day : 20/12/2013 8 results

West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen Smurf, and 5 more reader reports

Six West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports from the queue – we were working on them just before last night got busy, and then came the snow. First, a unique stolen keepsake that you might be able to help find. From Eileen:

I know this must be a joke, but for one reason only, I’m not laughing. My Aunt gave my Grandfather a little yard gnome that looked like a child. After my Grandfather and Aunt both died, I inherited it. It’s been in my front yard for decades. Last summer my Grandson asked me to paint the little gnome to look like a Smurf. We painted his Great-Great Grandfather’s Smurf together. We have since added a red “Papa Smurf” of little value. Someone removed them from my yard and dropped off the neighbors’ metal yard art. Our whole family is very upset about the stolen Smurf! Papa Smurf can continue on his journey, but not the little one. Please help us get the white and blue childlike Smurf back. My Aunt signed and dated it. Thanks.

Ahead, five more reader reports:

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West Seattle holiday scene: Nucor’s gift to WS Food Bank

It’s a holiday tradition – Nucor Steel in North Delridge and its employees give big to the West Seattle Food Bank, and like Santa arriving in his sleigh, the gifts arrive in time for Christmas. Today was the day, and the morning snow didn’t get in the way of the delivery. Above, a truck from Benchmark Industrial Services pulled up – then, unloading began:

Call them Santa’s helpers; Benchmark not only donated the transportation again this year, but also donated 450 pounds of food.

Add that to the 2,750 pounds donated by Nucor, and it’s a grand total of more than a ton and a half of food – as well as $21,000 in monetary donations. You can give to the Food Bank if you haven’t already – do it online here!

West Seattle snow aftermath: Metro returns to regular routes

Metro just sent the official alert: All its routes are back to normal, after hours of snow routing. The snow here has largely melted, so no surprise. The forecast says rain’s on the way for the weekend.

Chas Redmond running in West Seattle’s City Council District 1

One of our area’s most über-involved community activists says he’s running for the West Seattle-only City Council seat created by the passage of Charter Amendment 19 in last month’s election. Chas Redmond‘s official titles include vice president of the Morgan Community Association, but he’s also involved with other groups around the community, including Sustainable West Seattle, and he is a past chair of the City Neighborhood Council. Redmond is a U.S. Army veteran, retired from NASA, and has lived in West Seattle for a decade. His official announcement says he’s running “to bring a grass roots voice to the city council, to re-empower the citizens of Seattle, and ensure our investments benefit citizens across the entire city.” (WSB photo at right, from West Seattle Tool Library holiday party earlier this month)

Charter Amendment 19 restructures the City Council starting in 2015, with seven council districts – West Seattle is District 1 – plus two at-large positions to be elected citywide. While current Councilmember Tom Rasmussen lives in West Seattle, he and the other eight members were all elected to citywide seats; he has filed to run in 2015 but is listed by the city Ethics and Elections Commission as not yet having designated which position he’s running for.

West Seattle snow scenes: The fun before the melt

(SCROLL DOWN for more photos (even video) added Friday evening)

FIRST INSTALLMENT, 11:41 AM: As forecast, it’s looking like the snow will be gone in a matter of hours. But people are having fun in the meantime, and here are some of the photos sent to us to share with you! Above, Wendy photographed a waterfront snowbuilder on Alki; next, “Good thing school was delayed,” wrote CS; “Time to build snowmen to leave on our neighbor’s stoop”:

Next, Jay, Lisa, and Emily Wallace report: “We got up super early this morning and made our first snowman of the year (complete with fairy wings, magic wands and a hockey stick). Had so much fun we wanted to share”:

For some, it was just the wonder of being out in the snow for the first time – thanks to Joe Szilagyi for this photo:

Not so wondrous for the next little guy, 16-month-old Zander Smith, whose parents Nicholas Smith and Shelley Yamamoto Smith wrote, “As you can see, not everyone is a fan of the snow. One touch and he wanted to go back inside”:

Some tweeted photos of snow. From Katy:

The next photo also came from a tweet, via @Philosurfy:

Next, from Steve, who says, “Just wanted to send a pic of the 5’+ tall snowman the neighborhood kids got together to make before school this morning (near 44th and Charlestown). Talk about good use of a snow delay! Notice the celery nose – no carrots, so had to improvise. Too bad he’ll be a puddle before they get home from school”:

The school delay also meant “fun with neighbors by Lincoln Park,” as shown in Cathy‘s photo:

We found Dominic, Molly, and Lida while traveling through Westwood:

And then – it can be about the little things, like this scene found by Machel Spence in Lincoln Park:

Thanks again for the photos – both fun and functional (street conditions during the peak of the morning snow)! As for the remaining snow – watch for a mid-afternoon update with info such as bus routes, which are starting to return to normal.

ADDED FRIDAY EVENING: More scenes from our snowy morning! First, from Melanie:

Dav spotted a mysterious shape in the snow at Greg Davis Park:

Karen photographed snow coating the familiar shape of Dragonfly Pavilion along Longfellow Creek:

From Eugene – big fun for the little one:

Olivia built a snowman at Hamilton Viewpoint Park in North Admiral:

Here’s LuLu‘s bundled-up creation:

And Brad & Adi Ann shared video of their as-it-happened report:

(added) One more, from Leighellen Landskov, who says, “My boys had a blast jumping on our trampoline as it was covered in snow! It weighed the whole thing down, so they couldn’t get much air, but they sure had fun trying!”

Thanks again! This was the most snow seen here since mid-January 2012.

Video: Bus-stickup-stopper tells his story on national TV

The West Seattle man who overpowered an armed robber on board a RapidRide bus last month went on national TV today to tell his story. 32-year-old Casey Borgen told interviewers on NBC’s Today that – as it seemed to many viewing the surveillance video seen around the world – it was “pure instinct.” But no, he’s not trained in martial arts, as some speculated. See the interview above; here’s the story on Today’s website. If you haven’t seen the bus-camera video yet, our story from early Thursday included the KING 5 version; we have since obtained the raw video and have uploaded two clips, including one that shows something not shown in the other coverage we’ve seen, but some had asked about – the robber just before he gets up to start demanding passengers’ smartphones. Both of the following links go to the clips we have uploaded to YouTube:

*Robber shown seated, then standing to hold up first victim (some audio)
*Silent version of now-famous sequence (silent)

The man charged in those robberies and another one on a different bus on Beacon Hill earlier in the month, 19-year-old Trevonnte Brown, remains jailed in lieu of $350,000 bail and is due back in court later this month.

West Seattle snow: School closures/changes for Friday 12/20/13

UPDATED 8 AM: School closures/changes for Friday, December 20, 2013 – please e-mail us your changes/closures at

Seattle Public Schools: 2 hours late, no Head Start, no AM or PM kindergarten/preschool. Buses on snow routes, no out-of-district transportation. The 1-hour early release plan for today IS still in effect, per district e-mail.
Highline Public Schools: CLOSED today, but offices open
Vashon School District: 2.5 hours late, no AM kindergarten

Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor): Late start at 10 am
Holy Rosary School: Late start at 10:25 am
Hope Lutheran School CLOSED
Kennedy Catholic High School CLOSED
Our Lady of Guadalupe CLOSED
Seattle Lutheran High School: Late start at 10 am
Shorewood Christian School: Late start at 10 am; no pre-K
West Seattle Montessori: CLOSED
Westside School (WSB sponsor): Late start at 9:30 am


West Seattle snow: Friday morning traffic updates, school info, more

(KEY INFO, 11:42 AM: Seattle Public Schools 2 hours late; other school changes/closures too, all listed hereMetro starting to return to normal after a morning on snow routes … SDOT snow-response map here)

(Latest bridge and Viaduct views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
4:48 AM: The snow has arrived. Light coating on cars, some on the ground, but not the street, where we are. How about you? The Winter Weather Advisory for our area is now in effect until 10 am, and the forecast still says snow might continue until late morning before turning to rain. SDOT says its crews are out:

The Seattle Department of Transportation crews worked through the night treating hills and curves on snow routes with anti-icer. Bridges and overpasses have also been treated. By 3:30 a.m. light snowfall began at various locations around the city with no accumulations. At 4 a.m. the department dispatched 21 trucks equipped with plows and salt to patrol city streets in advance of the morning commute.

(SDOT cam at Fauntleroy/Alaska; more cameras here)
5:08 AM: It’s starting to stick on the road. (Remember the city maps plowed/de-iced routes here.) King County just announced the Vashon Water Taxi is canceled for today (which at the very least will affect buses from the Fauntleroy ferry area as commuters come in via WSF instead).

(Thanks to Richard for tweeting that photo from Delridge/Andover)
5:34 AM: Just in from Seattle Public Schools – “2 Hours Late, No Headstart, no AM or PM kindergarten/preschool, Buses on snow routes.” (And today’s 1-hour early release is still in the plan, too.) We are listing ALL area school changes/closures of note here, and you will find that link as well as other key links/toplines at the very top of this story.

6 AM: Metro has just announced ALL buses are on snow routes TFN. We also just got a text from a 21 rider saying her/his bus is stuck on the West Seattle Bridge eastbound on-ramp. Meantime, Highline Public Schools (White Center and points south) just announced it’s CLOSED; adding that to the school-info page. We are getting private-school reports now too (please e-mail us at or call/text 206-293-6302).

6:29 AM: More school delays/closures – Hope Lutheran, Our Lady of Guadalupe, (added later) West Seattle Montessori are closed, Seattle Lutheran, Westside, Explorer West, Holy Rosary, South Seattle Community College all starting late – details here. Traffic note: Spinout crash on the southbound 1st Avenue South bridge; 21 bus reported to still be stuck on its onramp to the West Seattle Bridge (update: a few minutes later, “broke free,” reports Luke on board).

6:57 AM: Again, all Metro buses are now on snow routes, but some are still getting into trouble – from comments, a 21X is now reported stuck at 100th/44th in Arbor Heights.

7:15 AM: Thanks to Greg for that photo from 55th/Alki. We shared via Instagram a quick clip of conditions at Thistle/California as of 7 am – see it here. Meantime, if you have Friday trash pickup, Waste Management says there are some delays today but if they do NOT get to you today, they will “collect your regular amount of recycling, garbage and food and yard waste” tomorrow (Saturday, December 21st).

7:49 AM: Sue just sent word of a spinout crash on 4th Ave. S. under the bridge at S. Spokane. Roads in SODO are bare and wet, judging by this traffic cam further north on 4th. Also, just noticed when going back out that the snow is quick to turn to sloppy slush after it’s been walked on – so this does seem likely to be short-lived. So get out and build a snowperson if you can – here’s a 4 1/2-foot one just built by the “Bear boys” in Arbor Heights:

Back to traffic – a reminder and report from Cathy:

Please let people know to slow down approaching the “S” curves south of the 4800 block of W Marginal Way. Accident in the SB lanes (at least two vehicles that I could see) and I think SB traffic was being diverted to the two way turn lane. Officer(s) on site, but not many are slowing down approaching the accident despite the police flashers being on. There’s a lot of slush on the road here, and hoping you can get people to slow down before we start witnessing the yearly sight of cars flying out of the curves.

8:27 AM: From comments, multiple reports of a bus blocking the Olson/1st/etc. onramp to northbound 509. Meantime, SDOT continues working on roads; Pam reports from Gatewood that a snowplow’s been seen on SW Holden. We photographed one headed eastbound on Thistle past 42nd:

Also, in case you were wondering – roads are bare and wet in The Junction, as we go into one of the last few shopping days before Christmas:

Reminder that some schools are starting late – so the roads are going to get busier in the next hour and a half or so, in school zones. All the school closures/changes we have are listed here.

9:19 AM: And some photos on the ground from the Junction vicinity, from WSB contributor Christopher Boffoli. Crossing SW Oregon:

Junction Plaza Park on SW Alaska:

And California SW:

Thanks also to everyone who’s sent/sending fun photos – we’ll be building a gallery with those next, after transitioning out of this traffic/schools/etc. report, plus we have a couple non-snow stories to share.

11:16 AM NOTE: Some Metro routes are returning to normal. Meantime, the Vashon Water Taxi will be running again this afternoon.