False alarm at Junction bank brings big police response

September 10, 2013

Apologies that heavy traffic crashed our main site – it is the result of an underlying problem we are working very hard to permanently fix. We have been reporting on Twitter and Facebook but in the meantime, the bottom line:

A “duress alarm” was triggered at AmericanWest Bank at 4022 SW Alaska. It was false, but that kind of alarm requires an in-person response by police – it cannot be remotely (by phone, etc.) confirmed as false. That tied up traffic and led to tense moments, because the huge police response – necessary in case someone really had been in trouble – required officers to clear people away from around the bank. A TV helicopter showed up and, according to scanner traffic, was asked to back off. Finally, the manager of the bank got to the scene and went in with police to verify that everything was OK. Officers stayed a while longer at the bank to be sure everything was OK, and also to try to find out how the alarm was triggered; there was a scanner suggestion that a cleaning person might have been to blame, but we don’t know if that has been confirmed.

Quick Sunday event list for 9/8/13 until main website’s back up

September 8, 2013

Since our calendar is inaccessible while WSB is being worked on, it was suggested we draw up a quick events list. The full details aren’t accessible but here’s what we can tell you in brief until the site’s back up and running:

NOW UNTIL NOONWest Seattle Junior Football/Cheer pancake breakfast at Masonic Center (40th/Edmunds)

10 AM-2 PM: West Seattle Farmers’ Market, 44th/Alaska

10 AM-6 PM: San Gennaro Festival on South Angelo in Georgetown (first-ever Seattle version, presented by West Seattle’s Mascio family)

10:30 AM – Friends of Morgan Junction Park cleanup at the small triangle park north of West Seattle Thriftway, Fauntleroy/42nd/Morgan

11 AM: “The Kitchen Pantry Cookbook” book signing at Capers in The Junction

NOON-7 PM: Final day this year to swim at Colman Pool on the shore at Lincoln Park

1-4 PM: Harbor Seal Day events presented by Seal Sitters at Alki Bathhouse, including sculpture dedication at 1:30 pm, 60th/Alki

1-5 PM: DIY Bikes bike repair at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW

2 PM: “Adventures of Owl and Pussycat” presented by TheaterSIMPLE at Westcrest Park in Highland Park

3 PM: West Seattle Cooking Club at Beveridge Place Pub

6:30 PM-8:30 PM: “The Earth Cried Out” viewing of 9/11 luminaria bags from Alki Statue of Liberty, one night only, at Alki Arts, 2820 Alki SW

8 PM: Mark Pickerel, Christy McWilson & Blackie perform at A.A.R.F. benefit @ Feedback Lounge, 6451 California SW

Dusty 45s take Hiawatha concert crowd for a spin

August 2, 2013

Fiery finale for The Dusty 45s tonight, concluding a hot night – despite clouds and a bit of breeze – in the second week of this year’s Summer Concerts at Hiawatha!

Lots of fun for the little ones – even free facepainting (which will be offered again later in the series):

And the band played on:

Guitars on the sidelines, too, courtesy of Frank Gross and West Seattle’s own Thunder Road Guitars (WSB sponsor):

Once again this week, Merrill Gardens (also a WSB sponsor) brought coloring books for young artists:

Next Thursday night, it’s the duo Impossible Bird – 6:30 pm Thursday, August 8th, on the east lawn at Hiawatha (along Walnut Avenue, south of SW Lander, north of the east side of West Seattle High School).

Stand by for 8/1/13 evening updates!

August 2, 2013

Sorry our regular website is under the weather at the moment. Until it’s back, we’ll publish new stories here – stand by! – Tracy (WSB editor)

BACKUP VERSION: Gatewood Elementary principal leaving

July 4, 2013

(Until repairs are complete on our main website, we are republishing some of today’s major stories, and new ones, here – Tracy, WSB editor)

Another West Seattle school is changing principals. Just forwarded by a parent at Gatewood Elementary:

Today I’m announcing a leadership change at Gatewood Elementary that is effective for this coming school year.

After serving as your principal for eight years, Ms. Rhonda Claytor has been appointed principal of Leschi Elementary.

One of the things that the Leschi community is excited about is that Ms. Claytor works collaboratively with staff, families, and community members. Thank you for working with her to create a great learning community at Gatewood.

Ms. Carmela Dellino, Executive Director of K-12 schools for West Seattle, will lead the process to identify a new principal for Gatewood. We will move quickly to form a hiring committee and will keep you informed of the process. We are committed to finding a strong principal who is a great fit for your community, and who will build on your many successes.

Please join me in thanking Ms. Claytor for her years at Gatewood Elementary.


José Banda
Seattle Public Schools

Gatewood is the fifth public school in West Seattle with a principal change for next year, after Madison Middle School, Sanislo Elementary, Lafayette Elementary (for which a new principal has been appointed), and Chief Sealth International High School (whose new principal was announced today).

UPDATE: Since we published the original version of this story, a sixth principal change was announced (Alki Elementary).

BACKUP VERSION: New Chief Sealth International High School principal announced

July 4, 2013

(Until repairs are complete on our main website, we are republishing some of today’s major stories, and new ones, here – Tracy, WSB editor)

The third and, we believe, final principal announcement this afternoon for a West Seattle public school – this time, it’s a replacement, the successor for departed Chief Sealth International High School principal Chris Kinsey:

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Aida Fraser-Hammer as your new principal, effective July 1, 2013. She replaces Chris Kinsey who announced in June that he would not be returning in the fall.

Ms. Fraser-Hammer comes to Chief Sealth International High School from Kentwood High School in Covington, Washington where she has been an assistant principal since 2004. At Kentwood she worked with staff, students, and families to increase on-time graduation rates and students’ academic achievement. Ms. Fraser-Hammer has an international background, and she is fluent in Spanish.

Prior to Kentwood High School, Ms. Fraser-Hammer served as assistant principal at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, California. She also spent a year as administrative intern at Joel E. Ferris High School in Spokane, Washington and was a teacher and MESA high school coordinator for Spokane Public Schools and Washington State University.

Ms. Fraser-Hammer holds a master’s in education from Eastern Washington University and a bachelor of arts in mathematics from Gonzaga University. She was a Fulbright Exchange Administrator to Brazil and Argentina.

Aida Fraser-Hammer was selected after a hiring process that included input from staff and families. In addition to the qualities mentioned above, the selection team committee was particularly impressed with her experience with math and science through MESA as well as her commitment to collaboration with staff, students and families. She will be a great fit for the Sealth community.

Please join me in welcoming Aida Fraser-Hammer to Chief Sealth International High School.

José Banda

Here’s our report from June 6th, when Chris Kinsey announced he was leaving Sealth after 2 years as principal. He had succeeded seven-year principal John Boyd, who left for an executive-director role in Highline Public Schools.

About Austin and his poem

March 24, 2013

(This refers back to a poetry video shown on West Seattle Blog)

Both my mother and my father grew up in West Seattle and me and my twin sister were also born there. We moved from West Seattle when I was younger, and although my parents no longer live there, they still strongly consider themselves to be West Seattle-ites. Both my parents are active in West Seattle High School’s Alumni Association and regularly meet up with their West Seattle friends.

I’m a 24-year-old college dropout and colossal nerd. I own a small comic book and hobby shop in Bonney Lake WA, which I opened in 2010. I’ve been an active and regular participant in the Seattle Poetry Slam for about the last year and a half now. I write and perform all my own original work, and my writing has a tendency to gravitate towards the things that matter most to me. As previously stated, I’m a huge nerd, I always have been. Without getting too much into it, high school and middle school were a relatively s–tty time for me. I was depressed and suicidal for most of my teens, and although that is no longer who I am any more, I have always identified and done everything I could to help people dealing with depression and suicide. I think it is one of the main reasons why I opened my shop – not only to share the things I love most in the world, but also to create a safe space for kids to come and get their nerd on. To be themselves, and be completely free of any judgment or belittlement.

Someone once asked me what I’d do if I had a time machine, and instinctively my first response was, “Try and stop teenagers from killing themselves”. So I wrote a poem about it. It is probably the most personal poem I perform and it has been one of my best received. I’ve been recently pursuing poetry more seriously and I’ve been performing outside of just the weekly Seattle Poetry Slam. I’ve been opening for bands and introducing myself to new communities and art spaces.

In February, I was asked to perform at The Round,  a monthly show that has been going on in Seattle for about five years now. Here is a link to their blog so you can check it out, http://theround.org/blog/about/ It’s a collaborative set between musicians, poets, and artists. I performed at Round 93 along with artist Scott Erickson. During my portion of the set I performed my Time Machine piece. After the show, Scott approached me and told me how much he enjoyed my piece. He was moved by my piece and wanted to share it with others, so he asked if I’d be interested in filming it. Which of course I was! We filmed the video in just one quick Monday afternoon at Discovery Park. Scott edited it all and threw it up on the internet, and the online response has been wonderful. We don’t have any real promotional goals for it, I just want to share my art with as many people as possible. And do everything I can to let kids know, that no matter how sh—y it seems, it will get better. And regardless of whether or not you feel like anyone cares about you, someone always will.

Out with the grasses, in with the food: A hunger-fighting garden

February 13, 2009

Out with the grasses, in with the food: A hunger-fighting garden

Posted using ShareThis

February 13, 2009

Posted using ShareThis

Regular site’s back up

November 6, 2008

So we’ll be posting there again.


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