day : 14/01/2013 14 results

West Seattle scenes: Midwinter night’s dreaminess

(Photo by David Hutchinson)
In case you were nowhere near the outdoors or at least a window this evening … WSB’ers have contributed images of this evening’s spectacular sky show – mostly the sunset, but here’s the moonset:

Photo by Emily Austin)
And before the sunset turned pink … a golden view from Anchor/Luna Park:

(Photo by Don Brubeck)
While some took a sunset stroll – others were out for a sunset paddle:

(Photo by Eileen McHugh)
Tomorrow’s forecast – dry but cloudy and cold.

Followup: Bankruptcy trustee appointed for Allstar Fitness

We’ve been asked multiple times in the past few days about the status of popular North Delridge health club Allstar Fitness, three months after our report about its Chapter 11 bankruptcy-reorganization filing. Here’s an update: Court documents from last Friday say a federal bankruptcy judge has appointed a Chapter 11 trustee for the club’s parent business West Seattle Fitness. WSB’s Katie Meyer contacted the club today for comment and spoke with general manager Ramon Velasquez, who confirmed that a trustee would be coming in to operate the club, assess its finances, and prepare it for a potential sale. (The role of a trustee is explained on this federal-government webpage.) Velasquez says the emphasis is on keeping the club open and protecting its members during this process, but any other specifics are pending the arrival of the trustee. We plan to check back next week. The club’s ownership voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 almost five months ago, and summarized the reason in one document from the case file as wanting to reorganize and stay in business while resolving a “dispute” with their landlord. Photo credit: King County Assessor website

West Seattle restaurants: Pizzeria 22 certified as the real deal

Only 429 other restaurants in the entire world have what Pizzeria 22 in The Admiral District now has – certification from L’Association Verace Pizza Napoletana that it makes and serves “true Neapolitan Pizza.” Proprietor Cary Kemp explains, “We are the first and only West Seattle pizzeria to be accredited with such an honor and rare distinction. This is a goal and dream come true for me and my staff at Pizzeria 22 and we are so proud to share this certification with the West Seattle community.” Here’s his new listing on the official website (which lists fewer than 100 certified pizzerias in the entire USA); the requirements for certification include ingredients as well as prep/cooking methods. Pizzeria 22 has been open for a year and a half at 4213 SW College.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Bizarre vandalism; burglary; mail thefts

Five reader reports today – we start with Hilary‘s report of a bizarre vandalism spree in The Triangle, around 38th and Alaska:

Late Saturday night (1/12) sometime between 8:45pm & 12:30am (Sun) somebody hit at least 8 cars with some kind of paint peeling substance – my friend left my house around 12:30 and came back because she had this unknown substance on her hands. We called the police and they came out and did a report, leaving cards on the cars who were affected. Sadly, we did not hear or see anything but maybe someone else did.

ADDED 8:46 PM: From a firsthand report by Jess, who was among the victims says the same thing happened to her car in the same place last Thursday:

… The vandals sprayed some kind of white foamy acid substance across my car that ate the paint all the way to the metal. I have filed a police report with SPD and recommend that anyone else that has experienced this do the same.

(back to original 5:08 pm report) Next, a burglary reported by Brian:

Came home this morning after being out of town for the weekend to find my home in Highland Park burglarized. Someone had forced entry via the back door and thoroughly ransacked the place, stealing several things of value. Police came out and took a report. Have started talking to neighbors but no leads so far. Just wanted to let the blog know so that you can warn/inform other area residents.

And we have three separate reports of mail theft/tampering – read on:

Read More

Today’s ‘king tide’ not so high – but new city map warns climate change has more in store

Without an accompanying storm, this morning’s “king tide” only rose to the bottom of the beach steps by the Alki Bathhouse – not high enough to swamp the Alki boardwalk the way the December 17th high tide did, four weeks ago:

But right about the same time we took the top photo this morning, the city was going public with a warning that it won’t take a “king tide” to submerge some parts of Seattle’s shoreline in a few decades, thanks to climate change. Part of the warning involves this map:

(Click image for larger view)
That’s the West Seattle section of a map just made public by Seattle Public Utilities, showing areas where they believe the rising sea level will dramatically affect the shoreline by 2050 – less than 40 years. If you look at it full size and zoom in as closely as possible, you’ll see Harbor Island and the Duwamish River shores are potentially hardest hit (dark blue), along with the immediate Alki/Beach Drive/Arroyos/etc. waterfront. Here’s a closeup of the area northeast of Alki Point:

(See the map for the entire city by going here. Once you have it open, you can zoom way in to see areas shaded light blue for possible 6″ higher, dark blue for up to 44″ higher.)

This is all intended to bring attention to the city’s plan to try to lessen this area’s contribution to climate change, and ways in which they’re asking for your opinion on how to proceed:

Read More

Followup: Cleanup plan for Alki slide that’s blocked 55th for 5 days

(WSB photo from last Wednesday)
Another followup: We just checked back with SDOT about the status of the slide blocking 55th SW a few blocks inland from Alki Beach; neighbors’ tips brought us first word of that slide last Wednesday. SDOT spokesperson Marybeth Turner tells WSB today, “SDOT Street Maintenance crews plan to clean it up tomorrow (January 15), and expect to open the road by late afternoon.” Did they work out whether it was the responsibility of the city or the slope’s owner (who has it listed for sale) to pay for the cleanup? Turner replies, “The question of who pays has not been resolved at this point.”

New Community Police Commission includes SW Precinct commander

Just announced by Mayor McGinn: 15 people appointed to the new Community Police Commission, intended to help “promote community confidence in (SPD)” through reforms and priorities. Two names on the list caught our eye on the list: Newly returned Southwest Precinct commander Captain Joe Kessler, who had been working on reforms/ethics during the two years between his two stints here, and Bill Hobson, executive director of the Downtown Emergency Service Center, now building a 66-unit housing complex in North Delridge for formerly homeless people. The announcement, including the full list, ahead:Read More

West Seattle Monday: Preschool Fair; North Delridge council…

Thanks to Mark Wangerin for the photo of sanderlings in flight. We’re flying right into a busy week – it’s already been a busy morning – so before things get too much further along, here are highlights for today/tonight from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

TRAFFIC-ALERT REMINDER – OVERNIGHT 99 CLOSURE: One more reminder, southbound Highway 99 between the Battery Street Tunnel and the West Seattle Bridge will close overnight for each of the next four nights (and again Monday-Thursday nights each of the following two weeks) for work on the new SODO overpass, 10 pm-5 am. For other traffic alerts, planned and unplanned, check the daily traffic/transit tracker here on WSB (the link is always atop the BIG STORIES list on the sidebar).

STATE LEGISLATURE: Not happening in West Seattle, but the Legislature’s 2013 regular session starts today, and we thought that would be a good occasion to remind you who your legislators are and how to contact them:
Sen. Sharon Nelsoncontact info here
Rep. Eileen Codycontact info here
Rep. Joe Fitzgibboncontact info here

WEST SEATTLE PRESCHOOL FAIR: The 4th annual WS Preschool Fair is happening at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church (California/Spokane, just south of West Seattle High School) 5:30-7:30 pm. Free to families who want to find out about local preschools; children welcome to come along.

NORTH DELRIDGE NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL: Everyone’s welcome at the NDNC’s regular monthly meeting, 6:30 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW). Our preview is part of this story published last night.

Something to add to the WSB calendar? Please e-mail us – at least a week in advance, please, and include all information in the text of the e-mail, NOT in an attachment – – thanks!

Followup: Saturday night fire blamed on water-bed heater

Investigators say they have figured out what caused the fire at a Fauntleroy home at sunset Saturday (WSB coverage here). The fire at a two-story home in the 4500 block of SW Trenton is blamed on “a malfunctioning temperature control which operates the heating element of a water bed,” according to Seattle Fire Department spokesperson Kyle Moore. He says it “overheated and ignited nearby combustibles.” Damage is estimated at $50,000, but, Moore adds, “the home had fire, smoke and water damage throughout the main floor and basement.” Nobody was hurt. (If you live in the neighborhood, you might have noticed fire crews responding to the same house again last night – we heard the calls on the scanner; a fire alarm went off, but no new fire was found.)

Followup: Last night’s search off Beach Drive

January 14, 2013 9:36 am
|    Comments Off on Followup: Last night’s search off Beach Drive
 |   Seen at sea | West Seattle news | West Seattle police

We’ve found out more about the search that caught attention off Beach Drive last night, involving what looked like a law-enforcement boat searching for something or someone. While Seattle Police told us it wasn’t their boat, it turns out they were involved with the original call earlier in the day – tipster Mike spotted an auto-tweet categorized “water emergencies” in the long ongoing list of SPD “Tweets by Beat” on the WSB Crime Watch page. That gave us an incident number to ask SPD media liaison Det. Mark Jamieson about. He says police got a call around 3:40 pm from someone who described spotting a 10-foot metal rowboat with no one on board. Police decided to look from land. They saw no sign of anyone in distress, and turned the case over to the U.S. Coast Guard for further investigation – that’s whose vessel they say was out searching last night. The Coast Guard public-affairs officer we just called had no record of it, but in the meantime, the folks at Beach Drive Blog – which mentioned the search last night – points out the “rowboat” may have been the one shown on their site five days ago, since the tide’s been high enough to move things around.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Monday updates & alerts

(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; see other cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
5:44 AM: We start the week with not only continuing cold temperatures – watch out for icy spots – but also two traffic alerts:

DELRIDGE REPAVING: First full week of Phase 1 work, between Trenton and Henderson. Northbound traffic remains open; southbound is detoured, 24/7.

SOUTHBOUND 99 OVERNIGHT CLOSURES: This is the first of three weeks during which WSDOT will close southbound Highway 99 between the Battery Street Tunnel and West Seattle Bridge Monday through Thursday nights, 10 pm-5 am each night, and a shorter stretch of one northbound lane, while they continue to work on the new SODO overpass.

7:17 AM: In comments, 33Pete says the hill down to/up from Harbor Avenue at the north end of California SW is closed because of ice.

7:28 AM: And Metro has just sent a text alert that Route 775, the Water Taxi shuttle in that area, is rerouted and not using the hill – if you’re northbound, it says, use the California/Hill stop; southbound, it says, use the Seacrest stop.

9:56 AM: Another text alert from Metro says Route 775 is now back in service – so we’ll take that to mean the hill is open to all traffic.

West Seattle Weather Watch: Chilly week ahead

After a chilly weekend with beautiful sunsets like the one Michael Copeland photographed, we’re expecting a chilly week – daytime highs mostly in the 30s, according to the newest official forecast – check the current temp near you here. Some clouds expected today, too.

Thanks to 13-year-old Harrison for the downtown-skyline photo from Jack Block Park. Stay warm!

P.S. If you’re looking for the forecast, the current conditions, the tides, the sun/moon times/phases, even the UV index – stop by the WSB Weather page, any time.

West Seattle weekend scenes: Celebrating the future of the past

Now that author/historian Clay Eals has taken over as the first-ever executive director of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society – parent organization to the Log House Museum – he has a theme: Telling stories. And that’s exactly what he and museum visitors did during Sunday afternoon’s reception celebrating the start of his new role. SWSHS and the museum, after all, are all about the stories of our area’s past, and how to be sure they’re not lost as we hurtle into the future. You can visit the museum Thursdays-Sundays, noon-4 pm, by the way (61st and Stevens, a block inland from Alki Beach).

West Seattle Crime Watch: Car break-ins; other notes

Five West Seattle Crime Watch notes: First, a reported car break-in at Westcrest Off-Leash Area in Highland Park, near the end of the west side of the lot. A witness wrote:

The car next to me had had the driver’s door smashed and the lady’s purse was on the front seat. Stolen. All her credit cards, etc. … As busy as the parking lot was, with people constantly coming and going, I wonder how they got by with it. It is pretty unbelievable that this could happen while it was so busy! When I got to the park at 2pm the cars were parked on the street all the way up the hill. When I left at about 3:45 lot was still full but street had thinned out a lot. If anyone saw anything suspicious please report it! And please, do not leave your valuables in your car, especially in sight!

As we’ve seen in Crime Watch reports, “busy area” is no deterrent – criminals know how to act fast, and often without attracting much notice.

Another car break-in report from this weekend – Mo says this happened early Saturday, near Roxbury/Delridge (city side):

Between 1 am and 7 am … someone smashed in the passenger window of our car parked in our driveway. This is our old car that we use for the dogs and all things outdoors – pretty nasty inside.

What is odd to us is that they didn’t take the stereo. Other than that there was nothing of any value in the car. They instead just made a mess and rifled through a tub of spare bike (spandex) clothing in the back.

The biggest pain is dealing with the broken window.

Two notes from Sunday night, regarding sightings we were called/texted about:

*Boat apparently searching off Beach Drive in the early evening – Seattle Police tell us it wasn’t theirs. No active search/rescue operations by anyone. We have a few more places to check later this morning. (Added later: SPD Lt. Alan Williams later told us he learned it was the Coast Guard. Still working to find out what the incident was about.)

*Notable police response at 29th/Raymond – Scanner traffic described it as a domestic-violence incident; a juvenile suspect was taken into custody.

One note from Saturday: We got a question about possible gunfire heard Saturday afternoon. No additional details but the SPD call map does show a “weapon discharge” call around 4:14 pm Saturday in the 6900 block of Delridge Way. (No related injuries were reported.)