EDITOR’S NOTE: This post was updated with new information at 5:30 p.m. on July 27:



Photos courtesy King County Sheriff’s Office.

UPDATE: The King County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help finding information about a body discovered in a duffle bag in SeaTac on Monday morning, July 27.

As we previously reported, a body was discovered by apartment complex workers Monday morning in a duffle bag (NOTE: our original report said it was a suitcase). Police were called and found what appeared to be a body left next to a dumpster. Homicide detectives responded to investigate and have been canvassing the area for leads.

The body has been turned over the Medical Examiner’s Office to attempt to identify and determine the cause of death.

Detectives with the King County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit are looking for any information on an unidentified person whose remains were found in a duffle bag at an apartment complex.

Monday morning at about 8:30 a.m., SeaTac Police were called to S. 204th Street and 30th Ave S. by a maintenance worker who found what appeared to be a body. When deputies arrived they found a decomposed body in a duffle bag next to a dumpster in the apartment complex.

The body was turned over the medical examiner’s office to attempt to identify the remains and determine the cause of death. Sheriff’s detectives are investigating this as a possible homicide and have been canvassing the area as well as reviewing recent missing person reports.

Based on the circumstances, Sheriff’s detectives do not believe there is a link between this death and another body discovered in the Kent area two months ago (more about that case here). Detectives continue to investigate that separate incident and are still trying to identify the person who was found in the suitcase.

If anyone has information on the identity of the victim or knows possible details about the above incident, they are urged to call the King County Sheriff’s Office 24/7 at (206) 296-3311.





Story & Photos by Pam Fernald

As I chatted with Water Commissioner John Thompson at the Water/Sewer District Open House, I learned that July 15, 2015 signaled the end of an era for a 20-year long volunteer project for John, his son and his former son-in-law.

John – who is 91 years young – has lived in SeaTac since 1957. He started the picnic table project for the Girl Scouts of Western Washington in 1997 when his daughter’s then boss was looking for a volunteer to help with the project, and John stepped up. John has been cutting boards and drilling holes to make the tables for the Girl Scouts this time of year for the last 20 years and has totally enjoyed it.

In the beginning, the guys made 2 or 3 tables a year. But as lumber costs have risen, they recently have been making just 2 a year. The Girl Scouts paid for the lumber.

It takes John and Company a full weekend to cut and drill up the treated 2 x 6 lumber for the tables. Then the guys deliver the lumber pieces to Salt Water State Park where the girls have Scout Camp. The girls do all of the unloading of the lumber and then assemble the tables. Assembling takes the girls about 2 hours.

John wasn’t sure how many girls participated this year, but said there were a lot… As mentioned, the Scouts provide the funding, John brings hammers and 15 to 20 wrenches. John and Company provide the tools and expertise as they shepherd the girls through the process from unloading the table parts from the truck to assembling the boards into tables. The girls learn how to follow directions and use tools properly.

John has thoroughly enjoyed his time teaching the girls how to assemble the tables saying, “It has been a pleasure to do these projects and watch the little girls learn to work with the tools.”

Over the years John figures his team and the girls have built around 50 picnic tables. These tables are installed at Salt Water Park where the Girl Scouts of Western Washington attend Soundview Day camp every summer. These tables each have a plaque affixed which states: “Built and donated by Girl Scouts Soundview Day Camp,” and then the year the table was built.

I drove out to Saltwater Park to get photos of the tables and was pleasantly surprised to find the girls together, eating lunch, and willing to chat and pose for a photo.

I asked the girls what the best part of building the tables was for them. Following are some of their replies:

“You get to work with friends.”

“I like when you put the nails in and they stay there.”

“Putting the benches together.”

“I like sitting under the table.”

“Eating our super purple cookies at the table.”

John says it would be nice if someone a little younger wanted to take his place with the picnic table project. Let him know if you are interested…

Here’s episode #12 of our SoKing News Podcast, which is sponsored by a generous grant from J-Lab’s Encore Media Entrepreneurs program, supported with funding from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation and the Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation:

Burien City Council problems; Sea-Tac’s new airport runway; Burien Arts Gallery burglarized; fireworks over Fireworks in Normandy Park; Jack Mayne Commentary on the Burien council + more…:

Please subscribe to our Podcast, hear previous episodes and rate us on iTunes here!

STB Real Estate Sponsor Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Northwest’s Open House – set for this Sunday, July 26 – is a fabulous Normandy Park 4 (or 5) bedroom, 5-bath home on 1/2 an acre!

Walk to Marvista Elementary from this house, which has a versatile open floor plan that rotates around an updated kitchen.

Formal living and dining or casual eating bar off the kitchen and family room makes this home comfortable for casual or formal entertaining.

Large master suite with 5-piece bath.

Huge Mother in law/Nanny suite with separate entrance.

3-car garage with additional RV parking…AND a private back yard with all year round hot tub cabana!

Here are some pics (click images to see larger versions/slideshow):




















Here are the details:

WHAT: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Open House

WHEN: Sunday, July 26, from 1 – 4 p.m.

WHERE: 19660 Marine View Dr SW, Normandy Park 98166 (MAP)


  • List Price: $700,000
  • MLS Number: 820921
  • Bedrooms: 4
  • Bathrooms: 4.75
  • Year Built: 1985
  • Square Footage: 4,000
  • Lot Square Footage: 21,500

Site Features:

  • Bath Off Master
  • Dbl Pane/Storm Windw
  • Dining Room
  • French Doors
  • Hot Tub/Spa
  • Loft
  • Vaulted Ceilings
  • Walk In Pantry
  • Walk-in Closet

Marketing remarks:

Walk to Marvista Elementary!

Fabulous Normandy Park 4 or 5 bedroom, 5 bath home on 1/2 acre property!

Versatile open floor plan that rotates around an update kitchen.

Formal living and dining or casual eating bar off the kitchen and family room makes this home comfortable for casual or formal entertaining.

Large master suite with 5 piece bath.

Huge Mother in law/Nanny suite with separate entrance. 3 car garage with additional RV parking.

Private back yard with all year round hot tub cabana.

Click here to see the full, detailed listing.

Click here to view all of Berkshire Hathaway’s Open Houses, and click here to “Like” them on Facebook.

The City of SeaTac announced Friday (July 24) that it “supports the decision of the Sound Transit Board … to select the SR 509/I-5 alignment for the Federal Way Link Extension as the preferred alternative.”

On May 12, the SeaTac City Council unanimously adopted a resolution expressing a preference for the SR 509/I-5 alignment to minimize impacts on residents and businesses while maximizing economic development opportunities.

The cities of Des Moines, Kent and Federal Way also took formal action to support the SR 509/I-5 alignment option.

“Light rail continuing south from the Angle Lake Station at South 200th Street to Kent/Des Moines and eventually to Federal Way utilizing Washington State Department of Transportation right-of-way purchased for SR 509 makes sense from both a financial and community perspective. This route reduces the impacts to our city while making the best use of those properties,” said Mayor Mia Gregerson. “We encourage Sound Transit to continue working with the parties who expressed a preference for the SR 99 alignment to address their concerns appropriately.”

Next, Sound Transit will advance design of the preferred alternative and refine the environmental impact analysis. These findings will be published in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) expected in late 2016. The Sound Transit Board of Directors will consider the findings in the FEIS and select a project to build.

More information on the Federal Way Link Extension is available on Sound Transit’s website, http://www.soundtransit.org/Projects-and-Plans/Federal-Way-Link-Extension.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Our newest column – by Janice Taylor – is her personal viewpoint of current issues and the City of SeaTac. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The SeaTac Blog nor its staff. We are seeking additional regular columnists to reflect different opinions and views of SeaTac residents. Those interested can e-mail us at editor@seatacblog.com.

by Janice Taylor

Get out your hip waders. It’s election time again.

Last week my neighbors and I received our King County Voter’s Pamphlets, and it got me thinking about the state of our Democratic system. My late husband, an Italian, used to say America got the government it deserved, in reference to our abysmally low voter turn-out compared to other developed countries. Diss Italy all you want, but 68.5% of their voting-age population casts ballots as opposed to the U.S.’s 53.6%.

But here’s where the numbers tell another story. In the U.S., 84.3% of registered voters vote as opposed to Italy’s 75.2%. Quite simply, this means more people here who have taken the time to register go on to exercise their voting right. They get involved. (Source cited below.)

In the past few years, we’ve seen a big push from both major political parties to get people registered because they are well aware of that 84.3% number and hope it will work for their side. Condoleezza Rice often relates the story of how her parents became Republicans. In Jim Crow-era Alabama, Democrats were in the majority. Rice’s educated, middle-class parents approached them first to register, only to be turned away for not meeting certain (illegal) criteria. The minority Republicans had no problem registering the Rices. Ms. Rice’s loyalty to the Republican Party in part stems from their treatment of her parents.

Getting folks registered should just be a good thing, but sadly, as most things politics touches, even that process has become tainted. Who gets to vote? Federal Law states non-citizens are NOT eligible to vote in this country. Yet only Arizona and Kansas have state laws that require voter applicants show proof of citizenship and, in a recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, those proof laws only apply to state elections. So, anyone who can provide a state ID can vote, U.S. citizen or not. In Washington State, the citizenship question is asked, accompanied by the “providing false information…is punishable…” warning – but zero proof – is required.

What I find insidious are the groups who knowingly approach our immigrant communities and register them without underscoring citizenship–a driver’s license is okay. These groups fancy they are serving a greater public good. They aren’t the ones who stand to get into trouble. The poor person breaking US law is. Such groups are alive and well in this area, empowered by the general open attitude of the population and proof omissions in state law.

I probably wouldn’t be so concerned if those groups were about getting residents, citizens or not, involved in their communities, but they’re not. They are all about pushing agendas. If community came first and foremost, ALL residents would be encouraged to register, not just targeted groups. It’s no secret the proponents of SeaTac’s flawed $15/hour minimum wage law concentrated on registering members of the communities whose members make up a large portion of airport workers—knowing full-well the City of SeaTac had no jurisdiction over labor matters of the Port of Seattle. The agenda made international headlines, but helped very few of the people who voted for it.

But I will not blame those voters. At least they went out and took part in the process. I blame more the people who don’t bother. Registering to vote is easier than making a purchase on Amazon, and voting today no longer requires a dedicated trip to the polling place. (I’m not a great fan of mail-in voting as I miss the pomp and circumstance of Voting Day, but it is easy.) I think if we want to get the agenda-pushers out of the process, we all need to encourage everyone to register. Coffee, computer, driver’s license, and it’s done. Make it a party. And if that 84.3% statistic holds true, think of the impact on our communities.

One final riff: Over the years, I have found the most vehement complainers of our governments actually do not vote. They say their votes won’t matter and why bother. As my husband would have pointed out, they got what they deserved.



Robbins and Company Has TWO IMMEDIATE Positions Available!

About Our Company:
Robbins and Company is the LEADER in foundation repair and drainage for Washington State, and you will be trained on our state-of-the-art specialized foundation and drainage products. Our website can be found atwww.robbinsfoundationsystems.com and you can search for us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. We have been awarded the #1 Foundation Repair Dealer for our region since 2007. We have also been once awarded the #1 National Dealer in total sales.

We have achieved this goal by consistently providing strong customer service, honesty, and quality to our customers. After 63 years in business in the Seattle Area, we pride ourselves in honesty and integrity and the quality of our products. We also have the best staff in the industry behind the products we offer and install.

If you have the character or experience of a Top producing sales professional – we may want to talk with you. We are looking for someone with the drive and desire to be the BEST at what they do, and love doing it with passion.

Whether you’re young or old, we’ll train you on our system for success with our company.

Criteria Needed from You:

  • Highly motivated, self-disciplined and driven
  • Some prior sales experience or training in sales
  • Some prior construction experience or basic construction knowledge
  • Good grammar, spelling and legible handwriting in order to compose written estimates in the field and computer estimate in the office
  • Must have knowledge of computers and programs such as Microsoft Excel, Word, etc. Our proposals are generated with Microsoft Excel and imported to customer database software called ACT.
  • Valid Washington State Driver’s License, must be insurable and must be able to provide driving record for past 3 years
  • Able to work varying hours from 8 am – 7 pm. If you can’t be flexible in hours to meet our customers’ needs please do not apply.
  • Able to work varying days from Sun – Sat. If you can’t work weekends to meet our customers’ needs please do not apply.

Min Hours: 40
Max Hours: 60

Our Salespeople Receive:

  1. Qualified Customer Leads (no prospecting)
  2. Vehicle transportation and equipment to and from appointments
  3. Company issued laptop
  4. Company issued cell phone
  5. Training on our foundation repair and drainage products and their best use
  6. Knowledgeable office staff to collaborate with you
  7. A fun but fast-paced work environment


  • Hourly: Hourly positions start at $17.00/hr with option to go straight commission at any time
  • Commission: Commissioned positions can exceed $100K annually depending on your strengths and abilities

Benefits and Perks
We provide a car for transportation from our facility in Burien to your customer appointments. After 90 days, you’re eligible for Medical, Dental and Vision. Hourly employees are eligible for vacation and Simple IRA after one (1) full year of employment.

Please email with your resume attached to be considered for an interview. We will reach out to you if it’s likely you’re a good match for our needs. Otherwise, you may drop off your resume M – F between 1:00 and 3:00 pm to apply in person. Our address is 818 SW 142nd Street, Burien, WA 98166.

We’re needing to hire TWO dependable and responsible laborers. Most work is in the area of foundation stabilization, foundation piering, digging and slab jacking. (Experience is not required.)


  • English as a 1st or 2nd language
  • Able to lift 100 lbs on a regular basis
  • Valid Washington State Driver’s License
  • Able and available to work weekends
  • Able and available to work out of town and possibly stay overnight if needed on occasional projects

Compensation depends on experience, and benefits include Medical, Dental and Vision after 90 days.

NOTE: Applicant will need to provide a current (within the last month) 3 year driving abstract from the Department of Licensing when submitting application. If this is not received with the application – it will not be accepted.

Please email resume to info@robbinsandco.com with headline “Labor Position” to be considered for an interview.

The City of SeaTac announced Wednesday (July 22) that it will host its first Community Leadership Academy this fall, “to enhance community involvement while sharing information about how city government operates.”

The city says that the academy will include presentations by City officials responsible for services ranging from public safety and street maintenance to the local court system, policy making and budgeting. All City departments will participate in the interactive information sessions.

Many of the presentations will take place at City Hall, located at 4800 South 188th Street. Some may include tours of facilities, such as a fire station, or “field trips” to other City locations such as the community center. The final agenda will include more detailed information on locations and the focus of each presentation.

The nine session academy will take place Wednesday evenings from 6:00-7:30 p.m. beginning September 9th through October 28th and culminate in a presentation at the November 10th Council meeting. Participation is open to SeaTac residents, business owners, service providers and students 18 years or older who live, work or attend school in SeaTac. Spots will be limited to a maximum of 30 participants.

Applications are due no later than August 21, 2015 and can be found at http://www.ci.seatac.wa.us/communityleadershipacademy.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This column by Earl Gipson is a view of SeaTac city government. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The SeaTac Blog nor its staff. We are seeking additional regular columnists to reflect different opinions and views of SeaTac residents. Those interested can e-mail us at editor@seatacblog.com.]

by Earl Gipson

Got a couple of opinions here and feel free to ignore them. My wife does (if you read this, just kidding dearest).

On Storm Water/Surface Water Management
We had no storm water personnel in 2011. It was handled under Public Works and the existing employees.

Now we have a Storm Water Manager, a Storm Water Coordinator, and a Storm Water Technician dedicated to water, gravity, and rain.

Of course this is needed and you have been paying for it in taxes year in and year out.

Of course we needed the huge tax increase on our SWM (Surface Water Management) taxes voted in by our Majority Council without a citizen’s vote.

Of course we need dedicated personnel and our own new $250,000 box truck loaded with cameras and instruments as proposed in Tuesday’s (July 14) Study Session to shove up pipes. The sewer district, gas company, and water districts have been doing the same shoving for years.

No one likes to share.

Our SWM fund has revenue of $2 million annually. That is probably going to be cut by $500,000 if the rumors are correct that the Port of Seattle will start their own SWM utility.

With SeaTac Storm Water employee salaries and benefits of $580,000 annually in our current budget this leaves only $1million to do anything about known and found problems. Increased recurring costs without an increase in recurring revenue.

Austerity is not what it is needed. Math, a smidgen of common sense; mix thoroughly. However, Greece, we are going to feel your pain (in a little bit) if we keep going in this manner.

Oscar Night at Council
In Council Comments on Tuesday, it seemed everyone was thanked for something. I was even thanked for being nice. Someone on the Council may need a drug test or the primary is getting to them. Thank me all you want, won’t change my vote. It was also stated they never know what I am going to say. Well, duh.

More opinions.

On Density
We really want density in our region. With the new predictions of a major earthquake in our region of 9.0 or better in the very near future this is a good idea (we have a few volcanoes, too).

We will have screwed up our transportation systems, housing, and just plain quality of life in the Northwest. The earth will have to do major urban renewal for us.

The Growth Management Act will look like the joke that it is and those tomes of Comprehensive Plans our region’s cities and counties have to prepare will be thrown on the fires or sunk in the ocean with the other “best laid plans.”

Keep in mind these disasters will only affect smokers, obese people, drug dealers, pimps, and car drivers. It will skip over vegetarians, bicyclists, “progressives,” and government officials in their bunkers or on taxpayer-paid vacations/junkets across the land.

This is not gloom and doom. I live here voluntarily (smoke too) knowing all this and come what may but keep telling me we need to pack’em and stack’em for future generations you have a fool’s bet in a geologically volatile region.

Good luck to us all but I am cool with it (fatalistic perhaps).

On Voting
You should have your Voter’s Pamphlet and ballot by now. Don’t let this primary and other ballots pass you by. Candidates and measures pass/fail on razor thin margins (and quite a few in SeaTac) and your vote does count.

I am not fond of our three paid for Council incumbents and if you have been reading my column you already know that.

I vote every chance I get and research the candidates over and above the voter’s pamphlet and glossy mailings. If my editor permits, I will make recommendations for the SeaTac Council for the November ballot.

The Seattle Times does it, why not the Cactus? I will show the same un-bias they do (snicker).

The Port of Seattle is reconstructing Sea-Tac Airport’s center runway (designated as 16C/34C), originally built in 1969, and scheduled to be completed and re-opened on Oct. 30, 2015.

The project includes installation of a new LED runway lighting system and an automated electronic Foreign Object Debris (FOD) detection system to provide additional safety on the runway. Portions of connecting taxiways are also being replaced along with associated electrical, water, and aging storm water infrastructure.

This is the first reconstruction of the runway since it was built in 1969. The runway was originally built with 14-inch thick pavement and a 20-year life design. Over the last 20 years, 600+ panels (out of 4000) have been replaced to keep the runway operational.

The project will cost approximately $95 million.

Upon completion, all three SeaTac runways will have been built or rebuilt in the last seven years. The new runway is designed to last 40 years.

Here are some great photos of the reconstruction, as shot by resident Elston Hill (with Jackline) on Friday, July 17 (click images to see larger versions/slideshow):


























The port has received $15 million in FAA grants and anticipates another $10 million in future FAA grants. The remaining funding was allocated from Airport Development Funds, Airport Improvement Project Grants, and future revenue bonds.

The existing concrete from the runway is being recycled and crushed on site into gravel as the sub-base for the new runway. This is anticipated to be over 300,000 square yards of recycled concrete.  Over 200,000 square yards of new concrete will be placed for the new runway.

The new runway will consist of eight inches of crushed rock sub-base, four inches of asphalt, and 18 inches of Portland cement concrete. Over 16,000 feet of new storm drain pipe will be installed.

Additional Project Facts:

  • 16C/34C is 9,426’ in length. (Sea-Tac’s longest runway, 16L/34R is 11,901’ in length and its third runway, 16R/34L, is 8,500’).
  • Upon completion of the project, all three of Sea-Tac’s runways will have been constructed or rebuilt within the last seven years.
  • 16R/34L was built in 2008, while 16L/34R was reconstructed in 2009.
  • The lifespan of the reconstructed center runway is estimated to be 40 years.
  • The runway surface is made up of 4,000+ concrete panels, each measuring 20’ X 18.75‘. Over the course of the last 20 years,
  • 600+ panels have been replaced to keep the runway operational.
  • The concrete from the runway will be recycled and crushed on site into gravel that will be used as the sub-base for the new runway. This is anticipated to be over 300,000 Square Yards (SY) of recycled concrete.
  • Over 200,000 SY of new concrete will be poured for the new runway.
  • The new runway will consist of eight inches of crushed rock sub-base, four inches of asphalt, and 18 inches of Portland cement concrete.
  • Over 16,000 linear feet of new storm drain pipe will be installed.

For more info, click here.