day : 20/01/2009 16 results

Final Inauguration Day/Night reports, from WS and DC

That’s one of the ways Inauguration Night wrapped up in West Seattle – with revelers dancing to the sound of the West Seattle Big Band at the WS Democratic Women-presented Inaugural Gala at The Hall at Fauntleroy. West Seattleites in DC are reliving their memories – that includes Stephanie and Hans, who are sharing their take on The Big Day, along with photos:

Read on:Read More

West Seattle Crime Prevention Council: More quick updates

As mentioned in our previous story, tonight’s WSCPC meeting at the Southwest Precinct heard additional information on last night’s “home invasion” robbery. That’s not the only case police discussed – several more updates on cases old and new, plus the council’s decision on leadership for the new year, all ahead:Read More

West Seattle Crime Watch: More on the “home invasion” robbery

A multitude of updates from police at tonight’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting – but there’s one we wanted to get to you first: A few more details about the “home invasion” robbery late last night at 12th/Myrtle. One concerned neighbor came to the meeting in hopes police would have more information to share, and they did: Southwest Precinct Lt. Steve Paulsen said they don’t believe it was random — “we think they knew what they were looking for,” possibly with some kind of drug involvement. He says the two robbers were masked, believed to be Hispanic, and “forced their way in after knocking on the door.” The two victims they attacked were men, two of the four adults who were in the home along with one child. Lt. Paulsen reiterated that the victims weren’t the ones who called the police – after they drove downtown to Harborview Medical Center to get treatment for one victim’s injuries, the hospital called SPD, and that’s when officers went to the 12th/Myrtle home. “The scene was pretty extensive,” Lt. Paulsen noted, wth some of the loot left strewn “down the block.” He says because victims and suspects aren’t believed to be totally strangers, “it might not be too difficult to follow up on,” though no one’s been arrested yet. More updates on other cases, coming up later.

Inauguration Day: West Seattle students watch, discuss history

Thanks to Mark Ahlness for sharing that photo of his Arbor Heights Elementary third-grade class, “spontaneously ris(ing) for the moment. Some raise their hands with their new president, some hold their hands over their hearts.” Hours later, media crews were invited to two other West Seattle elementary schools where students were expecting phone calls from Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson, to talk about her experiences in D.C. at The Big Event. We were at both – first, our video from Clarissa Resendez‘s 5th-grade classroom at Highland Park Elementary:

HP principal Ann Gray was on hand for the event too. Minutes after the HP call ended, Dr. Goodloe-Johnson was on the line in Room 18 at Gatewood Elementary, where Jeffrey Case‘s 4th- and 5th-graders had gathered – this video allows you to listen in on their first four minutes of listening, and talking, to the superintendent:

That’s Gatewood principal Rhonda Claytor at right in this next photo, looking on proudly during the interaction:

Dr. Goodloe-Johnson made both phone calls from the offices of the Council of Great City Schools in D.C.; the council is a coalition of more than 60 big-city school districts from around the U.S. Both classes chosen for today’s chats have been working on relevant study units — Ms. Resendez’s Highland Park students have been “studying the role of the President of the United States,” according to info provided by the district communications team, and Mr. Case’s Gatewood students have been “studying … U.S. history and the civil-rights movement.”

All WSB coverage of the 2009 Inauguration — including pre-inauguration reports from West Seattleites in D.C. — is archived here, newest to oldest.

West Seattle snow aftermath: Stepping up sand-clearing

(added 1:48 am: the sweeper that’s been patroling our corner for 1 hr+, though we have no bike lanes)
Funny thing, someone just brought up the continuing street-sand troubles at the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting we’re covering right now – at the exact moment we checked our e-mail, and found this:

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is devoting additional resources to cleaning bike lanes starting tonight. Mechanical street cleaners and crews with hand sweepers will clear bike routes throughout the city.

The department has nearly completed its initial sweeping of sand from 1,531 lane miles of Seattle’s main streets and will continue its cleaning work with additional runs along the same major streets and will focus aggressively over the next several days on bike lanes.

SDOT deployed ten sweepers to clean up more quickly from the storms of December and early January, nearly double the normal number used. SDOT staff will be inspecting roadways throughout the city this evening to assess where additional emphasis is needed.

If citizens have concerns about streets still requiring sand removal or where additional sweeping would be beneficial, they can call SDOT at (206) 684-ROAD. The public is asked to heed “No Parking” signs placed to support sweeping. By doing so, they allow sweeping crews to clean as close to the curb as possible, removing the bulk of the sand on the roadway.

In particular, tonight’s concerned citizen was worried about conditions on 16th SW. If you don’t see cleaning on a street you’re concerned about – do call that hotline number. WEDNESDAY 12:46 AM UPDATE: Big loud street sweeper just swept through our nearest arterial-meets-arterial intersection in Upper Fauntleroy.

Inauguration “sea of people”: From Carter and Dan in D.C.

You saw the massive crowd in national-media video. What was it like to be part of it – not just during the ceremony, but for hours before?

Our first report comes from Carter and Dan, the Fauntleroy residents who’ve been sharing their stories from DC the past few days:

We’re expecting quite a bit from our new President. As he said, we need to sacrifice, and we felt like we did today. We celebrated with a record two million other ice cubes.

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Our Lady of Guadalupe students’ Inauguration Day tribute to MLK

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

That “unity wreath” — cutouts of hundreds of handprints — is one of the ways students at West Seattle’s Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic School paid tribute this afternoon to Dr. King, one day after his official holiday, on the day a dream came true in D.C. The entire OLG student body, preschool through 8th grade, gathered in the church sanctuary at 35th/Myrtle (map) to read, sing, and pray, and the spirit of their words and music, on this historic day, could not help but move even the most hard-hearted onlooker. Third-graders read short tributes to people in their lives who they believe exemplified some of Dr. King’s values; one student honored her mom — “In my family, she is the peacekeeper”; another, his big brother — “He stands up for me”; and another student, President Obama, saying he and Dr. King “both want peace.” After reinforcing that by praying a Litany of Peace, students went out to the campus’s north grounds to release dozens of doves:

OLG school staff told us the doves are more like homing pigeons — after releases like this, they fly back to their keeper’s home. Side note: The school has an open house this Sunday – 9:30 am-1 pm.

Followup: West Seattle mailbox removal is part of regional purge

View Larger Map

We published an item 10 days ago about two U.S. Postal Service dropboxes, on Alki Ave and Beach Drive (shown above via Google Street View), flagged with notices of upcoming removal (they may even be gone already – we haven’t had time to check in person). As promised, we contacted the local USPS HQ to follow up. Spokesperson Ernie Swanson says he doesn’t have a full list of marked mailboxes, but “about 70 boxes … might be removed this month from the area considered the Seattle Post Office which covers ZIP Codes from 98101 thru 98199, which, besides the City of Seattle, includes the cities of Des Moines, Burien, Shoreline and Bainbridge Island.” Pre-removal, he says, that area has about 600 mailboxes – so that means more than 10 percent are likely to go away. Overall, he explained the reason for the removal as follows:

The Postal Service periodically conducts density tests on mail collection boxes. Those boxes that have fewer than 25 pieces of mail in them per day over a two-week period are considered for removal. Nation-wide, First-Class mail volume has been decreasing significantly over the last few years, some eight billion pieces a year since 2001. We have stepped up the pace on doing density tests. Currently, we are removing collection boxes throughout the City of Seattle. In fact, collection boxes around the country are being removed as a cost-cutting measure. The U.S. Postal Service is instituating other cost-cutting measures as well. We lost about $2.8 billion in FY 2008 and expect to perhaps lose that much again this FY.

Inauguration Day: Don’t throw shoes, donate them!

That’s the donation box at Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor) as part of the inauguration-honoring shoe drive hatched by Bob Loblaw in the WSB Forums — through tonight you can take new (or gently used) shoes, at the Hotwire box or at Full Tilt Ice Cream in White Center. They’re going to Soles4Souls. (This is the second fill-up for the box at Hotwire, by the way.) Still need a call to action? Here’s the full video clip of this morning’s Inaugural Address (after the Oath of Office; speech starts 3 minutes into the clip):

West Seattle Crime Watch: “Home invasion” robbery, victims hurt

Posted at SPDBlotter: Two people broke into a home in the 1200 block of SW Myrtle (near Riverview Playfield; map) late last night and held residents at gunpoint, beating two of them before getting away. Police say they first found out about it when one of the victims was driven to Harborview Medical Center for treatment. We’ll be checking for more info on this beyond what’s in the blotter entry. We’re also likely to hear more at tonight’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting (7 pm, Southwest Precinct, all welcome). ADDED 12:37 PM: A few more details from Lt. Steve Paulsen at the precinct: “4 adult and 1 child victims were inside. There was an assault on two of the male victims which required hospitalization.. Some of the stolen items were recovered a short distance from the home. No suspects have been arrested yet.”

Ongoing Inauguration Day coverage, with West Seattle photos

(Will be updated with more photos/video from West Seattleites, as we get them)

Click the player to watch MSNBC ongoing Inauguration Day coverage live right now. (The Inauguration page also has a Hulu player where FOX coverage is streaming. To watch the live Twitter feed, go here.)

To see the new look of the official presidential website, go here. Here’s a notable excerpt from the first entry on its “blog”:

One significant addition to reflects a campaign promise from the President: we will publish all non-emergency legislation to the website for five days, and allow the public to review and comment before the President signs it.

We’ll add local photos/video of inauguration-watching moments as we get them. Here’s the Chelan Cafe, from Bob Loblaw:

Here’s the swearing-in, as watched and cheered by the West Seattle Democratic Women’s breakfast gathering at the WS Golf Course:

From Alki, this photo of Michael Adams‘ party:

(Michael’s caption: From left, Rachelle Kauffman, Estevan Mazariegos, Michael Adams, Alex Siao, Ryan Trail, Lacey Watson. Breakfast: Blueberry Pancakes, apple smoked bacon, scrambled eggs w/ green onions, buttermilk toast and Mimosas! Michael & Ryan’s place- photo by Rachelle Kauffman)
As we post this, the inaugural lunch is kicking off (10:33 am PT) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein just mentioned the population of the recipe page on the inaugural website; the site seems to be overloaded at the moment but if you want to try it later, here’s the link.

(Added 11:23 am) Molly sent this video clip of her inauguration decorations:

(Added 12:55 pm) Paul Dieter sent this video shot while watching at Seattle Center with a group from The Center School (a Seattle Public Schools high school attended by more than a few West Seattleites):

(Added 1:21 pm) Cami McNamara from Alki sends this clip from where she watched this morning’s historic events — The Paramount Theater downtown:

Here’s Cami (right) with Jackie Ramels (Alki resident who chairs the city Parks Board):

And the Paramount marquee:

(added 1:30 pm) Kathleen from Highland Park sends more photos from the Chelan Cafe by The Bridge:

I just returned from a fantastic inauguration breakfast at the Chelan cafe. About 15 or so people sat and ate comfortably in the Ebb Tide Room watching the inauguration on 4 large plasma TVs. The atmosphere was festive including decorations, inauguration food specials, and just a general feeling of a small slice of the community coming together to share their happiness and joy. The owners (1st pic) couldn’t have been more hospitable! A great morning!

(added 3:55 pm) Barbara watched the ceremonies at Town Hall downtown:

(added 8:05 pm) From Arbor Heights, this group watched the inauguration together: Melissa, Tappi, Derek, Jake, and Maria:

(added 8:16 pm) Two sets of Obama cupcakes – first one from Trophy Cupcakes, photo sent by Lisa; second photo from Emily:

Got an Inauguration Day photo? We’ll add to this, for the record, till they stop coming in; – we also will report separately on other events later today including two West Seattle schools where students will talk by phone with Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson, who’s in DC, and some of tonight’s West Seattle celebrations.

Meantime, click ahead to read a poem just sent by West Seattle poet Carol Smith:Read More

Jack Block Park coyote followup: Animal-control officer rescued it

Quick followup on the coyote marooned atop a concrete post at Jack Block Park last Saturday (as reported by Chris, who sent us photos including the one above): Seattle Animal Shelter director Don Jordan confirmed this morning that it’s the same coyote brought to Schmitz Park that day by an animal-control officer. He tells WSB, “The Officer felt that it was stuck on the pier and needed some assistance, so he captured it and felt that Schmitz Park was the best option in the area for release. This is the first time that we have done this.” Jordan adds, “We are happy to field all animal related calls so we can assess the situation and take appropriate action.”

Inauguration Day 2009 begins

January 20, 2009 5:04 am
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 |   2009 Inauguration

We’ll put up live video when the actual ceremony gets a little closer — embedded players (and West Seattle event info) on our Inauguration page. (And if you want to follow a fragmented flow of what’s really happening in DC, here’s the live Twitter stream; among the countless attendees who are posting, King County Executive Ron Simshere’s his direct Twitter link.)

Alki Homestead fire: Owner explains lights, meets with buyers

(WSB photos from Friday morning)
Four days now have passed since the early-morning fire that heavily damaged the interior of the historic Alki Homestead restaurant; yesterday, owner Tom Lin estimated in this update for WSB that it would take more than six months to repair and reopen. This morning, he just sent us another update, including some information related to the cause of the fire, listed by Seattle Fire Department investigators as too many Christmas lights plugged into one socket:

I just want to clarify why we never took down the Christmas lights. We lost reservations for over 600 people the week before Christmas due to the snow storm. Many of the customers called and asked Homestead to keep the lights up till the end of January. The fire was caused by the combination of old wiring, Christmas lights and other unforeseen factors. I don’t think any one is at fault.

I met up with the buyers of Alki Homestead today and many issues were discussed. Johnny and Rose still would like to proceed with the purchase of Alki Homestead after it is restored. However, the following conditions will have to be met:

1. The restaurant has to come back as Alki Homestead or there is no goodwill, hence they will not be interested.
2. If the build-out is more than buyers’ original budget due to fire, the seller may have to make up for the shortfall.
3. Buyers will be included in the restoration process to ensure the integrity of the building.
4. Buyers will not have their names released until documents are signed pertaining to the above conditions.

I appreciate all the support from the community. So far, I believe we can still meet our payroll. It is just nice to know that people are thinking of our employees especially when the job market is really tough now.

Tom Lin

We have a followup question out to Tom — who sent the update a short time ago — regarding the buyers, who for the first time he publicly identifies as “Johnny and Rose.” Based on some intel we received when Tom first described the anonymous prospective buyers as a husband-and-wife chef team living in Fauntleroy, we believe “Johnny” is Johnny Zhu (background here, via LinkedIn). More updates to come; we also are asking Tom a question one WSBer posed – whether there’s any way to donate to help the Homestead staff.

Inauguration Day: West Seattle scenes from the past year

January 20, 2009 2:31 am
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 |   2009 Inauguration | West Seattle history | West Seattle politics

Almost one full year ago, it started here with the precinct caucuses:


(2/9/08 photo by Tim, taken at Arbor Heights Elementary)
As we reported that night, the 34th District went 70% Obama, 28% Clinton, on a day of overflow crowds everywhere. Two months later, for the district caucus April 5 at WSHS, it was standing- and floor-sitting-room-only:


Seven months after that, on Election Day, we found Chris Porter – who’d been an Obama delegate at the Democratic National Convention – among the morning sign-wavers on the Fauntleroy overpass:

That night, we shot this video at Skylark Cafe and Club (WSB sponsor) during a long, loud ovation after the networks called the Obama victory:

We’ll be back at Skylark tonight; it’s one of the venues with post-inauguration celebrations listed (along with other events and info re: today) on our special Inauguration page.

Non-inauguration news: 3 notable West Seattle events tonight

January 20, 2009 1:59 am
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 |   Crime | Environment | Safety | WS & Sports

Before we and the rest of the world go All Inauguration/All The Time for much of the rest of the day/night, 3 other events of note TONIGHT: (1) First meeting of the year for the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council – including your chance to take neighborhood concerns directly to local police. 7 pm, Southwest Precinct. (2) First meeting of the year for Sustainable West Seattle, 7:30 pm, Camp Long Lodge. (3) Second and final registration night for West Seattle Little League, 7 pm, Room 212 at West Seattle High School.