Happening now: Tower-crane takedown day for 4730 California

August 16, 2014 at 11:46 am | In Development, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

Yes, even the Christmas lights have to come off the tower cranes once they’re taken down. After eleven months on the job, the tower crane for 4730 California is being dismantled today. We arrived in The Junction just in time to see its jib brought down – from California/Edmunds, you could see it had been harnessed:


Then it was lowered to the street:

Looking south down California, that made for an interesting pattern:

And the entire operation, as was the case when it went up last September, held a fascination for onlookers, especially some of the smaller ones:

4730 California is expected to open by year’s end, with three retail spaces, 88 apartments and 71 offstreet-parking spaces, according to its commercial-leasing flyer. We haven’t heard of any tenant signings yet.

SIDE NOTE: This will leave The Junction with “only” two cranes for now, at the Equity Residential two-building California/Alaska/42nd project and Spruce (formerly “The Hole”) at 39th/Alaska/Fauntleroy, but two more will arrive before long, with demolition over and site prep under way at 40th/Edmunds and 35th/Avalon.

West Seattle Saturday: Ferry/traffic alerts plus 17 possibilities for the first half of your weekend

August 16, 2014 at 8:50 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 4 Comments

Thanks to Bob Venezia for the photo of Lincoln Park’s famous birds (that’s sort of how we felt this morning, too). Before we get to the highlights for today/tonight from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, the ferry in the background is a cue for one of today’s traffic notes:

BIG VASHON ISLAND EVENT: The Washington State Ferries notes weekend traffic between Fauntleroy and Vashon is likely to be heavy because of the Raft Up kayak/canoe/music event expected to draw thousands.

JUNCTION CRANE COMING DOWN: We will be checking on this for an update shortly, but the block of California between Alaska and Edmunds was scheduled to be a little busier than usual this morning, through mid-afternoon, as the 4730 California project’s tower crane comes down.

CITYWIDE ALERTS FOR THIS WEEKEND … If you’re heading off-peninsula, check this SDOT-published roundup first.

Now, ways to spend at least part of your Saturday here at home:

MOBILE BLOOD DRIVES: Two of them today – follow each link for details: 9 am-3 pm at 42nd/Alaska in The Junction; 9:30 am-3:30 pm at Westwood Village.

RIVERSIDE WALKING TOUR: Join the Southwest Seattle Historical Society on a walk through a neighborhood full of stories to tell and sights to see, 10 am, details (and a map) in our calendar listing. (W. Marginal Way/Marginal Place SW)

POCKET PARK MEETING: Remember our story earlier this summer about the Gatewood home donated to Seattle Parks by a local family? 10 am this morning, at the house, neighbors are invited to the informational meeting about plans for demolition and restoration at the site. (3823 SW Willow)

ADOPT A SHELTER PET! Noon-3 pm at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) as part of its ongoing Dog Days of Summer. (California/Fauntleroy/Morgan)

ARBOR HEIGHTS BLOCK PARTY: Noon-4 pm at ARK Park, Arbor Heights Community Church throws its annual summertime party for neighbors! (4113 SW 102nd)

GET SCHOOL SUPPLIES! 2-5 pm at Delridge Skatepark, school-supplies giveaway plus food and fun, courtesy of The Way Church of God; details in our calendar listing. (Genesee/Delridge)

CHIEF SEALTH CLASS OF 1984 REUNION EVENTS … continue with dinner at Talarico’s in The Junction tonight, 6 pm, info here. (4718 California SW)

‘GOONIES’ AT WS OUTDOOR MOVIES: Every year, West Seattle Outdoor Movies asks for suggestions, and this year brought double-digit requests for “The Goonies,” so if you’re a fan, come see it TONIGHT on the big screen in the courtyard by Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor) tonight! Movie’s at dusk (8:30-ish, depending on how clear/cloudy it is by sunset), but gates open at 6:30 pm and you’ll want to come stake out your space early – bring your own chair/blanket. Free but bring $ for nonprofit-benefiting raffle/concessions if you can! (4410 California SW)

MUSICAL THEATER X 2: Hello, Dolly! presented by Twelfth Night Productions; also at 7:30 pm, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” presented by the ArtsWest youth – click on either production’s name for details.

LIVE MUSIC X 6: Five Buck Band at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7 pm; Tom Kell & Emiko Woods at Kenyon Hall, 7:30 pm; Travis Hart Trio at The Cask (WSB sponsor), 9 pm; Red House at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), 9 pm; hip-hop slate at Skylark, 9 pm; Tom Price Desert Classic (and more) at Benbow Room, 9 pm.

Traffic-alert reminder: Viaduct/99 closure NEXT weekend

August 16, 2014 at 7:52 am | In Alaskan Way Viaduct, West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 5 Comments


While everything is status quo with the Alaskan Way Viaduct/Highway 99 north of the West Seattle Bridge THIS weekend, WSDOT reminds you that won’t be case by this time NEXT weekend. The map above shows the planned closure – for various reasons you can read about here – starting 10 pm next Friday night, August 22, with the exception of two access points for traffic exiting the Seahawks game until midnight. By Monday morning, August 25th, the WS Bridge-to-Battery St. Tunnel section should reopen, but the tunnel-to-Valley St. section will stay closed two more days:


Again, that all starts NEXT Friday night. And we’ll be reminding you daily in our regular WSB traffic coverage between now and then.

4 for Saturday: Crane removal; Riverside walking tour; school-supplies giveaway; ‘Goonies’ at West Seattle Outdoor Movies

August 15, 2014 at 10:03 pm | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 4 Comments

Busy Saturday – you can get a sneak peek on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, and there are three things we wanted to mention quickly in advance:

CRANE-REMOVAL REMINDER: The tower crane for 4730 California, the midblock project between Alaska and Edmunds, is scheduled to come down, as noted here earlier this month, which means parking/traffic restrictions as the removal work continues through mid-afternoon.

RIVERSIDE WALKING TOUR: Right by the bridge, off West Marginal Way SW, a little neighborhood with a big history is the subject of a 10 am walking tour presented by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.

Leaders include longtime local Frank Zuvela (above, WSB photo from January 2012 Riverside plaza dedication); details on its website.

NEED SCHOOL SUPPLIES? 2-5 pm at Delridge Skatepark (Delridge/Genesee), The Way Church of God is giving away school supplies during a special event which also promises food and fun – details in our calendar listing.

‘GOONIES’ AT WEST SEATTLE OUTDOOR MOVIES: Just in case you haven’t been counting the days since the much-requested classic “The Goonies” hits the West Seattle Outdoor Movies (co-sponsored by WSB) screen in the courtyard next to Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor), tomorrow’s the night, gates open at 6:30 pm, movie at dusk, more details in our preview.

West Seattle businesses: Carmilia’s to close for 2 weeks of ‘freshening,’ WILL reopen

August 15, 2014 at 5:49 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

Lately, we’ve reported on a few local businesses closing without warning. Tonight, we have advance notice from a local business that is planning a temporary closure for “freshening” and promises it WILL reopen. From Linda Sabee, proprietor of Carmilia’s in The Junction:

This November will be our twelve-year anniversary and over these many years, I’ve seen much change in our beloved West Seattle Junction. I’m a long-time West Seattle resident and opened Carmilia’s because I love this neighborhood and saw a need for a contemporary fashion resource in our shopping district.

When we opened, Carmilia’s was the only modern fashion offering in our ‘hood’. Shortly thereafter came Sweetie, followed by Edie’s and finally Clementine. It’s been a sad display of a contracting shopping district to watch these other shops close one by one and either quit the business entirely, or move on to more thriving shopping destinations in the Seattle area. As the pioneer for fashion in West Seattle, I am determined to stay in the business of dressing the women of West Seattle and anyone else who visits our wonderful neighborhood.

Carmilia’s will be closing and papering up our windows starting Sunday, August 17, to do some painting and general freshening up. Historically, the latter part of August is quite slow, so we’re clearing out as much of our summer and spring inventory this weekend to prepare for our projects. We will reopen the end of August, full of fall inventory and with a fresh look. I hope for the continued and hopefully re-energized support of this community of shoppers.

Linda is planning a September 4th party but expects the shop to reopen before then and promises to update us when there’s an idea of a date.

P.S. Of the shops she mentions, as covered here earlier: Sweetie shut down in 2013; Edie’s closed its WS shoe shop last winter but remains open on Capitol Hill; Clementine announced last month it’s moving to Pioneer Square by next month. (Photo: King County Assessor website)

Port seeks to sell cranes at West Seattle’s closed, empty Terminal 5

August 15, 2014 at 2:54 pm | In Seen at sea, West Seattle news | 33 Comments

(Terminal 5, photographed today from SE Admiral area)
Three weeks after the last cargo ship called at now-closed Port of Seattle Terminal 5 in West Seattle, the resulting stretch of empty space continues to catch attention, and we’re still getting questions about why it’s empty. In short, if you missed previous stories: The port closed it and plans to “modernize” it to handle the huge new ships that are coming on line in the cargo industry, though it has not finalized plans for how to fund the full nine-digit price tag that project will cost.

Today, a new development – the Port Commission will be asked for approval next Tuesday to sell Terminal 5′s six cranes, which it says would have to be replaced anyway. The item on the agenda for next week’s commission meeting includes a memo that also surfaces a timeline for the modernization project, saying, “The objective of this effort is to design and build a facility capable of handling two EEE class vessels by mid-2018.” The cranes that Port management wants to sell were purchased in the 1980s, and appraised as worth up to $3.75 million, according to the memo, which adds, “With the direction to modernize Terminal 5, and as there are no other open Port terminals where the cranes could be utilized, it is desirable to sell the cranes while they are fully functional and have current certifications.” It also warns that the market for used cranes is “slow” and that if they don’t sell within six months, staff will come back to the commission to “obtain authorization to dispose of them in accordance with Port procedures, including paying to have the cranes dismantled and scrapped.”

The commission’s Tuesday meeting is at noon at Port headquarters (2711 Alaskan Way) and includes one other item related in part to modernization – authorization of $1.5 million to cover half the cost of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study on possibly deepening its west and east waterways to accommodate larger ships.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Store held up; police search for robbers

August 15, 2014 at 12:19 pm | In Crime, Delridge, West Seattle news | 14 Comments

ORIGINAL REPORT, 12:19 PM: If you’re noticing the police response in the Delridge/Cambridge area, police are searching for at least one suspect in an armed robbery. The Guardian One helicopter is expected in the area shortly helping with the search.

ADDED 12:26 PM: Just talked to SPD spokesperson Det. Drew Fowler. The Tienda Super store in the 9400 block of Delridge was held up by two men who came in through its back door and stole cash at gunpoint. No one was hurt. Police are still searching for the robbers, both described as black men in their 20s, one 6’2″ with “facial scruff,” balding, gray hoodie, black pants, the other 5-6, thin, wearing a blue “do-rag,” white T-shirt, blue jeans. One robber was carrying a black backpack. If you have any information, call 911.

4:27 PM: Just checked again with SPD. Nobody in custody so far.

West Seattle Friday: Please see the calendar for today/tonight

August 15, 2014 at 11:20 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | No Comments

Because of breaking/developing stories, we won’t be publishing a separate “West Seattle Friday” calendar preview today, but there are cool happenings today/tonight as usual, so please take a moment to visit the WSB calendar page directly – every line is clickable and will show you more information on the specific event in question. Thanks!

ONGOING COVERAGE: In West Seattle eviction fight, sheriff’s deputies remove Bartons again, arresting them for ‘criminal trespass’

August 15, 2014 at 8:23 am | In West Seattle housing, West Seattle news | 193 Comments

(SCROLL DOWN FOR NEWEST UPDATE – 9:27 pm)

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 8:23 AM: Jean and Byron Barton have been evicted from their former home in Morgan Junction again, according to King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. DB Gates. We found her there after getting a telephone tip. This comes four days after a judge declined to order the city to enforce trespassing laws against them (WSB coverage here). They were already gone from the house when we got there; Sgt. Gates says people working for the company that bought the house at a foreclosure auction in April, Triangle Property Development, are in it now.

ADDED 8:37 AM: More information from Sgt. Gates: KCSO went in under auspices of a search warrant, not a new court order for eviction.

She says they “detained three adults for the crime of criminal trespassing,” including one of the Bartons’ grown sons, and that while Byron Barton was taken to the VA Hospital, Jean Barton and their son were taken to KCSO’s Southwest Precinct “for processing.” She did not expect they would be jailed. She said the search-warrant action happened “quickly” and that there were “no issues”; the three were the only people in the house, she said. No protesters (or other media) were there. Advocacy-group signage that had been outside the house for weeks has been removed, and the “no trespassing/video surveillance” sign shown in our photo above is in place. (added) This morning’s action comes one week after the court hearing on Triangle’s petition to force the city to take action, and four weeks after deputies first removed the Bartons from the house, which they re-occupied hours later. Triangle is not a party to the Bartons’ still-pending lawsuit (90-page PDF) against Chase Bank and two other entities, alleging the house was illegally foreclosed on.

ADDED 9:35 AM: The official KCSO news release has just arrived. In it, Sheriff John Urquhart alleges “politics (were) allowed to ride roughshod over the rule of law” prior to this morning’s action. Full text:
Click to read the rest of ONGOING COVERAGE: In West Seattle eviction fight, sheriff’s deputies remove Bartons again, arresting them for ‘criminal trespass’…

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Friday, with weekend alerts too

August 15, 2014 at 6:56 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | No Comments

(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Weather is this morning’s primary commute challenge so far – wet roads around the area. Looking ahead to tonight and beyond:

CITYWIDE ALERTS FOR TONIGHT/WEEKENDhere’s the SDOT roundup, beginning with Hempfest starting this afternoon and the Seahawks‘ preseason game vs. San Diego, 7 pm tonight.

VASHON EVENT THIS WEEKEND: Washington State Ferries notes weekend traffic to/from Vashon is likely to be heavy because of the Raft Up kayak/canoe/music event expected to draw thousands.

REMEMBER – HIGHWAY 99 CLOSURE, ONE WEEK AWAY! One week until Highway 99 closes from the West Seattle Bridge to Valley Street all weekend and then stays closed from the Battery St. Tunnel to Valley St. for two days beyond that.

ADDED 11:16 AM: ROXBURY RESCHEDULED - The repaving between 25th and 27th SW is now rescheduled for next Tuesday (August 19th) because dry weather is required.

Part of ‘Corky Freedom Banner’ returning to Alki after 14 years

August 14, 2014 at 10:03 pm | In West Seattle news, Wildlife | 5 Comments

An advocate of freedom for captive orcas is on a journey from San Diego to Canada, stopping on Alki tomorrow evening with a historic display: Part of the “Corky Freedom Banner” that was displayed on Alki 14 years ago. We’ve just heard about this from Terri, who is organizing the event with Christine Caruso, the Seattle teacher who is on the West Coast journey. “Corky,” Terri explains, is an orca who has been captive longer than any other at SeaWorld San Diego, captured in British Columbia 45 years ago. In 1999, children around the world made pieces comprising a mile-long banner urging freedom for Corky; it was shown at various stops along a bus tour, including Alki, in 2000, as reported by The Seattle Times (WSB partner). Christine is traveling with pieces of that original banner; you can see them and talk with her 6:30-8 pm Friday at the west-end picnic area of Alki Beach.

Video: Radio Raheem @ Summer Concerts at Hiawatha!

August 14, 2014 at 7:03 pm | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | No Comments

7:03 PM: Radio Raheem is raising the roof in the Hiawatha Community Center gym right now, during an indoor edition of the Admiral Neighborhood Association-presented Summer Concerts at Hiawatha series – moved inside because of the possibility of showers. They’re doing original songs and ’80s covers; band members include singer Josie Howell, known for her work with the Total Experience Gospel Choir, and West Seattle-based sax+ player Trevor Rasmussen:

The show started with guest emcee Brent Amaker – himself a musician as well as Admiral District business owner (in photo below with Katy Walum, ANA’s concert-series organizer) …

… and a demonstration by kids from The Little Gym of West Seattle, which has mats here in the back of the gym for any young audience members who want to play.

Also here, Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor), with free mini-cones of strawberry frozen custard. The show’s on until about 8.

8:28 PM: Show’s over – excellent mix of ’80s covers and original tunes. Next Thursday (August 21st), get your country on with Jessica Lynne, 6:30 pm as always.

VIDEO/PHOTOS: It’s done! Celebrating the new mural at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center

August 14, 2014 at 5:45 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 18 Comments

The youth artists who have just finished the mural along Delridge outside Youngstown Cultural Arts Center had a big community turnout for this afternoon’s celebration of their creation – including local leaders:

With Duwamish Tribe chair Cecile Hansen, who is featured on the mural, in the photo above, is Louis Chinn, one of the artists who mentored the youth. The mural was created as part of the Work Readiness Arts Program, under the city Office of Arts and Culture, whose leader Randy Engstrom is a former Youngstown director – he’s at left below with the center’s current leader David Bestock:

The mural’s story was told by two of the young artists:

Admiring the mural’s celebration of history – including a totem pole! – was Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals:

The RecTech youth who have been documenting the project via photo and video were of course there too – we’re told their work will premiere later this month:

Just in case you can’t get to 4408 Delridge Way SW for a first-person look at the mural any time soon, we walked its 200-plus-foot length in this next clip:

Just sixteen days ago, that entire wall was blank, as shown in our July 29th story.

Summer Concerts at Hiawatha update: Tonight’s show = in the gym

August 14, 2014 at 4:36 pm | In Fun stuff to do, West Seattle news | No Comments

Just got the word from Tiffani at Hiawatha Community Center – with the possibility of showers, tonight’s Summer Concerts at Hiawatha show is in the gym! 6:30 pm, Radio Raheem‘s onstage, after an opening performance by The Little Gym of West Seattle - see you there. (P.S. Tiffani says there are about 60 chairs in the gym – so as is the case when the show’s outside, bring your own chair/blanket if you can!)

Need a massage? Benefit Friday for LaVida therapist’s cancer fight

August 14, 2014 at 1:50 pm | In How to help, West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

In case you haven’t seen this already in the WSB calendar: LaVida Massage (WSB sponsor) in The Junction invites you to a special benefit tomorrow for longtime therapist Marie Norton, one of the original staffers. She is recovering from cancer surgery and between 2-8 pm Friday, you can stop by for a free 15-minute chair massage, with “all gratuities donated to Marie,” according to proprietor Paul Silver. More details in our calendar listing; LaVida is on the southeast corner of 42nd/Alaska in outer Jefferson Square.

How will Metro’s low-income fare work? New details today

August 14, 2014 at 11:41 am | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 15 Comments

While other potential changes for Metro next year aren’t yet finalized, two things are certain – a reduced fare for low-income riders will take effect on the same day as a 25-cent general fare increase. Today, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced how it’ll work, based on recommendations from a task force:

*The reduced fare will take effect March 1, 2015, and will be $1.50 a ride.

*Riders who qualify must use an ORCA card and cannot pay with cash. No fee will be charged for a new card or renewal. A $5 fee will be charged to replace a lost or stolen card.

*The eligibility threshold for a person to qualify for the low-income fare is 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, currently $23,340 for an individual.

*Eligibility must be re-verified every other year. The low-income fare will expire 24 months after the card is issued.

*After expiration, it can be used as a regular adult fare card.

*The low-income fare will be limited to one card per person. Each card must be registered in the ORCA system to an eligible adult.

You can read the full announcement here.

West Seattle Thursday: Mural ribbon-cutting; Summer Concerts at Hiawatha; WS Art Walk; more!

August 14, 2014 at 10:53 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 3 Comments

Thanks to Lise Thivierge for the view from Seacrest this morning. Don’t let the clouds keep you home today/tonight – look at what’s on the calendar!

MURAL RIBBON-CUTTING: Come applaud the young artists in person if you can, when Youngstown Cultural Arts Center‘s new streetside mural is celebrated at 2 pm. Our most recent preview (with links to previous coverage) was just last night. Reception follows today’s ribbon-cutting. (4408 Delridge Way SW)

WEST SEATTLE ART WALK NIGHT! Second Thursday means it’s your chance to visit local businesses hosting local artists! Here’s the venue list/map:

As always, the Art Walk runs 6-9 pm. You can preview some of the spotlighted venues/artists on the official WSAW website,

KAYAK THE DUWAMISH … with the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, 6 pm, leaving from T-107 Park in West Seattle, details on the DRCC website. (4700 W. Marginal Way SW)

SINGALONG: Just feel like singing? Do it with friends and neighbors at the Senior Center of West Seattle, 6 pm, details in our calendar listing. (Oregon/California)

SUMMER CONCERTS AT HIAWATHA: 6:30 tonight, Radio Raheem, with peppy, funky, ’80s-inspired pop, as previewed here. Free – bring your own chair/blanket to the east lawn at Hiawatha Community Center for this week’s show in the Admiral Neighborhood Association-presented concert series. (2700 block of Walnut)

WINE CLUB: Wine and music every second Thursday at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) – details in our calendar listing. (5612 California SW)

‘YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN’: Support youth performers by checking out this production at ArtsWest in The Junction, 7:30 pm – details in our calendar listing. (4711 California SW)

LOTS MORE GOING ON … just browse our calendar to see!

West Seattle restaurants: Redline WS status check

August 14, 2014 at 10:11 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle restaurants | 21 Comments

We’ve been trying for a week to verify the status of Redline WS at 35th and Avalon – closed temporarily? closed permanently? or? Still no luck, so we’re just going on the record with what we know, as we’ve been getting questions about it multiple times a day. The restaurant/sports bar hasn’t opened for at least a week. We tried e-mailing – the address bounced. Tried calling; either no answer, or a “number not working” message. Tried finding someone there – going by at least once a day for the past week – it’s been locked and dark, and as of Wednesday evening, as a couple readers pointed out, some of the furnishings were gone, including chairs/barstools. No notes on the doors/windows (except for one that had been up a few days, “Closed for Private Party,” with no such party in sight). Redline WS opened in November of last year, with dozens of screens and a bit of inspiration from the years-gone Redline Music and Sports across 35th, whose proprietor Scott Goerig was a consultant for Redline WS owner Mike Bauer. Two months ago, friends organized a fundraiser for Bauer, revealing he was dealing with an health crisis that was getting in the way of his full vision for Redline WS. But that was the last we’d heard from them, and so far we have no way to confirm whether this closure is temporary or permanent.

West Seattle Crime Watch: In case you see these jewelry boxes…

August 14, 2014 at 9:09 am | In Crime, West Seattle news | 12 Comments

Erin‘s home near Camp Long was burglarized, and she’s hoping you will watch for particular items in case they turn up somewhere:

I just wanted to let the community know that our house was (burglarized Wednesday) sometime between 9 am and 1:30 pm. We are on the 5200 block of 35th Ave SW. [map] They entered by kicking in the back door — pretty brazen for having the neighbors so close. Nothing enormously valuable was taken; they only took passports and birth certificates and some really cheap jewelry, which unfortunately happened to be in some precious-only-to-me jewelry boxes. They also took my late grandmother’s wedding ring.

I don’t have any hope of finding the passports or ring, but if people see the jewelry boxes, I would be really grateful to get them back. One is wooden with an inlaid violin on the lid and a key to lock it. The other is purple wood with an inlaid flower on the lid. Both are music boxes. Thank you for being such a supportive community!

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Foggy Thursday

August 14, 2014 at 7:28 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | No Comments

(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Weather is the main challenge today – while we haven’t seen any word of West Seattle problems, the Vashon Water Taxi is running late because of fog. No major problems on the land routes closest to us (as of this writing, the camera views are fairly clear), but the fog is shifting, so give yourself extra time just in case.

ROAD CREW REMINDER: While there are small projects in multiple spots, the only official alert we have for today is tha this is scheduled to be the third and final day for Harbor Avenue median landscaping work.

Update: Crash blamed for power outage south of West Seattle; SPD says they had tried to pull over car after ‘narcotics sale’

August 13, 2014 at 8:54 pm | In Utilities, West Seattle news, White Center | 55 Comments

(UPDATED THURSDAY MORNING with crash update from SPD, which investigated)

(Added photo, by Nate: Top center, sideways power pole caught in wires)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 8:54 PM: Getting outage reports from some of the areas hit early this morning. Checking with City Light. We’ve heard from Shorewood so far – if you’re elsewhere and without power, please let us know, since the utility’s official mapping tends to lag.

9:07 PM: Checking out a report that this might be related to a crash on 116th SW in White Center.

(Added photo, by Andrew Kliphardt)
9:31 PM: We’re at the crash scene now, on 116th SW in White Center, near 10th.

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
King County Sheriff’s deputies have several blocks of 116th shut down. While City Light’s map isn’t updating, its customer hotline is apparently saying 4,200 customers are out of power – about the same as this morning’s outage (which was caused by a “failed insulator”). If you have to drive through this area, note that lights are out on part of the 16th SW/Ambaum arterial – 16th/107th is on but then power is out again south of there – treat any nonfunctioning signal as a four-way stop.

9:52 PM: City Light’s map now shows the full outage – we’re adding a screengrab above. At the crash scene, we learned that two people were hurt and taken to Harborview. With a pole and wires taken out, it was too dangerous to get close.

(Photo courtesy Tim Clemans)
10:06 PM: City Light says via Twitter that crews are routing power around the crash scene and that “most should be back on within the hour.”

10:10 PM: … or sooner; one text just came in from someone who has it back, and commenters are reporting they do too.

11:15 PM: Still about 1,200 out of power, mostly in White Center, according to the SCL map.

11:29 PM: Seattle Police are involved in the investigation; we don’t have official information yet on why. The Traffic Collision Investigation Squad is on scene. Commenters say the crashed car flipped in the back yard of a home – Andrew Kliphardt sent this photo:

2:11 AM: Still 1200+ without power.

(Added photo, by Andrew Kliphardt)
9:24 AM: The rest of the area got its power back overnight. Meantime, KCSO confirmed that Seattle Police investigated the crash. Here’s what SPD spokesperson Drew Fowler tells WSB:

SPD narcotics and ACT officers were conducting an operation just south of Seattle when they attempted to stop a vehicle involved in a narcotics sale. The vehicle refused to stop and left at a high rate of speed. Consistent with policy, our officers terminated and did not pursue. However, the suspect vehicle continued at a high rate of speed and collided with a power pole causing the loss of power to numerous homes in the White Center/Burien area. SPD’s TCIS investigated the incident and the two suspects were taken to HMC with non-life threatening injuries.

ACT = Anti-Crime Team; TCIS = Traffic Collision Investigation Squad.

9:57 AM: We also asked SCL about the coinciding patterns between the outage caused by this crash and the one about 20 hours earlier. Spokesperson Scott Thomsen: “Unfortunately, the power lines attached to that pole are the same feeder line that was affected by the insulator failure the day before.”

West Seattle scene: Final touches on Youngstown mural

August 13, 2014 at 8:47 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 7 Comments

Tomorrow, the new youth-painted mural along the 4400 block of Delridge Way in front of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center will be officially “unveiled.” Tonight, it’s still getting some last-minute touches. What you see in our quick pic is only about a third of the mural – the rest of it looks pretty cool too – so come to the ribbon-cutting at 2 pm tomorrow (Thursday, August 14th) if you can, and meet the artists! If you’ve missed the backstory in our previous coverage (here, here, and here) – check out the Youngstown website.

West Seattle Crime Watch followup: ‘Flasher’ suspect Duane Atwood pleads not guilty

August 13, 2014 at 6:32 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 26 Comments

The convicted sex offender charged in a recent West Seattle “flasher” incident and under investigation in at least two others was back in court today. 37-year-old Duane Atwood pleaded not guilty to the charges of felony indecent exposure and failing to register as a sex offender. His lawyer’s request to restrict the news media from photographing Atwood’s face was granted. His next court appearance is set for September 16th; Atwood remains jailed in lieu of $250,000 bail, and while his lawyer did not ask the judge to reduce it, they reserved the right to make that request in the future.

We first reported Atwood’s arrest almost three weeks ago; police tracked him through license-plate information given by a woman who reported that she was called over to an SUV parked near Cormorant Cove Park on Beach Drive, and saw a man inside it, exposing and holding his privates. We originally learned of her case via her comment on one of our reports about two similar incidents days earlier. While he posted bond and got out of jail the day he was arrested, his bail was raised and he was re-arrested the day charges were filed, and has been behind bars ever since.

Atwood is a Level 2 Sex Offender because of a 2001 conviction for a burglary/arson with sexual motivation. At the time of our first reports on this case, we didn’t have much information on that case, because King County’s online court records don’t go back that far. The case was very briefly summarized in the charges filed against him last month, but that still left many questions unanswered. We have since obtained dozens of pages of court documents related to the case, from the original charges to the plea bargain to the sentence.

Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Watch followup: ‘Flasher’ suspect Duane Atwood pleads not guilty…

Another ruling: Appeal rejected, Genesee Hill school plan affirmed

August 13, 2014 at 3:46 pm | In Genesee Hill, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 10 Comments

One month after we reported on an appeal hearing set for aspects of the Genesee Hill Elementary School project, the decision has just been made public: The appeal has been rejected. Appellants included a half-dozen area residents and school-district watchdog Chris Jackins, challenging/questioning project components including the zoning exception for the school’s height, where the bulk of its building will be placed on the site, plans for on-street school-bus loading, and the amount of on-site off-street parking. We were not able to cover the appeal hearing held downtown eight days ago, but its points and the Hearing Examiner’s findings are recapped in the decision document – see it here. Next, we’ll be checking with Seattle Public Schools regarding their timetable for starting work on the new school.

From the ‘what WAS that?’ file: Siren/alarm mystery solved

August 13, 2014 at 2:58 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 1 Comment

Mystery solved, regarding what has sounded to some like an almost-continuous alarm bell/siren-type noise these past few days. Tuesday, we received half a dozen messages from north West Seattle, mysterious because of an absence of any 911 reports of an ongoing alarm-type bell; then we developed the theory it might have been the “shot blasting” technique used to improve traction on two local hills – SW Charlestown yesterday, SW Genesee today – and as soon as we received a noise report from the Luna Park area today, that seemed to confirm it. We went over to the work zone on Genesee and while we couldn’t get it on video, we confirmed that the equipment was making a droning alarm/siren-type noise, somewhat reminiscent of the old “air-raid sirens” we remembered from weekly tests (and are blessed not to have known in any other context) decades ago.

West Seattle Car Show update: 30 cars ready to roll, room for more – signing up sponsors, too!

August 13, 2014 at 2:28 pm | In Fun stuff to do, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

One week into registration for this year’s West Seattle Car Show – one month from tomorrow, on Sunday, September 14th, 10 am-4 pm, in the heart of The Junction. 30 cars have signed up already, according to the new organizers at Swedish Automotive and West Seattle Autoworks (both WSB sponsors). If you missed the news last week, the show is now “open class,” a big change from previous years, so it’s not just for old cars – if you have any other reason to want to show off your vehicle, sign up! (That includes creatively decorated vehicles – anyone want to bring an “art car,” for example?) If you’re interested, go here to sign up now! First come, first served. If you don’t want to register online, you can get a form by e-mailing wscarshow@gmail.com or calling 206.938.8685. That’s also how to sign up as a sponsor if your business/organization didn’t already get a form; three sponsors are on board so far (including us here at WSB) and more are welcome.

Bartons’ eviction fight: Judge denies new owner’s request to order SPD to arrest them

August 13, 2014 at 11:36 am | In West Seattle housing, West Seattle news | 89 Comments

ORIGINAL REPORT, 11:36 AM: Just in: King County Superior Court Judge Mariane Spearman has rejected Triangle Property Development‘s petition for a “writ of mandamus” which would basically have forced Seattle Police to arrest Jean and Byron Barton for trespassing, as they continue to occupy the Morgan Junction home from which they were evicted last month, three months after Triangle bought it at a foreclosure auction. The judge’s ruling comes five days after a hearing on the issue (WSB coverage here). Judge Spearman wrote that SPD has discretion on whether to make an arrest in a situation like this, and that an “extraordinary” move such as a writ of mandamus is not appropriate for compelling an action in which there is discretion. See the ruling in PDF, or embedded below:

We’re also contacting Triangle Development’s lawyer for comment; the company announced July 29th that it would take the city to court. That was 11 days after sheriff’s deputies – who enforce evictions in King County, whether within city limits or not – removed the Bartons from the house; later that day (July 18th), the couple re-entered it. SPD arrived at the house late in the day, but did not arrest them, and Mayor Murray issued a statement the following Monday saying he had told SPD to “stand by while the latest court proceedings unwind.”

ADDED 12:42 PM: A few other notes – The Bartons themselves were not a direct party in this particular legal action. It was taken by Triangle Development against Mayor Murray and Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole, and is unrelated to the Bartons’ ongoing lawsuit (read it here) alleging that the foreclosure was illegal. If you haven’t read today’s ruling yet, another reason cited by the judge was that Triangle has other options for getting control of the property – including getting the King County Sheriff’s Office to serve another order. Meantime, the mayor has posted a statement about the ruling, saying, among other things, “… the judge decided that SPD acted properly in exercising its discretion over the past three weeks.”

ADDED 4:46 PM: The advocacy group SAFE has sent a statement, which includes Jean Barton’s reaction to the city’s contention that she and her husband are ignoring/spurning housing-related services:
Click to read the rest of Bartons’ eviction fight: Judge denies new owner’s request to order SPD to arrest them…

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