day : 24/01/2011 11 results

West Seattle scenes: Classic wheels, classic backdrops

Greg is only the third owner of his classic car, and he’s had it for more than 30 years. He decided to photograph it in front of the old and new Fire Station 37 buildings in West Seattle, and we thought the results made for nice night-ending scenery.

Ongoing court case: Another appearance for Thomas Qualls

January 24, 2011 10:12 pm
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 |   Crime | West Seattle news | West Seattle police

gavel.jpgOne of many West Seattle cases we’re tracking through the courts is that of Thomas Qualls, the 59-year-old Alki man shot September 3rd in what police say was an exchange of fire with officers at his home. He has been in jail, with bail set at $1 million, since getting out of the hospital less than a week after the incident. While downtown today, we were in King County Superior Court for Qualls’ latest appearance, even shorter than the last; it was slated to be a hearing on whether to set a trial date (or some other option, like a plea bargain) but his lawyer won a requested four-week delay, saying they are still in the middle of obtaining and studying some complex evidence. So he’s due back in court February 22nd. He’s charged with three counts of 2nd-degree assault, with firearms enhancement.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Car-window ‘target practice’

A quick note came in this afternoon from someone sad to see a lot of folks cleaning up broken glass along 32nd SW. A different note a bit earlier, from David, told the tale:

Sometime Saturday night – Sunday morning, someone blew out at least four car windows with a pellet gun on 32nd Ave SW between Thistle and Barton St. [map] Vehicles weren’t rifled through, so it appears to be target practice from some malevolent passerby. I seem to remember a WSB article on similar crime in 2010 and hope spreading the word might heighten westsiders’ awareness of their street scene to ward off similar activity.

Speaking of heightened awareness – West Seattle Blockwatch Captains’ Network meets tomorrow night, 6:30 pm, Southwest Precinct.

Delridge Playfield update: Might be ready to go next week

January 24, 2011 6:02 pm
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 |   Delridge | West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

Before things got busy today, we were pursuing a few followups. Here’s news from one: Delridge Playfield project manager Ted Holden tells WSB, “I am really hoping that by next week the fences will be down, the goals up and the kids enjoying the field.” He says that if crews get some dry weather this week, they can finish the turf installation, then: “After that, the General Contractor needs about 2 days to finish the concrete work at the site entrance and we can call it a wrap.” It’s been more than six months since playfield work started; Holden notes it’s taken longer than expected because the July start “cost us those all-important dry days.” As noted on the project webpage, the field’s new design includes “two striped soccer fields, one softball field, one baseball field, one woman’s lacrosse field overlaying the north soccer field, one men’s lacrosse field overlaying the south soccer field, two striped Ultimate fields overlaying the south soccer field, and one smaller Ultimate field demarcated with ‘cone dots’ overlaying the north soccer field.”

2 small fires under investigation at West Seattle High School

Firefighters were called to West Seattle High School today twice within the span of just a few hours. We went to the school to see what was happening, after getting tips from concerned neighbors/passersby – though the calls at 11:37 am and 2:17 pm were only on the 911 log as “automatic fire alarms.” At the school, principal Ruth Medsker confirmed to WSB that, as scanner traffic had indicated, both were trash-can fires – one led to a brief evacuation because of “plastic fumes.” Both the principal and Seattle Fire Department confirm there was no damage and no injuries, but SFD Lt. Sue Stangl says the fires are under investigation with “Seattle FIre, Seattle Police and school security working together.”

Family safety: Denny PTSA invites all to come get advice, tomorrow

January 24, 2011 3:33 pm
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 |   Safety | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

“It’s time to get serious about your family’s personal safety.” So begins the Denny International Middle School PTSA‘s open invitation to a special event tomorrow (Tuesday) night, 6-7:30 pm at Denny, and they tell us that students are welcome as well as parents, from anywhere in our area, not just Denny families. The event promises “important safety tips to help keep you and your child safe both in the real world and the cyber-world,” with guests including the school-safety officer assigned to Denny. There’ll also be Giannoni’s Pizza on sale for $1/slice. Denny is at 8402 30th SW (map).

Landmarks Board committee to review Homestead restoration plan

For the first time in more than a year, the city Landmark Preservation Board‘s Architectural Review Committee is about to be briefed on the proposed future of the fire-damaged Alki Homestead (historically known as the Fir Lodge). A review is set for this Friday morning at the city Municipal Tower downtown; that’s the first step toward the approvals required to alter the structure, since it’s a city landmark; the Homestead was last brought before them in November 2009. Shortly after the recent 2-year anniversary of the accidental fire that shut down the Alki Homestead restaurant, the language regarding the project changed on the project’s city webpage; instead of mentioning “reconstruction,” it now reads “Restoration of the Historic Fir Lodge/Alki Homestead Restaurant, removal of the non-historic accessory structures, and new construction of an attached facility at NW portion of the site.” Before finding out about this review, we had in fact just checked on this project at city Department of Planning and Development headquarters downtown, and they told us the plans haven’t been submitted to DPD yet, so this Friday may be the first official look. (Added: Since we’re still downtown, we’re going over to the Landmarks Board office to take a look at what they have on file.)

ADDED 5:35 PM: The restoration project’s description, according to what we subsequently found on file at the Landmarks Board office downtown – read on:Read More

West Seattle Chamber invites you to hear ‘Why the Tunnel Works’

Still making your mind up about the Highway 99 tunnel? The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce invites you to an informal lunch panel discussion this Wednesday, 11:45 am at The Kenney, and today is the deadline to RSVP. Read on for the Chamber’s official announcement:Read More

West Seattle businesses: West 5 announces 8th-birthday celebration

(2007 photo by Christopher Boffoli)
A West Seattle Junction icon is turning 8 in a few weeks, and inviting you to the party. Just got an official announcement on behalf of West 5 – read on after the jump for the party date, and a look back at how West 5 made history:Read More

Steve Bushaw murder case: Guilty-plea withdrawal not expected

January 24, 2011 10:27 am
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 |   Crime | West Seattle news

gavel.jpgWe’re back at the King County Courthouse, where today’s open-court proceedings lasted less than an hour as the third week of pre-jury-selection proceedings in the Steve Bushaw murder-case trial began. (Quick backstory: Bushaw, a 26-year-old West Seattleite, died after being shot outside a Junction restaurant/bar on Super Bowl Sunday night in 2009; 4 people were arrested and charged months later, with the allegation it was a revenge plot instigated by the suspicion Bushaw was involved with robbing someone linked to marijuana dealing with which he was involved.) Today’s toplines:

*The lawyer for one of the two defendants who has pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of 2nd-degree murder, Danny O’Neal, announced his client probably will not seek to withdraw that plea. It was raised as a possibility after the other admitted triggerman, John Sylve, made a similar plea agreement, but gave a statement that apparently dramatically contradicted what O’Neal had said. O’Neal will be interviewed shortly by the other defendants’ lawyers.

*A potential witness who apparently was implicated in Sylve’s statement was subpoenaed to be in court today. He was not asked to come into the hearing, but a lawyer has been appointed for him since it is believed he might have to invoke the 5th Amendment (against self-incrimination) if called as a witness. His new lawyer will spend much of today talking with him. (We are not naming him at this point, since he is neither a charged suspect nor an official witness-to-be.)

*A lawyer for one of the two remaining defendants still set for trial, Bryce Huber, asked Superior Court Judge Joan DuBuque about her intention regarding his motion to further delay the trial. She didn’t give a final opinion but said she was not inclined to grant it and that as of this point, everyone should proceed as if the jury pool will be brought in this Thursday as scheduled. Court will resume at 9 tomorrow morning.

West Seattle Monday: Road closures; See Dogs; Scrabble…

January 24, 2011 6:53 am
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 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(Photo of the day, thanks to Melanie: Sea lions feeding off Jack Block Park)
From the WSB West Seattle Events calendar: The day starts with another chance to see a really high tide, 13.1 feet at 8:01 am … Tonight, two road closures of note just outside West Seattle – this one is new:

The contractor working for the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to widen the Spokane Street Viaduct will close East Marginal Way at South Spokane Street for three nights next week. Crews will demolish the overhang along the upper roadway to prepare for Harbor Island off-ramp construction. The closures begin each night at 10 p.m. from January 24 through January 26 and end by 5 a.m. the following morning.

During this work, southbound East Marginal Way traffic will be allowed to head west at South Spokane Street to West Seattle, as well as make a U-turn under the viaduct to continue southbound on East Marginal Way. Northbound East Marginal Way traffic will be required to head east on South Spokane Street, detouring north on First Avenue South to South Hanford Street. A uniformed police officer will be positioned at First Avenue South to allow left turns.

In addition, westbound Spokane Street Viaduct closures resume tonight through Wednesday night, 10 pm-5 am. … Also tonight: West Seattle See Dogs meet at 6:30 pm at Merrill Gardens-Admiral Heights (WSB sponsor), 2326 California Ave SW … It’s the weekly nonprofit-fundraiser Scrabble tournament at Skylark Café and Club (WSB sponsor), 7 pm registration, 7:15 pm game (details here) – $5 to play … Family Story Time at High Point Library is tonight at 7 pm … West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) Indoor Youth Soccer registration continues today- information here.