West Seattle, Washington
That’s the view from the roof of the north tower at The Whittaker (4755 Fauntleroy Way SW; WSB sponsor), where a grand-opening celebration this afternoon marked the completion of both towers. Here’s what’s on the roof:
Another view looks down to the common area:
This time of year, the fire pit will get some use:
Someone who’s no stranger to the outdoors, mountaineering legend Jim Whittaker – the complex’s namesake – was at the party:
Inside the building, here’s a look at the kitchen of a studio unit:
Sun streamed into this 1-bedroom:
The Whittaker has 2-bedroom units as well, and property managers say they’ve already leased 70 percent of the complex’s almost 400 units. As for the commercial space, no news yet about the area originally intended for Whole Foods. Except for MOD Pizza (next June), the ground-floor business tenants are expected to be open within the next month or so. One more thing: the mural on the west side that’s a digital recreation of the one that used to be on the Huling Brothers building that sat along Fauntleroy where The Whittaker’s south tower is now:
You might have noticed some other features along Fauntleroy – the building was set back to make room for a bicycle lane, and there’s art all around, including a water feature by Fauntleroy/Alaska, where the developer-funded crosswalk was recently completed. Today’s celebration is almost ten months after last year’s ribboncutting party marked the south tower’s opening.
Thanks to everyone who messaged us about a big police response in Arbor Heights that blocked off Marine View Drive for a while near SW 104th. We just got here a few minutes ago and the response is wrapping up; police tell us they were called to deal with what turned out to be a person in crisis, who was initially very combative, and that’s why they called in extra backup. The person has since been taken by ambulance for an evaluation, and the road has reopened, with most of the police departing.
P.S. Because Seattle Fire wasn’t called in for this, it never showed up on the SFD real-time 911 log, so e-mails were the first tips we got. The fastest way to reach us 24/7 is always text or voice at 206-293-6302 – consider adding us as a contact on your phone. Thank you!
The Salvation Army in South Delridge is inviting the community to join an awareness-raising march on Sunday (September 24th) afternoon. From Capt. Lisa Barnes:
The Salvation Army is hosting a march down 16th Ave this Sunday. We will be walking just 4 blocks each way as we raise awareness for those currently enslaved around the world.
We will start at The Salvation Army at 1:15 and be finished by 3:00 at the latest.
This is a free event and we will be providing materials for signs.
Organizers add, “This will be the kickoff event for a group of people who are justice minded, and ready to make a difference for trafficked people in our neighborhoods. … This is not a political march. This is a march for freedom, for unity, for awareness, and for community.” The Salvation Army is at 9050 16th SW; the march will be on sidewalks, not the street.
We have just found out more about what police believe preceded the shooting that killed a West Seattle man outside his home near 31st SW and SW Elmgrove on Tuesday night. The information is in probable-cause documents from this afternoon’s court appearance of the 21-year-old Burien woman arrested the next morning, whose bail has been set at half a million dollars.
The documents say the suspect is an ex-girlfriend of the victim, who is identified in those documents as 25-year-old Edixon Velasquez. Police say she messaged him Monday saying she urgently wanted to meet with him at his home. Then on Tuesday, she messaged him to say she was outside his home but did not want to come in, asking him instead to come outside. He was having dinner inside with his two roommates; they saw her car go by and wondered why she didn’t want to come in. The victim eventually went out, saying he would help his ex-girlfriend park her car, and moments later the roommates heard at least one gunshot, and saw the ex-girlfriend getting into her car.
The documents say that surveillance video obtained from a neighbor shows that Velasquez got into the driver’s seat of the car (after “a female” exited that seat), and then a man walked up to the car from the north, appearing to open the driver’s door and pull Velasquez out, with the victim then falling to the ground. That man was said to then run away, while the ex-girlfriend walked up, looked down at the victim, making “no attempt to help him” according to police, before getting into the car and driving away. When police found her at her mother’s house in Burien the next day, the documents say, she “denied knowing the identity of the shooter and the motive for the shooting, but admitted that she did nothing to help the victim after the shooting and that she left the scene and never called 911.” As reported Tuesday night, Velasquez died at the scene. Documents from today’s hearing do not describe the man except to say that he was wearing “a hooded sweatshirt and long pants.” He is still not in custody so far as we know; the female suspect, meantime, is due back in court tomorrow, at which time we should find out whether she will be charged.
A week and a half ago, thanks to a tip from Josh (who also sent the photo), we reported that Srivilai Thai Cuisine is on the way to the ex-Blackboard Bistro space. At the time, that’s all we knew. We promised to follow up, and have since made contact with the Srivilai family, who will be running the new restaurant at 3247 California SW. Here’s what they’ve told us in an e-mail exchange:
They’ll be serving Bangkok-style Thai food – “since that is where the family is from, but at this time the menu isn’t set” – lunch and dinner, seven days a week, “opening probably 11:00 most days, closing 9:30 on weekdays and 10:00 or so on weekends.” They plan to serve beer, wine, and liquor (and have applied for the license, though they might be open serving food before it comes through.” And they note that “since it’s Thai food, a high percentage of dishes can be made vegetarian, vegan, and/or gluten-free if the diner so chooses. That’s standard practice for Thai restaurants, so not a surprise for diners with dietary restrictions.”
We asked why West Seattle – the reply, “because we live here! Half the family has lived in WS since 2008, the rest this year – we love the area and think there is enough room for our restaurant.” They hope to be open by the end of October.
(UPDATED THURSDAY AFTERNOON with slide deck from meeting)
(WSB video of Vashon meeting)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Ferry riders’ frustrations resulting from months of seeing vessels leave Fauntleroy during peak hours with space remaining, and a long line of vehicles still waiting, boiled over into everything from angry words to constructive suggestions at the first of this week’s two public meetings.
Last night’s meeting brought a standing-room-only crowd to Vashon Island High School to talk, and hear, about the Triangle Route and what has been, and might be, done about its challenges.
In one of the WSF presentations/speeches that began the meeting, WSDOT assistant secretary Amy Scarton, who is in charge of WSF, noted that their system is “very safe and generally efficient,” and that “ridership is growing … I know you guys feel that … 2016 ridership is highest that it’s been since 2014, and 2017 ridership is even higher … But … we’ve had a tough summer. I admit that, I own that.” She mentioned ferries going out of service for maintenance/repairs as short as 12 hours and as long as 2 months. “We are working hard every day to get those boats back in service as quickly as we can.”
She also insisted that “these dialogues are extremely important,” because management “is not going to know the best thing for your community” until they hear it directly from community members. She noted that the attempts to fix the Triangle Route dated back to her predecessor, and led to community conversations and creation of the Triangle Route Improvement Task Force. “I think as long as we keep this dialogue we can come up with some stuff to make this route even better.”
The dozens who spoke before meeting’s end certainly had a lot of “stuff” to suggest. More about that shortly, but first:
The photo and reminder are from David Hutchinson of Seal Sitters:
Seal Sitters’ “Shore the Shore” banners have recently been installed by Seattle Parks & Recreation along a section of Alki Avenue. Just a reminder that we are now entering what traditionally has been the busiest months for harbor seal pups to rest and warm up on West Seattle beaches. For those of you who have recently moved to this area, Seal Sitters is part of NOAA’s West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network. We respond to reports of any marine mammal, alive or dead, on the beaches of West Seattle from Brace Point through the Duwamish River, including Harbor Island.
If you come across a marine mammal on our local beaches, please keep back, keep people and pets away, and call Seal Sitters’ hotline at 206-905-7325.
You can also remember that number as 206-905-SEAL.
The rain has returned as if it never left. But don’t let that keep you away from what’s happening today/tonight. Here are just a few of the highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
LAFAYETTE DINE-OUT BENEFIT: Until 9 pm, dine at Zippy’s Giant Burgers in White Center and part of your proceeds will go to the Lafayette Elementary PTA. (9614 14th SW)
‘FILL THE BOOT’ FINALE: West Seattle firefighters are scheduled to be in The Junction one last day, through 7 pm, as a fundraiser to help fight muscular dystrophy. (California SW/SW Alaska)
SUSTAINABLE WEST SEATTLE PICNIC: All are welcome to join Sustainable West Seattle at Puget Ridge Edible Park, 4-7 pm. It’s a potluck, and also a chance to celebrate the past year’s achievements. (4767 Puget Way SW)
ALKI COMMUNITY COUNCIL: 7 pm at Alki UCC, with the agenda including:
1. Report on proposed City parking policy changes
2. Westside Neighbors Network
3. Update on Alki Communication Hub
(6115 SW Hinds)
BELLY-DANCE SHOWCASE: Monthly Alauda showcase at The Skylark, 7:30 pm. No cover. All ages. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
7:11 AM: Good morning! No incidents reported in/from West Seattle so far this rainy morning.
*25th SW paving in North Delridge is scheduled to continue today.
*Reminder that Metro’s next “service change” takes effect Saturday – here’s what happens for routes in our area (plus a reminder of the Columbia/2nd stop closing downtown).
*The Orca Half Marathon will be run between Lincoln Park and Don Armeni Boat Launch on Sunday. Organizers say they will be running on sidewalks and the Alki Trail, and in the parking lane. (Not running? Volunteer!)