month : 07/2017 311 results

FOLLOWUP: Voting results delayed in ‘Your Voice, Your Choice’

From the “in case you were wondering” file: The city Department of Neighborhoods had promised results by July 18th in the “Your Voice, Your Choice” voting for park/street projects – the first time it was trying “participatory budgeting.” The date came and went and the project website changed its languaging, unannounced, to a promise of August. Finally an explanation appeared this week on the department’s Front Porch blog-format website, saying “the delay is caused by more voter participation than expected”: 7,500 votes in all from around the city, with 2,000 of those on paper ballots. The online update did not mention that the project also had a personnel change – it was noted at a local community meeting earlier this month that Jenny Frankl, who had launched and evangelized it, was no longer with the department; the YVYC website now lists Kraig Cook as the project’s coordinator. DON now says it “hope(s) to announce the final vote results in each council district by early August.” Each district was allotted up to $285,000 to fund three park/street projects; we first reported on the plan last January.

P.S. The projects that were in the running in District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) are shown and described in the “voter’s guide.”

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday updates; weekend preview, including Saturday night Viaduct closure

July 27, 2017 7:15 am
|    Comments Off on TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday updates; weekend preview, including Saturday night Viaduct closure
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(HERE’S THE REVAMPED SDOT MAP with travel times/video links)

7:15 AM: No incidents in/from West Seattle right now. Looking ahead:

PORT TRUCKS: As previewed here last night, the West Seattle Transportation Coalition will talk port-truck backups tonight with a rep from the Seattle/Tacoma port partnership Northwest Seaport Alliance – 6:30 pm, Neighborhood House High Point (6400 Sylvan Way SW).

TORCHLIGHT RUN SATURDAY NIGHT: The route includes the Alaskan Way Viaduct, so expect closures. This WSDOT webpage has specifics: “The northbound lanes of the State Route 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct between Royal Brougham Way and Harrison Street will be closed from 5 to 7:45 pm.”

Fireworks? Gunshots? Or? Mystery booms heard again

12:10 AM: Getting multiple messages (thank you!) about people hearing at least one explosion type of sound somewhere in central West Seattle a short time ago. We heard it – albeit in the distance – too. No indication yet what it was, but police have been dispatched to check areas where it’s been reported. If you think it was close by, be sure to call 911 and let them know.

12:24 AM: From the scanner – the dispatcher’s continuing to relay to officers what they are hearing from callers. We heard one fragment about it possibly having been “fireworks in a church parking lot” but didn’t catch the location. No reports of fires, damage, or injuries, if that’s any reassurance.

FOLLOWUP: Friends of Roxhill Elementary ‘incredibly grateful’ for pledges so far. Here’s what you can do now

A collaborative art project like that mosaic is part of what Friends of Roxhill Elementary hope to include in their playground project for the school’s move to EC Hughes – and “a pledge of time from an artist or two” is just one of many more ways the community can help the project. Tonight, we have an update from group spokesperson Jenny Rose Ryan, two weeks after an initial round of requests:

West Seattle Community, we thought you’d like to hear some good news.

Friends of Roxhill Elementary has received – in pledge form — about half of the amount needed to meet our $20K match for our playground grant application. Remember, we are going after a $100,000 City of Seattle Neighborhood Matching Fund grant to help build a new playground when we move to E.C. Hughes next year.

This means you – yes, you! – have found resources and pulled together to help us. This is huge and we’re incredible grateful.

We’re so close – we can almost taste it, but it’s time for another push.

We’re looking for in-kind donations of food when we hold events (local restaurants?), volunteer support to paint a mural next summer (high school kids? EC Hughes neighbors?), donations of plants and materials to beautify the space – these pledges all add up now, but don’t even need to happen until next year. Oh, and yes, we’ll take cash, too.

How to Help

Email to make a pledge. We won’t collect anything now – we need the pledges for the application (due in September) to demonstrate our community’s commitment and then determine the details of the work plan.

You can also give to a Roxhill parent’s Seattle Marathon GoFundMe, here. We also have a Seattle Marathon team you can join when you sign up to run the full marathon.

Thank you for your help! We are deeply grateful and incredibly humbled by our community’s support so far. We can do this. Together.

THURSDAY: Port-truck backups and more @ West Seattle Transportation Coalition

(2016 screengrab from traffic camera near port)

The ongoing issue of how, where, and when semitrucks queue up for Port of Seattle terminals is at the center of the agenda for tomorrow (Thursday) night’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting. WSTC will hear from and talk with Zachary Thomas, director of the Operations Service Center for the Northwest Seaport Alliance (the Seattle/Tacoma port partnership). WSTC, which is an all-volunteer community group, also will talk about last month’s workshop looking ahead to West Seattle light-rail routing (WSB coverage here). All are welcome; the meeting’s at 6:30 pm Thursday at Neighborhood House High Point (6400 Sylvan Way SW)

GRATITUDE: West Seattle Junction Association thanks Summer Fest volunteers

(WSB photo)

A week and a half after our area’s biggest party of the year, volunteers who helped out with West Seattle Summer Fest were invited back to The Junction for a thank-you celebration tonight. Above, photographed on the patio at Pecado Bueno, are some of the 20+ volunteers who gave their time during the festival, with their host (third from left), executive director Lora Swift of the West Seattle Junction Association, which presents Summer Fest.

P.S. Lora tells us that more than 360 people have answered the Summer Fest survey, with thorough, detailed, constructive feedback. (We mentioned it here a week ago.) If you haven’t yet, but can spare a few minutes to offer your thoughts, please go here before 9 pm tomorrow (Thursday).

THURSDAY: Nick Drummond and Friends play Summer Concerts @ Hiawatha

July 26, 2017 6:30 pm
|    Comments Off on THURSDAY: Nick Drummond and Friends play Summer Concerts @ Hiawatha
 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

(Photos courtesy Admiral Neighborhood Association)

This time tomorrow night – 6:30 pm Thursday, July 27th – another warm, clear evening is expected for the second of this year’s six free Summer Concerts at Hiawatha, presented by the Admiral Neighborhood Association. Onstage will be Nick Drummond and Friends – details from ANA:

Nick Drummond has been a performing songwriter for over 10 years, selling out multi-night runs at historic venues such as Seattle’s Triple Door and Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley with his legendary Pacific Northwest band The Senate (hailed by A Prairie Home Companion’s Garrison Keillor for their “Brilliant Dionysian music.”) Drummond is also known for his work with his former band Impossible Bird, and Seattle Weekly has praised his songwriting as “An absolutely stellar combination of upbeat alt-folk that’s mesmerizing and radiates talent.”

His most recent album “Follow the Rivulets,” released in April 2016, has been widely praised by critics and music fans alike. Featuring a hand-picked lineup of some of Seattle’s finest musicians, “Rivulets” pulses with a purpose and an artistic vision that stands out uniquely in today’s busy musical landscape. Nick’s words and voice dance upon an incessant and infectious groove in his music, and provides the type of melodies that keep a listener coming back for more.

Drummond’s new band has been touring the west coast since the release of “Rivulets,” gaining a loyal and growing following wherever they play. The shows are fun and upbeat affairs, featuring some of the best musicians Seattle has to offer. Whether solo or with a full band, Nick’s shows are not to be missed.

Nick’s music has been featured in: The Bluegrass Situation, Songwriting Magazine, Americana UK, and American Songwriter.

All concerts are held on the east lawn next to the Hiawatha Community center. Bring a blanket, family/ friends, a picnic, and enjoy the show!

WSB is a co-sponsor of the series, which continues every Thursday night through August 24th. Hiawatha is at 2700 California SW (but the show’s along Walnut, south of Lander).

TRANSIT ALERT: Water Taxi using smaller boat

A texter thought some West Seattle Water Taxi riders might want to know that the run is using the smaller Spirit of Kingston right now, and filled up the 5:15 pm run. We’re checking with King County DOT but there are a few factors here – one, the Mariners played a day game, and though it’s been over for two hours, there could be some extra traffic; two, the King County Sheriff’s Office maritime drill is using a Water Taxi vessel, as noted in our daily preview – from, it appears the Sally Fox is that boat, and has been replaced on the Vashon run by the Doc Maynard, resulting in the Spirit of Kingston taking the WS run.

WEST SEATTLE DEVELOPMENT: 7 Morgan Junction parcels listed together for $5.6 million, banking on HALA upzoning

Our daily check of commercial-real-estate listings just turned up a new listing that’s the first one we’ve seen explicitly referring to the potential Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) upzoning: 7 Morgan Junction parcels listed together for $5.6 million, with the online listing and flyer noting:

It is located within the Morgan Junction Urban Village, where zoning is proposed to increase from Single Family to Lowrise 3 as part of the City of Seattle’s Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) proposal.

And, getting more specific, here’s what the listing says that could enable:

According to a preliminary feasibility study completed by NK Architects, an apartment site plan shows a 5-story apartment building with 148 apartment units, while a townhome scheme provides for 30 townhomes.

The 7-parcel site [map] is described as 37,000+ square feet, just east of the Morgan Junction business district – bordered by Fauntleroy Way SW to the south, 41st SW to the west, SW Graham to the north, an alley to the east. The upzoning that would turn this single-family-zoned area into a multi-family-zoned area is not expected to go to the City Council before next year; the HALA MHA Draft Environmental Impact Statement is still in comment phase until August 7th.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Burglary interrupted, and 4 more reader reports

Five reports in Crime Watch this afternoon:


Burglar interrupted by homeowner in 6500 block 36th Ave SW Tuesday, about 5:45 pm. Suspect entered 2nd floor bedroom by pushing in screen on open window, after climbing up onto balcony off bedroom. After vaulting off balcony and running up alley, suspect came back and fled off of red/white Honda ‘crotch rocket’ motorcycle that he had left behind. Motorcycle possibly stolen, as ignition switch has been tampered with, and it has temporary paper license plate. Suspect is white, between 6’2″ and 6’4″, early 30s. Anyone with further information or whose motorcycle matches description please contact SPD, incident #17-272237.

BREAK-IN ATTEMPT: Deena shares this video, also from Tuesday:

Someone came to my house and tried to gain access while I was at work. The man came right up to my door and tried the handle. Luckily it was locked! He then knocked. Well, my camera caught it all! along with audio where you can hear him try the handle.

He was startled when my camera alerted him. He moved backward and started fanning himself with his bogus flyer.

This happened near Delridge Way/SW Thistle.


We had a package thief in our neighborhood; our mailman saw her stealing packages and confronted and she fled on her bike.

I was able to capture video of her stealing our packages. This is in the Admiral area by Madison Middle school. Stealing packages in broad daylight. She found a spot in between houses and opened packages and dumped a lot of goods, but we could not locate our stuff.

No police report # yet; Kelly says officers had not yet responded despite being called twice.


Car break-in on Hill St and Walnut Ave SW. Entire car was rummaged. A few gift cards were stolen.

And from our neighbors in South Park:

SOUTH PARK BUSINESSES VANDALIZED: We’ve heard of at least two cases of business windows being broken in South Park recently, including this report we received via e-mail today from the new La Toscanella near 3rd and Cloverdale in west SP, with a photo:

Community advocates in South Park have been demanding help and Councilmember Lisa Herbold just announced she is asking SPD for prevention resources and to either hold or attend a public meeting to talk about community safety.

COUNTDOWN: 1 month to 2017 West Seattle Car Show on August 26th!

We’re counting down to another big summer event – this year’s West Seattle Car Show is exactly one month away, 10 am-3 pm Saturday, August 26th. Once again this year, Swedish Automotive and West Seattle Autoworks are presenting the show on the north side of the South Seattle College campus; the show supports SSC’s Automotive Technology program. Many different types of vehicles are welcomed – if you haven’t been to the show, see our coverage from last year. Lots of reasons to visit in addition to seeing the show participants – live music, kids activities, food trucks, tours of SSC programs including the Northwest Wine Academy; more details soon. If you’d like to sign up to be part of it, get the pre-registration discount price by going here. That page also includes signup info for vendors and sponsors (whose logo can be on this year’s T-shirt if signed up by the end of this week).

(Note: Swedish Automotive, West Seattle Autoworks, and South Seattle College are all WSB sponsors; WSB is a co-sponsor of the Car Show.)

FOLLOWUP: Ferry-fare increases OK’d by state Transportation Commission, with changes

(Live WSDOT camera view of Fauntleroy ferry dock)

Earlier this month, we published word that the state Transportation Commission was taking comments on proposed increases in state-ferry fares. Today, commissioners took their final vote – with a few changes. From the announcement:

After hearing from ferry riders during local community meetings, reviewing hundreds of emails, and gathering input from key stakeholder groups, the Washington State Transportation Commission took final action today (Wednesday, July 26) on ferry fare increases that will be implemented over the next two years. The commission made changes to its original proposal in response to public input, which resulted in benefits to passengers and bicyclists.

The commission is required to ensure ferry fares generate $381 million in operating revenue between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2019, as required in the recently passed two-year state transportation budget for Washington State Ferry operations. The commission’s fare proposal accomplished that but increases to passenger fares and bicycles with trailers generated the most concern from the public. In response to those concerns, the commission reduced the passenger fare increase in 2017 from 2.5 percent, to 2.1 percent. It also applied a fare increase to bikes towing a kayak or canoe; this does not change the fare for bicyclists towing other types of trailers.

The final ferry fare adjustments adopted by the commission will take effect as follows:

October 1, 2017

2.9 percent fare increase for small and standard sized vehicles

0.8 percent to 1.8 percent fare increase for oversized vehicles (22 feet and longer), depending on vehicle size

2.1 percent fare increase for passengers

Passengers who bring bicycles towing kayaks or canoes will pay the motorcycle/ stowage fare. All other bicyclists towing items other than a kayak or canoe would continue to pay the same fare as today (bicycle surcharge plus the passenger fare).

October 1, 2018

2.5 percent fare increase for small and standard sized vehicles

No fare increase for oversized vehicles (22 feet and longer)

2.1 percent fare increase for passengers

School Group passengers fare will increase from $1 per group for a one-way trip to $5 per group for a one-way trip

UTILITY ALERT: Water-service shutdown Thursday for 100+ West Seattle customers

July 26, 2017 11:14 am
|    Comments Off on UTILITY ALERT: Water-service shutdown Thursday for 100+ West Seattle customers
 |   Highland Park | Utilities | West Seattle news

If this water-service shutdown tomorrow affects you, Seattle Public Utilities says, you should already have been notified via a door-hanger. But just in case, here’s the full announcement:

About 103 customers in West Seattle will be without water for about 11 hours (Thursday, July 27th) while SPU performs water-meter replacement work. The shutdown is expected to last from approximately 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Affected customers have been notified of the shutdown by door hanger. The sections of main to be shut down are indicated below:

1. The 24 inch main in SW KENYON ST from 9TH AVE SW to 5TH AVE SW

2. The 8 inch main in SW CLOVERDALE ST from EAST TO THE END OF THE MAIN to

3. The 3-8 inch main in STUBS AT SW KENYON ST from NORTH TO END OF MAIN to

4. The 24 inch main in 5TH AVE SW from SW KENYON to GATEHOUSE ASSET NUMBER 7377


6. The 8 inch main in SW Thistle ST from 4th Ave SW to 5th Ave SW

7. The 8 inch main in SW Elmgrove st from 4th Ave SW to 5th Ave SW

8. The 8 inch main in 5th Ave SW from SW Kenyon st to SW Thistle St

9. The 8 inch main with PRV on it SW Kenyon to the West

10. The 8/2 inch main in SW Kenyon st to the East

Sorry, no SPU map to accompany this – looking at Google Maps, the areas mentioned are north of Westcrest Park – but hopefully the SPU list above will help.

West Seattle Wednesday: Crafts, produce, poetry, law-enforcement drill…

July 26, 2017 10:17 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Wednesday: Crafts, produce, poetry, law-enforcement drill…
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(View of West Seattle, partly fogged in this morning, tweeted by @KANtext)

From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar for today/tonight:

TINKERLAB – GIZMOS AND GADGETS: 1-3 pm, drop by the Delridge Library for the latest session in the Tinkerlab STEM-based craft series, all ages welcome. (5423 Delridge Way SW)

HIGH POINT MARKET GARDEN: Fresh produce, sold steps from where it’s grown, 4-7 pm at the weekly High Point Market Garden Farm Stand. (32nd SW/SW Juneau)

(Tuesday night photo by Chris Frankovich)

DRILL IN ELLIOTT BAY: The announcement says this is mostly happening on the north side of the bay – between Pier 91 and Discovery Park – but just in case you notice unusual helicopter/vessel activity, it’s scheduled for 4 pm to midnight. From the King County Sheriff’s Office:

Drill participants will include the Seattle Police Department, Washington State Patrol, U.S. Coast Guard, King County Medic One, and the F.B.I.

This drill will test and solidify the capabilities of the Regional Maritime Tactical Action Group in response to an active shooter or hostage type event aboard a vessel in the Puget Sound. As the only agency in the Puget Sound with both air and water assets capable of delivering law enforcement to an underway ferry, cruise ship or pleasure craft, this training is critical for the King County Sheriffs Office to be prepared to protect our citizens.

Numerous law enforcement boats will be involved in the exercise, along with a King County Water Taxi boat. The main landing zone for the King County Sheriff’s helicopter will be Pier 91 at the cruise ship terminal.

POEMS AND STORIES AT C & P: Monthly Poetrybridge event is tonight, with featured readers James Bertolino and Dorothy Lemoult, at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7 pm. (5612 California SW)

OPEN MIC AT SKYLARK: Sign up at 7:30 pm, perform at 8:30 pm, at the weekly all-ages-until-10 pm (21+ after that) open-microphone night at The Skylark. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

LOOK INTO THE FUTURE … any time, via our complete-calendar page!

Celebration of life planned August 5th for Joyce King, 1928-2017

Family and friends will gather on August 5th to celebrate the life of Joyce King, and are sharing this remembrance with the community:

Joyce King – Beloved Mother, Teacher, Friend, and a Force for Fun, dies at 89

Joyce King loved to make people laugh. From the time she was a young girl in the 1930s to the final days of her life, she found ways to deploy her gentle but constant sense of humor to make those around her giggle, have fun and feel included. Joyce died on July 6, 2017 from complications of dementia, a disease that affects memory and brain function. Despite living with this difficult disease for more than five years, she never failed to recognize her much-loved family and friends. Nor did the disease stop her from making new friends and charming them with her warmth and graciousness, even after moving into a memory-care facility in 2016.

Joyce Elizabeth Horn King was born in 1928 in Langruth, Manitoba, Canada. She was adopted at birth by Ernest and Eva Horn, and brought to Seattle in 1933 by her mother Eva after Ernest died of cancer. Joyce grew up in the Madrona neighborhood of Seattle and attended Garfield High School. She was a graduate of Whitman College in Walla Walla, where she earned a degree in English and Education. Books, literature and poetry were her passion. She could quote from memory poems and passages from the works of William Shakespeare, Robert Frost, and Edward FitzGerald’s translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, among many others.

But she also loved silly rhymes, limericks, and jokes and could make an entire room full of people laugh with her rapid-fire series of groaners. She taught English and Drama at Granite Falls High School and fifth and third grades at Sultan School District for more than 25 years.

“Life begins at 70!” Joyce would say after she retired and moved from Startup to West Seattle, where she became an active and beloved member of the Senior Center of West Seattle. She performed with the Senior Center’s ukulele band for almost 20 years. She also loved to travel and visited many U.S. cities and other countries including Spain, Mexico, Brazil, the UK and Iceland and of course Canada. She made friends wherever she went.

But most of all Joyce King loved her family. She is survived by her sister Thelma Thompson of Whitewood, Saskatchewan; her dear cousin Dorothy Johnson of San Jose, California; her children Chris King, Katie King, and Connie King; her grandchildren Courtney King, Tara King, Mahealani King, and Evan King; and her great grandchildren Benny Gilbertson, Stevie Lee, and Kohliana Lee.

Joyce King lived a long, joyous, and fun-filled life. She was very, very loved.

If you would like to honor Joyce’s memory, please consider donating to the Senior Center of West Seattle. It is an extraordinary community resource and non-profit organization that relies on gifts to provide its extensive services. You can donate online here, and write to the Senior Center to let them know you are donating in Joyce’s name: You can also call to donate: 206-932-4044.

Family and friends will gather to remember and celebrate Joyce’s life at the Senior Center of West Seattle, 4217 SW Oregon St, on Saturday, August 5, 2 pm to 5 pm. Attendees are kindly requested to RSVP by calling the Senior Center’s main number (206) 932-4044 or visiting the front desk at the Senior Center. Or you can email Katie King at

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to


(HERE’S THE REVAMPED SDOT MAP with travel times/video links)

7:06 AM: Good morning! No incidents to/from West Seattle reported so far this morning. A few notes:

DAY GAME: The Mariners play the Red Sox at 12:40 pm today.

TORCHLIGHT RUN CLOSING VIADUCT SATURDAY NIGHT: The pre-Torchlight Parade run is back as part of Seafair this year, and on Saturday night, it’ll close the Alaskan Way Viaduct for a while.

VIDEO: 13 City Council candidates @ West Seattle’s final pre-primary forum

Thirteen of the 15 people running for the two at-large City Council positions on next week’s ballot were at Highland Park Improvement Club tonight for the last West Seattle forum of the primary-election campaign, presented by the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council, and moderated by its chair, Mat McBride.

Rather than a Q&A format, the forum began with each candidate getting 5 minutes to make a statement, followed by time for mingling and one-on-one conversation. Here’s our video of the presentations, in two parts:

In the first part above, McBride’s introduction is followed by Position 9 candidate Eric Smiley, allowed to go first so he wouldn’t miss curfew at the shelter where he lives, and then Position 8 candidates in their ballot order – Charlene Strong, Rudy Pantoja, Sheley Secrest, Jon Grant, Teresa Mosqueda, Hisam Goueli, Mac McGregor. The next video includes the other five participating Position 9 candidates:

In order, the candidates in that video are Ty Pethe, Ian Affleck-Asch, David Preston, Lorena González, Pat Murakami. Ahead, we have photos and summaries of key points made by each candidate:

Read More

SEEN OFF WEST SEATTLE: Submarine at sunset

Thanks to Greg for the photo – a few minutes before it came in, someone had texted about a submarine sighting off Beach Drive, but there was no way we could get downhill to try for a photo; then, this arrived. As is usually the case for military vessels, this one isn’t showing on, so we don’t know which sub it is. Greg said it was headed northbound.

SIDE NOTE: We just noticed that Seafair has finally posted the list of five vessels participating in the Parade of Ships on Wednesday, August 2nd, visible off West Seattle’s north-facing shores as they head into Elliott Bay – see it here.

Are you ready? Emergency Communication Hubs earthquake-aftermath drill Saturday – and you can help

You’ve heard it many times – The Big One is a matter of when, not if. So, are you ready in case of a major earthquake? Part of the preparedness is knowing where your nearest Emergency Communication Hub is:

The hubs are gathering places where you’ll be able to get and share information if the regular means of communication become inoperable/inaccessible in the wake of a quake (or other major disaster). The Hubs are run by volunteers, and they welcome your help during a drill this Saturday (July 29th) that will include the activation of hubs around the city, including three in West Seattle. Here’s the official announcement, which explains the scenario:

The exercise imagines that a catastrophic earthquake hit the Puget Sound area mid-day on Monday, July 24th, causing major damage to infrastructure and widespread casualties. For the Hubs and Spokes drill, it is now the morning of July 29th — day 6 of the disaster. Despite several aftershocks, many of the major infrastructural problems have received initial treatment from City departments, so attention is now being directed to neighborhood needs.

In this type of disaster, the neighborhood Hubs would mobilize immediately to assist with the immediate needs of residents, especially those not reached by regular emergency services. However, as the days after the event go by, as simulated in this exercise, resources may run low and volunteer availability and energy will flag.

The three hubs participating in West Seattle on Saturday are:

Alaska Junction – Hope Lutheran Church: 4456 42nd Ave SW
High Point – Neighborhood House: 6400 Sylvan Way SW
E.C. Hughes Playground – 29th Ave SW & SW Holden

You are welcome to show up (starting at 8 am) to be part of the drill as a “citizen actor” – you’ll be assigned a role to play. You’re also welcome to stop by at any point during the 8 am-1 pm exercise to observe, and to learn.

Door-to-door alert: Beware of solicitors claiming to be collecting for nonprofits

3:45 PM: We’ve been meaning to publish another reminder about the door-to-door-soliciting laws, as we’re getting reports of questionable solicitors again. Now it’s urgent, as Tom just e-mailed a warning about magazine sellers claiming to be benefiting a local nonprofit – which in turn told Tom they’re not affiliated. The solicitors came to Tom’s house in the 6000 block of 21st SW, and at first he was impressed:

But when we started to get into the money, their demeanor changed, it started to look like THEY were getting the money, not a charity …..and it didn’t feel right. So I gave them checks with the idea I’m gonna check this out then cancel the checks if it doesn’t pan out. Then I contacted “Mary’s Place” (where they said the donations go to). Mary’s Place said it’s a scam that they are being used a lot for this spring, and advised me to file a police report. I cancelled the checks.

Tom forwarded a receipt in the name of “PS Circulation” (many references online) as well as the reply he received from Mary’s Place (which IS a bonafide nonprofit all its own, helping homeless families, with shelters including a new one in White Center, but NOT seeking donations in this way).

Before you even consider opening the door to solicitors – know the rules (we recapped them again here).

9:59 PM: We’ve also heard from another local nonprofit that solicitors are using their name without authorization or connection. West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) executive director Shalimar Gonzales e-mailed us to say a member told her that two solicitors were going door to door “asking for donations for the YMCA … The YMCA does not solicit donations door to door.”

Former West Seattle bank-branch manager sentenced to prison for embezzling $500,000+ from ‘vulnerable victims’

Four months after pleading guilty to two counts of an eight-count indictment, a former West Seattle bank manager has been sentenced to four and a half years in federal prison. Here’s the announcement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office:

The former manager of a JPM Chase bank branch in West Seattle was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 54 months in prison for embezzling more than half a million dollars from the accounts of elderly customers, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes.

Roberta Castillo, 43, acted as a trusted friend and financial helper to various elderly customers of first Washington Mutual and later Chase after WAMU was sold. These elderly clients trusted Castillo to assist them with their financial affairs. Instead, she stole their funds by manipulating the electronic records at the bank, committing identity theft with their personal information, and using innocent subordinates to make it difficult to track the disappearing funds. Chase has agreed to restore the funds to the customer accounts. At sentencing, U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour said Castillo had preyed on “vulnerable victims,” and asked to be updated that Chase had made the victims whole.

“This defendant stole from her elderly victims when they were most vulnerable – after the loss of a spouse, while battling illness or dealing with the challenges that sometimes come with age,” said U.S. Attorney Hayes. “In one instance, she stole more than $350,000 from the estate of a deceased customer. This defendant’s shameful behavior deserves substantial punishment.”

According to records filed in the case, Castillo began working for what was then Washington Mutual in the late 1990s. She started as a teller and worked her way up to being a branch manager in West Seattle. Along the way Castillo worked with many customers who, as they aged, came to rely on her for their financial services. With access to their accounts, Castillo drained resources from at least three different sets of clients. Castillo was embezzling as much as $20,000 per month. She drained $364,000 from an overlooked CD in the account of a deceased client; she made 37 unauthorized transfers totaling more than $140,000 from the accounts of an elderly brother and sister; and she committed identity theft against another client opening and using a credit card in his name and getting cash from his line of credit. Castillo used the money to pay her bank loans, routine expenses such as manicures and gas, hotel rooms, airplane tickets, a cruise, and for bail money for a boyfriend in trouble with the law. In the wake of the thefts some of the victims have struggled to pay bills or make necessary home repairs.

In addition to the prison sentence, Castillo will serve five years on supervised release and is ordered to pay restitution of more than $500,000 to Chase.

The case was investigated by the Seattle Police Department and the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Susan Roe.

After receiving the announcement, we asked which branch Castillo had managed in West Seattle. According to the sentencing-memo document in the case (which contains many more details of her crimes), Castillo managed two Chase branches in grocery stores. Other documents say her crimes happened between 2011 and 2014.

BAND JAM 2017: Here’s the lineup for Friday night’s West Seattle showcase

(Saturday photo by Mark Filteau)

You saw their grand-prize-winning performance in Saturday’s West Seattle Grand Parade … you might have seen their practice and photo shoot at Seacrest five days earlier … and now, the All-City Band has one more West Seattle performance, at this year’s Band Jam on Friday night. ACB director Marcus Pimpleton shares the full lineup in this invitation to you:

The Seattle All-City Band will once again be hosting the annual Band Jam event at the Southwest Athletic Complex in West Seattle.

This year’s event will take place this coming Friday, July 28th, from 7:00-9:00 pm and feature musical performances by the Junior All-City Band, the Gents Drumline, the John F. Kennedy Catholic High School Marching Band, the Rainbow City Band, the Sumner High School Spartan Marching Band, and the Seattle Schools All-City Band.

Stadium concessions will be available beginning at 6:00 pm and pre-show entertainment by the Ten Man Brass Band will begin at 6:30. This family-friendly event celebrating young people and music is free to the public.

The lineup varies each year; here’s our coverage from last year. SWAC is at 2801 SW Thistle, across from Chief Sealth International High School.

ONE WEEK UNTIL ‘NIGHT OUT’: Still time to plan and register your block party

Exactly one week away from Night Out – the first Tuesday in August, when neighbors around the U.S. organize block parties to celebrate community collaboration toward safety and crime prevention. We have another update from Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Burbridge:

As of today, the SW Precinct has 214 registered events!! 2nd-highest number of events of any precinct in the city of Seattle!

Be sure to get your event registered [scroll down this page] before registration closes on Monday, July 31st, at 5 pm!

During the registration process, it will ask if you would like visits from the Police Department, Fire Department, Office of Emergency Management and/or Elected Officials. Please make sure to pay attention to these boxes, as these questions give us helpful information when planning visits. However, due to the high volume of requests – we cannot promise a visit but we will do our best to visit as many events as possible through the evening!

If you have any questions about Night Out – please contact me, your SW Crime Prevention Coordinator, at

Registering is most important so you can close your (non-arterial) street.

P.S. If you’re planning a Night Out party, let us know if we can stop by for a photo (thanks to those we have heard from already) – – thank you!