West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
By the time Chris Kinsey had a few minutes to talk with WSB about his new job as Chief Sealth International High School‘s interim principal, he was in the eighth straight hectic hour since the announcement was made this morning.
He’s already started meeting with the people he’ll need to work most closely with. Just before our early-evening conversation, in fact, Kinsey said, he had just been in a late-afternoon meeting with Jeff Clark, principal of Denny International Middle School, which is weeks away from its first year sharing a campus with Chief Sealth. Kinsey says he’s known Clark for “a few years now,” since he has some background in Seattle Public Schools‘ middle-school system.
For the past three years, he’s been an assistant principal at Cleveland High School – also a school that’s been operating in a new, unconventional format. It’s focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The STEM launch is the accomplishment of which Kinsey is proudest, so far:
News tonight of a leadership change at ArtsWest. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, its secretary Dawn Leverett just sent this announcement:
After 5-1/2 years as Executive Director of ArtsWest, Alan Harrison and the Board of Trustees have decided to part ways. The Board is tremendously grateful to Mr. Harrison for all he has done to promote ArtsWest and its mission. While ArtsWest has grown in stature, priorities have shifted and differences in approach have arisen especially in the current economic cycle. Consequently, the time has come for a change in leadership giving rise to the opportunity to reevaluate the entire structure of the organization before launching a formal search for a new executive director. The board of trustees is confident that they have in place a plan that will allow for a smooth transition.
We asked Leverett a few followup questions: First, who is charge in the meantime? She says that duty is being shared by “several board members with various talents and time who have stepped up to run the organization. Second – will Harrison’s departure lead to any changes in the upcoming season, announced months ago? Reply: “At this time, no plans to change the season. We also asked if ArtsWest is financially sound. While acknowledging that “arts have been hit by lack of giving” in the rocky economy, Leverett said, “We certainly are stable.”
ADDED TUESDAY: A statement received via e-mail from Alan Harrison:
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone associated with ArtsWest: the board of trustees, the staff, the artists, and the audiences. In 2005, when I began, there were a number of arts professionals in Seattle who suggested that ArtsWest was not the opportunity for someone who has been in the nonprofit arts business as long as I have. By 2006, we had changed our mission to “require conversation, improve the imagination, and promote cultural vibrancy as a core value” and succeeded in drawing record crowds each year. Better than crowds: ArtsWest now has a fan base.
Last season, the theater drew more fans than ever; with an amazing majority of them coming from outside the 4 zip codes of West Seattle. It is gratifying that we could use our provocative gallery and theater to cause conversations that move the issues beyond the unknown stage and into the “let’s fix it” stage all over Seattle. ArtsWest became a real progressive success story and we have so many people to thank for that. For the first time in the history of the organization, artists were being paid no less than a legal wage (including rehearsals), and the scale and scope of the organization grew to capacity. However, as the economy worsened, earned income was setting records for growth and contributed income dropped. Someday that will turn around, and ArtsWest will again succeed, of this I’m sure.
It was a wonderful ride. Now, my family and I are excited about the next opportunity to work with a company in Seattle. It is our home, and I am delighted to be a part of this wonderfully intellectually curious community of ours. We’re looking forward to seeing what that new opportunity will be, and can’t wait for it to begin.
… and no, it’s NOT the kind of date she’s trying to fight off. We’ve been reporting on Vera Johnson‘s fight to keep Bank of America from foreclosing on her home and Village Green Perennial Nursery business west of White Center – and tomorrow, she’s going downtown for a face-to-face meeting with a Bank of America manager. She has a list of questions for that rep – questions she’s been trying to get the bank to answer for a long time. And she also has another list – thousands of names of people who have signed the online petition she started at Change.org when she first went public with her plight four weeks ago. (Here’s our original story.)
As of our last check, that list stood at almost 9,600 – if you haven’t signed it yet, you might consider doing so if you support her cause, as she’s close to the 10,000 milestone; find it here. Vera also is continuing on her quest to help others get information to help them in similar fights. Most importantly, she says, insist on a face-to-face meeting with somebody at your bank – exactly what she is doing now. In a support-group meeting she hosted with a legal expert a week ago, other points of advice included getting media attention – “make it loud” – and, don’t keep your personal bank accounts in the same bank as your mortgage. Plus, fight every step of the way – fight the foreclosure, fight any attempt to be evicted. And keep an eye on the online records involving your property; be sure you know the parcel number – which you can get through the county’s online parcel finder – and search the records to see what is filed regarding it, just to make sure there’s not something going on that you haven’t heard about.
Just in from King County Wastewater Treatment Division:
Employees from King County’s clean-water utility are working to control an overflow of treated wastewater from a manhole at the intersection of West Marginal Way S.W. and S.W. Front Street.
The incident began late this morning after a contractor unbolted a manhole cover, causing a currently undetermined volume of treated wastewater from the South Treatment Plant in Renton to overflow into the intersection and a nearby parking lot. The treated wastewater is being pumped from the plant for discharge into Puget Sound through a mile-long outfall off of Duwamish Head.
For the flows to subside, the treated effluent in the system has to fully drain. Until this occurs, operations staff will hold flows in storage at the plant. Once the flows normalize, crews can safely enter the area to begin needed repair work.
This is close to the Highland Park Way/West Marginal Way intersection – here’s a map.
Or so you might think, upon spotting this. WSB Forums member Bettytheyeti called attention to it there as a “Rave.” Betty explains, “Two weeks ago, the neighbor’s wife hand-painted a big yellow oval on the garage door. I went out of town, e-mailed home to find out what was going on there. My spouse’s response was that the superhero had moved to Seaview. That’s all I was told. When I returned and took out trash to the alley, behold the BATCAVE!” She adds, “I spoke with the neighbor yesterday to tell him I thought it was great and that evildoers should beware.”
TUESDAY MORNING UPDATE: We asked Betty to put us in touch with the Bat Cave’s owner(s). “Batwoman” Jamie answered a few questions for us via e-mail:
There’s not much to the backstory – Like Batman, my heroic husband spends a lot of time in his “cave.” The “cave” door was simply too large, white and boring not to cover with something! I’ve been known to paint flowers and cartoon animals around the house, but that theme clearly wouldn’t work for a Man Cave – it would have to be something more masculine. The train of thought quickly went from “Man Cave” to “Bat Cave,” and voila! As far as technique, it’s freestyle all the way baby! The Bat symbol is definitely here to stay. We may have to further embrace its popularity by dressing up as Batman and Catwoman for Halloween.
We are open to further suggestions for the plain, white, boring backboard…
We’re at the King County Courthouse again today in week two of testimony in the trial of the two remaining defendants in the Super Bowl Sunday 2009 murder of 26-year-old Steve Bushaw outside Talarico’s in The Junction. Continuing his testimony again this morning (after a delay because his “street clothes” hadn’t been brought up from the jail in Kent) was John Sylve, one of the two men who pleaded guilty to firing the deadly shots. Responding to questions from prosecutor Jeff Baird, Sylve told his story of how the shooting unfolded – and the getaway, in which he says they intended to go throw guns and shell casings off the West Seattle Bridge but got lost trying to find it, and eventually changed their plan; he also says the other confessed killer, Danny O’Neal, was sure they had both missed. Court resumes in about an hour; we’ll have the full story of today’s developments later. (You can find our ongoing coverage here – newest-to-oldest.)
Just in from Seattle Public Schools:
Dear Chief Sealth International High School community,
I am very pleased to announce Christopher Kinsey as the interim Principal at Chief Sealth International High School.
Mr. Kinsey has spent the past three years as Assistant Principal at Cleveland High School where he helped coordinate and implement the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program and fostered a student-centered learning environment throughout the school. He understands the unique needs of the Chief Sealth community and he will continue the good work of former principal John Boyd. Please join me in welcoming him into the Chief Sealth community!
Mr. Kinsey will serve as the Interim Principal for the 2011-12 school year. As is our practice with an interim appointment, the Chief Sealth community will have an opportunity to provide feedback over the winter. Then, we will decide if a national search needs to be conducted for a permanent principal.
I know Mr. Kinsey will work well with Jeff Clark, Principal of Denny International Middle School, and they will continue creating a strong pathway from middle to high school for our students.
Mr. Kinsey started his career in 1999 as a 7th-grade classroom teacher at Meany Middle School and also served as the Dean and Administrative Intern for Pathways at Nathan Hale High School. He was the House Administrator at Eckstein Middle School for two years. He is a dedicated instructional leader who is committed to working collaboratively with the entire Chief Sealth community to ensure all students have a high-quality education. Mr. Kinsey said he is already proud to be a Seahawk.
With less than a month to the start of the school year, I know Mr. Kinsey will be busy getting ready for Sept. 7. Please look for a letter from him soon. I know he is interested in listening to concerns, advice and goals from students, staff, families and the community about the future of Chief Sealth.
Susan Enfield, Ed.D.
Seattle Public Schools
Last Friday was former principal John Boyd‘s last day; he has left for a new job as an executive in Highline Public Schools, the district immediately south of Seattle.
Registration opens tomorrow for homeschooling families interested in the Family Learning Program at Southwest Community Center (2801 SW Thistle). It’s not affiliated with any school district or religious organization; it grew out of grass-roots interest, and just since its inception back in February, has already served more than 60 homeschooling families. It’s in session on Wednesdays and Fridays, with around 30 classes available for all ages, toddlers to adults, academics to arts, plus free clubs, open gym, and swimming lessons, starting in mid-September. The full list, and registration info, can be found here; you can also check out the program’s Facebook page
(One of five raccoons that Carly, who shared the photo, saw enjoying fresh-on-the-tree cherries Friday)
Welcome to the quiet (post-Seafair) days of summer. Not entirely without events, though, in West Seattle and vicinity:
FREE HEALTH SCREENING: For National Health Center Week. Sea Mar in South Park is offering free screenings all week (8720 14th Ave. S) – today, body-mass index and blood pressure; King County Executive Dow Constantine also is scheduled to speak at 9 am.
LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE: … along with chocolate. And both are on the schedule 12:30 pm-1 pm Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon St). The announcement points out, “Playful silliness is good for the body, mind and soul.”
ALASKA KUTEEYAA DANCE: Everyone age 3 and up is welcome at the High Point Library (35th/Raymond) at 3 pm to celebrate the dances of Alaska Native tribes.
BOOK CLUB: 6:45 pm at West Seattle (Admiral) Library; this month’s book is “A Mercy” by Toni Morrison.
NDNC MONTHLY MEETING: In the park on the north side of Delridge Community Center (Delridge/Genesee), you’ll find this month’s North Delridge Neighborhood Council meeting, 6:30 pm.
FREE KICKBOXING: SIMA Martial Arts presents free “Introduction to Kickboxing” session tonight at Fairmount Playfield, 5400 Fauntleroy Way. 7:05 PM – 8:05 PM. No experience needed; any fitness level; anyone 13 and older is welcome. RSVP to 206-935-4531.
DISCOUNTED WILD WAVES TICKETS: Want to visit the water park before summer’s out? High Point Community Center has discount tickets on sale, $25 (regular price totals $40+).
If you’re not registered to vote, it’s not too late to register in time to vote in the August 16th election – if you meet the requirements – as long as you do it by 4:30 pm today, in person at King County Elections HQ (919 SW Grady Way, Renton; here’s a map). Questions? Call 206-296-VOTE. That’s also the number to call if you are registered but haven’t received your ballot in the mail yet. Ballots have to be postmarked by next Tuesday, or placed in a dropbox by 8 pm that night.
(Photos by Beth Grotelueschen for WSB)
The guest of honor was resplendent in purple, and bathed in love and support, as the “We Heart Tracy Dart” bash filled The Bridge on Sunday night, to rustle up some financial assistance for somebody who has given so much even while fighting a three-round battle against breast cancer. (With Tracy in the top photo are Trudy Muller and Chad Johnson.) Lovely night, so many were out on The Bridge’s spacious patio:
Back inside, colorful bags represented each item on the long list of donated prizes waiting to be won during drawings.
” Also donated: Live music – In Cahoots opened the night (Explone was the other scheduled band):
You can still pitch in to help Tracy, by donating online via PayPal (you don’t need a PP account – you can just use a credit card). As explained on the official We Heart Tracy Dart website, “100% of funds donated go to a trust fund that will be used to directly pay for things like prescriptions, insurance premiums, utilities and rent. Meanwhile, besides going through cancer treatment, Tracy also is preparing for the next 3-Day Walk with her ever-growing “Team Tracy” in mid-September; she’s also chronicling that on her personal website.
ADDED 9:32 AM: Co-organizer Lisa Dawson says as of first thing this morning, the fundraiser had brought in more than $6,300, with online donations still coming in. More than 50 prizes were donated, and an estimated 200+ people attended the party. Lisa’s summary: “It was a great night!”
Out of the WSB inbox, from Robyn W:
Around 8:30 tonight, I was driving south on Fauntleroy near the Fairmount playfield when a toddler from an apartment complex suddenly ran into the street chasing after a ball. No adult was seen coming after the child and he made it all the away across the street. I was completely stunned and pulled over. Luckily, the driver behind me also stopped his car, and went on to stop the traffic in both directions, retrieve the little boy and bring him back to his home. I didn’t have a chance to speak to this Good Samaritan, but in case he reads your blog, I just wanted to thank him for what he did. While I hope my child would never run into the street, I am glad there are good folks in West Seattle keeping an eye out for children’s safety.