West Seattle, Washington
Just back from checking if the “Nickelsville” campers at West Marginal/Highland Park Way cleared out as they said they’d do late tonight, 5 days after the first sweep. Short answer: Yes. Long answer: The campsite was dark but some vehicles were clearly being loaded before heading out in mini-convoys; we followed a few to see if they were moving nearby as one report had suggested — but the first mini-convoy we followed headed north on The Viaduct, far out of West Seattle (we broke off and turned around at Seneca); the second mini-convoy we followed crossed south Seattle to get on north I-5. So either they’re moving some distance away, or rendezvousing somewhere, or both. No new communiques on their Google Groups site or website so far. We made one last pass before returning to WSB HQ – the former campsite was virtually empty, just a few stragglers and a vehicle preparing to take off. 11:05 PM UPDATE: Well, that explains the northward convoys – Channel 4 is live at the new campsite: the tribal center at Discovery Park.
The permanent plaque on the south side of the Alki Statue of Liberty‘s new pedestal is now installed, covering over the spot where vandals tore away the placeholder (as reported here three days ago). Now the plaza’s dealing with a different problem:
David Hutchinson (who provided both photos for this post) from the Statue of Liberty Plaza Project Committee sent this followup on the brick problem that committee co-chair Libby Carr mentioned earlier this week:
We have been checking on the condition of a number of inscribed bricks that were installed in the plaza back near the end of August. Others have commented to us that the inscriptions on these bricks appear to be “wearing off.” On closer examination, it seems to be a substance that has developed on the surface of the bricks and when it forms over the letters can make them difficult to read. This material adheres to the brick and can’t be removed by simple washing with a soft brush and water. Matt Hutchins, one of the designers of the plaza, and Patrick Donohue, Project Manager from Seattle Parks and Recreation, have been out to the site and a meeting has been scheduled later this week with a representative from Kenadar, the company that produced the inscribed pavers. This problem appears to be confined to bricks in 2 specific areas of the plaza. I have attached a couple of photos to illustrate this problem. During production, the bricks had the inscriptions sand blasted into the surface and then the letters are filled with “black epoxy grout”. The Seattle Statue of Liberty Plaza Project chose to use this technique as it was recommended for high traffic areas.
We’ll update you when a plan of action is developed.
From the new WSB Election page: Your next chance to see Gov. Chris Gregoire (D) and challenger Dino Rossi (R) go head-to-head is 7 pm tonight; the debate’s in Yakima but KCTS Channel 9 plans to show it. Then tomorrow, you’re probably well aware, is the first and only scheduled vice presidential debate, between Sarah Palin (R) and Joe Biden (D), 6 pm; a D website says Redline Music and Sports is showing this debate, and this WSB Forums thread says a “section” of Rocksport will watch – any other WS parties, for either side (or nonpartisan)? P.S. Just a few days left to register to vote.
Posted online, and also forwarded to WSB in e-mail: A letter from Chief Sealth High School principal John Boyd, to students’ families, following the incident covered here yesterday. (We checked with Seattle Public Schools‘ media team at the time and their response indicated it happened off-campus, but Principal Boyd’s note mentioned a “fight … on campus during lunch.” In response to our request for clarification, he tells WSB, “To clarify, while there was a fight that occurred on campus yesterday, the issue that sparked large scale police response occurred off campus.”) He also writes, “Those students known to be involved in the incident have been disciplined according to District policy,” notes today’s meeting with police (reported here this morning), and says Sealth will be in a “closed campus” situation for the rest of the week. P.S. Sealth/Boren updates are part of the North Delridge Neighborhood Council agenda for tonight (7 pm, Delridge Library).
Two days after we brought you the urgent call for help from White Center Food Bank, which also serves southern West Seattle, we stopped by for an update; you can see that report here – executive director Rick Jump says thanks to those who have stepped up, and shared new numbers showing how the help is needed more than ever. (And if you missed it, we also checked with West Seattle Food Bank and published an update on their current needs earlier this morning. Both food banks now accept online $ donations – just click their names in this post to go to their websites. One more way you can help – the WCFB annual fundraising auction/dinner is coming up October 18th, 5:30 pm at South Seattle Community College‘s Brockey Center; this event raises up to half the WCFB’s annual budget funds – check out the invitation here and RSVP by October 10th.)
(photo by T. Bradley)
Update on the location of this incident: 7900 block of 35th, at Kenyon (here’s a map; thanks to T. Bradley for the update – he says 36th/Kenyon is still closed), closer to Gatewood. Disturbance involving a disturbed person, almost became a “barricaded in house” situation so reinforcements were called in, but the suspect’s in custody and police should be reopening the road shortly, per Lt. Steve Paulsen at Southwest Precinct. (Thanks for the e-mail tips and texts!) 2:37 PM UPDATE: 35th’s open again now. Photo added.
ARBOR HEIGHTS ELEMENTARY TECH PIONEER NOTED NATIONALLY: The Wall Street Journal‘s “Blog Watch” gives a shoutout this week to Arbor Heights’ Mark Ahlness, who in 1994 created the website that made AH Elementary one of the first grade schools in the U.S. with an online presence. You can follow his blog here (and he’s on Twitter too!).
SAY HI TO SEATTLE’S MOST FAMOUS NEWSPAPER BLOGGER: Monica Guzman from the P-I’s Big Blog is bringing her weekly BB meetup to West Seattle today, 5:30 pm at Uptown in The Junction. All welcome. We’ve met Monica several times and there are many things we could say about her – all positive! – but we’ll summarize with “she’s just plain good people,” so if you’re in the vicinity, drop by; we plan to.
THE NEXT TIME WE’RE LIKELY TO SEE MONICA, AND YOU’RE INVITED TO THIS TOO: Monica and your editor here are among the speakers set for the whimsically named BigFoot Blogging Conference (along with, among others, Goldy from HorsesAss.org, one of the political blogs covered on the new WSB Election page). 10 am-4 pm October 11th at Kane Hall on the UW campus; admission free, but space is limited.
LAST BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST – THANKS FOR ANOTHER RECORD MONTH!!!! We try to follow a philosophy from our TV days – though you get ratings daily, don’t stress about the ups and downs, look at the monthly trends. When you run a website, you get “ratings” minute by minute, but the trends are what matter. And thanks to you, the trends continue to be amazing – September was the fourth consecutive month with more than half a million WSB pageviews, setting a new record at 564,283 (40K more than last month, even though September has one less day). That’s not just because of all the people who read WSB – most importantly, it’s because of everyone who shares information with the rest of West Seattle via this site, whether it’s a Forum post or e-mailing/calling us with a tip (like the half-dozen people who e-mailed this morning to ask about the film crew in Lincoln Park – thanks to those tips, our in-person and online followups brought full details within about half an hour). This site is viewed as one of the most successful experiments so far in community-centered independent online-only news (our media coverage links are halfway down the “About” page), and we are thankful to have you as a collaborator. We also want to know how this site could better serve your needs — call, e-mail, text, or tweet any time.
Today’s the official start date of the state’s pilot program for wine/beer tastings in grocery stores. As reported here in August, West Seattle Thriftway is the only participant in WS; we just checked with its wine department, and they’re planning their first one on October 23rd, but still working out the details.
IN WEST SEATTLE TONIGHT: The North Delridge Neighborhood Council meets at 6:30 pm @ Delridge Library, with its agenda including a playground-project update and a progress report on Chief Sealth HS @ Boren. Then at 7 pm, the Southwest District Council, with reps from neighborhood groups and other organizations in what the city considers West Seattle’s “Southwest District” (map here), meets @ the board room at South Seattle Community College. NOT IN WEST SEATTLE BUT WITH WS AGENDA ITEM: The Seattle School Board’s semimonthly meeting is at 6 pm at district HQ in Sodo; among the agenda items, the district’s share of the project to renovate Hiawatha Playfield (the city announced this summer that work would start this fall – although the timetable in that update has already slipped, since it anticipated an August vote). OTHER EVENTS: See the WSB Events calendar (including open-house nights at WSHS tonight, CSHS tomorrow).
(looking south from the north end of the central LP parking lot where the crew’s headquartered)
ORIGINAL 9:17 AM POST: As mentioned here last week, the city’s film office confirmed shoots were coming up in West Seattle (while reiterating it can’t reveal who/what/when/where) – now, two reader notes say there’s a crew in Lincoln Park today; we’re on our way to see what we can find out. 9:31 AM UPDATE: 2 people down there (including WSB’er Jenny; thanks!) told us it’s called “The Whole Truth.” That didn’t bring up anything obvious on iMDB.com but a straight Google search brought up this page for the movie, and the e-mail address at the bottom would seem to verify. (Plus, a person we talked to said someone from “Law and Order” is in the cast, and the actors listed on the movie’s webpage include Elisabeth Rohm.) Not the first movie to film in Lincoln Park, of course; this recent WSB Forums thread about WS movie shoots mentioned the 1995 Drew Barrymore movie “Mad Love.” 9:48 AM UPDATE: Just found a production blog for the movie, by director Colleen Patrick. What we learned on site: They’re there till 8 pm tonight; the central Lincoln Park parking lot is closed for the duration; they’re currently shooting south of the ballfields that are near that lot. 10:10 AM: Adding a few pix. Note the “Talented Animals” truck (there’s a dog on the cast page):
Two days ago, we brought you first word of an urgent call for help from the White Center Food Bank, which also serves part of West Seattle. We’re visiting WCFB later today to see how people have responded and what’s still needed; meantime, we’d inquired with West Seattle Food Bank whether it also happened to have any urgent needs, and now we’ve heard back from executive director Fran Yeatts, who tells WSB: “We have been purchasing food at a furious rate to keep up with demand. Our numbers are about 20% higher than what they were one year ago and it is very difficult to keep the shelves stocked. We have been especially short on baby diapers and formula, but we are also very low on canned soups, fruits and protein items.” You can find out how to help WSFB by going to this page; the left sidebar has the hours for accepting donation dropoffs, plus a link to donate $ online.
SAFETY: While talking with Southwest Precinct Lt. Steve Paulsen about Tuesday’s disturbance across the street from Chief Sealth High School‘s interim Boren campus (WSB coverage here), we learned that precinct leaders and the principals of Sealth and West Seattle high schools will be meeting today to talk about how things are going so far this school year.
TRANSPORTATION: This school year, Seattle Public Schools had intended to stop running most yellow-school-bus service to high schools around the city, including WSHS and CSHS, giving students Metro passes instead. But from the very start four weeks ago, parents in some areas started pointing out that some kids couldn’t find room on Metro buses; you can read some local stories in this WSB Forums thread. Now, some adjustments have been made; as a result, SPS spokesperson David Tucker says nine school buses are serving CSHS in the morning, four of which go to Denny Middle School first (fewer in the afternoon – four for CSHS alone, 2 more that pick up at CSHS and then Denny); and starting today, two school buses will be added for WSHS transporting about 106 students. Metro had added some buses in certain dayparts on the line serving WSHS but said it had no money to continue that into October or beyond.