day : 09/08/2011 14 results

Season’s 1st West Seattle seal-pup visit brings urgent reminder

(Photo courtesy Robin Lindsey)
Seal-pup season has officially begun on West Seattle beaches, with this little one’s visit to Lincoln Park today. Shelley first told us about it; we checked with Robin Lindsey of Seal Sitters, and they were of course all over the case (here’s the full story on the Seal Sitters “Blubberblog”). But Robin says the arrival of the pup they dubbed “Tiny” – so little, they believe it was a newborn – brings an urgent reminder: When you spot a pup on the beach, stay as far back as possible, and call Seal Sitters ASAP – 206-905-SEAL. A pup might be scared back into the water if people (or other animals) get too close, and that could be deadly, because its mom, who left it on the beach so she could go find food, might not find the pup again. (There’s already been a dead seal pup near Alki Point, and a dead adult seal along Beach Drive. Robin says Seal Sitters – whose mission has expanded – and NOAA want ALL reports of marine mammals, dead or alive, so whatever you spot, call that hotline, 206-905-SEAL – keep it handy.)

ADDED WEDNESDAY MORNING: Robin says another expert’s evaluation of the photo confirms the suspicion that the pup still had a bit of “umbilicus” attached – so it’s likely no more than a week and a half old, and she thinks it’ll probably turn up on the West Seattle shore again today. PLEASE call if you see it.

Video: Vera Johnson awaits answer after Bank of America meeting

Village Green Perennial Nursery owner Vera Johnson is now awaiting her official answer from Bank of America, regarding a “loan modification” to prevent foreclosure, after a face-to-face meeting downtown today that she says took some twists and turns. Besides insisting on being told to her face where her case stands – after months of the runaround, as chronicled in our original story last month – she brought along more than 10,000 online petition signatures gathered through (now up past 11,000). And, a plant, as she explains in our video:

Inside the bank – where media wasn’t allowed into her meeting – Vera tells us tonight that first, she discovered the bank manager she met with last week, Michael Kuehner, suddenly doesn’t work for B of A any more, “no explanation, gone.” Instead, she found vice president/regional manager Dennis Day. “They reacted quite quickly to the camera that Joe from had with him, visibly annoyed, I gave Dennis the signatures, he barely looked at them, completely devoid from emotion, then telling me I cannot record the meeting, as it is against policy.” As for her case: “They expect to have an answer next week, and it’s entirely up to the servicer of the loan-FannieMae. No promises. They could not give me a date, they said the foreclosure is stopped as of now, and in the event that I get turned down, apparently there are other possible outcomes, and we will pursue them then…” And once the meeting was over, she says, “The security guards removed us from the building, then off the plaza, and to the sidewalk.” They even trailed her and a friend – also going through a similar process – to the restrooms, she says, “waiting outside and asking if we needed help finding something. We apparently were a threat, because they were all on high alert, it was creepy.” Also there downtown when Vera talked to the media before going in: KING 5 – their story’s here.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Preschoolers’ backpacks stolen

This one couldn’t wait till the next roundup. Maybe you’ll see the backpacks/bottles if the crooks dumped them after realizing there was nothing monetarily valuable inside. From Stephanie at Neighborhood Preschool:

I took my preschoolers to the High Point Playfield today, and a thief took 2 of our backpacks with our water bottles in them. One backpack is gray and white camouflage, the other is an orange backpacking pack. If found, please return to the High Point Community Center, or call 206-938-6368 and leave a message. These items have no resale value, but are important to these small children who don’t understand why someone would steal from them.

West Seattle traffic alert: Junction road repairs later this week

From SDOT:

SDOT paving crews will repair the roadway in the 4300 block of SW Edmunds Street between California Avenue SW and 44th Avenue SW on Thursday and Friday, August 11 and 12. Edmunds will be closed to both eastbound and westbound traffic on Thursday at 8 a.m. until Friday at 8 a.m., and closed to westbound traffic only on Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The bus stop for westbound buses will reopen Saturday morning once the new pavement has cured. Approximately one half block of pavement will be excavated and repaved.

(That’s the block on the north side of Uptown Espresso.)

West Seattle 11-year-old & dad finish 1,732 miles of pedaling

Gordon Prinster shares that photo and this report:

My 11-year-old son, Callum Prinster, pedalled out of our Admiral driveway with me on July 5th. On Sunday, 1732 miles and 28 campsites later, we arrived at the Mexican border. When asked what he’s going to do when he gets home today, he said “Sit on the couch, make YouTube videos … and NOT ride my bike.”

We sent Gordon a few followup questions and will add to this story if/when we receive replies!


We’ve done shorter trips the last couple years – BC’s Gulf Islands and down to Portland – but nothing like this. We initially set off for San Francisco, and we did spend a couple days there, but then we sorta just did a Forrestt Gump and kept on going. It’s probably obvious what a proud dad I am.

This was really a selfish pleasure trip, but if anybody is at all compelled we encourage them to visit the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation at and make a little pledge. If they do that, and let us know they did ( We’ll send them a link to the dumbest videolog ever!

West Seattle Crime Watch: Burglary-series suspect arrested

From WSBeat reporter Megan Sheppard: An 18-year-old West Seattleite, wanted for a series of occupied burglaries in the community, was spotted at the 44th SW/SW Alaska bus stop today by an officer from the Southwest Precinct. Though he had long been a suspect, it was only this morning that probable cause existed to bring him in. The officer knows the young man from previous contacts, and — without telling him he was wanted — she stopped to engage him in some casual chit-chat. When she brought out the cuffs for arrest, he was reported to be both surprised and disappointed and let loose with an, “Awww, man……” He will be booked into King County Jail later today for investigation of burglary.

Bushaw murder trial, quick update: Over early today

(February 1, 2009, photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
For those following our coverage of the first trial in 3 years involving a West Seattle murder case, the shooting death of Steve Bushaw on Super Bowl Sunday night 2009: Though the usual court schedule is 9 am-4 pm Mondays-Thursdays during what’s projected to be a month-or-so-long trial, the proceedings ended early today – Prosecutor Jeff Baird‘s next witness is expected to be on the stand a while, and Superior Court Judge Joan DuBuque gave him the option to either start with the witness, or end for the day; he took the latter. Earlier today, the questioning of John Sylve, one of the two confessed triggermen, ended. He was followed on the witness stand by a woman who, accompanied by a friend from out of town, went to Talarico’s the night of the shooting with Bryce Huber, one of the two defendants; the day concluded with testimony from another woman who just happened to be at Talarico’s that night, heard the gunshots, and wound up helping to tend to Bushaw’s wounds before medics arrived. The next witness is expected to be a Seattle Police detective. Today’s full story, coming up later.

Admiral Safeway: Honoring history, as new store opens Thursday

New information – plus that old photo – from Safeway, as its new Admiral store gets ready to open this Thursday. First: Though the doors officially open at noon, there will be an outdoor ribboncutting ceremony at 11:30, and the public’s welcome – enter the parking lot from California SW. Safeway’s Sara Osborne points out that this marks Safeway’s 50th anniversary in the Admiral District, and that’s why the photo is significant – it’s from 1962, showing the original store when it was about one year old an old Safeway in West Seattle. Historic photos will play a role inside the new store as well; Admiral and Alki scenes will be displayed. And Safeway promises some freebies: The first 500 customers will get reusable grocery bags with “Admiral Safeway” written on them; the first three weeks post-opening will include tastings of various items offered at the store. And if you look for a “Yellow School Bus” tag on items, note that purchasing them will send 10 percent of the sales price to a local school of your choice. Note that the big changes at the site (where a retail and residential building are still under construction) include parking – there’s still some ground-level parking, but there’s also a ramp on the east side of the store that will take you up to new parking on the roof. (added 5:14 pm – video showing you a bird’s-eye view of where the parking is, and more):

P.S. Still awaiting word on what band will be playing (after suggestions were solicited here)!

ADDED 3:23 PM: More of the new signage is up:

To recap if you’ve missed earlier coverage, Umpqua Bank and Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt will open this fall in the retail building on the northwest side of the lot; the building on the southeast side is mostly apartments and scheduled to be available for leasing next year.

West Seattle Crime Watch: 2 reports, including P-Patch hit again

Two notes this noontime. First, police have investigated reports of possible gunfire heard NEAR South Seattle Community College, leading to what one WSB’er said via Facebook was a precautionary campus alert message. We checked with Southwest Precinct Lt. Ron Smith, and he says that officers did NOT find any evidence of actual gunfire. “Shots fired” reports are common enough – and often turn out to be fireworks – that we don’t usually write about them unless we get multiple inquiries; this time we did. So again, NO evidence of gunfire found. … Second, vandals hit the West Genesee P-Patch again:

A dog-walker who went by this morning spotted plants torn out and tossed in the street, and called us (206-293-6302 any time). We contacted Tiffany, who had reported the damage done 4 weeks ago, and West Seattle Christian Church, whose property the P-Patch is on – they called police. Tiffany checked out the damage and says it’s not as bad as last time: “Mostly just supportive stakes pulled up, but not much damage to the plants, thankfully. They pulled up a few plants from the border garden this time as well. Most of the damage was in the top four plots, however. That’s where they ripped up plants, stakes, stomped on things, and smashed plants. They also tossed one of the picnic benches on the roof of our garden shed and one in a plot, smashing her tomatoes. Although we aren’t allowed to lock the area up, we’re going to have a
meeting to discuss what we can do to help prevent future incidents.” Security cameras might not be out of the question. She says the food-bank plot was spared, and the only community help they’d like right now is to continue keeping an eye out: “I, for one, am frustrated and don’t see the point in spending time, effort, and money on this if it’s just going to be repeatedly destroyed, so I hope this stops!”

Followup: Uncle Mike’s BBQ in White Center reopens, post-fire

Just a week and a half after a kitchen fire forced them to close for repairs, Uncle Mike’s Superlicious BBQ at 9640 16th SW in White Center just sent word they’re open again. Via e-mail: “We have passed our fire inspection & we are back in business! Come on for some of that Smoked Goodness you’ve been craving!”

West Seattle development: Conner Homes selling Junction site

(WSB June 2011 photo looking at Conner site from QFC steps – it’s on Alaska’s south side, 42nd to California)
Eleven years after buying prime property in the heart of The Junction, currently planned for a two-building, 200-apartment development, Conner Homes president Charlie Conner says the site is going up for sale.

We just found this out, after asking Conner for a status report on the projects. Our request last week for comment was answered today by Conner, e-mailing us a letter he says was sent to “the Junction community” last week. The letter says he and his partners have chosen Turning Point Realty Advisors to put the site on the market, and says it’s not likely construction will start before summer 2012. The full text of Conner’s letter, ahead:Read More

Update: Divers help county stop West Seattle wastewater spill

Update from King County Wastewater Treatment Division: The wastewater spill in the West Seattle industrial area along the Duwamish River (reported here last night) has been stopped, but they don’t know yet how much spilled, describing it as “large yet currently undetermined.” Read on for the full news-release update:Read More

West Seattle Tuesday: Support, stories, puppets, bands, more…

(Even flies can be lovely, as Machel Spence pointed out as she shared this photo)
Speaking of wings, it’s your last chance for a glimpse of the Blue Angels before they’re gone till next summer – plus other highlights from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:

BLUE ANGELS’ DEPARTURE: Scheduled from Boeing Field around 9:35 this morning. They’re off to Fargo, North Dakota.

JOB SEARCHERS, UNITE: The weekly “Notes From The Job Search” group meets for networking, advice, etc., at C & P Coffee (WSB sponsor; 5612 California SW), 11 am.

SOMALI STORY TIME: 1:30 pm at High Point Library (3411 SW Raymond).

PUPPET SHOW: At the not-far-away South Park Community Center (8319 8th Avenue South), 1:30 pm: Thistle Theater presents: Brother Coyote, Sister Fox (Free, for ages 3 – 11). A delightful and humorous puppet adaptation of a beloved Mexican folktale. Brother Fox wants one thing and one thing only, to catch and eat one of Doña Conchita’s plump chickens. Quick-witted Sister Fox is always one step ahead of him, waiting to trick him with one of her clever schemes to keep all the chickens to herself! Spanish, English and yes…plenty of chickens!

FRISBEE FUN: West Seattle Ultimate Frisbee is now at Fairmount Playfield, Tuesday nights 6:30 – 8:30 pm (and Sundays 11-1).

TUESDAY TUNES: Live music at the Skylark Club and Cafe (3803 Delridge Way SW).

Confessed killer tells his story of the night Steve Bushaw was shot

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

A tale both chilling and bumbling emerged in court Monday as one of the two confessed triggermen in the February 2009 Steve Bushaw murder spent the entire day on the witness stand.

Opening the second week of testimony in the trial of alleged mastermind Bryce Huber and alleged getaway driver Brandon Chaney, both charged with first-degree murder, John Sylve answered questions about the night of the deadly shooting – including a semi-botched getaway.

As Sylve acknowledged under afternoon questioning by the defense, he changed his story this past January – suddenly striking a plea bargain, admitting to a reduced charge of second-degree murder with firearm enhancement, theoretically bringing a much shorter sentence.

Much of their questioning involved challenges to the times and places he described, all on February 1, 2009. But first – the story he told:

Read More