day : 05/07/2012 10 results

West Seattle Crime Watch: False alarm; mail-theft suspect nabbed

Two notes tonight: First, in case you were among those who noticed a big police response heading south to Highland Park just after 5 pm (thanks to everyone who texted, called, and e-mailed!) – police at the scene told us it was reported as a possible holdup, but turned out to be a false alarm.

Second, from a local resident who wants to be anonymous:

Just wanted to pass along an incident that took place this morning shortly after 9am in the 6700 block of Beach Drive. I noticed a black car pull up to a bank of locked mail boxes. A male got out while a female passenger waited inside the car and the man walked to the boxes and looked as though he was trying to aggressively open one of the boxes. I had never seen this man in the neighborhood before so I continued to watch, a bit more closely and then I saw him use some sort of tool to try and open the box. I immediately called 911 and described the man, and what was going on and was able to provide the license plate of the vehicle. Other joggers/walkers had passed and he stopped what he was doing for a moment and then returned to the box, this time with more force.

He grabbed what he could and then crossed the street to another mailbox, which was not locked, and then headed back to his car. He drove a few houses down, parked behind a vehicle and then got into that vehicle’s trunk (not sure if it was by force or if it was unlocked) and appeared to be carrying items from that vehicle, back to his car when the first police car arrived, and then moments later, 2 more police cars surrounded the scene. All of this took place within a few minutes time and the thief and his female passenger were taken away. It turns out the car he was driving was stolen as well. Neighbors got their mail back and hopefully the car owner and anyone else who might have stolen goods will also get them returned. Thank you to the 911 dispatcher and the officers who immediately responded to the scene as it was unfolding. It feels great to be part of a community that cares!

We tried to get more details from SPD; no response yet, but didn’t want to wait any longer to share this reader report. If we are able to get any more info tomorrow, we’ll add it.

ADDED 2:08 PM FRIDAY: Southwest Precinct operations Lt. Pierre Davis says, “This was an excellent pinch by one of our 1st watch officers, based on an alert citizen’s 911 call of suspicious activity (possible mail theft). Block watch at its finest yet again puts bad guys in jail. Bad guys were caught with a large quantity of property, including a stolen vehicle.”

Treetop ziplining at Lincoln Park? Parks superintendent’s reply; plus, 1st public briefing planned Tuesday

(UPDATE: Since we published this at 4:25 pm, we have learned Parks will have reps at next Tuesday’s Fauntleroy Community Association meeting – info before story’s end)

(From Go Ape PowerPoint of Lincoln Park proposal, described as 1 acre ground/6-9 acres trees)
One week after first word of a proposed commercial zipline/rope swing “treetop adventure” attraction at West Seattle’s Lincoln Park – a proposal that Seattle Parks has been considering for almost a year without public mention of it – emerged in this WSB story, the man in charge of Seattle Parks is sending a statement to those who have contacted the department. Thanks to the WSB’er who received the e-mail from acting Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams less than an hour ago and shared it. The to/cc lines included other Parks officials as well as the mayor and City Council members:

From: Williams, Christopher
Sent: Thursday, July 05, 2012 3:39 PM
To: Salinas, Rebecca
Cc: Williams, Christopher; Friedli, Eric; Ng, Charles; Brooks, Sandy; McGinn, Mike; Merrill, Nathaniel; Conlin, Richard; Licata, Nick; Bagshaw, Sally; Clark, Sally; Godden, Jean; Harrell, Bruce; Rasmussen, Tom; Burgess, Tim; O’Brien, Mike; Potter, Dewey; O’Connor, Karen

Subject: Ropes course/zip line at Lincoln Park

July 5, 2012

Dear community members:

We have received many messages expressing strong concerns about a ropes course that would include a zip line at Lincoln Park.

Please be assured that Seattle Parks and Recreation is conducting an internal due-diligence process and will conduct a full public process before any final decisions are made.

Seattle Parks and Recreation has begun to consider the possibility of a ropes course because we believe we must respond to emerging forms of recreation. As we saw with skateboard courses and synthetic turf, new forms of recreation bring unanswered questions.

The only way that Seattle Parks can provide a recreational opportunity like this is in conjunction with a partner organization, such as Go Ape, which would bring its extensive experience and expertise, as well as funding needed to create the course.

As part of Seattle Parks’ due diligence in considering a ropes course in Lincoln Park, we will carefully consider the impacts of this recreational opportunity on the environment and to the park’s other uses. The first determination we must make is what if any impacts there would be on the trees, habitat, and wildlife surrounding the course area. To do this, Seattle Parks will work with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and other environmental experts. A public meeting will be scheduled in early to mid-August to inform interested residents of findings, answer questions, and address any concerns. We will be glad to meet with any interested community groups. To arrange for a meeting with your group, please contact Rebecca Salinas at

The public process will include review by the Board of Park Commissioners and, if a contract is negotiated, would require approval by Seattle City Council (which must approve any contract lasting longer than one year).

If you have received this email directly, your name and contact information have been added to a mailing list of interested persons, and we will notify you as soon as the public meetings have been scheduled and for further developments.

In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about Go Ape, you can visit their website at

Christopher Williams
Acting Superintendent, Seattle Parks and Recreation

There’s nothing in that note that hasn’t been part of our previous two reports EXCEPT for what appears to be a commitment to an environmental study, which wasn’t a sure thing as of our report this past Tuesday. Go Ape is a private company founded and based in the UK, with 28 locations there; its US offices are in Maryland, which is the site of one of its three US locations (along with one in Virginia and one in Indiana). Its U.S. admission fees this year are $55 adults/$35 youth. Its websites indicate that its courses include ziplines, rope swings, balancing challenges, and ladders; some of its UK facilities also offer “forest Segway” expeditions.

Previous WSB coverage:
Treetop ziplining at Lincoln Park? City mulls commercial partnership (June 28)
Followup: Go Ape zipline/swing proposal for Lincoln Park – where it stands & more (July 3)

Seattle Times (WSB partner) coverage:
Lincoln Park neighbors riled up over proposed zip-line attraction (July 3)

5:35 PM UPDATE: Fauntleroy Community Association president Bruce Butterfield says Seattle Parks has agreed to send representatives to his group’s regular monthly meeting next Tuesday, July 10th, 7 pm, to talk about this. Location TBA – they usually meet in a conference room at The Hall at Fauntleroy but he is looking for a larger venue.

Another 4th of July postscript: The Kenney puts on a parade

And another 4th of July story emerges … this one likely to make you smile. Another parade – one we didn’t hear about till The Kenney (WSB sponsor) sent photos today, along with this report:

We’re all a “Kid at Heart” on the Fourth of July!

The Kenney Retirement Home in West Seattle celebrates their very first “Fourth of July Parade”! Residents decorated their own “wheelchair floats” complete with balloons, streamers, stars, sparkle flags and fun flair – balloon fashioned hats, drums, and more. The Kenney residents received honks and waves from passing cars and local West Seattle residents as they made their way down Fauntleroy.

The festivities began with a flag ceremony from a local Boy Scout Troop, Pack 282, led by troop leader Eric Linxweiler, followed by a carnival celebration in our Community Rooms; which included fishing games, bean bag toss, horseshoes, and face painting. It was a great day to be had by all seniors living at The Kenney!

Amy Seebeck, Director of Activities, and all the Activities Staff

So with the West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade (WSB coverage here) and the 32nd SW Bike Parade (noted here, thanks to info/photos from neighbors), that makes at least three parades yesterday – anybody else?

More from the 4th: School slide damaged; Alki arrests

Two additions to the 4th of July aftermath:

That slide at Sanislo Elementary is cordoned off today, unusable by the kids who are attending day camp on the campus at 18th and Myrtle. It was seriously damaged overnight, apparently by fireworks (or something explosive/incendiary):

According to a day-camp staffer, the district was expected to come out and take a look.

Second, an incident we had asked Seattle Police about earlier is now on SPD Blotter. We’d also asked if there were any arrests on Alki last night. Both are addressed in this SPD report:

Two armed men were arrested in separate incidents during yesterday’s 4th of July festivities on Alki Beach.

Around 8pm, police received a flurry of phone calls about a man brandishing a handgun on an apartment balcony near 55th Avenue SW and Alki Avenue SW.

SWAT, patrol officers, and gang detectives arrived and talked to witnesses, who reported that a man had used a skateboard to smash the windows of an Oldsmobile Cutlass parked behind the building. After smashing the cars’ windows, the suspect ran up to his third floor apartment where he’d flashed a gun.
When owner of the Cutlass ran up to the suspect’s third floor apartment to confront him, the suspect pulled a gun on the man. The suspect then went back inside his apartment.

Officers tried to call the suspect, but he refused to answer his phone. He eventually came out of his apartment and spoke with officers, who then took him into custody. Officers found a knife on the suspect and recovered a loaded .40 caliber handgun, pepper spray, and a skateboard from the suspect’s apartment.

The suspect, who was intoxicated, was apparently angry that the owner of the Cutlass had parked his car in the suspect’s parking space behind the apartment building. The owner of the Cutlass refused to give officers a statement about what had happened.

In another incident on Alki, gang detectives arrested a a 21-year-old felon near Alki Avenue SW and Beach Drive SW, after they received a tip that the man was carrying a gun.

Detectives contacted the man—who, as a convicted felon, is not allowed to have access to guns—and found a 9mm handgun on him. Detectives then booked the man into the King County Jail.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Trail of damage in early-morning crash

Reported by a resident southwest of The Junction, who also shared the photo:

We had a drunk driver wreak havoc on our street last night-on 49th between Alaska and Dawson at about 2 AM. The person hit 5 cars – our neighbor’s car got the worst of it but we lost a bumper and have some major scrapes and damage on the side of our car. The man was arrested. Thankfully only cars were damaged. … We had an officer stop and talk to us this morning, which was greatly appreciated.

SFD’s 911 log verifies a crash call in that area at 2:47 am. SPD had some computer trouble overnight so its call map isn’t caught up yet.

West Seattle traffic alert: California/Fauntleroy asphalt work

July 5, 2012 12:31 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle traffic alert: California/Fauntleroy asphalt work
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

Thanks to Tim for the note – we noticed this a little while ago, too, and he suggested it was alert-worthy: California/Fauntleroy has been a work zone for a while, with lane restrictions many days, but it’s worse today because asphalt work is being done, so you may find it even slower going – if you have to pass through that area (especially between west and east) you might consider a detour. (Also regarding alerts – remember the Admiral Way bridge exit closure tomorrow, and the westbound Spokane St. Viaduct closure over the weekend.)

Countdown time: One week till West Seattle Summer Fest Eve!

That’s not the official name for the night before West Seattle Summer Fest begins – in other words, next Thursday night, July 12th – but it might as well be. The streets will close in the festival zone (California SW between Oregon and Edmunds, plus half the block north of Oregon, and SW Alaska between 44th and 42nd) in early evening, and the fun starts shortly thereafter (along with the festival setup). Including:

(The band outside West 5 on ‘Summer Fest Eve’ in 2010 – there’s video in our story from that night)
*West 5 brings back the Yada Yada Blues Band, “live in the street,” right outside. West 5’s Dave Montoure says, “California Ave closes promptly at 6:00, we’ll have our outdoor cafe set up and operational as soon as humanly possible. Come see Milky, Steb, Don, John, and maybe a special guest or two. 8 pm.”

*The also-legendary Bubbleman, last seen BEFORE a downpour shortened last month’s Morgan Junction Community Festival, will be as bubbly as ever in the street outside Elliott Bay Brewing at 6 pm (per his own event calendar)

*It’s the July edition of the West Seattle Art Walk that night, 6-9 pm, and while WSAW is *not* a Junction-only event, you’ll find lots of participating venues there – watch for the map/list.

Summer Fest itself (co-sponsored by WSB) runs 10 am-8 pm on Friday 7/13, 10 am-8 pm Saturday 7/14, 11 am-5 pm Sunday 7/15 (with beer garden and live music continuing past the vendor-closure times Friday/Saturday). The music lineup is here, vendor lineup/map here – and remember that many of your year-round Junction merchants have sidewalk sales during Summer Fest, too, so stroll the sidewalks as well as the festival pathways.

West Seattle Thursday: What’s happening, post-holiday

(Sand pattern from Wednesday’s low tide, by “old desolate” via the WSB Flickr group pool)
From the WSB West Seattle Events Calendar:

LIBRARY STORY TIMES: Three this morning at local libraries – the systemwide events calendar lists them all.

ONE LAST LOW-LOW TIDE: Today’s low tide is -2.7 feet at 12:35 pm, still low enough that the Seattle Aquarium volunteer beach naturalists are out too (11 am-2:30 pm, locations here).

COLMAN POOL SCHEDULE CHANGE: Because of a swim meet, the schedule is different for the next three days; today, the pool won’t open to the public till 3 pm. Changes detailed here.

SHOP LATE THURSDAY IN THE JUNCTION: It’s weekly all summer long, 6-9 pm. See the list of participating stores/restaurants by going here.

NEW DRUM CIRCLE: Should be a beautiful night for this – a Thursday night drum circle is forming at Alki, starting at 6:30 pm. Details are in the calendar listing.

NIGHTLIFE: Free poker and live music at The Bridge (4439 35th SW) starts at 6 pm … Jim Page plays C & P Coffee (WSB sponsor; 5612 California SW), 6-8 pm … At Skylark Café and Club, it’s In Cahoots and The Goddamn Devil, 8 pm …

West Seattle nightlife: Poggie Tavern dance-contest benefit

(WSB photo from May 14)
Four weeks ago, Poggie Tavern in The Junction reopened after damage from a fire in May kept it closed almost a month. A local band sends word of this benefit tomorrow (Friday) night:

The Poggie Tavern caught fire and had to close for a while. My band is hosting a Dance Contest there July 6th to help get them going again. It’s from 9 pm to 11 pm. Music goes till 1 am.

We are giving away prizes from the local West Seattle merchants, many have been donated. Zamboanga, Twilight Artist Collective, Husky Deli, and C&P Coffee are among the merchants participating. We got some rocking rhythm and blues featuring Dr. Harp and Ron Bronstom on Harmonica backed by the band. Grand Prize at 11 pm; also, prizes after The House Is A-Rocking, Jumping Jack Flash, and Stray Cat Strut.

The Poggie’s at 4717 California SW.

West Seattle 4th of July: Fireworks viewing from Admiral; other notes

Thanks to Jamie Kinney for sharing the view from the Admiral Bridge over Fairmount Ravine. Jamie says about 40 people watched from the bridge, and has a gallery with more images here.

Overall, so far, no major trouble. We roamed the busiest West Seattle spots in the hour and a half or so pre-fireworks, and during. Police were out on Alki in a big way – every half block or so, vehicles and officers were standing guard, including a few vans and even a small SPD bus. We don’t know yet if they had to make any arrests. 911 suggests no callouts for injuries.

Since the weather was so clear, multiple fireworks shows were visible from West Seattle – Bainbridge, from Alki Beach Park; Vashon, from Constellation Park, and a few others further south (not sure if the southernmost one was Des Moines or Tacoma).

ADDED 8:55 AM: While personal fireworks remain illegal in Seattle, as commenters have noted (particularly following our report on the small Admiral fire from last night), they proliferated. WSB contributor Nick Adams noticed this at Hamilton Viewpoint Park:

We’ll be checking around this morning on day-after cleanups at local parks/fields. Nick also photographed people who were at Hamilton to watch the Lake Union fireworks:

(If you find this story in subsequent years and wonder how early to get there – we stopped by around 8:45, an hour-plus before fireworks, and the park was jammed with cars, so unless you come really early, you have to plan alternate transportation, or park some distance away and walk.)

ADDED 10:09 AM: One more fireworks view – from Ilona Berzups, with the new Seattle Great Wheel showing its colors too:

Here’s another of her views, on Flickr.