day : 25/03/2015 11 results

West Seattle Crime Watch followups: Store-burglary suspect in jail; stolen car found

Two West Seattle Crime Watch followups tonight:

STORE BURGLARY ARREST: You might recall Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) in Westwood Village getting broken into twice in December, the first one hitting hours before their holiday open house, to which they responded defiantly with a bow over the plywood covering the smashed-in door:

Talking with the proprietors this week, we found out a suspect has been arrested and charged in that break-in. Police identified 38-year-old Ioane Sua of First Hill via a palm-print match and surveillance video. Once they knew who they were looking for, he wasn’t hard to find … he was already in the King County Jail, arrested on January 10th after being found driving a car that had been stolen on New Year’s Day from the Home Depot parking lot on Delridge. Prosecutors charged Sua with second-degree burglary in late January, and have since charged him in the stolen-car case too. He was scheduled to return to court today, but the hearing was postponed because a possible plea agreement is in the works, according to a document in the online files. He remains jailed in lieu of $30,000 bail, and has a lengthy criminal record.

STOLEN CAR FOUND: Speaking of stolen cars – the one reported here this morning has since been found, reports its owner:

They found my car in White Center with stolen plates on it. The inside was filled with garbage, food and a bag full of stolen mail that was all opened, from as far away as Sammamish, hence my full tank of gas depleted. My glovebox, console, trunk all emptied. Every part of the inside and parts of the outside wiped down with smelly, greasy cleaner to cover their tracks. The good news is that there’s no real damage. With case # in hand I drove home with no license plates, which I’ll have to replace tomorrow.

The mail must go through … the fence? Truck crashes, no one hurt

We don’t know how it happened, but thanks to those who sent photos of this U.S. Postal Service truck crash in Upper Morgan earlier this evening, including this one from Rob. Someone who texted us about the crash says no one was hurt, verified by an absence of an SFD callout on the department’s online log.

You can help! One month until mega-consignment sale for West Seattle Co-op Preschools

(2014 WSB photo)
Of interest to sellers as well as shoppers – the West Seattle Co-op Preschools are planning another mega-consignment sale, exactly one month away. Here are the details:

The West Seattle Co-op Preschool system is very excited to be hosting another spring/summer kids’ consignment sale on April 25 from 9 am- 1 pm at the West Seattle VFW Hall, to help fund scholarships for families in need.

Anyone from the community can consign at this sale. Consigners can set their own prices, and guidance and information about how to register to be a consigner are available at

This sale will be a great way for families to make some money with their gently used baby/kids gear, spring/summer clothing, toys and books. Sellers will make 65 percent of the asking price and the preschool scholarship fund will take 35 percent. The consigners will be paid for the sold items via a check, which will be mailed the week following the sale.

Anyone is welcome to shop for low-cost, good-quality items for their kids the day of the sale. All proceeds from the sale benefit the scholarship program to help families in need. The West Seattle Co-op Preschool system is hoping to make this consignment sale a biannual tradition every fall and spring as a way to bring the community together. Hope to see you there!

The VFW Hall is at 3601 SW Alaska.

Barton Pump Station Upgrade traffic alert for tomorrow; project ‘very close to being done’

March 25, 2015 5:07 pm
|    Comments Off on Barton Pump Station Upgrade traffic alert for tomorrow; project ‘very close to being done’
 |   Fauntleroy | Utilities | West Seattle news

(WSB photo, taken today)
With another traffic advisory from King County Wastewater Treatment Division related to the Barton Pump Station Upgrade Project next to the Fauntleroy ferry dock, we asked for an overall update. First – the traffic advisory:

The northern ferry lane entrance and toll booth will be closed for up to two hours starting at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow morning, March 26. The closure is necessary to allow Seattle City Light crews to remove the temporary electrical system that has served the Barton Pump Station during construction. This work is part of construction wrap up for the Barton Pump Station Upgrade. Flaggers will be on hand to keep ferry and Fauntleroy traffic moving. Please call the project hotline with any questions or concerns: 206-296-2999.

Now the overall update: County spokesperson Annie Kolb-Nelson tells WSB that “the project is very close to being done. The art work is scheduled to come in in April, and landscaping and restoration is ongoing through spring. WTD is working with Friends of Cove Park to plan a June celebration for the public. We’ll offer pump station tours, and Friends of Cove Park will host a celebratory re-opening of the beach.” Cove Park closed in June 2012, as the construction got under way.

Question for Mayor Murray? Come to The Triangle on Saturday

Announced by the Department of Neighborhoodsdistrict coordinators – Mayor Ed Murray is making a quick conversation stop in West Seattle on Saturday (March 28), his second visit this month (first one was at the 34th District Democrats‘ meeting – here’s our coverage, with video). It’s a public event, 12:30-1 pm at Chaco Canyon Organic Café, northeast corner of 38th/Alaska.

Four highlights for your West Seattle Wednesday night

March 25, 2015 1:50 pm
|    Comments Off on Four highlights for your West Seattle Wednesday night
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

Before we get too much further into the afternoon, four events to spotlight for tonight:

LAND USE 101 AT WSLUC: Ever wonder how to make your way through so much (or so little) information about development and land use? Hear tonight from two citizen/volunteer/neighborhood experts, Deb Barker and Cindi Barker (no relation), at the West Seattle Land Use Committee meeting. 6 pm, West Seattle (Admiral) Library, lower meeting room. (2306 42nd SW)

HIGHLAND PARK ACTION COMMITTEE: 7 pm, SDOT traffic engineer Dongho Chang will be there to talk about the Vision Zero safety plan. HPAC also will hear from District 1 City Council candidate Lisa Herbold. More agenda details here. (12th/Holden)

OPT OUT OF TESTING? That’s one of the topics at a special meeting of the Chief Sealth International High School PTSA, 7 pm tonight – the hot topic of whether to opt out of the Smarter Balanced assessments. Also on the agenda, principal Aida Fraser-Hammer with items including an update on the budget for next school year. The PTSA also is electing an interim president. (2600 SW Thistle)

BENEFIT TRIVIA: 8:30 pm at Talarico’s in The Junction, the Wednesday night trivia is a benefit for the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) Annual Campaign, which provides scholarships for kids’ activities at many local schools – details in our event listing. (4718 California SW)

FOLLOWUP: Why did it take 9 hours to clear toppled truck from Highway 99?

(UPDATED 6:07 PM after followup conversation with SPD)

(Reader photo texted shortly after the crash)
12:01 PM: “Why did it take 9 hours?” is the big question today, one day after a truck full of fish went sideways on southbound Highway 99 in the stadium zone, leading to a 9-hour shutdown that clogged traffic citywide. We have some early answers from Seattle Police:

Lincoln Towing responded to the scene with two large tow trucks and one standard-size tow truck.

Eventually Lincoln Towing personnel were able to raise the overturned trailer. However, the load of fish in the trailer’s container had shifted, causing the truck to become unstable. At this point the trailer was upright, but still blocking all southbound lanes. Lincoln Towing determined the trailer’s cargo of would have to be off-loaded in order to stabilize the trailer.

City officials ultimately had to rely on personnel from Seattle Tunnel Partners, and used their heavy equipment to off-load a portion of the container. Once about half of the container’s cargo was removed, the trailer was deemed stable enough to be moved from the viaduct.

STP is WSDOT’s contractor for the Highway 99 tunnel project. All of the above is from a long update published a short time ago on SPD Blotter; it also includes a dispatch-log timeline and aggregated tweets (some of which were featured in our as-it-happens coverage Tuesday afternoon/evening) about the incident.

We also have an inquiry out to Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who chairs the Transportation Committee and has pursued extensive followups on earlier incidents, most notably last June’s 4-mile, 5-hour shutdown after a head-on crash on 99 just south of the West Seattle Bridge. Some of the changes promised in this September followup report/”after-action plan” (embedded below) were clearly in effect yesterday – SPD/SDOT communication, longer hours for the SDOT traffic-management center communicator(s):

But Tuesday’s truck mishap was a completely different type of incident, without a major criminal investigation to complicate things, so it brings up different questions. We’ll update this report with anything more we find out today.

P.S. We’ll mention again that SDOT leaders including director Scott Kubly were already booked for tomorrow night’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting, 6:30 pm Thursday at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center, if you want to ask your own questions and/or hear the answers firsthand.

4:30 PM: Councilmember Rasmussen says he has the same info that you see above from SPD, plus, “I have already requested that SPD and SDOT prepare reports for the Council. We will be scheduling a presentation of their reports to the Council and are working on that date and time now.”

5:26 PM: We talked a short time ago with SPD’s media-relations/public-affairs Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, seeking answers to several followup questions:

First: Commenters asked, couldn’t they just drag the trailer/truck off the highway? No, says Sgt. Whitcomb, there was no way to do that. They tried towing it, dragging it, pushing it; it just wouldn’t work, it wasn’t stable enough, so finally they tried Seattle Tunnel Partners’ heavy equipment. “It was an engineering problem – getting the damaged, jack-knifed truck up on its wheels, stabilized, just took a great deal of time and consideration … determining that additional tools were needed was part of the problem-solving process.”

Could STP have been involved sooner? Maybe, but, “at the heart of it, this was a towing operation,” said Sgt. Whitcomb. The circumstances “would be hard to replicate – complicated by the damage (to) and the position of the truck. It was fortuitous that (STP) were just right there and could help when needed – a spirit of partnership between the state and the city.” (STP is WSDOT’s contractor for the tunnel project.)

He said it was cleared as soon as possible, in the end, and they were at one point afraid it could have taken even longer – “there was a two am conference call planned” at one point, to see what the prospects were for the morning commute. The mayor’s office was notified early on, and the information loop went all the way to the top at SPD, including consultation with Deputy Chief Carmen Best, #2 in command. Originally, he said, they had hoped it would be cleared by the evening commute, but at some point, everyone but those directly involved in the towing/clearing were “spectators.”

Sgt. Whitcomb didn’t have details handy on whose truck it was or what happened to the fish, though he recalled a truck spill in the past (full of Mountain Dew) in which the contents of the trailer had to be disposed of because once there had been a mishap, the items weren’t salable.

So what now? In addition to the reports about the 9-hour closure, the collision remains under investigation, Sgt. Whitcomb said. No indication of DUI, but, he pointed out, generally “somebody will be cited … ‘accidents’ don’t just happen, it’s either mechanical failure or operator error – a rule of the road has been violated and somebody will be cited.” And when it comes to commercial vehicle operation, that kind of ticket is “a big deal,” he notes.

West Seattle whale-watching: Orcas in the area

Thanks to Norman for the tip via Twitter, and we see the Orca Network Facebook commenters are discussing it too: Orcas turned up along the Bainbridge ferry route earlier this morning and have now been seen heading south along West Seattle (Me-Kwa-Mooks, says Norman) – let us know if you see them!

West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen bicycle; stolen car; mail theft; suspicious person who ‘danced and lit his pipe’

Four West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports this morning:

STOLEN BICYCLE: That bike’s owner says it was stolen last night around 9:45 pm:

My bike (which happens to be my primary means of transportation) was stolen on the 42XX block of Admiral Way. It was locked to a bike rack in front of Vidiot (a small bar). A report has been filed with the police who drove around for a bit in search of the property. I saw the man ride away but unfortunately could not keep up with him. He was wearing street clothes, had a backpack, and had medium length curly hair. … The police mentioned that stolen bikes are typically ditched after a joy ride or end up in a pawn shop. I’m hoping that if someone sees the bike they can alert the police.

(added) STOLEN CAR: Got word of this just after we publishing this roundup, so we’re adding:

My car was stolen from in front of my house. On 40th Ave SW between Brandon and Findlay. 1994 Honda Accord LX, black with plates AFV7888. Has a sticker like this one on the right side back bumper, maybe a different color. I think I had a Sierra Club sticker in back window, or WTA sticker.

MAILBOX BREAK-IN: From a Highland Park resident:

I just wanted to let you know that we had our mailbox, which is a sturdy locked box, broken into. It looks like they used something to bend the metal, dislodging the locking mechanism. Mail was taken and discarded on the side of our property- I guess they didn’t want our medical bill or mortgage statement :) This happened this weekend while we were out of town. We live on the corner of 17th and Cloverdale.

SUSPICIOUS PERSON: In the 4400 block of 39th SW last night:

We had to call the police … At 10:00 pm, there was a man smoking either crack or meth on our front lawn. He knocked on my door and asked for water. When we asked him to leave, he danced and lit his pipe. We called 911. The police came but said they could not arrest him. They said they would monitor his activity.

ABOUT READER REPORTS: SPD does not routinely make public the detailed reports of most incidents – so unless we get a reader report or happen to cover an incident as it happens, we won’t hear about it, but it’s often helpful for your West Seattle neighbors to know what’s happening and where (not just your block – a stolen car, bike, etc., could turn up miles away). We hope you WON’T ever have anything to report, but if you do, … provided you’ve already reported it to the police. For breaking news, 206-293-6302, text or voice, 24/7; thank you!

Global Reading Challenge: Scenes from the finals, featuring teams from West Seattle, Lafayette Elementaries

(Tuesday night WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
We went downtown last night for the 20th annual Global Reading Challenge finals, in which West Seattle Elementary‘s Reading Warriors (above) and Lafayette Elementary‘s Rad Radical Hyperactive Jellyfish (below) were among the seven teams that made the cut from around the city.

Even this event was affected by the southbound Highway 99 closure – our area’s teams made it in time, heading northbound, but the start time was postponed so everyone could arrive from the north end. Ahead – scenes from the competition:
Read More

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday watch, & what’s ahead

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Just in case you missed it, yes, southbound 99 finally reopened late last night, nine hours after a truck toppled across the lanes by the stadiums. Not that you’re going that way this morning. (And remember this weekend’s *planned* closures.) So far, otherwise, this commute’s main challenge is the rain.

EARLY RELEASE DAY: Reminder that Seattle Public Schools are out two hours early today.

7:47 AM: Texter says a dump truck is stalled in the left lane on the eastbound bridge by Nucor, so things might be backing up from the Fauntleroy entrance.

8:04 AM: Now the word is that the truck apparently lost a wheel, so this is not just a stall. Looking at the video feed from the city map, the Fauntleroy entrance appears to still be moving OK, so this isn’t catastrophic, so far.

8:41 AM: Haven’t heard confirmation of clearing yet – the video feed shows slow going before the curve, before you’d reach this scene (which itself is out of camera range). (Added below – photo from Robert:)

Also, emergency responders are headed to a crash reported on northbound 99 near the bridge – checking for the exact location on this.

8:50 AM: Fire units are clearing that scene, but SDOT says two lanes are blocked, so backups could persist.

9:04 AM: Thanks to the commenters who’ve explained where the 99 crash is – just past the onramp from the eastbound West Seattle Bridge. Also a truck involved. One lane blocked.

9:16 AM: Fauntleroy access to the bridge is now back up to speed, per the video feed, so we’re thinking the truck’s been moved. We’re off to verify.

10:35 AM: It actually hasn’t yet been moved. Thanks to the texter who sent us an update, even before we made it to an East Admiral overlook from which we could see firsthand (without further complicating traffic ourselves!).