West Seattle, Washington
10:38 PM: We don’t know whether it’s been cleaned up yet, but thanks to Maia for the alert that a tree had fallen onto Fairmount Avenue near the top of the ravine, just north of Forest. (If you encounter road-blocking trees or other debris, it is a 911 call – they can dispatch police and contact SDOT.)
11:47 PM: Bill sent that photo from east of Lincoln Park, near 46th and Monroe, another place where a tree has fallen onto the road.
8:32 PM: Thanks to the texter who sent that photo of the pole fire that’s caused some trouble near Delridge Playfield tonight. More than 70 customers have lost power, according to the City Light map. And Metro has diverted buses off the Oregon/22nd route uphill from Delridge Way.
8:59 PM: Another texter says Oregon is taped off at Delridge and that the Delridge/Oregon light is out.
The day before weekend attention turns to The Big Game – how about an evening focused on Big Ideas? Tomorrow (Saturday) night, Delridge Grocery Co-op hosts West Seattle Meaningful Movies, screening “Food for Change” (trailer above) at Neighborhood House High Point (6400 Sylvan Way SW). The film is about co-ops, and DGC’s invitation reads in part: “Returning to our potluck roots, DGC members will be bringing snacks and desserts to share. DGC volunteers and board members will also be on hand to talk about the importance of Co-op membership, give an update on store construction after the movie, and answer questions. No charge for admission, but donations gratefully received.” Doors open at 6:30 pm, film at 7 pm, all welcome.
The afternoon forecast update is in and the National Weather Service’s Wind Advisory alert remains in effect until 7 am Saturday: “South winds 30 to 40 mph with gusts up to 50 mph.” The rain continues too – throughout the afternoon, it’s come and gone in waves of windblown “sideways rain.” It’s also been relatively warm – into the mid-50s – but that’ll end by tomorrow, the forecast says, with that possible mix of rain/snow maybe on the higher hills early Sunday.
Sad news from The Beer Junction:
It is with great sadness that we share the loss of our owner, founder, and friend, Morgan Herzog.
Yesterday evening, just before 6 PM, Morgan passed away peacefully at his West Seattle home. After bravely battling multiple myeloma for the past three years, Morgan developed a respiratory infection earlier this week. This happened very suddenly and has taken us all by great shock.
The fighter that he was throughout this entire struggle, he found the strength yesterday morning to leave the ICU, so that he could spend his last few hours at home, looking out at the water, and in the company of his wife, Allison, and brother, Nate, who were both right by his side at the moment he left us. He will be forever missed.
While we were not prepared for this sudden timing, we’ve always been prepared for this possibility, and in Morgan’s honor, and wishes, The Beer Junction will remain here for you, just as you’ve been here for all of us. Thank you for your thoughts and support throughout this difficult time.
Allison, Patrick, and The Beer Junction Team
Mr. Herzog was 38 years old. He opened The Beer Junction almost 10 years ago, originally at 42nd/Alaska until the redevelopment of that site led to the move to its current location at 4511 California SW.
Here are calendar highlights for the rest of your Friday:
LIVE AT THE PACIFIC ROOM: D’vonne Lewis Trio, 5-7 pm, and Alec Shaw with Zan Fiskum, 7-9 pm. No cover. Details of both shows are here. (2808 Alki SW)
CITIZENS OF EARTH: Live music at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. No cover. All ages. (5612 California SW)
MUCH MORE! See our complete calendar here.
6:58 AM: Good morning. No alerts or incidents in our area so far.
7:06 AM: There is, however, a new weather alert announced overnight – a Wind Advisory in effect 10 am today through 7 am Saturday, for south wind 20-30 mph, gusting up to 55 mph.
7:22 AM: Stalled vehicle reported on NB Highway 99, just south of the tunnel, blocking the bus lane.
7:50 AM: Cleared.
8:26 AM: Crash on the EB West Seattle Bridge just before 99 exit.
Congratulations to the young performers of Alki Elementary, who dress-rehearsed “Shrek Jr.” tonight at the West Seattle High School theater. According to the ticket-sales website, they have sold out all three shows – Friday night and Saturday afternoon and evening – except for one Saturday-afternoon ticket! The show has been in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar for a while. And parent Jenna, who sent photos from rehearsals tonight and earlier, says the students have been working hard to get ready.
Best of luck – or as the stage saying goes, “Break a leg!” – to the Alki 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders in the cast, and their grownup helpers, including the Alki PTA, Stone Soup Theatre Group, and director Sophe Friedman and musical director Anna Richardson.
10:26 PM: Getting reports of a short power outage in multiple areas – have heard from Admiral, Upper (and lower) Alki, Snake Hill, Seaview, Hansen View, Junction, Beach Drive, Gatewood, Genesee Hill, Morgan Junction (still adding) …, Did your power go out and stay out? Let us know – otherwise we don’t yet know what caused this.
10:39 PM: Still nothing on the City Light map so apparently no one went out and stayed out. No obvious incidents on the 911 map, either. When something similar happened two years ago, it was eventually attributed to equipment failure.
P.S. We’ll be following up with City Light and will update with the cause (likely not until tomorrow).
ADDED FRIDAY AFTERNOON: SCL spokesperson Julie Moore tells WSB, “We were doing some work that caused a momentary (two-second) trip of a breaker.”
A big change at the Chelan Café: Tomorrow is the last time dinner will be served. Monday, for the first time in 35 years, the restaurant at 3527 Chelan SW will close at mid-afternoon. The café contacted WSB to ask us to share the news. Here’s the text of their letter announcing the change:
NOTE FROM OWNER
Dear Chelan Café Family,
We have made the decision to reduce our restaurant hours and will no longer serve dinner as of January 31.
Having served dinner for the past 35 years, this is not a decision we made lightly. Unfortunately, the cost of running a restaurant in the city of Seattle has increased dramatically in recent years. Reducing our hours will better allow us to manage this lost revenue without resorting to raising our prices or other methods that will put the burden on our valued customers.
While we will miss serving our dinner customers greatly, we are excited to start this new chapter at the Chelan Café. We ask for your understanding and continued patronage during this transitional period and beyond. We intend to do what we do best, breakfast and lunch, amd DO it even better. We’ve been serving West Seattle and the greater Puget Sound area for 82 years and look forward to the next 82!
The café has been in Manning-Smith’s family for more than half that time, since her dad bought it in the ’70s.
From SDOT‘s weekly Construction Lookahead, the latest list of upcoming closures in this area:
February 7, 8, 14 & 15: Full southbound closure of the 1st Ave S Bridge. Nightly 9 PM – 8 AM.
February 14: Closure of the southbound SR99 Tunnel for monthly maintenance. Fri 10 PM – Sat 8 AM.
February 21, 22 & March 13, 14: Full northbound closure of the 1st Ave S Bridge. Nightly 9 PM – 8AM.
Always subject to weather-related changes, of course, but for now, pencil them in.
A Fairmount Park Elementary parent forwarded a letter sent to families today by principal Julie Breidenbach. The parent noted, “Because there is a community park adjacent, this should probably (get( community-level attention.” Here’s the letter:
Dear Fairmount Park Parents,
I want to share information about an incident in our neighborhood. This morning before school, one of our students reported to her parent that an adult tried to lure her into his private vehicle. The child ran home and the parent did call the police. The parent reports that the adult male was in a silver pickup truck. Our school district security has been in that neighborhood several times today and will be watching that bus stop closely this afternoon and in upcoming days.
The safety of our students is a top priority. You can help your children stay safe by talking to them about personal safety. Having these conversations, especially with younger children, can be difficult. We encourage you to be sensitive to your child.
As a precaution, we are reminding our students this afternoon about safety tips for walking to and from school. We would appreciate your help by having a similar conversation at home. The walking safety advice includes:
GENERAL SAFETY TIPS:
Pay close attention to your surroundings, avoid “automatic pilot.”
Walk with a purpose; project an assertive, business-like image.
Use common sense; plan your route to avoid uninhabited parks, parking lots, garages and alleyways.
Stick to well-lit areas.
Develop a plan before you see trouble. Crossing a street or entering a store may get you out of a potentially bad situation.
If a car follows you or beckons you while you are walking, do not approach it. Instead, turn and quickly walk the opposite direction.
Consider wearing clothing and shoes that you can move freely and quickly in, especially when walking or waiting for the bus.
Carry minimal items; overloading yourself can make you appear vulnerable.
Always plan your route and stay alert to your surroundings. Avoid shortcuts. Walk confidently. Scan your surroundings and make eye contact with people.
We’re checking to see if police have any further information about the incident.
At the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s first lunch meeting of the new year, new leadership was announced for the board and its committees. Abby Fisher of White Center Glass (above right) is the Chamber’s new board chair, taking over from attorney Lauren Burgon (above left). Also of note, local restaurateurs Dan Austin (Peel & Press) and Dave Montoure (West 5) will be leading the Government Affairs committee, and they’re promising to raise its profile and to keep members briefed monthly on city, county, and state issues of business interest. The Chamber also is adding a new committee to interact with neighborhood groups, seeking more synergy and less replication of efforts. Chamber CEO Julia Jordan also told attendees that the organization’s focuses this year will include delivering on membership benefits.
Thanks for the texted tip! We just went over to check out that crash scene on the south side of Roxbury by Safeway. King County Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Kennamer was there and told us they don’t know who’s responsible because the vehicle was empty by the time they arrived. They’re currently trying to determine whether the vehicle was stolen. As our photo shows, it’s being towed, and any traffic effects will be over shortly. The crash damaged a couple of trees that the deputy says might not survive as a result.
Now that Thursday is here, the weekend forecast has a higher degree of reliability, so we’re mentioning two points:
-Very heavy rain expected Saturday (up to three inches)
-A bit of snow possible Sunday night
The first point is what really calls for action – especially since we’re in a break between storms right now – when you can, check the nearest drains!
Here are calendar highlights for the hours ahead:
COUNCILMEMBER’S DISTRICT OFFICE HOURS: Noon-5 pm, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s first district office hours of the year. Drop-ins welcome, but get there by 4:30. At the Southwest Customer Service Center. (2801 SW Thistle)
DINE (ETC.) OUT FOR FRIENDS OF ROXHILL ELEMENTARY: 4-10 pm at Ounces, 15 percent o the proceeds go to Friends of Roxhill Elementary – “a rotating lineup of Washington brewed beer, ciders and wine on 30 taps. Non-alcoholic beverages, sandwiches, pizza and bar snacks are available as well. You can even order growlers to go. Ounces is kid- and dog-friendly.” (3809 Delridge Way SW)
DENNY IMS OPEN HOUSE: Prospective families are invited to visit Denny International Middle School for tonight’s open house starting at 6:30 pm. “Following the presentation, guests will have the opportunity to meet teachers and staff.” (2601 SW Kenyon)
PARENT EDUCATION NIGHT: 6:30 pm at Madison Middle School: “Learn about drugs and alcohol and the teen brain and talking with teens about vaping.” (3429 45th SW)
MORE! See our complete calendar here.
The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has filed eight felony charges against the West Seattle man whose arrest followed warrant searches that found drugs, guns, and cash. 40-year-old David Vasquez is charged with six counts of drug violations plus one count of money laundering and one count of unlawful gun possession. The police narrative accompanying the charging documents is 11 pages long and tells a tale of a months-long investigation, prefaced by this case summary from prosecutors:
The impetus for investigating the defendant in this case arose from the overdose of a three-month-old baby. This overdose was the result of fentanyl, the product the defendant was knowingly selling under the guise of M30 oxycodone pills.
The police narrative explains that the baby died almost a year ago in Southeast Seattle, apparently ingesting the fentanyl through breast milk. Eight months later, the death was ruled a homicide.
The baby was not related to Vasquez. But when police searched the parents’ home, the charging documents say, they found drugs and paraphernalia. The investigation led police to their alleged drug dealer, who they addressed as “Benny” but who police say was Vasquez.
Once police identified “Benny” as Vasquez, the narrative says, an undercover invetigation began. It included multiple drug buys, by undercover officers, at multiple locations in and outside of West Seattle. Factoring into that part of the narrative is an incident covered here – police gunfire behind the Admiral Pub on October 24th. The narrative doesn’t go deeply into detail, aside from detailing an undercover buy at the pub that night, then saying “There was a disturbance at the rear of the bar not long after this narcotics transaction involving Vasquez and several others. He was observed staggering through the pub from the back door,” then leaving with another man through the front door, departing in that man’s pickup truck.
Subsequent buy locations detailed in the narrative included the Admiral Safeway parking lot, the Metropolitan Market parking lot, and the Ballroom Lounge in north Seattle. Police wrote that their surveillance also followed Vasquez to Life Storage in Luna Park and an apartment he had rented at The Whittaker in The Junction, though he also had a house near 41st/Hinds. The Whittaker is where police say they arrested him just before 3 pm last Friday. Meantime, police say the money-laundering investigation revealed that the suspect had started an LLC through which he processed tens of thousands of dollars and used some of it to pay his rent. As for the gun charge, police say he had a .45-caliber Glock semi-automatic handgun at the time of his arrest, illegal for him to possess because he has a felony conviction, attempted burglary, in 1997. Other convictions listed in charging documents are also from the ’90s, when he was a teenager, including two cases of taking a motor vehicle without permission.
Prosecutors asked that his original $100,000 bail, on which he posted bond and was released last weekend, be raised to $250,000, and that request was granted. Vasquez is due back in court February 10th for arraignment.
The Community Advisory Committee for Camp Second Chance usually meets the first Sunday afternoon of each month, but instead of this Sunday, the February meeting will be on the second Sunday: 2 pm February 9th, in the community room on the east side of Arrowhead Gardens (9220 2nd SW). If you have questions or concerns about West Seattle’s lone city-authorized tiny-house encampment, that’s the place to bring them. Our past coverage is archived here.
Thanks to TamiSue for tweeting the tip: Five months after Alki Chicken and Waffles opened at 2738 Alki SW, it’s closed for two weeks for a “merger.”
That sign on the door explains:
We’re merging two businesses “It’s BBQ Time” and “Alki Chicken and Waffles” to bring you some incredible southern fare. It’s BBQ Time in the Kitchen is excited to bring you delicious smoked briskets, pork, & chicken for lunch and dinner.
The sign says they’re expecting to reopen February 12th. While checking out the signage, we met the proprietor of It’s BBQ Time, who was there working on the space. His original business – which will remain open – has done catering in Portland for more than a decade. He’s hired a local manager to run the restaurant here.
Wanted to report and share with the WSB that our car was stolen out of our driveway last Friday 1/24 between 2-5 am. Our driveway is on SW College Street in between California and 44th Ave. Our car is similar to the attached image: forest green 1997 Honda CR-V license plate #AHB6541. The vehicle did not have much gas so assuming it was ditched somewhere in West Seattle. Only thing really worth of value in the car were two 5-point harness car-seats in the back seat. We filed a police report. Sadly this occurrence seems more common then not but hopefully our car is just parked on a side street waiting for us to find it.
Call 911 if you see it.