West Seattle, Washington
The kerfuffle over the decision to change West Seattle High School‘s unique 4-period-day schedule is apparently far from over. WSB has received announcements of the creation of two pro-4-period-day websites — “West Seattle Parents and Citizens for 4 Period Day” has just inaugurated a blog (find it here) with a post titled “Why Arguments for the 6 Period Day Don’t Hold Water,” and “Students for Democratic Process” has set up a site titled “Less Is More – Go for 4.” If there are any pro-6-period-day websites, we would be happy to mention them as well; meantime, the WSHS website continues to post transition updates on this page.
Thanks to everybody in WSB-land who e-mailed about this after seeing the scene while passing by this morning – the Chelan Cafe confirms that a truck crashed into the building overnight, and “took off” after taking out the front wall of the lounge. However – the cafe is still open; just has quite the mess to clean up. We’ll have a photo up later.
Thanks to Susan in Westwood for pointing out that tomorrow night’s Seattle School Board agenda includes an item regarding the controversial Denny-Sealth combined-campus proposal, updated and discussed at a Westwood Neighborhood Council meeting last week (our detailed report here). The item is explained on the agenda as, “Approval of this item will certify that the existing space to be replaced through new construction in lieu of modernization at Denny Middle School/Chief Sealth High School will not be used in the future for District instructional purposes or be eligible for future state financial assistance.” If you read the report linked from the agenda item, it sounds like a technicality, rather than any key vote regarding the project – but just to be sure, we checked with West Seattle’s new school board rep Steve Sundquist, who was at last week’s WNC meeting. He replied:
“… my understanding is that Action Item 4 is an administrative action concerning state matching funds, and passing it does not bind the board or district into a particular outcome regarding the Sealth/Denny project. Consequently, I do not consider it a major directional vote on the project. Having said that, I have asked the district to go on record publicly to that effect before we vote in our Legislative Meeting tomorrow evening, and Superintendent Dr. Goodloe-Johnson has agreed to ensure that it happens.”
We also asked if there was an update regarding Sundquist’s statement last week that the board needed legal counsel’s opinion on whether it would be potentially empowered to change or scrap the Denny-Sealth project; he said, “I am expecting to hear that announced publicly soon, possibly as early as tomorrow evening’s meeting.” That meeting starts at 6 pm Wednesday at school district HQ, the John Stanford Center in Sodo (map linked from this page).
Another sign the store planned for the remaining space in the ex-Alki Market building (next to All the Best Pet Care and Cactus) is getting closer to reality – the proprietors-to-be of Alki Urban Market have just applied for a liquor license, under the “grocery store/beer and wine” category.
On the day one local nonprofit organization says its sad goodbye, another one is expanding by looking for its first Executive Director. Here’s what Ann Kendall wrote about the search in e-mail to WSB:
Family Promise Seattle is a new nonprofit here in West Seattle – we are seeking our first-ever director. We’re part of a national network (familypromise.org) – helping newly homeless families with temporary shelter (in local congregations of all faiths), and by operating a Day Center where folks can have an address, phone, internet and a case worker who will assist the families with all transitional needs. Goal is to get folks into permanent housing asap. Nationally the average stay for a family in the program is just about 40 days and we are hopeful we can do the same once we get going.
… Finding someone with ties to W. Seattle area would be great in getting us started. Full job description is located on our “director search” page. We will be operating our Day Center right next to West Side Presbyterian.
We haven’t updated the West Seattle Gas Price Watch for a while (past editions archived here) — prices would go up a bit, then go down a bit, and we figured wasting pixels on the seesawing might bore you. However, we were out doing other things a short time ago when what should appear through the downpour, between the furiously fast sweeps of our windshield wipers, but — a milestone worth mentioning: The first $2-something price in a while (photo at left). Yes, it’s “only” the Arco on Delridge, but still.
After four years, the West Seattle community-building group Megawatt just announced it’s shutting down. Full text of the Megawatt announcement is on its website; excerpt: “We have succeeded with many things and take pride in our vision for the community and commitment to high quality service. Unfortunately, our dreams exceeded our resources, and thus we have faltered in our ability to reach a point of sustainability with the organization.” 10:45 AM UPDATE: If you wondered whether this has been coming for a while — given that Megawatt announced in October it would have to cancel the annual “Gathering of Neighbors” that had been set for November — we asked Mark Wainwright, Megawatt board member, and he said, “It hasn’t been coming for awhile. We were sincere when we said that we wanted to come back with a great GON in 2008. At least for the last year, we’ve been running very lean, so it’s not like we just ran out of money. We didn’t have much to begin with. The decision was a recent and tough one.”
Over the weekend, we mentioned the fire that swept through this house early Saturday. Tonight, we have a followup e-mailed by Ricardo Guarnero, proprietor of nearby Cafe Rozella:
Wanted to let you know of an unsung hero in the fire that gutted the house at 9415 Delridge. Six people were sleeping upstairs where neighbor Paul saw a bright light from his window next to the house. He looked out and saw flames bursting out of the lower window. Paul immediately started yelling to wake up the inhabitants. He then ran out and saw a truck with a ladder. Wasting no time, he propped it against the house and helped out all six residents. Had it not been for his timely actions all could have perished. Paul is the owner/mechanic of 944 West, a high-end German automobile repair shop.
Thanks to Ricardo for sharing that. (Also thanks to Trina for posting a comment with similar info, below the original post.) Whatever you see/hear/find out about in your neighborhood, e-mail WSB with info (photos and video welcome too), any time.
1:11 PM UPDATE: WSB contributing photographer Christopher Boffoli got to the scene on Hudson west of 42nd first (and photographed part of the actual fire, as seen above and below) and reports:
Engine 32 and Ladder 11 are on the scene and a bunch of firefighters are watching the wires burn. Even they were scratching their heads about how weird it is. One firefighter told me that when they rolled up, a length of wire a block long was on fire. For some reason the wires are so hot that the insulation is burning off. They said there is nothing they can do but to let the insulation burn out. (You obviously cannot douse the wires with water). They said that afterward they have to watch them because the fire can weaken the metal and they can fatigue and come down.
ORIGINAL POST AT 12:46 PM: “Wires down” — That’s the label for a fire call happening right now in the 5000 block of 42nd. Heard some scanner talk about possibly restricting some access in the area; off to investigate. 12:59 PM UPDATE: Hudson blocked west of 42nd. Two engines on scene, including the one shown below:
(which we were, on Saturday) … an excavation/”shoring” permit has just been issued for the vacant parcel at 35th/Avalon – if you drive by there frequently, you have probably noticed there’ve been stirrings of work. We discussed this project very briefly toward the end of this post three months ago; here’s another look at the architect’s current webpage for what’s proposed at that corner.
Two things to mention, unrelated so far as we know except that they involve Seattle Police and are both of course in West Seattle:
-First, reminder that – per what we reported Friday afternoon – you may notice an increased police presence around West Seattle High School again today.
-Second, this photo (and the reader report beneath it) came in last night from “Bob Loblaw”:
SPD said it was a “routine traffic stop,” but they had three cruisers present nonetheless. A big thank you goes out to them for being highly visible on 38th Ave. SW when a suspicious-looking vehicle with a flat tire and smashed headlights showed up on our normally quiet street near Fairmount Park. Thank you, SPD.
— Bob Loblaw
-The collection of links on the WSB right sidebar formerly titled WEST SEATTLE MISCELLANY is now WEST SEATTLE NEIGHBORHOOD GROUPS — several local activists have suggested it, and we hope it will be a reminder to everyone that West Seattle has some great groups well worth getting involved with. We’re pretty sure our list has all the big ones; if you have a smaller neighborhood group (whether it has a website or an e-mail group) and we missed it, please let us know.
-While checking in with those neighborhood sites, we noticed that the Highland Park Action Committee is looking for a 2008 chair, with this pitch: “Become the new HPAC chair and make a positive difference in our neighborhood. And what perks! like a cool secret handshake. You’ll find out the rest after you’re sworn in.” Interested? In Highland Park? Here’s the HPAC website.
-Tomorrow is when the full City Council is scheduled to take up the industrial-zoning issue that’s attracted the most coverage regarding how it could affect our neighbors to the east in Georgetown, but could affect some industry-/port-neighboring land in eastern West Seattle too. Here’s the full text of the proposal. Lots more coverage at Blogging Georgetown (multiple posts currently linked from its home page); Mid Beacon Hill wrote about it too (here); the measure passed a council committee last week (P-I story here). If you’ve got strong feelings on this issue, get them to the City Council (e-mail addresses and phone numbers here) by tomorrow morning.
We’re going to have to go out and check on the tree situation West Seattle-wide as time permits this afternoon – we figured some things might have changed since we did the research 2 weeks ago for our West Seattle Christmas Tree Price Check (read it here) — and in fact, we just got e-mail from this year’s new addition, the tree lot on Harbor Ave across from the 7-11. Jeff Sullivan wrote (as of half an hour ago):
We just wanted to let you know that we have around 40 or 50 trees left in a variety of shapes & sizes. We still have Noble, grand and douglas firs. All trees are just $20/each!
Merry Christmas to you!
Skyline Secure Park
Heard the other day from Eric Renn, who’s getting ready to open West Seattle Digital in the storefront shown above at 6016 California, in the same block as Puget Sound Lock & Key, Star Nails, and West Seattle Cellars (Eric sent the photo too, after hanging the festive COMING SOON banner). He says WSD will be an authorized retailer for Dish Network, XM Satellite Radio, Clearwire, and VOIP.com (broadband telephone); he lives in West Seattle and plans to have the store open by the first of the year.
The 911 log shows a car crash after midnight at 35th/Avalon. No details except for a note that came in from Creighton (thank you), who wrote:
Big Car Wreck: Just drove past the intersection of 35th Ave and Avalon in front of the 7-11 mostly on the westbound side of the street. Odd scene as there were two Santas on the side of the road watching the cops sort it out.
Just out of the WSB inbox, from Jessica (thank you!):
Last night, our neighbors had their home broken into while they were out of town. The window was broken on the alley side of the home, and I’m guessing it was someone from the neighborhood who knew the homeowners were gone (given the silence of the dogs). The police found no prints (they used gloves) and saw “small shoe marks”. The burglars took smaller items that were quick to grab.
Last week, our neighbors across 35th Ave told me about 3 incidents of cars being keyed.
And we frequently see drug-activity at the 35th Ave SW and Roxbury corner.
It would be so helpful if people see strange activity to report it to the police as soon as possible. Hopefully this gets the word out in the South end.
That’s exactly what the West Seattle-based Seattle Police Department team at the Southwest Precinct would say – keep the non-emergency number handy, 625-5011 – and crime prevention coordinator Benjamin Kinlow would certainly add, set up a Block Watch if you don’t have one already. Another excellent resource for the area in Jessica’s note is the White Center/South Delridge Community Safety group; here’s the WSB report on their October meeting, and their upcoming meetings are listed here.
Here’s the weekly update from the West Seattle Farmers’ Market organizers – remember the market’s not taking a winter break; it’s 10 am-2 pm Sundays through month’s end, then 11 am-2 pm for a while starting in January:Read More
As first reported last month, one of the Neighborhood Street Fund projects approved by the city would extend the sidewalk along Alki Point, from this spot where it ends at the west edge of the Alki promenade. Local resident Susan Jones wrote to the city with a concern about the potential effects on the street itself, and shared the resulting e-mail exchange, which also includes word from the city that “significant community outreach” regarding the project is planned for spring:Read More
The exterior appears intact but the charring over the broken-out windows suggests this house was gutted by the overnight fire there. It’s 9415 Delridge (map), on the north edge of the Delridge/Roxbury business district, at a location identified in county records and online searches as home to B & J Plumbing (we have left voicemail for that business to check on this); 911 logs show the fire callout was at 1:50 am. There’s no official Fire Department press release on this, so here’s hoping that means nobody was seriously hurt.
Checked in with Charlestown Cafe owner Larry Mellum today, after a few recent e-mails from WSB readers who had heard reports of a lease extension. He says they’re still officially month-to-month, but not expecting to be leaving any time soon, since the proposal to tear down the building and build a new Petco store seems to be moving slowly, with no official action since the August public meeting at which the Design Review Board turned thumbs-down on the design for a second time (detailed WSB coverage here). Meanwhile, we received an e-mail comment on the subject of Charlestown’s fate and West Seattle’s direction in general, and wanted to include it in our next followup, so here it is:Read More
Many people e-mailed WSB to ask what the big police presence at West Seattle High School today was all about: We just got off the phone with Lt. Steve Paulsen at the Southwest Precinct, who explained that various student conflicts during the week led to some concern about a possible “disturbance” today — so just to be on the safe side, they put on a show of preventive force — and Lt. Paulsen says it worked, with a quiet day at the school. He says there also were officers present around Chief Sealth HS as well, and there will be some continued presence at WSHS next week too, though not quite at today’s level; Lt. Paulsen also noted that today worked out as a great exercise in cooperation between the schools and the police department.
Here you see West Seattle Cub Scout Pack 793 Webelos I & II meeting with Mayor Nickels Thursday afternoon. Thanks to Angela for sending the photo and info — She says, “The scouts met with the mayor to complete their Citizen Badge. He gave the boys information about how the Mayor’s office is run and then let the boys ask him questions. One brave little scout even asked about his plans for the Alaskan Way Viaduct!” Pictured with the scouts are their den leader and cubmaster, Pat Heidal and Nick Roach. (Find out more about Pack 793 at their website here.)