Tim Clifford
Matt Wilson comes ashore with his entry into the Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest on Redondo Beach. Other contestants can be seen making their way to dry land behind him.

The art of underwater pumpkin carving

Local divers participate in the annual underwater contest off Redondo Beach

By Tim Clifford

Some Halloween traditions are of the spooky and spine tingling variety. Other traditions, such as the annual Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest held on Redondo Beach, are geared more towards testing technical skills and coordination than giving a fright.

Setting out from a small beach near Salty’s and Mast Center on Sunday, Oct.26 nearly 20 local divers hit the water fully geared and with Jack-o-lanterns in hand just after 1 p.m. Hosted by Federal Way’s Underwater Sports, prizes ranged from underwater flash lights to scuba fins for place holders in the contest.

The rules of the contest each year are simple: each contestant is given 30 minutes to carve their pumpkin while completely submerged. No pre-contest cuts or stenciling are allowed. Finally all contestants are required to dive in groups of two, in accordance with the “buddy system” that PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) promotes to ensure the safety of all divers.

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Man and woman shot in possible domestic violence confrontation

Burien Police are investigating a possible domestic violence shooting that took place in the early morning hours of October 23rd.

Police were dispatched to the View Ridge Villa Park Apartments on Southwest 124th Street in Burien after gunfire was reported in the area just after 4:30 a.m. on the Thursday morning. Upon arriving on the scene, officers report that they located the apartment where the gunfire had come from and found a “large number of people” in the apartment, two of which had gunshot wounds. The two victims were immediately transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with non-life-threatening injuries where they remain in stable condition.

No weapons were found on the scene but early reports suggest that the suspect may have been living in the apartment but is now at large.

While no information about the shooting suspect has been released, police confirm that they know the identity of the suspect and are now pursing bringing him in. No information about what lead up to the shooting has been made public at this time.

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SeaTac City Council passed a 6 percent utility tax

By James Bermingham

SeaTac City Council passed a 6 percent utility tax by a 5-2. The tax will take effect January 1, 2015.

The vote passed despite unanimous opposition during public comments. The tax, which will apply to cable, gas and electricity, stormwater, and landlines, was aimed at addressing a $5.5 million projected budget deficit for the 2015-2016 general fund. Recently, the council removed water and sewer from the tax.

Councilmembers Pam Fernald and Terry Anderson voted against the tax.
“The Reality is the only way we’re going to get there is by this tax, nobody likes to put a new tax out there,” said Councilmember Barry Ladenburg.

That sentiment was echoed by Deputy Mayor Tony Anderson, “We aren’t going to make up a multi-million dollar deficit with only budget cuts. Police and fire make up over half the budget and I don’t think we should make cuts in public safety.”

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