day : 01/05/2012 13 results

Door-to-door alerts: Solicitor reports, and the rules

Over the past few days, we’ve received multiple reports of door-to-door solicitors – or people claiming to be – working this area. Ahead, some of those reports, and a reminder about the rules, in case somebody turns up at your door:Read More

As-it-happened coverage: West Seattle house fire sends 1 to the hospital; damage estimated at $250,000

(Photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
ORIGINAL 5:29 PM REPORT: Even before seeing the 911 call, our crew saw the smoke from miles north – a house-fire call in the 8400 block of 20th SW (map). We’re on our way.

(Photo courtesy Lisa)
5:34 PM UPDATE: From the scanner – “heavy fire in the basement” of a one-story home; everybody got out of the house safely.

5:40 PM UPDATE: Our crew has arrived and is seeing the flames in the basement, plus lots of smoke, and firefighters on the roof working on ventilation. Via the scanner, we hear two more engines being requested. Adding photos as we get them.

(Photo courtesy Amber, view from the alley)
5:55 PM UPDATE: Flames have broken through the roof. We have two crews on scene.

(Photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
SFD says its crews are in a “defensive position” on the fire now – basically, making sure it doesn’t spread, and taking precautions to ensure firefighters’ safety. The department’s public information officer and investigators are being sent now too.

(Video by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
6:09 PM UPDATE: Not out yet. Firefighters are going back into “offensive” mode, per radio traffic.

6:21 PM UPDATE: One hour after crews arrived, the fire is now deemed under control, but that doesn’t mean it’s out. They’re asking for the Red Cross to help two residents, described as a woman in her 80s and a man in his 50s. Too soon to say how the fire started. (Thanks to those who have shared photos and who texted/e-mailed to be sure we’d heard about this!)

6:33 PM UPDATE: Our crews at the scene have just talked with SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore, who says the residents are an 85-year-old woman and her 59-year-old son. He was taken to the hospital with minor burns suffered while trying to put the fire out himself. (added) Here’s video of his briefing, in its entirety:

6:56 PM UPDATE: The fire is finally declared “tapped” after an hour and a half. According to Moore, crews will likely have to keep “fire watch” through much of the night, which means a crew will remain at the scene just in case of flare-ups.

9:13 PM NOTE: No word yet on the fire’s cause. In comments, Deborah says the fire survivors are her grandmother and uncle, and she is thankful to those who called 911, because her grandmother couldn’t get the call to go through when she tried.

10:27 PM UPDATE: SFD says its investigation determined that “improperly discarded smoking materials” sparked the fire; damage is estimated at $250,000. Here’s the department’s summary, via its Fire Line website.

Meantime – We have more visuals to share, both from neighbors and from our crew; click ahead if interested:Read More

May Day & other ongoing PM commute updates

(Police presence downtown – photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
As promised, we’ll be publishing updates on whether May Day marching/rallying is affecting the commute through downtown, and this way. (Right now, a bout of wild weather has hit – with a hail-infused deluge hitting West Seattle about 10 minutes ago and headed east – though it looks like the sun will return once it moves through). Stay tuned for toplines.

ONGOING COVERAGE: Our partners at the Seattle Times have been publishing quick, short updates here. … The Seattle Police SPD Blotter has published a roundup of vandalism damage and arrests (2 as of 3 pm) ad promises updates … (added 4:21 pm) KING 5 also has ongoing online coverage incorporating tweets, photos and other quick updates from their staff and other local media. … To check on Metro delays, you can watch their commute-updates website (we’re checking it too).

4:28 PM UPDATE: KING reports via Twitter that a group of marchers is at 1st and Bell. This would be separate from the prescheduled march that was to gather south of downtown half an hour from now. One other note: The Times mentioned school-bus delays; we checked with Seattle Public Schools and that’s ONLY the buses running in downtown/Capitol Hill – no effects here.

4:37 PM UPDATE: Only “minor” delays downtown for transit, Metro reports.

UNRELATED TRAFFIC UPDATE AT 4:57 PM: Just got a tip from Lisa that there is a car vs. semi crash at the west end of the “low bridge,” no injuries reported so far. We’re en route to check.

(Photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand – car is up against right side of the semi, right side of photo)
5:22 PM UPDATE: That incident is causing some trouble coming off the low bridge, but traffic’s being routed around it. Adding a photo in a moment. Meantime, we just got a text from someone saying southbound 99 is actually LIGHTER headed this way than usual. (Here’s a new SDOT camera we will be adding to the WSB Traffic page – looking north at the southbound Viaduct flow at King St.)

And from downtown, we are adding photos taken by WSB contributor Christopher Boffoli, who says the biggest effect he noticed while downtown was the increased police presence.

5:46 PM UPDATE: Police now report eight arrests so far since this morning. The city, meantime, says it’s activated its Emergency Operations Center to help with public-safety concerns. The prescheduled march is heading eastbound on Pike from 4th as of right now.

6:25 PM UPDATE: The rally downtown is under way. We’ve been monitoring the scanner and the ongoing coverage from citywide media. Metro says marchers are northbound on 4th and that some buses are stuck in a jam downtown.

Followup: May 24th set for Junction project’s 1st Design Review meeting

In our Monday followup on 4724 California, the 7-story, 100-unit mixed-use project proposed for the ex-Petco site in The Junction, we reported that the development team hoped to have its first Southwest Design Review Board session on May 24th. Today, the city’s online schedule has been updated, and that is indeed the date set for the meeting – 6:30 pm Thursday, May 24th, at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW).

West Seattle wildlife: School-salmon release season begins

May 1, 2012 3:05 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle wildlife: School-salmon release season begins
 |   Environment | West Seattle news | Wildlife

In Fauntleroy Park this morning, Westside School (WSB sponsor) second-graders were the first to visit Fauntleroy Creek this spring to release salmon fry they’ve been raising. The students arrived in vans; the salmon, in a bucket:

Another bucket nearby held a few of the smolt that had been released into the creek a year earlier; watershed steward Judy Pickens explained that they have been transporting smolt downstream that way because last year, so many of them died somewhere between the park and the fish ladder near Fauntleroy Cove. She joined teacher Laura Holmes (center) for a briefing at the park’s north-central entrance before everyone headed down to the creek:

Judy was presented with student art and poetry about the fish, and read the poems aloud before they were tacked up in the kiosk nearby:

Back to that first fish – as was the case with each student in turn, the boy in the black/white hat was instructed to hold his hand over the cup once volunteer Dennis Hinton had scooped up a fry to set free – then to carefully empty the cup into the creek, by a small footbridge a short walk from SW Barton … and then, off went the fry:

Each spring, Judy, Dennis, and other volunteers watch for smolt heading outbound – this spring, 105 so far – and then each fall, they watch for salmon returning home after about 3 years away.

West Seattle RapidRide: Fauntleroy ferry dock work starts May 11

Crews have been working on bus stop, roadway, and sidewalk changes along the West Seattle RapidRide route for the past few months – almost everywhere but at the Fauntleroy ferry dock, but the date for that work to start is now set. Just in from Metro:

Some big transit improvements are coming to the Fauntleroy Ferry Dock in West Seattle.

Beginning May 11, King County Metro Transit will begin a month-long project to install a variety of improvements to accompany the start of the RapidRide C Line this fall. Those improvements will include two new RapidRide stations, lighting, information kiosks displaying real-time bus arrival times and 5 electric charging stations for vanpool and public use.

Improvements will also make boarding the bus easier. An additional bus bulb will be added at the northbound RapidRide station to provide for a larger boarding platform. Other amenities will provide better access to and from the ferry terminal area for pedestrians and people with disabilities.

Construction work is expected to occur weekdays between the hours of 6:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. and may cause periodic traffic disruptions. During intensive construction periods, flaggers or police officers will be on hand to keep traffic moving, especially during peak travel times.

While construction is underway, bus riders will be directed to a temporary southbound bus stop on Southwest Wildwood Place. While the northbound bus stop will be less affected, riders will occasionally need to use the bus stop just to the north on Fauntleroy Way Southwest at Southwest Trenton Street.

New features, such as shelters, benches and lighting, will be available for immediate public use when construction is complete. Other improvements, such as electric vehicle plug-ins and real time bus arrival information, will be phased in over the next several months.

The RapidRide C Line begins operation Saturday, Sept. 29.

Updates on West Seattle’s 2 ex-Blockbuster sites

ADMIRAL DISTRICT’S EX-BLOCKBUSTER … is about to be surrounded by paid parking on all three sides. Thanks to Eric for the tip on this one – he e-mailed last night to say he and his wife noticed orange striping delineating spaces around the building, and WELCOME painted on the pavement at each entrance. Public records showed no sign of a new owner/tenant at the building, so we went by this morning to look for clues, and found a man doing more painting around the lot. “All I know is, it’s going to be paid parking,” he told us – which had been our guess once we saw the freshly painted numbers on each of 33 parking spots around the building (our photo was taken at the northeast corner, by the alley). No pricing sign or pay station as of our stop; we’ll check back.

MORGAN JUNCTION’S EX-BLOCKBUSTER … is tentatively scheduled to open as Super Supplements‘ new home on July 13th, according to a company spokesperson. We first reported back in January that it would be the new home of the store that has to move out of The Junction since it’s on the future Equity Residential development site; banners went up on the Fauntleroy site last month. Super Supplements tells us the Junction store isn’t scheduled to close till July 7th, 6 days before the new one opens. Note that those are tentative dates; watch the store’s official webpage for updates.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Car abandoned in startling spot

The “fishbone” bridge along Longfellow Creek in North Delridge is always a beautiful sight … even with something startling at one end, which was the case for a while this morning, as Rose e-mailed us to report:

As I was walking along the path from All-Star Fitness in the Dragonfly Park, I saw a tow-truck. Kinda strange. I kept walking and found another tow-truck at the bridge and asked what was going on….the nice young man pointed out to me the stolen car. It was missing the front bumper and hood. The front tires were taken off but left behind. Seattle’s finest in blue were there also.

Rose also shared the photos (thank you!).

Road work updates: Admiral begins; bridge rescheduled

Drove up Admiral Way hill north of the bridge a little while ago to confirm that the repaving work has begun – it has. (Here are the details from SDOT; it’s scheduled to continue through Friday.

Meanwhile, turns out SDOT didn’t inspect the Fauntleroy Expressway section of the bridge as expected yesterday – so the work is rescheduled for the next two days:

The Seattle Department of Transportation previously announced that they would be inspecting the Fauntleroy Expressway bridge deck (the raised roadway at the west end of the West Seattle Bridge) on April 30th. Due to unexpected mechanical issues, the work has now been rescheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, May 2nd & 3rd between 8 am and 3 pm.

The inspection team will establish short-term lane closures of the right-hand lane, beginning on the westbound side, using truck-mounted traffic warning devices. The inspection team will make short-term (15 minutes) stops at any given location along the bridge deck. After completing the westbound route the team will then inspect eastbound, toward Downtown Seattle, also along the right-hand lane. The entire inspection will be completed by 3 p.m. on the given day. (When working during the morning commute period, activities will take place in the lanes of travel that are in the opposite direction of peak traffic flows.)

These closures are required as part of the seismic retrofit of the Fauntleroy Expressway, to make it more likely to withstand the force of a major earthquake. The work is funded by the “Bridging the Gap” transportation levy approved by Seattle voters in November 2006.

West Seattle Tuesday: Roads, ferries, cooking, art…

May 1, 2012 9:46 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Tuesday: Roads, ferries, cooking, art…
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(Thanks to the WSB’er who sent this photo of an eagle dining – on a smaller bird, they wrote – near Lowman Beach)
What’s up today/tonight, including highlights from the WSB West Seattle Events Calendar:

ADMIRAL WAY PAVING: An SDOT paving crew is scheduled to work on Admiral Way north of the West Seattle Bridge for the rest of the week. They promise one lane in each direction will stay open. Here’s last week’s detailed announcement.

FERRY FARES RISE: Washington State Ferries fares have gone up as of today – details here.

If you missed it yesterday, here’s the SDOT alert about a protest march/rally coinciding with the evening commute.

DREAM DINNERS OPEN HOUSE: No time to cook from scratch, but takeout/dineout doesn’t work either? Dream Dinners is a different way to answer “what’s for dinner?” and if you’ve never checked out DD, tonight’s open house is your chance, with a chance to try the May menu and more. 5:30-7 pm at 4701 41st SW (east side of the Jefferson Square main building, fronting 41st); more info here.

LIVE ART BASH: At Mind Unwind in the Admiral District, Tuesday evenings are the chance for you to bring in an art project that you’re trying to finish, start, make progress on … and work in a collaborative atmosphere. 6-9 pm, 2206 California SW – more on the M/U calendar.

(added) SUP SEASON STARTS: Received this afternoon from Mountain to Sound Outfitters/Alki Kayak Tours:

Join us for our first night of the season at Alki Kayak Tours as we start the third annual Stand Up Paddleboard race series and product demo event. Starting tonight Tuesday, May 1, 2012 through the middle of September, we will meet at Seacrest Park at 1660 Harbor Avenue SW, Seattle, WA 98106 EVERY Tuesday for an evening of fun. Hosted by Alki Kayak Tours, we are featuring an impressive fleet of boards for you all to try! The details: Product demo from 6:00pm to 8:00pm for $10 come and try any SUP we have available. The race has a roundtrip distance of 1.5 miles race that travels from Seacrest Park to the Duwamish River channel marker at the North point of Alki with a start time of 7:00pm. Entry fee is $5 with prizes given to top finishers. We have an official time keeper and will be recording your name, board details, and finishing time. Let’s get on the water together! Call Alki Kayak Tours direct for more information: 206.953.0237.

‘BASIC HOME TILING’ WORKSHOP: As of this writing, still a few spots left in this 7 pm workshop at the West Seattle Tool Library (4408 Delridge Way SW, northeast side of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center) – sign up here.

Video: Vietnamese Cultural Center vigil honors those who fought for freedom

Cups around candles to shelter the flames from the wind, dozens of people gathered last night for a vigil at West Seattle’s Vietnamese Cultural Center, remembering and honoring those lost in the Vietnam War, on the 37th anniversary of its April 30th, 1975, conclusion.

They paid tribute to not only the more than one million South Vietnamese lost, but also the 58,000 Americans who died. Center director Lee Bui spoke words of remembrance and reflection in Vietnamese, with pauses for English translation by Phuoc Huynh:

Earlier this year, the center dedicated its Fallen Soldiers’ Memorial (WSB coverage here), which served again last night to honor heroes:

Visitors are welcome at the center (2236 SW Orchard) every Saturday, noon-3 pm.

West Seattle filmmaker featured in ‘Beyond Borders’ tonight

May 1, 2012 4:51 am
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 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

Almost a year ago, we reported on the Kickstarter campaign for “Film Festival: Rwanda,” a work in progress by Inflatable Film, a local production company with West Seattleites in prominent roles, including executive producer Leah Warshawski. Tonight, scenes from the documentary (the video clip above is its trailer) will be part of a free 7 pm program at SIFF Film Center, 305 Harrison Street (on Queen Anne – here’s a map), “Beyond Borders: An Evening of Film.” Also featured, Stir It Up Productions, also with a documentary in progress, “Oil and Water.” More details in their full media announcement.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Park theft; car prowl

Two West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports from the WSB inbox.

First, Nicole e-mailed to report that she and her sister are looking for a blue Element backpack, and contents, stolen at Lincoln Park during a birthday celebration last Saturday night. On Sunday morning, she says, joggers found it “in the woods” at the park, found her sister’s ID and credit card and contacted the family, promising to mail the cards but leaving the backpack on a bench to be picked up – and before Nicole’s sister got there, “it had been stolen yet again. It had a new dress inside, and makeup that both of us had spent hundreds of dollars on over the years and some sentimental items we’d really like to get back.” If you find anything that you think might have been part of the backpack contents she’s seeking, contact police – she’s filed a report – or e-mail her at

And Lance reports a Sunday car prowl at 16th and Cloverdale: “Nothing seems to be missing… Everything tossed about.”