day : 27/01/2011 15 results

Jogger-attack suspect out of jail, tells media ‘I watch women run’

Four hours after we reported here that jogger-attack suspect Duane Starkenburg was getting out of jail, with bond posted by his parents (10 percent of the $150,000 bail), TV crews caught up with him outside the jail. KING 5 has just posted the unedited video of their interview, which you can see above. We watched an edited version at 10, in which he repeated what he was quoted as saying in the court documents mentioned here earlier – that he went to Lincoln Park to exercise and would watch women run, because they’re “half-naked.” He also insists he’ll never go to “any park, anywhere, ever again.” And he says he was the victim in the 2005 road-rage case that’s on his record. Prosecutors are expected to decide tomorrow whether to file more charges against him.

This afternoon’s court hearing (with video)
Noontime report of more possible charges
Wednesday night report with police sketch related to December attack
Wednesday afternoon hearing (with video)
First report, from Tuesday evening, with info on suspect’s criminal record

West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen car to look for; car-prowl alert

Two quick West Seattle Crime Watch reports from the WSB inbox tonight. First, from Susan:

My car was stolen today from my work at the Harbor Marina Office Park at 1001 Klickitat Way. It is a 1998 Blue Subaru Outback wagon license plate 324 ZOR. Please post on the blog in case anyone sees it.

And from K:

We are in the 3200 block of 48th Ave SW near Hinds. Car prowlers were out last night. Neighbor’s car door was open this morning and the entire vehicle ransacked. Kind neighbors found the contents of the glove compartment and placed it in their mailbox. Had to happen between 11 PM and 5 AM this morning. Just a warning to keep doors locked and your vehicles empty of anything important.

Alert neighbors can make a difference – as police reminded us again today with this burglary-busting success story.
ADDED: One more report arrived late tonight, from Mark:

Just wanted to let WSB readers know there was a burglary today in the 9300 block of 31st PL SW. Happened sometime between 1:30 and 6:00 pm. Thieves shattered the back sliding glass door and took off with a laptop and 3 video game systems. Not very smart individuals as they left behind their cell phone and one of their gloves, both taken into evidence by the SPD. Officers also dusted for fingerprints. Hopefully this will lead to their arrest and prosecution.

New leaders for Highland Park Action Committee, and other toplines

(Photo by Dina Lydia Johnson)
Meet the new slate of officers for the Highland Park Action Committee! Elected at last night’s monthly meeting were, from left, secretary Mike Shilley, co-chairs Billy Stauffer and Carolyn Stauffer, and at right treasurer Michelle Glassey – to the left of Michelle, if you don’t know him, that’s now-past HPAC chair Dan Mullins. (Not pictured, vice chair Nicole Mazza.) The group also discussed the issue of a new name – something more open and inviting, some suggested; others countered that the group’s name has value since it became well-known during the jail fight. End result – Mullins, in his last meeting as chair, suggested everyone come to the next meeting with ideas, and see where it goes from there. Also last night:

NATURE CONSORTIUM: Mark “Buphalo” Tomkiewicz explained some of what’s going on along the West Duwamish Greenbelt, much of which is in Highland Park. Next month, he said, 4,200 new plants will come in. He also discussed clearing in Riverview Park – with volunteers going out right now on Thursdays and Saturdays, and more often later in the year.

ANN OWCHAR: Former HPAC chair Blair Johnson talked about how vital she was to both HPAC and Highland Park Improvement Club; he and wife Dina Lydia Johnson attended her recent memorial. Neighborhood District Coordinator Ron Angeles also talked about Ms. Owchar’s pioneering work in neighborhood organizing.

LOW-FLYING AIRCRAFT PETITION: This continues to be in circulation; Mullins said it’s up to 174 signatures. (You can see it here.)

MOVIES: They’re in the works monthly at HPIC, third Friday, admission free – next one hasn’t been chosen yet.

Highland Park Action Committee meets the fourth Wednesday of each month, 7 pm (after a 6:30 potluck) at Highland Park Improvement Club HQ, 12th/Holden.

Metro reminder: Changes on West Seattle routes start February 5

West Seattle bus riders have been on notice since our first report back in October: Metro has some notable West Seattle changes starting on February 5th. They’re sharing a detailed reminder tonight – read on for the details:Read More

Update: ‘Released in error’ Charlestown crash driver now in jail

January 27, 2011 4:13 pm
|    Comments Off on Update: ‘Released in error’ Charlestown crash driver now in jail
 |   Crime | West Seattle news

(WSB photo from January 9th)
The day after we reported that the driver in the 47th/Charlestown crash, Mohammad Nema, was out of jail but shouldn’t have been (here’s our story), we just got word from King County Jail Commander William Hayes that he is now behind bars:

I have had an opportunity to obtain more information regarding Mr. Nema. Our Department never took over guarding him from SPD on January 16th. One of our officers understood that we were to guard him so he booked Mr. Nema into our system. An hour later, it was determined that Mr. Nema was not at the hospital prior to us taking possession. Because we could not take custody of him, we could not book him, and it was coded as an error in the system. However, today Mr. Nema was scheduled for a hearing in court today at the MRJC. He was arrested by the King County Sheriff’s office when he arrived and booked into jail. He is now in our custody.

We just verified that via the jail register – he was booked at 2 this afternoon, bail set at $100,000. We’ll continue to watch the case as he progresses through the system.

(Quick recap if you don’t recall the story: Nema was driving the car that hit a pole at the bottom of the steep Charlestown hill early the morning of January 9, cutting power for hours to more than 2,000 West Seattle homes and businesses. He and his passenger, a woman described as his estranged girlfriend, who had protection orders against him, were cut out of the wreckage by rescuers. Both wound up in the hospital. She got out before he did. He is charged with vehicular assault/domestic violence; investigators believe he was driving drunk.)

Beach Drive slides: Neighbors disappointed, might hire a lawyer

Beach Drive resident Mike Winter, who lives across the street from the repeat-slide zone that was discussed by the City Council Transportation Committee on Tuesday, kept his promise to summarize last night’s closed meeting between city officials and neighbors. He just sent the summary – including word that the neighbors, disappointed, are looking into hiring a lawyer. Full report after the jump:Read More

Video: Attack suspect back in court; bail increased, bond posted

(ADDED 6:25 PM: Final 2 1/2 minutes of this afternoon’s hearing; you’ll hear the defense lawyer and judge)
2:57 PM REPORT: We’re at the King County Jail, where Lincoln Park attack suspect Duane Starkenburg has just returned to court.

(ADDED 9:25 PM: Seattle Times photo by Jim Bates, used with permission)
As noted earlier, additional charges are under consideration against him. Besides the two potential cases of “indecent liberties” we reported here around noontime, a third was mentioned in court – a possible case of attempted indecent liberties. Starkenburg’s parents, with whom he lives in Gatewood, were again in court, and addressed the judge, saying they could vouch he would stay out of trouble. His lawyer characterized the alleged grabbing incidents – while not confirming his client had definitely been responsible – as “an inept attempt at meeting people.” The judge cited potential danger to the community in setting bail at $150,000 – less than the $250,000 requested by the prosecutor. He has another court date scheduled tomorrow afternoon, which is also the deadline for the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office to file official charges against him (he is already formally charged in the Tuesday Lincoln Park grabbing incident, but that is filed with Seattle Municipal Court as a misdemeanor). More to come.

3:23 PM UPDATE: A bail bondsman has told reporters (including us) outside the jailhouse that the Starkenburg family is posting bond to get him out of jail. (The jail register has yet to show that, or the increased bail amount.) We also have just received paperwork to clarify what he’s being investigated for, in addition to the Tuesday incident. The two others happened on August 11th and December 8th – near Colman Pool and near a Lincoln Park stairway. The documents we’ve just received from the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office tell the story of what victims and police say happened – we will transcribe excerpts here shortly.

3:36 PM UPDATE: In light of word that Starkenburg may be out of jail, we should note that the judge at today’s hearing also ordered him to stay out of Lincoln Park. It was also mentioned that he has a problem with alcohol. Notes from the “probable cause” documents, ahead:Read More

West Seattle Crime Watch: Neighbor power, again

Another burglary arrest confirmed by Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Paulsen:

We just arrested a subject for Investigation of Burglary in the 8400 blk of 18th Ave SW.  Big kudos to the observant citizens  who reported suspicious activity in the neighborhood.  Our officers were able to quickly respond and apprehend the suspect.  The suspect will be booked into the King County Jail for Investigation of Burglary.  Thank you West Seattlites for taking good care of your neighborhoods. Your willingness to call 911 helps us catch criminals!

Update: 2 more potential charges against Lincoln Park suspect

46-year-old Gatewood resident Duane Starkenburg is now booked for investigation of 2 counts of indecent liberties, in connection with attacks in addition to the one in Lincoln Park for which he was arrested two days ago (first WSB report here). His bail status is currently “denied” – a change from the $25,000 set at yesterday’s hearing (WSB coverage here) – but the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office says he has a bail hearing set for this afternoon. This comes hours after Seattle Police released a sketch they say is related to a December attack in the park (see it here), and urged anyone who might have been a victim of “unwanted touching” anywhere in West Seattle to come forward.

ADDED 12:58 PM: According to KCPAO spokesperson Dan Donohoe, the attacks involved in the new potential charges were in August and December. We reported on an August incident here; December is the time frame mentioned in the SPD sketch release last night. We’ll have more details after this afternoon’s bail hearing.

Admiral Safeway project change: More residential, no offices

(Click for a larger view; photo courtesy Safeway)
Days after Safeway shared that aerial of the Admiral construction site, a project change has turned up in the city Land Use Information Bulletin (a twice-weekly online publication): Instead of 40 residential units plus flex-work spaces, the building on the southeast side of the site (upper right side of the photo) is now proposed for 78 residential units and no office spaces. That building is being handled by a separate developer, not by Safeway itself, as listed on this section of the online documentation. According to the notice published today, comments on the change will be taken through February 10th.

1:12 PM UPDATE: We’ve also received a formal statement from Safeway, with graphics, regarding this change:

Safeway wants to update the community on the status of the redevelopment of its Admiral neighborhood property. Safeway is continuing to move forward with its redevelopment, and it looks forward to reopening to serve the community in August, 2011. Since obtaining its final permit approvals, there has been one slight modification to the project, which was dictated by the existing financing market. As approved, the project included both flex-work units and apartment units. After the approvals were obtained, Safeway’s development partner, who was going to construct the residential and flex work part of the project, learned that the banks would not finance flex-work units. For this reason, Safeway and its development partner have adjusted the project to eliminate the flex-work component and add additional residential units in place of the flex work spaces.

As can be seen in the proposed “before” and “after” renderings, the proposed change will not affect the exterior dimensions or design of the buildings except to add upgraded window treatments and some small balconies. There are also no parking or traffic impacts from the proposed change. In order for Safeway to open on time, it is important that construction continue on both the grocery store and residential phases of the development. Safeway is working with the City to obtain the necessary minor revisions to its project approvals to accommodate the change so that the entire project can be completed on time. If you have any further questions, please contact Safeway’s Real Estate Manager, Sara Corn at

Here’s the “before/after” mentioned – 16-page PDF.

Will Seattle annex White Center? Suddenly looking less likely

Just up at partner site White Center Now: Seattle and Burien leaders’ reaction to a new City of Seattle report showing just how much it would cost Seattle to annex White Center (and other parts of the remaining unincorporated area). The Seattle mayor’s office, for one, is backing away from what at one point looked like a drive toward a vote this year. Here’s the story on WCN.

Downtown street alert, for drivers who take The Viaduct home

Just in from SDOT: It’s a downtown alert, but if you take The Viaduct home and use Columbia Street to get to it, these might affect you – both delays today, and permanent changes – read on:Read More

Opening day for Meander’s in the former Jade West Café

As of about half an hour ago, West Seattle’s newest café is open – Meander’s, in the former Jade West Café at 6032 California SW. As previously reported (here’s our December story), chef Miranda Krone – seen above making fresh whipped cream for French toast – took over the space after Jade West’s Wah Wong decided to retire, still recovering from injuries suffered when a drunk driver hit him on Beacon Hill more than a year ago. (Here’s the Wong family’s message, published here last November.) Meander’s will be open for breakfast, for starters, Tuesdays-Sundays, 8 am-3 pm; we borrowed a menu and will add notes on it shortly. The French toast, for starters, is $6.95: “Three slabs of vanilla bourbon-battered challah grilled and topped with whipped cream, maple syrup on the side.”

ADDED 9:31 AM: Read ahead to see what else is on the menu, and how much it costs (PLUS A FEW MORE NOTES ADDED THURSDAY NIGHT):Read More

West Seattle Thursday: Politics; schools; Camp Long ropes course…

The Mount Rainier lenticular cloud, photographed Wednesday by Christopher Boffoli, evokes the spirit of this morning’s fog down here – except, nobody had to drive in it. Be careful out there. Meantime, a busy day/night ahead: The West Seattle Democratic Women hear from renowned political strategist Cathy Allen at their 11:30 am lunch meeting (West Seattle Golf Course) – call 206-935-3216 to see about a last-minute RSVP … Next to the golf course, tonight’s the night for the Camp Long ropes-course meeting, 7 pm at the lodge (more details here) … School events tonight include the Pathfinder K-8 PTSA meeting and auction kickoff, 6:30 pm; Lafayette Elementary open house, 6:30-8 pm (more details here)Sanctuary at Admiral is having an open house, 5-8 pm, RSVP to 206-937-8464 … Residential design is in the spotlight as Lidunn Øverdahl Cain discusses “The Changing House,” 6:30 pm at West Seattle (Admiral) Library … And Seattle Housing Authority leadership is expected at tonight’s High Point Homeowners’ Association meeting at High Point Neighborhood Center, 7 pm. … Lots more in the WSB West Seattle Events calendar, including free workshops on goal-setting and home-buying – go here.

P.S. From partner site White Center Now: This is opening night for the new bar Company (4 pm, 9608 16th SW).

West Seattle coyotes: Morgan Junction, North Delridge sightings

Two new coyote reports from the WSB inbox. This one came in late last night, from Derek:

Just a heads up. Out walking my two small dogs at 10:15 this evening and a coyote came trotting towards me down Morgan St and ran across California Ave down towards Fauntleroy. We both startled one another.

And received a few hours before that, from Karrie in North Delridge:

A neighbor on my block (25th Ave. SW between Brandon and Findlay) in Cottage Grove spotted 2 coyotes on our block last night and one on 21st up the hill from us. He sent an e-mail to neighbors on our block to encourage everyone to keep cats indoors.

Haven’t checked out the “coexisting with coyotes” advice lately (which includes tips on how to make sure they keep their distance)? Find it here. Meantime, our archived coyote-sighting reports, newest to oldest, are here.