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HELPING: Volunteer support for Stamp Out Hunger food drive

It wasn’t just U.S. Postal Service trucks pulling into post offices today – trucks like this one from South Park-headquartered Food Lifeline were at post offices nationwide to pick up donations from the Stamp Out Hunger food drive. Along with the carriers who spent the day picking up donations left by mailboxes, volunteers descended on post offices to help with the transfer:

The photos are from Ian, one of today’s volunteers at the Westwood post office. This was the first Stamp Out Hunger drive since pre-pandemic, and the 30th anniversary of what’s called the nation’s “biggest one-day food drive.” No word on totals yet.

GRATITUDE: Shredding, food-drive success at Westwood event

The totals – and words of appreciation – are in from last Saturday’s shredding and food-drive event sponsored by John L. Scott Real Estate-Westwood (WSB sponsor):

John L. Scott-Westwood would like to thank everyone for coming out to Westwood Village last Saturday, May 7, 2022 for the shred (documents) event. It was wonderful to work with the White Center Food Bank again to come together in support of the WS community and beyond.

We were able to collect $977.25 in donations and 370 lbs. of food; also gained were future volunteers for the White Center Food Bank.

1,725 lbs. of paper was shredded which will never go to the landfill! We thank our many volunteers from John L. Scott=Westwood and their families for joining us in these efforts.

WEST SEATTLE WEEKEND SCENE: Free shredding and food drive

Even if you don’t have anything to shred, you’re welcome to stop by the northwest lot at Westwood Village before noon and drop off donationd for the White Center Food Bank – that’s Carmen and Jefferson in our photo. The free shredding is sponsored by John L. Scott Westwood Real Estate (WSB sponsor) – no waiting while we were there:

Also no rain! Just get there before noon.

SHREDDING: Saturday’s your day to get it done free, while fighting food insecurity

(WSB photo from past vent)

Reminder – if you need shredding, tomorrow’s your opportunity to get some done at no charge: 10 am-noon Saturday (May 7th), sponsored by John L. Scott Real Estate-Westwood (WSB sponsor), in the northwest lot at Westwood Village. If you can donate non-perishable food, bring something for the White Center Food Bank (cash donations are welcome too).

BIZNOTE: Introducing Lauren’s Jewelry

After 2 1/2 years, jewelry-shop owner Lauren Wiggins has a big announcement – her shop at Westwood Village has a new name, Lauren’s Jewelry:

To our valuable customers, we are pleased to announce that on May 3rd, we are rebranding our jewelry store. As many of you know, I bought Wyatt’s Jewelers in November of 2019 and have owned and operated it since then. This rename will play a major role in strengthening our growth and commitments, by helping our customers identify with our brand in the marketplace. We have worked so very hard as Wyatt’s Jewelers to take care of each and every one of you and look forward to many more years of providing you with all your jewelry needs. As Lauren’s Jewelry, we will still be providing our community with the latest trends, beautiful classics, custom projects, and repairs!

The changes will be effective from May 3rd on every platform.

We would like to take this time and thank you for your continued support with us as Wyatt’s Jewelers, and look forward to our time as Lauren’s Jewelry! If you have any suggestions or questions, please contact us at 206-937-9200 or laurensjewelrystore.com.

Her shop (a WSB sponsor)is in the center of WWV, on the ground floor of the building that also holds Sport Clips Haircuts and the future America’s Best Contacts and Eyeglasses.

SHREDDING: Need it? Next event set for May 7th

April 8, 2022 6:43 pm
|    Comments Off on SHREDDING: Need it? Next event set for May 7th
 |   West Seattle news | Westwood

(WSB photo – June 2021 shredding event)

If you have documents to shred – here’s your next chance in West Seattle: 10 am-noon Saturday, May 7th. That’s the date that John L. Scott Real Estate-Westwood (WSB sponsor) will present its annual shredding event in the northwest lot at Westwood Village. The service is free, but a non-perishable-food donation for the White Center Food Bank is requested.

UPDATE: Fire at Westwood house awaiting demolition

6:13 PM: Seattle Fire is arriving at what’s described as a residential fire in the basement of a house in the 9200 block of 25th SW [vicinity map]. Updates to come.

(Added: WSB photo)

6:18 PM: Firefighters are searching the other areas of the building after knocking down the basement fire.

6:20 PM: They’ve now told dispatch the fire is “tapped” (out). No injuries reported.

6:21 PM: City records show this house is slated for demolition – the permit was issued last November – with townhouses to replace it.

VIDEO: Denny International Middle School students march/rally against gun violence

12:26 PM: As noted in our daily previews, a student-organized protest march is happening right now. It’s organized by 8th-grade students from Denny International Middle School, who say they “want to publicly make a statement that we as students want stricter gun laws to ensure that we no longer must live in fear of gun violence.”

This announcement details their route. Hundreds of students are participating, using sidewalks; they’re along 35th now, turning onto Trenton.

12:44 PM: They’re now gathering on the field at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex (which is across Thistle from the Denny-Sealth complex).

1:40 PM: We just left the stadium as the rally was wrapping up after more than half an hour of impassioned student speeches – some as simple as “Enough is enough!”

2:38 PM: More photos added above. Before the rally concluded, we talked briefly with two of the organizers, Addison Whited and Hazel Simper.

This was entirely student-organized, stressed Denny principal Jeff Clark, who was monitoring the event and told us, “We’re very proud of our scholar leaders, but this is their event.” In email, the student organizers said these are proposals they’re specifically advocating for:

-Waiting periods after purchase
-More thorough background checks
-Responsibility laws (parents are responsible for kids using their guns)
-Methods to report unsafe gun users effectively
-Close gun loopholes(Gun shows/Boyfriend/Charleston/Hate crime/and patchwork law gun loopholes)
-Must enforce license for open-carry firearm
-New gun safety tests to allow access to firearms (especially parents and kids)
-Mental-health screenings
-Police having stricter access to guns

Speeches at the stadium were open-mic-style, with students lining up for turns.

One asked, “How many more dead kids will it take for people to pay attention?” Another promised they won’t stop advocating until change happens. From another: “I believe in freedom … the freedom not to be in a dark room wondering if this is a drill or the real thing.”

WEST SEATTLE WEEKEND SCENE: CommUNITY Sale @ Southwest Teen Life Center

March 19, 2022 1:13 pm
|    Comments Off on WEST SEATTLE WEEKEND SCENE: CommUNITY Sale @ Southwest Teen Life Center
 |   West Seattle news | Westwood

Another kind of recycling happening now – the CommUNITY Yard Sale in the lot between Southwest Teen Life Center and Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle). The weather’s unsettled but the sale has canopies, so take advantage of the sunbreaks and head over to check it out before 4 pm. SWTLC is gearing up more in-person events this spring – more on that later this weekend.

UPDATE: House fire on 25th SW

(Added: WSB photos)

5:33 AM: Seattle Fire has a “full response” fighting what they describe as a “working fire” in a house in the 9200 block of 25th SW, just south of Westwood Village [map]. Updates to come.

5:49 AM: Firefighters have told dispatch that one person was in the house, and they’re calling the Red Cross to provide assistance to that displaced person.

5:53 AM: Our crew just spoke with the incident commander at the scene. The fire’s out; the house was considered a “derelict building.” SW Barton is blocked nearby because of the big response; they’re expecting to remain on scene another hour or so. No injuries.

6:03 AM: City files show 14 complaints filed regarding this house in the past four years, most recently last fall, complaining about “junk” on the property.

ADDED SATURDAY EVENING: SFD spokesperson David Cuerpo tells WSB the fire’s cause remains under investigation.

READER REPORT: Fire at Longfellow P-Patch shed

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Thanks to Liz for the photos and report on a fire at the Longfellow Creek P-Patch, just east of Chief Sealth International High School. She emailed to say, “I first noticed something going on when driving east on Thistle St. around 2:30 pm. There were fire trucks and an ambulance parked on the north side of the road with lights flashing but couldn’t stop to investigate further. Then around 4pm I walked my dog through the P-Patch and took the attached photos of the damage.”

We checked with Seattle Fire, which could only tell us that a shed was damaged, and that no injuries were reported. Our later check of this week’s SFD dispatch logs shows this was the fourth day in a row that they were dispatched to that area – Thursday’s call around 4 pm was classified as an “encampment fire,” while the Wednesday response around 11:30 am was labeled a “shed fire,” and Tuesday’s response just before noon was not logged with a specific type of fire. Like other P-Patches, this one is tended by volunteers.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Stolen black Jetta (update – found)

March 2, 2022 9:02 pm
|    Comments Off on WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Stolen black Jetta (update – found)
 |   Crime | West Seattle news | Westwood

Mackenzie reports a stolen car to watch for: “Black Jetta GLI stolen from 29th Ave SW and Thistle SW. License plate is BWG7161 – WA plates. It was taken night before last (Monday) between 9 pm and 6 am.” If you see it, call 911. (Update: Found in Westcrest Park 10 days after this report.)

UPDATE: 5 people hurt in apartment fire east of Westwood Village

10:09 AM: Seattle Fire has a “full response” arriving in the 2200 block of SW Barton [map]. Updates to come.

(Added: WSB photos)

10:12 AM: Barton is closed between Delridge and 24th SW for this response. Firefighters are telling dispatch the fire is on the building’s third floor.

10:19 AM: SFD confirms it’s a “working fire” in an apartment building and their crews have water on it. The road closure is now extending west to 25th/Barton.

10:28 AM: One person is reported injured and will be taken to Harborview. Our crew has just arrived and says people have been evacuated from the building and a Metro bus is being used for them to shelter.

10:39 AM: They’re still working to extinguish the fire and to confirm that it hasn’t spread beyond the third floor. We also just heard a mention that a cat’s been rescued. Also, our crew reports some people are getting oxygen.

10:45 AM: Fire has been declared under control.

11:01 AM: No word yet on how this started, but SFD’s investigator is on scene. SFD says at least three people have been treated for injuries. This is a 40+-unit complex built in 1968, according to property records.

11:28 AM: At the scene, SFD spokesperson Kristin Tinsley told us five people were hurt – including a man who jumped from a balcony just as firefighters were arriving. He did not need to be taken to the hospital. Two of the four others did. SFD is not sure yet whether anyone will be displaced beyond the resident of the unit where the fire started.

11:53 AM: The Red Cross is assisting those who need it. Meantime, we’ll be checking back periodically on the street-closure situation but continue avoiding the area as a significant SFD presence is likely to continue a while – the incident log shows more than a dozen units still on scene for this call.

12:31 PM: SFD has told dispatch they’re working with property management to determine who can return to their apartments.

1:30 PM: Roads are reopening, police have told dispatch.

2:05 PM: Per Metro alert, area buses are back to their regular routes.

BIZNOTES: Of closures past and future

Three quick notes:

NO MORE SEE’S CANDIES: The temporary See’s Candies shop at Jefferson Square extended its stay until Valentine’s Day, but tonight we noticed that it’s officially gone, with a thank-you note on the door.

The Jefferson Square website lists the 1,400-square-foot space as “available.”

BED BATH BEYOND’S FINAL DAY: When the Westwood Village store’s closure was announced after Christmas, no date was given. But now the countdown is on, and posters in the windows are even announcing how many days are left. We stopped in today to ask; February 26th is the last day, they told us.

KAMEI STILL OPEN: You might recall that the Japanese restaurant at 4512 California SW announced back in October that it would close “early this year.” But so far, into the second half of the second month of 2022, they’re still open. So we asked this week if they have a date yet. Short answer, no – they’re awaiting an update on the development plan for the site. (The most recent construction plan in city files suggests that work could start as soon as April.)

(FRIDAY UPDATE: Commenter Michelle C. posted a photo of a sign that’s gone up since our conversation earlier this week – it now says the closing date will be March 15th.)

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Restaurant burglary

Thanks to the reader who tipped us that Toshi’s Teriyaki in Westwood Village had been broken into on Saturday morning. We obtained the report narrative from police today. According to the report, an alarm at the restaurant led to a police dispatch at 5:43 am. They found the glass shattered in the left entry door. When the store manager arrived, they looked at security video, which showed two people approaching the door just after 4:30 am, and one throwing a large rock through it. They left in a vehicle, and moments later another vehicle returned; two people got out of it and entered the restaurant, but weren’t inside for long before turning and leaving without taking anything. The report has only clothing descriptions for the people involved; the rock-thrower was described as “wearing a gray beanie, black jacket, gray sweats, and white sneakers”; the two who went into the restaurant are described as one “wearing a black jacket, dark-colored cap, dark pants, and black shoes or boots, carrying a black plastic bag in his right hand” and the other “wearing all-dark clothing with black and white tennis shoes.” If you have any information, the case number is 22-036584.

FOLLOWUP: Playground work under way for YMCA’s new Westwood Village preschool/day-care center

ORIGINAL FRIDAY REPORT: While on an errand at Westwood Village this morning, we noticed the work under way in the parking lot immediately south of the Post Office. That’s for the playground that’ll be used by kids from the new preschool/day-care center that the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) is opening nearby. We first reported on the preschool plan almost exactly two years ago; back in November, we published a look inside the space as the remodeling work approached completion. The center will serve more than 120 kids when fully enrolled. We’re checking on the latest projection for when it’ll open.

ADDED SATURDAY: Center director Jill Mudge tells WSB, “We officially opened January 31st and have children already attending and each week add more children to our school. Families have been so happy to have us open. We are hoping to do an open house in mid March or early April.”

BIZNOTE: 2 Westwood Village changes – Xfinity opens, Chico’s closes

Two changes at Westwood Village:

CHICO’S CLOSES: Thanks for the tip! The Westwood Village clothing store Chico’s has closed. We reported last month that a site plan filed with the city showed America’s Best Contacts and Eyeglasses going into that space, though Chico’s hadn’t (at the time) announced its closure.

XFINITY OPENS: After photographing the shuttered Chico’s store, we turned around and noticed the new Xfinity store is open:

The staff told us this is opening day. We first reported almost nine months ago that this store was on the way. Hours are 10 am-8 pm daily except Sundays, when the store will be open 11 am-8 pm.

BIZNOTE: Entrepreneur bringing her ‘alternative’ dream to life with Animated Café

A coffee stand opens next Friday at 35th/Barton. And this little stand has a big backstory.

(Photo courtesy Animated Café)

In the photo is Melanie Robbins, a West Seattle resident who is opening Animated Café in the Tony’s Market lot on the northeast corner of the intersection. She wants other young people to know you can chart your own path. She dropped out of high school just before the pandemic and went into training to be a barista (eventually getting her GED). Instead of going to work for somebody else’s coffee shop, she’s launching her own. She says a year and a half of online studies inspired many of her peers to “carve their own path in the world” too. In email before we spoke by phone, she wrote:

…I’ve watched nearly every one of my friends pursue an alternative lifestyle in order to feel less stuck in a world that seems to have forgotten about them. That means getting a job and fast-tracking their adult lives. The world that has historically valued school as the primary way of learning, and that has been disrupted. We are inspired by social media, do our research on Google, and learn how to make things on YouTube. School was day care for most kids prior to COVID. It turned into a joke during the pandemic instead of being the educational resource it is promised to be

I dropped out of high school 4 months before the pandemic started. Counter to social norms and expectations I felt extremely fortunate because this gave me a massive head start. While getting my GED I joined a program called Fare Start which taught me how to be a barista. At 16, when the pandemic started, I already had my high school equivalency, a job, and was enrolling in college all while my peers were facing the harsh reality of loneliness, fear, & a complete loss of structure. For the first time I felt like an outsider looking in. I had a clear mission, “Save as much money as possible, start a business, and take control of my life.” This seemed different from everyone else I knew at school, but I hope I can be a model for this generation of high-school students who feel stuck in time.

While in lockdown I fortified my love for everything animated. Disney+ just came out, and Hulu and Netflix had a deep library of anime. I always loved this genre of entertainment, and its popularity seemed to spike during the pandemic since people have been stuck at home looking for new shows to watch and mangas to read. 2 years later I have put every dime I earned toward that goal of taking control of my life in a world that seems so out of control. On February 4th Animated Cafe will become a reality, and I think more people my age should do the same thing versus waiting for the world to care.

She has advice for other would-be entrepreneurs, too, and it’s all on the Animated Café website. Starting next Friday, she invites you to come see what her hard work and planning has created. The “animated” theme will feature the proprietor serving guests as “Ana,” a costumed (“family-friendly”) character. “It’s going to be fun!” she promises. She’s planning to serve Dillano’s Coffee and pastries and sandwiches from Seattle’s Favorite. Animated Café will be drive-up, ride-up, or walk-up, 5 am to 5 pm for starters, until she sees what makes sense with the customer flow.

CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office files charge in Westwood Village Target standoff

(WSB photo, last Friday night)

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has filed a felony charge, attempted first-degree kidnapping, in last Friday night’s six-hour standoff at the Westwood Village Target store. As we reported that night, and in a Saturday followup, SWAT officers arrested 31-year-old Timothy A. Clemans after entering the store where he had been alone, with a knife, after customers and staff evacuated. The charge filed against Clemans this afternoon refers to one specific person he is accused of approaching early in the incident, a store employee who says he told her she was “a hostage” and moved toward her with the knife. She got away. As we reported in our followup, just one week earlier, a judge released Clemans from jail over prosecutors’ objections after he was arrested downtown for allegedly assaulting a police officer. The court documents say that three days after that – five days before the Westwood incident – Clemans, a Burien resident, called 911 “making threats against Target stores in Seattle and the surrounding area.” Today’s court documents note that his conviction history includes “Felony Harassment (2020), Assault in the Third Degree (2020), Displaying Weapon (2021), Assault in the Fourth Degree (2019, 2019, 2019, 2019, 2016, 2016), Violation of a No Contact Order (2018), and Harassment (2016).” He remains in the King County Jail, bail set at $100,000.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Midday gunfire investigation

12:02 PM: Police are outside the Southwest Teen Life Center/Pool/Neighborhood Center building, investigating reports of gunfire involving people in two vehicles. No injuries are reported; police say witnesses reported the vehicles left the parking lot afterward, with at least one possibly seen northbound on 27th SW from SW Thistle. We’ve only caught one partial description, a “black sedan.” We’re checking on a report that nearby Chief Sealth International High School and Denny International Middle School are sheltering in place as a result. (Update: Confirmed.)

12:11 PM: Police have told dispatch they’ve found one shell casing “next to the community center.” The center is on the north side of a large lot that also is shared by Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex (on its east side) and the city’s public COVID testing site (on its south side).

12:21 PM: Just talked with police at the scene (who are about to leave). The shell casing was found in the fire-lane area near the parking-lot gate.

12:25 PM: Police have just told dispatch it’s OK for the schools to end the shelter-in-place.

12:29 PM: Minutes later, police reported they found more casings “outside the community center.”

6:54 PM: Here’s the preliminary summary from SPD:

It was reported that one car cut off the other as they both entered the parking lot of The Southwest Athletic Center/COVID Testing site. The passenger of the vehicle that had been cut off got out of the car and fired one round. Vehicle one fled E/B on SW Thistle St. The suspect vehicle followed and then fired more rounds at vehicle one. Both cars then drove in different directions. No one was hit at the time of this (report) and there was no property damage. Evidence of (gunfire) was located.

UPDATE: Police standoff at Westwood Village Target, over after 6 1/2 hours

(WSB photo)

5:55 PM: Police are at Westwood Village dealing with a person in crisis at or near Target. No reports of injuries so far but avoid that side of the center.

6:19 PM: Police are still talking with the person, who is reported to have a knife. They confirmed to us at the scene that everyone else was able to leave the store and the person is the only one inside. He’s someone with whom police are familiar from other similar incidents.

7:20 PM: Not resolved yet.

8:37 PM: No change. Police report they’re in intermittent contact by phone. We went back over for a look; the east half of the center is not affected.

9:55 PM: Standoff continues, after four hours.

11:13 PM: Sixth hour now, no change.

12:22 AM: SWAT officers have taken the man into custody inside the store. They entered the store after negotiators had spent hours talking to him, off and on, by phone. No injuries reported so far but medics will be called to check him out, as officers used a Taser. We mentioned above that police are familiar with this man from other incidents; among them was this one almost exactly a year ago at the same store.

About the police response at Westwood Village

If you’re wondering about a big police response happening at Westwood Village right now – it involves what was described as a man with a sword outside the Chase branch at the center’s southwest end. Radio exchanges between dispatch and officers indicate it’s resolving quickly, though – the man is reported to be in custody after dropping the sword.

MAIL WATCH: Still missing deliveries? Plus, Westwood box out of service again (briefly)

9:31 PM TUESDAY: Two mail-related notes tonight:

STILL MISSING MAIL DELIVERY? Though the snow’s mostly melted, we’re still hearing from some readers that they haven’t seen U.S.Postal Service mail since before Christmas. It may not just be the weather – one reader near The Junction, for example, says a neighbor finally got mail today from a fill-in carrier who said their regular person was out with COVID. Last week, a commenter reported being told about short-staffing. Other reports of skipped deliveries are from all over the peninsula – Fairmount Springs, Gatewood, Westwood, Admiral, Arbor Heights, to name a few; the missing deliveries were mentioned repeatedly in various comment threads this past week, and this week we’ve been getting email reports. We’ve tried repeatedly to get official comment from USPS, but so far, no reply. The last official regional statement was this on December 28th, urging people to help ensure carriers’ winter safety. (ICYMI, one West Seattle neighborhood even rescued a USPS van on Sunday.)

Meantime:

WESTWOOD BOX OUT OF SERVICE AGAIN: Just a few weeks after it was replaced and reopened, the drive-up/ride-up mailbox outside the Westwood Village post office is out of service again.:

A reader mentioned this last week, and we finally got over to check on it today. This is the new, larger box that was installed just two weeks ago, days after the old one was damaged.

1 PM WEDNESDAY: We just visited the Westwood post office and noticed the box is untaped, re-locked, and back in service.