West Seattle, Washington
(Red-breasted merganser, photographed by Matt Olson)
While getting ready for the changing of the calendar – see the New Year’s Eve/Day listings in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide – there’s plenty to keep you busy today/tonight too. From our regular year-round calendar:
GIVE A LIFE-SAVING GIFT: As previewed here on Monday, today’s the day you can donate blood and help local college student Dennise Lopez, who’s co-hosting the drive, earn scholarship money. 10-noon and 1-4 pm at Holy Family. (20th SW & SW Roxbury)
MORNING MOVIE: “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” will be shown at Southwest Library, 11:30 am. Snacks provided! (35th SW & SW Henderson)
‘LET IT GO … LET IT GO …’: Sing along with “Frozen” when the movie’s shown at West Seattle (Admiral) Library, 3 pm. (2306 42nd SW)
DROP-IN CHESS: 4:30 pm at High Point Library, kids/teens of all skill levels welcome.
Q & A 4 FUN: Trivia at Parliament Tavern, 8 pm. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
(Six WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning! No incidents reported in our area so far this morning.
TRANSIT REMINDER: Metro continues on a “reduced weekday” schedule through Thursday, and then will be on a Sunday schedule for Friday (New Year’s Day).
Thanks to the West Seattleite who just shared this story. They can be very convincing, or intimidating – as learned by the person whose story we published last May – but some may not be aware of this:
I thought that the residents of West Seattle might like to know that there are phone scammers (identity thieves) a’ trolling.
Around 3:30 this afternoon I received a call from someone who claimed that he was a lieutenant with the Seattle police department. He alleged that there was a warrant for my arrest, because (are you ready?) I had failed to show up for jury duty on 15 December after having been mailed a summons on December 2, 2015.
This miscreant tried to get me to give him my credit card number to pay the $800 “fine” which he informed me would be refunded to me when I appeared in court tomorrow at 3:00 PM.
Additionally, he informed me that if I failed to pay today, I would be arrested on the warrant when I appeared AND I would have to spend the New Year’s holiday in jail!
I said that I’d be sure to bring my toothbrush when I appeared tomorrow.
I was, by this time, screaming and profane. “Lt. Fred Burns” then informed me that I was failing to follow a direct order by an officer and that I could be arrested for that and because I was being so uncooperative he was going to send a squad car and the deputies would be executing the warrant immediately.
I said, “Please go for it! I’m going to go get dressed properly for my impending incarceration!” I then hung up on him!
The King County Sheriff’s Office issued a warning back in September, too.
Three West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports:
RECOGNIZE THOSE BENCHES? If you do – you might be able to solve a case of illegal dumping that happened around 10:30 pm Saturday night in Westwood, on 24th SW near Thistle. Dumping is a problem in more than a few spots around West Seattle, but this time a surveillance camera caught it happening:
The camera’s owner says, “I’ve reported a lot of dumping and graffiti in the neighborhood but first time we recorded dumping live. … It’s about the 4th time dumping has occurred in that exact spot on our lot in the last 9 years.” If you have any information that might help track down the dumpers – the video’s been provided to police, too – contact them and refer to case #15-447815.
Also from the WSB inbox:
CAR PROWL: From Jeremiah in Gatewood, at 39th SW and SW Orchard:
Our Honda Element which we leave virtually empty and unlocked was gone through last night. The glove box was left open and papers were everywhere. Nothing of value is ever left in the car. It looks like several other cars on the block were hit.
STOLEN ITEMS RECOVERED: One night earlier, Collin‘s cargo trailer was broken into in the 5400 block of 48th SW, and tools were stolen. Hours later, they got some of them back, and he says this is how it happened: His wife Amber mentioned the theft on Facebook, and got a message that tools resembling theirs were spotted on OfferUp – someone in Burien was trying to sell them. Collin and Amber went to a Burien Police station and in the meantime managed to arrange to meet the sellers to see if they could identify their tools before officers moved in – Collin says they wanted to meet up in a public place but the sellers invited them to their house instead. With police following, they headed over. Almost instantly, he was shown his own pressure washer – which even had his surname written on the bottom. He relayed a message to his wife outside to have police move in, and they did. He’s not sure whether they made arrests or are compiling evidence for a wider investigation, “but all in all we recovered more than probably 99.9% of the people ever burglarized.”
(WSB photo from last year’s Rainbow Girls tree-cycling event)
The West Seattle Rainbow Girls just announced they’ll have a by-donation tree-recycling dropoff again this year, on the day after New Year’s: Next, Saturday, January 2, 9 am-2 pm, in the parking lot outside the Alki Masonic Hall, 4736 40th Ave SW. Cash donations accepted. No need to cut your tree into sections – as is requested for city tree-cycling – but no tinsel or flocking, please.
Yes, coyotes do emerge in the daytime. The photo is courtesy of Michael, who says, “Just saw this guy at 12:30 at 35th and Hinds!! End of 35th arterial.” [map] We also had a text about this time Saturday, mentioning one seen “running down at Admiral at 53rd.” Though they’re believed to do most hunting at night, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife’s “Living With Coyotes” one-sheet advises they do go out in daylight if they’re hungry. Remember, authorities advise that the best way to encourage them to keep their distance is to do your best to “haze” them if you see them – yell, wave your arms, throw rocks.
Archived WSB coyote reports are here, newest to oldest.
Another chance to clear the decks for the new year by wrapping up the old one with a gift – a potentially life-saving blood donation, at a time of the year when it matters more than ever. Local student Dennise Lopez is co-hosting it at Holy Family tomorrow. Here’s her announcement, if you haven’t already seen it in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
What a wonderful gift – please help save lives by donating blood. During the holiday season, your donation is more important than ever. When schools, Boeing, and Microsoft are closed for the holidays and donors are just plain busy, the Blood Center sees a 15 percent decrease in donations, yet they need to collect even more blood (1,000 units a day) to maintain supplies through the holidays. The Bloodworks Northwest (formerly Puget Sound Blood Center) bloodmobile will be at Holy Family Parish, 9622 20th Ave. SW, on Tuesday, December 29th, from 10:00 am to noon, and 1:00 until 4:00 pm. Walk-ins are always welcome, but reservations are preferred. Anyone who is in good health, is at least 18 years old (persons 16 or 17 years old may donate with a Blood Program consent form signed by a legal guardian), and weighs at least 110 pounds may donate blood every 56 days. To help ensure success of the blood drive, please make a reservation by contacting Dennise Lopez at 206-414-8402 or by email at email@example.com.
P.S. You’re giving another gift by participating – Bloodworks offers college-scholarship money to students who organize successful drives. Dennise is a Chief Sealth International High School graduate currently attending UW Bothell.
(WSDOT photo showing propeller for M/V Samish during its construction at Vigor in 2014)
Another state ferry is about to be built at Vigor Industrial on Harbor Island – the fourth 144-car Olympic Class ferry. Washington State Ferries says it’s just signed the “Notice to Proceed” for the next ferry, which has a $122 million budget and is expected to launch in mid-2018. Just as construction begins in January, the state Transportation Commission will be discussing what to name the ferry. You’re invited to comment on the three options – Cowlitz, Sammamish, Suquamish – and the commission’s announcement explains how. Meantime, WSF’s announcement says the first two Olympic Class ferries – Tokitae and Samish – were delivered on time and under budget, and that the third, Chimacum, “is on schedule, under budget, and will be assigned to the Seattle/Bremerton route in early 2017.”
(Last year’s Space Needle fireworks, photographed from West Seattle by David Hutchinson)
This year’s edition of the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, launched in mid-November and updated all season long, has its grand finale coming up at week’s end – New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. You’ll already find listings from the Highland Park Improvement Club “Not So Silent Night Parade” to the Admiral Bird‘s kid-friendly dance party to the just-confirmed Polar Bear Swim on Alki, but we’re also putting out one last call for anything you want to add, like bar parties/live music, NYD coffee-shop hours, etc. Just e-mail the info ASAP to firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks!
(Six WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning! It’s Monday, December 28, 2015, and we have transit reminders to start the day:
METRO ON ‘REDUCED WEEKDAY’ SCHEDULE: Monday-Thursday of this week will be “reduced weekday,” while Friday (New Year’s Day) will be on the Sunday schedule.
SPEAKING OF BOATS: In case you missed it, we reported last week on how the Water Taxi is gearing up to help with the expected Viaduct shutdown when tunneling begins beneath it. Hint: Remember October 2011?
(2008 photo of Dave Henderson @ West Seattle Little League Jamboree, courtesy Cami MacNamara)
Fans, friends, family, and neighbors are mourning Dave Henderson, who has died at just 57 years old. The photo above is courtesy of Cami MacNamara, one of the WSB’ers who reminded us that Mr. Henderson lived in the Alki area. His baseball career was multifaceted, spent with five Major League Baseball teams including the Mariners, for whom he worked as a broadcaster for almost a decade – 1997 through 2006 – after his career as a player concluded. He was well-known for his ever-present smile and for his generous gifts of time, expertise, and more, particularly for youth – Cami’s photo is from one of the occasions when Mr. Henderson collaborated with the West Seattle Little League – he threw out the first WSLL Jamboree pitch in 2008. He’s also in archived coverage of events including a benefit tournament at West Seattle Golf Course. Mr. Henderson’s peak career moments included what the MLB.com report on his passing describes as a “series-changing home run” in the 1986 American League Championship Series, when he belted a ninth-inning home run that saved the Boston Red Sox from elimination – they went on to beat the Angels and win the league championship. Mr. Henderson, nicknamed “Hendu,” went to the World Series with the Oakland A’s in 1988, 1989, and 1990, and to the MLB All-Star Game in 1991. According to The Seattle Times, Mr. Henderson died early today at Harborview Medical Center; he was taken there after suffering a heart attack at his West Seattle home. He is reported to have had a kidney transplant a month ago. No word yet on memorial-service plans; many are sharing condolences, including the M’s:
We are saddened to learn of the passing of Dave Henderson. Our deepest sympathies to his family and many friends. pic.twitter.com/dVSa8yStsb
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) December 27, 2015
If you’ve walked past the West Seattle Junction Christmas tree in the past few days, maybe you noticed that single shiny ornament. It was placed there by Wesley and Jacqui, who shared the photos, saying they hope to inspire others to do the same next year and beyond:
We just wanted to share our new tradition of adding our personal ornament to the Junction Plaza tree. We look forward to adding our ornament as soon as the tree is lit next year and hope other West Seattleites can add their ornaments as well.
The West Seattle Junction Association arranges for the lights on the tree and the smaller trees in the park, as part of Hometown Holidays, which WSB co-sponsored again this year. We’ll make a note to get the ornament idea into next year’s holiday coverage; the tree is usually lit on the first Saturday night in December (here’s our coverage from this year)!
1:16 PM: That’s Gus, and he’s in West Seattle Crime Watch as well as on the Lost/Found Pets page because we’ve received a reader report that he was inside a car stolen near The Junction this morning. The car is a 2003 silver Infiniti FX 35, license plate ALL9711. Gus is half Pomeranian, half Brussels Griffon. Please call John or Laura if you find him – 206.935.3525 or 206.948.8540. And call 911 if you see the car.
2:19 PM: Per commenters, Gus has been spotted in the Fairmount Park/Fairmount Springs area.
3:40 PM UPDATE: Found!
SUNDAY EVENING P.S. Happy-ending photo, forwarded by John and Laura’s friend Madeleine, who sent the original info about the theft.
John also e-mailed us to thank WSB readers: “Thanks to the Blog we found him. It worked like an Amber Alert. His first sighting was near the Morgan Junction, and I finally found him near Admiral and 50th Ave SW.”
11:56 AM: It’s not in the forecast, but a bit of snow is mixed with the rain falling in West Seattle right now – at least if you’re in the upper elevations.
— Patrick kelly (@MetPatrick22) December 27, 2015
We’ve heard from Sunrise Heights (above) and High Point so far, and we’re seeing it in Upper Fauntleroy.
12:05 PM: Also hearing from Arbor Heights and Fairmount. And it’s snowier here right now – but still too warm to stick.
More snow than rain, not sticking yet at 350' pic.twitter.com/MxpM3F9RY1
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) December 27, 2015
12:18 PM: Vanessa in Highland Park comments that “it’s starting to stick in the yard.”
12:48 PM: Commenters also have seen a bit of snow at the lower elevations, in Admiral, Alki, Morgan. Back to light rain right now. But if you want to see more snow, you could take the Fauntleroy ferry over to Southworth – it’s definitely sticking in Kitsap County, according to photos/video on Twitter.
(2015 Polar Bear Swim photo by Craig Young)
For everyone who’s been asking: Organizer Mark Ufkes confirmed this morning that the annual New Year’s Day West Seattle Polar Bear Swim at Alki Beach is on:
10 am January 1, 2016 in front of Duke’s on Alki. We line up along the beach, hold hands, and after a short count down, we all run into the water. Last year, more than 500 participated. We go into the water at 10 am sharp after the count down, so get there a little early. Bring water shoes, towel, change of clothes and your hopes and dreams for 2016. Duke’s clam chowder is generously provided by Duke and his crew. This is a great way to wash away the complexities of 2015 and welcome the unlimited possibilities of 2016.
Here’s our coverage from last year.
(Cooper’s Hawk, photographed by Mark Wangerin)
Some of what you can check out today – from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm, with live music today by Tinker’s Dram. (California SW between SW Oregon & SW Alaska)
MICHAL, LIVE: Singer/songwriter Michal performs at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 3-5 pm. (5612 California SW)
HOLIDAY CHURCH SERVICES: Several special post-Christmas/pre-New Year services today – see the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide.
Just a note for “king tide” watchers: The 12.7-foot high tide at 6:49 am on Sunday morning will be the highest tide of December 2015, and not far from the highest tide of the winter, peaking at 12.9 three mornings in a row next month, January 13, 14, and 15. (Here’s the monthly chart; you can also consult a daily chart any time for a quick “when’s the next low/high tide?” look, via the WSB West Seattle Weather page.)
9:05 PM: Sizable Seattle Fire response in the 4300 block of SW Frontenac in south Morgan Junction for a response on the log as “assault with weapons.” We’re en route to see what we can find out.
9:11 PM: This is reported to be a 70-year-old man with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He is being rushed to Harborview.
9:16 PM: Our crew at the scene has confirmed the report of the circumstances. Medic 32 is taking the man to HMC, and other SFD units will clear the scene.
As we always note when suicide or attempted suicide comes up: The 24-hour Crisis Clinic hotline is there for anyone who is considering self-harm – 206-461-3222.
Reminder if you use Washington State Ferries – its winter schedule starts tomorrow (Sunday, December 27). As part of the seasonal schedule changes, the Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth route will have fewer weekend sailings. Find the schedule specifics here. WSF will be on the winter schedule through March 19th.
Four Five reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch:
STOLEN CAR: Kirk‘s car has been stolen, again:
My 1994 Honda Civic Hatchback was stolen from my condo parking lot on California Ave. SW (just south of The Junction), sometime between 10:30 p.m. Dec. 25 and 8:00 a.m. Dec. 26. It is a greenish color. This is the third time that car has been stolen in West Seattle over a course of about 15 years.
Its plate is ADY3889. As advised via @getyourcarback – where SPD tweets all vehicle-theft reports (though not with locations, unfortunately, which is why reader reports are vital so we hear about and can publish West Seattle thefts) – call 911 if you see it.
RECOGNIZE THESE BURGLARS? Maria has these screen grabs from surveillance video of burglars who broke into her “private fenced carport” on 26th SW in Westwood, including one Grinch-ily clad in a Santa hat:
Maria says they stole “clothes, shoes, camping gear, pots and pans.” If you have any info on their identities, the SPD case number is 15-443118.
BREAK-IN ATTEMPT: Liz near 31st/Elmgrove says someone was “rather violently” rattling/pulling at the doorknob of the “converted garage” at their house around 11:30 last night. Turning on a light apparently scared them away.
PACKAGE THEFT: From Tricia:
Neighbors in the 3800 block of Charlestown, please be aware that a package was stolen from my front porch. It was a food shipment from Blue Apron. Strange thing to steal because it is only ingredients for meal preparation, but evidently the thieves take anything they see on a porch. I’ve reported the package stolen, but want my neighbors to be aware.
P.S. If your neighborhood doesn’t have a Block Watch – here’s how to start one. And once you do, get involved with the West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network, which resumes monthly meetings in January.
ADDED 5:03 PM – LICENSE PLATE THEFT: Greg sent this very early Christmas morning (late Christmas Eve), and we missed it until Diane‘s comment below:
I just filed a police report as my back plate with tab was apparently stolen while parked in my alley spot behind 42nd, 2600 block near Safeway/Hiawatha. It likely happened over the past 24-48 hours.
Plate theft is more common than you might think – as pointed out here a year ago – so know your number and keep an eye on it.
Thanks to Monty for today’s post-Christmas sunrise view. Though you can expect a general between-holidays lull for the week, we do have a few things on the calendar:
AFTER-CHRISTMAS ‘GARAGE SALE’: Junction TrueValue (WSB sponsor) started it today – clearance sale with lots of items 50 percent off, Christmas decorations 40 percent off. (44th SW & SW Edmunds)
PLAY GAMES! Long list of gaming activities on the calendar for today/tonight at Meeples Games (WSB sponsor). (California SW & SW Charlestown)
MUSIC & BEVERAGES: Legend Heart is live tonight at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)
In case your post-Christmas attention has turned to practical matters: The city’s window for tree recycling is a lot longer this year, as announced by Seattle Public Utilities:
Seattle residents can put their Christmas trees and holiday greens out next to their food and yard waste carts on their regular collection day at no extra charge from Dec. 26, 2015 through Jan. 31, 2016. Multi-family buildings may put out one tree next to each food and yard waste cart per collection day at no extra charge during this time.
Trees should be cut into sections no longer than six feet, with branches trimmed to less than four feet to fit into the collection trucks. Sections should be bundled with string or non-plastic twine. Metal, plastic and ornaments in trees and wreaths must be removed.
Customers may continue to set out holidays greens after Jan. 31 with a fee charged for any that are outside the food and yard waste cart.
Flocked or plastic trees, or trees that have tinsel or ornaments on them, will be collected with the garbage. Customers will need to cut these trees into three-foot pieces and will be charged extra garbage fees if they are outside the garbage can.
Seattle residents can also drop off holiday trees and greens for free at Seattle Public Utilities’ South Transfer Station from Dec. 26, 2015 through Jan. 31, 2016. Tree sections must be cut to eight feet or less in length and the trunk must be four inches or smaller in diameter. The limit is three trees per vehicle. Only trees and wreaths without flocking or decoration may be composted free of charge.
The South Transfer Station is in nearby South Park – here’s a map. It’s open 8 am-8 pm until January 15th; closing time changes to 5:30 pm starting January 16th.
You might recognize that as part of a photo circulated on Reddit and Facebook earlier this week. The backstory went like this: The wrapped gifts fell off a truck on the West Seattle Bridge. The person who picked them up asked for help finding their rightful owner(s). Long story short, the connection was finally made. We heard about it and asked if we could share the story of the happy ending, for all the people who tried to help. Elissa Sommer from Hope Lutheran confirms the gifts finally got to their intended recipient:
Hope Lutheran Church and School was helping a family this Christmas. In the process of delivering the packages, one bag fell off of the truck. The driver was unaware. Two vehicles swerved to avoid the bag but the third vehicle had to stop because he was a large truck. Instead of just pushing the bag to the side of the road in the pouring rain, the driver, Nick, pulled the packages into his vehicle. After trying to find the driver of the truck the packages fell from and not seeing them anywhere, he headed back to work at Plants Northwest in Redmond. He then proceeded to post a picture on both Facebook and Reddit to try and find owners of the packages. Well, we all know that West Seattle people are awesome and many posted ideas to find the owner. Several people from Hope Lutheran Church and School recognized the wrapping. They were soon able to identify and retrieve the packages from Plants Northwest. The gifts made their way to the intended recipient just in time for Christmas. Thanks so much to Nick for being a Good Samaritan and finding the owners of the packages. You truly saved Christmas for this child.