day : 18/12/2015 12 results

UPDATE: Police investigation in Highland Park after crash, gunfire

(WSB photo, added 10:11 pm)

9:20 PM: Thanks for the tips – we’re sorting out a police investigation near 12th and Roxbury, related to a crash that is reportedly linked to possible gunfire. No reports of any victims so far. The scene might span both sides of the city/county line. And if you’re hearing a helicopter, Guardian One has been in the area offering assistance. No injuries reported so far but besides searching for a suspect, police are also looking to be sure there’s not a victim somewhere. More to come.

9:37 PM: We’re on the city side of 12th and Roxbury now; just talked to a neighborhood resident who said she heard the gunshots along the street and “hit the floor.” 12th is blocked on the north side of the intersection while police deal with the crash, in which at least one vehicle is reported to have gone through a fence.

9:44 PM: According to officers at the scene – two vehicles were involved in the crash, at the northeast corner of 12th/Roxbury; the driver of the silver SUV said she was driving eastbound on Roxbury with her sister – they had just picked up pizza and soda to take home – when somebody shot at her from a red SUV, which also crashed; its driver got out and ran, and has not yet been found.

10:48 PM: We just talked with Sgt. Cindi West of the King County Sheriff’s Office, which is leading the investigation since the gunfire was on the county side. Here’s the news release she just sent:

Multiple people living near the area of SW Roxbury St and 12 Ave SW called the police this evening after hearing cars racing in the area and shots being fired.

King County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the area after the 911 calls started coming in around 8:45 tonight. When deputies arrived they found an accident on the corner of SW Roxbury and 12 Ave SW, which involved one of the vehicles that had been chasing another car.

Witnesses told police that a grey 90’s Jeep Cherokee was northbound on 12 Ave SW with a red Ford Explorer chasing it. Occupants in the Explorer were firing shots at the Cherokee as it continued northbound. The Cherokee was able to safety cross SW Roxbury but when the Explorer tried to follow they struck a Chevrolet Tahoe that was driving eastbound on SW Roxbury. The Tahoe had not been involved in the chase and was merely in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Witnesses saw 3 occupants in the Explorer jumped out of the wrecked car and get into a white Toyota car that had been following the Explorer. The Toyota then fled eastbound on SW Roxbury.

Deputies on the scene found 2 guns in the Explorer and found at least one bullet hole that went into a house on the north side of SW Roxbury.

The woman driving the Tahoe suffered minor injuries. It is unknown at this time if anyone was injured as a result of the shooting, or if the occupants who ran from the Explorer were injured.

If you have information about this crime or live near SW Roxbury and 12 SW and find damage to your property as a result of bullet holes, contact the King County Sheriff’s Office at 206-296-3311.

We asked her about descriptions of anyone on the run – none so far – and also whether the Explorer, abandoned by the suspects, was stolen. Not reported as such, she says.

From the ‘in case you wondered too’ file: RV lineup on Andover

We’ve heard from several readers wondering about the lineup of RVs that turned up recently on the north side of SW Andover along the southwest side of Nucor, across the street from West Seattle Health Club. We went over for a look and counted nine parked there as of midday today. Several had orange tags on windshields or windows:

This lineup arrived concurrent with the departure of a group that had been parked under the West Seattle Bridge east of the Delridge/West Marginal Way intersection.

Questions about RVs parked on city streets have come up at recent community meetings including this one in September, when city attorney liaison Matthew York said overnight parking is not allowed and that police can issue citations. Researching further, though, we find that is not the case with city streets in industrial zones. The 72-hour rule still applies, though. So we asked the Southwest Precinct today if this is on their radar; precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis replied that “a majority of the owners have been contacted and should be making plans to move their rigs,” while pointing out that “other social-service issues” are involved as well, and that Community Police Team officers are involved with that. He added that this is considered a city-wide issue that multi-agency teams are working on, too. The citywide program Road to Housing offers spaces in church parking lots for people living in their vehicles, though none appear to be available in West Seattle currently.

GIFT THAT GIVES: West Seattle Wildlife Calendar available at C & P Coffee tomorrow

(From this month’s WS Art Walk, Mark Wangerin with the fundraiser calendars featuring his photos)
One more chance to buy the West Seattle Wildlife Calendar, with wonderful photos by Mark Wangerin (who’s shared many here on WSB in recent years) – tomorrow, 8 am-noon, at C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor). Laura Robb from Mark House Publishing just sent word that students from Chief Sealth International High School (whose environmental-education programs benefit from calendar proceeds, and where Mark used to teach) will be there. Or – order online!

TOMORROW: Why you’ll see Water Taxi vessels at Seacrest on a no-service Saturday

December 18, 2015 5:48 pm
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 |   King County Water Taxi | West Seattle news

This time of year, the King County Water Taxi runs are Monday through Friday only, so you might do a double-take to see the current and future West Seattle Water Taxis, Spirit of Kingston and Doc Maynard, at Seacrest tomorrow. County Department of Transportation spokesperson Rochelle Ogershok tells WSB that they’ll be involved in installation/adjustment of dock upgrades tomorrow, as preparations continue for putting the DM on the run full time next month.

Will the Highway 99 tunneling machine really restart next week? Here’s another pit-prep update

Another update from WSDOT this afternoon, as its contractor Seattle Tunnel Partners approaches the date on which it has said it hopes to restart the Highway 99 tunneling machine – next Wednesday:

(WSDOT photo)

Seattle Tunnel Partners has spent much of the week backfilling the SR 99 tunnel access pit. By Friday, only part of the machine’s shield and cutterhead were visible from our time-lapse camera. Crews stopped backfilling on Wednesday afternoon to repair a mixing arm that broke off inside the machine during testing of the cutterhead. Backfilling has since resumed and will continue over the weekend.

STP has indicated they may fill the remainder of the pit with a concrete-sand mixture in addition to material removed during excavation. Using the concrete-sand mixture – rather than sand and soil, as STP previously planned – could reduce the time it will take to complete backfilling. Additionally, the deep dewatering wells that have been used to control groundwater in the pit may be turned off sometime in January. STP previously planned to turn them off this month.

STP has told us they plan to move the SR 99 tunneling machine forward by Dec. 23, the date shown in their most recent schedule. As part of their testing program, STP intends to tunnel forward a short distance in the pit before taking a break for the holidays. After the holidays, STP plans to mine out of the access pit toward a planned maintenance stop approximately 450 feet to the north. Along the way crews will mine forward and install tunnel rings while continuing to run tests.

The state cannot verify the contractor’s schedule, but we will continue to provide updates as STP’s work progresses.

Reminding you again – Highway 99 from the Battery Street Tunnel north to Valley Street (lower Queen Anne) will be closed both ways overnight tonight, with other closures ahead, as part of the project.

Bye-bye, boom: Lingering length removed from Alki seawall

December 18, 2015 12:56 pm
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 |   Environment | West Seattle news

12:56 PM: We’re in the midst of another round of “king tides” – 12.5 feet at midmorning today – and that was not only interesting to see, it also facilitated some work that needed to be done beneath the Alki seawall. Thanks to Buzz Shaw for the photos and report:

For a few weeks now, a large section of marine spill containment boom has been wrapped around the rocks on the beach and the seawall at the 1500 block of Alki Ave. Today, Seattle Parks Dept. staff used two trucks, and a front loader. and lots of effort to remove the 50+-foot long section of the containment boom from the rocks.

We’ll be asking Parks if they know whose boom it was. Removal of marine debris is vital for wildlife protection, among other things.

P.S. Re: the “king tides” – high tide is 12.5 feet again tomorrow, at 11:01 am, and remains above 12 feet at each day’s peak until dropping to 11.9 feet at 3 pm next Thursday (here’s our favorite chart).

ADDED 1:36 PM: Parks spokesperson David Takami responded to our inquiry: “Our crew looked at the boom but couldn’t find any identifying information (company or boat name). We will be disposing of the boom today, and there really aren’t any significant cleanup expenses.”

West Seattle restaurants: Work starting at Pecos Pit BBQ site

Almost two years after the abrupt closure of Beni Hoshi Teriyaki by the West Seattle Bridge entrance at 35th/Fauntleroy, the work to revamp the site into the home of Pecos Pit BBQ is getting under way. When last we updated the restaurant plan a month ago, they weren’t sure how soon work would start, but then this week, contractor banners went up on the fence and equipment including a big dumpster showed up at the site. We first reported the Pecos Pit plan back in February. The site is actually city property, owned by Seattle City Light as part of the former substation to the north, so Pecos, as was its teriyaki predecessors, will be a tenant. Current timeline for opening: Spring.

See which committee your new Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold will lead

It’s not final until after the first of the year, but the Seattle City Council has just announced the tentative plan for which councilmember will head which committee next year. That includes the choice of District 1 City Councilmember-elect Lisa Herbold as chair of the Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development and Arts Committee. Here’s the full announcement, which includes some committee-name changes (note Sustainability and Transportation, for example – it’s currently just Transportation):

Seattle City Council announced its tentative plan for committee assignments today, in preparation for work in 2016. Each Councilmember is responsible for chairing a Council committee and managing legislation related to the committee’s focus. Councilmembers also serve as a vice-chair on one committee and as a member on another. Councilmembers can also sponsor legislation on other committees under certain conditions. Committee assignments are made official at the first Full Council meeting of the year, on Monday January 4, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. Councilmembers will also elect their 2016-17 Council President at the meeting. Committee assignments last for two years.

Councilmember Sally Bagshaw will chair the Human Services and Public Health Committee. Councilmember Bagshaw will oversee Council’s work on issues relating to services provided by the Human Services Department, including programs that meet the basic needs of the most vulnerable people in our community. The committee will also consider matters involving public health and Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD), which allows law enforcement officers to redirect low-level offenders engaged in drug or prostitution activity to community-based services.

Councilmember Tim Burgess will chair the Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods and Finance Committee. As chair of this committee, Councilmember Burgess will focus on issues relating to housing—investing and promoting the development and preservation of affordable housing, and building strong neighborhoods through outreach and engagement. Councilmember Burgess will also chair the Budget committee, overseeing the review of the Mayor’s proposed budget.

Councilmember Lorena González will chair the Gender Equity, Safe Communities and New Americans Committee. As chair, Councilmember González will consider policies to address gender equity and help improve the lives of Seattle’s immigrant and refugee residents. The committee will also focus on fostering safe communities, improving police accountability, crime prevention, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, and fire and medical services.

Councilmember Bruce Harrell will chair the Education, Equity and Governance Committee. As chair, Councilmember Harrell will focus on issues relating to public schools and improving student success rates, intergovernmental relations, technology, ethics and elections, prisoner reentry and equity issues for underserved communities.

Councilmember Lisa Herbold will chair the Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development and Arts Committee. Councilmember Herbold’s committee will manage issues relating to labor standards, civil rights, Seattle Public Utilities, and economic development. The committee will also manage issues relating to arts and culture in Seattle, which includes nightlife issues.

Councilmember Rob Johnson will chair the Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee. As chair of this committee, Councilmember Johnson will take up issues involving City zoning, planning, major institutions, quasi-judicial decisions, community development, and land use regulations.

Councilmember Debora Juarez will chair the Parks, Seattle Center, Libraries and Waterfront Committee. As chair, Councilmember Juarez will focus on issues relating to City parks, community centers, and public grounds, including the Seattle Center. Her committee will also manage legislation relating to the Seattle Public Library system. Councilmember Juarez will also chair the Central Waterfront committee.

Councilmember Mike O’Brien will chair the Sustainability and Transportation Committee. Councilmember O’Brien’s committee will handle matters pertaining to city-wide and regional transportation policy and planning. These issues range from pedestrian and bicycle programs, traffic control and parking policies, and overseeing the City’s coordination with regional and state departments of transportation. The committee will also have a shared-focus on Seattle’s Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon emissions.

Councilmember Kshama Sawant will chair the Energy and Environment Committee. Councilmember Sawant’s committee will handle policies relating to Seattle’s energy usage, as well as issues relating to alternative energy sources, air pollution regulation, energy utility rates, and Seattle City Light finances. In addition, Councilmember Sawant will take up matters that relate to climate and environmental protections, conservation programs, and green infrastructure.

During the campaign, Herbold had said she was interested in chairing the Land Use Committee.

See the full list of committee memberships here.

Six possibilities for the rest of your West Seattle Friday

December 18, 2015 10:03 am
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 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(River otter, photographed from Lowman Beach by Trileigh Tucker)

Here are your highlights of what’s up today/tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide and year-round Event Calendar:

HOLIDAY CRAFTS AND WRAP Final drop-in session for teens at Hiawatha Community Center, 2:30-4 pm. Details in our listing. (2700 California SW)

WINTER FESTIVAL: Celebrate holiday traditions from around the world at High Point Community Center. 5-7 pm. (6920 34th SW)

MOVIE NIGHT: Bring the whole family to Movie Night at Highland Park Improvement Club, with a holiday theme! “Doors open at 6 pm with a children’s short at 6:15 and the main movie at 7. Free admission. Volunteers will be selling popcorn, candy and other movie fare. Bring blankets and pillows or sit in our chairs. This is an all-ages event. Bring your friends, family and neighbors. Double Feature! Children’s Movie Hint: In this 1966 animation (26 minutes) a grumpy hermit hatches a plan to steal Christmas from the Whos of Whoville. Movie hint: In this 2004 G (100 minutes) feature, a young hero boy on Christmas Eve boards a powerful magical train that’s headed to the North Pole and Santa Claus’s home.” (12th SW & SW Holden)

‘COSMIC AMERICANA’ LIVE MUSIC: That’s what Walter and Donny from Vashon Island are playing tonight at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)

PAINT FOR PARIS: Benefit at Mind Unwind, 7 pm – details and registration here.

NORTHWEST BOYCHOIR: The group’s annual “Festival of Lessons and Carols” at Holy Rosary Church is tonight at 7:30 pm. Find more info, including whether tickets remain, here. (42nd/Genesee)

HOLIDAY GIVING: WestSide Baby alert for potential donors

December 18, 2015 9:26 am
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 |   Holidays | How to help | West Seattle news

With one week until Christmas, if you’re still thinking about helping nonprofits before the holidays, the sooner the better. This morning we have word from WestSide Baby that its holiday closure is coming up fast:

Please note – WestSide Baby is closing for the holidays, including donation dropoff.

In order to perform an inventory and to give staff and volunteers a much deserved break, WestSide Baby will be closing its sites in \ White Center and the Central District for the holidays from December 20th, reopening January 5th.

This means that they will not be accepting donations during this time. Please do not leave donations outside as there are no guarantees they will remain before the sites reopen. If you are interested in donating to WestSide Baby, feel free to bring any items on or after January 5th.

If you’re wondering what WS Baby needs before then – its holiday donation drive info is in the GIVING OPPORTUNITIES section of the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Friday updates; weekend reminders

(Six WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning. Today’s the last day of school before the two-week winter break, and Seattle Public Schools get out an hour early.

PREVIEWS: One more reminder of nighttime Highway 99 closures north of the Battery Street Tunnel, starting tonight – details here. And the citywide weekend alert is here.

GOING TO THE AIRPORT? Whether you’re picking someone up, or departing, you might find this info helpful. Today is the second-busiest travel day of the holiday season at the airport.

South Seattle College student featured at ‘Facing Race’ report-release event

December 18, 2015 1:09 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle people

(13th Year student Dulce Saucedo, who spoke at the event)
A public-affairs group chose South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) as the setting for releasing its legislative scorecard on issues of racial equity. Thanks to SSC for the photo and summary:

On December 16, South Seattle College hosted the Facing Race Coalition group as it released the “Facing Race Legislative Report Card.” The report graded Washington State legislators on 34 bills “that impact disparities in communities of color.”

A portion of the report focused on education. House Bill 1541 was categorized as a missed opportunity in the report. The bill failed and was aimed to “implement strategies to close the educational opportunity gap.” South Seattle College’s 13th Year Promise Scholarship has closed that gap for many students, including Dulce Saucedo. The 13th Year Promise Scholarship provides one-year of free tuition all graduating seniors from Cleveland, Chief Sealth International, and Rainier Beach high schools – regardless of their grades or finances. As a beneficiary of the scholarship, Saucedo – a Sealth graduate – has been able to continue her education and overcome the financial hardships placed on her family. Without the scholarship, Saucedo said that higher education would not have been an option for her. She shared her story at Wednesday’s news conference and explained how the scholarship closed the educational opportunity gap for her.

“The 13th Year Scholarship has leveled the playing field,” Saucedo, who plans on going to medical school, explained. “I’m a first-generation college student, and I want to prove to my family that I can pursue my professional dreams.”

Here’s a link to the full report; of this district’s three state legislators, Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon got an A+, and Rep. Eileen Cody and Sen. Sharon Nelson both got A’s.