West Seattle, Washington
Beautiful day for a beach cleanup! As promised, the Surfrider Foundation‘s Seattle chapter was out at Alki on this Earth Day afternoon, with volunteers picking up trash.
The special focus is on cigarette debris left behind, as this sidewalk message pointed out:
Read more about that campaign on this Surfrider Foundation page.
Thanks for the tips about a sizable police response at/near the north parking lot at Lincoln Park. Here’s what police tell us happened: Making a traffic stop, they noticed a gun in the car, and called for backup. It turned out to be a realistic-looking Airsoft-type gun. They also told us they are still investigating other possible issues regarding the vehicle/driver, so the scene hasn’t cleared quite yet.
(WSB file photo of West Seattle Outdoor Movies audience in Hotwire courtyard)
The dates are set for the 2015 season of West Seattle Outdoor Movies – six summertime Saturday nights, July 18th to August 22nd, in the courtyard next to Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor) at 4410 California SW. If you are brand-new to West Seattle this year – it’s our area’s only outdoor movie series, free admission, concessions and raffles to benefit local nonprofits. And the movies are chosen with community input – this means you! The online suggestion box is open right now – what movie would you like to see? While the series is intended to be mostly family-friendly, that does NOT mean it’s limited strictly to G-rated movies. To avoid recent reruns, here’s what was shown in the past three years:
2014’s movie lineup was “Gravity,” “Spice World,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” “The Blues Brothers,” “The Goonies,” “Frozen”
*2013′s movie lineup was “Goldfinger,” “Devil Wears Prada,” “Muppets,” “Avengers,” “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” “This Is Spinal Tap”
*2012′s movie lineup was “Pretty in Pink,” “Young Frankenstein,” “Lion King,” “Iron Man,” “Yellow Submarine,” “Top Gun”
We invite you to comment here with suggestions, and/or e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org!
P.S. Local businesses/organizations interested in co-sponsoring the series (we are proud to be on board again this year) are also invited to contact Hotwire proprietor/Outdoor Movies ringleader Lora Swift, same e-mail address as above.
1:54 PM: Thanks to the neighbor who sent that photo and word of Seattle Fire‘s multiple-unit dispatch to a gas leak in the 2400 block of 55th SW. No word of injuries, nor do we know the circumstances yet, but we do know Puget Sound Energy has arrived and just shut off the gas.
5:35 PM: We talked to SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore about what happened. He says a construction crew working to build a driveway accidentally punctured the 1″ gas line. One person who was home in a nearby house was evacuated for about half an hour until utility crews took care of the situation.
(WSB photo from M/V Sally Fox’s March dedication on Vashon)
Imagine driving onto a state ferry with open sides, every vehicle exposed to the elements. Now imagine the ferry traveling fast enough to chop across the water, with spray on all sides, especially on a stormy day. Regular users would likely wind up with rust. This is the situation faced by people bringing bicycles onto King County Water Taxis – because of the new vessels’ design, which has bicycle parking out on the open deck, instead of inside, as is the case with the current West Seattle Water Taxi, Spirit of Kingston, for example.
The latest attempt to get some relief for the problem – especially with the new Vashon boat M/V Sally Fox now in service and its twin the M/V Doc Maynard coming to West Seattle later this year – is in this letter signed by local bicycle shop owners:
The problem was surfaced by Vashon bicyclists before the Sally Fox went into service; we’re checking today with the King County Department of Transportation to see if one of the fixes suggested in the letter above is in the works, or if they’re responding in another way. We’ll add the response when we get it later today.
ADDED 3:15 PM: Here’s the KCDOT response to our inquiry about this, via spokesperson Jeff Switzer:
We’ve been talking with our water taxi customers who ride bikes. Some have concerns about the outdoor storage area that salt spray could be a problem for their bikes while others do not. We have been monitoring the area for such concerns and thus far this has not been a problem. We communicated to the cyclists that gathered for a community meeting on Vashon in March, that actual vessel operations would be monitored over time, giving us a chance to observe any adverse weather conditions during the fall and winter to see what, if any impact there are to bikes. This will give us time to determine whether there is a problem. So far, we are encouraged that our current plan to provide safe and secure bike storage is working. In the Vashon community meeting we offered storage space on the vessel for individual bike covers, and proposed a bike wash down station to be designed into the new pier 50 terminal.
Right in time for Earth Day week, you have the chance to enjoy a film festival celebrating the beauty of our world’s waterways and the joy of exploring them. Mountain To Sound Outfitters is hosting a tour stop of the Reel Paddling Film Festival, 7 pm Friday (April 24th). The screening venue is just steps from M2SO’s shop in The Triangle, at Pershing Hall (inside the West Seattle Veterans’ Center/American Legion Post 160 building at 37th/Alaska). We just checked with M2SO proprietor Greg Whittaker and he says tickets are still available – buy online or at the door.
(Photo courtesy Mark)
Have you seen the sign? ALKI, spelled out with 53 rocks in the 59th SW median south of Admiral Way. We noticed it in passing last week and tweeted a photo, but got caught up in other things and didn’t get around to mentioning it here. Since then, though several other people have called it to our attention, and wondered whose work it is – we don’t know either, so we’re publishing the photo to ask if YOU know!
Thanks to Mark Wangerin for the photo of a pigeon guillemot that’s now sporting its springtime look. As we bask in unexpected sunshine, here’s what’s ahead for today/tonight from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
SEEDS FOR EARTH DAY: With your coffee (or any other purchase) at Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor) today, get a packet of wildflower seeds, in honor of Earth Day. (4410 California SW)
MINI-PLANTS FOR EARTH DAY: Also in The Junction, an Earth Day traditiona at Fleurt (celebrating its 5th anniversary!) – drop off an unwanted pot or jar, get a mini-plant. (4536 California SW)
BLOOD DRIVE: The Bloodmobile is at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) 10:30 am-4:30 pm today, with a break from 12:30 pm-1:30 pm. All who can donate are welcome to stop by and do so; more info here. (6000 16th SW)
GET OUT OF THE (HOME) OFFICE: Noon meetup at West Seattle Office Junction (WSB sponsor) for entrepreneurs, at-home workers, etc. – come network, take a break from the usual setting, see what everyone else is up to. (6040 California SW)
YOUTH-LED COMMUNITY DISCUSSION ABOUT SAFETY: 5:30 pm at High Point Community Center, be part of a youth-facilitated discussion about community safety, world-café style – explained here. (6920 34th SW)
TALK ABOUT SPACE! NASA Solar System Ambassador Dr. Ron Hobbs is at Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor) at 6:30 pm, and the community is invited:
Dr. Hobbs’ presentation, titled “Exploring Strange New Worlds; A Space Exploration Update,” will introduce exciting developments in space exploration. This talk is aimed to inspire upper elementary and middle school students and their families. Admission is free of charge. An RSVP is requested by email at email@example.com.
In this special Earth Day Explorer presentation, Dr. Hobbs will talk about the new frontiers including the latest discoveries in comets, dwarf planets, and the Mars rover. With the goal of igniting enthusiasm and imagination of the new frontiers that lie in outer space, Dr. Hobbs will also illustrate the ways that the discoveries from these missions will impact our life on earth.
Please note the RSVP request above. (10015 28th SW)
HIGHLAND PARK ACTION COMMITTEE: 6:30 pm potluck, 7 pm meeting at Highland Park Improvement Club – as previewed here, a new city employment initiative will be discussed. Plus, District 1 City Council candidate Chas Redmond. (12th/Holden)
COMEDY SHOWCASE: 8 pm at Feedback Lounge, hosted by West Seattle’s own Mona Concepcion, it’s the Jay Wendall Walker 55th Anniversary Show – laugh it up! (6451 California SW)
AND THIS IS JUST THE START … see everything else happening today/tonight (and beyond) by going to our calendar.
Several people are asking this morning about a helicopter search in eastern West Seattle early today. Here’s what we’ve found out: Guardian One helped Seattle Police try to catch a man who robbed the 35th/Avalon 7-11 around 2 am. According to the police report we’ve obtained, the clerk was mopping the floor when the robber approached him from behind and placed the barrel of a handgun against his neck, ordering him to empty the register and give him all the money. After the clerk complied, the robber grabbed six packages of cigars and ran out of the store – dropping the cigars in the process, but not the money. The clerk summoned police immediately; they searched on the ground with a K-9 and from the air with Guardian One, but couldn’t find the robber, whose track ended in an alley near the golf course, several blocks east. No description – we’ll add it if we get it.
(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning! No trouble reported in, or from, West Seattle so far this morning – the weather is sunnier than expected, though, so don’t forget your shades!
One traffic alert for tonight: Southbound Highway 509 in Burien will close 8 pm-5 am tonight, tomorrow night, and two nights next week – details here.
A green reminder on this Earth Day: If you’re ready to recycle items that you can’t put out with the usual curbside recyclables – good news: Fauntleroy Church‘s next Recycle Roundup is only four days away, coming up this Sunday (April 26th), 9 am-3 pm. It’s one of the two days each year that the church’s Green Committee partners with sustainable recyclers 1 Green Planet to set up the main church parking lot at 9140 California SW as a dropoff zone for your no-longer-needed items … as long as they’re on this list. See you there!
Thanks to the tipster who let us know that a crash at 47th/Andover earlier tonight was more than it looked on the 911 log. When we got there, the car above was the most visible remaining sign of what had happened around 7:30 pm – it was one of three parked cars damaged when a black Jetta slammed into them. Our tipster says witnesses saw a man get out of the driver’s seat and run after the collision, leaving an injured woman inside; she was taken to the hospital. Our tipster sent this video clip, in which you’ll hear the en-route fire engine:
We weren’t able to reach police to ask if the driver was caught but will see if we can find anything out in the morning.
Washington State Ferries says the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route is back to three boats now that the Issaquah is repaired. As noted in today’s traffic/transit watch, it’s been out of service since midday.
Thanks to LB for noticing that tower-crane base installed at the site of The Whittaker (4755 Fauntleroy Way SW), and sharing the photo. Crane arrivals are of interest for a variety of reasons, from traffic effects on installation day(s) to the draw of spectators, so we checked with the project team: The first of its two cranes is set for installation Monday-Tuesday of next week (April 27-28). More details to come; no date yet for the second crane. Meantime, in case you’ve been wondering – Whole Foods Market remains the only retailer confirmed for the project, which also includes 389 apartments and 594 underground parking spaces.
Over the past year or so, Seattle Police have been working with neighborhood groups to create specific local policing plans – and now, they’ve made the citywide plans public. Here are the six for West Seattle (with more to come):
(Former Southwest Precinct commander, now Assistant Chief, Steve Wilske, was a leader in initiating these, as cited by SPD Chief Kathleen O’Toole in promoting him.)
Read more about the concept – and see the city’s other plans, if you’re interested – by going to this SPD webpage.
Drivers heading to Burien or Sea-Tac Airport should prepare for up to four full closures of southbound State Route 509 over the next seven nights.
· Wednesday, April 22 to the morning of Friday, April 24 and Monday, April 27 to the morning of Wednesday, April 29 – All southbound lanes of SR 509 from SR 518/Southwest 148th Street to South 160th Street will be closed from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly.
· Drivers will follow a short signed detour [onto 1st Avenue S.]. The southbound SR 509 exit to SR 518 and the airport will remain open.
· This work is weather dependent.
During the closures, contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will grind and repave sections of the highway near SR 518. The work is part of the SR 509 project to replace the asphalt on a four-mile section of the roadway.
Thanks to the 220+ sellers – individuals, schools, businesses, organizations, blocks – who have already signed up to make Saturday, May 9th, another epic West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day – person-to-person recycling at its finest! If you are thinking about having a sale – we just want to make sure you know that registration, which has been open for three weeks, closes in **two days** … the cutoff is this Thursday night (April 23rd), so we can get going on the map/list, to keep our promise that it’ll be available one week before sale day. Just go here to sign up online.
IMPORTANT P.S. IF YOU’VE ALREADY REGISTERED: Please be sure you got both receipts – confirmation e-mail PLUS a receipt from PayPal (it carries WSB’s legacy LLC name, A Drink of Water & A Story Interactive) – as happens every year, a small percentage of sellers are in the system only with the former, not the latter, and if that’s you, e-mail us ASAP at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can send you a link to finish the process. Thank you!
We took that photo this morning in the 10200 block of Myers Way – just south of the city limits – after a texted tip (206-293-6302 any time) from someone who reported seeing a major presence of Washington State Patrol and FBI agents there. When we asked the FBI about it, they told us information would be forthcoming shortly on a multi-agency, multi-location operation – and here it is:
Federal, state and local law enforcement partners made 18 arrests and searched more than a dozen locations in connection with a two-year investigation into a violent drug trafficking organization, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. The organization distributed cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine across a wide swath of the greater Seattle metro area. The defendants (were) scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Seattle at 2:00 today.
“These defendants preyed on our community by supplying drugs in neighborhoods across Seattle, and demonstrated a willingness to use violence where it served their purposes,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. “Their criminal activities included hiding weapons and using violence in homeless encampments located along Interstate-5.”
According to the indictment and court records, beginning in February 2013 law enforcement authorities used a variety of tools including telephone wire taps and confidential sources to infiltrate and interdict this drug organization. The investigation determined that the organization distributed approximately 15-20 kilos of cocaine, 10-15 kilos of heroin and 5 kilos of methamphetamine per month.
2:17 PM: Just in via the King County Health Department:
KFC #332 located at 3501 SW Avalon Way, Seattle 98126 was closed by a Public Health food inspector on April 20, 2014 at 3:30 pm due to the imminent health hazard of sewage backup into the facility. The inspector will reopen the establishment after all issues have been resolved.
Sometimes that happens quickly, so we’ll be going over to check soon to see if they’re still closed.
2:34 PM: The restaurant is open for business. We’re trying to see if we can find someone to confirm that the problem announced by the Health Department is fixed. (Added: The KCPH webpage now says they approved the business for reopening at 11 am … hours before this alert was sent.)
In case you missed our first mention – this is just two days away, 12:30 pm-2:30 pm Thursday (April 23rd) at the Senior Center of West Seattle:
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen will host a community forum regarding affordable-housing challenges for senior citizens and options for those on fixed incomes. Rasmussen is hosting the meeting in response to concerns he has heard regarding the increasing cost of housing, particularly from low-income seniors. Representatives for senior citizens, social workers, housing affordability advocates, Seattle Housing Authority, and from the Seattle Utility Discount Program will be part of the presentation.
Forum topics include:
· Increasing housing costs
· Landlord and renter rights in Seattle
· Affordable housing options for seniors
· Opportunities for participation in the Utility Discount Program
Everyone is invited to attend to learn more and ask questions.
The Senior Center’s entrance is on SW Oregon just east of California SW.
(UPDATED 2:11 pm with letter sent home by Denny/Sealth prinicipals)
Just in, from Seattle Police:
Police are investigating after a 15-year-old girl was grabbed while walking through Westwood Village Tuesday morning.
The girl told officers she was walking to school at 6:30 AM when a man approached her and asked where he could buy a phone charger. She answered his question and made her way to a nearby coffee shop. The girl said that when she exited the cafe, the man continued to follow her, at one point wrapping both of his arms around her. The girl broke free and ran the rest of the way to Denny International Middle School, where she reported the incident to administrators.
The victim described the man as in his early 30’s, black, wearing a black hoodie and sweat pants. If you have any information in this case please call 911 and speak with an officer.
This is the first walking-to/from-school incident reported against a Denny or Sealth student in more than a month – last one in our archives was in early March.
Reminder that, as mentioned earlier, the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meets tonight, so if you have questions/concerns about this or anything else recently in WS, come hear from and talk to police, 7 pm @ the precinct (Delridge/Webster).
ADDED 2:11 PM: We asked Denny principal Jeff Clark to please share the letter that we expected would be sent home to parents. Here it is (it’s to be sent to Sealth families too) – please note that they still need volunteers for the safety effort we spotlighted here last month:
April 21, 2015
Dear Denny and Chief Sealth Scholars and Families,
We want to share with you information right away regarding an incident that was reported this morning involving one of our scholars on her way to school.
At approximately 6:20 am an eighth-grade female scholar was followed around Westwood Village by a man who persistently asked her questions. He was described as an East African man in his early 30’s, thin built with short curly hair and a goatee, who spoke with an accent. He continued to follow her through the parking lot and on the path from Westwood through the Southwest Athletic Center toward our campus. When she approached Thistle, he grabbed her. She broke free from his grasp and ran to school and reported the incident to school staff right away. Denny Staff notified the family and the Seattle Police Department, who are actively investigating.
The safety of our scholars is our top priority. We are continuing to coordinate with the SW Precinct Captain to discuss the safety and their increased policing efforts. We will continue to collaborate with the Seattle Police Department and Seattle Public Schools Safety and Security to help monitor the surrounding area. As a part of these efforts, we are recruiting a team of volunteers to be trained and posted around the neighborhood to serve as part of a “block watch” system as our scholars come to and from school. If you are interested in helping with this, please contact Jeff Clark at email@example.com or 206-252-9000.
You can help your children stay safe by talking to them about personal safety. Tips to discuss are:
• Walking in pairs or groups and being aware of their surroundings at all times.
• Leaving for school at times where there are high levels of pedestrian traffic.
• Immediately reporting anything suspicious to trusted adults (school staff and family members).
• Keep earbuds off and expensive phones out of sight.
More tips and information can be found on the Seattle Police Department website: http://www.seattle.gov/police/prevention/child/default.htm.
Just spotted this while out checking on something unrelated: Signage is up for The Ripple Café, on the way to 9007 35th SW, next to West Seattle Fish House. It’s the same spot where JC’s Deli closed at the end of last year. Via Facebook, the café’s proprietor describes it as, “(A) small but funky café … Local coffee, home-made sweet and savory baked goods (gluten-free options too!!), everything fresh, everything delicious!!”, adding that they hope to open this month. When we find out more, we’ll update this story.
ADDED WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON: Proprietor Barbara Underwood comments below – including, ” In coordinating with our neighbors, we are hoping to all compliment each other and create our own little destination corner of West Seattle. We will be serving fresh sandwiches, fresh tossed salads and some baked items. We have specialty coffees and teas (Iced and Hot) but have no plans to serve espresso. We hope to consistently adjust to the neighborhood needs. Hope to see you soon.”
Thanks to “Diver Laura” James for the video from Constellation Park at low tide – one place you might consider being when the tide’s out to -1.7 feet again at 1:31 pm today. (Check tides – as well as forecasts, sun/moon times and phases, and more – on the WSB West Seattle Weather page, any time.)
Also for today/tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
DROP-IN CHESS: 4-5:30 pm at High Point Branch Library, kids/teens welcome to stop in and play, all skill levels, coaches/game sets on hand, free. (35th/Raymond)
CITY ATTORNEY AT CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL: 7 pm at the Southwest Precinct, find out about local crime trends, ask questions about neighborhood concerns, and hear from this month’s special guest, City Attorney Pete Holmes. All welcome. (Webster/Delridge)
WEST SEATTLE QUILTERS: Join them tonight at 7 pm at Senior Center of West Seattle. (Oregon/California)
SEE INTO THE FUTURE … more events for today, plus what’s up tomorrow and way beyond, all on the calendar page.