West Seattle, Washington
FRIDAY NIGHT, 10:57 PM: Just a warning – WSB may be offline for a short time later tonight, because we’re making a technical upgrade – moving to a new server with more power and memory, to handle the ever-increasing usage, which sometimes leads to site slowness. Thank you for your support and collaboration, and forgive us in advance for the inconvenience while we’re making and verifying the change. If there is breaking news during the downtime, we’ll report it in full on WSB’s Facebook page and will have bulletins on Twitter, as always. Our sites White Center Now and The South Park News are on other servers, so they’re always available for backup too.
SATURDAY, 7:31 AM: Looks so far like the move was a success – please let us know in comments or via e-mail (email@example.com) if you encounter any error messages or unavailable pages. Meantime, we’re moving on to catching up with some stories we covered yesterday/last night that were delayed by breaking news and then the technical move. Thanks for your understanding!
Seattle Police have just announced the promised meetings for “thorough public vetting” – Mayor McGinn’s phrase – of their federally funded surveillance-camera network. First one is Tuesday (March 12th), 7 pm, at Alki Bathhouse; second one, 7 pm March 19th at Belltown Community Center. They’ve also set up an address for e-mail feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s been more than six weeks since we broke the news of half a dozen cameras’ installation along Alki and Harbor Avenues, Beach Drive, and Fauntleroy Way, part of a 30-camera system linked to a “wireless mesh” communication system, and two weeks since SPD indicated there would be public forums, without mentioning dates, places, times. Tonight the city’s Seattle Channel also took an closeup look at the controversy. Our coverage dating back to January 29th is archived here, newest to oldest.
(SCROLL DOWN for Saturday morning update from SPD)
8:55 PM: Police and fire are at 26th and Trenton for an “assault with weapons/aid” call, which usually does not involve a major injury. We are en route to find out more.
9 PM UPDATE: Per scanner, a man in his midtwenties has a gunshot wound to the leg and may have been pistol-whipped. He is on the south side of the athletic complex.
9:19 PM: SFD confirms a non-life-threatening wound. The man is being taken to Harborview. No word on whether anyone is being sought; police are clearing out of the area, and there is no active search under way.
9:55 PM: We’ve left the scene because all the emergency responders have too. We’ll update if we find out anything else, but not sure if that’ll happen tonight.
10:32 PM: Those who heard the early scanner traffic on this say it was reported as a robbery attempt.
8:51 AM SATURDAY: An update this morning from SPD:
An 18-year-old man was shot in the leg last night during an attempted robbery in the 2600 Block of SW Trenton. The injury is not life-threatening.
Last night, at around 8:35 pm, the victim stated that he was walking through the athletic field when three unknown males approached him, one armed with a gun. The victim told officers that the men attempted to take his backpack, but the victim held onto it. The suspects assaulted the victim and shot him in the right calf. After the shot was fired, the suspects fled without any of the victim’s belongings. The victim began yelling for assistance and neighbors called 911. Officers conducted an area check but did not locate the suspects. The victim received medical treatment for his injury. Gang Unit detectives responded and will conduct the follow-up investigation.
It’s been a turbulent week. Maybe you’d like to get out and do some good in the world tomorrow – bring your neighbors and friends! Here are four chances (and the weather’s looking good):
ANNUAL FAIRMOUNT RAVINE CLEANUP: 8:30-10:30 am, meet at Fairmount and Forest to help intrepid ravine cleaners (and invasive-pullers) with their quest to spring-clean one of West Seattle’s most majestic and mysterious sites. Full details in the calendar listing, and as noted in our preview story – treats!
ADMIRAL NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION ADOPT-A-STREET CLEANUP: Join the ANA’s quarterly patrol of Admiral District streets, which also includes treats before and after. 9 am-noon – meet at Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) at 42nd/Admiral.
NORTH DELRIDGE NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION ENCORE CLEANUP: Following up on last Saturday, NDNC needs a little more person-power to finish tidying up Greg Davis Park, 26th/Brandon, 10 am-noon, “meet at the 3 large rocks.”
(Photo of suspect Carolyn Piksa, added 3:47 pm – call 911 if seen)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 2:51 PM: Community centers in West Seattle are currently under lockdown because of a situation in the North End – a woman is being sought after a shooting at a Parks facility in North Seattle. Parks spokesperson Joelle Hammerstad confirms that all community centers in the city are under lockdown except for the ones closest to the shooting scene, which have been closed/evacuated. While waiting to hear back from her, we went over to our nearest center – Southwest Teen Life Center – and it indeed has a sign on the door confirming the lockdown (photo added 2:57 pm).
More info as we get it.
ADDED 3:02 PM: SPD tweets that the North Seattle shooting might be “a case of workplace violence.” The suspect they are looking for after the shooting – which sent a 70-year-old man to the hospital – is described as a white woman, 46 years old, wearing a blue stocking cap and beige or army-green jacket, might be driving a dark-colored SUV.
3:06 PM: Per the scanner, plate for the suspect’s vehicle is B03450D, believed to be a blue 2007 Chevy Colorado pickup or similar vehicle, and the suspect is a Burien woman.
3:25 PM: No additional information but police have circulated a name on the scanner. Cross-referencing that name with the city employee directory, it checks to someone who works for Parks in the North End. Waiting to see if they will distribute her photo.
3:33 PM: Per the scanner, the suspect has worked in the past at Hiawatha and High Point Community Centers. She is identified as Carolyn “Zoom” Piksa. The victim is identified as Bill Keller, executive director of the Associated Recreation Council, which runs programs at many centers. (Photo added at right from our coverage of Keller’s participation in a 2011 news conference announcing community-center changes.) He is reported to be in critical but stable condition.
3:50 PM: Photo of Piksa now added above. Commenters have shared e-mail they received from the school district saying that all Parks facilities are closed now and that children who would normally be taken to a Parks facility for after-school programs will instead be at their “schools of origin” awaiting pickup:
On Friday, March 8, the Seattle Mayor’s office closed all community centers, pools and Seattle parks facilities in response to an incident of violence in the north end.
Students citywide who were expected to be transported to a Seattle parks facility for after-school activities and were not already dropped off will be returned to their schools of origin to await pick up.
Office of Public Affairs
Seattle Public Schools
4:04 PM UPDATE: Tiffani from Hiawatha Community Center says that if you have kids there, please come pick them up ASAP, since the facilities are being closed for the rest of the day/night, and programs canceled, including Madison basketball.
4:16 PM UPDATE: Per scanner, the suspect’s vehicle has been found in Burien. She is not in custody so far. Also, we have added a photo of shooting victim Keller to this story, from the 2011 event at High Point CC announcing community-center budget changes.
4:25 PM UPDATE: New message from Seattle Public Schools:
Due to the City of Seattle’s closure of all community centers citywide, Seattle Public Schools is returning all students who were on buses bound for after-school programs to their schools of origin. In some cases, students were delivered to community centers before the closure announcement was made. In that case, the community centers are calling parents and asking them to pick up their students. Students returned to their school will remain at school with adult supervision until their parents can arrange for pick up.
Again, all activities are CANCELED at city-run centers for the rest of the day/night, not just afterschool events.
4:50 PM: The suspect’s in custody, police say. (Added – here’s video from KING5.com)
5:27 PM: The mayor, SPD, and Parks plan a briefing at 6 pm, and we’re told it will be streamed – we’ll add a video window here as soon as we find the code. (added – just click the “play” button around 6 pm)
(Substituted late Friday – archived video of briefing)
The victim was last reported to be in critical but stable condition.
6:06 PM: The briefing has begun – hit “play” on the video window to see it live.
6:29 PM: The briefing is over. We’ll substitute archived video above when it’s available. Toplines:
-Victim now in serious but stable condition, an improvement from earlier report
-No word on the suspect’s potential motive
-Police tracked her through her cell phone
-She was arrested peacefully – they called for her to come out of her home in Burien, and she did, unarmed
-They are still looking for the weapon she used
-After shooting Keller, she threatened someone else and brandished a gun
-Mayor and police stressed that this was a “citywide emergency” because Piksa potentially had access to many Parks facilities (it was reported on the scanner and elsewhere that she had keys)
-The shooting happened at 1:52 pm; the arrest at 4:49 pm
(Photos by Nick Adams for WSB)
Governor Jay Inslee came to West Seattle this afternoon to help mark a milestone in the construction of the Washington State Ferries 144-car vessel Samish at Vigor Shipyards: Making the first arc welds on its keel, which WSF describes as “the maritime equivalent of placing a cornerstone.”
Photojournalist Nick Adams covered the ceremonial event for WSB; these are the first photos he sent, and we’ll add more later.
Rummage/garage/yard-sale season is officially launched, with the start of the annual concurrent two-day sales at Tibbetts United Methodist Church (WSB sponsor) and West Side Presbyterian Church. Above, need a new wardrobe? Tibbetts has togs. Below, the midmorning crowd at West Side:
Among the items we spotted – power tools, musical instruments, calligraphy art, and at WSPC, you’ll even find a bake sale. The two sale sites are just blocks apart – Tibbetts is at 3940 41st SW, selling till 4 pm today and again 9 am-3 pm tomorrow (Saturday); WSPC is at 3601 California SW, selling till 5 pm today and 9-2 tomorrow.
P.S. Before you ask, yes, we’re again presenting West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day this year – just two months away, on Saturday, May 11th – watch for registration details in a few weeks.
Since voters approved an initiative allowing charter schools in our state, a Charter School Commission had to be set up to oversee them, and appointees were announced this week. Among them: West Seattle resident Steve Sundquist, who served one term on the Seattle School Board before losing his re-election bid in 2011, and Technology Access Foundation head Trish Millines Dziko, a Vashon resident whose organization is headquartered at the new Bethaday Learning Space in White Center’s Lakewood Park. The official announcement of the appointments is here.
9:56 AM: We’ve received tips about police activity off Myers Way south of the Joint Training Facility, and just got some information from Seattle Police. Someone reported discovering “bones” in the wooded area there (map); it was too dark for a full investigation last night, according to SPD’s Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, so they went back today. Though Homicide Division detectives are part of the investigation, Sgt. Whitcomb stresses that it’s standard operating procedure – they don’t even know whether the reported bones are human or animal, much less what kind of circumstances were involved. They’re expecting to know more later today, and we will update when they do.
10:20 AM: There’s a short item about this on SPD Blotter, with the same basic information.
10:46 AM: If you’re seeing/hearing a helicopter – it’s TV, not law enforcement.
(This photo and next one by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
1:01 PM: SPD Blotter has now updated, saying they’re human bones, but believed to be those of a “missing suicidal man” – so they do NOT believe this is a crime scene. (As always in stories where suicide is mentioned, we share the Crisis Clinic hotline: 206-461-3222.)
1:49 PM UPDATE: Christopher Boffoli went back to the scene for more followup for WSB. He says the man is believed to have been missing for twenty years – the evidence they found includes ID.
If you are, or know, a sculpture artist interested in the following project, Seal Sitters is looking for you:
Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network is seeking a sculpture artist for our educational outreach project, The Year of the Seal. The project will culminate with the installation of a largely realistic bronze work depicting a harbor seal mom and pup. Harbor seals are considered by biologists to be an indicator species for the health of our waters. The sculpture will raise awareness of our fragile marine ecosystem and all marine life that calls Puget Sound home. The artwork, which will reside at West Seattle’s high-visibility Alki Beach, is funded by a grant from Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods.
Artists from the Pacific Northwest are invited to submit a Statement of Qualifications. Submission deadline is March 22, 2013, and selected artist will be notified on March 26, 2013. The target date for installation is late August with a dedication ceremony on September 7th. Artists must have a proven track record of public art installations.
Download the RFQ (by going here).
And you’ll find more information about the Year of the Seal project here.
(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; see other cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:03 AM: Happy Friday! While we’re keeping an eye on today’s traffic, we’re also looking ahead at the weekend. No West Seattle-vicinity closures this time around, but if you drive in the north downtown area, you might want to know about this; the I-5 Spokane Street Interchange Bridge Repair project does have a weekend-long closure, but it doesn’t affect ramps directly to and from WS – this weekend, it’s closing the NB I-5 ramp to Spokane Street and 6th. And yet another reminder – Saturday night (technically early Sunday), clocks spring forward one hour, as Daylight Saving Time arrives.
9:04 AM: SDOT says some of the variable messaging system signs are dark again today, this time adding that it’s “due to a malfunction in the time estimating system” which they’re trying to find and fix.
10:59 AM: There’s a crash on northbound I-5 near I-90 – if you are thinking about heading that way, you might want to avoid NB 5 for a while.
As part of last night’s winter-sports banquet at West Seattle High School, the history-making girls’ basketball program took time to celebrate. We caught up with head coach Sonya Elliott – Metro League Coach of the Year and Star Times Coach of the Year – and her players and coaches:
Big day for West Seattle Little League on Sunday – so they want to make sure everybody who signed up knows about this:
One more reminder of the West Seattle Little League tryouts for Majors and Minors divisions, taking place this Sunday, March 10 at the Bar-S playfields, RAIN OR SHINE!
Key items to note:
– Remember to set your clocks ahead one hour Saturday night for Daylight Saving Time!
– Your player(s) must attend the tryouts in order to be eligible for a Manager to select him/her to their team in the draft (registered players who do not attend tryouts will be randomly assigned to a team).
– Majors division: Arrive at 8:45, tryouts go to approximately 11:00
– Minors division: Arrive at 1:30, tryouts go to approximately 3:45
For questions, please contact WSLL President Brian Pare (email@example.com) or Player Agent Laurie Rasmussen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Chief Sealth International High School athletic director Sam Reed usually ends each sports season with a detailed recap of the Sealth athletes, coaches, and others’ accomplishments. This morning, we’re presenting his latest recap along with photos taken by WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams at last night’s Sealth winter-sports banquet:
How quickly time flies. As I sat down to work on this season’s recap – something that has become one of my favorite parts of this job – I looked through my files to see that this is my 11th season recap over the past 4 years. And while this season didn’t bring State rankings, divisional championships, or the local media blitz that’s been associated with so many of our recent sports seasons, these recaps remind me what is special about high school athletics. 181 Seahawk student-athletes participated in a winter sport and they did so not because they were promised their name in the paper, a State title, or event recognition by their peers. Instead, they sweated through 14 weeks of practices and games because they valued the camaraderie of their teammates and the bond that comes out in competition.
No team bond might have been stronger this season than that of the swim team.
(Swim team head coach Les Holland)
Led by the ‘12-‘13 Metro League Coach of the Year Les Holland, the CSIHS swim team spent countless early morning hours in the pool, hours which paid off in a big way.
(Sealth swim-team members)
The Seahawks were represented at the 3A State level by junior Michael Stewart, who qualified in both the 100 and 200 freestyle, placing 17th in the state in the 100M. Senior captain Kelsey Hastings capped off an impressive swim career by leading the girls’ team to multiple regular season team wins. This season could well be a stepping stone toward future success, as 23 members of the team were either 9th or 10th graders this year.
3rd year head coach Katie Jo Maris felt confident about the girls basketball team’s odds heading into this past summer.