Car strikes local convenience store; driver injured

Just after 1:30 PM on Wednesday, April 16, Seattle Fire and Police units responded to a car-into-building call at the Wedgwood Mart (6236 35th Ave NE).

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A man in a silver Lexus had a seizure (per Seattle Fire PIO Sue Stangl), and ended up driving up over the sidewalk along 35th Ave NE and into the convenience store’s parking lot, coming to rest on the front sidewalk of the store and against a brick pillar.

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A witness who called 911 on the convenience store’s phone told us that the car struck a small tree in the parking strip before it struck the building. She also said that the shopkeeper was standing just to the left of the car’s final position and was nearly hit as well.

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The witness also said that first responders broke a window of the vehicle to gain access to the driver. The adult male driver was later removed from the vehicle, conscious and alert from our vantage point, and was taken to a nearby hospital in an AMR ambulance.

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Above, an officer stands nearby the vehicle as it is prepared to be towed out of the parking lot. Traffic nearby was impacted only briefly as the tow truck entered and exited the lot.

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After the damaged car was removed, it appeared as though very little damage was done to the convenience store.

Meet new Ravenna Blog contributor, Oralea Howard

SO EXCITED to share this news: Ravenna Blog now has a writing staff of TWO. (Intern #1, who is currently writing and reading thanks to kindergarten, is not quite ready for prime time.)

Oralea & Violet Meet Oralea Howard. She and I met through Ravenna Blog Intern #2′s preschool class at Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center. Her family lives in Ravenna, too, and she’s graciously offered to join up to help me bring you all the hyperlocal news that’s fit to publish electronically.

After graduating from the University of Oregon’s Journalism program, Oralea began an eclectic career path which most recently found her teaching science and art to first graders. Now, when she’s not cleaning up art or craft projects gone awry, she’s trying her own hand at quilting, printmaking, or gardening. You can frequently find Oralea, her husband, and their two-year-old out on the sidewalk, covered in chalk, and sharing beers with their neighbors.

Oralea and I had our first editorial calendar meeting last week, and we look forward to many more!*

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*Coffee is involved, and our kids are not.

EDIT: Oralea’s last name is actually Howard, NOT White as I previously wrote. The publisher really regrets that error.

Dennis and Judy Schulte Memorial Walk & Rally (PHOTOS)

On Monday, March 25, 2013, a family crossing NE 75th Street at 33rd Avenue NE was struck by a drunk driver. Grandparents Judy and Dennis Schulte were killed instantly. New mother Karina Ulriksen-Schulte and her ten-day-old baby boy, Elias, were both critically injured.

A year later, Karina and Elias, along with other family members, community members, safe streets advocates, and local community and state representatives returned to the site together. And then continued on to a rally for more action to prevent driving while intoxicated.

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The weather seemed to echo the emotions of the walkers: Blazing bright sunlight one moment — matching the smiles of those on the walk — followed by dark skies, heavy rains, and heavy hearts.

Our goal during the walk and rally was to capture as many images as we could. For more on the story of the walk and rally, we’ve collected links below:

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The starting point of the anniversary memorial walk was the same as it was almost a year ago: Top Pot Doughnuts, on the corner of NE 70th St and 35th Ave NE.

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Before joining the main group of walkers across the street, members of the Schulte family met with some of the staff of Fire Station 40. Their engine was one of the first emergency vehicles to arrive at the collision scene a year ago.

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Dan Schulte and one of the fire fighters of Station 40.

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Back over at Top Pot, local media had some time to talk to Dan Schulte before the walk.

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Here’s the same scene from another angle.

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Per Johnson of the Wedgwood Community Council speaks to the gathered walkers. Purple shirts were given to participants to wear during the walk and rally, and also to the other events during Safe Roads Awareness Week.

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Dan Schulte with his sister, Marilyn.

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Seattle Police Department officers prepare to guide those on the memorial walk down the route to the crash.

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Dan Schulte pushes his wife, Karina Ulriksen-Schulte, at the beginning of the memorial walk. Their son, Elias, is in the stroller on Karina’s right.

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Former Mayor Mike McGinn (center, with blue cap) at the start of the walk.

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State Representative Gerry Pollet (teal jacket, in front of yellow umbrella).

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Madi Carlson, Family Ride, walks her wheels and brood down NE 35th Avenue.

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The first round of heavy rain begins as the group nears the intersection of 35th Avenue NE and NE 75th Street. State Representative Jessyn Farrell (tan trenchcoat) walks with her two children.

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The group begins to cross the intersection of 35th Avenue NE and NE 75th Street. As they walk up the hill towards 33th Avenue NE, the walkers take the same route (west up NE 75th Street) as Mark Mullan did in his large black pick-up truck one year ago.

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Dan and Karina, and family.

 

At the NW corner of where 33rd Avenue NE meets NE 75th Street, the group pauses for a few moments, in silence. (We returned to the corner a few hours later to take the video above.)

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Schulte family members moving on after a pause at the crash site.

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One woman watches the family walk on as the main group of walkers continues to linger for a quiet moment at the site of the crash.

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Main group now moving toward the site of the rally on the lawn of nearly Eckstein Middle School.

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Battalion 6 Chief Mike Milam (white shirt, black tie) speaks with Fire Station 40 staff near the crash site. Chief Milam was also at the scene a year ago.

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News crews film the crowd and the memorial site while some Eckstein students look on.

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By the time the group arrives at the rally site, the rain was coming down hard.

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Ravenna-Bryant Community Association board member Sarah Swanberg.

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Dan Schulte thanks the first responders in attendance, and the crowd applauds.

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Karina Ulkisen-Schulte (center with brown cap) listens to husband Dan speak.

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Per Johnson (green), Cathy Tuttle (teal), and the crowd.

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SDOT’s Chief Traffic Engineer, Dongho Chang, was easy to spot in the crowd.

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Lacia Lynn Bailey keeps Judy’s Truffle dry at the rally. Lacia and a much smaller Judy’s Truffle were the last to speak with Judy, Dennis, Karina and Elias before they continued down 33rd Avenue NE to cross the street. She would also be one of the first people at the collision scene moments later.

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SDOT Traffic Safety Coordinator Jim Curtin stands under his yellow umbrella during downpour number three of the event.

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Sergeant Dave Fitzgerald of the Seattle Police Department, listening to speakers at the rally.

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Mayor McGinn (in red) stands next to Cathy Tuttle, executive director of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways.

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Virginia Gunby (burgundy coat), Transportation Chair of the Ravenna-Bryant Community Association, and her husband listen to rally speaker Darrin Grondel, Director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

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State Senator David Frockt speaking at the rally. Courtney Popp, an attorney who volunteers with MADD, also spoke.

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Elias, having a snack.

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During a shift between pouring rain and pouring sunlight, we did get a rainbow near the crash site.

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Marilyn Schulte addresses the crowd, thanking neighborhood residents for their support of her family.

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After the rally concluded, Senator Frockt and a staffer (facing the camera) listened to Lacia Bailey describe the events of a year ago. Frockt’s own grandparents were killed in a collision by a suspected intoxicated driver in Tennessee.

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Natural flowers at the rally site.

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Hand-made flowers on Lacia’s fence across from the crash site.

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The afternoon before the walk and rally, Lacia invited the community to come paint her fence, just across the street from the crash site, with bright flowers and positive messages to “DRIVE SOBER.” Judy’s Truffle was on hand, offering suggestions and reprising her position last year of comfort goat to those who needed a nuzzle.

BOOM in the neighborhood – lousy March weather strikes (UPDATES)

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At about 4:26 PM on Saturday afternoon, the weather turned TOO EXCITING near Ravenna Blog HQ. Lightning struck a tree just a couple hundred feet away, sending bark flying, hearts pounding, and causing a small power outage.

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Engine 16 stopped by to check things out briefly. A light smell of wood smoke hung in the air, and a homeowner nearby mentioned a cracked window.

Power was lost the instant the lightning struck, but the outage looks to be a small one, affecting around 60 households.

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Good to see you, too, Seattle City Light!

UPDATE (5:37 PM): On that lightning strike/power outtake just north of Green Lake:

UPDATE (6:15 PM): Estimated time of restoration for the Ravenna outage is around 1:30 AM, but you should check back here later for updated information.

Memorial walk and rally planned for March 25; part of “Safe Roads” week

Tuesday, March 25, marks one year since the drunk driving crash that killed Judy and Dennis Schulte and severely injured Karina Ulriksen-Schulte and her newborn baby boy, Elias.

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To commemorate the day, the Wedgwood Community Council and the Ravenna-Bryant Community Association have organized a memorial walk and rally, starting at Top Pot Doughnuts (6855 35th Ave NE), and ending on the front lawn of Eckstein Middle School (3003 NE 75th St). A moment of silence will be held at the crash site at approximately 4 PM.


View Wedgwood DUI crash memorial walk and rally in a larger map

NE 75th Street will close to traffic from 31st Ave NE to 35th Ave NE during the walk (3:15-4:15 PM).

The rally at Eckstein will include speakers representing the Seattle Department of Transportation, Prevention Works in Seattle (WINS), Wedgwood Community Council, Ravenna-Bryant Community Association, and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways Group, as well as:

  • Dan Schulte, Father, Husband and Son of Wedgwood crash victims
  • Marilyn Schulte, Daughter of Judy and Dennis Schulte, Aunt to Elias and Sister-in-law to Karina
  • Darrin Grondel, Director, Washington Traffic Safety Commission
  • Senator David Frockt, (D) 46th Legislative District
  • Courtney Popp, Mothers Against Drunk Driving

This event on March 25 is the first in a week-long series of events promoting “Safe Roads Awareness Week,” and focuses on raising awareness of the need for DUI prevention and stricter DUI laws.

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A summarized schedule of events for the rest of the week includes:

Wednesday, March 26th, Distracted Driving Day
The Wedgwood Community Council (WCC) and volunteers will be holding signs during the morning/evening commute to remind folks that the phone call or text can wait.

Thursday, March 27th, Slowdown Day
Again, the WCC and volunteers will be holding signs at a busy intersection during morning/evening commutes.

Friday, March 28th, Share the Road
Again, the WCC and volunteers will be holding signs at a busy intersection during morning/evening commutes. SDOT will make a major traffic safety project announcement.

NE Seattle YARNPOLCALYPSE is nigh (UPDATES)

Knit one, purl two, REPENT: For Northeast Seattle may be losing two independent yarn stores.

Acorn Street Shop, 2818 NE 55th St

Current Acorn Street Shop owner Karen Aho is retiring, and selling the shop. They’ve had some nibbles, says the shop on twitter, but as of this writing, there are no official takers. May might be the store’s last month if no buyers come forward.

Interested in owning your very own yarn store?* Contact Karen at acornstreet@msn.com.

Acorn Street Shop in early 2012.

Acorn Street Shop in early 2012.

More about the store from the Acorn Street Shop “About Us” page:

Acorn Street Shop was established in 1979 and began as a New England country store in nearby University Village Shopping Center. Soon the needlework department took over and Acorn Street became a full-fledged needlework shop. The shop has been under current ownership since 1986. In 1992, the business moved to its present location, just north of the U-Village, and the needlework merchandise has expanded to fill the old building up to its 15 foot ceilings!

Weaving Works, 4717 Brooklyn Ave NE

“Oh, if Acorn Street Shop closes, it will be sad. But there’s always Weaving Works down in the University District.” BUT FOR HOW LONG. The Weaving Works building is to be torn down and redeveloped into “a seven-story, 56 unit apartment building with 3,600 sq. ft. of retail commercial space at grade.”

There is no date set yet for the demolition, but the permit was filed on January 30, 2014.

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Rendering of the proposed development at 4717 Brooklyn Ave NE. Click the image to download the entire proposal (8.2 MB PDF).

The most recent design proposal for the site (available above) was presented to the Northeast Design Review Board on July 15, 2013. It was passed unanimously. You can read the board’s full report from the meeting here (249 KB PDF).

We’ve contacted The Weaving Works for more information about the store’s future, and will post a reply here if/when we know more.

UPDATE (Wednesday, 7 PM): Good news about the future of The Weaving Works, via their twitter account:

UPDATE (Monday, March 17): In the latest Weaving Works newsletter (PDF), the store announces that their annual Mother’s Day sale will be more of a Moving sale (to help make the move easier); however, they’re still keeping the new location under wraps.

Acorn Street Shop also holds an annual Mother’s Day sale.

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*Best possible place to work, in the event of an earthquake.

Design Review Board meeting on the old Fruit Stand blocks (LIVE COVERAGE)

Tonight, Monday, February 3, the Northeast Design Review Board will meet to decide the next steps for the development of the “old Fruit Stand block” just south of Roosevelt High School.

The meeting takes place at 6:30 PM at the University Heights Community Center (5031 University Way NE, Room 209). There is a public comment period during the meeting, but it is only 20 minutes in length and not for Q&A-style discussions.

Ravenna Blog will be in attendance and providing LIVE COVERAGE below, starting around 6:30 PM.

Page 12 from the Roosevelt Development Group's Design Review Recommendation presentation. Click the image to download the entire presentation (17 MB PDF)

Page 12 from the Roosevelt Development Group’s Design Review Recommendation presentation. Click the image to download the entire presentation (17 MB PDF)

The Roosevelt Development Group will be presenting their preferred project design (by Seattle architecture firm GGLO) for 6505 15th Avenue NE (Project #3013244) to the Northeast Design Review Board at tonight’s meeting.

Three different design schemes were presented during the early design guidance meeting on August 6, 2012. (You can find the notes from that meeting here.) Tonight’s recommendation phase design is the third of those three designs and features:

    • Approximately 221 dwelling units, in a mix of multi- and groun- level configurations;
    • 7,500-square-feet of ground-level commercial space;
    • 175 parking stalls, accessed from 14th Avenue NE;
    • Overall height of 7-stories (building heights ranging from 55 to 75 feet, depending on the slope of the property)

Jim O’Halloran, past Roosevelt Neighborhood Association Land Use Chair, had this to say about tonight’s meeting and the current design plans:

“Now that a zoning decision for the high school blocks has been made, and that a reasonably attractive building has been designed for the site with some engagement from the Community, let’s get on with it; build the building.  If for any reason the project will be further delayed, then it is important that the existing decrepit building structures be removed without further delay.  Allowing this sore spot to fester without near term improvement would surely undermine RDG’s relationship with the Community.”

Dozens of guns stolen from home near Roosevelt High School

A resident of the 6800 block of 15th Avenue NE, just northeast of Roosevelt High School, reported a robbery at his residence on Friday, January 10, while he was at work. Among the stolen items were “20-25 handguns and 20 rifles and shotguns.”


View Burglary on Friday, January 10 in a larger map

In the police report narrative for the incident, the victim states that he left for work at 9 AM and returned around 2 PM and “found someone had gone through his house and stolen multiple items.” The victim had locked the house upon leaving in the morning, but had not set the alarm as he is in the process of moving. No forced entry into the house was found; however, the garage door can be opened by hand. This is how the victim believes the burglar both gained access and left.

Among the stolen items reported by the victim were near a dozen watches, cash in various places around the house as well as larger amounts in two small bags in the kitchen, and dozens of guns:

He said he had about 20-25 handguns and 20 rifles and shotguns. He could not name all the makes and models of the guns but said he would get them and send them in on a victim follow up. He stated that many of the handguns were from his Dad and Granddad and were from World War I and II. He said missing were a Colt .45, Webbly .357, Colt Huntsman .22, Luger, Walther, several Smith and Wesson to name a few. He stated he also had an AR-15 for one of the long guns. All the guns and handguns were in a closet in the bedroom or in drawers in a built in closet.

Also reported missing were 5-7 gym bags.

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Thank you to Michael Hawthorne of KOMO News for bringing this incident to our attention.

Upcoming Design Review Board meetings of note (LIVE COVERAGE)

Two large development projects on NE 65th Street may before the Northeast Design Review Board in the next three weeks: The old Children’s Home Society of Washington land up at 33rd Avenue NE (recently sold to Polygon Northwest), and the old Fruit Stand block at 15th Avenue NE (owned by Hugh Sisley and leased to the Roosevelt Development Group).

Northeast Design Review Board meetings are held at the University Heights Community Center (5031 University Way NE, Room #209). You can see all upcoming meetings (and the links to their respective project information) at this Design Review Meetings page at seattle.gov.

For more information on these two particular projects (including links to design documents and their respective Department of Planning and Development permit pages), click on the map below.

View Jan/Feb 2014 NE Design Review Board meeting topics in a larger map

Ravenna Blog plans on attending both meetings and providing live coverage at ravennablog.com:

  • LIVE COVERAGE of the Monday, January 13 meeting (CHS of WA/Polygon Northwest) begins below around 6:30 PM.
  • LIVE COVERAGE of the (tentative-at-this-time) Monday, February 3 meeting (old Fruit Stand block/Sisley/Roosevelt Development Group) will be posted to a page-to-be-named-later.

Latest school boundary proposals for NE Seattle could spell big changes for local students (UPDATES)

The latest round of potential school boundary changes drawn up by the Seattle School District will be presented to School Board members this Wednesday, November 6. And for many Northeast Seattle families, there are some big differences to be spotlighted:

  • Under these new changes, if accepted by the School Board on November 20, students across the street from Eckstein Middle School would no longer be attending there. Instead, all students currently attending Wedgwood Elementary would begin attending Jane Addams Middle School.
  • North Seattle Accelerated Progress Program (APP) middle school students would be moved from Lincoln Hamilton into Eckstein.
Proposed Northeast Seattle  middle school boundaries. If accepted, most of these changes would be implemented in 2015.

Proposed Northeast Seattle middle school boundaries. If accepted, these changes would be implemented in the next two years.

The documents outlining these proposed changes were last updated on October 31, and released the next day, at 7 PM. On a Friday night. So many families in the affected areas may just be hearing about them.

Wedgwood Elementary PTA President Terri Green has weighed in about these proposed changes, in a message that started circulating over the weekend. It reads, in part:

SPS boundary changes as they impact the Wedgwood community

On Friday, November 1 at 7 pm, SPS released a third iteration of their plan they think may be final to address growth boundaries. There are major modifications which will significantly impact your children and our community in two ways:

  1. Starting next school year, ALL Wedgwood students would be assigned to the new (as yet unopened) Jane Adams Middle School (6-8), even kids who live across the street from Eckstein.
  2. Former Wedgwood students currently attending Eckstein will be moved to the new Jane Adams Middle School for 7th and 8th grade. (Part of the Northend APP middle school program is proposed to move into Eckstein.)

A full copy with details of the plan is available on-line here. This plan was devised after community feedback to the previous October 16 proposal. No major changes were proposed for our school at that time and thus there was no call to action. Now our community needs to respond quickly if we wish to impact this process before it is too late.

Green goes on to say a Call to Action meeting is being held at 6:30 tonight, Monday, November 4th, in Wedgwood Elementary School’s library. (We will be attending, and will provide LIVE COVERAGE below, if possible.)

Green will also be attending Wednesday’s School Board meeting (4:15 PM at the John Stanford Center, 2445 3rd Ave S), but families should contact School Board members themselves before then. The Seattle School District is divided into seven parts, each one represented by an elected member. The representatives whose areas are affected by these changes in North/Northeast Seattle are:

In addition to expressing thoughts/concerns to School Board members, parents should also email feedback to GrowthBoundaries@seattleschools.org, the official Seattle School District boundary plan address. Put your school or issue in the subject line.

For the full list of information about these proposed changes (including the data used to create them), visit the Seattle Public Schools — Growth Boundaries page.

UPDATE (12:09 PM): Thanks to some commenters on Facebook, we have learned the APP @ Lincoln PTA’s official stance on the proposed changes to their program:

PTA Responds to New Boundary Proposal

On Friday evening, the Seattle Public School district released their latest proposals for updating school boundaries. The district will present this proposal to the Seattle School Board on Wednesday, November 6th. If you would like to speak directly to the board regarding this proposal at the meeting, you may, but you must call the district and sign up on Monday (11/4) morning.

The SNAPP PTA maintains its position that splitting the APP Middle School and co-housing with attendance area schools is not in the best interest of our community or helpful with the overcrowding in the north end. Although many APP MS students come from the Whitman and Eckstein reference area, putting APP in these schools would only serve to further crowd them and keep reference area kids out.

You can read the entire APP @ Lincoln PTA statement here.

UPDATE (Tuesday, November 5, 7:52 AM): Correction/Clarification from elementary school APP parent and Roosevelt resident Elena Waite :

Current APP middle school students do NOT attend Lincoln- in the North, they go to Hamilton and will continue at Hamilton in the proposed plan, for now, as well as Eckstein and then Whitman. I would also like to note that APP has advocated for its own Middle School site – at Wilson Pacific and never advocated to be at Eckstein as we know that school is already crowded as a neighborhood school.

UPDATE (Tuesday, November 5, 7:03 PM): Those that emailed Seattle School Board Member Harium Martin-Morris received the following email in return, outlining an amendment Martin-Morris plans to introduce at Wednesday’s meeting.

I am writing in response to your email regarding the November 1st version on the Growth Boundary Plan. As written, I do not support the plan and along with Director De Bell will be offer an amendment that will go back to the previous version of the plan with the following changes:

* Assign NE APP students to the new James Addams Middle School starting in 2014
* Have a maximum of 3 classes per grade level at James Addams Middle School
* Assign others APP to Hamilton until Wilson Pacific Middle School is online. At that point Hamilton would also go to the 3 classroom per grade and all others go to Wilson Pacific

That would mean that the middle school and elementary attendance areas in the NE would go back to October 16th revision with some minor changes basis on community input.

Regards,

Harium Martin-Morris

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NOTE: While most local residents probably assume (correctly so) that most Ravenna neighborhood students attend Bryant Elementary, many in the North Ravenna area (including those here at Ravenna Blog Headquarters) are located within the Wedgwood Elementary attendance area. In fact, the boundary for Wedgwood itself is planned to expand further into Ravenna in the coming years (reflected in the image above).

APP students are scattered throughout neighborhoods, and all currently attend school at old Lincoln High School in Wallingford (see Elena Waite’s note above). Lincoln was closed in 1981, and is used as an interim location for Seattle schools and programs.