West Seattle, Washington
As solemn an occasion as graduation can be, it’s also full of joy – and that can spark humor, as it did tonight in multiple ways as West Seattle High School‘s Class of 2016 graduated in the night’s second ceremony at Southwest Athletic Complex. Consider, for example, the cloned principal:
The life-size cardboard versions of WSHS principal Ruth Medsker were something of a takeoff on the giant photos sometimes waved in the stands by families and friends of the 230+ grads. Of course, they displayed exuberance too:
District officials who guested at this ceremony included Superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland:
School Board director Leslie Harris was there to accept the class. Along with the WSHS Band, there was a featured musical performance by a group dubbing themselves Vitamin D and the Minerals – Delia Finney, Raegan Jarvis, Annabel Foucault, Will Sullivan, and Peter Bryson:
Speakers were Tess Beck with the valediction, Kammerin Thomas with “lessons of life,” and ASB president Gabby Carufel with the welcome. Class officers were president Annie Murphy, vice president Katherine Gregor, secretary Sara Bistrin, treasurer Birdie Harvey, and spirit representatives Delia Finney, Katie Boodell, and Lani Taylor.
The program listed the following as the class motto: “You’re off to great places, today is your day. Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way.”
At the first of tonight’s two commencement ceremonies at Southwest Athletic Complex, hundreds filled the stands to cheer the 260+ members of the Chief Sealth International High School Class of 2016. Smiles abounded on both sides of the railing:
There was whimsy, and tenderness:
And of course, the dignitaries:
(From left, Seattle Public Schools’ Native American Program manager Gail Morris, Southwest region executive director Israel Vela, School Board director Leslie Harris, deputy superintendent Stephen Nielsen, and CSIHS principal Aida Fraser-Hammer.) Families waited excitedly to greet the grads, once the diploma ceremony was over:
Valedictorians were Riley Germundson and Katharina Anne Staudt; salutatorian, Camille Annmarie Robert. Student speakers were Michaela Rutschow and Ethan Tuchsherer; faculty speaker was Dr. Patrice de la Ossa. Senior class officers were president Tara Pham, vice president Julia Pascua, secretary Allison Hadaway, treasurer Camille Robert, and spirit commissioner Joseph Wally.
For the past month-plus, the Fauntleroy Expressway seismic-cushion re-replacement work has happened in overnight hours, with no residual effects the next day. Starting tomorrow, SDOT just announced tonight, you will notice a bump toward the west end of the bridge, some days – here’s why:
Contractors replacing the bearing pads on the Fauntleroy Expressway are well over halfway to finishing their work, but are now working where the bridge turns in or out of West Seattle (west of SW Avalon Way) where setting the jacks used to raise the bridge is more challenging and a slower process.
Having worked from east to west, crews up to this point have been able to set the jacks from a flat paved surface below. As the bridge crosses over Avalon, crews are forced to work from the dirt hillside below, a more challenging work environment.
Until now, crews have generally been able to replace the bearing pads on both sides of the expansion joints each night, such that motorists notice no difference when they drive the segment the next day. The work at each expansion joint now expected to take two nights, there will be a several-inch differential on one side of the roadway at the joint until the bearing pad replacement on the other side of the roadway is completed the next night.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
• The contractor will place a temporary asphalt patch to smooth the transition for motorists. However, drivers are cautioned to expect the bump and encouraged to adjust their speed accordingly. Additional signage will be placed to alert motorists of the bump condition.
• The situation will become evident tomorrow morning, June 22, when motorists will first encounter the above described asphalt wedge. This evening crews will complete work on one side of the Expressway at the turn, but won’t complete the other side until Wednesday evening. The wedge will be in place in the interim. This condition will be repeated over the next few weeks as the crews move to other expansion joints.
• Motorists should also expect some short temporary daytime lane closures tomorrow and on subsequent days as crews may need to make sure the asphalt patch remains in good condition.
5:37 PM: If you’re headed this way, you might want to avoid southbound 99, or wait a while. Texter alerts us to a crash that’s confirmed by SDOT, blocking the left lane of SB 99 in the stadium zone. We’ll update when we hear it’s clear.
6:20 PM: SDOT just tweeted that a tow truck has arrived.
6:41 PM: And it’s clear.
5:06 PM: After multiple secondhand reports about this, we haven’t been able to track down the police report yet, but a warning seems to be in order about a robbery/theft reported in the West Seattle Trader Joe’s parking lot this afternoon. The first person to contact us said she is a friend of the victim: “My friend was robbed at approximately 1:20. She screamed for help and no one responded. Police later notified. Robbery: Man took her money, phone, credit cards, etc, while she was unpacking groceries, then another guy drove him away.” We have a followup message out to that friend asking about suspect and vehicle description, etc. Another friend says the victim posted on social media that the thief/robber was driven up, got out of that vehicle, grabbed the purse, and then got into another car to get away (but still no descriptive details). If we don’t get more info sooner, we’ll pursue it at tonight’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting.
6:43 PM UPDATE: We just spoke with the victim by phone. She says it happened in the center of the main lot, where she was parked not far from the exit onto Fauntleroy. The thief was a passenger in a dark-red or maroon older Ford Bronco/Explorer-type “smaller, older SUV with a squared-off back, 4 doors” that drove up next to her car. He got out, walked toward her “mumbling” – she’s a nurse so she says she wondered if he was OK – then suddenly, she says, as she was reaching for her last bag of groceries, he lunged into the back of her car, which was open, grabbed her purse, got back in his vehicle, and it left.
She describes him as “probably 5’5″, 5’6″, stocky, pale complexion, round face, stubbly,” wearing some type of hat, but she cannot recall anything about his clothing. The “strange mumbling” was his most distinctive feature, she says, adding that police told her the description and MO matched an incident elsewhere in the area within the past week.
Also, regarding the report that no one answered her calls for help after the theft, she said a woman did eventually come over and ask what she could do and offered her phone for the 911 call. The theft victim did talk with the store manager and staffers who she said came out, but she was told there are no cameras outside the store.
We’re heading to the Crime Prevention Council meeting now and if someone doesn’t bring it up, we’ll follow up with precinct leadership about the report that this was a repeat incident.
Pecos Pit Bar-B-Que (WSB sponsor) is now officially open at 35th and and Fauntleroy, after a ribbon-cutting ceremony this afternoon:
That’s City Councilmember Lisa Herbold next to proprietor Gerry Kingen at right in the top photo. Below, Kingen and wife Kathy Kingen (at left) were also officially welcomed by the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s CEO Lynn Dennis and president Elizabeth Pluhta of South Seattle College (WSB sponsor):
Pecos Pit is open until 9 tonight. It’s the first of what the Kingens, who own Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor), plan will be multiple franchised locations of the SODO-born barbecue restaurant.
Two months after the south half of the pavement repairs on 26th SW between Barton and Roxbury, the north half is under way. SDOT says this is the notice circulated in the neighborhood:
The project plan followed complaints brought to the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council in March, after many months of increased bus traffic on 26th that rattled and battered pavement while residents reported shaking in their homes.
P.S. Thanks to Gill for the tip on this!
(Fall 2012 photo of Lincoln Park & Colman Pool by Long Bach Nguyen; click image for larger view)
We’re putting together our annual West Seattle 4th of July page – what you need to know about the big day/night around here – and this is one of the events you’ll see: As announced by Seattle Parks, here are details of the 75th-anniversary party for Colman Pool on the shore at Lincoln Park:
Colman Pool, West Seattle’s outdoor pool and Seattle’s only heated saltwater pool, celebrates its 75th birthday this year, and Seattle Parks and Recreation is holding a celebration on July 4.
The celebration at the pool, 8603 Fauntleroy Way SW in Lincoln Park, will begin on the deck at 11 a.m. and include light refreshments and special entertainment. The celebration on the deck is free; regular fees apply for all swims, however the slide will be free all day. See swim schedule below.
The event will also include the unveiling of the restored entry mural, which was commissioned in 1941 when the pool was opened. The mural was restored with help from the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. A presentation by mural conservator Peter Malarkey will take place in the lobby at 10:15 a.m.
Swim schedule for July 4
Noon-1:30 p.m. — Lap and family swims
1:45-4:45 p.m. — Public swim (slide and diving board open)
5-7 p.m. — Lap and family swims
The mural restoration was done right after the end of last year’s Colman Pool season – here’s our feature about the project and the artist. Meantime, today is the second day of the 7-day-a-week season at the historic pool.
P.S. If your business or organization has a public event (or special hours, or closure, or …) on the 4th of July, please send info so we can include it on the upcoming WSB holiday page! firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks!
From the city’s online files, another West Seattle project has a tentative date on the Southwest Design Review Board calendar: The six live-work units planned for 5458 California SW. We first reported on this project two months ago; at the time, it was a seven-unit plan. (As also noted in that first report, the business currently renting the 107-year-old structure now on the site, Ventana Construction [WSB sponsor], has no involvement with the plan and expects to remain at the location until its lease expires in a year.) The proposed project is tentatively scheduled for a 6:30 pm SWDRB hearing on August 4th at the Senior Center of West Seattle. That’s the second SWDRB meeting on the schedule for this summer, after the one planned July 21st for a 32-apartment building at 9021 17th SW.
Four bicycles – stolen or abandoned/”found” – start off this West Seattle Crime Watch report:
VINTAGE BIKE STOLEN FROM SHED: From Marcella:
We live on the 6000 block of California Ave. Last week someone went through our cars in the middle of the night – didn’t get anything of value, mostly just looked through everything.
(Monday) morning, our shed has been broken into. The only think stolen was my bike – a vintage red/white/blue Huffy from the ’50s that my dad had refurbished. It is probably too small for anyone to ride or worth much money, but it was very meaningful to me. Please let me know if anyone sees it.
Now, three bicycles that have turned up, apparently abandoned, which tends to mean “stolen and dumped”:
If any of those bicycles might be yours, let us know and we’ll connect you.
We also have one non-bicycle-related Crime Watch reader report:
‘BAD NEWS AND GOOD NEWS’ … is how Russ slugged this:
Bad news: someone prowled one of our cars on Saturday night in the 10200 block of 39th Ave. SW. (Shame on us for apparently leaving it unlocked.) Several items were missing, although nothing of particular economic or sentimental value.
Good news: a gentleman who lives of 31st Ave. SW appeared at our door after finding the stolen items dumped in his yard. Kudos to you, sir — although we regret we didn’t ask your name!
It appears that the thief (thieves?) decided that our possessions weren’t worth keeping; everything taken from our car was recovered.
However, there was one item that was not ours: a small black coin purse. (Update: See the photo in this WSB comment.) It’s completely empty, but someone out there may want it back. If so, they can e-mail me: email@example.com
And we’ll mention it one more time – TONIGHT is the monthly West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, best place to bring your neighborhood concerns/questions directly to Southwest Precinct leadership. WSCPC president Richard Miller also has booked SPD’s Chief Operating Officer Brian Maxey as the special guest, with a plan to discuss 911 operations. 7 pm, SW Precinct, 2300 SW Webster.
Fly away! Trileigh Tucker‘s photo of a male rufous hummingbird seems appropriate for today, first full day of summer, concluding with the commencement ceremonies for our area’s two biggest high schools. Here’s the list of highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
COMMUNITY PREVENTION AND WELLNESS INITIATIVE COALITION: All are welcome at the second meeting of this new coalition, 4-5:30 pm at Denny International Middle School, “to support your community and help develop the coalition around the Sealth/Denny and SW neighborhood to prevent youth substance abuse. This is an open community event so please feel free to invite/bring whomever would be interested in learning more!” (2601 SW Kenyon)
CHIEF SEALTH INTERNATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION: 5 pm, Southwest Athletic Complex. (2801 SW Thistle)
WEST SEATTLE ROTARY CLUB INSTALLATION DINNER: 6-8 pm at The Sanctuary at Admiral, new leadership is honored and outgoing leadership is thanked. All welcome – free for Rotarians, $30 for guests. (42nd SW/SW Lander)
WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL: Bring your neighborhood crime/safety concerns to local police during tonight’s 7 pm meeting at the Southwest Precinct. Special guest, SPD Chief Operating Officer Brian Maxey, focusing on the department’s 911 operations. (2300 SW Webster)
WEST SEATTLE HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION: 8 pm, Southwest Athletic Complex. (2801 SW Thistle)
NIGHTLIFE: See the listings on our complete calendar!
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:52 AM: Good morning! No incidents so far, in West Seattle or on the outbound routes. Two notes, looking ahead:
BRIDGE CLOSURE TONIGHT: Fauntleroy Expressway earthquake-safety work continues, and the west end of the West Seattle Bridge will be closed 9 pm-5 am.
PRESIDENTIAL VISIT FRIDAY: Full details are yet to come, but President Obama returns to Seattle for a political fundraiser – this time, on behalf of Governor Inslee – this Friday, and since it’s billed as a dinner event, that might have some effect on your Friday pm commute. We’ll update as information becomes available.
Also, thanks in advance again today for tips if you see something and can call or text safely/legally (not from the driver’s seat) – 206-293-6302 – the live online 911 log is down for maintenance again until 5 pm.
7:24 AM: We’ll mention this in today’s calendar-highlights preview too, but be aware that tonight will be especially busy at and around the Southwest Athletic Complex because Chief Sealth International and West Seattle High Schools are graduating back-to-back, 5 pm and 8 pm.
7:38 AM: SPD responded a short time ago to a report of someone walking up the Spokane/Avalon/etc. ramp to the eastbound bridge. Julie messaged us to say she called in the report. We haven’t heard how this turned out – let us know if you saw the police response, maybe while passing in a bus.