One more nudge: 1st look at Roxbury possibilities Thursday night

July 30, 2014 at 9:47 pm | In Safety, Transportation, West Seattle news | No Comments

It’s the road with two of West Seattle’s three most-crash-plagued intersections – and after two neighborhood councils said, “Enough!”, the city committed to making changes on SW Roxbury. As announced a week and a half ago, tomorrow’s the night you can get the first look, and offer some first comments, at the first round of possibilities. 6 pm, Southwest Library (35th/Henderson), upstairs meeting room – early enough you can still get out in time for a sunset walk/ride/drive.

West Seattle Crime Watch: ‘Flasher’ suspect Duane Atwood charged, re-jailed, under investigation in other cases

July 30, 2014 at 4:46 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 27 Comments

37-year-old Duane Atwood, arrested in connection with a “flasher” incident on Beach Drive last week, is back in jail, charged with two felonies – indecent exposure and failure to register as a sex offender – and court papers say he is expected to be charged in another case soon. We first reported on his arrest last Saturday; his bail was set at $100,000 and, after posting bond, he was released that night, with a court date set for this afternoon. At today’s appearance, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office tells us, Atwood’s bail was increased to $250,000 and he was re-arrested. Court documents include more information on this case and on the conviction that led to his status as a Level 2 Registered Sex Offender, and they say he is under investigation for the two recent, similar incidents – both also reported here (July 15th report here, July 18th report here) – as well as an unrelated crime last year.

Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Watch: ‘Flasher’ suspect Duane Atwood charged, re-jailed, under investigation in other cases…

West Seattle’s first bike corral now in place in The Junction

July 30, 2014 at 3:50 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 23 Comments

West Seattle’s first city-installed bike corral is in place today in The Junction, one month after this open letter expressing concern that the city and the adjacent developer were delaying a project that had been in the works for more than a year. Less than two weeks after that letter, SDOT and West Seattle Bike Connections announced a breakthrough would lead to the long-awaited on-street bicycle-parking zone being installed by month’s end – and today, it’s done. It’s on the east side of California just south of Alaska, in a spot that was already off-limits to vehicle parking.

Followup: Alki, Seacrest showers to be turned back on following pollution-concern-related shutdown

July 30, 2014 at 2:18 pm | In Environment, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 22 Comments

Just in from Seattle Parks, following our Tuesday report:

Seattle Parks and Recreation will turn on the showers back on at Alki Beach Bathhouse today, and have the showers at Seacrest Park open by Thursday, July 31.

The water had been turned off temporarily after Seattle Parks received notice from Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) that the two showers were draining directly into the Puget Sound, which is not allowed under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NDPES) or Seattle City Code.

Parks and SPU have jointly developed a temporary solution to the problem while a more permanent one is created. Seattle Parks and Recreation will install a charcoal or vitamin C treatment system to address the chlorine in the water, and post signs that say “no soap, no chemicals, no dumping.”

Parks will work with SPU to develop a method and schedule for the long-term fix, which will likely include connecting the showers to the nearby sanitary line.

Parks and SPU are still working on a solution for how to bring the fish cleaning sink into compliance.

Thanks again to Paul for the tip on the shutoff – he e-mailed us over the weekend, we inquired Monday, and published the first report after Parks replied Tuesday morning, updating the story late yesterday following a conversation with SPU. We welcome news tips 24/7 – if breaking, text or voice to 206-293-6302; otherwise, – thanks!

Photos/video: Seafair Parade of Ships/Flight off West Seattle

July 30, 2014 at 1:05 pm | In Seen at sea, West Seattle news | 9 Comments

(UPDATED Wednesday evening with more photos plus clip from the aircraft “parade”)

(Updated video: 1:35 pm)
1:05 PM: We’re on Duwamish Head, where the Seafair Parade of Ships – led by the USS Essex, an amphibious-assault ship you might mistake for an aircraft carrier, is about to come into view after passing Alki. The ships will sail past here on their way to the downtown waterfront, which also will get a series of flyovers. Here again (from last night’s preview) is what you’re looking at/for, on the sea and in the sky – see the PDF here, or embedded below via Scribd:

Updates and photos to come!

(USS Essex, courtesy of Greg)
1:42 PM: Behind the USS Essex came the USS Chancellorsville, USS Howard, Coast Guard Cutter Mellon, and now, from Canada, HMCS Brandon.

(USS Chancellorsville, from Lynn Hall)

(USS Howard with fireboat Leschi, from Mark McAndrews)

(USCGC Mellon, courtesy of Greg)

(Chancellorsville and Howard, by Gary Jones)
1:54 PM: While the Parade of Ships has passed West Seattle – and the Essex is Magnolia-bound – the Parade of Flight is under way, with aircraft passing the downtown waterfront, fairly low, flying north and then turning west (added: video of two of them, passing over the entire ship parade):

2:15 PM: Show’s about over.

The Essex is docking over at Smith Cove. Info on tours over the next four days (all the Parade of Ships visitors) is in the brochure embedded above, if you’re interested in. We’re headed back to HQ to add photos and video to this.

Followup: New location found for 2 of 3 businesses leaving Triangle building that will be home of Rudy’s Barbershop

July 30, 2014 at 12:24 pm | In Triangle, West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 10 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Two of the three businesses told to clear out of 4480 Fauntleroy Way in The Triangle have found new locations nearby.

We first reported Sunday night that Diva Espresso, Maestro Motors, and Ace 1 Computer Repair had been told by the new owner of 4480 Fauntleroy Way that they had to be out by the end of August.

Though the new owner, a SODO real-estate broker, didn’t respond to our inquiry, we discovered a document on file with the city indicating that Rudy’s Barbershop, long seeking a West Seattle location, would be the new tenant.

Rudy’s has since confirmed that to WSB. But first – an update on the longtime businesses that have to move.

Just this morning, Maestro Motors’ owner Richard Reed signed a lease for a spot barely a block to the west, where he tells us that Ace-1 is moving to, too. We found out the news while stopping by 4480 Fauntleroy to photograph him as part of our planned followup (even before we learned about the new location).

Click to read the rest of Followup: New location found for 2 of 3 businesses leaving Triangle building that will be home of Rudy’s Barbershop…

West Seattle scene: Hydroplane sighting in The Triangle, with bonus local connection

July 30, 2014 at 12:00 pm | In Seen around town, West Seattle news | No Comments

In case you haven’t noticed it while passing by – there’s a hydroplane in West Seattle! On display in the Les Schwab Tires parking lot in The Triangle (Fauntleroy/Alaska). Read about it here. By the way – there’s more of a connection than just the hydro’s current location – its sponsor, Red Dot, has its roots in West Seattle, as CEO Randy Gardiner explained, keynoting last year’s West Seattle Chamber of Commerce Awards Breakfast.

Seafair Parade of Ships/Flight this afternoon, and what else is up for your West Seattle Wednesday

July 30, 2014 at 10:44 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | No Comments

Before we get to the events … first, the sights:

(Tuesday evening photo by Christopher Frankovich)
Just in case the crescent moon looks like that again tonight, go see the sunset. But even here in the daytime, the morning fog has made things pretty spectacular:

(Wednesday morning photo by John Skerratt)
And so much yet to see today! (And to hear – as a loud flyover reminded us, while we typed those very words …)

SEAFAIR PARADE OF SHIPS/FLIGHT: We’d recommend watching (from Alki Point eastward) starting around 1 pm from here, though 1:45 pm is the official downtown time. Here’s the guide we published last night. As noted there too, we’ll update in all our channels, here as well as social media (the icons atop the right sidebar are linked), when we see it begin. (P.S. As that same story notes, one Blue Angels jet is out on VIP flights today, too, between 11 and 5. *Added – the Museum of Flight‘s Instagram clip from the first takeoff*)

(Also added – thanks to Gary Jones for sharing the view as the Parade of Ships fleet heads out of the bay:)

From the rest of the calendar:

CLASSIC MOVIE AT THE SENIOR CENTER: Today it’s 1934′s “The Purchase Price,” 1 pm, Nucor Room at the Senior Center of West Seattle – details in our calendar listing. (Oregon/California)

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

34TH DISTRICT DEMOCRATS’ PICNIC: From 34th Dems chair Marcee Stone-Vekich:

Please join us for a beautiful Wednesday evening at 6:00 p.m. at our annual picnic. We’ll be in Lincoln Park at Beach Shelter No. 3 near the Fauntleroy ferry dock. We will provide the barbecued burgers, hot dogs, and veggie options with all the trimmings (including non-alcoholic beverages). Please bring a dessert or side dish. Enjoy your fellow democrats and elected officials and candidates.

FOR MORE … today, tonight, and beyond … see our calendar.

Sanislo Elementary students learn from Readers to Eaters’ Philip Lee that reading is more than food for thought

July 30, 2014 at 9:41 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

You never know what, or who, you’ll find in the Sanislo Elementary School library. On Tuesday, students in the summer program found vegetables among their books, as the Readers to Eaters program – whose mission is “to promote food literacy from the ground up” – made a stop, with co-founder/publisher Philip Lee:

Just two days earlier, the Readers to Eaters book “Sylvia’s Spinach was featured at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market (where we photographed its author Katherine Pryor). At Sanislo on Tuesday, Lee didn’t just talk about food and reading, but also about publishing (he was a co-founder of Lee and Low):

The students learned that books aren’t just written – they’re published, and there are entirely different jobs involved with that part of the process. We’re told they’ve been working on e-books of their own.

If you’re wondering what students are doing at school when it’s the middle of summer break – Sanislo librarian Craig Seasholes explains that the library “has been hosting students twice a week through July for reading, gardening and Minecrafting their way to a summer of learning.” He says the Seattle Public Library has partnered with them, too.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday on the roads, trails, water…

July 30, 2014 at 6:21 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 1 Comment

(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
It’s Seafair Wednesday, and while the Parade of Ships/Flight probably won’t affect your surface-road/trail/etc. travel, it’s worth keeping in mind, especially if you’ll be on the move at its peak early this afternoon (lots of info in our preview, here). Then tomorrow’s the first of 4 days with I-90 closures because of Blue Angels practices/performances – details here. Meantime, we’re watching today’s travels, with one advisory – workers under the bridge.

West Seattle road work: Crews surveying under the Fauntleroy Expressway; close call for a bus

July 30, 2014 at 3:05 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | No Comments

Be careful under the bridge for the next week and a half or so. SDOT is working under the Fauntleroy Expressway – the west end of the high bridge – to do a “condition survey,” spokesperson Marybeth Turner confirms. The plan for this was mentioned at a City Council briefing earlier this month, as reported here, following the disclosure that hundreds of cushions installed just a few years ago need to be replaced. Turner says the survey work “will likely” continue through next week, and might affect some of the park-and-ride spaces beneath the bridge.

While crews were working under the westernmost end at Harbor/Avalon/Spokane on Tuesday afternoon, a RapidRide bus had a close call, as documented by Hannah Letinich, who was on board at the time.

She texted us video and photos to show how close the bus came to actually making contact with the bridge – close enough that it needed tow help to get around the corner without making contact. Traffic was blocked a while and riders were taken off the bus until this was solved.

Once the bus was moved far enough away from the edge to move on safely, she said, the passengers got back on board and continued downtown.

Seafair Parade of Ships/Flight on Wednesday: What to watch for

July 29, 2014 at 9:58 pm | In Seen at sea, West Seattle news | No Comments

Thanks to Leslie Allen for that photo of the Seattle fireboat Leschi off Alki during tonight’s sunset. Leschi is scheduled to be out again during the Seafair Parade of Ships tomorrow afternoon, which kicks off Fleet Week, including ship tours on the downtown waterfront. Details are in the official guide (see the PDF here, or embedded below via Scribd):

Still not sure what you’ll be seeing Wednesday afternoon? Check some of our previous years’ coverage – last Parade of Ships, in 2012, we were on board the USS Bunker Hill, so our perspective was from the middle of it all (thanks to community-contributed photos, though, we had views from the shore, too). Year before that, 2011, we covered it from Duwamish Head.

Again this year, the official time is 1:45 pm, but that’s calculated for downtown-waterfront viewing, so, based on those previous two years, we’d expect to see something from Alki around 1 pm. We’ll be out watching much sooner, of course, and will give heads-up, especially on WSB Twitter, WSB Facebook, and WSB Instagram, once ships are in view. And thanks in advance for any photo(s) you care to share!

ADDED: Navy sighting on Alki tonight, courtesy of Elain:

If you watch the Parade of Ships with binoculars, look for the sailors out on deck as they approach downtown. Meantime, you will also see one of the Blue Angels jets on Wednesday, flying with three “influencers” and one media rep, one at a time, between 11 am and 5 pm. They are Dennis Fraser, Civil Air Patrol squad commander (and a Marine Corps veteran); former Seahawk Marcus Trufant, Seafair’s current King Neptune; Sounders FC goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann; and Channel 7 anchor Michelle Millman.

Congratulations! Denny-to-Sealth scholar Jasmine Smith wins national spelling competition

July 29, 2014 at 9:01 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 4 Comments

Midway through her summer between leaving Denny International Middle School and entering Chief Sealth International High School, 14-year-old Jasmine Smith has achieved something big – winning the “Spell It Like It Is” competition at a national summit for youth mentors.

The news comes from Denny principal Jeff Clark and from mentoring leaders Hazel Cameron and Donald Cameron from the 4C Coalition. They took a group of six youth, two mentors, and two parents to Orlando, Florida July 18th-21st for the National Alliance of Faith and Justice‘s 6th annual “Take a Stand to Keep a Seat” National Youth Mentoring Training Summit, held in collaboration with the 41st Annual Conference and Training Institute of the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice.

The official announcement explains that, “This summit/conference and training institute officially launched a multi-year national collaborative focus on the cooperation of law enforcement, incarcerated parents, mentors, and youthful stakeholders in reducing the ‘school to prison’ pipeline from America’s classrooms, particularly for African American males.” A key focus is preventing summertime “learning losses” when school is out, and that has led to the Pen Or Pencil Movement (POP). Jasmine studied for the “Spell It Like It Is” spelling competition as part of POP. Last year’s national winner was also from Seattle and also a 4C mentee, Rainier Beach High School student Savannah Bell. Congratulations to 4C, its mentees, and mentors!

Is your party signed up? One week from tonight: Night Out 2014

July 29, 2014 at 7:35 pm | In Crime, Safety, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

One more nudge: One week from tonight, thousands of people all around the city will be out having block parties, as part of Night Out 2014 – the official time slot is 6-9 pm Tuesday, August 5th. Provided you’re not on a major arterial, if you’d like to close your street for the occasion, you need to sign up – here’s the place to start. As we do every year, we’ll be out covering West Seattle’s Night Out, and we’re always happy to hear where you’re having your party, so we can stop by for a photo and add your neighborhood to our coverage –

Followup: New owners of eviction-fight house say they’re taking the city to court

July 29, 2014 at 4:28 pm | In West Seattle housing, West Seattle news | 57 Comments

(UPDATE EARLY THURSDAY: Advocacy group suggests city continue the hearing; its statement is added to end of story)

(July 18 WSB photo)
A new development late today in the fight over a Morgan Junction house that’s been the subject of a showdown over foreclosure and eviction. Eight days ago, Mayor Ed Murray announced he was telling police to stand by until the circumstances Byron and Jean Barton‘s legal fight over the house was clearer; this afternoon, we received the following announcement from a law firm representing the company that bought the house at foreclosure auction in April:

Triangle Property Development has taken legal action to force Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and the Seattle Police Department to uphold the law by removing the illegal trespassers from a West Seattle house.

The company filed the document, formally called a writ of mandamus, in King County Superior Court more than a week after Murray ordered police officers to stand down rather than remove Byron and Jean Barton from the house, which they had broken into after being legally evicted by King County Sheriff’s deputies. Triangle Property Development bought the house at a foreclosure auction in April, more than two years after the Bartons stopped making mortgage payments.

“Mayor Murray’s refusal to uphold the law is undermining the legal process by preventing a property owner from lawfully using and possessing its property,’’ said Synthia Melton, legal counsel for Triangle Property Development. “The legal issues the mayor refers to in this case have already been determined by the courts. The Mayor’s inaction is supporting criminal trespass, and can set dangerous precedent for how court-ordered evictions will be executed, making it more difficult for law enforcement to perform its job.”

Click to read the rest of Followup: New owners of eviction-fight house say they’re taking the city to court…

West Seattle Crime Watch: Seen this stolen white Acura?

July 29, 2014 at 2:54 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | No Comments

Last stolen car reported in Crime Watch here was found by a reader – so maybe it’ll happen this time too. Keep watch for the car stolen from Michael, who sent this note today:

Yesterday I found that my car was stolen from the front of my house on the 5000 block of Beach Drive SW [map] between 11:30 am-8 pm. A report has been filed already. The car was a white 1998 Acura CL 3.0, license 609-MMM. If anyone notices anything, could they please contact me at, or police.

Noticing unusual state ferry activity across the Sound? M/V Tacoma stalls, M/V Sealth tows

July 29, 2014 at 1:19 pm | In Seen at sea, West Seattle news | 14 Comments

1:19 PM: Water-watchers know the regular Bainbridge and Bremerton Washington State Ferries routes by heart, so it’s not hard to see when something digresses from the usual pattern. Right now, M/V Sealth has diverted from the Bremerton route to go check out trouble reported with M/V Tacoma, which is reported to be stalled by Bainbridge Island. You can track both via WSF’s VesselWatch.

1:26 PM: Update via Kitsap Sun reporter Josh Farley on Twitter:

The person whose photos he has re-tweeted is Van Badzik, who also tweeted this:

That’s West Seattle in the backdrop, east of where the ferry-towing is happening alongside Bainbridge.

1:39 PM: As noted in comments, and also now reported by the Kitsap Sun, the tug Thea Foss is headed over to help.

2:46 PM: The Tacoma is en route to Bainbridge to offload. WSF says the Bainbridge/Seattle run is one boat only TFN.

West Seattle outdoor art: Youngstown mural painting, starting today

July 29, 2014 at 1:08 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 2 Comments

Stopped by Youngstown Cultural Arts Center at midday to check on the progress of this year’s mural project – and we discovered the young artists are officially starting work on the mural today! They actually have been working on the 210-foot retaining wall along Delridge for a while now, but first job was to get it primed, and now that that’s done, it’s mural-painting time. That’ll take about two weeks – the grand unveiling is planned for August 14th. As noted here last month, this is part of the same city-funded summertime program that resulted in more than a dozen mini-murals on signal boxes along Delridge last year. The youth are working with professional artists, and according to this online update, they welcome community volunteers, too.

What’s ahead for the rest of your West Seattle Tuesday

July 29, 2014 at 11:20 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | No Comments

(Photo by Laura Goodrich, shared via Flickr)
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

SPOKE AND FOOD: Bicycle to dinner tonight! More than a dozen venues around the city are donating part of tonight’s proceeds to the Outdoors For All Foundation as part of the annual Spoke and Food fundraiser – dinner, 5-10 pm. West Seattle’s participating venue is Marination ma kai (WSB sponsor) at Seacrest; White Center has Proletariat Pizza.

JUNCTION NEIGHBORHOOD ORGANIZATION: Unlike many neighborhood councils, JuNO *is* meeting this month, and you’re invited, 6:30 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle. JuNO director René Commons says, “We will be discussing plans for the Neighborhood Night Out August 5th at Junction Plaza Park & our agenda for the fall. Hope to see you there!” (Oregon/California)

PUNK ROCK AEROBICS: New session starts tonight at Alki Community Center, 6:45 pm – all sizes, fitness levels encouraged. Details in our calendar listing. (5817 SW Stevens)

LOTS OF NIGHTLIFE: Music, trivia, karaoke, bingo … see the individual listings on the calendar!

TWO MONTHS FROM TODAY … is the September 29th deadline to apply to be part of this November’s Fauntleroy Fine Art and Holiday Gift Show. Interested? Info’s in our listing.

Shower shutdown at Seacrest, Alki: You can’t rinse yourself off any more because of pollution concerns

July 29, 2014 at 10:33 am | In Environment, West Seattle news | 56 Comments

ORIGINAL REPORT, 10:33 AM: That photo from Alki Bathhouse shows a shower you can’t use any more because of pollution concerns. Paul shared it, with the note: “I, the lady with the two kids covered in sand at Alki Beach today and every scuba diver in Seattle would be interested in knowing how our tap water is harmful to Puget Sound (especially when we still have combined sewer overflow running untreated into Puget Sound every time it rains)?” The shower at Seacrest Boathouse has the same status and signage. So we checked with Seattle Parks, whose spokesperson David Takami replied:

In early July, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) staff checked for possible prohibited discharges at two locations in West Seattle:

* The outside shower at Alki Bathhouse, where pottery equipment had been washed; and

* The fish-cleaning sink and divers’ showers at Seacrest Park.

SPU administers the City of Seattle’s compliance with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater permit. NPDES is a program of the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

SPU determined that prohibited substances were present and draining directly into Puget Sound. Used water from showers and sinks may contain dirt, chemicals, chlorine and other substances that are not allowed to be directly discharged into the Sound. Upon notification, Seattle Parks and Recreation staff turned off the water at these two sites. Staff are looking into short- and long-term solutions.

We posted signs at both locations that read “The outside shower has been turned off or removed because it drains directly into Puget Sound in violation of the Federal Clean Water Act.”

We’re checking with SPU to find out more, including whether this is a citywide crackdown.

5:40 PM UPDATE: Spoke with an SPU rep, Louise Kulzer, a short time ago and got some answers, though it was recommended that we contact someone tomorrow who would likely have even more specifics. This, she said, originated with a complaint – the city has long acknowledged that many of its actions are complaint-based rather than proactive, and this seems to be one such case. Kulzer said, however, that the specific action of shutting down the showers would have been Parks’ choice to remedy the problem of discharging prohibited substances directly into Puget Sound. Even if not for a complaint, SPU does routinely inspect businesses and city facilities and might eventually have discovered this anyway, we’re told. We asked if parks in any other areas had been ordered to remedy similar problems, and Kulzer didn’t have that information handy – that’s something we should be able to ask about tomorrow.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday updates; W. Marginal Way reopens after 4-hour tipped-truck shutdown

July 29, 2014 at 6:16 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 11 Comments

(SCROLL DOWN for updates on truck trouble that’s blocking W. Marginal in 4500 block)

(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:16 AM: Good morning! No road work or closures announced for today. So, we start by looking ahead to later this week:

BLUE ANGELS I-90 BRIDGE CLOSURES: Our daily reminder this week for midday/afternoon drivers – I-90 bridge closures are Thursday-Sunday – here’s the schedule.

ROXBURY SAFETY PROJECT: 6 pm Thursday at Southwest Library, it’s your first look at what’s being proposed to make SW Roxbury safer.

And in transportation news:

TUNNEL TIMETABLE: Some snags in the process of digging down to the Highway 99 tunnel-boring machine, as Mike Lindblom reports at (WSB partner). Here’s how WSDOT explains it.

7:27 AM: Thanks to the texter who just alerted us – the fire callout in the 4500 block of West Marginal Way is related to a semitruck crash blocking most lanes:

Here’s a map. Getting that upright is likely to take quite some time.

7:47 AM: Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferries are on a two-boat schedule because the re-activated Evergreen State is having trouble.

7:59 AM: Per scanner, the West Marginal Way truck contains “dry concrete.”

8:05 AM: SPD tweet says only minor injuries in the crash but W. Marginal remains closed. We’re waiting to hear from the crew we sent to check it out.

8:23 AM: Our crew’s just back. Police think it’s going to be at least a couple hours until this is cleared. They confirm the trailer is full of dry cement. Photos to come.

8:44 AM: Until ours is ready – here’s a photo SPD just tweeted from the other side of the truck:

9 AM: Closer look, by WSB’s Patrick Sand:

Again, police say only minor injuries. We’ll continue updating here, even as we move on with other news/info. Meantime, a multi-car collision at 1st Avenue South/Spokane was just mentioned on the scanner.

9:19 AM: SPD Blotter has a short summary, most notably mentioning that the container might have been “loose” and destabilized the truck.

9:29 AM: As per comments – and scanner – the light at Delridge/Andover is out. We’re en route to check it out. Remember, a broken stoplight means, treat the intersection like a four-way stop! (Added: Confirmed, it’s out. No crew in sight – but, whether coincidental or not, City Light is working nearby.)

9:58 AM: Hearing it’ll be at least another half-hour before West Marginal is cleared.

10:57 AM: SDOT tweets that final cleanup and towing are under way so it shouldn’t be long. (Added – A moment later, SPD units said via radio that it would be about half an hour.)

11:15 AM: And via scanner, police say they’re reopening W. Marginal.

Summer Concerts at Hiawatha this Thursday: Caspar Babypants

July 28, 2014 at 9:57 pm | In Fun stuff to do, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 5 Comments

(WSB photo from 2011 Hiawatha show)
The most popular performer ever at Summer Concerts at Hiawatha returns to the Admiral Neighborhood Association-sponsored series this week – Caspar Babypants, the West Seattle-based kiddie-rock star, takes the stage at 6:30 pm Thursday (July 31st). Via his website, he’s promising “a 90-minute show full of every hit you can sing!” as well as a chance to buy advance copies of the new CB album “Rise and Shine!” The concert itself is free – come early, bring your own chair/blanket, picnic dinner if you feel like it, and get ready to have a great time.

Video: Blue Angels return, and more sights in the sky

July 28, 2014 at 7:33 pm | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news | 9 Comments

If you’ve been reading WSB for more than a few years, you know we recommend the Museum of Flight, alongside Boeing Field, as your base for Blue Angels viewing during Seafair week. That’s where the Navy demonstration team takes off from, lands at, and parks during its Seafair visit. And that’s who recorded the video in our top clip, as the Blue Angels arrived today for the first visit since 2012 (military budget-belt-tightening canceled their season last year). Their major practicing doesn’t start until Thursday, but if you want to go see what they look like parked, the MoF is your place these next few days.

But as noted here over the weekend, they’re not the only sights in the sky, and Gary Jones caught another one (two-in-one) today:

Two Chinook U.S. Marine Corps helicopters buzzed Alki Point, as Marine Week continues, part of the Seafair events.

Marine Corps aircraft will be on display at the MoF starting Wednesday, continuing through the weekend.

West Seattle Crime Watch followup: ‘Flasher’ suspect due back in court Wednesday

July 28, 2014 at 4:37 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 27 Comments

A hearing is set Wednesday for the man arrested Friday night in connection with one of the recent “flasher” incidents. As reported here on Saturday, the 37-year-old man was jailed for investigation of indecent exposure and failure to register as a sex offender. We’ve learned a bit more about the case today, now that we’ve been able to check with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

This incident happened last Tuesday evening near Beach Drive and Orleans (map). The victim (whose comment here is the only reason we knew about the case) is quoted as telling police that she was walking north on Beach Drive when she saw a Nissan Pathfinder parked northeast of the intersection. A man inside yelled over to ask her if she knew where Hanford Street is; she walked closer and saw through its front windshield that he was exposing, and holding, himself. She walked away, making note of the license plate and other descriptive factors. Police responded and went to the Admiral-area home of the car’s owner, who told them his son had been driving the vehicle, a 1998 silver Pathfinder, parked there and still warm (though the suspect was not found). After further investigation, the suspect was arrested on Friday. The probable-cause document makes note of the two similar incidents in West Seattle over the past two weeks – one in Admiral on July 15th, in Gatewood on July 17th – but does not say if he is officially suspected; we’ll see what happens if and when charges were filed.

His status as a Level 2 sex offender is related to what’s described as convictions for arson and burglary with a sexual motivation in 2000; the court documents are not available online so we don’t have details of the case. He was reported to have moved out of state in 2007, apparently to Idaho, where he was found guilty of failure to register in 2008, and should have registered within three days of returning to this state, which might have been as long as two years ago. Since he was arrested Friday, a bail hearing was held Saturday, and bail was set at a total of $100,000; the suspect posted bond and was released from jail afterward, and is due back in court Wednesday afternoon, by which time we might know about charges in the case.

TUESDAY EVENING UPDATE: The suspect, Duane Atwood, is now on the sex-offender registry, so we are identifying him with this public information now published on the county website. No photo with the listing, though.

Bright as a star, named for an astronaut: What those bright lights across Puget Sound from West Seattle turned out to be

July 28, 2014 at 3:47 pm | In Seen at sea, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

(USNS John Glenn last night, WSB photo at twilight, from a distance)
ORIGINAL MONDAY REPORT: For the past few weeks, people with west-facing views from West Seattle have been noticing a new and VERY bright light from the Manchester vicinity (map). The WSB Forums even had a thread going for a while, and that led to the theory that the lights were coming from, or related to, a certain ship that’s been at the Manchester Naval Fuel Depot about that long, and finally confirmed it last night by taking a ride on the Seattle-Bremerton state ferry. The ship is the USNS John Glenn, a mobile landing platform that was just dedicated a few months ago. Here’s a US Navy file photo:

We observed the lights on the port (left) side of its superstructure, rising. Today, a spokesperson for Manchester told WSB earlier today that lighting is required when fuel/fluid operations are under way at night. What we’re still trying to find out is – if this is even available as public information – how long the USNS John Glenn, which apparently does not yet have a homeport, will be there. But since we’re still getting inquiries about this, we didn’t want to wait any longer to share the answer of WHAT the lights are.

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: The John Glenn headed out this morning and now shows it almost to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, heading west.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: The JG is back at Manchester, bright lights and all, tonight.

Update: Albert, missing in West Seattle, found & safe

July 28, 2014 at 1:58 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 7 Comments

UPDATE 9:45 PM: As detailed in comments below this story, Albert has been found – thanks to everyone who helped!

ORIGINAL REPORT, 1:58 PM: Albert is missing – and his brother asked us to get the word out:

My 33 year old brother is mentally unstable and likely in the West Seattle area. He was staying at Transitional Resources (2970 SW Avalon Way), but ran out early this morning (the staff thinks between 5-8 am). He does not have a car, cell phone, or wallet, so he is probably wandering around on foot. He is likely in a disoriented state from insomnia. He is of Asian descent, has some facial hair, and wears glasses. If anyone sees him, please contact me by phone (650-387-0738) or email (

Or, call police.

Update: Overheated power cord blamed for house fire in 6500 block of Delridge Way; no one hurt; cat rescued

July 28, 2014 at 11:23 am | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 11 Comments

(UPDATED with fire’s cause – scroll down)

(WSB photo: E-29 firefighter Todd Jensen carries cat rescued by E-11 firefighter Annie Olson)
11:23 AM: Big fire response en route to a house in the 6500 block of Delridge Way SW (map). It’s a basement fire, according to an early report from the scene, which also said everybody got out OK. More to come.

11:30 AM UPDATE: Added a Twitter photo (thanks, @cubanrefugee) – our crew is almost there. Police are being asked to block Delridge both ways in the area, which is north of the busy intersection with Orchard/Dumar businesses. LOTS of smoke, which is an extra reason to stay away.

11:40 AM UPDATE: Our crew says wind is blowing the smoke further down Delridge – so you might be noticing it some distance away. SFD has sent more equipment to the scene. We’ve added a quick clip via Instagram – you can see the billowing smoke.

11:52 AM: Our crew on the scene and scanner traffic both indicate firefighters are making progress – they’ve declared the fire “tapped” but that still leaves more work to do; they’ve mentioned smoldering insulation, for example.

Also: At least one pet, a cat, has been rescued.

12:25 PM: SFD PIO Kyle Moore is on scene so we’ll have additional information soon. Also note – Metro Route 120 is rerouted because of the fire-related Delridge closure.

1:07 PM: Moore (briefing video added above) confirmed that no one was hurt; one cat rescued, another bolted, and another is being sought. Four people were working in the back yard when the fire started in the basement – no word on the cause yet. Delridge Way is now open again, and Route 120 is back to normal.

3:22 PM: SFD says an overheated power cord was to blame. Damage totaled $200,000. In addition to the three cats who survived along with the four residents, their half-dozen chickens are OK too.

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