West Seattle, Washington
Three reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch tonight:
BUSINESS BREAK-IN: Emily reports this happened just south of The Junction:
The Northwest Association of Independent Schools was broken into at 3:07 am on the morning of July 13, 2016.
At that time a rock was thrown through a glass window of the storefront at 5001 California Ave.
The prowlers left through the front door after 8 minutes in the commercial unit of the Adelaide Building. They stole 5 laptops.
NWAIS is a nonprofit organization that serves and advocates for private, independent schools in WA, OR, NV, UT, WY, MT, AK, and British Columbia.
If you saw anything suspicious or have any information about the break in, please contact Julie McGuire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PROWLER ON VIDEO: D “wanted to share this video of a house prowler I caught on our camera who was snooping around our front yard. We live in the Highland Park area near 14th SW and Cloverdale.” We haven’t been able to download the video for embedding so far, but just click that link to see it on Ring.
WESTWOOD VILLAGE SCARE: From Kate:
At about 5:30 or 5:40 this evening, I was leaving the Westwood Village QFC with my toddler. A tall white man with long hair and a large knife in a black holster followed us to our car. When I noticed he was following closely behind us midway through the parking lot, I looped back toward the store. He stopped briefly to look into the window of a parked extended cab truck, then followed again back toward the store (thankfully at more of a distance at that point). A security guard was standing outside so I told him what was happening. He escorted me back inside and notified the police. He then kindly helped me get safely back to my car when all was clear. He told me not to stay and wait for the police, so I left with my toddler thankfully safe and sound. I don’t know what happened after that. Hopefully they were able to find him and do something about it. He was easily identifiable because of the gigantic holstered knife.
Beware of that hazard on the 1st Avenue S. Bridge! That’s the warning from Aaron Goss, proprietor of Aaron’s Bicycle Repair in White Center, who sent the photo along with a CC on this note:
Please fix this IMMEDIATELY!!!!!! (see attached photo)
Someone is going to get killed. This cannot wait another day!
The metal strip that covers the gap has been bent and jammed down in the gap.
Aaron got a reply at day’s end from SDOT – pointing out only that the bridge belongs to WSDOT and saying they would forward the concern.
FIRST REPORT, 4:44 PM: Another big announcement from Mayor Ed Murray this afternoon: The city will keep the southeastern West Seattle land known as the Myers Way Parcels, instead of selling some or most of it. The news release just in:
Following months of community input, Mayor Ed Murray today announced the planned usage for the Myers Way property in Southwest Seattle.
“Thank you to those who shared their input on the future of the Myers Way property,” said Murray. “The City will retain the land, dedicating the four-acre northernmost portion for important fire training needs and expanding the Joint Training Facility. The remainder of the property will be retained and designated for open space and/or recreation purposes, consistent with the community response provided through our outreach. At a future date, Seattle Parks and Recreation will conduct further public outreach to determine how best to use the property.”
Seattle Parks and Recreation does not currently have resources needed to immediately repurpose the site, but the Department will retain the property as one of its “land banked” sites. Holding such properties ensures that valuable open space is not lost, even if resources for repurposing the property are not immediately available.
The Myers Way property is one of the largest pieces of undeveloped City-owned land and is adjacent to the Seattle-White Center border.
A sale of some of the land was supposed to fund part of the city’s homelessness programs – to the tune of $5 million – so we’ll be asking a followup on where that money will come from instead. (Added: Mayoral spokesperson William Lemke tells WSB that will be addressed in the mayor’s budget proposal this fall.)
ADDED 5 PM: Just in from Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who (as shown in the photo above) toured the site with community members and city reps two months ago today:
I’m pleased to learn that the Executive will not be moving forward with the plan to sell the Myers Way parcels. This issue is important to many residents residing in Top Hat, Highland Park, South Park, Arbor Heights, as well as citywide environmental groups such as Seattle Green Spaces Coalition and TreePAC. This is a significant and important victory for the community who has worked so hard to bring the value of these properties to the attention of City decision-makers.
I had been contacted by various community stakeholders regarding the proposed sale of approximately 12 of the 33 acres known as “Myers Parcels,” owned by the City of Seattle and declared “Excess to the Department’s needs.” In May, I organized a tour of the properties with community stakeholders and City Staff. Community members had sought assurances the decision about selling this property will occur only after the entire community, specifically low income renters, people of color and non-English speaking residents are meaningfully engaged and that FAS apply the Racial and Social Justice Toolkit and follow the Equity and Environment Action Agenda before deciding what to do with this land.
In 2014, the White Center/Greater Duwamish area was identified as the fifth most highly impacted community in the Puget Sound Region “characterized by degraded air quality, whose residents face economic or historic barriers to participation in clean air decisions and solutions.” Due to the severity of air quality and contamination already present in this area, I had expressed my concern to the Executive that active use of these parcels might result in further air quality degradation.
Many organizations, such as the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, have worked diligently for many years to clean up our waterways and have expressed concerns about the implications of development on Hamm Creek and the watershed within these properties. In response to these concerns as well as those related to air quality, I’d requested the following from the Executive:
Multilingual communication, so that members of immigrant communities could take part in the decision making process.
Additional information to catalogue the geological and hydrological elements of the property, their ecosystem services, and their beneficial uses to the community prior to making a disposition recommendation to the Council.
A health impact assessment that addresses the air quality contributions made by these land parcels, vs. air quality degradation from further development prior to making a disposition recommendation to the Council, rather than based upon a particular proposed development.
We’ve been reporting for years on what’s been going on to try to determine the future of this ~33-acre site (which was even considered in 2008 for the never-built city jail project). You can browse our archived coverage by clicking MYERS WAY PARCELS beneath this story’s headline, and scrolling through the stories (including our coverage of the big community meeting June 30th).
(Added 8 pm, WSB video of this afternoon’s announcement, including Q&A, where we’d embedded Seattle Channel live stream during event)
2:30 PM: We’re at City Hall downtown, where Mayor Ed Murray is about “to announce the formation of the Community Involvement Commission, which will replace the District Council system,” per the media advisory sent about this time yesterday. The live Seattle Channel stream should appear above, once the event begins, if you hit “play.”
QUICK PRIMER: For the purpose of interaction between city government and neighborhoods, Seattle was split into 13 “districts” more than a quarter century ago.
West Seattle has two – western WS comprises most of the Southwest District, while most of eastern West Seattle is in the Delridge Neighborhoods District. They, and the other 11, each have a “district council” made up of representatives from community councils and other organizations in their respective areas. District councils usually meet monthly; each of their member groups/organizations decides who to send as a representative. They are informal advisory councils, without governmental powers, without stipends or salaries; the city has supported them with neighborhood district coordinators, whose numbers have been reduced in the past five years.
When the City Council switched last year to being elected mostly by district – seven districts whose boundaries had nothing to do with the 13 pre-existing neighborhood districts – they issued a “statement of legislative intent” asking the Department of Neighborhoods to evaluate the neighborhood-district system and whether the community involvement might be realigned with the council districts.
The draft report on that review came out in May; the final report was expected at the end of this week – and suddenly, the mayor announced he was going to make a move.
2:36 PM: The mayor has entered the room. He says, “We should constantly be looking for ways to bring down barriers and open up dialogue. Our city has changed dramatically … since the district councils were created. We communicated by picking up a phone or putting a letter in the mail.”
He says communities have been created in the years since then. Going to an evening meeting doesn’t work for many people, he says. “The executive order I’m about to sign directs city departments to begin developing robust community engagement plans, and take steps toward dissolving the city’s ties to each of the 13 district councils. The district councils may still exist, but Department of Neighborhoods resources that previously supported the district councils will be redirected to support all City departments in these efforts.”
The mayor says the city will be “more in touch with itself” once a number of steps are completed – civic engagement focus groups in August, and Department of Neighborhoods drafting “legislation for a new citywide community engagement framework and strategic plan” by September 26th. A “digital engagement plan” will have to be submitted by March 1st, with the city’s IT department working on that along with Department of Neighborhoods.
We asked the mayor how much of a budget cut would result – he said there will be no budget cut resulting, “the money will stay in the neighborhoods.” He says the spending had to change, though, to evolve to being offered to a “more diverse group of people” per the city’s race and social justice policies.
Kathy Nyland (at left in photo above) of the Department of Neighborhoods says the current eight district coordinators will keep their jobs – the descriptions will be updated, and hasn’t been updated in 15 years.
The mayor also says the timing of this – as we mentioned in the “primer” above, sooner than expected – does not have anything to do with an upcoming possible “backlash against HALA,” as one reporter asked.
We asked who the people in the front of the room are, besides the University District renter and Ingraham High School student who have spoken. Evan Clifthorne from Belltown came up and spoke. DoN director Nyland then explains more, saying she has a “file of complaints” about existing community councils, and the people who were invited are those who” were in that file.
2:55 PM: In the FAQs, one question is “Will the District Councils and City Neighborhood Council be disbanded?” The answer is no – but “the level of staff support that is provided” is what this is about. They “can continue to participate/advocate/inform as they do now even if not formally supported by City. They don’t need to be formally recognized by statute to exist or to be valued.”
We ask about Neighborhood Matching Funds and how this will affect those. The mayor says basically, what will change is who decides who gets that money. (District councils have had some review responsibilities.)
Nyland says that the Statement of Legislative Intent final report IS still coming out on Friday – the mayor says he hasn’t seen it, but “doesn’t think these things will be in conflict with each other.”
And with that, the event is over. We never did hear who the rest of the people behind the mayor were. The news release isn’t online yet so far as we can tell, but another line of interest – #3 of the 5 action steps:
The Department of Neighborhoods, in partnership with the Seattle Office of Civil Rights and the City Budget Office will draft a resolution for City Council consideration detailing the community outreach and engagement principles and ending the City’s official ties to District Councils and the City Neighborhood Council.
So the city council does have a role in this, regarding whether the city formally breaks its ties with the DCs and CNC.
3:27 PM: We’re heading back to West Seattle now, and will add either the city’s archived video of the event or ours, whichever is ready first. Meantime, the “Community Involvement Commission” touted in the announcement of today’s event did not get much discussion; the printed materials say it will be created by January 2017, but that “details regarding the commission have not been worked out.”
Two West Seattle neighborhood advocates were here to observe, Cindi Barker from the Morgan Community Association – a veteran of many city-appointed committees and commissions – and David Whiting from the Admiral Neighborhood Association, current co-chair of the Southwest District Council. We talked with them briefly afterward; Barker said she was puzzled about why this wasn’t presented by the mayor and council with a unified front, since the latter was already engaged in a process of reviewing the district-council system. Whiting said the statement that the district councils could continue to exist really wouldn’t mean much without any city support.
P.S. If you have a question for the mayor about this or something else – reminder, he’s due at the 34th District Democrats‘ meeting tonight at The Hall at Fauntleroy (9131 California SW), around 8 pm (the meeting starts at 7).
12:30 PM: Thanks to Alice for the tip: Another West Seattle power outage, this time in an area that wasn’t affected by the big one overnight. The Seattle City Light map shows 110 customers in the Jefferson Square area of The Junction lost power around noon, and “equipment failure” is listed as the cause.
12:50 PM: We went to Jefferson Square to check on ground-level correlation with the outage map. The original tip (and also a note from Jonathan – thank you) were about the office building being out; our crew reports that the businesses on the north and east sides of inner JSq are out but Safeway tells us they never lost power. There’s an estimated restoration time just before 4 pm, but as we always warn, those are just guesstimates – this morning’s outage, for example, had an estimated restoration time of 10 am, but SCL got the power back on at 4:35 am.
3:23 PM: We just checked for the first time in a while … the outage is over.
One year ago, award-winning educator Marcus Pimpleton left his longtime music-leadership roles at Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School for a new career direction, school administration, saying he wanted “to learn what it takes to be the type of leader that can help to ensure that all students have access to the high level instruction and experiences that put them on the path for successes in school, college, and life.”
Now that new direction is bringing him back to West Seattle: Pimpleton is returning to Denny IMS as assistant principal, the same position he held at Bellevue’s Interlake High School this past year. Here’s part of how he explained his decision to his now-former colleagues there:
Denny has always been a special place near and dear to my heart. When my grandmother passed away during my 5th grade year, it was a teacher from my elementary school who followed me to Denny and rallied together a community of teachers, counselors, and school administrators to support and nurture me along the path of middle school, high school, college, and beyond. Their deposit into my life is the inspiration for my life’s work which I sincerely believe is to provide leadership that expands educational opportunities for our most impacted students in our most challenged communities. The opportunity to go deeper into this calling in my own neighborhood, in the very school where I was the recipient of this type of leadership and nurturing, is too special of an opportunity to pass up.
“We are very pleased to welcome Mr. Pimpleton back as our new Assistant Principal!” Denny principal Jeff Clark told WSB, when we asked him to confirm the news after hearing about it from several parents (thanks again to them for the tip). First day of classes this year is September 7th, but of course school staffers are back at work long before that.
West Seattle pilot/photographer Long Bach Nguyen stopped by our table in the Info Tent at Summer Fest over the weekend and mentioned that view, subsequently sending the photo so we could share it with you. It’s from the 4th of July, during the lowest tide of the month (-2.9 feet); the full moon next Tuesday (July 19) will bring a few more days of low tides, but not THAT low.
Now, on with what’s up for the rest of today/tonight:
BABY STORY TIME: 11:30 am-noon at High Point Library – bring your 4-month- to 12-month-old baby for stories, songs, and rhymes. (35th SW/SW Raymond)
OFFICE JUNCTION MEETUP: Local entrepreneur? Past/present/future coworker? Come to the meetup at West Seattle Office Junction (WSB sponsor) noon-1 pm today – here’s how last week’s meetup went. (6040 California SW)
LUNCH AT THE LIBRARY: 12:30 pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, everyone under 18 is invited to lunch at Delridge Library – as explained here. (5423 Delridge Way SW)
MAYOR TO ANNOUNCE NEW COMMUNITY-INVOLVEMENT PLAN: As first noted here on Tuesday afternoon, Mayor Ed Murray plans an announcement at City Hall this afternoon that will mean major changes for some aspects of how community members interact with the city. It’s scheduled for 2:30 pm, and we plan to cover it live. (11:07 am update – Seattle Channel has it listed for a live online stream, too.)
HIGH POINT MARKET GARDEN FARM STAND: Week 3 for your chance to buy fresh produce, steps from where it was grown and harvested by local residents. 4-7 pm. (32nd SW/SW Juneau)
COED ULTIMATE FRISBEE: 6 pm game for all interested, Fairmount Park Playfield. (Fauntleroy Way SW/SW Brandon)
CRIME/SAFETY FOCUS GROUP FOR HIGH POINT: If you live and/or work in High Point, you’re invited to researcher Jennifer Burbridge’s focus group tonight about crime, safety, and police. 7 pm at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center. (6400 Sylvan Way SW)
MAYOR AT 34TH DISTRICT DEMOCRATS: Got a question for Mayor Murray – about what he’s announcing today (see above) or something else? He’s scheduled for a speech and Q&A at tonight’s 34th District Democrats meeting at The Hall at Fauntleroy. Meeting starts at 7; most-recent update says the mayor’s part of the agenda is expected around 8. (9131 California SW)
JUBILEE DAYS FIREWORKS: We mentioned it separately earlier just so you know. At dusk, the first night of White Center Jubilee Days will be celebrated with a big fireworks display from Steve Cox Memorial Park, usually audible in south West Seattle. (1321 SW 102th)
NIGHTLIFE: Five opportunities tonight – see our complete calendar for the listings!
One more reminder in case you want to go to this, or in case you hear it and wonder what’s happening: Tonight’s the night that White Center Jubilee Days‘ carnival begins at Steve Cox Memorial Park, with rides starting at 3 pm and a fireworks show over the stadium at dusk. The park is at 1321 SW 102nd (map).
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:16 AM: Good morning! If you’re just waking up – you probably missed the hourlong middle-of-night power outage that affected 3,770+ customers in several neighborhoods (here’s our coverage). Everything should be back to normal. (If not, let the authorities know, and then us!)
One alert to share:
FERRY ALERT LATE TONIGHT … technically, early Thursday. Some sailings to and from Southworth will be canceled for dock work during a three-hour period – details here.
FIRST REPORT, 3:33 AM: Just a few minutes ago, the power suddenly went out here on the Fauntleroy/Gatewood line. Anyone else? Not on the City Light outage map yet.
3:38 AM: Now it is. More than 3,770 customers (customer = home or business). Looks like roughly Brandon on the north, Henderson on the south.
3:51 AM: No word yet from City Light re: the cause, and we’re not hearing anything related on the scanner. SCL map now suggests a 10 am restoration time, but please keep in mind, that’s only a guesstimate – could be sooner, could be later.
4:05 AM: Though City Light’s Twitter feed is insisting on saying the outage is in Delridge, it’s not. No part of Delridge involved. High Point, Sunrise Heights, Upper Morgan, Gatewood, Fauntleroy, a bit of Westwood.
4:32 AM: Our power just came back on, in Upper Fauntleroy. (added) From comments, sounds like most other affected areas are back too, but the City Light map hasn’t caught up just yet.
4:40 AM: And now it has – outage over after a little more than an hour. Via Twitter, SCL says the outage was the result of “a bad cable.”
Another reunion announcement! Milestone reunion for the WSHS Class of ’96, a week and a half away, so they’re sending out one last call:
West Seattle High School class of 1996 celebrates our 20-year High School Reunion!
We’re hosting an adult-only event on Saturday evening, followed by a family-friendly picnic Sunday.
Please find more details on our website – here are the basics:
7/23: Dakota Park Place, 6:00 – 11:00 pm
7/24: Hiawatha Park (adjacent to WSHS), 12:00 noon
Follow the reunion-website link above to RSVP, ASAP.