month : 01/2011 351 results

Family, friends searching for missing man in West Seattle

Family and friends of a 24-year-old West Seattle man say no one’s seen him in two weeks and hope you can help them find him. Jeremy Peck was last seen at Admiral Pub around 1 am December 24th, according to his uncle John Peck, who raised him after Jeremy’s birth parents hit tough times. John says, “He had no reason to run off … he’s a good guy.” The family thought it was a little odd he wasn’t home for Christmas, but then when he wasn’t there for New Year’s either, they decided something had to be wrong. So they’ve reported his disappearance to police and are trying to get the word out – they’ll even be fanning out in a “grid search” of West Seattle tomorrow morning. The photo at left, from official ID, is the best one they have; Jeremy is 6’1″, about 177 pounds, light brown hair, brown eyes, and goes by “JP.” He was wearing blue jeans, tennis shoes, and a black waist-length coat over a gray hoodie-type sweatshirt the night he was last seen. If you have any information about him, you can contact police or contact John Peck directly, 206-923-0875 or 206-371-6451.

West Seattle Crime Watch: 2 searches late tonight

12:04 AM: We don’t have much information about either of these but we’re getting some inquiries, so we’ll make brief mention, and will add any information we do get – which might not be till morning: First, there’s been a police search under way on Beach Drive – including the beach itself – for a while, near Me-Kwa-Mooks and further south. We have not been able to find out what sparked the search; police seem to be looking for one person, and a K-9 team is part of the search. We have an inquiry out to the precinct. Meantime, there was an Admiral-area call about possible gunshots; scanner traffic indicates officers thought it might be fireworks, though one resident who heard it begs to differ.

12:45 AM UPDATE: No word back from the precinct but we’ve learned what was heard via scanner re: the origin of the first Beach Drive call that preceded this search – apparently an interrupted car prowl, with someone reportedly threatened with a knife when they confronted the suspect, who then bolted.

West Seattle holiday postscript: Lights donation total; pics request

(WSB video from the light show’s opening night on November 27th)
The traditional 12 Days of Christmas are almost over. And here’s one last bit of holiday news. Jim Winder from the Helmstetler Family Spectacular light show by the Charlestown water tower – – has sent an update on this year’s fundraising, and a request before the holidays get too far in your rear-view mirror. First, the update:

The fantastic people of our West Seattle Community (and beyond) gave the following:

West Seattle Food Bank: $431.00 and 1066 lbs of Food
Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation – $381.00
Pushing Boundaries – $391.00
Brian Teachout – $500.00

And now, Jim’s request – he’s looking for video and photos you might be able to share, as part of something he’s putting together for next year:

I would like to gather up two things:

1) Pictures/videos of dads playing Santa Claus … of course the funnier the better!!

2) Pictures/videos of kids getting their pictures taken sitting on Santa’s lap…would even love some black and white pics from yesteryear…

They can send them to me at

And Jim promises he’ll have video from this year’s spectacular show up soon. Things just got busy.

Video: Blue Angels’ wintertime Seattle visit to prep for Seafair

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels have one jet and two pilots here tonight, as part of Seafair‘s two-day winter meetings, looking ahead to summertime. For WSB, photojournalist Cliff DesPeaux covered the pilots’ arrival today, as well as their media briefing immediately afterward, as you’ll see in his video above. Blue Angels jet #7 is at Clay Lacy Aviation tonight and expected to leave noontime tomorrow. This year’s Seafair air show, featuring the Blue Angels, is exactly seven months away – August 5-7.

Assignment-plan transition back before School Board tonight

The draft transition plan for the second year of Seattle Public Schools‘ new Student Assignment Plan comes before the School Board tonight. (If you’re not attending, you can watch it live right now on cable channel 26.) Reviewing the draft plan today, we noticed it does not include a possible change previously discussed to address West Seattle’s challenges – possible “dual feeder” schools to balance out the two major public high schools’ populations. We checked with West Seattle’s school board rep Steve Sundquist, who confirmed that’s not currently under consideration. We asked him about his view of key points of interest for West Seattle families – read on:Read More

West Seattle Crime Watch followup: Alki shooting suspect in court

gavel.jpgWe’re at the King County Courthouse, where 59-year-old Thomas Qualls – the Alki resident accused of firing an assault rifle September 3rd at police who subsequently shot him (original WSB coverage here) – made a brief appearance this afternoon. It was meant to be an update on whether he would enter a plea or proceed to trial. He pleaded not guilty September 22nd to three counts of second-degree assault, with firearms enhancement. Lawyers told the judge today that they are still awaiting key reports, so a decision on what’s next is now pushed back a few more weeks. When last we saw Qualls in the same courtroom three months ago (WSB coverage here), he was in a wheelchair, as he recovered from a gunshot wound to the abdomen; today, Qualls was standing, with the assistance of a walker. He’s been in jail since leaving the hospital five days after the incident, held in lieu of $1 million bail. The proceedings today included a mention of “negotiations,” so it appears a plea bargain is still a possibility.

West Seattle Family YMCA gets new signs, with a new look

In The Triangle, the West Seattle Family YMCA (longtime WSB sponsor) has just put up new signage, with a new look for the first time in more than 40 years. The Y’s Josh Sutton tells WSB it’s about more than just a logo – and other upgrades are in the works:

Over the past few years, Ys across the country, led by YMCA of the USA, found that people love the Y, but couldn’t really name what we do beyond swim, gym & camp. So it’s time to refresh and make sure we communicate better how the Y strengthens the foundations of community.

Our look has changed a couple of times since we came to both the West Seattle Junction and the Fauntleroy communities in the early 1920s. The last time we revamped the Y look was the late 1960s. The new logo comes in five colors and focuses on what most people already call us – the Y.

More important to us than the new look and colors, we want to better communicate the impact of our Y – For Youth Development, For Healthy Living, For Social Responsibility.

When our full-time Y directors at Sealth & West Seattle High Schools help 9th graders to make a successful transition to high school, our Y is For Youth Development.

When cancer survivors get together to exercise and support each other at the Fauntleroy Y, we are For Healthy Living.

When more than 975 Y volunteers give more than 21,000 hours and 2,400 donors chip in to help West Seattle kids in need, we are For Social Responsibility.

We appreciate the enormous support and involvement our Y has in the West Seattle community, and hope that you like the new look! By the end of the month, we’ll have launched a new website that is more easily navigable and brings the new look and message online. Our staff and volunteers are thrilled to share these changes with you, and we look forward to seeing those new Y shirts around the neighborhood!

West Seattle scenes: Hovercraft at Alki today (and Tuesday’s sub)

Thanks to David Hutchinson for the photo of a hovercraft-type vessel that showed up on Alki this afternoon. (Thanks also to Cami for sharing a photo via Facebook.) Not sure yet what it was up to but we’re working to find out! UPDATE: Just a few minutes after we published this, we got a note from Jeff, who says the hovercraft’s skipper was stopping for lunch but didn’t know powered craft were not allowed to come ashore; apparently the arrival sparked several 911 calls, but, Jeff says, the hovercraft’s operator “talked with SPD and was allowed to depart without further actions.” ADDED 5:31 PM: Jeff also shot and published this video – including the hovercraft rising up and heading back out onto the water:

(back to original story) Meantime, a photo from Tuesday – submarine spotted passing West Seattle shores:

Bob Anderson got the photo from his North Admiral backyard; he says the sub was heading northwest.

More ‘contact voltage’: 5 West Seattle/White Center locations

(Photo by Deanie Schwarz, added 5:04 pm – the 1721 SW Roxbury pole)
Seattle City Light has published another update today about its ongoing systemwide streetlight inspections in the wake of “contact voltage” that killed a Queen Anne dog and spooked one in High Point. On Monday, three more West Seattle discoveries were listed; today, SCL announced five more spots were found in our area. From their online update:

Locations where the latest contact voltage was discovered were:

* 1721 SW Roxbury Street [map], 111 volts, a faulty ballast assembly was replaced …
* SW Avalon Way and 35th Avenue SW [map], 104 volts, bad wiring was repaired
* SW Holly Street and 31st Avenue SW [map], 107 volts, a faulty lamp head was replaced
* 4115 SW Arroyo Drive [map], 84 volts, a faulty ballast assembly was replaced
* SW Arroyo Drive and 39th Avenue SW [map], 98 volts, power was disconnected, repairs pending

City Light’s update also says that West Seattle testing has been completed. Their contractors have made it to 37 percent of the city’s streetlights so far.

Special Olympics Polar Plunge returning to Alki on January 29

(WSB video from 1/24/2010 Polar Plunge @ Alki)
Miss last Saturday’s Polar Bear Swim at Alki? Or, liked it so much you’re looking for another excuse to rush into the chilly water of Elliott Bay sometime soon? Good news today – on Saturday, January 29th, Special Olympics of Washington is bringing its Polar Plunge to Alki Beach for the second consecutive year. Last year, more than 350 joined in – triple the participation of the previous non-West Seattle location. WSB is proud to co-sponsor the law-enforcement-organized fundraising event again this year. Here’s where to find information about participating!

ADDED 1:35 PM: You might recall that Chief Sealth International High School‘s group won the “Spirit Award” at last year’s Polar Plunge (photos in our 2nd report from last year). They’re planning to participate this year, and hoping to almost (at least) triple that number. They hope to collectively raise at least $5,000 – you can make a pledge/donation by going here (or if you want to be part of their group, they’re taking signups here).

Repaired West Seattle Water Taxi vessel starts sea trials

(9/26/2010 WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
More than three months after it crashed into the downtown seawall at Washington Street, the King County Water Taxi vessel Rachel Marie is close to returning to service. This morning, King County Department of Transportation spokesperson Rochelle Ogershok confirms that the Rachel Marie begins its post-repairs sea trials today. (Thanks to Eileen for the tip.) The Argosy Cruises boat that used to handle the West Seattle-to-downtown run, the Sightseer, has filled in for most of the runs since the crash, which sent seven people to the hospital last September 26. Ogershok says they should know in a few days when the Rachel Marie will be officially back in service; meantime, a U.S. Coast Guard District 13 spokesperson says the investigation is still “ongoing.”

ADDED 1:26 PM: USCG Lt. Jon Lane provided a little more information about the investigation’s status: He says there will be a formal announcement for the media later this week, saying that Coast Guard investigators have “determined the causal factors” but won’t be able to go public with them “until the investigative report is finalized at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound and then reviewed and approved by Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington D.C.” Lt. Lane says that’s likely to take at least two more months.

West Seattle Wednesday: SW District Council, and a Blue Angel

[View from Alki Beach]

(Taken from Alki by SapphiraFey, shared via the WSB Flickr group pool)
West Seattle’s first major community-group meeting of the year is tonight – Southwest District Council, 7 pm, South Seattle Community College board room. Two major topics: First, an update on the Alaskan Way Viaduct project (just as the tunnel contract is about to be signed); second, the Department of Neighborhoods changes that will directly affect the council’s operations – as first reported here Monday, DON director Stella Chao will be at the meeting to explain. … If you hear a hint of a familiar summertime sound in the sky this afternoon, no, you’re not hearing things – as noted on Tuesday, Blue Angels jet #7 is coming to Seattle for Seafair winter meetings today and tomorrow, and expected to fly into Boeing Field (which might mean a West Seattle sighting) early this afternoon … Check the WSB West Seattle Events page for tonight’s entertainment highlights; have a great day!

Won’t you be … a donor? Mister Rogers Sweater Drive @ PCC

(YouTube clip with the opening sequence from a “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” episode)
In honor of the TV legend who always started his show by trading a suit jacket for a comfy sweater, the Mister Rogers Sweater Drive is about to begin at all nine PCC Natural Markets (WSB sponsor) stores, including West Seattle (2749 California SW). Starting next Monday, you’ll be able to donate sweaters at PCC to benefit Wellspring Family Services and Northwest Center. They need kids’ sweaters the most – new or “gently used” – but will accept adult-size sweaters too. The drive, a legacy of Mister Rogers himself (who started it six years before his 2003 death), continues through February 13th and is co-sponsored by KCTS 9; PCC’s full announcement is here.

West Seattle Little League in-person registration days away

(Panorama of Bar-S fields; photo courtesy West Seattle Little League)
Now that the New Year has arrived, spring and baseball don’t seem as far away as they did just days before the old year ended. One reminder comes from West Seattle Little League, which is days away from its first of two in-person registration events. Players can register January 11th and 18th, both at West Seattle High School‘s library (3000 California SW), both 6-8:30 pm, says WSLL president Mark Terao, who shared details of what you need to bring, as well as other important league-related information – read on:Read More

Tuesday night notes: Pho Aroma, Locöl … and Eddie

PHO AROMA CLOSED TILL FRIDAY: So says a note on the door of the Delridge restaurant, according to a photo sent by WSB contributor Ellen Cedergreen. The note says the closure is because of a “family emergency.” We’ll make a note to check back Friday if Pho Aroma indeed reopens – let us know if you see them open sooner.

LOCOL OPENING THIS WEEKEND? If you’ve driven by the in-progress beer/wine/food spot Locöl at 35th and Kenyon lately and seen people inside – those are still “soft open” events for friends/family, according to proprietor Kyle Duce. We checked in with him again this afternoon to ask about an official grand-opening date. He says they should know tomorrow, and are hopeful it will finally be this weekend. Here’s our most recent story.

HAPPY NEWS FROM THE WSB PETS PAGE: With so many lost cats reported and never found – all the coyote activity in West Seattle, among other things, can lead you to fear the worst sometime. But tonight we have just received word of a lost cat posted on the WSB Pets page, finally found after six weeks. At left, that’s Eddie, posted on the Pets page on Thanksgiving. Tonight, we got a note from someone whose friend had spotted a similar-looking cat, and in short order, we heard from Eddie’s owner Melissa, who said he was finally home. We’ve also added several more lost/found pets to the page, which is among the WSB features we’ll be improving in the months ahead – low-tech as it is, it’s helped reunite many pets and owners in its three years of existence, so if you have a lost/found/sighted pet to report, please let us know. (And if you don’t see it on the page shortly thereafter, do send a reminder – our mailbox gets a little bollixed sometimes – working on that too.) P.S. Just noticed tomorrow is the third anniversary of the day we launched the Pets page — January 5, 2008. Thanks to everyone for helping the dogs, cats, birds (and a few others) get safely home.

New members invited to join West Seattle Community Orchestras

January 4, 2011 8:56 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

(12/15/2010 video of Westside Symphony performing “Nutcracker” selections)
From Rob Duisberg with West Seattle Community Orchestras – one week from tonight, your chance to join!

The West Seattle Community Orchestras are beginning their spring season on Tuesday evening, January 11th, at Chief Sealth International High School at 2600 SW Thistle.

The orchestras welcome all musicians. There are three different orchestras to suit your individual skill level, from our beginning strings ensemble to the Westside Symphony playing the great standard orchestral repertoire, and each group is open to all ages.

We are particularly interested in recruiting string, double reed and percussion players. So if your instrument has been in the closet too long, make this New Year the time to reconnect with the joy of fine music-making in a fun, inclusive atmosphere!

Visit us at and click on the Registration Page, or e-mail us at, or call Toni Reineke at 206.243.6955 for more information.

Tagging cleanup under way at boarded-up Boren School

Seattle Public Schools is in the midst of cleaning up a particularly prolific outbreak of tagging on the boarded-up ex-Boren Junior High School building (5950 Delridge Way), vacant after two years of serving as interim home to Chief Sealth International High School. Some had worried the building would become especially attractive to spray-paint vandals once boards went up over the Boren windows three months ago (WSB coverage here). Delridge-area advocate Pete Spalding noticed the many tags on the building over the holiday weekend and called it to the district’s attention. We took a partial “before” photo of just one of the many tagged areas (tags mostly blurred, as per our editorial policy) before it was covered up on Monday:

One issue that arose before the cleanup: If you see something like this — or any other maintenance problem/damage at a vacant school building, where neighbors will likely be the first to notice – how do you report it? ? Seattle Public Schools spokesperson Tom Redman provides this phone number: 206-252-0550. (He also says that the initial covering-over of the tagging vandalism was just the first phase; the boards will be painted over, too.)

Two West Seattle Elvises now in the running for a King-ly crown

If you go play trivia tonight at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), wish Charlie Beck luck at the upcoming 14th annual Seattle Elvis Invitationals. He’s the second West Seattleite to enter the Kingly fray, according to Marlow Harris, who notes that Charlie not only hosts Tuesday night “Entertainment That Rocks” trivia at The Feedback, he also performs with the popular local band Memphis Radio Kings. According to Marlow, he’s got a hunka-hunka “Burnin’ Love” on tap for the contest. At left, she provided a photo of him from The Feedback’s Elvis Death Day event last August. Also contending, Bret Wiggins, who came in second last year – here’s video from that almost-winning performance. You can see them face off (along with more than two dozen other Elvises – or if you prefer, Elvii) — fringe, sequins, sideburns and all — at Club Motor in SODO this Saturday – the day The King would have turned 75. Marlow notes that the treats on sale will include fried peanut butter-and-banana sandwiches (“with and without bacon”).

High school sports: Chief Sealth basketball team in Hoopfest @ UW

January 4, 2011 3:13 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools | WS & Sports

A big game at a big venue is ahead for the Chief Sealth International High School boys’ varsity basketball team: They’re playing at the University of Washington‘s Hec Ed Pavilion on the second day of the King Holiday Hoopfest, Monday, January 17th. Sealth is just starting to get the word out; that day is the officially observed Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day holiday, and schools are closed. The Sealth boys will play Bellevue High School at 11 am. You can buy tickets – with proceeds going to two nonprofits – by going here, where you’ll also find the full schedule of 11 Hoopfest games over two days.

Followup: Fauntleroy dogs’ 2nd police encounter leaves 1 dog dead

We promised a followup on a story first reported here last week – police shooting one of two loose dogs in Fauntleroy. The original report has generated 60 comments, including two from someone claiming to be the dogs’ owner, writing that one of the dogs later died (not the one that was shot). We have since confirmed that with police, who have provided other details of the incident, which unfolded in two encounters with officers over the course of New Year’s Eve morning/afternoon/evening – read on: (FRIDAY UPDATE: Photo at right, sent by dogs’ owner)Read More

West Seattle real estate: Arbor Heights building sold for $2 million

January 4, 2011 12:29 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle real estate: Arbor Heights building sold for $2 million
 |   Arbor Heights | West Seattle news

(Photo by Cleary O’Farrell)
Just announced by McQuaid Commercial Real Estate – they’ve sold a 24-unit West Seattle apartment building, Sound Crest at 3515 SW Ocean View Drive (map) in Arbor Heights, for $2,050,000. The announcement quoted broker Michael McQuaid as saying, “We are pleased to get this property closed in 2010, after an exhaustive marketing effort over many months.” The firm adds that this is the first-ever sale of the building, built in 1979; they identify the buyer as local investor David Katt, who they say plans to spend $200,000 on the building for “deferred maintenance and upgrades.”

SIDE NOTE: We just checked the current commercial listings to see what other apartment buildings are on the market in West Seattle right now. Top of the price list is Ivy Court in Morgan Junction, 6525 California SW, listed for $5.6 million – 33 units and three commercial spaces (currently bicycles, mailboxes, fitness).

West Seattle coyotes: Gatewood, Sunrise Heights sightings

Two West Seattle coyote sightings to share. First, this is just out of the WSB inbox, from Paul and Karen:

We would just like to let you know that we saw a coyote walking south down 44th St. at the intersection of Portland St. (Gatewood area) this morning about 10:15 am. It was a very healthy-looking animal, maybe 35 lbs. It trotted to the dead end of 44th just south of Portland [map] and disappeared down the slope toward Lincoln Park. Beautiful animal!

Via Twitter, James reported a coyote sighting on New Year’s Day – 27th/Othello vicinity (map). He says, “They were going after cats. I threw rocks at them.” (That is part of the official advice offered on this federal-government webpage.)

Heads up: Blue Angels jet in Seattle tomorrow and Thursday

(Photo by Christopher Boffoli, after Blue Angels’ August 2010 arrival in Seattle)
Just in from Seafair – a heads-up for tomorrow, for those who love the Blue Angels and those who don’t:

The familiar summertime roar of a U.S. Navy Blue Angel may be heard over the skies of Seattle Wednesday as Blues Jet #7 visits the Northwest for the annual winter planning meetings. While in Seattle the Blue Angels will meet with Seafair and air show officials, laying the foundation for the 2011 Boeing Air Show in August.

It’s Blue Angels Jet #7, with #7 Lt. David Tickle and #8 Lt. Todd Royles on board, expected to arrive between 12:30 and 1:30 pm. Seafair spokesperson Melissa Jurcan says the jet will be at Clay Lacy Aviation (not on public display) while here till Thursday, when it’s scheduled to take off around noon. As the announcement reminds us, the Blue Angels are helping mark the Centennial of Naval Aviation this year, and the Seafair air show/fleet arrival are part of the yearlong event, which starts in San Diego on February 10th.