West Seattle, Washington
That 30-foot tree of lights is in the front yard of a house in east Gatewood, on the south side of SW Austin between 36th and 37th. Thanks to Brooke for the tip! (added) This is the “Bader Mega Tree,” as pointed out in comments, with a link to this video set to music:
(back to original report) While headed that way, we also spotted this lots-of-lights house a block away, on the south side of SW Ida between 36th and 37th:
Tips still welcome as we showcase lights nightly through Christmas – firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks! Scroll through this archive to see what we’ve featured already.
Considering the sun didn’t bother showing up for Alice Enevoldsen‘s Summer Solstice Sunset Watch this year, its appearance tonight for the first sunset of winter seemed almost miraculous. By Alice’s count, it’s the 31st time she’s led a solstice or equinox watch at Solstice Park:
More than 30 people joined her this time, gathering to see if the sunset would align with the parkway path:
The Lincoln Park forest is getting too tall for Solstice Park visitors to see the sun meet the horizon:
But that’s not the best part of the sunset-watch events – it’s the sun-and-earth show-and-tell with Alice and an assistant – this time, Jules helped out:
Three West Seattle Crime Watch reports:
ANOTHER HIT-AND-RUN: An SDOT crew was out at 47th and Admiral today after an early-morning hit-and-run. A texter told us an “older red pickup,” apparently with only the driver inside, hit two parked cars and some of the Alki Mail and Dispatch outdoor furniture. The street sign was hit too, which is why SDOT had some work to do. No injuries reported. If you have any information, this is SPD case 2016-456757.
PACKAGE THEFTS: Erika wants you to know that “there’s been a huge string of thefts in the Fairmount neighborhood over package deliveries over Friday and Saturday. A group of us have filed a police report, but just thought you might want to put out a PSA to the West Seattle area to remind people to check their tracking and to support your neighbors in watching out for suspicious activity.”
CAR PROWLS: From Harry in the 6300 block of California SW:
Wanted to report a car prowling that occurred at my place of residence Sunday to Monday evening.
Sometime between 11:00 PM Sunday (December 18th) night and 7:00 AM, my car was broken into. No windows were smashed, but the thief was able to access my vehicle. I’m not sure how they got in, as I definitely locked my car the last time I had used it. I remember very specifically locking it.
The car was ransacked, with the loose change taken from the side door. The glove box was open as well as the center console, and things were scattered all over the car.
The trunk had been opened, and one bag was missing. While the bag didn’t contain a lot of things, it contained two pairs of dance shoes (jazz, tap) as well as a portable sound bar. All told, the value of the items were approximately about $250.
Later that day, I found out from my good friends and neighbors that their car, in the same covered parking lot, had also been burglarized. They found inside their car my dance towel as well as a T-shirt. From my neighbor’s car, a similar situation — the car was ransacked. Most items were left, but a coat was taken.
Curiously, the thief seemed to have left behind their bike on the ground. It’s still there.
I wanted to let people to know to be extra vigilant, lock your doors, double-check them, and report any suspicious activity.
Regarding the bicycle – police say many if not most stolen bicycles are just used by criminals to get from one point to another. So if you see one abandoned, chances are good it was stolen.
When the Seattle Public Library closed its High Point branch at 3411 SW Raymond two weeks ago for refurbishing, the reopening date was TBD. Today, SPL set the date – 1 pm January 9th is when the branch will reopen. From the announcement:
… The 12-year-old branch closed Dec. 5, 2016, so the worn carpeting could be replaced. While the building was closed for that work, the Library also took the opportunity to make other interior improvements that support the changing ways that patrons are using libraries and respond to the thoughtful comments the Library has received from the public.
Improvements included reconfigured holds, teen and children’s areas, additional seating and power in seating areas and at tables, and technology and sound quality enhancements in the meeting room. When the branch reopens, it also will have hundreds of new books, DVDs and CDs for children, teens and adults.
SPL also plans a celebration later in the month – 1-3 pm Sunday, January 29th, with refreshments and a 1:30 pm speech by City Librarian Marcellus Turner.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
More than half a year after the State Court of Appeals heard arguments in the appeal of Lovett “Cid” Chambers‘ manslaughter conviction for a deadly shooting outside a West Seattle bar, its ruling is in: The court says the verdict stands.
Chambers (right), now 72, was charged with murder after shooting and killing 36-year-old “Travis” Hood (left) on January 12, 2012, in a confrontation with Hood and another man after all three had been at the now-closed Feedback Lounge in Morgan Junction. Chambers said it was a matter of self-defense, alleging that Hood had been about to swing a shovel at him alongside the park north of the bar, and that he and his friend had hurled racial slurs at Chambers.
In April 2014, after a six-week trial that we covered start to finish, a King County Superior Court jury found Chambers guilty of the lesser crime of manslaughter. He was subsequently sentenced to 11 1/2 years, with credit for the two-plus years he had served by then.
The appeals-court document summarizes the decision as follows:
Chambers contends the evidence does not support the decision to instruct the jury on the lesser included offense of manslaughter in the first degree and the court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence seized from his home and statements he made after his arrest. Chambers also claims he is entitled to reversal because he was denied his right to counsel during the videotaped deposition of a witness and prosecutorial misconduct during closing argument denied him of the right to a fair trial.
Viewed in the light most favorable to the State, the evidence supports the decision to give the lesser included manslaughter instruction. We conclude the court erred in denying the motion to suppress evidence seized from the house. The warrantless entry and protective sweep … was not justified under Maryland v. Buie … but the error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. Because the unchallenged findings support the conclusion that the police “scrupulously honored” the right to remain silent under Michigan v. Moslev. … and the record shows Chambers was not deprived of his right to counsel or a fair trial, we affirm [the verdict].
The “prosecutorial misconduct” allegation was perhaps the most contentious of the appeal. Chambers’ lawyer argued that Hood and his friend were racists “trying to commit a hate crime” against Chambers; the prosecutor argued that the defense was trying to “pander” to the jury’s “prejudices” by making the case “about race,” and the defense took issue with that. The appeals court said “the challenged remarks were a fair response to the defense closing argument and did not impugn the integrity of defense counsel.”
Here’s the full decision; it is dated this past Monday, and we just happened onto it while making a periodic check of the files this afternoon. Next we’ll be seeking to find out if Chambers plans to challenge the ruling.
(WSB file photo)
If you use West Seattle’s longest stairway – along the SW Thistle right-of-way, east of Lincoln Park, west of Northrop Place – you might have noticed some markings along its top section this fall, suggesting plans for future work. In fact, SDOT is planning “improvements” on the 61-year-old stairway next year. It’s the only West Seattle stairway on the map/list of 10 citywide slated for SDOT work in 2017. If you use the stairway, here’s a survey open until December 30th, asking what you would like to see done, and what the city should know before its project begins.
Two weeks after the city’s director of homelessness led a meeting (WSB coverage here) about the plan to officially authorize and expand the encampment that’s just inside the gateway to the west side of the Myers Way Parcels, George Scarola has sent this update/recap:
On December 8th my office organized and led a community meeting at the Greenbridge Learning Center to discuss the City’s decision to make the homeless encampment on city-owned property at Myers Way one of three new City-sanctioned encampments. This is the site where Camp 2nd Chance is currently operating. The plan would allow current campers to stay and expand the number of people living there from 20 to 60 or 70.
The City is setting up new encampments because it has adopted a key recommendation from the Task Force on Unsanctioned Encampments: when people are required to move from unsafe, illegal encampments, the City should offer safe alternative places to live. Attached is a fact sheet with FAQs that was distributed at the meeting.
The primary purpose of the December 8th meeting was to listen to concerns and questions from members of the surrounding communities. Approximately 50 people attended, as well as officials from the Police Department, the Human Services Department, the Department of Neighborhoods, and the Department of Financial and Administrative Services. I am attaching notes from the meeting which lists questions, requests and comments from community members and City officials.
The next step in the community notification process will be a second community-wide meeting in January at a time and place to be determined. At that meeting we plan to have a team of City officials on hand to address the concerns and questions raised by the community. It is our intention to do all we can to make the encampment at Myers Way a safe, clean place for its residents and a good neighbor to the surrounding communities.
We’ve uploaded the two documents mentioned above – here’s the FAQ; here are the city’s meeting notes. Also of note, the Highland Park Action Committee‘s letter sent to Scarola last week, post-meeting.
Story by Tracy Record
Photos by Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers
The mural along the alley exhorted, “Love where you live.”
We saw it during a walking tour of the section of South Park where Jeff Hayes has lived for going on two decades. He organized the tour out of love for his community – but promised it would not be a pre-planned, pre-sanitized, city-sanctioned walk. Indeed, other sights along the same alley fulfilled his promise.
About a third of the two dozen or so walkers were from the city, including Councilmember Lisa Herbold and representatives from her staff and those of Councilmember Lorena González, Mayor Ed Murray, and the Department of Construction and Inspections. An hour before Monday night’s sunset, participants gathered at a South Park food store/eatery, Phoralé, for introductions, before heading out.
Important preface: This isn’t a story about how bad things are in South Park. There are all too many neighborhoods in Seattle where this kind of tour could be organized. It reminded us, in fact, of one we covered in North Delridge – also organized by a neighbor/community advocate, also with councilmembers and other city reps in attendance – almost eight years ago. Read More
(Photo by Paul Nicholson – three state ferries on Elliott Bay last Sunday)
SOLSTICE WATCH WITH ALICE: First sunset since winter’s arrival means that NASA Solar System Ambassador Alice Enevoldsen will be at Solstice Park for her 31st quarterly sunset watch – fun, informative, free, for all ages. Full details on her website, including directions. (7400 Fauntleroy Way SW)
‘LONGEST NIGHT’ SERVICE @ TIBBETTS: 7 pm at Tibbetts United Methodist Church (WSB sponsor):
For some people Christmas is not “the most wonderful time of the year.” It might stir up feelings of sadness and depression, whether it will be the first Christmas without a loved one, or the person lost someone around the Christmas season and this is a painful reminder each year. It might be because of other kinds of loss – loss of a job, a divorce or break-up, a feeling of grief and despair over the future of our country and the world, or even the loss of faith. There is a need for a space to not be forced to be jolly but to acknowledge our grief and pain and depression. The Longest Night Service is that place. It is a service of music, readings and prayers and candle lighting. It is open to everyone no matter the circumstance. If this would be of help to you this Christmas season or if you know someone who could benefit from being with us that night, please invite them and come along with them.
(3940 41st SW)
‘LONGEST NIGHT’ SERVICE AT ADMIRAL UCC: 6 pm at Admiral Congregational Church: “This alternative service will be a time for reflection on what gives us strength when the holidays feel more complicated than the culture allows.” (4320 SW Hill)
If your holiday services – now through New Year’s – aren’t listed in our holiday guide yet, it’s not too late – just send us the info ASAP – email@example.com – thanks!
Also happening today and tonight:
PRESCHOOL STORY TIME: 10:30 am at West Seattle (Admiral) Library, geared for 3- to 5-year-olds. Free! (2306 42nd SW)
LAST OFFICE JUNCTION MEETUP OF THE YEAR: Entrepreneur? Telecommuter? Coworker? Experimenting? At noon, stop by West Seattle’s only coworking center, Office Junction (WSB sponsor), for this week’s free community meetup, and see who else shows up! (6040 California SW)
SANTA AT THRIFTWAY: Still have something to say to the Jolly Old Soul? He’s due at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) 1-4 pm today. (Fauntleroy/California/Morgan)
‘SO THIS IS CHRISTMAS’: 8 pm at Parliament Tavern, “A one-of-a-kind night filled with surprise guest stars, Christmas songs and holiday hijinks. No cover.” (4210 SW Admiral Way)
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
7:11 AM: Good morning. Winter arrived four and a half hours ago, and the weather’s calmer than it’s been for a while – forecast to be mostly sunny and 40ish today. No trouble reported on the roads and paths in and from West Seattle right now.