day : 07/05/2015 16 results

UPDATE: ‘Overheated wiring’ blamed for fire at D & H Auto in South Delridge; no one hurt

(UPDATED Friday afternoon with fire’s cause)

(Texted photo)
9:57 PM: Seattle Fire is responding to a “fire in building” call at Delridge and Barton. It’s believed to be a commercial building. Police are blocking traffic both ways, at Delridge to the north. Westbound traffic is being blocked at 20th/Henderson. More to come.

(ADDED: WSB photo)
10:05 PM: Firefighters confirm it’s a commercial building. They say they have the fire knocked down; our crew has just arrived and says it’s very smoky – firefighters are bringing out their ventilating equipment. As we write this, our crew is telling us the building’s signage says D & H Auto.

10:10 PM: No report of injuries. Despite the volume of smoke, it’s not a huge fire – some units are being dismissed.

10:23 PM: SFD confirms no injuries – no one was in the building when the fire started. The fire marshal (investigator) has been summoned and will determine what caused it.

10:32 PM: We talked at the scene with SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore. He says that flames were visible from the sides of the building when firefighters arrived, but it only took them 10 minutes to get the fire out. They’re still checking for damage inside – one car might have been in the building. Investigation of the cause is under way. The roads in the area should reopen within an hour.

MIDNIGHT: Just drove by. The roads are indeed open, though northbound is narrowed right in front of the fire scene. One fire engine is still there, apparently on “fire watch,” keeping a crew on scene (rotating a new one in every so often) just in case it rekindles. No word yet on the cause. Adding video (above) of our brief interview with SFD spokesperson Moore.

ADDED 1:26 PM FRIDAY: The cause, from SFD:

Seattle Fire Investigators determined a fire at a West Seattle auto repair shop was accidental, caused by overheated electrical wiring inside an office. The damage estimate is $70,000.

The update on SFD’s Fire Line website also says one car was destroyed.

High-school baseball: West Seattle wins 15-1 as postseason begins

May 7, 2015 9:02 pm
|    Comments Off on High-school baseball: West Seattle wins 15-1 as postseason begins
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools | WS & Sports

Big win for the West Seattle High School varsity baseball team, as postseason play begins. Thanks to Caryn Johnson for the report and photo:

First day of the Metro Playoffs. West Seattle matched up against Franklin at Hiawatha this afternoon. Sophomore Ryan Kimsey (above) started on the mound for the Wildcats and proceeded to throw the entire game. In the bottom of the 1st inning, Junior Morgan McCullough led things off with a solo home run. The Wildcats would tack on 4 more runs to close out the inning. Then in the bottom of the 3rd, the Wildcats opened up the game, scoring 8 runs off of 8 hits. West Seattle would run away with this game, winning 1-15. Their next opponent is Roosevelt, tomorrow (Friday) at 4:00 pm at Steve Cox Field in White Center.

P.S. Tickets are still on sale for the June 22nd Mariners’ game, to benefit the Wildcats and their annual appearance in the High School Baseball Classic at Safeco Field. You can get yours by sending e-mail to

West Seattle scene: Cell-antenna opponents’ beach rally

About a dozen people rallied on the sand at Alki Beach tonight to call attention to their campaign against 12 cell-phone antennas planned on the roof at Stevens Crest Apartments (61st/Alki), as previewed in our Monday report. They had a bonfire, as announced, burning items representing the antennas, and displayed signs and exhibits about their concerns, which range from the antennas’ appearance to possible health effects. The next major step in their appeal of the city approval of a variance allowing the antennas is a conference later this month, in advance of the July 22nd hearing scheduled in the Hearing Examiner’s chambers downtown.

TRAFFIC ALERT: ‘Technical malfunction’ puts low bridge out of service for almost 2 hours; 2nd breakdown in 5 days

5:48 PM: Just one of those days. Almost every major route has had something go wrong. Right now, the low bridge:

The low bridge, officially known as the Spokane Street Swing Bridge, also suffered a “technical malfunction” on Sunday that made it unusable to surface traffic for an hour and a half. Here’s the “live” webcam that looks at the low bridge:

More as we get it; no ETA on a fix so far.

6:33 PM: As of the latest update from SDOT a minute ago via Twitter, still out of commission.

7:40 PM: After almost two hours, it’s working again. No explanation of the malfunction – we’ll be following up tomorrow.

West Seattle’s KEXP Hood-To-Hood victory party set for May 29th

(WSB photo from 2010 Hood-To-Hood Challenge party in West Seattle)
The full announcement isn’t until next Tuesday, but KEXP is offering a sneak peek of the details locked in for the West Seattle’s Hood-To-Hood Challenge victory party – first one here since 2010. Every year, fundraising drive, KEXP offers the party as a prize to the neighborhood that yields the most money during its summer fundraising drive, and last time West Seattle came out on top – a narrow victory, 100 dollars or so, but a win it was, so KEXP is planning the big bash here for Friday, May 29th.

KEXP’s Jeff Vetting tells WSB that one block of California SW will be closed to motorized vehicles that day, between Alaska and Oregon. The fun will include KEXP DJs broadcasting live, including West Seattleite Kevin Cole in the afternoon. Live music is planned on a stage that’ll be set up at SW Alaska – the full lineup isn’t public yet, except for Australia’s Miami Horror, which will be here as part of its U.S. tour. Then 6-9 pm, more KEXP DJ action at venues around West Seattle, followed by band showcases around town starting at 9 pm. Full announcement during Kevin’s show on KEXP next Tuesday (2-6 pm) – the bands, the venues, the extras.

(Wondering what Hood-to-Hood Day was like last time around? See our updates from 2010 here, here, and here.)

Countdown to West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day: 2 days!

Now just two days until the 11th annual West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day, presented by WSB, 9 am-3 pm Saturday, May 9th. Looks like sellers are clear to start getting ready, because it’s clear sky all the way to and through Saturday, the forecast says.

The newest toplines:

*340+ sales of all sizes, all over West Seattle

*Addresses and sale descriptions are on the online map here and the printable list/guide/map here

*The sales are numbered for easy referencing, same numbers on both versions of the map, of course

*Looking for a specific item or type of item? Use the search icon on the online map, or open up the printable (21-page PDF map) and use the FIND function

*Two official multi-seller sites, for people who didn’t have the room or the amount of stuff to have an entire standalone sale:
—-Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor)/Ginomai courtyard/lots, 4410 California SW
—-C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 5612 California SW

*For sellers with leftovers they don’t want to keep post-sale, AND/OR for people who want to shop for fun and donate their purchases to good causes, SEVEN organizations have donation drives going on Saturday (and a few of them on Sunday) for dropoffs (even one offering pickups). See the full details here, including who’s accepting what, where, and when.

*If you missed any or all of them, here are links to highlight lists we’ve published:
*Nonprofit/benefit sales
*Trivia from this year’s lineup
*Unusual items
*Memorable descriptions

Few more lists to come tonight/tomorrow, including block sales and unusual items, 2nd round. Also: We invariably get last-minute sale cancellations – we mark them on the ONLINE map, but it’s too late to change the PRINTABLE map, so please check the map page or for those changes.

TRAFFIC ALERT UPDATE: Battery St. Tunnel open again both ways

2:36 PM: At first the call was for a crash in the southbound Battery St. Tunnel; now SDOT says the tunnel is closed in both directions, so if you’re heading to or from the north side of downtown (or beyond), looks like I-5 is your choice for now. Updates to come.

2:46 PM: We’ve added the city webcam view from the curve going into the northbound side of the tunnel – traffic remains at a complete halt. Seattle Fire says it’s a two-car crash with minor injuries.

2:59 PM: SDOT says the northbound side of the tunnel has reopened (you can see from the “live” cam above that the backup has dissipated) – but the southbound side is still closed.

3:26 PM: The tunnel is open again both ways, according to SDOT.

Seattle App Academy: New WSB sponsor, with ‘high-tech classes at an affordable price’

May 7, 2015 2:02 pm
|    Comments Off on Seattle App Academy: New WSB sponsor, with ‘high-tech classes at an affordable price’
 |   West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news

Today we’re welcoming a new WSB sponsor, Seattle App Academy. As a new local sponsor, they get the chance to tell you who they are and what they do:

Seattle App Academy is a volunteer organization that coaches students in computer programming, electronics, and robotics. Modeled after Little League, Girl & Boy Scouts, and other youth-focused organizations, the mission of Seattle App Academy is to inspire tomorrow’s technology creators.

Located in Jefferson Square (just above Bartell’s), the Seattle App Academy classroom is equipped with thirty state-of-the-art 23-inch touch-screen computers, Arduino microcontrollers, Mindstorms robotics, and more. Our classes are offered in eight-week sessions for students in grades 4-12. Three of our most popular classes will also be offered in a day-camp format as part of our Summer@SAA program in June and July.

As a volunteer organization, community support allows us to offer high-tech classes at an affordable price. We are thrilled with the parents, teachers, developers and designers that have continued to coach with us over multiple sessions and that help make our programs great! All volunteers are trained by Seattle App Academy to work with our students and to effectively deliver our curriculum.

Earlier this year, Seattle App Academy partnered with Kennedy Catholic High School to offer classes to high-school students. Our 16-week computer science and programming class introduces students to basic data types, computer logic, and structure to build a foundation for more advanced programming concepts and experiences. Students will receive school credit for the class.

In June, Seattle App Academy will host The Hacker Cup Competition, showcasing student talent in programming and game design. A small panel of judges will review all submissions and award trophies for first, second, and third place. Attendees will also have the opportunity to see student-created gadgets and robots.

Learn more about the Seattle App Academy by visiting our website and signing up for our newsletter. We regularly host open houses and free programs for kids, including our very popular Keyboarding & Minecraft Boot Camp. Please feel free to contact us at and thanks for your support!

We thank Seattle App Academy for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.

BIZNOTES: Rudy’s West Seattle grand-opening party Friday; My Three Little Birds celebrates 1st anniversary Saturday

Two West Seattle biznotes from businesses with celebrations ahead:

RUDY’S WEST SEATTLE GRAND-OPENING PARTY: 6-10 pm tomorrow (Friday, May 8), Rudy’s Barbershop (WSB sponsor) in The Triangle invites you to its official grand opening party. Free food and beer from Tasty Vibes and Big Al’s; live music with The Wimps starting at 8; free pre-designed tattoos courtesy of Blue Geisha, two DJs, free bowl cuts, and a raffle or two. See the official flyer/invite here. (4480 Fauntleroy Way SW)

MY THREE LITTLE BIRDS TURNS ONE: Jennifer Young of the “upscale children’s resale store” My Three Little Birds in south Morgan Junction is excited to announce that her shop is celebrating its one-year anniversary Saturday. Stop by 10 am-5 pm (yes, Jennifer says, she knows you’ll be out and about for WSCGSD anyway!) – celebration highlights include face-painting from 10 am to 11 am, the Ben and Jerry’s Scoop Truck 11:30 am-1 pm, and a BOGO sale all weekend long. (6959 California SW)

West Seattle Thursday: Genesee-Schmitz Neighborhood Council meeting; praying & rallying on Alki; ‘Barnyard Musical Mystery’

May 7, 2015 11:02 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Thursday: Genesee-Schmitz Neighborhood Council meeting; praying & rallying on Alki; ‘Barnyard Musical Mystery’
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(Downy woodpecker, photographed by Mark Wangerin in Fauntleroy Park)

For tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

COMMUNITY ORCHARD OF WEST SEATTLE: 5-7 pm on the north end of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus, drop by, pitch in; it’ll be a perfect evening to work and learn outdoors. BYO gloves/water. (6000 16th SW)

NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER: 6:30 pm, it’s the annual gathering at Alki Beach, sponsored by the West Seattle Ministerial Association. (61st/Alki)

‘BARNYARD MUSICAL MYSTERY’: 7 pm at Chief Sealth International High School auditorium, it’s the first of three performances of Lafayette Elementary‘s musical, as previewed here. (2600 SW Thistle)

GENESEE-SCHMITZ NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL: 7 pm, general meeting at West Side Presbyterian Church (WSB sponsor), with agenda including the new school under construction on Genesee Hill and Seattle Green Spaces Coalition. (3601 California SW)

CELL-ANTENNA OPPONENTS’ RALLY: 7 pm at the Alki Beach fire pits, the group opposed to 12 cell-phone antennas proposed atop an Alki apartment building plan a rally, as previewed here. (59th/Alki)

WHAT ELSE IS UP, YOU ASK? Just go here to see.

UPDATE: Why Guardian One helicopter was searching here

helicopterwatch.png9:57 AM: Police and helicopter are searching east of California/Andover. We don’t know yet what the crime was but the person they were seeking was described as a white man in his 30s, black hair, blue jeans. More to come.

10 AM: Police report one person in custody near 35th/Andover. Whatever the incident was, it started at California/Hinds.

10:21 AM: We caught up with police there to find out how this started. They describe the man as being in crisis (added: “throwing things into the street, kicking cars and generally screaming obscenities” was an initial report) and say his behavior was what led to a police call; they didn’t call for Guardian One but the helicopter happened to be nearby and offered to come help them track the man down. (The pilot who recently spoke to the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network – WSB coverage here – did say they monitor many frequencies when up, and sometimes self-assign this way.) The man is being taken to the hospital by private ambulance for a mental-health evaluation.

West Seattle Crime Watch: 3 incidents, including early-morning response

Three West Seattle Crime Watch notes this morning:

BIG POLICE RESPONSE EARLY THIS MORNING: Several people asked about a big police response westbound on Admiral just after 6:30 am. According to Tweets by Beat (the feed you’ll find on the WSB Crime Watch page), it was a response to a report of an “in progress (or) just occurred) burglary” in the 2600 block of 50th SW. We have a message out to SPD to find out if the burglary was verified and, if so, if anyone was arrested. (Added 10:12 am, SPD spokesperson Det. Drew Fowler tells us a man found two intruders inside his home; they fled toward Schmitz Park, search with K-9 ensued but no arrests so far – description: Hispanic males, late teens, one in a black T-shirt and gray sweatpants, other in a black coat, gray sweatpants, with a black backpack.)

FOLLOWUP ON ITTO’S TABLES/CHAIRS: At the end of reporter Randall Hauk‘s story about the future Junction restaurant Itto’s, you might remember the postscript about the theft of tables and chairs from outside the space at California/Genesee. Randall tells us Itto’s proprietor Khalid Agour subsequently spotted the stolen stuff online and with the help of police, they were recovered and a suspect was arrested; the restaurateur wanted to express big thanks to the Southwest Precinct Anti-Crime Team.

CAR PROWL: It’s been a quiet week so far for reader reports but here’s one from last weekend:

My 2013 VW Passat was broken into, at 17th and Henderson, between the hours of 12 am – 8 am, Saturday May 2nd. They broke into the car, made a mess, left a cigarette butt, and a nugget of weed, took nothing but my car registration and my work ID / Key card. They left the change I had in the car, as well as all my kid stuff in the trunk. It seems like the burglars spent time hanging out in my car, but got away with personal information.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday alerts; looking ahead & back; bridge crash; stuck truck blocks Fauntleroy ferry dock for hour-plus

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:34 AM: Good morning! We start with a traffic alert from WSDOT today, if you use the 1st Avenue S. Bridge:

Looking further ahead, and farther north, remember this weekend’s closures on Highway 99 from the Battery Street Tunnel north to Queen Anne – details are here.

AND NOW A LOOK BACK … this week’s “Traffic Throwback Thursday” view from the Seattle Municipal Archives:

(Click for the much-larger view on the SMA site.) The archives describe that as “West Spokane Re-deck,” dated October 6, 1958.

7:04 AM UPDATE: And now back to the present: A crash on the eastbound bridge, toward the crest, reportedly involving a car and motorcycle. (added) Two lanes are blocked, SDOT says:

7:08 AM: Over the scanner, we hear arriving officers say it’s a “minor injury” situation.

7:26 AM: One SFD unit is still at the crash scene, as you can see via the top-left image atop this story. (And a moment later …) Now, just one police car and what appears to be the motorcycle, with one lane blocked.

7:41 AM: As the camera shows, a tow truck is now on scene.

7:50 AM: Scanner: “Bridge is now clear, all lanes.”

8:18 AM: New problem. From Washington State Ferries: “Service to and from the Fauntleroy terminal is temporarily suspended due to necessary repairs.” This was just posted on the WSF website minutes ago, just as we were investigating a texter’s report of what seemed to be an interruption in service. More as we get it – we’re headed to the dock to find out more.

8:31 AM: No word from our crew yet but Melissa says in comments that the Fauntleroy dock problem is a stuck truck.

8:39 AM: Stuck propane truck, our crew has learned. Somewhat “high-centered” on the ramp, we’re told.

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
That’s the front of the tow truck you see, with the propane truck behind it.

8:57 AM: WSF tells us they have engineers “inspecting the hinge and span.”

9:01 AM: Vehicles appear to be loading onto the ferry now – we’ve been watching one particular vehicle in the waiting-to-load lanes and it’s advanced. (Update: It advanced a ways and stopped. So we’re not entirely sure.)

9:08 AM: WSF says the “transfer span” is clear and operations are “back to normal.” With some catching up ahead, of course.

9:18 AM: And now … a stalled vehicle reported on the northbound Alaskan Way Viaduct “just south” of the Seneca exit, according to radio discussion monitored via scanner.

2:48 PM: New trouble, as reported separately – a crash shutting down both directions of the Battery Street Tunnel, so avoid that section of 99 TFN.

Shell’s Arctic-drilling vessels at Terminal 5: Port Commission to discuss Tuesday; ‘open letter’ to mayor; and other updates

(UPDATED 11:52 AM: Added ‘open letter’ to mayor)

ORIGINAL REPORT, 5:48 AM: The latest developments in the Terminal 5/Foss/Shell situation:

INTERPRETATION OFFICIALLY PUBLISHED: Today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin will include official publication of the city Department of Planning and Development interpretation saying the Port of Seattle needs a new permit before Shell drilling vessels can come to T-5, announced earlier this week (read the interpretation in our Monday report). The notice offers a two-week period for appeals. Will the Port appeal, or apply for a permit, or … ? We’re checking. (Added 7:12 am: Port spokesperson Peter McGraw tells WSB, “The Commission will be taking the matter up in public session next Tuesday.” Agenda out later today.)

DRILLSHIP STATUS: As noted Monday, the interpretation said the drillship Noble Discoverer is not expected to moor at T-5.

(Photo of Noble Discoverer’s April 2012 Seattle arrival by Ilona Berzups)
But it is due in Everett next week, reports. MEN quotes a Port of Everett spokesperson as saying “the Noble Discoverer is scheduled to make a brief stop in Everett next week to load/unload cargo.” And it’s now been revealed that while the ND was in Hawaii late last month, it had to make repairs to “the device that separates oil from the water in its bilges,” VICE News reported on Wednesday, quoting a US Coast Guard spokesperson. That part of the drillship also was implicated in the troubles that led to millions in fines after it left West Seattle and headed to the Arctic in 2012. VICE quotes a Shell spokesperson as saying this new development is nothing more than “mechanical repairs, which from time to time are required on any equipment.”

THE REST OF THE FLEET: The platform Polar Pioneer is still in Port Angeles; checking while writing this story, Aiviq and Harvey Champion are currently docked at Terminal 5.

MAYOR’S DEFENSE: As we reported via Twitter while covering Mayor Murray’s Beacon Hill event announcing the revised transportation levy, he ended by turning to the T-5/Shell controversy. What he said seemed to be a response to the Foss statement on Monday; Murray contended that the city has been and continues to be an ally to the maritime industry and that this one “disagreement” shouldn’t “obscure” that.

ADDED 11:52 AM – OPEN LETTER TO MAYOR: This letter sent to the mayor takes issue with that:

West Seattle schools: YMCA opens new preschool at Boren

(Photo courtesy West Seattle YMCA)
Another new preschool has just opened, this time at the Boren Building. Joleen from the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) shares the news, and the photo:

We just opened a new preschool at Arbor Heights / STEM elementary. The photo attached is of the first day! It’s a half-day, year-round program for children ages 2.5 to 5 years old. Our programs are values-based, with an emphasis on building self-reliance through our core values: Caring, Honesty, Respect, and Responsibility. Children have the opportunity to learn language through stories, songs, math, art and crafts, and theme-based activities in a warm and inviting environment. Our program provides: Experienced and professional teachers, creative curriculum, reading, science, math, technology, & engineering activities and a nutritious lunch We still have some availability – contact Emilia Holbik at

The Boren Building (permanent home to STEM and interim home for one more year to Arbor Heights ES) is at 5950 Delridge Way SW.

Take a walk, to shape a tour! Join SW Seattle Historical Society on Alki Beach on three upcoming Saturdays

(Wednesday low-tide photo by Lynn Hall)
In case you haven’t already seen it in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar – the Southwest Seattle Historical Society is launching a new series of beach walks, starting this Saturday, but with a twist – the walks are not tours in themselves, but rather, your chance to help shape a tour. This announcement from SWSHS explains:

The history of Alki Beach awaits a rich, multi-layered walking tour to be developed this spring by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, and you can help make it happen.

The historical society plans three “scouting expeditions” on foot from 10:30 a.m. to noon on three Saturdays this month. The walks will start and end at the historical society’s “Birthplace of Seattle” Log House Museum, 3003 61st Ave. SW.

People can sign up for one, two or all three sessions. They will cover these sections of the beach:

* The promenade, Saturday, May 9

* The sandy beach, Saturday, May 16

* The rocky beach north to the former Luna Park (often called Anchor Park), Saturday, May 30

Leading the sessions is Dave Hrachovina, who grew up in West Seattle and is the museum’s regular docent/greeter on Fridays and Saturdays. He is looking forward to putting together the beach walks.

“You never get tired of Alki,” he says. “It is like an inexhaustible spring of pleasure for young and old. It is Seattle’s headwater, and it is contagious. The more you learn, the more it grows on you.”

The purpose of the sessions is to identify points of interest to be included on a beach walk, everything from the Duwamish tribal story and the Landing Party saga to the times of shacks, tents and the “Coney Island of the West.” Icons present and past will be part of the mix, including the “Birthplace of Seattle” monument, the Statue of Liberty replica, the Alki Bathhouse, the Alki Natatorium, and Luna Park.

If you are interested in taking part in these “scouting expeditions,” please call 206-938-5293 or e-mail to reserve your spot.