West Seattle, Washington
Tonight at the Alki Community Council meeting, Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Dorothy Kim said auto theft is the one category of crime that’s continuing to rise, here and citywide. And tonight we have two vehicle-theft reports to start a late-night West Seattle Crime Watch roundup:
STOLEN BUSINESS VAN: Even if you haven’t tried Cocina MX 32‘s mobile Mexican food, you might have seen them around town. Their catering/truck business is based in White Center and often in West Seattle. Tonight around 6:30 pm their van – shown above – was stolen. We don’t have the location or plate/report numbers yet but notify police if you find it.
STOLEN SPORTAGE: Kirsten emailed to report, “We had our Kia Sportage 2020 vehicle stolen from a business parking lot in the Delridge area today.” Photos above; plate is BRL6131; SPD incident # is 23-72440.
CAR BREAK-INS: From Rachel:
Last night between 10:00-11:00 our car and several others had broken windows in the LA Fitness parking garage. We filed a police report, and nothing was taken (’cause we didn’t have valuables in the car), but the car itself is our valuables. I just want people to be aware.
ASSAULT ARREST: If you saw police making an arrest in/near Jefferson Square around 12:30 pm, it might have been the case detailed in this SPD Blotter post tonight. It started with a December assault in Queen Anne; they identified a suspect and got an arrest warrant in January, and found the suspect in West Seattle today. They say the 36-year-old man was driving a stolen car in which officers found a gun he wasn’t legally allowed to possess.
Taking a moment to look ahead to the weekend – if you could use some soul-soothing music, this just might be it. The award-winning Northwest Symphony Orchestra is sponsoring WSB right now to be sure you know about Saturday’s concert:
Northwest Symphony Orchestra presents “Music for the Soul”
The Northwest Symphony Orchestra presents a concert of “Music for the Soul” at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in West Seattle on Saturday, March 18, at 8 pm. This concert features Mozart’s Symphony #41, with its incredible finale, Where Springs Not Fail by local composer Hanna Benn (a piece based on the poignant poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins), J.S. Bach’s exuberant Orchestral Suite #3 (that includes the famous Air on the G String) and a cello concerto by Vivaldi featuring Carlsen Cello Foundation recipient Carson Ling-Efird.
The concert venue is at 42nd SW and SW Genesee on the north edge of The Junction.
School fundraiser season continues! Tonight we heard about the Fauntleroy Children’s Center annual auction – through Saturday at 6:30 pm, so less than 48 hours to bid! Here’s the announcement:
The annual auction to support the Fauntleroy Children’s Center is a staple of the West Seattle community. This year marks the 36th time we are holding this event, an online auction open to FCC families, grandparents, alumni, and community members in West Seattle. The online auction runs through Saturday, March 18, at 6:30 pm.
The funds raised by the auction support the center’s 120 students as well as the 33 staff members who work at FCC. Funds will go toward updating decades-old outdoor play structures, funding scholarships for families in need, and supporting continuing education for our teachers.
FCC is in the historic Fauntleroy Schoolhouse. You can see the dozens of auction items (gift cards for local businesses and much more) – and sign up to bid – by going here. Questions? firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to Chau for the photo and tip – the international tea chain Happy Lemon has soft-opened its new shop at Westwood Village. Only 2 1/2 months – shorter than the usual new-business timeline – have passed since we first reported that Happy Lemon was on the way to the space vacated by Vatsana’s Thai. Posted hours are 11 am to 9 pm, seven days a week.
6:27 PM: The decision isn’t final until Seattle Public Schools superintendent Dr. Brent Jones reviews it, but a district hearing examiner has issued his recommendation on an appeal related to the plan to rebuild and expand Alki Elementary (previous WSB coverage here). SPS hearing examiner Gary McLean said the appellants did not prove that the district was wrong in determining that the project did not require a full environmental review. His ruling’s summary:
Based on the entire record taken as a whole, the appeal should be denied. The appellants failed to offer sufficient evidence to establish that any probable, significant, adverse environmental impact will result from the project, even after requiring the project to meet existing laws, regulations, and measures noted in the environmental information included in the record. The Examiner is not left with a definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed.
In this type of challenge, the burden is on appellants to prove that the original decision – in this case, the decision that a full environmental review was not needed – was in error. The appeal was argued at a two-day hearing last month. The ruling summarizes testimony on behalf of the appeal – mostly area residents – and on behalf of the district – an array of “expert witnesses” led by an attorney from a private law firm that specializes in land-use cases. Hearing examiner McLean also noted that he visited the site multiple times between the completion of the hearing and the issuance of his ruling. His ruling summarizes the issues presented in the appeal as:
Archaeological/Cultural Resource Concerns;
Aesthetic/View Impact Concerns, especially for residents located uphill, behind the building.
Traffic and parking concerns.
In all, McLean wrote, “The witness testimony presented during all three appeal presentations added little, if any, substantive evidence that would serve to rebut the expert consultant studies, and on-site observations of the surrounding area, summarized by District witnesses during the appeal hearing. … The appellants’ evidence and testimony in this appeal was mostly a recitation of personal beliefs, opinions, and conclusory assertions. While sincere and genuinely concerned about the neighborhood and public schools, none of the appellant witnesses presented testimony or evidence of the same weight as the professional subject-matter expert reports and testimony included in the record.”
Again, the SPS superintendent now has to review this and make a final decision on the appeal. But that won’t be the last say on the project. The building and land-use permit applications remain under review by the city Department of Construction and Inspections; its decision, including whether to grant nine zoning exceptions (“departures”), also will be subject to appeal. Construction at the 3010 59th SW site is planned to start after this school year ends in June; Alki students and staff are scheduled to move into the former Schmitz Park Elementary for the next two school years.
9:14 PM: Just got word that the superintendent’s decision is in. In a one-paragraph letter, he accepts the hearing ecaminer’s recommendation:
I have received the Hearing Examiner’s Recommendation (“Recommendation”) regarding the SEPA Appeal that was filed by several appellants for the Alki Elementary School Addition and Renovation Project. I have carefully reviewed the Recommendation and find it to be sound. As a result, I adopt the Hearing Examiner’s Recommendation. Appellants’ evidence has not shown the Responsible Official’s SEPA determination to be clearly erroneous.
SEPA = State Environmental Policy Act; its provisions shape processes like this one.
West Seattle’s drag scene is booming. Along with the longrunning West End Girls monthly “drag extravaganza” at The Skylark, there’s now also regular Out At The Box nights at Box Bar, shows at Admiral Pub, the new Kenyon Hall Cabaret, and more. (We list them all on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar when we get advance notice.) Now a new addition – the first-ever Drag Tea at Tibbetts United Methodist Church (3940 41st SW) – here’s the invitation they asked us to share:
We are thrilled to be hosting a Drag Tea on April 1st from 1 pm to 3 pm.
Yes Tea, Yes Shade, Yes Pink Lemonade! Come delight in an afternoon of tea, snacks, community, and FUN with drag queen Ms. Penny Cost! All ages welcome!
100% of proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Beloved Arise, a nonprofit organization dedicated to LGBTQIA+ youth of faith. Beloved Arise seeks to build relationships, offer support, and inspire youth to embrace life to the fullest.
Pay what you can. Every dollar will go to support Beloved Arise. Suggested Donations: $20 adult, $10 kids and youth
Attire: You do you! Wear what makes you feel most yourself! Dress casual or dress up, just be YOU!
Learn more about Tibbetts UMC by visiting our website. Tibbetts is at 3940 41st Ave SW; enter the Fellowship Hall at the corner of 41st and Andover.
Please reserve your seat! Tickets & info here.
Reported by Richard in Fauntleroy:
My 2011 gray Hyundai Elantra was stolen at 1:30 pm on 45th Ave SW this afternoon by two male suspects. The postman saw them and attempted to intervene but they completed the whole operation too quickly. They drove off toward Wildwood Market intersection. Attaching pics of the suspects from my doorbell camera.
Washington license plate CFV5218. Police incident # 23-72264.
2:28 PM: Police and fire have responded to a collision at 9th/Henderson, by Westcrest Park. It’s reported as a pedestrian hit by a driver. Police have told dispatch that westbound Henderson is blocked at 9th. No information yet on how seriously the victim was hurt.
2:36 PM: The medic unit and one of the two engines have been dismissed from the call, which indicates no major injuries, but we’ll be following up with SFD.
8:10 PM: SFD says a 34-year-old man was taken to the hospital by private ambulance, in stable condition when transported.
1:59 PM: Signs like that one, posted along the streets on the West Seattle side of the 1st Avenue South Bridge, announce a plan to sweep the area’s sprawling encampments next week. The notices list the dates as Monday through Thursday; no-parking signage in the area is for a much-longer period, Monday through April 18th.
As we’ve been reporting, a sweep/cleanup has long been planned in this area, where Southwest Precinct police say they’ve recovered more than 100 stolen cars. They also said sweep dates were set a few months ago but the plan was suddenly shelved. A city Unified Care Team member told the Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Council last month that plans were moving ahead, in collaboration with agencies including WSDOT, since most of the area is theirs. We noted WSDOT-vested workers talking with people under the bridge when we went through:
Also notably, when we sent a question about this to our usual city contact this morning, it was forwarded to a WSDOT spokesperson for response. James Poling replied, “This site has been posted with a 72-hour notice. Those who are living onsite have been matched with a housing resource that works for them,” also noting that this response was “on behalf of our partners with the city, KCRHA and outreach partners onsite.”
P.S. Thanks to Lola for the tip on this via a comment; she mentioned Parking Enforcement seen in the area today – while there were none in evidence when we looked, we did note the telltale orange tag on one roadside RV.
5:42 PM: WSDOT’s Poling answered our followup questions – explaining for one that “the WSDOT employee in a vest was posting the 72-hour notice along the site. Beyond that task, WSDOT will not have a presence onsite until site cleanup begins.” Also, regarding outreach, Poling says, “Speaking on behalf of our partner agencies regarding the following, an outreach field team worked several weeks matching individuals who were living on the site with appropriate housing placements, and 30 individuals have since moved inside.”
After multiple test runs, Luna Park Café will reopen tomorrow (Friday, March 17th) – but only for breakfast and lunch for starters, according to founder John Bennett. Six months have passed since the restaurant closed for maintenance, repairs, and upgrades.
They’ve also made some menu changes, most notably adding this vegan menu. As with any place opening/reopening, they hope you will be patient, don’t everyone rush in at once! The 34-years-in-business café at 2918 SW Avalon Way will be open 8 am-3 pm Wednesdays-Sundays as of tomorrow.
Here are highlights for the rest of your Thursday, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
GIRL SCOUT COOKIES: In-person sales continue through Sunday – use this lookup to find cookie booths near you.
MEDICARE INFORMATION: Presentation at Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon), 11 am-noon.
WEST SEATTLE UKULELE PLAYERS: All levels welcome to this weekly 1 pm gathering. Email email@example.com to see where they’re playing today.
FREE INDOOR PLAYSPACE: 2-6-year-olds welcome 3:30-5 pm at the Salvation Army Center (9050 16th SW).
RAINWISE WEBINAR: Are you eligible for RainWise? Find out more about it online at 5 pm – details and registration link are in our calendar listing.
WEST SEATTLE MEANINGFUL MOVIES: 6 pm online, watch and discuss videos on the topic “Saving Native Plants to Save Ourselves” – details in our preview.
If you have something to add to our calendar, please email info to firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
9:27 AM: Would-be whale-watchers, here’s your next chance. Kersti Muul just texted with word that orcas are in the area again, passing West Point, southbound, headed into Elliott Bay. (Update: She says likely the same transient orcas that have been seen in recent days.) Let us know if you see them!
10:03 AM: Kersti says the whales are in the bay.
One more reminder – two days remain to get ready for this year’s first free dropoff recycle/reuse/shred event in West Seattle, 9 am-noon (or until the available trucks fill up) Saturday (March 18th) in the north lot of South Seattle College (WSB sponsor). For the list of what will and won’t be accepted, see this flyer. Organizers include the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, West Seattle Junction Association, Seattle Public Utilities, and Waste Management, Friendly Earth, Northwest Center, Seadrunar, and Styro Recycle. The college is at 6000 16th SW – if you’re driving, approach the lot entrance from the northbound side of 16th.
6:03 AM: Good morning! It’s Thursday, March 16th.
WEATHER & TIME
The forecast for today: Mostly sunny, breezy, high in the 50s. Four days until spring! Sunrise 7:20 am, sunset 7:16 pm.
Water Taxi – Regular schedule.
Metro – Regular schedule, with trip cancellations possible, so check notification channels such as @kcmetroalerts. If you ride the 120, it’s the route’s second-to-last day – Saturday it becomes the RapidRide H Line. We published a few advance notes Wednesday.
SPOTLIGHT TRAFFIC CAMERAS
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 – looking east to west (unless SDOT turns the camera):
1st Ave. S. Bridge – another route across the river:
Highway 99: – the northbound side at Lander.
BRIDGE INFO: Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed to see if the city’s movable bridges are opening for vessel traffic.
If you see a problem on the bridges/streets/paths/bay, please text or call us (when you can do it safely, and after you’ve reported to authorities if needed) – 206-293-6302.