day : 10/01/2013 15 results

West Seattle Crime Watch: Robbers on cam; hit-run; bike thefts

Tonight’s West Seattle Crime Watch roundup starts with robbers caught on cam:

That’s one of 7 photos released by Seattle Police from last month’s Admiral Way 7-11 holdup. We reported briefly on the robbery the morning it happened; SPD says the young robbers made off with very little, but need to be caught – take a close look at all the photos on SPD Blotter, which also has the number to call if you recognize any of them.

Also on the loose: The hit-run driver who smashed into David‘s black Kia Soul tonight:

My car was hit at about 5:30 pm (tonight) at the corner of 41st Ave SW and Alaska. Witnesses describe the car as a dark, possibly green, sedan driven by two young men. It fled the scene, turning north on 42nd Ave SW. The car will have damage on the front/passenger side.

David says witnesses described the two as “hipsters, and one was wearing a wool hat with tassels.”

And another report of bikes stolen during a break-in at a condo building. In our last roundup, it was along Harbor Avenue; this time, south of Morgan Junction:

We are e-mailing to inform the blog that West Water Condominums at 6970 California Ave SW has experienced at least 2 (possibly 3) garage break-ins over the past month. … Burglars broke into our garage by removing a metal plate, then used bolt cutters to steal the bikes. The police and management were notified. On the 15th, 2 more bikes were stolen, for a total of 8+ bikes in the past 2 months. Please post, as we are noticing a trend of this type of crime in our area.

Traffic alert next week: SB 99 closed Monday-Thursday nights

10:02 PM: While WSDOT hasn’t sent its alert yet, this turned up in today’s weekly “Construction Lookahead,” published by SDOT but including state projects as well:

January 14 to January 17, Southbound SR99 will be closed between the Battery St Tunnel and West Seattle Bridge from 10 PM to 5 AM the following morning. The Elliott Ave and Columbia St onramps will also be closed. One lane of northbound SR 99 will be closed from S Holgate St to S Royal Brougham Way during these times.

You’ll recall these closures were frequent for a few months last year; we’ll check with WSDOT tomorrow to see if this is isolated, or the start of a new wave of shutdowns.

12:08 PM: Thanks to Travis Phelps at WSDOT for adding the info in comments – before we even had sent the inquiry – that this will be happening the next three weeks.

Next week: K-5 STEM PTSA discusses school’s permanent home

Where will the new K-5 STEM at Boren eventually find a permanent home? While a recent school-board briefing suggested the district is looking at the former EC Hughes Elementary – now home to Westside School, which is seeking to buy its own site in Arbor Heights – the STEM community has its own ideas, and plans to discuss them at their PTSA meeting next Tuesday night (January 15), 7 pm in the Boren cafeteria. The district’s executive director of southwest region schools, Carmela Dellino, will be there, as will West Seattle’s school-board rep Marty McLaren. The STEM PTSA site has more info, here.

Art Walk, happening now: ‘Gun Show’ at Mind Unwind in Admiral

With this week’s news of a city-county gun buyback, our society’s use of and relationship to firearms returned to the headlines. That makes a new art exhibit in West Seattle all the more timely, and you can see it during tonight’s West Seattle Art Walk. We visited The Admiral District’s Mind Unwind gallery/event space for a preview last Friday night, first night of “Gun Show 2013” by Vancouver, B.C., artist Brent Ray Fraser (above), who describes his images of guns and flowers as examples of yin and yang:

Gallery owner Krystal Kelley told WSB the exhibit was booked months ago, long before the Connecticut school massacre and other incidents brought “the gun debate” back to centerstage in our country. She wondered whether to cancel it – but decided that it might play into the discussion, helping people consider their own beliefs and feelings about firearms. This is part of an ongoing series of work by Fraser, about 60 in all so far, he says. He is at Mind Unwind tonight, creating art live, till 9 pm; the show continues till the end of the month, and you can also see it while visiting MU’s Treehouse Lounge loft (2206 California SW). P.S. Some of Fraser’s work in the exhibit is complimented by arrangements from Admiral’s Flower Lab.

Delridge repaving project, day 1: A change in the plan already, and what’s ahead

It’s the first day of SDOT’s year-long Delridge repaving project. We’ve been out to the Phase 1 site and talked with project-team members – and already have word of one change:

SDOT found that traffic at Trenton and Delridge was backing up so they installed a No Left Turn sign for southbound traffic on Delridge and Trenton.

That’s from project spokesperson Bob Derry, at left in the next photo:

He and SDOT’s project manager Susan Byers and on-site engineering lead Victor Cruz met with us at Delridge/Henderson this morning to talk about project specifics. Like the warning signs that are up:

Remember, since Phase 1 is under way, southbound Delridge is closed between Trenton and Henderson, around the clock, for about two months. Northbound traffic will remain open, but mostly diverted to the sides of the road, which is why tree trimming is part of the early work, to clear obstructions in the outside lanes:

We also got information on what’s ahead in phase 1. First: Starting early next week, they’ll be doing some road-grinding work, which will be noisy for neighbors. Second: In a week or so, they’ll have a project schedule that will offer an idea of the full-intersection closures that will be part of the project – though Cruz said they’ve had a bit of a peek and there are NO intersection closures expected in at least the first three weeks.

If you see traffic avoiding the recommended detours – and it’s breaking the law, such as going over the speed limit – the project team can ask SPD about enforcement, but they can’t force people ONLY to take the recommended detours. Third: This stretch of the project will include some drainage work, so later this month, some big pipes will be on their way to the site. It’s going to be a major improvement in storm drainage.

Overall, “it’s more than a paving job,” Byers summarized it – there will be some “sewer spot repairs in other phases,” plus some Pedestrian Master Plan work like a curb bulb south of the triangular mini-park on the east side of Delridge at Cambridge. But for starters,it’s just one big road project, so if you are heading south tonight on Delridge, through the Trenton-to-Henderson zone,, be mindful of the detours, and know

West Seattle restaurants: Reborn Cassis reportedly Alki-bound

The citywide food community is abuzz today about the Seattle Times (WSB partner) report that a long-gone, much-missed French restaurant is making a comeback – not on Capitol Hill, where it was before, but here in West Seattle. In The Times’ “All You Can Eat” section, Rebekah Denn broke the news last night that the owner of Cassis, which closed in 2004, plans to bring it back at an unspecified Alki spot. Read her story here. We’ve tried to reach the restaurant-to-be’s proprietor for more information – so far, no response.

County orders inquest into West Seattle man’s death

Four months ago, we reported that a Harbor Avenue man was in the hospital after his third encounter with police in 24 hours – who were reported to have used a Taser on him after behavior that was described as a vandalism rampage in his own apartment building with a sword. Days later, two WSB commenters reported that the man had died; we were never able to get official information on that – but now, we’ve learned it’s true, via the county’s announcement that an inquest has been ordered:

King County Executive Dow Constantine today ordered an inquest into the death of Mike Chen, who died on or about September 10, 2012 following a confrontation with police outside his West Seattle apartment four days earlier.

According to a letter from the King County Prosecutor, Seattle Police responded to numerous call-outs involving Mr. Chen at a convenience store and at his apartment complex, both on Harbor Ave. SW. On Sept. 6, police responding to a call from Chen found him slumped on the ground with a sword in front of an apartment door at 3213 Harbor Avenue SW. Police say when Chen grabbed the sword and started to sit up, they tased him several times during a struggle, then administered CPR when Chen showed no pulse after being handcuffed and restrained. He was rushed to Harborview, where he died on or about Sept. 10.

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Fiery view inside Nucor’s gun-melting process, pre-buyback

(Seattle Police Department photo)
As announced earlier this week – West Seattle’s Nucor Steel is an in-kind donor to the upcoming city-county gun buyback, donating its facility to melt down whatever’s turned in. Nucor’s done it before, the Seattle Police Department – also a partner in the program – reveals, in an SPD Blotter report by Jonah Spangenthal-Lee; guns seized as evidence are turned into rebar there semi-regularly. See his report, and more photos from inside Nucor, by going here. Meantime, the gun buyback remains set for January 26, 9 am-3 pm, under I-5 between Cherry and James downtown.

Did bus changes play into West Seattle Water Taxi ridership slip?

If you check out the West Seattle Water Taxi ridership numbers for October and November, you’ll notice a double-digit ridership drop for each of those months, year-to-year. October was down almost 19 percent from a year earlier, November was down 18 percent. (December numbers aren’t posted yet.)

One thing that occurred to us shortly after noticing those numbers: October marked the launch of the RapidRide C Line and the restructuring of other West Seattle bus routes, including a cut in service on Route 37, which serves the West Seattle waterfront. West Seattle’s County Councilmember Joe McDermott chairs the WT-overseeing King County Ferry District Board; legislative assistant Michelle Allison acknowledges that could be part of the reason:

The Ferry District and the Marine Division have been working to better understand these numbers as well. There are a couple of reasons why we think the ridership has taken a bit of a dip.

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More West Seattle Thursday highlights: 5 places to be tonight

In case you didn’t see that photo last night on the WSB Facebook page, we wanted to share it here too – Kevin Schafer sent the first otter-sighting photo in a while, from right in the heart of the beach business district. Meantime, a quick reminder about five major events tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

WEST SEATTLE ART WALK: 6-9 pm tonight, from Alki to Gatewood! Two dozen venues are participating this time around – here’s the winter-quarter walking map, and here’s the official website, with previews from many venues.

DESC ADVISORY COMMITTEE TONIGHT: Construction is under way for the 66-unit homeless-housing building in the 5400 block of Delridge Way SW, but there are still issues to discuss and decisions to make, long before it is completed and opened. Tonight is another chance for community members to come hear updates and ask questions at the Advisory Committee‘s meeting – 6:30 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW) – here’s the agenda.

NEW GENESEE HILL SCHOOL’S DESIGN: The Genesee-Schmitz Neighborhood Council meets tonight at Schmitz Park Elementary for a look at the “initial conceptual design” of the new school planned for the Genesee Hill Elementary site. 7 pm, 5000 SW Spokane, details on the GSNC website.

BENEFIT FOR CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL: Chief Sealth students Chloe and Tia are organizing a student variety show at 7 pm tonight at Youngstown (4408 Delridge SW) as their senior project, benefiting Seattle Children’s Hospital. Details in our preview from earlier this morning.

JUNCTION FLATS DESIGN REVIEW: 8 pm tonight at the Senior Center of West Seattle (California/Oregon), Junction Flats – a 71-apartment project proposed for 4433 42nd SW – gets its first review. See our preview from last night, which now includes a link to the design “packet,” which the city didn’t post online until this morning.

EVEN MORE OF WHAT’S UP TODAY/TONIGHT … including live music and wine tastings tonight … on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar.

West Seattle Weather Watch: A bit of snow

9:52 AM: We’re getting widespread reports of light snow – and we’re seeing it here in Upper Fauntleroy, too. The “special weather statement” from the National Weather Service early this morning had continued to warn of possible “spotty lowland snow.” Seems to be moving north to south at the moment – we heard from Delridge and The Junction before seeing flakes here.

10:09 AM: “Spotty” may be just the right term. We have only had flurries, and there’s a big patch of blue sky headed this way.

Tonight: Student variety show to benefit Children’s Hospital

Chief Sealth International High School students Chloe Behar and Tia Collins have organized a student variety show as their senior project, benefiting Children’s Hospital, and are hoping you can come enjoy and support it tonight: “Doors open at 6:30 and the fun will start at 7 at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center! There will be numerous acts from around our school … and the community. There will also be food available for purchase! This is to support a great cause. Thank you so much.” More details on the complete version of their flyer; Youngstown is at 4408 Delridge Way SW. (More on what’s up today/tonight, later this morning.)

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday updates, including Delridge detour’s start

(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; see other cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
Today’s the scheduled start of the city’s Delridge repaving project – reminder that its first phase means a detour for southbound traffic on Delridge between Trenton and Henderson for about two months, but northbound traffic will NOT be detoured. Detour details here; more on the start of work, later today.

Celebration of life Saturday for Betty June Rinaldo MacWatters

Family and friends will gather this Saturday in West Seattle to remember Betty June Rinaldo MacWatters, gone at 82:

Betty MacWatters was called home to God on Monday, December 24, 2012 at Manor Care Residence in Tacoma.

Born on January 30, 1930 in Seattle to Dorothy (Kegler) and Del Rinaldo. Her husband Lester MacWatters, son Del MacWatters, and daughter Colleen Vineyard preceded Betty in death. She is survived by daughters Sue Rhoads, Linda (Will) Schneider, and Kathy Estabrook. She was loved and adored by her 13 grandchildren,18 great-grandchildren, six great-great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Betty loved to celebrate family holidays and everyday affairs. She was most at home in the kitchen, cooking her signature pasta and sharing her life through food, music, and stories. She was passionate about expressing her joie de vivre through her colorful ensembles and jewels. She also enjoyed the outdoors, particularly her garden and backyard birds, where she drew inspiration for her landscape paintings and poetry.

Betty was a lifelong resident of West Seattle and a well-known figure in the Junction community, where many knew her as Grandma Betty. She enjoyed her volunteer work at the Cancer Society’s Discovery Shop and all the children she had the privilege of caring for in her 40 years as a day-care-center owner on Southern Street.

Betty’s life and legacy will be celebrated at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 12, 2013 at West Seattle Christian Church, 4400 42nd Avenue SW.

Fauntleroy Community Association: Animal-control briefing; more

The Fauntleroy Community Association has set the date for inviting the community to come “Celebrate Lincoln Park” – April 23rd. That was announced at Tuesday night’s FCA business meeting at the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse. The plan is now to have a big community meeting with lots of information about Fauntleroy’s gem of a park – and follow it up a week or so later with an event at the park itself. FCA president Bruce Butterfield says they would welcome help planning Celebrate Lincoln Park; you can reach FCA through its website and Facebook page.

One ongoing issue at the park – off-leash dogs – was also on the Tuesday night agenda, with a guest appearance by a Seattle Animal Shelter enforcement officer. Read on for toplines from what he told the board:

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