day : 29/06/2009 11 results

Newest look at a West Seattle semi-secret: Walker Rock Garden

Have to confess we STILL have not been there. But here’s the next best thing – Mary T tells the story of a Walker Rock Garden visit with words and pictures on her site Shelterrific. (The “garden” is also featured here on WSB in the West Seattle 101 section.)

2 days till closed West Seattle school reopens for summer session

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Thanks to a neighbor’s tip, we broke the news back in April that, two years after the district closed it, Fairmount Park Elementary would reopen for summer school this year. Now, we’ve now from the summer session site coordinator (principal), Angela Sheffey, who says teachers arrive Wednesday and students start next Monday – she wanted to share some data points with the community:

1. Summer school will be in session daily from July 1st to July 30th.
2. The school hours will be 8 AM to 1 PM.
3. We will have approx. 350 students attending summer school.
4. The faculty will need all of the (small) parking lot parking, as well as the street parking.
5. Please report any and all suspicious activity to the police @ 911

Sheffey says the students who will be at Fairmount Park are all grade-schoolers – second, third and fifth grade, to be specific. As for what’ll happen to the building – hit recently by break-ins – in the future: We reported last week that the city has provided opinions regarding possible uses of this closed school and 7 others citywide (including Genesee Hill and E.C. Hughes in West Seattle). The School Board, incidentally, meets Wednesday, with an agenda including a final vote on the sale of Jefferson Square “air rights” to the company that had been leasing them for the apartments over the shopping center.

Unconscious man on Metro bus in Fauntleroy

June 29, 2009 6:38 pm
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 |   Fauntleroy | West Seattle news

(photo added 7:11 pm)
First we heard the aid call for an unconscious (but responsive) man aboard a Metro bus at Fauntleroy/Fontanelle (map) … then Duyen sent a photo (which we’re not using) showing the same man, who had appeared to be asleep under a seat on the bus, a 54 express, as far back as downtown. We’re reporting this in case you passed the fire/medic units with the stopped bus along busy Fauntleroy and wondered what’s going on; as we finish writing this, the medics reported they’re doing CPR. More units are being called in. 7:12 PM UPDATE: No word on the man’s condition – because of medical privacy laws, we may not be able to find out. In addition to the fire/medical crews, Metro sent a supervisor, as you can see in the photo we just added.

Update: Basement fire at house in the 4100 block of 48th SW

(Photos by Christopher Boffoli, this one added 5:26 pm)
ORIGINAL 5:15 PM REPORT: Fire in a house – we’re on our way. According to the scanner, crews are searching the house (in the 4100 block of 48th – map) to make sure nobody’s inside. Also per the scanner – The fire’s in the basement and is now “tapped.” 5:24 PM UPDATE: WSB photojournalist Christopher Boffoli is on the scene and reports “lots of smoke” before the fire was tapped. (photo added 6:11 pm)

The response has been scaled back but several engines remain on the scene, working to fully extinguish the basement fire. 5:42 PM UPDATE: Christopher spoke with the Fire Department’s incident commander, who confirms that nobody was hurt, and adds that investigators are on the way to figure out how the fire started.

West Seattle Crime Watch: “Just one time” = enough for theft

June 29, 2009 4:30 pm
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 |   Crime | West Seattle news

Car prowlers remain the most prolific criminals in West Seattle – striking at least three times a day in the past two months, per Southwest Precinct property-crime stats – and here’s another case. From the east side of Morgan Junction, Pamela and Andrew sent that photo; as he reports: “My car was broken into on Saturday night/Sunday morning close to 35th and Morgan [map]. The culprit smashed the back window of my car. The car alarm did not go off, or didn’t wake us. They took a bunch of computer hardware that was in the car. It’s all replaceable of course, but very annoying. I would encourage all W. Seattle residents to not leave stuff in your car around here, especially during the summer months. I normally take everything out of my car, but forgot just one time and suffered the consequences as a result.” Pamela added, “This is the first break-in/car break-in we have had in 11 years at the same home.”

Deadline extended: Delridge art project, skatepark “companion”

June 29, 2009 3:07 pm
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 |   Delridge | West Seattle news | West Seattle parks | WS culture/arts

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The deadline’s just been extended for artists to propose a project for the Delridge Community Center park (shown in clickable Google Street View above), explained by North Delridge’s Nancy Folsom as “a separate, companion project to the planned Delridge Skatepark. … Youngstown Cultural Arts Center is shepherding this community-driven project.” You have till July 31st to apply; as the application says in part,

The artist will consider the structure’s access and location to the skate park and accommodate its possible use by skateboarders, spectators, visitors, and neighbors. Design and placement of the artwork will focus on its relationship with the skate park and the social environment by serving as a gateway to the Delridge neighborhood.

Get the application here – and get it in by the end of July!

Another SODO traffic alert: 4th Avenue South repaving

From the city’s traffic-alert list for the SODO area (you can sign up for the list from the bottom of this page):

Repaving 4th Ave S between S Royal Brougham Way and Airport Way S begins tonight, Monday, June 29, and will continue through the end of July. In order to minimize traffic interruptions, most work will occur during the evening hours between 6 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.

11 days till West Seattle Summer Fest: New web site, more info

Counting down now till the summer’s biggest West Seattle event, Summer Fest in The Junction (WSB sponsor) July 10-11-12, and we just got word its brand-new website is up, with even more details on the music, art, vendors, family fun, food, and other features we’ve been telling you about. Here’s the home page; vendors (with maps to their individual locations) here; music here; other entertainment here – and even more to explore.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Beach Drive boat stolen, recovered

We heard most of this play out on the scanner early this morning but didn’t get quite enough information to write about it till verifying with police – which now we’ve done: On Beach Drive around 4:30 this morning, police arrested two men who were caught with a stolen Zodiac watercraft. Neighbors noticed police had guns drawn as they made the stop – which we heard on the scanner, too – and Seattle Police media unit Officer Renee Witt explains that’s standard procedure for a “felony stop” (and theft of a large item qualifies). The theft had happened in the 3500 block of Beach Drive (map); the alleged thieves were stopped in the 6700 block, where the Zodiac was recovered. Officer Witt says the two suspects were booked into jail. (Thanks also to Denise and Leonard for e-mailing to ask about this.) One note about police activity in the middle of the night – often if we’re monitoring something but there’s not enough information yet for a report here on WSB, we publish a short note on Twitter (like this one regarding this incident), so check there too if you see/hear something going on – you don’t have to have an account to see our updates –

Hiawatha Playfield work intensifies – including tree-cutting

As the Hiawatha Playfield renovation work intensifies, with dirt-moving having begun late last week, Dave e-mailed this morning to say the century-old elm tree by the field has just been cut down (same tree shown in the city photo at left). This has been in the plans for a long time, according to the story we published after a public meeting in December 2007, at which time the Parks Department said 14 trees in all – including that elm – would be coming down. Some things have since changed, though – like the timetable for the project, which was then expected to be built last year, but is just getting started now, and the price tag for the project, with bids that came in so low, Parks was able to move half a million dollars out of the budget to cover about 2/3 of the Delridge Skatepark project. There’s also a new project manager, and we’re working to get an official update from him on the timetable and what’ll be happening over the summer, as well as the latest on the tree-cutting that will be involved. (Parks had said at that 2007 meeting that the elm tree had suffered serious damage in an ice storm several years ago – note the uneven sides in the photo.) When the project’s done late this year, Hiawatha will have new lighting and new turf for full-size baseball, soccer and football fields (details here). 1:17 PM UPDATE: Stopped by Hiawatha for photos of what’s happening, including what’s left of the elm tree:

We also got a quick status report from project manager Garrett Farrell:

The contractor has removed the existing batting cages, backstop, bleachers and field lighting. Stripping of the old field surface is underway. The new underground irrigation and electrical work will follow.

Farrell notes the tree removal is also explained on the Hiawatha project’s webpage – it’s still expected to total 14 trees including this one; the other 13 are smaller/younger. ADDED 5:10 PM: Thanks to Forest for pointing out that the city’s been vigilant about elm-tree disease for months now — here’s info about the Elm Protection Program.

Looking ahead: Friday’s a holiday “too,” with changes/closures

Since July 4th is on Saturday this year, Friday is also a holiday for many – particularly government agencies. We’re still finalizing the 4th of July list of events and FYIs, but in the meantime, the FRIDAY changes include: Most government offices are closed; Metro buses will be on a Sunday schedule; the King County Water Taxi and shuttles are on a Saturday schedule; the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferry will be on a holiday (Sat-Sun) schedule; most post offices will close at noon but there WILL be mail delivery service Friday (not on Saturday); note that trash/recycling/yard-waste service will be normal Friday AND Saturday. (And if you’re looking for July 3rd fireworks shows – none in West Seattle but there are a few in this statewide list of summer fireworks statewide.)