West Seattle, Washington
11:19 PM: SFD and SPD are responding to what’s described as a two-vehicle collision with four people hurt, at least two seriously. The location is the 1100 block of SW Spokane St. [map]
11:22 PM: This is now described via radio as being on the low bridge.
11:32 PM: The low bridge is blocked to traffic and we expect that’ll last at least a few hours for the investigation.
12:29 AM: The pedestrian/bicycle path across the low bridge remains open; our photographer walked it to get to the scene (photo added above). No new information; the bridge remains closed, and the Traffic Collision Investigation detectives have been called to investigate.
6:21 AM: Just in case you’re wondering – the bridge did reopen. No additional information so far about the victims or the investigation.
MONDAY UPDATE: We checked with SFD today. Two victims – both teenage boys – were taken to the hospital by SFD medic unit; the other two (no age/gender info) were taken by private ambulance; all four were described as being in stable condition.
9:37 PM: The game has just ended on a rainy night at Southwest Athletic Complex, and the visiting Nathan Hale HS Raiders go home with the win over the West Seattle High School Wildcats, 28-11. Details and photos to come.
ADDED SATURDAY MORNING: #50 Mighty Gionet got WSHS on the board first with a field goal at 3:13 to go in the first quarter, which ended with the Wildcats up 3-0. Then the second quarter got off to a roaring start with both teams getting touchdowns in its first half-minute.
#6 Colin Roman ran in the TD on a pass from #2 Cyrus Storlie. That was the last scoring the Wildcats did, though they went into halftime with the 11-8 lead.
The Raiders regained the lead with 7:51 to go in the third quarter, 15-11, and then added another TD less than three minutes later. With one more at 4:51 to go in the game, that left the final score 28-11 Hale.
NEXT: WSHS (0-4) will be back home at SWAC for a 7 pm game on Friday, October 5th, vs. Ingraham.
8:35 PM: When Seattle Public Schools took an enrollment count after classes started for the year, district managers discovered more than 700 fewer students districtwide than they had planned for. So the district has announced that they’re shuffling teachers. After principals got the word from HQ, they shared the news with staff and students’ families. We’ve received a copy of the letter sent to families at one affected local school, Arbor Heights Elementary, thanks to an AHES parent. Principal Christy Collins wrote:
I need to let you know about a new situation that we have been made aware of that affects our school.
While our enrollment at Arbor Heights has grown significantly since last fall, it has not grown as much as the school district projected that it would in June. Because of this fact, we were notified last night that we will have to move forward this year with one less teacher.
To help you understand how these situations come about at this time of year, I think it would be helpful to share a little more about how state and school district funding for teachers works. The winter before a given school year, the district projects how many students our school will have in each grade level and then, tells us how many teachers they expect us to have based on that enrollment projection. The state, however, only gives funding for teachers in the district based on the number of students that show up at our school that fall and that is the amount of funding that the district has for teachers at each school. That timing and process is what causes changes with teachers and classrooms in the fall to happen more often than we all would hope.
Last fall our fall enrollment for grades K-5 was 521 students. This past February when schools are told their projected budgets, our enrollment for this year was projected by the school district to be 543 students for grades K-5. This enrollment projection along with state funding for smaller class sizes for grades K-3 resulted in a projected increase of 2 classroom teachers.
Then in June, the school district increased the K-5 enrollment that they were projecting for Arbor Heights to 588 students. At the time, Seattle Public Schools increased our FTE by 2.5 additional teaching positions. Again, although we have grown significantly since last fall, our current enrollment of 552 students is less than the 588 projection. 552 does not include our 40 preschool students. Before hiring for these additional positions that were given in June, I double and triple-checked with the district to ensure these projections were accurate, but eventually, we moved forward with the hiring of teachers to ensure we found excellent candidates to fill the openings.
I hope this additional information helps you to better understand how these situations come about in schools at this time of year, I know that it does not remove the significant disruption that these changes can cause for our community. We will do everything we can to minimize this disruption and support students, families, and teachers through this process. While we have learned that we must reduce our staffing by one teacher, we are required to work through our school decision-making process to determine the specific changes that will happen here at Arbor Heights to accommodate that reduction. As soon as those specific changes have been determined, we will share the next steps with our families.
According to Melissa Westbrook, who has long reported SPS news via saveseattleschools.blogspot.com, the list of other schools affected includes six schools in West Seattle. She reports that along with AHES, Genesee Hill Elementary and Louisa Boren STEM K-8 will each lose a teacher, while Gatewood and Lafayette Elementaries will each gain a teacher, as will Chief Sealth International High School. (We haven’t seen what those schools have sent to families – anyone who would consider forwarding us a copy, firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you.)
P.S. If you have questions/comments about this or any other Seattle Public Schools issue, tomorrow is the first community conversation of the year with our area’s elected School Board rep (and its president) Leslie Harris, a drop-in event from 3-5 pm Saturday at Southwest Library (9010 35th SW).
6:30 AM: Thanks to the person who sent the district-wide memo that was circulated to principals (PDF) with the school-by-school specifics. They include some corrections to what we noted above: Lafayette is adding 1.5 teachers; Genesee Hill is losing 1.5; Boren STEM is losing .5. District-wide, 12 positions are being added, 33 reduced. The memo says, “The district is committed to retaining staff. All displaced individuals will be assigned to a position in their category. If a suitable vacancy is not found, teachers will be assigned as building designated substitutes until a position becomes available.”
Another alert from SDOT:
This Sunday, weather permitting, our crews will remove and repave the top 2 inches of the outside southbound lane of SW Admiral Way, SW Hanford to SW City View St.
The work is scheduled for 7 am-5 pm Sunday (September 23rd). Here’s a map of the area.
The sun is setting on 2018’s PARKing Day – when parklets pop up along city streets. Earlier, we showed you the Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) setup at Westwood Square. At midafternoon, we stopped in the 5900 block of Delridge Way SW, across from Louisa Boren STEM K-8, where West Seattle Bike Connections had a helmet giveaway going, courtesy of Bell:
Boren’s three 1st-grade classes helped plan the parklet.
Thanks to co-organizer Doug Ollerenshaw for letting us know!
Bob from HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor) and Tracey from the West Seattle Helpline are at Junction True Value right now to say hi to shoppers and share a reminder: You have until Sunday (September 23rd) to vote for the Helpline to get a bigger grant from HomeStreet! We first told you nine days ago that Helpline – which among other things helps prevent homelessness by providing emergency help to people in need – would get a grant between $3,000 and $10,000 from HomeStreet, depending on results of online voting. If you haven’t voted yet, take a moment and go here to do it!
Just in from SDOT – an update on the Arbor Heights sidewalk project with word that concrete pouring is “possible” tomorrow:
This week, our crews completed installation of storm drains along the east side of 35th Ave SW, between SW 100th St and SW 106th St and began street sign installation.
Our landscape crews also began digging tree pits and installing tree barriers in the planting strips along the east side of 35th Ave SW, between SW 100th St and SW 104th St. Our apologies for the starting this work before we had a chance to send out notifications, as our team is trying to complete as much as the project as quickly as possible.
Due to the challenges we have experienced in securing concrete, there’s a chance that we will be pouring concrete tomorrow, Saturday, 9/22, to complete all of the curbs on the east side of 35th Ave SW.
Please note 35th Ave SW will remain open with intermittent one-lane restriction for this work tomorrow. We will require intermittent closures of cross streets (SW 100th St – SW 106th St), allowing local access only. Flaggers will be onsite to help people navigate around our work.
An alert from Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Steve Strand: “We have gotten several complaints of “rude” and harassing phone calls coming from one of our Southwest Precinct phone numbers. These calls are not coming from our building.” In one example, a person received a call on their cell phone displaying a number that started with 206-233; the caller asked for the recipient by name, and when they asked who was calling, the caller uttered a profane death threat, and shortly thereafter hung up. Lt. Strand says they want to get the word out about this “to alert our community that we are attempting to address this concern and determine who is doing this and why.”
Avoid 35th SW between Trenton and Cloverdale for a while. Police are directing traffic in one lane, alternating north and south, because of that collision. SPD is investigating the cause; SFD is on scene checking for injuries.
Seattle Parks is considering changing the hours at Riverview Playfield (7226 12th SW) in hopes of enabling more police enforcement in response to problems there. Next Thursday, the city Board of Park Commissioners‘ meeting will include a public hearing on changing the hours from 4 am-11:30 pm to 6 am-10 pm. Here’s the rationale as listed in the city briefing paper for Thursday’s meeting:
At this site, there have been continuous complaints about illegal behavior occurring at the park. Drinking and vandalism occur in the evening hours and people congregate at all hours. Neighbors and Parks staff cite four specific reasons for requesting the change in hours:
1) Maintenance workers are burdened with cleaning beer cans, broken glass, and laden trash. The park benches were often found damaged.
2) Tagging is pervasive especially late at night and after the park has closed. At sites with similar issues, changing the closing time to 10:00 p.m. enabled SPD to do a sweep through the park and enforce the closure time.
3) Neighbors frequently call 911 because of the late night activities which often include loud and boisterous behavior, in addition to illegal activity.
4) Community members do not feel safe confronting those who loiter in the park after hours and the earlier closure time enables the police to enforce the rules.
Perhaps the biggest incident in recent years – the 2016 arson that left a new restroom/storage building at the park closed for a year (top photo). The Parks Board hearing is during its regular meeting at Parks HQ downtown next Thursday (September 27th), 6:30 pm, 100 Dexter Ave. N.
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar for the rest of your Friday:
LAST DAY FOR GREAT HARVEST BREAD CO: As reported here earlier this week, Great Harvest Bread in The Junction is closing after today, and Flying Apron will be moving in. Great Harvest’s posted Friday hours go until 7 pm. (4707 California SW)
PARKing DAY: The annual day in which the city encourages turning street parking spaces into mini-parks. Hours vary. On the SDOT map are Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor; photo above) at Westwood Village (2600 SW Barton) and at Cottage Grove Park (5206 26th SW) in North Delridge; there’s one planned outside Cottage Grove Commons (5444 Delridge Way SW) featuring the Delridge Grocery Coop; and one on Delridge across from Louisa Boren STEM K-8 after school (5900 block Delridge Way SW).
COUNCILMEMBER LISA HERBOLD’S DISTRICT OFFICE HOURS: Our area’s city councilmember will be at the South Park Community Center today, 2-7 pm. Drop-in visitors welcome – last meeting will start at 6:30 pm. (8319 8th Ave. S.)
TAKE YOUR DOG TO THE POOL: Today, the second-to-last session of the Arbor Heights Swim and Tennis Club‘s annual Dog Days of Summer. The pool has closed for the season otherwise – no more human swimming until next year – but before its annual cleaning, it’s open as a fundraiser. 5-7 pm. (11003 31st SW)
ALKI SKATING! The Alki Community Center welcomes back Friday night skating, 5:45-7:45 pm. (5817 SW Stevens)
WEST SEATTLE BIG BAND: Senior Center of West Seattle benefit show and dinner featuring West Seattle Big Band playing the music of Frank Sinatra, starting with 6 pm happy hour. Check to see if tickets remain! (4217 SW Oregon)
LOVE THY NEIGHBOR: As previewed here, tonight starting at 6:30 pm, this “ordinary revival” is being hosted by Tibbetts United Methodist Church (WSB sponsor). All welcome. Ticket/registration info is here. (3940 41st SW)
FOOTBALL: West Seattle HS is home at Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle), 7 pm, vs. Nathan Hale. Chief Sealth IHS is on the road vs. Cleveland at Memorial Stadium (401 5th Ave N) downtown, 7:45 pm. Seattle Lutheran HS is at Muckleshoot Tribal School (15209 SE 376th St, Auburn), 5 pm. And at West Seattle Stadium (4432 35th SW) tonight, O’Dea is home vs. Blanchet at 7 pm.
GOODTIME HUSTLE: Live music at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)
PREVIEW YOUR WEEKEND – AND BEYOND! Our complete calendar is always available for you to browse.
Last September, Ysabel and friends had a roadside stand to raise money for hurricane survivors. This year again, sadly, storm survivors need help, so she’ll be out raising money this Sunday (September 23rd), 11 am-3 pm, at California/Portland in Gatewood (map). Stop by for cider and cookies. Ysabel’s family plans to match donations and then seek matches from their employers, so whatever you can donate will be stretched!
In case you haven’t seen this in our calendar, last call for Sunday’s all-day boating-safety class presented by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary in West Seattle, 8:30 am-5 pm at the Veterans’ Center (3618 SW Alaska): “This course qualifies all those who successfully complete it to get a Washington State Boater Education Card. Great for families, couples, and friends who boat together.” $35 per person – and there’s still room; go here to sign up. If Sunday doesn’t work, the next session after that is November 18th, and you can sign up for that via the same link.
6:45 AM: Good morning. A texter sent word of a crash on Fauntleroy Way SW near Fairmount Playfield. The log says one SFD was sent and closed out of it fairly quickly after it happened just before 6 am; otherwise, we don’t know the status, and there’s no SDOT alert. That’s the only incident reported in/from West Seattle so far this morning.
TRANSIT NOTE: Metro reported at 5:50 am that the 4:42 am Burien-departing Route 120 did not run.
PARKing DAY: Today’s the day that dozens of street spots around the city become temporary mini-parks. None are scheduled this early – that we know of – but watch for our “West Seattle Friday” highlights list later.
HIGHWAY 99 CLOSURE: Another reminder – here’s what’s scheduled to start tonight:
Closure begins 9 p.m. Friday, 9/21 from South Spokane Street to the south end of the Battery Street Tunnel. Saturday evening (9/22) the northbound SR 99 on-ramp at South Royal Brougham Way will reopen. Northbound SR 99 from South Spokane Street to South Royal Brougham Way will reopen Monday 9/24 at 5 a.m.
We’ll publish an update if it ends early (and as was the case last weekend, if you notice an early reopening before we do, we appreciate tips – 206-293-6302, text or voice, 24/7, thank you!)
12:54 AM: Police are being sent right now to the Harbor Avenue 7-11 after a reported armed robbery. According to police dispatch, three people robbed the store at gunpoint. The clerk is reported to be injured, so SFD is being sent too. So far, only a partial description of the robbers – three men, one black, two white, in their late 20s, one in a white jacket, two in black jackets. We’ll add anything more we find out.
1:00 AM: Two of the robbers were reported to have been wearing masks; all three were last seen walking away, possibly carrying cases of beer. The Guardian One law-enforcement helicopter is now in the area helping with the search.
1:29 AM: No luck so far.
10:19 AM: We just checked with SPD media relations. The robbers are still at large. Description and circumstances info in the report is all the same as what we reported at the time, with two added details: This was reported by a customer who came into the store about five minutes after the holdup and found the clerk injured. One of the robbers had hit him on the back of the head with an object believed to have been a gun. SFD treated him at the scene.