day : 14/01/2010 14 results

Update: Crash at 35th/Avalon Starbucks drive-through

(WSB camera-phone photo by Christopher Boffoli, added 11:37 pm)
ORIGINAL 11:20 REPORT OF 35TH/AVALON “HEAVY RESCUE RESPONSE”: WSB photojournalist Christopher Boffoli is on his way to the scene. Scanner indicates it’s a crash at the Starbucks drive-through – and one radio transmission indicated “substantial damage.” 11:32 PM UPDATE: Christopher says three vehicles are involved and at least two people will be taken to the hospital. He adds, “SUV took out one of the columns at the drive-through.” 12:01 AM UPDATE: More info and another photo from Christopher. Police at the scene say alcohol may have factored into the crash. He adds: “The SUV took out one of the two columns holding up the roof that hangs over the Starbucks drive through. The column looked hollow so I’m not sure how much weight they are meant to bear. The roof is holding on the remaining column. SFD is there now shoring up temporarily with lumber.” In this photo, you see the column – and the spot where it was torn from the building:

As for traffic, one lane is blocked but it’s not causing much trouble. A different look at where the SUV tore the column away:

Christopher says there was no damage to the building besides that column area. Police were evaluating the light pole the SUV hit:

As for the store’s status, we’ll check on its status in the early morning. Police had called a manager who was reported to be en route. ADDED 2:43 AM: Video from Christopher – in it, you see the other vehicle that was hit – the third vehicle originally reported “involved,” as its driver notes in comments, was not actually part of the collision.

8:41 AM UPDATE: Went over to check on the morning-after situation. The drive-thru is closed, with repair work under way (and yellow tape across the lane entrance, leading to some U-turns in the lot); the walk-up is open.

1:12 PM NOTE: Christopher, who covered the crash early today, went by a little while ago and says the drive-thru appears to be open again.

West Seattle help for Haiti: Tonight’s updates

During tonight’s West Seattle Art Walk (earlier coverage here), we also stopped by Keller Williams in The Junction, which is distributing flyers for the fundraising car wash this Saturday (reported here last night), aiming to raise at least $1,000 for Haiti earthquake victims. KW was the first West Seattle business/group we heard from, but now the list of local fundraisers is continuing to grow. We are listing them all here – today’s additions include West Seattle Thriftway collecting at checkstands – matching donations up to $3,000 – and tonight, we just got word that tomorrow night’s free Seattle Symphony concert presented by West Seattle Kiwanis (8 pm, Brockey Center at South Seattle Community College [WSB sponsor]) will be dedicated to the Haiti quake victims/survivors, and will collect cash/check donations (they won’t be able to process cards). Note that we also have linked our ongoing list from the top of the sidebar, so you can find it easily. (Also a shoutout to PCC Natural Markets [WSB sponsor], which has announced a $25,000 donation to earthquake relief.) Thanks to everyone for reaching out to help, and for letting WSB know so we can help get the word out.

West Seattle Cellars, friends, and family mourn Bear Silverstein

After getting a note from Laurie with word that West Seattle Cellars co-owner Bear Silverstein has died, we went to the store to confirm it in person a short time ago – and in the meantime received this note from Sue Winter:

The family has asked me to let you know that Bear Silverstein, owner of West Seattle Cellars, passed away this morning after a prolonged illness. A devoted husband and father, Bear was involved with many community organizations, including West Seattle Helpline and Westside School. His family has set up a website at, with a guestbook for posting remembrances [here]. Plans for a memorial service are pending.

Mr. Silverstein and business partners Tom and Jan (shown on this page from the WS Cellars website) have owned the store for almost a decade.

Update: Seen along the way at tonight’s West Seattle Art Walk

January 14, 2010 8:27 pm
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 |   West Seattle Art Walk | West Seattle news

You’ve still got half an hour to get out and see the sights. Like that Barbie cake at Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor) in The Junction, to celebrate the Barbie photos in Wyn Bielaska‘s exhibition. And at Cafe Osita in Sunrise Heights, Alyssa is one of the West Seattle High School Photo Club photographers showing work:

Adding a bit more shortly. Venues are listed at ADDED 8:53 PM: Another highlight tonight – Twilight Artist Collective is celebrating its fifth anniversary. It started in Pike Place Market, but West Seattle is home base now. Twilight’s Mary, Cheryl and Erin talked with WSB co-publisher Patrick:

ADDED 10:22 PM: One more photo – from Ken Paige‘s opening at Windermere in The Junction – courtesy of Eric Shalit from Box Turtle Design

One week from tonight: Chief Sealth High School open house

January 14, 2010 8:12 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

One week from tonight is a big night at Chief Sealth High School: Prospective students and families are invited to come to Sealth’s temporary location at Boren to learn about the school, with presentations including program information, student testimonials, a few words from Sealth Principal John Boyd, and cultural performances. Dessert too. If there’s an eighth-grader in your family right now, you may find an invite in your mailbox, but even if you don’t, you’re welcome; 6-8:30 pm next Thursday (January 21st), with presentations scheduled 6-7 pm – including information about the renovated campus that Sealth will reoccupy this fall – while tabling, performances and the dessert bar are scheduled 7-8:30. Here’s the official flyer.

In case you were wondering: What happened on 99

We don’t have a lot of details but several people have asked what was happening along southbound 99, with a heavy police response, during the evening commute home to West Seattle. SPD media unit Det. Jeff Kappel tells us a pedestrian was hit – not sure what the person was doing on foot on the freeway. Injuries are described as serious; that’s all the details they have for now. 9:38 PM UPDATE: SPDBlotter has more information now: The victim, now said to have life-threatening injuries, is a 41-year-old man, who was walking across 99 – six lanes with a divider at that point – west to east, when a Honda Pilot hit him. Full writeup here.

NOW: West Seattle Art Walk; High Point Neighborhood Association

January 14, 2010 6:09 pm
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 |   West Seattle Art Walk | West Seattle news

If you’re in High Point, there’s still time to get to the HP Neighborhood Association meeting – they’ve started with informal dinner, but the business meeting won’t start till 6:20-6:30, scheduled to continue till about 8 (even if you can’t get here till after 7, that’s when they’ll be surveying attendees about healthy food options in the area and what would interest them). HPNA is meeting in the new High Point Neighborhood Center where SW Morgan becomes Sylvan Way. That’s one of the events we’re covering tonight; we’re also dropping by a few stops on the West Seattle Art Walk, which started at 6 and continues till 9. Got late word of a student exhibition as part of it – JH says the West Seattle High School Photo Club is showing at Cafe Osita, the coffee shop on 35th SW just north of Webster. The walking map for this quarter’s Art Walk participants is the second page of this PDF file. WSB sponsors on the Art Walk: Click! Design That Fits in Admiral, Skylark Cafe and Club in North Delridge, Hotwire Online Coffeehouse, Mural and Wallflower Custom Framing in The Junction, Feedback Lounge in Morgan Junction, and Sold Home Decor in Westwood.

Party tomorrow for West Seattle teller who “knows … everyone”

Story and photos by Mary Sheely
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Popular wisdom holds that it’s best not to combine monetary transactions with friendship. Diane Steele gives the lie to that one. Steele will spend her last day as a teller at the Junction Wells Fargo Bank tomorrow, retiring just a month shy of 27 years at that location.

She’s made so many friends of her customers during that time, one of them, Kayla Weiner, got in touch with us to make sure Steele received the tribute she deserved.

“She is an amazing person who knows the name of everyone,” Weiner told WSB. “She knows about them and their family. Last year she even made a donation for me when I did the 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk. She is an institution, as those who know her can attest. I for one will really miss her.”

A visit to Steele’s branch confirms those sentiments. A huge card and message book are filling up with well wishes from devoted customers and coworkers. On Friday, customers and locals are invited to come in during business hours to help Steele celebrate (and grab a slice of cake while it lasts).

Steele is standing in the lobby when customer Andrew Carl enters the bank.

Read More

2 notes from West Seattle police: Scam alert; 35th SW patrol

SCAM ALERT: Just got this from Southwest Precinct Lt. Norm James (who, as we reported last Friday, has a new role, so you’ll be hearing more from him when news happens) — He says they’re investigating a case of alleged fraud involving rental properties on Craigslist; one person found a listing that described a “super deal” in West Seattle. When the would-be renter e-mailed the contact, the reply came back seeking personal information and saying that the landlord was in Africa but would send the key once the personal info was received. The would-be renter didn’t fall for it but checked around and found two similar listings. Bottom line, Lt. James says, “Just a heads up .. to be aware of this type of scam out there. They need to be aware of deals that are too good to be true and to verify the authority of people who have rental properties available.”

35TH SW PATROL: On Facebook and Twitter, there were a few mentions yesterday of major police presence on 35th SW, apparently watching for speeders. We asked SW Precinct Lt. Steve Paulsen if anything special was going on. His reply: “Traffic/Pedestrian safety is one of our precinct priorities. The Traffic Section does enforcement on 35th on a regular basis due to the sheer speed folks travel at and the number of traffic collisions. Given the recent accidents, we requested some assistance. Several drivers were stopped and cited.” (Those recent accidents include this one last Sunday in which a car flipped; no one was seriously hurt.)

More West Seattle neighborhood newness: Alki Community Council

Another West Seattle neighborhood group is starting the New Year with some new features: The Alki Community Council has a new logo (at left) as it gets ready for its next meeting. The meeting at 7 pm Thursday, January 21, also marks the debut of Alki UCC as its permanent meeting spot, instead of Alki Community Center. Its newsletter, the Alki News Beacon, also has a new look, under new editor/webmaster Glynnis Vaughansee the new edition here; it’s now being published 4 times a year instead of 6, but ACC leaders hope a membership increase and reader interest may enable them to return to a more frequent publishing schedule; ACC members get the Beacon in the mail – membership info is here.

Mayor announces ballot measure to pay for seawall replacement

(scroll down for info, links, reaction we’re adding after the original report)

(Graphic displayed at the mayor’s announcement)
ORIGINAL 9:55 AM REPORT: We’re at the Washington Street Boat Launch south of Colman Dock, where the mayor has just finished a news conference announcing he will ask Seattle voters in May to approve a property tax measure raising $241 million to replace the seawall, regardless of what happens with The Viaduct. He says current plans call for replacing the seawall in six years, and that’s too long – he wants it done in four. The 30-year property tax proposal will be on the May ballot if the City Council agrees, he says, and would require a 60 percent majority approval; he says it would equal about $48 a year for someone with a $400,000 home. McGinn showed a section of deteriorating seawall wood as a prop and said it runs the risk of failure even without a catastrophic earthquake. He refused to answer questions regarding The Viaduct/tunnel plan itself. He says the Council will be asked next month to approve the May 18 vote, and says he has had “positive” discussions with them so far regarding this proposal. The $241 million would not cover the entire cost of seawall replacement – the price tag would be about $50 million beyond that, he said, with about $30 million of that slated to come from the county. If the ballot measure is approved, McGinn said, it would take about 2 years to design the project, and about 2 years to build. How severely waterfront business and traffic would be affected, he couldn’t say. Side note: McGinn biked down here from City Hall (about half a mile uphill) and has now headed back – we’re heading back to HQ (via car) to add video to the story.

ADDED 11:23 AM: Some supporting documents are linked in the city’s own item on the mayor’s announcement – you’ll find the links (plus Seattle Channel video of the news conference) here. Here’s one of our clips, about a minute and a half, including his use of the aforementioned prop:

1:39 PM UPDATE: A statement from Governor Gregoire:

I congratulate the Mayor for his decision to seek early funding for the seawall portion of the Alaskan Way Viaduct project. I look forward to working with him and the City Council on this vital transportation effort.

Tonight: Smoke-free parks? … WS Art Walk … High Point health

SMOKE-FREE CITY PARKS? Smoking is one of the “behaviors” that would be banned in Seattle city parks under a new proposed Code of Conduct that’ll be discussed at tonight’s Parks Board meeting, 7 pm, Parks HQ downtown; a public hearing is scheduled for two weeks from tonight. Smoking is one of the “newly prohibited behaviors” proposed for the code; also “newly prohibited” would be (from the briefing paper):

• Conduct that deprives others of their use or enjoyment of a park or facility or disrupts parks business
• Possession of glass containers at athletic fields, beaches and children’s playgrounds
• Improper use of restrooms
• [as noted] Smoking
• Spitting
• Leaving packages, backpacks, luggage, or other personal items unattended
• Blocking entrances, exits, walkways, etc. that interferes with provision of services or use of park property
• Conduct that creates an unreasonable and substantial risk of harm to a person or property
• Entering restrooms designated for people of the opposite sex
• Use of flammable liquids
• Abusive or harassing behavior, including obscene language or gestures; assault or fighting
• Possession of fireworks, firecrackers, explosives, acid, or other articles or materials capable of causing serious harm to others
• Sexual misconduct

Again, the Parks Board is getting briefed on this tonight (full docs here); a public hearing comes Jan. 28, a vote later. Meantime, it’s Art Walk night all over our peninsula:

WEST SEATTLE ART WALK: That’s the Barbie-inspired art of Wyn Bielaska, the Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor) featured artist during tonight’s West Seattle Art Walk, 6-9 pm at dozens of venues all over WS (see the list, and learn about the artists, here). Other events happening during the Art Walk – C and P Coffee‘s Wine Club, and M3 Bodyworks (WSB sponsor; 5410 California SW) is having a Holiday Open House featuring photographer Wayne Burger‘s underwater work. (added 2;04 pm – more info on this:)

M3 Bodyworks’ holiday opening will be catered by Chef Kate Thomson of Seasonal Palate ( with island themed food and specialty drink. M3 will also be giving away door prizes tonight including a 90 Minute Package of 5 massages. More can be found at

HEALTHY HIGH POINT: Healthier living – including your chance to take a survey about food – is the focus of tonight’s High Point Neighborhood Association quarterly meeting, 6 pm, High Point Neighborhood Center. The featured speaker is Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association executive director Derek Birnie.

THINKING ABOUT REMODELING – OR BUILDING FROM SCRATCH: Tonight is another one of the free workshops presented by longtime WSB sponsor Ventana Construction. Free! It’s not too late to RSVP – 206-932-3009 – 6 pm, 5458 California SW.

See what else is up today/tonight (and beyond) by checking the WSB West Seattle Events calendar.

34th District Democrats: Councilmember Drago’s visit, and more

January 14, 2010 5:05 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle politics

West Seattle’s new County Councilmember, Jan Drago, paid two high-profile visits to this part of her district on Wednesday: She attended the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce lunch meeting keynoted by County Executive Dow Constantine, whose former seat she’s holding until next November’s election, and then last night’s meeting of the 34th District Democrats – who had energetically opposed seeing anyone appointed to the council seat but State Sen. Joe McDermott. Ahead, what she had to say – and other 34th DDs highlights:Read More

New year, new start for Admiral Neighborhood Association

Long, info-packed meeting for the Admiral Neighborhood Association Tuesday night, first one under the new slate of officers elected last fall – president Katy Walum and vice president Jim Cavin (both in the photo above), secretary Catherine Barker, treasurer Ann Limbaugh. (Their predecessors were among the 15+ people on hand.) Some new procedures, some old, and lots of looking ahead as well as looking forward – read on for the toplines:Read More