West Seattle, Washington
The day after we reported on vandalism/arson damage at the Chief Sealth High School (permanent) campus, which is closed till summer of next year for major renovations, we have some followup information from Seattle Public Schools. We asked how security would be beefed up – SPS spokesperson Tom Redman‘s reply: “The general contractor for the Sealth renovation project has contracted with a professional security firm for guard services to patrol the Sealth building and grounds.” We also asked how much the damage would cost to repair – no dollar figure provided; Redman said, “Most of the damage is limited to broken glass and a small fire in one classroom, in addition to possible smoke damage. The general contractor’s insurance company’s risk adjusters are assessing the extent and cost of the damage.”
The city is studying Junction-area parking right now – but area businesspeople and residents are worried the study’s results will be out-of-date as area developments (like almost-done Mural, above) start to open. That’s one of the issues that emerged at midday today during the second — and likely final — walking tour offered as the city Transportation Department‘s Junction parking study begins in earnest. The dozen-strong tour group included the project manager, Dante Taylor (at center in the photo above), his SDOT colleague Mary Catherine Snyder, Junction businesspeople, residents, and leaders of two Junction churches.
As did the first tour on February 28 (WSB coverage here), this one focused on the blocks away from California Avenue SW – read on for photos of what was seen, and toplines on what was discussed:Read More
That’s guitarist Andre Feriante, who will be performing in West Seattle for the first time ever as part of the “Listening Room” show at the Admiral Theater this Saturday night. If you haven’t seen one of the shows yet, “Listening Room” is a new concept at The Admiral — concerts for true music lovers. We talked with Feriante this afternoon, and he’s excited about playing the historic theater, saying he’s always curious about the history of places like The Admiral.
He’s been a musician full-time for a quarter-century and has played around the world, mixing guitar with poems in multiple languages as well as songs. With him onstage will be, he explains, “two people I play with frequently — Swil Kanim, Native American violinist and storyteller — he’s an actor, with a Native American spirit tradition, and a haunting mystical quality to his sound., as well as a deep, moving presence. Also playing with us, Eric Fridrich, a blues and jazz singer with a great big warm voice, a phenomenal guitar and harmonica player – there’s going to be some contrasts since I’m a flamenco, classical, Brazilian, Latin-style solo guitarist.” And that barely describes the “eclectic” nature of what he does, Feriante adds, saying his songs “are in the Leonard Cohen, Jacques Brel style.”
Here’s the other eclectic aspect of the Listening Room show – local muralist Glenn Case will paint live onstage during the performances. One of his most recent works in West Seattle is the distinctive Cafe Revo mural:
(September 2008 photo, as the mural was being completed)
The Saturday night “Listening Room” show is at 9 pm; tickets are $12 and available online right now via Brown Paper Tickets.
Monitoring the Seattle School Board meeting that’s under way now (live on cable channel 26) – the proposed start times have changed yet again before the formal presentation and vote later in the meeting (as part of a transportation plan) – the official presentation is here; it now calls for elementary schools to run 9:30 am-3:40 pm, middle schools, high schools, and most K-8s (including Pathfinder) to run 8:15 am-2:45 pm. We’ll add the vote here when it happens, as well as any other major developments from tonight’s meeting. 7:14 PM: Denny and Sealth students spoke during the public-comment period to express opposition to cuts in the Proyecto Saber program. Another West Seattle note – a presentation under way now about the future of special education mentions “more middle-school autism services in West Seattle.” Also, West Seattle board rep Steve Sundquist is asking why the district did not respond to a community request to offer the Spectrum gifted-education program in a West Seattle elementary school (Arbor Heights has been suggested – right now West Seattle’s only official elementary Spectrum program is at Lafayette in the north end); the staff response was that the closure process caused some bumps in the feedback process, and that explanations of the denial will be forthcoming “now that everything is final.”
8:16 PM: COO Don Kennedy is in the middle of the start-time/transportation presentation, and clarified that those times are not necessarily hard-and-fast school bell times but the basic transportation-related times so there may be some variations at individual schools, but not too far. (“Clarified” may be a misnomer, still working to be clear on this one, probably will require post-meeting followups assuming this plan is approved tonight.) Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson said that it’s not usual for something to be introduced and voted on during the same meeting, but said time was lost because of the closure process and if the vote on this is put off till early April, parents won’t have full information till after the enrollment period closes.
8:41 PM: One data point – Kennedy says this plan would take 49 school buses off the road. School Board president Michael DeBell is impressed.
9:25 PM: The proposal was approved.
9:50 PM: District lawyers just noted that a hearing is set April 1st for a lawsuit against the sale of the Fauntleroy schoolhouse; this came during a discussion of other sales and challenges, current and prospective, to them.
11:35 PM: The district has issued a news release with language further attempting to clarify the “start time” issue – read on for the full text:Read More
The city Parks Department is planning some renovations at West Seattle’s only outdoor pool, Colman Pool in Lincoln Park – but the plan’s fate is pending, as Parks managers wait to see if the $900,000 allotted for the work will stay in the budget. Parks spokesperson Dewey Potter tells WSB the planned renovations include “adding a family changing area that would be accessible for people with disabilities, and reinforcing the structure of the deck, and other miscellaneous work.” Right now, design work is scheduled to happen this year, with construction next year – if the potential funding stays out of range of the sizable budget ax that’s expected to fall next month, once city number-crunchers figure out just how much real-estate-excise-tax revenue they’ve lost. Meantime, this year’s Colman Pool season is scheduled to open May 23; swim-lesson registration starts April 2; learn about the pool’s history in our West Seattle 101 on WSB section.
Don’t let the smile on Keri Robinson‘s face fool you – She’s coping, as are so many these days, with unemployment. We got a note from her this afternoon that said, in part: “I am a West Seattlelite who was given the pink-slip from Microsoft about 2 months ago and curious about a couple things. First, do you know where all the other pink-slipped Seattlelites hang out? It’s been about 2 months post layoff – and I have yet to really run into anyone, everyone seems to be hibernating or something. After about my first month, I came out of my shell and decided to start blogging about my experience as an unemployed person, but I am hoping to find some of the others out there – we are in the same boat and despite the long lonely journey through unemployment land ahead of us – I was hoping I could try to recruit some of our local pink-slips to be guest bloggers on my site.” So we asked Keri to send us a photo and told her we’d put out the call to you – if you happen to be in the jobseeking mode – you’ll find her site, Lords and Ladies of Leisure, by going here; her e-mail address is on the “about” page. (We’ll be adding her site feed shortly to the WSB Blogs page, too.)
Lots of West Seattleites commute to and through Sodo/Pioneer Square, so we’re sharing this traffic alert – tens of thousands will be in the area tomorrow afternoon/evening for the Seattle Sounders‘ kickoff game.
Just in from ArtsWest – the waiting list for the first session of its Summer Musical Theater Camp got to be so long, they opened a second session, and it has some room – read on for the announcement:Read More
ALKI NEWS: Twofold this time – the latest edition of the Alki News Beacon is available online (with a couple WSB contributions) – see it here; the every-two-months publication usually comes out just before the Alki Community Council meets, and in fact, that meeting is tomorrow night, 7 pm, Alki Community Center. Editor Cami MacNamara also sends word of a revamp at alkinews.com – see it here, including highlights of tomorrow night’s agenda.
SLEEPERS IN SEATTLE, NOT JUST FOR SEATTLE: West Seattle certainly has more than a few businesses that serve customers far beyond the peninsula or even the city limits. On the Junction parking-review walking tour that just wrapped up (story to come), we chatted with Meryl Alcabes (photo left) of Sleepers in Seattle, who mentioned that their nationwide-delivery service is continuing to grow – they’ve even got customers in New York and just expanded their online presence to serve them. (Other West Seattle businesses that sell online too include WSB sponsor Click! Design That Fits.)
EASY STREET MIDNIGHT EVENT: Also while on the Junction walking tour, we noticed the Easy Street Records marquee promoting a midnight sale event next Monday night when four special editions of Pearl Jam‘s 1991 debut “Ten” go on sale. (Easy Street also revamped its website not too long ago – lots of great stuff there if you haven’t visited lately, including an easy place to find upcoming in-store performances.)
CONGRATULATIONS! West Seattle-based Potter Construction is sharing the news that it’s been honored with a 2009 Guildmaster Award for customer service – find out more about it here. (Got big news about YOUR business – or school, or neighborhood, or group, or … ? Let us know!)
One more important event to mention tonight: The Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meets at 7, Youngstown Arts Center, everybody welcome. Agenda includes a look at the latest list of proposed Delridge neighborhoods street improvement projects, which will be ranked by District Council members and sent to city departments for evaluation, plus an update from a Seattle City Light rep (got a question about SCL issues, including street lights? this is a good chance). Here’s our report from last month’s DNDC meeting.
That’s Mayor Nickels, lending a hand this morning to a project that’s had tons of volunteer help — Habitat for Humanity‘s High Point project (here’s more information on what’s being built there). You can help too – here’s how.
This morning, we welcome a new WSB sponsor: Somanda Bodyworks in the Admiral District. As always, we offer new sponsors the chance to share information about their businesses: Amanda Coleman, LMP, has been a SOMA practitioner for the past nine years. In 2007, she moved her practice here to West Seattle, having previously practiced at The Moving Space in Ballard and Full Circle Wellness on Vashon Island. She’s now in the Admiral District, just a block south of Metropolitan Market. Amanda holds an Advanced degree from the Soma Institute of Neuromuscular Integration®, located near Mt. Rainier. She has recently integrated into her work the osteopathic, gentle-touch techniques of Jean-Pierre Barral, learned from Rolfer Jeffrey Burch in Eugene, OR. She is a member of the International Association for Structural Integrators. SOMA is a series of deep and gentle bodywork sessions that restructure the human body (this includes your brain!). Sessions include re-learning movement and loosening restrictive mental/emotional patterns. Some of the benefits of SOMA include:
· Increased energy
· Greater enthusiasm
· Less tension
· Fewer aches & pains
· Better balance
· More physical awareness
· Emotional openness
· Improved self-reliance
· Heightened creativity
· Youthful appearance
· Enhanced athletic performance
Saturday, March 28th at 4 pm, Amanda will be hosting a live demonstration of SOMA in action at her office at 2650 42nd Ave SW (map). One lucky attendee will win a free session! The demonstration is free; please RSVP since space is limited. You can call her at 206-979-6106 or e-mail her at email@example.com – thanks to Somanda Bodyworks for joining the WSB sponsor team, whose current roster can be found here, along with info on how to become part of it!
2 more notes that trace back to the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, although one is a new development just within the past few hours:
CAR-STRIPPING SUSPECT NABBED: Lt. Steve Paulsen told the group last night that officers hoped to make an arrest shortly in a case featured in the Washington’s Most Wanted reports on channel 13 – a restored 1967 Mustang was ravaged by someone who broke into the the South Park trailer where it was stored. (Read the original story here.) Southwest Precinct officers tracked down a suspect in Renton and Lt. Paulsen just confirmed to WSB that they arrested him this morning.
WANT TO KNOW IF A SEX OFFENDER LIVES NEAR YOU? We have mentioned this before, and the link has been in the “resources” section at the bottom of the WSB Crime Watch page for months, but it came up at last night’s Crime Prevention Council meeting so we want to share it again: To find out whether a registered sex offender – someone convicted of a serious sex crime – lives near you, there’s a great statewide search website you can use: Here’s the link. (There are three “levels” of sex offender – 2 and 3 are the most serious, and those are the ones you can search for by using that site.)
Tonight’s the regular semimonthly meeting of the Seattle School Board (6 pm, district HQ in Sodo), with an agenda that has a few extra reasons for West Seattleites to keep watch: Contracts for several local renovation/repair projects are on the agenda – for Alki Elementary, a $596,000 contract with Western Ventures Construction to do the following work this summer:
Install new roofing membrane which will improve student indoor air quality by preventing water intrusion into interior spaces and reduce maintenance backlog.
• Replace worn flooring surfaces with new carpet and resilient composition tile which will provide for a healthier cleaner environment for the students and staff.
• Replace and/or refurbish aging HVAC equipment which will reduce the maintenance backlog, improve indoor air quality and reduce energy costs.
• Replace the large single glazed window at the lunchroom with a new double glazed window system which will improve energy savings and provide for a warmer, more comfortable environment for the students and staff.
The same construction company is also recommended for a $749,000 project this summer at Gatewood and Sanislo Elementary Schools:
• New roofing system with added insulation.
• Install new roof flashing.
• Clean brick.
• Replace worn carpeting in the auditorium with new resilient floor tile.
• Install five (5) new roof top air handling units.
• Replace worn and cracked playground walkway with a new, more ADA compliant concrete walkway.
• Replace worn and cracked linoleum flooring with new resilient floor tile at selected areas.
• Repair the wood flooring in the library.
• Replace stage curtain and wall covering at existing operable wall in lunchroom.
• Refurbish existing HVAC fluid cooler, replace heat pump at daycare and add exhaust/relief/supply fans to improve indoor air quality.
Also on the agenda:
–Standardized school start times, which we first mentioned here, will be considered as part of “transportation standards.” Read the document here; it mentions various provisions for exceptions, but in general, elementary schools would run 9:15 am-3:25 pm, middle schools and “designated elementary and K-8” 8 am-2:30 pm. (The always-excellent SPS Community Blog has an extensive breakdown.)
–The 2009-2010 calendar, which would start classes on Sept. 9 and end them on June 22 (unless there are snow days to make up); see the proposed calendar here.
If you can’t make it to the meeting, you should be able to watch it live on cable TV (channel 26).