day : 26/09/2013 11 results

Update: Helicopter ‘assisting with robbery call’

helicopterwatch.png11:32 PM: Thanks to everyone who has texted and e-mailed about a helicopter that’s apparently over White Center/Highland Park right now. Not sure yet what’s going on but we’re checking. There was a Seattle Fire dispatch to the 9400 block of 15th SW and the arriving engine reported via scanner that there was no patient at the scene plus “all the deputies and police have gone somewhere else.” If you’re seeing the law enforcement response on the ground, county or city, please let us know! We’ll continue to sleuth.

MIDNIGHT: Guardian One, the King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter that assists other agencies too, says via Twitter that it was “over White Center assisting with a robbery call.” No further details.

Followup: Pathfinder’s Turtle Clan on KEXP with Caspar Babypants

What a field trip for Pathfinder K-8‘s Turtle Clan kindergarteners and teacher Jennifer Niemann! We mentioned last night that they were headed downtown to perform on KEXP with West Seattle’s own kid-music superstar Caspar Babypants – and tipster Steve has kindly shared photos and a report:

What a day! The kids had a blast and I think the parents may have had an even better time. John was awesome with the kids and of course Caspar was amazing. We got a tour including a visit from Moby, who was next up on the morning show. The whole staff at the station was just great. And all before 9:45 in the morning.

We found their performance in the KEXP online archives – go here and if you choose to launch the player at 9:15 am, it’ll be right in the middle of a song – or, launch at 9:00 am and listen until they come up.

As-it-happened: Crime/safety Q/A with police in Fauntleroy

September 26, 2013 7:15 pm
|    Comments Off on As-it-happened: Crime/safety Q/A with police in Fauntleroy
 |   Crime | Fauntleroy | Safety | West Seattle news

7:14 PM: We’re at The Hall at Fauntleroy, where about 50 people have gathered for the crime/safety/prevention meeting presented by the Fauntleroy Community Association. In addition to FCA leaders and neighbors, Capt. Joe Kessler (in the top photo), Lt. Pierre Davis, and Community Police Team Officer Jon Flores from the Southwest Precinct are here and will be speaking (and answering questions) shortly, and the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network is here too. We’ll publish live toplines as news/information of note emerges. It’s not just for Fauntleroy residents – so if you’re interested, come on over to 9131 California SW (in the historic schoolhouse).

7:26 PM: Capt. Kessler is getting to the stats, after going through the SW Precinct org chart. He says 61 burglaries is the monthly average. Last month, one week had 39 burglaries, as widely reported, but the following week, he noted, there were 11 – and that’s because of one arrest. He mentions a recent arrest – “we targeted him and we finally got him.” And he notes that “almost half of the burglars we arrest are a direct result of calling 911. When we say, ‘call 911 if you see something suspicious,’ we really do mean it. … Nothing makes us feel better at night than putting a couple burglars in jail.” Lt. Davis took up the presentation from there, with a slide showing that the yearlong average of car prowls is 45 a month, and another one showing an average of 8 street robberies a month over the past year.

7:38 PM: In Fauntleroy, over the past year, the most common police calls were:


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Update: Child hit by car by Lafayette Elementary

(Photos by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
3:48 PM: And another crash that’s being investigated right now – a 6-year-old boy is reported to have been hurt, apparently hit by a car, at California/Lander, the Lafayette Elementary/Admiral Safeway/Hiawatha intersection. That’s all we know – we have a crew on the way.

3:57 PM: Per scanner, the child will be taken to a hospital. More police are headed to the scene to help get information from witnesses.

This is also likely to affect traffic for a while, so avoid the area.

4:32 PM: Southbound California was closed at the scene at last report, and northbound was down to one lane, per WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand. Photo added – though we haven’t confirmed whether the child was riding the bicycle you see in the photo or walking with it. Still trying to find out his condition, too.

4:44 PM: From the scene, WSB contributor Christopher Boffoli reports that traffic is now open both ways. Police told him the investigation is ongoing and they have not determined if the driver will be cited – they did say the driver remained at the scene afterward.

5:21 PM: We just got the first official comment on the child’s condition, from police via Twitter – “minor injuries.” Police confirm he was on his bicycle and describe the driver as a teenage girl.

5:36 PM: And we have heard back from SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore, who says that while the boy was taken to Harborview as a precaution, he had no visible injuries, and was stable when transported. He was wearing his helmet; his mom was with him, Moore said, but was not hurt.

Update: Northbound 99 open again, after 2nd deadly crash in 17 hours

(Update: Stuck vehicles cleared, 99 still closed northbound)
2:58 PM: Just dispatched: Seattle Police and Fire units are going to the scene of a reported crash on Northbound 99 involving a motorcycle and car, not far from last night’s crash that killed a motorcyclist. If you’re heading toward downtown, avoid 99 for now – sounds like it’s about to be blocked off. More as we get it.

3:09 PM: Northbound 99 is now blocked off, per scanner traffic – as far south as, south of the West Seattle Bridge. At least one person is seriously hurt – they have already called for the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad, and that means it’s likely to be closed a few hours (last night’s crash investigation closed 99 for four hours).

3:16 PM UPDATE: Police are now describing this as a motorcycle/guardrail crash, not motorcycle/car. They are continuing to keep vehicle traffic from getting onto 99, but they are also trying to figure out how to get trapped traffic off the highway.

3:33 PM UPDATE: Adding “live” image of West Seattle Bridge, where this is causing a morning type of scene since the northbound 99 exit is closed TFN:

3:39 PM UPDATE: Police say the motorcyclist is dead – second motorcycle rider killed in a crash in this area in 17 hours.

4:50 PM UPDATE: Still closed – refresh this page for updated camera views above, especially the top one, which won’t show cars again on the right side until northbound 99 reopens. Southbound 99 *is* open. Meantime, buses are affected, says Metro: “Viaduct buses heading toward downtown Seattle are currently rerouted … and will travel via 1st Av S or 4th Av S depending upon the route and destination, with no missed stops. Expect delays in transit service.”

6:08 PM UPDATE: Northbound 99 is still closed, no ETA but we’ll be watching, and if you notice it reopened first, let us know, IF you are a passenger or else after you get to your destination.

7:22 PM UPDATE: As of a few minutes ago, as commenters have pointed out (thanks!), Northbound 99 has reopened.

9:32 PM UPDATE: Police have published an update on SPD Blotter, saying the victim was a 52-year-old man riding a 500cc Aprilia motor scooter.

Seattle Public Schools managers listen to West Seattle boundary-change concerns, promising ‘this is not a done deal’

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

‘This is not a done deal – this is a jumping-off point,” said Seattle Public Schoolsnew assistant superintendent Flip Herndon, leading off last night’s “Growth Boundaries” info/comments event last night at West Seattle High School.

An important point stressed at the beginning – “The assignment rules are not changing … this is specifically about boundaries and programming,” as first unveiled last week. What they do expect will change: Some of the recommendations, with changes expected between this version and the one that’ll be presented in late October after this round of community comments, and then likely some final changes before a proposal for the School Board to vote on just before Thanksgiving.

Wondering about the post-decisionmaking timeframe for carrying out all the plans, once they’re finalized? Between now and 2022 or so, “when all BEX IV construction is complete and all changes have been implemented.” (We confirmed with enrollment/planning manager Tracy Libros post-meeting that many schools’ boundary changes can’t take effect next year or even the year after that, because they are contingent on school construction/reopenings that roll out over the next few years.)

The boundaries (see what the district calls “improved maps” here) were the big topic of discussion when the microphone was turned over to attendees – with one point emerging repeatedly: West Seattle’s hilly topography complicates what might look like a walkable distance on a map.

Ahead, how the meeting unfolded:

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West Seattle Junction Harvest Festival 2013: Last call for activities!

That’s a scene from last year’s first-ever West Seattle Junction Harvest Festival, when we co-sponsored the “WSB x 3” bowling booth along with WestSide Baby and West Seattle Bowl. This year at the second-ever Harvest Festival – 10 am until 2 pm on Sunday, October 27th – we’ll be bowling again, and there’s still time for other local businesses/organizations to apply to present an activity, says WS Junction Association executive director Susan Melrose:

The Junction Association is closing the streets for West Seattle’s new favorite event! Our Sunday farmers market will take the streets, bringing the fall harvest and more. The West Seattle High School Marching Band will lead a children’s costume parade at 11:30 am. Junction businesses will host Trick-or-Treat starting at noon (not before).

The last important piece is the Harvest Games and Activities brought by our neighborhood’s awesome non-profits, churches, and businesses. Homemade games and crafts are the best! We already have 18 applicants and if your group would like to provide a FREE activity at the Harvest Festival, the application can be found here. Deadline for submission is October 1st.

We are also looking for volunteers to help close the street at 6 am (coffee included!) and at 8 am to help direct the activity providers. Sign up here! It feels good to help make something awesome for our community.

The West Seattle Junction Association and Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance produce this event for our neighborhood. Several businesses and non-profits have stepped forward to help make it happen with sponsorship support. Special thank you to our Harvest Festival Sponsors:

Bakery Nouveau * Franciscan West Seattle Family * Curious Kidstuff * 4730 California * West Seattle Blog
* Emeritus at West Seattle * Community School of West Seattle * LaFarge * Ventana Construction * Menashe and Sons Jewelers * Pagliacci Pizza * WestSide Baby

See you there!

Grocery-store workers vote to authorize potential strike

They are not saying they’re definitely striking, yet – but members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21 have voted to authorize a strike against several chains, including Safeway and QFC, which have 5 stores in West Seattle – union leadership announced this morning. They say contract talks have been under way since March, and they are still concerned about company proposals such as no health-care coverage for those who work less than 30 hours a week. The union says if a strike is called, there would be at least 72 hours’ notice.

West Seattle Thursday: Fauntleroy crime-prevention meeting; Genesee Hill school update; Nicole Hardy at Twilight; more


(Fog on Elliott Bay in early September, by Flickr member ezook, shared via the WSB Flickr group)

BUSINESS NETWORKING MEETING: Westside Professionals invite business owners to their happy hour/animal-advocacy-benefit event at Wallflower Custom Framing (WSB sponsor), 5-8 pm. (4735 44th SW)

WEST SEATTLE CHAMBER AFTERHOURS AT VENTANA: If you’re a West Seattle Chamber of Commerce member, you’re invited to tonight’s “afterhours” event at Ventana Construction (WSB sponsor) – but you have to RSVP ASAP! – event’s at 5:30-7:30 pm. (California/Findlay)

WEST SEATTLE DEMOCRATIC WOMEN: State Sen. Maralyn Chase is their special guest at the WSDW evening meeting, West Seattle Golf Course, 6 pm. Details in our calendar listing. (35th south of Avalon)

FAUNTLEROY SAFETY/CRIME-PREVENTION MEETING: Ice cream at 6:30, safety/crime-prevention information (with Southwest Precinct police leadership) at 7 pm, The Hall at Fauntleroy. (9131 California SW)

NEW GENESEE HILL SCHOOL: Environmental information about the new Genesee Hill elementary-school project – especially of interest to those who live nearby – is the focus of a community meeting tonight at Schmitz Park Elementary at 7 pm; details of this Seattle Public Schools-presented meeting are on the Genesee-Schmitz Neighborhood Council site. (50th/Spokane)

NICOLE HARDY READING: West Seattle author Nicole Hardy reads from her newly published “Confessions of a Latter-Day Virgin” at 7 pm tonight at Twilight Gallery. (SW Alaska west of California SW).

Update: Search warrant for Puerto Vallarta Restaurant; owner arrested, say sheriff’s deputies

9:05 AM: Thanks to those who tipped us to an operation in The Junction this morning involving King County Sheriff’s Deputies seen in the parking lot behind businesses in the 4700 block of California SW. A KCSO spokesperson at the scene told WSB that they are investigating possible “illegally obtained alcohol” and had a warrant to search Puerto Vallarta Restaurant. They are questioning “several people” but had not made any arrests as of the time we spoke with them. Deputies also are at a home about a block away. We are working to find out more and will add to this story as we get additional details.

10:22 AM UPDATE: We noted the presence of at least one Washington State Liquor Control Board agent at the scene, so we asked LCB spokesperson Brian Smith if his agency has any additional information. He says it’s a KCSO operation and they “are there at KCSO’s request to provide technical expertise.”

3:11 PM UPDATE: Update from KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Kathleen Larson, who we spoke with this morning at the scene; she provided an update via e-mail: “Today Detectives with the King County sheriff’s Office served a search warrant at the Puerto Vallarta Mexican restaurant in the 4700 block of California Ave. SW. The owner of the restaurant is suspected of buying alcohol stolen from local retail stores and using it in his business. The suspect is a 47 year old male. He was booked into the King County Jail for Investigation of Trafficking in Stolen Property and Organized Retail Theft.” We also have confirmed that the house searched a block away is that of the restaurant’s owner. We don’t know yet what was found at the two locations, but we did note boxes being loaded into a law-enforcement van behind the restaurant earlier this afternoon.

FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: The suspect, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, is being released from jail this afternoon, with a decision on charges or no charges to be made at a later date.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday gets going

(Live view from the west-facing WS Bridge camera; other cameras are on the WSB Traffic page)
Now that it’s Thursday, in addition to today’s updates, we look ahead to the weekend. First, today: Delridge repaving work includes two sites – the final phase between Henderson and Roxbury, plus Orchard west of Delridge (westbound lanes are scheduled for work through the end of this week). … Downtown, remember the alert about the Microsoft company meeting at KeyArena today. … This weekend, Saturday brings Metro’s next service change, affecting three routes serving West Seattle, and Friday night, there’s an overnight closure of the northbound I-5 ramp to the West Seattle Bridge, one more time for striping.

ADDED 10:57 AM: Two things. First, per the discussion in comments, we’re checking with SDOT on the traffic-signal situation. Second, WSDOT has just sent this alert about the weekend:

The combination of two college football games and a soccer match will draw thousands of fans into Seattle this weekend, causing extra traffic on the roadways. Drivers should prepare for congestion to build in the late morning and remain steady through the evening on Interstates 5, 90, and State Route 520, Saturday, Sept. 28. The Washington State Department of Transportation is urging people to plan ahead by leaving early, carpooling, or take public transportation such as King County Metro’s shuttle service for the Huskies game. …

Saturday, Sept. 28
University of Washington vs. University of Arizona, Husky Stadium, 4 p.m.
Washington State University vs. Stanford University, CenturyLink Field, 7 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 29
Seattle Sounders FC vs. New York Red Bulls, CenturyLink Field, 6 p.m.

The West Seattle Water Taxi should be running an extended schedule Sunday night, as usual for evening stadium events during its regular 7-day-a-week season.

4:52 PM: In case you somehow haven’t heard, the northbound Viaduct/99 is closed because of the 2nd deadly motorcycle crash in 17 hours. Updates here.