month : 08/2008 340 results

No West Seattle route for the Breast Cancer 3Day after all


Scenes like that one along Alki SW won’t be repeated along West Seattle streets next month, after all. As Beach Drive Blog first reported, the route for this year’s Seattle-area Breast Cancer 3Day Sept. 12-14 has been revealed, and it’s traveling along the Eastside plus the edges of North Seattle (see the “cheering stations” listed here). Nonetheless, more than a few West Seattleites are among the walkers, so if you get a chance to go cheer them, you’re bound to be giving some neighbors a boost.

Greenery at 42nd/Alaska: Junction Plaza Park update


Here’s another photo from The Junction, taken the other day and waiting patiently in queue since then: The site of Junction Plaza Park, northwest corner of 42nd/Alaska, with its brand-new lawn. The city has updated its official webpage, making note of the additional fundraising that’s needed before further park improvements are possible, and projecting that design work will resume next spring.

The signs, they are a-changin’: “Sleepers” finally swaps


A changing of the (sign) guard in The Junction this week: Six years after Also Furniture changed its name to Sleepers in Seattle, the Also signage came down, and Sleepers signage went up:


The photos come from Sleepers in Seattle owner Meryl Alcabes, who notes that her company’s been in The Junction for 17 years in all.

Community Police Team update: Back to regular roles “next week”

We’ll be posting a few updates from tonight’s South Delridge/White Center Community Safety meeting, both here and at partner site White Center Now; because of the area covered by that meeting, law enforcers from both the Seattle Police Southwest Precinct and the King County Sheriff’s Office attend. One major update tonight came from SW Precinct Lt. Steve Paulsen: He says the Community Police Team officers (meet them here) will be back to normal duties “next week.” You may recall, the precinct’s been dealing with personnel challenges mostly caused by officer injuries, and Lt. Paulsen announced in late July that the CPT officers would have to move to patrol duty, though they would continue to work in their usual areas; he said at the time that this situation was likely to last “a month to a month and a half,” and it’ll be right in that time frame when they return to normal duties next week.

Reader report: Vashon ferry-dock trouble

Trouble at the Vashon ferry terminal, described rather simply in this update from Washington State Ferries, but more vividly by Luckie, who writes:

… spent the afternoon at a friend’s house, about a half-mile up the hill from the Vashon ferry dock. Around 3:00 we heard lots of sirens. Then, the KING5 helicopter circling overhead. It turns out a guy in a pickup with a huge trailerload of rusty scrap had come down the hill, lost his brakes, and crashed into a couple of dumpsters right next to one of the ferry slips, pushing a dumpster into the water. He then jumped into the water himself and tried to swim away. We caught the 4:30 ferry, and the pickup and trailer were still there, roped off with yellow tape. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera! This may affect traffic going to Vashon ….

We saw the chopper too; went down to Fauntleroy thinking something might be up, saw only a Vashon aid car rushing away in the downtown direction, now we know why. At Vashon, WSDOT says Slip 2 is temporarily closed; we’ll let you know when it reopens. 6:36 PM UPDATE: WSF says Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth boats are running about half an hour behind because of this.

An “anniversary” thanks — and a heads-up

FIRST, THANKS: One year ago today was our first (and last) West Seattle Blog Pledge Day – we already knew thousands of people found value in visiting WSB each day, but we rather brazenly asked that day whether anybody cared enough to chip in a few $ so we could turn this into a business and cover more news for you. eclipse206.jpgWe are so grateful that many people did – it was the morning of the lunar eclipse (blurry photo at left is the only one we got), and while we were up watching it in the wee hours, the first pledges came in … the ensuing proceeds paid for the costs of setting up a business, plus a video camera to expand our coverage (we have 2 now), and most important of all, gave us more confidence that this just might fly as Seattle’s first true full-time all-online community-news business. A few months later, we started offering ad space. So we don’t need to ask you for $ — but PLEASE support our sponsors, all listed here (and in the right sidebar), PLUS if you are in a giving mood, PLEASE give some $ to your favorite West Seattle nonprofit (we don’t have a comprehensive list – gotta work on that – but you can use this site to search with terms such as “West Seattle” or “White Center”) – they all need extra help in these tougher times.

NOW THE HEADS-UP: As part of WSB’s continuing growth – this will be the third consecutive month with more than half a million pageviews – the site has outgrown another hosting service, and needs to make a change this weekend to increase capacity. Most of this process is invisible to you BUT last time we did it, last December, some readers’ providers (like a certain large aerospace company) did not pick up the change immediately because of “DNS caching,” and WSB updates didn’t go through on those systems for a while. We expect to make the change during the holiday weekend so that any glitches affect the fewest people possible. But if at any point around Labor Day you notice that you’re not getting updated WSB content any more – from early morning till late night, we seldom go more than a few hours without something new – please e-mail us; also note that we have a backup site at (nothing there now – it’s just an emergency backup) in case this ever goes completely down

SIDE NOTE: Thanks to the folks from Cupcake Royale for letting a local magazine crew take over a corner of their Junction shop for a while this morning to photograph your editor here:Read More

Red-light camera update: 2 still headed to WS, 1 now “on” nearby


It was way back in January when we first told you the city planned to add red-light cameras “this year” to those two intersections — 35th/Avalon (westbound) and 35th/Thistle (southbound). A comment in our latest High Point traffic-light update made us realize we hadn’t followed up on them lately, so we checked with SDOT, where spokesperson Marybeth Turner gave us two bits of news: First, those two West Seattle cameras are “still in design” and no date yet for installation. However, for those of you who drive through South Park, the 14th S/S Cloverdale red-light cameras (map) ARE now in operation – that’s on the way to the South Park Bridge if you head east from southeast West Seattle/White Center through SP. P.S. Just to be clear – while SDOT installs the red-light cameras, Seattle Police run the enforcement program.

Happening tonight: “Wizard of Oz,” Community Safety, more

August 28, 2008 12:48 pm
|    Comments Off on Happening tonight: “Wizard of Oz,” Community Safety, more
 |   WS culture/arts | WS miscellaneous

(classic 1939 trailer for “Wizard of Oz”)
If you’re going through outdoor-movie withdrawal after the end of the West Seattle Movies on the Wall series last Saturday, you might want to be at High Point Community Center tonight, where Thursday night Family Night activities continue, with “The Wizard of Oz” showing just after 6 pm. As for something else a lot of people will be watching tonight – we haven’t heard of any major West Seattle viewing parties for Sen. Barack Obama’s acceptance speech BUT the 34th District Democrats were promoting the 11th District Democrats‘ viewing party in Tukwila – here’s the info on that. If you’re in south West Seattle or White Center, tonight’s the monthly South Delridge/White Center Community Safety meeting, 6 pm at St. James Place (9421 18th SW; map) – with an excellent agenda item, best practices for when and how to call 911. LOTS of other events tonight, and you can find them on the frequently updated WSB Events calendar page.

Reader report: Double trouble at 35th/Roxbury

From the WSB inbox:

My name is Cody, and I live on the corner of 35th and Roxbury. Monday morning my car was parked across from the Freedom Church on Roxbury and I had found that someone had flexed my window damaging it and broke in trashing my car and throwing everything out of my glovebox trying to find something. Living in Seattle I’ve learned to keep nothing of value in my car so the only thing they got was a broken iPhone charger :). This morning I walked out to my car parked on 35th and found that someone had side swiped me, taking out my back tail light, and mirror and leaving a nice big white scrape all along the driver’s side. This has not really been my week. I just wanted to let people know to park at your own risk on 35th and Roxbury.

Alert: Possible metal-theft casing?

Christopher just sent this – in light of this recent discussion, you might want to be on the lookout:

Just a few minutes ago I watched a man walk down my alley (just off
Oregon between 40th and 41st). He was white, thin, in his 20’s, about
5 foot 7, wearing blue jeans, a blue jacket and a baseball cap. He
drew my attention because he seemed to be acting
suspiciously…looking around at my neighbor’s doorways. When I saw
him pick-up and examine a copper garden ornament in a neighbor’s
garden I decided to go out there to see what was up. When he saw me
he put the item down and walked away. I called the SPD non-emergency
number and filed a report while I followed him on foot for a few
blocks until I lost him. He may or may not have driven away in a
small red Chevrolet that was parked at 39th and Oregon. Just wanted
to spread the word. From what I heard, 11 am seems to be prime
burglary time. I’m not sure if he was looking for metal in general or
if he was just opportunistic. Just thought I’d pass this along so
folks can be on the lookout.

Water Taxi bumps dock: Reader report plus Argosy update


If you go to Seacrest, you might see some yellow tape cordoning off the end of the fishing pier, after the Elliott Bay Water Taxi hit it this morning. Argosy Cruises, which operates the Water Taxi boat Sightseer, confirms a “minor incident” at Seacrest; we checked with Argosy after getting this first-person account from Sofia:

I was waiting on the lower dock to ride the 7:30 am water taxi to work this morning. As the Elliott Bay Taxi pulled in you could see a worried look on the boat’s captain. As she got closer she shouted Oh No and we could tell the boat was coming in too fast. I held on to the rail to brace myself as the taxi came in and hit the upper fishing dock and knocked out the South West Corner Piling (the one closest to the lower loading dock for the taxi). The post was knocked away from the dock and the whole dock shook, the boat then proceeded to go underneath the dock and then finally stopping. There was a small amount of damage to the boat, the overhang over the upstairs windows was bent slightly. The fisherman on the dock were shook up, then they proceeded to joke and pretend that their legs were cut off, but I am sure the ship’s captain was not finding it funny. I felt really bad for her, you can tell she was very scared during this. She then calmly and professionally loaded the boat, called someone (I am guessing argosy headquarters) and then had one of the boat’s mates tape up the corner of the dock so no one stands on that edge. I did not get a photo, but thought people might want to know what happened. It was quite a way to wake up on a groggy morning commute!

Argosy confirms it has staffers out at the dock but spokesperson Maureen Black stresses that the Water Taxi’s schedule IS NOT affected by this. We went out to the scene and indeed saw people in a small boat looking at the piling — here’s video:

Before you take off for the weekend: Labor Day info

August 28, 2008 9:22 am
|    Comments Off on Before you take off for the weekend: Labor Day info
 |   Holidays | West Seattle news

In case you’re taking off for a long holiday weekend shortly, we wanted to mention some of this now: Seattle Public Utilities just sent a reminder that trash/recycling is on a normal schedule for Labor Day pickups next Monday, but many other services are NOT on a normal schedule: Ferry schedules differ depending on route (all listed here; Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth is on the holiday schedule); the Elliott Bay Water Taxi and its shuttle buses (Route 773) will be on a Saturday schedule and Metro buses will run a Sunday schedule (both per this Metro infopage); libraries and community centers are closed. We’ll add more as we get it; by the way, if you’re driving state highways, WSDOT has put up one of its cool “worst/best times to drive” pages based on past stats.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Missing motorcycle

Out of the WSB inbox, from Courtney:

We live across the street from Rocksport on SW Alaska and woke up this morning to a missing motorcycle. Sometime between bed last night (11pm) and leaving for work this morning (530am) our 2008 Suzuki GSX-R black on black has gone missing.

Just filed a police report, bike did have a wheel lock on the front wheel – so it had to be at least two people who took it. If anyone saw anything or knows anything it’d be great to know.

SRO again for Terry Brooks @ Westwood Village

August 28, 2008 3:22 am
|    Comments Off on SRO again for Terry Brooks @ Westwood Village
 |   West Seattle people | West Seattle video | Westwood | WS culture/arts

That’s what West Seattle-residing mega-best-selling author Terry Brooks told a standing-room-only audience last night at Westwood Village Barnes and Noble: While he’s on tour to promote the newly released third book in his “Genesis of Shannara” series, the book he just finished writing – yesterday! – is the first addition in a decade-plus to his “Magic Kingdom” books (catalogued on his website as “Landover”). Last night’s event marked the third consecutive year he brought his book tour to “his neighborhood store,” as B&N-WV community-relations manager Robin Ennis-Cantwell called it. Ahead, listen to Brooks talk about what else he sees ahead, and about a book his playwright sister has just published:Read More

Bulletin: Burien withdraws partial White Center annexation proposal

August 27, 2008 10:20 pm
|    Comments Off on Bulletin: Burien withdraws partial White Center annexation proposal
 |   White Center

whitecentericon.jpgOf interest to West Seattle, since it could ultimately play into whether our boundaries stretch further south: We just discovered this on the City of Burien website and posted it at White Center Now – a quick check shows it hasn’t been reported anywhere else yet – According to this city news release, Burien is withdrawing its North Highline annexation request (which included the southern portion of White Center) for now – pending a new round of talks with other interested parties, including the city of Seattle. We’ll continue updating details in this new post at White Center Now, as we get them.

Followup: Another West Seattle murder case closed

While doing research for our coverage of the plea bargain in the Cal-Mor Circle murder of Benny Reside (in-depth story here; today’s followup from court here), gavel.jpgwe discovered that one of the other two 2007 West Seattle murder cases was closed recently — and this one also ended with a plea bargain. 31-year-old Jabarie Phillips admitted he killed 35-year-old Dewayne West on March 14, 2007, outside the 37th/Findlay (map) home where West lived with a roommate. Phillips has pleaded guilty to manslaughter; he originally was charged with second-degree murder. Court documents do not indicate any clear motive, but they do note that West and Phillips had known each other since childhood. That’s about how far Phillips’ criminal record went – his first felony conviction was at age 14 1/2, for stealing a car and eluding police. The court documents we just found say that this month, he was sentenced to 159 months (13 years, 3 months), with credit for the 17 months he already had spent behind bars since the arrest. This leaves one 2007 West Seattle murder unresolved — the 59th/Admiral shooting from last October. The suspect is now 18; we stopped using his name when it was revealed he claims a history of sexual abuse by the man he is accused of shooting to death (as detailed in this WSB report from 10/29/07). He is charged with second-degree murder, and is still in jail, bail set at $200,000; his next hearing is slated for next week.

Dog poisonings update: Coco “normal,” investigation continues

poisoneddog.jpgFive days after we first told you about the poisoning of Coco the dog in her 47th/Genesee yard (map), owner Kate now reports Coco’s “back to normal.” She also has received an update on the case from Seattle Animal Shelter investigator Katherine Rich, regarding the reports of other area poisonings, and wanted to share what Rich e-mailed her, excerpted as follows:

I personally have taken 4 calls reporting poisonings in West Seattle. I know the dispatcher has also taken several calls. So far most of the reports pertain to fairly old cases (3-5 years old) and will be hard to follow up on. We are however questioning everyone that calls in and doing our best to follow up with what information is given. I am also waiting on some vet records in these older cases to see what the notes hold.

Kate says SAS is still interested in hearing from anyone else in West Seattle whose dog was poisoned – Rich’s number is 206.386.7387.

Design Review updates, including 1st meeting for Kenney expansion

August 27, 2008 4:23 pm
|    Comments Off on Design Review updates, including 1st meeting for Kenney expansion
 |   Development | The Kenney | West Seattle news


Nine days ago, we brought you the first in-depth report about the $150 million expansion in the works for The Kenney in Fauntleroy (including the demolition, and “replication,” of the cupola-adorned building shown above) – if you missed it, you can read our story here. We’re mentioning it because the first Southwest Design Review Board public meeting has just been set for the project, October 23rd. (The official city page has the wrong address for this, but the right project link; there are a few more notable new West Seattle dates on the page — we’d already mentioned 5020 California SW is coming up again on September 11th, but now the second meeting for the 35th/Graham High Point project has moved from that date to October 9th, while the October 23rd meeting featuring The Kenney’s plan is also scheduled to include 4106 Delridge, a 5-story mixed-use proposal.)

Eastbound lower Spokane St. closure date set: September 8th

We told you on Tuesday that the city’s project manager for the city’s Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project said the first major closure – the eastbound lower Spokane Street from 1st to 4th – was expected by mid-September; now, we’ve just gotten an update from the city, with a firm date: Monday, September 8th. So that’s the date most West Seattleites’ route to Costco will get a bit longer (among other things) because when you get off the SSV eastbound at 1st Avenue South, you will have to turn left to hit this detour route:


Full details on the SSV Widening Project can be found on the city website, and in this archive of WSB coverage. Meantime, here’s the full text of the city announcement:Read More

Followup: Killer’s plea in Benny Reside murder case

August 27, 2008 1:31 pm
|    Comments Off on Followup: Killer’s plea in Benny Reside murder case
 |   Crime | West Seattle news


(photo added 1:48 pm – Pam Leach talking with the media outside the courtroom after the plea hearing, 17-year-old son Joey at her side; husband Jeff also was in the courtroom)
Last night, we published the story (read it here) of Pam and Jeff Leach of West Seattle, as they faced the end of a 16-month road through the legal system that started with beny.jpgthe murder of Pam’s brother Benny Reside (right) at Cal-Mor Circle, and is ending in a King County Superior Court courtroom this afternoon. I am in that courtroom, where Brian S. Walsh has just pleaded – as expected – guilty to the reduced charge of second-degree murder, and the judge has accepted the plea. (Several citywide media representatives are here too, and the Leaches are in the courtroom as they said they would be.) He is to be sentenced in October. 1:49 PM UPDATE: The deal signed by Walsh notes that the prosecution requests a sentence at the high end, 220 months, while the defendant agrees to ask for no less than the midrange of 170 months. An assault charge stemming from the beating of a witness in the case has been dropped as part of the deal. (WRT the citywide coverage, by the way, you’ll see a TV report tonight on KIRO.) Will add more quotes in a bit; leaving the courthouse now. 4:40 PM UPDATE: Added more details from the courthouse:Read More

New High Point stoplights: The blinking begins


For anyone who said they wouldn’t believe it till they saw it – there you go – as of a little while ago, the light at High Point’s long-closed Lanham/Morgan intersection (by Commons Park and the new Bridge Park senior-living community) is in its “blinking” test phase, and by all accounts, that means the intersection will be open within a week or so. Not far away, minutes after we took the Lanham/Morgan photo, we also spotted SDOT getting ready to do the same thing with the upgraded light at 35th/Raymond:


West Seattle High School Foundation’s 1st-ever Breakfast Bash

That’s video of the West Seattle High School cheerleaders who welcomed guests to the first-ever Back-to-School Breakfast Bash this morning, presented by the WSHS Foundation. We also rolled a WSB vidcam on the West Seattle High School small ensemble, under the direction of WSHS music director Coach Rutherford (on bass), playing the Peter Gunn theme:

We had to duck out early, but dignitaries slated to appear at the event included WSHS alum and King County Councilmember Dow Constantine as well as Seattle Public Schools superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson. While various orientation and preparation activities have been under way for quite some time, the official first day of school for the district is one week from today (Wednesday 9/3).