West Seattle, Washington
By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog
From reports on cases handled recently by Southwest Precinct officers:
*Monday, just after midnight, as a taxi dropped off a fare at 32nd and SW Genesee, the occupants (which included a child) were startled by a loud crash: Someone had thrown a rock at the windshield, shattering the upper-right section. A suspect was spotted nearby and was thought to be the “neighborhood homeless man” who had been living in a car on the street for at least a week and been an annoyance to residents. (He was reported to have a history of violence, substance abuse, access to handguns, and hostility toward law enforcement.) The suspect called 911 later and claimed that an officer had stolen his cell phone. He returned to the scene, and although his clothes matched those described by the victims, he denied any involvement with the rock incident. He agreed to move on after being told about the neighborhood concerns.
Eight more summaries ahead:Read More
Found a few more West Seattle light displays on this citywide list published by our partners at the Seattle Times – and that’s where we found the address for the home above, the Martin family residence at 44th and Holly in Morgan Junction. Some of the other homes on the Times list are already on the WSB West Seattle Christmas Lights map, and we’ll be checking out the few others we hadn’t already heard about. Your tips are appreciated too – email@example.com – through Christmas! You can find the map on the West Seattle Holidays page any time. To see the photos of lights we’ve already featured, check out the archive page for this “category” of WSB stories – find it here.
With changes in community-center operations around the city – including Southwest Community Center changing into a Teen Life Center and Neighborhood Service Center – that means different hours in the new year, as new “tiered” levels of service take effect. Seattle Parks announced those hours today; here’s the overview. In West Seattle, High Point Community Center – this area’s “tier 1” center – will be open 7 days a week, but all others will be open six days, except for Alki Community Center, whose schedule is five days a week. The community-center hours are all listed here, while the teen-program hours (including Southwest) are here.
On the last day before the biggest break of the school year, many schools have something special. We just learned today about this special annual tradition at Madison Middle School – luminarias! Award-winning counseling-team leader Lauren Divina explains that it’s a tradition dating back to the mid-’90s, “We lighted up luminarias along the pathway in front of the building to welcome our students on the last school day before the school break! … The entire staff greet the students at the front steps as they start coming in, we give candies, and there’s background music for the holidays.” Thanks for sharing the photos – we’re marking our calendar to go check this out in person next year!
Meantime, at Pathfinder K-8, the day before winter break was Crazy Hat Day, Akemi explained, sharing this photo:
According to Akemi, that’s Pathfinder 8th-grader Evaro: “Guess if we can’t use the viaduct, might as well wear it!” (Which reminds us, have you noticed lately how the south-end demolition is almost done? Here’s one of the newest WSDOT photos via Flickr.)
Crews from the Seattle Department of Transportation will pave 35th Avenue SW from Southwest Othello Street to Southwest Myrtle Street next week [map]. They will start on Monday, December 19 and work through Wednesday December 21, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., weather permitting. All sidewalks and crosswalks will remain open. At least one lane of traffic in each direction will remain open, and on-street parking will be restricted. A police officer will assist traffic at the intersection of 35th Avenue Southwest and Southwest Myrtle Street.
If you have anything to say to the City Council before their final vote on West Seattle Triangle (and vicinity) rezoning, Monday afternoon is your last chance – in the public-comment period at the start of their 2 pm meeting (here’s the agenda). If you’ve missed the previous coverage, the rezoning is detailed in the ordinance the council will consider. You can read it here (that’s where we got the map you see above). Two of the main points: Most of The Triangle itself is rezoned from “commercial” to “neighborhood commercial,” which means different standards for future development, particularly stipulations about street-level features; several chunks of land, including some that are west/southwest of The Triangle itself, get 20 more feet of height, to an 85-foot maximum. That includes, for example, what are currently the sites of Les Schwab Tires, Cycle U (future Highline Medical), West Seattle Produce, WSP’s former site across Fauntleroy, the two gas-station sites across from each other at Alaska/Fauntleroy, Howden-Kennedy, and more – see the map (sorry we don’t have a larger version, but many browsers can zoom). The council also will vote on a resolution asking SDOT to do a parking study for The Triangle, since the topic came up so often in the process that preceded this. Side note: Right after taking up The Triangle, the council moves to a final vote on the plastic-bag ban.
That’s the clip we showed you last month with news that Chief Sealth International High School‘s Marching Band was back in the KZOK “Battle of the Bands” competition – the only Seattle school in the running. Today, band director Marcus Pimpleton is thanking everyone for the support that helped Sealth come in second (here’s the news on the KZOK website) – which brings a $5,000 prize! The competition included both public voting and expert judging. So what will the money go toward? we asked. Here’s the reply:
Right now the funds will just be sitting in our music ASB account until we determine which of our many priorities needs attention first. We have a few things we are hoping to fund this year – additional band uniforms and mallet percussion instruments are currently at the top of the list, but our jazz band is auditioning for the prestigious Essentially Ellington competition in New York. Our acceptance is a long shot but the students are working very hard and if they are accepted it is a possibility that we may have to delay acquiring more band uniforms and use funds to support that.
SDOT has just changed the schedule for westbound Spokane Street Viaduct overnight closures – starting with tonight, when it will be OPEN after all. The new schedule calls for two more overnight closures, next Wednesday night (9 pm-5 am) and Thursday night (10 pm-5 am). Reminder that the closures mean the I-5 and Beacon Hill ramps to the West Seattle Bridge are closed; the 6th Avenue S. detour from southbound 5 isn’t easy to navigate, so plan your route beforehand.
(UPDATED 7:42 PM FRIDAY: Added comment from Marty McLaren, who now represents West Seattle on the School Board)
ORIGINAL 10:10 AM REPORT: Just received from Seattle Public Schools – Dr. Susan Enfield says she doesn’t want to be permanently appointed to the job she’s been doing temporarily:
In March, when I was appointed Interim Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools, the District was in crisis. I was tasked with assembling the very best team of professionals to help lead this District, create transparency, improve communication and restore trust between families, the community and Seattle Public Schools.
I am incredibly proud of the work our students, teachers, principals and staff have accomplished over the past 10 months. Seattle is fortunate to have such a team of dedicated educational professionals. The progress we have made is significant:
Seattle Public Schools students outperformed the state average in every tested subject in grades 3-8
Our four-year graduation rate is up from 67 percent to 73 percent in the last year
Our overall school performance is increasing, with 27 schools increasing their overall performance level during 2010-2011
Enrollment is on the rise
Our city passed yet another Families and Education levy that will provide essential supports to our students
While I am proud of what we have accomplished together, today I am announcing my decision to neither seek nor accept the permanent position of superintendent after my contract ends in June. This was not an easy decision for me to make given my commitment to Seattle and to our students.
EARLY DISMISSAL: School’s out early for winter break – one-hour early dismissal for Seattle Public Schools
FREE GUIDED ECO-HIKE: Join the Nature Consortium in the West Duwamish Greenbelt! Come out and see the changes that winter brings to Seattle’s largest remaining forest. We will explore the hidden treasures of this amazing natural wonder, and hear about the history and the future of the forest. Difficulty is mild. Inexperienced hikers, seniors, and babies in backpacks are welcome. Special note to parents of toddlers and preschoolers: please be warned that this hike is challenging for younger children, especially on the way back up the steep hill! Please bring your own water bottle. Granola bars provided. Long pants are strongly recommended due to overgrown vegetation in certain parts of the trail. Wear appropriate footwear – shoes or boots that can get dirty or muddy. Meet at the trailhead at 14th Ave SW and SW Holly streets by 1 pm – Call 206-923-0853 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot.
AFTERNOON DANCE: Dance to the music of Lauren Petrie at Delridge Community Center, 1:30-3:30 pm.
CHRISTMAS STORYTELLING: Storytelling event at White Center Cultural Center, 9421 18th Avenue SW, 6:30 pm: Christmas Posadas by Rosa Hernandez and Laura Villanueva.
WINE TASTINGS: 1-4 PM at South Seattle Community College (Delridge Community Center, 1:30-3:30 pm”>details here) and 6-7:30 pm at Bin 41 wine in The Junction – Port for the holidays…and beyond! If you missed our port class, don’t worry…here’s your chance to sample a line-up of super tasty ports to cure those winter blues! And if you attended the port class…come anyway because we’re tasting a whole new line-up of wines! We’ll be showing you an LBV, vintage, colheita, 10 and 20 year tawnies and a unique rose port.
‘IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE,’ RADIO-STYLE: 7:30 pm performance of Twelfth Night Productions‘ “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Show,” at Kenyon Hall. Based on the classic 1946 Frank Capra film, playwright Joe Landry’s take on “It’s a Wonderful Life” comes to life as a live 1940s radio broadcast at historic Kenyon Hall, 7904 35th SW. Tickets are available online at Brown Paper Tickets, and at Kenyon Hall, $15/adults, $12 students & seniors.
CHRISTMAS TREES: In addition to the Holy Rosary Tree Lot (41st and Dakota) and Son-In-Law Tree Farm lot (California and Charlestown) both now at half-price, the Stop ‘n’ Shop at the Senior Center of West Seattle (California and Oregon) is selling donated trees for $25.
With Christmas just nine days away, donation drives are wrapping up – and many still need you! Like these two – right across 42nd SW from each other:
(Photo by Alice Kuder)
Noon today is the donation deadline for the Toys for Tots drive at Prudential Northwest Realty in Jefferson Square (42nd/Alaska). Get a new unwrapped toy there by noon, because Alice Kuder is delivering them later this afternoon. Alice shares the photo from the Toys for Tots warehouse in Normandy Park – where she says three Marines, including Staff. Sgt. Chris Apgar (left) and Cpl. Stephanie Coverdale, are sorting and prepping donated toys for regional distribution.
Meantime, AAA in West Seattle is collecting donations for the”Nickelsville” encampment, where this Christmas tree is now up:
(Photo by Kevin McClintic)
WSB Forums members made the Christmas tree happen. But the people at the camp need the basics, too, and AAA is collecting soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and other toiletries. Alison explains that the office originally was collecting donations for Family Promise – but since that shelter program for families has shut down, they’re now collecting for Nickelsville and will make the delivery on Christmas Eve. Alison says toothbrushes and deodorant would be especially helpful. She adds, “The band 93 Octane (plays at The Bridge) is putting together some gifts for the teens that are currently living in the tent city and could still use New Socks, thermal underclothes, hats, scarves, gloves and anything else you can think of that could make their nights a little less miserable.” Bring donations to the AAA office at 4701 42nd SW, southwest corner of 42nd and Alaska.
As you can hear Madison Middle School principal Henterson Carlisle say in that clip, pep rallies happen all the time for athletics, so why not for academics? His students gathered in the Madison gym on Thursday afternoon to cheer two major awards the school has won this year. We’ve reported one of them, the fourth consecutive School of Distinction award, given for academic improvement. That award is statewide; the other one is national – as announced last month, Madison won the Career Awareness and Exploration Award from the National Consortium for State Guidance Leadership. First time in 15 years a school here has won that award, said Mike Hubert from the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, who high-fived the Madison staffers involved in providing those services, led by Lauren Divina:
(added) Here’s the official school photo of Hubert with, from left, Linda Mundinger, Lauren Divina, and Claudia Whitaker-Greenway:
As for the School of Distinction Award, Carlisle said it’s a reason for everybody involved with the school to stand tall:
Madison was one of two West Seattle schools to receive that award this year, along with Alki Elementary.