West Seattle, Washington
We’re counting down all week to Saturday’s West Seattle American Legion Post 160 Grand Parade (preceded again this year by two events in which you’re welcome to participate BEFORE watching the big parade – the Float Dodger 5K [registration info here] and the Rotary Club of West Seattle Kiddie Parade [participation info here]).
Tonight, parade coordinators – all volunteers – met at Post 160 to rough out the parade lineup. We observed for a while to pick up some tidbits about this year’s parade. For starters: Three far-flung participating groups are among the 70-plus entries. From 700 miles away, the Calgary Roundup Band, which won “Best Marching Band” in this parade two years ago, is returning.
(2011 Sequim float in Grand Parade, framegrab from WSB video)
From 70 miles away, the Sequim Irrigation Festival float will roll down California SW during the Grand Parade for the first time in a few years.
And once again this year, from 140 miles away, the Vancouver (B.C.) Police Motorcycle Drill Team will roar along the parade route, right after SPD’s own drill team.
The parade starts at 11 am Saturday; here’s the route. More previews as the countdown continues all week! And a reminder that tomorrow (Tuesday) night, one of this year’s community honorees, Orville Rummel Community Service Award winner Judy Pickens, will be formally feted during the West Seattle Hi-Yu Concert in the Park, a free event featuring the West Seattle Big Band, 7 pm Tuesday on the east lawn at Hiawatha Community Center/Park.
(Admiral Neighborhood Assoc. rallying at 47th/Admiral in 2011, with Councilmember Tom Rasmussen)
Money for a full traffic signal at 47th/Admiral, long sought by neighborhood leaders/advocates, won final approval from the City Council in a vote this afternoon, according to this announcement. It’s part of a spending plan for money saved from other projects; as reported here last month, the council made some changes in the original spending proposal from the mayor, who had proposed a technical study of a possible signal. The plan approved today also includes another $200,000 to continue designing the Fauntleroy Green Boulevard plan. And it includes money for added school-zone speed cameras on SW Roxbury, announced last month, near Roxhill Elementary and Holy Family School.
In a related action, a proposal to formalize the policy for spending speed-camera revenue on safety improvements was referred to a council committee. And it appears there’ll be a lot of that revenue unless people start slowing down; the text of the bill notes that while it was at one point projected the existing cameras, including the one for Fauntleroy Way SW near Gatewood Elementary, might bring in $800,000 this year, the projection has been revised to about $5 million. The policy is scheduled to be discussed and possibly voted on by the Government Performance and Finance Committee at City Hall this Wednesday morning at 9:30 am. Meantime, we’ll be checking with SDOT about the timeline for the 47th/Admiral signal now that the money’s apparently on the way.
If you’ve driven along 35th SW in the Westwood area today, you might have seen the aftermath of a hit-run crash early this morning: Around 3 am, four parked vehicles were hit in the 8800 block, just north of the Gasco station at SW Henderson, by what was described as a white SUV. It was last seen going eastbound on Henderson, according to police, who searched but didn’t find it. We photographed two of the hit vehicles (above) after hearing from area residents; then while writing this story, we heard directly from Nicole, who shared the photo of a third vehicle below, explaining all four belonged to members of her family (including one who was housesitting), and hoping someone can help solve the crime:
My niece’s KIA was hit first and then pushed up and along the rest of our vehicles, a large Ford pickup truck, white Toyota wagon, and a silver Isuzu pickup truck. Unfortunately most of our closest neighbors were also out of town. We are looking for any witnesses that didn’t come forward to the police when they were here this am.
Call 911 if you have any information about the hit-and-run vehicle and/or who was in it.
Out of the WSB inbox – Seattle Parks is hoping for a big volunteer turnout at Lincoln Park on July 26th, less than two weeks away:
Seattle Parks and Recreation, Seattle Parks Foundation, Green Seattle Partnership, EarthCorps and six corporate sponsors, including REI, have teamed up to host Love Parks Day on Friday, July 26, at Lincoln Park. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., volunteers will clean the park and remove invasive vegetation species.
The goal is to have 200 volunteers who will work with Seattle Parks and Recreation crews and Friends of Lincoln Park who have identified projects throughout this 135-acre park.
There will be incentives – read on:
We didn’t get to publish a daily preview today, but here are two meetings of note:
GATEWOOD ELEMENTARY PRINCIPAL-HIRING PROCESS: 6:30 pm tonight at the school, a representative from Seattle Public Schools HR will lead a meeting about community input and priorities regarding the hiring of the school’s next principal. SPS’s Nathan Fitzpatrick “will lead our dialogue as well as give us information/answer questions about the hiring process, the make-up of the hiring team, etc.,” according to the meeting announcement. Gatewood parents are urged to attend. (If you missed the news, here’s our July 3rd story about principal Rhonda Claytor‘s move to a school outside West Seattle.)
WEST SEATTLE WOMEN IN CHARGE: This networking group for local business owners will meet at West Seattle Office Junction (5230-B California SW) at 7 pm tonight. “We will have wine & healthy snacks ready … so bring your business cards and more snacks to share, if you’d like,” says WSOJ proprietor Christine Bartels. Here’s the Facebook event page.
(With the mayor: SW Precinct Capt. Joe Kessler, center, and Lt. Ron Smith, right)
After a tour of West Seattle with Seattle Police‘s West Seattle leadership, Mayor McGinn met the media (WSB and three TV stations showed up) this morning for a Q/A session outside the Southwest Precinct. He’s been doing this at every precinct; West Seattle was originally scheduled for July 5th, but breaking news that day elsewhere in the city forced a postponement to today. First, here’s our video of today’s entire 32-minute briefing/Q-A session with the mayor and precinct commander Capt. Joe Kessler:
We asked about something that was a hot topic on the post-Independence Day Friday when this event was originally scheduled – this year’s fireworks craziness, which was not just a West Seattle hot topic (we saw it come up on multiple neighborhood sites around the city, as well as sparking regional-media coverage). The mayor agreed there would need to be “a dialogue” before next Fourth of July, but also insisted “the community” would have to step up here, since it was beyond SPD’s ability to deal with possibly thousands of violations. We also asked about the status of the SPD surveillance cameras installed from Fauntleroy to Alki to Harbor Island and beyond (our coverage archive is here), which the mayor had said would not be activated until a “thorough public vetting” had taken place. The next step, he said, would be for “protocols” to go to the City Council, at which time there would be more public vetting; no timetable so far, though originally, when we first reported on this almost six months ago, SPD was working toward a March 31 target for activation.
While robbery and burglary numbers for the Southwest Precinct were higher in the first half of this year than a year earlier, Capt. Kessler said they had dropped in recent weeks due to some key arrests. Having reported some of those arrests here, we asked the mayor if his administration works with King County on issues such as prosecution of the suspects; he said they do. (No specifics.) Capt. Kessler also mentioned that SPD has changed up its Alki patroling strategy to some degree this summer, focusing on nighttime rather than daytime, and so far, no major problems. Alki was part of the tour the mayor took before the precinct Q/A; he said he also had visited High Point to talk about issues such as those raised at last week’s community meeting (WSB coverage here) and had been to the “Nickelsville” encampment – where, he said, the population has been going up, not down (we have heard a recent estimate of 170). On our video, you’ll also hear the mayor answering some non-WS questions asked by the TV crews.
The entire visit was pegged to a followup on the Safe Communities initiative, which included a meeting here in West Seattle nine months ago (WSB coverage here). A city staffer handed out paper copies of a handout with West Seattle-specific toplines on how concerns raised at that time had been dealt with since; we’re checking to see if we can get a digital copy to attach here.
ADDED: Here’s the aforementioned report.
Every so often, we get a question about whether Admiralty House Antiques in The Admiral District is open or closed. Our somewhat tongue-in-cheek answer has usually been “yes.” But soon, the answer will be definitively “closed.” Chris Foss from Foss Estate Sales has announced that Admiralty House’s owner Fred Dau is retiring at age 97 after more than 45 years in business, and “has hired Foss Estate Sales to liquidate the inventory and all the store fixtures.” We stopped by Admiralty House (2141 California SW) this morning as Foss prepared for the sale, for a quick peek at some of the items (like those above) that Foss is cataloging. He says his photos and info will start appearing on this special webpage soon. The sale will run 8 am-4 pm Friday, July 26th, and 9 am-4 pm each of the following two days.
8:52 AM: Another West Seattle leadership change for Seattle Public Schools. In addition to six principal changes for the coming school year, all of the district’s West Seattle/South Park principals will have a new supervisor – Carmela Dellino (right) is leaving her job as the Executive Director of Schools for the Southwest Region after one year.
News of this first emerged in an open discussion on the Seattle Schools Community Forum website over the weekend (thanks to the WSB’ers who called that to our attention!); we have just confirmed it with Seattle Public Schools spokesperson Teresa Wippel. She tells WSB that Dellino, who was principal of West Seattle’s Roxhill Elementary School before taking the district management job, announced it in a note to co-workers. Here is an excerpt Wippel shared:
It is with mixed emotions that I send this email to all of you. After much reflection and discussion with my family, I have made the decision to pursue the opportunity to work for the City of Seattle and support the elementary schools that are the Family and Education Levy recipients.
Throughout the last five years I have truly enjoyed working with and learning from you. I feel honored to have worked with such an outstanding group of educators who are dedicated to closing the opportunity and achievement gaps. I experienced a great deal of joy over the last 5 years, serving the children, families, principals, staff, and communities of West Seattle and the southeast region. Additionally, my central office colleagues were always there for me and I am deeply appreciative of the support and guidance I received. Without a doubt, I learned so much from everyone. I look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with outstanding principals and educational teams in the committed efforts for ALL students’ success. I feel lucky that I can continue to be affiliated with many of you.
Thank you for your support, partnership and dedication to serving our students. I wish each and every one of you the very best.
Dellino’s appointment as this area’s Executive Director was announced almost exactly one year ago. That was one month after her predecessor in the role, Aurora Lora, announced she was leaving, after two years, for a job in Texas. SPS has not yet announced the plan for a replacement (or search for one). In each of the “regions” served by Seattle Public Schools, principals report to an Executive Director; here in what the district considers the Southwest Region, six of the 16 schools are changing principals for next year – Chief Sealth International High School, Madison Middle School, and Alki, Gatewood, Lafayette, and Sanislo Elementary Schools.
ADDED 4:42 PM: We sought more information about Dellino’s new job. We learned from the city that it’s a position as an Elementary School Innovation Consultant for the city’s Office for Education, working with schools that are receiving Innovation funds under the Families and Education Levy, and she’s expected to start in early August; it’s an existing position that became open when someone left recently.
(Click image for full-size PDF view)
The neighborhood council for the areas at the epicenter of West Seattle’s major changes is getting ready to re-launch. The Junction Neighborhood Organization – JuNO – has been dormant a while for a variety of reasons, but is getting ready to re-launch – and making this call for involvement:
Do you live in the West Seattle Urban Hub? Do you love West Seattle and envision a beautiful Junction and Triangle community?
If yes, then you can join your West Seattle Junction Neighborhood Organization: JuNO!
JuNO is a community group from the Alaska Junction and Triangle neighborhoods who volunteer to make this neighborhood the best to live, work, and play in!
In 5 years, will we still have parades, street fairs, and Halloween at the Junction? Will we have enough parks and green space with the new developments? How can parking and beautification be addressed with the City? Can we preserve our community feel and manage density and development? JuNO is a neighborhood advocacy group that provides a voice for sensible growth. Join JuNO and be a part of shaping our growing community!
7/16 – Pre-Launch Meeting
Seeking interested individuals to be actively involved on the board and on committees … we will be forming a new leadership team for 2013!
7/23 – First Juno Meeting of 2013
Hot topics you want to discuss? Attend and let us know what matters most to you.
Both meetings will be held at the West Seattle Senior Center, 4217 SW Oregon, from 6:30-7:30 pm in the Alhadeff room.
We look forward to seeing you!
(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; other cameras are on the WSB Traffic page)
Junction streets and bus stops are back open after three spectacular days of fun at West Seattle Summer Fest – thanks yet again to everyone who made it happen, visitors included! Now, back to something resembling a routine … No announced closures/road work this week – but remember that next Saturday (July 20th) brings the Float Dodger 5K, Rotary Kiddie Parade, and West Seattle Grand Parade; we’ll talk about the accompanying changes/closures starting tomorrow.