West Seattle, Washington
The Southwest Precinct‘s new – yet not-so-new – commander made a guest appearance at tonight’s meeting of the West Seattle Blockwatch Captains Network. Nine months after leaving his prior West Seattle post as the precinct’s 2nd-in-command, newly promoted Captain Steve Paulsen is returning to take over for Captain Joe Kessler, who’s moving to the sprawling West Precinct (headquartered downtown but including turf far to the north and south). Tonight, Capt. Paulsen – pictured above with WSBWCN’s Deborah Greer – told the Block Watch group, “I’m your biggest cheerleader for this thing – please let me know what we can do.” Several said they would like to know sooner when crime happens on their block – they appreciate the flyers that Crime Prevention Coordinator Benjamin Kinlow has been distributing after burglaries, but those come days if not weeks later. Capt. Paulsen mentioned the city’s new crime maps (which you can explore here and here), describing them as a work in progress. Ahead – the Block Watch angle on last week’s deadly crimes, and on the newly proposed city budget:Read More
Two burglary reports tonight from the WSB inbox – first one, from a newlywed couple describing it as a “heartbreaking way to start our lives together,” with a message to the burglar(s) – read on:Read More
If you drove or walked past Explorer West Middle School this morning and saw those tents – you might have wondered if it was a round of outdoor on-campus camping. Nope. Explorer West had an earthquake drill that went beyond the usual “duck and cover” – with students playing roles including “injured” quake victims:
Other students handled first-aid role-playing. And then, they had some real-life emergency personnel on hand:
Since Explorer West – an independent middle school (grades 6-8) is just over the city-limits line, the firefighters were from the North Highline Fire Department:
Explorer West history teacher Ben Wheeler organized the drill, and told us they learn something new every time they do it. (While we’re talking emergency preparedness, don’t forget the awesome online resources at West Seattle Be Prepared – and stand by for news of a quake drill coming up soon!)
Thanks to Jennifer and Heather for the tip – a crash has closed the Admiral exit from the westbound West Seattle Bridge. Jennifer reports seeing one person on a stretcher and says it appears to be a one-car crash. No word how long it’ll be closed. 8:44 PM UPDATE: Eryka sent an eyewitness report:
My husband and I were right in front of the car that crashed. We didn’t actually see the crash but we heard a loud crash behind us and thought at first it was a loose grate in the road. But as we looked back for the grate we would have driven over we saw that a silver car had crashed head on into the triangular barrier that separates the bridge from the Admiral exit. Two cars that must have been behind the car stopped and were already climbing out of their cars by the time we had looked back and it was impossible for us to stop and help.
We’ll be checking with police to see if we can find out more.
From the WSB inbox:
Bridge Park Independent Retirement Community
2nd Annual Craft Fair
Sat. Nov. 13th from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm
All top quality handmade Items.
Hourly Door Prizes!
If interested in becoming a vendor, contact Suzanne at 206-938-6394. Bridge Park is located at 3204 SW Morgan Street (one block east of 35th & Morgan).
As first reported here over the weekend (thanks again to Julie for the tip!), 16th SW is open again both ways after the completion of road-rebuilding work. SDOT just formally announced it and added that a bit of work remains – striping (tomorrow if the weather’s not too bad) and speed bumps. No more detours are planned, but flaggers might be used.
Thanks to those who called to let us know about a significant police presence at 32nd/Cloverdale, including officers with rifles out. Southwest Precinct Lt. Norm James says it involved a report of an armed man apparently threatening to harm himself. He says the man is in custody.
(Memorial in Roxhill Park paying tribute to the victim, photographed by WSB last Sunday)
Just in from Seattle Police – a 21-year-old man is in custody in connection with last week’s Roxhill Park murder (original WSB report here). The brief police update is on SPD Blotter – it says the suspect’s been in custody since last Thursday. That’s the same day the victim found early Wednesday morning was officially identified as 40-year-old Bernard Martin, as the Medical Examiner confirmed he was killed by injuries including broken ribs. More info to come.
2:36 PM UPDATE: King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office says the suspect, 21-year-old Chatri Lime Thip (DOC mugshot added, at right), is charged with second-degree murder and is jailed in lieu of $1 million bail. The motive was said to be “rage” experienced by the suspect after the victim walked up to him and asked for a beer while Thip was drinking beer reportedly stolen nearby. The murder weapon: A shopping cart. We are reviewing the paperwork now and will add more details from the narrative shortly.
ADDED 2:56 PM:The narrative, transcribed, in progress – adding in chunks (so keep refreshing if you see this before it’s finished):Read More
(Flowers and a flag decorate the victim’s truck at the GT yard on Harbor Avenue)
ORIGINAL 12:22 PM UPDATE: Four days after the hit-run crash on I-5 that killed a driver for West Seattle-based GT Towing (here’s our Friday report), the suspect will be released from jail, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Today is the deadline for either filing charges or releasing the 20-year-old suspect, and KCPAO spokesperson Dan Donohoe says the case hasn’t yet been referred to their office by the Washington State Patrol, so no charges will be filed today, which means the law requires the suspect be released. That does NOT mean charges aren’t possible at a future date, however. The suspect, a 20-year-old woman, is believed to have been at the wheel when hit and killed 51-year-old GT driver William Padilla of Burien, known as Tony according to comments in our original report. We checked with GT, and they don’t have word on memorial arrangements for Mr. Padilla yet – most of his family, they say, is out of state. King County Jail records, meantime, show the suspect was in jail less than 24 hours before the crash, on a failure-to-appear warrant from a previous hit-run case, and that this was her fifth stay in the jail since February; the other cases also included prostitution arrests. (Note: As of 4:26 pm, she is still in jail.)
7:11 PM UPDATE: Just checked the jail register. The suspect is out as of just minutes ago (6:58 pm). As per a link noted by JanS in comments, the State Patrol told the Seattle Times that the case will be referred tomorrow, that the investigator did not want to rush it and make a mistake.
(At 2009 St. John the Baptist “Blessing of the Animals,” Br. Kris Wilder blessing Pizazz the dog)
It’s an annual tradition around the Feast Day for St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, and again this year, three West Seattle “Blessing of the Animals” events are planned. First, we just got word from Providence Mount St. Vincent about this planned event this Saturday, 10:30 am (after 9:30 am Mass) – gather in the lobby (4831 35th SW). From the announcement: “Participants will convene in the lobby. Father Lyle Konen, CSsR, will be the Mass celebrant and will lead the participants – pets with their owners – throughout the building to bless all of the Mount’s cats, dogs, birds and fish.” And from the WSB Events calendar, St. John the Baptist Church in Admiral will have its annual Blessing of the Animals this Sunday at noon in the church parking lot, rain or shine. From Rev. Peter DeVeau‘s announcement: “The community is invited to bring all creatures great and small for this celebration and thanksgiving for the gift of animals. This is an annual event hosted by the people of St. John’s Episcopal Church.” Minutes after publishing the first version of this story, we also found Alki UCC‘s website notes they’re having a Blessing of the Animals again this year, 10 am Sunday service.
Two West Seattle projects are moving ahead in the quest for the first round of money in the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund – created in the voter-approved 2008 levy so that community groups/members could propose projects, separate from city-initiated projects funded by the levy. Pigeon Point’s Pete Spalding, who is on the Levy Oversight Committee, tells WSB, “We met until about 10:30 pm (last night) putting together the draft list of projects that will move forward in the first round of the Opportunity Fund. Two projects from the SW sector made the list. The two projects from the SW are (1) Puget Ridge Edible Park and (2) Highland Park Spray Park.” Here’s a little more info about the Edible Park; the spray park (converting the wading pool at right) already is set for bare-bones city funding, but the Opportunity Fund proposal (as explained here) seeks money to upgrade the plan. Citywide, 95 Opportunity Fund applications were received; they are listed here. We are checking with Parks staff today to see if last night’s full citywide draft list is available for publication yet. This Parks webpage lists the next steps to determine which projects get funded (including a public hearing in about a month).
Everyone who’s part of WSB – as a reader, commenter, tipster, writer, photo-sharer, Forums member, sponsor, events-calendar-item-sender, ANYTHING – is a finalist for a national award! Before today’s river of news sweeps us away, we wanted to share the details: WSB is a finalist for the Online News Association‘s “Community Collaboration” award. This is only the second year the national group of online journalists will be presenting this, as part of the annual national awards (full nominees list here); the first one last year went to our friends across the bay at My Ballard, so, inspired by their achievement, this year we decided to enter the competition on behalf of you and everybody else in the 27,000 local homes, businesses, and institutions who are part of this great news-covering/news-sharing/news-discussing adventure every week. Tough competition – the other finalists are projects of CNN, the Los Angeles Times, and north-of-the-border CBC – but we’ll find out who wins at the Online News Association’s convention in D.C. on October 30th. WSB isn’t the only Seattle finalist this year – our partners at the Seattle Times are also up for Breaking News, Large Site, for their Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the Lakewood Police murders last fall. Anyway, we wanted to let you know, and once again, to say: THANK YOU. Your collaboration in turn helps inform thousands of your neighbors – often a story begins with just one tip, question, photo, e-mail, or a call to 206-293-6302, which is answered 24/7 – we may not always do your contributions justice, but we continue to try our best each day. Now back to the news!
(Photo of the morning: Fauntleroy Way south of Alaska, from smohundro via the WSB Flickr group)
From the WSB West Seattle Events calendar: They started with a Facebook group – but they meet face to face too, and if you lead a local Block Watch, or would like to, you’ll want to be at tonight’s meeting of the West Seattle Blockwatch Captains’ Network, Southwest Precinct (Delridge/Webster), 6:30 pm, with incoming precinct commander Capt. Steve Paulsen on the agenda … Also tonight, a key meeting in the months of work that a Citizens Advisory Group has put in to make sure the county took neighborhood needs into account regarding a way to reduce “combined sewer overflows” from Murray Pump Station at Lowman Beach – their final recommendation(s) are centerstage for the 5:30 pm meeting at The Hall at Fauntleroy … Need help figuring out how to winterize your home/yard? Savvy Seattle Women are presenting a free workshop tonight, 6:30 pm at the West Seattle (Admiral) library branch (2306 42nd Av SW) – more info at the SSW website … and tonight ChickChat is back in West Seattle to spotlight “Girls Giving Back” – meet some amazing Seattle females of all ages, particularly inspiring if you have a daughter to bring along – it’s at Youngstown Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way), ticket info here.
There’s always somebody who says it’s too soon to start talking about this, but hey, these two events are now less than two months away, and one has a deadline coming up this week! First, the deadline – the Fauntleroy Fine Art and Gift Faire (coming up November 19-21) is asking would-be participants to apply by this Thursday, September 30th; more info is here, and the application is here. Meantime, vendors are being sought for Schmitz Park Elementary‘s first-ever Holiday Bazaar and Craft Fair, set for November 20th, and organizers say they’re hoping to make it a West Seattle-wide event, not just for their school community. If you’re interested, and have handmade items to sell, e-mail Anne at firstname.lastname@example.org or Gina at email@example.com (here’s the letter they’ve circulated).