West Seattle, Washington
That’s one of the slogans half-jokingly suggested toward the end of a small but spirited meeting at Cooper Elementary School tonight in Pigeon Point (map) – its first group meeting since Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson announced at Wednesday night’s School Board meeting that her staff — as requested by board members last week — was looking into possibly moving Pathfinder K-8 to Cooper instead of to Arbor Heights Elementary. The “Save Cooper … Again” refers to previous proposals to close or change the Cooper program, and some of tonight’s participants were veterans of those battles — read on for our report on the talking points Cooper is rushing to prepare as a late entry into the school-closure battle:Read More
Brennan Coyle — who recycles old skateboards into creations like the one with which he posed — is one of the people we caught up with tonight at the skatepark-art celebration that accompanied the first night of the Youngstown Arts Center/Cooper Artist Housing holiday open house — and as you can see, he truly combines skating with art. Though construction of the Delridge Skatepark is on hold a while till money can be found to build it, after skatepark dollars were slashed from the new city budget, design is proceeding and so is the work of a community team focused on incorporating art into the skatepark. (The skating-related event was for tonight only, but the Youngstown/Cooper Housing open house continues tomorrow, noon-5 pm.)
From David in Gatewood:
I … wanted to get the word out about a pair of prowlers in the Gatewood area. I live on 41st behind Thriftway and came home to a neighbor of mine who stopped me and said she chased away 2 (african-american) men in our front yard this morning at 10 AM that were clearly prowling in the windows of our home. Our front yard has a white picket fence and she had said they had opened the fence and they were in our front yard looking in the home. She walked up to our yard with her large dog and they immediately retreated up the street to 41st and Frontenac. Thanks to our great neighbors but I wanted to let the area know in case anyone may have seen these guys today.
Thanks to WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli for capturing the beauty of tonight’s sunset, from Beach Drive.
The school-closure fight isn’t taking the weekend off: We stopped by Westwood Village on the way to the Cooper Elementary school-closure meeting (where we are now) – as promised, Arbor Heights Elementary parents are sign-waving outside Barnes and Noble, where students are at a “pajama party” tonight (and where a book fair all weekend is raising $ for Arbor Heights programs, as mentioned earlier) – we also saw at least one TV station (KIRO) there with a live truck, so you may have seen them on TV tonight. No other media here at Cooper, just us. More on their story later; the meeting has just begun (to recap – the district is now looking into possibly moving Pathfinder to Cooper instead of the original proposal last week to move it to Arbor Heights – more findings about that should come out at the board’s work session starting at 4 pm next Tuesday at district HQ).
While out admiring the sunset (photos of that are up next), we scouted Christmas lights – and happened onto this house on SW Spokane, east of 58th, on Charlestown Hill (map). The tree is covered with green lights on its trunk, purplish-pink through its branches, echoing one of the prettiest areas of the Point Defiance Zoolights display, so we’re featuring it here. We’ll be out looking at many more in the nights to come; got tips, and/or pix, please e-mail us!
Hope we will see you in The Junction tomorrow night for the West Seattle Tree Lighting – 5 pm, Farmers Market parking lot (44th/Alaska), your WSB co-publishers get to help emcee, and there’s an all-star lineup of fun including the Endolyne Children’s Choir, ArtsWest‘s “Plaid Tidings,” and the first drawings in The Junction’s $5,000 Holiday Giveaway. Also this weekend – the Kiwanis Community Pancake Breakfast tomorrow morning, a variety of artists’ open houses, myriad holiday concerts, a holiday wine tasting at SSCC, and even Sunday is jampacked – like an auction to benefit Habitat for Humanity, plus Taproot Theatre with “It’s a Wonderful Improv Life” and the Rainbow City Band‘s holiday concert — all part of the more than 70!!!!! (busiest weekend in MONTHS!!!!) West Seattle-and-vicinity events on our handy list ahead:Read More
Like last night’s Holiday Bazaar (WSB coverage here), Arbor Heights Elementary had long been planning a book-fair event tonight at Westwood Village Barnes and Noble – but now it’s taken on an added dimension. First, the book fair: 10 percent of B/N purchases made today through Sunday, with the voucher number 413831, will benefit various programs at AH, such as kindergarten assistant teachers and books for the school library. Meantime, Arbor Heights families will be there tonight for a kids’ pajama party starting at 5 pm, with kindergarten teachers presenting story time at 5:30, and in the meantime, the “Save Arbor Heights” campaign will be active outside, with signs and petition-signature-gathering. Tomorrow, they’re planning to be at the next “community workshop” (9:30 am) as well as School Board rep Steve Sundquist‘s Delridge Library gathering (3-5 pm) – more info on the Save Arbor Heights website.
We are in the King County Superior Court courtroom of Judge Michael Fox, where Brian Walsh has just been sentenced for the 2007 beating murder of “Benny” Reside (left), a mentally and physically disabled man who had been letting him stay in his apartment in Morgan Junction’s Cal-Mor Circle. This was the second part of a sentencing hearing that began October 17 (WSB courtroom coverage here), after Walsh pleaded guilty to second-degree murder (in a plea deal that we covered last summer). Prosecutors and family wanted the high end of the sentencing scale, 18 years, while defense argued for the low end, around 14. Reside’s sister Pam Reside Leach and brother-in-law Jeff Leach addressed the court again today (photo above shows Pam [left] directly addressing her brother’s killer [far right]), and for the first time, the killer, Brian Walsh, spoke as well, sobbing and asking the family’s forgiveness, reading from a handwritten statement. The judge is imposing the maximum possible sentence – 220 months, mostly, he says, because of the “absolute helplessness” of the victim, the unprovoked nature of the attack, and the savageness of the crime. More details from the courtroom – and the family’s reaction afterward (“It’s not a happy day,” Pam said) – will be added shortly. ADDED 12:38 PM: Read on for those details – what the family said, what the killer said, what the judge said:Read More
Just out of the WSB inbox from “a concerned Cooper parent” – to recap, one week after proposing that the Arbor Heights Elementary program be closed so that Pathfinder K-8 could be relocated into the AH building, the district is now also studying the possibility of Cooper Elementary as a Pathfinder home (which has been proposed and dismissed before):
Just wanted to get some information out about the possible closure of Cooper Elementary as a new location for Pathfinder. I understand that Arbor Heights has had a very vocal presence, fighting to keep their school alive. They have done a fabulous job. Unfortunately, their success puts Cooper Elementary on the chopping block.
The Cooper school family faces many challenges in organizing their efforts, including economic circumstances and language barriers. This makes us no less of a family, and no less deserving of community support. None of our kids deserve to be displaced.
We are holding a meeting at 6:30 pm (tonight) in room 107 at Cooper Elementary to organize ourselves and our message. Please attend if you can. If we don’t let our thoughts be known to the District and the public we may well lose the Cooper building to the Pathfinder program. Please come and contribute your thoughts and your voice.
Thanks for helping us get our message out. Hopefully the Delridge community can rally the same way Arbor Heights has and save Cooper Elementary!!
Arbor Heights also plans a protest and petition drive tonight at Barnes and Noble-Westwood Village during an already-scheduled school-related event; more on that separately, a bit later. WSB will of course cover both events.
Thanks to WSB’er “Chuck and Sally’s Van Man” for a tip that involves, yes, the long-closed Chuck and Sally’s Tavern in Morgan Junction (map): A film crew is there today. We went down the hill to check it out. It’s an independent production called “Greenspoke“; according to this site, “principal photography” just started a few days ago. A webpage for the film itself has the tag line: “Well-meaning scientists aim a green bullet at climate change. Bullets ricochet.” Here’s the online bio for its writer/director/producer Tom McEntire. (Film-crew members are also AROUND Chuck and Sally’s, as you’ll notice from the second photo we just added, taken across the street.)
Thanks to David Hutchinson for that sunset view from Don Armeni. Next, thanks to Eric Baer for gathering and sending photos from the Pathfinder K-8 “Rethinking Thanksgiving” event last night, a potluck attended by more than 200 members of the school community, and their invited guests, members of the Duwamish Tribe, welcomed with the kindergarten classes’ “famous tree dance and song”:
(Pathfinder photos by Alexander Cooley)
Teachers of the 2nd and 3rd grades gifted a button blanket to the Duwamish — whose longtime elected chair, the Honorable Cecile Hansen, is at right — for their new longhouse in West Seattle (which is to be dedicated soon). Each classroom has a clan animal represented on the blanket – Spider, Frog, and Owl:
As you likely have heard by now (if not, catch up on our archive here), the nonprofit Fauntleroy retirement center The Kenney has a $150 million redevelopment project on the drawing boards – one that would demolish almost every building on the site, even the century-old Seaview (above), famous far and wide for its cupola (which The Kenney promises would return somewhere in the project). Two weeks before its architects and developers return for the next Design Review meeting, neighbors and community leaders gathered at Fauntleroy Church (WSB sponsor) last night to talk about their concerns about, and hopes for, the project, while also getting insight into the process the project must follow before any sort of green lights are given:Read More