West Seattle, Washington
Car prowls remain our area’s biggest crime problem – we hear that every time someone from SPD speaks at a community meeting, and we see it in the reader reports we receive and publish. So tonight, the Southwest Precinct is sharing a “crime prevention bulletin” one-sheet with advice on preventing/deterring/reporting car prowls. Click the image above, or go here, for the full-size PDF version; use the Share This button below to e-mail or otherwise circulate it.
P.S. Questions/concerns about crime in your neighborhood? Bring them to the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting at the precinct (2300 SW Webster) next Tuesday, 7 pm.
In the photo are Elliott, Jennifer, Diana, and Jennifer. They are Chief Sealth International High School seniors, and they have spent the past few days collecting hundreds of signatures in support of the school’s wood-shop class, which they say they have learned is in danger of being cut.
The school’s budget and staffing decisions for next year will be made soon, and while no decisions have been finalized yet, the students want to make sure the class is kept; they contacted us to let us know about the petition drive, and met us in the rain, off-campus, after school on Wednesday afternoon.
Wood shop, they explained, is the last shop class at Sealth. Teacher Nan Johnson is an inspiration, they told us, mentoring students, giving them the chance to express their creativity while mastering real-world skills during the wood-shop work – calculating measurements, using tools, overseeing projects. Elliott showed us a pen that students often make:
(The pens were also featured in this story from our archives.) She said she’s been building a chicken coop, too.
All of the students who spoke with us said it would be a mistake to remove this class from the curriculum – and remember, they’re seniors, so they’re campaigning on behalf of students coming up behind their class. What they’re seeking now is community support. They’re continuing to circulate paper petitions for signatures at school; as of today, we’re told, they had collected more than 400 signatures. They also have an online campaign going, with almost 200 names and a space for community comments – find it here. The final decision is expected next Wednesday; we’ll be following up.
High-school softball season starts with a big event this Saturday (March 12th) at Southwest Athletic Complex – a jamboree, with fifteen 2-inning games running 9 am to 4 pm, on the upper and lower fields, and you can stop by to watch any or all for free! Participating teams include all three local high schools (host Chief Sealth International as well as West Seattle and Seattle Lutheran), nearby Kennedy, and six others. Here’s the schedule, as shared by tournament director Mike Depew:
The lower field is at 2700 SW Trenton; the upper field is at 2900 SW Cloverdale.
P.S. West Seattle resident and Seattle ASA/USA Umpire in Chief Kayleen Dunson will be at the lower field all day, watching NEW umpires who have just completed training work some of their first games. “This is my absolute favorite part of this job,” Dunson said. “Feeling the excitement (and nervousness) from these new umpires as they step onto the field the first time.” She adds that they are always looking for new umpires and have a “Crash Course” training session that begins March 29, so if you’re interested in learning about becoming an umpire stop by and chat with Kayleen, or send her an an email at email@example.com.
Winemaking is itself an art … so you could say you’d be enjoying two types of art if you stop by Viscon Cellars (WSB sponsor) during tonight’s monthly West Seattle Art Walk. Winemaker Ben Viscon‘s tasting room opens on Art Walk night (second Thursdays, 6-9 pm) in addition to its regular Friday and Saturday sessions. We stopped by tonight to admire the art of Jesse Link – also known in West Seattle as a muralist – and the Viscon Cellars tasting-room decor, which Ben explains is 90 percent reclaimed, including shelving from old wooden grape boxes, an antique typewriter, and more. Plus, tonight, four wines to sample. Viscon Cellars is at 5910 California SW, just north of Morgan Junction, with table and bar seating where you can get comfy and unwind with the weekend in view. (The full list of Art Walk venues is in the preview we published earlier today.)
5:43 PM: If you’re about to head home … you might want to wait a while. We’ve received multiple reports of a backup on Highland Park Way, uphill/westbound, where the 911 log shows a crash blocking a lane; also, SDOT has just tweeted about a crash on the westbound West Seattle Bridge, Fauntleroy end.
6:25 PM: We don’t have an update on HP Way yet, but SDOT says the westbound West Seattle Bridge incident is now cleared.
4:34 PM: Schmitz Park Elementary principal Gerrit Kischner will be principal of Genesee Hill Elementary as of this September. That’s the name chosen, Kischner announced this afternoon, for the new school that’s being built for his students and staff, on the site of a school that carried that same name, Genesee Hill Elementary. He says the ribboncutting is set for 1 pm September 6th. The Schmitz family name will stay with the current Schmitz Park building, he says; we’re checking with the district on the current plan for its future use (once described as potentially an early-learning center, but it’s been a while since we’ve heard that mentioned). Meantime, Kischner says students in the new building will have a special way to learn about their school’s history: “We are writing a historical plaque that will be in the new building tracing this joint history.” Funding for the new school is from the BEX IV levy.
6:08 PM: The principal’s announcement in this week’s school newsletter, sent out this afternoon, also notes that more than half the respondents in last year’s survey wanted this name. The mascot will remain the fox, however. The newsletter also notes that the new school currently is projected to open with about 663 students, 19 more than this year’s Schmitz Park enrollment; it’s being built to ~650 capacity. And one more note since our first report – SPS says the future use of the current Schmitz Park building has not yet been decided.
Two followups and two new reports in West Seattle Crime Watch today:
GUNFIRE FOLLOWUP: We’ve finally obtained the report narrative from Sunday night’s gunfire incident at 11th SW and SW Barton. It says the original call came from the family whose home was hit by a single gunshot; one resident was in the bathroom when she heard what she thought was a light bulb popping, until she found and picked up what turned out to be a .22-caliber bullet. It had gone through the western side of the house, into the wall of what the report describes as “the nursery,” and then ricocheted off the bathroom door before landing on the bathroom floor. Police believe it was fired from 12th SW but none of the neighbors with whom they spoke saw or heard anything. No one was hurt, but judging by the description, it was a close call.
SHOOTING FOLLOWUP: On February 28th, we reported on the investigation of a shooting whose victim was “dropped off” at a hospital but had ties to an address in the 6500 block of 18th SW on Puget Ridge. A commenter today pointed out this seattlepi.com story about charges filed in the case. We’ve subsequently pulled up the court documents. The suspect, 29-year-old Corey X. Brown, is in the King County Jail, in lieu of a quarter-million dollars, charged with first-degree domestic-violence assault and unlawful gun possession. Court documents say the victim is his pregnant 37-year-old ex-girlfriend, shot in the leg by Brown in front of witnesses outside a house in the area mentioned above, described as her family’s home, then driven to a hospital by her current boyfriend. Brown, whose record includes assault, robbery, and car-prowl convictions, was in jail on an unrelated warrant when the new charges were filed.
And two reader reports:
CAR BROKEN INTO, DOG BED TAKEN: From DHS:
Our Nissan Xterra was broken into last night in High Point at 29th and SW Raymond. The window was smashed out. Small items and personal belongings were stolen including our dog’s bed!!!
Not sure what kind of lowlife steals a dog bed but I’m very disappointed. Attached is a picture of the dog bed. It’s a hammock style to safely transport your dog in the back seat. It’s bright red and had a red stuff sack, also stolen.
My wife’s Mazda was broken into two weeks ago in the same fashion. After speaking to some of our neighbors this morning, at least 6 other cars have had windows smashed out and personal belongings stolen in the past few weeks.
CAR PROWLER WITH STROLLER: From Jim: “At 12:30 am (Wednesday), our vehicle was broken into using a filed-down ford key. According to the police officer who showed up, this is becoming commonplace and it does not trip the car alarm. Few items were taken. This took place on the 9200 block on 11th SW.” Per a surveillance camera, he added, “Looks like a male with backpack and a dog – Rottweiler mixed – pushing a baby stroller.”
P.S. Next West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting is Tuesday (March 15th), 7 pm @ the precinct (2300 SW Webster).
Calmer weather tonight! That’s good news for our spotlight event and other highlights ahead:
WEST SEATTLE ART WALK: Just hours away! Here’s the map/venue list:
You’ll find highlights on the official Art Walk website. Among the venues are these WSB sponsors: Works by Jesse Link – who you might know for his murals, including Lofts at The Junction and The Shack – at Viscon Cellars (5910 California SW); “The Art of Music” at South Seattle College‘s gallery (6000 16th SW); works by Michelle Salazar at Wallflower Custom Framing and Shooting Gallery (4735 42nd SW); art by Sarah Ghanooni at Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (4410 California SW);
SECOND THURSDAY OUT! “All GLBTQ, their friends and neighbors are invited; no membership required” invited for a fun evening featuring happy hour, light meal, and then “Violet” at ArtsWest. Meet at the Senior Center of West Seattle at 6 pm. (California SW/SW Oregon)
MORE … on our calendar!
Take a break from the keyboard and come talk about West Seattle’s “growing pains” face to face with people from around the peninsula. Whatever time you can spare to be part of this Saturday’s annual Gathering of Neighbors, that’s what it’s all about. This update includes the full lineup of topics and panel participants:
This coming Saturday, March 12th, at 9:00 am at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, VieWS (Visualizing Increased Engagement West Seattle) and the Delridge Neighborhood Development Association will present the 2016 edition of the Gathering of Neighbors. This gathering of West Seattleites will focus on the theme of “Growing Pains” and the challenges facing West Seattle as we see rapid growth in populations, jobs, and housing and the benefits and drawbacks that growth brings to our neighborhoods. What “pains” might that growth bring; what can we do to ease the “pain”?
This year’s event will feature opportunities to learn about the recommendations by the Mayor’s Housing Affordability & Living Agenda (HALA) Committee, plans to renew and double the Housing Levy, what increased density might mean for our peninsula, what a Sound Transit 3 package might look like for your vote in November, and the recent declaration of a Homeless State of Emergency by Mayor Ed Murray and County Executive Dow Constantine.
Hear from invited experts about what is happening with housing, zoning, community centers, parking, transportation, and much, much more and how all this change is both creating new opportunities for us and our loved ones while also stirring up fears of increased inequality, ongoing historical inequities, and permanent damage to the character of our neighborhoods.
As always, we will also offer breakout sessions where you can learn more about how you can get be part of shaping the impact all of these changes will have on our community and meet local leaders and organizations already involved in these issues. The heart of this event is “showing up.” When you show up to help move your community a little further along, you make a difference.
The morning’s agenda will be packed:
· 9:00 am – Social/Refreshments provided by Nucor and a proud West Seattle small business
· 9:30 am – Open House & Informational Tables: What are the Challenges Facing West Seattle?
· 10:30 am – Welcoming Ceremonies
· 10:45 am – Expert Panel: What is Being Done About Growth in West Seattle?
Moderated by Brian Callanan, Seattle Channel
*Michelle Chen, Senior Project Manager, Housing Affordability Livability Agenda
*Lorena Gonzalez, Seattle City Councilmember, At-Large
*Susan Melrose, Executive Director, West Seattle Junction Association
*Roger Valdez, Director, Smart Growth Seattle -invited
*Sharon Lee, Low Income Housing Institute -invited
· 11:40 am – Breakout Sessions: How Do I Get Involved in Shaping Our Community?
*North Delridge Action Plan update – David Goldberg (OPCD) & ACT Team members
*ST3 Planning – West Seattle Transportation Coalition + Rob Johnson, Seattle City Councilmember, District 4
*Land Use/Urban Village Growth – Cindi Barker and Deb Barker
*West Seattle Chamber conversation about business development
· 12:30 pm – Facilitated Discussion: Are We In a Homelessness State of Emergency?
Moderated by: Lisa Herbold, Seattle City Councilmember, District 1
*Michael Maddux, community advocate, and current Chair of the King County Young Democrats
*Hanna Brooks Olsen, founding editor of Seattlish; her work on the subject has appeared in the Atlantic and Salon.
*Mercedes Elizalde, Policy & Engagement Strategist for Seattle City Councilmember Debora Juarez, District 5
· 1:00 pm – Wrap-Up
Youngstown is at 4408 Delridge Way SW.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Even more than what’s happened and what’s been done about it, the concerns focused on getting information about incidents – long before the classic “letter sent home at day’s end.”
Administrators acknowledged “lessons learned,” particularly in the case of January’s threats/rumors/social-media situation, as parents detailed the frustration and fear of knowing that rumors of violence were circulating but not getting any messages from the school, reassuring or otherwise.
Here’s how the meeting unfolded:
Thanks to Darlene Allen for the photo of a tree down on the north path at Lincoln Park. This is the first notable damage we’ve heard about from this morning’s windy, wavy weather (earlier coverage, including high-tide aftermath photos/video, is in our morning traffic/weather report) – but the wind advisory remains in effect until 4 pm, so please let us know if you see/hear about anything else – 206-293-6302, 24/7 – thank you!
(SCROLL DOWN for weather updates as well as traffic)
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:12 AM: Good morning – we’re watching weather as well as traffic this morning; a “wind advisory” was added overnight and is in effect until 4 pm, with gusts up to 50 mph. Charge everything! That’s in addition to the “coastal flood advisory” until 8 am. If the weather causes any serious problems, such as power outages, we’ll break out to a separate report, but for now we’ll track it along with the usual early-morning traffic watch. If you see trees/wires down, power out, or other storm effects, once you’ve reported to 911 (or City Light), let us know – 206-293-6302.
7:04 AM: We’ve been out checking on the wind/tide effects. Main one so far: Waves are crashing over the Constellation Park stretch of Beach Drive:
7:33 AM: Waterfront residents, at least on the west-facing side of West Seattle, are dealing with the tide’s aftermath, as Beach Drive Blog shows. We meantime also went over to the north-facing shore to check on the Alki Beach promenade was getting some spillover but nothing too dramatic:
Hour after high tide, still some spillover on the Alki promenade pic.twitter.com/gysowIvNqH
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) March 10, 2016
No traffic trouble so far, meantime.
10:48 AM: The crash that has closed Sylvan Way will clear as soon as tow trucks arrive.
It’s peak season for school fundraisers – and here’s one in which you can participate at any time around the clock for two more days:
Fairmount Park Elementary School is having an online auction to benefit the school. Auction items include amazing local experiences like vacation weekends, local restaurants, and kids’ camps. Assorted themed baskets as well as classroom artwork are also being sold. Please check it out! All profits go to the school and will help provide for a school counselor and extracurricular activities.
We just checked – 144 items to browse! Just go here.