West Seattle, Washington
One more reminder as the weekend begins – this year’s West Seattle High School All-School Reunion is bigger than ever because of the centennial celebration – WSHS opened 100 years ago. In honor of that, alums, students, staff, and all others interested are invited to gather for a “Group Hug” photo on the north side of the school, coordinated with the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. Here’s Jim Biava of the WSHS Alumni Association with the invitation:
The All-School Reunion starts at 4 pm; gather for the photo at 6 pm. What happens inbetween – and afterward – is listed in our most-recent preview.
Two reader reports, plus crime-prevention advice, in West Seattle Crime Watch tonight.
Last night about 3:30 am a unidentified person broke into our condo garage on the 1300 block of Alki Avenue and attempted to steal our two Bikes. Fortunately the person was not able to break the lock and left.
CAR VANDALIZED: From Monica:
My car was vandalized last night on Beach Dr. Back window was hit with something (no rocks in the car) and glass is completely shattered. It appears to be straight-up vandalism as the car was not broken into.
PREVENTING CAR PROWLS: Received today from Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Burbridge, SPD advice on car-prowl prevention – see it here.
3:57 PM: An oversize truck got stuck in the northbound Battery Street Tunnel, and SDOT reports the backup is now four miles, past the West Seattle Bridge. A texter says southbound is slow too. So if you’re headed toward downtown, or northbound out of it, find another way, or wait a while.
4:30 PM: It’s actually a truck with an oversize load. No word yet about what’s planned to clear it, so this is likely going to be going on for some time.
4:47 PM: Now there’s also a crash reported on the southbound Viaduct before Columbia Street. So Highway 99 through downtown is in general a mess.
5:08 PM: The southbound crash is cleared. But still no news of what’ll be done to get the oversize truck unstuck in the BSTunnel.
6:05 PM: Now SDOT says the NB Battery Street Tunnel is closed to all traffic.
6:27 PM: The truck’s been towed out and all lanes of the tunnel are open again.
Yesterday an aircraft carrier, today a submarine. Thanks to those who sent photos of the sub sighting earlier this afternoon; Josh Farley from the Kitsap Sun tweeted that it’s the USS Nebraska, leaving Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility. This page with U.S. Navy photos and info says the Nebraska is leaving “after completing an extended major maintenance period, to include an engineered refueling overhaul.”
(UPDATED 4:59 PM with district slide deck from meeting)
(WSB video of entire Thursday night meeting at Louisa Boren STEM K-8)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Just a few years after Seattle Public Schools designated the former Louisa May Boren Junior High School as the permanent home of West Seattle’s STEM K-8 school, its parents and supporters found themselves last night demanding that district officials re-state that status.
Which they eventually did – but without an accompanying guarantee the school won’t be moved.
The campus’s past as an interim site is the main reason it’s in the district’s crosshairs right now for a potential return to that status, the STEM K-8 community was told during the boisterous briefing meeting (previewed here and here).
Associate superintendent Dr. Flip Herndon opened the hour-plus meeting by explaining that the district expects to be constructing and renovating schools “for the next 15 years, at least” as its enrollment continues to grow and its buildings continue to age.
Capital Projects and Planning director Richard Best went through the slides, starting with a recap of the schools recently built and renovated in West Seattle, including last fall’s opening of the new Arbor Heights and Genesee Hill elementaries, with the district expecting to grow to 55,000 students soon. He directed people to the Facilities Master Plan on the SPS website for an overview. They’re adding dozens of classrooms each year. Slides showed most elementary schools trending up, though they’re wondering if it’s plateau’ing. (Update – we requested the slide deck and received it this afternoon – PDF here, embedded below:)
Best said that adding special education capacity at every school also leads to campus-capacity challenges, as well as class-size-reduction mandates. They’ll be working with enrollment planners over the summer. And he noted that “in West Seattle we are seeing elementary growth occur more rapidly in the northern section than in the southern section.”
Capacity planning also involves looking at schools’ outdated systems that might not support technology – so those “rise to the top of the list to meet the educational needs of our students and staff.” That will figure into the 2019 BEX V levy. He added that school modernization means that “of the 102 schools that we have, over a third have historical landmark designations, so we can’t tear those buildings down.” (Those include EC Hughes, being modernized right now so that Roxhill Elementary can be moved there in a year, as we’ve been reporting.)
So, that all came down to this: Boren is “one of our largest school sites left to be utilized as an interim location,” Best said, drawing boos. Read More
1 lap down, 65 to go for Lou, who is a retired, beloved PE teacher here. pic.twitter.com/bS8QGQpQKa
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) June 2, 2017
9:40 AM: That’s Lou Cutler finishing his first lap a short time ago at Pathfinder K-8, where the retired PE teacher celebrates his birthday every year by running one lap for each year of his age, as a fundraiser for Make-A-Wish.
This morning, speaking to students and others just before starting his 66-lap day, Lou declared it “the greatest day of the year”:
We’ll be checking back at Pathfinder (1901 SW Genesee if you want to stop by and join in – and here’s his donation-drive link).
12:51 PM: We’re back at Pathfinder. After a little more than three hours, Lou’s finishing Lap 53 of 66.
Students filter in and out throughout the day – while Lou and teacher Andy were close to alone on the field, we’re told a couple of Pathfinder grades are about to rejoin them. The laps so far total 9 miles, we’re told.
1:42 PM: Minutes ago, Lou finished the 66th lap:
Lou did it again! Lap 66 just completed pic.twitter.com/NmbvQJAmdM
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) June 2, 2017
Loud cheers and chants of LOU! LOU! LOU! echoed around the field. And then, the victory photo:
Lou’s been a “wish-granting” volunteer for MAW for more than 20 years, even longer than he’s been doing this run. His actual birthday is later this month, so he’s still only 65, and as he started the second-to-last lap, with that number, he hollered, “A great year to be alive!”
P.S. And yes, he says he plans to do it again next year.
Looking ahead to the rest of your West Seattle Friday:
LOU’S MAKE-A-WISH RUN: Starting around 8:45 this morning on the field at Pathfinder K-8, retired PE teacher Lou Cutler is back for his annual birthday run raising money for Make-A-Wish. One lap for every year – this year, that’s 66! You’re invited to stop by and cheer him on, and/or join him on the track, and/or donate by going here. (1901 SW Genesee)
FREE TASTING @ NORTHWEST WINE ACADEMY: 4-8 pm at the Northwest Wine Academy on the north end of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus, it’s the spring-release celebration. 6-8 pm, alumni winemakers are pouring, too. (6000 16th SW).
WORDS, WRITERS, WEST SEATTLE: 5-7 pm at Barnes and Noble/Westwood Village, meet and hear author Claudia Rowe in this month’s Southwest Seattle Historical Society-presented book talk. Here’s her video invitation:
More in our calendar listing. (2600 SW Barton)
CORNER BAR: The monthly pop-up bar at Highland Park Improvement Club welcomes you starting at 6 pm – all-ages until 9 pm. (1116 SW Holden)
WEST SIDE MUSIC ACADEMY: Students/staff of WSMA perform tonight at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)
‘SWEENEY TODD’: Second night for ArtsWest’s new production, 7:30 pm curtain. (4711 California SW)
ALL-STAR REVIEW: More than 20 artists tonight at Parliament Tavern – not just music! 8 pm-1 am, no cover, 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
FIREWORKS: You might hear them late tonight, from across Elliott Bay – the Mariners plan a post-game show at Safeco Field, and sometimes the sound carries.
MORE! See the rest of what’s happening today/tonight on our complete-calendar page.
6:54 AM: Good morning! No incidents right now in West Seattle or on the outbound routes.
7:30 AM: While tipster Susan reported no port-truck backup very early this morning, that’s since changed – just got a text from someone who biked to downtown and reports a big backup now.
8:49 AM: Texter reports Water Taxi trouble at Seacrest – possible mechanical issues. We’re checking with King County DOT.
8:57 AM: Haven’t heard back from them yet but we do see via Water Taxi Watch that Sally Fox (the Vashon vessel) is now at Seacrest.
9:20 AM: Brent Champaco of KCDOT confirms Doc Maynard is off to be checked out and Sally Fox is picking up its remaining morning commute runs. Update later.