day : 19/09/2012 12 results

From the sunset to the smoke: Both sides of the sky

Night after night, brilliant colors take over the sky before, during, and after the sun’s exit behind the Olympic Mountains. Tonight, Maggie caught the view from a state ferry on the Fauntleroy-Vashon run, and shared the photo via Twitter.

We have all heard that the flip side of the vivid sunsets and sunrises is smoke from fires burning in central and eastern Washington. Here is a view of some of them, courtesy of West Seattle pilot/photographer Long Bach Nguyen:

(Click for larger image)
He says the photograph was taken near Cle Elum.

Book gifts for Sanislo Elementary: ‘Something remarkable’

“I see something remarkable happening at Sanislo Elementary School,” librarian Craig Seasholes told us via e-mail. Yesterday, he continued, “I unloaded 12 more boxes of books to give to teachers’ classroom libraries and students for home reading donated by recently retired, former Sanislo teacher Mary Nine.” (Added – Craig’s photo of Mary, at left) “This brings a total of something like … 1200 books she’s made available at the start of this school year.” Then today, we dropped by during when Joan Abrevaya of the Friends of Seattle Public Library brought “a donation of another 300 high-quality fiction titles for teachers to add to their classroom collections.” Seasholes is in our photo, above, with her – and boxes of books. This isn’t the first gift from them, either, he says: “Last June the Friends of SPL and donated 3000 books in time for Sanislo students’ summer reading.” And they’re grateful, he says, for the gifts! Books are a very big deal at Sanislo, which always has big participation in the Global Reading Challenge, among other initiatives.

Kiwanis Club of West Seattle honors Warren Lawless for 50 years

(Photo courtesy Karl Sutter)
Kiwanis Club of West Seattle‘s Warren Lawless received a big honor from his club tonight – commemorating his half-century of involvement. The honor was bestowed tonight during the club’s installation banquet at the Duwamish Longhouse in West Seattle. Lawless, 94, has been a community and business leader for even longer; among his more recent awards is the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s Community Service Award in 2008 (WSB coverage here).

West Seattle schools: Chief Sealth PTSA kicks off new year

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

“Absolutely amazing” is how Chief Sealth International High School‘s second-year principal Chris Kinsey described the school year’s start, speaking last night to the Sealth PTSA, which is led by new president Ted Reed.

The principal’s assessment is in part thanks to the school’s continued enrollment growth. Kinsey said that as of right before the meeting, Sealth had 1,286 students enrolled – about 40 more than when he delivered the same report to the first meeting of last school year – but in a different context, “We were down to 800 a few years ago … this community has grown this school in a direction that’s pretty powerful.”

The enrollment also brings challenges. Sealth added portable classrooms this year, and announced last night that the assembly is finally complete; class sizes are still big (up to 35 students) and he said they’re waiting to find out how many additional teachers they will be able to hire, in addition to filling some openings they already had – including music, health, chemistry. The principal said he is advocating with this area’s executive director of schools Carmela Dellino to get some additional teaching resources.

Kinsey also had words of praise for the Link Crew upperclassmen-mentoring-freshmen program that Sealth is using as of this year (WSB coverage here); “We are off to an exciting start.”

Ahead, more reasons why he made that assessment – including college visits and after-school activities – as well as other information shared at the meeting:Read More

Delridge repaving update: October open house, January start

Just last week, we reported that the city’s Delridge Way SW repaving project had gone out to bid. Today, SDOT sends word that the project – Orchard to Henderson for sure, possibly also including Henderson to Roxbury on Delridge and 16th – will start in January and last up to a year, with crews working in phases, south to north. A pre-construction open house has just been scheduled for Tuesday, October 2nd, 5:30-7:30 pm at the Learning Resource Center/Library at Chief Sealth International High School (2600 SW Thistle). As reported previously, reconfiguration/rechannelization between Myrtle and Kenyon is also part of this project – and there’s now a webpage with graphics/map, here.

Followup: City’s towing/impound-fee limit moves forward

(Theft victim’s car in tow-company lot, marked “NIDDLES (needles) … BIOHAZARD”)
Just in from the City Council – a news release announcing that the proposal to limit fees in cases of “involuntary towing” has passed a committee vote and is headed for the full council next week. We reported on the proposal earlier this month. We incluided the proposal with the story of a West Seattle woman who first lost her car (above) to theft and then had to sign it over to a towing company because she couldn’t afford the fees that had amassed since it was found and towed without prompt notification. Read on for the council announcement:Read More

Next round of combined-sewer-overflow control: City’s turn to decide on raingardens, storage tanks, or…

(Click image to see larger version as PDF)
If you’ve seen the term CSO (Combined-Sewer Overflows) go by here in the past three-plus years, it was likely in connection with the King County projects meant to reduce overflows at the county-run Murray (Lowman Beach) and Barton (Fauntleroy ferry dock) Pump Stations. However – the city of Seattle is under orders (as part of this agreement with the feds) to cut down on overflows from some of their pump stations too, and that includes two spots in West Seattle where overflows go into Longfellow Creek (see the map above). As was the case for the county, possible solutions might include “roadside raingardens” – the city’s term – in planting strips, or extra storage.

Tonight at the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting, as mentioned briefly in our morning preview, reps from Seattle Public Utilities will talk about its CSO challenges and possible solutions. As noted on this city webpage with an overview of the problem, the BIG discussion is coming up at an October 4th public meeting (6 pm at the Salvation Army, 9050 16th SW). But if you would like to get in on the start of this discussion, tonight’s District Council meeting is open to the public as always – 7 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW).

West Seattle Crime Watch: Daughter’s warning after elderly mom robbed while out walking

In West Seattle Crime Watch today – Carole reports her mom was robbed while out for a walk, and she is sharing the story to “reach as many people who care for the elderly to be very cautious if the person is able to walk or travel by themselves”:

My 82 year old mother went for her daily walk around the block (Sunrise Heights). She was approached by two males in a vehicle who talked to her like they knew her. Somehow, the driver of the vehicle managed to get her wedding ring off of her, saying he would get it cleaned and bring it back to her. My mother has Aphasia – she knows what she wants to say or do, but cannot get the words out in a coherent manner. Because of this condition, she has difficulty in telling us what happened. She was not hurt but is very upset. She is now frightened to go outside for any reason.

The ring was purchased in 1957 – white gold, about size 4 or 5, one big stone in the center with smaller stones on either side (I think it is called emerald cut). It is a 3-band ring, with the 3rd band added by my dad for their 25th anniversary. The third-band stones are cubic Zirconias.

The police have been notified and a report taken.

Carole says this happened around 1:45 pm Tuesday.

Spokane Street Viaduct: Speed-limit Q/A; ramp update

Two Spokane Street Viaduct updates this morning. First, as commenter/honorary road correspondent Robert2715 points out, the 1st Avenue South offramp from the eastbound SSV only reopened one lane this morning – but SDOT spokesperson Paul Elliott confirms the other lane is indeed expected to reopen tomorrow.

Second, SDOT answers a question we received via e-mail from Stacy, who wondered, “Do you know if there are plans to raise the speed limit on the Spokane Street Viaduct (i.e., back to 45 mph) now that the construction is complete with the new permanent barrier between eastbound and westbound traffic? That is the speed on the bridge, and it would be great if it were consistent all the way to I-5, too.” SDOT’s Elliott replies:

Now that the work on the bridge deck on the viaduct is largely complete, we are returning to the preconstruction 35 MPH. After giving motorists some time to adjust to the new configuration, the City’s Traffic Engineer will examine the conditions and then determine whether or not this is the proper speed limit.

The SSV Widening Project is still not completely done – the westbound surface S. Spokane Street is one of the last pieces of the puzzle – but is scheduled to wrap up next month.

West Seattle project updates: Delridge DESC; 5247 California

Two development updates this morning:

DESC DELRIDGE PROJECT SCHEDULE: We checked with DESC after noticing an online business-publication ad seeking “sub-bids” for this project – 66 units of “supportive housing” at 5444 Delridge Way SW, much-discussed since the project first came to light in June 2011 (all of our coverage is archived here, reverse chronological order). Its land-use permit was issued a month ago; the construction permit is still pending. According to DESC executive director Bill Hobson, Walsh Construction – whose portfolio includes Youngstown – is the general contractor, and that’s who is soliciting subcontractor bids right now. (Its ad describes the project as 75 units, its original size, but Hobson says that is a mistake, and it remains at 66.) Regarding when work will begin, he tells WSB, “We anticipate starting construction sometime in the first 2 weeks of November.”

FORMER ‘PSYCHIC BARBER’ SITE: We have reported on the building at 5247 California SW largely through the relocation of its longtime tenant, “Psychic Barber” Rick Cook, now at The Classic Barber Shop further north on California. He called our attention to the demolition work now under way behind the one-story commercial building, and we went by yesterday afternoon:

Rick says the house is gone as of early this morning, while the commercial building’s still standing. Timetable for its demolition isn’t as clear, as the proposal for a three-story building at the site, with underground parking, is still in the early stages. We’ll be following up with the owner, who didn’t want to discuss his plans in detail last time we checked.

West Seattle scene: You’re invited to use ‘Nonna’s Free Library’

You could call that a pop-up library as well as a “free library,” which is how Linda described it, sharing the photo and explaining:

My dad and son, both West Seattle residents, made a free library in honor of what would have been my mom’s 71st birthday. She was a public-school teacher for many years.

Linda says you’ll find it in “the corner of my yard at 6119 SW Spokane Street” (map).

West Seattle Wednesday: Ramp reopens; Delridge District Council; cottage workshop; more

(Great blue heron photographed by Danny McMillin, shared via Flickr)
Midway through the week – you can glide from here! Highlights from the WSB West Seattle Events Calendar:

1ST AVENUE SOUTH OFFRAMP ON EASTBOUND BRIDGE REOPENS: It closed four weeks ago, and by morning’s first light, SDOT says it will be open again, along with a stretch of eastbound surface S. Spokane St.

TRAFFIC ALERT #2: Another overnight southbound 99/Viaduct closure, 9 pm to 5 am.

BEACH DRIVE WORK REMINDER: Resurfacing continues today, 8 am-7 pm, between Atlas and Juneau. Here’s our Tuesday report.

BABY PEPPERS: 10:30 am, it’s the weekly meeting of a West Seattle support group for parents with babies. Find out more here.

HIGH POINT MARKET GARDEN FARM STAND: Fresh-vegetable sales continue on Wednesdays at the stand next to the organic mini-farm at 32nd and Juneau, 4-7 pm. More info here.

GIRLS’ FIGHT NIGHT OUT: Self-defense and spa treatments are all on the program, starting at 6:30 pm at The Sanctuary @ Admiral (42nd/Lander). Details here.

SANISLO ELEMENTARY PTSA: 6:30 pm in the school library, first meeting of the school year.

K-5 STEM AT BOREN PTA: 7 pm, first meeting of the school year at West Seattle’s newest school (which by the way has a robust discussion group online, here).

DELRIDGE NEIGHBORHOODS DISTRICT COUNCIL: The agenda for tonight’s 7 pm meeting at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW) includes an SDOT update on changes in the works for Delridge Way and a Seattle Public Utilities update on stormwater projects in the works for eastern West Seattle.

NCOMPASS’S BACKYARD COTTAGE WORKSHOP: What are the rules? The benefits? The prerequisites? WSB sponsor Ncompass Cottage Company presents everything you want to know about building a backyard cottage, 7 pm, details here.

‘BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON’: 7:30 tonight, it’s opening night for the Tony-nominated musical that starts the 2012-2013 season for ArtsWest in The Junction. Here’s our preview from last night.

More on the calendar!