TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday updates & reminders

July 24, 2014 at 6:25 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | No Comments

(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Summery weather is returning, the forecasters say; we’ll see how it goes on the roads, trails, and waterways as the morning unfolds. A few notes:

SATURDAY NIGHT VIADUCT CLOSURE: If you’ll be out Saturday night, remember that the northbound Alaskan Way Viaduct will be closed 5:30-7:45 pm for the Seafair Torchlight Run – check out this SDOT roundup for details on that and other weekend traffic alerts around the city.

SOUND TRANSIT SURVEY: Four more days to answer the newest survey in Sound Transit‘s Long-Range Plan Update, and let ST your thoughts on light rail for West Seattle. Here’s the survey link; here’s our coverage of last week’s ST presentation at the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s monthly lunch.

Admiral Theater’s future: ‘Ticking clock’ forcing decision soon

July 23, 2014 at 10:57 pm | In Admiral Theater, West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 8 Comments

(June WSB photo: Film-projection room at The Admiral)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

More than a year ago, we told you about the Admiral Theater‘s hopes of renovations to ensure the historic moviehouse’s future.

It hasn’t happened yet. And its management/ownership is acutely aware of a “ticking clock” sped up by the fact that – as they pointed out when we talked to them for the aforementioned story last year – film is going away as a method of delivering movies.

In a conversation with theater manager Dinah Brein, she explained they’ve already felt the effects. “Certain films weren’t even made in (film) like ‘The Wolf of Wall Street,’ ‘Dallas Buyers Club,’ so we have to wait for it to go to DVD (before we can) show it.” For some movies, that timetable is relatively fast – for some, it’s not. And only one of the Admiral’s theaters is DVD-capable.

The Admiral simply must convert to digital. (It’s not alone, as continuing national coverage has documented.)

And for that, they have to have a commitment from the building’s owner Marc Gartin that they’ll be there for the long haul.

Click to read the rest of Admiral Theater’s future: ‘Ticking clock’ forcing decision soon…

Seal Sitters signing up volunteers one last time for this year’s pupping season

July 23, 2014 at 9:34 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, Wildlife | No Comments

(2013 photo by Robin Lindsey)
If you’ve ever considered volunteering with Seal Sitters, there’s one more chance this season:

Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network’s final training for the 2014 seal pupping season will take place on August 9th. There will be no further trainings until late fall due to time constraints on volunteers.

Last year’s record-breaking pupping season stats in West Seattle (from late July’s first response to a newborn seal pup to the end of the year’s weaned pups) included 163 responses to marine mammals, including 66 positively identified seal pups. This 2014 season has begun unusually early in West Seattle with responses in June to one full lanugo seal pup “Luigi,” a second premature pup, and full-term “Junebug” who is now in rehab at PAWS Wildlife Center.

TRAINING DATE:
Saturday morning, August 9, 2014
10 am – 12 pm (doors open at 9:30 am; plan to arrive early to register and receive paperwork – training begins promptly at 10)
Alki UCC Church 6115 SW Hinds, Seattle
Please RSVP on blubberblog for the training to assure seating.

*Note to parents: All children accompanying adults must be able to sit quietly through an almost-two-hour presentation (with break).

Unlike most marine mammal stranding networks, we encourage children to participate in Seal Sitters – supervised at all times, of course, by a parent or guardian. We are so proud of our amazing and dedicated volunteers who are on duty rain or shine – we hope you will join us!

A multi-media presentation will illustrate our educational work in the community and the unique challenges of protecting seals and other marine mammals in an urban environment. Included in the training is an overview of NOAA’s West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network and biology and behavior of seals and other pinnipeds (due to time frame, supplementary off-season sessions will include more marine mammals of Puget Sound). For additional questions and info or to be placed on a contact list for future training opportunities, please e-mail us.

Contact info is here.

Terminal 5′s last cargo-ship call for now, after half a century

July 23, 2014 at 4:32 pm | In Seen at sea, West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 9 Comments

Moored on this murky day at the Port of Seattle‘s Terminal 5 in West Seattle, the Westwood Olympia is the last ship scheduled for a T-5 call TFN. After 50 years as a cargo terminal, T-5 will be idle once this ship departs. We reported last month on the port’s plan to close T-5 while spending $5 million planning a modernization project, so that it can handle new mega-sized ships – but there’s no plan yet for where the port will get the up to one-quarter-billion dollars the project will cost. Port spokesperson Peter McGraw tells WSB that “during the multi-year design and permitting phase of Terminal 5 Modernization, we will be working to attract interim maritime uses to this industrial facility.” Meantime, while other shipping lines that used it are moving to other Seattle terminals, Westwood ships are going back to Tacoma after 31 years, with its first call there scheduled for one week from today.

Summer will return! ‘Spice World’ at West Seattle Outdoor Movies this Saturday

July 23, 2014 at 3:51 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle Outdoor Movies | 6 Comments

Last Saturday, this year’s West Seattle Outdoor Movies series opened with drizzle/mist as the audience watched Sandra Bullock in space (above, a preshow photo as the crowd started to gather). Today, a midsummer deluge. But THIS Saturday – clear skies and warm temperatures are promised. So plan to set up your chair/blanket in the Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (4410 California SW; WSB sponsor) courtyard for “Spice World”:

Movie’s free – as are a fashion show and photo booth! Bring money for concessions and raffles to benefit local nonprofits (and Hotwire is open pre-show, with espresso beverages, smoothies, and more). Gates open at 6:30, movie at dusk (9-ish).

Arbor Heights Elementary: Demolition on hold pending hearing on new appeal

July 23, 2014 at 1:52 pm | In Arbor Heights, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 11 Comments

(WSB Tuesday photo of awaiting-demolition Arbor Heights Elementary)
Three years ago, demolition of the old Denny International Middle School was well under way within a month of the end of the school year. This year, though a month has passed since the last class at Arbor Heights Elementary School, the backhoes aren’t even onsite yet. That’s because the permits haven’t been finalized, since another appeal is awaiting a hearing.

This is separate from the appeal that was argued and rejected in May, challenging the decision that a full environmental review wasn’t needed. This time, the appeal is for the land-use permit itself, and the fact that the demolition permit was approved in the same action. In all, the appeal statement by four area residents and district watchdog Chris Jackinssee it here – lists eight points.

Though a September 15th hearing date was announced by the appeal notice that appeared in this week’s first Land Use Information Bulletin, the city Hearing Examiner’s files now have it scheduled for August 11th. The move was at the request of the district, according to a letter in the online case files, which quotes district staff as saying the extra month would add $70,000 to the project cost.

SPS spokesperson Tom Redman confirms to WSB that appeals for both the Arbor Heights and Genesee Hill projects (the latter has a hearing August 5th, as reported here July 14th) are now pushing back the timeline: “Limited construction activities can be performed on-site, but the bulk of the work cannot commence at either site until we have received MUP [master use permit] approval from the City of Seattle.” He said the district doesn’t know yet if the opening of either new school will be delayed as a result. The new Arbor Heights is scheduled to open in two years, the new Genesee Hill in a year and a half.

P.S. Appeal hearings are open to the public, though only for observation, not for participation/comment. Next month’s August 5th Genesee Hill hearing and August 11th Arbor Heights hearing are both scheduled to start 9 am on those dates in the city Hearing Examiner’s headquarters on the 40th floor of the Municipal Tower downtown.

Always Brothers 100-mile run to pass through West Seattle again

July 23, 2014 at 12:33 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | No Comments

(2013 Always Brothers runners near WS Bridge – photo used with permission)
Again this year, eastern West Seattle is on the final stretch of the Always Brothers 100-mile run to raise money for the children of fallen servicemembers. As detailed in this story – which includes the timetable and route – they’ll start at 6 am Saturday in Leschi, heading south through Renton and to Pierce County before heading back north; they will run along the Duwamish to the West Seattle low bridge around 7 am Sunday. They appreciate support along the route, and of course, donations too – you can donate online here, and you can track the run’s progress via the AB Facebook page. (We noted the 2013 Always Brothers run here last August.)

West Seattle Wednesday: Entrepreneurs’ meetup; High Point farm stand; Fauntleroy Schoolhouse community investment; more…

July 23, 2014 at 10:42 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | No Comments

(Busy marine traffic off Alki Point; photo by Danny McMillin, shared via WSB Flickr group pool)
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar for today/tonight:

FREE ENTERPRENEURS’ MEETUP: Noon-1 pm today at West Seattle Office Junction (WSB sponsor) in Morgan Junction – drop by with your lunch plus “new ideas, old ideas, and business cards” and meet other entrepreneurs. (6040 California SW)

HIGH POINT MARKET GARDEN: Third of 12 Wednesdays this summer/fall when you can visit the High Point Market Garden Farm Stand 4-7 pm and buy organic produce that was grown just steps away. (32nd/Juneau)

GROUP RUN & BROOKS HAPPY ISLAND: 4 pm, “Brooks Run Happy Island” is at West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor), and there’s a group run planned at 6 pm – details here. (California/Charlestown)

FAUNTLEROY SCHOOLHOUSE (HEARTS) COMMUNITY INVESTORS: 7 pm tonight, come to the historic Fauntleroy Schoolhouse to find out more about a new community-investment plan to help with the next round of upgrades and repairs as the schoolhouse moves toward its future as a fully functional community facility – here’s our preview. (9131 California SW)

MUSIC BINGO AT THE CASK: 7 pm at The Cask (WSB sponsor), guess the songs, play the game! Details here. (2350 California SW)

MORE NIGHTLIFE … live music, trivia, karaoke, more, all in separate listings on our calendar.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Thief takes Daily Dose tip jar

July 23, 2014 at 9:40 am | In Crime, West Seattle news | 9 Comments

Coffee shops, be forewarned. Out of the WSB inbox this morning, from Cheryl:

I was working at The Daily Dose coffee shop at 5214 Delridge Way yesterday. Around 1:15 p.m. I was in the restroom as I heard the front door open. I shouted out “hello, I’ll be right out,: finished washing my hands and came out. No one was there and the door was left open. I decided whoever it was had quickly changed their mind and left. About 10 minutes later, I realized my tip jar was gone! The thief was swift and deliberate as it was seconds from the time I heard the front door open and came out of the restroom.

It’s not the loss of tip money (maybe $35), but the sense of violation. I hope they really needed it, or at least bought themselves a nice meal! I will be locking the door in the future while in the restroom.

Update: Comcast West Seattle outage blamed on ‘fiber cut’

July 23, 2014 at 9:13 am | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 8 Comments

9:13 AM: Thanks to Steve for the tip about a Comcast outage in Admiral. According to a tweet from @ComcastWA, it’s because of a “fiber cut” and should be fixed within an hour or so … let us know if that window passes and you’re still out.

9:43 AM UPDATE: Steve says the service is back up.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Rainy Wednesday updates; West Seattle Water Taxi trouble

July 23, 2014 at 6:12 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 3 Comments

(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:12 AM: Be careful on rain-slick roads/paths/sidewalks this morning.

While we watch the morning traffic, only one advance alert to remind you of – Saturday (July 26) is Seafair Torchlight Night, and NB Highway 99/Alaskan Way Viaduct is scheduled to be closed 5:30 pm-7:45 pm for the Torchlight Run (which is followed on 4th Avenue downtown by the Torchlight Parade – here’s the lineup – and here are the night’s bus reroutes).

8:06 AM: No West Seattle Water Taxi until 9 am “due to mechanical issues,” per text just in from King County. Service will resume then from Pier 50 with Melissa Ann (which usually takes a post-commute hiatus from the Vashon run then); we’ll check later on how things are looking for the afternoon.

2:32 PM: All’s now well with the Spirit of Kingston this afternoon, says the county, so West Seattle-Downtown service will continue as scheduled from here on out.

West Seattle Crime Watch: ‘Home invasion’ robbers get away with thousands

July 23, 2014 at 12:52 am | In Crime, Highland Park, West Seattle news | 8 Comments

12:52 AM: Police are searching for two people suspected in a reported ‘home invasion’ situation in Highland Park. Scanner-monitored information indicates shots were fired – with at least one casing found – but the victim was not reported injured and no medic crew has been summoned. This happened near 10th and Trenton (map); police, including a K-9 team, are looking for a woman and man who might be known to the victim. More info if/when we get it.

2:09 AM: Still no word of arrests. Robbery Unit detectives are joining the investigation.

NOON UPDATE: We’ve obtained the report from SPD. It says the victim told police he recognized the woman, by voice, as his wife, who he hasn’t (otherwise) seen in a month – both robbers, the report says, were wearing ski masks. The male robber fired two rounds, according to the victim, including one into the floor after tying him up and leaving him in the bathroom. The female robber, the victim said, demanded to know where “the money” was, and though the victim denied having any, she said she knew better, and eventually, according to the victim, they made off with $22,000 in cash.

West Seattle Crime Watch: 2 car prowls, with stolen items including ‘unmistakable’ skateboard

July 22, 2014 at 10:19 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 8 Comments

Thieves took Eron‘s skateboard in one of two car prowls for which we have reader reports tonight. Eron says it happened “in front of my house at 11th and Kenyon and my dog woke me up but not in time. … they took a lot of things; most of it was recovered by walking just around my block. The big score was a set of keys to nothing in this county and my custom longboard that I made from a vintage kids’ water ski. It is unmistakable. Yellow with red swirls and blue wheels. It is largely a sentimental loss and has very little ‘street’ value, as it is easily identified from any distance.”

Further south on 11th SW, in the 8800 block, Darcey reports: “Someone went thru my car last night. I left the door unlocked accidentally. Didn’t take anything- but we had nothing worth taking. Just threw stuff around, searching.”

P.S. Though local crime-prevention groups don’t meet again until September, you are now two weeks away from a prime chance to get together with your neighbors in support of safety and community – Night Out is Tuesday, August 5th, and you can sign up your block party by going here. (As always, we’ll be stopping by parties around West Seattle, and thanks to those who’ve already sent word of theirs without us even asking – editor@westseattleblog.com.)

Election 2014: No minimum-wage referendum on November ballot; meantime, 2 weeks left to cast your August vote

July 22, 2014 at 7:55 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 5 Comments

checkbox.jpgTwo election-related notes tonight:

First, King County Elections announced today that both proposed referendum measures related to the Seattle minimum-wage law have failed to make the ballot. 16,510 valid signatures were needed to make the ballot; the petitions by a group called Forward Seattle had 14,818, while another petition drive, by (corrected) Save Our Choice, had fewer than 500 valid signatures.

Second, ballots are due in two weeks for the August 5th election. Yours should have arrived by now – check with the county if you haven’t received it. It’s not just a primary – there is one major ballot measure, the proposal to create a Seattle Park District with permanent taxing authority for city-parks funding beyond the annual general-fund spending. The most recent forum on the measure in our area was at July’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting; here’s our coverage.

P.S. If you don’t want to spend postage money to send in your ballot, there are other options, including ballot-dropoff vans in West Seattle and White Center on August 2nd, 4th, and 5th.

Updates: President Obama’s four-and-a-half-hour Seattle visit

July 22, 2014 at 3:00 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 53 Comments

3 PM: President Obama is expected to land at nearby Boeing Field around 3:15 pm, according to regional media; if you recall, the Boeing Field advisory linked here Monday opened the window at 3 pm. There’s widespread confirmation today that he’ll be headed to two Democratic Party fundraisers. First one’s in Madrona, which means I-5 traffic stopdowns (including exits from the West Seattle Bridge to I-5); second one is in Hunts Point – The Seattle Times (WSB partner) even published the invitation. Then he is expected to fly out by about 7:30. We’ll add updates here.\

(Tweet from Times political reporter Jim Brunner)
3:07 PM UPDATE: Air Force One has just landed, per live TV streams. (Here’s the link to KING 5.)

3:17 PM UPDATE: A prominent West Seattleite is at Boeing Field to help greet the president, according to KING’s Linda Brill on the live feed linked above – King County Executive Dow Constantine.

3:26 PM UPDATE: Motorcade is on the move now, after the President spent a few minutes shaking hands at Boeing Field.


Here’s more info on the not-public party-fundraiser dinner that will be his second stop.

3:46 PM UPDATE: The presidential motorcade has arrived in Madrona.


His second event, dinner in Hunts Point, is scheduled to start at 5 pm, so we’ll update when we hear that move is on. His return to Boeing Field is likely ~7-ish.

5:04 PM UPDATE: That next motorcade move is reportedly about to start – Madrona to Hunts Point.

5:39 PM UPDATE: Apparently the preparedness starts way in advance. TV people on the ground are tweeting that the trip between locations is under way *now*. (Added: He is reported to have arrived in HP around 5:50 pm. Next leg of the motorcade will be back to Boeing Field in an hour or so.)

7:11 PM UPDATE: Per regional media, the motorcade is either on the move again or about to be. (Added: Now departing:)


7:32 PM UPDATE: The motorcade has arrived at Boeing Field.

7:43 PM UPDATE: And Air Force One is off, headed for San Francisco. As outlined in the Boeing Field advisory published Monday, he was on the ground here for four and a half hours.

9:42 PM UPDATE: For details of what the president said at his first stop, there’s a full report up on The Seattle Lesbian by its founder, West Seattle journalist Sarah Toce.

Daystar Retirement Village: Welcoming a new WSB sponsor

July 22, 2014 at 2:16 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | No Comments

Daystar Retirement Village has joined WSB as one of our newest sponsors – and here’s what they would like you to know!

Welcome to Daystar Retirement Village! We are a locally-owned-and-operated retirement community with independent and assisted living apartments located in the south end of West Seattle.

Independent living at Daystar does not mean you have to “go it alone”! Our independent residents have amenities you might find in a fine hotel included in the monthly rent at Daystar. Things like scheduled transportation, zero maintenance apartments, full appliances in independent units (including washer and dryer), and well-being checks throughout the day, are some of the services our independent residents benefit from.

For those residents who need a little extra assistance to maintain their independence, we can provide Personal Assistance Services that include numerous medical and non-medical tasks for an additional monthly fee. For all residents, we have 24-hour staffing, flexible meal plans, housekeeping, free parking, emergency call system, locked front doors with surveillance cameras, and we’re pet-friendly!

Daystar offers a variety of diverse activities. It is your choice whether you want to participate but we truly have something for everyone. Art and history classes, trips to tourist sites and local shopping, Tai Chi, ice cream socials, movies, barbeques, and wellness classes are just a small sample of what you’ll find here.

Our location is another great advantage. We are just across the street from Westwood Village, which offers multiple restaurants, a gym, a US Post Office, Starbucks, Rite Aid, Target, and numerous other amenities. We have been a member in this community since 1988; we hope you will come visit us. We have someone here to give you a personal look around Daystar every day of the week. After your visit you will understand why the folks who live here often say: It’s so good to be home! Call 206-937-6122 and/or send a note here to schedule a visit.

We thank Daystar Retirement Village for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.

West Seattle scene: Do you know where YOUR ‘hub’ is?

July 22, 2014 at 12:01 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | 17 Comments

In case of catastrophe – there’s likely a Neighborhood Emergency Communication Hub near you, a place where you can go to get and share information about what’s happening and how to get help. Pigeon Point has a new hub location – 20th/Genesee – on the West Seattle Be Prepared Emergency Communication Hubs roster, and Jim Sander has created signs to help get the word out:

Thanks to Pete Spalding for sharing the photos. P.S. So where’s YOUR nearest hub, you ask? Check this map from westseattlebeprepared.org:


View West Seattle Emergency Communication Hubs in a larger map

Don’t see one near you? Here’s how to change that.

West Seattle Tuesday: Four calendar highlights for tonight

July 22, 2014 at 9:49 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 1 Comment

Thanks to Mark Wangerin for sharing that photo of a brightly colored bird on this gray (so far) day – he explains, “House Finches are common yard birds in WS, often seen at seed feeders.” Today’s calendar highlights include four options for tonight:

KURT LINDSAY, LIVE: 5:30 pm, Kurt Lindsay is tonight’s featured musician at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor) – no cover, no minimum, yes view. (1936 Harbor Ave. SW)

FAMILY STORYTIME: Delridge Branch Library has a tale to tell you at 7 tonight; details in our calendar listing. (5423 Delridge Way SW)

BLUES TO DO, LIVE: Tuesday = Blues-day at the Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), as Blues To Do continues, tonight featuring Jr. Cadillac Mini, 8 pm. (6451 California SW)

STARLIGHT SONGWRITER SHOWCASE: 9-11 pm at Shadowland in The Junction; details in our calendar listing.

MORE … on our calendar!

Fauntleroy Schoolhouse’s future: See what’s next, as nonprofit opens arms to community investment

July 22, 2014 at 9:00 am | In Fauntleroy, How to help, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Since becoming a community-owned facility four years ago, the historic Fauntleroy Schoolhouse has made major progress toward taking care of necessary repairs and other upgrades. Now there’s one more hurdle to cross – and the schoolhouse’s managers are doing it via crowd-loaning, which will cost less, and enrich community connections more, than the traditional method of money-borrowing. You are invited to come find out about it tomorrow night (Wednesday, July 23rd) in The Emerald Room at The Hall at Fauntleroy on the south side of the schoolhouse:

The Fauntleroy Community Service Agency invites you to hear about a groundbreaking, socially minded investment opportunity while learning about plans for updates to our Schoolhouse.

We have partnered with Semble, a Washington-based business that is helping non-profits significantly lower the cost of capital projects by calling on their own communities to become investors, rather than using more traditional financing
sources. Come learn how you can become an investor in the future of the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse and preserve its rich heritage. (This is not a donation but rather an investment that will earn you a rate of return.) We hope to see you!

For a preview, browse the schoolhouse project’s Semble page. That’s 7 pm tomorrow, with light refreshments, at 9131 California SW.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday updates; presidential visit this pm

July 22, 2014 at 7:02 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | No Comments

(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Northbound I-5 is reported to have some slowdowns downtown because of a crash near the Seneca ramp. That’s what’s up as we start the morning watch, and for later:

PRESIDENTIAL VISIT TODAY: Still no exact routes/times but as reported here on Monday, the advisory issued by Boeing Field, which Air Force One will use, suggest his quick visit for a Madrona fundraiser (possibly also Hunts Point) will be in the 3-7:30 pm vicinity. Especially in the I-5 corridor, prepare for possible motorcade stops/slowdowns.

The big transportation news, in case you missed it:

BUS-CUT PLAN CHANGE: The County Council and County Executive have agreed to go ahead with this September’s Metro cuts as previously announced, and the same amount of service cuts next February as planned – but not necessarily the same routes – and then before they get anywhere near September 2015, when the worst West Seattle cuts were supposed to happen, they’ll revisit the whole thing in the budgeting process.

Video: All-City Band’s Seacrest photo night and mini-performance

July 21, 2014 at 11:34 pm | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 3 Comments

Some of Seattle’s hardest-working young musicians were at Seacrest tonight, as previewed here this morning: It was the annual photo shoot and mini-performance by the All-City Band, marching-band musicians from high schools around the city, directed by Marcus Pimpleton, who leads music programs at Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School here in West Seattle.

After all the picture-taking, some music-making along Harbor Avenue:

The clear weather was perfect for the occasion.

As also mentioned here this morning, before their next round of parades – particularly Saturday night’s Seafair Torchlight Parade downtown – you can see them during Band Jam at Southwest Athletic Complex, 6:30 pm Friday night, also featuring other musicians (and flag-twirlers) getting ready for Saturday night.

Don’t miss Friday night – it’s free and fun.

Followup: Mayor tells police to stand down in post-foreclosure West Seattle eviction case of Byron and Jean Barton

July 21, 2014 at 8:51 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people, West Seattle politics | 67 Comments

(Friday photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand: Above, deputies carrying Byron Barton from his home)
New development today in a West Seattle family’s quest to stay in their foreclosed-on-and-auctioned-off home. On Friday, we chronicled a day of tumultuous activity at the 41st/Holly home of disabled veteran Byron Barton and wife Jean Barton, a day that started with King County Sheriff’s Office reps removing them from the house, which they then defiantly re-entered, continuing to keep vigil with local activists. That evening, Seattle Police and the local City Attorney’s Office precinct liaison arrived, but ultimately left after concluding nothing would be done that night.

(Friday evening WSB photo)
This morning, the activists went to City Hall to ask the mayor and council to tell SPD to stand down – several also spoke during open-comment time at this afternoon’s City Council meeting – and this evening, Mayor Murray sent this statement:

We are attempting to understand all options that may exist in this situation and I have asked Chief O’Toole and the Seattle Police Department to stand by while the latest court proceedings unwind.

An interdepartmental team has been working on the issue of foreclosure and how the City of Seattle can proactively connect residents to resources early in the process. I’ve pledged the City of Seattle’s participation in the Mayors Challenge to End Veterans Homelessness in 2015, and will launch a separate process to address homelessness and increase housing affordability in the months ahead, one of my visions toward making Seattle an affordable city.

“In Washington State, we’ve seen recent victories such as the 2011 Washington State Foreclosure Fairness Act, which I worked on closely, designed to help homeowners and their lenders explore alternatives to foreclosure and reach a resolution when possible. I’m committed to working with all stakeholders, using this and other alternatives in the work Seattle does on housing affordability.”

The City of Seattle and Washington State have resources to help homeowners avoid default and work out repayment plans in order to stay in their homes, or gain enough time to sell their homes on their own terms: http://www.seattle.gov/housing/buying/ForeclosurePrevention.htm and commerce.wa.gov/Programs/housing/Foreclosure/Pages/default.aspx

The Bartons have a lawsuit pending, alleging the foreclosure – which had been in the works at least since 2012, according to court documents we have found so far – was illegal. The development company that bought their house in an April auction has sued for “unlawful detainer” – seeking to have the Bartons removed. The situation that led to foreclosure is complicated; while the house has been in Byron Barton’s family for more than 60 years, changes in the family put it back under a mortgage. P.S. How long this will take to play out in the courts is unknown – the civil system doesn’t always move quickly, and the current trial date for the Bartons’ lawsuit (filed in May) isn’t until June of next year.

TUESDAY MORNING, 9:22 AM: A commenter asked about the Sheriff’s Office role/responsibility at this point. We asked KCSO spokesperson Sgt. DB Gates, who replied:

The eviction was completed and our involvement in serving that eviction order is over.

The legal owners of the house are always able to return to court and get another civil order which would compel our department to act. I’m unaware of any filings or movement on that topic.

Our departments stand is the eviction was completed, anyone reoccupying that house is committing a crime. At least trespass, if not burglary.

It is now up to the local police agency to enforce those crimes.

County Council changes Metro bus-cut plan; West Seattle ‘deletions’ no longer certain

July 21, 2014 at 6:50 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 12 Comments

Separate from the November vote on Seattle taxes to avoid Metro Transit cuts in the city limits, the King County Council has reached a deal today that changes the timetable for cuts. While the September cuts are still on as planned, and the number of hours scheduled to be cut February are to stay the same, here’s the biggest news for West Seattle: The round of cuts that was going to hit our area the hardest – originally scheduled for September of next year, involving route deletions – is not necessarily a sure thing; it will be worked out during the next round of county budgeting. (Here’s a document from last May showing which routes were to be affected in which phases.) The February cuts will be examined by a newly created committee, according to King County Executive Dow Constantine‘s version of today’s announcement. Here’s the County Council‘s version of the announcement, which includes the following explanation:

Click to read the rest of County Council changes Metro bus-cut plan; West Seattle ‘deletions’ no longer certain…

West Seattle traffic alert: Cars collide in Gatewood

July 21, 2014 at 6:11 pm | In West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 2 Comments

6:11 PM: It was a short-lived call on the 911 log and so we didn’t go to check out this crash at California/Portland – but Long B. Nguyen, better known for photos from the sky, was in the area and shared this photo. We don’t have any official word on injuries; the Seattle Fire call closed very quickly and did not include medic units, suggesting if any, they weren’t major.

6:25 PM: California SW is blocked both ways at the scene but tow trucks are there so it might not be long.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Admiral scuffle leads to BB shooting

July 21, 2014 at 5:03 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 10 Comments

Just talked with police about an Admiral incident that several asked us about this afternoon. According to Seattle Police spokesperson Det. Drew Fowler, it boiled down to a fight involving four people outside Admiral Safeway just before 3 pm. Two were brothers, ages 16 and 17; the other two’s identities aren’t known. Police are still sorting out the motive for the fight but say that at one point, one of the unknown two suspects shot one of the brothers in the face with a BB gun. There also were reports of punches thrown, but in the end, what happened was so convoluted that Seattle Fire medic crews came and went from the scene twice – finally, the victim was taken to a hospital. His injuries are not described as major. No one’s been arrested.

More information about President Obama’s Seattle visit Tuesday

July 21, 2014 at 3:37 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 22 Comments

(LOOKING FOR NEWEST INFO ABOUT PRESIDENTIAL VISIT? GO HERE)

(WSB photo of Air Force One at Boeing Field, July 2012)
Even if they don’t include public events, presidential visits are usually of high interest for reasons including traffic effects and Air Force One sightings. So here’s the latest information about President Obama‘s planned Seattle visit tomorrow (Tuesday, July 22nd): Boeing Field has just published an advisory that confirms Air Force One will be landing there. While some of the ground and air restrictions in the advisory span the time period of noon to 8 pm, most of what’s listed suggests that the heart of the visit will be in the 3-7:30 pm vicinity. No open-to-the-public events have been announced; the visit is reported to be fundraising only, including, according to SeattleTimes.com, an event in Madrona. If any more information emerges tonight, we’ll update this item, and as always we’ll have the key points in our daily traffic watch first thing in the morning.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Three car break-ins

July 21, 2014 at 3:00 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 9 Comments

Three reader reports – first two are about overnight car break-ins in north West Seattle. First, from Sandra:

My car was broken into last night. it was parked on the street at 2008 California Ave SW. They took 3 bags; 1) yellow leather with brown trim, 2) black leather with gold trim, and a black “expanda” file with handles. Nothing of real value in the bags, but if the thieves threw them out and anyone sees them, please contact me at sandrakstark@live.com. Thank you.

And from Ian:

My 1992 Honda Accord was prowled last night, between 12 am and noon today. It was parked in the 2100 block of Alki Ave SW, underneath a street light in front of the condo I live in. Woke up to find the trunk partially opened and all the contents of my glove box thrown through out the car. Fortunately they didn’t steal my car since I had a club on the steering wheel which they tried to remove from all the scratch marks all over it. All they took was my GPS which was hidden in my glove box. No broken windows or scratch marks on my car door, which makes me think they had a master key to the car which you can buy online.

Third report is from last Thursday – Jeremy tweeted about a smash-and-grab car break-in in the south lot at Lincoln Park; his wife’s purse was taken.

P.S. In case you missed it over the weekend – a Crime Watch partial happy ending.

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