day : 16/11/2012 14 results

Fundraiser announced for South Park crash victims’ families

One of the two teenagers killed in last Sunday night’s South Park crash has been laid to rest: After her viewing in White Center and funeral Mass at Holy Family, 13-year-old Lucie Hernandez was to be buried at a cemetery in Tukwila this afternoon. A funeral Mass is planned Monday at St. Mary’s in the Central District for 16-year-old Luis Martinez, who was a student at TEC High School on the Evergreen campus in White Center.

The two boys who survived the crash are also Evergreen campus students, according to Highline Public Schools, at TEC and at the Arts and Academics Academy, while the third survivor has been identified as Lucie’s sister Karla, a ninth-grader at Chief Sealth International High School.

We had previously reported an account to help Luis’s family with expenses, accessible via any BECU branch, in the name of Victor Herrera, account number 3579847581. Donations were accepted at this past Wednesday’s Denny/Sealth concert (WSB coverage here). And tonight, we have the announcement of a benefit next Monday night (November 19th) to assist both Luis and Lucie’s families:

The event will be at Mazatlan Mexican Restaurant in Renton from 5 pm-9 pm. There will be a $10 buffet fee and a chance to drop off additional donations. Radio Variedades radio host Mercedes Garcia will be hosting the event live on the radio and encouraging the community to come and support. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to spread the word.

The restaurant is at 540 Rainier Avenue South (map).

West Seattle Crime Watch: Officer-attack suspect charged

(WSB photo from Tuesday night)
One more court case to report as the week comes to an end: A charge of third-degree assault is filed against Skyler Gronholz, the 28-year-old man accused in the Tuesday night incident that left a Seattle Police sergeant and officer injured, as well as a citizen who tried to help. As we reported in followups, police say they pulled Gronholz over for running a red light at California and Charlestown; he gave the officer a false name, then tried to drive away while she was arresting him and trying to get him out of the car – that was the start of the struggle that led to injuries. According to the documents arguing to keep his bail at $30,000 (in addition to $15,000 for an arrest warrant that was out for him):

At the time of the defendant’s arrest in this case, he was on warrant status on a case in King County Superior Court Drug Court for multiple counts of burglary and trafficking in stolen property. … The defendant has had 21 warrants issued for his arrest since 2005 in King County. In addition to the defendant’s Drug Court matter, where he was found guilty of four counts of burglary in the second degree and four counts of trafficking stolen property in the first degree, the defendant has known convictions for theft in the third degree (2002, 2006) and criminal solicitation (2010).

The charging documents also include a few more details of the circumstances: The officer’s body was “inside the doorframe of the driver’s door” when Gronholz allegedly started the car. In addition to cuts and bruises on her elbows and knees, she also had a tooth knocked loose during the scuffle. The sergeant is described as having torn muscles in the chest, arm, and shoulder, with possible nerve damage. While, as we reported Wednesday, police suspected Gronholz was in possession of drugs, the assault charge is all that prosecutors filed against him. He’s still in jail at last check, and scheduled for arraignment November 29th.

Happening now: Fauntleroy Fine Art and Holiday Gift Fair 2012

You have three chances to check out the Fauntleroy Fine Art and Holiday Gift Fair at Fauntleroy Church this weekend for early holiday shopping — and the first one is under way right now, till 8 pm. We stopped by just before things got under way this evening, and photographed three of the participating crafters/artists. Above, Fauntleroy’s own Ann Dawson is there with her handmade hats. Next, Holli from Holli with an I Photography:

You’ll find woodcarver James Grantham there too:

Fauntleroy Church is at 9140 California SW and the show is on till 8 tonight, 10-4 tomorrow, 11-2 on Sunday.

Reminder: Eastridge Church turkey giveaway tomorrow morning

In case you or someone you know is in need this Thanksgiving … we wanted to mention once more that the annual Eastridge Church 500-turkey giveaway is tomorrow morning, starting at 9 am, at the church (39th and Oregon, across from West Seattle Bowl). They don’t require any proof of need or ID – just show up and they’ll give you a turkey and bag of groceries, as long as the supply lasts.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Sons charged with mistreating elderly father

Criminal mistreatment is the charge filed in relation to the case of an 86 year-old Alki man who died after being found in such bad condition, he died days later. This happened in 2010; two of his sons have just been charged this month. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office tells WSB they are due in court the day before Thanksgiving to answer charges. 57-year-old Kenneth Shaw and 54-year-old Keith Shaw are charged with second-degree criminal mistreatment because of what happened to their father Kyle Shaw Jr.

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Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project ceremony: ‘We’re done!’

(Photos by Nick Adams for WSB)
After four years of construction, finally a celebration for the completion of the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project. It was May 2008 when word came that the project would proceed, and we took a closeup look at “how it’ll change your life.” It’s added a 4th Avenue offramp on the eastbound side, consolidated on/offramps on the westbound side, and more travel lanes, among other things, all commemorated with this morning’s gathering beneath the SSV (known not that long ago as The West Seattle Freeway). There were of course speeches, including one from West Seattle restaurateur and Chamber of Commerce board chair Dave Montoure:

During the final phase of the project, he was part of an informal task force set up to avoid community-communication snafus like one that left many surprised by a weekend closure. But that’s all in the past – this morning was a time to celebrate, maybe even sigh in relief. Or at least, take pictures, as Mayor Mike McGinn was seen doing:

A closer look at that cake and the ribboncutting – plus what’s next, ahead:

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West Seattle Crime Watch: Car stolen; bicycle found

November 16, 2012 2:28 pm
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 |   Crime | West Seattle news

Two West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports this afternoon. David’s car was stolen in North Delridge:

Could you please put up a notice to look out for a 1990 Jeep Wrangler, white, with a black hard top? License plate 465ZLU. It’s got a 3″ lift, a winch on the front, and a rear license plate frame that’s pink and reads “I Brake For Unicorns.” It was stolen last night from 28th Ave. SW at SW Adams St., right in front of Dragonfly Park, some time between 1930 last night and 0700 this morning.

Many stolen cars are found relatively close by, so keep an eye out for David’s car. Meantime, Akemi noticed an abandoned silver Redline bike on the west side of The Junction, Oregon/Glenn – we always suggest reporting these to police so they’re not re-stolen (if stolen at all), but as an FYI, she’s seen it there for a couple days.

West Seattle holidays: Helmstetler, Junction, OLG, WC lightings

November 16, 2012 12:18 pm
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 |   Holidays | West Seattle Christmas lights | West Seattle news

Less than a week till Thanksgiving and the holidays are rushing in. Our annual WSB West Seattle Holiday Events/Info page will be up soon as a one-stop shop for all the events/dates you’re looking for (have you sent us YOUR holiday event/s yet? thanks! – and in the meantime, we now have a slate of holiday lighting ceremonies you can plan on attending:

WEST SEATTLE LIGHTS/HELMSTETLER SPECTACULAR: Just a reminder that, as first reported here two weeks ago, the popular synched-to-music light show on SW Charlestown will debut with a concert and free coffee this year – 7 pm November 24. (Bring a nonperishable-food donation!)

WEST SEATTLE JUNCTION HOMETOWN HOLIDAYS: The 9th annual Tree Lighting is set for 5 pm December 1st in Junction Plaza Park (42nd/Alaska) – with music and special guests as always. (Here’s the full slate of Hometown Holidays events.)

WHITE CENTER TREE LIGHTING: 5 pm December 1st is also when the official White Center tree at Veterans’ Triangle Park (Roxbury/Delridge/16th) will be lit in a festive ceremony.

OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE TREE LIGHTING/FOOD DRIVE: Just out of the WSB inbox, Our Lady of Guadalupe School and Parish invite you to “mingle and jingle” December 7th while helping them fill a sleigh with canned-food donations. Caroling, cocoa, cookies, and Santa too, as the event continues in the new OLG gym after the tree (the city’s highest-elevation tree, at 35th/Myrtle) is lit at 7 pm.

We’ll also be featuring West Seattle’s best and brightest again this year – once yours is up and running, share the location (and a photo if you have one, or we’ll go check it out) – here’s how. Not just blazingly lit homes – creative/unusual outdoor decorations, too – can’t wait to see ’em.

West Seattle businesses: Thunder Road Guitars about to open

(Photos courtesy Frank Gross)
The storefront’s painted, the signs are up, and Frank Gross is about to open Thunder Road Guitars at 3916 California SW (formerly Olivia’s, and before that, Moxie). He’s planning a “soft open” 10 am-6 pm tomorrow and keeping those hours daily until the official grand-opening celebration the day after Thanksgiving (aka Black Friday). As noted in our previous coverage, till now, he’s sold vintage and used guitars online – and now, there’s a showroom:

Thunder Road is online at

Quake-safety evaluations for West Seattle’s covered reservoirs

That underground video shows what West Seattle Reservoir in Highland Park looked like three years ago, before the city finished covering it and filling it with water – one of two now-buried reservoirs in WS, along with Myrtle Reservoir between High Point and Gatewood.

While they’re out of sight, today they are not at all out of mind: While Seattle Public Utilities insists there are “no safety issues,” they confirm that both of West Seattle’s underground reservoirs – along with two others in the city – are undergoing seismic evaluations, to determine whether there’s a chance they might leak if there’s an earthquake.

This story broke last night at (WSB partner); reporter Lynn Thompson writes that a firm that worked on the projects brought the potential problem to the city’s attention, saying their seismic calculations were based on above-ground structures, not underground ones. We talked about the report with SPU spokesperson Andy Ryan, who says test results won’t be in till spring, and once they are, if they show a potential seismic risk, then they’ll decide how to handle it. “We don’t expect that this is going to cost the public any more,” Ryan told WSB, pointing out that they recovered almost the entire cost of work done three years ago after Myrtle and Beacon Reservoirs’ waterproofing membranes were found to be leaky. (We broke that story here on WSB in July 2009, researching and reporting it after watchful neighbors noticed unusual work at the site and started inquiring. As Thompson’s story in The Times notes, the city and its contractors settled that case two years ago.)

Ryan says the seismic discovery – not related to the waterproofing issue, though both involved the design firm MWH – is not new; the evaluation, involving “sophisticated modeling,” has been in the works a while: “We have been working for a year and a half to get this modeling set up, to find the right people.” He stresses there is no current safety issue, no leakage – they just want to be sure there wouldn’t be, even in case of catastrophe.

One more thing we’ll be checking on: Both reservoir-covering projects in West Seattle led to the development of new park space. Myrtle is done, but WS (adjacent to Westcrest Park) is not – so we will check with Seattle Parks to see if waiting for evaluation results there might affect construction plans there.

West Seattle Friday: Heading for the pre-holiday weekend

(Click image for larger view)
Thanks to Trileigh Tucker for her photos of Lincoln Park’s barred-owl pair! Some of what’s up today/tonight – BEFORE we get to a busy weekend – from the WSB West Seattle Events Calendar:

SPOKANE STREET VIADUCT CEREMONY: The four-year widening project is complete except for a few finishing touches. What was originally announced as a dedication this morning for the artwork on its columns is now a ribbon-cutting on behalf of the entire project, with the mayor among those on hand. 9 am, under the bridge, east of 1st Avenue South.

WEST SEATTLE GARDEN CLUB: Meets today from 10 AM to 2 PM at Daystar Retirement Village, 2615 SW Barton Street, in Building # 1 (you can join the meeting at any time). Registration ($5 donation) and social half-hour at 10 AM. Followed by the 10:30 AM Business meeting, and morning study with member Julie Gramm sharing her knowledge of “Creating and Maintaining a Bog Garden.” Commentary on the Design and Horticulture Exhibits precedes the 12:00 noon Brown Bag Lunch, with dessert and beverage provided by the club. The 1 PM afternoon program. “A Look behind the Scenes at HGTV Landscapers’ Challenge” will be presented by Ruth Burrus, former member of the “Landscapers’ Challenge” television-program staff. The speaker will share her experiences of what it takes to put together an episode of this TV series. Visitors welcome. More infrmation at (206) 932-2540 or

‘BATTLE OF WEST SEATTLE’ SOCCER: The girls’ soccer teams for Denny and Madison middle schools have both had great seasons – Denny won its division, Madison came in third in its division – and while they didn’t get to play each other during the season, they are facing off at 3:15 pm today at Southwest Athletic Complex for the West Seattle Soccer Club‘s first annual “Battle for West Seattle” Cup.

FAUNTLEROY FINE ART AND GIFT FAIR: 5-8 pm at Fauntleroy UCC Church (9140 California SW) – first of three days.

ARBOR HEIGHTS ELEMENTARY AUCTION: Doors open at 5:30 pm at The Hall at Fauntleroy. Interested in checking on last-minute ticket availability? E-mail auction chair Lucy Weber:

RESTORATIVE YOGA: 6:30-8 pm with Milo Minnis at SoundYoga (WSB sponsor; 5639 California SW). More info here.

LIVE MUSIC: We have listings from C & P Coffee, Feedback Lounge, Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsors), Skylark Café and Club, and The Benbow Room on today’s calendar page – go here and mouseover/click the plus sign on any line to expand that listing.


(Live view from the only WS Bridge camera currently in operation; see other cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:59 AM: The fog rolled in very early this morning and is still here – so keep that in mind as you get ready to head out. Here’s one warning, via Twitter:

No other challenges so far.

8:15 AM: Might be a little bumpy on the 1st Avenue South Bridge – a crash reported southbound:

Speaking of bridges – we covered last night’s South Park Bridge update meeting for our partner site The South Park News; here’s the story.

8:23 AM: 1st Avenue South Bridge problem is now down to 1 lane, per WSDOT.

5:15 PM: Traffic’s ugly out there right now, according to multiple sources: Eastbound West Seattle Bridge and surface 1st Avenue have both been mentioned. Nothing obvious on the 911 log at this point. The city’s advisory mentions only one event of note tonight: Red Hot Chili Peppers at KeyArena.

Delridge Greenway: NDNC report on this week’s meeting

November 16, 2012 3:06 am
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 |   Delridge | West Seattle news

If you’re interested in the Delridge Greenway – a city project to designate a stretch of road through North Delridge as a bicycle/pedestrian-safe alternative to braving Delridge Way – but couldn’t go to Thursday night’s open house, here’s a recap on the North Delridge Neighborhood Council site, by NDNC’s transportation chair Jake Vanderplas. Jake writes that about 30 people showed up to discuss ideas with city reps and each other. The city is scheduled to return on January 15th with a proposal, as first announced last month.

West Seattle Crime Watch: 2 burglaries and a found card

Three West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports to share. First two are home burglaries. From Dana, who’s in Westwood, between 32nd and 34th on Barton:

Our house was broken into (Thursday) sometime between 9:30 am-3:45 pm. In bedroom window, out the back door. I think it was typical robbery: they got laptop, jewelry, prescription (expired) meds, and Wii controllers(?). Reported it to SPD, they filed report and took some fingerprints. Officer said (reminding all of us) this is the season for break-ins (before/around Christmas).

That indeed was the reminder we heard from a Community Police Team officer at this week’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting.

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