day : 25/09/2017 11 results

SAVING FALCONRIDGE FARM: Riding instructor launches ‘long-shot’ crowdfunding campaign to buy it for therapeutic-riding center

(WSB photo)

It’s the largest goal amount we’ve ever seen on a crowdfunding drive:


Julia Montagnet of Vashon Island has put that pricetag on a campaign to try to buy and save Falconridge Farm, the four-acre West Seattle horse farm that – as we first told you two weeks ago – is up for sale and being marketed as a potential housing subdivision.

Julia says she is working on opening a therapeutic-riding center. She says she has been in contact with Falconridge Farm’s owner Dr. Jean Nokes and says that Dr. Nokes has at least one offer from a developer on the table but has another week or so to make a decision. Julia adds:

Our therapeutic riding facility is brand new although it’s something that has been in the works to get to this point for a couple years. We feel like being right in Seattle like that would be a huge benefit to families who would like their kids to have that opportunity without having to go far outside the city. Plus, seeing how long the waiting list is for Little Bit Therapeutic Riding in Redmond, it is obvious there is still a big need for such facilities in our area. It’s a short time to come up with the money, but we would like to at last try.

Julia has been teaching riding lessons on Vashon for three years and is about to go to Idaho for her certification testing at PATH International. She says she has set up a nonprofit for her center “and started looking at where it would be. Falconridge is a long shot but it would be such a perfect location! My staff therapist is in Renton so it’s right in between us. And I am hoping to be able to hire a second PATH certified instructor and it would be easier for folks to get to than Vashon Island.” The crowdfunding page is here. (Julia’s contact info, by the way, is in comments on our original Falconridge story.)

TUESDAY: Crime, safety, preparedness @ West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network

September 25, 2017 7:16 pm
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 |   Preparedness | Safety | West Seattle news

Neighborhood cohesiveness and collaboration are ultimately what the West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network is all about. But that doesn’t just involve crime and safety … another big issue for neighborhoods is emergency/disaster preparedness. And with so many reminders lately of that topic’s importance, it’s one of the topics on the WSBWCN meeting agenda for tomorrow night (Tuesday, September 26th). 6:30 pm, Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster). You don’t have to be a Block Watch Captain, or even be in a BW, to be there – all are welcome. More on the WSBWCN website.

HAPPENING NOW: Collecting donations for Puerto Rico hurricane relief

(WSB photo)

At right is Rey Delgado, with brother Mato at left and son Diego at center. Look for them until about 7 pm on the baseball field at Hiawatha Playfield in the Admiral District, and bring donations for Puerto Rico survivors of Hurricane Maria. As mentioned here this morning, Rey is headed there next week and looking for:

*Manual/crank chargers
*Small-denomination gift cards for Home Depot, Walgreens and Walmart
*Water purification tablets

If you don’t see this in time, or can’t get there by 7, but still want to help, contact Rey via the e-mail link on his business website (lower right).

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Police searching for suspected burglar in Arbor Heights

3:57 PM: If you’re noticing the police response in Arbor Heights right now – they’re searching for a suspected burglar. Seattle Police tell us the break-in was reported by someone who was home at the time in the 10500 block of 39th SW. A preliminary description distributed via radio communication was that of a man in his 30s, possibly “Hispanic or Samoan,” about 250 pounds, red short-sleeved T-shirt, black knit cap, dark jeans, boots, tattoo on his left forearm, possibly headed east to 35th and then north. Call 911 if you think you have any helpful information.

4:16 PM: They’re still searching – no additional information.

ANOTHER RESIDENT ORCA DEATH: J52, two and a half years old

(Photo courtesy Ken Balcomb)

The Center for Whale Research confirms today that Puget Sound’s resident orca population has dropped again, with the death of J52, nicknamed Sonic. Here’s the news release they sent this afternoon:

As of 19 September, another Southern Resident Killer Whale, J52 – a two and a half year old male born during the so-called Baby Boom of 2015/2016 – is deceased, presumably from malnutrition.

His obligatory nursing ended more than a year ago, and his life was dependent upon salmon that have become in short supply this summer.

He was last seen alive near the west entrance of the Strait of Juan de Fuca on 15 September 2017, and photographs taken at the time reveal severe “peanut-head” syndrome associated with impending death. Young J52 was accompanied by his mother (seventeen and a half year old, J36) and an adult male (twenty-six year old L85, potentially his father) at least five miles away from the other members of J and L pods that were foraging within a mile or two of the coastline from Camper Creek to Bonilla Point west of Port Renfrew, British Columbia.

The observation of this sad event was at sunset, and the young whale appeared very lethargic while barely surfacing as the two adults were swimming around in circles and not feeding while attentive to the young whale. We estimated J52 was within hours, if not minutes, of death at the time, and he was not present during the J pod foray into Puget Sound on 19 September, though his mother and L85 were. The mother did not appear overly emaciated on either occasion, but she is lean and seems distressed. Yes, these animals do exhibit emotion, and death of an offspring brings it on. It is worthy of note that all of the SRKW observed this summer appear skinny and small compared to Bigg’s Transient killer whales in the Salish Sea that have abundant prey resources (seals and other marine mammals). Timing of food availability is everything, especially in critical phases of growth or gestation.

With the passing of J52, three of the six whales born in J pod during the so-called Baby Boom, which began in December 2014 with the birth of J50, have now died; and, two mothers (J14, J28) and a great-grandmother (J2) in the pod have also died. No southern resident killer whales from any of the pods have been born alive and survived thus far in 2017 – the baby boom is over. This population cannot survive without food year-round – individuals metabolize their toxic blubber and body fats when they do not get enough to eat to sustain their bodies and their babies. Your diet doctor can advise you about that.

All indications (population number, foraging spread, days of occurrence in the Salish Sea, body condition, and live birth rate/neonate survival) are pointing toward a predator population that is prey limited and non-viable. We know that the SRKW population-sustaining prey species is Chinook salmon, but resource managers hope that they find something else to eat for survival, at least beyond their bureaucratic tenure. Our government systems steeped in short-term competing financial motives are processing these whales and the salmon on which they depend to extinction. If something isn’t done to enhance the SRKW prey availability almost immediately (it takes a few years for a Chinook salmon to mature and reproduce, and it takes about twelve years for a female SRKW to mature and reproduce), extinction of this charismatic resident population of killer whales is inevitable in the calculable future. Most PVA’s (population viability analyses) show functional extinction as a result of no viable reproduction within decades to a century with current predator/prey trajectories, but it can happen more quickly than that.

J52’s birth was announced in March 2015. The death leaves the resident orca population at 76 – 77 counting Tokitae (who remains in a Florida theme park, called Lolita).

CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Suspect in Riverview burglary has long record

1:20 PM: A 32-year-old man remains in the King County Jail today after being arrested on Puget Ridge Saturday night in connection with a burglary in Riverview. We reported briefly on the incident shortly afterward, but learned there was more to the story – including a car crash before he was taken into custody – so we requested and received the police-report narrative today. We’ve also learned that the suspect has a lengthy record dating back more than half his life, including previous burglary convictions.

On Saturday night, the police report says, a neighbor called 911 after seeing a man trying to kick in the door of a house near 12th and Orchard in the Riverview Playfield area. Police arrived quickly and saw a man walk out of the front door carrying a TV set. He then went out of sight and a car on SW Orchard was seen leaving. Two officers had the car pulled over briefly, but the man inside refused to get out and took off westbound toward 16th SW. Police were sharing all this information over radio frequencies and other officers spotted the car near 16th and Brandon, crashed into a parked car (a reader later provided the photo below – the green car is the one the suspect was reported to be driving, according to the police report, and it was subsequently impounded):

The car’s owner told police they had seen a man flee toward a house in the 1600 block of SW Dawson, and they found the suspect in that house’s back yard, appearing to be under the influence – slurring his speech, with a “strong order of alcoholic intoxicants” on his breath. He also was seen, police were told, falling down some stairs at the house. Back at the burglarized house, which police report was ransacked, the TV had been left behind, near the fence.

The suspect was arrested and booked into jail early Sunday. Online court files show that his most recent felony conviction was for a Highland Park burglary in 2012; he received a seven-year prison sentence in March 2013. Previous convictions included a 2008 burglary on Pigeon Point. The county jail roster shows he was booked twice in the past two months for alleged probation violations. He is expected to have a bail hearing this afternoon, and we’ll update with its result.

5:04 PM: The jail register has been updated to show the suspect’s bail is set at $5,000.

UPDATE: Southwest Pool reopens after temporary closure

September 25, 2017 12:42 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks | Westwood

12:42 PM: Seattle Parks reports that Southwest Pool – which would usually be in the middle of a lap-swimming session right now – is temporarily closed. There’s a problem with the HVAC system, and crews are on scene working to fix it. They hope to reopen later today; we’ll update when we get word of that.

3:40 PM: As of just before 3, the pool is open again.

DEVELOPMENT: Official comment time for Morgan Junction rowhouse project, with address changed to 4300 SW Willow

(King County Assessor’s Office photo)

Back in June, we brought you first word of a then-early-stage proposal which at the time carried the address 6721 California SW – replacing the century-plus-old house shown above with a 7-unit rowhouse and 5 offstreet-parking spaces. The project address has since been changed to 4300 SW Willow – it’s at the corner of California/Willow in south Morgan Junction – and today’s Land Use Information Bulletin brings the official notice of the developer’s land-use-permit application. This opens a two-week comment period focused on environmental aspects of the proposal; you can use this form to comment – the deadline is Monday, October 9th.

YOU CAN HELP: West Seattleite collecting supplies for Puerto Rico hurricane survivors today

As you might – or might not – have heard, Hurricane Maria has left Puerto Rico ravaged. You can help. Here’s one way: A West Seattle man who is from Puerto Rico is collecting supplies today for a trip there next week. Here’s the announcement:

Rey Delgado, a West Seattle resident and local baseball/softball coach, will be collecting Puerto Rico Relief Supply Donations today, Monday 9/25, at Hiawatha Playfield from 3-7 pm.

We are collecting batteries, flashlights, manual/crank chargers, small-denomination gift cards for Home Depot, Walgreens and Walmart, and water purification tablets to take to Puerto Rico and hand out to the hardest hit of the population.

He is scheduled on a flight on Monday 10/2 and will be traveling to Puerto Rico to assist with the relief effort. He will be working with local Puerto Rican agencies to help distribute the donated supplies to low income areas hard hit by Hurricane Maria.

Rey is from Carolina, Puerto Rico and all of his family is there.

The announcement is from Rey’s wife Jessica; she is a lifelong West Seattle resident and explains that Rey moved here when they got married 15 years ago. Hiawatha Playfield is at 2700 California SW, just north of West Seattle High School.

What’s up for your West Seattle Monday

(Saturday night photo by Kersti Muul)

From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

FALL QUARTER STARTS AT SSC: It’s the first day of the fall quarter at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor). See the “Welcome Week” schedule here. (6000 16th SW)

CITY COUNCIL TODAY: The 9:30 am briefing meeting includes a discussion of the proposed process for filling a Council vacancy until the November election results are finalized, plus a briefing on the city’s homelessness-related efforts via Pathways Home. At 2 pm, Mayor Tim Burgess formally presents the proposed budget. This is all happening at City Hall and viewable live via Seattle Channel (online or cable 21).

STAND-UP PADDLEBOARDING: It’s Monday Night Ladies’ Night at Alki Kayak Tours, 6-8 pm, details in our calendar listing. (1660 Harbor SW)

FAMILY STORY TIME: 6:30 pm at High Point Library, suitable for kids of all ages. (35th SW/SW Raymond)

MONDAY NIGHT QUIZ: Got all the answers? Be at The Skylark tonight, 7:30 pm, for the weekly all-ages quiz. Prizes! (3803 Delridge Way SW)

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Fall’s first Monday

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

6:54 AM: Two incidents to report this morning – a crash blocking westeastbound Sylvan Way SW in the 7100 block [map], and, if you use surface Spokane St. east of West Seattle, it’s blocked at Colorado because of a truck/train collision nearby.


*It’s the first weekday since Metro’s “service change” took effect on Staurday – here’s the plan for routes in our area.

And remember the Columbia/2nd stop downtown has closed and moved (Metro photo added above).

*The fall quarter starts today at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor).

7:12 AM: The truck/train crash affecting surface Spokane St. has been cleared, per scanner.

7:27 AM: SFD has just closed out of the Sylvan Way call.

7:57 AM: SDOT reports a crash at Admiral and 42nd.