West Seattle, Washington
11:39 PM: At home tonight, Seattle Lutheran High School‘s varsity basketball teams hosted Rainier Christian. The Lutheran girls lost, 39-26; the boys won, 63-43.
ADDED EARLY AM: Photos ahead from both games: Read More
That long-running sight at California and Orchard in Gatewood – water (or ice, on the December day we photographed it) on the road, coming from the southeast corner – may finally be a thing of the past. It’s been a problem for some time – you can even see it in Google Street View from last fall. Some neighbors contended that it had to be a pipe break of some time, but Seattle Public Utilities investigated and was adamant that its tests showed it was groundwater. That assessment even wound up marked on the sidewalk at the corner:
SPU says it’s a “seep” like so many others around the city, from a water source in the ground – springs, for example. You’ve probably seen them in other spots around West Seattle; one that comes to mind is along California Way between Harbor SW and Hamilton Viewpoint. SPU told us they’ve identified more than 150 “surfacing groundwater” spots around the city, and shared this map:
SDOT and SPU have been collaborating to investigate trouble spots like these, though even once they’ve been identified, finding a way to fix it – and/or the money to do so – can be a challenge.
In the California/Orchard case, neighbors had been working with City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, insisting something had to be done about the chronic water on the road, which also was leading to moss/algae growth on the sidewalk. Initially, the city said all it could do was be sure that SDOT salted/sanded the spot when it froze over. But then came a breakthrough, Herbold reported this week: “Drainage and Wastewater operations staff discovered an abandoned stormwater pipe. This allowed SPU to correct the problem of the water collection because they could use the abandoned stormwater pipe as a connection to newly route the water away from the street surface.” She added that, “The observations of residents in this area monitoring the occurrence of this accumulation of water was critical to the identification of a solution.”
Three notes in West Seattle Crime Watch tonight, starting with a reader report:
FAUNTLEE HILLS CAR PROWL: Kris e-mailed today to report a car prowl earlier this week:
Our car was parked at the corner of 40th Avenue SW and Director SW overnight on January 15. On January 16, I walked out to see the hatch and passenger door ajar. Sometime during the evening the car was prowled. Nothing of significant value was taken and the police were notified … In the past few days, I have recovered some of the items along Barton Avenue SW.
And from the many court cases we are continuing to check on, two updates:
WESTWOOD MURDER-CASE UPDATE: When last we mentioned the two defendants charged in last year’s murder of Edixon Velasquez in Westwood, they were set for trial relatively soon. According to court documents, they have since agreed to have the case pushed back a few months, and in court today, the readiness hearing for Anna Kasparova and Abel Linares was rescheduled for March 23rd, with trial tentatively set for April 25th.
SOUTH DELRIDGE ROBBER PLEADS GUILTY: A plea agreement this week for 22-year-old Aaron K. Knox, one of two men charged last summer with stealing a 58-year-old man’s bicycle at gunpoint in the 9200 block of Delridge Way SW. Knox has no criminal history but pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery; hr will be sentenced February 16th. Court documents say prosecutors will seek to have him sent to prison for three years and five months.
A sweet scene in the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) Pastry & Baking Arts Department this afternoon. The photo is from SSC’s Ty Swenson, who explained that Chef Instructor Christopher Harris and students were “working on a Chihuly-inspired sugar sculpture for a Chihuly Garden & Glass employee party at the Museum of Flight.” They were scheduled to finish by 5 pm and take it over in time for the party. The department is part of SSC’s renowned Culinary Arts program.
We all know development is happening at a fast pace. And in some cases, it’s a bit repetitive – in the 5200 block of California SW, four side-by-side parcels are proposed for nine townhouses each. And we just noticed one parcel has this sign:
(Our favorite reaction on Twitter, where we shared this a little bit earlier: “When templates attack!”)
Schools are places where not only can students learn, but also parents and guardians. A potentially life-saving lesson is coming up in a few weeks at West Seattle High School, and it’s so important that we are mentioning it here as well as adding it to the WSB calendar:
On February 7th from 6 to 8 pm, please join us for our first annual LEARN™ Suicide Prevention Training for parents and guardians. The LEARN™ steps are designed to help empower individuals to play a role in recognizing peers, friends, and family who might be having thoughts of suicide, and to know how and where we can refer those individuals to keep them safe. Come learn about how to talk about suicide with your children and their friends! All parents/guardians welcome. This training is offered free of cost. Food and refreshments will be provided.
Questions? Contact Kari Lombard (School Nurse) at KRLombard@seattleschools.org or Mallory Neuman (Counselor) at MLNeuman@seattleschools.org.
12:40 PM: Seven weeks after moving an old log house across West Seattle, the “house-rescuing” firm Nickel Bros is about to save another local house. The 55-year-old house in our photo, at 1262 Alki SW, will be trucked off the site around midnight tonight and taken to a barge that will be waiting at Don Armeni Boat Ramp. That means road and parking restrictions for a few early-morning hours – you might already have seen the signs. From here, Nickel Bros tells us, this house will be going to a new owner in British Columbia. It would otherwise have been demolished to make way for the new SolTerra development that’s planned for the site; Nickel Bros says the developer asked them to try to find new owners for other houses at the project site too (including the one in the background of our photo above) – you can see the other listings here.
8:09 PM: In comments, readers have pointed out that this is the former home of Fred and Marjorie Dau, best remembered for Admiralty House Antiques (which closed in 2013 in the North Admiral building that now holds the restaurant Mioposto). We will be on Alki Avenue later tonight to cover the move.
Toplines from last night’s Alki Community Council meeting:
59TH/ADMIRAL: The ACC discussed the intersection as a followup to recent changes made by SDOT as part of the ongoing Admiral Way Safety Project, as well as advocacy by the Traffic Safety Task Force set up by parents at nearby Alki Elementary. A key point of discussion was getting a full traffic signal – which the parents want – versus keeping the pedestrian-activated light on Admiral and stop signs on 59th. ACC president Tony Fragada will ask that the SDOT project manager come to their next meeting; he’s also hoping to talk with West Seattle-residing at-large City Councilmember Lorena González, who chairs the committee that oversees safety.
NOISE ENFORCEMENT: Jesse Robbins, who initiated the project that eventually led to Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s survey showing a high level of vehicle-noise concerns in the area, was back to visit (backstory is in our coverage of November’s ACC meeting). As previously reported, he and colleagues are working on a potential technology solution to the challenges that police say get in the way of enforcing noise laws (needing to hear/record/prove the violation, for example). He said they’ll be testing at an Eastside park twice in the next two weeks. Meantime, as previously reported, SPD is under orders to report to the City Council in March about enforcement-related issues; Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith said those contributing to the report include the City Attorney’s Office, regarding the state of noise laws and how they could be amended, and financially focused personnel to look at how the issue might be addressed in the SPD budget. Robbins says they would like to run a test at Alki this summer, but that depends on how the SPD report turns out.
CRIME TRENDS: Nothing of note to report so far since the start of the year, Lt. Smith said, but 2017 did bring a bigger reduction in crime in the Southwest Precinct than other precincts in the city, he said. (You can crunch crime numbers from neighborhood level to citywide level any time by going here.)
MORE ALKI SIGNAGE? This was a community-member-led discussion on whether Alki might benefit from more signs, whether to remind people about the laws prohibiting dogs on the beach or to educate people about birds in the area (similar to The Whale Trail and Seal Sitters signage about marine mammals). Department of Neighborhoods rep Yun Pitre suggested this could be proposed for funding via the Your Voice, Your Choice process that’s under way now. The ACC will look into having a Seattle Parks rep come to a future meeting to discuss not only signage but also chronic issues with trash pickup at the beach.
The Alki Community Council meets on the third Thursday most months, 7 pm at Alki UCC (6115 SW Hinds).
Cheerful thought of the day … spring is only two months away. And the weekend is only hours away. Friday highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
DUWAMISH RIVER CHOCOLATE FEST: Eat chocolate and drink beer to support the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition! As previewed here, tonight’s the night – 5:30-8 pm at the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse and Cultural Center in West Seattle. (4705 W. Marginal Way SW)
BASKETBALL: Two teams are home tonight – Seattle Lutheran High School, vs. Rainier Christian, girls’ varsity at 6 pm, boys’ varsity at 7:30 pm (4100 SW Genesee); Chief Sealth International High School, vs. Bainbridge, girls’ varsity at 7 pm, boys’ varsity at 8:30 pm (2600 SW Thistle).
THE BREWS BROTHERS: Acoustic folk, rock, and blues at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 6-8 pm. (5612 California SW)
‘PEERLESS’: Second night for ArtsWest‘s new production, directed by Sara Porkalob. 7:30 pm curtain. (4711 California SW)
AT THE PARLIAMENT: Eli, Night Ships, Western War, performing “Seattle-style indie rock.” 9 pm-midnight at Parliament Tavern. $5 cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
WHAT ELSE? See it all here.
7:06 AM: Good morning. Just checked around, and no incidents are reported in/from West Seattle so far this morning.
SATURDAY ALERT: Whether you are participating or not, be aware that the Women’s March 2.0 will bring thousands to Capitol Hill and downtown tomorrow. Metro has issued this alert, saying it’s adding extra buses as needed on routes including the C Line. Here’s the SDOT traffic alert.