West Seattle, Washington
Two weeks ago today, a judge rejected Seattle Public Schools‘ challenge to a city Hearing Examiner ruling in the fight over whether the new, larger Alki Elementary can be built without off-street parking. That left the district having to do what the Hearing Examiner ruling in August ordered – work with the city Department of Construction and Inspections to address the parking issue.
If you’ve missed previous coverage, the city originally granted the district’s request for zoning exceptions – aka “departures” – including a plan to build the school without off-street parking (48 spaces would have been required otherwise). Four nearby residents appealed the departures; part of the appeal was settled, part was denied, and the part pertaining to parking was granted. The district challenged that in court and lost. So now, two weeks later, we wondered, what’s happening? We took the question to SPS; a spokesperson replied, “SPS is reviewing designs to include parking while also continuing to work with SDCI.” Some site work has been done, as allowed even without the building permit; the district tells us, “Demolition and site clearing have been completed. With the project paused, the contractor has been preparing the site and gymnasium building for winter. This includes weather protection, security, and temporary soil control measure, which includes hydroseeding.” Alki Elementary is holding classes at the former Schmitz Park Elementary, originally expected to last through this school year and ’24-’25.
9:18 PM: Avoid the area of 37th/100th in Arbor Heights for a while – a driver hit a house and a natural-gas leak is reported to have resulted. Police have blocked off 37th. They are telling dispatch it’s a hit-and-run – the driver subsequently took off. So far the vehicle is described only as “a white minivan.”
9:21 PM: The gas leak is blamed on damage to the gas meter. Puget Sound Energy is reported to be on the way. No injuries reported so far.
9:27 PM: This wasn’t found to be a major leak, so the SFD response has downsized.
9:34 PM: Police have just told dispatch that the gas is shut off, so the streets are reopening. No further info on the hit-run driver.
12:23 AM: Jeremy, whose home and yard were damaged, sent photos: “What a mess. The driver went through a tree, a fence, two planters, lawn furniture and breaking the gas meter off the main before actually hitting the wall of the house.”
It’s open-house time for families who might be changing schools next year. Tomorrow, three West Seattle independent schools are inviting prospective families to visit:
BRIDGE SCHOOL COOPERATIVE ELEMENTARY (10300 28th SW): 10 am-noon Saturday, “Join us for a cup of tea or coffee and tour the school while learning about what makes cooperative elementary education unique. We might be just the school community and your children have been searching for!” More info is in our calendar listing.
TILDEN SCHOOL (4105 California SW; WSB sponsor): This independent K-5 school is in its fourth decade of offering “academic, engaging, individualized K-5 education” and welcomes your visit 1-3 pm on Saturday. You can learn more about Tilden in our story from earlier this year.
EXPLORER WEST MIDDLE SCHOOL (10015 28th SW; WSB sponsor): Also at 1 pm, “You’re invited, whether you have a 5th-grade student thinking about next year or want to begin middle-school research early. Our event features a program with faculty, current students, and families, as well as time to visit our classrooms to offer an in-depth look at our community and programs. Explorer West has been serving local families since 1996.
Two notes about outdoor volunteering on what is forecast to be a blustery Saturday:
SOME GREEN SEATTLE DAY EVENTS POSTPONED: Some of the Green Seattle Day forest-restoration events planned for tomorrow around the city have been postponed – it’s not safe to be around tall trees when the wind kicks up. Thanks to forest stewards Christine Clark (Puget Park) and Lisa McGinty (Lincoln Park) for letting us know their events are off (but watch for new dates – as Lisa notes, “Stay tuned for rescheduled date – we still have 400 trees and plants to install!”). If you’re signed up for other events, watch for messages from organizers about whether they’re on or off.
SCHOOL COURTYARD CLEANUP: One event that’s on, regardless of the weather – no trees at the site – is a cleanup at Chief Sealth International High School‘s courtyard. Just stop by if you can give some time between 9 am and 6 pm.
The Chief Sealth Green Team is having a work party this Saturday (rain or shine) 9 am-6 pm to help clean up an interior courtyard and prepare it for spring. Tools will be provided; volunteers are asked to bring work gloves and be ready to dig! We’ll be focusing primarily on removing bamboo that has taken over the beds.
Ryan Milles‘ air plants and holders are the first things you’ll see when you walk into the Fauntleroy Fine Art and Holiday Gift Show, starting tonight and continuing through the weekend at the Fauntleroy Church Fellowship Hall. This year, among the arts and crafts, you’ll also find books:
Author Susan Whiting Kemp is there with her novel “The Climate Machine” and short-story collection “We Grew Tales.” Of course there’s visual art too – here’s some of what veteran show participant Tom Costantini is selling:
Handmade creations too – lots of quilted options:
Set up on the stage is Qui Moede with Lock + Keep – “calligraphy and keepsakes”:
You’ll also find jewelry, metal art, collage, woodblock, wearables, body-care creations, and more; the artist list is in our calendar listing. The show/sale – with holiday music and decor to help you ease into the spirit – is on until 8 tonight, then again 10 am-4 pm tomorrow, and 11 am-2 pm Sunday. Fauntleroy Church is at 9140 California SW.
Sent by a reader who wanted to be anonymous:
A disturbing incident happened yesterday evening, Thursday 11/2, around 5:30 in front of Genesee Hill Elementary.
A family member was violently assaulted in a road-rage incident by the driver of this silver Chevrolet Silverado pickup – see below image.
Fortunately several people were walking dogs or in their yards and helped stop the assault. The driver sped away and despite a very fast SPD response, has not yet been caught.
The Silverado is distinctive in that it is missing the entire rear bumper and has no license plate displayed anywhere. There is also body damage under the taillight on the drivers side. We think it is likely a 2006 Silverado. Also note one-piece rear windshield – no sliding window.
SPD said anyone who sees the vehicle should call 911 and reference Incident # 23-317784.
If it’s not a “seeing it now” tip, you can also call the SPD violent-crimes tip line, 206-233-5000.
The West Seattle Junction Association is still accepting submissions for the GLOWS projected-light show on December 9 – the new deadline is November 10, one week from today. It’ll be part of Glorious Lights of West Seattle, which in turn is part of the big night of holiday festivities in The Junction, also including the Christmas Tree Lighting, Night Market, and light-costume contest. The Community Art Spectacular will feature images projected on the seven-story Alaska House building that night, next to Junction Plaza Park, from 4:00 – 8:00 pm. The categories announced by WSJA are:
1. The significance of light during the winter
2. How you GLOW as part of our community
3. The brightest thing(s) in your West Seattle life
4. Who is your glorious light of West Seattle? (bonus category)
Art-medium categories include: fine and graphic art, photography and silent video shorts, and original AI-generated art (prompts cannot be from another artist or piece of art). The show will be curated as well as supported by a committee of art and legal experts. Everyone is welcome to enter – submit via this form and visit the Hometown Holidays page for more information. Again, the deadline is now November 10th.
First, a giant troll. Now, a giant bird. West Seattle’s next public art will be installed in a matter of days. We first reported a year ago on the public-art plan for the Highland Park Way/Holden “safety improvements” project, and now its installation – and a celebration – are almost here. Sent by the city today:
Next week, our crews will install a 17-foot-tall Steller’s jay at the intersection of Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St. This new public artwork was created by Matthew Mazzotta and is titled Where’s the Party: Elevating Nature and Resilience. It was chosen by a community selection panel and administered by Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. We can’t wait to share it with you!
Please Join Us to Celebrate! Meet the artist, Matthew Mazzotta, hear more about the piece, ask questions, and enjoy delicious hot beverages provided by the Highland Park Corner Store.
Tuesday, November 14 from 4 – 6 PM
Meet us at the sculpture on the southwest corner of Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St at 4 PM. From there, we’ll walk two blocks south to the Highland Park Corner Store for refreshments and further conversation.
With Halloween over and Thanksgiving less than 3 weeks away, we’re working on this year’s WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide. If you haven’t already sent information on your holiday-season event, bazaar/pop-up shop, donation drive, fundraiser, performance, open house, holiday food specials, etc. … now’s the time to get that info to us so we can share it with tens of thousands of your neighbors. Whatever you want the community to know, email@example.com is the best way to reach us so we can get it into the guide (and if time/date-specific, into our year-round calendar too) – thank you!
from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, here’s what is happening today/tonight:
STAY ‘N’ PLAY: Free drop-in indoor gym for kids 5 and under and their caregivers, 10-11:30 am at Arbor Heights Community Church (4113 SW 102nd).
SCRABBLE CLUB: You can play 12:30-1:30 pm at Margie’s Café inside the Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon).
NORTHWEST WINE ACADEMY: Tasting room/wine bar open 1-6 pm on the north side of South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor), student-produced wine by the glass or bottle.
FAUNTLEROY FINE ART & HOLIDAY GIFT SHOW: The first big art show/sale of the 2023 holiday-gift-shopping season! Opening night, 5-8 pm at Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW) – our calendar listing includes the artist lineup.
VISCON CELLARS: Tasting room/wine bar open – wine by the glass or bottle – 5-9 pm at Viscon Cellars (5910 California SW; WSB sponsor).
(added) BOOK EVENT: Tonight at Easy Street Records (4559 California SW):
We’re hosting Peter Jesperson and Tommy Stinson (of The Replacements) for a Q&A moderated by local author & journalist Charles R. Cross on the release of Jesperson’s Memoir: Euphoric Recall! 6 pm, free & all ages!
COFFEEHOUSE MUSIC: 7-9 pm, live music with Steve Itterly at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor). No cover, all ages.
DANCE NIGHT AT THE SPOT: Fridays are DJ Dance Night at The Spot West Seattle (2920 SW Avalon Way), 7-10 pm.
‘HARD ROCK’ AT THE SKYLARK: 8 pm, Deadbeat Blackout, The Thrill, No Buffer, Omega Theory at The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW), $10 cover, all ages until 10 pm.
DJ NIGHT AT REVELRY ROOM: Music 9 pm-1 am on Fridays! (4547 California SW)
Something to add to our calendar? firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
Lots of questions yesterday afternoon about a large group of police motorcycles seen traveling on various West Seattle streets, including 35th SW and Fauntleroy Way SW (with a stop at Lincoln Park), and over the bridge. Nobody sent photos or video but given the circumstances, and the lack of any known visiting dignitaries, we suspected it was training, and said that to people who contacted us directly, but we wanted to confirm it before writing anything. Early this morning, we finally got that confirmation from Det. Judinna Gulpan of SPD’s media-relations team – just training. (It happens periodically, as we’ve reported over the years, and it’s sometimes multi-agency, like this round in 2019. And once in a rare while it’s not training – like 2018, when the prime minister of Japan came to West Seattle for lunch.)
6:00 AM: Good morning! It’s Friday, November 3rd.
WEATHER AND SUNRISE/SUNSET TIMES
Chance of more rain, high in the upper 50s. Sunrise today is at 7:56 am; sunset, 5:48 pm. Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 am Sunday, when we “fall back” an hour.
Water Taxi – Regular schedule today – now on fall/winter schedule, still 7 days a week, but no late-night service Fridays/Saturdays.
Metro – Regular schedule today; check advisories here.
SPOTLIGHT TRAFFIC CAMERAS
High Bridge – the main camera:
High Bridge – the view from its southwest end (when SDOT points the 35th/Avalon/Fauntleroy camera that way):
1st Ave. S. Bridge – southeastern route across the river:
Highway 99: – northbound side at Lander:
BRIDGE INFO: The @SDOTBridges feed on Twitter/X shows whether the city’s movable bridges are opening for vessel traffic.
If you see trouble on the bridges/streets/paths/bay, please text or call us (when you can do that safely, and after you’ve reported to authorities if applicable). Thank you!