day : 06/06/2013 12 results

West Seattle Crime Watch: Runner chases, catches would-be thief

(Photo courtesy Cami)
An Admiral woman chased and caught a suspected bike thief this afternoon. We might not have known except for Mark L.‘s comment following the unrelated Crime Watch roundup we published earlier today:

Just heard that my neighbor chased a guy down the street who stole her husband’s bicycle. He doesn’t ride it much anyway, but regardless, they caught him! Guy was in his mid-50’s and he’s on his way to jail. He should’ve known better than to steal from a marathon runner!

We commented in turn that we’d love to find out more; another commenter put us in touch with the suspect-chaser, Sarah, who agreed to tell her story:

I run for sanity, for exercise also, but mostly sanity. Today’s run, however, was not really motivated by either of those.

Amidst loads of laundry and resume editing, what appeared to be a man walking in from the side alley caught my eye. Yep, there he goes, straight into the detached garage – that I left open. My kids will love that part.

White T-shirt in hand, I B-lined for the garage as a man in his late 40’s/early 50’s emerged with a bike in hand. Unsure of the extent of my rights to defend my property, I decided not to tackle the man. Although, I have to admit, as a psychotherapist and borderline pacifist, I tend to entertain all options prior to violence.

Our misguided friend proceeded to run with the bike down the alley until he likely realized the screaming woman following him was not going back into her house to call the police. The bike was ditched and the pursuit was on.

Multiple neighbors kindly responded to my pleas for a 911 call and I continued to follow the man through the Admiral neighborhood – of course, wondering what he must be feeling and what could possibly be going on in his life to make theft a viable choice. He asked me to stop following him. I explained that he should not have been in my garage. He told me his friend was now busy emptying out my house. I explained his friend had great company to welcome him: the SPD. He was welcome to run as long and far as he wanted, I had planned on 6 miles today but could probably do 12 if need be.

Fortunately, Officer Mulloy followed the multiple leads from helpful neighbors and intercepted us on Admiral just above Schmitz Park where the man was taken into custody. Bike is safe, I am safe, the laundry is done. I can’t say, though, what this will mean for the man who felt theft was his best option today. I do hope justice is restorative.

P.S. In a bit of synchronicity, passer-by Cami had noticed this incident unfolding and took the cameraphone photo above, sharing it with us with no knowledge this story was in the works! Meantime, we hope to be able to find out the suspect’s status tomorrow.

West Seattle scene: South Seattle Community College opens new Northwest Wine Academy building

Big event tonight at South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) – the photo and update are from SSCC communications director Kevin Maloney:

SSCC President Gary Oertli (center) cut the ribbon to officially open the new home for South’s Northwest Wine Academy. The new building will be open to the public for tastings tomorrow from 2-8 PM for tastings that will include NWWA’s 2013 Spring release. From left to right: NWWA Instructor Regina Daigneault, President Gary Oertli, and NWWA faculty member Peter Boss.

The building is on the east side of SSCC’s north parking lot.

Chief Sealth International High School principal Chris Kinsey leaving

Chief Sealth International High School is the latest West Seattle school to announce a principal change. Just e-mailed by principal Chris Kinsey, who’s led the school for two years:

As we wrap up the school year and begin planning for next year, I am writing to you with a sense of pride and a heavy heart. I write to you with a sense of pride because of all the incredible programs, students, staff, and community that belong to Chief Sealth International. I write to you with a heavy heart because I have decided not to return to Chief Sealth as your Principal.

In my two years as your Principal, I have been extremely proud of how we have grown as a community, flourished as learners, and strengthened each and every program at Sealth — ensuring academic and emotional success for ALL students. In my time at Sealth, I have enjoyed the incredible diversity, remarkable teaching, and the overall commitment and dedication to the students who walk through our doors each and every day. It has been an honor and privilege to work with the staff, students, and community.

I can assure you that I will remain committed to Sealth and will work diligently with Carmela Dellino, Executive Director of Schools for West Seattle, to ensure a successful transition for your next Principal. Ms. Dellino will be working with the staff and community to gather feedback and input into the qualities and characteristics for your next Principal.

I want to thank the students of Sealth for their passion for learning and commitment to changing the world, the Sealth staff for creating opportunities for ALL of our students to find success, and the Sealth community for their dedication and support. You have provided me with passion and inspiration, for that I am grateful.

Kinsey’s predecessor as Chief Sealth principal, John Boyd, was at the school for seven years. District spokesperson Teresa Wippel tells WSB that there is not an interim principal waiting in the wings for a quick announcement – “we will be looking for someone.”

SIDE NOTE: Other West Seattle public schools changing principals for next year include Madison Middle School (here’s our story from earlier this week), Sanislo Elementary (here’s our story from April), and Lafayette Elementary (here’s our story from April). We’ve also reported on an independent-school change – Our Lady of Guadalupe (here’s our story from April),

Video: Westside Award winners celebrated at West Seattle Chamber’s annual awards breakfast

Story and video by Tracy Record
Photos by Patrick Sand and Katie Meyer

The community leadership of two businesses, one nonprofit, and one volunteer was celebrated this morning at the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s annual Westside Awards breakfast. Guests also heard a third-generation West Seattleite tell the tale of how a small business founded here gave birth to a multi-million-dollar company operating worldwide.

Almost 90 nominations came in for this year’s Westside Awards, presented in a packed room at Salty’s on Alki. Though the winners were announced last week, the fun came in seeing the joyful presentations and acceptances today:

Honored as Business of the Year was Ventana Construction (WSB sponsor), whose owners Anne and Clarence Higuera accepted the award, after words of tribute from Chamber board vice-chair Nancy Woodland, who lauded Ventana as “really good people who make the community proud.” Anne in turn talked about their pride in their employees, their work, and in supporting the community. Here’s our video of the introduction and acceptance speech:

Ventana recently celebrated its 10th anniversary.

Nonprofit of the Year was accepted by someone else marking a milestone, Nature Consortium founder Nancy Whitlock, who announced recently that she is going on sabbatical, starting to step away from the thriving organization she founded 15 years ago.

Woodland read from nomination forms including one that said simply, “Nature Consortium rocks!” Whitlock said the timing of the award was perfect:

Among the many achievements of the NC: It has planted more than 40,000 trees to help restore the West Duwamish Greenbelt here in West Seattle, and has been “weaving (its work) together with the arts,” including art education for youth.

From youth to seniors, community members of all ages are enjoying the results of a dream come true, first dreamed by the Westsider of the Year recipient, Lauren Englund. Her brainchild, the West Seattle Bee Garden, recently opened with a celebration and parade:

Lauren was introduced by Trish Throop, who noted that those who nominated her described her in so many positive ways, from kind to inspirational. Lauren herself said the idea had naysayers – until a wide section of the community learned about it, and embraced it:

The Bee Garden has a fundraiser coming up next week, by the way – read about it here.

Last but by no means least, honored as Emerging Business was Sozo Wines, for its tradition of “giving back.” The name “Sozo” means “to rescue,” said Stefan Persson, who accepted the award:

Sozo partners with local food banks and has helped provide 14,000 meals as a result, he said. They also partner with restaurants, but “a portion of any sale” – including retail – “goes back to the community,” he noted.

History was celebrated today as well as recent achievements; Chamber board chair Dave Montoure pointed out that the “West Seattle Chamber has been here for 90 years.” And the keynote speaker spun a tale with deep West Seattle roots:

Randy Gardiner of Red Dot – “we don’t make dots, by the way,” he laughed – was introduced by Montoure as a third-generation West Seattleite, though his company making heating/air conditioning equipment for commercial and military vehicles is now headquartered in Tukwila.

He said the story of his company also began 90 years ago, like the Chamber, when his grandfather “Harky” Runnings arrived in the area and eventually went to work for Boeing, until opening West Seattle Radiator in what’s now The Wax Bar‘s location in The Triangle. “Amazing how companies evolve,” he quipped as the audience laughed. He talked about how his grandfather founded the company at age 55 and how it became an employee-owned company more than 30 years later. Here’s part of his speech:

He also shared lessons from which other businesses could learn – including how he and his senior management are talking about “graduation,” about their businesses’ future without them, and how important it is to bring others into the business. He also talked about his company’s outreach to future potential employees – through FIRST Robotics sponsorship, through offering summer internships. “Bringing students into our business was an eye-opener,” he said – and it was heartening, as the students “wanted to come back.” He described internships as a “test drive” for both the company checking out possible future employees, and vice versa, as well as to enable them to connect with educators. “We have two silos in our society – the education silo and the business silo,” he said, exhorting those on hand to “help make learning relevant.” Three million students are graduated from high school every year; two million go to college, one million don’t, and that’s a resource that needs to be embraced, Gardiner advised.

Montoure remarked afterward that the speech was inspirational – making him think about reaching out to his alma mater, West Seattle High School, to look into that kind of partnership.

For this morning’s event, local businesses had integral roles behind the scenes, as always. This year’s centerpieces were glass art created by Avalon Glassworks and offered for sale. Nucor Steel was again the presenting sponsor for the event and announced that a longtime executive familiar in the community will be retiring soon – safety/environmental manager Bart Kale, who promised in a brief speech at the podium that Nucor “would continue its long relationship with the community.”

Coming up on the Chamber calendar: June 20th, lunch with State Rep. Eileen Cody, and June 27th, an “After-Hours” gathering, this time at ArtsWest in The Junction. Find out more about these events and others, as well as Chamber membership (we signed up our business in 2008, its first full year), by going to

West Seattle Crime Watch: Busy burglars, & 3 more reader reports

We start this West Seattle Crime Watch roundup with a busy week for burglars. Sixteen in the past week, according to the city crime-report map (three of the icons in the screengrab above represent two each). One of the victims is Lara – again:

I wanted to report that I was burglarized for the second time in 6 months (plus 3 additional thefts of plants, outdoor heaters, etc. from my yard.) I live near Graham and Fauntleroy and the break-in occurred at 3 pm (Wednesday). … This time, the perpetrator(s) kicked in my front door (which was dead bolted). It appears that they were trying to disassemble the entertainment center when the alarm went off. They grabbed my laptop, but that appears to be all they took. I’m very glad I put in an alarm system after the last burglary and I’m adding in the video cameras (today)!

It would be great to know if anybody on Fauntleroy (just south of the intersection at Graham) has an external facing camera that might have captured a truck parked out front (Wednesday) afternoon.

Lara says the person responsible last time is still behind bars, so it’s someone different. Ahead – a bus rider robbed on the eve of his birthday, plus suspected mail thieves, and grocery theft:

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Friends of Morgan Junction Parks: First event Saturday

The newly formed Friends of Morgan Junction Parks is inviting you to be part of history – help out with its first event this Saturday! The photo and invitation are from Barry:

Our group is dedicated to maintaining and beautifying the two parks in the Morgan Junction area. We invite any member of the community who would like to volunteer their gardening and design skills to join. This is also a great opportunity to learn about urban landscape issues and the latest, research-based horticultural practices. There is no time commitment. Our group can be found here.

Our first event is this Saturday from 10 AM to noon at the main park next to the Beveridge Place Pub. Seattle Parks will bring us two yards of wood chips from Lincoln Park for mulching the plant beds. Tools will be provided. The work should be easy and enjoyable and will offer the chance to learn about what’s planted in the parks. We hope to see you there.

West Seattle microhousing: 3050 SW Avalon Way adds three stories; DPD director @ Southwest District Council

While “microhousing” – residential buildings with up to 8 individually rentable sleeping units sharing each kitchen – is old news for some neighborhoods in Seattle, it’s still somewhat new here in West Seattle, with several projects in the works but none yet completed. Today, two bits of news – first, a proposed microhousing building has revised its plan, triggering an official notice from the city today; second, we have toplines from Department of Planning and Development director Diane Sugimura‘s appearance at the Southwest District Council meeting last night.

First, the revised project at 3050 SW Avalon Way, currently the overgrown lot shown above: The revision notice says it is now proposed as a seven-story, 102-bedroom, no-parking building. It was proposed for four stories when we last mentioned it in March. The revision triggers a new comment period, through June 19th; here’s the form you can use to comment.

Ahead, what DPD director Sugimura told the district council last night – and the meeting attendee whose group is opposed to more regulation:

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Update: Maya the meandering macaw now back home

(Photo by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand, added 10:45 am)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 9:37 AM: No photo yet but, just added to the WSB Lost/Found Pets page, we’ve received multiple reports of a yellow/blue macaw or parrot turning up in a tree near Tilden School north of The Junction, 44th and Dakota, causing quite a stir at the school, too. Crows were harassing it, according to WSB tipster Meredith, so we don’t know how long it’ll hang around, but if you’re missing one – that’s where it’s been spotted.

10:45 AM: Just back from checking out the parrot situation. It had flown over to the First Lutheran Church of West Seattle roof by the time we arrived. From both a phone call and a comment, it appears the owner’s been found – and it appears to be Maya the macaw, who had an April escapade.

FRIDAY MORNING NOTE: Maya the macaw is now back home, per owner Hector’s comment.

West Seattle Thursday: School concerts; health Q/A; tidewalking; benefit bunco; more

June 6, 2013 8:50 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Thursday: School concerts; health Q/A; tidewalking; benefit bunco; more
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

Some of what’s up today/tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar (where you’ll find even more than what’s highlighted below):

EXPLORE LOW TIDE … with Seattle Aquarium beach naturalists. It’s not a super-low low tide, but low enough to see some interesting sights. Meet the naturalists on the beach at Constellation and Lincoln Parks, 10 am-12:30 pm.

WEST SEATTLE WOMEN IN CHARGE: The networking group for local women who own/run businesses will meet at the new West Seattle Women’s Health Clinic in The Junction, noon-1 pm. RSVP via Facebook. (4727 44th SW, Suite 207)

COMMUNITY ORCHARD OF WEST SEATTLE: Tour the orchard and join in a work party (we heard something about rhubarb lemonade!), 3-5 pm on the north side of the South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) campus. (6000 16th SW)

WOMEN’S HEALTH DISCUSSION: All those topics you have questions about – Highline Family Medicine-West Seattle will have experts on hand to help you find answers. Details in the calendar listing. 6-7:30 pm. (4550 Fauntleroy Way SW)

PURSE PARTY: 6 pm at West Seattle Curves – details in our calendar listing. (3280 California SW)

BUNCO NIGHT: 7 pm at Merrill Gardens-Admiral Heights (WSB sponsor), presented by the Westside Rotaract Club, raising money for the American Cancer Society. Details in our calendar listing. (2326 California SW)

WEST SEATTLE HIGH SCHOOL CONCERT: Band, orchestra, and jazz musicians all perform their spring concert in the WSHS Theater tonight at 7. (3000 California SW)

DENNY/SEALTH BAND CONCERT: 7 pm, the two schools’ bands’ spring concert, Chief Sealth International High School Auditorium. (2600 SW Thistle)

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday updates; bike plan; bus-change reminders

(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; other cameras are on the WSB Traffic page)
Another sunny start to the commute; sunglasses are a must for most. Two notes:

BICYCLE MASTER PLAN: The city’s brand-new draft of the updated Bicycle Master Plan is out – see it here. If you can’t make it to any of the in-person open houses, there’s an online “webinar” about it today, noon-1 pm – register here.

BUS CHANGES ON SATURDAY: RapidRide C Line and Routes 56/57 will see a few changes when Metro‘s next service change takes effect this Saturday – here are the West Seattle-specific details from the reminder issued yesterday. Sound Transit’s periodic changes start the same day; they include a big change to Route 560, as previously announced.

West Seattle schools’ 2013 graduations are about to begin

(WSB photo from June 2012 West Seattle High School graduation @ Memorial Stadium)
From the “in case you wondered” file – it’s almost graduation time! And this year, graduating seniors and their families from local schools will not have to make the trek downtown. Here’s the schedule:

SEATTLE LUTHERAN HIGH SCHOOL: 7:30 pm this Friday (June 7), at Menashe Gym on campus (41st/Genesee)

MIDDLE COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL @ HIGH POINT: 7 pm next Tuesday (June 11th), at The Hall at Fauntleroy. (9131 California SW)

SOUTH SEATTLE COMMUNITY COLLEGE: 2:30 pm next Wednesday (June 12th), at Benaroya Hall downtown (200 University St.)

WEST SEATTLE HIGH SCHOOL: 5 pm next Wednesday (June 12th), at Southwest Athletic Complex. (2801 SW Thistle)

CHIEF SEALTH INTERNATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL: 7:30 pm next Wednesday (June 12th), at Southwest Athletic Complex.

**The full Seattle Public Schools graduation schedule is here.

**Grad-to-be in Highline Public Schools next door? Here’s that schedule.

**Wondering about Vashon Island High School? 2 pm Saturday, June 15th, at the school.

Video: Denny, Chief Sealth choir & orchestra’s year-end concert

June 6, 2013 1:49 am
|    Comments Off on Video: Denny, Chief Sealth choir & orchestra’s year-end concert
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools | WS culture/arts

“Joyful, Joyful” is the song you hear in our clip of the Chief Sealth International High School Choir performing their final concert of the year, sharing the bill last night with orchestras from their school and adjacent Denny International Middle School. You’ll see the two schools’ orchestras playing together in this next clip:

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