month : 05/2012 328 results

West Seattle Crime Watch update: Police search in Admiral

helicopterwatch.png11:40 PM: Just got a note from Mike about a police search in northeast Admiral – and via the scanner, we’re hearing police asking for the Guardian One helicopter to come help them look. Not sure yet what this is about – nothing involving injury has happened, per the 911 log – but will update, and wanted to forewarn you about the chopper.

11:47 PM UPDATE: Per both scanner and text, the search is currently in the Fairmount Ravine area. There’s a K-9 team, too.

11:58 PM UPDATE: Chopper’s clearing out, per scanner.

12:10 AM UPDATE: We still don’t have official word back from SPD about how this all started but some scanner traffic regarding a stolen car (whose owner is being called for retrieal) may be matching up with what a commenter is seeing in the 39th/Olga area.

FRIDAY 2:16 PM: Finally, the answer: YES, it was the stolen-car search, according to Det. Mark Jamieson with SPD’s media-relations unit. He says this all started when an officer saw someone running out of the white Subaru on SW Olga – she thought that looked suspicious, so she ran the car’s plate and discovered it had been stolen (from the North End a few days ago). She called for “containment” – officers basically swarming the area to try to catch the suspect – and they also called for the Guardian One helicopter, which isn’t always up, but was last night. No luck finding the suspect, but an officer stayed with the vehicle till its owner showed up to claim it – Det. Jamieson points out that when you report a stolen car, you can tell police either that you want to be called to come get it if/when it’s found, or that you are OK with them having it impounded.

WestSide Baby ‘offering more volunteer opportunities than ever’

They help thousands of local families … but they can’t do it without help from you … and tonight, WestSide Baby has a new call for volunteers “ages 8-108”:

Come Volunteer at WestSide Baby – Our Community’s Children Need You More Than Ever!

WestSide Baby is increasing our Volunteer hours and we need your help! The need is growing and our ability to respond to that is also growing. We are offering more volunteer opportunities than ever before and we hope you will consider helping out, either regularly or by dropping in when it’s convenient for you.

Read More

Followup: Timeline for SW Alaska street-parking changes in Junction/Triangle

(WSB photo from Tuesday)
More information from SDOT tonight on the timeline for street-parking changes along SW Alaska in The Junction and The Triangle, plus a section of 35th SW. Two days ago, we reported on the “no parking after June 4th” signs (above) that had appeared; tonight, SDOT says street parking WILL be removed along SW Alaska between California and 42nd starting Monday, but that other restrictions will not kick in until the “rechannelization” work does – though you will see some signs-in-waiting. Ahead, full text of the latest update:Read More

West Seattle development: Rocksport, losing lease sooner than expected, to close in July

Rocksport, the Junction sports bar/grill that’s on the site of the future two-building Equity Residential development along SW Alaska between 42nd and California, has set a closing date: July 15th. We contacted its owners after a tip from WSB reader Jim, and got a call back this afternoon from co-owner Shannon Beeman. She says they received word that all leases would be terminated on July 31st – though they had thought they had till fall to clear out. So after some discussion, she told WSB, including talking with their employees, they have decided to close after July 15th, the last day of West Seattle Summer Fest and traditionally their busiest weekend of the year. She says that sometime between July 16th and 31st, they plan to auction off not only the restaurant supplies and kitchen equipment, but also a lot of memorabilia. The Rocksport – as you’ll note atop their home page – has been in business 16 years. We have a message out to Equity Residential to ask whether this means the construction timetable is moving up; in January, they would say only that they expected to start before year’s end.

FRIDAY NIGHT POSTSCRIPT: Here’s a touching tribute to the Rocksport, written by Jennifer Balogh, wife of DJ Tony B of karaoke fame.

Multiple-murder investigation: Police say suspect contacted ‘acquaintance’ in West Seattle

(Click “play” above to see the archived video of the briefing)
2:29 PM: Coming up shortly – announced for 2:30 pm but might not start on time – police leadership and the mayor are scheduled to present another briefing with new information about yesterday’s multiple murders in North Seattle and on First Hill, followed by the suspect’s suicide in West Seattle (our afternoon/evening Wednesday coverage is here). Seattle Channel says it’ll broadcast the briefing live, so we’re putting up the video window now – when the briefing begins, you should be able to see it by clicking the “play” button. Our partners at the Seattle Times have learned more about the people who were murdered – you can find the latest links on their home page. Toplines from today’s briefing, as they come.

2:40 PM UPDATE: The briefing has yet to begin, but the City Attorney’s Office has sent the media a packet of background on suspect Ian Stawicki‘s history – both with guns, and with crime. Regarding the former, he had a concealed-weapons permit from Kittitas County, and was listed as owning six guns. For the latter, he was cited for a gun violation, and had a domestic violence arrest, in which the victim did not want to press charges. (For those still wondering why he ended up here, for what it’s worth, there is nothing in the documentation that indicates any ties to West Seattle.)

2:46 PM UPDATE: The briefing has begun. Deputy Chief Nick Metz, who briefed reporters at the West Seattle scene that ended a violent and tragic day, says he has viewed the video recording of the shootings that killed four at Cafe Racer in the north end, and he has “never seen anything more horrific.” He says over the course of the day it became “a citywide crisis” and he is giving praise to the police and fire personnel who were so busy with everything that happened over the span of 5 hours – including the dispatchers, the “unsung heroes,” he calls them. “Those dispatchers are the lifeline to the community and to our officers.” Next, he says, Assistant Chief Jim Pugel will explain where the investigation stands.

2:52 PM: A/Chief Pugel says the investigation is open and will likely remain so for several weeks, even though SPD is “confident” that Stawicki is the “only” suspect in the two shootings that killed five people. He is now going back over the timeline, starting with the first 911 call at 11:01 am. He too mentions watching the video, and saying, “in 30 years of doing this, I’ve never seen anything like that.” And he says “there is a hero” – who was sitting next to the suspect “when the suspect started shooting … and picked up a stool and threw it at the suspect … picked up another stool and hit the suspect … During that time two, possibly three people, made their escape .. so he saved three lives.” The first call about the second shooting came in at 11:32 am, says the assistant chief. He says they’re not sure what route the suspect traveled to get to West Seattle. He says a “lady warned him” that he was parked in a “tow zone. … He contacted an old acquaintance in SW Seattle and roamed in very crowded areas for some time. This former acquaintance did not know what had happened, said he was acting erratically, talking nonsense, and this acquaintance broke off the contact. Once that acquaintance heard the information on the suspect, they immediately contacted us.” Once a photo was distributed, an intel officer saw him, “could not make a safe stop,” so backups were called in … and as they approached him, “that’s when he … killed himself,” says the assistant chief, now taking questions.

3:01 PM: The two guns found were both .45 caliber semi-automatic handguns, says Pugel, during Q/A. He is asked more about the heroism he mentioned, and what was on the video of the shooting. Stawicki, he said, put a victim’s hat on his head, after “complet(ing) the shooting,” and walked out. The hero also provided “critical information,” he said. It will be up to the hero to decide whether to speak to the media or identify himself publicly, he also has said. Stawicki was “calm” during the shootings, he added. The woman who owned the Mercedes SUV he drove here was apparently getting a parking receipt when she encountered Stawicki, he says. They are not sure yet how he got from the café to that scene in 8th/Seneca – whether by car or by bus or some other way. Why he chose to abandon the car where he did, on Delridge, they don’t yet know. Why were schools allowed to dismiss students with him still on the loose? Pugel says, we had no idea where he was, we always leave it up to the school to be the final arbiter on when they release. He says they made sure top police brass were in contact and had officers at schools that decided to let out. They are not sure whether Stawicki was currently living in Seattle or elsewhere. He did choose specifically to go to West Seattle, the assistant chief said.

3:12 PM: And after the mayor was asked about gun laws and attitudes – he reiterated that there has to be a change in the attitude that it’s OK to walk around armed – the news conference ended. When the Seattle Channel archives the video for playback, we’ll re-add it to this story; everything that was said about the West Seattle angle is included above.

3:42 PM: Two postscripts. One, we have added the above photo – police said that a “bag” was the item that linked the two shootings; no description provided, but WSB’s Christopher Boffoli points out he photographed the one above at the scene. Also, the information provided by police today seems to corroborate a phone call we received yesterday, not long before everything ended with the 37th/Raymond suicide, from a WSB reader who said a friend of hers had called her because she had been contacted by someone she knew, who needed a ride, but was acting strangely; the caller said her friend later heard more about the shootings and wondered if that person was the shooter, so she contacted police. The caller told us her friend had mentioned a name … “Ian.”

4:33 PM: SPD Blotter tells a little more about the Café Racer hero’s story. Meantime, Seattle Public Schools has sent a letter elaborating on their security procedures – read on:Read More

Open letter: School counselors ask for community support

Madison Middle School counselor Lauren Divina asked to share this with the community, regarding a school-system budget-cut effect you might not have heard about. We are publishing her open letter in its entirety, ahead:Read More

Greenpeace Esperanza anchors off West Seattle as organization hit with Shell restraining order

(Wednesday photo by Don Brubeck)
Since the Greenpeace Esperanza appeared off Duwamish Head yesterday, we’ve been trying to find out exactly what it’s here for, but in e-mail exchanges with WSB’ers, we speculated that it might be related to the expected-soon departure of two Shell drillships/rigs from Vigor on Harbor Island, off to drill in the Arctic. Here’s new evidence that’s likely what’s up. While Greenpeace has yet to answer our inquiry, the maritime-news service gCaptain reports that it’s just been hit with a restraining order by Shell, ordering Greenpeace to stay away from the company’s rigs. They are the Noble Discoverer, which arrived here in April (WSB coverage here), and the Kulluk, which has been at Vigor since last July. A Shell spokesperson told WSB in April that both rigs would likely leave here “sometime in June.”

4 PM UPDATE: Greenpeace has responded to our inquiry with its news release about the ship’s arrival in Seattle, mentioning that it’s anchored “just outside the federally mandated … exclusion zone” – read on:Read More

Video: Homes torn down at West Seattle Junction development site

(Photos by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
Two days after the “no parking” signs went up and the construction fence was pushed out to the street – as reported here Tuesday – demolition has begun at the Junction site of the mixed-use development Oregon 42, along the east side of 42nd SW, south of SW Oregon. One of the three houses on the site was already down by the time Christopher Boffoli took his first photos today; two more will be demolished.

The site originally held a fourth home, but it was moved to a new location in a much-chronicled overnight operation two years ago (this development has been in the works for four years). When we talked to Oregon 42’s San Diego-based developers two weeks ago, after the first round of fencing went up, they told us they expected to move right into excavation and construction after demolition, with the building expected to take almost a year and a half to complete.

ADDED 11:40 AM: Christopher’s video from this morning:

The three homes, by the way, were almost a century old – King County records say the northernmost one was built in 1914, the house next door in 1915, and the one south of that, in 1913. Some materials had been salvaged before demolition; we saw a Second Use crew at the site before the fencing first went up in mid-May.

West Seattle Thursday: What’s up today/tonight

Via the WSB West Seattle Events Calendar – just a few things scheduled:

TODDLER STORY TIME AT LOCAL LIBRARIES: Two sessions today (like other library events – free!) – 11 am at Southwest Branch (35th and Henderson), 11:30 am at High Point Branch (35th and Raymond).

WINE TASTING: Tonight’s the weekly free tasting at West Seattle Cellars (WSB sponsor), 5:30-8 pm (details here).

FAMILY LITERACY NIGHT AT SANISLO: Celebrate students’ work and summer reading! 6-7:30 pm (details in the calendar listing).

FUTURE OF PUBLIC EDUCATION: Sanislo teacher Marquita Prinzing is among the panelists for a discussion tonight that’s not happening in West Seattle, but also involves local organizers: “Moving Forward in Public Education: Ideas That Work,” presented by Parents Across America, 6:30 pm at Rainier Beach High School‘s auditorium (map and address in the listing).

WEST SEATTLE’S ONLY BURLESQUE: The monthly show is tonight at Skylark Café and Club (3803 Delridge Way SW), 9 pm. $7 advance (check here online), $9 door, 21+.

West Seattle 7th grader reaches out to help soldier – his ex-coach

After a jarring day – here’s a heartening story we had intended to publish much earlier, till breaking news swept that plan away. A Holy Rosary School 7th grader named Kyle Joyce is reaching out to help, once again. We heard from him about a different charity effort last fall – and now he, friends, and schoolmates are joining forces to help a former baseball coach that Kyle says has been recalled to active-duty military service. They are having a garage sale on Saturday to raise money, and they are also collecting items. Read on:Read More

Ongoing coverage: ‘Lone suspect in murders’ shoots himself in West Seattle as police move in

(TOPLINE SUMMARY: Police say the shootings that killed 4 on Roosevelt in North Seattle and 1 at 8th/Seneca are linked; they happened in the 11 am hour. Around noon, a black Mercedes SUV linked to the latter was found in 4100 block of Delridge. Searches ensued. Then the suspect turned up in 37th/Raymond area; as police moved in, they say, he shot himself.)

12:05 PM: According to the scanner, a vehicle potentially linked to a shooting downtown less than an hour ago has been found on Delridge Way SW, not far from the bridge.

12:09 PM UPDATE: A containment area is being set up in a wide area around the reported vehicle discovery in the 4100 block – traffic is being blocked across a wide area. Scanner traffic says the vehicle was unoccupied but a major search is under way. This apparently was the shooting that happened at 8th and Seneca within the past hour – the second shooting in the city today. More to come.

12:13 PM UPDATE: There is a news chopper from Channel 7 over the SUV in question and KIRO reports that at least one gun has been spotted inside, from their aerial vantage point. We are monitoring KIRO radio and they say the shooting at 8th and Seneca has turned fatal – a woman was shot after some kind of “disturbance.” They say police do not believe at this point that the First Hill shooting was related to another deadly shooting in the city earlier this morning, 2 people killed in the U District.

12:16 PM UPDATE: We have just reached the south end of Youngstown and traffic is being detoured uphill. Huge amount of flashing lights visible along blocked-off Delridge in front of Youngstown. Chopper audible overhead. We’ve parked relatively nearby and WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand has gone down the hill to see/find out what he can.

12:25 PM UPDATE: Police have yellow tape up roughly from the middle of Youngstown Arts Center, telling people to stay out of the area. Southwest Precinct operations Lt. Pierre Davis is on scene. They’re staging media. Also, we are trying to verify possible school lockdowns/sheltering in place – our son at Chief Sealth International High School, at least 2 miles from the vehicle discovery, says they are sheltering in place.

12:40 PM UPDATE: Seattle Times says a home is being searched in Delridge/Genesee area. Seattle Public Schools says “Sealth, Denny, Lafayette and Pathfinder@Cooper are in shelter in place” mode. Also, a parent has forwarded us an e-mail saying Holy Rosary is in lockdown. Thanks for sharing any information you have on school status – we are harvesting and monitoring as best we can.

12:53 PM UPDATE: If you have trouble getting the site, our apologies, traffic flood, we are working with our server to try to open more gateways. We also are updating key info on Twitter and Facebook – and Police now have SWAT units in the area but there is no word of an arrest yet.

1:02 PM UPDATE: Police continue to search homes in North Delridge. Meantime, we are told that in addition to the four schools SPS listed, Sanislo also is sheltering in place. The suspect in this incident is described by citywide media as white male, 35-years-old, blonde crew cut. If any sort of photo or better description is made available – Seattle Police have not put anything out on their social media or blog-format site – we will of course post it. Right now, it’s all focused on searching.

(All photos from this one forward are by Christopher Boffoli for WSB unless otherwise credited)
1:15 PM UPDATE: Additional school lockdowns – Seattle Lutheran, Hope Lutheran, per Hope’s principal. Tilden, per a commenter. OLG and Westside, no, per the information we have – they are outside the zone of concern. Again, NO ONE IN WEST SEATTLE HAS BEEN HURT OR THREATENED AT THIS POINT – important to say that – police found the vehicle linked to 8th/Seneca shooting but have not found the suspect. Also note that North Delridge buses are being rerouted – the 120 and we believe 125, up Andover at last report. (updated) Westside School says via FB that they ARE taking safety precautions just in case. We also have a report via Twitter that Gatewood may be sheltering in place too, trying to verify that with SPS central.

1:29 PM UPDATE: Community School of WS also reported to be in shelter in place. Meantime, there was a brief flurry of activity at the search scene, a possible suspicious person at Youngstown – who turned out to be a worker, according to our crew there, so all the media has now retreated from that. It’s been about two hours now since the shooting to which the SUV found here is believed to be linked, at 8th/Seneca, leaving a woman dead – here’s the latest from our partners at the Seattle Times. Police now say it appears the victim was arguing with a man before the shooting – early reports of a carjacking don’t seem to have borne out, but keep in mind, witness reports etc. can change. What has complicated all this is that it was the second deadly shooting of the morning in the city – a half-hour earlier, a man shot five people – two of whom have died – at a café in the U District. Police have not said if there’s possibly any link between the two incidents.

(North Delridge, SW Yancy vicinity, 1:30 pm)
1:43 PM UPDATE: From Seattle Public Schools regarding the end of the school day, spokesperson Teresa Wippel says, “We are planning on regular release times and don’t anticipate delays in transportation home. The city has blocked certain streets and our buses will follow the safe, alternate routes as needed.” SW Precinct Lt. Davis has just talked with media crews including ours and we are asking a followup about the closed roads and access to areas including Pigeon Point. Stand by for whatever we find out.

1:52 PM UPDATE: Northbound Delridge has JUST been reopened at the scene in 4100-4400 Delridge. Re: Pigeon Point, we are told by police that Andover is open. ALSO – per scanner – schools in this area will be notified that lockdowns are not currently requested (though keep in mind, schools are always free to take whatever precautions they feel is best for their students’ safety – this is just a matter of whether they want to know if police think they SHOULD be sheltering in place/locked down).

(Photo by Patrick Sand for WSB)
2:01 PM UPDATE: Scene is starting to clear. Tow truck has arrived to impound the vehicle (photo added). Getting more word of schools lifting shelter-in-place. Police do confirm finding a weapon in the SUV.

2:30 PM UPDATE: Southbound Delridge also is now open. Meantime, police have checked out a couple reports of suspicious men matching the suspect description – one was at the golf course; our crews went there but it did not appear to be the guy. Now there’s a location that’s being checked out which for now we will describe as uphill to the west a ways from where the vehicle was found.

2:43 PM UPDATE: No confirmed breaks in the case yet. Mayor, police chief leadership have announced 3:30 pm briefing on today’s shootings. If it’s carried by Seattle Channel, we will embed the live video on WSB too; waiting to hear. The U-District shooting has claimed a third life, it was just announced. That’s four people dead in today’s two shootings – U District 11 am, 8th/Seneca at 11:30 am.

2:50 PM UPDATE: After yet another possible sighting of someone suspicious, police are now searching in the Luna Park/Bridge area, which we would advise avoiding for a while.

3:20 PM UPDATE: That search appears to be winding down. Police are now headed to Westwood to check out a possible guy standing along SW Barton with a holstered gun. We expect to be able to embed the video of the upcoming 3:30 pm mayor/police briefing here, by the way, in case you’re interested in watching it.

3:30 PM: Here it is – just click the “play” button to tap into the live webcast. We’ll add a few text highlights as we hear them:

>(Late night note: This is now the archived video of this afternoon’s briefing)

3:44 PM: Briefing under way. The mayor spoke briefly, saying police need “the tools they need to do their job” and also expressing concern about it being “too easy” to get guns. Councilmember Bruce Harrell, who chairs the Public Safety Committee, suggests “gun dropoffs.”

3:50 PM: Assistant Chief Jim Pugel says there are three scenes and many detectives are out at them: “We are doing everything possible” to solve today’s deadly shootings and “identify the persons who are responsible for these crimes.”

3:52 PM: We are not sure if it’s related but a shooting is reported now at 37th and Raymond. We’re en route. WSB’s Megan Sheppard is at the scene. She says the medics are arriving.

3:57 PM: KING describes the person who’s been shot as “possible suspect in downtown shooting” and says the person is “in custody.” Police describe this as an officer-involved shooting, via Twitter.

4:03 PM: SPD assistant chief at televised briefing says this was believed to be the NORTH END suspect and now they say the gunshot was believed to be SELF-INFLICTED.

4:09 PM: Assistant Chief Pugel came back with more information. Police with photos of North End suspect had spotted what they believed to be him – and as police move in, he says, the man knelt in the street, pulled out gun, shot himself. He still is saying they’re acting on the assumption there were two different suspects – this one and the one from the 8th/Seneca shooting. WSB’s Megan Sheppard is also at the shooting scene and says one key difference in the descriptions is a beard – would seem difficult for someone to change facial hair with two shootings half an hour and some distance apart. Here’s the roadblock near this shooting scene:

4:27 PM: The photos that police had procured of the North End shooting suspect – whom they believe to be the man who shot himself here – are on the SPD website but that’s jammed up right now so you can also check out Per KIRO, suspect is en route to hospital and was alive at last report – we didn’t hear medic transmissions via scanner but they have the advantage of a chopper.

(This photo, next photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
4:37 PM: Police have tweeted that detectives are investigating a possible connection between today’s two shootings. More info is promised shortly. A briefing at the scene was expected at any minute. We’ll add whatever our crew hears there, and we’ll have the entire briefing on video once they’re back from the scene.

4:45 PM: Suspect is now reported dead, and citywide media is quoting authorities as saying it’s believed he was linked to both shootings. Seattle Police also has said that in briefing just concluded at scene. And via Twitter, they say “evidence” links the two incidents. The earlier SPD Blotter post with photos is now accessible here.

4:58 PM: Police now call the man the “lone suspect in 4 murders.” No identifying information public so far as we’ve seen, but we are starting to hear more about the victims – here’s the Times story about a man who survived the North End shooting.

5:15 PM: The Times also has published a map showing where this all unfolded. You can see it here. Here’s our unedited video of Deputy Chief Nick Metz’s briefing at the 37th/Raymond shooting scene last hour:

5:44 PM: Police now say, via Twitter, the suspect is still alive at Harborview Medical Center.

5:54 PM: He’s just been identified, according to KIRO. Looking for a spelling so we may have to correct this, but they identified him as Ian Stawicki. The Times also has that name, quoting police sources, and is continuing to add information about his background.

8:21 PM: Catching up after a break. Adding more photos from earlier to this coverage. A few updates: Police now say the SUV that the murder suspect apparently ditched on Delridge was indeed stolen from the woman who was shot and killed. West Seattle Summer Fest event producer Oliver Little says in comments that two of the North End victims were members of the band The Bad Things, which played the festival last year; we found that verified on the band’s Facebook page. Otherwise, we haven’t yet learned anything about why Stawicki chose to head this way.

8:58 PM: And another update: KING 5 quotes a Harborview Medical Center spokesperson as saying that Stawicki has died as well as a fourth victim from the North End café shooting. That means 6 people dead, including the suspected killer.

10:19 PM: Earlier this evening, our friends at Capitol Hill Seattle reported that the First Hill victim was identified in an e-mail sent to families at her daughters’ school – a 52-year-old mom.

Trailblazing and dialogue-sparking, in K-5 STEM at Boren Design Team’s 3rd month

(K-5 STEM at Boren principal Dr. Shannon McKinney, center, leading last night’s meeting)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Every decision, every discussion, is a momentous one, if you happen to be creating a new school from scratch.

If you happen to be creating one that is the first of its kind in the state’s largest school district – only the second of its kind in the region – then those decisions may seem magnified.

Yet the atmosphere was relatively relaxed last night as the Design Team for opening-this-fall K-5 STEM at Boren continued its third month of meetings (here’s our coverage of their first one in March).

The team already has made big decisions, such as pursuing Singapore Math.

Principal Dr. Shannon McKinney has made big decisions too, including her first staff hires – among them the celebrated Schmitz Park Elementary math teacher who fought to get Singapore Math there.

And Tuesday night’s agenda at Madison Middle School (now the team’s regular meeting site) brought not only more discussions, but also the start of a dialogue – uniforms, or no uniforms?

Read More

West Seattle Wednesday: From off-ramps to owling

Those owls were photographed this week in Fauntleroy Park, according to Flickr member Inohuri, who shared images via the West Seattle Blog group pool. An owling walk through another local park is one of the highlights for today/tonight from the WSB West Seattle Events Calendar, but we begin with a road reminder:

OFF-RAMP REMINDER FOR EASTBOUND SPOKANE STREET VIADUCT: In case you’ve missed (or forgotten) the previous reminders, including this one from last night, today’s the day … That also means northbound bus reroutes in SODO (the advisory’s linked from our preview story, too).

BARTON PUMP STATION PRE-CONSTRUCTION MEETING: Major work is about to begin on the project to expand the capacity of the King County Wastewater Treatment Division’s pump station just north of the Fauntleroy ferry dock. Tonight, as previewed again earlier this morning, the county promises to discuss timelines, effects, and other updated details at a community meeting, 6;30 pm, Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW).

DENNY/SEALTH JAZZ CONCERT: The first of three Wednesday night student concerts by Chief Sealth International High School and Denny International Middle School musicians in the Sealth auditorium (2600 SW Thistle) is tonight, 7 pm, featuring the schools’ jazz groups.

OWLING IN SCHMITZ PARK: Naturalist Stewart Wechsler plans a walk through Schmitz Park tonight to seek out, and talk about, its owls. 8 pm; more details on his website.

COMEDY QUARTET, THREE-FOURTHS FROM WEST SEATTLE: Mona Concepcion, Cait Parks, and Jeffrey Robert are West Seattleites and also happen to be 3 of the 4 G’s comedy group performing tonight at Wing It in the U-District. They’re hoping friendly faces from the peninsula will be in the crowd. 8 pm; details and ticket link here.

Barton Pump Station project in Fauntleroy: Ferry-dock effects today; meeting tonight

An all-day traffic alert for the Fauntleroy ferry dock and vicinity is one of two events making news today regarding the just-about-to-start Barton Pump Station Upgrade Project. The map above, provided by King County, shows how the north-side lane on the dock will be out of commission today, 6 am-4 pm, for electrical work related to the project. Here’s the official flyer, which notes there’ll be a flagger on hand to make sure traffic keeps moving, on and around the dock.

Then tonight at 6:30 pm, anyone and everyone interested is invited to a community meeting for updates on the 2-year construction project just before major work begins, bringing not only traffic effects, but also the closure of the Cove Park pocket beach north of the dock, as the underground station gets 50 percent more capacity, a new generator, and other upgrades. The meeting’s at Fauntleroy Church, 9140 California SW (here’s the online version of the postcard that brought first word of the meeting two weeks ago; here’s a county news release with an overview).

West Seattle libraries: Teens invited to join Summer Reading Program

May 30, 2012 12:09 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle libraries: Teens invited to join Summer Reading Program
 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

Teen Services librarian Wally Bubells from the West Seattle (Admiral) Library shares this invitation for all local teens – no matter which library they frequent:

The Seattle Public Library’s 2012 Teen Summer Reading Program, Century 22: Map the Future, kicks off on Friday, June 1. The annual program, which continues through Sunday, Aug. 26, encourages everyone to read during the summer. This year we have multiple ways for teens to participate:

1) Read three books, review them, and enter a drawing to win an e-reader.

2) Play our scavenger hunt by finding books hidden all over the city, read them, and re-hide them for another teen to find.

3) Enjoy our great programs. Whether you’re into gaming, trivia, crafting, or art, one of our excellent programs will match your interests.

Stay up to date with what’s happening for teens by visiting Push to Talk, our blog written for teens by teens and the librarians who serve them.

The 2012 Teen Summer Reading Program is sponsored by The Seattle Public Library Foundation.

The Summer Reading Program also includes hundreds of free programs for people of all ages at various locations. For more information, call 206-386-4636 or Ask a Librarian.

West Seattle has four library branches – they (and the others around the city) are mapped and listed here.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Mail theft; tagging; cars … cased?

Three West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports tonight – mail theft, vandalism, and suspicious early-morning behavior around neighborhood cars – read on:Read More

‘No parking’ signs for 2 Junction projects: RapidRide and Oregon 42

Whole lot of new “no parking” signs in the eastern section of The Junction, and part of The Triangle. Here’s what they’re about:

SW ALASKA RECHANNELIZATION FOR RAPIDRIDE: After seeing the “no parking allowed as of June 4th” signs along SW Alaska today, we checked with SDOT to confirm that they’re for the upcoming “rechannelization” related to the approaching start of RapidRide bus service. Yes, they are, said SDOT’s Marybeth Turner, but – the date on them “is now incorrect,” she said, so “they will be removed. We don’t want to restrict parking before all the elements are in place, and before we have the stretch of fair weather that we need to apply the required pavement markings, which will be sometime in June. … Starting Monday, crews plan to begin installing permanent “no parking” signs that will be hooded until the parking restriction is implemented.” She also sent this copy of a flyer handed out to area businesses. If you missed earlier coverage of the rechannelization – it will remove more than half the street parking along SW Alaska between 35th and California (60 of 107 spaces), while adding a transit lane (more explanation, here). When the work starts, SDOT’s project manager Mike Ward has said, it’ll take about four days for the restriping work.

Not related, but happening less than a block north of SW Alaska:

CONSTRUCTION IMMINENT FOR OREGON 42: Two weeks ago, we noted a fence had gone up around the future site of the mixed-use building Oregon 42 at 42nd/Oregon, and checked in with the site’s San Diego-based owners/developers, who told us (here’s our May 18th story) that demolition of the 3 homes remaining on the site (including the two in our photo) was indeed soon to start, segueing immediately into excavation and construction. Today, the fence was moved out to the edge of the sidewalk, which is now closed along the site on the east side of 42nd SW, and “No Parking Mondays-Fridays 7 am-4 pm” signs are attached; in an even more telltale sign of imminent construction, the Honey Bucket arrived today, too. We’ll be on the lookout for the start of demolition.

West Seattle ice cream: New in Delridge and The Junction

With the official start of summer only 3 weeks away, 2 ice-cream notes:

FULL TILT ON DELRIDGE: Martin’s Way at Delridge and Findlay is now carrying Full Tilt Ice Cream, per a tweet this afternoon. We first told you a week ago about the Martin’s Way produce partnership with Tony’s Market, and now the store has expanded its offerings – which also include spices and grains/legumes – by stocking ice cream, too.

CUPCAKE ROYALE ADDS ICE CREAM: Per a news release this afternoon, CR is adding 14 flavors of ice cream to its product line soon – no cones/scoops in West Seattle, but they plan to have pre-packed pints as well as ice-cream sandwiches. (This announcement reminds us of the trivia point that Cupcake Royale’s Junction location at California/Alaska is a former ice-cream parlor, with Ben and Jerry’s there for a while in the ’00s.)

Next up at ArtsWest: Back to the ’80s with ‘Xanadu’

Going through theater withdrawal? The next production at ArtsWest is just four weeks away, and today we’ve received the official announcement of “Xanadu” – yes, as in the roller-disco classic. Read on:Read More

West Seattle Bridge update: Ramp switch a ‘go’ for Wed.

(Friday photo of the Spokane Street Viaduct – top of the photo is the east end – by Long Bach Nguyen)
We just confirmed with SDOT‘s Paul Elliott, spokesperson for the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project, that the plan to switch open offramps on the eastbound side is a “go” for tonight.

This means that starting tomorrow morning, if you use the eastbound SSV (the West Seattle Bridge between 99 and I-5), the 4th Avenue South offramp will be OPEN, while the 1st Avenue South offramp will be CLOSED, a reverse of what it’s been for the last few weeks. This is required as they continue to repair and resurface the old – south – side of the elevated structure (we explained the work in this April report). Elliott says they’re still projecting the 1st Avenue ramp will be closed about two and a half weeks, but “it could slip.” The westbound SSV, he reminds us, will be closed most of the weekend June 9th-10th (6 pm Saturday 6/9 through 5 am Monday 6/11).

The entire SSV project is currently expected to be complete by early September; while the new 1st Avenue South on/offramp on the west side will be usable by emergency vehicles soon, it will not be open to general traffic until the project is complete, because of the need for transition space for regular traffic to get on and off, which won’t be available till the full width of the newly widened bridge is in use.

ADDED 2:17 PM: A commenter wondered about Metro reroutes – yes, there are some, and here’s the full list.

Hope Lutheran student readers benefit from furry friend

(Olympia takes a study break)

Story and photos by Jason Grotelueschen
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Reading books out loud is a familiar task for elementary-school students, but 2nd-graders at Hope Lutheran School often find a particularly friendly 4-legged visitor in the classroom to make the experience a bit more special.

On most Thursdays during the school year, a gentle 5-year-old yellow lab named Olympia pays a 1-hour visit to the classroom along with her handler, Caryn Burnett Ridings, as students like Olivia Turner (all pictured below) take turns reading their favorite books aloud:

Read More

West Seattle scene: Thriftway shopping-spree winner

If you were at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) about half an hour ago and noticed a bit of commotion – here’s what and who it as all about: Posing with one of his two shopping carts of merchandise, Joe Michael, a Morgan Junction resident who won the Thriftway raffle for a $500 shopping spree – for products by Western Family (which distributes more than 3,600 private-label products), who had reps on hand for the occasion too.

2 more transportation alerts: Aurora Bridge; state ferries

May 29, 2012 10:26 am
|    Comments Off on 2 more transportation alerts: Aurora Bridge; state ferries
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

Two more transportation alerts beyond the Spokane Street Viaduct info in the morning preview – First, early-early-early-morning drivers/bicyclists/etc. beware – Highway 99 will be closed 11:59 pm tonight to 5 am Wednesday NORTH of the Battery Street Tunnel because the Aurora Bridge is being lifted for some quakeproofing work (similar to what was done on the Fauntleroy Expressway end of the West Seattle Bridge months ago) … Also, thanks to Donna for letting us know about this alert – the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferry run is down to 2 boats again today, because of mechanical problems with the Sealth. Here’s the official 2-boat schedule.