TOMORROW: Help clean up Fairmount Ravine; enjoy free treats

March 27, 2015 at 6:38 pm | In Environment, How to help, Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | No Comments

(Photo from 2012 Fairmount Ravine cleanup)
One more reminder before tomorrow morning arrives: The more the merrier at the annual Fairmount Ravine Cleanup, starting at 8:30 am Saturday – meet at Fairmount/Forest (map). John Lang says, “Met Market, Starbucks, and Zatz have all graciously agreed to participate in supporting the nourishment portion of the project.” Wear boots and gloves; if you’re interested in helping remove ivy from trees – which is part of the cleanup – please bring a pruning saw and/or large loppers. Whatever time you can spare, the folks of Fairmount will appreciate it. (And if you have a question first, call John @ 206-932-5151.)

MISSING TEENAGER: Have you seen Elvis?

March 27, 2015 at 5:15 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 2 Comments

Elvis Salvador Jiminez is 16 years old and his family hopes you will be on the lookout for him.

They describe him as “very short” – 4’11″ – with black hair, brown eyes, lots of acne, “known to be around White Center, South Park, Beacon Hill, last seen around Highland Park.” They say he has been missing for more than 24 hours and have reported him to police as a missing person, so if you have seen him, please call 911.

UPDATE: Amanda Knox’s conviction overturned by Italian court

March 27, 2015 at 2:47 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 21 Comments

2:47 PM: The Associated Press reports that the much-awaited verdict is finally in from Italy, and that the murder conviction of Amanda Knox, who grew up in West Seattle, has been overturned. We’re told paparazzi have been staked out in Arbor Heights, where much of her family lives, so you may see unusual media-type activity in the hours ahead. (Photo added – some of the photo/video turnout we saw there around 3:30 pm)

More to come.

3:04 PM: The British newspaper The Guardian is live-chronicling the verdict’s aftermath on both sides of the Atlantic and says Knox supporters are celebrating at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor), where, their reporter writes, “When news of the verdict broke, the sound of fireworks briefly echoed triumphantly over the water.” Knox has remained stateside during this legal proceeding; The Guardian says her lawyer told her about the decision, and she told him she was “very happy.” The decision also exonerated her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito in the 2007 Perugia, Italy, killing of Knox’s then-roommate Meredith Kercher.

4:46 PM: The Guardian’s ongoing live chronicle includes a statement from Knox, including: “I am tremendously relieved and grateful for the decision of the Supreme Court of Italy. The knowledge of my innocence has given me strength in the darkest times of this ordeal. And throughout this ordeal, I have received invaluable support from family, friends, and strangers. To them, I say: Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your kindness has sustained me. I only wish that I could thank each and every one of you in person.” In a separate statement, her family says they are “thrilled” and “grateful” and “want to express our profound gratitude to all of those who have supported Amanda and our family.”

Woman hit by driver at Westwood Village, taken to hospital

March 27, 2015 at 2:32 pm | In West Seattle news, Westwood, WS breaking news | 2 Comments

(WSB photo)
Thanks for the tips – we just checked out an incident that drew fire, police, and a private ambulance to Westwood Village, outside Marshall’s. SFD spokesperson Lt. Sue Stangl tells us the initial report was that two people were hit by a driver. We were told at the scene that one was being taken to the hospital by AMR, a woman who apparently had just been shopping at the store; her injuries were not major – she was talking with emergency personnel as they took care of her.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Suspect in SE shooting arrested here; Guardian One visit; recognize this gutted truck?

March 27, 2015 at 1:17 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 5 Comments

Today’s West Seattle Crime Watch roundup starts with two incidents from last night:

SOUTHEAST SEATTLE SHOOTING SUSPECT FOUND IN WEST SEATTLE: Last night at 23rd SW/SW Brandon, police made a “felony stop” – guns drawn, as is SOP when someone in a pulled-over vehicle is suspected of a felony. We thought we heard, via scanner, the word “shooting,” but couldn’t find evidence of any West Seattle gunfire incidents last night, and couldn’t reach police for information.

After we contacted the Media Relations unit this morning, Det. Drew Fowler looked into this for us and discovered it was related to an incident in Southeast Seattle that was already on SPD Blotter; they’ve as a result just updated it to include the West Seattle angle: The original incident involved gunfire from three cars in the Rainier Beach area around 7:45 last night; nobody was hit. The car then pulled over at 23rd/Brandon matched the description of one vehicle seen speeding from the scene. Gang detectives arrested its 21-year-old driver, a Federal Way resident and convicted felon who police say they saw “ditching a gun at the original shooting scene,” for felony weapons possession, and booked him into jail. (The car was impounded.)

IF YOU HEARD GUARDIAN ONE OVER THE JUNCTION LAST NIGHT: It was NOT related to the incident above, so far as we know. They were in the area and helping SPD check out a report of “a large fight” in The Junction. The King County Air Support crew subsequently reported via Twitter that nothing was found.

ABANDONED, GUTTED TRUCK: Scott shared the photo, in case you recognize it:

An abandoned Chevy stepside pick up truck was discovered on SW 104th at 38th this morning next to AHES construction site. No plates, no engine, and the interior is gutted. City of Seattle notified through their Find it, Fix it app.

Five highlights for your West Seattle Friday night

March 27, 2015 at 12:22 pm | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 4 Comments

Thanks to Mark Wangerin for the Steller’s Jay photo. If you’ve seen/heard these feisty birds, you know they don’t really sing … but tonight in West Seattle, music is on the menu at several spots, as well as other forms of fun, as you’ll see in these calendar highlights:

DENNY/SEALTH MUSIC NIGHT OUT: 5:30 pm at The Hall at Fauntleroy, as detailed in our calendar listing. Ticket sales have ended but just in case you wonder who’s making that great music … now you know. And you can still support Denny/Sealth’s music by going here. (9131 California SW)

DUWAMISH ROWING CLUB MOVIE FUNDRAISER: Doors at 6:30 pm, movie at 7:30 pm, tonight at the Duwamish Longhouse – it’s the Duwamish Rowing Club‘s annual movie fundraiser, screening “The Seal Who Came Home.” More info in our calendar listing – tickets available at the door. (4705 W. Marginal Way SW)

GARY BENSON: Live at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. No cover. (5612 California SW)

FINAL FRIDAY NIGHT FOR ‘CHINGLISH’: 7:30 pm curtain tonight at ArtsWest Playhouse (WSB sponsor) – third-to-last chance to see the comedy! (4711 California SW)

WEST COAST BUMP BAND: Classic dance grooves at Feedback Lounge tonight, 9 pm, no cover. (6451 California SW)

Pine Lake Cellars: Welcome, new West Seattle Blog sponsor

March 27, 2015 at 11:22 am | In West Seattle news, WS beverages | No Comments

West Seattle is a wonderful place for wine lovers. Adding to that reputation: A tasting room that is one of the newest WSB sponsors, Pine Lake Cellars, whose wines await you at 3400 Harbor SW on Saturday afternoons:

That’s Pine Lake Cellars owner/proprietor Rob McCall, who explains how they got started: “Our long-standing passion for wine and wine history got the best of us. Knowing the high quality of vineyards in our state and wine being produced here fueled our desire to see what we could do with it ourselves. We thought, ‘why not us’? So, what began as an idea to make a little bit of wine for ourselves quickly grew into a much bigger endeavor. Now we are driven by the desire to make wines that show unique expression of the vineyards from which we source fruit. Our goal each harvest is to produce both age-worthy and immediately approachable wines that are structurally balanced, concentrated, and aromatically complex. And given our shared love for Bordeaux, our varietal focus right now is on traditional grapes of the Bordeaux region.”

Once customers have tried Pine Lake Cellarsaward-winning wines, what keeps them coming back? Rob says, “This industry relies heavily on word of mouth, not to mention making good wine. Not only are we crafting something we love, but we are in turn providing a product. When we get a customer coming in to the tasting room saying they heard great things about our wines, that’s the best feeling a winemaker can get. And it’s the repeat customers that helps legitimize this. Also, being a total wine nerd, I love geeking out about wine with my customers and I think the conversations and info about wine that they leave our tasting room with makes their visit even more enjoyable.”

You’re invited to visit the Pine Lake Cellars tasting room tomorrow and/or any other Saturday, noon-5 pm, at 3400 Harbor Ave. SW. Their wines are online, too, at pinelakecellars.com. P.S. Pine Lake Cellars is one of the 20+ wineries comprising the Seattle Urban Wineries group.

We thank Pine Lake Cellars 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.

In case you wondered: State ferries still on test runs off West Seattle

March 27, 2015 at 10:51 am | In Seen at sea, West Seattle news | No Comments

Two notes about ferries that appeared to be “dead in the water off Alki” this morning remind us that we should mention this again: Washington State Ferries has two vessels in testing/sea trials in and around Elliott Bay right now, and if you see something unusual, it’s probably one (or both!) of them. The Tacoma is still on sea trials after months of repairs, before returning to the Bainbridge Island run; the Samish, newly built at Vigor on Harbor Island, is testing before officially joining the fleet.

Good luck to all in the State Geographic Bee today, including one more West Seattle competitor, Devin Graves

March 27, 2015 at 10:29 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 2 Comments

The Washington State Geographic Bee is just getting under way at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma. We’ve already featured three West Seattle competitors – and just learned about one more. At right, Devin Graves of Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor) was crowned EWMS champion and then, as did the other competitors in Tacoma today, scored high enough on a written exam to make the state Bee. It’s the third consecutive year that EWMS has been represented in the statewide competition. Good luck to Devin, and also to Jack Crowley from Madison Middle School (featured here March 13) and Aiden Houlette from Schmitz Park Elementary and Jean-Pierre Dufour from Westside School (WSB sponsor), both featured here Tuesday. We hope to know by late afternoon who’s advancing to the national Bee in Washington, D.C., in May!

West Seattle Veteran Center reopening in The Triangle

March 27, 2015 at 9:27 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 2 Comments

Just announced by American Legion Post 160 Commander Keith Hughes:

The West Seattle Veteran Center, an outreach of American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary Post 160, will reopen on Monday, March 30th.

The Center is located in the American Legion Hall at 3618 SW Alaska. Hours of operation will be:

Mondays 9 am-4 pm
Wednesdays/Thursdays 2 pm-8 pm
Fridays 9 am-4 pm
Closed Tuesdays/weekends

The West Seattle Veteran Center is an all-volunteer operation, and is here to serve all Veterans and their families, regardless of what branch of service or what time period they served.

If you are a Veteran living in the Southwest Corridor, you can help support the Center by joining American Legion Post 160. Membership is only $35 per year.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Friday watch; weekend 99/Viaduct closures; the last big lift for ‘Bertha’

March 27, 2015 at 6:30 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 3 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
We start today with one big reminder – the Highway 99 closures this weekend (and westbound I-90, too). From the Battery Street Tunnel north, it’s an all-weekend closure, late tonight until early Monday; from the Battery Street Tunnel south to the West Seattle Bridge, the twice-yearly inspection closure is scheduled for 6 am-6 pm each day, Saturday and Sunday. Those closures plus the westbound I-90 lane closures are all detailed here; for bus reroutes, check Metro’s site. We’re on duty 24/7 so if there’s any change in the plan (early reopening, etc.) you’ll find out about it here.

Speaking of Highway 99:

We noticed while checking the “live” camera that that the big red frame that’ll lift the tunnel machine’s cutterhead has moved into place right over the access pit – looks like it happened in the 5 pm hour yesterday (we went back through the stored images to find the one above). No word yet, though, when that mega-lift is expected to happen.

12:56 PM UPDATE: WSDOT has since published an update about the aforementioned impending Big Lift.

High-school baseball: Chief Sealth IHS off to 2-1 start

March 26, 2015 at 11:58 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

Thanks to Howard Chilcott for this report on the Chief Sealth International High School Seahawks‘ first week of baseball:

Our Seahawks are off to a nice start to their Metro schedule, posting a 2 win/1 loss record over week 1. That includes strong wins over Ingraham and Franklin and a heartbreaker yesterday vs. Lakeside. Highlights have included strong pitching, increasingly solid defense, and big hits as the team is developing nicely early in the season.

The schedule includes a rematch with Lakeside away on Friday, then Ballard on Monday, 4 pm at SWAC! Also, please join us in supporting the boys at their Annual Spaghetti Dinner & Auction Saturday 4/4 at the School Galleria, 6 pm.

(Sealth is at 2600 SW Thistle.)

Numbers @ West Seattle Transportation Coalition: 35th SW, Vision Zero, $900 million levy…

March 26, 2015 at 10:03 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 18 Comments

(From left, WSTC’s Joe Szilagyi & Amanda Kay Helmick, SDOT’s Scott Kubly & Jim Curtin)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The West Seattle Transportation Coalition stuck with its agenda tonight, hearing from and talking with SDOT leaders about the proposed Move Seattle levy and two safety projects – Vision Zero citywide and 35th SW locally – instead of digressing into a discussion of Tuesday’s 9-hour Highway 99 blockage.

Co-chair Amanda Kay Helmick said WSTC would be writing out its concerns/questions for SDOT to consider regarding the incident. Otherwise, here’s how the meeting unfolded:

Click to read the rest of Numbers @ West Seattle Transportation Coalition: 35th SW, Vision Zero, $900 million levy……

Congratulations! 2015 Westside Awards for Nucor Steel, Meeples Games, Southwest Seattle Historical Society, James Jackson of Jackson, Morgan & Hunt PLLC

March 26, 2015 at 5:15 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | No Comments

The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce has just announced its 2015 Westside Awards winners, in advance of the presentation at the awards breakfast next Thursday (April 2nd):

Nucor Steel Seattle, Meeples Games, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society and the founder, James (Jim) Jackson of Jackson, Morgan & Hunt are the winners of the 2015 Westside Awards, presented by the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce.

Click to read the rest of Congratulations! 2015 Westside Awards for Nucor Steel, Meeples Games, Southwest Seattle Historical Society, James Jackson of Jackson, Morgan & Hunt PLLC…

West Seattle development: Project possibly ahead for PCC site

March 26, 2015 at 4:50 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 49 Comments


(WSB photo)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Will the PCC Natural Markets (WSB sponsor) location in West Seattle be the next Admiral District supermarket site to be redeveloped?

Making a routine check of city permit applications, we discovered a very-early-stage plan suggesting a new building is being contemplated for much if not all of the 2749 California SW site, where the current store and its main parking lot are.

But what it will be is too soon to say, as well as how/whether it will proceed.

One of the two documents in the public city online files so far suggests that the proposal is coming from Madison Development Group, the developer that is currently finishing Spruce at the Fauntleroy/Alaska corner once known as, when it stalled under previous ownership, “The Hole.” Kirkland-based Madison bought that site at auction and is completing a project with about 200 apartments plus an LA Fitness gym. Madison also built Element 42, the mixed-use building on the east side of the redeveloped Admiral Safeway property.

As for the PCC site:

We’ve been researching this for several days now. Before we found the document listing Madison as the prospective applicant, we inquired with PCC’s media-relations department, asking whether an expansion might be in store for the market, which opened in 1989 and underwent interior remodeling four years ago.

The reply came from Cate Hardy, the West Seattleite named CEO of PCC back in January. “We recently became aware that our landlord is in discussions about the possibility of selling the site where our store is located. We do have a current lease that is in effect for the next several years.”

We hadn’t realized that PCC didn’t own the property at California/Stevens; records show the landlord is Development Services of America, another of the companies owned by the late Tom Stewart, who had been headquartered in the West Seattle Corporate Center before moving to Arizona.

We continued rooting around for info and contacted PCC CEO Hardy again to clarify that whatever is in the works so far, it wasn’t a PCC-proposed project. She subsequently told us, “At this time, we have not been brought in to any conversations with the potential future owner, so do not have any real insight in to their plans or timing. Our lease is in place through most of this decade, and we would certainly hope and expect to be part of West Seattle well beyond that. We anticipate an introduction to the new owner in the near future, and will look forward to conversations with them about how best to ensure that West Seattle is well-served by PCC Natural Markets for years to come.”

We’ve reached out to Madison’s principals for comment; no reply yet. The “site plan” page in the online file shows only the most rudimentary of outlines for a possible new building covering the footprint of the current one plus most of the parking lot; Hewitt Architects is the firm listed as applicant, and the online file carries notations about a request for “paid zoning coaching” plus an expectation that any resulting project would require Design Review. The site is zoned NC2-40, mixed-use development with a four-story height maximum.

We’ll continue to keep watch.

Seen off West Seattle: Two helicopters, boat marked ‘Tunisia Navy’

March 26, 2015 at 2:47 pm | In Seen at sea, West Seattle news | 15 Comments

2:47 PM: An unusual sighting, shared by Gary Jones, who photographs from Alki Point: Seen in the noon hour, a boat marked “Tunisia Navy,” with two helicopters nearby.

Their markings match what we saw on two helicopters passing overhead, westbound, one behind the other, as we arrived at HQ in Upper Fauntleroy after a noontime trip.

Backstory? We don’t know yet. At first, we wondered about a movie shoot (Seattle wouldn’t seem to be much of a stand-in for Tunisia, which is on the Mediterranean Sea in North Africa, but you’ll recall Alki doubling for Florida) – then a bit of Googling revealed that the U.S. donated two similar types of patrol boats to Tunisia seven months ago and was planning to donate more. Still checking around. Know anything? editor@westseattleblog.com as always.

8:44 PM: After a couple of e-mail tipsters suggested we check with local boatmakers that build military-style patrol boats, we sent out queries around 5 pm and just received this reply from sales manager Kevin Rowlee at Bremerton-based SAFE Boats International:

Yes, that was a boat built by SAFE Boats International. It is a “65 Full Cabin – Inboard” destined for the Tunisia Navy. The boat you saw was the second of two boats purchased under the same contract.

Commenter Brian confirms the photo-shoot angle.

Mayor puts a number on ‘affordable housing’: 20,000 units in 10 years

March 26, 2015 at 1:52 pm | In West Seattle housing, West Seattle news | 38 Comments

Will runaway rents chase (more) people out of the city? With heartbreaking tales like this one emerging, and discussions like this one ongoing, Mayor Murray has stepped up While his affordable-housing advisory committee continues to work on its recommendations, Mayor Murray has just given them a goal with a specific number:

Mayor Murray today directed the Housing Affordability and Livability Advisory Committee to meet his new goal for both income-restricted affordable and market-rate units to be created over the coming decade.

Mayor Murray asked the committee to develop specific proposals that will allow the building and preservation of 50,000 housing units over in the next 10 years within the city limits. 20,000 of these must be income-restricted affordable units for individuals and families making 80 percent of the area median income (AMI) and below. 30,000 units would be market rate.

“Seattle is facing a serious lack of affordable housing options that displace families and people in this city,” said Murray. “Next week, Seattle’s minimum wage workers are getting a raise as a part of our broader affordability agenda. We need to make sure that those who work in Seattle can afford to live here.”

The increase in income-restricted affordable units is nearly a tripling of the current rate of units being built for those at 80 percent of AMI or less. Currently, income-restricted affordable housing is being built at a rate of around 700 units per year.

“As the HALA enters the last stretch of analysis and discussion of strategies, this target will sharpen our focus,” said Faith Le-Pettis, co-chair of the advisory committee. “No matter your perspective, the target we’ve been given by the Mayor is an enormous number. We’ll need determination, long-sightedness and civic commitment to meet the challenge.”

The Housing Affordability and Livability Advisory Committee was formed by Mayor Murray and city councilmembers in the fall of 2014 to develop policy recommendations for the city. The committee is made up of 28 housing experts, activists and community leaders. They will issue their recommendations to the Mayor in May.

Right now, the Multi-Family Tax Exemption is one incentive the city has been offering developers for some years – if they agree to keep a certain number of units in their projects in certain areas (including West Seattle’s urban villages/centers) at a certain percentage of the area’s median income, they get a 12-year tax break, no property taxes on the residential portion of their buildings.

When we talked to Mayor Murray at his neighborhood-press availability last week, he mentioned he would be announcing an affordable-housing goal and that it would take “a series of tools – not just one tool” to make it reality. He said in that interview that it would be vital to build units for people who will “never qualify for subsidized housing” but are being priced out of the “market” nonetheless.

Think summer! Application time for 10th annual Morgan Junction Community Festival

March 26, 2015 at 12:51 pm | In West Seattle festivals, West Seattle news | No Comments

(WSB photo from 2013 festival)
Not trying to rush you, but it’s already planning season for summer festivals – including the 10th annual Morgan Junction Community Festival. From Susan Madrid:

Applications are now available for local businesses and organizations to participate in the Morgan Community Association (MoCA) 10th annual festival. This year it will be held on Saturday, June 20th, from 10:30 am to 6:00 pm. As in previous years, participant booths will be located in open areas and parking lots near Morgan Junction Park. The festival will feature live music and entertainment throughout the day, as well as the popular Bite of Morgan and Bark of Morgan events.

The booth charge will be the same as last year; community groups and non-profits will be asked to make a $10 contribution and businesses to make a $20 contribution.

Contact Cindi Barker at cindibarker@gmail.com for an application form and further information. The deadline for applications is June 5. Announcements and applications are also available on the MoCA website www.morganjunction.org

Award-winning basketball coach Sonya Elliott is leaving West Seattle High School

March 26, 2015 at 10:19 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people, WS & Sports | 1 Comment

(WSB photo from February 2015: Coach Elliott helps cut down net after Metro League title win)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

It’s the epitome of “going out on top.”

After a history-making season in which her team made it to the state tournament and won the Metro League championship, West Seattle High School girls’ basketball head coach Sonya Elliott is leaving.

Elliott, a longtime West Seattle resident, was honored as Metro League Coach of the Year twice, in 2013 as well as this year, a showstopping season that concluded March 7th (WSB coverage here) – a season that, as she remarked at the WSHS pep rally before the team’s first state game, had the whole school (and community!) cheering for girls’ basketball.

She shared the news with WSB via e-mail late last night and said her players already know: “I won’t be coaching at West Seattle next year. It was a really tough decision, because as you know there are some amazing girls on the team and we have all worked hard over the last 5 years to build the program, but it was time.”

2014-2015 was Coach Elliott’s fifth season leading the team. We first checked in with her during the first season – noting that she took over after a season in which the WSHS girls had won a total of three games, and that she brought in new initiatives including a holistic focus on academics as well as basketball fundamentals.

That first 2010 story featured an inspirational guest Elliott brought in to talk with her team; she continued that initiative up through this year, too. Elliott herself proved an inspirational figure beyond her basketball-coaching skills, with a story she turned into a book titled “Back on the Court,” telling how she came back from a life-threatening and heartbreaking tragedy.

We have a followup question out about what’s next for her, and we’re also asking WSHS what’s next for the team; we’ll add updates as we get them.

West Seattle Thursday: Whales, transportation, theater, more…

March 26, 2015 at 9:13 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | No Comments

Thanks to Don Brubeck for the “solar halo” sunrise photo from this morning! Now, looking ahead to today/tonight, highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

TAI CHI, QIGONG FOR 50+: 2 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle with Sifu Viola Brumbaughdetails here. (Oregon/California)

ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES … at the Community Orchard of West Seattle, for this week’s 4-6 pm Health & Harvest work party. North side of South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus. (6000 16th SW)

SDOT AT WSTC: 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House‘s High Point Center, hear from – and bring questions for – SDOT director Scott Kubly. (6400 Sylvan Way)

THE WHALE TRAIL: TWT‘s first Orca Talk of 2015 is your chance to hear from Brad Hanson, a federal researcher who recently spent three weeks out on an extensive whale-watching/-researching cruise, including the first sighting of the Southern Resident Killer Whales’ newest (known) calf, L121. 7 pm at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) – details here including ticket info. (5612 California SW)

SEE ‘CHINGLISH’ BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE: 7:30 pm curtain at ArtsWest (WSB sponsor) for the laugh-out-loud comedy that’s in its final days. (4711 California SW)

PUNDAMONIUM! 8 pm at Skylark Café and Club, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Sorry we can’t be more creative than that, but we bet YOU can and will.

Free baseball game at Safeco Field – WSHS Wildcats on Saturday!

March 26, 2015 at 9:00 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

(2014 photo by Greg Slader)
See a baseball game free at Safeco Field this Saturday – while cheering for local players! West Seattle High School assistant baseball coach Bryan Tupper shares the reminder:

Come out and support West Seattle High School Baseball at Safeco Field. WSHS continues the annual tradition of playing in the High School Baseball Classic for the 9th year in a row! This year, they take on Sedro Woolley from the Northwest Conference. Admission is free and concession stands will be open.

The game is at 12:30 pm Saturday (March 28th).

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday on the move

March 26, 2015 at 7:19 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 22 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
No trouble spots in/from West Seattle so far. Alerts/advisories:

FAUNTLEROY FERRY DOCK: The pump-station project next door is almost done, but some work this morning will result in a closure of the northern lane/tollbooth for up to two hours starting at 9:30 am.

VIADUCT/99 CLOSURES THIS WEEKEND: Yet another reminder – a stretch of 99 from the Battery Street Tunnel *north* will be closed from late Friday to early Monday; between the West Seattle Bridge and the south end of the BSTunnel, inspection closures are scheduled 6 am-6 pm Saturday and the same hours Sunday.

Tonight:

SDOT DIRECTOR @ WSTC: Questions about the big road/trail projects under way and coming up here? Or, about the 9-hour Highway 99 closure earlier this week (here’s our followup from Wednesday)? Or? 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center (6400 Sylvan Way), West Seattle Transportation Coalition hosts SDOT director Scott Kubly tonight, and all are welcome.

Added at 8 am since it’s still quiet:

THIS WEEK’S ‘TRAFFIC THROWBACK THURSDAY‘: For the second week in a row, we’re presenting a historic West Seattle road photo from the Seattle Municipal Archives:


(Click the picture for a larger image.) That’s in the files from 1951 as supporting evidence for “rezoning 6051-6053 35th” as proposed by a lumber company. We haven’t figured out whether this is looking north or south; the address checks to a 35-year-old condo building on the west side of 35th at Graham.

8:32 AM: Thanks to AD in comments and Jeremy via Twitter for word that a RapidRide bus is broken down at the onramp to the bridge and passengers are awaiting rescue.

12:21 PM: The Viaduct’s had some off and on trouble this morning.


One of those incidents is clearing as we type this … but another one still has a lane blocked in the stadium zone.

West Seattle Crime Watch followups: Store-burglary suspect in jail; stolen car found

March 25, 2015 at 10:02 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

Two West Seattle Crime Watch followups tonight:

STORE BURGLARY ARREST: You might recall Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) in Westwood Village getting broken into twice in December, the first one hitting hours before their holiday open house, to which they responded defiantly with a bow over the plywood covering the smashed-in door:

Talking with the proprietors this week, we found out a suspect has been arrested and charged in that break-in. Police identified 38-year-old Ioane Sua of First Hill via a palm-print match and surveillance video. Once they knew who they were looking for, he wasn’t hard to find … he was already in the King County Jail, arrested on January 10th after being found driving a car that had been stolen on New Year’s Day from the Home Depot parking lot on Delridge. Prosecutors charged Sua with second-degree burglary in late January, and have since charged him in the stolen-car case too. He was scheduled to return to court today, but the hearing was postponed because a possible plea agreement is in the works, according to a document in the online files. He remains jailed in lieu of $30,000 bail, and has a lengthy criminal record.

STOLEN CAR FOUND: Speaking of stolen cars – the one reported here this morning has since been found, reports its owner:

They found my car in White Center with stolen plates on it. The inside was filled with garbage, food and a bag full of stolen mail that was all opened, from as far away as Sammamish, hence my full tank of gas depleted. My glovebox, console, trunk all emptied. Every part of the inside and parts of the outside wiped down with smelly, greasy cleaner to cover their tracks. The good news is that there’s no real damage. With case # in hand I drove home with no license plates, which I’ll have to replace tomorrow.

The mail must go through … the fence? Truck crashes, no one hurt

March 25, 2015 at 8:08 pm | In Safety, West Seattle news | 10 Comments

We don’t know how it happened, but thanks to those who sent photos of this U.S. Postal Service truck crash in Upper Morgan earlier this evening, including this one from Rob. Someone who texted us about the crash says no one was hurt, verified by an absence of an SFD callout on the department’s online log.

You can help! One month until mega-consignment sale for West Seattle Co-op Preschools

March 25, 2015 at 7:43 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

(2014 WSB photo)
Of interest to sellers as well as shoppers – the West Seattle Co-op Preschools are planning another mega-consignment sale, exactly one month away. Here are the details:

The West Seattle Co-op Preschool system is very excited to be hosting another spring/summer kids’ consignment sale on April 25 from 9 am- 1 pm at the West Seattle VFW Hall, to help fund scholarships for families in need.

Anyone from the community can consign at this sale. Consigners can set their own prices, and guidance and information about how to register to be a consigner are available at westseattlepreschools.org.

This sale will be a great way for families to make some money with their gently used baby/kids gear, spring/summer clothing, toys and books. Sellers will make 65 percent of the asking price and the preschool scholarship fund will take 35 percent. The consigners will be paid for the sold items via a check, which will be mailed the week following the sale.

Anyone is welcome to shop for low-cost, good-quality items for their kids the day of the sale. All proceeds from the sale benefit the scholarship program to help families in need. The West Seattle Co-op Preschool system is hoping to make this consignment sale a biannual tradition every fall and spring as a way to bring the community together. Hope to see you there!

The VFW Hall is at 3601 SW Alaska.

Barton Pump Station Upgrade traffic alert for tomorrow; project ‘very close to being done’

March 25, 2015 at 5:07 pm | In Fauntleroy, Utilities, West Seattle news | No Comments

(WSB photo, taken today)
With another traffic advisory from King County Wastewater Treatment Division related to the Barton Pump Station Upgrade Project next to the Fauntleroy ferry dock, we asked for an overall update. First – the traffic advisory:

The northern ferry lane entrance and toll booth will be closed for up to two hours starting at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow morning, March 26. The closure is necessary to allow Seattle City Light crews to remove the temporary electrical system that has served the Barton Pump Station during construction. This work is part of construction wrap up for the Barton Pump Station Upgrade. Flaggers will be on hand to keep ferry and Fauntleroy traffic moving. Please call the project hotline with any questions or concerns: 206-296-2999.

Now the overall update: County spokesperson Annie Kolb-Nelson tells WSB that “the project is very close to being done. The art work is scheduled to come in in April, and landscaping and restoration is ongoing through spring. WTD is working with Friends of Cove Park to plan a June celebration for the public. We’ll offer pump station tours, and Friends of Cove Park will host a celebratory re-opening of the beach.” Cove Park closed in June 2012, as the construction got under way.

Question for Mayor Murray? Come to The Triangle on Saturday

March 25, 2015 at 2:34 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 7 Comments

Announced by the Department of Neighborhoodsdistrict coordinators – Mayor Ed Murray is making a quick conversation stop in West Seattle on Saturday (March 28), his second visit this month (first one was at the 34th District Democrats‘ meeting – here’s our coverage, with video). It’s a public event, 12:30-1 pm at Chaco Canyon Organic Café, northeast corner of 38th/Alaska.

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