day : 02/01/2018 11 results

WEDNESDAY: Genesee Hill, Lafayette boundary-change proposal to School Board

Two months after a briefing about potential changes to Genesee Hill and Lafayette Elementary Schools’ attendance boundaries (WSB coverage here), the official proposal goes to the School Board on Wednesday.

The changes starting this fall are meant to keep Genesee Hill – identified in the agenda document as the most populous elementary in the entire district – from going even further over capacity, while taking advantage of available space at Lafayette. The agenda document says GHES currently has 718 students and a “seat capacity” of 660, while Lafayette has 394 students and a capacity of 550. Multiple scenarios were presented at the October meeting we covered, and the final recommendation is described this way:

This district looked at the impact of each scenario with full grandfathering, no grandfathering, and limited grandfathering. Based on this analysis and feedback from the community, the recommended boundary change is Scenario F. Scenario F is a combination of Scenario C and E. There are 122 students living in the change area in grades K-4, all of whom would be grandfathered. Many of the students in Scenario F are in the walk zone for Lafayette but currently attend Genesee Hill, so this would be a benefit for future families in the area. Although Scenario F with grandfathering still has Genesee Hill over the capacity of the building, it does not bring the building further overcapacity as anticipated from the projections if no boundary change or a smaller boundary change were to take place. It also minimizes disruption and provides stability for current families, which has been a guiding principle of the School Board and request of families

So if the board finalizes this proposal, scheduled for introduction Wednesday and a final vote two weeks later (January 17th), current GHES students in the boundary-change zone would get to stay there, but as of this fall, elementary students moving into the area or just reaching school age would be going to Lafayette. While the meeting’s public-comment period has already been filled, you can contact board members by e-mail or phone via info you’ll find on the right side of this page.

UPDATE: Car flips after collision in The Junction, driver hurt

7:43 PM: All those sirens are Seattle Fire units headed to a “heavy rescue” response at 42nd and Alaska. SFD says a car is flipped and they’re working to free two people. More to come.

7:46 PM: Thanks to Ashley for the first photo, added above. SFD says one person has been extricated from the wrecked car already – and now they don’t believe there is a second, after all.

7:55 PM: Added photo by WSB’s Katie Meyer. Avoid the area – 42nd/Alaska is completely closed by response to this right now. Per scanner, driver, reported to be a man in his late 60s, does NOT have major injuries, but is being taken to Harborview Medical Center.

8 PM: Our crew has checked with authorities at the scene. Despite how busy an area that is – no other vehicles damaged, no one else hurt, they verify.

8:11 PM: Update – a second vehicle WAS involved, we’re told, and it’s the one you see in the photo above by WSB’s Christopher Boffoli, next to the flipped car. Police are talking with its driver.

8:28 PM: The photo above from WSB’s Patrick Sand shows the view across the intersection looking to the southwest – the car landed right at the Kizuki Ramen corner of Junction 47‘s east building. A tow truck has arrived for the other vehicle; we’re working to find out how much longer the intersection will be closed.

8:36 PM: SPD confirms that Traffic Collision Investigation Squad investigators are *not* being called, so the intersection should reopen once the vehicles are cleared.

9:40 PM: In comments, Jason reports that the intersection has reopened.

Next step in planning West Seattle light rail: ‘Elected leadership’ group’s 1st meeting

And more transit news as the new year begins: When Sound Transit reps visited West Seattle twice recently for updates on light-rail planning, they mentioned that an “elected leadership” group would be convened to focus on the West Seattle (2030) to Ballard (2035) line. Toward the end of this morning’s Seattle City Council meeting, Councilmember Mike O’Brien mentioned that group would meet for the first time this Thursday – so we asked Sound Transit for details. Here’s the agenda – the meeting, including City Councilmembers and ST Board members, is set for 2-4 pm Thursday at Union Station downtown, and is open to the public. (added) Here are the members:

 Representing the project corridor:
o Seattle Councilmember Lisa Herbold
o Seattle Councilmember Bruce Harrell
o Seattle Councilmember Sally Bagshaw
o Seattle Councilmember Mike O’Brien
o Seattle Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez
o Port Commissioner Stephanie Bowman

 Representing Sound Transit
o Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers
o Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan
o King County Executive Dow Constantine
o Seattle Councilmember Rob Johnson
o King County Councilmember Joe McDermott

One agenda item involves appointments of all but five members of another group that’ll be involved, the Stakeholder Advisory Group. Here are links to all the meeting-related documents, including directions to the location.

P.S. 11 of the members to be appointed to the stakeholder group are listed on the last page here.

PLANNING RAPIDRIDE H LINE: ‘New’ Delridge-area option – and meeting – added

(Front of postcard that SDOT is about to send)

4:10 PM: We’ve already reported on upcoming White Center and Burien meetings coming up to talk about the conversion of Metro Route 120 to the RapidRide H Line. Today there’s word a Delridge meeting has been added, and that an “online open house” will start this Friday. Along with the Delridge meeting comes word of a “third option” proposed for the route’s West Seattle segment. From the announcement:

Community feedback will help decide the preferred alignment options in Burien and White Center, all proposed H Line station locations, and “access to transit” improvements along the entire route that would make getting to the bus by foot or by bicycle easier. Riders can share their views and priorities with Metro and learn how SDOT is incorporating feedback on redesigning Delridge Way SW at upcoming open house meetings and via an online open house.

· Wednesday, Jan. 10: 5-8 p.m. at the Burien Community Center, Shorewood Room, 14700 Sixth Ave. SW

· Thursday, Jan. 11: 5-8 p.m. in White Center at Mount View Elementary School, Cafeteria/Multi-purpose Room, 10811 12th Ave. SW.

· Wednesday, Jan. 17: 5-6:30 p.m. at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW. Give input on a NEW option for improving Delridge Way SW and share stories with the artists hired to create project art.

· Online Open house: From Jan. 5-15, to be available at Metro’s RapidRide page or online at

· Community interviews: Metro will be working in the community in coming weeks to interview people in person, and will have translated survey materials available in Vietnamese, Somali, Spanish and Khmer.

According to SDOT – which is a partner in RapidRide with the county – the “new option” is still being refined, so the link in the postcard graphic atop this story won’t show it to you yet; we’ll have a followup when it’s available. Also note that the January 17th Delridge meeting is described as “drop-in.” And if you haven’t answered the current survey – it’s still open.

ADDED 7:24 PM: Delridge Neighborhoods District Council co-chair Mat McBride has more to add about the newly added meeting in that area. He explains it’s “a co-production with the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council. Immediately-ish following the drop-in session, the DNDC will do a more in-depth vision and design meeting with Metro and SDOT concerning the H line. This will consume the DNDC meeting for the month of January. As always, the public is welcome and encouraged to attend and participate in any DNDC meeting. This one happens to be particularly important for transit consumers in the Delridge corridor.” So it’s a RapidRide doubleheader that night (January 17th) at Youngstown.

FOLLOWUP: Schmitz Park expansion purchase gets unanimous final approval

(Circle shows expansion site on park’s southeast edge)

Three weeks ago, we reported on a City Council committee giving its OK to a small purchase with big potential – Schmitz Park neighbor Bruce Stotler (right) selling rights to his property for far below its value, so that after he’s gone, the site will become part of the forested park. This afternoon, the full council gave its unanimous approval to the $225,000 deal.

It’s been years in the making, initiated back when West Seattleite Tom Rasmussen was still on the council, and shepherded after that by Councilmember Lisa Herbold. As she noted before this afternoon’s vote, the city Parks Department was originally reluctant, but eventually was convinced. The funding will come from the Seattle Park District levy. Those speaking at the start of this afternoon’s council meeting included Rasmussen, who said he was “thrilled” to see it finally coming to fruition, and Vicki Schmitz-Block, on behalf of the family that originally donated Schmitz Park land, saying she hoped it would inspire others, and that it will eventually help enable better access to the park. The council also heard from Jeff McCord, executive director of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, supporting the purchase (as originally announced), and finally from Bruce Stotler himself, who told the council, “Thank you for allowing me to fulfill my dream.” (He elaborated in this recent Seattle Times report that he felt it’s “the right thing to do.”)

YOUR COMMUNITY: Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights CC won’t meet tonight but invites you to 2 special events

January 2, 2018 1:47 pm
|    Comments Off on YOUR COMMUNITY: Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights CC won’t meet tonight but invites you to 2 special events
 |   Arbor Heights | Transportation | West Seattle news | West Seattle parks | Westwood | WS culture/arts

The Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Coalition usually meets on first Tuesdays – but not tonight, given the proximity to the holidays. However, WWRHAH is helping coordinate these two special upcoming community discussions that you’re encouraged to be part of. First – imagine more events in Roxhill Park!

learntodance(2016 WSB photo from ‘Blood Wedding’ performance in the park)

On Tuesday, January 9, from 6:30 to 7:30 at Southwest Library, we’ll join Parks Commons and Arts in Parks Coordinator Randy Wigner to discuss ways Roxhill Park could be a good location for this program. The goal of the Parks Commons Program is to develop community capacity and civic engagement in event production, and the program is assigned to parks that experience long-term public safety issues and where those issues would be improved by increased community use of these parks. We’ll discuss park needs and if the program is a good fit.

Next – looking ahead to the RapidRide H Line, but not about the buses or routing:

On Thursday, January 18, community members and kids are invited to join artists from Oakland’s WowHaus studio for a discovery walk to help inform art projects coming to our neighborhood as part of the redevelopment of the 120 into the Metro Rapid Ride H line. Around 2:30 pm, we’ll meet at Roxhill Elementary under the main entry awning, then walk over to the 26th and Roxbury stop and hop on the 120 bus to the stop at Trenton and Delridge (so bring your bus fare). Members of the public can also meet at between 3:30 and 4 at the corner of Delridge and Henderson (where the largest concrete triangle is located in the right-of-way), and join the walk from there. What ideas do you have? Join us and share! Learn more about our selected artists here.

She’s now King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht: West Seattleite takes oath of office

11:13 AM: We’re at the County Courthouse downtown, where Mitzi Johanknecht has just taken the oath of office and become King County Sheriff. She’s a West Seattle resident who has risen through the Sheriff’s Office ranks over a career of more than 30 years. The oath was administered by Superior Court Presiding Judge Laura Inveen; right after taking her oath, the new Sheriff led her staff in taking their oaths. Those scheduled to speak as the ceremony continues include two other prominent elected West Seattleites, County Executive Dow Constantine and County Council Chair Joe McDermott.

(Video added – the short speeches by Constantine, McDermott, and Johanknecht)

11:22 AM: “It is a new year, and a new day in King County,” Constantine began. He underscored the importance of public-safety services in citizens’ lives. He declared that Sheriff Johanknecht had “served well … and earned the right” to the office she now holds, hoping that she will help make King County “a safer and more-equitable place” for everyone. His brief speech was followed by that of McDermott. He noted that jobs like theirs take “an incredible amount of teamwork and listening” and said that he and his Council colleagues “look forward to working with you” on a variety of issues including budgeting. He expressed hopes that she will serve as an “accountable, transparent, and listening Sheriff.”

(The ‘all West Seattle’ photo, as one participant called it)

Then the sheriff took the microphone, thanking those in attendance for their presence on “this kind of special day” and she acknowledged the service of her predecessor, John Urquhart, who she defeated in November’s election. She said she hopes to “build and reimagine law enforcement” and looks forward to keeping “public safety … a high priority. It’s not just the Sheriff’s Office, it takes community to help us achieve those goals.”

(Sheriff’s wife Maureen pins on her new badge)

She concluded by thanking wife Maureen and the rest of their family, and describing herself as “honored and humbled.” We’ll add more photos and video when back at HQ.

West Seattle Tuesday: Post-holiday highlights

(This morning’s view from Constellation Park, photographed by Al)

As the wheels of routine start to creak back to life … here are highlights of what’s coming up today/tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar and our archives:

TRASH/RECYCLING REMINDER: Seattle Public Utilities solid-waste customers all have their pickup days sliding one day again this week – so you’re getting pickup today if you’re usually a Monday customer, tomorrow for Tuesday customers, etc. Then next week it’s back to normal. (P.S. Post-holiday recycling info, including Christmas trees, is in our Holiday Guide.)

BABY STORY TIME: Bring babies up to 12 months old to this half-hour full of stories, songs, and rhymes at Southwest Library, 10:30 am. Free as always. (9010 35th SW)

TODDLER STORY TIME: This story time is geared toward 2-to-3-year-olds. Bring them to West Seattle (Admiral) Library at 10:30 am for a fun half-hour. Free as always. (2306 42nd SW)

(Photo by Monty – New Year’s Day sunrise – didn’t get to publish it yesterday but didn’t want it to go unshared)

SHERIFF’S OATH OF OFFICE: As previewed here last week, West Seattleite Mitzi Johanknecht becomes King County Sheriff at 11 am today by taking the oath of office at the King County Courthouse downtown, room E-942, and the public is welcome. (516 3rd Ave.)

RESOLVED TO WORK ON YOUR SPEAKING SKILLS? West Seattle 832 Toastmasters‘ first meeting of the year is 6:30 pm at Brookdale West Seattle – details in our calendar listing. (4611 35th SW)

MEDITATION: West Seattle Shambhala Meditation invites you to their 7 pm gathering at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. Open to all. (4408 Delridge Way SW)

FAMILY STORY TIME: 7 pm at Delridge Library. (5423 Delridge Way SW)

LAST NIGHT FOR MENASHE FAMILY LIGHTS: If you want one last look at West Seattle’s brightest Christmas lights, tonight’s the night, we’re told. (5605 Beach Drive SW)

Something for the WSB calendar in 2018, so we can let all your West Seattle neighbors know? Please e-mail the info as soon as you have it – it’s never TOO early! Plain text in the body of your e-mail – – thank you!

UPDATE: Man missing from West Seattle care facility has been found, safe

3:17 PM UPDATE: SPD says the man reported missing from a local care facility has been found, safe, and thanks everyone for their help.


TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: 2018’s first post-holiday morning commute

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

7:15 AM: Good morning! It’s Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018, and back to work, back to school, and/or whatever else is involved in your regular routine. We’ve just checked around and no incidents are reported in/from West Seattle.

1ST AVE. S. ROAD-WORK REMINDER: SDOT says NB 1st Ave. S. could close between Jackson and Yesler as soon as today for months of utility work related to the Center City Connector streetcar project.

8:18 AM: Metro sent an alert saying the 7:49 Route 56 didn’t operate, but then just now sent an update saying it did operate, but more than 20 minutes late.

UPDATE: ‘Overheated electrical equipment’ blamed for Highland Park house fire


(WSB photos by Patrick Sand unless otherwise credited)

12:12 AM: A Seattle Fire “full response” is arriving at a house that’s on fire in the 7700 block of 14th SW near Holden [map].

12:17 AM: The first units to arrive report flames and heavy smoke from what’s described as a 3-story house.

12:22 AM: More engines are being sent.

12:35 AM: Just added first photos sent by our photographer, who says flames and smoke can still be seen pouring from the house.

Via scanner, we’ve heard firefighters say they’ve finished searching and have not found any victims in the house.

12:59 AM: SFD’s public-information officer Kristin Tinsley has arrived at the scene. She confirms no injuries are reported so far. Meantime, two nearby residents have sent photos – this first one via text:

This is via e-mail from Bryan:

1:11 AM: SFD tells us 4 people were home when the fire started. They all got out OK, no one hurt. SFD isn’t certain yet if more people live at the house. The Red Cross is being called to help. (Added – our video of spokesperson Tinsley’s briefing:)

Fire’s still not out, one hour after initial dispatch.

1:18 AM: The fire is now declared officially “under control.”

1:29 AM: And now they’re describing the fire 90+-percent out. Meantime, the people for whom they’re calling for Red Cross assistance are described as 3 women and 3 men, all adults.

2:05 AM: SFD has dismissed some of its crews. Investigators will be working to try to figure out the cause – we’ll have updates later this morning.

9:18 AM: SFD’s fire investigator is back out at the scene right now. Engine 11 is also keeping “fire watch” – an engine usually stays at major fire scenes for a while in case of flareups – you can see the hoses in our photo taken a short time ago:

We will update whenever new information is available.

2:01 PM: SFD just announced that “overheated electrical equipment in the void space above the basement kitchen” is what started the fire. Damage is estimated at $450,000.