West Seattle, Washington
Charges are now filed in two cases on which we reported previously:
HATE-CRIME, BURGLARY CHARGES: On Tuesday we followed up on the weekend arrests of a husband and wife accused of attacking, threatening, and using racial slurs against a neighbor in his own apartment. Today the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office filed charges against the two. 38-year-old Rosalyn J. Gearhart and 40-year-old Joshua J. Kramer are each charged with one count of residential burglary and one count of hate crime, in which the court documents allege they “maliciously and intentionally and because of their perception of the color and race of (the victim), did cause physical injury to (him).” These court documents include the same narrative we summarized extensively in Tuesday’s report, with the added detail that the victim’s “5-year-old daughter was inside the apartment during the entire incident, witnessing the assault.” The charging papers say Kramer “has out of state convictions for felony-level assault and terroristic threats” while Gearhart has no known criminal record. Both remain in jail, her bail set at $15,000, his at $50,000.
ASSAULT CHARGES IN GUNFIRE CASE: A gunfire incident in November that put a school campus into shelter-in-place has led to felony assault charges. We reported on the incident November 7; it happened around 10:30 that morning. Now 19-year-old Kenneth M. Haggith is charged with two counts of second-degree assault. The charging documents allege he shot at a car containing two people – a 16-year-old boy who is charged with shooting at Haggith in an earlier incident, and that teenager’s mother. Prosecutors say mother and son were sitting in a car at Roxhill Park that morning when a car pulled up behind them and they saw someone they identified as Haggith hanging out of the passenger window with a shotgun. They heard gunfire and decided to leave; prosecutors say the car containing Haggith followed them and that he shot at them repeatedly; police reported finding six shotgun shells in the Roxhill Park parking lot. No one was hurt but the victims’ car was damaged and the multi-program campus at 30th/Roxbury went into shelter-in-place. Witnesses provided police with a photo, phone video, and a license-plate number that led them to Haggith, a Renton resident. They finally heard from the mother late that night; she identified Haggith as the shooter. According to court documents, the dispute between her son and the defendant is apparently “over a female.” Haggith pleaded not guilty at arraignment and was ordered into electronic home detention.
With four Seattle City Councilmembers not planning to run for reelection so far, this year’s primary campaigning is likely to be lively.
That could mean long lists of candidates from which to choose – in 2015, for example, the first time district councilmembers were elected, nine people were on the ballot here in District 1. In 2021, 15 people ran for mayor.
Last November, Seattle voters approved a ballot measure to implement “ranked-choice voting” in city elections, in which you would rank the candidates in your order of preference, not just choose and vote for one. Advocates say it “improves fairness in elections … and supports more representative outcomes.”
But you won’t get the chance to try it out this year. We asked King County Elections recently about how it’s being implemented, and spokesperson Halei Watkins replied, “Ranked choice voting will not be implemented ahead of this year’s City Council elections. The measure requires implementation by 2027 and there is a long list of factors and decisions to be made about what exactly RCV will look like for Seattle voters. King County Elections will also need to coordinate with both the City of Seattle and the Secretary of State’s Office throughout the planning process. Key factors include ballot design, how many candidates voters will be able to rank, upgrades to our tabulation system to be able to count RCV ballots, how questions of voter intent will be handled, how results will be reported and on what schedule, and more. And then, of course, we’ll also need to do robust voter education on how it all works.”
There’s a chance it might be ready sooner, Watkins added: “It is possible that we could implement before 2027 and we’ll be looking to implement as quickly as we can while ensuring the same high standard of accuracy, transparency, and accessibility that we pride ourselves on, but this year is not likely.” For starters, they have to settle on a ballot design before they can start working on tabulation upgrades. But work has begun, Watkins says – “we’re very much in early planning stages and we’re connecting with the City and (state) on next steps.”
If you’re curious, places in the U.S. where some form of ranked-choice voting is being used are listed here.
Lauren Grosskopf of Pleasure Boat Studio is publishing another zine with work by young creators – and she’s calling for submissions. The next “Kids For Kids” zine is intended as both a fundraiser and morale boost for Ukrainians living through the war. She welcomes art, poetry, and comics from 3- to 18-year-olds. The zine will be made available as a free PDF, with printed copies for $25 to raise money for three nonprofits. You can go here to find out more, including how young artists and writers can contribute (free), and how you can support the effort. Last year, Pleasure Boat Studio published a 100-page zine with creations by kids and teens.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Two major topics and several quick updates highlighted the Morgan Community Association‘s quarterly meeting last night. MoCA president Deb Barker facilitated the online meeting.
SKATING AT MORGAN JUNCTION PARK ADDITION: The site north of Morgan Junction Park has “been such an eyesore for so long,” why not do something with it? That’s the contention of the community members who went rogue and built a makeshift skatepark last year. This was a hot topic at the last MoCA quarterly meeting in October; last night, MoCA again heard from the West Seattleites who turned the long-vacant site into an unofficial skatepark and are campaigning, as “Let The Kids Skate,” for that use to be included in the permanent plan. (The site’s been owned by the city for almost nine years, but its development as a park stalled during COVID.) One supporter, John, said Parks asked them for concepts to incorporate a “skate dot” into the pre-existing design for the park addition. Another, Zac, presented some of their ideas. Parks has shut down use of the community-built features on the site, but it might be another six years until the park is developed, though; they contend that’s too long to wait while the site sits vacant. They think the south part of the site is the best spot for a skate dot – the north end has some conflicts with neighboring residents, although they contend that could be mitigated. He showed some concepts:
Truly activating the site could be a draw for Morgan’s growing business district too, they contend – reasons to come and stay, rather than leaving – so they hope business owners will get excited about the idea too. Zac said the group likes Option 3 best. It would include features that don’t exist at current skating areas in West Seattle. Here’s a closer look:
He said their rough schematics would be pretty easy to use to springboard to a cost estimate – and that community fundraising is one option. Their next steps include soliciting community feedback, as well as Parks’ commitment to redesigning the site. Community support is vital – this group is all-volunteer, and if they don’t have support, they’re not going to keep pushing it indefinitely, they said. The site, meantime, is awaiting soil remediation, but Let The Kids Skate has been told that’s not imminent – no contract’s been awarded.
Among those on hand for the meeting was Matt Johnston, a West Seattleite who’s been involved in past skatepark projects, including development of a citywide plan to which he says Parks is “still beholden.” This site is not on the plan, but Alki and Hiawatha are, for example, and Johnston said that the city’s been known to remove one location and add another if that works. “They should be interested in opportunities to do what they said they were going to do,” he said.
2023 MORGAN JUNCTION FESTIVAL: MoCA’s Michael Brunner presented a recap of past years as the group looks ahead to bringing back a full-day festival for the first time since before the pandemic. “It takes a lot of work,” he noted, and that includes lots of volunteer power. Here’s some of what it’s entailed in the past:
A date hasn’t been finalized yet – June 18th is a leading candidate – but planning meetings need to start soon. Here are some of the roles with which they welcome assistance:
If you can help make this festival happen, firstname.lastname@example.org.
FUTURE EV SITE: Environmental cleanup of the site at 42nd/Morgan was completed in November. Barker said they’d asked Seattle City Light questions including whether the site could be used before development. Yes, with conditions, she was told.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN UPDATE: If you haven’t yet been to a meeting for input and information about this citywide plan, an online meeting is set for January 30.
DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY: 6007 California SW, proposed for a four-story mixed-use project, is “on hold … stalled over funding issues,” Barker said she was told by a project team member … 6314 41st SW, a 34-apartment project, is still going through land-use review … The California/Brandon Aegis Living proposal, as we’ve reported, goes before the Southwest Design Review Board on February 2nd.
NEW BUSINESS: West Seattle Wonder Dogs is now in Morgan Junction (6040 California SW). Proprietor Erika Abrahamson says, “We’re really loving the new location.” Their offerings include dog day care and training.
PREPAREDNESS: As discussed at the last meeting, Gatewood Elementary will have a special emphasis on this during this month’s Parent Education Night, as a sort of pilot for future wider-community meetings.
FRIENDS OF MORGAN JUNCTION PARKS: This group is planning an April volunteer-work-party event for Morgan Junction Park and will be seeking volunteers.
MoCA BOARD: Openings remain, including the vice presidency. Email email@example.com if interested.
NEXT MEETING: April 19th, 7 pm, likely still online.
The city Department of Neighborhoods has put out a call today for feedback on a plan to add four portable classrooms to West Seattle High School, in the parking lot. Approval is required for zoning exveptions – formally known as departures – so that’s why there’s a feedback process – this would involve departures for “reduced vehicular parking quantity” and “amended bicycle parking performance standards.” From the presentation on the city website:
The presentation notes that the 30-space reduction would be from an already-reduced number – zoning requires 238 spaces, almost 50 more than what’s currently provided. The city says they’re taking comments through February 17 – email Nelson.Pesigan@seattle.gov or send postal mail to Nelson Penigan, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, PO Box 94649, Seattle, WA 98124-4649
West Seattle/South Park Councilmember Lisa Herbold started a trend with her announcement last month that she’s not running for a third term. Since then, three more of the council’s seven district-elected members have announced they’re not running for reelection either: Debora Juarez (the council’s current president), Alex Pedersen, and today, Kshama Sawant (the council’s longest-serving member). In our district (1), so far two people have registered campaign intentions with the city and state, Preston Anderson and AnnaLisa LaFayette; neither has listed a website nor made an official announcement so far. Formal filing week with King County Elections is still four months away – May 15-19. The primary is on August 1.
Two Crime Watch reports this morning:
CARJACKING: This one is classified as a robbery/carjacking because the victim said the thief pointed a gun at him when he tried to stop him. It happened in the 4000 block of 45th SW around quarter past 7 last night. The victim told police that he was working nearby when a co-worker asked whether he had started his vehicle – he hadn’t, and he had the keys, but someone was in the vehicle and had started it. The victim approached and the thief started driving the vehicle away. The victim told police he ran after it, managed to pull open the driver-side door, and then the thief pointed what was described as a silver handgun at him. The thief then got away, last seen eastbound on SW Andover. The police summary doesn’t describe the stolen vehicle, but archived police-radio audio describes it as a red 1998 Ford Ranger with a white canopy and a St. Jude’s sticker on the back. Plate D04481A. No description of the thief. The incident # is 23-017429; any tips can be called in to the SPD Violent Crimes Tip Line at 206-233-5000.
ANOTHER TRUCK THEFT: A reader sent this report of a pickup truck stolen in South Park:
Our 1992 Ford F-250 was stolen last night from 12th and Dallas. It’s blue and gray with big aluminum running boards. WA Plate #C86448U. Please call SPD if you see it. Thank you.
(Afternoon update – the pickup taken in South Park was found in Bellevue.)
Here’s what’s happening in the hours ahead:
WEST SEATTLE UKULELE PLAYERS: All levels welcome, weekly 1 pm gathering. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for location.
HIGHLAND PARK RUN CLUB: Also at HP Corner Store, meet up at 6:30 pm Thursdays for a ~3-mile run.
Have something to add to our calendar? Email info to email@example.com – thank you!
Family and friends are remembering Kay Frankenstein, and sharing this remembrance with her community:
On November 21, 1932, a force of nature named Joy Kay (Rutledge) Frankenstein was born in Cascade, Idaho. Having gone out into the world and recently returned to her Idaho roots, she left us on January 8, 2023 while living in Boise, Idaho. As per usual, her passing was on her terms and her timeline. Fate and chance were once again cheated out of having the last laugh.
Growing up in Cascade and Boise, the two biggest influences in Mom’s young life were the loggers who worked for her father and the nuns at boarding school, both of whom had little success in taming her, but not for want of trying. From the loggers she learned her salty, direct style of communicating and that depth, humanity, and intelligence are independent of money and position. From the nuns she concluded that communing with the Divine is best done in the presence of dirt, plants, wild places, and children, all of which she nurtured and cherished throughout her life.
Kay obtained her nursing degree from the University of Portland in 1954. A member of the ski and tennis teams, she loved sports and liked a challenge, especially if it involved speed and winning. She met her husband, Paul Frankenstein, while skiing circles around him at Mt. Hood. Not being one to beat around the bush, Kay talked Paul into tying the knot on February 4, 1956 after six months and two dates. She was never one to dally once a decision was made. They lived happily in wild places in central Oregon and the mountains of Washington before settling in Seattle for the long haul.
Child-labor laws apparently do not apply to your own children and childhood was not to be wasted for her five kids – Paul Frankenstein (Linda Frankenstein) of Carmichael, CA, Anneliese Frankenstein (Sallie Neillie) of Bend, OR, Gretchen Frankenstein (Leo Shaw) of Seattle, Fritz Frankenstein (deceased), and Helga Frankenstein of Boise, ID. Graduation from high school spawned young adults who knew how to manage money, grow and cook their own food and feed whoever showed up at the table, figure out how to build something, stay alive in the woods, dress a wound, learn until you were in the ground, be ever generous to others and curious about the world, challenge injustices, and use the “crap that life throws at you” to make fertilizer. Kay could not help but always find a teaching moment, letting her kids try whatever interested them as long as it was somewhat legal, danger be damned. Our scars and bones have many stories to tell.
Her grandchildren, Otto Gabrielli (Cassandra Green), Augusto Gabrielli (Audrey Speicher), Paul Frankenstein, Monica Lane (Phil Lane), and Genevieve Duffy, hopefully have nothing but good memories and bawdy stories to pass along to Kay’s great-grandchildren, Hailey, Colton, Ashley, Enzo, and Yet-to-be-Named. Kay outlived her husband, Paul, and siblings Darrell Rutledge, Persis DeLaMare, and Patricia Rutledge, but they left behind numerous nieces and nephews who kept in touch with Kay to the end.
Her friends, acquaintances, and the few not unhappy to read this missive described Kay as fiercely independent, strong, supremely competent, self-sufficient, curious, steadfast, loyal, always genuinely interested in everyone, and a friend’s friend. Her idea of “family” seemed to extend to the entire planet. Her curiosity took her to more than 80 countries, her last trip as a passenger on the mail boat through Norway’s coastal islands. She cherished the people she met and the experiences she had with them as much or more than the monuments and art she viewed. While in assisted living the past year or so (on her terms of minimal assistance, of course), the staff joined her family, making her chicken adobo, keeping her apprised of their children’s goings-on, and just enjoying the fact that she genuinely cared about them and their families.
In her usual manner, Kay requested no fanfare in the way of a service, but wants you to spend your time and money instead by supporting people helping others and/or Boise’s children and families in need of emergency assistance by donating to Companis (companis.org), 1111 Harvard Ave E, Seattle, WA 98122, or the Boise Education Foundation S.A.F.E. Fund (boiseschoolsfoundation.com),
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
6:03 AM: Good morning! It’s Thursday, January 19th.
Mostly cloudy, high in the mid-40s. (Wednesday’s high was 46, two degrees below what’s normal for that date.)
TODAY’S TRANSIT STATUS
-WSF’s Triangle Route remains on a two-boat schedule- check here for alerts/updates.
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):
Low Bridge – open again:
1st Ave. S. Bridge – the south route:
Highway 99: – the northbound side at Lander.
MORE TRAFFIC CAMS: All working traffic cams citywide 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.