day : 10/02/2009 11 results

Milestone birthday for ex-West Seattleite mountaineers

Just posted at, a report on today’s 80th birthday celebration for mountaineer twins Lou and Jim Whittaker, reminiscing about getting their start on West Seattle hills. (They’ve since moved away.)

Two nights till the pre-Valentine West Seattle Art Walk!

February 10, 2009 10:53 pm
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 |   West Seattle Art Walk | West Seattle news

Looking ahead to Thursday night – it’s the next West Seattle Art Walk, “with Valentine’s treats!” as promised on the WSAW website. More than 40 venues are participating all over West Seattle; among them are these WSB sponsors: 8 Limbs Yoga (with the works of mixed-media artist Liz Moody on display), Brunette Mix (featuring painter Akiko Masker plus wine and chocolates!), Click! Design That Fits, Dream Dinners (in Jefferson Square), Hotwire Coffee (featuring the work of West Seattle Christian Preschool), M3 Bodyworks (showcasing five artists this month), Seattle Wellness Programs, and Skylark Cafe (with art by Justin Hillgrove as well as a Valentine cocktail special). From all three Junctions (Admiral/Alaska/Morgan), to Delridge, to Alki, the West Seattle Art Walk is happening 6-9 pm Thursday; click to see the map of venues.

West Seattle school changes: Pathfinder “design team” formed

Thanks to the tipster who pointed out new information on the Pathfinder K-8 website, regarding preparations for the Pathfinder transition into the Cooper Elementary building: The post (see it here) mentions that the Pathfinder “design team” is having its first meetings this week, and discusses who’s part of it:

The formation of the Pathfinder K-8 Design Team is mostly complete. Members represent all stakeholders in the school and community. Members thus far include: David Dockendorf, Principal; Linda Thomson, Secretary; Janet Osborn, K-1 teacher; Tim Hayes-McQueen, 7th-8th grade teacher; Lisa Clayton, Head Teacher and parent; Rita Garton, Director of Blazing Trails; Rose Rapoza, NAB member and parent; Beth Bakeman, Compass Editor and parent; and Jennifer Giomi, PTSA President and parent. There will also be a teacher from Cooper’s Autism Program on the Design Team.

(The Cooper autism program is remaining at the Cooper building and becoming part of Pathfinder.) The first meeting of the design team was today; next one is coming up Thursday afternoon, 3:30 pm at district HQ. The district has posted an online FAQ about what it’s now calling the “program design teams”; see it here. The statement on the Pathfinder site that includes the team details also notes:

This is a very difficult time for the Cooper School community and we respect the challenge and grief that they are facing as part of the Board decision. We ask that current and prospective Pathfinder K-8 families please not call or visit the Cooper building. There will be time in the next several months to learn about the building and to understand what this move will look like for the Pathfinder K-8 community. In the meantime, as the community has throughout this long and difficult process, please continue to exercise restraint and compassion for all involved.

And one more note for West Seattle-area families with Seattle Public Schools concerns/questions – local School Board member Steve Sundquist has scheduled another of his “coffee hour” conversation opportunities, 9 am Feb. 18 at Coffee to a Tea in The Junction.

Signs of the times: Seen around West Seattle (pre-snow)

Hard to believe, but 24 hours or so ago, it was sunny, and your WSB co-publishers were wandering around taking photos. We didn’t get a chance to publish them last night but they’re still fresh enough today, so here goes. Above, that’s renowned local sign-painting artist Japhy Witt, detailing coins in the window of … where else … West Seattle Coins, at California/Oregon in The Junction, under the Senior Center – here’s one he’d already completed:

Japhy told us he’s likely detailing vintage bills for the wider window between the two coins. You’ve seen his work at many other West Seattle businesses, including — right across SW Oregon from this project — Shadow Land (here’s WSB coverage from 2007). Other signs that caught our eye included one at a Harbor Avenue development that now has a name:

If you can’t read the sign, it’s “Indus Work/House.” (That last part has an interesting historical connotation, but then again, elsewhere in new-ish West Seattle real estate, so does The Dakota.) And on the other side of the real-estate fence, bright-yellow signs around North Delridge pointed to an “auction” – we followed them, and found this house on SW Nevada, west of 30th SW:

The signs included this web address – the specific listing says the auction is 10 am 2/20, onsite. The yellow sign in the window says minimum bid is $50K. (Here are the latest local foreclosure stats, from Seattle Bubble, which reports King County’s foreclosure total in December – more than 600 – was the second-highest ever [last July, 730, was the highest, in the stats SB uses].)

West Seattle Weather Watch: The snow gets more serious

(scroll/refresh for the latest updates at the bottom of this report)

At least here in Upper Fauntleroy, it’s just become more intense. How about where you are? 1:09 PM: Starting to stick here, though not on the road, yet. 1:23 PM UPDATE: And now – the road too. We’re now at the phase where we invite you to send photos of what’s happening where you are. Off now to research the consensus on how long this is expected to last – update, winter weather advisory is in effect till 6 pm. Photo of SW Sullivan, near WSB HQ:

1:47 PM: Down by Fauntleroy Schoolhouse now for another story; roads are wet, not snowy, though big wet flakes are falling down here too.

2:36 PM UPDATE: Back from our Fauntleroy shoot – hiking around the back trails of Fauntleroy Park with kids collecting water samples – More on that shortly. First: The roads remain wet and drivable. Second, here’s an update from SDOT:

The weather forecast for Seattle calls for one to two inches of wet snow today. At this time, wet snow is falling but is not sticking to the pavement, due to relatively warm temperatures. Five SDOT trucks are patrolling Seattle streets, on the outlook for weather-related pavement concerns.

SDOT’s full fleet of trucks with snow plows and sanders are ready for snow and ice response if needed. Crews with several trucks will remain on duty this evening after the end of the day shift to patrol streets. Additional crews will be available on standby, to supplement regular night shift crews, if needed.

2:57 PM UPDATE: Photo from our hike with “Team EarthPeeps” from Gatewood Elementary – Fauntleroy Park is a beautiful place to be on a mildly snowy afternoon:

Full story tonight on what they’re up to, along with an update on another Gatewood group that invited us along on a different adventure last week). As for the weather, the new forecasts should be out shortly; remember that if you need to check the traffic cameras, West Seattle-related ones are all on our Traffic page.

3:58 PM UPDATE: The snow seems to be turning to rain now, as promised. So all may be closer to well as you head home.

4:29 PM UPDATE: And that rain is getting ever lighter. But the winter weather advisory is still in place till 10 pm, just in case. We’ll be adding some non-snow stories to the top of the page now, but will continue to update this with any new information – and we’ll watch commute conditions, too.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Heroic neighbor; car-prowl spree …

Just finished reviewing several days worth of Seattle Police reports from Southwest Precinct cases, as provided for media review (with certain details excised before the copies are made public, such as exact addresses). One of the cases that stood out, a heroic neighbor who helped catch burglars: At 7 pm last Tuesday, in the 5000 block of California, a man heard a loud noise, and saw two people entering his neighbor’s house. He called the neighbor, who was in a workshop on the alley; the neighbor went into the house and confronted three people, holding them at bay with a crowbar till police arrived. Officers arrested two women and a man. It appeared they had gotten in by kicking in a door. Read on for summaries of other police reports, including one night last week in which “car prowlers” were VERY busy in West Seattle, two bizarre burglaries involving water, a reader report of a break-in this week, and moreRead More

Potential West Seattle effects of governor’s “reform” proposals

February 10, 2009 11:29 am
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 |   Transportation | West Seattle news | West Seattle politics

The governor’s new “reform” plan has at least two possible direct effects on West Seattle: She is proposing expanding hours at select Department of Licensing offices, including the one in West Seattle, which would as a result stay open till 7 pm Tuesdays through Fridays (1 1/2 hours later) and “all day” on Saturdays (currently 9-3). Also, the list of boards/committees/commissions she wants to get rid of includes the Ferry Advisory Committees; that would directly affect West Seattle, where Gary Dawson is the Fauntleroy rep on the FAC for the Washington State Ferries southern routes; that position has enabled him to get early word of major policy proposals such as the Draft Long-Range Plan and its change of direction re: Fauntleroy ferry traffic’s future (first reported here last November). If the Legislature approves elimination of those committees and others, it would take effect June 30th.

Update: House fire in 11200 block of Marine View Drive

(video added 10:48 am)
ORIGINAL 9:48 AM REPORT: Crews are at the scene of a “fire in single-family residence” call in the 11200 block of Marine View Drive (map). According to the scanner, there is a fire of some type – which has just been reported “under control.” We are en route; updates to come. 9:58 AM UPDATE: Co-publisher Patrick is at the scene; he reports smoke still coming from the house in several spots. 10:10 AM UPDATE: According to the incident commander at the scene: The fire appears to have started in a bedroom, though the cause hasn’t been pinpointed yet; nobody was home; there’s substantial damage, at least $20,000 worth. We’ll add pictures shortly; most of the units are wrapping up and moving on, so traffic should be able to get through that section of Marine View Drive before too long. ADDED 10:45 AM: Video clip at top of story; photos below with neighborhood perspective and section of home with the most damage visible from the front:

We’ll keep checking with the fire department till there’s word of the fire’s cause. 4:21 PM UPDATE: And here’s that information: “Accidental electrical fire” – something was left on an electrical cord, and that sparked the fire, according to Seattle Fire spokesperson Helen Fitzpatrick, who says the damage estimate is now at $150,000.

Denny Middle School celebrates “International School” status

February 10, 2009 9:44 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

Denny Middle School principal Jeff Clark says his school’s new designation as an “International School” will be formally announced at tomorrow night’s School Board meeting; it’s been mentioned in the “letter to 5th grade families (considering Denny)” posted on the school website, and is detailed in this flyer he sent, including:

We are making this transition to become an International School with the big picture in mind: Kindergarten through Twelfth-Grade. A major focus for Denny Middle School continues to be preparing all of students for future success in the Chief Sealth High School International Baccalaureate program. We are working with Sealth staff to align curriculum and programs with this goal in mind.

As a whole community, we are striving to create a neighborhood school Kindergarten through Twelfth-Grade pathway that is rigorous and globally-focused while preparing every student for success in college and life.

When Denny moves into its new building on the Chief Sealth campus in two years, and sixth through twelfth grades will be co-located, though the district has said repeatedly that they will be operated as separate schools. Seattle Public Schools that already have International School status include John Stanford (elementary) and Hamilton (middle). Program specifics, according to the Denny flyer, include an increased emphasis on language instruction, and education with “global, cultural, and ethnic perspectives”; here’s a document that discusses “model guidelines” for the program in the district. Denny’s next tour is this Thursday, 8:15-9:15 am, no appointment required.

Weather Watch update: Snow and schools are open

Here’s the official word from the Seattle School District.

All Seattle Public Schools are starting on time today, Tuesday, February 10, and buses will operate on regular routes.

There’s some light snow coming down. So far it’s only sticking to the roofs and the tops of the cars.

West Seattle Weather Watch update: Newest forecast

All’s quiet here as of 4 am but the latest “forecast discussion” came out less than half an hour ago and includes:


4 am temp at both Sea-Tac and Boeing Field, nearest “official” major weather stations, was 32 degrees. If you need to check traffic cameras, the ones of relevance to West Seattle are on the WSB Traffic page; the citywide system is here; the WSDOT cams page for the entire region is here.