West Seattle, Washington
7:33 AM: Quiet out there so far. But just in case you don’t have the day off:
*No Water Taxi
*Metro on “reduced weekday” service
*Sound Transit buses on regular schedule
*Some downtown streets closed for the Macy’s 9 am Holiday Parade (with local participants!) and 5 pm star lighting
If you heard the sirens in eastern West Seattle – a “heavy rescue” response was initially sent for a crash reported at West Marginal Way SW and 2nd Avenue SW [map], but it’s been downsized – only one vehicle is reported to be involved, with one person inside, not believed to be seriously hurt, and not needing extrication. The driver is reported to have hit a tree in a “wooded” area.
11:23 PM: Thanks for the tips about police activity in The Junction near 44th/Oregon. Officers are searching for at least one suspect in what was described via radio as a street robbery in which the victim, whose purse was stolen, was told the robbers had a gun. One suspect is reported to be in custody.
11:49 PM: Police are reported to be questioning two other possible suspects.
Three reader reports:
BREAK-IN: From a reader in Fairmount Springs:
We had a break-in last night just before 6 pm at our house on 41st Ave SW / Juneau [map], this guy rang the doorbell soon after we left the house and then kicked in a side door and stole some antique jewelry:
The incident number is 17-432859.
TIRE SLASHED: Alia wonders if anyone else woke up to this: “My tire was slashed during the night last night, cross-streets Walker and California.” [map]
HIT-RUN? Joshua saw this early today: “Probable hit and run at Brandon & 49th [map]. BMW smashed up with debris in the street. Such a nice treat on the holiday morning.” It appears a police report was filed later, 17-433380.
If you have some extra giving capacity this year, maybe you can help handle a few of the 1,124 requests received by the West Seattle and Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor) this season. Both locations have giving trees up, with two weeks and two days for you to help make the holidays happier for someone. From the Y’s executive director Shalimar Gonzales:
The West Seattle and Fauntleroy YMCA invites local residents of all ages to participate in a variety of free activities and give a gift to support kids and families in the area. There is a giving tree on display in each of the lobbies of the West Seattle and Fauntleroy YMCA locations with cards attached. If you are interested in sharing a gift, just take one or more cards, purchase the requested gift, and return it to the Y by December 9th. Last year, over 800 gifts were provided by the community for this effort. It’s been a tough year for many people in the community, and during this special season, the need for even more donations from our community members is even more critical.
As for those free community activities – to which you’re invited whether you’re a Y member or not – they include:
*Family Night, 6:30 pm-8 pm December 1st
*Healthy Holiday Stress-Reduction Workshop, 6:30 pm December 11th and 10 am December 14th
*Winter Holiday Bake-A-Rama with Chef Kim O’Donnel, 4:30-5:30 pm December 14th (Sufganiyot [Jelly Donuts] and Benne [Sesame] Biscuits)
All of those events – which have been added to the WSB WS Holiday Guide – are at the West Seattle branch (36th SW/SW Snoqualmie); the Fauntleroy branch is at 9131 California SW. Our Holiday Guide also has a “holiday giving” section where we have added these giving trees – if you have a giving tree, donation drive, fundraiser, volunteer need, etc., please let us know so we can add it too – firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
It’s free community Thanksgiving dinner time in West Seattle, if you don’t already have plans. Above and below, The Hall at Fauntleroy is serving dinner until 3 pm, 19th year, and David Haggerty of D Squared – parent company of The Hall and Tuxedos & Tennis Shoes Catering – tells WSB that this might be the biggest one yet: 70 people were waiting when they opened the doors at noon, and they had served more than 220 by the time we visited in the second hour.
Community contributions to The Hall at Fauntleroy’s dinner include donated desserts, as well as warm clothes for anyone who needs them:
But you don’t have to be in need to join in the community dinner – all are welcome; The Hall is at 9131 California SW.
Meanwhile, now that it’s 2 pm, the doors also are open at the West Seattle Eagles‘ HQ at 4426 California SW, where they’re offering a free community dinner – turkey and all the trimmings – until 5 pm.
West Seattle Produce, on a site that’s been targeted for redevelopment for years, has just announced it’s closing at the end of this year, and hoping to reopen at a new location next spring. From today’s announcement:
… It is with heavy hearts we announce we will be closing our doors at the end of this year. The development bug finally got to us and our beloved stand will likely soon become West Seattle’s newest 7-story apartment building.
It has been a joyous ten years on the Fauntleroy block and we could not have done it without your support. We love and will miss you all but hopefully not for long! It is our hope to open at a new location in the West Seattle area in Spring of 2018.
This will be the second time WSP has had to leave a site that was planned for redevelopment – its original location 7 1/2 years ago was across the street, where The Whittaker (WSB sponsor) is now. As mentioned in the announcement, an apartment building is planned for WSP’s current site at 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW, but that’s not the first proposal since it moved there six years ago; before the apartment plan, a CVS drugstore was proposed for the site, but that plan was scrapped in mid-2016. The new plan includes about 300 apartments, and some commercial space, in two buildings.
P.S. Again, WS Produce has announced it’s closing at the end of the year – but remains open for business until then, and in fact, as you can see in the photo above, is about to start selling Christmas trees.
11:24 AM: Thanks for all the tips about police on the south end of the Lincoln Park waterfront. They have taped off part of the beach where we are told a body was found. Our crew talked to a woman who says she found the body while out for a walk with her dog less than an hour ago. She said the person appeared to be male, gray-haired. Police apparently found ID on him, but had no comment on the situation except that they were awaiting the Medical Examiner.
11:44 AM: As noted by commenters, there was an extensive search two days ago to the south for a man in his 80s reported to have gone into the water in Des Moines, 10+ miles south of here. Coast Guard and King County crews had searched exhaustively for him without success.
12:35 PM: We checked with the King County Sheriff’s Office to see if they had heard whether this was the person they had been searching for. No notification so far, according to spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West.
1:44 PM: We also have talked with SPD spokesperson Det. Mark Jamieson. Final word on an ID and cause of death would have to come from the Medical Examiner, but he says it’s currently NOT being investigated as foul play (we had verified with the officers on scene that Homicide detectives had not been called out), and also says SPD is indeed looking into whether the discovery is connected to the Des Moines disappearance on Tuesday.
The southbound lane in the 6000 block of Beach Drive is blocked right now by the response to that crash. The driver is not seriously hurt; the car went up over the sidewalk and into a wall.
Happy Thanksgiving! As usual, we’ve compiled info you might be looking for:
GROCERY STORES OPEN TODAY: The list is in the Thanksgiving section atop our Holiday Guide.
COFFEE SHOPS OPEN TODAY: 16 coffee shops open for at least part of today are also listed in the Thanksgiving section of our guide.
RESTAURANTS (AND BARS WITH FOOD) OPEN TODAY AND/OR TONIGHT: Here’s the list; please be aware that it is a list of who told us, when we called, that they planned to be open – always subject to last-minute change without notice to us, so please let us know if you find discrepancies – thanks!
PRE-TURKEY EXERCISE : Three options this morning, which you also will find in the Thanksgiving section atop the Holiday Guide .
WHERE TO FIND A FREE COMMUNITY THANKSGIVING DINNER: Three options this year, everyone welcome:
*The Hall at Fauntleroy, noon-3 pm (9131 California SW)
*West Seattle Church of the Nazarene, noon (4201 SW Juneau, church basement)
*West Seattle Eagles, 2 pm-5 pm (4426 California SW, banquet-room entrance off parking lot on south side of building)
AND IF YOU WANT TO HELP: You can donate a dessert to The Hall at Fauntleroy’s dinner – such as a pie and/or cookies – dropoffs are welcome between 10 am and 1 pm, same address as above (south end of the historic schoolhouse).
THANKSGIVING POTLUCK: 11 am-2 pm on the patio outside Tully’s on Alki. “Bring and share a hot dish, or salad, or dessert, bring family/friends, all are welcome.” (2676 Alki SW)
WHAT TO DO AFTER DINNER:
The Admiral Theater is open this afternoon/evening – see the movies/showtimes here (2343 California SW) … The West Seattle Lights music-synched light show starts tonight, 7-9 pm – bring food for the West Seattle Food Bank! (3908 SW Charlestown)
(Surf scoter, photographed by Mark Wangerin)
THANKSGIVING TRANSPORTATION NOTES:
*Metro is on the Sunday schedule
*No Water Taxi service
*Sound Transit Route 560 is on the Sunday schedule
*Washington State Ferries‘ Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run is on its regular schedule
*Parking is free on city streets in neighborhoods with pay stations
Detailed info for today and beyond is in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide. We hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving! (And if you see/hear news, please text/call 206-293-6302 – thank you!)
(Seattle Channel video of today’s budget signing)
The two-month-long process of changing and finalizing next year’s budget ended today with Mayor Tim Burgess signing what the City Council passed a day earlier. So what’s in it for our area? Here’s how West Seattle/South Park City Councilmember Lisa Herbold – who led the budget process this year – broke it down in her weekly update:
*Funding for public safety coordinator and pedestrian/lighting improvements identified by the South Park Public Safety Task Force
*Statement of Legislative Intent report from SPD by March 16 about solutions to vehicle-noise enforcement and cruising in Alki (which could also affect Fauntleroy and Belltown)
*Expand the Ready to Work project into District 1. There are unique challenges facing immigrants and refugees living in SW Seattle. The Ready to Work model is designed to support Seattle residents who are English learners and hinges on the intensive centralized and neighborhood-based support available to these English learners. The special features of this project include level 1-3 ESL classes, 12 hours a week of classes focused on supporting English learners to succeed in a professional environment, intensive case management, and curriculum focused on digital and financial literacy. The Ready to Work expansion is currently in its planning phase and is slated to open in April of 2018.
*Funding to plan and design walkable, bikeable path uniting the Georgetown and South Park neighborhoods to enhance walkability between Georgetown and South Park’s historic “Main Streets” and connect the heart of the Duwamish Valley
*Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD): expansion of LEAD to North Precinct, and to begin taking referrals from the SW and South Precincts, and a Statement of Legislative Intent to expand LEAD citywide in 2019
*Addition of $1 million for participatory budgeting (done through the Neighborhood Parks and Streets Fund), which, in 2017, funded projects in Delridge, Westwood/Highland Park, High Point, and South Park
*Vacant Building Monitoring Program: While working on legislation earlier this year to modify maintenance and demolition standards related to vacant buildings I worked to add an amendment that would require the department to present the Council with legislation by March 31, 2018. Requiring property owners to register vacant and foreclosed properties allows the City to register properties to ensure they are maintained and secure, and are not a nuisances to the public. The City has experienced a significant increase of complaints about vacant buildings – between 2013 and 2016 we saw an increase of 58%. Of those, District 1 has the second highest amount of complaints at 189 between 2013 and 2016.
That is only part of Councilmember Herbold’s budget wrapup (which you can read in full here). She also lists key points under these headings:
-Human Service and Homelessness
-Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development and Arts Committee
And finally, she writes about what’s next for the “head tax” proposal – explaining the resolution that the council passed, days after their 5-4 vote against including it in next year’s budget:
Often, we talk about economic prosperity not lifting all boats, but the proposition we are faced with — and the reason the Employee Head Tax was proposed — is because economic prosperity has not only failed to help everybody, but this economic prosperity has hurt some people, as noted in the Mayor’s proposed budget. I believe that the beneficiaries of that economic prosperity must do more to address the impacts of prosperity that has not been shared by all.
In seeking a budget that had, at its core, a principle of fiscal responsibility and sustainability, I proposed a progressive, ongoing revenue source to support a surge in affordable housing production – to more than double the units built with Housing Levy funds – to meet the great need of people living without homes. Instead of passing that ongoing revenue source, the Council passed Resolution 31782. This resolution requires the Council to assemble a task force to be appointed by December 11. This task force will develop recommendations for a dedicated progressive revenue source to support people experiencing or at high-risk for homelessness and to raise no less than $25 million a year. This task force will deliver recommendations by February 26, 2018, and the Council will take legislative action by March 26. 2018. This is a huge win for those who have been waiting for something big and bold to address the city’s civil emergency on homelessness.
The full list of council changes to the mayor-proposed budget is here.
One count of residential burglary was filed today against 20-year-old Jorge Cruz-Benitez, arrested after a burglary in Highland Park on Saturday morning. As reported here on Monday, one of the home’s residents, David, widely shared his story of being awakened by his niece screaming after one of her three young children told her about the intruder. He then confronted the man, ordered him to leave, finally pushed him out of the house, and then led police to him after driving around and finding the suspect near South Seattle College. Court documents say Cruz-Benitez told police after his arrest that he thought he had entered a friend’s house, though he also said he hadn’t been to that friend’s house before; the victims told police that they later noticed things had been taken out of closets in the house, and that their garage had been gone through. The charging documents say Cruz-Benitez has a criminal history including second-degree robbery as a juvenile, and domestic-violence assault earlier this year. He remains in King County Jail in lieu of $30,000 bail, and is scheduled for arraignment December 6th.
FIRST REPORT, 5:02 PM: Police are blocking 24th SW just south of SW Webster [map], across from Home Depot’s south driveway, right now because a utility pole fell. It fell toward, but between, two of the multiplex residential buildings on the west side of 24th.
No one was hurt. The weather was calm at the time, so the cause of the fall is a mystery so far. (Thanks to the person who texted us about this!)
7:34 PM: Just went by to check; crews are still there working. Also, per the City Light outage map, 90 customers in the vicinity are without electricity.
We’ve received several questions about a police response in the parking lot at West Seattle Stadium. SFD was originally dispatched on an “assault with weapons” call at 3:15 pm; a person was found dead inside a car, and SPD just told us at the scene that it’s a suspected case of suicide. They are awaiting the Medical Examiner.
If you or someone you know are having thoughts of self-harm, the Crisis Clinic’s 24-hour hotline is is 206-461-3222.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Four years after the West Seattle Church of the Nazarene initiated a project to build six townhouses on part of its open-space property, the requested rezone is finally coming to the City Council, with a committee vote expected next Monday night.
It aims to build more housing than original zoning would allow. But in a twist, the Mandatory Housing Affordability component of HALA – the city’s campaign to encourage exactly that – could put a hitch in the plan, though MHA hasn’t been imposed citywide yet, and wasn’t even proposed until long after this project started making its way through the system.
Looking for West Seattle Christmas trees? What you see above are some of the ones that arrived today at Junction True Value (4747 44th SW; WSB sponsor), and we’ve updated the tree section of the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide. Their selection includes Noble, Grand, and Fraser Firs. Trees also have arrived and are available today at West Seattle Nursery (California/Brandon; Noble Firs first, more to come) and Home Depot (Delridge/Orchard). We also noticed while out this afternoon that the tree lots are being set up at Tony’s (35th/Barton) and the Alki space that is summertime home to Wheel Fun Rentals (253- Alki SW). Holy Rosary‘s lot (42nd/Dakota) opens Friday. More tree info in the Holiday Guide – and if you notice someplace missing, or want to add information, just e-mail email@example.com – thank you!
P.S. We include wreath sales, too – for example, the legendary Pathfinder K-8 handmade wreaths, raising money for outdoor education, will be available in The Junction for three Sundays starting this weekend (November 26th) during the Farmers’ Market, 10 am-2 pm.
Thanks to Kyle Asplund for sending the rainbow photo. It really is partly sunny out right now and unseasonably warm – 64 degrees at the top of the hour at Boeing Field! Current forecast is for a showery, breezy Thanksgiving, not this warm but above average temps.
(Early design for proposed Highland Park Way roundabout)
Just in from Highland Park Action Committee co-chair Michele Witzki – word from SDOT is that the hoped-for state grant to help pay for a roundabout at Highland Park Way and Holden did not come through. Witzki forwarded this response she received from SDOT’s Jim Curtin, after asking for an update on the grant status:
Somehow, we did not receive the grant for this project. We are extraordinarily disappointed and I know you are as well. I have raised this issue to leadership here at SDOT. We will be meeting soon to discuss our next steps. As you know, we have allocated more than $200k in local funds for design and survey/design will continue into 2018. I hope to have more information soon.
As reported here in September, there was big support for the $1 million-plus state Transportation Improvement Board grant that SDOT had sought to supplement $500,000 in money that it had allocated. Part of that had been announced by Councilmember Lisa Herbold during last May’s Find It, Fix It Walk in Highland Park – after Witzki recounted the long history of problems at the intersection and disappointment in trying to get it fixed:
The roundabout was first proposed by Highland Park community advocates almost five years ago, as a way to calm the dangerous and increasingly busy intersection at the top of the Highland Park Way hill.
What’s ahead for the rest of your Thanksgiving Eve Wednesday, from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide (where you’ll find all the Thanksgiving info you need – restaurants, grocery stores, coffee, workouts, free dinners, more) and year-round Event Calendar:
BABY STORY TIME: 11:30 am-noon at High Point Library, bring your baby (up to 1 year old) for stories, songs, and rhymes. (3411 SW Raymond)
COMMUNITY MIC WITH POETRYBRIDGE: You are the featured reader at this month’s Poetrybridge event at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. “Featuring your stories and poems of gratitude, generosity, and renewal.” (5612 California SW)
COWBOYS IN THE CAMPFIRE: Ticketed show (buy yours here) at Easy Street Records, 7 pm, featuring Tommy Stinson (The Replacements/Guns N Roses/Bash & Pop) and partner-in-crime Chip Roberts (Uncle Sippy). All ages. More info in our calendar listing. (California/Alaska)
BUCKETS OF RAIN, WITH FOOD DRIVE: As in, food drive for the West Seattle Food Bank. Bring nonperishable food to donate and you get in free to the 8 pm Buckets of Rain show at Parliament Tavern. Otherwise, $5 cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
Something for the calendar or Holiday Guide? E-mail is the best way to get us the info – no posters, flyers, or attachments needed, just the basic what/when/who/where, firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
Family and friends will gather next Tuesday in memory of Don Gochnour, and are sharing this remembrance with the community:
Donald Earl Gochnour, 83, of Seattle died on November 16th, 2017, at his home in West Seattle.
He was born in Wenatchee on August 17, 1934, to Albert Ross and Helen Gochnour. Don was a longtime West Seattle resident who worked for Boeing and retired in 1996.
Don was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting and fishing as well as family camping trips. He loved to bring laughter to others by telling them his jokes and playing jokes on them.
Don is survived by his wife of 61 years, Inge; daughters Judy, Linda (Jim Clark), and son Dan (Julie); grandchildren Eric (Cheryl), Troy, Heidi (LaMarr), Chris, Amy (Justin Fowler), and Brian; and great-grandchildren Marcell, Josiah, and Hope.
There will be a graveside service at Forest Lawn in West Seattle on 11/28/2017 at 2 pm (friends and family are welcome to attend), and a celebration of his life will be held at a later date.
Donations in his name may be made to The American Cancer Society.
Condolences may be left in Don’s online guestbook at emmickfunerals.com. Arrangements entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Home of West Seattle.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
6:58 AM: Good morning. No incidents reported in/from West Seattle so far.
HOLIDAY 4-DAY WEEKEND ALERTS: Before you check out for the holiday, here are the alerts for the days ahead:
–No Water Taxi on Thursday/Friday
–Metro buses on Sunday schedule for Thanksgiving Day, “reduced weekday” schedule Friday
–Sound Transit buses are on Sunday schedule for Thanksgiving Day, weekday schedule Friday
–My Macy’s Holiday Parade on Friday morning will close some downtown streets (and will include some West Seattleites!)
If you are, or ever have been, involved with West Seattle Cooperative Preschools, you know they’re about educating parents as well as kids. The organization’s next free parent-education event is coming up next week, and in case you haven’t already seen it in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, here’s a preview: Speaker Debbie LeeKeenan will lead a workshop one week from tonight (November 29th), to “provide families with a framework and practical tips on how to respond to children’s comments and questions about differences and how to have courageous conversations about potentially challenging topics.” LeeKeenan is co-author of “Leading Anti-bias Early Childhood Programs: A Guide for Change.” You can register for the workshop here; it starts at 7 pm next Wednesday, and is happening at Alki UCC (6115 SW Hinds).
FIRST REPORT, 8:50 PM: It’s not yet on the City Light map, but there’s a power outage in eastern West Seattle. We’ve heard from Highland Park and High Point so far. More info to come.
8:52 PM: In the time it took us to type that, the map updated – more than 4,100 customers out.
8:57 PM: No word yet on the cause. Even if you didn’t lose power, you might have noticed a flicker about the time the outage started at 8:46 pm – we did, here on the Upper Fauntleroy/Gatewood line. (And thanks to everyone whose texts immediately afterward tipped us to the outage!)
9:06 PM: As you can see on the map (screengrab above), a pocket of South Park is out too. In case this lasts a while, City Light has some helpful advice toward the end of this page.
9:11 PM: The map now has a restoration guesstimate of 1:33 am – we call it that because even the utility acknowledges it’s something of a guess. Could be sooner, could be later.
9:31 PM: If you are out or have to go out, remember that when a stoplight’s out, it’s an all-way stop. For one, as mentioned by Harvey on Twitter, Delridge/Henderson is out.
9:35 PM: Some High Point residents report via comments and texts that they’re back on. Anywhere else?
9:40 PM: The map has updated, now showing 2,700+ customers still out, so the restoration reduced the original outage by about a third. (Adding the new map above.)
9:48 PM: The cause is now described on the map as “equipment failure.”
9:54 PM: More report via comments and texts that the power’s back. And SCL elaborates on the cause via Twitter, “Breaker tripped at substation.”
9:57 PM: Map shows that everyone’s back on, and SCL confirms. If yours is NOT, be sure to call 206-684-3000 and be sure they know.