day : 05/01/2009 10 results

Eve of school-closure “final recommendations”: Cooper, still?

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

By mid-afternoon tomorrow, Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson will announce her “final recommendations” for which school buildings and “programs” to close, in hopes of saving the district millions of dollars. Her announcement won’t be the last word — the proposal will be formally introduced at the following night’s School Board meeting, and then a final round of hearings/meetings (and no doubt protests) will follow, till board members’ scheduled vote on January 29th.

When the process began, the timing was considered difficult at best.Read More

4 firefighter heroes honored tonight at Holy Family

14 years ago tonight, a crime of greed took a terrible toll: Four Seattle firefighters lost their lives in a commercial warehouse in the International District that was set ablaze by its owner’s son. Tonight, those four firefighters — Randy Terlicker, James Brown, Lt. Greg Shoemaker, and Lt. Walter Kilgore (namesake of the Honor Guard shown in the photo above) — were remembered at Holy Family School, Terlicker’s alma mater. Those in attendance included Fire Chief Gregory Dean, Mayor Nickels, City Council President Richard Conlin, and City Councilmembers Tom Rasmussen and Tim Burgess. The event also raised money for Holy Family scholarships to be granted by the Randy Terlicker Endowment Fund. ADDED 10:30 PM: Video of the Seattle Fire Department Pipes and Drums Band procession, followed by the Honor Guard presenting the colors:

Randy’s mom Colleen Terlicker shared memories tonight as well:

Her son was only 35 when he died in the warehouse fire; James Brown was 25; Lt. Kilgore, 45; Lt. Shoemaker, 43. Three years after the fire, arsonist Martin Pang was sentenced to 35 years in prison; as this 1998 Times story notes, he pleaded guilty to manslaughter – murder charges were rendered impossible by the extradition agreement with Brazil, to which he had fled after the crime.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Another car break-in report

This car-burglary report actually came in from KB last night, while the snow was still falling fast and furious:

Near 32nd and Kenyon [map]: Windows smashed in and radio stolen, but no other items. (lots of CDs and a jacket left inside)

As you’ll note in the stories linked from the WSB West Seattle Crime Watch page, car-targeting crooks seem to be on more of a rampage than ever.

Update from UPS: “Seattle has no more backlogged packages”

At midday today, we photographed that scene outside WSB HQ – two UPS trucks pulled over, with one driver transferring packages to the other. At the time, we had questions out to UPS’ communications team regarding loose ends from the Snowstorm ’08-related delivery delays (here’s our most recent item from last Friday); while we were away from the computer for a while this afternoon, Trevor Williams from UPS communications replied to those questions. Read on for what he told us, published in Q/A format – the questions exactly as we sent them, and the answers exactly as he e-mailed back:Read More

Details: First city briefing on December snow response

(2:35 PM note: Archived video of the briefing is now available online – the storm discussion begins halfway through the 2-hour clip.)

(December 21 photo by Ian)
What happened in December wasn’t the “typical” Seattle storm, two city department heads reiterated, repeatedly, this morning, while presenting City Councilmembers with the first of several briefings they have requested regarding how said storm was handled. The briefers: Office of Emergency Management director Barb Graff and Seattle Department of Transportation director Grace Crunican. What they said, and what councilmembers said, ahead:Read More

Snow aftermath: New West Seattle power outage, in Gatewood

Moments after a media advisory from Seattle City Light‘s Mike Eagan announced that everyone citywide has their power back — he sent word to WSB that there’s a new “small power outage” in West Seattle: “It’s affecting up to 120 customers and the estimated time of restoration is 4 p.m. The boundaries are SW Holly St. on the north, SW Southern St. on the south, 34th Ave. SW on the east and 44th Ave. SW on the west.” Most of that area’s in Gatewood; the boundaries are often wider than the actual outage – but these would potentially include some of the south Morgan Junction businesses, so we’ll head down the hill to check on them shortly. 12:30 PM UPDATE: Co-publisher Patrick just traveled through that business district – no power problems apparent, so it must be elsewhere within the “boundaries.”

West Seattle snow aftermath: How/where salt was used

During the Seattle City Council briefing that just ended regarding city response to last month’s snow, SDOT director Grace Crunican confirmed that some salt was used on roads last night. Earlier this morning, we had sent a request to SDOT communications director Rick Sheridan seeking details on the reported salt usage, and whether anyone would notice car effect as a result. Here’s his response, including West Seattle specifics:

With many parts of the city reporting significant snowfall on Sunday evening, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) did utilize salt in our snow removal efforts. As West Seattle, Capitol Hill, Upper Queen Anne and northern parts of the city all saw at least four inches of snow, this emergency use of salt adheres to the guidelines established by Mayor Nickels last week.

SDOT crews mixed the salt with sand and applied it to primary arterials, hills, bus routes, bridges, and around emergency facilities like hospitals. West Seattle’s 35th Avenue SW from SW Avalon Way to SW Roxbury Street is a primary arterial where SDOT spread salt.

The department only applied it from roughly 8:30 p.m. to midnight before switching back to our chemical de-icer. So we are confident that salt was utilized only when most needed and that roadway users should not notice anything different on their vehicles.

Meantime, we’re now writing up our summary of highlights from the council briefing – the first of several (next one will include a public-comment period and will include participation from Seattle Public Utilities regarding the trash/recycling/yard waste pickup problems, which weren’t in the scope of today’s discussion).

Robbery arrests update: Hearing today, more suspects out there

Two quick updates on the arrests of three armed-robbery suspects in the Admiral District — believed linked to a series of holdups around the area over the past month — as first reported here yesterday morning: The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office says bail hearings are planned for the three later today; Seattle Police note that they believe more robbers were involved in some of the crimes, so they are looking for other suspects.

Happening now: City Council briefing on December storm response

January 5, 2009 9:37 am
|    Comments Off on Happening now: City Council briefing on December storm response
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle politics | West Seattle weather

Live coverage has just started on Seattle Channel (cable 21, or online at This is a council briefing WITHOUT public comment, focusing on the Office of Emergency Management and Department of Transportation. If anything major is revealed, we’ll add it here; otherwise, watch for a summary afterward. Looks like the council has some other business to handle first (including a report on “toxic runoff”), so the storm-response agenda item is NOT first up. 9:55 AM UPDATE: It’s going to be a while – they haven’t gotten through the other agenda items yet. But they are discussing other possible additions to the review schedule, such as inviting the mayor to listen to public comment at some point (first public comment opportunity is at a council briefing at 9:30 am tomorrow), and possibly scheduling an evening meeting for public comment. They are now starting a briefing on salmon, city creeks, and toxic runoff; the storm discussion is to follow that. The creek briefing is certainly relevant to Fauntleroy and Longfellow Creeks in West Seattle, so we’ll summarize its key points afterward too. 10:27 AM UPDATE: Storm response presentation is starting now. 11:33 AM UPDATE: It’s over now, with some interesting revelations along the way – writing up a separate summary.

West Seattle Weather Watch: Monday morning post-snow updates


ORIGINAL 4 AM POST: We’ll be on the live-update beat in the 5 am hour, but we’re setting this up sooner so you can start checking the latest commute and school info early, and sharing the situation where you’re at (watch out for the wind, which started to pick up after 2 am):

METRO ROUTE CHANGES: Before the snow began to melt in the wee hours, it had affected myriad bus routes. Go here for the latest list of changes.

TRAFFIC CAMS: All the cams of specific West Seattle interest (including routes out of/into WS) can be found on the WSB Traffic page.

LIVE 911 LOG: Check it here, just in case you hear a siren or see a fire/aid crew. (Remember, this site shows Fire Department responses only, not police.)

TRASH/YARD WASTE/ETC.: No updates from Seattle Public Utilities since the snow, so we’ll refer you to the story we published at midday Sunday.

5:54 AM UPDATE: Back live. Just finishing a phone conversation with a Seattle City Light spokesperson. They have no estimated time for restoration of this outage, nor any specific information so far on where it originated. As for schools – no word of any changes, so far, for Seattle Public Schools, per either online source. Here’s the latest Metro overview, saying “most” routes are normal this morning (use the link above to see whether yours is among the exceptions).

6:05 AM UPDATE: As “Cheeky” points out in comments, Seattle Public Schools just updated its homepage to say “All Seattle Public Schools will open on time today, Monday, January 5, and buses will operate on regular routes.” Wait! Power just came back on! (6:07 am)

6:21 AM UPDATE: Co-publisher Patrick is going out to see if any outage pockets remain. A couple reports of restored power have come in via Twitter, so we’re hopeful that means everyone is back on. Regarding buses – several West Seattle routes are listed in the latest Metro update on route changes – so check this list before you go. We have a road-condition report from Scott C, who commuted to Everett about an hour ago – 35th a little slushy, bridge OK, I-5 just fine. (Lou says the same thing in comments re: the drive to downtown.) One more school note – Vashon mentions a 2-hour delay, with the possibility that might change if power there remains out.

6:40 AM UPDATE: From SDOT, via Twitter: “SDOT has 20 plows clearing city streets. 3 dedicated to the WS Bridge and the Alaskan Way Viaduct. Roads in downtown in very good shape.” Patrick is just back from driving around the area and says it looks like the power is back on for everyone — if not for you, be sure City Light knows (684-3000) — but some stoplights haven’t returned to normal yet; 26th and Barton, by Westwood Village, for example, was “flashing red and yellow simultaneously,” he reports. Roads are slushy but drivable; the walkway outside your home may be your biggest troublespot, so keep that in mind.

7:35 AM UPDATE: Still watching the commute overall. No major problems, aside from the aforementioned bus reroutes. Our nearest arterial (California SW, south through Gatewood) is mostly bare and wet – quite a difference from previous post-snow situations, but then again, circumstances were different too – warmer temperatures, wetter snow. The latest forecast is resolute that temperatures will stay higher for quite some time, but also mentions breeziness today. Online note: WSDOT says via Twitter that its website is having trouble today because of a cooling problem in the server room.

7:51 AM UPDATE: Two notes: Marilyn Mar from City Light just called to say that not everybody’s back on — about 300 homes/businesses in West Seattle remain without power. Also, a trash truck just turned up in our neighborhood, on what you would consider a side street, so that could be a good omen for everyone expecting pickup today.

8:04 AM UPDATE: Medic/fire crews have just been dispatched to a “motor vehicle accident” call at West Marginal Way/Highland Park Way. Meanwhile, another arterial report: Brian at Stor-More Self-Storage (WSB sponsor) says Avalon’s “slush and blacktop” (they’re midway up the Avalon hill, at Yancy).

8:14 AM UPDATE: The Marginal/HP Way call has closed already, which at the very least indicates no serious injuries.

9:09 AM UPDATE: Streets near us are now mostly just puddled. Commute still fairly uneventful, though some scattered reports of bus delays. We’ll add word here if anything else major happens but otherwise, in 20 minutes we’ll be covering the City Council briefing about last month’s storm response, first of several. Today’s briefing — 9:30 am, you can watch live on cable or online via Seattle Channel — is described as follows:

An overview from Office of Emergency Management and Seattle Department of Transportation on the Storm Response, including information from the Seattle Fire Department and Seattle Police Department.