West Seattle salmon: Help Puget Soundkeeper scout, and save, Longfellow Creek coho

November 21, 2014 at 3:04 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle news, Wildlife | No Comments

(Photos by Torin Record-Sand for WSB, unless otherwise credited)
Tomorrow morning, you’re invited to join Puget Soundkeeper Alliance for a walk along Longfellow Creek in North Delridge, as the group continues to investigate the health of local salmon. We got a preview by joining Kathryn Davis and Michelle Piñon from Soundkeeper on Wednesday as they were joined by Elissa Ostergaard, a creek steward from South King County.

As WSB readers had reported earlier this month, they say they’ve seen many coho in the creek. We didn’t see any live fish on Wednesday, perhaps because of the semi-long dry spell (now over), but we did learn what you can find out from a dead fish, once one was spotted:

Click to read the rest of West Seattle salmon: Help Puget Soundkeeper scout, and save, Longfellow Creek coho…

Followup: Driver found guilty of assault for hitting bike rider in North Delridge

November 21, 2014 at 12:55 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 36 Comments

More than a year after a charge was filed, there’s a verdict in the case of a woman charged with assault for deliberately driving her car into a co-chair of the North Delridge Neighborhood Council. According to court files, King County Superior Court jury has found 38-year-old Erika Soerensen guilty of second-degree assault against 33-year-old Jake Vanderplas. After two days of deliberations, jurors reached the verdict this past Wednesday, two weeks after proceedings began with pre-trial motions.

The assault happened near 26th SW/SW Andover on July 8, 2013, and first came to light later that day in a letter by Vanderplas, sent to and published by Seattle Bike Blog later that day. Police found Soerensen six days later, slowed by the fact it had a California plate but had been sold to her a few months earlier; prosecutors charged her in October with second-degree assault, of which she has now been found guilty.

The investigation indicated that Soerensen had first passed Vanderplas “at a high rate of speed” while northbound on 26th SW, a neighborhood-greenway street; he then passed her, and after following him at 20 mph for several blocks, repeatedly honking her horn, she swerved into Vanderplas, who suffered a hand injury, and then she drove away; police tracked her down about a week later. As noted in charging documents, her 2002 Nissan Sentra “has a curb weight of 2,519 pounds” while Vanderplas’s 2007 Schwinn LeTour bicycle weighs about 30 pounds.

Her sentencing is set for January 9th, in the courtroom of Judge Regina Cahan, who presided over the trial. The standard range for that crime is three to nine months’ imprisonment.

Cassis: Welcoming the bistro on Alki as a new WSB sponsor

November 21, 2014 at 12:01 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle restaurants | 7 Comments

Today we’re welcoming one of our newest WSB sponsors, Cassis, the bistro at 2820 Alki Avenue SW. Here’s what proprietor Jef Fike wants you to know:

The summer crowds are gone from the beach and we’re anxious to meet our new neighbors!

Cassis Bistro was open for 7 years on Capitol Hill and was a top ten restaurant in Seattle during that time. We have re-located to West Seattle and we love our new community.

Our food is anchored in French traditional bistro fare. It’s not fussy or precious. It’s just delicious, hearty, and comforting with lots of classics. Our menus change monthly to reflect the seasons and the local, fresh ingredients so readily available in Seattle. We work with small farmers and are committed to organic, grass-fed, non-processed ingredients. We have a great happy hour as well as wine specials on Mondays and Wednesdays beginning in December. We will also be doing Sunday suppers beginning in December.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter at jef@cassisalki.com and like our Facebook page, Cassis. You can also follow us on Instagram at cassis_alki.

See you at the beach!

We thank Cassis for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.

Followup: Bridge backup from hour-and-a-half tow-truck wait = Case of ‘confusion’

November 21, 2014 at 10:51 am | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 16 Comments

10:51 AM: Remember last week’s high-bridge backup, involving a lane blocked by a crash-damaged car that didn’t get towed for an hour and a half?

(Our screengrab from just before the tow truck arrived – note the police car toward the right)
City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen has just published his tale of trying to sort out how that happened, and the bottom line is:

SPD told him they thought they are legally at the mercy of whatever the driver wanted to do about getting towed.

But – the City Attorney told Rasmussen – they weren’t.

So, Rasmussen writes, SPD Chief Kathleen O’Toole promises she will “have officers trained to eliminate the confusion.”

You can go here to read what he went through to find this out (including the behind-the-scenes timeline of last week’s incident, which largely matches what we had reported, including a mention at one point of a possible 2-hour tow-truck wait).

P.S. Rasmussen adds that an even-longer delay from earlier this year – remember the 4-mile, 5-hour Highway 99 closure in June? – will get a review in the council Transportation Committee, which he chairs, at 9:30 am December 5th, along with “SDOT and SPD’s new emergency incident response plan for these types of major closures.” (You can read the “after-action report” about that incident here.)

ADDED 10:39 PM: Councilmember Rasmussen shares this forwarded e-mail sent department-wide by Chief O’Toole tonight:

From: O’Toole, Kathleen
Sent: Friday, November 21, 2014 5:33 PM
Subject: Impeding Traffic

The ability to move vehicles and people about the city can be seriously impeded by a single blocking vehicle. During a recent incident on the West Seattle Bridge, traffic was unnecessarily delayed for hours pending the arrival of a tow truck. Officers should know that a vehicle may be impounded WITHOUT prior notice if “the vehicle is impeding or is likely to impede the normal flow of vehicular or pedestrian traffic.” (SMC 11.30.040) If an owner’s selected tow company is not able to respond in a timely manner, the officer should request an impound via Communications to have the impeding vehicle removed from the scene promptly.
(http://www.seattle.gov/police/publications/manual/06_120_impounding_Vehicles.html)

If disabled vehicles are not impeding the flow of pedestrian or vehicle traffic, owners may request tow companies of their choice.

Kathleen M. O’Toole
Chief of Police

West Seattle Friday: Wine; movies; music; theater; school benefits

November 21, 2014 at 10:01 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 1 Comment

(Varied thrush, photographed in Lincoln Park by Trileigh Tucker)
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar for today/tonight:

BOOKFAIR TODAY/TONIGHT TO BENEFIT ROXHILL ELEMENTARY: As explained here earlier this week, all day, a percentage of purchases at Barnes/Noble (in store or online) will go to Roxhill Elementary if you mention it’s their Bookfair day (see the voucher # in our story) – plus, special in-store readings at the Westwood Village store tonight. (2600 SW Barton)

FALL WINE RELEASE … at the Northwest Wine Academy on the north end of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus, including complimentary tastings. Second of three days, 2-7 pm – more info in our calendar listing. (6000 16th SW)

JAZZ AT SALTY’S: Tonight’s music slate starts at 5 pm at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor) with the New Orleans jazz sounds of the Dave Holo Trio. (1936 Harbor SW)

MORE MUSIC TONIGHT … various venues, go directly to the calendar!

REACHING FOR THE STARS: West Seattle High School‘s annual auction is tonight at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) – see our calendar listing for details – 5:30-8:30 pm. (6000 16th SW)

HPIC MOVIE NIGHT – SPECIAL EARLY START! This time around at Highland Park Improvement Club, doors open at 6, kids’ short film (think Peanuts and Thanksgiving!) at 6:15, main feature at 7 (see our calendar listing for description). Movie’s free, chairs available (or BYO pillows/blankets), concessions available for purchase. (12th/Holden)

‘DOGFIGHT’ AT ARTSWEST: 7:30 pm, this “romantic and heartbreaking story,” a musical based on a 1991 film, continues at ArtsWest (WSB sponsor) in The Junction – final weekend! (4711 California SW)

‘GATHERING BONES’: Performance at Twilight Gallery in The Junction, 8 pm (doors open at 7), details in our calendar listing – check to see if tickets are still available, as space is limited. (4306 SW Alaska)

Holiday giving: Turkey drive this Sunday and other ways to help White Center Food Bank (which serves part of West Seattle too)

November 21, 2014 at 9:04 am | In How to help, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

It’s time for our seasonal reminder … did you know that West Seattle is served not only by the WS Food Bank but also by the White Center Food Bank, whose “official” territory begins at SW Myrtle? We mention this so you can be sure to include BOTH in your holiday giving. We’ve been mentioning WSFB donation drives, and now we have some WCFB info too:

TURKEY DRIVE THIS SUNDAY: 9 am-noon at Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW), drop by with a turkey – White Center Food Bank executive director Rick Jump (at right, file photo from 2011 holidays) will have a refrigerated truck onsite so you can drop by with a frozen turkey and know that it will get to a WCFB client before Thanksgiving.

IF YOU CAN’T MAKE IT TO FAUNTLEROY ON SUNDAY, STOP BY WCFB ON SATURDAY: For holiday food donations, the food bank has added extra dropoff hours at its HQ this Saturday, 11 am-2 pm – 10829 8th SW (map).

OR, DONATE FOOD DURING REGULAR HOURS: 9 am-5 pm Mondays-Fridays, you are welcome to stop by that same address with food donations. (Or a check! Speaking of which …)

DONATE MONEY: Most of the time, food banks can buy more with your dollar than what you can get for it at a supermarket. (Turkeys, we’re told, are the rare exception, given the Thanksgiving-season prices.) Here’s the “donate” page on the WCFB website.

P.S. WC Food Bank development director Kristina Dahl says food/financial donations at Roxbury Safeway (as part of Northwest Harvest’s “Hometown Harvest”) benefit WCFB. Ask for her if you stop by WCFB HQ weekdays, and she’d be happy to give you a tour!

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Rainy Friday; weekend preview

November 21, 2014 at 7:02 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | No Comments

(WS high/low bridges and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
So far this morning, the rain is the biggest factor affecting everyone heading out for the day:


WEEKEND NOTES: Here’s the citywide weekend advisory from SDOT.

8:08 AM: As you can see on the top left camera, there’s a stalled vehicle on the ramp – Justina sent first word via Twitter, that it’s up the eastbound ramp “from Luna Park.”

8:22 AM: Camera shows police have now arrived behind the stalled SUV.

2nd SW hit-and-run crash victim looking for witnesses

November 20, 2014 at 11:49 pm | In Crime | No Comments

Just as we were heading to the Delridge/Brandon crash scene this evening, we heard another call, a crash at 2nd SW/West Marginal Way. We weren’t able to make it there, and no serious injuries were reported, but we’ve just learned via e-mail from one of the victims, a West Seattleite, that it was a hit-and-run:

I’m one of three parties who were victim to a hit & run at 4:45 pm today. The fourth vehicle that caused the chain reaction turned around and sped off in the opposite direction.

It was dark, but a pedestrian at the side of the road (2nd Ave SW, just south of West Marginal Way SW) said the vehicle that fled the scene was a dark Dodge pick-up truck, probably 6 or 7 years old. (I can only confirm what I saw in my rear-view mirror: a DARK PICK-UP TRUCK.) It will have front end damage to this extent: The guilty party struck the car ahead, pushing it into the next car (totaling it), which then struck my vehicle.

If anyone has any information, call Seattle Police SW Precinct: (206) 733-9800 Incident #14-388737.

West Seattle development: 3824 California SW finished with Design Review after 4th meeting

November 20, 2014 at 8:34 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 27 Comments

(Renderings by Johnston Architects)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The project proposed for the former Charlestown Café site at 3824 California SW went before the Southwest Design Review Board for the fourth time tonight. Board members agreed to allow it to advance out of the process, provided several conditions were met – mostly fine-tuning.

The project now includes 27 units in six three-story buildings, punctuated by courtyards, with 26 parking spaces on the east side of the site. (You can see the full “design packet” here.)

As the two-hour meeting began, Megan McKay of Johnston Architects reviewed changes to the project since last time around, including removal of a live-work unit, and revisions in landscaping and street-tree plans (they’re asking for a “departure” to maintain the existing street-tree zone along California, and they’re planning to add trees along Bradford, on the project’s south side).

Click to read the rest of West Seattle development: 3824 California SW finished with Design Review after 4th meeting…

Update: Driver hits pedestrian at Delridge/Brandon; police say victim did not survive

November 20, 2014 at 4:36 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 66 Comments

(WSB photo: Vehicle involved in collision, per police)
4:36 PM: Thanks to everybody who has messaged us about an emergency response at Delridge/Brandon – we’re working to find out more; avoid the area for now.

4:39 PM: This is reported to be a case of a vehicle hitting a pedestrian – a ~40-year-old man, and medics are doing CPR on him right now. Delridge will be closed for hours – the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad is on the way to investigate, as they do with all crashes that result in serious injuries or worse. Metro Route 120 is being rerouted, according to a text alert – use stops north of Brandon or south of Juneau. The victim is being taken to Harborview, per SPD.

5:01 PM: We’re at Delridge/Brandon, which is where southbound traffic is being detoured west (and where northbound traffic is being detoured to, coming from south of here). Congested, to say the least, so if you can delay your return home, or find a very alternative way to get around – do it.

(Added: Photo by Alex)
5:20 PM: Police tell us at the scene that they’ve been told the pedestrian did not survive.

6:22 PM: According to a tweet from police, Delridge has reopened.

11:01 PM: No further official information tonight about the victim or the crash circumstances; we’ll be following up tomorrow.

FRIDAY NOTE: We expect to write a separate followup later today, but in the meantime, in case you don’t read the comment section: A DESC spokesperson confirms to WSB that the victim was a Cottage Grove Commons resident. Police have yet to release further information about the crash; a commenter who identifies herself as the victim’s sister says he was in the crosswalk when hit.

FRIDAY AFTERNOON NOTE: Police have published a short update on SPD Blotter. We noted it earlier in comments but also want to note here, since our full update is still in the works – the two new pieces of information are that the victim was 52 years old, and that he was crossing at the intersection when hit.

Early warning: More King County Wastewater Treatment work ahead, this time at two Alki sites

November 20, 2014 at 3:13 pm | In Utilities, West Seattle news | No Comments

Another alert from King County Wastewater Treatment, this time for work coming up in the Alki area in early December. See the alert here or scroll through it below:

West Seattle Crime Watch: Sex-sting arrest in restaurant parking lot

November 20, 2014 at 1:43 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 22 Comments

ORIGINAL REPORT, 1:43 PM: You might have seen/heard regional-media reports last night about a 60-year-old man described as an Everett firefighter, arrested in a Seattle sex sting. Seattle Police have just released a little more information about the case, including noting that the arrest happened in West Seattle. This afternoon’s SPD Blotter report says the man was arrested …

… Wednesday afternoon after he showed up for a rendezvous with an underage prostitute, who turned out to be an undercover detective.

The Vice/High-Risk Victims Unit (HRVU) detective had exchanged messages with the 60-year-old firefighter during an online sting targeting men looking for sex with underage girls, and the man had agreed to meet up for sex.

The suspect showed up to meet what he believed was an underage prostitute in West Seattle, and detectives took him into custody.

We expect to have more information after the man’s bail hearing this afternoon and will update this report.

3:41 PM: We have just received the court document with the police account of what happened, following the suspect’s bail hearing (he’s now held in lieu of $50,000 bail). Will transcribe here. First, to answer your most likely question, already asked in comments (and we had a call out to police, as-yet unanswered), “where did this happen?”: The initial rendezvous was set to happen in the Taco Time parking lot in The Triangle, and the suspect was expecting to follow his contact (the nonexistent 15-year-old’s “father”) to an apartment from there. Adding …

Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Watch: Sex-sting arrest in restaurant parking lot…

Update: Power outage at Westwood Village

November 20, 2014 at 12:31 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news, Westwood | No Comments

12:31 PM: Thanks to Deb and Melissa for the notes about this. A power outage is affecting some of the stores at Westwood Village. Melissa says it’s in the center of the mall, including Barnes and Noble, which is closed for the day since repairs are not estimated to be complete until after 4 pm. Again, this has not closed ALL the WWV stores, but if you’re headed that way in the next few hours, you might check first if your destination is open or closed.

4:15 PM: The outage is no longer on the City Light map, which indicates it’s fixed.

Reader report: ‘Construction project’ in Lincoln Park treetop

November 20, 2014 at 12:19 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks, Wildlife | 6 Comments

Thanks to West Seattleite Art Cazares for the quick clip and this report:

It has been one or two years since I last witnessed the birth of a new clutch “eaglets” at Lincoln Park, in West Seattle. I watched meticulously last time the Bald Eagles produced their clutch resulting in two chicks; one which died or fell out of the nest. Even more exciting, was to witness the successful raising on the one chick who grew into young adulthood and eventually flew away. Many at the park marveled each day and set up cameras and lawn chairs to witness the daily feedings and events.

Well, I’m pleased to report that the eagles have returned and once again; the warbled communication of their cries can be heard as they rebuild the nest that was partially destroyed by wind storms just a couple of months ago. I’ve included footage that i took just yesterday as the female returned to her nest with twigs and branches. It’s exciting to see that this mated pair might be planning for a new family next year. I’ve been to Lincoln Park 3 days in a row in the early morning to witness this rebuilding.

If you stand below the nest (which is about 100 feet up), you can see many branches sitting at the base of the trunk of the evergreen tree…auspiciously, the eagles have done some remodeling! :)

Cheers and best of luck to the “love birds!”

Just might be the same eagle photographed by Trileigh Tucker and shown here two weeks ago (or that eagle’s mate)! (She also documented, 2 years ago, the eaglet that Art mentions.) Read more about bald eagles here.

West Seattle biznotes: Reasons to visit Morgan Junction tonight

November 20, 2014 at 11:18 am | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Also happening tonight – all within a few blocks of California SW in Morgan Junction:

TRY GLUTEN-FREE FRIED CHICKEN: From proprietor Bruce @ Harry’s Chicken Joint (WSB sponsor):

We are introducing a new product, *fried chicken without breading* for those who prefer a gluten-free option. Chickens will be available in whole ($24/12 pc) or half ($13/6pc) and are smoked and then fried in our cast-iron skillets. This is a delicious alternative.

We are inviting folks to come to the Beveridge Place Pub (6413 California SW) tonight at 6:00 for free samples. Call Harry’s at 206-938-9000 for more details.

‘LADIES’ NIGHT’ WITH PIZZA: Three other Morgan Junction businesses are teaming up for a Ladies’ Night extended-hours shopping event tonight, 6-9 pm. One is Peel and Press (6503 California SW), which is providing pizza and appetizers at the other two, Second Gear Sports (6529 California SW) and My Three Little Birds (6959 California SW), both of which are featuring “new items for the holidays and, of course, high quality, gently used resale/consigned goods” with giveaways and discounts.

West Seattle Thursday: Native Culture Night; Design Review; Morgan Junction zoning change; Alki Community Council…

November 20, 2014 at 9:04 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | No Comments

(Photo by Jordan, shared via the WSB Flickr group)
Just a sampling of what’s on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar for today/tonight:

PRESCHOOL STORY TIMEat Southwest Branch Library, 10:30 am. (35th/Henderson)

FALL WINE RELEASE … at the Northwest Wine Academy on the north end of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus, including complimentary tastings. First day today, 2-7 pm – more info in our calendar listing. (6000 16th SW)

MEDICAL MARIJUANA & HOW THE CITY DEALS WITH IT: 5 pm tonight is the symposium mentioned here earlier this month – not in West Seattle, but possibly of interest given the number of dispensaries here. City Hall downtown. (600 4th Ave.)

NATIVE CULTURE NIGHT: 5:30-7:30 pm, you’re invited to this event at Highland Park Elementary School:

The Highland Park Community Pow Wow Association is hosting Native Culture Night on Thursday, November 20th from 5:30-7:30 pm at Highland Park Elementary School! There will be traditional drumming, storytelling, a silent auction featuring authentic native artwork and crafts, and delicious cultural foods for sale. This event is open to the whole community. Funds raised will go towards the 2nd Annual Traditional Mini Pow Wow hosted at Highland Park Elementary on March 20th.

HPES is at 1012 SW Trenton.

INFORMATION NIGHT AND EXHIBITION OF LEARNING: Families interested in Westside School (WSB sponsor)’s middle-school program are invited to visit tonight for an information session at 6 pm in the school library, followed by the Exhibition of Learning throughout the school. Details in our calendar listing. (7740 34th SW)

FLY FISHING IN PUGET SOUND: Free seminar, 6-8 pm at Emerald Water Anglers (WSB sponsor) in The Junction. Please RSVP; details in our calendar listing. (42nd/Oregon)

4TH DESIGN REVIEW BOARD MEETING FOR EX-CAFE SITE: The 27-unit proposal for 3824 California SW, former site of the Charlestown Café, returns to the Southwest Design Review Board – which hasn’t met in more than two months – tonight at 6:30 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle. This could be the final meeting, if the board gives its approval. See the revised design here. (Oregon/California)

LIVE IN THE MORGAN JUNCTION AREA? Tonight a special community meeting looks at how to change the area’s Comprehensive Plan to allow the proposed townhouse development on Church of the Nazarene property. That would be a zoning change for what’s currently a single-family-housing site, and community discussion is sought on how to word the change so it’s very specific to this project. 7 pm at The Kenney (WSB sponsor); details in our calendar listing. (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW)

ALKI COMMUNITY COUNCIL ANNUAL MEETING: 7 pm at Alki UCC. If you only make it to one ACC meeting a year, make it this one. Scheduled topics include Water Taxi shuttle, growth of summer beach volleyball, and 2015 board/officers election. (6115 SW Hinds)

AND THERE’S MORE … on our calendar.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday on the move

November 20, 2014 at 7:17 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 3 Comments

(WS high/low bridges and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
7:17 AM: Only thing to note so far in the commute, the lane closures on 99 north of downtown, one lane closed in both directions for emergency sewer repairs, scheduled to continue until tomorrow. And – wet roads after overnight rain.

7:39 AM: From comments – eastbound bridge backup but no obvious cause so far. (We’ve checked all the sources and no word at this point of crash, stall, etc.)

West Seattle schools: $6,000 in books for Sanislo readers

November 19, 2014 at 11:48 pm | In West Seattle books, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 1 Comment

(Photo republished with permission)
Sanislo Elementary librarian Craig Seasholes is excited about a big gift for the young readers with whom he works – those boxes are part of a donation of nonfiction books worth $6,000! They’re courtesy of the Seattle Public Library/Paul G. Allen Family Foundation collaboration and Sanislo parents are invited to stop in the library during conference week next week for a closer look. Find out more on this Sanislo webpage.

Carrie Akre returns to West Seattle, explores world beyond music

November 19, 2014 at 7:19 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 19 Comments

(Photo courtesy Carrie Akre)
By Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Many of Seattle’s talented icons call West Seattle home, from photographer Art Wolfe to Pearl Jam‘s Eddie Vedder. Now another icon has returned to our fold: singer/songwriter Carrie Akre.

If you don’t quite recognize her name, you probably know of the Seattle-based bands she led: Hammerbox, Goodness, or the Rockfords, and you would definitely recognize her voice; soulful and bluesy, but clear as a sunny winter’s day on Puget Sound.

After a break from the music scene and from the West Coast, Carrie returned to West Seattle this year. We sat down with her at the Admiral Bird to discuss the past few years, and what the future holds, professionally, musically, and personally.

Besides writing, playing and singing in bands Akre wrote and produced solo albums including “Invitation” in 2002 and “…Last the Evening” in 2007, efforts that she says left her “burnt crispy” from exhaustion.

Click to read the rest of Carrie Akre returns to West Seattle, explores world beyond music…

Big dig done: Excavation ends at million-gallon-tank Murray Combined Sewer Overflow Control Project site by Lowman Beach

November 19, 2014 at 5:20 pm | In Environment, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

Not long after we took that photo last week, excavation concluded at the site of the Murray Combined Sewer Overflow Project‘s future million-gallon tank. After a reader mentioned seeing a big excavator on a truck heading eastbound, we checked the project’s status today with Doug Marsano from King County Wastewater Treatment. He confirmed the conclusion of the 60-foot-deep excavation, which started two months ago, and said the next big job will be a three-day concrete pour for the 17-foot base on which the tank will rest – no dates set yet, but they hope to get it done before Thanksgiving. It’ll mean:

About 20 trucks an hour will deliver concrete to the site to pour the base. Two concrete pump trucks will be located on the east side of Beach Drive SW to pump the concrete into the hole. Trucks will enter the site from Lincoln Park Way SW and exit using 48th Ave SW. Trucks waiting to pour will park on Fauntleroy Way SW and Lincoln Park Way SW. Flaggers will direct traffic around the site. To maintain local vehicle access, no parking will be available from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the 7000 block of Beach Dr. S.W. and on Lincoln Park Way from Murray Ave. to Beach Dr. on pour days.

That’s from the official construction update, which you can see here. In case you missed it in our early excavation coverage, here’s how much dirt was removed and where it went.

New affiliation, reduced debt, leadership change for The Kenney

November 19, 2014 at 2:40 pm | In The Kenney, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

(File photo)
It’s been a long journey for The Kenney (WSB sponsor) over the past six years, including starting and canceling a major overhaul plan. Today, a big announcement – The Kenney is affiliating with New York-based Heritage Ministries and reducing its debt. Here’s the announcement:

The Kenney senior living community of West Seattle has signed a letter of intent to affiliate with Heritage Ministries, a nonprofit, faith-based organization. Through this planned affiliation, The Kenney has also signed a purchase agreement with its current lender to purchase its outstanding debt at a 50% discount.

Heritage Ministries has roots in the Free Methodist Church with sister organizations, such as Seattle Pacific University, in the Seattle area. Heritage Ministries and The Kenney intend to affiliate and to maintain the mission of serving seniors in West Seattle. The Kenney will remain a nonprofit organization and will continue to have a board of volunteer directors. Resident agreements will be honored and the benevolent care fund for residents will continue.

The level of debt incurred by The Kenney was the result of construction of a new assisted living and community space in the 2000s. The construction and loans had occurred prior to the economic downturn and current operations could not sustain that level of debt. The Kenney worked with its lender, Sovereign Bank, for several years to maintain operations and to continue to service the needs of The Kenney’s residents. Ontrac Management Services was brought in to work with The Kenney in summer 2012 after the organization had defaulted on its loan.

In Spring 2014, Sovereign Bank sold The Kenney’s loan to a private lender who agreed to honor the resident contracts and allowed the organization to continue its nonprofit status. In October 2014, the same lender notified The Kenney that it needed to sell the debt before the end of the year. Ontrac Management Services was asked by The Kenney board of directors to find a lender and/or other nonprofit organization to assist with the debt purchase.

With the affiliation plan for Heritage Ministries and The Kenney moving ahead, Ontrac Management will step out of its interim role in December. Larry Foss is being named Executive Director of The Kenney. Mr. Foss joined The Kenney in the finance department and as the licensed nursing home administrator in June 2014. He has more than a decade of experience working in senior living communities as a chief financial officer, executive director and as a nursing home administrator. Mr. Foss is also the current Chair of LeadingAge Washington, which is the nonprofit trade association for senior living and healthcare organizations.

“It has been a privilege to support The Kenney as interim management during the last two years. Our role is now coming to an end. We see that the future is bright for The Kenney in its affiliation with Heritage Ministries,” said Moraine Byrne, President of Ontrac Management Services.

In an October news release, The Kenney said the 50 percent debt reduction would bring its debt down to $10.5 million. It pursued a $150 million redevelopment project between 2008 to 2011, in the end settling on smaller changes such as creation of a Memory Unit. We asked Byrne for a little more elaboration on what “affiliation” means; she replied, “The Kenney will continue to be a 501(c)3 charitable organization. Affiliation means that the corporate member in the bylaws is Heritage Ministries and that The Kenney will continue to be governed by a volunteer board of directors. Heritage Ministries will provide management oversight too.”

Advance helicopter alert: Drill announced for next Tuesday

November 19, 2014 at 2:06 pm | In Helicopter, Seen at sea, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

That’s a recent photo of the King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter Guardian One; today, KCSO sends an alert that you might spot it flying along the West Seattle coastline next Tuesday, and that’ll be part of a drill:

Notice of Joint Maritime Training Exercise

On Tuesday November 25th the King County Sheriff’s Office TAC 30 team (our department’s tactical unit) will be hosting a multi-agency maritime operations exercise in the area of the Des Moines waterfront. Citizens may see our helicopter flying from the Alki Point area south to Dumas Bay. Hours of the exercise will be from approximately 8 AM until 5 PM.

The main landing zone for the helicopter will be the Des Moines Marina. Agencies participating in the exercise include the Washington State Patrol, Seattle Police, Bainbridge Island Police, the U.S. Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection and King County Medic One.

There will be numerous law enforcement boats involved in the exercise, along with one boat from Argosy Cruises. The main landing zone for the helicopter will be the Des Moines Marina. During the exercise there will be no public access to the pier.

We’ll remind you again when it gets closer, but for now, just so you know; the law-enforcement boats might be noticed as they head that way, too.

Followup: What police are now saying about possible luring attempt

November 19, 2014 at 1:40 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 34 Comments

1:40 PM: Following up on the incident that first came to light as an alert sent by e-mail and robo-call to Arbor Heights Elementary parents late yesterday, reported here last night along with additional information we sought from police last night, here’s what SPD Blotter has just published:

Detectives are investigating a possible luring incident Monday in West Seattle.

A 12-year-old boy was walking to school around 9 AM when a black Ford pickup truck pulled alongside him in the 1600 block of 23rd Ave SW. The driver in the truck then spoke to the boy, who kept walking. The truck then sped away.

The boy’s father was driving just ahead of the boy—to keep an eye on him as he walked to school—and witnessed the brief encounter. After seeing the truck drive off, the father picked up his son, who reported the man has asked him to help with an errand.

The boy’s father then drove through the neighborhood and caught up to the truck, and jotted down the license plate number. The father then dropped his child off at school and contacted police about the incident.

Officers went to the home where the they believed the truck’s driver was living, but residents at the house said he had not been there in more than a month.

Detectives in SPD’s Sexual Assault Unit are investigating and have identified a level-one sex offender—who is connected with the truck—as a person of interest in the case.

ADDED 3:06 PM: And now Seattle Public Schools has sent the following message to “West Seattle school families” (thanks to the Arbor Heights parent who was first to forward it to us:

Dear West Seattle schools families,

I want to share with you information on a recent event that was reported in our community. Earlier this week, Seattle Police received information regarding a male stranger driving up to a Denny International Middle School youth as he walked to school, asking him to get in the vehicle. The student refused and fled. The student’s parent was nearby and called Seattle Police with the stranger’s vehicle description and license number. That same afternoon, the parent reported to Seattle Police that the same stranger and vehicle were outside Denny after school, though there was no report to police or school administration that any students were approached by the man. Seattle Police have investigated and determined the owner of the vehicle is listed as a registered sex offender.

The Denny student did everything right, immediately getting away from the stranger and reporting the incident to his parent, and the parent was very proactive gathering vehicle information and license number.

The safety of our students is a top priority for Seattle Public Schools. You can help your children stay safe by talking to them about personal safety. As a reminder, please talk to your child(ren) about walking in pairs or groups and being aware of their surroundings at all times, as well as not talking to strangers or getting into their vehicles. Having these conversations, especially with younger children, can be difficult. We encourage you to be sensitive to your child. This link to the Seattle Police website offers some valuable information which may help you with your discussions: http://www.seattle.gov/police/prevention/child/default.htm

Sincerely,
Seattle Public Schools

THURSDAY UPDATE: Police added a few lines to the blotter post, saying they have found and talked to the man:

SPD detectives have contacted and interviewed the person of interest in this case. The man was very forthcoming with information about the incident. Investigators are currently checking out details he provided to rule out any criminal activity on his part.

West Seattle weather: Stage 2 burn ban for King County

November 19, 2014 at 12:18 pm | In Environment, Health, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

As of noon, a Stage 2 burn ban is in effect in King County, and the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency expects to keep it in effect until 6 am tomorrow. It cites “continued weather conditions and air-pollution levels. Here’s what this level of burn ban means:

During a Stage 2 burn ban:

* No burning is allowed in any wood-burning fireplaces, certified or uncertified wood stoves or fireplace inserts. Residents should rely instead on their home’s other, cleaner source of heat (such as their furnace or electric baseboard heaters) for a few days until air quality improves, the public health risk diminishes and the ban is cancelled.

* The only exception is if the homeowner has a previously approved ‘No Other Adequate Source of Heat’ designation from the Clean Air Agency

* No outdoor fires are allowed. This includes recreational fires such as bonfires, campfires and the use of fire pits and chimineas.

* Burn ban violations are subject to a $1,000 penalty.

It is OK to use natural gas and propane stoves or inserts during a Stage 2 burn ban.

Rain is expected to return early tomorrow.

West Seattle Wednesday: Food drives; affordable housing; Words West; Delridge District Council; comedy; dessert; more…

November 19, 2014 at 11:02 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 1 Comment

(Remember the sunshine? Winter beach volleyball photographed last weekend by Don Brubeck)
Not far from that sandy scene, we start today’s list of highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

MARINATION’S ‘FREE TACO’ FOOD DRIVE: Bring a nonperishable food item to Marination ma kai (WSB sponsor) at Seacrest today for the Food Lifeline drive, and you’ll get a free taco, as previewed here. MMK is open now, and doesn’t close until 8 pm. The food drive continues beyond today, but this is the ONE day for this tasty incentive. (1660 Harbor SW)

TURKEY DRIVE: 4-7 pm today, donate a turkey (or money for one) to the West Seattle Food Bank at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) – as previewed here. (California/Fauntleroy)

AFFORDABLE, LIVABLE HOUSING IN SEATTLE: How do you think the city can help make sure there IS some, maybe even more? Your chance to have a say and get involved is tonight – not IN West Seattle, but it’s as close as this round of meetings will get – 6 to 8:30 pm at the Ethiopian Community Center. Lots of details here. (8323 Rainier Ave. S. – map)

PALEO DESSERT PARTY: 6-8 pm at X Gym Alki (WSB sponsor), as explained in our calendar listing. Chocolate! Among other things. (3213 Harbor SW)

GORE-TEX GROUP RUN: Try new stuff out and get your (3- or 6-mile) run on! 6:30 pm, meet at West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor), details here. (3727 California SW)

DELRIDGE NEIGHBORHOODS DISTRICT COUNCIL: 7 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, with the agenda including guest Israel Vela, executive director of Southwest-region schools for Seattle Public Schools, and a followup discussion on the proposed Neighborhood Matching Fund changes. (4408 Delridge Way SW)

WORDS WEST LITERARY SERIES: 7 pm at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), featuring Kate Lebo and Molly Wizenberg, with Delridge Grocery reading the “favorite poem.” Details in our calendar listing. (5612 California SW)

LAUGH IT OFF: Midweek and you need a reason to laugh. You’ll find many reasons tonight at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), with West Seattle’s own Mona Concepcion hosting Comedy Night featuring Mitch Burrow, Evelyn Jensen, Matt Eriksen, Mike Coletta, Nick Decktor, 8 pm. (6451 California SW)

MORE … on the calendar!

Friday memorial for Don Knodel, 89, barber-shop owner and more

November 19, 2014 at 10:13 am | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 7 Comments

This Friday afternoon at Forest Lawn, family and friends will gather to say goodbye to Don Knodel. Here’s the remembrance they’re sharing with the community:

In Loving Memory of Don Knodel

It is with great sadness that on 11/11/14 our father, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle, and friend, passed away. He was the anchor of the Knodel family and will be missed.

Donald Clayton Knodel was born in Chasely, ND and raised in Hurdsfield, ND. He was one of 8 children and lived there until he joined the Navy, where he served in World War II on the USS Howard W. Gilmore. He came home and married Audrey Jean Kelm, his wife of 64 years. Together they took a leap of faith and with their two young children moved from ND, to West Seattle where they lived out the rest of their lives.

Don owned and operated Don’s Barber Shop on California Ave. for 45 years. He was an avid sportsman his whole life, playing baseball and basketball in school, then in the men’s league in ND. Moving to WS he became a regular bowler at the W.S. Bowl, poker player, and was involved with W.S. Little League Baseball as a coach and umpire. He and Audrey were Totems hockey season ticket holders and original Seahawks season ticket holders. Fishing was his true passion with trips to Canada and up at Timberlakes. Don loved having family and friends around him, whether it was playing cards, dancing or just sitting around telling stories and laughing. Lots of laughing….

Preceded in death by his wife Audrey; 3 brothers – Durward, Al, Andy; 2 sisters – Doris and Joyce. He is survived by his children Dwight (Nik), Kath (Kelly), Pam (Tom); grandchildren Erin, Damon, Tyler, Ian, Kaley; 6 great-grandchildren; 2 sisters Opal, Irene; and countless friends and family who will miss, but never forget, him.

Service: 11/21/2014, 2 pm, Forest Lawn Funeral Home (6701 30th SW). Please join us in the celebration of his life at the Knodel residence following the service (4122 41st SW). If you wish, donations to the Alzheimer’s Foundation would be greatly appreciated.

(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

West Seattle schools: Roxhill Elementary benefit Friday

November 19, 2014 at 9:27 am | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

Another chance to support a West Seattle school is two days away. From the Roxhill Elementary PTSA:

This Friday, November 21st, the West Seattle (and beyond!) Community has an opportunity to support Roxhill Elementary School.

From Open to Close (as well as online), a percentage of purchases made at Barnes and Noble will go towards the school.

Mr. Robert – along with Teachers and Parents – will be live-reading in the Children’s section [at the Westwood Village store] from 5 pm – 8 pm. Put on your pajamas and join us! Thank you so much!

The voucher number to use that day (in person or online) is on this PDF – 11509577.

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