day : 10/12/2009 12 results

Followup: After 2 crashes, safety upgrades in works for Westwood

It’s one of West Seattle’s most heartstopping intersections to maneuver as a pedestrian – and it’s in an area that’s seen two major car-hits-pedestrian crashes in less than two years, one fatal, another resulting in major injuries. But the 26th/Barton intersection at Westwood Village’s main entrance/exit is about to get some attention, according to SDOT’s Jim Curtin (a West Seattleite), who came out this afternoon to meet with (from left, with Curtin 2nd from left) Donn DeVore of the Westwood Neighborhood Council; Stuart Crandall of Westwood Village, and Ron Angeles, district coordinator in the Department of Neighborhoods‘ Delridge office:

Problems at the intersection were thoroughly discussed in this WSB comment thread following the December 1st crash that left a woman in the hospital, badly hurt. Curtin says some improvements are in the works and will be installed as soon as next month – including “fanning” the crosswalk striping to cover the 16-inch gap between the driveway and the crosswalk here on the west side of the WWV driveway:

Signage also will be upgraded from the current old-style flat orange to the new-style fluorescent lime green:

And yield-to-pedestrian reminder signs may be hung from the overhead cables:

But you won’t see left-turn arrows – Curtin says that wouldn’t solve the problem. You will see the road striping change within the next two years – not to add a striped right-turn lane heading west on Barton into the center, which DeVore asked about, though – Curtin says that the Bicycle Master Plan calls for a bike lane on each side of Barton in that area, so when that happens, the “one (car) lane in each direction” will be a lot clearer than it is now. The work’s not going to happen next year, he says, but is a possibility for 2011. That’s also when Metro RapidRide service is scheduled to begin, and a station is reportedly planned on the south side of Barton near Daystar Retirement Village. “So how do we slow down traffic till then?” DeVore asked. Curtin suggested it’s time to get this stretch of road involved in the Arterial Traffic Calming Program – which would mean gathering some data, for starters, about the speeds and other conditions on that stretch of Barton, as a first step.

West Seattle scenes: Holiday Art Walk, Chamber party

At Twilight Artist Collective, proprietors Mary, Erin and Allison celebrated “ugly sweater night” along with West Seattle Art Walk night. That’s one of 10 photos we’re sharing on a night that also saw the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce celebrate the season – read on for the quick tour:Read More

West Seattle Christmas lights: Shining bright in Fauntlee Hills

December 10, 2009 8:56 pm
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 |   Holidays | West Seattle Christmas lights | West Seattle news

Thanks to Cheryl for the reminder that south West Seattle has its own version of Candy Cane Lane in the heart of Fauntlee Hills. Particularly SW Concord north of 41st SW (map), where we photographed this house (just one of many shining examples in the area). Just turn off SW Barton, left if you’re coming uphill from the ferry dock, right if you’re coming downhill from 35th/Westwood Village. (Our archives of previously featured light displays can be found here, newest to oldest.)

Newest design proposal online for 2988 SW Avalon Way project

December 10, 2009 7:38 pm
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 |   Development | West Seattle news

Those are the “now” and “future” views of the northwestern corner of Avalon Way/SW Yancy (map), from the plan that’ll be reviewed one week from tonight by the Southwest Design Review Board for 2988 Avalon – a new 4-story, 16-unit building for Transitional Resources. The full packet of renderings and plans has just been added to the city Design Review website; download it here (big PDF – 23 MB). This is the first of two projects on a double bill for the board next Thursday night – this one’s at 6:30, with Admiral Safeway at 8, both reviews at Youngstown Arts Center.

Mayor’s first round of “cabinet decisions”; plus, a WS tie in Olympia

December 10, 2009 5:39 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle politics

Just published at the transition website: The department heads who are staying include Stella Chao from Neighborhoods and Diane Sugimura for Planning and Development, plus West Seattleite Bill Schrier from Information Technology. Will Grace Crunican (also a West Seattleite) keep her job running Transportation? No announcement today; the McGinn team says more decisions will be announced next week. ADDED 5:44 PM: A state appointment to note tonight too – Governor Gregoire announced a new communications director today, J. Cory Curtis, and we just got word that Curtis is a West Seattleite.

West Seattle Weather Watch: Another icy night ahead

No, that’s not an interpretation of how upset people are down in Southern California since a cold snap plunged them into the … 30s. That’s a palm tree near Alki Point’s Constellation Park, next to a frozen-in-place fountain, photo shared by Lisa. The latest forecast? Here you go – still a possibility of snow starting tomorrow night – “light” snow, then followed by a mention of snow possibilities in every daypart through Monday. Meantime, tonight’s expected to go down into the teens yet again.

West Seattle Art Walk holiday edition tonight: What to see

December 10, 2009 3:21 pm
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 |   West Seattle Art Walk | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

Don’t let the continued chill keep you from wandering West Seattle for tonight’s monthly Art Walk, 6-9 pm. This is the super-special late edition, including myriad chances for one-of-a-kind holiday gifts, all over the peninsula. Click ahead for a few of the MANY highlights:Read More

Update: Stolen West Seattle totem pole recovered – in Oregon

(scroll down – we’re continuing to add elements as this story develops)

(Photo added 11:05 am – the recovered poles in Oregon)
As reported here late yesterday, police arrested a West Seattle man in connection with the theft of the 18′ totem pole from Rotary Viewpoint Park, which we first told you about last Thursday morning. When we reported that the suspect was in custody, police had just made the arrest and hadn’t yet figured out where the stolen pole was; this morning, they know. Southwest Precinct Lt. Steve Paulsen tells WSB that after extensive questioning, the suspect told them where it was: The Salem, Oregon, area. And Lt. Paulsen says police there already “have it in custody on a trailer in an impound lot” – he says it’s reported to be in good shape and does not appear to be damaged. Now they’re coordinating with the Parks Department to figure out how and when to bring it back here. Plus, Lt. Paulsen says, they “recovered another totem pole but can’t figure out where the other one belongs yet.” They also will be investigating whether the suspect is in possession of any other stolen property. We’re not identifying the suspect yet because (to our knowledge) charges are not yet filed – we can tell you he is a 69-year-old North Admiral resident, and the house where the crane driver said last weekend that he’d dropped it off is in the Lake Sawyer area. We didn’t publish this last weekend because no arrest had been made, but here’s a photo we took as the two sleuthing Rotarians (left and right) and the crane-truck driver went to knock on that house’s door last Saturday – note the Santa hat, left over from the Rotary’s Christmas Shopping Spree hours earlier:

Stay tuned for more followups. The Rotary Club of West Seattle, meantime, which donated the park and the pole to the city in 1976 – and made its own inquiries to try to help track down the pole (as detailed here) – tells us they’re working on coordinating an event for the pole’s return. 11:07 AM UPDATE: Adding photos provided by police (one above, one below), showing the recovered Rotary pole (and its mystery companion) in Oregon.

12:06 PM UPDATE: Just checked with Parks spokesperson Dewey Potter to see if there’s any info yet on their side regarding plans for the pole’s return. She says, “It’s my understanding that the pole will be in police custody as evidence for some amount of time (no clue yet how long that will be). … We’re all for a celebratory event to welcome the pole back to the people when the time is right.” 12:28 PM UPDATE: For the latest on Rotary’s plans on helping that happen, we just talked to past president Josh Sutton on camera at the viewpoint park – he explains how your help will be important:

(The website he mentions is He added, “Rotary’s owned this totem pole in our hearts for a long time, but West Seattle owns this totem pole and we’re committed to getting it back to the folks of West Seattle in great shape.”

1:41 PM UPDATE: Just drove by the park and spotted Rotary sleuths Duane and Kenny being interviewed by KING5 – we didn’t park in time to get the photo op but did talk to Duane, who says he’s glad that Seattle Police have gone to great lengths to find the totem pole, and he’s now hopeful that prosecutors will go the extra mile to make sure justice is served. And one more note – just talked again with Josh Sutton, who says you can NOW donate through the Rotary website to pay for getting the pole back in place, with a community event, as soon as possible – he wants to stress, this is NOT meant to be in lieu of restitution from the suspect, but if and when the time comes that they get reimbursed that way, the money people have donated “will go to do good work in the West Seattle community.”

2:25 PM UPDATE: Answers to a couple followup questions we asked Lt. Paulsen at Southwest Precinct: 1. Will the crane truck driver face charges? Nothing’s final yet, but he notes that they are being very cooperative witnesses. 2. Is there a chance the stolen Tillicum Village storefront art work on Avalon (here’s our story from two months ago) is linked to all this? Too soon to say but Lt. Paulsen indicates they are actively investigating and more “recoveries” are possible.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Truck break-in, tools taken

Out of the WSB inbox (, from Erin:

My husband went out to his work van at 4 am to find the driver side window smashed and close to $8000 worth of tools and wire stolen. We live in the 5600 block of 18th Ave [map]. The scum must have gotten spooked as the left a radio, tool bags and wire sitting in front of the van. We have already made a police report, but are hoping someone may have seen something.

The officer told us it’s been quiet in our neighborhood for a while. This is devastating as the tools are how my husband makes a living, and were paid for out of our pockets. If anyone saw or heard anything, we would really like to know.

I know what people will say: You are never supposed to leave anything visible in your vehicle. We never leave anything visible in our personal vehicles, but it is impossible to empty the work van every day and reload it at 3:30 a.m. He parks it so the side doors face the house, but it wasn’t enough to deter the criminals this time.

Today/tonight: Preschool open house, crime/safety meeting, more

December 10, 2009 5:31 am
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 |   Safety | West Seattle news | White Center

The big event tonight is the holiday edition of the West Seattle Art Walk, 6-9 pm, at venues all over the peninsula – check the official site for more, get a map here, and watch for our preview of highlights later this morning. Also happening today/tonight:

ADMIRAL CO-OP PRESCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: 9:30-10:30 am today – they have openings in the 3’s class. More info including location in this WSB Forums post.

SOUTH DELRIDGE CRIME/SAFETY MEETING: The South Delridge/White Center Community Safety Coalition is meeting tonight at 6 pm, at a different location than usual – Wiley Center at Greenbridge, 9800 8th SW, Room 104 (map).

‘PLAID TIDINGS’ CONTINUES: The holiday musical extravaganza presented by ArtsWest (WSB sponsor) is now into its second week. This week, in addition to the evening performances tonight through Saturday at 7:30 pm, there are two weekend matinees – Saturday and Sunday at 3 pm. Tickets are available online.

West Seattle Holidays: Our Lady of Guadalupe tree lighting Friday

December 10, 2009 3:01 am
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 |   Fun stuff to do | Holidays | West Seattle news

Seems like deja vu … There’s a chance of snow in the forecast late Friday, which also happens to be the night Our Lady of Guadalupe lights “Seattle’s highest Christmas tree” (2008 photo at left, shared by Celeste), a stone’s throw from the city’s highest point (520′). And last year, exact same night, exact same forecast – though the snow didn’t arrive in earnest till the following night (here’s your 12/13/08 flashback, video and all). But never mind all that! The tree lighting is on for 7 pm Friday, right outside the church at the southeast corner of 35th/Myrtle, around the big old evergreen that’s already got about a thousand lights ready to go, with caroling immediately afterward. A bit more info from the church’s official announcement:

This event also celebrates the effort from Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish and School to give back to the Seattle community. Everyone is encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to be donated to the St. Vincent DePaul Society, a non-profit organization that provides food and support services to those in need. The food items will be distributed to our local food banks, which are busier than ever in our tight economy. Guests will be invited to warm up in our Parish Hall after the tree lighting to enjoy complimentary refreshments and participate in Christmas activities for children.

Promises to be another beautiful night to light a tree (like last Saturday in The Junction); in case you’ve never been to OLG, here’s a map.

“Banded” crow rescued at Forest Lawn – but whose crow is it?

This one’s a little too unusual to just go on the WSB Pets page with all the other lost/found critters … Jeff Jorgenson at Forest Lawn Cemetery (east edge of High Point) shared that photo, explaining, “I think it is an African pied crow. It is banded and has clipped wings and is very friendly and loves to hang out on shoulders. We found it this morning next to the flagpole nearly frozen. It’s pretty certain that it wouldn’t have made it through the night.” If you have any idea whose crow this is, 206-932-0050 is Jeff’s office number.