West Seattle, Washington
(ADDED, 11:02 PM – clip of new interim superintendent’s full speech, plus the entire :15 of cheering that followed the Goodloe-Johnson-firing vote, and board president Steve Sundquist’s remarks before the vote)
(WSB iPhone photo showing half of the standing-room-only crowd)
6:07 PM: We’re at Seattle Public Schools HQ in SODO along with a full complement of regional media and a full house of spectators as the semimonthly meeting of the Seattle School Board – led by West Seattle-residing board president Steve Sundquist – begins. As noted this morning, the board will vote tonight on whether to fire Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson after almost four years, amid a money-mismanagement scandal. The meetings always begin with about an hour of public comment, and it is likely to cover other topics; we’ll publish live updates as the meeting (which is likely to last at least three hours) continues.
(READ THE REST OF THE WSB AS-IT-HAPPENED COVERAGE, AND SEE VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS, AFTER THE JUMP)Read More
Hail, rain, wind, rainbows, sunshine, we’ve seen (and felt) it all today. Above, JayDee shared a view from Upper Alki, looking at one of the cells that moved through; below, our iPhone photo from Constellation Park south of Alki Point less than an hour after the 3 pm high tide, as wind-fueled waves hit the seawall:
What’s next, you ask? The forecast suggests things are calming down.
First of two followups to the report two weeks ago of an “active” suspect arrested for car prowling: We learned that the “active” suspect is 28-year-old Joel Lund, arrested for allegedly cutting and stealing the catalytic converter from a Junction-area vehicle described in court documents as belonging to someone “elderly.” While Lund was out of jail within a day and a half of that February 13th arrest, he was arrested again just a day later, and remains in jail today (bail set at $20,000), charged with malicious mischief in that incident, under investigation for others. We’ve been working on a longer story about the case, but in the short run, we just learned from Southwest Precinct Lt. Pierre Davis that the victim in the February 13th case got some extra help – here’s how Lt. Davis told the story:
The victim in this case was a 78 year old resident of West Seattle who depends on her vehicle as she is still completely self-sufficient. However, the damage done to her vehicle disabled her sole mode of transportation. Our West Seattle Community Police Team officers located an automotive repair shop, The Muffler Shoppe, located at 10009 16th Ave SW. that upon learning of the circumstances, volunteered to do the necessary repairs at cost. Obviously we were excited only because we knew that we could get our victim her vehicle back without her incurring significant costs. And then the scenario got better. Upon our West Seattle Citizens learning of this issue, (they) volunteered to pay for the entire cost of repair to our victim’s vehicle and get her back on the road. Although your West Seattle officers apprehended our criminal, our WS citizens really put the icing on the cake!! Way to go West Seattle!!!!
P.S. On a related note, Lt. Davis also wanted to get the word out about a special one-day Citizens’ Police Academy – a mega-condensed version of training that is usually spread out over 2-plus months. It’s set for 9 am-5:30 pm on April 9th, location TBA. It’s not listed on the CPA’s official webpage yet – but that page DOES have contact info for the program, if you’d like to call or e-mail ASAP to sign up!
Several of West Seattle’s many preschools have joined forces to start the first-ever West Seattle Preschool Association, and they’re getting out the word in hopes other preschools will join in. That’s one invitation; the second – as part of the WSPA’s launch, they’re presenting the next West Seattle Preschool Fair in April.
Renee Metty of The Cove School, president of the new association, says its mission is to “bring together preschool children, their parents and their educators in order to celebrate and promote quality preschool programs, parent education and school collaboration.” They’ve sent a letter this week to as many preschools in the area whose e-mail contact information they could find; it explains that the association was inspired by a group of preschool owners/directors who started meeting in the area last summer. The group meets monthly, third Mondays at 7 pm, and there are no membership fees during the first year (unless a school wants to be a “founding member,” in which case a $25 fee is due by June 1st, and they’re planning $35 annual fees after that).
Metty says that any West Seattle preschool educators who didn’t get the WSPA’s introductory letter are invited to contact them to be added to the list – e-mail Stephanie at email@example.com. Meantime, the West Seattle Preschool Fair is planned for 5:30 pm-7:30 pm April 4th at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, 3050 California SW. They’re still signing up schools interested in participating – first-come, first-serve; deadline is March 31st, with a discount before 3/15; call 206-923-COVE or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For families visiting the fair, admission will be free. (In future years, they plan to have the fair in January, recognizing that most school decisionmaking happens early in the year.)
Of the four potential designs shown at last night’s second community design meeting for the new 34th/Barton P-Patch, that one won an informal vote, double the support of the second-most popular. Another informal poll indicated support for preserving the big birch tree that’s on the sprawling site (a hot topic of discussion at the first meeting, as noted in our report from last month). After the jump – the three other designs, plus toplines from last night’s meeting:Read More
9:56 AM: If you’re reading this in West Seattle (as opposed to, say, an off-peninsula workplace), you might have noticed a big blast of wind a few minutes ago – we’re under an official “wind advisory” right now, so not surprising we just got word of a power outage in Arbor Heights. At the moment, the Seattle City Light map shows two outages in West Seattle – one in Arbor Heights blamed on a tree – thanks to Zachary for the tip – and a smaller one in east Genesee.) The advisory is in effect till 2 pm and says we may see gusts up to 50 mph.
3:15 PM UPDATE: The advisory expired, and none are in effect for our area right now, but the wild weather has continued, including brief bursts of hail (punctuated by sunshine!).
Increasing bird sightings are yet another sign of impending spring … This morning, in fact, we heard robins and Steller’s jays pre-dawn, and then we saw … pink flamingos. Thanks to the WSB’er who tipped us to the flamingo flock outside Alki Mail and Dispatch; when we went over for a photo, Alki Mail staff pointed us to the flyer saying the flock was placed by the Admiral Congregational Church youth group, who were in the flamingo-flocking-fundraiser business last year (WSB coverage here) and apparently are at it again (here’s the page on the church website).
Not in West Seattle, but affecting every Seattle Public Schools family (and taxpayer) – tonight’s Seattle School Board meeting will include a vote on whether to fire Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson. The items added to the board agenda (screengrab above) tell the story, as do our partners at the Seattle Times, who have been extensively covering the newest revelations about district financial mismanagement. The Times says a closed-door board session last night was followed by a statement from board president Steve Sundquist of West Seattle, promising “swift and decisive action.” You can read his statement on the district website (PDF); the Times coverage includes links to other documents of note. For even more details and background, the district-watchdog website saveseattleschools.blogspot.com has been covering the situation closely. (Here’s what their writers and commenters hope the next superintendent will do, and be.) Though money-mismanagement reports seem to be the proverbial last straw, discontent has been simmering a while – you might recall the no-confidence votes by teachers at schools (including at least two in West Seattle) toward the end of last year. It’s been almost four years since Goodloe-Johnson was hired. Tonight’s board meeting, by the way, is open to the public, 6 pm at district HQ in SODO. (Or you can watch live on cable channel 26.)
(WSB photo from Seattle Summer Streets “car-free day” on Alki last year, 5/23/2010)
Short list from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar for today/tonight: The Southwest District Council, which includes reps from community councils and other major organizations around western West Seattle, meets at 7 pm, board room at South Seattle Community College (6000 16th SW). The agenda includes a briefing on this year’s Alki “car-free day” (aka Seattle Summer Streets), coming up May 22nd (as first noted here a month ago when West Seattle 5K registration began) … Also tonight at 7, the meeting at West Seattle High School for feedback on interim principal Ruth Medsker, as previewed here … 7 pm is also the starting time for the “project knitting” class at C & P Coffee (WSB sponsor), 5612 California SW ($10) … Up early? Run your own small business? The Westside Professionals business-networking group (WSB sponsor) welcome you, 8 am, The Kenney, 7125 Fauntleroy Way (or find out about them any time on Facebook).
P.S. (added 7:17 am) – It’s an early-dismissal (2 hours) day for Seattle Public Schools students.