month : 07/2012 308 results

West Seattle Crime Watch: Police ask for help finding a stolen car linked to burglary

Police are asking for help tonight – they are looking for a stolen Ford Explorer, dark green with Washington license 886VBR, which they say is linked to a burglary and car prowl. They’ve arrested a suspect, but need to find the vehicle, which may be in the Genesee area or could be elsewhere in the north West Seattle area. It’s likely parked, with stolen items possibly inside, according to police, who ask that you call 911 if you see it.

West Seattle development: Townhome-building revs up too

We’ve been reporting a lot recently about big development proposals – like the one we mentioned the other day, the early-stage proposal for a site including the former Huling Chevrolet showroom at 4755 Fauntleroy Way, and Junction plans including the soon-to-start Equity Residential two-building project at California/Alaska/42nd. But smaller development – such as what we dubbed “teardowns-to-townhomes” back in the 2007-2008 boom – is intensifying too. Case in point, two three-story 5-unit townhome projects starting soon in two of West Seattle’s “junctions.” The demolition permit has just been granted for one site, the house above at 4503 SW Oregon in The Junction (city project page here); the other one, on the current site of a 60-year-old brick duplex at California/Myrtle in south Morgan Junction, is a few months out:

We talked to the developer of both, a company called Isola Homes. We had actually only asked about the Morgan Junction site, which is fairly high-profile since it’s right across from the Caffé Ladro (etc.) business pod, but when Isola vice president Tim O’Shea answered our e-mail inquiry with a phone call, he told us about the other one too:

Read More

Update: Colman Pool reopening Friday after Thursday trouble

Just got word from Seattle Parks that you can’t go swimming at Lincoln Park’s outdoor pool right now. From Dewey Potter:

Colman Pool is closed because all the lavatories are backed up. Our plumbers have been there since 1:30 p.m. working to fix them. I’ll let you know if the pool opens by 5:30 p.m. We sincerely apologize to the pool-going public; please know our crew is working hard to solve the problem and get people into the water!

4:18 PM UPDATE: It’ll be closed for the rest of the day:

Update: Public swim is canceled; the plumbers have found that the clog is so far down that they haven’t reached it yet, even with multiple extensions on the snake. The staff will have to clean and disinfect the locker rooms once the drain has been unclogged.

The staff are using this time for staff training on rescues, always a useful exercise.

ADDED: The problem’s fixed and the pool will reopen Friday at noon, on schedule, says Parks.

West Seattle traffic alerts: Spokane Street Viaduct’s next round

Thursday is when SDOT and WSDOT are usually out with construction-related traffic alerts for the next week – and for starters, we just got the plan for the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project, in its final weeks. Some overnight, one-direction closures are coming up – read on for the full list:Read More

Got space? ArtsWest losing nearby storage, needs new space

While we’ve been covering the ongoing departures and closures of businesses on the future Equity Residential development site in The Junction, we just got word of another effect: Nonprofit theater/gallery ArtsWest is losing affordable storage space and needs to replace it ASAP. From Heather:

With the imminent tear-down of the stores across the street from us in the Alaska Junction, ArtsWest will soon lose its storage space (located under the Super Supplements store). We’ve been very fortunate to have storage for our large props, furniture, and sets all of these years for free, and are now looking for 1000 feet of storage space in the West Seattle area!

Heather notes that the current storage space used to be a morgue (and you probably already know that the street-level site was once part of West Seattle Hospital). You can contact Heather at 206-938-0963, extension 107, or

Roxhill Elementary’s makeover: T-Mobile volunteers star at ‘Home of the Stars’

They have paint, brushes, shovels, wheelbarrows, even a DJ at this morning’s Roxhill Elementary makeover work party featuring hundreds of volunteers from T-Mobile. And Roxhill’s outgoing principal, the district’s new Executive Director of Schools for this region, Carmela Dellino, is there too:

Back in May, Dellino led a meeting at which the school community talked about the campus’s physical challenges – poorly maintained, dilapidated buildings, portables with safety and noise problems – and while this won’t solve them all, it’ll certainly help:

The play-equipment area and nearby garden are getting some TLC too:

Work is going on indoors as well as outdoors:

T-Mobile’s “Huddle Up” community-outreach/employee-volunteerism program is behind all this, and a news release says this is one of 10 “extreme makeovers” the program’s tackling this year, in addition to more than 60 already complete around the country. In addition to painting, cleanup, and playground/garden work (among other things happening there right now), the volunteers’ efforts also will result in “a customized afterschool space stocked with furniture, school supplies, books, and games” to be dubbed the T-Mobile Huddle Up Zone.

Wondering what that film crew’s doing on Alki this morning?

Thanks to everyone who sent word of this film crew working on Alki this morning, wondering what they’re up to. We just went over to check. A crew member told us it’s a commercial for the loan company Moneytree. They were still setting up when we stopped, west of 58th/Alki, with an equipment truck by Pioneer Coffee and a wardrobe RV across the street from Coastal:

They expected to be there till lunchtime. Lending/banking commercials are finding our area increasingly attractive, it seems – including Sterling Bank, which filmed a spot starring Beveridge Place Pub in Morgan Junction (see it here). And Columbia Bank shot one of its “Blue Couch” commercials here this past spring.

West Seattle Thursday: 1st Hiawatha concert; Shakespeare in the Park; scam-fighting tips…

Thanks to Toni T. for the photo of the West Seattle Water Taxi emerging from the fog. The rest of West Seattle will be out of the clouds later, the forecast assures us … which is a good thing, because there’s much to do!

RECYCLING/YARD WASTE/GARBAGE STRIKE UPDATES: As noted in our first story of the morning, Waste Management says there’ll be no pickup today (including for those whose pickups were missed yesterday). We’ll continue to keep the newest update on the strike linked atop the BIG STORIES headline list on the WSB sidebar, for as long as this lasts.

VIADUCT CLOSURES – TONIGHT AND THIS WEEKEND: The top of the BIG STORIES list on the sidebar is also where you will always find the latest info on major road closures. In addition to another overnight closure of the SOUTHBOUND 99/Viaduct tonight, 9 pm-5 am, remember that there will be a NORTHBOUND closure this weekend, 5:30 pm Saturday till first thing Monday morning. (This incorporates the Seafair Torchlight Run closure – see this story from last week for complete details.)

ROXHILL MAKEOVER: All day today at Roxhill Elementary – as per this note in our calendar – hundreds of volunteers from T-Mobile are working to give Roxhill Elementary a makeover as part of a one-day mega-work party.

SCAM- AND FRAUD-FIGHTING TIPS: Special free presentation at noon today at the Senior Center of West Seattledetails here.

SUMMER CONCERTS AT HIAWATHA: The first of six Thursday night concerts is tonight. The Local Strangers perform on the east lawn at Hiawatha Community Center at 6:30 pm, emceed by Marty Riemer. BYO blanket/chair. Free! Presented by the Admiral Neighborhood Association (with co-sponsors including WSB).

SHOP LATE THURSDAY IN THE JUNCTION: Every Thursday this summer, till 9 pm, dozens of shops are keeping the doors open later than usual so you can come browse and buy. Tonight, Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor) and Twilight Artist Collective have special events – they’re both doing tastings (Finnriver Cider at Click! and Joia Soda at TwAC) – read about it here.

SPEAKING OF TASTINGS: It’s the weekly free-tasting night at West Seattle Cellars – Argentina wines from Detour Imports, 5:30-8 pm.

SOMETHING I CAN DO: VOICES FROM OCCUPY SEATTLE: Free performance at Puget Ridge Co-Housing (7020 18th SW), 6:30 pm. Details in the calendar listing.

SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK: The first of Greenstage‘s free West Seattle performances this summer is tonight at Lincoln Park – “Henry VIII” at 7 pm.

Even MORE on the calendarcheck out the list here (and browse ahead days, weeks, months! expand any entry by clicking the “plus” on the right side – then click “read more” for additional details, including maps).

Waste Management recycling/garbage strike: Thursday updates

(UPDATED 11:13 AM with city statement)

FIRST REPORT, 7:32 AM: Today’s first update on the recycling/yard waste/garbage truck drivers’ walkout: Waste Management says, no service today. (According to this map we used during the 2010 strike, there’s no Thursday pickup zone in West Seattle – let us know if that’s inaccurate.) This is the statement the company e-mailed early this morning:

Service Disruption Today
Thursday, July 26th, 2012

If today is your collection day, please see information below.

Due to a work stoppage that began on Wednesday, July 25th, we will not be able to provide your regularly scheduled service today. Waste Management does not know how long the work stoppage will be.

Residential Customers: We will collect up to twice your regular amount of missed services on your next regular service day at no additional charge.

Commercial Customers: We will pick up extra garbage, recycling and/or yard and food waste on your next scheduled service day at no additional charge. If the work stoppage goes beyond a few days, accounts affecting public health and the environment, such as hospitals, day care centers and nursing homes will be our first priority.

As reported here yesterday (story here), the recycling and yard-waste truck drivers went on strike after working without a contract since May 31st (and taking a strike-authorization vote June 2nd). The statement by their union, Teamsters Local 117, is here.

For each day the strike lasts, we will have a story with that day’s updates, adding to it as that day goes on, linked atop the “BIG STORIES” list on the right sidebar so you can easily find the newest information.

ADDED 11:13 AM: Here’s the Seattle Public Utilities statement for the day:

As a strike by Teamster Union Local 117 continues, Waste Management is reporting that none of their regular business and residential garbage, recycling and yard waste will be collected today in Seattle.

There is also potential for continuing disruptions in solid waste collections tomorrow, Friday, July 27.

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) asks customers who were missed for collection today to put out their garbage, recycling and yard waste next Thursday, Aug. 2. There will be no charge for additional items placed at the curb.

Friday customers should put their garbage, recycling and yard waste out before 7 a.m. tomorrow.

The strike could affect about 60 percent of the city, in Northwest and South Seattle (see attached map). Teamster Local 117’s contract with Waste Management expired May 31. In Seattle, Local 117 represents only recycling drivers, and other drivers are covered by separate labor agreements. However, Waste Management is reporting that yard waste and garbage drivers are also not collecting today.

Collections by CleanScapes, which covers about 40 percent of the city (see map) are not impacted by the strike.

SPU Director Ray Hoffman said that although the City of Seattle is not part of the negotiations between Waste Management and the Teamsters, he expects the two parties to continue to engage in good faith negotiations toward a speedy and successful outcome.

Under its contract with the city, Waste Management is required to continue services in the event of any disruption. Specifically, any missed collections due to any labor complications must be collected later in the week, or the following week. Waste Management will not be paid for any non-service.

The contract allows the city to deduct approximately $4,500 per day in payments to Waste Management for any services that are not completed the next day. For any interruptions that continue more than a week, contractors can also be fined substantially for service failure, up to $250,000 per day.

“Protecting public health and safety will continue to be the city’s top priority throughout this collection disruption,” Hoffman said.

SPU will provide updates as needed. Customers with solid waste service issues or concerns may call the Call Center at (206) 684-3000.

Customers with labor/union questions or concerns should contact Waste Management or Teamsters Local 117.

One week till Seafair U.S. Navy fleet parades past West Seattle

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).

Congratulations! Laura James wins Cox Conserves Heroes award, gets $ for Sustainable West Seattle

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.

Outdoor music! Summer Concerts at Hiawatha tomorrow; Alki Art Fair lineup for this weekend

July 25, 2012 7:23 pm
|    Comments Off on Outdoor music! Summer Concerts at Hiawatha tomorrow; Alki Art Fair lineup for this weekend
 |   Fun stuff to do | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

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

West Seattle traffic alert: Crash at top of Highland Park Way hill

(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.

Followup: Evaluation ordered for suspect in police-car-ramming case

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.

Video: Mayor, police ‘hot spot’ briefing on Alki

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.

West Seattle Chamber of Commerce opposes SODO location for arena; letter sent to City, County Councils

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: Hiawatha wading pool still closed because of glass

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).

Update: Recycling, yard-waste truck drivers on strike against Waste Management; garbage truck drivers walk out too

(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

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.

Collection Schedules
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

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

Update: SPD joins search after White Center bank robbery; 1 arrested

(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.

Video: Tribal canoes leave West Seattle, headed south

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.

Morning traffic notes: South Park fire; presidential departure

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.)

West Seattle Crime Watch: 5 reader reports, starting with stolen cars

We start off this West Seattle Crime Watch reader-report roundup with Sean asking you to help find his car:

My 1997 Honda Accord Wagon, dark green, license plate # 327 VUF, was stolen last night, between 10 pm and 9 am on the 3300 block of 30th ave SW, right off Harbor Ave. and the WS bridge. Police said it will likely be left in the neighborhood. Please keep a lookout.

West Seattleite Lauren is looking for her car too – stolen just a bit outside this area:

know this is a long-shot, but my car was stolen from near 1st Ave S. and Holgate (Sodo) this past Thursday. I live in West Seattle, so I thought I would e-mail just to see if anyone would keep an eye out for it. The SPD told me they have a 95% recovery rate, but so far I’ve heard nothing, so I’m starting to lose hope. I moved here this past February from Texas, so my car still has Texas plates. It’s a 1997 white Honda Civic 2-door coupe with TX plates 721-GVR. There’s a slight dent in the hood on the driver’s side. If anyone would keep an eye out for it and call the police if they see it, I would really appreciate it.

Three more reports ahead – hit-run, mail theft, and harassment:Read More

West Seattle sunset scene: Rays through the feathers

Thanks to “B-squared” for sharing the unique sunset view – with Fauntleroy’s famous white waterfowl in the foreground. The forecast looks promising for the outdoor events ahead – Summer Concerts at Hiawatha (with The Local Strangers) on Thursday night, Alki Art Fair on Saturday and Sunday, and West Seattle Outdoor Movies (with “Young Frankenstein”) on Saturday night.