West Seattle, Washington
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Landscape design for the county’s Murray Basin sewer-overflow-control project, across from Lowman Beach Park, is at the “30 percent” stage – and the current draft will be reviewed Tuesday night by the community Design Advisory Group. Their meeting at 6:30 pm Tuesday at Fauntleroy Church also is scheduled to review community feedback on the “refined preliminary facility design concepts” for the facility itself. The full agenda and related documents are linked from this page. The project is centered on a million-gallon underground tank to keep stormwater and sewage from spilling into Puget Sound when the pump station across the street gets overwhelmed; it will be built on land across the park that is now the site of residential properties the county is buying.
(Sunday night photo by Karen Sykes)
Seattle Parks has just shared the response it is sending to people who have voiced concerns about safety along Beach Drive, in the aftermath of the so-far-unsolved murder of Greggette Guy, found dead offshore in the 3800 block one week ago today, remembered at a waterfront vigil and walk last night (WSB coverage here).
Thank you for getting in touch regarding the recent unsolved murder in West Seattle, and expressing your concerns about the safety of a stretch of Beach Dr. SW in the area where the young woman was found.
Following … is the text of a timely and thorough response to Sandi Repetowski from Capt. Steven Paulsen of the Seattle Police Department’s (Southwest) Precinct. In it he:
· Describes the low crime statistics for the area
· Recommends walking with a buddy and not alone
· Reports on his visit to the Alki Community Council meeting on Thursday, March 15
· Describes SPD’s plans to respond to the event with more patrols and its summer emphasis plan that they carry out from the third weekend in April through September
· Offers to have the SW Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator, Mark Solomon, conduct an assessment using Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles.
[editor’s note – the following is the SPD letter]
Thank you for taking the time to write in regard to your concern of lighting and general public safety in the area of Beach Drive SW. I am unable to provide any information in regard to the tragic homicide – in order not to compromise the integrity of the investigation, but I can provide you with some information that may assist you and your neighborhood.
I feel confident to tell you that Schmitz Park and Me Kwa Mooks Parks are safe. Activity in the parks does increase during the warmer weather months as it does the activity along Beach Drive and Alki. The particular area where the homicide occurred (along the beach) is also considered quiet and safe. The best advise we can provide our citizens is to always walk with another person and to be aware of your surroundings.
911 calls for the area are considered very low. In the past 15 months, the following 911 calls from citizens have been received…(the geographical area is from Alki Point to just south of Mee Kwa Mooks Park):
51 calls for suspicious persons (most of these occur during the day and during the warmer weather months)
25 calls for False residential alarms
21 calls for disturbances
11 calls for mental complaints
10 calls for Domestic Violence
8 calls for Harassment/assault/threats
Me Kwa Mooks Park (same 15-month window)
5 Parks Exclusions for inappropriate behavior
3 suspicious persons calls
3 fireworks complaints
2 complaints of noise disturbances
2 complaints of Mischief/Nuisance.
Note: No calls for Drugs or Graffiti (not that it is not occurring, just that folks are not reporting it)
On Thursday, March 15th, I attended the Alki Community Council Meeting. I updated the group on our annual summer emphasis plan that pertains to Alki and neighboring City Parks. The plan starts in or around the 3rd weekend of April and continues through September.
In regard to the recent homicide, I told the group that the Seattle Police Department is putting forth all the necessary resources in order to resolve this tragic event. I also provided a briefing on the quiet nature of the neighborhood and that they will see an increase in patrol cars in the area. I advised that the additional patrol cars will not change or help solve the homicide, but more for neighborhood peace at mind, given the fear a crime such as this creates for a normally quiet/tranquil neighborhood.
In regard to street lighting and/or Lighting near parks, I am more than happy to have our Crime Prevention Coordinator – Mr. Mark Solomon do a Crime Prevention Environmental assessment for the neighborhood. Mark is able to work closely with our Parks Department, City Light and SDOT folks if additional measures are needed.
Again, thank you for taking the time to write us in regard to recent events. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Lt. Pierre Davis at 206-233-2033 or Community Police Team Officer Ken Mazzuca at 206-386-1088.
Captain Steven Paulsen
Seattle Police Department
Commander, Southwest Precinct
[editor’s note – the remaining text is how Parks closed its letter]
We appreciate suggestions for improvements to the site, and I’m sure SPD will consider them in the context of the CPTED assessment, which will involve Parks and Recreation, City Light, and Seattle Department of Transportation staff.
Thank you again for taking time to write, and we will let you know when the assessment is complete.
Speaking at last night’s vigil (the video is in our report), Ms. Guy’s father Gregg Smith referred to the area as a “deathtrap.”
ADDED 11 PM MONDAY: A Southwest Precinct sergeant, questioned about the case’s status at a neighborhood meeting in Arbor Heights tonight, said he had no new information that could be shared – but sought to assure those on hand that “a lot of resources” were being applied to the unsolved murder. (The meeting otherwise had nothing to do with the Beach Drive situation- it was a “living room conversation” meeting arranged by the local Block Watch captain a month earlier – and we’ll be writing the full story about it on Tuesday.)
The Alliance for Education has announced this year’s Philip P. Swain Excellence in Education Award winners. Of the six winners citywide, two are from West Seattle!
Huong Nguyen teaches math at West Seattle High School. From the nomination form sent by principal Ruth Medsker:
‘Ms. Huong’ works tirelessly to ensure that all students entrusted to her succeed. She teaches Intensified Algebra, which is our most supported extended block math class, Algebra I and Advanced Placement Calculus. Ms. Huong is blazing the trail at West Seattle High School for Standards Based Grading. She is currently in the process of developing performance rubrics to help students understand what their learning outcomes need to be. When students do not meet standard on a learning target, she provides additional support for the student to relearn the skill and opportunities to demonstrate mastery. An example of her relentless push to standard is a letter she is sending home to families this week. Each Algebra student who has a C or lower and a MAP score of 240 or less is getting a letter and a call inviting the student to after-school tutoring/support. Our data shows that these students are just under where they need to be pass the Algebra End of Course Exam.
Also, she “has invented a math tool to help students learn basic numeracy skills. The Numero Cube System helps students learn place value, base 10 number decomposition, Factoring, Multiplication/Division, among other things.”
From Denny International Middle School, meet Swain Award-winner Leticia Clausen, photographed with some of her students:
From Denny principal Jeff Clark‘s announcement:
It is a great pleasure to announce that Ms. Leticia Clausen is a winner of the 2012 Philip P. Swain Excellence in Education Award! It was an honor for me to nominate Ms. Clausen for this award for the following reasons:
When Denny became an international school, Ms. Clausen quickly volunteered to serve as our dual-language Spanish teacher. This program is intended to give our scholars, who are fortunate enough to already speak Spanish, a chance to learn social studies and language arts in Spanish at school. This approach will help our students to be bilingual and bi-literate, while mastering academic concepts in both languages.
Even though we were starting this program without curricular materials in Spanish, Ms. Clausen was excited to start right away (without a year for planning). She did this for one reason: she knew this was what was best for our kids and knew that they didn’t have any time to waste.
We are now in our third year of Spanish dual-language. Remarkably, Ms. Clausen teaches this block class at all three grade levels! The program is flourishing—academic achievement is rising—and our families are thrilled to have this opportunity!
The Swain Award description, as also shared by Denny’s principal: “The yearly award is given to Seattle Public Schools secondary teachers or counselors who exemplify the qualities and values that distinguished Mr. Swain’s years of community stewardship. Teachers or counselors who are nominated are staff who inspire a love of learning in students while helping them reach their highest academic potential.” All six citywide winners will be honored at the Alliance’s community breakfast March 29th, and each receives a $1,000 prize.
If you listen to over-the-air radio, you might have noticed this already – the “translator” signal for KPLU in West Seattle has moved. The station is sponsoring WSB this week to make sure the word gets out to everyone. Here’s their announcement:
The move was necessitated by a new station licensed to Ocean Park, Washington that signed on at 88.1 FM in December 2011. At that time, KPLU submitted a license application to the FCC to move its West Seattle signal to a new frequency, which was granted in February 2012.
Because of terrain and distance, some KPLU West Seattle listeners are able to hear the station at its main frequency of 88.5 FM. KPLU is advising listeners who have difficulty hearing the station at 92.1 FM to try listening at 88.5 FM, or online at www.kplu.org.
KPLU encourages listener feedback at 800-677-5758 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Photo courtesy Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering and Events)
Another West Seattle event to greet spring – tonight, as mentioned earlier, it’s Solstice Park sunset viewing; the equinox itself is late tonight, and then for tomorrow night, this has just been announced:
Please join us at The Hall at Fauntleroy for our first quarterly community Labyrinth Walk 7 to 9 PM on Tuesday March 20th as we welcome the Spring (Vernal) Equinox. The Labyrinth, The Hall at Fauntleroy’s newest addition, is an extraordinary tool for transformation. Using the principles of sacred geometry, and defined as a singular pathway that leads to the center and then back out again, retracing the same path, a Labyrinth can open us to change in body, mind and spirit. It provides a sacred space; inviting walkers to set aside the cares of the world and enter into deep reflection (to discover something about ourselves). The destination is not important – this is about the journey (life).
If you are going to tomorrow night’s Fauntleroy Community Association membership event/Food Fest/board election, this is just a room or two away – but you don’t have to be from Fauntleroy to attend. The Hall is in the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse at 9131 California SW>
(Photo copyright Christopher Boffoli)
A toast, if you will, to West Seattle’s Christopher Boffoli, who’s just found out he’s nominated for a national James Beard Foundation Award – Christopher explains the Beard Foundation honors are considered to be “the Academy Awards of Food.” (Here’s the full list of nominees – as far as we can tell, he’s the only one from West Seattle this year.) Christopher’s internationally featured series of photographs – known in various contexts as “Disparity” or “Big Appetites” – has brought him a nomination in the Journalism/Humor category, specifically as featured by The Kitchn. The awards will be announced May 4th in New York City, which is where Christopher has a solo show coming up at Winston Wachter Fine Art in June; that show, in turn, has an “NBC First Look” crew coming to his studio this week to shoot a feature story.
The photo is NOT the finished product – it’s a picture taken last week by SDOT‘s Marybeth Turner, while crews were working on the Duwamish Trail, used by bikes and pedestrians in the West Marginal Way SW vicinity. Today, she reports, “Our paving crews have finished repaving the Duwamish Trail along W Marginal Way SW for now. There is some finishing work that they will do when the conditions are drier.” (We published a heads-up about the work after getting an alert from bicyclist Dave – thanks again! – last week.)
Just four months till this year’s West Seattle Garden Tour on July 15th – and the poster-contest winner has been announced!
WSGT is pleased to announce the winning artist in our First Annual Poster Artwork Contest: Sheila Lengle of LengleArt with her entry “Ode to Picasso.” Sheila’s winning piece [above], along with over a dozen runner-up entries, will be on display at Windermere Realty in The Junction during the May 10, 2012 West Seattle Art Walk.
This year’s tour is Sunday, July 15, and showcases 9 fabulous local gardens. Our featured lecturer this year is West Seattle gardener and author Lorene Edwards Fornker, who was also a gardener on last year’s tour. Proceeds from the tour support our 2012 beneficiaries: The Bloedel Reserve, Neighborhood House YELS, Highline Botanical Garden, Kubota Garden, Barton Street Community Garden, Community Orchard of West Seattle, Seattle Chinese Garden and ArtsWest Theatre.
Sponsorship accounts for more than 50% of tour revenue and we are currently in the last few weeks of our sponsorship drive. We would like to encourage local businesses and individuals interested in sponsoring the WSGT and supporting our 2012 beneficiaries to become a 2012 sponsor. The sponsorship commitment deadline is April 1.
Photos and descriptions of this year’s gardens along with sponsorship information, lecture topic and beneficiary information are currently posted on our website westseattlegardentour.com.
Sheila’s artist statement for the contest included this: “I’ve been an artist since the first time I put crayon to paper, and have been lucky enough to have been in and out of a variety of creative businesses during my 64 years. At this state of my life I want to work hard, paint a lot and market my work so I can be an artist who makes a living. … I’m self-taught thus no rule guides me. I feel so free to create. I’ll paint whatever, whenever and with anything I want…rather like a spoiled child. I think that’s a passion. I’m thrilled to feel this way and want to for the rest of my life.”
P.S. As for the tour itself, ticket books will be $15 per person (children 12 and under are free), available in June, while ticket vouchers will be available online from brownpapertickets.com, starting next month.
From the “very early warning department,” we have an alert about a “multi-agency open-water search-and-rescue drill” next Monday that might be visible from here. We’ll file it into the calendar, but if that’s your field of interest, you might want to know even sooner, so read on:Read More
Just got a heads-up about work that might cause some backups on southbound Highway 99 if you’re heading this way in the early afternoon: The steel plates at Holgate need to have a few things “tightened up,” so the right lane will be closed approximately noon-2 pm. We asked if those plates will ever go away, since they’ve been a source of concern for a while – they’re actually lids for “vaults,” but the closure for inspection and maintenance work NEXT WEEKEND may include replacement with new lids that “aren’t so bumpy.”
Spring arrives in just under 13 hours. Here’s hoping it behaves. Looking at the calendar for today/tonight:
‘LOW BRIDGE’ ALERT FOR LATE TONIGHT/EARLY TOMORROW: As part of ongoing construction work, access to the westbound “low bridge” will be blocked overnight tonight, as SDOT explains here – 10 pm to 5 am.
GREET SPRING AND LEARN ABOUT THE EQUINOX: West Seattle’s own NASA Solar System Ambassador Alice Enevoldsen has organized yet another sunset-watching event to mark the equinox (she does them for solstices too). You’re invited to a gathering at Solstice Park (uphill from the tennis courts at Fauntleroy/Webster), starting around 6:45 pm (a little while before sunset, which gives time for Alice’s always-fun presentations demonstrating what an equinox really is). Here are full details in our Sunday preview.
Our health-care system is both more expensive and has lower quality than other industrialized countries. Many describe this as a sick care system because significant is not spent until after you get sick. Communities are now developing alternatives that cost less and move people toward whole health. By focusing on prevention and early intervention we can also drop the costs of health care. Our speaker is Dale Jarvis, a health-care consultant and West Seattleite who has worked at fixing the health-care system in 20 states since the federal health-care law passed in 2010. Dale will describe health-care reform ‘triples’ and ‘home runs’ that can fit Seattle’s neighborhoods. Join this discussion of a new health-care ecosystem for West Seattle.
MONDAY NIGHTLIFE: *Trivia with Tom Hutyler at Christo’s on Alki, 7 pm … At 9 pm at West 5 in The Junction, it’s another “Flat Earth Monday,” described as “featuring a line-up of some luminous Seattle talent spinning the rarest and fairest vinyl from deep within their respective LP collections. Rare soul, garage, dirty-funk, J Pop, jazz and a smattering of world-stage psychidelia will be spinning at the popular lounge in the heart of West Seattle.” Tonight’s DJ, West 5 co-owner Dean Overton aka “DJ Deanzig” … Karaoke with Kelli at Skylark Café and Club, 9 pm … Talarico’s has Karaoke @ 9:30 pm.
The chair of the City Council’s Transportation Committee joined West Seattle Greenways members for their conversation Sunday afternoon at Pearls on Delridge, as did greenways supporters from other neighborhoods including Beacon Hill and Phinney Ridge. Councilmember Tom Rasmussen – a West Seattle resident and bicyclist – encouraged the group to bring its ideas to the council, but stressed that coordination is vital – representatives from various neighborhoods will be most effective, he said, if they stress their common goals first, and individual neighborhood needs after that. He also acknowledged that the city budget remains a challenge, but clear priorities can help hurdle that. Rasmussen also discussed the Bicycle Master Plan update that the city is launching (an item related to it is on this afternoon’s council agenda, in fact), since creation of Greenways could figure into it. (What’s a greenway, you ask? North Delridge Neighborhood Council transportation chair Jake Vanderplas, a leader in the local effort, explains it on the NDNC website. As another local leader, Stu Hennessey, wrote in the announcement we published in January, West Seattle advocates are hoping to see greenways on 26th SW and 21st SW for starters.)
Winter officially ends when the spring equinox arrives at 10:14 pm tonight. But nobody told the weather it’s almost spring. A really cold night, following a rainy Sunday afternoon, has left some roads “slick,” as K describes the West Seattle Bridge as of moments ago. We’re keeping closer watch on the morning commute as a result; be careful!
8:50 AM UPDATE: Via Twitter, SDOT reports a stalled car on the eastbound bridge. No word on exactly where, but the traffic camera view (refresh for the newest image) shows the backup.