day : 09/09/2013 15 results

Followups: Robbery suspects arraigned; weekend incident details

Three followups tonight: Arraignment today for the three men charged in a street-robbery spree that ended in Arbor Heights almost three weeks ago. As reported here August 26th, 22-year-old Hassan I. Abdirizak, 19-year-old Abdulkamir A. Ahmed, and 21-year-old Najib A. Aden are each charged with two counts of first-degree robbery and one count of attempted first-degree robbery. Each pleaded not guilty; one asked for a bail reduction, which was denied, so each suspect remains jailed in lieu of $250,000 bail.

We also followed up with police today on two incidents we covered this weekend, each fairly thin on details at the time:

31ST SW, SATURDAY AFTERNOON: (our original item here) The report says this came in as two calls, from a man and woman, both claiming to have been injured, with a knife involved somehow, and that’s why it was originally an “assault with weapons” call. In the end, it seemed neither had actually been stabbed – they had argued, and one put the other in a headlock, which the other tried to escape by biting that person. Questioned by police, both told conflicting stories of how they had met a few days earlier, though each story made mention of methamphetamine use, according to the report. Eventually they were transported to different hospitals to be checked out.

32ND SW, FRIDAY NIGHT: (our original item here) The police report says this was called in just after 7 pm Friday as a 37-year-old man face down on his living-room floor and having “seizure-like activity,” similar to an incident reported six days earlier. The family said he tested positive for methamphetamine during that earlier incident. Firefighter/medics arriving at the scene Friday night found the man semi-conscious; as they tried to take his blood pressure, he swung a fist and then kicked at them, so they called for police backup. Officers arrived, tried to get the man under control, but he went limp and stopped breathing, the report says. Firefighters started CPR; the man was eventually taken to the hospital. The report says prescription drugs and marijuana were found in the house.

Ex-‘Nickelsville’ site: Campers’ cleanup ends, city cleanup begins

Sunday – which is when WSB reader Kevin McClintic took these photos – was the eighth and final day for campers to clean up the former “Nickelsville” site at 7116 W. Marginal Way SW. Mayoral spokesperson Aaron Pickus confirmed to WSB today that the city had granted them access through the weekend, but that’s now over.

What they left behind consists mostly of a big stack of wood – this and more:

We noticed the giant pile when passing the site this afternoon. The city Department of Finance and Administrative Services is in charge of the city work at the site now, according to Pickus, so we checked with FAS spokesperson Katherine Schubert-Knapp. She says that installation of the temporary chain-link fence was to be completed today, as well as other work: “This fence will remain on site for up to six months as needed. Cleanup also start(ed) today, focusing first in the west side park and ride area. We’re hoping to finish that section by tomorrow and crews will then focus on the property inside the fence. That work should start this week and is expected to be completed by Sept. 20.” If you are just catching up with this story, after almost 2 1/2 years of occupying the West Marginal Way site, the encampment did not challenge city leaders’ plan to close it as of September 1st, and have since moved to three other sites, in the Central District, Madison Valley, and unincorporated Skyway.

‘Diaper Need Awareness Week’ bottom line – you can help!

No better time to donate diapers to local families via WestSide Baby than this week – because it’s been proclaimed Diaper Need Awareness Week in the city, county, and state. WS Baby executive director Nancy Woodland shares the photo of her visit to King County Council Chambers this afternoon on behalf of the occasion. (That’s Nancy in red.) See the county proclamation here; ahead, the news release explaining the need:

Diaper Need Awareness Week (Sept. 8 through 14) calls attention to a disturbing statistic: Nearly 30 percent of low-income families cannot afford enough diapers to keep their babies clean, dry and healthy.

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Update: Bank alarm brings big police response in The Junction

ORIGINAL REPORT, 6:15 PM: We’re on our way to a report of a big police response in The Junction. A TV helicopter is checking it out too – so if you’re seeing a chopper, that’s what you’re seeing. Updated: They’re checking out a possible robbery alarm in the 4000 block of SW Alaska.

7:34 PM UPDATE: Apologies that heavy traffic crashed the site – it is the result of an underlying problem we are working very hard to permanently fix. We have been reporting on Twitter ( and Facebook ( – even if you don’t regularly use social media, please consider bookmarking our pages there for situations like this – and on our backup site, but in the meantime, here’s the bottom line of what happened:

A “duress alarm” was triggered at AmericanWest Bank at 4022 SW Alaska. It was false, but that kind of alarm requires an in-person response by police – it cannot be remotely (by phone, etc.) confirmed as false. That tied up traffic and led to tense moments, because the huge police response – necessary in case someone really had been in trouble – required officers to clear people away from around the bank.

A TV helicopter showed up and, according to scanner traffic, was asked to back off. Finally, the manager of the bank got to the scene and went in with police to verify that everything was OK. Officers stayed a while longer at the bank to be sure everything was OK, and also to try to find out how the alarm was triggered; there was a scanner suggestion that a cleaning person might have been to blame, but we don’t know if that has been confirmed.

9/11 luminaria-bags exhibit extended at Alki Arts

September 9, 2013 4:18 pm
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 |   West Seattle news

Just got word from Southwest Seattle Historical Society director Clay Eals that the 9/11 luminaria bags shown last night in “The Earth Cried Out” (WSB coverage here) will stay on the Alki Arts walls through Wednesday night – the 12th anniversary of 9/11. The gallery is closed Mondays and Tuesdays, so you can only see the bags through its windows (2820 Alki SW) right now, but on Wednesday it will be open noon-7 pm for viewing. (Additional bags that weren’t on the walls have been returned to storage, but the walls hold hundreds.)

West Seattle Crime Watch: Possible flasher near local school

We’re checking to see if police have more information to share, but in the meantime, multiple Holy Rosary School parents have forwarded us a safety alert sent by the school, and we’re sharing it so others can be on the lookout: The school told parents: “Students reported that a man was seen in a parked white vehicle with his door open. He was naked. It seemed to be a white SUV.” The alert added that staffers were out looking around the school (which is at 42nd/Genesee on the north end of The Junction) and had alerted police.

City Council unanimously passes 2 bills affecting development

Following up on two items noted in this morning’s daily preview: Seattle City Councilmembers have just voted to approve two bills related to development: A six-month extension of restrictions on small-lot development, and an “emergency” bill setting minimum density requirements for neighborhood-commercial-zoned lots in pedestrian-oriented areas. Councilmember Richard Conlin, the sponsor for both, said it was a coincidence they turned up on the same council agenda, and also noted that the minimum-density rules were not likely to affect the three projects that inspired them, including the 4722 Fauntleroy Way one-story drugstore proposal (first reported here in July), because they were “vested” when they first started the official application/review process. In addition, he said he’s expecting proposed permanent rules for small-lot development to come to the council for review in November.

Seattle Storm’s Temeka Johnson reads tonight @ High Point Library

September 9, 2013 2:35 pm
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 |   High Point | West Seattle news

The WSB West Seattle Event Calendar includes recurring listings for story times at local Seattle Public Library branches – but we just found out there’s a special guest at High Point Library‘s Family Story Time tonight: Seattle Storm player Temeka Johnson, the WNBA’s 2005 Rookie of the Year, will read from her book “Temeka’s Choice.” Autographs too! Story time starts at 6:30 pm; HP Library is at 35th/Raymond.

West Seattle film-crew sighting: Lawn bowling in Belvidere

Thanks to Serena and Holly for the tips about a film/video crew at work in the east Admiral area, near Belvidere and Stevens. They wondered what was up; we went over to check. The crew tells us it’s a commercial for REI – fitting location since the outdoor-merchandise giant was founded in West Seattle, and until recently was led by West Seattleite Sally Jewell, now U.S. Interior Secretary. The setting appears to be lawn bowling (as our photo shows), with a sign noticed by one of our tipsters reading “Seattle Lawn Party.” West Seattle is a fairly frequent setting for commercials, given the peninsula’s great views and varied environments, from beach to forest. P.S. Just for fun, we searched REI’s website for “bowling,” and got back only this not-exactly-lawn-size set involving zombies.

Six days until this year’s West Seattle Car Show

September 9, 2013 1:10 pm
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 |   Fun stuff to do | West Seattle news

Less than one week to go until the sixth annual West Seattle Car Show in The Junction this Sunday (September 15th), produced by Liberty Bell Print and Design. The show will close California SW in the business district starting early Sunday morning; official hours for the show are 8 am-4 pm. Pre-1980 cars, trucks, motorcycles will be parked on both sides of the street, and it’s free to spectators. Early registration is over for participants but you can enter on show day if there’s room – $25; details on this page of the official website. The West Seattle Farmers’ Market will be on as usual (10 am-2 pm) that day too. For more West Seattle Car Show details, check out the official website and our August 12th preview; WSB is among the co-sponsors, as we’ve been each year since it began.

Highline Medical opening Westwood clinic; putting up winning student-art billboard

September 9, 2013 10:44 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle people | WS culture/arts

That spot on the north side of Westwood Village, between Massage Envy (WSB sponsor) and Staples, will be the new home of the Highline Medical (also a WSB sponsor) clinic that’s moving from Roxbury/17th. We confirmed the Westwood clinic plan on Saturday morning, while covering the Admiral Theater event celebrating the winner of Highline’s student “health tips” billboard-art contest, for which we published the call for votes back in June.

That’s the winning artist, Audrey, who goes to school at Holy Rosary. Her billboard is scheduled to go up this week alongside the West Seattle Bridge – here’s her winning art exhorting everyone to exercise:

Audrey’s win also is a win for her school, which gets a $500 health-education grant.

P.S. The Westwood location is scheduled to open in November; Highline clinics also have name changes in the works because they’ve become part of the Franciscan Health System.

West Seattle Monday: North Delridge council; WS Hi-Yu; more

Feeding the natives

(Photo by Kate Hailey, shared via the WSB Flickr group)
First full week of school, and though summery weather is forecast for the next few days, this morning’s fog brings a fall feeling. So does some of the very serious business in today’s roundup:

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL FOR SOME KINDERGARTENERS: As noted here last month, four local schools start kindergarten on a “slow-start” schedule to facilitate meetings with families. So this is the first day for kindergarteners at Concord, Highland Park, Roxhill, Sanislo, and West Seattle Elementary Schools.

CITY COUNCIL VOTES ON DEVELOPMENT RULES: At their 2 pm meeting today, Seattle City Councilmembers will consider two development-related measures of note – extending a moratorium on some development on “undersized single-family-zoned lots” (read the legislation here), and putting “emergency” restrictions into place to prohibit “low-scale development” in pedestrian-oriented mixed-use zoning (read the legislation here). The meeting’s at City Hall downtown.


West Seattle Hi-Yu will be having their General Meeting (tonight) at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, 3050 California SW, at 6:30 pm. We are looking for 2013-2014 board members, volunteers, and participants for the junior court (8-12 years old) and senior court (18-23 years old). If you love parades, people, community service, and fun, come join and share your ideas. All are welcome – be part of a long tradition in West Seattle. Contact for information.

St. John’s is at California/Hanford, just south of West Seattle High School.

NORTH DELRIDGE NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL: Monthly meeting is at 6:30 pm tonight, Delridge Library. Agenda highlights from co-chair Parie Hines:

We’ll be hearing from the Green Seattle Partnership about the upcoming Green Seattle Day. We will also have representatives from Seattle Public Utilities to hear your concerns about stormwater and drainage issues that need attention. And we will start the discussion about a peninsula-wide West Seattle Transit Coalition to look at what the future without the Viaduct will look like.

The library is just south of Delridge/Brandon.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Pickup truck stolen early today

Be on the lookout for David‘s stolen pickup truck:

Our 2001 Dodge Ram was stolen at 2:30 am today, September 9th, near 39th/Charlestown [map]. We saw the crooks drive off in it when we heard the engine start, but couldn’t catch up. It’s a Ram 1500 with a canopy, golden brown color. It has some historic family photos which, while valueless to anyone, are irreplaceable to us. Bunch of steel and papers on its way to the recycle center in back. Please call 911 if you spot it; the police are also looking.

Checking the police-call map, in the past 24 hours vehicle thefts also were reported at 44th/Alaska (early today) and at Lincoln Park (last night) – no details on those, though, unless, as in the stolen-pickup case, we hear directly from the vehicles’ owners.


(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; other cameras are on the WSB Traffic page)
Monday begins with fog (on the water, too; we’re hearing foghorns from the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferry route off to our west). This will also be a big week of road work:

*SW Orchard eastbound between Sylvan and Delridge, all week as part of the Delridge Way Repaving Project

*42nd/Morgan repaving work, begun last week, is scheduled to continue

*Tomorrow through Friday, road work is scheduled on SW Thistle between 35th and 37th

Also of note this week, particularly if you are a transit rider – two neighborhood groups’ meetings this week will include early discussions of an in-formation West Seattle Transit Coalition: tonight, 6:30 pm at Delridge Library, the North Delridge Neighborhood Council; tomorrow, 6:15 pm at Southwest Library, the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council. Public welcome at both.

Video: ‘Shared experience we never wanted to share’ revisited in ‘The Earth Cried Out’

Their messages ranged from simple, like the one above from children who are now adults, to wrenching, like this one:

At Alki Arts on Sunday night, there was no way to read all the bags on special display, let alone the ones for which there wasn’t enough room on the gallery walls:

But just the concept of their existence – echoes from the nights after 9/11, the bags for luminarias that glowed with anger, love, hope at Alki’s Statue of Liberty – is sobering enough. With the 12th anniversary of 9/11 just a few nights away, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society brought the bags out for a one-night-only display and began it with a lineup of speakers. They included Dean Keppler, who (as recounted here) briefly choked up with emotion as he recalled setting up a table with bags and pens and lights for people to make their luminarias, a “spontaneous and organic experience”:

Also speaking were City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who observed that the bags’ messages had a “common theme (of) love and justice and patriotism,” and County Executive Dow Constantine, who called 9/11 and its aftermath “a shared experience we never wanted to share.” We have it all on video, starting with the introduction by SWSHS executive director Clay Eals:

To evoke some of the 2001 experience, battery-powered tea lights lined the bottom of the walls holding hundreds of bags, and outside the gallery, some bags ringed a tree:

The bags were donated to SWSHS earlier this year.