West Seattle, Washington
Last Friday, hours after we first reported that a woman riding her bicycle from her West Seattle job to her Georgetown home had been attacked near Spokane and East Marginal, the city promised action this week – including clearing campers encroaching on the bicycle path in the area.
We’re following up on those promises, and to start with, we met up this afternoon with the Seattle Police sergeant who leads the Navigation Team (explained here), a team of officers and outreach workers.
Sgt. Eric Zerr tells us that the “hazard” clearance does not require the 72-hour notice called for in other areas, but they have been out talking to the people in the area, so they have been warned. He said an area on the north side of Spokane with about 10 “structures” will be cleared, but is not sure if they are all currently occupied. Here’s our five-minute interview recorded in that area this afternoon:
The Navigation Team is a citywide squad. Enforcement and patroling of the area is separate, handled by local officers (this area is in the South Precinct’s jurisdiction, not the West Seattle-based Southwest Precinct). While the RV camp to the south is not being cleared, as Sgt. Zerr reiterated and as the city Human Services Department explained on Friday, a major trash cleanup is planned in the area too later this week – starting on Wednesday. We’ll be following up tomorrow on specifics of those plans.
4:06 PM: That’s an SDOT-camera image of a semi-truck that’s gone onto its side on the 4th Avenue offramp from the eastbound West Seattle Bridge – so if you’re headed that way, you won’t be able to use that ramp for a while. To check the status, use the live-video feature at the lower right of the SDOT “travelers’ map” – choose Greater Duwamish on the pulldown, and then the 4th Avenue S./Spokane St. Viaduct camera, which is currently pointed at the scene.
4:59 PM: Camera shows a tow truck is now on the scene, though the truck has not yet been righted.
5:55 PM: Two tow trucks are there working on it, per the webcam view.
7:52 PM: Four hours and not upright yet – ramp still closed.
8:03 PM: If you watch the live video feed as explained above (not directly linkable, or we’d be doing that), the trailer’s now close to upright.
9 PM: As of a short time ago, SDOT says, the truck’s gone and the ramp’s open again.
Thanks to Lisa at CAPERS in The Junction for the heads-up after getting a scam call:
I just had someone call saying they were from Seattle City Light and that if I didn’t pay my bill in 20 minutes they would shut off my service. They also asked for a credit card to satisfy the bill.
She didn’t fall for it because she knew that’s NOT how City Light works – this is a phone scam that’s been going on for years, but it’s worth another reminder, since they’re obviously still getting some victims, or else they wouldn’t keep trying. Here’s the City Light webpage dedicated to stopping the scammers – with this advice:
If you suspect a scam attack or have questions regarding your bill, call our Customer Care Center at 206.684.3000 as well as the Seattle Police Department at 206.625.5011.
So busy with other news this morning, we forgot to check in on the midmorning announcement from Dick’s Drive-Ins about their South vs. East new-location poll, until Matt mentioned it on Twitter. The winner … South, potentially including West Seattle. Now they’re taking suggestions for specific locations … but given the criteria, might be hard to find a spot in West Seattle:
Anyone who would like to share a specific location in the South region should e-mail email@example.com. Dick’s Drive-In is interested in purchasing a parcel that is approximately one acre in size, close to high schools, colleges, nightlife and busy highways.
Dick’s says it received 177,645 votes plus 4,000+ e-mails “suggesting everything from a city preference to a specific address.”
ORIGINAL REPORT, 11:41 AM MONDAY: We had just noticed a few days ago that the “for lease” sign was gone at the former Subway site that closed last November at 2758 Alki Ave. SW. No hint at the time and nothing in public records – but this morning we found the windows papered and decorated with this:
Sushi Samurai has a Queen Anne location, according to the website on the flyer. We’ll be contacting them shortly to find out more. While the window flyers only say “coming soon,” we just found a social-media post that suggests they’re hoping to open May 1st.
UPDATE, 11:20 AM TUESDAY: Just got a reply to our e-mail inquiry, from proprietors Amanda and Ray Maranon:
If all goes to plan, permits, Liquor board, and all of the inspections, then yes we do plan on opening on May 1st. We are still planning our menu and our hours of operation.
We will be offering sit down, takeout and delivery. Our challenge is to provide 100% sustainable sushi in a fast casual setting. Our restaurant is going to be family-friendly and will have a fun atmosphere.
Our menu will be changing every season and we strive to use high-quality organic ingredients and sustainable seafood, and we also look forward to being part of the community.
Our family is very excited.
(From the WSB Flickr group: Vashon water taxi M/V Sally Fox passing Alki, photographed by Raul Baron)
Good morning and welcome to a new week! Four highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar for the rest of your Monday:
FREE TAX HELP: The deadline is getting closer, and if you need help, you might qualify for the ongoing free tax-prep help offered at various locations around the area. Today’s drop-in session is 2-7 pm at Delridge Library. (5423 Delridge Way SW)
COMMUNITY ORCHARD OF WEST SEATTLE: You’re invited to stop by for the weekly Monday work party – bring gloves and water – 3-5 pm. North end of South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus. (6000 16th SW)
TRIANGLE ADVISORY COMMITTEE’S LAST SCHEDULED MEETING: 4:30-7 pm today, it’s the last scheduled meeting of the citizens’ advisory group that’s been working on some “quick fixes” for Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferry route-related problems. Here’s the agenda. All welcome to attend; meeting’s in the Fauntleroy Church Fellowship Hall. (9140 California SW)
Looking ahead … does your business/church/organization have an Easter/Passover/spring-festival/etc. event coming up in West Seattle/White Center? (Including restaurants with special brunch/dinner plans.) We’re working on our special seasonal event page and would love to get the info on what you’re planning, ASAP – firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks!
6:37 AM: Welcome to the last workweek of the month – April starts next Saturday. But first, we’re watching traffic and transit for Monday, March 27th. No incidents in/from West Seattle so far.
TRIANGLE IMPROVEMENT TASK FORCE: Today brings the last scheduled meeting of the citizens’ committee working with Washington State Ferries on improvements along the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route. 4:30 pm-7 pm, Fauntleroy Church‘s Fellowship Hall (9140 California SW), all welcome.
9:04 AM: Quiet commute wrapping up. One note: We are now two weeks away from the start of the West Seattle Water Taxi’s seven-days-a-week spring/summer schedule – April 10th. You can preview it by scrolling down the main WSWT page.
(UPDATED 10:12 AM with Weingarten statement, 12:40 PM with Whole Foods statement)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 2:25 AM: Back in January, you might recall, we reported that Whole Foods had decided to delay its West Seattle opening in The Whittaker (WSB sponsor) until summer 2018. That was a delay from what the company told us last June, when it said the West Seattle WF would open “in the second half of 2017.” And that in turn was two years later than the original plan – when we reported in November 2012 that WF would anchor the 4755 Fauntleroy Way SW mixed-use project, the announcement projected the store would open in 2015. (A bitter battle over the project’s “alley vacation” – lots of backstory here – figured into some delays.)
Since our January report of the latest WF delay, rumors have continued to circulate that – as eventually turned out to be the case with its previously planned WS location across SW Alaska – Whole Foods might be icing the plan all together. But there were signs of life in city permit files as recent as last month, with an application and permit for sign installation.
This morning, there’s a new report – the Daily Journal of Commerce says in its Monday edition that Whole Foods has “decided to indefinitely delay its plans” for West Seattle. Note that most of the story is behind a paywall, so if you’re not a subscriber, you won’t be able to read it. We have already sent a followup inquiry to WF and will update when we get a direct update.
10:12 AM UPDATE: Our first reply of the morning is from Carrie Murray with Weingarten Realty, which owns The Whittaker’s retail space:
Weingarten Realty is actively working with Whole Foods to find a replacement for the space Whole Foods leased at The Whittaker. We currently have several prospects interested but we cannot make an announcement at this time.
12:40 PM UPDATE: Whole Foods spokesperson Beth Krauss‘s statement in response to our inquiry does not elaborate further:
As part of a careful evaluation of our growth strategy, Whole Foods Market has decided to delay indefinitely the opening of our West Seattle store. We look forward to continuing to serve Seattle with our three other area locations: Interbay, Roosevelt Square, and South Lake Union.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
One year has now passed since first word of a brazen round of tree-cutting on publicly owned slopes in east Admiral.
On Saturday, March 26, 2016, a stream of visitors made their way to the narrow street ends from which the cut trees could be seen (the photos above are from just north of City View/34th). The night before, The Seattle Times had broken the news, reporting that more than 100 trees had been cut on Parks– and SDOT-owned land, apparently weeks earlier.
Among those who visited the slashed slopes a year ago today were City Attorney Pete Holmes and City Councilmember Lisa Herbold. As noted that day in our first followup, she reported being “assured that criminal and civil sanctions are on the table for the responsible parties.”
No criminal cases so far. But you might recall that midway through the past year – six months after the tree-cutting went public – Holmes announced two civil lawsuits on September 20, 2016. One involved “the northern site” (off 35th SW), naming nearby residents Stanley Harrelson and Mary Harrelson and Martin Riemer and Karrie Riemer, as well as Forrest Bishop and John Russo, who the city alleges “were hired by the Harrelsons and Riemers to cut trees on city property located adjacent and/or across from (theirs).” The second suit involved “the southern site” (off City View), naming nearby residents Kostas Kyrimis and Linda Kyrimis. Both lawsuits also mentioned John/Jane Does whose identities the city had not learned yet.
(March 2017 video by Christopher Boffoli)
Since then, we have continued to watch the online files of both lawsuits, which have tentative trial dates in fall 2017. Two months after the filings, we reported last November on some action in both cases: The Kyrimises had sought a stay, saying they “have good cause to believe that one or more criminal charges are potentially going to be brought against them.” They were granted a partial stay. The Harrelsons and Riemers, meantime, filed documents that acknowledged they hired Bishop and Russo for tree-cutting but specifically not admitting to any involvement in the illegal tree-cutting on the city parcels. The Harrelsons’ lawyer acknowledged that a month before the tree-cutting came to light publicly, they had contacted the city — “on February 5, 2016, the Harrelson Defendants sent a letter to the City advising the City of what had occurred on the Parcels and offering to share a remediation plan the Harrelson Defendants had developed with a former arborist for the City’s Department of Parks and Recreation. …”
Since that report, another four months have gone by; we’ve continued to check the files, and nothing else of note has happened in the cases. No criminal charges, either misdemeanor or felony, either. In preparation for this “one year later” update, we checked directly at week’s end with both offices that would be involved with such filings – the City Attorney’s Office (if misdemeanor) and the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office (if felony).
KCPAO spokesperson Dan Donohoe said nothing has yet been referred to their office (which would have to happen before prosecutors could prepare felony charges). CAO spokesperson Kimberly Mills told us they have nothing to report yet but affirmed that the investigation is still very much active. So we haven’t heard the end of it, apparently. Stay tuned.
Services are planned Tuesday for Clement John “Chelly” Chelminiak, 96. Here’s the remembrance his family is sharing with the community:
Clement John Chelminiak – July 17, 1920 to March 17, 2017
C.J. Chelminiak lived a remarkably American life. He loved his family, his community, and he had a deep faith in God.
Born in South Bend, Indiana, he ran outside to watch the Spirit of St. Louis fly over. That inspired a young man and he worked 42 years at Boeing and was one of Joe Sutter’s “Incredibles” who designed the 747. He enjoyed the Boeing retirees lunch in Renton on Thursdays.
“Chelly” was all about family. He is survived by his children, Paul, Kathy, and John (Lynn Semler). There are four grandchildren, Mindy Simmons, Kelsy Ausland (Aaron), Morgan Tuff, and Megan Chelminiak, and a great-grandchild, William Ausland. His youngest sister Antoinette (Angie) Claxton survives him. He was preceded in death by his parents Leo and Theresa Chelminiak, brothers Ted and John, and sisters Gertrude McKiel and Sr. Helen Marie C.R.
The greatest commitment of his life was to his wife Gertrude Kroll, who left us much too soon. He wore his wedding ring through more than 30 years of grieving. And now, they are dancing a polka in heaven.
Dad and Mom moved to Seattle toward the end of World War II. They came with son Paul, and soon daughter Kathy arrived; son John arrived at West Seattle Hospital in 1952. They lived in apartments along California Ave. SW, not far from West Seattle High School. They made lifelong friends in those apartments – other families, most of whom worked at Boeing. We spent our major holidays together with those families for several decades.
In 1949, Dad built the family home on Genesee Hill. He remained in the home until days before his death. The neighborhood was his closest family. Growing up, we had water fights, picnics, parties, touch football games and incredible Fourth of July celebrations. Those families grew up and moved out and new families came. Dad made fast and lifelong friends with those families, and they became part of our celebrations. West Seattle was his true home.
His rock was Holy Rosary Church, and he used his engineering skills on many building projects there. His neighbors on Genesee Hill were often his best friends. He loved the mountains, golfing, and Hawaii.
Chelly followed traditions. One of those passed down to all family members is making Polish sausage. It is the heart of all family celebrations. Dad was the master mixer. All of us were the grinders and stuffers.
Services will be Tuesday, March 28, at Holy Rosary Church – West Seattle. Rosary will be at 9:45 a.m., Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. with a reception to follow. A donation to the American Cancer Society is requested in lieu of flowers. Aloha!!
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
And MORE citywide champs! The photo and report are from Michelle Gaither:
The Southwest Community Center Boys’ Rec 13U team won the Seattle Parks and Rec Championship for 2017.
Congrats to Coach Joel and (L-R), Koelton, Isaac, Teagan, Anthony, Richard, Keller, Uiligi, Kobe, Syr, Quinn, Coach.
Wondering how to get involved in citywide youth sports? Go here.
Another local girls-basketball team is celebrating a citywide championship! The photo and report are from Rob:
I wanted to share the great news about our girls’ 12-year-old competitive-division team that plays out of Hiawatha Community Center. After an undefeated season, the girls had a dominating performance in a 39-25 defeat of Laurelhurst Community Center for the competitive-division championship today! Great job, girls!!
From left to right: Lauren Wright, Wynn Larsen, Simone Lieberman, Emily Larsen, Chloe Stephens, Nya Crump, Aimee Askay, Molly Hatfield, Carmen Cruz, Sam Seidl, Sylvie Gliko, Tohni Robinson, Coach Daimen Crump, Coach Rob Wright, Coach Kristi Crump.
We spotted this sign this afternoon at Boss Drive-In (formerly Burger Boss) while checking out something unrelated in South Delridge. The “soda tax” refers to the “sugary beverages tax” proposed by Mayor Murray in his State of the City speech, as reported here one month ago.
The two-cents-per-ounce tax, to be charged to distributors, would not just be on sodas, as defined: “The ordinance defines sugary drinks to include liquids with a specified amount of caloric sweetener, syrups and powders that are used to prepare sugary beverages,” including fruit drinks, energy drinks, sweetened teas, and ready-to-drink coffee drinks (in bottles/cans/etc., not mixed and served at a coffee shop), as further explained here. The ordinance creating the tax has not yet been introduced so far as we can tell; if approved, the mayor says, it is expected to raise $16 million a year for programs meant to close the educational opportunity gap, “based on recommendations from the Education Summit Advisory Group,” which are detailed in this 150+-page report.
FACT-CHECKING: As for whether it would create $5 sodas – depends on how you crunch the numbers. One way to have a $5 soda would be a base price of $3 for 100 ounces – that’s 12 1/2 cups of soda – and $2 in tax (2 cents an ounce). Since it would be charged to distributors, depends on how they would pass it along.
Like many places, West Seattle has more than a few “best-kept secrets.” Is the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) Arboretum one of them? That’s what the Arboretum Advisory Committee hopes you can help them find out. Even if you’ve never heard of it, they would love to have your participation in this quick one-page online survey, as they gauge community awareness while working toward celebrating the Arboretum’s 40th anniversary next year.
12:13 PM: Thanks to Trileigh for first tip – orcas have been seen off Alki in the past half-hour, headed southbound. While we were writing this, Donna from The Whale Trail called in a tip too – look toward Blake Island.
12:46 PM: Texter says they are visible “mid-Blake” – so you should be able to see them from the Beach Drive shoreline, especially Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook.
1:48 PM: Commenter Jen says they’re off Vashon now.
The photos and report are from Joshua Hansell, Japanese teacher at Chief Sealth International High School, where his students and visitors shared what he calls “two weeks of Japan at Sealth”:
First, from March 2nd to 12th Sealth hosted a student group from Moriyama, Japan for the 6th year in a row. The group stayed with host families around West Seattle, enjoyed Seattle sights including Boeing’s factory tour, and participated in Japanese classes at Sealth. If you’d like to host a student for 10 days next year, please contact Sealth’s Japanese teacher Joshua Hansell – email available on Sealth’s website.
All that Saturday, 100 high school students from as far away as Ellensburg studied traditional Japanese arts like Tea Ceremony, Kendo, Taiko drumming, and the musical instrument Koto, all in Japanese. Students made and enjoyed a curry and gyoza lunch, then competed in teams for exciting Japan-themed prizes in the afternoon.
(Barred owl in Fauntleroy Park, photographed by Mark Wangerin)
Short list compared to Saturday – here’s what we have:
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: Year-round, rain or shine, in the street in The Junction, 10 am-2 pm. (California SW between SW Alaska and SW Oregon)
WEST SEATTLE LITTLE LEAGUE JAMBOREE: Day 2 for West Seattle Little League is scheduled for Minors on the field right now (9-10 year-olds), Majors (11-12) starting at 1:45, playing through 7:15 pm, but keep an eye on the weather. Bar-S Playfields. (64th SW/Admiral Way)
SEED SWAP: 2-3:30 pm at West Seattle (Admiral) Library, it’s the third annual Seed Swap: “Bring as much information as you have about your seeds, such as variety, growth habit and days to maturity. Please – no hybrid seeds, old seeds or GMO seeds.” Co-hosted by Seattle Farm School. (2306 42nd SW)
GET ON STAGE/GET INVOLVED! Second monthly open-microphone event at The Skylark, presented by Mode Music Studios (WSB sponsor). This month’s spotlight organization/beneficiary is Mary’s Place, which helps families experiencing homelessness (and is operating the newly opened King County shelter in White Center). Signups at 3, music at 4, all ages; more info in our calendar listing. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
SILVER LINING: “Neo-retro” music, live at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 3-5 pm. (5612 California SW)
LOOK INTO THE FUTURE via our full-calendar page!
22 years after four Seattle firefighters died in the Mary Pang warehouse arson, the loss continues to loom large for SFD. The department’s Joint Training Facility in southeast West Seattle has a new memorial to the lost firefighters, thanks to a local Eagle Scout who officially presented it at a ceremony this afternoon.
Ben Beale is an 18-year-old O’Dea HS senior who is a member of West Seattle Troop 282. He and his troop were at the JTF this afternoon along with SFD Chief Harold Scoggins (with Ben in the photo above) and other SFD representatives, including firefighter Isaac Rivera, who introduced Ben and worked with him on the project, for which Seattle Fire Fighters Union IAFF Local 27 was also acknowledged:
Before the ceremony, we asked Ben how he first heard of the Pang arson tragedy, which happened years before he was born. He explained that his brother also had created a memorial which was on display at West Seattle’s Fire Station 32 (and will be returned when the new FS 32 is complete). He decided to make one for the JTF.
Along with a small-scale model of Hai Ying Wu‘s Occidental Square memorial sculpture, its materials include rock, rope, and rough-hewn wood, to show the challenging circumstances in which firefighters risk their lives. “Firefighters work hard, and find a way to get things done,” he noted.
Ben’s project will be permanently on display in the JTF administration building’s main hallway. While it’s not routinely open to the public, the building does host some public events (such as community meetings in the past year related to the nearby Myers Way Parcels), so look for it if you go to one.
Thanks to Nicole Sipila for the photo and report!
The High Point Community Center Girls Rec 12U team won the Seattle Parks and Rec Championship for 2017.
Many of these girls have been playing together since 2nd grade. They went undefeated in the regular season, with one loss in pre- season. Tonight they won an intense game against Laurelhurst Community Center.
Congrats to Coach Gaither and Coach Dabbs for leading these young ladies to an extra-special season. The parents are so grateful to these volunteer coaches.
In the photo: Top row – Coach Gaither, Hailey D, Lauren, Paloma H, Vivian G, Nora J, Coach Dabbs. Bottom row – Kailey B, Delaney S, Katie H, Hannilore P. (Not pictured, Lane N.)
8:41 AM: Went over to find out. Our crew talked with firefighters, who say it turned out to be a small kitchen fire in an apartment.
The West Seattle Food Bank touches lives in many ways – if you’ve never needed its services, chances are you’ve donated to help those who do. This afternoon, the WS Food Bank opened its doors to everyone to show off its new “store model” operations – as shown here last month, this remodel enables the food bank to serve more people, more hours, in a more natural and dignified way. The open House (continuing until 6 pm) is also a chance for people to ask questions and enjoy some treats, catered by Luna Park-based Duos (in our photo, chicken/waffle bites and coconut shrimp):
Another way to help the WS Food Bank, besides donating food and/or money, is to attend this year’s Instruments of Change dinner/auction, set for May 13th. WSB is proud to be a sponsor this year; go here to find out more about the event and to buy your ticket(s).
Two stolen cars to watch for, both Honda Civics – here are the reader reports we received this afternoon:
From Sibyl: “My car was stolen last night, ’96 Civic, red/rosy-ish color. License plate AHH7425.”
From Todd: “Just discovered our 2007 blue Honda Civic Hybrid 4-door car was stolen sometime between 7 pm Friday night and Saturday morning. It was parked in front of our house on 3200 block of 41st Ave. License plate is AON8130.”
If you see either one, call 911.