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Community update planned as West Seattle Elementary addition/renovations advance toward construction

Next school year, West Seattle Elementary will be closed regardless of the pandemic status; construction will be under way on the project that will expand and modernize the school, including a 2-story, 20,000-sf addition east of the current building, with 12 new classrooms and two learning commons, plus a new entrance, upgraded mechanical systems, new play areas/fields, and technology upgrades. The project is in the permit phase, and Seattle Public Schools has scheduled a community-update meeting. It’ll be online at 6 pm Thursday, November 12th; information on how to watch/participate is on the project webpage, where you can also preview more of the design. The BEX V-levy-funded project, designed by Miller Hayashi Architects, is now budgeted at $28 million; when last we wrote about it in July, the cost was listed as $22 million. Assuming in-person learning has resumed by the 2021-2022 school year, WSES students and staff are expected to spend that year at the former Schmitz Park Elementary, returning to their newly expanded school in fall 2022.

UPDATE: Seattle Fire ‘full response’ on 29th SW, quickly downsized

September 29, 2020 1:55 pm
|    Comments Off on UPDATE: Seattle Fire ‘full response’ on 29th SW, quickly downsized
 |   High Point | West Seattle fires | West Seattle news

1:55 PM: Seattle Fire has sent a “full response” to the 6400 block of 29th SW. The first units arriving are seeing “light smoke” but have assessed it so far as a kitchen fire.

1:58 PM: The fire is already out and the response is being downsized.

UPDATE: ‘Scenes of violence’ response in High Point

5:43 PM: Another major emergency response, this time in High Point, near 32nd/Juneau. A 24-year-old man is reported to have suffered a gunshot wound inside a home. Police are trying to sort out the circumstances, while SFD tends to the victim. (The call classification “scenes of violence” applies generally to injuries or deaths involving a weapon.)

5:58 PM: The wounded man is being taken to Harborview Medical Center.

6:05 PM: We went over to check, as there was early radio communication that this might have been self-inflicted; officers on the scene are not commenting but they’re wrapping up, so thus far it’s not being treated as a crime scene.

Walgreens confirms reason for temporary High Point closure

Late in the day Friday, we got a couple questions about a sudden closure of the Walgreens store in High Point, which continued Saturday, with the store reopening Sunday. The closure notice posted on the store door did not cite a reason. We asked corporate media relations on Monday via email: “Was this a COVID-related closure?” and corporate spokesperson Erin Loverher responded this morning:

Yes, this location was temporarily closed and is now open. When notified of a confirmed or presumed positive COVID-19 case, we take actions meeting or exceeding recommendations from the CDC, OSHA, public health officials and other credible sources while following federal, state and local health advisories. Our clinical and safety teams work closely with our field and store leadership to respond accordingly, which may include identifying and contacting individuals who may be at risk in order to self-quarantine or self-monitor their health, as well as third-party, industrial cleaning and disinfecting the location or impacted areas of the store. Cleanings may require temporarily closing a store, at which time customers may visit a nearby store location for their prescription needs.

We are actively reviewing our policies and procedures as guidelines evolve, and will continue to adjust our safety protocols accordingly to promote the safety and wellbeing of our team members and customers.

As we reported in this July story, businesses are not required to disclose to customers if one or more staff members tests positive. Some have done so proactively anyway, or in response to inquiries like this.

BOOKS: ‘High Point: The Inside Story of Seattle’s First Green Mixed-Income Neighborhood’

Just published – a book about West Seattle’s biggest redevelopment project, the years-long makeover of High Point. The author spent almost a decade working there and sent us the announcement:

How did a rundown public-housing project become an award-winning poster child for a green, mixed-income neighborhood? A new book, “High Point: The Inside Story of Seattle’s First Mixed-Income Green Neighborhood” answers that question.

Author Tom J. Phillips spent nine years directing the redevelopment of one of Seattle’s largest public housing projects, the 120-acre High Point neighborhood. The book chronicles the undertaking of what was a visionary and highly risky experiment and the strong leadership, grit, and determination that was required along the way to make the vision a reality.

A federal grant of $35 million kickstarted this $550 million master-planned community. High Point debuted several ground-breaking healthy and green features, including the country’s largest natural drainage system and 60 “Breathe Easy” homes for children with asthma, capturing the attention of forward-thinking local governments and developers across the country. …

Ron Sims, former King County Executive and Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, provided the foreword of the book, in which he noted, “This\ book will inspire others to act upon their dreams.”

You can read more about the book and author here, or take a video tour of some High Point highlights – produced by local journalist/historian Clay Ealshere.

P.S. Phillips tells WSB that Paper Boat Booksellers in Morgan Junction (6040 California SW) will have autographed copies later today.

FREE FRUIT! Two more City Fruit pop-ups in West Seattle

Back in July, we told you about City Fruit‘s “Fruit for All” pop-ups, offering free homegrown fruit to anyone who wants it. Two more are coming up in West Seattle – this Wednesday (September 2nd) and two weeks later (September 16th), both at the 32nd/Juneau community garden in High Point, 4 pm-6 pm. Free fruit is first-come, first-served (unless you are a City Fruit member, in which case you can reserve some!). Two High Point pop-ups have happened already, and City Fruit’s Lisa Miyashita tells WSB, “We are usually joined by the P-Patch gardeners (pending the availability of their produce) who offer FREE veggies from the community garden. Together, we are making sure people in our community have access to fresh, nutritious food.”

NEED TESTING? West Seattle pop-up has room for walk-ups today, tomorrow

August 12, 2020 11:59 am
|    Comments Off on NEED TESTING? West Seattle pop-up has room for walk-ups today, tomorrow
 |   Coronavirus | Health | High Point | West Seattle news

Just got word that a health fair offering free COVID-19 testing in West Seattle today and tomorrow has room for more walk-ups, so they asked us to share a public invitation. It’s happening on the basketball courts behind Neighborhood House in High Point (6400 Sylvan Way), until 3 pm today and again 8 am-3 pm tomorrow (Thursday). Neighborcare Health‘s Mobile Assessment Team is doing the testing at this site (NOT their nearby clinic), and Neighborcare’s Kate Greenawalt tells WSB that everyone is eligible, no charge, just show up.

YOU CAN HELP: Neighborhood House diaper drive

Announced by Neighborhood House, which serves many local families from its center in High Point:

Neighborhood House, a community organization that serves 16,000 people in King County, is hosting a diaper drive to meet a critical need.

Did you know that diapers are not covered by public benefits such as WIC or food stamps, even though they are essential items for families with young children?

We live in a region that is powered by one-day deliveries and bulk purchases but the reality is that many people cannot afford and do not have access to these services.

Join Neighborhood House in making sure families and children have diapers right now.

$25 covers 2 weeks of diapers for one child.
$50 covers 1 month of diapers for one child.
$150 covers 3 months of diapers for one child.

You can even host your own campaign. Reach out to arturom@nhwa.org to learn more. To make a donation, please visit www.nhwa.org.

FRUIT FOR ALL: City Fruit plans West Seattle pop-ups

July 24, 2020 11:00 am
|    Comments Off on FRUIT FOR ALL: City Fruit plans West Seattle pop-ups
 |   High Point | West Seattle news

Nonprofit City Fruit plans pop-ups to distribute homegrown fruit to anyone who wants/needs it – including four events in West Seattle. Here’s the announcement:

City Fruit is bringing fresh, hyper-local, FREE fruit to your neighborhood!

Fruit for All is a program designed to ensure that everyone in our community, regardless of their finances, has access to fresh, healthy fruit grown in the city. Over the next few months, City Fruit will host 12 Fruit for All Pop-ups, especially focusing on Seattle’s underserved neighborhoods, to share FREE fruit with community members.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an increasing number of Seattleites are experiencing food insecurity, and demand for fresh, nutritious produce is particularly high. City Fruit puts our city’s fruit trees to their best and fullest use by harvesting otherwise unutilized fruit and sharing it with those who need it most.

The fruit will be super fresh, picked just a few days earlier or even that morning. The selection and quantity available will vary depending on the week’s harvest.

To ensure the safety of the community, everyone will be required to wear a mask and follow the safety protocol detailed here.

Those who wish to support City Fruit’s Harvest and Fruit for All programs can do so by becoming a member. City Fruit members can RSVP for up to 6 pop-ups and receive a full assortment of fruit at each pop-ups. For more information please visit www.cityfruit.org/join-us/fruit-all-pop or contact lisa@cityfruit.org.

The West Seattle dates are August 5, August 19, September 2, and September 16, all 4-6 pm, all at the High Point Community Garden (32nd/Juneau).

SCHOOLS: Feedback time for West Seattle Elementary addition

Another major Seattle Public Schools project is in the feedback phase for its environmental checklist – the levy-funded West Seattle Elementary School addition in High Point.

July 27 – next Monday – is the deadline or public comment on the project’s Draft SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) checklist. Documents like these are far more comprehensive than the term “checklist” would suggest. This is 218 pages long, as you can see here or below:

The document includes many project details, including that it’s planned for a site east of the current WSES building, and that if it stays on schedule, WSES would move to the former Schmitz Park Elementary for 2021-2022 (as we reported last January), while construction proceeds. The document says WSES’s existing capacity is 320 students, but enrollment this past year was 100+ more. The addition would create room for up to 130 students. The $22 million project’s funding includes a state grant as well as the SPS BEX V levy. The document adds, “As part of the project, existing recreation space on the campus would be expanded and renovated, including an expanded and renovated hard surface play area, new play structures, a new student garden area, and a renovated grass field area. The project also includes an option for an approximately 3,000 sq. ft. covered play area in the southwest corner of the campus.”

If you’re interested in commenting, this page on the SPS website explains how, via either email or postal mail.

LIBRARIES: 2 in West Seattle will start accepting returns Tuesday

After a trial run, some Seattle Public Library branches – including two in West Seattle – are about to start accepting returns. Here’s the announcement:

The Seattle Public Library announced today that it will accept book returns three days a week at nine locations starting Tuesday, July 21. The Library’s 27 locations have been closed since March 14, 2020, and continue to remain closed to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Five Library locations have been offering limited public restroom access during the systemwide closure.

“Although the Library has added digital services while our buildings are closed, we know our patrons are very eager to access physical books and materials,” said Andrew Harbison, assistant director of collections and access at The Seattle Public Library. “Processing returns safely is the first step toward checking out books again.” Harbison added that when the Library closed its buildings in mid-March, more than 400,000 items were checked out.


The following locations will allow returns at outside book drops on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m., or until book drops are full. Materials will not be accepted by staff.

· Ballard Branch, 5614 22nd Ave. NW

· Broadview Branch, 12755 Greenwood Ave. N.

· Douglass-Truth Branch, 2300 E. Yesler Way

· Green Lake Branch, 7364 E. Green Lake Dr. N.

· High Point Branch, 3411 SW Raymond St.

· Lake City Branch, 12501 28th Ave. NE

· Northeast Branch, 6801 35th Ave. NE

· Rainier Beach Branch, 9125 Rainier Ave. S.

· Southwest Branch, 9010 35th Ave. SW

In accordance with the Library’s new COVID-19 protocols, returned materials will be quarantined for at least 72 hours before being checked in. Materials will remain checked out on your account while being quarantined.

Signage at each location will remind patrons where to return materials, and to maintain social distancing.

Please don’t rush to return materials, especially if these branches are not your home branch. Due dates for all checked-out materials have been extended until Aug. 15, and the Library does not charge overdue fines.

Patrons can help with the reopening process by checking your account for holds placed on physical items and deleting those that are no longer needed. Please note that the Library is not accepting book donations until it has had a chance to process returned materials first. Please hold on to your donations until further notice.

SPL’s announcement also says they hope to start no-contact curbside pickup in early August.

WEST SEATTLE PROTESTS: Hundreds march from High Point to Delridge

2:06 PM: We are at Walt Hundley Playfield, where West Seattle’s next protest march is about to start. Organizers just told us they plan to go west on Myrtle, north on 35th, east on Morgan/Sylvan, then on Delridge to Boren STEM K-8. Updates to come.

3:05 PM: After several speeches (added: some video above, including Karen Taylor singing the Black National Anthem), the march is about to leave the playfield.

3:17 PM: Headed out, NB on 35th.

3:47 PM: Approaching Delridge.

3:54 PM: Now on Delridge, stopping just north of the precinct, chanting “no justice, no peace, no racist police” and “Black rights are equal rights.” Also, “Say his name/George Floyd.”

(added) And an invitation for the police whose building was yards away:

4:07 PM: The hundreds of marchers have now headed northbound for the endpoint, Louisa Boren STEM K-8. The organizers were a group of 5friends who say they just came up with the idea less than a week ago because they thought there should be more marches “in more urban communities.’

4:37 PM: The march is over; some participants are still rallying in the Boren parking lot.

(Photo courtesy Alex)

More photos later.

6:01 PM: We’ve added some photos above. Still to come: Video from just before the march. The speakers had many messages, including this one that was repeated by multiple speakers: Marching is not enough. “You have to put in the work,” said Amanda Scott. “There’s so much work to be done.”

VIDEO: Helicopter drill at Walt Hundley Playfield

2:25 PM: We are at Walt Hundley Playfield in High Point, where an Airlift Northwest medical helicopter has just landed for the second day of West Seattle drills with SFD.

It’s the same thing they did at Alki yesterday – but the weather’s worse. Updates to come.

2:50 PM: Helicopter has departed. 2 more drills – 2 pm tomorrow at Alki, Thursday at Walt Hundley. Spectators welcome, around the edges of the field.

ADDED 8:41 PM: More photos/video, with a closer look at the helicopter:

Firefighters had a training class before they came to the field for the drill.

SFD has said, air transfers are likely to be very rare if they happen at all- but in case of, say, a total transportation logjam at peak hour, without the West Seattle Bridge, the option needs to be available, and they need to be ready to assist.

Airlift Northwest offers memberships; we asked spokesperson Stephen LeMay about them. “Airlift Northwest membership works with insurance carriers to offset any remaining balance on an aeromedical bill, which can be very expensive. Patients with a membership will *not* receive a bill for their transport, or any services provided during the transport. Membership is *not* required to be eligible for transport. We will fly any patient in need to any hospital regardless of membership or payor status. Airlift Northwest provides over $2 million in charity care every year.”

PROTESTS: West Seattle sign-making event, organized by students

(WSB photos)

Planning to participate in upcoming protests? You’re invited to join the group making signs at Walt Hundley Playfield (34th and Myrtle) right now, materials provided.

Above are organizers Taylor and Celia, both high-school seniors. They’re expecting to be there until 6 pm – please wear a face covering and keep your distance!

P.S. Our ongoing list of local protests in the days ahead is here.

UPDATE: Crash on Sylvan Way

11:40 PM: Another big emergency callout -this time on Sylvan Way by Sylvan Heights, reported as a driver hitting a tree. At least one person is reported to be hurt.

12:10 AM: A neighbor sent the photo and word that Sylvan is closed while a tow truck is awaited. The person in the car was rescued and taken to a hospital via ambulance.

12:34 AM: The street is open again.

CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Charges filed in High Point attack

Three days after a police search in High Point resulted in the arrest of a suspect in an attack/robbery, he is charged, and his bail has been tripled. The 27-year-old suspect, Abdikadir A. Khalif, is charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree assault, and attempted indecent liberties. The latter charge is an aspect of the attack that wasn’t previously revealed – that the victim was sexually assaulted as well as beaten and robbed. The charging document says Khalif has a criminal history going back 13 years, with more than 20 convictions. At the time of the April 16th attack, the Department of Corrections had his status listed as “escaped” from community-custody supervision. Other new details in the charging documents allege Khalif tried to strangle the victim in addition to hitting her while she struggled to get away, and that he left a gun magazine behind at the scene. The documents also reveal how he was identified – through security video at the 16th/Holden 7-11, where he allegedly used one of the victim’s cards. Police sent the photo around and heard from a corrections officer who recognized the man in the photo as Khalif. As noted in our report on the arrest, patrol officers spotted him Monday, not far from where the attack had happened, and arrested him with K-9 assistance. Because of his history and the additional violent details of the attack, his bail was increased today, from $100.000 to $350,000. The King County Jail Register says he’s still there.

Nos Nos Coffee House: Welcoming a new West Seattle Blog sponsor

Today we welcome Nos Nos Coffee House as a new WSB sponsor. When local businesses join the WSB sponsor team, they get the opportunity to tell you about what they do – so here’s what Nos Nos would like you to know:

Nos Nos is a unique experience, from the moment you walk through our doors.. You’ll first notice the beautiful open space with shelves full of vibrant plants, the light and airy feel with an abundance of natural light, and the thoughtful Mediterranean decor with a touch of Moroccan flair.

With a coffee shop on every corner in Seattle, Nos Nos brings something different. We offer a variety of traditional coffee drinks but with a Moroccan twist, incorporating recipes and spices typical to Morocco. We have a full kitchen with highly trained chefs who proudly make to order unique sandwiches with ingredients and flavors that are also Moroccan-inspired.

The whole experience comes together with our talented and friendly staff, who love what they do and are committed to delivering exceptional customer service … creating a home away from home for everyone who walks through our doors.

We often hear from customers: Look at all those plants! It’s so pretty in here! The first impression of our space leads to the warm and welcoming nature of our baristas and the quality of our drinks and food. We support local and feature QED coffee, pastries from Patrick’s Bakery, Cascadia Chai, and Seola Bees honey. We are thoughtful about our ingredients and offer vegan and gluten-free options, including our signature Apricot Turmeric scone. The sandwiches (including the lamb meshwi and Itto’s khoudra) have quickly become lunch on repeat for many, and the handmade melwi (a traditional Moroccan flatbread) has found a cult following!

Nos Nos is the little sister to Itto’s Tapas in West Seattle. Anyone who knows Itto’s and the owner Khalid, knows the quality and uniqueness of the food, service, and atmosphere. We have many guests who visit us based on reputation alone. People are intrigued that we’re Moroccan-inspired and word of mouth got them to drive across town to check out what all the buzz is about. After their first Moroccan spice latte, kefta sandwich, or spinach feta melwi, they’re hooked and become a repeat guest!

We are also a neighborhood coffee shop in a location previously without a place where locals could find a perfect cup of coffee or high-quality lunch at a fair price. We’re very proud to be a part of bringing the community together and becoming more connected, one cup or sandwich at a time.

So many people are inspired by the culture and food of Morocco – they’ve previously had the opportunity to travel there or the desire to go. When they walk into our space, it triggers a memory of a past experience or the excitement of being there one day. Either way, it’s so gratifying to see someone’s reaction or hearing their stories, and to know we are brightening a person’s day by sharing a little piece of Morocco with our community.

Nos Nos Coffee House is at 6080 35th SW, open daily 6 am-3 pm.

P.S. FREE COFFEE! Mention you heard about this on WSB, and get a free cup of drip coffee.

We thank Nos Nos Coffee House 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.

HEALTH-CARE UPDATE: Neighborcare clinic’s changes

Need health care? West Seattle’s Neighborcare Health clinic wants you to know what’s changed – and what hasn’t:

Due to the COVID-19 crisis and the governor’s stay-at-home orders, Neighborcare Health at High Point has seen a drop in demand for services in the last few weeks. Therefore, we have temporarily reduced medical clinic hours of operation from 10 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. (Phone hours for scheduling are generally Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm.) We are closely monitoring the demand and will expand hours as needed.

Even with changes in hours, patients do not need to delay health care. We continue to offer testing and evaluation for COVID-19, and provide for other routine and immediate health-care needs. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms and wants a COVID-19 test can likely get a test. People must first make a phone appointment with one of our medical providers.

Our care team members can also thoroughly address many other health issues through phone appointments, such as ongoing care for chronic conditions (e.g. diabetes, high blood pressure), care for new issues, and help with stress and anxiety. Neighborcare offers interpretation services and has put safety measures in place in the clinic if a patient needs to be seen in-person.

Our High Point dental clinic is closed, but other Neighborcare Health dental clinics are open for emergency dental services and are welcoming non-Neighborcare patients, as well.

We know a lot of our neighbors are facing unexpected challenges with lost income or insurance. Neighborcare Health provides health care no matter a person’s ability to pay, offers a sliding fee discount and can help people understand insurance options and enroll. The High Point WIC team is also available to help people with food assistance.

Call 206-461-6950 to make an appointment for concerns about COVID-19, emergency dental care, or any other health needs.

And for those who have the ability to support our mission, we are still raising funds through our Spring Give online fundraiser to continue our work in providing quality health care for all.

The Neighborcare clinic is at 6020 35th SW.

FOLLOWUP: Suspect arrested in High Point search was wanted for robbery, attack

(Emailed photo, Monday evening)

As promised, we followed up this morning on the search that led to an arrest in High Point Monday evening. Turns out the 27-year-old suspect was arrested in connection with an incident we reported a week and a half ago, in which a woman was beaten and robbed in her car – here’s our April 17th report. SPD spokesperson Det. Mark Jamieson tells WSB that investigators subsequently identified the suspect and put out a bulletin for officers to watch for him. Two patrol officers spotted him yesterday; he took off, and that’s what led to the search and arrest. He is now in the King County Jail, held for investigation of robbery and assault. Court records show the suspect’s criminal history includes convictions for theft, burglary, and assault.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Police search in High Point

(Texted photo)

5:53 PM: A police search is under way in High Point, centered at 32nd and Juneau but stretching for blocks around. We don’t know yet what led to the search but they’re seeking a suspect who might be armed. More as we get it.

5:56 PM: Cross-referencing a case number heard in police-radio communication, the suspect they’re seeking might be linked to a robbery in the area a week and a half ago.

(Emailed photo)

6:17 PM: According to radio communication, the suspect is in custody. Police are calling SFD for medical assistance for a dog bite.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Woman attacked, robbed

A woman was robbed and assaulted in her car in High Point late last night. Thanks to the person who tipped us about this incident; we found the SPD incident number and requested the report. Police found the victim, 49, in a parking lot in the 3200 block of SW Graham after a report of a woman screaming for help and honking a car horn. She had blood on her face and told police she had parked there to visit her mother in the 6000 block of Lanham. As she finished parking, a man opened her door, grabbed her around the neck, pushed her further into the car, and threatened to kill her if she fought back. She began screaming and honking the car horn, and he hit her in the face multiple times before grabbing her purse and fleeing. Police searched with K9 units but didn’t find her attacker, described only as male, black, slender, with braided hair, wearing a Tommy Hilfiger-type striped sweatshirt. The victim was treated by SFD medics.

UPDATE: Flipped-car crash in High Point

9:38 PM: A flipped-car crash is reported near Sylvan Way/Sylvan Heights Drive. Everyone’s reported to have gotten out of the car OK.

9:48 PM: SFD reports that no one was seriously hurt. By the way, if you noticed the Guardian One helicopter in the area for a bit, they just happened to be nearby and offered to help check whether anyone was trapped in the vehicle, but ground crews quickly determined everyone was out.

ADDED FRIDAY MORNING: The driver is being investigated for DUI.

‘Stay Healthy Streets’ to launch with High Point greenway going almost car-free

The city news release that explains the signage we covered earlier also includes something new: “Stay Healthy Streets,” stretches of neighborhood greenway that will be “closed to through traffic – but not residents or deliveries – 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the duration of the emergency or until otherwise noted by the City of Seattle,” as explained in SDOT’s subsequent announcement, which adds, “People with destinations along Stay Healthy Streets – like residents, essential workers, emergency service providers, delivery providers, and garbage and recycling collectors will continue to have vehicle access.” One of the first two is in High Point (and a bit south), as shown on the map above, starting Saturday. The announcement says signage will go out starting tomorrow, and that these will likely be followed by other stretches of greenway – unspecified for now (West Seattle also has greenways in Highland Park and North Delridge).