day : 03/02/2014 10 results

Seahawks Victory Parade on Wednesday: Two updates

Two updates so far tonight on the Seahawks‘ victory parade planned downtown Wednesday – first, the city has just sent these details:

A welcome home Victory Celebration Parade is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 5.

The parade will begin just south of Seattle Center at Denny Way and travel south down 4th Avenue past Westlake Park and finish at the north entrance of CenturyLink Field, see a map of the route (here).

Participants include Seahawks Players, Head Coach Pete Carroll, Coaching Staff, Seahawks Executives, Sea Gals, Blitz and the Blue Thunder drumline. In addition, Governor Jay Inslee, King County Executive Dow Constantine, and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray will join the parade.

Seattle Police Department will close 4th Avenue at 10:30 a.m. and will reopen 4th Avenue as soon as possible. Fans are encouraged to gather early as big crowds are expected downtown and transportation delays are likely. There will be limited parking availability at CenturyLink Field. Fans should also try to carpool and utilize public transportation and dress warmly as the forecast calls for cold temperatures.

The City is deploying additional resources to ensure public safety and continuity of City services. Additional information about transportation options will be available midday on Tuesday, February 4.

Residents are encouraged to carpool or take transit to the victory parade. Parking will be limited and traffic is likely to be slow. For more information about the events on Wednesday, please visit, where further details are available.

(We checked the Seahawks website but as of 9:30 pm, the item there had even less information, not more, but maybe it’s in the works.

Second – Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor) has just announced it’s offering free parking to anyone who’s taking the Water Taxi to the rally. We asked King County Department of Transportation this morning if they might add runs; we’re still waiting for the answer. If not, here’s the regular schedule – the last morning run from West Seattle is usually 8:45 am, with downtime until the 3:45 pm run from downtown to WS. We’ll have updates on bus schedules too, once those are out. We’re collecting all this information on the WSB Super Bowl page, which will stay up and running until the party’s over.

West Seattle Crime Watch: $100,000 bail for SUV-theft suspect; store-robbery followup; mail theft

February 3, 2014 8:19 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Crime Watch: $100,000 bail for SUV-theft suspect; store-robbery followup; mail theft
 |   Crime | West Seattle news

Two followups and a reader report in West Seattle Crime Watch tonight:

SUV-THEFT/BREAK-IN FOLLOWUP: Bail was set at $100,000 today for the 32-year-old man arrested at a house on 47th SW southwest of The Junction late Friday night, suspected of crashing this stolen SUV nearby:

(Friday night WSB photo)
According to probable-cause documents, the red 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe was reported as stolen Friday in Pierce County, less than an hour before it was found in West Seattle. As noted in our as-it-happened coverage, it had LoJack anti-theft technology, which is activated upon report of a theft, and that sounded an alert in a Seattle Police car south of The Junction. With the help of the Guardian One helicopter (as shown in the aerial/infrared video shared here Saturday), the Tahoe was tracked to the 4800 block of 47th SW, behind a home where the suspect used to live. As law enforcement converged, the vehicle started to pull away; police blocked the alley, so the SUV went into reverse and crashed through a fence. The driver then got out and ran, and though police say they confronted him twice and ordered him, at gunpoint, to stop, he kept running, and eventually broke glass to get into the house, whose residents, including a sibling of the suspect, told officers he hadn’t lived there “in months.” The documents say the residents did give police permission to go into the residence, but first, they used a loudspeaker to tell the suspect to come out, and just before midnight, he did. His next court appearance – by which time prosecutors must decide on charges – is set for Wednesday.

ROBBERY FOLLOWUP: We’ve obtained the report on the 16th/Henderson store-robbery reported here Saturday morning. The police report says the store owner identifies the ~18-year-old robber as a regular customer. He and the ~17-year-old girl who was with him had come into the store Saturday afternoon, the report says, bought some chicken and then went back outside, apparently to dine. Then the robber came back in, got ice cream and candy, took it up to the counter, said he didn’t have enough money but offered the store owner a dollar; the owner opened the register and then the robber pulled a gun and pointed it in the owner’s face, took all the cash from the register – about $250 – and the owner’s wallet, and ran out of the store. He wasn’t found but police did get prints. (Descriptions are in our original report.)

Now, the reader report – a neighborhood hit by mail theft, says a reader who doesn’t want to be identified:

Reporting a mailbox break in here in the 5000 block of California Ave. SW near The Junction.

I live in a condo and on Friday morning, we found our bank of locked mailboxes all pried open and all mail stolen. We are wondering if others had similar incidents late Thurs or Early Fri Morning ( Jan 30-31) especially other condos in the neighborhood? We did call the police, but they do not respond unless the value of mail stolen is $500+.

If you spot it as it happens, do call, police say – here, otherwise, is how to report mail theft (and prevention advice too).

Update: West Seattle school staffers’ views on superintendent’s ‘no parade day off’ decision

(Updated Tuesday with reaction from CSIHS’s head football coach, mayor’s comment, and K-5 STEM teacher’s view)

(12th Man Flag at West Seattle Corporate Center, Thursday photo by Christopher Boffoli)
ORIGINAL STORY, 4:39 PM MONDAY: In case you were wondering: Seattle Public Schools superintendent José Banda says school WILL be in session on Wednesday – no day off for the Seahawks’ parade (though coach Pete Carroll suggested it). Here’s his message:

Congratulations to the Seahawks on an amazing season and Super Bowl win! It’s been so fun to see our school communities get into the spirit these last few weeks. I’ve enjoyed seeing the photos and videos of our students and staff celebrating the Seahawks.

We have received questions about the parade on Wednesday, which starts at 11 am. Seattle Public Schools will not close or dismiss school early because of the parade. Parents who wish to take their students out of school can, but per state regulation, it will be treated as an unexcused absence. While we support the team, academics must come first and it’s important not to lose a day in the classroom.

We know this is a historical event for our community and we also know that for many of our students, their school community is a place where they will celebrate and come together to talk about pride, sportsmanship and teamwork. We encourage our students and staff to wear blue on Wednesday in honor of the Seahawks.

We are working with the City on transportation issues for the day and we will work hard to minimize disruptions. However, families should expect bus delays in the afternoon on Wednesday.

Let’s hope this is the first of many Seahawk Super Bowl wins!

ADDED MONDAY MORNING: Head coach of the Chief Sealth International High School Seahawks‘ football team, Luther J. Carr III, has something to say about this (shared with us via e-mail):

Why aren’t the Seattle Public Schools released to attend tomorrow’s Seahawk Parade? As an employee of the Seattle Public Schools I am disgusted to hear that teachers and students are not allowed (in other words school is not out; NO SCHOOL) to attend tomorrow’s Seahawk Parade. Superintendent Banda has told students that they will be marked absent if they attend the Seahawk Parade. How unpatriotic is that?

Highline Public Schools, immediately south of West Seattle, will stay open but will allow excused absences.

12:41 PM UPDATE: Thanks to Laura for pointing out in comments that Mayor Murray is speaking out about this:

1:45 PM UPDATE: Another view from a local Seattle Public Schools teacher who says he’s also sending it to, among others, Richard Sherman of the Seahawks and Mayor Murray:

My name is Ronen Gluck, and I am a 3rd grade teacher at K-5 STEM Elementary School in West Seattle. I am writing as a representative of my students, but also as a representative of all students, staff, and families in our community.

Having taken an informal poll around the school this morning, we are looking at anywhere from 25%-50% of our students being absent from school tomorrow in order to attend the Seahawks victory parade. Assuming similar percentages across other sites in the Seattle Public Schools system, with nearly 50,000 students at 95 schools, we are facing a lost day of learning for a significant portion of our students. Regardless of Washington State OSPI requirements for instructional time and union-negotiated school days, this event has created a scenario in which we, as teachers, will be unable to serve our students.

We are not asking for the parade to be rescheduled (though you might consider holding the Seahawks’ Super Bowl XLIX victory parade on a Saturday or Sunday). We are simply voicing our concern over a loss of essential instructional time. What concerns us more, however, is the message that this sends to our students and to the community as a whole. Our students and their families have been asked to choose between a day at school and a day downtown celebrating the success of our local football team. Granted, understanding and promoting civic pride is an integral part of educating the next generation of socially conscious citizens, but when this pride is given higher status than the educational process that will create this informed citizenry, we need to reconsider where our priorities lie.

So much media attention has been given to Richard Sherman in the past few weeks, much of it focusing on his exemplary academic history as parallel to his stellar athletic performance. We are encouraged to believe that the professional athletes, who we as a nation hold in such high regard, are more than one trick ponies. The colleges and universities that groom them and send them up to the NFL tout the importance of education, and higher academic standards set by the NCAA in recent years will hopefully help to ensure that these institutions are held to their promises. Seahawks players have given their time and money to charities and other social causes, including making visits to local elementary schools, and for that they should be praised. But when an event of such size and significance as tomorrow’s parade is held during a school day, that message of “stay in school, kids” is irreparably undermined. As the arguments on both sides of the discussion regarding Mr. Sherman have repeated ad nauseam, actions speak louder than words.

And so I make a humble request of Mr. Sherman, his teammates, the Seattle Seahawks organization, Mayor Murray, and all those who claim to put our students’ education first: stand in front of the television cameras and microphones, take to the social media outlets, and let our students know where your priorities lie. Tell them that a single day of school is more important to their future than ditching class for a parade. Superintendent Banda has sent a letter reminding families that schools will not close or dismiss early tomorrow. Teachers such as myself and my colleagues have had their say. Now it’s time for our role models to be role models.

Thank you very much.
Ronen Gluck

2:31 PM TUESDAY: Now the district says it’s up to individual principals whether to excuse absences or not. We have put this in a separate story.

West Seattle’s second ‘pedestrian retail zone’ presentation planned at Tuesday’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights CC meeting

(Click image to see full-size citywide map)
Tomorrow is your next chance to find out more about the new kind of “zoning overlay” the city is proposing for some business districts – “pedestrian retail zoning.” We first reported on this last month after a presentation at the Morgan Community Association‘s quarterly meeting. Now, the same city rep who made that presentation, Aly Pennucci from the Department of Planning and Development, is coming to another local meeting – tomorrow night’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meeting (6:15 pm, Southwest Branch Library at 35th/Henderson). The city has two “study zones” in the WWRHAH area, as noted in the map above – here are direct links to the city’s “preliminary recommendations” about each of them (scroll to the last page of each one for the site-specific information):
#50 – 35th & Barton
#51 – 35th & Roxbury

Ahead, tomorrow night’s entire agenda as shared by WWRHAH president Amanda Kay Helmick, featuring other major topics including the potential change in garbage-pickup service:

Read More

3210 California SW: City explains how 40-foot zone got a 5-story project, as neighbors ask, ‘Who’s our advocate?’

(Click image to see larger view)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

There is seldom solace to be found in “I told you so.”

That admonition could be ascribed to some of the longtime residents behind 3210 California SW, the site proposed for a block-long, five-story mixed-use project that they say is exactly what they feared might happen because of the upzoning they fought six years ago.

This Thursday (February 6th), the proposal goes back to Design Review, for its second major meeting in eight days. The first was this past Wednesday, a neighbor-requested meeting that included moments reminiscent of a neighbor-requested meeting six years earlier about the upzoning proposal.

As quoted in our coverage of the 2007 meeting, one of the then-property owners asked opponents, “Is 10 feet really that big a deal? With 30 feet (of zoned-at-the-time height), you’re talking three stories. With 40, this would be four stories.”

In response to that, skepticism remained. There was a suggestion of waiting until there was an actual proposal for the site, and pursuing a contract rezone instead that would be tied to the specific project. But the general upzoning moved forward, with a few years dormancy, without a specific project, and was finalized in 2010; then, exactly one year ago, a five-story development proposal appeared.

“At the time [in 2007], we weren’t thinking it would be five stories,” acknowledged Jerry Suder, a supervisor in the city Department of Planning and Development, at last Wednesday’s meeting, over which he presided along with Michael Dorcy, senior planner who has worked on 3210 California for years, including the end of the upzoning process. Suder said a few changes in city rules in the past few years opened the door for that extra story – particularly this one in 2012.

Read More

West Seattle Weather Watch: Maybe some weekend snow?

(Photographed this morning by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
Right now, the only snow you’ll see around here is atop the mountains – the Olympics have been peeking out today, with more frosting than they’ve had for most of this (mostly mild) winter. But that MIGHT change next weekend. WSB commenter MetPatrick mentioned over the weekend via Twitter that lowland snow is a possibility then – and now it’s mentioned in the National Weather Service‘s newest forecast discussion, too. No watches/warnings yet – but there is no question it’s getting colder, snow or no snow, as noted in the latest version of the NWS’s Special Weather Statement. Stay tuned!

West Seattle coffee: It’s opening day for Admiral Bird

West Seattle’s newest space-sharing coffee collaboration, Admiral Bird, is open for business as of this morning, on the southeast corner of California/Admiral.

As first reported here last November, Admiral Bird is a partnership between Heidi from Bird on a Wire Espresso (which remains open at 35th/Henderson) and Corina from Circa Alehouse across the street from the new venture. It’s in the front half of the Flower Lab (also remaining open) space. Check ’em out until 3 pm today (for other hours, check here).

West Seattle Monday: 3 calendar highlights for today/tonight

Thanks to John Lang for the photo – taken Sunday afternoon before the Seahawks‘ championship victory, but emblematic of it just the same. From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar listings for today/tonight:

STEM SCHOOL TOURS: The West Seattle public option school currently known as K-5 STEM at Boren (but expanding to K-8 in the years ahead) is open for tours 10 am-11 am today. More in the calendar listing, and check our calendar for other local school tours (click “categories” atop that page and choose the SCHOOLS tag in the resulting dropdown – if yours isn’t listed, please get us the info ASAP!). (5950 Delridge Way SW)

TESLA RAFFLE-TICKET SALES: Garfield High School PTSA is outside PCC Natural Markets-West Seattle (WSB sponsor) today selling $100 raffle tickets for a Tesla Model S all-electric sedan (or if you don’t want the car, a certified check for $50,000 is the alternate prize). Drawing is at the school-fundraiser auction March 14th. They’re outside PCC 4-6:30 pm today – or e-mail for alternate purchase arrangements. (California/Stevens)

EVENING BOOK GROUP: “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin is this month’s title for the evening book group at Southwest Branch Library, meeting today at 6:45 pm, all welcome. (35th/Henderson)

New Arbor Heights Elementary: Meeting set to consider zoning exceptions

(Rendering from Bassetti Architects‘ 8/2013 presentation of new Arbor Heights design)
Only one West Seattle item in today’s edition of the city’s Land Use Information Bulletin: The first meeting of the “Development Standards Departure Advisory Committee” for the Arbor Heights Elementary rebuild. To translate – this is the advisory committee that will consider whether to recommend approval of zoning exceptions for the project. As spelled out in the official meeting notice, “the School District is requesting modifications for greater than allowed height, less than required parking, and on-site bus loading” – also mentioned when committee recruitment was announced in October. Here’s our report on the design presentation last August. All are welcome at the committee’s meeting, 6:30 pm Tuesday, February 18th, in the library at AHES (37th SW/SW 104th).

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Monday post-Super Bowl edition

Good morning – traffic is reported to be lighter than usual; can’t imagine why. We start with the eastbound West Seattle Bridge view and the northbound Alaskan Way Viaduct view:

You can see more cameras, and other info, on the WSB Traffic page.

FERRY ALERT: As announced late last night, the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth state-ferry route is on a 2-boat schedule today, TFN.

VICTORY-PARADE WATCH: More details are expected this afternoon, but so far the only ones made public are in the city announcement last night – midday Wednesday on 4th Avenue downtown, starting 11 am around Seattle Center and heading south to the stadium (similar to the Seafair Torchlight Parade route).

8:46 AM UPDATE: WSF says the three-boat schedule will resume on Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth as of about noon today.