West Seattle, Washington
11 PM: In the past few minutes, we’ve received reports of a helicopter heard/seen over White Center, Highland Park, Arbor Heights – checking to find out what’s up.
11:07 PM: We don’t know for sure if it’s law enforcement. We have gone out to try to see where it’s focused, but it’s doing very long loops – not concentrating on any one area – from the Sound, back inland a ways, and then outbound again.
11:20 PM: Sorry to say we still don’t know. Have been tracking it from the ground but that hasn’t yielded anything obvious; nothing working in this area on the scanner, and nothing on the 911 (SFD) log indicating anything injurious.
11:24 PM: Seattle Police Southwest Precinct Lt. Alan Williams checked on this and says SPD does not have Guardian One up for anything. So either it’s King County Sheriff’s Office *or* not law enforcement.
After teaching at Schmitz Park Elementary for 22 years, Kiki Watson is retiring. The school community wasn’t about to let her go without a celebration, so she was in the spotlight this afternoon. In our photo, she’s holding her big retirement gift: Custom glass the PTA purchased from local artist Bradly Burzynski (a former Schmitz Park dad)! She also received the gift of warm words from families of students and colleagues past and present.
Don Brubeck, who commutes by bicycle, shares some of the sights he sees from the road/trail/bridge – and here’s the latest: What he describes as wind-turbine blades, on a train alongside the West Seattle Bridge. He posted a few more photos to the WSB Flickr group pool. Not uncommon, according to a quick round of Web searching, but a riveting sight just the same.
Story and photos by Jason Grotelueschen
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Gearing up for a busy summer was the primary order of business at Tuesday night’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting, led by president Katy Walum. From the 4th of July Kids Parade to the Summer Concerts at Hiawatha, there will be no shortage of activity during the summer months, and ANA is ready to help make it happen.
As usual, the meeting was held in the lower level of Admiral Congregational Church (California/Hill) but was preceded by something new: A pre-meeting potluck to give neighbors a chance to get to know each other in light of recent violence citywide and community concern in West Seattle. Attendees brought a dish to share and deemed the event a success, and Walum said ANA will likely make it a regular prelude to their future meetings. “No pressure to stay for the meeting,” Walum added, “just a chance for neighbors to meet and talk.”
Highlights from the meeting itself:Read More
Just in from SDOT:
Next Monday and Tuesday, June 18 and19, between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., Seattle Department of Transportation Landscape Crews will be working on the bike trail that loops under the West Seattle Bridge at Harbor Island. Bicyclists will slow down and follow a very brief signed detour at the lower West Seattle Swing Bridge on 11th Ave SW on Harbor Island. To accommodate the landscape workers, vehicle traffic will be reduced to one lane westbound on SW Spokane Street and one lane eastbound on Klickitat Avenue SW in the vicinity of 11th Avenue on Harbor Island.
Ta-da! You saw it in the shop at South Seattle Community College‘s Automotive Technology zone one week ago (WSB coverage here), and today, the Schumacher Racing hydroplane rolled out, showing off its new look. (Official name, so you can watch for it during Seafair in August: The #37 Miss Beacon Plumbing H1 Unlimited Hydroplane.) Video and more photos, coming up.
ADDED 9:54 PM: Scroll through our sequence of photos and video as the event unfolded, starting as one last component was carried over to be placed atop the hydro:
(By next spring, the small “fry” in this bucket will be as big as the “smolt”)
Following last week’s report about May salmon releases involving 560 students visiting Fauntleroy Creek, steward Judy Pickens has news that a record number of coho smolts (“teenagers”) have been counted as they headed for saltwater:
Between mid-March and early June, Dennis Hinton, Pete Draughton, Steev Ward, and Gail Cucksey checked upstream and downstream traps daily to document how many smolts were leaving for nearshore habitat in Fauntleroy Cove. This number is the best gauge of how healthy creek habitat is for juveniles, who spend a year in freshwater maturing into the size (3″-5″) they’ll need to survive in Puget Sound.
A total of 157 made it out this year. That’s more than 5 percent of the eggs reared for Fauntleroy Creek in 2011 through the Salmon in the Schools program. In the wild, survival from eggs to smolts is substantially less, so this is a positive stewardship story for students.
Last year, volunteers documented 147 smolts leaving the park but only 37 making it the three blocks downstream. For this reason, State Fish and Wildlife authorized carrying smolts caught in the upper trap downstream to improve survival.
The next big monitoring period comes this fall, when volunteers watch for mature coho returning to spawn.
Big news from Tom Wyrick at Alki Arts – the traffic “island” on the north side of the Alki and 63rd intersection, practically out their front (roll-up) door, is no longer the almost-empty “island” it’s been since installation as part of the 2009 Alki Point sidewalk project. He shared the photos and this report:
For several weeks now we’ve been watching people walking around 63rd & Alki with plans and doing a lot of pointing. Yesterday we got a driftwood tree and today we are getting rocks!
ADDED 6:03 PM: More information about the work – Seattle Parks senior landscape architect Joe Neiford says maintenance accountability for the island is in the process of being transferred to his department, from SDOT. He explains: “SDOT came up with some funding and gave it to Parks to do the redesign and relandscaping of this island so we are giving it the same treatment as the other areas in Alki Beach Park that we have been working on upgrading over the past several years.” Also in keeping with other shoreline parks, he says an art component may be in the works too. He’s working with Parks’ senior gardener for this district, Phil Renfrow. Neiford adds that, “We sincerely hope that Alki and all Seattle will be pleasantly surprised by this improvement, which was very difficult to make happen given the current economic conditions that the city is going through. It will take several weeks to complete all the elements so we hope that everybody will bear with our mess for a little while longer.”
What lightning allegedly doesn’t do, car thieves have done – strike twice. Someone has stolen Stacey‘s mom’s car, again. May 10th, she e-mailed to say her mother’s car, a 1989 Toyota Camry black 4-door, with a missing hubcap on the front passenger side, had been stolen from the 6300 block of 42nd SW. This morning, Stacey e-mailed WSB the photo above and the message:,”Again, my mom woke up today and her car was gone!!!!!!” (She also mentioned that in an unpleasant coincidence, her sister, a former West Seattleite living in Shoreline, discovered her Jeep stolen yesterday. Stacey says her mom’s car was found downtown four days after the May theft; as it says in the graphic she added to the photo above, call police if you see it.)
SDOT‘s weekly list of what’s happening Friday/Saturday/Sunday has arrived – and it includes a reminder of WSDOT‘s all-weekend Alaskan Way Viaduct/Highway 99 closure (11 pm Friday-5 am Monday); note that the southbound Aurora Bridge is getting work done this weekend too. The roundup does NOT mention high-school graduations at Memorial Stadium, but there are several, including Chief Sealth International High School at 1 pm Saturday and West Seattle High School at 5 pm Saturday. To see what IS on the list, read on!Read More
(Click image for larger view)
West Seattle photographer/pilot Long Bach Nguyen shares that recent view of the South Park Bridge construction site – note the western approach to the new bridge, at lower right. If you’re interested in the project, there’s a presentation in SP tonight – more in our list of what’s up for the next 13 hours or so:
COUNCIL PRESIDENT AT CHAMBER LUNCH: As noted here earlier this week, it’s your chance for Q/A with City Council President Sally Clark, who’s speaking at today’s West Seattle Chamber of Commerce Lunch, doors open 11:30 am at The Kenney (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW; WSB sponsor). Do RSVP first – here’s info on that plus the lunch cost.
HYDROPLANE LAUNCH: As previewed here yesterday – the Schumacher Racing hydroplane that’s been getting refinished and painted at South Seattle Community College will be “launched” from the shop today, with owner (and ’60s-’70s driving legend) Billy Schumacher on hand. Public’s invited, 2 pm on the north side of the SSCC campus.
WEST SEATTLE ART WALK, JUNE EDITION: 37 places to visit, from Alki to Admiral to The Junction and beyond, during tonight’s monthly Art Walk, 6-9 pm. See the walking map/venue list here; the official Art Walk website with artist highlights is here. And it’s all FREE, including snacks/beverages at many stops along the way.
COMMUNITY SCHOOL OF WEST SEATTLE AUCTION: 6 pm at The Sanctuary at Admiral (42nd/Lander). This year, it’s raising money for the scholarship fund – the school says it provides $6,000 in scholarships every month.
DESIGN REVIEW FOR 9051 20TH SW: The Vesseliye project is now one building, not two – as explained in this WSB report last week – so it’s up for another Early Design Guidance meeting, 6:30 pm at Senior Center of West Seattle (California/Oregon).
SOUTH PARK BRIDGE UPDATE, IN PICTURES: This is not a community-meeting type of update, but rather a presentation of photos and info about how the bridge construction is going – 6:30 pm at the South Park Community Center (map and other details in the listing on our partner site thesouthparknews.com).
WEST SEATTLE HIGH SCHOOL CONCERT: Lots of great music from local schools lately, and tonight it’s West Seattle HS’s turn to show off for a crowd (details here). 7:30 pm, school theater.
P.S. Happy Flag Day!
(Thanks to Tony for the photo – taken before police/fire arrived)
8:58 AM: If you haven’t left yet, avoid Avalon Way – at Genesee, traffic is going one direction at a time in the aftermath of a crash involving a motorcycle.
9:04 AM: All lanes now back open. At least one person is hurt; a private ambulance was just leaving as we got there (which indicates non-life-threatening injuries). We’re checking on their condition.
10:33 AM: Seattle Fire spokesperson Kyle Moore tells WSB the injured person was the motorcycle rider, “sitting and conscious when (firefighters from Ladder 11) arrived. They examined him and found no obvious major injuries. The rider, who was in his 30’s, was wearing his helmet. AMR transported him to Harborview as a precaution.”
10:33 PM: Just got a note from Ray, who identifies himself as the motorcycle rider hurt this morning. He says he left the Harborview trauma center with “a few dozen stitches and 3 fractured toes.” He wanted to thank the witnesses who helped him; from what he knows of what happened, Ray says, the van driver “did not see me coming and pulled out onto SW Avalon (left turn) and hit me on the right side (I was heading northbound toward the bridge, down the hill).” He recalls that the driver seemed “apologetic.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE: When this school year began, we covered the first meetings of both the West Seattle High School and Chief Sealth International High School PTSAs; now that it’s ending, we are circling back to cover their final meetings. Here’s our WSHS PTSA report from last week; ahead, our report on Sealth’s final meeting, Tuesday night.)
(Incoming and outgoing CSIHS PTSA presidents: Ted Reed, Amy Daly-Donovan)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Not only did the final Chief Sealth International High School PTSA meeting of 2011-2012 look back and ahead, it also included a presentation of information that no one in attendance could ever have hoped to use – what teens need to know about the law.
PRINCIPAL’S FIRST-EVER YEAR-END UPDATE: First-year principal Chris Kinsey said he believes Sealth is “on the tipping point of going from good to great … in the coming years we are going to transform what it means to be an urban high school.” A crowded one, at that – enrollment for next year is now projected at 1342, a hundred more than the start of last year, and four portable classrooms will be arriving before next year begins. (9th-grade language arts and history teachers will work in them, according to Kinsey.)
We don’t know if they have a Block Watch, but what CJ‘s neighbor did for her epitomizes how they’re supposed to work:
I just wanted to pass on what happened (Wednesday). I came home to a story from my nanny. Late (in the) morning a neighbor (who I have not met) who lives in the apartments across the alley came over to tell us that she had seen a man in our backyard looking around there and into our next-door neighbor’s yard. Our backyard is enclosed by a high fence and the gate is always closed. You have to reach over the fence to open the gate. The neighbor told our nanny that she asked the man what he was doing and that he then asked her for money. She called the police who came soon after.
We live on the 2100 block of 42nd Ave SW. If you pass this on to your readers, would you please thank my neighbor for her concern and actions?
You just did! P.S. Registration has just opened for the annual event in which you can get together with your neighbors to celebrate and enhance prevention, awareness, and just plain neighborliness – Night Out on August 7th. The updated SPD webpage is here.
Thanks to Denny International Middle School principal Jeff Clark for sharing photos from Wednesday night’s third and final spring concert by musicians from Denny and adjacent Chief Sealth International High School. (Above, the Denny Beginning and Junior Band.) He declared the well-attended performance “a resounding success”:
The Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School Band concert was a resounding success this evening! I was very impressed by the 6th graders all the way up to the graduating seniors. Music is thriving at Denny and Sealth. Thank you to Mr. Pimpleton and all of our families–congratulations to all of our scholars!
Three more photos, ahead!Read More