West Seattle, Washington
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!
(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.”
(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.
(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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
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!)
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.
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).
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.
(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).
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.
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.
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.*