West Seattle, Washington
You won’t see them in our file photo at right, but two “for lease” signs are now up on the facade of Ho-Win Chinese Restaurant on California just south of Juneau – thanks to Lizzy for the tip. WSB contributor “Hutch” went over to check on the signs, and found out that the restaurant’s owners have decided not to renew their lease when it runs out at the end of next month. It’s been under the same ownership for twelve years, and they want to thank everyone who’s patronized Ho-Win over that time. We have messages out to the real-estate company handling the listing to see if they have anything more to say. Ho-Win is next door to the Juneau Street Market, which recently reopened after an ownership change.
Before the Highland Park Action Committee decides whether its name should stay or go, it’s taking an online survey – which is now available via the HPAC website. It’s a quick survey, offering you ten potential names to consider, or a chance to suggest something different. The name issue is likely to be settled at the next HPAC meeting, 7 pm March 23, at Highland Park Improvement Club (12th/Holden). Meantime, go to the HPAC home page for a link to the survey and to related information.
Often a big new sign where there was none before means a new business. Not in this case. Brian Presser of TouchTech Systems in The Junction (4517 California SW, on the east end of the breezeway) e-mailed to share news of the new sign – his first big street-facing sign after more than three years at that location: “TouchTech started on January of ’96 and we’ve been in West Seattle since October ’07. After many years of meeting people and hearing them say, ‘I had no idea you were here,’ we decided to take the plunge and go big! We had a small sign at eye level just outside the breezeway door on California, but this is way bigger and brighter.” TouchTech offers a variety of tech-related services, including being an authorized Apple reseller.
One more game at the Tacoma Dome today for the Chief Sealth International High School boys’ basketball team – and a tough one because of foul trouble. In the consolation round, North Central (from Spokane) topped Sealth 53-46. That’s the acclaimed Sealth drum line in our top clip; game details and video after the jump:Read More
We’re at the King County Courthouse, where Superior Court Judge Carol Schapira has just sentenced the second defendant in the Highland Park beating/hate-crime case from last May. His sentence is 72 months total – 48 months for the robbery (which includes the beating), 24 months after that for the weapons enhancement), and a concurrent 12 months for the malicious-harassment charge. That’s three months longer than the sentence the same judge gave the first defendant, 23-year-old Ahmed Mohamed, last month.
Pleading guilty to robbery (with a weapons enhancement) and malicious harassment (hate crime) in January (WSB coverage here), Jonathan Baquiring, like his co-defendant, had acknowledged a racist motive in attacking now-17-year-old Shane McClellan in Highland Park and beating/torturing him for hours. Charges weren’t filed till four months later; Baquiring was the first suspect arrested, and has been in jail since then, almost six months.
Before the judge’s decision, prosecutors asked for the same 72-month sentence they had requested for the first defendant, on the most serious charge. Shane McClellan’s father Tim addressed the judge, as he had at the first sentencing. “The continuing impact… this has had on our family … on my son,” he began, his voice breaking. Judge Schapira notes she remembered that the previous sentencing, at which she also presided, was on Shane’s 17th birthday. “I hope there is some sense of satisfaction, now that Mr. Baquiring made a decision to plead guilty, that this matter will not have .. any more uncertainties,” so that Shane “can move on,” the judge told the victim’s father. “It’s like the final chapter, we want to put it to rest,” McClellan replied. When the judge offered Baquiring the chance “to say something,” he asked for forgiveness, “for everything we have done.”
Baquiring’s lawyer called him “unschooled in the legal system and in the realities of alcohol consumption,” saying he had “consumed at least four 4 Lokos” (that came up in the first sentencing too). “This is not anything that was planned or decided on in advance … I think Mr. McClellan was truly a random victim – that doesn’t make his victimization any less real …” the lawyer said. Unlike the first defendant, he had no family or friends speaking on his behalf, so after he spoke, Judge Schapira pronounced her sentence, noting that he had no criminal history before this and saying she hopes he will have nothing after he serves the sentence. (We have her remarks on video, and will add them here when we are back at HQ, as well as
video a photo of Baquiring in the courtroom – you’ll notice her speaking especially slowly; Baquiring spoke and listened through a translator.) ADDED: Here are the judge’s remarks:
This was mentioned briefly at the Delridge District Council meeting two weeks ago, but we haven’t seen details till today – Mayor McGinn will be in Westwood this Sunday. The invitation just forwarded by a WSB’er says he’s at Southwest Library (35th/Henderson) for community Q/A, 1:30-2 pm Sunday. And literally a minute after we published this, the mayor’s office confirmed the visit starts at 12:30 pm at Roxhill Park. (Last weekend, we caught up with him during an unpublicized visit to White Center, which the city is considering annexing along with the rest of the remaining unincorporated North Highline area.)
(February 2011 photo by Ellen Cedergreen for WSB)
Will you be able to visit a space shuttle by driving just a few minutes east? Last month, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden visited the Museum of Flight, which is hoping to receive a retired space shuttle to put on display. (He’s seen at center in our photo, with museum CEO Doug King and former museum president/retired astronaut Dr. Bonnie Dunbar.) Today, the museum – just over the ridge from West Seattle – announced that Bolding is expected to make an announcement on April 12th. (MoF points out that’s the 30th anniversary of the first shuttle launch.) A new space gallery is under construction at MoF, with completion expected this summer; the museum is one of 27 contenders around the country to be the home of a retired shuttle.
Two days ago, we updated the saga of accused catalytic-converter thief Joel Lund, described by police as an “active” suspect. The latest update: Just about 24 hours ago, Lund got out of jail. (Thanks to the WSB’er who found this on the King County Jail Register before we did.) Here’s what our research has turned up: After he pleaded not guilty yesterday to the one charge currently against him, malicious mischief, the judge agreed to let him out of jail provided he participates in the Community Center for Alternative Programs, which requires weekday check-ins and classes at a facility downtown. The conditions also included drug/alcohol/mental-health treatment, according to court documents. King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office spokesperson Dan Donohoe tells WSB that prosecutors opposed letting Lund out at all. His bail had been set at $20,000; he was arrested February 15th for the second time in three days, and he had remained behind bars since then, until yesterday’s decision by Judge Theresa Doyle. Potential burglary and theft charges listed on the jail register remain under investigation, with nothing formal filed yet, according to Donohue. Lund is due back in court for trial-date-setting on March 17th.
P.S. We mentioned in our report the other day that we had been working on a longer story. Since the case keeps moving faster than we do, we’re just going to add the background from that story – on the current case and previous ones – here, after the jump:Read More
Story and photos by Ellen Cedergreen
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
The Duwamish Longhouse was the site of a “killer” talk last night as part of a series of presentations hosted by West Seattle-based The Whale Trail to share more information about our region’s resident orcas, officially known as Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW) – and in this case, how dogs can help them.
Sandstrom noted that Katherine’s work, using scat-detection dogs, has helped pioneer research for the whales. She also greatly emphasized the importance of both volunteer support, and the successful collaboration with organizations such as NOAA Fisheries, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, People for Puget Sound, The Seattle Aquarium, The Whale Museum, and Coast Watch Society. Ayres later reiterated the importance of inter-agency collaboration, as she outlined the importance of sharing and comparing data.
Her talk centered around groundbreaking research practices where dogs are being used to detect killer whale scat (feces), to learn information that could help protect the threatened species. Dr. Sam Wasser pioneered the practice in 1997 when he founded the Center for Conservation Biology.
Though we don’t have a formal obituaries section, if you lose a loved one and would like to honor them, we are always happy to publish the obituary (photo too) free, as part of the WSB tradition of sharing community information. This morning, Robert shares the news that his aunt Virginia “Ginny” Nieman-Lewis has died, and that her memorial is planned for next Thursday (March 10th). He says Ms. Nieman-Lewis had lived in West Seattle since the ’70s; you might have known her when she worked at the Cat’s Eye Café:
Obituary for Virginia Nieman-Lewis
Brought to us on August 25th, 1954
Departed her earthly shell February 26th, 2011
It is with great sorrow that I share that on the morning of Saturday the 26 of February 2011 at around 9 am, Virginia Lewis departed on her journey to the after-life. She passed peacefully in her sleep from unknown causes while in her home surrounded by family and friends. She was born in Iowa and attended High School there. She later pursued her education at Kansas State University, after which she became a resident of the West Seattle area….
(Photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
Checking this morning on two trouble spots: First, if you got stuck in a backup this past hour coming back westbound into West Seattle on the bridge via Fauntleroy, that car may be to blame. The call went out as a potential “heavy rescue” just under an hour ago, but when fire and police got here, they couldn’t find anyone in or near the car, according to SPD Media Unit Officer Renee Witt – so how it got there is a mystery at this point (if you saw it happen, we imagine police would like to hear from you.
There’s also an update on the problem that narrowed Highland Park Way this morning and temporarily rerouted the southbound Metro Route 23 – Stephanie described it as “a light pole that is in danger of falling in to the road on Highland Park hill just before the bottom of the hill,” which meant the uphill lanes were closed (thanks also to Jason). We just drove over to check and the road’s fully reopen now – and there’s a conspicuously newer-looking pole in place in the area in question.
What could be the trip of a lifetime is just weeks away for the Chief Sealth International High School Honor Choir – but they’re still raising money, and here’s your next chance to help – as promoted in the photo above, drawn on a car that may well be first in line:
The Chief Sealth Honor Choir was invited to travel to New York City to perform on Easter Sunday at Carnegie Hall. The students and their families have been busy since October rolling up their sleeves and working hard, now we are hoping to really clean up … your car, that is! Drive on down to Alki Auto Repair, no matter how filthy this winter has left your vehicle, we will be happy to see you!!!! Here are the details:
Car Wash for Carnegie Hall
Sunday, March 6th and March 27th
9:00 AM-4:00 PM Rain or Shine
Alki Auto Repair
2504 Alki Ave SW
Donations encouraged and heartily appreciated!
Here’s the letter explaining more about the trip (and how to donate even if you don’t need your vehicle washed, or don’t have one to get washed).
(Kathleen says the eagle landed on her roof on Thursday, “posed for a few pictures, and flew away”)
Our look ahead to today/tonight starts in The Junction, where a new weekly Game Night is ready for another go-round at Uptown Espresso (Edmunds/Erskine/California), 6-11 pm, bring your own board/card/dice games or use the ones you’ll find there … Bin 41‘s next wine tasting is 5:30-7 pm tonight, kicking off Washington Wine Month with winemaker Marcus Miller from Airfield Estates … On Puget Ridge, the monthly “Meaningful Movies” series will screen “The Economics of Happiness” at 7:30 pm, common house at Puget Ridge Cohousing (18th and Myrtle) … In North Delridge, the Skylark Café and Club (WSB sponsor) live-music bill tonight includes My My Hey Hey‘s Neil Young tribute at 11 pm (more on the Skylark calendar) … Can’t wait for Southgate to reopen? No waiting required for weekly Friday night skating at Alki Community Center, 6:45-8:45 pm, BYO or use theirs ($3/person) … Peek ahead to the weekend (and beyond) on our calendar.
(One of the graphics shown at last month’s Triangle open house)
From this week’s Southwest District Council meeting: SWDC members say they’re not clear about where city planning for the West Seattle Triangle‘s future really stands, despite last month’s community open house, and their own city briefing days before it. So they want the project’s lead city planners Susan McLain and Robert Scully to return before the council and outline exactly what they’re doing next with feedback from those meetings, as well as with the plan itself, and what they’ll be telling city leaders. SWDC members also would like to talk with Councilmember Sally Clark, whose Committee on the Built Environment would theoretically eventually consider the results of the Triangle process. SWDC co-chair Susan Melrose of the West Seattle Junction Association and past co-chair Erica Karlovits of the Junction Neighborhood Organization also questioned whether the Triangle planning process had adequate community representation/participation and had truly resulted in consensus.
Another topic of concern for the council – the ongoing changes in the Department of Neighborhoods, which (among other things) provides staff assistance for district councils (whose members are all volunteers) – more after the jump:Read More