day : 25/01/2010 12 results

Fauntleroy YMCA drop-in child-care program to reopen sooner

Last November, with Fauntleroy Church construction looming, the Kids Corner drop-in child-care program at Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor) closed on short notice. At the time, the Y told families they’d reassess “in the spring” before deciding when to reopen. That plan accelerated – and there’s word tonight that Kids Corner will reopen a week from tomorrow. The Y’s Josh Sutton shares the news that as of February 2, Drop-In Kids’ Corner will be offered Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 9:30-11:30 am, and Saturdays, 9-11:30 am. In a memo to families, he said, “We will keep this level of operations through the remainder of the remodel, talk about space with the church, and make longer term decisions later in spring.” The remodeling work’s still under way, so there’ll be a few changes, like entering through the back door.

Elections & more ahead for Highland Park Action Committee

January 25, 2010 7:54 pm
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 |   Highland Park | West Seattle news

The next neighborhood group to meet in West Seattle is Highland Park Action Committee, with its monthly get-together this Wednesday night. Chair Dan Mullins has just sent around this invite:

… the Holidays are behind us and it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get back to work.

Please come to our monthly Highland Park Action Committee meeting and pot-luck at the H. P. Improvement Club, 1116 SW Holden St. , this Wednesday, January 27th at 7:00 PM (Pot-Luck at 6:30)

Along with neighborhood events and announcements, we will have nominations and elections for the 2010 HPAC board (Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer) and we will also have a surprise Local Business Spotlight and Raffle that you won’t want to miss.

So if you can, bring something yummy and spend some time with your neighbors and let’s start thinking about a new vision for the neighborhood.

Here’s a map to HPIC.

“Meet” the King County Water Taxi vessel you’ll ride this year

(Photo of MV Rachel Marie provided by KCFD – 2nd photo added 8:12 pm)
Kris Faucett from the King County Ferry District says its Board of Supervisors — King County Council members – approved a lease today for downtown-West Seattle service by the M.V. Rachel Marie, sister ship to the M.V. Melissa Ann, which is now on the King County Water Taxi’s other run between downtown and Vashon. (added 11:42 pm, from this document) Monthly cost: $32,000. (end of add) Also today, Faucett says the new fare schedule won approval today too, plus there’s word that West Seattle’s one-year Councilmember Jan Drago has been elected to chair the Ferry District Board. Read on for the Rachel Marie’s stats:Read More

City Council OKs resolution supporting “do not mail” registry

While en route to Olympia, we listened to Seattle Channel coverage of the public hearing for the resolution proposing support for the “do not mail” registry that – if approved at the state level – would give people the chance to opt out of unsolicited direct marketing mail. More people spoke against it than for it – including small businesses who said they rely on direct mail to help get the word out about their businesses. When time came to vote, councilmembers supported the resolution 8 to 1 – Councilmember Jean Godden was the only “no” vote. You can read the full text of the resolution here.

Happening now: Olympia hearing for bill to help injured officer

The House Ways and Means Committee has just opened its afternoon session. We are in their hearing room at the State Legislature with a huge turnout – triple digits for sure – to show support for one of the bills on the agenda, EHB 1679, which would cover catastrophically injured public-safety personnel and their families with benefits – the benefits that are being lost by Officer Jason McKissack, unable to return to work since being attacked while on a West Seattle call a year and a half ago. We will report from the hearing as we can – you also can watch on TVW cable/online. We’re sitting next to Seattle Police Guild reps who say they’ve heard from a lot of people supporting the bill who heard about it through WSB; legislators reportedly have been getting plenty of calls too.

3:57 PM: That’s the committee – back row in red is West Seattle Rep. Eileen Cody. Officials of other state public-safety unions and advocacy groups are speaking right now. Before them, a pension-fund official who spoke of how the bill was changed after it failed to win approval last year; now the funds bear the brunt of the costs. They’re all also talking about how rare “catastrophic disability” really is.

4:04 PM: Rich O’Neill of the Seattle Police Guild has just told the committee the story of what happened to Officer McKissack, who is here today and planning to testify. He concluded with a plea to the committee to “help the officer” – a call that is taken deeply seriously when it goes out over the police radio – “be their backup, pass this bill.”

(From left, Kim and Jason McKissack, Renee Maher)
4:20 PM: Jason and Kim McKissack both have just testified – Kim, tearfully, talking about how their lives were changed, and how can you make the choice between food/clothing and medical insurance? (video added 6:09 pm)

She also said her husband still wants nothing more than to “go out and get the bad guys … but he can’t.” Now, also emotionally, law enforcement advocate Renee Maher is speaking, sitting next to the McKissacks; she is the widow of Federal Way Officer Patrick Maher, killed in the line of duty in the early 00s.

4:23 PM: The public hearing has just concluded. The committee is moving on to testimony on other bills, but first, they asked everyone from public safety who came here for support to stand – those who stood were applauded by the rest of the room. We’ll add a few photos in a moment, and video in a bit. We also will be checking to find out what happens next – when there might be a decision on whether to schedule a vote on the bill.

8:48 PM NOTE: We’re told the bills that had public hearings today are all tentatively scheduled for discussion in “executive session” tomorrow – that’s where legislators talk about which bills are ready to potentially come up with votes. So we’ll keep an eye on it (which you can do through this link) for followups.

Delridge Skatepark funding wins final approval

From Nancy Folsom – The City Council gave final approval today to allocating $750,000 for Delridge Skatepark funding. As reported here last week, the Parks Committee gave its blessing ($250,000 is moved from the Myrtle project that is no longer on the drawing board, $500,000 is moved from other projects that came in with bids lower than expected). The city has said it hopes to break ground in late spring.

Followup: Metro safety concerns, after attack on driver from Alki

Among the stories we covered over the weekend – we learned from WSB’er “breanna43” via the WSB Forums that her mom, who lives on Alki, is the Metro bus driver hospitalized after being attacked on the job while her bus was stopped in Tukwila. Here’s our original story; we are following up this morning with safety concerns raised by her family. First in: King County Council chair Bob Ferguson sent a statement today:

I want to express my concern about the vicious attack on a County employee on Saturday. The County joins the employee’s family in hoping for her complete and speedy recovery.

As a regular bus commuter, I understand that safety aboard Metro buses is paramount. The County will investigate what additional precautions can be taken to ensure the well-being of drivers and riders alike. Bus drivers and their passengers are also grateful for the quick action of law enforcement in arresting the individuals responsible for the attack. No one should have to fear violence for simply doing their job.”

We have requested interviews with Metro/King County Department of Transportation to find out more about safety precautions and also about what will be done for this specific driver. Her daughter, meantime, tells us her mom is recovering physically but dealing with post-traumatic stress from what happened; she also has gone online and read the comments of support posted after our earlier story and elsewhere, and is “thankful that people are supportive,” her daughter says. The family’s doing some TV interviewing too; look for a followup story tonight on KING5. And we are checking with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office regarding the status of the 15-year-old arrested in connection with the attack.

1:35 PM UPDATE: Almost as soon as we hit “publish” on this story, we got a call back from Jim Jacobsen, Metro deputy general manager. He says they will be reviewing safety procedures because of this, though it’s been a while since the last time Metro checked into the possibility of enclosures for drivers; he says they’ll await results of the police investigation to see what else might be worth looking into. He says the system averages one incident each month that results in a driver injury. Drivers go through training to deal with difficult riders, he says, but in this case, their understanding is that it was unprovoked, and there was no time to go through any sort of “de-escalation.” We received early documents from the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office that indicate the suspect became angered because the driver, in keeping with Metro policy, refused to open the bus’s rear door – it was after 7 pm, which means you’re supposed to exit through the front door. The suspect is identified in documents as a 15-year-old Renton High School ninth-grader; he is due for a detention review in Juvenile Court at 2:30 this afternoon.

Back to Metro – Jacobsen says, most of all, “We’re pretty concerned about the operator and her family want to make sure she gets the help she needs and makes a full recovery.”

ADDED 5:31 PM: King County Executive Dow Constantine has issued a statement about the attack and Metro security – read on for the full text:Read More

West Seattle Family YMCA February events

January 25, 2010 12:29 pm
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 |   Announcements

West Seattle & Fauntleroy YMCA

West Seattle YMCA location
4515 36th Ave SW, Seattle 98126
(206) 935-6000

Fauntleroy YMCA location
9140 California Ave SW, Seattle 98136
(206) 937-1000

YMCA Events & Classes

Strong Kids Strong Teams, Mondays & Thursdays 6-7:30 pm. Teaching children, teens and families to take charge of healthy eating and being active. An 18 week program that combines nutrition guidance and physical activity to help overweight youth develop healthy lifestyles. More information contact Becca Gray at 206.935.6400 ext. 173 or Program fees are supported by the YMCA Partners With Youth Campaign.

Creative Movement, February 1-22, Mondays, 3:30-4:15 pm @ West Seattle . Music, creativity and fun for children ages 3-5. Members: $32, Program Members: $56. Register

Tumbletots (formerly Parent/Tot Kids Gym) @ West Seattle, February 3-24, Wednesdays 10:30-11:15 am, Kids ages walking-3 plus a parent interact with colorful climbing equipment, hoops, balls & parachutes. $20 Members, Program Members: $35. Register

Friday, February 5, Family Night, 6:30-8:30 pm @ West Seattle location. Play together as a family in the Kids Gym and Swim in the pool. Members: Free non-members bring canned food for the West Seattle food bank or Diapers for West Side Baby

Money Strong Families, Tuesday Feb 9, 6-8 pm @ West Seattle . Free class for children ages 7-11 and parents to learn about savings, spending and shoring your money. Registration required.

Saturday, February 13, Parents Night Out, 5:30-10 pm @ West Seattle location, 4515 36th SW. Kids ages 3 months – 12 years have a safe and fun evening at the Y while parents go out or relax at home. $22.50-$30 depending upon child’s age/membership status. Space is limited. Registration required.

Friday, February 26, Family Social, 6:30-8:30 pm @ West Seattle location. Game Night! Enjoy family games. Register. Donations to Food Bank.

Traffic alert: South Park Bridge closures starting Saturday

From King County:

The King County Road Service Division will close the South Park Bridge spanning the Duwamish River to both vehicle and marine traffic from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily Saturday Jan. 30 through Tuesday, Feb. 2. The four-day closure will allow engineers to perform noise and water quality testing and simulate vibration that might occur during bridge construction. During the closure, engineers will conduct pile driving to measure noise, vibration and take water quality samples. Data collected during the tests will assist the county in planning for construction of a new bridge when financing becomes available. During the closure, motorists can detour via the First Avenue South Bridge.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Wheel-stealers strike again

Lightning may not strike twice, but crime can, as Jim in Seaview just found out.

Overnight someone stole all four wheels off our Honda Fit in Seaview. This is the second time, first time it happened in October 2008. It was the exact same pattern – Sunday night / Monday morning, car up on concrete blocks, lug nuts left behind, no other damage to the car.

We published Jim’s 2008 report here. (A few months later, a similar theft happened in Sunrise Heights, and that car’s owner sent a photo.)

Today/tonight: Water Taxi fares, officer benefits, ArtsWest freebie

SEAWALL, DELRIDGE SKATEPARK $ AND “DO NOT MAIL” @ COUNCIL: During the Seattle City Council‘s 9:30 am briefing time, Mayor Mike McGinn talks about his proposed property-tax measure to replace the Alaskan Way seawall. During the 2 pm meeting, they’ll take a final vote on Delridge Skatepark funding, plus consider the resolution asking the state to back a “do-not-mail registry.” Agenda here; it’ll all be live on Seattle Channel (cable 21 or online).

WATER TAXI FARES: The new fare schedule outlined here comes up for a public hearing this afternoon at 1:30 before the King County Ferry District board (aka King County Councilmembers), County Courthouse downtown.

OFFICER-BENEFITS BILL: As discussed in coverage of the case of injured-and-losing-benefits Officer Jason McKissack, EHB 1679 comes up for a hearing in the state House Ways and Means Committee in Olympia, 3:30 pm today (scheduled to be live on TVW).

ARTSWEST FREEBIE: Before the Seattle premiere of “Love Song opens Wednesday, get behind-the-scenes insight tonight, free, in the On Stage format, 7:30 pm, ArtsWest in The Junction.

Jade West Café owner’s family sends update on Wah Wong & son

(photo by Paul Sureddin, taken early 2008)
It’s been more than a month since we found out that a Beacon Hill crash had left West Seattle restaurateur Wah Wong, 67, and his 22-year-old son Jason Wong badly hurt. Wah Wong’s one-man labor of love Jade West Cafe (map) has been closed ever since; well-wishers have put cards on the door; and a fund has been set up. Tonight, new information in this writeup sent to news organizations by Wah Wong’s daughter Janet Wong:

After many surgeries and over a month of being in the hospital, 22-year old Jason Wong will finally be released from the hospital since his accident.

On December 12th, Jason was helping take luggage out of his dad’s trunk when out of a nowhere a 1998 black Chevy Corvette came barreling down on South Columbian Way. The Corvette veered off the street and struck both Jason and father, Wah Wong, in their front yard pinning the two between the front of the Corvette and their own car. The family later learned the driver was drunk. The drunk driver was arrested and booked in the King County Jail.

Despite the release from the hospital, it will take many months to rehabilitate his foot. Jason’s left leg was so badly injured that his left leg was amputated. The family’s hope is for Jason to walk again.

Sister, Janet Wong, says, “He has been bedridden for the last month and will continue to be for the next few months. As soon as his leg is healed, he will need to be fitted for a prosthetic. Then rehabilitation will begin. The timing is a little tricky since he is unable to use his right foot. He will be able to do some kind of rehabilitation, but the big question is how much and how soon. We see long and intensive rehabilitation for Jason’s future.”

Jason’s Father, Wah Wong, is currently at Leon Sullivan Skilled Nursing Facility. Wah had leg surgery two weeks ago and is now in a cast. He continues to wear a neck brace for his fractured vertebrae, which will be removed in the next week or so. There is no discharge date for him at this time.

“We hope to have my dad home soon so he can recover comfortably there. Otherwise, things are progressing well for him and he will possibly need a little physical therapy,” says Janet.

Wah has been running the family restaurant, Jade West Café, for the last 22 years. Wah mostly runs the restaurant by himself. He does everything from cooking to cleaning to tending to his customers. Over the many years, he has built a solid customer base with many loyal customers who return to enjoy his food and friendship. Due to the accident, he will not be ready to return to work for another few months, if at all.

In the meantime, the house will undergo some renovations to accommodate Jason.

If you would like to help, please donate to “Save Jade West Café” at any Wells Fargo Bank. Your donations will help to cover mounting medical bills for the family.

The driver charged with vehicular assault in the case, 50-year-old Rodney James, remains in King County Jail, bail set at $250,000. Online court records indicate another pretrial hearing in his case is scheduled this week.