day : 25/02/2008 8 results

West Seattle Crime Watch: Shot dog; ferry rage; phone scam

From the files at the Southwest Precinct: A dog is believed to have been shot by its owner’s drunk, enraged boyfriend. handcuffs_2.jpgThis all played out in the 5600 block of Delridge last Thursday night. Police were called after a woman was heard screaming, “He shot my dog!” They found the woman’s 45-year-old boyfriend holding a .357 handgun, which he promptly dropped when ordered to. She told officers they were arguing when he pulled the gun from his pocket, fired a shot into the ceiling, then shot the dog; she fled the apartment and the dog bolted too. Officers found a trail of blood but no sign of the dog; they also found a significant criminal record for the boyfriend, who admitted firing the gun into the ceiling and shooting at the dog, a pit bull that he described as “vicious.” He also told police, “I was drinking Mad Dog 20-20 and it affects me fast; I drank too fast.” He was taken to jail. NEXT: Ferry rage, bridge rage, phone scam, break-ins, and more:Read More

Good luck, Saints and Wildcats!

Some big games ahead this week for three of West Seattle’s high-school basketball teams — first, thanks to the proud Seattle Lutheran High School families who e-mailed WSB to say the boys and girls teams are both en route to the tournament in Spokane – here are comprehensive details from Mike and Stephanie Jensen:

On Saturday, both the boys and girls basketball teams from Seattle Lutheran High School qualified for the State 2B Basketball Tournament. This is the first time since 1987 that both boys and girls have qualified for the State Tournament in the same year. The boys team is coached by alum Jack Menashe while the girls are coached by longtime coach Bruce Carlson. The entire SLHS community (faculty, staff, students, parents and alum) are excited to have our teams headed back to the tournament representing the school and our West Seattle community.

The tournament starts this Wednesday in Spokane, and concludes on Saturday. It is a double elimination tournament. Here are links to the boys and girls brackets.

We also wanted to mention again that the West Seattle High School boys play Rainier Beach at Bellevue Community College tomorrow, 3 pm, after their big defeat of Bellevue last Thursday. (And if we’re missing any other WS schools in big tournament/playoff action right now, our apologies; please let us know and we’ll add to our coverage!)

Family Promise almost ready to open – just one last thing

February 25, 2008 8:39 pm
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 |   How to help

Family Promise of Seattle, a West Seattle-based organization created to help homeless families with children, says it’s almost ready to open — but first, it needs a few more congregations that can help those families, and they don’t even have to be in WS:

We are still seeking 3 or 4 congregations to serve as hosts, and commit prior to opening our operation. Hosting is very important to adequately serve families in need and to spread the volunteer committment so that each congregation is providing night-time hosting about once per quarter.

Being a host congregation includes:

*Providing an overnight spot for families in our program (no more than 14 total persons at any time)

*Agreeing to serve as host for one week per quarter, approximately

*Providing an evening meal, breakfast and items for families to make lunches with to take to the Day Center, school, work, etc.

*Lining up volunteers to greet families, play with children, essentially welcome them to your space

Please contact Marcia Olson, Board Chair, immediately if your congregation, anywhere in greater Seattle is willing to serve this urgent need. Please e-mail

You can find out more about Family Promise, and those who have already agreed to help, by checking its website.

Also from the follow-up files: Charlestown Cafe fire repairs

As of this afternoon, it’s been exactly three weeks since the Charlestown Cafe fire. ccfiresmall.jpgWe just checked back in with restaurant owner Larry Mellum, who says he regrets to report he has no update on a time estimate for reopening; according to Larry, “The stumbling block is that the City is requiring we replace our hood system” — but since that’s considered part of the building, fixing/replacing it is up to the landlord, and “all we know is, they are discussing it.” He is hoping to hear a decision this week; he knows it’s frustrating for customers, as it is for him and his business partner, and their staff of 35 “wondering what they should be doing, and we have no answers to provide them.” If/when the hood work is approved, Larry says, it would take at least three weeks to be completed — “at least two weeks to fabricate the ‘hood’ and another week to install it.” (All of our archived Charlestown Cafe coverage, including fire reports and the ongoing site-development issues, can be found here.)

“Coyote warning” posted in Upper Fauntleroy


Heading up the switchbacks from mid-Lincoln Park to WSB HQ, we spotted these flyers on two utility poles (this one was at Northrop/Southern; map). The bold-face text says “Multiple coyote are living in this forest. Many neighborhood cats are missing. Our small dog was grabbed by a coyote from our patio while I was standing nearby (2/20/08). They are bold, hungry, and crafty. Please beware!” This just a few weeks after a citywide presentation urging calm coexistence with coyotes and other wildlife, with some enlightening info on their preferred food and how to keep them away from your house; read our coverage here.

From the follow-up files: California Ave “upzoning” status

February 25, 2008 1:12 pm
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 |   California Ave upzoning | Development | West Seattle news

upzonescreengrab.jpgAlmost three months have passed since the big public meeting on the proposed “upzoning” of both sides of California Ave between Hanford and Hinds (plus a bit further south on the west side of the street), and two months since we talked to major property owners Mike Gain and Roger Cayce about it, so it seemed high time to check in with city planners. The lead planner on the proposal, Malli Anderson, just told us by phone that the official recommendation isn’t likely to be out for at least another month — two main reasons: 1. it’s an especially important proposal and they don’t want to rush, and 2. they’re swamped with other concurrent projects. She says she has “a ton” of citizen feedback to review as she works toward a recommendation, which will also have to go through Department of Planning and Development management; once that recommendation is out, several steps will remain, including a public hearing before the city Hearing Examiner, and then a City Council vote would be required before any zoning change could be approved. (Previous WSB coverage is archived here.)

West Seattle graffiti, and what can be done about it


We had a spirited discussion here a month ago when that cat (above left) turned up on a utility structure along Admiral Way, along the lines of “is graffiti EVER a good thing?” John pointed out the cat’s been painted over but its sibling under the Schmitz Park bridge was still there this weekend (above right). As of our drive-by an hour or so ago, the cat paintover already has been painted over by some entirely non-ornate white tagging. All this coincides with a note we received from Mark, who thinks it’s high time for a reminder about what to do when graffiti hits. Here’s what he writes:

Now that warm weather is returning, so is graffiti already. The Key Bank building right there at Alaska and California, the heart of the Junction, is a perfect example. Also, nearby 1st Ave. has become a prime target — I drive it daily and it’s getting worse every day there. The nature of the graffiti “culture” is that graffiti attracts more graffiti. It’s not just a hobby with these kids — it’s a lifestyle that’s a big part of their identities as they “stay up” to acquire “fame” within the graf scene. I know some kids (teens to twentysomethings) who live in West Seattle and are big into the Seattle graf scene. If they see their home turf as welcoming, they will keep on tagging it up like dogs marking their territory.

Anyway, Seattle city government has a Graffiti Prevention & Removal website (click here). You can report graffiti there, and there are tips for removing and preventing it. My experience has been that the city crews do respond to this input pretty quickly.

I’d hate to see our beautiful Junction and Alki areas — and the rest of West Seattle — be seen as even more of a ripe “canvas” for these spray can punks.

(Photo credits: Admiral cat, from last month, courtesy of Jerry at JetCityOrange; bridge cat, from this weekend, sent by John.)

School’s back in session today

February 25, 2008 6:24 am
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 |   West Seattle schools

Seattle Public Schools, and some private schools, just finished “mid-winter break.” Next up, spring break, semi-early this year – for SPS, it starts Saturday 3/29.