West Seattle, Washington
Melinda Nguyen and Scott Dang are in their fourth year of operating popular Vietnamese restaurant Pho Aroma in North Delridge, and are getting ready for a Lunar New Year celebration. We stopped by the restaurant today after getting word that they’re inviting the community to be there at 2 pm Saturday, February 1st, for traditional festivities including West Seattle-based lion-dance team, Âu Lạc Vovinam. Pho Aroma is at Delridge/Findlay (map).
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
This month’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting began with the formal introduction of the Southwest Precinct‘s new leadership, and quickly moved on to a series of hot topics – including one citizen concern that already has led to action.
And until the citizen concerns were all spoken, the new precinct commander remained at the meeting with a larger accompanying contingent than is usually seen at the meetings – members of the Anti-Crime Team (ACT).
(Photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
“I’m Captain Davis, current Southwest Precinct commander.” Pierre Davis (at right in photo above) introduced himself for the first time since the two promotions reported here last week – his elevation from lieutenant, and previous commander Joe Kessler‘s promotion to assistant chief. He also introduced Lt. Ron Smith as the new operations lieutenant (second-in-command), and explained the black-uniformed ACT members filling the northwest corner of the room: “These are our bird-dogs, these are the individuals who go out and make things happen, they are our strike team, if you will.”
No current crime spikes, he said, and one particular category is half its usual rate – while burglaries run “10-12 a week” this time of year, “right now they’re at five or six.” He attributed that to the arrest of multiple suspects, which he described as “a crew that was just devastating our area.”
Next, the community concern that seems to already have led to action: Ryan Cox is back in jail, for the third time in two months.
One week from tomorrow, the confessed drunk driver who hit and seriously hurt two people in South Delridge last year will be sentenced. We first reported one month ago on the plea bargain for 26-year-old Kalameu Paulo, who was arrested trying to flee the scene of the crash last June. One of her victims, 29-year-old Logan Wicker, who was headed home from work that night when Paulo’s van (left) T-boned his car, has shared information on how to get a message to the judge who will sentence Paulo on January 31st, and says they need to be in by the end of this week:
If you’d like to make your thoughts known to the Judge on the sentencing in this case, please send an e-mail to the King County (senior deputy) Prosecuting Attorney, Amy Freedheim. She will forward all of your comments to the Judge for consideration as she determines the punishment for this woman’s crimes. Amy.Freedheim@kingcounty.gov – In subject line put: Paulo, Kalameu – 1/31 sentencing
Paulo’s blood-alcohol level was twice the legal-drunkenness threshold, according to court documents, which also say prosecutors are recommending a 14-month sentence as part of the plea bargain, in which she pleaded guilty to two counts of vehicular assault, while a hit-and-run charge was dropped.
3:01 PM: 42nd SW will be closed for the next three days (Thursday-Friday-Saturday) in the 4700 block between Alaska and Edmunds in The Junction. Just received that word from the general contractor for the 42nd/Alaska/California project, Andersen Construction. They say the work requiring the closure will be done by Seattle Public Utilities, 7 am-6 pm; we’re checking on whether it’ll be a round-the-clock closure and how it will affect Jefferson Square access off 42nd, and will add the answers when we get them.
4:41 PM: Update – Jefferson Square will still be accessible from 42nd; this closure, like a previous one there, will be on the north side of the block.
Reading assignments are routine at school – but students don’t often get to meet the author in person. That’s what happened this morning in Paula Tortorice‘s Language Arts class at West Seattle High School, as West Seattle author Stephanie Guerra visited. Her recently released book “Billy the Kid Is Not Crazy” – set in West Seattle – was used for a class reading assignment, and she was invited to come talk with the students. They asked questions including what it takes to create characters and plot, and presented her with posters they had drawn, depicting a scene in the book. Guerra also made a hometown appearance back in October as leadoff author in the Words, Writers, West Seattle series.
(December photo by LB Bruce, shared via the WSB Flickr group)
Though Highway 99 is having trouble underground, projects on and above the surface are making progress. After Wednesday’s announcement that the Atlantic St. Overpass is about to open, we asked WSDOT on the progress of the Timber Bridge/Spokane Street Overcrossing replacement south of the West Seattle Bridge. When work began last February, WSDOT projected it would last until June of this year; now, spokesperson Broch Bender told WSB today, they “hope to open the new bridge by mid-March.” Before then, an overnight closure is planned February 8-9, both directions of 99 at that spot, hours not yet finalized, to connect the two sides of the new bridge, before the final phase of work.
WEST SEATTLE DEMOCRATIC WOMEN: Midday meeting today – starting with a discussion of “political correctness” at 10:30 am, registration at 11:30, lunch at 11:45, presentations on the West Seattle Timebank, the Delridge Grocery Co-op, and the upcoming legislative session. More details in our calendar listing. P.S. Whether you go to this meeting or not, WSDW invites you to its kickoff Saturday of a human-trafficking-awareness campaign. (4470 35th SW)
QUESTIONS ABOUT POTENTIAL METRO CUTS? Since nothing is settled yet either in Olympia or regarding a King County ballot measure, Metro is proceeding with plans for possible cuts to kick in as soon as June, and has another community outreach event today, 11 am-2 pm at Greenbridge. Spanish, Somali interpretation available. (9720 8th SW)
DOCUMENT-DROPOFF NIGHT FOR WEST SEATTLE LITTLE LEAGUE: 6-8 pm tonight in the library at Alki Elementary: “For everyone who has registered for West Seattle Little League, this is your opportunity to turn in your registration documentation. There is also still time to register for the 2014 season.” If you can’t make it tonight, you can send it in via postal mail – full details at westseattlelittleleague.com. (3010 59th SW)
PRE-CONSTRUCTION MEETING FOR BARTON GREEN-STORMWATER-INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT: Residents of Sunrise Heights and Westwood are the focus – though anyone interested is welcome – at tonight’s pre-construction meeting for the Barton Basin Combined Sewer Overflow project, installing roadside raingardens, aka Green Stormwater Infrastructure, to reduce the amount of stormwater going into the system that feeds the Barton Pump Station in Fauntleroy. 6:30 pm, Westside School (WSB sponsor), and there’s a Saturday meeting too if you can’t make this one. (7740 34th SW)
HOLY ROSARY SCHOOL INFORMATION NIGHT: Holy Rosary School, which just joined the WSB sponsor team, invites parents thinking about HRS to come to an Information Night (no students, but they are welcome at Sunday’s 10:30 am-1 pm Open House) tonight, 7-8:30 pm. (42nd/Genesee)
‘LITTLE DOG LAUGHED’ @ ARTSWEST: Second night for “The Little Dog Laughed,” the new production at ArtsWest in The Junction. Showtime 7:30 pm. (4711 California SW)
THERE’S MORE! Go review the calendar … click the right side of any line to expand the listing.
6:12 AM: There’s the west-pointed view of the bridge .. here’s the east-pointed view:
And the northbound Alaskan Way Viaduct:
More cameras, and other info, on the WSB Traffic page. As always, we’ll update here if anything significant happens with potential effects on local commuters.
HIGHWAY 99 OVERPASS OPENS MONDAY: In case you missed this announcement Wednesday – the Atlantic Street overpass over Highway 99 in the stadium zone will open Monday.
6:21 AM: As noted in our coverage of this morning’s Fauntleroy garage fire, Metro is not routing RapidRide C Line buses on Wildwood between 45th SW and 47th SW for now. We’re trying to verify the reroute, since the message mentions Gatewood stops that are nowhere near the usual C Line route.
6:39 AM: Metro has a web update with more details explaining that reroute, which means RapidRide is not running on Fauntleroy Way right now, and skipping the ferry dock.
6:55 AM: Per radio communications, the roads there will reopen shortly, so the bus rerouting might not last too much longer.
7:06 AM: Metro just texted, RapidRide is back to regular routing.
7:16 AM: Trouble on northbound I-5 just north of the ramp from the West Seattle Bridge – a crash has one lane blocked.
7:31 AM: And now there is tragedy on the westbound bridge, per scanner. Someone called police to report seeing a person get out of a car and jump off the bridge. The victim is reported to have been found below; the car has been found on the bridge. (Note: Any time we mention suicide, we mention this: Crisis Clinic‘s 24-hour line, 206-461-3222.)
7:56 AM: Our crew confirms that the emergency response under the bridge because of this is off the roadways and has not affected the lower bridge; it is open as usual.
Police were also on the high bridge, with the abandoned vehicle, which will be impounded for investigation.
(SCROLL DOWN for midmorning video update from SFD)
(Video shared with WSB by neighbors)
5:07 AM: Seattle Fire units are responding to the 9400 block of 45th SW (map) right now to check out a house-fire report. More to come.
5:15 AM: Crews on scene describe the fire as in a garage, according to emergency-radio communications. People in the area tell us flames are visible from a distance. Our crew is arriving.
5:27 AM: Crews report the fire is under control and that they have moved to a defensive firefighting mode.
5:33 AM: Just added video shared by neighbors, showing the fire at its height. Our crew at the scene has talked with the residents, who say they got out OK after somebody knocked on the door to wake them up and tell them about the fire in their garage, which is behind their house.
No injuries are reported.
5:55 AM: While the flames are out, the garage is still smoldering, and it’s too soon for fire crews to know what started the fire, and what damage was done to the vehicles in the garage. We’re told it’s part of an older structure that was on the site – the house in front is newer.
6:54 AM: Streets are reopening, so the buses should return to regular routing soon (confirmed by Metro, 7:06 am).
9:33 AM: We went back to the scene, where SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore told us the cause for now remains “undetermined.”
Moore told us more not only about the fire damage, but about why this location and situation posed some unique challenges to firefighters:
Wednesday night home games for two local girls-varsity basketball teams:
CHIEF SEALTH VS. FRANKLIN: The Seahawks defeated visiting Franklin, 53-43. Above, Lani Taylor led Sealth scoring with 14; the rest of the stats are here.
WEST SEATTLE HS VS. CLEVELAND: The Wildcats lost at home to another division-leading team, Cleveland, 61-36.
Two WSHS players tied for top scorer, both with 11 points each, Lexi Iaone and Lydia Giomi. The rest of the stats are here.
NEXT GAMES: Sealth hosts Rainier Beach Friday night; girls-varsity tipoff is at 6:15 pm. WSHS will be on the road that night at Ingraham, same start time.
FOOTNOTE: This is truly a footnote – related to the pink shoes WSHS head coach Sonya Elliott was wearing:
As explained in the WSHS online newsletter Westside Weekly, this week the school was participating in Coaches Against Cancer, collecting donations for the American Cancer Society in the stands during basketball games.