day : 24/01/2009 10 results

School-closure vote countdown: “This is tough”

In the middle of a rare sunny winter afternoon, a dozen people came to Delridge Library today for one last pre-closure-vote round of Q/A with West Seattle’s school board member Steve Sundquist. And while the phrase in the headline – “This is tough” — came from him, it could have come from anyone in the room, or from any of the thousands of people at the schools around the city that have been mentioned at one point or another in the closure proceedings that started last fall. The timetable has been tough too – with the “preliminary recommendations” announced just before Thanksgiving, hearings and meetings peppered throughout the holiday season, then the “final recommendations” coming out right after school resumed post-winter break. Now, the vote is less than a week away, and no more formal hearings or meetings remain before that vote, so gatherings like this one are the last opportunities for a glimpse into which way board members might go:Read More

Amanda Knox fundraiser tonight at Salty’s on Alki

A post in the WSB Forums asked what TV-news trucks were doing outside Salty’s tonight; as listed on the West Seattle Weekend Lineup and Events calendar, friends and family of Amanda Knox – the former Arbor Heights resident now on trial in Italy in a much-discussed murder case – were holding another fundraiser for her defense costs. The report above, from our ex-employer at Channel 13, is the first one we’ve found online. (Another fundraiser was held in November at Holy Rosary.) ADDED SUNDAY AFTERNOON: KING’s clip isn’t embeddable but here’s a direct link.

West Seattle Weather Watch: Snow sighting

(video added 11:09 pm)
Flakes are falling. The forecast called for flurries, as mentioned earlier, so it’s not SUPPOSED to amount to much … 11:13 PM UPDATE: Uh-oh, famous forecaster Cliff Mass has published an update on his website suggesting it MIGHT be a bit more. 1:10 AM UPDATE: Seems a little more serious than flurries out there. Car tops are white. Hmm.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Bloody break-in, possibly solved

“Only” one crime report to share tonight – it happened to Paul west of The Junction about this time last night:

Edmunds and 47th [map], 9 pm on Friday night. I got home … to find broken glass and a smashed flashlight in my kitchen. Looks like one or two people got in, stole a couple of DVDs of the Wire (ironic), and left a lot of blood – one of them cut themselves badly coming in through the back door window. Definitely felt like opportunists, not a professional job. At least they were nice enough to close the front door when they left, so the cats didn’t get out.

Our e-mail system didn’t get that to us till several hours after Paul sent it; after we e-mailed him back this morning, he sent an update: “The cop that showed up thought that he’d managed to pick up the guy at around 1 am – he’d been called out by someone reporting a vehicle prowl a little further up north, and apprehended a guy with a bleeding right hand.”

West Seattle Hi-Yu update: Scholarship Program application time

January 24, 2009 5:11 pm
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 |   West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival | West Seattle news | West Seattle people

We took you to Grace Church last July for the coronation of West Seattle Hi-Yu Senior Court Queen Margo Femiano (center) and Princesses Alicia Watanabe and Katie Tarabochia (left, right); now, at the midpoint between summers, the 2009 Scholarship Program is welcoming applications. This year’s program coordinator is Shirley Enebrad, who renews the basics of the announcement we made one year ago today:

Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu Scholarship Competition: Applications due

Young women who live, work or attend school in West Seattle are invited to apply for the Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu scholarship competition. There are several scholarship awards given out at the pageant, including, but again, not limited to: Athletic, Media Career, Community Service, Academic, Miss Congeniality, Creative Expression, and Hi-Yu Involvement. There are three titles awarded: Queen and two Princesses.

Each title winner receives a scholarship (Princesses- $1,000 each, Queen- $2,000), crown, and sash. The Queen will receive $1,250 at the end of her reign and $750 after completing the Miss Seafair competition. She will represent the community during the 2009-2010 festival year and travel to several Northwest parades with the Hi-Yu float. The Senior Court members must be available to participate in the Hi-Yu Summer Festival activities.

While there is some work involved, West Seattle royalty will have a lot of fun serving your community, making new friends, increasing confidence, and developing leadership. New this year, all candidates will have the opportunity to work with a local businesswoman as a professional mentor and spend a day with professional health & beauty professionals receiving advice on hair, make-up, and dress. Hi-Yu serves the West Seattle Community by providing fun and affordable entertainment for adults and children alike.

The application, found at, must be postmarked by March 30, 2009. Mail your completed application to Candidate Coordinator, West Seattle Hi-Yu, PO Box 16130, Seattle, WA 98116. If you have questions, call Shirley at 206-935-5224.

Again, here’s the direct link to the application. Another Hi-Yu note, from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar: Hi-Yu’s Spring Tea and Silent Auction is set for March 22 at The Hall at Fauntleroy, 2-4:30 pm, $25/person, and they’re taking reservations now – 206-935-6517 or

What’s new – and old – at West Seattle’s one-of-a-kind Kenyon Hall

Among your many entertainment options on tonight’s West Seattle Weekend Lineup: Two “classic silent comedies” accompanied (with ragtime!) by Donald Sosin at Kenyon Hall (interior photo above). If you aren’t well-acquainted with that venue, time to fix that. We revisited the historic building (on 35th just south of Kenyon – here’s a map) recently to talk with manager Lou Magor and find what’s new – read on!Read More

Burn ban canceled: It’s OK to use your fireplace/woodstove again

Just in from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, which explains, “The stagnant weather pattern of this past week is finally eroding, bringing improved mixing and dispersion of the fine particle pollution – and ultimately, cleaner, healthier air.” You can track the air status at their site any time,

Happening today: From pancakes to pickup (photos added!)

January 24, 2009 8:59 am
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 |   Delridge | How to help | West Seattle parks | West Seattle schools

PANCAKES: Till 10:30 am, Fauntleroy Church (map), fresh-cooked breakfast (including pancakes, ham, orange juice, milk), to support the annual Fauntleroy Fall Festival. (In the photo above, helper Jason Chase is adding some special touches, including M&Ms, to a pancake or two.)

(photo added 11:29 am)
CAR WASH: Till 3 pm, the Chief Sealth and West Seattle High School swim teams are joining forces for a fundraising car wash at WSHS (map). Perfect weather to go get the dust washed off!

(Seacrest cleanup photo added 11:30 am)
PICKUP: Two special cleanup events this morning: At Seacrest (map), 9-noon, to help the park qualify as official Backyard Wildlife Habitat; also, meet at Delridge Community Center or Chief Sealth High School (map) at 9:45 to join in a double-teamed Adopt-a-Street cleanup along Delridge, from Orchard to Andover, with the North Delridge Neighborhood Council and Chief Sealth PTSA (photo added 11:32 am, after we caught up with some of the crew):

Lots more happening – check the West Seattle Weekend Lineup.

Will Cooper Elementary be closed? Final weekend before the vote

January 24, 2009 6:07 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle school closure | West Seattle schools

Next Thursday, in a special meeting at 6 pm at district HQ in Sodo, Seattle School Board members will vote on proposed closures and changes. Right now, West Seattle’s Cooper Elementary is proposed for “program closure,” as part of a chain reaction starting with closing the Genesee Hill building that’s been home to Pathfinder K-8 for more than a decade, and ending with Pathfinder moving into the Cooper building. Cooper supporters (whose site is here) have continued to relentlessly press the point that their school should be “a model, not a target” because the academic achievement of its children outpaces area schools with comparably diverse demographics (as detailed on this page).

DISTRICT SUMMARY OF COMMENTS FROM HEARINGS: Posted on a new page at the district Capacity Management (the umbrella term for changes including the closure process) website. (If you want to compare the summaries to the official transcripts, you can find those on this page.)

ANOTHER Q/A/LISTENING SESSION WITH WEST SEATTLE’S SCHOOL BOARD REP: Steve Sundquist will be at Delridge Library (map) 1-2:30 pm this afternoon; it’ll be a session similar to the one he held at Coffee to a Tea in The Junction this past Wednesday morning (WSB coverage here).

CITYWIDE PROTEST MARCH ON SUNDAY: As we reported before the January 7th school board meeting, closure opponents from around the city plan a protest rally and march Sunday afternoon, 2 pm, starting at TT Minor (map). Here’s the official site for march organizers.

NOT TOO LATE TO HAVE A SAY: Though Thursday was the last public hearing on the closure proposals, school-board members have till Tuesday at noon to propose changes to the plan (technically they could propose changes up till the last minute before the vote next Thursday, but board president Michael DeBell requested the Tuesday deadline). So you can still e-mail them with your opinion at (or find individual board members’ addresses here).

Sheer poetry: Center School students; Poet Populist celebration

Thanks to Paul Dieter for sharing that video of The Center School‘s Poetry Slam performance/competition on Thursday night. We learned more about TCS during the Seattle Public Schools closure process that’s heading for a vote next Thursday; TCS changes are NOT part of the plan any more but when they were, we learned that the unique Seattle Center-based school has more than a few West Seattle teens in attendance, including one who performed in the Thursday night event, as Paul explains:

The Center School presented A Night Of Poetry and Theater For Social Change at the Seattle Repertory Theater. The standing-room-only audience was treated to these talented high-school students exercising the power they are finding in words, performance and personal poise confidence. The evening began with 18 students reading their own poems and finished with a competitive poetry slam that included West Seattle’s own Daniel Willoughby. There was also a brief performance by the school’s Theater For Social Change class that gave us a view on some of the issues facing these young adults.

Another poetry note with a West Seattle hook: South Seattle Community College writing instructor Mike Hickey (photo left), elected last November as the city’s newest Poet Populist, will be officially “installed” as the PP Sunday afternoon. He’ll read, of course, at the 2 pm event at the city’s central library branch downtown (map), which features other special guests. Read more about the (free!) event here; hear Mike read in this WSB report on a pre-election event last October at Youngstown Arts Center.