day : 31/05/2012 9 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.

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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+.