West Seattle, Washington
Big community participation at the first Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting of the year, with more than two dozen people crowding into a cozy conference room at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center last night. The agenda was weighted toward transportation topics — including the Bicycle Master Plan Update, community proposals for Bridging the Gap levy-funded grant money, and, kicking off the meeting, the latest on the Delridge repaving project:
(WSB photo from today – Delridge project pieces including manhole components have arrived)
DELRIDGE REPAVING, AFTER WEEK 1: Communications lead LeAnne Nelson and SDOT’s new paving-program manager Sue Byers opened with a quick update on the project, just finishing its first week. Nelson mentioned the changes made early on, including the 4-way stop at Barton/25th and the turn restrictions at Delridge/Trenton. She says it’s tentatively planned that the 2nd and 3rd weekends in February are when the two intersections (Delridge/Trenton and Delridge/Henderson) will be closed in both directions for work. Taking questions from those in attendance, the SDOT duo were asked about the Delridge/Trenton signal and why it hasn’t just been switched to 4-way flashing given the restrictions; they said they would have an engineer check on it. Cement grinding is now starting, the SDOT team noted, and this phase, they say, is still on track for completion around the end of February. (Updated detour map and other info is on this page of the city website.)
We took that photo two hours ago, looking toward Hiawatha Playfield from the West Seattle High School parking lot – and the fog’s intensified since then. So much, that the National Weather Service has issued a “dense fog advisory” (read it here), warning of low visibility through tomorrow morning. Slick roads, too, we can verify firsthand.
Live and/or work in the Morgan Junction area? Here’s what your community council – the Morgan Community Association – is up to, as discussed at MoCA’s quarterly meeting last night at The Kenney (WSB sponsor):
SEWER-OVERFLOW-CONTROL FACILITY AT LOWMAN BEACH: Doug Marsano from the King County Wastewater Treatment Division brought an update on the Murray (Lowman Beach) combined-sewer-overflow-control storage-tank facility planned across the street from Lowman Beach Park. As shown in our photo above, he brought renderings from the final design – which made the deadline to be submitted to the state by the end of 2012 – which includes some additional view spots for the public related to the wall (as shown in the materials from the December 11th community advisory group meeting). Regarding the timetable – by the time MoCA meets again in April, Marsano said, the buildings on the site will be gone. In the meantime, the county will go to bid soon for the major work on the project, which is expected to be completed by mid-to-late 2016.
(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
Romance idol Fabio is in the nutrition business these days – and that’s what brought him to West Seattle this afternoon. He arrived early at Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) and has already been delighting fans and enlightening wellness-seekers, as well as drawing regional-media attention (at least one TV crew). He’s there on behalf of his Healthy Planet Nutrition business, which offers protein products and other types of supplements (read about them here). Fabio’s original claim to fame was modeling for the covers of romance novels, and he branched out to various parts of the entertainment business – including writing romance novels himself.
(Photo shared by Jackie)
You can catch up with him at the Metropolitan Market demonstration till about 7 tonight – or, if you miss him there, the tour schedule on his website says he’ll be at five other Metropolitan Markets in the region over the next three days, before heading to Southern California.
Two notes that came in after this morning’s West Seattle Crime Watch roundup – First, watch for Amber‘s car, stolen overnight near 18th/Thistle, a black 2-door Nissan 200SX, with a cracked bumper and Obama sticker, plate AGE7999. Amber says, “I have a club and just happened to not put it on the car last night.” We’ve also heard from Kristen, who says the stolen car she reported here two weeks ago is back, “found by a SPD officer running license plates about a mile and a half away when he noticed the window was down. Other than some water to clean up and some odd things being taken (the faceplate to the stereo but not the stereo), the car was completely intact!”
(WSB photo from first week of RapidRide last October)
Three and a half months after Metro launched RapidRide C Line to and from West Seattle and “restructured” most of the rest of the bus system in West Seattle, it’s gone public with results of a rider survey. Metro says 499 people took the survey online, and about 200 people talked with their reps in person. An overview is up now on their Metro Matters site, and the detailed official summary is here. From the overview:
Riders told us they want us to focus on three key things:
*Make buses show up on time.
*Get more and sustainable funding to expand or increase service.
The good news is that we want what you want: excellent and reliable transit service. But some things are within Metro’s control and some aren’t, and we have to balance the need to be cost-effective with the need to serve the most riders, including those who most need public transit.
No promises are made in either document. But on page 5 of the full summary, Metro does reiterate the recent announcement that it will have a printed schedule for “most of” RapidRide next month.
You might have seen citywide media coverage – including this story from our partners at The Seattle Times – about Garfield High School teachers revolting against the district testing known as MAP (Measures of Academic Progress). A source has sent word of the first organized West Seattle concern about the test, saying Sanislo Elementary teachers are sending this letter to district Superintendent José Banda – note, however, it does NOT say that Sanislo teachers will boycott the test, only that they support the Garfield teachers’ decision:
We the staff at Sanislo Elementary, by a unanimous vote, write to express our support for Garfield High School’s decision to not administer the MAP test. We share many of their same concerns, including the impact on a struggling student’s esteem and the lack of usability of the results when given the current text adoptions. We similarly decry the loss of instructional time, the loss of computer lab access and the loss of instructional assistants who are used as test proctors, in addition to the financial costs of the subscription itself and the tech support for implementing it.
Garfield and all high school teachers find themselves in a Kafkaesque situation in which their employment (including career ladder and termination) will be determined by a test which district officials told them is invalid, since the margin of error can exceed the expected growth score. The collective bargaining agreement allows teachers to be put on ‘improvement plans’ if their test scores are low on two different tests. However, if one test is faulty, then in all fairness, this portion of the contract cannot be implemented.
Elementary teachers are approaching a similar situation, where the MAP test is not correlated with the standards we are required to teach. Common core standards are now taught in the classrooms so how reliable are this year’s MAP results and how useful will they be to elementary teachers since the test questions are not aligned with these new standards? Further, this misalignment will result in a false reading of student growth and those lower test scores will put elementary teachers in a Garfield-type predicament where a solid teacher could feel threatened due to faulty test results.
For these reasons, we urge you to recognize the Garfield teachers’ stance as an opportunity to correct an injustice initiated under a former administration and to publicly announce that no teacher will be put on plans of improvement as the result of test scores until such time as a statistically-reliable (and more humane) second measure of student growth is in place.
The Sanislo Elementary School Staff
In a response to the Garfield boycott, the superintendent said the district is reviewing MAP but expects the tests to be administered this winter as planned.
(August 2011 photo by Craig Savey, taken from Harbor Island)
We love to watch orcas – now go beyond orca-watching, and take advantage of a chance for orca learning! Donna Sandstrom from The Whale Trail just sent word TWT is starting a winter series of speakers/meetings, with local orca researcher Mark Sears speaking at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor; 5612 California SW) one week from tonight, 7 pm Thursday, January 24th (doors open at 6:30).
Mark has been studying and documenting whales in this area for over 30 years. He’ll present highlights from and history of his research, including updates on recent orca sightings. Join us for this fun and informal evening – learn about orcas and support The Whale Trail, too!
When you see a small research boat out close to the orcas, he’s usually on board; he’s also a West Seattleite. Advance tickets are available, since C&P space is finite; $5 suggested donation for adults, kids free, go to brownpapertickets.com. Donna adds that as a bonus, Seal Sitters and “Diver Laura” James (on behalf of tox-ick.org) will be there too.
Two burglaries discovered one block apart last night top this West Seattle Crime Watch update. First we heard from Jim, who reported via Twitter that his neighbors’ home in the 7300 block of 27th SW had been broken into; the burglar(s) smashed the windows with “large rocks.” Then we heard from Kevin:
Came home to a robbed and ransacked house at (7300 block of) 28th Ave SW. Broke through the back door and broke in the garage door too. Happened between 8:20 am and 5:20 pm. Electronics, jewelry, credit cards, passports among other things. Every single cabinet drawer and closet gone through and thrown on the floor.
One other burglary was reported last night, according to the SPD map – and it too was in the 7300 block, but this time the street was 36th SW.
Car prowlers continue to show up all over the peninsula. The latest reports, and new information about this week’s Arbor Heights mail theft, after the jump:Read More
(Water Taxi this morning, and the invisible skyline – by Lise Thivierge)
Seven highlights for today/tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
FABIO AT METROPOLITAN MARKET: The iconic model is now in the wellness business, and will be at Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) in Admiral 4-7 pm today to demonstrate his Healthy Planet Nutrition products. Find out more in our calendar listing.
FREE WINE TASTING: 5:30-8 pm, this week’s free tasting at West Seattle Cellars features Italian wines. (6026 California SW)
SCHOOL-LEVIES BRIEFING: The Arbor Heights Elementary PTSA will hear tonight from a Schools First rep about the levies on next month’s ballot, including BEX IV, which includes the money to build a brand-new AH school. 6 pm, AH Elementary cafeteria (37th/104th).
BALANCING HIGH-SCHOOL ENROLLMENT: Tonight West Seattle High School‘s PTSA talks with district officials about enrollment equity – how to fix the policies that have left their school with room for hundreds, while others overflow. 7 pm, WSHS library (3000 California SW).
ALSO AT WSHS – ‘A BAD YEAR FOR TOMATOES’: This year’s student-directed play will be performed again tonight in the WSHS Theater, 7:30 pm, directed by Jo Clark. Details in our calendar listing and on the Westside Drama website.
DENNY/SEALTH ORCHESTRA/CHORUS CONCERT: The adjacent schools’ orchestral and choral musicians perform their free winter concert tonight at 7 in the Chief Sealth International High School auditorium (2600 SW Thistle).
Check the calendar for even more of what’s happening today/tonight!
(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; see other cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
Below freezing, and foggy, again this morning – and it was already frosty/slick on some roads by late last night – so take care out there.
TODAY/TONIGHT TRAFFIC ALERTS, AND A WEEKEND PREVIEW:
-Delridge repaving continues detouring SB traffic Trenton-Henderson
-Tonight’s the last 10 pm-5 am southbound 99 (Battery St. to WS Bridge) closure this week
-The I-5/Spokane St. Interchange Bridge Repair project closure for this weekend, Friday night to Monday morning, will only affect traffic coming off Beacon Hill, closing the Columbian Way ramps to the West Seattle Bridge, 6th Avenue, and I-5 southbound.
9:40 AM: The live 911 log for Seattle Fire shows a crash reported on the eastbound bridge, parallel with Marginal. No other details so far.
2:49 PM: Bus riders who haven’t seen it yet might be interested in our story about the survey summaries just published by Metro – specifically regarding West Seattle riders and what they asked for.