day : 21/04/2009 15 results

Update: West Seattle helicopter search, for a well-known suspect

helicopterwatch.pngThere’s a search under way right now northwest of Morgan Junction – we’re not entirely sure how it started, but it sounds like they are looking for a known burglary suspect, and vandalism involving a motorcycle is part of what’s been discussed on the scanner. A K-9 team is assisting in the search, and it sounds like the law-enforcement helicopter Guardian One is on its way. 12:05 AM UPDATE: We’re monitoring the scanner – no progress to report but as commenters note (and as we can hear in the distance), the helicopter has arrived in West Seattle to join the search. 12:39 AM UPDATE: As discussed in comments, the chopper has left. No indication if there’s been an arrest. We have a message out to police; if we don’t get official information in the next few hours (regarding the suspect status and the nature of whatever incident touched off the search), we’ll continue pursuing it later in the morning.

ADDED 8:45 AM WEDNESDAY: From Sgt. Jeff Durden at the Southwest Precinct:

Last night at 1125 pm, patrol officers attempted to stop a vehicle at California/Findlay driven by Skyelar Hailey and arrest him for his outstanding warrants. He ran from the vehicle which rolled into another car (parked) and then cutting through yards, knocked over a motorcycle damaging it. Despite K9 and Guardian One searches Skyelar escaped. The vehicle he was driving had three passengers who apparently drove away while officers were chasing Skyelar on foot. The parked vehicle was also gone.

We have reported on Skyelar Hailey, an 18-year-old with a long criminal record, here before – in fact, he is to be sentenced this Friday in a case we wrote about exactly one week ago. We were planning to be in court for that and will be checking on how this incident will affect that scheduled hearing.

Ready for a cheerier cat tale? Update on 3-legged Zack

We’ll keep watch on the story of Scat, the White Center church cat, to bring you followups if new information is available. Meantime, if you’re ready for cheerier news, we got e-mail today from Jane, who was “found by” Zack the cat, learned he needed costly surgery (which cost him a leg), and sought help here last winter. Here’s a new pic, followed by an update:

I wanted to give our friends in West Seattle an update on Zack’s life. Zack is doing great. It has been almost four months now since we saved Zack and it is like he has always been a part of the family. The first month of Zack’s amputation was a little rough and I had to make Zack take it easy. I got him off the pain medication so he would not hurt himself running around much by not feeling the pain. Zack could jump up on the bed and chairs but he limped slowly while walking across the rug.

I did not realize that Zack could run as fast as he could. Before I could react, Zack was out the door, setting outside with Maxine. Zack quickly sprayed the perimeter of the yard marking his territory and with a little help from me he chased the mean black cat in the neighborhood, away for good.

Since Zack was neutered he no longer leaves for hours roaming, who knows where. I make sure he is not outside to long and that he gets his rest. Zack loves to run across the yard and through the bushes chasing and playing with Maxine. I do not like my cats killing birds but Maxine and Zack are both hunters. They sit under the fence and wait for the birds to drop down from the fence to the lawn. Two weeks ago I saw Zack jumping two feet in the air, happy as ever. We all went out to see what was going on and Zack had finally caught a small bird. He was so proud. Zack also loves catching spiders, flies and mice.

Zack was underweight when I found him and was not fed properly. His hair was in a bad condition. Now that Zack has been eating a proper diet, has his hair brushed daily, the new growth is coming in healthy and shiny. Zack’s whiskers were short and split and now they are finally nice and long. Zack is gaining weight and getting stronger. He never passes up a bowl of food or a chance to set in my lap. I have attached photos. It is hard to get a photo of Zack running because when he is on the go he runs to fast for the photo.

Thanks again to all of you who helped Zack.

Sincerely, Jane

Here’s another photo, this one with him on the run:

Toplines from West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting

At the Southwest Precinct for the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting (which has the biggest crowd we’ve seen in a long time, more than 30 people):

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Beth Gappert, precinct liaison for the City Attorney’s Office, says the owner of the business best known as “the vacuum shop” in the 5200 block of Delridge (Google Street View image above) has pleaded guilty to Seattle Municipal Code violations, as the result of an ongoing investigation involving stolen goods. No jail time at this point – a “deferred sentence” – but she says he is under “tight scrutiny.” (Added 8:09 pm: Talked to Gappert after the meeting – the Municipal Code violations included “engaging in business without a used-goods license” and “failure to retain property for 30 days” – she explains that businesses dealing in used goods are supposed to hold onto them for that long before turning around and selling them.)

Also so far tonight, Southwest Precinct Sgt. Jeff Durden has had two announcements of note: First, a crackdown on suspicious activity in Westcrest Park (he says community activists and Parks crews will be there this Thursday to do some shrubbery trimming to cut down on the hiding places); he also says that Community Police Team officer Kevin McDaniel has added more duties – he is now also responsible for the three major Seattle Housing Authority apartment buildings in West Seattle.

Plus: Sgt. Durden had a few extra notes from last week’s burglary at closed-since-2007 Fairmount Park Elementary — two of the six suspects arrested were adults, and both were booked into jail (the police report from that incident also says there had been two break-ins at the school in the days before that one — nothing significant had been taken but a broken window from those break-ins may have figured into this one).

The Crime Prevention Council also now has its own e-mail address, if you have a question or idea:

Happening tonight: Seacrest on TV; art benefit reminder

April 21, 2009 6:40 pm
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 |   Fun stuff to do | How to help | WS miscellaneous

REMEMBER THE SEACREST “CAR BOMB”? Thanks to Jim for the reminder – the show that “explosion” was for, “The Phone,” premieres tonight on MTV, 10 pm. (Here’s our coverage of the Seacrest video shoot, including pictures and video of the fake “car bomb,” back in February.) This also was mentioned earlier today on‘s Big Blog, whose Monica Guzman will be in West Seattle/White Center tomorrow night for her weekly “meetup” – join her at Cafe Rozella starting at 5:30 pm.

ART BENEFIT REMINDER: Now till 8 pm, for anything you buy at Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor) or Mission, both on California north of Admiral, 10 percent goes to the Pratt Fine Arts Center, as both establishments display work that West Seattle artists have donated for Pratt’s upcoming fundraising auction.

From White Center Now: Man arrested for attacking church cat

Just published at our partner site White Center Now: The King County Sheriff’s Office just sent word that a man’s been arrested after allegedly attacking a White Center church’s cat – which may not survive the resulting injuries. Read the story here. 6:30 PM UPDATE: This case is getting TV coverage too – here’s the channel 4 link, for starters.

Arbor Heights Elementary delivers for Earth Day Groceries Project

While observances have been under way for days, even weeks, tomorrow is the official Earth Day – and since April 22 is the original date of Arbor Day, it seems fitting that Arbor Heights Elementary School launched, and is continuing, what is now a 17-year tradition. We just caught up with Mark Ahlness and his third-graders outside Roxbury Safeway, delivering reusable bags decorated by AH students as part of a worldwide event he founded. As Mark explains, “The store will be bagging groceries with the beautifully decorated bags on Earth Day. This is the 17th consecutive year Arbor Heights has partnered with our Safeway (it used to be at 35th/Roxbury) in this activity. The Earth Day Groceries Project began at Arbor Heights in 1994. One of the oldest/largest educational activities on the Internet, it’s at” Mark says you can also find the Earth Day Groceries Project on Facebook (here) and Flickr (here). Check out the Facebook page – you’ll see notes from not just participants across the country, but even in other countries – and it all started here in West Seattle!

ADDED TUESDAY NIGHT: Two more photos – these are from Mark – first, the presentation of the bags (274 in all!) to Safeway manager Alex:

And this one is captioned “Mr. A’s bag, and its inspiration”:

P.S. — 2 other Earth Day West Seattle grocery-bag notes: West Seattle Thriftway will put all your groceries in reusable bags tomorrow (more details here) … Metropolitan Market will kick off an April 22-May 5 promotion – buy one reusable ReBag for $1, get a second one free.

West Seattle Stadium update: No proposals=no improvements

April 21, 2009 1:08 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | WS & Sports


More than six months after first word of a plan for the city Parks Department to seek a private operator for West Seattle Stadium, the plan is dead (for now) – because no one submitted a proposal in response to the official Request for Proposals. Thanks to Becca for the tip on this, which we confirmed with Parks spokesperson Dewey Potter:

You’re correct that Parks received no proposals in response to the RFP. The stadium will continue to be open to the public, but there is no funding for the needed repairs (those funds come from a fund whose money comes from real estate excise taxes, which are far below projections because of the economic downturn).

What this means is that we are unable to make needed upgrades to improve access for people with disabilities, and that the facility will continue to deteriorate.

We published details of the stadium RFP in February (WSB coverage here), with a shorter wish list than the original draft proposal had outlined months earlier.

High Point “green rental” milestone, with celebration tonight

See the solar panels on the roof of this High Point duplex (on 30th west of Morgan)? During a media tour this morning, we learned about one unit in that duplex that’s involved in a pilot program — the only HP rental with solar hot-water heat, and today was a prime day to show it off:

It’s an “on-demand” water-heating system also linked into the 3-bedroom unit’s main heating system. During the media tour (also attended by two TV stations, one radio station, and the Daily Journal of Commerce and Voice newspapers), the Seattle Housing Authority showed off this unit — here’s some of what SHA’s HP manager Tom Phillips had to say:

The tour also peeked into a nearby “Breathe Easy” unit specially geared to help asthmatics or reduce the incidence of the disease – note there are no steps leading up to this home’s porch, one of the ways in which it’s built to assist those with difficulty breathing:

This morning’s tour was offered in advance of an event tonight, with dignitaries to include Mayor Nickels and County Council Chair Dow Constantine, 5-7 pm, celebrating the completion of phase two of High Point’s rental housing — 600 units, which SHA estimates are about 85% rented (work on the last few units is just finishing up now; 60 of the 600 are “Breathe Easy” units, by the way). You’re invited to tonight’s event – more info here.

FROM TUESDAY EVENING: Two photos from the evening event held at the duplex with the solar panels – here’s the mayor in the room with the water heater:

And here’s the crowd in the front yard, with the big tree that project managers say makes the site even greener, in a variety of ways:

West Seattle Crime Watch: Check your bank/card statements

A cautionary tale just in from Deana, who says what happened to her is a good reason to remind you to closely check your card/bank statements – read on:Read More

Free baseball at Safeco Field – featuring West Seattle High School

April 21, 2009 11:25 am
|    Comments Off on Free baseball at Safeco Field – featuring West Seattle High School
 |   West Seattle schools | WS & Sports

Just got word from the Seattle Mariners that West Seattle High School‘s varsity baseball team plays Newport HS in a non-conference game at Safeco Field at 6:30 pm Saturday, as part of the M’s third annual High School Baseball Classic. Admission is free – Safeco Field garage parking will cost you $5; WSHS baseball players also are currently selling fundraising tickets to the May 20th M’s-Angels game (scroll down the WSHS home page to find the order form – only $12 for tickets that could cost up to $23).

3 jailed in West Seattle Senior Center break-in – and 100+ others?

A big break in a case we first told you about last week: Three Everett men arrested in Snohomish County on Sunday are suspected in the Senior Center of West Seattle break-in two weeks ago – and may be linked more than 100 other commercial burglaries in the region, according to the Marysville detective with whom we just spoke, even another senior-center break-in (in Arlington). Marysville Detective Vinson says the suspects are a 49-year-old man, a 44-year-old man, and that man’s 22-year-old son. We’ll be looking up their criminal histories shortly. The Senior Center burglary two weeks ago not only cost the facility in The Junction hundreds of dollars in cash and gift cards, it also left behind thousands of dollars in damage, including holes kicked in walls. Detective Vinson says the multiple agencies now working on potential cases against these three are hoping to be able to develop more leads from the public “putting these (suspects) at the scene” of the various crimes; in the Senior Center case, there’s surveillance video, as seen in our original report. According to Detective Vinson, by the way, these are the same arrests mentioned in this brief Everett Herald report this morning; he says the suspects are believed to have primarily taken cash in most of the break-ins, and items seized after the arrest included their “tools of the trade.” We just checked the Snohomish County Jail register. All three are still behind bars, with bail set at $100,000 for the oldest and youngest suspects; the other man’s bail is listed as $300,000 for each of two potential burglary counts, so far. Checking online court records, we found that all three have lengthy criminal histories.

ADDED 11:48 AM: If you thought breaking into a Senior Center was outrageous, check this KIRO TV report – same suspects, though it doesn’t mention the West Seattle break-in. It includes surveillance video of a pub burglary in which the loot was $4,500 in donations to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. And it notes that the three apparently were caught because one of the suspects bragged about their prolific criminal activities.

See 4 new options for next Conner project Design Review meeting

When the Southwest Design Review Board meets this Thursday night (6:30 pm, West Seattle Christian Church social hall) to settle one last issue with the Conner Homes two-building project at 42nd/Alaska/California, the only thing that’s supposed to be up for discussion is what the western building will look like. Now, architects Weber Thompson‘s planned presentation is posted online, and there are four options offered – the one above is Scheme A; here’s Scheme B:

The view, if you haven’t figured it out, is looking south-southeast toward the building, theoretically from the Easy Street block; the hollow-looking gray rectangle on screen right is where ground-level retail would go. Then there’s Scheme C:

And Scheme D:

You can see the full planned presentation here; for more background, here’s WSB coverage of the 4 previous Design Review meetings:
Design Review #1 – April 2008
Design Review #2 – May 2008
Design Review #3 – March 2009
Design Review #4 – April 2009
Plus, here’s a comparably angled rendering of the same building from last meeting, for comparison’s sake:

Happening tonight in West Seattle: Fighting crime; supporting art

WSB photojournalist Christopher Boffoli photographed Mount Rainier from Marine View Drive during the Monday sunset. Forecast says 70s again so you just might see that again tonight. Here are a few other highlights for tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:

WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL: What are the current trends? What’s the latest on high-profile cases? Local police leadership is always in attendance at the WSCPC and you get the chance to publicly ask about whatever you’re concerned about. That’s just one good reason every neighborhood should send someone to the WSCPC meeting, 7 pm at the Southwest Precinct (Delridge/Webster).

CLICK! AND MISSION TEAM UP TO SUPPORT AND SHOW ART! An art and shopping event tonight in the Admiral District — WSB sponsor Click! Design That Fits and nearby eatery/drinkery Mission will both be previewing work that West Seattle artists have donated to the upcoming Pratt Fine Arts Center auction, 6-9 pm, and while the art’s not on sale, both establishments will donate to Pratt 10 percent of all sales made during tonight’s event.

Seattle Lutheran students’ “Fashion Through the Ages” a hit

That’s video of Grace Puffert (speaking) and Mary Griffin, Seattle Lutheran High School students introducing their senior-project fashion show Sunday afternoon at the SLHS gym. The benefit for Providence Mount St. Vincent, where the two volunteer, raised about $800 and drew enthusiastic applause and cheers throughout. We first heard of the project more than two months ago, when the students posted about their project in the WSB Forums, looking for classic fashion to be loaned for the show; we interviewed them shortly afterward; then we checked in on their dress-rehearsal show; and finally, Sunday was the big day. And what a production – with almost 30 models! The show kicked off with this Edwardian look loaned (and made!) by Morgan Community Association‘s Cindi Barker, who was watching from the front row:

Phil Yovetich and Alex Meyer served as the emcees, talking their way cheerily through an entire century, including these ’70s looks (with music to match):

And who could have a “Fashion Through the Ages” show without ’80s-height shoulder pads?

We happened to sit next to Grace Puffert’s proud grandmother and grandfather, Miriam and Larry Puffert, who live at another of West Seattle’s major senior-living centers, The Kenney. Miriam Puffert told me that Grace’s interest in fashion dates way back – relating the story of an outfit her granddaughter “designed” at age 9, which grandma went on to make for her. Grace plans to study fashion merchandising in college, while Mary told us she wants to study psychology. Congratulations and good luck to Grace and Mary, and to ALL West Seattle’s graduating seniors. (By the way, Storey Squires from The Mount, speaking before the fashion show, said that of the 200 or so volunteers there, more than 40 are youths!)

Student’s letter: “… so many people desperately in need of food”

This came to us recently in our postal mailbox (address here, in case you ever need it). Though it was dated late March, a few weeks before we received it, the timing is still good because of the Feinstein Challenge, in which food-bank contributions through the end of this month are potentially worth more than face value. Anyway, we haven’t contacted the young sender so we’re omitting his surname and phone number … but his request is one that any of us can act on, at any time of the day or night:

Tracy Record, Co-Publisher/Editor
West Seattle Blog

Dear Ms. Record,

There are so many people desperately in need of food. I am Tyler … an 8th grader at Our Lady of Guadalupe School and I am trying to help the West Seattle Food Bank fight against hunger. Every week the West Seattle Food Bank gives food to five hundred hungry families. The people in need are single parents, the working poor, fixed-income seniors, and children. With the decline of the economy this horrible problem is growing right here in our West Seattle neighborhood.

Would you please inform your readers about the West Seattle Food Bank’s need for food and money donations? The West Seattle Food Bank needs canned protein items (tuna, peanut butter); baby food; formula and diapers; fresh produce; fresh milk, cheese and yogurt; and nutritional supplements, such as Ensure. Donated money helps the food bank with operating costs like insurance, rent and helps purchase bulk food items. People need to know how important it is to help their community and the people who live in it. If people are not informed about how important it is to donate food and money many will remain hungry. Please contact me if you have any questions. …

So please inform your readers about the West Seattle Food Bank’s mission to fight against hunger and how important it is to serve your community. The West Seattle Food Bank needs donations and only the community can supply them. If your readers donate food and money to the West Seattle Food Bank they will be helping the community, feeding those in need, and improving lives.

Thank you for your support,
Tyler (…)

And thank YOU, Tyler, for taking the time to write a letter about this. To donate online to West Seattle Food Bank, go here. Also note, May 1st is the WSFB fundraising gala Instruments of Change; ticket info here. Plus: The White Center Food Bank serves West Seattle south of Myrtle; you can donate online to WCFB, too, by going here.