West Seattle, Washington
SPD Blotter is updated tonight with a couple more lists of warnings/citations from special patrols by the Aggressive Driver Response Team. This time, they were out on the newly opened lanes of the westbound Spokane Street Viaduct, where they say someone was doing 59 mph in the stretch where the speed limit is now 25 mph; on the West Seattle Bridge, where the list is topped by 72 mph in a 45 zone; and on Admiral Way. Those lists ahead:Read More
Some new information in the deadly White Center shooting, after the first court appearance of the 25-year-old West Seattle man arrested less than 10 hours after it happened. We’ve just published the update on partner site White Center Now.
Our series of topic-by-topic 2011 reviews started with one that was easy to quantify, since it was by-the-numbers – most-commented WSB stories of the year. Then came the review roundup for one of our favorite topics, wildlife. Now, we start getting into some of the more classic topics, starting with West Seattle schools. Going back through the archives, we discovered more than 200 stories over the course of the year. You can review them all, in reverse chronological order, here. From those stories, some of the MANY highlights:
SCHOOL CROWDING, AKA ‘CAPACITY MANAGEMENT’
Some public schools in West Seattle are already over capacity, and the quest for a solution will continue into the New Year, with the district scheduled to announce its official proposal for next school year at a media briefing next Wednesday. Early in the year, some local schools already were getting portables; this month, newly elected West Seattle school-board member (more on that in the 2011-politics-in-review report) Marty McLaren asked for your thoughts about short-term solutions.
FINAL PHASE OF 3-PHASE DENNY/SEALTH PROJECT
After more than three years of work, the Denny/Sealth project is almost done. A September dedication event opened the new Denny International Middle School (phase two) next door to the renovated Chief Sealth International High School (phase one); by the time that happened, demolition of the old Denny was complete, and construction of park/sports facilities on the site (phase three) is nearly done.
The most populous school in West Seattle, Chief Sealth International High School, is now led by interim principal Chris Kinsey, after longtime principal John Boyd took a new job in the Highline Public Schools district … This past spring, Ruth Medsker became permanent principal of West Seattle High School … Arbor Heights and Lafayette Elementary Schools began this fall with new principals – Christy Collins and Jo Lute-Evans, respectively – while a principal change was announced about a month into the new year at Alki Elementary, as award-winning Chanda Oatis took over.
COMMUNITY COLLABORATION – GETTING, AND GIVING
Lafayette Elementary‘s students have someplace new to play … The Roxhill Elementary “R” got a facelift thanks to community help … A West Seattle Montessori School (WSB sponsor) student’s blanket drive gets regional coverage … Holy Rosary reached out with a big gift for Holy Family … West Seattle Elementary‘s library gets an overhaul … Awareness-raising and money-raising were part of what happened during World Water Week at Sealth … Freshmen got a boost from upperclassmen as West Seattle HS debuted “Link Crew.” … Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor) students won arts honors.
ONE BIG PROMISE
Thousands of students in West Seattle will get the chance for college classes they might not have been able to afford, thanks to the South Seattle Community College 13th Year Promise expanding to Chief Sealth.
(Sanislo GRC participants, photo courtesy of Craig Seasholes)
Sanislo Elementary and Concord International went to the Global Reading Challenge finals … Madison Middle School‘s “Project Citizen” crew went to state competition … Madison and Alki were chosen “Schools of Distinction” … Denny principal Jeff Clark got not only a new school but also, this year, the Foster Award … And Denny music director/Sealth band director Marcus Pimpleton got the Golden Apple Award.
VIDEO OF THE YEAR?
You’ll see several of the previously mentioned newsmakers in “Teach Me How to Study,” which went viral for Denny:
… and even brought a TV spotlight.
WEST SEATTLE’S NEWEST MIDDLE SCHOOL
Westside School (WSB sponsor) started adding middle-school classes this fall, introducing the school community to new faculty members before last school year ended.
The West Seattle Preschool Association was launched this year … After many years at Seaview Methodist Church, Lincoln Park Cooperative Preschool moved to a new home in the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse.
EVERY West Seattle school did amazing things this year … this is just part of the story. In the New Year, please let us know what’s going on with YOUR school, big and small – here’s how to share info, photos, or advance notice so we can come cover an event. More year-in-review reports still to come!
(1st & 3rd photos from King County Assessor’s Office; 2nd, from Seattle Municipal Archives)
Did you know the site of Beni Hoshi (formerly Yasuko’s) Teriyaki, at the 35th/Fauntleroy entrance to the West Seattle Bridge, is a Seattle City Light-owned site that once housed this substation?
We didn’t, until a bit of research prompted by an online update from City Council President Richard Conlin, revealing that the city is eyeing this spot for possible development. He wrote, in part:
… the City is undertaking a pilot project to identify locations where city-owned properties and buildings would be suitable for joint development agreements. Such joint development could include leveraging multiple city funding sources to achieve community benefits, developing mixed-use urban infill on public parking lots, and identifying public/private development opportunities on public land. This could provide revenue for the City, but, more importantly, better utilize scarce resources of land and buildings, especially in denser urban neighborhoods where infill can be a major asset.
In his update (read it here in its entirety), he goes on to say that as part of the “Sustainable Community Development Pilot Program,” the city will “begin analyzing the feasibility of developments on five pilot sites” around the city. The list in his post included a “West Seattle Substation on Avalon Way.” We couldn’t find any records of a substation, past or present, on Avalon Way, so we asked Councilmember Conlin and his staff for location clarification. His staff is out but he replied – and pointed us to the Beni Hoshi site, which was known as the “Avalon Substation” with a long-ago address on SW Genesee:
County records reveal that City Light actually owns three parcels there, totaling about 17,000 square feet; the Beni Hoshi site is zoned for 65-foot mixed-use development, while two parcels to the east are zoned single-family. While this abuts The Triangle, it is not part of the rezoning the council just approved.
So what kind of possible development might be considered there? No specific proposals at this stage, but Councilmember Conlin’s writeup mentioned past examples of “joint developments” including the Delridge Library/Brandon Court site that includes a city-run Neighborhood Service Center, somewhat ironic since the new city budget is moving the NSC out of there and over to the about-to-be-former Southwest Community Center, and the Delridge NSC space is up for lease, as is the suite of offices formerly occupied in that building by the city’s partner in the project, Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association. Meantime, we’ll keep an eye on this study in the New Year.
(Photo by Jillian, from New Year’s Eve 2009-2010)
We’ve added more local New Year’s Eve restaurant dinners and bar/lounge parties to the list on the WSB West Seattle Holidays page (which also has a few outdoor special events for all ages to mark the turning of the calendar). Wanted to put out the call one last time for restaurants/bars/coffee shops to share not only “special” New Year’s plans but also hours for New Year’s Day if they’re going to be open – just e-mail us, email@example.com. (Some already have, and we’re continuing to pull that out of e-mail – thanks!)
We took that photo about 3:30 am in the heart of The Junction, as Seattle Fire Department‘s Ladder 11 handled a call in the 4700 block of California that didn’t involve any of the usual problems they respond to – fire, medical, car crash. What we heard via the scanner went something like this: Police called for the truck’s help so they could get onto the roof on the east side of the block, looking for any evidence of a possible break-in. They had originally responded to a report of an alarm going off, and found an open door behind one of the businesses. Once Ladder 11 arrived, police cars briefly blocked off that stretch of California (no traffic effects at that hour); up went the ladder, up went police, down came police, down came the ladder, all in a relatively short span. We just checked with the precinct to see if any evidence of a break-in was ever found; bottom line – no. So this is just one from the “while you slept” file.
(Photo courtesy Kate Endle – who says this is “Randall the Steller’s Jay”)
It’s the calm before the last winter-holiday weekend – but still a few things to share from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:
BEEN TO THE LOG HOUSE MUSEUM LATELY? It’s open today noon-4 pm. (61st/Stevens, in Alki)
E-READER CLINIC: The Southwest Branch of the Seattle Public Library (35th/Henderson, in Westwood) has one more free clinic today for those with new e-readers who are interested in finding great e-books. 1-3 pm.
PUBLIC SWIM AT SOUTHWEST POOL: 2:35 pm-4 pm today (2801 SW Thistle).
A few more days left in this holiday season … maybe you’re looking for something new to read, whether hard copy or e-book … We’ve been stockpiling this news of authors who are either local, or appeared here, with tales to tell:
Earlier this month, Skylark Café and Club hosted an afternoon-long reading event featuring that quartet of writers – from left, Dave O’Leary, Cherry Tigris, Pam Summa, and Roberto Carlos Ascalon. O’Leary’s book is “Horse Bite,” a novel published this fall telling “the story of Dave and his efforts to find a bit of permanence in the balance of the things we create and the things we do to sustain ourselves” – read more, and excerpts, on his website (where you also can order the book). Tigris is a child-abuse survivor who has written a collection of short stories. Summa’s book is “Groping for Luna,” subtitled “Guerrilla Girl Meets Guitar God: A Comedy of Manners.” Ascalon is a poet you can find in various anthologies.
Also this month, The Beer Junction hosted a booksigning session for two photography books focused on West Seattle history – one titled “West Seattle,” the other “Luna Park,” both published by Arcadia Publishing. Reps of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society signed “West Seattle,” while AJ Naff signed “Luna Park”:
You can get the books through the links on each title.
Last but by no means least, here’s something you can get absolutely free – today, anyway (afterward, it’ll cost you 99 cents). Local author Jason Kirk has written a mini-e-book called “The Other Whites in South Africa” – which he describes as “an extended essay about sharks and race relations.” You can find it on Amazon by going here; Jason says, “It can be read on pretty much any screen you’ve got, including computers, iPods, phones, tablets, and Amazon’s Kindle e-reader.” Specific links:
For iphones and iPod touch
For Windows 7 phone
Jason adds, “If you happen to have a Kindle, you can order and read the essay directly from it. Just search for ‘jason kirk’.”