day : 30/08/2015 10 results

West Seattle Crime Watch followup: Nga Nguyen’s murderer sentenced to 26+ years

Two months after pleading guilty to murdering his ex-girlfriend’s mother, 21-year-old Jose Gonzalez-Leos has been sentenced. His sentencing was on hold until September but then suddenly moved up to this past Friday, when, court documents show, King County Superior Court Judge Mary Roberts sentenced him to 320 months. That’s the top of the standard sentencing range, just over 26 1/2 years, counting time already served. He’s been in jail since his arrest in March of last year, more than two months after he killed 46-year-old Nga Nguyen at her home in High Point. Prosecutors say he strangled and beat her on December 14, 2013, after breaking in through a bedroom window, and that she had had trouble with him before, as had her daughter. Evidence linking him to the murder included a DNA match from saliva found on the victim’s body; that had led to a charge enhancement that the murder was committed with sexual motivation, but that was dropped as part of his plea bargain. According to a document filed by Gonzalez-Leos’s lawyer, he had been high on meth for a week at the time of the murder, and had killed the victim out of “sheer uncontrollable anger.” He had no prior felony convictions. (WSB photo, December 2013)

POWER OUTAGE UPDATE: Highland Park/Riverview outage finally off the map as of early Monday

(EARLIER COVERAGE: Saturday storm effects, here; Saturday night/Sunday updates on this outage, here)

9:14 PM: Going on 36 hours after the strongest gusts of Saturday’s windstorm, Seattle City Light has 252 separate outages left to fix, six of them in West Seattle, according to our check of its map a few minutes ago (screengrab above). The biggest, by far, is the one toward the lower right, 382 homes/businesses out in Riverview/Highland Park since about 11:45 pm Saturday night. Seattle City Light crews have been working along the Highland Park Way hill – which remains closed to traffic – all day:

(Photo by Alan Robertson)
That view is from a couple hours after our mid-afternoon check:

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
The tree-lined hill has long been a trouble spot; some who live along it put out a sign of frustration after six days without electricity following the December 2006 windstorm. SCL is not commenting on specific outages; its “estimated restoration times” remain a source of frustration for many because they continue to change – as of right now, for example, this one has an estimate of 1:30 am, but that’s moved back more than a few times. Around its service area, which stretches beyond the city-limit line in both the north and south, SCL estimated earlier tonight that it will have everyone back on by Monday afternoon, but it cautions in this online update that it had to focus first on major feeder lines in the hardest-hit north areas. Even before the windstorm arrived, authorities had said damage/outages could be worse because trees still have all their leaves this time of year, making them heavier and more vulnerable, especially in the kind of deluge that hit late last night, around the time Highland Park (and initially, beyond – 3,000 customers at its peak) went out.

REFRIGERATOR/FREEZER SAFETY: We know from experience too – four no-power days after the aforementioned 2006 storm – if you’re in the outage zone, you are wondering about what’s in your refrigerator/freezer. Here’s some info about that.

1:38 AM: The most recent projected restoration time for this remaining outage has passed and it’s now, 26 hours in, listed as “pending.” The two northernmost mini-outages, meantime, have fallen off the map.

2:42 AM: Alan reports in comments that his neighborhood is back on – and the outage map has lost the Riverview and vicinity splotch, so it seems the last of the Saturday night outage is finally fixed. Let us know if you’re in West Seattle somewhere and still out.

West Seattle sports: National Volleyball League pros wrap Alki play

(Added: Thanks to Sam Nizam for the photo of Zaun & Palm celebrating their victory)
Though beach volleyball is a fixture on Alki just about every summer weekend, it’s not always as big as the tournament that just wrapped up about half an hour ago: The pro players of the National Volleyball League have been here since Thursday night, for the NVL’s first-ever Seattle stop, seventh of eight on this year’s tour. In the women’s finals, Brooke Niles, head beach-volleyball coach at Florida State U, and Karolina Sowala from Poland won in three games:

(Photo by Paul Walchenbach)
The women’s championship match was followed by the men’s final, taken, also in three games, by Dave Palm from Florida and Eric Zaun from New Jersey. We photographed Palm earlier (center, with hand signal) during their semi-final match:

Palm and Zaun are now the only duo with two wins this season, after winning the Hermosa Beach tour stop earlier this month. The NVL’s 2015 tour concludes September 25th-27th at the league’s training facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Skywriting, seen from West Seattle: BLACK LIVES MATTER

6:16 PM: Thanks to Jeremy Smith for that photo, and we’ll likely be adding a few more. In the patch of blue sky over downtown, clearly visible from north West Seattle, a plane has been skywriting BLACK LIVES MATTER. (There might have been a previous attempt- Brian Presser had tipped us to a skywriting attempt earlier this afternoon.) More to come.

ADDED 6:46 PM: Via Twitter, @joaquinuy put together photos of all three words:

FERRY ALERT: Bigger boat rejoins Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route

August 30, 2015 5:29 pm
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 |   Transportation | West Seattle news

After almost a week with reduced capacity on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route, Washington State Ferries announced this afternoon that M/V Cathlamet has replaced the out-of-mothballs M/V Evergreen State – that’s a 124-car vessel replacing an older, slower 87-car vessel. That’s expected to lessen some of the recent round of delays.

West Seattle Library in The Admiral District reopens tomorrow

(WSB photo, Sunday afternoon)

After a two-week closure, the Seattle Public Library‘s West Seattle (Admiral) branch will reopen tomorrow as scheduled, SPL’s official announcement:

The West Seattle Branch and book drop, 2306 42nd Ave. SW, will reopen at 10 a.m. Monday, August 31. The branch was closed for two weeks while the front steps were being replaced as part of a project to improve access to the branch.

Improvements to the branch include:

· Rebuilding front steps
· Redoing ramp from rear parking lot to main front entrance
· Redoing ramp from rear parking lot to lower-level meeting room
· Adding lighted handrails to ramps and steps
· Resurfacing parking stalls on north end of the lot

The project is expected to be completed in late September.

The project’s $430,000 cost is coming from Real Estate Excise Tax funds, according to this fact sheet. The branch is 105 years old and is a historic Carnegie Library.

West Seattle whale watching: Alki Point sighting this morning

Thanks to Guy and Joy Smith for the photo and this report:

At 9 o’clock this am, we saw 2 marine mammals traveling south off Alki Point. They were exhaling big clouds of steam and we knew they were too large to be either Harbor or Dall’s Porpoises. We grabbed our handy guide, handed out by the Whale Trail organization at the Bath House this summer, and it indicates they were probably Minke whales. They are in the 20 to 30 foot range and that’s about what we guessed. Wikipedia says their dives can be up to 20 minutes. If we had known to wait that long we might have gotten another picture.

Obviously Guy and Joy saw more than just this photo, so they were gauging by more than what’s seen in the photo, but the fin also looks like it could have been a humpback. Anyone else see these whales?

West Seattle Sunday: Pro-volleyball finals; lighthouse tours; Farmers’ Market; more…

August 30, 2015 10:21 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Sunday: Pro-volleyball finals; lighthouse tours; Farmers’ Market; more…
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

The most serious storminess is past. So, on with what’s on the calendar for Sunday:

(Saturday morning photo by Paul Walchenbach)
PRO VOLLEYBALL ON ALKI: Third and final day for the National Volleyball League‘s Seattle Championships at Alki Beach. Today’s schedule includes the finals (previewed by the NVL here):

(Now) – Quarter and Semi-Finals
1:00pm – FREE Clinic with the NVL Pros
2:30pm – Women’s Finals
4:00pm – Men’s Finals
*Finals times subject to change

See the brackets here. Check for live-streaming here. (Alki SW & 57th)

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: What’s fresh? Go see firsthand, until 2 pm. (California SW between SW Oregon and SW Alaska)

ALKI POINT LIGHTHOUSE REOPENS FOR TOURS: Your chances to tour Alki Point Lighthouse this summer are dwindling – after today, Labor Day Weekend is it for the year. Tour today, free, 1 pm-4 pm (last tour starts at 3:40 pm) with the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. (3201 Alki SW)

ALL-AGES OPEN MICROPHONE: 4 pm at The Skylark, all ages, free; details in our calendar listing. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

GUITARIST @ KENYON HALL: Jack Williams performs tonight at 7:30 pm; more info in our calendar listing. (7904 35th SW)

TRAFFIC ALERT UPDATES: Car/pole crash on Olson curve; 35th SW reopens; Highland Park Way hill closed

7:36 AM: Thanks to Jason for the photo from an early-morning crash on a notoriously tricky stretch of road, the Olson Place curve at the east end of Roxbury. He reports it involved one car, whose driver crashed into a pole. Only one engine was dispatched, no medic unit, so it does not appear to have involved major injuries. It rained most of the night, so take extra care wherever you’re going this morning – we’re off to check on other potential trouble spots, including Highland Park Way, reported still closed at dawn, and the 35th SW/Avalon/Alaska tree situation.

8:31 AM: We’re out on rounds now.

35th SW is open again and the tree is out of the wires, in pieces on the ground (photo above). The sidewalk remains taped off.

(Photo from Margaret)
The Highland Park Way hill remains closed, with cleanup crews visible from the Holden intersection (photo above).

(Added: We also checked on Olson, scene of the crash at the top of this story, and it’s clear.)

PHOTOS: ‘Heading Home’ day at last for Westside School, celebrating new Arbor Heights campus

(WSB photos by Christopher Boffoli)
34 years after Westside School (WSB sponsor) was founded, it finally has a permanent home. “Heading Home” was the theme for Saturday’s celebration of the newly completed campus in Arbor Heights, as it has been for the process of making that dream come true, even before work began at the former Hillcrest Presbyterian Church 16 months ago. So no mere windstorm was going to stop the party, and the ribboncutting happened indoors.

Hundreds of the Pre-K-through-8th-grade school’s students, family members, staff, and other Westside community members present and past were there to see the new campus a week and a half before its first classes.

They heard from Head of School Kate Mulligan:

Westside’s founder, Alice Howell, was also onstage (second from left, below) along with, in our next photo, former head of school Jo Ann Yockey, teacher Claudia Ross-Weston, former head of school George Edwards, and assistant head of school Don Cunningham:

As “owner’s rep,” Cunningham supervised the renovations and construction with which Sundberg Kennedy Ly-Au Young Architects and general contractor Kirtley-Cole Associates LLC created Westside’s permanent home. To officially open it, Howell wielded the giant scissors for the ceremonial ribboncutting!

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