day : 18/10/2013 12 results

West Seattle scenes: Moonrise; ‘Fill the Boot’; anniversary

Three sights around West Seattle tonight:

We start with the mesmerizing moonrise, photographed by Carolyn Newman. (This means Saturday morning could bring a wonderful moonset IF the fog keeps its distance; you can check moonrise/moonset, and sunrise/sunset, times on the WSB Weather page.) Right before tonight’s moonrise/sunset, we were in The Junction, where we spotted firefighters from Junction-based Ladder 11 asking people to help them Fill The Boot for MDA:

(This photo & next one, by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
Their donation collections at California/Alaska were just steps away from where Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor) was celebrating Anniversary #9:

Proprietors Frances and John Smersh were there until 9 pm with snacks and sips for everyone who stopped in to help them celebrate. It’s been three years already since they moved the shop south from the Admiral District to its current home at 4540 California SW in The Junction.

PACK YOUR BAG! Day 17: Add more food

October 18, 2013 8:35 pm
|    Comments Off on PACK YOUR BAG! Day 17: Add more food
 |   Preparedness | West Seattle news

Two weeks to go as we continue building a “Go Bag” one day at a time, with the help of West Seattle Be Prepared, as a meaningful way to observe Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month.

Today’s inspiration, if you need some – a 3.6-magnitude earthquake in Utah. Yes, they happen everywhere. But we have the advantage of knowing The Big One is expected here someday, so we can prepare.

So – about that bag. Next thing to put into it, according to WSBP – more food:

Today you should put cans of vegetables, beans, chili, or stew in, especially things that do not require heating or more water to prepare, just in case. Seriously, even SPAM is not a bad idea. The focus for today is to have veggies and proteins in your bag, so whatever you like, put it in!

If you’re falling behind, or still haven’t started, another weekend is hours away and that’s a great chance to catch up. This is something that could make a life-or-death difference in case of a disaster. So if you need to review, revisit, or get started – our previous installments are all archived in reverse-chronological order here.

P.S. We’ve just been reminded that next Tuesday’s meeting of the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network will focus on emergency preparedness, in which many of the group’s members/leaders are involved. Details here.

Grocery workers’ union gives 72-hour strike notice

7:29 PM: This means a strike could happen as soon as Monday night for union workers at Safeway, QFC, Albertsons, Fred Meyer. This does NOT involve all union grocery workers in our area – those chains have not reached a contract agreement; other stores have separate contracts in effect. The unions that just gave the chains 72 hours’ notice say they’ll brief the media at 9 pm; we’ll add more info to this story when that happens.

1 AM: The 9 pm briefing was at Westlake downtown, where the potential strikers unveiled a big countdown clock. Here’s an update from our partners at The Seattle Times.

‘My family and I didn’t deserve to be violated by you’: Victims admonish serial burglar Justin Wood at his sentencing

(WSB video of Justin Wood being taken from courtroom post-sentencing)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

In King County Superior Court this past hour, Judge Julie Spector has just given 25-year-old West Seattle serial burglar Justin Wood a sentence of less than 4 years under the Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative law, after emotional pleas from several of his victims – and after giving him her own furious rebuke.

We published multiple reports about Wood’s crimes earlier this year. He is the burglar arrested twice in one week (one scene, at 48th/Findlay, is in the photo at right), as reported in February, at which time we learned he had confessed to numerous burglaries, and was already facing charges in a case from last fall. In August, we reported on the plea bargain that led to this afternoon’s sentencing.

Judge Spector mentioned before the hearing that she had received letters from many other victims in the two months since Wood pleaded guilty to seven burglaries as well as attempted burglary and two gun thefts. He has no felony history; the state had recommended the “high-end” sentence of about 7 years.

“This has been my case from the very beginning,” said deputy prosecuting attorney Darren Thompson. “We’re in an interesting situation because the defendant confessed to 28 residential burglaries” among other things. “Mr. Wood actually came forward… he drove around with (a detective) and showed him all the victims’ houses … to be fair, some of them would never have been solved (otherwise).”

He added that the state also left it open for the defense lawyer to request a “prison-based DOSA,” – Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative – since “Mr. Wood obviously suffered from a drug addiction when these crimes were committed.” But, “these are crimes that cannot be fixed… (if he) served the 44 months (that such a sentence would involve), it would not be enough.”

And that was clear, once the victims in the courtroom came forward to tell their stories, mostly through tears and/or anger.

The first victim to speak to the judge said he had a message directly for the criminal: “You should know that you violated my life in a very personal way. … My life has changed since the day you broke into my family’s home and you stole part of our lives. You didn’t just steal money and objects but part of our lives … Among the items … were a couple that really hurt … You stole my wedding ring. That can never be replaced. … not with the same one that I put on my finger the day I got married.” The man struggled with tears. “You stole $80 from my 7-year-old son’s wallet. Can you imagine …”

He broke down again and apologized for that to Judge Spector, who told him not to apologize. So he continued:

“Can you imagine my son, one of the happiest kids on earth … he worked really hard to save that money and was so proud … can you imagine how upset he was when I had to tell him someone broke into our house and took his money.”

Others in the courtroom were audibly crying by that point.

Read More

The WSBeat: Squabbling in squalor; speeder’s car confiscated; more

By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog

This edition of the WSBeat contains summaries written from reports on cases handled recently by Southwest Precinct officers – generally cases that (usually) have not already appeared here in breaking-news coverage or West Seattle Crime Watch reports, but that might at least answer the question “what WERE all those police doing on my block?”

*On Wednesday the 9th, officers investigated an altercation between friends in the 6500 block of 44th SW. But it was quickly apparent that the real issue was the living conditions of the 64-year-old homeowner: Feces covered the bathroom floor and the kitchen was littered with dirty dishes. Paper goods piled on top of the stove were deemed a fire hazard. A cat was found in the basement; its litter box was a solid block (from “months of not being changed,” the officer speculated). And the officer saw no food or water available for the cat. Adult services has been requested to visit the man and evaluate his situation, and Animal Control has been requested to check on the cat’s welfare.

*On the 3rd, an officer on the Spokane St. Viaduct clocked a westbound car going 49 mph in the 35 mph zone. He caught up to the car and activated his lights, but the driver sped off at speeds up to 80 mph. She refused to yield and almost rear-ended a car at the intersection of 35th SW and Fauntleroy. The officer stopped the pursuit but later found the car in the 3800 block of Belvidere SW. The registered owner was driving with a suspended license and had multiple speeding tickets. The car was impounded.

Five more summaries ahead:Read More

West Seattle development: Temporary sidewalk closure ahead, as Junction demolition goes to second phase

For more than a week, we’ve been tracking demolition on the site of Equity Residential‘s two-building West Seattle Junction project. Above is the east half, at 42nd/Alaska, where final cleanup is under way. Susan Melrose of the WS Junction Association tells WSB they’ve been notified that demolition will begin Monday on the west-side building at California/Alaska:

Note the protective enclosures on the trees; Melrose also says that sidewalks around that building will be closed TEMPORARILY for next week’s demolition work.

First, she shares the notice from the general contractor, Andersen Construction:

Demolition of the West Building located at 4706 California Avenue SW will commence on Monday 10/21/13. The sidewalks and parking located along California Avenue and SW Alaska Street will be closed to pedestrians during this time. Demolition work will be complete by 10/25/13.

Next, Melrose’s update, stressing that this is a temporary closure:

The Junction Association is working with the construction company to minimize impacts to our neighborhood and to keep The Junction walkable. I would like to convey to the neighborhood that this will be the only time that the sidewalks on California Ave and Alaska St will be closed. The next 18 months might be noisy and at times inconvenient, but your loyal Junction businesses look forward to your continued patronage. The demolition of this building is a notable day in Junction history.

Some of that history was discussed in this WSB update, which included a half-century-old aerial photo of the area.

Project backstory: The Equity buildings are both planned at seven stories, totaling about 200 apartments, with more than 200 underground parking spaces and ground-floor retail (no tenants announced yet). The project went through the city approval process under its previous ownership, Bellevue-based Conner Homes, which put it up for sale in August 2011 (WSB coverage here) and closed the sale to Chicago-based Equity Residential in December 2011 (WSB coverage here). The businesses in the two buildings were cleared out in summer of last year, but construction was delayed – without explanation – until now.

Help review zoning ‘departures’ for new Arbor Heights school

From the latest edition of the city Land Use Information Bulletin, members are now being recruited for a committee that will review zoning “departures” – exceptions, basically – for the new Arbor Heights Elementary School. From the official notice, here’s what they want for the committee makeup:

1. A person residing within 600’ of the proposed site.
2. A person owning property or a business within 600’ of the proposed site.
3. Two representatives of the general neighborhood.
4. A representative-at-large to represent city-wide education issues.
5. Two representatives of the Arbor Heights PTSA.
6. A representative of the Seattle School District.

The proposed “departures,” according to the notice, involve “greater height, less-than-required parking and on-site bus loading.” If you’re interested in being part of the review committee, the notice explains how to apply; do it by the November 6th deadline. (Under the current construction schedule, this is Arbor Heights’ last year in the current, much-deteriorated building.)

West Seattle Friday: Free jazz; Tupperware party; Click! anniversary; free movie; costume contest; more…

October 18, 2013 10:39 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Friday: Free jazz; Tupperware party; Click! anniversary; free movie; costume contest; more…
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

We’re feeling the need for MORE sunshine imagery to make it through this foggy morning, so here’s a photo that Jeff Pond shared via Facebook, taken earlier this week – a Washington State Ferry on the Fauntleroy run, majestic Mount Rainier in the background. While awaiting the sun’s return, we present highlights for today/tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

SCHMITZ PARK MOVE-A-THON: Happening until 2:30 pm – did you see the teachers’ music video showcased here last night? Schmitz Park Elementary School is celebrating fitness, and raising funds, all day. (50th/Spokane)

DROPOFFS FOR WINTER GEAR SWAP: Mountain to Sound Outfitters in The Triangle is having its annual gear swap, and you can drop off items to sell, all day today, until 7 pm. Drop it off at M2SO – more info (including swap location/times) in our calendar listing. (3602 SW Alaska)

HAPPY NINTH ANNIVERSARY, CLICK! In The Junction, Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor) is celebrating its ninth anniversary tonight. Come by for treats and sips (and of course shopping!), and offer your congratulations. 5-9 pm; here’s the Facebook event page. (4540 California SW)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Check to see if there are still openings in this benefit for the West Seattle High School sophomore class, a babysitting event 5:30-10 pm, details here. (3000 California SW)

RESTORATIVE YOGA: Unwind with this special workshop at SoundYoga (WSB sponsor), 6:30 pm, details here.

HALLOWED HUNT AND COSTUME CONTEST: Tweens and teens are invited to Hiawatha Community Center, 6:30-8:30 pm – go here to see what’s in store. (2700 California SW)

FREE MOVIE: It’s Movie Night at Highland Park Improvement Club – doors open 6:30 pm, movie at 7. Free admission; bring $ for concessions. Details including the movie hint are in our calendar listing. (12th/Holden)

MEGA-TUPPERWARE PARTY: As previewed here earlier this week, it’s Tupperware time, with Sylvia O’Stayformore and LaTrina Bidet – free to attend, but a big chunk of proceeds from sales will benefit seniors via the Senior Center of West Seattle, which is where the party is happening tonight at 7.

FULL MOON TREK IN LINCOLN PARK: Ages 8 and up, get out into the night air with nature’s own nightlight – the full moon – during a guided hike. Pre-registration requested – as explained in our calendar listing.

SCARY DUWAMISH STORIES: Get an early start on Halloween with scary Duwamish stories told by Johnny Moses at the Duwamish Longhouse, 7 pm. (Warning: “Scary and gory”!) Details in our calendar listing.

NELSON WRIGHT: Americana-style singer/songwriter Nelson Wright is live at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)

DENNY/SEALTH JAZZ CONCERT: As previewed here on Thursday, visiting jazz educator/musician Ron Carter is performing with the jazz bands from Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School, 7:30 pm at the Sealth Auditorium. Admission is free; donations benefit the schools’ music programs. (2600 SW Thistle)

Hotwire Online Coffeehouse plans Seattle’s first ‘light bar’

(WSB photo by Nick Adams, September 2012 at Lowman Beach)
We’ve been lucky enough to see a fair amount of sunshine lately – but winter is creeping ever closer, and even now, foggy mornings are the price we’re paying. So, going into the season when we just can’t rely on sunshine, West Seattle’s Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor) is getting ready to install what’s believed to be Seattle’s first “light bar,” with full-spectrum lights that mimic natural sunlight. Proprietor Lora Swift says she’ll call it the Helio Bar: “Basically, a place to get phototherapy during the dark days of winter.” The lights will be installed on November 3rd, after which time, Lora says, “You’ll be able to get your coffee and a 15-minute dose of vitamin D at Hotwire.”

Dance West Seattle readies for Sunday’s Fauntleroy Fall Festival

October 18, 2013 9:09 am
|    Comments Off on Dance West Seattle readies for Sunday’s Fauntleroy Fall Festival
 |   Fauntleroy | West Seattle festivals | West Seattle news

Just two days until the Fauntleroy Fall Festival, 2-5:30 pm Sunday (weather looks good!). We’ve already previewed some of the activities, as well as the music lineup (see it here), and here’s another preview, from Kim Dinsmoor at Dance! West Seattle:

It’s here! Costumes are out, kids are ready! Fauntleroy Fall Festival is our annual kickoff of our “Mini Maker” schedule.

See Dance! West Seattle students perform at 4:30 pm in the fellowship hall at Fauntleroy Church this Sunday, October 20th!

Each year we prepare a mini version of our Christmas story “The Magical Doll Maker” to bring to our community! Other dates are:

Sunday, November 17th, 2 pm, at Providence Mt. St. Vincent
Sunday, December 1st, 11:30 am, Winterfest at Seattle Center
Sunday, December 8th, 2 pm, at The Kenney

You can purchase tickets for the full-length performance starting Saturday, November 2nd, at $22 each. For questions, call 206-938-3062.

Dance! West Seattle is headquartered at historic Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, one of the neighboring venues for the Fauntleroy Fall Festival, along with the church (where, as mentioned above, you’ll see the dancers on Sunday) and Y – here’s a map.

Memorial tomorrow for Charles E. Brown, 1940-2013

Family and friends will gather tomorrow in memory of Charles E. Brown, and are sharing this remembrance today:

Charles Edward Brown peacefully passed away early on the morning of Sunday October 6th 2013, surrounded by two of his grandsons, at the age of 73.

Charles was the oldest of six boys, born to Ed and Ellen Brown, on January 12 1940 in Billings, Montana. Hey joined the US Army in 1957 and served in Europe for 4 years. After serving in the military, he moved to Seattle along with his family. He began his long career working for Boeing in their Renton plant. He retired from Boeing in 1998 after 35 years of hard work and dedication.

Throughout his life Charles traveled all over the world to places such as New Zealand, Germany, Panama, and many other locations. He was very supportive to the plight of Native Americans, and donated generously to causes that supported better health and higher education for them. He was an avid mystery-novel reader and loved spaghetti western movies. He is survived by his two step-children Gregg & Gina Springer; his 4 grand-children Acacia, Aaron, Cameron, and Ethan Springer; and two great-grand-children Ayden and Addison; his brothers Bob, Pat, Gene, and Joe Brown. His memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 19th, at 10:00 am, Evergreen Washelli Memorial. He will be extremely missed.

(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge, all archived here. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to


October 18, 2013 7:44 am
|    Comments Off on TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Foggy Friday
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(East-facing camera on the West Seattle Bridge; see other cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Hoping for another relatively quiet day on the roads – so far, so good.

One reminder for the weekend: The two right lanes of the northbound 1st Avenue South Bridge will close tomorrow (Saturday) morning, 7:30 am-1 pm, for inspection.