month : 08/2011 341 results

Video: Visiting artist Bosshiko ‘live-painting’ at Alki

Under a tree west of Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza, in the evening sunlight, he began …

The painter is Bosshiko, one of the visiting artists from Japan whose informal Alki performance tonight was noted here in this morning’s “West Seattle Wednesday” preview. Allan, who tipped us to all this, explained that Bosshiko is renowned on the other side of the Pacific for his live-painting. With a canvas of Japanese washi paper, and black sumi ink, he painted with an audience:

He progressed:

And we rolled video on his brushstrokes as he approached the finish (his specialty is 30-minute “live-paintings,” but unfortunately we didn’t clock him):

His next stop is New York, for an exhibition, according to his Facebook page.

Yes, the Viaduct is serious business. Till Mario Kart drives up…

The Alaskan Way Viaduct – its past, present, future – is serious business. And yet sometimes, with the votes, the closures, the traffic, the killer-quake simulation … you might have to laugh, or else you’d cry. So in case you haven’t already seen this on the WSB Facebook page, we’re sharing it here too:

Recent West Seattle arrival Mike S. (from the UK) made the mini-mashup, explaining, “I was really impressed with the video produced by WSDOT showing how the commute into Seattle would look after the nine-day closure. However, I still felt it could be improved – with the addition of Super Mario, in his Mario Kart – so I made some modifications.” (The original is linked from our Monday coverage of the WSDOT announcement about the October 21-31 construction closure.)

ADDED 12:54 PM THURSDAY: Mike wondered what WSDOT would think. They don’t seem to mind – according to this tweet!

Back-to-school help, thanks to Pencil Me In For Kids

August 31, 2011 8:39 pm
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 |   How to help | Rotary Club of West Seattle | West Seattle news

One week till the first day of school for Seattle Public Schools (some independent schools start earlier), and this gathering in Westwood tonight was good news for local students whose families can’t afford school supplies – it was the annual Pencil Me In For Kids sorting party.

Rotary Club of West Seattle president Sue Lindblom, Illusions Hair Design (WSB sponsor) owner and longtime PMIFK ringleader, says “Rotarians and friends who signed up to help us sort out those school supplies” planned a potluck barbecue after the work was done. Tomorrow, the supplies get delivered to a pickup site, and this year, PMIFK got extra help, Sue says: “West Seattle Helpline donated money and 100 extra backpacks they had!” PMIFK also will benefit from raffles at the upcoming West Seattle Junction Car Show on September 18th, organizer Michael Hoffman of Liberty Bell Print and Design has announced.

P.S. One more note from Sue: “There have been many shifts in Family Support Workers over the years and this year we were not able to get responses from two schools that usually receive some of these supplies. We are hoping if they still are in need they will contact us. Those two schools are Alki and Concord.” PMIFK contact info can be found here.

Junction updates: VAIN salon/boutique on the way; new paint; ‘Experience Junction Love’ campaign

Three updates from The Junction this afternoon:

NEW PAINT: Thanks to Brian Presser from TouchTech Systems for the photo of a crew applying new paint to the long-beige building where he and several other businesses are headquartered – the one with the breezeway, south of the old liquor store. Speaking of which:

VAIN MOVING INTO OLD LIQUOR STORE: We’ve already reported that The Beer Junction is taking part of the old state liquor store space in the 4500 block of California SW (open since the liquor store’s new location is now in business). This afternoon, we know who else is moving in – VAIN salon/boutique will open its third Seattle location there (it’s already downtown and in Ballard). Its news release says this is a homecoming for VAIN founder Victoria Ptak, who lives in West Seattle. Read the news release in full, with more details, here. Victoria also sent a note, saying, “The building will be undergoing a major rehab in the next few weeks. We will be starting work on our portion of the building starting October 1st with the goal of being open winter-ish. As a resident and huge fan of West Seattle I am excited for the opportunity to join such an active community! There are so many great businesses, community activists and fun neighborhood happenings, I look forward to bringing what we can to the mix.”

‘EXPERIENCE JUNCTION LOVE’: Just because our abbreviated summer is ending, don’t retreat into your shell – “experience Junction love”! It’s the new campaign just announced by the West Seattle Junction Association, whose website mentions some of the things just waiting for your love (and patronage). The campaign will spotlight a new theme each month – read on for a sneak peek:Read More

Village Green foreclosure fight: Bank of America announces a decision

(Photo added 7:17 pm: Vera and daughter Johanna)>
3:12 PM: Looks like tonight’s support rally may turn into a victory party. Just received from Bank of America, and confirmed by someone who answered the phone at Village Green Perennial Nursery (Vera was not available):

I wanted to make you aware of a final decision in regards to Vera Johnson’s mortgage modification.

As soon as we learned of Vera Johnson’s concerns, Bank of America employees at our Seattle Customer Assistance Center began working closely with her to understand her financial situation and collect the necessary paperwork. Based on the financial documents she provided and some last minute issues we identified and were able to help her resolve, Fannie Mae extended to Ms. Johnson a permanent modification.

We are pleased to be able to offer her this permanent modification that should allow her to stay in her home and keep her business.

Britney W. Sheehan
Media Relations

Again, as previewed here this morning, the 5-9 pm event tonight is at Big Al Brewing, 9832 14th SW

5:32 PM UPDATE: Just talked with Vera at the event. She says that B of A announced this so quickly after calling her, she hasn’t seen paperwork yet, and nothing’s final till it’s final.

ADDED 7:20 PM: Here’s our brief chat with her, on video:

And the party/rally at Big Al’s continues – with more signs of community generosity – In addition to the list mentioned in our morning preview, Delgado’s Upholstery donated a chair:

The event continues till 9 pm.

THURSDAY MORNING NOTE: A detailed story on the party is on our partner site, White Center Now.

Beach Drive slide fight: ‘Potential solutions’ being explored

(Photo taken this morning by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
With the next rainy season right around the corner, a drilling crew was sighted in the Beach Drive slide zone last week, and several people e-mailed WSB to ask if we knew what they were up to. You’ll recall that the fight over who’s to blame for the slides and the resulting road damage and home dangers is now part of two lawsuits – one filed by the city in 2009 against an upslope homeowner, and a newer one filed by nearby homeowners earlier this year (here’s our May report). Online files on the latter suit reveal a counter-claim recently filed by the upslope homeowner; we checked with the city on the overall status of the case, and here’s the response received from the City Attorney’s Office:

While neither lawsuit has been resolved to date, the parties have agreed that additional information is needed to determine next steps and develop an appropriate fix. The work that occurred last week involved drilling in several locations on the hillside to allow engineering analyses of potential solutions.

That’s all they can say since the matter is still “in litigation.” Meantime, we have an inquiry out to SDOT to ask if any road work is planned before winter, given that whomever is to blame, it’s indisputable that the road alongside the slide remains in bad shape (and wintry conditions like ice – remember this? – compound the problem).

ADDED 5:48 PM: SDOT’s Rick Sheridan answered our inquiry (the short answer is “no”):

In mid-July SDOT crews completed asphalt resurfacing on Beach Drive SW between SW Snoqualmie Street and SW Jacobsen Road (the 4600 block), just beyond the slide area. That work was made possible by the mayor and city council directing property sale funds to spot paving.

The roadway to the south, by the slide area, is in need of full pavement reconstruction. However, repairs in that area will need to wait until the slope is stabilized around the 6300 to 6500 blocks.

In addition, that section of Beach Drive must compete with busier streets in West Seattle and elsewhere for scarce paving dollars. Two examples of other streets that carry much heavier traffic volumes and are competing for the same paving funds are Delridge Way SW, which is scheduled for paving in 2014, and the south end of California Avenue SW, for which there is no funding available at this time.

10th anniversary of 9/11: Another West Seattle event announced

August 31, 2011 10:57 am
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 |   Alki Statue of Liberty | West Seattle history | West Seattle news

Less than 2 weeks until the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, which will bring many more commemorations and remembrances around the country than usual. Last week, we published first word of the Log House Museum‘s tribute plans, focused on the role the Alki Statue of Liberty played as a touchstone in the days after 9/11; Marcy Johnsen from LHM/Southwest Seattle Historical Society sends word the event is now finalized, with Parks‘ permission – full details in our original preview here, which also mentions the tribute during the Holy Family Community Street Fair in White Center (20th/Roxbury) that day. And just added, Providence Mount St. Vincent (4831 35th SW) plans a 1 pm remembrance service in its chapel on Sept. 11th, all welcome; folks at The Mount are making paper cranes in hopes of having 1,000 by then. (Photo by Alki photographer David Hutchinson, taken September 12, 2001)

P.S. WSB Forums members are sharing their 9/11/2001 memories in this thread, if you’re interested in contributing.

West Seattle Wednesday: River tour; new store; art on Alki…

August 31, 2011 10:03 am
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 |   South Park | West Seattle news | White Center | WS miscellaneous

That’s Alki Kayak ToursGreg Whittaker in the hat, coaching would-be paddlers at last weekend’s Duwamish River Festival. Your chance to explore the river, from that same starting point, is tonight – one of the highlights from the WSB Events calendar:

2ND-TO-LAST COMMUNITY KAYAK TOUR OF THE DUWAMISH: Every two weeks, all summer, Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition has presented the tours, in partnership with Alki Kayak Tours – meets 5:30 pm at Duwamish Waterway Park, 7900 10th Avenue S. in South Park; RSVP to (206) 953-0237. Tours cost $45 per person; $5 donation per person to DRCC also requested. All equipment, instructions, and guiding are provided. More info.

(Photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand, added 10:47 am)
NEW STATE LIQUOR STORE NOW OPEN: As of minutes ago, it’s the first day of operation for the new Junction liquor store, on the northwest corner of 41st/Alaska (here’s our video-tour preview from yesterday).

VILLAGE GREEN PERENNIAL NURSERY SUPPORT/FORECLOSURE-AWARENESS RALLY: As previewed here earlier this morning, the event is 5-9 pm at Big Al Brewing, 9832 14th SW in White Center (full details here).

METROPOLITAN MARKET WINE TASTING: 5:30-7:30 pm at the Admiral store, taste wines to complement the fruit offered at Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) during the ongoing Peach-O-Rama.

JAPANESE ARTISTS PERFORM ON ALKI: Word of this came in late last night – note the weather caveat:

4 very talented artists and entertainers will be performing at Alki Beach, August 31 6:00pm near the Statue of Liberty.

They said they would like as many people to view their performances since they are here for only a short period of time.

1. Bosshiko is a high-profile artist in Asia winning various awards. He will be performing a live painting using black sumi ink on Japanese washi paper. The painting will be enourmous and will be done in 30 minutes.

2. Sayoko Hirano is an artist from Kyoto learning under Bosshiko. She will also be performing a live painting.

3. Chiaki is a professional dancer and will perform a powerful martial arts inspired contemporary dance.

4. Gon is one of the few traditional Japanese storytellers left even in Japan. His storytelling always gets the crowd laughing even if you don’t understand Japanese.

They will cancel the performance if it rains.

BUY IT WHERE THEY GROW IT: High Point Market Garden farm stand, 4-7 pm, 32nd Ave SW and SW Juneau. This is a weekly Farm Stand selling seasonal fresh organically grown produce right in the garden where the produce is grown.

BUDGET-CUT CLOSURES: Seattle Public Schools is on a systemwide furlough day, and district employees aren’t even supposed to answer e-mails … Seattle Public Library‘s now-annual budget-cut closure continues today (the system reopens next Tuesday, after the Labor Day holiday following the closure week).

SEASON EBBING AT COLMAN POOL: Colman Pool continues its 7-day-a-week summer operations through Monday, and then, after one last “post-season weekend,” it’s closed till next year. Pool schedule/other info here.

EARLY REGISTRATION DEADLINE FOR CAR SHOW: If you want the early-registration $15 fee for the West Seattle Junction Car Show (co-sponsored by WSB) on September 18th, you have to get your registration in by tomorrow – details here.

Village Green foreclosure-fight rally/party/benefit tonight

August 31, 2011 6:30 am
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 |   How to help | West Seattle news | White Center

Tonight’s the night for the benefit rally/party/auction on behalf of Village Green Perennial Nursery owner Vera Johnson‘s foreclosure fight (first reported here last month). Organizers from Friends of Village Green and White Center Business Owners of Sustainable Support have put together quite the lineup for the event, 5-9 pm at Big Al Brewing (9832 14th SW). WC-BOSS founder Aileen Sison describes it as “a fun-filled evening of community solidarity with live music, ice cream and refreshments provided by Full Tilt Ice Cream and more for your enjoyment. We will also be showing a entertaining and informative short film as well as having guest speakers addressing the housing crisis to raise foreclosure prevention awareness. Stick around for the super silent auction for killer local items and cool out to tunes by Del Rey and WC’s home grown musical talents like Rats in the Grass, Graves 33, and The GNU Deal! … Come show your support and toast to homeowner advocacy, local businesses, and be seen wearing the night’s color of support and go GREEN!” Sison shared the list of silent-auction items – read on to see the list (and a few photos):Read More

Arbor Heights crime-prevention meeting brings new info on helping Saturday’s fire victims

August 31, 2011 2:37 am
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 |   Arbor Heights | How to help | West Seattle fires | West Seattle news

Arbor Heights is among the few areas of West Seattle not represented by a community council – but Arbor Heights Community Church leaders say they’re trying to step up and help with neighborhood organizing. Tuesday night’s community meeting at the church was announced 2+ weeks ago as a chance to get information about crime prevention, and that certainly was discussed, with the help of Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Mark Solomon. He presented information including how to set up Block Watches. But last Saturday’s house fire, less than a block from the church, was a big topic too.

As first reported here Sunday night, AHCC is coordinating donations for the family who lost everything in the fire, and we got an update on that from Pastor Ken Ross, who says he has met with the fire victims and describes them as still in a state of shock:

*Red Cross has provided them with lodging for 2 weeks; they are still looking for a rental, preferably in the Arbor Heights area, since they have two kids about to go back to school (12-year-old girl and 15-year-old boy, according to family members’ comments).

*Fundraising has totaled $3,000 so far (donation info is here)

*Want to offer clothing or other types of non-monetary donations? The church doesn’t have storage but asks that you e-mail to coordinate, or, as previously requested, call 206-935-5714 between 10 am-2 pm today or Thursday (after that the office won’t be staffed again till the following Tuesday)

The pastor also says he plans to meet with a Seattle Fire Department representative regarding the complications of Saturday evening’s firefighting operation – including response time and water pressure. (Here’s our Monday night report on the city’s review plan.)

West Seattle Crime Watch: ‘Roaming’ burglar; car theft; more

Three West Seattle Crime Watch reports to share tonight, from the WSB inbox, including a break-in attempt late today whose victims say police told them about a “roaming” burglar, plus another burglary and a car theft – read on (**added Wed. morning, an additional burglary report):Read More

West Seattle businesses: Ex-Tervo’s to be Corner Store & Deli

EDITOR’S NOTE: Many WSB’ers have asked about the former Tervo’s at 4415 Fauntleroy, which has changed hands a few times recently and been closed a while. Suddenly this week, windows were installed on its south side, and painting was under way. We asked WSB contributor Keri DeTore to check it out; here’s what she discovered.

Update and photo by Keri DeTore for West Seattle Blog

New owners Negash Yassin (pictured) and his brother Daniel have purchased the former Tervo’s site in The Triangle and are adding it to their Corner Store & Deli franchise. This West Seattle location will feature fresh Boar’s Head sandwiches, some fresh produce, and a substantial wine and beer selection. It will still offer some of the typical corner-store products, such as sodas and cigarettes, but in a more “upscale” environment.

Negash says he and his brother studied the neighborhood to determine what it seemed to need, so in addition to the previous offerings, they will offer more coffee options. They will be featuring Ethiopian coffee in their mochas and lattes and providing punch cards for coffee drinks and sandwiches.

As for the renovation, the inside has been completely gutted, with new wall systems being installed and the wood-framed windows presenting a more inviting street front. Says Negash: “We try to look our best; we don’t want it to look like a prison.”

He says “Corner Store & Deli #2” will be open for business within the next two weeks. (#1 is in the Central District, at 1720 S. Jackson.)

Video: Inside new West Seattle liquor store, opening tomorrow

The new West Seattle Junction liquor store opens 10 am tomorrow – after the old one closes at 9 pm tonight. Judging by what we saw during a drop-by-and-take-photos media preview today, it’s ready to go already. Our video, above, is a casual walkthrough, looking at the shelves and shelves … and shelves … of bottles, not to mention the “open cooler” of craft beer (including many Washington brands):

This isn’t just a new liquor store; it’s the state’s first “premier” store, and Liquor Control Board officials were up from Olympia, bursting with pride. They are also trying to make a major point – boosting the selection of brands in the wake of voter rejection of liquor privatization, in hopes of showing you can have a monopoly and still be customer-sensitive. Molly Wheeler is the manager, a 14-year LCB employee who says running this store is a dream come true, and explains more about what it’s offering:

The store concept isn’t all that’s new – the state is about to start offering liquor-tasting events, and the first one at this store is this Saturday, 4-6 pm; they’ll have tastings every week, same time (this month’s schedule, including the list of what’s offered for tasting, is here). The store is at 41st/Alaska in Capco Plaza, same building as QFC and the future home of another business moving from elsewhere in The Junction, Petco, which will be next to the liquor store on the lower level at the same corner.

Star Anna concert @ Admiral this Thursday, and bring diapers!

(July 2011 photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
Thursday is both the first day of September and the last show in this year’s Admiral Neighborhood Association-presented Summer Concerts at Hiawatha series (with co-sponsors including WSB) – and one of our area’s hottest rising stars, Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs, provides the grand finale. Our photo is from her Junction-rocking performance at Easy Street Records last month. The show’s free as always BUT – go buy some diapers and bring them to donate to WestSide Baby, and ANA president Katy Walum says you’ll get a free Popsicle! 6:30 pm Thursday, east lawn of Hiawatha Community Center (2700 California SW, but the lawn faces Walnut), bring your own chair/blanket – and a box/bag of diapers! (Who knows, you might even see a celebrity.)

White Center to get its ‘storefront deputy’ back

If you haven’t already seen the news over on partner site White Center Now: The community’s been begging for the county to restore its “storefront deputy,” a WC-dedicated sheriff’s deputy who works the community from a home base in the Sheriff’s Office storefront right in the heart of the business district. A petition has been in circulation for weeks – the deputy’s been gone for months – and was going to be presented to Sheriff Sue Rahr this Thursday. But now – its goal is in sight: As part of an anti-gang-violence plan just announced by King County Executive Dow Constantine and County Council members, a special criminal-justice fund will be tapped for programs including restoring the deputy, pending official council approval. More at WCN.

Budget cuts: Library-less week continues; school furlough tomorrow

Quick reminders: Today is the second day of the weeklong Seattle Public Library shutdown. And tomorrow, also because of a budget shortfall (different governing body, though), Seattle Public Schools will be on a systemwide furlough day to save money toward its budget gap. A message from SPS says, “We negotiated this furlough day with our teacher and principal unions, and also required furlough days for our non-represented staff, to make up for the $4 million shortfall caused by the cuts to teacher, principal and administrator salaries in the last legislative session. These days were negotiated to have the least possible impact on students-though missing a day right before school starts may mean that classrooms and buildings will not be as ready as we hoped for the first day of school.” Which is a week from tomorrow – Wednesday, Sept. 7th.

Bushaw murder trial updates: Huber guilty, Chaney mistrial, post-verdict reaction

(12:21 PM UPDATE: We now have prosecution reaction after a mixed decision at the monthlong trial in the Steve Bushaw murder case. Bryce Huber is guilty; the jury could not reach a decision regarding Brandon Chaney, so his case ends in mistrial. The victim’s family says Huber is the one they most wanted to see convicted. The following begins with as-it-happened updates from WSB editor Tracy Record at the courthouse.)

8:58 AM: We’re in the King County Superior Court Judge Joan DuBuque‘s courtroom, awaiting word of the jury’s decision in the monthlong trial of two men charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Steve Bushaw. The 26-year-old West Seattleite (right) was killed the night of February 1, 2009, shot in the middle of California SW by two men who already have pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. In this trial, which we have been covering since the start, defendant Bryce Huber is accused of luring Bushaw to his death; defendant Brandon Chaney is accused of driving the getaway car. The seven-woman, five-man jury has deliberated three full days since getting the case late last Wednesday; the trial began August 1st. The victim’s family members have arrived; so have two of the three lawyers. We’ll cover this as it happens.

9:14 AM: Both defendants are now here, escorted by uniformed, armed King County Jail officers as always, cuffs taken off just before they sit down at the table with their lawyers. About three dozen spectators, mostly family of victim/defendants, are in the courtroom now.

9:17 AM: Judge DuBuque has announced the jury says they have reached a verdict for one defendant and is “unable to reach a verdict for the other.” They asked for directions. The judge is asking the lawyers what they think. She says she doesn’t know which defendant is matched to which circumstance. (9:21) They will call in the jury to ask the presiding juror if there is any hope they will reach a verdict on the second defendant.

9:24 AM: The presiding juror says “no,” after the judge warned that nothing else must be said. The jury now is leaving the courtroom so the judge and lawyers can consult. (9:27) At the request of Huber’s lawyer Tony Savage, the jurors are being brought back to ask if they all agree with the presiding juror’s answer. One voice said “no.” They’re being sent out again. (9:31) Savage says he’s OK with accepting one verdict and one mistrial (we still don’t know which defendant is which), so the jurors are being brought back out for the announcement.

9:32 AM: The jury is back. The verdict has been given to the bailiff. Huber is guilty. The family is gasping. He is guilty of murder in the first degree, with firearm enhancement (which adds 5 years to the sentence). This means Chaney’s case is deadlocked, and a mistrial is declared. A date will be set in a few weeks regarding what happens next. (added) Huber’s sentencing is set for 9 am September 16th, and later that day, there will be a hearing regarding the next steps toward a new trial for Chaney. The defendants, officers, and lawyers are leaving.

(Photo added, by Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times: Steve’s mother Meg Bushaw, hugged by daughter Tanya Bushaw)
The family is still standing in the courtroom. We had made an earlier request to speak with anyone who chose to spoke on their behalf, so we are going out in hopes of talking with them.

9:52 AM: Steve Bushaw’s only sibling, Tanya Bushaw, tells WSB she is “very happy. (Huber) was the one and only person we had been wanting the most out of the case. He is the one who lured my brother (to his death), and the one who put my brother’s name up” (in relation to the home-invasion robbery of a friend of Huber’s, which was the motive in the shooting’s complicated backstory). Tanya also said that, regarding the mistrial for Chaney, “of all the people (in the case), if one was to have a mistrial, he would have been my very first choice.” Tanya and Steve’s dad Ron Bushaw said simply, “I’m happy that one of them was found guilty, and I hope the other will be.”

10:23 AM NOTE: Our partners at the Seattle Times had a crew in the courtroom for the verdict and we expect to be able to add some of their photos later; we have added a file shot of Huber in the meantime, taken during January proceedings, by Christopher Boffoli for WSB. (added – their photo of Huber)

(Photo by Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times)
It should also be noted that the two men who admitted shooting Bushaw, John Sylve and Danny O’Neal, are scheduled to be sentenced by Judge DuBuque at 2 pm September 30th.

12:18 PM UPDATE: King County Prosecuting Attorney‘s Office spokesperson Dan Donohoe says the jury was split 8-4 for convicting Chaney – this was not announced in open court, but jurors were offered the chance to talk with the lawyers afterward – and his office is considering a retrial. Also regarding the oft-asked question of potential charges against others who have emerged as possibly involved: “We will be reviewing information presented at trial and other evidence regarding the potential involvement of others.”

TUESDAY NIGHT NOTE: The KCPAO’s official summary of the trial’s end can be read here; it notes that Huber will face a sentencing range of 25-31 years in prison, while Sylve and O’Neal face 15-23 years. One other note: WSB complete coverage of the entire trial is archived here, newest-to-oldest.

West Seattle Tuesday: Liquor-store move, crime-prevention meeting, drill at SSCC, more

From the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:

CLOSING DAY FOR OLD JUNCTION LIQUOR STORE: Out with the old, in with the new. The old state liquor store in The Junction closes for good when its doors shut tonight on California SW at 9 pm, and the new one (as first reported here in February, it’s in Capco Plaza at 41st/Alaska) opens tomorrow morning, as a “premier store” that will be the first in the state trying out a new concept including liquor-tasting events (here’s our original report from June).

CRIMEFIGHTING IN ARBOR HEIGHTS, AND DONATIONS FOR FIRE VICTIMS: Arbor Heights Community Church announced tonight’s crime-prevention meeting long before last Saturday’s house fire nearby. But it will now do double duty – the church will accept donations for the fire victims (as explained in our Sunday night story) at the meeting. It’s at 41st/102nd in Arbor Heights.

LAW-ENFORCEMENT DRILL ON PUGET RIDGE: South Seattle Community College will host an exercise today that might look or sound alarming if you happen onto it – but it’s only a drill. Details here, in the preview we published last night.

JOB-SEARCH SUPPORT GROUP: The weekly “Notes from the Job Search” support/networking group meets 11 am today (and every Tuesday) at C & P Coffee (WSB sponsor), 5612 California SW.

BIRD PHOTOS AT BIRD ON A WIRE: West Seattle photographer Danny McMillin, whose work you’ve seen here and elsewhere, debuts his photography show “A Sampling of Birds” at Bird on a Wire Espresso in West Seattle (SW Henderson west of 35th SW) this afternoon. It’ll be up through September,

BACK TO SCHOOL BARBECUE: Eight days before the first day of classes, a Back to School BBQ is scheduled today for Roxhill Elementary families, 4:30 – 6:30 pm, serving hot dogs and chips, and distributing free backpacks and school supplies to as many students as they can.

COUCH TO 5K: Running Evolution starts a new Couch to 5k class at West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor), 6:30 tonight. It’s a 6 week class for $95.

DISC-OVER THIS: West Seattle Ultimate Frisbee plays 6:30 pm Tuesdays at Fairmount Playfield.

‘TRIVIA THAT ROCKS’ Tuesday night means rock music trivia at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), 8 pm.

City plans ‘after-action review’ of Arbor Heights fire’s water woes

(Saturday photo by Katie Meyer)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The slack hoses told the story early on at Saturday evening’s house fire in Arbor Heights.

But what was really the problem that led to an inadequate water supply/pressure for firefighters, and forced them to run hoses to relatively distant hydrants?

(Saturday photo by Tony Bradley)
(You can see some of the effects in this bystander video we just found.) A spokesperson for Seattle Public Utilities, which is accountable for the hydrants, tells WSB that SPU and the Seattle Fire Department plan an “after-action review” of the incident.

That’s part of what emerged in our follow-up conversation this afternoon with SPU’s Andy Ryan.

Read More

West Seattle Crime Watch followup: Standoff-suspect plea deal

Routine check of the court files on several cases we’re following brings news of a plea bargain in the assault case related to a SWAT standoff that closed Delridge for several hours the morning of July 15th: 20-year-old Jory Preston was originally charged with 2 counts of domestic-violence assault, 2nd-degree and 4th-degree, for 2 July incidents involving his ex-girlfriend, including the one that led to the police search that resulted in the standoff. Online court records show that last week, he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of third-degree domestic-violence assault, involving only a July 11th incident in which he admitted to “shoving and biting” the victim. The charge carries a standard sentencing range of 1 to 3 months, and documents in the case indicate that prosecutors will recommend a sentence of “credit for time served.” He has been in jail since turning himself in at the Southwest Precinct, ending the police standoff outside his home on Delridge, which turned out to instead have two other people inside who said they didn’t come out because they were scared. Programs for substance abuse and domestic-violence prevention also will be recommended. Court documents say Preston has no prior felony convictions. He is scheduled to be sentenced this Friday afternoon by King County Superior Court Judge Patrick Oishi.

After 3 days of deliberations in Bushaw murder trial: ‘News tomorrow morning’

We’re at the King County Courthouse, staked out awaiting word of a decision in the Steve Bushaw murder trial, but there won’t be one today – the jury has just gone home for the day. However, Judge Joan DuBuque‘s bailiff has just informed WSB that, “The jury will have some news for us tomorrow morning at 9 o’clock.”

Jurors have now deliberated for three full days, after getting the case toward the end of the day last Wednesday. They are deciding the fate of two men who are charged with first-degree murder though Bushaw was shot on February 1st, 2009, by two other men, both of whom pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree murder. WSB is the only news organization that has been covering the trial; our coverage is archived here, newest to oldest.

Heads-up: Drill tomorrow at South Seattle Community College

August 29, 2011 2:05 pm
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In case you hear or see any of this tomorrow – don’t be alarmed, the college stresses, it’s only a drill:

On Tuesday, August 30, 2011, Exercise Seattle Storm will take place on the campus of South Seattle Community College. Participants involved in this training exercise include the 10th Civil Support Team, US Army North (USARNORTH)-Bravo Division, Seattle Police Department, Seattle Police Department Bomb Squad, and Washingtoon National Guard J3 Domestic Ops.

This realistic exercise is scenario-driven and focused on recognizing and demonstrating the ability to meet incident objectives when faced with a potential Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) threat. The scenario is based on discovery of a chemical production laboratory and materials needed to build or assemble an explosive devise.

“While we believe this kind of situation is unlikely to occur at South, we are committed to pro-actively preparing for all possible scenarios,” said South President Gary Oertli. “We welcome the opportunity to partner with and learn from our local, municipal, county, and federal response agencies.”

Activity will take place at the north end of the college campus, in the Landscape Horticulture (LHO) program area. During the exercise, the Chan Center and LHO parking lot will be closed.

Update: Dates announced for Viaduct closure – Oct. 21-31

(Larger version of the “after” graphic can be seen here)
We’re at the WSDOT event announcing the dates for the nine-day Alaskan Way Viaduct closure, and here they are: October 21-31. That spans two weekends and one workweek; here’s the official news release. But it’s not a complete closure of the entire stretch the entire time – here are the details, from WSDOT (and you can see a map here):

Northbound viaduct closure details

Northbound SR 99 between the West Seattle Bridge and South Royal Brougham Way will be closed around-the-clock beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21 to 5 a.m. Monday, Oct. 31.
Northbound SR 99 between the South Royal Brougham Way on-ramp and the Battery Street Tunnel will open from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and for special events at CenturyLink Field.

Southbound viaduct closure details

Southbound SR 99 between the Battery Street Tunnel and West Seattle Bridge will be closed around-the-clock beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21 to 5 a.m. Monday, Oct. 31.

When 99 reopens on Halloween, a “construction bypass” will be in place, and WSDOT has just released this video of how that will work:

We also have just talked with SDOT – the new 1st Ave ramp to/from the westbound Spokane Street Viaduct will NOT be finished before the October closure, though SDOT’s Bob Powers says it is expected to be done “by the end of the year.” (added) Here’s our 2-minute chat with him, starting with our question about the new 1st ramp, continuing to “so, city advice for getting around?”

He also says (if you missed it in the clip) 1st Avenue South will be open, two lanes each way, under the Spokane St. Viaduct, for the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure period. (We would also add that the 4th Avenue offramp from the eastbound bridge is usually an excellent Viaduct alternative for getting into downtown – we used it a lot in the mornings while covering the Bushaw murder trial, and it still seems underutilized.)

Metro says it will be adding trips to some West Seattle routes as of October 1st, particularly the 54, which will be on an every-15-minute schedule. The West Seattle Water Taxi will NOT have a schedule change because of the closure, but will continue on through the fall and winter again this year, thanks to state “mitigation” funding related to the ongoing Highway 99 construction.

P.S. We asked Metro reps about the fate of the 2nd/Columbia westbound bus stop – you’ll recall they asked for comments regarding a potential permanent closure. It will be closed for the duration of the October Viaduct shutdown, since southbound 99 will be entirely off-limits. Its permanent fate hasn’t been decided yet – but they tell us that 70 percent of the comments they received were in support of keeping it open. Once 99 has the SODO detour in place, they have to figure out, we are told, what’s the fastest corridor for buses to travel.