The Duwamish Tribe has just heard back from the Port of Seattle, one week after telling the port it “would like its artifacts back,” the latest in a long-running dispute over items found on historic Duwamish land across the street from its West Seattle longhouse. Last summer, personnel from the Burke Museum removed the artifacts from their display cases at the Duwamish Cultural Center in the longhouse. Last week, after getting word that the Port would give the artifacts to the South King County-based Muckleshoot Tribe, Duwamish chair Cecile Hansen sent the Port a letter offering to buy them back; we published that letter last week. Today, the tribe has just sent the reply it received from Port CEO Tay Yoshitani:
(If you can’t see the letter in the Scribd window above, here it is as a PDF.) The tribe says chair Hansen is “not commenting on (the Port’s letter) at this time” but adds that the port signed an agreement with the Muckleshoot two weeks ago.
Remember Michael Sean Stanley, the convicted rapist arrested in an Admiral alley in October after leaving Canada, where he’d been sought for cutting off a monitoring device? He has been in the King County Jail, serving time for harassment since pleading guilty in January, and it looks like he’s getting out this Monday as previously announced – the County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office says he won’t be charged with allegedly sexual assaulting a teenager before his arrest. The statement we received:
The King County Prosecutor’s Office has completed its review of a case involving Michael Stanley. The case is being declined for criminal prosecution because there is insufficient evidence to prove that a forcible sexual assault had occurred.
Canada does not want him extradited; he is an American citizen. At the time of his sentencing in January, the City Attorney’s Office noted that his history in our state includes burglary and DUI. Conditions with which he must comply in this case require him to “provide a DNA sample; obey written anti-harassment orders protecting the three victims; not violate criminal law; have no alcohol or drug offenses; abstain from marijuana; undergo chemical dependency treatment; possess no weapons, and update the court on his current address.” He will be under Municipal Court jurisdiction for two years.
(New state ferry under construction at Vigor Shipyard; photo by Carolyn Newman)
Fun stuff from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, for the hours ahead, starting now!
SHARON BEST’S RETIREMENT PARTY: Now until 7 pm, at The White House, lawyer Sharon Best‘s retirement party, combined with an open house for Best Escrow LLC, as previewed here. (3909 California SW)
CONRAD WESSELHOEFT AT ‘WORDS, WRITERS, WEST SEATTLE’: 4-6 pm, the West Seattle author is the next to read/sign in this series celebrating local writers. Meet him at Barnes & Noble/Westwood Village. (2800 SW Barton)
PACO DIEZ AT NORTHWEST WINE ACADEMY: Tapas, wine, and music with Paco Diez tonight at Northwest Wine Academy on the South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) campus, 5-9 pm, with Diez performing 5:30-7. (6000 16th SW)
With the Open Enrollment period for Seattle Public Schools wrapping up – though registration does continue even after today – we have updates for families considering Fairmount Park Elementary, reopening this fall after post-mothballs expansion (thanks to Kevin and Anand for sharing the links):
FAIRMOUNT FAQ: A “frequently asked questions” document is available via the Seattle Public Schools website. You can download the newest version here.
APP TESTING: With Fairmount offering the APP top-level-gifted program, they have a special round of testing available for some potential APP students later this month. Here’s the eligibility and deadlines; here’s the form.
Thanks to Kelly for the photo – the last semifinal round of Global Reading Challenge competition at the Seattle Public Library downtown is over, and this one turned out to have FOUR West Seattle elementary schools competing – Gatewood, Highland Park, Roxhill, and West Seattle. Kelly reports that all four tied for 3rd place (along with 2 other schools) but that’s not high enough to advance to the finals. So as far as we’ve heard, Arbor Heights Elementary‘s Super Ultimate Nerdy Ninjas are the only West Seattle team headed to final competition on March 18th (also at the Central Library).
2:08 PM UPDATE: Confirmed with Mary Palmer from SPL, the lineup for the citywide final (just in case you’re wondering about the non-WS teams against whom AH will be competing) – their schools & team name (each school had multiple teams in the early round, with intraschool competition):
Marvelous Mind Masters
The Little Team That Could
Super Ultimate Nerdy Ninjas
Southwest Design Review Board doubleheader, report #2: 3257/3303 Harbor SW gets through 1st round on 1st tryMarch 7, 2014 at 11:43 am | In Development, West Seattle news | 5 Comments
(Harbor Ave-facing view of project team’s preferred ‘massing’)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Both board members and two regular citizen commenters lauded Public47 Architects for an Early Design Guidance presentation that actually included divergent options for the project’s potential “massing” (size/shape), instead of paying little more than visual lip service to the requirement of offering options.
The project involves what are technically two adjacent sites separated by a 23-foot-wide “unimproved right of way” on which they mention an opportunity for public stairs. (There’s another unimproved right of way just north of the site, too.) We had made note of this site a few years back because it was previously owned by fugitive real-estate investor Michael Mastro (who also had owned what are now The Residences at 3295, a mile up the hill at 35th/Avalon). It then went into foreclosure, and was bought by new, unrelated owners who are behind this plan.
The proposal comes amid a mini-boom of projects along West Seattle’s northern waterfront, along Harbor and Alki Avenues; we reported earlier this week on new details of what’s in the works for the ex-Alki Tavern site, and one of last month’s Design Review meetings focused on the Alki Landing project at 59th/Alki.
Now, on to the details of last night’s presentation and decisionmaking:
After questions about a helicopter search in the Westwood/Roxhill area early today, here’s what we have found out: King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West says a 58-year-old woman reported being attacked near 26th/Roxbury (map) just after midnight:
A man called and said a woman asked him to call the police because she had been assaulted by an unknown male.
When we arrived, we contacted a 58-year-old woman who said she had been walking eastbound on Roxbury on the south side of the street. She said as she was walking, a man approached her and asked for a cigarette. She gave him a cigarette and then the man grabbed her and pulled her to a nearby lot. The suspect then physically and sexually assaulted her.
The woman was taken to Harborview for treatment. We attempted a K-9 track but did not locate the suspect. At this time the only description we have is a black man, approximately 25 years old, last seen wearing a dark hoodie.
Seattle Fire and Police responded too; SFD spokesperson Lt. Sue Stangl says the victim “was transported (by) medics in serious condition with face and head trauma.”
News from the Admiral Neighborhood Association:
ADOPT-A-STREET CLEANUP TOMORROW: Join ANA on Saturday morning by the main entrance of Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor), 9 am, to help clean up nearby streets. As noted by ANA president David Whiting in the announcement, “As always beverages, refreshments and sack lunches are provided, as well as gloves and tools.” So all you have to bring is yourself! (Youth helpers welcome, too.)
MEETINGS MOVE TO THE SANCTUARY: After years of meeting in the basement at Admiral Congregational Church, ANA is moving its regular meeting site starting this month. Meetings will now be at The Sanctuary at Admiral (northeast corner of 42nd/Lander), starting next Tuesday (March 11th), 7 pm. Speaking of which:
TUESDAY’S AGENDA: Pedestrian retail zoning – a topic at several other local community-group meetings this winter – will be discussed, along with the WSHS “Steps at Stevens” pedestrian-connection project.
One year into its existence, West Seattle’s newest community council – Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights, aka WWRHAH – has taken a look back at that momentous first year (here’s our report on their 2013 launch meeting). Chair Amanda Kay Helmick delivered a “state of the council” report at the monthly meeting earlier this week. It’s part of the meeting report that secretary Joe Szilagyi published to the WWRHAH website. He also noted toward the start of the report that the meeting (and therefore the wrapup) also touched on these questions:
How is the public feedback on the Roxbury safety study?
Are we going to re-channelize (road diet) Roxbury?
Should we have bike lanes on Roxbury?
Should we move some bus layovers to Roxbury from Westwood?
How are the safety changes going for the Westwood Rapid Ride stop?
Are buses causing shaking detectable as earthquakes on Barton, 26th, and Roxbury?
When will SDOT start working on 35th Ave SW safety?
Will re-hydrating the bog in Roxhill Park help reduce flooding across West Seattle?
Interested in any of the above? See the report here – and note that WWRHAH (all volunteers, like all local community councils) could use your help as its advocacy and other community work continues.
(Latest bridge and Viaduct views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
No major trouble reported through, or out of, West Seattle so far. So we start by looking ahead:
THIS WEEKEND: The I-5 expansion-joint work resumes; tonight until Monday morning, WSDOT will close up to 3 northbound collector-distributor lanes downtown, and here’s WSDOT’s animated GIF to show how that’s supposed to work:
NEXT WEEK: Highway 99 will close both ways between East Marginal Way and Atlantic four times next week, late night/early morning – details here:
8:05 AM: Still a relatively quiet commute per all the ways we monitor (including emergency radio, 911 log, Twitter, transportation agencies, and cameras).
If you’re a late-night/early-morning driver, here’s a heads-up: Highway 99 will be closed both ways between East Marginal Way and South Atlantic Street for 4 overnights next week – 9 pm to 5 am each night, Monday through Thursday (in other words, Monday/Tuesday 3/10-11, Tuesday/Wednesday 3/11-12, Wednesday/Thursday 3/12-13, Thursday/Friday 3/13-14). It’s to finish the Spokane Street Overcrossing, aka “Timber Bridge,” project on 99, which has been under way for about a year just south of the West Seattle Bridge. WSDOT spokesperson Kris Olsen tells WSB, “The closures are needed so we can do the final striping and complete the traffic shift onto the new bridge at Spokane Street. When the work is done, traffic will be back to two northbound and two southbound lanes. Work is weather-dependent, so if we can’t get it completed, the week of March 17 is our backup.” The project info page is here.
It was canceled fairly quickly, but it was so big that it caught a lot of attention, so here’s what emergency-radio traffic said about that big callout at Avalon/Bradford this past hour, in the Luna Park business district near the West Seattle Bridge: Someone reported that people were coughing inside a Metro bus because of some substance someone released – possibly mace or something like it. A “hazmat multiple casualty incident” response, with many units, ensued, but didn’t last long. Apparently the person who did it got off the bus, and the substance dissipated, and the bus continued on to 35th SW; no contamination was found. Seattle Police were reported to be looking for the person responsible.
Got a note from Lynette Jeung from the Sanislo Elementary PTA, asking if we would make note that the power IS back on at Sanislo Elementary and there WILL be school tomorrow. That’s according to a phone call from Sanislo principal Bruce Rhodes. (Sanislo was affected by today’s power problems, which are all now resolved.)
Design Review doubleheader, report #1: California/Seattle project passes Early Design Guidance on first tryMarch 6, 2014 at 8:09 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 10 Comments
(North side of 1606 California SW; design concept by Roger Newell AIA Architects)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
In the front end of tonight’s Southwest Design Review Board doubleheader, board members agreed that a residential project proposed for 1606 California SW in North Admiral, first mentioned here last October, deserved Early Design Guidance approval on its first try.
Architect Roger Newell says the project is envisioned to include 14 to 20 units, on a lot now occupied by two structures, on the southeast corner of California SW and SW Seattle. It’s zoned Lowrise 3, just west of a stretch of single-family-home zoning; that means 30 feet, with some extra height under certain conditions. He showed four possibilities for the site, detailed in its “design packet.”
Three West Seattle Crime Watch notes tonight:
A burglary followed by an auto theft meant double trouble at K‘s home:
Our house on 47th and SW Hinds was broken into Wednesday morning when we were out for about 40 min. Rock thrown through the back window. Thief took all of the usual items; MacBook, small electronics, jewelry box. What we didn’t realize was that they’d also taken the spare key to my car and came back last night to help themselves to that too! Car was found totaled in Holly Park by police at 3am.
Car vandalism is the problem in Antonio‘s neighborhood:
I just wanted to submit that the Cottage Grove area has seen some car vandalism lately. My neighbor on 26th has recently had one of his car windows bashed out or shot out parked on 26th and there is an apparent BB shot targeted at the window of my mother in laws car on the same street. This same car was a victim of a hit and run very recently while parked on the same street. I remember too a few months back a neighbor on the corner of 26th and Hudson had the side of his car tagged up but I’m unsure if he reported it or not. I guess long story short, people should be parking in their driveways or garages until whomever is responsible is apprehended. It’s quite pathetic whomever is doing this vandalism and awfully costly for those who have go through the hassle of insurance claims and out of pocket deductibles.
And a quick mention – beware of counterfeit bills; a local Girl Scout mom told us a troop selling at Admiral Safeway was given a fake $100 bill while selling cookies earlier this week.
Hottest ticket in town tonight - Ladies Night at West Seattle Thriftway – check out the line waiting to get in at 6 pm, perhaps enticed by the promise of 125 “swag bags” for the first to arrive – and they went fast!
Joining in providing the swag, local merchants, many of whom had reps on hand, including Menashe and Sons Jewelers
Cheryl is wearing a necklace from Menashe and Sons, that is being offered as a prize tonight:
Also on hand: Illusions Hair Design – that’s Heather in our photo:
You have until 8 pm to go check out “Ladies Night,” with food and wine among the enticements; Thriftway is at California/Fauntleroy/Morgan. (Disclosure P.S. – Thriftway, Menashe and Sons, and Illusions are all WSB sponsors.)
Thanks to Marlowe and Eric for pointing out the announcement – Safeway‘s buyer is no longer a secret; two weeks after first word the chain was talking with a potential buyer, it’s been announced that buyer is Cerberus Capital Management, parent of Albertsons. The two supermarket chains are describing it as a merger. Together, they’ll have about 2,400 stores, just under the 2,600 owned by Kroger, parent of QFC and Fred Meyer. And so far, they’re saying there are no plans to close any of the stores. West Seattle has three Safeways and no Albertsons. The latter closed a store in White Center (now Saar’s Super Saver Foods) two years ago. Here’s the official announcement.
Not only does West Seattle have excellent readers – see our previous story – but there’s a growing community of successful authors, too. The Southwest Seattle Historical Society-presented series “Words, Writers, & West Seattle” has had a stellar monthly lineup going since last year, and tomorrow is the next chapter: Conrad Wesselhoeft at Barnes and Noble/Westwood Village, 4-6 pm (Friday, March 7th). Along with his acclaimed “Adios, Nirvana,” Wesselhoeft has a new book due out next month, “Dirt Bikes, Drones, and Other Ways to Fly.”
The semifinals of the Seattle Public Library‘s Global Reading Challenge are under way downtown – and we have our first word of a West Seattle team making it to the GRC’s finals: SPL’s Mary Palmer tells us the Super Ultimate Nerdy Ninjas from Arbor Heights Elementary did well enough today to advance to the March 18th final. One more West Seattle team has yet to have its semifinal round – that’s Roxhill, tomorrow.
Update: Another West Seattle power outage affected ~2,000 after tree fell into Highland Park Way wiresMarch 6, 2014 at 1:34 pm | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 16 Comments
(Looks like the early-morning outage map, but this is the NEW one)
1:34 PM: It feels like déja vu to those who were up for the two-hour power outage in the middle of the night – because the footprint is just about the same. About 2,000 homes and businesses are without power right now, according to the City Light map.
(ADDED: Highland Park Way closure; photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
1:53 PM UPDATE: From City Light:
A large tree fell into wires near Highland Park Way SW and SW Othello Street. It broke several of the tie wires that keep the power lines attached to the insulators on the poles.
Crews are working to reroute power around the damage. This will bring about 75 percent of the affected customers back into service in the next 60-90 minutes.
Crews will then remove the tree and re-hang the wires in order to restore service to the remaining customers. We estimate being able to get that done about 5 p.m.
2:20 PM: One commenter reports power coming back. A few hundred customers have dropped off the City Light map.
2:39 PM UPDATE: We’ve added a photo from HP Way, which is indeed closed; Metro is sending messages about reroutes, including Route 131.
5:21 PM UPDATE: Back open, per Datamuse, in comments.
‘Alley vacation’ for The Whittaker? Preview what City Councilmembers will see at Tuesday’s public hearingMarch 6, 2014 at 12:31 pm | In 4755 Fauntleroy, Development, West Seattle news | 12 Comments
As we’ve been reporting for a month, next Tuesday is the official City Council Transportation Committee public hearing on the “alley vacation” request by the developers of The Whittaker, the 370-apartment, 600-parking-space project at 4755 Fauntleroy Way SW, with Whole Foods Market the only announced tenant so far. Two days ago, we showed you the SDOT memo sent to the committee by the staff that’s been reviewing the request for months. Now, the committee meeting’s agenda is out, and it includes other documents:
*Slide deck explaining the Seattle Design Commission‘s four reviews of the project before it voted last June to approve the “public benefits” that are required for alley/street vacations – see it here or via the Scribd viewer below:
*The Whittaker’s presentation – see it here or via the Scribd viewer below:
Again, the SDOT memo and an attachment were featured in this WSB story on Tuesday (and are also linked in the meeting agenda). Toward the end of that story, we noted we were reading the 22-page memo so we could post excerpts for those who didn’t want to go through the whole thing. We never got to add them so we’re doing so now, after the jump:
(Great Blue Heron photographed at Seacrest by David Hutchinson)
A half-dozen highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
FIRST THURSDAY DEMOCRATS: 11:30 am, it’s the monthly lunch meeting at Daystar. (2615 SW Barton)
LADIES NIGHT AT WEST SEATTLE THRIFTWAY: 6-8 pm, West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) plans an event with fun and giveaways – with a “swag bag” for the first 125 to arrive. (California/Fauntleroy/Morgan)
DESIGN-REVIEW DOUBLEHEADER: Two projects go before the Southwest Design Review Board for the first time tonight, with time for public comment: (updated) At 6:30 pm, 1606 California SW, and at 8 pm, 3257/3303 Harbor SW. Details on both, along with links to their “packets” so you can preview what will be presented, can be found in this story we published last week. Both reviews are at the Senior Center of West Seattle. (California/Oregon)
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN COMIC BOOK: Next session of this weekly class for 6-to-12-year-olds starts tonight at Delridge Community Center. (4501 Delridge Way SW)
‘THIRD’: Second night for ArtsWest‘s new production “Third,” written by Wendy Wasserstein. 7:30 pm performance. (4711 California SW)
LOTS MORE … check out our calendar!
Another national chain with a West Seattle presence is planning to close stores. Today, Staples – which has an outlet at Westwood Village – said it will shut down 225 stores, which is 12 percent of what it has in North America. As with Radio Shack earlier this week, the news came as part of a report of an earnings drop. And, also like Radio Shack, Staples is not yet announcing which stores it will close. (Thanks to Jon for the tip.)
(Latest bridge and Viaduct views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
The relentless rain continued overnight, along with some wind, so be careful during your commute – besides standing water/puddles, you might encounter downed debris. A two-plus-hour power outage affecting more than 2,000 homes/businesses/buildings in Puget Ridge, Highland Park, South Park, and White Center is now over, so you’re not likely to encounter non-working traffic lights. Our area is under a flood watch, with at least another half-inch of rain expected today.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The jury in the Morgan Junction murder trial never did re-enter the courtroom after lunch on Wednesday.
While they waited behind a closed door at the back of Superior Court Judge Theresa Doyle‘s courtroom – the door bailiff Nyoka Maraire opens multiple times each session before calling out, “Please rise for the jury!”– a drama played out just yards away, with the case’s future at stake.
Defense attorney Ben Goldsmith announced he wanted the judge to declare a mistrial – or, to at least have the jury be told to ignore the testimony of Seattle Police CSI Detective Kim Biggs, who had been on the witness stand all morning and part of the preceding afternoon.
Just before the noon break, Det. Biggs had been testifying about what she saw in defendant Lovett “Cid” Chambers‘s blue BMW, which has been in the SPD evidence-processing facility since hours after the January 21, 2012, fatal shooting of Travis Hood. She talked about going back for a look at its door locks recently. (They figure into the defense’s version of what happened that night.)
“Two weeks before the trial started, (prosecutor Margaret) Nave asked Detective Biggs to re-check the locks of the BMW. The defense was never told about this. We learned at 11:40 this morning when (Biggs) was testifying … that came as an enormous shock to us.”
It’s been a blustery night so far, and now more than 2,000 homes and businesses are without power in eastern West Seattle – parts of Puget Ridge and Highland Park – as well as South Park and White Center. City Light‘s map shows the extent but does not mention a specific cause yet – simply, “investigating.” (The image above is a screen shot of what the map shows right now.)
5:13 AM UPDATE: SCL now says a tree was to blame for the outage. Commenter Jen says the power’s back on in Riverview – that’s not reflected on the SCL map yet.
6:06 AM UPDATE: The map now shows everyone’s back on (please let us know if you’re not!).
By Patrick Sand and Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog co-publishers
With new development proposals appearing in West Seattle almost daily, the Southwest District Council is ready to keep a closer watch on what’s going on.
At tonight’s meeting, the SWDC – made up of reps from councils and organizations around western West Seattle – took steps toward forming a Land Use Subcommittee.
It’s a tool used elsewhere in the city (Queen Anne, for example), often providing a more consistent way for projects to get an early unofficial community review; right now, it’s literally and figuratively all over the map – sometimes developers engage community councils or round up stakeholders, sometimes they don’t.
SWDC co-chair Vlad Oustimovitch observed that development is one of the most top-of-mind topics in the area right now, along with transportation and public safety, so this is a natural move. He’s hopeful its members also can reach out to other neighborhoods to figure out more ways of collaborating when faced with similar challenges. The subcommittee’s membership isn’t final yet; once it’s up and running, it will provide regular reports to the council.
Also at tonight’s meeting: A farewell from Ed Pottharst, one of the neighborhood-district coordinators who has served this area for three years.
Ed’s not leaving city service, though – not even leaving the Department of Neighborhoods; he says a job came open working with the matching funds that help so many neighborhoods make dreams come true, so he’s moving to that side at the end of the month. His successor is being sought.
*Co-chair Sharonn Meeks brought up the Fire Station 32 rebuild (here’s our newest report) and the suggestion that electricity service be undergrounded in the area as part of the project, lest downed power lines keep crews from responding in case of catastrophe. She plans to talk with the city.
*New Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Wilske came to introduce himself.
*New West Seattle Chamber of Commerce CEO Lynn Dennis came to introduce herself, and said the WSCoC would resume sending a representative to the SWDC meetings, which hadn’t happened regularly for a while.
The Southwest District Council meets first Wednesdays, 6:30 pm, at the Senior Center of West Seattle.
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