West Seattle, Washington
Tuesday night wasn’t just Election Night – at Chief Sealth High School, it was International Baccalaureate (IB) Information Night. From left, student ambassadors Alisha Dacus, Katie Marvin, Irene Idos, Natasha O’Rourke, Megan Korling, and Paul Duncan were among those there to answer questions. IB is a challenging academic program that’s in its third year at Sealth. Its courses are offered in junior and senior year, but it’s never too soon to start looking ahead – the Sealth website even offers advice on what middle schoolers can be studying to prepare for IB. Meantime, as principal John Boyd (photo at right) told those in attendance last night, the school itself has grown tremendously too – 750 students when he started five school years ago; 827 last year; 1000 this year. Asked by parents what the new attendance boundaries (reported here last night) may mean to Sealth’s size, he said that’s not clear yet, but the renovated school on SW Thistle (where they’ll be moving back next fall after 2 years in the temporary Boren quarters on Delridge) will have a “functional capacity” of 1130. Two more Sealth notes: the Chief Sealth PTSA just announced that the November 12 Seahawk Spirit dinner/auction is sold out; also, if you haven’t seen it yet, the school newspaper the Southwester is now online – check out the latest edition, with opinion as well as reporting.
The city is getting ready to spend $20 million on its golf courses over the next 20 years, and almost half that sum is designated for the West Seattle Golf Course, the Southwest District Council was reminded tonight. Deputy Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams attended the meeting to brief the SWDC on the status of plans for WSGC improvements (as discussed here in April). Williams said they’ll start pursuing the bond funding for the $20 million in January – leveraging the $1 million-plus profit the city’s golf courses make each year – and that’s also when he expects planning and design to begin for the first West Seattle project that’ll be teed up, a driving range (West Seattle is the only city golf course without one) against the hillside along 35th SW. Williams listed its cost at $4.5 million – that’s up from what was mentioned last spring, and says it’s slated to be built in 2011 after a year of planning and design that he promised will include meetings and other chances for public involvement. Also in the works, the $700,000 “perimeter trail” that will further connect the golf course with Camp Long, but Williams says it isn’t scheduled to be put in until the sixth or seventh year of the 20-year funding plan, and he says the clubhouse/crew facilities wouldn’t be built till “the end of the bond lifecycle.” Not good news, said Fairmount Community Association rep Sharonn Meeks – “that thing [current clubhouse] is falling down.” She also pointed out that nearby residents have concerns about the lighting for the driving range. One last note – Williams said West Seattle is under consideration for electric golf carts; it’s not just a matter of swapping out the carts, he explained, saying electric carts need special paths and a “cart barn” where they can plug in to charge up. (More info on golf-course improvement plans and the city’s Golf Course Master Plan can be found here.)
From a resident who wanted to be anonymous, word of a burglary today:
My house was broken into 11/4/09 between the hours of 7:30am to 5:30pm. Burglar broke window on side of house through the alley. Took coins in jar and rummaged through closets and jewelry. Fortunately when they left, they closed the door, thus keeping my 2 beloved cats safe in the house. House is located on Genesee between 44th and 45th [map].
Just back from the Southwest District Council meeting at South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor), where one of the guests was Deputy Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams. His main topic was an update on future West Seattle Golf Course improvements; we’ll write about that separately. After that briefing, he asked if anyone in the room — the council is made up of representatives from community groups and organizations around western West Seattle, which the city calls the “Southwest District” — had questions or concerns about the cyclocross controversy. (If you missed it – that was a bike race scheduled for Halloween in Lincoln Park, till the Parks Department canceled the permit with days to go after being contacted by upset community members.)
No revelations, but for the record, since the topic generated so much interest here originally (and spawned a couple of citywide media stories, here and here): First Williams recapped the background — saying Parks promised it wouldn’t allow those races in “natural-area parks” after a 2002 cyclocross race at Lincoln Park left some trails and turf at the park “utterly destroyed,” but that policy “got lost” in the bureaucracy somewhere until the granting of this permit came to the attention of “members of the community” who “reminded us of our commitment,” at which time, “five days before the event, we canceled it … The department was trying to keep a commitment we made to the community, trying to recognize that Lincoln Park is a natural-area park that needs to have uses compatible with its design as a natural-area park.”
One point of interest in his brief recap: He acknowledged that the cancellation announcement brought “a lot of e-mail from people who were upset on both sides … that kept us busy for a number of days.” The race promoters went on to have an event on Halloween after all, in White Center’s Lakewood Park; Williams says there’s one scheduled in Seattle, in Lower Woodland Park, for November 15.
Photos and memories are being shared at Pegasus on Alki right now during the event previewed here this morning – West Seattle High School Class of 1988 alums gathering to remember their fellow ’88 alum Officer Tim Brenton, the first Seattle police officer murdered in the line of duty in 15 years. Those at the gathering when we stopped by (along with a couple TV stations) included, from left, Julie Gossard, Pegasus general manager Clara Doray, Rick Antonelli and Eileen de Guzman:
They’re collecting donations for the Brenton Family Assistance Fund (details here) and also have a donation box set up on the Pegasus counter:
Clara said they all used to hang out together in high school, and getting together seemed like a natural thing to do. They’re talking about the possibility of some kind of ongoing memorial, but it’s just in the idea stages right now. Rick told us he first heard the name go by on TV over the weekend – (Officer Brenton was identified at the Sunday afternoon briefing, 17 hours after the shooting) and went online to see if it was the same guy he remembered from high school – finding out it was, they all said, gave them chills. Their gathering is scheduled to continue at Pegasus till 9 tonight.
Meantime, today’s developments in the aftermath of the murder include: The reward is now up to $105,000 (more details on the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild website); the ambush survivor, Officer Britt Sweeney, has asked to return to work (here’s the Central District News story – also, you can join a new Facebook group, Support Officer Britt Sweeney); and, as noted here earlier, the procession route to precede Officer Brenton’s Friday memorial has been announced.
ORIGINAL 3:46 PM REPORT: The county has said that today’s results will be out at/around 4:30 pm – but sometimes they’re early – so here’s the link in case you want to keep checking. The Seattle Mayor’s race is of course the one that’s too close to call – so here’s the direct link to where you’ll see those results. On a statewide level, Referendum 71 is also close – the latest result update is from less than an hour ago – “yes” is still ahead – see the numbers here. 4:35 PM UPDATE: Results are out. McGinn still leads but it’s narrower – fewer than 500 votes. Referendum 71 has picked up a wider “yes” margin – now it’s more like 52 percent yes, 48 percent no. 5:38 PM UPDATE: In the King County Executive’s race, which is now Dow Constantine 58%, Susan Hutchison 42%, she finally conceded this afternoon, issuing a statement that reads in part:
Although we are encouraged to see tens of thousands of additional votes in our favor this afternoon, we are certain the final outcome in this race will remain the same. This afternoon I called my opponent, Dow Constantine, to congratulate him on his election to King County Executive. Because the new Executive has only a few weeks until taking office, I want him to be able to move forward quickly to accomplish an orderly transition.
Because he’s filling the remaining few months of Ron Sims‘ unfinished term, Constantine will be sworn in once the election’s certified. (Then our area will need a new King County Councilmember.) 6:35 PM: A couple more updates – Constantine’s starting to name his transition team, and it will include West Seattle-residing Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis, according to this Times report; McGinn’s only comment this afternoon has been a short statement that they’re just waiting and watching the returns – he’s taking two days off to spend with his family and won’t be doing interviews again till Friday, according to the statement.
Because the Alki Homestead is a city landmark, any change to its landmark-designated features must be approved by the city Landmarks Board – and the first step in this case is a meeting with its Architectural Review Committee. We’ve just confirmed with city Landmarks Board coordinator Beth Chave that Homestead owner Tom Lin is scheduled to take his proposal for the closed-by-fire property before the ARC next Friday, for the first public presentation since he discussed it with the Alki Community Council in mid-September (WSB coverage here). No final decisions will be made, as this is truly a group that reviews proposals and offers suggestions to those working on them, before they are brought up for official board action, but it’s a public meeting, 8:30 am, Room 4070 at the Municipal Tower downtown.
ORIGINAL 1:29 PM REPORT: Thanks for the tips about a helicopter search – we’ve headed in that general direction (Arbor Heights) and are making calls to law-enforcement agencies – details as we get them. 1:34 PM UPDATE: Seattle Police Det. Mark Jamieson says that Guardian One and SPD are helping with a King County Sheriff’s Office search involving someone who fled a stolen car. The call apparently started in the White Center area (17th/Roxbury) but we’re seeing the helicopter over the 11100 block of 35th SW in Arbor Heights. 1:53 PM UPDATE: Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. John Urquhart tells us the suspect is now in custody, as of just a few moments ago.
(thanks to Justin from Capitol Hill Seattle for making the G-map)
It won’t go through West Seattle, but it may pass near your workplace, or you might want to arrange to see it go by, so we are publishing the details just released by SDOT of the plan for a 1,000-plus-vehicle procession to Friday’s KeyArena memorial for murdered SPD Officer Timothy Brenton – read on:Read More
ALMOST OPEN: The remodeled Angelina’s in the Admiral District is almost ready to open. (Thanks to Krista for the shot of the new sign.) After “friends and family” previews this week, they’re just awaiting the final go-ahead (inspections, etc.) to open to the public; here’s our preview story from the midst of the major work. Meantime, we’ve got the opening date for another business-in-progress:
DATE SET: Greg Whittaker from Alki Kayak Tours says November 27 is set as the date for opening their new ski, paddlesports and rack shop in the Triangle, Mountain to Sound Outfitters. He sent the above photo “to get the ski bums excited!” now that inventory-stocking is under way – that’s Jon Steel, ski technician and kayaking guide, with some of the inventory. (As first reported here, the shop’s at 3602 SW Alaska [map].)
CYCLE U OPEN HOUSE/GRAND OPENING: Also in the Triangle, the new Cycle U at 4550 Fauntleroy SW is having its official grand-opening open house on Saturday, with giveaways and refreshments; full details online; here’s our Cycle U story from last month.
COFFEE CHANGE: “Rockergirl” first noted this in the WSB Forums and now Paul from PB&J Textiles confirms it: They’ve sold their 6-month-old shop Coffee at the Heights (WSB sponsor) to barista Andrea. Paul says, “She has always wanted to own her own coffee shop. We are very grateful to our customers and had a blast running the shop! We are not going far, we still have our other 2 businesses here in West Seattle. Soon we will be doing upgrades to the Olympic Heights Laundry.” That’s next door to the coffee shop (7349 35th SW).
NORTH DELRIDGE NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL: 6:30 tonight, Delridge Library (map). Holli Margell sends word of what’s in store:
Want to cast another vote? Join us (tonight). We’ll be reviewing the “Bridging the Gap” Projects for the neighborhood to prioritize and narrow down the list for submission. Also on the agenda are our guest speakers, Amy Pennington of Urbangardenshare.org and Galena White of the Delridge Produce Coop, both sharing about their programs and answering our questions.
SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: 7 tonight, South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) board room (map). As previewed here, highlights will include deputy Parks superintendent Christopher Williams with an update on plans for West Seattle Golf Course‘s future, and a rep for Councilmember Sally Clark talking about neighborhood planning. (The next step on that is tomorrow night, at a meeting that’s not in West Seattle but needs as many WS attendees as it can get – the followup to July’s neighborhood-plan “status check” meeting and all those online questionnaires – Thursday, 6 pm, Mercer Middle School on Beacon Hill [map].)
Now that an assistance fund has been set up for the family of murdered Seattle Police Officer Tim Brenton, drives are under way to gather donations. And one of them involves Officer Brenton’s classmates in the West Seattle High School Class of 1988. Jay Havner sends word that they’re gathering at Pegasus Pizza on Alki this afternoon/evening and are inviting “any and all” to join them – they’ll be sharing memories and collecting “money to donate to Tim’s family in this time of great need.” 3-9 pm today/tonight, 2770 Alki (map). Meantime, SPD continues planning for the memorial this Friday, 1 pm, KeyArena.