month : 06/2014 296 results

Update: After more than a day, Vincent has been found

WEDNESDAY NIGHT UPDATE: According to scanner traffic, Vincent has been found in North Delridge, and is with police. *Added*: His mom called us to verify this and also said he was found with an orange bicycle, so if anyone is missing one, let police know.

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West Seattle’s 4th of July Kids’ Parade days away: Can you help?

Nine days until West Seattle’s 4th of July Kids’ Parade … 20th annual parade, this time! And it’s the second year for current coordinators Jackie Clough and Allyson Schreck; Jackie shares the new flyer with everything you need to know, embedded atop this story (if you don’t see it there, please click here), and says they have a very specific volunteer request for parade day (one week from Friday):

We could use 4-6 adults to help us at the beginning of the parade, helping us get started.

Can you help? Once the parade gets going, Jackie promises, you’ll be able to move on and join in with the morning’s events. E-mail her at Meantime, for the pre-parade ceremonies, she adds: “We have a fantastic National Anthem singer this year: Leilani Nitkey, a 6th grader at Madison Middle School this fall.” Haven’t been to the parade before and wondering what it’s like? Here’s our coverage from last year.

Video/photos: Ups and downs of new South Park Bridge, in advance of Sunday’s party and Monday’s opening

(ADDED TO END OF STORY: How Metro service will change when bridge opens Monday)

Ever been inside a drawbridge as it opens? That’s what our video shows, as recorded during the new South Park Bridge‘s behind-the-scenes media tour on Tuesday afternoon, looking ahead to its dedication on Sunday and opening on Monday, which will be four years to the day since the old bridge’s shutdown. While photographers were inside during the bridge opening, your editor here recorded the next clip from the top deck (much quieter!):

Engineers are proud of how fast the new drawbridge moves – as little as 6 1/2 minutes for a full opening/closing (of course, the time will be variable depending on the marine craft moving along the Duwamish below). It’s operated by two 75-horsepower motors:

But the story of the new bridge (located here) is also in what surrounds it, and in reused pieces of the old bridge, on and below the new one. Read ahead to find out about that and to see a dozen more photos (plus another video clip):

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West Seattle Wednesday: Poetry, storytelling, timebanking…

(Click image for larger view)
Thanks to West Seattle pilot/photographer Long Bach Nguyen for the West Seattle view from 5,000 feet (on Monday). As for what’s happening today/tonight, six notes:

2 MORE WADING POOLS OPEN: It’s the first day of the season for Seattle Parks’ Hiawatha and EC Hughes wading pools, both opening at noon, per the citywide schedule (which includes addresses).

SUPPORT FOR NEW PARENTS: Wednesdays, noon-2 pm, are the drop-in meeting times for The Early Days support group – details here – at Nurturing Expressions (WSB sponsor) in The Junction. (4746 44th SW)

MAYOR’S PUBLIC-SAFETY SPEECH: What do you hope to hear Mayor Murray say to the City Council about public safety? 1 pm today is the time set for the council meeting he’s convening to talk with them. It’s at City Hall downtown, but you’ll be able to see it live online or on TV via the Seattle Channel. (

PUBLIC HEARING ON JUNCTION ASSOCIATION CHANGE: Last month, we reported on a long-in-the-works tweak to the West Seattle Junction Association‘s boundaries, as the business district grows to the east with more mixed-use properties, and a change in the longtime “phasing in” plan of what businesses pay to cover the costs of the “free parking” lots WSJA offers. The City Council Finance and Culture Committee‘s official public hearing on the plan is at 2 pm today, also at City Hall downtown (and also viewable via Seattle Channel). Read the council memo here.

NEED MORE TIME? The West Seattle Timebank might be the way to make it happen. Tonight’s the next meeting and orientation, 7 pm after a 6:30 pm potluck (bring something to share!), at the Senior Center of West Seattle. (California/Oregon)

POETRY AND STORYTELLING: Poetrybridge‘s monthly gathering at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) is tonight, with open-microphone readings as well as featured reader Mike Hickey. 7 pm. (5612 California SW)

DISCOVER EVEN MORE … on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday updates; looking ahead

June 25, 2014 7:42 am
|    Comments Off on TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday updates; looking ahead
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(WS high/low bridges and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
So far, nothing out of the ordinary on the major routes through and from West Seattle. Looking ahead, now that the weekend is in sight:

CALIFORNIA/FAUNTLEROY WORK SATURDAY: 7 am-7 pm, paving at this major intersection, as announced just yesterday.


AND LOOKING WAY AHEAD … we reported on Tuesday that WSDOT’s big repair closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct is set for the weekend of August 23rd.

Memorial planned July 14th for West Seattle author/photographer Karen Sykes

June 24, 2014 11:38 pm
|    Comments Off on Memorial planned July 14th for West Seattle author/photographer Karen Sykes
 |   Obituaries | West Seattle news | West Seattle people

A public memorial has been announced for West Seattle-based hiking writer/nature photographer Karen Sykes. She was reported missing one week ago while hiking on Mount Rainier; last weekend, her daughter confirmed her death, and authorities subsequently determined she died of hypothermia. Ms. Sykes, 70, was known best for her books and columns about hiking, but we also knew her for the many West Seattle nature photos she shared via WSB in the past few years (see her Flickr gallery here). And now there’s word of a gathering to honor her memory:

Celebrate the life and legacy of Karen Sykes at the Seattle Mountaineers on July 14, 2014. Share stories and experiences with friends at 6:30 PM, with a program beginning at 7:00 PM.

Karen Sykes was an inspiration to many hikers as hiking companion, hike leader, columnist, guidebook author and photographer. Even though she is gone, she lives on in her work and in our hearts.

Please send photos of Karen Sykes for incorporation in a slide show to Heidi Walker at

And don’t forget to share reminiscences of Karen at NW Hikers Trail Talk or at

The Mountaineers is at 7700 Sand Point Way NE.

What should you know about gangs? Here’s what the West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network heard tonight

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

How widespread are gangs in Seattle and what do you need to know about them in order to stay safe?

The lieutenant who leads the Seattle Police Gang Unit, accompanied by one of his detectives, spoke tonight to the West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network, and debunked myths as well as answering questions.

It was the first time a West Seattle group had heard from Gang/Robbery/Fugitives Lt. Dan Whelan since April of last year, when he spoke to the WS Crime Prevention Council (WSB coverage here).

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House-fire call on Fauntleroy Way: Barbecue problem

June 24, 2014 6:51 pm
|    Comments Off on House-fire call on Fauntleroy Way: Barbecue problem
 |   West Seattle news

In case you saw and heard all the commotion – Seattle Fire sent a house-fire response to a home in the 5900 block of Fauntleroy Way – but it turned out to be a barbecue problem, per scanner traffic, and most of the units are being sent back.

West Seattle traffic alert: Saturday paving at California/Fauntleroy

Just saw a signboard for this on Fauntleroy Way – and now SDOT‘s sent the alert:

On Saturday, June 28, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will be working in the intersection of California Avenue SW and Fauntleroy Way SW. During the work hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., the SDOT crew will grind down the surface layer and repave the street. The sidewalks will not be impacted and two crosswalks will remain open at all times. Police Officers will assist pedestrians and re-direct vehicle traffic around the work zone. This project is weather-sensitive.

West Seattle food: Top Pot Doughnuts coming to Alki Beach

After three years, the remaining space at 2758 Alki Avenue SW has a tenant: Top Pot Doughnuts, according to broker Blake Taylor with West Coast Commercial Realty, who shared the photo above. That will put Top Pot between Subway (which opened in the west half of the 2758 Alki building last August) and Starbucks. The chain is Seattle-based, founded 12 years ago on Capitol Hill, with locations around the metro area plus one in Texas. We’re contacting Top Pot to find out more about its Alki plan. Side note: Its new beachfront home was built on the site of the original Pegasus Pizza on Alki, torn down four years ago, which in turn was 2 years after Pegasus moved down the block to the west.

4:52 PM: As pointed out by Mike in comments, Top Pot has since tweeted about the West Seattle location, saying it’ll open in fall.

Early warning: Alaskan Way Viaduct repair closure in late August

ORIGINAL TUESDAY REPORT: New information today about a full Alaskan Way Viaduct closure coming up later this summer. It was mentioned – without a date – when WSDOT‘s Secretary Lynn Peterson and Todd Trepanier spoke to the West Seattle Transportation Coalition earlier this month (WSB coverage here); Trepanier talked about keeping The Viaduct in good shape for its remaining years of usage, and noted a repair closure was ahead. Then this past weekend, chatting at the Morgan Junction Community Festival, Pete Spalding, a West Seattleite on the “stakeholders’ group” that WSDOT convenes quarterly, told us the group had just been given a specific date. We have now confirmed it via WSDOT spokesperson Laura Newborn:

WSDOT will be replacing or repairing 81 concrete panels on SR 99 between Forest and Holgate during the weekend of August 23. These panels are aging and as a result are cracked, potholed, and some have failed and need to be completely replaced.

The panel work and additional work needed on the North Access portion of the tunnel project will require a closure of SR 99 in both directions from the West Seattle Bridge to Valley Street, just north of the Battery Street Tunnel. We will have more specific details when the work plan is finalized, but your readers should note that SR 99 will be closed from the bridge to the tunnel on the weekend of August 23.

That day is a Saturday; the yet-to-come details, of course, will include specific start and end times. More details about the repair project are here.

ADDED WEDNESDAY MORNING: As a postscript, an update from WSDOT with a few more details, including plans for the north portion of the closure to extend past the weekend:

WSDOT will be replacing concrete panels on SR 99 in SODO and rebuilding SR 99 where it crosses Broad Street north of the Battery Street Tunnel. To complete this work, crews will close SR 99 in both directions between South Spokane Street and Valley Street the weekend of Aug. 23 and 24. Work on SR 99 north of the Battery Street Tunnel will continue on Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 25 and 26. We are still finalizing the timing and location of this closure and will share information with the public as soon as we have it.

Still seeking summer camp? Three options with openings

It’s the first full week of summer and some camp programs still have space. So if you are still planning your family’s summer, here are three possibilities:


Hiawatha Community Center Preschool Summer Camp is provided by the Associated Recreation Council in partnership with the Seattle Parks and Recreation. Come and explore discover and create this summer with hands-on, fun, and engaging activities. Preschoolers will have a variety of structured planned activities, free play, and outside time daily. Weekly Summer Camps are available to children ages 3-5 years of age, 9:30 am-1 pm Monday-Friday, $114/week. Contact the preschool director at 206-321-3187 or Weekly themes:

July 7th-11 – Commotion in the Ocean
July 14th-18th – Creepy Crawlies
July 21st-25th – Travel and Vacations
July 28th-Aug. 1st – Down on the Farm
August 4th-8th – Dino Mite

CHIEF SEALTH SOCCER CAMP: July 21-25, Chief Sealth International High School‘s head soccer coach Ron Johnson leads a camp presented by Friends of Sealth, for girls/boys entering grades 3-9 this fall. For more information/registration, here’s the brochure/application.

VIDEO CAMP AT MIND UNWIND: Kids 10 and up can spend two weeks learning to make a video documentary at Mind Unwind in The Admiral District. First day is July 21st. Full details are on the MU website.

Video: Newest close-up look at the ‘sick starfish’ epidemic

Scientists still haven’t figured out what is causing the mass die-off of sea stars (aka “starfish,” though they’re not fish) in our waters and many other places along the Pacific Coast. The clip above, shared by West Seattle’s “Diver Laura” James, is the latest in-depth look at the crisis. Laura (and her dad!) are interviewed as part of the report, which was produced for China’s English-language network CCTV (you also can view it on the CCTV website here).

Meantime, as noted here earlier this month, your observations are important if you see starfish, living or dead – republishing what Laura told us during the recent low-low-low tides: “There’s a variety of ways to share the information – optimally through the surveys linked here. If people don’t have time to fill out a form if they could just use #sickstarfish [social-media hashtag] or manual entry on or even just e-mail me at, it would be a massive help.” She is helping, as you’ll see in the CCTV story, as a “citizen scientist.”

West Seattle Tuesday: ‘Imperfect Perfectionist’ launch; NW Sports FAN2SEE; Gang Unit @ Block Watch Captains’ Network…

June 24, 2014 9:18 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Tuesday: ‘Imperfect Perfectionist’ launch; NW Sports FAN2SEE; Gang Unit @ Block Watch Captains’ Network…
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(Thanks to Myrtle for sharing this photo of a tiger-swallowtail butterfly on red valerian)
From noon into night, here are seven highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

WADING POOLS OPEN TODAY: Lincoln Park (11-8), Delridge (12-6:45), South Park (12-7). Also, Highland Park Spraypark (11-8). Addresses and citywide schedule here.

4 WEST SEATTLE AUTHORS LAUNCH ‘THE IMPERFECT PERFECTIONIST’: “Live in harmony with your imperfections” is the advice of four West Seattleites who’ve written a book they’re launching tonight with a party at Angelina’s, 6-9 pm. (2311 California SW)

GANG PROBLEM IN WEST SEATTLE? WS Block Watch Captains Network takes on the topic tonight with reps from SPD’s Gang Unit, 6:30 pm at the Southwest Precinct. (Delridge/Webster)

RAINBOW STORY TIME: Invitation from the High Point Branch Library: “Bring your preschoolers and toddlers to enjoy stories, songs and a simple craft celebrating Seattle’s LGBTQ families and communities.” 6:30 pm. (35th/Raymond)

JUNCTION NEIGHBORHOOD ORGANIZATION: Live and/or work in The Junction? Come get involved with JuNO, 6:30 pm, Senior Center of West Seattle. Agenda highlights from director René Commons:

• Bike Corral in Junction – California & Alaska
• Neighborhood Night Out – Lilah Gael w/updates & committee volunteers
• West Seattle Parade – JuNO participation
• Development in Seattle Neighborhoods – recap of CM Mike O’Brien’s visit to WS and followup meeting this coming Saturday


LOVE SPORTS? THIS SHOW WANTS YOU: 7 pm tonight at The Bridge in Morgan Junction, be part of NW Sports Fan2See, a new “sports comedy and reality competition show,” hosted by Chris Cashman and Fred Northup. Rules and other info are on the show’s Facebook page. (California/Graham)

NEED LEGAL HELP? Clinic offering free assistance tonight at the Senior Center of West Seattle – but you’ll want an appointment (7 pm or later); our listing has more info. (California/Oregon)

MORE! on the calendar.


June 24, 2014 6:34 am
|    Comments Off on TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday travels
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(WS high/low bridges and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning! On with the commute. And a nudge:

SOUND TRANSIT SURVEY: It’s been a week and a half since we last shared this but we’re reminded it’s still open and it’s important to let your feelings about potential West Seattle light rail, in particular, be known. Find the survey in our original story – and take it soon as you can, if you haven’t already!

West Seattle power outage: Parts of Arbor Heights, Brace Point

(Outage zone, screengrabbed from City Light map)
12:29 AM: Thanks to Kevin and Jason for initial tips ( – the City Light outage map now confirms an outage in Arbor Heights and Brace Point. They both reported an explosion-type sound preceding the power problem (for Jason, it’s out; for Kevin, it flickered). City Light says 134 households are affected and estimates restoration by 3 am (remember, it’s always more of a “guesstimate” at this point).

1:29 AM: The map now blames the outage on “tree” and estimates power back by 9 am.

9 AM NOTE: Jason says in comments that the power returned around 4:45.

West Seattle development: Ex-café site’s next Design Review date, 3 more notes, and a reminder

Five development notes tonight:

ANOTHER DESIGN REVIEW MEETING SET: The Southwest Design Review Board hasn’t had a reason to meet since May 1st, but next month is getting busier. A second project has been added to the schedule for July 10th’s meeting, which already had the 7520 35th SW eye-clinic project on the docket for 6:30 pm. The 8 pm slot is now scheduled for the third Early Design Guidance review of 3824 California SW, the former Charlestown Café site. Two months have passed since the second EDG meeting for the townhouse/live-work-unit project (WSB coverage here). The July 10th reviews will be at the SWDRB’s usual meeting site, the Senior Center of West Seattle (WSB sponsor) at California/Oregon in The Junction.

ANOTHER CORNER ROWHOUSE ON FAUNTLEROY WAY: One block south of the south end of 4755 Fauntleroy Way (The Whittaker), a 65-year-old duplex on a LR-1-zoned corner at 5003 Fauntleroy is proposed to be demolished and replaced by a 7-unit rowhouse.

It’s a few blocks north of Fauntleroy/Findlay, where the 5-unit corner rowhouse mentioned here a few times is almost complete.

LAND USE APPROVAL FOR ARBOR HEIGHTS ELEMENTARY DEMOLITION: Days after the last school year for the old Arbor Heights Elementary ended, the city has published a notice of land-use approval for its demolition. The publication opens a 2-week appeal window, until July 7th.

APPEAL HEARING SET FOR 3078 SW AVALON: Permits for the 102-apartment building planned at 3078 SW Avalon Way are being appealed by the group Seattle Neighbors Encouraging Reasonable Development, founded in an adjacent neighborhood. They’re scheduled to go before the city Hearing Examiner on September 8th. The project received a key land-use approval last month.

REMINDER – ‘LET’S TALK’ WITH DPD ON SATURDAY: Interested in development/land use? Set aside 9:30-11:30 am Saturday morning to meet with DPD director Diane Sugimura and others from the city, specific to West Seattle issues and policy – here’s our most-recent preview.

Door-to-door sightings: ‘Interested in selling your house?’

After receiving two inquiries this hour regarding someone going door-to-door in Arbor Heights asking if people are interested in selling their homes, we’re wondering if this is happening on a more widespread basis, and if you have any firsthand experience with it. Both people who mentioned it say the man didn’t offer a card – one family said “no” and he left, the other pointed out houses for sale nearby, and they were given a handwritten note with a phone number. If you work in real estate or development, is this a legit, common tactic? We have heard realtors say they need more houses to sell, but not necessarily that they’re going door-to-door looking for them.

Seattle officially has a new Police Chief: Kathleen O’Toole

Kathleen O’Toole is being sworn in right now as Seattle Police Chief (update – live video feed is over, archived video added below), right after the City Council voted 8-1 to confirm her appointment (the “no” vote was Councilmember Kshama Sawant).

The official announcement notes that she “began work with the Boston Police Department in 1979 and has over three decades of experience as a police officer, Commissioner, Chief Inspector, and attorney.” She has listed her four top priorities as “1) restoring public trust, 2) restoring SPD pride and professionalism, 3) addressing crime and quality of life issues, and 4) promoting best business practices” and promises “during the first 90 days to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the police department, which would culminate in a plan of action with measurable goals and objectives.” The City Council, meantime, told her their major expectations – “focused and proactive crime reduction using evidence-based methods to reduce the most serious neighborhood crime problems; positively change the culture at SPD and attitudes related to the practice of collecting and reporting the required data for the six new policies developed as part of the Settlement Agreement; build community relationships in all neighborhoods with a consistent visible presence; and, prioritize buildout of the Business Intelligence System.” Chief O’Toole will be accountable for a $290 million budget and 2,000 SPD employees.

New West Seattle business: Emerald Water Anglers in The Junction

The newest mixed-use building to open in West Seattle has its first retail tenant: Emerald Water Anglers is expecting to open by the end of this week at the southeast corner of 42nd/Oregon, ground floor of Oregon 42. EWA, founded in 1999, describes itself as Seattle’s only full-service fly-fishing outfitter, with guide services as well as retail gear sales (including Patagonia). Here’s another reason to visit their store:

Artist Chris Haberman is painting a mural inside the store today. He says it’s meant to tell the story of the fly-fishing waterways of the Northwest. Haberman is based in Portland; this is his 35th mural, first one in Seattle. Meantime, we’ll update when we hear which day Emerald Water Anglers plans to open the Junction store.

Followup: Car found in the water off Beach Drive was stolen in Queen Anne

Continuing to followup on incidents that made news over the weekend – Seattle Police confirm the empty car that went into the water off Emma Schmitz Viewpoint on Beach Drive (map) was stolen. Beach Drive Blog not only reported the incident early Sunday (photo at right is republished with their permission) but also, based nearby, was on the scene before authorities, and checked in case anyone was in the car. According to the official SPD report, the car was stolen from a Queen Anne man who didn’t even know it was missing until an officer showed up at his house, but said he had left his keys inside it. The SPD report says the ignition key was found inside the car, which was locked with its windows rolled up when found upside down in a foot of water. Police believe the car was pushed off the embankment but haven’t found any witnesses yet. Later Sunday morning, BDB published aftermath photos and reported potential seawall damage; we have an inquiry out to Seattle Parks today to see if they have assessed the site yet to find out if repairs will be needed. (Earlier this year, BDB reported city plans for a new seawall there next year.)

Followup: Man dies after Friday night I-5 incident

Back on Friday night, we published a traffic alert after getting reader tips about an incident on southbound I-5 by the West Seattle Bridge exit – a man hit after apparently jumping out of a moving car. Today, the State Patrol says the man did not survive; 28-year-old Daniel Quintana-Martinez died at Harborview Medical Center on Saturday afternoon. WSP says it’s still investigating the circumstances.

Surface traffic jam safer than Viaduct traffic jam? SPD explains decisionmaking behind 5-hour, 4-mile Highway 99 closure

(Above, SDOT tweet with traffic-cam screen grab shortly after crash happened)
Two weeks ago, an almost-citywide traffic jam resulted when four miles of southbound Highway 99 were closed for five hours while Seattle Police investigated a head-on crash at East Marginal/Idaho/Nevada (map). As we have noted, investigative closures of that duration are not unusual when SPD’s Traffic Collision Investigation Squad is assigned to gather evidence at a scene. But questions persisted about why traffic wasn’t allowed to continue at least as far as the West Seattle Bridge, and what kind of consultation was made between city departments and officials as traffic continued to back up on alternate north-south routes as a result.

As noted in our first major followup, the decision on when and what to close rested solely with SPD. Councilmember Tom Rasmussen sent the acting leaders of that agency and SDOT a list of questions, published here. This morning, Councilmember Rasmussen shared the reply from SPD, and said that SDOT has told him theirs is in progress. One key point from the SPD reply signed by SPD Traffic Section Acting Captain Ken Hicks – the department feared that allowing anyone onto 99 between the Battery Street Tunnel and the crash scene would have led to drivers getting stuck “in an area without services,” surmising that traffic jams on surface streets were safer for drivers. Read the entire reply for yourself, ahead:

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