VIDEO: West Seattle activist Aji Piper keynotes WAGIN conference @ Chief Sealth IHS

Toward the end of the first day of the Washington Global Issues Network conference at Chief Sealth International High School, West Seattle climate activist Aji Piper, 16, took the stage as a keynoter.

The question he started with was simple: “How did I get involved in the environmental movement and why?”

The answers, complex. We recorded his almost-hour-long speech on video:

Piper spoke about his work, from early participation in Plant for the Planet, to being one of what are now 21 young plaintiffs suing the federal government over its failure to protect their rights to clean air and water.

“Climate change means life as we know it will change,” he declared. And he recounted some life-changing climate events that have rocked the globe already, from 314+ square miles of wildfire damage last year – “more than 152,000 football fields” – to storms like Hurricane Sandy.

“I thought about my home. What did this all mean for the people and places I love? What do I do with this knowledge? … I’m one person in a world of 7 billion people. What am I going to do about this?”

What he has done in the past several years started with planting trees to writing and performing protest songs with a ukulele, as he learned about new issues including oil trains and Arctic drilling. To challenge the latter, he wrote and performed a protest song, with his ukulele, at a Seattle Port Commission meeting (his slide for this featured a framegrab of WSB video from that 2015 meeting). And he joined in the “kayaktivism” off West Seattle’s shore as the Polar Pioneer drilling rig floated in.

He got involved with Earth Guardians.

And then there was the lawsuit, which, he said, hasn’t gone to trial yet, but has had several hearings. (He and his co-plaintiffs have had international publicity because of it.) They’re representing everyone in the U.S., he asserted, saying we all have rights to clean water and air, and “a livable future.”

WAGIN continues Saturday at Sealth, with the ~100 student attendees from all over the state spending the day in workshops and hearing from three more keynote speakers, including Seattle activist and mayoral candidate Nikkita Oliver toward day’s end. This is the second time in three years that Sealth has hosted the conference.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Stolen white CR-V; package theft; car break-in; found fishing gear; bicycle reunion

Five notes in West Seattle Crime Watch tonight:

STOLEN CAR: Lisa sent the photo, reporting: “Our 1999 white CR-V was stolen from 35th and Andover sometime in the last two days. Plate number BCX-8350. It has a Yakima rack on top, and the back window has a snowflake on the top left and WSEA sticker on the right.” Call 911 if you see it.

STOLEN PACKAGE: Thao reports from The Triangle: “Just wanted to notify that I had a package stolen today. FedEx had it delivered (I verified with them the correct address later and they confirmed the drop off) at 9 am. I came back to pick up my package at 11 and it was not there. Asked neighbors and they did not see anything at all. I know there has been a lot of theft lately, but this is the first time it has ever happened to me. I am on 37th and Alaska.”

CAR BREAK-IN: From Tiffany: “We had a car break in (Wednesday) night/(Thursday) morning at 39th and Stevens. Nothing material stolen but we can’t figure out how they got into the car. We just want the neighbors to know in case someone is stealing car signals or something!”

FOUND FISHING POLES: From John in Gatewood: “While out walking today, came across two discarded fishing poles (with reels) discarded at 39th and Cloverdale; possible that someone stole them and dropped them there (or set them down and forgot them?).”

BICYCLE REUNION: Happy ending for a bicycle-theft case in the Westwood area. Mark found one in his yard and sent the photo we published early Thursday. Hours later, Thad saw that photo here and immediately recognized the bicycle stolen from his son – who now has it back.

Thanks to everyone who shares Crime Watch reports! Once you’ve reported it to police – 911 if it’s happening now or just happened – consider letting us know so your neighbors all around the peninsula will be aware of what happened – 206-293-6302 text or voice, editor@westseattleblog.com – thank you.

West Seattle schools: Louisa Boren STEM K-8 families notified of student with mumps

Thanks to the Louisa Boren STEM K-8 parents who just shared a letter sent to families today: The school says the county Health Department has told them a student has a confirmed case of mumps. According to today’s weekly update about the countywide mumps outbreak, that’s one of 25 cases in Seattle, 254 confirmed/probable cases in King County. Here’s the text of the letter families received:

Dear Louisa Boren STEM K-8 Parents:

Public Health – Seattle & King County (Public Health) has been informed of a student with mumps who attends Louisa Boren STEM K-8. The student is doing well and will remain out of school until no longer contagious. This case is linked to the ongoing King County outbreak.

What is mumps?

Mumps is an illness caused by a virus that can cause fever, headache, and swelling of the cheeks and jaw. In rare cases, mumps can lead to more serious complications that may require hospitalization. Up to 30% of people with mumps infection will have no symptoms.

How is mumps spread?

A person with mumps can spread the virus by coughing, sneezing, or talking. It can also be spread by sharing cups or eating utensils, and by touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands that are then touched by others.

Who is at risk of getting mumps*?

 Infants who are too young to receive mumps vaccine (less than 1 year of age).
 Children over 1 year of age who have not received at least 1 dose of MMR
 Adults born in or after 1957 who have not been vaccinated or have not previously had mumps
disease.
 If you are unsure of your child’s vaccination status please contact your health care provider.
 Even persons with 2 doses of mumps vaccine can get mumps infection (but the risk is less
than for people who have not been vaccinated or those who have only had 1 dose of mumps vaccine).

What should I do now?

Watch your child for symptoms of mumps, even if your child has had 2 doses of mumps vaccine. If your child develops any of the symptoms listed above:
 Call your child’s healthcare provider and tell them about your child’s symptoms and that he or she may have been exposed to mumps. Bring or read this letter to the health care provider.
 Keep your child home and away from other persons and from public settings until he or she has been evaluated by a healthcare provider.
 If you have additional questions, please contact your health care provider.

Will children who do not have two doses of mumps vaccine be excluded from school?

At this time Public Health is not recommending exclusion of children with vaccine exemptions. This will change if there are additional cases in the school. Students without at least one dose of MMR vaccine will be excluded from school of a minimum of 25 days after the last case. If your child does not have 2 doses of MMR vaccine please contact your healthcare provider to discuss vaccination.

Additional information about mumps can be found at:
kingcounty.gov/depts/health/communicable-diseases/disease-control/mumps.aspx

Sincerely,
Krista Rietberg, MPH
Communicable Disease Epidemiology and Immunization Section

The 25 cases reported within Seattle city limits are not publicly broken out by location, so we don’t know if any of the others are in the West Seattle area, but this is the first West Seattle notification that’s been called to our attention.

BACKSTORY: This Seattle Times report says the King County outbreak started last fall in Auburn. Statewide, through mid-March, this data sheet says 473 cases have been reported this year; that’s up from 155 statewide for all of 2016, Before that, according to that same page, the statewide total had been in single digits 2009-2015, following three years in double digits.

West Seattle Transportation Coalition: What SDOT says it’s hearing about Delridge RapidRide, midway through feedback time

(Newest Delridge RapidRide slide deck, as shown to WSTC)

The main topic of last night’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting: The 2020 conversion of Metro Route 120 to the Delridge RapidRide H Line. The city is leading the planning right now because it’s a service enhancement using the extra tax dollars approved by Seattle voters.

DELRIDGE RAPIDRIDE H LINE: Dawn Schellenberg from SDOT came at what she called the “middle of the second comment period,” which ends on March 31st. She brought an updated slide deck with a few new slides (embedded above, and viewable here in PDF). First comment she got, toward the start, was from WSTC board member Mark Jacobs, who suggested the new line should serve the underutilized park-and-ride lot under the west end of the West Seattle Bridge. Then Kim Barnes from the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council said the line should serve the Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village, which is already densifying with redevelopment and facing HALA upzoning, as are all urban villages. What about having an H-A line and an H-B line, one of which loops through the WW-HP area? suggested WSTC board member Chas Redmond.

Bicycle safety is a concern. One attendee said neither of the two options currently being pitched by SDOT seems safe from a bicycle rider’s standpoint, especially the loss of a median, which motorized-vehicle drivers usually use to get safely around riders who are in general traffic lanes. Read More

ORCA TALK: The Whale Trail’s next event Thursday shows you what’s being done to ensure they don’t starve

Saving Puget Sound’s orcas can’t happen without saving our region’s salmon. Next Thursday, The Whale Trail‘s next Orca Talk will show you what’s happening, and what needs to happen. In case you haven’t already seen it in our calendar, here’s the announcement:

Washington State’s Regional Fishery Enhancement Groups: Making a Real Difference for Salmon (and Orcas)
Presentation by Jeanette Dorner
Thursday, March 30, 7:00 – 8:30 pm.
C & P Coffee Company, 5612 California SW

Cost: $5 suggested donation; kids free!
Presented by The Whale Trail

Salmon, the primary food for our endangered orcas (J, K, and L pods), are in trouble. Almost 20 years ago the state of Washington created a network of 14 non-profits to work with local communities on salmon habitat restoration projects in different watersheds.

These Regional Fishery Enhancement Groups have worked since then with private landowners and community partners to identify and implement valuable projects that can help increase the number of salmon returning to Washington state.

The latest report on the state of Washington’s salmon shows that overall the recovery of endangered salmon is mixed and salmon populations in Puget Sound are still declining. It is even more important to support and invest in these efforts to restore habitat.

Jeanette will share what the Regional Fishery Enhancement Groups across the state are doing to make a difference and also about the group in Seattles backyard: the Mid Sound Fishery Enhancement Group and how you can help.

Buy tickets now to reserve your seat. And hurry! This will likely sell out.

About the Speaker

Jeanette Dorner has a long history working to recover salmon in Puget Sound. She worked for 11 years as the Salmon Recovery Program Manager with the Nisqually Tribe, coordinating the protection and restoration of salmon habitat in the Nisqually watershed. She played a lead role in helping facilitate with partners major salmon restoration projects including the 900-acre restoration of the Nisqually Estuary. She then worked as the Director of Ecosystem and Salmon Recovery at the Puget Sound Partnership, supporting the work of hundreds of partners around Puget Sound to protect, restore and clean up their rivers, streams and Puget Sound shorelines.

In January of this year Jeanette became the Executive Director of the Mid Sound Fishery Enhancement Group. In her new role she is focused on working to grow the organization to achieve a broader impact on restoring salmon habitat in the Mid Sound area which includes the Green – Duwamish watershed, the Cedar/Sammamish/Lake Washington watershed, the watersheds of Eastern Kitsap County which drain into Central Puget Sound, and all the Puget Sound shorelines in the Central Puget Sound area in King County and Kitsap County.

Jeanette is also the mother to two wonderful kids – a 13-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl. Part of her passion to recover salmon habitat and to preserve and protect this beautiful place we call home is to try to pass on to her children a home where they can continue to enjoy the natural wonders of this place with their families – going to watch orcas swimming through Puget Sound, visiting salmon spawning in our local streams, and hiking in the majestic forests of the Pacific Northwest.

Go here to get your ticket now!

About the emergency response at California/Edmunds

In case you were wondering about the police/fire response at California/Edmunds, given other incidents there recently … this is *not* a crime investigation. Police tell us they were called because of a “person in crisis.” They determined she was not physically injured but called in a private ambulance to take her for an evaluation.

West Seattle Friday: Dinners and dancing; politics and Pow-Wow; meet the Lions; and more!


(Pileated woodpecker, photographed in Fauntleroy Park this week by Mark Wangerin)

Highlights for your Friday!

COUNCILMEMBER LISA HERBOLD’S OFFICE HOURS: Got something to bring up with your City Councilmember? Lisa Herbold has in-district office hours noon-7 pm today at the Senior Center/Sisson Building. (4217 SW Oregon)

FRIDAY FISH FRY: 6-8 pm at Our Lady of Guadalupe Walmesley Center, you’re invited for dinner – fish, fries, and slaw, with a portion of the proceeds donated to CRS Operation Rice Bowldetails here; all welcome. (35th SW/SW Myrtle)

SPAGHETTI DINNER AND ART SHOW: Hope Lutheran School is raising money for a student trip to Washington, D.C., with a “free-will offering” spaghetti dinner and art show tonight, 5-8 pm. Details here. (42nd SW/SW Oregon)

COMMUNITY POW-WOW: 6-10 pm at Highland Park Elementary, all welcome for dancing, food, drumming, arts and crafts, and more – details here. (1012 SW Trenton)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Ages 3-11 welcome, at >West Seattle High School, Junior ASB fundraiser; details here including how to RSVP. (3000 California SW)

WEST SEATTLE LIONS CLUB OPEN HOUSE: Stop by the Senior Center/Sisson Building 5:30-8:30 pm to find out more about the Lions Club of West Seattle while enjoying free hot dogs, popcorn, and beverages. (4217 SW Oregon)

MADISON SWING DANCE AND AUCTION: The Madison Middle School music program’s benefit event is tonight, 6-9 pm in the Madison Commons, featuring the West Seattle Big Band as well as Madison student groups, swing-dance lessons, more. Details/ticket info here. (45th/Spokane)

‘WOMEN IN THE OPEN WATER’: Panel discussion with Northwest swimmers, 7 pm at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) – details here. (5612 California SW)

THE ROLLING BLACKOUTS: Best band name on today’s calendar. 9 pm at Parliament Tavern. $5 cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)

THREE BANDS: Triple bill at The Skylark, 9 pm. $7 cover. 21+. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

MORE … on our complete calendar!

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Foggy Friday

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

7:42 AM: In the heart of the week’s final morning commute, the murky weather is the main challenge right now. And this afternoon, the National Weather Service says, there’s a slight chance of thunderstorms.

7:58 AM: Regional highway alerts for this weekend as listed here by WSDOT include lane closures on westbound I-90 and the I-5 express lanes.

UPDATE: West Seattle commuter cyclist escapes attacker on path; what the city says it will do about area problems

(UPDATED 5:34 PM with additional SCL information, 6:07 PM with city plan for camps in the area)


(Added 1:30 pm – photo looking northwest toward general area where this was reported)

ORIGINAL REPORT, 12:49 AM: For years, Jackie has commuted by bicycle between her job in West Seattle and home in Georgetown, using the trail under the West Seattle Bridge.

What happened to her Thursday night has never happened before. And she wants to get the word out. Via e-mail, she told us it happened around 8:30 pm:

I was jumped by a guy at Spokane and Marginal on the bike trail. It was that super dark patch (the city hasn’t fixed the lights, they’ve been out since last year). A guy jumped out from the bushes in front of my bike. I had to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting him. He then came around my left side and grabbed at my shoulder, I’m guessing to drag me from my bike. I was so scared. I ducked (luckily I was wearing a close-fitting nylon jacket, so he couldn’t get hold of me), and I rode as fast as I could out of there.

It happened near an area where bicyclists have noticed an increasing number of campers. There is no way to know for sure whether the man who tried to grab Jackie lives there or elsewhere. But in response to some followup questions we asked after her first note, she added:

I don’t know if the individual this evening was associated with the larger encampment or was with the small group of tents on the west side of Marginal Way. He did mutter incoherently at me as he was trying to grab me. I’m assuming he was either under the influence or was in need of psychiatric help. The bushes/vegetated area he seems to have emerged from (but I’m not certain, as it was dark and everything happened quickly) are on the north side of the sidewalk. For what it’s worth I didn’t get a good look at him, but he was African American, maybe in his 40s or 50s. He was of average build, maybe around 5′ 10″. That is all in my police report as well.

She has been “road-riding” for at least a decade. We asked if, given what happened, she has specific advice for other riders:

I guess the one thing I would tell cyclists would be to avoid this part of the trail, as it is dark and you are vulnerable (as you’re removed from the road and easily ambushed). If you do take the trail, try to ride in a group if you can. I’m planning on staying in the road the next time I ride through here, especially in the evening. Usually I avoid the road during the day because of all the truck traffic, but I’m not sure what else to do. I asked the responding officer if it would be better to take West Marginal south and go over the First Avenue Bridge – he said it’s more dangerous down there.

The area where this happened is, we believe, outside Southwest Precinct jurisdiction, but we’ll be asking police later today who’s accountable, and also checking on the lighting situation Jackie mentioned.

10:42 AM: We are following up with City Light for starters regarding why the lighting isn’t fixed after months of reports – the e-mail chain provided to us indicates it’s more complicated than a matter of broken bulbs but not why it’s taken so long. SPD is next on our list.

12:43 PM: Just went back to the scene and caught up with a city team that included the mayor’s public-safety adviser, Scott Lindsay. He said this report hit the radar of the Emergency Operations Center’s daily homelessness-related activation first thing this morning. A trash cleanup was already planned in the area for next week, he said – a Seattle Public Utilities rep was there, too – but now it’ll be expanded, and they’ll be addressing the tents encroaching on the paths. Overall, he said, they’re putting together an “action plan.” We’ll have a separate followup by day’s end with this and more.

1:35 PM: What else we’ve learned so far:
-Seattle City Light spokesperson Scott Thomsen says a fix for the lights requires an “engineering” solution which has not yet been finalized, and permits will be required.
-City Councilmember Lisa Herbold tells us she was saddened to hear about last night’s attack and that she had been “trying to get SPU’s attention to this location for several weeks to address the need for garbage pickup. The Mayor’s office notified me yesterday that garbage pickup will happen next week.” Here is another photo we took today – this is the sidewalk on the south side of Spokane, across from the area where the attack happened.

-SPD spokesperson Det. Mark Jamieson provided us with a copy of the police report on the incident – nothing in it that we hadn’t learned directly from Jackie in our e-mail exchange late last night – and also confirmed that in addition to local officers, the department’s Navigation Team is aware of the situation too. (As we’ve reported in recent community-meeting reports, or as you might have heard from citywide media, this is the departmentwide SPD team tasked as of recently with homelessness-related intervention/enforcement.)

5:34 PM: More information from SCL spokesperson Thomsen about the light-repair status:

After the streetlight outage was reported in December, crews made a determination that the outage did not involve the lamp fixtures, which would have been a quick fix. That shifted the task to our streetlight engineering group, which determined that the outage was caused by damage to the underground power supply, likely from someone who was trying to steal copper wiring from a hand hole access vault.

Engineers started sketching the designs for a restoration, but have been unable to complete that work due to a number of homeless people who have been camping in the area and debris.

Plans are in place for the city to clear that encampment next week, which will allow our engineers to complete their work.

Once the engineers have finished, we have a contractor ready to do the repairs.

6:07 PM: The city has more details on its plan to sweep the tent camp by the bike path next week and to clean trash along Spokane Street – read about it here.

@ Highland Park Action Committee: Unrepaired park damage, unscheduled Find It, Fix It, and more

yellowtape
(WSB photo, June 2016)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Riverview Playfield needs some TLC – including repairs for a restroom damaged by fire last year, the Highland Park Action Committee agreed last night, during a meeting that spanned a wide range of neighborhood concerns:

RIVERVIEW TLC AND FIRE REPAIRS: With improvements completed and under way at Westcrest Park and Highland Park, HPAC talked about supporting some attention for Riverview Playfields Its then-three-year-old restroom/storage building was set on fire last June and still hasn’t been fixed; HPIC member Craig Rankin reported contacting Seattle Parks recently to ask about that and being told that staff is working on an estimate so it can be added to an “asset list” to be handled sometime in 2018-2023.

The fields are popular for sports, including being the home of West Seattle Baseball, so potential revenue loss for the city was discussed. HPAC hopes to have this and other Riverview needs on the list of stops for the Highland Park Find It, Fix It Walk later this year.

Speaking of which …

WAITING TO FIND OUT ABOUT ‘FIND IT, FIX IT’: The plan to have one in HP was announced by a city rep almost two months ago at a community meeting about the sanctioned encampment on Myers Way. But there’s been no word of the date or of the start of a planning process.

So HPAC’s going to start talking about where they want to go on the walk and what they want to see accomplished. Besides Riverview, the Highland Park Way/Holden intersection – for which locals have long been trying to get safety upgrades – will be a prime spot to visit.

Speaking of the encampment …

COMMUNITY ADVISORY COUNCIL FOR CAMP SECOND CHANCE: HPAC chair Gunner Scott asked if anyone would be able to represent HPAC on this newly formed group, part of the deal for the city sanctioning of the encampment. Scott noted that some of the services that they’ve requested for the camp and vicinity – lighting, Dumpster, etc. – are showing up (we recently reported the lighting installation). HPAC members also talked about getting solicited to join some of the regional groups that have sprung up to campaign against camps, and while HPAC has concerns about the city’s policies and plans, they’re skeptical of the groups’ motives and memberships and not planning to join.

YOUR VOICE, YOUR CHOICE: Also on the community-advisory front, this ongoing new city process for vetting potential street/park grant projects was the subject of a discussion similar to the one at the Admiral Neighborhood Association last week – that the process as it is now is not nearly as effective and thorough as the old one done through district councils, where presentations of projects for review would include information from neighborhood residents who know the area. Scott had been to one of the “project development” meetings where he said people were asking each other, do you know this area? Is this something that’s needed?

It was also noted that $285,000 per council district seems to be less than was allocated before – “$2.85 per person,” as one attendee noted, since West Seattle has ~100,000. Also, chair Scott noted, the grant process has been under way for so many years, there should be an existing list of needs “instead of making us go through this crazy process.” And Scott noted that all the complaints about district councils not reaching out to enough people don’t seem to have been acted on by the city – and now they’ve turned what was a two-meeting process into a four-meetings-and-more process. One person said it was great that there were so many ideas from West Seattle – more than 200 (as reported here).

HPAC is considering sending a letter with the suggestion that basic needs be addressed in the future before another round of new ideas is solicited. Another suggestion was that proposals, especially those made repeatedly, exist in “living documents” within the city somewhere so there can be reference – “since this was first proposed in 1986, the population has tripled” type of information. One person said that it’s frustrating to see projects get requested year after year, but some projects not requested turn up seemingly overnight.

HPAC leadership will talk more about the issue. Co-chair Michele Witzki suggested getting a rep from Feet First to come talk with the group so they can learn more about effective advocacy.

CRIME UPDATES: Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith presented the latest info as the meeting began: Auto theft is up, car prowls are down. Property crimes overall are down a third.

This week’s Seaview package-theft arrest was a springboard for a discussion of how security cameras really help police. Lt. Smith said, “The quality is so good – it’s amazing. For each car prowler or package thief we arrest, they’re good for many, many more.”

Would the precinct consider offering training on security-camera use and best practices? Lt. Smith will look into it. Maybe, he said, that could be a project for former intern Jennifer Burbridge, who he said has been hired as a full-time crime analyst – the first time the Southwest Precinct has had one.

A few more minutes of discussion with Lt. Smith touched on derelict properties, trespass agreements, and how to complain to the city. One attendee said it’s clear the rules/laws have to change – and that it’s time for citizens to apply pressure on that.

NEW LOOK FOR HPAC: Chair Scott had big props for artist Dina Lydia of digital-genie.com, who designed the new logo for the group (and took the photo below featuring the logo with, from left, Witzki, Scott, HPIC’s Christie Sjostrom, and Rankin):

HPAC will also be sending postcards to more than 2,000 people in the Highland Park area to let them know. They hope, among other things, to reduce community confusion between HPAC and HPIC (which is a community group too but not a community council – as the latter, HPAC addresses issues and takes action on them).

EVENTS AHEAD: HPAC hopes to have a neighborhood cleanup/barbecue this summer … HPIC events ahead include Corner Bar on April 7, Art Lounge on April 14, and the annual Uncorked benefit on May 20th – tickets will go on sale April 7th … watch for more info at hpic1919.org.

Highland Park Action Committee meets fourth Wednesdays most months, 7 pm, at Highland Park Improvement Club (12th/Holden).

FOLLOWUP: Dozens of helpers at tonight’s West Seattle Little League Bar-S work party

Volunteers of all ages were out this evening at the West Seattle Little League‘s facilities on Alki Point’s Bar-S Playfields, working not only to repair damage done by vandals – as reported here earlier this week – but also to fix storm damage.

Many hands make light work, as they say, and that was certainly the case.

This required an extra round of teamwork, even before the players take the field this weekend. West Seattle Little League also had words of thanks for help from their counterparts at Southwest Little League, and for water, snacks, and assistance donated by Second Gear Sports (WSB sponsor) proprietor Mark Bremen.

The nonprofit organization is also planning to boost security, with measures including cameras, and is crowdfunding to raise money for them – here’s where to donate if you’d like to help.

Chief Sealth IHS hosting Washington Global Issues Network next two days

The photo is courtesy of Chief Sealth International High School teacher Noah Zeichner, who says students are at school this evening working hard to prepare for the 3rd annual Washington Global Issues Network conference that Sealth will be hosting the next two days, drawing students from other schools all over the state. Program highlights are on the conference website – keynoters include West Seattle climate-change activist Aji Piper and Seattle activist, now also mayoral candidate, Nikkita Oliver. Sealth also hosted the first WAGIN conference two years ago.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Street robbery followup; triple bike theft; more

3 items in West Seattle Crime Watch:

STREET ROBBERY FOLLOWUP: The Southwest Precinct tells us they are pursuing “leads” in Wednesday’s street robbery on the south end of The Junction. We obtained the report today; it says police found the victim on the northeast corner of 45th and Edmunds, a revolver on the ground next to her. She told them she was walking westbound on Edmunds, looking at her phone, then noticed the robber walking southbound on 45th toward her. Without a word, he grabbed her purse, a large brown Louis Vuitton handbag, and began tugging on it. She tried to keep hold of it; they struggled, “spinning in circles together,” the police-report narrative says. During that scuffle, the gun “fell off the suspect and to the ground.” Two water bottles fell out of the purse. Eventually, the robber pulled the victim to the ground, by pulling the purse, and started dragging her, at which time she said she yelled, “Get the f— off me.” The strap broke, and he got away with the purse, headed westbound on Edmunds. She picked up the gun, noticed it was loaded, and put it back down, so she could call 911. Police also talked with a witness who said he saw the robber and victim scuffling, and tried to chase the robber, but lost him in the southbound alley between 45th and 46th. Police meantime took evidence including the broken purse strap and the gun, described as a Smith and Wesson .38 special. The records check on it was “clear,” according to the police report. The robber description, which changed in broadcasts during yesterday’s search, is in the written report as “mixed-race male, 30s, scrawny build, black hat, black zip-up hoodie, black pants, large bluetooth in one ear, black beard/mustache.”

STOLEN BICYCLES: From Julie:

Our three bikes were stolen from our apartment building secure garage yesterday (03/22/17) between 5:30 am and 11 am. Police report: #1700010282. They were locked together with a bike lock behind my car, so they were taken as a grouping. Two of them were purchased in Fall 2013 and we would really like them back. The 3rd one was gifted to us and I don’t recall much information about it other than its a blue mountain/road bike. All three is very good condition and well maintained. Any information, please call the police and reference the report number.

Men’s Specialized AWOL 2013
Color: Satin Black/Bronze

Women’s Specialized bike
Color: Black with gold writing

3rd bike:
Cannot remember the name:
Blue

VEHICLE BREAK-INS: From E: “I live on Belvedere and Manning and have had both my van and car broken into in the last 2 weeks. Both were right on my driveway on Belvedere. We saw a small silver car circling the block earlier in the evening with a man driving it. It’s happening after 11 p.m. at night.”

One-day Seattle Public Library systemwide closure next Wednesday

For your planning purposes – we just heard about this, announced on the Seattle Public Library home page:

All locations of The Seattle Public Library and the book drops at Central Library will be closed Wednesday, March 29 for a staff in-service day. Regular operating hours will resume Thursday, March 30.

If you need to go to a library that day, the King County Library System‘s White Center branch isn’t far – 1409 SW 107th.

How close is the Highway 99 tunneling machine to breakthrough? So close that …


(WSDOT photo of ‘disassembly pit’ that accompanied today’s progress-report tweet)

The Highway 99 tunneling team has now moved from twice-weekly progress reports to daily progress reports. Not that the tunneling machine is on an “any day now” basis yet, but here’s what WSDOT reports this afternoon:

Seattle Tunnel Partners is making final preparations for the SR 99 tunneling machine’s arrival at the disassembly pit near Seattle Center. Because mining rates will continue to vary as crews approach the pit, we can’t predict when Bertha’s breakthrough will occur. We will continue to provide regular progress updates along the way.

We recognize that there is great interest surrounding this stage of the project, and we are working on ways to share this historic moment with the public. We will be activating a new time-lapse camera as well as streaming video of the disassembly pit prior to breakthrough. These cameras will offer the best view of Bertha’s arrival in the pit. We will also continue to share photos and provide frequent updates via social media, including daily progress updates. For safety reasons, the public will not be allowed in the construction zone during the breakthrough.

Look for more updates soon about the breakthrough sequence, the process for disassembling Bertha and the work that remains before the tunnel opens in 2019.

As of today, WSDOT tweeted, “Today Bertha has 320 feet to go – less than the Mariners 326′ right-field foul line in Safeco Field.” They’ve said that they won’t be setting up an in-person breakthrough-watching event because the pit is in the middle of a construction zone.

SATURDAY: Joyas Mestizas recital, benefit at Hiawatha

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(West Seattle Grand Parade 2016 – photo by Don Brubeck)

They’ve been among the judges’ favorites for years in the West Seattle Grand Parade, but this year you don’t have to wait until July to see the Joyas Mestizas Mexican folk-dance troupe in West Seattle – if you haven’t already seen the listing in the WSB Event Calendar, their spring recital and benefit is happening at Hiawatha Community Center this Saturday night (doors at 5, show at 6). It’s been more than 25 years since a group of parents founded Joyas Mestizas, and community support keeps it going … here’s a way to show yours. Tickets are $10 including refreshments, recital, and auction – at the door, or online in advance.

Ways to help, have fun, learn, more for your West Seattle Thursday


(Wednesday sunset from Cormorant Cove Park, photographed by Mike Jensen)

What’s ahead for the rest of your Thursday, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

TINKERLAB DROP-IN: Work on a fun STEM-based craft at High Point Library after school, 4-5:30 pm. Free. (35th SW/SW Raymond)

WEST SEATTLE LITTLE LEAGUE WORK PARTY: 5:30 to dusk tonight is the first of two work parties to help West Seattle Little League recover from damage done by vandals last weekend, as the teams look ahead to the start of play. Here’s the update from WSLL:

Work parties will be Thursday the 23rd and Friday the 24th from 5:30 to dusk.

Work to be done:

• rebuilding pitching mound on south field – 1 volunteer needed
• filling trenches in infields (rain runoff has created trenches in both infields)
• sweeping loose material from outfield lips back into the skins
• top dressing edges of infield skins along edges of infield grasses
• resurfacing pitching mound areas in front of rubbers
• pressure washing north field bleachers and dugouts
• cleaning bulk material from hillside on north field parking area
• edging / weeding parking lot
• filling potholes on gravel road
• cleaning out bollard holes for easy locking of bollards
• painting of wooden bleachers
• hang new hooks in storage shed (hooks to be used for hanging of tools/ organization
• removing grass from under south field bleachers / spread rock under bleachers to match North Field bleachers
• installing fence cap on south field 1st base line close to scoreboard
• cleanup of bulk area
• weed eating fence lines – bring a weed eater if possible
• check scoreboard / microphone/ make sure all tech is working properly
• cleaning tools and machines
• cleaning doors / walls in bathrooms
• prep for painting of doors (and painting doors if possible)
• addressing graffiti in men’s room that is still visible
• general cleaning and prep of shack for opening day!

Please consider bringing work gloves and tools to help!

This is happening at Bar-S Playfields. (6425 SW Admiral Way)

WEST SEATTLE MONTESSORI OPEN HOUSE: 6 pm to 7:30 pm, you’re invited to an open house at West Seattle Montessori & Academy (WSB sponsor):

West Seattle Montessori School & Academy Open House gives parents and prospective families a chance to meet our staff, teachers and tour the facilities. You’ll be able to view samples of student work and pick up application materials. Our teachers and staff are available during and after the Open House to answer questions.

(11215 15th SW)

NICK LICATA @ WEST SEATTLE DEMOCRATIC WOMEN: 6 pm at West Seattle Golf Course, WS Democratic Women are hosting former City Councilmember Nick Licata, who’ll talk about his book. Check to see if there’s still room. (4600 35th SW)

WEST SEATTLE TRANSPORTATION COALITION: 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House‘s High Point Center. Tonight’s WSTC agenda includes open board positions and an SDOT guest to talk about Delridge RapidRide H Line. (6400 Sylvan Way SW)

SERA CAHOONE: Live, free, all-ages in-store performance at Easy Street Records in The Junction, 7 pm. (California/Alaska)

MORE NIGHTLIFE … check it out on our complete calendar!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU: Metro launches survey, hoping to simplify fare-paying

Metro has questions for you, in an online survey launched as they start a planning process in hopes of making “paying fares to ride the bus faster, easier, and simpler for everyone.” Here’s the announcement, which includes a link to the survey:

Metro and the six other regional transit agencies that represent the ORCA (One Regional Card for All) smart-card system have committed to looking at simplifying fares across all agencies as they prepare for improvements and modernization of the ORCA system. As part of that process, Metro is considering options that would allow for speedier boarding, improve safety for drivers, help increase ridership and further reduce barriers for vulnerable populations.

This month, Metro invites the public to provide direction on fare change options and longer-term work on fare-related issues by participating in an online questionnaire. In April, the public will have additional opportunities to provide feedback on fare change options via a second online survey and open houses.

The public can find the survey as well as sign up to receive updates via Metro’s fare review website.

Metro encourages all transit riders to participate, including youth, older adults, students, ORCA Lift riders, riders with disabilities, as well as schools, employers and community-based organizations. Metro also is contracting with community organizations to hear from harder-to-reach populations so their input is considered as Metro assesses options and develops programs to address affordability and access to transit. Feedback during the outreach process will be used to draft proposals. A final proposal will be submitted to the King County Council for consideration in June.

Metro also is convening an advisory group to consider various fare options and advise on additional work Metro needs to do to make transit and ORCA more accessible to people. The group, which will meet three times through May [next meeting April 4th], comprises employers, social service organizations, advocacy groups and others, and serves in an advisory role to provide input on fare options and longer-term programs. Meetings are open to the public for observation. Details are available on the project website.

We went through the survey to see if it included specific options under consideration. In the version we saw, it did not – you are asked an open-ended question at one point about what you think would make fare-paying simpler, and you’re also asked to set priorities for what you would want a changed fare-paying system to accomplish. The survey’s deadline is April 7th.

VIDEO: Admiral Theater ‘grand reopening’ celebration, report #2


(Admiral Theater’s historic lobby mural, photographed during celebration by Leda Costa)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

It was a night 28 years in the making.

From the time the Admiral Theater was shuttered in 1989 – then saved – its future as a moviehouse was never fully guaranteed, until now, with its transformation to a first-run fourplex, celebrated last night. The gala included a ribboncutting with a “ribbon” made of film (across the center of the photo), presided over by Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals (below left), whose involvement dates back to leading the campaign to save it:


(WSB photos by Patrick Sand unless otherwise credited)

Eals proclaimed that everyone there last night was “standing in history.” The ribboncutting was the kickoff to a night in which four movies, from The Admiral’s “Four Eras,” were screened – as detailed here, from silent movies celebrating the building’s early history as The Portola, through a brand-new (and very popular) film.

This happened six months after the restoration work at the circa-1942 moviehouse started in earnest, more than a quarter century after it was designated a city landmark as part of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society campaign to save it. The company that owned it in the late ’80s abruptly decided to close it in 1989, and said the following year that it might not ever be a moviehouse again.

That was proven wrong after local entrepreneur Marc Gartin bought it in 1992. (He owns it to this day.) He was thanked last night by Sol Baron from Faraway Entertainment, which runs the moviehouse business and collaborated on the renovation plan, which was officially announced two years ago:

(WSB photo, February 2015)

Read More

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday updates

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

7:18 AM: Good morning. No incidents so far reported in, or on the outbound routes from, West Seattle.

DELRIDGE RAPIDRIDE DECISIONMAKING: Two ways to hear about and comment on proposed options for converting Metro Route 120 to Delridge RapidRide H Line – SDOT reps will be out at bus stops along Delridge 4:30-6:30 pm today, and then at 6:30 pm, a project spokesperson is on the agenda at the West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center (6400 Sylvan Way SW).

7:35 AM: From the scanner, “piece of wood in the roadway” on the eastbound bridge. Didn’t catch where, but police are being sent to handle it.

7:41 AM: Metro just sent a text alert that what was supposed to be the 7:10 am Route 37 to downtown was running half an hour late. And here’s the tweet:

8:09 AM: If you drive surface Alaskan Way, we’re hearing scanner discussion of a “two-mile” backup of semitrucks.

8:26 AM: Police report over the air that the trucks “are starting to move.”

CRIME WATCH: Gunfire followup; package stolen; recognize this bicycle?

Three more things to report from the Crime Watch files before the night’s out:

GUNFIRE FOLLOWUP: We did finally get the police report on the North Delridge gunfire from early Tuesday. It says the reports started coming in via 911 about 2:38 am Tuesday, centered on the 4800 block of Delridge Way SW [map]. Many heard it; no one saw it. “After an extensive area search, multiple shell casings and property damage were located in the alley behind (a redacted address in that block). Two separate calibers of spent shell casings were located – nine 9mm shell casings (and) three .45 caliber shell casings … intermixed along the alley stretched approximately 20 yards.” Four rounds hit a Honda Accord in the alley, while another hit a Land Rover, and yet another was found embedded in a garage door, while one more hit a downspout and went through a fence. The report makes one more note: “Gang-affiliated graffiti” was found on one garage door, though the resident there said it had been there for about three months. If you have any information about the case, the incident number is 2017-99086.

DUMPED BICYCLE: Does this bike look familiar?

M sent the photo, saying: “Sometime in the last 24 hours, a kids’ bike was stashed underneath a large juniper bush in my yard near Westwood. I’m sure whoever owns it would like it back.” (UPDATE, THURSDAY NIGHT: The owner’s dad saw this, and now has the bike back!)

PACKAGE THEFT: Michael e-mailed to report: “Sad to say, we had a package stolen off our porch today (Wednesday). We live near 21st and Cambridge. Just wanted to spread the word.”

Thanks to everyone who shares Crime Watch reports! Once you’ve reported it to police – 911 if it’s happening now or just happened – consider letting us know so your neighbors all around the peninsula will be aware of what happened – 206-293-6302 text or voice, editor@westseattleblog.com – thank you.

‘You can make change,’ West Seattle High School students are told during 2nd annual Equity Day

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

“Regardless of religion, race, nationality, we must band together to support each other, share with each other, understand each other.”

Those words from Imam Benjamin Shabazz embodied the message of today’s second annual Equity Day at West Seattle High School.

He was part of a panel addressing Equity and Religion, one of 17 topics explored during sessions this morning, followed by an all-school assembly, as Equity Day spanned what was a two-hours-early-dismissal day around the district. The other topics:

Musical Equity
Immigration Equity
Equity for Native Americans
Racial Privileges
Compassionate Combat
Microaggressions
Physical Activities and Individuals with Disabilities
Mental Health Equity
Love + Relationship Equity
Environmental Equity
LGBTQ Equity 101
LGBTQ Equity 102
Justice, Gender Equity, and Healthy Relationships
Unions and Equity
Women of Color: STI Inequity
Sexual Health Equity for LGBTQ People

WSHS educator Jennifer Hall organized the day, assisted by the Diversity Club – for which she serves as adviser – bringing speakers from around the region, including high-profile leaders such as Duwamish Tribe chair Cecile Hansen and Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant. Read More

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