day : 14/12/2015 11 results

Return of the dropbox(es)? King County Council promises more

When King County went to all-mail voting seven years ago, it was hailed as a way to make voting easier, bound to increase participation. That hasn’t turned out to be the case, especially this year – countywide, 75 percent of registered voters sat out the August primary, 60 percent didn’t vote in November.

Is inconvenience the problem? West Seattle, for example, hasn’t had a permanent ballot dropbox – one where you could take your ballot any time, free – since this one:

That’s our photo of the Delridge Neighborhood Service Center ballot drop in 2009, months before it was removed. Now, either you drop your ballot in the postal mail, with a stamp, or you wait for the county’s dropoff van to come by for three of the last four days before the voting deadline.

That might change as soon as next year. Today, the County Council approved “a motion requesting the development of a plan that will expand access while ensuring geographic equity and convenience for voters,” according to a news release from County Councilmember Rob Dembowski, who made the motion. Also quoted is County Elections Director-elect Julie Wise, saying, “Additional ballot drop box locations are a priority for my office and will be a great start in expanding access for the voters of King County.” The announcement notes that 39 dropboxes were authorized around the county at the time by-mail voting began, but budget cuts led to far fewer boxes (though that wasn’t the reason cited when we inquired in 2010), so county councilmembers are seeking a plan for more, and they want it to include:

1. A proposed number of additional drop-off locations to ensure geographic equity;
2. Proposed sites for the drop-off locations;
3. Estimated costs; and
4. An implementation timeline.

B. The plan should include an analysis of the feasibility and desirability of using all public library locations in King County, including Seattle Public Libraries and the King County Library System, as a means to ensure geographic equity and convenience for voters.

C. The plan should include an option for deployment of the expanded drop boxes for the November 2016 general election.

The plan is due to the council by next April. Documents from today’s council meeting note that the county provided 25 dropboxes this year, and only 13 were fixed; the other 12 were the temporary, just-before-election vans, including the ones deployed to West Seattle and White Center (which also used to have a fixed dropbox, at its main county library branch).

West Seattle Christmas lights: Aerial view of the Davis display

The week and a half before Christmas is prime time for light-lovers – and we are glad to have new views of the Davis family display at 46th SW & SW Genesee [map]. Duane Davis explains, “These were taken from the balconies of the new house across the street (approx. 15 ft – 40 ft above the sidewalk). There are over 6,000 LED and 4,000 incandescent light in my bushes, trees, and on the house. Our neighbors have joined in the festivities, making the drive between Genesee and Dakota very nice with lots of lights.” We’re adding this to the Christmas-lights section of the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, and would be happy to add more – do you have a dazzling display to share, whether it’s yours or somebody else’s? We’d love photos but will also welcome simple address/neighborhood info so we can go out and photograph it ourselves – or text to 2062936302 – thanks!

WEST SEATTLE BIZNOTE: Realfine Coffee now open in The Triangle

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
Julie Mierzwiak is thrilled to be at the helm of her own coffee shop, serving her own community, after almost a decade working as a barista for others. Six months after she announced plans for Realfine Coffee at 4480 Fauntleroy Way SW, next to Rudy’s Barbershop, the shop is open (thanks to Dan for the tip!). Julie told us she’s been planning her own shop for years – she just didn’t know where it would be, until she found this space. The remodeled space, once home to Maestro Motors (now a short distance west on Fauntleroy), is full of West Seattle connections, Julie says – West Seattle workers did the remodeling and plumbing; even the espresso machine, by Synesso, was handmade by a West Seattleite (in Georgetown). Meantime, her coffee is Herkimer, from a small-batch roaster in North Seattle; her baked goods are from Standard Bakery; there’s a case for Molly’s sandwiches/wraps on the counter; and beer is available – local, of course (including Schooner Exact, which got its start in WS). There’s also seating – two large shareable booth-type spaces on the street side, and barstools at a counter on the other side. Realfine is open 6 am-7 pm weekdays, 7 am-6 pm weekends.

UPDATE: Police investigating gunfire that hit a car on Puget Ridge

(WSB photo)
3:07 PM: On 18th SW in Puget Ridge, north of Myrtle, police are investigating gunfire that hit a car. No one in that car (or elsewhere) is hurt, but it clearly has a bullet hole; its driver veered off the road after the bullet hit. Police are still in the area looking for shell casings and suspect(s) and talking to witnesses. More as we get it.

3:11 PM: According to scanner traffic, at least two casings have been found in the 7000 block of 18th. (The car that was hit is the Volvo in our photo.)

3:41 PM: Following up on discussion in the comments, we confirmed that Sanislo Elementary, near the scene, sheltered in place briefly, but that’s been lifted, and they are dismissing “normally,” per principal Bruce Rhodes, with whom our photographer spoke at the school.

3:52 PM: We just checked with SPD and there’s no further information available yet about circumstances, suspect, etc.

3:55 PM: Update on that: it’s now described as believed to be related to a “domestic dispute.” No arrest so far.

JUNCTION BIZNOTES: Sound Credit Union, Dumplings of Fury

Two quick West Seattle Junction biznotes:

SOUND CREDIT UNION OPENS: Six months after we reported that Sound Credit Union would open a branch at 4730 California, SCU says it’s now open, with “a 24-hour deposit-taking, walk-up ATM, (and) Saturday hours.” It’s the Tacoma-headquartered credit union’s third location in Seattle, 24th in all, and its membership is open “to anyone who lives or works in Washington State.”

DUMPLINGS OF FURY SIGNAGE: Thanks to Kathleen for the tip via Twitter that the sign on the upcoming eatery at 4302 SW Oregon was going up this morning. We went over at midday for a photograph:

When last we checked in with the proprietors, they were hoping to open around the first of the year.

Nucor delivers big holiday gift to West Seattle Food Bank

This is one of the West Seattle Food Bank‘s most-heartwarming and belly-filling days of the year – the day they welcome a big gift from Nucor Steel and its employees.

This year, employees collected 5,200 pounds of food – more than 2 1/2 tons! We stopped by as they were unloading. They also donated cash and checks that with additional/matching donations from the company brought WSFB a check totaling $21,708.

Your help is appreciated too – for example, if you’d like to donate a turkey or two for Christmas, the food bank tells us next Monday is the optimal dropoff day. They’re on the southeast corner of 35th and Morgan, with donors welcome to use the garage entry off Morgan south of 35th. More info about donating can be found here.

CONGRATULATIONS! West Seattle Red Bulls win state championship

West Seattle’s newest state-champion team is the WS Red Bulls boys’ U11 team from the West Seattle Soccer Club! Last month, we shared the news that the team had won the District 3 championship – in a final that included another WSSC team. This past weekend, they won it all – James Ross shares the photos and this report:

On Saturday, the WS Red Bulls ’04 U11 boys soccer team from the West Seattle Soccer Club won both the semi-final and the Championship game in the Washington Youth Soccer Association Recreational Cup held at the Starfire Sports Complex. These boys are bringing the WYSA Rec Cup to West Seattle as 2015 STATE CHAMPIONS!!!

Winning the Rec Cup State Championship is the culmination of a dominating year for the Red Bulls, with the team having amassed 20 wins and no losses (scoring 91 goals and allowing only 6!) during the Fall season. In the WYSA State tournament, the Red Bulls stepped up their play and went 7-0, scoring 34 goals and allowing only 1 while facing the state’s best teams!

The semi-final game was a very tight match, with the Red Bulls facing off against the SC Nomads from Vancouver, WA (District 5). The only goal came late in the game when a handball penalty awarded the RB’s with a free kick that found the back of the net, allowing the team to escape with a 1-0 victory. In the championship game, the Red Bulls matched up against the South Beach Wildcats from Westport (District 7). The Red Bulls wasted no time getting on the board early in the first minute. The RB defense remained dominate by shutting down all attacks while the midfielders and forwards kept pressure on the Nomads’ defense the entire game on the way to a 3-0 victory.

As a team parent, I can’t express how incredibly proud I am of these young men. All of the early Sunday morning training sessions and late practices, sometimes in the dark, rain and wind, really tested their commitment (and mine!)… but they were fueled by a vision that Coach Eric had for them… that these boys had the chance to come together as a team, dedicate themselves, and create something special. He promised them a memory that they could share for the rest of their lives. Watching this group raise the Cup while beaming with pride was proof that the promise had been fulfilled!

Thanks go out to Coach Eric, Coach Russ and Coach Scott for growing these boys both as teammates and as individuals, to the other parents that sacrificed their evenings and weekends to the vision… and to the West Seattle Soccer Club for providing an outstanding opportunity for kids to learn and excel in the beautiful game!


The West Seattle Red Bulls consist of:

#2 Roman Centioli – Defense
#3 Jameson Yount – Defense
#4 Jack Nishimoto – Defense
#5 Charles Twombley – Forward
#6 Preston Ross – Defense
#7 Robbie Foisy – Mid Field
#8 Payton Kyle – Mid Field
#9 Dylan Roberts – Forward
#10 Kai Perala – Mid Field
#11 Aaron Johnson – Defense
#12 Jake Beardemphl – Mid Field
#13 P.J. Barton – Mid Field
#14 Kaeden Quinn – Forward
#15 Chase Clifton – Goal Keeper

Head Coach – Eric Beardemphl
Asst. Coach – Russ Nishimoto
Asst. Coach – Scott Roberts

VIDEO: Highway 99 tunnel-machine pit prep before restart

(Video clip updated late Monday by WSDOT, so we’ve substituted the new “extended” one)
According to an update this morning from WSDOT, the newest schedule from its contractor Seattle Tunnel Partners still says the tunneling machine is expected to start up again next week, two days before Christmas. (WSDOT, meantime, reiterates that it “cannot verify” the schedule.) Meantime, it’s also published the video clip you see above, showing one of the final steps in access-pit preparation before the machine can get going again – backfilling with sand, which started yesterday and is expected to continue all week. This and other prep steps are all detailed, with graphics, on WSDOT’s project website. It’s now been more than two years before the machine overheated and stopped tunneling.

West Seattle Monday: Crafts, cookies, giving trees, trivia, more…

December 14, 2015 10:38 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Monday: Crafts, cookies, giving trees, trivia, more…
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(Varied thrush, photographed in West Seattle by Mark Wangerin)

From the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide and year-round Event Calendar:

LAST DAY FOR GIVING TREES AT THE Y: Don’t let anyone on these trees go without a gift! It’s the last day of gift donations for the West Seattle and Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor): “The West Seattle & Fauntleroy YMCA hosts a Giving Tree each December, which is full of gift requests for youth involved in our programs. Making an impact is easy! Stop by either Y location in West Seattle, pick a tag off of the tree, purchase the new gift and return unwrapped to either Y location by” end of the day today. (4515 36th SW or 9140 California SW)

ALZHEIMER’S CAREGIVER SUPPORT GROUP: This twice-monthly Alzheimer’s Association-affiliated group meets today at The Mount, 1:30-3 pm; details in our listing. (4831 35th SW)

TEEN HOLIDAY CRAFTS/WRAPPING: 2:30-4 pm today and daily through Friday, teens are invited to this drop-in event at Hiawatha Community Center, to make gifts and/or wrap them. (2700 California SW)

VIDEO-GAME LAUNCH: 3:30-4:30 pm at High Point Library, help three local teens launch the video game they built as part of a library workshop. (35th SW & SW Raymond)

HOLIDAY COOKIE-DECORATING CLASS: For the whole family at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor), 6 pm. Reservations required – get all the info here and check ASAP if there’s room left! (1936 Harbor SW)

‘AFTER HOURS’ HOLIDAY REUNION: 7:30 pm at ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery – details and ticket info here. (4711 California SW)

QUIZ/TRIVIA NIGHT: Three venues are listed on our calendar for tonight – check it for the places/times.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Overnight car theft; weekend car prowl; tool-theft followup; package-theft alert

(UPDATED 10:39 AM with package-theft alert in Gatewood)

ORIGINAL REPORT, 9:22 AM: Two West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports this morning. First, watch for Tony‘s stolen car:

I woke up this morning and went I to leave for work my car was gone. I reported my stolen car with SPD and my insurance. (3200 block of) California Ave (car was parked behind building in alley parking spot). 1998 Honda Civic 4 door sedan/Burgundy.Car has a laborers sticker in the back and a local 440 union sticker in rear window.

Here’s a photo of the plate in its distinctive holder:

One difference from the photo – the tabs have since been renewed, so they would read 10/2016. If you see the car, call 911.

Also from the WSB inbox this morning, Lindsey reports a weekend car prowl:

Just wanted to let you know over the weekend our car was prowled on 32nd Ave SW (near Genesee). We forgot to lock it and came out the next morning and found our center console rummaged through. I believe they only took an old iPod. I am about to report it on the police site next. But just a heads up for our neighbors.

And a followup on Jane‘s garage burglary on Genesee Hill, in which tools worth $1,800 were stolen, reported here December 4th. A neighbor’s surveillance camera yielded this image:

That’s as clear (and large) as it gets, she says, but if you think you recognize it, please contact her directly and/or share the tip with police by referring to case #15-420895, not in a comment; thanks.

ADDED 10:39 AM: Sarah in Gatewood just sent this, so we’re adding ASAP:

Just saw two males taking Amazon packages off a doorstep on Othello (3600 block). The driver was white – 30ish round face, the guy taking packages was maybe Asian/Mexican in a red and black oversize hoodie – he looked about 5’8 and skinny. It was an older white SUV, maybe a Ford – with a window that was broken out, but taped up on the driver’s side, and one of the driver-side doors had a big black circle. License plate ATS68–. Cops are being notified too.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Watching what’s up on your Monday

(Six WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:03 AM: Welcome to the last full week of fall; the winter solstice is one week from tonight. This is also the last week before schools’ winter break.

HIGHWAY 99 ALERTS: If you use Highway 99 north of the Battery Street Tunnel, nighttime road work might affect you starting this week. Details are on the WSDOT website. As previewed here last Friday, Seattle Public Utilities also plans overnight work starting tonight, with southbound lane closures.

SURVEY FOR ORCA CARDHOLDERS: If you have an ORCA card, this survey’s for you.

RAPIDRIDE C/D LINE’S 2016 SPLIT: In case you missed this on Friday, an update on the March plan sparked some discussion here.

7:40 AM: If you ride the 21X or 22 from the southwesternmost area of the routes, note that a tree on Marine View Drive has led Metro to reroute those buses between 104th and 106th – info’s here. Trisha tells us via e-mail that SDOT is on scene now.

8:06 AM: Our crew is there checking out the tree-removal operation and reports that there’s still a significant chunk of it in the roadway, so MV Drive SW remains closed between 104th and 106th.

8:50 AM: Tree clear, Metro tweets: