West Seattle, Washington
Local maritime-industry leaders and advocates have long suggested the region needs a maritime-focused high school to prepare more young people to work in the field – after all, they reasoned, there’s already an Aviation High School. Finally this fall, Maritime High School is becoming a reality, and a media briefing was held this morning to be sure the word gets out. It’s not in West Seattle, but it’s public, so anyone can apply – it will be based in Des Moines, affiliated with Highline Public Schools (the district immediately south of Seattle). Partners include the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition as a community-engagement liaison and the Northwest Maritime Center providing “guidance related to maritime education and fundraising support.” The school plan was developed with help from the Port of Seattle “convening industry and education leaders and identifying national best practices.” The announcement also says Maritime High School’s curriculum “will center on the environment, marine science, and maritime careers, including maritime construction, vessel operations, and other careers working on or near the water.” It’s opening this fall to 9th graders and will grow each year. Applications are open through January 31st, and there are three online information sessions coming up – two tonight (one in English, one en Español), one on January 21st. The Maritime HS website has full details and links.
If you feel like going off-peninsula now and then, without having to cross the river, ‘Say Hello to Burien.’ That’s the new invitation from the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce, sponsoring WSB right now to get the word out. Here’s their video and announcement:
The Seattle Southside Chamber announced the public launch of the “Say Hello to Burien” campaign, which is focused on inviting people from throughout the Puget Sound region to experience the best this small, diverse city on the sound has to offer.
“As a life-long resident of King County and a transplant to Burien from Seattle, I definitely had my own preconceived notions about Burien,” offered Andrea Reay, President/CEO of the Seattle Southside Chamber. “However, once I took the time to “say hello” personally to this amazing community, I fell in love. I am so proud to live in and work for a community that is rich in both culture and opportunity.”
The campaign is an open invitation for all to “Say Hello to Burien” and come experience the best Burien has to offer. Whether it’s dining and experiencing authentic cuisine from around the world, shopping in family-owned boutiques and independent bookstores, or getting outside for a hike in Seahurst beach or kayaking on the sound, you’ll be glad you made the trip. Come say hello to Burien—just south of Seattle and miles from ordinary.
If you would like dining, shopping, or activity suggestions, please don’t hesitate to send us an email at Staff@SeattleSouthsideChamber.com or give us a call at 206-575-1633 and we’d be happy to help you say hello to Burien.
We thank Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce 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.
Particularly if you’re in east or south West Seattle, air traffic is a daily reminder of the proximity of King County International Airport, aka Boeing Field. So we’re sharing this announcement from the county:
King County International Airport – Boeing Field wants your input to help shape the airport’s future! The airport is updating its master plan to meet Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements. You’re invited to any of three virtual open houses to learn more about the airport’s draft preferred alternative. Save the date:
Wednesday, October 28th
8 – 9:30 a.m,
12 – 1:30 p.m.
6 – 7:30 p.m
If you would like to receive an email with meeting details, please contact us at KCIACommunityOutreach@kingcounty.gov. For more information on the Master Plan, see kingcounty.gov/KCIAMasterPlan
You may also send your feedback about the master plan update via:
Phone: 206-296-7380 and/or
US mail: King County Airport 7277 Perimeter Rd. S. Seattle, WA 98108-3844.
King County International Airport is primarily an airport for commercial, cargo and private aircraft. The FAA requires an update to the Airport Master Plan every five to seven years. The Airport Master Plan is a formal planning document based on financial forecasts, travel forecasts and infrastructure needs that helps identify potential construction projects to meet future needs.
After the Airport Master Plan is adopted, any construction project or change is required to go through traditional project process, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), before being constructed.
10 am-2 pm Saturday, 8/29/2020 in Georgetown at 3R Technology
5511 1st Ave South [map]
Finish up that house-cleaning you started during the lockdown. Bring those old household electronics you haven’t laid hands on in years, and the bundles of power adapters to things you don’t own anymore…
Almost all electronics will be accepted: TVs, computers, laptops, printers, cell phones, pretty much anything with a power switch! We will also provide free, confidential data destruction, battery disposal, media shredding, and office furniture disposal.
A few guidelines to keep us all safe:
-Please have all the materials you wish to recycle in your trunk or backseat.
-Please wear your face covering while materials are being retrieved from your vehicle.
-Please stay in your vehicle, unless otherwise instructed to do so.
-Please do not attend if you are sick.
5:26 PM: Thanks for the tips and photos (the one above was sent by Garrett). Many questions about that big plume of black smoke visible looking east from West Seattle. It is from a fire call in SODO, 3800 block of 9th Avenue S. Not a huge callout – the address on the log checks to a commercial site [map], but the address on the log is not always accurate, so we are waiting to hear from SFD. (Radio communication so far has mentioned a “debris pile.”)
7:58 PM: SFD spokesperson Kristin Tinsley tells us that “this was a fire that involved a RV, a pick-up truck type camper (without the truck), a tent, and debris. Four adults were displaced. American Red Cross was notified. The cause is under investigation.”
12:48 PM: This has been discussed in comments on our morning traffic post but afternoon is here and it’s still not resolved, so we’re mentioning it: NB Highway 99 is still closed at Des Moines Memorial Drive just south of South Park [map]. Information is scant but witnesses on Twitter say it’s a standoff with a person on the overpass there, and it’s been under way for four hours. So if you’re headed this way from points south, you’ll want an alternate route.
12:53 PM: Moments after we published that, WSDOT sent an alert saying the highway has reopened.
11:29 AM: Thanks to the WSB readers who have pointed this out: On the other side of the continent, a concrete bridge spanning a river has been closed because of cracking, and there are warnings that it’s in risk of collapse. This bridge is even newer than the closed-since-March West Seattle Bridge. It’s the southbound span of the Roosevelt Bridge, a mile-long, state-owned bridge that carries U.S. Highway 1 across the St. Lucie River in Stuart, Florida [map], and this webpage suggests it has a lot in common with our bridge – it’s a concrete “box girder” bridge, for example. Local media there report some concrete has fallen but the nature and risk of the crack is still under investigation; they also report the bridge was last inspected two years ago, with no problems found. It was built in the mid-’90s. The cracked span is closed to traffic, so the separate northbound span is currently handling both directions. P.S. This bridge also, like ours, replaced a drawbridge, and had a somewhat tumultuous backstory.
5:49 PM: Now both sides/spans of the Florida bridge are closed TFN.
8:23 PM: A couple other datapoints we found – the Florida bridge has about half the over-water clearance of ours, 65 feet, and more volume – 120,000 vehicles a day.
One of the things we’ll be missing during this season of pre-empted parades: Marching bands. So this made us smile when it arrived in the WSB inbox today. The school isn’t in West Seattle, but the band director points out his local tie:
My name is John Aguilar, Director of Bands at Robert Eagle Staff Middle School in Seattle, WA and a PROUD alumnus of Chief Sealth International High School (class of 2012).
I just wanted to share with you a virtual performance that my students did recently of “Juice” by Lizzo. As you know, we have been out of school for two months now, and along with that comes numerous concerts/festivals/competitions/parades that the students will no longer get to experience this school year. It is with that in mind that my students decided to come together “virtually” during these uncertain times, as we try to send the message that music truly is one of the best medicines for the soul and that we can still make music together, although physically apart. I am writing to see if you can help us share our message in hopes of inspiring the community through our music. I hope you enjoy!
Robert Eagle Staff MS is in North Seattle, and opened in fall 2017.
Several people emailed us Tuesday to point out this story – a construction milestone for a new bridge in Genoa, Italy, replacing one that collapsed 20 months ago (as shown in this video, which also shows the demolition of what remained of the old bridge):
Wrote Elisabetta Povoledo in the New York Times story on the bridge nearing completion and the disaster that brought down its predecessor:
When it was built, in the 1960s, the Morandi bridge was widely celebrated for its artistry and innovative engineering. Its collapse 20 months ago, when a section of roadway fell 150 feet onto a riverbed, became a source of national embarrassment.
An investigation into the causes of the collapse revealed shortcomings in the day-to-day maintenance and in public oversight of Italy’s aging infrastructure. The disaster left Genoa effectively split into two, throwing the lives of its residents into disarray.
The new bridge is being paid for by the private company that operated the failed bridge and many such road facilities in Italy; the project was overseen by the mayor of Genoa. This short video report says the main part of the construction took just 7 months:
There are undoubtedly many differences between the situation there and here; the most important one is that our bridge’s damage was caught before catastrophe, while the collapse in Genoa killed more than 40 people. Also, we don’t even know yet if our bridge will or will not need immediate replacement. But what attracted the attention of those who emailed us was more the Genoa timeframe. Wrote one, “If Italy can do it, why can’t we?”
P.S. If you can’t see the New York Times link, try this paywall-free story from The Guardian,
Lots of questions on Thursday about that smoke visible from West Seattle, looking across Puget Sound to the Olympic Mountains’ foothills. Some were sure it was an early wildfire, but we and others searched for info, to no avail. We finally inquired with the Olympic National Forest and got a reply this morning: Pile-burning, from clearing of private land.
‘Rehire! Rehire!’ That’s one of the chants heard at this afternoon’s student-led rally at Kennedy Catholic High School in Burien, four days after the school community was roiled by the announcement of two gay teachers’ sudden “voluntary resignation.” West Seattle families with kennedy students called our attention to the controversy over the weekend, and it has drawn national as well as regional attention.
Even before students walked out at 1 pm (video above) in support of teachers Paul Danforth and Michelle Beattie, South 140th Street in front of the school was filled with hundreds of people of all ages, many hoisting signs of support and rainbow flags.
The rally began with the Lord’s Prayer. From there, students took turns at the microphone, voicing both their support for the teachers, displeasure with school leadership and the Archdiocese of Seattle – believed to have masterminded the move – and their calls for change.
One adult took the microphone to huge cheers – Danforth’s fiancé Sean Nyberg.
He also spoke to reporters before the rally (video added).:
He said Danforth misses the students. And Nyberg said he wanted to be there to stress love and support for LGBTQ teens. Also present in support but not speaking, Burien Mayor Jimmy Matta and Councilmember Cydney Moore.
Multiple student speakers both demanded and promised change.”This wasn’t the first time (something like this has happened), but it will be the last,” said one. Another, describing herself as “heartbroken (and) disgusted,” asked, “Why can’t the Catholic Church get on the train? Change has been happening for thousands of years.” Students standing in support included soccer players – Beattie was their coach:
Another promised the rally was “just the beginning.” There was a demand for an all-school meeting so that the situation can be fully aired. One speaker said “the silence (of school leadership) is deafening.”
Though there were rumors of a counterprotest, none was seen, A King County Sheriff’s Office deputy told us about 10 people showed up but quickly departed. KCSO – with which Burien contracts for police services – had bicycle officers there, but the rally remained peaceful.
As 2 pm approached, the crowd started to dwindle; students told us they would remain outside the school until the official end of the day around 2:30, and continued sporadic chants, such as “We want change,” “I believe that love will win,” and “Gay rights are human rights.” Even the school’s namesake got a shout-out:
The school’s current enrollment is 851, according to a KCHS webpage that also notes, one FAQ later, that “Inclusiveness is a priority at Kennedy Catholic.”
-Report by Tracy Record, images by Patrick Sand, WSB co-publishers
SUNDAY AFTERNOON: Several West Seattle parents who send children to Kennedy Catholic High School in Burien have called our attention to a controversy that’s been embroiling that school’s community this weekend. Kennedy announced the sudden “voluntary” resignation of two teachers, both of whom, supporters say, are gay. Parents have organized a crowdfunding page for the teachers; Paul Danforth, an English teacher (who is also a Kennedy graduate, according to the school website), and Michelle Beattie, who taught health and coached soccer. The GoFundMe page set up to help them includes this introduction:
Two beloved and extraordinary teachers at Kennedy Catholic High School “voluntarily resigned” on February 13, 2020 because of their sexual orientation and desire to live authentically (and legally) married to their partners.
In addition to the sadness felt by their community of supporters, Paul and Michelle are both now without jobs or incomes. In the middle of a school year it will be difficult for either of them to find employment immediately.
The school’s email announcement on Friday, forwarded to us by one of the parents who received it, says only:
Please see the following statement provided to us to share with our community.
“Two teachers, Paul Danforth and Michelle Beattie, have voluntarily resigned their positions at Kennedy Catholic High School. They are highly capable, gifted, and qualified teachers, who have served our community with dedication and humility. Their loss will be felt deeply by their students and the entire community. We are thankful to Paul and Michelle for their years of service.”
The statement ended by referring questions/comments to the Archdiocese of Seattle. Its downtown HQ is where some concerned Kennedy parents are planning a protest at 9 am Tuesday, according to posts on a Facebook group set up to show support for the teachers. Other posts mention plans for a student walkout and community show of support that day (school is out tomorrow for Presidents Day).
The teachers themselves have not yet commented publicly so far as we have seen; a post in the aforementioned Facebook group said they were at the school earlier today to collect their belongings.
Similar controversies have erupted elsewhere in the country. The news publication National Catholic Reporter published this overview of the issue last year. It included a citation of this stat: Two-thirds of U.S. Catholics now support same-sex marriage.
ADDED MONDAY NIGHT: Tuesday’s protests are planned for 9 am at the Archdiocese offices and 1 pm at the school, which sent parents another email today acknowledging those plans (as well as a student walkout) and warned that community members and parents won’t be allowed inside the school, but will be allowed to gather at 1 pm “in front of the building.” We’ll be among those there to cover it.
Since passing U.S. Navy ships and military aircraft often attract attention in our area, we’re publishing this FYI notice sent to us and other regional media today:
Northwest Navy bases will participate in an annual anti-terrorism force protection exercise called Exercise Citadel Shield-Solid Curtain 2020 (CS/SC 20) February 3-14.
Measures have been taken to minimize disruptions within local communities and to normal base operations, but there may be times when the exercise causes increased traffic around bases or delays in base access due to temporary gate closures or other security-related activities.
Area residents may also see or hear security and other first responder activities associated with the exercise, including potentially seeing training smoke, hearing small explosive sounds, or observing increased vessel activity on the water near an installation. The simulations are part of the training exercise and pose no safety risk. Advanced coordination has taken place with local law enforcement and first responders.
The safety and security of our people, equipment and facilities is a top priority. This important annual exercise is designed to ensure Navy personnel are at peak readiness to deter and respond to potential security threats.
This regularly scheduled exercise is not in response to any specific threat, but it is based on realistic scenarios designed to increase readiness. It is Navy policy not to discuss the specifics of Force Protection; therefore, the details of the exercise will not be released.
Exercise CS/SC 20 is conducted by Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command and Commander, Navy Installations Command on all Navy installations located in the continental United States.
The Navy routinely conducts this type of security and other emergency response exercises to ensure readiness and improve coordination, communication and collaboration with other agencies during emergency situations.
If you’re new around here – Naval Base Kitsap is the nearest U.S. Navy base.
The Vashon Center for the Arts has joined the WSB sponsor team to ensure you know about entertainment options like this, a ferry ride away:
Rise Up, the Hamilton Tribute Band! is coming to the Kay White Hall on Saturday (January 25th), 1 and 7 pm! Rise Up is an ensemble of top Seattle vocalists and musicians that performs the amazing music of “Hamilton,” a record-breaking Broadway musical and winner of 11 Tonys including Best Musical. It is a sweeping national cultural phenomenon with music that marries hip hop, R&B and Broadway.
Rise Up delivers a performance that captures all the sophistication, detail and emotion of the music of “Hamilton”. Rise Up has performed extensively in the Northwest, selling out venues including The Triple Door in Seattle, Washington Center for the Performing Arts in Olympia, Rialto Theater in Tacoma, Alberta Rose Theatre in Portland, and many others. Rise Up was named runner up for Best New Musical Act in Seattle Weekly’s Best of Seattle 2018. (Note: This is not a theatrical performance of the musical “Hamilton” but rather a live performance of the smash hit’s music.(
VCA Members – $24, Sr./Students – $26,
General Admission – $30, Premium Seats (first 2-3 rows) at $35
Tickets are available online.
Vashon Center for the Arts started more than 50 years ago, making it the oldest private non-profit community arts organization in the State of Washington! VCA is a one of a kind art center located on beautiful Vashon Island. A short 20 minute ferry ride away from West Seattle, it’s home to The Kay White Hall – a 300 seat performance theater built in 2016 which attracts international, regional and local talent. The 2000 sq. foot art gallery presents art exhibits on a regular basis (usually monthly) that include paintings, sculpture, mixed media, photography, wood, glass, ceramics and fiber. And VCA offers a variety of dance and art education classes for youth and adults year round and has robust scholarship opportunities for families in need.
Here are some quotes from our visitors: “Intimate venue, professional acoustics and bonus lobby art gallery.” “Beautiful space and excellent selection of both performing and visual arts.” “The hall has amazing quality sound. Nice comfortable venue.” These reflect how people experience the Kay White Hall and art gallery, but VCA offers so much more. Our Dance school and Arts Education program have been cornerstone to bringing the arts into the lives of children and adults for generations. We frequently hear from students that their experience at VCA has changed their lives. Here’s an excerpt from a handwritten letter from one of our dance students. “You have opened my eyes to the thing I love the most. I am so grateful for you pushing me and giving me so many opportunities.” Art changes live. For many of us, it’s our life blood. That’s why people keep coming to VCA and why all of us who work here believe in what we do. We hope you venture across the waters and join us for performances, classes, summer camp, or a leisurely walk through the gallery!
VCA is at 19600 Vashon Highway SW – here’s a map.
3:44 PM: A texter points out that if you will be riding Metro back here from downtown this pm, this might affect you – road closures/bus reroutes because of a shooting involving SPD and KCSO at 3rd and Blanchard.
Transit Alert Update – Buses in downtown are being rerouted off 3 Av between Wall St/Virginia St, & off Blanchard St west if 5 Av due to emergency response.
— King County Metro ❄️🚏 🚌🚎⛴🚐 (@kcmetrobus) January 22, 2020
This shooting involved @SeattlePD and @kingcosoPIO. The suspect has been transported to Harborview Medical Center for treatment of non life-threatening injuries. No officers or deputies were injured during this encounter. Force Investigation Team detectives are responding.
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) January 22, 2020
5:28 PM: As noted by commenters, a second shooting incident has since happened downtown. This one is reported by SFD to involve “multiple patients,” near 3rd and Pine.
5:39 PM: Six patients, according to emergency-radio discussion. Meantime, from SDOT:
#Seattle If you can, avoid downtown streets and/or delay your commute if you're in the downtown district. Seeing high travel times due to multiple street closures in the area for investigations.
— SDOT Traffic (@SDOTtraffic) January 23, 2020
6:07 PM: A reader texted that photo of NB buses queued at 3rd/Seneca. No recent update from Metro.
6:10 PM: Metro has now sent an update: “Buses in downtown Seattle continue to be rerouted off 3 Av btwn Wall St/University St & off Blanchard St west of 5 Av.”
6:18 PM: Short media briefing from police chief and fire chief: As noted above, 6 victims. 1 dead. 5 in critical condition. No one in custody. … Back to the issue of getting out of downtown, one person on Twitter tells us the Water Taxi has been busier than usual. It has one more run from downtown to West Seattle tonight, at 6:45 pm.
7:05 PM: As mentioned in comments, the Water Taxi has added runs: “To help alleviate congestion in the downtown Seattle area, the West Seattle Water Taxi will be adding additional sailings from Pier 50 to Seacrest park in West Seattle tonight.” No further details but if you’re still stuck downtown, consider heading for the pier.
7:20 PM: Update from the Water Taxi, last run from downtown will be 7:30 pm.
9:35 PM: Buses are still detoured, Metro says. Meantime, SPD has just published a short summary of the first shooting this afternoon, the one involving officers and deputies.
10:13 PM: And now SPD has published this summary of the 3rd/Pine shooting, with 1 dead and six others injured.
THURSDAY MORNING NOTE: Metro says bus routing did return to normal early this am.
Homeless and at-risk Veterans and their families will be offered a “hand up” at the ninth annual Seattle Stand Down on Thursday, Dec. 12 and Friday, Dec. 13, 2019 at the Georgetown Campus of South Seattle College (located at 6737 Corson Avenue South). The Seattle Stand Down is a one-stop shop for resources and services available to Veterans who currently lack permanent housing or simply need a “hand up” in order to prevent homelessness.
Representatives from local businesses, non-profits, educational institutions and all levels of government will be on hand with volunteers to provide medical screenings, eye exams, dental services, legal aid, employment opportunities, housing assistance, case management referrals, haircuts, personal hygiene items and meals. Providers offer services specifically for women Veterans including health care, advocacy, counseling, employment and personal care.
Services and resources will be provided on campus at several locations, including the Gene Colin Education Hall – Bldg C, 6737 Corson Avenue South. Parking passes will be made available to veterans receiving services.
The event is put on by The Seattle Stand Down, a volunteer team of veterans dedicated to supporting veterans experiencing homelessness.
1:55 PM: If you have to head north of downtown any time in the next few hours, you’ll want to avoid Highway 99. It’s closed north of the Aurora Bridge because of a deadly crash involving a flipped car. Initial emergency-radio reports – and a text from a WSB reader who was there right after it happened – were that one person was dead at the scene, at least one other with life-threatening injuries.
4:09 PM: NB traffic is still being diverted, at last report onto Bridge Way. The Seattle Times reports the incident involved a woman driving onto a sidewalk and hitting 4 pedestrians, one of whom was killed.
6:15 PM: NB Aurora remains closed. SPD has published this update on the case, saying the driver will be booked into jail for investigation of vehicular homicide.
6:27 PM: SDOT has just announced the scene is clear.
That’s St. Bernadette Parish School in north Burien, hit earlier this week by arson which, according to this KING5 report, forced the cancellation of some classes. We’ve heard this morning from several readers who suggest that West Seattleites might want to help the school recover from the damage. Holy Rosary School has sent out this call for support:
One of our fellow Catholic schools has experienced a tragic fire that is impacting their ability to have their school open. We are sharing their information with you in hopes you will pray for their community. If you would like to support them with a donation of money or supplies, information can be found below.
The school (at Ambaum/128th) has about 200 students.
11:48 AM: Got a couple questions about this – sorry we didn’t hear about it in advance, but if you too saw it and wondered, the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, just arrived in Seattle. They’re visiting the Museum of Flight today. (Thanks to the commenter who saved us research time post-flyover!)
12:03 PM: The Museum of Flight tweeted video of the arrival:
— The Museum of Flight (@museumofflight) September 23, 2019
We mentioned this in today’s preview since it was audible here last year too. But in case you missed that: The fireworks you’re hearing are from the Bremerton Bridge Blast show, fired off the Manette Bridge in east Bremerton [map]. P.S. Here’s the full statewide list of who’s having fireworks shows, where, and when.
5:28 PM: From the “in case you wondered too” file – yes, that’s smoke – apparently from a wildfire southwest of here. It’s near Crosby in Kitsap County (here’s a map). The Bear Creek Fire was at 22 acres as of 5 pm – not huge but big enough to be noticeable.
8:20 PM: DNR says it’s made big progress and that it has a line around 90 percent of the fire.
It’s been over a year since construction began on the Lander St Bridge project, and the bridge foundation is beginning to take shape. This spring, the contractor successfully drilled 10 shafts and finished pouring columns for the bridge foundation.
Starting this weekend, crews will begin hanging girders, or beams, that will ultimately support the bridge deck, otherwise known as the roadway or walkway surface. Rebar and carpentry crews will be working during the day and night on these girders. Crews will begin pouring concrete to form the bridge deck over the summer.
The $100 million bridge is expected to open early next year.
Heads up – the Mariners‘ opening-day game tomorrow will be preceded by a flyover. The M’s media advisory for the game says an EA-18G Growler from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island will fly over the stadium at 3:55 pm, and adds, “The flight path will be from south to north.” (Game time vs. the Red Sox is 4:10 pm.)