West Seattle, Washington
Another utility project is set to start, affecting a local street. This time it’s 34th SW in Arbor Heights, near Westside School (WSB sponsor), between SW 104th and 106th. That’s where Puget Sound Energy will be “replacing a portion of the underground natural-gas main and select service lines.” 34th SW will be reduced to one lane in the work area. The work is expected to last about two weeks and may involve some service interruptions. Full details, and a map, are on a flyer (here and here) sent to neighbors, who have been told the work is expected to start Monday. (Thanks to Jodean for the tip!)
Two bicycles in West Seattle Crime Watch this afternoon:
STOLEN VINTAGE BIKE: That’s Jena‘s bike. She sent the photo and report:
My Purple 1970s Schwinn Stingray was stolen from our home last night in Arbor Heights. It is a very rare bicycle, and at the time it was stolen it was disassembled and boxed. I am awaiting a Police Report #. If any information comes up, please contact me, Jena, at 206-383-6999.
DUMPED AND LIKELY STOLEN: Recognize this bicycle?
Mike sent the photo, saying it’s along an alleyway at 49th/Hinds.
ORIGINAL 7:42 PM REPORT: Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes tonight:
STOLEN VEHICLE FOUND … ON ITS SIDE: On Sunday, we published Jim‘s report of his family’s stolen CR-V. It was found early this morning … after this crash:
Whoever was driving the car when it crashed near 34th and 97th in Arbor Heights subsequently bolted. Arlene sent the photo and said the driver was described as “a young man” wearing a black ski mask, blue jacket, and jeans. We confirmed with Jim tonight that it was indeed his CR-V, totaled. A parked car was reported to have been damaged too.
MAIL THEFT: From Kelly: “Mail theft from 22nd Ave between Thistle and Trenton. All mailboxes were opened including multiple locked boxes. I had a package stolen.”
ADDED 8:14 PM – ROBBERY INVESTIGATION: Police are north of The Junction right now investigating a reported street robbery near Holy Rosary. Officers have told dispatch that they’re looking for three suspects, Black men 18-22, all about 6′ and thin, all wearing face coverings and blue jeans, one in a white shirt, one with a black handgun, all of whom got away in a metallic blue 4-door sedan. No details so far on the robbery victim, circumstances, or what was taken.
ADDED 10:18 AM TUESDAY: Just got the report narrative on the robbery:
XXXX stated that she was walking from her home in the 4500 block of 40 Av SW to the restaurant located at 41XX California Av SW. She stated she was walking northbound in the 4400 block of 42 Av SW when an unknown year, make, model, four-door sedan, metallic blue in color traveling southbound on 42 Av SW suddenly pulled up next to her. XXXXXX believed the vehicle was stopping to pick up a possible [ride-share] customer.
XXXXX stated three Black males, 18-22 years old, 6-0, thin build, all wearing blue jeans exited the vehicle and surrounded her. She stated one male was wearing a white T-shirt and armed with a black handgun. XXXXXX stated this male pointed the handgun at her head and stated, “XXXXXXXXXX” XXXXXX advised she was terrified and clung to the purse. She stated the males were stronger than her and ripped the purse from her grasp. XXXXX advised that her identification, credit cards and cell phone were inside of the tan rounded purse. … XXXXX advised she was not injured from the robbery. She stated the suspects left southbound in a vehicle on 42 Av SW. An area check for the suspects and vehicle was negative.
The X’s are what was redacted by SPD before the narrative was provided in response to our request.
Looking for some good news? Despite the COVID-19 economic crunch, generosity is running rampant. We have an update on Arbor Heights-based Cub Scout Pack 799‘s recent Scouting for Food door-to-door drive, courtesy of parent Jason T.:
Please let everyone in West Seattle know that Pack 799 has concluded its food drive, including returning for any initially missed pickups as we were notified.
We are sincerely grateful for the broad support we experienced in performing our service activity, and look forward to sustaining and improving the health of West Seattle in our own small way in the future. According to Karla and all the extremely helpful folks at the West Seattle Food Bank, Pack 799 was able to facilitate the collection of 3,221 pounds of food and household goods — nearly three times the amounts we’ve collected in past drives!
It is really heartwarming to have that level of community support, which gives solid encouragement to our young Scouts who chose to serve their communities in the midst of all the challenges, through a little adaptation and innovation.
The photo and announcement are from Pack 799 dad Jason T:
Today and through this weekend, individual Cub Scouts and their parents will be putting out door hangers in the Arbor Heights neighborhood and a few other neighborhoods around West Seattle (depending where they live, optional participation), and individual families will return on Saturday, October 10, 9 am to 12 pm to retrieve any nonperishable items, bagged, from the locations where they distributed hangers. Families will deliver these bags to the West Seattle Food Bank. If you see one of these hangers on your door, please consider helping us out with our service activity by donating. See the following link for items the West Seattle Food bank currently accepts:
Performing this activity as individual families is one way the Pack is adopting COVID-19 appropriate approaches for our community service activities. And with food insecurity on the rise, dens feel it is more important than ever to assist in small ways.
We received multiple questions last night about a police/fire response on SW 104th last night because SFD classified the call as “scenes of violence, aid.” The last word is key – it’s a lower-level medical response than the usual “scenes of violence” callout; the “scenes of violence” designation is usually because of how a victim was injured, generally involving a weapon of some kind. We don’t automatically go out on the “aid” level of calls but with all the questions, we went over to try to find out more. The response was already wrapping up and officers on the scene wouldn’t comment. We found out from SFD later via email that a 30-year-old man had been taken to a hospital, in stable condition, but had to wait until this morning to ask SPD media relations for more information on their part of the response. The response: “This was a crisis call and a domestic-violence assault. One person was arrested.”
Since Seattle City Light started its Arroyo Conduit Installation Project in southwest West Seattle more than two years ago, it’s sent monthly project updates. Up until this past March, the updates listed the project timeline as “18-20 months” (though by then it was in month 22). Then the timeline mentions stopped – until today’s update:
Seattle City Light received several inquiries about the status of the Arroyo Conduit Installation Project. We acknowledge that construction delays have resulted in an extended project timeline and we recognize the inconvenience this has caused for neighbors and community.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated multiple changes to our operations staffing model and at this time, we continue to operate with approximately 75% of our typical staff. The Arroyo Conduit Installation Project remains a high priority for City Light and the City.
Construction on 42nd Avenue SW will continue through October 2020; however, timing for follow-up work by the Seattle Department of Transportation is unclear.
The entire project is now estimated for completion in the 3rd quarter of 2021. We recognize that the timing is not what we’ve previously communicated and understand that the delay is frustrating. Our goal is to meet our customer commitments and it’s disappointing when we aren’t able to do so.
Please be aware that due to the nature of our work maintaining the electrical system, some essential tasks require crew members to work closely together for their safety. We ask that residents continue to adhere to social distancing guidelines when walking near a construction site. The safety of our customers and crews is our number one priority. This work is in accordance with protocols in place to meet all COVID-19 guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Washington State Department of Health, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Again, we apologize for the delay.
With September getting closer, many families are still making decisions about their child(ren)’s education. Today Summit Atlas, the charter middle/high-school in Arbor Heights, joins the WSB sponsor team to let you know what they offer:
Imagine having the option of keeping your scholar safe at home while not missing a beat in school! At Summit Atlas we offer 1:1 mentoring, real-world projects, self-directed learning, and a small, diverse community where each student is embraced. Our promise is that students graduate as happy, kind, curious adults with the habits and skills needed for success in college and life.
Summit Atlas is currently enrolling for grades 6-12. In response to COVID-19, our students will start the year in virtual school with a complete daily schedule and teacher-led instruction. We will always make decisions that are rooted in the best public-health information available, putting our community’s safety first.
We’re excited to connect with you!
Online: atlas.summitps.org/enroll – email: email@example.com
We thank Summit Atlas for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
I live in Arbor Heights, and my Honda Metropolitan was stolen from my driveway, from inside my carport last night, Friday, 8/7, between the hours of 8 pm and 8 am Saturday morning. It has Washington plates, and a slight hole in the seat. If anyone has seen this, please contact the police, or Jena at (206)383-6999.
We’ll add the plate #/incident # when available.
5:59 PM: That’s artist Mimi Miles outside Brace Point Pottery in Arbor Heights, with an unusual West Seattle Art Walk sight until 8 pm:
Brace Point Pottery opens its patio and gallery for an outdoor, drive by, wander through sculpture exhibition. Mimi Miles‘ ceramic torsos and portraits are ceramic manifestations of human emotion and movement. Eight larger than life size busts of old white men make up “SENATE MAJORITY” and occupy center gallery, visible from the street. Female torso, “Attitude” conveys its message clearly.
BPP is at 4208 SW 100th. Other Art Walk locations – and online links – are in our preview from earlier today.
6:51 PM: A few sights from the Junction:
Painter Linda McClamrock is showing her work outdoors, at the KeyBank corner. And indoors at Click! Design That Fits (4540 California SW; WSB sponsor), co-proprietor Frances Smersh (below with husband/co-proprietor John) is tonight’s featured artist:
Stop by The Junction before 8.
P.S. Not to get too morose … but if not for the pandemic, tonight’s the Art Walk that would have been combined with what we always called “Summer Fest Eve,” streets closed for setting up our area’s biggest annual festival. Here’s hoping for next year!
Our original auction was set for March 13, then postponed to May 8, and now moved online.
While we wish we could be gathering together at the Hall at Fauntleroy for our annual dinner and auction, we kick off our first-ever Arbor Heights Virtual Auction!
Choose your token, dust off your top hats, get to your computer, tablet, or smartphone and join us (now) until Friday, May 8 at 10 p.m. for Arboropoly, a week of online bidding on fun and fabulous items and experiences to support the Arbor Heights Elementary school community.
Now that we have gone virtual, we can share this experience with our extended West Seattle community of supporters through our online auction link, helping to further our efforts in raising essential funds for our students and staff.
For additional information, please visit the Arbor Heights PTA website or email our auction co-chairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We first reported more than a year ago that Westside School (WSB sponsor) was looking at expanding its preschool by using space next door – the former New Apostolic Chuurch, which moved to Federal Way. Today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin includes approval for changing the site use from church to school; here’s the decision (PDF), which includes this:
Westside School proposes to expand into the neighboring, vacant New Apostolic Church. … Westside School operates on the property to the north, the former Hillcrest Presbyterian Church.
The proposal comprises renovation of the church and grounds to create new classrooms, parking, and playground for Westside School. Westside School would shift approximately 30 students from its current building and add approximately 30 new students. Approximately 8 new teachers and staff would use the building. The proposal would retain the current former church parking lot and vehicle access.
The decision issuance opens a two-week appeal period; here’s more on that (PDF).
As the one-year anniversary of its mysterious appearance nears, The West Seattle Turkey is back in the neighborhood where those early sightings happened.
WSB commenter “1994” texted that photo from north Arbor Heights tonight. Earlier, Emily K. photographed it in Upper Fauntleroy, near 36th/Cambridge:
Steve also reported a sighting there, while a texter saw TWST at 36th/Cloverdale: “I have always wanted to see her on a walk and then she appears right outside our yard! So cool!” The day began with Amy‘s sighting in Seaview:
TWST has covered a lot of ground in the past few weeks – south to Fauntleroy, then north to North Admiral, and now all the way south to Arbor Heights. BirdWeb says of the wild turkey, “They typically get around by walking although they can fly and often roost overnight in tall trees.”
Another school closure – out of caution, NOT because of illness: Westside School (WSB sponsor) in Arbor Heights will close its campus starting this Thursday, and is getting ready for online instruction. From the letter sent to families:
Dear Westside School families,
We are making the difficult but necessary decision to close school at the end of the day on Wednesday in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Effective Thursday, March 12, Westside School will be closed for at least two and a half weeks, with the possibility of an extended closure. We will continue to hold conferences as scheduled this week remotely by phone or Zoom to minimize adult contact.
This has been a complex and painful decision to close. There are a multitude of factors and I am very aware of the challenges and complications it presents to our families and the impact it has on you. However, after careful consultation and collaboration with my leadership team and the Chair of our Board, with medical professionals, and with public health, we are confident that we are making a decision that places the highest priority on the safety and well-being of our children, staff and families in our immediate and wider communities.
Why are we deciding to close school now?
Since my letter to you on Sunday March 8, the factors informing the decision about holding school have shifted, with the number of COVID-19 cases rising in recent days, including a case reported in West Seattle, and a steady increase of area independent schools making the decision to close. Furthermore, guidance from government agencies has moved in the direction of greater urgency and more support for schools to make independent decisions that best serve their communities. Governor Inslee last night said that genetic modeling by the University of Washington suggests there could be as many as 1,000 cases in the state. He added “that’s why all of us have to be dedicated to making decisions earlier in this epidemic, even when it may not seem overwhelming at the moment.”
We currently have no known cases of COVID-19 within the Westside School community, and yet we have colleagues and family members who are in at-risk categories. We are more comfortable with a position of caution and vigilance in such a rapidly evolving and deteriorating public health crisis. This decision allows us to support the safety efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus in our community at large.
We are closing at the end of the day tomorrow (Wednesday), and not today, in order to give parents 24 hours to prepare.
What is the day-by-day plan?
Tuesday 3/10 – a regular day, EDP and sports practice open.
Wednesday 3/11 – school ends at the regular time (2:45 for PS/PK; 3:15 for K-4; 3:30 for Middle School). EDP and sports practices canceled. All students will bring home everything they need for extended remote learning. Regularly scheduled Middle School conferences begin remotely by Zoom.
Thursday 3/12 – regularly scheduled conferences for both divisions, held remotely. EDP closed.
Friday 3/12 – regularly scheduled conferences for both divisions, held remotely. EDP closed.
Saturday 3/13 and Sunday 3/14 – volleyball games canceled.
Monday 3/16 – Day One of official closure. Teacher in-service day for technology training. Catch-up/reading day for students.
Tuesday 3/17 – Day Two of official closure. Remote content planning day for teachers. Catch-up/reading day for students. General all-school remote learning plan will be sent to families, as well as grade and class specific remote learning plan.
Wednesday 3/18 – First day of remote learning.
Thursday 3/19 – WPA Parent Education event postponed.
Saturday March 28 – Spirit Auction postponed. We have been planning for this possibility for a couple of weeks. Our Advancement Team will be sending out full details in due course.
When will Westside School re-open?
The short answer is that we cannot be certain at this time. The factors that have led us to school closure are complex. The factors that will help us to decide to re-open will be equally difficult. My team and I will continue to monitor the situation closely and daily. We will re-assess the situation officially on Thursday March 26 for a Monday March 30 re-opening. Please prepare for a longer closure.
How will conferences work?
By Wednesday afternoon, we will send out explicit instructions to parents on how to connect with teachers for your regularly scheduled conferences. Many of our teachers will choose to host the conference by Zoom from their classrooms so that they can continue to show evidence of student work and progress. …
How do I handle this situation with my child?
This evening, I urge you to talk with your child(ren) about this decision and to help them understand that you – and the school – are taking care of them. Children are resilient, and we owe them thoughtful and honest explanations of what a situation like this means to us. They can handle complexity, uncertainty, and frustration, in ways that often surprise us. Much of what we work on in our social and emotional learning program at school is developing the ability to name and manage our emotions. This time away from school, though not ideal, does give children an opportunity to grow in unexpected ways. I will have more to share on this later.
Final thoughts for today
I truly understand the profound and disruptive effects this decision will have on our families; this was not an easy decision to make, and I hope you understand the thought and care that went into it.
A caring community is one of Westside School’s values: “We believe students become caring members of a global community by treating each other honestly, with respect and generosity of spirit.” I firmly believe it is our community that will guide us and help us meet this challenge. We must work together and support each other in this unprecedented time. None of us have all the answers, but I believe we as a community will see this outbreak through day by day. It will pass, and when it does pass and we look back on what we’ve learned, I am very hopeful we will be able to tell ourselves that it brought us closer together as a community and made us stronger.
Thank you everyone, truly, for your patience, understanding, and commitment to working together through this unprecedented time, and please stay safe and healthy.
Steve de Beer
Head of School
Though schools are communicating directly with families, we’re publishing notices like these as we get them/confirm them so the wider community is updated too. As always, we appreciate tips/info on this and all other kinds of local news, email@example.com or text/voice 206-293-6302 – thank you!
Almost four months after we reported on what SDOT described as “fake” speed-camera signage in Arbor Heights, it’s finally been removed. We hadn’t realized the sign on SW 100th west of 35th SW hadn’t been removed until Chad emailed us last week to point it out. This week’s weather hubbub got in the way of our followup plans, but then Kyle emailed us this afternoon to say an SDOT crew was there today to take it down. (Kyle also lamented that SDOT didn’t take the chance to replace the speed-limit sign, which still says 30 mph, despite the announced plans for a citywide lowering to 25 mph. We’re asking SDOT about the timetable for that.)
Three items in Crime Watch:
SENTENCING TOMORROW: 89-year-old Roger Mize will be sentenced tomorrow for shooting another man to death almost a year ago shortly after both boarded a C Line bus in SODO. Mize pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter; prosecutors are recommending a 7 1/2-year sentence. As we reported last year, Mize and the victim, 51-year-old Ronnie Tyler, got into a fight aboard the bus after Mize took offense at Tyler walking past him. He pistol-whipped the victim and then shot him. Mize was arrested for shooting another man in 2013 but was never charged; that victim survived.
Two reader reports:
MAIL THEFT: From Chris, whose Arbor Heights neighborhood has been hit by mail theft before:
We have a new mail thief that struck every mail box this morning at 5:20am on SW oceanview Dr.
I can’t quite make out the make and model of the car this time.
Chris says the thief’s car is the dark one at the top of that image.
CAR PROWL: Gatewood again. This report is from Christine:
Just wanted to let you know that our 2004 Audi was rifled through this morning while I was up and making breakfast for my daughter around 6:15 am. I almost caught them because I heard a car with a loud motor rumbling outside and began to walk to the front door but by the time I got to the window and saw the light on in our car, they took off.
The car was parked in the front of the house and accidentally left unlocked but luckily nothing of value was in there. All they took was our Leatherman multi-tool set. The sound of their car certainly drew attention so surprised they’re out casing when people are up and getting ready for work and school!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, Andrea at email@example.com, or Kristina at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
If you’re seeing discolored water in Arbor Heights, it’s likely related to an earlier problem: George mentioned it early this afternoon; by the time we checked with Seattle Public Utilities, they said the water was back on. But just now we heard from someone who’s seeing brown water on Marine View Drive. It’ll likely clear after you run it for a while, but just to be sure it’s not a new issue, if you’re seeing it, be sure to report it to 206-386-1800.
Joey & his Dad, Tony, delivered all the food Tuesday for a total of 565 pounds of food & pet food. He also did a fundraiser on Facebook & our website for a total of $305. We love Joey and his parents; they have been incredible supporters of the West Seattle Food Bank for many years and now that Joey is a teenager, he has started volunteering here at the food bank as well.
Missed the chance to donate? At least two local Halloween attractions in our guide (the Meeds Haunted House and Nightfall Orphanage) are collecting nonperishable food, so take some with you when you head out!
Five years ago, we told you about then-8-year-old Joseph Meats going door to door collecting donations for the West Seattle Food Bank. Now he’s a teenager and still working to stop hunger – and this weekend, you can help. His family sent the photo and word that he’s set up outside 9910 34th SW in Arbor Heights [map] collecting drop-off donations of food for people and pets. Here’s the list of what’s most needed:
Thanks for the tip: Summit Atlas, the charter middle/high school at 35th/Roxbury, has told families it will be closed tomorrow because of a water problem. The email sent to families says the city had to shut off the school’s water supply because of “a major breakage in the water main.” We haven’t heard of a break in the area but the school email also mentions plumbers trying to fix it, so it might be just a campus problem; we’ll check with Seattle Public Utilities tomorrow.
6:56 PM: The thunderstorms that moved through this past hour have done some damage. Seattle Fire is on scene in the ~10700 block of Marine View Drive SW, where residents report lightning hit multiple houses; no fire, but some damage is reported. In that area, more than 200 homes are without power, according to the City Light map.
7:56 PM: We’ve been to two of the homes with lightning damage.
In both cases, glass was broken, but no one was hurt.
Some tree damage too. At one home, the damage was focused on a detached dwelling unit which had no one inside at the time.
9 PM: Photos added. The residents report the lightning strike was colorful – they saw red at one point – as well as powerful.
12:33 AM: Could be more overnight, says @WestSeaWx.
12:30 AM: A Seattle Fire “full response” is headed to 35th SW and SW 98th, with a report of smoke and flames visible in a yard. But the first unit to arrive isn’t seeing anything. Updates to come.
12:35 AM: Turns out to be a trash-can fire, according to radio communication. Most responding units are being canceled.