day : 01/05/2013 8 results

West Seattle schools: Decision time for Gatewood philanthropists

They’re among our area’s youngest philanthropists – students at Gatewood Elementary who’ve just made some big spending decisions. Teacher Darren Radu shared the photo, and tells us about the Philanthropy Roundtable:

Roundtable Reps have met weekly over the past couple of months to determine where to allocate a $1000 Penny Harvest grant. They’ve come together to survey community members about local, national, and international needs, research organizations, and eventually determine the organizations most worthy of support. One of the goals is to find those organizations that create the greatest positive impact for the least amount of dollars. Students were the key drivers of decisions, and had the final say in where the money went.

This year, the Roundtable came to consensus on donating to Kaboom! (building playgrounds in urban areas), Children’s Defense Fund (specifically with gun safety in mind), and Treehouse (providing foster kids with support to pursue their dreams). The kids were delighted to have this small but significant positive impact on their world!

Followup: USS John C. Stennis to pass West Seattle on Friday

(August 2012 photo by Nick Adams for WSB)
Eight months ago, the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis sailed past West Seattle. This Friday, we’ll see it again, since that’s the date announced for its return to its homeport, Bremerton, according to the Kitsap Sun.

New honors for climbing legend Jim Whittaker on Everest anniversary

Fifty years ago today, West Seattle native Jim Whittaker became the first American to reach the summit of Mount Everest. The clip above – shared on Whittaker’s Facebook page – includes an interview with him, and historical footage. And today, another West Seattle native announced new honors for the climber:

On the 50th anniversary of the summiting of Mt. Everest by the first American, King County Executive Dow Constantine today honored fellow West Seattle native and legendary climber Jim Whittaker by announcing the renaming of trails in Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park for Mr. Whittaker and his climbing partner, Sherpa Nawang Gombu.

“Jim Whittaker’s achievement 50 years ago today remains a triumph of perseverance and teamwork,” said Executive Constantine. “It is an honor to recognize both Mr. Whittaker and Mr. Gombu on their historic accomplishment, and I hope it moves us all to get out and experience our own hiking and climbing opportunities closer to home.”

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Seattle May Day updates: PM commute and beyond

4:41 PM: Just in case you’re wondering before you leave work, the short version: No problems reported so far. The planned march to raise awareness about immigration issues is heading into downtown, and the SPD Twitter feed is tracking it.

6:16 PM UPDATE: The march and rally have been problem-free compared to last year’s May Day. But transit has been jampacked and that’s affecting people’s commutes in terms of simply getting out of downtown.

(Photo by @paulbalcerak via Twitter)
While headed into downtown to cover the Bicycle Advisory Board meeting, we noticed 2nd Avenue was partly blocked off just north of Marion, for a rally. We’ve since heard via Twitter that 2nd was starting to reopen – which means the buses shifted onto 3rd will be able to return. However, two “un-permitted” marches are gathering elsewhere – one at Broadway and Pike on Capitol Hill.

6:55 PM: To track Capitol Hill happenings, watch this thread on

7:56 PM: As discussed in comments, things are getting somewhat rough in Westlake area. SPD has tweeted that at least two people were taken into custody.

10:59 PM: You’ve probably seen the TV-news coverage by now, after protesters from the “un-permitted” events clashed with police. A WSB’er sent us this clip looking down at part of the scene as a flashbang-type device, believed to have been deployed by police, went off:

Police have just briefed reporters downtown. Via Twitter, SPD says 8 officers were hurt, 18 people arrested tonight.

New ‘microhousing’ rules? City Council sets 2nd public discussion

After a daytime discussion last month, City Councilmembers have announced a nighttime meeting about “microhousing.” The trend is most prevalent on Capitol Hill and in the U-District, but as we’ve reported, several are under construction and on the drawing board here in West Seattle. One of the most commonly voiced concerns, as has been the case in WSB comments: The impact of developing such buildings without on-site parking. The meeting is set for 6 pm next Monday, May 6th, at Seattle First Baptist Church (1111 Harvard Avenue); the announcement describes its focus:

The purpose of the second meeting is to hear from neighborhood representatives who will give their views and recommendations on the micro-housing projects. Representatives of the developers who build micro-housing projects will be present to describe the projects and the market for this housing alternative and their response to concerns they are hearing from the community. …

Councilmember Tom Rasmussen stated: “A portion of the meeting will include an opportunity for the public to provide comments on what they have heard during the meeting and to provide recommendations on what, if any, regulations should be enacted for this unique type of housing.”

Many “microhousing” projects cluster multiple small living units around a common kitchen/laundry area, which the Department of Planning and Development has then counted as a single living unit, and the changes under discussion include ending that practice. In West Seattle, there is at least one such project, according to the citywide report on developments approved last year for the Multifamily Tax Exemption last year – “Avalon Studios,” with 56 studios (no address listed, so we haven’t yet found which of the Avalon Way “boarding house” projects it is).

Southwest District Council tonight: 4755 Fauntleroy megaproject; Seattle Parks’ Legacy Plan

May 1, 2013 11:56 am
|    Comments Off on Southwest District Council tonight: 4755 Fauntleroy megaproject; Seattle Parks’ Legacy Plan
 |   4755 Fauntleroy | Southwest District Council | West Seattle news

Though this morning’s breaking news pre-empted our usual roundup of highlights from the calendar, we do want to call attention to one meeting tonight: The Southwest District Council is scheduled for a presentation by, and Q/A with, the developers of 4755 Fauntleroy, the 40th/Alaska/Fauntleroy/Edmunds megaproject with 370 apartments, a Whole Foods Market, and TBA drugstore. (Their planned appearance last month was postponed.) The agenda also includes a briefing on Seattle Parks‘ Legacy Plan (see the draft here) – which despite its name is about the future, not the past (as explained here). SW District Council meets at 6:30 pm in the lower-level meeting rooms at SW Teen Life Center/Pool (2801 SW Thistle).

Update: Bicyclist killed in crash east of West Seattle low bridge

(UPDATED 9:58 PM with photo of ‘ghost bike’ memorial at the crash scene)

(Intersection of E. Marginal/Hanford around 9:40 am; victim was a short distance north of photo’s right edge)
8:19 AM: Just a few blocks northeast of the east end of the low bridge, a collision this morning has killed a bicycle rider, along the route between West Seattle and downtown. Via SPD Blotter, Seattle Police report:

Seattle Police and Fire responded to a fatality collision between a bicyclist and a semi-truck this morning at South Hanford and East Marginal Way South.

Witnesses called 911 at around 7:15 this morning informing first responders of the collision. Witnesses began giving the adult male cyclist CPR at the scene until Seattle Fire arrived, but the cyclist did not survive his injuries. Detectives from the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad (TCIS) are enroute to the location where they will process the scene and begin their investigation.

According to SDOT, East Marginal is blocked at the scene for two blocks to the north and to the south, as is Hanford for a block eastward. We’ll add more information to the story as we get it; it’s too early for any word on the rider’s identity.

8:32 AM UPDATE: KING 5 reporter Roberta Romero at the scene quotes witnesses as saying the bicycle hit the back of the semi-truck (update here). Meantime, in a tragic coincidence noted by commenter Lizben, today happens to be the first day of Bike to Work Month.

(Unmarked police car at scene around 9:40 am; bicycle is on road toward right side of photo)
9:32 AM UPDATE: We went to SODO in hopes of finding out a bit more – parked a few blocks away and co-publisher Patrick Sand walked to the scene. The Medical Examiner has just arrived, and that means, police say, the scene will likely be closed another hour or so.

(Semi-truck, stopped north of the crash scene)
10:24 AM UPDATE: Called SPD media relations to ask if they had any updated information yet such as the rider’s age – SFD had estimated “30s” in an early report. Det. Renée Witt says they won’t get that information until the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad clears the scene; she promises to update us when that’s available.

11:08 AM UPDATE: Police have just announced via radio that East Marginal is open again; they are clearing the scene. Another note, as Kathy pointed out in comments – the city Bicycle Advisory Board meets tonight, and this is bound to be discussed (location/time are on the SBAB home page).

4:25 PM UPDATE: No new official information so far. As pointed out in the ongoing comments discussion, The Seattle Times (WSB partner; paywalled link here) quotes a spokesperson for Mayor McGinn as saying the city will consider some quick safety improvements at the scene, perhaps striping.

7 PM: We are at the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board meeting and will publish a separate update later. The meeting began with a moment of silence for the still-not-publicly-identified bicyclist who was killed. SDOT’s Dongho Chang elaborated on the mentioned-earlier mayoral commitment, saying SDOT will report to the Mayor “within 30 days” about some actions that can be taken relatively quickly, though he had no timeline for then making them happen. Most of the meeting is about the project that’s been a big one for the board – the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan update; city reps say a draft should be out within a month.

9:58 PM UPDATE: Kathy Dunn, one of the West Seattle Bike Connections members who were also at the SBAB meeting, has shared this photo taken as she rode back to West Seattle tonight, past the scene of this morning’s crash:

8:51 THURSDAY MORNING: SPD Blotter has updated the crash report with some early findings, and has also reported that the victim was 54. We’re working on a separate followup including more on last night’s board meeting but in the meantime, here’s where to see the police update.


(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; other cameras are on the WSB Traffic page)
Welcome to a brand-new month. For those who work in or travel to/through downtown, here’s the SPD update on a rally and march planned in the p.m. SDOT has also published info on the march, which starts in the Central District.

8:05 AM: Commenter RT mentioned the crash at East Marginal and Hanford, northeast of the low bridge (map). KING 5 reports that the bicyclist involved in that crash has died. No other details yet, but the scene will subsequently be closed for hours of investigation.

8:11 AM: According to Seattle Police, the victim is an “adult male.” We will be starting a separate story about the crash.