day : 17/07/2014 11 results

West Seattle Crime Watch followup: Gatewood burglary suspect charged

Following up on the Gatewood burglary spree first reported here Wednesday – the suspect is now charged with three counts of residential burglary. And we’ve learned that a warrant was already out for his arrest before police found him after the burglaries Saturday afternoon, because he’d missed a sentencing hearing a day earlier. Plus, he has an extensive record dating back more than half his life, to age 14.

The suspect is Jason Edward Wyman, who turned 33 the day before his arrest. The police report lists a Westwood address for him. He is charged with burglarizing three homes in Gatewood; in two cases, the police report says, he was interrupted by people who were home at the time and had left doors unlocked or open; in a third, he stole from a guest house. At least one victim has surveillance video showing him with items stolen from her home.

“The defendant’s brazen behavior is alarming,” prosecutors wrote in the charging documents, noting that while burglary is not a violent crime, entering occupied residences can quickly escalate to violence. They go on to describe him as a “flight risk” with “17 warrants since 2000, based on 15 bookings at King County Jail.”

Last Friday, Wyman was supposed to appear for sentencing in a theft case dating back to last August – and failed to show up, leading to issuance of a $10,000 warrant for his arrest. His criminal history spans three states and includes at least one conviction for escape. He had struck a plea bargain in the case, which involved a day last August in which he was caught on video stealing a TV and two computers from the Renton Wal-Mart; according to court documents, and was going to be recommended for a residential DOSA sentence – that’s the program involving mandatory drug treatment.

Now, if Wyman is convicted of three counts of residential burglary, he faces up to 7 years in prison. According to the King County Jail Register, his current bail is set at $50,000. We’ll keep the case on our watch list.

West Seattle Grand Parade 2014 countdown: 36 hours away!

July 17, 2014 10:47 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Grand Parade 2014 countdown: 36 hours away!
 |   West Seattle Grand Parade | West Seattle news

Saturday’s getting closer! The West Seattle Grand Parade runs from California/Lander southbound to California/Edmunds starting ~10:30 am Saturday (motorcycle drill teams, then the official parade start is at 11 am). We’re continuing the countdown with more parade-preview tidbits:

(Pathfinder K-8 Unicycle Team in 2012 West Seattle Grand Parade)
SCHOOLS YOU’LL SEE: This year they include Pathfinder K-8 (represented by the Unicycle Team), Seattle Lutheran High School (represented by the Robotics Team), Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor). Two more schools are in the next preview category:

MARCHING BANDS: You’ll see three in Saturday’s parade – All-City Band (directed by West Seattle’s own Marcus Pimpleton, Sealth/Denny music director), Kennedy Catholic High School, and, from Pierce County, Sumner High School.

MARCH WITH YOUR NEIGHBORS: Last night, we mentioned the West Seattle Neighborhood Councils group that will be walking in the parade for the first time; Cindi Barker from Morgan Community Association offered in this comment to connect you with your nearest community group if you’d like to be part of it. (We can attest to how much fun it is to walk the parade route – even if you just try it once and then go back to being a spectator.)

CHEER FOR THE HAMS: The West Seattle Amateur Radio Club – recently featured here on Field Day – will be in the parade; you might not be aware that ham-radio operators assist with logistics and communication along the parade route. So cheer them when you see them!

NEW PLACE TO WATCH: Even if you always watch from the same spot – take note, every year there’s something new happening along the route. At today’s West Seattle Chamber of Commerce lunch meeting, Laura Schneider of Meeples Games – which just opened this spring at California/Charlestown – reminded those in attendance that her second-floor business has a deck, and sells food and drink, so it just might be a fun place to watch – or, if you’re in that area, at least to get refreshments.

SPEAKING OF CALIFORNIA/CHARLESTOWN: The northwest corner also is home to West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor), presenter of the Float Dodger 5K pre-parade run, which will start from that intersection just after 9:30 am. If you’re not signed up yet, online registration is closed but last-minute signups start Saturday morning at 8.

MORE PARADE PREVIEWS TOMORROW … including full details on road-closure times, etc. – so if there’s anything you want to let people know in advance about YOUR parade entry/business along the route/etc., please send us a note ASAP … Thanks!

Southwest Design Review Board votes to advance 2626 Alki to second phase, after second meeting

(“Concept drawing” by Roger Newell AIA Architects)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Five months after sending mixed-use 2626 Alki Avenue SW back for a second round of Early Design Guidance (WSB coverage here), the Southwest Design Review Board got that second look at it tonight.

Neither board members nor neighbors were thrilled with what they saw – but, with extensive comments and recommendations, board members agreed unanimously to allow the project to move on to the next phase anyway, with a stack of suggestions for tweaks and changes to be made, after extensive discussion.

(Architect Thompson at left, board at the table in right side of photo)
Architect Neal Thompson presented on behalf of Roger H. Newell AIA Architects (see the “design packet” here). As he noted, the project would replace eight residential units and commercial properties including a pet shop, medical-marijuana dispensary, and restaurant. It will offer two retail/restaurant spaces as well as 13 apartments and 23 surface parking spaces – it can’t offer an underground garage because of soil conditions (a peat-settlemenet zone) at the site, the architect reminded the board.

Referring to feedback from the first Early Design Guidance meeting, Thompson showed a two-building proposal.

Read More

Pianos in the Parks: West Seattle, White Center parks included

(The Alki piano – photo courtesy Pianos in the Parks)
If you weren’t already planning to spend part of your summer at city/county parks – a public/private-partnership plan announced today is meant to give you a reason to visit. It’s called Pianos in the Parks, and it’s placed 20 donated and decorated pianos in 20 Seattle and King County parks, for one month, starting today. The parks, listed here, include Alki Beach Park in West Seattle and Steve Cox Memorial Park in White Center. Since those are both fairly sizable parks, we asked a Pianos in the Parks spokesperson where to find the pianos. Reply: “The Alki piano is located just across from Spud Fish & Chips at the edge of the grassy area and the Steve Cox piano is roughly in the middle of the park by the picnic huts and the playground.” (Above, that’s the Alki piano, decorated by artist Kerstin M. Graudins, before it was to be placed at the beach, where we’re hoping to get a photo of it this evening.) And yes, the pianos are playable – that’s even at the heart of a contest. What happens to them after August 17th? They’re being auctioned off; you can bid on any or all of them online by clicking any individual park photo here to see its piano.

More transit news: Seattle Metro-money measure is ballot-bound

The City Council, wearing its Transportation Benefit District hat, voted this afternoon to ask voters to approve a sales-tax increase and car-tab fee to raise money to avoid Seattle Metro cuts. The alternate proposal by Councilmembers Nick Licata and Kshama Sawant, for a “head tax” and commercial-parking-tax increase, might be worth taking up in the future, they were told; Sawant retorted that if now isn’t the time for those “progressive” taxes, when is? The sales-tax/tab-fee measure is headed for the November 4th ballot is more or less the same one that lost April’s countywide vote despite winning two-thirds approval within the city limits.

Want West Seattle to be on Sound Transit’s long-range map? Speak up now, ST rep tells WS Chamber

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

“It’s very timely to be here today,” opened Rachel Smith from Sound Transit, speaking to about 20 people at the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s monthly lunch meeting.

The timeliness is because there’s a week and a half left for you to comment in the current stage of ST’s Long-Range Plan Update process – which could ultimately pave the way for light rail to/from West Seattle – and if you would like to see that, she said, you really need to speak up now.

She reminded the Chamber attendees first that LINK Light Rail – 16 miles with 13 stations so far, and partnering with Seattle on the First Hill Streetcar to open later this year – Sounder commuter rail, and ST Express buses are Sound Transit’s three “lines of business” around the three-county area they serve, and that the board is chaired by a West Seattleite, King County Executive Dow Constantine. (Another West Seattleite, County Councilmember Joe McDermott, is on the board as well.) “Ridership has just been going through the roof,” she added.

70 percent of Sound Transit’s revenue comes from sales tax, and it’s “down $4.7 billion” through 2023, she said – that’s a 30 percent drop over the lifetime of the 15-year plan running through then. But the system has bright spots, $100 million under budget with University Link and six months ahead of schedule. (This is a “twin-bore tunnel project,” she adds.)

Now, for West Seattle: ST is currently in its Long-Range Plan Update – the current LRP is from 2005.

Read More

West Seattle scene: Protester outside Senior Center

The controversy over the abrupt firing of the Senior Center of West Seattle‘s longtime director Karen Sisson drew a protester this afternoon. We were in The Junction for something else when we saw Vanessa‘s comment on our followup from last night, saying she was going to go stand on the corner with a sign, so we ran by, and there she was. She says she’ll be there until about 4 pm and will return tomorrow. As first reported here Monday night, Sisson was let go last week by the center’s parent nonprofit, Senior Services, after 25 years; SS wouldn’t comment on why, but the West Seattle center’s board director David Robertson says he was told it was over a widely distributed e-mail voicing concerns about SS’s planned direction for the center, and the board met to take a vote of confidence in Sisson’s leadership. While the center owns its building/property, its employees report to Senior Services, so the board’s future potential path of action isn’t clear at this point.

West Seattle Crime Watch: One bike stolen, one left in its place

Mark is looking for both his stolen bike and the owner of a bike that turned up where his had been: “The curious thing was that whoever took my bike (adult size) left an almost brand-new child’s-size bike. I assume they felt mine was an upgrade.” It happened on Sunday afternoon in Seaview, 47th/Findlay (map). Here’s the bike left behind:

It’s a “small Giant,” he adds. His stolen bike is “a dark gray Diamondback Trace with Planet Bike fenders and a black rear rack.” Seen it? And/or have any idea who the left-behind bike belongs to?

West Seattle Thursday: 2626 Alki design review; science and music at libraries; baseball; bus funding; more…

July 17, 2014 10:30 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Thursday: 2626 Alki design review; science and music at libraries; baseball; bus funding; more…
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(Seals on driftwood off West Seattle’s shore earlier this week – photo by J&R)
Just floating along toward the weekend – and, as previewed here Wednesday, what a weekend it will be. Not to look past today/tonight, though, since you might want to know about the following:

TAXES TO AVOID METRO CUTS IN SEATTLE? Next discussion by the City Council, sitting as the Transportation Benefit District board, is 2 pm today at City Hall – agenda here. (4th/5th/James/Cherry)

FUN WITH SCIENCE! For ages 4-12, 2-3 pm at Southwest Branch Library, explained in our calendar listing. (35th/Henderson)

TAI SHAN, LIVE AT THE LIBRARY: 6 pm outdoor concert by Tai Shan at the West Seattle Branch Library – details in our calendar listing. (2306 42nd SW)

WEST SEATTLE LITTLE LEAGUE 11-12 ALL-STARS: 6 pm at Bar-S, their next must-win state-tournament game is against Pacific. (64th/Admiral)

DESIGN REVIEW FOR 2626 ALKI SW: As first announced a month ago, tonight is the second “early design guidance” meeting for a three-story commercial/residential project (two retail/restaurant spaces, 13 apartments, 23 off-street parking spots) proposed at 2626 Alki Ave. SW. Preview the design packet here. Meeting’s at 6:30 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle. (Oregon/California)

CLASSICAL-GUITAR OPEN MIKE: 7 pm at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) – details in our calendar listing. (5612 California SW)

FLAMENCO! Flamenco music and dancing and an authentic Spanish buffet, tonight at Luso Food and Wine in downtown White Center, 7 pm – details in our calendar listing. (9614 16th SW)

Help shape North Delridge’s future: New committee needs you

July 17, 2014 9:09 am
|    Comments Off on Help shape North Delridge’s future: New committee needs you
 |   Delridge | How to help | West Seattle news

What does your community need to thrive, to be a great place to live, work, visit? Right now, the city is getting ready to draw up a North Delridge Action Plan for that section of eastern West Seattle – as explained here – and looking for people to be part of an advisory committee. Your participation would include not only making suggestions and offering opinions, but also reviewing what other community members are saying as part of the process. Creating the plan is expected to take a year or so, during which there will be monthly meetings and three community events. You have two weeks to apply – August 1st is the deadline – contact Jake Hellenkamp ( for an application, and if you have questions about the plan itself, you can contact David Goldberg at The city’s also planning to have a booth at the Delridge Day festival on Saturday, August 9th, to share info about the planning process. Don’t find yourself five or ten years down the line wondering “whose idea was THIS?” – jump in now.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday tracking

(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning! We’re keeping watch as Thursday gets going. And as always, we have previews as well as transportation news:

WEST SEATTLE FLOAT DODGER 5K/GRAND PARADE CLOSURES: Saturday morning, California will be closed south of Admiral, south to Edmunds, for the %K and parade. Side streets on both ends of the route will be used for staging. Bus reroutes, too – check your route here).

IF YOU USE I-90 … getting home will be a challenge for about a week. Westbound 90 will have some major closures, starting tomorrow – details here.

DOWNTOWN BUS REROUTES THIS WEEKEND … because of road work; check your route here. 11:58 am note: Metro has just announced the 3rd Avenue work is canceled for this weekend and will resume August 2nd-3rd.

Transportation news notes:

SEATTLE TAX TO HOLD OFF METRO CUTS? The City Council, meeting as the Transportation Benefit District board, takes the sales tax/car-tab tax proposal up at 2 pm today – agenda here.

FOLLOWUP ON THE 4-MILE, 5-HOUR CLOSURE: Remember the five-hour Highway 99 closure after a crash in June? Here’s the second and final set of answers that Councilmember Tom Rasmussen wanted from city departments.

ADDED: Meant to mention this too – details are few, but The Seattle Times (WSB partner) says the president is coming back to Seattle for a fundraiser next Tuesday afternoon. Where/when/which airport NOT announced yet.