Heads up – the Mariners‘ opening-day game tomorrow will be preceded by a flyover. The M’s media advisory for the game says an EA-18G Growler from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island will fly over the stadium at 3:55 pm, and adds, “The flight path will be from south to north.” (Game time vs. the Red Sox is 4:10 pm.)
Last week, we mentioned that the Chief Sealth International High School Mock Trial team was headed to state competition over the weekend in Olympia. We checked in with adviser Rebecca Neil to see how it went. She shared the team photo and this recap:
We didn’t place this year, but they put in a valiant effort!
We finished the season with a 4-3 record over all, and a 2-2 record at state. Trials at state are power-matched, so our strong performance in the first round meant that we saw some formidable opponents in rounds 2, 3, and 4. Every trial was incredibly close.
Owen Christenson, Natalie Harris, Molis Keo, and Kayleigh Thwing received honorable mentions for Best Witness.
Olivia Palmer, Noah Marx, and Noah Webster received honorable mentions for Best Attorney.
Every single one of our team members has poured countless hours and so much thoughtfulness and effort into their preparation and performance and I am so proud of them. I’m also very grateful to our attorney coaches, Lisa Mulligan and Brian Beattie, who have volunteered countless hours to help guide our students to success. We’re already excited to start preparing for next year.
Here’s more backstory on the Mock Trial program, which is under the YMCA’s umbrella.
The police search in Westwood – and a bit beyond – is targeting someone suspected of attempted sexual assault. That’s according to Southwest Precinct operations commander Lt. Steve Strand, who we talked to at the Highland Park Action Committee meeting that’s under way now. We had heard the “containment” area being set up just as we left for this meeting – a K9 team is part of the search. So far he had only a partial description to share – shirtless, wearing boxer shorts.
Family and friends will gather Saturday (March 30th) to remember Tom Hill. Here’s the remembrance being shared with the community:
Thomas L. Hill, 68, of Seattle, Washington, passed away peacefully at home on February 26, 2019, after a long and hard-fought battle with cancer. Tom was born and raised in the wonderful, nurturing town of Richwood, West Virginia. He graduated from Richwood High School in the class of 1968 and moved away when he joined the US Navy the following year.
As a sailor, Tom was stationed out of NAS Whidbey Island and worked as a jet engine mechanic. Serving during the Vietnam War, he also toured aboard the aircraft carrier, USS America. During his time on Whidbey, Tom met, fell in love with, and married Marilyn Zylstra, his wife of 44 years. Following his time in the military, Tom and Marilyn settled down in West Seattle where they built a life and family. Always liking to work with his hands, his career was in industrial maintenance, splitting time between the steel and cement industries. He never worked more than a few miles from home because, as the father of two children, Ann Marie and David, he loved to be close and have extra time with his family. Tom retired at 60 but never failed to stay busy between hobbies, friends, travels, and fun times spent with Granddaughters Sadie and Liesl.
Tom was a friend to all and enjoyed meeting new people as much as seeing those he knew. This was something that very much showed up in how he lived his life. As an avid woodworker he often used his skills to benefit others, be it with walking sticks, a handmade gift, or assisting on pinewood derby cars. He served his church as a Deacon, and showed great care in our neighborhood. As both a puppy raiser and sitter, he was long involved with Guide Dogs for the Blind, an incredible and life-changing organization. It was not uncommon either, to see him walking West Seattle from Lincoln Park to Admiral with a friend’s dog (often Stella). Tom just liked connecting with people and enjoyed dogs.
Charities Tom supported include:
The Richwood Public Library
Guide Dogs for the Blind: Seattle Puppy Raisers
West Side Presbyterian Church: Deacon Fund
Tom will be missed by the family and friends he loved and served, and who will continue to remember him fondly. He lived a full life, though one that still feels too short. To honor him, a memorial service and celebration of his life will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, March 30, 2019 at West Side Presbyterian Church, 3601 California Ave SW.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Just got a text from Kersti Muul – orcas are passing West Seattle! Off Blake Island, midchannel, southbound right now.
Thanks to the texter who alerted us to signage along 4th SW just south of Roxbury [map] about an impending road closure. We went over to check it out and spotted the signs you see above and below.
Following up with King County, since it’s their project, they confirmed the closure of a quarter-mile of 4th SW south of Roxbury is scheduled to start next Monday (April 1st) and provided this flyer (PDF) with details:
Background on Greenbridge is here.
Baseball season is here, from youth to pros. Among the youth leagues starting play soon is the one-of-a-kind Champions League. Here’s the registration invitation, from Michelle Riggen-Ransom (who also shared the photos):
For the third season, Champions Baseball League invites players with differing abilities to come and play baseball in a fun, supportive team environment. Sign-ups are open for the upcoming Spring season, and all the details are here. There’s no charge for players to join, and players even get free team hats and shirts, thanks to our sponsors.
– Participants can be any gender and between the ages of 4 and 23 years-old, or those who remain in a school setting, with disabilities that would prevent them from playing in a traditional baseball or softball program.
– We will play Saturdays for four weeks starting on Saturday, May 4th. All events will be at our Pee Wee fields in West Seattle, but team is open to players from all over Seattle.
– No previous baseball experience needed! Players can do t-ball or coach pitch, and have a buddy from one of the West Seattle Pony teams work with them if they want or need it. The goal is to enjoy baseball in a supportive team environment!
Last year we had a lot of great players, as well as parents, siblings, grandparents and friends and fans in the stands cheering them on. Come be a part of it and see what makes the baseball community so fun and special.
Here’s the official sign-up form and info.
Still have questions? Send them to Michelle Riggen-Ransom, email@example.com. We hope to see you on the fields this spring!
Many criminal cases are resolved without ever going to trial. So it’s notable that the trial has just begun in a case previously covered here. The defendant is Chayce Hanson, on trial for charges including rape and witness tampering.
The addition of the latter charge was the last time we mentioned the case, almost two years ago. Since then, the case has proceeded slowly through the system, with multiple trial dates set, then delayed, due to a variety of factors, but it’s remained on our watch list, and the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office confirms the tip we received from multiple readers, that Hanson’s trial is under way, with opening statements yesterday.
Hanson, 43, is charged with raping a 41-year-old woman described as a longtime acquaintance in February 2017 in West Seattle. Charging documents say Hanson raped her while she was unable to speak because of an untreated head injury suffered in an unreported crash in his vehicle hours earlier. The second charge alleges Hanson tried to get the victim to sign a document saying the rape didn’t happen. Before trial, court documents show, charges of assault and hit-and-run were added to the case.
Hanson has a high-profile conviction in his past, for killing his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter in Renton in 2000. A state Supreme Court ruling overturned his murder conviction and he subsequently pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
(WSB photo of Camp Second Chance entrance, December 2017)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Camp Second Chance, the only city-sanctioned encampment in West Seattle, is getting a six-month extension.
The camp on the city-owned Myers Way Parcels in southeast West Seattle [map] is at the end of the two-years-maximum stay that’s currently allowed under city law – and has actually been at the site going on three years. It first occupied the location without authorization starting in July 2016, gaining the authorization in spring 2017. A decision on its fate has been long expected and was just announced this morning by the city Human Services Department, which also gave six-month extensions to two other sanctioned encampments in other parts of the city. From the announcement:
Camp Second Chance, Georgetown Village, and Othello Village will be temporarily re-permitted for an additional six months. During this time, the City will develop a long-term strategy for these sites with community input that will serve residents of villages and the surrounding community.
Homelessness remains a crisis in Seattle and the City’s responsibility is to provide services and shelter resources that are effective in helping people transition from homelessness to housing — tiny house villages have proven to be one solution within the City’s overall response. In 2018, villages City-wide served 658 unique households and exited 135 households to permanent housing, an increase of 32 percent from 2017.
“Tiny-house villages” is the term the city now uses for its sanctioned encampments. As we’ve reported previously, donations have funded tiny houses for most of Camp Second Chance’s residents. The camp usually reports about 50 residents at any given time, when those reports are delivered at the monthly meetings of its volunteer Community Advisory Committee, which we routinely cover.
The camp is self-managed, with a no-drugs/alcohol policy, and the city contract to operate it is held by the Low-Income Housing Institute, which pays for staff including an on-site director (currently camp co-founder Eric Davis and case manager Richard Horne).
Also from today’s city announcement:
The City’s decision grants monthly temporary-use permits to these sites for the next six months. During this time, the City will develop a long-term strategy for these specific villages, considering all options for the future of these programs and sites. In order to develop these strategies, the City will work with communities to organize meetings in neighborhoods hosting villages to learn more about how the City can be responsive to community needs and how to best serve residents of the villages.
Last year’s decision to extend the permit for a second year was preceded by city-convened meetings, but there haven’t been any this time. In January, we covered two community meetings on the topic (both with city reps in attendance) – the Westside Interfaith Network gathering camp supporters at a meeting in Fauntleroy and the Highland Park Action Committee holding a “listening session” to decide on whether to support extending the camp’s stay. (Ultimately, as we reported March 4th, HPAC opposed it.)
The city’s explanation also includes:
The City has also learned that siting, developing, and relocating tiny house villages remains an ongoing challenge given property logistics, costs, and program needs of serving people experiencing homelessness. The City has also learned that providing 24/7, enhanced shelter is one of the best solutions to help people off Seattle’s streets and into safer living situations.
The extension of these villages does not impact the status of the other six City-funded villages.
Camp Second Chance’s status was already scheduled to be discussed at HPAC’s regular monthly meeting tonight (7 pm, Highland Park Improvement Club, 1116 SW Holden). The city’s homelessness-response spokesperson Will Lemke told WSB that the six-month extension would run to September, though the second-year extension wasn’t formally announced last year until June.
ADDED 10:35 AM: The full city announcement, which we originally received via email (as we have long been inquiring about the timetable/process for the decision), is now posted on the city website.
(Great Blue Heron, photographed by Mark Wangerin)
Highlights of what’s happening (and not happening) in the hours ahead:
SEATTLE PUBLIC LIBRARY CLOSURE: Reminder – all SPL facilities are closed today.
WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON AT THE MOVIES: 1 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle, 1942’s “This Gun for Hire” is today’s movie. $1 members, $2 nonmembers, free popcorn. (4217 SW Oregon)
FREE TAX HELP: 5-9 pm, drop-in tax help at the West Seattle Food Bank – eligibility explained here. (35th SW & SW Morgan)
HIGHLAND PARK ACTION COMMITTEE: 7 pm at Highland Park Improvement Club, crime and safety are hot topics tonight for HPAC. More agenda details here. (1116 SW Holden)
PARENT EDUCATION NIGHT: 7 pm at West Seattle High School, parents from around the community are welcome to come learn about “Teens, Tech, and Sexuality” with expert advice. Details in our calendar listing. (3000 California SW)
THE BILLY JOE SHOW: 8 pm at Parliament Tavern, from rock to rockabilly! No cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING? Get the answers by browsing our complete calendar!
(SDOT MAP with travel times/ Is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE/ West Seattle-relevant traffic cams HERE)
6:59 AM: Good morning! So far, no transit alerts or traffic incidents in/from our area, so far.
WATER TAXI ALERTS: Reduced service today, schedule change starting tomorrow – details here.
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