day : 22/07/2016 12 results

UPDATE: Gunfire in Lincoln Park; 13 shell casings found

11:08 PM: Thanks for the texts about suspected gunfire heard near Lincoln Park; we are just uphill and with windows open, we heard it too. Per scanner, police have been dispatched to check the area. If you saw anything, be sure to let them know. No report of any victim(s) so far; two people have mentioned hearing a vehicle “peeling away,” and we’re just now hearing on the scanner that someone by the ferry terminal has told police they believe the suspected shots came from “the woods.”

11:24 PM: In case you see Seattle Fire Engine 37 has been dispatched to Lincoln Park but the call isn’t related to gunfire, it’s a request for help in “extinguishing a campfire.” Also via scanner, police are saying they were told that “a group of high-schoolers was partying in the park” and “scattered” about the same time the gunfire was heard.

12:25 AM: We’ve confirmed with Southwest Precinct Lt. Alan Williams that casings were found. No injuries reported. No other details right now – he’s busy with officers working some other incidents (not related that we know of, but we’re checking; thanks for all the tips).

2:04 PM: More info from Lt. Williams: “Thirteen .40 caliber shell casings recovered. No known injuries or damage.” The gunfire was believed to be associated with a “party” in the woods at Lincoln Park.

FOLLOWUP: Aaron Parypa sentenced to 21 months for manslaughter

Two months after Aaron Parypa, the West Seattleite originally charged with murder for a deadly shooting near Sea-Tac Airport last year, struck a plea bargain, he has been sentenced. The online record of this afternoon’s sentencing hearing says King County Superior Court Judge Andrea Darvas went along with the recommendation made by both prosecutors and defense attorneys – 21 months in prison, with credit for the nearly 8 months he already has served. Parypa has no prior record.

When we reported in May that he had pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of manslaughter, we didn’t know his sentencing date, and failed to follow up until two people e-mailed us late today asking what happened. The information just became available after online court records were down for several hours.

Backstory on the case is in our report on the charges filed after he was arrested in December at his West Seattle home. Parypa, now 40, shot at two men who had contacted him about buying marijuana and then apparently stole it from him during a meetup in a Burien parking lot; a pursuit ensued, ending in the gunfire near Sea-Tac. One man, 28-year-old Andrae Medina-Wong, was killed. The brief court report on today’s sentencing says family and friends of both Parypa and Medina-Wong were in court for this afternoon’s 46-minute hearing.

West Seattle coyotes: Schmitz Park question, and sightings elsewhere

On a quiet (so far) Friday night, a few notes about West Seattle coyotes, starting with a question:


I’ve lived on Manning Street by Schmitz Park for about 13 years. There has been a pack of coyotes in the park for about 10 years. We usually hear them howl at night, especially if a siren goes down Admiral. It sounded like 6 or 8 individuals, probably a family group. We would see one trotting down the street near dusk or dawn maybe once every other month.

I haven’t heard or seen a coyote in the park in at least 6 weeks. I was wondering if anyone had any information about this.

Prior to the coyotes moving in about 10 years ago, there was a breeding pair of red foxes who lived in the park. They could often be seen in the neighborhood and I have photos of them on my front lawn. Then the coyotes moved in and either killed them or chased them out.

The coyotes also greatly reduced the number of raccoons in the neighborhood. And greatly increased the number of raccoons sighted with most of their tails lopped off – “the ones that got away,” no doubt.

Anyway, just a local amateur naturalist here, wondering what’s become of the pack that’s lived in Schmitz Park for so long. My theory is that they’ve hunted out the mice and rats and moles that they depend on for survival, and have had to move on. I’d be interested to hear from someone more knowledgeable than myself.

This also came up recently in the WSB Forums. We don’t have any recent Schmitz Park reports, but we do have these three:

EARLY-MORNING SIGHTING: Dave e-mailed to report a coyote seen early Thursday, “Avalon and 32nd at 7:00 am.”

MID-AFTERNOON SIGHTING: Trileigh Tucker photographed this coyote in her yard:

2016-7-6-7039-Coyote in yard

Trileigh lives near Lincoln Park.

EAST ADMIRAL SIGHTING: And via Twitter: “Spotted a young adult coyote eating apples that fell from a tree in the alley at Andover between 35th & 34th Ave SW.”

(photo added) Thanks to Karin for this photo of a coyote she says is the 32nd/Avalon visitor mentioned above:

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WSB coyote coverage is archived here. Info on co-existing with coyotes is here.

Design Review doubleheader #2: ‘Modesty’ urged for apartments, new PCC @ 2749 California SW

(Preferred ‘massing’ – size and shape – rendering by Hewitt for 2749 California project)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The Southwest Design Review Board took its first look last night at the mixed-use project proposed for 2749 California SW [map], longtime site of PCC Natural Markets (WSB sponsor), which will get a bigger new space in the project.

Result: As often happens with sizable projects, this one will have to come back for a second round of Early Design Guidance, the first phase of Design Review, in which the focus is on a project’s “massing” – size and scale.

Along with four of the board’s five members plus the architects, the meeting drew more than 20 members of the public, including nearby residents whose major concerns included how trucks for a doubled-in-size PCC are going to get through the alley between Lander and Stevens. It’s already a problem now, some of them said.

For board members, the 300-foot length of the building and how its ground-level features will interact with the street was a concern, as it had been for other big projects in the area – Admiral Safeway to the north, Springline Apartments to the south.

Here’s how the review unfolded:

Read More

West Seattle schools: Five elementary principals leave; four replacements announced

Five of West Seattle’s nine public elementary schools will have new principals this fall.

When we reported last week on the latest departure, at Lafayette Elementary, it was the third one we’d heard about after Alki and Roxhill; then a commenter informed us that Sanislo Elementary‘s principal had also left; and when following up with Seattle Public Schools communicators this week, we learned that West Seattle Elementary‘s principal has moved on too.

Four of the five departing principals already have been replaced. Here’s the rundown on the departures and, where applicable, replacements:

ALKI ELEMENTARY: Shannon Hobbs-Beckley has left after three years; we published her announcement in May, as she told the Alki community she was headed to Brazil to work at “an American school.” Rena Deese, previously head teacher at Leschi Elementary, is succeeding her.

LAFAYETTE ELEMENTARY: Robert Gallagher announced his departure last week, also after three years. His replacement has not yet been chosen.

ROXHILL ELEMENTARY: Sahnica Washington has left, also after three years. Tarra Patrick is succeeding her; she most recently served as a middle-school principal in Marysville.

SANISLO ELEMENTARY: Bruce Rhodes has left, also after three years, to become principal at the El Monte, Calif., school where he once worked as a teacher. His successor is Erika Ayer, most recently principal at Daniel Bagley Elementary.

WEST SEATTLE ELEMENTARY: After six years, Vicki Sacco has left to become a principal-development coach for the district. WSES assistant principal Pamela McCowan-Conyers has been promoted to succeed Sacco.

In addition to all this, as we learned in the Lafayette-departure announcement, the principals’ supervisor, Executive Director of Southwest Schools Israel Vela, has departed, too, for the Kent school district, after three years in the SPS role. No replacement announced yet.

UPDATE: Police take woman into custody on boat off Weather Watch Park


1:27 PM: Thanks to Chana for the photo and Brenda for the tip: In the area of Weather Watch Park (4100 block of Beach Drive SW) SPD and SFD crews on the water and onshore have been dealing with a person, believed to be in crisis, who turned up on a boat anchored offshore. We have a crew en route to find out more.

1:34 PM: From the shore, police can be seen talking with the person, who is atop a powerboat. (Thanks to Brenda for the photo below.)

FullSizeRender (28)

1:43 PM: We’ve confirmed that SPD Crisis Intervention Team members are involved. They tell us this has been going on for about an hour.

1:54 PM: SPD reports that they have a woman in custody. Police, fire, and Coast Guard boats all have been at the scene – here’s a photo our crew just sent back:


2 PM: The woman – who used a flare and an airhorn during the standoff, witnesses tell us – is being taken to shore; an ambulance will be waiting at Don Armeni.

(Added: WSB photo)

Police tell us she’ll then be taken to Harborview for a mental-health evaluation. Witnesses say she stole someone’s dinghy to get out to the powerboat.

4:46 PM UPDATE: A few more details have just been posted to SPD Blotter – mostly that the woman is 28 years old and stole the dinghy from a nearby beach; police aren’t aware of any connection between her and the owner of the 24-foot powerboat she boarded after rowing out to it.

TRAFFIC ALERT UPDATE: Battery Street Tunnel reopened

July 22, 2016 1:06 pm
|    Comments Off on TRAFFIC ALERT UPDATE: Battery Street Tunnel reopened
 |   Alaskan Way Viaduct | West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

1:06 PM: If you’re heading toward Northbound 99, could be trouble for a while – the Battery Street Tunnel is closed after its sprinklers activated, following a reported vehicle stall, according to SDOT’s Twitter feed.

1:21 PM: SDOT says the tunnel is now open again.

Seattle City Light’s iconic sign to lose its neon

(Photo courtesy Seattle City Light)

If you use the West Seattle Bridge east of 99 at night, it’s a landmark of sorts – Seattle City Light‘s big red neon sign. Soon, its neon will be gone. Here’s SCL’s announcement:

Seattle City Light has contracted with Seattle-based Western Neon Custom Sign Builders to replace the neon lights in the iconic City Light signs at its South Service Center at 4th Ave. S. and S. Spokane Street with LED rope lighting, beginning July 26.

The iconic signs will go dark during the project, which is expected to last up to two weeks. Once complete, the new lights will resemble the classic amber color of the original signs, which were built in the 1920s. The signs do not have Seattle landmark status, but they are the last remaining pair of full “CITY LIGHT” signs from that era. City Light historically had similar signs at its Yesler Substation and control center, the Cedar Falls powerhouse and the Lake Union steam plant.

“Historic signs give continuity to public spaces, becoming part of the community memory. They sometimes become landmarks in themselves, almost without regard for the building to which they are attached, or the property on which they stand,” said City Light Historic Resource Specialist and Architectural Historian Rebecca Ossa, quoting from the National Park Service’s Preservation Brief on Historic Signs. “This project allows City Light to preserve a bit of its early history while demonstrating energy efficient lighting for the thousands of people who pass by the sign every day.”

Replacement of the neon lights in the South Service Center signs is needed because they have outlived their expected life span and have become hard to maintain. Using LED lighting will save energy and save money while maintaining the historical look of the signs.

A team of employees from City Light’s Facilities and Customer Energy Solutions divisions and its Lighting Design Lab designed the changes. The last upgrade to the signs was in the late 1980s.

The City Light signs are actually 18 separate signs. Each letter is its own, separate sign. One set faces west and one set faces east toward Interstate 5.

6 ways to spend the rest of your West Seattle Friday

July 22, 2016 10:59 am
|    Comments Off on 6 ways to spend the rest of your West Seattle Friday
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

image3 (2)
(Photo by David DeVilbiss)

We never tire of the aerial view, showing the water and greenspaces we’re so lucky to be surrounded by – great places to enjoy on the weekend, which is not quite here yet, but we do have events of note for the rest of today/tonight. From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

‘LOCAL TASTE’ TENT SALE: Today through Sunday at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor):


More than 60 local vendors. (Fauntleroy/California/Morgan)

BARTELL DRUGS CARE CLINIC GRAND OPENING: Stop by Bartell Drugs (WSB sponsor) in Jefferson Square 1-4 pm today to celebrate the official grand opening of its new Care Clinic, a place for immediate no-appointment-needed health care for everyone 2 and up. Free ice-cream samples during today’s event! (4706 42nd SW)

FLOAT DODGER 5K PACKET PICKUP/SIGNUPS: 3-7 pm at West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor), pick up your packet for tomorrow’s Float Dodger 5K or, if you’re not yet registered, sign up! (2743 California SW)

CHIEF SEALTH MULTI-CLASS REUNION: ’60s and ’70s graduates of Chief Sealth High School are invited to this event at Lincoln Park, 5-8 pm – details in our calendar listing. (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW)

ALL-CITY BAND BENEFIT: Tomorrow, you’ll see the All-City Band in the West Seattle Grand Parade – tonight, supporters are gathering in the Brockey Center at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) for a dinner/auction benefit, 6 pm – check to see if tickets are left! (6000 16th SW)

SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK: Also in Lincoln Park, Greenstage presents “Cymbeline,” 7 pm, free! Our calendar listing explains where to find them, along with other information about the play. (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW)

Tribal canoe families to stop at Alki next week during Paddle to Nisqually

(WSB photo from July 2012)

For the first time in four years, tribal canoe families are scheduled to stop at Alki Beach during the annual regional canoe journey. Canoe families from around the region are headed into the South Sound on the Paddle to Nisqually, and the Muckleshoots are scheduled to host them at Alki on Wednesday (July 27th). Participating canoes are due to land in Nisqually three days later for a weeklong event. We don’t yet know the expected arrival time nor how many canoes are expected, but hope to get more information soon.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Rainy Friday; weekend preview

July 22, 2016 6:54 am
|    Comments Off on TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Rainy Friday; weekend preview
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(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)

6:54 AM: Good morning. Friday is off to a rainy start. So is traffic – a stalled-semi problem reported earlier from the eastbound West Seattle Bridge to northbound I-5 has just been cleared, but residual backups will take longer to dissipate.

PARADE AND FLOAT DODGER 5K TOMORROW: The weather IS expected to clear long before the West Seattle Grand Parade and Float Dodger 5K hit California Avenue on Saturday morning. Even if you’re not going, you should know about road closures, parking restrictions, and bus reroutes, ~7 am-3 pm Saturday – all in our latest preview.

ALKI ART FAIR: While the Saturday-Sunday Alki Art Fair (co-sponsored by WSB) does not close roads, you might want to know about the free shuttle – follow the link to the fair website and scroll down its homepage for info.

7:10 AM: Metro just texted and tweeted this bus cancellation:

WEST SEATTLE GRAND PARADE 2016: Almost ready to roll

(WSB file photos)

Another quick peek at what and who you will see in Saturday’s West Seattle Grand Parade! Two junior roller-derby teams are set to roll down the route – Southside Revolution and Seattle Derby Brats. So are the unicyclists from Pathfinder K-8.

Seattle Fire Engine 29 from The Admiral District is on the lineup, as is a 1942 American LaFrance Fire Truck. And WestSide Baby‘s new #StuffTheBus bus too. Hundreds of people walking, riding, rolling. Many are your neighbors – so clap, cheer, hoot, holler. Here’s what you need to know, whether or not you’re going:

*Road closures and no-parking zones start kicking in on California between Admiral and Edmunds and on some side streets at 7 am, lasting as late as 3 pm

*Go here for Metro bus reroutes

*The morning spectacles begin with the Float Dodger 5K, leaving Hiawatha Playfield at 9:30 am – online registration is closed but you can sign up during packet pickup 3-7 pm today (Friday) at West Seattle Runner (2749 California SW; WSB sponsor) and be part of this costumes-encouraged run!

*10:30 is when the motorcycle drill teams – Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. – will start leaving from the starting line, so if you’re watching from Admiral, don’t be late

*11 am, otherwise, is the official parade start time from California/Lander

*After the runners and motorcycles are clear, the Kiddie Parade walks and rolls down an abbreviated route from California/Genesee to California/Edmunds starting at (update) ELEVEN AM – kids are welcome to participate, just show up before then!

*Bring a trash bag so if you’re hanging out on the curb and there’s no trash can conveniently nearby, you can pack it in/pack it out (or take your empty containers home to recycle, for example)

Have a great time! More later today (Friday), and then our Saturday coverage starts early …