West Seattle, Washington
Three notes in West Seattle Crime Watch:
CHILD-PORNOGRAPHY INVESTIGATION: Thursday morning, a reader texted us about what appeared to be a multi-agency warrant raid at a house in Upper Alki. No information was available about it until this SPD post today, and tonight we’ve found out more via court documents. In the initial post, police said, “Detectives with Seattle Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Unit took (the 37-year-old suspect) into custody Thursday morning following a lengthy investigation related to Child Sexual Abuse Material.” They say he confessed “to uploading CSAM material and communicating with others about chatting online with minors” and was booked into the King County Jail. He is not yet charged but had a hearing this afternoon, at which his bail was set at $50,000; he has since posted bond and been released, according to the jail register. Probable-cause documents say the investigation started last May, when an Internet Service Provider reported “that a user had uploaded one or more files containing depictions of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct to their account.” Detectives subsequently identified the suspect via internet and phone records. According to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, conditions of the suspect’s release include “no contact with minors without exception, and to not access the Internet without monitoring software.”
TARGET STANDOFF VERDICT: Last week we reported that the trial had begun for 32-year-old Timothy A. Clemans, charged with attempted first-degree kidnapping for trying to take hostages at knifepoint in the Westwood Village Target store last year. An hours-long standoff ensued. The trial, in which Clemans was representing himself, was expected to last up to two weeks, but our check of online court files tonight reveals it lasted just one week. According to court documents, Clemans was found guilty as charged, with the added finding that he was armed with a deadly weapon. He is scheduled for sentencing before King County Superior Court Judge Marshall Ferguson on April 7th.
ARSON ARRAIGNMENT POSTPONED AGAIN: The man charged with arson in the two-alarm 17th/Barton apartment fire, 35-year-old Ermiyas N. Woldearegay, has yet to be arraigned, though four weeks have passed since charges were filed. Court documents show his first date was postponed because he was “medically unavailable”; the second and third dates, he refused to come to court. The most recent document indicated Woldearegay’s defense lawyer was hoping to meet with him to see if the issue of competency “needs to be raised.” However, the document also said Woldearegay had been refusing jail visits.
Before this “wearing of the green” day ends … two more scenes from West Seattle St. Patrick’s Day celebrations:
IRISH DANCE AT THE SENIOR CENTER: As featured in our daily event list today, students from the West Seattle-based Comerford School of Irish Dance performed this afternoon at the Senior Center of West Seattle.
PIANO TUNES @ THE KENNEY: Weekly piano music at The Kenney (WSB sponsor) had a St. Patrick’s Day theme, according to this reader report:
John Van Lierop, Jr., from West Seattle, played Irish songs on the piano for the Memory Care residents (including his 101-year-old Father) at The Kenney today. John plays old-time piano music of the ’30s, ’40s, every Friday. He notices that the faces of the residents light up when he begins to play familiar songs and some even sing. The two favorites today were “My Wild Irish Rose” and “When Irish Eyes are Smiling.” John has been operating a piano studio for over 50 years on Gatewood Hill and has been the organist at Tibbetts United Methodist Church in West Seattle for 42 years!
The next two Saturdays, Scouts will be out all around West Seattle placing door hangers for the annual Scouting for Food door-to-door drive. Here’s the explanation:
Since 1985, Scouts have worked together with community food banks to collect food for the hungry during the annual Scouting for Food drive. Over that time, one million cans of food have been collected for local community food banks. The BSA teaches the value of community service in all of its programs and the importance of helping others. Doing a Good Turn Daily is a cornerstone of the Scouting program.
Scouts from West Seattle will walk our neighborhoods delivering door hangers on Saturday, March 18. The following Saturday, March 25, Scouts will return to collect non-perishable food item donations and deliver them to the West Seattle Food Bank. Emphasis is on food most needed for nutrition, such as peanut butter, baby formula, packaged meals, and canned goods, especially tuna, soups, stews, meats, fruits and vegetables.
Please help support the hungry in our community. Watch for a door hanger on your door and get your donations out early on March 25, so you can join our Scouts in “Doing a Good Turn Daily.”
If you don’t get a door hanger, you can still help the WSFB any time – here’s how.
This time they’re northbound, passing Blake Island, visible from this side, according to Kersti Muul. Let us know if you see them!
That’s Metro driver Ermias Mulugeta, a 14-year veteran transit operator who had a starring role in today’s ribboncutting-and-speeches event celebrating tomorrow’s launch of the RapidRide H Line. He drove the newly rebranded red-and-yellow bus into the lot at Steve Cox Memorial Park in White Center, with dignitaries aboard including King County Executive Dow Constantine and Metro’s new general manager Michelle Allison:
Before the ribboncutting, 26 minutes of speeches – here’s our unedited video:
Allison emceed, with opening and closing remarks. Constantine declared that RapidRide is “the evolution of Metro Transit.” (Long-running evolution – West Seattle’s first RR line, C, launched 10+ years ago.) Route 120, which becomes the H Line tomorrow, carried 1.7 million people last year, he said, and he observed that the new line’s route between Burien and downtown will help people “enjoy more of what this part of King County has to offer.”
It’ll also help with everyday tasks, added the next speaker, White Center Food Bank executive director Carmen Smith.
WCFB’s new location will be close to an RR stop, and that means people carrying food won’t have to hike uphill with heavy loads any more. Other speakers included King County Councilmember Joe McDermott – who is leaving office this year but has helped shepherd the H Line into reality – and Burien Mayor Sofia Aragon (who happens to be running to be McDermott’s successor), who said her city is proud of how this is factoring into many improvements along its main thoroughfare, Ambaum Boulevard. From Seattle city government, executive general manager Adiam Emery reoresented Mayor Bruce Harrell‘s team:
She noted that Seattle had invested (corrected) $90 million in the H Line, as well as projects such as the Delridge repaving/reconfiguration. And District 1 City Councilmember Lisa Herbold noted that the “multijurisdictional project” is an enhancement to what’s already King County’s sixth-busiest bus route. After Allison wrapped up with a few more stats – 51 new stations, 40 new crosswalks, five miles of new bus lanes – it was ribboncutting time:
As reported here Wednesday, the H Line officially begins running with a 5:26 am northbound departure from Burien on Saturday morning. The first coach, we’re told, will be the same one that rolled up at the start of this morning’s event – 6209. The launch comes four years later than the originally announced 2019.
4:01 PM: Seattle Fire is on the scene of an RV fire in the 7900 block of 20th SW [vicinity map]. It was initially described as “small” but now firefighters are reporting two people are hurt, and medic units are being summoned for both of them.
4:10 PM: The fire is reported out, SFD’s investigator is on the way, and the two victims are being taken to the hospital.
4:49 PM: Firefighters at the scene tell us the victims are a man and woman, both conscious when transported. A dog that was also in the RV died. The RV is in a driveway.
The fire cause is under investigation but we’re told the fire did not spread beyond the vehicle.
5:44 PM: SFD says both people were in critical condition when transported.
3:39 PM: If you have to head eastbound any time soon via the West Seattle Bridge, you might consider waiting, or taking another route. Right at the 99 overpass, it’s down to one lane because of what police have described as debris from a truck losing its load.
4:42 PM: Police have just told dispatch that one lane is still closed, as is the 1st Avenue South exit from the eastbound bridge.
5:40 PM: SDOT says this has cleared.
A new arrival today at the spot where the Stone Cottage is being stored, awaiting a permanent home. It’s the Bicentennial Tower from the Walker Rock Garden, saved when the garden was partly demolished for redevelopment in 2021. Since then, the tower has been unceremoniously lying on its side atop a planting strip across the street, east and uphill from Fairmount Park. That house is now in the process of being sold, so it had to be moved.
Today local preservationists led by Mike Shaughnessy, also part of Save the Stone Cottage, loaded it onto a truck and moved it to the lot where the Stone Cottage has been since it too had to be moved because of redevelopment (which has since stalled, but that’s another story). Here’s a photo of how the tower looked when it stood in the Walker Rock Garden:
The hope is that the tower – whose backstory you can read in this story by Eric Scigliano (who was there for this morning’s move) – can be restored and then placed in a new home yet to be determined – somewhere in West Seattle.
It wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s Day without a look at the mysterious green stripe that leprechaun(s) refresh every year along 41st SW north of SW Admiral Way. This year, the photos are courtesy of a reader who got an aerial view via drone.
Who does this? That remains a mystery – and some have suggested over the years that it’s not a bad thing to have a few mysteries remain.
Weekend road-work alert from SDOT:
For the next two weekends, March 18-19 and March 25-26, we’ll be working on the S Spokane St on-ramp to the Spokane St Swing Bridge. To help address freight traffic back-ups and improve traffic flow near the terminals, we’re reconfiguring the westbound travel lanes to create a longer area for merging and changing lanes.
Work hours are 7 AM to 3 PM. During the work, people driving from East Marginal Way S will not be able to merge onto the Spokane St Swing Bridge. The driving detour is using SR 99 or the overpass on the Spokane St Viaduct. Plan ahead and expect delays due to reduced lanes and construction activity, noise, equipment and materials in the work area. We do not anticipate impacts to people walking and biking.
10:20 AM: Thanks for the tips and photos! The aircraft carrier headed northbound right now is USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), confirmed via MarineTraffic.com. It arrived in Bremerton in 2021 for major overhaul work.
1 PM: You can read more about the Theodore Roosevelt’s departure – headed back to its San Diego homeport – via the Kitsap Sun.
Here are West Seattle highlights for the rest of your Friday:
GIRL SCOUT COOKIES: In-person cookie sales continue through Sunday – use this lookup to find times and locations of “booths” near you!
SCRABBLE CLUB: Come play 12:30-1:30 pm at Margie’s Café in the Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon).
IRISH DANCE PERFORMANCE: Youth dancers from the Comerford School of Irish Dance perform at Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon), 1-1:30 pm. Free, all welcome, RSVP to the center.
CAKE POP-UP: Lovely and Dapper Desserts and others are at The Nook (2206 California SW), 5-10 pm.
FREE INDOOR PLAYSPACE: Toddler Gym weekday afternoons at the Salvation Army Center (9050 16th SW), ages 2-6, 3:30-5 pm.
STEM COMMUNITY WEEK: The finale of Louisa Boren STEM K-8‘s Community Week is an art showcase and raffle tonight, 6-8 pm, all welcome! (5950 Delridge Way SW)
FISH DINNER: You’re invited to dine at Our Lady of Guadalupe‘s Walmesley Center (35th/Myrtle), 6-8 pm.
KENYON HALL OPEN MIC: Second edition of the monthly songwriter-incubator open mic, performers and spectators welcome, signups at 6, music at 6:30 pm. (7904 35th SW)
(added) BASEBALL: Home opener for West Seattle High School, 7 pm vs. Capital, Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle).
MUSIC AT THE COFFEEHOUSE: Vocal duo Zojo at 7 pm at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor).
BENEFIT SHOW AT THE SKYLARK: 7 pm, with Tim Turner Band, benefiting Sanislo Elementary. All ages until 10 pm. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
‘SHE KILLS MONSTERS’: The Chief Sealth International High School Drama Club presentation has a public performance at 7:30 pm – ticket info in our calendar listing. (2600 SW Thistle)
Something to add to our calendar? firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
Spring means youth sports, and West Seattle Little League is hoping for more volunteer help, of all ages:
West Seattle Little League Needs YOU!
Our Junior Volunteers keep Bar-S hopping all season long. Cook and sell food in the Snack Shack, prep the fields for games, serve as a Junior Umpire – or do all three! This is a fun opportunity for community members aged 13-18 to gain service skills and volunteer hours. Benefits include tips and free food/beverage each shift. Junior Volunteer applications will be accepted through Monday, March 20th.
Or contact Jacque at email@example.com to learn more.
SNACK SHACK VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
We’re looking for adult volunteers passionate about customer service and youth mentorship. Be an integral part of that Bar-S magic! Experience in food service is ideal but not necessary. Training provided. Responsibilities include:
-Lead the Snack Shack Junior Volunteers throughout the season, taking weeknight evening shifts from 5-9 pm, as available.
-Lead the Snack Shack team on Saturdays, with shifts from 7:15-10:30 am, 10:15-2:15 pm, 2:00-5:30 pm, or 5:15-9 pm, as available.
Supervise and support our Junior Volunteers (ages 13-16) in food prep, cleanliness, and cash handling. Help them develop leadership and teamwork skills.
Prepare hot dogs for sale at the Snack Shack and assist with other hot food preparation.
Assist the Concessions Director with managing systems and inventory.
Food handlers permit required (available online), and WSLL will pay the permit fee.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with Jacque by March 20th to learn more: firstname.lastname@example.org
6:03 AM: Good morning! It’s Friday, March 17th.
WEATHER & TIME
The forecast for today: Mostly sunny, high near 60. We’re heading into the last weekend of winter! Sunrise 7:18 am, sunset 7:17 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 last day – Saturday it becomes the RapidRide H Line. A ceremonial ribboncutting is happening in White Center this morning; we’ll be there. Metro’s other spring “service changes” take effect Saturday too, but the H Line launch is the only major one for West Seattle.
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.