West Seattle, Washington
(WSB photo, June 2015: 35th/Roxbury site purchased for charter-school development)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Before California-based charter-school operator Summit Public Schools even opens its first two campuses in our state, it’s in the thick of awareness-raising for its pending-state-approval third one, a middle/high school at a supermarket-turned-church in Arbor Heights.
That awareness-raising includes a public forum at the planned West Seattle site on July 21st – a key test Summit must pass before the state Charter School Commission decides whether to let it go ahead with its plan (which is spelled out in this 472-page application).
We’ve been reporting on the Arbor Heights plan since we dug early word out of a city file at the start of the year. But much of our coverage in the ensuing six months has focused on the physical plan for the school, planned for the southwest corner of 35th/Roxbury, the property recently sold by Freedom Church/Jesus Center to Washington Charter School Development for $4.75 million. Meanwhile, our reports have sparked comment discussions on what might or might not happen at the school. While voters in our state approved charter schools – which are public schools, run with public dollars (explained here) – three years ago, so far only one is open.
More are about to launch – the prospective operator of West Seattle’s first charter school, Summit, is getting ready to open two charter high schools in the International District and in Tacoma next month. The school year starts in mid-August; they’re moving into the locations on August 3rd. While overseeing all that, the woman in charge of Summit’s operations in this state – including the West Seattle middle/high school – sat down with us for a conversation this week.
9:27 PM: As the forest-fire smoke continues to linger, tonight brought another vividly hued sunset. Thanks to James Bratsanos for the photo. Don’t count on a three-peat tomorrow – the National Weather Service‘s forecast discussion says tonight that “the smoke should leave the area Thursday morning as flow aloft becomes more southerly.”
ADDED 9:36 PM: Thanks to Jamie Kinney for this view:
Verified on our way back from a meeting in Upper Alki – the new 47th/Admiral/Waite signal is in operation, with street-level “signal revision” signs to catch your attention if the light itself doesn’t do that first. As reported here last night, the “completion celebration” is scheduled for 6:30 pm next Tuesday, July 14th.
Thanks for the tips – we’ve just checked out a two-car crash that’s blocking northbound 35th at the bridge entrance at Fauntleroy Way. Police at the scene tell us one person was taken to the hospital, and also that the scene shouldn’t be blocked too much longer. But if you’re headed toward the bridge – try Avalon instead of Fauntleroy, for now.
Six days after the federal government announced it was again denying recognition to the Duwamish Tribe – as reported here last Thursday – Duwamish chair Cecile Hansen declared today that they will continue to fight for it. She led a media briefing today at the tribe’s West Seattle longhouse; our video above shows it, unedited. Hansen has led the tribe for 40 years; she spoke of the treaty the tribe signed 160 years ago, saying “When we signed that treaty, we did not give up sovereignty. … We seek justice, and we continue to seek it.” She said she feels especially let down by U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, a former West Seattleite whose department includes the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which issued last week’s decision. According to Hansen, they’ll be meeting later this month with U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, and are continuing to review legal documents from along the way in their long battle for recognition – granted by the Clinton Administration, overturned by the Bush Administration, now rejected by the Obama Administration. A letter-writing campaign is under consideration as well. “We’re not going to give up,” she declared. “I think there should be an uprising of the citizens of this city that their indigenous people are not being recognized by the federal government.”
(ADDED: WSB photo, dried-out slopes beneath Myrtle Reservoir water towers)
Please use water “wisely,” the city is imploring you, as it downgrades the official “water-supply outlook” because of high temperatures, low rainfall, and increased water use. It’s **not** calling for restrictions, yet, but Seattle Public Utilities is making some water-management changes – read on:
A longtime Westwood Village restaurant has just announced it’s closing – and according to city permit files, its successor is waiting in the wings, with the wings. After discovering plans for a change in her space, we asked Eats Market Café proprietor Toby Matasar for comment. Her reply is in the note she just forwarded us, and also sent to her newsletter subscribers:
It is with a sad and heavy heart that I have to tell you all that Eats will be closing at the end of July. The mall management has decided not to renew my lease. This is a huge loss not just for me but for my wonderful staff and for all of you, my favorite customers. We have all become a family over the last 10 years and it truly breaks my heart to have to say goodbye. I hope to see all of you in the next few weeks as we serve our final Reubens, Farmhouse breakfasts, Spinach salads, Burgers and all of your other favorite Eats meals.
I will continue my passion for feeding others at my new endeavor, NICHE, which will be opening next month on Capitol Hill. This will be a dedicated gluten-free cafe & bakery. There you will find some of the Eats classics, i.e., the Spinach Salad and the Veggie Burger, along with many new items. You can check us out on our website nicheseattle.com. We will have the same love and dedication for good food and friendly service that you have known for all of the years at Eats. We hope you will come join us in our new space and continue to enjoy our food and our smiles.
Thank you all for your patronage, love and support over the last 10 years. I will be forever grateful for knowing all of you and for your loyalty and your smiles.
Thank you from all of us at Eats
According to a site plan filed with DPD for the Eats space, work will be done to change it into Wingstop, on behalf of the local franchisee Rice Wings, owned by former Seahawk Sidney Rice. We haven’t yet reached them for comment; the Wingstop website shows Southcenter as the nearest current location.
P.S. For more on Matasar’s new Capitol Hill endeavor, here’s the story our friends at CapitolHillSeattle.com published in May.
Two quick updates as West Seattle Summer Fest gets closer (this Friday-Saturday-Sunday):
VENDOR LIST GOES LIVE: If you’ve been awaiting the festival vendor list, your wait is over. You can see it now on this page of the Summer Fest website.
KID-STUFF FOLLOW-UP – RIDE-ZONE HOURS: After our preview of the kids’ activities, the question was asked – what hours will the rides/bouncy toys be open? Today, we have the answer – 10 am-8 pm Friday and Saturday, 11 am-5 pm Sunday.
Four reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch.
First, a burglary near 36th/Trenton, with an arrest reported. Summarizing the neighborhood-watch e-mail string that was forwarded to us – vigilant neighbors heard glass breaking and saw someone entering the house next door just after 4 am. They called 911; in the meantime, a suspect was spotted running through nearby yards, and as more neighbors got involved, he was reportedly cornered in the next block, and police took him into custody.
Another burglary Tuesday afternoon has not yet been solved, so far as we know. From Erika and Jackson:
We would like to make sure the readers of the WS Blog are aware of the burglary that happened at our home yesterday. We live on 17th Ave SW between Holden and Kenyon, and our home was broken into during the afternoon hours (Tuesday) when nobody was home at our residence.
We have lived on the block for six and a half years and have never had this happen before, and typically feel very safe in our home. We are very shaken up, have had property stolen and minor damage to the house, but everyone is OK. We also have an alarm system with ADT, and it took the SPD 2.5 hours to come to our house after ADT called their dispatch. We also called 911 four more times on our own. We are currently working with ADT and SPD to get transcripts of the day to learn how that happened, as we are very upset with the alarm company and police department’s reaction time to our burglarized home. The police officer who did take our case was also very surprised at how long we waited for his arrival.
As everyone in Highland Park, West Seattle, and Seattle knows already, we want our neighbors to stay vigilant, locks all doors and windows when you leave your property (or are even in your backyards), and be aware of suspicious activity.
We also have two reports of possible package theft. From Teresa:
I wanted to let you know that a large UPS package was possibly stolen off our front porch in the Genesee Hill neighborhood (Tuesday) afternoon. I say possibly because no one saw it happen, but the UPS driver confirmed he delivered it at 11 am and by 4:30 pm it was missing when I arrived home. The shipping company and UPS are working together to remedy this for me, but I wanted to make the neighborhood aware of the possible incident.
She notes there were other signs of suspicious activity, such as an open side gate. Meantime, Josh in Sunrise Heights reported that while tracking showed 2 packages delivered to his home Monday, one was missing. So if you’re expecting deliveries … keep in mind that package thieves might be back in business in the area.
Two proposals today from City Councilmember Tim Burgess are described in his announcement as “part of the City’s latest effort to improve gun safety in Seattle.” One would be a tax to be charged to gun and ammunition sellers, with its proceeds “dedicated to prevention programs and research intended to reduce the burden of gun violence on Seattle residents and neighborhoods.” The other would require filing a report with SPD if a gun is lost or stolen. Read on for more:
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
(Tuesday WSB photo: Part of “Flyers” at Westcrest Park; play equipment in the background)
WESTCREST PARK EXPANSION OFFICIALLY OPENS: As previewed here yesterday. Have fun!
OFFICE JUNCTION MEETUP: Noon-1 pm, visit West Seattle Office Junction (WSB sponsor) to meet your fellow home-office, coffee-shop, laptop-at-the-beach workers for an hour at West Seattle’s only coworking center. (6040 California SW)
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD: 2 pm at Delridge Community Center, Thistle Theatre “transforms a classic tale into a funny musical puppet show.” (4501 Delridge Way SW)
HIGH POINT MARKET GARDEN FARM STAND: Week 3 – buy organic vegetables grown steps from where they’re sold! 4-7 pm; more info in our calendar listing. (32nd/Juneau)
POP-UP ART ACTIVITIES: Kids up to 12 years of age are invited (must be accompanied by an adult), 4:30-6:30 pm at High Point Commons Park – details in our calendar listing. (6400 Sylvan Way)
34TH DISTRICT DEMOCRATS: Meeting at the Hall at Fauntleroy starts with PCO training at 6:30 pm. The 7 pm agenda,
including a legislative update from Sen. Sharon Nelson and Reps. Eileen Cody and Joe Fitzgibbon, is on this page of the 34th DDs’ website. (9131 California SW)
FILM & BEER NIGHT: 8 pm at Admiral Bird, partnering with New Belgium Brewery – details here. (California/Admiral)
MORE! on our calendar, as always.
(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning! Quiet on the outbound routes so far. So we start with recaps and previews:
TRANSPORTATION NEWS: Three stories from Tuesday –
*35th SW plan – extra meeting added, and word the mayor will be at the first one
*47th/Admiral signal – “completion celebration” planned next Tuesday
*Tunnel-project updates, including those big yellow stacks
And the big street festival is almost here:
WEST SEATTLE SUMMER FEST (co-sponsored by WSB) happens in The Junction this coming Friday-Saturday-Sunday (July 10-11-12); streets close to vehicle traffic starting at 6 pm Thursday – California between Genesee and Edmunds (Oregon remains open to through traffic) and Alaska between 42nd and 44th. Metro announced its Summer Fest reroutes on Tuesday – they’re listed/linked here.
One more note:
SOUND TRANSIT 3 SURVEY: Today is the deadline for you to answer Sound Transit’s survey about next year’s ballot measure. One big question for our area: Should it include light rail for West Seattle? But that’s just part of it. The survey starts here.
8:39 AM: First problem of the morning for our area – a crash on the eastbound bridge at 99. No further details yet – it’s not on camera, though the backup certainly is.
8:47 AM: SDOT has turned around the camera and it shows the crash right AT the ramp (see the top-left image on this story – every time you refresh, it’ll show you the newest image). One tipster advises taking the low bridge to avoid the jam. Police are strategizing how to get traffic around it – potentially using the bus lane for general traffic, temporarily.
9:03 AM: From the scanner: Police are trying to direct traffic into the lanes that’ll get people around the wreck, but so far it doesn’t sound to be getting too much compliance.
9:19 AM: Crash still blocking two lanes at last report. We’ll update when we hear it’s cleared. And a reminder from Metro that this is affecting buses on the bridge too:
Transit Alert – Expect service delays on the RapidRide C line, Rts 21, 50, 120 & 125 due to a blockage eastbound on the West Seattle Bridge.
— King County Metro (@kcmetrobus) July 8, 2015
9:32 AM: SFD is headed to a “natural-gas leak” callout at 35th and Findlay – so be alert to possible traffic effects there.
9:46 AM: No major effects from that; meantime, the wreck on the bridge is cleared, but it’ll take a while for backups to subside.