West Seattle, Washington
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.)
11:28 AM: If you’re heading downtown, do NOT use 4th Avenue South – police have currently closed it at Walker because of a shooting investigation. It’s reported to have happened aboard a Metro bus. Two people were hurt, one from a gunshot wound, the other from injuries attributed to whatever “altercation” happened.
12:11 PM: Street is still blocked as the investigation continues but Pooja emailed us with this advice: “We just went on 4th and it’s possible to go around Lander to 6th to Holgate (and I think still faster than waiting on the West Seattle bridge and I-5 to get to 90).” SPD, meantime, says via Twitter that no suspects are “outstanding” though they haven’t clarified whether that means someone else is in custody or the shooting was done by one of the two people taken to the hospital.
12:28 PM: SFD says the shooting victim is a 51-year-old man and was transported in critical condition; the man with other injuries is 88 and in stable condition. Both were taken to Harborview Medical Center.
1:46 PM: Southbound traffic is now being allowed through. The northbound lanes are still blocked.
ADDED SATURDAY EVENING: According to SPD, the older man shot the younger man, and then fell and hit his head.
West Seattleite Patrick Gerding is on the board of Everyone for Veterans and wants to be sure everyone hears about the organization’s “open mic” event tomorrow – not in WS but not far – whether you are a veteran who would like to speak, or whether you could simply be there to listen:
Veterans Day is not just a day off or about Veterans Day Sales…..
Please join us in honoring and acknowledging veterans on November 11th. We are collaborating with What They Signed Up For to bring you a free event where veterans and their families will share their stories of deployment to combat and readjustment at home. The public can listen and learn at this meaningful celebration.
…. seen from east West Seattle, it was a TV chopper and while there’s nothing breaking in our area right now, there’s an incident right across the Duwamish River:
Seattle Fire on scene at the 4700 Blk. of E. Marginal Way S. for report of possible suspicious package in mailroom. Building evacuated as precaution. HAZMAT team investigating.
— Seattle Fire Dept. (@SeattleFire) November 2, 2018
11:48 AM UPDATE: Per scanner, the package was opened, “just a bunch of brochures, no hazard,” and the situation should be winding down.
If you’re among the West Seattleites who are in the flight path and/or line of sight of Boeing Field – you might notice some unusual activity this Thursday. Here’s the announcement:
Two C-17 military aircraft will arrive at Boeing Field at about 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Thursday, July 12, as part of a drill involving the medical transport of people “injured” in a fictional national disaster. The flights will be met by emergency responders and medical personnel, who will transport the “patients” to area hospitals.
Nearly two dozen local, state, federal, and private organizations, led by Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, have worked together since October to plan the exercise—which is required to maintain the airport’s status as a part of the National Disaster Medical System.
We asked airport spokesperson Brent Champaco if any other aircraft would be participating; he replied that you might see a military helicopter too.
That photo was texted to us by someone wondering what was on fire somewhere beyond Blake Island. We looked around and finally got the answer in a tweet a few minutes ago from South Kitsap Fire and Rescue: “Crews are on the scene of a 2-alarm brush fire in the 2800 block of Long Lake Rd SE. Battalion 8 is advising the fire is out and we are mopping up.” Here’s a map – the fire scene is west of the Southworth ferry dock.
7:15 PM: The fire generating that smoke is a building in the 3600 block of E Marginal Way, not in WS. [map] Seattle Fire is going defensive on it – too dangerous to do otherwise. Per scanner, it includes ‘two metal structures, fully involved’ with propane tanks nearby.
7:27 PM: SFD has called a 2nd alarm. We just crossed the bridge and got this view:
Avoid the bridge if you can- very smoky. The fire is still spreading per scanner and you’ll want to stay far from E. Marginal too.
7:38 PM: No injuries reported, SFD says. They describe it as a “warehouse fire”; the address checks to a “private event space.”
7:43 PM: SFD is calling a third alarm. We are going back over the bridge.
7:46 PM: Third alarm canceled. Some vehicles reported to be on fire.
From the viaduct pic.twitter.com/YvTqYel7Z9
— sareana ✨ (@Sareanaaxo) July 5, 2018
(Tweeted by Sareana)
8:06 PM: SFD is reporting progress knocking down the fire but also still calling for more reinforcements. Meantime, thanks for all the photos – we’ve just returned to HQ (we were out in the Alki area checking on the holiday scene when this broke out) and are catching up while monitoring this via scanner. Also, as we noted in a comment, we apologize that our image-upload-in-comment feature is not fixed yet, so even if it looks to you like it’s uploaded, it’s not showing – photos are always welcome at email@example.com.
8:41 PM: Still fighting the fire, and reporting progress – “well under control” is how it’s been described over SFD radio.
9:02 PM: Checked the traffic cams. Smoke over the West Seattle Bridge appears to have dissipated. On the surface, E. Marginal is still blocked at Spokane:
That’s a “live” SDOT cam view.
9:18 PM: Some units are being dismissed. SFD has tweeted photos including this one:
The tweet says the fire “has been contained to one building. Firefighters will remain on scene through the night working on spot fires.”