West Seattle, Washington
What a way to head into spring break! West Seattle Elementary principal Pamela McCowan-Conyers got a $25,000 surprise at an assembly this afternoon. The Alliance for Education presented her with the grant while announcing her as the latest recipient of the Thomas B. Foster Award for Excellence, given annually to “two outstanding Seattle Public Schools principals who have demonstrated success in advancing educational justice and racial equity in their school community.” McCowan-Conyers said the grant for her school will help WSES keep moving forward as students and staff move back this fall to their newly expanded building in High Point, after two years at the former Schmitz Park Elementary campus. Foster Award recipients are chosen from “colleague and community nominations, as part of a process which takes into consideration school data and principal commitment and effectiveness.” This is McCowan-Conyers’ seventh school year leading West Seattle Elementary. Along with her students and staff, those on hand to congratulate her this afternoon included SPS superintendent Dr. Brent Jones and School Board director Leslie Harris.
The photo is from Kersti Muul, who explains she got a report of a beaver along SW Thistle, and indeed, that’s what it was. So what happened next? “He’s fine. I scooted him into that yard and he ate and then bedded down in the blackberries. Most concerned for it being on such a busy road. I imagine it’s a path it takes all the time back and forth to the creek. [Longfellow] I told everyone to leave it alone and give it space.” Here’s the state Living With Wildlife infopage about beavers.
Three more Crime Watch notes:
‘SUITCASE BODIES’ KILLER SENTENCED: As previewed here earlier this week, Michael L. Dudley faced a judge one more time today – to be sentenced for killing Jessica Lewis and Austin Wenner and putting their bodies into suitcases found in Elliott Bay and the Duwamish River. The judge went with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office recommendation we reported – 560 months (just short of 47 years). Documents from the sentencing say family and friends of the victims and the killer were all in court for this morning’s hearing.
TARGET STANDOFF SENTENCING POSTPONED: Also scheduled for sentencing today was Timothy Clemans, arrested in January 2022 after trying to take hostages in the Westwood Village Target. He went to trial last month, choosing to represent himself, and a jury found him guilty of attempted kidnapping. Today’s hearing was postponed, however, and rescheduled for May 5th. According to documents on file, prosecutors are recommending a sentence of just under five years. Another document in the file is a statement from a Target employee listed as a victim in this case, saying that she believes “putting … someone mentally ill in prison for 12+ months is absolutely pointless because you wouldn’t be fixing his problems, you’d just be punishing a sick man.” Clemans was found mentally competent to stand trial, prosecutors note, and say that alternatives to incarceration were tried in previous cases involving him, but that he “reject(ed) the state’s attempts … to divert him from the criminal-justice system and link him with community resources.”
One reader report:
PEEPER ALERT: Via email: “Two different residents in a building at the corner of SW Lander St and 59th Ave SW have both spotted a person holding their phone up to their windows and recording through the windows and lingering around their apartments. A police report has been submitted.”
The 46-year-old man arrested in connection with the disappearance of Leticia Martinez-Cosman remains in jail today, and probable-cause documents in his case reveal what led police to him, and what they have found out so far. The man is not yet charged so we are not publishing his name; we’re publishing the probable-cause narrative from today’s documents without any names except those of law-enforcement officers. Though the jail docket shows that the suspect was initially booked for investigation of homicide among other possible crimes, a judge has not found probable cause for that, but did find probable cause to continue holding him for investigation of kidnapping, assault, theft, attempted murder, and unlawful firearm possession. The suspect did not appear in court today and bail has not yet been set, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Here is the narrative, a type of document generally initially written by police – note that it describes an assault and injuries in places:
Leticia “Leti” Martinez-Cosman was last seen 03/31/2023, heading to the Mariners game in Seattle. The Photo (previously distributed by police) was taken by Leticia at that game, which began at around 1900 hours. The photo was texted to her (friend #1) and it was later provided to the police. Leticia had invited the male pictured with her below, to join her at the game.
Leticia met the male … at a Costco in Seattle on 03/19/2023.
If you don’t already have tickets to this year’s West Seattle Food Bank-benefiting “Instruments of Change” dinner and auction, today’s your last chance to get in on the early discount rate. Here’s the announcement:
16th Annual Instruments of Change 2023 Gala Dinner & Auction
Neighbors Helping Neighbors
Annual Instruments of Change Gala Dinner and Auction
May 6th, 2023 at 6 pm at The Hall at Fauntleroy
9131 California Ave SW
This event will be a night of fun and entertainment, all in support of our mission to ensure all in our community have access to the essential necessities of living.
The West Seattle Food Bank provides essential services to our neighbors in need, and your support is critical to our continued success. Your ticket purchase, auction bids, and donations will benefit individuals and families in our community who rely on our services.
Thank you for your support, and we hope to see you at the Instruments of Change Gala Dinner and Auction.
Passed Hors d’oeuvres – Beer Wine & Cocktails – Silent & Live Auction – Photo Booth – Games & Prizes – Raffle – Served Dinner – Informative Program – IOC Award Winner – Dessert Dash
Tickets! Regular Price $150 – Early Bird Price: $125 ends 4/7 – Must be 21+ to attend
Tickets include admission, happy hour wine and beer, passed appetizers, catered dinner by Tuxedoes and Tennis Shoes and informative program.
Registration Deadline: April 21st
1:13 PM: Just got word from producer Tamara Bunnell that the Seattle Historical Theatre Project has to cancel tonight’s performance of “Friends Across the Wires“ in West Seattle. She emailed to say, “We are very, very sorry to report that tonight’s performance of ‘Friends Across the Wires’ at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center has been canceled because of Covid. We are so sorry to cancel, but need to prioritize keeping the community safe.” This was to be a one-night-only WS performance of the play telling a story of how youth were affected by the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans. We’re asking whether there’s any chance of a reschedule.
1:36 PM: Bunnell says they’re hoping so and will send us word of a new date when they work one out.
12:58 PM: Thanks to the texters who sent photos of the damaged “Welcome to West Seattle” sign along the southwest end of the West Seattle Bridge. We reported late last night on the crash at that location. The sign was installed by the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce in 2019, funded by a donation from the late philanthropist Ada Cruzen; we have a message out to the WSCC to see what their plans are.
1:05 PM: Quick response from Chamber executive director Whitney Moore: “Absolutely, the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce will be repairing the Welcome Sign and restoring it to its former glory.”
Thanks to Jessica for reporting brown water near 35th/Morgan. No incidents shown on the Seattle Public Utilities water-outage map; we’ve advised a call to Seattle Public Utilities as usual, 206-386-1800, to be sure they know. “Brown water” usually results from some kind of anomaly – from a broken line to a hydrant test – stirring up “sediment” (mostly rust) in the system.
After today, Seattle Public Schools – and some others – go out on spring break. If you have SPS issues, concerns, questions, ideas, Saturday brings your next chance to talk with our area’s elected School Board director, Leslie Harris. She’ll be at West Seattle (Admiral) Library 2-5 pm on Saturday (April 8) – you don’t have to attend for all three hours, just drop in when you can. (She’s also promising her famous lasagna.) The library is at 2306 42nd SW.
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, here’s what’s happening for the rest of your Friday:
PASSOVER CONTINUES: Tonight’s the third night.
HOLY WEEK SERVICES: Here’s our list of churches we’ve heard from, some with Good Friday services today/tonight; list additions still welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SCRABBLE CLUB: Come play 12:30-1:30 pm at Margie’s Café in the Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon).
FREE INDOOR PLAYSPACE: 2-6-year-olds welcome 3:30-5 pm at the Salvation Army Center (9050 16th SW).
(added) SPORTS: Four local games this afternoon – three at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle) – Chief Sealth vs. West Seattle softball at 4 pm, Chief Sealth vs. Sammamish baseball at 4 pm, Chief Sealth vs. Ballard boys’ soccer at 4:30 pm; one at Walt Hundley Playfield (34th/Myrtle), West Seattle vs. Franklin boys’ soccer at 4 pm.
Canceled due to COVID
‘FRIENDS ACROSS THE WIRES‘: One night only, 7:30 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW), this play tells a story of how youth were affected by the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans. Free admission, first-come, first-served – more info in our calendar listing.
SOUND BATH: “For the Full Pink Moon,” 7:30 pm with Maari Falsetto at Move2Center (3618 SW Alaska), $35.
AT THE SKYLARK: Lark Vs Owl, Dragontail Peak, Gnarlene and the Frisky Pigs, 8 pm. $10 cover, 21+. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
Something to add to our calendar? email@example.com – thank you!
Thanks for the tips. That’s what the drive-up ATM at US Bank in The Junction looks like after someone went after it overnight. The police call log shows it was reported around 6:30 this morning; no other details available yet. This bank’s drive-up ATM has been targeted before; someone tried to steal it a year ago, and it was stolen in 2017 (with two people eventually arrested). If you have any information about this incident, the SPD report # is 23-93562.
6:03 AM: Good morning! It’s Friday, April 7th. Last day before spring break for Seattle Public Schools and others.
WEATHER & SUNRISE/SUNSET TIMES
The forecast for today: Showery, breezy, high in the low 50s. Sunrise 6:36 am, sunset 7:48 pm.
TRAFFIC ALERT TONIGHT
Highway 99 tunnel closed both ways, 10 pm Friday-6 am Saturday.
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 southwestward toward it:
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). Thank you!
12:49 AM: Police are investigating a report of gunfire outside the Westwood Village McDonald’s. So far they report finding shell casings and holes in a car. No injuries reported initially, although SFD has since been sent. Officers told dispatch that “McDonald’s staff thinks it happened in the drive-thru line.”
12:55 AM: No victim, SFD has confirmed, so their response is being cancelled. Officers meantime are finding damage to at least one other car as well as possible damage to a building, with a possible witness saying this seemed to involve multiple vehicles and might have happened a bit further west, closer to MOD Pizza. Officers investigating at WWV also have just reported hearing a half-dozen more suspected gunshots in the distance.