day : 05/02/2013 15 results

West Seattle traffic alert: Crash affecting both sides of bridge

10:48 PM: A crash in the westbound lanes of the West Seattle Bridge is affecting the eastbound side too, according to James, who just called with a report: He says the jersey barrier has been pushed into the eastbound lanes. At least one vehicle is reported to have hit the barrier. And per the scanner, westbound traffic will be diverted onto Admiral. More as we get it.

11:51 PM: Still diverting traffic westbound at last report; we’ll update if/when we hear it’s open again. No details on crash cause or injuries.

3:22 AM: The bridge is now clear, per Valvashon in the comment section. We’ll follow up with SFD later this morning regarding injuries/hospital transport.

2 more participants for 100 Days of School Food-Drive Challenge!

Last night, we got word that classes at Schmitz Park Elementary would join the 100 Days of School Food-Drive Challenge launched by Arbor Heights Elementary‘s Room 16, with Alki Elementary and Cometa Playschool on board too. The goal is to collect at least 100 nonperishable food items for the West Seattle Food Bank by the 100th day of school – February 20th.

Tonight, two more schools: First we heard from Gatewood Elementary parent Jennifer Dempsey, sharing this news:

Donna Schwendeman’s first grade class at Gatewood Elementary would like to join Ms. Ingerslev’s class in their 100th day food-drive challenge. Ms. Schwendeman, the students, and parents are looking forward to making a great contribution to our local food bank.

And then via the West Seattle STEM Elementary Facebook page, we learned that their school is accepting the challenge and joining too – which means at least six schools so far. Details on the STEM collection plans are here. (And as they point out, even if you’re not involved with a school, you can help the WS Food Bank any time – see how at

From White Center Now: Last local Blockbuster store to close

February 5, 2013 10:02 pm
|    Comments Off on From White Center Now: Last local Blockbuster store to close
 |   West Seattle news | White Center

Reported on our partner site White Center Now tonight: The area’s last remaining Blockbuster store is closing, with liquidation starting next week. The 16th/107th store in White Center is where customers were pointed when the two West Seattle stores closed more than a year ago.

Valentine’s night on the run in West Seattle: Cupid 5K

February 5, 2013 8:46 pm
|    Comments Off on Valentine’s night on the run in West Seattle: Cupid 5K
 |   Holidays | West Seattle news | WS & Sports

Unique way to spend the evening on Valentine’s Day – running a 5K course in West Seattle to raise money to fight human trafficking. You even have your choice of groups with whom to run – the Valentine’s Day “lovers” or Valentine’s Day “haters,” two separate courses, and at the end, a big afterparty. Here’s the announcement we just received from organizers of the Cupid 5K:

This Valentine’s day, join us for a night of adventure through the streets of West Seattle as we race to end human trafficking. Fetch Fitness, Starbucks Coffee, K2 Sports and ExOfficio present the 1st annual Cupid 5K, a costumed urban race on Valentine’s Night. Every cent we raise goes straight to the A21 Campaign, fighing sex trafficking & modern-day slavery. No, we’re not crazy, we’re just crazy serious about this amazing cause.

The racers break into two teams – Lovers and Haters – and take alternate routes to get to all of the checkpoints in a mad dash to the finish line. To make things more interesting, participants must do their best to dodge ‘Cupid’s grasp,’ Cupid 5K staff who will be in pursuit during the race. The evening culminates in two amazing after-parties, complete with prizes.

Both groups meet up at 7 pm at the Alki Statue of Liberty located at 1702 Alki Ave SW. The race winds through the gorgeous streets and parks of West Seattle’s historic Admiral District and Alki Beach communities. Early check-in is available on location 2 hours before the race. While the two teams ‘Lovers’ & ‘Haters’ run different routes, we all begin and end at the same start & finish line. After the race, Lovers will reconvene at Alki Starbucks and Haters will stroll over to the historic Celtic Swell. Afterparty tickets are included in the cost of entry.

Registration is $36. To register, or for more information on either the Cupid 5K or the A21 Campaign, please visit

West Seattle traffic alert: Detours for Delridge/Henderson closure

(Click image to get fullsize PDF showing detours and entire project zone)
That map shows the northbound and southbound detours planned this weekend while the intersection of Delridge and Henderson is completely closed as part of the Delridge repaving project’s first phase. Here’s an update/reminder from SDOT’s LeAnne Nelson:

rews will remove and restore pavement at SW Henderson St and Delridge Way SW, closing most of the intersection. Weather permitting, work begins Friday, February 8, at 7:00 p.m. Crews expect to have the work completed and the intersection reopened by 6:00 a.m. Monday, February 11, at the latest. To reduce impacts to the community, intersection construction is being done on weekends, working around the clock. Traffic will be detoured as follows:

· Northbound Delridge Way SW directed onto 16th Avenue SW to SW Henderson Street to Delridge Way SW

· Westbound SW Henderson onto Delridge Way SW to SW Trenton to 25th Avenue SW to SW Barton Street

· Southbound Delridge Way SW onto SW Trenton to 25th Avenue SW to SW Barton Place to Delridge Way SW

· Eastbound SW Barton Place onto Delridge Way SW to 17th Avenue SW to SW Roxbury Street to 16th Avenue SW to SW Henderson Street

NOTE: Evening construction, including pavement removal using impact breakers, may be performed until 10:00 p.m. under the conditions of a noise variance, to expedite construction.

Reminder: The intersection of 25th Avenue SW and SW Barton Street is temporarily a 4-way stop, during Phase 1, to assist safe traffic flow. King County Metro will communicate changes directly to ridership.

This is a five-phase project. At the completion of Phase 1 the construction activity will move to the Phase 2 section of Delridge Way SW – between SW Trenton and SW Thistle streets.

West Seattle estate-sale robbery followup: Getaway car on cam

(Thursday photo by Mike Scharer)
Five days after last Thursday’s estate-sale robbery in the Belvidere neighborhood (WSB coverage here), Seattle Police are showing photos of what they believe to have been the getaway car:

Last Friday, you might recall, we published a detective’s call for images from any surveillance camera along the possible getaway route. Today, the images you see above are part of an update by Jonah Spangenthal-Lee just published on SPD Blotter:

… After the robbery, police were able to track down footage captured by privately-owned surveillance cameras, and detectives now believe the suspect fled the scene in a blue two-door 2007 or 2008 Chevy Cobalt. Witnesses described the suspect as a white male in his late 20′s to early 30′s, 5’9 to 5’10, with a large build and dark hair. He was dressed in a black ski mask, black jacket, and black pants, and was armed with a semi-automatic pistol.

Follow the link to SPD Blotter to see photos of some of the jewelry. Spangenthal-Lee writes that part of the estate sale’s proceeds were to benefit Woodland Park Zoo, per the will of the home’s former owner. Meantime, the full report on the robbery is also now available; it says the robber entered the home where the sale was under way at mid-afternoon last Thursday and yelled, “This is a robbery, get down!” forcing everyone present to get down on the floor, and ordering them not to look at him. According to the report, he had trouble getting into the case where the jewelry was displayed, and banged on it, trying to break the glass, until someone told him – worried he would become more violent – that it wasn’t locked. The report says he got away with $5,000 in jewelry and $4,000 in cash.

Followup: West Seattle’s Allstar Fitness put up for bankruptcy-prompted sale

Three weeks ago, we reported on the court-appointed Chapter 11 bankruptcy trustee for West Seattle Fitness, the official name of the company operating West Seattle’s popular Allstar Fitness, and the likelihood he would be preparing the club for a potential sale. This week, trustee Richard A. Hooper is telling members that the club is indeed up for sale; he announced it via a letter available at the club’s counter. A member scanned the letter and sent it to us. At the heart of the letter (here’s the full scan):

… West Seattle Fitness has only one mission and that is to providea safe, clean, and enjoyable facility for use by its members and guests. Since the club opened, the staff has worked hard to make sure that this standard was met.

I have met with the management team of the club and we have discussed the mission as stated above and they have all assured me that they will continue to work to this end.

The facility is suffering from economic stress due to a number of factors that are complicated and will be difficult to sort out in the short term. As a result of this economic stress the only solution is to place the club for sale to another operator at the earliest possible date.

I am currently meeting with prospective buyers who would operate the club and who would bring funds necessary to repair and upgrade as needed for equipment and facilities. I think the process of locating a buyer, obtaining the necessary court approvals, and closing will take 60 days or perhaps slightly more, depending on hearings and legal issues. …

The letter says future updates will be available as “handouts” at the front counter. After we received the scanned copy of this one, WSB’s Katie Meyer spoke again with club manager Ramon Velasquez, who confirmed the letter’s distribution and the sale plans, saying there are at least three “very interested parties.” We first reported about Allstar’s bankruptcy filing back in October.

Saturday doubleheader at Log House Museum: Volunteer training; Neighbor Appreciation Day chili

February 5, 2013 1:44 pm
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 |   West Seattle housing | West Seattle news

The house that’s home to local history, the Log House Museum, has a doubleheader on Saturday: Its next volunteer-training event, and, whether you’re volunteering or not, free chili to celebrate Neighbor Appreciation Day. Here are the details on event #1:

Got time to volunteer? The Southwest Seattle Historical Society needs you!

Like to interact with people? Fix computers? Update databases? Make small repairs? Transcribe interviews? Shoot videos and still photos? Plan events? Get a glimpse of our community’s past? Whether you have lived here one year or 50, come learn about how to turn your desires and skills into meaningful tasks that will help preserve and promote the heritage of West Seattle and the greater Duwamish peninsula. Here’s a way to look to the future helping others explore West Seattle?s past. The Southwest Seattle Historical Society, which operates the Log House Museum, offers this introduction to volunteering, led by Carol Vincent, longtime historical-society volunteer, and Clay Eals, new executive director. It will include a brief primer on West Seattle history.

Bonus: At the end, those participating will enjoy free chili and corn bread on the museum’s porch, as part of the city’s Neighbor Appreciation Day. The museum is one block from Alki Beach, at 61st and Stevens. More info: 206-938-5293,

The aforementioned chili is available to all as part of the citywide Neighbor Appreciation Day – stop by the museum 1-4 pm on Saturday (southwest corner of 61st/Stevens). Before or after chili, go inside and explore the museum’s newest exhibit “Telling Our Westside Stories: The Land.” (No admission charge, but they always appreciate donations.)

Crime Watch: Serial-robber photos – recognize him?

As first reported here and on partner site White Center Now (plus this update) in the past week, a serial robber has been at work in the White Center area – and further north, with last Wednesday’s holdup at the 30th/Roxbury 76 station. Today, the King County Sheriff’s Office has just released surveillance photos, with this information:


*Black, 35- 40 years of age, 5’11” – 6’0”, medium build
*Had darker black patch of skin under left eye
*Long, narrow face, Deep voice

The above-pictured suspect robbed four mini marts between January 11 and February 1, 2013.

His MO is to display a black semi-automatic handgun, possibly a Glock, and demand cash from the register. If you have information regarding the possible identity of the suspect, please contact the King County Sheriff’s Office at 206-296-3311.

We are checking with KCSO to see if the photos are available in any higher resolution/size.

West Seattle Tuesday: Roxhill, Westwood, Arbor Heights unite!

February 5, 2013 10:23 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Tuesday: Roxhill, Westwood, Arbor Heights unite!
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous


(Late-December view of the Duwamish and Mt. Rainier, by Don Brubeck, via the WSB Flickr group)
Highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

ROTARY LUNCHEON: Visitors always welcome at the Rotary Club of West Seattle‘s weekly lunch meetings, noon at Salty’s on Alki. Today’s guest speaker is James H. Jackson, MBA, CPA, of West Seattle Certified Public Accounting firm Jackson, Morgan & Hunt. (Note: Salty’s and Jackson, Morgan & Hunt are WSB sponsors)

PRESCHOOL OPEN REGISTRATION AT HIAWATHA: 1:30 pm today, it’s open registration for Bright Beginnings preschool at Hiawatha Community Center – details in the calendar listing.

WEST SEATTLE COMMUNITY ORCHESTRAS: Musicians of all ages are welcome to show up at the weekly rehearsals and check out WSCO. Tuesday night is rehearsal night, starting at 5:30 pm – full details on the WSCO website.

TACO TUESDAY WITH THE SUGAR SKULLS: Tacos, beer, and roller-derby skaters, all at Bird on a Wire Espresso (35th/Henderson) 6-9 tonight, explained here.

‘NEW’ NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL: Westwood, Roxhill, Arbor Heights resident? Join forces with neighbors to advocate for your neighborhoods on issues including crime prevention. Come to a meeting at 6:30 pm, Southwest Branch Library, 35th and Henderson. (Here’s the agenda, as previewed here yesterday.)

HIGH-SCHOOL BASKETBALL: West Seattle High School‘s girls-varsity team plays its first postseason game of the year at Cleveland tonight (map), 7 pm.

… and, as always, even more on the calendar

‘Soul Jambalaya’: Gospel, blues, jazz, more, at Sealth on Saturday

(Septimus at Soul Jambalaya 2012; photo courtesy Jeff Clark)
Saturday night, you’re invited to enjoy what’s become an annual tradition – a soul-stirring night of music in a wide variety of styles, performed by pros as well as students – all free! – on behalf of the Denny/Sealth music programs. Here’s the announcement:

“SOUL JAMBALAYA” will raise the roof at Chief Sealth International High School (2600 Thistle SW) on Saturday, February 9, 2013 @ 7:00 pm. Gospel, blues, jazz, funk, and reggae will be performed by The Total Experience Gospel Choir, Septimus, Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School jazz ensembles, and the Chief Sealth Honor Choir.

Admission is free – donations will be accepted to benefit the schools’ music scholarship program.

Many of those same performers were part of the first “Soul Jambalaya,” which we covered with multiple video clips, in 2011 (here’s our story), and returned for last year’s edition.

Lost and found on West Seattle beaches: Three wayward rafts

The past few days’ high tides have juggled at least three rafts on West Seattle’s shores.

(August 2012 photo by Gary Jones)
Above, the renowned Joy D. Smith Wildlife Raft is missing from its usual spot between Alki Point and the west end of Alki Beach Park. Guy Smith tells WSB it drifted away late Sunday or early Monday; if you see it, please call 206-937-8742.

Just before and after we heard from Guy, we got two other reports of found rafts, but he says neither is his, so we’re publishing these photos in hopes someone recognizes one or both of them:

Melinda photographed that one at Constellation Park (off Beach Drive, south of Alki Point) at mid-afternoon Monday, saying she saw it float up “from the south” the day before. Next, Megan says she spotted the next one on the north beach at Lincoln Park, “just around the point”:

No guarantee these are still where they were when photographed, but the highest high tides are on the wane so there’s a chance they might be.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday updates – and more

(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; see other cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:03 AM: No scheduled traffic alerts for today (but we’ll remind you again, the Delridge/Henderson intersection will be completely closed all weekend, Friday night till Monday morning – here’s a cool SDOT picture from the project page, showing the installation of new drainage pipes:

Meantime, we’re adding a Highway 99 cam to the basic template for this daily feature, since that’s a frequent trouble spot:

If you encounter traffic/transit/transportation trouble – in West Seattle or on the major routes in/out – let us know, provided you can do so safely/legally – 206-293-6302 is our number for text or voice.

P.S. The issue of Metro funding is back on the front burner, now that it’s warning the “Viaduct mitigation” money won’t last much longer and big cuts could be ahead. Here’s how Metro’s GM explains it; here’s a story from our partners at The Seattle Times.

9:23 AM UPDATE: Traffic alert from JL in comments – “Northbound 35th at Alaska – right lane closed for traffic light maintenance at 9:15 AM.”

High-school basketball: Post-season play, night 1, 3 losses

February 5, 2013 1:44 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools | WS & Sports

As the high-school-basketball postseason begins, the Chief Sealth International High School boys-varsity basketball team was the only local team playing at home last night, and their game was a heartbreaker, as the Seahawks were defeated by a last-second layup from visiting Bainbridge, for a final score of 53-51.

The other two games involving local teams weren’t as close: The Sealth girls were at Bainbridge, where they lost 46-23; the West Seattle High School boys were at Nathan Hale, which topped them 54-40.

Tonight (Tuesday), the West Seattle HS girls – who won their division in regular-season play – are at Cleveland, 7 pm.

Where might recreational marijuana be sold legally in West Seattle?

(Click image for full-size, zoomable PDF of the map)
As the state continues gathering public feedback on how to set up the Initiative 502-mandated framework for a recreational-marijuana industry (follow the process here), other governments are looking at how it might affect their jurisdictions. And citizens are wondering where marijuana stores might eventually open. A recent story in The Stranger included a map drawn up by the city Department of Planning and Development, showing a hypothetical overlay of where marijuana businesses might be prohibited or allowed. It’s based on city rules in development for medical-marijuana zoning, and I-502 outlines for location restrictions on recreational-marijuana shops. We subsequently requested and received the map, which DPD explains is not on their website “as it was just an internal analysis (although we are happy to share it).” DPD’s Brennon Staley continued with a caveat: “I just want to highlight that the map is only an estimate of how City and State regulations would be implemented based on proposed City restrictions and the 1000-foot buffer rule contained in Initiative 502. The buffer restrictions will be determined by the Liquor Control Board at the time of license application and will be reviewed based on the known location of certain uses at the time of application. The map is not an official zoning map and should not be used for determining compliance with existing or potential regulations.”

Yellow denotes where both recreational and medical marijuana businesses could be located; light blue zones, potential locations for medical marijuana businesses; gray zones, neither. The map doesn’t get to street-name level, but if we’re reading it correctly, it looks like the potential zones for both types of marijuana outlets might include the south Delridge Triangle, Upper Morgan, Harbor Island, and a couple small sections of California SW between The Junction and Morgan Junction.

As for when the official rules will be in place – DPD’s medical-cannabis-zoning page suggests an ordinance could go to the City Council any time now; the state timeline says retailer rules will be adopted in late summer.