West Seattle, Washington
As Rick R. put it, tonight’s sunset was simply golden — that’s the view from Fauntleroy. (Probably no encore tomorrow — the forecast looks wet and breezy.) A couple miles east, and a few hours earlier, it was Day 2 of Spring Break Camp at Denny Middle School in Westwood:
Denny principal Jeff Clark sent those photos with word that this camp is recordbreaking:
Yesterday and today, we have had 225 kids at school increasing their skills in reading, math, writing, science, and music. Our break camp programs are designed to create learning opportunities for our students beyond the regular school year calendar. The previous attendance record for a break camp at Denny was approximately 100 students, so this week’s daily total of 225 is amazing. I would like to congratulate our outstanding students for their efforts and thank our terrific staff for making this opportunity possible–go, Denny Dolphins!
Got news about your school, group, or ? — please let us know — the various ways to reach us are all listed here.
First, from Matt Schlede at the West Seattle Family YMCA (WSB sponsor):
The West Seattle & Fauntleroy YMCA are now registering for youth t-ball/baseball, ages 4-10 year olds. Registration ends April 9th. One practice during the week, and one game one Saturdays at EC Hughes Park. Season starts April 27th. Financial assistance available. Register online at westseattleymca.org or in person at either YMCA; questions to email@example.com
This announcement’s from Darin Smith:
The Hiawatha Tae Kwon Do Club is looking for new members for its ongoing classes at the Hiawatha Community Center in West Seattle. Adults (18 and older) can sign up to learn Tae Kwon Do, a Korean martial art known for its fast sparring techniques, dynamic forms, and strong kicks. The classes involve an International Tae Kwon Do (ITF) based style with emphasis on proper technique, physical fitness, and mental discipline. The club is focused on self-improvement in a non-competitive atmosphere that promotes unity, respect, and indomitable spirit. Classes cost $30/month and meet Mondays & Thursdays 7-8:30pm and Saturdays 11:15am-1:15pm. Beginners are definitely welcome and preferred; new students can join at any time! Please call (206) 684-7441 for questions or registration information.
Twitter user “seakobi“ sent that via TwitPic, taken from Alki about half an hour ago – and we got notes from Barb and Robin wondering about the helicopter. Clearly a Coast Guard chopper, but we aren’t having any luck getting the CG on the phone; no rescue calls on 911, so perhaps training? May not be able to verify till tomorrow, but if you happen to know, please chime in. And thanks to “seakobi” for the photo. ADDED 8:34 PM: And this one too:
ADDED WEDNESDAY MORNING: From comments, official confirmation (and yes, the IP address checks out):
The crews from Air Station Port Angeles, Wash., and Station Seattle were doing their weekly helicopter operations training March 31. Nice photos from your reader.
Paul Roszkowski, Chief Public Affairs Specialist, U. S. Coast Guard
This scene should be cleared soon but for the moment, it’s a little slow-going at 44th/Alaska, either westbound on Alaska or northbound on 44th, because a van went up on the sidewalk on the corner at Wells Fargo (background of photo above). It’s about to be towed away – not sure if the building is damaged till we see what happened when the van’s gone; no word of any injuries. (Thanks to everybody who called about this one – 206-293-6302 if news breaks and you’re away from your computer.) 6:16 PM UPDATE: An SDOT worker’s here now; the damage appears to include a knocked-down street sign and fire hydrant, as well as some lost shrubbery.
Earlier this month, Seattle Public Schools lawyers noted during a School Board meeting that a hearing was set April 1st on a court challenge to the district’s planned $1.8 million sale of the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse (and part of its surrounding property) to the Fauntleroy Community Services Agency. Checking with the district this afternoon, we learned there’s no hearing tomorrow after all, because there’s been a preliminary ruling in the case: The district was told it indeed has the authority to sell the property, according to SPS spokesperson David Tucker, but they expect the case to move on to the Court of Appeals, which means it may not be settled till next year. We checked next with FCSA’s Kevin Wooley, who tells WSB that the group is now trying to decide “how to go forth” — if they close on the deal as planned, they could wind up in the middle of potentially costly litigation; if they don’t close on the deal as planned, some of the money they’ve secured from the city, state, and other sources could be in jeopardy. For now, Wooley says, they are going ahead as planned, and he says there’s no particular date right now by which they need to make a decision, but he says the court situation is “kind of disappointing” and ultimately “could mess up the whole sale.” The group that’s been suing to challenge district sales of property like the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse has contended that the district should keep the property for future school use; Wooley’s contention is that “we’ve been leasing the building for more than 20 years and there’s no way it’s ever going to be used again as a public school.”
We’ve received a couple of reports lately of parking rules being enforced in West Seattle neighborhoods where residents swear they’ve never seen a Parking Enforcement Officer before. As of a short time ago, that includes ours; we bolted out the front door upon spotting a PEO checking our license plates. COMPLETELY guilty of parking with our wheels touching the sidewalk, which is not raised on our miniblock, but that’s no excuse; she let us off with a warning, provided we moved the cars to comply. But given the reports we’ve had recently, we are publishing this note as a public service advising you to bone up on the parking rules if you also park on the street; you can read many of them here. If you’ve routinely parked closer to a stop sign than the signs say you’re supposed to, DON’T. Wheels on the sidewalk, like us? DON’T. Car pointed the wrong way? DON’T. Precinct leaders mentioned recently that another parking-enforcement officer was going to be headquartered at their facility soon and we’re checking to see if perhaps this officer has arrived, concurrent with this stepped-up activity. Meantime, besides the link mentioned earlier, here’s the complete Seattle Municipal Code parking section; we see the sidewalk rule we broke is here; the stop-sign rule we’ve undoubtedly broken before is here; the rule about pointing in the correct direction is here.
ADDENDUM: Southwest Precinct Lt. Steve Paulsen‘s reply to our question: The third PEO is NOT here in West Seattle yet; he adds, “We don’t direct our Parking Enforcement into the residential neighborhoods unless there are complaints coming in to 911 or parking enforcement. The priorities are business districts for the turnover of parking. We also provide priority to RPZ enforcement as well.”
We’ve seen eagles more than a few times in our 18 years of living in West Seattle, but can’t quite recall HEARING them – so thanks to Gary Jones for getting close enough to capture audio as well as video from Alki Point this morning, and sharing the results. At one point, he spotted four eagles in the same tree, and got still photos too:
Thanks again to Gary for sharing the video and photos – if you capture wildlife, breaking news, memorable scenes, firstname.lastname@example.org – any time!
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“One in five sixth graders in our state is drinking alcohol now. But only five percent of sixth grade parents think their kid is drinking.”
Sixth graders – drinking? A startling thought — maybe not in the abstract, but it is if you know a kid that age. They’re on the edge of teenhood, and yet they still have frequent moments sparking the thought, “Really, they’re still just kids.”
The quote is from Chris Volkmann, an Olympia mom who will be speaking at Madison Middle School in West Seattle on April 8 with her son Toren Volkmann; the two have written a book together, “Binge to Blackout.” Before you switch off into “oh, just more preachy stuff” mode, listen to Chris’s invitation: “Just come out and talk with us.”
Toren is 26 now but truly lucky to be alive. I hoped to talk with him before writing this story but missed a connection; nonetheless, Chris’s side of the story is no less compelling – and if you have a child of any age, her suggestions for a non-typical way of discussing drinking with your kid(s) are priceless.
First: A reminder that Conner Homes‘ two-building project in The Junction goes back for what could be its final round of Design Review (process explained here) this Thursday night, 6:30 pm, West Seattle Christian Church. After the March 12 review, all involved agreed to schedule this meeting as quickly as possible, including the two board members who technically were supposed to end their terms after the 3/12 meeting, but agreed to stay on till it was finalized, for continuity’s sake.
Speaking of board members, here are the two new ones who will join as of the following meeting (April 9th, Madison Middle School, 2988 SW Avalon and 4532 42nd SW): Norma Tompkins and Robin Murphy (screenshots from their appearance at the Planning, Land Use, and Neighborhoods Committee meeting earlier this month). While Tompkins is appointed as the “local residential representative” on the board and Murphy is appointed as “design professional representative,” both are trained architects, according to the biographical info in this month’s edition of city planners’ dpdInfo newsletter (see it here); Tompkins works as a production designer at Starbucks, Murphy works for the architecture firm Stricker Cato Murphy; both are West Seattleites.
One other note – Followed up on a WSB’er note asking what’s up now that more than two months have gone by since the last Design Review meeting for the redevelopment proposal at The Kenney (previous coverage of the project archived here).
We checked with Kenney CEO Kevin McFeely, who replied:
Basically, what is happening is that we are exploring the recommendations and suggestions that were discussed at the last meeting in January. This involves potentially moving the Seaview building to a different location on the campus and reducing the massing on the perimeter buildings to allow for a smoother transition into the neighborhood. At this time, I don’t have a sense when the next meeting will be, my hope is that it will take place within the next 4-6 weeks.
Once that next meeting is scheduled, you’ll find it on the city’s Design Review/Upcoming page for starters, even before the official notice appears in the Land Use Information Bulletin; our fellow development-watchers may be interested to note, that page’s format and features have just been updated. Upcoming reviews can be sorted by district, among other things, and meeting announcements now include the city’s own maps (like this one showing the location of Madison MS for the 4/9 meeting).
30th Avenue SW Sidewalk Improvements to Start April 6
The Seattle Department of Transportation’s contractor plans to begin construction of 30th Avenue SW sidewalk improvements on Monday, April 6. The sidewalk will be constructed on the eastern side of 30th Avenue SW from SW Brandon Street to the existing sidewalk at the top of the hill (just north of SW Juneau Street and High Point). Some preparation work such as surveying will start later this week.
The construction is expected to take five to six weeks, depending on the weather. For the duration of construction, 30th Avenue SW between SW Findlay and Brandon Streets will be closed to through traffic. A detour route will be signed for through traffic to use 29th Avenue SW.
Parking will be restricted in the area under construction. Access to driveways will be maintained.
Work hours will typically be from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Also from the same city news release, this P.S. of what’ll happen when the sidewalk work is done:
Seattle City Light will be moving the utility poles closer to the new curb on 30th Avenue SW between SW Findlay and Brandon Streets. This work will occur after SDOT’s sidewalk project and is expected to take two months. After the new utility poles are placed and the old utility poles are removed, SDOT will return to fill in any gaps in the sidewalk that remain.
Like the Alki Point sidewalk project, the 30th SW sidewalk work is a Neighborhood Street Fund project first announced in November 2007 (WSB coverage here). The project’s official city webpage is here.
Three reasons we’re starting the weekend countdown way early:
GATHERING OF NEIGHBORS: Think you know West Seattle tip to toe, Duwamish Head to Delridge Triangle, Herring’s House Park to Weather Watch Park? We bet you’ll still find someone, something, some group, some business that’s new to you, when you drop by the Gathering of Neighbors/Biz Expo (WSB sponsor) this Saturday, 11 am-3 pm, Chief Sealth at Boren. We’ll be there, which brings us to …
WEST SEATTLE COMMUNITY GARAGE SALE DAY SIGNUPS START SATURDAY: May 9th is the 5th annual WSCGSD — one day with garage sales all over West Seattle! more than 145 registered last year — and we’re starting registration earlier this year in response to suggestions made last year. First day of registration is this Saturday, and if you come sign up in person at the WSB table at the aforementioned Gathering of Neighbors, we’re offering a one-day-only, in-person-only discount from the regular fees (which are otherwise the same as last year, which in turn was a cut from the year before): That means if you sign up with us in person that day at G-o-N, it’s $10/individual sale, $15/organization-school-etc., $25/block. (Rest of the time it’s $12-$20-$30.) By the way, if you don’t have room for your own sale, we know of at least one place that will offer space for you to come set up a table – Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor), in the courtyard – more on that later this week.
WATER TAXI SEASON STARTS SUNDAY: It’s one of the best freebies of the year – the King County (formerly Elliott Bay) Water Taxi will be free all day on kickoff day this Sunday, plus Seacrest Pier will be in full celebration mode that day from noon-2 pm — music, speeches, surprises, general revelry. Water Taxi schedules and fares all await you here.