West Seattle, Washington
Updates tonight on two no-parking apartment projects currently going through the city review system:
4535 44TH SW ‘DESIGN PACKET’: One week from Thursday, 4535 44th SW (map) returns to the Southwest Design Review Board, after having been the subject of another meeting last week (WSB coverage here) in which citizens spoke up about concerns related to the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) – primarily the five-story project’s no-on-site-parking plan. It’s proposed for 36 apartments and 2 live-work units. The “design packet” is now available via the city website. Above, Nicholson Kovalchick Architects‘ design of the side that would face 44th SW, across from The Junction’s northernmost parking lot for shoppers; below, the side that would face Glenn Way:
Features outlined in the packet include informal gathering space with a small table and chairs envisioned on each east-facing stair landing overlooking 44th. This is the first project up for the SW Design Review Board’s two-project meeting at 6:30 pm December 5th at the Senior Center of West Seattle; the 8 pm review that night is for 4745 40th SW, 135 units and 116 parking spaces – its packet is not yet online.
2 UPDATES ON 6917 CALIFORNIA SW – MEETING & DEADLINE: Also on December 5th, the Morgan Community Association plans a special meeting about the 30-apartment, no-parking project planned at 6917 California SW (map):
This will be a meeting for community and neighbors to get some preliminary background on this multi-family project, learn about the Urban Village strategy and Morgan Junction Neighborhood Plan, land use zoning and the City’s code changes that have taken place since that strategy was adopted. Plus, discussion about the issues and concerns prior to a future meeting with the developer (which is being scheduled).
This citizen-organized community meeting is set for 7 pm December 5th at The Kenney (WSB sponsor), 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW. This is the project first made public here in mid-October, and it’s drawn much attention since then. The public-comment period for the development was extended to this Wednesday; to comment, follow the link on the official notice. As reported here two weeks ago, neighbors also have gathered petition signatures in hopes of a SEPA-issues public meeting like the one last Tuesday about 4535 44th SW; their online petition has more than 500 signatures showing right now.
(UPDATED TUESDAY MORNING with more details from police report – scroll down)
(Photos by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand, added 7:42 pm)
6:42 PM: Multiple Rapid Ride buses are stopped in Morgan Junction right now on California just north of Fauntleroy as part of a police investigation that’s led to an arrest. We’re still working to find out exactly what happened but avoid the area if you can. More to come.
6:50 PM UPDATE: Our crew at the scene says this is actually happening closer to California/Raymond, north of Graham.
7:00 PM UPDATE: While we have no official information yet, multiple people including commenters say this involved a man pulling a gun on a bus. We’ve reached the King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, who would speak for the Transit Police, but we’re told that Seattle Police are leading the investigation, so we’re working to get more comment from them.
7:15 PM UPDATE: Police have now confirmed at the scene that the man they arrested is suspected of trying to rob people at gunpoint aboard the bus. Multiple witnesses tell us he was stopped by riders who tackled him.
7:33 PM UPDATE: Just talked with a man who says he was among those who subdued the suspect. He said he mostly wanted to give “a big shoutout to a guy named Joshua” who was the first to “start bringing him down … he did an admirable thing.” He says the would-be robber had pantyhose over his face and a gun that “looked like a large black revolver” and was “putting the gun against people’s faces, grabbing their cell phones.” (Others we’ve heard from mentioned that cellphones appeared to be what the man was after.) How did Joshua try to stop the man with the gun? we asked. “First thing he did was grab the arm holding the revolver and managed to get his finger in” to where he could stop the trigger from being pulled. “We were sitting on (the armed man) trying to restrain him,” and it seemed like five minutes before police arrived, he said.
7:57 PM UPDATE: A few more details from police now, via SPD Blotter: The suspect is 19 years old and got on the bus at 3rd and Pike downtown, but “kept to himself” until the bus arrived in the 6000 block of California SW. After the arrest, police say, the suspect kicked out a squad car’s window, and was subsequently taken to jail in this van we photographed at the scene:
SPD says the suspect was booked for investigation of three counts of robbery.
ADDED 8:23 AM TUESDAY: Some have asked about the detail in the SPD Blotter report suggesting the suspect was seen wearing a mask long before the robberies. We’ve just obtained a copy of the police report this morning, and the officer did indeed write that one robbery victim “said he noticed (the suspect) because (the suspect) had a stocking covering part of his face.” Also from the report, here’s what police say that victim told them about how it unfolded:
(Victim) told me that the bus made it all the way from downtown to the 6000 block of California Av SW. About that time he saw (suspect) rob a female passenger … of her cell phone by sticking a black handgun into her face and demanding her phone.
(Suspect) then stepped across the aisle and pointed the gun into (victim’s) face and demanded his cell phone. (Victim) initially refused to give his cell phone to (suspect, who) then shoved the handgun into the back of (victim’s) head and said, “give me your phone, don’t make this harder.” (Victim) then gave (suspect) his phone. (Victim) told me that (suspect) then walked further down the aisle and shoved his gun into the face of another male passenger … and demanded his cell phone. (That passenger) grabbed the gun and shoved it away from him. (A passenger) then started hitting (suspect), with several passengers … shoving (suspect) to the floor of the bus. (Four passengers in all) held (suspect) down until officers arrived.
We are checking to see if the suspect will appear for a bail hearing this afternoon. The report also says that while he was described as “very agitated and belligerent toward officers and the other bus passengers after he was placed into custody,” the suspect “did not appear intoxicated on alcohol or narcotics.” So far as we can tell from court records, he does not have a criminal history, at least in this state, just a couple of traffic tickets from earlier this month.
As forecasts around here go, one week out is usually too early to take much stock in anything. But – just in case you’ll be checking out soon to focus on holiday matters – you should be forewarned to keep a closer watch on the forecast than usual, especially if you’re heading out of town. The long-range forecast discussion from the local National Weather Service says models suggest low snow levels and a potential “modified Arctic blast” Sunday-Monday. We should note that frequent WSB forecast-providing commenter “MetPatrick” pointed this one out via Twitter one full day ago, also noting that Monday includes a nationally televised Seahawks home game, often a magnet for weather challenges … Stay tuned for updates.
That’s the design so far for the “Fauntleroy Way Green Boulevard” plan – two lanes each way, a partial cycle track, and a median if utilities allow, among other safety and beautification components. $1.3 million to finish the design is in the 2014 budget just finalized by the City Council (more backstory in our report from last Monday). SDOT told us earlier this month that they expect at least one community meeting about the design early next year; the last one was in 2012. Other budget changes include $100,000 for Delridge Way “multi-modal corridor development” planning, explained here. You can see the full list of council changes here; lots more budget documentation here.
Donating to your local food banks is a cool thing to do. Just ask Michelle, who shared that photo when she and her son (holding a turkey) bumped into former Mayor Greg Nickels and wife Sharon Nickels at the West Seattle Food Bank as they dropped off turkey donations over the weekend. It’s not too late for you to donate turkeys, too:
*West Seattle Food Bank, southeast corner of 35th/Morgan, until 3 pm today, 9 am-3 pm tomorrow/Wednesday
*White Center Food Bank (which also serves part of WS), southwest corner of 8th SW/SW 108th, open at 8:30 am daily through Wednesday (update on closing times: 5:30 tonight, 6 Tuesday, 7 Wednesday)
*While turkeys are not needed, a few other things are when The Hall at Fauntleroy opens its doors Thanksgiving Day for the 15th annual free community meal catered by Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes, whose Carol Madaio says, “We will gladly accept donations for desserts. This year we are also asking for donations of gently used/clean or new warm clothing such as coats, jackets, scarves, gloves and hats. We are also asking for blankets or throw blankets to be given to our guests in need of them. Desserts and items can be dropped off at the Hall at Fauntleroy on Thanksgiving Day after 10 am.” (They’re on the south end of the historic Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, 9131 California SW.)
These are the only Thanksgiving-week-specific donation drives we know about – but if you have anything to add, please let us know ASAP! Other holiday-giving opportunities, from collection drives to fundraising events, are listed in our Holiday Guide.
As of 2 pm, King County will be under a Stage 2 burn ban, elevated from yesterday’s announcement. Here’s what the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency says that means:
*No burning is allowed in ANY wood-burning fireplaces, wood stoves or fireplace inserts (certified or uncertified) or pellet stoves. Residents should rely instead on their home’s other, cleaner source of heat (such as their furnace or electric baseboard heaters) for a few days until air quality improves, the public health risk diminishes and the ban is cancelled. The only exception is if a wood stove is a home’s only adequate source of heat.
*No outdoor fires are allowed. This includes recreational fires such as bonfires, campfires and the use of fire pits and chimineas.
*Burn ban violations are subject to a $1,000 penalty.
*It is OK to use natural gas and propane stoves or inserts during a Stage 2 burn ban.
This might not last too long – breezes up to 15 mph are in the forecast for tomorrow, and possible rain on Thursday night.
Family and friends will gather in memory of David “Thad” Batchelder at Our Lady of Guadalupe this Wednesday. Here is the remembrance announcement shared by his family:
David Windsor Thaddeus Batchelder, 22, died last Wednesday, 11/20/2013.
Thad was born to David and Kimberly Batchelder, July 3, 1991, in Seattle. Thad graduated from West Seattle High School in 2009 and spent his most recent days working alongside his father.
Our son’s passion was always skateboarding. He spent many, many days skating with friends in West Seattle’s skate parks and areas. He loved music, flag football, the Seahawks, the Boston Red Sox, and hanging out with his huge network of friends and family.
Thad is survived by his parents; Kimberly and Howard Chilcott, David and Michele Batchelder, siblings; Audrey Batchelder, Jackson Chilcott, Samuel Batchelder, Amy Batchelder, Benjamin Batchelder, and beloved niece Gracelyn Mae Pepper.
“We love him more than all the world can hold…”
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 am this Wednesday at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church with reception afterward in the parish hall.
(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
(Constellation Park photo from Sunday by Flickr member ChiDuong, shared via WSB Flickr group)
Welcome to the first big holiday week – three days until Thanksgiving, two and a half until the start of Hanukkah (at sunset Wednesday). When you get some time, browse the WSB West Seattle Holiday Events and Info Guide, which evolves throughout the season but currently features these lists, in this order:
*Thanksgiving (including which restaurants/coffee shops/grocery stores are open on the holiday itself)
*Holiday bazaars, business open houses/special events
*Photos with Santa
*Christmas tree lots
*Holiday lights (send us info on yours – or ones you see!)
*Junction Hometown Holidays (co-sponsored by WSB)
*Holiday concerts, singalongs
*Holiday plays/other performances
*Christmas Ship’s West Seattle visits
*Giving opportunities/donation drives/fundraisers
*Church schedules (except for Thanksgiving Eve/Day services, which are under the THANKSGIVING heading)
*New Year’s Eve and Day
We update the guide at least once a day, removing expired listings and adding new ones, all the way up until New Year’s Day – just keep letting us know what’s missing, what’s just been scheduled, what needs to be updated … firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks!
Now, from both the Holiday Guide and our regular year-round West Seattle Event Calendar, a few highlights for tonight:
FAMILY STORY TIME: 6:30 pm at High Point Library; as always, free! (35th/Raymond)
TRIVIA TIME: During a quiet week like this, we can showcase more of the regular calendar items – like these: Monday is a big night for trivia/quizzes at local venues – 7 pm at Christo’s on Alki (2508 Alki SW); 7:30 pm with Lindsay at Outwest Bar (California/Brandon); 8 pm, pub-quiz night at Shadowland (4458 California SW).
Just in from the city, news of potential interest to our fellow small businesses:
Next fall when businesses in the region’s four largest cities want to get a local business license or need pay their local business and occupation taxes, they’ll be able to do it through FileLocal™. That’s the new name given to a multicity business license and tax portal that will provide cost savings for businesses, reduce administrative costs for cities and improve access to local license and tax information. Along with the new name there is a website, www.FileLocal.org, to provide businesses information about the upcoming portal.
(East-facing camera on the West Seattle Bridge; see other cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Give yourself extra time to get where you are going this morning. We say that for multiple reasons: First, it’s foggy and cold, so the roads are slick. Second, after President Obama’s overnight stay downtown, his motorcade will be back on the move to Sea-Tac after 8 am (if not sooner), which will mean some traffic effects, along with the overnight security closures, as tweeted by SDOT:
Road closures remain around Westin Hotel for presidential visit. Give yourself extra time if driving near area during morning commute.
— seattledot (@seattledot) November 25, 2013
Other notes this morning:
DOWNTOWN BUS STOP: If you ride Metro between West Seattle and downtown, note that the stop on Columbia east of 2nd remains closed through Wednesday – here’s the advisory.
HOLIDAY TRANSIT CHANGES THURSDAY/FRIDAY: Early reminder, Metro will be on a Sunday schedule on Thanksgiving Day, and “reduced weekday/no UW” on Friday. The Water Taxi will not run at all either day. (And even if you don’t use transit, if you have to go downtown Friday morning, remember the holiday parade, which has some West Seattle participants – more on that later today.)
7:24 AM: The bridge was socked in earlier; not any more. Presidential-motorcade security is reported to be ready to go; we’re monitoring multiple channels including scanner, TV, and Twitter, and will make a note here when the motorcade leaves.
8:11 AM: KING 5 reports the motorcade-related road closures between downtown and Sea-Tac are kicking in, so the President will apparently be on the move shortly. From WSDOT: “Roadway closures starting: SB I-5 starting at Mercer including ramps, 405 near Southcenter to SB 5, I-90 to SB I-5, WB 518.”
8:31 AM: KING 5 is now showing the motorcade leaving.
8:51 AM: Per WSDOT via Twitter, the president is arriving at the airport (TV shows a fogged-in view of Air Force One):
OK, everything is back open road-wise.
— WSDOT Traffic (@wsdot_traffic) November 25, 2013
8:55 PM: Via live KING 5 coverage, we’ve seen the President board Air Force One after the trademark wave. Will add one more note after we see the takeoff; he’s headed for San Francisco, and then Los Angeles tonight.
9:09 AM: Air Force One has taken off, to the south so no West Seattle flyby.