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High Point meeting tonight: New website, and more

Thanks to Christina for sending these notes from tonight’s High Point Neighborhood Association meeting:

– They introduced a new website: www.highpointneighborhood.org

– Went over crime statistics – mainly bike thefts – about 8 in total for the last 3 months

– A manager from Lowe Enterprises came to report about the plans for the development on the corner of 35th & Graham. A couple of hundred mainly 1 bedroom-apartments on the housing side/some low-income, most market-priced – and about 6 to 8 retail shops (smaller ones like Coffee shop, Hairdresser, Beauty Salon, Restaurant, Dry Cleaner and maybe a Specialty/Deli-more-high-end-Husky-like kind of store). But there will be surveys in the neighborhood for the final decisions – nothing final yet. Sounded a little like a Mini-Jefferson Square to us.

They really worked hard to find a grocery store but with the new Whole Foods and QFC coming to West Seattle, no big chain is interested. Lowe Enterprises are convinced that all new stores are not in competition to shops on California as people travelling south on 35th are on their way home – and wouldn’t drive down to California anyway. Most of them wouldn’t know at all what kind of businesses are located at California right now. ;-)

A half-acre park in the middle of the square, 2 u-shaped buildings with 3to4 stories and an open space right at the corner of 35th & Graham for neighborhood gatherings are planned. But these plans have to be signed off by the city first.

We try to get to as many neighborhood association/council meetings as we can, but occasionally something slips through, so we really appreciate getting a report like this – thanks again, Christina! – to be able to share it with you too.

More Crime Watch news: Arrest confirmed; Red Cup break-in

Just one of those days – lots of crime news to be shared – first, from Detective Nick Bauer at the Southwest Precinct, confirmation that the suspect arrested this afternoon (mentioned here) was indeed the third suspect from this morning’s Admiral break-ins. He says police found this suspect with the help of some detective work from a citizen. He also notes that seven burglary suspects have been caught in the past week, which he says is fairly unprecedented; also, one person who reported their break-in here on WSB has been reunited with some of their stolen stuff, thanks to some of those arrests. Now, a reader report we didn’t get till just now, so can’t check it with police till tomorrow — this one involves Angelia’s Red Cup Espresso in The Junction, only 4 months removed from the death of owner Angelia Paulsen (amazing community outpouring in the comments here) in a crash on I-5. Dawn e-mailed WSB to say:

Wanted to report that my favorite coffee place got broke into last night …. I went to Red Cup Espresso this morning and noticed that there was glass every where and the drive thru window was broke. So I asked and sure enough was told that someone broke the window and took the register …. this is soooo low. not only is Sean dealing with the death of his wife and owner of Red Cup and trying so hard to make ends meet and keep the joint open but someone robs from him …. I hope this person has bad karma for the rest of his or her life.

21 “clustered houses” proposed by west end of The Bridge

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From the latest Land Use Information Bulletin: This is described as a “revised application” so perhaps it’s come up before, though we can’t find evidence of that on the DPD website — the project-page address is 3601 Fauntleroy (see city map above; here’s a G-map) and the public-notice page describes the project as “Land Use Application to allow 21 single family residences in an environmentally critical area (clustered housing). Parking for 30 vehicles will be located within the structures and 8 surface parking spaces will be provided on the site.”

Update: SWAT standoff on 31st SW ends peacefully

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(photo by WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli shows SWAT team members, with shields)
Just got word from the scene, the standoff is over. Relatives tell WSB it started about 1 pm when the suspect tried to cut himself with a knife; a relative called 911, and the standoff ensued from there. Again, according to what we have been told at the scene, no one was hurt, and things in that area (5400 block of 31st; map) should begin returning to normal.

UPDATE: Here’s some pictures from WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli.

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Just after 1 pm the initial response included a City Light truck.

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That’s the house where the suspect lives. It’s about 100 yards west of 31st. Police kept residents and the media on 31st and allowed no one to go no further for the first hour – except the suspect’s aunt, who went in with a negotiator:

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About 30 minutes before the standoff ended, neighbors were allowed back into their homes:

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ADDED 7:18 PM: This video clip shows an unusual side effect … two school buses that needed to get through the area, which is on a narrow, steep street, and had trouble getting around everything from police to fire to TV crews:

2 quick updates on what else is going on

We’ll keep updating the item below on the 31st SW standoff as info/pix become available. Sometimes these things go on a long time, however, so two other things to share in the meantime: First, a reader report that the third suspect in this morning’s Admiral burglary-suspect case (original report here) has apparently just been apprehended; will work to confirm with police. Second, Robin Williams is coming back to Seattle and will again donate “artist’s proceeds” from one show to the West Seattle Food Bank; more information here. (He did the same thing around this time last year; WSB report here.)

Freshy’s looking to add a little nightlife

May 8, 2008 12:51 pm
|    Comments Off on Freshy’s looking to add a little nightlife
 |   West Seattle news | WS beverages

One of the business/group sites participating in West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day, Freshy’s Coffee in Admiral (across from Hiawatha), caught our eye on the state’s latest list of liquor-license applications, as it’s seeking a beer/wine license. We e-mailed proprietor Amber to see what’s up:

Realistically I’m just wanting to extend my hours and allow people to come and have a glass of wine or beer or coffee while they are studying, or working or hanging with friends. I’m wanting to do more art shows or Ms. Pacman and Galaga tournaments or whatever. I’m open to anything. I think the space is super cozy at night and would like to provide an alternative to just going to bars.

As for Garage Sale Day, Amber notes that she hopes to have a “flea market” feel, and that this coincides with the monthly “Homemade Brigade” arts/crafts show/sale she’s been having. Freshy’s is one of three coffeehouses with group sales — the others area Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor) and C and P Coffee. (We’ll continue to spotlight WSCGSD participants between now and sale day – check out westseattlegaragesale.com for some of what we’ve already mentioned, and to download and print out your copy of The Map! which is actually three area maps plus all the sale addresses/descriptions.)

West Seattle Art Walk tonight – and while you’re there …

May 8, 2008 11:29 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Art Walk tonight – and while you’re there …
 |   Fun stuff to do | West Seattle Art Walk | West Seattle news

artwalk.jpg6-9 pm tonight, the next monthly West Seattle Art Walk, with (as noted earlier this week) a record number of participants – and more of West Seattle involved than ever, from Admiral to Delridge (Bubbles!) to businesses south of The Junction. See the map here; list of venues (and special events you’ll encounter along the way) here. Speaking of maps, the Art Walk venues include two places you can pick up a copy of the West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day map if you can’t print out your own — Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor) and Capers — but please do print it yourself if you can (the link’s here), to save preprinted copies for those without printers/computer access; thanks!

ALSO WHILE YOU’RE ARTWALKING – HAVE YOU SUGGESTED A MOVIE YET? Six ballot boxes are now up at West Seattle shopsif you want to suggest a film for Movies on the Wall this summer but don’t want to do it online (see this special WSB page; we’re a co-sponsor this year). Read on to see not only where the boxes are up, but also how the movie-deciding is going so far:Read More

2 quick followups: Suspicious photos; ants/power pole

First, regarding the report two nights ago regarding someone taking pictures and claiming it was for a West Seattle High School assignment — this comment just came in:

I am one of 2 photography teachers at West Seattle High.
We do ask our students to take landscape and portrait pictures that they find beautiful, so if you see students wandering and taking pictures of each other, random people or pets (they should ask first), bushes, trees, pretty houses, architecture, they may very well be doing their coursework. However, the story of the mother taking pictures of a car is not in line with any assignments I am aware of, and just sounds weird. Students shooting pics during the school day should have a signed note from one of their teachers, indicating permission for them to be outside shooting: you can ask to see this if you feel they are acting inappropriately, and please, contact the school with their name and location if they are. Students with inappropriate behaviors of any kind should be reported immediately to the WSHS Main Office.

Second, from that same night, the ants/power pole meeting in North Delridge – we have a little more information:Read More

SW District Council report #1: Park-money matters

The proposed West Seattle sites for a new city jail came up at tonight’s meeting of the Southwest District Council — representatives from neighborhood groups and other major organizations around the area of West Seattle that the city calls the “Southwest District” (map of all “districts” here) — but it didn’t attract as much discussion as the issue of money for parks. We’ll publish the jail update later; first, tonight’s park $ talk, plus your next chance to have a say on the future of West Seattle (and the rest of the city) parks:Read More

West Seattle Crime Watch: Husky hero

We’d been working to confirm this one after a tip; police hadn’t been able to confirm the identities for us, but apparently it made tv news tonight: Husky Deli owner Jack Miller chased after a robber who stole a local real-estate agent’s purse in the lot behind his business a couple nights ago. The agent reportedly broke three fingers trying to stop the thief; her purse was recovered but the thief hasn’t been nabbed yet.

Heads up: Door-knockers NOT to be worried about

During the recent barrage of “legit or not?” door-knocker/solicitor concerns, we’ve often thought that it would be helpful for organizations to send out advance word when they’ll have people canvassing … especially now that neighborhood-level media is on the rise and sites like ours could get that word out. Well, without us even having said it aloud, here comes an example of someone doing just that — Derek Birnie at Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, which is preparing for the gala Delridge Day events on May 31, wants you to know this:

Trust these doorknockers!

Despite the worry and fear that some recent doorknockers hare inspired in WSB readers, we want folks to know that those young people knocking on your door this Saturday and next are legitimate; please welcome them!

Every Friday, a group of inspired young leaders meet at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center to help establish direction for the programming there. This programming committee has taken the lead in developing the program for this year’s Delridge Day and Open House at Youngstown on May 31.

Those emerging community leaders will be knocking on neighborhood doors this Saturday to extend a personal invitation to attend this free event. We hope their enthusiasm and courage will be met with friendly faces!

So, there’s something else happening Saturday, besides the Stamp Out Hunger letter-carrier food drive (be sure to leave a bag out by your mailbox or mailslot), West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day, Pathfinder K-8 sprucing-up, Admiral Adopt-a-Street Cleanup, Seattle Walks, and more happenings you’ll find on our Events page. By the way, DNDA sent along two flyers: here’s the one for volunteer help between now and Delridge Day, and here’s one for the DD event itself.

Water Without Waste progress report: 20,000 fewer bottles

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Water Without Waste’s founders from left to right: Elma Borbe with Sound Transit, Shauna Causey with Comcast, Felicia Kline with WaMu, and Paul Whyatt with Weyerhaeuser stand with Seattle City Council President Richard Conlin (center, seated) as he signs the Water without Waste pledge.
Since Water Without Waste kicked off its cut-your-plastic-water-bottle-use campaign earlier this spring (we told you about it after an Alki Community Council presentation in March), they’ve gotten pledges equivalent to 20,000 fewer water bottles. Here’s the full announcement:Read More

Followup: New city jail in West Seattle? City website up now

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As mentioned here last night, the city has narrowed its list of potential municipal jail sites to four, and two are on the eastern edge of West Seattle, as seen in city aerials above — Highland Park Way/W. Marginal Way (map) and 9501 Myers Way (map). For those seeking more information and opportunities for feedback, a new section is live on the city website (here’s the start page) with everything from the reason why the jail’s needed, to the rationale behind the site-selection process, to how to send in feedback (online form here). The timeline for the process (choose a site this year, open in 2013) is outlined here. As pointed out in this WSB Forum thread, the jail proposal may well come up at tonight’s Southwest District Council meeting (7 pm, President’s Board Room at SSCC) since Councilmember Tom Rasmussen will be there; we just checked with his staff and he doesn’t have an official position yet on where the jail should be built (the two non-WS options are Interbay and 11762 Aurora).

Mystery finally solved: THAT’S what those poles are for!

May 7, 2008 12:43 pm
|    Comments Off on Mystery finally solved: THAT’S what those poles are for!
 |   Seen around town | Transportation | West Seattle news

sensorpole.jpgWe asked SDOT what they were, we asked SCL, got nowhere, but finally the answer comes from one of our fellow community-news websites, MyBallard. Those mystery poles with two solar panels and a sensor belong to the Traffic.com network (this photo is from 99; there’s also one near Walking on Logs). We should have known this because our last “old media” employer, KCPQ, was a Traffic.com affiliate, and we knew they were expanding their detection network (which figures into travel-time calculation among other things) onto some of the roads not previously covered, like the Viaduct and the WS Bridge. (Traffic.com’s “latest incidents” updates, by the way, are permalinked from the WSB Traffic page, which also has West Seattle-relevant traffic cams.)

Alki sidewalk squabble getting snippier?

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This comment just came in below our report on last month’s contentious Alki sidewalk-project meeting; no one will see it on a five-week-old post, so we’re highlighting it here. From someone signing themselves “CS”:

As a property owner on Alki Beach – well, the enforcement of the sidewalk has already begun. We’ve been ticketed twice for parking on the “sidewalk” this past week, although we’ve been parking there without issue for decades. I called Parking Enforcement but their stance is – it was always illegal, and now we’re enforcing it due to public (anonymous) complaint. I called Theresa Casper, the Project Manager for the sidewalk proposal, but she denied having anything to do with it (ya, right). So there is no way for property owners to expect formal notice – if people start complaining – the police will start ticketing. However, our property extends into the water. We have never bothered enforcing the right to prevent people from walking on the beach. But we will now. So – the public can take the sidewalk back – but the property owners will take back the beach they own and you can bet I will be reporting any trespassers on it from now on.

In mid-April, the city told us design was proceeding, for now, on the sidewalk extension that the waterfront property owners are fighting, but hadn’t yet figured out how to handle one homeowner’s question about a process for getting the project stopped; sounds like it’s time for a check back with SDOT.

Pathfinder flamingos: The early bird gets the … photo

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Somebody breathlessly called WSB HQ early this morning to report this sighting on the lawn @ Pathfinder K-8 along Genesee Hill. We’re not just all about fire trucks and teardowns; we love happy photos too, so we were glad to head out for a look. If we were a betting person, we would suspect it has something to do with the big event coming up Saturday (update: actually it’s for Teacher Appreciation Week), and the flamingos remind us we hadn’t published the latest news release from the fine folks @ Pathfinder about the event, some advance work done last weekend, and how you can be part of Saturday’s festivities:Read More

Happening today/tonight: Lowest May tide; two councils

LOWEST TIDE: Beach Drive Blog notes it’ll be another great afternoon for low-tide lovers. According to the May tables, it’s the lowest tide of the month.

SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: Two guests are scheduled tonight at this monthly meeting of representatives from neighborhood groups and key organizations: West Seattle-residing City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, and Fauntleroy resident Ron Richardson, best known for the sign outside his house but currently advocating for public campaign financing (he stopped to talk with us about it at the Sustainable West Seattle Festival last weekend). The meeting’s at 7 pm in the President’s Board Room @ South Seattle Community College, all welcome.

NORTH DELRIDGE NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL: Its monthly meeting is at 6:30 tonight at the Delridge Library, and one of the items on the agenda is West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day — the NDNC is one of two local neighborhood groups having fundraising sales on Saturday; its sale at 2512 SW Genesee will raise money for tot-size equipment at Cottage Grove Park, while elsewhere in east West Seattle, the Pigeon Point Neighborhood is having a sale at 19th/Genesee to raise money for Cooper Elementary. Back to NDNC and its meeting tonight – lots more to be discussed, too.

Of ants and power lines …

Just wanted to let you know we’ve got messages out on this one, though we’d love to hear from anyone who attended the meeting we didn’t hear about till it was too late (we’ve managed to get onto dozens of media-info lists but sometimes something slips through) – The community-organizing group ACORN held some kind of rally tonight in North Delridge about a reported problem involving Seattle City Light and ants. Lisa kindly transcribed the flyer as follows:

“[ACORN logo] DANGER!!! Ant Infestations and Faulty Power Lines threaten our safety!

Join us to tell City Light that we will not put up with it any more. We’re taking action to address unsafe electrical conditions and ant infestations on county property!! We need YOU there!!

What: Meeting with Seattle City Light’s Supt.
When: Tues., May 6th, 5 pm
Where: 4716 26th Ave SW

Tell your neighbors, bring your family and friends! Wear red for solidarity! Call ACORN today 206.723.5845

During our recent wave of doorknocker reports, a couple folks mentioned ACORN stopping by, but nothing about ants, power poles, or rallies. The e-mails we got about the event tonight (thank you!) but not in time for us to go. (Went to the area a little while ago but no trace of whatever was going on a few hours earlier.) We’ll let you know what we find out tomorrow.

Updates: WS murder-suicide couple IDs; jail site list trimmed

*We first told you yesterday morning about the deaths of a couple in a 2nd/Roxbury home. The King County Medical Examiner’s Office confirms it was a case of murder-suicide; 48-year-old Traci Creamer, the first person murdered in West Seattle in 2008, died of head injuries and suspected strangulation blamed on her 44-year-old husband Jeffrey Creamer, whose death from wrist wounds was ruled a suicide. As we reported yesterday, police say they had a long history of domestic violence. Online court records we checked appear to bear that out.

*The city’s list of more than 30 potential jail sites for misdemeanor offenders is down to four, and two are on the eastern edge of West Seattle: Highland Park Way/W. Marginal Way (map) and 9501 Myers Way (map). According to Delridge Neighborhood Services Center Coordinator Ron Angeles, community meetings are expected this summer.

Another Junction development reactivates: Design Review set

453242nd.jpgA year after the last time we had a reason to mention it (and two years after its “early design” review), 4532 42nd SW (just a stone’s throw north of the QFC/Office Depot megaproject) — shown at left — is active again, with a Design Review Board meeting date appearing today on the city website. The date is June 12; the time and place aren’t listed yet, it’s that new. The project is still described on its city page as “6-story structure containing 3,085 sq. ft. of commercial space at ground level and 35 residential units above. Parking for 54 vehicles.” We’ve now added it to our clickable Junction/Triangle major development (and major real-estate listings) map:


View Larger Map

By the way, if you care to bookmark it, we’ve given that map a permanent home on this WSB page-in-progress.

Green light for improvements to the “other” viaduct

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That’s a rendering of what the new 4th Avenue offramp from the eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct — the elevated roadway between the high bridge and I-5 — will look like. It’s one of the renderings we got after meeting a few days ago with city reps to find out full details on the two-phase project. We’re still working on the in-depth report but wanted to show you this after hearing that city councilmembers okayed the first installment of $ for the project today. This ramp will be the first part of the project to be built, starting this fall, and will exit onto 4th (with southbound and northbound turning options) across from City Light HQ. The second part of the project involves widening the SSV by building an entirely new section on its north side:

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Our forthcoming report will also include details on the different impacts drivers will experience during the SSV work — with major closures for the lower part of Spokane Street, especially during the widening project, which is still more than a year away.

Door-to-door concerns update: Comcast response

After our post last night about an alleged Comcast employee turning up at WSB HQ at 7 pm, we promised to follow up with Comcast. We got help from a Comcast communications manager we’ve actually met, Alki resident Shauna Causey, who sent this:

Safety and security are extremely important to us especially in WS where Larry Carpenter recently ran into some questionable folks at his door.

We have 3,200 Comcast employees in Washington State so Comcast employees are in West Seattle on a daily basis. Since I don’t have a name, I can’t speak for the employee that you met, although there are several simple guidelines our neighbors can use to recognize legitimate Comcast workers. Keep in mind that many of these guidelines are also useful for identifying employees of other companies that have reason to work inside or outside a home, such as the power company, gas company or other phone company.

Comcast requires that all employees and contract employees wear ID badges at all times. No employee or contract employee is allowed to work inside or outside a customers’ home without an official company ID badge, which will include a photo ID and company logo. Customers can ask to see a Comcast representative’s ID badge. Comcast employees also have clearly visible uniforms, including shirts, hats and vests all of which have the Comcast logo.

All vehicles driven by employees and contract employees are clearly marked with Comcast logos and identification. A Comcast contractor’s van will say: Comcast Authorized Contractor.

Comcast will not ask to work in your home without your prior knowledge. If a customer is unsure of work that is to be performed inside or outside their home, they should call 1-800-COMCAST to verify the work.

If a customer is unsure or uncomfortable, remember there is always the option to ask the person to leave. All Comcast employees and contract employees know that they are to leave the premises when instructed to do so by the resident. Our employees know that legitimate appointments can always be rescheduled.

If you have feedback, questions or concerns, we want to know about them. You can email We_Can_Help@cable.comcast.com or feel free to e-mail me directly at Shauna_Causey@cable.comcast.com. We’re always looking to improve our customer service and we would love to hear your feedback.

Traffic alert if you’re going to Westwood Village

Just in from Patrick the Sales Guy – the Trenton (north) entrance to Westwood Village is closed for asphalt work, so if you’re going to WV, you need to use the east or south entrances.