West Seattle, Washington
Before Wednesday ends, a few more scenes from the start of school:
First, two photos shared by families: Chloe started kindergarten today! Next, it’s Tilden School first-grader Grayson:
Also from a parent … this poem by Kate Calamatta, whose youngest child started kindergarten today:
Sandwiches, beakers, cereal bars, first day treats;
New rucksacks, writing pads, folders, and socks;
Fall haircuts, nails clipped, skin scrubbed;
This day, marked on the mailed-out calendar, has arrived.
We did wading pools, beaches, the mountain;
Had BBQs, picnics, saw jets, and whales;
Got tans, bought hats, lived in shorts;
I encouraged, enthused, quietly prepared.
Family came and went, laughter and love;
Celebrations and birthdays, play dates and playgrounds;
Adventures and explorations, bike rides in the never ending sunshine;
And it had to end, for another year.
A quiet daytime house, with questions of “what’s next?”
No younger siblings to command my attention;
Just me, whoever I may be;
After seven years of raising boys;
My motherhood remains, but is changed;
For me, forever, and now I pause.
Back to photos: At Lafayette Elementary, day 1 for new principal Shauna Heath (right, with staffer Mimi Armitstead):
(Lafayette remains West Seattle’s most populous elementary, slightly more students than Schmitz Park, according to the district.) And at Arbor Heights Elementary, led by second-year principal Christy Collins, everyone gathered in the sunshine before trooping in:
This was also a milestone day for new Roxhill Elementary principal Sahnica Washington – who we visited last week for the Seattle Police Officers Guild donation event – and new Westside School (WSB sponsor) head of school Kate Mulligan.
(Whichever school – if any – you are affiliated with, please help us share the news of events and achievements through the year – firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-293-6302 any time!)
Thanks to Sherri Chun of Admiral for sharing that new video by Not Dead Yet – a West Seattle band whose members include her husband Paul Zarkowski. The song is NDY’s “signature song ‘West Seattle Hey‘,” and the video is produced by West Seattleite Erik Nachtrieb of 1iOpen Productions. Sherri enthuses, “The song is about West Seattle, written and performed by guys from West Seattle, and the video was filmed in West Seattle … There are great shots of Easy Street, Bakery Nouveau, the Poggie Tavern, Alki Beach, and Jack Block Park. All great symbols of WS. And the song is catchy and fun.” NDY – who we recorded singing “West Seattle Hey” at the WestSide Baby cocktail party earlier this year (WSB coverage here) – will be performing at the Poggie at 9 pm this Saturday and the Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor) at 9 pm October 19th, Sherri says.
Just one Crime Watch report so far today – from Heidi:
Our vehicle (2009 brown Toyota Rav 4, plate # 802YZQ) was stolen from our driveway (62nd & Admiral) on the evening 8/28 or early am of 8/29. No broken glass. Just gone. Please contact police if found.
The city has decided to delay work that was going to close a stairway in northeast West Seattle. It was set to start next week, but some voiced concerns because it’s used by students walking to and from school. We checked with SDOT‘s Rick Sheridan regarding the timetable, and he replied with news of the postponement:
The stairway located between 21st and 22nd SW at SW Genesee Street was a late add-on to this year’s work schedule. In response to your reader’s concern, we have rescheduled the work to take place next summer when school will not be in session. Our Engineering staff and Maintenance team have identified other stairways that could be rehabilitated without requiring a school route detour.
By the way, SDOT maintains over 500 stairways with a replacement value of over $62.5 million. We have two programs that fund our stairway rehabilitation programs annually. The Stairway Rehabilitation Fund provides $467,000 and the Bridging the Gap voter-approved levy contributes $472,000. This level of funding allows us to rehabilitate six to eight of the most deteriorated stairways in the city each year.
West Seattle-founded Easy Street Records is a finalist for one of the second annual Small Business Awards to be announced by King County Executive Dow Constantine next month. The county just sent the list of finalists, and Easy Street is one of three up for Small Business of the Year. So far as we can tell, none of the other 40-plus nominees is from this area – you can see the full list on the county website. The award ceremony is October 10th in Bellevue.
The city has announced that the Roxhill Park play area will close temporarily starting next Monday – because that’s when Grindline will start work on the skatespot and playground projects there. As reported here last month, West Seattle-headquartered Grindline was the apparent winner in the second round of bidding, and the city says it has since awarded the West Seattle firm the contracts for both the Roxhill and Judson (not in WS) projects. As decided during the design process, Leathers and Associates is providing the components for the new play area, which will be community built, to be done in late November, according to Seattle Parks.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Some call it “the hum”; some call it words we don’t publish here. It’s a mystery sound, most often reported at night, most often heard from eastern West Seattle. Whatever it is, e-mails and a variety of other messages, plus a spirited WSB Forum discussion, indicate the sound is back.
We first mentioned it here in the news section in 2009. It has come up now and then in the ensuing years. If you have never heard it – Julie in Highland Park resident recorded it early Monday and sent us the audio file. We uploaded it – the first :28 of this clip is fairly normal neighborhood noise, and then it begins.
I made the attached recording on Sept 3 just after midnight (12:44 am) using the Voice Memo app on my iPhone, while I was standing on my front porch. I left the sound of a car driving by for context – the noise becomes louder and more audible at about 27 seconds into the recording. I just think that the fact that it registers at all on my cell phone shows how loud it is! This sound, which I can hear inside my house too, has been going on seemingly 24-7 since at least last Thursday.
The city investigates noise complaints. Ahead, what a city rep says about this, plus our conversation with a top manager at the industrial site some think might be to blame:Read More
11:51 AM: If you’re planning to take a state ferry to or from Fauntleroy at some point today, check ahead, because the Issaquah has been down for repairs most of the morning, and Washington State Ferries has been sending periodic bulletins about runs being canceled – including the 11:55 am from Fauntleroy.
4:36 PM UPDATE: Not fixed yet, and they’re on a two-boat schedule TFN.
An old tradition, a new face at Schmitz Park Elementary this morning. On the first day of school in previous years, Alan Schmitz, grandson of West Seattle pioneers Ferdinand and Emma Schmitz, had always spoken during the flag ceremony; Mr. Schmitz died this past March, so his son Dietrich Schmitz (above right, with Schmitz Park principal Gerrit Kischner) spoke today instead. Here’s where everyone gathers:
Then, the ceremony, which we recorded on video – you’ll see and hear student Tyler Johnston directing the color guard before principal Kischner introduces the staff (and others).
Schmitz Park now has more than 540 students, with many studying in portable classrooms, but may get a new, larger building on the current Genesee Hill campus later this decade, if that is written into next year’s BEX levy and approved by voters.
We’ve mentioned previously that the 34th District, including West Seattle, has a sizable contingent in Charlotte for the ongoing Democratic National Convention. If you are following convention news, we just heard from Karen Chilcutt of the West Seattle Democratic Women, who shares the news that two of them are publishing updates to the WSDW site, Dr. Lisa Plymate and Ann Martin. You can read their updates and behind-the-scenes observations here.
(With principal Dr. Shannon McKinney, student Hajo got ready to help cut the ribbon. Photos by Nick Adams for WSB)
9:17 AM: We’re at West Seattle’s brand-new public school, K-5 STEM at Boren, which starts classes in about 15 minutes.
(Superintendent Banda with Xavier Nguyen and parents Mat and Tia)
Seattle Public Schools Superintendent José Banda is here, as is the regional Executive Director of Schools Carmela Dellino …
… and dozens of excited parents and students already milling around on the south side of the campus, which has been closed the past two years (since serving as Chief Sealth International High School‘s temporary home). The phrase “It’s exciting” has resounded multiple times through the crowd.
From curriculum decisions to enrollment to hiring to building renovations, K-5 STEM at Boren has been “built” in just seven and a half months; as part of a “short-term capacity management plan,” the School Board voted January 25th to create it.
More on the superintendent’s visit and K-5 STEM’s first day, coming up.
1:08 PM UPDATE: Added photos from WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams (including images substituted above for the cameraphone photos previously included):
K-5 STEM is West Seattle’s only public school requiring uniforms. While teachers and students started getting to know each other and their new school, mingling continued in a room near the entrance:
The first PTA meeting, as noted in comments, is September 19th, 7 pm. (added) PTA president Heidi Alessi spoke during this morning’s first-ever assembly, too:
ADDED 8:50 PM: As promised, several more photos from the historic first day – click ahead:Read More
(SDOT’s “live” cam looking east over the bridge; the westbound camera is out of service)
8:06 AM: A crash toward the east end of the eastbound West Seattle Bridge has backed up traffic worse than usual. (Thanks to those who have texted about this, but don’t text if you’re driving!) We don’t have full details but SDOT says it’s a multiple-vehicle crash, and Seattle Fire medics have been on the scene assisting.
8:26 AM UPDATE: SDOT tweets that the crash scene has cleared, so here’s hoping the backup will start to ease a bit – aside from the usual commute intensity.
Almost everyone who’s not already back to school will be returning today (with exceptions here and there). And that includes opening day for a brand-new West Seattle elementary school (in a building that’s been empty for two years). Today’s highlights:
TONIGHT’S TRAFFIC ALERT: From this week’s day-by-day/night-by-night list, the southbound Alaskan Way Viaduct will be closed again 9 pm-5 am between the Battery Street Tunnel and West Seattle Bridge.
BACK TO SCHOOL! Most Seattle Public Schools students will be back in class starting today (with a few examples – such as, at Denny International Middle School, the 6th graders get the campus to themselves today, with others returning tomorrow), as will the local independent schools that haven’t started already. Remember that this means school buses on the road, middle/high-school students on Metro buses too, school-zone speed-limit enforcement, and more, so please take care.
OPENING DAY FOR K-5 STEM AT BOREN: Seven and a half months after the Seattle School Board approved opening a new “option” school in the two-years-closed Boren Building on Delridge, this is opening day for K-5 STEM (science/tech/engineering/math focus) at Boren. Among its first visitors will be new SPS Superintendent José Banda, scheduled to visit 9 am-10 am.
HIGH-SCHOOL SPORTS: Varsity games/matches are listed on our calendar daily, including all three of West Seattle’s major high schools playing volleyball today.
PUMPKIN-PIE FUNDRAISER: Starting today and continuing Wednesdays, 2-8 pm, till they’re all spoken for, you will find Diane Niemi at the West Seattle Eagles‘ aerie in The Junction, taking pre-orders for homemade pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving. The Heritage Pumpkin Pie Project involves a special family recipe with which she’s baking pies to raise money for Alzheimer’s/dementia research, in honor of her mother. More info in our listing.
DANCING AT THE SENIOR CENTER: The popular Lauren Petrie is at the Senior Center of West Seattle for dancing tonight, 6-8 pm.
SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: Now that it’s September, community organizations are getting back to their regular meeting schedules, starting with the Southwest District Council tonight, 7 pm at South Seattle Community College’s board room. Our calendar listing includes the agenda, which features a discussion on historic preservation.
… and there’s more on the calendar!