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Reader report: House egged again – anyone else?

Out of the WSB inbox this morning, a reader reports her house getting egged — for the third time in the past few months — in the Seaview neighborhood, and wonders if it happened to anyone else. (Otherwise, we haven’t heard much about this particular brand of vandalism since last month.)

One West Seattle-specific shoutout in “State of the City”

February 19, 2008 10:40 am
|    Comments Off on One West Seattle-specific shoutout in “State of the City”
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle politics

This hour, Mayor Nickels delivered the 2008 “State of the City” address. seattlelogo.jpgIts full text is online; we see just one West Seattle-specific shoutout, a mention of Myrtle as one of the reservoirs getting new parks along with covers. (WSB coverage of the last Myrtle public meeting is here.) More intriguingly, he ends the speech saying he will be asking for citizens’ thoughts on a “Customer Bill of Rights” for the city (this news release has some details); certainly WSB-ers have had much to say about the city’s responsiveness or lack of same – what do you think such a “Bill of Rights” should include?

Deadly Westwood crash: Victim’s family still has questions

mama4.jpgWe now know a lot more about the woman hit and killed while crossing Barton by Westwood Village a week and a half ago — 55-year-old Therese (Teri) Marie Soike — the first pedestrian killed in West Seattle since 85-year-old Oswald Clement last October. The photo you see at left was provided by Teri’s daughter Shelby Hampton, who says the family is “still in shock” and “completely devastated” — Shelby adds, “My sister and I were very close to our mother and nothing can prepare you for a death like this.” They are hoping to find witnesses to the crash, and agreed to talk with WSB:Read More

Happening today/tonight: Election, RapidRide, crimefighting

ELECTION: Presidential primary, 7 am-8 pm if you haven’t voted by mail; more info here.

RAPIDRIDE: Last of 4 West Seattle open houses to share information and take comments for this phase of Metro’s West Seattle RapidRide bus-service planning, 6-7:30 pm @ Southwest Library.

CRIMEFIGHTING: West Seattle Community Safety Partnership, under new leadership elected last month, invites you to tonight’s meeting, 7 pm, Southwest Precinct. If you have a neighborhood crime or nuisance concern and would like to ask local police what’s being done, or what can be done, about it — this hour is well worth your time. (WSB coverage of last month’s WSCSP meeting is here.)

Dates announced for this year’s Alki Art Fair

February 18, 2008 9:16 pm
|    Comments Off on Dates announced for this year’s Alki Art Fair
 |   Fun stuff to do | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

Another reminder that summer (not to mention spring) is getting closer: Just got a note asking us to tell you that the dates are set for this year’s Alki Art Fair (photo above is from last summer’s event) — July 26-27 — and organizers have set up a website too (check it out here) with info on how to register to participate this year as an artist or craftsperson vendor.

Soon to be seen at Westwood Village, apparently

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(Photo from PR Newswire)
Target has just bought a fleet of Segways to patrol parking lots of its stores in several cities including ours. Gotta wonder if they will be deployed indoors too; per the police reports we read 2 or 3 times per week, their security team is pretty busy chasing – and often catching – shoplifters. (We’d call to ask but they might not take our call.)

Another Alki building for sale

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The latest listing: 2112 Alki (map), a newly built 6-unit apartment building, offered for $4,200,000 with a description that uses the word “condominium” twice. (We reported the listing of another Alki building just last Friday.) 5:14 PM ADDITION: While taking the above photo to add to this post, we noticed prominent signs out front, CONDOS FOR LEASE.

Right up their alley: West Seattle Bowl rolls ahead

westseattlebowl.jpgWhen we stopped by West Seattle Bowl a month ago to ask about a reader-e-mailed rumor that it might close, not only did co-owner Andrew Carl say it wasn’t true, he implored us to write about it — which we usually don’t do when rumors don’t pan out (here’s what we ended up writing). At the time, we also told him we’d love to talk with him more about his business sometime, with high-profile closures elsewhere in the city leaving WS Bowl as one of the last pins standing. Last week – as Carl also got a spotlight in the latest Seattle Weekly – he finally had time for that chat:Read More

Update on search for Nicholas Francisco, missing 4 days

missingmanfoto.jpgfranciscocar.jpgNew information since we first posted yesterday about Nicholas Francisco, the South King County man who’s been missing since Wednesday. (His photo’s at left; his car at right; the full poster with other pix is in our post here.) Searchers say they’ve raised the reward; Mars Hill-West Seattle has issued a statement of support that notes “the Francisco family recently left” the church, while also asking members to pray for Nicholas’ safe return. The searchers’ official website is here.

Salon closed for a day after trash-can mishap

February 17, 2008 12:54 pm
|    Comments Off on Salon closed for a day after trash-can mishap
 |   West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news

Just got a message from Illusions (WSB sponsor) asking us to let you know that they’ll be closed tomorrow for cleaning because of a trash-can mishap on Friday. Your editor here was actually there (incognito) getting a haircut when it happened, as, it turned out, was Rhonda from Beach Drive Blog, who had a camera handy. It seemed too small to bother noting here at the time – we’ve seen a lot of smoldering trash cans in our day – but a salon spokesperson says they’ve since decided to bring in professional cleaners to get rid of some extinguisher residue, so they’ll be closed tomorrow and hope to reopen at noon Tuesday. (More info on the Illusions website.)

Crime Watch reader report: Laundromat customer robbed

February 17, 2008 11:21 am
|    Comments Off on Crime Watch reader report: Laundromat customer robbed
 |   Crime | West Seattle news

Just out of the inbox from Olympic Heights Laundry (7347 35th) owners Paul and Dave:

Just wanted to let you know, that I just spoke with one of our customers who was using the Laundromat last night about 10:30 and she was attacked and robbed. She is one of our regular customers who comes in to do laundry around 10:00 PM, we allow our customers to start as late as 10:00 PM, and the door has an auto lock on it. She said that 2 heavy set African American girls came in and asked to borrow 50 cents, and then left. They returned a short time later to “warm up” and when she was in the back of the laundry they pinned her and took her credit cards, phone, and some change. She did state that they appeared to not be very good at their robbery, with one giving all the directions and the other doing the job. She did report this to the police and I believe I know who these suspects are as they wait for a bus right across the street.

They say they plan to beef up laundromat security. Meantime, as in any crime case, let police know if you have any information that might help them make arrests; 625-5011 is the nonemergency lin.

Denny-Sealth: Remaining questions from 2/12 meeting

President Steve Fischer of the Westwood Neighborhood Council, which organized last Tuesday’s panel-discussion meeting at CSHS (WSB text/video coverage here), sent the list of audience questions that remained when time ran out. As promised, he has forwarded them to the district to request answers online the same way they answered questions (here) from their 2/4 meeting at CSHS. Here’s the list (reading it, we see there is one toward the end that we can answer, as it involves WSB):Read More

West Seattle Farmers’ Market: Big news AND the “fresh sheet”

Wendy broke the news (in comments on this item last weekend), and now it’s confirmed in e-mail from the West Seattle Farmers’ Market parent organization: “We are currently in the processing of securing the Market site in West Seattle for all the Sundays in March and April so that the market can stay open until spring without interruption.” Otherwise, WSFM was set to close temporarily after next Sunday. So keep your fingers crossed – and now, here’s the “fresh sheet” for today’s market, 11 am-2 pm in The Junction:Read More

More West Seattle Saturday scenes: Rock to opera, and beyond

That short clip gives you a quick look at meteorites, and more, on display again tomorrow as part of the Presidents’ Gemboree rock and gem show that the West Seattle Rock Club (WSB sponsor) is presenting at the Masonic Temple in The Junction – one of four West Seattle events we checked out today and tonight – more video and photos ahead from all four events:Read More

First, red-light cams – now, ready for speeder cams?

Just posted at the Times site – a bill is advancing through the state Legislature to allow Seattle to use robocams to catch speeders as well as red-light runners. (To recap, the city announced last month that two red-light cams are on the way to West Seattle this year.) The official Legislature page about the speeder-cam bill is here; one of the 28 senators voting in favor of it today was West Seattle’s state Senator Joe McDermott.

Search for missing man expands to West Seattle

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Citywide media has been reporting on the search for Nicholas Francisco. This morning we got a note saying searchers will be in WS today putting up this poster and asking us to run it too; he lives in South Seattle with his pregnant wife and their two children but according to the note, they attend church in West Seattle. (The note didn’t say where, but blog posts mention Mars Hill.) As the poster says, if you have any info, call 911. ADDED 4:55 PM: Here’s a website focused on the search.

Countdown to Denny/Sealth vote: One student’s opinion

With the public meetings over, discussion and feedback are all that’s left till Seattle School Board members vote on the Denny/Sealth project one week from Wednesday. (All WSB coverage archived here.) The feedback that matters the most is that which you give to board members — once again, their contact info is here. There also has been a lot of spirited discussion online, on this website and elsewhere (including here and here), as well as in the public-testimony time at the start of board meetings. One of the Chief Sealth High School students who has spoken to the board, and at public meetings on the project here in West Seattle, is Duron Jones. He sent WSB a copy of a letter he said he has sent to the board, and asked us if we would post it. We are doing so with an invitation for any student with a different opinion to send us their thoughts, which we also would be happy to post.

I’m Duron Jones, a sophomore at Chief Sealth High School (CSHS). I’m sure this opening is something that sounds familiar to the Seattle Public School (SPS) board, as it should since I have spoken to them in public testimonial on several occasions. However I feel that my voice and opinion has fallen on deaf ears as well as the voices and opinions of every single student who let their voices be heard via survey and polls.

The first attempt to gain student body voice resulted in 278 against the co-location of the schools and 5 were for the co-location of the schools. To prove that these results weren’t a fluke we recently surveyed the students with a survey that allowed them to state their concerns and what they believed to be the positives of a co-located school, a survey in which John Boyd himself looked at and fixed up, might I add. That survey resulted in 70% of the students being opposed to option 2, 19% being neutral, and 11% being for option 2, however when it came down to option 3, 25% opposed it, 16% was neutral, and 59% were in favor of option 3. This shows that the Chief Sealth student body may not agree with every aspect of option 3 but we believe it to be in the better interest of the students compared to option 2. Might I also add the students will be the ones who have to deal with the fallouts of a merge campus and not the SPS board.

I’m sure you as well as the board are wondering why there are not masses of CSHS students standing up to speak their voice as they do on surveys, but they do not wish to stand up because they fear the consequences that they could possibly face for just using their right to free speech. Then when they do decide to get involved they are made to feel not welcomed.

But my reason for writing this is not to talk about protocol on how to do things when it comes to students speaking. I am writing this to air the opinions and stances of the students. It has been stated that the board believes violence wouldn’t increase with option 2, safety wouldn’t decrease with option 2, and more students would apply to Sealth via option 2. The life blood of Chief Sealth High School, being the students concur with their thoughts as 67% of the student body believes violence will increase with option 2 as 8% believes it will decrease and 25% believes it will stay the same. When it came down to students applying to Chief Sealth if option 2 was to happen, only 20% believed more students would apply and 54% believed less would apply as 26% believed it would stay the same.

Before I get into the commentary of the students I believe it needs to be stated for the record that when it came down to the academic benefits question, a horse the board has rode to death for why it’s a good idea to combine the campuses, as well as the question of what positives come from option 2. No students who were in favor of option 2 were able to answer those questions however students who were for option 3 were able to answer those questions. But when they were asked what academic affects would option 2 have they responded with middle schoolers imitating the high schoolers’ actions thus doing terribly in class, the drop out and skipping rates will increase, as well as a new building placed next to Sealth causing distractions and animosity. But there was a positive comment in the crowd and that was there would be more options for what you could do in classes, so the board should pat themselves on the back for that small achievement.

When it came to the question of what are your concerns about BEX III option 2 we received countless statements about the safety of Denny’s students, the negative influences of high schoolers to middle schoolers, the loss of identity for both schools, Sealth students admitted they wouldn’t receive Denny students with open arms, fears about it becoming a repeat of Pathfinder, fears about it becoming an exclusive international school, as well as concerns about being targeted due to us being a colored school. Also one of the biggest concerns addressed was the loss of a great group of teaching staff. However when asked about some of the positives this project holds we received replies of and I quote, “Nothing that truly couldn’t be done with the schools staying on their own separate campuses,” so the board should give themselves a hand for that one.

As I looked over the boards reply to the meeting on February 4th I realized we truly don’t have the option to pick an option as we are stuck with option 2. Something that truly disturbs me is when a member of the design and construction team answers my question of, “Why aren’t there any drawings or figures of option 3?” with “We were told to do drawings of option 2 only and not option 3,” Now I love money as much as the next but when you compare it to the well being of a child and it’s future they don’t equal out. Then I listened to one of Steve Sundquist replies for the meeting at Sealth on the 5th of February where he talked about this project is being used to stop the drop out gaps from 8th to 9th, well maybe it hasn’t made it to the boards doorsteps yet but there is an excellent program currently in Sealth called Ignite Mentors where we the students aid Freshmen through their Freshman year and make sure they do what they have to and I’m sure any of my colleagues or mentees would speak and say this program has worked so far and will continue to work and with that statement, if you haven’t processed it yet, my point is the drop out rates are covered. I used to believe the board to be the protectors and justice seekers of the students however now I see they are no different then the men & women who currently hold office in the United States of America. I asked them to prove me wrong on that thought and actually listen to us. However we will see if that falls on deaf ears as everything else has.

Again, we would love to hear from a Sealth — or Denny (middle-schoolers can be eloquent too; we know this firsthand) — student who supports the shared campus; we have certainly heard a lot from adults on both sides. E-mail us any time.

West Seattle Crime Watch: 84-year-old woman saved

Topping our latest review of reports from the Southwest Precinct, quick-thinking workers and fast-responding officers saved the life of an 84-year-old woman at the Daystar center across from Westwood Village. It happened at 2:44 am Thursday morning; the woman’s 46-year-old granddaughter showed up to see her, and things took a terrifying turn very fast. Daystar employees heard screams and called 911. handcuffs_2.jpgOfficers say they found the granddaughter holding her grandmother down on a bed with one hand while the other was raised high above her head, holding a claw hammer. They demanded – at gunpoint – that the woman drop the hammer; she didn’t, but she did lower it to her side. They told her again to drop it; though she still didn’t, they managed to get it away from her and arrest her without having to use potentially deadly force. The victim is quoted as telling police afterward, “She was going to kill me — I begged her not to do it — I could tell she wanted to kill me … I thought I was going to die, I didn’t think anyone would help me, I didn’t think you could get here in time.” The suspect has a history of mental illness and drug abuse, and admitted to police she had imbibed a “large quantity of Everclear” that night. She also has a heart problem and had to be taken to the hospital; she was booked into jail later that morning and is still there at this writing, facing possible charges of assault and harassment. Next: Yet another car prowl …Read More

Reader report: Dog bites man, owner bolts scene

This one came in just before our Friday afternoon visit to the Southwest Precinct, where we verified a police report is filed in the case. Here’s the e-mail from Chris:

I was attacked by a German Shepherd dog yesterday while taking my walk at Lincoln Park (West Seattle) at about 5:45 pm. It happened at the South Side near the Gas station. The dog was not leashed and it came attacking me from my left.

Man, it sure was a powerful dog and brought me down. I am 5ft 9in and 170 lb. I was lying on the sidewalk and could see his white teeth coming at me again and finally the owner came and pulled his dog away.

I got punctured bites on my left calf and thank God the doc said I have my shots updated.

What pisses me off is this:

I asked the owner for help and asking him for his name/info and he said he was getting the dog to his car and promised to come back. He did not come back. I wanted to take his picture on my cell but he ran away and drove off. He is a White (dark skin), crew cut, 5 ft 10’, quite built, no glasses, drove an older Honda or Toyota hatchback.

The police said chances that he lives nearby and not many people own a German Shepherd.

A lady saw him driving away too.

If I had not worn a thick sweat pants, my left calf would be gone!!!

Anyway, you dog lovers, I know most of you are responsible but this one got away!!

The police have an open case on this so if you have any tips, call the non-emergency line @ 625-5011.

Alki building for sale – next door to the Shoremont

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Just spotted the listing for 2514 57th SW (map), 9 units, $3,200,000. Here’s the official listing page. If the address doesn’t sound familiar, it’s the condo-conversion building (with failed inspections listed on this city page), right next door to the Shoremont and the adjacent “Mediterranean home” that just changed hands to a different construction company (latest WSB update here). APRIL 7 UPDATE: The owner of The Sidney e-mailed WSB to point out that, as per the same city page in the original report, the building has since passed its inspections. Mackenzie Pinch says one unit in the building has just been purchased, and has a second sale pending, after doing a lot of work on the building: “It was once owned by my late great Uncle Sidney Pinch in the ’70s, bought by my father; now I have purchased it with a business partner. It is with pride and history that I have chosen to keep the name the Sidney there, and I have kept him in mind when making this property hugely improved than the way it was when he passed. I believe he would be proud to see how I have entirely remodeled the building.”

Junction development updates: New crane; new townhomes

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When West Seattle’s first big construction crane in years started taking shape on New Year’s Eve at Capco Plaza (along Alaska between 41st and 42nd), it was a big deal with reader photos and all sorts of hoopla. Today (photo above), we happened onto West Seattle’s SECOND big construction crane in years taking shape one block south at Mural (aka “the former Petco parking lot”) and while there were a few spectators, pretty much zero hoopla. (Although now we do recall a Harbor Properties exec saying at the West Seattle Chamber lunch the other day that excavation at the Mural site had almost “bottomed out.”) Anyway, for crane fans, we’re making note of the occasion; here’s another pic:

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We were actually in The Junction to take a look at this site on the SW corner of 41st and Edmunds (kitty-corner from the south side of Jefferson Square):

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An application’s just been filed this week to tear down that house and build a 5-unit townhouse project.

Scam alert: Warning from City Light

February 15, 2008 11:16 am
|    Comments Off on Scam alert: Warning from City Light
 |   Safety | Utilities | West Seattle news

Just out of the inbox from Seattle City Light, a warning about a new scam – somebody who might try to make an appointment to get into your house:Read More

Reader report: Car break-in with a potentially telling clue

Just out of the WSB inbox from Jeremy M, who’s on 51st in the Charlestown Hill/Schmitz Park area (map), and offers a clue that might lead to the culprit(s):

My Land Cruiser was broken into early this morning. Silly really. The “thieves” traded my car stereo faceplate and some really crappy speakers for a “Bombay Gin” swiss army style knife and a small flashlight. While I believe I got the better end of the deal, it was a bit of a bummer that they left my door open and the dome light on. I’ll have to jump my truck to get it going now and that’s always a pain in the butt. Seems that we were the last of three on our street (51st SW near Avalon) to get broken into. You’ll notice that I mentioned that they stole the faceplate of the stereo. The funny thing is that I did such a crappy job installing my stereo (there was cardboard wedging it into the dash!) that when they tried to steal the body of the stereo, they managed to push it further into the dash and couldn’t get it out! I can just imagine a couple of big kneed, baggy pant kids sitting in my front seats laughing nervously while getting more and more frustrated as they try to retrieve the stereo from deep inside the dash. Something must have spooked them as they left in a hurry, leaving the above-mentioned “Bombay Gin” Swiss army style knife and a little red flashlight (the flashlight might have actually been mine, I really can’t remember).

So, if your son/daughter/cousin/neighbor or other person you might know had a silver “Bombay Gin” Swiss army knife, or maybe you had one and you’re missing it, ask a few questions. I’m not looking to get my stuff back but in the interest of safety it might be a good idea to nip this in the bud as the police aren’t as understanding as I am and these “thieves” aren’t all that slick. They will eventually get caught.

You know our pitch – be sure you report everything to the police – if it’s not happening right this moment or a matter of safety, 625-5011 is the non-emergency number. Here’s a page with the official Seattle Police advice on preventing “car prowls” (the term for break-ins like this).