day : 26/05/2010 12 results

West Seattle Crime Watch: Wire theft, metal thieves, & Burglary #3

Three alerts to share in this West Seattle Crime Watch roundup tonight. First, Lee reports that his neighborhood e-mail group has word of grounding-wire theft on utility poles in an alley near 39th/Stevens (map). This isn’t just costly to utilities, but also a serious risk to worker safety, so they were expected to get fast repairs, but neighbors say they were told West Seattle has seen a lot of this lately. Second, metal thieves in action again in Seaview; from 44th/Raymond (map), Alison reports the neighborhood e-mail group has shared word of a “dirty, dark blue, older-model Toyota sedan” traveling an alley with someone walking alongside throwing items including bicycles and scrap metal into the trunk. The neighbor who spotted them called 911 and gave chase, but finally called it off at a dispatcher’s advice when high speed and wet streets made it unsafe – not before providing police with the plate and description, though. They’re suggesting area residents check their backyard to see if anything’s missing. Finally, from Greta in Gatewood:

I live on Sw. Rose St. between 35th & 37th [map]. We had a flyer left on our front porch today alerting us to a 3rd burglary on our block. I haven’t talked to our neighbors yet, so I’m not sure the details. Thought I’d share this with others in the neigborhood.

Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Benjamin Kinlow has explained at various public forums that these flyers are left if repeat burglaries happen in neighborhoods without a Block Watch – if you want to set one up, check out the info here, and be sure to join up with the West Seattle Blockwatch Captains Network.

More politics: State House candidates answer education Q’s at SSCC

Sharp differences, and occasionally sharp words, between three of the candidates running for 34th District State House Position 2 – Joe Fitzgibbon, “Mac” McElroy, and Marcee Stone – at a midday campaign forum on the South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) forum today. Fitzgibbon made a repeated point that he’s young; Stone countered that age doesn’t matter, but made a point of her gender; McElroy’s main point was that he’s not “the status quo.” The fourth candidate in the race, Mike Heavey, sent his campaign manager to read a statement and to apologize that Heavey couldn’t make it because he was prohibited from campaigning while on the clock for his King County job (assisting Councilmember Jan Drago). Even if higher education isn’t at the top of your interest list in deciding who to vote for as successor to State Rep. Sharon Nelson (who’s running thus-far-unopposed for State Senate), some of the discussion might prove instructive – read on for details:Read More

West Seattle crosswalk safety: Flag basket becomes trash basket

What looks like a trash basket attached to a signpole on the east side of California at Dawson (map) is supposed to be a basket of safety flags to be used by pedestrians – at a crossing where someone was hit and killed a year and a half ago. Efram and Kim, who live nearby, e-mailed WSB to say they’ve reported to SDOT multiple times that the flags need to be replenished, but they haven’t been – and the empty basket repeatedly fills with trash. This was one of three baskets of flags placed by SDOT almost two years ago. Right after photographing the Dawson basket Tuesday afternoon, we checked on the other two:

Further north on California, the basket at Dakota (photo above; here’s a map) still had flags, as did the third of the placements, at Avalon/Yancy (photo below; here’s a map):

That intersection, by the way, has a whole separate set of safety concerns, and we’ve been working on a story about that. Back to Dawson/California – Kim says she even spoke to someone with the Walk and Bike Program, but, “More than a month later, nothing. I think the pail was even emptied of its garbage just after I called the Walk and Bike Program! I hoped that flags would soon appear but they never did and the garbage just piled back up.” We suggested to Efram and Kim that they try 684-ROAD, the general SDOT hotline, again; if that doesn’t result in replenishment, we will check with SDOT to see if perhaps there’s been a change in the program. Kim says, “It’s pretty scary crossing the street at the crosswak at California SW and SW Dawson. I thought pedestrians had the right of way at crosswalks but you wouldn’t know that at all at ours.”

Keeping kids safe: Quick survey for West Seattle parents to take

May 26, 2010 5:22 pm
|    Comments Off on Keeping kids safe: Quick survey for West Seattle parents to take
 |   Health | West Seattle news | West Seattle online

Renae Gaines of the Southwest Healthy Youth Partnership is hoping that, if you’re raising a child, you can take a few minutes to answer a survey that’ll help gauge what’s considered OK in our community, and what’s not, particularly when it comes to teens and alcohol/drugs, and how to make sure they get the info they need before they start making choices. Start the (anonymous) survey here.

PB&J Textiles: Welcome, new WSB sponsor – on the move!

This afternoon, we’re welcoming one of the newest WSB sponsors, PB&J Textiles, currently in the middle of a moving sale – more on that in a minute. Here’s what they want you to know: PB&J Textiles began as an outlet for the creative side of us and in looking at interesting options for something to do other than a corporate job. We realized that sewing and embroidery wear was a great area for the two of us to focus on. Thus began PB&J Textiles. If you want to know, PB&J stands for Paul Binder (photo right) and Junior, with Junior being David Robertson. PB&J Textiles is West Seattle’s local custom embroidery shop. We are committed to working and living in West Seattle! Our philosophy is to service the small sized business with a high quality product at an affordable cost to the small business owner, or retail customer. Our goal is to make you the customer happy with our products. We also do work for individual customers. This could be family reunions, weddings, birthdays, the list is endless! Don’t think embroidery is expensive; in many cases it’s not expensive at all! We have more than 20,000 stock designs that are ready to go. In many cases, people will bring in drawings that are quite rough and we can turn that rough drawing into a great embroidered logo. Watch for our new products that we will be introducing in the near future! PB&J Textiles belongs to the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce and the West Seattle Champions BNI group. If you don’t remember, we also have 2 shop cats, Dakota and Murphy (profiled on WSB a year ago), who always welcome a new face and set of hands to give them some attention. PB&J Textiles will be moving soon to a space adjacent to Skylark Café and Club (also a WSB sponsor) at the far northern end of Delridge, just before the West Seattle Bridge. In preparation for our upcoming move, we have significantly marked down most of our remaining stock! Till their moving date is finalized, find them at 5962 Fauntleroy Way SW (map), and online at, or call 206-243-3053. (Note they’ll be closed next Friday-Monday, 5/28-5/31.)

We thank PB&J Textiles for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news on WSB; find our sponsor team, and info on joining, all here.

West Seattle business news: Hollywood Video closer to closing

We’d been watching for this one since Hollywood Video announced it would close some of its stores (including the adjacent Game Crazy locations) as part of its restructuring. Then, a couple WSB’ers e-mailed to point out that signs are now up at the Westwood Village location, as its “closing sale” is under way. So when is it actually closing? Store staff told us they don’t know. We tried calling the “media hotline” at corporate HQ, but it has a terse recording saying you can try leaving them a message, but “as a matter of company policy” they are not responding to most media inquiries. Moot point anyway, as the system then informed us we had TWO SECONDS to leave a message, and it made good on that threat. What do you do if you’re a customer? We found a variety of links on this corporate webpage – the most specific information (what’s being honored and what’s not) appears to be here. (You may recall, Hollywood Video used to have a Junction location, but that was closed in early 2007 and demolished shortly thereafter – on the site of Capco Plaza/QFC/Altamira.)

West Seattle politics: State Referendum 52 campaign kickoff here

The headline on the “media advisory” e-mail we received was initially a little jarring: “Healthy Schools for Washington to Launch Referendum 52 Campaign at aging, run down building housing Chief Sealth High School in West Seattle” – after all, Chief Sealth International High School‘s permanent campus is currently undergoing millions of dollars in renovations. Turns out, they’re talking about the Boren building that Sealth has called home for the past 2 school years; so, if you see a bit of a media hubbub outside Boren/Sealth at 3 pm tomorrow, this is what it’s about: The campaign kickoff for R-52, described as “a November ballot measure that will create $505 million in bonding capacity to repair aging, dilapidated school buildings across Washington State”; the advisory says Boren is among them. We’ll be at the media event tomorrow; the advisory points to a website where it says more info is available, but as of right this moment, that site’s not up yet ( The state website doesn’t have info at the moment either, but via Sightline, we find that this is your chance to vote yay or nay on a bill passed by the Legislature last year. Sightline’s analysis frames it more as energy retrofitting for school buidings, rather than repairs.

Update: High Point stabbing suspect set for longer evaluation

Today was supposed to be the rescheduled arraignment date for Marcus Combs, charged a month ago with attacking a woman walking along a High Point street. Instead, his arraignment has been postponed again – King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office spokesperson Dan Donohoe just published this update to the office’s home-page “docket”:

This morning’s competency hearing/arraignment was postponed for Marcus Allen Combs … who is accused of beating and stabbing a woman who was walking with her 9-year-old daughter in West Seattle on April 23. The defendant just completed a 15-day mental evaluation, but will now be sent to Western State Hospital for a 90-day evaluation to determine whether he is competent to stand trial. He will return to court for another competency hearing on August 30. The defendant is charged with first degree assault. Bail is set at $1 million.

Semi goes off-road along West Marginal Way, takes out pole

Thanks to everybody who called/e-mailed about this one – we’re checking out the scene where a semi-truck went off the road on southbound West Marginal Way, just north of the LaFarge plant, and into the greenbelt, taking out a pole along the way. Heavy police response; no evidence of a fire/aid callout on the 911 log; one lane is blocked in each direction (see the photo below) but traffic IS getting by, both ways.

Date set for Hiawatha Playfield track installation, field closure

Seattle Parks just sent word that they’ve set the date for installation of the new rubberized track at recently renovated Hiawatha Playfield: Scheduled start date is July 5th, weather permitting, and that means a three-week shutdown for the entire field. Read on for the full announcement from Parks:Read More

West Seattle Wednesday: Neighborhoods; teen-driver help; more

May 26, 2010 8:23 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Wednesday: Neighborhoods; teen-driver help; more
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

Tonight’s highlights from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:

HIGHLAND PARK ACTION COMMITTEE: HPAC’s regular monthly meeting tonight will include a celebration of the recent “no new jail after all” announcement (WSB coverage here), which was as sudden as the original news two years earlier that the city needed to build a new jail and had 2 eastern West Seattle sites on its original list of four. HPAC meets at 7 pm, Highland Park Improvement Club at 11th/Holden.

GENESEE SCHMITZ NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL: A recent note asked what this group had been up to since its first official organizing meeting in March (WSB coverage here). They’re working toward an official membership meeting next month – and the organizing committee meets again tonight, 7 pm at PCC (WSB sponsor; 2749 California SW).

HELP YOUR TEEN BE A BETTER DRIVER: Advice for parents is promised in a special presentation tonight at the West Seattle High School Library (3000 California SW) by two reps from PEMCO Insurance. Promised topics include “the effect of teenage passengers on teenage drivers.” Teens themselves are welcome too; this is free and starts at 6 pm.

AT THE COFFEEHOUSES: C&P Coffee (5612 California SW) hosts the monthly Poetry Bridge reading at 7 pm, featuring poet Ian Hegwood as well as open-mike time … Freshy’s Coffee (2735 California SW) hosts the weekly “Fine Films at Freshy” movie series, screening “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” at 7 pm.

SELF-DEFENSE: Seattle Integrated Martial Arts (4711 42nd SW) offers its hourlong self-defense class for women again tonight, 7:15 pm.

5 weeks till South Park Bridge closure: “This is challenging”

(County rendering of what the South Park end of the SP Bridge will look like, right after 6/30 shutdown)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

“This is challenging.”

That declaration repeated a few times Tuesday night by King County Transportation Director Harold Taniguchi summed up not only the logistics of closing the South Park Bridge forever and getting people around after the June 30th closure, but also the logistics of trying to round up money to replace it.

He spoke at the Machinists’ Union Hall in South Park, during the final public meeting on the official closure plan, now considered final – what’s happening before, during and after the closure of the deteriorating bridge, scheduled for 7 pm June 30th.

For the first time in the most recent series of public meetings about the impending bridge closure, elected officials appeared and spoke – first King County Executive Dow Constantine, who represented this area as a county councilmember before moving up to the top job last year, second State Sen. Joe McDermott, who doesn’t represent South Park in the Legislature, but is seeking to represent the area as its next county councilmember. Here’s our video of Constantine’s entire 8-minute speech:

And Sen. McDermott, whose remarks were much shorter, but drew a pointed challenge fairly quickly:

Aside from Constantine’s extensive recap of how we got to this point – past funding attempts, the defeat of the bridge-money-containing Roads and Transit ballot measure, etc. – their appearances, and much of the first two-thirds of the meeting, looked to the future: Will there really be money at some point for a new South Park Bridge (which is at least 3 years away, even if money were found today, those on hand were warned repeatedly)?Read More