West Seattle, Washington
The biggest events of Seafair are getting closer – with the Torchlight Parade (including the West Seattle Hi-Yu float) downtown this Saturday, and the Blue Angels and hydroplane races coming up the first weekend in August. And an event that can be viewed from West Seattle shores is a week away – the Seafair Parade of Ships and Flight. The parade is scheduled for 1:45 pm next Wednesday (August 1st), which means that you’ll see it from here in the early afternoon. Here’s our coverage from last year, when we recorded video from a perch along Duwamish Head. This year, your editor here will get a different perspective – from the media ride-aboard, spending that morning on the guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG-52). The Seafair website says other ships coming in for the festival include the amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52), which will later dock at Pier 90, and guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97), which will dock at Pier 66 (the Bunker Hill will be at Pier 48). The ships will offer free tours Thursday-Sunday, August 2nd-5th (hours and details are here).
Just got the news, and that photo, from a proud Laura James – best known here as “Diver Laura,” who has often shared video of amazing underwater sights as well as news of cleanups on sea and shore: She won the Cox Conserves Heroes award, which means a total of $10,000 for Sustainable West Seattle, her chosen nonprofit! We first told you in June that she was a finalist in this year’s contest. Then, voting ensued – till one week ago – and today, Laura was announced as the winner. (She was the only West Seattleite among the finalists, who are all shown here; the other two will each earn a $2,500 grant for their chosen nonprofit.)
(Laura with Cate White, Sustainable WS Tox-Ick fighter)
ADDED 9:49 PM: We asked Laura for a comment. Her reply:
A huge thank you to KIRO 7, Cox Enterprises and the Trust for Public Land for helping fight the Tox-Ick Monster! Many many thanks to my Friends and Family – Facebook or otherwise – who voted, My dive buddies who make the dives possible; a special thank you to Kelle Fitzpatrick for nominating me; and West Seattle Blog for your relentless support! I could not have done it without all of you!
“Tox-Ick,” you might recall, is the “face” of the Sustainable WS toxic-runoff-fighting campaign (read about the “monster” here and about simple actions YOU can take to fight it).
ADDED THURSDAY MORNING: Here’s the official announcement, now published on the Cox Conserves Heroes website.
The banner up at Admiral Way Viewpoint is a big, bright reminder – Summer Concerts at Hiawatha, presented by the Admiral Neighborhood Association (with co-sponsors including WSB), start tomorrow night with The Local Strangers. Bring your own blanket/chairs, picnic dinner if you feel like it, and enjoy the music – plus a chance to gather with friends, family, neighbors. The show starts at 6:30 and is scheduled to be emceed by West Seattle-residing radio personality Marty Riemer.
Then on Saturday and Sunday, there’s a big slate of live music for the Alki Art Fair (at the beach in the Bathhouse/Boardwalk vicinity, both days). As organized by Chas Redmond – here’s the Saturday and Sunday slates – 10 till 9 on Saturday (though the fair vendors are scheduled to wrap up around 6), 10 till 7:45 on Sunday:Read More
(Photo added 6:47 pm)
5:54 PM: Fairly low-level response on the 911 log but high-profile intersection, so we’re off for a look at the Highland Park Way/Holden crash.
6:17 PM UPDATE: 2-car crash, ambulance for 1 person. Traffic getting through every direction except turning left to go down the hill.
Two weeks ago, we reported on the charges filed against 37-year-old Sothany Sok, the West Seattle man arrested for allegedly ramming four police cars during a bizarre incident on Sunday morning, July 8th, which started at Don Armeni, went west on Alki, then back east, and finally ended just after he turned onto the north end of Delridge and was blocked by police. Sok is charged with four counts of second-degree assault and one count of attempting to elude a pursuing police car. He was scheduled to appear for arraignment today, to answer the charges, but instead, his arraignment was postponed to August 8th – the judge “ordered him to undergo a mental evaluation to determine his competency to stand trial,” according to Dan Donohoe from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. He remains jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail.
3:08 PM: We’re at Alki, just east of the Bathhouse, with Mayor McGinn, Capt. Steve Paulsen, Lt. Pierre Davis, and Lt. Ron Smith, as the mayor and captain lead the last of five briefings around the city on summertime policing “hot spots.” … The mayor says, “The big story here is that this precinct is the lowest crime rate of any precinct in the city .. the majority of crimes are property crimes … burglary is down 21 percent over 2011 …” and auto theft/prowling is down too, as are other types of major crimes, he says. Capt. Paulsen starts his remarks by saying that West Seattle is successful because of “relationships with the community. … It’s all about relationships and partnerships.” He notes that the summer months are big on Alki and that’s why police are there. We asked if anyone was ever arrested in connection with the Whale Tail Park gunfire incident; the captain says the Gang Unit continues to investigate, but no arrests so far. He reiterates that West Seattle/South Park have had a double-digit decrease in property crimes, “and we’ve been enjoying significant declines over other parts of the city …” He attributes that to the partnership, with eagle-eyed neighbors reporting what they see … also, “we are putting the right people in the right places at the right time.”
3:16 PM UPDATE: The briefing is over after just seven minutes. No revelations. One person from regional media is asking the mayor about the Department of Justice situation, off to the side. He had mentioned at the beginning that he had toured the precinct earlier with Capt. Paulsen, as well as touring High Point. We have the brief briefing all on video and will add it here when back at HQ.
5:49 PM: And there’s the video in its entirety, unedited.
As the Seattle City Council and King County Council consider whether to approve the proposal for an arena in SODO, the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce has gone on record as opposed to the proposed location – NOT to the idea of an arena, but to the proposal for putting it in SODO. The Chamber has just sent this letter to both:
Honorable Members of King County and Seattle City Councils
The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce (WSCC) has taken a position in opposition to the proposed Sodo location of Arenaco’s sports and entertainment complex. Our Chamber feels that the proposed sports and entertainment complex is a type of use that is incompatible in our marine, industrial and warehouse neighborhood.
WSCC is chiefly concerned about the impact such a facility would have on congestion in Sodo. Sodo is the main artery feeding West Seattle. Many goods needed by West Seattle businesses originate in Sodo warehouses or arrive via truck through Sodo. This is also true for goods and/or freight originating in West Seattle, much of it must go to or through Sodo.
WSCC wishes to emphasize that freight mobility is not simply an issue for marine cargo, it’s an issue for freight movements of all sizes and destinations. Freight sitting idle in a congested Sodo is costly to local businesses large and small.
The letter continues after the jump:Read More
Followup to our report from yesterday, which we had just updated with new information from Seattle Parks today – the broken glass that shut down the Hiawatha wading pool for most of yesterday, and injured one child when the pool was briefly reopened, still isn’t all gone, so the pool’s still closed and the cleanup operation continues. Parks says that when it’s reopened, they’ll update their hotline (206-684-7796).
(UPDATED 9:13 PM with Times story link noting that garbage=truck drivers walked out too)
(Photo added 12:56 pm – at WM NW facility on West Marginal Way)
11:30 AM: The labor dispute has been simmering for months, and now, as of less than an hour ago, Teamsters Local 117 says its recycling and yard-waste drivers are on strike against Waste Management in King and Snohomish counties. More to come.
12:17 PM: No formal statements yet from WM nor from the city regarding how this is expected to affect service, but we’ve got requests out, and will add information as we get it. So far the first citywide-media coverage we’ve seen is at KING5.com.
12:58 PM: Just added a photo of strikers outside WM’s West Marginal Way facility. Also just received this WM statement:
After more than six months of contract negotiations and sixteen comprehensive proposals, Waste Management was disappointed that Teamsters Local 117 decided to strike today. “We are perplexed that the Union chose to go out on strike and negatively impact the public in this way. This was simply unnecessary, especially considering the fair and generous last, best and final package offered to Teamsters Local 117 over four weeks ago,” said Robin Freedman of Waste Management. “Once again the Union leadership has chosen political gamesmanship rather than allowing their members to vote on the offer.”
The company is now shifting their focus to customer communications and implementing their contingency plan.
Not knowing the length of this strike, WM encourages customers to place their materials at the curb according to their regular collection schedule. If materials are not collected by the end of the day, bring them in and WM will collect a double load on your next collection day. Please check the WM website for daily collection information at www.wmnorthwest.com
ADDED 4:04 PM: Seattle Public Utilities has now sent an advisory to customers – if you’re reading this from the home page, it’s after the jump:Read More
(Photos by Patrick Sand for West Seattle Blog/White Center Now)
10:29 AM: Just getting word of a robbery reported at Chase Bank in White Center. Seattle Police are helping search. There’s word of a possible suspect found to the south, but the search will continue until and unless that is verified.
10:41 AM UPDATE: We were at the location where police took the possible suspect into custody, 19th and 104th – photos to come – checking with KCSO to see if they believe that’s the robber. (update) Sgt. Cindi West says yes, they do.
11:01 AM UPDATE: Sgt. West has just spoken with media at the bank. She says that deputies spotted the suspect “jogging” — reinforcements came in, they stopped him, and found a gun and a bag in his possession. She says that the robber did show a gun in the bank. We have her interview on video and arrest-scene photos to be added when our crew’s back at HQ.
11:33 AM UPDATE: Just added the above clip, with Sgt. West explaining what happened, and saying the suspect – first spotted by a sergeant – was being taken to jail.
8:35 AM: We’re at Constellation Park right now and are seeing the Paddle to Squaxin canoes start to pass off Beach Drive, after their departure from Alki. You can hear the pullers from here, since they’re not too far offshore. Some are being escorted by motorized boats. We have covered their visit the past two days; the annual journey involves dozens of tribal canoe families from all over the Northwest. Today they head south to be hosted by the Puyallup Tribe, with the final destination in southernmost Puget Sound on Sunday – the Squaxin Island Tribe is the gathering’s host once they arrive in Olympia.
8:41 AM: Now at Alki, near the Bathhouse – departures continue. Quite a sight, and sound, from the Boardwalk, too.
9:44 AM: Still a few more canoes left. Adding a photo from Bryan Bloss – to show the perspective; the Evergreen cargo ship was heading north past Lowman Beach/Beach Drive in the early going of today’s departures.
10 AM: All the canoes are now in the water, with the final few headed west to Alki Point, a sailboat and powerboat trailing them. We have a few more photos and some video
to add shortly – here it is:
As noted in our earlier coverage, the canoe journey has been happening annually since 1989; that first one was the “Paddle to Seattle,” ending at Alki, while this year, it’s just been a stop along the way.
Two traffic notes that aren’t inside West Seattle proper but might affect some outbound from here:
SOUTH PARK FIRE: A house fire in the 1000 block of Cloverdale has police blocking that arterial between 10th and 12th. We’ll be updating coverage on our SP site.
PRESIDENTIAL DEPARTURE: After spending the night in Bellevue following his Hunts Point fundraisers, President Obama is scheduled to head back to Boeing Field in the 9 am hour, which will again mean some I-5 traffic stoppages (and, usually, a domino effect on the eastbound West Seattle Bridge).
(9:31 AM UPDATE: The president has departed – we’re on Alki watching the tribal canoes’ departure, and Air Force One flew right over.)