West Seattle, Washington
Just so you can’t say you weren’t warned … The other big thing happening at 12:01 am is the new marijuana law, which says a certain amount will be no longer against state law. The federal government, however, has sent the media the following statement to share:
The Department of Justice is reviewing the legalization initiatives recently passed in Colorado and Washington State. The Department’s responsibility to enforce the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged. Neither States nor the Executive branch can nullify a statute passed by Congress. In enacting the Controlled Substances Act, Congress determined that marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance. Regardless of any changes in state law, including the change that will go into effect on December 6th in Washington State, growing, selling or possessing any amount of marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Members of the public are also advised to remember that it remains against federal law to bring any amount of marijuana onto federal property, including all federal buildings, national parks and forests, military installations, and courthouses.
So now you know.
Tonight (technically early tomorrow) at one minute past midnight, King County will start granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples – the moment it becomes legal because of last month’s approval of Referendum 74, affirming the Legislature and Governor’s earlier action to make it possible. Ten couples have been chosen to get their licenses first, for a special ceremony in which King County Executive (and West Seattleite) Dow Constantine will sign their licenses – and the first is a West Seattle couple, 77-year-old Jane Abbott Lighty and 85-year-old Pete-e Petersen. They are featured in the video story above, shared by our friends at KIRO TV. Biographical information provided by the county notes that they have been together 35 years and co-founded the Seattle Women’s Chorus; they will get married this Sunday night during the Seattle Men’s Chorus concert at Benaroya Hall. The second couple whose license will be signed have local ties too – Brendon K. Taga and Jesse Page of Vashon Island. The county says Jesse “manages a bank in West Seattle.” WSB will be downtown to cover the historic events as they happen – we’ve already heard from a few local couples who plan to be there to be among the first to get marriage licenses – if you are going to be there too, please consider letting us know so our team can catch up with you! (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thanks, and congratulations to all.
P.S. OutWest Bar is throwing an equality bash on Sunday night, after the first day of legal weddings. Details on this Facebook page.
How might Seattle Public Schools address crowding issues in the two years before BEX IV-funded projects start coming online (assuming voters approve the levy next year)? During a work session (open to the public to observe but not comment) at 4 pm today, the School Board will look at some ideas from district staff. We have a preview, via the slide deck that will be shown to the board – see it here. It details what the district sees as the trouble spots, and lists some “options,” including, for schools in West Seattle:
*Move Highland Park, Schmitz Park, and/or West Seattle Elementaries’ kindergartens to Boren
*Move Schmitz Park 5th graders to Madison Middle School
*Address Denny IMS crowding by adding portables or “reducing choice”
*Address Chief Sealth IHS crowding by adding portables or “reducing available choice seats”
*Other schools are suggested for possible combinations of portables, repurposing prep space as classrooms, etc.
The presentation also notes: “Since BEX IV planning will require boundary changes, boundary changes for 2013-14 are not recommended.” But it does suggest “(adding) West Seattle Elementary attendance area as the GeoZone for K-5 STEM at Boren.”
As reported here last night, 37-year-old Amy Lynn O’Brien is now charged with hit-and-run and second-degree assault in connection with the attack one week ago on two teenage girls across from their school, Chief Sealth International High School – and that she had gotten out of jail shortly after those charges were filed.
This morning, we have a copy of the charging documents from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Asked why O’Brien was allowed out of jail, KCPAO spokesperson Dan Donohoe says that while prosecutors asked that her bail remain at $250,000, a judge granted her request to be freed on “personal recognizance.”
Ahead new details from the charging documents – we’re transcribing them in two installments, and you can read (as of 10:59 am) both, ahead:Read More
(November 24th WSB/WCN photo by Patrick Sand)
The night of the November 24th house fire that killed 71-year-old Peggy Munsen, we heard from her friend Lissa Stephens, who explained she had seen the WSB coverage and went to the scene to tell authorities she knew the victim’s identity – since she wasn’t sure they would be able to reach Ms. Munsen’s out-of-town family. As a result of that, Lissa and her husband wanted to share information to make sure that others could be sure that their families could be reached in case of tragedy or disaster. Here’s their message to you:
A Note to Our Friends and Neighbors of West Seattle and beyond –
Our friend Peggy Munsen passed away tragically from a fire in her home on November 24th. To quote her sister, Kay, “Peggy was a friend to all.” She was a wonderfully sweet and kind lady with a wicked sense of humor and a hearty laugh that could make you laugh; a dear friend who will be greatly missed.
When we first saw the article about the fire on the Blog, all I could think of was “How would they find her sisters to let them know she passed?” and so we (my husband and I) raced over to Peggy’s that night and gave the fire commander the contact information, who then contacted her sister, Kay, of Bremerton.
With Peggy’s passing, it became very apparent to us that very few people would know how to reach our families (all out of town) if such circumstances were to happen to us.
I would like to ask everyone to take a few minutes to really consider the importance of having an emergency contact information sheet. In the last few days I have asked several of my friends “If you perished in a house fire, how would people know how to notify your next-of-kin?” Nobody had a good answer, me included. Our hope is that this small note will get people thinking and taking action to make sure their emergency contact information is in order and with a neighbor, a copy in the freezer or with friends.
Here is a sample template of an emergency contact sheet that is downloadable and alterable to fit your family and circumstances. site.beaniedesigns.com/blog/emergency-contact-sheet-template
There are many samples on the internet, most free. In our case we will also include our pets and any medications.
It is also suggested to put a contact listing in your cell phone titled “ICE” – in-case-of-emergency, with important contact information and phone numbers.
During this busy holiday season please take a few minutes to update your emergency information.
Be grateful for your friends and family who are still with you.
Wishing everyone safe and happy holidays!
Lissa and Bill Stephens
We’re at the King County Courthouse, where 34-year-old Ryan Cox – charged with malicious harassment for an October attack alleged to have been motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation – was scheduled to appear for a competency hearing, that was to follow a mental-health evaluation. Cox was not present as his lawyer just told the judge that the evaluation, to be done at the King County Jail, hasn’t happened yet, but is scheduled for next Monday (December 10th). Assuming that happens, Cox is now rescheduled for the competency hearing – which also was to include his arraignment on the charges – on December 19th. As previously reported, Cox is the man who first made news for arrests in connection with homophobic graffiti vandalism, including cases that were dropped because he was found not competent to stand trial. Cox has been in jail since his arrest in late October.
Busy night last night at Chief Sealth International High School – basketball in the gym, symphonic music in the auditorium. It was the first of two holiday concerts for the West Seattle Community Orchestras – Kim Roy conducting the West Seattle Symphony Orchestra in a concert themed “Russian Holiday.” In our clip, it’s Ralph Vaughan Williams‘ “Fantasia on ‘Greensleeves’. The program also included Tchaikovsky‘s “Nutcracker Suite.” Next Tuesday (6:30 pm December 11th, also at the Sealth auditorium) WSCO’s Debut and Intermediate Orchestras will perform their holiday concert, “Dancin’, Drummin’, and Singin’” – with the latter provided by special guests, the Endolyne Children’s Choir.
Bronté Corbray (#1) led the way with 28 points last night as Chief Sealth International High School‘s boys-varsity basketball team beat Eastside Catholic at home, 56-54. The Seahawks are undefeated – 3-0 on the season. Here’s Trevor Reed (#33) on defense:
Tonight it’s the Sealth girls-varsity team’s turn to play Eastside Catholic, 7:30 pm at home. Both varsity teams will be on the road against Bainbridge this Friday night.
(Live view from the only WS Bridge camera currently in operation; see other cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:59 AM: The weather’s quieted down, and nothing out of the ordinary is reported on the roads from/through/to West Seattle so far this morning. For ferry riders: In case you missed the final update last night, the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route IS back to three boats.
8:25 AM: One commenter mentions a construction backup on Avalon – so if you haven’t left yet, you might consider another route, if you can. Since it’s not raining, we have the feeling we’ll see lots of road work today, since multiple projects are still going.
2:45 PM: Metro is warning that Route 21 is being rerouted southbound at 35th and Barton. It’s construction work, says spokesperson Jeff Switzer.
EVENING NOTE: The bus reroute is over. And the Fauntleroy/California signal is broken again.
A memorial is planned tomorrow (Thursday, December 6) at Our Lady of Guadalupe for Peggy Munsen, who died in a fire at her home near 26th and Roxbury a week and a half ago. Here’s a remembrance from her family:
Peggy E. Munsen, 6/16/1941 ~ 11/24/2012
The world will miss Peggy, but she is in God’s hands now. She died unexpectedly from a fire in her home, caused by a spark from a heater.
Her sister, Kay Trepanier, is devastated, as they were as close as close could be. Peggy leaves behind 2 sisters, Kay Trepanier of Bremerton and Mary Munsen of Houston. While Peggy had no children, she was the loving aunt of 8 children, 6 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren, with 3 more on the way.
A memorial fund (Peggy Munsen Memorial Fund) has been set up at Kitsap Credit Union, 360-662-2000 in Bremerton, to help her sister with all the expenses. With this economy, neither Kay nor Peggy had any discretionary funds, and Kay needs help with the overwhelming expenses.
The memorial service will be held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in West Seattle this Thursday, December 6th, at 1 pm, followed by a memorial reception in the church hall at 2 pm.
A side note: A friend of Ms. Munsen’s learned a lesson that night about making sure authorities will be able to notify your loved ones in case something catastrophic like this happens. She wants to share it with you, and we will publish her open letter later today.
Two updates tonight in the incident that sent two Chief Sealth International High School students to the hospital after a car hit them last Wednesday: The woman arrested the next day, 37-year-old Amy Lynn O’Brien, is now charged with two counts of second-degree assault and one count of felony hit-and-run, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office website. The King County Jail Register says she is out of jail as of just before 6 o’clock tonight; though her bail was set at $250,000 last week, the register describes it as a “conditional release” – so far, we have not found court documents explaining why, so we will have to follow up with prosecutors tomorrow. O’Brien’s arraignment is scheduled for December 17th.
First Zippy’s – then Meander’s – now, Aaron’s … Another business is moving from West Seattle to White Center. Just out of the WSB inbox, from Aaron’s Bicycle Repair proprietor Aaron Goss:
Aaron’s Bicycle Repair, Inc. says thank you and goodbye to Morgan Junction and West Seattle proper.
However, they are only moving 3 miles away to White Center!
This is very exciting news for White Center and we have been welcomed with open arms by the community.
For several years, Dubsea Bikes, a non-profit bicycle repair and ride group, has been lobbying for a bike shop in Rat City.
Starting February 1st, 2013 that will be a reality!
The bike shop will be located in the White Center Square, anchored by Hung Long Asian Market.
The new address is 9988 15th Ave. SW, Suite E.
Phone, e-mail and web will remain the same. Look for updates on the shop’s website soon. www.RideYourBike.com.
Manager Gregg Sundin said the economic downturn and increasing online sales forced the decision to downsize. The shop will re-focus on bicycle repair and service but will still sell bikes, parts and accessories.
Also offered will be community-building events like Full Moon rides, Free Flat Tuesdays and hosting Dubsea Bikes repair parties.
Here’s a map to the future Aaron’s location. The space the store is leaving was the Morgan Junction state liquor store until four years ago, when the state closed it, and the bike shop moved in from another space nearby.
As we reported on October 19th during this year’s Lafayette Elementary Walk-A-Thon, the fundraising goal was $65,000 – but now the final tally’s in and parent volunteers say it was so successful, it brought in almost a third more than they had hoped – $84,293! With that announcement, they’re publicly thanking their sponsors – click ahead to see the official list:
(iPhone video from a short time ago, not too long of a delay headed southbound)
4:44 PM: In case you haven’t already seen this on the daily transit/traffic tracker – California/Fauntleroy is on a four-way stop system, with police directing traffic, because of signal trouble. We’d suggest avoiding if you can.
Also regarding a ferry alert from earlier – Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth is still on a two-boat schedule because the third is out with mechanical trouble. As of right now, WSF says there’s a 90-minute wait at Fauntleroy.
5:32 PM UPDATE: Both situations still in effect – just checked for a firsthand look.
6:48 PM UPDATE: Good news for California/Fauntleroy – signal’s back in operation. No update from WSF yet on a third boat; VesselWatch still shows only two boats on the run.
(August 2011 photo of Spirit of Kingston at Seattle dock, by Oran Viriyincy, via Flickr)
Two weeks ago, we reported on the King County Ferry District‘s move to express interest in a federally funded boat no longer needed by its current owners. We’ve just followed up on the status of the Spirit of Kingston’s future – and it appears the boat is an almost sure bet to come be part of the King County Water Taxi system.
The Kitsap Sun reports that the Spirit of Kingston – which discontinued the Kingston-Seattle foot-ferry service for which it procured the boat – has passed a resolution to transfer it to King County. Transferring it means the Port of Kingston won’t have to pay back the $2 million-plus in federal grants that paid for the boat, which is slightly smaller, and much newer (7 years vs. almost 25 years). Now, King County just has to finalize the deal; that won’t happen before the first of the year, according to Michelle Allison, legislative assistant to County Councilmember Joe McDermott, chair of the King County Ferry District Board. She says he has formally sent the board-authorized letter of interest to the Federal Transit Administration, and a meeting between King County Marine Division and FTA is coming up, but one more KC Ferry Board vote is needed “to finalize the asset transfer.” The date for that is not yet set. As noted in our report from last month, the Spirit of Kingston would likely be used as a backup to both King County’s current leased boats and its future new boats (which also are being funded with federal grant money).
What is ‘Heels For Hounds,” you ask? It’s the newest in a line of fun-(d)-raisers benefiting Furry Faces Foundation, a.k.a., F3.
“Ola Salon and Clementine Shoes are sponsoring this event in early 2013 and to be successful, we need donations of new or very gently worn, nice, women’s shoes,” says Rachel Karlin, Ola Salon owner. “During the event, shoes will be tastefully displayed at Ola Salon. You will be able to try them on and if the shoe fits, bid on them.’
Linda Walsh, owner of Clementine Shoes, explains, “Many of us purchase shoes for that special occasion or outfit, take very good care of them and are then ready for a new pair of shoes. So, why not clean out your closets and ‘upcycle’ them to benefit animals and their people? Who knows, you may even find a pair or two at the event that you can’t live without!”
“We are very excited about this new event,” says Teri Ensley, F3 Leader. “It’s a creative idea for a fundraiser and we appreciate Ola Salon’s and Clementine Shoes’ enthusiasm and support.’
If you have new or gently worn shoes to donate, please bring them to:
• Ola Salon: 2942 Avalon Way SW; 206-933-6702
• Clementine Shoes: 4447 California Ave SW; 206-935-9400
• Hotwire Online Coffeehouse: 4410 California Ave SW; 206-935-1510
• The Wash Dog: 6400 California Avenue Southwest; 206-935-4546; www.thewashdog.com/
For breaking news and updates about this event, check out F3‘s Facebook page. Questions? email@example.com
(Hotwire and The Wash Dog are WSB sponsors.)
Thanks to Trileigh Tucker for sharing her photo of a barred owl at Lincoln Park this past Saturday; Trileigh writes, “I went out to the park … to take advantage of the brief sunshine and got lucky! It’s been so dark and dreary that I thought an owl encounter might be just the thing. The eagles are also soaring around and calling, although they haven’t yet started working on their nest, so this should be an exciting winter…” Trileigh has written about her latest sighting on her website, naturalpresence.wordpress.com.
Also on the Lincoln Park owl front:
West Seattle naturalist Stewart Wechsler has just scheduled his first guided night hike in a while, heading out to look and listen for owls at Lincoln Park this Saturday night. More information, and registration, is available via his website – go here.
They’re not just making a list and checking it twice …they’re putting the final touches on the premiere of a brand-new Christmas musical that’s having its debut run here in West Seattle. We dropped by the other day as “Santa’s First Magical Ride: The Musical” (WSB sponsor) continued rehearsing.
As explained by its creators, “Santa’s First Magical Ride” gets to the roots of the Christmas story, with original folk, bluegrass, and Celtic music and dance numbers – “a fresh new Christmas musical that tells the story of where Santa came from as a young child and how he was raised by the North Pole Elves. Important questions like ‘How DO the reindeer fly?’ (and much more), are finally answered.”
It’s based on the book “Santa’s First Magical Ride“ published last year by Paul S. Carr III, who co-wrote the musical with Ricky Gene Powell; they’re both professional singers/musicians, and Powell’s background includes playwriting and directing. Libby Carr is the executive producer. (The Carrs are former West Seattleites now living in Burien, and you might recall them from extensive volunteer involvement in area projects.)
The 12-show run at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW) starts Friday night (December 7th) at 7 pm. For each of the next three Friday-Saturday-Sundays (December 7-8-9, 14-15-16, and 21-22-23), “Santa’s First Magical Ride” will be performed at 7 pm Friday, 2 and 7 pm Saturday, 2 pm Sunday.
A bonus – kids in attendance get to visit afterward with Santa Claus, and parents can take a photo!
(Two of the show’s stars – young Maia Vazquez, and Santa Claus!) Another bonus – part of the proceeds benefit WestSide Baby and Ignite, “both of which are local nonprofits concerned about the welfare and education of babies, children and young people,” as the “Santa’s First Magical Ride” team explains.
Tickets are available online right now via Brown Paper Tickets – here’s the direct link – and there’s also a new special: A group-sale discount of 2 free tickets for every 10 purchased (having a party?). The producers add, “We also welcome groups and organizations who want to enjoy this experience together and we will promote their attendance on Brown Paper Tickets. Call Libby Carr (206-938-8721) for more info on how your group can celebrate by attending this event together.” You can hear a sample of the music via this YouTube promo:
Even more details are on the official “Santa’s First Magical Ride” website.
With the economy improving, a variety of construction is happening around West Seattle – not just the medium-to-big apartment or mixed-use projects we often report on. Last night, we mentioned a unique three-home remodel/rebuild project in Westwood with special financing related to energy improvements. Today, a more typical type of project that’s happening more often (judging by demolition permits on file) after a few quiet years: Old-house replacements. Steve e-mailed us to share the photo of demolition happening right now at 2134 44th SW in North Admiral. County records show the house is more than a century old, sold three months ago to Isola Homes, a Renton-based company that’s currently building small multifamily projects in West Seattle – the five-unit “rowhouses” on which we reported last summer – as well as new single-family homes. The Isola website includes renderings of the 2 1/2-story house with rooftop deck that’ll be built after the 1906 home is demolished.
HIGH TIDE AND ‘COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY’: High water again this morning, with a tide almost to 12 feet (same as the past few days) right around 9 am.
ROTARY LUNCH GUEST: Author Dean Adams of “4,000 Hooks,” a memoir of North Pacific fishing, is the featured speaker at today’s Rotary Club of West Seattle lunch meeting, noon, Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor), public welcome.
WSHS INFO NIGHT FOR CURRENT 8TH GRADERS: If you have an 8th grader in the house who’s planning to, or thinking of, attending West Seattle High School – tonight’s event is for you. 6 pm – details here.
KINDERGARTEN ENROLLMENT NIGHT: 6-7:30 pm at Roxhill Elementary (30th and Roxbury), a special event sponsored by the city and school district with “a chance to hear from kindergarten teachers and Seattle Public Schools enrollment specialists who will help families enroll in kindergarten and answer questions about what to expect in kindergarten. Child care, dinner, interpreters, resources, technical assistance, and translation of materials, will be provided.” Participating families need to bring:
· Certificate of Immunization Status (CIS)
· Photo ID of the parent/guardian registering the student
· Address verification documents
· Birth certificate (or similar document such as a passport)
FAMILY STORY TIME: Delridge Library, 7 pm, bring the family for story time with children’s librarian Miss Bea.
(updated time) HOLIDAY CONCERT West Seattle Community Orchestras presents the West Seattle Symphony Orchestra‘s holiday concert, “Russian Holiday,” at Chief Sealth International High School (2600 SW Thistle), 7 pm:
Join us for a lovely evening of music from great Russian composers, Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Mikhail Glinka. Selections include the Overture to Russlan and Lyudmila, and Suite Number 4, “Mozartiana”, and of course Tchaikovsky’s famous Nutcracker Suite. In addition to all that, enjoy the beautiful “Fantasia on ‘Greensleeves’ “, featuring flute and harp!
More details here.
NIGHTLIFE: Trivia and karaoke! See the listings in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar.
(Live view from the only WS Bridge camera currently in operation; see other cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
7:12 AM: Windy and wet but no other trouble so far this morning – take extra care and time. A “special weather statement” remains in effect, warning of slides now that yet more heavy rain has fallen on already-saturated ground.
12:27 PM UPDATE: The Klahowya is out so Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferries are on a two-boat schedule TFN.
4:01 PM: Trouble reported with the California-Fauntleroy signal. Avoid the intersection.
LATE-NIGHT NOTE: Both the signal and the ferry are fixed.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
New life is ahead for three old homes near Westwood Village.
Instead of being torn down to make way for townhouses or apartments – or big new homes – they will be transformed into three new/almost-new, modestly sized, energy-efficient homes, as part of a program financed by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission.
We visited the site a few days ago, as the owners/builders – Green Canopy Homes – and WSHFC reps met the neighbors to explain the project :
(Photo by Robin Lindsey)
That’s Sweet Pea the seal pup, who Seal Sitters kept watch over at Lincoln Park last week – amid recurring problems with off-leash dogs (read the story on Seal Sitters’ site here). The all-volunteer group formally got some good news today – when the city Department of Neighborhoods officially announced the latest round of city grants to community groups, they included a $15,000 “Small and Simple” city grant for an educational program designating 2013 the “Year of the Seal,” culminating in a Harbor Seal Day event with the unveiling of a sculpture at Alki depicting a mom and pup (briefly mentioned at October’s Southwest District Council meeting).
The city’s announcement also included, from the Small and Simple Fund, $20,000 for the Nature Consortium to bring back the Arts in Nature Festival next year (with a $60,000 community match), $20,000 for the High Point Commons Park P-Patch to add “an educational beehive enclosure (apiary) and pollination garden” (with a $28,000 community match), and $5,600 for restoration in Schmitz Park Preserve where help is needed beyond what volunteers can do.