West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Four days after what Seattle Police Deputy Chief Nick Metz called a “citywide crisis” – four murders in North Seattle, one on First Hill, and the killer’s suicide in West Seattle – we have three followups tonight.
First: We have learned more about what Ian Stawicki did in West Seattle between ditching his final victim’s car on Delridge before noon and shooting himself at 37th/Raymond about four hours later:
He bought a blueberry plant, and left it for someone as a gift.
West Seattle Nursery confirms to WSB that Stawicki made a purchase there about midway through his four hours in West Seattle on Wednesday afternoon, just before 2 pm (as mentioned in this WSB comment). We talked with WSN’s Galen Guffy this afternoon.
She says they didn’t realize he had been there and purchased a blueberry plant and “some seeds” until they heard a voicemail message the next day, from the person for whom Stawicki left the plant. (MONDAY UPDATE: WSN has clarified the timeline of who spoke to whom and when, per this comment.) That person said Stawicki left a note with the plant, And, of course, they also heard from a Seattle Police homicide detective.
The main thing, Guffy says, that the nursery staffer who helped Stawicki with the purchase remembers is that he was “creepy.” Not in the sense that gave any hint of what he had done just a few hours earlier, though (keep in mind, his photo was not distributed until more than an hour later, at which time police were still saying they believed the two shootings were separate, and while that photo was tied to the North End murders, SPD had said the car found in West Seattle was related to the First Hill killing).
You might recall that – as reported here Thursday – police said that Stawicki “contacted an old acquaintance in SW Seattle and roamed in very crowded areas for some time.” Now we know one of those “areas”; we will continue to seek more information from police regarding the others, as they have said the investigation will likely continue for weeks. Police apparently first spotted him at Fauntleroy and Raymond – roughly half a mile from the nursery – according to this audio clip they released.
(ANOTHER MONDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: The plant’s intended recipient, who identifies herself as a former teacher of Stawicki’s at a now-closed school elsewhere in the city, has issued a statement.)
SCHOOL SAFETY NOTE: Another followup tonight – one local principal says that while the district did not mention her campus as having taken precautions, they did. We’ve heard from West Seattle Elementary principal Vicki Sacco:
I just want to inform you of the steps we took at West Seattle Elementary during the crisis the other day. Upon learning there was a problem from parents calling the school, I made several calls to the police department to no avail. Taking matters into my own hands and to ensure everyone’s safety, I made the decision to put the building into a Shelter in Place. This required locking all doors and keeping students in the building. A letter went home with students (Thursday) informing parents of our actions. … I would like the West Seattle community wants to know that we make safety our top priority.
The school information that we reported during the unfolding events of Wednesday afternoon came from a variety of sources – the district, parents, and some school administrators (including several local private schools). Seattle Public Schools acting superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield also made a statement on Thursday about general policies.
Just an update for bay-watchers: While Shell’s Arctic-bound drill rigs Kulluk (left) and Noble Discoverer (right foreground) remain at Vigor on Harbor Island, there was some sign of possible movement earlier this evening – the Greenpeace Esperanza, anchored off Duwamish head earlier this week, is headed back this way after a few days in Lake Union, while Shell’s ice-cutter Aiviq left Vigor this evening:
At last check, it’s now over in Magnolia. Any day now, the Shell vessels are expected to head for the Arctic for a controversial round of exploration, as detailed in our earlier reports here and here. Please let us know if you see them on the move!
SIDE NOTE: **Not** related to any of this so far as we know, but the photo just came in from Danny McMillin – a submarine heading out:
They generally do NOT show up on MarineTraffic.com, nor bear visible-from-afar markings, so we’re not likely to be able to get its ID.
6:35 PM, FIRST REPORT: Just as King County gets ready to start a 2-year project to upgrade the Barton Pump Station north of the Fauntleroy ferry dock – with work to include a backup generator – we have word there’s been an overflow because of a power failure. County spokesperson Annie Kolb-Nelson says, “There was a power interruption that occurred around 4:30 p.m. and it caused the pumps to shut down, which led to an overflow that started about 20 minutes later.” She says crews are on scene but she is not sure the overflow has been “contained” yet, adding, “Our biggest priority is to protect public health. We’ve posted the boat access area near the pump station as closed, and we’re working with our Environmental Lab crews to determine tidal directions. Doug Marsano from our Community Services group is heading out to assist with public notification. We also notified health and regulatory agencies about the overflow and will monitor water quality over the next several days.” More as we get it.
7:54 PM UPDATE: Just back from checking out the scene at the station and neighboring Cove Park. Added photos – top photo is the “closed” sign posted at the beach; the one above this paragraph is the hatch to the pump-station operations area, from which a worker emerged and told us she’s working on it. That’s corroborated by both Kolb-Nelson via e-mail and Marsano, who was pulling up as we were walking away from the station. He says they’re hoping most if not all the overflow was contained to the outfall pipe and can be recovered via submersible pumps they’ve brought in. The overflow itself was stopped within just over an hour from its start; they’re still trying to find out what caused the power interruption.
Murals now grace the side of an otherwise-gritty Harbor Island warehouse, which local workers have turned into a spot with splashes of beauty, offering an oasis in the midst of an industrial zone. We first reported on the project two weeks ago – then, after the murals’ installation, it was celebrated at an event this past Friday afternoon. The murals were created by youth through Urban ArtWorks. Beneath them are container gardens with drought-tolerant plants – and cisterns to hold rainwater to irrigate them when needed:
During Friday afternoon’s ceremony, members of the self-described “grass-roots committee” that made this all happen, Harbor Island People for the Environment, spoke about what they’ve done, and also introduced most of the young artists. We got it all on video:
Also speaking at the ceremony, James Rasmussen, a longtime Duwamish Tribe leader who also works for the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition. He talked about not only the site’s history as Duwamish land – tideflats before they were filled – but also about the meaning of the site beautification/cleanup in view of Harbor Island’s environmental challenges:
HIPE members said they hope to liven up the space with food vendors and other things to create a gathering place for workers and visitors – and they plan on more projects in the future. Fittingly, one of the murals celebrates the idea of looking ahead:
Seen along local shores:
Scott Bessho shared photos of carvings on a driftwood log along Lincoln Park’s north beach. He said he spotted people working on it with professional-looking carving tools on Friday; when he went by again late Saturday, they were gone, but the carvings were clearly visible, what appears to be a whale, and a whorl – here’s a closer-up look at the latter:
We haven’t seen them in person ourselves, but since it would be quite the operation to move a log like that, we’re guessing they’re still there.
If you were out on any local beach at midday today, during the first of four mega-low tides continuing through Wednesday, wildlife was the big attraction:
From Lowman Beach, John Legge shared that photo of what he identifies as opalescent nudibranches – and a spotted one, too:
Then from Alki, Katy tweeted this photo, wondering what it was, since she had seen so many today:
We’re 99 percent sure it was made by a moon snail – let us know if we’re wrong! Meantime, tomorrow’s low tide is even lower, -3.7 at 11:19 am.
Tomorrow (Monday, June 4) is the last day for teens to apply for the RecTech summer Youth Media Internship program — you’ll find forms and info here. The program is increasingly more prestigious and accomplished, as some of its current and past members have just received major honors – adviser Leslie Howle shares the story (and photo!):
On Friday, May 11, eight high school students who participated in the RecTech Youth Media “24-Hour Film Challenge” at Delridge Community Center attended a Gala Awards Presentation event at the Museum of History and History, better known as MOHAI. Three of our film teams walked away with honors.
“History Is… Repetition,” created by Bryan Shickley, Thien Vo, and Liban Mohamud won the MOHAI History Award. Film makers Bryan and Liban were winter quarter students at the RecTech Youth Media Interns program located at Delridge Community Center. Thien is a current RecTech Youth Media intern who has been working with us since the beginning of this year. All three students signed on for the Friday afternoon through Saturday afternoon 24-hour film challenge this spring and their team received the $1000 MOHAI History Award, which they split three ways.
Bryan Shickley is 16 and attends Big Picture High School. Liban Mohamud is 14 and attends Chief Sealth International High School. Thien Vo is 16 and attends Evergreen High School’s Technology, Engineering & Communications School. (They’re in the photo above.)
“History Is…Invention” took the Best Youth Group Project award, and Samira Hussein and Hibo Mohamad received a $500 prize which they split two ways. Samira has been working with the RecTech Youth Media program since January 2012. She is 17 years old and attends Chief Sealth International High School. Hibo Mohamed, a 17 year old student at West Seattle High School, was a first time RecTech Internship participant with the 24 hour film challenge.
“History Is…Basketball”, by Issa Mohamed, Evan Williams, and Sterling Espinoza, received an Honorable Mention. Issa is a 15 year old student at West Seattle High School. Evan Williams joined the Youth Media Interns for the first time to participate in the 24 Film Challenge. He is a student at Franklin High School. Sterling Espinoza is a 16 year old high school junior who has been with the RecTech Youth Media Internship for one year.
All of our winning interns came away with a great “swag bag” that included a SIFF short film festival weekend pass and a MOAHI membership. Congratulations to our RecTech Youth Media Filmmakers, and many thanks to our partners, SIFF and 911 Media Arts!
For more information and an application for this summer’s paid RecTech film-making internship being offered in partnership with SIFF (Seattle International Film Festival) Futurewave, go to rectech.seattle.gov and click on the internship tab.
While you’re in The Junction today – or some other day – check out the new location of Many Moons Trading Company, which describes itself as an “upscale thrift store for men and women.” The shop was long tucked away along a breezeway off the main streetfront, but is now right on the northwest corner of California and Oregon (vacated recently by Fleurt [WSB sponsor], the flower shop that moved to 4536 California). Not only is it a higher-visibility location for Many Moons, it’s also a family reunion of sorts – Many Moons owner Mary is mom of Angela, owner of Funky Jane’s Consignment, which is one door down. Via e-mail, Mary tells WSB, ““We are very happy with our new space! Of course we hope to see new customers, but we are very glad to present our loyal customers with a fresh and lovely shopping environment.”
(Barton P-Patch – designed as a “web”! Thanks to photographer/pilot Long Bach Nguyen for the view)
Just like Saturday, looks like the weather’s likely to get better as the day proceeds; here are some highlights for another almost-summer weekend day in West Seattle, from our calendar:
CURIOUS KIDSTUFF’S ANNIVERSARY SALE: 14th anniversary of the toy store in The Junction, with 25 percent off everything in the store – AND (as explained here earlier this morning) paying with cash/checks means an extra discount PLUS a nonprofit donation. Sale continues now till 5 pm today, 4740 California SW.
FURRY FACES FOUNDATION PLANT SALE: Hundreds of plants, with proceeds going to help animals through the work of F3. 3809 46th SW, 10 am-4 pm today.
AT THE MARKET – SIGN UP FOR THE KIWANIS CLUB’S MOTORCYCLE POKER RUN: Look for the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle at the WS Farmers’ Market 10 am-2 pm today (usually on the northeast corner) and get a free beverage if you sign up for the June 23rd Motorcycle Poker Run.
ORGANIC VEGGIE SALE: 10 am-1 pm, Marguerite Lynch and family are selling organic homegrown vegetables outside their North Admiral garden (44th/Hill), with part of the proceeds benefiting the West Seattle Food Bank.
LOW TIDE – WITH BEACH NATURALISTS AVAILABLE: 10:32 am, the first of four days’ low tides below -3 (which is REALLY low), and you can explore with the help of an expert, as Seattle Aquarium volunteer beach naturalists are out at Constellation and Lincoln Parks.
SHARE YOUR HOME WITH A NEW FRIEND: Cat-adoption event today with Friends of the Animals Foundation at Next to Nature in The Junction, 11 am-3 pm.
TOUR THE ALKI POINT LIGHTHOUSE: Second day of 1-4 pm Saturday/Sunday public openings at the lighthouse (where Alki Avenue and Beach Drive meet) – as noted in our story about yesterday’s Seafair Admiral’s Tea.
GRAND OPENING: A member of the Rat City Business Association (WSB sponsor) is celebrating their grand opening today in downtown White Center – The Center Studio, with yoga, Pilates, massage, and dance. 3 pm-6 pm (9611 16th SW, map in our listing)
(Added 12:15 pm – the poker-chip jar at CKS, photographed around 11 am)
Today’s the day for the big 25-percent-off anniversary sale at Curious Kidstuff (WSB sponsor) in The Junction, 9 am-5 pm – and proprietor Ann is also kicking off a new plan that could mean extra savings for you AND money for a local nonprofit:
We think we have come up with a fantastic idea here at Curious Kidstuff. We will kick this off (today) during our 25% off 14th-year Anniversary Sale.
Our business’s credit-card fees are approximately $800.00 a month. Can you believe it? I believe that if we can get our community to embrace this great idea, we could give hundreds of that back each month.
Every time a customer purchases gifts with cash or checks, we will drop a poker chip into our jar. Each month we choose a local charity and give that money to them. First charity we have chosen is WestSide Baby. Simple, keep dollars in our community instead of passing it on to banks.
We hope to see you between 9:00 and 5:00. We will give an extra 1% off for all checks and cash. (License required with checks, please.)
Curious Kidstuff is at 4740 California SW.