West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Earlier this month, the scheduled meeting of the community advisory committee for city-sanctioned Camp Second Chance on Myers Way was abruptly postponed.
“Unforeseen circumstances” were blamed. No elaboration at the time – but now we’re learning about change and upheaval behind the scenes.
Patacara Community Services is withdrawing as the camp’s operator/fiscal sponsor, responsible for the $200,000+-a-year city contract.
The camp has been hailed as a model for its drug-and-alcohol-free policies and self-governance.
But Patacara’s executive director Polly Trout says, “The Patacara Board has determined that given that the self-governance process at camp has broken down, and it is no longer a safe place, we do not have the organizational capacity to continue the contract.”
Camp Second Chance’s resident manager and one of its co-founders, Eric Davis, says he was evicted a week ago, and fired from his paid position, after a confrontation with Trout. He says police came to the camp and told him he was trespassing and had to leave. He’s now staying with camp supporters.
With a Sunday night Sounders FC match, the West Seattle Water Taxi will be on its extended schedule all weekend, as announced tonight. And in case this weekend will be the first time you’ve taken the WSWT since its dock and schedule change – see the new schedule here; last trip from the new dock north of the state-ferry terminal tonight, Saturday, and this Sunday will be 10:45 pm.
Less than three weeks until school starts. Here’s a way to help local students succeed this school year:
The Seattle Public Library is seeking Homework Help volunteers who have a passion for helping elementary, middle, and high school students learn and succeed in school.
Homework Help volunteers support students’ academic success by helping them develop literacy and mathematics skills, understand homework assignments, and prepare for college. Volunteers coach students in all academic subjects and may also specialize in college-prep subjects.
Most of the students are first-generation Americans who speak a language other than English at home. Volunteers will interact with children and teens in small groups and individually. A volunteer commitment throughout the school year is requested. Those volunteers who have variable job and/or school schedules can be scheduled as substitute Homework Helpers at least twice a month.
Eleven branches – including, in our area, High Point and South Park – will offer homework tutoring, reading support, and educational games September 11th through June 14th. South Park is particularly in need of bilingual volunteers who speak Spanish. Find out more about the program here; if you’re interested in an application packet, contact SPL volunteer-services coordinator Anne Vedella at email@example.com by August 25th.
FRIDAY AFTERNOON: Police are in the 4500 block of Beach Drive SW, at Emma Schmitz Overlook, across from Me-Kwa-Mooks Park, investigating a death. So far, they say, evidence indicates the man whose body was found in a car – reported by a passing jogger – died by suicide. The official determination will be up to the King County Medical Examiner, which has a unit on the way to the scene.
As always with stories mentioning suicide, we want to remind you that if you or someone you know is contemplating self-harm, you can call the Crisis Clinic hotline at any time, 206-461-3222.
SATURDAY AFTERNOON: A texter sent this photo of a memorial at the scene:
A motorcycle rider was taken to the hospital by private ambulance after a collision about half an hour ago in the Seaview area. Authorities cleared the scene quickly; a witness says the rider was headed southbound on 48th SW and hit by a driver headed east on Juneau. That’s all we could find out; private ambulance indicates the injuries weren’t life-threatening.
My car was stolen sometime last night. It was parked on the street right in front of our house in the Morgan Junction area. Doors locked and nothing valuable inside. Some blankets, sweatshirts and a cooler in there.
Toyota RAV4 Limited edition. 2006. Blue with light tan interior and sun roof. No identifying markers or stickers. I just bought it 2 months ago. WA license plate BEN7363.
It’s been reported to police; call 911 if you see it.
That century-old house at 3027 59th SW in the Alki area [map] will soon be demolished to make way for a three-townhouse building. First, the Seattle Fire Department plans to use the site for training exercises, with the owners’ permission. SFD says the training is scheduled for Sunday through Tuesday (August 20-22). The announcement adds, “This training will not include any live fire burning and every effort will be made to not impede traffic and/or access to the area. Observers are welcome! Areas will be marked off for safe viewing.”
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
As all gardeners know, what you grow and how you grow it – whether from seed or start – will change. Not always according to plan.
The lease comes up in January, explains orchard steward Narcissa Nelson, and decisions need to be made.
One possibility that sprouted unexpectedly – though potentially, Narcissa says, serendipitously – is that the orchard could become a college project.
All along, one of the intentions for the eighth-of-an-acre plot has been that it would be involved with food security for the area. Eastern West Seattle is a known “food desert,” after all. Along with being a place for growing and harvesting food, the orchard has also been a teaching venue – including workshops on permaculture.
We talked with Narcissa this week at the orchard, within view of its espaliered apples (above) and raised beds growing everything from tomatoes to herbs to squash; earlier in the season, strawberries, collards, parsley, kale. She explained that the college has started a food-pantry program, with an interest in access to fresh food, and the need is increasing. This growing space could become part of that.
COWS already is part “giving garden,” with food harvested for and donated to the White Center Food Bank. Part of it also has been open for community “forage,” though its visibility is minimal – it’s between a fence and a forest, separated from the nearest public road – 16th SW – by SSC’s sprawling north parking lot.
What it really needs, Narcissa explains, is consistent support for maintenance. Student/school involvement could provide that.
In the early going, the thought was that COWS could become a large-scale food-production site for the community. Early involvement was strong, especially from Puget Ridge neighbors. But many of them, Narcissa has noticed, are now focused on growing their own gardens. “A lot of people who were inspired locally have moved on to their own thing, and it’s beautiful – we were a demonstration garden, hoping to inspire people.”
Another thing that has changed: The orchard at one point had a paid manager, funded by a grant. She moved away. What project funding there is, still stems from the original grant.
But the decisions to be made aren’t about money or a lack of it. They’re about the right future for the orchard/garden and its space, whether that’s as the Community Orchard of West Seattle or something else, Narcissa says.
It’s time, she says, for open discussion. “At one point, the community asked for this” (the orchard) – “a lot of people put work into it over the years. This is yours.”
So what do you think its future should be? For starters, you can weigh in via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Big news from West Seattle Montessori School & Academy (WSB sponsor) – it’s expanding in more ways than one! Here’s the announcement:
West Seattle Montessori School & Academy, a Pre-K through 8th grade school serving West Seattle, White Center, North Highline, and Burien families since 1985, is pleased to announce exciting changes this coming school year.
*A fifth pre-primary classroom (2½ – 6 year-olds) will be opening this fall.
*A new enrichment center will be opening this coming school year, located in the former White Center King County Library. This enrichment center will be home to a performance stage area, kids’ kitchen, and a student-run store, The Owl’s Nest. This new community-centered space will extend student learning and cultivate all-school connections.
West Seattle Montessori School & Academy strives to create an environment where students embrace differences and can connect on compassionate levels with others and the world around them. West Seattle Montessori School & Academy is still accepting applications for the 2017-2018 school year.
If you are already set for this school year but looking beyond, West Seattle Montessori’s open-house dates are already set for preschool through 8th grade – November 7th, 6 pm-7:30 pm; January 27 (2018), 1 pm-3 pm; March 7, 6-7:30 pm. The school is at 11215 15th SW.
South Park community advocate Jeff Hayes, whose efforts we have chronicled here, has been working with city leaders to set up a meeting about public-safety issues – and now the date is set. It was just announced in City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s weekly update:
The Department of Neighborhoods will be organizing a community meeting in South Park on Tuesday, August 29th from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the South Park Neighborhood Center @ 8201 10th Avenue South.
In response to community requests, especially after a number of nights with vandalism against businesses, I sent a letter to the Chief of Police requesting the Seattle Police Department hold a community meeting. The Department of Neighborhoods stepped in to organize the meeting, and bring in other City departments to address other ongoing issues in South Park.
We’ll also hear an update about the work of a Task Force of South Park residents that have been meeting to formulate and report to the Executive and Council future recommendations regarding the public safety and vitality of South Park, including strategies for a new model of neighborhood policing and strategies for a culturally and linguistically responsive data-driven approach to improving the City’s relations to and effectiveness with the South Park neighborhood.
Childcare, light refreshments, and interpretation (in Spanish, Vietnamese, and Amharic) will be provided.
Other topics in Councilmember Herbold’s update include more on the vacant-building legislation, which, as we reported earlier this week, is headed to a full-council vote next month.
(Great Blue Heron photographed at Constellation Park by Mark Wangerin)
Some options for your Friday, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
ECLIPSE GLASSES: Looking for some? WSB readers continue to crowdsource offers and sightings in the comment section following our original story about them.
WADING POOLS AND SPRAYPARK: Lincoln Park wading pool and Highland Park spraypark are open 11 am-8 pm today and daily through Labor Day. But today’s the last day for EC Hughes wading pool, noon-7 pm, and the second-to-last day for Hiawatha wading pool, noon-6:30 pm. (Find addresses here)
SUMMER CONCERTS AT THE MOUNT: Tonight at 6 pm on the south side of the Providence Mount St. Vincent campus, the 85th Street Big Band performs in the second-to-last show of this year’s series. Free; bring your own chair/blanket. Dinner/drinks available for purchase starting at 5:30 pm. (4831 35th SW)
PAUL GERARD: Singer-songwriter Paul Gerard performs at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)
MOVIES IN THE PARK: West Seattle Church of the Nazarene‘s last scheduled event this summer, in the “park” south of the church. Free hot dogs and popcorn, too. “Queen of Katwe” is on the big screen at dusk. (42nd SW/SW Juneau)
DYR AND VAUGHN: 9 pm at The Skylark, “a night of interstellar beats, electronica, hip-hop and more featuring local Seattle artists DYR and Vaughn.” $8 cover. 21+. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
(WSB photo, April 2014)
Our photo is from April 2014, when we covered chess champion Phiona Mutesi visiting West Seattle Elementary School, more than 8,000 miles from her hometown in Uganda. She visited students learning to play chess, and spoke at an assembly. Since then, Phiona’s true story has become the subject of a movie, “Queen of Katwe,” which you can see Saturday night at West Seattle Outdoor Movies in The Triangle. Here’s the trailer:
This week’s movie is presented by the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor), which is right next to the 36th/Snoqualmie “festival street” where the movies are shown, and the West Seattle Junction Association. Bring your own chair/blanket – you can show up as early as 6:30 pm and enjoy the evening in the street. This week’s food truck is BC Zhang, with “Chinese fast food.” Concessions are sold too, and the movie’s free! It starts at dusk, which this week is expected to be between 8:15 and 8:30.
7:24 AM: Happy Friday morning! No incidents reported so far, either in West Seattle or on the major outbound routes.
REPAVING CONTINUES: Day 4 of SDOT repaving SW Admiral Way between Lander and Stevens [map].
IN THE STADIUM ZONE: Seahawks vs. Vikings, 7 pm tonight.