West Seattle, Washington
With windstorm concern stirring tonight, perfect time to kick off a series of special updates you’ll see here during April – Disaster Preparedness Month. Again, nobody’s expecting a disaster, but a little readiness never hurt anyone. First thing we want to spotlight is the easiest thing to point you to: The West Seattle Be Prepared website. It’s showcased in our right sidebar, and we talked about it during the Chile aftermath. But that’s been a while! First and foremost, this site shows you the Emergency Communication Hubs (here’s the map) – 9 places designated around the peninsula where you can go in case something disastrous shuts down all the regular lines of communication – places where you can get information and find out how to get help, places chosen in coordination with neighborhood-group leaders and volunteers who have been working for more than 2 years now on the readiness plan. (If you have checked the Hubs map before, take note there’s now a Hub in Highland Park – might be new since the last time you looked.) Then take a spin around the website in general. The “What’s New” page might be a good place to start. And join the Facebook group for West Seattle Be Prepared, while you’re at it. Coming up, some key dates to mark on your calendar for this month – including a statewide drill, neighborhood workshop, and more. Then next week, after the holiday, we’ll get down to some practical advice – and a request for you to show others what you’ve done to get ready.
One day after the announcement that Seattle was likely to go without a major fireworks display this 4th of July, a pledge drive rocketed to life – spearheaded by celebrity chef Tom Douglas and KIRO Radio talk-show host Dave Ross. Businesses were invited to chip in, in increments of $1,000 (Douglas and Ross kicked it off with $5,000 and $1,000 respectively). We can’t bear the thought of fireworkslessness on the 4th, so WSB threw in for the minimum. (So did our friends who run neighborhood-news sites in North Seattle, Next Door Media.) And more than 80 other Seattle businesses have chipped in so far, according to the running list on KIRO Radio’s website – but the big mo came late in the day, when Starbucks and Microsoft announced they will contribute $125,000 each, if the donations from the rest of the business community total at least $250,000. As of right now, according to the progress bar on this webpage, there’s only a little more than $50,000 to go. (Want to pledge? Scroll down this page.)
That’s part of the “Significant Storm Briefing” presented today by the National Weather Service – you can see it online. The most important message for our area – a High Wind Watch is in effect for Friday morning and afternoon, with gusts possible past 50 mph in the afternoon (read the High Wind Watch here; and here’s the city forecast). You may know all the preparation suggestions by heart, but just in case you don’t, read on for a news release from Seattle City Light:Read More
(Thanks to Fritz for sending the photo)
On our way to the “heavy rescue” call at 29th/Trenton (map). Details as soon as we have them. 6 PM UPDATE: This is a two-car crash, one a flipped red SUV, the other a damaged black Volvo station wagon, according to our crew on scene. Looks like responders are tending to at least two people. 6:17 PM UPDATE: Police say it looks like one of the vehicles may have run the stop sign; they’re also checking on whether alcohol played a role. Both victims are being taken to hospitals by private ambulance, and no major injuries are reported. A dog was in one of the cars and got out OK but was so upset it bit a firefighter’s hand; the firefighter was treated at the scene. Fire vehicles will be clearing but Trenton is closed at that spot until the wreckage is cleared.
8:28 PM: The scene is long since clear, but we are adding that photo of the dog, and the following video with general scenes from the incident, both by Christopher Boffoli:
As promised yesterday, we followed up with police on the “Highland Park burglary pattern” mentioned during a Community Police Team briefing at the Admiral Crime Prevention Summit Tuesday night. Southwest Precinct Lt. Norm James summarizes what’s happening:
We have had a string of daytime residential burglaries – 29 in the month of March. The one significant pattern for them is that they are forced entries. We have made a couple of burglary arrests and identified suspects of burglaries in that neighborhood but haven’t tied those to the string of burglaries. We’ve put extra patrols in that neighborhood. Again, as you know – we’ve stated over and over how much we need the citizens out there to be vigilant and call when they see something suspicious.
If you see that suspicious activity/person NOW – call 911. Meantime, we also asked Lt. James about overnight robberies. He confirms that the 7-11 at California/Charlestown (map) was held up just before 2 am today, by robbers described as “two males,” one with a handgun. Police believe the same suspects may have been responsible for a robbery attempt in South Park three hours earlier, at the SP Grocery in the 8900 block of 14th S. (map) And back in West Seattle, Lt. James also confirms a call we heard on the scanner and mentioned via Twitter – A man in the 5400 block of 31st SW (map) answered his door around midnight, and a man “brandished a handgun and forced his way in. The victim got the suspect to leave somehow without being injured or taking anything. This suspect doesn’t match the two commercial robbery suspects.” (Thanks to Diane for the 7-11 tip, after she heard it on a Channel 5 newscast.)
Holy Rosary School vice principal Ted Mohrbacher is excited about the preschool that HR is opening this fall, and not just because it’s a project on which he’s worked intensively for a year.
The biggest thrill comes from the fact his son will get to be a pre-K student there. “He’s very excited; he asks every day, when does he get to go to school?”
We talked with Mohrbacher (photo right) and principal Dr. Randal Peters (photo left) after hearing they’re trying to get the word out that Holy Rosary is adding preschool as of this fall, while they realize the news comes “a bit late in the game,” after many if not most families have made 2010-2011 school decisions already.
Read on for more about what they’re offering and why:Read More
The West Seattle High School Baseball team will be playing in the 4th Annual High School Baseball Classic at Safeco Field this Saturday April 3rd at 12:30 pm. West Seattle will be playing Auburn Mountainview (currently ranked 8th in 3A state baseball). The gates at Safeco Field open at 11:30 am. Entry into the game is free. Parking in the Safeco Field parking garage will be $5. Following the West Seattle game, Nathan Hale High School will be playing Foss of Tacoma.
When we reported yesterday that the Route 773 shuttle for West Seattle’s King County Water Taxi run would include weekday-midday Morgan Junction service, the schedule wasn’t online. Now it is – with service 9:45 am-1:34 pm weekdays – see the schedule here.
ORIGINAL 11:48 AM REPORT OF “MAJOR HEAVY RESCUE”: We are on the way. We have two reports that a car has crashed into a bank. More from the scene shortly. 11:54 AM UPDATE: We’re there – a car has crashed into the Westwood Village Bank of America. 11:59 AM UPDATE: Looks like NO major injuries, so far. Unofficial word is that this was an accident, not something deliberate. Here’s another of our cameraphone photos from the scene:
12:08 PM UPDATE: Seattle Fire spokesperson Dana Vander Houwen has given a quick briefing at the scene. She says two people are being taken to the hospital to be checked out – one, a customer who was at the ATM and dove out of the way – another, a bank worker. Injuries are NOT believed to be major. As for the driver, no injuries reported at this point. The car already has been backed out of the bank:
12:28 PM UPDATE: In case you were wondering – the bank IS closed TFN because of this. (We’ll check back again later.) 12:53 PM: A couple photos from Christopher Boffoli – firefighters, and photojournalists, in action:
ADDED 2:37 PM: Video from Christopher, with what Vander Houwen told us at the scene:
As of right now, registration is open for the 6th annual West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day (our third year of coordinating the event), 9 am-3 pm Saturday, May 8, 2010. Here’s the form to register online. If you haven’t heard about it before – this is NOT one big sale, but rather, one day with many sales all over West Seattle, big and small (last year set a record with more than 180). There’s a registration fee to cover coordination costs including putting all the sales on two types of maps, printing and distributing copies, and promoting West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day around the region – same fees for a third consecutive year. If you don’t have a good place to sell your stuff, but still want to participate, get in touch with Lora @ Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor) – again this year, she plans to open the Hotwire courtyard as a group-sale spot (and if anyone else is interested in doing that, please contact us to coordinate – firstname.lastname@example.org). Registration will be open for 3 weeks – today through 11:59 pm April 22 – but whether you’re selling or not, mark your calendar, set an alert, whatever it takes, for BIG garage-saling on May 8.
P.S. Along with periodic updates here on WSB and in our regular Facebook and Twitter channels, we also have a separate WSCGSD site – you can browse it to see highlights from the past two years’ sales, if you want to get a feel for what it’s like – and a Facebook fan page (join here). And if you’re having a garage sale before or after WSCGSD, remember you can list it for free in the WSB Forums‘ Freebies/Deals/Sales/etc. section.
(Editor’s note: We weren’t planning an extensive preview of the Swinery’s reopening. But the story of its proprietor acknowledging problems is a compelling one, and the interview yielded details of future plans as well. Yes, the story’s long – longer than Christopher’s much-read July Swinery preview – so if you are interested, note it’ll take a while.)
Story and photos by Christopher Boffoli
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Bacon lovers will rejoice when the Swinery re-opens its doors for regular business hours today for the first time in several weeks.
The deli and butcher shop closed in February after owner Gabriel Claycamp announced on his website that the business had no choice but to close in order to complete ongoing renovations in their new West Seattle commercial kitchen at 3207 California. However, Swinery insiders came forward to say that there was more to the story. They alleged that management problems ultimately prevented the Swinery from paying vendors and employees, and that a lack of profitability forced the owners to suspend their operations.
We followed up with Claycamp to talk about that – some of the challenges his business has faced since opening last September – and to talk about some of the changes that customers can expect from the relaunched shop, including hamburgers and duck fat potatoes from the new walk-up window, tubs of bacon-chocolate chip cookie dough, and more of the celebrated artisan bacon, which will soon be sold nationwide.Read More
(Wednesday photo by Trileigh, looking north from Lincoln Park toward Alki Point)
We start with a weather note – today should be OK, but the National Weather Service has the city under a High Wind Watch for tomorrow morning-afternoon. Gusts could exceed 50 mph. We’ll keep tracking this through the forecast cycles today (which update at mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and mid-evening).
PARK RULES: Remember the controversy a couple months ago – particularly, to ban smoking or not to ban smoking? The final version of the Seattle Parks Code of Conduct takes effect today, with smoking restricted but not banned. Here are the highlights of what’s now against the rules, from a Parks reminder:
* Possession of glass containers at athletic fields, beaches, or children’s playgrounds;
* Smoking, chewing, or other tobacco use within 25 feet of other park patrons and or at play areas, beaches, playgrounds, and picnic areas;
* Conduct that poses a risk of harm to any person or property; and
* Possession of explosives, acid, or any other article or material capable of causing serious harm to others.
SWINERY REOPENS: After a month and a half, the Swinery reopens today. On their website, they say they are opening though their kitchen work isn’t done yet. And proprietor Gabriel Claycamp acknowledges some of their past problems – as well as discussing current and future plans – in a close-up story you’ll see here later this morning.
TWO WINE-TASTING EVENTS: It’s been open a few weeks, but the new Junction wine shop Bin 41 starts its official grand-opening celebration today, with a 5-8 pm wine tasting featuring West Seattle winemakers Chris Gorman and Darby English. And further south on California SW, West Seattle Cellars marks its 15th anniversary today, with one of its regular Thursday night tastings, 5:30-8 pm – eight wines from their Collector’s Club wil be poured tonight.
TRASH TALKS UPDATE: Though the Waste Management contract expired overnight, Teamsters Local 174 has agreed not to call a strike, for now. So drivers remain on the job. Here’s the latest from our citywide-news partners at the Seattle Times.