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Federal coyote hunter in West Seattle: ‘Fact-finding mission,’ says boss


(April 2008 WSB photo – the only coyote we’ve ever seen near our Upper Fauntleroy HQ)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

When we first reported two nights ago about an apparent federal coyote hunter/trapper appearing in the south West Seattle neighborhood of Seola Beach, after coyotes attacked pet dogs this spring, we promised a followup.

We’ve made a lot of phone calls. We’ve noticed others picking up this story and turning it into something different.

The story here isn’t the fact coyotes are in a West Seattle neighborhood. As you know if you’ve been here more than a few years, they’re in just about every neighborhood here – and elsewhere in the city, and many other cities in the country.

The story remains the revelation that you can hire a federal agency – the U.S. Department of Agriculture‘s Wildlife Services division – to come in and kill coyotes in your neighborhood. This may not be new, but it’s little-reported, so far as we have found through multiple exhaustive online-archive searches.

If you missed our previous story – a man we have since confirmed is indeed a Wildlife Services agent turned up in Seola Beach on Sunday night. Neighbor Garry e-mailed us about it, saying the man was asking about coyote sightings and saying he was from the federal government and, Garry went on, out to “find/hunt and probably dispose of at least one, perhaps two, coyotes that have been getting too close to humans.”

Some key information following Monday night’s story has come from commenters – especially Beth‘s reminder that she e-mailed us about the reported dog attacks two months ago. She also shared the letter that was being circulated in her neighborhood. We found it, unopened, in our e-mail archives; Beth had written at the time that her neighbor said it was OK for us to share. It read:

Most of you already know about the aggressive coyote problem that we are having. A couple of weeks ago your neighbor took her dog outside in front of her house at 11 pm for the last evening’s potty break and 2 coyotes attacked and killed the dog in front of her. This week another dog was attacked and killed while on a leash walking in the evening.

What you may not know, and what I did not know, is that no one is really responsible for controlling coyotes–even if they attack a human. The police will come if you call 911 during an immediate attack.

The US dept of agriculture and wildlife regional office in Mill Creek recommends we hire a government trapper/hunter for a fee of $1200. The trapper that specializes in West Seattle is Aaron Stevens, (phone # omitted). Aaron says that other communities have formed a co-op to fund the USDA coyote hunters.

This is what Aaron has informed me: Once the individual coyotes have learned humans are no threat, they become more and more bold/aggressive/frequent in their attacks. Our 2 coyotes probably have a litter of pups nearby that they are feeding and producing milk for; they will teach their young that humans are nothing to fear. They can attack anything under 25 lbs, including a child. He will hunt these two aggressive coyotes and remove them. Other coyotes may move into their place but will behave as normal fearful community coyotes, like we have always had. This is how he will manage the population. Once he is paid, he will continue to track the population as he gets reports from us, police, neighbors and nearby individuals.

Aaron is the name recalled by Seola Beach resident Garry, whose note to us on Sunday night is what led to our first story. While we didn’t have a name to check during our first conversation with Wildlife Services on Monday, we did when we called back this afternoon, and they confirmed that’s one of their agents.

Here’s what else we found out – not just from the federal agency, but also from the city:Read More

3 weeks till West Seattle Outdoor Movies 2012: Poster debuts!

June 27, 2012 7:45 pm
|    Comments Off on 3 weeks till West Seattle Outdoor Movies 2012: Poster debuts!
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle Outdoor Movies

This year’s West Seattle Outdoor Movies poster is out – one of the fun summer promotional posters you’ll see around town over the next few months. And it gives us a chance to remind you of the lineup. It starts with a special pre-season, adults-only Friday night benefit event on July 20th – “50/50,” admission with a suggested donation to support Thrive Through Cancer, a West Seattle-headquartered nonprofit. The following six movie nights are free, all ages, Saturday night showings, as always:

JULY 21:Pretty in Pink“; preshow entertainment by “Bobcat Bob” Rice

JULY 28: “Young Frankenstein”; preshow entertainment by jump-rope ace Rene Bibaud

AUGUST 4: Lion King“; preshow entertainment by Louie Foxx Magic Show (plus a free community barbecue)

AUGUST 11:Iron Man“; preshow entertainment “secret musical guests” (!)

AUGUST 18:Yellow Submarine“; preshow entertainment “Trivia With Jessie” (from Skylark Café and Club)

AUGUST 25: Top Gun“; preshow entertainment “secret musical guests” (plus free pizza)

These events all happen in the courtyard between Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor) and the dental building that’s home to Dr. Heidi Horwitz, DDS (WSB sponsor) and Dr. Gerald Wolff. Movies start at dusk, with the gates opening a couple hours ahead of time – don’t show up at the last minute, it’s usually a hot ticket! (P.S. The poster is by Riverbed Design.)

One week till 4th of July! Can you help with The Junction’s flags?

(WSB photo from July 4, 2011)
It wouldn’t be a patriotic holiday without the American flags lining California SW through The Junction. But a little help is needed this time around. From the just-circulated West Seattle Junction Association e-mail newsletter:


The Junction Association puts up flags on all appropriate occasions. The Junction’s handy-man Don has been putting up flags for years, but health issues have made repeated trips up and down the stairs increasingly difficult for him.

So, who wants to help Don on the 4th of July?!

The volunteer job includes meeting him at 7:30am to put them out, and 6pm to put them away. The job includes lots of stair walking since the flags are stored in the basement of the Cupcake Royale building.

We are looking to create a list of interested people, so if you’d like to be called upon for this 4th of July or in the future, please e-mail Liz Schroeder at or call 935-0904.

Tonight: ‘Xanadu’ at ArtsWest; Highland Park Action Committee

This day got off to such a running start, we never published the daily preview. Here are two happenings of note:

(Photo courtesy ArtsWest)
XANADU OPENING NIGHT: ArtsWest‘s youth-apprenticeship program is ready to roll with tonight’s debut of “Xanadu,” 7:30 pm, first of more than a dozen performances between now and mid-July. Yes, it is indeed based on the roller-disco movie that starred Olivia Newton-John! Come cheer on an energetic cast of on-the-rise young performers. (Online ticket purchasing here – for tonight, just go to the box office.)

HIGHLAND PARK ACTION COMMITTEE: HPAC sent out this preview for its monthly meeting, which it dubbed “Sustainable Highland Park“:

Please join us (tonight) to hear about green home incentives, and how to get rebates for all kinds of fun stuff for your Highland Park property like rain gardens (using the water that falls on your own roof or driveway), cisterns, energy assessments, and energy upgrades. We’ll have a series of speakers from King County, Sustainable Seattle, Seattle Public Utilities and Community Power Works.

Meeting at 7 pm at the Highland Park Improvement Club on 12th and Holden, but come early to meet your awesome neighbors at the 6:30 potluck.

And a few other events are on the WSB West Seattle Events Calendar, which you can check any time.

West Seattle businesses: Dress Barn closes at Westwood Village

Thanks to Colette for the tip: The women’s-clothing chain Dress Barn has closed its West Seattle location. The chain is owned by Ascena Retail Group, which made some recent acquisitions elsewhere in the women’s-clothing business and also announced it’s shutting down Fashion Bug (which is what Dress Barn used to be); we couldn’t find anyone at corporate HQ to discuss this closure, but Westwood Village management confirms that the store cleared out after deciding not to renew its lease. No one is locked in to take over the space yet, but they’ve had some interest.

West Seattle traffic alert: SW Alaska rechannelization work

There’s been so much road work around West Seattle the past few months that you might not have even paid this much heed, but SW Alaska through The Triangle and Junction has extra work going on today – it’s the final phase of the work to rechannelize SW Alaska, linked to the RapidRide bus line starting in September. We already mentioned the parking removal that started taking effect earlier this month; now they’re working on the lane changes – our photo shows the crew that was installing overhead signage for the lane changes. Here are the toplines, from an SDOT news release published here in April:

· Install an eastbound business access and transit Lane (BAT) between 42nd Avenue SW and 40th Avenue SW

· Install a westbound BAT lane between Fauntleroy Way and 42nd Avenue SW

· Remove parking on the north side of SW Alaska Street between California Avenue SW and 42nd Avenue SW and north side of SW Alaska Street between 41st Avenue SW and Fauntleroy; remove parking on south side of SW Alaska Street between 42nd and Fauntleroy

· Install a westbound left turn pocket at California Avenue and SW Alaska Street

· Install an eastbound left turn pocket at 42nd Avenue SW and SW Alaska Street

· Install a westbound bicycle lane between Fauntleroy Way and approximately 30 feet west of 41st Avenue SW

This has all been in the works for more than a year; SDOT announced its decision last September.

3:32 PM UPDATE: WSB contributor Christopher Boffoli photographed some of the road-surface work that’s also going on:

We asked SDOT why there wasn’t a traffic-alert notice about today’s work, since they usually send alerts about something this significant. From spokesperson Peg Nielsen:

Work on the transit priority corridor in West Seattle is ongoing. Some work has been difficult to schedule in advance due to variable weather conditions. We expect the work will take another week or two before rechannelization changes are implemented, and are working on an update to send out tomorrow, including signage and pavement marking.

SDOT did send out an overall advisory when RapidRide work started weeks ago, but this round seems to be affecting traffic more than some of the other components, such as bus shelter and curb bulb installation.

Junction development: Oregon 42 site aerial; 4515 41st for sale

Two notes this morning from the east side of The Junction:

(Click picture for larger image)
Thanks to West Seattle pilot/photographer Long Bach Nguyen for that new aerial of the Oregon 42 site at 42nd/Oregon, where excavation is now under way, following demolition of the remaining three homes on the site. It’s had development plans since 2008, but the first round stalled and a revised proposal was unveiled one year ago; nothing happened till last month, when a fence went up and we confirmed with the site’s San Diego owners/developers that they were about to begin. The homes were demolished in late May. The project is planned for 131 apartments.

Immediately east of that same block, a potential development site has just gone back on the market:

That’s 4515 41st SW, in a (newly added) photo by WSB contributor Christopher Boffoli. He also photographed the site in 2007, following development proposals including an idea for a park-and-(car)pool facility. (City files show a 7-story apartment-building proposal was canceled in 2010.) The 2007 $1.5 million listing apparently did not yield a sale, as county records currently show no changes since the current owners bought it for $925,000 in 2005. Today, a tipster points out its brand-new listing for $2.8 million, with the description: “Fantastic development site right in the heart of the West Seattle Junction. Zoned LR3 and in the West Seattle Junction Hub Urban Village and Frequent Transit Corridor. Possible 70+/- units …” (Before you comment on the price comparison, please note we haven’t verified whether it’s the exact same lot size as the previous proposal – just that it’s the same street address.)

P.S. Also in the 4500 block of 41st, a relatively small townhouse project is up for “streamlined administrative design review,” which means no board meeting, but its design packet is publicly available online.

Update: Shell drillships leave Harbor Island – Arctic-bound

FIRST REPORT, 8:51 AM: Thanks to Christine for the first tip (and to everyone else who’s alerted us since!) – the Shell-owned drillship Kulluk has left Harbor Island, where it’s undergone what’s reported to be $100 million work at Vigor Shipyards, being prepared for a controversial new round of Arctic oil exploration. It arrived at Vigor almost a year ago – while the much-photographed SBX was still there (it had to move out briefly for Kulluk to move into place, as we reported that day). Right now, it’s being accompanied by Aiviq, the icebreaker whose arrival we showed you on June 2, when Greenpeace Esperanza was here too, watching for the Shell rigs’ departure. The rig that arrived later, Noble Discoverer, is still moored at Vigor right now. As noted here Monday, those three ships and others are now under a federally granted protection order for a 500-yard “safety zone” while they are in transit. The U.S. Coast Guard is escorting this group as it heads slowly westbound in Elliott Bay.

9:47 AM UPDATE: Thanks to Karyn for that earlier view from downtown, with Colman Dock in the foreground and West Seattle in the background. The flotilla is heading northwest now, about two-thirds of the way through the bay, still visible from north-facing West Seattle shores but getting more distant.

9:54 AM UPDATE: The Noble Discoverer has left too and is quickly catching up to the rest of the flotilla.

It arrived at Vigor in early April (WSB coverage here).