West Seattle, Washington
(Photo added 12:17 am, thanks to Katie for sharing it)
11:50 PM: An allegedly drunk driver has been stopped after reportedly speeding westbound on The Bridge. It all started on The Viaduct, according to a tweet from @SeaCrime – we came in on the scanner traffic toward the end. A fire unit’s being called in to check on the driver’s condition. We’ve received multiple calls/notes/tweets about the major police response – thanks! 12:17 AM: Added a photo taken by Katie, who says the driver was in a maroon Subaru that “spun around,” apparently after a certain technique was deployed by officers to stop it. She was close enough to hear the driver – who is on the ground by the officers in the background – say slowly, “I….was….trying to find…a place to…PARK it.”
We just received a note from the Alki woman beaten unconscious while working at her job as a Metro bus driver in Tukwila one week ago tonight. She is out of the hospital but wanted to get this message out and is hoping you will answer her call for a sign of support:
I am keeping this brief because it is hard for me still to keep concentration but I am the Metro Driver involved in the assault almost exactly one week ago in one hour from now.
Dow Constantine is meeting with me at my home tomorrow [Saturday]. Change needs to be done. I will not say where I live, but I am in the Alki area and he is coming at 2 tomorrow, Saturday. He needs to know this sort of thing is unacceptable. If folks show up to the beach with signs and presence, I believe he will see that this does not just affect drivers, but the public as well. We need to keep pressure on for change.
If you can support her – send this around – use the Share This feature beneath this item, or right-click on the headline to get the URL for this so you can send it any way you choose. While she does not want to publicize her name or address, we believe it’s the central part of the beach district (Bathhouse vicinity). Meantime, as reported here Wednesday, a 15-year-old boy is now charged with assault in connection with the attack.
One week after the shutdown of the 4th Avenue offramp from the westbound Spokane Street Viaduct section of the West Seattle Bridge, you can see crews wasted no time in taking it down. Marybeth Turner of SDOT visited the construction site on Thursday and shared this photo with us today. The north side of the westbound SSV is where the widening will take place, with a brand-new structure added; the new westbound off/on-ramp will be at 1st Avenue, while a 4th Avenue offramp is being built on the eastbound side. This gives us a reason to remind you that as of minutes from now, the northbound I-5 ramp and Columbian Way ramp to the westbound West Seattle Bridge are both closing for what could be the entire weekend, till Monday morning, though the same shutdown pattern last weekend ended much earlier than planned (on Saturday night); we’ll keep you up to date on changes. The city’s infopages on the project start here; more photos of the ramp demolition are here; our archives of project coverage, dating back more than a year and a half, start here.
The 1st birthday/anniversary (whichever you prefer) celebration for the Duwamish Longhouse is all day tomorrow – and that’s one of the weekend highlights. The West Seattle Eagles‘ concert to raise money for Haiti relief is also happening this weekend – doors open @ 8 Saturday at their aerie in The Junction – and their counterparts in White Center are having a benefit breakfast on Sunday. There are also three school open houses, a West Seattle Wildlife Habitat Project work party, the South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) “Gifts from the Earth” fundraiser, and TONS more: From tonight through Sunday night, more than 50 events/activities, brought to you by Skylark Cafe and Club, where you’ll find FREE live music and rockin’ food – like the special Valentine brunch and dinner deals just announced:Read More
We took that photo of Karen Spiel at this month’s North Delridge Neighborhood Council meeting, as she broke the news that after two decades in West Seattle, she’s heading downtown, which’ll be her home base as manager of a bigger group of Seattle Public Library branches. Good news is, you can say goodbye to her in person tomorrow – her farewell reception is 2:30-4 pm Saturday at the West Seattle (Admiral) Branch, 2306 42nd SW, with a brief program around 3 pm. Meantime, Wednesday is when schedules change for many library branches, as first detailed here; Delridge and High Point will go to 5 days a week, West Seattle and Southwest will be 7 days a week.
Just in from Kimberly at Puget Sound Blood Center:
Our community’s blood supply still has not recovered from the holidays and we are having a last-minute drive tomorrow with the hopes of giving it a boost.
We are currently at an Emergency Level (less than 1 day supply) for B- and a Critical Level (less than 2 day supply) for O- … However, all blood types are needed.
Saturday January 30th
Safeway Admiral West Seattle
Bus parked at 2622 California Ave SW
9:00 am- 3:00 pm
(closed 11:30 am – 12:30 pm)
If you donated on or before Dec 5th, you are eligible to donate at this drive
While walk-ins will be accommodated as best as possible, you can make an appointment by calling 800-398-7888
(From left, Kim and Jason McKissack, Renee Maher, in Olympia Monday)
Just in from Renee Maher of COMPAS, a law-enforcement-advocacy group:
We’ve been told that some very important bills for law enforcement and firefighters will be voted on the House Floor on Wednesday, February 3. The House Floor session is scheduled to start at 10:00 but the bills may not be heard until closer to 10:30.
The House gallery is open to the public and we are particularly inviting families of fallen officers (both past and recent), law enforcement officers and firefighters. There will be an honor guard procession as well.
Among the bills being heard is HB 2519 (expanding benefits for the families of officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty) and EHB 1679 (the Jason McKissack Act).
Monday, we went to Olympia to cover the House Ways and Means public hearing on EHB 1679 (WSB coverage here); the next day, the committee unanimously voted to advance it to a vote in the full House. If you’re just coming in on the story – this dates back to the attack on then-Officer McKissack in summer 2008, in which he was kicked in the face while responding to a call of someone in trouble, kicked so hard he suffered brain damage from which he hasn’t recovered enough to return to any kind of work; the city has let him go, and that meant benefits ended for him and his family. Meantime, if you want to tell your State House reps what you think about EHB 1679, they are Rep. Eileen Cody (who voted for it in Ways and Means on Tuesday) and Rep. Sharon Nelson – each of their names is linked to contact info.
A month and a half after the Beacon Hill crash that seriously injured Jade West Cafe owner Wah Wong and his son Jason Wong, the drunk driver who hit them has pleaded guilty. King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office spokesperson Dan Donohoe confirms that 50-year-old Rodney James pleaded guilty to two counts of vehicular assault. He is scheduled for sentencing at 1 pm February 12th before King County Superior Court Judge Julie Spector, and Donohoe says prosecutors are recommending 30 months in prison (of a possible 10 years).
According to the original charging documents, his blood-alcohol level was .16 at the scene, twice the legal limit, and beer was found inside his car. The crash happened while he was “on a suspended sentence for reckless driving (amended from driving under the influence)” in a case from 11 months earlier, and James also had a record that included escaping from a Pennsylvania maximum-security prison in 1981 (without a description of why he was there). Jason Wong lost a leg after the crash; he and his father are both now home after weeks of inpatient care, but the restaurant’s future is not yet determined.
One thing for sure; The family has a pile of medical bills; donations can be made to the Save Jade West Cafe Fund at any Wells Fargo branch.
In that photo we took 17 months ago, King County Executive Dow Constantine stood next to the man who held the title at the time, Ron Sims, as the county announced money from the state would pay for more bus trips during Alaskan Way Viaduct-related construction. With that construction really revving up, more of those added trips are kicking in. Today – thanks to Robert for noticing and sharing the details — we know more about new Metro trips to/from West Seattle taking effect at the next “service change,” one week from tomorrow (February 6). (You can get the full list by going here and clicking Metro Schedule and Route Revisions.) West Seattle highlights include:
*21E – Northbound service to downtown Seattle will have three new trips arriving at 3rd Ave & Pike St about 7:50, 8:14 and 9:17 am. Southbound service to Arbor Heights will also have three new trips leaving 1st Ave & Union St about 4:25, 4:55 and 5:25 pm.
*54 – Service will improve to every 10 to 15 minutes during weekday peak periods.
*56E – Northbound service to downtown Seattle will have two new trips arriving at 3rd Ave & Pine St at about 7:45 and 8:14 am. Southbound service to Alki will also have two new trips leaving 1st Ave & Pike St about 5:13 and 6:09 pm.
*60 (White Center)- Service will improve to every 15 to 20 minutes between 6:30 am and 6 pm weekdays. Northbound trips will leave from a new bus stop northbound on 15th Ave SW & SW 100th St. Two new southbound trips will leave 10th Ave E & E Mercer St at 10:10 and 11:10 pm. Route 60 will also be revised to serve the Olson Pl/Meyers Way P&R on weekdays.
From King County Department of Transportation:
The King County Road Service Division is advising motorists that the previously scheduled closure of the South Park Bridge has been postponed due to a delay in obtaining a permit for the work. The bridge had originally been scheduled to close for a four-day period for testing beginning Sat. Jan 30. The testing will be rescheduled for a later date.
Three weeks ago, after a liquor-license application notice went up at the former Georgia Blu space in The Junction, we published this short item – noting what the license was for, and mentioning we’d reached the applicants. They told us they weren’t ready to talk at the time, but promised details when they were. Today they’ve made good on that promise, and sent this announcement to share with you:
Bin 41, the Junction’s upcoming retail wine shop which will be moving into the former Georgia Blu space, is owned by long-standing West Seattle residents, T. Frick and Jon McNamara. Both Landscape Architects by training, T. and Jon discovered a passion for wine over a decade ago that developed into an understanding of the value of wine in our everyday experiences. They are looking forward to both bringing this passion for wine to the Junction and to contributing to their local community.
Bin 41 will be collaborating with the community’s first retail wine shop, West Seattle Cellars, and other neighborhood businesses. “We want to contribute to the spirit of West Seattle through the collaboration of local business. Our goal is to work closely with our friends, Tom and Jan, of West Seattle Cellars to provide the West Seattle community with more access to fine wine. This will be a win-win for the community in that consumers will have more choice overall; in wine selection, weekly tastings and educational opportunities.”
Bin 41 will be providing retail wine sales by the bottle and wine-related merchandise. Their portfolio will have a strong focus on local wines from the Pacific Northwest as well as various labels from around the world. In their field of design, the McNamara’s have been committed to contributing to a sustainable future. We are excited to continue this commitment to reducing our environmental footprint by working in the neighborhood in which we live as well as incorporating other sustainable concepts into the shop. The proprietors hope to open for business sometime in March, with a grand opening in early April. More information will be posted as plans progress further.
We had to ask – where did the name come from? T’s reply: “Our passion for wine, winemaking and the dream to open the shop grew out of our home on 41st. So we wanted to carry the number forward. Bin represents the storage of wine.”
Got this report from a West Seattleite who wants to be anonymous:
I work in Westwood Village and was arriving for work when I was approached by a couple of individuals who threatened me, then took my wallet and my car. I’ve filed the proper police report but I was thinking that the more eyes that were out there looking the better chance I would have to get it back quickly. The car is a 2001 Chevy Impala lic #389-Yxx, the color is silver. I would guess it is somewhere in the Delridge/Westwood/White Center area.
We spoke to the victim by phone after reading that e-mail. He says it happened just after 4 am; he didn’t see a weapon, and wasn’t physically hurt. We will follow up this morning with police, who did report a rise in “strong-arm robberies” – this would qualify for that label, though we haven’t heard lately of one including a car – while updating crime trends at last week’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting (here’s our story). 4:12 PM UPDATE: Talked with police. No description to share at this point, but this is the first carjacking they’ve heard of in West Seattle in a long time, so it’s not – so far – part of a trend.
11:34 AM UPDATE – The South Park Bridge closures are POSTPONED till a future date.
One more reminder about three closures this weekend that might affect your travels to and from West Seattle:
10 PM TONIGHT THROUGH 5 AM MONDAY: That’s the schedule again this weekend for closures of the northbound I-5 ramp and the westbound Columbian Way ramp to the West Seattle Bridge, both related to the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project. (Last weekend the work finished fast and both reopened Saturday night.) Details here.
7 AM-7 PM DAILY, SATURDAY THROUGH TUESDAY: The South Park Bridge will be closed to vehicle traffic, and will not open for marine traffic, all four days. Crews plan to do tests related to future construction of a replacement bridge; details here.
Thanks to Stacey for the reminder: The annual One-Night Count is under way right now around King County. Teams are fanning out to count how many people are sleeping outdoors; among them, according to his Facebook and Twitter pages, City Councilmember Tim Burgess. West Seattle and White Center are among the areas scheduled to be surveyed. During last year’s count, according to the stats here, almost 3,000 people were found sleeping without shelter around the county. 8:19 AM: West Seattleite Christi Stapleton, who was also among the volunteers, says other city leaders participated – she saw Mayor Mike McGinn and his wife, Peggy Lynch, “many members of the mayor’s staff,” City Attorney Pete Holmes, Council President Richard Conlin, and Councilmembers Sally Clark, Sally Bagshaw, and Mike O’Brien.
If you’re in western West Seattle, Officer Adonis Topacio is likely your Community Police Team officer; and now, taking over much of the Southwest Precinct‘s eastern zone, the CPT Officer is Jill Vanskike. Both were at last night’s South Delridge/White Center Community Safety Coalition meeting, along with other local law enforcers whose roles are changing; the full story’s on our partner site White Center Now. That’s also where you will find this brand-new update on a WC bar that’s changed hands, changed name and changed its atmosphere. (Any time you want to catch up on White Center news, you’ll get the latest WCN headlines by clicking on the WHITE CENTER tab below the sunset photo that’s atop every WSB page.)
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