West Seattle, Washington
… Around 2 p.m., a man who is a parent of a student at our school, entered the main office and was acting suspiciously.
Security was called and in talking to the man, noticed he had a knife attached to his belt buckle. This is a violation of our zero tolerance of weapons rule. 911 was called and the Seattle Police Department arrived quickly. The man had left our school already, but was arrested outside and taken into custody.
We are proud of our staff and security for acting so quickly. No students were in the area or involved in the incident.
We are looking forward to a safe and fun homecoming dance tonight, and we want to let families know that we will continue to be vigilant when it comes to safety in our school.
We don’t have any other details about this yet, nor do we know the man’s status. Meantime, we have a reader report from Jude, asking you to be on the lookout for a car stolen early today:
My Infiniti FX35 was stolen from right in front of my house at 3 am on Friday, 10/25. I live on the 3700 block of 35th Ave SW. The vehicle is brown with a silver roof rack. Plate 520-XWQ. I have all spare keys so it interesting how this was done given that a key fob is required to allow ignition — not to mention how the door was opened. Hope the car died out somewhere for lack of a RFID key on the perpetrator. Wishful thinking. I did file a police report this morning with the Southwest Precinct.
If you see it or have information about it, call 911.
P.S. This isn’t crime but it does involve the local precinct – if you have leftover/unneeded/expired drugs in your home, TOMORROW is the day to drop them off at the Southwest Precinct (Delridge/Webster) front desk, 10 am-2 pm, for the fall edition of National Drug Take-Back Day.
One more reminder tonight from King County – the West Seattle Water Taxi starts its winter schedule on Monday, which means the next two days will bring its final weekend runs until spring. The winter schedule runs Mondays-Fridays, morning and afternoon/evening commute time periods only, with the first run from West Seattle to downtown at 6 am, and the last run back from downtown to West Seattle at 7 pm. See the full schedule here.
This morning’s arrest near Chief Sealth International High School (WSB coverage here) was actually the second flasher-type arrest in West Seattle in less than 12 hours. We’ve obtained the report on an indecent-exposure arrest last night at Westwood Village; the 35-year-old man arrested in that incident got out of jail about an hour ago. The suspect in this case is reported to have exposed himself to two workers at an unidentified Westwood business through its front window, as they were closing up around 9 pm last night. The police report says the same man is believed to have caused “disturbances” at “a total of about six different businesses” at Westwood last night and that he also is believed to have “inappropriately touched women.” The report SPD provided to us on request concludes:
Routine records check of (the suspect) shows that he is the subject in a previous indecent-liberties event and is a documented officer-safety hazard. In speaking with (him), he appears to be suffering from some kind of mental disorder and if left untreated could very easily escalate his actions.
Despite that, the jail register shows his bail was set at $1,000 and that he got out of jail at 2:02 pm, a “conditional release,” according to the register. Indecent exposure is a misdemeanor; we are checking with the City Attorney’s Office to see if they can tell us more about the status of this case.
Didn’t get a chance to publish these photos on Thursday because of everything else that was going on; it’s another view from the California/Alaska demolition work at the future site of two 7-story apartment/retail buildings that Chicago-based Equity Residential will build over an underground parking garage. Unlike the building torn down next door at 42nd/Alaska, the one to the west had a basement, and that’s what’s shown in our photos. Some say it included a morgue back when the building included a second-floor hospital; in later years, ArtsWest used some of the space for storage. Today, the demolition equipment is pushing debris into this basement area, but yesterday at midday, it was mostly exposed:
The sidewalks around the site will be open in time for Sunday’s Harvest Festival in The Junction, which will close California and Alaska between Oregon, Edmunds, 42nd, and 44th, starting fairly early in the morning for setup, and continuing until everything is cleared after the festival ends at 2.
(Photo by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
10:12 AM: Police have just confirmed the arrest of the man at the center of our photo, taken into custody after a student reported seeing him masturbating inside that van parked near Chief Sealth International High School this morning, though they don’t know yet if he is connected to any of the “flasher” incidents over the past few weeks. Here’s the report just published on SPD Blotter:
Southwest Precinct officers arrested a 34-year-old man for lewd conduct earlier this morning in the 2400 Block of SW Thistle Street.
At about 8:30 this morning, a 17-year-old female student was walking to school when she passed a dark blue mini-van parked on the street. As she passed the van, she observed the suspect inside masturbating. The girl immediately ran to school and reported it to the principal’s office. Officers immediately responded and located the van and contacted the suspect. He was positively identified and arrested by officers.
The suspect was transported to the Southwest Precinct where he is being interviewed by detectives. He will later be booked into the King County Jail. It is unknown at this time whether this man is connected with the previous incidents near other West Seattle schools.
We heard the original call – which drew quite the police response, given the recent incidents – and took the photo above while officers were questioning the man at the scene (we’ve blurred out the suspect’s head and the van’s license plate). But we had not confirmed, prior to the SPD Blotter post, that the person taken in for questioning had been arrested and would be jailed. We’ll update with anything else we find out later today.
2:42 PM: The suspect is not on the King County Jail register as of last check, and the official police report as it currently stands does not indicate any link to other incidents, so far. He is a Highland Park resident who does not have a felony conviction record.
4:53 PM: The suspect, Danen Romine, is charged with misdemeanor indecent exposure in Seattle Municipal Court – as opposed to King County Superior Court, when you are cited, it is an official charge. His bail is set at $500 and he is scheduled to answer the charge tomorrow morning (the jailhouse courtroom has arraignments in city cases on weekends).
9:58 PM: The jail register shows Romine posted bail and got out after less than five hours, just before 7 pm tonight.
As wearisome as the fog might seem from beneath it, we (and many others) just can’t resist the beautiful views from outside it! The Wednesday view is from Max (thanks!). Now, on to highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
WEST SEATTLE GARDEN CLUB: Meeting under way now and continues until 2 pm – drop in for all or part of it (afternoon program focuses on the Seattle Chinese Garden on Puget Ridge) – agenda details in our calendar listing.
HALLOWEEN CARNIVAL AND FREE FAMILY SWIM: From the WSB West Seattle Halloween Guide – Southwest Pool is hosting a carnival and family swim tonight; details in our calendar listing. Carnival starts at 6; free swim starts at 7 pm. (2801 SW Thistle)
MORE HALLOWEEN ACTIVITIES: Three other community centers – Alki, Delridge, Hiawatha – have Halloween/Fall carnivals tonight too, and that’s not all – check the Halloween Guide to see what’s up.
FRIDAY NIGHT TRIBUTE TO SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER: The Gee Bees, paying tribute to the Bee Gees‘ Saturday Night Fever music, perform at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor) at 9 pm. Disco ball? White suits? Go see (and hear) for yourself. (6451 California SW)
Lots more on our calendar!
9:48 AM: It’s not on the Seattle City Light map yet, but we’re getting multiple reports of a power outage involving more than 100 residences south of Alki Point. We’re calling SCL to see if we can find out more.
9:58 AM UPDATE: SCL’s Scott Thomsen tells WSB that the outage involves “265 customers. A bird got between two wires and created a short. Estimate for restoration is 10:20 am.”
10:05 AM UPDATE: Or maybe sooner. Tipster Keith says his power just came back.
(Photos by Christina Chacharon)
In case you haven’t seen it for yourself yet, shining alongside the West Seattle Bridge ramps to/from I-5, there it is – the brand-new “R” atop the old Rainier Brewery. West Seattle photographer Christina Chacharon was among those at last night’s gala unveiling, which even included a “Batman”-style call into the clouds … er, fog:
After almost half a century, the old “R” (now on display at the Museum of History and Industry) came down 13 years ago, succeeded by a big green “T” for Tully’s Coffee. The newly installed replica, funded via a partnership between Rainier Beer’s owner Pabst and Columbia Distributing, weighs more than half a ton, has 235 light bulbs on each side, and is being permanently welded into place today.
(2011 photo from Fauntleroy Creek, courtesy Dennis Hinton)
Last year, volunteers watching Fauntleroy Creek counted a record number of returning spawners – 274! What will happen this fall? You can help find out. From creek/watershed steward Judy Pickens:
Salmon Watch 2013 on Fauntleroy Creek will get under way October 28 with veteran watchers. As soon as they start seeing spawners, though, any and all new volunteers will be welcome to join. That will most likely be on or about November 1, when high tides will be in the 12-foot range. To get on the “I’m interested” list, email email@example.com.
Right before Salmon Watch begins, it’s time to call the salmon home, with the annual gathering at the creek overlook (across Fauntleroy Way from the ferry dock and up the embankment), 5 pm this Sunday (October 27). All welcome, all ages; bring a drum if you have one, but it’s not mandatory since there are also songs and chants to which you can add your voice. Judy says that this year for the first time, there’ll even be salmon humor. Be there!
(East-facing camera on the West Seattle Bridge; see other cams on the WSB Traffic page)
7:06 AM: Nothing major on the usual routes from West Seattle this morning BUT if you are headed south on I-5, a huge pileup blocking northbound I-5 at mid-Boeing Field might affect things in terms of a lookyloo slowdown on the opposite side, if nothing else. It’s a 10-car crash that WSDOT says is already causing a 14-mile backup.
7:40 AM: As just noted in the comments, there is indeed some emergency-vehicle activity on the SOUTHBOUND side parallel with the massive crash scene.
7:55 AM: Now there is a SOUTHBOUND crash on I-5 in the same area, while on the northbound side, they’ve reopened two lanes.
8:41 AM: All of the above has been mostly cleared up.
Belated update in our “building your ‘Go Bag‘ one day at a time” series. The next addition, as advised by West Seattle Be Prepared:
Dry goods are the food of the day – graham crackers or other dry and durable crackers, dry cereal, powdered milk, spices, sugar, coffee or tea, and candy. Put them in smaller ziplocks to save space, and mark with the date packaged.
If you haven’t started your bag yet, not too late! Just do SOMETHING. Get a bag, review the previous installments and see what’s easiest for you to get into it, then do the rest as you can. Something > nothing. It’s all archived (newest to oldest) here.
Time for some happy news before this night is over. Sheri, who has lived in West Seattle for 18 years and raised her teenage daughter here, has a story to tell about a very happy homecoming:
In 2008, a friend of mine who worked at a vet clinic in Burien called me and said they found a tiny black kitten on the side of the road. She wondered if I was interested in adopting him, and of course I said yes. Mio became a part of our family in June of that year.
Within the first few months of having Mio, I took him to our vet at the West Seattle Animal Hospital, where I had him microchipped and neutered. Mio was always an outdoor cat, an avid hunter, and truly affectionate. He loved his dog brother Tony the most, and I’d often go into the back yard to see the two of them playing together. Keeping track of Mio wasn’t exactly easy. Like I said, he was a hunter, so he’d often go out for a few nights in a row, then camp out in the basement. He’d always eventually turn up, so it never really worried me. In the fall of 2010 I noticed Mio hadn’t been home for a while. I kept an eye out, but didn’t really worry, considering his independent nature. He never turned up.
As Tony and I would walk the neighborhood, I’d look every black cat in the eye. I’d often wonder if Mio just divorced us and decided to move in with another set of humans. When Mio disappeared I figured he would turn up, a vet clinic would scan him, then I’d get a call. As the years past, my phone never rang with that call.
Fast forward to Tuesday:
(Photos by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
9:21 PM: Final score’s in from Southwest Athletic Complex – Nathan Hale 55, West Seattle High School 0. But Homecoming Night isn’t just about football. Adding photos later tonight.
12:55 AM: Photos and toplines added – including homecoming royalty:
So far, there is no evidence of an actual abduction related to the reported sighting near Gatewood Elementary today (here’s our earlier coverage; [added] here’s an SPD Blotter update) BUT police have a request for you tonight, in hopes it will help them figure out what DID happen, if anything:
Southwest Precinct Sgt. Joe Bauer, asks that, if your home or business is within a square mile or so of the school (which fronts on both Myrtle and Frontenac just west of California; map) and you have a video-camera system – or happened to be rolling video in the area for any other reason – please check it, particularly for the time period between about 12:30 pm and 1 pm today. If you see anything at all that might be of interest to police related to this investigation, please e-mail Sgt. Bauer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Early heads-up – this week’s edition of the SDOT/WSDOT “construction lookahead” is out, and it includes first word of the next planned closure for Highway 99 between the West Seattle Bridge and Battery Street Tunnel: 10 pm Friday, Nov. 8th, to 5 am Monday, Nov. 11.
P.S. If you’re driving north of downtown this Saturday, do note the lookahead also says the two right lanes of northbound SR99 over the Aurora Bridge will be closed 7:30 am-11 am Saturday (October 26th) for bridge inspection.
Another group of West Seattle neighbors is formally challenging a development plan.
This time, it’s the neighbors on 55th SW in Alki who are concerned about the effects of an 11-unit “rowhouse” development. This is the group who petitioned for a city hearing, and got that hearing in July; earlier this month, they learned the development would be approved (here’s our Oct. 17th report), and at the time, they did not believe they would be able to muster the resources required for an appeal.
Today, neighbor Marie McKinsey tells WSB they put one together after all:
Today, Alki Neighborhoods for Sensible Growth, a new association comprised of neighbors affected by the Alki 11 rowhouse project MUP 3014675, filed an appeal challenging the DPD’s decision to approve this development. … I am attaching the two documents filed today (here and here)
There’s a lot to review here, but among other interesting findings is this one: the city apparently violated its own rules by approving LBAs (lot boundary adjustments) prior to doing the SEPA review. The procedure is supposed to be SEPA review first and then LBAs are decided afterward or concurrently with the SEPA analysis. I believe the LBAs were approved August 27th. The SEPA decision was published October 10.
It is impressive that our neighborhood has been able to come together to form an association, raise money and mount an appeal in the few days we have had available to us. The city notified us on October 15th of the decision and gave us only until October 24th to appeal.
McKinsey has been chronicling the situation on her website here. She says the association will be represented by land-use lawyer Cynthia Kennedy, who also represented the Benchview neighborhood in its recent case. No hearing date(s) set yet.
(SCROLL DOWN for newest information)
12:55 PM: We need to say for starters that this is ***NOT yet verified*** BUT we don’t want to wait any longer before putting something out in case it is.
This is all according to scanner information. SPD has just tweeted something we will add in a moment.
Police got a call that a man was seen “duct taping” and putting a child in a pickup truck near Gatewood Elementary School. The truck was described as silver, no canopy. The man was described as wearing a black robe and blue jeans.
Every officer in the area is on the lookout, while the school is doing a head count to make sure no one was missing.
We have a crew on the way to the school to see if this has been verified. If we hear anything more about the description of the POSSIBLE truck, we will let you know.
12:58 PM UPDATE: All SPD has tweeted is “Officers investigating possible student abduction in West Seattle. Still working to confirm. More details to come.”
Our crew is now in the Gatewood Elementary area, but there’s no additional information available there so far.
A bit of added description information: The possible suspect is a white male, in his 30s/40s. The possible victim was described as wearing a pink top, 6 to 12 years old, long black hair.
The description being broadcast citywide says the report comes from a 6-year-old who reported seeing this happen at a “nearby house.” That house is reported to be on the Frontenac side (north side) of the school. That street is currently closed off.
Police are continuing to put out information via Twitter, all details we have published already. Still no word of anyone being CONFIRMED missing.
1:17 PM: Police have reiterated via Twitter that there is no verification of anyone missing yet but say they “do not believe a child was taken from a school.” Commenter Steph, who is a Gatewood parent, says she has spoken with the school office and they said ALL students there are accounted for.
1:38 PM: We’re monitoring all info channels, but there is nothing new.
1:59 PM: If you saw police with a silver truck on 48th SW a short time ago – it was checked out but determined NOT to be related. Meantime, Seattle Public Schools public affairs says that while Gatewood’s doors are locked as a precaution, they are not technically in lockdown or shelter-in-place status, and are still working out dismissal details, though expecting it to be at the regular time.
2:21 PM: Police are still keeping an eye out for any potential vehicles but otherwise standing down a bit. No word of an actual missing child anywhere, but nor has the sighting been explained. If anything new emerges, we’ll add it here.
2:26 PM: There’s been conflicting info about Gatewood’s status between what parents were told and what the district told us. We just got a call from the school directly, and here’s the CURRENT information: The school is not currently sheltering-in-place. Dismissal and after-school activities will be normal.
5:52 PM – A REQUEST FROM POLICE: Southwest Precinct Sgt. Joe Bauer asked us to publish this request: If your home or business is within a square mile or so of Gatewood Elementary (which fronts on both Myrtle and Frontenac just west of California) and you have a video-camera system – or happened to be rolling video in the area for any other reason – please check it, particularly for the time period between about 12:30 pm and 1 pm today. If you see anything at all that might be of interest to police related to this investigation, please e-mail him at email@example.com. (We are also mentioning this in comments and will post it separately.)
7:46 PM: SPD Blotter has just summarized what police have learned so far, but the bottom line remains: “At this point, officers have not found any evidence that a crime occurred.”
(WSB photo: The trophy awaiting the winner)
The lineup is finalized for this Sunday’s chili competition in the West Seattle Junction, a new addition to the Harvest Festival, benefiting the West Seattle Food Bank.
The eight competitors are:
Easy Street Café
Elliott Bay Brewery
Terra Cole Butchery
There will be about 100 “flights” available for a donation ($ amount not finalized) outside KeyBank in The Junction at 11 am straight up Sunday – get there early and vote for your favorite – winner gets the trophy, WS Food Bank gets the proceeds.
The first Halloween event in our guide at westseattleblog.com/halloween is TONIGHT: Fall Festival and Haunted House at High Point Community Center, 6-7:30 pm, costumes encouraged! The center is at 6920 34th SW. (Anything we’re missing tonight, that’s open to the public? Please comment, if so!)
Meantime, we’ve had two suggestions to feature photos of West Seattle’s most spookily decorated homes/businesses/etc. We’re up for it! Photos/location suggestions welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org. Even if you’re not going quite as far as “Nightmare on 44th,” where they’re documenting the progress via Twitter (this is the most recent tweet, from last Sunday):
Wreath lights added today -11 days to go pic.twitter.com/3WH9P68J5O
— NightmareOn44th (@NightmareOn44th) October 21, 2013
We’ll feature decorated houses in the Halloween Guide, too, as well as showcases here on the main page.
Last night’s varsity-volleyball match at West Seattle High School was special for two major reasons: First, it was senior night, honoring the WSHS players in our photo above – from left, Eastyn Baleto, Makenzie Harrison, Lisa Khuu, and Elena Solot. Second, it was a rematch with Chief Sealth International High School.
Both teams have had winning seasons; division-leading WSHS took this match, three games to one.
Game 1 went to the Wildcats, 25-14, as did games 2 (25-22) and 4 (25-14); the Seahawks took game 3, 25-14. The fourth and final game was close, with the lead seesawing, but WSHS pulled ahead by holding the serve and finishing the match. The Metro League tournament starts on Tuesday.
P.S. It’s WSHS Homecoming tonight – varsity football vs. Nathan Hale, 7 pm at Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle).
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2713 in The Triangle is sharing news of an essay contest – multiple topics for multiple grade levels. Entries are due at the end of next week, though, so get word to your favorite young writer(s) fast! Here’s the document with details:
Kyle Geraghty from Post 2713 adds, “The entrants do not have to have an affiliation with the VFW to enter. All entries must be delivered to the West Seattle VFW Post, located at 3601 SW Alaska St., no later than November 1, 2013. If no one is there, just put it in the mail slot. The top three winners at the local level will receive prizes and have the opportunity to compete at higher levels for even bigger prizes and recognition.”
(East-facing camera on the West Seattle Bridge; see other cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:36 AM: We start this morning with an alert about the West Seattle Water Taxi – this morning, the fog is causing delays. Not major so far – the e-mail version of this alert says “5 to 8 minutes.” By the way, the WSWT’s weekdays-only winter schedule starts next Monday (October 28th); preview it via an expandable link here.
9:09 AM: Washington State Ferries has had some fog delays too. Nothing else to report this morning, with the a.m. commute now winding down, but we did just get this great photo from Susan Cameron showing the Water Taxi with yesterday’s fog bank:
We published one mini-gallery of fog photos late last night and it looks like we’ll probably have another one later today – we appreciate photos any time, from beauty shots to breaking news, preferably via e-mail at email@example.com. Thanks!
4:07 PM: There’s word of a crash at East Marginal under the West Seattle Bridge, southbound.
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!