West Seattle, Washington
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.”
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.”
“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).
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
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
(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
We’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.
(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.
(Updated 10:48 pm with addition of this video by Cliff DesPeaux for WSB)
They gathered to light candles to remember a friend, a loved one, gone too soon – 24-year-old Jeremy Peck. Said one mourner, as shown in our video: “Who’s not gonna remember that smile?”
(Photos by Deanie Schwarz)
Just hours short of exactly one month since his disappearance, and just steps away from where he was last seen, they gathered at California/College for mourning and memories.
After the vigil, many moved on to the Heartland Café around the corner.
ADDED 8:48 PM: Full report from WSB contributor Deanie Schwarz:
Kelly Irvine and Joan Doty‘s sons, Josh and Ben, were two of the Alki Panthers 2004 City Championship basketball team members who were well-represented to honor their former teammate Jeremy. Kelly says all of the boys on that team were at the memorial.
Jeremy and the team played together for eight + years, according to Joan: “They worked their way up to it, together with a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get there. It is a very tight-knit group of boys.”
Pictures of their championship team, along with many other cherished photos of Jeremy and his childhood and young adult buddies, adorned a tryptych to celebrate and recall cherished memories for those grieving the loss of their lifelong friend.
John Peck, Jeremy’s uncle/adopted father, found the words to express his gratitude to those who were in attendance, but was too overcome to speak at length.
This solicitation could be legit. Just in case it’s not, “Concerned Neighbor” wanted to share the story of the solicitor who turned up on their doorstep – read on:Read More
2:46 PM: Thanks to the WSB’ers who tipped us to this via text message and WSB Forums post: The Admiral Theater
is closed was closed earlier today because it’s been burglarized. Police were still there when WSB’s Katie Meyer went over a short time ago to investigate the reports. According to what she learned from Admiral staffer Sean and police, the break-in happened around 5 am – it set off an alarm but that didn’t get help fast enough to prevent the burglars from making off with what we are told was a significant amount of cash. The staffer says they don’t usually have that on hand but they had a problem with the drawer at the bank where they usually use to make night deposits, so they brought it back to the theater. So they’re closed for today – you’ll see “no movies today” on the marquee if you drive by (photo added 3:15 pm).
3:28 PM UPDATE: We’re told now that they plan to reopen later this afternoon, for the showings just before 4 pm, but are asking for exact change.
4:58 PM UPDATE: We checked with the Southwest Precinct for any additional information; Lt. Ron Smith says the preliminary report says it was a “forced entry” burglary, and that “electronics” were taken as well as cash.
Story and photos by Ellen Cedergreen
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Long before a Seal Sitters volunteer turns up on the beach, guarding a pup, there’s training involved, and rules to learn.
Saturday at Alki Beach, Seal Sitters’ volunteer coordinators Robin Lindsey (for West Seattle) and Rachel Mayer (for most points north) led a hands-on training session for volunteers. The discussions began at Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza, with the dozen-plus volunteers eventually making way to two other points along the beach.
Volunteers from all over the city attended, since Alki’s unique terrain proved to be perfect for setting up a variety of perimeter demonstrations.
From the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:
JEREMY PECK MEMORIAL: What was first planned as a candlelight vigil to raise awareness of the search for him, is now a memorial, with all welcome. 4:30 pm, here’s 4215 SW College; our most recent report, which includes a link you can follow to donate to help his family handle expenses.
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm, 44th/Alaska as usual; here’s an updated list of what you can expect to find today.
RUMMAGE SALE: Second day of Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation‘s weekend-long rummage sale, 9 am-2 pm, 7141 California SW, enter through the parking lot on the north side.
TOOL LIBRARY: Reminder that the West Seattle Tool Library is open every weekend; Sunday hours are 1 pm-5 pm, in the Chan Building/Garden Center (north side of the campus) at South Seattle Community College, 6000 16th SW.
Out in Cle Elum, the Saturday sun shone over snow as the Chief Seattle Council of the Boy Scouts of America held its Klondike Derby – and West Seattle’s Pack 793 won, reports JS, sharing these photos, too. JS says it’s “an outdoor survival event” with 6 stations – including a dog-sled-style run and 2-man log-sawing:
Under the team name Exploding Ice, they won all their events, which also included starting a fire and timed pancake-cooking, plus first aid, map and compass reading. Afterward, a chance to show off the awards:
And then, captured on video, the Exploding Ice cheer:
With one week to go till the Special Olympics/Washington-presented Polar Plunge at Alki (co-sponsored by WSB), one enthusiastic local participant has just gotten in a practice run. Norm Smith joined about 400 others at the Kennewick Polar Plunge today and just shared photos – above, that’s him splashing into the water at left – along with this report:
West Seattle alum Norm Smith made the trek to Kennewick this weekend to kick off his string of Polar Plunges to raise money for Special Olympics Washington. Norm joined hundreds of Police Officers, students, and family members of athletes, along with other supporters of Special Olympics by jumping in the 38-degree water of the Columbia River.
Norm (blue shirt, above) is the father of well-known Special Olympics athlete/spokesman Zachary Smith and will be coming home to Alki next Saturday, January 29th, with son Zach to participate in the 2nd annual Alki Beach Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Washington.
To join Norm’s team of West Seattle High School Alumni teammates for the plunge, or to donate money to Norm and Zach’s plunge on Alki, follow this link.
Norm shouldn’t be hard to find at Alki. Word is out that Norm and the rest of the Board of Directors for Special Olympics will be wearing pink tutu costumes picked out by the Special Olympics athletes for the plunge. Come down to Alki on the 29th and support Norm and Zach!
Other teams to be on the lookout for at Alki next Saturday include Chief Sealth International High School, which vowed to up its presence after winning the “Spirit Award” last year. And as reported here earlier this week, the local law-enforcement participants will include Seattle Police Chief John Diaz and Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Paulsen. If you don’t pre-register, signups start at 9 by the Alki Bathhouse; the plunge is at noon, but there’s lots of fun in advance, including the Seahawks’ Blue Thunder drummers.
Will the Young Evils play that tonight during their gig at the Tractor Tavern in Ballard? Maybe not, considering it’s being hailed as a potential West Seattle anthem. Seattle Weekly commissioned it to celebrate the issue that’s currently on the stands. We’re mentioning it tonight just in case you haven’t seen it yet, online or offline: It’s their one-week conversion to West Seattle Weekly, perhaps not coincidentally, shortly after West Seattleite Mike Seely was promoted to editor-in-chief. In an espresso-steam-filled room a few weeks before publishing the special edition, Seely sat down with your WSB co-publishers and asked if we’d help with one section – the section that resembles our main focus, top news stories – since the Weekly usually pulls that section’s content from stories covered by its Daily Weekly online operation, and needed the top West Seattle stories of the week instead. Here’s the link to the one story featured online, regarding the Steve Bushaw murder-case trial; if you have the print version, our West Seattle news roundup starts on page 9, and includes three additional stories, including the Charlestown/47th crash and power outage, the police/dogs shooting incident on 44th, and the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s annual meeting. If you have some time to sit down and read this weekend, many great Weekly staff-reported stories too, including a closer look at the photo history book the Southwest Seattle Historical Society has just co-published, a review of West Seattle’s political clout, and a chat with the founder of Morgan Junction’s rockin’ Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), Jeff Gilbert, and editor Seely’s scene-setter.
A rare sunny midwinter weekend afternoon … perfect for kids to go to the playground or maybe the beach, right? Instead, about 40 girls and boys ages 3-12 took time out at mid-afternoon to brighten the day for residents at The Kenney. Jenna Lutton from Gildenfire Dance brought her young students to the big lower-level community room, which filled with proud family members as well as Kenney-residing audience members, all of whom combined for quite the ovation. Three Gildenfire groups performed one dance each – above, the 3-4-year-olds (with two 5-year-olds, Lutton noted) did a kiddie can-can, coached by their teacher off to screen-left. Lutton says you can expect to see her students turn up elsewhere around the peninsula in the months ahead: “As part of our ever evolving mission, we hope to bring joy and happiness to our community through dance. This spring we are planning ‘guerrilla’ dance performances all over West Seattle.” Home base for her West Seattle dance classes is the Highland Park Improvement Club.
(WSB photo from 12/12/2010)
With two major slides in the past year (January 2010 and December 2010) and a constantly wet, rutted road – with side effects like this recent ice sheet – the 6000-6200 block of Beach Drive has yet to find a permanent solution to the slope-vs.-street problem. Two city departments are involved, along with homeowners, and we’ll get the city’s latest take on it Tuesday – SDOT director Peter Hahn and DPD director Diane Sugimura are scheduled to brief the City Council’s Transportation Committee (chaired by West Seattle-residing Councilmember Tom Rasmussen) on the Beach Drive slide situation. The meeting is set for 9:30 am Tuesday at City Hall; if you can’t be there, you can watch live online at seattlechannel.org, or on cable channel 21.
In light of the tragic turn in the search for 24-year-old Jeremy Peck, the title of tomorrow’s event in the Admiral District has changed, but it’s still on, and the public is still invited. It’s now a remembrance, 4:30-6 pm outside Royal Blue Tattoo at 4215 SW College (the sharable Facebook event page is here). Family spokesperson Cheryl Perry has also provided an update on the “Find Jeremy Peck” page, including:
… I spoke to the Medical Examiner yesterday after the autopsy was performed; they said ‘the cause of death is pending further investigation for more testing to determine exact cause of death before we can enter cause of death on the death certificate.” They also said that this investigation would be turned over to Seattle Police Department in 8 to 10 weeks and are considering it a ‘suspicious circumstances case.’
I know we all want to know what happened to Jeremy, but we have to be patient and let the Medical Examiners do their job, the more time they have and the more complete the report is, the better chance we have that justice will be served for Jeremy.
The remembrance location is steps away from where Jeremy was last reported seen, early the morning of December 24th. While Seattle Police were reported to have joined Bainbridge Police at the beach where the body was found, SPD spokesperson Det. Mark Jamieson told WSB on Thursday that how they proceed from here depends on the cause of death.
ADDED 11:31 PM: Donations are being sought to help with memorial costs; you can give via PayPal using this Facebook page.
These extra-high tides are known as “king tides,” and as mentioned here the other day, the state is asking photographers to share their pictures, to learn more about the potential effects of coastal flooding.
Before the first week of pre-leasing was even over at Link (WSB sponsor) in The Triangle, nine units already were spoken for. Harbor Properties‘ Emi McKittrick says that’s quite the pace. She took us on a tour of the almost-complete building along 38th SW between Fauntleroy and Alaska (map) this past week, our first tour since this one in October. Ahead, come on up to the expansive view-deck roof and into the model units, as well as a lobby that’s even going to sport iPads:
The photo is from West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day 2009 (this year’s edition is 5/14). In it, the Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation rummage-sale mascot “Frogsquatch,” who’s back in action today as they hold their first rummage sale in their new building, 7141 California SW, 9 am-3 pm … West Seattle Montessori/West Seattle Academy (WSB sponsor) welcomes you to their open house today, 1-3 pm, 11215 15th SW … Also having an open house, Community School of West Seattle, 10 am-2 pm, 9450 22nd SW … Trying to get something done around/with the house/garden? Consult someone at Ask An Expert at West Seattle Tool Library, noon-2 pm (details here) … The memorial service is at noon today at Howden-Kennedy for Ann Owchar (full details here) … If you see this first thing in the morning, the winter’s highest tides are here – 13.3 feet at 6:52 am (we’ll see the same thing tomorrow) – check it out here. … More on the calendar!
Fourth Thursday is coming up, which means the South Delridge-White Center Community Safety Coalition meets – here’s what’s on the agenda:
More than 17,000 calls to the Washington Poison Center were about children poisoned by medicines. Washington State needs a statewide take-back program to protect its children.
Teens use medicines to get high second only to marijuana, and they start as early as 12 years old. Washington needs a statewide take-back program so families can keep unwanted medicines out of the hands of our teens.
White Center – South Delridge Community Safety Coalition
Invites you to hear the
Seattle & King County Public Health Health & Environmental Investigator
at our meeting on Thursday, January 27th 6 pm
White Center DSHS Building, 2nd Floor
9650 15th Ave SW