day : 23/09/2010 12 results

High-school sports: Big soccer game between Sealth and WSHS

September 23, 2010 11:37 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools | WS & Sports

Going into their big game at Hiawatha Playfield this afternoon, the girls’ soccer teams from both West Seattle High School and Chief Sealth International High School were undefeated in conference play. Only one would be able to keep that distinction once the game was over – and that’s West Seattle High School, whose team beat Sealth 2-0. Here are the topline stats from our partners at the Seattle Times.

‘Salute to South’ celebration for new SSCC president Gary Oertli

September 23, 2010 10:09 pm
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 |   Puget Ridge | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

He’s been on the job for more than a month, but today was the official celebration at South Seattle Community College on West Seattle’s Puget Ridge for new SSCC president Gary Oertli (you might recall, the announcement back in May drew big cheers on campus, as we reported that day). SSCC threw him a party called “Salute to South” this afternoon. Oertli took a moment out to talk with us on video – telling us about a smaller, but goofier celebration, earlier in the day, then discussing the biggest challenge ahead:

Taking the job as SSCC leader was a homecoming for Oertli, a West Seattle native and Chief Sealth alum. SSCC’s previous president, Dr. Jill Wakefield, is now chancellor of the entire citywide community-college system.

Followup: Roxhill Park murder victim officially identified

Though it is certainly overshadowed by what happened on 14th SW this afternoon, the investigation continues into what was West Seattle’s first murder of 2010 – discovered just yesterday morning (WSB coverage here). Tonight, the man found dead in Roxhill Park around 7:30 am Wednesday is officially identified as 40-year-old Bernard Martin, and the Medical Examiner’s media-hotline report also describes his cause of death as injuries to “the trunk,” primarily rib fractures – police had said he appeared to have been beaten, but had not elaborated. Prior to Mr. Martin’s death, West Seattle hadn’t had a murder case since February 2009 – there were two in 2009, one in 2008, two in 2007 (a third homicide case was ruled self-defense), and we haven’t finished researching 2006 yet (we started covering news in late 2006). No word of an arrest, or even a suspect description, in Wednesday’s killing.

Traffic alert: Lane closure ahead at Spokane/E. Marginal

September 23, 2010 7:45 pm
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 |   Transportation | West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

Starting to catch up on some of the other stories that have come in since mid-afternoon: SDOT has issued a traffic alert that takes effect in a few days – this is part of the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project (that’s the section of the West Seattle Bridge between 99 and I-5):

One northbound lane of E Marginal Way S will be closed at Spokane St for three weeks starting Monday morning, Sept 27. The restriction is necessary in order for crews to install column jackets for the seismic retrofit. During this work there will be three lanes northbound on E Marginal just north of westbound Spokane Street. No turning movements will be restricted.

Update: 4 dead, 1 survivor in West Seattle shooting on 14th SW

(These updates run through late Thursday night – we will start a new followup story by midmorning Friday)

ORIGINAL 1:46 PM REPORT: We are on our way to the assault-with-weapons call at 14th and Roxbury – more when we know it. The scanner is talking about an “armed suspect” – stay clear of the area. It’s a reported shooting and police are not sure where the suspect is. Scanner indicates possible multiple victims but we don’t have any information yet on their condition(s) or the circumstances.

1:56 PM UPDATE: Two medic units were originally dispatched and a third is now being sent. Scanner confirms at least one patient with a gunshot wound. SWAT units are on the scene as well. The scanner also indicates at least two guns were found inside the house – described as a “9 millimeter and 25 automatic.” The actual address is in the 9400 block of 14th SW (map) which is closer to Cambridge than Roxbury.

2:04 PM UPDATE: One victim is described on scanner as appearing to have three gunshot wounds; this is a 42-year-old female. The medic says on the scanner that SPD has advised fire of possibly “two or three more patients with gunshot wounds.” According to our partners at the Seattle Times, the suspect has been initially described as a 61-year-old Asian woman in white shirt and gray sweatpants.”

2:18 PM UPDATE: Scanner says four DOAs in the house. Again, this is per the scanner, we are still waiting to hear from public info officer at the scene. One survivor, as mentioned earlier, was taken to the hospital. This is the second murder case in West Seattle in two days – after none for more than a year and a half.

2:29 PM UPDATE: Police have briefed media at the scene. We will upload video of the briefing shortly. They are not confirming the conditions of the people at the house but they say the suspect is believed to be one of the four people they say are inside the house. They say the original call came around 1 pm, “shots fired” – and when they arrived, they heard more shots fired. Roxbury is closed westbound near the scene – so traffic effects are stretching beyond the immediate scene.

2:42 PM UPDATE: Christopher Boffoli, part of the WSB team at the scene, says police confirm the four deaths and one survivor and believe that the suspect is among the dead. Assistant chief Jim Pugel’s briefing per Christopher: “Confirmed four dead, including the shooter who is a Southeast Asian woman in her late 50s or early 60’s. It is believed that all involved are the same family. The woman who was transported to Harborview is believed to be the daughter who told police ‘my mother has gone crazy.’ Two handguns were recovered. The husband was outside the house. He broke through the police cordon and went inside. He made it back out alive and is not among the victims. There is a language barrier the officers are working through.”

3:08 PM UPDATE: More from Christopher at the scene – regarding the language barrier, the family is reported to speak Cambodian, according to neighbors. (We did hear a scanner call earlier for a Cambodian translator.) Southwest Precinct commander Captain Joe Kessler is there – this comes just a week before a scheduled command change at the precinct. CSI vans also just arrived on scene about 10 minutes ago. Adding a few additional photos. (All photos we are using were taken by either Christopher Boffoli or Patrick Sand.)

3:15 PM UPDATE: Police are starting to release more information about the people who were found dead: Two women in their late teens and a man in his 30s, in addition to the suspected shooter, now described as a woman in her fifties. Meantime, Christopher reports Roxbury has reopened to traffic – but is slow going with rubberneckers passing what is a clearly visible, sizable police presence.

3:33 PM UPDATE: Seattle Police have posted a summary in multiple tweets – we will transcribe here since they have not posted to their SPD Blotter site yet:

Around 1:31 p.m. officers responded to reports of shots fired in the 9400 block of 14th Avenue SW. Upon arrival, they made contact with an adult female in her 30s who had been shot in the 1400 block of SW Roxbury. Shots were still being fired. While police were still arriving a man in his 50s ran into the house in question. Two more shots were fired and he ran back out. Officers contacted him. He told officers that his wife had shot herself. Officers entered the house and located four people deceased, two women in their late teens, a man in his thirties and a woman in her 50s. Medics were not able to revive any of them. The woman who was discovered outside of the house was transported to HMC for treatment of gunshot injuries. It is believed that the deceased woman in her 50s was the shooter. Two handguns have been recovered. We don’t believe that there are any other victims. Homicide, SWAT, CSI and KCSO are on scene. No motive is known. This is an active investigation and this information is preliminary. Check here for further updates.

4:25 PM UPDATE: Here’s video of Sgt. Sean Whitcomb from the SPD media unit in what’s likely to be the last briefing of the day – he called the crime scene “pretty vicious”:

4:55 PM UPDATE: Our partners at the Seattle Times report that some kind of dispute had reportedly erupted at the home last night – here’s their story, which also is continuing to develop.

7:28 PM UPDATE: Checking back at the scene: Police say the medical examiner has just arrived – which would indicate the victims’ bodies have not yet been removed. In the past two hours, we also have added a few more images from this afternoon, photographed as events unfolded. (The photo atop the story is still a cameraphone picture sent from the scene shortly after we arrived.) At the scene tonight, people are still being kept at a distance, media included. In case you are wondering whether anyone has set up any kind of a memorial – no one has been allowed close enough for anything like that to be arranged, or visible.

8:12 PM NOTE: The White Center Community Safety Coalition, whose coverage area includes the neighborhood where today’s shooting happened, had its regularly scheduled meeting tonight, barely a block away from the scene. We attended (we usually cover it anyway for partner site White Center Now) but – not surprisingly – law enforcers weren’t there this time, so there was no new information about the case. The basic summary on SPD Blotter remains the most recent official word.

10:50 PM
: Two images from the scene tonight, from Christopher Boffoli. In the first, you see authorities inside the residence, as they prepared to bring out the four bodies:

Official identification is not expected before tomorrow. The Times has spoken to family members and has published the names they were given (here’s their updated story) – reporting that the two teenage girls who were killed were the alleged killer’s granddaughters, 17 and 14 years old.

Admiral Safeway demolition update; plus, webcam online

(Photo by Christopher Boffoli)
Another update on the Admiral Safeway redevelopment project, as the first week of demolition continues (here’s our report from Monday) – Sara Corn at Safeway regional HQ says demolition of the main building is beginning today, and the promised webcam is now up too. See it here; you can also find it from Safeway’s project website. (Nothing dramatic to see at the moment, but it’s intended to chronicle construction as it continues over the months ahead, with the new store expected to open next summer.) 11:49 PM NOTE: Our photo is from this afternoon; by nightfall, WSB’er Diane reports, the demolition appeared to be at least halfway done – we’ll check again tomorrow.

Big lottery win for longtime West Seattleite

The Washington State Lottery just sent us that photo with word that 85-year-old Mabel Aide, who’s lived in West Seattle since 1945, just hit the Hit 5 jackpot – $160,000. According to the lottery’s communications team, she and her best friend always play together – he calls the hotline and reads her the numbers – she thought she had four out of five, then doublechecked, and realized she hit all five. First reaction? “Relief.” What’ll she do with the money? Pay off bills and her mortgage, and travel, she told the lottery folks. By the way, she bought the ticket at Jefferson Square Safeway – which gets $1,600 for selling it.

West Seattle author tours with ‘Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook’

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

“It’s out of the oven!”

So proclaims nationally renowned food writer Kim O’Donnel of her new book The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook,” published this month, and new this week on West Seattle shelves (at Click! Design That Fits [WSB sponsor]).

O’Donnel is a relatively recent West Seattle transplant – one year so far on Alki, after a couple years elsewhere in Seattle following a move from “the other Washington,” where she was a longtime food writer for the Washington Post, for which she also hosted Web chats and produced a series of online cooking videos long before such things were commonplace.

“The other Washington” also is where she was when we spoke by phone earlier this week, as she started a national tour for “The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook” (the tour will of course bring her back here for readings/signings, too), which suggests one meatless menu for every week of the year.

Right off the top, we should mention, O’Donnel is not a vegetarian (as you’ll hear her explain in the promotional video clip atop this story).

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Update: 2 ‘National Take Back’ collection sites in West Seattle

September 23, 2010 9:39 am
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 |   Health | Safety | West Seattle news

In case you missed the mention in WSB coverage of this week’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting – this Saturday, local police are helping with the coast-to-coast National Take Back Initiative event, inviting people to clean out their medicine cabinets to reduce the risk that old/unused prescriptions will be abused or otherwise misused/inappropriately disposed of. Sandra points out that there are two collection points listed for West Seattle between 10 am and 2 pm on Saturday – not just the Southwest Precinct (Delridge/Webster) but also the High Point Walgreens parking lot (6330 35th SW). There’s more information on SPD Blotter.

Highland Park Action Committee: Politics, planes, plates

September 23, 2010 8:10 am
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 |   Highland Park | West Seattle news

From last night’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting – news of a candidates’ forum in a nearby neighborhood, air-traffic-research updates, and the latest business spotlight – read on for the toplines:Read More

West Seattle Thursday: First full day/night of fall

(Photo of the morning, by smohundro, from the WSB Flickr pool)
Welcome to fall! It officially arrived last night. A few notes from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar: As the saying goes, you’re not getting older, you’re getting better. So consider having your voice heard during Aging Your Way: Conversation for Community Change,” tonight at 5:30 pm at Fauntleroy Church … On the early end of the age spectrum, Toddler Story Time resumes today at High Point Library, 11:30 am … Got something to say about the possibility of using certain city tennis courts (there’s no official list yet) for non-tennis sports (dodgeball is most frequently mentioned)? The city Parks Board has a public hearing during its meeting tonight at Parks HQ downtown (100 Dexter N.), 7 pm … Traffic advisory: The outside eastbound lane is scheduled to be closed on the Admiral Way Bridge for drain work 9 am-3 pm … At ArtsWest (WSB sponsor), “reasons to be pretty” continues tonight, 7:30 pm (here’s its thumbs-up Seattle Times review).

ADDED 9:06 AM: Also notable – a big cross-town rivalry game at Hiawatha Playfield today – girls’ soccer, WSHS vs. Chief Sealth, both of whom are undefeated in conference play, 3:30 pm.

‘Come play!’ Active Living Week at Merrill Gardens in West Seattle

September 23, 2010 6:26 am
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 |   Fun stuff to do | West Seattle news

In honor of Active Living Week, bonus activities have continued all week at Merrill Gardens‘ two West Seattle locations (both WSB sponsors) – pictured above is Colleen Barnes leading bingo during a cruise-themed day of fun on Tuesday at Merrill Gardens-West Seattle (4611 35th SW), and this afternoon at Merrill Gardens-Admiral Heights (2326 SW California), there’s more fun and games, with a casino theme. As Admiral Heights’ community-relations director Lee Ann Tucker Thierrault puts it, “Come play with us! … No-risk gaming – we supply the chips, you go home with the prizes!” They’re planning blackjack, roulette, and craps tables, plus musical entertainment including an Elvis impersonator, and a “free Las Vegas-style buffet,” 3-6 pm today. It’s all an example of the active lifestyle that MG says defies what you may think life at a retirement community is like. If you’re interested in checking out today’s event, by the way, RSVP to 206-938-3964.