day : 16/03/2011 13 results

Update: Sanislo, Concord off to the Global Reading Challenge finals

(Photo of Sanislo GRC participants added Thursday afternoon, courtesy of Craig Seasholes)
At Seattle Public Library HQ downtown, it’s semifinals week for schools participating in the Global Reading Challenge – and we found out tonight that one elementary school in West Seattle scored big today – Here’s the story as told by Sanislo Elementary librarian Craig Seasholes:

Sanislo Elementary School’s “Ice Dodos” team tied with students from Thurgood Marshall school to win their Semi-Final round (in today’s) Global Reading Challenge semi-final match in front of hundreds of cheering classmates at the Seattle Public Library’s Microsoft Auditorium.

The “Ice Dodos” aced 29 of 30 question posed to the 9 school teams assembled at Wednesday’s semi-final match. Composed entirely of 4th graders, the seven-member “Ice Dodos” team was the first team from Sanislo to advance in the 16-year history of the contest. They will be facing 10 teams of 4th and 5th graders in the 16th annual city final competition to be held at the Central Library Microsoft Auditorium on Tuesday, March 29th.

Go Sanislo – Go Ice Dodos!

If you know of any other West Seattle school whose team is in the finals – let us know – Sanislo’s the first/only one we’ve heard of. Find out more about the Global Reading Challenge by going here! P.S. Sanislo’s 4th graders are the beneficiaries of the annual Used Book Sale at the school this Saturday, 10 am-2 pm (here’s the Facebook event page).

UPDATED 12:33 PM THURSDAY: Robin sends word that Concord International Elementary School, in South Park but considered part of the “West Seattle region,” also is off to the citywide finals with “The Orange Dragons” – fourth year running for Concord!

West Seattle Crime Watch: Seen this stolen vehicle?

Quick West Seattle Crime Watch note tonight – Jeri on Pigeon Point asks you to be on the lookout:

Late Sunday night or early Monday morning, March 13th or 14th, a 2003 white Subaru Outback, Washington license plate ACE 4203, was stolen from a driveway near 21st & Charlestown on Pigeon Point.

Seen it? Let police know.

World Water Week countdown at Chief Sealth Int’l HS: Posters up!

(Chief Sealth students Rachel Varney and Tasha Addington-Ferris)
Just one more school day left before Chief Sealth International High School‘s World Water Week festival – since Friday is a day off for Seattle Public Schools – and students’ preparation stepped up even further today. We visited this morning as students made and distributed posters, particularly promoting the Walk for Water that is scheduled on Friday, at the end of a week that’s beginning with author Robert Glennon‘s keynote speech (free, community encouraged to attend) on Monday night, introduced by Congressmember Jay Inslee. Here’s another one of the posters:

More teamwork to get ready for the awareness-raising weeklong festival: Social-studies teacher Noah Zeichner, who’s leading the project with senior Molly Freed (here’s their backstory), says a team of students has scheduled the entire student body into 17 workshops for the schoolwide teach-in a week from Friday. That, he says proudly, represented 4 hours of scheduling work. Speakers that day are coming from:

National Wildlife Association
Seattle Public Utilities
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
A Child’s Right
King County Wastewater Division
Seattle BioMed
Cascadia Building Council
Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition
Cascade Designs
Water for Humans

Zeichner adds, “Students will also be participating in a school-wide art project, a tap water taste test, and will attend sessions with CSI faculty members and parents telling personal stories about water scarcity in east Africa.” Tomorrow, yet more work – meetings, including Zeichner conferring with the 9th grader who will be handling audio/visual for World Water Week events; Molly will meet with student-body leaders to review key points of next week; and there’s more work on everything from posters to welcome packets for speakers. They’re not even taking Friday completely off – they have a morning work party to fill the water jugs that will be carried around the field at Southwest Athletic Complex during the Walk for Water. But the biggest job of all is one you can help with: Next Monday night, come to the 6:15 pm resource fair – which promises food, music, and information – and the 7 pm keynote speech; learn about water issues, and celebrate the hard work the students (and their teacher!) have been putting in.

Crime prevention’s future at Southwest Precinct revealed

March 16, 2011 5:21 pm
|    Comments Off on Crime prevention’s future at Southwest Precinct revealed
 |   Crime | West Seattle news | West Seattle police

Southwest Precinct leadership had promised that they would go public with information about how crime prevention would be coordinated in the wake of longtime coordinator Benjamin Kinlow‘s departure. His official retirement date was yesterday; today, the West Seattle Blockwatch Captains’ Network is circulating a note from Southwest Precinct Community Police Team Officer Jonathan Kiehn, addressed to the captains, mentioning one of the remaining coordinators in SPD (Mark Solomon, city photo at left) will help with our area, among other things – and promising Block Watch will live on:Read More

Chaco Canyon Organic Café: Countdown to West Seattle opening

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Eleven months ago, we published Chaco Canyon Organic Cafés request for your opinion: Would their vegetarian/vegan cuisine be welcomed in West Seattle? The response was an overwhelming “yes” – and today, they are two weeks away from their April 1st opening in The Triangle’s new development Link (WSB sponsor).

Though finishing touches remain, we stopped in on Tuesday for the first sneak peek inside, courtesy of the same team we had interviewed at Chaco Canyon’s U-District location 4 months ago – owner Chris Maykut and West Seattle general manager Sarah Coyle.

They are excited and ebullient about West Seattle-homegrown components to the new café – from the soon-to-be-hung light fixtures (above) created “in a studio under the West Seattle Bridge,” to a staff with a significant number of West Seattleites, including two who also plan to live upstairs at Link (whose first tenants move in on March 25th).

This week, there were still decisions to be made – like, how many tables? The tables and wood trim (above) around the new restaurant are made with recycled materials, which thrills Chris to no end – recycled palettes, to be specific, “glue-laminated.”

They are also excited about the community room on the north side of the 2,800-square-foot space. It’ll hold between 30 and 40 people, and will be rentable for meetings and classes, Chris explains – when it’s not in use, it’ll be more space for people to sit down and enjoy Chaco Canyon food and drink.

Any changes since last time we spoke? They’ve decided not to be open Sunday nights, for now – Sarah added, “We want to grow into it.” On Sundays, they will be open for brunch, 9 am-3 pm. Mondays-Fridays, Chaco Canyon will be open 7 am-9 pm, and on Saturdays, it’ll be 9 am-9 pm.

Their staff already is in training, having done an orientation at the original Chaco Canyon and then a followup last Friday at the new location. Before they get into “friends and family” shakedown cruises the last few days before the scheduled April 1st opening, they are inviting you to a March 26th open house.

Even on official opening day, some parts of the new café – which you’ll enter from the southwestern corner of Link (38th/Alaska, above) – will be a work in progress. The retail space along the eastern wall – where you will eventually find cookbooks, among other things – will not be fully fleshed out. Chris says they need to “nose around West Seattle” to see what there’s a need for, particularly relating to vegan, organic, raw, gluten-free nutrition. They might sell art, as well – art will have a prominent place inside Chaco Canyon, as it does throughout the rest of Link (the Twilight Artist Collective curation for the main part of the building doesn’t extend into its businesses, but Chris notes he is a longtime friend of one of Twilight’s trio of founders).

They’re also reaching out to other Triangle businesses; Sarah says she’s been talking with the West Seattle Family YMCA (WSB sponsor) and is “really inspired” by what they are doing and offering.

But back to details. As we wrap up our chat, Chris is wondering about the light bulbs for the new glass fixtures (he pointed out to us earlier that many of the lights in the restaurant will be LEDs, with a major energy savings).

And as we all look out the window at what was at the time a rainy morning, he and Sarah mention there will be outdoor seating when the weather gets nicer, along the west-facing facade, 16 to 20 people.

That’s still a few months away. In the meantime, the doors will officially swing open at 7 am Friday, April 1st, after that March 26th sneak peek, which will be 7-11 pm, with appetizers, beer, and wine – no RSVP needed, “if 500 people show up, we’ll feed 500 people,” Chris promises.

King County Water Taxi back to normal, for West Seattle and Vashon

March 16, 2011 2:28 pm
|    Comments Off on King County Water Taxi back to normal, for West Seattle and Vashon
 |   King County Water Taxi | West Seattle news

(Photo from earlier this month, by Christopher Boffoli)
The Melissa Ann‘s been fixed and that means as of now, both the Vashon and West Seattle Water Taxi services return to their regular schedule – that word just in from King County Department of Transportation‘s Marine Division. (The Melissa Ann had trouble again yesterday afternoon, and Rachel Marie was moved to Vashon service to cover.)

Ruth Medsker now permanent West Seattle High School principal

Just forwarded to us, the official Seattle Public Schools letter announcing that interim principal Ruth Medsker is now permanent principal of West Seattle High School. This comes two weeks after a meeting at the school seeking feedback on how she’s been doing since taking over WSHS this school year. Here’s the letter from interim Superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield – in part, it says of the feedback the district received about Medsker:

We heard that Ms. Medsker has provided the school with strong leadership and she holds students and staff to high standards. Under her guidance, West Seattle High School has developed a␣more consistent schedule that facilitates increased focus on instruction. Staff are benefiting from a newly structured Professional Learning Community format, and the school is in the process of creating a registration process and master schedule that will work best for students.

Proposing a West Seattle-wide fundraiser for Japan: Who’s in?

We heard from Karla, who wondered if there had been a proposal yet for a West Seattle-wide fundraiser on behalf of Japan. We told her that we would be thrilled to help sponsor and promote one, but it might be a good idea to put out the call first to see who would be interested in participating and what kind of idea had the most traction. So she’s set up an e-mail account, and here’s the pitch:

I’m looking for feedback from the West Seattle community on joining efforts to raise funds or donate items for the Japan earthquake/tsunami, as doing this in an organized way may be more impactful.

* Having a restaurant event “Dine out for Japan” with participating restaurants.
* “Bottoms up for Japan” for pubs, bars, taverns.
* Something similar for coffee shops
* Discounts from shops around the Alaska, Morgan and Admiral Junctions.
* Organize with schools or at least provide ideas on how to donate items and then make a teachable moment about empathy
* Encourage WS residents to find out if their companies match donations, and to follow up

Ideas are welcomed, of course. Let me know what you think!

You can contact Karla directly at Obviously she’ll see comments here, too.

Finally ‘raising the roof’ on Facebook: New ‘page’

March 16, 2011 11:58 am
|    Comments Off on Finally ‘raising the roof’ on Facebook: New ‘page’
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle online

If you check in with WSB sometimes via Facebook, you might be aware we’ve been stuck for a long time at 5,000 friends, FB’s arbitrary limit for “profiles.” We didn’t know things would turn out that way when we started on FB as “WS Blog” almost four years ago (before WSB even became a business), but for months now, there have been more than 100 friend requests we weren’t allowed to approve, and an increasing amount of people who couldn’t even get into the queue because, they would message us, “FB says you have ‘too many friends’.” For a while we hoped FB would change; they won’t, so we have to. Please go HERE to “like” the new West Seattle Blog page (nothing fancy – yet – but at least, no limits) if you are so inclined. Thank you!

Half the Viaduct DOES close next year, project boss points out

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

For all the hubbub this week over Mayor McGinn‘s suggestion to shut down the Alaskan Way Viaduct next year – the people working on The Viaduct’s future point out that half of it is already scheduled to be closed next year.

That’s the southern half – the Holgate-to-King leg of the project that is exempt from the tunnel-or-no-tunnel controversy, since, as Viaduct project boss Ron Paananen told the Rotary Club of West Seattle on Tuesday, it’s designed to fit with whatever winds up replacing the Central Waterfront section.

Paananen was the headliner for the Rotary’s weekly lunch, before a crowd filling one of the downstairs meeting rooms at Salty’s on Alki, with attendees including even King County Executive Dow Constantine, days before The Viaduct closes for its next semiannual inspection (6 am-6 pm Saturday and Sunday).

To some degree, you could describe his presentation as part refresher course, part attempted myth-busting.

Read More

Alki Community Council: Meeting tomorrow; help needed 3/26

March 16, 2011 10:09 am
|    Comments Off on Alki Community Council: Meeting tomorrow; help needed 3/26
 |   How to help | West Seattle news

Two notes from the Alki Community Council this morning: First, a reminder of tomorrow night’s monthly meeting, 7 pm, Alki UCC (6112 SW Hinds), with agenda items including the May 22nd “car-free day” Summer Streets as well as emergency preparedness (checked West Seattle Be Prepared lately?). Second, a volunteer opportunity, reported by David Hutchinson:

In its agreement with Seattle Parks & Recreation, the Alki Community Council made a commitment to provide volunteer assistance in maintaining the landscape beds at the Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza. On Saturday, March 26th, Phil Renfrow, Parks Senior Gardener, will be at the Plaza to supervise the replanting of these areas. If you enjoy working out of doors in a beautiful setting, you are invited to drop by and lend a hand. If you plan on coming, please contact Eilene at 206-933-8352 or email us at

The new plants are being purchased using the Parks administered maintenance fund, created through the sale of the engraved bricks & bronze plaques. Last year the ACC turned over more than $35,000 to supplement this fund. There are currently 73 bricks and 2 plaques left for sale. Orders received by the end of March will be installed by Parks this spring, probably in late May or early June. Orders received after that date will be installed later this fall. Brick order forms can be picked up at the Plaza or downloaded at . For additional information on the plaza project, see

West Seattle Wednesday: Delridge District Council, and more

(Hummingbird nesting at The Kenney – thanks to Katie Krause for sharing)
Fairly quiet day on the WSB West Seattle Events calendar: Tonight’s marquee meeting is the Delridge District Council, which always precedes its 7 pm business meeting with a broader 6 pm discussion about issues and ideas (you’re invited to that too). On the business-meeting agenda are the issues raised by medical-marijuana dispensaries, particularly the one that was briefly reported to be moving into a commercial space in the 5200 block of Delridge (here’s our report on that from last weekend) and a briefing on the county’s sewer-overflow-control “green stormwater infrastructure” plan for part of Sunrise Heights and Westwood. Last week we reported on early testing work related to that, including drilling next to Westside School (WSB sponsor) – we later received a photo of how that work drew an audience:

(Photo courtesy Maryann Petrocelli)
The Delridge District Council’s meeting is as usual at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way.

FREE WORKSHOP: Feel overwhelmed when it’s time to find and choose a home-service professional? Tonight the Savvy Seattle Women take on the topic, and you’re welcome to be there, 6 pm @ Prudential NW Realty in Jefferson Square. More info online.

‘ONE WORLD’ DISCUSSION: The facilitated-discussion series continues at the Senior Center of West Seattle with gender as today’s topic: “How have male and female roles changed over time? In what ways have you experienced sexism, personally or societally?” 10:45-noon.

SOLVING SCHOOL CROWDING: Before its regular meeting tonight, the Seattle School Board has a work session focusing on Capacity Management – how to deal with issues including school crowding, which is a particular challenge for several West Seattle elementary schools right now (including the ones where new portables have arrived to help handle the overflow). The public is welcome to observe work sessions, though there’s no public-comment period; 4 pm, district HQ in SODO.

Yes, spring’s on the way: Sign up for swim lessons

March 16, 2011 8:12 am
|    Comments Off on Yes, spring’s on the way: Sign up for swim lessons
 |   Fun stuff to do | West Seattle news

A message this morning from Southwest Pool, the only city-run, year-round swimming facility in West Seattle:

With summer right around the corner (though it is hard to see through the rain some days), it is time to think about swim lessons. Have your kids brush off their skills and get ready for a fun and safe summer in the water. Whether your child is new to the water or they are swimming laps we have a class at an appropriate level for them. We even have classes for adults! Also, don’t forget to check out the other courses offered at our six West Seattle community centers.

From classes to special events like Easter-egg hunts, the full spring brochure for those community centers (Alki, Delridge, Hiawatha, High Point, Southwest, plus South Park) is online – browse it here (PDF). And for more info about the pool, you can drop by at 2801 SW Thistle or call 206-684-7440.