month : 09/2011 343 results

West Seattle scene: The man from the marquee, at Easy Street Records

Easy Street Records‘ West Seattle Junction marquee hasn’t changed in a month – retaining a message commemorating the release of the “West Memphis 3,” three men freed last month after spending 18 years in prison for murders that many believe they didn’t commit. Last night, Easy Street proprietor Matt Vaughan tweeted the photo you see above, identifying the man in front of the marquee as one of the three, 34-year-old Jason Baldwin. He didn’t say more about Baldwin’s visit – but there was already a WS tie: You probably already know that West Seattle-based rock superstar and Easy Street denizen Eddie Vedder was a leading advocate for setting the three free.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen car to watch for; burglary report

Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports tonight, one from the north, one from the south. First – the last stolen car reported here was found by a commenter, and Louie hopes this one will be too:

Last night between 11 pm and 7 am our car was stolen from our driveway on 42nd and Hanford. It was parked just feet from our house and we have a motion light there but it was not enough to stop them. It is a gray Mitsubishi Endeavor 2005 with a cracked front windshield. License # 376-SWA. Please call police with any information!!

And from Rudy:

Wanted to report that a friend who lives on 31st Ave. SW just south of Thistle had her home broken into today in the middle of the day. Burglars tore a screen to the kitchen sliding window in the front of the house, climbed through and took a tv, computer, camera and jewelry. A neighbor reported seeing a male loading something into a black VW Golf and then speeding off.

If you have a Block Watch or are interested in forming one – you might want to be at tomorrow night’s meeting of the West Seattle Blockwatch Captains’ Network, 6:30 pm at the Southwest Precinct (Delridge/Webster) – details here.

Followup: 2 West Seattle bridges proposed for temp sensors

(November 22, 2010, photo by Paul)
Would a temperature sensor on the West Seattle Bridge have helped city crews get snow/ice trouble under control sooner in recent years’ storms? Seven bridges would get sensors under a proposal that Mayor McGinn called attention to in his budget-presentation speeches today. Reading even the finest of the fine print on the budget plan, we couldn’t find which seven bridges would be targeted, so we checked in with SDOT. Spokesperson Richard Sheridan says the list is not finalized yet, but the recommendations so far would include not only the “high bridge” but also West Seattle’s “swing” (low) bridge, as well as the Alaskan Way Viaduct and Aurora Bridge. This will all be hashed out over the next two months before the budget plan is finalized; your opportunities to have a say include public hearings, starting with one downtown a week from tomorrow (details here).

Think snow! West Seattle’s Mountain to Sound Outfitters expanding, planning ski/board swap

With autumn rain all day long, can mountain snow be far behind? West Seattle outdoor-sports entrepreneur Greg Whittaker is ready for it. For one, he’s been expanding his Mountain to Sound Outfitters (WSB sponsor) shop in The Triangle, to include space next door that formerly belonged to Westside Auto Repair (which closed because of an owner’s health problems). Greg explains that with the addition of retail-showroom space, “We now will have a less cramped feel when coming into our store to check out the world’s best manufacturers of skis, snowboards, SUPs, kayaks, skates, racks, and more clothing. With the 2011-12 winter order arriving, we definitely need the space. We will also have increased parking!”

He’s putting the finishing touches on the space this week, and then the expansion will be celebrated with a “Grand (Re)Opening” event this weekend. On Saturday, October 1st, they’ll be barbecuing 2-6 pm, and you can dine free with a purchase from the store (otherwise it’s $5). On Sunday, October 2nd, there’s a skateboard raffle and sunglasses giveaway. Even more details (and sample deals) can be found here.

For two, M2SO is getting ready for a Ski and Snowboard Swap event in a few weeks. The Ski/Board Swap dates are October 21st-23rd – starting with gear check-in and pricing that first evening, 4-7 pm; swapping on 10/22 from 10 am-6 pm and on 10/23 from 10 am-3 pm (after that, there will be two hours for check pickup and load-out). Mountain to Sound Outfitters is at 3601 SW Alaska.

3 more chances to shape future of Roxhill Skatespot/Playground

Now that Delridge Skatepark is up and running – the development spotlight turns to the next one in the wings, the “skatespot” (smaller version of a skatepark) at Roxhill Park, and concurrent playground improvements (the beloved castle, at right, is to be replaced). Here’s our report on the first public meeting; three more have just been announced (via postal-mail postcard from the Parks Department), all three at Southwest Library. The skatespot’s “schematic design” will be presented 6 pm October 12th; the playground’s “schematic design” will be presented 6 pm October 17th; and the final design presentations for both will be at one meeting, 6 pm November 14th. Project info’s here.

Mayor’s budget speech #2: This time, the details

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Click anywhere on the image to play the clip – our workaround to avoid the previous “auto-play” problem)

2:06 PM: Mayor McGinn‘s second budget speech of the day is under way – this time, he’s speaking to the City Council, which will spend the next 2 months working on it. Click the “play” button above to join the live feed. (UPDATE: The archived video is now available.) Details are also supposed to be available online here any minute now – we’re continuing to check around and will make note here when the documents are published publicly (then we’ll add toplines while going through them).

2:12 PM: Budget documents now available at the city Finance Department website. The executive summary is here. Speaking to the council, the mayor says his proposal is about “priorities” and “morals,” not just about “balancing” the spending plan.

2:40 PM: Some toplines:

*155 “full-time equivalent” positions cut, 96 of which are currently filled
*43 “full-time equivalent” positions added
*If previous community-policing staffing goals had been met, and if open positions were filled, SPD would have 86 more officers by next year than it will have. Its budget is being cut by $2.4 million. But the budget’s executive summary says that key goals are being met or exceeded – such as “priority 1 call response times,” 6.3 minutes through June compared to the 7-minute goal of the “neighborhood-policing plan.”
*Of interest if you use city parking outside West Seattle (where there is no pay-station/meter parking) – there will be rate changes in some neighborhoods, depending on usage trends. Capitol Hill, for example, will go down; Ballard will go up. The city plans to start a “pay by cell phone” program next year. And parking tickets will cost you more – $44 starting next month, up from $39.
*Various grant programs administered by different departments will come under the umbrella of the Department of Neighborhoods
*Winter preparedness spending will include installation of temperature sensors on seven bridges (we’re still looking for the list)

2:52 PM: Mayor’s speech is over; when archived video is available, we’ll replace it atop this story. In the meantime, we’re reading the SDOT proposal from the full-details budget docs. For those who think the mayor is all-bicycles, all-the-time, note that his previous 2012 proposal called for 300 new bicycle-parking spots; this plan cuts that in half. He also would drop chip-seal maintenance for some non-arterial roads, and will no longer inspect city-owned stairways.

More to come… And remember that the public hearings start one week from tomorrow (October 4th); the schedule and other info about the process is on the City Council’s budget website, here.

West Seattle road work: Still more to do on Avalon Way

September 26, 2011 1:18 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle road work: Still more to do on Avalon Way
 |   Luna Park | Transportation | West Seattle news

Assuming the weather gets better by tomorrow – latest forecast suggests it could – SDOT says the paving work on Avalon Way will continue, and may go into Wednesday as well. According to spokesperson Marybeth Turner, “Lane closures will not last long and flaggers will assist traffic through the work areas. Sidewalks will remain open.”

Jogger-attack suspect Duane Starkenburg back in jail

The West Seattle man waiting to stand trial in connection with allegedly sexually motivated attacks on joggers is back in jail, in connection with a different investigation. We have been working since Friday night to get details on what put Gatewood resident Duane Starkenburg back in jail Friday morning, with the King County Jail Register noting “investigation of child rape.” Police could only tell us that night that there were no new incidents of sexual assault under investigation in the area. Sources subsequently told WSB the investigation apparently involved a past allegation, and the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has just answered the inquiry we sent first thing this morning.

Without going into details that could give clues to the victim’s identity, we will say that probable-cause documents indicate this incident is alleged to have happened about 10 years ago, when the victim was 9 years old (the statute of limitations, we’re told, wouldn’t run out for another 8 years), and that Starkenburg was known to the victim’s family. Starkenburg’s bail is set at $100,000, after a judge found probable cause to keep him in jail pending a charging decision; KCPAO spokesperson Dan Donohoe says they will decide by tomorrow whether to file charges. (We do not usually name suspects before they are charged, but we do evaluate on a case-by-case basis.) Starkenburg is still awaiting trial on the charges filed against him in January for allegedly attacking three female runners/joggers in the Lincoln Park area; he was last in court earlier this month, at which time the case was pushed back another two months, with the trial now tentatively scheduled for November, though court documents indicate that possible plea-bargain “negotiations” had been a factor.

Video: What’s cut, what’s not? Mayor’s budget plan

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Click the image to play the video – our temporary fix for previous “autoplay” problem)

11:25 AM: Click the “play” button to watch Mayor McGinn‘s first of two budget-plan speeches, live. [UPDATED: The clip is now his archived speech, recorded live.] He’s at Seattle Central Community College (and will speak to the City Council inside City Hall at 2 pm), following introductions by people including community-college-system Chancellor Dr. Jill Wakefield, familiar to West Seattle as former South Seattle Community College president. According to his website, details won’t be available until 2 pm – here’s the link to watch; we’ll plan on a separate story then, but if any advance word emerges, we’ll add to this one first.

Mayor’s budget proposal today: Southwest Community Center users already fighting

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

After Mayor McGinn formally presents his budget plan with speeches at 11 and 2 pm today, it’s likely more than a few groups will start mobilizing to challenge parts of it.

One group of city-service users already has a two-week head start: Those who use city-run community centers that are facing major operational/staffing changes. The mayor came to West Seattle two weeks ago today (WSB coverage here) with City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, who chairs the Parks Committee, and acting Seattle Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams to preview that part of the plan, splitting centers into geographic groupings, each of which will retain one or two full-service centers, while the others see varying degrees of cutbacks/changes (all documented here).

Perhaps the most drastic of all is the plan proposed for West Seattle’s Southwest Community Center, which would no longer be a community center, but instead would be reclassified as a Teen Life Center – which is currently part of its operations. And part of its space would be transformed into a new Neighborhood Service Center for the city – replacing the one on Delridge, which would close (as reported here two weeks ago).

“All of us … are stunned” by the SWCC proposal, wrote the center’s Advisory Council president, Tom Foley, in a letter to the City Council. (Read his entire letter here.)

Among them – a group whose relationship with and use of Southwest Community Center would seem to embody what the city has said it’s seeking, partnerships with community members/groups that maximize use of a facility and bring in revenue.

This group is the Family Learning Program, serving more than 130 kids and their homeschooling families, which has seen major growth since it launched last winter, and was hoping to expand its program to more days – until this proposal put it under a cloud of doubt.

And it’s only one of the programs based at the center, serving customers diverse in everything from ethnicity to age, with regular programs and special events including the annual luau presented by the local Pacific Islander community:

(Photo courtesy Tom Foley)
Read More

West Seattle Monday: From budgets to bingo

(Mallard duck, photographed by Bill Bacon)
No weather alerts in effect this morning, but it’s still expected to be wet and breezy – you can check conditions on the WSB Weather page any time. Meantime, from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:

BUDGET DAY: Both Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and King County Executive Dow Constantine are announcing their proposed budgets for next year in speeches set to start at 11 this morning. Both events will be broadcast live on their respective cable channels/online streams – Seattle Channel and King County TV.

CLASSES START AT SSCC: In West Seattle’s Puget Ridge neighborhood, South Seattle Community College‘s fall quarter begins.

COOKING CLUB GOES VEGGIE: Vegetarian recipes are the order of the day when West Seattle Cooking Club meets, 2 pm at Beveridge Place Pub in Morgan Junction.

BINGO AT ALKI UCC: The weekly bingo games at Alki UCC Church (62nd and Alki) are back in session! The Hotline for information is [206]935-5950. Doors open at 5:30, games at 6:30, $7 buy-in, and payouts vary according to the number of players.

FAMILY STORY TIME: 7 pm, Family Story Time at the High Point branch of the Seattle Public Library.

RIP Wangari Maathai, Nobel laureate who helped plant trees here

Just heard that the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, environmental/economic/social justice advocate Dr. Wangari Maathai, has died of cancer at age 71 in a Kenyan hospital. Hundreds of West Seattleites have special reason to remember her:

That photo is from four years ago, in September 2007, when Dr. Maathai came here for Earth Summit II. For some of our earliest WSB video coverage, we recorded her helping students from three local schools plant trees at Pelly Place Ravine. (And here’s a great photo of that day, from West Seattle-based, internationally renowned photographer Art Wolfe.) During her lifetime, her community-based-tree-planting advocacy through the Green Belt Movement was credited for more than 40 million new trees.

West Seattle restaurants: Inside Pan Africa Grill, opening Tuesday

Story and photos by Bill “Hutch” Hutchison
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

We had a chance today to catch Mulugeta “Mulu” Abate and his sister Ruth Abate as they put the finishing touches on their new West Seattle venture, Pan Africa Grill, two days away from opening in the former Ho-Win space at California/Juneau.

“The renovation is pretty much complete and we will be ready on Tuesday,” Mulu said. Here’s a sneak peek inside the Pan Africa dining room:

As mentioned in previous coverage – we first reported on this new restaurant back in May – Mulu and his family also own Pan Africa Market in the Pike Place Market area and hope the new West Seattle eatery will be another successful venture.

See more of the renovations, plus a peek at the food, and even the art, ahead:Read More

West Seattle weekend scene: Sleepy seal gets a serenade

As noted here previously, including this report yesterday, seal-pup season is at its height, on beaches all around West Seattle. Wildlife watcher/writer/photographer Trileigh Tucker saw this one today – and mentions this sweet encounter:

There was another seal pup on a West Seattle beach this morning, and a kind passerby named Barbara was caring enough to wait with it until Robin Lindsey of Seal Sitters arrived. I was so touched by how respectful and considerate all the Sunday morning walkers were of this little seal’s need to rest.

I was particularly moved by a little girl, accompanied by her parents, who spontaneously sang to the pup, a wake-up song just like her mother apparently sang to her. If her parents see this, they should know that their daughter gives me hope for our future!

Trileigh’s website Natural Presence tells a longer version of the tale.

West Seattle karate experts co-author ‘How to Win a Fight’

(Photo courtesy Kris Wilder)
They’re veteran karate teachers at West Seattle Karate Academy (35th/Roxbury) – and they’re authors. Kris Wilder (left) and Lawrence Kane are about to release what Kris says is the 10th book between the two of them, “How to Win a Fight.” He says the book “helps you understand what’s worth fighting for, how to win when you must, and how to walk away when you should.” Penguin Books is publishing it, and its release date is October 4th – one week from Tuesday (it’s available for Amazon pre-order now). He says they’ve even been “assigned a promotional team” and might have a couple of book-signing events. Their previous co-authored book, “The Little Black Book of Violence,” came out two years ago, and Kris says it “was a finalist in both ForeWord Magazines’ Book of the Year award and USA Book News’ Best Books award.”

West Seattle weekend scene: Young Seahawks superfans!

September 25, 2011 3:02 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle weekend scene: Young Seahawks superfans!
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle people | WS & Sports

Thanks to Michelle Shillings for sharing the photo of 9-year-old Seahawks superfans (left to right) Roman Saladino and Gabe Clark, before they headed to the game that’s under way right now at CenturyLink Field. “They are true fans, and West Seattle needs to see these two awesome kids,” she writes. Michelle explains that they’ve been up since 6 this morning, pumped to go to the game, and asked her to paint their faces! She is Roman’s mom; she says the boys are at the game with Gabe’s dad Jeff (whom we saw just yesterday as he showed off his brand-new school).

As we publish this, the Hawks are down 10-6 (vs. Arizona) starting the second half, but if anybody can cheer them to a win, it’s these two.

4:23 PM UPDATE: And the Hawks pulled it out! 13-10.

Updates from President Obama’s 4-hour Seattle visit

(President Obama at the Paramount; photos courtesy Cindy S)
11:58 AM: According to our friends at KING 5, President Obama has just arrived at Boeing Field – which means you might encounter motorcade traffic. (Watch their coverage here.) He’s scheduled to head first to a fundraiser on the Eastside and then to another one at the Paramount Theater downtown. According to Seattle Times (WSB partner) political reporter Jim Brunner via Twitter, the president’s welcoming party at Boeing Field includes King County Executive Dow Constantine as well as Mayor McGinn and Governor Gregoire (among others).

1:03 PM: Roads are open right now since the President is in Medina for fundraiser #1, but he’ll be heading back across the lake before too long, and on to the Paramount event. For minute-by-minute traffic updates, check this KING 5 page; also remember we have an array of West Seattle-and-vicinity “live” cameras on the WSB Traffic page.

3:21 PM: Per KING, the President is headed back to Boeing Field right now, after finishing his speech at the Paramount downtown. (Added above – Cindy S’s photo of NBA Hall of Famers Bill Russell and Lenny Wilkens, who introduced him.)

3:58 PM: After four hours on the ground, Air Force One has taken off and President Obama is off to the Bay Area.

Reports on today’s visit: Seattle Times here; LA Times here

West Seattle Sunday: Where to walk, play, shop, listen …

September 25, 2011 10:13 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Sunday: Where to walk, play, shop, listen …
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

A few highlights from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:

FERRY SCHEDULE CHANGE: The fall schedule for Washington State Ferries takes effect today (overview here).

FARMERS’ MARKET: Till 2 pm in The Junction (44th/Alaska).

RUMMAGE SALE: Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation’s Fall Rummage Sale, day 2, till 2 pm (7141 California SW).

MEET THE AUTHOR: Amy Pennington, author of “Urban Pantry” and “Apartment Gardens,” at Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor) in The Junction, 11 am-1 pm (more info here)

NEW GAME GROUP: Forming a new “European strategy board game” group at Uptown Espresso in The Junction, 1 pm – read this story for details, contact info, and a group to join online.

STAIRWAY WALK: Jake and Cathy Jaramillo lead another stairway walk in West Seattle, a loop from Longfellow Creek up to Pigeon Point and back. Free! Meet up at 2 pm at the south parking lot at 26th SW and SW Yancy.

AUSTRIAN-AMERICAN DAY AT THE LONGHOUSE: You’re invited to celebrate Austrian-American Day at the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center, (4705 W. Marginal Way SW), 2 – 4 pm. Longhouse tour, Princess Angeline film, Austrian Zither Music by Fred Mitterndofer, Linzertorte by Richard Williams. Coffee and cake. $6 adults/$5 children.

LIVE MUSIC: Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW) hosts a lively concert for all ages featuring the Ama Trio’s folk-style music from exotic places, 6 pm. More details.

Update: West Seattle power outages after first blustery blast

Thanks to Cluny and Debbie for e-mailing to report a power outage caused by a fallen tree. Seattle City Light‘s status map says it’s affecting at least 27 customers (homes/businesses), in stretches both west and east of the Delridge/Orchard intersection, where Debbie says the signal’s out as a result, and to the south. City Light lists the estimated time of power restoration as 11 am. (Though the wind’s relatively calm at the moment, we have multiple reports of blustery conditions in the 4 am hour, when the tree came down, so this may be the first effect of the storm systems that brought the alert noted here last night.)

9:24 AM UPDATE: Just back from checking it out – adding photos. The entire 4-way intersection of Delridge/Orchard is marked with signs since the signal is out; Orchard/Dumar is closed east of Delridge, since that’s where the City Light crews are working.

The National Weather Service says more blusteriness is on the way.

11:18 AM UPDATE: The City Light map shows two more small outages – one that had been mentioned in comments on our earlier weather report, in the Admiral area, cause “unknown,” and the other further south on Delridge, at Kenyon, listed as “bird/animal”-related.

11:53 AM UPDATE: Just checked the Delridge/Orchard intersection – the traffic signal’s working again, but the road east of Delridge is still closed. Commenter from Admiral says that outage is over too.

EVENING NOTE: The road to the east is fully open again, too.

Seattle Pacific students help brighten Genesee Hill School

(Photos courtesy Janet and Bryan Jones)
On Saturday, dozens of new Seattle Pacific University students converged on West Seattle and White Center worksites as part of SPU’s City Quest day of community service – an annual tradition on the Saturday before classes begin. Hundreds more worked elsewhere in the metro area. The volunteers in these photos were among 23 who pitched in to help on the campus of closed Genesee Hill Elementary, which the Genesee-Schmitz Neighborhood Council has worked hard to keep from becoming rundown. Today, they had help!

Bryan Jones says the volunteers were treated to Husky Deli ice cream as a reward for their labor:

Other local City Quest volunteer sites included Lincoln Park, the West Duwamish Greenbelt (with Nature Consortium), and Hicks Lake in White Center.

High-school football: Seattle Lutheran beats Darrington

The week’s final high-school-football game is in the books: Seattle Lutheran High School beat Darrington HS at West Seattle Stadium tonight, 40-13. Summary and video to come.

ADDED: Game details, ahead:Read More

Partnerships celebrated as Camp Long opens ‘challenge course’

September 24, 2011 9:35 pm
|    Comments Off on Partnerships celebrated as Camp Long opens ‘challenge course’
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

The newly opened Challenge Course at West Seattle’s Camp Long is not only a new park feature, it’s also an example of the new type of partnership that Seattle Parks hopes will help it keep and operate its facilities, even in times of budget misery.

The first phase of the course was officially dedicated and opened with a celebration this afternoon – including the distinctively decorated cake shown above. It’s been a year and a half since the project was first mentioned publicly (at the March 2010 Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting; WSB coverage here). As explained then, and along the way, 4-H partnered with Seattle Parks to make it happen, but they aren’t the only organization that will be using it:

That’s Aparna Rae from Neighborhood House, who said she’ll be using it as part of a youth program that includes mentoring and environmental education. West Seattle-based Safe Futures is another program that expects to use the challenge course. As Parks’ Robb Courtney put it, Camp Long was originally known as an “out of the way place,” and while it’s not so out of the way any more, he called it “the premier place for youth to come to learn about themselves, learn about nature, learn about being part of a team.” (There’s more about ropes courses on the 4-H website.)

West Seattle Weather Watch: Storm alert for Sunday, Monday

On the first full day of fall, the season’s first “Special Weather Statement” is already out. The National Weather Service warns of wet, windy conditions the next two days. Not a major drencher, they say, but the wind will get gusty, and you might want to check to be sure you don’t have anything outside in danger of getting blown around. Read the alert here; also take note of the new WSB Weather page, which already has everything from current conditions to 5-day forecast to tides to sun/moon times. Find it here (or click the “Weather” tab or the temp icon under the sidebar bridge cam).