West Seattle, Washington
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 email@example.com.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com, Andrea at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Kristina at email@example.com.
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.
3 1/2 years after we first reported that a multifamily project was proposed for the former Church of Christ site at 4220 SW 100th, site work is under way. Jeff tipped us late last month that demolition had begun; crews were doing deconstruction work by hand at first, but now heavy equipment is involved. The 8-townhouse, 1-live-work project went through Design Review in 2017 and 2018; it drew extra scrutiny because its site is part of an isolated sliver of multifamily/commercial zoning – NC1-30 (three stories) when the project was initiated, so that’s what it’s being built to, though HALA MHA has since upzoned the site to NC1-40 (four stories).
A reader in Arbor Heights sent us that photo a few days ago, wondering if that sign on SW 100th west of 35th meant a speed camera was on the way. We hadn’t heard of one – SDOT hasn’t installed any new ones in a few years – so (after going over to see the sign firsthand), we inquired. SDOT spokesperson Dawn Schellenberg told WSB today, “The sign is fake. We’re asking our crews to remove it.” As for new speed-camera installations, sh also told us, “We’re currently evaluating several locations across the city for new school-zone speed cameras and should know more next year about which locations may move forward for implementation.”
Along with everything on our highlight list, it’s also the second-to-last day for Dog Days swim sessions in Arbor Heights – until 1 pm today, and again 11 am-1 pm Sunday. (Thanks to Cori from Arbor Heights Swim and Tennis Club for sharing the photo by Brandon of Fetch It Media.) No humans in the pool, just dogs, as a fundraiser for AHSTC swim teams before the pool gets cleaned in the offseason. $10 donation per dog. The pool’s at 11003 31st Ave SW.
The report and videos are from Michael in Arbor Heights:
Caught this guy on our Nest camera stealing a package from our neighbor’s porch (Friday) at 2:15 PM in a fancy newer-style gray Ford truck. I’ve attached two separate videos, one showing the truck drive into frame, one showing the theft take place. Neighbor has or will be reporting to police. This happened on 32nd Ave SW in between 106th and 105th in Arbor Heights.
Hopefully someone will recognize the truck. Perpetrator was a white male, stocky, bald.
MBL also says social-media discussion of his clips yielded an opinion that it could be the same person/truck shown in this video from last month, recorded by a witness as a woman tried to stop a truck after her purse had been stolen from her car outside Admiral Safeway.
In case the extra-warm weather gets you wondering – yes, Dog Days will be back this year at Arbor Heights Swim and Tennis Club (11003 31st SW). It’s a fundraising tradition after the last human swimming days of the year, before the pool’s off-season cleaning; the admission fees benefit youth swim teams. This year’s dates will be Monday, September 16 through Sunday, September 22, and the various price options will include one for dog walkers, sessions on Tuesday and Thursday, $50 for up to 8 dogs. Questions? coriroed (at) gmail (dot) com
7:24 PM: Just in from an Arbor Heights resident – this clip showing a package thief in a “Just Do It” T-shirt. The victim reports:
We had a few packages stolen from our porch today, and this dude seemed to be making the rounds (I’m assuming because a lot of Prime Day stuff was getting delivered).
If it’s helpful to anyone, here is the video from my doorbell … it seems like others have had the same people steal from them today as well.
The resident also sent this clip from a neighbor’s camera showing a different thief but apparently the same vehicle. We’ll add the police-report number when available. This kind of incident usually can be reported online – police continue to reiterate that it’s really important for everything to be reported.
11:59 PM UPDATE: Police report # is 19-264203.
10 AM: That’s one of the police vehicles that drew a lot of attention (thanks for the tips!) in Arbor Heights this morning, near SW 98th and 41st SW. The operation was wrapping up when we got there and so far all we know is that it was Renton Police serving a warrant. We’re pursuing more details and will update if we get any.
10:26 AM: The Renton PD media liaison tells us all he knows so far is that it was a drug-related warrant.
11:27 AM: The “rescue extrication” response is headed for 39th SW/SW 106th [map], and the dispatch was for a reported “vehicle into a building.” Updates to come.
11:30 AM: First SFD crew on scene reports crash into tree. SFD says no extrication necessary, occupant got themselves out.
11:38 AM: Just added a photo. Our crew says this pickup is in the yard of a house closer to 37th SW than 39th and that the driver appears to be OK. SFD says there are “reports of a second patient near scene.” We’re checking on that.
11:50 AM: Our crew talked to a witness who also noted that a second vehicle was involved, and our crew has found that one:
The driver of this vehicle is OK but after evaluation, our crew says, it appears the pickup driver will be taken to a hospital. Avoid the area, by the way – police are NOT there yet to direct traffic so SFD is doing what it can.
12:38 PM: Firefighters had to shore up the deck area damaged According to a witness with whom we spoke, the pickup driver hit the other car while trying to get through a narrow section o street, then lost control.
A commenter says the pickup driver went through three yards before ending up on the deck.
The video and report are from Michael in east Arbor Heights:
This cool guy stole my shoes from front porch midnight June 10th. Joke’s on him because they were stinky as heck after golfing in the morning and going in the trash anyway. Just thought it provides a good look for someone who’s obviously casing the neighborhood and stealing things off people’s front porch.
P.S. One more reminder that Arbor Heights (and Westwood/Roxhill-area) residents are invited to a focus group tonight to discuss crime/safety/policing issues – here’s the info.
Another alert from SDOT, this time for the half-mile of 35th SW where sidewalks were built last year. The project team says, “We have some final repair work to do on 35th Ave SW – some due to the snow/de-icing damages and … concerns and problems that emerged after project completion. Our crews will be returning to 35th Ave SW this coming Monday, 5/6 for up to two weeks to complete final repair work along the corridor. This work will be fairly low key and will not require complete closures or staging of equipment.” Here’s what they’ll be doing:
Crews will return to 35th Ave SW as early as this coming Monday, May 6 to begin last part of repair work as part of the Arbor Heights Safe Routes to School sidewalk project. This work includes:
Rebuilding curb bulbs at the following locations:
o SW corner of 35th Ave SW and SW 100th St
o SW corner of 35th Ave SW and SW 104th St
Rebuilding the curb and gutter on the west side of 35th Ave SW between SW 102nd St and SW
Install fog line (line that delineates between vehicular travel lane and parking strip) along the
west side of 35th Ave SW between SW 100th St and SW 106th St
Hydroseed planting strip area along east side of 35th Ave SW between SW 102nd St and SW 104th
This work will take approximately 2 weeks to complete. During this work, you can expect:
Noise and dust from construction
Work hours from 8 AM – 5 PM, Monday through Friday
Temporary suspension of street parking on the west side of 35 th Ave SW between SW 100 th St
and SW 106 th St
o No-Park signs will be posted 3 days in advance to parking closure
Temporary detour and/or lane shift on 35 th Ave SW
Possible impacts to pedestrian access
King County Metro service will not be impacted by this work
Questions? Please contact Project Outreach Team at 206-615-0786 or by email at