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Not just another crash statistic

September 28, 2006 8:49 pm
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 |   High Point | West Seattle news

The original pictures were just a wrecked bike on the ground. Now we can see the face of, and hear about the life of, the woman killed while riding her bike near High Point on Wednesday morning.

From the papers

September 28, 2006 7:04 am
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 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

Cool article from the latest Seattle Weekly (if the link doesn’t work for you, try it later; the SW site seems a little quirky this am) about an artist whose striking work we saw during breakfasts at Easy Street earlier this year. Seems West Seattle’s Most Famous Musician saw them too, and … the rest is history.

-WS gets a brief mention in a Times piece today by the guy we consider the funniest writer in the local newspaper world, Ron Judd. It’s an imagined Q&A explaining the NW to a non-local, including:

Q: What should I know about West Seattle?

A: It’s lovely, and sort of an island unto itself in a social sort of way. Unfortunately, after the next big earthquake, it very likely will be an island unto itself in a physical sort of way.

Well, at least we already have ferry service.

A truly tragic crash

We might have forgotten to mention this West Seattle traffic tragedy if not for a note we got tonight. A woman riding a bicycle near High Point got hit during the morning commute. I hope the person who wrote me doesn’t mind me using this excerpt — she knows someone related to the victim, but I’ve excised that detail and another personal point:

Early this morning on 35th Ave SW, a 27 year old woman riding north on her bicycle hit a van headed north that turned onto SW Graham in from of her. As she had the right of way, the van driver either didn’t see her or thought he was faster. She’s in Harborview with “life-threatening” injuries. … I’m just thankful my (child) was so entranced by the sight of all of the flashing lights that he didn’t see her bicycle and helmet there on the road.

This makes us think about all the brave folks we see bicycling to work or school or the store, even though we are sadly lacking in bike lanes and other accommodations. Just this morning, Hizzoner stood up and talked about fighting global warming by encouraging more alternative forms of transportation, such as bicycling. Is this just lip service, or will he really make the roads safer for people like this lady who are already trying to do their part?

Bad ad placement

September 26, 2006 5:16 am
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 |   West Seattle news

You may get a different ad when you click this link for a followup to the Alki Avenue crash, but I have to say that a “Henry150s.com” ad box in the middle of a story about a vigil for a kid who died driving drunk (and the friend who died with him) just sucks. Here’s the screen grab:

Picture3.jpg

Senseless loss

After thinking about it for a few hours, we realized this morning’s Alki Avenue crash that killed 2 teenagers reminds us more of the crash that killed 3 teens on the bridge three months ago, than the Alki Ave crash this past spring. We’ve all been that age; we all know how much you don’t want to listen to adult BTDT wisdom when you’re brimming with the impatience of youth … but if only we could make them listen. And if only we could all join together in protecting them. Who sold or gave them the beer that police were photographed hauling out of the water near the wreckage? Were they young enough that they could or should have had curfews, and been home long before the 5 am death plunge? Truly senseless, in every sense … of the word.

Diamonds aren’t a biker’s best friend

Have had this link sitting around a couple days, waiting for a chance to use it … so here goes.

Many mornings, if I leave too late, I am part of the sludging slough of cars oozing out of West Seattle toward downtown. I dutifully wait until the precise start of the broken lines on the bus lane before making my move to get into the queue for the 99 North exit. I predictably fume at those who abuse the lane, getting into it much sooner, or looking for their merging moment much further up the line.

Now the link … a Seattle Times column suggesting law enforcers still do keep an eye on that lane. Gotta keep gridlock from devolving into anarchy …

West Seattle & 9/11/01

On this milestone anniversary, five years since 9/11, many of us will find ourselves thinking about it more than on the second/third/fourth anniversaries.

It’s a shame the Alki Statue of Liberty is in the shop, so to speak, right now. Read More

Daring to dis WS

What’s with the disrespect for West Seattle in Times articles these days — particularly with regard to our high schools? First, the tale of the disgruntled house-hunters … now, the tale of the ferry-riding school-district jumpers, which begins with this passage:

West Seattle High School seemed too violent, and private school seemed too elitist, so Barbara Tippett looked across the water to find the right school for her son, Sky.

Too violent? What have I missed? Has something gone horribly wrong since this report showing two weapons expulsions in a school year? (Even one is too many, of course, but sadly I suspect a completely clean campus is impossible to find.) Exactly the same number as Vashon High that same year, by the way.

Wonder where this (allegedly) happened

From a Times story today about Seattle house-hunting, an alarming paragraph that seems to malign our fair side of the bay:

They drove to West Seattle to see a house in their price range. In the neighborhood, they saw a sign posted outside a convenience store near the high school that said something like, “We know you students are thieves. Only one student inside at a time.”

They couldn’t see themselves living there.

OK, which high school would that have been? Neither West Seattle HS nor Sealth HS has a convenience store within a block or so, unless my memory is failing me. Perhaps a high school temporarily housed at Boren? Although I can’t think of any convenience stores adjacent to that campus either …

More on the Beach Battle

September 3, 2006 1:17 pm
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 |   West Seattle news

The Seattle Times has a few more details on the restaurant rumble that landed the owner of Christo’s in jail. (According to the online King County Jail roster, he got out shortly after midnight.)

Alki altercation

Well, the Yahoo! Alki group confirms informally what I saw on a tv-news report tonight — cops swarming Alki this afternoon, not for Cruisers Gone Crazy, but for Restaurant Owners Rumbling. Didn’t know till now that the Duke’s and Christo’s bigwigs had bad blood. And as of this writing, King County’s jail roster shows the Christo’s boss behind bars.

Life’s a beach

The P-I takes on Alki’s summer of semi-discontent today. P.S., the “blogger who writes often about Alki” quoted at the very end is not me … took me a minute to figure out who it actually is.

Soldier with WS ties killed in Iraq

August 12, 2006 9:01 am
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 |   West Seattle news

Regardless of what you think about this war, or any war, it is worthwhile to consider the unique humanity of everyone involved in it, on both sides, when you get the chance. Sadly, that sort of opportunity seldom presents itself aside from the death of a soldier, such as onetime Chief Sealth HS student Staff Sgt. Tracy Melvin, the latest local person killed in Iraq. His funeral is set for Friday in White Center; his life is outlined in Times and P-I stories this morning.

WS woman hurt in downtown shootings

July 29, 2006 10:29 pm
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 |   Crime | West Seattle news

The Seattle Times says one of the five women who survived getting shot at the Jewish Federation downtown on Friday night is from West Seattle. According to the Times, Cheryl Stumbo is in serious condition.

On a related note, a few anomalies we noticed at the Seafair Torchlight Parade tonight might have been related to the shootings: Mayor Nickels, Police Chief Kerlikowske, and County Executive Sims did not appear in the parade. They’re part of it every year, but not this time. (Security concerns? Was there an evening briefing or other event related to the shootings? Or just coincidence?) Also, the Lake City Western Vigilantes (the guys with the bouncing truck) did a do-si-do for their street routine instead of the usual faux gunbattle.

What’s in store

This morning’s P-I sort of jumps into the “will we get a Trader Joe’s or won’t we” question … with a few slightly odd side trips, including grousing about what kind of materials will be used to build the Admiral project rumored to be TJ’s potential home. The other oddity about the P-I story is its inference that QFC is not already in West Seattle; the Westwood store’s been open for more than a decade.

2 departures

One is good news, the other sad (at least for many of us old-timers).

Sad first: Just found out via the West Seattle Herald (in a letter to the editor from last week; we’ll admit we’re behind in our reading), the Charlestown Street Cafe has lost its lease. We went there a lot in our early years here; not too many WS restaurants back then, plus we enjoyed their breakfasts. Then along came Easy Street, and Endolyne Joe’s, and our tastes shifted. But CSC has given ample warning, so we’ll go back for another round of Montana Potatoes (if they’re still on the menu!) at least once before they go …

Now, happy: The long-awaited Alki Statue of Liberty super-spruce-up is finally under way. As promised, the statue was trucked away this afternoon; read more here about what happens next. And check out a slideshow of what the future might look like when the all-new Liberty 2 arrives.

“West Seattle rocks”

Well, you know that, and I know that.

Now the latest Seattle Weekly confirms it. Love this quote. Guess WS Blogger Spouse and I aren’t the only Easy Street patrons with, um, a couple gray hairs (but really, just a couple):

But as much as we can play up West Seattle’s younger music community, it can’t be denied that an entire generation of older folks remains. How will they take to the same summer fest they’ve been attending for the last quarter-century being transformed into a rootsier version of the Capitol Hill Block Party? Vaughan has only to look at his Easy Street patrons to see the answer.

“A lot of the old folks out here are pretty hard- edged,” he says. “In a way, they’re kind of punk rock. When they come into Easy Street, they go for Johnny Cash, lots of rockabilly, just harder-edged older music.”

With that in mind, Summer Fest’s organizers couldn’t have found a better headliner than roots-punk icon John Doe.

The city’s side of the story

For everyone who thinks the city should have reopened The Bridge more quickly after the killer crash the other night — somebody at City Hall seems to feel the need for a moment-by-moment explanation; check it out here.

Meantime, we’re finally hearing who those three people in the Scion were. I just knew it would turn out to be teenagers. What heartbreak for their parents.

Bad memories

Some of the news coverage of yesterday’s Bridge Disaster unearthed long-buried memories of the olden days of the stretch between 99 and I-5. It used to be a barrier-free high-speed death trap known as the West Seattle Freeway (or its official name, the Spokane Street Viaduct), with endless official protestations of “sorry it’s so dangerous, but there’s no room for a barrier” — till “new technology” was found and deployed six years ago.

Meanwhile, as of this writing, all looks well on The Bridge (note that the “Chelan intersection” link on our cams page shows the approach to the low bridge, if you ever need to check that out before leaving home). Some interesting follow-up stories in this morning’s papers, including lots of gripes that clearing away the wreckage took way too long. Still don’t know who those three people in the mangled, burned car were, though.

Bizarre bridge death

May 31, 2006 4:44 pm
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 |   West Seattle news

Of all the deadly incidents on the West Seattle Bridge in our decade-plus of WS-hood, this one is probably the weirdest. Also weird, the way the story evolved over the day. Although this image from a local tv site gets the story quite wrong (not fixed even by 5:43 pm) …

Good point, but maybe too late

May 30, 2006 4:18 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

The semi-final list of proposed Seattle Public Schools closures is due to change hands today from the ciitizens’ committee to the superintendent. This morning, the Times spotlights the one West Seattle proposal that seems to make no sense — “closing” High Point Elementary (but not the building, which Pathfinder K-8 would take over) even as hundreds of brand-new housing units pop up all around it. And this morning’s P-I asks the other tough question — will this plan really save much money? I can’t see how it will unless the closed buildings are sold, period. Pathfinder’s Genesee Hill land alone would make dandy townhouse turf, if zoning allowed.

Junction trouble?

May 27, 2006 7:32 pm
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 |   Crime | West Seattle news

Trying to find out more about a report I heard on radio news while we drove home tonight after spending the day out of town. Something about a shooting early this morning in the Junction. As of right now, not a shred posted on any local-news site I can find, even the one for the station where I heard the blurb (I suppose their Web producers all have the holiday weekend off) … but the Seattle 911 log does have an “assault with weapons” at California and Alaska at 12:53 am today.

(Monday update: Discovered a small eyewitness account on chasBlog … scroll down to the photo of flashing police-car lights.)

Brave bicyclist

May 17, 2006 2:16 am
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 |   Transportation | West Seattle news

Some weeks back, as we walked past the front of Aaron’s Bicycle Repair in Morgan Junction, we saw a hand-lettered sign on the store door that said “Gypsie was hit by a car.” We’ve often stopped to look through the window at the store’s resident cats, so we quickly made the assumption that “Gypsie” was one of them.

How wrong we were. This article says “Gypsie” is one of the shop owners, who’s battling back from quite an ordeal.

(Though my bike’s been in the basement for years, I’ve long felt fondness toward Aaron’s, because even at the height of anti-monorail mania, they were among the few who proudly and prominently displayed pro-monorail posters.)