day : 13/05/2015 15 results

West Seattle Crime Watch: Gatewood burglary; major-crime trends

May 13, 2015 9:49 pm
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 |   Crime | Gatewood | West Seattle news | West Seattle police

2 West Seattle Crime Watch notes – an incident this evening plus an SPD stats/trends update:

GATEWOOD BURGLARY: A neighbor texted us (206-293-6302 any time) about that big police response near 41st/Elmgrove in Gatewood [map] around 6 pm. When we went over to check, police told us they were checking out a burglar alarm but hadn’t yet found evidence of a break-in; no one was home. Later, though, it was confirmed as a burglary, according to neighbors and to SPD’s automated Tweets by Beat. That was the first confirmed West Seattle burglary, per TBB, since one reported at noon yesterday in the 8400 block of 12th SW.

STATS/TRENDS: Today’s edition of the every-two-weeks SeaStat SPD-wide briefing includes a page of year-to-year and week-to-week stats for the Southwest Precinct, which includes West Seattle and South Park – scroll through this slide deck to the very last page. Year-to-year – January 1st through May 9th this year, compared to the same period last year – every category except aggravated domestic-violence assault is up. (Though there’s no breakdown per precinct sectors, we know that the breakdown in one category – no 2014 homicides in West Seattle and none so far this year; the one 2015 homicide listed for the SW Precinct was in SP.) In the week-by-week stats for the past month, all categories are trending downward (or holding at zero) except for larceny, which was up from 12 in the third week to 13 in the fourth week.

Start school days earlier? Later? Same as now? Tell Seattle Public Schools what you think about bell times

After years of talk about whether it would be healthier to start school later for older students, given their bio-clocks, Seattle Public Schools has been circulating proposed bell-time changes … and you have just a few more days to have a say in this round of discussion.

This has been a fairly quiet public-outreach process, focused more on localized small-group meetings as part of an initiative dubbed “Neighbor To Neighbor.” Last night, though, the district offered a meeting at a major regional location – Chief Sealth International High School.

The background info is on this district website.

They’re focusing right now on whether to follow one of these three paths:

) Keep the bell time schedule the same

2) [aka “Modified Flip”] – Modify the bell schedules so that Elementary Schools start at 8 am or 8:50 am, High schools start at 8:50 am, and Middle/K-8’s start at 9:40 am.

3) [aka “Extended High School Day”] Allow high school students to start their six period day at either 7:50 am or 8:40 am. All other bell times are unchanged.

Full details on the options are here.

The meeting started with the viewing of a district-provided video:

Then – discussion. No one disputed the research that suggests more sleep for older students would be optimal; the discussion on possibly starting school later centered more on what happens after school – with field availability for activities, for example, as is a challenge at West Seattle High School, where adjacent Hiawatha Playfield is shared with Seattle Parks, and other issues such as transportation.

One parent wondered: Where do the middle schools fit in? For all the talk about high schools, the parent wondered, how would kids of that age be affected? Much talk, but no conclusions, ensued.

Though the district is focused on the three options mentioned above, there are others, according to someone who circulated flyers at the meeting and said she had been on the district’s bell-times task force. The flyers mentioned the “Two Tiers” option and said it would start elementaries at 8 am and middle, high, K8s at 8:50 am. Whichever option you prefer, the official district survey is only scheduled to be open a few more days – go take it here, now!

WHAT’S NEXT? Once the results of this round of discussion result in a proposal, it’s scheduled for more outreach this fall, and then a School Board vote for a plan to be implemented starting with the 2016-2017 school year.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Suspect charged in McDonald’s stabbing

The 23-year-old man arrested after an employee of the Westwood Village McDonald’s was stabbed early Sunday is now charged.

We’ve obtained the documents detailing the second-degree-assault charge filed by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office this afternoon against Daniel Jacob Stevens. The charging papers say he went into the restaurant and – after ordering and receiving two McGriddles – “inexplicably” started shouting insults at the victim. While being escorted out just before 4:30 am Sunday, according to prosecutors and police, Stevens shoved the victim, who punched him. During the clash, he then is reported to have “punched the victim, pulled out a knife, and pounced on top of the victim,” subsequently “punch(ing) him six times in the face and head, and then head-butt(ing) him twice” before trying to stab him in the side, “with the victim suffering a small puncture wound.”

The police report says a customer was able to disarm Stevens, who left the area but was found by King County Sheriff’s Deputies in White Center about 40 minutes later; police say he claimed he used his knife in self-defense. Court documents say Stevens, an Arbor Heights resident, has no felony criminal history, though the King County Jail register says he spent two days there earlier this month in connection with a reckless-driving case; he remains jailed in lieu of $150,000 bail while awaiting arraignment in two weeks.

Shell @ Terminal 5: Polar Pioneer expected here Thursday; city ‘could issue a notice of violation’

(May 4th image courtesy Port Angeles Chamber of Commerce webcam)
4:59 PM: While the oil-drilling platform Polar Pioneer is no longer in view on the Port Angeles Chamber of Commerce’s webcam, it’s still in the PA harbor – but apparently not for long. The Peninsula Daily News reports that the Polar Pioneer will be towed to West Seattle’s Terminal 5 tomorrow. That, despite the city Department of Planning and Development declaring that mooring Shell’s rigs at T-5 is not covered in the Port’s existing permits, and despite the Port Commission’s vote yesterday afternoon (WSB coverage here) to formally inform T-5 interim tenant Foss of that. Foss, meantime, as reported here last night, has filed its appeal of the DPD “interpretation”:

The Port Commission, as also noted in our Tuesday report, voted to appeal the ruling of the DPD, whose director Diane Sugimura answered questions at yesterday’s meeting. Meantime, Foss also expects Shell’s drillship Noble Discoverer, now starting its second day docked in Everett, to move on to T-5. And Arctic-drilling opponents are continuing to plan for an on-the-water protest Saturday plus one on land Monday.

6:11 PM UPDATE: Wondering what the city might do if the Shell rigs really do show up despite the DPD interpretation? We sent that question to Mayor Ed Murray‘s office. The reply:

The mayor expects the Port to have the proper permits in place before an off-shore oil drilling rig comes to Terminal 5. The Port Commission is also on record saying a rig should not come to Elliott Bay before the proper permits are in place.

Should Shell bring the rigs to Terminal 5 before the appropriate permits are in place, Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development will evaluate the situation and could issue a notice of violation. There are monetary penalties associated with operating without the necessary permits. … Foss and the Port have said they intend to file an appeal. Even after an appeal is filed, the City is not prevented from moving ahead with enforcement actions.

1:42 AM THURSDAY: We’ve been checking MarineTraffic.com all night and it looks like Polar Pioneer and its accompanying tugs are finally headed out of Port Angeles, as of minutes ago.

‘Communities In Motion’: Shake up your transportation routine

May 13, 2015 4:24 pm
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 |   Transportation | West Seattle news

Speaking of traffic … ready to see if it’s possible to experience less of it? You have a few more weeks to sign up for Metro’s “Communities In Motion” program:

Want to earn a free, ORCA card good for two weeks of unlimited travel and qualify for other prizes – in exchange for driving less? King County Metro is in the last few weeks of its “Communities in Motion” program in South Park, West Seattle and White Center and looking for people who want to trade daily driving for more biking, walking and busing.

Through June 6, people who live or work in those three areas can sign up online and help reduce traffic congestion and boost the health of their community. The Metro In Motion team will be at events in your neighborhood soon and are happy to visit work and community centers upon request. Visit us online kingcounty.gov/inmotion.

How it Works

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TRAFFIC ALERT: Crash on eastbound West Seattle Bridge

Thanks for the tips – Avoid the eastbound bridge from Fauntleroy for a while; a multi-vehicle crash has closed at least one lane. No indication of injuries so far – it’s not even on the 911 (Seattle Fire response) log, but we have multiple reports (thanks to Rachel, Jissy, and Brian).

3:41 PM: Can’t tell the status from off-bridge vantage points and SDOT hasn’t been reporting on this, but EB bridge traffic does appear to be moving, albeit slowly.

FOLLOWUP: Admiral Theater expects digital projectors in June

(WSB photo: February marquee message at The Admiral, announcing the renovation plan)
The city-landmark Admiral Theater says its renovations – announced in February – are finally about to begin. It’s just announced that “two new state-of-the-art NEC Digital Laser Projectors will be installed early next month.” The theater’s announcement explains:

Laser technology offers an unparalleled viewing experience that is brighter, crisper and highlights the intensity of colors unlike traditional digital cinema projectors. In addition, moviegoers watching 3D films will view an image much brighter than is seen in systems now in use.

Utilizing a laser light source in lieu of traditional projector bulbs also extends the life of the projector and eliminates gradual dimming of images as a bulb begins to wear out.

“Everything we will be doing as a part of this renovation is designed to create a superior viewing experience and facility that while functionally modern, respects viewer comfort and the historical character of the theater,” said Jeff Brein of Far Away Entertainment, which operates and manages the theater. “We wanted the very best and latest projection technology to accompany what we’re planning with seating, sound, carpeting, new restrooms our concessions area and historical preservation. These initial laser projectors represent a first step in a journey that will culminate in a beautiful neighborhood theater.”

The permitting process for the Admiral will soon begin with the City of Seattle, while discussions with historical and neighborhood groups will be well underway this summer.

The Admiral says it’s now hoping to have renovations complete by this year’s holiday season.

Softball playoffs: West Seattle HS in championship game vs. Ballard on Friday; Sealth to play Roosevelt next

(Tuesday night photo of WSHS-EC game, by West Seattle athletic director/softball coach Trevor Leopold)
Thanks to Cheryl Brown for another update on the high-school softball playoffs:

*West Seattle High School beat Eastside Catholic 15-7 at Southwest Athletic Complex last night and advances to the Metro League championship game vs. Ballard at 7 pm Friday at SWAC

*Chief Sealth International High School lost to Holy Names 12-2 at Southeast Athletic Complex but plays Roosevelt at 5 pm Friday at SEAC for 7th/8th-place determination

*1st- through 9th-place teams advance to district playoffs starting next Monday

West Seattle scene: Orcas passing our shores in the mist

A little murky for whale-watching today but Bob Bollen happened to catch these two passing Alki Point, northbound, this morning, and shared the photo. No word of any in this area currently but the Orca Network FB page mentions current sightings off Whidbey Island.

@ Junction Neighborhood Organization: Spruce developer says ‘thank you’; City Light & Parks on unused sites

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

What for years was “The Hole” is now, for some, “home.”

Last night, the developer of Spruce (3922 SW Alaska), Tom Lee from Madison Development Group, was among the guests at the Junction Neighborhood Organization‘s monthly meeting. He wasn’t officially on the agenda and didn’t have a presentation, but did answer some questions and offer a few updates:

*With one tower open and another expecting its “certificate of occupancy” soon, 30 apartments already are leased. (Which might explain the moving trucks we spotted while photographing the site this morning, above. Unless they are for …)

*LA Fitness, the project’s sole commercial tenant, is expected to “soft open” this Friday, Lee said he’d been told, provided it passes its last few inspections, including one that will allow the club to fill its pool.

*JuNO’s suggestion of a dedication for Lezlie Jane‘s plaza artwork out front (featured here Sunday) might be possible when “all the improvements at the corner” are done in a month or so.

Lee told JuNO he was there mostly to say thanks: “Thank you to everybody for being patient with us – it’s been a long project, a sore thumb in West Seattle for a long time, but it’s very close to being finished now and we’re excited that it’s almost done.” (His company bought the site/project for $32 million in October 2011, three years after the project stalled under previous ownership and its previous name Fauntleroy Place.)

Also at JuNO – a discussion about City Light property:

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Bike To Work Day on Friday: ‘Commute station’ under the bridge

Thanks to West Seattle Bike Connections president Don Brubeck for the photo of bicycle commuters waiting on the low bridge this morning, while, Don says, “an APL train barge” passed through. This Friday is Bike To Work Day, and Don says WSBC and DIY Bikes are hosting a bike-commute station under the bridge, “where the trails meet,” 6-9 am on Friday. From the Cascade Bicycle Club website, here’s a map of the “commute stations” planned all around the area (update: the White Center listing is apparently outdated, but the WS one definitely IS on):

P.S. One local improvement for walkers, runners, and bike riders open in time for B2W Day, the Delridge/Andover project – we tweeted a mention this morning while following up on the Pigeon Point fire:

Seattle Bike Blog spotlighted it last week.

Four highlights for your West Seattle Wednesday, morning to night

(Our favorite bird! Steller’s Jay photographed in Fauntleroy Park in April by Mark Wangerin)

From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar for today/tonight:

SPOT SHRIMP, DAY 2: Until 3 pm, it’s the second of two days for spot-shrimp fishing in Elliott Bay, until 3 pm, which means things are likely busy at Don Armeni Boat Ramp. (1222 Harbor SW)

PLAY & LEARN: 11 am, toddler- and preschooler-age children are welcome at Neighborhood House‘s High Point Center – details here. (6400 Sylvan Way)

SENIOR CENTER OF WEST SEATTLE BOARD MEETING: 5:30 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle, it’s the monthly board meeting – public welcome. (Oregon/California)

INFORMATION NIGHT FOR DISTANCE-TRAINING PROGRAM: 6:15 pm at West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor) – details here. (2743 California SW)

THOSE ARE JUST 4 – SEE MANY MORE on our calendar!

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday updates, including Admiral Way water problem

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:43 AM: We start with a problem reported in the 3800 block of Admiral Way (map) – water, possibly from a pipe break. We had just heard about it via scanner when Rachel texted us a photo and alert:

Seattle Public Utilities and SFD have been advised, per scanner. We’ll be following up.

7:36 AM: Just went to Admiral to find out more. The outside westbound lane is blocked by an SPU rapid-response truck; in front of it, water is still bubbling up:

The SPU rapid-response worker who was at the scene said it appears a plastic pipe broke.

8:31 AM: While out checking on that and the Pigeon Point fire, we were also reminded we should remind you about the 35th SW walking tour on Saturday morning (May 16th) – meet SDOT reps at 9 am at 35th/Avalon. Details here.

11:51 AM: A comment reminds us – the ongoing bridge lane closures continue. Though the initial alert just mentioned eastbound, we’ve seen them on westbound too. Until the work concludes (tomorrow, SDOT says), be extra careful during the non-peak hours, as you might suddenly encounter the work crew.

3:01 PM: Crash on the eastbound bridge – tracking it here.

UPDATE: ‘Discarded smoking materials’ blamed for fire at Pigeon Point house; SFD says two pets did not survive

6:12 AM: Thanks to the neighbor who texted us about the Seattle Fire response at a house on Pigeon Point in the 4000 block of 23rd SW (map). They report firefighters put out a “visible porch fire.” No report of injuries.

6:20 AM: Adding photos texted by the same neighbor (thank you!). SFD’s fire investigator has been sent to the scene. One person was home, according to SFD, and got out OK.

(WSB photo)
8:55 AM: SFD was just leaving when we went over for a look about an hour ago; they’ve now announced the fire’s cause, damage estimate, and that two pets did not survive:

Fire Investigators determined a basement fire in a 2-story home was caused by improperly discarded smoking materials under the porch of the house. The damage estimate is $50,000 to the building and $20,000 to the contents.

The 911 call came in at 5:46 a.m. reporting smoke coming from the back of a home located in the 4000 block of 23rd Avenue SW. When firefighter arrived they found the lone occupant of the house outside. The crews searched the house and did not find anyone else inside. It took fire crews 20 minutes to control the flames and 40 minutes to completely extinguish the fire.

There were no injuries. The occupant evacuated with one of his 2 dogs. His other dog and a cat did not survive the fire.

‘New era’ as The Kenney finalizes Heritage Ministries affiliation

May 13, 2015 12:36 am
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 |   The Kenney | West Seattle news

Six months after we reported on the plan for The Kenney (WSB sponsor) to affiliate with Heritage Ministries and halve its debt, it’s final, according to this announcement:

The Kenney senior living community of West Seattle has cleared all of the necessary hurdles to complete its affiliation with Heritage Ministries, a New York nonprofit, faith-based organization. As a result of the completed affiliation, the amount of The Kenney’s outstanding secured debt will be reduced almost in half from $21.3 million to $10.7 million, a reality that greatly improves The Kenney’s financial position, assuring The Kenney’s ongoing mission to serve seniors in West Seattle.

Heritage Ministries has roots in the Free Methodist Church with sister organizations, such as Seattle Pacific University, in the Seattle area. The legal affiliation of the two organizations has been accomplished by way of Board control. Governance documents of The Kenney have been modified to reflect that Heritage Ministries is now responsible for the appointment of members to The Kenney Board of Directors. The Kenney will remain a nonprofit organization and will continue to have a board of volunteer directors with at least 1/3 of the directors required to be residents of the State of Washington. Resident agreements will be honored and the benevolent care fund for residents will continue.

The Kenney has been operating under an administrative services agreement with Heritage since December of 2014.

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