West Seattle, Washington
Though the Seahawks didn’t quite pull it out tonight against the 49ers, in a parallel competition, their semi-surrogate – West Seattle’s own Gatewood Elementary – won! We first heard last weekend about P.E. teacher Alex Beaty‘s $1,000 Donors Choose funding request for a sound system making it into a promotional vote tied to tonight’s Thursday Night Football game, up against a San Francisco school – and tonight multiple Gatewood supporters messaged us to say Gatewood won; congratulations! (By the way, the other school gets 50 percent of its funding request, so it’s not winner-take-all.)
Next Tuesday’s planned meeting for Seattle’s south communities to talk with the FAA about aircraft noise and flight-pattern changes has been postponed, with no new date yet. So reports The Seattle Times (WSB news partner); we’ll check with the FAA tomorrow and let you know when there’s a new date. The meeting was announced a month ago following Mayor McGinn‘s request last month for a south-side meeting, after the FAA closed the comment period on the Greener Skies plan despite having meetings only in Ballard (WSB coverage here) and Federal Way.
If you saw the fire and medic units responding to Lincoln Park this afternoon – Ari did, and e-mailed us to ask what happened – here’s what we have found out: During the high-school cross-country meet under way at the park this afternoon, three runners were “treated for overexertion,” according to Seattle Fire spokesperson Kyle Moore. He says all three are girls; one, 14, was taken to Children’s Hospital “as a precaution,” according to Moore, while the other two “were examined but did not need transport.” That’s all the information available so far.
5:22 PM: Thanks to the person who just called to tell us about this: Charges have been dropped in a widely reported case (here’s our August story) in which the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Alki resident Mary C. Park with theft, alleging that she stole money and jewelry from a Holocaust survivor for whom she worked as a caregiver. Today’s dismissal is confirmed in a court document we have obtained online; since it has no victim or witness names (which WSB generally does not publish), we are linking it here so you can see it in its entirety. The document says, in part, “… the State is unable to proceed at this time; additional investigation must be conducted before the State can determine whether it can proceed on this case.” We have a request out seeking comment from the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, but may not hear back until tomorrow.
5:38 PM UPDATE: Our news partners at The Seattle Times are covering this too, and their update includes statements from the KCPAO and from Park’s lawyer.
8:24 PM UPDATE: We have since received a reply from KCPAO spokesperson Dan Donohoe, who tells WSB, “As with any criminal case, there is ongoing investigation post charging. There will be ongoing law enforcement investigation, and we will make a determination at a later date on whether or not to re-file charges.”
It’s a popular sport to question the value of online comments/discussion. Certainly, some discussions take questionable turns, but many more bring the community a chance to share important information and observations – and to reveal new developments in a story. The latest such case involves an incident we covered Monday night – a bicyclist believed to have fallen or jumped off the “low bridge” into the Duwamish River. The bridge was closed for hours and marine traffic was kept off part of the waterway while an intensive search continued, including Seattle Police and Fire divers.
While police had no further information Tuesday about the aftermath of that search, the story continued in the comment section these past few days. We heard there late Wednesday from the missing man’s wife, wondering if anyone saw anything. Today, she posted in the comment thread again – reporting that he had survived and found his way home. Worried friends and relatives have commented, too.
This afternoon, police confirmed to WSB that they have been notified the man is no longer missing; it became their case when the search turned to a “recovery” operation. Since this was reported to be intentional, we will close out this update with a number we share when reporting on such matters – the Crisis Clinic is always there, 24 hours, 206-461-3222.
Two updates this afternoon related to the city’s almost-complete Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project:
WESTBOUND SURFACE SPOKANE STREET PARTLY OPEN: SDOT says that for the first time in three years, westbound S. Spokane St., under the widened SSV, is now open between 4th and 6th Avenues. Project spokesperson Paul Elliott says in an update e-mail, “It is hoped that the remainder of westbound surface S Spokane, the segment from 4th Avenue S to East Marginal Way S, will be reopened to motorists before the end of October.”
SPEED-LIMIT UPDATE: We also have an update from Elliott about the city’s timetable for revisiting the speed limit on the SSV itself, now that work on the bridge deck is done. It came up in the WSB Forums this week; we had checked with SDOT a month ago, at which time Elliott told us the city Traffic Engineer would be taking a look “after giving motorists some time to adjust to the new configuration.” Checking back this week to find out about that timetable, we got this reply:
As to … when the City Traffic Engineer will be evaluating the speed limit on the structure, he expects this to happen in the spring. We need normalized operating speeds along with some collision data (of which we currently have little). The spring timeframe will give us about six months of baseline collision data, with which to better assess the safety impacts of any change in the speed limit.
The project itself has now been under way for about four years (here’s one of our earliest stories, from spring 2008).
Charges are now filed against 30-year-old Emanuel Kozma, who was fleeing King County Sheriff’s Deputies from White Center eight days ago when he crashed in Highland Park (WSB coverage here) and bolted, on the run till his arrest this past Monday night.
The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has charged him with second-degree assault and attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle.
Ahead – from the court documents, the story of why he was arrested the day before the chase/crash, what happened surrounding the chase/crash, and another incident – a shooting – that came to light along the way:Read More
Might be some mountain snow this weekend. Not enough for skiing/snowboarding, but definitely time to think about it. Tomorrow’s the start of the annual ski/snowboard swap event sponsored by Mountain To Sound Outfitters – it’s dropoff day if you have gear to sell, noon-6 pm Friday at the VFW Hall at 36th and Alaska in The Triangle. Then it’s time to shop, 10 am-6 pm Saturday and 10 am-3 pm Sunday, also at the VFW. The full M2SO announcement with details is in our calendar listing.
(1st two photos are community-contributed – thank you!)
10:59 AM: Police and fire are rushing to 26th and Roxbury, where a crash has closed westbound Roxbury and left eastbound with one lane open, according to the scanner, with radio communication describing the crash as one vehicle on its side with one person injured, apparently not seriously. More to come.
11:06 AM: Ladder 11 reports it has extricated that person from the crashed car.
11:13 AM: Added a photo just sent to us. WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand also is on scene now and reports that 26th is blocked as well as the westbound side of Roxbury.
He has just talked to Southwest Precinct Lt. Pierre Davis on the scene and was told there is a second car involved – a silver Honda.
11:34 AM: Added Patrick’s photo of that car. He says police are still sorting out the circumstances of the crash.
(Photos by Nick Adams for WSB)
West Seattle High School‘s senior volleyball players were honored at last night’s regular-season-ending rematch with visiting crosstown competitors Chief Sealth International High School – and when the game was over, WSHS had something else to celebrate: An undefeated conference record (12-0), after they beat Sealth 3-1.
This wasn’t just a “crosstown” game – it was Metro Sound Division #1, WSHS, vs. #2, Sealth (now a 9-3 conference record), who was fired up too:
More photos and game toplines ahead:
BLOODMOBILE AT CHIEF SEALTH INT’L HIGH SCHOOL: Till 2 pm, and the public’s welcome to stop by and donate. Details here.
PARKINSON’S DISEASE SUPPORT GROUP: West Seattle, South Park, White Center and vicinity residents are invited to participate. The group meets at 10 am at Arrowhead Gardens on the southeastern end of WS. Movement specialist Dr. Susie Ro is today’s guest speaker. Full details and map here.
FORUM ON MARIJUANA INITIATIVE 502: Voting starts as soon as your ballot arrives, so there’s no time like the present to find out more about the big topics. Marijuana-regulation Initiative 502 is the subject of a public forum at 5:30 pm tonight at High Point Neighborhood Center; details here.
WEST SEATTLE CHAMBER ‘AFTER HOURS’: This month’s after-hours gathering presented by the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce is at Merrill Gardens-Admiral Heights (WSB sponsor). 5:30-7 pm; more info here.
GATEWOOD VOTE – LAST CHANCE: In conjunction with the Thursday Night Football game, as noted here last weekend, Gatewood Elementary is in a voting contest with a San Francisco school for a $1,000 grant. Today’s the last day to vote, we’re told – go here!
FIRST HALLOWEEN EVENT? This just might be the earliest. For teens, flashlight hunt and costume contest at Hiawatha Community Center at 6:45 pm tonight – details here, and find more of our area’s many Halloween events by checking the just-launched WSB Halloween 2012 page.
THURSDAY NIGHT HIGH-SCHOOL FOOTBALL: This week, the public high schools are playing on Thursday night instead of Friday. West Seattle is on the road vs. Nathan Hale; Chief Sealth hosts Ingraham, both games at 7 pm.
‘MINDFULNESS IN A HARRIED WORLD’: Take time to consider the topic. It’s a “Family Matters” discussion at Fauntleroy UCC Church (9140 California SW), 7 pm.
As always, you’ll see more on the calendar – for today, tonight, and beyond!
(Live view from the only WS Bridge camera currently in operation; see other cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:35 AM: As we open the figurative doors on today’s edition of traffic/transit updates – from us and from you (if you don’t want to post a comment, call 206-293-6302 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org) – no incidents reported on the major routes, so far.
7:45 AM UPDATE: KING 5 tweets that the bridge backup is worse than usual because of an earlier stall on northbound I-5 near the bridge.
8:56 PM UPDATE: Just a note if you have to go somewhere tonight. It’s pouring!
(Photo courtesy Jen Boyer)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Though Wednesday night’s Seattle School Board meeting brought the official “introduction” of something close to the final draft of the BEX IV levy that’ll be sent to voters early next year, it was almost anticlimactic.
After months of advocacy for an ASAP rebuild, Arbor Heights Elementary brought another yellow-shirted contingent and rallied outside before the meeting, and had speakers during public-comment time, too.
One board member, Sharon Peaslee, asked the big question: “What would it take to move Arbor Heights forward on the levy?” referring to the fact the dilapidated school (see our tour report from this morning) is still toward the back of the pack on the timeline, now back to opening a new building in 2018, when not even its current kindergarteners will still be there.
But before we jump ahead to the details – a touching moment, with one participant wanting to say thanks. The list of public commenters is drawn up in the days before the meeting; they have 20 spots (extended tonight to 25) and you have to call or e-mail to get a spot. Priority is given to people who want to talk about something the board is voting on – so the people who wanted to speak about the board’s resolution to oppose charter-schools Initiative 1240 got many of the slots.
Second from last on the waiting list – which was as long as the guaranteed list – was Robin Graham, co-president of the K-5 STEM at Boren PTSA. Zero chance she would get to speak about their big issue – the fact no permanent home is designated for their school, which the district has taken to describing as a “program.”
During the public-comment period, “something just amazing happened,” as she put it in e-mail to us after the meeting – something for which Graham wanted to share this public thank-you:
Dear Arbor Heights Community,
I wanted to thank you for giving the STEM community the opportunity to speak at the Oct 17th School Board Meeting. The fact that you so gracefully ceded your spot to another parent so we could speak to the board speaks volumes about the amazing people you are. We were so disappointed to only have spots on the wait list, so this was truly a gift you gave our community.
We are so hopeful that your communities zealous advocacy on behalf of your children and families will pay off.
With hope, respect, and big props,
Co-President K-5 STEM
We happened to be recording handheld video from the front row in the auditorium, as a scheduled AH speaker yielded to Graham, who voiced support for AH as well as advocating for STEM:
Earlier in the day, during our tour of Arbor Heights with 2 parents, principal Christy Collins, and school board president Michael DeBell, Arbor Heights community members made impassioned pleas too, as they did during the meeting. We will add the full official video once it’s archived online.
Otherwise, since no vote was taken Wednesday night – there was nothing for BEX-watchers to do but try to read between the lines of the questions that were asked and comments that were made.
(Photo by Katie Meyer for WSB)
It started with a rock ‘n’ roll ice-cream shop – expanded into an four-shop mini-chain – into restaurants too – and now, you can find Full Tilt Ice Cream in the supermarket freezer case! A few weeks ago, prepacked Full Tilt pints went on sale at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) and FT founder Justin Cline turned up scooping samples in the Thriftway demo kiosk yesterday afternoon. (P.S. Full Tilt recently remodeled its website.)