West Seattle, Washington
Today we’re extending the traditional WSB welcome to our newest sponsor, Illusions Hair Design (on California between Alaska and Morgan Junctions). This year, Illusions is celebrating 30 years in business, and its achievements over the years — including a Mayor’s Small Business Award and repeat annual votes as “Best on the Westside.” Clicking on the new Illusions ad you see on the right sidebar of this page will take you to information about a special offer regarding one of their many specialties — color services — they do more than 4,000 every year, and provide their stylists with continuing education in haircutting and all chemical services. Illusions also supports the community with donations to more than 100 local organizations each year, including two major fundraisers that they started: “Have a Heart Day” in February, and “Pencil Me in for Kids” during the summer (read more about that here). You may have seen their distinctive VW Bug around town (we photographed it in our Hi-Yu Parade coverage last summer). Thanks to Illusions and all our sponsors for supporting WSB; if you are interested in finding out how to join them, check out our Advertise page (which also lists the current sponsor lineup and our newest opportunities).
As the January 15th deadline for Seattle (Alki) Statue of Liberty Plaza Project fundraising draws near, organizers Paul and Libby Carr have issued another financial update this weekend regarding what they’ve raised and what they’re still trying to bring in:Read More
This just in as a comment below our original report, posted there by Reasa Shuck, who says the diver was her fiance’, and included details on the underwater proposal that WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli learned about at the scene. Reasa identifies her fiance as Joshua Magee. (Update: Less than an hour after we first published this report, authorities confirmed the diver’s death, though without officially releasing his name.):
I am the diver’s fiancee who had a accident at Alki Yesterday afternoon. He wasn’t able to be revived. He surfaced to tell me he was okay and went back under a little while later he surfaced I waved to show him where I was on shore. He went back down and then came up a bit later and screamed help me. I was calling him telling him I was on my way. I got other divers’ attention to where he was and to try to get to him. I tried swimming to him but the water was too cold. Meanwhile other people on the shore called 911. When they pulled him from the water the diver was not breathing and they started rescue breaths. The emergency crews were there to take over after that. He was taken to the hospital and they were still trying to revive him but were not able to. The diver’s name was Joshua Magee and he was a great person and my fiance. Here is the story that Josh wrote about our engagement.
“Ok: If you got this, then it means that I give a rats booty about you. What, you think I keep friends around just for the hell of it? No. I’m done with that game. And I want you to know of a very significant development in my life. As you know, I have been dating the amazing Reasa, for a little over a year now. And she has become an incredible, and irreplaceable part of my life. I truly could not imagine my life without her by my side, nor do I ever want to. With that said, you can probably guess what my next step would be: go on a badass scuba dive, right? What, you didn’t see that coming? Ok, I’ll explain: On Oct. 15th (our 1 year anniversary), I got her SCUBA lessons. “Babe, that’s really cool, but not very romantic,” she said.
“Despite her disappointment, she was a great sport. She took her nightly classes, and passed all of her deep dives with flying colors. Once she was certified, my plan began to unfold. Oh yes, I had a badass plan to go with the badass love I had for this unknowing damsel.
“So, Nov. 24th, I took my soon to be bride to the San Juan Islands, to the beautiful Keystone Jetty, and took our very first dive together. Her trust in me to keep her safe made me feel incredible. I tried to protect her from all the huge sea life there, but I have to admit that a face-to-face encounter with a Giant Pacific Octopus scared the poop out of me, and I franticly swam away without my precious dive buddy. Sorry babe. Anyway, once I gained my composure, I called my love to me. I signaled that I was getting low on air, and it was time to search for a seashell memento of our first dive together, and head for the surface.
“As she began searching, I pulled out the clamshell that I had put together. It was a beautiful shell with purple and white lines. I epoxied the two halves together with an operational hinge, and a rubber-coated clip to hold her ring. No, not the REAL ring, are you crazy?! It was a cheap-o for the dive.
“Now as you have already realized I’m sure, I put a lot of work into this clamshell. So I didn’t want it to get broken before I could pop my big question. So I put it in a Tupperware container to protect it. But one small detail that I did not consider, (anyone that is a diver knows where this going) is that under the pressure of the water, I could not open the Tupperware to save my life! It suctioned closed so tightly that I was truly terrified! I clawed at it, and slammed it against a rock, trying to get it open. I even tried to use my teeth to get it open – sorry mom. But even that didn’t work. Finally I thought to pry it open with my dive knife. Mind you all this, without her seeing my struggle!
“Once I got the shell free, I called her over, and pointed out the great shell sitting in the sand. She expressed her excitement, and reached for the colorful shell. Of course I beat her to it, and scooped it up. I opened the clamshell to reveal a gorgeous ring, and the words on the inside that read ‘Marry me?’.
“Once she realized what I was doing and read the inscription, she eagerly shook her head yes! Was my job done? Oh hell no! If you know me at all, you know better than to think I would let her off that easily.
“As I took the ring out of the shell, and handed it to her, I intentionally dropped it! It sank into the seafloor silt, and was gone forever. I wrote on our underwater slate that I dropped it, and did she see where it fell? She realized the huge problem at hand, and began to frantically search for the ring in the seabed.
“I let her panic for a minute or so, and even pretended to look for the lost ring, and then I wrote on the slate that the real ring was waiting in the truck.
“Yeah, she will probably kill me at some point for this one. Give it your best-shot babe, I don’t sweat you!”
(After sharing that story, Reasa continues in her comment posting): Thank you to the dive community for all of your help and support.
Josh Magee also shared the story of his engagement to Reasa on a MySpace page we found, where his profile quote was a book passage from Stephen Harrigan‘s “Water and Light: A Diver’s Journey,” including “Scuba diving, from the beginning, had an air of dangerous allure. Every landlocked schoolboy knew of its intriguing hazards … and rapture of the deep, which took away his reason, filled his heart with false contentment, and drew him down into the ocean gloom.”
On ScubaBoard, one of the people who pulled the diver out of the water at Seacrest Saturday afternoon (see earlier WSB coverage) has posted his story. A thread on the Northwest Dive Club board suggests there’s a report circulating that the diver didn’t make it, but there are no updates at this moment on the Fire Department or Medical Examiner media hotlines, nor in the citywide media.
First: While out checking on the Seacrest diver rescue (see report below this one) and West Seattle bridge accident (second report below this one), we also drove along Alki and happened onto this amazing scene: Dozens of people crossing over to the beach at Pepperdock (first photo) around 2 pm, carrying red balloons, which after what looked like a moment of reflection (second photo), they released (third photo). Since we were in our car, we couldn’t ask who or what it was for – please post a comment if you know. 10:20 PM UPDATE: Finally found confirmation; a memorial gathering for a young woman who died.
Second: West Seattle’s Rainbow Girls braved the blusteriness at midday to collect Christmas trees outside the Masonic Hall in The Junction for the treecycling fundraiser we mentioned here on WSB. If you missed it, our other treecycling info is here.
First pic, Cub Scout Pack 793 in West Seattle; second pic, 598th Maintenance Company in Iraq. During what Pack 793 advisers describe as “their most successful popcorn-selling season ever” — more than $12,000 sold, beating last year’s record $9,000-plus — they collected community donations so they could send popcorn to the soldiers for Christmas — and that effort resulted in $710 worth of caramel corn, chocolate caramel crunch, and microwave popcorn going overseas. Why the 598th, you ask? One of its soldiers is uncle to one of the Scouts. (Read more on the Pack 793 website.)
One of the police reports we reviewed at the Seattle Police Southwest Precinct late today got even better with some added information forwarded by Lt. Steve Paulsen – turns out that one arrest following a gas-station break-in early yesterday helped detectives solve 9 burglaries in all. It all started just before 5 am Thursday, with calls to police reporting someone smashing in the front door of the Chevron station at 35th and Holden. The callers gave police excellent information — describing the suspect and his car, and which way he headed after he took off. An officer spotted the car, a white T-Bird with a sunroof, at 35th and Morgan, and pulled it over in the 7100 block of Delridge. The car’s registered owner gave police permission to search its trunk, where officers found items including 33 unopened packages of cigarettes. One of the detectives who questioned the suspect, Detective Donald Henderson, picks up the story from there, in an e-mail forwarded to WSB by Lt. Paulsen:
A consent to search was obtained from the registered owner. Stolen Property and Burglary Tools were recovered, and placed into evidence. Detectives were able to solve eight commercial burglary cases in West Seattle, and one from North Seattle. Well done to West Seattle Citizens for getting involved, and reporting suspicious activity to 9-1-1.
Lt. Paulsen adds, “This all began with a citizen call and one of our newer police officers on the morning watch (Officer Melissa Wengard). Great example of the public calling in things that don’t look right!” You may recall another WSB report three weeks ago about another stack of burglary cases solved by the Southwest Precinct team. Meantime, here are half a dozen more new and noteworthy West Seattle police reports:Read More
Thanks to Michelle for sending the photo and the tip. What’s on that sign is all the info we have – we just tried calling but no answer and no recorded message. (If you’re not familiar with Admiralty House, it’s at 2141 California in North Admiral.)
COYOTE REPORT: Just in from Katherine – “WOW! Heard maybe 3 coyotes howling and crying early this morning from Pelly Place Natural Area, which is near Lowman Beach Park.” (ADDED 10:30 PM, Alex reports a coyote trying to cross California SW tonight near SW Willow; traffic spooked it, he said, and it retreated back westbound onto Willow.)
TREE TAKEDOWN: No doubt this will be a big weekend for taking down the Christmas tree. In addition to the tree-recycling/disposal info we featured in this post-Christmas report, we also have more details about a youth group’s treecycling fundraiser on Saturday: Local Rainbow Girls are taking trees 10 am-2 pm tomorrow at the Alki Masonic Hall (4736 40th; map here) for a $5 donation; the trees will be mulched.
SCHOOL-TOUR TIME: Some West Seattle private schools are already back in post-winter-break session; public schools return Monday. At both private and public schools, tour and open-house time is kicking into high gear, because it’s application season for the ’08-’09 school year (already!). We are adding tour and open-house info to the WSB Events page as fast as we find/receive it; please let us know what’s up at your school. More to come on school-decision season – including a spotlight on some multischool events including the West Seattle Middle School Information Night (with reps from private and public middle schools around WS) at Gatewood Elementary next Thursday.
Tonight’s WSB late-night followup — where things stand for three ex-Huling Bros. dealership employees arrested a year ago and accused of stealing from a mentally unstable customer in 2006. The trial date for two of them, Adrian Dillard and Ted Coxwell, has been postponed several times; the most recent date on record was today, so we dropped by the King County Courthouse downtown, only to find out their lawyers were filing a motion to postpone it again. We’ll let you know when a new date is set. (Dillard bailed out of jail last January, but Coxwell is still listed in custody on the King County Jail Register.) Meanwhile, sentencing is scheduled tomorrow — provided no last-minute postponement happens here too — for Paul Rimbey, the first of the suspects to go to trial; a King County Superior Court jury found him guilty of theft in mid-November, and he is expected to face at least three months in jail.
Thanks to LyndaB for the photo and for word of this crash that blocked the right northbound lane of 35th at Juneau for a while earlier tonight (a second car was involved too; SFD callout on the 911 log does not appear to have been too big). She told us about this one at the same intersection a month ago; clearly “I-35,” forthcoming red-light cameras and all, is worth watching even more closely in ’08.
We’ll have plenty to talk about regarding local and state election issues in the months to come, but with the Iowa caucuses tonight, the presidential race is front and center – so we’re seizing the moment to remind you again that caucuses in our state are just weeks away, on February 9. We took a closer look in this report just before the holidays, with a lot of help from the 34th District Democrats. Since then, the King County Republicans have finally put some information online — their site now has a caucus locator for local Republicans. Local Democrats can locate their caucus site from the 34th DD caucus-info page — which lists all district Democratic caucus sites (here) next to the names of the sites’ PCOs (precinct committee officers) — ADDED FRIDAY, THANKS TO WSB-ERS: to get your precinct number, go here. When we checked today with 34th DD chair Ivan Weiss for any additional advice for would-be participants, he suggested, “They should contact their PCOs if they want to volunteer to help. For example, each precinct will need, in addition to the PCO or convener, a tally clerk (top priority) and a secretary to take the caucus minutes. Also we will need volunteers to move tables and chairs around, and to staff the sign-in tables. Any voter in the 34th District can contact me any time by e-mail or phone if they need to find what precinct they are in, or for any other thing, no matter how trivial. I mean that seriously. I am set up to help them, and usually can answer their questions within minutes.” Ivan’s contact info is here; 34th District Republican contact info is here.
In advance of the West Seattle open houses later this month (listed on the WSB Events page and here) about RapidRide bus service starting in 2011, Metro has now posted more West Seattle-specific info on this page, including an online questionnaire for you to fill out before February 1st, asking which route alternative (map here) you’d prefer. (Hat tip to Seattle Transit Blog for pointing out the updated Metro page.)
Good news from our latest review of Seattle Police reports at the Southwest Precinct — no major crimes reported in West Seattle over the New Year’s holiday. Not to say things were completely quiet, of course – here are four incidents of note:Read More
All sorts of West Seattle stuff on the city’s press-release site today. We first told you last Friday (with a lively discussion erupting afterward, of course) about the public meetings coming up later this month for the future parks at Morgan Junction and Myrtle Street Reservoir; the official city press releases are out today (Morgan Junction 1/15 meeting here, Myrtle 1/22 meeting here) so we’re mentioning them again in case you missed the news during the holiday crunch.
This just in from the city press-releases page: 35th/Thistle and 35th/Avalon will get cameras this year to snap photos of red-light runners. If you get caught, it’s a $124 fine (up from $101 last year). Specifically, at those intersections, the cameras will watch drivers heading south on 35th @ Thistle (above photo, right) and west on Avalon @ 35th (above photo, left). Full citywide list of present and future cameras here; map of West Seattle locations here:
Since we first reported two months ago that the last remaining space in the ex-Alki Market would become the “Alki Urban Market,” hopes have run high, as has the volume of questions. A few more facts emerged when a sign appeared on its door December 21st featuring an e-mail address with the “seattleurbanmarket.com” domain, thus confirming AUM will be part of a group of stores run by Eastside businessman Thampipillai Thilakarajah (WSB photo above). But the website doesn’t have Alki specifics (yet), so to find out more, we requested an interview. Here’s the result:Read More
The first Southwest Design Review Board meeting of the new year, one week from Thursday, is scheduled to look at the Spring Hill apartment/retail mixed-use building proposed for 5020 California and 2 parcels south of that address (area photo above; developers BlueStar told WSB last week there’s no project rendering yet). As mentioned in our December 11 update, it’s now outlined as a 6-story building with 90 apartments, 100 parking spaces, and 4,000 square feet of retail. Area resident Mary wanted other neighbors to know that she’s drafted a letter opposing it and that they can contact her if they want a copy of it or are interested otherwise in joining forces:Read More
Pix of this morning’s swim, courtesy of Dan E (thanks!):
Water temperature, by the way, was 48 degrees (warmer than the air, though!).
Also happening on Alki this morning – Harleys gathering for their annual New Year’s ride, south through Burien and on to Federal Way. Video of that in our next post; meantime, a few more Alki Polar Bear pix from Dan E:Read More
On Saturday we listed our Top 7 WSB ’07 video picks; on Sunday, the Top 7 most-discussed WSB posts of the year. Finally tonight, with hours to go till 2008, the more traditional list – top West Seattle stories of the year. Let us know if you think something else should have made the Top 7. Here goes:
#7 — 4132 CALIFORNIA FIRE: This August inferno was the biggest West Seattle fire of the year, and it was arson; no arrests reported to this day, but reconstruction of the project is now well under way.
#6 — CALIFORNIA/ADMIRAL REPAVING: From March through July, city crews repaved major stretches of two of West Seattle’s most significant arterials. (Ah, if only Fauntleroy and Alki, among others, could get the same love.)
#4 — ALKI STATUE OF LIBERTY RETURNS, BUT THE SAGA’S NOT OVER: A big year for this West Seattle icon: The plaza project hit the radar in July; the recast statue returned to its original pedestal on September 11th; the plaza fundraising has two more weeks to go. Bound to be a major story again in ’08.
And one last Casey Kasem turn … the countdown continues:Read More
Two main headlines from the latest stack of reports at the Southwest Precinct: An alert neighbor helped police nab three burglary suspects, and somebody targeted two cars driving along Delridge. First, the cars: Both incidents happened Friday night while the drivers were heading northbound in the 4500 block of Delridge. First, a 34-year-old woman driving a Nissan Quest told police that around 7:25 pm that night, her passenger-side window suddenly shattered; then, a 43-year-old man driving a Mercedes heard something hit his passenger-side door around 7:30 pm, and when he stopped, he noticed a small hole made by what looked to have been a BB pellet. Nobody hurt in either case, and no arrests reported so far. (In case you were wondering, that is 3 miles north of where bicyclist Peter McKay was shot with pellets on Delridge last month.) Now, the rest of the reports, starting with the burglary arrests:Read More
Thanks to everyone who e-mailed to say the crane equipment has arrived at the QFC/Office Depot megaproject site in The Junction. WSB contributing photographer Christopher Boffoli took the above photos from the 9th floor of Alaska House (the ex-Huling/Gee land and Fire Station 32 are in the background). Christopher also reports that there’s a traffic alert in connection with this: “41st St SW is closed between Alaska and Oregon. 42nd SW is open but electricians are working on the west side of the site and have the sidewalk closed.” Another of his photos:
More info from Christopher: “It looks like they’ve poured a large footing in the very bottom and middle of the building site to which they are attaching a crane in sections. It looks like this large, yellow crane will be a fixture on the West Seattle skyline for the foreseeable future. Workers erecting the crane told me that it will be 140 feet high when completed.” Three more photos ahead from different perspectives:Read More
Out of the inbox:
My husband just went out this morning to find a car that was parked in front of our house on Charlestown egged (near 53rd). It must have happened sometime yesterday or, I’m guessing, last night. I know you guys have covered vandalism and stuff like this in the past, so I thought I’d pass the information along to you and see if others have experienced the same thing. It seems kind of random, as we don’t have kids and pretty much keep to ourselves. The car was a rental and had California plates.
As always, a reminder to everyone – don’t hesitate to call police when you see or hear something suspicious, and of course when you believe a crime has been (or is being) committed. In addition to 911, there’s a non-emergency line at 206/625-5011.