day : 10/01/2023 9 results

CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: West Seattle holdup suspect charged in 11 robberies; 2 other notes

Three West Seattle Crime Watch notes tonight:

SERIAL-ROBBERY CHARGES: On Friday night, we reported that police announced an arrest in the December 4th robbery of the 35th/Barton 7-11. Today, 22-year-old Ricardo F. Valencia-Alvarez was charged in that holdup and 10 others, and an alleged accomplice, 21-year-old Cesar Sandoval, was charged too; another alleged accomplice, Daniel A. Recinos, is already in jail and charged with multiple robberies. In the 95-page charging document filed by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, investigators detail a string of robberies, mostly at gas stations, in October, November, and December, in communities including Bellevue, Mercer Island, Kent, Renton, Redmond, and Maple Valley, as well as West Seattle, White Center, and Burien. The night we reported the 35th/Barton holdup, we noted that a Burien gas station had been held up a short time later by robbers who matched the description; that robbery yielded some key evidence – the clerk fired 11 shots at the robbers as they fled, and detectives say Valencia-Alvarez posted photos of the shot-up white BMW on social media, where he added, “We had just robbed the gas station too.”

The BMW had been carjacked in Federal Way days earlier and was found a day after the West Seattle/Burien robberies, on I-90 in Kittitas County, where the suspects are accused of abandoning it and carjacking another driver to get their next getaway car. About a week earlier, on November 29th, prosecutors and police allege, the robbery rampage included Little Caesar’s Pizza restaurants in White Center and Burien. The charging documents say Valencia-Alvarez has a record with juvenile assault and theft convictions as well as a current warrant in a malicious-mischief case, while Sandoval has a record including robbery and burglary, and had just gotten out of state prison a month before the robberies started. He’s being held in lieu of $2.2 million bail, while bail for Valencia-Alvarez is set at $750,000. (Bail was set at $900,000 for the other alleged accomplice, Recinos, who’s 20.)

Also in Crime Watch, one reader report:

REPEAT VISITOR: A resident near Lincoln Park says their security camera has caught this person repeatedly prowling his property, once to steal electricity to charge a phone, another time to try to break in, and a third time to vandalize:

(updated) The incidents have been reported to police.

And a reminder …

TALK WITH POLICE THURSDAY: The next West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting – your chance to hear from and ask questions of local police – is Thursday (January 12th), 7 pm, at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster).

SCREENING: ‘Tribal Waters’ to be shown at Emerald Water Anglers with filmmaker, cast members

That’s the trailer for “Tribal Waters,” a documentary telling the story of the Wind River – described as home to some of Wyoming’s best fishing – and two tribes who cherish it and are fighting for its future. A special screening is planned at 6:30 pm Thursday, January 26th, at Emerald Water Anglers (4502 42nd SW; WSB sponsor) in The Junction, with director Jon Klaczkiewicz and some of those featured in the film there for Q&A afterward. EWA proprietor Dave McCoy says they have room for 50 people and tickets are available now – online here, or call the shop at 206-708-7250.

WEST SEATTLE WEATHER: Sunset between the storms

Thanks to everyone who sent photos of tonight’s deep-pink sunset! The photo above is from Estelle Shives; below, from Brooke Gosztola:

(added) And from Mark Dale, looking toward Vashon and a Fauntleroy-bound ferry:

While today was sunny and dry, the rain is on its way back, according to the National Weather Service, which has issued a trong>Special Weather Statement warning that heavy rain later this week could increase the risk of slides.

UPDATE: Here’s why the new Alki Beach restrooms were out of service

ORIGINAL TUESDAY REPORT: The city’s year-old restroom building at 57th/Alki has portable toilets outside because it’s out of service. Several people have asked about this; we took the question to Seattle Parks. One reader said they’d been told it was a “plumbing problem,” so we started by asking Parks about that. Spokesperson Rachel Schulkin replied, “We were having a plumbing issue but it’s fixed = now we’re having an issue with the remote locking system. The doors are locking whenever closed, and have to be manually unlocked each time. We are working on a fix now, no timeline on reopening just yet.” Remote locking was also blamed for the delay in opening the comfort station after its completion in 2021; the city is using the technology to cut down on after-hours vandalism citywide.

WEDNESDAY MORNING: Parks says they’re open again. …. And our crew has just confirmed it.

Noticed work at 35th/Avalon? Here’s what’s changing there and nearby

We photographed that crew working today at 35th/Avalon, and already had an inquiry out to SDOT after a tip Monday from Jon. Today, SDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergerson gave us this outline of what’s changing there – and nearby:

Our traffic signals crews are currently working to replace signal-control equipment and make operational improvements at three nearby intersections. If all goes well, we expect the work at all three signals will likely be completed by the end of the day:

35th Ave SW & SW Avalon Way: We are replacing signal-control equipment and adding a northbound right-turn arrow at 35th Ave SW and SW Avalon Way. This improvement was requested by King County Metro to help with transit operations.

35th Ave SW & Fauntleroy Way SW: We are replacing signal-control equipment and adding a leading pedestrian interval (also sometimes called a pedestrian-first walk signal) to the intersection of 35th Ave SW and Fauntleroy Way SW. This is a safety improvement that gives people walking across the street a few seconds head start before cars get a green light, making pedestrians more visible to people driving. Citywide collision data indicates there has been a 50% drop in pedestrian turning collisions at the intersections where we’ve added this safety feature.

SW Avalon Way & Fauntleroy Way SW: We are replacing signal-control equipment, but there will not be a noticeable change to the way the signal operates from the public’s perspective.

Note: We already added leading pedestrian intervals to the other two intersections a few months ago. We have also recently readjusted the signal timing to give pedestrians more time to cross the street at all three locations.

BIZNOTE: West Seattle Arcade on the way to Alki

The “for lease” signs are down at long-vacant 2758 Alki Avenue SW, formerly home to Top Pot Doughnuts (which closed two years ago) on the left side and a variety of short-lived food businesses on the right side. We discovered the new plan via city permit filings: The combined 3,200-square-foot space will become West Seattle Arcade. The proprietor is West Seattle resident Elyssa Cichy, who explained when contacted via email, “West Seattle Arcade will be a family-focused, modern arcade with birthday party space and awesome video games for all ages. We are planning on opening this Spring. Our family has lived in West Seattle for over a dozen years, and we are excited to bring something new and special to our community.” You can watch westseattlearcade.com for updates. Alki has had a mini-boom in family-focused businesses in recent years, with additions such as Outer Space Seattle and Seattle Early Learning Center.

UPDATE: Street sinkhole in south Alki

11:16 AM: Thanks to Greg for the photo and tip. He says that growing sinkhole is in the street where 59th SW and 60th SW meet in south Alki [map]. He says it was just a “pothole” yesterday but “overnight things changed.” We’re checking with SDOT to see the plan for addressing it.

2:14 PM: SDOT tells us it’s working with Seattle Public Utilities on this: “SDOT is planning to install a steel plate over the hole today to replace the current barricades while SPU works on a long-term repair plan.” Whether that means it’s a leak, break, drainage problem, or something else, they didn’t say, and we’ve asked that on followup.

3:40 PM: SPU says it’s a sewer-pipe problem.

Admiral, Fauntleroy, Camp Second Chance meetings, 2 choir rehearsals, much more for your West Seattle Tuesday

(Photo by James Bratsanos)

Many options on the Tuesday list, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

SOUTH PARK FLOODING BRIEFING: That’s part of the agenda for the City Council Public Safety and Human Services Committee meeting that’s about to begin (9:30 am) – here’s the agenda; the meeting is viewable via Seattle Channel. (Note that as of publication time, the online stream is having trouble – here are other ways to watch/listen.)

CITY COUNCIL: 2 pm this afternoon brings the full council’s weekly meeting, online or at City Hall (600 4th Ave.). See the agenda here; the meeting is also viewable via Seattle Channel.

DEMONSTRATION FOR BLACK LIVES: Longstanding weekly sign-waving demonstration at 16th/Holden. 5-6 pm. Signs available if you don’t have your own.

LION DEN: Cub Scout Pack 282 is starting a Lion Den for kindergarteners, 6 pm at West Side Presbyterian Church (3601 California SW).

CAMP SECOND CHANCE COMMUNITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE: Monthly chance for updates and Q/A about West Seattle’s only tiny-house encampment, 6 pm – online meeting, with participation information in our calendar listing.

SCRABBLE NIGHT: 6-10 pm, you can play Scrabble at The Missing Piece (9456 35th SW).

HOPE LUTHERAN PRESCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: The preschool at 42nd/Oregon welcomes prospective families to visit tonight at 6:30 pm.

BOEING EMPLOYEES CHOIR: Open rehearsals start tonight in West Seattle:

Join the Boeing Employees Choir — even if you aren’t a Boeing employee! We’re looking for more singers to round out our top notch concert choir. We’re traveling to Greece and Turkey in the Fall of 2024! We rehearse every Tuesday night, 6:30 – 9:00 pm, at the American Legion Hall, 3618 SW Alaska St. Open rehearsals for all interested singers begin Tuesday, Jan. 10th and continue through Tuesday, Feb. 14th. If you feel we’re the right fit for you, schedule a simple vocal audition. We are a 501(c)3 non-profit group and we sing throughout the year at local Puget Sound retirement homes, churches, and community centers. Singers are asked to make a donation of $100 per season. We tour abroad every few years — most recently to Portugal, Spain, Ireland and Scotland. Make a resolution to sing more and have more fun! For more info email: president@boeingchoir.org.

ADMIRAL NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: 7 pm meeting at Admiral Church (4320 SW Hill) with agenda including a look ahead to this year’s neighborhood plans and a chance to hear from/talk with a local police rep.

FAUNTLEROY COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION: All welcome to attend the FCA‘s monthly board meeting in person or online, 7 pm at Fauntleroy Schoolhouse (9131 California SW)

SEATTLE METROPOLITAN SINGERS: This award-winning choir rehearses in West Seattle! Tonight’s announcement (postponed from last week):

The Seattle Metropolitan Singers are starting their next season on Tuesday, January 10th. Rehearsals are 7 pm to 9 pm every Tuesday at the Senior Center of West Seattle [4217 SW Oregon]. This choir won The People’s Choice award at the 2022 Great Figgy Pudding Competition at Pike Place Market. This is a treble voice choir and all are welcome to join that fit in that vocal range. Please e-mail the_met@seattlegleeclubs.org if any questions. Or check out their website seattlegleeclubs.org/themet

OPEN MIC: Otter on the Rocks (4210 SW Admiral Way) invites you to take the stage, starting at 7 pm.

TRIVIA X 3: Three places where you can play Tuesday nights – 7 pm at Ounces (3809 Delridge Way SW), 7 pm at Admiral Pub (2306 California SW), 7:30 and 8:30 pm Sporcle Pub Quiz at The Lodge (4209 SW Alaska).

BELLE OF THE BALLS BINGO: Play bingo with Cookie Couture at The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW), 8 pm. Free, all ages!

You can always see more, and preview future events, via our event calendar – if you have something for us to list, please email info to westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!

TRAFFIC, TRANSIT, WEATHER: Tuesday arrives

6:01 AM: Good morning! It’s Tuesday, January 10th.

LOW-BRIDGE CLOSURE

This is the 19th day the low bridge has been closed to surface traffic.

After removinb a leaky cylinder Sunday, SDOT moved into testing it says will help clarify the repair timeline.

WEATHER

Sunshine expected today, high in the low 50s.

TODAY’S TRANSIT STATUS

Reminder that while the low bridge is out of service for surface traffic, free Metro/Water Taxi rides are available via an app.

Metro is on a regular schedule today but still down buses for repairs (we’ve asked for an update on how many are still out) – keep watching notification channels such as @kcmetroalerts for trip cancellations and route suspensions.

-The West Seattle Water Taxi is on its regular schedule.

-WSF’s Triangle Route remains on its two-boat schedule- check here for alerts/updates.

SPOTLIGHT CAMERAS

Delridge cameras: Updating this recent report, five are now live. Besides the one below (Delridge/Genesee), cameras are also up at Delridge/Oregon, Delridge/Juneau, Delridge/Orchard, and Delridge/Henderson.

High Bridge – the camera at the top.

High Bridge – the view from its southwest end (when SDOT points the 35th/Avalon/Fauntleroy camera that way).

1st Ave. S. Bridge – the south route.

Highway 99: – the northbound side at Lander.

All working city traffic cams can be seen here, most with video options; West Seattle and vicinity-relevant cameras are also on this WSB page … Are movable city bridges opening for vessels? Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed.

If you see a problem on the roads/paths/water, please text or call us (when you can do so safely) – 206-293-6302.