West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Seattle Public Schools – like most public entities – is facing a big budget shortfall.
Potentially, $48 million.
Cuts and changes won’t be finalized until summer, but one proposed cut would have a big effect on 15 schools, including two in West Seattle: A proposal to cut yellow-bus service for most “option schools,” including Pathfinder K-8 on Pigeon Point and Louisa Boren STEM K-8 in Delridge. Parents at both schools are organizing opposition.
First, here’s the slide shown at a School Board budget work session last week (see the full agenda packet here):
Thanks to Pete for the tip. Seattle Public Utilities has been notifying residents of Pigeon Point and Puget Ridge about a planned water outage for about 6 hours next Tuesday night, December 8th, 6 pm until midnight or so. The SPU outage map – which displays planned outages as well as emergencies – shows 200+ homes will be affected, but has no details of the reason for the outage. We asked SPU spokesperson Sabrina Register, who replied: “Seattle Public Utilities water crews will be installing a 12” isolation valve on a nearby water main. This work requires a temporary water outage for some customers in the area. Isolation valves allow smaller sections of a water main to be shut down (impacting fewer customers) when repairs and maintenance are needed in the future. They also provide an additional safety measure should an emergency water main shutdown need to occur.”
Speaking of voting – here’s an upcoming local event aimed at supporting it:
Support voter empowerment while enjoying an evening of music.
The Pigeon Point Antiracism Project presents
Music to Power Democracy
A virtual concert and fundraiser for the Black Voters Matter Fund
Thursday, October 22, 2020, 8 pm
With soprano Ellaina Lewis (known for her roles in such productions as Bellini’s La Sonnambula and Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha), Erika Lundahl (singer-songwriter featuring poetic lyrics for “resilient hearts and resonant bodies”), and Brian Cutler (veteran songwriter drawing on an electic mix of genres).
To attend, please make a donation to the Black Voters Matter Fund. Then send an electronic receipt from your donation to email@example.com, and we will provide details for attending the event on Zoom.
The Black Voters Matter Fund fights voter suppression and supports civic engagement and political power in marginalized, predominantly Black communities. They’ve been working tirelessly to get out the vote and also donating food, helping people fill out the census, distributing masks, and offering relief to hurricane survivors. Recently, they’ve been organizing voter drives by bus tour through swing states.
The Pigeon Point Antiracism Project is a grassroots group based in West Seattle’s Pigeon Point neighborhood and organizing actions to support equality.
We invite you to imagine your donation in hypothetical bus miles from destinations BVM is visiting.
A $10 minimum suggested donation gets you an evening of music (and could power a get-out-the-vote bus across, for instance, Houston).
$25, music, and a bus from Pensacola halfway to Panama City, Florida.
$50, music, Gainesville all the way to Tallahassee.
$100, music, Jacksonville, Florida to Atlanta, Georgia.
You can find out more about the Black Voters Matter Fund by going here.
These are three recent views of the same wall in Pigeon Point:
Katie sent the photos, explaining:
My neighbors and I have been painting and maintaining a Black Lives Matter mural on our property at the corner of SW Andover and 23rd Ave in Pigeon Point that has been defaced 3 times in the past month. I saw that West Seattle Blog has covered this type of vandalism at other locations in West Seattle, so I wanted to add our experience to the record. We are setting up surveillance measures and will continue to restore the mural after each vandalism attempt, but I just wanted to let our community know that this is a consistent and seemingly widespread problem in West Seattle.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“The need for T-5 is as relevant as ever,” Port Commissioner Peter Steinbrueck declared while presenting the annual “State of the Port” speech to the Chamber – usually given at an outdoor lunch at Jack Block Park, but presented online this year due to COVID-19.
The PPNC also met online. T-5’s project manager Emma Del Vento told the group that the project’s first-phase construction schedule is running behind.
Before the school year ended Friday, one more farewell “paade” – this time, at Pathfinder K-8 on Pigeon Point.
Thanks to administration secretary Barb Mote for sharing the photos!
One Pathfinder year-end tradition is yet to come – retired PE teacher Lou Cutler‘s annual Make-A-Wish fundraiser. While he and the students weren’t able to run around the school track as usual – one lap for every year of his age (69 this year!) – Lou plans a fundraising walk in West Seattle next week – more on that later this weekend.
Just south of the now-empty West Seattle high bridge sits Pigeon Point. That’s where, this morning, dozens of Pigeon Pointers of all ages showed up for a neighborhood march to affirm that Black Lives Matter.
As reported here on Friday, this is also a response to the defacing and removal of a support banner that had been hung in the neighborhood.
P.S. This was the first of two West Seattle events announced for today – the next is at 2 pm at High Point Community Center, with an announced plan to march to Delridge Community Center.
4:32 PM: That photo was sent by Christine on Pigeon Point, who first emailed us this morning to report, “Someone in our neighborhood keeps defacing the BLM sign that was hung on the Andover stairs. I realize the stairs are maintained by the city but the sign was put up as a show of support for people of color in our community. There are mixed families in this neighborhood.” Most recently, she said, someone tried to erase the word “Black” from the banner by covering it with a cloth patch lettered “All.” And after she emailed us this morning, she emailed again to add, “The sign was just torn down by a man, according to another neighbor.” We checked on our way back from the Junction demonstration; nothing left behind but faded chalk lettering that also declares, Black Lives Matter.
8:30 PM: Update from Christine: “We are working on a permanent sign solution. In the meantime, a march is planned in the neighborhood at 11 am on Sunday beginning at 20th and Charlestown. Neighbors are donating to BLM organizations and causes for every time the sign is defaced or stolen. Some companies are matching donations so it’s adding up.”
While SDOT decides whether/how to replace the closed-since-March West Seattle Bridge, it’s also working on how to move people off/onto the peninsula in the meantime. Last night’s Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council meeting revealed that effort now has a name.
“Reconnect West Seattle” debuted as PPNC got a bridge briefing from SDOT’s project leader Heather Marx (who repeated her commitment to brief anyone any time anywhere). Some of it recapped what’s been reported to date:
Marx noted again that the big decision – is the bridge fixable or not? – is getting closer. But in the meantime, with the “stay-home order” over and gradual “reopening” under way, it’s time to shine the spotlight on traffic “mitigation.” So that’s where “Reconnect West Seattle” comes in, both as a peninsula-wide plan “with ambitious mode-split targets” and as a collection of neighborhood-specific strategies – which, as we’ve reported before, will focus on four areas:
“Community priorities are going to need to inform all those plans” – in other words, the prioritization process that we’ve also noted previously:
Your chance to weigh in should happen before long – here’s the timeline:
In subsequent discussion, Marx mentioned one other timeline point: We should hear by the end of the month about some changes in low-bridge access, as has been hinted.
Q&A: Are the cracks still growing? Yes, but “the bridge is not in imminent risk of failure.” That said, it’s not stable enough to, for example, carry emergency traffic. (Yes, vehicles are on it – the SDOT crews doing work such as inspections.)
Is the low bridge compromised? No – the recent closures were to repair and upgrade its communication technology, not for mechanical/structural problems.
Is SDOT going to take a serious look at the “immersed-tube tunnel” proposal? Yes, said Marx, the tunnel idea is “very much in play,” and n fact the Request for Qualifications for a potential bridge-replacement design team has been amended to reflect that. “We will absolutely investigate the tunnel as an option.”
So what’s next?
West Marginal Way improvements will largely be for freight, she said. The signal work is to continue expanding what can be adjusted in real time, remotely, from SDOT HQ. And the two advisory groups are beginning their work – the Technical Advisory Panel has its first meeting today, and the Community Task Force has its first meeting tomorrow.
(PPNC also got an update on Terminal 5, with Port of Seattle reps – we’ll write that up separately.)
Thanks to Jack for tweeting the photo. The 19th SW/SW Charlestown stairway (map) is taped off after an overnight crash. We heard a collision call there in the very early morning hours but no details; Pigeon Point resident Pete tells us the driver “missed the dead-end sgns and headed down the stairs toward Marginal Way; police had to have a tow truck pull it back up the stairs.” It’s been reported to SDOT for repairs.
Another school that had to cancel its annual auction has taken it online, so everybody can bid – here’s the announcement from the Pathfinder K-8 PTSA:
The Pathfinder K-8 PTSA is pleased to announce its first-ever online auction!
We are offering some great items and packages, many generously donated by local West Seattle businesses, along with art pieces made by individual classrooms. We are excited to try out this new format and pleased that it will allow the entire community to participate – no tickets required.
Due to schools being closed and ongoing restrictions on large gatherings, our auction gala was rescheduled and then cancelled entirely. The funds we planned to raise with this year’s auction are needed more than ever for next year’s PTSA budget to support our school and community. The money helps support everything from teacher classroom funds and academic support to the garden program and community events. We hope you’ll join us in generously supporting our school from the comfort of home.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Hours before she gets a firsthand look at the West Seattle Bridge danger zone with SDOT, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold provided an update tonight to the Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council. The neighborhood closest to the bridge’s crest held its every-other-month meeting by videoconference/phone, and we dialed in.
One major headline: After SDOT briefed the council on the bridge situation one week ago, it was expected they’d be back on April 27th. Herbold told PPNC that SDOT had asked to move the briefing up a week, to next Monday (April 20th), “I’m hoping there’ll be some news for us” about a time frame and plan for “shoring” the bridge, a necessary step before any permanent repairs can be made.
She said the biggest question she’s getting asked is why the bridge cracked so badly that it had to be closed.
For the first time since Sound Transit dropped the potential Pigeon Point tunnel from consideration, ST had reps at the Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council meeting on Monday night.
As with every appearance, they recapped how the project got to this particular point – that’s part of the slide deck above (also here in PDF). Many questions followed.
9:02 PM: A “rescue extrication” response is headed to the 3800 block of 22nd SW (north of Andover) on Pigeon Point. More to come.
9:04 PM: Per scanner, a driver coming down a steep driveway hit a woman, and then the car hit a house. The response is being downsized – no extrication needed. No major injury reported so far.
9:11 PM: SFD says no one in the house was hurt; initial assessment radioed by crews is that damage appears minor.
9:28 PM: Our crew says the vehicle hit the house’s front door and verifies no major injuries.
Two east West Seattle neighborhoods have a big Seattle City Light project ahead in the New Year:
Here’s the anoouncement that SCL says “affected residents” should already have received directly:
Starting in January 2020, Seattle City Light crews will upgrade the electrical reliability of the Delridge neighborhood by replacing aging utility poles, overhead wire and equipment along SW Brandon St., 21st Ave. SW, SW Andover St., and 23rd Ave. SW. These improvements will support growth for future electrical infrastructure in the area while reducing unplanned power outages.
Crews will begin replacing utility poles, overhead wire and equipment along SW Brandon Street, 21st Avenue SW, SW Andover Street and 23rd Avenue SW.
Maintenance power outages are required to do the work safely. Notification will be provided in advance of outages. The notification will specify the date, time and duration of the outage.
Crews will reduce traffic and parking impacts by working one area at a time. Traffic will be restricted and “No Park” signs will be enforced in work zones. “No Park” signs will be removed once work has been completed.
Some noise is expected from heavy machinery.
The new poles will be placed alongside pre-existing poles, with the exemption of specific pole locations where adjustments are made to improve pedestrian mobility.
Pre-existing poles will be removed once the transfer of all wires and equipment are done by other utilities. City Light will monitor these efforts to facilitate the removal of old poles.
Construction is scheduled to start in January 2020. Daily work hours are from Mondays – Fridays, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nights and weekend work may be needed. The project is anticipated to last approximately five months.
Received via text last night just before all the weather havoc:
Hi from Pigeon Point… just had a Buck sighting in our backyard that borders the Duwamish Greenbelt near Pathfinder K-8…. wanted to share; he’s heading East back into the greenbelt at this time.
Last deer sighting we heard about was more than two years ago; that in turn was almost a year after a few weeks of sightings of a deer eventually dubbed Westley – last seen heading into South King County.
Got makeup bags or samples you don’t need? Stephanie Endres would be happy to get them:
My nonprofit Stephanie’s Lifeline HOPE is currently collecting makeup samples and makeup bags for an event we will be holding in which we are filling the makeup bags with makeup to distribute to women’s homeless and domestic-violece shelters.
We are in search of more makeup bags and more samples at this this time … We will be collecting items until October 27.
In order to donate, drop off donations at 3830 22nd Ave SW in West Seattle (Pigeon Point), or we can arrange a pick up time. Our phone number is 253-237-3056 and our email Stephanieslifeline@gmail.com.
We first mentioned Stephanie’s work four years ago.
The aerial views are a highlight from a neighborhood party last weekend. Pete Spalding tells us Pigeon Point neighbors gathered on the field by Pathfinder K-8 in spots representing where they live on the neighborhood street grid.
At ground level, some more conventional views of the party:
The “Start of Summer” get-together included music.
Pete says, “There were well over 100 neighbors that came out to celebrate our little slice of paradise in the city.”.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
When the Terminal 5 modernization project starts construction next month, Pigeon Point is one of the neighborhoods that will have a front-row view.
So it was one of three major topics when the Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council met this week at Pathfinder K-8.
TERMINAL 5 BERTH MODERNIZATION PROJECT: Before a project recap from the Port of Seattle/Northwest Seaport Alliance, they reminded the PPNC of the pre-construction open house June 22nd at Jack Block Park, 9:30-11:30 am (first noted here a week ago).
Q&A was interspersed with briefing points.
First question was about shore power. No, ships will not be required to plug in. They hope they’ll choose to, “when they have the capability.” They now expect more than 50 percent of the arriving cargo vessels will be shore-power-capable, up from the original 30 percent projection. They are also looking at policies for making it available at other terminals.
What about light pollution? One row of T-5 lights has to be “adjusted significantly,” was the reply. They added that work already has been done to keep the lights aimed down.
11:11 AM: After those words of gratitude and encouragement, Lou Cutler got going this morning on his 16th annual run/walk for Make-A-Wish. The students at Pathfinder K-8 – where he was the longtime PE teacher until retiring a few years ago – led the way:
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) May 31, 2019
Every lap gets marked off on the field-side easel:
Yes, that’s 68 laps – one for each year of the birthday Lou will celebrate in June. We’re headed back up to Pigeon Point shortly to see how he’s doing on the planned 11-plus miles. You’re welcome to join in at any point – the school’s at 1901 SW Genesee – and of course donations to make ailing kids’ wishes come true are welcome here. Lou doesn’t just raise money for the organization – he’s also been a volunteer, directly involved in wish-granting, for more than 20 years!
12:30 PM: Just went back to Pathfinder to check in:
This is the lonely stretch – but Lou’s expecting company shortly when it’s school-lunch time:
And the sun’s just emerged!
2:11 PM: Just before 2 pm, surrounded by exuberant younger helpers, Lou finished that last lap:
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) May 31, 2019
“Good job, Lou,” we heard a tiny voice say, after the crowd broke off and Lou headed for the tote board. A few more pics to add later!
7:51 PM: Thanks to Pathfinder parent and photographer Holli Margell for these next two:
Those are former students who returned to cheer Lou on. And here he is with his longtime #1 sidekick/cheerleader, teacher Andy Darring:
More cheering – this video clip is by Lisa Li:
And our final two photos:
What’s that donation link? you asked. Here!
(WSB file photo)
Tomorrow’s the day, so we’re reminding you one more time! Lou Cutler will return to the West Seattle school where he long served as PE teacher, Pathfinder K-8 on Pigeon Point, to run/walk laps to benefit Make-A-Wish. Every year in advance of his birthday, Lou celebrates with one lap per year – this year, 68 (more than 11 miles)! Everybody’s welcome to join him for one or more laps at the Pathfinder field (1901 SW Genesee) starting just after 9 am Friday (May 31st). Sideline support welcome too, as are online donations: Here’s his page on the Make-A-Wish website.
Next Friday’s the big day! For the 16th year, Lou Cutler will spend a day running laps around the field at Pathfinder K-8 on Pigeon Point to raise money for, and awareness of, Make-A-Wish. Even though he retired as Pathfinder’s PE teacher four years ago, Lou continues returning to the school in advance of his birthday and running one lap for each year he’s been on the planet; this year, that means 68! Students, staff, parents, and community members are welcome to join him – even just for one lap. Or, just show up on the sidelines (1901 SW Genesee) to cheer; he’ll get going just after 9 am next Friday (May 31st). And if you can, donate/pledge on behalf of Lou, who has been a longtime Make-A-Wish volunteer, actually helping “wishes” come true for ailing kids as well as raising money for the organization. Here’s his page on the Make-A-Wish website.
The photos and report are from Toni Wells:
16 neighbors of all ages came out this morning to participate in our Pigeon Point neighborhood spring clean. We picked up a mountain of garbage and cleared a lot of invasive plants. Please visit the bicycle park at the north end of 22nd to enjoy our labors.
P.S. If you’re thinking about a neighborhood spring clean – here’s how to get some city support.