West Seattle, Washington
“You need a great principal, you’re deserving of that.”
That’s how Seattle Public Schools‘ interim Superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield opened tonight’s meeting at district HQ to talk about the process of getting Chief Sealth International High School a principal for the school year that’s just a month away – since longtime principal John Boyd is leaving for a new job in Highline Public Schools.
More than 60 people came to the meeting, including a dozen or so Sealth students, Seattle School Board president Steve Sundquist (father of two Sealth graduates), West Seattle’s executive director of schools Aurora Lora (at center in photo at right, taken during small-group breakouts), Sealth PTSA and faculty members, among others.
Before we get to the toplines – for anyone who wasn’t able to attend tonight, Lora will be on the Sealth campus tomorrow, 8:30 am-2:30 pm in the alumni room (near the main entrance), available to anyone who wants to talk about the principal situation.
Just as the county moves into the next stage of the plan to reduce combined-sewer overflows (CSO) from West Seattle’s Murray Pump Station by razing homes to install a huge underground tank in the area shown above, questions have been raised about the overall cost-benefit efficiency of the ongoing state-mandated CSO-reduction programs that the city and county both are pursuing.
Those questions are not new, but they are suddenly in a bright spotlight because of a Seattle Times report – which even led King County Executive Dow Constantine to send a news release late today with his thoughts on the issue.
More on that ahead, but first, the latest on Murray, one of two county CSO-control projects now in the planning stages in West Seattle (the other is a “green stormwater” approach for the basin feeding the Barton pump station by the Fauntleroy ferry dock):
At the Morgan Community Association‘s recent quarterly meeting, Murray CSO project manager Erica Jacobs said they’ve chosen a design team – Bellevue-based HDR – and are in the “contract negotiation and execution stage,” with preliminary design work to start next month. The design process, Jacobs said, will take more than a year – the timetable projects “final design” will be done by December of 2012. Next month, she said, also is when the county expects to make purchase offers to property owners.
The state-mandated environmental-review process is closed, she added, saying it brought “eight formal comment letters” – and that all have been responded to. Next step, according to Jacobs, is a September public meeting to “introduce members of the design team,” once the contract is “initiated.” Crews will be boring at the site, too, to “gather information for technical parameters of the design,” Jacobs explained, including “the depths that will be needed for the storage tank.” Then in October, she said, a community “design advisory committee” will be formed.
But now, enter the Times story about the overall CSO program – read it here. Reporter Lynda V. Mapes‘ story doesn’t dispute the point that CSO control has made a difference in Puget Sound water quality; it focuses on how much money is scheduled to be spent to make an additional, relatively small reduction in the pollution from the overflows that happen during big rainstorms, and points out that the biggest pollution threat to Puget Sound right now is runoff, which the hundreds of millions slated for further CSO control won’t even touch. She quotes several authoritative sources as saying it seems like time to step back and re-examine priorities.
County Executive Constantine’s statement late today appears to reaffirm support for the ongoing projects – read on for the full text:Read More
Thanks to the WSB’ers who reported a sizable police presence in the 1200 block of Alki (map) in the 4 pm hour and wondered what happened. We checked with Southwest Precinct Lt. Ron Smith, who says a real-estate agent arrived at a condo unit and “discovered it occupied by an unknown person. The door was locked; the subject in the condo failed to respond to officers’ command to open the locked door and required a locksmith to make entry.” And then, the person “was uncooperative with officers and required officers to physically restrain the subject,” who has since been taken to a hospital for a mental evaluation.
At the King County Courthouse this morning, the gallery in Superior Court Judge Joan DuBuque’s courtroom was almost completely filled for what was anticipated to be the start of opening statements in the trial of Bryce Huber and Brandon Chaney, charged with murdering West Seattleite Steve Bushaw (right) in February 2009. Among those on hand were members of the victim’s family. Then suddenly, a surprise – a problem that, over the course of the first hour, led to one of the jurors being excused from the case. That resulted in a new mini-round of jury selection to replace him, and that took the rest of the day, with word just in that opening statements are expected to start tomorrow. The trial may last the entire month and has already gone through a variety of delays; it was on the verge of starting back in January when it was pushed back by sudden developments, including 2 other defendants deciding to plead guilty. (The backstory’s in our original report on the charges filed in fall 2009.)
(2010 Night Out photo of 48th/Dawson party, by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
Tomorrow night is the biggest block-party night of the year around West Seattle and the rest of the U.S. – Night Out. Years ago, it started as National Night Out Against Crime, and that’s still its focus, to bring together neighbors and neighborhoods in the interest of crime prevention and deterrence. It’s not too late to get your party on the citywide map – a few West Seattle events are there now, but we know there are more! (10 am Tuesday is the deadline.) And thanks to party organizers who have sent us info on locations/times for the traditional WSB “as it happens” Night Out report – if you wouldn’t mind us potentially stopping by, please e-mail us the address and who to ask for. It’s a great chance to celebrate neighborhood spirit.
That photo from Genesee Hill would be lovely without words – another beautiful West Seattle view on a perfect summer day. But Lolo, who shared the picture, explains the reason it’s worth a smile:
A while back our bench disappeared. This morning a bench appeared at the overlook, magically. Not sure this is hugely newsworthy, but I think it’s an example of anonymous giving that should be recognized.
If you’re going to the meeting at Seattle Public Schools headquarters tonight regarding the process of choosing a new principal for Chief Sealth International High School – note that the location has been moved. Still at SPS HQ at 2445 3rd Avenue South, but now it’s in the main auditorium (first floor) rather than the previously announced room. It’s scheduled from 6-8 pm tonight. (And another reminder, you can take an online survey here.) District officials say an interim principal for next year could be announced as soon as this Friday, which is also the last official day for 7-year principal John Boyd.
Several notes this afternoon. First, we finally have some official police information on an incident at the Shell station in the 5400 block of Delridge about this time Sunday. (Thanks to Patrick Baer, who also provided the photo, and to Lawrence, for the tips about this.) Seattle Police media-unit Det. Mark Jamieson confirms that the incident involved police spotting a stolen truck (it was a Toyota Tundra, according to Lawrence). Four people were inside. Two were arrested and booked into jail – investigation of auto theft and an outstanding warrant, according to Det. Jamieson, who says the other two were released. The truck’s owner came to the scene, too. Note: This was first reported to us as an incident involving police “with guns drawn.” That is standard procedure if a vehicle is being stopped for a potential felony (car theft qualifies) – so if you happen to see that startling sight, know that just might be the circumstance. (And let us know – 206-293-6302.)
Speaking of auto theft, here’s a report sent today by J:
Just discovered my car missing and presumed stolen from my off-street driveway (Genesee area near Schmitz school). Report has been filed with police.
Asking folks to keep an eye out for and report to police sighting of:
2001 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport
blue, 4 door, 5th door hatchback with spoiler
“Uff Da” frame around license plates
And today’s third note (so far), Gregor reported a string of car break-ins in Arbor Heights Friday night/Saturday morning (he was among the victims) – including some windows broken on locked cars, in the area of 36th/108th (map), and possibly beyond.
(UPDATE: Tuesday arrival of other Blue Angels expected around 11:15 am)
(The Museum of Flight tweeted this photo of #7’s arrival just after 8 am)
The first Blue Angels jet to arrive in Seattle got here just after 8 am, but will be back in the air this afternoon, giving rides to pre-selected “community influencers.” The other Blue Angels are due to arrive at the Museum of Flight adjacent to Boeing Field around 11 am tomorrow.
If you’re a longtime WSB’er, you know we recommend watching at least one of their Seafair takeoffs from the MoF, for an experience beyond just the airshow (here’s one of our previous reports that should explain why). But we just found out firsthand this morning about a *traffic challenge* you’ll want to be aware of if you go to MoF: Last year, after the South Park Bridge (which had been a good shortcut from West Seattle) closed, it was easy enough to take Highland Park Way to the 1st Avenue South Bridge, then the Michigan exit to East Marginal Way, turn right, drive a few miles, voila, you’re there. Right now, though, there’s a stretch of East Marginal where road work is under way, and that took it down to one lane each way this morning:
This morning, the work covered a stretch north of 14th South (the old SP Bridge turn from East Marginal), and it took quite some time to get through. We turned onto 4th, headed north to downtown, and encountered more slowdowns. We’ll work to get more specifics before the big days Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and to recommend alternative routes if needed, but in the short run, just be aware. Also on the traffic alert front, the I-90 bridge closes those days too – the specific times are here. And you can find all of this week’s airshow info on the Seafair website. (Looking for info on when you’ll see the Seafair fleet off West Seattle shores? Here’s our story from last week.)
Just got a request from the Senior Services Transportation Program to put out a call for volunteers. They have an urgent need for people to drive seniors to health-care appointments – and right now, they’re so short, they say they’re turning away half the seniors who call! You choose the days and times you are available to give someone a ride. Want to know more? Contact Melissa at email@example.com or (206) 748-7588.
FIRST BLUE ANGELS ARRIVAL: The biggest week of Seafair is under way, and you may see/hear the first Blue Angels jet to arrive – #8, the two-seater, is due in this morning, with Lt. Commander Todd Royles, who is scheduled to be giving rides to pre-selected “community influencers” starting around noon. (The other Blue Angels are due in around 11 am Tuesday). As always, the Angels will be based at the Museum of Flight adjacent to Boeing Field during their Seattle stay; here’s this week’s airshow info from the Seafair website.
COUNCIL CELEBRATES GRANT RECIPIENTS: Two West Seattle groups receiving city grants from the Large Project Fund will be among those celebrated at a City Council reception at 1 pm today downtown. West Seattle CoolMom is receiving $60,000 for a “Think Outside the Car” outreach program; The New Camp Long Community Collaboration Project is receiving $100,000 for the “challenge course” that’s going in at the park.
WEST SEATTLE COOKING CLUB: Today’s theme is Middle Eastern for this informal group of cooking aficionados, meeting at 2 pm at Beveridge Place Pub (they’re on Facebook, here).
CHOOSING A CHIEF SEALTH PRINCIPAL: As previewed here, tonight is the meeting at Seattle Public Schools HQ (2445 3rd Ave. S, room 2700) downtown, 6 pm, for everyone interested in the process of helping choose a successor for Chief Sealth International High School principal John Boyd. District management says an interim principal will be appointed ASAP for the coming school year. You also are invited to participate by taking this online survey.
FAMILY STORY TIME: 7 pm tonight at the High Point branch of the Seattle Public Library (35th/Raymond) – songs, rhymes, games, and books with the children’s librarian.
The event’s not in West Seattle, but West Seattleites abound in the regional plan for the first-ever National Can-It-Forward Day. It’ll actually be a two-day event at Pike Place Market on August 13-14, featuring Canning Across America, for which Alki-based cooking author/advocate Kim O’Donnel (foreground of photo at right) is a founding member. Kim sent the official announcement, noting that other West Seattleites involved with the can-stravaganza include The Shibaguyz:
In its third season of spreading the love for “putting up” food, Canning Across America is cooking up its most exciting endeavor to date. Mark your calendars for the weekend of August 13-14, when Canning Across America will be preserving up a storm at Seattle’s Pike Place Market.
The new Denny International Middle School is ready to go, proclaims principal Jeff Clark, just a month after presiding over the move out of the old one (where building demolition is entering its final phase). Along with project manager Robert Evans from DKA, which has overseen the entire Denny-building/Chief Sealth-renovating process, he led us on a long-awaited tour last Friday morning. Outside, banners welcome visitors (and students/staff) in multiple languages:
What’s new INSIDE – and more of what’s new outside – ahead, with 20 more photos: