day : 29/05/2013 10 results

Remembering longtime West Seattleite Erny Smith

The family of Erny Smith shares a simple remembrance:

Erny Smith, December 24, 1936 – May 11, 2013

Longtime West Seattle resident Erny Ulvestad Smith, 76, passed away on May 11th, surrounded by family after a year-long struggle with cancer.

He is missed by Carole and children Stefanie, Lorrie, Lance and their families. Also survived by one brother, four sisters, numerous grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by his parents and brother Joe.

At his request there will be no service. Family will gather for a celebration of Erny’s life at a later date.

Another chance to help plant a West Seattle community garden

If you have passed Highland Park Improvement Club along SW Holden lately, you probably noticed some of the asphalt lot dug up, close to the sidewalk. This is the long-planned HPIC rain garden, close to completion, as part of a partnership with Sustainable Seattle and King County. This Saturday (June 1st), you are invited to join in finishing and planting the new community-designed garden, which will help keep toxic stormwater runoff from making its way into local waterways. The official event announcement adds that it’s a chance for you to get inspired to do something similar:

On that day, HPIC will also be the host to many other ways that you can get involved at home. Join us for the Yards in the Neighborhood Tour:

• Take part in the planting of the rain garden
• Embark on a short, self-guided walking tour to learn about rain gardens and see demonstrations of green infrastructure
• Meet RainWise contractors learn about incentives and reimbursements for installing rain gardens and cisterns
• Visit booths and see demonstrations
• Learn five easy take-home actions to help the Duwamish River!

This is all happening 10 am to 1 pm Saturday at 12th/Holden, free of charge, everybody welcome, no minimum time commitment – stop by for a few minutes or all three hours, help plant if you can (or just cheer everybody on!).

West Seattle Hi-Yu update: Fishing pond Saturday; meeting Monday

(Photo courtesy Mowery’s Photography)
Updates from the West Seattle Hi-Yu Summer Festival crew, which is just about to start its busiest season:

This Saturday, June 1st, the 2013 West Seattle Hi-Yu Court will be attending the West Seattle Sportsmen’s Club Fishing Pond at Seacrest Park from 8-11 am. We would also like to thank the many businesses that contributed to the Gala (Auction, Coronation and White Rose Event), Donations raised help fund the scholarship program for these young ladies and the last community-owned float. We are also looking for board members; if you are interested in volunteering, contact us at or come join as for our next General Meeting, Monday, June 3rd, at St John the Baptist Episcopal Church at 6:30 pm.

We previewed the fishing event earlier this week – find out more about it here. And read on for the Hi-Yu acknowledgments from the recent Gala:

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Happening now: School Board gets first look at proposals for boundaries, K-5 STEM, Fairmount Park, more

4:13 PM: As reported here last night, Seattle Public Schools staff is making a presentation to the School Board this afternoon with its draft proposals for a wide variety of potential changes – including boundaries, the way programs including Special Education and Advanced Learning are handled, and, of West Seattle-specific note, a permanent home for K-5 STEM and a plan for the reopening-in-2014 Fairmount Park Elementary. We’re at the meeting and will add some “live” notes as we go. (Note: Melissa Westbrook from the Seattle Schools Community Forum website is writing “live,” too, so check out that site for a districtwide perspective.)

The slide deck being used for this presentation can be seen here. (Note that this is a committee meeting, and no public testimony is being taken – see pages 4 and 5 of the slide deck for the timeline of future discussion, votes, etc.)

4:25 PM: Board member Michael DeBell asks if it’s dangerous to be discussing some of this when the funding for potential changes is not clear. Superintendent José Banda says he doesn’t think so. They’re also talking about “equitable access” – and how it means, instead of the “this school has a great X program/that school has a great Y program” district past, each school has to offer a certain level of programs (the arts, etc.). Now they are embarking on a discussion of “services,” focused on English Language Learners, Special Education, Highly Capable (gifted) programs (starting on page 12 of the slide deck). For Special Education, they are developing “new service models,” as listed on pages 13 and 14. For Highly Capable, they hope to “increase (the) number of elementary and middle-school pathways …” as opposed to the current model, which has focused the top-level program (APP – as commenter clarifies, the only legally mandated one) at just a few schools. Board member Sharon Peaslee has asked point-blank, “Does that mean splitting APP?” and district staff has asked that they be allowed to present their “data” before answering.

4:41 PM: Staff is reminding everyone that the maps in the slide deck are NOT proposed boundaries – the maps being viewed now (for the Highly Capable programs) just are serving the purpose of showing where they project in the future they’ll see concentrations of students using these programs. Peaslee asks the chicken-or-egg question – are there fewer students using the programs in some areas because the services are offered at an inconvenient distance? DeBell acknowledges, “This is going to be a contentious issue, we know that” and suggests that staff emphasize the “instructional strategy.” Board member Harium Martin-Morris wonders if spreading the program(s) to more locations means that “self-contained” classes will still be possible. Discussion also has touched on concerns that expanding APP locations will dilute and downgrade program, and it’s veered off to questions about the type of testing used to see if students qualify, as well as whether parents choose not to even have their kids tested if the program’s not available nearby.

5:03 PM: Now they’re moving to “Programs” – not mandated by law (which the three “Services” are) – starting with the second-level gifted program, Spectrum. The issue of its “mixed quality,” as board member Carr describes it, compared to “high quality” for APP, comes back up. It might be “redefined,” was also discussed.

Next: Option Schools (which currently include Pathfinder K-8 and K-5 STEM in West Seattle) – page 22 of the slide deck. One other local note here – these initial staff recommendations suggest keeping Concord in South Park as an “attendance-area international school” rather than making it a full-fledged option school.

5:27 PM: Board member Betty Patu asks for clarification on that, saying she thought any “international school” was an option school that anyone could apply to; district staff says anyone can apply to any school in the district, but admission depends on whether there’s room.

5:43 PM: Now to the STEM discussion – and the recommendation of Schmitz Park’s current building as K-5 STEM’s permanent home in 2016.

Board member Kay Smith-Blum expresses concern about the capacity of Schmitz Park, minus portables. “Because it’s an option school, we can control enrollment,” says enrollment manager Tracy Libros, who says “we would still need to have portables here …” since the SP building is low capacity without them. “In order to have a 3-up, we would need … 8 portables, but that’s like half as many as SP is going to have next year.” Smith-Blum then wonders if it’s an opportunity for “eco-portables.”

Fairmount Park’s proximity to more than 700 students, more than 440 potentially in its walk zone, is mentioned next by Libros. West Seattle school-board member Marty McLaren then asks what’s next for the FP decision. “There’s a followup meeting at the end of June,” says Libros, to be followed by decisions on “short-term and intermediate capacity management.”

And that’s it for discussion – for now, anyway – on the topic of both campuses, Schmitz Park (whose current program is slated to move into the to-be-built new Genesee Hill school in 2016) and Fairmount Park.

But wait – McLaren brings the issue back, saying it will be important, for example, for a Fairmount Park principal to be hired as soon as possible. And then, for K-5 STEM, she notes, “is there any clarity at what size we would cap (it) – would it be a year by year thing, or ?” Libros says, “That’s a question for others – but certainly, any program could grow if there’s someplace to put the students.” In other words – too soon to say.

What’s next? Along with more meetings, you can watch the new “Growth Boundaries” section on the district website, which Libros promises will have much more material added to it as time goes by.

ADDED 6:43 PM: Talking with McLaren afterward, we asked her opinion on the Schmitz Park location for K-5 STEM. “I’m fine with it,” she replied. She wasn’t sure, though, why there was no mention of plans for EC Hughes – the elementary that could reopen after Westside School (WSB sponsor) moves to its planned new location in a few years – but doesn’t know of any particular proposal for its future, so far.

West Seattle Crime Watch: 35th/Thistle followup; reader reports

Topping today’s West Seattle Crime Watch roundup – an update on Tuesday morning’s 35th/Thistle arrest. As we noted at the time, police were still sorting it all out, and here’s what SPD media-relations Officer Renée Witt says it came down to: The man who was arrested was also the one who claimed he’d been robbed at Westwood Village – but police have determined there was NO robbery; he made up the story and was having some kind of “mental breakdown.” They confirmed (as a commenter also reports here) he was indeed trying to get into houses along 35th SW. Eventually, he was arrested on a “weapons violation,” Officer Witt says; items police found on him included knives and brass knuckles.

Ahead: a crime report that also includes some good news about West Seattleites’ kindness, plus stolen items to watch for – including a motorcycle, a car, and keepsakes:

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‘Jaws,’ ‘Monty Python,’ more: Benefit series @ Admiral Theater

(1975 trailer for “Jaws”)
Three more big-screen special events have been announced for the Admiral Theater – this time, movies and more, presented as benefits, explained by Mind Unwind‘s Krystal Kelley:

I am happy to announce a series of Art events that we are doing this summer at the Admiral Theater. This is a fundraiser to raise money for both the Admiral Theater’s renovations and for supporting Arts in Education through the Mind Unwind Foundation. It also helps support local artists!

Tickets for the first two events go on sale June 7th. First one:


Late-night showing of JAWS at 11:00 pm

Join us for a late showing of a classic movie, including intermission, wine/beer, silent auction and unique mixed media exhibit “Lost At Sea” by J. Conrad Nivens. 21+over event. Guests are encouraged to wear their finest DENIM!

Second event:


Monty Python & The Holy Grail at 11:00 pm

Join us for some friendly medieval fun. Late night showing of Monty Python & The Holy Grail at 11:00 pm, intermission, beer/wine, silent auction and original exhibit, “Holy Grail” by Dave Ryan of Manticore Stencil Art. Guests are encouraged to come dressed as medieval knights & wenches.

The third event will be a group art show with a showing of “The Big Lebowski” on August 24th. Krystal says that along with ticket sales, they’ll also be raising money by selling sponsorships; any businesses/organizations interested in sponsoring the series can sign up by going here.

P.S. If you missed our recent story about the Admiral’s renovation hopes, read it here. And to find out more about the Mind Unwind Foundation, go here. Related to its work, you’ll see a summer-long art-supply drive in The Admiral’s lobby, too.

West Seattle Crime Prevention Council x 2: Safety walk; burglary briefing

The West Seattle Crime Prevention Council has just concluded a busy week with two events – its regular meeting May 21st, and a Lincoln Park safety walk last night. Walk participants and organizers are in our photo abaove along with, at right, SPD Community Police Team Officer Jon Flores, and, third from left, Seattle Parks’ Carol Baker. Both said that by far, the most-serious crime problem at the park is car break-ins; too many people drive to the park and leave valuables in their vehicles in plain sight. Otherwise, the only other trouble of note involved occasional vandalism, per Baker, and late-night partying during summer months, per Officer Flores.

Ahead, toplines from last week’s regular WSCPC meeting:

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Real Change News vendor concerns? West Seattle meeting Monday

It’s a controversy that has flared from time to time over the past few years – concerns about unauthorized people selling Real Change News and causing trouble while doing it. The organization shared with us this announcement about an upcoming meeting to discuss where the situation stands:

Thank you all for your continued support of Real Change News. Last year we contacted you all about few individuals in your community who have misrepresented themselves as Real Change vendors. We have continued to build a relationship with West Seattle business owners and police to address this problem.

Again, these individuals are not authorized to sell the paper due to noncompliance with our Code of Conduct, which requires that vendors show respect to store owners and customers and refrain from drinking or drug use while selling the paper. We are anticipating a rise in activity with the upcoming summer months, and would like to gather together to answer any questions that community and business members may have.

Please join us at the High Point Library (3411 SW Raymond Street) on Monday, June 3 at 6:30pm for a community discussion.

The announcement continues after the jump – with Real Change’s own suggestions for helping curb the problem:

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West Seattle Wednesday: School proposals; Duwamish hearings and rally; WSHS parent social; more…

May 29, 2013 9:04 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Wednesday: School proposals; Duwamish hearings and rally; WSHS parent social; more…
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(Photo by Michelle Riggen-Ransom, shared via the WSB Flickr group)
The low-low tides captured in today’s featured photo (and others we’ve published) are gone until next month … but here’s what IS happening today/tonight, including highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

HONORING VETERANS AT SSCC: South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) is honoring veterans with special events all week. 1 pm today at the campus bookstore, join a discussion of veteran-themed poetry. (6000 16th SW)

DUWAMISH CLEANUP HEARINGS AND RALLY: As previewed here earlier this week, the EPA’s two final official hearings on its proposed Duwamish River cleanup plan are at 2 and 6 pm at Town Hall downtown. Inbetween, there’s a rally at 5 pm. And the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition is offering free shuttles to the 6 pm hearing from South Park and Georgetown, but you need to make a reservation – that information is on our partner site The South Park News. (1119 8th Street downtown)

SCHOOL BOARD: No public comments at this session, but the public is welcome to sit in as the School Board gets its first look at proposals announced last night and reported here – including the proposal for K-5 STEM to be permanently housed at the current Schmitz Park Elementary once that school moves to the new Genesee Hill building in 2016, and the proposal for Fairmount Park Elementary to be a neighborhood school when it reopens in 2014 (seven years after the district closed it). The meeting’s at 4 pm at district HQ. (2445 3rd Ave. S. in SODO)

WEST SEATTLE HIGH SCHOOL PARENT SOCIAL: 7-8:30 pm at Alki Arts, the WSHS PTSA is hosting a social event, “because we want to build our parent community, get to know each other and have fun! Light refreshments and beverages will be served.” (2820 Alki SW)

NIGHTLIFE: Music, trivia, open mike, more … see the listings on our calendar!

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday updates

(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; other cameras are on the WSB Traffic page)
6:57 AM: If for some reason you are reading this from north of downtown, getting ready to head this way – whatever you do, stay off I-5; southbound 5 is blocked by a truck crash/fire in the heart of downtown.

(Thanks to Bruce for the photo)
NORTHBOUND I-5 is moving along, though.

8:32 AM: However, commenters warn below, it’s ugly getting out of West Seattle this morning, just the same, even though the main downtown trouble is for people going in the opposite direction.

9:18 AM: If you are heading back into West Seattle on 99, the southbound side is extra-busy, no doubt because of the southbound I-5 situation. Also a few advance notes for this weekend:

DELRIDGE/HOLDEN CLOSED: Reminder about the intersection closure Friday night till Monday morning.

520 CLOSED: Friday night till Monday morning; WSDOT details here.