West Seattle, Washington
Quick followup on the city’s planned purchase of a parcel expanding the Orchard Street Ravine “passive park” in Gatewood – the $235,000 purchase, to be funded by Park District levy money, just got unanimous final approval from the full Council. The 5600-square-foot parcel at 7137 38th SW, on a slope past a dead end (shown on this map), currently holds a dilapidated house that will be demolished, with an additional ~$125,000 to be spent on that and other costs. Full backstory is in our two previous reports – here and here.
Every year, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society offers a tour of a local house with a notable past. This afternoon, while many were watching hydroplane racing and/or Blue Angels aerobatics, this year’s “If These Walls Could Talk” tour invited visitors inside the Gatewood home where Lloyd and Mary Anderson began the business that became REI.
At center in the photo above is SWSHS executive director Jeff McCord, talking with visitors inside the basement where the Andersons launched their buying coop in 80 years ago. After Lloyd died in 2000, Mary – who died last year at age 107 – Mary sold the house.
It’s since been remodeled and expanded, with three more houses added on the site where it was built in 1932, as this Seattle Times Now and Then story explains, but part of the exterior, including the porch and overhang, remain the same.
The site is now known as Anderson Gardens in the couple’s honor. The REI website has more on how they founded the company, which remains a co-op.
P.S. At its own home, the Log House Museum, SWSHS will debut a new exhibit about local music history, noon-2 pm Thursday (August 9th), just in time for its spotlight during Sub Pop’s SPF30 anniversary celebration next Saturday.
The vote was 4-0 minutes ago as the City Council’s Civic Development, Public Assets, and Native Communities Committee gave their approval to buying a 5,600-square-foot parcel for expansion of the Orchard Street Ravine. We previewed the proposal in this story; if the full Council gives final approval next Monday, the site at 7137 38th SW (shown on this map)will be bought with $235,000 in Park District levy money. The presentation at today’s meeting was relatively short; earlier, as expected, several neighbors and community advocates spoke in favor of the purchase. (4:59 PM UPDATE: Here’s the Seattle Channel video – this is the last item, 46 minutes in.) The councilmembers present and voting yes today were committee chair Debora Juarez, Lorena González, Sally Bagshaw, and Lisa Herbold, who said as the meeting wrapped up that she’d heard another OSR neighbor is interested in donating/selling land, and Seattle Parks reps confirmed they’re looking into that.
When we last checked in on Ryan Cox, the 40-year-old repeat offender arrested after a man was stabbed in Gatewood last August, he had been ordered sent to Western State Hospital for an attempt at restoring competency to stand trial. Today, a King County Superior Court judge formally found Cox competent, an assessment that doctors at the state hospital had reached while he was there. According to the evaluation document that’s in the public court files, they diagnosed Cox with unspecified psychosis, while finding him in full understanding of the charges he faces and capable of assisting in his own defense. For his part, the evaluation says, Cox told them he “played crazy to come here” because he prefers WSH to county jail. It’s not the first time he has said that; we covered a Municipal Court hearing eight years ago in which he said that to his lawyer and then basically asked the judge if she could send him there ASAP. This was the first time in five years he had been to that hospital, according to court records. Aside from his time there, he has been in the King County Jail since his arrest, bail set at $150,000, awaiting trial on second-degree assault. Now that the competency issue has been resolved, his next case-scheduling hearing is set for July 26th.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes:
EARLY-MORNING INCIDENT NEAR 20TH/BARTON: We got some questions today about an early-morning police search in the 20th/Barton vicinity. Following up took some time – the full report wasn’t available, but we did get some information from Southwest Precinct Lt. Steve Strand. Police responded to a report of “a person with a gun,” he says, and while that person got away, a second armed suspect – “a convicted felon” – was found and three guns, one stolen, were found too. A rental truck associated with the call was impounded, awaiting a search warrant. No one was shot, no shots fired, but someone “had been maced somewhere along the way,” Lt. Strand added.
GATEWOOD CAR PROWL: Caught on security video around 5:30 am, near California/Ida:
I don’t think it would have been visible from the street but apparently we left our minivan unlocked with the window down last night and this guy took the opportunity to make off with a couple of gift cards. … That black car behind him is what he pulled up in.
Police report # is 18-226065.
Reader report via text:
SDOT is on the scene to remove a huge downed tree branch on SW Willow St between 37th and 38th. The branch broke sometime after 10 pm last night. I noticed it down this morning. They said they have to clear the sidewalk.
Falling branches can result from heat stress, as we noted when another reader reported a Fauntleroy Park problem the other day.
The future of the auto-shop site at 7617 35th SW [map] has long been in play – we noted a real-estate listing five years ago, and it was finally sold in 2016. Now there’s a new redevelopment proposal: A 4-story mixed-use building. Documents in city files say it’s proposed for 6,000 square feet of commercial space, plus 50 apartments and 20 offstreet-parking spaces. LDG Architects is designing the project. It will have to go through the Design Review process, though there’s no date set yet for the first hearing.
In case you see/saw this on 35th SW in Gatewood, thanks to Camille for the photo and report:
A head on collision with a tree at 35th and Southern. The guy was stunned for a sec then took off. Nobody else in the car so no one was hurt.
At last report, Camille says, police hadn’t found the driver. She says it happened around 6:30 am.
Two reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch tonight:
BURGLARY ATTEMPT: From Mitchell:
Friday morning, April 27th at around 5:35 a.m., a man tried getting into my house. He was pushing on the windows and tried to open the sliding glass doors located on the back of my house. I called the police and shortly after I watched the person walk off my property down Fauntleroy SW. Police responded, but said they couldn’t do much as the person did not enter the home and they did not see him in the area.
My home is about a block from Gatewood Elementary on Fauntleroy Way SW. Closest street intersection: SW Mills St. and Fauntleroy Way SW. If you could post a notice to the community, that would be appreciated. Maybe just a note to keep windows and doors locked even as we move into the warmer months.
STOLEN AND DUMPED PURSE? Not far south of there, later in the day on Friday, Tom found potentially stolen/dumped items:
Walking the dog around 5 PM on 4/27 and spotted a purse that appears to have been tossed in the bushes near the corner of SW Cloverdale St and Fauntleroy Pl SW. Contains a pair of shoes, a sports bra, and a receipt. Owner can contact me at TL98136@gmail.com.
We asked Tom if he had taken possession of the items – he went back for them and the jacket/yoga pants in the purse (which he thought might also be a gym bag) were gone, but he has everything else, so if you’re missing something in that area, contact him.
You have until 7 pm to go wander the halls at Gatewood Elementary and admire art created by its students.
Parent volunteers pitched in to help set up the display. And if you admire any of it enough to think you might want to take it home – it’ll be auctioned off at tomorrow night’s fundraising auction! These next works, by the way, are garden art by kindergarteners who studied bugs all year and drew pictures of bugs which were then copper-embossed and set into a cedar frame.
And as mentioned in our West Seattle Thursday preview today, the Yummy Box food truck is on hand during tonight’s Art Walk too.
Gatewood is at 4320 SW Myrtle.
Out of the WSB inbox, from Gary:
A 2004 silver-and-black Chevy Avalanche was stolen from Gatewood on Tuesday, March 13, 2018. The truck has personalized Seahawk plates that say “Perkins.” If seen, please dial 911.
UPDATE: The vehicle’s been found.
Here’s a stolen car to watch for. Just received from Cella in Gatewood:
My car was stolen from out front of my house at 39th and Rose.
It’s a dark blue 2003 VW diesel Golf. License plate AXF9344 if anyone sees it!!!
My husband’s truck was also broken into. This happened sometime last night.
If you see the car, call 911.
UPDATE: It was found – in West Seattle, according to the scanner traffic we heard; Cella later confirmed they got the car back.
Exciting day at Gatewood Elementary even before classes started for this morning – the whole school gathered for a ceremony to break ground on the first phase the school’s playfield-improvement project. Gatewood principal Kyna Hogg led students and staff in the “roller-coaster cheer”:
This is a community-led project that’s long been in the works, as we’ve previously reported. The project co-chair, parent Linnea Westerlind, shared some updates:
– We have raised $52,212 as a community since the fall, which is added to the $100,000 matching grant we received from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. Other major contributors include the Gatewood Elementary PTA, Seattle Public Schools and Nucor Steel Seattle. More than 100 students, parents, grandparents, neighbors and community members donated to support the project.
– We are breaking ground this week on the major work for the project, which will include the new irrigated grass field, running/walking track and nature-inspired areas with swales and mounds.
– Construction costs are about 20% higher than we anticipated, so we are still raising money this spring and next year to complete the entire project, which we hope will include trees, shrubs, boulders and logs, as well as a “Gator” play sculpture.
You can donate online – and see the playfield plan! – at gatewoodplayfield.org, or drop off cash/check donations at the school office (4320 SW Myrtle).
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: Accord Contractors, the lowest bidder, will start work as soon as the permit is granted – “any day now,” Westerlind says. Work is expected to last about six weeks, during which time the playfield will be fenced off; the rest of the playground will remain open, including the two play structures.
3:50 PM: We’re checking out a Seattle Fire call logged as “brush fire” in west Gatewood – the address is the 4400 block of SW Kenyon but we’ve found the SFD crews at Portland/44th. More to come.
3:53 PM: This fire call involves downed wires, firefighters tell us. They’ve called for City Light. The fire itself is out. This is in the Gatewood/Upper Fauntleroy 150+-customer power-outage zone but we don’t know if this is what’s to blame.
4:03 PM: SFD also has a crew down the slope at one of 45th SW’s dead ends east of Lincoln Park. On this side, the fire’s still smoldering – there’s a tree down on wires right next to a house.
5:18 PM: The downslope SFD crew has left; we went to that area and a City Light crew was just leaving too. SFD is still up at the SW Portland end, though. We also have heard from a few people not far away who are seeing brown water from their taps; could be related to the hydrant usage, but rather than guess, we’re advising people to call SPU at 206-386-1800.
6:41 PM: Thanks to the neighbor who sent this video from earlier:
We went back to the scene a little while ago and SFD said they expected to be leaving soon, though the Real-Time 911 log shows they haven’t closed the call yet. Seattle City Light was still also working in the area, working carefully to be able to deal with the line that went down.
2:59 PM: First significant power outage in West Seattle since the weather got blustery on Friday – more than 150 customers in Gatewood and Upper Fauntleroy, including WSB HQ, per the City Light outage map. More to come.
3:09 PM: The cause isn’t listed yet but the restoration guesstimate is 9 pm – as always, we caution that it can be fixed a lot sooner (like that recent 1 1/2-hour outage) or much later. Meantime, a much-bigger outage has just happened in the White Center/Shorewood/north Burien area – 4,100+ customers:
4:04 PM: SCL blames the White Center-and-beyond fire on a tree. Meanwhile, we’re checking out a brush-fire call in west Gatewood that’s blamed on downed wires – we don’t know if it’s related to the outage but it’s not far. Separate coverage here.
4:23 PM: As noted in comments, the big outage to the south has been resolved, as verified by the SCL map. The outage east of Lincoln Park, not yet.
5:53 PM: New outage as of a little over an hour ago – two pockets on SW Roxbury in the 26th/28th area, and we’re told that is affecting Roxbury Safeway. We’ll be checking there in a bit.
6:46 PM: Roxbury Safeway has some power inside but cold cases are covered and there’s no external lighting. Meantime, the outage in our HQ area, east of and uphill from Lincoln Park, is now listed as 371 customers. Still a 9 pm restoration guesstimate, but no cause – the wires-down fire is likely related.
9:34 PM: Still in the outage zone but we did see a couple City Light trucks a few blocks away while we were on our way back here a short time ago. The restoration guesstimate has been pushed back to ~1:29 am but please remember, it’s not based on anything scientific, as City Light itself will tell you, so it’s just a guess. Some important things to remember:
-It’s cold but in trying to stay warm, you need to follow carbon-monoxide-safety rules.
-Wondering about the safety of food in your refrigerator? Read the FDA advice and guidelines.
2 AM: Our power came back on around 1:30. Now there’s a new 90-customer outage along Walnut.
A new addition to the RainWise-enhanced grounds of Peace Lutheran Church in Gatewood – a new permanent sign explaining the stormwater-diverting program and the congregation’s commitment to it. In the photo sent by Pastor Erik Kindem is congregation president Michael Truog, who is also chair of the church’s Green Team. So next time you walk or ride by 39th SW/SW Thistle, take a look! You can also take a look at this PDF showing what’s on the sign. (The church celebrated its RainWise improvements at an event we covered last year.)
Just out of the WSB inbox:
The video is from Mark Bader in Gatewood, who explains:
I’ve enjoyed putting up Christmas lights for years, but this year, at the urging of my wife, I’ve taken the plunge and synchronized my lights to music. I have a collection of songs – some that I’ve written and recorded – that are synced to lights, and you can tune your car radio to 103.3 to hear the music. My style of sequencing is more gentle and slow, with washes of color and motion that match the mood of the music. I try to stay away from lots of flashing. A friend said of my show, “It’s just like Disney!”.
“Austin Street Lights” is at 3711 SW Austin St, and the show runs from 4 pm to 10 pm each night. Tune your radio to 103.3 to hear the music.
We are of course adding this to the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, where you’ll also find holiday concerts and other performances, Santa stops, tree lots, special events, church services, and more – we keep adding them as we get them – email@example.com – thank you!
Thanks to the texter who tipped us to this: Police have recovered another stolen car, and arrested 2 suspects. This time, it ended in a Gatewood apartment parking area, on SW Orchard just east of California [map]; the silver Acura above is the stolen car. SPD tells us an officer spotted it being driven nearby and pulled the driver over after verifying the car was stolen. They were still on scene awaiting a tow truck to impound the car. We don’t know anything about the suspects yet but will be watching the jail register.
8:36 AM: Thanks for the tips – first we got a text about a “boom” in Gatewood, then Matt e-mailed about a transformer/fuse blowing near California/Myrtle, and now the Seattle City Light outage map shows 49 customers out in that area. Estimated restoration is after noon, but remember that those are just “guesstimates” and it could be sooner (as was the case with the most recent West Seattle outage of note) or later.
1:26 PM: The original estimated restoration time has now come and gone, and there’s a new one, 3:43 pm. The map also now attributes the outage to “tree.”
2:28 PM: And the outage has ended, sometime in the past hour, after 5+ hours.
The Gatewood Elementary playfield project has hit a milestone – and one student has a fundraiser Sunday to help cover the rest of the gap. First:
From Linnea Westerlind:
Thanks to generous donations from our school families and West Seattle community, we have raised $40,517.45 for a new Gatewood Elementary playfield! Principal Kyna Hogg announced the total to our kids at an assembly this morning. To celebrate this fundraising effort the kids got to wear pajamas and have an all-school dance party today.
We are so grateful to the support of community and want to say thank you! We are within reach of our goal to raise $50,000 to complete the full playfield project. We are continuing to take donations via our online site: gatewoodplayfield.org and by donations of checks or cash to the Gatewood Elementary School office. We can’t wait to see our 400 elementary and preschool kids enjoying an amazing new outdoor play space soon!
One of them will be Gwen, whose mom Elissa e-mailed to tell us about her planned fundraising sale this Sunday:
Our daughter Gwen is in the 2nd grade at Gatewood. Her favorite thing right now is collecting little Japanese puzzle erasers; she has dozens of them. She also is really passionate about donating her money to help Gatewood build a new playground and soccer field. So she came up with the awesome idea to sell brand-new erasers, in the package, to help raise money for the playground.
We squared things away with Wildwood Market to give Gwen a venue for selling the erasers. She’ll be at the store on Sunday, Nov 19, from 1 pm to 4 pm, or until she’s out of erasers. If she sells all the erasers we bought for the sale, she can make a huge contribution to the playground fund. Even better, her handsome dad works for a company that doubles charitable contributions, so your eraser money will go twice as far.
Erasers will be $2 each or 3 for $5, and they’re brand new, unopened, official and genuine, direct from the US Iwako distributor (the real deal). Get there early for the best selection, we have a mix of little animals and little rubber desserts. 100% of the eraser money will go straight to Gatewood on Monday morning, and Dad’s company will follow up with a matching grant.
Wildwood is at 9214 45th SW.
Thanks to Linnea Westerlind for the photo of Gatewood Elementary students and mascot today outside West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor), where she reports they had a “fun, soggy time” talking to people about the Gatewood Playfield Project (featured here earlier this week). Less than a week into the campaign, they are about a quarter of the way toward their goal of $50,000 to replace the rutted playfield so the students – and neighbors, outside school hours – have someplace decent to play. This new video shows you what it’s all about:
The video was put together, with dozens participating in a shoot during yesterday’s day off from school, by alumni dad and local videographer Barry J. White, who donated his time. Want to help? Here’s how.
As previewed in our coverage of last month’s Morgan Community Association meeting, the Gatewood Elementary PTA is raising money to fix the school’s playfield, and the campaign has officially begun. Here’s the announcement:
The campaign runs through November 17 and aims to raise $50,000 from donations from parents, neighbors, local businesses and community members.
THE PRESENT: The Gatewood Elementary playfield is in terrible condition with poor drainage that is prone to flooding and uneven ground that is no longer usable for sports or activities. Kids are choosing to play sports on the asphalt instead of the playfield.
THE FUTURE: Plans for the new Gatewood playfield include:
High-quality grass playing field and new irrigation
New track for running/walking/biking
Nature-inspired play spaces with logs, boulders and native plants
New wheelchair-accessible play area with a unique “Gatewood Gator” sculpture
Trees to provide much-needed shade
WHO BENEFITS: More than 400 Gatewood elementary and Cottage preschool students use the playfield every school day. Cottage’s summer program serves more than 50 kids. The new playfield and track will also be a fantastic new amenity for our West Seattle neighbors to use during non-school hours.
FUNDING: The Gatewood Elementary PTA has been awarded a $100,000 matching grant from the city of Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods. We need to raise an additional $50,000 to complete the project.
CONSTRUCTION: The PTA plans to complete construction on the new playfield this school year. The project is out for contractor bidding right now. The last day to submit a sealed bid is Monday, Dec. 4, at 11 a.m. Details available on request.
You can donate online at gatewoodplayfield.org. The PTA also welcomes business sponsorships – you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for details, or if you have questions. The PTA notes that it “is a 501c3 nonprofit and donations are tax-deductible to the extent determined by law.”