West Seattle, Washington
Walk into the bar at Yen Wor in The Admiral District tonight, and you’ll get a name tag like that – it’s the Christmas party that karaoke host Guy Olson organized for anyone who’s missing the classic company-party-type event because they’re work-at-home/unemployed/etc. Guy is presiding, with helper Katie:
And special guests – KING 5 reporter Zahid Arab and crew; back when Guy announced the party, we tweeted about it, and Zahid thought it sounded like a fun story, so they’re there (you might have noticed the live truck parked on the north side of the building):
You’re welcome to join in – sing, dance, wear a lampshade (you might have to bring your own), make up stories about imaginary officemates … If somehow you’ve never been to Yen Wor, it’s at California/College.
Family (that’s wife Karrie above), friends, and fans are helping Marty Riemer celebrate his departure from The Mountain, at a party continuing till 10 pm at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor; 6451 California SW). It’s not a party without cake, of course, and this one has two:
Marty’s still doing the podcast he launched after his previous departure from the station in 2009 – you can watch it happen live at 9:30 am Fridays, via his website (or catch the recording at your convenience later).
(WSB photo of Shauna Heath making an entrance aboard a fire engine at Lafayette’s first assembly of the year)
Seattle Public Schools just announced that another elementary principal from West Seattle is being promoted to management downtown – this time Lafayette Elementary‘s newest principal Shauna Heath, after just a few months. Here is what was sent to Lafayette families late today:
>Dear Lafayette Elementary community:
Today I’m announcing a leadership change at Lafayette. Your principal, Shauna Heath, has been appointed Executive Director for Curriculum and Instruction. In her new role, Ms. Heath will oversee Early Learning, College and Career Readiness and core content areas.
I know Lafayette staff and families went through a principal search process last summer, and I understand it is a hardship to have a leadership change mid-year. But we need Ms. Heath’s leadership to help all of our nearly 50,000 students. Congratulations to Ms. Heath, and I know she will be missed at Lafayette.
Birgit McShane has been appointed interim principal. This is effective Jan. 7, and Ms. Heath will be available to ensure a smooth transition. Ms. McShane is a long-time educator and retired principal. She is a graduate of Seattle Public Schools and spent more than 30 years as an educator in the District – including serving as the principal at Graham Hill Elementary and Daniel Bagley Elementary — before retiring in 2006. She also recently served as interim principal at Leschi Elementary when the principal was on maternity leave.
We will move quickly to form a hiring committee. Carmela Dellino, Executive Director of Schools for West Seattle, will attend the Jan. 17 PTA meeting, along with our Human Resources staff, to gain parent input regarding desired qualities of their principal. We will also meet with Lafayette staff next month.
We will also draft and send out an electronic survey to gather additional input from families. We hope to post the position by Jan. 21. A team of staff and family members will interview candidates, with a first round of interviews completed by the end of February. Our goal is to have someone in place by the end of March.
I recognize that leadership change creates a distraction in the school. But I am confident the Lafayette staff will ensure strong teaching and learning continues during the next several months.
Lafayette is the second local elementary this year to see its principal moved up into district management; Carmela Dellino – mentioned in the memo above – became executive director of Southwest Region schools after serving as Roxhill’s principal until earlier this year. Heath’s predecessor at Lafayette, Jo Lute-Ervin, was there just one school year, as the successor to Virginia Turner, who had led the school for seven years before that. Lafayette is the most populous public elementary in West Seattle, with about 550 students at last count.
P.S. Thank you to the WSB’ers who forwarded this announcement to make sure we had seen it. Meantime, turns out the announcement about Heath is part of a larger districtwide leadership announcement – read on for the superintendent’s memo on that:Read More
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Almost exactly six years after its last look at what was then Fauntleroy Place, the Seattle Design Commission got a look this afternoon at what is now planned for the notoriously idle West Seattle development site at 3922 SW Alaska, which since has become widely known as “The Hole.”
The land-use lawyer who led the project team at the hearing told WSB they hope to start construction “as soon as possible” – once the last few approvals are in place.
As first reported here last July, the project now owned by Madison Development does have a new name – Spruce West Seattle – and that was publicly shown on renderings for the first time at this afternoon’s downtown review. (We photographed some of the key images, but hope to get electronic copies later.)
Though the project obtained some permits long ago, its master-use permit won’t have a final signoff until the City Council gives one last OK, which can’t happen any sooner than January, when council meetings resume. They, the Design Commission, and SDOT are involved because the project involves an alley vacation – part of public right-of-way being in effect given to the developer, though as was pointed out at the hearing, they are creating a new alley at another spot on the site. Much of the discussion centered on the “pocket park” that will be right at the Fauntleroy/Alaska/39th corner:
Project team members at the hearing included land-use lawyer Roger Pearce from Foster Pepper, lead architect Joe Workman from Collins Woerman, landscape architect Andy Rasmussen, and West Seattle artist Lezlie Jane, whose role in the project we learned about for the first time – she is designing art for the “pocket park” at the 39th/Alaska corner.
Tomorrow morning will mark exactly one week since the Sandy Hook school massacre in Connecticut. Many will pause to remember, in West Seattle as well as elsewhere – as noted here last night, a moment of silence is requested at 9:30 am Friday, and all are invited to the 5 pm Saturday vigil on Alki. Today, Seattle Public Schools‘ Superintendent José Banda has just shared another update on campus security:
As we head into winter break, I know many of us are still reflecting on the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut and how we can work together to ensure our schools are a safe place for our students.
I want to take a moment to let you know how important safety is at Seattle Public Schools, what steps we’ve taken since last Friday and what we plan to do in the future to protect our students.
We take the safety of our students very seriously. Once a month, each school conducts at least one safety-related drill. Every school has a safety plan that outlines procedures for prevention, mitigation, response and recovery in the event of a crisis. We have a team of security specialists divided by region who are in schools and able to respond quickly in times of a crisis.
After hearing of the news last Friday, we asked our principals to be extra vigilant in their schools.
Just added to the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide: The first draft of our “restaurants open on Christmas/New Year’s” list! You’ll find the links in the guide but for direct perusal now – here it is. This year, we’re including Christmas Eve/New Year’s Eve information where applicable, too. Please let us know (firstname.lastname@example.org) about changes/additions – the information you see is the result of dozens and dozens of phone calls and even some in-person visits, and venues sometimes change the plan at the last minute. The coffee and supermarket lists are almost done, too, and will also be linked from the Holiday Guide (which, as previously announced, already has the Christmas Eve/Day church-services page linked too).
Just out of the WSB inbox – thanks to Alec for sharing a photo of an unusual sight in this area: A brown pelican. We’ve had scattered reports of one in the area for some days now, but this is the first photo we’ve seen/received, and now that we’re seeing it, it’s definitely a juvenile (mature brown pelicans take on more of a gray tinge, with a dingy-white head). On the open seacoast, they’re not rare – we’ve seen them from Ocean Shores to San Diego – but inland Puget Sound is rather out of the way.
Thanks to John for the recent raccoon group photo from Sunrise Heights. Today brings multiple opportunities for you to hang out with others – from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide and regular year-round Event Calendar:
STORY TIMES: Preschool Story Time at two local libraries this morning – Southwest (35th/Henderson) at 11 am, Delridge (Brandon/Delridge) at 11:15 am. P.S. – Note that all Seattle Public Library facilities will be closed MONDAY (Christmas Eve) as well as Tuesday (Christmas Day).
SPRUCE @ DESIGN COMMISSION: As first reported here on Monday, the project now in the works for the 39th/Alaska site long known as “The Hole” is going back to the Seattle Design Commission (1:30 pm, Boards and Commissions Room at City Hall) for a discussion of the “public benefit” component of the revised project. Open to the public, and there usually is a public-comment period. It’s part of an all-day meeting, so don’t wait for the doors to open – just go in when you get there.
FREE WINE TASTING: It’s all about “holiday wines” tonight at West Seattle Cellars (WSB sponsor), 5:30-8 pm.
SHOP LATE THURSDAY!!! Last one before Christmas, 6-9 pm – participating merchants are listed here. At WSB sponsor Click! Design That Fits: Discounts, and snacks/book signing with West Seattle-based, nationally renowned cookbook author Kim O’Donnel – details here.
ALSO OPEN LATE TONIGHT: Avalon Glassworks offers Hot Shop Late Thursday! “Shop late this Thursday until 8 pm. We’ll have live glass blowing to keep the house warm …”
‘WRAP IT UP’: Gift wrapping by donation with Furry Faces Foundation and AARF: These two animal-advocacy groups are wrapping gifts by donation (you decide how much), with 100 percent of the donations going to help animals, 6–9 pm, Beer Junction, 4511 California SW (during their weekly Beer Tasting)
HIGH SCHOOL CONCERTS: West Seattle High School Winter Concert tonight in the WSHS Theater, 7:00 pm; also at 7, at Chief Sealth International High School, concert by Denny International Jazz/Chief Sealth International Jazz 2/Chief Sealth International Jazz 1.
CHRISTMAS PARTY FOR WORK-AT-HOME/UNEMPLOYED/ETC.: And after you’ve shopped … Yen Wor karaoke host Guy Olson is organizing company-party-style festivities for those who won’t get them otherwise (he was last seen looking for a copy machine to borrow), starting at 9 pm.
WINTER SOLSTICE TOMORROW! And there are solstice events – including a North Delridge walk and Alice Enevoldsen‘s always-popular sunset watch – in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, along with other holiday events, all the way through New Year’s Day – we’re continuing to update it daily (it now includes the link to our full list of Christmas Eve/Day/etc. church services, and later today we’ll be adding the lists of restaurants/coffee open for the holidays.
(SDOT’s east-facing West Seattle Bridge cam; more WS-relevant cams here)
Back to our normal traffic/transit updates, now that the weather is back to the more-predictable showery pattern – here’s the latest forecast. Please let us know if you spot any problems – provided you’re not in the driver seat (in which case, comment or text/call when you get where you’re going, 206-293-6302).
TRANSIT NOTE FOR NEXT WEEK AND BEYOND: Reminder that Metro will be on a “reduced weekday” schedule Monday and Wednesday-Friday of next week as well as Monday of the following week, with a Sunday schedule on the next two Tuesdays (Christmas Day and New Year’s Day) – more here. Both Water Taxis (West Seattle and Vashon) will be out of service on Christmas/New Year’s Days but operating normally the other weekdays.
8 AM UPDATE: Thanks to the caller who just let us know about stalled cars causing some backup as eastbound WS Bridge leads to northbound I-5.
(Charli Elliott of WSHS, Zoe Haywood of Sealth; photos by Nick Adams for WSB)
Wednesday night’s West Seattle High School–Chief Sealth International High School girls-varsity basketball game at WSHS took up where the previous night’s boys’ game left off. Both teams played a very up-tempo, aggressive game – here’s Chelle McMonigle amid Sealth double-teaming:
But West Seattle managed to control the ball for most of the game and came away with a 44-21 win. More photos as the summary continues ahead:Read More
With five days left until Christmas, time is running out for the giving trees and donation drives around town, and some have wrapped up already. Two updates:
First, there’s still time to help out the families who will benefit from the giving tree at CAPERS in The Junction. Proprietor Lisa Myers shared the photo, and says:
The Hickman House Giving Tree is still going strong and collecting donations for the moms and kids who are recovering from Domestic Violence. Gifts for women and children are being accepted through the 23rd of December at CAPERS, 4525 California SW in The Junction. The outpouring of support has been fabulous this year.
There are a few things needed to round out the gifts already acquired:
****All household items: kitchen utensils, pots & pans, silverware, dishes, glassware, twin sheets & blankets
****Gift cards to local establishments
Hickman House is transitional housing in West Seattle for moms/kids who are victims of domestic violence and is under the umbrella of the Salvation Army. All gifts and gift-card donations go directly to the residents living at the facility. CAPERS has sponsored the Hickman House Giving Tree since 1990.
Meantime, a successful holiday-giving drives that recently wrapped up shared a report, and this photo of some of the young helpers:
This drive covered not only West Seattle, but three other communities:
EuropaKids International Preschool, with locations in West Seattle, Burien, and Edmonds, teamed up with Annie’s Nannies of Ballard over the past few weeks and sponsored a diaper drive for WestSide Baby. We put a challenge out to our parents to bring in 5,000 diapers for donation.
We held an internal contest between the individual classrooms and not only did our families meet this challenge, we ended up collecting over 7,858 diapers! As you know, Westside Baby helps families with children by collecting and distributing car seats, clothing, toys, and diapers to local families in need. The holiday is season is upon us and these donations are extremely important to families who need a little extra help. Thank you to the families and staff who participated in this event!
In addition to the CAPERS Giving Tree above, other giving opportunities are listed in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide.