day : 30/11/2016 11 results

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Prowlers caught & not, package & plant thefts, more…

Seven notes in tonight’s West Seattle Crime Watch roundup:

BURGLARY REPORTEDLY INTERRUPTED: From the scanner – officers rushed to a home in the 3500 block of Admiral Way SW tonight after a report that a resident was “holding down” someone described as a burglar. We have no access to followup information tonight but will be checking with police tomorrow.

BURGLARY SUSPECT ARRAIGNED: 29-year-old Garrett Cimmery, the burglary suspect arrested at Hiawatha Playfield two and a half weeks ago, was back in court today for arraignment on charges related to a home burglary near Me-Kwa-Mooks Park. He pleaded not guilty and remains out on bail as the case proceeds.

PACKAGE THIEF ON VIDEO: From Stacey:

Unfortunately there was some package thefts in the Westwood area today around 3 pm. Multiple homes were visited by this tweaker on Trenton through Cloverdale, then they opened all the packages and dumped the empty boxes in an alley down the street. The guy enters through the alleys in West Seattle and has a silver Ford Explorer.

He only got a rocketship tent, which can be replaced.

PROWLERS STOPPED BY POLICE: From Sue:

Seola Beach was cased today by a couple in a beat-up red Chevy pickup. They drove up at 4 pm, parked in front of a neighbor’s house and the woman boldly went down their stairs in broad daylight, looking in the windows. He stayed in the truck while she came down the beach, into two other backyards and then back to Seola Lane. We have had a lot of problems down here and three neighbors watched, recorded, and asked them questions (stalling while the police came). They took off and were stopped by the police at Seola Beach Drive and 106th.

Sue says her neighbors reported at least one of the suspects was taken into custody for outstanding warrants.

CAR PROWLED AGAIN: Kevin says this is the 4th time he’s been hit:

We had 2 vehicles broken into late Monday night, early Tuesday morning 45th and Hill in Admiral. Both vehicles parked on street in well-lit visible area. As reported by others, it appears to be by an electronic device. Both vehicles were locked and neither had signs of forced entry. Ransacked and some tools stolen that had been left in vehicle overnight after returning late from trip.

CAR PROWLERS, INTERRUPTED: From Mike in North Admiral:

I live on the 1600 block of Palm Ave. At 6:50 this morning I found a young Caucasian male in the driver seat of my car (parked on the street). He was pulling papers out of my glove compartment. The young man got out of the car saying “you got me.” I stood in front of him and demanded he drop everything he was holding. He eventually dropped everything on the grass parking strip. He then pressed his chest against me and said “you better let me go, there are 3 of us.” I stepped out of his way and he left, walking north on Admiral and periodically whistling. I called the police. Then as I began chasing my papers that were blowing down the street, a car halfway down the block pulled out and speed away heading south on Palm. The police arrived promptly, took a report and collected evidence.

PLANT THEFT, AGAIN: From Phoebe in the 3000 block of 37th SW:

Someone decided that my Picea Orientalis Skylands needed to be taken from my parking strip on Thanksgiving or the day after (we noticed it was gone on that Saturday)

I would love to get it back (not an expensive plant but was special order) and have folks keep an eye out for it. The West Seattle Nursery only got in a couple this last spring.

No photo, but we found this online. Phoebe says hers was smaller – less than three feet tall.

Thanks again to everyone sharing Crime Watch reports so your neighbors all around the peninsula know more about what’s happening – hope crime does NOT happen to you, but if it does, once you’ve reported it to police (911 if it’s happening now or just happened), let us know … 206-293-6302 if breaking, editor@westseattleblog.com if not — thank you.

From White Center Now: Big change in shelter plan

For almost three months, via our partner site White Center Now, we’ve been tracking King County’s proposal for a shelter in a former county clinic building at 8th SW/SW 108th. A tense community meeting in mid-September led to the creation of a community task force to work with the county on potentially modifying the plan – and late today, the county confirmed that’s happened. The building still will be used as a shelter, but it will be for families. Read the full story on WCN.

UPDATE: Crash at Highland Park Way/2nd SW

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(Photo sent by Al)

5:41 PM: We’re on our way to Highland Park Way/2nd SW [map] to check on a crash that has drawn a big Seattle Fire “automobile rescue” dispatch. That’s east of West Marginal Way and most likely to affect traffic headed toward the 1st Avenue South Bridge-bound onramp near the transfer station. More when we get there.

5:51 PM: Eastbound traffic on Highland Park Way, and southbound on West Marginal Way, both at near-standstills as we attempt to get to the crash scene.

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(Added: Photo tweeted by SFD)

Via scanner, we heard a few minutes ago that SFD had extricated two people, but we still have no other details on the circumstances. Police are heading back up the Highland Park Way hill so you might be facing traffic closures.

6:01 PM: We’ve gotten closer and can now see that HP Way is closed both ways just west of the 509/1st Avenue S. Bridge approach overpass. Al has sent a photo that we’re adding atop the story, while our photographer sees how close he can get on foot to try to get more information. Again, avoid Highland Park Way east of the hill TFN.

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(WSB photo)

6:12 PM: Our photographer just spoke with SFD/SPD at the scene. It’s a three-vehicle collision. The two people who had to be cut out of the car on the left in our top photo were taken to the hospital but neither had life-threatening injuries. The driver of the other car involved was checked out but did not need to be hospitalized. And the truck driver is OK. Police hope to clear the vehicles from the scene before too long.

West Seattle weather: Rainbow tonight; possible snow showers by next week

November 30, 2016 4:34 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle weather: Rainbow tonight; possible snow showers by next week
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle weather

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(Photo by Jim Borrow)

4:34 PM: Thanks for the rainbow photos you’re sending! Beautiful sight, just before sunset, after some golden afternoon sunshine. But it’s the long-range forecast that’s drawing attention right now. The National Weather Service continues to see the possibility of snow showers toward the end of the weekend. There seems to be no doubt that cold air is on the way in – the main question, as noted in the NWS’s newest “forecast discussion,” is whether the cold air will coincide with enough moisture for snow showers. At this point, it’s not expected to be possible any sooner than Sunday night.

7:58 PM: Adding a few more of your photos. First, from Max:

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And from Michael – that’s Jefferson Square under the rainbow:

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Chris took the next photo from the Admiral Way Viewpoint and observed, “I was so impressed with how many people decided to stop and do the same thing. I’m glad to live in a community where people appreciate these kinds of things.”

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So are we!

EARLY THURSDAY: Adding even more rainbow photos. From Carol Wagener:

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From James Tilley:

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And from Chuck Pliske:

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‘DEMOCRACY VOUCHERS’: What you need to do, or don’t need to do, to get yours

One year ago, Seattle voters approved Initiative 122, 63 percent yes, 37 percent no. A major component: A tax levy to pay for “democracy vouchers,” a step toward campaign-finance reform. Starting tomorrow, you can apply for your share of the vouchers, to be spent on qualifying city campaigns next year. If you’re already registered to vote, you will get them automatically – if you’re not a registered voter, today’s city announcement explains, you’ll have to apply:

Democracy Vouchers are a new way for Seattle residents to become more active in city government by donating to candidate campaigns and/or running for elected positions themselves. Beginning December 1, Seattle residents may apply to receive four $25 Democracy Vouchers to give to candidates running in the 2017 City of Seattle elections.

Registered voters in Seattle will automatically receive $100 in Democracy Vouchers by mail after January 3, 2017. Seattle residents do not have to be registered voters to receive Democracy Vouchers.

To be eligible to use the $100 in Democracy Vouchers, residents must:
Live in Seattle;
Be at least 18 years of age; and
Be either a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or lawful permanent resident “green card holder”.

If residents meet the eligibility requirements, they are encouraged to apply for Democracy Vouchers. The application is available in 15 languages [Amharic, Cambodian, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Tagalog, Korean, Lao, Oromo, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Thai, Tigrigna, Vietnamese, English] at www.seattle.gov/democracyvoucher.

Seattle residents may only give Democracy Vouchers to participating candidates running for City Council or City Attorney. The program will expand to include the Mayor’s race in 2021. Residents may give participating candidates one ($25), two ($50), three ($75), or all four ($100) of their Democracy Vouchers.

Next year, two City Council seats will be on the ballot citywide, the “at-large” positions, currently held by Councilmembers Tim Burgess (P. 8) and Lorena González (P. 9). The other seven, elected by district, will not be on the ballot until 2019.

P.S. The city says it’s sending an “informational mailer” about this to every household in Seattle in about a week. Meantime, if you want to read the full initiative that created this – it’s here.

VIDEO: Neighbors brief neighbors at standing-room-only workshop on HALA rezoning plan

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Story by Tracy Record
Photos/video by Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers

“We didn’t make this stuff up, but we’re here to help you know about it.”

That’s how Deb Barker introduced the standing-room-only workshop that she and Cindi Barker led last night at Highland Park Improvement Club, with more than 135 people there to find out more about the rezoning proposals that are part of the city’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA).

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(Deb Barker, foreground; Cindi Barker, background)

Deb and Cindi – which is how we’ll refer to them due to the surname coincidence – are both with the Morgan Community Association, one of West Seattle’s many all-volunteer community councils, and both have long been involved with land use-related issues. In recent years, they have offered several workshops and briefings to help their West Seattle neighbors make sense of major projects and/or processes, and last night’s workshop was one such case.

The city went public a month ago with draft rezoning maps for the “urban villages” around Seattle, five of which are in West Seattle/South Park. (Here’s our first report, published October 20th.) But no major official announcement accompanied the maps’ online release, and the only official city meeting scheduled in West Seattle so far is an “open house” one week from tonight, for which some postcards have been sent out promising “conversation” on a variety of city initiatives but not including any mention of “rezoning.”

Cindi and Deb stressed repeatedly last night that the intent of the workshop was to prepare people for that December 7th open house, which includes an official chance for feedback on the draft rezoning maps, as well as to offer guidance on how to read the maps, how to efficiently comment online, and other information including the rezoning proposal for areas outside the “urban villages.”

Basically, the city is proposing to upzone “urban villages” – and multifamily/commercial properties citywide – for a HALA initiative called Mandatory Housing Affordability.

Our video below, of the hourlong presentation at the heart of the meeting, picks up after the introduction by Deb Barker (who is retired from a land-use-planning career in a nearby city, and also has served on and chaired West Seattle’s all-volunteer Southwest Design Review Board).

Cindi Barker – who has been involved as a citizen volunteer with the HALA process going back about two years – first offered a primer on MHA, with the help of city-provided slides (again, this was NOT an official city-organized meeting, though Brennon Staley from the city Office of Planning and Community Development was on hand to answer questions as needed). Here’s the full slide deck that she and Deb used through their hour-long presentation (embedded below, or review it as a PDF here):

MHA basics: The city is offering more development capacity via upzoning, in exchange for developers either building a certain percentage of “affordable” housing in their projects, or paying fees to fund it to be built everywhere. “The city believes it will increase housing choices through the city,” Cindi added.

“Affordable” per the MHA definition means a rent that would represent about a third of the monthly incoe of someone making no more than 60 percent of the Area Median Income (half make more, half make less). Right now, that would be $1,009 for a one-bedroom unit. 6,000 of those units are to be created via MHA (which is just one part of HALA itself) in the next 10 years, contributing to a total of 20,000 affordable homes that the mayor is hoping will be created through a variety of programs.

Cindi went on to explain the volunteer citizen “focus groups” whose members were involved in the runup to the maps’ release, working with “principles that guided (the) zoning changes” (read them here). She then explained the types of zoning – residential small lot (“very much like cottage housing”), Lowrise 1, Lowrise 3, Neighborhood Commercial – with a diagram showing details of height, density, and other characteristics that would be allowable under each one. (Look for “MHA Development Examples” halfway down this page for more background on the zoning types.)

Continuing to explain how to read the maps – she pointed to the titles in each area, “existing zoning” on the left side of a vertical line, followed by “draft zoning,” and then a designation such as (M) or (M1) showing how much affordable housing it’s expected to produce. In some cases, as she explained, the zoning will leap more than one level.

If you’re in an urban village on a single-family lot, “residential small lot” is likely what you’re proposed to be upzoned to. You could have two homes on the lot instead of one, if it’s a 5,000-ish-square foot lot. Now that you’ve gotten a crash course in map-reading, here are the four West Seattle maps again:

(Direct link to draft West Seattle Junction Urban Village rezoning map)

(Direct link to draft Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village rezoning map)

(Direct link to draft Admiral Urban Village rezoning map)

(Direct link to draft Morgan Urban Village rezoning map)

And here’s an interactive map you can use to see other areas proposed for rezoning, as well as to zoom all the way in to your street.

Back to the meeting. As it moved into an early round of Q&A – there was an early question about “how does parking play into this?”

“Parking is not what we’re here about tonight – (though) parking is what we ultimately all care about,” Cindi said. She noted that the Environmental Impact Statement would have to address that topic. “That process is going to start (in the first half of next year).” Deb added that there will be parking topics at the city’s December 7th open house (we’ve talked about that before too – here’s the page for what the city is currently considering).

Highland Park Action Committee chair Gunner Scott added at that point a suggestion to bring that up with your city councilmember (District 1 rep Lisa Herbold was not in attendance, as she is traveling, but at least one of her legislative assistants, Andra Kranzler, was announced as present).

Next question, from Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council chair Amanda Kay Helmick, wondered about the chance to comment on the “livability” portion of HALA. That too is part of the early Environmental Impact Statement “scoping,” Cindi said. “Plug into your community associations and media” to watch for deadlines and opportunities.”

Another question: “Where did ‘mandatory’ come from?” Cindi’s reply: “Mandatory for developers.”

Then: “How many trees are we going to lose?” The workshop leaders did not have an answer for that.

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Following that, concerns about the size of the venue the city chose for the December 7th meeting (Junction restaurant Shelby’s), given that 130+ people showed up just for this informal briefing. Cindi and Deb noted that they told the city as soon as they heard of the venue that it would be too small “but we were shot down.” Some attendees vowed to call the city and voice their concerns.

Continuing the presentation, Cindi said the Morgan Community Association has some questions they are pursuing with the city: “We need affordable housing, but it is not clear if the Grand Bargain is “the best bargain” – is 7% enough to ask from developers? Also: “Can the 6,000(-home) goal be reached without ‘double-plus upzones’?”

She also pointed to a chart just posted to the city’s website, showing that it only expects 1,000 units to be built “on site” among the projects – if you divide that by the 38 urban villages, that’s 27 affordable units for each one – and the rest elsewhere, “in much larger chunks of buildings” via the fund that will be overseen by the city Office of Housing, “centralizing it … and they’re going to build it where the nonprofit organizations can find the land to build it.”

They also have concerns about how MHA upzoning relates to existing neighborhood plans (linked here), created in the late ’90s to “guide the livability of growth anticipated in the new Urban Villages.” Each of those plans, she pointed out, “provides the goals and policies the city committed to in support of the Seattle Comprehensive Plan.” And the proposed upzoning is being done outside the context of the neighborhood plans. In Morgan Junction, for example, the zoning changes “are in direct conflict with our Neighborhood Plan,” she noted.

An attendee then wondered, “How do we find out who the HALA focus group (members are) and how they were (chosen)?” Cindi said, “They put out a call for volunteers.” (We published it, as did many others – here’s our story from February.)

Helmick asked the next question: “Is this a new form of redlining?”

Another good question to officially bring to the city, Cindi replied.

“If the city wasn’t willing to listen to you guys to change the venue – if I write to Lisa Herbold and, oh say, 90 percent of us decide they aren’t thrilled with this – is the city really going to listen to us and make changes in this program?” asked the next person.

“It feels like this program is going to happen – the mayor is very supportive of it – but … you’ve got to get there and give them input” to potentially have some effect on the details, Cindi stressed.

Deb noted that other neighborhoods around Seattle are affected too – Google some of them and you might see an “interesting yard sign,” she said.

Next question observed that, considering the HALA plan was set into motion before the presidential election, is the city taking into account possible changes in the federal government and funding?

OPCD’s Brennon Staley answered that one: “Obviously the changes in federal policy might affect (the non-MHA 14,000 units of “affordable housing”) … this (MHA) is probably not going to be affected by federal policy all that much.”

How does this affect people outside urban villages? Answer: All multifamily/commercial property is affected citywide, not just in the UVs, it was stressed. (Here again is the new interactive city map, which was included in our Monday night story preview.)

After the presentation and Q&A, the second phase of the meeting was freeform – going over to tables and looking at the urban villages’ maps.

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The organizers put together some multi-dimensional renditions, and advised that people write questions down so they are prepared to ask city staffers questions at the city Open House next week.

Right now, you can offer feedback by choosing (from the dropdown) a map at hala.consider.it – not a popular option, apparently, as Cindi observed that only 11 people had done that for Morgan.

Besides the December 7th meeting, the only other official meeting expected in this area is one in South Park for which a date is not yet set – likely to happen in January.

Just before everyone headed over to the maps, Phil Tavel, MoCA vice president, urged people to attend the December 7th meeting no matter what: “If you have any issue with feeling that you were left out … show up, be heard, be seen.”

WWRHAH’s Helmick then took the microphone and told people to please understand that everything happening here tonight is all-volunteer. Her organization, WWRHAH, meets next Monday night, 6:15-7:45 pm at the Southwest Library, and will be looking at the Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village draft rezoning map (one of the four we included above) as part of the meeting.

MORE RESOURCES

*The links mentioned by Deb Barker and Cindi Barker last night are now in this post on the MoCA website.

*The city’s page for the HALA focus groups also has many direct links you might find of interest.

WHAT’S NEXT BEFORE ANY REZONING BECOMES OFFICIAL

*The December 7th city “open house” in West Seattle
*Continued comment on the draft rezoning maps, via hala.consider.it (and e-mail, halainfo@seattle.gov)
*The city will revise the maps and come out with “final” versions next year that will require City Council approval; the latest estimate for that is next June

FOLLOWUP: Luna Park water-break repairs under way

November 30, 2016 11:50 am
|    Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: Luna Park water-break repairs under way
 |   Luna Park | Utilities | West Seattle news

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Following up on the Luna Park-area water break reported here last night – here’s how Seattle Public Utilities spokesperson Ingrid Goodwin replied to our inquiry this morning:

Water crews are back out this morning repairing the 8-inch water main. Last night crews responded to the break and throttled the main until they could return today. Customers may have noticed a diminished volume in their water service last night.

Currently water is shut down and crews are fixing the pipe. We expect to have the repair complete and water back on by 3 pm today. About 9 water services are impacted by the shutdown.

We just checked with Luna Park Café and they are open, no water trouble, so it’s apparently NOT affecting the mini-business district there.

P.S. Thanks to original tipster Stephanie for the photo above.

5 options for your West Seattle Wednesday

November 30, 2016 10:05 am
|    Comments Off on 5 options for your West Seattle Wednesday
 |   West Seattle news

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(Sharp-Shinned Hawk, photographed on “the edge of Fauntleroy Park” by Mark Wangerin)

Nothing in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide for today/tonight (aside from ongoing listings for all-season-long happenings like tree sales and light shows), so everything below is from our year-round WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

BABY STORY TIME: 11:30 am-noon, bring your 4- to 12-month-old(s) to High Point Library for a fun, free story time. Remember that this branch will close for renovations starting next Monday, so drop by while you still can! (35th SW/SW Raymond)

LUNCHTIME NETWORKING: Noon-1:15 pm at West Seattle’s only coworking center, Office Junction, you’re invited to bring your lunch and meet other nontraditional workers/entrepreneurs/etc. (6040 California SW)

DINE OUT FOR ALKI ELEMENTARY: 2-9 pm at Shelby’s Bistro and Ice Creamery in The Junction, 10 percent of proceeds go to help Alki Elementary School. (4752 California SW)

DINE OUT FOR WSHS ASB: 3-10 pm at Chipotle in The Junction, part of the proceeds go to help the West Seattle High School ASB. (4730 California SW)

OPEN MICROPHONE: 8:30 pm at The Skylark in North Delridge – details online. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

LOTS MORE … for today, tonight and beyond … on our complete calendar!

NEW HOLIDAY EVENT: Alternative Giving Fair coming up

November 30, 2016 9:25 am
|    Comments Off on NEW HOLIDAY EVENT: Alternative Giving Fair coming up
 |   How to help | West Seattle news

Though Giving Tuesday is over, you still have many ways to help others this holiday season, and beyond. A first-of-its-kind West Seattle holiday event is coming up with a one-stop chance to do it in a big way. Here’s the announcement, from Judy Pickens:

Maybe you’re thinking about including gift donations in your holiday observance. Mark your calendar for a unique “shopping” opportunity to do so at the West Seattle Alternative Giving Fair on Saturday, December 10, 10 am to 2 pm in Fellowship Hall at Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW).

Co-sponsored by Fauntleroy, Admiral, and Alki United Church of Christ congregations, the fair promises to be a joy-filled place to use some of your gift dollars to keep on giving. Area nonprofit and charity representatives will outline what they do, provide a card for you to give to the loved one in whose name you make a donation, and even suggest volunteer opportunities.

In one room, you can learn about and give to nearly 20 proven programs that are feeding the hungry, supporting elders, caring for creation, strengthening communities, and building a kinder world for all. The list includes Reading with Rover, a children’s literacy program with dogs as the audience; Heifer International, which helps farm families around the world become self-reliant; and the White Center Food Bank, currently serving more than 4,300 people a month.

See the list of participating programs here.

Questions? 206-932-5600 or info@fauntleroyucc.org.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday watch

November 30, 2016 7:26 am
|    Comments Off on TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday watch
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

7:26 AM: Good morning. A crash on NB 99 just past the bridge has cleared into the transit lane, and that’s the only problem in the area right now.

BUS NOTE: As reported last night, the main bus stop at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) is back to normal as of today.

SATURDAY REMINDER: The West Seattle Junction Tree Lighting and Night Market on Saturday night will close SW Alaska between California and 42nd SW approximately 3-9 pm (the market is 4-8 pm, tree lighting starts 4:30 pm).

7:43 AM: Problem on the EB bridge, tweeted by SDOT:

7:48 AM: SDOT says the bridge and 99 problems have both completely cleared.

3 police responses: 1 bike, 2 fights

Three Tuesday night police responses that might have caught your eye:

WESTWOOD – DOUG GOT HIS BIKE BACK: Since our Monday morning Crime Watch reader report from Doug, whose bicycle was stolen from atop his car outside his North Delridge home when he stepped back inside to get his child, the story played out in comments – including some sightings. This one at Westwood Village from “West Seattlite” on Tuesday night, plus police assistance, got Doug’s bike back. (The thief, however, is still on the loose.)

That was around 7:30 pm. Then, two sizable police responses in the 9 pm vicinity – we heard about them too late to check out firsthand, but did get some info from police:

TRIANGLE – FIGHT: This one brought a big response to the Fauntleroy/Alaska gas-station vicinity. Southwest Precinct Lt. Alan Williams explains that two officers in the area saw a fight in progress; when they moved in, two people ran from them. They found one person “involved in fighting with the 2 suspects who ran off, but he was somewhat uncooperative.”

ADMIRAL – STREET FIGHT: This started as a confrontation between people walking across California SW by West Seattle High School and people in a car. An argument turned into an assault when one of the street-crossers got hit in the head. Seattle Fire was called to treat the wound. The alleged attacker wasn’t found, says Lt. Williams, but police had a potential lead on his identity.

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