West Seattle, Washington
About 30 people gathered in the ArtsWest Playhouse lobby tonight as part of the nationwide “Ghostlight Project” – reaffirming “a commitment to values of inclusion, participation, and compassion for everyone â€“ regardless of race, class, religion, country of origin, immigration status, (dis)ability, gender identity, or sexual orientation.” The original plan was to gather out front, but they moved inside for several reasons. Another change: AW artistic director Mathew Wright explained the concept:
He said that instead of keeping the “ghostlight” on for a limited time, as first planned, the playhouse will leave theirs on for the next four years. Each participant held their own small light for the brief gathering.
And they sang “Imagine”:
This was one of hundreds of similar gatherings around the nation tonight. At ArtsWest, once it was over, most continued on into the theater, where ArtsWest’s new production “Mothers and Sons” debuted tonight.
(UPDATED with addition of surveillance video to Avalon 7-11 robbery report)
We start West Seattle Crime Watch with two reader reports:
IF THESE ARE YOURS … From Jeff:
I found two pairs of skis in the bushes near the top of the stairway that ends at SW Brandon and 37th Ave SW.
This stairway climbs east from the Fairmount Park playground. Since the skis seemed to be in good condition, I assumed that they were stolen and discarded. I reported the items to SPD and they have an entry on their Twitter feed that appears to indicate that they have recovered the skis as indicated below. I could not find a name on the skis and I am not sure how SPD would reconnect the items with their owners if the theft was not reported so I am attaching a picture of the skis in case someone recognizes their property. They should be able to recover them from SPD.
Now, from the SPD files, the newest reports available online with narrative information – we found five of note, two robberies and three burglaries. First, a report on an incident mentioned here briefly on Monday, at which time all we knew was that the Avalon 7-11 had been held up early that morning:
AVALON 7-11 HOLDUP: Just before 3 am Monday, police were sent to the 35th/Avalon 7-11. The clerk told officers he was mopping when two people came in, described as”two males with brown skin … both wearing all-black clothing.
One of the males was approximately 5’6″ with a slim build. The other suspect was approximately 6’3″ with a heavy set build … both males had their faced covered with red bandanas, and were wearing gloves.” The report says “the larger suspect pointed a black handgun at him and told him to “save your life” and “give me the balance” … (the clerk) obeyed the suspect’s demands and opened the registers. One of the suspects then leaped over the front counter, while the other suspect ran around the counter to the opening on the rear. The suspects emptied all of the cash from the registers … and placed the money into a paper bag that was sitting nearby. While the suspects were behind the counter, (the clerk) believes that they may have taken several cartons of cigarettes from the display case (and) other unknown items from a nearby aisle as well.” The report says one robber also demanded the “safe money” but the clerk didn’t have the code. The robbers then left. (UPDATED: SPD has released the surveillance video – added above. If you have any information about the robbers, call the SPD Robbery Unit at 206-684-5535.)
AT ANOTHER 7-11: Less than two hours later, the clerk at the South Delridge 7-11 “noticed two masked suspects walking up to the business” and locked the front doors. They tried to open it by pushing on it; then one suspect “pulled out a firearm and pointed it at (the clerk),” who ran to the back of the store to call 911 and hide. The suspects, meantime, left. No descriptive information in this report except “green handkerchief” around the suspects’ faces. Here too, police were expecting to get video surveillance footage.
Meantime, details on three burglaries are now available:
2900 BLOCK FAIRMOUNT AVENUE SW: Reported Monday morning, a garage break-in last weekend, with a rock used to break a window. Three tools were stolen but others were left behind.
9000 BLOCK 20TH SW: A construction-site burglary was discovered here on Monday morning. A worker arrived and discovered a garage gate open, a fence cut, and tools stolen.
8200 BLOCK NORTHROP: Someone returning home here on Monday evening discovered front-door damage – broken wood around the deadbolt. Nothing appeared to have been stolen.
Going to the Womxn’s March on Seattle this Saturday? Victoria at VAIN (WSB sponsor) in The Junction just e-mailed to say you’re welcome to stop in (4513 California SW) tonight or tomorrow for a free hand-folded origami-flower corsage:
VAIN is open until 8 tonight, and 10 am-8 pm on Friday.
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
In light of some disturbing, recent trends, we feel compelled to speak out.
In the last few months, we have seen a rise in hate crimes against members of immigrant, LGBTQ, and Muslim communities. Harassment of women and people of color has been reported at higher rates locally and nationwide. Weâ€™ve seen increased hateful, divisive dialogue in the media, online, in our schools, and at public gatherings. From the neighbors we serve, to our volunteers and supporters, to our own friends and families, fear for safety of self and others has become far too common.
Additionally, we are seeing signs at the federal level that social safety net programs and protections may be scaled back or terminated; loss of health insurance, accelerated deportations of immigrant families, and cuts to social benefits critical to the safety and well-being of local families may be on the horizon. These actions threaten to hurt members of our community, including those that we support as they recover from crisis or hardship.
We, at the West Seattle Helpline, are dedicated to serving all of our neighbors and to help foster a caring and cohesive community. This letter affirms our commitment to do the following in solidarity with our underserved neighbors:
Continue to offer services to every member of our community regardless of race, age, sex, gender identity, immigration status, religion, and sexual orientation.
Continue participation in the Safe Place Program (providing safe haven from and reporting anti-LGBTQ hate crimes) and extend our promise to be a safe space for anyone experiencing hate-based harassment or threatening behavior.
Work with local community leaders in underserved communities to continue to improve the cultural and language accessibility of our services.
Refuse to voluntarily provide federal immigration officials data that could put our clients at risk of deportation (in alignment with Seattleâ€™s status as a Sanctuary City).
Continue to advocate at the local and state level for policies and resources to support low-income, marginalized community members and protect them from harm.
We want West Seattle to continue to be an inclusive, caring, and safe place for all our neighbors. We look forward to working with local leaders, partner organizations, elected officials, and all who share our vision of an inclusive, safe, and welcoming community.
Your Friends at the West Seattle Helpline
Apparently the drive-up/ride-up box outside the West Seattle Junction Post Office has been out of service for a few weeks; we didn’t hear about it until a flurry of inquiries that started just before the three-day MLK Day weekend. We subsequently inquired with USPS back on Tuesday and got this response today from regional spokesperson Ernie Swanson:
The drive-up mail collection box at the West Seattle Post Office has been run into by vehicles and tampered with by vandals over the years. USPS maintenance personnel have been able to repair it to keep it in service, but it became no longer serviceable. Thus, a new box has been ordered and will be placed in service as soon as it arrives. We do not have a date for delivery of the new box. We do apologize for the inconvenience this is causing our customers.
The Westwood Village drive-up/ride-up box (which had its own downtime in 2015) is in service, last we checked. And at the Junction branch, the lobby mail slot is available for walk-ins.
Washington State Ferries is out with its ridership numbers for last year, and says it hit the “highest level in a decade.” Here’s the breakdown, route by route:
(If you can’t see the document via Scribd, here’s the PDF, on the WSF site.) The busiest route is Seattle-Bainbridge, with 4.5 million people last year, while Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth came in fifth, with 3 million people and 1.7 million vehicles. The South Vashon to Tacoma route (officially Tahlequah-Point Defiance) had the biggest growth rate, WSF says.
Sally Jewell, the West Seattleite who has been serving as President Obama‘s Secretary of the Interior, has published her “exit memo.” It’s pointed out in a Seattle Times interview with the outgoing secretary, who told Times reporter Lynda Mapes that she is not “retiring” but plans to take a break before figuring out what’s next. While the former REI CEO’s “exit memo” touts the department “restor(ing) our nation-to-nation relationships with tribes,” it does not mention those – including the Duwamish Tribe – that did not get treaty rights restored. It’s been almost a year and a half since Duwamish chair Cecile Hansen went to Jewell’s neighborhood to make her case, after another denial. Meantime, Jewell’s memo touts a variety of resource and land accomplishments, and notes challenges for the future that don’t often get headlines, such as:
With approximately one-third of the Departmentâ€™s more than 70,000 employees eligible to retire within five years, workforce development must continue to be a priority. We need to ensure a new generation of wildlife biologists, park rangers, tribal experts, scientists, and other professionals are ready to care for our nationâ€™s public lands and waters.
(Juvenile Cooper’s Hawk, photographed at Lincoln Park by Mark Ahlness, shared via WSB’s Flickr group)
Lots going on this Thursday, from community-involvement opportunities to entertainment, and more. Here are highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
INAUGURATION MEDITATION: The labyrinth at Tibbetts United Methodist Church (WSB sponsor) is open again today for contemplative walking – 9 am to 2 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm. Details in our calendar listing. (3940 41st SW)
COLLEGE FINANCIAL HELP: Need help applying for college financial aid? College Goal Washington has another drop-in help session 2-7 pm today at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), in the library – details in our calendar listing. Open to all, whether SSC is your target school or not. (6000 16th SW)
CANCELED – SEE COMMENTS:
LAFAYETTE ELEMENTARY KINDERGARTEN TOURS: Future kindergartener in your family? Lafayette is offering tours 3-5 pm today. (California SW/SW Lander)
ADDED! WEST SEATTLE TIMEBANK: 6 pm new-member orientation, 6:30 pm potluck and meeting, at the Senior Center/Sisson Building:
West Seattle Timebank Gathering â€“ bring a dish -itâ€™s a potluck.
Guest speaker: Grace Stiller, Burien Arts Association
New member orientation: 6:00 pm-6:30 pm
Potluck: 6:30 pm- 7:00 pm
Speaker: 7:00 pm-7:20 pm
Members & guest sharing: 7:30 pm-8:00 pm
(4217 SW Oregon)
HALA REZONING MEETING PREP @ JuNO LAND USE COMMITTEE: Tonight brings the second of two Junction Neighborhood Organization meetings this week to get ready for the city’s upcoming West Seattle Junction Urban Village Community Design Workshop meeting about the HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability rezoning proposals. 6:30 pm at the Senior Center/Sisson Building. (4217 SW Oregon)
THE GHOSTLIGHT PROJECT: All are invited to this brief gathering outside ArtsWest Playhouse, 6:45-7 pm tonight, as previewed here – “to reaffirm a commitment to values of inclusion, participation, and compassion for everyone.” (4711 California SW)
ALKI COMMUNITY COUNCIL: 7 pm at Alki UCC, with this announced agenda:
1. Review of 2016 HALA and Urban Village activities
4. City Neighborhood Council (CNC) possible Parks & Street Funding Opportunities 2017
(6115 SW Hinds)
LOTS MORE, INCLUDING NIGHTLIFE! See our complete calendar.
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:59 AM: We start with trouble on NB 99 – the Battery Street Tunnel is closed because of a crash – big backups.
7:07 AM: No injuries in 99 crash, apparently, as it was not on the 911 fire/medic log. And now SDOT says the tunnel is open again. Will take a while to clear the backup, of course.
7:21 AM: Since that’s settled, let’s look ahead to the next couple days. Here’s the citywide alert from SDOT about marches/rallies. (While it mentions only a Capitol Hill student rally, as published here, at least one local school walkout is planned, and Seattle Public Schools has said there might be other middle/high school walkouts Friday afternoon.) And for those participating in the Womxn’s March on Saturday, Metro plans to add buses, as we reported yesterday.