day : 14/01/2020 11 results

WEATHER: Seattle Public Schools closed Wednesday, and other announcements

(first report Tuesday night) Seattle Public Schools just announced the district is CLOSED Wednesday. The district explains:

“Safety is our top priority and multiple factors were considered, including road conditions. We also recognize that tomorrow is an early release day and recognize the hardship a 2-hour delay would cause families.”

Also from SPS: “District offices open. All schools and school buildings are closed. Athletics and all student activities are canceled.”

(below updated 7:52 am Wednesday)


Fauntleroy Children’s Center
South Seattle College
Holy Family
Holy Rosary
Community School of West Seattle


Our Lady of Guadalupe – 2-hour delay, no zero-period Spanish, no morning EDC
Explorer West MS – late start, open at 10 am
Hope Lutheran – 2-hour late start, no morning extended care, no AM-only preschool (confirmed 6:13 am Wed.)


Westside School
Seattle Lutheran HS
Cometa Playschool


Hamlin Robinson – 2-hour delay
UW Seattle – 9:30 am start
Highline Public Schools – normal
Seattle University – normal
Vashon Island School District – normal

We’ll continue adding other school announcements for here, as we get them – 206-293-6302, text or voice.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Vandalism, mail theft on video; trend toplines

Three items in West Seattle Crime Watch tonight:

VANDALISM ON VIDEO: The video and photo are from Samuel, who says this has happened to him four times in three months.

He is at 36th/Thistle.

MAIL THEFT ON VIDEO: Pardon the profanity in the video titles, but Carolyn, who uploaded it, is furious about what happened early Monday:

I wanted to share video of mail being stolen in Highland Park. These same people broke into my neighbor’s car. Another neighbor had their gas tank drilled and gas stolen. Another neighbor said mailboxes on 7th Ave SW were hit too. One video is of them at the mail box, the other is them driving up to 8th Ave, turning to the dead end, where they broke into the car.

My neighbor confirmed that where they stayed parked on the second video was their car. I know not much can be done, but want to get this out there as much as possible.

TRENDS: The Fauntleroy Community Association board meeting tonight included a crime-trend update from Southwest Precinct operations commander Lt. Steve Strand. He said crimes against persons – robbery, assault, etc. – were down last year; auto theft was up, with cars taken in our area turning up all over the county. Also, a meeting downtown today focused on the abandoned-building problem and streamlining permits to get them boarded up more quickly. Got questions for police? First West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting of the year is one week from tonight – 7 pm Tuesday, January 21st, Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster), all welcome.

WEATHER/TRANSIT: Winter Storm Warning alert; Metro’s evening outlook; snow photos

4:59 PM: Two notes, starting with the forecast:

WEATHER UPDATE: As sunset approached, West Seattle saw some sunshine, though the temperature has remained below freezing, so last night’s snow is still around. The National Weather Service continues to predict that more is on th way tonight, so a Winter Storm Warning alert will take effect at 6 pm. The NWS stresses that there’s much uncertainty about where the “heavier snow bands” will go – maybe not this far south – but we should know by mid-evening. The alert currently is set to expire at 7 am tomorrow.

TRANSIT UPDATE: Metro remains on regular routing in our area, but with some changes, most notably:

Here’s the full Metro overview.

ADDED 8:16 PM: Haven’t seen more than flurries so far. If anything more happens, we’ll start a new report. But before we move on from this one, some photos from readers – first, an aerial near Myrtle Reservoir, from an anonymous texter:

Next, from Theresa Arbow-O’Connor:

And from Natalia Swegle:

If you see snowfall – 206-293-6302, text or voice – thank you!

WEST SEATTLE SCHOOLS: Sudden leadership change at Summit Atlas

(WSB photo of Katie Bubalo, 2018)

Thanks to the Summit Atlas parent who tipped us to a sudden change at West Seattle’s only charter school. Its founding principal Katie Bubalo, who most recently held the title of high-school executive director at Summit Atlas, which also serves middle-school grades at its Arbor Heights campus. California-headquartered Summit Public Schools confirmed to WSB that this is the letter sent last night to families by Summit’s senior director of schools Malia Burns:

We are reaching out to share with you the news that Ms. Bubalo will be stepping down as executive director of Summit Atlas High School. We are grateful for her service to our community and wish her well in her future endeavors.

We’ve heard you and will want to make sure that you have a strong voice in the selection of the school’s next leader. We will be holding two listening sessions to gather input from our families, teachers, and students about the characteristics they are looking for in a school leader. Together, we will create a school culture that reflects our shared values of inclusiveness and collaboration guided by a strong leader at the helm.

We are committed to making the transition a seamless one. I am pleased to announce that Andrea Klein, Summit Atlas Middle School’s Executive Director, will serve as interim executive director of Summit Atlas High School while we search for a permanent replacement. She is very knowledgeable of our school community, dedicated to ensuring students’ success, and has a track record of gaining the trust and respect of families and faculty. Kristina Brawley, our Dean of Culture and Instruction, will continue in her leadership role. She has been an incredible asset to the community since joining this fall. She will partner with Andrea to ensure continuity for students, faculty, and families. I will also be available to support you through the transition.

The listening sessions will take place on Thursday, January 16 at 3 p.m. and Tuesday, January 21 at 7:30 a.m. at Summit Atlas. We hope you will choose to attend the listening sessions and share your thoughts because they will be critical in shaping the future leadership of the school.

Throughout this process, we are steadfast in our commitment to maintaining our focus on students and families and ensuring a seamless transition. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at, Andrea at, or Kristina at

Summit Atlas High School is a wonderful school with an even brighter future. I am proud of the hard work and unwavering dedication of our teachers, students, and families. I’m confident that we will see strong success for our students through the remainder of the school year.

The parent who tipped us to Bubalo’s departure called it a firing and said Bubalo was popular with students, who were writing protest letters to the Summit board and sharing stories today. We asked Summit for comment and their reply was to send us a copy of the letter. The school is in its third year of classes, having opened in August 2017 with sixth and ninth grades, adding grades each year and now up to sixth through eleventh. While charter schools’ operations are publicly funded, their buildings generally are not; a nonprofit footed the multimillion-dollar bill for buying the former church/supermarket site at 9601 35th SW and remodeling/expanding its building to house the school.

NEIGHBORHOOD MEETINGS: Admiral NA postponed; Delridge District Council canceled

As we head into midweek, it’s usually the busy time for community meetings, but we have word this afternoon of two changes due to the potential for snow tonight:

ADMIRAL NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: The every-other-month meeting scheduled for tonight is postponed, according to ANA president David Hancock. No new date yet – we’ll publish a revised announcement when that happens.

DELRIDGE DISTRICT COUNCIL: This meeting planned for Wednesday night is canceled, according to chair Mat McBride, to avoid the possible need for a last-minute cancellation. Next meeting is expected to happen February 19th.

TONIGHT: Seattle Parks facilities closing early; SPS sports/after-school activities canceled; SSC early closure

1:34 PM: Two notes for tonight, with more snow forecast (right now we’re getting a snow shower mixed with sunshine):

SEATTLE PARKS: Facilities are closing early – from the announcement:

All Seattle Parks and Recreation evening programs cancelled and recreation facilities closed after 6 p.m. today: Due to freezing temperatures, icy road conditions, and the forecast for additional snow this evening, Seattle Parks and Recreation is cancelling all evening programs after 6 p.m. today (Jan. 14) at all recreation facilities, including at community centers and pools. All recreation facilities will be closed after 6 p.m. today for the safety of community members and staff. We will assess the weather in the morning and make a determination on tomorrow’s conditions based on our Snow Procedures.

Matt Richardson from Southwest Pool tells WSB, “Participants for pre-registered programs will be issued a credit on their account for the missed class.”

SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS: The district says this announcement already has been sent to all families:

Tonight, another wave of snow and cold temperatures is projected to hit our region. Due to the forecast, the Athletic Dept., has approved cancelling ALL athletic events.

All after-school events are also cancelled, including those that don’t require transportation. Childcare providers will continue to communicate any changes in regularly scheduled hours directly to families.

The district’s Special Education Resource Fair and the Board’s Curriculum and Instruction Committee are also cancelled.

The cancellations include basketball that had been scheduled at Chief Sealth IHS.

3:10 PM: South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) advisory: “Due to inclement weather, campuses will close at 4:30 p.m. today, 1/14. All classes and activities after 4:30 p.m. are canceled.”

VIDEO: Briefing on how city services, Metro, WSDOT are responding to the weather

10:31 AM: Above, hit “play” for the live stream (update: archived video) of Mayor Jenny Durkan and city department leaders (plus Metro and WSDOT) offering updates on how city services are responding to the weather. Here’s a multi-department info roundup sent a short time ago. Toplines to come.

10:55 AM: Transportation officials spoke first. Rodney Maxie of SDOT said they had 70 people out all night and if the next wave of snow warrants it, they have “contractors” they can call in too. He says even if the north end bears the brunt of it as was the case in the previous wave of snow, they will still keep crews here – near the city’s highest elevation in High Point – ready to respond. He also said they have mode-specific teams addressing specifics. Metro’s Terry White said they expect to have all buses on snow routes by this afternoon/evening, and that they will have to pull articulated buses when that happens.

City Light’s Debra Smith reminded everyone to charge device and have batteries on hand, since wind is in the forecast as well as snow. If there are outages, SCL crews work to restore the lines that will get the most people reconnected. SPU’s Jeff Fowler reiterated what was announced earlier and included in our running coverage – some customers will be skipped today (if you are, keep your carts out for potential pickup tomorrow).

11:01 AM: The briefing’s over. We’re substituting a screengrab atop this story where the live video was, and will add the archived video when it’s available.

1:51 PM: That video is now added above.

Port Commissioners to get Terminal 5 briefing today, including pile-driving problem

When Seattle and Tacoma port commissioners meet today as managing members of the Northwest Seaport Alliance, they will get a progress report on the Terminal 5 modernization project in West Seattle.

Documents for the meeting (above, or here in PDF) reveal that part of the work hit a snag – pile-driving for slope stabilization had to be put on hold for almost two months. The briefing document says the problem was that wooden piles were snapping against “larger than documented riprap.” This was discovered within two weeks of the start of pile-driving in September; it was suspended in mid-October when they “determined that incremental adjustments would not work.” Within a month, the summary continues, they had a solution: to “replace 14” timber piles with 20” steel piles,” which also meant 40 percent fewer piles. They resumed pile-driving on December 5th. The document does not mention whether or how that’ll add to the cost, but there’s a significant schedule effect: “The first in-water work window will end February 15, 2020, and we are requesting an extension from the regulatory agency due to the in-water work delay.” The duration of the extension won’t be known until next month. As for what led to the pile problem, the slide deck prepared for the meeting elaborates: “As-builts and specs (were) not available and underwater investigation (2014) looked at a small sample.”

Overall, the summary says “T5 Berth Modernization Program is meeting major milestones, on schedule and budget.” Another note of interest: The “quiet zone” (to reduce train-horn noise) is at 90 percent design, with a “stakeholder meeting” expected before spring. Today’s meeting, meantime, is at 11:30 am in Tacoma and will be streamed here; see location and other info on the agenda.

WEATHER/TRANSIT/TRAFFIC/MORE: Tuesday morning West Seattle info


5:35 AM: Good morning. A bit more snow overnight – the National Weather Service has extended the Winter Weather Advisory and has a new alert starting tonight for even more possible. Here are our infolinks:

SCHOOL CHANGES: Listed here, including Seattle Public Schools‘ 2-hour delay
METRO CHANGES: None in our area so far, but here’s the systemwide list
SDOT WINTER WEATHER MAP: See treated/plowed streets here
SDOT TRAVELERS’ MAP: The map we regularly feature with cameras, alerts
OUR TRAFFIC CAMS PAGE: Cameras particularly relevant to WS and vicinity
FORECAST INFO: National Weather Service topline – advisory until 10 am, new alert for tonight
WARMING CENTER: In West Seattle, go to American Legion Post 160

Got info? Text/call 206-293-6302. More updates throughout the morning.

5:42 AM: Just dispatched, car stuck with dead battery on Admiral onramp to eastbound West Seattle Bridge.

6:12 AM: SDOT reports a stalled vehicle on the Delridge onramp to EB bridge. Also note, we’re continuing to add school delays and other changes at the link in our list – 15 schools/districts on the list now.

6:27 AM: Neighborcare Health‘s High Point clinic is opening late today, 10 am. If and when we get more than a few non-school delays during inclement weather, we’ll start a separate list, but for now, we’ll mention in-stream like this.

6:45 AM: Just dispatched – stalled vehicle at High Point Drive and Juneau. … If you use Recology (which has some business customers around here, we believe), note that they’re expecting service delays today around King County.

6:55 AM: One of the schools on our list has just had a big change in plan – big enough we’re mentioning it here too – Kennedy Catholic HS (in Burien, but with more than a few students from West Seattle) is now CLOSED for the day.

7:27 PM: Via Twitter, Emma mentions that the 21X in Arbor Heights seems to be off-schedule. If you missed this story Monday, Metro’s reminders and updates noted that some routes – like that one – are affected by conditions elsewhere in th city.

7:47 AM: Another major school change to the south … Highline Public Schools (White Center and points south) are now CLOSED for the day, so we’ve updated our list again.

8:07 AM: Just in – SPU texted to say that some West Seattle (and other) areas with Tuesday pickup will be delayed a day. The text points to the SPU website, which says:

Unsafe, icy roads are impacting residential garbage, recycling, and food/yard waste collection today in specific areas. SPU contractors will run partial residential solid waste routes today, servicing residential areas where street conditions provide safe access. Most business and multifamily routes are running on normal schedule today.

Scheduled Tuesday residential customers in the Fauntleroy and Delridge areas in SW Seattle and Ballard area in NW Seattle will not be serviced today due to icy and unsafe streets. Other potentially impacted areas may also include some steep blocks in Queen Anne, Magnolia, Maple Leaf and Wedgewood areas. Customers not serviced today will be delayed until tomorrow, Wednesday, to provide safe access

And of course, that too COULD be iffy – IF the potential additional snow arrives.

8:38 AM: Police are being dispatched to a report of a driver hitting a mother and child at 41st/Admiral. No serious injury reported.

8:43 AM: If you haven’t been out yet, our photo is a reminder of the difference between side streets (not plowed or de-iced) and arterials:

9:16 AM: The mayor and various city-department reps are having another briefing this morning, at 10:15 am. We’re told Seattle Channel will stream it.

9:58 AM: Crash reported in the 2900 block of SW Avalon Way; police are headed there.

2:51 PM NOTE: We’re posting major updates separately this afternoon – awaiting the next forecast update; we’ve already published cancellation announcement for this afternoon/evening from Seattle Parks and Seattle Public Schools.

TUESDAY SCHOOL CHANGES: Delayed start again for Seattle Public Schools, and other announcements

(updated 7:56 am) Here’s what we have for Tuesday school changes so far:

SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS: 2 hours late, transportation on snow routes, no AM preschool.



HOPE LUTHERAN: 2-hour late start, no morning extended care, no morning-only preschool

EXPLORER WEST MS: 10 am start

OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE: 2 hours late, zero-period Spanish and morning EDC canceled

HOLY ROSARY: 2 hours late, no morning BASE, no AM preschool

HOLY FAMILY: 2 hours late (school starts 10 am, BASS starts 9 am)

SEATTLE LUTHERAN HS: Late start, 10:45 am


(7:55 am update) BRIGHT HORIZONS-WEST SEATTLE: *New plan – open 10 am-3 pm*

WESTSIDE SCHOOL: 2 hours late (Middle School at 10:15, K-4 at 10:30, PS & PK at 10:45); no bus service or Before Care EDP

COMMUNITY SCHOOL OF WEST SEATTLE: 2-hour delay; “half-day kids are welcome to join us today for the full afternoon”

THE COVE SCHOOL: Normal start time

Outside West Seattle:


(7:47 am update) HIGHLINE PUBLIC SCHOOLS: **Closed**

(6:53 am update) KENNEDY CATHOLIC HS: **Closed**

SEATTLE UNIVERSITY: Opening at 10:30 am


We’ll continue adding as we get announcements – 206-293-6302, text or voice – thanks!

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Police searching for robber

Police are at and around the South Delridge 7-11, looking for a robber. According to radio dispatch, the robber was armed with a handgun and got away with cash. The preliminary description broadcast so far: Black, male, 5’10”, thin, black clothing, masked, last seen leaving on foot northbound on 20th SW. A K-9 team is joining the search. We’ll update if we hear anything more.