West Seattle, Washington
Thanks to Mike Jensen for sharing that view of a bald eagle hanging out in a tree by Me-Kwa-Mooks Park, watching tonight’s sunset. You might want to identify a shade tree of your own for the next few days, because the National Weather Service has announced a “heat advisory” alert for noon Thursday through 9 pm Saturday – all three days are expected to have high temperatures in the 90s (and Sunday won’t be too far behind).
P.S. If you want a different perspective on 90-degree heat … note that today was the sixth anniversary of the hottest day in recorded Seattle history, when the high hit 103 degrees.
Jeff lives in north Gatewood and has found car-prowl loot discarded near his house before. He’s been able to reunite items with their owners before … but this time he’s not having luck and asking if you know whose things these are:
I found some things hidden behind a bush off of the alley behind my house that I believe are unwanted items from a car prowl. The items include some clothing, a drawing book, and a CD case that must have 20 or 30 CDs in it.
The book and the clothing probably aren’t worth much but the CDs would have some value. Judging from the drawing book I am guessing that it is all from a young person. There is a name in the drawing book … I could not find a person by that name in West Seattle but then a young person might not show up. There are also some dates from March and then the 4th of July so the items are probably from a recent event. I would like to return the items to the owner if they want them.
We advised him to notify police, but in the meantime, if the owner comes forward, he’d still be able to return the items.
(Photo by Scott Thomas)
11 months after crews began the process of building the new Arbor Heights Elementary by demolishing the old one, construction has reached a milestone, with structural steel going up. Both Scott Thomas and Darren Pilon sent photos today.
(This photo and next by Darren Pilon)
We also have an update on the construction plan – Seattle Public Schools is building to the maximum possible capacity, about 660, rather than to the smaller option, 500 students. This is according to district spokesperson Tom Redman; the decision had not been made when the last pre-construction community meeting was held, nor had it been made when we asked a few times in the ensuing months.
Arbor Heights students and staff will spend their second year in interim quarters at the Boren Building starting in September, with enrollment projected at about 400. As of right now, the plan to occupy the new building for the 2016-2017 school year is still on. That’s three years earlier than what the district was planning until the Arbor Heights community convinced SPS leadership that they couldn’t serve students appropriately for that much longer in the old, crumbling buildings.
3:01 PM: Two weeks after Mayor Murray went public with his housing-affordability recommendations, while also releasing the Housing Affordability and Livability Advisory Committee‘s report, he is backing off the most controversial proposal – the plan to change not the zoning, but the rules, for most single-family neighborhoods (as detailed in this WSB report). Here’s the news release:
Today Mayor Ed Murray issued the following statement announcing he will not recommend pursuing a Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) committee recommendation that could have changed 94 percent of single-family zones in Seattle. Instead, he is calling for renewed public dialogue on how best to increase affordable housing in denser neighborhoods:
“The Council and I created the HALA process because our city is facing a housing affordability crisis. In the weeks since the HALA recommendations were released, sensationalized reporting by a few media outlets has created a significant distraction and derailed the conversation that we need to have on affordability and equity.
“Fundamentally, this is a conversation about building a Seattle that welcomes people from all walks of life — where working people, low-income families, seniors, young people and the kids of current residents all can live in our city.
“We also must not be afraid to talk about the painful fact that parts of our city are still impacted by the intersection of income, race and housing. Look at a map and take a walk through our neighborhoods. We can move beyond the legacy of the old boundaries of exclusion that have remained largely unchanged since nearly a century ago when neighborhood covenants were used to keep people of color south of Madison Street.
“I have always believed that Seattle can step up and have a difficult conversation about our history of racial discrimination and economic inequality. Our shared vision for Seattle includes affordable housing and diversity in all our neighborhoods.
“To advance the broader conversation about affordable housing and equity, I will no longer pursue changes that could allow more types of housing in 94 percent of single-family zones. Instead, we will refocus the discussion on designing denser Urban Centers, Urban Villages and along transit corridors that include more affordable housing.”
ADDED 6:16 PM: What is still on the table for 6 percent of Seattle’s single-family-zoned area is explained in the second half of this fact sheet issued with the original proposals two weeks ago. But all the discussion remains in the early stages, as no legislation has been sent to the City Council yet – its new Select Committee on Housing Affordability is not scheduled to meet again until August 10th. We reported on its first meeting here.
(ADDED: Photo by David Hutchinson)
12:31 PM: We’re on the shore at Duwamish Head as the Seafair Parade of Ships fleet comes into view to the northwest, passing Bainbridge Island, with the amphibious-assault ship USS Boxer (looks like an aircraft carrier, but isn’t) in the lead. And, as also previewed this morning …
(WSB photo by Tracy Record)
… the Blue Angels have just flown by, after buzzing the Mariners-game crowd at Safeco Field, now en route to a Whidbey Island flyover.
(ADDED: Photo by Robert Spears, post-Safeco, pre-West Seattle)
Still time to get to the Alki/Duwamish Head/etc. shore if you want to watch the ships. More to come.
(ADDED: Photo by Gary Jones)
1 PM: Right on time, the lead ships are making the turn at Alki Point and heading along the north/northwest-facing West Seattle shore.
1:25 PM: USS Boxer is now fully in view from Duwamish Head, with two destroyers to follow, fireboat Leschi ahead of it, and a Coast Guard patrol escort alongside it.
(ADDED: USS Boxer photo by Lynn Hall)
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) July 29, 2015
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) July 29, 2015
(ADDED: Photo by Monica Zaborac – USCGC Midgett and HMCS Brandon)
1:48 PM: The parade continues; USS Boxer is now turning northward along the downtown waterfront, right behind the water-spouting fireboat Leschi.
More spectators out here than in years past, on the shore and in the water via kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. If you’ve missed earlier coverage – the ships will dock on the waterfront at Piers 66, 69, and 90, where they’ll be open for tours the next four days.
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) July 29, 2015
HMCS Whitehorse is next, followed by HMCS Brandon.
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) July 29, 2015
2:03 PM: And that’s it – at least from West Seattle, though we can still see the ships on their “official” downtown passes. Thanks to everyone who’s sending photos – we’ll be adding (and substituting) shortly!
(ADDED: Photos by David Hutchinson – CGC Midgett, above, USS Boxer, below)
The Lower Spokane Bridge is currently stuck. Repairs are underway. pic.twitter.com/7PJhBnkv3K
— seattledot (@seattledot) July 29, 2015
11:43 AM: Thanks to the texter who called our attention to the low-bridge problem. No ETA yet.
NOON UPDATE: SDOT says the low bridge is working again.
Our area’s most-renowned music educator has announced he’s leaving for a new career direction, in another school district. Multiple award winner Marcus Pimpleton has told the Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School communities about his departure; he’s staying with the summertime Seattle Public Schools-wide All-City Band program, but otherwise, he is moving into a school-administration role in the Bellevue district. With permission, we share his e-mail announcement in its entirety:
To my Denny and Chief Sealth Family,
It is with mixed emotions that I formally share the news that I will be leaving the Denny and Sealth community this fall to accept the position of Assistant Principal at Interlake High School in the Bellevue School District. I have had the privilege of working with the band students of Denny and Sealth for over 13 years now and it has been a source of great joy and the highlight of my life thus far. It is a tremendous understatement for me to say that this was a difficult process.
Denny and Sealth will forever hold a special place in my heart, both from my time as a student and as an educator. My time at Denny and Sealth has been full of amazing memories and milestones I shall not soon forget. I have been blessed to be a part of thousands of students making their way through the transformational power and discipline music. From the Denny Dolphin Marching Band’s first parade as the only middle school marching band in Seattle Public Schools, to the numerous middle and high school trips to places like New Orleans, New York, Washington D.C., Honolulu and Anaheim, it has been a tremendous ride. There have been amazing partnerships with local artists and community organizations as well as some pretty phenomenal concerts including the Music Night Out, Soul Jambalaya, and Band Jam. Together we have coordinated over 300 student musical performances in school and community events locally, regionally, and nationally – concrete opportunities for students to apply and demonstrate their learning in real and meaningful ways as opposed to a standardized test. It has been a tremendous blessing for me to have had this opportunity to live, learn, and serve in my community, and I pray for your continued musical success in the years ahead.
Over this past school year I have done a great deal of reflecting on the past and thinking about the future through the University of Washington’s Danforth Educational Leadership program and while I love engaging students in music making activities, I have come to believe that I have something more to contribute to the profession in developing the capacity of adults and of school systems for the improvement of the learning experience provided to our students most in need. The opportunity to learn and serve in a highly successful, highly diverse setting as a part of a strong and experienced leadership team like the one at Interlake High School is really the best thing for my career, professional learning, and goals. This new role will provide me with the next step and prepare me for more effective instructional leadership at home or in another high needs community down the road. I hope that through my example, my students will see learning as a lifelong pursuit and find the fortitude to pursue their calling and take the necessary risks in order to grow.
To my students, I want you to know that of the many aspects of this job that I will miss, the most difficult part will be leaving all of you. It has been fun watching you all as you came in, many times as tiny fourth graders to one of our spring break or summer music camps, and to watch your growth as musicians and leaders as you approached your departure for college. While I would have loved nothing more than to continue working with all of you, I believe that every student, in every school deserves access to rich and engaging teachers and curriculum and that it takes high quality school leaders to ensure that happens. I want to learn what it takes to be the type of leader that can help to ensure that all students have access to the high level instruction and experiences that put them on the path for successes in school, college, and life. This is a necessary step for me to do that. I will miss working with you all during the school year, but am excited to share that I have been invited to continue as the Director and Program Administrator for the Seattle All-City Marching Band. Next year we will be celebrating our 65th anniversary and it will be my 25th year as a part of that program. I would love to see many of you participating next summer.
Until we meet again,
Marcus J. Pimpleton
As mentioned in his announcement, Pimpleton himself is an alumnus of both Sealth and Denny. We will be following up with Denny and Sealth principals to ask about plans for who will be leading the programs he’s leaving. (Photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand, taken during last Friday’s Band Jam at SWAC)
(Photo by Long Bach Nguyen: Over Duwamish Head during low-low tide earlier this month)
Highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
LOW-LOW TIDE: With the full moon approaching, low tides are low enough for excellent beachwalking. Today at 9:58 am, it’ll be out to -1.5 feet.
BLUE ANGELS FLYBY: Seafair announced late last night that in addition to the solo Blue Angels jet making flights today with “key influencers” (including soccer star Megan Rapinoe at 9:30 am), the team will fly over Safeco Field toward the start of today’s Mariners game, around 12:30 pm. No road closures since it’s not a practice show – those start tomorrow. They’re subsequently heading over Whidbey Island, and of course you’ll likely see/hear them on the return to Boeing Field, too.
SEAFAIR PARADE OF SHIPS: You’ll likely see some other military aircraft, including a Coast Guard helicopter, while this is under way, starting off West Seattle shores at 1 pm or so (time may vary, as the only “official” time is 1:45 pm along the downtown waterfront, but the Seafair fleet usually stages to the west, off Alki Point, and heads eastward along shore. Three U.S. Navy ships, three Canadian Navy ships, and one U.S. Coast Guard cutter, as detailed in our original preview; Duwamish Head and points east are ideal for viewing, but you’ll see them from Alki too.
HIGH POINT MARKET GARDEN FARMSTAND: 4-7 pm, fresh produce on sale at the High Point Market Garden Farmstand and the visiting ROAR Mobile Farmstand. Remember that HP SHA residents are eligible for vouchers, available at the farmstand as well as at Neighborhood House’s HP center, with half off all produce up to $10. (32nd/Juneau)
DUWAMISH RIVER KAYAK TOUR: This summer’s community-tour series starts, 6 pm, RSVP required – info in our preview published earlier this week. (Launch location provided in RSVP response)
SOLAR WORKSHOP: 6:30 pm, free SolarWISE workshop from Seattle City Light and Northwest SEED at High Point Community Center with “the latest on solar pricing, technology, financing options, and steps to go solar.” (6920 34th SW)
BERNIE SANDERS GATHERINGS: Nationwide “house party” night for supporters and prospective supporters of presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders – times vary – West Seattle listings (and contact info) here.
COMEDY FUNDRAISER: Comedy at Feedback Lounge tonight, hosted by Lisa Curtis, headlined by Mona Concepcion – seating 7 pm, show at 8, fundraiser for Tilted Thunder Rail Birds roller derby. (6451 California SW)
MORE! on our calendar.
(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
7:31 AM: As we start today’s traffic watch, crews are headed to a crash reported at Austin/Holden, which the map shows as at the top of the Highland Park Way hill. Separate story possible, depending on what we find at the scene. Updates here in the meantime.
7:44 AM: Our crew is at the intersection (photo above). Two cars; traffic is getting around in all directions, but slowly. Medics are checking out two people.
(Photo courtesy @slightlynorth via Twitter)
7:52 AM: No one will need to be taken to the hospital, we’re told at the scene. At some point tow trucks will be brought in to clear the damaged vehicles, so this will still be slow going for a while.
8:14 AM: Seattle Fire has cleared the scene but police are still there, awaiting the tow trucks, and have asked dispatchers to find out how much longer they’ll be waiting.
8:50 AM: No update from that scene – we’ll have to go back for a look later (no traffic cameras in the area). Meantime, in comments, trouble on the bridge. And from Washington State Ferries, official word is now in that the long-planned Vashon dock project starts Friday morning, which means effects along the route:
Starting at 7:30 a.m., Friday, July 31, construction to seismically upgrade the 60-year-old Vashon ferry dock will begin. During construction, vehicles will not be allowed to wait on the dock. Southworth-bound vehicles will stage in the right lane of 103rd Ave. SW, the left lane will remain open to one-way through traffic. Fauntleroy-bound vehicles will be staged on Vashon Highway SW. Motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians will be able to wait for ferries at the terminal building. Motorcycles heading to Southworth or Fauntleroy may access the dock from 103rd Ave. SW. Flaggers stationed at the terminal entrance will direct traffic and assist ADA customers with drop-off and pick-up.
For more on this, see the WSF bulletins.
9:05 AM: Thanks to the texter who just told us the Highland Park Way/Holden crash scene is now completely clear.
Thanks to Michelle for sharing the photo and news that the West Seattle Baseball 11U All-Stars swept last weekend’s tournament in Monroe. She says, “The team played great together and it was amazing to see their hard work over the summer pay off (in spite of some wild weather including torrential rain, thunder and lightning that delayed the final championship game by almost four hours!) The tournament saw the All Stars hitting two over-the-fence home runs and a team average of 13 runs per game. Monroe was also a gracious and welcoming host town — in fact the All-Star team had their lunch tab picked up by an older baseball fan who was dining at the same restaurant.”