West Seattle, Washington
Last fall, we reported on CityDog Magazine‘s Cover Dog vote – then in November, word that West Seattle’s own Cohen, a former shelter pup who found his “forever home” with Ray Clemens, was the winner. Now, CityDog founder and West Seattle resident Brandie Ahlgren has e-mailed to let us know that the issue with Cohen’s cover (shown above) is on the stands.
We’re at the Morgan Community Association quarterly meeting, and it kicked off with a short presentation by a rep from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound — Bottom line: 100 kids, 7 to 17, are on a waiting list in the West Seattle area, awaiting more potential mentors to join BBBSPS. Commitment can be as little as an hour a week. More info: www.bbbsps.org or 877-700-BIGS. (More from MoCA later.)
In March 2006, we reported on Holy Rosary‘s announcement that Father Jeffrey Sarkies had resigned amid allegations of “improprieties.” No details were revealed, and Sarkies eventually moved out of state (after a going-away party mentioned on a site set up by supporters; we later mentioned this website where he still writes weekly). Tonight, the P-I reports the Seattle Archdiocese is being sued by a 28-year-old man who claims the priest “took sexual advantage of him” (the P-I story’s phrase) in 2004. ADDED THURSDAY MIDDAY: Since this has generated discussion and questions, we found the court documents online and are linking to them here. No confidential information appears to be included, nor anything very detailed, but just so anyone interested can see how the lawsuit is written, if you are interested in information beyond the article to which we linked above. The suit is against Fr. Sarkies as well as the Archdiocese.
Just couldn’t resist.
Just back from City Hall, where we tried our best to represent Seattle’s growing online-neighborhood-news industry on a City Council panel discussion (not archived on SeattleChannel.org yet but should be soon), and there’s more post-storm council action to relay: Tomorrow at 2 pm, the Energy and Technology Committee will focus on this aspect of snowstorm response past and future:
Winter Storm Response — Discussion of City Light’s participation in the winter storm response and purchase of snowplow equipment for mounting on existing Seattle City Light trucks. It is in the interest of public safety to improve the City’s ability to clear city streets of snow so that City Light vehicles, fire apparatus, emergency medical units, police cars, ambulances, and other emergency vehicles are able to navigate city streets.
Here’s the full agenda; some interesting technology items too, led by the city’s tech boss Bill Schrier (a West Seattleite). Meantime, Seattle Channel sends an alert that three councilmembers can be seen criticizing the city’s response to last month’s Snowmare during a show that’s available online now or premiering on Cable Channel 21 tonight at 7.
As first reported during the School Board meeting a week ago, board president Michael DeBell asked his fellow members this: If you’re going to propose any changes to the “final recommendation” for school closure/changes, get them in by yesterday, so they can be made public today (and voted on during the special board meeting tomorrow night). Caveat, board members still COULD propose amendments during tomorrow morning’s meeting, but for now, here are the ones just revealed. They include a proposal to take Genesee Hill off the recommendations, keeping Pathfinder K-8 there, and leaving Cooper Elementary as is; that proposal, included in this document, comes from board member Harium Martin-Morris. West Seattle board member Steve Sundquist has an amendment on the agenda too; it would continue with the move-Pathfinder-to-Cooper plan in the original “final recommendations,” but would set conditions on where the majority of current Cooper students would be reassigned – he proposes splitting them among Gatewood, Highland Park, and Arbor Heights. Of interest to APP families citywide, board member Mary Bass proposes keeping the elementary-level program at Lowell, instead of splitting half (including West Seattle APP elementary students) to another school. The amendments will all be voted on during tomorrow night’s special board meeting, 6 pm, district HQ in Sodo. (In addition to discussion here, there’ll be citywide comment ongoing at saveseattleschools.blogspot.com.)
Three months ago, former City Councilmember Jeanette Williams (seen at left in a city archives photo from 1973) was remembered for accomplishments including fighting to secure federal money to building the high-rise West Seattle Bridge. Now, there’s a campaign to name the bridge in her honor as the Jeanette Williams Memorial Bridge; a resolution supporting the proposal was adopted unanimously at last week’s Seattle Community Council Federation meeting and is circulating among other councils in the city as well (here’s the wording as also recently endorsed in View Ridge, according to SCCF chair Jeannie Hale). City Council approval would be required; no word yet of a timetable for a formal proposal coming before the council, but we asked Councilmember Tom Rasmussen – who got his political start working with Ms. Williams – and he told WSB he’s all for it. We’ll keep you posted. (Maybe it’ll happen in time for the bridge’s 25th anniversary this summer?)
For those waiting to find out if Seattle School Board members proposed any amendments to the closure/change plan that will be voted on tomorrow night – while the district had been expected to post amendments to its website by noon today, a notice is now posted on the board page saying they’ll be up at 1. We’ll bring them to you as soon as we get them.
We showed you that photo Monday, while reporting that West Seattle firefighters helped clean up and secure the area around a big broken window on the west side of a former Huling/Gee storefront on SW Alaska east of Fauntleroy Way. We subsequently checked to see if it was a case of burglary or “just” vandalism; this morning, we have followup information from Southwest Precinct Sgt. Mike Teeter, who summarizes that “a large rock was thrown through the window, but no entry was made.”
Meantime, a new Crime Watch report this morning, from Amy in Gatewood:
My car was stolen from my driveway yesterday sometime between 10 pm Monday evening and 6 am Tuesday morning. I live on the corner of SW Myrtle street and 36th Ave SW [map]. I filed a police report and thankfully my car was found yesterday around 5 pm by the King County Sheriff’s (Office). It was recovered in the South Park area and towed to a Burien lot. They said they had just recovered a similar Honda Accord like mine stolen from the same area. This is the second time my car has been targeted in my neighborhood. Two years ago my stereo was stolen. I think it’s a group of punk kids going for a joy ride. They didn’t take any car parts, just valuables that were in the car, punched out the ignition, stole my stereo again (luckily I carry the face plate with me so it’s useless to them now), and trashed the inside of the car. Just thought people should know about this in case there is anyone else out there who has had the same thing happen around the area.
We’ve received reports both official and unofficial of more than a few car thefts lately, including a “huge spike” in the unincorporated area south of WS, as described by King County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeff Hancock at last week’s White Center Crime Prevention Coalition meeting, but the Southwest Precinct says numbers on this side of the line are not currently higher than usual.
That’s Madison Middle School student Bazel Rivera, who’ll be in the Admiral Theater spotlight this Saturday night as a student of a different school – the Paul Green School of Rock Music. They’re presenting a salute to The Monkees – the TV rockers whose heyday was so long ago, some of the 8-to-18-year-olds heard about it from their grandparents. Or via a recent resurgence, as Bazel explains in a quick interview clip you’ll see ahead:Read More
When we reported last week on Prudential Northwest Realty moving out of its California SW location, merging with the same-ownership office at Jefferson Square, we got a new round of questions about the “upzoning” proposal for the area in which the now-empty office sits (which also was invoked in the real-estate listing for the Shamrock apartment building, as we reported days before the Prudential story). That proposal to change the zoning along California between Hanford and Hinds (and a bit further south on the west side of the street) to NC2-40 has been in the works for almost 15 months (we broke the story 11/8/07), and it’s been more than half a year since the city started telling us the recommendation was almost ready. And that’s what the city says now; planner Malli Anderson tells WSB, “I expect to complete a draft of the rezone recommendation this week.” Two of her supervisors then review it, including Bob McElhose, who told us, “When we have agreed with the decision and the final edits, it will go to the Hearing Examiner for the open record pre-decision hearing and recommendation, for which there will be notice. Depending on the review of the draft, the notice could go out as early as this Thursday or possibly next week.” (The city’s Land Use Information Bulletin is published Mondays and Thursdays; you can see the latest one here.) Anderson said the notice will “be sent to those who sent comment letters and e-mails or signed the sign-in sheet at the public meeting.” (That’s the public meeting we covered in late November 2007; a month after that meeting, longtime local businessmen Mike Gain and Roger Cayce talked with us about their vision for the area.) No explanation of why it’s taken so long, although planners told us at one point along the way that it’s not unusual for rezoning requests to take more than a year; since the decision here will trigger hearings and comment periods, it’ll be months before anything’s final.
SOUND TRANSIT: Route 560, which includes West Seattle, is one of the routes with changes to come, in part because of ST light rail, so a public-comment meeting has just been set for Feb. 25, 5-7 pm, Senior Center of West Seattle in The Junction. Read more about it here.
APPRAISALS: Wondering what your treasures are worth? Merrill Gardens at Admiral Heights has an appraisal event today – just about everything but jewelry. 1-3 pm. Check to see if there’s still room to RSVP: (206) 938-3964.
WSB ON TV: Much discussion these days about the evolution of news media, in Seattle and elsewhere, particularly since the P-I’s plight came to light. Today, the topic is tackled by the City Council’s Culture, Civil Rights, Health and Personnel Committee, chaired by Councilmember Nick Licata (vice chair is West Seattle-residing Councilmember Tom Rasmussen). Your editor here is on the panel, to discuss what local independent online neighborhood-news organizations like ours are bringing to the table. It’ll be live on Seattle Channel starting around 2:15-2:30 pm, after a few other agenda items when the committee meeting starts at 2 pm (cable channel 21 or online at seattlechannel.org). Read the latest version of the news release, with the full list of panelists, here. (If you can come to City Hall, a public-comment period is scheduled during the meeting, too.)
Got a note from Restita DeJesus, head instructor at Seattle Wushu Center (formerly Yin Yang Arts Center), who wanted to share this news: “My Tai Chi / Kung Fu studio was located at the old Graham & California building that was torn down. After being there for close to 8 years, (prior to that, on California and Juneau in the Nail Salon/Women’s fitness bldg for 6 years), it was very sad to leave West Seattle. Before teaching commercially, I taught at Southwest Community Center and Alki Community Center for a long time…..so after more than 20 years of being in West Seattle, I was crushed that I would have to leave …. However….I just want to notify readers of the West Seattle Blog that we will be moving back to West Seattle!! The owners of the Satellite Auto Glass building have agreed to lease the shop area to me. I was so overjoyed that I just wanted to … let everyone know we’re returning. Our plans are to move into the building the first week of February (cleaning, prepping, moving small items), and moving our big items in February 6th, 7th, and 8th. We’re looking forward to being back ‘home’ very soon!” (Her center’s new location is at 5659 California, which has been for sale for months.)
Julie Morelli sent that flyer, which says it all. If you can help make Valentines to distribute to hospitalized veterans, e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org; check out her group’s site at soldiersangelswashington.wordpress.com.