day : 06/06/2016 9 results

Appeals court to hear arguments Tuesday in Morgan Junction shooting case

June 6, 2016 10:05 pm
|    Comments Off on Appeals court to hear arguments Tuesday in Morgan Junction shooting case
 |   Crime | West Seattle news

After two years, it’s down to 20 minutes.

That’s the total amount of time allotted for both sides to make their respective cases tomorrow when they argue for and against the appeal of Lovett Chambers, the Gatewood man convicted two years ago of manslaughter for the Morgan Junction shooting death of Travis Hood.

Though the verdict itself was a charge reduced from the one with which Chambers, now 71, had been charged – second-degree murder – his appeal challenges it and six other points. The written arguments by Chambers’ lawyers say jurors shouldn’t have been instructed that manslaughter was an option, because there was no “factual basis for that charge.” They also argue that the search of Chambers’ home the night of the shooting was illegal.

Chambers has never denied killing Hood, who was 36, but contended that it was self-defense. He was sentenced to 11 1/2 years and has been behind bars now for 4 1/2 years, since the night of the shooting in January 2012. Tuesday’s oral arguments are on the morning docket for a three-judge panel of the State Court of Appeals meeting in Seattle.

What’ll be done to ease traffic, and when? West Seattle Bridge Corridor progress report out

(WSB photo)

The 80 “zone” signs installed on the West Seattle Bridge this past weekend comprise one of four projects SDOT has added to the action list for the West Seattle Bridge-Duwamish Waterway Corridor, a list originally shepherded by WS-residing City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen during his final year in office, following the WS Transportation Coalition‘s 2014 list of priorities.. As our area’s first-ever elected-by-district Councilmember, Lisa Herbold has picked up the ball and run with it, and has just announced the release of the newest document in the project, a progress report (technically, the SDOT response to the council’s Statement of Legislative Intent).

When Councilmember Herbold announced on Friday that the progress report was out, it wasn’t available yet in digital format, but now it is – see the full progress report here – and the link’s been added to her online post about it. In that post, her overview of the progress report includes:

The report lists work completed so far, estimated costs for the 27 projects mentioned in the Whitepaper; implementation status, though some are listed as TBD (to be determined); which agency has primary and implementation responsibility for each project; resources directed so far, and timetables.

Here’s the table listing those 27 projects, in case you can’t remember them all:

Councilmember Herbold’s overview continues:

Of the 27 projects mentioned in the Whitepaper, SDOT proposes to focus on the 15 projects in the Primary West Seattle Bridge/Spokane Street Viaduct corridor (See map). In addition, SDOT added four projects from after the publication of the whitepaper in 2015, including installing additional locational markers on the bridge.

The report provides data for corridor traffic trends. Of note is that the West Seattle Bridge carried an average of 107,300 vehicles per weekday, and 29,300 transit riders. In 2015, there were 56 collisions on the bridge and the Spokane Street Viaduct, and 117 “incidents”, which averaged 47 minutes in duration.

The report notes the $500,000 approved by the Council in 2015 for Intelligent Transportation Systems improvements will mostly be finished by 2016, with the rest scheduled for 2017.

Also included are cost estimates and grant application status for the South Lander Street Grade Separation and RR Safety Project.

SDOT proposes to exclude some projects from future whitepaper reports, including 4th Ave Transit Ramp to Spokane Viaduct, Delridge Way Rapid Ride Transit, and Sound Transit expansion (which is subject to a public vote). This may be worth additional discussion.

Primarily, SDOT writes in the progress report, the items it suggests leaving out of future reports are items that are in other agencies’ jurisdictions, and/or outside the main bridge corridor. Here’s that list:

(It doesn’t mean they’re being shelved – just that SDOT wants to concentrate its tracking on the others.) Back to the list of four added projects we mentioned at the start of this update: Besides the “zone” signs on the bridge, the list includes repair and painting projects for the “low bridge” (South Spokane Street Swing Bridge), plus the Fauntleroy Expressway earthquake-cushion re-replacement work that is already under way.

What happens next? In addition to SDOT proceeding with the project list, it’s asking for the release of $100,000 – a pre-planned amount – for more traffic studies. Its revised timeline grid, on the last page of the project report, stretches as far out as 2022 (for studying another railroad crossover beyond Lander) and TBD (for “freight-only lanes on Lower Spokane,” “bicycle connection on W. Marginal,” and “Terminal 5 overpass to Alki Trail”). As pointed out in our previous reports on the project list, it’s mostly incremental; the only real big-ticket item is the Lander Street Bridge (which, reminder, has an open house event this Wednesday in SODO) – no ramp widening from the bridge to 99, for example.

P.S. Pages 9 and 10 of the report are where you’ll find the full data table that Councilmember Herbold mentions, with key numbers about local commuting, freight, and more.

@ CITY HALL: Council passes renter-protection ordinance

At City Hall this afternoon, councilmembers voted unanimously to pass an ordinance that “prohibits rent increases on properties with unsafe housing-code violations,” as described by the announcement from the bill’s sponsor, Councilmember Kshama Sawant, who proposed it last year with then-Councilmember Nick Licata. All the documents related to the ordinance are here. From the slide deck, here’s how it works:

• Landlord provides written notice of a rent increase

• Tenant must respond in writing within ten days and describe defective conditions

• Landlord can cure the problem any time before rent increase is set to take effect.

• Tenant or Landlord may call SDCI to request inspection any time before effective date of rent increase

• If SDCI inspects and finds RRIO checklist failures, then rent increase delayed until defective condition is remedied

It will take effect 30 days after Mayor Murray signs it.

West Seattle schools: Taproot students’ study picks up where others … didn’t pick up

(Photo courtesy Michelle Taylor: Taproot students attend to a bag dispenser in Fauntleroy Park)

What Fauntleroy Creek/Watershed volunteers did in 2004 and 2008, students from Taproot School are doing now, according to watershed/creek steward Judy Pickens:

Continuing concern about pet waste left in Fauntleroy Park prompted students at Taproot School to take on the 2016 Poop Study.

The study documents the number and location of pet waste along a segment of trail in Fauntleroy Park that’s popular with dog walkers. After a baseline count earlier this spring, the students are reaching out to dog owners with information about why picking up after their pet is important and making compliance easy with free bags.

Located in the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse Community Center, Taproot School makes almost daily use of the park as an extension of classroom learning for its 27 (K-5) students. Run in 2004 and again in 2008, the study initiated by the Fauntleroy Watershed Council aims to reduce the level of fecal coliform bacteria that Fauntleroy Creek conveys into Puget Sound.

Students will do a second count in July and a third in September, then compile their report, with an emphasis on what more they recommend doing to get dog walkers to scoop.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Art theft; missing math homework; package prowlers

In West Seattle Crime Watch today:

ART THEFT: Artist Rebecca Woodhouse is asking you to be on the lookout for her stolen artwork. It’s an unusual theft case: She shipped 4 boxes containing 6 linocut-paintings to Ventura, California, for an art show and included the return shipping labels. The gallery didn’t tell her the work had been shipped back, and when it arrived at a mailing center here, it had someone else’s name on the labels. She says the center called that person, who then picked up the items and signed for them. She has been trying to reach that person for more than a week and since the messages have not been returned, it’s now being treated as a theft. “I was trying to give the guy the benefit of the doubt; he didn’t know what they were, took them home, works a lot, and didn’t prioritize calling the mailing center or the people who sent the boxes, but enough time went by, and with all the phone calls, it’s crossed the line to theft. The officer said it himself.” She says her name is on all of the art. We couldn’t post all the photos here so she has collected them on this page of her website as a gallery of stolen art. Let her and SPD know if you have information.

SEEN THIS MATH HOMEWORK? From another Rebecca, a car break-in report, with missing math homework:

Sometime between 5 pm Sunday and 6:45 this morning our car was broken into, and a blanket and 2 backpacks were taken from the back. One had school books, one had basic medical supplies in it (icy-hot spray and bandages for sports injuries). I am sure we left a back window open too far (it was hot!! we were tired). How they didn’t set off an alarm interests me, but so it goes.

Learning lesson, but also wishing there was a collection point for “oops, we stole some stuff that is of no use to us, so we can drop it here judgment free, since a semester of math homework probably means more to somone else than it sells for on the street.”

A police report is on file.

PACKAGE PROWLERS: The photo and report are from Patrick:

This is a photo of a package prowler I saw entering my neighbor’s yard as I was returning from work on Friday around 5:30 PM. This was on 34th between Webster and Holden in the Sunrise Heights neighborhood. The neighbor had packages and my wife had seen them driving slowly, stopping, and reversing back to the house. African American female driver, white tank top, African American male companion. Both late twenties to early forties. Car was a ’90s Chrysler or Dodge. Suspension completely blown, loud distinct rattle. Trunk appeared unlatched. Moments after posting this photo to the neighborhood FB page, another neighbor reported seeing the same car attempting to take a package before being confronted. It should be noted these people were doing this at 530, when most people are returning from work, with witnesses outside. Very brazen and most likely desperate. … Call 911 if you see suspicious behavior.

ARE YOU READY? Simple way to help with big regional earthquake drill

June 6, 2016 11:12 am
|    Comments Off on ARE YOU READY? Simple way to help with big regional earthquake drill
 |   How to help | Preparedness | West Seattle news

You might have heard about the big regional earthquake-preparedness drill that’s under way in a variety of places all week. Here’s how you can help: Join your West Seattle Emergency Communication Hubs volunteers this Saturday! Above is the map of all “hubs” – explained here – in West Seattle, but just one needs volunteer help – read on!

Come see what your community is doing to be prepared in the event of a major disaster. Join us in a simulated earthquake neighborhood response drill of the Seattle Emergency Communications Hubs.
We would love for you to stop by as a “put me to work” volunteer or as a Citizen Actor (to give us tasks to perform, you will draw a short script from our bowl of misfortunes). This will help test how we accomplish our mission and to help you learn how you can be ready to help in the event of a disaster!

Participating Hub drill location in West Seattle:

Neighborhood House High Point Center
6400 Sylvan Way SW
9:30 am – 11:30 am

Also on Saturday, separate from the simulation, but ready to meet neighbors and talk preparedness:

New Hub location holding an open-house booth:

Hope Lutheran Church
4456 42nd Ave SW
9:00 am – noon
New Hub! Info table only

For more information about how to be prepared and what the hubs do, visit us at West Seattle Be Prepared.

FOLLOWUP: What sparked Sunday morning fire


Sunday morning’s garage fire behind a house just south of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church (WSB coverage here) burned big – as that photo from a neighbor showed – and briefly. We checked with Seattle Fire this morning to see what its investigator found out about the cause; SFD spokesperson Corey Orvold tells WSB that the fire was ruled accidental, sparked by “improperly discarded charcoal briquets.” No one was hurt, but the fire also burned a tree and damaged a car.

West Seattle Monday: WWRHAH; low-low tide; more!

June 6, 2016 9:00 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Monday: WWRHAH; low-low tide; more!
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

image2 (1)
(Crab photographed during weekend low tide by Jamie Kinney)

Good morning! Highlights for this first Monday in June, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

LOW-LOW TIDE, WITH BEACH NATURALISTS: The tide’s out as far today as it was on Sunday – today at 12:24 pm, it’ll again be out to -3.2 feet. So you’ll find Seattle Aquarium volunteer beach naturalists out again at Constellation Park and Lincoln Park, 9:30 am-1:30 pm.

WESTWOOD-ROXHILL-ARBOR HEIGHTS COMMUNITY COUNCIL: 6:15 pm at Southwest Library, drop by to see and hear what your community council is up to. As previewed here last night, scheduled topics include improvements for the SW Barton crossing at the RapidRide stop and the upcoming Find It, Fix It Walk in the Roxhill area. Everybody’s welcome. (35th SW/SW Henderson)

WEST SEATTLE HI-YU: 7 pm at Admiral Congregational Church, Hi-Yu members and supporters meet as summer’s busy season approaches. (California SW/SW Hill)

QUIZ NIGHT: 7:30 pm at The Skylark, free, all ages. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

SONGWRITER SHOWCASE: 8 pm, no cover, at Parliament Tavern. (4210 SW Admiral Way)


TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Monday watch; bridge closures continue

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6:30 AM: Good morning – one incident in the area so far; if you are headed to southbound I-5 from the West Seattle Bridge, you will face a backup from a crash that’s blocking two SB I-5 lanes at Albro.

BRIDGE CLOSURES CONTINUE: Again tonight, 9 pm-5 am, the west end of the West Seattle Bridge is scheduled to be closed as the Fauntleroy Expressway seismic-cushion-re-replacement work continues.

6:46 AM: One of the two lanes on southbound I-5 has reopened; the HOV lane remains blocked, per WSDOT.

7:04 AM: And southbound I-5 is now all clear.

9:15 AM: Heads-up if you’re still heading out and you use 4th:

9:58 AM: A reader texted to report a striping-truck sighting heading west on Admiral Way. So you might encounter striping – which is often refreshed this time of year – if you’re out and about. (Let us know of any sightings – we’ll be watching while making our rounds, too.)