West Seattle, Washington
If you’re going to talk about a playground on a warm almost-summer night, why not do it outside? So that’s exactly what Delridge Playground project organizers decided to do, setting up that table outside the Delridge Community Center tonight. The main task: Decide which of the three designs (all shown in this WSB report) to choose, before Delridge’s new playground gets “built in a day” next month by KaBOOM! – with volunteer help. Design #3 is way out in front:
(This link also shows you its full schematics.) Besides taking votes tonight, they were also accepted by e-mail and at the playground-fundraiser booth at Delridge Day (shown in this report), which by the way brought in enough money to put the community-contribution total over the top. Another vote tonight was for the swing setup; results – two regular swings, one bucket swing, one disability-accessible swing. Also tonight, the fate of the current playground’s popular merry-go-round was discussed; Parks Department rep Maureen A. O’Neill said it’ll be removed, but it can be stored, and maybe painted and fixed up – any time a playground has major changes like this, O’Neill explained, everything has to be brought up to safety code, and she says that means the merry-go-round would need a “textured wood structure” underneath, plus some drainage and concrete work, totaling about $15,000, which would require a lot more fundraising, and/or perhaps another city Small and Simple Grant. But she promised the merry-go-round would be removed and stored carefully. One more note: While the fundraising goal’s been met, LOTS of volunteer help is needed to make the playground happen on July 17 – more than 100 in all – e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help.
Long version later, short version now: Big crowd tonight at the Fauntleroy Church (WSB sponsor) Fellowship Hall as the West Seattle-rooted progressive political group InSPIRe presented the peninsula’s biggest candidates’ forum so far this primary season. Four of the five major King County Executive candidates participated: From left in the top photo, that’s Rep. Ross Hunter, King County Council Chair Dow Constantine, County Councilmember Larry Phillips, State Sen. Fred Jarrett. Hunter and Jarrett both live on the Eastside; Phillips is from Magnolia; and Constantine, of course, is a West Seattleite. (Susan Hutchison was invited but, the group says, did not even respond to repeated invitations.) No clashes, no fireworks, little disagreement, aside from one brief burst of “yes/no” questioning, when the question was “Should King County be in the ferry business?” — the two county councilmembers — who are also former state legislators — answered “yes,” Jarrett and Hunter said “no.” We “tweeted” highlights while taking notes – you can read those raw summaries at our @wsblive Twitter page – and stay tuned for the full story in a bit.
Court fight, in this case. At Delridge Day this past Saturday, our spot in the Youngstown Arts Center parking lot was a few tables over from the booth you see in the photo above – with the “Save Cooper” theme. You might wonder, as we did, what’s the “Save Cooper” theme now, since the Seattle School Board vote to close the Cooper Elementary School “program” and move Pathfinder K-8 into the Cooper building in Pigeon Point happened four months ago, and a Cooper closure event is scheduled for this Sunday. Turns out, they were raising money for a legal challenge that continues, with a potentially pivotal hearing scheduled next week, headed by Cooper parent and PTA member Joy Anderson, aided by longtime school-closure opponent Chris Jackins. We spoke with both Anderson and Jackins at the event; read on to see what the Cooper challenge is about, and what happens next:Read More
Seattle Police have gone public with the city’s crime stats for the first four months of this year. The overview is the same as what we’ve heard in West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meetings and other venues all year – violent crimes down, nonviolent crimes up, to summarize. Here’s the Southwest Precinct report; an excerpt from its intro:
… Southwest Precinct is posting an increase in Major Crimes for the first four months of 2009 when compared with the same period in 2008. Unlike the other precincts, however, the overall crime rise is being driven more by increases in Property Crimes than by Violent Crimes. Among Property Crimes, both burglaries and larceny/thefts are up, compared to a year ago. Southwest Precinct is also the only precinct posting an increase in vehicle thefts.
The burglary increase, compared to the same period of 2008, is dramatic – 231 in the Southwest Precinct area (which includes South Park as well as West Seattle) last year, jumping to 344 this year – up almost 50 percent. The vehicle-theft increase mentioned above is not as dramatic — 121 this year, 115 last. Here’s the page with links to all precincts’ reports, if you’re interested in comparing – the population and acreage of the precincts varies, of course, so you can’t really compare 1-to-1.
The area’s next big 5K takes over The Viaduct next Sunday morning: The annual Race for the Cure, raising money to fight breast cancer. Many West Seattleites are among the thousands of participants (including Team WSB, as we’ve written in the past). And this year, the Kids’ Run Grand Marshal is from West Seattle – read on for his story:
(WSB photo from 2008 Race for the Cure, heading northbound on The Viaduct)
By Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
In 2007, West Seattle resident Eddie Westerman walked in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure for her friend Dottie, who had been diagnosed with breast cancer. They called their team “Dottie’s Hotties.”
One year later, her participation was in a different light: In 2008, Eddie herself was diagnosed with breast cancer; they renamed the team “The Fast Eddies.” This year, yet another friend of Eddie’s has been diagnosed with breast cancer and because the list is getting so long, they’re using the first initials of the friends who have been diagnosed and renaming the team “Pledges for EDJS.”
Throughout her journey, Eddie has had a very special partner working with her — her 12-year-old son Adam Westerman. (Photo at left, family-provided, shows Adam and Eddie)
Last year, Eddie and Adam teamed up to raise funds for the 2008 Susan G. Komen race and much to their surprise discovered Adam was the #1 youth fundraiser. This information came to them through a phone call months later from the Susan G. Komen Foundation who called Adam to tell him the good news and said, “We have something for you” — a Nintendo Wii. Says Eddie, “He thought they were joking; that it was something we’d put them up to.”
Adam was then asked by the Komen Foundation to speak to a group of their volunteers. He did such a great job, the Foundation asked him to be the 2009 Kids Run Grand Marshal.
Just received word from parent volunteer chair Nancy Stillger that West Seattle’s Holy Rosary School has been certified as the first Washington State Green School in Seattle. “Our volunteer-led Green Team has implemented food composting, installed ‘No-Idle’ signs, participated in Bike-to-School Month, started seedlings for food banks through Lettuce Link, conducted an Earth Day poetry contest, and in general promoted awareness of taking care of our Earth,” she explains. The certification will be celebrated with a ceremony later this week.
When we covered the Delridge Skatepark schematic-design presentation at the Seattle Design Commission last month (WSB report here), project manager Kelly Davidson mentioned the third and final design meeting was almost finalized. Now we have the official date and time – 6:30 pm June 22, Youngstown Arts Center – for the official presentation of the design (shown above with Grindline’s Micah Shapiro during the SDC meeting) to the community. (Our coverage of the 1st design meeting in July 2008 is here; the second one, last January, is here.)
So much happened last weekend, you may not be ready to look ahead to next weekend – but with only days to go till the Seattle International Film Festival‘s first-ever West Seattle run at the Admiral Theater (June 5-11), we wanted to remind you of the opening-night party that WSB is co-promoting with The Admiral: The time is now set for 5:30 pm – it’s casual, fun, open-house style, 5:30 till 6:45, right before the showing of, for real, “The Admiral.” Given the movie title and the theater theme, the party will have a nautical flavor – as we’ve already mentioned, the Seafair Pirates will visit, as will SIFF director Carl Spence (who lives in West Seattle), and Junction-based Vertu Cakes is providing a fun cake shaped like a ship. Come celebrate West Seattle’s continued rise in the culture ranks – 5:30 pm Friday at The Admiral. More party details as the week progresses!
(Alki Ave party-in-the-street setup Sunday afternoon, east of the beach zone)
Just in case you were wondering (we were), we just asked Alex Fryer in Mayor Nickels’ office whether, since Sunday’s “Celebrate Seattle Summer Streets” event was so early in the season, there’s a chance of another one this year. His reply: “Yesterday was the only Alki event for the year. It takes months of preparation, and it showed. It was a great event.” He also confirms that if you have feedback on the event – how it went, whether it should or shouldn’t happen next year, etc. – the mayor’s office is the place to send it: All the contact options are here.
From the WSB West Seattle Events calendar, for today/tonight:
VYING FOR VOTES: This just might be one of the biggest candidates’ forums of the primary season in West Seattle: Four of the major King County Executive candidates declared so far — Dow Constantine, Ross Hunter, Fred Jarrett, Larry Phillips — will be at Fauntleroy Church (WSB sponsor) at 7 pm tonight in a forum presented by InSPIRe, all welcome. Audience Q/A for the candidates is part of the plan, and you can even submit a question online right now (via this page).
PICK A PLAYGROUND (DESIGN): 7:30 tonight at Delridge Community Center, come share your thoughts about the three proposed designs for the new DCC playground to be “built in a day” next month — see all three designs here — so the eventual choice will truly be the community’s choice.
BINGO’S BACK: The popular Monday night bingo games at Alki UCC resume tonight after a Memorial Day hiatus. Doors open 5:30 pm, games start at 6:30.
TAE KWON DO: The Hiawatha (Community Center) Tae Kwon Do Club is inviting new members (18 and up) to its classes, Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays – find out more at (206) 684-7441.
That video’s from the Denny Middle School Jazz Dinner fundraiser two months ago, as the school’s Jazz Ensemble performed. We’re rerunning it this morning because Denny principal Jeff Clark just forwarded an announcement by music director Marcus Pimpleton of the school’s success at the competition its musicians are just back from:
Congratulations to the Denny Music Department on a successful trip to the Music in the Parks Festival in Coeur D’Alene.
The Denny Middle School Jazz Ensemble and the Denny Middle School String Orchestra topped the middle school category earning Best Overall Jazz Ensemble and Best Overall Middle School Orchestra.
In the Single A Division, Denny Middle School also won:
1st Place Percussion Ensemble – The Denny Steel Drum Ensemble – Superior Rating
1st Place Jazz Ensemble – Superior Rating
1st Place String Orchestra – Superior Rating
1st Place Marching Band – Excellent Rating
3rd Place Concert Band – Excellent Rating
Congratulations to all the students that participated.