West Seattle, Washington
Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports tonight:
STOLEN CAR: Rebecca‘s neighborhood in Gatewood has been hit again by car thieves. Her car was taken two months ago; we published her report, and an observant neighbor spotted the car nearby. Tonight, she says, two sisters visiting the neighborhood reported someone stole their car just feet from where Rebecca’s was taken in the 3900 block of SW Elmgrove [map]. It’s a 2009 Nissan Versa, baby blue, WA plate ending in 632, “trim near driver-side door hands loose near keyhole.” Call 911 if you see it.
DOORSTEP THEFT: In the 9000 block of 4th SW [map], Sheila reports a doorstep theft last night:
Our neighbor returned a car battery recharger he borrowed, left it on the front step at 10 pm. We have video of a man quickly walking up the front walk at about 11:20, grabbing the small pouch with the charger in it, and walking quickly away. I’ve reported to police. … The guy was wearing a hat so can’t see his face. Short, apparently dark hair is best we’ve been able to make out. Coat with bright tape (like safety jacket) and high-top sneakers.
P.S. Reminder – this month’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting is next Tuesday (June 21st), 7 pm, at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster; map).
P.P.S., ADDED FRIDAY MORNING: WSCPC president Richard Miller tells WSB that the guest on Tuesday will be SPD’s Chief Operating Officer Brian Maxey, who will be able to speak about the operations of the 911 Center, among other topics.
Last night, we brought you a thorough preview of most of what you’ll find at the festival, which is presented by the Morgan Community Association, with sponsors including WSB. But we promised that tonight we’d share the word about the food.
In addition to the area’s year-round restaurants, including Zeek’s Pizza (WSB sponsor) right next to the festival zone, four mobile vendors are scheduled for Saturday, according to festival organizers, and this year they’ll be next to Beveridge Place Pub, adjacent to the park, rather than across the street as in the past few years. They are:
And kitty-corner from the park, at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor), look for the barbecue tent outside the store entrance – you can support the festival by getting a fresh-grilled burger, chips, and drink for lunch, $7 suggested donation goes to keeping the festival free! 11 am until about 3 pm.
One more preview tomorrow, and then we’ll see you in Morgan Junction on Saturday!
(UPDATED FRIDAY AFTERNOON with reader photo of electronic sign trailer now in place by Duwamish Head)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Operations Lt. Ron Smith said there wasn’t much that could be done about most of the complaints. But he said the area had some good news nonetheless, as he opened with the overview: “Crimes against persons (in the Alki area) are down 21 percent.” That’s largely attributable to a reduction in domestic-violence cases, he said. Property crimes are down 11 percent – “this is one of the few neighborhoods that have a 31 percent reduction in car prowls.”
As he had told the Delridge District Council last night, he and precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis are leading the planning for security for the upcoming Seattle Pride events, and also are meeting with owners of LGBTQA bars. Today, the Southwest Precinct had 11 officers working; on Saturday, they will have that same level of staffing, with two of the officers assigned to bicycle patrol.
“We are again doing a summer emphasis – not to the numbers that you and I would like, but we have to be somewhat responsible in the deployment of overtime,” he added. In terms of hiring, the real impact from the process might be as far as two years away, he said, which drew a loud sigh from one attendee. “The mayor’s keeping his commitment in trying to hire more officers,” but they are having more of a challenge getting good applicants, he said.
“I think our concerns in Alki are quality-of-life issues,” most of all, he said. Then ACC vice president Randie Stone opened the floor. One resident said they had been sending e-mail to Southwest/South Precincts’ Crime Prevention Coordinator Mark Solomon (who was in attendance) and City Councilmember Lisa Herbold.
She listed two issues: Read More
While spot outages are reported fairly frequently, we’ve received several reports of this one, so it could be relatively widespread – we’ve heard from Comcast customers from North Delridge east to Pigeon Point. One customer says they’ve been told it’s supposed to be back on by 10 pm. Any other areas?
(WSB file photo)
Need some inspiration? We know one place you can find it … West Seattle Stadium (4432 35th SW), tomorrow night through Saturday morning, during the annual Relay for Life. It’s a cancer-fighting fundraiser but it’s also a gathering of hundreds of your West Seattle neighbors, starting with the survivors’ lap at 6:30 pm, following the opening lap at 6. Also a highlight: The luminaria ceremony at 10 pm, during which you’re invited to light one for someone you’ve lost to cancer and/or someone who’s fighting the battle. The full agenda for Friday night and Saturday morning, concluding with closing ceremonies at 8:30 am Saturday, is here. Even if you just show up to applaud the survivors at 6:30 pm tomorrow, it’s a stirring sight to see.
After an unannounced three-week break, Seattle Public Utilities crews will resume flushing work this weekend, continuing to clear local water mains of sediment (mostly rust buildup). SPU’s Ingrid Goodwin sent this progress report with word of what’s next, including the map you see above:
SPU will resume water main flushing in West Seattle Sunday night, June 19, starting on SW Donald Street between California Avenue SW and 44th Avenue SW.
We took a three-week break from flushing to allow our staff to assess our progress, make adjustments and plan for the next sequence of flushes.
To date, the SPU flushing crew has flushed about 10 miles of pipe in West Seattle to minimize discolored water.
Flushing results have been very positive: water is flushed until clear and the crew is measuring chlorine and turbidity (cloudiness) throughout the process to make sure water quality standards are met at the end of each flush.
The attached map [above] shows the area that has been completed. We anticipate finishing the remaining sections of Area 1 (shaded in purple) this summer.
In the fall, SPU anticipates starting to flush Area 2, which will be in the 498 pressure zone, from approximately Myrtle Reservoir north to SW Spokane Street.
SPU reiterates that if you have any water-quality issues – even if it’s brown water that the flushing might have stirred up on its way to clearing things out – please call them, 24/7, at 206-386-1800.
P.S. For more backstory on The Big Flush, here’s our previous report.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports to share this afternoon. First, posted by SPD Blotter‘s Jonah Spangenthal-Lee:
A complaint about a sleeping passenger on a shuttle bus Wednesday led police to arrest an armed felon with a stolen handgun.
Officers Michael Sudduth and Todd Wiebke boarded the bus in the 1600 block of Harbor Avenue Southwest around 3:15 PM, approached the slumbering suspect and asked him to leave. The man waved them off and went back to sleep.
Officer Wiebke once again tried to rouse the man, shaking his shoulder, but the man stirred only stirred enough to roll over onto his side, revealing a handgun in his waistband.
Officers quickly arrested the man and took his gun. Although someone had tried to destroy the gun’s serial number, officers were still able to decipher it, leading them to discover the weapon was reported stolen last year in Kent. Police also learned the suspect is a convicted felon, unable to legally possess firearms.
Police booked the man into the King County Jail for unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of stolen property.
The suspect, 28, is still in jail as of this hour; we’re checking to see if he has a bail hearing this afternoon, and will update with any additional information. (4:59 PM UPDATE: His bail is set at $75,000. His last known address, as listed on documents submitted for the hearing, was in White Center; the jail register shows this is his fourth booking in just under a year, following bookings for drug cases, an assault case, and at least one failure-to-appear warrant.)
Second, a followup to the case of the missing art, reported here last week – art that was supposed to be shipped back to local artist Rebecca Woodhouse after a California exhibit instead was labeled with someone else’s name; that person picked it up and did not respond to repeated inquiries, so police considered it theft (yes, state law says that can include misdelivered items).
Rebecca tells us finally heard from a relative of the man who picked up her art – and learned he’s been in jail since a week after the art was picked up on May 16th. This week, the detective on her case retrieved it and got it back to her; one box had been opened, she said, but the artwork was intact and undamaged.
(WSB photo, 2015, Clay Eals @ announcement of new owner for Alki Homestead)
Congratulations to Clay Eals – author, historian, heritage advocate, and journalist – who has just been announced as this year’s recipient of the Orville Rummel Trophy for Outstanding Service to the Community. It’s awarded each year in connection with the West Seattle Grand Parade, presented by the Rotary Club of West Seattle, this year on Saturday, July 23. The official announcement continues:
Eals is perhaps best known locally as editor of the “West Side Story” history book and for his leadership of the successful drive to secure city landmark status for the Admiral Theater and, more recently, as executive director of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.
He is a lifetime member of and volunteered in many roles for the historical society since its founding in 1984. In 2013, the organization’s board hired him as its first executive director. Besides staff oversight of the historical society, he is directly responsible for its volunteer recruitment, fundraising and outreach.
(2014 photo by David Hutchinson)
During his tenure as executive director, the organization has restored, raised, and unveiled the Admiral totem pole at its 1904 “Birthplace of Seattle” Log House Museum on Alki, culminating in a 2014 ceremony drawing 1,300 people, including 950 schoolchildren. The historical society also facilitated the transition of ownership and in-progress restoration of the beloved 1904 Fir Lodge/Alki Homestead and staged “Group Hug” photo events for the Homestead (1,000 schoolchildren in 2015) and the Admiral Theater (750 schoolchildren earlier this month):
(Photo by Jean Sherrard, courtesy Southwest Seattle Historical Society; click here to see full-size version on SWSHS website)
In that span, the organization broadened its ranks of donors, sponsors, members and volunteers, strengthened the collection and exhibit operations of its museum, built its annual Champagne Gala Brunch to capacity crowds at Salty’s on Alki, revived and revamped its annual “If These Walls Could Talk” home tours, and created two ongoing monthly series: “Words, Writers, & West Seattle” featuring local authors at Barnes & Noble Westwood Village and “SouthWest Stories” featuring local history speakers rotating among the Seattle Public Library’s five branches on the peninsula.
Along the way, the organization won honors from the Association of King County Historical Organizations for Best Single Impact Event (for the 2014 totem unveiling) and from the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce as Nonprofit of the Year for 2015.
(WSB photo, 2015, Westside Award for SWSHS as Nonprofit of the Year)
Eals’ earlier achievements came during and immediately after his 15 years as an editor, reporter and photographer for four Northwest newspapers.
During his five years as editor of the West Seattle Herald and White Center News (part of Robinson Newspapers), the papers produced “Bridging the Gap,” a 104-page special section in 1984 that chronicled local transportation history and the opening of the high-level West Seattle Bridge, and followed that by publishing in 1987 the first local history book, “West Side Story,” which took its inspiration from “Mr. West Seattle” Normie Beers. A yearlong project that involved the papers’ entire staff and scores of volunteers, the 288-page “West Side Story” remains the definitive account of local community heritage.
Soon after his departure from Robinson Newspapers in 1988, Eals was elected president of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society board to succeed founder and first president Elliott Couden. In his first month of three years in that position, faced with the imminent closure of the Admiral Theater, Eals involved others, including local elected officials, in staging a closing-night picket event that led to an intensive community campaign that six months later secured city landmark status for the moviehouse, whose lobby operated as the Portola Theater starting in 1919 and which was expanded and opened as the 1,000-seat showcase Admiral Theater in 1942.
Because of its landmark status, the Admiral was saved from potential demolition. It reopened in 1992 under the new ownership of the Gartin family, which owns it to this day. It will undergo a massive renovation this summer, including conversion to four screens and the exposure of long-covered underwater auditorium murals, while preserving the building’s historic features.
Over the years, on behalf of the historical society, Eals also served on Earl Cruzen’s “Murals of Seattle” team in 1989-1993, led several yearly “Homes with History” tours in the 1990s, participated in the 1994 campaign to secure Alki voter approval of the historical society’s purchase of the building that became its museum, emceed dozens of society events and worked to deepen the organization’s partnership with South Seattle College. After a fire damaged the inside of the city-landmark Fir Lodge/Alki Homestead, he represented the society in a coalition of four heritage organizations behind a “This Place Matters” effort to ensure preservation and restoration of the log building one-half block from the museum.
The society’s most recent campaign, to seek city landmark status for the Campbell and Hamm buildings in the West Seattle Junction, stems from the yearlong West Seattle Junction Historical Survey, for which Eals participated on the steering committee.
In his professional life in addition to his journalistic positions, Eals worked 13 years as an editor and writer for Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, five years as communication officer for the Encompass children’s services nonprofit in North Bend, and two years as a journalism teacher and adviser at South Seattle College.
As an author, he wrote and secured publication of two books, both biographies, on child film actress Karolyn Grimes (Zuzu in “It’s a Wonderful Life”) in 1996 and singer/songwriter Steve Goodman (“City of New Orleans”) in 2007. He also wrote for and designed a third book, “Rain Check: Baseball in the Pacific Northwest,” in 2005.
Eals, who turns 65 in July, was born in Seattle, grew up on Mercer Island, and secured a journalism degree from the University of Oregon in Eugene. “My mother was born and raised in West Seattle, across the street from the wading pool at Hiawatha Park, and when I was a child we often visited my grandparents,” Eals says, “so I developed my love for West Seattle at an early age.” He and his wife, Meg, moved to West Seattle in 1982. They live in the North Admiral neighborhood. They have a daughter and granddaughter who live in Philadelphia.
“Looking back, I think that in my professional and personal roles I have evolved into a pied piper,” he says. “This reflects my belief that no matter what we think about how or why we are all here on this earth, we are not meant to be hermits. We are meant to connect with other people, to engage and inspire them – and to appreciate the gifts of those who came before us. We stand on the shoulders of giants. And no matter what we pursue and how we spend our time, it’s not about the physical things, but rather it’s about bringing people together, in real time, for common purpose.
“One of my favorite words is the verb ‘champion,’ and my favorite phrases include ‘a sum greater than its parts’ and ‘making something out of nothing.’ What all of that means is that we accomplish anything in this life only when we build relationships with others. And over the years, I have been fortunate to collaborate with a great number of extraordinary people. When you come down to it, it’s all about gratitude.”
ABOUT THE ORVILLE RUMMEL TROPHY: It’s named after the man who founded the parade in 1934, Orville Rummel – lots of background in the story we published the year we were honored with it, in 2010. The award was first presented in 1984. Here’s the full list of recipients from 1984 through 2015:
1984: Charles and Ann Gage
1985: RB Chris Crisler Jr.
1986: Morgan and Carol McBride
1987: Margaret Miaullis
1988: Charles Jung
1989: Aurlo Bonney
1990: Katie Thorburn
1991: Dorothy Poplawski
1992: Dan Wiseman
1993: Virgil Sheppard
1994: Dorene Smith
1995: Doris Richards
1996: John Kelly
1997: Dick Kennedy
1998: Jim Edwards and Barbara Edwards
1999: Lt. David E. Cass
2000: Husky Deli/Miller Family
2001: Stephanie Haskins
2002: Forest Lawn
2003: Sue Lindblom
2004: Edgar and Ann Phipps
2005: Karen Sisson
2006: Walt DeLong
2007: David and Doreen Vague
2008: Tim St. Clair
2009: Morey Skaret
2010: West Seattle Blog
2011: Cindi Barker
2012: Shirley Vradenburgh
2013: Judy Pickens
2014: Earl Cruzen
2015: Donn Weaver
2016: Clay Eals
(Killdeer, photographed along the Duwamish River by Mark Wangerin)
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, highlights for the rest of today/tonight:
ERCOLINI TOYS: 2 pm today and 10 am Friday, Seattle Parks will meet with community members at Ercolini Park to talk about solutions to the toy concerns reported here last week. (49th SW/SW Alaska)
TINKERLAB DROP-IN: STEM-based crafts and fun for all ages, 4-5:30 pm drop-in at High Point Library. (35th SW/SW Raymond)
DELRIDGE GROCERY FARMSTAND: 4-7 pm, fresh fruit and vegetables on sale in the Super 24 lot. (5455 Delridge Way)
SOUTH SEATTLE COLLEGE GRADUATION: 7:30 pm at Benaroya Hall downtown. Public welcome; no tickets required. (200 University St.)
FOOD LIFELINE’S GRAND OPENING: 5 pm, with program at 6 pm, it’s the grand opening of Food Lifeline‘s new Hunger Solutions Center near South Park – all welcome. (815 S. 96th St.)
ALKI COMMUNITY COUNCIL: 7 pm at Alki UCC – agenda highlights include an update on summer safety planning by Seattle Police. (6115 SW Hinds)
THAT’S A LOT, BUT THERE’S STILL MORE … on our complete calendar.
Thanks to @smyliegrl for calling this KUOW report to our attention via Twitter: A C-Line rider serenaded his fellow passengers in West Seattle with the 1965 classic “What the World Needs Now Is Love,” to counter Orlando-massacre despondency. In the KUOW clip, you’ll hear part of it – and a followup interview with the singing passenger. (Lyrics here.)
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:37 AM: Good morning. No incidents in/from West Seattle, but traffic to and from the Fauntleroy ferry dock may be heavier today because the south Vashon Island ferry run is temporarily out of service while its vessel gets an underwater inspection (explained here, and yes, that’s why TV crews are at the dock, and why there’s a TV helicopter over Fauntleroy right now).
Tonight’s also the final overnight closure of the west end of the bridge for this week – and remember that it will have a late start (10:30 pm) because of the Copa America Centenario soccer match at CenturyLink Field.
6:54 AM: TV helicopter over Fauntleroy again (see above). Meantime, a cancellation just tweeted/texted by Metro:
Transit Alert – Route 57 to downtown Seattle due to leave the Alaska Junction at 7:06 AM will not operate this morning.
— King County Metro (@kcmetrobus) June 16, 2016
6:59 AM: And another Metro cancellation:
Transit Alert – Route 56 to downtown Seattle due to leave 61 Av SW & Alki Av SW at 7:20 AM will not operate this morning.
— King County Metro (@kcmetrobus) June 16, 2016
7:11 AM: Washington State Ferries just announced that the south Vashon ferry run will be in service again shortly – passed its underwater inspection – meaning no more fears of extra Fauntleroy traffic today, so the TV helicopter should be leaving.