West Seattle, Washington
As preschoolers arrived today for the second day of the school year at the Community School of West Seattle, they had a special entourage of greeters – from the Seattle Preschool Program (SPP) and the city Department of Education and Early Learning. CSWS, which is at 22nd/Roxbury, was one of six recipients of SPP grants for facility improvements. The school received $109,000 for a plumbing overhaul and playground improvements that will enable kids to play outside year-round. The visitors took the opportunity to celebrate the start of the levy-funded SPP’s eighth year – it’s grown from fewer than 300 students citywide in 2015 to more than 2,100 this year. DEEL director Dr. Dwane Chappelle spoke briefly, as did CSWS’s interim executive director Rebecca Lane (second from left):
With them were, at left, Leilani Dela Cruz, the city’s director of early learning, and at right, Adiam Emery, representing the mayor’s office, where she is now executive general manager. CSWS is one of more than 80 sites participating in the SPP and the only one in West Seattle/South Park to receive one of the grants announced today (see the full list in this city news release). 23 of the SPP sites are at Seattle Public Schools buildings, so their first day of school won’t happen until tomorrow, which will be the third day of the school year at others. If you’re interested in enrolling a child in the Seattle Preschool Program, you can find out more here.
5:05 PM: Just in from the Seattle Education Association:
Following a tentative agreement with Seattle Public Schools that better meets students’ needs, particularly for Special Education and mental health supports, the union of 6,000 substitutes, teachers, office professionals, and paraprofessionals of the Seattle Education Association voted this afternoon to suspend their strike and return to class. …
The tentative agreement, which is embargoed until ratified by the SEA membership and SPS board, is for a 3-year contract with Special Education ratios maintained and improved in areas, adding baseline mental health staffing in all schools, and raises above IPD every year. The vote to ratify the tentative agreement will take place later in the week.
Via Twitter, the union says 78 percent of its membership voted, and 57 percent of those voting supported suspending the strike. We’re now waiting for the district to announce when school will start.
5:20 PM: The announcement’s just in – school starts tomorrow for all students, including kindergarteners and preschoolers. That’s exactly one week later than the originally scheduled first day. And as with the original plan, the first day of school will not be an early-release day (though subsequent Wednesdays will be).
7:58 PM: Regarding the five missed days of school, here’s what the district says: “Five days will need to be made up during this school year. Students are required to attend 180 days of school. The additional dates will be negotiated by SPS and SEA, and then approved by the Seattle School Board. Once agreed on, we will notify families and post the updated 2022-23 school year dates to our website.” After the last SEA strike in 2015, six days had to be made up – here’s how that was done.
The report and photo are from Eric:
Last night our truck was stolen from the Gatewood neighborhood.
The truck was parked at SW Austin Street and 41st Ave SW.
The truck is white and a 2003 Ford F250 Super Duty with a Pennsylvania license plate.
Police incident number 2022-244409.
The truck was stolen at 2:22 am on 09/13/2022 and we saw it stolen on our camera when we woke up this morning.
Please contact the police if you see this truck.
For weeks, Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy employees in The Junction have been telling customers their store will close, according to readers. We’ve tried repeatedly to get that confirmed; the store told us we had to talk to corporate, corporate would not return our calls and emails. We were just back at the store yesterday asking again if they could go on the record yet. Then today, a sign announcing the closing date went up in the store; after a tip, we went over for a look. It says the store’s last day will be Monday, September 26th, and that prescriptions will be transferred to the California SW Rite-Aid. Pharmaca opened its West Seattle store 14 1/2 years ago; the chain of 28 stores was taken over last year by a “digital pharmacy” company called Medly. This is the second business to close in the West Seattle Junction building at 4707 California SW; the wine shop Bin 41 announced its closure a month ago.
1:52 PM: As we first reported last week, today’s the day that SDOT planned to begin one of the last critical tasks before reopening the West Seattle Bridge on Sunday (September 18th) – load testing. It involves trucks moving across the bridge with “specialized heavy loads,” and SDOT has recorded some of it via drone video we just received.
While this needs to be done before the bridge reopens, SDOT has said repeatedly that the repaired bridge already has been tested in other ways and has performed as expected, so they’re not anticipating any surprises. Still no word of exactly what time Sunday they plan to start pulling down the barricades to end the 2 1/2-year closure.
3:31 PM: So what happens now? SDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergerson says, “It will take us a few days to analyze the data.” Likely that’ll be complete by Friday afternoon, when a pre-reopening media briefing is planned.
11:08 AM: A Seattle Fire “full response” is headed to the 7900 block of 17th SW for a possible residential fire. Updates to come.
11:11 AM: First firefighters on scene are seeing smoke but the source hasn’t been traced yet, possibly in the attic.
11:14 AM: Firefighters tell dispatch it’s clearly an attic fire, and that everyone is reported safely out of the house. … They think it started outside and spread up to the attic.
11:26 AM: The fire is reported to be under control.
11:33 AM: And now they’ve called the fire “tapped” (out).
11:42 AM: Firefighters confirm to us at the scene that no one is hurt. The investigation into the fire’s cause is under way, starting in the back of the house.
ADDED WEDNESDAY: We followed up with SFD regarding the cause. Spokesperson Kristin Tinsley says, “The fire was ruled as ‘accidental’ by fire investigators. Started as a result of a smoldering fire on a table that spread to combustible material. The fire extended to the wooden exterior siding and travelled up the wall, and into the attic space. Total estimated loss is $95,000.”
Thanks for the photos/tips! That was the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) headed northbound in Puget Sound earlier this morning. It’s been about seven weeks since it was last seen headed the other way, to Bremerton, after two weeks of training.
Here’s what you should know about, mostly from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
BLOCK DROP DIY CLEANUP: 9 am-6 pm today, Duwamish Head‘s famous lock-studded fence will be the pickup/dropoff spot for equipment and bags for your DIY cleanup.
STUDENT MEAL PICKUP: Locations for Seattle Public Schools students to pick up lunches until school starts have changed. Hours are still 10 am-1 pm; our story from Sunday night lists the West Seattle locations.
POSTCARDS TO VOTERS: 10:30 am politics-at-a-distance volunteers’ weekly gathering at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor).
SPRAYPARK STILL OPEN: Wading pools are now all closed but Highland Park Spraypark (1100 SW Cloverdale) remains open 11 am-8 pm daily through Sunday.
CHESS CLUB: Play at the Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon), 1:30 pm.
CITY COUNCIL RECONVENES: 2 pm, the weekly full-council is happening online and in-person – here’s the agenda, with inforation on how to comment.
IRISH DANCE CLASSES: Children can learn Irish dance at the VFW Hall (3601 SW Alaska), 4:30 pm – info’s in our calendar listing.
DEMONSTRATION FOR BLACK LIVES: Longstanding weekly 4:30-6 pm sign-waving demonstration at 16th/Holden. Signs available if you don’t have your own.
AUTHOR EVENT: Madeline Ostrander is at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor) to talk about her new book “At Home on an Unruly Planet,” 5:30-7 pm.
STORYTIME IN THE GARDEN: Bring your little one(s) for a story followed by a garden activity, at the Delridge P-Patch, 6 pm (5078 25th SW).
SCRABBLE NIGHT: 6-10 pm, go play Scrabble at The Missing Piece (9456 35th SW).
WEST SEATTLE TIMEBANK: Learn about timebanking and have fun at tonight’s 6:30 pm gathering at Puget Ridge Edible Park (5265 18th SW) – info in our calendar listing.
ADMIRAL NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: 7 pm community meeting in-person at Admiral Church (4320 SW Hill), all welcome.
FAUNTLEROY COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION: 7 pm business meeting for the FCA board – community always welcome; here’s how to attend, in-person at Fauntleroy Schoolhouse (9131 California SW) or online.
BELLE OF THE BALLS BINGO: Play bingo with Cookie Couture at The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW), 8 pm. Free, all ages!
You can always see more on our calendar – and if you have something to add for the future, please email info to email@example.com – thank you!
6:03 AM: Good morning. The final bridge-reopening countdown continues as we start Tuesday, September 13th.
*Classes are canceled for a fifth day at Seattle Public Schools, but a tentative agreement was announced late last night.
FERRIES, BUSES, WATER TAXI
Ferries: WSF continues the 2-boat schedule for Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth. Check here for alerts/updates.
Metro buses are on their regular weekday schedules; watch @kcmetroalerts for trip cancellations/reroute alerts.
The West Seattle Water Taxi is on its regular schedule.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
905th morning without the West Seattle Bridge. 5 days until SDOT expects to reopen it – on this Sunday, September 18th. Watch WSB for reopening updates all week.
Low Bridge: Automated enforcement cameras remain in use until the high bridge reopens; restrictions are in effect 5 am-9 pm daily – except weekends; the bridge is open to all until 8 am Saturday and Sunday mornings.
1st Avenue South Bridge:
South Park Bridge:
The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):
Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Please text or call us (when you can do so safely) – 206-293-6302.