day : 10/03/2011 14 results

Reader report: Hit-run driver kills dog, misses owner

(FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE: Lucy’s owner contacted WSB overnight – his story, and photos of her, can be found here)

From a reader, still shaken by what they saw tonight, and anonymous by request:

I was driving northbound on California at about 7:30 PM. At the intersection of California and Dakota, I saw the car (some sort of sedan) in front of me swerve to barely miss a guy who was crossing the street, from the NW corner to the NE corner. Then I saw his medium size white, furry dog fly up in the air as the car hit her. I couldn’t believe it when the car kept going northbound. The guy started screaming, and I chose to stop and try to help him vs. going after the car. As we were calling to find the location of an emergency vet hospital that would be open, the dog, whom I learned was Lucy, died on the sidewalk. The guy lived close by, and his wife and a friend came to help take her home. He was exceptionally upset. Another pedestrian stopped to offer support. A really bad scene.

We asked if the witness had any more detailed description of the car; they did not, nor do they know if the dog’s owner has reported this to police. We have a message out to police to ask about it (and if the driver perhaps turned herself/himself in later) but may not be able to find that out before tomorrow – unless someone who reads this has more information.

West Seattle youth sports: WS YMCA Dolphins’ swimming success

(WSY Dolphins cheering other swimmers; March 5th photo by Jacqueline Nokeo Muongchanh)
One week from tomorrow, four swimmers from the Dolphins swim team based at West Seattle Family YMCA (WSB sponsor) will compete in the last regional meet of the fall/spring season. Just last weekend, more than 50 WSY Dolphins swam in the last big competition – and we have a report tonight from their head coach, Kyle Homad:

The West Seattle Y Dolphins swim team took 12th place at the Pacific Region North YMCA Swimming Championships last weekend in Federal Way. Twenty-five teams from across five states, including Alaska, Oregon, Wyoming and Idaho, competed in the meet.

The WSY Dolphins 12-Under girls relay team of Brynn Snodgrass, Maya DeGasperi, Angelica Gil, and Julia Olson raced to a 9th place finish in the 200 medley (2:24.49) and 8th place in the 200 Free (2:05.07).

The 12-U boys Dolphins relay team – Oliver Starkweather, Carlos Morales, Ricardo Martinez and Tyler Barker – finished 5th in the 200 medley (2:22.56) and 7th in the 200 freestyle relay (2:06.66).

The 14-U WSY Dolphins relay team of Darla Long, Karen Woodworth, Rose Morgan and Haley Kormanik came in 7th in the 200 medley (2:10.66) and 6th in the 200 freestyle (156.74).

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Chief Sealth drummers added to Delridge Playfield dedication

March 10, 2011 9:50 pm
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 |   Delridge | West Seattle news | WS & Sports

An almost-last-minute addition to the lineup for Saturday’s gala celebration of the Delridge Playfield renovationsSeattle Parks confirmed late today that six drummers from the acclaimed Chief Sealth International High School Drum Line will perform as part of the festivities, right before the speeches. That means they’ll be on between 1 and 1:15 pm. (Our video above shows the drum line performing at the Tacoma Dome last week while the Sealth boys were in the state tournament.) The West Seattle Soccer Club is co-sponsoring the celebration with DiscNW; there’ll be disc games as it starts at 12:30, and soccer games after acting Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams and City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen lead the formal dedication around 1:15. As planned during the design meetings we covered back in xxx, the field now has playing zones for soccer, baseball, softball, disc sports, and lacrosse (which was added to the plan by request during the community meetings we covered a year and a half ago). Its new lights use a third less electricity than the old ones, according to the city. The $3 million-plus project was paid for by the Parks and Green Spaces Levy, approved by voters in 2008.

2 big Southwest Precinct events: Benjamin Kinlow farewell; Chamber lunch

March 10, 2011 6:43 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle police

Two special events in two days at the Southwest Precinct meeting room – most recently, this afternoon:

(Photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
After more than 36 years, this is the last week on the job for Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Benjamin Kinlow (who announced his retirement plans two months ago – here’s our original report). This afternoon, an informal coffee-and-cake party at the precinct was led by Community Police Team Officer Kevin McDaniel, above with Kinlow, paying tribute as he got ready to move on to the next chapter. Christopher Boffoli was there for WSB, and reports that Kinlow said, “I want to say that it is really wonderful to have served the City and the citizens of Seattle and it has just been something that I have enjoyed doing, over and over again. Any time I could be of service to the people and help them resolve problems, to make their neighborhood safer, to make their homes safer, it has been my joy. That’s what really has kept me going. … I hope that what I’ve worked on will continue to live on and the neighborhoods will continue to be safe. And maybe I’ll have played a small part in making that happen.” Members of his family were there to celebrate him, too – here’s brother Joel Kinlow with him and Officer McDaniel:

(Photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
From Officer McDaniel: “He brought a passion to crime prevention that everyone grew to rely on and trust. … Benjamin has served in this position longer than any other crime prevention coordinator in the City. He has attended countless meetings and has established a strong web of block watches throughout the City. He has created relationships between the police department and the community that have reduced crimes in problem areas and have improved the lives of citizens in those areas. … The delivery of respectful professionalism and dependable service to the community was Benjamin’s trademark and top priority in serving the community. The Seattle Police Department couldn’t be more proud to have a person of Benjamin’s level of caring, professionalism and high moral fortitude representing our precinct and our department overall.”

So what’s next for crime-prevention efforts beyond what the on-the-street police routinely do? That’s one of the topics addressed at the other special event at SW Precinct:

(Lt. Pierre Davis, with West Seattle Chamber board chair Dave Montoure and Tom’s Automotive manager Kandie Jennings looking on)
The precinct’s operations Lt. Pierre Davis – second in command – spoke to the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday during its monthly lunch meeting. Lt. Davis promised a plan would be unveiled soon regarding how crime prevention will be handled without a dedicated coordinator on site. The precinct already has been working more closely with civilian volunteers including the West Seattle Blockwatch Captains’ Network. And he had lavish words of praise for citizen crime-combating efforts of all kinds – from Block Watch to businesses banding together, to WSB readers. “You guys have augmented what we have [police-wise] out there,” Lt. Davis told the lunch attendees. “You guys are something else.”

More than 40 people attended the meeting, which is held at the precinct once a year so that business and police reps can get to know each other better. Chamber board chair Dave Montoure of West 5 emceed the meeting; Chamber CEO Patti Mullen suggested to those on hand that they get involved with the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council, as well as with whatever efforts are under way in their own business district(s). Kandie Jennings from Tom’s Automotive Service (WSB sponsor) mentioned their efforts to keep their part of The Triangle graffiti-free – she says she’s out there with a paintbrush so often, she always wonders if someone someday will report here as a suspected graffiti vandal!

And Lt. Davis said there’s more to come regarding how the department will work with the community – with key players being three of the officers who were on hand for part of the event along with him, Community Police Team Officers Kevin McDaniel, Jonathan Kiehn and Ken Mazzuca.

He was asked about gang activity and said it’s not that common in West Seattle, nothing like it was in its ’80s hey day “when we had gangs roaming around, 30 to 40 deep.” Youth substance-abuse activist Renae Gaines cautioned that just because it’s not seen, doesn’t mean it’s not happening – same goes, she said, for her area of emphasis, drug and alcohol abuse among West Seattle teens.

(Next big event for the West Seattle Chamber, as reported here yesterday, is the annual Awards Breakfast, April 6th at Salty’s on Alki – which also is being honored as Business of the Year.)

Double-the-limit speeder stopped on West Seattle Bridge, SPD says

The newest brief update on SPD Blotter warns again, “The Aggressive Driver Response Team is coming to a neighborhood near you.” In a neighborhood near us, its recent catches include:

On March 8th, Aggressive Driving Response Team officers stopped and ticketed a driver on the West Seattle Bridge for driving 92 mph in a 45 mph zone.

That’s the only WS note in the update, but we thought you’d be interested.

West Seattle Weather Watch: ‘High wind warning’ now in effect

(Photo added 5:14 pm – Tom Marx‘s view from Alki Avenue as the Vashon Water Taxi headed west)
4:36 PM: Now the National Weather Service says we could see gusts as high as 60 mph – so it has upgraded the weather alert to “high wind warning” until 8 tonight. Read the alert here. No notable West Seattle power outages so far (just a one-customer dot in Arbor Heights on the map at the moment).

6:12 PM: Added that photo by Lisa Guthrie, taken from Beach Drive. Meantime, Christopher Boffoli texted to say Constellation Park had at least two TV crews doing wind-and-waves live shots just before sunset. (We’ll have photos and video from him later.) P.S. Kenna Klosterman just shared a photo featuring one of those truck’s masts in the foreground of the waves off Beach Drive:

West Seattle Art Walk tonight, 6-9 pm: The map, and highlights

Just two hours till the monthly West Seattle Art Walk (the latest walking map and venue list is page 2 of this PDF). Among the dozens of talented artists showing their work and meeting art-lovers all around West Seattle tonight for the monthly WS Art Walk, you’ll find Machel Spence, whose photography has won raves here recently (as well as elsewhere) – she’s showing her fungi photography at Alki Arts this time around (next to Cactus at 2820 Alki SW), and you can say hi 6-9 pm. (Her photo above is “a photograph of a photograph” that’s part of the show.)

Two photographers are showing their work at Seattle Real Estate Associates (WSB sponsor). – The photo above is a sample of David A. Barnes‘ work (a wall in Paris, one of the many places he’s photographed during more than 40 years of work); the other photographer is Rosanne Olson. Come see their work and also meet the folks at Seattle Real Estate Associatesonline at – who have recently moved their office to West Seattle (you’ll find it in The Junction at 4535 44th Avenue SW).

Also from The Junction:

At Blue Willow, 4310 SW Oregon, you’ll find Theresa McCormick, who’s showing new work there this month, including watercolors, mixed media, and acrylics painted on location in Arizona, Samish Island, Cape Disappointment, and Orcas Island in Washington, as well as other abstract and imaginary paintings of “locations” she created – the work above is called “Shimmering Field of Yellow.”

And about a block north of Blue Willow, at Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor; 4410 California SW) – it’s a mother-and-daughter display! Cari Jones and Jessica Jones are showing their work. You can read more about them here.

Lots more previews if you scroll along the official West Seattle Art Walk website – venue by venue, artist by artist – all over the peninsula; you’ll also find the Art Walk on Facebook, here. Again, the list and “walking map” can be found on the second page of this PDF.

How you can help this West Seattle HS student help foster kids

(Photos courtesy Kellen’s family)
Meet Kellen Gearon. He’s a West Seattle High School senior who’s asking for your help in the clothing drive he is launching tomorrow, to help local foster kids through Treehouse – which points out that foster children “get used to parting with familiar clothing and favorite toys, saying goodbye to family and friends, changing schools time and again.” While researching, he found out that the clothing allowance foster parents get maxes out at $300/year, and that state funding only covers 60 percent of the cost of basic care for foster kids. Donations collected by Kellen’s drive will go to the Treehouse Wearhouse, where foster kids “shop” – free – for must-have items including clothes, shoes, school supplies, books, and toys. (In 2009, he says, the Wearhouse distributed more than $1 million worth of such items to almost 3,000 foster children.) From Kellen’s open letter asking you to donate to his drive:

Here’s how you can help.

Donate new or gently worn clothing, shoes, and coats.

Pick up one or more gifts for a foster child.

Make a donation.

Purchase gifts for Treehouse kids from March 11, 2011 until March 25, 2011.

Please bring your donations to the drop-off sites listed below and I will make sure they get to Treehouse.

Menashe and Sons Jewelers: 4532 California Ave SW

West Seattle High School: 3000 California Ave SW

Can’t get to the store? You can still help by shopping the Treehouse donation catalog at Don’t forget to put Kellen Gearon on the “Drive Host” line at check-out. You can also mail your [monetary] donation to Treehouse, or drop it off at one of the drop-off sites, Menashe and Sons Jewelers or West Seattle High School in the office.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, and thank you for supporting kids in foster care.

Thank you,
Kellen Gearon

At the dropoff spots, just look for bins like this:

West Seattle Weather Watch: ‘Beauty before the beastly storm?’

Looks like the question Diane included with that rainbow photo from midmorning was accurate … Shelley sent a rainbow photo too, calling it the brightest one she’d ever seen:

And as of this past hour, the forecast wind has started rolling in – still bright, but also very blustery. The latest version of the ever-changing wind advisory says this will peak around “mid-afternoon” with those potential 50 mph gusts. No West Seattle power outages so far (we’ll keep an eye on the City Light map).

Update: Crews drilling to do research for West Seattle CSO raingardens

Drill rigs and vactor trucks are now at work in the 17 blocks of Sunrise Heights/Westwood where King County is proposing “green stormwater infrastructure” to reduce “combined sewer overflows” at the Barton Pump Station by the Fauntleroy ferry dock. As noted here last weekend, this is part of the planning/testing/design process – to find out more about the groundwater in the area, before the rain gardens, street trees and other elements of the project are designed and built (assuming it passes environmental review and is finalized mid-year). They’re scouting spots now for groundwater-monitoring wells; the drill rig pictured above was working on 32nd SW alongside Westside School (WSB sponsor) this morning (and had an interested audience at times, we’re told).

The community-outreach manager for the project, Maryann Petrocelli, is also going door to door with flyers to the 500 or so homes in the 17-block area (see the map here) for which the project is proposed, and she tells WSB that as she talks to residents, she’s also finding out anecdotal information that will help – a spring in a backyard, a chronically flooded basement. Where they’re not sure about utilities or other underground complications, they’re using vactor trucks to look beneath the surface – this one was on 34th near Trenton:

Comments in our previous discussion brought up a troubled city raingarden project in Ballard; Petrocelli says the research and testing program for this one is designed to head off those kinds of problems. Meantime, the community meeting about what’s happening with the proposal is coming up at 6:30 pm April 6 at Westside School .

Rat City Rollergirls sighting at Southgate Roller Rink as renovations begin

(Photos by Deanie Schwarz for WSB/WCN)
When WSB/White Center Now contributor Deanie Schwarz broke the news two weeks ago about reopening plans for the once-and-future Southgate Roller Rink in White Center, excitement ensued. So she has been checking back on what’s happening there. When she dropped by Wednesday, she discovered two updates – one including the sports stars who got their start at Southgate, the Rat City Rollergirls!

First, the renovation work is beginning: The photo above shows the 10,000-square-foot original maple floor under many coats of paint. A contractor with a stripping/sanding “tractor” will soon begin work; refinishing will then involve a unique urethane finish “which reacts specifically with the materials the skate wheels are made of,” Deanie reports, adding that the finishing touch will be a three-foot wall around the perimeter. Meantime, electrical work briefly exposed a bit of the old high ceiling (top right, in the photo):

That’s why it was “the Rollerdrome” in the ’30s. But its new managers do not have immediate plans to remove the newer dropped ceilings to expose the original beams; this was just a glimpse.

Now, on to the Rollergirls:

In Deanie’s photo, from left, RCRG chief operating officer Alyssa Hoppe, Jessica Ivey from the Grave Danger team, Josh Rhoads of new Southgate management, and “MaxMillion” from the Throttle Rockets team.

They told Deanie this was their first meeting to explore bringing RCRG back to the Southgate rink for special events offered to season-ticket holders (“The Rat Pack“). The discussions are in far too preliminary a stage for any details, even dates, but more talks will follow.

Ivey added: “There’s a possibility you’re going to be seeing us around [White Center] a lot more. We’re just really excited about the possibility to bring the season-ticket holders this opportunity. They’ve been asking to come to some of our events and they haven’t been able to attend because of the location at a private facility; we might be able to bring the ticket holders here to Southgate. “

She shone some light on derby’s roots at Southgate, too: “Back in the 20’s and 30’s, to ease the Great Depression, they had to be creative and were looking for new activities that were inexpensive. They would have dance-a-thons at the then-Southgate Rollerdrome, and eventually roller-skating marathons. As was the case in the dance marathons, whoever could endure and was the last skater on the floor would be declared the winner of the contest. As they extended the hours of these marathons, from 24 to 36 hours, participants would become tired and the competitors would start deliberately knocking down the other skaters to get an advantage to win the marathon contest. It was out of those physical and uber-competitive marathon skating events that derby skating arose into a spectator sport of co-ed teams.” Then came the TV heyday of roller derby, as stations tried to fill time with everything they could find in the ’50s.

A little more history, from RCRG COO Hoppe – She told Deanie that her grandmother was the Queen of the Rollerball at Southgate before WWII – forbidden by her family to attend events lest she become a “rink rat,” undesirable for a “proper young Christian woman of that era,” so she made up alibis and sneaked away with a friend to travel from Green Lake all the way to Southgate to roller-skate far from the watchful eyes of anyone they knew from the north end!

P.S. Southgate Roller Rink has launched a Facebook page with ongoing updates – you can “like” it here. More updates as the pre-reopening renovations continue in the weeks ahead.

Paid parking in Seattle parks? Might not be worth it, report suggests

Among the items of interest for this afternoon’s meeting of the City Council Parks and Seattle Center Committee is an update on the proposal to study the possibility of raising money by charging for parking at some city parks. We brought you first word of this back in October, when Lincoln Park was mentioned as a possible candidate. What’s on the committee’s agenda today is a preliminary report about the feasibility of even studying the topic. You can read it here; it basically says so many issues would come into play, that it just might not be worth it. If councilmembers do want to give it a try, the report says, the “strongest candidates” for paid parking include the Lincoln Park south lot. And one option presented would be a “pilot program” possibly including that lot:

Implement a small pilot program at 1-3 sites, without conducting broader occupancy counts. The sites may include Lake Union Park, Lincoln Park south lot, and Green Lake Community Center. These sites have the least variation in use weekly and seasonally, good transportation alternatives, and controlled nearby street parking. If conducted at all three sites by City staff, the approximate cost of this option would be $182,000, which covers $90,000 for 6 pay stations, and $92,000 in staff costs.

The other two options include spending up to $70,000 for another consultant study – though the report also goes on to note that the possibility of paid city-park parking has been studied multiple times since 2003 – or, dropping the whole thing. The meeting’s at 2 pm (viewable live on Seattle Channel, cable 21 or online at

4 PM UPDATE: We’ll have a roundup of the meeting later, including a couple other items, but topline: The committee members were leaning toward the idea of a pilot project at one location, South Lake Union. No formal vote or decision yet – we’ll keep an eye out as the proposal progresses.

West Seattle Thursday: Art Walk, 2 special screenings, more…

March 10, 2011 8:35 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Thursday: Art Walk, 2 special screenings, more…
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(Photo of sea lions on barge buoy, taken from Water Taxi on Tuesday, by “expatom”)
We’ll be tracking the weather all day – good news is that it’s expected, so far, to calm down in time for tonight’s monthly West Seattle Art Walk. We’ll feature a few highlights in a preview later, but in the meantime, you can review featured artists and venues by going to the WSAW website at … Also tonight: The Holy Rosary Parents Club-presented screening of the documentary “Race to Nowhere” at Admiral Theater, 6:30 pm … Southwest Seattle Business and Professional Women has a movie screening tonight too, benefiting its scholarship fund – “Iron-Jawed Angels,” 6:30 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center … Afternoon events: All are welcome to say goodbye to longtime Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Benjamin Kinlow, now days away from retirement, at a 1-3 pm party at the precinct (cake and coffee) … At City Hall, the Parks and Seattle Center Committee‘s 2 pm meeting today (agenda here) has items of interest to West Seattle, including updates on the citywide Golf Plan and the Parks and Green Spaces Levy (including purchase of the site for Puget Ridge Edible Park) … More on the WSB West Seattle Events calendar!

West Seattle Weather Watch: Wind advisory till 6 pm

While the rain was the big news on Wednesday – Christopher Boffoli‘s video takes a scenic look at Longfellow Creek‘s near-rapids, post-downpour, in the sunshine – the wind is more likely to be the dominant force today (though the rain is back). The National Weather Service has revised the wind advisory for our area twice in recent hours – first it was set to take effect at noon, then it moved back a few hours ago to 10 am, and then it changed again, to be in effect 4 am-10 pm. See the revised advisory here; it suggests gusts up to 50 mph are possible, with the strongest wind expected in the afternoon.

7:04 AM UPDATE: And another revision early this morning … the advisory now expires at 6 pm.