day : 03/03/2014 10 results

Morgan Junction murder-trial update: Back to the background

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

It was back to the background as the Morgan Junction murder trial continued Monday.

With testimony concluding last week from key prosecution witness Jamie Vause, who says he saw defendant Lovett “Cid” Chambers shoot his friend Travis Hood, the lineup of witnesses returned to a focus on public-safety and criminal-justice personnel through whom lawyers wove threads of the story.

Three sections from the timeline of events were involved in Monday’s testimony, all taking place after the shooting on January 21, 2012:

*What happened when Vause brought Hood to Providence Mount St. Vincent, as told by a PMSV receptionist and Seattle Fire Department paramedic

*What happened when the Southwest Precinct Anti-Crime Team went to Chambers’ Gatewood home after he was identified as a suspect, as told by the ACT’s then-leader and two officers

*What happened when evidence was analyzed later, as told by Seattle Police and State Patrol Crime Lab personnel

Here’s our distillation of what the jury heard about all of the above:

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Taste of West Seattle 2014: Restaurant signups, ticket sales on!

March 3, 2014 7:56 pm
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 |   How to help | West Seattle news

Local restaurants are officially invited to be part of this year’s Taste of West Seattle, the big annual benefit for the West Seattle Helpline, set for Thursday night, May 15th – here’s where to go to apply. And if you’re just hoping to go sample the best of the West Seattle venues that participate, tickets also are on sale now – $95 VIP with early entry (6 pm), special raffle, and private seating area; $50 for general admission (6:30 pm). 21+. Haven’t been before? Here’s our coverage from last year.

Followup: $2 million bail for suspect in December High Point murder, ex-boyfriend of victim’s daughter

Bail is now set at $2 million for the 20-year-old White Center man arrested Saturday (WSB coverage here) on suspicion he killed 46-year-old Nga Nguyen in her High Point home in December. Probable-cause documents identify him as the ex-boyfriend of Nguyen’s daughter, and say he has a history of “stalking” her. He was interviewed shortly after the killing, the documents say, and denied having been in the home recently – but investigators say fingerprints and DNA evidence at the scene matched his. The documents say that after being arrested Saturday and being read his Miranda rights, he confessed to breaking into the Nguyens’ home on High Point Drive on December 14th and killing his ex-girlfriend’s mother, who the Medical Examiner said died of blunt-force head injury and strangulation. Prosecutors have until Wednesday to file charges.

On ‘reality TV’ tonight: ‘Mystery Diners’ at Zippy’s Giant Burgers

Thanks to Lance for the tip – he noticed that Zippy’s Giant Burgers is on the “reality TV” schedule tonight. It’s an episode of the Food Network show “Mystery Diners,” listed as airing at 10:30 pm. Episode synopsis: “Blaine, the owner of Zippy’s Giant Burgers in Seattle, contacts Charles to investigate rumors that his new mascot is misbehaving. Mystery Diners Nadine and John go undercover to discover exactly who is behind the mascot costume.” (Who indeed? We’ll find out tonight.)

West Seattle development: New Design Review dates for projects at Alki Tavern, Charlestown Café sites, & 4505 42nd SW

If you’re tracking local development projects – one or more of these might be of note for your calendar. Newly added to the list of upcoming Southwest Design Review Board meetings (all of which are scheduled to happen at the Senior Center of West Seattle at Oregon/California):

(One of three early ‘massing’ – just height, shape, etc. – options proposed for 1307 Harbor)
1307 HARBOR AVENUE SW (FORMER ALKI TAVERN SITE), APRIL 3: We’ve been watching for signs of activity ever since the tavern closed a year ago (you’ll recall, its closing party was on St. Patrick’s Day of 2013). Finally, a project description has turned up on the city website:

… 6-story, 19-unit residential structure with 3,400 for restaurant and 7,000 sq.ft. of retail at ground floor. 12,000 sq.ft. of office will be located at the south end of the building. Parking for 40 vehicles to located below grade. Existing structures (residential and retail) to be demolished.

This project is tentatively set for its first SW Design Review Board meeting at 8 pm April 3rd, after the already-announced 6:30 pm fifth review of 3210 California SW.

3824 CALIFORNIA SW (FORMER CHARLESTOWN CAFE SITE), APRIL 17: When this 30-unit (townhouses and live/work) project went before the board a month ago for its first Early Design Guidance session, they asked the project team to try again (WSB coverage here). Now the date for the second presentation is set – 6:30 pm April 17th.

4505 42ND SW, APRIL 17: A second project is set for that night too – and it’s also a second round of Early Design Guidance (here’s our coverage of its first review in January). It’s 4505 42nd SW, on the southwest corner of 42nd and Oregon, 7 stories and 50 residential units.

You can help! Give to White Center Food Bank, West Seattle Food Bank right now, and your gift goes further

March 3, 2014 12:29 pm
|    Comments Off on You can help! Give to White Center Food Bank, West Seattle Food Bank right now, and your gift goes further
 |   How to help | West Seattle news

Every March and April, local food banks participate in the Feinstein Foundation‘s annual challenge – whatever they raise during those two months qualifies them for a share of $1 million the foundation is giving to nonprofit hunger-fighting organizations. So the White Center Food Bank and West Seattle Food Bank both are hoping you will dig a little deeper through the end of next month. Here’s a message directly from the foundation’s founder, Alan Feinstein:


Why am I doing this? Because I believe each of us was put here on earth to do what we can to help those in need. … we feel that YOU believe that, too.

My money started this campaign but it is YOU who will help decide how many needy people in your city or town will be fed this year.

This has become the greatest grass roots campaign ever to fight hunger in our country. Your donation makes you a partner in it with me!

So how can you help? One simple way – give money online. Direct links for the food banks’ online-donation pages:

*West Seattle Food Bank
*White Center Food Bank

It’s also a great time to organize a donation drive to get more people involved, via your school, workplace, neighborhood. Local food banks say this helps them in many ways, not just because of the Challenge, but because this is usually a time of year when donations slow way down – so hungry people in our community REALLY need your help.

West Seattle Summer Fest 2014 set for July 11-13 – application time!

(WSB file photo)
Just in from the West Seattle Junction Association – official word of West Seattle Summer Fest dates for this year, July 11-13, 2014. And if you want to be part of it, it’s time to start applying:

Local businesses, artists, restaurants, and non-profits are invited to participate. Our neighborhood consistently expresses interest in seeing local vendors and businesses at Summer Fest, and applying to have a booth at the festival is the first step. Please visit for the application – and tell a friend!

For information on becoming a West Seattle Summer Fest sponsor, please contact WSJA Director Susan Melrose at

West Seattle Monday: See what’s up for today/tonight

(Thanks to Hedi for the photo of Harbor Avenue’s Canada goose family out exploring)
Relatively quiet day/night, as we check highlights on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS OPEN ENROLLMENT, WEEK 2: The second and final week of the Seattle Public Schools open-enrollment period – for those who “want to request a different school or program assignment for the 2014-15 school year” or haven’t yet registered their incoming kindergartener or otherwise new student – ends at 4 pm Friday, March 7th. If your student(s) already are assigned for next year, you should have received a confirmation letter, and you do NOT need to take any action now. If you DO need to apply – all the info’s here.

TODDLER INDOOR GYM: New times for the indoor gyms at West Seattle community centers; 1 pm is the Monday start for drop-in Delridge Community Center sessions. (4501 Delridge Way SW)

LEARN OIL PAINTING: A new six-week series of classes starts tonight at Alki Bathhouse, 6 pm. (60th/Alki)

WEST SEATTLE HI-YU MEETING: Come help the volunteers working to make this year’s West Seattle Hi-Yu community events and parade float happen! 7 pm at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church. (California/Hanford)

TRIVIA/PUB QUIZ NIGHT: Three venues in our calendar with Monday night events – 7 pm at Christo’s on Alki, 7:30 at Outwest Bar, 8 pm at Shadowland.

Extra time to buy your ticket for Arbor Heights Elementary auction

Since they know you’re busy, organizers of this year’s Arbor Heights Elementary School auction have extended the ticket-buying deadline to this Friday (March 7th). The auction is at The Hall at Fauntleroy on Friday, March 14th – doors open and bidding begins at 5:30 pm, dinner at 7 pm; see the official flyer here. This year’s “raise the paddle” direct donations are helping buy science equipment! You can buy your ticket(s) right now online, here.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Monday updates; Water Taxi’s new fares

(Latest bridge and Viaduct views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Happy Monday! Notes as we start our first daily traffic watch for the first full week of March:

WATER-TAXI FARE REMINDER: As reported here a week ago, King County Water Taxi fares have just gone up. If you use pre-paid-fare media such as an ORCA card, you’ll pay $4 one way on the West Seattle Water Taxi, up from $3.50; if you pay cash, it’s up to $4.75 from $4.

NEXT ROAD-WORK REMINDER: Next weekend, the I-5 expansion-joint work resumes; this time, they’ll close up to 3 northbound collector-distributor lanes downtown from Friday night until Monday morning. The James and Madison exits will remain open, WSDOT says.

DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME STARTS SUNDAY: Almost time for a time change, already. Next Sunday morning at 2 am (call it Saturday night if you prefer), we spring forward an hour as Daylight Saving Time begins.

TALES OF A TEMPORARY COMMUTER: Continuing our almost-daily notes on joining the morning exodus from West Seattle temporarily while covering the Morgan Junction murder trial downtown – today was the longest yet, but the bridge wasn’t the biggest challenge; 4th Avenue S. was clogged. It’s the most direct route from the bridge to the courthouse parking garage we’ve been using (the courthouse is between 3rd and 4th on the south end of downtown), but today, it was a wait through multiple cycles at just about every light, for no obvious reason aside from me and the other commuters just filling the street. Left the house at 8:15, got to the garage at 8:50 (still not much to complain about, we’ll admit).

12:58 PM: Thanks to Keri for mentioning trouble with a semi-truck on the bridge offramp to northbound I-5. Checking cams in the area, we don’t see any sign of a backup, so it might be clear by now.