day : 23/06/2016 12 results

CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Bail hearing for accused gun-waving car-prowl suspects

ORIGINAL REPORT, 10:54 PM THURSDAY: The two men arrested two nights ago for alleged car-prowling and gun-brandishing remain in jail tonight, hours after a judge set bail for each at $100,000.

Court documents from this afternoon’s hearing tell us more about the allegations against the two men, ages 25 and 19, both of whom are listed as living at Admiral District addresses.

The narrative says police were first called to Bonair and Alki around 11:40 pm on Monday night. A man told them he was walking along Alki Avenue when he heard the sound of glass breaking and saw what he described as two males hit a side mirror of a black Dodge Ram truck and then break one of its windows, taking items out of it, then getting into a white Ford F-150 pickup truck (described as having a white sticker on the back window) and leaving. The pickup’s owner and three friends were in the area and the witness was telling them what he saw when, the report continues:

… the driver of the F-150 drove north on Alki Ave. SW; as they passed the Ram, both occupants of the F-150 waved pistols at the group. Approximately three blocks east on Alki Ave SW, the truck did a U-turn and began traveling back toward the Ram and group of individuals. As the F-150 approached the group of individuals, the driver turned the headlights off and stopped next to the Ram. The passenger held a small black “Glock subcompact” pistol out the door and was banging it on the outside passenger door of the F-150, while the driver held up another black pistol. The group of individuals feared they were going to be shot so they all ran and ducked behind the Ram. The F-150 left west on Alki.

As I did an area check for the F-150, a road-rage call was aired, stating a vehicle was being followed by a white Ford F-150 with a sticker on the back window in the vicinity of 50th Ave. SW/SW Charlestown.

The officer went to that area but didn’t find the F-150. The officer talked to the victims, a man and woman, around 12:15 am, and this is what they reported:

They were parked on the north side of Madison Middle School talking in the car when a white Ford F-150 pulled up behind them and turned its headlights off. The passenger of the truck got out with a golf club in his hands and approached the passenger side of the vehicle (the two victims) were in. The driver of the F-150 approached the driver’s side with an unknown “metal” object in his hand, which may have been a large wrench. The passenger held the golf club up like a baseball bat and yelled for the two to get off their block. In fear of being assaulted, (the victims) drove off and the F-150 followed.

The woman told police she recognized the passenger but not the driver. Less than 10 minutes later, another officer noticed a white Ford F-150 at the California/Charlestown 7-11, matching the description that had been circulated among police. The report says the driver was standing by the truck, while the passenger was walking out of the store toward it. Police took them into custody; the 19-year-old suspect was reported to have had a Glock 42 in his left front pants pocket, with “4 rounds in the magazine (but none) in the chamber.”

The report continues, “There was a Glock 10mm pistol lying on the dashboard of the truck, golf clubs in the back seat, and miscellaneous tools in plain view throughout the vehicle.” Victims from both incidents came to the scene and, the probable-cause documents say, identified both men as the pickup driver and passenger involved in the earlier incidents. Both are under investigation for harassment and theft; the older suspect is under investigation for unlawful firearm possession, as he is a convicted felon, while the younger is also being held on a warrant from southwest Washington for driving with a suspended license. Both are due back in court tomorrow, and we’ll find out if prosecutors will charge them or whether they’ll be released with charges possible later.

FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Charges are now filed against the two suspects, 25-year-old Jory Preston and 19-year-old Justin Hoyt. We’ll have a separate followup later tonight with full details.

VIDEO: Field Day @ Highland Park Elementary on day-before-last-day

June 23, 2016 10:14 pm
|    Comments Off on VIDEO: Field Day @ Highland Park Elementary on day-before-last-day
 |   Highland Park | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

Friday is the last day of classes for Seattle Public Schools – and at Highland Park Elementary, today was Field Day, a tradition at many elementaries in the final days of the school year. PE teacher Chellie LaFayette invited WSB to stop by and see what they were up to (that’s her in the hat, below):


In the morning, the younger students were out enjoying the (fleeting) sunshine:


That included a chance to do some splashing:


The older students got their turn in the afternoon. Tomorrow, by the way, school gets out one hour early around the district.

VIDEO: Girl Scouts make history at Schmitz Park Elementary


Thanks to proud mom Stephanie Gerding for sharing the report, photo, and video about the first Girl Scouts to lead a flag ceremony at Schmitz Park Elementary:

After watching years of assemblies with boys serving Color Guard for the flags, 3rd grader Madeline Gerding from Girl Scout Troop 44428 here in West Seattle wrote a letter to principal Gerrit Kischner reminding him that Girl Scouts are just as responsible as Boy Scouts and could present the colors at assemblies too. Mr. Kischner wholeheartedly agreed and asked the Schmitz Park students from Madeline’s Troop and from Troop 44253 to be Color Guard at the end-of-year assembly today. It was extra exciting since it’s the last assembly at that site before moving on to Genesee Hill this fall!

Yay for all the educators that support these kids and encourage their voices!

West Seattle gets a ballot dropbox, after 5+ years

Thanks to Nathalie Wargo at High Point Library for tweeting the photo – King County Elections‘ permanent ballot dropbox has arrived! Earlier this year, the county committed to restoring dropboxes in areas including West Seattle, where the last one was removed more than five years ago. For the past few years, ballot vans had been brought here for a few days before each voting deadline, but otherwise, using postal mail was required, which required stamps; county dropboxes don’t. So when your ballot arrives for the August primary, you’ll be able to drop it off at High Point Library (35th and Raymond) if you don’t want to use the U.S. Mail.

VIDEO: Chief Sealth IHS supporters @ School Board budget hearing


4:51 PM: We’re at Seattle Public Schools headquarters in SODO, where the last-week-of-school order for Chief Sealth International High School to cut three full-time teaching positions has brought a big turnout to the School Board‘s budget public hearing. What was supposed to be a 15-minute hearing has already stretched beyond that, with a roomful of people, including teachers and students. Teachers who have spoken so far have talked about the inequity of the cuts and also about the cuts going counter to the district’s goals. “The death by a thousand cuts will come,” declared teacher Jason Glover. “If these cuts are maintained, we will be forced to cut programs.” One of the speakers before him, Sealth teacher Paul Fischburg, said these cuts followed many others:

4:58 PM: Social-studies teacher Noah Zeichner is asking about district policies and boundaries and whether they are “decimating” the school and leading to socioeconomic disparity between the two public high schools in West Seattle. He says that the school was closed to international exchange students this past year, and that they should be allowed to wait and see if enrollment gains over the summer, including those types of students, might make up some of the newly reported shortfall (explained in our story from last night).

5:07 PM: The budget hearing continues, and it of course is about more than the Sealth cuts and other teacher staffing. The board has just heard from longtime district watchdog Chris Jackins, who mentioned a few West Seattle items – including the fact that the original Schmitz Park Elementary building is being closed without “a school closure process,” a point that has also been raised by Vicki Schmitz Block, a member of the family that donated the land for the school on the grounds that it remain a school. He also asked the board not to close Roxhill Elementary, which is not explicitly spelled out in the upcoming budget but is implied because of money included for renovating EC Hughes Elementary, ostensibly to become the new home of the program currently at Roxhill.

5:10 PM: A speaker identifying himself as a Schmitz Park Elementary parent has now both mentioned a plan brewing to use part of its space for child care, while also urging a security plan for the many portables on its site, and expressing concern that they, as well as the building and its equipment, will fall into disrepair. He says he’s frustrated that there does not appear to be a plan. He is followed by three Chief Sealth students who say the courses that might be cut as a result of budget cuts are important to their educational goals.

Another student shortly afterward says that cuts are harming the IB program at CSIHS: “Many people at Chief Sealth want to learn, just like any other person going to school.” The next speaker, special-education teacher Joe Schultz, said he is speaking for students who couldn’t be here – migrants, special-ed, students of color, “an incredibly diverse school that has incredibly diverse needs.” The cuts “will crush programs … it will devastate my students, who love the wood-shop program … which already has gone down to .6 [of a teacher]. I urge you to look at the money that’s available .. and help us save our programs.”

5:27 PM: The hearing is still going after an hour. Parent Lynn Ogdon-Perrine is speaking about the needs of the school – its students, its teachers. She has been a very involved volunteer. She says Sealth made it through a very difficult budgeting process – and now, with days left in the year, it’s “unconscionable” that they will have to deal with further cuts, especially losing teachers.

5:29 PM: We mentioned Vicki Schmitz Block earlier; now she is at the podium, speaking about the family’s origins, as immigrants who cared about education. She says Schmitz Park School is missing in the budget book – “it suddenly doesn’t exist, it has just disappeared. … At a minimum, the district needs to amend the budget” to add custodial/maintenance funds. “Disappearing Schmitz Park Elementary really means closing it, and that’s not acceptable.”

5:34 PM: Back to Sealth, another student is now speaking: “I look around this room and I see all these brilliant and amazing people that have supported me and my fellow students … it just breaks my heart hearing that three of these people have to leave or become part-time students … I can’t let that happen. … I can’t believe that Seattle Public Schools wants to take three of these people away. … They dedicate their lives to help students like me.” She says that one of the teachers whose classes she had on her schedule next year has learned she’ll be cut. … Another student says that she had been a student at Pathfinder and recalled having to join in the fight to keep the school from being closed, expressing disbelief that in this district, so many such fights were needed. … She’s followed by a teacher and parent who says she also is in disbelief. (Added) As much as anger and emotion, disappointment was voiced by teacher Julie Brown, who said she has learned her position will be cut:

5:51 PM: Principal Aida Fraser-Hammer is now speaking.

“Finding out about cuts at the last minute does not promote consistency. … Our students deserve to know that they can have the consistency. I know that we run by the numbers, but we hire human beings.” She asks them to take another look and see what can be done to prevent the cuts. And that ends the public hearing, more than an hour beyond the 15 minutes that it was originally scheduled to last. The board is scheduled to vote on the budget at a meeting in July.

ADDED FRIDAY AFTERNOON: We’ve learned an online petition has been launched; we’ll be working on a separate followup for later tonight.

UPDATE: Police, helicopter response in Alki/West Admiral area

(Added: WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)

3:22 PM: The Guardian One law-enforcement helicopter has been over Alki/West Admiral while police have been responding on the ground to what sounds to have started as a suspected package theft – they had been tracking possible suspects along SW Lander. Now Seattle Fire is responding to a possibly related medical call at 56th/Lander. We’re still gathering information as we send a crew that way. More to come.

3:47 PM: Our crew has arrived and here’s what they have been told by police: No crime committed, after all. The people who were reported as suspected package thieves were carrying a package of firewood. The person who was hurt was the person who reported them, who slipped and fell and hit his head. Guardian One just happened to be up and around and that’s how they got involved, police said.

‘We have a plan’: Sound Transit board votes to finalize ST3 ballot measure, with West Seattle light rail in 2030

1:35 PM: Above, you see a live feed (evening update: archived version substituted) from the Sound Transit Board of Directors meeting that just started downtown. During this meeting, the board is expected to finalize the ST3 ballot measure that, among other things, includes a plan for light rail to West Seattle by 2030. See the agenda here. The ST3 resolution, calling for the plan to go to voters on November 8th, is here, with the financial-component resolution here, and the draft of plan details (including who gets what, when) is here. (Other docs are linked from the agenda page.)

2:07 PM: The public-comment period is continuing. The board has heard so far from a variety of speakers, expressing both support – from suburban and Seattle speakers – and opposition, including reps of a newly formed coalition under the banner “No ST3.”

2:32 PM: After about an hour, public comment is over, and the board will hear from the “expert review panel” that took a look at the “methodologies and key assumptions that (have been used to prepare) the plan.” You can read their memo here. From that memo, this might be of interest to those who would like to see a tunnel toward the end of the proposed line to West Seattle, rather than elevated:

For example, several stakeholder groups or jurisdictions have already expressed
interest in supporting construction of a tunnel in alignments where a tunnel is not being
proposed. Staff responded that such a major change in the project scope resulting in increased
costs would likely require additional funding from other public or private sources, beyond what
is available through the ST3 funding package. The Panel suggests that the plan should make it
clear that it is likely “outside” funding would be necessary to support major alignment changes.
This would help set expectations regarding future discussions about alternatives. This suggestion
could be particularly useful in light of the fact that the proposed ST3 plan includes provisional
projects. We assume that additional ST3 funding for a tunnel that is not included in the current
plan would be at the expense of identified provisional projects.

2:58 PM: In case you’re just coming in now – the board is handling other business before getting to ST3 (as with many public meetings, there’s some separation between the public-comment period at the beginning and the actual agenda item about which most spoke).

3:02 PM: And almost as soon as we made note of that – then the board arrived at the ST3 agenda items.

4:03 PM: The board members are making their final round of speeches before the official vote.

4:08 PM: “We have a plan,” declares board chair County Executive Dow Constantine after a unanimous vote in favor of the plan. Next, the vote to send it to the November ballot.

4:20 PM: More from Constantine: “It’s expensive, but it’ll never be cheaper … so we must move forward to November … the hardest work is yet to come” – the work of convincing voters around the region to approve it. A moment later, the final, unanimous, voice vote sending it to the November 8th ballot.

West Seattle development: 2626 Alki SW changes; 3601 Fauntleroy appeal; 3838 59th rowhouse

June 23, 2016 12:38 pm
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 |   Development | West Seattle housing | West Seattle news

From today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin, three West Seattle notes:

REVISED PLAN FOR 2626 ALKI SW: For those wondering what’s up with this mixed-use development, long slated for the corner of 59th SW and Alki Avenue SW:

(WSB file photo of future development site)

first announced at an Alki Community Council meeting three years ago – here’s an update. It went through two Design Review meetings in 2014 with at least one more required, yet, to date, not scheduled. In 2015, its official land-use application was submitted. Now, one year later, the prospective developer has turned in a revised application, according to this notice in today’s bulletin. It’s now summarized as “a 3-story structure containing restaurant, 12 apartment units and parking for 23 vehicles”; at the time of the last Design Review meeting almost two years ago (WSB coverage here), the description was “14 residential units, 5 live-work units, commercial space, and 23 parking spaces.” This opens a new comment period for the project – send comments to by July 6th.

3601 FAUNTLEROY APPEAL: The recent approvals (reported here in May) for this proposed 14-house development in East Admiral have been appealed. Here’s the notice. A hearing is set August 23rd in the city Hearing Examiner‘s chambers downtown.

3838 59TH SW ROWHOUSE: The bulletin includes the “environmentally non-significant” decision allowing a 3-story, two-unit rowhouse building on a sloped site (“environmentally critical area”) uphill from Beach Drive. The decision is appealable, and the notice explains how, with a deadline of July 7th.

West Seattle Thursday: Light rail, school budgets, WSTC, ‘Weirdo Simpatico,’ The Slags, and more…

June 23, 2016 11:47 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Thursday: Light rail, school budgets, WSTC, ‘Weirdo Simpatico,’ The Slags, and more…
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

WP_20160620_12_04_09_Pro (1)
(Stars! Photographed by Lynn Hall “off Beach Drive” earlier this week)

Big meetings and big fun in our calendar highlights for the rest of today/tonight:

SOUND TRANSIT 3: At 1:30 pm, the Sound Transit board is expected to take its final vote on the $54 billion Sound Transit 3 package that you’ll be voting on in November, including a plan for light rail to West Seattle in 2030. You’ll be able to watch live here; the agenda and related documents are here. (401 S. Jackson)

LOW TIDE: Still low enough for excellent exploring, though the volunteer beach naturalists aren’t out today. -1.7 feet at 1:35 pm.

DELRIDGE GROCERY CO-OP FARMSTAND: 4-7 pm today, the Delridge Grocery Co-op farmstand is in its new location in the church parking lot north of the Delridge P-Patch. (Delridge Way SW & Puget Bouleard)

SCHOOL BOARD BUDGET HEARING: At 4:30 pm, the Seattle School Board has time set aside for a public hearing on budgets. As we’ve been reporting, new enrollment projections have led to an order for teacher-staffing changes at local schools, and some, particularly a 3-teacher cut for Chief Sealth International High School, are likely to be brought up by speakers. (3rd & Lander)

WEST SEATTLE TRANSPORTATION COALITION: Monthly WSTC meeting at 6:30 pm, Neighborhood House‘s High Point Center. (6400 Sylvan Way SW)

WEIRDO SIMPATICO: 7 pm at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), “Seattle author and jazz vocalist Katy Bourne reads from Weirdo Simpatico: Little Stories for Short Attention Spans as bassist Paul Gabrielson improvises a live musical backdrop.” (5612 California SW)

HI-YU WHITE ROSE CEREMONY: It’s a gathering not only to celebrate the new West Seattle Hi-Yu Junior Court and Teen Ambassadors, but also in honor of past royalty. Full details here. 7 pm at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church. No charge; donations welcome. (3050 California SW)

THE SLAGS AT THE POGGIE: Thanks to The Slags for letting us know when they play Poggie Tavern, whose calendar isn’t online (otherwise we’d include their listings regularly) – see and hear them tonight starting at 9. (4717 California SW)

TRUE LOVES TRIO AT THE PARLIAMENT: Thanks to the Parliament Tavern for sending us their listings so we can include more live music here in the calendar (free!). At 9 tonight, no cover, it’s True Loves Trio and special guests. (4210 SW Admiral Way)

THERE’S MORE, AS ALWAYS! See it all here.

Fifth year of international competition for AMNO & CO underwater-robotics team

June 23, 2016 10:38 am
|    Comments Off on Fifth year of international competition for AMNO & CO underwater-robotics team
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle people

(WSB photos by Torin Record-Sand, taken June 15 at Evergreen Aquatic Center)

It’s a big year for the three local students collectively known as the underwater-robotics team AMNO & CO. In April, we mentioned their by-invitation appearance at the White House Science Fair. Starting today, the team is competing internationally again, this time in Houston. Our photos are from their last local practice – at Evergreen Aquatic Center in White Center – and this is their official news release:

In May, AMNO & CO ROV team qualified for the MATE international ROV competition in Houston, Texas. (Check out the Marine Advanced Technology Education Center’s Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) competition at

For the three team members – Alex Miller, Clara Orndorff, and Nicholas Orndorff – this will be their fifth consecutive year at the international competition, and as always, the team with the fewest members. However, for the first time, the team will be competing in the Explorer (mostly college) class, a benefit from having won the Ranger (mostly high school) class at last year’s international event.

Ever since AMNO & CO began competing in MATE competitions seven years ago, it has been one of the team’s goals to participate at this level, since college teams bring a unique and elevated standard of innovation which pushes the boundaries of ROV technology.

(From left, Alex and Nicholas; Clara had already headed to Houston)

ROVs are extremely valuable for accomplishing tasks in environments which would otherwise be inaccessible to humans due to depth, chemical hazards, temperature conditions, and other risk factors. This year’s tasks require teams to build a vehicle which can function reliably in both Gulf Coast oil waters as well as under the ice sheet of Jupiter’s moon, Europa. Teams have to design and build a vehicle to access CubeSats (miniature satellites), secure wellhead components, take sensor measurements, and assess the general condition of the environment in Europa. In doing these tasks, AMNO & CO will be competing against the qualifying teams from countries that include the USA, Canada, Egypt, China, Hong Kong, Scotland, Russia and several others.

While MATE’s tasks require teams to execute a set of specific mission objectives in a tank, communication is also emphasized in the competition, so teams have to write a technical report, create a poster, and deliver an engineering presentation, much in the way that members of a real company would.

In Houston, AMNO & CO will compete in NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab, a 40-foot-deep test tank that houses a full-scale mockup of the International Space Station designed for astronauts to practice space walks before executing them in real life. This facility creates a unique challenge, because it requires teams to operate in a depth much greater than an ordinary swimming pool (where most teams including AMNO & CO practice), simulating the effect of operating in an unknown environment such as Europa.

In addition to competing and fundraising for the MATE competition, AMNO & CO seeks to instill their passion for engineering in others. For instance, they gave a special presentation in the Seattle Aquarium’s Window on Washington Waters tank, piloting their ROV for an eager audience of spectators, and showing close up views of genial rockfish and gorgeous anemones. Also, team member Alex Miller mentored the Junior Huskies, an ROV team of West Seattle students at Washington Middle School, who, through their exceptional teamwork, problem solving and intellectual curiosity won the Scout (middle school) class at the MATE Pacific Northwest Regional Competition at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatics Center.

In addition, during Spring Break, AMNO & CO was surprised and honored to have the opportunity to participate in the White House Science Fair, where they got to demonstrate their vehicle to many interested scientists and celebrities, meet other students with fascinating projects, and shake hands with President Obama.

This year’s international competition will be held June 23-26. For more information about the competition, please contact Jill Zande at For more information about AMNO & CO, please visit or contact them at


Here’s our report on AMNO & CO’s victory last year. We first reported on the team in 2012; Nicholas and Alex are now 17, and Clara is 19. Good luck to them in Houston!

West Seattle Crime Watch: Another bicycle theft; what car prowler(s) left behind

June 23, 2016 9:04 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Crime Watch: Another bicycle theft; what car prowler(s) left behind
 |   Crime | West Seattle news

9:04 AM: Bicycle thieves seem to have been particularly prolific lately. Earlier this week, we featured four bicycles – three “found” (check the photos if you’re missing one), one stolen, and here’s another theft report, from Peter:

Would like to report a stolen bicycle from alongside my residence (5900 block of Beach Drive SW), sometime between 4 pm Monday, June 20, and 2 pm Tuesday, June 21. Bike is a Black 2005 Marin Muirwoods commuter bike, 24 speed, serial number C145GSB003. (I saw the abandoned bike postings from this afternoon, but none of them are mine.) The thief had to come onto private property to take the bike from alongside my house. Stock photo of bike (here).

A police report has been filed, and the bike is also registered on, and has been reported stolen to them.

ADDED 9:18 AM: This photo and report just came in from Melissa:

We live at 50th and SW Waite and someone went through our neighbor’s car last night, though they didn’t take anything. Our cars weren’t touched but we did find this on the sidewalk by our house – confirmed that it is not our neighbor’s- but maybe someone else is missing this from another prowling? It appears to be full of dog toys and pet care items.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday updates & previews

(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)

6:05 AM: Trouble on northbound I-5 north of the West Seattle Bridge – a crash at Yesler is blocking two lanes and backing up 5 in a big way. There’s also trouble on SB 5 in the same area, if you happen to be heading this way instead of outbound.

TRAFFIC-AFFECTING PREVIEWS: The Fauntleroy Expressway work continues on its Sunday-Thursday schedule, so 9 pm-5 am tonight would be the last scheduled session for the week, closing the west end of the bridge overnight … Paving work is scheduled to continue on 26th SW, southbound between Barton and Cambridge, just south of Westwood Village … President Obama visits Seattle Friday pm, leaving Saturday, specific times not yet announced.

6:50 AM: The NB I-5 crash has been cleared. But now there’s a crash on southbound 99 before the exit to the West Seattle Bridge.

9:22 AM: A WSDOT e-mail alert says that crash scene finally cleared a short time ago.