside the Clothing Closet during the Open House on October 8. For more information, please contact Lisa Conley with PTSA at lisalconley@hotmail.com or 206-938-1947.

The school is at 2600 SW Thistle.

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