day : 27/08/2011 8 results

West Seattle Bridge reopened after tragic end to 4-hour talks

ORIGINAL 10:11 PM REPORT: Police are closing the eastbound West Seattle Bridge, from 35th, Avalon, Delridge, as they deal with what is reported to be a possibly suicidal person on the bridge. We are monitoring the situation and as always, will update. Westbound remains open for now.

11 PM UPDATE: Police are still working to resolve the situation; eastbound bridge still closed, plus the inside westbound lane.

12:37 AM UPDATE: Eastbound bridge closed 2 1/2 hours now. Thanks to everyone for the updates. No change in the situation, in terms of what’s publicly monitorable.

2:10 AM: Four hours. Richard’s report in comments verifies something we’d heard on the scanner, that the SPD “mobile precinct” unit is out there.

2:57 AM: Despite four and a half hours of effort, including the work of at least one SPD negotiator who was dispatched, it appears the person has jumped/fallen. Police are now talking (scanner traffic) about calling the Medical Examiner, and impounding the motorcycle. They also are contacting train operators about not going through the area beneath the bridge for a while. This is the second bridge death in less than two months. Experts stress that suicide is a deadly symptom of mental illness; if you or someone you know needs help, Crisis Clinic has a 24-hour hotline: 206.461.3222.

3:19 AM: It’s just been announced the bridge is fully open again.

MONDAY EVENING NOTE: The KCME’s media hotline says the suicide victim was a 49-year-old woman.

Alki Beach 5K tomorrow! Join ‘Warrior Marathon Runner’

Story and photos by Ellen Cedergreen
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Tomorrow morning, “Warrior Marathon RunnerCarol Dellinger will cheer on the Alki Beach 5K run-walk participants, and then will join them.

They are walking/running to raise money for Northwest Hope and Healing‘s work, helping breast-cancer patients.

Carol knows what that’s like. She is not your average marathon runner. Completing more than 250 marathons is a feat in and of itself, but the 49-year-old Spokane resident has an even bigger claim to fame: She’s a breast-cancer survivor, and she completed her 235th marathon just 9 weeks after undergoing a mastectomy. Since then, she’s completed 8 more, bringing her grand total to 253, 254 after next weekend. We talked with her at West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor), shortly after she arrived in Seattle this afternoon for the Alki Beach 5K (9 am Sunday morning – and you can still register in person at the Bathhouse, starting at 8).

Dellinger lost her mom to breast cancer 25 years ago and has other family members who’ve battled the disease. She’s a firm believer in early detection and has been getting annual mammograms since the age of 35. According to her cancer treatment center, many age-eligible women do not get mammograms, often due to fear, but Dellinger wants to remind women that breast cancer can be100% curable if discovered early.

Dellinger chose not to have reconstructive surgery after learning her cancer had not spread to the lymph nodes.

Read More

VIdeo: Fire destroys Arbor Heights home; water problems; firefighter hurt

(EDITOR’S NOTE: SFD has now announced the cause. New story here.)

(WSB photo by Tracy Record)
ORIGINAL 5:35 PM REPORT: On our way to house-fire call in the 10200 block of 41st SW. Black smoke can be seen from more than a mile away. (added 5:43 pm) Near the scene. Police and fire are blocking 102nd near Arbor Heights Community Church. More shortly.

(Video added 6:16 pm)
5:50 PM UPDATE: We’re right next to the house with spectators. It is fully engulfed in flames. A neighbor says she does not believe the residents were home.

5:58 PM UPDATE: Still burning. A tree between the house and its neighboring home caught fire and the people next door are fighting desperately to make sure their home doesn’t catch fire too.

Dozens of neighbors are watching and at times cheering the firefighters. The neighbor who believes the homeowners weren’t here when it started says that she got a knock on the door, telling her the neighbors’ home was burning. No word of any injuries so far. Neighbors say it appears the hydrants might have been having problems initially – we’ll be checking on that with SFD.

6:16 PM: We’ve just heard a firefighter’s radio crackle with the word the fire is under control. No word on the cause yet, they’re still actively fighting it. But it is more smoke and charred wood now, still some flames visible inside. We just added video from the height of the fire, and will add a newer photo in a moment.

6:26 PM: They’re still pouring water on the fire. Other media just now arriving. The sun’s rays are making an eerie pattern through the trees that surround this house.

7:05 PM: Fire Chief Gregory Dean has just briefed the media. He says a firefighter suffered burns and was taken to Harborview. He confirms that there was a problem with hydrants and with water pressure; also, fire units took longer to get here than they normally would have, because primary responding companies were tied up with aid calls.

(Photo by Tony Bradley)
The first truck to arrive was a ladder truck, which doesn’t carry water. Subsequent companies used their water, and finally a line was laid to 35th SW to get water at full pressure. This was officially a two-alarm fire. We have the fire chief’s full briefing on video and will upload it as soon as we can. (added – here it is:)

Absolutely no indication yet what caused the fire; investigators can’t even get into what’s left of it, yet. still many, many firefighters still on scene. As for other hydrants in the area – we asked SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore; he says Seattle Public Utilities is responsible for hydrants, so we will have to ask them about what they plan to do to make sure that other hydrants in the area are OK. Thanks also to everyone who has sent photos and video – we will be reviewing them when we get back to HQ shortly.

ADDED EARLY SUNDAY: Some of the other scenes, from both the fire location and from far away, as people noticed black smoke rising high into the air – pictures ahead:Read More

Followup: Police recap last night’s community-center fighting

(Reader video from Fritz – not much visible but you hear sirens and police loudspeaker, “It’s time to go home”)
After our brief “here’s what the sirens were about” report last night regarding a large police response to fighting at the Southwest Community Center, some asked for more details. The Seattle Police SPD Blotter website now has a summary of what police say happened:

On 8/26/11, at approximately 11:30 p.m., an officer was working at the late-night basketball tournament, at the Southwest Community Center. Minor fights were breaking out inside the gymnasium, and the officer requested several patrol units to assist with clearing the community center when the game ended.

Before the game ended, there were several reports of firearms being seen in the crowd, and a large-scale melee erupted inside the gym. Several people were struck with chairs, and reports continued of guns being present, although officers did not see any. Officers worked to move the hostile crowd of approximately 200 people out of the building and disperse them. South precinct and SWAT units responded to assist.

Fights continued in the parking lot for approximately 20 minutes. The crowd was eventually brought under control, some leaving in vehicles, others dispersing eastbound on Thistle toward Delridge. No officers were injured during the incident, although many were grabbed and pushed by the crowd.

No arrests are reported; we’re doublechecking on that.

West Seattle schools: New art installation at Chief Sealth

(Photos courtesy Juan Alonso)
Students and staff returning to Chief Sealth International High School in a week and a half – and people passing by, from hereon out – will notice something new in front of the auditorium: Award-winning Seattle artist Juan Alonso‘s six “Sentinels,” just installed Friday:

The work, commissioned by the Washington State Arts Commission and Seattle Public Schools, is crafted from stainless steel. Alonso explains it here (and on the explanatory plaque on site):

This is a tribute to our ancestors, to those who have passed down information to us so that we may do the same; to our teachers, those who inspire us, our heroes, our protectors, and those who create a legacy. To Chief Sealth, father figure of our city; and to my own father, whose designs inspired these sculptures and whose kindness has always been my biggest source of strength.

In the same post, Alonso shows a photo of his father with the designs to which he refers, ironwork at a home his family built in Cuba, where Alonso was born and lived till age 10. His other public work, as shown here, includes several pieces installed at White Center’s Greenbridge development. Alonso tells WSB “Sentinels” will have a public dedication during an open house at Chief Sealth the evening of October 13th.

Last weekend to tour Alki Lighthouse: Got memories?

August 27, 2011 9:13 am
|    Comments Off on Last weekend to tour Alki Lighthouse: Got memories?
 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news

(April 2011 photo by Long Bach Nguyen, over Alki Lighthouse)
As noted in our West Seattle Saturday” daily events preview, this weekend brings your last chances to tour the historic Alki Lighthouse this season, 1-4 pm both days. Here’s some of what you’ll see. But if you already have reminiscences – or if you or someone you know does – there’s work under way now to put together its history, as its centennial approaches. Here’s how you can help! Ann Benoit writes:

In 1913 the Alki Lighthouse was constructed here in West Seattle. It has provided wayfinding light, sound for fog navigation, radio beacons for way finding and the calibration of vessels’ own radio-beacon equipment. It is on a point of land and commands beautiful views of the Sound.

In preparation for its centennial. we are researching the Alki Lighthouse history, from the first light hung on the point by a farmer named Hansen (1870), to the present day. Data is fine and good, but insights, events, personal reminiscences will help to round out the story of this lighthouse.

The Alki Lighthouse is one of West Seattle’s enduring historical sites and deserves more extensive documentation. If you can help in any way, please contact me at

West Seattle Saturday: ‘Ferris Bueller,’ Terry Brooks, playgrounds, Duwamish River Festival, more

August 27, 2011 8:28 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Saturday: ‘Ferris Bueller,’ Terry Brooks, playgrounds, Duwamish River Festival, more
 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

(Trailer for “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” tonight’s season-ending West Seattle Outdoor Movies feature)
Here are highlights from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar for this final Saturday in August:

NICKELSVILLE FUNDRAISER: Fundraising car wash for Nickelsville, the encampment in southeastern West Seattle, to help it stay self-sustaining, with proceeds going to necessities such as portable restrooms and trash pickup. New location: Krispy Kreme on 1st Avenue South in SODO, under way now till 5 pm.

PLAYGROUND PARTIES! At Our Lady of Guadalupe School, a new playground is going in today – just got the heads up from West Seattle Design Build (WSB sponsor) – they’re at 34th and Myrtle and it’s under way now. Then at Lafayette Elementary (SW Lander/California SW), as previewed here last night, volunteers are welcome to come help finish the latest phase of the playground upgrade, starting at 9 am.

KIDS RAISE MONEY FOR FAMINE VICTIMS: Three West Seattle kids are raising money today to donate to a collection for Somalia famine victims at their church. They’re having a used book sale to raise money to give and have come up with about 200 books. The sale starts at 9 am in High Point, off 35th and Juneau, in front of the retention pond. Paperbacks are 50 cents and hardbacks a dollar. (Their mom says they’ll accept larger donations!)

GIVE THE RECOVERY GARDEN SOME TLC: 10 am-2 pm, community volunteer help appreciated, 26th/Brandon in North Delridge; here’s our preview from last night.

PICK UP PACKETS FOR ALKI BEACH 5K: 10 am-2 pm at West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor), California/Charlestown. (And it’s not too late to sign up for the fundraising walk-run to help breast-cancer patients through Northwest Hope and Healing – the 5K is tomorrow, 9 am, starting at Alki Bathhouse, more details here.)

HELP PLANT RAIN GARDENS: Volunteer help needed to plant the Sustainable Rain rain gardens in two local sites excavated in the last month, including 5902 California SW and, in White Center, Big Al Brewing (9832 14th SW). 10 am-noon, free refreshments for volunteers.

FIGHT IVY IN SCHMITZ PARK: Schmitz Preserve Park Work Party, 9 am – 12 pm. Join the resistance against the invasive threat of ivy in Schmitz Park. All ages welcome. Snacks provided. Sturdy shoes and long pants are a must. 5380 Stevens SW, just off Admiral Way.

CARE FOR THE CREEK: Longfellow Creek – Thistle Street Work Party, 10 am – 2 pm. Join EarthCorps and other community volunteers at our monthly work party along the riparian zone of Longfellow Creek. This greenspace is a three acre site located just to the east of Chief Sealth International High School. Once hugely overgrown with blackberries and garbage, walkers can now enjoy forested wetlands, winding trail, great views of the creek, a community garden and seating area beside a sensory garden. SW Thistle Street and 26th Avenue SW to find the greenspace.

EUROPAKIDS INTERNATIONAL PRESCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: Ni hao! Hola! Guten Tag! EuropaKids International Preschool (WSB sponsor) is celebrating its 6th year in West Seattle and we are having a Fall Open House at 10:30 am to introduce our new Mandarin Chinese program. The EuropaKids half-day program is a multilingual language PRESCHOOL dedicated to preparing your child(ren) for the upcoming elementary school years by using the gift of foreign language as our focus. Please RSVP for the Open House at the SW Community Center in West Seattle; call Nicole at (206) 708-5784.

DUWAMISH RIVER FESTIVAL: Celebrate the river, with free entertainment, education, and more. Noon-6 pm, right on the river’s shore at 7900 10th Avenue South in South Park, with West Seattle participants including Alki Kayak Tours, details here. And a few more: Mariachis, Duwamish Tribal dancers, an eclectic lineup of live music, free tamales and BBQ, environmental and health education booths, and children’s activities. More announced highlights:

· *Jaime Méndez, *from UNIVISION, and *Paulina López, *South Park community member*,* bilingual (Spanish/English) Masters of Ceremonies;

· *Supersones*, Son – the acoustic dance music of the Cuban countryside that inspired modern Salsa;

· *Grupo Samay,* Andean folk music;

· *African Knights, *African, Afro-pop, Reggae, Caribbean music;

· *T’ilibshudub/“Singing Feet”*, Duwamish Tribal Youth Dance Group;

· Also* Mariachi Guadalajara, The African ConeXion Project *and others.

LIGHTHOUSE TOURS: Last weekend this year to tour the Alki Point Lighthouse, 1-4 pm.

TERRY BROOKS’ ANNUAL HOMETOWN READING: West Seattle-residing bestselling author Terry Brooks makes his annual appearance at Westwood Village Barnes & Noble, 2 pm (more on his website,, including info on his just-published “Legends of Shannara: Measure of the Magic”).

SEASON FINALE FOR WEST SEATTLE OUTDOOR MOVIES: Rescheduled from July 16 rainout, West Seattle Outdoor Movies presents “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” at dusk, courtyard next to Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor), 4410 California SW. Movie’s free; bring your own chair/blanket, and money for fundraising raffle/concessions.

SEASON FINALE FOR MOVIES ON THE LAWN: Unique Families of Seattle presents “Nim’s Island,” free outdoor movie at 9246 36th Ave SW, arrival time: 8 pm (donations welcome), film starts around 9 pm. Private residence so space is limited, must RSVP to attend. E-mail

Have an event for the calendar? Send info as early as possible – so more people find out about it! Don’t worry about waiting till you have flyers, photos, logos, attachments – don’t need ’em! – just write up who/what/when/where, right in your e-mail, and send to – thanks!

West Seattle Crime Watch: Another hit-and-run

(Photos by Katie Meyer for WSB)
A neighbor heard this crash and called 911, not even knowing exactly where it had happened. Soon enough, police found this car up against a garage in the 4800 block of SW Lander (map) in the Admiral District – nobody hurt, unless injuries were suffered by one or both of the two men who reportedly got out of the car after it crashed and ran. WSB contributor Katie Meyer checked out the scene about half an hour ago and says it appears the car, a Toyota Corolla with Alabama plates, ” came up Admiral eastbound, did not make the curve for some reason. Sailed through a sign bolted on the sidewalk, then continued up that side street and rammed into/alongside the garage.”

Katie reports that photo was taken right after a tow-truck operator pulled the trash/recycling container out from under the car. No word of arrests.