day : 05/11/2012 13 results

Another BEX IV list tweak: Current Schmitz Park school’s future

It’s a question that’s been asked by many, including its namesake family: What will happen to Schmitz Park Elementary if the BEX IV levy passes and it moves to a new, to-be-built school on the current Genesee Hill site? The Schmitz family, which donated the site to Seattle Public Schools decades ago, has told the board in a letter and in person that it wants to see the current SP building remain a public school. Today, a new notation on the BEX IV project list (see it here) linked from the updated agenda for Wednesday’s board meeting reflects that. The entry for Schmitz Park now says:

Schmitz Park Elementary @ Genesee Hill with repurposing of Schmitz Park building for elementary seats

That still doesn’t say whether it would become a new neighborhood school or perhaps the yet-to-be-designated home for the new K-5 STEM elementary currently, temporarily housed at Boren on Delridge. (No change to the new language we have already noted regarding Arbor Heights Elementary’s rebuild scheduled for 2018 but “earlier if feasible.”) We’ll be checking tomorrow, and we’ll see what happens when the board takes its vote this Wednesday (meeting starts 4:15 pm at district HQ, public comment at 5, and this will be one of the items after that, probably post-6 pm).

West Seattle scene: Highland Park Way, from above

They’re impressive from the ground – but from the air, West Seattle’s fall colors are breathtaking. Thanks to local pilot/photographer Long Bach Nguyen for sharing the photo taken while he flew over Highland Park Way. You can see a larger version on his website.

Roxhill Castle, as day 4 ends: ‘We need more help!’

The guy in the navy sweatshirt and blue jeans in the center of that photo from the Roxhill Castle community-build site, about an hour ago, is Barry. He’s from Leathers and Associates, which made the play equipment volunteers are putting up, the replacement for a beloved structure that L&A also made, and that was also community-built back in the mid-’90s. He’s the guy who knows how it’s going, we were told. His summary: “We need more help. Tell people to get down here. One more day.” Volunteers have been working their hearts out, but they’re a cavalry, when this is a big-enough project for an army:

What happens if not enough show up? we asked Barry. “It won’t be as nice as it could be,” he replied, gruffly (his nickname is “Barry the Barracuda,” we learned). So if you can possibly spare some time tomorrow – help make sure it IS as nice as it could be; everybody who is and has been there has labored mightily toward that goal:

The playground is on the 29th SW side of the park, south of Barton, across from the south side of Westwood Village. Just show up – once they’re done for the evening, they’ll be starting up again around 8 am.

Election Eve 2012: Who’s having a party – or special?

checkbox.jpgSo far, we know of Election Night parties tomorrow at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), Skylark Café and Club, and OutWest Bar. Anybody else? Or – how about Election Night specials? Pegasus Pizza on Alki is offering pizzas buy one/get one (of equal or lesser value) free on Election Night, either takeout or dine-in. Anybody else – party and/or specials? Let us know – – ASAP so we can add it to our list. (And if you haven’t already, GO VOTE!)

West Seattle Weather Watch: The big cooldown’s ahead

A few minutes ago, the National Weather Service came out with a “special weather statement,” for the city as well as much of the rest of the region. Nothing dire and dramatic – but it does represent a change: Much-cooler weather is on the way. After tonight, the overnight lows will start dropping into the 30s. So if you haven’t finished your winterizing yet, lulled into semi-complacency by our warm-ish autumn … now’s the time. (And go find that coat!)

Update: U.S. Coast Guard helicopter training off Seacrest

2:16 PM: If you look closely at that photo shared by Mike Russell via Twitter, you’ll see a low-hovering orange-red helicopter, which attracted plenty of attention off Seacrest a little while ago. Mike and others say it dropped divers into the water; they then were picked up by small craft. We’re still trying to formally confirm but there is no indication of a rescue in the area so we’re fairly certain this was a drill; will add whatever we find out.

2:27 PM NOTE: It appears to have been an H-65 U.S. Coast Guard helicopter.

ADDED 4:49 PM: Two photos by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand – above, one of the divers right over the water, under the helicopter; below, you can also see the Coast Guard Defender Class boat off to the right.

And just a moment after we added those photos, we got confirmation from the USCG – it was a training exercise.

Your chance to help the Helpline: Tickets left for Saturday gala

November 5, 2012 12:57 pm
|    Comments Off on Your chance to help the Helpline: Tickets left for Saturday gala
 |   How to help | West Seattle news

It’s that time of year when the kind of needs filled by the West Seattle Helpline are even more urgent – warm clothing, emergency help, and more. But the funding to keep that work going – even to process donated items – doesn’t just flow in automatically. Your help is needed, and here’s the perfect opportunity – Tara at Helpline asked if we’d share this reminder:

Saturday, November 10th at 6:30 pm at the Duwamish Longhouse: Here’s your chance to rejuvenate your soul with an exciting night of fun auction items, a delicious dinner, and heartwarming stories at our annual fall fundraiser. It’s a wonderful chance to learn more about what we do and how your support helps others. Our keynote speaker is Representative and past board member Eileen Cody. For more details and to purchase your $95 ticket online, please visit Reserve your seat before it is too late! All proceeds will benefit West Seattle families in need. Thank you, and hope to see you there!

Co-working space in West Seattle? 1 gets close to reality

If you too work in a home office, and/or coffee shop, and/or any place else you temporarily hang your hat – here’s a question: Are you interested in a co-working space in West Seattle? The idea has come up time and time again – but it has yet to become reality. Now, though, two local home-based entrepreneurs are on the brink. Just one catch: Before they can lock up their prospective space – to be known as WS Office Junction – they want to know who’s in. We met with them over the weekend and agreed to publish their pitch:

We are looking for small business owners and freelancers interested in coworking with us in the heart of West Seattle. Please contact us at if you are interested in a small office or desk space in a fun working community with great networking opportunities. We need YOU to get our community started. Getting our lease signed depends on establishing a core group of members NOW!

In addition to basic office amenities (printer, fax, wi-fi, coffee, conference room) members will have access to lounge space, networking board and the opportunities to participate in our Office Junction community. We will facilitate lots of events and member interaction like workshops, skill sharing, Happy Hour visits, Wine tasting, Bike Day, field trips to local businesses, Donuts Day and group volunteering.

We have membership plans to accommodate a variety of work lifestyles, whether you want to use the space full time or part time. We are currently looking for serious interest in the community so we can sign the lease for a great space right in the heart of the West Seattle Junction.

– Resident $300 per month (24/7 access)
– Full timer $250 per month (weekdays 9 to 5)
– Part timer $175 per month (10 days per month)

Who’s behind it? Meet them here (disclosure, one co-founder is a WSB sponsor). And while comments on this story are great, they say they really need to hear directly from people with serious interest so they can move forward – so please do use the e-mail address above to send them a note, ASAP, if you are.

West Seattle Monday: Building, voting, cooking, preparing…

(Danny McMillin‘s photo of autumn leaves over Alki, shared via the WSB Flickr group)
Not to scare you as we start the week, but – Thanksgiving is early this year, just 2 1/2 weeks away. So enjoy what remains of the not-too-holiday-crazed early part of November. Here are highlights from the WSB West Seattle Events Calendar:

ROXHILL CASTLE, DAY 4 – HELP STILL NEEDED! Two more days scheduled for construction of the Roxhill Castle play area, and while volunteers have made spectacular progress – see our weekend photos here and here – if you can spare even just a couple hours, their message: WE NEED YOU! Just show up any time between now and dusk-plus, 29th SW south of Barton (across from Westwood Village’s south side).

BALLOT DROP-OFF VAN, ELECTION-EVE EDITION: Still haven’t sent off your ballot? The dropoff van (featured here and here) is back along West Seattle Stadium‘s driveway (entrance off the east side of 35th SW, south of Avalon Way), 10 am-5 pm today (and 7 am-8 pm tomorrow).

WEST SEATTLE COOKING CLUB: The theme for what you’re supposed to cook and bring to today’s meeting, 3 pm at Beveridge Place Pub – “make a dish using 3 of these ingredients – radicchio, garlic, pork, red beans, apples.” More info at the WSCC website.

WEST SEATTLE HI-YU MEETING: It’s a general meeting, and everyone’s welcome. As noted here earlier today, topics will include ideas for the 2013 float. (If you are looking to catch up on floats from recent years, you can browse through our archive of Hi-Yu coverage for the past five years.) The meeting’s at 6:30 pm, St. John the Baptist Church Hall, on Hanford just east of California.

SNAP CLASS – BE READY! The city’s Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare (SNAP) program brings one of its periodic free classes to West Seattle, 6:30 pm at Delridge Library (Delridge/Brandon). After Superstorm Sandy and the B.C. quake in just the past few weeks, preparedness should be top of mind. (If you can’t make it – a great place to find preparedness info is

FAMILY STORY TIME: At High Point Library (35th/Raymond), 7 pm.

More on our calendar!

West Seattle Crime Watch: Early-morning burglary arrest

Just in via SPD Blotter – news of an arrest following an early-morning break-in:

The couple was asleep when they were awakened by the door alarm at about 2:45 this morning. The husband went downstairs to check the house when he saw an unknown male dressed in all black, inside the home on the first floor. The burglar apparently did not see the homeowner. The man went back upstairs and he and his wife locked themselves in an upstairs room and called 911.

Southwest Precinct officers arrived quickly and contained the house in the 9300 Block of Fauntleroy Way SW. Officers could see the suspect inside the house walking around. Officers gave the suspect verbal commands to give himself up. The suspect ran and hid inside the house. Officers entered the home and began clearing the house, and soon located the suspect hiding behind a couch in a downstairs room. He was taken into custody without incident. The suspect refused to cooperate with officers or provide any personal information. He was later booked into the King County Jail for Investigation of Burglary. Detectives will now handle the follow-up investigation.

The excerpt is from an SPD Blotter post that also reports an unrelated North Seattle burglary arrest.


(SDOT camera looking at northbound 99 @ Lander; West Seattle Bridge cams not working currently)
Nothing major reported as the day begins – let us know if you find otherwise. Both West Seattle Bridge cameras are broken again today, and checking the WSB Traffic page, another one in this area is out of commission too – we will follow up with SDOT today to see what’s going on.

TRANSIT REMINDER: As noted here again last night, RapidRide C Line is supposed to get 2 more runs during the evening commute, starting night (and 2 beyond that, starting November 13th).

Another progress report: Fauntleroy Creek salmon set record

(Photos by Nick Adams for WSB)
Never mind counting votes. That whiteboard holds the count that mattered the most in West Seattle this weekend – at Fauntleroy Creek. One week after the salmon-welcoming ceremony that included the then-sad news that only seven spawners had approached, and none had made it past a hungry otter – the turnabout is huge.

This is already the biggest season since spawners returned to the creek after a “fishway” replaced a culvert a decade-plus ago:

As of Sunday evening, reported creek steward/volunteer Judy Pickens (above, with visitors Mira Ellis, 3, and Peggy Rubens-Ellis), at least 238 spawners had been counted – exponentially more than the past few years, and by far beating the 2001 record of 167. Here’s what it’s all about:

Those are salmon eggs – the hope for the next generation. More of WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams‘ images from the creek this weekend, as the update continues ahead:

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West Seattle Hi-Yu: Float ideas at meeting tonight; scholarship-program applications continue

November 5, 2012 1:13 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Hi-Yu: Float ideas at meeting tonight; scholarship-program applications continue
 |   West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival | West Seattle news

(WSB photo of Hi-Yu float/royalty in this year’s West Seattle Grand Parade)
Parade lover? Your idea could inspire the next West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival parade float, traveling around the region. The discussion starts tonight at the Hi-Yu meeting – open to anyone, 6:30 pm, St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church Hall (California/Spokane, just south of West Seattle High School). Hi-Yu also is taking pre-orders for its trademark benefit Christmas ornaments made from hand-blown glass, $20 each, and till the end of this month, applications will be accepted for the scholarship program choosing a Senior Court for next year. Full details are in our original announcement from last month; here’s the direct link to the application.