West Seattle, Washington
(Calm between storms. Sunday sunset at Alki, photographed by David Hutchinson)
The National Weather Service‘s alert for tomorrow has escalated to a “High Wind Warning” – read it here. The warning will be in effect 5 am-6 pm Tuesday, and says that wind from the “south or southwest 25-to-40 mph with gusts near 60 mph are possible beginning Tuesday morning and continuing into the afternoon hours.” And since it’s been so soggy lately – with four inches of rain in the city in a three-day period through Sunday – that increases the likelihood of tree trouble, a top cause of power outages, so charge everything tonight and know the whereabouts of your batteries and flashlights.
(WSB photo from Sunday)
Crews were in the vicinity again today investigating the cause of the sewer discharge in the right of way near Delridge Way SW and SW Orchard Street. They determined that the overflow was caused by two maintenance-hole covers that were not watertight. We are exploring ways of sealing the holes to prevent future overflows at the location.
Crews also found that the new Delridge combined-sewer-overflow (CSO) project construction is working as designed.
By Sunday evening (11/15), crews responded to and contained the sewage overflow. They removed warning signs once the area had been cleared, and the road was reopened to traffic. We will let you know when we have figured out how, and when, we seal the maintenance holes that caused the overflow.
If you’re interested in the city’s policies regarding off-leash dogs in parks – whether you think current policies are too lenient, too tough, or just right – you’ll be interested in this Wednesday’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting. The agenda includes a discussion of the People, Dogs, and Parks Strategic Plan (previously called the Off-Leash Area Strategic Plan) that’s under development, with a draft plan to go public in early January. Scheduled guests include reps from Seattle Parks and from the Seattle Nature Alliance. The under-development plan was a topic at last week’s Fauntleroy Community Association meeting, as reported here. The DNDC meets at 7 pm Wednesday (November 18th) at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW.
P.S. If you can’t be there, the city is also taking comments via this form.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
But one that they are handling right now is so unusual, apparently, that they took the step of sending e-mail to thousands of people whose names will be part of it. We’ve heard from several readers, too, unsettled after receiving this message from Assistant Chief Steve Wilske, sent out by Southwest and South Precincts Crime Prevention Coordinator Mark Solomon and other CPCs around the city:
Right after receiving that, we asked SPD’s media-relations unit if they could tell us who had made the request; at the time, they couldn’t find the information, but it was in this followup that Solomon sent shortly thereafter to the original mailing list:
Dear Community Friends,
As per our legal advisor, the name of the individual who requested the names of all of our Block Captains and/or the individuals who organized Night Out events is public information. The individual’s name is Keith Gormezano. He requested names, addresses, home phone numbers, fax numbers, email addresses, notes and the approximate block where Night Out event was held, as well as the same contact information of Block Watch Captains (past and present). Mr. Gormezano does not have to provide why he wants the information or what he intends to do with it. He has signed a declaration stating that he will not use the list of names for commercial purposes.
As the letter from Chief Wilske states, we are only mandated to give out the names. For South and Southwest Precincts, this information was provided for current (not former) Block Watch Captains and 2014 & 2015 Night Out registrants. If you are not currently a block watch captain, or if you have not been the one to register your group’s Night Out event in the past two years, your name was not disclosed.
I’ve received dozens of responses on this. Many of you are upset, curious and some block captains have quit as a result. We understand. In my 25 years as a Crime Prevention Coordinator, I can say we have been protective of our Block Captains, to a fault. Unfortunately this could not be avoided. I am extremely sorry and saddened for the distress this is causing.
Our subsequent online search quickly turned up an e-mail address for Keith Gormezano, so we wrote to ask him why he wanted the names. His reply:
I am under no obligation to tell you why I am seeking this information.
This isn’t the first time I have requested the names and contact information for BWC and NO organizers.
The department gave me a complete list several years ago.
I would be happy to send it to you.
It is subject to the PDR.
That is the price of living in a free society.
If people are curious, they can look up my voting record or value of my Creekside condo.
If it is causing a lot of distress, one has to wonder why SPD went out of their way to inform everyone after the fact.
Looking him up via Google, you’ll find this 2006 seattlepi.com story featuring what he did to revolt against Safeway’s loyalty program, and a 2003 Stranger story about how he got sued for posting public records from a legal proceeding.
Regarding public records in general – far more is subject to disclosure than you might think. You can read the chapters of our state’s Public Records Act here.
Almost two weeks after Election Day, the Seattle City Council District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) winner isn’t decided yet. The county doesn’t certify the election for eight more days and just went public with another count. It’s the second consecutive count with a lead for Lisa Herbold:
Lisa Herbold – 12,402 – 49.74%
Shannon Braddock – 12,367 – 49.60%
The 35-vote lead is up from Herbold’s 27-vote lead on Friday. The full-results list shows 27,629 votes have been counted in this race; that’s the total number of “ready to count” ballots listed in the county’s last “ballot returns” list, but 373 ballots fewer than the total number received from District 1. The race remains within recount range.
(Photo courtesy Chris Monsos)
3:35 PM: Big Seattle Fire and Police response headed right now for a crash reported on the Delridge offramp from the westbound West Seattle Bridge. It was originally reported as a potential “heavy rescue” situation but is being scaled back. We’re on the way to see what we can find out.
3:46 PM: Overturned van, according to Jen in comments and Chris via the photo we’ve just added. No word yet on injuries. SDOT says the ramp is blocked right now so the van can be towed.
4:21 PM: Even before the van was to be towed, Chris said, traffic was getting around. We’ve added a photo sent by our crew.
4:32 PM: Metro says this has rerouted buses on Routes 50, 120, 125. If you’re headed that way, use stops south of Genesee TFN.
4:52 PM: SDOT says the ramp is now clear. (And, two minutes later, Metro says its buses on Delridge are back to normal routes.)
(Photo from last holiday season: Car full of donations, unloaded upon delivery to WS Helpline)
That photo shows some of what West Seattleites donated to the West Seattle Helpline last holiday season to help keep neighbors warm, in large part thanks to a donation drive at Dave Newman State Farm Insurance (WSB sponsor). We’ve just received word that they’re doing it again: You can drop off donations of clean clothes, coats, and shoes at Dave Newman’s office (3435 California SW) from now until the end of December. If you want to donate, but can’t get the item(s) to the donation location, pickup might be available – call 206-932-1878 to inquire.
P.S. We’ve just added this to the newly launched WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, which, along with all kinds of other holiday information, includes a specific list of donation drives and other opportunities to give – some, like this one, all season long, others just for a specific day or event. Something to add? E-mail us at email@example.com – thank you!
As promised, we’ve pursued further information on the Friday night incident in the 8100 block of 16th SW, initially described as a stabbing that sent a man to the hospital. We’ve obtained the Seattle Police investigation report. Here’s what it says:
The original call, around 10:30 pm Friday, was about a burglary; the person who called 911 reported that people were inside his house and in a car in front of his house. As dispatchers tried to get more information from the caller as officers headed that way, they then heard a “disturbance” in the background, with the caller “arguing with someone else,” and then at some point “someone yelling for assistance, asking for someone to come save them, someone yelling ‘he’s stabbing me’ and then someone saying ‘get off of me, I’m dying’.”
(Mouse over the video window to bring up the “play” button)
You’re more used to seeing it helping search for suspects – but the Guardian One helicopter also works in search-and-rescue, and right now it’s in action as part of an emergency-preparedness exercise happening at West Seattle’s Terminal 5.
The Port of Seattle sent an advance alert last week and expects the aerial part of the drill, also involving other agencies from around the region, to continue until about noon.
ADDED MONDAY NIGHT: After the drill, Assistant Seattle Fire Chief A.J. Vickrey explained on camera what it was all about – and how many types of events this preparedness practice, years in the making, could help with:
MONDAY NIGHT UPDATE: The City Council finalized its changes to the mayor’s budget in two sessions this morning and afternoon. Above are the Seattle Channel video clips. Below, our notes on West Seattle-specific items we’ve been tracking during the process.
Just in case you want to follow along, click the “play” button in the video window above: The City Council is making its “Round 2” budget decisions today – whether to change the mayor’s original city budget proposal by adding or subtracting items. We previewed some West Seattle-specific ones here when they introduced – including rezoning part of Highland Park, around 16th/Holden, and adding money for West Seattle Bridge Corridor improvements – and those are on the long list of items they’ll be making decisions on; see that list here. We’re monitoring the meeting too and will be adding notes as it goes, even as we continue covering other news.
11:46 AM: The council hasn’t started voting on the list yet but has instead been embroiled in some contentious amendments including adding money to help with the homelessness emergency.
NOON: They’re now starting the list.
12:13 PM: They’ve just voted to include a package of “statements of legislative intent” that include two of the aforementioned West Seattle-related items – proposed Highland Park 16th/Holden (including the ex-substation) rezoning and a “progress report” on West Seattle Bridge Corridor improvements. Coming up later, two more items – #28 is the authorization of selling local ex-substations, #104 authorizes spending $600,000 for some of the proposed WS Bridge Corridor improvements.
12:39 PM: They’ve just approved another group of items that includes authorization for the sale of ex-substations in West Seattle and vicinity, and now they’re in recess until approximately 2:45 pm, when they’ll pick up the list at #41, with the second West Seattle Bridge Corridor item in that group.
3:17 PM: The council is back at it, and the $600,000 West Seattle Bridge Corridor item has just gone by without challenge – and will be part of a package vote to come. This describes what it’s for:
The proposed budget action would allocate $100,000 for further analysis of physical and operational improvements in the Corridor with the expectation that the Executive will provide any additional resources necessary to complete the work activities described below.
1. Evaluate the feasibility and benefit of installing center barrier sections so response vehicles can make U-turns to speed up response time.
2. Evaluate the feasibility and benefit of installing markings and signs to provide on designated emergency lane in each direction to West Seattle Bridge upper roadways for use during emergencies.
3. Coordinate with WSDOT to determine the feasibility of traffic management modifications to improve eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct connections to south and northbound I-5.
4. Evaluate Lower Spokane Street chokepoint relationships to determine if rail, truck and bridge opening blockages can be better coordinated to avoid cumulative impacts.
5. Evaluate better communications protocols for Port of Seattle cooperation with truck queue management and dispersal.
6. Initiate and SDOT/WSDOT Peer Review Team to review traffic operational and safety improvement opportunities on West Seattle Bridge upper and lower roadways and make recommendations.
In addition to the feasibility studies, this green sheet adds $500,000 to install ITS equipment including Bluetooth readers and dynamic message signs along the Corridor between Airport Way South and Port of Seattle Terminals 5 and 18 in order to collect and display real-time travel time information to trucks drivers and other motorists. Traffic signal system improvements at the intersection of Chelan Avenue Southwest and West Marginal Way Southwest could also be included in the project scope.
The council’s final budget vote is scheduled for next Monday, November 23rd.
The only West Seattle application of note on today’s city Land Use Information Bulletin is for 3280 SW Avalon Way. While Avalon applications tend to be for apartment buildings, not this one – it’s for the 7-11 at 35th/Avalon, which is seeking to replace three 10,000-gallon fuel tanks with two 20,000-gallon tanks. The land-use application requires an environmental determination – whether it’s “non-significant” or requires a full review – and notes that this might be your only chance to comment on the project. You can comment through November 29th; here’s how.
(Barrow’s Goldeneyes, photographed near Duwamish Head by DLC)
Good morning! First day of a new week; here’s what’s up:
HELICOPTER REMINDER: 11 am preparedness exercises at Terminal 5, as announced last week.
INFO EVERY PARENT NEEDS: 6:30 pm at Highland Park Elementary, the PTA’s Parent Education Series focuses on “positive discipline.” Everyone’s welcome; full details in our calendar listing. (1012 SW Trenton)
LADIES’ NIGHT: Starts at 7 pm tonight at West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor), “hosting a shopping and informational night with lots of great demos to help women be and stay active. Everyone is welcome from walkers, runners, yogis, etc.; dress in clothes you can move in.” Details and schedule here. (2749 California SW)
ONE MORE WEEK … to participate in the Port of Seattle‘s “online open house” about the Terminal 5 modernization project in West Seattle, and what should be part of its environmental review. One week from today, November 23rd, is the deadline. Start here!
CHECKED OUT THE WEST SEATTLE HOLIDAY GUIDE YET? Everything you need to know, everywhere you want to go, from shopping to celebrating to giving, for the next 6 weeks … just launched over the weekend, updated at least once a day, westseattleblog.com/westseattleholidays – if you have something to add, please e-mail us ASAP! firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
(Six WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:03 AM: Temperatures were into the 30s first thing today, and roads were still wet last night after 4 inches of rain in 3 days, so be aware that slick, maybe even icy, roads and sidewalks are a possibility.
DELRIDGE/ORCHARD ALERT: As of late last night, Orchard east of Delridge had reopened after Seattle Public Utilities tackled a sewage overflow, but a short section was narrowed – one lane each way – because the trouble spot is cordoned off on the westbound side. So this may be slow going for the morning commute.
HELICOPTER DRILL REMINDER: 11 am-noon today, per the alert sent last week by the Port of Seattle, helicopters will be part of a disaster-preparedness exercise at Terminal 5 in West Seattle.
7:36 AM: Texter says a vehicle is stalled on the onramp from the eastbound bridge to NB 99, but traffic is “getting by.”
Stall: Eastbound W Seattle Bridge at SR 99, partially blocking the exit ramp. Use caution and expect delays pic.twitter.com/usVXbNcTkS
— seattledot (@seattledot) November 16, 2015
11:50 AM: We went by the Delridge/Orchard scene at mid-morning; it’s fully open now, no more lane constraints. (We expect an update later in the day on what led to the sewage overflow.)
3:38 PM: Crash reported at Delridge offramp from westbound bridge – we’re updating here.