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WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Business burglary; street robbery

Two reports in West Seattle Crime Watch this afternoon:

WEST BAY BREAK-IN: Just as West Bay Coffee and Smoothies worked to recover from weather damage, with community help, they got hit by crime. The image and report were sent by proprietor Jennifer West:

After all the trouble with our year starting out, the new storage shed that we got funded by the community lasted 3 hours and is already been broken into. Here’s the burglar vehicle, no plates.

We’ll add the incident number when we get it.

STREET ROBBERY: From weekend SPD summaries – a sale arranged online led to a holdup in person. Police say they were called to Delridge/Edmunds just after 9 pm Saturday. The victim told them he had arranged via Facebook Marketplace to buy a phone from someone. The person who showed up “brandished a silver handgun and stole victim’s cell phone and wallet,” then took off on foot, southbound. The summary does not include a description.

WATER TAXI ALERT: Mechanical trouble

The King County Water Taxi‘s 1:00 pm run to downtown from Seacrest Park is running up to 20 minutes late, according to Metro: “Vessel Captain and crew had to switch vessels due to unexpected issue with a generator.” We’ll update if that leads to any additional problems later in the day.

FOLLOWUP: Future of former church in Upper Fauntleroy

Two months ago, we reported on the then-pending sale of West Seattle’s last freestanding Christian Science church, at 3601 SW Barton [map]. There was no hint at the time of who was buying it and what the one-acre site’s future would be; it was being marketed with possibilities including eight new homes. The sale still hasn’t shown up in county records but a new filing with the city proposes a use for the site – a preschool. WorldKids School, which already has two locations in West Seattle and others elsewhere, has filed an early-stage site plan that would convert the church building into a preschool. The site plan also shows a playground at the northeast corner of the site. We have an inquiry out to WorldKids seeking more information about their plan. As for the former church, a regional spokesperson for the denomination told us that the small group that had continued to meet at the site was disbanding. This wouldn’t be the first former West Seattle church converted into a preschool – we reported last year on Westside School (WSB sponsor) doing the same thing with the former New Apostolic Church adjacent to its Arbor Heights campus.

5 notes for the rest of your West Seattle Monday

(Lincoln Park – photo by Theresa Arbow O’Connor)

Here’s what’s happening in the hours ahead:

NODE MUSIC & PERFORMING ARTS CLASSES BEGIN: As previewed here – you can check with MMPA (nonprofit sibling of WSB sponsor Mode Music Studios) to see if there are still openings.

CITY COUNCIL BRIEFING: On their new schedule, the council’s weekly “briefing meeting” is at 2 pm Mondays, with their regular business meeting at 2 pm Tuesdays. Watch live at seattlechannel.org.

COVID TESTING AT DENNY IMS: 4-8 pm weekdays, Seattle Public Schools students, staff, and families are welcome at this walk-in testing site. In the cafeteria (2601 SW Kenyon).

FREE POWER YOGA/PILATES CLASS: 5 pm at Delridge Community Center (4501 Delridge Way SW), ages 16 and up welcome.

TRIVIA X 3: Here are tonight’s three options – 7 pm at Best of Hands (35th/Webster), 7 pm at The Good Society (California/Lander), 7:30 pm at The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW)

TRAFFIC, TRANSIT, WEATHER: Welcome to Monday

6:03 AM Good morning!

WEATHER

Foggy, cloudy, cool, high in the 40s.

BUSES, WATER TAXI, FERRIES

Metro is on a regular weekday schedule. Watch @kcmetrobus for word of trip cancellations.

West Seattle and Vashon Water Taxi routes are on regular schedules.

Ferries: WSF continues a two-boat schedule on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run. Check here for alerts/updates.

BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES

671st morning without the West Seattle Bridge.

Low Bridge: Automated enforcement cameras are still in use; restrictions are in effect 5 am-9 pm daily – except weekends; the bridge is open to all until 8 am Saturday and Sunday mornings. (Access applications are available here for some categories of drivers.)

The 1st Avenue South Bridge (map):

South Park Bridge:

West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way:

Highland Park Way/Holden:

The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):

Are movable bridges opening for vessels? The @SDOTBridges Twitter feed can tell you; 1st Ave. S. Bridge openings are also tweeted on @wsdot_traffic.

See all local traffic cams here; locally relevant cameras are also on this WSB page

Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Text or call us (when you can do so safely) – 206-293-6302.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: 4 reports

Four short reader reports tonight:

STOLEN CAR: Missy lives in Arbor Heights. Her car was stolen on Capitol Hill. In case it winds up here – or you see it off-peninsula – here’s what to watch for:

It’s a white Chevy Sonic, flat black rims, plate #BUE0342, stolen Friday night. Call 911 if you see it.

PACKAGE TAKEN: The security-camera image and report were sent by Charles:

This morning at 9:48 this lady stole a package from our front door in the Admiral District; please advise neighbors to be on the lookout.

TENNIS-COURT DAMAGE: The photo and report were sent by Brian:

The net on one of the (Lincoln Park) courts was recently cut out. I played yesterday 1/22/22 and noticed the damage.

Note that if you see damage, whether vandalism or not, at a city park facility, you can report it at 206-684-7250.

DRIVE-BY VANDALISM: A reader sent this early today: “Some teens are going around West Seattle egging houses. They are driving an old silver Ford Explorer.” Yes, that’s vandalism, as we’ve discussed here over the years – it can cause damage that you can’t just clean off, for one.

Parks and police both short on people, Alki Community Council told

Staffing shortages at two city-government agencies were part of what the Alki Community Council heard about at its January meeting, held in-person and online this past Thursday night:

TENDING TO PARKS: The ACC has had a longstanding collaboration with Seattle Parks, including stewardship of Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza, which was a community-created/-funded project in the 00s. This area’s longtime crew chief Carol Baker recently retired, and the acting crew chief was a guest Thursday night.

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NEXT WEEKEND: Nighttime low-tide beach walk at Constellation Park

(December photo by James Tilley)

They did it in December, and Seattle Aquarium volunteer beach naturalists are returning for another nighttime low-tide beach walk at Constellation Park south of Alki Point. They’ll be at the beach next Saturday (January 29th), 7-9 pm. The tide won’t be out quite as far it was during the December beach walk, but far enough for (careful) exploration: -2.4 feet at 8:39 pm. No need to pre-register – just show up.

WEST SEATTLE BIRDS: From bay to branches

Thanks to everyone who’s sent photos enabling us to publish another Sunday bird gallery! Above, Stewart L. spotted a flotilla of waterfowl in Elliott Bay. Below, Tom Tulin caught a lone duck ready to take the plunge at Lincoln Park:

Matthew Olson photographed a Belted Kingfisher keeping a lookout onshore:

Moving inland, two Northern Flickers, courtesy of Chi K Photography:

From Trileigh Tucker, a Townsend’s Warbler and Yellow-rumped Warbler:

Three divergent perspectives of Anna’s Hummingbirds feeding – photographed by Bandit, sipping from rosemary:

Jon Anderson, with an aerial view:

And Jerry Simmons, in silhouette:

Theresa Arbow-O’Connor‘s resident Steller’s Jay struck a pose:

And we conclude with an honorary guest, though photographed outside West Seattle, in Seward ParkBette Horishige is a fan of the bird galleries and sent in this Pileated Woodpecker

We appreciate all the photos, from birds to breaking news and beyond – westseattleblog@gmail.com is the best way to send something non-urgent – thank you!

PREVIEW: HPAC’s first 2022 meeting on Wednesday

For the first time in three months, HPAC – the community coalition for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge – will gather (virtually) this Wednesday. The agenda includes two topics of perennial concern for every neighborhood – crime and traffic. SPD will be there for trends and Q&A about the former; SDOT will be there to talk about Flip Your Trip, which the department says is now up to 5,000 signups from people trying commute alternatives. All are welcome to the online meeting at 7 pm Wednesday (January 26th) – connection/call-in information is on the HPAC website. (Here’s our coverage of the previous HPAC meeting back in October.)

UPDATE: Seattle Fire ‘full response’ in 3700 block of California SW – quickly downsized

1:54 PM: Seattle Fire is arriving at a “full response” callout (updated) at a building at 3703 California SW. Updates to come.

1:56 PM: They’re sending a second alarm. Dispatchers told firefighters there had been reports of possible fire-setting related to a domestic-violence incident, and they’re sending an arson investigator.

2 PM: Northbound California is blocked at Charlestown.They’re now canceling the investigator, telling dispatch “there was no fire.” Most of the response has been canceled. We’re still heading that way to see if we can find out more at the scene. Only two units are remaining on scene.

2:15 PM: At the scene, the incident commmander confirms there was no fire, but somebody “pulled the fire alarm.” Peopl who were briefly evacuated from the building have been allowed back inside, and SFD is leaving.

CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Twice-burglarized business crowdfunding for more security

That’s video from a burglary right before Christmas at Mystery Made in The Junction. As we reported at the time, that was the second time in less than two years that the independent shop has been hit; the first was a few months before Mystery Made moved to The Junction from Admiral. Local real-estate broker Mara Haveson, a friend of proprietor Cory Cote, emailed today to say she has organized a crowdfunding campaign, explaining, “He is struggling with the repairs needed to make his shop safer and can use a little help from the community.” If you’re interested in helping, here’s how.

WEST SEATTLE SCHOOLS: Online open houses/tours continue

Winter is time to look ahead to next fall, for many families with students. Many schools are continuing online open houses and tours. Our calendar has some of them – we just got word, for example, that West Seattle’s most populous elementary, Genesee Hill, has an event Tuesday for prospective kindergarten families:

Do you have a child who will be 5 years old by August 31st and entering Kindergarten this Fall? Genesee Hill Elementary will be hosting a Virtual Open House on Tuesday, January 25th at 7:00 PM. This is an excellent opportunity to meet the administrative staff and learn about the school program. We will be re-hosting again on February 10th for those of you who are unable to join us this Tuesday. You can find more information about Genesee Hill and access the Zoom tour link on the website geneseehilles.seattleschools.org . For more information about enrolling your child in Seattle Public Schools, visit seattleschools.org/news/new-student-enrollment

For other Seattle Public Schools tours/open houses, see the list on that same district webpage. Our calendar, meantime, also has an announcement we’ve received for this week from Lafayette Elementary. If your school – public or independent – wants to spotlight theirs, please email information to westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!

WEST SEATTLE SUNDAY: 8 notes

(Slime mold in Schmitz Park, photographed by Rosalie Miller)

From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, here’s what’s up for your Sunday:

TRAFFIC ALERT – LOW-BRIDGE CLOSURES: Today is the fourth of five Sundays during which SDOT plans to close the low bridge three times, up to half an hour each time, for measurements needed to prepare for repair work, as explained here. The closures are expected to happen around 9 am, 1 pm, and 5 pm.

ROAD WORK ALERT – REPAVING: SDOT crews are expected to conclude repaving SW 106th between 39th and 42nd today.

CHURCHES: Many West Seattle churches have reverted to online-only for now because of the recent COVID surge – here’s our weekly update on 20+ churches.

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm, it’s the weekly WSFM (WSB sponsor). (California SW between SW Oregon and SW Alaska)

DINE-OUT BENEFIT: Dine-in or take-out, 2-7:30 pm, part of the proceeds at Lady Jaye (4523 California SW) go to Genesee Hill Elementary.

NEED FOOD? White Center Community Dinner Church serves a free meal (take-away available) at 5 pm Sundays at the Salvation Army Center (9050 16th SW).

SUNDAY NIGHT KARAOKE: 8 pm to 1 am at Admiral Pub (2306 California SW).

SUNDAY NIGHT JAZZ: Triangular Jazztet at The Alley (4509 California SW), 8 pm and 9 pm sets.

Got an event to list in our calendar and previews? Email info to westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!

CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Target takeover came 1 week after suspect’s previous jail stay

(WSB photo, Friday night)

The man arrested early today, six and a half hours after taking over the Westwood Village Target, had been released from jail one week earlier, after a judge refused prosecutors’ request to set bail for a case in which he was accused of assaulting a police officer. Charges have since been filed in that January 13th case, and because of that, as well as his self-identification on social media during last night’s incident, we are publishing the defendant’s name, Timothy A. Clemans.

The 31-year-old Burien resident had an initial court hearing today, and a judge found probable cause to hold him for investigation of first-degree burglary. The document from today’s hearing details what police say happened before and during the standoff. First, they say, he called 911 to say he was going to take hostages somewhere in an hour because he’d been refused services at a hospital. He was on the phone with the 911 calltaker much of the way to what turned out to be the Target store, “talking about past crimes and the need for mental-health services.” After detailing what he told the 911 calltaker, the document then goes into how Target employees, including security staff, managed to get everyone out safely once he arrived and started declaring he was going to take hostages, after arming himself with a knife from a shelf at the store. One customer in a motorized wheelchair even came face to face with him, the document says, and told him to “get the f— away from me,” and he did. Security helped her get out of the store and soon it was empty, except for Clemans.

In the assault case earlier this month, court documents say he approached a police officer near 4th/Jackson downtown and said he needed “crisis services.” The officer said he needed a reason to arrange for that. Clemans then punched the officer in the eye. He was booked into jail, and the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office asked a judge to set bail at $10,000, but the judge – not identified in documents – instead released him on personal recognizance. Four days later, prosecutors charged him with third-degree assault.

Prosecutors note that they have filed charges in every case involving Clemans that’s been referred to them by police or deputies. Earlier this month, they handled his sentencing for two King County Sheriff’s Office misdemeanor cases in District Court. Documents aren’t available so we don’t have details of those cases, but they apparently involved threats and “unlawful display of a weapon.” At the sentencing hearing on January 6th, he received a sentence that prosecutors say the file indicates “would have been satisfied with the time that he had already spent in jail.” The aforementioned officer-punching incident happened one week later.

He has two felony convictions since 2019. Three years ago, he showed up at the West Precinct downtown with a realistic-looking BB gun and attempted to provoke officers. That resulted in an assault conviction and a six-month sentence. Then in 2020, he was found guilty of felony harassment for another incident with a knife at a Target store, this time downtown, evacuated after he armed himself with a knife and demanded that police come kill him. He was sentenced to three months in jail.

Clemans has a different kind of history with SPD before the aforementioned incidents and others. In the mid-2010s he worked with the department on technology issues such as automation that could make it less labor-intensive for SPD to release records without violating privacy. We mentioned his work briefly in a few WSB stories, here and here.

WHAT’S NEXT: A judge will consider bail. It’s up to the KCPAO to file charges in this case, which require more documentation from SPD, but, spokesperson Casey McNerthney tells WSB, “We plan to act on it immediately if/when it’s referred to us.”

WEST SEATTLE WEATHER: Shelter reopens at Veterans’ Center

The nighttime temperature is back into the 30s, so West Seattle’s only emergency shelter, at the Veterans’ Center in The Triangle, has reopened. From its operator Keith Hughes:

The overnight shelter is open, and will be each night this week, as well as the morning Warm-up Center. Warm-up hours are 7:30 – 11 am. Shelter opens at 5 pm, with hot meal at 6:30 pm. Check in for overnight closes at 10 pm.

The Shelter is located at the American Legion Hall at 3618 SW Alaska St in West Seattle.

Volunteers and financial support remain needed and appreciated, as noted here.

WEST SEATTLE WEATHER: Sunset scenes, and a new alert

(Photo by Marc Milrod)

Beautiful sunset tonight, and no rain in the forecast for days – but there’s a new weather-related alert.

(Photo by Lewis Leiboh)

Starting Sunday at 4 pm, through Wednesday at noon, we’re under an Air Stagnation Advisory, which warns, “Air stagnation could result in the development and persistence of poor air quality.”

(Photo by David Hutchinson)

For now, though, enjoy the colors.

(Photo by Jan Pendergrass)

FOLLOWUP: New study published by scientists studying Alki Point methane bubbles

(2020 photo by David Hutchinson)

A little over one year ago, we reported on that University of Washington research vessel’s work off Alki Point, studying methane bubbles seeping from the Seattle Fault. UW oceanography professor Paul Johnson explained the project involving the R/V Rachel Carson, years of work that could someday help predict earthquakes, among other things. He also shared this undersea video showing the bubbles:

This week, the UW announced that research for which Professor Carson was lead author has been published in the January issue of Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. The UW post also talks about some of what’s happened since our report, and what’s next:

… In follow-up work, scientists used underwater microphones this fall to eavesdrop on the bubbles. Shima Abadi, an associate professor at the University of Washington Bothell, is analyzing the sound that bubbles make when they are emitted. The team also hopes to go back to Alki Point with a remotely operated vehicle that could place instruments inside a vent hole to fully analyze the emerging fluid and gas. …

The area off Alki Point is not the only methane-bubble site they’re studying – others in the region include an area off Kingston. Among the mysteries they have yet to solve is the source of the methane.

CORONAVIRUS: Appointments open for next Sunday vaccination clinic in West Seattle

We’ve mentioned that Pliable‘s next Sunday vaccination clinic at Neighborhood House High Point (6400 Sylvan Way SW) is set for Sunday, January 30th. That’s now eight days away, and registration is open online. They usually welcome walk-ins too, but if you want to ensure a spot, you can go here and follow the links to sign up. The appointments listed as available right now are between 8:30 am and 11:45 am.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: 4 bicycles stolen, 1 bike found

Two reader reports:

FOUR BICYCLES STOLEN: From Graeme:

My wife and I live close to The Junction (40th and Oregon) and we discovered (Friday) that we had four bikes stolen. Someone went through our gate and broke into our shed.

Could you please report this and ask people to keep an eye out for these bikes, and to contact me if they’re found anywhere?
– Giant TCR road bike, white, size L
– Liv Avail road bike, gray, size L
– Jamis Quest road bike, blue, 60cm
– Jamis Renegade S4 gravel bike, gray, 58cm

Contact: Graeme, gtruschel@gmail.com

FOUND BIKE: Danielle in North Delridge says this Specialized bicycle was dumped in her yard this morning:

If it’s yours, contact us and we’ll connect you.

UPDATE: Police response at California/Charlestown

ORIGINAL SATURDAY REPORT: Another multi-hour “person in crisis” situation just concluded at California/Charlestown. We belatedly saw a reader note about a large police response there in the 7 am hour, didn’t hear anything further and thought we’d missed it – until we happened onto it while out on errands after noon. An ambulance was just pulling up; we pulled over and inquired. Police had been there five-plus hours trying to talk someone out of a car, they told us, and had just convinced him to come out. No other details; they were wrapping up the scene.

ADDED MONDAY: SPD’s preliminary summary report on this incident says police originally responded to this situation at 5:17 am, after a report that someone was threatening self-harm and refusing to leave. Police were there for a while and then left after the person, who was alone in an apartment, refused to come out. This was repeated multiple times over the ensuing hours – they got a call, returned, left. Finally, the person called and said they wanted to go to a hospital, so an ambulance was called and the person was transported for mental-health evaluation.

CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Repeat burglar gets alternative sentence for Westwood Village, Peel & Press break-ins

Last night’s Westwood Village standoff began just as we were starting to write this story about the sentencing hearing Friday for someoone involved in another one there almost one year ago. So we’re reporting this a day later than planned.

(WSB photo, February 2021)

What happened in February 2021 was a different type of standoff: It started with two burglars breaking into shops in the heart of the center. Police arrived and arrested one of them relatively quickly; the other one was considered possibly armed, so the SWAT team was called, and a three-hour standoff ensued, ending with the second arrest. Back in September, we reported on the plea bargain of one of the burglars, Jerry Plute Jr., and noted that one was in the works for the other, Rafael Meyers.

On Friday, Meyers was sentenced for a plea bargain that included two other burglaries in which he’d been charged, May 2020 at the Peel & Press restaurant in Morgan Junction, and August 2019 at a business in Auburn. As part of the agreement, a fourth charge, for a September 2020 burglary at a KFC in Shoreline, was dismissed. For all three of the burglaries to which he pleaded guilty, Meyers got an alternative sentence from King County Superior Court Judge Josephine Wiggs-Martin, as recommended by prosecutors and defense – residential drug treatment for up to six months, as part of DOSA (Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative). He’ll also be on two years of probation (community custody) provided he stays out of trouble. His lawyer’s report to the judge said that Meyers, who is 35, has “struggled with an opioid addiction for many years (and) has recently come to terms with his need for treatment after a long period of resistance to acknowledging the depth of his chemical dependency.” His treatment was to begin immediately, with a progress hearing set in April. (Plute’s sentence, as ordered back in September, was a year in jail, suspended providing he stays out of trouble.)

WEST SEATTLE SATURDAY: 6 notes

(Friday’s sunset, photographed by James Bratsanos)

Good morning. Here’s what’s happening as the weekend begins:

TRAFFIC ALERTS: Two for today:
Repaving work on SW 106th between 39th and 42nd, all weekend
-If you’re going to/from Terminal 102 on the south end of Harbor Island, you’ll be detoured because of preparation work for next Saturday’s hoisting of the second West Seattle Bridge platform

FREE WEEKLY WRITERS’ GROUP: New participants welcome. 10:30 am – go here to register and to get the meeting address. More details are in our calendar listing.

WINE TIME: Viscon Cellars (5910 California SW; WSB sponsor) tasting room is open 1-6 pm.

HIGH-SCHOOL BASKETBALL: 3 pm home game for Seattle Lutheran HS vs. Fellowship Christian School. Fans welcome in SLHS gym (4100 SW Genesee), masks required.

(Friday night photo by Carolyn Newman)

AUTHOR READING: 7 pm at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor):

Renée Thorne, a writer based in Switzerland, will read from her new book, “Eurydice, Alive.” This hybrid work is an emotionally complex portrayal of loss and resurrection as it explores the stories of Rainer Maria Rilke, Paula Modersohn-Becker and the myth that mirrored their lives. (Parents are advised that the book deals with some difficult themes which might not be suitable for children.)

WEST SEATTLE DRAG SHOW: At the Admiral Pub (2306 California SW) with Dolly Madison, 9 pm.

Are we missing anything? Email westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!