day : 23/05/2011 10 results

How much to spend on public safety? Low-key chat tonight

(Photos by Katie Meyer for WSB)
Four city councilmembers were in West Seattle tonight – Councilmember Tom Rasmussen for the first of three Citizens Transportation Advisory Committee forums around the city (more on that later), and Councilmembers Tim Burgess, Mike O’Brien (above), and Jean Godden for a discussion of the city’s public-safety budget. (Burgess chairs the Public Safety committee.) The latter meeting was never widely announced; we stumbled onto a brief mention on a city calendar, then a note to a neighborhood mailing list, and when we asked why no news release had been sent to announce the meeting and get it on media events calendars, we were told they were using a small-group format that could only accommodate about 75 people, and they didn’t want to have to turn people away.

They shouldn’t have worried.

We asked WSB contributor Katie Meyer to check out that meeting, and she estimates the citizen turnout at Delridge Community Center (aside from councilmembers and staffers) at fewer than 20. A quick meeting summary, ahead:Read More

West Seattle Crime Watch: Witness helps solve burglary

(Photo shared by Michael, added Tuesday morning)
Couple messages came in earlier tonight about police activity at Delridge and Holden. Here’s what it was about, according to Lt. Ron Smith of the (not far from the scene) Southwest Precinct: About quarter till six, a call of “burglary in progress” in the 2400 block of SW Holden brought police to the scene. A witness said he had seen two “male juveniles” go into a home, steal items, and walk/run away.

Description/”direction of travel” information that the witness gave, quickly distributed among police, was good enough that officers found the suspects several blocks away; they fled into a residence and then, Lt. Smith continues, “The 2 suspects fled out a window at the rear of the house and were apprehended on a steep uphill embankment where they tried to conceal the stolen goods in the blackberry brush. Officers processed the scene and the recovered property was placed into evidence. Both suspects were positively identified and placed into the Youth Services Center for burglary. One suspect was also booked for a warrant. Thank you, West Seattleites, for taking good care of your neighborhoods!”

(P.S. Interested in burglary prevention? This meeting/field trip tomorrow night is for you.)

ADDED 10:23 PM: Since publishing this, we’ve received a note from the witness, Phillip, telling his story:

I actually heard them busting through my neighbor’s house and then saw them leaping over the fence, so I jumped up and ran out my door chasing after them down the street – I called out to my neighbor to call 911, and kept chasing them all the way down Holden (barefoot, mind you.. I didn’t even realize I forgot my shoes) where I saw them go running into a house. I managed to cut up my foot a bit chasing after them, but didn’t even realize until I got in my house and saw I was tracking blood around. I just did what any good neighbor would – looking out for them. :)

The credit really should go to the WSPD for their incredibly fast response.. it was only about 2 minutes from when I lost sight of them to when the first cruiser rolled up, and they’d apprehended them moments afterward.

ADDED TUESDAY MORNING: SPD Blotter featured this case early today. Only added detail is that the suspects are 16 and 17. Also, Michael shared a photo he took during the big police response, and we’ve added it atop the story.

West Seattle (offshore) scene: Sea lions sighted – oh, buoy!

You can hear them from Don Armeni, Jack Block, and Seacrest, and vicinity – but unless you’re out on the water, or have binoculars, no closeup look. Patrick McCaffrey provides us with a view of the sea lions that hang out off Harbor Avenue – from a distance and close up.

Thanks to Patrick and the other fine photographers who share photos here – if you have a photo to share, here are the various ways to share it!

West Seattle volunteers help provide safety net for budget-slashed Salmon in the Classroom

(Sanislo Elementary salmon-releasing visit** to Fauntleroy Creek last week; photo by Lisa Keith)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

This week, Fauntleroy residents Judy Pickens and Phil Sweetland will finish a busy schedule of assisting hundreds of local schoolchildren with salmon releases into Fauntleroy Creek, which runs steps away from their home.

But there’s no time to rest, if they are going to be back at creekside, doing it again next year.

One day before their schedule of salmon releases ends, the gavel is scheduled to fall on the special session of the State Legislature. And with that gavel, it will be official: No state money for the program that has facilitated the releases over the years, Salmon in the Classroom.

Read More

3 dates set for Denny International Middle School transition events

In our coverage of the recent joint Chief Sealth International High School-Denny International Middle School PTSA briefing, we mentioned a big event announced that night by Denny principal Jeff Clark – a June 11th event to say goodbye to the half-century old school that is soon to be demolished. Today, we have more information about that event, and a couple other dates you can mark on the calendar: First, the June 11th event, for anyone interested to take “one last look” at the old Denny, will start with “walking the halls” at 10 am – then 10:30-noon, a program in the cafeteria. (This is on a Saturday, so classes will not be in session.) Dates also have been set for the new Denny’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, 1 pm Tuesday, September 6th, the day before the new school year starts, and an “all-community celebration” at 10 am Saturday, September 24th.

As for exactly when the old Denny building is to be demolished, making way for new sports facilities – a softball field and tennis courts – replacing the ones lost in the construction of the new school on the Sealth campus, we have that question out to the district, which expects to be able to share the information later this week. The demolition permit has not yet been granted, but it’s close, as the city website lists its status as “reviews completed.” The land-use permit for the project was granted in March.

West Seattle Water Taxi numbers, before/after 99 Squeeze

As promised, we have before/after numbers on the West Seattle Water Taxi, through the prism of the Highway 99/Alaskan Way Viaduct lane-reduction “squeeze” that began one week ago today.

For the week BEFORE the Squeeze, morning-commute ridership averaged 90 passengers daily, afternoon-commute ridership averaged 150 passengers daily.

For last week, the numbers jumped 50+ percent in the morning – averaging 140 passengers – and doubled in the pm, to 300.

From the office of King County Councilmember Joe McDermott (who also chairs the King County Ferry District Board), Michelle Allison says, “We look forward to this trend continuing. There is still plenty of room on the boat and the free shuttle that meets the taxi at Seacrest dock, bringing riders to several important transfer points, including 35th and Avalon. From here riders can catch the 54, 55, 21 and 22 buses.” (The schedule for the 775 to Admiral/Alki is here; the schedule for the 773 to The Junction, and part-time to Morgan Junction, is here.)

West Seattle scene: Duplex demolished on Beach Drive

Thanks to Nancy for sharing that photo of demolition in progress this morning at 4149 Beach Drive (map). It’s a 95-year-old house, listed on county rolls as a duplex, being torn down for what the city lists as a new 3-story single-family house with “accessory dwelling unit.” The city site says it’s been exactly four years ago since an application was filed for a different project at the site (reported here); the same city page says that project was canceled.

SIDE NOTE: Wondering about trends? The city keeps online statistics for building permits by month. No breakdown by region or project, but in April (when this permit was issued), building, demolition and related permits totaled $305 million in value, compared to $107 million for April last year.

12:44 PM UPDATE: House gone. Katie E shares this new photo:

She adds, “Thanks for the tip on the demolition on Beach Drive. It made for a nice pre-lunch outing for my three year old son and I. … The house is now a pile of boards and rubble. Also, Henry (who’s 3 and fancies himself a construction vehicle expert), tells me it’s an excavator, not a backhoe. Not sure if he’s right, but that’s what he insists!” (Editor’s note: Consulting Google Image Search, we will take Henry’s correction. So much for the first alliterative headline; we’ll scrap “busy backhoe” for “duplex demolished.” Thanks!)

West Seattle Monday: Citywide leaders here; plus, a benefit

Before the news of the day sweeps too much further along, one last reminder about 4 one-time-only events tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:

TRANSPORTATION FUTURE: Certainly a lot of concern about Seattle’s transportation “present” – so if you have something to say, join in a workshop about its future, 5:30-7:30 pm tonight, Southwest Library (35th/Henderson). City Council Transportation Committee chair Councilmember Tom Rasmussen will be there too. Here’s our previously published preview.

PUBLIC-SAFETY BUDGET: Long before the big clamorous budget hearings, councilmembers are trying a new format to find out citizens’ priorities and concerns. Here’s one: A community conversation about the city’s Public Safety budget with Public Safety Committee chair Tim Burgess among those on hand, Delridge Community Center gym (4501 Delridge Way SW), 6-8 pm.

SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT IN WEST SEATTLE: West Seattleites with an interest in Seattle Public Schools issues are invited to a public forum at High Point Neighborhood Center (6400 Sylvan Way) tonight with interim Superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield and other district officials, 6:30 pm.

BENEFIT:Not in West Seattle, but it’s on behalf of a West Seattleite: A benefit for Nicole Pieratt, who’s battling breast cancer, is tonight at Fred Wildlife Refuge (128 Belmont Ave E) on Capitol Hill, 6 – 11 pm. More details here.

Traffic alert tonight: Westbound Spokane Street Viaduct closure

If you’re heading toward West Seattle late tonight or early tomorrow, from work or play or wherever, this might affect you: 10 pm tonight-5 am tomorrow, it’s the second of three overnight construction closures for the westbound Spokane Street Viaduct – the section of the West Seattle Bridge that’s between I-5 and Highway 99. The first closure (last Thursday night) caught some by surprise despite advance alerts, especially those using I-5, since this means the West Seattle exits will be closed, as well as access from Beacon Hill’s Columbian Way. Here’s the original alert from SDOT.

Troop 41504 Girl Scouts mentor younger Scouts to earn their Bronze

When you think of children, and mentors, your first thought may be of adults mentoring the kids. But for groups such as Girl Scouts, it means youth mentoring younger kids – as was the case on Saturday at Camp Long, for West Seattle’s Junior Girl Scout Troop 41504. Troop leader Patricia Hahler is so proud of her Scouts (6th graders) for earning their Bronze Awards, she invited the media to cover the crowning event – a Fun Day her Scouts hosted for younger Scouts (three Brownie troops – 2nd/3rd graders – and one Daisy troop – kindergarteners/first graders). The Junior Scouts set up three “stations” around the park for the younger Scouts to visit, in rotation (above, First Aid; next, Improv):

Other stations included Hiking/Compass and Games/Sensory – which is where we found this activity:

Patricia explains that Bronze is the first of three levels of awards that older Girl Scouts earn – at the next level, Cadettes, they earn Silver Awards; then as Senior Girl Scouts, Gold Awards. And it’s not easy; she explained, “There are many requirements within the Bronze Award requirements to satisfy before reaching the service project.” (They are explained on the Girl Scouts’ national website, here.) Congratulations to the Troop 41504 Girl Scouts earning their Bronze Award: Penny Dierich, Corinne Manley, Jane Miller, Kaitlin Morgan, Regan Nagle, Haley Pyscher and Hana Kurahara Sisk!