day : 29/04/2013 13 results

West Seattle schools: Arbor Heights announces eSTEM plan

ORIGINAL MONDAY NIGHT REPORT: Arbor Heights Elementary has gone public with a curriculum change that principal Christy Collins says will start taking effect this fall: They are moving to eSTEM – environment, science, technology, math. The announcement is now on the school’s home page, but apparently had been made to the school community earlier – after a WSB Forums member mentioned it last week, we asked the district for more information, but hadn’t received any until several people with Arbor Heights ties contacted us tonight to point out the principal’s online announcement. Collins writes that the school “will begin the transition to eSTEM beginning the fall of 2013, with full implementation of the eSTEM curriculum and instructional practice in 2016 when our new school opens.” This comes just one year after the district opened its first STEM elementary at the Boren building on Delridge.

ADDED TUESDAY NIGHT: Another message from principal Collins says the curriculum might turn out to be eSTEAM – adding an arts emphasis, too. It’s part of an overall message to families addressing multiple topics for next school year – you can see it here.

Update: Fire alarm at Boren school building

8:51 PM: Dispatchers have just canceled most of the units checking out a fire alarm at the Boren building on Delridge, home to K-5 STEM. We’re on our way over to verify whether it was a completely false alarm or not.

9:22 PM: It was – the last engine was pulling away as we got there.

Video: Super South Seattle Mayor’s Forum @ SSCC-Georgetown

6:42 PM: We’re with a standing-room only crowd at South Seattle Community College‘s Georgetown campus for the first big forum of the Seattle mayoral campaign, co-sponsored by the 34th District Democrats along with two other Democratic organizations on the south side of the city. All eight declared candidates are here, along with news media galore. We’ll be updating live, and we’re recording it on video too. (Added: Here it is in its entirety, starting with quick intros from Holly Krejci of the 11th DDs and Marcee Stone-Vekich of the 34th DDs:)

The eight candidates are starting off answering a question about the moment when they decided to run for mayor.

7:06 PM: The wi-fi signal in here is intermittent, which is preventing reliable live-chronicling. So we’ll point you to Twitter for the rest of the way – look for hashtag #seamayor (can’t get a direct link right now but find it via our account at

7:16 PM: Question now for some of the candidates – which comes first, transportation or development, and do you support impact fees? Mary Martin starts by saying she doesn’t like the question. Tim Burgess says they should happen simultaneously but it doesn’t go that way, and we’re only now talking about zoning for light rail, “we should have done that four years ago.” He says infrastructure for transportation is an issue of social justice too. Kate Martin says she agrees with him, that transportation should be concurrent with growth – and freight must be kept in mind too.

7:25 PM: Next – should we move Nickelsville, and where? Bruce Harrell is asked first, and he says, “yes.” He says people shouldn’t be living with rats and no water hookups, “we can do better than that.” He has no specific location in mind. Peter Steinbrueck says, “We should not have to endure Nickelsville in the first place … no neighborhood should endure indefinitely those kind of conditions, nor should the people wh seek shelter have to endure those kinds of conditions.” Mike McGinn answers next and says it’s a “problem” that people prefer that situation to shelters. “I think we’re going to have to find a way to (change the situation) but I need the City Council to step up, and they haven’t.” (Some in the room boo that answer.)

7:33 PM: Subsequent questions include how to close the gender gap for wages – Bruce Harrell drew applause for saying “institutional practices,” after Tim Burgess quipped that “if everyone had daughters like mine,” the problem would “self-correct.”

7:45 PM: What’s the most surprising thing on your iPod? Steinbrueck says he doesn’t have one. How about most interesting app on his phone? He says, One Bus Away. Staadecker says most interesting thing on his iPod is his just-born granddaughter. Murray says he has an app for a new puppy. McGinn says he started listening to more local bands – but Seattle RainWatch is his favorite. Mary Martin says she prefers to talk to people face-to-face. Kate Martin says she collects vinyl records, and has a BlackBerry so no apps. Harrell says he has an app for estate sales. Burgess says he doesn’t have an iPod either but best thing on his iPhone is picture of his 15-month-old granddaughter, and another app tracking another daughter’s current pregnancy.

Next question, how to best get to know you as a candidate? Steinbrueck: Come over and have homemade pizza. Staadecker says to ask people about his authentic qualities. Murray says he likes to talk, so talk to him. McGinn: “Look at my budgets; come on a walking tour with me out in a neighborhood.” Mary Martin: Walk on May Day, to “unionize, organize.” Kate Martin: “Call me or have coffee with me, invite me over,” and come check out her vinyl collection. Harrell: “come by my campaign office and imagine with me, imagine a new Seattle.” Burgess says go meet his wife and daughter who are here (one of his three daughters), and look at the reading list on his “city blog.”

7:48 AM: Should Seattle annex White Center, West Hill, and “the sliver”? That drew mixed responses (we have most on video – it’s a lightning round so we’ll have to consult later). Next lightning questions, your three closest advisers. Then, which endorsement matters the most, that you’ve already received? And then – which two candidates will make it through the primary? McGinn said “me and somebody else.” Staadecker also said himself and (question mark). Harrell said himself and “waffle.”

7:54 PM: The forum is wrapping up, after yet another lightning-round question about “what was your favorite part of the forum?” Closing statement: Why should you be the next mayor? “We have lots to be thankful for,” said Steinbrueck, talking about transportation projects, and the 150,000 people he says are headed to Seattle – how do we balance growth and quality of life? Staadecker said the two most important issues are the qualities of a mayor – including trust, collaboration, integrity – and the long-term vision for the city: “jobs, education, city services, safety, infrastructure, and fun – life is too short …” Murray: “this race is about leadership and I think I have the leadership this city needs. … Look at my record; I’ve worked on contentious issues with people who disagree, but we turned defeat into victory because we found ways to bring people together …” McGinn said, “We worked to change the debate in Seattle,” including talking about education. “They said Seattle can’t do transit – we have a master transit plan …” and touted more initiatives he’s working on “to make the city what it can be” before mentioning Sierra Club and Cascade Bicycle Club endorsements and that he was called “the most progressive mayor in America” and wants to make Seattle “the most progressive city in America.” Mary Martin says “the capitalist system is in crisis” and adds that “the working class has no voice.” She says she’s not just running to be elected, but also to seek solutions – “once and for all remove the capitalist system and put workers and farmers in power.”

Kate Martin lists her resume of activism and parenting and “I invite all of you to join me on that journey … but it’s not going to be issue to issue, this is who I am: When it comes to children, I am a radical. When it comes to health care, I’m a socialist,” and she lists other beliefs including “when it comes to the bottom line, I’m conservative,” before pitching for contributions. Bruce Harrell begins, “There’s a reason why 7 people are challenging this mayor – they want (a mayor) who is fighting for us … imagine a city where the mayor demonstrates listening abilities … that’s what my candidacy is all about,” and says he has “walked the talk all my life, and I think that’s what Seattle is looking for … I hope to wake up Seattle, because I am tired of the same old/same old … we want to reset the norms on how we look at this beautiful city of ours.” Burgess: “This campaign is about leadership … to fulfill the promise to our children … It’s about leadership to help fulfill the promise to future generations, to protect the environment, it’s our promise to you that we’ll fulfill that, that you’ll be able to get to work on time and back, live in a safe neighborhood, grow old and reflect on life here in our great city … unleash the power of innovation … and the quality of leadership in the mayor’s office that will restore your trust and confidence in city government.”

And at 8:04, moderator CR Douglas thanks the candidates and the legislative district organizations (including the West Seattle-headquartered 34th District Democrats) and it’s over, with mingling and handshaking following. We’ll be adding photos and our video of the entire forum once we’re back at HQ.

P.S. The candidates, as they were seated from left to right, each one’s name linked below to her/his campaign website if available:

Councilmember Tim Burgess
Councilmember Bruce Harrell
Kate Martin
Mary Martin

Mayor Mike McGinn
State Sen. Ed Murray
Charlie Staadecker
Peter Steinbrueck

Update: West Seattle Water Taxi resumes service

4:38 PM: Just announced: King County is canceling the West Seattle Water Taxi route for the rest of the night. No formal word yet on the problem, but about 10 minutes before the announcement, Maggie had noted via Twitter that Rachel Marie hadn’t sailed at 4:15 pm and had some mechanical work going on. We’re checking to see if there’s any word yet about the likelihood of service resuming tomorrow morning. After multiple breakdowns, Rachel Marie is to be replaced soon by the newly acquired Spirit of Kingston, but last word from the county was that it wouldn’t happen before mid-May, because they had to finish training, followed by “regulatory inspections.”

6:07 PM: And – Rachel Marie has returned to service, leaving downtown a short time ago, the county has now announced.

West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day countdown: Miss the deadline? 3 group sites on May 11th

April 29, 2013 3:01 pm
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 |   Community Garage Sale Day | West Seattle news

We’re counting down to the 9th annual West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day, coming up on Saturday, May 11th, presented/coordinated by WSB again this year. A record number of sales, more than 280, are signed up, and we’re working on the maps. Registration was open for more than three weeks, till last Wednesday, but we’re still hearing from a few people who didn’t make the deadline. We apologize that we can’t add you to the map, BUT here’s an option: With three group sites this year, and you might find room at one of them, but you have to check with the sites directly – Hotwire Online Coffeehouse and C & P Coffee Company (both WSB sponsors) are two of them; we also just learned that the VFW Hall in The Triangle is planning to open its doors to sellers, too. Each will be listed on the map as a multiple-seller site. Whether you’re selling or shopping, be sure to invite your yard-saling friends, relatives, co-workers to come join the fun that day, whether they live in West Seattle or not – with more than 280 sales, there’s plenty of “person-to-person recycling” for everyone. As usual, the free maps (online clickable, PDF printable) will be available a week in advance, so look for the links here (and on the WSCGSD website and Facebook page) next weekend.

Metro money mess: Transit executives warn City Council of what’s ahead without Legislature help

That “cartoon” is what Metro Transit executives used to wrap up their briefing for the Seattle City Council this morning. “Cartoon” isn’t quite the right word; the prospect of more bus-service cuts is no laughing matter, as they warned – the briefing was basically the same one that Metro general manager Kevin Desmond gave to news media four weeks ago (WSB coverage here), with one extra twist: The Legislature has now adjourned without approving a transportation-funding package, and there’s no guarantee it’ll do so in the special session that is set to start May 13th. If they don’t, Desmond warned councilmembers, “we risk taking a giant step backward … the impacts will be very, very significant, (putting) up to 70 percent of current routes at risk.”

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Background checks for gun sales? Initiative drive announced

What the Legislature didn’t do, voters might, say supporters of criminal-background checks for gun sales – here’s their announcement of an initiative drive:

Dozens of interfaith and denominational faith leaders from throughout the state came together this morning and announced plans to pursue a 2014 initiative to the legislature requiring criminal background checks for firearm sales in Washington State. The legislature adjourned yesterday without passing similar legislation.

“Today we are announcing a statewide campaign to bring an initiative to the State Legislature calling for universal background checks,” said Reverend Paul G. Ryan of St. James Cathedral in Seattle. “Preventing gun violence is not only a political issue; it is a solemn moral obligation.”

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Heads up: Emergency-response drill at Boeing Field tomorrow

With Boeing Field in clear view of parts of eastern West Seattle, we wanted to share this alert just in from King County about a drill tomorrow:

When catastrophic disasters strike, the number of people in need of medical care can quickly overwhelm hospitals. On Tuesday, April 30, King County hospitals and first responders will practice providing critical medical support in the event of a disaster in a neighboring state.

An emergency exercise held at King County International Airport/Boeing Field will test the region’s ability to receive patients evacuated by air from other states, transport them to local hospitals and triage them for medical care.

On the day of the exercise, 42 mock patients will arrive at King County International Airport/Boeing Field, simulating a flight arrival from another state. First responders will practice disaster triage protocols for the incoming patients, transferring them to ambulances and transporting them to local hospitals. Businesses and residences near King County International Airport/Boeing Field can expect to see a large number of participating ambulances and emergency vehicles at the airport. Emergency vehicles will not use sirens or emergency lights during this exercise. The drill will last from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.

West Seattle Monday: Politics; sports; transportation; dance …

Thanks to Jim Edwards for the low-tide photo with an unusual perspective – taken from Alki Point, showing Duwamish Head in the foreground, and the Space Needle looming from the downtown waterfront. If you’re able to get out to a beach at mid-afternoon, it’s almost as low again today as it was this weekend: -2.4. The Needle is an appropriate image today since three of today’s West Seattle-relevant events are actually off-peninsula; here are five highlights, mostly from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

METRO BRIEFS CITY COUNCIL ON POTENTIAL CUTS: The State Legislature has adjourned without a transportation package; no guarantee what’ll happen during its special session next month. So Metro’s warning of funding trouble leading to dozens of route cuts/reductions still stands, and two of its executives will brief the Seattle City Council at 10 this morning. You can watch live at (or cable channel 21).

BALORICO OPEN HOUSE: 3:30-8:30 pm, it’s an open house for Balorico dance instruction at Kenyon Hall. (7904 35th SW)

HIGH-SCHOOL SPORTS: Huge afternoon of games right here on the peninsula – West Seattle HS and Chief Sealth IHS softball, soccer, and softball teams are all playing at West Seattle venues – as listed here.

DESIGN REVIEW CHANGES? The City Council’s Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability Committee will hold a public hearing at City Hall tonight, 5:30 pm, on new guidelines regarding how Design Review works and what’s in its jurisdiction – here’s the agenda.

SUPER SOUTH SEATTLE MAYOR’S FORUM: The first time everyone who’s running for Seattle Mayor this year will share a stage, and the 34th District Democrats are co-sponsoring it. Details in our latest preview (published Sunday); mingle at 6, forum at 6:30, South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor)’s Georgetown branch. (6737 Corson Ave. S.)

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Monday on the move

(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; other cameras are on the WSB Traffic page)
One note for starters today, if you are headed for the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferry – the Klahowya is still expected to remain out of service until at least this evening. Keep watch on Washington State Ferries alerts here.

As we start a new week, just to let you know about the road work planned NEXT weekend – Saturday and Sunday (May 4-5), both directions of S. Spokane Street under the bridge will be closed 7 am-6 pm for paving work. And all weekend long, at the east end of the bridge, the ramp to southbound I-5 will be closed as part of the Special Bridge Repair project.

5:24 PM: Crash on southbound 99 is backing up West Seattle-bound (and beyond) traffic – thanks for everyone who’s sent tips on this. SFD has already cleared the scene, so we’re hoping that means the crash itself will clear soon.

Update: Dozens flee fire at 35th SW apartment building; stove problem blamed

(Photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
2:15 AM: A big Seattle Fire callout is en route to the 9000 block of 35th SW (map). The callout is “fire in a building.” The reported address checks to the Barton Court apartment building.

2:25 AM: Via radio: Crews say the fire is in a first-floor unit, and they have it “knocked down” – crews are checking the other floors and haven’t found evidence of spreading, though they’re reporting smoke on the second floor. No word of any injuries, so far.

2:36 AM: From the scene, co-publisher Patrick Sand reports that the tenants evacuated safely and were gathering across 35th outside Southwest Library (photo above) – at least 20 tenants, and several pets. (Here’s one – Taco the cat:)

Firefighters are calling for a Metro bus to give them a place to gather. The smoke in the area is thick, he says. The massive response has 35th SW basically blocked off between Henderson and (to the south) Barton. Compounding matters for all involved: Pounding rain.

3:03 AM: Patrick reports that the fire seems to be out and the concern now is for the evacuees, who as you might expect had to rush out of their apartments not particularly dressed for the outdoors, much less pouring rain. Still awaiting the aforementioned bus. No word if any of them will be able to get back into their apartments tonight – we hope to hear that from the SFD public-information officer that’s been summoned to the scene.

3:31 AM: Update from the scene: A librarian showed up and let the evacuees into Southwest Library to take refuge from the chilly rain. Meantime, some of the SFD units are clearing out and heading back to their stations.

3:51 AM: The incident commander tells us 32 people in all had to leave their apartments – no telling how soon they’ll be allowed back inside, though the damage was reported as largely confined to one first-floor unit and the hall outside it.

(And the Metro bus for the evacuees finally arrived.) 35th is still closed between Henderson and Barton.

4:30 AM: Above, that’s our video of the incident commander’s briefing. Also added a few more photos.

4:43 AM: In comments, a tenant says some of the residents have been allowed back inside.

10:33 AM UPDATE: Seattle Fire spokesperson Kyle Moore says “an electrical malfunction in the kitchen range which ignited combustible materials in the kitchen” is to blame for the fire, adding: “Investigators say the kitchen fire extended to the living room of the bottom level unit. The fire is being ruled accidental. … The apartment resident says a smoke detector alerted her to the fire which allowed her to safely escape. The Red Cross was called to assist the one resident with temporary shelter. The damage estimate is $47,000.”

Update: Pickup truck driver hurt in Erskine Way crash

1:12 AM: A pickup truck went off the road and into a wall in front of a home along west/southbound Erskine Way west of The Junction, reports WSB’s Katie Meyer, who’s at the scene. She says the truck’s driver is injured and being loaded into Medic 32, which is there along with Engine 32 and police, blocking the road for now.

1:50 AM: Added two photos, both taken by Katie. No word so far on why the driver went off the road.

West Seattle weekend scenes: Touring historic Colman Estate

(Photos courtesy SWSHS executive director Clay Eals)
The sun came out for the Colman Estate tour presented Sunday afternoon by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society and Historic Seattle. Also out: 135 visitors!

Thanks to SWSHS executive director Clay Eals for sharing photos – see half a dozen more, ahead:
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