West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
When West Seattle light-rail construction begins, “we’re going to be the first area in West Seattle impacted,” explained Pete Spalding as he opened last night’s Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council meeting, with Sound Transit guests in the spotlight, nine months after ST’s last PPNC appearance.
The Q&A that followed shone some light on topics of major interest, including cost, and why a much-cited number is nonetheless “not a number to get stuck on.” But first:
Thanks to Pigeon Point’s Pete Spalding for the photo and word of SDOT work at Delridge/Andover today. We confirmed with SDOT’s Dawn Schellenberg that they were installing a turn signal for people turning east onto Andover from Delridge: “The Delridge/Andover intersection was identified through our Bike and Ped Safety Assessment as a priority location. We evaluated the location in 2016 and determined a protected left-turn phase was warranted to reduce potential vehicle and bicycle; and vehicle and vehicle collisions. This Vision Zero project was completed today.”
Big smiles for this group we photographed at Pathfinder K-8 on Pigeon Point: Four teachers got surprises from visitors representing Inspirus Credit Union, fully funding projects they were planning for their students:
Ms. Dimsey – $729 for “a wooden block center, a play kitchen, new stuffed animals, Legos, puppets, a puppet theater, a light table, and an easel to have a wonderful kindergarten experience”
Ms. Mo, two projects – $287 for “engaging literacy tools that will help grow (first-graders’) reading and writing skills” and $671 for “thematic books to support literacy and our grade-level expeditions”
Ms. DeBurle – $233 for “graphic novels for our classroom library”
Ms. Alexakos – $355 for “books on the topic of the Civil Rights Movement”
A contingent from Inspirus visited the teachers and principal David Dockendorf last Friday morning to announce the surprise gifts fully funding the projects.
9:21 AM: Thanks for the tips about a power outage at Pathfinder K-8 on Pigeon Point. It never did show up on the City Light map so we tried calling the school – just got through and they tell us it WAS out but just came back on.
10:12 AM: We asked City Light about the outage. Here’s what Tony White can tell us about it so far:
There was a short outage this morning for some customers in the West Seattle/Delridge area due to a momentary outage on a feeder line coming from the Delridge Substation. It’s possible the outage at Pathfinder K-8 was related to this feeder outage, but not yet confirmed.
Crews have yet to determine the cause of the feeder outage, and are currently investigating to ascertain what happened. When they conclude their investigation of the feeder outage, they will be more informed about the possible cause of the Pathfinder outage. … They are currently walking the lines investigating the feeder outage, which has the potential to affect numerous customers if it were to happen again. When outages occur, City Light’s response prioritizes life safety first, followed by emergency services and then by repairs which will bring the largest number of customers back into service.
(Sound Transit slide deck from Pigeon Point meeting)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Sound Transit‘s West Seattle light-rail line is either going to skirt Pigeon Point or tunnel through it, so the PP Neighborhood Council invited ST in for a briefing.
The briefing and ensuing Q&A took up most of last night’s semimonthly PPNC meeting, with about 50 people in the Pathfinder K-8 cafeteria to get an abridged version of what’s been unfolding over the past 5+ months.
ST’s Andrea Burnett and Stephen Mak, both working on the West Seattle line plan, were invited. He presented the backstory first on the Sound Transit 3 vote setting up a draft plan for a 4.7-mile extension to West Seattle, to open in 2030, with a new rail-only bridge over the Duwamish River, and three stations in WS.
One of the concepts still under consideration for Sound Transit light rail in West Seattle has the working title “Pigeon Ridge/West Seattle Tunnel.” The first part of that is actually a reference to the Pigeon Point neighborhood in northeastern West Seattle, and tomorrow night (Monday, June 11th), the Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council hosts ST reps during its meeting, for a briefing and Q&A. All are welcome; it’s at 7 pm at Pathfinder K-8 (1901 SW Genesee).
11:25 AM: Under a sunnier-than-forecast sky, atop Pigeon Point, Lou Cutler embarked on his 15th annual round of benefit birthday laps two hours ago:
And they are off! This is longtime @MakeAWishAKWA volunteer Lou's 15th year of one lap for every year of his June birthday – 67 this time. He retired a couple years ago but returns to the school for this. pic.twitter.com/KdyWKGETmk
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) June 1, 2018
He’s volunteered for Make-A-Wish since 1996, and Laps With Lou raises money for the organization. This year, those cheering Lou – and the students/staff who run with him at one point or another during the day – include his brother, visiting from Portland. And his chief cheerleader/kid wrangler/sidekick is again teacher Andy Darring:
We’re heading back up to check on how things are going on what Lou again declared to be “the best day of the year.” All are welcome to stop by, observe, run, walk, or you can help by donating online.
12:05 PM: As of our stop, a bit past halfway there!
2:03 PM: Success! But first, the last lap, with everybody at Pathfinder invited out to join Lou on the track:
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) June 1, 2018
67 laps, 11+ miles, in 4 1/2 hours.
Asked if he’ll be back for 68 next year, Lou replied with a resounding “yes!”
We’ve been covering Lou’s laps for a decade now, including video in 2010, the first one after Pathfinder moved from Genesee Hill to Pigeon Point.
Since this will likely get started before our usual morning highlights list goes live, we wanted to remind you about an annual event tomorrow that you are invited to join or support – retired Pathfinder K-8 PE teacher Lou Cutler‘s annual birthday run for Make-A-Wish. In June, Lou turns 67, so he’ll be circling the Pathfinder field on Pigeon Point 67 times. It’s just one way he supports Make-A-Wish>, whose official news release for this year’s run calls him a “wish-granting superstar.” He’s volunteered for the group for more than 20 years; this is his 15th year of Laps with Lou. If you can stop by the Pathfinder field at 1901 SW Genesee tomorrow, you’re welcome to join the run – as most of the school’s students and staff do at some point during the day – or just cheer him on! You can also donate online in honor of his dedication and the kids who have unforgettable experiences as a result. He expects to get going around 9 am, and last year the run went past 1 pm.
Looking beyond Memorial Day – one of our favorite annual West Seattle events is happening a week from tomorrow. Retired Pathfinder K-8 P-E teacher Lou Cutler returns to the school on Pigeon Point on Friday, June 1st, to run laps raising money for Make-A-Wish – one lap around the field for each year he’ll be celebrating on his upcoming birthday. This year – the 15th anniversary of “Laps With Lou” – that’s 67 laps! He’ll start around 9 am, with most of the school joining him, and continue through most of the day (last year he wrapped up around 1:45). You’re invited to be there to cheer him on and/or join in the run and/or pledge online! Pathfinder is at 1901 SW Genesee.
From Pigeon Point to High Point to Fauntleroy, three local Emergency Communication Hubs will be participating in a drill this Saturday morning, 8:30-noon – to prepare for something everyone hopes will never happen. And you can help! We’ve mentioned it a few times before, and here’s the official announcement:
Imagine there is a major power blackout covering Seattle and the metro area. There is no cellular phone service. No one knows the cause of the outage or knows when power and cell service may be restored. Emergency generators at hospitals and other essential service providers can only last as long as there is fuel. How would the region communicate?
This is the scenario behind the “Power Out, No Bars” exercise that Seattle ham radio operators and designated emergency Hub volunteers throughout the City will be testing. The Seattle Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS), a volunteer organization operating under the auspices of the Seattle Office of Emergency Management, and the Seattle Emergency Communication Hubs, a grass-roots, neighborhood network of community members, will jointly conduct the citywide communications exercise.
The drill simulates the day after an unexplained failure of grid power and cellular service, with no updates on when either would be restored. Because the Hubs are the major residential and business resources for neighborhoods, situational awareness, resource coordination, and communications between the Hubs, ACS, and the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) are critical.
The key goals of the exercise are:
*Activate several neighborhood Communication Hubs and Seattle ACS, emphasizing reliable, efficient, accurate message management and documentation. Exercise participants will use voice as well as data communications via radio, throughout the city.
*Demonstrate, practice, and assess the ability to communicate up and down the various levels of the response structure, based on the Incident Command System (ICS), which spells out a hierarchical, yet flexible, means of managing emergency situations.
*Build strong working relationships among Emergency Communication Hub members and ACS members, through team problem solving and practice.
In an event such as the one this exercise portrays, the neighborhood Hubs would mobilize to assist with the immediate needs of residents, especially those who may need emergency services. The ACS would also have activated shortly after the scope of the outage was known, with sector sites around the city providing situation reports and helping coordinate emergency and logistical responses.
“In a citywide or regional event, people will need to go to neighborhood gathering places to find access to information and start matching resources and skills to what is needed” said Cindi Barker of West Seattle, one of Seattle’s Hub Captains.
“Power Out, No Bars is the latest in a series of emergency exercises that have helped our membership continually hone their skills and upgrade, deploy, and test their equipment,” said Mark Sheppard, founder and director of ACS. “This is critical to improving our ability to be more effective and be better prepared to face a real emergency or natural disaster.
Here are the West Seattle hubs participating:
*Pigeon Point Hub, 20th Ave SW & SW Genesee St
*High Point Hub at Neighborhood House, 6400 Sylvan Way SW
*Fauntleroy United Church of Christ Hub, 9140 California Ave SW
You are invited to stop by and observe, or participate, 9 am-noon Saturday. For more background info – West Seattle’s hubs are explained here; the citywide hubs here; you can find out more about Amateur Radio here.
(WSB file photo from past drill)
Early heads-up in case you can help – three weeks from tomorrow, neighborhood volunteers could use your help during another disaster drill. Here’s the announcement:
Imagine if all power and normal communications were down – what would you do?
Come see what your community is doing to be prepared.
April 28, 2018, 9:00 am – noon
Join us as a participant or a volunteer!
Emergency communication hubs – predetermined meeting places you would go for information in case of a catastrophic loss of regular communication – will be “activated” citywide for the drill, including three in West Seattle. Show up at one of them to be part of the April 28th drill:
• Fauntleroy United Church of Christ (9140 California SW)
• High Point Neighborhood House (6400 Sylvan Way SW)
• Pigeon Point (20th SW/SW Genesee)
Even if you can’t participate in or even observe this drill, check the West Seattle hubs map to learn the location nearest you, just in case:
You’ll find more West Seattle-specific preparedness information at westseattlebeprepared.org.
P.S. To sign up in advance as a volunteer/participant, or if you have a question, e-mail email@example.com.
As reported here earlier in the week, it’s a relaunch of the Titans’ girls’ program, and all the players are from West Seattle.
It was a spirited game – and it ended with the Titans on the losing side against the Wolfpack (in purple), whose girls won 6-5, but you could argue the new team, coached by Ayesha Cochran, is a winner, no matter what.
(UPDATED 11:23 AM with more info from SPD)
3:25 AM: The High Point incident wasn’t the only confirmed gunfire in West Seattle on Wednesday night – about an hour earlier, someone shot at this car at 23rd SW and SW Andover on Pigeon Point. Its owner posted in the WSB Forums and shared the photo by request. “Looks like three rounds went through; two through the window and another through the hatch under the right of the Legacy tag,” he reported. Other cars reportedly were hit too. We’ll also be seeking followup information on this later in the morning.
11:23 AM: The full report isn’t yet available but SPD media-relations Det. Mark Jamieson confirms that three cars were damaged, the Subaru (in the photo) most seriously. “No known suspect description,” he adds. So far there is no indication of any link to the evening’s other gunfire event.
Seattle Fire units are arriving at a house in the 4000 block of 23rd SW [map] on Pigeon Point. The original call was for a short-lived basement fire, already out when SFD was dispatched, and everyone is reported to have gotten out, but crews are checking out a possible gas odor. They’ve confirmed the fire is out and are ventilating the basement. They’re also checking out one person reported to have suffered burns.
Thanks to Pete Spalding for the photos and report:
Parents from Pathfinder school and members of the Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council did a repainting project today.
About two years ago this mural was painted in the intersection of 21st Ave SW & SW Genesee. Over the last two years the mural has faded with normal traffic wear and a nearby construction project a couple of months after it was first completed. So today it was “refreshed.”
We were fortunate that with the change in the weather the project was able to be completed.
Here’s our report on the original mural painting, in July 2015.
1 lap down, 65 to go for Lou, who is a retired, beloved PE teacher here. pic.twitter.com/bS8QGQpQKa
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) June 2, 2017
9:40 AM: That’s Lou Cutler finishing his first lap a short time ago at Pathfinder K-8, where the retired PE teacher celebrates his birthday every year by running one lap for each year of his age, as a fundraiser for Make-A-Wish.
This morning, speaking to students and others just before starting his 66-lap day, Lou declared it “the greatest day of the year”:
We’ll be checking back at Pathfinder (1901 SW Genesee if you want to stop by and join in – and here’s his donation-drive link).
12:51 PM: We’re back at Pathfinder. After a little more than three hours, Lou’s finishing Lap 53 of 66.
Students filter in and out throughout the day – while Lou and teacher Andy were close to alone on the field, we’re told a couple of Pathfinder grades are about to rejoin them. The laps so far total 9 miles, we’re told.
1:42 PM: Minutes ago, Lou finished the 66th lap:
Lou did it again! Lap 66 just completed pic.twitter.com/NmbvQJAmdM
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) June 2, 2017
Loud cheers and chants of LOU! LOU! LOU! echoed around the field. And then, the victory photo:
Lou’s been a “wish-granting” volunteer for MAW for more than 20 years, even longer than he’s been doing this run. His actual birthday is later this month, so he’s still only 65, and as he started the second-to-last lap, with that number, he hollered, “A great year to be alive!”
P.S. And yes, he says he plans to do it again next year.
(WSB file photo)
Showers or shine, this year’s edition of Laps with Lou is on for Friday! That’s the latest from retired Pathfinder K-8 PE teacher Lou Cutler, who will return to the Pathfinder field on Pigeon Point this Friday for his annual Make-A-Wish fundraising run. It’s linked to his birthday, so every year he runs one lap for every year he’s celebrating, and this year that’ll be 66 laps! Students and staff join Lou throughout the day, and you’re invited to come to Pathfinder to be part of it too. He plans to get started at 8:45 am this Friday (June 2nd). He’s been doing this for 18 years, and pledges have raised more than $66,000 to grant wishes for local children with life-threatening medical conditions. Lou himself has not only been raising money for Make-A-Wish but has also been a volunteer wish-granter for 21 years. Whether or not you can be at Pathfinder (1901 SW Genesee) Friday to cheer him on and/or run a lap yourself, you can donate to Make-A-Wish in his honor by going here.
11:43 AM: An out-of-place car led to a decision to have Pathfinder K-8 on Pigeon Point “shelter in place” today. Here’s the letter just sent to families by principal David Dockendorf:
I want to share with you an incident at Pathfinder K-8 this morning that prompted me to call a Shelter In Place as a precautionary measure for safety of our students and staff. Overnight, a car was driven on the pathway between our playground and 21st and runs through the greenbelt. I called 911 and the District Safety and Security team to inform them that the car ended up deeply buried in the mud and that there was a man sitting in the driver’s seat. When I went to investigate the situation, I talked to the man for a few minutes and his behavior appeared to be somewhat erratic and disjointed. I notified him that 911 had been called.
After conferring with the Safety and Security department, we made the decision to go into Shelter in Place out of an abundance of caution. During a Shelter in Place, we lock all doors, we keep all students inside the building/classrooms. Teaching and learning continues; students may use the bathroom, and middle school students can switch classes as normal. Within the classrooms we ask that teachers close the window blinds and lock their classroom doors. Lights remain on and teaching continues as usual.
I have communicated with all teachers regarding the incident and have asked them to speak with their students.
The police have been dispatched to the incident and are expected to arrive shortly.
I am proud of how calmly teachers and staff have talked with our students to help make them feel safe and secure and that when incidents arise like this; the safety and security of our students is a top priority and we have a plan and protocol we follow closely. I anticipate calling the Shelter in Place off once the police arrive and ensure the area is safe.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
1:50 PM: The “shelter in place” ended at 12:20 pm – our apologies for not adding this update sooner; the school sent a second update to families (and to us) at that time.
5:59 PM: Thanks for the tips: Power is out in parts of northeast West Seattle, and apparently it’s not all shown on the outage map, which now shows 15 customers out in Pigeon Point/North Delridge – at and near Delridge/Andover – but we’ve also heard from Victoria in Riverside, who says “we are out down here too,” on 16th and 17th SW. This is likely related to a crash in the 4500 block of West Marginal Way SW that another texter says involved a vehicle hitting a utility/light pole – we’re checking on that. If you’re also out of power but NOT on the City Light map, please let us know in comments (after you’ve called SCL to let them know your outage is not showing – 206-684-3000).
6:04 PM: Now the map is updated to 356 homes/businesses out of power. Adding a screengrab.
6:51 PM: Just back from the crash scene, which is on the east side of West Marginal Way SW – affecting the northbound lanes – just north of the Duwamish Longhouse. The pole was snapped in two and dangling; the vehicle that hit it was about to be towed. Adding photo. Meanwhile, some have the power back – the count is down to 288 on the SCL map. One crew was at the scene and reported to be calling for more help.
7:39 PM: As reminded by commenters, this is affecting some traffic signals too – if you arrive at one that’s not working, that makes it an all-way stop – do NOT go through without stopping.
9:23 PM: The SCL map has now recalibrated the restoration guesstimate to “pending,” which seems in line with what commenter Amy found out.
11:56 PM: The outage is now in its seventh hour, with the current potential restoration time estimated around (corrected) 4 am. (Let us know if you’re back sooner!)
1:52 AM: And after about eight hours, the outage is over.
That photo was tweeted at us earlier this evening by Peter, who says he spotted the deer on Pigeon Point. Though we have published many wildlife sightings over the years, none of them involved deer, aside from this WSB Forums post from someone wondering earlier this year if there were any around. They are not uncommon around Western Washington overall, though, according to this state Department of Fish and Wildlife one-sheet.
Thanks to Travis for the photo and the report from tonight’s biggest event on Pigeon Point, a yearly tradition: “This is just a handful of the over 50 pumpkins carved at the annual Pathfinder K-8 Pumpkin Carving Night. Special thanks to our principal David Dockendorf and to the school for giving such a great forum to get together and for being wonderful people.”
(What’s next as Halloween approaches? Check out our guide – where Friday fun starts with all West Seattle kids 5 and under invited to trick-or-treat at Holy Rosary!)
Traffic and crime/safety issues are in our toplines from last night’s Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council meeting:
TRAFFIC: SDOT‘s Jim Curtin was the guest, to talk about and listen to a variety of neighborhood issues. Among them: Overgrowth on 21st and 22nd SW that makes it difficult for drivers to see when making a left turn. The blackberries are close enough to scratch your car sometimes. One attendee said part of the overgrowth is on private property, in which case, they were told, the Department of Construction and Inspections would have to be involved. Curtin talked about some work ahead on Delridge that should be done soon if the weather cooperates, the painting of a “fog line”/”edge line” to define the travel lanes north of Orchard, as first described in this WSB report from last January.
(WSB photo from January, looking north on Delridge near Myrtle – existing ‘fog line’ is toward the left)
Lanes that in some places are up to 20 feet wide will be restriped to 11 feet.
Bus and dropoff traffic at Pathfinder K-8 was a topic too. Principal David Dockendorf said his school is starting new safety patrols to help with crossing and traffic, especially where the buses load and unload. One attendee said buses were using a route that they supposedly weren’t allowed to; they were directed to contact Seattle Public Schools‘ transportation department.
Any way to have Pigeon Point solid-waste pickup scheduled to happen outside school-dropoff hours, to reduce traffic conflicts? asked one person. Curtin said he would look into that.
CRIME/SAFETY: From the Seattle Police Southwest Precinct, commander Capt. Pierre Davis, Operations Lt. Ron Smith, and researcher Jennifer Burbridge were all in attendance. She circulated the newest micro-policing plan for Pigeon Point and announced the upcoming citywide Public Safety Survey (which will be available online starting Saturday). Responses will be crucial, said Capt. Davis, to augment planning for neighborhoods’ safety needs, besides what 911-call data reveals. He also urged people to call 911 when something’s happening, and said they still believe crime is under-reported. And he announced that five new officers have just been assigned to the precinct.
Attendees brought up concerns about camping in the West Duwamish Greenbelt. Lt. Smith said Community Police Team Officer Todd Wiebke continues to be the point person for homelessness-related issues (he’s reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org).
One more note: The SW Precinct (2300 SW Webster) will again be a dropoff spot for Drug Takeback Day, 10 am-2 pm on Saturday, October 22nd.
Just in case anyone on Pigeon Point hasn’t already heard … your neighborhood council meets tomorrow (Monday) night – 7 pm in the library at Pathfinder K-8 – and is hoping you’ll be there. Pete Spalding shared the agenda overview, featuring guests you’ll probably have questions for:
We will begin with the principal of Pathfinder giving us a beginning of the school year update and an opportunity for neighbors to ask questions.
Then we will be joined by Jim Curtin from SDOT. Jim will give us an update on local transportation projects that will impact us in the next few months. Neighbors will have a chance to ask Jim questions about neighborhood transportation issues.
And then we will have Pierre Davis and Jennifer Burbridge with SPD join us to give us an update on our neighborhood policing plan.
Pathfinder is at 1901 SW Genesee.