VIDEO: Admiral Theater ‘grand reopening’ celebration, report #2


(Admiral Theater’s historic lobby mural, photographed during celebration by Leda Costa)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

It was a night 28 years in the making.

From the time the Admiral Theater was shuttered in 1989 – then saved – its future as a moviehouse was never fully guaranteed, until now, with its transformation to a first-run fourplex, celebrated last night. The gala included a ribboncutting with a “ribbon” made of film (across the center of the photo), presided over by Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals (below left), whose involvement dates back to leading the campaign to save it:


(WSB photos by Patrick Sand unless otherwise credited)

Eals proclaimed that everyone there last night was “standing in history.” The ribboncutting was the kickoff to a night in which four movies, from The Admiral’s “Four Eras,” were screened – as detailed here, from silent movies celebrating the building’s early history as The Portola, through a brand-new (and very popular) film.

This happened six months after the restoration work at the circa-1942 moviehouse started in earnest, more than a quarter century after it was designated a city landmark as part of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society campaign to save it. The company that owned it in the late ’80s abruptly decided to close it in 1989, and said the following year that it might not ever be a moviehouse again.

That was proven wrong after local entrepreneur Marc Gartin bought it in 1992. (He owns it to this day.) He was thanked last night by Sol Baron from Faraway Entertainment, which runs the moviehouse business and collaborated on the renovation plan, which was officially announced two years ago:

(WSB photo, February 2015)

Read More

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday updates

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

7:18 AM: Good morning. No incidents so far reported in, or on the outbound routes from, West Seattle.

DELRIDGE RAPIDRIDE DECISIONMAKING: Two ways to hear about and comment on proposed options for converting Metro Route 120 to Delridge RapidRide H Line – SDOT reps will be out at bus stops along Delridge 4:30-6:30 pm today, and then at 6:30 pm, a project spokesperson is on the agenda at the West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center (6400 Sylvan Way SW).

7:35 AM: From the scanner, “piece of wood in the roadway” on the eastbound bridge. Didn’t catch where, but police are being sent to handle it.

7:41 AM: Metro just sent a text alert that what was supposed to be the 7:10 am Route 37 to downtown was running half an hour late. And here’s the tweet:

8:09 AM: If you drive surface Alaskan Way, we’re hearing scanner discussion of a “two-mile” backup of semitrucks.

8:26 AM: Police report over the air that the trucks “are starting to move.”

CRIME WATCH: Gunfire followup; package stolen; recognize this bicycle?

Three more things to report from the Crime Watch files before the night’s out:

GUNFIRE FOLLOWUP: We did finally get the police report on the North Delridge gunfire from early Tuesday. It says the reports started coming in via 911 about 2:38 am Tuesday, centered on the 4800 block of Delridge Way SW [map]. Many heard it; no one saw it. “After an extensive area search, multiple shell casings and property damage were located in the alley behind (a redacted address in that block). Two separate calibers of spent shell casings were located – nine 9mm shell casings (and) three .45 caliber shell casings … intermixed along the alley stretched approximately 20 yards.” Four rounds hit a Honda Accord in the alley, while another hit a Land Rover, and yet another was found embedded in a garage door, while one more hit a downspout and went through a fence. The report makes one more note: “Gang-affiliated graffiti” was found on one garage door, though the resident there said it had been there for about three months. If you have any information about the case, the incident number is 2017-99086.

DUMPED BICYCLE: Does this bike look familiar?

M sent the photo, saying: “Sometime in the last 24 hours, a kids’ bike was stashed underneath a large juniper bush in my yard near Westwood. I’m sure whoever owns it would like it back.”

PACKAGE THEFT: Michael e-mailed to report: “Sad to say, we had a package stolen off our porch today (Wednesday). We live near 21st and Cambridge. Just wanted to spread the word.”

Thanks to everyone who shares Crime Watch reports! Once you’ve reported it to police – 911 if it’s happening now or just happened – consider letting us know so your neighbors all around the peninsula will be aware of what happened – 206-293-6302 text or voice, editor@westseattleblog.com – thank you.

‘You can make change,’ West Seattle High School students are told during 2nd annual Equity Day

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

“Regardless of religion, race, nationality, we must band together to support each other, share with each other, understand each other.”

Those words from Imam Benjamin Shabazz embodied the message of today’s second annual Equity Day at West Seattle High School.

He was part of a panel addressing Equity and Religion, one of 17 topics explored during sessions this morning, followed by an all-school assembly, as Equity Day spanned what was a two-hours-early-dismissal day around the district. The other topics:

Musical Equity
Immigration Equity
Equity for Native Americans
Racial Privileges
Compassionate Combat
Microaggressions
Physical Activities and Individuals with Disabilities
Mental Health Equity
Love + Relationship Equity
Environmental Equity
LGBTQ Equity 101
LGBTQ Equity 102
Justice, Gender Equity, and Healthy Relationships
Unions and Equity
Women of Color: STI Inequity
Sexual Health Equity for LGBTQ People

WSHS educator Jennifer Hall organized the day, assisted by the Diversity Club – for which she serves as adviser – bringing speakers from around the region, including high-profile leaders such as Duwamish Tribe chair Cecile Hansen and Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant. Read More

Vehicle goes sideways on Harbor Avenue

Thanks to Stephanie for the photo and tip about a crash in the 1900 block of Harbor Avenue SW. While sideways or upside-down crashes are often dispatched as “rescue” calls, this one was not, according to the 911 log, which shows SFD has already closed out the call, with no medic unit sent, so apparently no serious injuries.

REPORT #1: ‘Four Screens, Four Eras’ special night @ Admiral Theater

The ceremony is over but the “Four Screens, Four Eras” movies are showing one more time each this evening, and you still have time to get to the Admiral Theater (2343 California SW) to enjoy one of them if you’re not there already. We’ll have photos and video from the festivities later, but above – that’s Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals with one of the theater’s historic mural appliques, subject of an upcoming restoration campaign – if you go to one of the special screenings tonight, you’ll hear about that too.

Next showtimes tonight, from the full preview on the SWSHS website:

ERA ONE, the Portola Theater’s opening in 1919: A slate of classic silent films: Charlie Chaplin’s war parody “Shoulder Arms” (1918), plus three shorts, Harold Lloyd’s “The Marathon” (1919) and Buster Keaton’s “One Week” (1920) and “Cops” (1922). “Shoulder Arms” played the Portola Theater in August 1927. Second showtime 8:40 pm

ERA TWO, the Admiral Theater’s opening on Jan. 22, 1942: The Humphrey Bogart detective story “The Maltese Falcon” (1941), which played the Admiral Theater six weeks after it opened in 1942. Second showtime 8:50 pm

ERA THREE, the Admiral’s twinning in spring 1973: The nostalgic comedy “American Graffiti” (1973), which played the Admiral Theater in August 1974. Second showtime 9 pm

ERA FOUR, the renovation of the Admiral to four screens in fall 2016: The new Disney fantasy “Beauty and the Beast” (2017), which is slated to open at the Admiral on the previous Friday, March 17. Second showtime 9:10 pm

More to come in report #2!

UPDATE: Police searching in Junction area after reported street robbery


(Added: WSB photo, police west of robbery scene)

5:30 PM: If you’re seeing/hearing the sizable police response on the south side of The Junction right now, police are looking for a man after a reported street robbery. Per police radio, the man stole a woman’s purse in the alley between 45th and 46th at Edmunds, and dropped a gun as he ran away with it, southbound. With the caveat that description information can change from what’s first reported, so far we’ve heard the robber described as a black man in his 30s, black jacket or hoodie, black pants. The purse is described as large and brown. If you have any information about the robber, call 911.

5:54 PM UPDATE: Added/changed description: White/mixed-race man, thin build.

6:39 PM UPDATE: No arrest reported yet. The search has included a K-9 team.

PHOTOS: Fauntleroy Community Association grows, and celebrates, at annual Food Fest

Electing a board for the year ahead is part of what happens at the Fauntleroy Community Association‘s annual meeting. So the board gathered for our photo last night (the list is at our story’s end). The event had a triple-digit turnout, in part because of its other identity – the annual Food Fest, with samples from local providers. Ahead, photos from the night: Read More

CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Police sketch of home-invasion robber

One day after a woman was robbed in her home northwest of The Junction, police have made a sketch based on the description she gave:

He is described as a white man in his 30s, 5’10”, medium build, short sandy brown hair, clean-shaven, wearing a tan “windbreaker” jacket and jeans. If you have any idea who he is, call detectives at 206-684-5535.

West Seattle scene: SFD training in North Delridge

From the “in case you wondered too” file – that wasn’t a fire call on 26th SW at the west end of SW Alaska in North Delridge, just Seattle Fire Department crews training. In fire situations, “ventilation” through the roof is often required, and as with most things, practice really helps, and doomed houses are excellent training grounds. We went over for a look, but they were gone, so we weren’t able to get additional details, but the neighbor who texted the photo says they were told other crews will be by in the days ahead.

DELRIDGE RAPIDRIDE: City, county reps at West Seattle Transportation Coalition tomorrow

It’s prime feedback time for the plan to convert Metro Route 120 into the Delridge RapidRide H Line – and in case you haven’t already seen it in the calendar, tomorrow night is your next chance to hear and talk about it. City and county reps are due at the West Seattle Transportation Coalition‘s March meeting, 6:30 pm Thursday at Neighborhood House‘s High Point Center (6400 Sylvan Way SW). Lots of questions, concerns, and ideas – as last week’s Delridge Neighborhood District Council discussion showed; though the conversion isn’t scheduled until 2020, key decisions are being made soon. (Here’s more backstory, including the options under consideration.)

UPDATE: Rescue response off Harbor Island = search for suspect


(Screengrab from SDOT traffic camera, showing some SFD units)

11:02 AM: Land and water crews have been on a “water rescue response” from the south end of Harbor Island this past hour. According to Seattle Police, a “possible theft suspect fell or jumped” into the Duwamish River. They say the person is now in custody and being taken to Harborview Medical Center for evaluation. We don’t yet know what preceded this but we’ll add anything more we find out.


(WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)

11:49 AM: WSB’s Christopher Boffoli spoke with police at the scene. He reports that they told him: An owner at the nearby marina encountered a suspected burglar and called police. At first, the suspect was cooperative, police were told, but then the suspect asked the owner for a cigarette (presumably as a distraction) and then pepper-sprayed the owner. When the police arrived, the suspect jumped into the water and hid under one of the floating structures and refused to come out. SFD was called out and they had to cut a hole in one of the floating docks to gain access to the suspect, about 30 years old and taken to the hospital with possible hypothermia.

1:03 PM: The SPD Blotter update on this adds two details: the suspect allegedly was trying to break into a boathouse, and had a kayak, which police seized.

GRAND OPENING: West Seattle Helpline invites you to new Clothesline HQ

Last month we told you about West Seattle Helpline finding a new home for its Clothesline, “an all-ages free clothing store for low-income individuals and families.” This Saturday, you can check it out in person during the grand-opening celebration, noon-3 pm, 4401 42nd SW. Bring a clothing donation to help stock the new store, and enjoy free barbecue while you’re there, courtesy of QFC and the West Seattle Christian Church board. Last year the Clothesline helped more than 1,000 people of all ages by providing more than $130,000 worth of clothing.

P.S. Opening the new Clothesline HQ comes with a cost, and Helpline is still working to raise the money for it, hoping to cover the cost by the end of this month – you can help via this Crowdrise page.

West Seattle Wednesday: ‘The Ship Sails Again’ @ Admiral; Highland Park Action Committee; more…

Here’s what’s ahead for your Wednesday, starting with what’s literally the night’s marquee event:

ADMIRAL THEATER CELEBRATION: Tonight’s the night for “The Ship Sails Again,” the celebration of the city-landmark Admiral Theater‘s renovation into, and rebirth as, a first-run fourplex. From the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, here’s a video invitation from County Council Chair Joe McDermott:

It all starts around 5; the first big moment will be the ribboncutting – filmcutting, in this case – around 5:30 pm in the lobby, and then four movies from four eras – full details on the SWSHS website. (2343 California SW)

Also today/tonight:

FREE ENRICHMENT CLASSES: All welcome at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center for 10 am-11 am enrichment classes for babies through 5-year-olds, every Wednesday – details in our calendar listing. (6400 Sylvan Way SW)

ENTREPRENEUR MEETUP: Running your own business? Starting one? Come network at West Seattle’s first and only coworking center, Office Junction (WSB sponsor), noon-1:15 pm. (6040 California SW)

DELRIDGE RAPIDRIDE CONVERSATION: SDOT’s week of outreach on the street to talk about the future conversion of Route 120 to the RapidRide H Line continues with a 5-6 pm visit to 21st/Dawson. (Backstory here, with link to the “online open house” where you can answer key questions.)

HIGHLAND PARK ACTION COMMITTEE: 7 pm at Highland Park Improvement Club, HP’s community council meets – full agenda details here. (12th SW/SW Holden)

POETRY AND STORYTELLING: Monthly event at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)

MADISON MIDDLE SCHOOL PTA: 7 pm – agenda highlights here. (45th SW/SW Spokane)

NIGHTLIFE: Lots of it tonight! See our complete calendar for listings including live music, open mic, trivia, and karaoke.

UPDATE: Seattle Fire response in Admiral District


(Update: WSB photo, substituted for originally published reader photo – thank you!)

7:28 AM: As first mentioned in our traffic report, Seattle Fire has sent a “full response” to an apartment building at 2331 42nd SW. Units arriving are NOT finding a fire, so far.

7:30 AM: Via scanner, firefighters report this was a “dryer fire” and it’s out. They’re dismissing most of the responding units.

7:42 AM: “Small dryer fire” confirmed by our crew after arrival, just as more firefighters were leaving. This was in the apartment building over the Admiral District Bartell Drugs. No injuries reported.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday watch

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

7:20 AM: Good morning! No incidents in/from West Seattle so far. Remember that Seattle Public Schools get out two hours early today.

7:22 AM: Seattle Fire “full response” headed for the 2300 block of 42nd SW in The Admiral District. First unit arriving isn’t seeing anything – we’ll break this into a separate story if they do find a fire.

7:30 AM: As updated separately here, this turned out to be a dryer fire, according to firefighters, and it’s out, so most of the units will be leaving.

7:50 AM: One downtown note – the Seattle Center vicinity is busier than usual because of the annual Starbucks shareholders meeting @ McCaw Hall, with ~2,700 expected. Doors open shortly, meeting’s at 10. This is part of the SDOT citywide alert list for this week.

8:03 AM: Reminder that SDOT‘s week of RapidRide H Line outreach in Delridge continues with a scheduled visit to 21st/Dawson 5-6 pm today.

WEST SEATTLE 5K 2017 … in 2 months!

Continuing to count down to big springtime events … the ninth annual West Seattle 5K is now two months away, on Sunday, May 21st (9:20 am start). And if you think you’ll be walking/running in it … you really want to sign up right now, because the early-bird discount rate is available for just ten more days, through March 31st. You’ll be going “to the anchor and back” (Anchor/Luna Park, from and back to 61st/Alki) on behalf of educational programs at West Seattle High School. Youth and adult participants get a T-shirt – new logo this year (by Erik Bell) – and a reusable tote bag full of sponsor swag. Kids 6 and under run/walk for free. Sign up here, now.

YOU’RE INVITED: Community Pow-Wow at Highland Park Elementary Friday night

That’s our video from the “grand entrance” during last year’s Niksokowaaks Community Pow-Wow at Highland Park Elementary. Organizers of this year’s Pow-Wow are inviting you, your neighbors, and everyone in the community to join them this year: “There will be incredible dancing, beautiful arts and crafts from vendors all over the United States, delicious food, and drumming.” It’s happening 6-10 pm Friday inside HPE, 1012 SW Trenton. Its main goal, organizers add, is to “help support the Native youth” in the community, especially in deepening their connection with Native culture, and to bring everyone together “to share in this celebration.” Here’s the flyer with more info.

GRATITUDE: Troop 282’s Scouting for Food report

Last weekend, several local Scout troops gathered food donations in a variety of ways as part of Scouting for Food. One of them sent a photo and a report, with words of thanks for the donations they were able to gather:

West Seattle Boy Scout Troop #282 participated in Scouting for Food. We are grateful for our neighborhood’s generosity. We collected 713 pounds of food for the West Seattle Food Bank. Looking forward to next year!

Speaking of the Food Bank, next Saturday (March 25th) is when you’re invited to its open house, 3-6 pm (35th/Morgan), to see its new “shopping” model.

CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Package-theft suspect charged, released

6:49 PM: Quick followup: The package-theft suspect arrested last night after reader videos/photos led to tips and a police search is out of jail. 35-year-old Kelly W. Klein was charged with misdemeanor theft and pleaded not guilty at a hearing this morning; he was set free on personal recognizance. We haven’t seen court documents related to the charge yet and will likely have to get them from the city attorney – which handles misdemeanor cases – tomorrow. State records show no felony record for Klein.

9:26 PM: One side note to this emerged at tonight’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting (full meeting report tomorrow) – while officers were staked out/searching for Klein last night, they made another arrest in the area after spotting someone in a stolen car.

ORCA ALERT: Transient killer whales southbound, mid-Sound

Thanks to the texter who just let us know that transient orcas (the ones who are NOT the Southern Resident Killer Whales) have been seen off Bainbridge, southbound, this afternoon. According to Orca Network commenters, they’re closer to the Kitsap side, so if you go to look, bring good binoculars. Our texter says Whale Scout will have a volunteer looking from Alki Point around 4:30.

FOLLOWUP: Demolition underway for burned building at Delridge’s Lam-Bow Apartments


(WSB photo)

Six months after the three-alarm fire at the Lam-Bow Apartments complex (6955 Delridge Way SW), the building left “unsalvageable” (as the Seattle Housing Authority deemed it) is being demolished. We just went by for a look, after two reader tips (thank you!). SHA spokesperson Kerry Coughlin had told us in January that they were waiting for permits so they could tear it down, and now the work is under way. The September 27th fire displaced more than 40 residents; no one was hurt, and investigators never determined the cause, just that the fire started on the building’s exterior. Coughlin told us this afternoon: “Rebuilding will not start immediately and we don’t have any plans or details. We had to get the damaged structure down as soon as possible but need due diligence time to make sure we maximize the opportunity to replace.”

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