day : 11/03/2011 15 results

The WSBeat: Reporting crime in advance? Plus, a real-life Grinch

By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog

From reports on cases handled recently by Southwest Precinct officers:

*A family squabble led a Delridge-area man to insist that officers file a pre-emptive stolen truck report against his nephew “for when he steals my truck later.” Officers politely refused.

*An unknown person pried open a door at a elder-care residence on Monday and stole $5,000 worth of Christmas decorations from a storage unit. The thief then proceeded to another floor of the building and stole $3,500 worth of sound equipment.

Eight more summaries ahead:Read More

West Seattle YMCA Partners With Youth: How to keep kids thriving

(Y staff Nate Sander, Katie Taylor, and Anne Powell displaying youth art that you can bid for)
Tonight, an update from the West Seattle Family YMCA (WSB sponsor) as its Partners With Youth fundraising campaign continues. As we’ve continued to expand school and community coverage in the past year, we’ve honestly been surprised to bump into the Y at almost every turn – they sponsor and facilitate programs at schools, community centers, and other facilities, not just their own, and not just athletics. So here’s the latest:

Every year, West Seattleites have stepped up to help their neighbors by giving to the Y’s Partners With Youth Campaign. The Y couldn’t meet its mission of building a strong community through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility without the generosity of this community.

This year, we still have a long way to go to reach our goal (we are at $118,000 on our goal of $200,000) and the need is greater than ever, but you can help – visit and make an online donation to the Y. Your donation will stay right here in West Seattle to help kids and families have access to quality child care, educational programs, youth sports, swim lessons, and more.

You can also support the campaign by bidding on some fabulous youth art – these pieces were created by students in our Community Learning Center program at West Seattle Elementary. If you would like to place a bid for one (or both) of these pieces, send your bid amount to

Update: West Seattle Water Taxi runs resume at 5:45

March 11, 2011 4:58 pm
|    Comments Off on Update: West Seattle Water Taxi runs resume at 5:45
 |   West Seattle news

King County says the West Seattle Water Taxi runs are canceled at least through 5:30 because of a “mechanical issue.”

5:22 PM: The county just announced service will resume with the 5:45 run from downtown.

SODO access to northbound Alaskan Way Viaduct resumes tonight

Three weeks ago tonight, much fanfare accompanied the start of demolition for part of the original Alaskan Way Viaduct (WSB coverage here), which more recently served as the northbound onramp to The Viaduct from 1st Avenue South in the stadium zone. Work on a temporary onramp was scheduled to be done by April 1st – but it’s so far ahead of schedule, the new temporary onramp is opening tonight! WSDOT says that by 7 tonight, they’ll open the newly complete “temporary detour onramp” to northbound 99, with access from Royal Brougham Way.

Family Promise of Seattle: Tentative date set to restart its shelter

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

After a soul-searching board meeting last night, the board of Family Promise of Seattle – this area’s only shelter program aimed at keeping homeless families together – made a momentous decision: They set a tentative date for reopening their program.

Almost seven months have passed since their surprise hiatus – first reported here – and decision not to reopen until they had raised enough money to operate for half a year, $90,000.

They don’t have the full $90,000 yet, but as one board member put it last night, they are “within spitting distance” – with funding on hand plus pledges equaling an estimated $75,000.

The Family Promise model, which is employed nationwide, calls for a local branch to partner with area churches – the churches provide nighttime shelter and food for the homeless families, on a rotating basis, one church, one week, then on to the next, while the organization works with the families as they search for jobs and other assistance. (There is no proselytizing, however, and the families who get help are not obligated to participate in faith activities at the host churches.)

Typically, Family Promise local branches also rely on partner congregations for a significant share of their funding. This branch hopes to add to that, and guarantee their organization’s sustainability, by creating a business network, spearheaded by the newest board member, Libby Carr, known well in West Seattle for her successful leadership of the project to raise money to design and build the Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza.

The motion passed unanimously by the Family Promise of Seattle board last night – meeting in the library of a partner church, St. John the Baptist Episcopal in the Admiral District – has a couple of caveats. Provided they finish raising the $90,000 and provided they have enough partner churches still interested in hosting homeless families, they will reopen the program on June 1st.

The money has come in sums big and small. They have organized many fundraisers, proud of recent successes including a Taco Night at Alki Tavern that brought in $400. They are looking ahead to hosting a major fundraising gala – possibly with “sock hop” as its theme. And they’re thinking about other enterprises such as creating and selling a cookbook, which has the potential to bring in thousands more.

Bottom line though, came from board member Lynne Downs, when they went around the table for everyone’s honest sentiments on whether it was time to call it quits, or keep going. “29 weeks we’ve been closed – we get about 5 calls a week from families looking for help – that’s 145 families. If each of those families has two children, that’s 290 children who are homeless.”

Others agreed that they just couldn’t give up, as wearying as the six months of working to raise reopening money has been. They are hopeful that reopening will also bring a new “rush of support” from the community, when it happens – many hands make light work.

“We know we have a lot of people in our community who are concerned,” one board member offered. “It hasn’t translated into dollars – but I think the dollars are waiting.”

They will need a steady, if modest, supply of those to keep going, once those doors reopen so that homeless families can stay together while trying to get back on their feet. And they need to verify – starting with a meeting next Monday – whether they have enough congregations still ready to get back to the business of helping host homeless families.

You can help in myriad ways – either with the aforementioned dollars, or with your time (they are hoping to add to the board, after a small, dedicated group has kept chugging through these months of “hiatus” to raise money and strategize). Contact information is on their website.

Battle of the rummage sales! Tibbetts and West Side, day 1

(Photos by Ellen Cedergreen for WSB)
They insist they’re actually glad to both have their giant rummage sales – gigantic rummage sales – humongous rummage sales – whatever-you-want-to-call-them rummage sales – on the same two days in March. But “dueling rummage sales” conjures up a fun image anyway. Tibbetts United Methodist Church (WSB sponsor) and West Side Presbyterian Church are both wrapping up day 1 of those mega-sales.

Both have outdoor merchandise as well as indoor, as you can see in the top two photos. Inside both churches, you will find tables and tables of stuff donated by hundreds of families. At Tibbetts, Marie and Floy were staffing the checkout line.

Browser’s paradise, both there and West Side:

Tibbetts continues till 4 pm today, and runs 9 am-3 pm tomorrow; WSPC continues till 5 pm today and runs 9 am-2 pm tomorrow. And if you love rummage sales, you will love West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day, which we are organizing/sponsoring again this year – registration information soon; the big day is Saturday, May 14th.

Big award for Denny Int’l Middle School and principal Jeff Clark

“I can’t wait to spend $50,000 on these kids!” enthused Denny International Middle School principal Jeff Clark as he accepted the Thomas B. Foster Award for Excellence from the Alliance for Education, which brings with it a $50,000 grant for the winner and his school. A surprise ceremony was held a short time ago at Denny, with not only Clark, staff, and his 8th-grade students on hand, but also his wife and sons – future Denny Dolphins, as the principal proudly referred to his little boys – and a gallery of dignitaries, including two School Board members and newly appointed interim Seattle Public Schools superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield. Clark said it’s not just his award:

The Foster Award is given to an outstanding middle- or high-school principal each year. Among the dignitaries there to congratulate Clark was the man who received it two years ago, Phil Brockman, a former West Seattle High School principal who at the time was leading Ballard HS.

ADDED 4:09 PM: The official news release about the award:Read More

Lafayette Elementary presents ‘Music Man Jr.’ tonight, Saturday

(Photo by David Roth)

Thanks to Sara for sharing the news this morning that you are invited to Lafayette Elementary‘s production of “Music Man Jr.” tonight and tomorrow at West Seattle High School:

Lafayette Elementary is staging a production of the classic musical The Music Man Jr. March 11 and 12.

The play begins at 7 pm, refreshments will be served and there is a $5 requested donation for admission.

Nearly 100 children are involved in the production and all costumes, sets, and props were donated or constructed by volunteers.

Our director is Melia Scranton – she is the art teacher at Lafayette Elementary. She has been working on the play as an afterschool program since November. Melia is a wonderful woman who never turns anyone away… hence: there are 97 kids (3rd, 4th and 5th graders) in our production of Music Man Jr. This show is huge and a lot to handle and she does it with an unending patience. The music is provided with the scripts and we have volunteers from West Seattle High School helping us in the sound booth

Since our play is volunteer based (a lot of parent volunteers!) we are asking for donations at the door (which pays for our scripts, costumes, sets, etc. and possible for a stipend for Melia next year because funding is tight). The costumes (which are fabulous!!!!) are designed and built by Kathy Wimer, Sara Jaecks, Jennifer Leigh and Gael Young.

To get to the WSHS Theater, enter from the southeastern side of the school – look for the gates by the lighted sign, and cross the courtyard to the entrance that’ll take you to the lobby outside the theater.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Another afternoon break-in

Julia wanted to get the word out about the burglary at her house on Thursday – including praise for the responding police officer – read on:Read More

Followup: From the owner of Lucy, killed by a hit-run driver

Last night, we published a witness’s report about the hit-run crash at California/Dakota that killed a dog named Lucy (and nearly missed her owner). This morning, we have the story directly from Lucy’s owner Matt, who also shared the collage of photos of his beloved dog, as well as concerns he has beyond what specifically happened to him and Lucy:

My dog Lucy and I approached the crosswalk at California and Dakota from the west just before 7:30 on March 10, 2011 like we have done hundreds of times. We have crosswalks on arterial roads like California so people, their families and their pets may safely cross from one side to the other.

On this evening, we entered the crosswalk after the southbound vehicles stopped. I took a few steps into the crosswalk and waved my arms to get northbound traffic to stop. My dog by my side, the northbound traffic did not stop and my dog took one too many steps ahead of me and lost her life. The northbound car barreled through the crosswalk, almost hitting me but squarely hitting Lucy. The driver did not stop and my dog of 13 years was lost. This is a very sad day for me, my wife, and our 4 month old, who misses the dog she never got to know. Thank you for your support.

We have a few points we would like to make:

* This particular crosswalk has a school and playground on one side, a church and park on the other, and bus stops on both sides, which results in a lot of pedestrian crossing. This crosswalk is not respected, my wife, my neighbors and I have repeated that many many times. While we lost our pet, this just as easily could have been a child who slipped from their parents hands and stepped into traffic that didn’t obey the crosswalk. We would like to gather neighbor support to campaign for SDOT to implement additional precautions, other than flags which are often stolen or ignored by drivers.

* We did file a police report. The incident is a hit and run and the incident number is 2011-80320. If you know anything about the car or driver please let the police know. Officer P. Chang stopped by our house to listen to what happened and he said anyone with information can call the non-emergency line at (206) 625-5011, provide the incident number and any information that will help identify the driver or car.

* Regarding the (car), I saw what seemed like a 70’s/80’s sleek sedan dark in color. Like an Electrica or LeSabre. Officer Chang told us that someone identified it as an El Camino.

West Seattle Art Walk, March edition: Superheroes of art!

(Photos by Ellen Cedergreen for WSB)
Life imitates art? Leading off our set of scenes from last night’s West Seattle Art Walk: First, at Keller Williams Realty, Los Angeles-based artist PJ Andrews showed off his character-themed art, including Underdog (above) – several more of his works, and other stops along the Art Walk way, after the jump:
Read More

West Seattle Friday: Church rummage sales; Gatewood auction…

Like pretty much everyone else, we will be continuing to watch the Japan earthquake situation throughout the day (and for many days to come), and we’ll have local information as relevant – relief efforts, etc. – but in the meantime, there is a lot of West Seattle information and news to continue to share. Here are the key events from today’s calendar:

CHURCH RUMMAGE SALES: It’s that pre-spring weekend when two local churches have their big rummage sales – Tibbetts United Methodist Church (3940 41st SW; WSB sponsor) from 9 am – 4 pm today, 9 am – 3 pm tomorrow; and West Side Presbyterian (3601 California SW) from 9 am-5 pm today and 9 am-2 pm tomorrow. Each of these sales has hundreds of people contributing, so you never know what you might find.

GATEWOOD ELEMENTARY AUCTION: Tonight at The Hall at Fauntleroy (9131 California SW), 5:30-9 pm, it’s the fundraising auction for Gatewood Elementary‘s PTA, “Bids for Kids.”

PET ADOPTION: Seattle Humane Society is at Pet Pros West Seattle (Westwood Village) with adoptable pets, 2-5 pm.

WINE TASTING : At Bin 41 wine: Wine tastings from around our state are spotlighted this month, tonight from Woodinville Winery, Patterson Cellars, with winemaker John Patterson, 5:30-7 pm.

FRIDAY NIGHT SKATING: Every week at Alki Community Center (5817 SW Stevens), it’s Friday Night Skate. Cost is $3 per person. You may bring in your own clean skates or borrow them from us. Time is from 6:45 – 8:45 p.m. For more information please call 684-7430.

GAME NIGHT: Uptown Espresso (4301 SW Edmunds) in The Junction, 6-11 pm, bring your own board games or try the ones on hand at the coffee shop.

8.9 earthquake in Japan: Tsunami watch; preparedness reminder

(Video recorded at a home in Japan during the earthquake)
We’ll leave the information about the huge, magnitude 8.9 Japan earthquake to those who are covering it directly – but a couple of notes: First, the federal websites providing tsunami information are finally working properly (until a half-hour or so ago, they were not reflecting the watch that is in effect for the ocean coast) – here’s where to go for that information. Note that even though any wave generated in a situation like this is technically a “tsunami,” if one actually hits this side of the Pacific, it could be barely a ripple – we have seen that scenario play out time and again – BUT it is never a reason for complacency. “Watch” means lowest level of “keep your radar up.” We’ll be keeping an eye on the situation all night.

Second, until we get information about relief efforts to help the quake survivors, here’s something you can do to not feel so powerless in the face of the horrifying scenes from the Japan quake zones – THINK PREPAREDNESS. Start by knowing your Emergency Communication Hub location. Here’s the West Seattle-volunteer-created, info-rich West Seattle Be Prepared website, as a place to start.

2:50 AM UPDATE: This table has the projected height of whatever “tsunami” might hit the Washington ocean coast. Note the highest is about three feet.

A season to remember: Chief Sealth’s Winter Sports Banquet

March 11, 2011 12:55 am
|    Comments Off on A season to remember: Chief Sealth’s Winter Sports Banquet
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools | WS & Sports

(Photos by Cliff DesPeaux for WSB)
Families, friends, and staff gathered last night to celebrate Chief Sealth International High School‘s winter sports season. Along with our photos, the story is best told by the season recap shared with the Sealth community the night before by Athletic Director Sam Reed:

On November 15 of this Fall, 153 Chief Sealth International student-athletes turned out for the first day of the Winter sports season, ready to represent our community in gymnastics, swimming, wrestling, and both boys and girls basketball. (Thursday night) we will gather to celebrate their accomplishments, along with those of both cheer and mock trial, at our annual Winter sports banquet. … All participating student-athletes, parents and supporters are invited to attend, eat dinner and hear from our coaches.

The recap continues, with more photos, after the jump:Read More

West Seattle scenes: Video, photos from windy Thursday

Wind worries seem particularly trivial tonight, in light of the Japan earthquake – but it’s still good news to know that the wind advisory expired, after hours of strong sustained and gusty winds, and there were no reports of major damage or even power outages. Above, Christopher Boffoli‘s video; below, Ellen Cedergreen‘s photos, starting with a sign askance in The Junction:

Next, tarps tousled by the wind on the West Seattle Produce/Beloved Mexico lot:

And the clouds off Alki:

No more weather advisories/alerts as of right now; we’re supposed to see some sunshine today.