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Gatewood Elementary “Kids for Kids” a smash hit

If you see this before 2 pm Saturday, you still have time to get down to Gatewood Elementary and join in the “Kids for Kids” fun. If you see it later, the goats aren’t scheduled to leave till Tuesday morning, so you may get a chance for an impromptu look. (And check out WSB video of their arrival here.) Quite a crowd when we went by a little while ago — first two photos are onlookers admiring rain-shielded goats; third one is from the other “Kids for Kids” events up on the Gatewood playground:

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Friday late-night roundup

October 19, 2007 11:56 pm
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 |   Crime | West Seattle schools | WS & Sports

-Congratulations to the West Seattle HS Wildcats for making it into the Metro League football playoffs after their win tonight in the big cross-WS-rivalry game against the Chief Sealth HS Seahawks.

-Some readers wrote us earlier in the day worried about the White Center shooting. Teenage suspects are in custody. If you haven’t gotten around to looking up exactly where that happened, here’s a map. To get resident reaction, the P-I’s “online reporter” went to Papa Murphy’s in the nearby business district and talked with people including a man from Arbor Heights who, according to the resulting blog post, expressed his concerns about safety in south WS.

-We have been watching county Medical Examiner reports and online “King County deaths” lists for identification of the victim in last weekend’s 59th/Admiral shooting. Nothing public, even almost a week later, which seems unusual. However, the King County online register does reveal that the suspect is back in county jail, with bail listed as $500,000 and the charge as “murder 2” — as we first reported last weekend, he was only briefly in the county jail, then transferred to juvenile custody; this would suggest he is now charged as an adult — we are looking for verification in the online records.

School follow-ups: Gatewood goats, Lafayette walkers, sunbreaks

As promised, video of the goats that arrived at Gatewood Elementary (location) today to munch away invasive plants. The folks at Gatewood hope everyone will come see the goats 10 am-2 pm tomorrow during their special “Kids for Kids” playground-project celebration:

Also, reader Luckie kindly sent us a photo from the Lafayette Elementary fundraising Walk-A-Thon today, noting “here’s proof the kids had SOME good weather today!”

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Gatewood gets their goats

Thanks to reader K for sending pix of the most eagerly awaited animal act to hit West Seattle since the baby seals. (News about them, coming up in a bit.) We are processing video right now too.

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Two, cool for school

Happening at elementary schools in West Seattle today:

LAFAYETTE WALK-A-THON: It’s an annual tradition for this elementary school in the Admiral District. Starting at 9:15, and continuing throughout the day (more info here), each grade gets its turn to take 45 minutes to walk laps around the Lafayette playground, raising money for a variety of school projects. Past beneficiaries included the playground itself, which is continuing to undergo renovation work. If you stop by to cheer them on, note there’s a bake sale too.

GATEWOOD GOATS: The storm-delayed arrival of the Rent-a-Ruminant herd is expected to happen around midday today; this too is part of a big playground improvement project. The really big event is 10 am-2 pm tomorrow, and you’re invited.

These and other happenings are also on our Events page (including tons of Halloween and Thanksgiving/Christmas fun); our West Seattle Weekend Lineup will be out a bit later this morning.

Happening in maybe-not-so-windblown West Seattle tonight

October 18, 2007 8:50 am
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 |   Fun stuff to do | How to help | West Seattle schools

Good thing it’s sounding more like we won’t just have to hunker down and hide inside tonight (unless the forecast changes again – next update should be out within an hour or so), because there are some big things happening tonight (all from the WSB Events page – keep sending us the word on what’s up with your school, business, organization, community group, etc., thanks!):

GOOD FOOD, GOOD WINE, GREAT CAUSE: 6:30 pm tonight at the Hall at Fauntleroy, it’s the winetasting fundraiser and auction for West Seattle Helpline.

GOOD BEER, GREAT CAUSE: Murphy’s Furniture on Avalon has a benefit tonight for the West Seattle Food Bank — Oktoberfest beer tasting with Elliott Bay Brewery’s brewer talking about the price of hops (almost as hot a topic these days as the price of gas). Brats to go with the beer, too!

INFO NIGHT FOR INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE PROGRAM @ CHIEF SEALTH HS: If you haven’t heard about IB, it’s a rigorous high-school program and CSHS had to go through a lot to get it — this is its first year and the CSHS community is incredibly excited about it. Find out more about IB at Chief Sealth at 7 pm tonight.

ALKI COMMUNITY COUNCIL: Tonight’s the monthly meeting, featuring Q/A with candidates for key open seats on the City Council and School Board. ACC meetings are always great places to find out what’s happening in West Seattle’s highest-profile neighborhood. 7 pm, Alki Community Center.

West Seattle wine country

Ah, wine country: The rolling hills of Napa … Sonoma … Walla Walla … Puget Ridge. Yes, as in, the eastern highlands of West Seattle, home to South Seattle Community College and its award-winning winemaking program. Back in June, when we shared the news that SSCC’s Northwest Wine Academy had received a medal at the Seattle Wine Awards, some readers asked when its next wine release was scheduled. Last night was the night; our WSB videographer dropped in to talk to a couple of the program leaders, wine program coordinator Regina Daigneault and wine program winemaker Peter Bos:

At last night’s event, the academy offered its 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2006 Merlot for sale, $20 each, and offered pre-sale of its 2006 barrel-fermented Chardonnay and 2006 no-oak Chardonnay (each $18) and 2006 late-harvest Sauvignon Blanc ($15). It also announced two upcoming happenings we’re adding to our Events page pronto: the Holiday Barrel Tasting on December 7 and 8, and the Gifts from the Earth food/wine event on January 26, touting “30 Washington wineries and 15 celebrity chefs.” If you want to check on wine availability following last night’s event, e-mail Regina here.

Denny/Sealth: Next community meeting now confirmed

As promised at the somewhat contentious meeting we covered earlier this week regarding the Chief Sealth High School/Denny Middle School shared-campus project, another meeting is happening in short order: October 25th. School district liaison Eleanor Trainor explains, “(This) meeting will differ from the two general update meetings we’ve had. This meeting will focus on the pedestrian links and community initiatives for the Sealth campus. It will be an open forum for neighbors to discuss ideas about the exterior spaces and the campus’ connection to Longfellow Creek.” Here’s the official flyer:Read More

Gatewood Elementary rustles up “Kids for Kids’

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If you have driven by the above-pictured greenery along Fauntleroy a couple blocks north of Lincoln Park, you might not know there’s an elementary school behind all that. But the fine folks of Gatewood Elementary have a plan to clear things up: Gatewood parent Steve White wrote to let us all know about the impending arrival — one week from today — of those beloved Rent-A-Ruminant goats (seen along Admiral back in July). Steve says the objective of the goats’ work October 18-21 is “to mow down a hillside of ivy as part of our playground renovation project. … The ivy removal is part of ridding the school grounds of invasive plant species, and restoring the native plants.” The Gatewood playground renovation, Operation Imagination, has been three years in the making and is going well thanks to donations of time and money as well as various grants; it will be spotlighted during a day of fun events while the goats are on site, “Kids for Kids,” 10 am-4 pm Saturday 10/20.

Best food in the Seattle school district?

Dori, the Denny Middle School Lunch Lady, says that’s what she serves every day, and she invited the architects and school administrators overseeing the Denny-Sealth construction project to come have lunch. She was one of about 35 people who came to tonight’s overview of the latest plans for the Denny-Sealth shared-campus project with some serious concerns over the initial plans. The plan presented showed one kitchen which would serve both schools, to be located between the gym and the common areas. As Dori said – a kitchen with no windows or adequate ventilation is not a good idea. What she wants is for the planners and architects to see the existing Denny lunch room and kitchen, which she calls a “kitchen done right.”
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Denny-Sealth campus consolidation meeting: School sparks

October 9, 2007 8:47 pm
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 |   Denny-Sealth | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

Just back from the school district-organized Denny-Sealth project update meeting at CSHS. Sparks flew, especially on the issue of why this meeting was called with only days’ notice. Another one is set for later this month. Our full report will be posted here later tonight.

Two Tuesday night notables

October 9, 2007 6:07 am
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 |   How to help | West Seattle people | West Seattle schools

JUNO MEETS AGAIN: If you live in or around The Junction, it’s your chance to get in on the ground floor of a great group — tonight’s the second meeting of JuNO (Junction Neighborhood Organization). They’re gathering at the Senior Center (Cali & Oregon) at 6:30. Click for the updated meeting agenda flyer.

DENNY/SEALTH CONSOLIDATED CAMPUS – WHERE’S IT AT? Find out from school district reps at tonight’s meeting in the Chief Sealth HS Little Theater (also 6:30). Will anything have changed from the intense schedule laid out at the summer meeting organized by the Westwood Neighborhood Council? Will the website mentioned on the district flyer be up and running any time soon? These and many other questions about this nine-digit project will hopefully be answered.

Several other noteworthy gatherings tonight too, including the Fauntleroy Community Association and Admiral Neighborhood Association; these and many more listings are always accessible on our ever-growing Events page.

School scoop

Lots happening at WS schools. (Let us know any time about big doings at yours — public, private, parochial, whatever.) A few highlights:

SANISLO ELEMENTARY TODAY: City councilmember Jan Drago, a former teacher, is joining the Walk-To-School Month assembly this afternoon.

WEST SEATTLE HS: Look for extra-exuberant school spirit with the homecoming dance tonight, homecoming football game (vs. Rainier Beach) tomorrow night.

CHIEF SEALTH HS: This is the first year for its prestigious International Baccalaureate program; an IB information night is coming up October 18th. And CSHS is throwing itself a 50th birthday party on October 13th.

COOPER ELEMENTARY: Its EARTH Project just got a $53,000 grant, half from the state and the rest from the Northwest Environmental Education Council, the Nature Consortium, and Camp Long. A school district press release describes the EARTH Project as “a new magnet environmental focus at Cooper Elementary School. It includes the planning and planting of an on-site habitat by students as well as integration of art and technology linked to the environmental projects teachers are developing.”

MADISON MIDDLE SCHOOL: Its next PTSA meeting (Wednesday, October 10th) features a high-profile guest — new Seattle Public Schools superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson.

LAFAYETTE ELEMENTARY: Families are rounding up pledges for its annual walk-a-thon, coming up October 19th. (Press release here.)

Denny/Sealth project: District suddenly sets an update meeting

October 4, 2007 9:21 am
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 |   Denny-Sealth | Development | West Seattle schools | Westwood

Just got word from the Westwood Neighborhood Council that Seattle Public Schools has scheduled a community update meeting next week about the impending Chief Sealth High School/Denny Middle School campus consolidation construction project. The neighborhood group itself called the last update meeting, in June, after learning details about the project that previously hadn’t gotten much public airing. (We covered that meeting in-depth; here’s the link.) The district’s flyer (which touts a weblink, buildingexcellence.org, that as of this writing goes only to a “parking page”) says the meeting at 6:30 pm next Tuesday (10/9) in the Chief Sealth HS theater will include updates on the schedule and design for the project, and take Q/A. Here’s the flyer:Read More

Walkin’ the walk

October 4, 2007 6:34 am
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 |   West Seattle schools

It’s Walk-To-School Month and proud families from West Seattle’s Sanislo Elementary are proud to be helping to lead the way. Sanislo parent Lisa Keith tells us their school is also part of a Feet First grant project, with West Seattle Elementary and Denny Middle School, to promote safe walking routes to school. Sanislo also will play host to City Councilmember Jan Drago for a special walk-to-school-themed assembly this Friday.

New way to find out what’s coming up

Just launched: Version 1.0 of our brand-new Events page, stocked with a variety of events coming up in West Seattle (and a select few elsewhere, but of WS relevance) over the next three months. If you are involved with an event of public interest and you don’t see it there yet, please send e-mail to tell us about it. One of the events on the page already is the October fundraising dinner/auction for West Seattle’s only private high school, Seattle Lutheran HS; WSB readers sent us full details too, including a call for more auction donations:Read More

Brevity can equal levity

This reminds us that Seattle Public Schools had sent around a press release recently mentioning that just-retired assistant principal Nels Enquist from Chief Sealth HS will be honored as a “Distinguished Principal” at next month’s Association of Washington School Principals conference. But CSHS might want to add a letter or two to this tribute spotted on the school’s marquee this morning:

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Pelly Place planting: The video

Four clips from today’s event: First, the kids — from Gatewood Elementary, Denny Middle, and Chief Sealth HS, with EarthCorps assistants:

Here’s Nobel Peace Prize recipient Wangari Maathai assisting with one of the trees — this is what she’s famous for, if you aren’t familiar with her work; this online reference calls her the “Tree Woman of Kenya”:

Also at Pelly Place: King County Councilmember Dow Constantine. Our videographer asked him for a few words, and he reminded us he’s no stranger to ravine restoration:

Last but by no means least, part of the poetry performance by Gatewood Elementary students:

New West Seattle trees, with Nobel cachet

The WSB photo/video crew is just back from the tree planting at Pelly Place held today in connection with Earth Summit II at Chief Sealth HS. First photo shows Nobel Peace Prize recipient Wangari Maathai assisting students with the tree planting:

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The photo below shows Gatewood Elementary students who read a poem at the event. Others in attendance included King County Councilmember Dow Constantine; no mayor sightings — he is in Eastern Washington today. We will post video from the Pelly Place event later.

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2 for tomorrow

TOMORROW NIGHT: What should the city do with millions of your $ earmarked for transportation projects? Don’t wait till you read here that crews are on their way to (fill in the blank) and then say “Hey! Why don’t they (whatever) instead?” — stop by tomorrow night’s city Transportation Department open house at Youngstown Arts Center between 5 and 8 pm, look at what’s under consideration, register your preference. Or – if you absolutely can’t make it in person – the city has set up a webpage where you can see what’s on the potential project list and rank your preferences – click here, then choose South Sector; with 29 WS locations on the list, one just might be near you. Make your choices by September 27th.

ALL DAY TOMORROW: Chief Sealth HS hosts Seattle Earth Summit II 9:30 am-3 pm with an impressive guest list, including the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, Wangari Maathai, as well as West Seattle’s world-famous photographer Art Wolfe. Also part of the agenda: a ceremonial tree-planting @ 11:30 am at Pelly Place Ravine, which Wolfe and local students are working together to revitalize as part of Project Earth Care.

Also tomorrow night: WS High School talks about its big change

Yet another WS event to add to the list of what’s happening Tuesday night: West Seattle High School has a community forum @ 6:30 pm tomorrow to talk about the recent announcement that it will change from 4-period days to 6-period days as of next school year. (There’s also a student-only forum at WSHS tomorrow afternoon.) This is a huge change for the school, which has had 4-period days since 1994, and described them in its 2006 annual report as “(facilitating) in-depth and hands-on learning.” Some of the arguments against the 4-period day were discussed in the unofficial Seattle Public Schools Blog a few months ago.

Creative crosswalks

Thanks to Jerry @ JetCityOrange for sending pix of the crosswalk work by Lafayette Elementary:

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The pattern is made of a heat-transfer type of plastic called DuraTherm, according to this Herald article from last month; read more about DuraTherm crosswalks here.

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Think our crosswalks need more of this treatment? That’s probably something you can bring up at next Wednesday’s WS open house about how to spend millions of voter-approved city $. And steps away from this street work, a Lafayette note: School families are wrapping up Phase 1 of their playground renovation project with a volunteer planting party this Saturday. Congratulations!

Final faceoff

sundquistphoto1.jpgmariaphoto1.jpgAlso speaking of schools – the primary election results have just been certified, and the Final Two for West Seattle’s school board seat are now official: Steve Sundquist (photo left) got 53.4% of the primary vote (5,624 votes), while Maria Ramirez (photo right) got 23.4% (2,467 votes). Although school board members represent certain districts, in the general election the entire city votes on all seats, so Sundquist and Ramirez (as well as the candidates in the other districts) will have to campaign citywide. Election Day: November 6th.