West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
By the time the newly elected Seattle School Board director for West Seattle and South Park, Leslie Harris, wrapped up her first community-conversation meeting, about 30 people had spent at least part of two hours with her, broaching an intense array of issues.
By means of introduction, Harris gave a bit of a scene-setter after going around the room during the Saturday afternoon session at Southwest Library.
“(This is) not a position you make a lot of money at or make a lot of friends with.” She voiced respect for her predecessor, Marty McLaren, whom she ousted in a landslide – insisting “it (wasn’t) personal” to challenge her – but “being a change agent is in (her) DNA.” Harris is the parent of a 2015 Chief Sealth IHS/South Seattle College Running Start graduate who is now at the UW.
She repeatedly told those on hand that she’s a straight shooter and would tell them what they need to know, such as: “The simple fact is there is not enough money or space in our school district.” 52,000 kids, 99 schools, McCleary (state-education-funding fight), overmandates/underfunded, levies coming up – “If you think it’s bad now, if the Operations Levy [going to voters February 9th] does not pass, that’s 25 percent of the operating budget … terrifies me.” She explained that she’s on the board’s executive committee and audit/finance committee. And, fighting for issues, “I refuse to lose.” She’s been meeting with district leaders and “there are very few issues I have not gotten a response for. … After 45 days I’m pleasantly surprised that I’m being embraced.” She also offered a primer on how the board works, who’s leading, and how it works. “The real action is not the legislative meetings – (but) in the committee rooms where the staff gives you handouts as issues come up, the meetings that (are not public … where budget information comes out.”
Issues brought up included:
Family and friends of Donald K. Atwood, who died in November at 64, are gathering for an open-house event this Saturday, and sharing this remembrance now:
Don, a lifelong resident of West Seattle, passed away peacefully on November 24th, 2015, in Seattle.
After attending West Seattle High School, Don later went on to work for Frasier Boiler for many years. He would later leave Frasier Boiler to pursue the challenge and reward of owning his own business. A pioneer in the field, Emergency Preparedness Service would go on to meet the disaster-preparedness needs of numerous prominent governmental and private organizations for 26 years. For those who knew Don well, he navigated life with a comical sarcasm and simultaneously was an altogether decent man and fair and honest businessman.
Don, the son of Cliff “Bud” and Penny Atwood, loved the camping trips from his childhood and would later pass this legacy on to his children and subsequently his grandchildren. He always had the heart of an explorer, taking his family on incredible road trips across the Western US and throughout the northern plains. Don was often compelled to visit the roads that were literally “less traveled” to find the forgotten places and muse over the way things might have been for the early settlers of the west.
He married his wife Helga in 1972 and later raised two boys, Neil and Randy. He spent many of his last days thinking about his wife and family and trying to prepare his family for a life without him. In September of 2015, despite his failing health, Don, accompanied by his wife, sons, daughters in-law, and grandchildren would embark on his requiem road trip of sorts to Yellowstone. While there, he seemed to find a closure and began to write his final chapter in life. He was able to share a place he loved with those who loved him most. His short bout with cancer would end soon thereafter, but he left this present world with a late-blooming faith that would comfort him in his final days.
On Saturday, January 23rd, Helga and family will be hosting an open house at Don’s West Seattle home for family and friends to come by anytime between 1 pm and 5 pm. If you would like further information or directions, please contact the family at DonAtwoodMemorial@gmail.com.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Four West Seattle food-and-drink notes tonight:
MAREE BISTRO AND BAR UPDATE: The successor to Cassis at 2820 Alki is getting closer to opening, reports a spokesperson. Signage is up:
The new restaurant is just awaiting its liquor license, and hoping that will come as soon as this week. As we reported last month, the husband-and-wife team of Chef Andy Dekle and Megan Hartz, both of whom were with Cassis throughout its two-year run, are opening the new restaurant with “seasonal, market inspired French cuisine with a Northwest flavor.” Hours will be 5-10 pm Wednesdays through Mondays, happy hour 5-6 pm, plus weekend brunch 10 am-3 pm.
CHICKEN AND ICE CREAM CHEF TEAM: Harry’s Chicken Joint proprietor Bruce Cougan tells WSB his restaurant will close for one night this Saturday (January 23rd) to be part of the annual Gifts From The Earth benefit at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor). He adds:
It’s an honor to be included as a guest chef and a privilege to give back to the school where I received such excellent training and support. This year I will be joined by local (West Seattle) chef, friend, and collaborator, Matt Bumpas of Sweet Bumpas Ice Cream. Matt spent time at Poppy working as a chef, and it’s primarily his menu, inspired by some of the dishes at Poppy, that will be served for this event:
*Fennel salad with blood orange, hazelnut, Moroccan olive & Ibores
*Fried mussels with preserved lemon aioli & pickled shallot
*Cauliflower almond soup w/ harissa yogurt
*Beef short rib tagine w/ celery root puree & apple slaw
*Thyme labneh panna cotta w/ urfa biber toffee & satsuma
Matt is a graduate of Seattle Central’s culinary program. He is currently looking for a brick and mortar location here in West Seattle for his legendary ice cream. He has been very successful at local events and farmer’s markets and now it’s time for him to secure a storefront. His ice cream stand was a big hit last summer at the Morgan Junction Festival.
PECOS PIT PROGRESS: Banner signage now covers the old signs at what was Beni Hoshi Teriyaki and is being transformed into Pecos Pit BBQ, at 35th/Fauntleroy:
The restaurant is advertising in the WSB West Seattle Jobs Offered forum for a general manager. Last projection of an opening date was “spring.” Meantime, community members concerned about traffic into and out of the restaurant location, especially the drive-thru that will exit onto narrow SW Genesee, got a reply from the city, saying this is too small a project to trigger a full review, and that the curb cut for that exit, on the north side of the property, has been there a long time.
WESTWOOD’S 4TH STARBUCKS: Last May, we reported that a Starbucks stand was in the works for Target at Westwood Village – where it follows a standalone Starbucks store, a stand inside QFC, and a café inside Barnes and Noble. Longtime WSB’er MIWS reports that construction is now under way in the snack-bar corner by the store’s entrance.
As MLK Day 2016 winds down, more views to share:
DAY OF SERVICE AT DENNY: From principal Jeff Clark: “Thank you to Ms. Moland for organizing the Denny International Middle School Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service today! The scholars and volunteers did a great job cleaning up the school grounds as a way to serve our school community. Go Dolphins!”
DOWNTOWN MARCH: West Seattle photographer Vy Duong shared scenes from the downtown MLK Day March:
Marchers carried signs for a variety of issues, from racism to school funding to nuclear-weapons abolition to presidential campaigning. Police monitored from behind the march, including members of the West Seattle-based Mounted Patrol:
Any other MLK Day scenes? email@example.com – thanks!
ADDED 8:05 PM: Tim just shared this photo from the downtown march:
He explains, “Took two young ladies to the March today. They’ve been studying MLK at school and are aware of the history and why the march was important.”
Four cases in West Seattle Crime Watch this afternoon:
STREET ROBBERY REPORT: This is happening right now – a report of a citizen held up on the street near Delridge and Cloverdale, with the robber reportedly getting away southbound in an alley. The Guardian One helicopter might be called in for the search. No other details yet; we’re working on it. (3:22 pm update) The helicopter is indeed in the area. (3:38 pm update) The helicopter is gone; scanner mentioned someone detained – we haven’t been able to find an active scene on the ground, though, but will update if we do find out more.
BACK TO ORIGINAL REPORT: And from the WSB inbox:
UPPER FAUNTLEROY CAR BREAK-IN: Car prowler(s) smashed a window to get into Erin‘s VW Bug in Upper Fauntleroy overnight but made off with nothing but Hot Tamales candy (right). She says, “I’d be less angry if I left something obvious for them to take but there was nothing to take but candy in the cup holder. Jerks!”
About a mile to the north:
MORGAN JUNCTION CAR BREAK-IN: And it wasn’t the first time, reports Eva:
Another act of vandalism to report from the night of Saturday, January 16th into the morning of Sunday, January 17th. The driver side window of my vehicle (parked in the open garage of my apartment building at 6900 California Avenue SW) was smashed in. There were no valuables in the car and it appears nothing was taken. This is the second time my car has been broken into in the span of two months. In the previous attack the thief/thieves destroyed two locks on the car and stole an assortment of mundane items from inside.
And from there, a little more than a mile east:
HIGH POINT VANDALISM: Michelle sends the photo (we’ve cropped it so as not to show the entire outsized tag on the pavement in front of the bench), noting, “This is not common in this pretty park…happened (Saturday) night.”
You can report graffiti vandalism via the city’s Find It, Fix It app, too.
REMINDER – CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL TUESDAY NIGHT: If you have neighborhood concerns, questions about an ongoing situation or unsolved case, this is where you’ll find precinct leadership (and usually Community Police Team officers too) when the all-volunteer West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meets, 7 pm Tuesday at the SW Precinct (2300 SW Webster). Special guest, an insurance-industry expert who’ll talk about the newest trends in how car prowlers/thieves are doing their illegal work, and which cars are currently most vulnerable. All welcome.
Southside Revolution Coed Junior Roller Derby skaters (and parents) are out volunteering on this MLK Day: They’re cleaning up at Roxhill Park/Skatepark (where we photographed the trio above) and then heading to the South Park Skatepark to do the same. They were planning to do some skating at both parks, too, before practice tonight at their home base, Southgate Roller Rink (9646 17th SW). That’s also where you can see their second bout of Southside Revolution’s second season, in less than two weeks – 5:45 pm Saturday, January 30th; it’s a Harry Potter-themed bout against Spokane’s Cherry Bomb Brawlers. The evening will include a 50/50 raffle and bake sale to benefit Brawlers coach Ti “Smartass” Marchand in her own “brawl” against cancer. More info here!
Tomorrow night, you have an extra-special opportunity to play trivia hosted by longtime Talarico’s trivia host Phillip Tavel, while helping the Senior Center of West Seattle! Doors open Tuesday at 7, with trivia starting at 7:30, at the Senior Center (in the Sisson Building, California/Oregon). $12/person if you sign up in advance, at sc-ws.org or by phone at 206-932-4044, extension 1; $15/person at the door. The Senior Center needs an extra boost this year because of a funding cut, as reported here last month. No-host bar and snacks will be available. Go show what you know!
King County Water Taxi fares are going up on March 1st. We just found the new fares posted on the Water Taxi website – most fares on the West Seattle-to-downtown run are going up 50 cents each way, and most remain discounted if you use an ORCA card to pay:
When the system’s first-ever “strategic plan” was published a little more than a year ago, it pointed out that while “farebox recovery” was rising, the system was still operating unsustainably, and more had to be done to increase revenue. The county is also studying adding more routes – as noted in the newest Water Taxi newsletter, two on Lake Washington and one from downtown to Ballard are under discussion. Ridership on both existing routes – West Seattle and Vashon Island – set a record last year, surpassing half a million passengers.
Thanks to Trileigh Tucker for sharing the photos of Pacific Wrens she found near Pelly Place this weekend, “singing softly back and forth. They have a lovely mellifluous complex song; if you haven’t heard it, take a listen.” Perhaps a love song, she surmised. (And remember – you can now click most WSB photos to open a “lightbox” window with a much-bigger view.) Today would be a great day for bird-watching, park walks, other ways to enjoy nature … and here’s what else is up:
HIGH-SCHOOL BASKETBALL: We usually only feature home games but since it’s a holiday, you might be interested in going crosstown to cheer on the West Seattle High School varsity teams, playing as part of an MLK Day slate at Garfield High School – boys vs. Eastside Catholic at 1:30 pm, girls vs. Rainier Beach at 3 pm. (400 23rd Ave.)
SUSTAINABLE WEST SEATTLE: MLK Day has long been a Day of Service, and Sustainable West Seattle invites you to honor that intention by getting involved with the group – at any level that interests you, including leadership. Here’s more on tonight’s meeting, 7 pm (following a 6:30 pm meet-and-greet) at Admiral Bird. (California SW & SW Admiral Way)
TRIVIA NIGHT: 7:30 pm at Christo’s on Alki. (2508 Alki SW)
6:03 AM: Good morning! What you need to know about this holiday Monday:
*Metro is on a reduced-weekday schedule
*Sound Transit Route 560 is on a regular schedule
*Water Taxis are not running
*Washington State Ferries are on regular schedules
*Street parking is free in neighborhoods with pay stations
*Most government facilities are closed
*U.S. Postal Service holiday
*Schools are closed
REMEMBER – HIGHWAY 99 LANE CLOSURES START TONIGHT: North of downtown, but still of note for all 99 users – here’s the latest.
8:58 AM: Police are blocking the northbound 99 exit to Seneca. A reader reports that someone appears to have fallen or jumped from the offramp. Medics are being dispatched.
9:02 AM: The ramp has reopened. If this was a case of suicide … we always mention the Crisis Clinic and its 24-hour hotline for anyone considering self-harm, or in any kind of crisis: 206-461-3222.
9:06 AM: According to fire personnel monitored via scanner, the person did not survive.
Dozens of local students are waiting for tutors to help them improve their reading skills. Maybe you can help? From Reading Partners:
Reading Partners is a nonprofit literacy organization that recruits and trains community volunteers to work one-on-one with elementary students who are behind grade level benchmarks in reading. At each of our school sites we have a dedicated reading center where all tutoring takes place. Volunteers are asked to commit to as little as one-hour of tutoring each week. We ask that each volunteer commits to the same one-hour to work with the same student weekly. During every session tutors follow a structured, research-based curriculum with the support of a full-time AmeriCorps Site Coordinator. Additionally, we offer initial and on-going training and support for every volunteer.
Anyone interested in getting involved can follow this link to sign up or contact Reading Partners at volunteerSEA@readingpartners.org. Below is scheduling and location information for our highest need schools:
Highland Park Elementary, 1012 SW Trenton St
*21 students waiting for a tutor
*Tutoring runs from 8:45 a.m. to 2:35 p.m. Monday through Thursday
Sanislo Elementary, 1812 SW Myrtle St
*13 students waiting for a tutor
*Tutoring runs from 9:30 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. Monday through Thursday