month : 06/2014 296 results

Update: West Seattleite Karen Sykes missing on Mount Rainier

10:27 AM: A photographer and writer from West Seattle is missing on Mount Rainier. If you don’t know Karen Sykes in person or by name, you might know her by her Flickr handle, under which we have run dozens of her photos here on WSB – old desolate.” Her friend Don Geyer e-mailed to say that today is the second day of a search-and-rescue operation for Karen; he says she “was separated from her hiking partner while hiking to Owyhigh Lakes on Wednesday.” According to Don, King County Search and Rescue, “along with other agencies, had 35 SAR personnel searching for her, with the help of dogs and two helicopters. (More search info is in this Tacoma News-Tribune report.) They resumed the search this morning at 8:00 am.” Karen is an experienced hiker who has written books including “Hidden Hikes of Western Washington” and also wrote a weekly hiking column for the Seattle P-I; this June 2004 column was about the area where she is being sought.

3:55 PM: The News-Tribune reports that searchers are still at work but are under orders to stop for the night by 9:30 pm.

SATURDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Searchers are out again today, report our partners at The Seattle Times.

West Seattle Friday: Free swim; free movie; anniversary party; rummage sale; more

June 20, 2014 10:17 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Friday: Free swim; free movie; anniversary party; rummage sale; more
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(Thursday sunrise, photographed by Mark)
Five highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, where you will find many more:

BIG RUMMAGE SALE: Until 4 pm today and again 8:30 am-4 pm on Saturday, Shorewood Christian School‘s “Massive Parking Lot Sale” is happening, but NOT at the Shorewood campus – you’ll find it outside Freedom Church in Arbor Heights. “We have THOUSANDS of items to sell. Each are individually priced, in working order, clean, and categorized! 100+ families contribute to this sale! Tons of great items!!!! It’s a must-see event,” per the announcement. (35th and Roxbury)

FREE SWIM AT SOUTHWEST POOL: School’s-out celebration for young swimmers – details in our calendar listing. 4:30-5:30 pm. (2801 SW Thistle)

COMMUNITY ACUPUNCTURE PROJECT’S ANNIVERSARY PARTY: Community Acupuncture Project of West Seattle is three years old, and invites you to celebrate tonight at its center in The Junction, 6-9 pm, with food, drinks, music; details in our calendar listing. (4545 44th SW)

FREE MOVIE NIGHT: Highland Park Improvement Club invites you and your family to the movies, doors open 6:30 pm, movie at 7, title and other details here. (12th/Holden)

BOBCAT BOB AT C & P: Bob “Bobcat” Rice plays C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) tonight, 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)

MORE NIGHTLIFE … and other events, on our calendar!

Greet summer tomorrow with Alice Enevoldsen’s solstice-sunset watch

June 20, 2014 9:40 am
|    Comments Off on Greet summer tomorrow with Alice Enevoldsen’s solstice-sunset watch
 |   Fun stuff to do | West Seattle news

Before we get to what’s up for the rest of today/tonight – a note about the Summer Solstice, arriving tomorrow at 3:51 am. As always, you’re invited to watch the first post-solstice sunset Saturday night with West Seattle’s own NASA Solar System Ambassador Alice Enevoldsen at Solstice Park. Alice suggests arriving by 8:45; more details on her website Alice’s Astro Info. (Alice also writes the periodic “Skies Over West Seattle” feature for WSB – past editions are archived here.)

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Friday updates; weekend NB 99 reminder

June 20, 2014 6:34 am
|    Comments Off on TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Friday updates; weekend NB 99 reminder
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(WS high/low bridges and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Happy Friday! Our commute watch is under way. First, a reminder:

NORTHBOUND 99 WEEKEND CLOSURE: 10 pm tonight until 5 am Monday morning, Northbound 99 will be closed between the West Seattle Bridge and the north end of downtown so WSDOT can continue re-aligning the roadway west of the stadiums, as explained here. The closure also covers the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon, which will be used by other roads around the city – (full list here).

One more finale at ‘Original Arbor Heights’: Last crossing

Here in the wee hours of the first full day of summer vacation for thousands of local kids, we have one more scene from the last day of classes, ever, at the “Original Arbor Heights,” as dubbed by our trusty parent correspondent. Also nicknamed, that’s “The Famous Mr. Wilkie” in the crosswalk, last one to enlist the crossing guards’ assistance before the soon-to-be-demolished old school went out of service. Reports our correspondent:

(He is) the heart and soul of The Original Arbor Heights Elementary school. Did you know that he went to kindergarten in the same Room 4 in which he has been teaching? Yup. Known to many, loved by all.

AH will share Boren with STEM for the next two years, while its brand-new school is built on this same campus.

Celebration of life planned June 29th for Lynda Nield

Friends of Lynda Nield, who you might have known from her time working in West Seattle, are getting the word out about her celebration of life coming up in North Seattle June 29th, after her sudden, early death two weeks ago:

Lynda Susan Nield, 50, formerly of Cumberland, RI; Tempe, Arizona; and Shoreline, Washington, passed away accidentally on June 6, 2014, while swimming in Costa Rica.

She was the beloved daughter of Eunice I. Nield of Lincoln and Joseph G. Nield, Jr. and Allie Nield of No. Smithfield. She is also survived by her brother Joseph F. Nield and his wife Karen of Cumberland; her sisters Karen Nield Kinch and her husband Michael of Cumberland; Lori Nield Riel and her husband Denis of Pascoag; and her step-sisters Marilou Lowery and her husband Robert, and Traci Anne Egermayer and her husband Robert of New Jersey.

Read More

West Seattle-residing sheriff’s deputy charged with 3 felonies

The King County Sheriff’s Office deputy jailed and charged Thursday with three felonies is a West Seattle resident. That’s according to the lengthy document charging 49-year-old Darrion Holiwell with promoting prostitution, theft, and a drug violation. The charges filed against him Thursday have been widely reported in regional media; we obtained the charging papers, which cite a Puget Ridge address for Holiwell, identified as a SWAT team member and as KCSO’s lead firearms instructor, as well as owner of a private business that “specializes in firearms training, tactical training, and the sale of tactical equipment.” That business, the charging documents say, took Holiwell and his wife to Las Vegas for a trade show in 2012, leading to a discussion of her possibly working there as an exotic dancer, something she had done elsewhere before. That in turn eventually led to her working from a South King County condo as an “escort,” it is alleged, even as the Holiwells’ marriage faltered, and that is what he is charged with helping facilitate, as a form of domestic violence against her. Some of the evidence on that charge came from Holiwell’s iPhone, seized when his Puget Ridge home was searched in mid-April as part of the investigation, the court documents say, while simultaneously another warrant was served at the KCSO gun range in Ravensdale, where he was at work.

Other items police say they found at his house in the April search included drugs, mostly steroids and substances used in conjunction with them. And the charging documents make note of what was not found during the search of Holiwell’s house: A “large gun safe” was empty, though that is where unnamed “witnesses” told police he stores his “high-quality personal firearms,” and searchers didn’t find a single gun or round of ammunition anywhere in the house. The theft charge, meantime, involves allegations that Holiwell sold KCSO ammunition and other property, mostly to create an unauthorized “slush fund” of sorts. You can read more about the case in this report from our partners at The Seattle Times, who covered Sheriff John Urquhart‘s Thursday afternoon briefing about this case and an investigation of whether others might be involved. Holiwell has been on leave since mid-April and is jailed in lieu of $150,000 bail, scheduled to answer the charges next month. He was taken into custody Thursday morning at the King County Courthouse downtown, according to the arrest report.

Mostly quiet night, with a brief helicopter interlude

(Mostly cloudy by sunset – some drizzle, too. Photo by JayDee, from Upper Alki)
With the SPD promise of presence on Alki for potential last-day-of-school gatherings, we’ve been monitoring the situation since afternoon. Nothing major. We did see officers at the beach during our afternoon and evening drive-throughs. We ourselves had a bit of a close call just after sunset at Me-Kwa-Mooks, dodging a group of teens running back and forth in the street on Beach Drive. Not long afterward, the Guardian One law-enforcement helicopter was over that same area for a bit and subsequently tweeted that they “assisted @SeattlePD near 56/SW Oregon with a large group of teenagers partying that took off into the woods. Patrol contacted them.” (Right after that, the helicopter headed north to Ballard, tweeting that they helped SPD handle “a large fight disturbance” at Golden Gardens.)

Seattle-only Metro-money ballot measure now on the road to the ballot; public hearing next week

Five weeks ago, you might recall, Mayor Murray proposed a Seattle-only ballot measure to hold off Metro cuts within city limits. He said it would include the same two funding sources that comprised the rejected countywide ballot measure in April, a one-tenth-of-a-percent sales-tax increase and a $60 vehicle-tab fee. The latter represents a $40 increase because the “congestion-reduction charge” is expiring this month. Today, the mayor’s proposal took a step toward the November ballot, in the form of a resolution proposed by City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen in the role of Transportation Benefit District Board chair. Read the resolution here. The deadline for it to be placed on the November ballot is August 5th; here’s the schedule of hearings and discussions:

Tuesday, June 24, 10:30am (following City Transportation Committee meeting) – BRIEFING AND DISCUSSION

Thursday, June 26, 5:30pm – PUBLIC HEARING

Thursday, July 10, 2:00pm – DISCUSSION

Thursday, July 17, 2:00pm – DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE VOTE

Thursday, July 31, 2:00pm (if necessary) – DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE VOTE

All of the above will be held at City Hall downtown, 600 Fourth Ave.

New clues in bicyclist hit-run: Police know what kind of car they’re looking for

This might be the clue that solves the case of the bicycle rider hit by a driver last month near the east end of the “low bridge,” and left lying in the road, badly hurt. Seattle Police say the hit-run driver would have been in a metallic blue Saturn S series car similar to the one shown above:

After processing evidence found at the scene of a May 22nd crash on Harbor Island, investigators have the type of car driven by a suspect, who struck a cyclist and sped away.

Witnesses found the bloodied and seriously injured cyclist lying in the street at 11 Ave. SW and SW Spokane St around 8:20 PM and called 911.

Seattle Fire Department Medics responded and transported the victim to Harborview Medical Center with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. Traffic Collision Investigation (TCIS) detectives also responded to the scene and are investigating the case. Detectives believe the victim was struck while riding westbound along Spokane Street.

After painstaking work identifying vehicle fragments left at the scene, detectives have determined the suspect was driving a Saturn S series car. The car is painted metallic blue and after the crash was missing its passenger side mirror. A section of the bumper was also left at the scene of the crime.

Detectives are asking anyone who may have witnessed the crime or have seen a car matching the description to please call Detective Andrew Norton at (206) 684-8934.

To see more photos – go to the full post on SPD Blotter. Police had already said they believed a metallic-blue car was involved – but this is the first time they’ve publicized further details of the crash that sent 30-year-old John Macy to the hospital.

West Seattle Soccer Club’s Valkyries on network TV this weekend

That’s a quick promo for a CBS TV show that airs nationally this Saturday (June 21st) – featuring a West Seattle Soccer Club team, the GU13 WS Valkyries. Their proud coach Stefan Persson, who’s also on the WSSC board, explains:

We had the great privilege of being selected to participate in a CBS Game Changers episode featuring Seattle Reign FC and U.S. Women’s National Team player Megan Rapinoe. The filming of the episode took place at Madison Middle School and at Memorial Stadium.

What started as a day of practice for the girls, culminated in them being surprised by Megan at Memorial Stadium, where they got to meet her and then practice and play soccer. It was a fantastic day, with one of our most prominent female professional athletes giving back to kids, creating a wonderful connection between our local community and Seattle Reign FC.

CBS Game Changers is a nationally televised show featuring youth sports, focusing on sportsmanship and passion for the game.

The show airs at different times on different CBS stations around the country; we found it on the official schedule for KIRO (Channel 7) at 3:30 pm this Saturday.

Followup: Why the ‘low bridge’ was out of service for 2 1/2 hours

Following up on last night’s 2 1/2-hour shutdown of the Spokane Street Swing Bridge, aka “the low bridge,” we asked SDOT today to explain what happened. From communications director Rick Sheridan:

At the end of an otherwise normal opening, the bridge’s computer control system detected a fault in the docking process and stopped the closure. In the last 15 inches of docking we use a linear position transducer called a “temposonic,” which is very accurate and can measure movement to a fraction of an inch.

During the bridge closure yesterday afternoon, the temposonic reported that the moveable span’s position was incorrect. As the computer control system did not know if there was a malfunction or if the span was about to collide with the concrete pier, it stopped the span’s movement.

We deployed a Roadway Structures electrician who determined that the bridge’s span was properly aligned for docking and, after troubleshooting, concluded that the fault was with the temposonic. He reset the device, tested it and then restored the bridge to normal operations. We will monitor that device closely over the next several days to confirm that it is operating normally.

You can help! Girls on the Run expanding to Highland Park Elementary

Even as the school year ends today, planning is under way for the next one starting in September – and that’s what this call for volunteers is all about: Girls on the Run is on its way to Highland Park Elementary for 2014-2015.

HPE is starting Girls on the Run at our school starting in the fall. Girls on the Run is an after-school program that uses the power of running to give girls the tools to celebrate their bodies, honor their voices, recognize their gifts, and activate their power!

The program is open to 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade girls. Both girls from HPE and from the surrounding community who do not have GOTR at their home school are encouraged to join. We are looking for volunteers to coach our girls. The commitment would be one or two times a week Starting September 29th and running through December 8th. Minimum age is 16. If interested please contact Holly Briscoe, the site liaison for HPE. hollybriscoe@hotmail.com

West Seattle Crime Watch: Burglaries; mail theft; stolen car, found

From the SPD Police Reports map, the icons show burglaries reported over the past week. As you can see, Highland Park had a cluster, Isaac wrote to mention, and we have heard from one of the victims, Chris:

I want to let folks know that our house near 15th and Trenton was broken into (Tuesday) sometime between 10 and 2 p.m. No one was home. Whoever it was gained access through a backyard window that we mistakenly left ajar. We have a dog that usually barks at strangers but it didn’t seem to matter. The thief or thieves took
two 5th generation Nano iPods (one blue and one green) but curiously left other relatively easy-to-steal items behind. They did ransack our bedroom, which included emptying our dressers and closet. It was apparent that they went through our entire house. The police officer felt that from his experience these were kids who were looking for something specific (cash and drugs). Please remind people to make sure all windows and doors are locked.

In addition to the break-in at Chris’s house, here are the reported burglaries to which the icons on the map screengrab refer, north to south:
*Tuesday night, 1600 block of 46th SW
*Sunday afternoon, 4100 block of 52nd SW
*Reported Sunday but happened June 3rd, 3400 block SW Genesee (old substation building)
*2 break-ins early Sunday and early Tuesday, 2600 block SW Andover (WS Athletic Club)
*Tuesday afternoon, 5300 block Beach Drive SW
*Early Tuesday, 7700 block 10th SW
*Sunday evening, 8600 block Delridge Way SW
*Early Tuesday, 8600 block 12th SW
*Reported last Thursday but happened June 9th, 9200 block 2nd SW (unit at Public Storage)
*Saturday afternoon, 10200 block 47th SW

Ahead – stolen mail and stolen car, found:
Read More

Congratulations to South Seattle College’s 800+ newest grads!

June 19, 2014 10:07 am
|    Comments Off on Congratulations to South Seattle College’s 800+ newest grads!
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

(Photo courtesy SSC)
This year’s biggest West Seattle graduation happened at Benaroya Hall downtown, where more than 800 graduates received degrees and certificates last night from Puget Ridge-headquartered South Seattle College (WSB sponsor). The announcement from SSC quotes president Gary Oertli as saying, “From academics to professional-technical, our student-oriented staff strives to help our students reach their professional dreams. And to our graduates, I’m truly proud and honored to share this special occasion with you. Your hard work, drive and commitment have helped you earn this special day.” Derrick Coleman from the Super Bowl-champion Seattle Seahawks delivered the commencement address: “There’s only one voice that matters. Listen to what is inside you. You call your own plays. Use your own God-given talent to overcome any obstacles. How hard you work will determine how far you go.” SSC says the graduates ranged in age from 17 to 68, with achievements including “bachelor of applied science degrees, associate transfer degrees (which open up the opportunity to transfer to four-year colleges and universities to pursue bachelor’s degrees), high-school diplomas, and associate degrees and certificates that prepare graduates to enter the workforce with desirable skillsets.”

Memorial this Saturday for E. Eilene Powelson, 1919-2014

June 19, 2014 9:18 am
|    Comments Off on Memorial this Saturday for E. Eilene Powelson, 1919-2014
 |   Obituaries | West Seattle news | West Seattle people

Friends and family will gather this Saturday to remember 94-year-old ‘Eilene’ Powelson, and are sharing this remembrance:

Evelyn Eilene Powelson, known to family and friends as “Eilene,” passed away on June 16, 2014 at Providence Mount Saint Vincent Nursing Center.

Eilene was born on December 1, 1919 in Bellingham to David and Anna Larson. Early in her life, along with her parents and two younger sisters, they moved from Bellingham to Everett and eventually settled in Seattle before the breakout of WWII.

She met her husband Corden Powelson at the Lutheran Service Center in downtown Seattle 1944. They married on May 3, 1946 at Emmanuel Lutheran Church (Seattle) with Dr. Stub officiating. Corden preceded her in death on September 19, 2000 after 54 years of marriage. Eilene was a member of Peace Lutheran Church for over 20 years.

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TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday gets going

June 19, 2014 7:20 am
|    Comments Off on TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday gets going
 |   West Seattle news

(WS high/low bridges and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Heading for the heart of the commute, no news is again good news today. One major note: It’s the last day of classes for Seattle Public Schools – ending the school year with one-hour-early dismissal.

NORTHBOUND 99 WEEKEND CLOSURE: 10 pm Friday night (June 20th) until 5 am Monday morning, Northbound 99 will be closed between the West Seattle Bridge and north end of downtown as WSDOT continues re-aligning the roadway west of the stadiums, explained here. During this closure, northbound 99 – and other roads – will be used on Saturday for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon (full list here).

What the Guardian One helicopter was helping with

That was indeed Guardian One over West Seattle (mostly The Junction) for a while this past half-hour. Per scanner-monitored discussion, they happened to be in the area when they heard a Seattle Police search and jumped in to help out. The call was originally about a woman possibly at risk of self-harm. They didn’t spot anyone and flew on eastward out of the area.

Why 4-year-old West Seattle Reservoir needs a multimillion-dollar retrofit – and Myrtle Reservoir is expected to, too

(SPU photo inside West Seattle Reservoir in May 2010, not long before it was filled)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Only four years after it went into service, the underground West Seattle Reservoir in Highland Park needs a $7.6 million earthquake-resistance retrofit.

Work will start this summer, while the city and its consultants determine the scope of retrofitting that is also expected for our area’s other underground water facility, Myrtle Reservoir in Gatewood, as well as for two others in the city, Beacon and Maple Leaf.

We talked today with Seattle Public Utilities and its consultants about the problem, the solution, and the work ahead.

This was foreshadowed a year and a half ago; we made note of it here in November 2012, following up after The Seattle Times (WSB partner) broke the news that the reservoirs’ designer, MWH, had told the city about what SPU calls “possible seismic deficiencies in their work.” SPU subsequently announced that testing would be done to find out about those potential deficiencies and what would be needed to remedy them.

They didn’t expect the testing would take as long as it did. West Seattle Reservoir is the first one for which a seismic review has been finished and a retrofit plan laid out.

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West Seattle weather: Sunset sundog sighting?

Sundog over West Seattle? Thanks to David Hutchinson (above) and Don Brubeck (below), frequent and much-appreciated WSB community contributors, for sharing the photos of what we think was a sunset sundog – one of the phenomena discussed in Alice Enevoldsen‘s “Skies Over West Seattle” a year ago.

Unusual cloud formations, too – any help identifying them would be welcome!

West Seattle biznote: School of Rock rolling into Jefferson Square

That’s a rendering of what proprietor Phil Gustavson says the sign will look like when he opens the West Seattle School of Rock on the outer east side of Jefferson Square in The Junction. Gustavson says he’s signed the lease for the space next door to Dream Dinners (WSB sponsor) at 4701 41st SW, Suite 120. School of Rock is an international chain of music schools that teach guitar, bass, vocals, keyboards, and drums, with lessons leading to performances. In this metro area, it has branches in Greenwood and Bellevue. Gustavson isn’t estimating an opening date yet, saying it depends mostly on how long it takes to get permits.

West Seattle traffic-alert update: ‘Low bridge’ open again after 2 1/2 hours

(TOPLINE: ‘Low bridge’ reopened just after 7:30 pm; ‘malfunction’ had closed it since just after 5 pm)

5:29 PM: Thanks to commenters on our daily traffic-watch story for first word on this around 5:15 pm – SDOT confirms that the “low bridge” is currently malfunctioning and closed to vehicle/pedestrian traffic. We’ve added a “live” picture from SDOT’s traffic cams – you can see the bicycle riders/pedestrians waiting, and it looks like there’s a relatively slight gap in the bridge.

ADDED 5:50 PM: Still out of service, no update from SDOT. Jason shared the photo we’ve added above, showing bicycle riders who were waiting before it was apparent this situation wasn’t ending quickly.

6:35 PM: We talked with an SDOT rep who said a mechanic has headed to the bridge but they don’t have an ETA yet – they’re promising updates.

(Some of the bikes on the 5:45 Water Taxi; photo by Brian O’Mara)
Meantime, your editor here just took the Water Taxi home from downtown; at least a few bicycle riders had diverted upon hearing about the bridge, but there was still room on the run – 6:45 pm is the last scheduled run from downtown to West Seattle.

7:37 PM: SDOT has just reopened the bridge after the 2 1/2-hour closure. While running electrical tests this past hour or so, they allowed bicycle riders and pedestrians through a few times, we’re told.

Landmarks Board votes to formally consider Charlestown Court for landmark status

Quick update from the city Municipal Tower downtown: The city Landmarks Preservation Board has just voted to approve the nomination of Charlestown Court, the brick fourplex at 3811 California SW, as a potential city landmark. A consultant hired by its owners – who want to demolish it and replace it with eight townhouses – said they don’t think it merits landmark status, a decision reached by the board six years ago when another demolition/redevelopment proposal was pending. (Since more than five years have passed, city reps explained, a new review was warranted.) Today’s vote sets the stage for a final vote on August 6th.