day : 19/06/2009 14 results

Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza: New bricks in; fencing out

Just four days after it went up, much of the fence came down at Alki’s Statue of Liberty Plaza. David Hutchinson shares that photo and this explanation:

The Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza reopened to the public early this afternoon. Thanks to the great work of the Seattle Parks & Recreation construction crew, all 850 newly engraved pavers have been installed. Next week the 7 Tribute Plaques will be placed in the concrete ribbon along the promenade side of the Plaza, with the Time Capsule scheduled for burial at a later date. It will be placed in the landing at the top of the steps to the south of the Statue. A 12×12 inch bronze plaque will be installed at that time.

All WSB coverage of the Alki Statue of Liberty is archived here, newest to oldest.

West Seattle Relay for Life update: Hope burns bright

June 19, 2009 11:45 pm
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 |   Health | How to help | West Seattle news | West Seattle video

Just before the luminaria ceremony – honoring those lost to cancer – was scheduled to begin at 10 pm, four hours into Relay for Life of West Seattle, rain began to fall. But that didn’t extinguish the bagged candles – spelling out HOPE in the stands at West Seattle Stadium, and lining the field as relay participants walked, and names were read aloud:

The 18-hour event to raise cancer-fighting cash continues till noon tomorrow, and each team has someone walking the track at all times, so you’re welcome to stop by any time and cheer them on; here’s our earlier report.

Police responding to trouble spots around Alki, Admiral tonight

We’ve mentioned this on Twitter (where we sometimes post short bursts — police scanner traffic, etc. – that may never become full WSB stories) and been asked about it on Facebook, so it seems like it’s now worth a note here too: Police have responded to several trouble reports tonight on Alki and Schmitz Park; one of the Alki cases reportedly involved teenagers beating up at least one other teen, and there was also a report of some teens getting pepper-sprayed, with two of them turning up in Starbucks. No serious injuries that we have heard of so far but if this is any relation to the end of school, police did say at the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting earlier this week that they had a plan not only for campus today, but for gathering spots tonight. Still, they’ve said it frequently – if you see anything that looks like trouble brewing, call 911.

Happening now: Two West Seattle fundraisers to fight cancer

Cancer survivors always get the honors of the first lap around the West Seattle Stadium track for Relay for Life of West Seattle – which started just after 6 tonight and continues till about noon tomorrow. Teams in the relay event are raising tens of thousands of dollars to fight cancer, and they welcome visitors cheering them on, so you are welcome to drop by the stadium any time as the event continues – particularly tonight at 10, when luminarias will be lit in memory of those lost to cancer – a moving ceremony that is a highlight of Relay for Life. Just before the opening lap, those on hand heard from King County Council chair Dow Constantine, who shared his reason for supporting the event:

You may have noticed, our headline mentioned TWO West Seattle “events to fight cancer.” Here’s the other one, as explained by Sharon:

Just wanted to let you know that from 8 until close tonight (update: and all weekend long) Chelan Cafe is holding a fund raiser for our Breast Cancer 3 Day Team, The Warming Hut Hotties. They will sell hot dogs and Jello shots, with all proceeds being donated to our team’s fund raising goal. Each walker in the Breast Cancer 3-Day has made a fundraising commitment of at least $2300 and our team’s total goal is $100,000.

The net proceeds raised by The 3 Day benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure and The National Philanthropic Trust’s Breast Cancer Fund.

Further information can be obtained at:

The Seattle 3-Day is coming up in September; while its route traveled along the West Seattle waterfront two years ago, it will skip the peninsula again this year. Still, we know of more than a few West Seattle participants, so it’s a “local” story just the same. Chelan Cafe, by the way, is right under The Bridge, just north of North Delridge.

Tears and hugs on the last day of school at Cooper Elementary

Story and photos by Kathy Mulady
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

The sweet promise of summer vacation was tainted by tears Friday as students, teachers, parents and volunteers slowly and regretfully left Cooper Elementary School for the last time.

Students emerged from the building to walk through the “goodbye path” lined by teachers and tutors offering hugs, best wishes, and occasionally some final words of advice.

But as the kids headed for the sidewalks, jumped into parents’ cars, and as the last school bus drove away, teachers found it impossible to hold back their tears or their anger at Seattle Public Schools for ending the Cooper Elementary program.

Read More

ArtsWest receives $50,000 grant from Paul G. Allen Family Foundation

June 19, 2009 2:12 pm
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 |   Announcements

Just announced by ArtsWest – here’s the official news release:

ArtsWest announced today that they have been awarded a grant from The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. The $50,000 grant will go toward Full Speed Ahead, ArtsWest’s capital campaign.

“The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation is proud to make a grant of $50,000 to ArtsWest,” said Susan M. Coliton, the vice president of The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. “In these tough economic times, we need to ensure that we leverage every dollar to have the greatest possible impact so we can continue the Foundation’s longstanding commitment to the arts. Our grant to ArtsWest recognizes its valuable commitment to strengthening its West Seattle community and transforming lives.”

“The Allen Foundation grant is a great indicator of the buy-in ArtsWest has from our community,” said KayLee Jaech, ArtsWest’s development director, “It’s that support that both drives us and allows us to continue enriching the culture of West Seattle . I think it will lead directly to support from other foundations, civic-minded corporations, and individuals who value ArtsWest and support Full Speed Ahead.”

Funding from Full Speed Ahead will pay for crucial maintenance projects, payment of no less than minimum wage to actors and other artists, and enhancing the administrative infrastructure to assist with customer service issues, all allowing for successful strategic growth for ArtsWest.

“Over the years, dozens of Puget Sound nonprofit arts organizations with facility or capacity issues have been forced to move into a new facility, and consequently, a new neighborhood,” said Alan Harrison, ArtsWest’s executive director. “We love our neighborhood. ArtsWest wants to stay, maintain its facility, and grow its artistry and its impact. The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation grant will help us achieve those goals.”

“Full Speed Ahead is a capital campaign designed to create a less-expensive option for capital needs with a priority of remaining in the West Seattle Junction,” said Sheila Weaver, the President of the ArtsWest Board of Trustees. “That’s why this is such a smart investment, and why the city, county, state, the Seattle Foundation and now The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation have signed on.”

Update: No additional jail time for teens in officer-attack case

gavel.jpgORIGINAL 1:57 PM REPORT: We’re at the King County Courthouse, in the courtroom of Superior Court Judge Chris Washington, who is scheduled shortly to sentence the three teenagers found guilty in connection with last year’s High Point attack that seriously injured Southwest Precinct Officer Jason McKissack one year ago (here’s the report on the verdict a month ago; here’s one of our reports from last year). A 17-year-old boy was found guilty of assault; a 17-year-old boy and 18-year-old girl were found guilty of obstruction of a law-enforcement officer. Five police officers are here in the courtroom so far to observe, in uniform; your editor here is one of two reporters present so far. We’ll publish the sentences (and any other information from this hearing) as soon as they are announced.

2:08 PM UPDATE: Officer McKissack, who is still on leave, is here as well – almost one year exactly after the attack (6/17/08). The three defendants have all arrived — all three in blue jeans, the two boys in white T-shirts, the girl in a gray sweatshirt – with six lawyers at the table with them (some of whom would be prosecutors, of course).

2:45 PM UPDATE: The first two sentences have been announced: For the girl, no detention; 75 hours of community service; 1 year of probation. She spoke briefly to the court, saying she didn’t believe she deserved detention time – but no words of apology. For the older boy (guilty of obstruction), no additional detention (he had already served 59 days, according to his lawyer), 150 hours of community service, 12 months of probation. He told the judge he knew what happened was wrong and what happened to the officer was wrong, but he wanted to say that he was not an evil person. Meantime, the officer’s wife and another relative have both addressed the court, with emotion in one case, emotion and fury in another.

3:29 PM UPDATE: The 17-year-old boy found guilty of third-degree assault has just been sentenced: No additional jail time (he apparently served 30 days electronic monitoring), 1 year probation, 150 hours of community service. This after a lengthy legal argument over the state’s request for an exceptional sentence. There is one more step in this case – a restitution hearing requested by prosecutors.

3:44 PM UPDATE: After a little more than an hour and a half, the hearing just concluded, as lawyers wrapped up paperwork and details. All three of the teenagers addressed the court, though none expressed remorse for what happened. Officer McKissack did not testify; in addition to his wife and another relative who spoke, one of the uniformed officers who were in attendance rose to address the judge before the sentencing ended. Here is our transcription of most of what he said:

We’re sending the wrong message – people have to be held accountable for their actions … I’ve been on the streets for 13 years … We’re getting into more fights, we’re getting assaulted more. At our precinct alone, we’ve had suspects bite officers twice in the past month, and I believe one was a juvenile. … We’re sending the wrong message. People have to understand – now, if you just hit, kick spit on officers, you’re not going to get any significant time … We’re not out there to be punching bags … (But people are) very comfortable, as if they know that minor assault on officers is not going to be held acountable. An assault on an officer is an assault on society. (But) an officer should not have to be stabbed, or have bones broken, for someone to be held accountable … This makes it hard for us out there. For those who [unlike testimony indicated, regarding these three] may truly be bad kids, the word is going to get out … and we have to go out and deal with them

A few more details to come, including the legal sparring between the prosecution and the defense – and ultimately, the judge sided with the defense, suggesting that if it wanted the case sentenced like second-degree assault, why wasn’t it charged as second-degree assault? – and what the officer’s family members told the judge … and the defendants. (By the way, the only other journalist in court with us was from the Seattle Times, and she may have some additional reaction, as she followed the police contingent out of the courtroom while the proceedings were down to the final details, which we stayed for – we’ll add the link to their story when we see it.) ADDED 10:48 PM: More details from the hearing — read on:Read More

OK, West Seattle wildlife experts – what’s this?

Jennifer e-mailed that photo within the past hour with this note:

I just looked out my front window and saw this guy. Any idea what he is? I live in the Alaska Junction.

We had a few guesses but after checking online imagery, can’t reach a conclusion, so hopefully the many expert wildlife-watchers in WSB-land can. Seems a little far from the creeks to be a beaver. Wandering river otter, perhaps, heading quite far uphill from the water? Co-publisher’s vote is for “woodchuck” (groundhog) but we haven’t found evidence yet that they live in this area. 1:53 PM UPDATE: Comment consensus so far – a marmot.

CoolMom families’ lobbying visit to Rep. McDermott’s office

We’re just back from Seattle U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott‘s office downtown, where several local families including members of West Seattle’s CoolMom group visited to ask him to support the American Clean Energy and Security Act (here’s a National Wildlife Federation page about the campaign; here’s more information on the bill from OpenCongress). The congressman wasn’t there but staffers greeted the group and also accepted hand-created items including this:

The proposal, House Bill 2454, also known as ACES, may come up for a vote in the U.S. House later this month. You can share your opinion on this (or any other matter before Congress) with Rep. McDermott, whose district includes the entire city of Seattle, by going here.

Safety at the beach: Alki Community Council action plan

(Photo taken mid-May along Alki Avenue)
As we reported from the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting Tuesday night, police say things have been quieter on Alki in the month and a half since the May 1 shooting, but the Alki Community Council is taking nothing for granted. Following up on last month’s discussion with Southwest Precinct police leaders, the ACC held a “working meeting” last night to follow up on public-safety issues, and has come up with an action plan – including some components with which you can help. ACC officer Paul Carr has just published a summary to the ACC e-mail group – read on:Read More

West Seattle Crime Watch: Westwood break-in

Shellie just e-mailed to share this report and to warn area residents:

Thursday, June 18th between 8am and 1pm a house on 32nd Ave SW, between Roxbury and Barton, was broken into. The thief took jewelry, select checks with a woman’s name on them, and a laptop. They broke into a window where a bar had been located, somehow moving the window around the security bar to get in. The only part of the house ransacked was the one bedroom although oddly two empty jewelry boxes were stuffed under the cushions of the living room couch. No other incidents have happened in the area that we know of but warning to all to lock your windows and doors before you leave. Neighbors please add more…..

This also gives us the occasion to share the “Summertime Security Tips” in the latest edition of Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Benjamin Kinlow‘s newsletter – read on (and if you are vacationing any time soon, note the last one):Read More

HPAC invites you to the Westcrest Park “mini-summit” Monday

June 19, 2009 9:15 am
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 |   Highland Park | West Seattle news

That video gives you the view from under the portion of the “lid” that’s been poured so far – with all those columns to hold it up – at West Seattle Reservoir, the city water-storage facility at Westcrest Park in Highland Park. Once the 30-million-gallon covered facility (replacing what was an open reservoir holding twice that much water) is complete, an addition to the park will be developed, and that parkland is one of the Westcrest topics that’ll be discussed at a special Highland Park Action Committee meeting Monday night, as chair Dan Mullins just reminded the HPAC mailing list:

On June 22nd HPAC will be sponsoring the Westcrest Park “Mini Summit” on the future of Westcrest Park, one of our area’s most outstanding, yet under-used parks.

We have worked very hard at getting the word out, and we are hoping to have a great turnout at this event.

Our focus for the meeting will be greenbelt and forest restoration, park safety, illicit activity, the new reservoir lid, parking problems, off-leash issues, etc.

If you have something to say about the future of the park, now is the time to say it! Several guests including Council President Conlin and Parks Division Director Robb Courtney will attend.

HPAC’s Westcrest Park “mini-summit” starts at 7 pm Monday at the Highland Park Improvement Club building (11th/Holden – map), following potluck dinner at 6:30.

West Seattle Weekend Lineup: Summer Solstice weekend edition

June 19, 2009 6:30 am
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 |   Fun stuff to do | WS culture/arts | WS Weekend Lineup

That’s Trio Lucero del Norte earlier this year at Cafe Rozella, where they’re back at 7 tonight – wswllicon3.pngjust hours before Summer Solstice – which will then in turn be followed by big events including the Clean and Green event in The Junction on Saturday (be at the new Genesee/42nd P-Patch site for all the excitement starting at 9 am), the California Place Park celebration later that day, Relay for Life starting tonight, the Lincoln Park wading pool opening tomorrow … more than FIFTY events ahead in the full West Seattle Weekend Lineup, brought to you by Skylark Cafe and Club:Read More

West Seattle Weather Watch: Finally raining

June 19, 2009 2:46 am
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 |   West Seattle weather | WS breaking news

Never thought we’d see the day when rain made news shortly after it started falling. But yes, after a bit of a “shpritz” (as a weather anchor we worked with years and miles ago called it) a few hours ago, it is REALLY raining right now. At least in Upper Fauntleroy!