month : 03/2008 311 results

Well, now, this explains it all

After a day of forum and comment turbulence, a referral from here turns up in our site logs (one of our police-report summaries is referenced in the thread). We’ve never heard of that site before so forgive us if it leads you anyplace even stranger, but we just had to share.

Walking on logs, for real

March 4, 2008 11:36 pm
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 |   West Seattle beaches


WSB contributing photojournalist Matt Durham shares that image of a boy walking on driftwood logs at Lincoln Park at sunset, with the ferries Evergreen State and Tillikum passing in the background. (Prints of Matt’s WSB photos and his other work are available through his site,

Late-night followup file: Fauntleroy Place status

For everyone who wonders when construction will finally start on Fauntleroy Place, aka “the Whole Foods development” at the current east-of-Junction site of Schuck’s/Hancock Fabrics, we check in periodically with its developer, BlueStar Management. Today, BlueStar’s Eric Radovich told WSB it’s looking now like groundbreaking will be in “late April or early May” — a little later than last estimate — “due to a handful of minor details being wrapped up this month.”

West Seattle Gas Price Watch: First $3.50-plus regular

351gas.jpgThat’s the sign at 35th/Holden Chevron, about an hour ago. This may not be the only West Seattle station where regular is posted at $3.50 or higher, but it’s the first one we saw (and we did pass about half the other West Seattle stations in the 20 minutes before this sighting). We’re not planning another full roundup till the weekend — in the “baseline” one we did two nights ago, this station was at $3.46/regular, $3.69/super (the two grades for which we noted prices at all WS stations) — but we did want to make note of first $3.50 (higher than regular ever reached in WS during last year’s spring run-up).

West Seattle Crime Watch: School-zone patrol progress

From the Southwest Precinct Public Safety Newsletter just sent out by SWP Crime Prevention Coordinator Benjamin Kinlow – don’t miss the last paragraph:

The T9 Traffic Squad focuses on aggressive drivers. They drive the Dodge Charger Police cars. The T9 Squad, along with other members of the Traffic Section, issued the following school zone citations between September 01, 2007 through February 11, 2008:

* Arbor Heights – total – 94

65 Speed, 1 Pass School Bus, 28 other –

* Highland Park – total – -540

363 Speed, 4 Pass School Bus, 1 R/W Ped, 172 other

* Holy Family – total – 245

189 Speed, 1 Pass School Bus, 55 other

* Sanislo – total – 56

47 Speed, 9 other –

* Total – 935

Last week the T9 Squad started working the school zone at Gatewood Elementary in 7000 block of Fauntleroy. Yesterday Officer Cavin stopped a driver traveling 45 mph while using the center turn lane to pass 6 other cars in the 20 mph school zone. The driver said he was late getting to the Ferry Terminal. He was cited for Reckless Driving.

Give to local food banks now, and it counts for more!

For the next two months, donations to either or both of the two food banks that serve areas of West Seattle — the West Seattle Food Bank and White Center Food Bank — will bring the agencies and their clients an extra boost. This news release explains why:


March and April donations to West Seattle Food Bank and White Center Food Bank will qualify for Feinstein Challenge

The West Seattle Food Bank and White Center Food Bank are encouraging community members to make donations between March 1st and April 30th so they can be submitted for matching funds from the Feinstein Foundation’s $1 Million Challenge.

For the past 11 years Rhode Island philanthropist, Alan Shawn Feinstein, has made $1 Million available to help anti-hunger agencies. For every cash and food donation received by the end of April the Feinstein Foundation will add a financial contribution.

“It may be hard for many to believe,” said Fran Yeatts, executive director of the West Seattle Food Bank, “but more than 3,200 families visited the West Seattle Food Bank in 2007. That’s 10% more than the year before. And the White Center Food Bank served 3,812 families, a 16% increase from 2006. So it’s obvious that the threat of hunger is very real in both our communities.”

“The more we receive during the challenge period,” said Ms. Yeatts, “the greater the match we’ll get from the Feinstein Foundation, which will help us provide for the babies, teens, adults and seniors who depend on our two organizations .”

For the West Seattle Food Bank, donations may be mailed to 3419 SW Morgan, Seattle, WA 98126. For information about the West Seattle Food Bank’s programs benefited by the $1 Million Challenge, visit or contact Fran Yeatts at (206) 932-9023, or email

For the White Center Food Bank, donations may be mailed to 10829 8th Avenue SW, Seattle, WA 98146. For information about the White Center Food Bank’s programs benefited by the $1 Million Challenge, visit or contact Rick Jump at (206) 762-2848, or email

Information about the Feinstein Foundation and the $1 Million Challenge, visit

First-of-its-kind home shown off in Brace Point


At least we hope that’s the right neighborhood description for this new home at 10012 47th SW. It drew a crowd today as part of a media-and-industry-invited event touting it as the first West Coast home certified as “Fortified … for safer living” by the Institute for Business and Home Safety (an insurance industry-supported group), a certification that means it’s “disaster-resistant.” Among other aspects of the house (listed for sale for $1,695,000, by the way) that make it disaster-resistant — strong enough to withstand 130-mph winds and big earthquakes — is the fact it’s framed with insulated concrete forms rather than wood. We’ll be adding some video and more info to this report in the next hour or so, but in case you were in that area and wondered what all the fuss was about (one neighbor stopped us to ask, in fact), here’s the baseline. ADDED 12:51 PM: Since we promised in the comments – here’s the first clip, the view (main-floor deck):

Next: less visual but more central to the disaster-resistant concept, the concrete forms:Read More

Better safe than sorry

March 4, 2008 9:54 am
|    Comments Off on Better safe than sorry
 |   How to help | Safety

That was one of Mom’s favorite sayings, applicable in almost any circumstance. We invoke it this morning as part of a request for help: A grass-roots West Seattle-wide disaster-readiness effort is under way, and Cindi Barker from the Morgan Community Association is creating a list of neighborhood point people to help. These can’t just be the same neighborhood-council leaders who already have taken on an Atlas-esque amount of tasks – some additional help is needed. It’s not time-intensive but it’s a good deed you can do on behalf of your neighbors. Right now, people are needed to volunteer for the Admiral and North Delridge neighborhoods. You can e-mail her to find out more, no obligation — cbarker (at) (And you’ll be hearing more here in a few weeks about quick, easy ways to get more peace of mind via home preps. Later today, also, you might get a few hints; we are about to head out to tour a new local home touted as “disaster-resistant.”)

Early-morning scenery on the Sound


The view from Constellation Park this morning, as one last stretch of fog reached out from the passageway to Bremerton, behind the south end of Bainbridge Island.

Looking ahead: 2 for tonight, 1 for next week

March 4, 2008 6:28 am
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 |   West Seattle Art Walk | WS miscellaneous

TONIGHT: Four restaurants in West Seattle participate in the Dine for Darfur fundraiser (more info here).

TONIGHT: Family Night at Chief Sealth High School is tonight, 6-8:30 pm, potluck dinner plus speakers with info on helping your kids stay safe and healthy in a challenging world. Here’s the official flyer.

artwalk.jpgNEXT WEEK: Just announced by West Seattle Second Thursday Art Walk organizers — three of West Seattle’s hot boutiques will join with the relatively new Junction branch of Twilight Art Collective to present “wearable art,” models and all, during the March edition. 6-9 pm Thursday 3/13; more info on the Art Walk blog. If you’ve been waiting for the winter chill to pass before checking out the Art Walk, no excuse left now! (Plus, with Daylight-Saving Time starting this weekend, it’ll still be light for the first hour or so.) ADDED 10:24 AM: Here’s the full list of participants (23 – new record!), plus the official map, just e-mailed by Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor) proprietor Lora Lewis:Read More

Viaduct briefing for City Council: A few more details

This month marks one year since the Viaduct Vote. Some things have happened in the ensuing year, perhaps most notably SCENIC_Alaskan_Way_AWV1.jpgGovernor Gregoire declaring what’s left of The Viaduct will come down by 2012 (if not sooner). Second most notably, the state, city, and county agreed to work together to figure out what to do in the wake of the city vote that said no to a tunnel and no to an elevated replacement. Details of that ongoing work have emerged recently at a meeting here and a meeting there, like the briefing the Seattle City Council got today from key city, state, and county leaders. No discussion of what happened this morning — this was all about what’s to come — but there’s no denying that traffic mess was a clear reminder of what traffic nightmares could be in store if dramatic, creative action isn’t taken before and during the upcoming construction projects. Here are some of this afternoon’s highlights:Read More

With posters still up all over WS, you might be interested

missingmanfoto.jpgFor those still wondering: No official law-enforcement updates in the disappearance of Nicholas Francisco (left), Queen Anne ad-agency employee and former Mars Hill-West Seattle member, but his wife has updated her website for the first time since this all happened, with a post titled “Get the Facts.” The searchers’ site hasn’t been updated in almost a week; no recent updates on this semi-official info site, either.

Crime Watch reader report: Car burglars ignore fence

From TLR, a car break-in last week that isn’t in one of our roundups, but carries an important reminder:

I wanted to report to my neighbors in the 6500 block of 37th Ave SW that my car was broken into sometime last Tuesday night (02/26/08) or Wednesday (02/27/08) morning, which was parked in our completely fenced backyard. My iPod Touch and radio tuner were taken when I forgot to take them inside. Just a reminder to everyone to make sure you take everything inside, even if you have a fenced yard.

Update: Bridge-blocking bus cleared

Rhonda from Beach Drive Blog phoned to say the Metro express is stalled out in the westbound lane of the WS Bridge just past Walking on Logs. 5:14 PM UPDATE: We drove through there a couple minutes ago en route back from downtown and the stalled bus has just been cleared – may take a bit for the backup to clear.

Daylight-saving time this weekend (already!)

Just in case you haven’t heard a reminder already. Kind of jolted us when we heard it today. (Sunday morning at 2 am, “spring forward” to 3 am; 2nd year for the early start.)

Timely topic: Councilmember pushing for bridge change


(photo by WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli)

During commutes like this morning, when something goes wrong with The Viaduct or the high bridge, many eastbound West Seattle commuters flock to the low bridge. Just one glitch with that: It sometimes opens for vessel traffic during peak-commute hours. That’s a sore spot for drivers such as WSB’er Jennifer, whose question about the situation was featured here last November. West Seattle-dwelling City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen has been pushing for rush-hour restrictions, especially as traffic-affecting work on the Spokane Street Viaduct section of The Bridge gets closer, and talked to WSB about where this stands:Read More

Viaduct update: SDOT says all lanes now open

Latest update from SDOT:

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) crew installing the temporary flex-rail on the Alaskan Way Viaduct northbound between Cherry and Main Streets has completed the work early. An overnight vehicle accident which damaged the guardrail forced the closure of the far left lane while Seattle Police investigated the accident and the SDOT crew worked to install a temporary guardrail. All lanes are now open and flowing smoothly on the Viaduct.

1:12 PM UPDATE: SDOT spokesperson Peg Nielsen tells WSB they should know tomorrow when the permanent repairs will be done, and says that they always try to get that sort of work done during the “non-peak” hours of 9 am-3 pm.

Update: Owner of shot pit bulls faces $1,000-plus in fines

We just talked with Don Jordan, executive director of the Seattle Animal Shelter, to find out what will happen to the owner of the two pit bulls shot by police in Westwood last week, as well as what will happen to the one that survived. Jordan confirms the dogs’ owner has a history with animal-law enforcement, but not involving the same two dogs from this incident. At the very least, though, the owner will be given citations that Jordan says will total more than $1,000 in fines — for violations including allowing a dog to menace/bite, allowing a dog to roam, and expired tags (neither of the dogs had a current license). Once the city investigation is concluded within a week or so – Jordan says they have two witnesses left to interview – the case will be sent to prosecutors for review to see if any criminal charges are warranted. If not, Jordan says he still has an “administrative process” he can trigger to determine whether or not the surviving dog would have to be returned to the owner. (Previous coverage: Original report the night it happened; followup with more details from the police report; update last night from the man who was attacked, along with his Chihuahua.)

Viaduct repair update: Should be done by early afternoon

March 3, 2008 10:30 am
|    Comments Off on Viaduct repair update: Should be done by early afternoon
 |   Transportation

While we were downtown, this update came in from SDOT:

The far left lane (westernmost lane) remains closed on the Alaskan Way Viaduct northbound between Main and Cherry streets due to an overnight accident. SDOT crews are installing a temporary flex-rail. The work should be completed by noon or 1:00 p.m. and the left lane will be re-opened at that time. At this time three lanes are open for traffic past the work zone.

P.S. You can now get Viaduct-related news as part of the mix on our new MORE page — we just added it to the parameters by which the automated feeds there are sorted.

Traffic alert: Viaduct accident closes 1 northbound lane

Thanks to Eddie for the tip, which is verified by Accident on northbound Viaduct near Seneca. One lane’s closed. 6:49 AM ADDITION: Adding the camera showing the eastbound bridge at the Viaduct exit, so you can check how things look before you leave (the Viaduct remains cameraless). 7:23 AM UPDATE: We can see northbound 99 traffic from the eastbound bridge, and it’s definitely crawling. 8:04 AM UPDATE: No change as we looked onto 99 while heading back on the bridge westbound. 1st and 4th said to be busier than usual but not too bad. Radio traffic report says repairs might keep that Viaduct lane closed all day (we’ll check with SDOT later). 8:20 AM UPDATE: We’re heading downtown ourselves for a while; will leave this item atop the page so you can share comments and check cameras (find more on our Traffic page). Damage photo and original crash info here. 10:25 AM UPDATE: We’re just back from downtown. Traffic still looks sluggish northbound; heading in, we took 1st and 4th to get to the south edge of downtown, and it took half an hour to get from the 1st offramp to 5th/Cherry! Will post a separate update when we find out from SDOT what’s expected for the rest of the day.

West Seattle Gas Price Watch: Time for a baseline check

76prices.jpgWest Seattle gas prices are now as high as they ever got during last spring’s price pump-up — the top posted price for regular is $3.49 (Lincoln Park 76, photo at left), which is where it peaked in WS (at that station and 35th/Holden Chevron) last May. The top posted price for premium is $3.83 (Admiral Chevron), and the top posted price, period, is $3.95 for diesel at two Shell stations (Delridge and Roxbury, photo at right). The lowest posted gas price in WS is $3.25 for regular (Delridge Arco, photo at left). All this is from our survey late last night; with prices now matching last year’s high, we thought it was time to take baseline checks of the price range at all WS stations:Read More

Update on Chihuahua attacked in Westwood

Unless you are following the heated pit-bull debate on the comment thread for our followup on last Tuesday’s officer-shoots-pit-bulls incident in Westwood, you will miss this, so we’re reposting this note from the man who was walking his Chihuahua when those dogs attacked:

dear readers, I am the person who along with my little dog was attacked tuesday evening. I like the officer who was forced to shoot felt that I and my 7lb. dog were in real danger. To those who wished to donate for help with vet bills the good news is that my little Rosie, while sore had no bad injuries. (I still can’t believe that I prevailed in that battle.) perhaps those who still wish to help could help a family license a pet so some child in a family going through tough times won’t be forced to lose a beloved animal. That kind of karma can move a long ways forward.

Thanks dwr&Rosie

We are now sending a note to “dwr” to ask how HE is doing.

City councilmember blogs about Schwartz sentence

One of the city council’s newest members, Tim Burgess, blogged tonight about the light sentence given to West Seattle rabbi Ephraim Schwartz for the November 2006 47th/Admiral crash that killed Tatsuo Nakata — who worked as chief of staff for the then-councilmember that timburgess1.jpgBurgess defeated a year later, David Della. In his blog post, titled “Wrist Slap for Traffic Death,” Burgess (left) — a former detective — recaps our city’s pedestrian-vehicle crash stats, as well as calling the Schwartz sentence “inappropriate.” (Side note: Before publishing this, we looked to see which other city councilmembers blog; looks like only Sally Clark. Her newest post is mostly about Burgess’ blogging, which she seems to be saying he does too often; not sure what that’s about, since if you scroll down his main page, you’ll see he doesn’t even post daily.)