day : 23/02/2015 11 results

You can help! West Seattle High School seeking to connect with tech pros for a bit of volunteering

February 23, 2015 11:15 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle online

Do you work in tech – software, or engineering? Can you share your expertise with a high-school teacher and her/his students? Read the letter above from West Seattle High School principal Ruth Medsker and see if you might be able to give a bit of time to boost computer science at her school; if you want to find out more about TEALS first, go here.

Terminal 5’s future: Opponents of drilling-fleet lease say they’ll ask Port Commission Tuesday to cancel it

(WSB photo: Terminal 5 as seen from east Admiral this afternoon)
Port of Seattle commissioners meet tomorrow for the first time since it was publicly disclosed that the port had signed the lease with Foss Maritime that will bring Shell‘s Arctic-drilling-fleet vessels to West Seattle’s closed-since-last-summer Pier 5. Port CEO Ted Fick signed it on February 9th, and the commission met on February 10th, but the signing wasn’t brought to light until a February 11th letter to the environmental coalition that had not only urged the port not to strike the deal, but held a media event hinting at legal action.

While the T-5 lease is not an official agenda item for tomorrow’s meeting, the opposition coalition plans to bring it up during public-comment time at the meeting, which starts at 1 pm in the Sea-Tac Airport conference room. Emily Johnston from 350 Seattle tells WSB, “Legal action is still definitely being considered, and we’re definitely moving forward in other ways as well: primarily, persuading the Port to rescind the lease, or to work with Foss to mutually abandon the lease, or to do whatever else they need to do *not to play a supporting role in Arctic drilling*. The Port is a public entity, and it has not been acting responsibly as such; at a minimum, they need to pull back and hold hearings. … Working on their process so that “next time” they know how to manage a controversial decision like this isn’t good enough: this particular decision is as consequential as any they will ever have, and they need to make the right one, and nix the lease.” The “process” refers to a directive given by commissioners when they agreed January 13th to let staff continue negotiating the lease, saying they needed to come up with procedures for policies that could guide staff in the future. A briefing on that potential process change is on tomorrow’s agenda.

We also sought an update today from Foss’s spokesperson, who had indicated that more details of the T-5 plan would be available by now. We haven’t heard back yet but will include anything that we do find out. Tomorrow’s commission meeting, meantime, is open to the public; the commission’s public-comment rules are here.

West Seattle scene: Powered paragliding in the Monday sunshine

We don’t know who it was (do you?), but – James Bratsanos shared these views of a powered paraglider, cruising over the south West Seattle shoreline this afternoon.

A bit further north, Beach Drive Blog spotted the flyer too.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Case of the non-starter; stolen car found

Two car crimes start West Seattle Crime Watch today:

NON-STARTER: The photo is from “astounded & fuming“:

I live in the 5600 block of California ave SW and sometime between 6 pm and 8 pm Sunday evening someone broke into my Honda Civic, popped the hood and unbolted my distributor assembly, and stole it out of my car, which was parked in alley parking behind my building. It explains why my car wouldn’t start this morning!

STOLEN CAMARO FOUND: Just as we were about to publish a reader report about a stolen Camaro, we heard scanner traffic suggesting police were getting alerts to its whereabouts via the LoJack system. Shortly thereafter, police found it parked/ditched in High Point, not far from where it had been stolen overnight.

FROM THE ‘IN CASE YOU WONDERED’ FILE: Big but brief police response drew some attention this afternoon at Fauntleroy/35th/Avalon, even a few passes from a TV helicopter. Over before we arrived, so we asked SPD media relations: Officers thought they had spotted the suspect in a robbery outside West Seattle last week. But it wasn’t the person they were looking for.

BLOCK WATCH CAPTAINS TOMORROW NIGHT: Next chance to hear from and talk with local police comes as part of tomorrow night’s monthly meeting of the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network. This agenda preview just arrived:

What can you do to help prevent property crimes? Why are thieves taking even inexpensive items from your yard or garage? CPT officer Erin Nicholson will be there to talk about prevention and answer your questions about these types of crimes that you can pass on to your Block Watch Groups.

SW Precinct commander Captain Steve Wilske will provide an update on recent events in West Seattle and South Park. Please join us to review and/or learn tips and techniques that will make your home and property less-desirable targets for criminals.

The meeting’s at 6:30 pm Tuesday at the precinct (Webster/Delridge), all welcome.

West Seattle traffic-alert update: Dump truck & spilled dirt cleared after blocking eastbound ramp from Harbor/Avalon for 3 hours

3:32 PM: Thanks to the texter (2062936302 any time!) who sent this photo of a dump-truck problem where Harbor Avenue meets the bridge. They note – as the photo shows – that vehicles are “squeezing by” to the right of the spill; we haven’t heard an emergency dispatch on this yet, but if you’re headed that way, be forewarned. And just as we finish typing this, we’re getting a Metro alert that RapidRide C Line and Route 21 are rerouted off Avalon because of this.

4:34 PM: Metro says the reroutes are still in effect. We’re going to go see how cleanup is going.

5:10 PM: Avoid Avalon northbound for a while longer. Truck has been righted, dirt is being scooped up, but the Avalon/Harbor onramp toward the eastbound bridge remains blocked and traffic is backing up intermittently. The outbound buses are detouring onto Yancy.

6:46 PM: Metro has just texted that the 21 and C Line are back on their regular routes, indicating the ramp has reopened after 3+ hours. This isn’t the first truck to get in trouble at this spot – we found a few other incidents in the archives, like this one.

West Seattle restaurants: Pecos Pit BBQ moving into ex-Beni Hoshi site, says City Light

Questions about the disappearance of the chain-link fence around the former Beni Hoshi Teriyaki site at 35th/Fauntleroy led us to check in with Seattle City Light, which owns the property. Beni Hoshi, you might recall, abruptly closed in January 2014; eight months later, the city fenced off the site, citing neighborhood concerns about unauthorized parking. Nothing’s shown up in city-permit files yet regarding impending business activity, but SCL’s Scott Thomsen tells us another restaurant is moving in:

We recently signed an agreement with the owner of the Pecos Pit BBQ to use that property. The owner plans to fix up the building and add a patio so they can add a new location for the restaurant. Once in operation, they will be monitoring parking to reserve it for customers. We did take down the fencing that we were paying for to protect against vandalism and the overnight parking. Now that there is an agreement in place, the owner of the business will be putting fencing back up until renovations are completed. That should happen later this week.

We have an inquiry out to Pecos Pit in hopes of finding out more about the plan for the site. City Light owns the parcel because of the former substation next door; Thomsen had told us in September that it was considered “surplus,” though it’s not part of the current group of West Seattle (and vicinity) ex-substations that the utility’s trying to get rid of.

Followup: Admiral Way paving project might only take one day

February 23, 2015 12:45 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

Update from SDOT on this week’s Admiral Way paving work (reported here Friday thanks to a neighbor tip): We asked SDOT spokesperson Marybeth Turner about the plan; her reply: “SDOT paving crews plan to work tomorrow on Admiral Way between 34th Avenue SW and SW Olga Street from 7 am to 7 pm. They will repair areas of the street where pavement is deteriorating. At least one lane in each direction will remain open. They hope to complete the work in one day.”

Student suspended, apologizes after bringing ‘edible marijuana’ to Highland Park Elementary, offering to schoolmates

Seattle Public Schools has confirmed to WSB what a reader posted in the Forum over the weekend – that a Highland Park Elementary School student brought “edible marijuana” to school. SPS spokesperson Stacy Howard says, “The edibles included a candy bar and was offered in the lunchroom.” It happened on Wednesday; this is the letter HPES principal Chris Cronas sent to families two days later:

Dear Highland Park families and guardians,

Wednesday afternoon, school administration learned that a 5th grade student brought edible marijuana to school, which was offered to students. We are not aware of any students who consumed the edibles offered. Additionally, parents of students directly involved were contacted and the student has received consequences.

I am truly embarrassed by what took place Wednesday. It is my goal to ensure that our students are safe. Unfortunately, the actions of one child who made a poor decision may have had an impact on how our students and community are perceived.

This incident, however, opens the door for a constructive conversation about drugs and drug use. With the legalization of marijuana in Washington State, as well as an increase in doctor-prescribed medicinal marijuana, minors have unprecedented access to the drug. I would encourage you to talk with your students about alcohol and drugs as soon as possible. It is never too soon to start this conversation. If you have questions about how to have these conversations or wish to obtain more information, please contact Tina Urso, our school nurse. She will be happy to provide you with more resources. Additionally, you can find helpful tips and resources at

I want to assure you that we are committed to doing everything we can to keep our students safe at school. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. I will be happy to speak with families and guardians directly.


Chris Cronas
Principal, Highland Park Elementary

The person who posted in the WSB Forum expressed concern about the time that elapsed before families were notified; Howard says the principal “needed time to gather all the info on Wednesday/Thursday to clarify everything before sending to families.” We asked her how school staff found out about what happened: “We found out because students trusted the staff enough, to report what happened, subsequently initiating an investigation.” She adds, “This student has since written a letter of apology to the principal and asked what he can do over the next few days to make up for work he missed while on suspension, as well as how he can make amends among his peers.”

Update: Industrial-furnace fire on Harbor Island; 2 hurt, including firefighter

9:11 AM: In case you’re wondering about the big fire response headed for Harbor Island, they’re checking out a possible fire at a business in the 3400 block of 13th SW. The first unit on the scene reports “light smoke” coming from a metal building. More as we get it.

9:16 AM: The fire has been “knocked down,” per scanner. But there’s word a firefighter has been hurt.

9:42 AM: More reinforcements have been called to the fire scene, including ventilation. No official update yet about the injured firefighter, but SFD’s public-information officer was headed to the scene too, so we should have word soon. The SFD response is right by the entrance to Harbor Island when you leave the low bridge and circle around on Klickitat, so avoid the area if you can.

9:47 AM: Update from SFD’s Kyle Moore – A firefighter in his 30s has been taken to Harborview with second-degree leg burns after stepping into what turned out to be (updated) boiling water or metal; also, a worker in his 30s was “splattered with materials” and will be taken by private ambulance to be checked out further. (There was concern earlier about “volatile” materials in the furnace.)

9:56 AM: The fire is now described as “tapped.” Some units are being dismissed from the scene.

10:44 AM: We’ve added two more photos as well as video of what Moore told us at the scene – the photo above this line shows the MVU (mobile ventilation unit) he mentioned.

ADDED 2:24 PM: SFD has just published a full update on its website. The firefighter who was hurt suffered 1st- and 2nd-degree burns, SFD’s update says, and will be moved overnight to the Harborview burn it; he’s been with the department since 2006 and is based at North Delridge’s Station 36. What happened to him is explained as:

The firefighter manning a hose line in the smoky building stepped into a two-foot deep slag pit that is designed to catch molten metal. The unmarked and unsecured pit was full of boiling water. The boiling water made its way into the firefighter’s boots causing 1st and 2nd degree burns to his lower legs. A Mayday was called and fellow firefighters quickly rescued the injured co-worker.

The injured worker who suffered “spot burns” is described as in stable condition. And investigators say the fire “was accidental, caused by a failure in the induction furnace,” with damage estimated at $85,000.

New Little Free Library now ‘open’ at Morgan Junction Park

(Photo courtesy Joe Paar)
The long-planned Little Free Library is now in place in Morgan Junction Park, reports Cindi Barker from the Morgan Community Association: “Thanks go to Joe Paar, Morgan resident; Tyler Jamison of Village Builders; Seattle Parks staff; and the Friends of Morgan Junction Park for getting this installed!” As shown in the photo, you can see it right next to the information kiosk at the park, which is at 6413 California SW. If you’re not familiar with the concept, as explained on the official LFL site, it’s “a box full of books where anyone may stop by and pick up a book (or two) and bring back another book to share.”

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Monday updates & the week ahead

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning! As we keep watch on the morning commute (and beyond), transportation notes:

SOUTH PARK BRIDGE STATUS: After a malfunction put the bridge off-limits to surface traffic for most of Saturday, county road crews managed to get it back in service again, and are now awaiting parts for permanent repairs. You can check here any time to be sure it’s operational before you head that way. (Here’s a traffic cam, too.)

ADMIRAL WAY PAVING TUESDAY-WEDNESDAY: SDOT work on Admiral between 34th and Olga, as mentioned here Friday night after a tip from Mike.

WEST SEATTLE TRANSPORTATION COALITION ON THURSDAY: The WSTC’s monthly meeting is 6:30 pm Thursday at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center. The agenda features a guest: Paulo Nunes-Ueno, the new head of SDOT’s Transit Division.

METRO FARE CHANGES TAKE EFFECT NEXT SUNDAY: On March 1st, some go up, some go down, as explained here.

7:11 AM: Quiet so far. Checking travel times from the city’s map:

35th Ave SW @ SW Snoqualmie St to …
SR-99 Off Ramp 4 min.
1st Ave Off Ramp 5 min.
4th Ave Off Ramp 6 min.
Stadiums via 1st Ave 10 min.
Stadiums via 4th Ave 10 min.
South Lake Union 15 min.
Ballard 22 min.
Crown Hill 28 min.
Green Lake via SR-99 22 min.
I-5 NB/SB 5 min.
Lower Queen Anne 17 min.
Shoreline via SR-99 28 min.

8:16 AM: Just got two texts about a bus-car collision at midspan of the eastbound bridge, reported to be blocking two lanes. One texter says two lanes are blocked including the bus lane; the other says the vehicles are “stopped on top of the bridge just east of the (crest).”

8:22 AM: You can see the bus and car in the top left camera. Only the bus lane is blocked now – the car is in front of the bus. It’s a #56, per a texter on board.

8:36 AM: Texter on board says driver told them the car hit the bus, and that after some pictures/paperwork, they’ll be able to move on. While the top-left camera will have the newest image, here’s a screengrab from a moment or two ago:

A supervisor is now out checking the bus’s exterior, our tipster reports.

8:45 AM: And now a #55 bus has arrived to take passengers from the stuck bus. Not room enough for all of them, says our tipster – “about a dozen” are back on board and now waiting for a #120.

8:57 AM: Bus lane is now clear – the bus, Metro supervisors’ vehicles, and the car that was involved have all just left.