day : 04/05/2009 15 results

West Seattle Crime Watch: Morgan Junction vandalism investigated

(photo added Tuesday afternoon)
Police are investigating repeat graffiti vandalism on the garage door of a California Ave home in Morgan Junction where two men live, and citywide media reports describe the vandalism as involving a “homophobic slur.” We linked this story about it to the Crime Watch page earlier today; now we’ve gotten word that at least one TV crew is there tonight covering the story – here’s the link to channel 13’s online story, sent to us by a West Seattleite who wrote:

It seems like some sort of call-to-action with your reader-base could help find whoever’s doing it. It’s on a busy street – so someone has to have witnessed something (they’ve done it three times over this last weekend!) … this is just the type of thing a neighborhood can prevent when we come together.

We don’t have the police report on this yet but will be working to obtain it. 9:27 PM UPDATE: We’re at the precinct now, and the report is available – read on for a transcription of what it says about this incident, with names and profanities deleted:Read More

Video preview: Westside Symphonette concert tomorrow (Tues.)

Just hit “play” on that first clip, and you’re bound to get a Fourth of July feeling, despite the somewhat wintry weather outside. That’s the Toni Reineke-directed Westside Symphonette senior orchestra, conducted in our video by Nse Ekpo, rehearsing at Chief Sealth High School (Boren). That’s also where the Symphonette’s senior and junior members will perform their FREE spring concert tomorrow night, 7 pm. Also on the program, a Mozart clarinet concerto, with Ekpo soloing:

Westside Symphonette is West Seattle’s community orchestra – all volunteers, and though the concert’s free, donations will be accepted.

Alki shooting followup: Captain discusses police presence plan

As discussion intensified in the comment section following our as-it-happened coverage of Friday night’s Alki shooting (original report here, today’s first followup here) – which sent a 19-year-old to the hospital, with the shooter/s still at large – many people asked about police presence at the beach — is it less than before; whether it is or not, should there be more? So we put in a request to talk with the man who’s in charge of West Seattle police, the commander of the Southwest Precinct, Captain Joe Kessler. First thing this morning, he sat down with WSB for more than an hour. Important to note, you will see him at some upcoming community meetings, including the Alki Community Council on May 21, so as we’ve said before, you will want to be there to directly voice any concerns you have. But as for some answers right now – here’s our story about the conversation with Capt. Kessler this morning:

(Friday night photos, this one and above left, by David Hutchinson)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Just one hour after a 19-year-old was shot at Alki last Friday night, WSB commenter “At the Beachasked, “Shouldn’t there have been at least more (of) a police presence on a sunny Friday evening down at Alki?”

That’s one of the questions Capt. Joe Kessler, now in his second year as commander of the police precinct responsible for West Seattle and South Park, wanted to answer – even before we asked it. (Yes, he reads WSB comments too.) Right off the top in our conversation at the precinct this morning, he addressed a specific question about police presence, as asked by Cathy at 8:55 Friday night: “Remember that huge police RV, command center type vehicle which always seemed to be parked right across from Alki Auto? Haven’t seen it for a long time.”

According to Capt. Kessler, that’s because the “RV” — officially, a “mobile precinct” — got to be so old, it started “falling apart” and is no longer in service; it was used less last year than in years past, in fact, he says. The Southwest Precinct used to share it with another precinct, and is now without an official share of a “mobile precinct,” though if desperately needed, one could be borrowed from elsewhere. The captain says, however, it’s not what he considers the best use of police resources.

Read More

West Seattle Whale Watch: Humpback sighting

ORIGINAL 4:02 PM REPORT: Just got a call from Jeff Hogan, who usually gives us the heads-up about orca sightings: A humpback whale has been spotted in the past hour near the Fauntleroy ferry dock, breaching and spy-hopping. (Reportedly headed northbound from there.)

6:14 PM UPDATE: Adding two photos from a nearby resident – above, you see part of the whale; below, the splash after a breach (the resident said she saw TWO of those!):

“Micro-farmers’ market” set for Delridge Day celebration

May 4, 2009 3:13 pm
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 |   Delridge | Health | West Seattle news

West Seattle festival season is about to kick into high gear, and one of the upcoming events has just gone public with more details of what you can expect: Delridge Day — May 30th at Youngstown Arts Center — will be themed “FRESH,” focusing on everything from fresh food to fresh arts creations and fresh community involvement. One highlight: A “micro-farmers’ market” with organic produce. Read on for more details of what’s just been announced:Read More

West Seattle Weather Watch: Wind advisory tonight/tomorrow

The National Weather Service has a wind advisory up in the metro area for midnight tonight till 8 am tomorrow; here’s the full forecast. Famous forecaster Cliff Mass also warns it’s part of an unusually strong spring storm – here’s his latest update.

Design review for Seattle townhouses: Public meeting tonight

May 4, 2009 2:22 pm
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 |   Development | West Seattle news

df_says_ugliest.jpgThe meeting’s not in West Seattle, but certainly townhouse design is an issue that affects our growing, developing area, and one on which we’ve reported before, with local community leaders at the forefront of the movement. Vlad Oustimovitch, past and present (interim) Design Review Board member, suggested we share a reminder of this meeting tonight at City Hall downtown, 5:30 pm – read the full meeting notice here. The recommendations will be presented by Brandon Nicholson of Nicholson Kovalchick Architects in The Junction, who’s been working with the city as a consultant on this proposal since last year.

West Seattle’s transit future: Metro shows off first RapidRide bus

(WSB photos by Jonathan Stumpf)
Metro showed off its first RapidRide bus this morning – the type that will be serving West Seattle in two years — and announced new federal funding. Here’s the shelter prototype that also was shown off:

And here’s County Executive Ron Sims at the podium, in one of his last appearances before leaving that job, photographed along with two of the candidates to succeed him (County Council Chair Dow Constantine at left, County Councilmember Larry Phillips at right, inbetween them is County Councilmember Julia Patterson):

(edited 2:50 pm) Jonathan Stumpf was there for WSB; he took the photos you see, and also reports:

County Executive Ron Sims, County Council Members Larry Phillips and Dow Constantine, and various other transit and federal officials were on hand at 6th and Lenora Avenues as King County Metro displayed prototypes of RapidRide’s new hybrid diesel-electric bus, shelter and fare station.

The 60-foot, three-door bus will provide seating for 48 passengers, LED-displays with upcoming stop information, wi-fi and pay-as-you-board fare collection, with some pre-pay options available at certain stations. County Executive Sims called it a bus people will want to get on, a good day for the suburbs and said that people can now throw away the bus schedule, referring to frequency the busses will run. Metro Transit anticipates them running every 10 minutes during peak commute hours and every 15 minutes during non-peak hours.

Bus shelters will include passenger-activated lights to signal the bus, interior shelter lighting, bike racks and real-time information signs displaying the number of minutes until the next bus arrives.

Funding for this project is estimated at about $180 million. It is a combination of the Transit Now sales tax revenue, partnerships with cities and support from state and federal grants. The Federal Transit Administration announced today that it is releasing $14 million in new federal grant money to help fund the acquisition of the new black, red and yellow bus fleet.

As we noted earlier, we also have the county’s detailed news release about today’s announcement/display has just come in; read on for that:Read More

Meet your legislators: 34th District legislators set town meeting

(WSB photo from December 2008 – from left, Rep. Sharon Nelson, Sen. Joe McDermott, Rep. Eileen Cody)
The two state representatives and one state senator who represent West Seattle, White Center, Vashon and vicinity in the State Legislature are inviting you to a town-hall meeting a week from Saturday – here’s the announcement we just received:

All three lawmakers from the 34th District will host a town hall meeting to talk about the 2009 session and what future steps our state should take.

“This wasn’t an easy session,” said Sen. Joe McDermott, D-West Seattle. “The budget cuts will be hard on everyone, and I know people were already worried about losing their job or their home. But this won’t last forever. It will take all of us, working together, to bring our state back to prosperity.”

The meeting is set for 10 a.m. May 16 at the Jim Wiley Community Center, 9800 Eighth Avenue SW (White Center).

“There’s nothing more important than hearing from the citizens we represent,” said Rep. Eileen Cody, D-West Seattle. “It’s nice to be back home and talking to real people at the grocery store or the coffee shop.”

The lawmakers returned home after the end of the Legislature’s 105-day session. The Legislature passed a balanced budget, but left a handful of bills uncompleted that might require a short special session.

“While the budget got all the attention, we did pass some tough reforms,” said Rep. Sharon Nelson, D-Vashon Island. “I am happy to report that the payday lending law that I sponsored passed and is heading to the governor’s desk. As a former banker, I cared about this issue because far too many young people and working families fall into an endless trap of debt when they start taking out payday loans. This law will help.”

Here’s a map to the town-hall meeting’s location.

From land-use land: 1 West Seattle decision in, 1 appealed

From the city’s latest Land Use Information Bulletin: Four months after the final Design Review Board meeting for 4502 42nd – the seven-story, 89-unit mixed-use building proposed for the corner of 42nd/Oregon (map)- its design review and “non-significance” status are final; read the decision here. The deadline for an appeal is May 18; this notice page explains how to appeal. Which is exactly what’s been done in the case of this project:

That’s the medical/office building proposed for 2743 California SW, just north of PCC. Its design review/DNS decisions have been appealed and – according to this notice – a hearing is set before the city Hearing Examiner (usually the 40th floor of the Municipal Tower downtown) at 1:30 pm May 27th.

New Delridge playground: Date set, sponsor revealed, $ needed

Another big development this morning in the Delridge Playground saga. As reported here last week, Delridge Community Center has a chance to get a new, safer playground for a dramatically reduced cost. Community volunteers jumped in — and this morning Betsy Hoffmeister reports, a date is set and a sponsor has come forward for the project involving an organization called KaBoom that, with volunteer and sponsor help, builds new playgrounds in a day. Here’s what we just received from her, including more on the help that’s still needed from the community right now:

I am thrilled to be the one to report that Delridge Community Center will be getting a new playground on JULY 17. The project sponsor is Bank of America! Thank you, Bank of America. Volunteers from BOA will be there on July 17 to help our whole community build our new playground.

Important dates:

On May 6 or so, we will be getting many more details on the scope of the project.

On the afternoon of Tuesday, MAY 12, a playground designer will be at the Community Center to meet with children and their parents to choose design elements for the playground. The kids who will get the most priority in participating in the design will be kids from the community, especially kids from the Community Center’s own preschool and after school care, as well as any kids from the SWY&FS preschool. I am not sure how many people there will be physical room for. The parents will have time to give input, as well. There will be translators.

After one week, KaBoom will send us three playground designs to choose from. After the Parks Department swiftly confirms that all three designs are safe and appropriate for our space, there will be significant public process to do that selection and make sure everyone is on board with the design.

What we need to accomplish in the next few weeks is raising $4000 extra to cover some extra bits. If you have volunteered to help with the playground, now is the time to contact me to get serious!

Very excited!
Betsy Hoffmeister
North Delridge Neighborhood Council

You can reach Betsy at betsy (at) hoffmeisters (dot) com.

Alki shooting followup: A few new details

We just checked with the Seattle Police media unit, which is handling all information on Friday night’s Alki shooting (WSB coverage, plus extensive comment thread, here). A few new details, according to Sgt. Sean Whitcomb: For starters, the victim is 19 years old and is in “stable” condition. No further details on suspect descriptions or what exactly happened and why, but Sgt. Whitcomb did say: “We don’t believe this is a ‘stranger’ crime” and added that the Seattle Police Gang Unit is “lead” on the investigation (as reported Friday night, both the Gang and Homicide Units are involved). Watch for more followup information later.

Happening tonight: 1st look at The Kenney’s newest design

May 4, 2009 6:30 am
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 |   Development | Fauntleroy | The Kenney | West Seattle news

kenneycupola.jpgYou heard it here three weeks ago: The Kenney‘s redevelopment project no longer calls for demolition of the iconic, century-old Seaview building. So what WILL the latest version of the $150 million project look like? Tonight – your chance to be among the first to see the revised design proposal, as the Morgan Community Association and Fauntleroy Community Association invite you to a gathering (as announced here) to take a look, and share your thoughts, before the project’s next Southwest Design Review Board meeting on May 14. Tonight’s meeting is at 7:30 pm, Fauntleroy Church (here’s a map).

Sustainable West Seattle Festival report #2: Video, more photos

(our first SWS Festival report, with as-it-happened coverage and photos, can be seen here)

The second annual Sustainable West Seattle Festival closed Sunday afternoon with a singalong chorus of “This Land Is Your Land,” mostly in honor of folk-music legend Pete Seeger‘s 90th birthday (celebrated a short time later at the Admiral Theater a few miles north), but also as a reminder of what the festival was all about: This peninsula is your peninsula — and while it may still be a place where many people leave to go to work, ultimately we need to keep building a self-sustaining, resilient West Seattle economy and ecosystem. SWS president Bill Reiswig expounded on that theme in his opening remarks Sunday morning:

WSB was among the co-sponsors of the festival, which included more than 75 organizations as well as dozens of speakers and musicians, even Green Living Workshops at the nearby Senior Center of West Seattle. Back on the festival grounds, a “green living” theme even extended to real estate, with GreenWorks Realty‘s Wendy Hughes-Jelen (and CityDog Magazine cover dog Sophia) on hand:

More photos and video from the festival – just ahead:Read More

Neighborhood alert: Plants damaged by unsolicited yard work

This is one of the oddest cases we’ve heard about lately, and J & A – who e-mailed to tell the story – fully acknowledge it pales in comparison to some of what we’ve had to report on recently. Nonetheless, they do want to put out the alert about someone who came into their yard and did work without permission – damaging work at that – read on:Read More