West Seattle, Washington
Just reported (thanks to Katie for the tip): Two men held up Papa John’s on California SW north of SW Brandon (map). They’re described on the scanner as one black, one Samoan, both wearing ski masks and gloves, dark clothing, both displayed guns. They were reported to have left through the back door. A K-9 unit is helping police search. Witnesses are telling police, according to scanner traffic, that they got away in a mid-’90s silver Acura with a “mismatched wheel on the passenger side.” Call 911 if you have any tips. 11 PM UPDATE: Per the scanner, a car close to the getaway car’s description – with a “slope” that may be related to the “mismatched wheel” – was seen speeding across the West Seattle Bridge and exiting to northbound I-5. (Could be a coincidence, though, so do still keep an eye out here.) 12:21 AM UPDATE: Added photo by Christopher Boffoli, as police continued to search the alley behind the restaurant, where the robbers were last seen.
10:17 AM UPDATE (WEDNESDAY): Just checked with police – according to Officer Renee Witt in the SPD Media Unit, neither the robbers nor their car have been found yet.
Tonight’s West Seattle Crime Watch starts with that surveillance video just in from a Highland Park resident near 5th SW and Cloverdale (map). He has just also given that video to police who are investigating the theft of a parcel from his doorstep, delivered today containing an “expensive motorcycle helmet” around 2 pm, then stolen, according to his surveillance camera, about three hours later. He says, “It amazes me that someone can get away with this in broad daylight, and has made me feel oddly violated – even though they didn’t enter my home.” If you recognize the car/person, call police.
Second of three items in Crime Watch tonight:
Local businesses are being warned by police about another string of business burglaries. The photo above was sent by Christopher Boffoli via iPhone about this time last night at the 38th/Alaska (map) construction site for Link, where police responded to a burglary alarm; site owner Harbor Properties tells WSB that nothing was taken. This coincides, though, with something else we’d been checking out: A WSB’er e-mailed to say he was in a West Seattle store when police officers came in to give shopkeepers a heads-up about area business break-ins. Lt. Norm James at the Southwest Precinct confirms: “We had 8 commercial burglaries last week that appear unrelated, but just to be on the safe side we started notifying businesses” – that, he says, is also part of the new Business Watch program (as reported here), a business version of Block Watch. (Sorry, we don’t have the burglary locations, so far.)
Third and final Crime Watch report tonight – just got this note, from a West Seattleite who didn’t want his name used, about a home break-in attempt:
I live in the 7500 block of 31st Ave SW [map]. My wife got home this afternoon at 2pm and she found that one of the patio furniture chairs had been removed from our deck and placed under a window in the backyard. Someone had tried to force the window open, failed, and tried to wipe away any indications of them having been there. Thankfully they were unable to get inside, we presume our dog and the neighbor’s dogs likely spooked the criminal. We notified the police who gave us an “event number” and spoke with a few neighbors, but no one saw or heard anything.
Out of the WSB inbox tonight, two events for this weekend:
TWELFTH NIGHT PRODUCTIONS CABARET AND AUCTION: It’s the event that yields much of the funding for community-theater troupe Twelth Night Productions, and it starts at 6 this Friday night at South Seattle Community College‘s Brockey Center – dinner, drinks, appetizers, silent/live auction (items including a Leavenworth getaway and “instant wine cellar”), and entertainment, $55/person, tickets available online through Thursday.
AT COVE PARK, HELP OUT, AND LOOK AHEAD: A work party this Saturday at the mini-beach park north of the Fauntleroy ferry dock will be followed up by a chance to talk about what’s ahead for the park, according to this note from Mardi:
Saturday, October 9th, Tom Jay, lead artist, and Kirk Hackler, lead landscape architect, will be at Cove Park to talk to any interested community members about ideas for the restoration of the space after the Barton Street Pump Station is expanded and restored. All are welcome to help maintain the park from 10 to 1, and then meet with Tom and Kirk at 1 pm.
Construction of the two-year pump-station project is scheduled to start in 2012 – here’s more info on the King County Wastewater Treatment Division website.
Didn’t know till a few minutes ago that the Seafair Pirates – who have many ties to West Seattle – have someplace called “Pirate Central” in North Seattle. Tomorrow afternoon, that’s where they’ll talk to the media about “their goals and plans for the rebuilding of their ship, the Moby Duck,” according to a just-in media advisory. As reported here last weekend, the engine of the landborne Moby Duck caught fire along a freeway in Bothell, and spokespirate Mark “Keelhaul” Jensen told WSB that repairs might tally as high as $25,000 (while sharing photos including the one at left). Moby Duck, by the way, really did start out as an amphibious landing craft (DUKW), 1942 vintage, before being given to the Seafair Pirates in 1954. They promise that tomorrow they “will outline what their immediate plans are and answer the many inquiries from people who wish to help restore the Moby Duck.” Stay tuned!
Today we’re welcoming a new WSB sponsor, Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering and Events. New sponsors are offered the chance to tell you about their business – so here’s what they want you to know: At Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering and Events, we care deeply about the relationships that we have built over the years. We are delighted to have happy clients and guests who repeatedly refer us to their friends and call us for their events again and again. Let our knowledgeable event specialists take the stress out of the event-planning process. Utilizing the freshest of ingredients and taking advantage of the region’s finest seafood, produce and specialty items, our talented chefs will prepare your menu with imagination and flair. Our service team is known for their courteous, professional service. Our aim is to allow you to relax and enjoy your party and your guests. Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering and Events has been in business for 25 years, 16 of those years at The Hall at Fauntleroy. Although this is our exclusive venue, we will go anywhere you please, from a dinner party in your home, to any of the other beautiful venues in Seattle and the surrounding areas. Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes owners David and Meg Haggerty, along with David Meckstroth, have always made a commitment to give back to the community. A few of the ways that they do this is by being a sponsor of the annual Fauntleroy Fall Festival and by hosting an annual Free Community Thanksgiving dinner at The Hall at Fauntleroy. We are pleased that many of the local schools and nonprofit organizations choose to have their annual fundraisers at The Hall at Fauntleroy. Call us at 206-932-1059, or visit our website. We would love to talk to you about your next party!
We thank Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering and Events for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news on WSB; look for Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes at the Fauntleroy Fall Festival on October 17th! Find our sponsor team, and info on joining, all here.
For the next two days – take note! From SDOT:
Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) crews will close the West Seattle Bridge westbound left curb lane from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, October 6 and 7. The closure will enable the Seattle Department of Information Technology to run fiber cable across the bridge. The sidewalks will remain open.
SDOT crews will also close lanes on the Admiral Way Bridge – the westbound right curb lane and the eastbound right curb lane – on Thursday, October 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sidewalks will remain open. The lane closures will enable engineers to conduct an annual bridge inspection.
(And if you missed the announcement a few days ago – reminder that WSDOT will close the Alaskan Way Viaduct for its semiannual inspection on October 16-17 … 6 am-6 pm each of those days.)
Just announced by Seattle Public Library:
Learn how to assess and retrofit your home at the DIY Seismic Retrofitting Workshop from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23 at The Seattle Public Library, West Seattle Branch, 2306 42nd Ave. S.W.
The program is free and open to the public. Registration is required. To register, call the Seattle Office of Emergency Management at 206-233-5076. Free parking is available at the branch.
Experienced home contractors and retrofit experts will teach participants how to retrofit their homes using City of Seattle’s free pre-engineered plans. Home retrofitting can help reduce damage caused during an earthquake.
This workshop is presented in partnership with the Seattle Office of Emergency Management.
For more information, call the branch at 206-684-7444.
Every year, AAA offices around the state collect toiletries – shampoo, soap, toothpaste, etc., especially in “hotel sizes” – in the “Soap for Hope” drive. Alison from AAA in The Junction e-mailed to say that the West Seattle residential facility to which her office had been giving their donations isn’t around any more, so they are trying to figure out who the beneficiary for this year’s drive can be. Got a suggestion? Post a comment – or if you’d rather make the suggestion offline, AAA’s office number is 206-937-8222. (P.S. Once again this year, we will have a running list of holiday-time donation and fundraising drives on the forthcoming WSB Holidays page, so please let us know about anything you’re working on.)
(Justice the police horse at Westwood Village in 2/2010, photographed by Becky; other photos in this story by Deanie Schwarz unless otherwise credited)
By Deanie Schwarz
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Anyone who’s lived in West Seattle within the last nine years might have bumped into Seattle Police Department officers on horseback on training rides at Westcrest Park or Westwood Village. For some, that’s the only visible sign of what’s otherwise a semi-secret: The SPD Mounted Patrol Unit is headquartered here, in a barn in Highland Park. But maybe not for much longer.
The unit has about 2,000 square feet of office space attached to a 16,000-square-foot barn and arena, tucked away on three acres at the southern end of Westcrest, surrounded by an old stand of madrona and maple trees. Behind the park driveway and a couple of looming radio towers, the arena and attached paddocks seem far removed from the rush of traffic at 8th and Roxbury (map), the city-county boundary one block to the south.
Now the unit’s future is in question. When Mayor McGinn submitted his proposed budget last week – now in hearings before the City Council Budget Committee – it called for eliminating the Mounted Patrol Unit and transferring its officers to other parts of the department. But in the 100-year history of the SPD Mounted Unit, this is not the first time the patrol officers and horses have been put on the budget chopping block. .
On a recent late summer morning, long before the Mayor’s budget items were announced, the daily mucking-out of the stalls began as usual at 7:00 am, when Glen McMahon, the civilian stable manager arrived.
(Ahead – a look inside the Mounted Unit, as well as a look at how Portland saved theirs in the face of budget cuts.)Read More
Schmitz Park forest steward Dylan shares that photo along with an invitation for you to come help plant trees in one of West Seattle’s green gems. They’re having a tree-planting event this Sunday, as part of the 350.org 10-10-10 “global work party.” If you can spare three hours 9 am-noon, you can help plant Sitka Spruce and Western Hemlock in the park; RSVP here (and find out more).
Before we get to Sunday – a separate regional event gives you the chance to join in one of several West Seattle events on Saturday:
It’s a regional Duwamish Alive! work party day, 10 am-2 pm on Saturday – all cleanup and restoration events in the Duwamish River watershed, some even on the river itself (there’s a waterborne work party too) – go here to see where you can help out.
Two citywide events this morning of West Seattle interest: South Seattle Community College is in the spotlight, along with its sibling campuses around the city, as they connect via satellite this morning to the first-ever White House Community Colleges Summit … The City Council Budget Committee continues its closeup look at Mayor McGinn‘s proposed budget. Today’s agenda starts with public comment at 9:30 am and the Department of Neighborhoods‘ presentation at 9:45 am, including the Neighborhood Matching Fund (responsible for many projects in areas like ours, and proposed for a $700,000 cut). The agenda’s here. … Fire Station 37 moves from old to new today, as reported here yesterday … Music notes: It’s Rock Trivia night at Feedback Lounge (8 pm) and Open Turntables night at Skylark Café and Club (6 pm) – both WSB sponsors – plus weekly rehearsal for West Seattle Community Orchestras at Chief Sealth International High School (details here).