West Seattle, Washington
(Chalk art outside ‘Lunches with Love’ assembly location last year)
Community generosity tends to rise as the winter holidays draw near – and sometimes, the number of requests can be overwhelming. Here is an opportunity to do something early in the season. West Seattle/South Park entrepreneur and community advocate Lashanna Williams is planning this year’s “Lunches with Love“ again and sends word that the effort is beginning with a dropoff donation drive for “living supplies” – literally, the supplies that unsheltered people need for daily living. This week and next, a dropoff spot is set up for you to use any time to give any or all of the items they’re looking for – click ahead to see what’s needed and where: Read More
4 reader reports, one followup, and a look ahead to a meeting you might want to attend Tuesday:
TRUCK AND TOOLS STOLEN: HWLP says thieves took their truck last night from Arbor Heights, near 35th/104th – despite its alarm system – and while the truck was found via its tracking system, its starter and door locks are broken and “all my power tools are gone as well as all my hand tools and tool bags, along with most of my material used for everyday repairs, (copper fittings/ brass fittings/ nipples, etc.), many thousands of dollars worth.” The truck is “in police impound where they are searching for fingerprints” and HWLP can’t work without it or the tools.
AUTO THEFT, BREAK-INS: From Sebastian in the 4500 block of Delridge Way SW:
I live in a new housing community across from the Delridge soccer fields. One of my neighbors had this car stolen that was parked on Delridge and 2 of my neighbors had their cars broken into last night that were parked in our small private parking lot. We’ve lived in North Delridge for 2 years, and this is the first time we are aware of break-ins and car thefts in that area. Just wanted to make residents in that area aware of what is going on! My neighbors have alerted the police about all of these incidents.
MAILBOX THEFT: From Brian:
Just wanted to say my mail box was broken into last night on 25th SW/Juneau off Delridge. We own a security box and they ripped the hinges clean off. This isn’t the first time I’ve walked out to my car in the morning to see neighbors’ boxes open. Please beware if you live in the area.
ANYBODY MISSING THIS CAR? Spotted by Debra at 28th/Yancy today – missing all four wheels, she says:
We checked @getyourcarback and didn’t see the plate among the thefts listed there.
FOLLOWUP ON ROBBERY SUSPECTS: The lone adult suspect in a West Seattle holdup spree, a 19-year-old East Admiral resident who was among those arrested after that pursuit and crash in South Park last week, remains in jail, with bail set over the weekend at $7,500. He does not appear to have a felony record, at least in this state. Tomorrow is the charging headline if he and three juvenile suspects are to continue to be held, for now; we’ll continue following up. The robberies in which they are under investigation happened last week at the Admiral and Harbor Avenue 7-11s and the 41st/Admiral Chevron. Probable-cause documents say the Chevron robbery was thwarted by the clerk, who refused to hand over any money, asking, “Is this a joke?”
TOMORROW – WEST SEATTLE BLOCK WATCH CAPTAINS’ NETWORK: You don’t have to be a Block Watch Captain, or even in a block watch, to attend this monthly meeting full of helpful, illuminating information. 6:30 pm Tuesday (October 25th), the WSBWCN agenda has expanded – in addition to the Southwest Precinct‘s Crime Prevention Coordinator Mark Solomon, two more guests are planned, precinct researcher Jennifer Burbridge to talk about this year’s Public Safety Survey (taken it yet? publicsafetysurvey.org) and Jake Hellenkamp from Seattle Neighborhood Group to speak briefly about a new crime-prevention project in eastern West Seattle. (2300 SW Webster)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
As promised, we followed up today on the Junction bus-shelter removal that was abruptly announced by the appearance of RIDER ALERT signs over the weekend (here’s our Saturday story).
Metro just announced it will “pause” the removal plan while soliciting feedback. Its answers to questions we asked this morning just came in; first, here’s what we learned while talking this afternoon with Lora Swift, director of the West Seattle Junction Association, who helped organize the October 6th walking tour that preceded the plan (WSB coverage here).
First, she confirmed that the shelters planned for removal are the two to the right of the trash can in our photo above, NOT all four of the blue non-RapidRide shelters on the south side of SW Alaska. Metro had placed notices in all four of the structures, which led to some confusion. These two shelters are at a spot which has about 200 boardings a day, according to Metro, a dramatic drop from pre-RapidRide days (the RapidRide stops on the block see 1,300 boardings a day).
“The ridership doesn’t support having four giant bus shelters there,” Swift said. In addition to removing a space that is used more often by loiterers, she said, removal will “open up visually the path between the sidewalk and parking lot, and give (space) between the Honey Bucket and the shelters.” She said that should cut down on illegal activities such as drug dealing in the Honey Bucket – paid for by the city Human Services Department, which says one has been there since the Junction Association requested it more than 20 years ago.
The Honey Bucket itself will “stay for now,” Swift said, so there’ll be a public restroom there.
In discussion of the removal decision following our Saturday report, some commenters wondered about increasing enforcement. According to Swift, Metro Transit Police (a division of the King County Sheriff’s Office) are now “doing plainclothes patrols … getting on and off those buses,” and working with transients to direct them to services they might need that are available downtown but not here. She says Seattle Police are patroling the area as well.
In addition, Metro’s facilities division will be cleaning the shelters five days a week instead of three. And the Junction Association already has taken action to remove a bench in the adjacent parking lot, which, along with the Junction’s other parking lot on 44th, is being evaluated for lighting improvements.
One factor pointed out in the October 6th walking tour as another possible draw for loitering in the bus-stop area was a fixture with open electrical outlets. While they can’t be removed because they’re required for events in The Junction, Swift says they will be raised out of reach on a pole and locked up.
This all began, she said, with messages from merchants who had pointed out “increased transient behavior” at the bus stops, including drinking and sleeping – both of which are against Metro rules – and harassment of passersby.
Now, via spokesperson Jeff Switzer, here is Metro’s reply, just received, to several questions we asked this morning (part of it, toward the end, synchronizes with some of what the WSJA told us):
The King County Metro transit facility at Alaska Junction is incredibly important to our customers and to the functioning of the transit network in West Seattle. Due to the attention possible changes have received over the weekend, Metro is willing to push “pause” on the shelter removal and actively solicit feedback before finalizing the shelter removal plan. New information will be posted at the shelters within the next couple days and will provide the appropriate contact information. We also read the West Seattle Blog and other forums and will compile comments along with all other feedback we receive.
But Metro would also like to take a moment to clarify the proposal to reduce the number of shelters on SW Alaska Street at the Junction. The Alaska Junction transit facility consists of six individual bus stops or “Bays”. Bays 1 through 4 are located on SW Alaska between California and 44th avenues Southwest. Bay 2, on the south side of Alaska between 44th and the alley, is the subject of this discussion. Bay 2 has about 200 Metro boardings per average weekday. For comparison, Bay 1, between California and the alley, has about 1,300 boardings, while Bays 3 and 4 on the north side of Alaska each see about 400 boardings. Bays 5 and 6 are on 44th north of Alaska, on the east side of the street and they remain unchanged by this proposal.
West Seattle businesses, residents, and others have been seeking to identify improvements to reduce illegal and uncivil behavior in the area. The shelters closest to the City of Seattle provided porta-potty have been identified as facilitating this type of behavior and creating an unwelcoming if not unsafe environment for transit riders and others.
Two factors – ridership that does not justify the number of shelters, and numerous complaints of illegal and uncivil behavior – combined to prompt Metro to plan for removal of the two shelters closest to the Porta Potty. The remaining two shelters would continue to provide very generous waiting space for Metro riders, as would the two Rapid Ride shelters in Bay 1 next to Key Bank. Bay 4 (immediately across Alaska Street) currently has two large shelters and twice as many Metro boardings as Bay 2, and we have observed the Bay 4 shelters provide adequate space for riders.
Metro regularly evaluates issues with Metro bus shelters and makes decisions on the installation and removal of bus shelters, as ridership and circumstances change at bus stops. The plan to remove these two Metro shelters arose out of concerns raised by the West Seattle Junction Association (WSJA), and subsequent meetings between WSJA, Metro Transit Police, the Seattle Police Department, and others regarding security issues in the junction, including loitering, public inebriation, fights, illegal dumping, public urination, and harassment of Metro bus riders and others. The removal of these shelters is one of several efforts in the Junction area that is attempting to address quality of life issues.
Removal of the two shelters at Bay 2 is one of several actions that WSJA and Metro are taking to improve security and maintenance at the Junction. Other efforts include:
· Metro Transit Police have started a “Problem Solving Project” in partnership with the Seattle Police Department SW Precinct to deal with code of conduct and quality of life issues to improve safety and security for business and citizens using the junction
· Possible additional lighting in the adjacent parking lots by WSJA
· Tree and bush trimming by WSJA in the adjacent parking lots to improve visibility into the lots
· Metro will increase custodial maintenance at the Junction bus stops from three times per week to five times per week.
Metro is looking forward to hearing further public comment and adjusting the proposal in ways that can both serve riders and improve public safety.
Seven quick biznotes from the local food/drink scene:
PEEL & PRESS TURNS 2: Today through Sunday, Peel & Press in Morgan Junction (6503 California SW) is celebrating its second anniversary, offering diners a free appetizer or dessert.
STUFFED CAKES TURNING 6: And at 9003 35th SW, Stuffed Cakes is about to turn 6 – mark your calendar for Saturday, November 5th, 10 am-3 pm, when the party will include free mini-cupcakes, face-painting, and prizes.
PELLEGRINI ITALIAN MARKET: Starting tomorrow, Pellegrini Italian Market in The Junction (4521 California SW) has new hours – 11:30 am-8 pm Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 am-4 pm Sundays, closed Mondays. They’ll also have a Happy Hour – 3-5 pm, including $4 glasses of wine with menu entrées.
OUNCES DELAY: If you checked in over the weekend, you might have seen the update that Ounces (3809 Delridge Way SW) has delayed its soft open. New date soon.
Two notes from our partner site White Center Now:
COMPANY STORE: 21+ bar/restaurant now open in what was Company (9608 16th SW) – WCN story here.
MOONSHOT COFFEE: Soft-opened last weekend in what was Caffé Delia (9622 16th SW) – WCN story here.
12:40 PM: Thanks to the texter who pointed out that Orca Network spotters are seeing orcas heading this way – southbound from Discovery Park on the north side of Elliott Bay as of a little while ago. So if you can, watch for them from West Seattle shores, and please let us know if you see them; we won’t be able to check for a while.
P.S. Our most-recent whale report involved humpbacks passing by on Saturday – if you only saw the early version, we have since added an awesome photo.
1:33 PM: Another texter says they’re visible from Constellation Park right now.
2:01 PM: Thanks to Gary Jones for photos from Alki Point!
2:54 PM: They’ve passed Fauntleroy, according to comment updates; you’re advised to watch for Mark Sears’s small research boat. From up here on the hillside, we’re seeing seiners apparently chasing the same salmon as the orcas.
3:48 PM: If you’re out watching for the orcas, you might see another type of whale too – one commenter mentions a southbound humpback, while an e-mail tip mentions what looked like a northbound gray headed toward the lighthouse a little while ago. (If you’re not sure what you’re seeing, here’s the ID guide on West Seattle-based The Whale Trail‘s site.)
4:56 PM: Now headed northbound, says Susan in comments.
ADDED MONDAY NIGHT: Thanks to Monica Zaborac for two more photos of the orcas that visited today!
11:46 AM: A busy route between West Seattle and White Center/Shorewood is blocked right now by a crash response. 26th SW is closed at the intersection where SW 106th becomes 107th because of the crash in our photo above. Our crew says 2 vehicles were involved and one person is being taken to Harborview. King County’s major crash investigations team is on the way out so this is likely to be closed for a while. Our crew says east-west traffic is being allowed through one lane at a time, but we’d advise avoiding the area entirely.
12:11 PM: Metro has sent this re-route alert – “not serving stop at 26th/106th, use stop at Seola Beach Dr. SW & SW 106th or 26th/SW 100th.”
2:21 PM: Just went back to check – intersection completely blocked.
3:53 PM: Metro has just texted/tweeted that its bus stop on 26th SW has reopened, which we’ll take as an announcement that the intersection has opened to all vehicles.
ADDED MONDAY NIGHT: A bit more information from KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West – the collision happened around 11:13 this morning. The driver of the Toyota SUV suffered a “head laceration” and reportedly lost consciousness at some point so that’s why he was taken to Harborview. She expects access to the crash report at some point tomorrow so we’ll check back to see if there’s anything more to report.
ADDED TUESDAY AFTERNOON: Sgt. West gave us this additional information: The 61-year-old man driving the Toyota Sequoia had the green light; the 69-year-old woman driving the Nissan Murano briefly stopped while northbound on 26th but then proceeded to run the red and hit the Toyota, which then hit the light pole. Its driver was taken to the hospital with a head injury, but as his wife reported in comments, he has been released and is back home.
She also says their dog, assisted at the scene as shown in the reader photo above (thanks for sending it and our apologies for not adding it yesterday), was found at a shelter.
Thanks to James Bratsanos for capturing the brief moment this morning when the sunrise turned the Olympics’ new snowcaps pink, before the grayness reclaimed it all. Now, on to what’s ahead for the rest of today/tonight. First, as Hallo-week begins, here are two events from the WSB Halloween (etc.) Guide:
DECORATE SUGAR SKULLS: 4-6 pm, faculty and families of the Southwest Early Learning Bilingual Preschool are inviting you to join them in decorating sugar skulls for an upcoming Dia De Los Muertos celebration! At the SWEL Bilingual Preschool. (5405 Delridge Way SW)
HARVEST FESTIVAL, 5-7 pm at The Salvation Army‘s gym. “Come dressed up in costumes to win a costume contest, play carnival games, win prizes, and of course- a ton of candy before Halloween even gets here! Free. Fun. Safe. All ages. No drugs or alcohol permitted.” (9050 16th SW)
And from our regular year-round WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
TINKERLAB DROP-IN: 6 pm at Delridge Library, this week’s drop-in Tinkerlab STEM-based crafts focus on “Future Fashion” – details in our calendar listing. (5423 Delridge Way SW)
ALL-AGES MONDAY QUIZ: 7:30 pm at The Skylark. Free! (3803 Delridge Way SW)
CRACKER FACTORY AT WSBC: 8 pm at West Seattle Brewing Company in The Triangle, live music with Cracker Factory. No cover; 21+. (4515 Fauntleroy Way SW)
PUB QUIZ @ SHADOWLAND: 8 pm at Shadowland in The Junction, they have questions, you have answers! (California SW/SW Oregon)
SOMETHING FOR THE CALENDAR AND/OR HALLOWEEN (ETC.) GUIDE? E-mail the info – plain text in the body of your e-mail, please, not as an attachment – to email@example.com; thank you!
P.S. Reminder – Southwest Pool is closed for the next three weeks, as previewed/explained here.
Two West Seattle Water Taxi notes this morning:
EXTENDED SCHEDULE ON THURSDAY: Just announced via text and on the WT website, the West Seattle Water Taxi will run on an extended schedule this Thursday, for the Sounders FC playoff match. The times are on the schedule page.
LAST WEEK OF THIS YEAR’S 7-DAY-A-WEEK SCHEDULE: This also gives us the opportunity to mention that it’s the final week of this year’s seven-day-a-week schedule – after next Sunday, the 5-day-a-week fall/winter schedule begins on Monday (October 31st). You can also preview that on the WSWT schedule page. The 5-day-a-week schedule runs through March 31, 2017.
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
7:20 AM: The fire call at 12th/Cloverdale in Highland Park is wrapping up, so we’re moving on with today’s traffic coverage.
Notes for this week include:
JUNCTION BUS SHELTERS: If you’ve seen the notices on the south side of SW Alaska near 44th, here’s what they’re about. Watch for our followup later today.
EARLY DISMISSAL WEDNESDAY: Seattle Public Schools get out two hours early on Wednesday (October 26th).
WASHINGTON STATE FERRIES MEETING THURSDAY: 5-6:30 pm Thursday (October 27th) at The Hall at Fauntleroy (in the historic schoolhouse at 9131 California SW), WSF comes to Fauntleroy to talk with you, open-house-style, about the latest round of traffic challenges related to the terminal.
ADMIRAL TRICK-OR-TREAT FRIDAY: The sidewalks and crosswalks in The Admiral District will be extra-busy 3-6 pm Friday (October 28th) for the annual business trick-or-treating event.
7:55 AM: Just spun through the live cameras; the low bridge is moving a little slower than the high bridge, but otherwise, no incidents.
7:02 AM: A big Seattle Fire response is on the way to a house near 12th SW and SW Cloverdale. The first unit arriving says it’s a “small kitchen fire.”
7:08 AM: SFD confirms it’s a kitchen fire, put out quickly, and is downgrading the call, though you’ll still see several fire units there for a while.
7:18 AM: Our crew is there and has talked to SFD, which says no one was hurt. Units are continuing to wrap up and depart. We’ve added a photo, above.