month : 05/2010 347 results

West Seattle Crime Watch: Admiral Bank of America robbed

Thanks to everybody who called, e-mailed and sent Facebook messages about the big police response at Admiral and California. Police at the scene confirm the Bank of America on Admiral at 44th has been robbed. No description at this point and no word of any arrest. The bank is closed because of the robbery. 6:34 PM UPDATE: Still no arrest, but Southwest Precinct Lt. Norm James has a few more details: “No weapon seen, just a displayed note. The suspect was described as a white male, 35 years old. Witness stated he fled on foot to a waiting bluish/green Honda, driven by a female. Witness got a plate on it that turned out to be stolen plates.”

Boeing’s Duwamish deal: Reaction from DRCC, King County Exec

A followup today to Boeing‘s announcement last night that it’s reached an agreement on cleaning up part of the Duwamish River and restoring habitat. Our regional-news partners at the Seattle Times reported on the deal here. This evening, we have reaction on two fronts: First, we asked the advocacy group Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition for its thoughts – here’s what Thea Levkovitz says:

DRCC congratulates Boeing on being the first out of the gate to address not only the cleanup but the restoration of Habitat due to their polluting activities. We certainly hope that other Polluters will follow suit quickly. What the story did not mention is that habitat restoration is a requirement of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA)process of the Superfund Law. There are two parts to Superfund. The first is the cleanup and the second is the restoration of habitat.

There is a lot of work to be done on the river including the draft Feasibility Study (cleanup plan) for the entire river in October, 2010. That will be the opportunity for the residents of West Seattle to weigh in and make sure that we get the best cleanup possible.

Also, we just received a King County news release with reaction from County Executive Dow Constantine – click ahead to read it:Read More

West Seattle wishbone creator gets his wish: Court fight ends


We first talked with Ken Ahroni of Lucky Break Wishbone two years ago, when he notched a pivotal win in his fight against Sears and ad agency Young and Rubicam, over the plastic turkey bones they used in a promotion – which seemed a lot like the ones he had been making and selling. Today, Ahroni e-mailed to say, “After four years, we finally prevailed in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.” That federal court just rejected the challenge to the $1.7 million award he had won in a copyright case first filed in early 2006; the ad agency had talked to Ahroni’s company almost a year before that about possibly using his wishbones in a Thanksgiving promotion for Sears – procuring a sample, not striking a deal, then hiring another company to produce plastic wishbones in China. (Lucky Break Wishbones are manufactured in Auburn.) From the Lucky Break news release announcing the decision (you can read it in its entirety here):

“The Ninth Circuit’s decision reaffirms the validity of Lucky Break’s claims and originality in product design,” said (Ahroni’s lawyer). “As business becomes more globalized, it will be critical that U.S. courts uphold intellectual property rights in a manner that continues to encourage innovation and creativity. This case is an excellent example of the principle in action.”

After getting the news release about his court victory, we checked with Ahroni to ask if this is indeed the end of the legal line – he says, yes, case closed. And business is good, he tells WSB – sales of his wishbones were up 10 percent in 2009 over the previous year. If you’d like to read the appeals court’s decision, here it is in its entirety (Ahroni clarifies that “not for publication” does not mean what you’d think – it’s a term referring to the decision’s future uses).

South Park Bridge: Study results out; county says, no surprises

(Photo courtesy King County Department of Transportation)
As reported in previous coverage of the King County plan to close the South Park Bridge on June 30th, they’ve been awaiting one last consultant analysis to confirm their assessment that the bridge is too unsafe to keep open. This afternoon, that report is complete, and the county says it indeed underscores their decision. According to a news release from the county (read it here), the bridge “is in such poor condition it can no longer be safely used by the public.” The county also has posted the full report – you can see it here. Still no funding to replace the bridge, but logistical planning for its closure continues, with two meetings ahead May 11 and 25, as noted in our coverage of last week’s meeting about the “draft closure plan.”

Video: Students cheer Seattle Mariners at Alki Elementary

(WSB photo by Edgar Riebe)
Big assembly at Alki Elementary School this afternoon – a player/coach delegation from the Seattle Mariners swept in for a D.R.E.A.M. Team assembly. Alki is one of a half-dozen schools around the region that got these special visits today, the only one in West Seattle, as part of the 13th annual Mariners Education Day. D.R.E.A.M., by the way, stands for “Drug-free, Respect for yourself and others, Education through reading, Attitude, and Motivation to achieve your dreams.” ADDED 6:56 PM: Video – including an allusion to the tough times the M’s have been having on the field – here are the highlights, shot and edited for WSB by Edgar Riebe of Captive Eye Media:

Another date just announced: Fauntleroy Schoolhouse celebration

May 5, 2010 2:39 pm
|    Comments Off on Another date just announced: Fauntleroy Schoolhouse celebration
 |   Fauntleroy | West Seattle news

schoolhousefoto.jpgMaybe it’s just a day for news about dates. We just heard from Kat Sparks-Jones, who explains that she’s the new property manager/tenant relations coordinator for the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse:

We are excited about the future and legacy of this great building; We would love to make
the community aware of our purchase celebration scheduled for June 3rd. … We would love to encourage the community to come out and view the building! It will be an open-house style event, with Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes providing treats. The Fauntleroy Community Service Agency founder will be cutting the ribbon.

Kat says more details will be available next week. The purchase of the schoolhouse and some of the surrounding property, previously owned by Seattle Public Schools, was completed in February, as reported here.

Coming up in The Junction: Park planting, dedication; Health Fair

May 5, 2010 1:34 pm
|    Comments Off on Coming up in The Junction: Park planting, dedication; Health Fair
 |   Junction Plaza Park | West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

Three dates to share for The Junction: First, as shared by Friends of Junction Plaza Park, June 5 is set for the start of a community planting party after construction concludes at the new park at 42nd/Alaska – and June 29th is the date currently set for the park to be dedicated. From West Seattle Junction Association‘s Susan Melrose:

We’ve decided to have it on a weekday evening to make it easy to attend – after work, before dinner, and not interfering with weekend plans. The gathering will commence at 5:30; we’ll have some speakers, officially open the park and enjoy what we hope will be a lovely summer evening.

The park is slated to be complete weeks prior, but we’ll allow time for the concrete to cure and fresh roots to take hold. The grass area will remain closed beyond the park’s dedication to ensure a strong lawn, but will be open for Summer Fest on July 9, 10 and 11.

We’re also having a community planting day on Saturday, June 5 and maybe 6th. We have almost 800 native plants to install in the park and we anticipate having two planting shifts on the 5th. About 40 volunteers will be needed and if you’d like to sign up or have questions, please email

Also, a new event’s planned in The Junction – WSJA is presenting a Health Fair on June 13th, 10 am-2 pm – you’ll get to meet Junction health-care providers including Westside Dermatology (WSB sponsor); more details to come.

West Seattle Crime Watch: KeyBank robber strikes again, in Burien

Remember the Junction KeyBank heist one month ago today? It’s believed the robber has struck again – and as this release from the King County Sheriff’s Office notes, they’re definitely thinking it might be a man disguising himself as a woman:

The Sheriff’s Office, Seattle Police, and the FBI are looking for what is possibly a male bank robber who disguises himself as a woman to rob banks—at least two so far.

The first robbery attributed to this suspect was on April 5th at the KeyBank, 4701 California Ave SW. The robber gave the teller demand note. No weapon was seen.

The second robbery was on April 28th at the Sterling Savings Bank in Burien, 224 SW 152nd. This time a note was also handed to the teller. But then the robber said there were “men who will hurt me” and that “she had kids”.

The teller did not hand over any money and believed the suspect was a woman. However detectives viewed surveillance video and came to the conclusion most likely “she” is actually a “he”.

The suspect is about 5’ 5” and 135 lbs. perhaps 40 to 50 years old. At the Sterling Bank his face appeared “bruised”. He/she wore a black hat, with a brim, yellow scarf, dark blazer jacket, black shirt, and black gloves.

Here’s a shot from the Burien heist.

Compare to a shot from April 5th in West Seattle:

Call 911 if you have any information about the robber – or, from our report last month: “Contact the FBI by telephone at (206) 622-0460, or e-mail at”

West Seattle Wednesday: SW District Council, CoolMom and more

(Tuesday photo by David Hutchinson, taken from Don Armeni)
Tonight – Seattle City Councilmember Sally Clark is scheduled to visit the Southwest District Council‘s regular meeting, where you’ll also get an update on the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project – now with a week and a half to go till the 1st Avenue South onramp to the westbound West Seattle Bridge closes. The SWDC series of neighborhood-plan presentations continues as well, with council co-chair Chas Redmond presenting the Morgan Junction Neighborhood Plan (see the full original plan here). SWDC meets in the board room at South Seattle Community College (map), 7 pm … Also tonight, CoolMom‘s monthly meeting focuses on edible gardening, 7 pm at C & P Coffee at 5612 California SW (and remember, CoolMom’s got a big group sale on West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day this Saturday at Cycle University [WSB sponsor], sale #92 on the map). … And tonight, you’ll find Cinco de Mayo specials all over the peninsula – Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor) has a drink special on its website (which also reveals when they’ll debut the new drink menu discussed in our recent story about their 1st birthday), and in the Admiral District, Mission‘s planning a bash including giveaways and DJs.

11:34 PM UPDATE: Southwest District coordinator Stan Lock has just sent word that Councilmember Clark is sick and won’t be at this meeting, but will reschedule for a later date.

“Get baked”: Local student’s stove-building trip fundraiser

That’s one side of the T-shirt that West Seattle student Michelle Baker and her group from Seattle University is selling to raise money for a trip to Nicaragua next month – there, they’ll build safer cooking stoves. Here’s a photo from a student trip last year:

Michelle explains:

This is an amazing opportunity for us as students working towards a just and humane world. Our team is officially named Friends of Nicaragua and we are a student-led group that will go for two weeks at the end of June to work with a local (to Nicaragua) non-profit organization based in Managua. The non-profit is El Porvenir (meaning The Future in Spanish) and rural Nicaraguan communities come to them with proposals for work that needs to be done in their individual community. This can be anything, from building stoves in their houses so they aren’t living in smoke-filled huts when cooking, to wells for water sanitation, to planting trees to make stable ground and to sell the wood ten years later.

They’re running short of money to make the trip, though, and that’s why they’re selling T-shirts, $10 each – send checks to 2731 44th SW, Seattle 98116. If you have questions, you can e-mail her:

Looking for a job? Free help x 2 at Delridge Community Center

May 4, 2010 11:34 pm
|    Comments Off on Looking for a job? Free help x 2 at Delridge Community Center
 |   Delridge | West Seattle news

Thanks to Leslie for forwarding news of these two seminars at Delridge Community Center – free! – for people looking for work. The first one is tomorrow (Wednesday) night – “Developing a Job Search for Tough Times” – then a month later, “Online Job Search and Resumé Building” – full details of both, after the jump:Read More

West Seattle Crime Watch: Burglary, plus the “drunken plant thief”

Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports to share tonight. First, a burglary this morning; second, the recent tale of what one witness described as “the drunken plant thief” – read on for both:Read More

New feature at Seacrest Pier: Potentially life-saving AED

Thanks to the local diver who pointed us to this story on the Northwest Dive Club discussion board. An Automated External Defibrillator is now in place at Seacrest, thanks to more than a year of work by local divers. It’s right inside the door at Alki Fish and Crab, and you’ll notice in the photos accompanying that story that there’s a small symbol above that door. You’ll also see in the photos that it’s dedicated to Jake Koenen, the diver who died in March 2009; his death was blamed on a sudden health problem, one the AED might have been able to correct.

Live online: Watch the city budget hearing

At 5:30 pm, Seattle Channel will stream tonight’s budget hearing from North Seattle – you can watch it here.

10:08 PM NOTE: Testimony is still under way. If you haven’t tuned in to the stream yet, just click the play button and it’ll go live. 10:17 PM: And minutes later … it’s over. As Councilmember Jean Godden noted, that was “the final budget hearing of spring” – no dates set yet for the next round; this is a process that won’t result in a final budget for months.

West Seattle Chamber, others ask city to “resist” business-tax hikes

As noted here earlier, tonight is city leaders’ next public hearing on the budget (5:30 pm, North Seattle Community College). Today, business groups including the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce added their voices to the budget battle, announcing they’re sending the mayor a letter voicing “strong opposition” to potential business-tax increases to help balance the city budget. Read on for the full text of the letter:Read More

Photos/video: Seattle Police Memorial ceremony at Forest Lawn

(Photos by Christopher Boffoli, substituted 2:16 pm for previous cameraphone photos)
ORIGINAL REPORT @ 12:33 PM: The Elliott Bay Pipe Band is among the participants at Dignity Memorial/Forest Lawn right now during the annual Seattle Police Memorial ceremony.

Speakers included Mayor McGinn and Southwest Precinct Captain Joe Kessler.

With Capt. Kessler (in black dress uniform) and the mayor in that photo are, from left, Dave Salove of Forest Lawn, East Precinct commander Capt. James Dermody and South Precinct commander Capt. Dave Emerick. Southwest Precinct officers were out in full force:

Video to come.

ADDED 7:30 PM: Here’s Christopher Boffoli’s video of highlights from the ceremony:

West Seattle native Chad Kimball nominated for a Tony Award

A West Seattle family has extra reason to be proud today: Their son Chad Kimball just got a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical, for his role in “Memphis” on Broadway, which played at the 5th Avenue Theater in Seattle prior to its NYC run. Here’s the story from our regional-news partners at the Seattle Times; his reaction to the news is here, from

Your official introduction to West Seattle’s newest ladder truck

(Seattle Fire Department photo)
As best we recall, the first media report about the new Ladder 13 came in this report by Seattle Weekly’s Mike Seely last August. We’ve mentioned it a time or two since, most recently in our report last week on the South Park Bridge closure-plan meeting, during which SFD mentioned its imminent deployment from Highland Park’s Station 11 as potential backup for South Park once its bridge closes and cuts off quick access from the other side of the Duwamish. And today, the Fire Department itself is officially introducing Ladder 13 on its Fire Line site. As you’ll see in the SFD update, its main purpose is to make sure our area has enough coverage despite the increased traffic expected during the most intense road construction coming up between here and downtown/SODO – where some crews come from during major responses. You’ve probably seen Ladder 13 (unmarked) around West Seattle, as its crew drove around to get acclimated in the past few months.

West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day: Both map versions ready

**10:53 PM UPDATE – Sale #105 canceled – we’ve taken it off this map; if you’ve printed, please X it out**

View West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day 2010 in a larger map

Just four days till the 6th annual – and biggest ever – West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day: 200 sales (with hundreds more sellers, thanks to group sale sites, organization/school/business/block sales, etc.)! On Saturday, the Google Map with all the sale sites, numbered 1-200, starting with #1 in the north to #200 in the south, went live (it’s embedded above – here’s the direct link). Just one problem with Google Maps – for something like this, they tend not to print that well. So again this year, we have put together a more packet-like printable map. It’s a 12-page Word doc (6 pages if you print both sides) – with the map cut into sections, with the numbered sales, followed by the list of all 200 “ads” for the sales, in numerical order. (ADDED 1:17 PM: If you’d rather print from a PDF, use this link. Thanks to Karen for helping!) Take note that sellers will be seeing this version for the first time today too, and if anyone sees a major problem (so far so good with the Google version), we will update the map and repost here as well as at and at the West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day page on Facebook.

West Seattle Tuesday: Police memorial, Westside Symphonette…

That’s the Westside Symphonette combined strings and junior orchestra, rehearsing last night at The Hall at Fauntleroy, where both of the Symphonette’s orchestras are performing their spring concert “Classical Elegance” tonight (more details here). … This afternoon, you are invited to show your support for local law enforcement at the annual Seattle Police Memorial ceremony, with Mayor McGinn scheduled to be among those in attendance, noon at Dignity Memorial/Forest Lawn (map) … Also at noon, King County Executive Dow Constantine is scheduled to speak to the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of West Seattle at Salty’s on Alki. … For the regular Tuesday happenings, check the WSB West Seattle Events calendar.

2nd annual West Seattle 5K: Early-bird-discount time running out

(May 2009 photo by David Hutchinson)
In less than three weeks, one of the big summer kickoff events hits the street at Alki: The second annual West Seattle 5K Run/Walk, benefiting the organizing West Seattle High School PTSA, kicking off this year’s Celebrate Seattle Summer Streets “car-free day” on Alki. (Third year for that – the first year, it was a standalone event, and it happened in early September; last year, it moved to May, following the first-ever WS5K.) WSB is proud to be among the co-sponsors of this year’s West Seattle 5K, so we’re reminding you that the early-bird discount is only available through this Thursday (May 6th) – if you’re thinking about participating but haven’t registered yet, this might just be the perfect time. Go here to register; note that kids 6 and under are free! P.S. Got a logistical question about how Alki traffic will be handled that day? SDOT has posted an FAQ.

West Seattle Weather Watch: Wind calming; tree-trouble updates

The latest forecast update from the National Weather Service verifies that things should keep calming down after a windy Monday. But there’s still some cleanup ahead – Sha’ari shares that photo of the tree blocking part of the Longfellow Creek path in North Delridge, between Findlay and Brandon (map). Meantime, we went back to the sidewalk outside Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor) as city crews took down the tree that came loose earlier in the day:

Here’s our earlier report on that particular episode of tree trouble.

Lincoln Park “stinky bob” is no match for West Seattle Brownies

Volunteer forest steward Sharon Baker with Friends of Lincoln Park shares these photos and a report on the special volunteers who helped her group last Saturday:

On behalf of the Friends of Lincoln Park and the Green Seattle Partnership I would like to thank the fabulous girls of Brownie Troop 42780 of West Seattle (and their brothers and parents). They came to Lincoln Park on Saturday, May 1 and cleared a large patch of one of our major invasive weeds, “stinky bob”. It was really fun to work with these strong, active, outdoorsy kids. They did very good work and made a major contribution to the Park.

Want to help in local parks/greenspaces? Most weekends, there are several work parties in West Seattle – check And by the way, if you don’t know offhand what “stinky bob” looks like – check this out. Unless you are a world-class weed-puller, it may be in your yard right now. The hairy red stems are the telltale sign, along with those little pink flowers – if you grab it close to the ground and pull slowly, it comes out fairly easily.