West Seattle, Washington
Thanks to Meg Simmons for photos from the big game: In its first-ever postseason play, Westside School‘s 8th-grade boys basketball team has won the CYO championship, defeating St. Edward this evening, 54-39.
This season marked not only the first championship won by Westside, but also the first time it’s played in a championship game, and the first time it’s won a postseason game!
To get to the finals tonight at Bishop Blanchet, the Wolves defeated St Francis in the quarterfinals last Saturday 44-32, and then beat archrival Holy Rosary last Sunday, 55-46.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
One week from tonight, you might find yourself cheering for a West Seattle dog in a televised competition that precedes the legendary Westminster Kennel Club All Breed Dog Show in New York City.
Marcia Lyons tells WSB that she and Liberty, her 4-year-old Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, are the only team from our state set to compete in the club’s 3rd annual Masters Agility Championship.
After Marcia e-mailed us about Liberty, we asked if we could come meet her and see what she does. Marcia obliged, so there we were near their home on a sloped stretch of SW Juneau this morning:
In the original announcement we received from Marcia, the Agility Championship is described this way:
This event, which features some of the most talented K9 athletes in the country, will feature dogs and their handlers excitedly attacking an obstacle course of jumps, tunnels, weave poles, and more, racing against the clock. At Westminster, each dog will compete in two qualifying rounds. The ten dogs from each height class with the lowest combined scores will move on to the Championship round Saturday evening (February 13th), creating a field of 50 finalists competing for the coveted title of Westminster Kennel Club Masters Agility Champion. The Championship round will be televised on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 5:00 pm Pacific.
Liberty and Marcia also will be in the All-Breed Dog Show itself, which starts on Monday, February 15th, competing against other Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers – the smallest breed of retriever, Marcia explained. The evening finals will be that night 5-8 pm PT on CNBC and Tuesday, February 16th, same time slot, on USA Network.
But first, next Saturday’s agility competition, which starts with daytime runs before the televised evening finals. Liberty, she says, is already fastest runner in her class, and she feels good about their chances at the championship, “as long as we run clean” – no mistakes.
Liberty is the first dog with whom she’s competed; she says they’re also working on “competitive obedience.”
The full schedule for the Masters Agility Championship and All-Breed Dog Show is here.
P.S. There’s one way you can help: If you look at our video again, you’ll notice Liberty running on a planting strip along a busy street. Marcia’s backyard isn’t quite big enough for proper training. They’re looking for a space in West Seattle that is large enough for them to practice, especially before they take off for the competition.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes tonight:
BUS DRIVER HIT: A texter asked about a police investigation at a Route 21 bus on northbound 35th SW just north of Morgan around dusk. The dispatch was for a report that somebody had punched the driver on the bus. No medic dispatch, so the injury apparently wasn’t major; we don’t know if anyone was taken into custody.
PACKAGE THEFT: A police report is now on file for a theft in the 8200 block of California SW in Gatewood. A neighbor tells WSB that they saw it happen around 4:30 pm Friday, describing a white male backing a gold KIA SUV into the driveway, grabbing the package, and tossing it into the hatchback before taking off.
That sign along southbound Fauntleroy Way just south of Edmunds is one of the new signs SDOT has put up in the past few hours between SW Alaska and SW Morgan, along with radar-equipped speed-checking trailers like this one:
And with that, the speed limit on Fauntleroy between The Triangle and Morgan Junction is now uniformly 30 mph, down from 35. SDOT had announced yesterday that the signage changes were planned for today; the trailers were in place this morning, the signs followed this afternoon. It’s been almost exactly a year since the city announced speed-limit reductions for arterials including this stretch of Fauntleroy; some are still pending.
That’s Amy Le, one of this year’s leaders of Link Crew at Chief Sealth International High School, the program in which juniors and seniors mentor and partner with freshmen from literally day 1. That includes activities throughout the year, as the new arrivals get used to high-school life, and Amy invited us to stop by for a special “late night” event on Friday night. It included volleyball, soccer, and other games in the gym:
Though the date had been set for a long time, the timing was perfect – a stormy night, wind and rain, the kind of night you’d want to spend inside. The event ran long enough for students to stop in and duck out – four hours, until 10 pm, with pizza and other treats alnog the way. And of course a photo booth:
The school year, by the way, is at its midpoint – the second semester is about to begin. This year’s midwinter break is two days – February 15th and 16th (here’s the calendar).
Haven’t sent in your ballots yet for Tuesday’s vote on two Seattle Public Schools levies? The King County Elections ballot-dropoff vans are at West Seattle Stadium (4432 35th SW) and Greenbridge Library (9720 8th SW) until 5 pm today, and again 10-5 Monday and 10-8 Tuesday. Above, we visited Daylin, Alana, and Lorenzo at the stadium spot around 11 am and they’d already received 34 ballots. Getting there is a little more of a challenge today because of the crane-removal lane closures just north of the stadium (see the photo in our daily preview), but it’s a fairly easy turn from and into the outside northbound lane. If you use the vans (or 24-hour dropboxes outside our area), it’s free, no stamp required, but if you are going to mail your ballot, be sure it has postage and that it will be postmarked by Tuesday.
ABOUT THE LEVIES: Both are renewals, though at higher amounts than the previous versions. The three-year, $750,000,000+ Operations Levy provides a quarter of the district’s day-to-day budget; the six-year, half-billion-dollar BTA Levy funds projects including capacity expansion and renovations. One big BTA project for West Seattle is renovation work at now-vacant E.C. Hughes Elementary in Sunrise Heights, which as first reported here last fall is expected to be reopened as the home for what is now Roxhill Elementary.
9:54 AM: A terrifying close call for a Gatewood family early today: A woman tells WSB she was asleep with her 5-year-old child when a man broke into their home and tried to get into bed with them, attempting to molest her in the process. She is recovering from surgery. The intruder fled and the victim says police arrested a suspect. This happened after 3 am near 39th and Morgan. We’re working to find out more and will update with any further details.
10:26 AM: Police have just posted a few more details via SPD Blotter:
Officers arrested a man after a woman called 911 Saturday morning when she woke to a burglar in her bedroom.
The victim was sound asleep in her home in the 6500 block of 39 Ave SW around 3:30 this morning when she felt someone touch her face. The victim woke, and assuming it was her husband, asked what was going on. The the woman heard a reply that was not her husband and tried to turn on the nightstand light. The suspect fled out of the home, taking the woman’s cell phone with him.
Officers quickly arrived and found the suspect in an nearby alley. The victim confirmed that officers had arrested the correct person. Officers determined the suspect entered the home through an unlocked back door before making his way to the bedroom.
Officers booked the suspect into King County Jail for investigation of burglary.
(Male hooded merganser, photographed in High Point by Mark Wangerin – click for closeup view)
FIRST, A TRAFFIC ALERT: Reminder that the tower crane at Aura (35th and Avalon) is scheduled to come down today, blocking four lanes of 35th SW most if not all of the day, as previewed here. We will be checking out the scene a bit later for an update.
(Added, with photo above: Traffic is using the two NB lanes.)
Now, from our calendar:
BALLOT DROPOFF VANS: Sent in your ballot for Tuesday’s school levies yet? If not, two King County Elections dropoff vans are in the area today – 10 am-5 pm at West Seattle Stadium (the crane takedown mentioned above might complicate things somewhat), 4432 35th SW, and Greenbridge Library, 9720 8th SW.
SOUTHWEST LITTLE LEAGUE SIGNUPS: 11 am-2 pm at the Steve Cox Memorial Park Log Cabin in White Center:
All boys and girls between the ages of 4 and 16 are welcome. If your child lives or attends school between SW Juneau St. and 128th St. SW, you are probably within the Southwest Little League boundary! Divisions include T-Ball, Coach-Pitch, Minors, Majors, 50/70 and Juniors. Tryouts for Minor & Major divisions will be held Saturday, February 20th, 2016, at Steve Cox Memorial Ball Park. Please visit www.southwestlittleleague.org for more information about signing up for Southwest Little League.
(1321 SW 102nd)
MERCADO AT HPIC: 1-5 pm at Highland Park Improvement Club: “Pop Up Mercado: Corazon Fuerte. … Music, Food, Art, Apparel, Handmade Gifts, and Jewelry. Buy something sweet for your sweetie(s) while supporting local artists and small businesses. This event is FREE and for all ages.” (12th SW/SW Holden)
WINE AND CHOCOLATE: 2-7 pm at Viscon Cellars‘ (WSB sponsor) tasting room, wines will be paired today (and next Saturday) with chocolates from Seattle’s own Intrigue Chocolate Co.. (5910 California SW)
CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: As noted here on Friday, Westside School (WSB sponsor) has its varsity boys-basketball team in the CYO championship game at 4:30 pm today vs. St. Edward. The game’s at Bishop Blanchet. (8200 Wallingford Ave. N.)
LATIN JAZZ: Totiyo Y Amigos play C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)
MORE FOR TODAY/TONIGHT, AND BEYOND … on our complete calendar.
They asked for help – you gave it – and Friday was delivery day for some of the students in the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras‘ Southwest Seattle Strings Project: Donation-funded supply baskets with practical and vital items such as replacement strings, chin rests, shoulder rests, rosin, and method books.
Back in November, we published the call for donations to fund one basketfor each of the seven local schools with which SYSO partners – Arbor Heights, Concord, Highland Park, Roxhill, Sanislo, and West Seattle elementaries, and Denny International Middle School. The drive was a success, and today we were there as Roxhill got its basket.
Through SYSO, students can borrow instruments for free if needed, and they get expert coaching from professional musicians in free weekly lessons. But the supply baskets were just a bit above and beyond what the project could do, so the extra donations made sure the students can keep taking advantage of the gift of learning music.
ORIGINAL REPORT, 8 PM: Earlier today, we noticed a liquor-license application for Meander’s at 6400 1/2 California SW in Morgan Junction – home to Kokoras Greek Grill, which has been listed for sale for quite some time. You’ll recall Meander’s closed in White Center last year; since then, proprietor Miranda Krone had mentioned she was working on a new venture, and at one point said it wouldn’t be far from her original location. We asked her earlier today for comment; she said she was awaiting word that Kokoras’s owners had talked to their staff. And now she’s just announced:
At last, I can let the cat out of the bag!
Morgan Junction, we’re coming home to you…
I’m working with Kim Depew, a longtime West Seattle resident and school teacher, to open Meander’s back on California Ave in what has been Kokoras Greek Grill.
We love Kokoras, but Spiros has decided that it’s time for him to return to Greece. I’m really looking forward to working with him next week, learning his recipes, and a few bonus family recipes, besides.
We’ll definitely be bringing back the breakfast you know and love, but I’m personally really excited about the evening menu. After five years of breakfast, I’m pretty eager to play on the dinner line and in the pastry kitchen. Look for old family favorites, some things I’ve picked up in my travels, and some collaborations with dear friends and talented chefs.
Oh, and? You know how you’ve been hassling us for mimosas and bloody marys for the past five years? All that, and more.
And yes, we’ll bring the waffles back, too.
This will be the fourth location for Meander’s, which originally opened five years ago in the former Jade West Café at 6032 California SW (now home to Harry’s Chicken Joint). A little over a year and a half later, the café moved to a big White Center space (now home to Noble Barton), then downsized to a spot about a block south in late summer 2013. That’s where the café remained until some tumult last year, followed by closure in November.
8:41 PM: Speaking of closure, Trickycoolj asked in comments when Kokoras will be closing. We asked Krone just now. She says it’s dependent on the aforementioned liquor-license change; they’ll know more on Monday. Also: “We plan to retain the current staff, and will continue running as Kokoras until about a week before the changeover.”
7:17 PM: No, it’s not a fire that brought several SFD units to the 2600 block of 42nd SW, across from Safeway. We just talked with firefighters at the scene. A water-pipe break on the top floor of an apartment building sent water down through the building; firefighters are helping with cleanup. No fire, no injuries.
7:36 PM: In the few minutes since we left, the call has closed on the SFD 911 log, which means the units have all departed.
Thanks to teacher Noah Zeichner and colleagues at Chief Sealth International High School for sharing that scene from today, when a Google rep was on campus to help students and teachers explore the company’s simple approach to virtual reality – something he says other schools can take advantage of, too:
Students at Chief Sealth International High School got to travel to far off places using virtual reality technology as part of Google’s Expedition Pioneers Program. Students looked through Google Cardboard viewers while their teacher controlled and narrated the expeditions from a tablet. Students visited Mexico, Japan, Dubai, India, Brazil, and several other countries around the world.
If other West Seattle schools are interested in bringing this program to their school, teachers or administrators can send an email to email@example.com. They will be in the Seattle area during the month of February.
The photo is by Sealth librarian Katie Hubert, showing teachers trying out the systems; she also reported “hoots of amazement and delight” as students checked out what, as she described it, are “really just a cardboard box holding a cell phone.”
Last Wednesday night’s Southwest District Council meeting included the only scheduled West Seattle discussion of the proposed $290 million, 7-year housing-levy renewal/expansion – though levy details had only been announced hours earlier. As reported here, city reps at the meeting were asked for a second West Seattle meeting, with more lead time – and it’s just been announced by Department of Neighborhoods district coordinator Kerry Wade:
The meeting will be hosted by the Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon Street) and will take place on Tuesday, February 23, 2016 (6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.). A flier will be created next week announcing the meeting details.
Bring your questions and comments. As explained Wednesday night, the city hasn’t finalized the levy details yet, nor has it decided whether to put the levy before voters in August or November.
2:30 PM: Just got this report via text, and the Orca Network has a report too – orcas in Elliott Bay, likely closer to downtown than West Seattle. Let us know if you see them!
4:08 PM: We had no luck but Amy Shuster sent the photo we’ve just added, taken from the Bainbridge ferry – thank you!
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
While action on the homelessness emergency might seem to be mostly on the shoulders of adults – dealing with everything from encampments to taxes – homelessness has caught the attention of young people too.
We heard this week from Amy Ijeoma, a West Seattle High School junior who along with classmate Lexus Greenway made it the focus of a project they’re presenting in a regional competition tomorrow. We sat down with Amy after school on Thursday at WSHS to talk about it.
It’s the STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) Events competition as part of FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America). Their job: To come up with an action plan and present it to event officials, which they’ll do along with one other WSHS team and others from around the area, Saturday at Ingraham. They’re competing in the “advocacy” category, one of 15 categories.
As part of it, they are urging community members to do their part. They’re focused on Hope Place, which is a program for families experiencing homelessness. Amy says that volunteering is even more valuable than donating – “better to be there and see it yourself rather than throw some money and say that you’ve helped” – though Union Gospel Mission, which operates Hope Place, would be happy with contributions in either. You can tutor homeless elementary students, for example (volunteering info here; donating info here).
While working on the project, Amy says, she and Lexus have been going to Hope Place themselves “once or twice a month … to interact with the kids there.” It’s not just a shelter but also has a children’s activity center and continuing education for women, in areas from parenting to relationships and more, to help them successfully transition out of homelessness.
With us as we talked were two of the teacher/advisers of the program, Raya Klein and Brooke Huddleston, who explained that the students learned about Hope Place from WSHS’s new career specialist Helen Maynard, whose background includes nonprofit work. Visitors from Home Place presented at a WSHS assembly earlier in the year.
So tomorrow, Amy and Lexus have a 40-slide deck to present, about their goal, their plan, what kind of impact they’ve had, both through volunteering and through raising awareness on campus, including the poster with which Amy is posing in our photo above. “We want to get you thinking,” she says. They’re planning more posters, including some with statistics, and the causes of homelessness.
Teacher Klein adds that it’s an issue the school’s student-leadership ASB has embraced as well. And if more in the community are interested in helping – especially volunteering – that’s a win, regardless of how Amy and Lexus, and WSHS’s other team (also focused on homelessness, we’re told), do tomorrow.
Just in via SPD Blotter – a drug bust in Highland Park last night:
Police found a big bag of crack stashed away inside a Ford Bronco after arresting a dealer Thursday evening in West Seattle.
Members of the West Precinct Anti-Crime Team were able to call in an order to the 42-year-old dealer, who offered to meet at a convenience store in the 1600 block of SW Holden Street around 10 PM.
Police saw the suspect circle the block in his Ford Bronco before pulling him over and taking him into custody.
Officers got a warrant for the car and found a bag of crack rocks inside the vehicle’s console.
In total, police found 44 grams of crack, a not-insignificant amount, and another 3 grams of powder cocaine during the search. Police booked the man into the King County Jail for a narcotics violation.
We just verified with SPD Public Affairs and yes, as written, this was initiated by West Precinct investigators (downtown and vicinity), not Southwest Precinct (in whose jurisdiction it happened). The officers go wherever the dealer offers to meet them. You can see more photos on SPD Blotter.
Four weeks ago, SDOT told us that Fauntleroy Way was likely less than a month away from the speed-limit cut first announced a year ago. And today, it’s official: SDOT crews will be out tomorrow placing signage to change the speed limit to 30 mph “for a 1.25 mile stretch of Fauntleroy Way SW between SW Alaska Street and California Avenue SW. The speed limit currently increases to 35 mph in this segment despite the presence of parks and schools adjacent to the corridor. This change will create a consistent 30 mph speed limit for the entire Fauntleroy corridor.”
As SDOT told us last month, today’s announcement reiterates that most drivers already travel “slower than existing 35 mph speed limit on this section of Fauntleroy so this should not be a significant change for people that drive this roadway often. However, the speed limit change will help reduce the likelihood and severity of collisions. This is especially true for vulnerable users like pedestrians since lower speeds significantly reduce the survivability of crashes.” In addition to new 30-mph signage, SDOT says it will deploy its Speed Watch Trailer along this stretch of Fauntleroy, which was repaved and rechannelized back in 2009.
Other West Seattle arterials, as announced last year, are in line for the 30-mph limit; SDOT told us last month that Delridge also would get a “fog line” when its turn comes up.
WORDS, WRITERS, WEST SEATTLE: Presented by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, 5-7 pm at Barnes and Noble in Westwood Village, meet local author Sonja Anderson and hear about her children’s book “Sophie’s Quest.” (2800 SW Barton)
WINE TASTING: You’re welcome at the tasting room for Viscon Cellars (WSB sponsor), open 5-9 pm. (5910 California SW)
CORNER BAR: First Friday of the month means pop-up-bar night at Highland Park Improvement Club. Tonight, after DJ Dr. Lehl kicks things off at 6, it’s Marco de Carvalho at 7. More info in our calendar listing. (12th SW/SW Holden)
’80s MOVIE TRIVIA: 6:30-7:30 pm at Admiral Bird. (California SW/SW Admiral)
DUETS AND TRIOS … played by West Side Music Academy students at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)
WEST SEATTLE MEANINGFUL MOVIES: Special 7 pm showing (after 6:30 pm mingling/snacks) this month, at Neighborhood House‘s High Point Center – co-presented by West Seattle Meaningful Movies and West Seattle Neighbors for Peace and Justice, the movie is “Ferguson: A Report from Occupied Territory,” a 2015 film co-produced by Katina Parker and Orlando de Guzman. Plus: “After the movie, Bobby Alexander, a local community activist and the co-chair of the Seattle Martin Luther King Day Celebration, will share his perspectives and talk about the struggle for racial justice here in Seattle.” (6400 Sylvan Way)
ALBUM RELEASE SHOW: Geist and the Sacred Ensemble “with Arrington de Dionyso, Magic Mirror (Corum) and God and Vanilla! We also have a special installation planned!” says host Society of Wonder. 9 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. (4408 Delridge Way SW)
AND THERE’S MORE! Go see all the listings on our complete calendar – for today, tonight, and beyond.
After three weeks of tunnel-machine stopdown, still no restart plan, but WSDOT is just out with another project update, saying that work is about to start to fix pier damage done in the process of barging what was being dug out. Also: No new sinking – instead, some “upward movement”:
Seattle Tunnel Partners is set to repair damage that occurred at Terminal 46 during the Jan. 12 barging incident. STP will remove 22 damaged timber piles from the pier at the northern edge of Terminal 46 and replace them with temporary piles. Work is expected to begin in the coming days and could take up to 10 days to complete, according to STP.
WSDOT and STP continue to work together to address the “suspension for cause” that halted tunneling and barging operations on Jan. 14. STP crews are prepared to remove excavated soil by truck if tunneling resumes before the pier at Terminal 46 is repaired.
You can watch the pier repairs unfold on our construction camera. The labels on the image (above) call out some of the key elements you’ll see in the regularly updated time-lapse images.
Ground monitoring update
It’s been approximately two weeks since Seattle Tunnel Partners turned off the deep dewatering wells that were used to control groundwater near the access pit. There was some upward ground movement in the days following the shut-off, but the movement quickly stabilized. The degree of movement tapers off over several city blocks and is uniform in nature, which poses little to no risk of damage to the Alaskan Way Viaduct or buildings.
Some ground survey points in the vicinity of the pit show as much as 3/5 inch of upward movement since Jan. 22 when STP began turning off the wells. Some of the Alaskan Way Viaduct columns and buildings show similar movement.
STP had additional, shallower dewatering wells in operation during the tunneling machine repair effort. They turned off the final two shallow wells on Thursday evening. STP and WSDOT continue to monitor the ground, buildings, utilities and the viaduct.
When the digging stopped last month, WSDOT says, 1,280 feet of tunneling was complete, of the expected 9,270 feet.
(Westside School photo from 72-70 victory over Holy Rosary)
Congratulations and good luck to the 8th-grade boys-varsity basketball team at Westside School (WSB sponsor), which is playing for the CYO championship tomorrow – a historic milestone for the school, says Westside’s Ted Holmes:
This was the first time a Westside School basketball team has played a varsity schedule, the first time a Westside School sports team has won a playoff game, and now the first time a Westside School team has advanced to the championship game.
Westside School defeated St Francis in the quarterfinals last Saturday 44-32, and then beat arch rival Holy Rosary for the second time this season last Sunday, 55-46. Westside School trailed to Holy Rosary at half 27-18, but scored 19 points in the third quarter and 17 more in the fourth, to come back and secure the win. Westside School will face St Edward in the championship.
The game is at 4:30 pm Saturday at Bishop Blanchet (8200 Wallingford Ave. N.).
(Click any view for a close-up)
6:55 AM: Happy Friday! No incidents in or from West Seattle so far. One alert, for tomorrow:
CRANE REMOVAL AT 35TH/AVALON: Here’s the alert we published Thursday. The contractor says four lanes adjacent to the Aura mixed-use project on 35th south of Avalon will be closed for most of Saturday as they remove the tower crane. Avoid the area. No bus rerouting announced.
7:24 AM: SDOT reports a crash blocking the left lane of the eastbound bridge at 4th Avenue South.
7:56 AM: SDOT says that’s cleared.
8:16 AM: Crash reported at 14th/Henderson is not affecting traffic. SPD tells us a drowsy driver hit a parked car; 2 people hurt.
8:59 AM: Added a photo from 14th/Henderson scene. SPD says the truck at left was headed west on Henderson when the driver veered out of his lane and into the parked pickup.
1:10 PM: Added – another weekend traffic advisory, this one for the south side of downtown, but you might be interested:
The Seattle Department of Transportation advises travelers of weekend closure of 4th Avenue South (northbound one-way) between South Jackson and South Main streets. 4th Avenue South will be closed from Saturday February 6th at 1 a.m. to Sunday, February 7th at 11:59 p.m. for removal of a tower crane by a private construction company. Metro transit will be able to pass thru on the west side of the bus island, not general traffic.
2:18 AM: If you heard the sirens: A Seattle Fire “heavy rescue” response went out a few minutes ago for a crash at 36th and Morgan. It’s already been scaled back to some degree; we’re on our way to find out more.
2:40 AM: One woman has been taken to the hospital, police tell us. A car is on its side in the planting strip on the east side of 36th south of Morgan; what appears to have been a parked pickup (now pointed uphill, southbound) has major rear-end damage.
2:52 AM: Morgan is open again after more SFD units left. Tow truck is arriving.