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Update: Wire fire on Hudson

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1:11 PM UPDATE: WSB contributing photographer Christopher Boffoli got to the scene on Hudson west of 42nd first (and photographed part of the actual fire, as seen above and below) and reports:

Engine 32 and Ladder 11 are on the scene and a bunch of firefighters are watching the wires burn. Even they were scratching their heads about how weird it is. One firefighter told me that when they rolled up, a length of wire a block long was on fire. For some reason the wires are so hot that the insulation is burning off. They said there is nothing they can do but to let the insulation burn out. (You obviously cannot douse the wires with water). They said that afterward they have to watch them because the fire can weaken the metal and they can fatigue and come down.

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ORIGINAL POST AT 12:46 PM: “Wires down” — That’s the label for a fire call happening right now in the 5000 block of 42nd. Heard some scanner talk about possibly restricting some access in the area; off to investigate. 12:59 PM UPDATE: Hudson blocked west of 42nd. Two engines on scene, including the one shown below:

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Speaking of former monorail land in West Seattle …

(which we were, on Saturday) … an excavation/”shoring” permit has just been issued for the vacant parcel at 35th/Avalon – if you drive by there frequently, you have probably noticed there’ve been stirrings of work. We discussed this project very briefly toward the end of this post three months ago; here’s another look at the architect’s current webpage for what’s proposed at that corner.

Preventive policing

Two things to mention, unrelated so far as we know except that they involve Seattle Police and are both of course in West Seattle:

-First, reminder that – per what we reported Friday afternoon – you may notice an increased police presence around West Seattle High School again today.

-Second, this photo (and the reader report beneath it) came in last night from “Bob Loblaw”:

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SPD said it was a “routine traffic stop,” but they had three cruisers present nonetheless. A big thank you goes out to them for being highly visible on 38th Ave. SW when a suspicious-looking vehicle with a flat tire and smashed headlights showed up on our normally quiet street near Fairmount Park. Thank you, SPD.

— Bob Loblaw

Neighborhood tidbits

December 16, 2007 5:28 pm
|    Comments Off on Neighborhood tidbits
 |   Highland Park | Neighborhoods | West Seattle news

-The collection of links on the WSB right sidebar formerly titled WEST SEATTLE MISCELLANY is now WEST SEATTLE NEIGHBORHOOD GROUPS — several local activists have suggested it, and we hope it will be a reminder to everyone that West Seattle has some great groups well worth getting involved with. We’re pretty sure our list has all the big ones; if you have a smaller neighborhood group (whether it has a website or an e-mail group) and we missed it, please let us know.

-While checking in with those neighborhood sites, we noticed that the Highland Park Action Committee is looking for a 2008 chair, with this pitch: “Become the new HPAC chair and make a positive difference in our neighborhood. And what perks! like a cool secret handshake. You’ll find out the rest after you’re sworn in.” Interested? In Highland Park? Here’s the HPAC website.

-Tomorrow is when the full City Council is scheduled to take up the industrial-zoning issue that’s attracted the most coverage regarding how it could affect our neighbors to the east in Georgetown, but could affect some industry-/port-neighboring land in eastern West Seattle too. Here’s the full text of the proposal. Lots more coverage at Blogging Georgetown (multiple posts currently linked from its home page); Mid Beacon Hill wrote about it too (here); the measure passed a council committee last week (P-I story here). If you’ve got strong feelings on this issue, get them to the City Council (e-mail addresses and phone numbers here) by tomorrow morning.

West Seattle Christmas trees update: 1 lot’s on sale

We’re going to have to go out and check on the tree situation West Seattle-wide as time permits this afternoon – we figured some things might have changed since we did the research 2 weeks ago for our West Seattle Christmas Tree Price Check (read it here) — and in fact, we just got e-mail from this year’s new addition, the tree lot on Harbor Ave across from the 7-11. Jeff Sullivan wrote (as of half an hour ago):

We just wanted to let you know that we have around 40 or 50 trees left in a variety of shapes & sizes. We still have Noble, grand and douglas firs. All trees are just $20/each!

Merry Christmas to you!

Sincerely,
Jeff Sullivan
Skyline Secure Park

New business north of Morgan Junction

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Heard the other day from Eric Renn, who’s getting ready to open West Seattle Digital in the storefront shown above at 6016 California, in the same block as Puget Sound Lock & Key, Star Nails, and West Seattle Cellars (Eric sent the photo too, after hanging the festive COMING SOON banner). He says WSD will be an authorized retailer for Dish Network, XM Satellite Radio, Clearwire, and VOIP.com (broadband telephone); he lives in West Seattle and plans to have the store open by the first of the year.

Holly jolly … collision?

The 911 log shows a car crash after midnight at 35th/Avalon. No details except for a note that came in from Creighton (thank you), who wrote:

Big Car Wreck: Just drove past the intersection of 35th Ave and Avalon in front of the 7-11 mostly on the westbound side of the street. Odd scene as there were two Santas on the side of the road watching the cops sort it out.

Reader report: 35th/Roxbury trouble

Just out of the WSB inbox, from Jessica (thank you!):

Last night, our neighbors had their home broken into while they were out of town. The window was broken on the alley side of the home, and I’m guessing it was someone from the neighborhood who knew the homeowners were gone (given the silence of the dogs). The police found no prints (they used gloves) and saw “small shoe marks”. The burglars took smaller items that were quick to grab.

Last week, our neighbors across 35th Ave told me about 3 incidents of cars being keyed.

And we frequently see drug-activity at the 35th Ave SW and Roxbury corner.

It would be so helpful if people see strange activity to report it to the police as soon as possible. Hopefully this gets the word out in the South end.

That’s exactly what the West Seattle-based Seattle Police Department team at the Southwest Precinct would say – keep the non-emergency number handy, 625-5011 – and crime prevention coordinator Benjamin Kinlow would certainly add, set up a Block Watch if you don’t have one already. Another excellent resource for the area in Jessica’s note is the White Center/South Delridge Community Safety group; here’s the WSB report on their October meeting, and their upcoming meetings are listed here.

West Seattle Farmers’ Market update: What’s fresh tomorrow

December 15, 2007 9:32 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Farmers’ Market update: What’s fresh tomorrow
 |   West Seattle Farmers' Market | West Seattle news

Here’s the weekly update from the West Seattle Farmers’ Market organizers – remember the market’s not taking a winter break; it’s 10 am-2 pm Sundays through month’s end, then 11 am-2 pm for a while starting in January:Read More

Reader report: Alki Point sidewalk-extension concern

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As first reported last month, one of the Neighborhood Street Fund projects approved by the city would extend the sidewalk along Alki Point, from this spot where it ends at the west edge of the Alki promenade. Local resident Susan Jones wrote to the city with a concern about the potential effects on the street itself, and shared the resulting e-mail exchange, which also includes word from the city that “significant community outreach” regarding the project is planned for spring:Read More

Fire guts South Delridge house

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The exterior appears intact but the charring over the broken-out windows suggests this house was gutted by the overnight fire there. It’s 9415 Delridge (map), on the north edge of the Delridge/Roxbury business district, at a location identified in county records and online searches as home to B & J Plumbing (we have left voicemail for that business to check on this); 911 logs show the fire callout was at 1:50 am. There’s no official Fire Department press release on this, so here’s hoping that means nobody was seriously hurt.

Charlestown Cafe: Not expecting to close any time soon

chaztowncafe.jpgChecked in with Charlestown Cafe owner Larry Mellum today, after a few recent e-mails from WSB readers who had heard reports of a lease extension. He says they’re still officially month-to-month, but not expecting to be leaving any time soon, since the proposal to tear down the building and build a new Petco store seems to be moving slowly, with no official action since the August public meeting at which the Design Review Board turned thumbs-down on the design for a second time (detailed WSB coverage here). Meanwhile, we received an e-mail comment on the subject of Charlestown’s fate and West Seattle’s direction in general, and wanted to include it in our next followup, so here it is:Read More

Why police were swarming around West Seattle HS

Many people e-mailed WSB to ask what the big police presence at West Seattle High School today was all about: We just got off the phone with Lt. Steve Paulsen at the Southwest Precinct, who explained that various student conflicts during the week led to some concern about a possible “disturbance” today — so just to be on the safe side, they put on a show of preventive force — and Lt. Paulsen says it worked, with a quiet day at the school. He says there also were officers present around Chief Sealth HS as well, and there will be some continued presence at WSHS next week too, though not quite at today’s level; Lt. Paulsen also noted that today worked out as a great exercise in cooperation between the schools and the police department.

West Seattle Cub Scouts meet the mayor

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Here you see West Seattle Cub Scout Pack 793 Webelos I & II meeting with Mayor Nickels Thursday afternoon. Thanks to Angela for sending the photo and info — She says, “The scouts met with the mayor to complete their Citizen Badge. He gave the boys information about how the Mayor’s office is run and then let the boys ask him questions. One brave little scout even asked about his plans for the Alaskan Way Viaduct!” Pictured with the scouts are their den leader and cubmaster, Pat Heidal and Nick Roach. (Find out more about Pack 793 at their website here.)

Mayor’s son sentenced

Per the P-I: Three months prison, three months “home confinement.” When this all broke earlier this year, he was reported to be living at his parents’ home here in West Seattle. ADDED AT 2:28 PM: Statement from the mayor, as posted on the city website:

“This has been a very difficult time for our family and today’s decision will help bring this issue to a close. While the next few months won’t be easy for any of us, Sharon and I know that Jake did the right thing by accepting responsibility for his actions and cooperating with investigators. We love our son and will continue to support him in the months and years ahead. I’d like to thank all those who offered Jake, Sharon and me their support and prayers. We are very grateful.”

Sad news from Beach Drive: Seal death

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This photo (from a respectful distance) was taken by Larry Wallach, who e-mailed WSB on Thursday afternoon asking who to call to report a dead seal on the beach outside his Beach Drive home. (Larry made some calls and was finally referred to this number – save it for future reference – 206/526-6733.) Larry also writes:

We called the seal we frequently see swimming for the past few years behind our house Cyril. Not sure if this is the same one, but if so, R.I.P. Cyril. Our kids (3 and 2) will be especially sad.

Prime time for West Seattle Food Bank holiday donations

Today and next Monday are great days to get holiday-dinner food donations to the West Seattle Food Bank (here’s the list we originally published). On Thursday, WSFB got a big boost from Nucor, which showed up with more than $9,000 in cash and gift cards along with thousands of pounds of food – here’s one of the truckloads they unloaded:

We also talked to the Nucor managers who were there to help with the delivery; Nucor’s been doing this at holiday time since 1996!

JuNO gets a place of its own

Online, that is. Junction Neighborhood Organization president Erica Karlovits has set up a blog-style site for the group; check it out here. And as you’ll see on the website, the next JuNO meeting is set for 6:30 pm January 8 — for everybody who lives in and around The Junction and wants to get connected with ways to keep it a great place to be.

New status report from Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza Project

statueforicon1.jpgIn comments last week on this post, the Seattle (Alki) Statue of Liberty Plaza Project organizers promised they would give the WSB community an updated $ accounting shortly. This afternoon, they posted it in that same comment thread, which is long gone from the home page, so we are reposting here to make sure everyone interested can see it:

Dear WS Blog:

I am sure many of you have been waiting for a financial update on how we are doing at this point in time with the fundraising efforts for the Statue of Liberty Plaza project. I was waiting for the most recent figures, so here it is:

As of Wednesday, December 12th:

$13,500 – Funds raised thru Urban Sparks (Net)
$50,000 – Grant from City of Seattle
$10,500 – Prior fundraising balance

$74,000 – Total
+17,000 – Pledges currently identified
$91,000

More funds are continuing to be identified and pledged, so the rest of the money is in process and we could Use Your Help to Make It Happen!

Note: Expenses now accounted for include total $3,673.26 at this point in time. A 7% fee is charged by the fiscal sponsor, printing is already done for all promotional material (10,000 brochures, 5,000 inserts, 144 t-shirts), website expenses, postage & office supplies. No money has been expended for the volunteer time of the Carrs, or their committee members.

We think we are doing very well here and are optimistic that we will be successful in raising the rest of the money to build this design in 2008.

We have been in contact with the Mayor’s office and we are in agreement that we will build as much of this design as we have the money for, so yes, it is very important that we finish raising all the money needed to build this design. We would even like to have a bit left over, just in case for any further contingencies such as adding some backs to some of the benches, a suggestion that came from the Sept. 13th meeting. Also, the existing families with benches at the site now are being offered the option of having one of the new benches in the new design at no charge.

We are now also focusing on names for the Major Donor Plaque for the pedestal ($15,000+), Benches ($5,000) and a new category of Landscape Plaques ($2,000).

In general, we are ramping up fundraising efforts with special Brick promotions (see website www.sealady.org) more print and live media exposure, more internet and blog exposure, a fundraising event at Duke’s on Dec. 27, and just lots more phone calls in general to Statue supporters. We have agreed with staff in the Mayor’s office to wrap up fundraising efforts by January 15, 2008.

So, if you are one of the people whose been planning on buying a brick “one of these days,” that day has arrived! If you want to give a truly memorable gift this Holiday Season, there is probably no present that will last longer.

We know this community has the capacity to finish this project just as we have envisioned it now for 3+ years. Now is the time to step up and demonstrate what we can really accomplish together, and finish this project for generations of people to come.

Thanks, in advance, for your help!

Paul & Libby Carr, Co-Chairs of the SSLPP
www.sealady.org
206-938-8720

The last official public meeting on the project was September 13 (our detailed report here), two days after the recast statue was returned to the existing pedestal at Alki on September 11 (WSB coverage, with video, here). All of our Alki Statue of Liberty coverage including those reports and this one is archived here.

Southwest Precinct police score big burglary busts

Big news just in from the latest edition of the Southwest Precinct Public Safety Newsletter sent by Crime Prevention Coordinator Benjamin Kinlow, with this excerpted section written up by Detective Bauer:

Southwest Precinct Officers and Detectives, within the last week and a half, have arrested, booked, and filed charges on nine (9) Burglary suspects. Detectives have cleared fifteen (15) burglary cases with the arrest of these suspects. Most of the stolen property has been returned to the owners.

Below are some recent cases that we have been working on. Please notice the incredible Police work along with calls from alert citizens:

12-03-07: Burglary incident: On the morning of 12-03-07, a neighbor was standing on her front porch, and noticed an unfamiliar vehicle pull up to a neighbor’s home. Two males got out of the vehicle and went to the back of the residence. The witness called police. Officers responded and arrived very soon after the call came out. Officers caught the two males after they had burglarized the home by way of forced entry. Both suspects were later booked.

Note that King County detectives have another burglary case in their jurisdiction in which these suspects have been identified. The King County Detectives are also looking at these suspects as good possibles on the series of BB gun shootings in the SW area. That investigation continues.

12-05-07: Burglary/Wanted fugitive arrest: Officers responded to a Burglary call in the 5800 block of 38th Ave SW. Detectives were aware of a wanted fugitive who possibly broke into a nearby residence and took a shotgun and ammunition a few days earlier. Through cooperation of the case detective and patrol officers, the fugitive was caught hiding in a limousine that was parked in front of the home of the burglary/shotgun theft victim.

12-06-07: Burglary incident, 4800 block of Colorado Ave S. Suspect enters fenced in property of metal recycling site. A night watchman sees the suspect and calls police. The suspect exited the property and got into a van before officers arrived. The responding officers located the suspect in the van, and had the watchman do a show up ID of the suspect, which was positive. The officers also arrested another male in the van, who had an outstanding warrant.

12-10-07: Theft/Trafficking stolen property investigation, 4800 block of 35th Ave SW: Detective Bauer investigated an on-going theft incident in which an employee was allegedly stealing property from vulnerable adult residents, and then selling the items on EBAY. Detectives arrested the suspect, and later booked her.
Please noted the following:

* Outstanding work by the Patrol Officers!
* Outstanding follow-up by the Detectives!
* Outstanding work by the witnesses who had the presence of mind to call the Police or jot down the license plate number and other information!

Please read that last line again — it’s vital to call SPD as soon as possible when you see something suspicious, not just an emergency. (The non-emergency number is 206/625-5011.)

Road-work alert from the city

Just into the inbox, from the city Transportation Department:

Paving Contractor Carrying Out Minor Work on California Avenue SW

The contractor from the California Ave SW paving project will be on site periodically over the next few weeks correcting minor deficiencies and remaining restoration from the project completed in August. You may have noticed some temporary lane closures in the last day or two. This was necessary to adjust some utility manholes and create a smother ride.

Traffic disruptions and parking impacts will be minimal and of very short duration.

Normal work hours for the contractor are 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday-Friday.

Schuck’s update: End of an eyesore, progress report

Experimenting with yet another video host – let us know how/if this one works for you – we’ve also uploaded the same clip to YouTube in case you’d rather watch it there (click for that version). Here, we captured the first moments of the backhoe biting into the building (click the pic to play the clip):

We also ran by a little while ago for this photo of the progress made in the past few hours – the facade’s all gone:

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If you missed earlier coverage of what’s planned for this spot — per the city project page, it’s a two-story commercial building with retail, a restaurant (TBA as far as we know), and “medical-services offices.”

5 years in the making: Hiawatha Playfield plan

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(“approved concept” as provided by Seattle Parks, with a note that “the installed football field grid will not be as fully marked” as shown above)

Actually, by the time construction starts next year on $3.6 million in renovations to Hiawatha Playfield, almost six years will have passed since the first public meeting on this project. Last night at neighboring Hiawatha Community Center, reps from the city Parks Department and the project’s design firm DA Hogan presented details on the big changes that are in the works:Read More