West Seattle, Washington
The snow that stuck a bit, briefly, this morning (as shown above on SW Sullivan in Upper Fauntleroy) is gone. The major roads look great for your drive home – we just came back from downtown via The Viaduct and The Bridge, both bare and dry. But the newest “forecast discussion” from the National Weather Service says this time tomorrow, beware (caps theirs):
THE REAL SNOW EVENT BEGINS LATE TUE AFTERNOON AND EVENING AS WARM FRONTAL PRECIP OVERRUNS THE COOL AND DRY LOW LEVEL AIR MASS. PRECIP WILL BEGIN AS SNOW AND SPREAD NORTHWARD AS THE EVENING WEARS ON…POSSIBLY MAKING THE EVENING COMMUTE QUITE MESSY. AT SOME POINT…LATE TUE NIGHT OR EARLY WED MORNING…WARMER AIR WILL MOVE INLAND WITH SNOW CHANGING OVER TO RAIN. TOTAL SNOWFALL AMOUNTS ARE QUITE DIFFICULT TO NAIL DOWN…BUT JUST ABOUT ALL AREAS SHOULD SEE ACCUMULATING SNOWFALL TUE EVENING.
So unless something changes – you might plan to leave for home earlier tomorrow, but don’t assume we’ll have a “snow day” Wednesday. Meantime, the government transportation agencies are putting out their alerts – from Metro, we have this roundup of their plan to be on “snow watch”.
5:29 PM UPDATE: Seattle Public Schools has sent a “robocall” informing district families that they’ll decide by 1 pm tomorrow whether to go ahead with afterschool activities or not.
9:31 PM UPDATE: The mid-evening forecasts are out and neither one of the forecasts we regularly consult is particularly snow-laden. National Weather Service has put up a Winter Storm Watch and is suggesting maybe 1-3″ in the metro area; weather analyst Cliff Mass thinks something more like a “dusting.”
We are at the King County Courthouse, in the courtroom of Superior Court Judge Joan DuBuque. What was supposed to be a trial for the 4 people charged in the February 2009 murder of 26-year-old Steve Bushaw is suddenly a trial for 3: Danny O’Neal, one of the two alleged triggermen, pleaded guilty this morning. Prosecutors say he made a deal last Friday while also giving a videotaped statement about how he says it all played out. We’ll have a longer report later; in short, he says — as charged — he and John Nikimbe Sylve (known as “Nicky”) — shot Steve Bushaw, and O’Neal says that the next day, he took apart and threw away the 2 handguns that were used in the shooting. As part of the plea agreement, he is pleading guilty to second-degree murder, with a firearms enhancement, and the state will recommend the lower end of the sentencing range, at least 10 years (though the judge is not bound to honor that), plus 16 months for the firearms enhancement.
The three remaining defendants – Sylve, alleged getaway driver Brandon Chaney, and alleged mastermind Bryce Huber – were in court this afternoon, Chaney and Sylve in street clothes, Huber in a brick-red jail-issue jumpsuit. For the past hour or so, their lawyers talked with the judge, and among themselves, discussing what happens in the wake of the eleventh-hour plea: Court is in recess until at least Wednesday, while the three defendants’ lawyers review forthcoming copies of O’Neal’s new statement; their clients still have the opportunity to enter pleas rather than go to trial, and the lawyers told the judge they’ll make decisions on that by late tomorrow afternoon. Meantime, O’Neal’s sentencing is tentatively set for March 4th. (For backstory on the case, here’s the trial preview published here last night.)
ADDED MONDAY NIGHT: More details from today’s proceedings:Read More
Westwood Village will soon have two grocery stores. Target confirms to WSB that they are converting the Westwood store to include a full grocery operation. Regional manager Randy Kraum says construction is scheduled to start in early March and continue for about three months, but the store will NOT close at any point during the work – starting in April, he says, you’ll “see some changes on the sales floor (that) might be a little disruptive,” but the store will stay open. The store has added more food items in recent years, but this will be a full grocery store, including meat and produce.
Why do this when there’s already a supermarket (QFC) steps away in Westwood Village? Kraum says the company is making the conversion with most of its stores – after converting more than 300 last year, they’re converting 400 more nationwide this year, and another 400 or so next year. Since this is being done within the store’s existing footprint – nothing to be added on – we asked if some current merchandise would be discontinued; answer – the men’s-clothing offerings will shrink a bit. The project staging is planned for the back of the store, so the front parking area used by most customers won’t be affected. If it all remains on schedule, a “grand reopening” celebration is planned June 5th. According to notations on the project’s city webpage, this is a $1 million remodel.
We had checked out rumors in the past few weeks that this was likely to happen – but no official announcement was made till now. Thanks to Aaron for sharing e-mail from Arcane Comics confirming its West Seattle store (3219 California SW) is closing:
“Arcane Comics West Seattle is closing. Over the last two years we have appreciated the opportunity to serve the West Seattle neighborhood.
For subscribers, we will continue pulling your subscriptions through January 19th. We are more than happy to move your subscription boxes to Ballard at any point between now and then. However, we realize that Ballard may be too long of a trip for your comic books. If you would like we are more than happy to e-mail your subscription list to any shop of your choosing as well. Just let us know what you are interested in doing.
You can send an e-mail to email@example.com letting us know if you prefer Ballard, another Shop or closing your box. Let us know at your earliest convenience. We will be making other announcements throughout the weeks ahead. But you who have supported us through this process will be the first alerted.
As of today Monday, January 10th, 2011 only at Arcane Comics West Seattle Location – All single issue comics are $1.00. 50% off everything else in the store.”
For months, city staffers and community advisory-group members have worked on a look ahead to the future of The Triangle, as part of the area starts to redevelop – with Link almost complete, Seattle West Inn and Suites slated for major remodeling, and new businesses opening in the area. The date has just been set for your chance to come see and comment on what the city describes as “the proposed street design concept plan and land use concepts” – a community open house is planned for 6-8 pm Monday, February 7, at the Senior Center of West Seattle. Get a sneak peek on the Triangle planning-process webpage.
(WSB video from the peak of this morning’s brief 8 am snow shower, added 8:19 am)
While there’s been a bit of snow overnight, and some showers continuing again now, it’s NOT expected to last much longer, according to the forecast – but be ready for some tomorrow. No major traffic problems reported (see the cameras below, and check more here):
(Refresh for latest pic of WS Bridge, looking eastbound, and 1st Ave. S. Bridge, more on the WSB Traffic cams page)
Clearing’s expected later – then snow is forecast to start late in the day on Tuesday. Also today: As announced Friday, Rachel Marie is back on the West Seattle Water Taxi run, which means Pier 50 arrivals/departures downtown again … two meetings of note tonight: North Delridge Neighborhood Council, meeting room at Delridge Library, 6:30 pm, and the citywide Skatepark Advisory Committee, 6 pm at Parks HQ downtown (with Delridge Skatepark on the agenda – as we reported Friday, it’s cleared for re-bidding) … West Seattle See Dogs invites anyone interested in raising a puppy to become a guide dog to join them at Merrill Gardens Admiral Heights (WSB sponsor) tonight at 6:30, 2326 California SW … And it’s opening day for Locöl, 35th/Kenyon, noon (here’s our report on its “soft-open” event last Friday night). Lots more on the WSB West Seattle Events calendar – and separate coverage if the snow shower lasts for long!
9:10 AM NOTE: … which it didn’t. And now the weather forecast has changed yet again. Now, we’re looking at some snow tomorrow evening, but then rain and wind after that … And weather analyst Cliff Mass is saying the same thing.
ORIGINAL 2:40 AM REPORT: No arrests yet in a Sunday night break-in that left two people with minor injuries. It happened around 8:30 pm in the 8800 block of 16th SW (map), according to Southwest Precinct Lt. Alan Williams. He says “initial reports” indicate two people wearing ski masks and armed with handguns forced their way into a house. They kicked one person – who declined medical assistance – and hit another with one of the guns; that person was taken to a hospital to have a facial injury checked out. A third person who was home apparently scared the attackers/would-be robbers away by running out of the house to call police; that, says Lt. Williams, led the attackers to run away too. Scanner traffic we heard at the time indicated a K-9 unit was used to try to find them, but searchers didn’t have any luck. Lt. Williams says detectives from the robbery division are now handling the case.
9:31 AM UPDATE: There’s now a story about this on SPDBlotter. Details are mostly the same, with a few additions: The ski-masked robbers are described as black men between 20 and 30; they are believed to have stolen a wallet; and police are asking the public for any information.
(February 2, 2009, sign outside Talarico’s, near the shooting scene)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Almost two full years after 26-year-old Steve Bushaw was shot and killed in The Junction, four suspects are about to go on trial.
Monday is the official start of the trial for Bryce Huber, Brandon Chaney, Danny O’Neal Jr., and John Sylve, arrested in December 2009, charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. But murder trials are complicated proceedings, even more so in a case like this with multiple defendants, so jury selection won’t start for at least another week, and testimony isn’t expected before late January.
For this look ahead, in addition to revisiting the WSB archives and King County court records, we have checked in with Steve Bushaw’s family, as well as the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
In case you missed the official announcement on Friday afternoon – starting tomorrow morning, West Seattle-Downtown Seattle commuters on the King County Water Taxi will be riding the Rachel Marie again, now that it’s completed repairs and sea trials following last September’s crash. That means Pier 50 on the downtown side (the service had used Pier 55 while Argosy’s Sightseer was filling in). The schedule remains the same – it’s Monday-Friday, commute times only, during the winter, in this first-ever year of year-round operation.
If one of your New Year’s resolutions involves home remodeling … there’s a chance this week to find out more about how the process works, no cost, no obligation. Longtime WSB sponsor Ventana Construction is resuming its series of free workshops with information on remodeling (and custom building), 6 pm this Tuesday (January 11th). At right is a photo Ventana shared that shows one of their more unusual recent projects – a bathroom where the tile installation creates the appearance of a “pool” in the bamboo flooring, “spilling” down past the Vetrazzo countertop. Ventana also has a project in the January issue of Seattle Homes and Lifestyles magazine (page 72, headed “Green Living,” not online yet). If you’re interested in the Tuesday workshop, just call to RSVP – they’re at (206) 932-3009.
High Point seems to be a coyote hot spot these days. Sara sent news of the latest sighting less than an hour ago:
I was driving down 36th Ave SW (headed north) about 10 min ago and spotted what appeared to be a small coyote (heading south in the middle of the street) at Graham. Just checked the blog and didn’t see any other spottings. It was a tad scary, as 1) it was broad daylight and 2) we walk our dogs in that area frequently. Curious to see if anyone else spotted the lost coyote.
Wondering how to deal with coyotes – both when you see one, and in hopes you won’t? Here’s some advice.
On-and-off snow showers continue this afternoon in West Seattle – never seems to be everywhere at once, according to the notes, texts, and calls we’ve received, plus our observation – but the National Weather Service‘s “special weather statement” is still in effect, updated at 5 this morning with the ongoing possibility of snow showers this afternoon/evening (as we’re seeing), and then that potential “snow event” at midweek. Latest word from weather analyst Cliff Mass is this update titled: Chances Of Major Snowstorm Fading. The NWS has just updated its four-times-daily “forecast discussion,” casting its own blanket of doubt, including: “Much has changed in the runs over the past couple model cycles making a very large snow event much less likely.”
After gathering at Puerto Vallarta in The Junction at midmorning, volunteers are out again looking for any sign of what might have happened to 24-year-old Jeremy Peck. He’s the West Seattle man we first told you about on Thursday, last seen at the Admiral Pub early Christmas Eve morning, according to his family. John Peck, the uncle who raised Jeremy, talked about the plan:
Here’s Jeremy’s photo again:
He is 6’1″, about 177 pounds, light brown hair, brown eyes, and was wearing blue jeans, tennis shoes, and a black waist-length coat over a gray hoodie-type sweatshirt when last seen. He goes by “JP.” If you have any information, you can contact police or contact John Peck directly, 206-923-0875 or 206-371-6451.
(LATEST TOPLINES, 4:32 PM: City Light’s system-status page and WSB commenters indicate just about everyone has their power back, after a 2,000+-home/business outage caused by a car smashing into a pole at 47th/Charlestown at 5:30 this morning.)
(7:06 am – replaced original cameraphone photo with video)
ORIGINAL 5:41 AM REPORT: Getting a few outage reports – not surprising since our power here in Upper Fauntleroy flickered twice a few minutes ago, and flickers in one place often portend an outage elsewhere. Via Facebook, Kate says “a transformer blew” near her home at 46th/Charlestown. And Jennifer says her power came back fast but she’s seeing folks out to the south of her area (which is 4800 block Fauntleroy). Plus, Lisa says power’s out around Jefferson Square. This is NOT on the Seattle City Light “system status” page yet. More to come.
5:49 AM UPDATE: New information – This is because of a crash. Power lines are down because of a car crash at Charlestown and 47th. Listening to scanner traffic now. “Two critical patients” according to scanner, and they are not yet out of the vehicle.
5:59 AM UPDATE: The two patients are now out of the vehicle and being taken to Harborview. “High-speed car vs telephone pole” crash with the victims described as a man and woman, both 25, according to the scanner.
6:16 AM UPDATE: We just got to the scene. It’s at the bottom of the mega-steep hill on Charlestown, west of 46th (here’s a map; the road is closed at the top). As for the power – most of the businesses and streetlights on the west side of The Junction between Edmunds and Oregon are out (with a few exceptions), plus the California/Alaska lights. Then the power’s back north of there. So, a spotty outage. City Light arrived at the scene here just ahead of us. The car is badly mangled – police say it “was” a Buick.
7:06 AM UPDATE: Came back to HQ to add video – the lighting at the scene is not optimal; we will go back once the sun’s up. No word on the victims’ conditions. Seattle City Light is working on the power lines at the scene; its “outage tracker” says more than 2,000 homes/businesses have lost power – our comments and e-mail/notes suggest it’s a hopscotch pattern, various spots from North Admiral south to Fairmount Springs. (You can see that on the outage tracker, too.)
7:31 AM UPDATE: City Light has finally published its own update, though it does not mention the crash, or the non-contingent nature of the outage zones. It does mention “additional momentary outages will be required as the problem is repaired.”
8:03 AM UPDATE: California/Alaska stoplight in The Junction is still out. And City Light now says some may not get their power back for “six to eight hours.” The crash scene will be closed a while, since the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad – which is called to major scenes – is at work there:
The pole hit by the car is still at a sharp angle. City Light says some may be without power for up to 6 to 8 more hours.
8:47 AM UPDATE: That’s the aforementioned pole. We’ve received calls, comments, and notes in the past 10 minutes or so indicating some have gotten their power back – The Junction, for example – while, as SCL warned, some have lost it (North Admiral). We saw SCL trucks in The Junction while passing through en route back from revisiting the scene, and a Facebook commenter reports seeing crews there too. We also have a report of a Comcast outage, though we don’t know whether it’s related.
11:40 AM UPDATE: Police have published an item about the crash on SPDBlotter, describing both victims as having “life-threatening injuries,” and saying their Buick sedan was heading westbound down the steep hill just before it hit the pole. About 100 homes/businesses are still without power, according to City Light’s “outage tracker“; their Power Lines site’s latest update says that’s needed while the pole – cut off at the base, per police – is replaced.
4:33 PM UPDATE: Looks like just about everyone’s back on, judging by both comments and the City Light system-status page. We were at 47th/Charlestown about an hour ago and watched crews in the final stages of replacing the pole taken out by this morning’s crash.
(Friday sunset photo by Mark Dale)
From the WSB West Seattle Events calendar as well as previous coverage:
SEARCH FOR JEREMY PECK: Anyone who can help with the search for the West Seattle resident who hasn’t been seen since early Christmas Eve morning is asked to join searchers meeting at Puerto Vallarta in The Junction at 10:30 am. Here’s our most recent update.
SPOKESPEOPLE WEST SEATTLE BIKE RIDE: As organizer Stu Hennessey puts it, “Spokespeople West Seattle will not concede the forgone conclusion that baby boomers will bankrupt Medicare. Baby boomers grew up on two wheels, and two wheels will keep them healthy and decrease their health-care costs.” Join the group for a 38-mile ride starting at Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza at 11 am. Two levels of moderate pace.
‘AMAHL’ FINALE: Last show today at 3 pm for Twelfth Night Productions (WSB sponsor)’s 14th annual production of “Amahl and the Night Visitors” by Gian Carlos Menotti at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS MARKET: 10 am-2 pm, The Junction (44th/Alaska). Here’s what’s listed as “new this week” on market managers’ Ripe and Ready list:
Mead – Honey-based alcohol beverage– Delicious! – from Rockridge Orchards. Considered the oldest alcoholic beverage in the world (Bronze Age) made from fermented honey and water… limited quantities and it sells out quickly.
Cippollini Onions – organic from Pipitone Farms
Frozen Cherries – Sonata, Bing and Santa Rosa cherries). Tonnemaker Family Orchards
Frozen Roasted Peppers – Sweet and Hot varieties from River Farm
Dried Herbs – basil, oregano, rosemary, CATNIP!
And via Twitter, Hotcakes – a chocolatey creation – says they’re premiering at the market today.
Photographs by Christopher Boffoli
Story by Tracy Record
for West Seattle Blog
Before dying of cancer at just 45 a week and a half ago, Matt Durham helped plan his own formal line-of-duty memorial service, according to one of his fellow Woodinville Fire and Rescue firefighters speaking at that service today.
“I want to do it for the boys,” Battalion Chief Greg Ahearn quoted Matt as saying – so that his young sons would see the support and the love showed by their father’s firefighter family, as well as that of their own relatives and friends.
That outpouring was overwhelming, as hundreds of firefighters from more than 30 departments all over the state joined hundreds of other mourners this afternoon at Overlake Christian Church, following the family’s escorted procession from their West Seattle home.
As shown here this morning, that procession went under two fire trucks’ crossed ladders – and as it arrived at the church campus in Redmond, a similar sight at the entrance, this time with a huge flag between the ladders:
After passing under that flag, Matt’s family and others drove by dozens of fire engines and medic units lining a driveway – a “static procession,” as it had been described in the memorial-service announcement:
It was paralleled inside, with a Corridor of Honor: Overlake’s long hallway between entrance and sanctuary was lined on both sides by dozens of fire personnel, standing, silent, in their dress uniforms, lining both sides. Matt’s wife Elaine Croce Durham and their sons Jack and Sam, along with other members of the Durham and Croce families, walked by:
Those personnel stood in place as other mourners arrived, then finally filed into the front of the sanctuary before the service began:
The service was full of symbolism and tradition, from bagpipes to bell-ringing, from an honor guard to a flag presentation, but it also honored Matt’s well-rounded life beyond firefighting, including his side career as a photojournalist and his love of hobbies including fishing and fitness. At stage left, his bicycle and helmet rested near a display of photos and fire gear:
Ahead – some of the words of the service, and more of the stirring images:
Two car-crime reports to share tonight. First one’s from Siobhan:
Last year on New Year’s Day morning, my little red Dodge Neon was stolen from its parking spot under my apartment building. Got it back on January 6th, which just happened to also be my birthday. THIS January 6th, I went downstairs to go to work to find my car missing its passenger-side window, a pile of glass on the ground, a brick on the drivers side floor and the hood of my car propped up with the the cables from my battery removed. They rummaged through my glove box and the middle console, but didn’t take anything. I never leave anything in my car.
This happened in the 35th Ave SW/Morgan St. area. I filed a police report. The officer said that they more than likely disconnected the battery to disable a car alarm and that the same thing had happened to a few other cars in the last few days just down the hill towards Fauntleroy/California. Just wanted to leave a heads-up to my neighbors.
And from Sam:
Hi, just wanted to let your blog know that last night I had two aftermarket offroad bumpers stolen. One was stolen off of my 4runner and one off my tacoma. Both vehicles were parked near Morgan junction. I’ve also had both catalytic convertors stolen from both of these vehicles in the last few months. Getting sick of it. Keep an eye out if you live in the area. Also if anyone sees two black tube bumpers for sale please contact the police.
Four times a day, the National Weather Service issues its “forecast discussion,” with a behind-the-scenes/crystal-ball-type look at what its meteorologists are seeing in the hours and days ahead. The newest one says snow showers are possible tonight/tomorrow, particularly on the highest hills, while also somewhat strengthening the possibility of serious snow around Wednesday of next week (though there’s still also caveats that with four days to go, things could change).
SUNDAY UPDATE, 5:20 AM: And indeed, the NWS’s “special weather statement” has just been updated to note the midweek uncertainty.
With the new year just one week old, resolutions are still fresh, and the future’s bright. Arbor Heights Elementary teacher Mark Ahlness mentioned his third-graders’ resolutions today via Twitter; after checking them out, we got his permission to share the link. Some are simple; some are big dreams, and not even on behalf of the resolution-makers. Writes Yadira:
My wish is that everybody can have a house. Because then if people have a house and it rains people won’t get wet. But if people don’t have houses people will get wet. So they have to have a house so the people don’t get cold.
Read them all here.
As Rick put it in his note sharing that photo, “a little color on a gray day.” The color is provided by the sails of the boats participating today in the Three Tree Point Yacht Club‘s 32nd Duwamish Head Race. More than 60 boats are participating, according to the club’s website. Here’s another look at a few of them, courtesy of Marty:
(SATURDAY EVENING NOTE: Our story and photos from this afternoon’s service will be up late tonight)
While the Eastside firefighters with whom Matt Durham worked announced a “static procession” at Overlake Christian Church before his memorial this afternoon, firefighters also have just shown their respect for the funeral procession leaving West Seattle. Thanks to Alli for the top photo – ladders were crossed over SW Alaska as the procession headed to The Bridge; thanks to Trina for this next photo, of a Seattle fireboat paying tribute from the Duwamish River by the bridge:
Matt died a little over a week ago at 45; in addition to his work as a firefighter, he also was a longtime photojournalist, and WSB was the last publication for which he worked. He also did volunteer work, and was a proud dad of 2. We’re on our way to the service and will have coverage later.
This Tuesday night, three West Seattle groups will meet jointly, with one hot topic on the agenda: The forthcoming West Seattle RapidRide “C Line” service. The groups are Junction Neighborhood Organization, Fairmount Community Association, and the West Seattle Junction Association, but you don’t have to be a member of one (or more) to attend, all are welcome. Reps from Metro and the city will be there to talk about routing, traffic, parking, and other effects of the new bus route. It doesn’t start running until fall 2012, but construction work for its stations/stops and other changes will start soon, and the planning work is about to hit a key phase. The meeting starts at 6:30 pm Tuesday at the Senior Center of West Seattle (California/Oregon).
From left, Zoe, Darrian, Autumn, and Shawna will be happy to help you divest yourself of your drying-out Christmas tree today – get it out before the game! Till 2 pm, they’re at the Masonic Hall parking lot, 40th/Edmunds, for the West Seattle Rainbow Girls‘ fundraising tree-recycling event. $5 donation suggested. (Yes, you still have a couple more days for free city pickup or dropoff, but this is the only in-West Seattle dropoff event we know of!)