day : 12/08/2013 12 results

West Seattle schools: Connie Aleman announced as new principal of Gatewood Elementary

Thanks to the Gatewood Elementary parent who shared the announcement from Superintendent José Banda, e-mailed today:

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Connie Aleman as your new principal, effective August 12, 2013.

Ms. Aleman comes to Gatewood from Wedgwood Elementary, where she was assistant principal last year. She is committed to a collaborative approach and we believe she will be a great fit for the Gatewood Elementary community.

Prior to joining the team at Wedgwood, Connie Aleman served as a STAR Mentor for Seattle Public Schools. In this role she worked with first- and second-year teachers to provide one-to-one mentoring and coaching. She previously worked as a principal intern at Alki Elementary and as site coordinator for summer school at Bagley Elementary. Ms. Aleman has taught elementary and middle school grades in Seattle Public Schools and also was the primary teacher for the autism program at Families for Effective Autism Treatment.

Ms. Aleman earned a Master’s in human development at Pacific Oakes College and a bachelor of arts in drama from the University of Washington. She holds Washington State principal and teacher certifications, and has participated in ongoing professional education and training.

Connie Aleman was selected after a hiring process that included input from staff and families. The selection team committee was particularly impressed with her coaching experience and experience with initiatives used at Gatewood such as the inclusion model.

The superintendent’s note concluded with a reminder that Gatewood’s principal of eight years, Rhonda Claytor, is moving on to lead Leschi Elementary, as announced July 3rd.

6th annual West Seattle Car Show ready to rumble September 15th

(WSB photo from our September 2012 car-show coverage)
The big event that has wrapped up summer in West Seattle the past five years is indeed coming back for a sixth. We talked today with Michael Hoffman of Liberty Bell Print and Design, producer of what’s now officially the West Seattle Car Show. As you’ll see on the official website at, the show is set for 8 am-4 pm Sunday, September 15th, in the heart of The Junction. Registration is open now for pre-1980 cars, trucks, and motorcycles – download the form here.

Sponsors from all around West Seattle and beyond are lining up, headed up by West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) and Don Swanson Insurance returning as “best in show” sponsors; other co-sponsors include WSB again this year. Hoffman says he’s already heard from car clubs too, especially because of a recent feature about the show in the Northwest car enthusiasts’ magazine CruZin‘. Admission will again be free, and they’ll sell raffle tickets benefiting Pencil Me In For Kids, which provides school supplies to kids in need; raffle prizes include a grill donated by Junction True Value (WSB sponsor). TJ Entertainment, which has provided music the past few years, is lined up for this year again too. And helping you keep The Junction clean while attending will be Waste Management, which donates and handles the totes for recycling and trash.

P.S. First 100 cars to register get a goodie bag, and Hoffman says more than a few are already spoken for, so sign up quick. Categories are listed on the website, and there’ll be a “best West Seattle car” category again too. Stand by for more updates as the West Seattle Car Show (just under five weeks away) gets closer!

Another neighborhood-council meeting ahead: Genesee-Schmitz

August 12, 2013 7:14 pm
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 |   Genesee Hill | Neighborhoods | West Seattle news

On Sunday, we previewed three neighborhood-council meetings happening this week and next – North Delridge Neighborhood Council (under way right now), Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council (tomorrow night), and the second meeting of the revived Junction Neighborhood Council (August 20th). Tonight, another one to add to the list: This Thursday, the Genesee-Schmitz Neighborhood Council meets, with two major items on the agenda: The future of the 50th/Dakota substation site (one of six West Seattle sites the city is reviewing), and the small-lot-development issue that’s affected neighborhoods including Benchview (which recently saw both a court victory and a re-filing). You are welcome to attend the GSNC meeting at 7 pm Thursday (August 15th) at West Side Presbyterian Church (3601 California SW).

PM commute notes: West Seattle Water Taxi service canceled for tonight, back tomorrow; downtown buses, roads back to normal

(UPDATED 8:48 PM with Water Taxi returning Tuesday)

Two PM commute notes:

WEST SEATTLE WATER TAXI: King County has just sent word that the West Seattle Water Taxi is canceled for tonight because of mechanical trouble. (Backup boat Rachel Marie had already been pressed into service on the Vashon run.) **Update – The West Seattle run WILL be back tomorrow, the county says (8:48 pm), using Melissa Ann.**

BUSES, ROADS BACK TO NORMAL DOWNTOWN: In case you missed the updates in our separate coverage of the shooting aftermath downtown – bus service is back to normal and all roads have reopened, according to Metro, SPD, and SDOT.

Solstice Park, Hiawatha tennis-court improvements/closures ahead

Seattle Parks has announced that the tennis courts at Solstice Park and Hiawatha Playfield will close later this month for improvements. The Solstice Park work/closure is set for August 19-30; at Hiawatha, it’s August 30-Sept. 7. Details are on the city’s Parkways site.

One more reminder for tonight: Seal Sitters volunteer training

August 12, 2013 3:43 pm
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 |   How to help | West Seattle news | Wildlife

One more quick reminder for tonight, since breaking news pre-empted our usual daily preview: Seal Sitters is having its last training session for quite some time tonight, and you’re invited – 6:30 pm, Alki Bathhouse. Youth volunteers welcome too. RSVP if you can – the announcement on their site explains how.

Downtown shooting updates: Media briefing; roads reopened; suspect dies; driver ID’d

(2:34 PM NOTE: Briefing’s over now. Will replace the screengrab below with archived video when available)

2:04 PM: City and county officials are presenting a briefing on this morning’s shooting incident downtown (see our earlier coverage here), and the live video above is courtesy of Seattle Channel. We’ll update this with new-info toplines as it goes. **Click the “play” button for the live video.**

County Executive Dow Constantine begins with “commend(ations)” for both drivers involved this morning. And: “Metro is safe,” he insists. “This was an isolated incident. It happened on a Metro bus but (it could have happened almost anywhere) … (and) there are a lot of people out there with guns who shouldn’t have them. The safety of our drivers and our passengers is always our first priority.” He says he met with the injured driver, who wasn’t only “awake and alert” but was “in good spirits … and asked almost immediately, ‘how are (his) passengers?’ That is the kind of dedicated public servant we so appreciate.” He also expresses appreciation for the second driver, the Route 120 driver, who dealt with the suspect trying to “commandeer his bus” before police intervened.

2:07 PM: Mayor McGinn speaks briefly and turns it over to Seattle Police Interim Chief Jim Pugel. He offers this chronology:
–At 8:48 am, the 1st bus was southbound on 3rd Avenue near Union/University. 3 people boarded, were asked to pay, 2 exited, 1 did not, “began pacing back and forth in bus, made his way up to the operator … then physically assaulted the driver and then shot him at least twice.” People were fleeing the bus yelling “He’s got a gun.” Two officers were nearby. One rushed to help, one rushed to seek the suspect, who still had a revolver in sight, and was on the run, and “according to witnesses, turned and pointed the gun at officers several times. … The suspect continued southbound on 2nd Avenue toward Seneca Street … tried to get into (two other vehicles) … eventually engaged a Metro bus that had passengers on it and was coming up the hill .. at SW corner of Seneca/2nd … somehow the door came open, the suspect got on the bus, several people got off …” Other officers, including an assistant chief, were in the area, gave verbal orders, the suspect raised his gun once, was shot, raised it again, was shot again. Seven minutes elapsed between the first call and the end of the incident, says Chief Pugel, “which is phenomenal.”

Two passengers on the second bus (the Route 120 bus) suffered minor injuries but no one besides the first driver and the suspect were hit by gunfire, says Chief Pugel.

“Today was a day when one of our drivers unfortunately met an individual who clearly should not have been there, with that weapon, and we at some point collectively failed to pick up that danger … It’s not a transit issue,” says Constantine now, reiterating, “It’s not a transit issue. Transit is safe … I hope next time you board a bus that you will take a moment to thank your Metro driver.”

2:15 PM: They’re taking Q/A now. Chief Pugel is not confirming one TV station’s ID of the suspect, who has a significant background, but not ruling it out either. He says Nick Metz is the assistant chief who was in the area and joined in the “chase.” What about security on buses? County Executive Constantine is asked. He recalls the 2010 assault on a Metro driver (a West Seattle resident) and talks about ways they worked with the transit union on safety procedures since then, and a resulting decline in assaults on drivers. (A union rep is at the briefing, but so far has not spoken.) “We safely deliver millions of people per week to their destinations without incident,” Constantine reiterates. A Transit Police (part of the King County Sheriff’s Office) rep comments on this too, saying that several of their personnel got there fast. Regarding the alleged fare refusal that preceded this, he says that drivers are asked to request fares – but not engage beyond that.

2:23 PM: Is there video from either bus? Potentially, says Chief Pugel. They’re checking people’s phone video, too. Next, Mayor McGinn is asked about the recent call for more police downtown because of other violence. He reiterates that two police officers were “right on the scene when this occurred,” but says they’re evaluating the overall situation. Executive Constantine says he’s not going public with the 64-year-old, 14-year-veteran shot driver’s name until hearing from the driver’s wife that enough of their family has been told, that it’s OK to go public. Back to driver safety, he notes the request for enclosing drivers, and says the drivers themselves considered them more of an impediment to their job than protection. The transit union rep, president Paul Bachtel, now speaks and says the enclosures were tested multiple times in the past, with 300 operators surveyed after testing 30 shields. The union executive board rejected them for reasons including glare, a change in relationship between drivers and passengers, feedback from other agencies that had tried them. He also reiterates that operators are told to only ask for the fare once, and some, if they feel it’s unsafe, don’t do that at all.

Executive Constantine repeats that drivers are all “a bit shaken up today … so your kind words will mean a lot to them.” And at 2:29 pm, the briefing is over.

2:34 PM NOTE: Though traffic conditions weren’t discussed in the briefing, the latest from Metro is: “Buses traveling into Seattle on NB Alaskan Way Viaduct rerouted via 3rd Ave w/ no stop on Seneca west of 3rd. SB viaduct buses are OK.” And: “Buses still rerouted off 2nd Ave between Stewart & Spring. Board/exit all 2nd Ave routes at regular stops N of Stewart, E of 3rd or S of Spring.”

3:01 PM UPDATE: And now from Metro: “Most transit service has resumed normal operations.” They will have additional updates here throughout the PM commute.

4:27 PM UPDATE: Just tweeted by SPD: “Streets reopened downtown. 2nd Ave still closed between Spring and University but should be opening shortly.”

4:53 PM UPDATE: SPD has now confirmed that the suspect has died. Also, the Seattle Times (WSB partner) has identified the injured driver as 64-year-old Deloy Dupuis, whom public records say lives in Burien.

West Seattle development: 2 more project sites up for sale

August 12, 2013 1:58 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle development: 2 more project sites up for sale
 |   Development | West Seattle news

It seems to be something of a trend – get your development all or part of the way through the review process, then put it up for sale before starting construction. Newest one: The proposed three-story, 29-apartment, 29-parking-space project at 3829 California SW just went on the market for almost $1.6 million; it passed Design Review in June after 3 meetings. We also spotted a $3.3 million listing for 3100 SW Avalon Way, a non-existent address that appears to refer to one of the two 100-plus-apartment projects that are/were in the middle of Design Review (3078 went through Early Design Guidance in September; 3062 did the same in November; we’ll update this if and when we confirm WHICH one).

In other news: North Delridge Neighborhood Council tonight

August 12, 2013 1:04 pm
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 |   Delridge | Neighborhoods | West Seattle news

Before SPD, Metro, and others update the downtown shooting situation at 2 pm, we’re moving on to a few other stories – including the only major calendar reminder for tonight: At 6:30 pm, outdoors at Dragonfly (Garden) Pavilion (along 28th between Yancy and Genesee), the North Delridge Neighborhood Council invites you to its August meeting. Along with the latest on next Saturday’s NDNC-presented Delridge Day festival, lots more is on the agenda – here’s the preview on NDNC’s website.

Updates: Metro bus driver shot downtown; suspect shot on Route 120 bus

(SCROLL DOWN for newest info – we’ll update this throughout the day)

(Photo from WSB reader KD: Route 120 bus with bullet holes in windshield)
9:15 AM: This is a developing story downtown, and it’s affecting traffic off the Viaduct, so we’ll be tracking it separately after a brief mention in traffic coverage: Police report a Metro bus driver was shot downtown; this is a multi-scene investigation, and one scene is near 2nd and Seneca.

(WSB reader photo: Part of the scene downtown, in the 2nd/3rd/Seneca/University area)
According to radio traffic, the shooting suspect then was shot by police. And an officer is also being treated for a minor injury, either from being grazed by a bullet, or from broken glass. Streets affected include 2nd/University/Seneca so far. More to come.

9:24 AM UPDATE: We’re still awaiting word from Metro with details on the affected buses. One WSB reader has texted to say a Route 120 bus was involved and passengers are being held to give statements to police. Police say the driver, 67 years old, was shot at 3rd and Union; the suspect is reported to have then gotten on another bus and police shot him at 2nd and Seneca.

9:32 AM UPDATE: The 120 passenger we’re hearing from says it’s hard to recall what happened among “lots of chaos,” but “somebody was pounding on the front door” of their bus.

9:49 AM UPDATE: Thanks to KD for the photo of the Route 120 bus that was involved, added atop this story. Here’s what SPD Blotter has just posted, saying (as a commenter notes) that the driver was shot on a Route 27 bus. It appears the suspect was subsequently trying to get into the 120 bus, which would correlate with our earlier tipster’s report that “the driver saved (us).”

10:08 AM: Metro has sent an alert that Route 120 and RapidRide D (post-C) are having reroutes downtown because of this. Meantime, some links for citywide coverage:
Seattle Times (WSB partner)

10:37 AM: Ari G texted that many buses downtown are being rerouted onto 1st and you might find yourself having to flag one down. Meantime, SPD has just updated its report, including this information on conditions, including at least two more people reported hurt, and the latest on how the investigation is affecting things downtown:

The 67-year-old Metro driver’s injuries do not appear to be life-threatening.

The suspect—who is in his 30′s or 40′s—is in critical condition and is being transported to Harborview.

A 32-year-old officer also sustained minor injuries in the incident, possibly from broken glass, and was taken to Harborview.

A second officer, who is in his 50s, was also taken to Harborview for treatment for a medical condition.

Finally, a female passenger sustained minor bruising while evacuating the second bus.
Police are actively working to process a very complicated series of crime scenes, and traffic throughout downtown will likely be significantly impacted today due to necessary street closures.
For downtown workers looking to get back in their offices: If your office is blocked off by police tape, please contact an officer near the police line, provide work ID if possible, and ask to pass through to your office.

11:29 AM UPDATE: First, the latest on the shot bus driver, via Twitter:

Also, police have clarified that the suspect did get aboard that second bus (the Route 120 coach pictured above) before they shot him – they have again updated their SPD Blotter story here.
12:59 PM UPDATE: County and city authorities (SPD, Metro, etc.) plan a 2 pm media briefing on all aspects of this situation. The county is hoping to make a live stream available. KING tells us they plan to stream it. Will link stream(s) here when links are available, and will update the info as it happens.

2:02 PM UPDATE: Go here for live coverage and briefing notes.

3:03 PM UPDATE: If you’re checking here for PM commute information: Metro says, “Most transit service has resumed normal operations.” If any changes to that, they’ll have it on their site.

4:27 PM UPDATE: Making note of this on all of our coverage pages related to this – just tweeted by SPD: “Streets reopened downtown. 2nd Ave still closed between Spring and University but should be opening shortly.”

5 PM UPDATE: SPD says the suspect has died. Meantime, police, SDOT and Metro all confirm streets/buses are back to normal.


(Live view from the west-facing WS Bridge camera; other cameras are on the WSB Traffic page)
No trouble on the bridges but multiple WSB’ers have sent word of truck trouble at Delridge/Andover – photo momentarily here:

A TV helicopter has come over to check it out, per Twitter and one text so far. Note that the truck was turning from southbound Delridge to westbound Andover; still, a busy spot.

7:29 AM: Sue passed by a few minutes ago and reported the truck is still blocking the corner but, even going southbound, a lane is getting through.

8:01 AM: Just checked out the scene a few minutes ago. If you usually commute through Delridge/Andover in any direction, all’s well now – the truck has been entirely pulled over onto westbound Andover and there’s no backup, in any direction.

9:02 AM: Police investigation downtown is likely to affect traffic coming off the Viaduct at Seneca. Multiple reports say it’s a shooting on board a bus. More shortly.

9:33 AM: We are covering this separately.

3:05 PM NOTE: If you’re checking back here for PM commute info – Metro says its service is mostly back to normal (if any anomalies, they’ll be noted on the “Eye on Your Metro Commute” site)

4:27 PM UPDATE: Making note of this on all of our coverage pages related to this – just tweeted by SPD: “Streets reopened downtown. 2nd Ave still closed between Spring and University but should be opening shortly.”

5:22 PM NOTE: In case you’ve missed our other mentions – the West Seattle Water Taxi is canceled for the rest of the day/night. Stay tuned for updates about tomorrow.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen gun found, 2 arrested

We took that photo Saturday near High Point’s Bataan Park, after a tip about a sizable police response – but didn’t have enough information for a story until now. Police at the scene told us they were trying to sort out a report about someone with a gun; no one had been shot or otherwise victimized. Now, the rest of the story, from SPD Blotter:

Two men were arrested for felonies and a stolen handgun was recovered following a citizen who called 911 to report “a man with a gun” in a park in West Seattle.

On Saturday, August 10th at approximately 4:22 p.m. officers responded to High Point Drive SW and SW Bataan Street for the report of a group of males in a park to the east with a handgun. Officers arrived on scene and detained eight subjects while they investigated further. The officers recovered a handgun that upon further investigation turned out to be stolen.

A 21-year-old male suspect was subsequently booked into the King County Jail for being a convicted felon illegally in possession of a firearm and also for possession of stolen property (the handgun).

A second suspect, a 20-year-old male, was booked into the King County Jail on an active felony warrant for escape.