day : 20/05/2009 18 results

West Seattle Crime Watch: Car theft hits new WS arrival

Last night at the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, police reported that car theft is down. Not nonexistent, though, as Robin reports having found out:

I just moved to West Seattle 3 weeks ago, to the Morgan Junction area (inbetween Morgan and Holly on 39th), and woke up last Thursday morning (May 14) to discover my car missing. I’m not sure if it’s too late after the fact, but thought (WSB) and my neighbors that read it might be interested in knowing so they are inspired to further protect their vehicles by buying a Club or the like.

And that if anyone sees a silver 2002 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport wagon with Yakima snowboard racks, that’s missing the front Subaru logo, I’d absolutely love to hear about it. It’s probably gone, but I’m not giving up hope, yet.

Also tomorrow: West Seattleites rallying, testifying @ EPA hearing

May 20, 2009 9:17 pm
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 |   Environment | West Seattle people

One week after our first preview, tomorrow’s the day: Members of environmentally focused West Seattle groups including Sustainable West Seattle and CoolMom will be among hundreds of people planning to attend – and rally — outside the Environmental Protection Agency‘s hearing on its proposal to declare climate change a threat to human health. The hearing is scheduled at Bell Harbor Conference Center on Pier 66 from 9 am to 8 pm (and likely beyond); the rally’s planned for noon, outside. Here’s the EPA’s info page (which also explains how to tune in to the live audio stream during the hearing); here’s the rally’s info page.

Tomorrow: Poetry slam during SSCC’s Rainbow Festival

From the Delridge District Council meeting under way now at Youngstown Arts Center, South Seattle Community College‘s Mike Munson reminded everyone that tomorrow is the third and final day of Rainbow Festival on campus (full schedule here). In the video above, you see West Seattle poet Karen Finneyfrock, who along with Tara Hardy will perform in a Girl Power Poetry Slam at 1 tomorrow afternoon — Seattle’s Poet Populist Mike Hickey, who also happens to be on the SSCC faculty, says it’s free and everyone is invited.

Alki Point sidewalk project update: “Slower than anticipated”

Catching that view of the “traffic calming feature” taking shape at 63rd/Alki last weekend, we thought it was time to check on progress of the Alki Point sidewalk project that it’s part of, now that construction’s been under way for two months. Here’s the progress report we procured from SDOT’s Therese Casper:

Construction of the sidewalk along Alki Ave SW has been progressing. However, it has been slower than originally anticipated due to utility relocations including a gas line and utility replacement including a portion of the existing storm drain at the southern end of the project area. In addition, water meter adjustments took longer than expected.

The raised crosswalk at the eastern end of the project area is complete as well as the sidewalk to Point Place SW. The remaining sidewalk will be poured Thursday and Friday. All major elements should be complete by early June with a few locations remaining in construction as final utility work is done.

The project was initiated as part of the Neighborhood Street Fund, and drew some controversy in the neighborhood after it finally won a grant, mostly out of concerns that many waterfront residences would lose parking, but SDOT came up with a plan that in the end took away far fewer spaces than originally feared (here’s our report on the pre-construction project-site tour in February, with more information on the project’s scope).

More details on Restricted Parking Zone public hearing next week

rpzsign.jpgIf you have something to say about the changes proposed in the city’s Restricted (formerly Residential) Parking Zone program, here are more details on the public hearing next Wednesday night (mentioned in this report yesterday) that will focus on how the City Council wants to amend the original proposal. It’ll be at City Hall downtown at 5:30 pm; read on for the official announcement, including details on the changes councilmembers want to make:Read More

Update: New details on suspect arrested in Alki shooting

The day after our first report of an arrest in the May 1st Alki shooting — as announced by Southwest Precinct Lt. Steve Paulsen during last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting – we have new details on the case, from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. The suspect is identified as 17-year-old Anthony Riccardo Verzola of Federal Way, and he is charged wth first-degree assault and second-degree unlawful weapon possession. Court documents indicate that “tips” helped lead police to Verzola, who is to answer the charge at arraignment on May 28. The documents also say Verzola has two previous convictions for unlawful firearm possession, as well as a drug conviction; one of the weapons convictions happened on April 3rd, less than a month before the shooting. He is in custody with bail set at $250,000; documents indicate he was arrested on May 12th in Kent. (Policy note: While our default would be to not identify a juvenile suspect, WSB is publishing this suspect’s name, now that he is charged, because of the seriousness of the crime. One more note – May 1st photo above by David Hutchinson.)

West Seattle Chamber of Commerce wins $5,000 city grant

We took that photo Tuesday at the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s offices, as the chamber hosted its first “Lunch with LEOs (Local Elected Officials),” a brown-bag chat with special guest City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen. Today there’s big news for the WS Chamber — the mayor’s office has just announced it’s one of 22 business associations in the city that will officially receive city grants to “be used for a variety of projects designed to help small businesses in the neighborhoods thrive, such as district promotion and physical improvement and enhancement projects.” WS C of C CEO Patti Mullen (left foreground in photo above) tells WSB the $5,000 grant will be used for a program to promote “sustainable tourism,” adding, “We’re very excited!” The grant recipient list also includes the White Center Community Development Association; the grants will be officially presented at an event in Columbia City tomorrow morning.

Milestone for first major Spokane Street Viaduct project

That’s one of the last two columns about to be poured, for a total of 22 that will hold up the new 4th Avenue South offramp for the Spokane Street Viaduct – a key precursor to the widening work that will soon begin. (Some have nicknamed this the “Costco shortcut,” since it will enable eastbound traffic to get off the West Seattle Bridge and onto 4th Ave. S. while bypassing the railroad tracks.) SDOT just hosted a media tour of the project site – that column is directly across 4th from Seattle City Light HQ, and we also got a look at the work that’s proceeding on the south side of the SSV itself. SDOT also announced that this portion of the project is running about a month ahead of schedule. ADDED 3:15 PM: Here’s a view of the ramp work going on under and alongside the existing SSV, just west of 4th – we were allowed to walk up onto the long-closed 4th Ave. onramp for this perspective:

And construction manager Tim Bramsen talked with us – we asked about any surprise challenges they’ve had to work around; his reply included a mention of a West Seattle-related pipeline:

The existing 4th Ave. S. offramp will be demolished later this year, as the widening work begins. The entire $168 million project is scheduled to be done in 2011 and is likely to be even more important to West Seattle drivers than the current SSV offramps, as another route into downtown as the Alaskan Way Viaduct/Tunnel access configuration changes. (A few more photos to come!)

Pathfinder event to say goodbye to Genesee Hill on June 13

May 20, 2009 12:11 pm
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 |   Announcements

Just out of the WSB inbox:

Pathfinder K-8 School is Movin’ On after 15 years at the Genesee Hill

Saturday, June 13th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

We’re inviting all the Pathfinder K-8 staff, students and families, current and alumni to join us in a Celebration of 15 years @ Genesee Hill.

If you attended Genesee Hill School or worked there, this may be your last chance to see the old building, please come and join us.

Walk through the hallways and reminisce
Lots of old pictures, films and yearbooks to look at
A Time Capsule to dig up
Old friends and Teachers to visit with
School songs, storyteller, family picnic
Field games and photo ops
Join our Native Friendship Circle Song and Dance and say good bye to Genesee Hill

West Seattle-residing county assessor Scott Noble pleads guilty

Thanks to Diane for the tip: reports that King County Assessor Scott Noble, who lives in West Seattle, pleaded guilty this morning to vehicular assault in connection with a drunk-driving crash revealed earlier this spring. The report says he is expected to be sentenced to nine months in jail. 5:54 PM UPDATE: We have received the letter that King County Council Chair Dow Constantine sent to Noble re: the timing of his “intent to resign” and asking that he speed up the timetable – read on:Read More

West Seattle Crime Watch: Graffiti suspect’s record

As first reported here yesterday afternoon, a 31-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the Morgan Junction hate-graffiti vandalism. As noted during last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, and confirmed in a jail-register check, he is currently being held for investigation of property destruction, which would be a city-prosecuted misdemeanor case, while possible charges of malicious harassment – a county-prosecuted felony – are reviewed. Since the suspect is not yet charged and we do not have details at this point indicating whether he was caught in the act – two of our criteria for identifying suspects prior to filing of charges – we are not publishing his name. But we have checked his record, which is a lengthy one, though most of the cases are from the ’90s and not available online. In Seattle Municipal Court files, which DO go back into the ’90s, online records show he was arrested in 2006 for a weapons violation and “pedestrian interference,” and in a 1997 case, he was arrested on two charges — trespassing and the same charge for which he is being held now, “property destruction with a value greater than $50.” We’ll continue to watch the case closely; as of right now, he is still in custody, according to the King County Jail Register.

Alki Community Council meeting reminder for Thursday 5/21

May 20, 2009 11:21 am
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 |   Announcements

From Larry Carpenter of the Alki Community Council:

Alki Community Council General Meeting
Thursday, May 21st from 7 to 8:30 PM
Alki Community Center, 59th Ave and Stevens


Update on Alki Crime Situation by Lt Steve Paulsen, Operations Officer, Southwest Precinct

Update on Alki’s Wildlife Habitat Day at the Bathhouse, Saturday, May 23rd from 11 to 3 PM

Next step toward Delridge’s new playground: Plant sale fundraiser

May 20, 2009 11:10 am
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 |   Delridge | How to help | West Seattle news

That photo is from eight days ago, when dozens of kids — and grownups — gathered at Delridge Community Center to sketch out and discuss their dreams for the center’s new playground, scheduled to be built in July, with the help of KaBOOM!, which works on projects like this nationwide. (Here’s our story from that day.) While costs will be dramatically lower than usual because of KaBOOM! and sponsors, the community still needs to chip in, and a major fundraiser has just been announced for the May 30th Delridge Day festival at Youngstown Arts CenterLisa is circulating this message far and wide, and please note there’s a call for volunteers to step forward NOW:

On May 30th, the North Delridge Neighborhood Council will have a booth to promote the project at Delridge Day … We’ll have a display to raise awareness of the need for volunteers to help build the playground, take volunteer sign-ups, and have a donations jar & plant sale to raise a little “seed” money for project incidentals. We’ll also have a free activity where kids can plant seeds to take home.

Here comes the “ask” part–we need:
* volunteers to staff the booth on May 30th
* donations of plants or starts
* people to come by our booth and support our cause!
Should be a fun and an easy event to staff. I can see our sign now: “KaBOOM! and the North Delridge Neighborhood Council: Growing healthy kids and healthy communities.”

If you would like to participate by donating plants or starts, or by staffing the booth, contact me at granolagulch[at]earthlink[dot]net or 937-1522.

Wondering what to do about gang violence? Start here

May 20, 2009 9:35 am
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 |   Crime | How to help

The event in this announcement (forwarded to us by several people – thank you!) isn’t in West Seattle, but in light of the gang-linked May 1 shooting on Alki (which has now resulted in an arrest – here’s the report we published last night), it’s more than relevant – read on for details:Read More

West Seattle Whole Foods project: A sign and a permit

The latest vandalism to the “Whole Foods Coming Soon” sign at the idled construction site at Fauntleroy/Alaska/39th has morphed it into a display of the site’s nickname, “Hole Foods.” (Last incident, you’ll recall, involved a date change.) We also have a bit of news on the stalled project; its revised land-use permit was officially issued on Monday, as the end of a process triggered when the design changed last summer and the project returned for Design (re-)Review. We checked with city planner Michael Dorcy, who’s assigned to the project, and the permit issuance is not necessarily a sign of anything changing – it was the result of action put into motion long before the site was put up for sale, lawsuits erupted, etc. (Here’s the site’s official city permit-info page.) We also have checked back with Matt Segrest, the local investor who’s been working to put together a deal to buy the site (reported here in April), and his update was simply “nothing new.” UPDATE: As of Thursday, the sign is gone.

Today/tonight: Early dismissal; “South Portal”; Delridge Council

May 20, 2009 6:21 am
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 |   Alaskan Way Viaduct | Delridge District Council | West Seattle schools

EARLY DISMISSAL: Seattle Public Schools students get out 2 hours early today.

SOUTH PORTAL WORKING GROUP: This is one of three advisory groups now working on logistics for the Viaduct/tunnel future of SR99. We reported here on its first meeting two weeks ago. Today, the group (with West Seattleites Jerome Cohen, Vlad Oustimovitch and Pete Spalding) is in the Sound Transit Board Room 4-6 pm, 401 S. Jackson (map).

DELRIDGE DISTRICT COUNCIL: City Council President Richard Conlin is among the guests at tonight’s meeting, which also will include updates on the city’s draft Pedestrian Master Plan and Neighborhood Matching Fund projects. 7 pm, Youngstown Arts Center.

More on the WSB Events calendar — and for more detailed coverage of what’s just been announced for the days, weeks, months to come, check in on our Announced page!

West Seattle Crime Watch: Another car vandalized

A report of Junction car vandalism, from Courtney – including the shattered-in-place window photo: “My car was parked (Monday night) on Alaska St, between 42nd & California (next to the unfinished park, right outside my apartment) and someone put what appears to be a BB through my back driver’s side window. Lots of random crime going on in West Seattle lately; sadly now I’ve joined the victims’ club. I’m pretty sure this was just random kids; the car was not entered and nothing was taken.” In the crime-trend report at Tuesday night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, there wasn’t a breakout about vandalism, but both car prowls and car thefts were reported to be on the decline in the past month.

Girl Scouts Volunteer Information Night at West Seattle Library

Here’s the announcement:

The Girl Scouts of Western Washington will be hosting a Volunteer Information Night at the West Seattle Library on Thursday, May 28th from 6:30 to 7:30pm. It’s a great opportunity to learn all the ways to get involved with the Girl Scouts. Whether you want to work directly with girls or behind the scenes, we would love to share Girl Scouting opportunities with you. If you have a desire to help girls lead
lives of courage, confidence and character — let’s chat! No Girl Scouting experience necessary.