West Seattle, Washington
(added Wednesday afternoon, surveillance photo from Gas Depot robbery earlier this month)
This story posted online tonight by KING features both surveillance video of robbery suspects and an interview with a man identified as a West Seattle convenience store owner who chased them out of his shop. The story is a little meanderingly told and we can’t tell which store (perhaps you recognize the owner who was interviewed?), but these seem to be the same suspects sought in the Highland Park/White Center robberies earlier this month (and a South Seattle stickup reported earlier this week on SPDBlotter). We had asked Seattle Police and King County Sheriff’s Office previously for any visuals that could be shared to help solve the crimes; if any of the images from tonight’s TV story are obtainable through police, we’ll get them and share them here. WEDNESDAY LATE-MORNING UPDATE: We have received those items and will be adding them soon.
(“Snowmare” scenes: December 23 video by WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli)
Just a few hours ago, we had the chance to join neighborhood-preparedness advocate Cindi Barker of Morgan Junction in an impromptu City Hall conversation with City Council President Richard Conlin regarding Snowmare ’08, particularly the communications challenges and shortcomings. But we also talked about an incredible example of communication that worked: During the conversation, we were able to show him a few examples of how WSB’ers shared information with each other (in comments following coverage like this), when detailed, official information was difficult or impossible to find. Previously, Councilmember Conlin had told WSB yesterday that hearings and reviews were in the works, and we promised you we’d share the detailed list of those events as soon as it was available. It just hit the inbox; read on:Read More
Several new sponsors have joined WSB in the past few weeks – but our traditional “welcome” messages have been on hold while we focused on 24/7 weather-related coverage. Now – during a lull in the weather woes – it’s time to start welcoming those new sponsors. So today we warmly welcome one of WSB’s newest sponsors, Chill! Located in Morgan Junction, Chill is West Seattle’s seven-day-a-week massage therapy shop and modern apothecary, with evening appointments available Thursday through Saturday. Chill offers many types of personalized massage, including Sports, Pregnancy, and Hot-Stone massage. You can also choose from shorter sessions of Swedish massage, Reflexology, or a seated massage at the rejuvenation station, for those short on time but long on stress. Still giving holiday gifts since Christmas and Hanukkah were a bit snow-challenged? You can get gift certificates by visiting Chill‘s website (here’s a direct link to that page). Chill’s Massage Therapists are licensed professionals adept at providing excellent body work in a comfortable environment. Try Diana’s Signature Chill for a luxurious vacation; it combines an hour of soothing Swedish Massage with a half hour of foot Reflexology. Then take home some of their mood mists to keep the Chill going all week long. Chill‘s in a convenient spot at 6969 California SW (map); call 206-724-9555 and find them online at chillwestseattle.com – where you can even book appointments online! We’re happy to welcome Chill to the WSB sponsor team; the latest lineup is here along with info on how to become part of it.
Turns out the Alaskan Way Viaduct Central Waterfront decision isn’t going to be made by that frequently promised end-of-year deadline after all. Here’s the joint statement issued by Governor Gregoire, King County Executive Ron Sims, and Mayor Nickels:
“Representatives of Washington state, Seattle and King County, with input from key stakeholders, have made great progress on a recommendation to replace the aging Alaskan Way Viaduct by 2012. Since our last viaduct oversight committee meeting, there continues to be extraordinary stakeholder response to the list of potential viaduct replacement options.
“As a result of the continued overwhelming response and input on replacement options from stakeholders, we have asked our respective transportation teams to continue their review. Once this information is in hand, and working closely together, a final recommendation will be made to the state Legislature in January.
“The replacement of the Alaskan Way Viaduct will have a lasting affect on Seattle and the Puget Sound region. We only have one chance to do this right. It is imperative that we find the best option that addresses not only financing, but also solves safety, economic, capacity, and environmental concerns. I have heard from many businesses, small and large, local municipalities, elected officials, and residents that all have a stake in the future of this critical transportation system. We owe it to the residents of the Central Puget Sound to make the right decision.”
In our continuing quest to get answers to lingering questions, we asked the Seattle DOT about two things — what’s going to be done about the excess sand on the roads, and what about those raised lane markers that are no longer in place – here are the answers, from Marybeth Turner:
Our night crews are sweeping streets. We have six sweepers out each night. We started sweeping Saturday night in cooperation with Seattle Public Utilities to keep drains unclogged to avoid flooding. We will continue sweeping until we have covered all the streets we sanded. We follow the same priority as responding to snow–major arterial streets first. Also, we are giving priority to requests from Metro Transit and other agencies. It is a slow process–it takes more than one pass to pick up the sand. The sand is recycled–filtered and cleaned–by a private firm–for reuse.
Lane markings, including the raised buttons, took a beating during the storm. We will be addressing these during our annual street marking maintenance program. In general, the marking requires dry pavement. We will give priority to areas where the lack of markings is a particular safety concern.
She says you can report those areas of concern to 684-ROAD or by using the same online form you’d use for pothole reports (choose the “minor paving repairs” option) – find it here. P.S. The mayor’s having another media briefing about storm response, 11 am tomorrow. We couldn’t get to the one called on short notice Christmas Eve, but we’ll be there for this one.
This first came up in the WSB Forums today, and we just got it confirmed by James Rasmussen, the Duwamish Tribe‘s Longhouse and Cultural Center director, so we could post official word – the longhouse’s grand opening (on the eastern edge of West Seattle) is finally happening this Saturday (Jan. 3), 10 am. (added Tuesday night) Location: 4700 block of West Marginal Way; here’s a map. Rasmussen says the event will last about 2 hours, starting with a 10 am ribbon-cutting, including speeches from various dignitaries and “a thank you from our chair Cecile Hansen.”
Two items from the WSB Forums that you should know about if you haven’t seen ’em already:
DON’T THROW SHOES, DONATE THEM! “Bob Loblaw” came up with a great idea to improve on social-network suggestions about throwing shoes on Inauguration Day (example here). Bob writes, “While I’m all for throwing shoes at the Federal Building on January 20, as is being planned on Facebook and elsewhere in ‘honor’ of our outgoing president, I’m starting to think it’s a waste of shoes. Any interest in a “shoe drive” that day instead? I’d be happy to load up the car with new children’s shoes and run them to a local charity in honor of our incoming president.” Interested? Here’s where to join in – he’s looking for ideas, suggestions, support if you’re up for it.
THE BEST OF 2008, AS YOU SEE IT: Yes, we will probably write the inescapable “West Seattle 2008 in review” item tonight or tomorrow, as we did, in ever-evolving style, in 2005, in 2006, and in 2007 (when we published several “Top 7 of ’07” lists). But much more interesting: What’s on YOUR best-of list as 2008 ends? WSB Forum members are discussing it here.
Just got a call from Ronna Charles Branch at UPS, even before we had finished combing the latest comments and e-mails (following up on the WSB discussion yesterday) for lingering questions to send her: She said they’ll be open tomorrow after all to keep catching up — that includes delivering ground packages as well as air. (Originally, UPS was going to be closed 12/31 as well as 1/1.) We passed two UPS trucks while en route to and from The Junction this past hour, so be on the lookout – they’re out there.
We haven’t yet heard of any plans for a big-splash formal announcement, but it had been promised time and time again that the decision on a replacement for the Alaskan Way Viaduct‘s “mile in the middle” Central Waterfront section would be made by year’s end. That’s a little over 37 hours away. Still enough time to put yourself on the record, suggests Le’a Kent – she’s the West Seattleite who spoke most loudly on behalf of the peninsula at the public forum two weeks ago (as we reported here). She e-mailed WSB this morning to suggest sharing decisionmakers’ e-mail addresses one more time — saying, “I realize there is not complete agreement from all West Seattleites about what the decision should be, but I think we need to get our voices out there” — so here are some contact methods/addresses for starters (let us know if you have one to add):
Governor Gregoire, it’s a web form:
Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels
The National Weather Service’s latest forecast has a “wind advisory” in effect from 6 pm tonight till 7 am tomorrow. Read it here (that is the fixed link for the metro-area forecast, by the way, usually updated at least 3 times daily). As of right this moment, Cliff Mass hasn’t posted his daily update, but he did write last night about how he and others failed to accurately anticipate yesterday’s “wind event.” 12:15 PM UPDATE: Today’s update is now posted – and he’s not as worried about the end of the week as some forecasters you might have seen/heard.
We’ll be checking on several things today – including a UPS followup and non-pothole road questions. Any other loose ends or followups on your mind? Post a comment or e-mail WSB.
Another gorgeous Alki shot by David Hutchinson – who also happens to be with the Seattle (Alki) Statue of Liberty Plaza Committee, which has a year-end reminder for you: Just a couple more days to buy inscribed bricks/plaques to be added to the new plaza next year, with proceeds going to a maintenance fund. There’s also been a decision about how to handle the mineral-deposit problem on some of the already-installed bricks, as you can read in an update from the committee – click ahead:Read More