day : 13/01/2011 16 results

Facebook page, tip line, higher reward in search for Jeremy Peck

It’s been a week since our first report about the disappearance of West Seattle resident Jeremy Peck. Volunteers joined the search last Sunday (WSB coverage here); now, two more ways are available for people to help, and the reward’s been increased. As noted on the WSB Facebook page this afternoon, there’s a new Find Jeremy Peck page (you can “like” it here); family and friends have set up an anonymous tip line, 206-478-4905, you can call any time. And the reward for information on Jeremy’s disappearance is up to $1,500. He was last reported seen at the Admiral Pub early Christmas Eve morning.

Chief Sealth eligible for federal ‘improvement grant’; district won’t seek it

Chief Sealth International High School is one of three Seattle Public Schools on the “persistently low-achieving” list released by the state today. That list is compiled annually to show which schools are eligible for a federal grant of up to $2 million over three years – if they pursue one of four federally designed plans of action. The district says that while it is pursuing grants for its other two schools on the list, AS#1 and Rainier Beach High School, whose deficiency is listed as “achievement,” it is not doing so for Sealth, whose deficiency is listed as “graduation.” From a news release sent by SPS tonight:

One other school – Chief Sealth International High School – is also on the state list of eligible schools based on low graduation rates. Seattle Public Schools is not pursing a grant application for Chief Sealth, because the school is well into implementation of a plan to ensure a high-achieving school. “Chief Sealth leadership, staff and families are working very well together, and in cooperation with Denny International Middle School, to create an outstanding 6-12 pathway based on the International Baccalaureate and international education,” said Goodloe-Johnson. “While additional funding would be helpful, we do not want to disrupt the momentum that has been created.”

Seattle Public Schools and its teacher union decided last year that any school for which a grant was sought would follow the “Transformation” type of improvement plan – which requires “Replace the principal and take steps to increase teacher and school leader effectiveness; institute comprehensive instructional reforms; increase learning time and create community-oriented schools; and provide operational flexibility and sustained support.” Last year, West Seattle Elementary was on this list, and the district pursued a grant. This state document explains the criteria for landing on the list. We have a message out seeking further comment.

Longtime Block Watch leader in West Seattle? This one’s for you

January 13, 2011 9:59 pm
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 |   Crime | Safety | West Seattle news | West Seattle police

If you’ve long been involved with the Block Watch program in West Seattle – or know someone who has – there’s a special call out for you tonight, from the WS Blockwatch Captains’ Network, looking ahead to its next meeting – which also extends a special invitation to those wanting to say farewell to retiring Crime Prevention Coordinator Benjamin Kinlow (here’s our Tuesday report on his impending retirement):

What’s the History of Blockwatch in West Seattle? Are you part of the history? Do you know part of the history?

When: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 6:30-8
Where: SW Precinct 2300 S.W. Webster (Delridge & Webster)
Agenda: 6:00-6:30 Socializing and networking during setup
6:30-7:00 WSBWCN news and updates, crime prevention tip of the month
7:00-8:00 History of Blockwatch in West Seattle with Benjamin Kinlow
Open forum for sharing historical information, blockwatch stories and thanking Benjamin.
8:00-8:30 Socializing & networking during teardown.

Featured speaker: Retiring Crime Prevention Coordinator Benjamin Kinlow

The topic of our January meeting is focused on the history of block watch in West Seattle. Benjamin Kinlow who has many years of experience in blockwatch will regale us with his stories of how things used to be, how they have evolved and talk about some highlights of his career. We invite everyone in West Seattle who has participated in blockwatchs over the years to come say goodbye to Benjamin, hear about the history of blockwatch and bring their blockwatch stories to share. Especially if you have stories relating to working with Benjamin and how he has helped you with your blockwatch it would be great to send him off to retirement with a few stories he might have forgotten!

We are trying to round up historical memorabilia and/or photos of blockwatch history in West Seattle that we could scan and put in a slide show so if you have something please get in touch. E-mail: or call 206-424-0040 and leave a message.

Tonight: First West Seattle Art Walk of the year!

January 13, 2011 4:58 pm
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 |   West Seattle Art Walk | West Seattle news

It’s the second Thursday of the month, which means it’s West Seattle Art Walk night, 6-9 pm all over the peninsula. A new list of venues, since it’s a new quarter – and that means a new walking map (the second page of this PDF). Photography has a special spotlight this time around – at Alki Arts, on the north end of the Art Walk, you will find photographer Robin Lindsey, whose beautiful photographs grace the website of Seal Sitters, for whom she is a first responder (and much more). In The Junction, you will find photographer Machel Spence at Coffee to a Tea with Sugar – we mentioned her show here recently; she takes ethereal photographs of fungi in forests, and shares some of them via the WSB group on Flickr. At ArtsWest, the photojournalist whose work is now on display, Roger Ressmeyer, will be at centerstage for a special edition of ArtsWest’s popular “OnStage” discussion series at 7:30 pm. And at Wallflower Custom Framing, photojournalist Anton Moentenich is the featured artist.

Other special features tonight: Want to meet Miranda Krone, who is opening Meander’s in the former Jade West Café? She’s the appetizer chef tonight at C & P Coffee (WSB sponsor), which is hosting its Wine Club tonight and is also an Art Walk stop. And some of West Seattle’s newest businesses are part of the lineup – West Seattle Fabric Company in Admiral, Locöl, Tuscan Tea Room, the Admiral branch of Bird on a Wire Espresso. Then there’s the big sixth anniversary bash at Twilight Artist Collective in The Junction. Lots of venues previewed at the official Art Walk website!

P.S. Not officially part of the Art Walk, but in its spirit – the West Seattle High School Winter Art Expo is under way at the school library till 8. Here’s our preview from last week.

Bank-robbery arrest in Kent may solve ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ heists here

That shot from a West Seattle bank robbery last April (WSB coverage here) was one of the most-discussed bank-robber photos we’ve run … as the robber’s gender seemed to be in doubt. Today, Seattle FBI spokesperson Special Agent Frederick Gutt confirms to WSB that a suspect held for a bank holdup in Kent may be the so-called “Mrs. Doubtfire” robber, suspected in a string of stickups around the region. She is a 53-year-old resident of Des Moines, arrested for robbing an Alaska USA credit union branch in Kent two days ago, according to Special Agent Gutt. We reported last September that one suspect was likely responsible for 6 heists, 3 of them in West Seattle, starting with the April 2010 KeyBank robbery in The Junction (the others are listed here), though the list has now grown to 11, according to the FBI. (Hat tip to for what appears to be the 1st report on the arrest.)

West Seattle wildlife: Snowy sightings – and some ID help sought

Mid-afternoon wildlife break! First, the top photo is from Felicia, who’s looking for ID help:

I live along Harbor Ave, close to the West Seattle Bridge, and (Tuesday) night I’d been getting up to look out the window all evening to check out the snowfall. A little after 10 pm I saw this guy on the wire just below my balcony. He hung out for a while and let me take some photos. The cars below didn’t seem to bother him, he even seemed to watch them go by. He looked up at me a few times, when my camera made noise, and finally flew off. Beautiful! I did a bit of research and believe he was either a spotted or barred owl. If anyone can tell for sure, I’d be interested in which one. It was an unexpected and amazing moment to share the wonder of the quietly falling snow with this beautiful creature.

Next photo is our latest reported coyote sighting, sent yesterday morning by Paul:

Paul explained that was “a Fairmount ‘yote (Wednesday) morning getting back on the street after taking to the brush to get around me.”

Followup: West Seattle dogs shot by police had animal-control history

(Wednesday photo by Christopher Boffoli)
Following up on Wednesday’s 44th SW incident involving two dogs shot by police responding to a domestic-violence call, we had a few questions for the Seattle Animal Shelter. Regarding the dogs’ breed, SAS director Don Jordan told WSB, “DOA dog = Lab. Injured dog = Bulldog mix. These match the licenses we have on file.” Had his officers dealt with them before? “Slight history of welfare checks, leash-law violations, and menacing behavior,” replied Jordan: “Citation for LLV + Menacing in 2008. Eight impounds between these two dogs in 2008 and 2009.” We also asked about the condition of the surviving dog. According to Jordan, it was “stabilized at West Seattle Animal Hospital then transported to (a clinic) for overnight observation. We were putting the owner in contact with (the clinic) so they could determine what they wanted to do with the dogs leg – i.e. amputation, plates/screws or ultimately euthanasia.” The newest information from police, released last night, said the dogs were “on top of” the woman they ultimately arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, and that they charged the officer who opened fire.

Another car vs. bicycle crash, this time on 35th SW

(Photo added 12:47 pm)
Second crash today involving a bicyclist and car colliding while both were in motion. This one just happened on 35th at SW Willow (map). We are at the scene, where only one northbound lane of 35th is blocked at this point. According to scanner traffic, the 41-year-old bicyclist is being taken to the hospital by a Medic unit – medics said he was not wearing a helmet and that he “T-boned” a vehicle while he was going about 30 mph and the minivan about 20. His injuries were described as possible facial fractures and a left arm injury. Our crew at the scene says the vehicle was a minivan and the driver is OK.

West Seattle coffee: Stand in the works at High Point’s Hans VW

The folks at Hans VW Repair (6302 35th SW) confirm something we happened onto while browsing city records: They’ve applied for permits to open a coffee stand on their site. They expect going through the permit process to take a few months, so they don’t have all the details worked out just yet, but the process has begun. Their corner is becoming quite the hive of activity – it’s also where High Point Mini Market opened two months ago, and it’s hosted Marination Mobile since the other side of Graham turned into a cleanup site (and potential future home to 90 townhomes and live-work units, as reported here last month).

Update: Highland Park’s Dorsol Plants cancels council run

Just a few hours ago, we mentioned that with Michael Taylor-Judd‘s entry into the City Council race this year, West Seattle has two council candidates. Not any more. Former Highland Park Action Committee chair Dorsol Plants just sent this announcement:

After much thought and consideration, it is with great sadness that I am withdrawing from the 2011 City Council race.

The month after I filed, my grandfather suffered a stroke and after a hard fight, eventually passed away. I can’t begin to describe how much of an inspiration he was to me and the impact his passing has had on my family. My concern is that I will be unable to both uphold my obligations to my family and conduct a campaign worthy of my supporters and the citizens of Seattle. For this reason, I have chosen to withdraw from the race at this time.

This was not an easy decision to reach, and I only felt comfortable making this decision after meeting with a number of the other candidates running for City Council. I did not undertake my run for city council in 2009 or this year out of ambition to hold public office, but a desire to serve my community and to see much needed changes brought to Seattle. We can never be a complete community while some of our neighbors fear to walk their streets at night, lack access to safe and regular transportation choices, and families lack the security of a living wage jobs.

It would be arrogant to assume I am the only one who shares these values, and the coming race will serve as an amazing backdrop to continue the conversations necessary for Seattle to progress. I will continue to work in my capacity as a private citizen within our community and with our elected officials to help bring that change.

We reported Plants’ now-ended run five months ago. (WSB photo above is from last night’s 34th District Democrats meeting)

About those potholes: ‘Much greater problem,’ says Rasmussen

(1/3/11 High Point-area photo by Deanie Schwarz)
As evidenced in discussions like this and this, potholes are on almost everyone’s mind as we roll down the rutted roads of West Seattle. After hearing the subject came up during the City Council Transportation Committee‘s meeting the other day, we asked the committee’s chair, West Seattle-residing Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, about his take on the holes we love to hate (and wish would get filled). He wrote this reply for WSB (in other words, for you):

All about Potholes and Road Maintenance
Tom Rasmussen
Seattle City Council

When he first became Mayor, Greg Nickels made potholes a priority. His goal was to have them filled within 48 hours of a complaint.

While his goal was laudable, and helped in the short term, the reality is that potholes are a symptom of a much greater problem which is that our roads are deteriorating and the City is not able to keep up with the need to properly maintain them.

On Tuesday, at the City Council Transportation Committee meeting, I asked Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) director Peter Hahn to tell us what the department is doing to repair potholes. You can view the meeting here:

We were told that SDOT has a backlog of about 500 pothole reports compared to the average of 200. Today the new goal of SDOT is to fill potholes within 72 hours.

Because of the backlog, the number of pothole crews was increased from three to nine in December. SDOT has a permanent street maintenance crew based in Lincoln Park that repairs potholes everyday in West Seattle. For this season’s emphasis, one of the added crews will go to West Seattle three to four times a week. The additional crews will continue their work at least through January.

Mr. Hahn stated that “potholes are a symptom” of deferred maintenance. When maintenance is deferred the deteriorating surface allows water to undermine the roadbed. Freeze and thaw conditions create breaks resulting in potholes. This winter has had such conditions.

Mr. Hahn pointed out that spot repairs don’t last very long and will have to be redone multiple times. SDOT is looking at a more enduring way of filling potholes with new equipment which it has tested last year.

Seattle does not have sufficient funds to maintain and repair its streets adequately. In 2006 with the passage of the nine-year, Bridging the Gap levy an additional $365 million became available for transportation maintenance and repairs.

However, since 2008, because of the recession, SDOT has experienced a significant drop in its traditional revenues sources. State Gas Tax revenue has declined by 2% and the General Fund (comprised of sales tax, property taxes, B&O taxes and utility taxes) has declined 21% and Real Estate Excise Tax has declined by 60%.

SDOT’s non-Bridging the Gap revenues (adjusted for inflation) have declined from $81 million in 2008 to $59.7 million in 2010. A decline of 26%.

To help meet the need to maintain our streets the City Council last fall approved the creation of a Transportation Benefit District and approved a $20 vehicle license fee. The vehicle license fee will go into effect this spring and will raise about $6.5 million annually for street repairs and maintenance and other transportation needs.

Please report any potholes or other street maintenance needs you may see by calling the ROAD line at (206) 684-ROAD (7623) or by using the online form at Those contact methods get the information to Street Maintenance dispatch more directly than other methods.

If you have questions or comments, please write me at

Update: Delridge reopens after investigation of bike-truck crash

ORIGINAL REPORT, 8:11 AM: Via Facebook, Tina says Delridge is blocked between Thistle and Trenton, and Metro has rerouted the 120 bus, saying it’s because of a crash. According to e-mail from Mary, it involved a bicycle and vehicle. We’re told the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad was called out, which means the road will be closed for a few hours (last crash they investigated in West Seattle was Sunday’s outage-triggering 47th/Charlestown car vs. pole). We’re en route to this scene, but in the meantime, if you travel south Delridge, go around that area.

8:28 AM UPDATE: At the scene. The bicycle, as shown in the photo we just added, is still in the middle of the road. Police tell us the victim is a child, taken to the hospital. A driver was “evaluated” but did not show any “sign of impairment,” according to Det. Mark Jamieson of the media-response unit. They’ll have more information later once the TCI team files an initial report.

8:58 AM UPDATE: According to Lt. Sue Stangl at the Seattle Fire Department, the victim is a 15-year-old boy and has a leg injury. The vehicle is reported to have been a pickup truck.

10:24 AM UPDATE: Delridge is open again at the crash scene. Will add to this story when police release more information as expected later.

11:08 AM UPDATE: SPDBlotter has published additional details:

On January 13th, at approximately 7:07 AM, a 15 year old male bicyclist was travelling westbound on SW Cloverdale Street, heading downhill. At the intersection with Delridge Way SW, the bicyclist did not stop at the stop sign, entered the intersection, and struck the driver’s side door of a 2000 Ford F250 truck, that was travelling south on Delridge.

The bicyclist, who was wearing a helmet, was transported by SFD Medics to Harborview Medical Center with a broken leg and a head injury.

Detectives from the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad (TCIS) responded to the location to process the scene and begin their investigation. The driver of the truck was evaluated at the scene and there were no indications of any alcohol or drug impairment. The driver was interviewed and released pending further investigation.

34th District Democrats: Leadership chosen; new council candidate

January 13, 2011 8:05 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle politics

From left, re-elected chair Tim Nuse, first vice-chair Sabra Schneider, secretary LeeAnne Beres, and second vice-chair David Ginsberg are among the new leadership slate elected at last night’s 34th District Democrats meeting. Others elected:
• King County Committeeman: Jimmy Haun
• King County Committeeman Alternate: Dorsol Plants
• King County Committeewoman: Lisa Plymate
• King County Committeewoman Alternate: Betsy Shedd
• State Committeeman: Chris Porter
• State Committeewoman: Marcee Stone
• Treasurer: Jeff Upthegrove
Also during the meeting of this area’s biggest political group, held as usual at The Hall at Fauntleroy, a previous leader who declined to run again explained he’s got a different campaign in the works:

(Photo by Dina Lydia Johnson)
That’s Michael Taylor-Judd, who, as noted earlier in the day on PubliCola, has decided to run for City Council, though he hasn’t decided which position he’ll seek. Taylor-Judd said the tough financial climate, with governments making painful cuts, inspired him to run – he wants to start conversations about the budget process, centered on why and where the government should spend money, and is also interested in a process of educating people on how the budget process works. After 10 years of community/civic involvement, Taylor-Judd explained, he’s noticed many don’t have that knowledge. He also thinks it’s time for elected leaders and other city officials to “get out of downtown” and go listen to what their constituents really need. He’s the second 34th District Democrats member to declare his council candidacy, after Dorsol Plants.

Toward the start of the meeting, there was a moment of silence on behalf of the Arizona shooting victims; member Karl deJong later announced tonight’s Seattle vigil in their honor, at Westlake Plaza downtown, 7:30 pm (here’s the Facebook invitation).

3 Chief Sealth notes: Tour today; basketball vote; band dance

January 13, 2011 6:54 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

Three news notes this morning from Chief Sealth International High School: The first of three official tours during this school-choice season is happening today, 1 pm. Sealth principal John Boyd provides an introduction before you meet student leaders, counselors, and teachers, along with a tour of the newly renovated school. RSVP to 206-252-8550. (Other tour dates are 9:30 am February 15 and 1 pm March 3; Sealth’s open-house-style Choices Night is 6-9 pm February 17th; here’s the official flyer.)

One more just-announced event on the Sealth calendar – The school’s Jazz Band 1 is hosting a Big Band Dinner Dance fundraiser on April 15th, 6-11 pm in CSIHS’s Galleria – Italian dinner, swing dancing, and music by Jazz Band 1 and the West Seattle Big Band. $15 adults/students, $7 kids under 10. For tickets, contact Deborah Meyer at or Tristan Addington-Ferris at

And the Sealth PTSA sends word that this Friday night’s varsity basketball game against Seattle Prep is in the running for KIRO’s Game of the Week. All depends on who wins the vote – you can vote here till 5 pm today.

The WSBeat: Pigeon Point search, Fauntleroy sign-breaker, more

January 13, 2011 6:25 am
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 |   Crime | West Seattle news | West Seattle police | WSBeat

By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog

From reports on cases handled recently by Southwest Precinct officers:

*Monday afternoon, officers were alerted to an auto theft in progress on Pigeon Point. The thief managed to drive off at high speed northbound on 18th SW. Moments later, a citizen called 911 to report that a pickup truck had crashed through his fence in the 4800 block of 18th and that the driver had fled into a neighboring ravine. Officers were able to recover some items of clothing, as well as several tools typically used by car thieves, but they didn’t find the thief. (The K-9 trail went cold at the 4800 block of Puget Way SW.) The crashed pickup truck, registered in Wyoming, was a stolen vehicle that had been reported to Seattle Police.

*One effect of recent rains proved tempting to a man in his twenties in the area of Fauntleroy and SW Concord. He has been seen loitering, hiding in bushes, and rocking signposts in the rain-softened ground, causing them to break and tilt at angles. Description: He is white, and on Saturday, he was seen wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, had a bandana covering his lower face, and rode a razor-type scooter.

Five more summaries ahead:Read More

Sweet sound of Seattle Symphony success for West Seattle Kiwanis

January 13, 2011 5:25 am
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 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

The weather eased just in time for hundreds to come see and hear the Seattle Symphony for free last night at South Seattle Community College on Puget Ridge. It’s an annual tradition for the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle to host the orchestra’s peninsula appearance as part of the symphony’s Community Concerts series. You’ll find more information about that series here (as well as details on last night’s musical program).