West Seattle, Washington
First, an update on the 37th SW burglaries reported here last night, from Block Watch Captain Karen:
The timeframe for the burglary in the 5000 block of 37th [last night] was sometime in the late afternoon/early evening, before 7:30 PM. One neighbor (who wishes to remain anonymous) told me today that, in hindsight, he may have seen the vehicle & one of the burglars around 5 PM. He has provided a report to the police.
The second burglary was in the north end of the 5200 block of 37th. The owners e-mailed to say that the burglars kicked in their French doors in the back of the house for entry. They ransacked the house, turned over the bed, went into pantry, closets, dressers, etc. They took items that were easy to take. The burglars put their dog in a bedroom & closed the door. One of the owners reports seeing a gray/silver color car with 4 teenage boys in it around noon, driving slowly & suspiciously on 37th. The burglary at their house took place in the afternoon between 1 & 4:30.
Also, a theft report to pass along, from BJ:
Just noticed that our street sign corner of Alaska and 50th is gone today. I caught some teenagers in the act a couple of years ago but didn’t catch them this time. It took 2 years to get a new sign the first time it was stolen.
BJ has since checked with the city, and is hopeful a replacement will arrive sooner this time, as her neighborhood is slated for those bigger street signs that have already been installed in many West Seattle neighborhoods (by the way, the old signs are still for sale).
We told you yesterday about an exchange at the City Council Pedestrian Safety Committee meeting regarding school-crossing safety concerns at 34th/Morgan in High Point (as we documented in this video report in January). During that meeting yesterday, an SDOT manager vowed his staff would visit the intersection “by the end of the day.” So did they? He didn’t answer us directly but apparently forwarded the inquiry to SDOT spokesperson Marybeth Turner, who e-mailed us this evening:
We did send staff out to 34th and Morgan yesterday. School was out so not much was happening at the time. We will address the parking issues and will coordinate with the school district when classes resume.
We had also left a message asking about an SDOT crew that Ken reported (in comments here) he had spotted a block away; didn’t get an answer on that, will try again.
Just back from the contentious Alki Community Center meeting where SDOT briefed community members on two options for completing the segmented sidewalk on the north side of Alki Ave from the west end of Alki Beach Park to the spot where the unbroken sidewalk picks up again just south of Alki Point. Most of the residents along the affected stretch of Alki Ave want to keep the status quo, which the city says is not an option; at the end of the meeting, after one attendee said “What would it take to just stop this process?” and Sandra Woods from SDOT said she couldn’t answer that, neighbor Charles Turbak announced he’s starting an opposition group with the goal of hiring a lawyer to stop the project. Stand by for more details from the meeting. ADDED 11:22 PM: Here are those details:Read More
Just in from WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli:
My neighborhood near the Junction (4500 block of 41st between Alaska and Oregon) was canvassed about 5pm this afternoon by a shady door to door solicitor. The young woman said she was from “American National” and when I asked for ID she produced only a few pages of cheaply laminated materials. She claimed she was fundraising for youth leadership. When I asked for ID or a business card she said that she didn’t have any but that her “van handler” did. I asked her to leave and immediately called the SPD non-emergency number. They took a description and thanked me for filing the report.
Remember, solicitors have to have licenses and ID. Here’s the city code. ADDED 9:23 PM: Christopher also got a photo of the solicitor, zooming in on a subsequent stop she made down the block. Click for the pic:Read More
(1st photo from King County Assessor; 2nd by WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli)
We’re at the Municipal Tower downtown, where the Landmarks Preservation Board has just voted NOT to designate the brick fourplex at 3811 California (across from Charlestown Cafe) as a city landmark. Pending final decisions on permitting matters, this theoretically clears the way for it to be razed and replaced with a four-story building, apartments over retail. Full details a bit later on why a majority of the board voted no (only three voted in favor of making it a landmark, including board chair Stephen Lee). ADDED 9:50 PM: As promised, here are more details from the meeting and the discussion before the vote:Read More
We told you in late February about the impending transition, and now it’s happened. After almost 3 years, Captain Mike Fann has left the Southwest Precinct and is now in charge of the Traffic Division, and Captain Joe Kessler (left) is now in charge of the SWP. His bio is now on the precinct website too; read it here.
It’s been in the works for a while and now there’s an official proposal: The city is proposing a 20-cent tax on disposable shopping bags, and a ban on foam containers. Read about it here. (By the way, one last reminder – the first meeting of CoolMoms in West Seattle, profiled here, is tonight.)
We were starting to put this together as something to send to West Seattle businesses as advertising info but realized we really should share it with everybody right here on the site – because WSB has become a place not only where we post West Seattle news, information, photos and video for you here on the main page and in our additional sections, but also, most excitingly, a place where you communicate directly with your West Seattle neighbors, in the ever-growing WSB Forums as well as in comments on main-page posts. So these numbers are about you, not just about us: In the month of March, WSB had another record month — 426,980 pageviews — that’s almost 14,000 per day (on pace for more than 5,000,000 this year). The number of households and businesses visiting WSB each day averages more than 4,600 — keep in mind, that’s not people, that’s IP addresses, so in some cases – big companies, government agencies, etc. — many visitors can only be counted as one (that’s one of the few weak points of Internet statistics-measuring). Over the course of each week, more than 11,000 households/businesses visit WSB at least once. There’s a lot of other stuff we’re excited about, such as the continued content growth (311 home-page news articles during the month of March, an average of 10 per day; the new “West Seattle 101” section, etc.) and best of all, the expanding community connection, with our sponsorship of West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day coming up on May 10, the next West Seattle Community Recognition Awards coming up April 18, Disaster Readiness info that you will find here on WSB throughout this month, and most exciting of all – the WSB Forum Community members banding together to organize fundraisers, with the Handbags for Hunger success last month and plans well under way for the April 19 fundraiser to help the arson victims at Puget Sound Key and Lock get back on their feet. THANK YOU FOR CREATING SUCH A STRONG ONLINE COMMUNITY and for helping spread the word about WSB – and for continuing to send us news, events, info, photos, questions, ideas (e-mail, text or phone us any time). This type of community-news site is a concept that is just starting to catch on in cities across the country, and we are proud and energized to have you as a partner, helping build a trailblazing, independently owned local site to help enhance existing community connections and create new ones – whether you are a reader, a sponsor, or both. (Please support and thank our sponsors for helping make it possible for this site to keep growing as a place for you to share information and get the latest news; they’re all listed here.)
3:30 pm today, 40th floor of the Municipal Tower downtown, it could be Charlestown Court’s last stand when the city Landmarks Preservation Board considers landmark status for the exterior architecture of the 81-year-old brick fourplex at 3811 California, a process we’ve been reporting on since last October (most recent coverage here). It’s open to public comment if you want to speak; we’ll be there to cover the meeting and will let you know ASAP what happens. A few hours later, at an Alki meeting, the question will be – what will happen west of this end of the Alki Ave sidewalk?
The city’s presenting alternatives tonight, after a previous concept sparked an uproar among neighbors and some additional city brainstorming, and there’s a public meeting at Alki Community Center starting at 6:30 tonight. Also tonight at 6:30, traffic-calming issues in North Delridge are on the agenda for the North Delridge Neighborhood Council at Delridge Library, with Luke Korpi, SDOT Traffic Management Division Senior Civil Engineer, on hand; also at Delridge Library, right before that, the High Point Neighborhood Association’s Pedestrian Safety Committee meets at 5 pm. And last but not least, if you are in the mood for entertainment:
… it’s opening night for “The Dead Guy” at ArtsWest. In this photo by WSB contributing photojournalist Matt Durham, reality TV cameraman Dougie (Bill Badgley) startles store clerk Virgil (Paul Bergman). Read all about the production here; get ticket info here. “The Dead Guy” runs through April 20.
Friday is the two-month anniversary of the fire that (temporarily) shut down the Charlestown Cafe, ironically just five days after we had reported the news that the most recent development project appeared to be on terminal hold. So we just checked in minutes ago with Ron Hanlon, co-owner of Charlestown Cafe, to see how repair work is going – when last we heard from co-owner Larry Mellum two weeks ago, when he announced the landlord had agreed to go ahead with fire repairs, he had hoped it would take about a month from that time to reopen. But according to what Hanlon just told us this morning, looks like it’s going to be a little longer than that. He says they’re still waiting for a couple things including a permit for the work. He’s hoping they will be able to set a firm date within a week or so. (You can find our archived Charlestown Cafe coverage, including the development controversy, the fire, and the recovery, by going here.)
Activity this morning at Dakota Place Park north of The Junction — glass-company crews working on the windows. Next: Thanks to Patricia for the tip that the teardown crews had arrived at the Alki cottage whose impending demolition we mentioned just the other day (6106 Stevens; (map; project pages here and here). The white rectangle in the middle of the first photo is what’s left of a central chimney (we happened by during a break in the action about an hour ago). The “before” picture from two days ago is the second photo below (some stripping obviously had already occurred).
Just got e-mail from James, who missed the phone-book opt-out discussion here last December, and spent a long, frustrating time trying to get the right number. He says Qwest books are due out in two months so it’s a good time to revisit this. Here’s the original post with numbers; James also offers this number that Qwest pointed him to: 800/422-8793.
THE NOTE: As first mentioned last month, today and tomorrow are the days West Seattle’s only official off-leash park area, Westcrest Park Off-Leash Area, will be completely closed, so the Parks Department can do maintenance work. It’s scheduled to reopen Friday.
THE PIX: Left over from Tuesday but too good not to share now. First, taken by Meredith @ Lincoln Park:
Second, Forrest P captured pre-sunset rays @ Emma Schmitz Viewpoint on Beach Drive: