day : 02/02/2009 9 results

Followup: Fauntleroy advisory rep’s take on new ferries plan

Over the weekend, we reported on a big change in Washington State Ferries‘ revised Draft Long-Range Plan — WSF has dropped its proposal to expand the Fauntleroy dock (though it’s still hoping to install an elevated passenger walkway so that car and passenger loading could be done simultaneously). We asked Gary Dawson of the Fauntleroy Community Association, who represents this area on WSF’s Ferry Advisory Committee , for reaction; he tells WSB the neighborhood still has reason to be concerned:

The current revision in the WSF LRP to no longer expand the Fauntleroy dock is good news for the residents of Fauntleroy.

However, the objection remains about the WSF decision to allow the Southworth route to remain in Fauntleroy instead of routing directly to downtown as the original draft proposed. This reversal of decision not only continues to affect Fauntleroy, it affects all of West Seattle.

Option A of the plan essentially provides no increase in service on the Vashon/Southworth/Fauntleroy route. With the proposed ferry traffic from Southworth to nearly double between the years 2020 and 2030, West Seattle, by default, must suffer all the increase in vehicles on an already congested to and over the high bridge from all areas of West Seattle.

According to recent surveys, many Southworth commuters want to go directly downtown. And they want to walk on or take a passenger only ferry. As neither option is available at this time, most are forced to commute in single occupant vehicles.

Although the Mayor’s office did not originally support expansion of the Colman Dock downtown for Southworth service, the Mayor did ask WSF to not expand at Fauntleroy and mitigate the future ferry traffic growth to West Seattle. The draft plan does leave an opening for a future route change to downtown and WSF has stated that they will continue to work with the City to arrive at an agreeable solution.

Letters of support for the redirecting of the Southworth route have been sent to the Mayor’s office from business and community groups in West Seattle. The traffic congestion in and out of West Seattle from other parts of the city are painfully apparent everyday and we can expect it to worsen with ferry traffic growth.

The Fauntleroy Ferry Advisory Committee will continue to work with WSF, the City of Seattle, West Seattle business and community groups, and any other entity necessary to help resolve this difficult problem.
Gary Dawson

As we mentioned over the weekend, both Transportation Committees in the Legislature have work sessions scheduled this week to review the revised WSF plan. The ferry system is also still collecting comments at In Fauntleroy, updates on the plan’s status are expected at the regular monthly FCA meeting at 7 pm February 10th and an FCA-sponsored community gathering at 7 pm February 18th.

Update: 12th SW “assault with weapons” call closed

February 2, 2009 10:09 pm
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 |   Crime | West Seattle news

There’s an “assault with weapons” call in the 7500 block of 12th SW (by the south end of Riverview Playfieldhere’s a map); no other details so far – heading to check it out. 10:32 PM UPDATE: Got to the area, police and fire gone, call now closed on 911 site. TUESDAY UPDATE: It was a stabbing, according to this P-I blog post. Following up with SPD.

Update: Butch the Shiba Inu is returned to his family

Just got word from Mary and Ray Eldridge that Butch the dog, who they believe was stolen from outside the High Point Library, is back home safe – after turning up at a veterinarian’s office in Bothell. They say they’re getting the story secondhand so not sure how much to believe, but in short, Butch reportedly was taken to Beacon Hill after being stolen, rescued from the alleged thieves by a security guard who in turn took him to a public facility where a worker cared for him and got him checked out at the Bothell vet – who scanned him and found the microchip with ownership information. They add, “We are lucky. And we’ve learned a hard lesson. Thank you to everyone who was busy keeping an eye open for Butch! It’s good to know that the bad guys aren’t the only ones at work out there.”

Update: Memorial at scene of Junction shooting; victim ID’d

Flowers and other tributes have been placed at the scene of last night’s deadly shooting in The Junction (original report here, morning update here). No word of arrests yet, nor formal ID from the Medical Examiner’s office (the 26-year-old victim’s sister sent WSB e-mail early this morning but we have withheld his name pending official confirmation of the ID), but we are about to make another round of calls to check. We will have photos of the tributes shortly. Many people who knew the victim have already written tributes in the comments on our morning update, starting here. 3:37 PM UPDATE: Adding photos. The memorial was set up by three childhood friends of Steve; the table was provided by Talarico’s. To quote one of them, honest and raw: “This is so f—d up.” They are working on memorial plans, and they invite anyone who knew Steve to come down and write, or leave, a tribute. 3:49 PM UPDATE: The victim’s full name is now public: Steven Ray Bushaw, per the King County Medical Examiner’s office, cause of death reiterated as “multiple gunshot wounds.”

4:28 PM UPDATE: Just called police to ask if there’s ANYTHING new we can report. Officer Mark Jamieson in the media unit says, in a word, no. The last, and only, official description of the suspects is, “two black males in a white sedan” – they can’t even confirm the potential dreadlock-hairstyle detail that we picked up off the scanner last night (and of course, what’s heard on the scanner often changes in cases big and small as police receive conflicting information and have to sort through it). If you have ANY information that might help the investigation, call 911.

ADDED 4:42 PM: In comments, there’s a tribute mentioning that Steve Bushaw was a talented soccer player. While looking for online info, we found this link to a Times story from 11 years ago, about his role in a huge upset win for the West Seattle High School soccer team.

ADDED EARLY TUESDAY: We have e-mailed the family a request for a photo of Steve. Meantime, WSB’er Alice discovered he’s in her 1999 WSHS yearbook, and sent us the photo you see at left.

West Seattle High School event celebrates health centers, and Sandy

February 2, 2009 3:07 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools | West Seattle video

That’s Sandy Polzin, the West Seattle High School nurse. She’s so busy, she didn’t break away to join in an event down the hall at the library during which she was mentioned with high praise more than a few times: A celebration of school-based health centers, as the program marks its 20th anniversary. She got props from event participants including student/athlete Caleb Fisher, who talked about what the WSHS center means to him (and also paid tribute to the school counselor):

Other speakers included Mayor Nickels, Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson, and WSHS principal Bruce Bivins, who’s the first person you see in this quick pan of the speakers posing for cameras afterward:

The program is mostly funded by the Families and Education Levy, first passed by voters in 1990, then renewed in 1997 and 2004. It pays most of the cost of the health centers in 14 Seattle middle and high schools, including, in West Seattle, Madison and Denny Middle Schools as well as WSHS and Chief Sealth.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Thieves target car racks

If you have a Yakima-brand rack on your car, beware – ahead, two theft reports in 2 nights:Read More

West Seattle’s winning Lotto ticket: Signs up, no claim yet

Washington State Lottery staffers visited the Admiral 7-11 this morning to put up those signs celebrating the $6.8 million jackpot-winning Lotto ticket sold there Saturday night (original WSB coverage here). At last check, though, the winner(s) hadn’t come forward to claim their prize; as we mentioned in yesterday’s story, they’re advised to make an appointment with the nearest lottery office (all branches listed here; Federal Way is closest to West Seattle) rather than just showing up. (The 7-11, by the way, gets a $68,000 check — 1% of the jackpot amount — for selling the winning ticket.)

Update: King County Executive Ron Sims leaving for D.C. job

King County Executive Ron Sims had a no-subject-specified media briefing scheduled for this morning – and multiple sources report he is taking a new job with the Obama Administration. We’re not at the briefing since we’re en route to a mayoral event at West Seattle High School but will update when word comes from the executive himself. 10:34 AM UPDATE: It’s confirmed. The event we’re at includes Mayor Nickels and former mayor Norm Rice, so we should hear what they have to say about it. Read Sims’ statement at the county website. 11:27 AM UPDATE: Just talked to Mayor Nickels after the news conference. He says Sims called him with the news this morning. Will add our clip with mayor’s comment when we’re back at HQ. Rice, by the way, didn’t speak at this event after all, so no comment from him. 11:35 AM UPDATE: Just received this statement from West Seattle-residing King County Council Chair Dow Constantine:

“I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to King County Executive Ron Sims on his appointment as deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. I commend him for taking on this new challenge and stepping forward to serve our citizens as a federal official.

“I will sit down immediately with my colleagues to create a non-partisan process to choose an interim replacement to serve the remainder of Executive Sims’ term.

“An ideal appointee would possess the necessary policy experience, political skills, and management ability to help guide King County through the next several months. We need an appointed executive who can devote his or her full attention and talents to the unprecedented financial challenges facing King County.

“It is the voters of King County—not this Council—who this November will select an Executive to serve them for the next four years.”

We’ve also asked for a comment on whether he’s considering running for the job. ADDED 12:53 PM: On video, the comment we got from Mayor Nickels while he was visiting West Seattle High School this morning for an event celebrating student health centers (separate report to come):

Inspired by P-I online journalist Monica Guzman, here’s the direct link to congratulation messages being sent to Sims via Twitter.

Update: Junction shooting victim dies, no arrests yet

(Sunday night photo by WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli)
Though his wounds were originally described as “not life-threatening,” Seattle Police now say the man shot in The Junction late last night died overnight. The update a short time ago from Officer Renee Witt also includes a few other changes to what police have found out since our original coverage: They say he’s 26 years old and was “walking across the street” when two people “both opened fire, striking the victim twice.” (We have since clarified with Officer Witt — as originally reported, it’s still believed he was in some kind of argument with those two people when he was shot; the victim is reported to have said that himself after running into Talarico’s and collapsing.) The two suspects are still believed to have gotten away by car, described only as a “white sedan,” and Officer Witt says investigators have no other information on the suspects they’re seeking. 7:37 AM UPDATE: Checking e-mail from the past few hours, we found this note:

The man shot at Talarico’s was my brother, Steven. He was 26 and unfortunately, he did not make it. He passed away shortly after arriving to Harborview. The shot to his chest went through the main artery from his heart. He was an amazing man and I will miss him! If any of your readers know anything about what happened please have them call the police. I just can’t believe the people who did this are out there running around…

The note is from Tanya, whose surname also is on the e-mail, but we won’t add that until we can confirm with the Medical Examiner that the man’s next-of-kin have been officially notified (we just called and they currently don’t expect to release the official ID till this afternoon). This is the first homicide in West Seattle since 49-year-old Tracey Creamer was killed last April in Highland Park by her husband, who then killed himself; that was the only 2008 WS killing, following three in 2007. 8:39 AM UPDATE: The latest information from police is also now summarized on SPDBlotter. 11:37 AM UPDATE: New photo from WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli – one of the bullet holes in the Talarico’s facade: