day : 24/11/2009 14 results

Dow Constantine swearing-in report #2, including what/who’s next

(Still photos in this report are courtesy King County)
A photographer working for King County took that photo of West Seattleites Dow Constantine and longtime partner Shirley Carlson in the front row at Daniels Recital Hall downtown, moments before he went to the stage to be sworn in as King County Executive. From the balcony overhead, we caught the subsequent aerial view:

We added a long excerpt of his speech to our original as-it-happened report on this afternoon’s event. You can also read the full speech text here. The county’s photos also include parental congratulations:

And here’s a cutaway of the camera-laden crowd:

Afterward, the Total Experience Gospel Choir (which rehearses at West Seattle’s Kenyon Hall) sang:

And then, with the 5 pm news hour approaching, it was time for the new County Executive to meet the media, and talk more about his immediate priorities:

His move to the County Executive’s office leaves a vacancy on the King County Council for District 8, which includes West Seattle. We’ve reported before on the process planned to find his successor to cover the next year, till what was his term expires in fall 2010. This afternoon – just moments before he was sworn-in – the county announced the list of 11 applicants for the immediate appointment (the following is an excerpt from the announcement, with the descriptions exactly as the county provided them):

Jan Drago—A member of the Seattle City Council who is leaving the Council this year
· Helen Howell—Former Director of the state Department of Financial Institutions, served as Deputy Chief of Staff under Governor Locke
· Zack Hudgins—State Representative from the 11th District
· Jake Jacobovitch—Engineer in the Road Services Division of the King County Department of Transportation
· Arun Jhaveri—Former Regional Technology Manager with the Federal Energy Management Program and former Mayor of Burien
· Lucy Krakowiak—Burien City Council Member and a member of the King County Library Board of Trustees
· Joe McDermott—State Senator from the 34th District
· Shawn McEvoy—Mayor of Normandy Park
· Sharon Nelson—State Representative from the 34th District,
· Vlad Oustimovitch—A partner at VoKa Incorporated, and a former Development Program Manager for the Seattle Housing Authority
· Kathleen Quong-Vermeire, Commissioner, Highline Water District, former Mayor of Normandy Park

Only two West Seattleites on that list — Sen. McDermott, whom the 34th District Democrats support (as reported here) as Constantine’s successor, and Oustimovitch, who also currently serves on the group of “stakeholders” helping plan the South Portal end of the Viaduct/Tunnel project. Rep. Nelson has been a longtime Constantine staffer; she emceed this afternoon’s event:

According to the county’s news release about the applicants, they both say they would run for the job after the appointed year expires; the advisory committee that will review them is supposed to recommend at least one finalist who would run, and one who would not. The County Council, now chaired by Councilmember Bob Ferguson, will interview the finalists starting Dec. 7; the advisory committee plans interviews on Dec. 3. In the meantime, another sign of the changing of the guard: Some new features on the county website, including, of course, the County Executive section.

Update: Parked pickup rolls downhill toward apartment building

(photo added 9:45 pm)
ORIGINAL 8:42 PM REPORT (when the headline mentioned “heavy rescue call”): Scanner says it’s a report of a car over an embankment into a building at Avalon/Genesee (map). On our way to check. Meantime, scanner says first responders report “no injuries” but they’re checking on the status of the building and the car. 8:49 PM: En route for a firsthand look but in the meantime, police now think it was a parked car that rolled over an embankment. 9:04 PM: This is actually downhill from Avalon/Genesee, 4700 block of 30th SW. It’s a pickup truck that rolled into an apartment building. Doesn’t look so far like major damage to the building. Tow truck has arrived to pull the damaged vehicle away. 9:45 PM UPDATE: Adding photos; the pickup’s been towed up and away. The driver told us and a couple TV crews that his truck wouldn’t start, so he popped the hood to have a look, and thought he had the emergency brake on, but apparently not. The downslope apartment building, by the way, wasn’t damaged.

Update: Victim robbed, beaten in 7600 block of 8th SW

(very brief clip added 9:09 pm, K-9 crew returning to SPD car after searching)
ORIGINAL 7:21 PM REPORT: (original headline described “assault with weapons” call) All we can tell so far from the scanner is that police are looking for a suspect who ran west from the scene in the 7600 block of 8th SW (map), and that there is an “injured victim.” More as we get it. 7:35 PM UPDATE: No details on the circumstances but a private ambulance has been called to take the victim to the hospital, a general indication the injury’s not major. According to, this started as a robbery. 8:03 PM UPDATE: Details now directly from Seattle Police media unit Det. Jeff Kappel: The call came in to 911 as a robbery around 7:10 pm; officers found a man who had apparently been robbed at gunpoint, then hit on the head with “the butt of what we believe is a shotgun wielded by the suspect,” said Kappel. The robber then ran or walked away; Kappel says the only description they have to work with right now is “black male, 30s, black skullcap, Army fatigues, gold tooth.” WEDNESDAY MORNING UPDATE: Just checked back with SPD. They did not find the robber last night, so he’s still out there somewhere. Also one clarification on circumstances – the victim was confronted, robbed and beaten as he was getting out of his car at his home, according to SPD’s Det. Mark Jamieson in the media unit.

Guilty verdict for gang-linked pimp with West Seattle ties

The verdict’s in for DeShawn “Cash Money” Clark, the teenage pimp linked to a gang called the Westside Street Mobb: Guilty. He’s the first person convicted under King County’s human-trafficking law. Though the gang was said to have originated in West Seattle, Clark’s crimes did not happen here – court documents and testimony focused on a Des Moines Memorial Drive apartment as well as Seattle, Tukwila and Portland hotels. Our partners at the Seattle Times have been covering the case closely; here’s their story on the verdict; a news release from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office says five other Westside Street Mobb members have pleaded guilty in related cases and are facing prison time – Clark could get up to 26 years.

As-it-happened updates: Dow Constantine’s swearing-in ceremony

(Photo above courtesy King County, added 7:32 pm; original report and photos start below)

ORIGINAL 4:02 PM REPORT: We’re at Daniels Recital Hall downtown, the former 1st United Methodist Church, where West Seattleite Dow Constantine is about to be sworn in as King County Executive. As you’d expect, it’s a who’s-who of local politics here – we’ve seen West Seattleites Mayor Greg Nickels, Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis and State Sen. Joe McDermott (who’s hoping to succeed Constantine as King County Councilmember for District 8) so far, as well as State Rep. Sharon Nelson. 4:08 PM UPDATE: The chair of his transition team is giving introductory remarks. And now (4:11), State Rep. Nelson is speaking – starting by saying, “This is a new day for King County” and then talking about the fight to protect Maury Island (where she lives) and the rest of Puget Sound. 4:18 PM: Constantine has been sworn in and is giving his “100-day plan” speech. “These are challenging times,” he says. He’s talking about “growing up in West Seattle, the son of two schoolteachers.” … “The era of government by mere good intention is over. Starting today, we will begin to build partnerships … to lead to fundamental change in the way King County government does business. … and we promise to preserve quality of life … in a way that is sustainable.” He speaks of green jobs, environmental protection, and is thanking his family as well as his “army” of campaign volunteers.

4:26 PM: Constantine says he wants “a culture of performance” to change county government and says that Deputy Executive Fred Jarrett (the eastside State Senator who ran for the County Executive job in the primary) will lead the effort to create that culture. He also stresses an emphasis on customer service. “My administration will represent all of King County — rural, suburban, urban.” That includes “reprioritizing Metro transit services,” he promises. He says he rode the number 56 bus (from West Seattle) today. He says it’s time to stop allocating Metro services based on old formulas and “political divisions.” Reducing costs, improving customer services – he says county employees “will be our best partners” toward making that happen. “We know that you know how to make things work better” – in a “culture of continuous improvement.” He promises a program to have the County Executive “walk a day in the shoes of a county employee.” He mentions having cut 15% of the staffing levels in the County Executive office and says that he and other staffers in the office have taken salary cuts from what people who held those jobs before were making. He says county government will be more user-friendly and transparent … “This is a tall order, and we will need all hands on deck.”

4:33 PM: He is quoting Bill Gates and Jimi Hendrix – the latter, “In order to change the world, you have to get your head together first.” He promises to harness the “innovation and spirit that built this region” — while protecting values including stewardship, sacrifice, service, rights. “This belief that we can do it, and do it right, is why we’re here today. … I want to thank the people of King County for their vote of confidence.” Short speech, less than 20 minutes, and after that sentence, plus several rounds of “thank you” – it’s over.

4:37 PM: The Total Experience Gospel Choir is singing now (another West Seattle touch – they practice at Kenyon Hall). “Lean On Me” — appropriate since Constantine told the crowd, in the final lines of his speech, that he and his administration would need everyone’s help. (We’ll publish a separate report later with video from the speech and clearer photos – the ones in this story were iPhone on-the-spot pix.)

See the official final King County election results

checkbox.jpgThe county’s on furlough tomorrow, and has certified election results today – this is it, three weeks after Election Day, the final count. Dow Constantine, who’ll be sworn in at 4 pm (more here), beat Susan Hutchison for County Executive with 325,777 votes (59.04%) to 224,467 votes (40.68%); for Seattle Mayor, Mike McGinn (who takes office in January and just announced 3 town halls – none in West Seattle – today) beat Joe Mallahan with 105,492 votes (51.14%) to 98,302 (47.65%). Countywide voter turnout was 53.2%, half a percent point less than the last major off-year general election in 2005 (after which the vote-by-mail proposal was made). See all the results here.

“We Are The Junction”: The Christmas CD you’ve been waiting for

Guaranteed to make you want to stand in the middle of Walk-All-Ways, join hands with your fellow West Seattleites and sway gently (or not-so-gently depending on what you’ve been up to) while singing along … it’s “We Are The Junction” – as announced/explained by Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor) proprietor Jeff Gilbert:

A Christmas album compilation made by West Seattle musicians for West Seattle

CD Release Party, Saturday, December 5th, 8 PM, The Feedback Lounge, right after the West Seattle Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Conceived by Jeff Gilbert, Steve Adams and Dave Blackburn, “We Are The Junction” is a West Seattle Christmas compilation featuring West Seattle musicians/bands. All proceeds from sales of the album are being donated to the West Seattle Food Bank.

Featuring all original holiday songs, the participating artists/musicians are…

Kirk Dubb/Dynomite D
The Pleasure Elite
Urban Squirrel
The Bend
Stumbletown Steve Adams
Gunn & The Damage Done
Jay Cates & Jefferson Bennett
Mr. Holmes
Earth, Wind & Steve

The album will be for sale at Easy Street Records, West 5, Shadowland, and The Feedback Lounge December 5th and will sell for $10.

We Are The Junction continues with two more charity albums planned for 2010, including a two-disc summer CD.

Deep-frying turkey? West Seattle dropoff spot to recycle oil

November 24, 2009 1:27 pm
|    Comments Off on Deep-frying turkey? West Seattle dropoff spot to recycle oil
 |   Environment | West Seattle news

(photo courtesy General Biodiesel, added Wednesday morning)
While talking to some folks at the county about another story, we were reminded that there’s a West Seattle dropoff spot for recycling used cooking oil – and the county in fact has just put out a reminder that you can use it for free, 24/7. It’s at General Biodiesel at 4034 West Marginal Way (map).

West Seattle scene: “Birdmen of Alki”

That’s how Chas Redmond captioned this scene from Alki. (There’s probably also a “different way to stuff the bird” joke lurking in there too.) By the way, the forecast is calling for “more of the same” for the foreseeable future.

In case you were wondering: Cleanup in The Junction

A few people asked about a sizable sludgy mess in the street in the heart of The Junction this morning. We didn’t get a photo before the cleanup was complete about an hour ago, but we did nail down what it was all about, after getting a hint it had something to do with a bus – Metro’s Linda Thielke confirms, “Some power steering fluid spilled from a bus. Metro’s spill response team responded to do the cleanup.”

West Seattle restaurants open Thanksgiving, list version 1.0

We’re still checking around so this is probably NOT the final list. But this is who we know so far will be open at least part of the time on Thursday – at least as of our research done Monday. Thank you to Sue Scharff for volunteering to help with research! (Sue, by the way, is with the lively Zippy Dogs. No, not a hot-dog cart, not pet-walkers, rather, “your logo on fun stuff.”)

Admiral Pub: Serving a FREE DINNER from noon ‘til 5 pm!
Be’s Restaurant: 7 am ‘til 2 pm
Brickyard BBQ: 5 pm ‘til close
Charlestown Café: 7 am ‘til 5 pm
Christo’s on Alki: 8 am-3 pm (breakfast/lunch)
Easy Street Café: COFFEE ONLY 7 am ‘til noon
Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor): 4 pm till close (limited food menu)
Mac’s Triangle Pub (Delridge/16th/Roxbury): opening 7 pm, serving food till 1 am
Taco del Mar (Junction): 10 am ‘til 5 pm (depending on customers; may be open later)
Tacos Guaymas: 11 am ‘til 3 pm
Tha Thaitan: 11 am ‘til 9:30 pm (formerly Boontin/Olarn, across from West Seattle Nursery)
Salty’s on Alki: (call to check if reservations are still available)

Note, we are NOT listing who’s closed – just who’s open. Anybody else serving on Thanksgiving? Please let us know (or add a comment here). We’re also just about done with the Thanksgiving coffee map and will have that on the Holidays page later today. And another reminder – there are also two FREE community meals in West Seattle on Thursday: The traditional Fauntleroy gathering at The Hall at Fauntleroy (old schoolhouse), noon-3 pm; West Seattle Eagles in The Junction, reviving an old tradition, 2-5 pm, plus Full Tilt Ice Cream in White Center is having a community potluck Thanksgiving at 4 (announced in the WSB Forums).

Alaskan Way Viaduct short-term traffic alert

If you’re heading back this way in the next few hours, this might be a reason to avoid The Viaduct. From Peg Nielsen at SDOT:

Today, Tuesday, November 24, a Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) crew will be making emergency repairs to an expansion joint on the Alaskan Way Viaduct southbound just past the First Avenue S exit. From 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. the left and center lane will be closed southbound just south of the First Avenue off-ramp and will not hinder traffic taking that exit. Then, from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m., the center and right lane will be closed at the same location. Please use caution through the work zone.

Today/tonight preview — County Executive swearing-in edition

TODAY’S MAIN EVENT: As of shortly after 4 pm today, West Seattle will be home to the officeholders of two of the state’s three top political jobs. That status isn’t permanent, but even after the changing of the mayoral guard in January, we’ll still be home-‘hood to the guy who runs the county. Dow Constantine takes the oath of office downtown at Daniels Recital Hall (the former First United Methodist Church) this afternoon at 4, and everyone’s invited. (Photo at left is one of our pictures from his primary-election-night party.) Also on the docket today:

GIVE!!!! Two days till Turkey Day. The folks fed by our local food banks need you, if you’re able to give. Here’s a few stats explaining why – from the White Center Food Bank page on Facebook, Beth Grieser (West Seattle Volunteer Recognition winner) pulled a shift at WCFB today and reported: “We fed 85 families on our shift today – 287 families for the day. The White Center Food Bank is low on large turkeys 16 lbs, cranberry sauce and dinner rolls.” You can take donations to WCFB 8:30 am-5 pm; they serve the southern third of West Seattle but all the rest is in the territory of the West Seattle Food Bank and they will be thrilled to get donations too – 9 am-3 pm today.

GIVE, #2: Tonight at Porterhouse in the Admiral District, West Seattle Helpline benefits from a sock and underwear drive — bring ’em, new — 6-8 pm, hosted by Rogue Brewing (full details on Facebook).

GIVE BY BUYING: Wreaths and poinsettias, anyone? They’ll be on sale at Southwest Youth and Family Services today, 9 am-7 pm – walk-in sales are promised, and if you preordered one (or more), it’s pickup time.

CURRICULUM ALIGNMENT: It’s been another year of hot issues for Seattle Public Schools, and here’s another one: Aligning what’s taught to who, where and when. How will it affect the student(s) in your family – if at all? Come talk with district reps, 6:30 pm, West Seattle High School.

TRIVIA TIMES TWO: If your brain brims with factoids large and small, old and new, you have your choice of two venues tonight and every Tuesday night: In Morgan Junction, Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor, and now open 11:30 am daily) is all about the tunes, with rock ‘n’ roll trivia starting at 8; at the beach, Christo’s on Alki trivia, hosted by Tom Hutyler, new starting time, 7 pm. Cash prizes at both.

Delridge Playfield improvements, meeting #2: Just a few tweaks

Probably the shortest community meeting we’ve covered in a long time – barely half an hour (followed by about 20 minutes of folks milling around asking questions and looking at drawings): Monday night at Delridge Community Center, the Parks Department unveiled the tweaked design for the $3 million-plus Delridge Playfield improvements project, funded by last year’s Parks and Green Spaces Levy.

The project’s basics consists mostly of artificial turf, new lights and 25,000 more square feet of field space added to the current 175,500, with additional sports being accommodated: Following up on requests from last month’s meeting, lines will be added for lacrosse, so the field will be striped for baseball, softball, Little League, soccer, women’s lacrosse, men’s lacrosse and Ultimate Frisbee (which now will get two courses on one field rather than spreading them across two, at the request of advocates at the first meeting). Baseball and softball will trade corners between the SW and NE sections of the field; project manager Ted Holden said the field will have four colors of lines (dyed versions of the same Field Turf that’s being used for the entirely of the four-acre site) – besides white, men’s lacrosse will be in yellow, women’s in red, Frisbee in blue, as shown above. (Holden had the meeting’s 10 or so attendees choose between two shades of blue turf; they chose the lighter one.) He also said there would be two 50-foot stretches of fence along the northwest side of the field to keep soccer balls from going down a steep slope – it’ll arch from 10′ to 15′ at the middle of each section:

Holden also said he was glad to report something he said at the last meeting was wrong – the Field Turf is partly recyclable – its crumb rubber goes into “quiet asphalt,” its plastic is melted to make products including windbreaker jackets, etc.

He said the $3.2 million budgeted for the project should cover what needs to be done, but extras such as bleachers would have to be paid for “as money is available.” He expects to send the project out to bid by the end of January, with construction to be done next summer, June through August.

A few final tweaks were suggested at the Monday night meeting – some changes to the Ultimate Frisbee area on the north side of the field, including cone markers, and adding a little more turf to the west side of the site. Holden said those requests will be incorporated into the design, and the final version will be posted online soon; watch the official project page.