month : 09/2010 336 results

Bulletin: Thomas Qualls charged in Alki police shooting case

ORIGINAL 9:59 AM REPORT: The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has just confirmed that 59-year-old Thomas J. Qualls, shot by police after a confrontation at his Alki home last Friday night (original WSB coverage here), is now charged with three counts of second-degree assault. He is scheduled for arraignment in two weeks; police had told us earlier today that once he is released from the hospital, he will be booked into the King County Jail. (12:46 pm note – Per KCJ and Harborview, he’s now out of the hospital and in jail.)

10:19 AM: We have just finished typing the full transcription of the narrative (sequentially published but now complete, below) in the charging document. In summary, there’s some new information, that police say officers and Qualls both fired their weapons, that they say Qualls had a third gun, and that marijuana was found in the house. The phone call that brought police there in the first place is also more fully described:

… Police Officers were dispatched to 6114 SW Admiral Way … A caller, who was later identified as (Qualls’ daughter), stated that she received a phone call from the defendant, who told her that he and her mother had got into an argument, and that she had left the house. He told (daughter) that if her mother did not return, that he would shoot himself, and then she heard what sounded to her as one gunshot, then the line went dead. She explained to the 911 dispatcher, that her father had access to several weapons in the house.

Sgt. Strand was the first to arrive on the scene and parked his patrol vehicle several houses to the east of the defendant’s house and waited for additional units to arrive. While he was waiting outside of his vehicle, Sgt. Strand stated that he heard what sounded like fireworks or possibly a gunshot coming from the area outside the defendant’s house.

Officer Peloquin, who at the time of this incident was in plain clothes and was acting as a Field Training Officer capacity for his partner Officer Gallegos, who was completing his field training, arrived a short time later and met with Sgt. Strand at the scene. The three officers observed that the defendant’s house was dark, with no lights on in the front portion, but noticed that lights were on in the rear of the house. The defendant’s house was on the north side of SW Admiral Way, and an alley ran north and south, just east of the defendant’s home.

The officers walked down the alley to the rear of the house and noticed that the back door was open. Officer Gallegos walked into the back yard area, between a detached garage, which was north of the main house, and a large stack of firewood that blocked the officer’s path to the back door. Sgt. Strand was just to the left of Officer Gallegos and Officer Peloquin to Sgt. Strand’s left. As they approached the stack of firewood, Officer Gallegos called for the defendant, identifying himself as a Seattle Police Officer.

At about this same time, Sgt. Strand noticed that the defendant was armed with an assault rifle, and had the weapon positioned across his body as he walked outside onto a deck, which was about eight feet above the surface of the back yard. Sgt. Strand announced that defendant was armed and commands were given by Sgt. Strand to the defendant to drop the weapon. The defendant yelled something similar to, “f*** you guys, I’m going to get you” at this moment, the defendant raised his rifle and pointed it at the officers. Officers stated that the defendant fired his weapon, possibly three times in their direction, at the same time all three officers fired their duty weapons toward the position of the defendant.

Officers also broadcasted over Seattle Police radio that the defendant had fired shots at them. All three officers moved to a better cover position after the volley of shots and waited for additional units to arrive before attempting to contact the defendant. During this time Officer Peloquin covered the suspect, who was now lying on the back deck, with the rifle next to him and the defendant was still conscious and telling officers “I’m not down.”

Additional units arrived and the defendant was taken into custody. Officers patted the defendant down for additional weapons and recovered a fully loaded .45 caliber handgun in his pocket.

Also recovered was the assault weapon, which was 7.62 caliber rifle, with a fully loaded magazine, which has a thirty-round capacity. Also recovered at the time of the arrest was a loaded .22 caliber rifle, which was located near the back door of the house. Officers found that the defendant had suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen and was taken by Seattle Fire to Harborview Medical Center to be treated.

Detectives with the Seattle Police Homicide Unit were called to the scene and were informed that the defendant had several surveillance cameras showing the surrounding areas around his house. The defendant would have been easily able to see the officers’ arrival and their positions prior to making contact with them outside.

A search warrant was obtained for the defendant’s house (by phone). During the search several notes were photographed and recovered. The notes read “got back up! Going for blood!”, “be careful, it loaded and ready to go!”, “let play not you (wife’s first name). Love Tom” and “lock and loaded, let go.” These notes were recovered from the stairs leading from the kitchen to an upstairs bedroom; also on the stairs was another fully loaded magazine for the assault rifle, which has a capacity of thirty 7.62 rounds.

On the kitchen table was a large amount of suspected marijuana, which appeared to have just been cultivated and was drying on the table. Seattle Police CSI processed the scene and collected that listed items and the computer which included the surveillance camera monitor.

On 9/7/10, Detective Steiger interviewed the defendant after reading him his Miranda Warnings, which the defendant stated that he understood. The defendant was still at Harborview Medical Center, but was coherent during the interview. The defendant stated that he did not remember what happened on the night of the shooting. When it was suggested that it appeared he wanted to commit suicide by the officers shooting him, he did not disagree or agree with the suggestion.

The facts presented in this case establish probable cause to charge the defendant with Assault 2nd egree RCW 9A.36.021.

(document ends with signature)

Prosecutors are asking that bail be set for Qualls, once he’s out of the hospital, at $1 million, because, they write, “…(he) poses a flight risk and is likely to commit a violent offense. … The defendant has no known criminal history but fired an assault rifle at three police officers when they attempted to make contact with him in regards to his daughter’s concern about a possible suicide attempt.” The three counts of second-degree assault with which he is charged represent one count for each of the officers at whom authorities say Qualls fired. 11:40 AM NOTE: The King County Jail Register shows Qualls booked into jail as of 5:18 pm yesterday, so we are checking with Harborview to see if he is indeed out of the hospital. (Confirmed 12:46 pm)

(Photo credits: Friday night scene, Christopher Boffoli for WSB; guns, Seattle Police, published by SPD Blotter.)

West Seattle Art Walk tonight – stretching south to Barton St. Lofts

September 9, 2010 9:43 am
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 |   West Seattle Art Walk | West Seattle news

Another big night at dozens of locations around West Seattle – 6-9 pm, it’s the West Seattle Art Walk (see the map here). And this time around, the Art Walk stretches even further southeast than it has before – Barton Street Lofts (WSB sponsors) have 13 artists on hand for a gala so exciting, they’ve been talking about it since before the last art walk! From metal robot sculptures to recycled-art dolls, the artists span many media – you can read about them on the official Art Walk website and on the Barton Street Lofts’ own website. Also among the WSB sponsors participating, Hotwire Online Coffeehouse features David Peacey‘s paintings (read about them here); ArtsWest – where “reasons to be pretty” just opened in the theater – is featuring the show “Tenuous Truths” (spotlighted here); also in The Junction, Bin 41 has West Seattle painter/sculptor Clayton Marsh, viticulturist Marco Ventrella from Graham Beck, and “Dining in Seattle: Past and Present” author Andrea Lott. WSB sponsors Cupcake Royale, Brunette Mix, and Click! Design That Fits (moving to The Junction soon!) are on the map too, along with the rest of the participant list (including The Building in Gatewood, featured here on Labor Day) – support your local businesses and go see them while enjoying art (and often treats, too) tonight! Here’s the map again.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Two reports from the inbox

Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports out of the WSB inbox – car vandalism and car theft (different part of the peninsula than the car-theft wave we reported here earlier this week) – read on:Read More

No facelift this weekend for the Roxhill “R,” after all

A few weeks back, Donn DeVore from the Westwood Neighborhood Council put out the call for help with an unusual project – help spruce up the “R” at Roxhill Elementary. But now the project’s on hold, according to a note from Donn:

Unfortunately we are going to have to postpone the painting event this weekend to some future date. Initially we received positive and enthusiastic support from the Roxhill Elementary School staff earlier in August, and based on these discussions we set a date for the painting of the ‘R’. Unfortunately, Seattle Public Schools has not given us the final go ahead due to a potential of lead paint on the existing ‘R’. Without their approval, Roxhill cannot allow us to paint the ‘R’.

He says they’re looking for more sponsorship help too, after learning that promised help from McLendon Hardware wouldn’t go as far as they’d thought:

I will be researching and enlisting the help of additional company sponsorships over the next week to be able to do the project appropriately. The West Seattle Tool Library has offered us any tools that we could use at no charge. Hopefully we can work on this project in the near future.

West Seattle Weather Watch: Stunning sunset

September 8, 2010 11:29 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle weather

The day that began cloudy, rainy, and murky, ended spectacularly. Thanks to Mike B for the sunset photo. Tomorrow, the forecast promises, er, suggests, we’ll see sun again in the afternoon!

Update: 34th District Democrats endorse Joe Fitzgibbon

ORIGINAL 7:53 PM REPORT: We’re at the 34th District Democrats‘ meeting in Fauntleroy, where it is standing-room only as the group gets ready to hear 34th District State House Position 2 candidates Joe Fitzgibbon and Mike Heavey make their respective cases for the group’s endorsement, with the general election just eight weeks away. They were the top two vote-getters, in that order, in a primary race that also included Marcee Stone – whom the 34th DDs had endorsed – and independent “Mac” McElroy.

8:08 PM UPDATE: The 34th District Democrats’ membership first voted to endorse these positions: No on I-1053, No on I-1100, No on I-1105, No on I-1107, Yes for the Seattle Schools Levy, in a “block” vote. That is a followup to endorsements that carry over from earlier in the year. And after hearing from King County Executive Dow Constantine, they also voted to endorse Yes on King County Proposition 1 – the sales-tax increase (two cents on $10) to raise $60 million to stave off some county budget cuts (including services, he pointed out, that are available to everyone in King County, not just the unincorporated areas). “We have to protect these services if we are to have a decent community in which to live,” he implored.

8:11 PM UPDATE: They are now considering the Fitzgibbon-Heavey race. Both are here, though neither spoke to the group before the vote.

8:38 PM UPDATE: That endorsement goes to Fitzgibbon, 96 to 31. He is thanking the group for its support (iPhone photo added above – Fitzgibbon standing, 34th DDs chair Tim Nuse seated). We interviewed each candidate on video after the vote (clips added 10:59 pm):

9:14 PM UPDATE: The meeting is adjourned, after two more endorsement votes – in two municipal court races, after the first ballot didn’t result in either candidate getting a 60 percent majority per group rules, the second ballot resulted in dual endorsements, both in Edsonya Charles vs. Ed McKenna and in Karen Donohue vs. Mike Hurtado. The group also passed a resolution supporting Streets for All, on the urging of past and current City Council candidate Dorsol Plants of Highland Park – that calls for the city to allot $30 million a year to improvements such as sidewalks.

POSTSCRIPT: Other notes – 34th DDs chair Tim Nuse condemned the anti-Muslim climate that has led to Koran-burning events and the New York City mosque controversy, saying “This has got to stop” … Knowing that its legislative seats are all going to Democrats, 34th leaders urged support for D’s elsewhere in the region who are in tight races, most notably incumbent State Sen. Claudia Kauffman … The 34th State House #2 race is one of two for “open” seats on the West Seattle ballot; the other is King County Council District 8, where Councilmember Jan Drago was appointed to hold the seat this year but is not running for election – top primary votegetter State Sen. Joe McDermott, already endorsed by the group, was at tonight’s meeting, as was a representative of his opponent Diana Toledo‘s campaign; Jerry Toledo told us she wanted to be at the 34th DDs’ meeting but had been asked to be at the Discovery Park news conference about last week’s fatal shooting of a Native American carver … In addition to McDermott/County Council, the list of previously endorsed candidates/measures was presented as this: Sen. Patty Murray, U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott, U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, State Rep. Sharon Nelson for State Senate, State Rep. Eileen Cody, Yes on 1098, Yes on 52, No on 1082, Charlie Wiggins for State Supreme Court, Steve Rosen for Municipal Court, William Gregory for Municipal Court, Michael Spearman for Court of Appeals.

SIDE NOTE: Just noticed this analysis of the Fitzgibbon-Heavey primary voting – with a map – done by a political consulting firm (linked by PubliCola) – in West Seattle, there was a clear east-west divide.

Update: Police seek suspect in stabbing on Delridge

ORIGINAL 7:22 PM REPORT: On our way to the assault with weapons call in the 8400 block of Delridge.

7:28 PM: Christopher Boffoli is there (and sent the photo added above) and confirms that Delridge is closed at Thistle. He says this is apparently a stabbing – and there is a report there may be a suspect in custody at 16th and Henderson, less than a mile away.

7:34 PM: Delridge reopening.

7:51 PM UPDATE: From police, according to WSB’s Patrick Sand at the scene – all parties known to one another and allegedly it started over an argument about money. Suspect fled and still at large; victim received cut to arm and refused treatment.

Your photos: 1st day of school in West Seattle

On the WSB Facebook page, we invited proud parents to share first-day-of-school photos, and here are the results – above, Nicole R‘s son Kieran, in his first day of first grade at Highland Park Elementary. Next, Mary Kate‘s first day of preschool, shared by mom Katie:

What a day at Lafayette Elementary! Check out the hallway shot – right after the bell rang – shared by Luckie:

Also at Lafayette, here are 1st graders Molly and Owen, as photographed by Molly’s mom Carrie Ann:

Not far away, Stacey Riley‘s son Kellan started 6th grade at Madison Middle School:

At Roxhill Elementary, it was the first day of fifth grade for Kelli, photographed by mom Lisa:

And Theo started kindergarten at Schmitz Park today, according to proud mom Jennifer:

The Internet’s got infinite room, so if you have a photo to share, send it along!

8:33 PM: Karlynn shares this photo of daughter Kahina, who started this week at Hope Lutheran:

11:09 PM: And Lashanna sends this photo of a trio from Pathfinder K-8 – Coco, Jayden, and Dante (she’s mom of the “bookends” in the photo):

Thanks for sharing photos – be sure to let us know when there’s news at your school too (sometimes we hear from the official sources, sometimes we don’t, so we really appreciate the heads-up, so we can share news of all kinds that helps everyone else in West Seattle know what’s up at local schools).

City budget hearings announced, including one in West Seattle

City leaders have given indications at every turn that more painful budget cuts are unavoidable next year – so this fall’s public hearings may be the most important ones ever. The schedule just arrived via e-mail, and one is in West Seattle – here’s the full list:

Balancing our city’s budget in tough times requires a great deal of direction, constructive input from citizens, and the careful ordering of priorities. Don’t miss this opportunity to make your voice heard. Please join us on:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 5:30 p.m.
start at 5:00 p.m.
Location: Northgate Community Center Gym, 10510 5th Ave NE

Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 5:30 p.m
start at 5:00 p.m.
South Seattle Community College, The Brockey Center, 6000 16th Ave SW

Tuesday, October 26 at 5:30 p.m.
start at 5:00 p.m.
Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 600 Fourth Ave

Mayor McGinn is scheduled to present his budget proposal two days before the hearings begin – 2 pm September 27th. For the rest of the budget timeline, including other reviews, presentations, and votes, check the city’s budget-process webpage.

Shooting followup: Police identify Alki man, release gun photos

Just in, the update promised by Seattle Police: On their SPD Blotter site, they have identified the man shot by officers Friday night as 59-year-old Thomas Qualls, saying he remains in stable condition; they have identified the officers who shot at him as Sgt. Steve Strand, with 19 years of service, Officer Andy Peloquin, a 16-year veteran, and Officer Mark Gallegos, 1 year with SPD, all from the Southwest Precinct. Also, they have published photos of the guns they say he had. Shown above is the police photo of what SPD is now describing as “the rifle pointed at officers” – on SPD Blotter, you can also see what they call “the suspect’s handgun.”

West Seattle Crime Watch: 3 WS heists blamed on ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’

Remember that surveillance photo? It’s now attached to a nickname. For the first time in a long time, the FBI’s given a nickname to a serial bank robber – and blaming the “Mrs. Doubtfire Bandit” for six heists, including three in West Seattle – the latest, last week’s robbery of the Alaska USA branch in the Westwood Village QFC. From the FBI, the six holdups linked to the same person, and more information:

1. 4/5/2010 – Key Bank , 4701 California Ave SW in Seattle [WSB coverage]
2. 4/28/2010 – Sterling Savings, 224 SW 15nd St in Burien
3. 5/29/2010 – Bank of America, 10623 NE 68th St in Kirkland
4. 6/1/2010 – Viking Bank, 4022 SW Alaska St in Seattle [WSB coverage]
5. 8/7/2010 – Alaska USA, 7300 Roosevelt Way NE in Seattle
6. 8/31/2010 – Alaska USA, 2500 SW Barton in Seattle [WSB coverage]

The suspect uses a note but threatens a weapon and violence. Generally described as a white female, 5’4”, 110 lbs, thin build, 40’s, looks gaunt and sick. We call her the “Mrs. Doubtfire Bandit.” Anyone with information about this individual is asked to contact the FBI by telephone at (206) 622-0460, or e-mail at

Here are two more photos sent by the FBI – left, from the May 29th Kirkland robbery; right, from the one in West Seattle eight days ago.

West Seattle development: Link crane leaving, and other updates

Thanks to Sharonn Meeks in Fairmount for noticing this morning that the big crane at the Triangle construction site for Link (38th south of Fauntleroy) appeared to be coming down – we went over to take a look (another crane is there to help dismantle it), then confirmed with Harbor PropertiesEmi McKittrick that’s indeed what’s happening, seven months after the crane’s arrival. We asked McKittrick for other project updates: Link is scheduled to open around the end of March, and will start pre-leasing apartments in January, she says. They have a letter of intent from vegetarian restaurant Chaco Canyon Café – remember the big reaction to word that Chaco Canyon was looking at Link? – and are negotiating with them. As for the two other retail spaces in Link, she says “a day-care provider” has signed up for one space and will make its announcement soon, while they’re still negotiating with a potential tenant for the third space. McKittrick tells WSB they’re also really excited about the plans for Link’s rooftop garden – they’re planning “urban agriculture” with an edible garden that’ll grow lettuce, carrots, and other types of produce that residents can “take care of, and harvest, and eat!” There’s more Link info online at

And more West Seattle business news: Skylark Café goes 7 days

Lots of West Seattle business changes making news this week – first M3 Bodyworks moved a few blocks north, then Click! Design That Fits announced it’s moving to The Junction, this morning, Square One Books‘ closure, and now, news of changes at Skylark Café and Club (which like M3 and Click! is a WSB sponsor). Announced by proprietor Jessie SK via e-mail newsletter this morning:

Skylark will soon be 7 days a week. You asked for it, you got it…well, actually, you asked for it and we ignored you for a really long time. “We’re a small family-run biz,” we protested. “We need a day off.” The confusion persisted, however, since restaurants close on Mondays, and you all have insisted on perceiving us as a bar. (It’s okay, we forgive you, we don’t mind being a bar. You can bring your kids here though, I swear!)

When will we do the emergency building repairs? When will we sleep? How will our Kitchen Manager have a spare moment to take care of his first child who was just born this weekend? All these questions are answered by announcement number two…

We’re closing for weekday lunch. Fear not! We shall keep our extraordinarily long happy hour (3 pm to 7 pm all seven days of the week) and just open right up with said happy hour on weekdays. We shall most certainly keep our popular and delicious weekend brunch (9 am to 3 pm Saturday AND Sunday).

THESE NEW HOURS ARE EFFECTIVE AS OF TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14. So weekday lunch ceases at the end of this week, and Monday, September 20 at 3 pm is your first day to come hang out with us [on a Monday].

Feel free to e-mail us feedback or further suggestions, or better yet come on in on a Monday starting September 20th and say hi in person!

Skylark is at 3803 Delridge Way (map), just south of The Bridge, and you can call ahead for takeout, by the way. Plus their almost-world-famous no-cover live music continues – the full calendar can always be found here.

Fauntleroy Fall Festival fundraiser September 17th: Pasta dinner!

September 8, 2010 10:04 am
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 |   Announcements

Just out of the WSB inbox:

The Fauntleroy Fall Festival is having a Pasta Fundraising Dinner
Friday, September 17, 2010, 5:30-7:30 pm

Fellowship Hall & YMCA Gym, Fauntleroy United Church of Christ, 9140 California Avenue SW.

There will be family active games in the YMCA Gym after the meal!

Menu: pasta, red and meat sauce, Caesar salad, garlic bread, lemonade and ice cream!
$5 per person or $20 for a family of 4 or more – pay at the door

Sponsors: Fauntleroy Church, Little Pilgrim School, Fauntleroy Children’s Center, Tuxedoes and Tennis Shoes Catering,
Endolyne Joe’s, West Seattle/Fauntleroy YMCA, Fauntleroy Community Association, NUCOR Steel, Seattle

Any questions, please contact Jenny Mandt
Co-Chair Fauntleroy Fall Festival or (206) 244-1885

West Seattle businesses: Square One Books permanently closed

(Photo added 9:31 am – the letter is posted on the Square One storefront door)
The one-week closure announced by Square One Books in Jefferson Square has turned out to be permanent. Square One’s Gretchen Montgomery made the announcement this morning, asking us to share this letter with you:

I want to let all of my wonderful customers know that Square One Books is closing. I am greatly saddened to have to do this to our West Seattle community of booklovers who have been supporting the store for nearly 23 years. One of the hardest parts of the closing is that I have been unable to let you all know in advance. I wanted to be able to tell all of you and at least have had a closing sale where we could all reminisce and say our goodbyes.

Unfortunately, on the advice of my lawyer, I was unable to do this. I needed to close the store promptly, which meant not be able to say anything to you all when you expressed concern and asked if we were ok.

For the almost 8 years that I have owned the store, I have been trying my hardest to keep the store afloat. Many factors disadvantaged us: the opening of the Westwood Barnes and Noble, increased online purchasing, books being sold everywhere at steep discounts, the economy, high rent, and the recent trend toward e-books.

For years I have taken no salary and have personally taken on more financial debt to keep the store going. I cannot continue to struggle to pay my bills and to be constantly consumed with stress due to my situation. As much as I love the bookstore and my customers, owning the bookstore was no longer good for my mental health, my family and my financial state.

We have had the store for sale for 1.5 years, and while many people want to own a bookstore, there was no interest in purchasing a store with the overhead costs we are carrying at this location. I believe that a new, independent bookstore is needed in West Seattle and that one could succeed in a more favorable spot. I wish I could be the one to move and start again, but I cannot, and I hope that someone is willing to give it a try.

We, myself and my staff, hope to see you all around West Seattle as we have gotten to know so many of you so well over the years. We will miss our bookstore friends; you are all very special people to us. Again, I wish I could have stayed in business for you, and I thank you all for your years of support. I know you tried very hard to keep us here.

Take care,
Gretchen & the Square One Books Staff

ADDED 2:39 PM: We contacted Gretchen to ask a few questions that surfaced in comments and/or were directly e-mailed to us. Here’s her reply:

I will put up info on our door about how gift cards can be handled. … I am in the process of contacting everyone personally that I had special orders for, and if people have any questions, they can email me at or leave a message on our store voicemail at (206) 935-5764, and I will get back to them as soon as I can.

New rabbi at West Seattle’s Kol HaNeshamah for High Holy Days

The Jewish High Holy Days are early this year – starting with the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, tonight – and local synagogue Kol HaNeshamah is observing for the first time with its new leader, Rabbi Zari Weiss. She spoke with WSB while preparing her sermon for tonight’s service, which along with other High Holy Days celebrations will be held outside West Seattle because there’s just not enough room in their regular home – they’re co-housed with Alki UCC Church.

Rabbi Weiss joined Kol HaNeshamah two months ago, and says she’s gotten to know the congregation as an “incredibly intelligent, creative group of people.” Since KHN has only been in operation for seven years, “parts of the infrastructure are not (yet) in place” – but she’s been working on that along with a new board and new educator, to “build on what’s already been built these last seven years.” High Holy Days, says Rabbi Weiss, provide the synagogue with an opportunity for outreach, since many “non-affiliated” Jews come to the services – KHN will use the chance “to let people know we have a congregation, we have a new rabbi, a whole new way of approaching things.” That includes what she draws from her background in areas such as healing and spiritual exploration – and she says, “by virtue of the fact I am a woman rabbi.”

One thing Kol HaNeshamah has always done differently – no tickets required for High Holy Days services – rather than raising money by charging admission, they have counted on donations, whatever people wish to give. But the services are being held at Seattle First Presbyterian downtown (map) since they may have up to 700 people and there’s just no room for that at Alki UCC.

So what’s in her sermon for tonight? Rabbi Weiss laughed and said she didn’t want to give it all away, but it’s “about the changing nature of the Jewish community.” Her life has changed as well – her last full-time role as a rabbi was in Berkeley, California, before she moved to Seattle in 2001 (ten years after her ordination), but she has served many congregations in this area in a part-time role: “I hadn’t yet found the right community (to serve full-time) – and now I have.”

We asked what’s ahead after the High Holy Days; Rabbi Weiss is planning a series of classes, workshops, readings, discussions, and more, to “explore what it really means to be Jewish, and to be a Jewish community in the 21st century.” The dates aren’t all worked out yet; you can watch the KHN website for details. And if you haven’t already checked out the synagogue – you are welcome at their services and celebrations this season, wherever you are on your spiritual journey. Here’s the official announcement of what’s planned and where:

WHERE: Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services are held at Seattle First Presbyterian, 1013 8th Ave., Seattle.
WHEN: Wed., Sept 8 – 7:30 p.m. Rosh Hashanah Evening service
Thurs., Sept. 9 -9:30 a.m. – 10 a.m., Rosh Hashanah Children’s service
10:30 a.m., Rosh Hashanah morning service; Tashlich picnic follows at Madrona Park Picnic Shelter, 853 Lake Washington Blvd.
Fri., Sept 17 – 7:30 p.m. Kol Nidre service
Sat., Sept. 18 – 9:30 a.m. – 10 a.m., Yom Kippur children’s service
10:30 a.m., Yom Kippur morning service
2 p.m. – 4 p.m., study sessions
4 p.m., Afternoon services with light break fast following

West Seattle Wednesday: Back to school! – and more

Hours after the big ribboncutting celebration at Chief Sealth International High School, work continued to get the renovated campus ready for about 1,000 students to arrive today – including installation of the electronic screen atop the school’s new streetside sign. And a few blocks west:

Portable speed monitors are up on SW Thistle, both directions, between 38th and 39th. Not that the weather this morning is too conducive to speeding, but this is a busy arterial leading to both Sealth and nearby Denny International Middle School. Sealth and Denny are just two of the Seattle Public Schools campuses in West Seattle that start classes today – also including West Seattle High School, Madison Middle School, Pathfinder K-8, and these elementaries: Roxhill, Arbor Heights, Highland Park, Gatewood, Sanislo, Schmitz Park, Lafayette, and Alki (West Seattle Elementary opened last week) – this is the first year of the transition to a “neighborhood school” system, with entering classes such as K, 6th, and 9th the first to get the new assignments. Independent schools Westside School, Explorer West Middle School, and Shorewood Christian School are open starting today too – be careful EVERYWHERE you drive. Also happening today/tonight: As previewed here yesterday, the 34th District Democrats meet tonight, with the agenda including their endorsement decision in the 34th District State House Position 2 race (7 pm, The Hall at Fauntleroy) … West Seattle synagogueKol HaNeshamah celebrates Rosh Hashanah at 7:30 pm, Seattle First Presbyterian (1013 8th Ave.), more on that in a story coming up later this morning … at noon, Alki Lumber Jim Sweeney receives the Kiwanis Everyday Hero Award from the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle at 12 noon at Be’s Restaurant (4509 California – $8 for lunch) … And it’s opening night for “Reasons to Be Pretty” at ArtsWest … More on the calendar!

Update: Schedule for Alki Family Fun Day – dog parade and all!

September 8, 2010 6:14 am
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 |   Alki Statue of Liberty | Fun stuff to do | West Seattle news

This Sunday’s the big day for the Alki Community Council-presented Family Fun Day and Bluegrass Concert (first previewed here last month) at Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza. And this morning, the schedule of events is out, starting with a welcome at noon and the Dog Parade at 12:30, continuing through a Kids’ Talent Show and other entertainment, then concluding with a bluegrass concert. In addition, ACC says 25 vendors will have booths by the plaza, including “an authors’ table open to published writers of West Seattle.” Read on for full (free!) details:Read More

West Seattle Crime Watch: Car-theft wave

First, we received this West Seattle Crime Watch report e-mailed by Melody:

Our neighbor on 13th Ave SW has his car stolen sometime on Sunday evening. It was found on 11th Ave SW in good shape– and nothing went missing. The cops said this was the 7th car in the last week to have been stolen within a 4-block radius of 13th and Henderson.

I just think it’s important to note that 7 cars have been stolen within a 4-block radius in Highland Park…

To verify that, we checked the online-police-report system, which doesn’t always have details but at least have a record of the block and crime type. Here’s what we found in that general vicinity – not sure if it’s within that “4-block radius” since we don’t have the block number of the 13th SW theft, though – the theft of Melody’s neighbor’s car is not in the publicly viewable system yet:

Sep 5 2010 10:00PM – VEHICLE THEFT – 90XX BLOCK OF 13TH AVE SW
Sep 5 2010 10:00PM – VEHICLE THEFT – 88XX BLOCK OF 10TH AVE SW

Southwest Precinct leadership confirmed two weeks ago that there’s been an increase in auto theft lately (as we reported here). And we’ll get our next update on local crime trends a week from tonight, when the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council resumes monthly meetings after a 2-month summer hiatus – 7 pm Tuesday, Sept. 21, at the SW Precinct meeting room.

Taqueria Contreras: New taco truck in West Seattle

Haven’t had dinner yet? Like Mexican food? New option – West Seattle’s second taco truck has arrived (the first one is El Rey Del Taco, which has been north of Home Depot for more than 2 years). Thanks to Brent for the tip – Taqueria Contreras is now open outside the Super 24 at 5455 Delridge Way. It’s along the north side of the store, and even if you are driving south, it’s not easy to see – but you can park on the south or west sides of the store. They say they’re open 10 am-10 pm, seven days a week, and this is their first week; according to the business-card-size menu they gave us, their offerings include:

Tacos $1.25
Burrito $5.50
Torta $6.50
Quesadilla $5.50
Mulitas $2
Sopitos $2.50
Alambres $8.99
Enchiladas $7.99
Burrito Mojado $7.99

Special #1 – 5 tacos, 1 can soda $6.75; special #2, 1 burrito, 1 taco, 1 can soda, $6.75

Their list of meats: Beef, pork, barbecue pork, chicken, beef tongue, beef cheeks. You can call in advance for a to-go order, 206-391-7608.

Westside School families, staff celebrate their new campus

This afternoon, Westside School‘s head of school Jo Ann Yockey led a joyful ribboncutting ceremony outside Westside’s new campus – the old EC Hughes Elementary in Sunrise Heights – just before hundreds of students and parents streamed in to get a look at the spruced-up classrooms and other facilities, the night before classes begin. Their tour guides were incoming 5th graders, who’ll be the new campus’s first “graduating class”:

Inside the school, which has been vacant for 2 school years, since South Lake High School used it as a temporary campus, cheerily labeled classrooms beckoned:

In one of those classrooms, a friendly, furry face drew attention:

Fresh paint and polish made the school’s classic features gleam – including the auditorium/cafeteria space:

Westside families and staffers followed their tours with a celebration on the playground, where two of Seattle’s famous street-food vendors were catering: Molly Moon Ice Cream and Dante’s Inferno Dogs. Earlier in the day, by the way, the neighbors from Fire Station 37 (whose own new location will open soon) had stopped by to help put up a sign over the front door:

Thanks to Westside’s David Bergler for that photo (our video and other photos are by WSB staff). He says Westside will have 235 students, preschool through 5th, when classes begin tomorrow morning. It’s only been five months since the school announced (as first reported here) it would lease the Hughes campus – which has room for Westside to grow, unlike its former home on 28th SW south of Roxbury, where some of its students had long been in portables.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Highland Park ‘home invasion’ charges

Charges are now filed against the two men who’ve been jailed in lieu of $1 million bail in connection with the Aug. 26th “home invasion” robbery in Highland Park. 45-year-old Sean Oie and 37-year-old George Augustine, Jr., are each charged with one count of 1st-degree burglary and one count of 1st-degree robbery. On first quick read, the story told in the court documents, regarding what happened and who did what, is the same one we published when Augustine appeared in court; the only additional detail is regarding additional possible suspects – as noted in the previous documents, Augustine claimed that the younger woman who was in the house at the time of the robbery helped set it up, and this set of documents explains that she is Oie’s ex-girlfriend. Still no indication of whether she’ll face charges, though, and the documents mention another potential suspect – besides Oie and his ex-girlfriend, Augustine claimed there was one other person involved, described only as a man “nicknamed Wiz.” Augustine also is the man shown in the bank surveillance photos that helped crack the case (at left; we don’t have a photo of Oie but will be seeking one) and as per another claim in the previous documents, prosecutors say this indeed, if resulting in a conviction, would be his “third strike.” Both suspects are due in court on September 20th to answer the charges. ADDED: State prison system’s photo of Augustine, for the record:

West Seattle Crime Watch: Another business A-board stolen

At least a few times a year, we hear about West Seattle businesses’ promotional A-boards being stolen – and it’s happened again. Christen Cottam from knows perfume, relatively new in The Junction, sent the photo:

My beautiful sandwich board was stolen … some time between when I closed the shop on Sunday at 5:00 and when I came in at 11:00 today. Courtney from Wallflower Framing made it for me, and I just got it a few weeks ago – it’s so beautiful!

For those who invariably bring it up every time one of these thefts happens, here’s the city code. Anyone who feels there’s an encroachment can report it, rather than resorting to theft.