day : 28/01/2010 14 results

Alaskan Way Viaduct future: Toll beyond the tunnel unlikely

From the Alaskan Way Viaduct/Seawall Replacement Project South Working Group meeting Wednesday:

No bombshells; group members – including Jerome Cohen, Vlad Oustimovitch and Pete Spalding from West Seattle – were shown long lists of numbers regarding travel-time and traffic-flow projections, depending on scenarios including toll or no toll, vs. tunnel toll or tunnel-plus-other stretch(es) toll. (“Meeting materials” are linked here.)

Two of the scenarios looked at the possibility of tolling the stretch of 99 between the future tunnel’s entrance and the West Seattle Bridge, and Oustimovitch expressed concern about that in end-of-meeting around-the-table Q/A, but after the meeting, WSDOT’s Ron Paananen clarified to WSB that the extra stretch is NOT being seriously considered. “We looked at (tolling beyond the tunnel), recognizing that diversion (of traffic seeking toll-free routes) would be an issue, to see if (tolling) would change diversion patterns. It had a modest effect … people diverted further upstream. So if you’re worried about diversion, (expanding the tolling) is not a great strategy.” It brought in more money, of course, he noted, but he said that it appeared they would get the $400 million they need by tolling the tunnel. Summarizing, he said, “I think we answered the question that funding this project most likely will occur through tolling of the tunnel only.” If the tunnel is tolled, it is currently expected to start in early 2016, would be collected electronically, and could range from $1 to $5 in “2015 dollars.” Other toplines from the meeting (plus an explanation of the graphic above left, added Friday morning) – read on:Read More

Happening now: Rock 4 Relief @ Showbox SODO, helping Haiti

January 28, 2010 10:17 pm
|    Comments Off on Happening now: Rock 4 Relief @ Showbox SODO, helping Haiti
 |   Fun stuff to do | How to help | West Seattle news

The night’s young – still time to get over to Showbox SODO for Rock 4 Relief, raising money for Red Cross work to help Haiti quake victims – with West Seattle musicians onstage, West Seattle businesses contributing to a raffle, and more. WSB photojournalist Christopher Boffoli was there in the 8 o’clock hour and says more than 100 people were there already.

If you’ve got no way to get there tonight – there’s more music to help Haiti coming up Saturday night at the West Seattle Eagles‘ HQ in The Junction – doors open 8 pm, music at 8:30, benefiting Mercy Corps – details here. Another Eagles’ aerie – in White Center – is raising money for Haiti through its weekly breakfast this Sunday, everybody welcome, 9 am-noon; details on our partner site White Center Now.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Car break-in report

From Heather:

I just thought I would send a note that my neighbor’s car was broken into last night. We’re in Highland Park on 17th between Trenton & Cloverdale (map). It seems they broke the window only to open the trunk….then threw most of the contents onto the ground. We think a camera was stolen out of the trunk but the radio was left untouched. My neighbor was waiting for the police when I left for work….not sure how long she had to wait or if there have been any other break-ins like this.

We covered tonight’s South Delridge/White Center Community Safety Coalition meeting, coverage area including Highland Park – report to come, but police didn’t report any particular spike in car break-ins.

It’s official – no West Seattle neighborhood-plan update this year

The city has just announced which neighborhoods will be the two to get official neighborhood-plan updates this year – and neither is on our peninsula: They are Rainier Beach and Broadview-Bitter Lake-Haller Lake. After the recent meeting of the Neighborhood Plan Advisory Council, speculation about a possible WS choice had cooled, but there’s hope for a future plan update, and some of the local neighborhoods that have plans have decided to start revving up for the possibility by discussing statuses and goals in venues such as the Southwest District Council meeting. Ahead, read the news release just in from the mayor’s office re: today’s announcement:Read More

West Seattle restaurant news: Phoenecia reopens tonight

Just got a call from William Khazaal, son of Hussein Khazaal, whose untimely death last summer closed Phoenecia on Alki: They are officially reopening the restaurant TONIGHT, 5 pm (till at least 10 pm). The Khazaal family discussed their plans for the restaurant in a recent interview with us – in case you missed it, here’s the story. The menu will include “small plates” as well as entrees, and a new focus on something they told us Hussein Khazaal had been experimenting with – artisan pizza.

ADDED 8:50 PM: WSB’er “grr” was among the reopening-night diners and shared these photos:

He says that’s lamb-curry ratatouille and seared arctic char. They’re also trying the vegetarian squash pizza.

Junction parking plan: 2-hour signs going up today

From WSB photojournalist Christopher Boffoli: SDOT crews are putting up 2-hour signs along a stretch of 41st SW this afternoon – part of the Junction parking plan recently finalized, almost two years after first word of the city review. (You’ll recall, the review resulted in a decision for NO pay stations, and NO “restricted parking zones” – just some new 2-hour-zone signage; see the map in our most recent story.) ADDED 6:26 PM: In e-mail this evening, SDOT project manager Dante Taylor confirms the sign installation and included a reminder that there will be a meeting later this year open to anyone who wants to hear and talk about how the changes are working.

West Seattle help for Haiti: Pre-concert update on Rock 4 Relief

January 28, 2010 2:01 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle help for Haiti: Pre-concert update on Rock 4 Relief
 |   How to help | West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news

One more update from Jamie Chamberlin, the West Seattle-based filmmaker promoting tonight’s big Rock 4 Relief concert/raffle/etc., now 5 hours away at Showbox SODO (7 pm tonight, 21+, tickets only $15):

As a final pre-show update: Adam Gerhke from channel 13 morning news has come on board to MC tonight’s Rock 4 Relief concert and Raffle. As well, performance artist Jimmy Gersen will be in attendance to produce a wall size painting during the course of the evening and donated to the cause. I would like to thank the following people and sponsors that rallied behind this important cause to help make the Rock 4 Relief concert possible. The idea for a benefit show for the people of Haiti started two weeks ago through a casual conversation I had with Charlie Beck of The Memphis Radio Kings. In that short period of time this effort has become larger than any of us imagined. Between 3 events happening tonight, there will be between 16-18 bands playing within a 5 hour window, all donating their proceeds to the American Red Cross. Seattle is without a doubt home to some of the most talented musicians and individuals with the biggest hearts. I’d like to commend all the bands and volunteers donating their time and talents throughout the city this evening. If you are looking for something to do tonight, go out and catch one of these amazing benefit shows.

Jamie Chamberlin/Rock 4 Relief Event Producer

The West Seattle businesses listed in Jamie’s note as contributing to the concert/raffle include three WSB sponsors – Cafe Revo, Feedback Lounge, Hotwire Coffee – and also Admiral Tattoo, Admiral Theater, Alki Lumber and Hardware, Allstar Fitness, Easy Street Records, Locol (future 35th SW establishment profiled here), Luna Park Cafe, Shadowland, Stacey Riley Interiors, Sugar Rush Baking Company, Talarico’s, West 5, Zebra Print and Copy. If you haven’t been to Showbox SODO before, it’s at 1426 1st Avenue South; here’s a map.

Followup: Westwood man pleads guilty to possessing child porn

January 28, 2010 1:27 pm
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 |   Crime | West Seattle news | Westwood

gavel.jpgLast August, we reported on charges filed against a 23-year-old Westwood man, 10 months after police found child pornography on his computer. Documents said Chas Voelckel was not believed to have taken any of the photos, but some of them contained what police described as “known victims” as young as 8. We’ve been checking the online court file in the case against Voelckel from time to time, and our latest check showed a major development: He pleaded guilty last week to a felony charge of “possessing depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.” He could face up to 10 years in prison, but the documents note the standard sentencing range is about a year, and indicate that’s what will be recommended when he is sentenced – currently set for March.

Delridge Skatepark: Construction expected to start in summer

Now that the $750,000 needed for Delridge Skatepark is a done deal after Monday’s City Council vote, some are wondering – how soon will construction crews dig in? We checked with Parks Department project manager Kelly Davidson after Pigeon Point’s Pete Spalding, one of the West Seattle reps on the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Oversight Committee, shared word that the department’s internal review was about to hit a major milepost. Davidson confirmed late yesterday that the project has just had its “65 percent construction document review” – dealing with a whole lot of technical comments, “water lines and all that,” as she put it. Consultants now have to address the technical comments offered at the review, which Davidson says should take a few weeks; none of this is expected to change the final design, though – “The pictures on the web page ARE our design,” she says. But they also have to go through the city Department of Planning and Development for permits, like any other construction project, and that’s the wild card – so she’s thinking groundbreaking isn’t likely till July. “But we know Delridge Day is June 5th, so if there’s any way we can do it sooner …” Whenever they start, the project should take about four months, so it could be done by Halloween.

Keep your eyes on the sky: Crane installation for Link

Last week, the crane base rolled in; today, it’s time for the rest of the crane to show up at the site (38th/Alaska) where crews are building Harbor Properties‘ 200-apartment, 14,000-square-feet=of-retail Link in The Triangle. The crew told WSB’s Christopher Boffoli last week the crane will rise to 118 feet. Work on Link began in November, when the auto and school buildings on the site were torn down. (Thanks to Sharonn for pre-dawn word the crane had arrived as scheduled.) P.S. Just noticed Link finally has the stirrings of its own website. 1:04 PM UPDATE: Update from Emi Baldowin at Harbor: The installation won’t be completed till more of the crane arrives Monday.

Today/tonight: Helping Haiti; combating crime; school open houses

January 28, 2010 6:43 am
|    Comments Off on Today/tonight: Helping Haiti; combating crime; school open houses
 |   How to help | West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(Wednesday afternoon photo by Chas Redmond, from 7100 block of Beach Drive)
Highlights from the WSB Events page:

WEST SEATTLE HELPS HAITI – CONCERT AND PIZZA: Tonight’s the Rock 4 Relief benefit concert at Showbox SODO – lots of West Seattleites involved, onstage and behind the scenes, including the businesses who’ve donated for a raffle. Doors open at 7 pm; buy your tickets online. And all day long, all Pagliacci Pizza outlets are donating profits to Haiti relief – West Seattle’s Pagliacci is in The Junction, opening tonight at 4 for pickup, 5 for delivery.

COMBATING CRIME: The South Delridge/White Center Community Safety Coalition meets at 6 tonight at 9650 15th SW.

SCHOOL OPEN HOUSES: 2 more tonight – Pathfinder K-8‘s open house and Culture Night starts at 6:30 pm (more info here), 1901 SW Genesee (map); same start time for the open house at Hope Lutheran and Seattle Lutheran High School (more info here), enter through the Hope Church lobby at 4456 42nd SW.

WEST SEATTLE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT-DIRECTED PRODUCTION: “Jumpin’ Jupiter” opens its three-night run at 7:30 pm. Tickets $5 at the door.

PARKS BOARD HEARING ON “CODE OF CONDUCT”: As reported here Tuesday afternoon, the proposed Code of Conduct for Seattle city parks has been tweaked since the controversy following its unveiling earlier this month. Tonight, you can tell board members what you think about the new version, 7 pm at City Hall (council chambers).

West Seattle Crime Watch: Armed robbery reported @ mini-mart

From the scanner: Police are responding right now to a reported armed robbery at the mini-mart in the 4000 block of California SW. First report was that there were two robbers, both wearing masks, and they were last seen running or walking from the scene, westbound on SW Andover (map); they’re described as white males, “fairly short, 5-5 to 5-6, at least one armed with a handgun,” one masked by a black bandanna with a white pattern, the other with a green bandanna, both with hooded jackets. 6:17 AM: No word of arrests, but police were working on potential evidence/leads such as surveillance video and prints.

Highland Park Action Committee: Fast vote; police change; more

They’ve worked hard on tough issues, like a possible city jail in their own backyard, but the Highland Park Action Committee has a sense of humor too – as evidenced by their New Year’s Eve parade (WSB coverage here) and by their newly re-elected leaders’ decision to ham it up for a post-election photo last night. (From left, chair Dan Mullins, secretary Michael Shilley, vice chair Nicole Mazza, treasurer Shawn Mazza.) They were re-elected in a flash tonight – nobody else was nominated, a quick motion to re-elect them passed, applause ensued, on to other business, which included news of an important role that is getting a new face – read on:Read More

West Seattle student winners: Madison geo-champ, SSCC honorees

Two winning stories to share with you this morning, both about local students. First, from 6th-grade teacher Tim Owens at Madison Middle School:

Which Mediterranean country, located at the southern end of the Balkan Peninsula, is Europe’s largest exporter of cotton? This question determined the winner of Madison’s annual Geography Bee. With the correct answer of Greece, sixth grader Owen Yeasting defeated fellow sixth grader Peter Bryson.

Twenty-eight students from all three grades participated in the Bee, which was moderated by sixth grade teacher, Tim Owens. After seven rounds of questions covering both US and global geography, ten students advanced to the final round. These ten students either scored a perfect seven out of seven or missed only one, and they were Allison Nelson, Alexis Johnson, Michael Stewart, Brandon Keller, Ellen Salenjus, Jamal Abdile, Oliver Hamlin, Will Ferrulli, Peter Bryson, and Owen Yeating. These students were asked a series of tough questions, and through a process of elimination, the two sixth grade students advanced to the championship round. Allison Nelson, an eighth grader, was the last of the other eight to be eliminated, securing a third place finish. As the school champion, Owen has an opportunity to go to the state level of the Geography Bee.

The next step is to take a proctored qualifying test. These tests will determine the one hundred students (grades 4-8) around the state who will be invited to the Washington State Geography Bee. Through a similar process, students from around the state will compete to be crowned the Washington State Champion. Interestingly enough, Washington has produced more national Geography Bee champions than any other state.

Madison has a proud history with the Geography Bee and has sent a student to the state level nearly every year over the past decade. Former Madison student Sean Keller placed in the top ten in the state two years in a row (2008-2009). Congratulations to all Madison students who participated in the Geo Bee!

Next, from a news release sent to media outlets by South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor):

An Chu, 27, and 18-year old Kelleen Curtiss, from West Seattle, will be recognized for their academic achievement, leadership, and community service at a ceremony March 25 in Olympia. They are part of a group of students representing the state’s two-year colleges.

The All-Washington Academic Team program has become the showcase for Washington’s community and technical colleges. It honors academic achievers who have demonstrated a commitment to success in the classroom and in the communities in which they live.

An, who already holds a BA in English and Sociology from Ho Chi Minh City Open University in Viet Nam, plans to pursue a four-year business degree and graduate studies in student services. In addition to serving as a Cultural Club Commissioner, she has also been involved with the Vietnamese Student Association, API Advisory Council and as coordinator of the annual Día de los Muertos event. …

Kelleen is a Running Start student, who has already been accepted for entrance fall quarter into the Honors College at WSU, where she plans to study international relations and communications …

An, Kelleen, and their All-Washington Academic teammates will receive a $750 scholarship from Key Bank and the National Education Loan Association (NELA), and are now nominated for the 2010 All-USA Academic Team. Officials from Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for students of two-year colleges, will select students for the All-USA team. For more information on the All-Washington Academic Team and the ceremony, visit

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