West Seattle, Washington
(TUESDAY UPDATE: There’s a Thursday briefing at City Hall – agenda here)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Right after the Seattle City Council returns from its summer break post-Labor Day, a new set of rules will be proposed and is likely to generate intense debate.
It’s a proposal to change city rules to cap fees charged for “involuntary towing from private property” – also known as “private impounds” – announced a month ago by Mayor McGinn and Councilmember Nick Licata.
The actual package of proposed rules itself was not made public at the time of that announcement. In fact it was not finished and published until a few days ago (when we checked last month, a Licata staffer told WSB they were “tweaking it before we formally introduce it”). It’s now on the city website – see all the specifics here. The key points include:
A. Towing service fee: The maximum hourly fee that tow companies may charge for towing service for private impounds shall be no more $209 for the first hour and $130.60 for the second and subsequent hours for tows conducted with a Class A, D, or E tow truck. …
4. The hourly fee must be applied to the resulting net time and, after the first hour, must be rounded to the nearest fifteen minutes. …
B. Uncompleted tow fee: Tow companies may charge no more than the maximum hourly towing service fee specified in subsection 6.214.220.A for an uncompleted tow. Beginning with the first hour, no more than one quarter of the hourly fee may be charged for each fifteen minutes of towing service work performed. Reimbursement for time spent on an uncompleted tow can only be computed from the time of dispatch to the time the car is released to the vehicle operator.
C. Storage fee: The maximum storage fee that tow companies may charge for storing a private impound vehicle shall be no more than $15.50 for each 12-hour increment. …
D. After hours release fee: The maximum fee that a tow company may charge to release a privately impounded vehicle outside of normal business hours may not exceed $100. …
If it passes and does what the mayor and councilmember suggest it would, it might prevent future cases like that of a West Seattle woman who told WSB she lost her car three times – first and second times to a car thief, then, finally, to a towing/impound bill she couldn’t afford.
First, the arrest: Karen from Hansen View Blockwatch reports an arrest that may help solve multiple recent thefts in their area. A 31-year-old man is in the King County Jail, arrested for investigation of possession of stolen property.
She says a neighbor in the 5000 block of 37th SW (map) “happened to notice someone behaving oddly” and started watching. The neighbor noticed the man had a scooter and a van, and then saw the man take an edge trimmer from a nearby yard and put it into the van. Then, the neighbor saw the man take off on the scooter, and followed some distance through alleys while calling 911. The scooter crashed; the suspect ran into a house at 36th and Morgan (map). Police made the arrest there (finding the suspect, Karen says, hiding in the attic) and are reported to have found at least 10 bicycles in the yard, along with suspected stolen mail. We’ll keep an eye on this case and follow up on whether charges are filed.
Second, the search: It’s a request for help finding a hit-run driver. Ed shared the photo at left. He says the damage is from a dark metallic-green vehicle that hit his car around 3 am today in front of his home in the 3700 block of 40th SW (map). He says he knows the color “because it left some pieces behind,” so if you’ve seen a car that color with front-end damage, please contact police.
Thanks to Melissa for the reminder that one of the movies playing this week at Admiral Theater was partly filmed here in West Seattle. We mentioned the Shipwreck Tavern shoot for “Safety Not Guaranteed” in May of last year. According to the Admiral schedule, the movie is showing there once a night through Thursday, at 9 pm.
The photo of the Washington spot on the Democratic National Convention venue’s floor in Charlotte, NC, was shared by 34th District Democrats vice chair Marcee Stone. She notes that she is one of 10 members of the 34th Dems who are at the convention – along with Zack Barker, Karl de Jong, Robert Fuentes, Ann Martin, Dr. Lisa Plymate, and Chris Porter, plus two who Stone says are on committees, State Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon and Lorin Walker. (Added: Rep. Fitzgibbon says another local Democrat is there, Lorena Gonzalez.) Dr. Plymate preceded this with a visit to the Republican National Convention as part of a bus tour with Doctors For America, which is going to both conventions to advocate for health-care affordability, as Jerry Large of The Seattle Times (WSB partner) wrote last week. (DfA is also going to the DNC.) The convention is scheduled to be livestreamed here. (RNC highlights are online here.)
11:03 AM: A two-vehicle crash including a flipped SUV and a minivan is blocking eastbound and all but one lane of westbound traffic at 26th and Roxbury. No serious injuries, though. Our crew at the scene says eastbound traffic is being diverted onto southbound 26th. (Thanks to Paul from WSB sponsor PB&J Textiles for the tip on this.)
11:24 AM UPDATE: Just checked back on the scene – tow trucks have arrived. Like the hit-run crash we covered in the same area back in June, this is mostly on the county side of the city/county boundary (which goes down the middle of Roxbury there) so King County Sheriff’s Office is investigating, and Seattle Fire was providing assistance at the scene.
Though some online offerings like traffic cameras will remain “powered off” till Tuesday, the city says its electrical maintenance work is over and much of the city website is back in business. Here’s the news release:
Work on the Seattle Municipal Tower electrical system scheduled for Labor Day weekend has been completed ahead of schedule. The City’s website and online applications are up and running and no longer impacted by this maintenance work. Maintenance work was conducted after City staff discovered a power transmission problem that impacted the Data Center.
On Tuesday, Rick Cook of “Psychic Barber” fame will start work in his new spot at the Classic Barber Shop, about a block north of his old shop at 5251 California SW. But before he closed Rick’s Barber Shop for the final time on Saturday – with a development project looming, as reported here three weeks ago – he had a full-circle client: Rick’s last cut there was for longtime friend Jeff, who was also the first person to get a haircut from him in that space, on February 14, 1994. By the time Jeff arrived Saturday, even the barber pole was packed up:
Rick is joining other old friends, Julie and Keith, at the Classic. But the Psychic Barber neon (backstory here) that filled his old shop’s window is not coming along. Rick says the signs will “go into storage for now, although I’ve had a couple of unsolicited offers from a couple of galleries that are tempting.” When we stopped in on Saturday, the PSYCHIC half was already down, below the window that’s covered with a sign about Rick’s move to 5040 California.
He’ll start work there at 9 am Tuesday.
NO VIADUCT CLOSURE TONIGHT: WSDOT is deviating from the Sunday-Thursday schedule of southbound 99/Viaduct closures because of the holiday – so, as noted in our day-by-day/night-by-night list, NO closure till Tuesday night. (And nothing on the Spokane Street Viaduct except for the continuing closure of the eastbound 1st Avenue S. offramp.)
WEST SEATTLE SUNDAY SOCCER: Hey, earlybirds! Join this increasingly popular informal game at Delridge Playfield, 7:30 am. (Follow the WSSS Facebook page for updates.)
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: Garlic, onions, roasted peppers – savory offerings are there today as well as late-summer fruit, and much more. 10 am-2 pm, 44th/Alaska.
WEST SEATTLE ULTIMATE FAMILY FRISBEE: Another regular drop-in sports event – Fairmount Playfield, 11 am. You can follow WSUFF on Facebook, too.
LOG HOUSE MUSEUM: See the new “Telling Our Westside Stories” exhibit AND more West Seattle (etc.) history, noon-4 pm at the museum, 61st/Stevens.
WEST SEATTLE TOOL LIBRARY: Haven’t been? Or haven’t been lately? Take advantage of the quieter holiday weekend and check them out during Sunday’s regular hours, 1-5 pm. Northeast side of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW).
HIPS AND PIPES: Bellydancing meets bagpiping, tonight at Skylark Café and Club, 8 pm (3803 Delridge Way SW).
Quick Crime Watch note tonight – Paul reports someone stole his license plates overnight near 39th and Dakota: Washington plates B45069N. So if you happen to see a plate lying around in your neighborhood, take a closer look (and tell police if you find one, even if it’s not Paul’s).
(Click image for larger view)
Thanks to Craig Young for the view of CenturyLink Field from West Seattle during tonight’s moonrise. The purple lighting is in honor of the University of Washington Huskies’ game tonight, which just ended with UW beating San Diego State, 21-12.
Since it’s a federal holiday, Labor Day will bring a few more flags out on display around West Seattle (and beyond). One will be brand-new, and you are invited to its dedication. From Gary Langenbach:
On behalf of the Alki Masonic Temple Board, we would like to invite members of the community to a Labor Day Potluck and dedication of our new Flag and renovated flagpole. Members of VFW district 2 will be performing the flag dedication. We will gather at noon on Monday, September 3rd, at Alki Masonic Center, 4736 40th Ave SW, to share a casual meal. We will commence the Flag Ceremony at 1 pm. Please feel free to remain for fellowship throughout the afternoon. Call 206-938-3554 for additional information.
Even though the 1st Avenue South ramp to/from the westbound Spokane Street Viaduct is now open, other work continues, both city and state projects, including the ongoing closure of the eastbound SSV offramp at 1st (till late September). Otherwise, no closures till after Labor Day. Here’s the night-by-night, day-by-day list for the week-plus ahead:
SATURDAY 9/1 (today) through MONDAY 9/3
*No closures planned
*Alaskan Way Viaduct/99 – Southbound lanes closed 9 pm Tuesday to 5 am Wednesday, between Battery Street Tunnel and West Seattle Bridge
*Alaskan Way Viaduct/99 – Southbound lanes closed 9 pm Wednesday to 5 am Thursday, between Battery Street Tunnel and West Seattle Bridge
*Alaskan Way Viaduct/99 – Southbound lanes closed 9 pm Thursday to 5 am Friday
*Spokane Street Viaduct – From SDOT:
The eastbound lanes of the Spokane Street Viaduct between SR 99 and I-5 will be closed from 1 am to 5 am Thursday morning. All traffic on the West Seattle Bridge will be detoured to northbound SR 99. Traffic wishing to continue further east will be diverted to the lower Spokane Street roadway.
FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY (9/7-9/9)
*Spokane Street Viaduct – Aside from ongoing 1st Avenue S. exit closure, nothing scheduled
*Alaskan Way Viaduct/99 – Nothing scheduled
*The full list of everything notable – elsewhere in the city, too – is here. You’ll note there is a northbound 99/Alaskan Way Viaduct closure scheduled for the weekend of September 15-16.
(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
FIRST REPORT, 4:16 PM: Just ended at West Seattle Stadium, Seattle Lutheran High School‘s first football game of 2012, a loss to Carson Graham Secondary from B.C. – CG 48, SLHS 21.
ADDED SATURDAY NIGHT: Details, ahead:Read More
Almost a year and a half after it closed during a conversion from 76 to Arco, the gas station/mini-mart on the east side of the Fauntleroy/Alaska intersection appears to be on the way to reopening, under new ownership. We checked its status after a tip from Paul of PB&J Textiles (WSB sponsor); he noticed the fence that had ringed it for a year was down and the site appeared “cleaned up.” It was fenced off last January and then listed for sale; county property records show the $1.3 million sale to PacWest Energy LLC closed a week and a half ago, and city online records show an application for a sign permit – under the Shell brand. What we’ve found online so far indicates that PacWest is a joint venture between Shell and Idaho-based Jacksons Food Stores. Does this mean anything for the also-Shell-branded station across the intersection? We’ll be checking on that, and on the timetable for this one.
12:10 PM: On our way to a house-fire call in the 1200 block of SW Webster.
12:18 PM UPDATE: At the scene. Units rolling up. It was a microwave problem, they told us.
Four weeks from today, big changes take effect for Metro riders in West Seattle, among other places. The start of RapidRide Line C is the biggest one, but as discussed and decided months ago, other routes will change too, so in case you aren’t already thoroughly familiar with what’s happening to the route(s) you use, here’s early warning. The schedules won’t be out till mid-September, Metro says, but you can follow the links to the “summary of changes” and the new route maps from the right side of this page.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports: First, from Tom in North Admiral:
This morning, I woke up to both of my cars each with all 4 tires slashed. Called the police and they said that 6 to 8 other families were reporting the same issue with their cars. Great way to start a 3-day holiday.
And yet another bicycle theft – this one reported last night by Heather:
My bike was stolen from my home just north of Lincoln Park. It’s a red Diamond Back. It was loaded with green panniers and a striped bucket-style helmet. My white three-ring binder with teaching materials was in the pannier. I’d love to get that back, even if I never see the bike again!
To get involved with community crime-prevention efforts, now that it’s September, watch for the meeting announcements of the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council (9/18) and the West Seattle Blockwatch Captains’ Network (9/25).
(Last night’s moonrise, from Don Armeni – photo by David Hutchinson)
Welcome to September! Here are some of the highlights for today/tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Events Calendar:
LEND A HAND AT LINCOLN PARK: Start your Labor Day weekend with a little volunteer forest restoration at Lincoln Park. Meet the Friends of Lincoln Park at 9 am – details here.
BLOOD DRIVE IN THE JUNCTION: 9 am-3 pm, look for the mobile unit at 42nd/Alaska (except for a 11:30 am-12:30 pm closure).
SHOP THE DUWAMISH LONGHOUSE: Day 2 of the “Native Market and Jumble Days” event, 10 am-4 pm. (4705 W. Marginal Way SW)
HIGH-SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Two matches scheduled for West Seattle Stadium – Seattle Lutheran plays Carson Graham Secondary, 1:30 pm; West Seattle HS vs. Lindbergh HS at 7 pm (The Seattle Times (WSB partner) says this will technically be a “controlled scrimmage”).
LUAU: You’re invited to enjoy food and performances at Seaview Methodist Church, 2 pm – details here.
TERRY BROOKS AT BARNES & NOBLE: As previewed last night, the West Seattle-residing best-selling author is at Westwood Village B&N for his annual appearance, 2 pm.
THE HARD ROAD TRIO: They’re bringing Americana/bluegrass music to Kenyon Hall tonight, 7:30 pm.
LATER SCHEDULE FOR WEST SEATTLE WATER TAXI: The schedule is extended because of tonight’s UW football game – details here.
‘ROCKY HORROR’ AT THE ADMIRAL: The monthly (usually) 1st Saturday show at the Admiral Theater, with a shadow cast – tonight at midnight.
There’s more – as well as a chance to browse ahead to tomorrow and beyond – on the calendar.