West Seattle, Washington
Though the city had said as recently as September that work would start on the 47th/Admiral traffic signal this fall, it won’t be any sooner than winter, since the project is only just now out to bid. The solicitation on the city website and in public notices says bids are due December 10th, which is two weeks from tomorrow. The notice projects the signal will cost up to $350,000. It has long been in the works, with the campaign to improve safety at the intersection tracing back to the death of 26-year-old Tatsuo Nakata, hit and killed by a driver eight years ago this month; in summer of 2013, after then-Mayor McGinn proposed an incremental improvement at the intersection, the City Council found funding for a full signal. Whenever work starts – we have a message out to ask about the new projected timeframe – the city estimates that the signal construction will last about three months.
ADDED: In response to our inquiry, SDOT says that the current plan is to start construction in February.
ONLY A DRILL: The King County Sheriff’s Office confirms this tactical drill is still on for today despite the murky weather. So just FYI, you might notice some helicopter/maritime traffic passing here en route to Des Moines.
ARTS/CRAFTS AND BAKE SALE: The “mini-Harvest Festival” sale at the Senior Center of West Seattle is under way until 1 pm. (Oregon/California)
WEST SEATTLE LAND USE COMMITTEE: 6:30 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle, the still-fledgling committee meant to take a peninsula-wide view of issues related to development and zoning has its next meeting, and it’s still in the formative stages – all are more than welcome, even if just to sit and observe. (Oregon/California)
PLANNING FOR THANKSGIVING? LOOKING AHEAD? The WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide has dozens and dozens of listings and infobits to help you find everything holidayish on this side of the bay.
(Photo by Holli Margell)
Glass art as a holiday gift? That’s one way to support the playground project that Pathfinder K-8 has embarked on. Organizers explain: “Having been awarded significant grants from both the City and County, we are working to raise $50,000 in cash from our school families and broader community. We have a lovely donor recognition program that will be a lasting symbol and legacy of your gift to our community. Please see the giving levels” here. Hint – the glass tiles are part of it; you can fund one (or more) with an inscription to forever be part of the new playground; see the design here.
(WS high/low bridges and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:35 AM: We start with a problem affecting Northbound 99 – a crash has closed the northbound side of the Battery Street Tunnel.
6:55 AM: Still closed, no ETA announced for reopening. Seattle Fire was not dispatched to the crash, which indicates no one was hurt. Here’s the traffic cam that looks southward at the northbound traffic from just before the closure point:
7:08 AM: Per scanner, the tunnel is clear and about to be reopened. A stalled car nearby, though, might still complicate matters for a bit.
7:12 AM: Officially reopened, per SDOT.
7:33 AM: Avalon is “crawling,” reports WS Since 1979 in comments, just before the eastward turn to Spokane/bridge ramp.
1:36 AM: Police and fire are rushing to the 3700 block of SW 106th (map) in Arbor Heights for a report of a man with a gunshot wound to his arm. It’s not known yet if it was accidental.
1:59 AM: The patient, a man said to be around 30, has been taken to Harborview Medical Center. Our crew is just back from the scene. Police there are still sorting it out but believe it was accidental and aren’t seeking any suspects at this point.
11:45 AM: We don’t have followup information from SPD yet, but we did check with SFD regarding the victim’s last known condition – “stable,” we’re told.
The spirit of giving can start young. These pictures show what 8-year-old Joseph Meats, a third grader at Our Lady of Guadalupe, did this past weekend. His mom Christi Meats explains, “He wanted to do something nice for Thanksgiving and the up and coming holidays so he decided to go door to door and ask for food for the food bank!” So they distributed a flyer to some homes in Admiral and Arbor Heights last Thursday asking that people leave food donations on their doorstep for pickup yesterday.
Today, he brought it all to the West Seattle Food Bank after school.
His mom adds, “His goal is to inspire others so it was fun to watch him succeed in raising awareness as he left his wagon out during the Seahawk game and people kept dropping off food!” (And if you’re inspired – contact the WS Food Bank directly, or keep an eye on our daily calendar previews and Holiday Guide for giving opportunities of all kinds.)
6:58 PM: Here’s what’s happening in Seattle right now, after the announcement in Ferguson, Missouri, tonight that a grand jury decided not to indict the police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown:
— Paige Cornwell (@pgcornwell) November 25, 2014
(Photo tweeted by reporter Paige Cornwell of The Seattle Times [WSB partner])
-A protest march is under way in the Westlake Center area downtown. Pine Street is closed between 4th and 5th and might also close to 6th.
-Mayor Ed Murray is planning to meet the media inside City Hall at 7:15 pm, with others listed in the advisory announcement as “Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole, Pamela Banks (Urban League), Pramila Jayapal (state senator-elect), Estela Ortega (El Centro de la Raza) and others.” UPDATE: The mayor’s office says it will be live-streamed here.
-King County Executive and West Seattleite Dow Constantine has sent a written statement:
“We all mourn the loss of a young man’s life. This is a moment to say what is in our hearts, with tolerance, respect, and restraint, as we were asked to do by Michael Brown’s family.
“The events in Ferguson have laid bare the ongoing racial divide that stretches across the breadth of these United States. Here in King County we have made equity and social justice a central tenet of our work — a value that each employee will consciously and daily pursue as we serve the public. Our task now must be to learn from this moment, and to redouble our efforts to create the long-term, systemic changes our nation needs to fulfill its destiny.”
-So far, we have not heard of any gatherings in West Seattle. We will update as the night goes on.
ADDED 7:18 PM: President Obama is speaking. One quote, tweeted:
"We need to recognize that this is not just an issue for #Ferguson. This is an issue for America." —President Obama
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) November 25, 2014
7:26 PM: Mayor Murray waited until after the President’s speech to start his event.
— SEA Mayor's Office (@OfficeofMayor) November 25, 2014
The downtown protest march, meantime, has moved east to Capitol Hill.
7:43 PM: Another Times photo tweeted from the Hill:
— Lindsey Wasson (@lindseywasson) November 25, 2014
And a note from the city:
The Seattle Emergency Operations Center and Joint Information Center closed at 8:45 p.m. The police department continues to provide support for free speech events city-wide.
10:32 PM: Things weren’t quite winding down. Protesters moved on to I-5:
— KING 5 News (@KING5Seattle) November 25, 2014
10:37 PM: Police report some violence:
Individuals in crowd of demonstrators on Madison continue to throw cans and bottles at officers. Some vandalism reported @ 9/Madison.
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) November 25, 2014
10:52 PM: The freeway has reopened. Protesters are reported to be headed back toward Capitol Hill.
11:51 PM: Still there.
— The Stranger (@strangerslog) November 25, 2014
You can of course find endless reporting out there on every scale of what has happened; if you’re looking for a direct link to the transcribed grand-jury proceedings in Missouri, here they are as posted by NYTimes.com.
If you’ve driven Sylvan Way east of High Point this evening, you might have noticed the car crumpled into a tree on the south side of the street. Looks bad, but police told us at the scene that the driver was not hurt.
We also checked tonight on the Menashe Family Christmas Lights, the brightest lights in West Seattle year after year, and found the crew working hard on the display even as night fell and rain moved back in. Josh Menashe tells us that this Sunday will be the first official night of this year’s display, starting around 6 pm. Here’s something brand-new this year:
Kids will be able to drop off letters to Santa Claus in that brand-new box you’ll find outside the house at 5605 Beach Drive SW. (As Josh put it, Santa knows exactly where their house is.)
P.S. The Menashe home is of course also featured in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide – which also includes everything from Thanksgiving info (workouts, free dinners, coffee-shop/restaurant/grocery-store hours) to New Year’s, and we’re updating it daily.
(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
Blustery weather or not, the show must go on, so Jim Winder was back up on the roof today at 3908 SW Charlestown, home of his friends the Helmstetler Family, who have hosted his music-synched dancing-lights Christmas Spectacular since 2009.
When the show debuts on Thursday night, you’ll hear new music (added – including Meghan Trainor‘s “All About That Bass,” Taylor Swift‘s “Shake It Off,” Pharrell Williams‘ “Happy,” and Rock Sugar with “Don’t Stop the Santa”). “Surprises in early December,” too, Jim promises.
Jim says he’s not planning a big ceremony this year – the light shows will simply start on Thanksgiving night, with the website schedule updated by then, and you’ll be welcome to stop by any night through New Year’s Eve. A few hours after stopping by to see him, we passed the house again just before dark tonight, and noticed the baseline lights aglow, in Seahawks/Sounders blue and green:
The light show starts at 7 pm Thursday night – remember to bring a donation for the West Seattle Food Bank (there’s a bin out front). You can hear the synchronized music in your car at 101.9 FM.
P.S. This is one of three light shows that are part of the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide – we’re updating another show next – and please let us know when you see great lights, animated or not, throughout the season … here’s how.
Haven’t heard any other details yet but according to new comments on our weekend story as well as social-media reports, 13-year-old Ella Blalock has been found safe. She is from Pierce County but the search for her focused extensively on West Seattle over the weekend, as it was reported that she was with a boy who had friends here. At last report, wherever she was found, her family was en route to get her.
Friday night, you’re invited to Chief Sealth International High School for a tribute, two alumni games, a tribute, and more! From girls’ head basketball coach Katie Jo Maris:
Chief Sealth’s 3rd annual Nels Enquist Alumni Basketball Game: THANK YOU, COACH MIKE SIVA!
“You Gave Me Your Time, The Most Thoughtful Gift Of ALL” – Dan Zadra
I would like to invite EVERYONE to join Chief Sealth International High School on November 28, 2014 to honor the great coach Mike Siva for everything he has done for Chief Sealth Athletics.
– Coached at Sealth 1984-2010
– Coach of the Year: Volleyball 2, Soft ball: Slowpitch 1, Fastpitch 2
– Volleyball: ‘93-‘94 Metro champs. Last public school to win Metro back to back. 3rd in state ’93 and 8th in state ‘94.
– Slowpitch: State 1993. Fastpitch was regularly in the play-offs.
– 36 years with Seattle Public Schools. A plus award winner, Alliance of Education only security specialist to win the award.
– Security at Sealth ‘79, ‘84-‘99, ‘99-Present. Currently the Southwest Division Technical Lead Specialists–Seattle Public Schools–security.
Details for the game:
ANY FUNDS FROM THIS EVENT WILL GO TOWARDS SEALTH’S HALL OF FAME AND ALUMNI RELATED ACTIVITIES. WE WANT TO RECOGNIZE THOSE WHO DESERVE IT AND GET OUR BANNERS BACK UP IN THE GYM!!
— $3 Adults 18+
— $2 11 yrs-17 yrs or any age with student ID
— FREE 10 yrs and under
4:00 pm – Doors Open
4:15 pm – Varsity Girls basketball scrimmage
5:00 pm – Varsity Boys basketball intra-squad scrimmage
5:15 pm – Alumni Player Check-in
6:00 pm – Women’s Alumni Game
7:00 pm – HONOR COACH MIKE SIVA
7:30 pm – Men’s Alumni Game
There will be concessions as well as Sealth gear available for purchase.
Please come and enjoy this event with your friends, family, current Seahawks and fellow alumni.
CSIHS is at 2600 SW Thistle.
12:58 PM: Early alert this time – text reports orcas are “south of Vashon” and headed northbound. No research boat this time because conditions and weather are less than optimal. If you missed the weekend sightings – photos and updates from Saturday are here, video by “Diver Laura” James is here. As always, we appreciate your updates if/when you see them – comment and/or text/call our 24/7 hotline, 206-293-6302!
1:23 PM: And … guess that’s the potential risk with early alerts. They’ve now turned to head through the Tacoma Narrows, southbound. But if that changes later, we’ll update here again.
3:51 PM: According to the Orca Network’s Facebook page, whales are now passing Olalla in Kitsap County, along the passage west of Vashon, northbound. It’s misty/murky looking west from Beach Drive (where we’re working right now) but you never know, they might be in view before nightfall.
Leading up to the holiday when many of us are lucky to be able to have and enjoy abundance … many also are looking for ways to reach out and help those who don’t. In addition to the opportunities we’ve been sharing (including the list in our West Seattle Holiday Guide), here’s one more – West Seattle/South Park volunteer/community advocate Lashanna Williams invites you to be part of “Lunches With Love” on Wednesday – here are the ways you can help:
A few times a year my family hosts an event called Lunches with Love. People donate sacked lunches, lunch supplies, and blankets. Volunteers spend the Wednesday before thanksgiving making paper sack lunches.
In the evening ,volunteers take lunches around town to those who need it. ( Pike Market park, near the bus stop, outside of shelters, under I-5, along West Marginal …)
If people want to make some sacked lunches or drop off lunch supplies – it would be amazing. This year, our goal is 500 lunches.
Pre-made lunches and supplies can be dropped off at my house – 9319 7th Avenue S (map)
Lunch hints: nothing that needs to be heated
(Sandwich, fruit, veggies, cheese, protein bar, sweet treat..etc)
If you are interested in making lunches, please feel free to come by any time from 10 am – 6 pm and we’ll head out downtown around 7.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206.715.5265
Followup on our report last week about a 60-year-old offduty Everett firefighter arrested last Wednesday in West Seattle, where police say he was expecting to be led to a (nonexistent) 15-year-old girl being pimped by her (also nonexistent) father, as arranged in online exchanges with someone who actually was an SPD detective: According to documents just sent by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, David P. Vier is now charged with one count of attempted commercial sexual abuse of a minor.
Most of the details of the allegations are in our report from last Thursday, but the charging document has one more detail, saying that Vier had asked the “father” if he had other children he could bring to the rendezvous (they agreed to meet outside the 35th/Avalon Taco Time, and then Vier was expecting to follow the “father” to an unspecified nearby apartment building). Prosecutors say they didn’t know that part at Vier’s bail hearing last week and want his bail increased to $75,000 because he is “a serious danger to minors”; at that first hearing, his bail was set at $50,000, and he posted bond and left jail hours later. While Vier has no criminal convictions, he has been investigated for domestic violence and burglary, according to the Everett Herald. His next appearance is set for December 3rd.
FOOD DRIVE’S FINAL DAY @ MARINATION: If you’re heading to Marination ma kai (WSB sponsor) at Seacrest – or anyplace else in the vicinity – take a nonperishable item for the final day of the donation drive at ma kai. They’re open until 8 pm today. (1660 Harbor SW)
FOOD BANK DONATIONS: White Center Food Bank is open until 5 pm today and welcomes dropped-off donations – turkeys, other food, money, whatever you can spare as the holiday nears. (10829 8th SW)
WSHS GIRLS’ BASKETBALL BENEFIT: West Seattle Booster Club, which supports WS High School athletics, is hosting a girls-basketball benefit 5-8 pm tonight at Pecado Bueno in The Junction, all-you-can-eat taco bar for $15 (kids under 12 are $10), with proceeds benefiting their work to help the program. They’re promising a “fun family environment with raffle giveaways!” (4523 California SW)
KIDS’ ONLINE SAFETY: As previewed here last night, your family (including kids 9 and up) is invited to a presentation about online safety, 7 pm tonight at the Chief Sealth International High School auditorium, presented by the Denny International Middle School PTSA. (2600 SW Thistle)
CHECKED OUT OUR WEST SEATTLE HOLIDAY GUIDE YET? From turkeys to trees to tree lightings, singalongs, bazaars, plays, Christmas Ship visits, Santa photos … explore the season’s wonders here.
A memorial is planned tomorrow at Hope Lutheran Church for Frank H. Little, who died last week. His family shares this remembrance:
Frank Henry Little, 89, stepped into Heaven on November 20th, 2014.
He was born at home in West Seattle to Ed and Hattie Little. He married the love of his life, Lorraine, in 1948, and they were happily married for 66 years. Frank is survived by Lorraine, daughters Sharon (Bob) and Donna (Mark), and son Gordon (Debbie); 7 grandchildren – Chris, Jason, Brian, Curtis, Ryan, Matt, and Nicole; 14 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Ed, Gerald, Bill, and sister Henrietta.
Frank was a master carpenter and gardner, loved to laugh and have fun, and dearly loved time with his family. Always willing to help out friends and family, he truly had a servant’s heart (With a smile). A celebration of his life and funeral service will be held Tuesday, Nov. 25th, at 10 am at Hope Lutheran Church, 4456 42nd Ave SW. Remembrances may be made to the Alzheimer Association.
I run toward the goal, so that I can win the prize of being called to Heaven. This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done – Phil 3:14
We love you and will see you in Heaven :)
(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
Heading into the heart of the commute … the SFD response to a crash on northbound I-5 at Holgate has just closed out, but there’ll be residual backup.
LOOKING AHEAD: For the extended holiday weekend – transit notes:
*Metro will be on a Sunday schedule this Thursday (Thanksgiving Day) and a “reduced weekday/no UW” schedule on Friday.
*The Water Taxi does NOT run on Thursday *or* Friday.
*Sound Transit‘s express bus serving our area (560) will be on a Sunday schedule for Thanksgiving Day, normal schedule for Friday.
(Photos courtesy Straight Blast Gym of Seattle)
Coach Sonia Sillan from Straight Blast Gym of Seattle (WSB sponsor) in North Delridge shares the news of a big achievement in recent competition:
Straight Blast Gym of Seattle took 24 competitors to the Revolution, a Brazilian Jiujitsu tournament in Tacoma; we competed alongside teammates from SBG Montana and Portland. There were over 660 individual competitors, with 250 competing in two divisions (gi and no gi). SBG Seattle, Montana, and Portland had a combined 67 athletes and came out top as a team – We ended up winning several categories (out of six) for overall champions.
– Youth/Junior Gi – 2nd place
– Youth/Junior No Gi – 1st place
– Youth/Junior Overall – 1st/Champions
– Adult Gi – 4th place
– Adult No Gi – 1st place
– Adult Overall – 3rd place
Out of our 24 competitors, I had 15 kids, six of whom were competing for their first time. Everyone had a blast and showed fantastic sportsmanship.
“Gi” or “no gi” refers to what is worn (or not). Congratulations to the SBG competitors!
No West Seattle sightings today that we’ve heard of, but Saturday, Southern Resident orcas passed our area headed southbound in the morning, and then back northbound in the afternoon (as reported here – thanks again to everyone who shared location updates!). “Diver Laura” James was watching from the Brace Point area during the northbound pass, and shares the video above (we mentioned it briefly in last night’s sea-star report but you might have gone right past the link). Note that the boat with the orcas in the last two minutes was carrying researchers.
Stolen car to watch for, from Vera near 26th SW/SW 102nd, just east of Arbor Heights: 1992 dark-blue 2-door Honda Accord, license # 398-YBN, k2 stickers on the back triangle windows. She saw it being driven away less than an hour ago, but didn’t see the thief. She’s in the unincorporated area and has already reported it to the King County Sheriff’s Office. Call 911 if you see it.
P.S. In case you’re just tuning in to the news as the weekend ends – on Friday night, Seattle Police went public with Southwest Precinct crime stats for the first time in a long time (here’s our report). Auto theft is up in this precinct too – 12 percent compared to a year earlier – but that’s a third of the citywide 38 percent increase. Looking at Tweets by Beat for the weekend so far, the only auto-theft reported to Seattle Police in West Seattle was in the 4000 block of California SW, early Saturday morning.
(Photo credits: 1st two, WSB; third, courtesy Beer Church)
For the 16th year, the Beer Church Turkey Bowl has scored big for the West Seattle Food Bank. The big night of bowling and donating at West Seattle Bowl was last night, and Kendall Jones (below, with co-conspirator Kim Sharpe Jones) says Turkey Bowl-ers brought in “A truckload of food and $5,204. A good night.”
Here’s the truck in question – with West Seattle Food Bank team members:
Kendall and Kim also bring you the Washington Beer Blog.
In case you haven’t already seen this in our calendar, or heard about it via your child’s school: Kids 9+ and their families are invited to increase what they know about online safety – from cyberbullying to social networking to gaming, and beyond – at a free event tomorrow night. It’ll be hosted by Denny International Middle School, starting at 7 pm Monday in the auditorium at Chief Sealth International High School next door (2600 SW Thistle). The presenter is Stefanie Thomas, a victim advocate with the Seattle Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and there’s more info on the official flyer.