day : 23/10/2013 14 results

PHOTOS: See how Seattle fog can be beautiful, too

Fog is so much more beautiful when you’re viewing it from a distance, whether above, as in Long Bach Nguyen‘s toward-West-Seattle aerial above, or David Town‘s port-peek photo below:

From an unsigned reader:

From Trileigh Tucker:

Katt Thompson captioned the next one “Peekaboo Water Taxi”:

Might add more later! Thanks to everyone who’s shared photos!

West Seattle Crime Watch followup: Alki shooting verdict

More than a year after a beating and shooting outside an Alki restaurant/bar, a King County Superior Court jury has delivered its verdict for the man charged in connection with it. The trial of 28-year-old Michael Helmer of Kent ended one week ago today with jurors declaring him guilty of four counts of second-degree assault. The incident in August 2012 rocked the community enough that the establishment outside which it happened, Bamboo Bar and Grill, hosted a neighborhood meeting and promised changes. (This summer was much quieter at the beach, as discussed with police at last month’s Alki Community Council meeting.)

Prosecutors said Helmer was one of two men who attacked another man outside Bamboo (the other apparently has never been found); another man tried to help the first victim, who was on the ground and being kicked, and was shot by Helmer, with the bullet traveling through his arm and lodging near his heart, where it couldn’t be removed.

A witness followed Helmer and called 911 with updates until police arrived, at which time he pointed out Helmer, and officers made the arrest, subsequently finding the 9-millimeter gun wrapped in a jersey. He’s been in jail ever since – so those 14 months will likely be counted toward whatever he gets when he is sentenced November 8th. Prosecutors are recommending 6 years and seven months – the combination of 43 months (four concurrent terms) followed by 36 months for use of a deadly weapon.

P.S. – Thanks to the WSB reader who asked tonight about this case, which we had not checked on lately; the information above comes from court documents we downloaded while researching her inquiry.

PACK YOUR BAG! Day 22: Odds-and-ends time

Washington State Diaster Preparedness Month isn’t over yet; nor is our work building your “Go Bag” an item or two or three at a time. From West Seattle Be Prepared:

Some odds and ends this time: Put in a whistle, glow sticks, and matches, which can be used to light outdoor BBQ’s for cooking (or campstoves, but that’s a bit more than we will be putting in the bags we are building). Store the matches in a waterproof container. Also, this would be the day to add extra batteries for flashlights, if you haven’t already.

Still time to get it all done before month’s end (or as soon as feasible) – all installments are archived in reverse-chronological order here.

Water Taxi shuttle routes, West Seattle Transportation Coalition, more @ Alki Community Council:

At its October meeting, the Alki Community Council became the second neighborhood council in two nights to go on the record as officially supporting the West Seattle Transportation Coalition. And one mode of transportation was high on the list of the night’s other hot topics:

WEST SEATTLE WATER TAXI: Michelle Allison from King County Councilmember Joe McDermott‘s office visited by request of ACC leadership. She says the 2014 work plan for the Ferry District Board (which McDermott chairs) includes an analysis of the shuttle routes serving the Water Taxi to see if they can be improved and/or restructured in hopes of boosting WT ridership. “That’s something we’re really going to engage the community on … we need to know if we’re losing people because it’s not operating the way it should. What can we do to change it to have you guys use the Water Taxi?” They’ve done some analysis so far and note that people are using it on weekdays to get home FROM Seacrest, but not necessarily for getting TO Seacrest. 63rd/Alki and Admiral/California are hot spots for where people are getting off the shuttle, she notes.

They might ask for opinions on possible alternate routes that could better serve people trying to use the Water Taxi – look for questions like that, “what neighborhood do you live in and would you use the Water Taxi if the shuttle came there?” She also pointed out that the Water Taxi system is not part of Metro. And they also will look at the current “no charge” operation of the shuttle. “The board is really going to wrestle with that,” Allison said (the board is the County Council under another name).

Later, the group discussed formally letting their representatives know that they want Metro and the Water Taxi shuttle to work together.

Speaking of transportation:

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Here’s why TV helicopters are/were hovering

5:10 PM: Just because we have received tons of calls and texts: Police have an operation under way to the south that has drawn TV helicopters. They have been hanging over West Seattle just in case anything happens with said operation. It’s NOT a current West Seattle crime or incident.

6:06 PM: As far as we can tell, this didn’t pan out, and the choppers should be gone.

West Seattle Crime Watch: 2 updates in flasher investigation

No new flasher incidents reported so far today – but we have two updates:

*Two schools, Madison Middle School and Schmitz Park Elementary School, have sent letters home to parents to make sure they heard about yesterday’s incident in north West Seattle.

*Seattle Police have published an “update” on the Tuesday incidents. Comparing it to what they released yesterday, includes some changes in the story of exactly what happened, and some slight changes to the suspect’s description.

More details on all of the above, ahead:

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From the WSB West Seattle Halloween Guide: Ticket time for Toxic Terror Boat Tour

One of the newest additions to the dozens of events in our West Seattle Halloween Guide: The Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition‘s Toxic Terror Boat Tour is back for another year. It’s happening Sunday (October 27th) at 2 pm, leaving from West Seattle’s Harbor Island Marina. From DRCC:

Several spooky guides will lead you on a two-hour boat tour of the Duwamish River Superfund site. You’ll hear stories of local Native American supernatural legends, early-settler stories from Georgetown and South Park neighborhoods, and learn about the terrifying realities of toxic chemicals in the Duwamish River! You will also learn about the natural and human history of the Duwamish Valley, environmental health and (in)justice, and the future of Seattle’s very own Superfund cleanup site on this guided boat tour.

Costumes are not obligatory but are strongly encouraged. This year we are requesting a $25 (adults) and $15 (kids) fee. 100% of your proceeds will go to our ongoing education and outreach programs.

RSVP ASAP to save your seat(s) – do it on this Brown Paper Tickets page.

Family physician Dr. Sachi Brittin, MD: New WSB sponsor

Today we’re welcoming a new WSB sponsor, board-certified family-medicine physician Dr. Sachi Brittin, MD, who is now seeing patients in West Seattle. New WSB sponsors get the chance to tell you about themselves; here’s what Dr. Brittin would like you to know:

“I am committed to patient-centered care. I believe that the patient and physician can work together as a team to reach goals of healthy living. I am compassionate and strongly believe in taking the time to listen to a patient’s needs and concerns. I have recently traveled overseas to Nepal and India and welcome patients from all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.

“My patients usually say that they appreciate that I take the time to listen. I am interested in them as a whole person and not just as a set of symptoms. I can only hope that our interaction inspires patients to make healthy lifestyle changes and to take control of their health and learn about their ailments. I think patient education is important and I want my patients to have a full understanding of their medical care. I have a background in working with the underserved and feel strongly about promoting patient autonomy. I imagine that patients seek me out because they are interested in having a physician who is caring and supportive. Our office has a fun, warm atmosphere where all patients are made to feel welcomed and cared for.

“I am a board certified member of the American Academy of Family Physicians. I have recently returned to the Pacific Northwest after being away for college and graduate school and am thrilled to be back. I am new to West Seattle and look forward to getting to know the community. I have joined my father’s well-established practice and, to introduce myself to community members, we are planning to give several health lectures at a local senior center. Please feel free to drop by and say hi. I am currently accepting new patients and walk-ins. I am a big film buff and enjoy the outdoors and am always interested in hearing hiking or camping suggestions.”

Find Dr. Sachi Brittin, MD, online at; by phone, 206-937-5356. Her office is in The Junction, at 4744 41st SW, Suite 106.

We thank Dr. Sachi Brittin, MD for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.

West Seattle Junction demolition update: After & before

What was left of the building on the southeast corner of California/Alaska in The Junction was gone by noon, midway through the third week of demolition/clearing work at the site of two future seven-story mixed-use buildings. We have a “before” photo shared a few hours earlier by King County Councilmember Joe McDermott:

In the accompanying e-mail, he shared a memory:

Foggy footage of the old People’s Bank building as the only thing left on the north end of the Junction’s southeast block. Just taken as I transferred to the Water Taxi shuttle to avoid the traffic this morning. Alyce Miller used to give me Husky bank deposits to walk over to the bank.

That’s a reference to McDermott’s days working for nearby Husky Deli. The corner building once held People’s Bank and West Seattle Hospital – and a second story, gone long before this final demolition.

Cleanup is now complete on the eastern side of the site at 42nd/Alaska and is to be finished on this side by Friday afternoon, so the debris is gone before the West Seattle Junction Harvest Festival on Sunday.

Followup: $100,000 bail for sex offender Michael Sean Stanley

One day after the West Seattle arrest of Michael Sean Stanley, the convicted rapist who cut off a monitoring bracelet and fled Canada, he has just appeared in Seattle Municipal Court (via video feed). Our partners at The Seattle Times report that Stanley pleaded not guilty to harassment and that his bail is set at $100,000. Earlier this morning, King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office spokesperson Dan Donohoe told WSB that Stanley has not yet been booked in the alleged Admiral-area sexual assault that police learned about after the initial harassment arrest, so he will not have a bail hearing in that potential case today. Any additional information in the case today will be added to this story. (Photo: King County sex-offender-registry page)

ADDED 1:54 PM: News release about this morning’s hearing, sent by the City Attorney’s Office, which is responsible for the current case:

Seattle Municipal Court Judge Karen Donohue set bail at $100,000 today for registered sex offender Michael Shawn Stanley on a misdemeanor harassment charge filed by the City Attorney’s Office.

CAO asked for the unusually high bail for a misdemeanor based on information from the King County Prosecutor’s Office, which is investigating a separate, alleged sexual assault by Stanley on a teenage male. Stanley, an American citizen, re-entered the United States recently from Canada where he has an extensive sex crimes record. Also, in this state, he has been convicted of first-degree burglary and DUI.

The misdemeanor charge alleges that Stanley, while intoxicated, was making loud noises in an alley behind a residence in West Seattle. When the victim asked him to be quiet, Stanley repeatedly said he would beat the victim up.

The City’s sentencing recommendation is 364 days in jail/274 days suspended, an anti-harassment order and a substance-abuse evaluation plus any recommended follow-up (with Stanley remaining under the court’s jurisdiction for two years).

ADDED 5:51 PM: KING 5 obtained video from Admiral Chevron that they say shows Stanley in the mini-mart there very early yesterday with the teen who told police he had been sexually assaulted. See their report here.

West Seattle Wednesday: Highland Park Action Committee, WSHS-Sealth volleyball, more…

October 23, 2013 10:08 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Wednesday: Highland Park Action Committee, WSHS-Sealth volleyball, more…
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(Tuesday photo by Elodie Daquila)
We’ve lost count of how many foggy days in a row we’ve had. But the fog can bring beauty, as well. Meantime, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

COMMUNITY ART SHOWCASE: Stop by the Southwest Branch Library during regular hours (today, that’s 10 am-8 pm) and admire the work of your West Seattle neighbors during this year’s Community Art Showcase! (35th/Henderson)

‘CLOTHESPIN ON A WIRE’: Pop-up shop at Bird on a Wire Espresso, including “authentic German fare” – full details in our calendar listing. 6-9 pm (SW Henderson just west of 35th SW)

WEST SEATTLE TIMEBANK: Yes, you have time to become part of this! Great way to get what you need, and help someone who can use your skills. It’s the next orientation for the West Seattle Timebank (here’s how it works), 6:30 pm potluck, 7 pm meeting, Senior Center of West Seattle. (California/Oregon)

HIGHLAND PARK ACTION COMMITTEE: Monthly meeting tonight at 7 at Highland Park Improvement Club:

We’ll be discussing adding our name to the growing list of endorsements for the West Seattle Transportation Coalition, meeting our current Community Police Officer (bring your questions and concerns), some news about addressing pedestrian and vehicular safety along Roxbury, and other exciting things happening in the neighborhood.

HPIC is at 12th/Holden.

BIG VOLLEYBALL GAME: As previewed here on Tuesday, it’s a division-leadership varsity-volleyball clash tonight at 7 between West Seattle High School and visiting Chief Sealth International High School at the WSHS Gym. Admission free, all invited (and welcome to cheer on local student athletes); it’s also Senior Night for WSHS. (3000 California SW)

POEMS AND STORIES: Monthly poetry/storytelling event at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), details in our calendar listing. (5612 California SW)

Lots more on the calendar!

West Seattle Junction Harvest Festival countdown: Previews!

(WSB photo from 2012 West Seattle Junction Harvest Festival)
Just four days until the second annual West Seattle Junction Harvest Festival – the streets-closed event 10 am-2 pm Sunday, incorporating not only trick-or-treating at Junction businesses, but also a special “in-the-street” edition of the WS Farmers’ Market, and lots more! Susan Melrose from the West Seattle Junction Association has shared a preview:

11 am – Chili competition in front of KeyBank, limited to 100 “judges” so come early – list of participating restaurants tomorrow, 100 percent of the proceeds go to West Seattle Food Bank

11:30 am – Costume parade led by West Seattle High School Marching Band

Noon-2 pm – Trick-or-treating

Activities for the duration, 10 am-2 pm, as follows:

Thank you to the 31 businesses and non-profits providing games, activities and projects. Some highlights:

WSBx3 (West Seattle Blog, WS Bowl, WestSide Baby) – This trio is offering pumpkin bowling for all ability levels.

Community School of West Seattle – Their preschool farm is coming to Harvest Festival with a special guest, a 6-month-old calf!

Young at Art – As usual, a selection of super fun and crafty art projects.

You’ll also find projects like making tea light lanterns, paper bag black cats and harvest bracelets. Activities include an obstacle course, pin the tail on the scarecrow and carnival games. There’s a free costume photo booth by Donna Ryan and cider pressing. Our neighborhood can really pull together for a great festival!

Thanks to all who help make this happen!

Alki Art Fair
Alki Juice and Java
City Mouse Store
Community School of West Seattle
Eastridge Church
Emeritus Senior Living West Seattle
Endolyne Children’s Choir
Equilibrium Fitness
Fitness Revolution
Franciscan West Seattle Family
Ginger’s Treats
Hope Lutheran Church and School
Hotwire Coffee
La Leche League
Orange Twist
Run. Walk. Play.
Second Gear Sports
West Seattle Cyclery
SSCC Cooperative Preschool
St John the Baptist Episcopal Church
Sustainable West Seattle
The Little Gym of West Seattle
Ventana Construction
West Seattle Kiwanis
West Seattle Montessori
West Seattle See Dogs
Westside Rotaract Club
WSBx3 (West Seattle Blog, WestSide Baby, West Seattle Bowl)
Young at Art

The Harvest Festival is one of the many local events featured in the WSB West Seattle Halloween Guide, now live at – browse it to see what’s up, now through the post-Halloween weekend, and if we’re missing something, please e-mail us at – thanks!

West Seattle Education Fair update: 18 schools in 1 place

Quick reminder about the West Seattle Education Fair next Monday (October 28th), hosted by and at Seattle Lutheran High School, sponsored by WSB, your chance for a one-stop shop to find out about local educational options, pre-K through 8th grade. Jeanne Flohr of SLHS, who’s organizing it, tells us 18 schools are signed up to participate (list to come). Free for families to attend – 6:30-8:30 pm Monday in the SLHS Gym (SW Genesee between 41st and 42nd).

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Northbound 99 reopening, 2 hours after crash; other updates

(East-facing camera on the West Seattle Bridge; see other cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:43 AM: First e-mail of the day: “Northbound 99 is a parking lot – at 6:30 am.” That’s because of a crash, on the 911 log as a “heavy rescue” response, at Lander. So avoid 99 for now. Here’s the closest camera:

WSB’er Franci reports, “Rollover accident, barrier between NB/SB (99) dislodged, 2 cars – 1 SUV and 1 sedan.”

6:57 AM: Emergency vehicles have been trying to get to the scene any way they can, even by going the wrong way – and that part of the response is being canceled. “Heavy rescue” usually means rescuers might have to cut someone out of wreckage, and they have reported by scanner that everyone is out of the rolled-over car. Also, Metro has sent a text alert that Viaduct-running buses are detoured to 4th Avenue. Trouble on the water this morning too, because of the fog – Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth runs are delayed.

7:25 AM: Two lanes blocked still on northbound 99 and no word how long that’ll last – depends on what level of investigation (and repairs) the crash will require. WSDOT says via Twitter that northbound I-5 is “rough,” too, so if there’s any way you can head in later than usual today, that might be the best plan of all.

7:55 AM: One lane is getting by, per WSDOT. And as shown in our “live” image from the traffic camera at the scene right now, tow trucks are there.

8:09 AM: Still “don’t leave if you can wait” mode – tweeters say that traffic headed for the bridge is backed up on Fauntleroy to Fairmount Park and that even with the Viaduct buses rerouted to 4th, it’s still slow going getting TO the bridge.

8:26 AM: Buses have returned to regular northbound 99 routing, according to a text alert from Metro.

8:36 AM: Per scanner, 99 is about to “open back up.” Remember that it’ll still be a while before the residual backup clears. And it’s still massively foggy out there – be very careful.

9:10 AM: In fact, the National Weather Service has a “dense fog advisory” in effect for the general metro area. And Washington State Ferries just sent an updated alert, “All vessels on the Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth route are delayed and estimated 30-45 minutes due to heavy fog.” Speaking of WSF – this reminder also has just come in:

WSF is considering revisions to the Fauntleroy/Vashon/SW schedule to make the best use of added vehicle capacity when the 124-car Cathlamet replaces the 87-car Klahowya in fall 2014. We look forward to sharing information and hearing from our customers at two open houses on: Sat., Oct. 26, 12-3 p.m. at the Ober Park Community Center, 17130 Vashon Hwy. SW, Vashon Island; and Tue, Oct. 29, 5-7 p.m. at Harper Church, 10384 SE Sedgwick Road in Port Orchard. More information at