day : 29/01/2013 14 results

Update: Heard in Fairmount Springs, apparently fireworks

9:29 PM: Mentioning it since we’ve received more than a few texts – people in Fairmount Springs (between Fairmount Park and Morgan Junction) heard something a few minutes ago that sounded like gunshots or fireworks. Definitely NO medical calls for any sort of shooting – have not heard scanner activity related to this yet, but continuing to listen.

10 PM: Commenters include people who say they saw it – fireworks.

Update: 1st Avenue South Bridge fixed after southbound-drawspan trouble

6:32 PM: Thanks to the WSB’er who texted about the 1st Avenue South Bridge having a stuck-open drawspan on the SOUTHBOUND side, with major backups ensuing; WSDOT confirms this and says crews are working to fix it. Refresh this page for the latest “live” view above, showing the drawspan still “up” as we write this.

7:31 PM UPDATE: As of about 10 minutes ago, the southbound span is back to normal, and traffic is moving.

Update: Police intercept armed man at Southwest Precinct

5:08 PM: Police are blocking off the area around the precinct. Avoid for now. Working on details.

5:23 PM UPDATE: Appears whatever this was ended quickly. Still working on details. Witnesses say officers converged on a van, which is still visible in the area, though the search/response activity is over.

7:25 PM UPDATE: We’ve heard from Lt. Pierre Davis at the precinct, who explains: “At about (5 pm), one of our officers intercepted an armed distraught male attempting to gain entry into the police precinct parking lot. A dialogue was rapidly started, in an attempt to assess the threat level and motivation of the armed subject. The subject complied with instructions to give himself up, thus ending the immediate threat and incident. Our officers did a fantastic job protecting themselves and the community in this incident.”

West Seattle’s legislators sponsoring bills to abolish the death penalty

At the State Capitol, legislators in both houses have introduced bills this week to abolish the death penalty, saying it’s too expensive. All three state legislators for the 34th District (which includes West Seattle) are sponsors of the bills – for House Bill 1504, State Reps. Eileen Cody (D-West Seattle) and Joe Fitzgibbon (D-Burien), and for Senate Bill 5372, State Sen. Sharon Nelson (D-Maury Island). The bills – subtitled “Reducing criminal-justice expenses by eliminating the death penalty in favor of life incarceration” – would limit sentencing for aggravated first-degree murder to life in prison with no chance of release. Our state has had 110 executions, most recently Cal Brown in 2010.

Wondering about new cameras along Alki? Seattle Police project

Since last weekend, we’ve been getting questions from WSB readers about installations in prominent Alki spots of what appear to be new surveillance/security cameras (a hot topic right now, as evidenced by the discussion about private cameras at last week’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting [WSB coverage here]). Traveling the waterfront, you can see at least half a dozen similar installations along Harbor and Alki Avenues as well as one near Constellation Park. Since they’re all on utility and streetlight poles, we speculated they had to be some kind of city project, so we started inquiring with city departments, and after two days of inquiries finally have a bit of information. SDOT pointed us to Seattle Police, as did Seattle City Light, describing it as a police project related to port security. Southwest Precinct operations Lt. Pierre Davis explained that the cameras are “part of a grant project ran by SPD to observe the waterway in that area.” This online article from last summer quotes a Seattle Fire Department official as mentioning a project for surveillance cameras all along the waterfront to help public-safety personnel in case of incidents. SPD Public Affairs says more information about the project will be made public soon.

Date set for Westwood/Roxhill neighborhood council re-organization meeting (Arbor Heights invited too)

After the recent Roxhill Park robberies, it was suggested that it’s time for the Westwood/Roxhill neighborhood to re-organize a neighborhood council – and, if interested, perhaps even reach southward to Arbor Heights, which doesn’t have an active neighborhood council either. If you’re from any of those areas and interested in potentially being part of this, the date is set for a meeting to come find out more: Next Tuesday, February 5th, 6:30-8 pm at the Southwest Branch of the Seattle Public Library (35th and Henderson), according to Mat McBride, who chairs the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council (which includes reps from area community councils and other major organizations). Mat says the agenda’s still a work in progress,

Super Bowl Sunday ‘preshow’: Caspar Babypants benefit

(WSB photo from August 2012, Caspar Babypants at Summer Concerts @ Hiawatha)
Next Sunday starts with something “super” long before the football game: The musician with a big following among little fans is performing to benefit the scholarship fund for the South Seattle Community College Preschool Co-op. At 10 am on Sunday (February 3), Caspar Babypants performs at Brockey Center at SSCC (WSB sponsor). Proceeds will help pay tuition for preschool families in need. Admission is $10 at the door, kids under 1 free.

West Seattle sightings: Movie star spotted at Admiral Safeway

And more showbiz news: Our WSBeat correspondent Megan Sheppard reports seeing Thomas Haden Church at Admiral Safeway. One quick check of Google News revealed this story reporting that he is in Seattle because filming has just begun on “Lucky Them,” described as an “’un-romantic comedy’ about a female rock journalist on assignment to hunt down her musician ex-boyfriend.” Don’t know if they’re shooting over here; keep an eye out for film-crew sightings. But we do know that Seattle-based director Megan Griffiths has filmed on this side of the metro area before – with “Eden,” partly shot in White Center in 2011.

Congratulations to Admiral Theater’s Dinah Brein and songwriting partner for Today Show jingle win!

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Congratulations to Admiral Theater boss Dinah Brein and her cross-country songwriting partner – Dinah reports their Today Show jingle-contest entry won!

Seattle songwriter and theater manager Dinah Brein, along with her collaborator Jon Michaels, has won NBC’s “Quest for the Best Today Show Jingle”. Michaels performed the song this morning on the Today show and beat out the two other finalists. Renowned record producer David Foster, who judged the segment, commented after listening to the songs that if he were chosen to produce a killer 30-second spot – it would be the Brein/Michaels entry and awarded the song the top honor.

“Jon called me this morning and told me the good news”, said Brein. “He also said, don’t be mad, I didn’t mention you until the end of the segment, because my daughter would have killed me if I hadn’t led off with her.”

UPDATE: Added above, the “Today Show” clip during which Michaels performed the jingle he and Brein wrote.

West Seattle Tuesday: Highlights for today/tonight

Bewick's Wren

(Bewick’s wren, photographed by Danny McMillin and shared via the WSB Flickr group)
The prospect of tolls on the I-90 bridge have been a hot topic since we mentioned this week’s series of open houses – none in West Seattle, but maybe one is convenient to your workplace; they start tonight. That’s part of the list of highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

CO-WORKING MEETUP: Every Tuesday, noon-1 pm, at Uptown Espresso in The Junction until West Seattle Office Junction has a permanent location, they host a co-working meetup “to connect small business owners with each other.”

I-90 TOLLS? FIRST ROUND OF COMMENTING: None are in West Seattle, but they’re of high interest, and WSDOT is advertising them on WSB – three WSDOT open houses this week as they embark on the “environmental assessment” of potential I-90 bridge tolling – in this context, “environmental” includes a wide range of effects, not just “ecological.” Tonight’s open house is 4-7 pm on Mercer Island; details (and a map) here.

BEER TASTING: Elliott Bay Brewing in The Junction starts its “Ode to Darkness” tasting at 3 pm, with the brewer on hand 5-6 pm for questions. Details in our calendar listing.

DREAM DINNERS OPEN HOUSE: Located in The Junction, West Seattle’s Dream Dinners (WSB sponsor) is the answer to the question “what’s for dinner?” and you can check it out at 5:30 pm – RSVP requested; details in our calendar listing.

LIFE-SAVING DISCUSSION: ***6 pm*** at High Point Library (35th/Raymond), teen librarian Ken Gollersrud and the Chief Sealth International High School PTSA present information about teen depression and suicide prevention – information that could save someone’s life. Details here.

And lots more – check the calendar, for today/tonight and way beyond!

West Seattle Crime Watch: Early-morning carjacking; auto theft

Two reports in West Seattle Crime Watch this morning. First, from SPD Blotter, an early-morning carjacking:

Just before 2:00 am, officers responded to the the area of 28th Avenue SW and SW Nevada Street for a report of an armed carjacking/robbery. Officers contacted the victim who told them that he was parking his 1993 Ford F150 truck on the west side of 28th, just north of SW Nevada.

He stated that he had just parked his truck and was walking away when he was approached by an unknown suspect. The suspect was armed with a silver handgun and pointed it at the victim, demanding that he hand over his personal property.

The suspect took the victim’s wallet, cell phone and truck keys. He then took the victim’s truck, last seen driving eastbound on SW Nevada. Officers conducted an area search, as well as alerting King County Sheriff’s Office and Washington State Patrol. Despite the area search, the truck or suspect was not located.

The victim’s truck is described as a silver 1993 Ford F150 pickup truck with extended cab. The suspect is described as a white male, 30′s, 5’8″ tall, wearing a black t-shirt and a black knit cap. The victim was not injured …

First carjacking we recall hearing about around here in quite some time. Also this morning, a stolen car to watch for. From Jeffrey:

My car was stolen last night … 1997 Subaru Legacy Outback – White – 912-VQE. Stolen from 41XX SW Edmunds Street between 10 PM 1/28 and 7 AM 1/29.

That’s only about a block from where Cari‘s car, also a Subaru, was stolen last Thursday night. A spot check of the SPD crime map suggests it’s been a busy week for car thieves – here’s a screengrab of that map:

This represents 19 car thefts in West Seattle in the past week. At this zoom level, the map shows 15 – we moused over each one on the SPD website and three each represent two, plus it does not appear Jeffrey’s report is on the map (which is time-lagged) yet. That’s more than double the rate in November, the most recent month for which stats are available online (scroll to the last page for SW Precinct stats). Here’s SPD advice on car-theft prevention.

West Seattle Rotary’s ‘First Friday’ to support Nature Consortium

January 29, 2013 9:05 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Rotary’s ‘First Friday’ to support Nature Consortium
 |   Rotary Club of West Seattle | West Seattle news

That’s a city photo of part of the West Duwamish Greenbelt – Seattle’s largest remaining contiguous forest, stretching across much of eastern West Seattle. The WS-based Nature Consortium works to restore it, as well as offering youth arts programs, and this Friday, the Rotary Club of West Seattle invites you to join its next “First Friday” get-together while supporting the Nature Consortium. They’re meeting again at Marination ma kai (WSB sponsor) at Seacrest, by the West Seattle Water Taxi dock, this Friday, February 1st, 5 pm-7 pm. Drop by and, whether you stay for a drink or snack or more (or not), help with their collection of donations:

We would love to collect the following items for them:

Paint Brushes (acrylic, watercolor, brush sets)
Paper (Bristol pads, drawing & sketch pads, technical drawing pads, paper rolls)
Atlas Gloves
You can also give cash; we will be prepared to collect that too.

Membership not required – just show up. If you have a question, the Rotary’s publicity chair Dave Nichols has answers, 206-391-5017 or

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday, as it happens

(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; see other cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:32 AM: Rainy but otherwise no trouble as the morning commute gets going. Same traffic alert for tonight as last night – another 10 pm-5 am closure of southbound 99 between the Battery Street Tunnel and West Seattle Bridge (Wednesday and Thursday nights too).

7:04 AM: If you use the 1st Avenue South Bridge, this note from WSDOT via Twitter: “On SR 509 northbound just south of SR 99, there is a collision blocking the left center lane.”

6:35 PM: As also noted in a separate story, there’s a problem with the southbound 1st Avenue South Bridge:

Its drawspan is stuck in the open position. WSDOT says crews are working to fix it.

High-school basketball: Division leaders clash at WSHS

January 29, 2013 5:44 am
|    Comments Off on High-school basketball: Division leaders clash at WSHS
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools | WS & Sports

A potential playoff preview Monday night at West Seattle High School, as the girls-varsity basketball team faced Seattle Prep, with both teams leading their divisions in Metro League play. The Wildcats controlled the board for most of the first half, but Prep’s aggressive full-court press kicked in just before halftime, and eventually brought that team a 55-31 win, WSHS’s first loss in almost two weeks. Here are the stats, as published by our partners at The Seattle Times. Their regular season ends with a home game against Eastside Catholic on Wednesday and a road game against Bishop Blanchet Friday.