day : 28/05/2013 13 results

K-5 STEM to Schmitz Park Elementary in 2016? District announces ‘preliminary’ proposals

Seattle Public Schools has finally proposed a permanent home for K-5 STEM at Boren – the current Schmitz Park Elementary building, once it’s replaced by a new building in 2016. A K-5 STEM parent shared this e-mail received tonight from the district:

To meet the needs of our growing enrollment, Seattle Public Schools is considering boundary changes for the 2014-15 school year. We will not change any boundaries or assignments for the upcoming 2013-14 school year.

In anticipation of these changes, we are having conversations about our current schools and programs with our stakeholders. On Wednesday, district staff will present several options to the School Board for early consideration, including moving K-5 STEM at Boren to the current Schmitz Park building in 2016-17 after Schmitz Park Elementary moves to its new building at Genesee Hill. Fairmount Park would become an attendance area elementary school opening in 2014-15, and K-5 STEM at Boren would continue as an option program.

Again, these are all preliminary conversations. We will host five community meetings this fall to consider boundary changes and get feedback from families, staff and community members. There will be plenty of time for review and community reaction. You can view the district’s initial presentation to the board here. This initial review of program placement will be presented from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 29 at the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence. This will be a committee discussion. There is no public testimony at this meeting and no votes will be taken.

Our goal at Seattle Public Schools is to ensure equity, access and opportunities for all students. We are planning for the future of our district, and any changes moving forward starting in the 2014-15 school year will help meet this goal. We also want to maximize walkability and minimize disruptions by aligning new boundaries with current attendance area boundaries, when feasible. The School Board will ultimately vote on the school assignment boundary changes on November 20, 2013.

If you would like to give feedback on these early recommendations, please send an email to

We look forward to working with each of our school communities to make sure any changes are rolled out smoothly and to ensure we have a thoughtful, strategic and equitable plan for schools, programs and services.

This again was a message tailored for K-5 STEM families – we’re looking now for any additional information on West Seattle schools, and will add what we find.

ADDED 10:58 PM: Here’s the full PowerPoint that will be presented at tomorrow’s School Board committee meeting (thanks to the Seattle Schools Community Forum website for a link that works!) – it includes lots of information that will be of interest to families in programs including Advanced Learning, Special Education, and English Language Learning, but the only West Seattle specifics of note are mentioned in the e-mail above – the recommendations for K-5 STEM to move into Schmitz Park, and for Fairmount Park to open as a neighborhood school.

West Seattle’s Villa Heidelberg sold; ‘estate sale’ starts Thursday

Last night, Judy Burbrink (above left) hosted her final guests as operator of the Villa Heidelberg bed and breakfast southwest of The Junction. Three years after first listing it, she has finally sold the stately century-old view home, with the help of Prudential Northwest Realty‘s Jeralee Knittel (above right).

(King County Archives photo)
But the new owners will not be operating it as a B&B; it will go back to its origins as a family home. Judy is moving into a condo that just doesn’t have enough room for everything she’s built up over 14 years of operating the B&B – considering, as she says, she moved in with 23 years of stuff from her previous home on Gatewood Hill – so a big three-day “estate sale” (“living estate sale,” Judy jokes, “since nobody died”) starts later this week. When we stopped by this afternoon, the packing and sale preparations were already under way, but we were invited to look around:

Furniture – including six bedrooms’ worth! – serving ware, even Christmas decorations will be on sale

Some items are already gone – Burbrink says some of the guests have snapped up certain items and traveled back home with them, so “little bits (of Villa Heidelberg) are all over the country.”

40 lawn chairs and even appliances and rugs are part of the sale, scheduled for 10 am-6 pm Thursday and Friday (May 30-31), then skipping a day and concluding noon-6 pm Sunday (June 2nd).

As a small sign out front notes, whatever you buy, you have to take away the same day. This closes 27 years of B&B operation on this site, according to Burbrink, who adds that it’s almost exactly 14 years since she took it over – her purchase closed on June 10th of 1999; she will be handing the house over on June 5th. “I’ll miss all the nice people,” she says wistfully. She was only the fifth owner of the home in its century-plus existence; it was built, as the history is told online, as a home for a family, which Judy says had eight kids, noting that the buyers have children too. P.S. If you plan to check out the sale, the house is at 4845 45th SW.

West Seattle traffic/utility alert: 55th SW water-main work

55th SW in Alki, something of a hotspot for development, is getting a water-main upgrade, according to Seattle Public Utilities. They’ll be notifying neighbors starting tomorrow about a week of work to replace 80 feet of a six-inch water main. Here’s a PDF of the official notice that people in the area will receive, according to SPU’s Ingrid Goodwin. The notice says the work will include:

*Temporary water-service shutdowns (those affected will get at least 48 hours notice)
*Saw-cutting in the street starting this Friday (May 31); then the rest of the work is planned for next week, Monday-Friday (June 3-7), 8 am-4 pm
*Street closure between SW Lander and Alki SW

West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen car, needed by bus rider

Out of the WSB inbox, from Mary:

Our 1988 burgundy Toyota Camry station wagon was stolen from where it was parked on Barton by the Fauntleroy Church. I park it there for my husband because he is a staunch bus rider of >30 years. The #21 no longer goes to Arbor Heights at the time of night so he catches the C line to the Church. He has health issues and walking the remainder home causes his problems to worsen. Unfortunately, someone decided to take it Friday night for their own purposes. The police were notified.

We are lucky that we’re self-reliant – we’ll figure something but gosh, our old dog loved that car, as we made the entire back of it his comfy ride as we went about errands.

If anyone spots it (has a small Honeywell Security card in back window – maybe no longer, a slight ding on the right rear passenger side door, and the driver’s seat is torn so there’s a fleece seat cover), please call it in to the police.

West Seattle traffic alert: Westbound bridge backed up

(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; other cameras are on the WSB Traffic page)
We’ve added this to the daily traffic/transit tracker but because it’s fairly major at the moment – Michelle tells us a stalled car is what’s behind the big backup on the westbound bridge right now. This kind of problem doesn’t show up on 911, so we’re dependent on reader tips – but ONLY if you’re not behind the wheel! If you’re on a bus or in a carpool or otherwise NOT driving, we’re reachable by text/voice 206-293-6302 any time.

Sound Transit Route 560: Changes kick in on June 8th

Back in October, we reported on a big change proposed for the Sound Transit Express bus route that serves West Seattle – a plan to drop the Junction-Westwood Village section of Route 560, while increasing frequency from Westwood to the airport (and beyond). More than half a year later, the change is about to take effect, we have confirmed, thanks to an inquiry from Colleen, who received a “rider alert” this morning, leading us to check with ST. Spokesperson Bruce Gray replied with the flyer shown above that’s being distributed to riders. He adds, “The short version – starting June 8 the 560 will run all day between Westwood Village, Sea-Tac Airport, Renton and Bellevue. It will no longer run between Alaska Junction and Westwood Village. Details on the route and stops can be found starting on p. 99 of our Rider Guide.” The schedule shown on those pages shows the first trip each weekday at 4:34 am from Westwood, taking about 20 minutes to Sea-Tac, running every half-hour till 7 pm, then four more trips, ending with 10:50 pm. The weekend runs leave Westwood hourly from 5:52 am until 10:52 pm.

All-school reunion time! Chief Sealth event set for July 13

May 28, 2013 3:29 pm
|    Comments Off on All-school reunion time! Chief Sealth event set for July 13
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

Just out of the WSB inbox, from Debbie Taylor:

Friends of Sealth will be hosting an all-school reunion Saturday, July 13, 2013, from 2 pm – 5 pm at Chief Sealth International High School. All alumni and alumni staff are invited to attend. Our event begins in the Commons (near the main office) and our schedule will include a short program, walking tours of the campus, and an opportunity to connect with classmates. Please visit our website or “like” Friends of Sealth on Facebook.

(In case you missed the earlier announcement, WSHS has an all-school reunion ahead too – June 7th.)

Admiral 4th of July Kids’ Parade returns, with new coordinators

(7/4/12 photo by Nick Adams for WSB)
With Memorial Day now past, some thoughts turn to the next national holiday – the 4th of July. Actually, it’s already been on the minds of Jackie Clough and Allyson Schreck – new coordinators of the Admiral 4th of July Kids’ Parade. They stepped up after longtime coordinator Sherri Chun put out a call last year for someone to take over. And Jackie – co-founder of Alki Party Treasures (WSB sponsor) – e-mailed us last night with an early reminder that yes, the parade is on again, starting at 10 am Thursday, July 4th:

We hope folks will come. It’s going to be a lot of fun. All of the details will be the same from last year. The parade starts at the intersection of 44th & Sunset (in front of 1137 Sunset Ave SW) [map]. The parade is about a half-mile walk through the neighborhood, crossing California Ave SW, and ending at Hamilton Viewpoint Park. Kids are encouraged to dress up and decorate strollers, scooters, wagons, and bikes. We will have fun old fashioned games at Hamilton Park (3-legged race, wheelbarrow races, and gunnysack races). Games will be cancelled if there is rain (no rain allowed). The Admiral Neighborhood Association will be providing concessions again this year. Holy Rosary Parish has generously made the parade possible with underwriting our liability insurance and handling our permits.

(Jackie adds that Weitzel Construction is again underwriting the porta-potties!) This will be the 19th annual edition of West Seattle’s only Independence Day parade!

West Seattle development: 37 units proposed at 4400 SW Alaska; 1st Design Review meeting set for June 27

The west edge of the heart of The Junction is suddenly a hot spot. Less than a block from the 40-unit project at 4535 44th SW that passed Early Design Guidance earlier this month, a similar-size apartment building is proposed at the corner of 44th/Glenn Way/SW Alaska. This project at 4400 SW Alaska (map) would replace the 72-year-old brick multiplex in the top photo, along with an adjacent duplex. The city website shows it is proposed as a five-story building with 33 “residential units” above four live-work units, and six parking spaces. City records show the project is being designed by West Seattleite-owned Nicholson-Kovalchick Architects, as is 4535 44th SW, though the ownership is different. The developer for 4400 SW Alaska, according to documents filed with the city last week, is Isola Homes, which is completing the nearby Junction 5 “rowhouse” development at Glenn/Oregon. The newly proposed building at 4400 SW Alaska will require Southwest Design Review Board approval, and the first meeting has just been scheduled for 8 pm June 27th (Senior Center of West Seattle, California/Oregon).

West Seattle Crime Watch: 35th/Thistle police response

(Photo by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
Police are still sorting out the chain of events that led to that sizable response that in the area of 35th and Thistle a short time ago, with one person taken into custody. Here’s what we know so far, with the help of Seattle Police media-relations Officer Renée Witt: This apparently originated with a report of someone being robbed at Westwood Village. A possible suspect was then spotted running northbound on 35th SW and trying to get into houses – reportedly even walking into one at one point. Other reports included one seeing what was believed to be the same suspect, jumping a fence. He was reported to be armed with a knife or garden shears. Eventually, police detained and were questioning a man along SW Thistle just west of 35th; they also were circling back along 35th to make sure everybody else who had called in was OK. We expect more information later once they’ve sorted it all out, including what if any of thisthe person they detained might have been involved with.

West Seattle Tuesday: 911 ‘behind the scenes’; Lincoln Park safety walk; Chief Sealth open house; more

May 28, 2013 9:26 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Tuesday: 911 ‘behind the scenes’; Lincoln Park safety walk; Chief Sealth open house; more
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

Four notes for tonight from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

BLOCK WATCH CAPTAINS TAKE ON 911: Seattle Police communications Capt. Sean O’Donnell comes to the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network tonight, 6:30 pm at the Southwest Precinct, to talk about how 911 works “behind the scenes” – and answer your questions. (Webster west of Delridge)

LINCOLN PARK SAFETY WALK: 7 pm, join the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council and SPD/Seattle Parks reps in the north lot of Lincoln Park to head out on a “safety walk” in the park. (Fauntleroy/Rose)

LOW TIDE: Last day of low-low tide – 2 pm, it’ll be out to -2.8 feet; not as low as the past few days but still very good for GENTLE tidewalking. 11:30-3 pm, you’ll find Seattle Aquarium beach naturalists at Constellation and Lincoln Parks.

SEALTH OPEN HOUSE FOR INCOMING NINTH-GRADERS: Know someone going into 9th grade at Chief Sealth International High School next year? Tonight’s the special open house, 6-7:30 pm in the Galleria, previewed here recently – a chance to talk about sports at the school, whether the student already plays one or more sports, or is just thinking about it! (2600 SW Thistle)

More on the calendar!

Close call in Arbor Heights: Tree branch falls near school

8:53 AM: Close call in the street out front of Arbor Heights Elementary a short time ago – a tree on the other side of SW 104th lost a branch that itself is the size of a tree! Thanks to Christopher Grupp for the photo (and to others for texting/tweeting about it); we’ve been to the scene to take a look too – school buses are getting through eastbound, but the westbound side of the road is blocked until the tree can be cleared.

10:21 AM: Neighbors Dana and Ellie report it’s cleared:

… and say it’s thanks to these guys:

They shared the photos with this update: “Fallen tree in Arbor Heights cleared in one hour’s time, thanks to quick teamwork of Pete Good, Craig Harold, and a trusty chainsaw! So grateful for extraordinary neighbors who helped …”

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday ‘welcome back’ edition

(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; other cameras are on the WSB Traffic page)
6:12 AM: Back to school (for a few more weeks), and back on the roads. Even the east-facing bridge camera is back! Today’s traffic/transit watch has begun.

9:39 AM: Police are checking out a report of two “erratic” drivers on the eastbound bridge, honking at each other – possibly a road-rage situation, according to radio communications.

12:08 PM: We have received reports of a family of geese on the eastbound bridge by 99. Animal Control reportedly has been called.

2:51 PM: Now there’s a report of a crash on the westbound bridge around Admiral. No backups on the cameras at this point, though. (added) The call’s been corrected to eastbound bridge near Delridge.

4:44 PM: Backup on the westbound bridge – we’re told it’s because of a stalled car in the left lane. Clears up after the stall, so if you’re on a bus and reading this (or in a carpool), be patient …