West Seattle, Washington
In case you didn’t get this via a text alert or see it elsewhere: Metro has an online survey under way, asking you to agree/disagree with statements in categories including: Availability (including “The bus service is usually reliable”), accessibility (such as “It is easy to move around inside the bus”), information (“It is easy to get up to the minute information on when my bus will arrive”), time (“The bus gets me to my destination in good time”), customer care (“Staff are helpful”), comfort (“The bus is clean”), security, environmental impact, and more. It’s described as for everyone even if you seldom use the bus. If you have a few minutes to spare, go here.
With just hours remaining in 2018, here’s this year’s edition of our one traditional year-in-review story – the year’s 10 most-commented-on WSB stories. Again this year, there are 11 on the list, with a tie along the way:
#10 – ANTI-SEMITIC VANDALISM IN SUNRISE HEIGHTS
November 26, 2018 – 138 comments
Anti-Semitic slurs painted behind Sunrise Heights homes drew regional attention, and a support rally in The Junction a week later. No arrest reported so far.
#9 – DEADLY STABBING ON ALKI AVENUE
June 2, 2018 – 140 comments
22-year-old Jonathan Pecina was stabbed to death near Anchor/Luna Park. No arrest reported so far.
#8 – HEAD TAX
May 14, 2018 – 141 comments
This story looked at the “head tax” passed by the City Council – which later repealed it.
#7 – NOVEMBER POWER OUTAGE
November 30, 2018 – 145 comments
This outage affected about 3,000 West Seattle homes and businesses for an hour and a half.
That’s Seattle Channel video (click here if you can’t see it above) from last Thursday’s West Seattle meeting about some of the city surveillance technologies that are currently under review. If you missed it, you can attend one of the three meetings still ahead and/or comment online through next Monday. What the video doesn’t show you, since it only covers the meeting-opening presentations, is what we can tell you since we were there to cover it: The small-group discussion wasn’t much of a discussion. The sizable city-staff contingent was prepared to break attendees into multiple small groups, but there were only enough for one, and all but one of that handful of attendees said they were there in hopes of hearing/seeing what the general public had to say. But before we get to that – the overall toplines, including what we learned from the presentations (including one thing we weren’t aware of):
First big event of Hallo-weekend – more than 300 people on the paths of Lincoln Park, raising money for local co-op preschools via the West Seattle Monster Dash. It was a beautiful morning in the forest:
Spooky creatures everywhere you looked:
This set of outfits, you might call sweet:
Here’s our video as everybody left the starting line:
This was the Monster Dash’s seventh year!
The first version of our 2018 West Seattle Halloween (Etc.) Guide is up – find it here! If you’re planning a seasonal event/activity/show that’s open to the public, free or fee, and you haven’t sent us the info yet, please e-mail the what/when/where to firstname.lastname@example.org – we’ll be updating the guide daily as new info comes in. P.S. If you spot cool Halloween decorations, we’re interested in those too – please send the location and we’ll go look!
By the end of the year, Washington State Ferries is under orders to deliver its next Long-Range Plan to the state Legislature. First, WSF will make the draft version public soon, in time for a round of open-house meetings in the communities it serves. The dates and locations are already set, including one here in West Seattle – Monday, September 17th, 5-7 pm at Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW). The new Long-Range Plan is supposed to cover the ferry system’s future through 2040.
The technical work we mentioned the other day had to continue this morning, so it will be a few hours until the site is stable. If you get a warning message on certain browsers/devices – it’s a bit ironic because the work that is under way is actually related to beefing up site security (changing WSB to https access, like many websites already have done) but we have so many internal links that those might trigger the warning. Apologies and thanks for your patience!
Just a heads-up: We’re planning some technical work very early Thursday, around 5 am. It shouldn’t take more than a few hours but if you experience anything unusual later in the morning or beyond, please let us know – email@example.com remains the best address, and of course you can always reach us immediately at 206-293-6302, text or voice. If the work interrupts access to WSB, we will of course report any breaking news in social-media channels (Twitter is always first). Thanks as always for your patience!
With a variety of Seattle Housing Authority properties in West Seattle, there’s certainly grounds for interest in how the SHA spends its money and time. It currently has a survey going, and whether or not you have a direct SHA connection such as tenancy, the SHA is interested in your answers. You can find it here.
2:02 PM: Two days after West Seattle’s first homicide of 2018, no arrest yet in the shooting death of 44-year-old Lorenzo Marr at WS Stadium. That’s according to Seattle Police; we talked with Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis before he spoke to today’s West Seattle Chamber of Commerce lunch meeting at The Kenney. He said the belief that it wasn’t random is the newest information on the case, and they are continuing to look for a silver Toyota Camry – sightings reported so far have not panned out. Mr. Marr was identified publicly by friends and family last night as they launched a crowdfunding campaign to cover funeral costs. According to the Rainier Beach Track Club – one of two community-center track clubs (along with High Point) there for a meet on Tuesday night – Mr. Marr was a club dad. The shooting happened about 7:30 pm Tuesday in the stadium parking lot; the victim, who police say was shot multiple times, was rushed to Harborview Medical Center but could not be saved. (Photo: Lorenzo Marr Memorial Fund page)
ADDED 3:49 PM: From Seattle Parks this afternoon:
Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) is deeply saddened by the events that took place on May 8 outside of West Seattle stadium during an SPR youth track meet. Our thoughts are with the families, children, and staff who were present at the stadium.
We are grateful to staff and parents who quickly responded to keep children and families safe and sheltered. Johnnie Williams, Luwam Ogube and Brieah Marino as well as other staff, acted heroically and we cannot thank them enough for their quick judgement and bravery.
We have scheduled a Community Healing Circle with Reverend Harriett Walden on Saturday, May 12 from 10 am-1 pm at Rainier Community Center (Gym #2). We invite all those seeking support to attend.
We are canceling the Lowell Barry track meet that was scheduled for Saturday, May 12.
City Championship track meets will take place on Monday and Tuesday, May 14 & May 15 at Chief Sealth HS Stadium. Monday’s meet is for ages 7-10, and begins at 5:30 pm. Tuesday’s meet is for ages 11-18, and begins at 5:30 pm.
We have reached out to Seattle Police Department to request their presence at both championship meets.
Our thoughts are with the victim’s family, the families and children who were participating, and the SPR staff and volunteers who run the track and field program. Again, we are incredibly grateful to our staff who quickly reacted to keep our kids and families safe during this event, and we will be considering how to offer active shooter training for all youth athletic coaches, volunteers, and staff.
We mentioned last month that our email-serving company was having trouble. While we are working on moving to a different company (not so easy with the huge amount of email we have stored over the past decade-plus), the problem has worsened – not just for us, but for other customers – and our main account has been all but inaccessible when it’s most important, during the day and early evening hours.
Luckily we have a backup Gmail account that works well, so for now, if you’re sending us anything, please send it to (or at least CC it to) firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope to have this problem resolved soon. (Side note – this is NOT affecting the WSB website itself, which we moved last year to a different company that’s done an excellent job of keeping it up, running, and responsive, even in times of breaking-news overload.) Our apologies and thanks, as always.
Congratulations to the West Seattle Linux User Group, now one year old. If you’re interested, you’re invited to its meeting tomorrow, which is also an anniversary breakfast. From co-founder Justin:
The West Seattle Linux User Group (WSeaLUG) is celebrating its one-year anniversary this month. It has been a great year getting to know fellow Linux enthusiasts in West Seattle and beyond. We have have average of 10 members show up every other Saturday morning to enjoy chatting and learning from each other about all things Linux. We have also had a few presentations about items such as ‘installing and configuring a web server,’ ‘LUKS & YubiKey,’ and ‘Linux Firewalls & IPTables,’ to name a few. We were also community sponsors of the Seattle GNU/Linux Conference last November.
If you are a Linux enthusiast or want to learn more about Linux, we hope you will join us.
Tomorrow morning’s meeting is at a different location than usual – Be’s Restaurant in The Junction, 9 am (4509 California SW). Otherwise, the club usually meets twice a month at the Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor) – check here; we list the meetings in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, too. (If your club meets regularly and is open to interested members of the public, we’d be happy to list your meetings too – e-mail the info to email@example.com – thank you!)
Andrew Stuckey launched Podcast: West Seattle earlier this year, and is up to the third of his monthly installments – listen to it below:
This one bites into topics including West Seattle/White Center pizza, with a playoff of sorts. And he has an in-person event coming up, with an invitation for you – but a little bit about him first:
Andrew explains that his podcast isn’t a commercial enterprise:
I have lived in West Seattle for about 9 years (2005-2007 / 2012-Present). I taught high school English and Social Studies for 15 years, most recently at TAF Academy in Federal Way. I recently decided to change careers and go into audio production, and this podcast project is an excuse to go through the process of telling stories in the audio medium. Essentially the podcast is practice for a job I hope to have some day, and hopefully some of the segments will be portfolio-worthy. I created the format because it allows me to practice telling the types of stories I want to tell while satisfying some intellectual curiosity about the fascinating neighborhood we live in.
He adds, “You can subscribe on iTunes by searching for Podcast: West Seattle.” (You’ll find the first two on SoundCloud, too.)
Now, the in-person event (which is also on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar): 5-6 pm on Tuesday, April 17th, stop by Beveridge Place Pub (6413 California SW) to help decide the pizza-tournament winner. Listen to his podcast to see how the field of 16 got narrowed down!
The company that handles our mail server – different from the one handling our website server – has been having trouble off and on for a few days. So far today, the service has been far more off than on, so if you are trying to send us something, particularly if it’s time-sensitive like a lost/found pet, please use our alternate address: firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you, and sorry!
If you read the Sunday Seattle Times, you might have seen the cover story for this week’s Pacific NW Magazine section, Ron Judd‘s overview of our city’s local-media scene, nine years after the region was rocked by news of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer scrapping its print edition. We’re honored to have been included in the coverage, with Mike Siegel‘s photo of WSB’s living-room newsroom and a mention of independent-local-online-only news leaders/survivors, including us. The story starts on page 10 of the print magazine in today’s Times, and you can also read it online.
It’s now been more than 10 years since WSB went commercial in fall 2007, covering West Seattle 24/7, and we’ve been so busy covering the news that there wasn’t time for an anniversary party, but we do want to say “thank you” – to everyone who comes here to find out what’s up, and to everyone who sends tips and photos and lost/found pet notices and calendar listings and more. “Community collaboration” is and continues to be what WSB is all about. And huge thanks to the local businesses who advertise on WSB – reaching local customers and making it possible for us to continue comprehensive local-news coverage 24/7.
Live and/or work in Fauntleroy? It’s survey time, as just announced by the Fauntleroy Community Association:
Every two years, the Fauntleroy Community Association (FCA) conducts a community survey to help us determine what topics, issues, and concerns are important to the residents of Fauntleroy. It helps the FCA prioritize and strategize, and gives us direct feedback about what matters to the community.
We want to hear what Fauntleroy residents currently think are the most important issues for the area. If you live in the Fauntleroy area, please take the survey (by going here).
It will only take a few minutes, and will help guide FCA’s efforts in the coming years.
If you don’t have time now – you can use our Share This link below to e-mail it to yourself for later (that’s also how you can share any WSB story, forum post, etc., in a variety of ways)!
Two site notes:
MAINTENANCE DOWNTIME: Our server-management company tells us we’ll be down for a while at some point at/after 11 pm tonight, while they do some semi-urgent maintenance for multiple customers including us. Could be anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours. If there’s breaking news and we’re down, we’ll report it in the WSB social media channels.
COMMENTING GLITCH FIXED: Some who use one of our mobile modes have had trouble commenting – it even happened to us: If you tapped the comment window, the keyboard wouldn’t come up unless you hit a formatting key first (bold, yellow highlight, italic, etc.). This has now been fixed. Thanks again to the people who reported this – glitches don’t always affect everyone, because of the differences between the way browsers, operating systems, devices interact, so we don’t always know about problems until they’re reported (email@example.com).
In the spirit of “it’s not over until it’s over,” we usually wait until the last day of the year to look back on what’s happened. So, with hours remaining in 2017, here are the top 10 (11 again this year because of a tie) most-commented-on WSB stories of the year:
#10 – MAYOR MURRAY’S STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS
February 21, 2017 – 127 comments
This was more than a month before first word of sex-abuse allegations against the then-mayor; the uproar was over taxes, especially a $55 million property tax proposed to fight homelessness. (He dropped the idea a month and a half later.)
#9 – FE-BRRRRR-UARY SNOWSTORM
February 6, 2017 – 133 comments
This was no mere snowstorm. Though just a few inches fell, the storm also included a big power outage and school closures, so there was lots of info for commenters to share with each other.
#8 – GREAT AMERICAN DINER & BAR COMING TO WEST SEATTLE
May 7, 2017 – 139 comments
Four months after Shelby’s Bistro and Ice Creamery closed at 4752 California SW, we learned the Great American Diner & Bar would become the sixth establishment in 10 years to inhabit the space. We had few details when we published this – a few days later, we interviewed the co-proprietors.
#7 (tie) – ADMIRAL STABBING SUSPECT CHARGED, BAIL QUADRUPLED
October 12, 2017 – 141 comments
The second half of 2017 brought two particularly shocking street attacks, including the one involved in this case. Kierra Ward, who had been living on the streets in Admiral, was charged with stabbing a woman out for a walk with her baby, and also charged with a second crime for threatening a man who tried to intervene. (Ward remains in the King County Jail, in lieu of $400,000 bail, as the case proceeds through the system, with her next case-scheduling hearing set for January 4th.)
#7 (tie) – BICYCLIST ESCAPES ATTACKER ALONG PATH; CITY PLANS ACTION
March 24, 2017 – 141 comments
Campers underneath the western half of the West Seattle Bridge escaped much official notice until this incident, in which a bicyclist riding home from work escaped someone who tried to grab her on the path under/alongside the bridge. The incident brought light to problems including non-functioning lighting, and various city departments sprang into action.
#6 – RYAN COX ARRESTED AGAIN, AFTER GATEWOOD STABBING
August 8, 2017 – 151 comments
Ryan Cox, a repeat offender who had been something of a fixture in recent years in the Morgan Junction, Fauntleroy, and Gatewood areas, was arrested and charged with stabbing a man. He remains in jail in lieu of $150,000, awaiting trial; we published this update on his case December 22nd.
Two site notes tonight:
HOLIDAY GUIDE: Version 1.0 is live – with much more to be added as the season goes on – but with Thanksgiving a week away, it’s time to get this big wave of information out there. See it here, and check back often – we’ll be updating it at least once a day throughout the season.
TECH TROUBLE: Sorry if you’re having trouble tonight with our site in desktop/laptop browsers – since some glitching hit a few hours ago, we’ve brought most components back but we’re still working on restoring the rest. And thanks again to the first people to let us know about the problems – we work in an administrative interface and might not know immediately when something is wrong. (Tech trouble can be reported the same way news tips are – firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-293-6302 – thank you.)
10:53 AM: Thanks to Cami for flagging us to this – which we’ve since discovered is affecting service here at HQ too: Comcast acknowledges its internet service is having trouble:
Some customers are having issues with their XFINITY Internet service. We apologize & appreciate your patience while we work to fix.
— ComcastCares (@comcastcares) November 6, 2017
Via Twitter, among other places, the problem appears to be affecting people in multiple states.
12:27 PM: Comcast describes the problem, via Twitter, as “an external network issue.” Cami, meantime, says her service (in the Alki area) is better now.
10:38 PM: CNN reports that, believe it or not, CenturyLink had something to do with the Comcast problems.
Heads up in case you’re going to be awake in the very early morning hours tomorrow (aka, very late tonight) – WSB will be down for a while, likely somewhere in the 2-4 am vicinity, for some technical work. It’s totally under-the-hood stuff so you shouldn’t notice anything different once we’re back up, but if you do, please contact us so we can troubleshoot (e-mail is best – email@example.com). And if any breaking news happens during that time (we’ve had two big early-early-morning stories in the past week, so you never know), we’ll get you the info via our social-media channels (here and here). Thanks for your patience!
EDITOR’S NOTE: Tonight the city’s Technology Matching Fund celebrates its 20th anniversary with a 5:30 pm gathering at El Centro de la Raza (2524 16th Ave. S.). While the party’s not in West Seattle, the latest round of recipients included two local nonprofits – and this story takes a closer look at what the money means for one of them.
By Marika Lee
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
For some, tasks such as uploading a resume or printing important documents seem simple. But not when everything is in an unfamiliar language and computers are not yet an everyday part of your life.
“A lot of things get lost in translation and having someone who speaks your language when you are trying to navigate a new email account, for example, is much easier,” said Ahmed Rodol of the East African West Seattleites he helps.
“(Education for All) was intended to be a bridge between immigrants that are here and the resources that are available. Also, to help them compete in the work environment and help them be confident enough to seek the American dream and be self-sufficient,” Rodol said.
Five development notes:
6022 CALIFORNIA DEMOLITION: By day’s end, the commercial building at 6022 California SW [map] was gone. It’s the former home of City Nails, which has moved several blocks north to 5242 California SW. We first reported almost a year ago on the plan for this site and the already-under-construction one two doors north. On this site, it will be a relatively common arrangement – three live-work units, two townhouses, two single-family houses, five offstreet-parking spaces.
12 APARTMENTS IN LUNA PARK AREA: Plans for a three-story, 12-apartment building at 3026 SW Charlestown are proceeding, first mentioned here two years ago. In this week’s first Land Use Information Bulletin, the city published the notice of a determination of nonsignificance – meaning they don’t believe it will have significant environmental impact. If you want to appeal that, you have until July 31st – here’s how.
7-UNIT ROWHOUSE FOR 4214 30TH SW: Not far away, in a rapidly densifying North Delridge pocket, two houses are planned for replacement with a 7-unit rowhouse building at 4214 30th SW, according to an early-stage plan in city files.
12 UNITS FOR 5005/5011 DELRIDGE: A combination of rowhouse and townhouse units are shown on the early-stage plan for this site, currently home to 1960s-era multiplex units.
JUNCTION MICROSTUDIOS COMPLETE: The six-story, 58-unit building at 4528 44th SW is about to have its grand opening, and it has a name: Vega. Construction started 14 months ago with demolition of the 8-unit building it replaced.