month : 01/2013 331 results

Cometa Playschool joins classroom-food-drive challenge!

And we have word of another school joining the Arbor Heights Elementary Room 16 100th Day of School food-drive challenge. Room 16’s announcement came on Monday; then this afternoon, Alki Elementary announced it’s joining; and late tonight, we heard from Cometa Playschool‘s Manuela Slye:

Cometa Playschool students and teachers are excited to take the challenge and participate in the 100th day of school food donation for the West Seattle Food Bank. In the past we have organized food drives during the holiday season for Northwest Harvest, and we are thrilled this time we will be supporting our local food bank.

The 100th day of school is February 20th. Anybody else joined/joining? Let us know!

Why helicopters were off Beach Drive: ‘Sailing’ sea lion

(Example of “sailing” sea lion; photo by Robin Lindsey)
6:26 PM: No, it was NOT related to the search for the Belvidere estate-sale robber – there was a short-lived report of a possible dead whale off Constellation Park. Turned out to be a resting sea lion, per what Robin Lindsey from Seal Sitters told us and others at the scene a little while ago – but not before at least one TV chopper detoured over there to take a look.

P.S. The sea lion was “sailing,” Robin explained – behavior that has previously sparked erroneous reports of a marine mammal in trouble; here’s a 2010 report on Blubberblog that explains sailing, including a photo.

ADDED 8:49 PM: Robin has since provided a photo for us to use – added above – and has also updated the Seal Sitters’ website with an account of what happened tonight, plus the basics on “sailing.”

West Seattle Crime Watch: Police search after ‘takeover robbery’ at estate sale in Belvidere

(Added: Photos by Mike Scharer)
3:51 PM: A police search is under way right now in the Admiral area after a report of a “takeover-style” robbery inside a home – with masked robber/s ordering people to get on the ground, and then fleeing on foot. A K-9 team is on the way. We have a crew headed to the area.

3:56 PM: The suspect description just broadcast is “white male, 20s, 5’10”, husky build, black handgun,” dressed in dark clothing, including a ski mask. This is unfolding in the Belvidere area – the scene is near Belvidere and Hinds (map).

4:12 PM: Co-publisher Patrick Sand has talked to police in the area; they confirm nobody hurt, a K-9 team is searching the area so if you’re in that vicinity, stay off the sidewalk/street to avoid possibly interrupting the trail.

4:26 PM: If you’re seeing/hearing a helicopter, it’s TV. Police are still very actively searching and following on a couple of leads – but there is no one in custody yet. According to multiple reports (including Diane in comments), the house where this happened has been having an estate sale.

4:33 PM: We do NOT have confirmation that this is the suspect – but per scanner, police have pulled over a car that was seen in the area with someone resembling the description, and they have one person in custody. More to come – still avoid the area as it will be up to police to determine if they have the person they’ve been seeking.

4:41 PM: Apparently that was NOT the person they were seeking. Search continues.

4:53 PM: Adding photos by Mike Scharer, taken as police made their initial guns-drawn entry to the robbery scene and started searching the area. The search, with the help of K-9, is still under way. That indicates there is a strong possibility they believe the robber is in the area – so please call 911 if you see ANYTHING suspicious.

5:20 PM: Still no luck finding the robber. There are indications that people who have been kept from their homes will be allowed back in shortly.

5:35 PM: A couple notes from the SPD Blotter report about this – “jewelry and cash” was taken from victims who were at the estate sale when this happened, plus it’s a confirmation of one robber.

11:21 PM NOTE: Just in case you’re wondering, yes, we’re still tracking this, but there’s no word of an arrest.

Avalon/Genesee signal timing: SDOT says they’re working on it

(January 23 WSB photo)
Since the new traffic signal at Avalon and Genesee went into official operation last week, its timing has caused backups and drawn complaints. North Delridge resident Nancy Folsom has been corresponding with SDOT about it, and forwarded this update to the ND e-mail list today; we’re republishing with her permission. It’s from Dianne Thomas at SDOT:

We’re receiving a high volume of emails expressing various concerns about the new traffic signal at Avalon & Genesee. …

Whenever a new signal is installed, we monitor the operation closely and generally expect there can be a need for a few adjustments. We’re unable to be on-site 24 hours a day, so we do appreciate receiving feedback. The most helpful feedback will include the time of day and the day of the week a problem is experienced along with the details of the concern.

E-mails can be best directed to, or anyone may access the [Customer Service Response] system directly (by going here) and choosing General Inquiry – Transportation as the service type.

SDOT also told Nancy:

One thing worth mentioning is that the uphill (westbound) approach on Genesee uses video detection, and when (an engineer) was at the site earlier this week he did notice drivers pulling forward, well past the stop bar markings. That area is not within the detection zone, so the drivers who’ve complained about waiting forever for the light to change are most likely pulling too far forward.

The eastbound approach uses in-pavement detection, and we do not use detection on main streets (in this case, Avalon).

An engineer was reported to be back at the site as of a couple hours ago.

Alki Elementary joins Arbor Heights in food-drive challenge

Back on Monday, Arbor Heights Elementary teacher Marcia Ingerslev shared the news that her class was collecting 100 items for the West Seattle Food Bank in honor of the upcoming 100th day of the school year – and challenged any and all other elementary classrooms in WS to join them. Today, we have word that Alki Elementary has accepted the challenge – fourth-grade teacher Anna Coghill sends word that notes will go home with students on Monday (there are no classes in the district tomorrow) to tell families that EVERY Alki classroom is hoping to collect 100 cans (or other non-perishable food items) by February 20th! (Anybody else? Let us know!)

Followup: More about city-installed Alki surveillance cameras

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Since our first report Tuesday on the surveillance cameras that have turned up from Harbor Avenue to Beach Drive – we’ve learned more information about them, while other questions remain.

To recap, if you missed our first story:

WSB readers started noticing the cameras last weekend. We have counted six installed on utility and streetlight poles, with wireless transmitting equipment above them: On the inland side of Harbor Avenue near Salty’s and Seacrest, on the water side at Duwamish Head, on the inland side of Alki Avenue by the Shoremont Apartments (photo above), on the water side by the Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza, and on the water side at the end of Constellation Park/Richey Viewpoint, at 63rd SW and Beach Drive.

The cameras are part of a Seattle Police-led, federally funded project approved by the City Council last spring, though the discussion at City Hall mentioned only “port security,” not specific locations or numbers, and questions are circulating now regarding an online mention that the project is likely to expand far beyond “port security.”

Last spring’s discussion of the project was at the May 2, 2012, meeting of the Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee, with its chair, Councilmember Bruce Harrell, and member Councilmember Mike O’Brien present.

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West Seattle Thursday: 6 highlights for January’s finale

(Photo by Machel Spence)
UPDATE: Six highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, where you will find even more for today/tonight:

WINE TASTING: Try student-produced (and select alumni-produced) wines free at the Northwest Wine Academy on the campus of South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor), 1-4 pm. Find out more here.

I-90 TOLLING MEETING IN SEATTLE: Third and final open house this week with a chance to comment on the proposed I-90 bridge tolling, and it’s the only one in Seattle, 4-7 pm at Yesler Community Center (917 E. Yesler Way).

‘CABARET DINNER’ AT SENIOR CENTER: 5:30 pm, dinner and entertainment at the Senior Center of West Seattle (Oregon/California in The Junction) – details here.

K-5 STEM AT BOREN OPEN HOUSE: 6:30-7:30 pm, interested families are invited to visit the school, 5950 Delridge Way SW.

(added) WEST SEATTLE MONTESSORI OPEN HOUSE: 6:30-8 pm at 11215 15th SW, West Seattle Montessori/West Seattle Academy (WSB sponsor), pre-K through 8th grade, invites interested families to its open house..

‘SHIRLEY VALENTINE’ … continues at ArtsWest (4711 California SW) – “the story of a woman in her 40s, stuck in a rut, unsure of how to get her groove back.” 7:30 pm, ticket info and other details here.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Rolling into Thursday

January 31, 2013 6:00 am
|    Comments Off on TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Rolling into Thursday
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; see other cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning! Two alerts: this week’s final night of the southbound 99 closure, 10 pm-5 am, and the blocked inside lane of southbound 35th near Juneau because of a sinkhole (we’ll check on repair plans today).

High-school basketball: WSHS girls clinch division

Congratulations to the West Seattle High School girls-varsity basketball team and coach Sonya Elliott for clinching the regular-season division title by beating Eastside Catholic at home Wednesday night, 50-39. They’re playoff-bound after wrapping up the regular season Friday night at Bishop Blanchet.

More school news: Projected enrollments for next year

The Seattle School Board will vote tonight on next year’s “capacity management” changes, delayed a week to await new enrollment projections for next school year. As first pointed out Wednesday on the Seattle Schools Community Forum website, those numbers are available now, in advance of the meeting. You can see the full citywide list here. Looking at projections for West Seattle schools, the only significant changes are projected for K-5 STEM at Boren (up to 327 from the current 268), West Seattle Elementary (up to 452 from 399), Gatewood Elementary (up to 506 from 461), and Schmitz Park Elementary (projected to become West Seattle’s most populous public elementary, to 596 from 536 in the 2013-14 school year).

Tonight’s meeting, by the way, is at 5 pm at district HQ in SODO; here’s the agenda.

First development proposal for upzoned South Admiral site: 166 apartments at 3210 California SW

A February 28th March 14th* Southwest Design Review Board meeting is scheduled for the newest major project proposed in West Seattle – 166 units at 3210 California SW (map). We confirmed the meeting plan via the city website after seeing the project mentioned by the Daily Journal of Commerce (subscription needed to read the story). This is part of the property upzoned two years ago when the City Council gave final approval to an application filed by local entrepreneurs Roger Cayce and Mike Gain three years before that (WSB 2007-2010 coverage archive here). The project is described on the city website as five stories, 166 apartments, 166 parking spaces, and 1,000 feet of live-work space. (The 2010 rezone was for a 40-foot limit, which usually means four stories, so we’ll be checking on that.) The application says demolition is planned for the structures at 3206, 3210, 3220, 3228, 3234 California SW. The developer is listed as Intracorp, the architect as Runberg, whose online portfolio includes two projects in The Triangle – Nova and Merrill Gardens-West Seattle (both WSB sponsors). We plan a full story with more details as we get them.

*Updated date – since we published this story, the date has changed to March 14th on the “Design Review/Upcoming” page.*

Update: Fire response in 4100 block of California SW

(Photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
10:44 PM: Just north of The Junction, a major fire response is heading to the building at 4110 California SW. More shortly.

10:50 PM UPDATE: Per scanner, no fire, some kind of dryer problem. Most of the crews are being dismissed.

10:56 PM UPDATE: Confirmed by our crews on scene.

Update: Armed robbery at 30th/Roxbury gas station may be linked to others

Thanks to everybody who has texted about the King County Sheriff’s Office deputies at the 30th/Roxbury 76 station. They are investigating a reported armed robbery, according to a bulletin that also was shared with Seattle Police (whose jurisdiction ends at the city/county boundary down the middle of Roxbury in that area). No other details so far.

11:02 PM NOTE: Might not be able to get more details before morning. But as the first commenter reminds us, this area has had other robberies lately – it’s only a few blocks from the 35th/Roxbury strip mall where the beverage/tobacco shop was held up a week and a half ago, and also barely a block from Roxhill Park, scene of the much-reported recent robberies targeting teens.

10 AM UPDATE: KCSO Sgt. Patrick McCurdy says this might be linked to other robberies in the county: They believe the same robber hit the Texaco and Zip Mart (in White Center) “within the last week to week and a half.” They think he got away in a car but don’t have a description of it yet. He is described as a black man in his late 30s to early 40s, medium build, 5’10”, 190 pounds, and Sgt. McCurdy adds, “In all of the circumstances, the suspect had his face covered, probably with a bandana. One of the robberies occurred in the early morning hours (around 4:00 am or so), and the other two occurred close to 10:00 PM. In all robberies, the suspect displayed a small black semi-automatic handgun.”

Tomorrow: Open-house night at West Seattle’s STEM elementary

Last year right about now, K-5 STEM at Boren – aka West Seattle STEM Elementary – was in the formative stages, and people who decided to enroll for this school year did so on a leap of faith. This year, it’s reality, and you can visit before deciding whether to enroll your child(ren). Tomorrow night’s the biggest event of enrollment season, an open house 6:30-7:30 pm at the school, 5950 Delridge Way. Four tours for parents/guardians are also set next month, as listed on this flyer.

West Seattle traffic alert: Sinkhole on southbound 35th

Thanks to SDOT for heads-up on a sinkhole – what they call a “void” – in the left southbound lane of 35th near Juneau.

As shown in our top photo, it’s blocked off while awaiting repairs.

WSBeat side note: Myers Way dog linked to Shorewood attack

Side note to the first item in Megan Sheppard‘s latest WSBeat police-report roundup, published here early today: We just confirmed that the dog found in the Myers Way “woods” with its owner is the same one that was being sought in connection with a much-reported attack in Shorewood that injured a dog and its owner, as first reported on the Shorewood on the Sound Facebook group page. The man found with the dog off Myers Way is in jail because of warrants, as noted in the WSBeat report; King County spokesperson Cameron Satterfield tells WSB that the dog is in the county facility in Kent and will remain there while its owner works through his legal problems – Seattle Animal Shelter took the dog on Saturday, and then turned it over to the county. The owner has been cited, Satterfield says, including a “removal order” served to him in jail – if he reclaims the dog, it cannot be kept anywhere in King County. WSB Forums members discussing this case had reported often seeing the dog and owner at Westwood Village.

West Seattle Crime Watch: 2 Three auto thefts, 1 with a reward

ORIGINAL REPORT, 3:35 PM: Since so many stolen vehicles are found relatively close to the theft location, we offer the chance in West Seattle Crime Watch reports to get the word out around the peninsula, in addition to the police bulletins over the radio and via Twitter. Today, two thefts to report – just blocks apart. First one comes from someone whose neighbor’s truck was stolen from her garage Saturday night near 39th and Andover:

She is offering a $300 reward for information that leads directly to the recovery of the vehicle. The thieves entered through the alley into the back yard. They opened a gate that had an eye hook lock on the inside and then went in through the side door of the detached garage to access the vehicle. They also had to open the electric garage door, which is not quiet, to get the truck out. There was nothing valuable inside the truck and no windows on the outside of the garage for them to see what was inside if they were walking by. The theft seems highly suspicious because of the extremes that the theives went to to gain access to an old truck.

The truck is a white ’92 Nissan pick-up with red interior. There is a silver, metal knob on the steering wheel that is often referred to as a “suicide knob” or a “granny knob.” The license plate number is B12695R. If you see the vehicle, please contact the police or e-mail

Just blocks away, a car theft late last night or early today, reported by Bob:

10:00 PM and 9:00 AM this morning. Car was an ’89 red Subaru Legacy with Ore plates. Stolen from 44th Ave SW between Dakota & Andover.

ADDED 6 PM: Got word of another one, from Chris:

My neighbor’s truck was stolen sometime this morning around 7:30 am. it is a 1980 Toyota truck with a white canopy w/ rack. Lic # B30651H stolen from 23rd ave sw and sw Barton st. If found, please call 763-4027. Thank you.

5 options for your West Seattle Wednesday afternoon/evening

January 30, 2013 12:40 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

Quick highlight list from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

I-90 TOLL? OPEN HOUSE #2: Second of three open houses this week regarding proposed tolls on I-90 to help pay for the new 520 bridge (among other things). 4-7 pm, Bellevue City Hallmap/info here (the closest one to WS is tomorrow at Yesler Community Center).

FREE JOB-SEARCH ADVICE: A new free series of workshops starts at 4:30 pm at South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor), with “Online Job Search Basics” featured tonight.

WINE TASTING: Taste Siren Song Wines (WSB sponsor) tonight at The Cask in The Admiral District, 6-9 pm – details here.

HIGH-SCHOOL BASKETBALL: West Seattle High School‘s girls team hosts Eastside Catholic at 7:30 pm.

‘SHIRLEY VALENTINE’: Week 2 begins for ArtsWest‘s latest production. Curtain time is 7:30 pm; ticket info’s in our calendar listing.

‘We’ve had a great run’: Rev. David Kratz’s final week as Fauntleroy Church’s pastor

(First 3 photos by Ben Ackers)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The farewell party’s over. The final sermon has been said.

By week’s end, Rev. David Kratz will leave a job he’s had for 27 years – as pastor of Fauntleroy Church.

“We’ve had a great run,” he reflected during a recent sit-down conversation in his office at the church. While he mentions his age – 67 – without being prompted, he adds, “I’m not being forced out by the congregation, I’m not sick, just … it’s time.”

January 15, 1986, was his first day, and January 31, 2013 – tomorrow – is scheduled to be his last.

He’s been in Fauntleroy for two-thirds of his 40 years as a minister – a time of changes big and small.

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Help WestSide Baby serve 22,000 kids, with your seat at the table for 12th annual Tea

(WSB photo from 2012 WestSide Baby Tea)
There’s still room at the table for you, at one of the biggest parties of the year – the WestSide Baby Benefit Tea, coming up February 10th, just one week from this Sunday. With auction items, surprises, and tea and treats in/on fine china, the party’s become so big that even though WS Baby is headquartered here in the West Seattle/White Center area, the benefit will be in its second year in a spacious room at the Hilton Seattle Conference Center a short way south. Tickets are $30, tables for 10 start at $250 – and you’ll be helping thousands, as WS Baby’s update explains:

WestSide Baby served 17% more local children in 2012 with essential items such as diapers, car seats, cribs and clothing valued at $1.6 million. That means 22,000 children received what they needed with most of those items being gently used things coming from local families passed through our doors to others. “We saw a great increase in need and a fantastic increase in support and volunteers in 2012 that allowed us to provide more to the most vulnerable among us, children in need,” shares Nancy Woodland, Executive Director of WestSide Baby. “The majority of what we give comes from local families and goes to support other local families. This is why our theme is ‘Families Helping Families, it’s just so simple. When one family is having a hard time, another can help. Our Tea gathers together many parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles who inspire others in their own family to help. ”

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High-school basketball: Sealth boys beat Bainbridge

January 30, 2013 9:27 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools | WS & Sports

One high-school varsity game on the peninsula last night – Chief Sealth International High School‘s boys beat the visitors from Bainbridge, 63-55. Here are the stats as published by our partners at The Seattle Times. Tonight, the Bainbridge girls visit their Sealth counterparts, JV at 5:15 pm and varsity game at 7; the Seahawks boys and girls wrap up their regular season by hosting Seattle Prep this Friday night.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday on wheels

(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; see other cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
Welcome to Wednesday! We’ll see how the day unfolds. Then tonight, same traffic alert as the past two nights – a 10 pm-5 am closure of southbound 99 between the Battery Street Tunnel and West Seattle Bridge.

The WSBeat: What else turned up in the police files…

By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog

As always, the WSBeat summaries are from reports on cases handled recently by Southwest Precinct officers that (usually) have not already appeared here in breaking-news coverage or West Seattle Crime Watch reports, but that might at least answer the question “what WERE all those police doing on my block?”:

*At 2 pm this past Saturday, officers helped Animal Control on a call about a dog being mistreated in a wooded area on Myers Way. The dog’s owner was wanted on $5,000 worth of warrants for vehicle prowling, theft, harassment and failure to appear. Both he and the dog were taken into custody without incident. From the man’s campsite, officers recovered a pry tool, window punch tool and an ax.

*An Arbor Heights woman known to “care for dogs” refused to give a canine back to its owner, claiming she had spent $1250 on veterinary costs after the dog had been placed in her care. The owner had never approved any veterinary treatment. An officer explained that the caregiver had taken on the expense at her own risk and that if she refused to return the dog to the owner, she would be charged with theft. The caregiver said, “Fine,” and decided to keep the dog. Both parties were given a case number.

Nine more summaries ahead:Read More