day : 20/07/2009 18 results

“This shouldn’t happen”: Police, mayor discuss South Park attack

That’s the hundreds-strong, standing-room-only crowd that jammed into South Park Community Center tonight to hear from Seattle Police leadership and Mayor Nickels, less than two days after a terrifying attack that left one woman dead and another seriously hurt: A man broke into their western South Park home – not far from West Seattle’s eastern edge (map) – and stabbed them while they slept, early Sunday morning. Flowers have been placed outside the home where it happened – we went by just before the meeting:

The same police who patrol West Seattle also handle South Park, so it was a familiar face, Southwest Precinct Captain Joe Kessler, who outlined how his team has responded and will continue to search for the killer:

Most importantly, as we showed you a little earlier tonight, police have just released a sketch of the man they are looking for, believed to have been a stranger to the victims. The description remains – per the SPDBlotter report – “a black male, 20s to early 30s, 5 feet 11 inches to 6 feet tall, thin muscular build, a thin moustache, and ‘nappy’ hair.” The victims have not been publicly identified — authorities say, “to protect their privacy” — but friends and neighbors have said they were a couple and, according to this Times story, about to be married. Police did allude to the victims being members of “a sexual minority” and as such say they have not ruled out the possibility this could have been a hate crime, though they do not have any evidence of that. Read on for more of what was said at the meeting:Read More

Video: Georgia Mitchell crowned as new Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu

The coronation just ended at West Seattle High School’s theater – big crowd – lively production – and the new Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu is Georgia Mitchell (center). Princesses are Veronica Pupava (left) and Kelly Nealson.

ADDED 11:50 PM: Video as the Queen announcement was made at the end of the 2 1/2-hour event – the voices off-camera are first, previous Queen Margo Femiano, and then emcee Elisa Jaffe from KOMO TV – as you’ll hear/see, the new queen had quite the cheering section:

Other candidates competing tonight were Kelsey Bills and Julia Hodges. Yet more to be added, including touching tributes to JB Webster, the Hi-Yu volunteer, Seafair Commodore and West Seattle real-estate agent whose sudden death shocked the community earlier this year. ADDED 3:51 AM: Read on for the rest of the story, including more video clips:Read More

Police issue sketch of South Park murder suspect

Seattle Police assistant chief Nick Metz told a standing-room-only crowd at the South Park Community Center at 7 pm this evening that a sketch of the suspect in Sunday morning’s stabbing incident would be available before the end of the night’s meeting. Half an hour after making that announcement, Assistant Chief Metz said that the sketch was now available and copies of this sketch were passed out to the audience. This is the man they are looking for in connection with the stabbing attack on two women while they were asleep in their home – one died, one survived.

We’ll have more from that meeting, which included remarks from the mayor and the acting police chief. Seattle Police also have published an update on their website – find it here.

Update: State posts 72-hour warning at “Nickelsville”

Today’s the deadline that the homeless encampment calling itself “Nickelsville” — on the eastern edge of West Seattle — had been given to vacate. They had said they didn’t plan to do so without a permanent site to which they could move. Now the state has just issued a news release suggesting they’ll be evicted if they don’t leave:

The Washington State Department of Transportation today posted
a 72-hour notice to residents of a south Seattle homeless encampment
that they need to vacate a nearly 4-acre state-owned property at 2nd
Avenue Northwest and West Marginal Way in Seattle.

The encampment moved onto the WSDOT-owned property June 6. For the past
six weeks, the state has worked closely with King County, the City of
Seattle and both the Church Council of Greater Seattle and the Lutheran
Public Policy office of Washington State to develop a long-term solution
for the members of the encampment.

Paula Hammond, Washington Transportation Secretary, negotiated a
two-week extension with the Church Council of Greater Seattle for the
camp to leave the site by July 20, which organizers failed to abide by.

The City of Seattle notified WSDOT Monday, July
20, that the state, by allowing the encampment to continue at the site,
is in violation of city health and safety codes. As a result of the
violation, the encampment can no longer stay on WSDOT property.

“The state negotiated an ample timeframe for a more permanent solution
for the residents of the encampment, and we even extended the deadline
to give church council leaders more time,” said Paula Hammond. “While we
are sensitive to the issues relative to homelessness in our state, WSDOT
is not equipped to manage homeless encampments. We are governed by state
law on the use of our property, as well as city zoning requirements.”

While an agreement on a more permanent encampment is being negotiated, a
local church has offered its property as a temporary place to stay while
a long-term solution is developed.

During the last six weeks, staff at DSHS has coordinated outreach
efforts, and has visited the encampment on several occasions to assist
food banks, and offer help with employment placement and health care.

The site has been posted for a 72-hour notice to vacate . Social services are on site to help members move. Washington
State Patrol will become involved after Thursday evening if people
insist on remaining on the site.

ADDED 10 PM: Here’s the Nickelsville spokesperson’s version of the latest development:

Per the State of Washington, Nickelsville has 3 days (72 hours) until they must vacate their current location.

Governor Gregoire’s Senior Adviser, Ron Judd, visited the Nickelsville encampment at approximately 7 pm tonight. At that time he provided written and posted notice from State Secretary of Transportation, Paula Hammond, which permits Nickelsville 72 hours until they must vacate the site.

2 hours prior, at approximately 5pm, the City of Seattle visited the site and posted a notice directed to The State of Washington. That notice said the site must be cleared by 5pm on Tuesday 7/21, but appears to be nullified per the recent visit by Judd.

Public calls and emails continue into Gregoire’s office asking for an extension while Nickelsville and its supporters actively search for a permanent site. Nickelsville’s residents express gratitude for the 3 days notice, but are committed to staying at the current location unless an adequate permanent site becomes available. They call on friends, supporters and the public to stand-by-them at this time.

“We’re almost there”: A chat with Capco Plaza’s developer

After breaking the news about a prospective Whole Foods site buyer not pursuing the purchase, and then a restaurant closure, while looking into a couple of other reportedly stalled developments, it seemed like time to break things up by checking with a developer whose project IS proceeding and in fact is almost done: Leon Capelouto, longtime Junction entrepreneur who is building Capco Plaza/Altamira Apartments along SW Alaska between 41st and 42nd. We talked with him in his nearby office this afternoon.

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

A stone’s throw from the stalled project site dubbed “Hole Foods,” there’s a Junction development with a very different story to tell: Capco Plaza, the new home of QFC and Office Depot in The Junction, sharing its building with Altamira Luxury Apartments, is within a few months of opening for business.

In his office over nearby Matador, Leon Capelouto says he’s “very busy” with “hundreds of items” that need to be addressed before the building is done. He admits he’s very “hands on” – that’s part of his answer when we asked how he managed to keep this project on track when so many others of that scale have run into trouble. (Of course, financing is important too, he allows.)

The space where QFC will open a new store on the east side of his building has already been “turned over to the tenant,” Capelouto says – meaning the Kroger-owned store chain is now putting in its finishing touches. When we talked with a QFC spokesperson for our last update one month ago today, the company expected to open the store in “early fall,” ahead of schedule. Capelouto expects that is still the likelihood (we have a call out to QFC to doublecheck) – he showed us an e-mail exchange involving their scheduling of two Seattle Seahawks organization favorites, the Sea Gals and Blue Thunder drum line, for an event on October 10th that might be an official opening celebration after an earlier soft opening.

So what else is confirmed for the rest of the building?Read More

Election 2009: Candidates’ forum in West Seattle tomorrow

July 20, 2009 6:09 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle politics

checkbox.jpgWith ballots going in the mail in less than two weeks, it’s time to start thinking hard about who you’re going to vote for in the primary election. Four Seattle City Council seats are on the ballot and we’re reminding you that candidates from all four are expected at the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce-sponsored candidates’ forum tomorrow, 5:30-7 pm at ArtsWest in The Junction, moderated by C.R. Douglas. We’re continuing our series of close-up reports too (find them in the WSB Politics archive and look for the next one late tonight), but there’s no substitute for seeing and hearing them in person to help clarify your decision. If you can come early, you’re welcome to mingle 5-5:30 pm and talk to candidates one-on-one.

Door-to-door alert: Alarm system “fix” offered

Catherine‘s a little worried about the people who showed up on her doorstep in Highland Park today and wonders if anyone has words of reassurance – or warning:Read More

Ama Ama closure followup: Times talks to 2 others in Junction

(photo by Christopher Boffoli)
Following up on our report last night that Ama Ama is closing after this Saturday, Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson has just published a story with quotes from proprietors at two other Junction restaurants — Spring Hill and Fresh Bistro. Both tell Nancy they’re doing OK. As for what’s next in the Ama Ama spot, we spoke with building owner Leon Capelouto earlier this afternoon; he says his understanding is that they’re trying to sell the business, and he says their lease has not expired, though he would not comment on how much longer it runs. We still have a request out to Ama Ama’s owners for comment. They are closed on Mondays but posted earlier today on their Facebook page: “Thank you, thank you, thank you everyone for your kind words, e-mails and phone calls!…we want our last week to be a party, so come on in so we can say goodbye in person …”

Meeting Friday to help homeowners avoid foreclosure

July 20, 2009 4:07 pm
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 |   Announcements

Just in from the mayor’s office:

Mayor Greg Nickels invites homeowners who may be having
trouble paying their mortgages to attend a free workshop where they can
get assistance from lenders and counselors to help avoid foreclosure.
On Friday, July 24, the city’s Office of Housing and Human Services
Department, in partnership with federal, state and local non-profit
agencies, will hold the free workshop at Cleveland High School, 5511
15th Ave. S. on Beacon Hill. The workshop will run from 11 a.m. to 7

“We’re extending a helping hand and making sure people who are
struggling can get their questions answered and make it through these
difficult times,” said Nickels. “Too often, homeowners don’t know
where to start or they wait too long to seek help when they have trouble
making their mortgage payments.”

Homeowners will be able to meet one-on-one with HUD-certified mortgage
counselors and learn about loan modification and refinancing options to
lower their monthly payments. The following lenders will be on hand to
work directly with their borrowers: Bank of America, Wells Fargo, GMAC,
Chase/WaMu, Ocwen, Freddie Mac and American Home Mortgage. Translators
will also be available.

Homeowners should bring copies of the following documents: a photo ID,
social security card, closing documents, 2007-2008 W-2s and tax returns,
last two months’ pay stubs, last two bank statements, monthly mortgage
statements or notices, and if it is applicable, a medical letter from a
doctor or a layoff notice from employer. Aside from loan modifications,
the event also will offer workshops on the foreclosure process, avoiding
foreclosure scams, repairing credit scores and budgeting.

“While Seattle has not been hit with foreclosures like some areas of
the country, there has been an increase with the downturn in the
economy. Unfortunately, the increased awareness of foreclosures has
provided an opportunity for scam artists to prey upon vulnerable people
who don’t know what their real options are,” said Linda Taylor,
housing director for the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, a
nonprofit agency that has been offering mortgage counseling services for
40 years.

Those planning to attend can register by calling the Urban League of
Metropolitan Seattle at 1-800-368-1455. Walk-ins are also welcome. More
information is available at, including
flyers in English, Chinese, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese.

The workshop is co-sponsored by the city of Seattle, the Federal
Reserve Bank of San Francisco (Seattle branch), U.S Department of
Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Federal Deposit Insurance
Corporation (FDIC), Washington State Department of Financial
Institutions, the Seattle-King County Asset-Building Collaborative, the
Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, and Comcast.

What the weekend filming in Schmitz Park was all about

(“teaser trailer” for “Star Trek: Phoenix”)
One caller told us they thought it was something related to “Star Wars” … then today it morphed into “Star Trek” … thanks to DL Byron from Bike Hugger for sharing a note that circulated to area residents: The “movie crew” in Schmitz Park over the weekend was working on “Star Trek: Phoenix,” an online-only, all-volunteer production described on its website ( as “boldly stepping into the final frontier of ‘Star Trek’ Internet fan films.” Its “pilot” is being shot in HD and will be distributed free online when it’s done; the website also says this is the largest film production under way in the Northwest right now, with an all-volunteer cast and crew of more than 125 people.

King County Council puts “Open Space” amendment on November ballot

July 20, 2009 3:29 pm
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 |   Announcements

Just in from the King County Council:

Council places Open Space Preservation Amendment on November ballot

Proposed amendment to King County Charter seeks to protect rural acreage

A proposed charter amendment that would provide enhanced protection for rural acreage either owned or held in a conservation easement by King County was placed on the November general election ballot today by the Metropolitan King County Council.

Voters will be asked whether to add an appendix to the charter that contains a list of properties deemed to have a “high conservation value” and therefore provided with enhanced protection against sale, transfer, or change of use, with some limited exceptions. Removing a property from the protected list would require adoption of an ordinance by a supermajority of at least seven Councilmembers and must include findings of fact that justify removal of the property from the list.

The properties under consideration are located throughout unincorporated rural King County and are already set aside for conservation. The County either owns the properties outright or holds development rights in them.

The Council also adopted a companion ordinance listing the 95 properties that will receive protection if the proposed charter amendment is approved. The properties are deemed to have high conservation value and comprise nearly 150,000 acres of rural land, including the Upper Raging River Forest and Snoqualmie Forest.

The Open Space Preservation Amendment was recommended to the Council last year by the King County Charter Review Commission, a group of King County citizens appointed to recommend changes to the King County Charter. The charter is the basic structural document of the King County government, similar to a constitution.

Update: Firefighters battle brush fire by Riverview Playfield

(photos by Tony Bradley, added 3:10 pm)
Thanks to Tony Bradley for calling with an update – the “4 Red” etc. callout on the 911 log right now to SW Holly/12th SW (map) is a brush fire north of Riverview Playfield, and it’s tough work for firefighters because conditions are so dry (and if the forecast holds true, not getting any better). 3:01 PM UPDATE: Just talked with Dana Vander Houwen at SFD – she says the fire, which is out now, covered a 200′ x 200′ area and the extra crews were called in for some hard-to-reach spots. Investigators are still trying to find out how it started. Tony has sent us photos and more info as well.

Tony’s additional info to come. ADDED 3:55 PM: Here’s that info and two more photos – read on (also, a 5:08 pm update from SFD):Read More

New online feature for White Center Food Bank – with a contest

July 20, 2009 1:36 pm
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 |   How to help | West Seattle news | West Seattle online | White Center

The White Center Food Bank, which also serves West Seattle south of SW Myrtle, just launched a “blog” section on its website. To kick it off in style, they’re looking for name suggestions – send one in and you’ll be entered in a drawing for a $25 Farmers’ Market gift certificate. Read all about it here.

Wallflower: Welcoming a new West Seattle Blog sponsor

July 20, 2009 1:29 pm
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 |   West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

Today we welcome one of our newest WSB sponsors, Wallflower Custom Framing, located on the ground floor of the brand-new Mural building in The Junction. Here’s what they’d like you to know: Wallflower offers professional custom picture framing and creative design expertise, as well as providing a gallery setting for original art and photography, showcasing local artists. Courtney, Wallflower’s owner (left), brings nearly ten years of picture framing and management experience, and employs local artist Kelly Rae Cunningham to curate the art shows for the gallery space, known as the Shooting Gallery. At Wallflower, customers can learn about the benefits of preservation picture framing and can be comfortably involved in the design process. It can be accomplished outside of normal business hours by appointment, too! Show your annual membership with an organization that directly supports the arts or local artists at the time of purchase and get 10% off your custom framing project. The frame choices are broad in style and affordability. For those more adventurous types, Wallflower carries hand-crafted mouldings that are created especially for your piece down to the finish, from lines such as C&J, A-Street Frames, Mercier, and ecoCareT from Nurre Caxton, made from wood harvested from managed forests and finished with organic, water-based stains. Wallflower offers custom framing with a kick! Find them online at, in person at 4735 42nd SW, by phone at 206.938.6332. Thanks to Wallflower Custom Framing for sponsoring 24/7 West Seattle news, information and discussion; the full sponsor team is listed here along with info on how to join!

Got Comcast? New HD channels on the way

Alki-area resident Shauna Causey, who works in communications for Comcast, just sent this news release and we thought you’d be interested since the news is just now starting to make the rounds – new HD channels that are being added elsewhere in the region tomorrow and on their way to West Seattle within months – read on:Read More

Construction notes: 16th SW and Denny-Sealth site

July 20, 2009 11:36 am
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 |   Denny-Sealth | Puget Ridge | Transportation | West Seattle news

(photo added 12:33 pm – Denny-Sealth construction view from the north side, along SW Kenyon)
Two reminders: The 16th SW road-rebuilding work north of South Seattle Community College is scheduled to get into full swing next week, but SDOT has warned that preparation work this week (such as equipment arrival) may result in delays. Also, the Chief Sealth High School-Denny Middle School project has moved into a new stage; work is under way on the foundation, utilities and retaining walls for the new Denny, and crews are starting installations of electrical/mechanical upgrades at Chief Sealth, as well as asphalt removal at the site’s north driveway. Work at the high school is scheduled to be done in time for classes to resume there in fall of 2010; the new Denny is to be completed in 2011.

Today/tonight: Miss Hi-Yu coronation; Sustainable WS; more

July 20, 2009 7:02 am
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 |   South Park | West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival | West Seattle news

(West Seattle Grand Parade 2009 Hi-Yu Float photo by Christopher Boffoli)
WEST SEATTLE HI-YU SENIOR COURT CORONATION: Who will ride on the Hi-Yu float in next year’s parades (among other commitments and privileges)? Tonight, the new West Seattle Hi-Yu Senior Court is chosen in an event with entertainment, excitement and suspense — 7 pm, West Seattle High School Theater. Tickets are available at the door ($10 adults/$5 students and all children 12/under). KOMO TV’s Elisa Jaffe emcees. (Here’s our coverage of last Friday’s Junior Court Coronation.)

SUSTAINABLE WEST SEATTLE: 7 pm at Camp Long; main presentation tonight, the group’s website says, will be: “Robert Burns of Envision Homes … giving an informative nuts and bolts presentation about budget conscious and low-maintenance rainwater catchment and green roofs.”

SOUTH PARK MEETING: Seattle Police plan to meet with South Park community members at 7 tonight to talk about the Sunday morning attack that killed one woman and seriously wounded another. South Park Community Center (map).

LOW TIDE: Good tidewalking conditions the next four days – with a minus 3.0 at 10 am today – then a little lower tomorrow and Wednesday – here’s the chart.