month : 05/2013 341 results

Followup: Bicyclist identified as Lance David; crash brings safety concerns back into spotlight

(Photo by Eric Shalit – rough pavement at E. Marginal/Hanford; ‘ghost bike’ in background)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The bicycle rider killed in the East Marginal Way crash on Wednesday has just been officially identified by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office as 54-year-old Lance David of Federal Way.

We also have learned that a memorial ride for Mr. David is being organized for this Sunday, 1 pm, from Marymoor Park – full details are on this Facebook event page.

Meantime, since the crash, safety concerns continue to percolate, with two crashes today leaving riders hurt.

First, what happened today: Just before 9:30 am in the 400 block of Alaskan Way, blocks from yesterday morning’s crash, a 53-year-old man lost control of his bicycle and crashed to the ground, the impact breaking his helmet, according to public-safety radio communications. So far, authorities have not reported any other vehicles involved; the man was taken to the hospital.

A few minutes before that, we later learned, a 32-year-old woman had fallen from her bike after colliding with a car on Delridge Way SW alongside the Boren school building. Seattle Fire spokesperson Kyle Moore says she “suffered minor scrapes and bruises” and didn’t want to go to a hospital, so firefighters took her home.

Bicycle safety was already on many people’s minds since the deadly crash on Wednesday morning. Many bicycling advocates are reaching out – May has long been Bike to Work Month and Bike to School Month, so some events already were scheduled; for example, tonight, riders can stop by the West Seattle Tool Library for free bicycle repairs, 6-9 pm (northeast side of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW). Says Stu Hennessey, “Our goal is to help our bicycle community ride smooth and safe.”

And there’s a bigger picture to safety, as discussed at last night’s Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board regular monthly meeting downtown – which began with a moment of silence in honor of Mr. David.

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West Seattle road work: Detour for Spokane St. paving

New details this afternoon about the paving work planned this weekend on SW Spokane St. under the West Seattle Bridge – previewed in our daily traffic update back on Monday. From SDOT:

Crews from the Seattle Department of Transportation will pave lower Southwest Spokane Street from Chelan Avenue Southwest to 26th Avenue Southwest this weekend. They will work on Saturday and Sunday, May 4 and 5, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day.

Traffic on Southwest Spokane Street will be detoured between Chelan Avenue Southwest and Southwest Avalon Way using Southwest Genesee Street. Police Officers will be located at each end of the detour to assist traffic. The adjacent trail will not be affected.

For information on bus service, look for Rider Alert notices at bus stops, see Metro Online, or call (206) 553-3000.

This weekend’s other major road work is a state project, closing the ramp from the West Seattle Bridge to southbound I-5, around the clock from late Friday night until early Monday morning.

Followup: Still seeking witnesses with info about ‘Zipper’ the dog

After the case of Zipper the dog – rescued from a car in the Westwood Village parking lot – resurfaced in the WSB Forums, we checked today with Seattle Animal Shelter executive director Don Jordan to see if there’s anything new in the case. He reaffirms that, contrary to many headlines, they still don’t know for sure if Zipper was actually in that car alone the whole time the car was in the lot, and says they’d still like to hear from anyone with information to share:

At this time, I can’t offer too much information on the case around Zipper, as we are still conducting our investigation. I can tell you that we will continue to care for him at the Animal Shelter until the case is closed and we determine a course of action. As far as his condition, Zipper appears healthy, happy and energetic. While the police report indicated that the vehicle was parked in the lot for six days, one area of focus in our investigation, as you noted, is determining whether Zipper was actually in the vehicle during that time. We are still taking statements and would welcome any witnesses to contact us at 206-386-7387.

Police rescued Zipper on Sunday, April 21st, and reported the case via SPD Blotter three days later.

Nomination time for West Seattle Chamber’s annual awards

May 2, 2013 12:40 pm
|    Comments Off on Nomination time for West Seattle Chamber’s annual awards
 |   West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news

Who would you like to see win one of the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s annual Westside Awards when they are presented June 6th? The nomination period is now open, and you can participate via this simple online form (even if you’re not a WSCofC member). Read on for more information about the awards and the breakfast at which recipients will be honored:

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Sneak peek at ‘Year of the Seal’ sculpture; May 13th meeting

The image is courtesy of Seal SittersRobin Lindsey, who has an update on the sculpture in the works for their “Year of the Seal” project (first announced in January) – and your chance to come to a meeting about it on May 13th:

Seal Sitters’ educational outreach project Year of the Seal, made possible by a Seattle Department of Neighborhoods grant, is making great strides. Following a public Call to Artists and Selection Panel review, prominent Northwest bronze artist Georgia Gerber was chosen to create a full-scale sculpture of a harbor seal mom and pup. Georgia is shown here at work on the centerpiece of the project, which is designed to raise awareness about our fragile marine ecosystem.

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West Seattle Crime Watch: More sports-field wire theft; stolen car found; keepsakes taken

Topping this West Seattle Crime Watch roundup: We’ve just confirmed another case of athletic-field wire theft. A tipster just e-mailed to say that a wiring theft took out the outfield lights at the Southwest Athletic Complex baseball field, which affected the start of last night’s Seattle Lutheran High School game. SWAC is owned by Seattle Public Schools; spokesperson Teresa Wippel confirms the theft, telling WSB, “we did receive a report of additional wire theft from 10 light poles … (4 softball infield and 6 baseball outfield poles). I’m told ‘a come-along’ was used to extract the wires from the poles and some of the wiring was also pulled out of the ground.” No arrests yet in last month’s Delridge Playfield case, by the way.

Also in Crime Watch: A stolen car was found relatively quickly this morning – just after 6 am, Ridge sent a note that his green Honda Civic had been stolen near 35th and 100th in Arbor Heights. Before we even got a chance to publish an alert, a note came in from a resident near 32nd and 108th reporting that someone abandoned a car in her neighborhood – a green Honda Civic. Car and owner have since been reunited.

And a reunion of sorts is what Julie is hoping for, regarding keepsakes stolen in a Puget Ridge burglary on Wednesday:

The only things stolen were a blue cardboard box of irreplaceable old pictures and a decorative tin box full of a lifetime of memorabilia, like concert ticket stubs, postcards and political buttons, etc. I’m hoping they’ll dump it somewhere and maybe it will be found. I live in the 65XX block of 18th Ave SW. They smashed my sliding glass door in the back to gain entry.

Notify police if you find any of those items – or anything else that might have been stolen from someone (the non-emergency number is 206-625-5011).

4 calendar highlights for your West Seattle Thursday

Before we get to more of the news that’s already in queue for today – four notes from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, plus two cool photos, starting with Thomas Marx‘s Alki gull-and-heron scene, above (scroll down for #2) …

SPANISH BUFFET LUNCH, ANYONE? You’ll have to call Betty ASAP at 206.934.7952 to see if reservations are still available (the seatings are at 11:30 and noon today) – South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) Culinary Arts students are presenting an international buffet lunch today featuring the cuisine of Spain. (6000 16th SW)

DAY OF PRAYER: A “National Day of Prayer” gathering is planned at 6:30 tonight at Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza. Details are in our calendar listing. (61st/Alki SW)

PUBLIC SAFETY FORUM: King County Sheriff John Urquhart is among the guests at the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council‘s public-safety forum at 7 pm tonight in White Center. It’s geared toward unincorporated-area residents but we’ve found, covering these forums for partner site White Center Now, that the information is often helpful to a wide audience – so we’re mentioning them here too. (1243 SW 112th)

NIGHT TWO AT ARTSWEST: 7:30 pm, it’s the second night for ArtsWest’s newest production, the Tony Award-nominated “33 Variations.” (4711 California SW)


Last night’s “sundog,” photographed from Beach Drive by Jeff Johnson.

Comment period under way for new Westside School site

May 2, 2013 9:07 am
|    Comments Off on Comment period under way for new Westside School site
 |   Arbor Heights | West Seattle news

From today’s edition of the twice-weekly city Land Use Information Bulletin: Westside School (WSB sponsor) has applied for a land-use permit to convert the 74,000-square-foot current site of Hillcrest Presbyterian Church into its permanent campus, including a 22,000-square-foot addition (as first reported here last November). The city’s announcement starts the clock running on the public-comment period; the notice says that deadline is May 15th, and includes this comment form.


(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; other cameras are on the WSB Traffic page)
No problems on the routes heading out of West Seattle right now, but there is a crash in the Alki area:

That’s a reader photo from the scene at 60th and Admiral, where the call went out as a “medic response,” meaning at least one person was reported as injured; we have someone headed that way to find out more and to see how traffic is affected.

7:08 AM: Our crew has arrived at the scene and says the crash is at the southwest corner of 60th/Admiral, in the eastbound lanes, but should be cleared before too long.

8:39 AM: Postscript on that crash – police at the scene say one person was taken to the hospital. Meantime, “Fed Up” in comments says the eastbound bridge is currently backed up from I-5 to 35th SW.

Power problem closes West Seattle YMCA until at least 9 am.

The West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) closed early last night because of a power outage on its block in The Triangle, and the Y’s Josh Sutton tells WSB it won’t be able to reopen until at least 9 this morning – we’ll update when there’s word it’s ready to open. (This is just the Triangle location; the Fauntleroy location is open as usual.)

Deadly crash on southbound I-5 near West Seattle Bridge exit

(WSDOT traffic-camera image)
MIDNIGHT: A day that began with a deadly crash near the West Seattle Bridge ended with another one. Right now emergency crews are at the scene of a multiple-vehicle crash on southbound I-5, described as “near Tully’s,” which would mean near the West Seattle Bridge offramp – we’re not sure about the precise location yet. At least one death has been reported via radio communications, and at least three medic units have been summoned for survivors. More as we get it.

12:12 AM: Medics have said via radio that six people were involved – one dead, five hurt (at least three of them seriously).

1:29 AM: The two right lanes, and the 6th Avenue S. exit, remain blocked by the crash. No further details about the victims – we’re likely to get some info about ages, vehicles, etc., in a few hours.

ADDED: Seattle Fire photos of the crash scene have been added to the department’s Fire Lines website.

West Seattle schools: Decision time for Gatewood philanthropists

They’re among our area’s youngest philanthropists – students at Gatewood Elementary who’ve just made some big spending decisions. Teacher Darren Radu shared the photo, and tells us about the Philanthropy Roundtable:

Roundtable Reps have met weekly over the past couple of months to determine where to allocate a $1000 Penny Harvest grant. They’ve come together to survey community members about local, national, and international needs, research organizations, and eventually determine the organizations most worthy of support. One of the goals is to find those organizations that create the greatest positive impact for the least amount of dollars. Students were the key drivers of decisions, and had the final say in where the money went.

This year, the Roundtable came to consensus on donating to Kaboom! (building playgrounds in urban areas), Children’s Defense Fund (specifically with gun safety in mind), and Treehouse (providing foster kids with support to pursue their dreams). The kids were delighted to have this small but significant positive impact on their world!

Followup: USS John C. Stennis to pass West Seattle on Friday

(August 2012 photo by Nick Adams for WSB)
Eight months ago, the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis sailed past West Seattle. This Friday, we’ll see it again, since that’s the date announced for its return to its homeport, Bremerton, according to the Kitsap Sun.

New honors for climbing legend Jim Whittaker on Everest anniversary

Fifty years ago today, West Seattle native Jim Whittaker became the first American to reach the summit of Mount Everest. The clip above – shared on Whittaker’s Facebook page – includes an interview with him, and historical footage. And today, another West Seattle native announced new honors for the climber:

On the 50th anniversary of the summiting of Mt. Everest by the first American, King County Executive Dow Constantine today honored fellow West Seattle native and legendary climber Jim Whittaker by announcing the renaming of trails in Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park for Mr. Whittaker and his climbing partner, Sherpa Nawang Gombu.

“Jim Whittaker’s achievement 50 years ago today remains a triumph of perseverance and teamwork,” said Executive Constantine. “It is an honor to recognize both Mr. Whittaker and Mr. Gombu on their historic accomplishment, and I hope it moves us all to get out and experience our own hiking and climbing opportunities closer to home.”

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Seattle May Day updates: PM commute and beyond

4:41 PM: Just in case you’re wondering before you leave work, the short version: No problems reported so far. The planned march to raise awareness about immigration issues is heading into downtown, and the SPD Twitter feed is tracking it.

6:16 PM UPDATE: The march and rally have been problem-free compared to last year’s May Day. But transit has been jampacked and that’s affecting people’s commutes in terms of simply getting out of downtown.

(Photo by @paulbalcerak via Twitter)
While headed into downtown to cover the Bicycle Advisory Board meeting, we noticed 2nd Avenue was partly blocked off just north of Marion, for a rally. We’ve since heard via Twitter that 2nd was starting to reopen – which means the buses shifted onto 3rd will be able to return. However, two “un-permitted” marches are gathering elsewhere – one at Broadway and Pike on Capitol Hill.

6:55 PM: To track Capitol Hill happenings, watch this thread on

7:56 PM: As discussed in comments, things are getting somewhat rough in Westlake area. SPD has tweeted that at least two people were taken into custody.

10:59 PM: You’ve probably seen the TV-news coverage by now, after protesters from the “un-permitted” events clashed with police. A WSB’er sent us this clip looking down at part of the scene as a flashbang-type device, believed to have been deployed by police, went off:

Police have just briefed reporters downtown. Via Twitter, SPD says 8 officers were hurt, 18 people arrested tonight.

New ‘microhousing’ rules? City Council sets 2nd public discussion

After a daytime discussion last month, City Councilmembers have announced a nighttime meeting about “microhousing.” The trend is most prevalent on Capitol Hill and in the U-District, but as we’ve reported, several are under construction and on the drawing board here in West Seattle. One of the most commonly voiced concerns, as has been the case in WSB comments: The impact of developing such buildings without on-site parking. The meeting is set for 6 pm next Monday, May 6th, at Seattle First Baptist Church (1111 Harvard Avenue); the announcement describes its focus:

The purpose of the second meeting is to hear from neighborhood representatives who will give their views and recommendations on the micro-housing projects. Representatives of the developers who build micro-housing projects will be present to describe the projects and the market for this housing alternative and their response to concerns they are hearing from the community. …

Councilmember Tom Rasmussen stated: “A portion of the meeting will include an opportunity for the public to provide comments on what they have heard during the meeting and to provide recommendations on what, if any, regulations should be enacted for this unique type of housing.”

Many “microhousing” projects cluster multiple small living units around a common kitchen/laundry area, which the Department of Planning and Development has then counted as a single living unit, and the changes under discussion include ending that practice. In West Seattle, there is at least one such project, according to the citywide report on developments approved last year for the Multifamily Tax Exemption last year – “Avalon Studios,” with 56 studios (no address listed, so we haven’t yet found which of the Avalon Way “boarding house” projects it is).

Southwest District Council tonight: 4755 Fauntleroy megaproject; Seattle Parks’ Legacy Plan

May 1, 2013 11:56 am
|    Comments Off on Southwest District Council tonight: 4755 Fauntleroy megaproject; Seattle Parks’ Legacy Plan
 |   4755 Fauntleroy | Southwest District Council | West Seattle news

Though this morning’s breaking news pre-empted our usual roundup of highlights from the calendar, we do want to call attention to one meeting tonight: The Southwest District Council is scheduled for a presentation by, and Q/A with, the developers of 4755 Fauntleroy, the 40th/Alaska/Fauntleroy/Edmunds megaproject with 370 apartments, a Whole Foods Market, and TBA drugstore. (Their planned appearance last month was postponed.) The agenda also includes a briefing on Seattle Parks‘ Legacy Plan (see the draft here) – which despite its name is about the future, not the past (as explained here). SW District Council meets at 6:30 pm in the lower-level meeting rooms at SW Teen Life Center/Pool (2801 SW Thistle).

Update: Bicyclist killed in crash east of West Seattle low bridge

(UPDATED 9:58 PM with photo of ‘ghost bike’ memorial at the crash scene)

(Intersection of E. Marginal/Hanford around 9:40 am; victim was a short distance north of photo’s right edge)
8:19 AM: Just a few blocks northeast of the east end of the low bridge, a collision this morning has killed a bicycle rider, along the route between West Seattle and downtown. Via SPD Blotter, Seattle Police report:

Seattle Police and Fire responded to a fatality collision between a bicyclist and a semi-truck this morning at South Hanford and East Marginal Way South.

Witnesses called 911 at around 7:15 this morning informing first responders of the collision. Witnesses began giving the adult male cyclist CPR at the scene until Seattle Fire arrived, but the cyclist did not survive his injuries. Detectives from the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad (TCIS) are enroute to the location where they will process the scene and begin their investigation.

According to SDOT, East Marginal is blocked at the scene for two blocks to the north and to the south, as is Hanford for a block eastward. We’ll add more information to the story as we get it; it’s too early for any word on the rider’s identity.

8:32 AM UPDATE: KING 5 reporter Roberta Romero at the scene quotes witnesses as saying the bicycle hit the back of the semi-truck (update here). Meantime, in a tragic coincidence noted by commenter Lizben, today happens to be the first day of Bike to Work Month.

(Unmarked police car at scene around 9:40 am; bicycle is on road toward right side of photo)
9:32 AM UPDATE: We went to SODO in hopes of finding out a bit more – parked a few blocks away and co-publisher Patrick Sand walked to the scene. The Medical Examiner has just arrived, and that means, police say, the scene will likely be closed another hour or so.

(Semi-truck, stopped north of the crash scene)
10:24 AM UPDATE: Called SPD media relations to ask if they had any updated information yet such as the rider’s age – SFD had estimated “30s” in an early report. Det. Renée Witt says they won’t get that information until the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad clears the scene; she promises to update us when that’s available.

11:08 AM UPDATE: Police have just announced via radio that East Marginal is open again; they are clearing the scene. Another note, as Kathy pointed out in comments – the city Bicycle Advisory Board meets tonight, and this is bound to be discussed (location/time are on the SBAB home page).

4:25 PM UPDATE: No new official information so far. As pointed out in the ongoing comments discussion, The Seattle Times (WSB partner; paywalled link here) quotes a spokesperson for Mayor McGinn as saying the city will consider some quick safety improvements at the scene, perhaps striping.

7 PM: We are at the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board meeting and will publish a separate update later. The meeting began with a moment of silence for the still-not-publicly-identified bicyclist who was killed. SDOT’s Dongho Chang elaborated on the mentioned-earlier mayoral commitment, saying SDOT will report to the Mayor “within 30 days” about some actions that can be taken relatively quickly, though he had no timeline for then making them happen. Most of the meeting is about the project that’s been a big one for the board – the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan update; city reps say a draft should be out within a month.

9:58 PM UPDATE: Kathy Dunn, one of the West Seattle Bike Connections members who were also at the SBAB meeting, has shared this photo taken as she rode back to West Seattle tonight, past the scene of this morning’s crash:

8:51 THURSDAY MORNING: SPD Blotter has updated the crash report with some early findings, and has also reported that the victim was 54. We’re working on a separate followup including more on last night’s board meeting but in the meantime, here’s where to see the police update.


(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; other cameras are on the WSB Traffic page)
Welcome to a brand-new month. For those who work in or travel to/through downtown, here’s the SPD update on a rally and march planned in the p.m. SDOT has also published info on the march, which starts in the Central District.

8:05 AM: Commenter RT mentioned the crash at East Marginal and Hanford, northeast of the low bridge (map). KING 5 reports that the bicyclist involved in that crash has died. No other details yet, but the scene will subsequently be closed for hours of investigation.

8:11 AM: According to Seattle Police, the victim is an “adult male.” We will be starting a separate story about the crash.