West Seattle, Washington
Whether it’s the arsons or some other concern that you’d like to ask and/or hear about, we’ve just confirmed that the monthly West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting IS on for tomorrow night (Tuesday, October 20th) at the Southwest Precinct, 7 pm. This is your one guaranteed chance each month to hear local crime trends firsthand from West Seattle police and to bring up anything that’s been going on in your neighborhood. The meeting room is next to the parking lot, which is off SW Webster just west of Delridge Way SW.
In case you hadn’t seen it, we wanted to show you that flyer, sent to us by multiple readers who have received it from firefighters going door-to-door tonight, in the wake of two arsons – the two cars set on fire in the Sylvan Ridge area early Sunday (WSB coverage here), and the fire set early today at 35th/Holly, the Seattle Housing Authority office building whose other tenants include a mosque (WSB morning coverage here; afternoon coverage of the flareup that further damaged the building is here). As of this afternoon, investigators were saying they had NOT found any evidence to link the two cases, so far; no word of any arrests, or even subject descriptions, yet.
Photogenic sunset tonight! The top photo is by James Bratsanos. Next one is by John Bartell:
Thank you! We’ll likely be adding more.
(Click the image to see the map as a full-size PDF)
That’s the map of the “heavy-haul network” approved by Seattle City Councilmembers today – a year and a half after the idea started circulating in a big way. This city news release explains:
Mayor Ed Murray praised the Seattle City Council for passing legislation establishing a heavy haul network of city streets in Seattle. The network will allow heavier cargo containers to be transported between the Port of Seattle, industrial businesses and rail yards.
“Seattle is an international gateway and trade supports our strong and diverse economy,” said Mayor Murray. “A heavy haul corridor will help freight move more safely and efficiently through our industrial center. I applaud the Council for approving a plan that will support thousands of trade-dependent jobs and businesses in Seattle, around the region, and across the country.”
The measure provides a framework to repair and build roadways within the network, calls for semi-annual safety inspections of heavy haul trucks, and aligns weight regulations with the state and other municipalities across the country. The proposal will also eliminate citations from the State Patrol to truck drivers for carrying overweight loads.
The proposed corridor will allow the Port to be more competitive with other West Coast ports, which have similar heavy haul networks.
“The Northwest Seaport Alliance thanks the Seattle City Council for its approval of a heavy haul network that will make us a more competitive international gateway and improve the livelihood of truck drivers,” said Port of Seattle Commission Co-President Courtney Gregoire. “Seattle’s heavy haul network, like others in Los Angeles, Long Beach and Tacoma, will allow freight to move more safely and efficiently through our North Harbor.”
The Port of Seattle is contributing $250,000 toward start-up and implementation costs for 2016 and 2017. To offset the anticipated impacts of allowing heavier trucks, the Port will contribute between $10 million and $20 million over the next 20 years towards roadway repair and reconstruction within the network.
Commercial drivers will be required to purchase a $200 annual permit for transporting loads up to 98,000 pounds. The fees collected from the permits will be used to administer the program, including a Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officer.
As the map shows, the new “network” includes the “low bridge” and West Marginal Way SW.
2:12 PM: Fire crews are back at 6558 35th SW. The road is blocked at Holly. More to come.
2:20 PM: More fire crews continue to arrive. Firefighters are focused on the roof. Avoid the area – 35th is blocked south of Morgan and the side streets are jammed.
2:40 PM: Added photos (and Instagram video below). Firefighters are cutting into the building’s mansard-style roof.
The response has brought in multiple ladder trucks, another sign that this fire is centered atop the building, which – if you missed our coverage of this morning’s arson – is home to the Seattle Housing Authority’s High Point rental office as well as other tenants including a mosque.
2:51 PM: While we are still awaiting official information at the scene, a High Point resident says in comments that the homeowners’ association has sent e-mail describing this as a rekindled hot spot from this morning. Via the scanner, we’ve heard SFD make plans to keep “fire watch” on scene – which is typical when there’s concern a fire might re-ignite.
3:04 PM: Seattle Fire spokesperson Lt. Sue Stangl has just spoken to us and the citywide media at the scene but will not confirm that it’s a hotspot – she says their investigator is still on the way, and firefighters are still working on the roof to make sure there’s nothing else smoldering/burning. Via scanner, meantime, we’re hearing that they’re trying to move crews around so 35th SW can be reopened, but in the meantime, we’ll say it again – AVOID THE AREA – 35th is blocked south of Morgan and that’s jammed side streets such as 34th and 36th.
3:35 PM UPDATE: The fire has just been declared “tapped.” Arson investigators are at the scene (photo above). 35th SW has just reopened northbound and should have a southbound lane open soon – though we’d still advise avoiding it, as it’ll be “one lane for a (short distance) right at Holly” for a while.
4:16 PM: Commenter Nora confirms 35th is open again.
Since a citywide round of public meetings that started in West Seattle three weeks ago, Seattle Public Schools‘ list of proposed “bell time” (start and end of the school day) changes has itself changed once again. Here’s the final proposed citywide list, which goes to the School Board when it meets this Wednesday night. Here’s what’s now proposed for West Seattle schools for next year:
Chief Sealth IHS: 8:50 am-3:20 pm
West Seattle HS: 8:50 am-3:20 pm
Denny IMS: 8 am-2:30 pm
Madison MS: 8:50 am-3:20 pm
Louisa Boren K-8 STEM: 9:40 am-4:10 pm
Pathfinder K-8: 8:50 am-3:20 pm
Alki Elementary: 8 am-2:10 pm
Arbor Heights Elementary: 8 am-2:10 pm
Concord International: 8 am-2:10 pm
Fairmount Park Elementary: 8 am-2:10 pm
Gatewood Elementary: 8 am-2:10 pm
Highland Park Elementary: 8 am-2:10 pm
Lafayette Elementary: 9:40 am-3:50 pm
Roxhill Elementary: 8 am-2:10 pm
Sanislo Elementary: 8 am-2:10 pm
Schmitz Park Elementary: 8 am-2:10 pm
West Seattle Elementary: 8 am-2:10 pm
Our coverage of the September 29th public meeting in West Seattle included the list of what was being proposed at that time. What’s changed since then – the two K-8’s are proposed to start 10 minutes later than they do now, and STEM’s end time would be half an hour later. The elementaries would all start significantly earlier than they do now, with the exception of Lafayette, which would start 10 minutes later.
WHAT’S NEXT: This goes to the board on Wednesday night, as an “introduction” item, after 6 pm – see the full agenda item, including the list, here. If the board approves it – or recommends something else – that would come up for a final vote on November 4th. You can send comments to board members via firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need a flu shot, and are over the age of 4, you’re welcome at this immunization clinic tomorrow afternoon/evening. The announcement is shared by Chief Sealth IHS school nurse Alison Enochs:
Tuesday, October 20th
Chief Sealth International High School
3:00 to 7:00 pm in the Galleria
All West Seattle residents over the age of 4 are welcome. Please bring your insurance card with you.
No student will be turned away for lack of insurance.
CSIHS is at 2600 SW Thistle. The Galleria entrance is at the end of the walkway that leads north from the parking lot, between the main building and the gym.
9:20 AM: We’re at King County Superior Court, where accused toddler killer Alicia Goemaat has just appeared for arraignment. In the brief hearing, she pleaded not guilty, and a date was set for her to return to court in two weeks; nothing else was said. As reported here two weeks ago, she is charged with second-degree murder for kicking her boyfriend’s 17-month-old son Drue Lehto (family photo at left) so hard, he suffered fatal internal injuries. He died at the Morgan Junction apartment where Goemaat had lived for about half a year with Drue’s father and with her own son, a few months older than Drue. Goemaat remains jailed in lieu of $1 million bail.
ADDED 10:28 AM: At right, we’ve added our courtroom photo of Goemaat, who is 20 years old, from this morning’s hearing. She was arrested at the apartment on October 1st, four days after Drue was found dead in his crib; court documents say she confessed to placing him there after kicking him twice, the first time so hard that he was knocked down, because, she said, she was mad that he and her son were fighting over a toy. Her next court appearance is set for November 3rd. This is the first West Seattle murder case in more than a year and a half.
(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
7:15 AM: Launching Monday’s traffic watch: So far, the routes through and from West Seattle are incident-free.
7:38 AM: Crash reported at 35th/Willow. No word yet how it’s affecting traffic. Engine 37 is on the scene.
7:44 AM: Reminder that TONIGHT is your chance to come talk about the West Seattle Bridge-Duwamish Waterway Corridor Action Plan, 6:30 pm at the Sisson Building (California/Oregon, best known as the home of the Senior Center of West Seattle). The plan, first reported here one month ago, includes 27 possibilities, big and small, for attempting to ease traffic in the area. Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who announced the meeting three weeks ago, is hosting and says SDOT will review the plan’s recommendations. What do YOU think the bridge and “corridor” need? Come talk about it tonight.
8:34 AM: Now a crash is reported at Delridge and Andover. And three SFD units are responding to a reported natural-gas leak at the Arbor Heights Elementary construction site at 3701 SW 104th.
8:49 AM: The SFD call for Delridge/Andover has closed.
9:53 AM: Just drove back from downtown after covering court hearings. Northbound 99/Viaduct still sluggish.
(SCROLL DOWN for midday updates – SEPARATE COVERAGE OF AFTERNOON FLAREUP IS HERE)
6:12 AM: Another arson in the High Point area this morning – second morning in a row. As you can see in our photo, “arson” is the declaration on the sign that’s up at the Seattle Housing Authority-operated office on the northeast corner of 35th and Holly [map] after someone set a fire outside its basement entrance on the Holly side just after 3 am. No one was hurt. Seattle Police and Fire investigators are looking into this; it happened less than 24 hours after two cars were set ablaze in the Sylvan Ridge area on the southeast edge of High Point, about half a mile away, though there’s no word on whether this is related – we’ll be following up on that later this morning, and also re-inquiring about the 35th/Austin (ex-Red Star Pizza) fire early Thursday. Back to this morning’s fire – staffers are already at the office cleaning up after water damage and boarding a window; they say it will be open for business today.
11:16 AM: The building is also where the High Point Masjid As Sunnah mosque meets. We stopped again at the scene to check on the cleanup, and staff told us the SHA office side is what was damaged, not the mosque’s area.
SPD tells us they’ll have information to release later this hour, so we’ll have another update coming up.
11:39 AM: Here’s what SPD has just released via its “blotter,” saying they’re not seeing a connection so far between what happened this morning and what happened early Sunday:
Seattle police responded with Seattle fire to three intentionally set fires over the weekend in the High Point Neighborhood in West Seattle.
Police and firefighters responded to the 2700 block of SW Sylvan Heights on Sunday around 4:45 AM after receiving a report of two cars on fire.
Both vehicles were parked on the street and suffered significant damage before the flames were extinguished.
In a separate incident about 24 hours later, officers and firefighters responded to a fire in an entryway of a commercial building in the 6500 block of 35 Ave SW around 3:30 AM Monday. The fire caused exterior damage to the lower level of the building as well interior damage as the flames passed through a broken window.
SPD arson detectives are investigating the two incidents, but say they have not found anything connecting the cases. Police do not currently believe Monday’s fire on 35th Ave SW was set with the intent of targeting any of the tenants of three offices on the property.
Detectives are working with the Seattle Fire Department and our federal partners at ATF on these cases. If you have any information about these incidents, please call 911.
11:52 AM: We just called to doublecheck with SPD to be sure that by “three intentionally set fires” they meant the two cars plus this morning’s fire, not something additional, and Officer Lauren Lovanhill says yes, that’s what it means. She also confirms that the ex-Red Star Pizza fire from last week is NOT considered arson nor related in any way. (Later, SFD told us SPD is investigating that fire, though, because of its proximity.)
3:01 PM: If you haven’t seen our later story yet – fire broke out at this building again an hour ago, bringing a huge callout. We are covering this separately – go here.