West Seattle, Washington
With the general election a little more than two months away, West Seattle now has a third ballot dropbox, at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) on Puget Ridge. We got a tip about it this afternoon (thank you!) and went over for a photo. King County Elections installed it on Friday, in front of the administration building. This is not a reaction to the current concern about the US Postal Service‘s ability to handle ballots, though – we’re told it’s been in the works a long time; our tipster texted that it’s the “culmination of years of work by student, staff, and faculty.” KC Elections spokesperson Halei Watkins tells WSB it’s the 70th dropbox in the county: “The campus was very welcoming and enthusiastic about finding the best spot for it, and we’re thrilled to now have a dropbox on all Seattle Community College campuses.” No other new ones are planned right now, Watkins adds, but, “We are looking at some other ballot drop=off options, particularly to serve more rural communities around the county.” Before there were fixed dropboxes, you might recall, there were temporary sites with vans.
The new box joins West Seattle’s pre-existing ones at High Point Library (3411 SW Raymond) and in The Junction (south side of SW Alaska between California and 44th). The dropboxes officially “open” after ballots are mailed out, which is scheduled to happen October 14th, and they close at 8 pm sharp Election Night (November 3rd).
P.S. SSC spokesperson Ty Swenson tells us the college’s gates will reopen in mid-September, so the box will be easily accessible to voters in time for the election.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Among the pandemic’s side effects: A growing interest in food security, resulting in more vegetable gardens and fruit trees.
West Seattle’s Puget Ridge neighborhood is years ahead of the trend.
The 2/3-acre city-owned, community-tended mini-farm at 18th and Brandon known as Puget Ridge Edible Park (PREP) is in its fourth season, and feeding even neighbors who haven’t been participating in growing crops.
One way is through a monthly free “farm stand” for neighbors. We visited PREP during this month’s farm stand, which drew visitors even though it was happening in the heart of last Sunday’s upper-90s heat. Whlle some volunteers helped neighbors fill bags and baskets with fresh vegetables including squash, beets, chard, carrots, and cherry tomatoes, as well as bundles of herbs, others worked the land.
Longtime sustainability advocate Stu Hennessey led a community contingent shepherding the site from dream to reality, promising the Parks Levy Oversight Committee in 2010, as they considered funding the site purchase, “We will be producing a lot of food on this land.” And so they are, six years after site development began with demolition of an old house.
Stu says they changed the operational plan this year – instead of a monthly work party, they amassed a core group of volunteers who work on the site more frequently. It’s not just one big garden like, for example, the High Point Market Garden, but it’s instead split into sections, including a “giving garden” and a “food forest,” with fruit trees including apples and plums.
For the future, there are hopes of an “edible playground” where kids can dig and learn as well as play. And Stu says PREP nourishes in another way: “This park has become a special place for many to escape the daily concerns brought on by current events.”
They’ve made the most of the land that’s being used on the site. Near the farm stand, one patch held sunflowers towering over beans and lettuce. And though the site is a city park, “We don’t go to Parks for anything,” Stu says proudly – the volunteers manage it all, with some donations and purchases (piles of wood chips, for example). They’ve also raised some funds through SeedMoney.org.
The community synergy goes beyond offering free produce to neighbors; they plan to support the Delridge Grocery Co-op when its store is up and running. More broadly, they hope to inspire other neighborhoods. Even if you don’t have an entire parcel to farm, there are other creative ways and places to grow food.
This year’s growing season at PREP, meantime, is expected to stretch at least into October, Stu says. Maybe beyond, if they get some winter crops going. There’s still space left, and there’s room for more neighbors to get involved – if you’re interested, you con contact Stu via email, email@example.com.
12:20 AM: Firefighters confirm that the fire is between two houses but has not spread to either.
12:23 AM: SFD says the fire’s out.
West Seattle’s only major institution has a few questions for you, even if you’ve never studied there. From Puget Ridge-based South Seattle College (WSB sponsor):
South Seattle College is inviting community members from our service area to fill out a brief survey about your current and future educational needs and interests, and to hear your ideas on how higher education can best serve our community in this time.
The survey will be open through July 17. Thank you in advance for taking the time to share your perspective!
Survey Link: bit.ly/38jFKST
Just one page, and no personally identifying/demographic info is requested (just your zip code).
The season of drive-up/walk-up graduation celebrations continues! From South Seattle College (WSB sponsor):
South Seattle College kicked off celebrating the Class of 2020 on June 25 with a drive-through “Can’t Stop Us!” event to honor our graduates’ monumental achievement and unstoppable spirit in overcoming historic challenges to earn their degrees and certificates. We are celebrating over 850 graduates this year, and over 100 attended the June 25 event.
A photo gallery from the celebration has been posted to SSC’s Facebook page.
Graduates will also be sent a “Commencement in a Box” later this summer that includes a graduation tassel, Class of 2020 commencement program, diploma cover, a card from SSC President Rosie Rimando-Chareunsap, and other fun gifts and memorabilia.
The celebration continues virtually with an online Kudoboard where anyone can share their congratulations, and a “Class of 2020: You are UNSTOPPABLE” video featuring graduates from across the Seattle Colleges (including North Seattle College and Seattle Central College).
Seattle Colleges originally planned to celebrate the Class of 2020 at T-Mobile Park. To protect everyone’s health during the pandemic, the decision was made to cancel an in-person commencement and create new ways to recognize our amazing graduates.
Additionally, all 2020 graduates are invited to attend the next in-person commencement.
“You are officially a member of the Class of 2020, and on behalf of every faculty and staff member at South Seattle College I want to say we are so proud of your accomplishment, and truly honored to call you an alumni for life,” President Rimando-Chareunsap said. “This is your story, and its one you will share with family and friends for decades to come. It is a story of pushing through in life, work, and education during a deeply tumultuous time. The burden has been massive, and yet here you stand strong: A College Graduate more than ready to write your next chapter and make your mark.”
South Seattle College conferred a total of 855 awards this year, including:
*407 associate transfer degrees that enable graduates to transfer to four-year colleges and universities in Washington and beyond to complete their bachelor’s degrees.
*239 associate of science degrees and certificates that prepare graduates to enter the workforce immediately.
*178 high school diplomas or equivalents, allowing graduates to take a significant step toward future education and employment opportunities.
*31 bachelor of applied science degrees, taking graduates’ careers to the next level and increasing their earning potential.
One more graduation celebration is yet to come – South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) this Thursday:
CAN’T STOP US Celebration
Location: South Seattle College at 6000 16th Ave SW (graduates will enter at Entry 3/South Entrance – see campus map with route)
Date: June 25, 2020
Time: Graduates can drive through anytime between 4 PM – 7 PM
Attendees at the CAN’T STOP US event must:
Follow 6 feet apart social distancing guidelines during photos
Refrain from congregating with others attending
Remain in vehicles except for photo exiting area
Refrain from attending if ill
For additional information contact SouthStudentLife@seattlecolleges.edu
What to do now:
To participate, please send an RSVP to SouthStudentLife@seattlecolleges.edu to let us know if you plan to drive through this event. A walk-up option is available for students who are mobility impaired or do not have automobiles.
Find more info here.
Thanks to Chris for mentioning that early-morning RV fire on 16th SW by the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus. We didn’t hear about it in real time – the callout was just after 6:15 am – but followed up. SFD spokesperson David Cuerpo says the RV was “fully involved” when firefighters arrived; no injuries reported, and the cause remains under investigation.
Three weeks ago, our nightly roundup featured photos from Lisa spotlighting street art – on a “Stay Healthy Street” in Puget Ridge. Now there’s more – in non-permanent paint that tomorrow’s forecast rain might wash away, so here it is, photo-preserved for posterity.
That photo shows the finished version of one that was under way when Lisa sent photos previously. These are on SW Myrtle between 17th and 18th (map).
As we first reported last week, a new weekly COVID-19 testing site is about to start up at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) on Puget Ridge. We’ve been working all week to get additional details, and info just came in, as follows:
UW Medicine and the Seattle Dept. of Neighborhoods are opening a mobile COVID-19 testing site at South Seattle College’s main campus in West Seattle starting May 29. The testing site is open Fridays only, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. SSC agreed to be the host location to help improve testing access for the communities of south and southwest Seattle, and south King County.
Location & Time
When: Fridays only from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., beginning May 29
Where: South Seattle College’s North Parking Lot, accessed by Entry 1, located at 6000 16th Ave SW. (campus map here). Please Note: Visitors should only use Entry 1/North Parking Lot entrance. South Seattle College’s physical campus is otherwise closed to the public in response to COVID-19 with very limited exceptions for essential staff and programs approved by the state. The college is operating remotely until further notice and will run summer and fall quarter classes in accordance with public health guidelines.
Testing Site Details
Anyone experiencing the following symptoms can come to the testing site, speak with medical staff from UW Medicine and, if qualified for testing, get tested on-site:
Shortness or breath or difficulty breathing
Gastrointestinal symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
New loss of taste or smell
There is no cost to be tested. If you have health insurance UW Medicine will bill your insurance.
Walk-up and drive-up visitors are welcome. Please note due to King County Metro bus service reductions in response to the pandemic, the college does not currently have Route 125 or 128 service to campus. Visitors should only use Entry 1/ North Parking Lot Entrance, where UW Medicine staff will direct you.
Neighborcare Health also has been doing COVID-19 testing in West Seattle, outside its High Point clinic.
10:23 PM: Though this ss NOT related to a helicopter some reported hearing over the Admiral area a bit earlier, the Guardian 1 helicopter is currently over Highland Park/Puget Ridge, helping police track a suspect who is reported to be wanted for eluding. (The helicopter’s track before this was in south King County, so the Admiral reports remain a mystery.)
10:30 PM: According to radio exchanges, this all started in Kent. The search has now moved on to Westwood, where police have converged on a reportedly related vehicle.
10:42 PM: Kent Police are reported to be on the way too, and a possible hit-run crash along the way on Puget Ridge is factoring into all this too.
11:02 PM: One clarification in the Guardian One crew’s post-departure tweet – they report the suspect “abandoned [the first] car in West Seattle and got into another car.”
ADDED THURSDAY AFTERNOON: We asked Kent PD for more details, and Cmdr. Robert Hollis replied:
Around 2200 hours on 05/20/2020, a on-duty Kent Officer noticed a red vehicle driving at a high rate of speed eastbound in the 10200 block of SE 240th St. The officer was able to catch up with the vehicle and when he activated his lights and siren, the suspect vehicle started driving away at a high rate of speed. Officers pursued the vehicle until speeds became too great and stopped pursuing the vehicle. Because King County Guardian One was up and following the vehicle, officers determined they could stop and locate the suspect at a later time. … Our officer did take the suspect into custody for Eluding.
(WSB video and photos unless otherwise credited)
Sanislo Elementary is the latest school in West Seattle to “reunite” students and staff, at a distance, via a parade! Our video above shows participants just after they left the school on Puget Ridge early this afternoon. Some of the sights:
Even a classic fire truck!
And along the route, Chris got this video of some of the students on the roadside:
It was two months ago today that Seattle Public Schools announced its campuses would close for at least two weeks, which as everyone knows then became the rest of the school year.
Sanislo Elementary on Puget Ridge is the next school having a parade so students and staff can see each other – at a distance – two months after schools closed. Above is a screenshot of the route – see it here full=sized – and here’s the announcement:
All of the teachers and staff at Sanislo miss you! We miss you so much that we have organized a Sanislo Staff Car Parade for this Monday, May 11th.
Sanislo Staff is going to leave the school in a train of cars at 1 PM. Please check out the map of our route so that you can plan accordingly. The orange numbers on the map show the order that we will be traveling through the neighborhood. Come out to your yard! We would love to see you!
If you live farther away from the school, or your house is not directly on our route, please know that we still really want to see you! Feel free to go to the closest spot on the route. We do ask that you continue to practice social distancing so if you see other Sanislo families around, please give a friendly wave and continue to keep a healthy distance.
If you are able, it would be amazing if you could wear your Sanislo t-shirts and make a sign for the teachers and staff. Most of all, we just want to see your smiling faces! Also, be on the lookout for a special surprise from us! We hope to see you on Monday!
2:30 PM: A big Seattle Fire dispatch is arriving at the South Seattle College campus. It’s being described as “roofing materials on fire.” Updates to come.
2:37 PM: The fire is “knocked down,” crews on scene have radioed. The response is being downsized. We don’t yet know exactly what part of the campus this is happening at.
2:48 PM: The fire is mostly out but firefighters are dealing with some smoldering debris. This is in the automotive area of the college (which like other schools is currently closed to in-person instruction).
3:11 PM: Now the fire’s declared “tapped.” No word of injuries.
3:28 PM: Adding more photos. Meantime, we checked with SSC spokesperson Ty Swenson, who tells WSB, “From what we’ve gathered, the fire started with construction debris in the Automotive Technology construction zone. It sounds like that debris was at ground level, not on the roof.” More info later.
WEDNESDAY UPDATE: SFD says the fire was “accidentally caused while construction crews were working at the site of a demolition and renovation project for the college. Estimated loss is $10,000.”
MONDAY REPORT: As announced last week, more east West Seattle streets are now closed to through traffic as part of the city’s “Stay Healthy Streets” program. The first round two weeks ago included streets in High Point and a bit south; the new stretch is primarily in Puget Ridge and Highland Park. (Update – text list was inaccurate so we’ve removed it; please see the SDOT map.)
The SHS-designated streets are closed to all but local motor-vehicle traffic – defined as residents and deliveries – and open to bicycling, walking, running, etc., 24/7, TFN.
The city has said it’s continuing to evaluate potential expansions. This afternoon, the advocacy group Seattle Neighborhood Greenways proposed what it called a “crowdsourced, 130-mile, network of Stay Healthy Streets,” including some potential West Seattle additions such as the entirety of Beach Drive SW. See the SNG proposal mapped here. The group also has an FAQ document here.
TUESDAY NOTE: If you didn’t catch the difference between the green and blue lines on the map, as Don Brubeck of West Seattle Bike Connections (part of the SNG coalition) points out, much of Beach Drive is proposed for parking-lane conversion, not the full width.
Just because campuses are closed doesn’t mean learning has stopped. That goes for South Seattle College (longtime WSB sponsor), where spring quarter is about to start, and there’s still time to enroll. Updates from SSC (which has its main campus in West Seattle’s Puget Ridge neighborhood):
Spring Quarter 2020 Starts Next Monday, April 13
So that everyone can stay healthy and stay on track with their education, spring quarter at South Seattle College will look quite different this year. All classes offered from our West Seattle campus will be happening either online or through other remote means to comply with State of Washington executive orders to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Student Services staff are helping students remotely to prepare for the upcoming quarter, and eLearning staff are providing resources to help everyone prepare for online learning.
Students who are enduring financial hardships as a result of COVID-19’s far-reaching impacts are encouraged to apply for emergency funds and financial aid support. Additionally, the college is working with students on an individual basis to support their at-home technology needs for successful online learning.
The college is still enrolling new students for spring. Classes start April 13, and the last day to add/register is April 17. Visit southseattle.edu/steps-enroll/admissions-application to get started.
Remote Operations & Restricted Campus Access Through at Least May 4
South Seattle College is operating fully remotely through at least May 4 in compliance with Gov. Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. During this time campuses are effectively closed (including Georgetown campus), although services are still available remotely and classes will be offered online and through other remote means.
On-campus food services and event space rentals will not be available to the community during remote operations.
Seattle Colleges Foundation Mobilizes to Help Students
The Seattle Colleges Foundation has launched a COVID-19 Emergency Fund to help students of the Seattle Colleges by providing grants to cover essential needs including groceries, rent, childcare and educational technology. To learn more and consider supporting the cause, please visit foundation.seattlecolleges.edu/covid-19-emergency-fund.
Just announced by Seattle Colleges, the system that includes South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) – the system is “moving to alternative modes of instruction” immediately. From the announcement posted online:
To date, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at any Seattle Colleges locations.
Beginning Monday, March 9, Seattle Colleges is moving from in-person classroom instruction to the appropriate alternative modality for each class, when and where possible. This includes satellite locations and will continue through the end of the Winter Quarter (March 25). The move is in accordance with the COVID-19 recommendations from Public Health — Seattle and King County to reduce large numbers of people coming together at the same time.
Classroom and instructional staff will make local decisions about which modes to employ for each particular course. Colleges and instructors will send more detailed information soon.
No Classes Monday, March 9, for Faculty Prep; Instructional Resources, Business and Student Services Remain Open
There will be no classes on Monday, March 9. Instead, faculty and staff will use the day to adapt their coursework to the alternative formats and communicate with students. Classes will resume Tuesday, March 10, reflecting the instructional changes.
All student and business services will remain open and maintain regular business hours and students are welcome on campus to use the services as necessary.
Students should contact their instructors with any course-related questions or concerns about having access to appropriate technology.
Moving instruction to alternative modes will help minimize the number of people physically on campus and help maintain the “social distancing” prescribed by health officials.
If a member of the Seattle Colleges community tests positive for COVID-19, district operations will be reassessed.
We’ll update this story if/when we see/receive SSC-specific information. The move away from in-person classes already has been announced by many other area colleges/universities.
Set your calendar for 2-6 pm Sunday, March 1st, when you’re invited to join in the fun at Puget Ridge Edible Park (5265 18th SW). From Stu Hennessey:
Hello friends and neighbors.
The dark and short days are behind us and spring will be here soon. Even though, if you have not been to PREP lately, you may be surprised at the progress made over the winter months. As usual the first Sundays of the month, March-October, we invite the greater community and PREP family to join us in a celebration of nature and our methods of permaculture techniques and learning opportunities. March is the time to really get going on the cold-loving plants before it is too warm to enjoy them. Planting beds are being prepared for direct sowing and seedling plantings. Come see how to turn “overwhelming” invasive growth into a fertile and abundant food oasis.
21st SW just north of SW Myrtle, by Sanislo Elementary [map], was blocked as of a little while ago by a fallen tree, reports Angela, who says her father saw it happen while out walking their dog. She asked who to report it to. If a road is blocked, it’s an emergency, and 911 is appropriate. SDOT also has a 24-hour dispatch at 206-386-1218.
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.
A back-to-school concert greeted students at midday Tuesday on the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus, where the fall quarter started Monday, so it’s Welcome Week. While Young-Chhaylee played, students were getting questions answered at the “Ask Me” table:
Today (Wednesday), the Welcome Week highlight is a Resource Fair and free barbecue lunch, 10:30 am-1 pm at Clock Tower Plaza.
Two garden parties that might interest you this weekend in West Seattle:
SATURDAY AT BARTON STREET P-PATCH: 4-7 pm in the community garden at 34th/Barton:
Need last-minute plans for dinner? Want to get outside and enjoy the last sunny evening of the summer? Then please come and join us for an early evening of handcrafted and wood-fired pizza at the esteemed Barton Street P-Patch in West Seattle. This fundraiser benefiting GROW is organized as an inclusive, family-oriented social gathering to bring gardeners, their families, and the community together while also supporting a nonprofit organization that advocates to keep green spaces and p-patches in our neighborhoods. Check out the creative art and garden beds hand-crafted by the dedicated Barton Street gardeners while feasting on wood-fired pizza and music by Citizens of the Earth.
Tickets are available online or at the garden when you arrive.
SUNDAY AT PUGET RIDGE EDIBLE PARK: Sunday, you’re invited to tour the park at 18th/Brandon for this free event, 2-5 pm:
We would like to share with you the work being done for the 3rd season at PREP (Puget Ridge Edible Park). .. Growing local and eating seasonal is one of many things we can do to combat the threat of the climate crisis. This is not a work party but if you pull a weed or two, we won”t mind.
What began as the 13th Year Promise at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) is now more like the 13th and 14th Year Promise, and this year’s participants are getting ready to start their SSC studies. But first, the traditional group photo, and SSC’s announcement of their arrival:
South Seattle College welcomed the incoming class of Seattle Promise Program scholars today with a two-day “Summer Bridge” orientation to help the recent high-school graduates prepare for the transition to higher education. Seattle Promise provides up to two years of tuition coverage and the personal guidance students need to succeed in college.
The 141 incoming Seattle Promise scholars come to South from Chief Sealth International, Cleveland, West Seattle, and Rainier Beach high schools. They officially begin their higher-education journey on Monday, Sept. 23, with the start of fall quarter.
In 2018, Seattle Colleges partnered with the city of Seattle and Seattle Public Schools to launch Seattle Promise, a scholarship program focused on providing college access, success, and completion with the overarching mission of building a local thriving, college-going culture that creates a workforce ready for our region’s careers.
The program, informed and inspired by South Seattle College’s 13th Year Promise Scholarship established in 2008, expanded in reach and impact with the passing of the Families and Education levy in November 2018. In 2020, Seattle Promise will expand to accept graduates from all seventeen Seattle public high schools.
As explained here, the financial component of the program involves “(f)ull coverage of any tuition expenses remaining after other scholarships and financial aid.” The program expansion was part of the levy passed by Seattle voters almost a year ago.
Police have found at least one shell casing, according to radio communication, while investigating reports of gunfire heard on Puget Ridge. They briefly closed SW Dawson at/near 18th for the investigation but just announced it’s reopening. One person near 19th/Brandon tells us they “heard what sounded like 5 rapid gunshots.” No reports of anyone being injured..