West Seattle, Washington
That’s the wading pool in Highland Park, which didn’t open last summer because the city hadn’t done federally mandated safety upgrades. They’d been shelved because it’s slated to be converted to a spray park (as first reported here six months ago). Right now, the city’s Parks and Green Spaces Levy has allocated $100,000 for the conversion, but by all accounts, that’s not much — even a top Parks manager told the Levy Oversight Committee it’s “horribly underfunded.”. So community member Carolyn Stauffer is putting together an application to seek supplemental money from the levy’s Opportunity Fund, which is accepting applications soon, with the first step – letters of interest – due in just about a week. She’s asking for more support to show that West Seattle backs the concept of a really nice spray park. As she’s written in the letter she shared with us, “We fear a minimally funded or basically designed spray park for the next 20 years- or a dilapidated wading pool that is no longer filled with water in the summer. The possibility to apply for extra resources through the Opportunity Fund has given us hope that we could have an exemplary play experience right in the heart of our community.” HOW YOU CAN HELP: Carolyn’s looking for groups to voice support (individuals welcome too); e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read on for the full outline of the letter she’s drafted to start the Opportunity Fund application:Read More
(Seattle Police Guild president Sgt. Rich O’Neill asking legislators Monday to “help the officer”)
EHB 1679 is the bill to help in cases like that of Jason McKissack, attacked while on duty as an SPD officer in West Seattle and losing medical benefits because he cannot return to work. One day after the hearing we covered in Olympia, law-enforcement advocate (and police widow) Renee Maher sends word the bill has been passed out of Ways and Means on a unanimous vote (including that of West Seattle Rep. Eileen Cody). 8:37 PM: The next steps for this bill aren’t posted on the legislative site yet, but we’re checking with Rep. Cody (who also e-mailed us news of the vote). WEDNESDAY UPDATE: The next step is a full State House vote. We’ll let you know when a date is set.
(photo added 5:05 pm – one of the many officers who were there before sunset, thinning out some now)
Checked this out after a phone tip: There’s a sizable King County Sheriff’s Office presence on 35th just north of the strip mall at the northeast corner of Roxbury (map). So far, we’ve been told it’s “warrant service.” Checking with KCSO (this is in the city limits but no Seattle Police in sight – so it’s clearly a county case) to see if there’s any more info. No traffic effects, though the operation is quite eye-catching if you’re driving by. 5:16 PM UPDATE: Some of the officers have left, but right now the “search” part of the reported search warrant appears to be under way – from the street, you can see that officers are inside conducting an extensive search. 5:36 PM UPDATE: Just got a call back from Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. John Urquhart. He confirms it’s a drug case but, since it’s still ongoing, doesn’t have info on arrests or what’s been seized, yet. The house is in the city limits but since KCSO “developed the case,” as he put it, they’re the ones handling it.
At left, Eric from Solar Epiphany places a big call after the Red Cup Espresso drawing this afternoon for a $3,000 home solar system (as first reported here). At right, they drafted Tom from nearby JF Henry to pull the winner’s name. And the winner is … Annette G., who answered the phone to learn she’d won. (Thanks to Meredith for the photos!)
Still no charges in the case of the totem pole stolen from West Seattle Rotary Viewpoint Park almost two months ago – the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is still awaiting referral of the case – but the totem pole itself is in good hands, awaiting further plans for restoration and reinstallation. Today, Rotary Club of West Seattle members got their first in-person look since the pole’s move to a Seattle Parks facility they’d like to keep secret; we were at their meeting with Parks reps two weeks ago (WSB coverage here), when they hatched a plan to see if Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund grant could help pay for sprucing up the pole and the park before a reinstallation ceremony.
Thanks to Josh Sutton for the photos; he says, “It’s in good shape, and we continue to work on plans to get it restored and replaced.” Our coverage of the totem-pole theft case, dating back to first word it was missing, through its discovery in Oregon and court documents hinting at the motive, is archived here, newest to oldest.
You probably remember the mini-uproar that ensued after we previewed the Code of Conduct proposal to be presented at the last Seattle Parks Board meeting, including prohibitions on smoking and spitting. The board itself (WSB coverage here) subsequently voiced support for the smoking ban but not so much for the spitting ban. Now the revised Code of Conduct proposal is up on the board’s website, and spitting’s out, smoking’s still in; this briefing paper for the board’s Thursday meeting outlines what’s changed – including a few other tweaks, such as a new section involving plants. The revised draft code can be seen in full here. Thursday night is the official public hearing on the plan, so if you have something to say, be at City Hall downtown, council chambers, 7 pm. Written comments will be accepted through Feb. 10 (here’s how). P.S. Want to be on the Parks Board? There’s an opening, and you have till Feb. 5 to apply.
That’s the newest aerial of the project that’s renovating Chief Sealth High School and building the new Denny International Middle School next door. It’s from a presentation that was given during the prospective-student open house at Sealth last Thursday night; the project team has just shared a web-ready version of the full presentation. It includes bullet-point info on all the renovation work, as well as many INSIDE photos from inside the project site taken during the past year and a half. Chief Sealth reopens its permanent campus this fall; Denny is scheduled to move into its new school next door in time for fall 2011. Here’s the presentation (32-page PDF); Denny, by the way, has its big open house tomorrow night, and is also offering tours – here’s the schedule shared by principal Jeff Clark:
Tours: February 2, 9, 24 and March 2, 9, 17 from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. All are welcome – no appointment needed. Description of school offerings followed by a guided school tour.
Evening Open House for Prospective New Families: January 27 starting at 6:30 p.m. Following the presentation, guests will have the opportunity to meet teachers and staff.
(The tours will show you around the current campus, not the construction site, in case there’s any confusion.) By the way, the Sealth/Denny construction site has a webcam you can check for a close-up look at what’s happening right now.
RELAY FOR LIFE-WEST SEATTLE, THE KICKOFF PARTY: That’s a photo from the luminaria ceremony during last summer’s Relay for Life-West Seattle at WS Stadium. It’s an overnight relay/walk/celebration to raise money to fight cancer. This year’s event is months away but it’s never too soon to start planning – and that’s why the kickoff party is 6-8 pm tomorrow (Wednesday) night at Bridge Park in High Point. Everyone welcome but RSVP if you can – send a note to email@example.com
CHILI FEED FOR LEUKEMIA/LYMPHOMA SOCIETY: Received this announcement from Elizabeth Kratz – the event is at 11 am Sunday:
Come meet some of your West Seattle neighbors and support a great cause. On Sunday, January 31st at Fauntleroy Church there will be a chili feed with proceeds to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the mission of the church. In the United States, there are over 900,000 people living with or in remission from leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma. Every 4 minutes someone new is diagnosed with a blood cancer and every 10 minutes someone dies. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is the largest voluntary health organization striving to find a cure for blood related cancers and providing resources and support to families. In Seattle alone, 13 researchers are funded by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Research funded by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has led or contributed to advances such as chemotherapy, bone marrow and stem cell transplantation and new, targeted oral therapies that provide cures.
Wanted to publish this separately since as mentioned this morning, an e-mail claiming a teen burglary gang is active in West Seattle seems to have ricocheted around the peninsula: Southwest Precinct Lt. Norm James has talked with detectives – the people in the precinct who work burglary (among other) cases – and they are NOT dealing with anything resembling what was described in the widely forwarded e-mail from a burglary victim. Burglaries, yes; organized gang of students, no, he says. The confusion, says Lt. James, might be arising from ongoing followup to the arrests late last year of several teenage burglary suspects, but he stresses there are no “burglary patterns” of any kind active in West Seattle right now.
(Hat tip to the WSBers who e-mailed to say the for-sale sign was down and activity was afoot at ex-Beato)
(11/2008 WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli; the Beato-logo awning has remained up since then)
By Mary Sheely
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Achour Belambri, along with his wife, Khadidja Romari Belambri, just filed for a license to serve beer and wine at Eness, a restaurant that will specialize in food from the Belambris’ native France and, according to Khadidja, the entire Mediterranean Coast.
School open houses continue in West Seattle, with Gatewood Elementary opening its doors tonight, 6:30-8:30 pm. Full Seattle Public Schools list of open houses/tours is here (and permalinked on our Events page, where you’ll also find upcoming independent-school open houses on the calendar).
This week’s highlights as West Seattleites keep reaching out with help for Haiti:
(added 9:45 am) ALKI BIKE AND BOARD: The Admiral shop is giving 20 percent of its labor income to Doctors Without Borders and the American Red Cross through March 1st. Alki Bike and Board owner Stu Hennessey says, “We hope the early spring weather will bring a lot of folks out on their bicycles and generate some very urgent funding from our local bicycle community. Bicycle tune ups and repairs increase through March 1st, with $20 out of $100 dollars going to these two relief operations. It is our hope that the Island Country of Haiti will be rebuilt in a sustainable, self sufficient manner to ensure the healthy future of its citizens.”
PAGLIACCI ON THURSDAY: The Red Cross is also the beneficiary of Pagliacci Pizza‘s plan to donate all profits this Thursday.
ROCK 4 RELIEF ON THURSDAY: TIckets are on sale for the concert at Showbox SODO with a major West Seattle contingent involved in organizing and performing; see the poster with the lineup here; direct ticket link is here.
WEST SEATTLE EAGLES CONCERT ON SATURDAY: 8 pm at the Eagles’ aerie in The Junction, more live music to help Haiti – this time, with the proceeds to Mercy Corps, which has set up this page with more info on the concert as well as a way to donate right now. (Mercy Corps also has updates on Haiti activity via Twitter.)
EDDIE VEDDER SINGLE FUNDRAISER: West Seattle’s most famous rocker is donating proceeds of a cut you can download now for 99 cents – details here.
VALENTINE’S DAY ART SALE: Artist Stephanie Hargrave, co-owner of West Seattle’s smallclothes, is hosting a “Give Your Love to Haiti” art sale with all proceeds to Haiti relief on February 14 at her studio (across from smallclothes), according to a note Kelly forwarded. Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor) says co-owner Frances Smersh will sell jewelry as part of the fundraiser.
Several other West Seattle-linked Haiti fundraisers are ongoing – they’re listed here.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports: First, an e-mail that may have landed in almost every inbox in West Seattle, judging by the number of people who forwarded it to us. When we first saw it Monday morning, we tried reaching contacts at the Southwest Precinct to get it confirmed or denied; we didn’t hear back but will try even harder tomorrow. Anyway, the note tells the story of a daylight burglary last Friday, apparently in Highland Park, going on to say that police told the victim that there’s “a ring of high school students that look for empty homes during their lunch hour” and are dropped off and picked up by someone; the note also says “This is going on 6-8 times a day in West Seattle alone, in all neighborhoods.” Higher than any local burglary rate we’ve ever heard, so we will persist with our police inquiries today to see if that’s really the case. Meantime, one other burglary report has come in, from Grace in Gatewood:
Wanted to let everyone know that there’s been a burglary in the Gatewood area on the 3500 block of SW Southern Street (map) right off of 35th Ave. Entry was through a kicked-in ground-level back door while the owners were out of town. If anyone saw anything suspicious on this block between Friday the 22nd and Sunday the 24th of January, please report it. No one was hurt, but lots of items of sentimental value were stolen.