West Seattle, Washington
School events top our quick look at today/tonight’s highlights from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar; it’s Choice Night/Information Night at West Seattle High School, 6:30-8 pm (new PTSA newsletter‘s online too); Denny International Middle School‘s winter concert is in the auditorium at Chief Sealth International High School, 7 pm; families interested in the new Bright Horizons child-care center that will open in Link (WSB sponsor) are invited to an information session at Cupcake Royale, 4-7 pm (more info here); also in The Junction, the local office of AAA Washington is marking its “Million Member Celebration” with a day of refreshments, discounts and contests, 9 am-6:30 pm (4701 42nd SW). … Tonight’s major community meeting: Alki Community Council, with Topic A “where do we go from here?” 7 pm, Alki UCC (here’s our preview).
TRAFFIC ALERT: Another closure tonight for the WESTBOUND Spokane Street Viaduct (the I-5 to SR-99 section of the West Seattle Bridge), 10 pm-5:30 am.
Thanks to JayDee for the photo from Wednesday night’s moonrise, a perfect bookend to a day that began with an incredible moonset (nice views from Beach Drive Blog too). This full moon is bringing another round of very high tides – this morning, it’s up to 12.8 feet just before 6 am; this round will peak with the highest tides this winter, 13.3-foot high tides (per the chart we use) in the 7 am vicinity Saturday and Sunday. The state, by the way, is looking for your photos of these so-called “king tides.” P.S. Back to the moonrise – check out this breathtaking non-WS view sent via Twitter.
Award-winning West Seattleite Bettie Williams-Watson is putting out the call tonight for more participation in an online survey with a very specific target group:
Greater Seattle area Black/African American girls and women, ages 14-25, about their impact experiences with domestic and sexual violence in predominantly African American faith communities (churches, mosques, temples or synagogues) in South, Central, or West Seattle.
It’s a project of her Multi-Communities (MIC) organization, with funding from a city grant. They’ve been seeking respondents since spring of last year and have extended the survey to February 10th in hopes of finding more. The official announcement cites federal statistics saying, “Black females experienced intimate partner violence at a rate 35% higher than that of white females, and about 22 times the rate of women of other races,” adding, “The aim of this survey is to not only shed more light on these issues, but to break shame and silence, and increase individual and community awareness. What happens here impacts all of us. No one is immune from abuse.” Be forewarned, that the some of the questions in the survey are explicit; if you, or someone you know, qualifies to take it, Williams-Watson hopes you/they will. Here’s the link.
Continuing our coverage of the murder trial in the February 2009 West Seattle shooting death of Steve Bushaw: Court is now in recess till 9 am Monday. That originally was projected as the date testimony would begin, but this case hasn’t even gotten to jury selection yet, because of an ongoing series of twists and turns among the four original defendants. Two of them have pleaded guilty in the past two weeks, but one of them may withdraw that plea when court resumes Monday. Details ahead:Read More
Story and photos by Jason Grotelueschen
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
About 30 people gathered for Sustainable West Seattle‘s monthly Community Forum on Tuesday night at Coffee to a Tea with Sugar in the Alaska Junction (the event’s original venue, the Senior Center of West Seattle, was unavailable at the last minute).
Although the group’s “volunteer fair” format couldn’t happen Tuesday night because of space/time limitations related to the venue change, it was a busy night of “annual reports” for 2010, and guest presentations from the West Seattle Wildlife Habitat Project and the Salish Sea Trading Co-op.
Highlights on what’s been accomplished – and what’s coming up, plus the lineup of new SWS leadership, ahead:Read More
(Added 4:09 pm: Photo by Tristan Baurick/Kitsap Sun; used with permission)
2:18 PM: Through the comments following our latest story on the search for missing 24-year-old West Seattleite Jeremy Peck, we learned of an investigation on Bainbridge Island – a body, believed to be male, washed up today, and the Kitsap Sun reports that Bainbridge Police are working with Seattle Police. Commenters wondered, is there any link to the Jeremy Peck search? We have checked with Seattle Police’s media unit, which is in turn checking with detectives, and with Seattle Police’s West Seattle leadership, through the Southwest Precinct; Capt. Steve Paulsen says they haven’t heard anything. The Kitsap Sun’s latest update says their county’s medical examiner is handling the case and will be responsible for identification. Again, there is nothing so far that says there’s any relation, except that Bainbridge police are quoted as saying it might be related to a Seattle missing-persons case, and that the body may have been in the water two or three weeks; we wanted to let you know we are checking. Our latest update on the Jeremy Peck search is here; we just added a news release sent by organizers of this Sunday’s vigil.
3:45 PM UPDATE: Commenting via e-mail, Jeremy Peck’s longtime friend Ben Doty, who is helping lead search effort, told WSB, “At this time, we’re aware of what happened in Bainbridge Island. Nothing has been confirmed. We remain hopeful.”
11:06 PM UPDATE: KING5 picked up the story tonight; here’s their link. The Sun has updated to say that the King County Medical Examiner now has possession of the Bainbridge body and will announce the ID if/when that’s available. In their comment section, another case of a young adult man missing about the same period of time was brought up – a 25-year-old soldier who jumped off the Tacoma Narrows Bridge a few days before Christmas.
THURSDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: The King County Medical Examiner’s Office just got the body today, according to both a KCME spokesperson and Seattle Police spokesperson Det. Mark Jamieson. The official ID has not yet been determined nor made public. Until it is, and until cause of death is determined, according to Det. Jamieson, police’s next move won’t be clear – for example, even if it is Jeremy Peck, was it homicide, suicide, or an accident? All that is part of what the KC Medical Examiner is looking at right now.
A sighting of El Chupacabra on Alki is expected soon – but it won’t be fodder for summoning paranormal investigators – it’ll be a reason to dine and drink. Shortly after Casa Feliz closed on the lower level of 2620 Alki Avenue SW (photo above added 4:18 pm), brown paper went up and tips came into the WSB inbox asking “what’s moving in?” This afternoon, we have the answer. We spoke with Aaron Wright, whose El Chupacabra Mexican restaurant and bar is about to celebrate its 5th anniversary on Phinney Ridge – he is hoping to open the Alki branch before that mid-March date. Read on for details:Read More
“Welcome to 2011!” With that, West Seattle Crime Prevention Council president Dot Beard opened last night’s meeting at the Southwest Precinct, the first WSCPC meeting in two months – and her last one as president. As the meeting began, more than 15 people were on hand, not counting three uniformed SPD reps – Lt. Pierre Davis and Community Police Team Officers Jonathan Kiehn and Ken Mazzuca – plus soon-to-retire Crime Prevention Coordinator Benjamin Kinlow. Precinct commander Capt. Steve Paulsen joined in time to deliver his assessment of the latest West Seattle crime trends – which included at least one surprise. That and other meeting toplines, after the jump:Read More
Hope you were up early (or late) enough to see this morning’s amazing moonset. In case you weren’t – Gatewood photographer Long Bach Nguyen has shared two beautiful photos (thanks!).
With another round of Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project construction closures starting tonight – 10 pm-5 am for the next three nights, WESTBOUND ONLY (which means no bridge access from I-5 or Beacon Hill), and 3 more nights next week – you might be wondering, how’s the construction work going? We have the answer, and a few photos, from SDOT‘s Marybeth Turner:
As 2011 gets underway, work on the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project remains on schedule.
The contractor recently completed more than half of all the columns needed to support the widened portion of the deck that extends 42 feet further to the north. The crews have installed nearly three quarters of all support shafts that support the columns (there are a total of 154 in the design).
In addition, the contractor is nearly finished pouring the concrete deck from Fifth Avenue to Second Avenue. The intersection of Fourth Avenue and lower Spokane Street – long impacted by construction under the viaduct – should be restored to two lanes in each direction by March, though there may be occasional short-term lane restrictions after that.
Meanwhile, the big milestone for this year, the opening of the new First Avenue on-and off-ramp, is expected to be reached before the end of this year. We expect the total project to be completed in the spring of 2012.
That ramp will not be a replication of the one that was closed and demolished last year – its entrance is further north on 1st Avenue South, and it’s a two-way ramp. If you missed previous coverage of the project, we have an extensive archive dating back almost three years (find it here).
From the WSB West Seattle Events calendar: Spokane Street Viaduct construction closures – WESTBOUND ONLY – start tonight through Friday night, then again Jan. 24-26 (details here) … The next round of All-Access afterschool classes at Youngstown Arts Center starts today, with orientation at 3:30 pm, then a 4-6 pm kickoff event … Chief Sealth International High School‘s PTSA meets at 7 tonight, room 222 … 2 major community meetings: Delridge Neighborhoods District Council at Youngstown, with “Strategic Delridge” discussion 6-7 pm, meeting intros/reports start at 7, scheduled guests from the Department of Neighborhoods and West Seattle Blockwatch Captains Network; the Morgan Community Association is at The Kenney, 7 pm, full agenda online here … And if you see this early, the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle‘s breakfast briefing by a West Seattle bird expert is at 7 am at Be’s Restaurant (here’s our preview). … Outside WS: SDOT invites you to tonight’s seawall meeting.
About 15 people gathered at West Seattle’s Chelan Café to plot the next steps in the search for 24-year-old Jeremy Peck, last seen in the early-morning hours of December 24th. Among them, in the next photo L to R, a longtime friend of Jeremy’s, Ben Doty, who graduated West Seattle High School with him in 2005, and Jeremy’s birth father Stephan Peck:
Though Jeremy was raised by his uncle John Peck, Stephan came to West Seattle more than a week ago to help search for him; tomorrow he has to go home to Wenatchee.
“I am trying to think positive about this. But, sometimes, I … I’d just like him to come home. Or just show up anywhere.”
And Jeremy could be anywhere at this point. Parks have been checked, it was noted at the meeting, like Schmitz Park and Me-Kwa-Mooks, but volunteers acknowledge they could use more coordination. WSB contributor Deanie Schwarz, covering the meeting, reports that they say only one or two people were covering each of these areas; they feel as if they need to search all of them again with many more people scouring the brush and hillsides. “We’re not professionally trained and the areas are so vast, and some are steep hills … We need somebody to coordinate those search efforts,” Doty said.
Also in the works, an account (at Wells Fargo) where money can be donated for the search efforts, which have now grown into an operation with its own checklists – flyers, banners, posters, a lawyer (to get cell-phone records made public), search dogs, private detective, psychic. And they’re working to set up a website where information will be available as well as a PayPal account for donations, in addition to the “Find Jeremy Peck” Facebook page.
If you’ve missed the original coverage or need a reminder: Jeremy is 6’2″, about 177 pounds, has medium brown hair and brown eyes, and was last seen wearing blue jeans, tennis shoes, and a black waist length coat over a gray hoodie sweatshirt.
An anonymous tip line has been created for anyone with information: 206-478-4905.
ADDED MIDDAY WEDNESDAY: The group has sent an official news release about Sunday’s vigil – after the jump:Read More
Story and photos by Ellen Cedergreen
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
A big celebration at Roxhill Elementary today as it received a total of 4 grants, all from the Seattle Education Foundation, awarded in a dignitaries-laden ceremony that also marked grants for schools elsewhere in the district.
Roxhill teachers applied for and were selected for the grants after they submitted proposals to Seattle Education Foundation’s board. Up to $20,000 in grant money is distributed annually among Seattle Public Schools, whose superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson was among those at Roxhill this morning for the presentation.
Last year, Roxhill was given $1,000 (the foundation’s maximum allowance for a single grant) for audio library books and equipment. This year, they’ll get to expand the impact with grants going to fund a variety of areas including: physical education, kindergarten, and reading intervention.
Today’s ceremony at Roxhill happened during the morning assembly. Students carried out their regular assembly business items; student of the month awards, reminders to be persistent and responsible, school chant, and birthdays. But the end portion of the assembly brought a big surprise in the form of a really big check.
Students got to hear a short and humorous presentation by Roxhill alum and foundation board member, Jim Oftebro, who shared a story from his tenure as a PE teacher at Roxhill. Then Dr. Goodloe-Johnson, and School Board member Steve Sundquist helped present the check along with the general manager at SEF’s Foundation House, Farron Bernhardt. Bernhardt told WSB he’s gratified to see the whole process go full circle, all the way from Foundation House back to the schools. Roxhill students gave big cheers at the prospect of more field trips, PE, and art.
Read on for more about the specific grants, and the Seattle Education Foundation:Read More
Final scores are in from tonight’s two high-school basketball games in West Seattle – in a #1-vs.-#2 division matchup, Chief Sealth International High School fell short after a thriller vs. Rainier Beach, 67-63 (more to come, including video); meantime, West Seattle High School lost to visiting Lakeside, 68-61.
ADDED: Notes from the Sealth-Rainier Beach game, and a video clip, after the jump:Read More
Thanks to Sha’ari from Inner Listening for sharing that photo from tonight’s Westside Symphony rehearsal, during the first West Seattle Community Orchestras sessions of the year. That’s founder Toni Reineke conducting, at top left. Sha’ari says, “Lots of strings but we still need another French horn, trombone, a couple trumpets, another bassoon, two oboes, a bass trombone and a couple celli. No more flutes please – we’ve got a whole cocktail already. It’s fun! Join us next Tues.” The orchestras rehearse on Tuesdays, Chief Sealth International High School – the schedule can be found, with lots more info, on their website.
If you think Alki should have an active Community Council, this is the time to step up. Shared by Larry Carpenter on behalf of the ACC:
What: Alki Community Council Meeting
When: Thursday, January 20, 7:00-8:30 PM
Where: Alki UCC Church Parlor, corner of 62nd Ave & Hinds
Who: ACC Members and Residents of Alki
Agenda: Open Forum on Future Course of the Council
Declines in ACC membership and increasing costs associated with producing a quarterly newsletter and holding monthly meetings have created a dire fiscal situation for the Council. The main agenda item will be a presentation of the current financial situation followed by discussion of possible options:
a. Raise dues to cover expenses or continue as is until treasury is exhausted
b. Discontinue mailing the Beacon but continue to maintain website at reduced cost and distribute minutes electronically
c.. Discontinue monthly ACC meetings, with ACC board continuing to meet monthly/bimonthly and the Council meeting 1/2 times a year for family social event and election of board
d.. Seek merger of ACC with a nearby neighborhood group with similar goals
Please try to make this meeting if you think it’s important that the Council continue to play a role in Alki. A quorum of 15 members is needed to make decisions on the Council’s future.
This will be the ACC’s first meeting in two months. Here’s our report on the previous one.
(WSB photos by Christopher Boffoli)>
Today officially marked the start of the second week of murder-trial proceedings in the case of the deadly West Seattle shooting two years ago of Steve Bushaw – though the case hasn’t even gone to jury selection yet, and might not for a while, depending on how things proceed. Previously, two of the four original defendants – the two accused of actually shooting Bushaw along California SW between Alaska and Edmunds late Super Bowl Sunday night in 2009 – pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of second-degree murder. Danny O’Neal entered his plea eight days ago, as proceedings began; John Sylve pleaded guilty last Friday. The other two were in court today – from left, alleged mastermind Bryce Huber and alleged getaway driver Brandon Chaney:
They remain charged with first-degree murder and with conspiracy to commit murder. After a brief session this morning, King County Superior Court Judge Joan DuBuque recessed court until 1:30 this afternoon to review some of the information that had emerged; the afternoon session was even shorter, and she recessed the case until 9 tomorrow morning. While there were many twists in this morning’s open discussion involving lawyers, the prosecutor and Judge DuBuque, the most noteworthy one involved the statement given by Sylve as part of his plea agreement. It was indicated that his statement might conflict with the one that the other confessed triggerman, O’Neal, gave days earlier. And that, the prosecutor said, might change the deal to recommend the low end of the sentencing range for him. We’ll find out what’s next when court resumes tomorrow morning.
So what REALLY happened to bring Marty Riemer back to The Mountain, 15-plus months after they booted him? This morning, that topic came up while we were visiting Riemer’s West Seattle-basement-based podcast – the guests were past and present co-workers Shawn Stewart (also a West Seattleite) and John Fisher. And as you can hear in our top clip, Riemer offered an assessment you may not have heard before. As we reported Sunday night/Monday morning, he returns to the station on the afternoon shift next Monday, and will continue with his podcast. The station’s made some other tweaks too, involving the music, as you’ll hear in another clip after the jump:Read More
Almost a year after first word of a “ropes course” coming to West Seattle’s Camp Long, the plan is advancing, and Seattle Parks has just sent word of a community meeting where you can find out more about it:
Seattle Parks and Recreation is hosting a public meeting for the community to learn about the new ropes course coming to Camp Long; it takes place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 27 at Camp Long, 5200 35th Ave SW.
Last year, Seattle Parks and Washington State University 4-H entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to bring a ropes challenge course to Camp Long.
Parks’ news release continues after the jump:Read More
A quick note for anyone interested in keeping track of what issues their political representatives are focused on: West Seattle’s newest King County Councilmember, Joe McDermott, is chairing the county Board of Health. That’s one of the assignments just made public by the King County Council, after its reorganization meeting. McDermott also is on the following committees: Budget and Fiscal Management; Environment and Transportation; Law, Justice, Health and Human Services; and Regional Policy. (All councilmembers also serve on the Committee of the Whole.)
(The table was only empty for presentation logistics – all the others were full)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
With that quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., longtime West Seattleite Mike Heavey opened his presentation this afternoon to the Rotary Club of West Seattle‘s weekly lunch meeting at Salty’s on Alki. The topic: The much-discussed case of Amanda Knox – “a 20-year-old kid, from the University of Washington, from West Seattle” at the time of her arrest in Italy in 2007, which as you almost certainly have heard led to a murder conviction which is now being appealed (with proceedings continuing next Saturday).
That image of brant in West Seattle waters is courtesy of Danny McMillin, who often shares photos of beautiful birds you can see around here almost every day. Though we’ve all seen them and may even be able to identify them by name – how much do we really know about them? An expert is making two presentations in West Seattle today and tomorrow; the first one is less than an hour away, so notice might be short, but there’s plenty of time to arrange to see the second one. The expert is Woody Wheeler of Conservation Catalyst; at 1 this afternoon, he speaks at Merrill Gardens-West Seattle (4611 35th SW; if you want to go, just RSVP to Colleen at 206-932-5480); then tomorrow at 7 am, he’s the featured speaker at the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle‘s next meeting. Here’s the announcement they asked us to share:
Expand your awareness of our connection to nature by learning about the wild birds in our midst. No better way to connect kids and families, neighbors and friends than to appreciate the birds around us. West Seattle is blessed as a stopover for birds flying elsewhere, and is home to many beautiful birds on our beaches and backyards. Come hear Woody Wheeler’s informative, fun, visual presentation of our beloved, sometimes ruffled winged friends. You may even want to take a birding tour to learn more first hand. Kiwanis of West Seattle is 80 years old. Come have breakfast, see Kiwanis in action (and members having fun) at a weekly meeting; and hear this informative presentation. Consider joining Kiwanis to apply your talents in making our community the place you want it to be. Our goal: Helping communities, one child at a time.
The Kiwanis meeting is at 7 am tomorrow (Wednesday), Be’s Restaurant in The Junction (4509 California SW).
It’s been a while since this was announced – but tomorrow’s the first night, so SDOT is out with a reminder today:
Work to widen the Spokane St Viaduct requires closure of the structure’s westbound lanes just west of I-5 for six nights: from 10 p.m. – 5 a.m. this week and next on Wednesday , Thursday and Friday nights – January 19, 20, 21, and 24, 25, 26. During the closures, the bridge weight will be shifted onto a new column; a barrier will be set up on the Harbor Is. ramp; and pavement repair needs will be determined. No work is scheduled and all lanes will be open Saturday and Sunday nights. During this work, southbound I-5 traffic will exit at Forest St to access surface streets. Northbound I-5 traffic and westbound traffic from Columbian Way will be detoured to surface streets at 6th Ave S.
The Spokane Street Viaduct is the section of the West Seattle Bridge between Highway 99 and I-5.