West Seattle, Washington
In West Seattle Crime Watch, we’ve been featuring an increasing number of “found” items that are suspected to have been stolen – from bicycles to bags – and helpful readers have gotten some of those items back to their owners. Here’s the latest discovery: Rico found that safe during his morning walk today: “At about 11:00 a.m., I saw a floor safe lying on the concrete sidewalk just south of Alki Point, opposite the old sewage treatment plant. It had been broken open. There were empty coin rolls on it and near it. The instructions to the safe were nearby.” Lose a safe? Had one stolen? Know somebody who has?
Summit Public Schools, the California-based organization that wants to open a charter school in a former church/supermarket building in Arbor Heights, has announced what it calls a “stopgap measure” for the two schools it opened this fall in the International District and Tacoma: “Home-based instruction.” Regional director Jen Wickens e-mailed this announcement:
Summit Public Charter Schools Offers Free, Personalized, High Quality Home-Based Instruction to Enrolled Families
This is a stop gap measure as the legislature works to find a permanent fix to keep public charter schools open across state
Summit Public School’s mission is to prepare a diverse student population for success in a four-year college, and to be thoughtful, contributing members of society. Everyone at Summit has been working hard to continue to provide the personalized, high quality education promised to our families despite the court’s decision this fall ruling our state’s public charter school law unconstitutional.
After exploring all possible options, we believe the best way for us to be able to offer the same high quality academic experience to our students is to transition to Home-based Instruction (also known as homeschooling).
We are able to do this because Washington law allows parents the right to choose to homeschool their children and parents can also choose to have their children attend academic programming, tutoring and classes offered by certificated teachers.
Summit Olympus and Summit Sierra will officially become “tutoring centers” and our students will be enrolled in Home-based Instruction. Despite the shift in educational program category, we will continue to offer the exact same Summit experience to each of our families – a free, personalized program with our outstanding and dedicated faculty.
We will also continue to work toward a long-term legislative fix to keep public charter schools open across the state. Students and families are entitled to a high-quality education, and they should have a choice of where they attend school. Students and parents deserve this choice and the voters supported them.
Summit originally intended to open a middle/high school called Summit Atlas next fall in the former Freedom Church/Safeway building at 35th and Roxbury that Washington Charter School Development purchased for $4.75 million last summer to redevelop. After the state Supreme Court ruled the 2012 charter law unconstitutional in September, Summit announced last month that it would postpone its hoped-for opening until fall 2017. The building is currently vacant; Freedom Church had leased it back for a while but has now moved to a new site it bought in Skyway. We first discovered the 35th/Roxbury school plan almost exactly a year ago, after documents were filed with city planners.
Just received an announcement about this – a second organized “Polar Plunge” at Alki Beach this year, this time presented by the Washington Technology Industry Association. They’re planning to take the plunge on Saturday (January 9th) at 9:30 am. They’re inviting “WTIA members, non-members, friends, and family 18 and up.” We’re checking to see where on Alki they’re planning to gather, since the announcement just mentions the beach’s general official address. In the meantime, if you’re interested, RSVP via the link toward the bottom of this page.
4:58 PM: Thanks to everyone who called/messaged to ask about an incident at 35th and Barton this past hour. Seattle Fire Engine 37 had already closed out of the call before we could get there, but SFD spokesperson Corey Orvold says it was dispatched as a motorcycle crash. The rider was hurt, but not badly enough to require an SFD medic unit. We are checking to see if the aftermath of the crash is affecting traffic.
5:01 PM: Our crew says the scene is already completely clear.
West Seattleite Brendan Kolding, who challenged 34th District Position 2 State Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon in 2014, says he’s running for the State House again. This time, he says he’s seeking the Position 1 seat long held by Rep. Eileen Cody. Kolding, a 33-year-old Democrat and father of three, says education is his top priority. From his announcement:
It is unacceptable that the State continues to be in violation of its Constitutional obligation to fully fund public K-12 education. The Supreme Court has made it clear that education funding is priority number one within the operating budget, and there is more than enough money to meet the additional four to five billion dollars that is needed. Once education is fully funded, then tough decisions will have to be made regarding cuts to other entities that fall within the operating budget. If the citizens of Washington are willing to accept more taxes to augment the budget, then funding can be restored to the non-education entities, but withholding resources from education until new funding sources can be identified is completely untenable.”
Kolding is a member of the Holy Rosary School Commission and says he sees private schools as complementary to public schools:
“Private schools save the taxpayers over $800 million annually. If we can make these schools more accessible to the families who are interested in enrolling their children in them, the funding and class size requirements of McCleary will be easier to attain. It’s a win-win. For that reason, I am proposing legislation that will incentivize donations that support private schools.”
Kolding is a former substitute teacher who is now a sergeant in the Seattle Police Policy Unit. He also volunteers as a youth-basketball coach. The position he’s running for will be on the August 2nd ballot.
A “Star Wars”-style introduction this morning for a big event at West Seattle’s Holy Rosary School – the arrival of Chromebook computers for each of its fifth, sixth, and seventh graders. This is the first year for the school’s “STEM PLUS” focus and the new arrivals help move it toward a 1:1 ratio for students and devices.
At the assembly to distribute the new computers, Holy Rosary’s new pastor Fr. Matthew Oakland blessed them – after reminiscing about “technology” from his childhood:
The funding is from Holy Rosary’s ongoing Centennial Campaign, which started in 2013 – HR’s centennial year – and is currently focused on technology, with “tremendous support from parents, grandparents, parishioners, and alumni,” the school explains, along with a $25,000 grant from the Elizabeth A. Lynn Foundation. The campaign already has funded roof and window improvements and a security-surveillance system.
(Photo by Ben Ackers, from last year’s cookoff, as Pam Goldfine‘s chili got checked out)
The annual Fauntleroy Chili Cookoff is next month and the call for chefs is out now, peninsula-wide. From Judy Pickens:
The fifth annual Fauntleroy Chili Cookoff invites area residents to apply for the competition. If you think your vegetarian or meat chili recipe is award-winning, email Adam Moomey (email@example.com) for details. The Saturday, February 13, cook-off will heat up at 6 pm in Fellowship Hall at Fauntleroy Church.
(That’s the Saturday after the Super Bowl, so you can practice on your party guests if you enter!)
(California Sea Lion, photographed by Mark Wangerin)
Before the morning ends – quick look at some of what’s up for the rest of today/tonight:
WWRHAH SKIPPING JANUARY: No Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meeting tonight – WWRHAH will be back for the first Tuesdays of February, March, and beyond.
LOOK AHEAD … via our complete calendar.
(2013 photo of Black Hawk over West Seattle, courtesy Jameson)
We have an advance alert from the Seattle Fire Department about a helicopter you might notice in the area tomorrow: SFD spokesperson Corey Orvold says a National Guard Black Hawk helicopter is expected to land at SFD’s Joint Training Facility on the southeast edge of West Seattle [map] sometime Wednesday. Orvold says the crew’s planning to land in order “to familiarize themselves with the JTF.” Firefighting is one of the roles Black Hawk helicopters have with the Guard.
Four West Seattle Crime Watch notes:
STOLEN CAR: Katie’s car was stolen from outside her home on Genesee Hill early today, near 49th SW/SW Dakota [map]. She describes it as “a metallic tan 1999 Chevy Tahoe, license plate AKZ1671.” Call 911 if you see it.
ROBBERY: We’re requesting the police report on what’s logged as an “armed robbery” in the 4000 block of 20th SW [map] overnight. Will add details here if/when we get them. (Early Wednesday update: Commenter said it involved a taxi passenger running out on a fare. While the report wasn’t in by day’s end, so we still don’t have the narrative, SPD did confirm that, adding that no one was hurt, but a suspect was arrested. … SECOND UPDATE Wed. am – the report is in, including:
On 1-5-15 at 0234 hours, officers responded to 40XX 20 AVE SW to investigate a theft of services. When officers arrived they located the yellow cab a block to the north. The cab driver, V/XXXXX explained that he had given S/ a ride from the Capitol Hill area to this location. When he arrived, S/ reached into the front seat area and grabbed his Garmin GPS unit and smashed it on the ground. S/ tried to grab V/’s cell phone away from him as well. V/ exited his cab as S/ exited the cab. S/ then chased V/ around the cab trying to hit him. V/ is a smaller man, S/ is a very large man. S/ stopped chasing him and went inside 40XX 20 AV SW. When V/ did not immediately leave, S/ came back outside and began chasing him around again trying to hit him again. V/ was able to avoid him and get into his cab and drive to the location where police contacted him.
Police went to the house in the 4000 block of 20th SW, where the owner invited them in, and they found the suspect in a bedroom. He went outside with the officers and was identified as the suspect, and arrested. Turns out he had a warrant for domestic-violence assault too.
REPEAT VANDALISM: From New Year’s weekend, a report of someone smashing a car’s rear windshield with a rock in the 6700 block of 47th Place SW [map], “second time that this has occurred in three months.”
‘LOOT IN THE FRONT YARD’: Also over the weekend, Cara discovered what looked like “loot” dumped in her yard south of the Charlestown water tower, sometime overnight Friday into Saturday – “a duffle-type bag (that) looks like it was ransacked and left … it still has some clothes and shoes in it. The bag itself looks homemade.” Please comment if this sounds familiar.
We hope you’ll never have anything to report in Crime Watch – but if you do, once you’ve reported it to police, let the rest of your West Seattle neighbors know what happened, by e-mailing the basics to firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you.
(Six WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:16 AM: Good morning! No incidents to report as the second non-holiday weekday of the year revs up.
FERRY DOCK ALERT: As mentioned Monday, work to replace two pilings at the Fauntleroy ferry dock is expected to start with contractor mobilization today. We’ll check later to see when crews/equipment arrive.
6:52 AM: If you’re using California SW south of Morgan Junction, note there’s a four-unit response to check out an automatic fire alarm at California/Willow.
7:04 AM: The fire-alarm call has closed, so that means the units have left the area.
8:07 AM: Kerry notes in a comment that the bridge is backed up to 35th. The lower-right camera above will show you if that subsides.
8:20 AM: Via scanner, just heard police dispatched for a vehicle reported to be stalled with mechanical trouble “midspan” on the eastbound bridge, flashers apparently not working.
8:41 AM: Here’s what SDOT said about that incident, via Twitter:
Stall: W Seattle Br at SW Avalon Way, eastbound right lane blocked. Use caution & expect delays pic.twitter.com/Dpx7AKeaxj
— seattledot (@seattledot) January 5, 2016
9:09 AM: That situation is all cleared up now.