West Seattle, Washington
10:24 PM: Seattle Fire has a “full response” in the 10400 block of 41st SW in Arbor Heights. We’re on our way to find out more.
10:40 PM: Our photographer just talked to SFD at the scene. This was a fire in a shed behind a house. It’s out now. No one hurt. Cause not yet known – the investigator’s on the way.
Starting Friday, there’s a new place for little ones and caregivers to play indoors – Arbor Heights Community Church is reopening its “Stay ‘n’ Play” indoor gym for ages 5 and under. It’ll be open for drop-ins (but not dropoffs) 10 am to 11:30 am on Fridays. The area is set up with toys and indoor play equipment, and there’s no charge. The church is at 4113 SW 102nd.
Two people contacted us about what happened in Arbor Heights tonight, including photos of the heavily tagged, crashed car (we’ve blocked out the tags):
My brother and sister-in-law live in Arbor Heights near Westside School. They witnessed a car, presumably stolen, drive wildly around the neighborhood, crash into the Westside School sign and then crash into the hill. The driver abandoned it there. They said there was a car following them and filming it all. They called 911 … The car was left running.
The other person we heard from said this car and the other one, described only as black, were earlier “racing on the streets near Arbor Heights Pool, around a corner (tires squealing) where children were playing … an adult walking a dog was able to move further onto the shoulder of the road and avoid being hit.” Police arrived just after we received the first note and identified the car to dispatch as a stolen Kia Forte, as they called for a tow truck.
P.S. We’ll mention it for the second time today – the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster) has another steering-wheel-lock giveaway, meant for people with Kias and Hyundais, Saturday (September 2nd), 9:30 am-11:30 am.
Around this time every summer, we start checking online calendars to compile a list of school-year start dates, since it’s a matter of interest beyond school communities – neighbors, businesses, drivers, etc. So far we’ve found that for at least one school, this is the last weekend of summer – the first day at school for Summit Atlas, the charter middle/high school at 35th/Roxbury in Arbor Heights, is this Wednesday, August 16th. (Yes, they do get out earlier – June 7th is the last scheduled day of the 2023-2024 school year.)
Side note: According to the Washington Charter School Commission website, Summit Atlas is up for authorization renewal this year; public comment will be accepted through early October. The school opened in 2017. Renewal materials say the school has almost 500 students enrolled.
Reported by Shelley:
My husband’s silver 2015 Hyundai Sonata, license # AUX7982, was stolen outside of Arbor Heights tennis courts between 4 and 5:45 today. Someone had tried to steal it a few months ago, and Hyundai supposedly fixed the easy-to-steal problem, but obviously that didn’t work.
9:49 PM: Thanks for the tip. A somewhat startling sight outside Summit Atlas at 35th/Roxbury this past hour – the driver of that car went up over the sidewalk and stopped just short of the building. Police were still sorting out what happened when we went over to look but told us that whoever was in the car ran from the scene – two people, according to nearby residents who say they saw it happen.
10:32 PM: Listening to archived dispatch audio – police believe the same vehicle was involved in an earlier hit-run at Delridge/Holden. Initial check of the car’s status did NOT show it to be stolen, according to dispatch.
Summit Atlas, the charter middle/high school in Arbor Heights, will be closed today (Wednesday, June 7) because of what a message to families called a “possible school safety threat.” Parents forwarded us the message late Tuesday night:
We are reaching out to you to communicate about a safety concern that was brought to the attention of our Atlas leadership team. At Summit Atlas, we take every reported matter very seriously and act immediately. Your student’s safety and the safety of the entire Atlas community is our number one priority.
This evening, June 6, we learned of an anonymous threat of a possible school safety threat for the Atlas campus for June 7. Upon learning about this possible safety threat, we immediately called local law enforcement. We are now in ongoing conversation with the Seattle Police Department regarding the credibility of the threat we received, and the police are investigating this matter. While we continue to work with law enforcement, our school will be closed for the day tomorrow, Wednesday, June 7, 2023.
Due to this closure, we will be rescheduling our 8th grade promotion ceremony and will share details as soon as possible. While we are looking forward to celebrating the successes and achievements of our students, we hold their safety and that of our staff, as our top priority.
Tomorrow you can expect more communication with updates and our plan to support students when we return to campus. Please reach out with any information you or your student may know to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Summit Atlas Leadership Team
The Summit Atlas campus is at 35th/Roxbury. As we’ve been noting in our morning transportation-info roundups, Friday (June 9th) is the last scheduled day of school.
If your tap water looks like this right now …
… it’s hydrant testing again, according to what Garrett – who sent the photo – was told when he called Seattle Public Utilities. As we’ve been reporting recently, a procedural change in hydrant testing has led to more sediment disturbance in the lines than used to be the case. The sediment is mostly rust, and SPU says it’s not toxic, but certainly unpleasant to see – and definitely hold off on laundry until the water runs clear. Always report it to SPU – 206-386-1800.
Fundraiser season continues, and here’s one you can jump into right now if you have a few minutes – the Arbor Heights Elementary PTSA auction. Online bidding is open to all until Saturday night (when the PTSA hosts its in-person auction gala). The PTSA says money they raise “supports Arbor Heights Elementary students and staff through PTSA funding of classroom supplies, teacher trainings, school assembly funding, music instruction for all students, arts enrichment, literacy programs, IDEA STEM lab equipment, transportation for field trips and much more.” You can browse what’s up for bidding – including food, beverages, getaways, art, music, more – by going here.=
Parenting is a tough job. Especially considering the rules keep changing – for the kids as well as the parents. In hopes of helping a bit, the Westside Family Association is inviting all parents/guardians, West Seattle-wide, to this free event on Thursday:
Consent Etc…. with Jo Langford from beheroes.net.
Thursday, March 23, 2023
Westside Theater @ Westside School
10404 34th Ave. SW
We are now in 2023, and with our evolution both culturally and technologically, a new awareness about why and how we as parents need to speak to our kids about consent is emerging. It is our job to help ensure that we are providing the children we are raising communication and affirmative consent skills that are age-appropriate and that take into consideration the kinds of opportunities and obstacles they may face in today’s world – ‘cuz it’s not the nineties anymore…
This talk will help parents understand the ways that the concept of consent has changed and how variables such as LGBTQ+ identities and the use of technology impact affirmative consent. Attendees will also participate in a handful of fun, thought-provoking exercises and have the opportunity to ask questions and get answers around this important concept.
FREE. Please RSVP at this link. (so we know how many seats to put out)
Find out more about Jo Langford here.
Questions? Email email@example.com
Thanks for the texted tip. For the fourth time in four days, a West Seattle water main has ruptured. This time it’s in Arbor Heights, in the 3700 block of SW 100th. Seattle Public Utilities says more than 50 customers are affected. This follows a Sunday break in Sunrise Heights and two breaks Thursday in Fauntleroy (the second of those was caused by the first, according to SPU). More info when we get it.
Got room for a rain garden? A site for a cistern? You might be eligible for RainWise rebates to help you get them, depending on where you live, because they’re returning to some West Seattle neighborhoods. Here are the details sent to us to share with you:
RainWise, a partnership between King County Wastewater Treatment Division and Seattle Public Utilities, has a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!
The West Seattle neighborhoods around Sunrise Heights, Westwood, Fauntleroy, and Arbor Heights are eligible for RainWise rebates – again!
In 2013, King County joined the RainWise program, and parts of West Seattle became eligible for rebates that pay for rain gardens and cisterns on private properties. By capturing the rain that falls on roofs, these installations help keep stormwater out of the sewer system and prevent overflows at the Barton Pump Station near the Fauntleroy ferry dock. After five years in the program, almost 150 properties put in rain gardens and cisterns that manage the equivalent of rain falling on five acres of roofs. In addition, 15 blocks of highly engineered roadside rain gardens were put in to let rain washing down streets and sidewalks to soak into the ground. All of this has really helped but as we look to a future of heavy rains and atmospheric rivers, we would love more help to manage the rain in this area.
How does RainWise help? During heavy rains, the sheer volume of polluted stormwater can cause our combined sewers to overflow. This negatively impacts human health and the health of marine life, such as salmon and orcas. We can reduce this water pollution by installing green stormwater infrastructure solutions, such as rain gardens and cisterns. This is where RainWise comes in.
What is RainWise? RainWise is a rebate program jointly run by King County Wastewater Treatment Division and Seattle Public Utilities. RainWise rebates help property owners manage the rain by installing cisterns and/or rain gardens on their private property. This not only helps reduce stormwater pollution, but mitigates flooding, adds attractive landscaping, and can provide water for summer irrigation.
You can check your eligibility for rebates at 700milliongallons.org/rainwise/eligibility. And, for addresses not eligible for RainWise, Green Stormwater Mini-Grants are available as well at 12000raingardens.org/gsi-mini-grants.
To find out more, please attend one of our upcoming events to talk with program staff and RainWise contractors. We are excited about being back in this area and look forward to helping you get started on your RainWise project!
How to Get RainWise Workshop
Attend this in-person workshop to learn about the program with a short presentation followed by a Q&A with staff and RainWise contractors.
Wednesday, March 1st, 6 – 7:15 pm
Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, 9131 California Ave SW
Register at RWworkshop1.eventbrite.com
Join RainWise at West Seattle Nursery
Come visit our table while you shop for your garden!
Saturday, March 4th, 10 am – 12 pm
Saturday, April 8th, 10 am – 12 pm
West Seattle Nursery, 5275 California Ave SW
How to Get RainWise Webinar
Attend this online webinar and watch a short presentation followed by a Q&A with staff and a local homeowner.
Thursday, March 16th, 5 – 6 pm
Register at bit.ly/mar16RW
Edible Landscapes with RainWise Webinar
Attend this online webinar to learn how edible rain gardens offer a green solution to pollution. There will be a short presentation followed by a Q&A with staff and gardening experts.
Tuesday, April 11th, 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Register at bit.ly/ediblewebinar
RainWise Garden Celebration at Peace Lutheran Church
Come to our RainWise Garden Celebration where you can talk to an array of RainWise, sustainability, and garden experts to learn about the program. There will be tours of Peace Lutheran’s RainWise installation, refreshments, and activities. This is a family-friendly event!
Saturday, April 22nd, 10 am – 1 pm
Peace Lutheran Church, 8316 39th Ave SW
Register at raingardencelebration.eventbrite.com
Not eligible? Feel free to reach out to us! We are happy to help provide you with resources. Check out 12000raingardens.org/about-rain-gardens/incentives to see what other programs are available to you.
Contact us for questions, comments, and concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more info about RainWise, visit 700milliongallons.org/rainwise
Arbor Heights students were met on arrival by principal Christy Collins and the Junior Seahawk:
Wednesday is early-dismissal day for Seattle Public Schools, so all those riders, walkers, and rollers will be heading home soon.
Thanks to Mary at AHES for inviting us to come cover the event! Story tips are always appreciated, at email@example.com or, if it’s breaking news/happening now, voice/text our hotline, 206-293-6302.
Passing through Arbor Heights, we decided to check the Summit Atlas calendar, recalling that school starts earlier than others – and discovered the first day of school was today. Summit Atlas is West Seattle’s only charter school, with middle- and high-school grades 6-12. The school opened five years ago after renovating and expanding a building that was previously a church and, before that, a supermarket.
11:53 AM: We’ve heard from multiple people mentioning a Comcast/Xfinity outage in Arbor Heights. Not weather-related – this started before the thunder/lightning/downpour moved through. One person says the Comcast website shows up to 500 customers affected. We’re checking with the company.
1:23 PM: This doesn’t explain the timetable for the outage but Comcast tells us, “We had some equipment in the node damaged in the storm this morning. Techs are actively replacing, and it should be back online by 2 pm.”
3:36 PM: Comcast said they had it fixed by 1:42 pm – so if you’re still out, let them know (try a reboot first).
Most of the time, defendants are arraigned – summoned to court to enter a plea – two weeks after charges are filed. Today, 49-year-old Brett A. Forsell of Arbor Heights was arraigned and pleaded not guilty, six days after he was charged with felony stalking in relation to an incident in which he was arrested outside U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal‘s home. A $500,000 arrest warrant was issued when the charge was filed, and Forsell was re-arrested two days later. Today, his lawyer requested that his bail be reduced to $25,000; the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office argued against a bail reduction, but Superior Court Judge Aimee Sutton reduced the bail to $150,000. The KCPAO notes: “However, the judge granted prosecutors’ request for GPS monitoring with victim notification, alcohol monitoring, a stalking protection order and, if the defendant were to post the bail amount, electronic home monitoring.” The court documents from today’s hearing include letters from family and friends vouching for him, as well as information not available previously – that Forsell turned himself in after the charges were filed and warrant issued last week. His only criminal history, the lawyer also noted, is a DUI almost a decade ago. Forsell’s next hearing is in two weeks.
Tonight the 48-year-old man arrested outside U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal‘s Arbor Heights home last Saturday night was released from jail. We first noticed his release on the county inmate roster and confirmed with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office that he was released as required because he had not yet been charged. The KCPAO says that doesn’t mean he won’t eventually be charged – they are still working on the case: “The suspect’s alleged language and actions, coupled with his possession of a concealed weapon, deserve the full attention of the justice system. Presently, the investigation is ongoing and our office is working with police investigators to make sure we understand the full extent of the suspect’s actions to build the strongest case possible.”
A different action has been taken against the man, also an Arbor Heights resident. As first reported by The Seattle Times – SPD obtained an Extreme Risk Protection Order (explained here) to keep him from possessing a gun. We have obtained those court documents. They say that in addition to the handgun seized from him the night of his arrest, the suspect “expressed an intent to purchase an AK47 for protection” while talking with police Saturday. The documents also say that he admitted to police “that since June 29th he has driven past Pramila’s residence three to seven separate times while yelling obscenities toward Pramila and her political party.” Two of those times were on Saturday. The first time, police say, he admitted to driving there with his adult son and exiting the vehicle and shouting ‘F— you, Pramila’ (but) denied making any statements about her ethnicity/race (and also) denied making statements telling (her) to kill herself and stated he did not know if his son made that statement.” Police say the second time he drove there, he got out of his vehicle and yelled “Hey a–h—, I’m your new f—ing neighbor.” The documents say a neighbor’s security camera recorded that but also recorded a voice saying other obscenities and “Tell Pramila to kill herself.” The recording also includes what police described as “a sound that sounds like something metal being manipulated,” and they speculated it could have been a handgun being racked, or the metal poles for the tent the man was trying to set up.
The documents go on to say that the man had demonstrated “escalating behavior” toward Rep. Jayapal, including email sent to her in January “stating his dislike toward her due to her perceived political wrongdoings.” The documents also suggest that even if the behavior does not qualify as a hate crime, stalking charges are possible. They say the Glock handgun found in his waistband on Saturday night was the only gun he was known to have, so that’s all that’s listed in the order, though it also prohibits him from possessing or seeking to possess any other guns. King County Superior Court Judge Matthew Segal granted the Extreme Risk Protection Order on a temporary basis; a hearing will be held July 26th on whether to extend it.
Registration opens tomorrow morning for upcoming youth tennis lessons at Arbor Heights Swim and Tennis Club. Here’s the announcement they’re sharing with the community:
Our next two-week tennis-lesson session starts Tuesday, July 5. Key information includes:
Two separate 45-minute lesson sessions offered: 12.30 pm-1.15 pm and 1.15 pm-2 pm
Each session includes 10 lessons: Tuesday-Friday, July 5-8, and Monday-Friday, July 11-July 14
Ages 8-18 and all abilities welcome
Cost is $108 for 9 lessons
Registration opens Friday, July 1, at 9 am. Click on Lessons – Arbor Heights Swim and Tennis Club to register.
Questions at AHfirstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s plenty of advance notice for one volunteering opportunity coming up at a local school:
Have you been wondering how you can give back to the West Seattle community? Have you ever considered becoming a Roots of Empathy Instructor? Arbor Heights Elementary is in need of volunteers who are willing to train as Roots of Empathy Instructors in the coming school year. Applications are currently being accepted and training dates are scheduled for October 18-20, 2022.
What is Roots of Empathy? Roots of Empathy is an evidence-based classroom program that fosters empathy in children, now entering its 15th year of partnership with elementary schools in the Seattle area. Arbor Heights has participated in Roots of Empathy since 2013 and they are looking for a few more people who are willing to give time to children and watch them evolve over the school year as they watch “their” baby grow.
Want to see what Roots of Empathy looks like? Click to view a recent BBC World Hacks feature on the Roots of Empathy program. You can learn more about what being an Instructor means here.
Please reach out to Suz Fix, local Program Manager, at email@example.com if you’re interested in joining Roots of Empathy in changing the world, child by child.
West Seattle’s only charter school, Summit Atlas in Arbor Heights, has graduated its second class of 12th-graders. A ceremony last night at South Seattle College‘s Brockey Center celebrated the 33 members of the Summit Atlas Class of 2022. Student speakers included Maka Yusuf, Steisy Leon, and Wilder Roff:
The class’s mentors, Sr. Perez and Ms. Smith, presented diplomas:
And Grupo Folklorico Citlali, featuring Class of 2022 member Angelina Gonzalez, performed:
Summit Atlas’s high-school executive director is Dan Effland:
2:55 PM: When an Arbor Heights house caught fire Sunday evening, neighbors rushed over with fire extinguishers to try to help while firefighters were on the way. Now, neighbors are assisting in another way – they’ve organized crowdfunding for the family coping with the aftermath of what SFD ruled was an accidental fire. The most seriously injured victim is still in the hospital in critical condition with burns, neighbor Steve tells WSB. So neighbors are doing what they can to help, and for all the times readers ask if they can help in the wake of emergencies, they wanted to let you know too. They explain on the crowdfunding page that the victim and his wife “are wonderful neighbors who have lived on our block for many years.”
4 PM: Since we published this, as noted in comments, the crowdfunding page has been updated with the news that the critically injured man, Angelo, has died.
7:13 PM: Seattle Fire crews are just arriving at a house fire in the 9800 block of 45th SW [map] – smoke was visible from miles north.
They report it’s a “working fire.” Updates to come.
7:15 PM: At least one person is reported in need of medical treatment.
7:20 PM: Firefighters told dispatch the fire is under control. … Other people who were in the house are reported to need medical evaluation.
7:56 PM: Update from SFD – “Firefighters rescued an approximately 74-year-old man from the house fire; he is being transported in critical condition via medics to HMC. 2 other occupants are also being transported via AMR in stable condition.” The fire is out.
8:29 PM: Just talked to SFD spokesperson Kristin Tinsley. She had one detail to add – that neighbors jumped into action with fire extinguishers after seeing smoke and hearing someone yelling for help, but it was too late – the fire “took off.” Of the three people home at the time, the one who was transported in critical condition was in the room where the fire is believed to have started; another man got out OK, and a woman was out in the yard at the time. SFD’s investigator is working to determine the cause.
MONDAY MORNING: SFD says the fire was ruled accidental, blamed on an “overheated electrical power strip.”
Today’s the day Deb Schwartzkopf has been working toward for a long time – the grand opening of Rain City Clay in Arbor Heights. As we first reported nine months ago, it’s an expansion for her, joining Rat City Studios in White Center. This is a big space that facilitates not just art but also classes. Lots of work space – here for example are kilns:
Today’s celebration is on until 7 pm – with tours, refreshments, and art to enjoy – you can see how Rain City Clay has been renovating the former Brace Point Pottery:
Live music, too, with the Bobby Medina Jazz Quartet:
Rain City Clay is in the heart of Arbor Heights, at 4208 SW 100th.