West Seattle, Washington
From the Rotary Club of West Seattle: Next week’s lunch speaker will be Nancy Whitlock, executive director of the West Seattle-based Nature Consortium. Their main mission is to restore the forest of the West Duwamish Greenbelt, which runs along the eastern edge of West Seattle and is the city’s largest contiguous stretch of forest. The Rotary’s lunch meetings are at noon Tuesdays at Salty’s on Alki; their calendar of upcoming programs (and other events) is here.
Meeting announcement from the WSB inbox:
On Thursday, January 27th, the West Seattle Democratic Women will have as
its speaker Democratic Political Activist Cathy Allen, who will share her thoughts on (1) Where are we now when it comes to Democratic status quo – good news versus bad news?, (2) What’s the prospect for this year – nationally, statewide, regionally and locally – what should you be getting involved with? and (3) How does this compare with the women’s movement internationally – are we picking up steam in the world equality movement or not? Cathy’s most famous women Democratic candidates include Sen. Patty Murray; Gov. Chris Gregoire; City Councilmembers Jean Godden, Sue Donaldson, Margaret Pageler; County Councilmembers Cynthia Sullivan, Julia Patterson, Carolyn Edmonds; State Legislators Helen Sommers, Darlene Fairley, Karen Keiser, Tracey Eide; and Sheriff Sue Rahr. And this last year – Cathy went behind enemy lines to beat the Tea Party and Sarah Palin by running the successful write-in campaign for Senator Lisa Murkowski in Alaska.
Join WSDW at the West Seattle Golf Course from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.. Lunch $15 for non members, $12 for members or $5 for coffee/tea and dessert. Please contact WSDW at (206) 935-3216 or firstname.lastname@example.org should you have questions or wish to make a reservation.
Ruth Kerr photographed those little girls while visiting Haiti with Soles4Souls, a nonprofit that gets shoes to people who need them. She says she is “forever changed by the experience” of traveling there last August. Hearing about Ruth’s experiences, Joni Buckner, owner of Head to Toe Day Spa in the Admiral District, decided to have a collection drive at her business, and it’s under way right now. Ruth says you can donate by rubber-banding your “gently worn” shoes and bringing them to Head to Toe, along with a donation of $1 (or more) to offset shipping costs (donation-drive locations have to pay to get the shoes to the organization). Your donations will help help Soles4Souls with work that Joni says has already enabled them to distribute more than 10,000,000 pairs of shoes in more than 125 countries (including ours). 1.3 million have gone to Haiti, according to this recent update from Soles4Souls, one year after the devastating earthquake there. Wondering what kind of shoes they’ll accept? Almost anything, according to the official Soles4Souls FAQ. Just put that rubber band around each pair and take them to Head to Toe, which is at 2328 California SW (map; their hours are listed here).
Arbor Heights Elementary third-grade teacher Mark Ahlness is not only an online pioneer – he continuously leads his young students out onto the technological cutting edge of exploration. Latest way that’s happening: The laptops the kids are holding in our top photo are XO’s, which Ahlness describes on his website as a “unique piece of hardware that kick-started the competitive innovations leading to the netbook, the Kindle, and yes, even the iPad.” You might remember hearing about them a few years back – the idea was, you buy two and donate one – here’s a promotional video that explained them:
As soon as Ahlness let the word out that he was interested in having his students work with them, that word got around in a way that now has 28 XO’s taking up residence in his room. As he writes online, the students weren’t short on technology, but this is a wholly different kind of technology, which has sparked them into more exploration, and collaboration, since the computers are networked.
He’s not stopping at one XO laptop per student – he’s hoping to get more donations, enough to create a lending library, among other goals (listed here).
One more overnight closure of the **westbound** Spokane Street Viaduct – aka the West Seattle Bridge between I-5 and 99 – tonight from 10 pm till 5-ish am, and then again Monday-Wednesday nights of next week. But additional closures are scheduled
next week – affecting buses as well as others. From the area construction lookahead, for Monday-Friday nights next week:
Jan 24-28, 1st Ave S will be closed between S King St and S Royal Brougham Way, the southbound SR 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct off-ramp to 1st Ave S will be closed nightly and the northbound 1st Ave S on-ramp to SR 99 will be closed.
Related to that, this afternoon’s advisory from Metro was as follows:
Construction Reroute – Rts 15, 18, 21, 22, 56 & 85. Northbound 1st Av S is closed at S Royal Brougham Way; Jan 24-28, 6:30 PM-5 AM each night. Use the stops northbound on 1st Av S just north of Edgar Martinez Dr S or just north of S Jackson St.
One thing we are still sorting out – noticed while heading downtown for this afternoon’s court hearing that the eastbound WS Bridge exit to NB 99 has a sign saying it will be closed nights next week. That is *not* listed on any of the official information we’ve received – nor the master list – we’ll be doublechecking Monday to see whether it’s really happening. Probably the best advice is … if you have to drive off the peninsula, north/eastward, late at night/early early morning, be ready for anything.
The father of hate-crime-attack victim Shane McClellan was in Judge Carol Schapira‘s courtroom downtown to hear the sentence for one of his son’s attackers. Before the hearing, Tim McClellan told WSB and TV photographers in the hallway, “Today’s his birthday.” [Afterward, he spoke to the media – part of the interview is in our clip above; we’ll upload a longer clip when we’re back at HQ.]
On Shane’s 17th birthday – eight months after he was beaten and tortured for hours on a Highland Park stairway, by two men who voiced a racist motivation – one of his attackers, 23-year-old Ahmed Y. Mohamed (photo below), has just been sentenced to 69 months in prison, three months short of what prosecutors had asked for.
(Added 4:47 pm, Seattle Times photo by Greg Gilbert, used with permission)
Judge Schapira said this case is “more than a headline. .. We are here not to judge you as a person, but there are consequences for the very serious act to which you have pleaded guilty. … The offense makes no sense to me. … You are a very young man; as negative as this experience as been, as negative as being in prison will be. We hope you will put this behind you, as we all do when making very serious mistakes.”
Prosecutors had recommended the high end of the “standard sentencing range,” which would have been six years. In court, prosecutor Erin Becker said, “This robbery and the actions that occurred during this robbery went far, far beyond (the average robbery) … The (attackers) held him for hours, burned him with lit cigarettes, urinated on him … The victim was a juvenile at the time, and it seems what they were aiming at was not simply robbery.” Tim McClellan decided at the last minute that he would speak to the judge, saying, with difficulty, he “can’t imagine the duration” of what happened to his son, who he says “is doing a lot better.” (Shane was not in court.)
The lawyer for Mohamed said his client was sorry and said alcohol had something to do with it … saying it was his client’s “first experience with alcohol” and noting Mohamed had been drinking Four Loko, the subsequently banned beverage. He also talked about Mohamed, who is a US citizen, having been born in Mogadishu, Somalia, and living in refugee camps when very young. Mohamed’s mother also spoke, apologizing to all involved for her son’s actions, and talking about how he helps care for his disabled sister; he spoke for himself too, apologizing, saying he felt peer pressure to drink, but saying he knows he can become “a better man.” Family members/supporters in the gallery cried as they spoke.
The judge opened her remarks after that by saying she felt sympathy for so many of those involved. But in the end, she pronounced a sentence just short of what prosecutors wanted. Technically, it breaks down to 45 months for the robbery charge, with 12 months concurrent for the malicious-harassment charge; after that, 24 months for the weapons enhancement (a knife was used during the robbery/attack). Mohamed already has been in jail about three months, which will count against the sentence.
WSB was first to report that Mohamed had pleaded guilty to robbery (with weapons enhancement) and malicious harassment (hate crime) – it happened in December, but no one in the news media had noticed; we turned it up while combing through court records on routine followups at the start of January. The second person arrested last fall, 21-year-old Jonathan Baquiring, is in the King County Jail, awaiting trial next month on the same charges.
ADDED 2:46 PM: Tim McClellan spoke to the media after the sentencing, saying he accepts Mohamed’s apology, and that he is generally pleased with how this turned out. He says Shane is doing OK. See part of the interview in the clip we added atop this story; more to come.
Thanks to the WSB’ers who have e-mailed to ask what’s moving into the ex-Juneau Street Market space at California/Juneau (map), since the “for lease” signs have come down and shelving has appeared in the formerly empty space inside. We have just spoken to the new tenant, who says it’s going to be … the Juneau Street Market: “A grocery store with beer and wine, food service too.” (Cheeseburgers, chicken, wings, hot dogs, corn dogs, burritos, pizza, made off-premises, he elaborates.) He says this is his first store, though he has management experience, most recently a gas-station market in Redmond. Depending on how licensing goes, he’s hoping to be open within a few weeks. (If you forgot the backstory here – the previous market was closed for 8 months because of damage related to a September 2009 fire in the apartments above the store; they reopened in May 2010, but shut down less than 6 months later.)
Just announced by the mayor’s office, a January 29th “open house” at City Hall downtown, with street-food trucks and live music – and one well-known West Seattleite is on the bill: Rocker Chris Ballew in his alter-ego as kids-music-maker Caspar Babypants. Here’s the full schedule for the January 29th event.
Lots going on with our neighbors to the south. First – the White Center Chamber of Commerce has put up its first two new multilingual “Welcome to White Center” signs. More details on our partner site White Center Now, where you also will find news of two new businesses – first, Crawfish Grill is going to “time-share” with Be’s Restaurant; second, a new wireless store is moving in. Thanks to WSB/WCN contributor Deanie Schwarz for spotting the new businesses; thanks to WCN reader Gill for sharing the sign photo (if you’re driving by Holy Family in about an hour, you’ll see the WC Chamber’s board celebrating the sign with a photo-op). P.S. You can check the latest headlines from White Center Now any time without leaving WSB – they’re fed to the page you’ll reach by clicking the top-of-page “White Center” tab.
(Click for a larger view)
Construction has been under way for the new Admiral Safeway (along with two other buildings on the site – residential and flex-work space to the southeast, a small standalone retail building on the southwest) for four months now. The ground-level progress is easy to see if you drive past, but here’s a different perspective. One of the longtime project point people, Sara Corn, shares an aerial view, photographed during that sunny day earlier this week – top of the photo is the east side of the site, left side is north, right side is south (facing Hiawatha), bottom is west (facing Lafayette Elementary). She notes that the construction webcam is currently out of service for “repositioning”; it’s been part of the project website, which you can see here. The new store is projected to open next summer; we have an inquiry out for more detailed information on the project’s progress.
1:34 PM UPDATE: Corn says the store remains “on track” for the expected August 12th opening.
Thanks to Angelique for the tip – A crash at Delridge and Willow (map) has cut power to the surrounding area. This just showed up on Seattle City Light‘s status site, and they’re showing more than 60 customers (homes/businesses) affected. We’re just arriving at the scene, and the crash – which does not involve serious injuries – is also causing some traffic diversion on the southbound side of Delridge. (In the photo, added 10:15, the car on the left is the one that hit the pole.) UPDATE: Per City Light and commenter “Unknown,” the power’s back on.
(Paddleboarder in a West Seattle sunset, by Danny McMillin, shared via the WSB Flickr group pool)
Something about that photo just says “weekend.” But before we get there: The rain’s supposed to taper off by afternoon, which means it might be perfect in time for the Nature Consortium‘s monthly eco-hike through the West Duwamish Greenbelt (RSVP to email@example.com), 1 pm @ 14th/Holly … 1st Friday of a two-Friday “defensive driving” workshop starts this morning at 9 at the Senior Center of West Seattle; call 206-932-4044 to see if there’s room …. One more late-night/early-early-am closure of the WESTBOUND Spokane Street Viaduct, meaning you can’t get onto The Bridge from I-5 or Beacon Hill (details here) … West Seattle High School‘s Winter Concert is at 7:30 tonight, WSHS Theater, free but donations accepted … Feel like dancing this afternoon? Senior Dance @ Delridge Community Center, 1-3pm, $3. Betty McLain leads you through lines, mixers, and other dances to music from the 40’s to present. … And at Alki Community Center tonight, another round of Friday Night Skating, 6:45-8:45 pm, $3 person, bring your own skates or borrow them. … More on the calendar!
The “William Tell Overture” – by steel drums! That was just one of the highlights in a night full of music by Denny International Middle School students, performing their Winter Concert across SW Thistle Street at Chief Sealth International High School‘s remodeled auditorium – next door to the new school Denny will occupy later this year. We also have video highlights from seven more of the groups that performed Thursday night as the culmination of four months of hard work – click ahead!
(WSB photos by Ellen Cedergreen)
South Seattle Community College‘s food and wine programs are famous in their own right – perhaps because they’re open to even international education, with guests like the team from Spain that came in on Thursday. Among the team that led cooking and wine classes and presentations almost all day was guest sommelier Jesús Sanguino Collado (above). The featured wines and foods were from the Castilla y León region of Spain. Click ahead to see what they tried, and how:Read More
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The turnout was the biggest news from tonight’s Alki Community Council meeting.
As mentioned here earlier this week, the group is taking a serious look at its future – and more than 25 people answered the call to join in that scrutiny by showing up to join in. “I see a lot of new blood,” offered ACC’s Larry Carpenter from the sign-in table at the back of the room. Some of it, he explained later, included members who hadn’t come to meetings in a while. He said membership is currently at 132, down from a peak of 390.
Like other print publications, the ACC-published Alki News Beacon has gone through some changes in recent years.
By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog
From reports on cases handled recently by Southwest Precinct officers – first case includes an update on a reader-reported incident earlier this week
*A watchful neighbor prevented the theft of a package from a 35th Avenue front porch on Monday. She scared off the thief, who had apparently been following a UPS truck on its route and making off with the deliveries. Followup since 1st WSB story on this: The suspect’s car was found later that day run off the road into the brush at Fairmount and Admiral Way SW. There were no keys in the ignition and no sign of the driver. Its license plate had been stolen in North Seattle, and the car, itself, had been reported stolen somewhere in Seattle on December 22nd.
*An officer driving by a construction site on Avalon Way early Monday was suspicious when he passed two men carrying bundles of pipe along the road. He became more suspicious when, after pulling a U-turn to observe the pair, he discovered that one of the men had disappeared. (He turned out to be a transient with a history of copper-wire theft, found later, out of breath, and carrying the same type of electric tape that had been used to bind the pipe bundles.) The remaining fellow’s story didn’t check out, and a grocery cart nearby was filled with a hacksaw, gloves, and welding ground cables (which contain copper). The pair was interviewed and released from the precinct pending location of a victim.
Nine more summaries ahead:Read More
Seattle Parks is about to decide whether or not to go ahead with the controversy-beset West Seattle Golf Course driving range. Last time we checked with project manager Garrett Farrell, to find out what was next after last year’s public meetings (most recent one, October) and unpopular design concepts, he suggested checking back in mid-January. So we did. Though Farrell wasn’t available for comment today, Parks leadership fielded our question and sent this answer through spokesperson Dewey Potter, saying they’re almost done with a review that might lead to the project being canceled completely :
You probably know that this project is the first project under the 2009 Golf Master Plan. The intent was to locate a new driving range west of the clubhouse along 35th Ave. SW. Unfortunately, as we moved into the detailed design and engineering phase, it became apparent that the location presented a number of unforeseen problems.
Our design team developed an option to locate the driving range closer to the clubhouse at the fairway for hole #9. This location would necessitate reconfiguring the hole and several pathways. Through three public meetings, the design team has tried to design the driving range in a way that preserves the integrity of the existing course and contains the overall project costs. As you know, the fairway 9 location has stirred some controversy and opposition by many West Seattle golfers.
Late last year ago Acting Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams and Acting Deputy Eric Friedli met with staff and closely reviewed:
1) the proposed plans for the driving range and related changes to the course
2) the public input received through the public review process
3) the costs and available funding for the project.
We have asked staff to conduct an additional review and analysis of the driving range project in the context of the entire Golf Master Plan for our review in January. After review of the project it is entirely possible that we will not press ahead with the West Seattle driving range project. We want to make sure that if the project does move forward it is consistent with the history of the course and meets the needs of the golfers; if it does not go forward, we will adjust the overall Golf Master Plan in a way that meets the needs across all our municipal courses. Eric met with the West Seattle Golf Men’s Club on January 12 to get a better understanding of their concerns.
The review should be complete in the next week or so and we will schedule another public meeting to present and discuss it with the golf community, and we’ll let you know when that meeting is scheduled.
The three design concepts proposed so far came out in August (concerns included a potential 90-foot-high net), September (concerns included potential alteration of 2 existing holes on the course), and October (concerns included potential changes to 3 holes).
Just announced by the city:
Bernadette (Bernie) Matsuno, a former deputy director of the Department of Neighborhoods and a well-known community activist and volunteer, will return as interim director of the department, Mayor Mike McGinn announced.
(Wednesday photo by Tristan Baurick/Kitsap Sun; used with permission)
3:07 PM: Following up on yesterday’s discovery of a body washing up on Bainbridge Island (WSB coverage here), drawing the interest of Seattle Police: Though the King County Medical Examiner told us a few minutes ago that they’re not formally identifying the body that washed up on Bainbridge yet – they just brought it to their facility today – other sources including KIRO-TV say the family has been told it’s 24-year-old Jeremy Peck. We just talked with Seattle Police Det. Mark Jamieson, who told WSB that while they also have not been officially notified it’s Jeremy, if and when they do get that notification, what they do next still depends on what the cause of death turns out to be – whether it was homicide, accidental, or suicide. It’s been exactly two weeks since our first story on Jeremy’s disappearance; family and friends say he was last seen early the morning of December 24th.
5:07 PM UPDATE: The Medical Examiner’s Office puts out a daily media update each afternoon; today’s update ends with a note that the “the body (found) in Puget Sound” will be examined tomorrow (Friday).
There’s excitement under every footstep at the Community School of West Seattle. Sarah Airhart shares the photos and the news, along with words of thanks:
The Community of School of West Seattle wants to let everyone know that after a year of planning, auctioning, fundraising and grant writing and 3 weeks of being closed to remodel, our new Marmoleum floors and children’s bathrooms are finally IN.
They are so beautiful and we are so thankful to all our friends and families in and around the West Seattle community that made this happen. We raised $17,000 at our auction and were awarded a grant for $21,000 we worked hard and saved our pennies to make this happen. Any past alumni families (and anyone who just wants to come and look around) are invited to stop by to our Open House on January 22nd between 10 am and 2 pm – we can’t wait to show you what YOU helped make happen. It truly does take a village!
CSWS is at 9450 22nd SW.
Today we’re welcoming one of our newest WSB sponsors, WEdesign, which is taking the traditional WSB opportunity to tell you about what they do: WEdesign Inc. works with homeowners to design and install custom landscapes that fit their lifestyle and budget while promoting a healthy, sustainable relationship with the environment. We combine custom stone work and carpentry with edible landscaping, backyard wildlife habitat and drought tolerant plantings. Drip irrigation, low-voltage lighting, rain gardens and custom play spaces round out our favorite functional gardens. Clients appreciate most that our collaborative design process results in a landscape that meets their needs in an ecological way. Our installation team is well-trained and experienced, offering a high level of craftsmanship and responsive customer service. We pride ourselves in creating landscapes that homeowners and their families can enjoy for years to come.
WEdesign is a member of Seattle Tilth, the Coalition of Organic Landscapers and a 5-star EnviroStar business. For more than 12 years, owner Michael Lockman has been a member of the West Seattle community, where he lives with his wife and two daughters. You’ll find WEdesign online at we-design.net; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206-459-7022.
We thank WEdesign for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news on WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
No injuries were reported, but a trail of destruction was left behind by one driver along 26th SW in North Delridge late last night. This morning, you can still see not only damaged vehicles (photo below) but also where the car hit signs, from a traffic circle to a corner (above) [2:10 PM NOTE: In comments, neighbors say the traffic circle, with the bent sign in the background, bore the brunt of last night’s street damage, and the tire tracks etc. at right are from a previous crash].
One neighbor, Ruby, relates a firsthand account from her partner, who saw the whole thing:
She had just parked her car and was trying to retrieve her bag from the passenger side of the car when she heard a car coming down the street at a very high speed. (She guessed around 50 mph). She honked several times in an effort to say ‘slow down!’, and the car blew past her, launched itself over the traffic circle, wrecked into the Telecom truck, and hit a van on the opposite side of the street. She ran after the car trying to get a plate and thinking the car would eventually just stop because it had so much damage…. But it didn’t… it kept going and hit several more cars before the driver abandoned it somewhere south of the park.
A police search followed, ending with no indication of the driver having turned up (we have inquiries out again this morning to see if they ever did, and will add any information we get). Anyone who suffered damage is also urged to contact police, if they haven’t already. Ruby says they heard of at least four cars that were damaged; seven were mentioned by Chris, who tweeted about this last night.
ADDED 3:22 PM: According to Lt. Ron Smith from the Southwest Precinct, five vehicles in all have reported damage from this incident so far. He says that despite a search involving two K-9 teams, the driver and vehicle were not found, though a possible license plate was reported, so investigators are working on that.
Will King County have to use “eminent domain” – taking possession of property, whether the owner likes it or not – to build a storage tank across from Lowman Beach Park, reducing combined sewer overflows (CSO)? The newest developments in the CSO project were a hot topic during Wednesday night’s quarterly Morgan Community Association meeting, which also tackled traffic safety and a request related to this summer’s Morgan Community Festival, plus a guest appearance by local police leadership. Details ahead!