West Seattle, Washington
(Photos by Nick Adams for WSB; above, Bamboo bar manager Erika Pirzadeh, speaking)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Tonight’s community meeting at Bamboo Bar and Grill was preceded by a completely different kind of meeting – one called by authorities and agencies because of what happened outside Bamboo early Sunday.
The Alki Beach establishment’s future depends on how it respond to both meetings.
The community meeting brought about 20 people, including several Bamboo managers and staffers, to the back of the restaurant/bar. Hours earlier, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office had filed two assault charges against the man arrested following the Sunday fight that turned into a shooting (here’s our report).
During tonight’s meeting, Bamboo management insisted that while the establishment’s “new” owners (who weren’t present) have actually owned it for almost a year and a half, they have been making changes since a new general manager – longtime West Seattleite and hospitality-industry veteran John Theofelis (below center) – took over a month and a half ago, and will do more.
“We’ve been making changes, but nobody knows if they are too scared to come in here,” Theofelis told WSB before the meeting.
During the meeting, more than one attendee said security presence would make a difference, as Bamboo acknowledged they did not have a security guard on hand Saturday night because they felt that, without live entertainment that night, it wasn’t needed.
They also acknowledged that both groups involved in the clash – which, court documents revealed today, left one victim with a bullet lodged close to his heart – had been inside Bamboo earlier. Employees say the groups had been “cut off” but had not shown signs of trouble or conflict in time for them to make any sort of proactive call to police.
First: What the authorities are doing. While the Seattle Police Southwest Precinct had two representatives at tonight’s meeting – Operations Lt. Pierre Davis and Community Police Team Officer Ken Mazzuca – the major news came from the City Attorney Office’s precinct liaison, assistant city attorney (and West Seattleite) Melissa Chin.
Late in the meeting, she rose to discuss the Code Compliance Team meeting held at Bamboo earlier in the day, explaining that participants included police and fire representatives as well as the city’s Director of Nightlife and the state Liquor Control Board.
On August 31st, friends and family will gather to remember Ray Sargent, a longtime West Seattleite who died at home in Arbor Heights last week at age 84. They tell us he was known as “the Mayor of Luna Park Café,” where he was a regular, and where he made news in October 2011, saved after a heart attack. He recovered from that, but then was diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer. The staff of Luna Park was part of a celebration of his life that he was able to attend before he died – that’s when the photo at right was taken. (And the family hopes that those touched by Ray or by the café’s support will go to Luna Park for a meal in his memory.) We have a formal obituary for him, followed by a few more thoughts from his daughter – read on:
With a community meeting at Alki’s Bamboo Bar and Grill less than two hours away, charges have been filed against the man arrested in connection with the fight and shooting outside Bamboo early Sunday (previous WSB coverage here and here). 27-year-old Michael Helmer of Kent is now charged with first-degree assault and fourth-degree assault – the former for shooting one man, the latter for attacking another. The court documents include the full narrative of what police believe happened – we will add that to this story shortly. (WSB photo from early Sunday)
UPDATED 4:32 PM: The full narrative, minus the names of witnesses and victims, is ahead:
Two theft reports in West Seattle Crime Watch this afternoon – if you have information on either, please call police. First, from Scott G:
I just wanted to get the word out that my 1990 Chevy Pickup was stolen from my driveway near 34th Ave SW and SW 108th St sometime last night between midnight and 8am.
It was dark red (I think Burgundy is the official color), is a full-size pickup with a king cab, and is distinctive in that the passenger side rear window sliding window is missing and is duct taped over with white plastic (not theft-related).
Plate # is B97040L.
There was a child’s car seat in the back seat, and the side and rear windows are tinted.
Also, the joke is on the thieves, in a sense, because it doesn’t run well at all. I think it is only running on 7 cylinders, and sounds really rough and is fairly loud (as most older 8-cylinder trucks are).
I’ve reported it to the police.
And from Shoshanna:
My husband and I are both public school teachers with two young kids and not a lot of extra money. Today we came home and saw that someone had stolen our double bike stroller from outside our apartment. It was parked under the stairs of our building and not visible from the sidewalk. We use it often and are very saddened that it was taken. It is a Schwinn double bike stroller, bright yellow color.
We live in a quad-plex on 44th and Alaska.
(Video and photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
New information today on the Genesee-area garage/pickup-truck fire last night covered by WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli (here’s our original story). We heard today from homeowner Kristiana Lockman, who says, “We lost both the truck and the garage, which will have to be torn down and replaced.” Her husband owns WEdesign (WSB sponsor); she says the fire is believed to have been caused by “the spontaneous combustion of rags (in the back of the truck) that were used to stain a client’s deck,” and we have confirmed that with Seattle Fire spokesperson Lt. Sue Stangl.
Kristiana adds, “We’re very relieved that we were home when it happened and that no one was hurt. And we’re immensely grateful to the two teams of firemen who responded quickly. They were efficient, kind and went out of their way to be helpful, even helping my husband board up the garage and the fence that was cut into before they left. … We’re grateful they do what they do so well.”
The city just sent an update on the water-main repairs that have kept northbound 1st Avenue South reduced to one lane south of the stadiums since early Tuesday. Repairs are now expected to last at last until tomorrow night. Read on for the update:Read More
Just in from Seattle Parks:
On Tuesday, August 28, Parks and Recreation’s Metal Shop will install a new pier ladder at Seacrest Park. Because a crane is needed to install it, Parks will need to close the parking lot from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. or when the work is finished. During the closure, King County Metro buses will park on the street rather than loop through the parking lot, and crew will work between the water-taxi runs, which take place once an hour. Parks apologizes for the inconvenience, and thanks parking-lot users for their patience.
11:54 AM: King County has been working to get approval for higher capacity on its two Water Taxi vessels (as first mentioned in January) – and County Councilmember Joe McDermott says that permission has just been received. The West Seattle boat, Rachel Marie, and Vashon boat, Melissa Ann, had been certified to carry up to 150 people each; now, each is certified for up to 172. Councilmember McDermott says the 5:30 pm sailing to Vashon last night was the first to utilize the new capacity, carrying 163 people; the island trips, he says, “regularly sell out.” During all of last year, 130 trips sailed at the 150-passenger capacity, between the two runs, and without the capacity increase, McDermott says, this year would have beaten that.
7:11 PM NOTE: The county sent a news release about this late today – see it here.
Just in – U.S. Senator Patty Murray will be at Husky Deli in The Junction tomorrow afternoon to “join with local business owners to support extending tax cuts for middle class families,” according to a media advisory we just received. The advisory adds, “Senator Murray will be joined by local small business owners and middle-class families who will urge the House of Representatives to pass this bill so middle-class families and small-business owners can get the tax certainty they deserve.” The business owners listed in the news advisory include Husky owner Jack Miller and Merryweather (formerly Leisure) Books owner Mary Clark; the event is scheduled for 1:15 pm. You can read the text of the bill in question, S. 3412, here. This will be Sen. Murray’s third West Seattle visit in less than a year; she was here three months ago to speak during Civics Week at South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor), also the site of her October 2011 visit with fellow Sen. Maria Cantwell to discuss job training.
Seattle Public Schools‘ 2012-2013 school year begins exactly two weeks from today. As the year gets going, new Superintendent José Banda plans “regional meetings” to meet families and commnity members – and he is offering in-person meetings one day a month, too. Details on both, ahead:Read More
TRAFFIC ALERTS: As mentioned earlier this morning, the 1st Avenue S. water-main work isn’t finished yet (we’ll update this story when it is), plus there’s a noontime Mariners game today, so SODO will be busy. Tonight, there are TWO scheduled closures (per our weekly day-by-day/night-by-night list) – southbound 99/Alaskan Way Viaduct closed 9 pm-5 am, and eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct closed 10 pm-5 am.
HIGH POINT MARKET GARDEN FARM STAND: Fresh-vegetable sales continue weekly at the stand alongside the organic mini-farm at 32nd and Juneau, 4-7 pm Wednesdays (through September). More info here.
COMMUNITY MEETING AT BAMBOO BAR AND GRILL: 5:30-7:30 pm, in the aftermath of the fight/shooting incident outside Bamboo (2806 Alki SW) last Sunday morning (WSB coverage here and followup here), its management/ownership is organizing a meeting “to share the steps that we have been taking to promote a safer environment and to hear any suggestions West Seattle locals may have to offer.”
OPEN HOUSE: Arbor Heights Co-Op Preschool is holding an open house 6 pm today at Hillcrest Presbyterian Church – details and map here (including an RSVP request).
(Refresh page for newest image from SDOT camera at 1st/Holgate – work crew’s on the right)
Once again this morning, water-main repairs south of the stadiums are keeping northbound 1st Avenue South reduced to one lane. This is expected to continue throughout today’s morning commute, so if that’s your usual route, a detour – or, at least, plenty of patience – might be in order again today. And if you have to head through SODO at midday or early this afternoon, in either direction, take note that the Mariners have a day game (12:40 pm).