West Seattle, Washington
Earlier this week, we mentioned that the West Seattle Transportation Coalition will sketch out hopes and dreams for Sound Transit 3 light rail in a community-led design workshop next month. First – WSTC is talking with an ST rep tomorrow (Thursday, May 25th) about how the agency is going to do outreach and planning for the West Seattle line – as we reported last month, some of it’s already under way. That’s part of the agenda for WSTC’s May meeting, 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House High Point (6900 Sylvan Way SW), all welcome.
From American Legion Post 160 in The Triangle, as Memorial Day nears, a set of invitations:
POPPIES: Post 160 will distribute poppies at West Seattle Thriftway (4201 SW Morgan; WSB sponsor) 10 am-4 pm Saturday and Sunday (May 27-28). The backstory:
On September 27, 1920, the poppy became the official flower of The American Legion family to memorialize the soldiers who fought and died during the war. In 1924, the distribution of poppies became a national program of The American Legion.
Each year, members of The American Legion family, led by the American Legion Auxiliary, distribute poppies with a request that the person receiving the flower make a donation to support the future of veterans, active-duty military personnel and their families with medical and financial needs.
MEMORIAL DAY FLAGS IN THE JUNCTION: They go up at 9 am Monday and come down at 5 pm:
Community members of all ages are welcome to help put up and take down the flags at 9 am and 5 pm. Volunteers are requested to meet on the northeast corner of California and Alaska.
MEMORIAL DAY REMEMBRANCE CEREMONY: 2-3 pm at Forest Lawn Funeral Home and Cemetery (6701 30th SW; WSB sponsor), and you are invited to attend:
Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. The ceremony will be conducted at the flag pole in the cemetery. Free parking can be found at the Forest Lawn office across the street.
After the ceremony, join American Legion Post 160 at its home, 3618 SW Alaska St, for a complimentary community cookout from 3:15 – 5 PM.
5:52 PM: If you were planning on riding Washington State Ferries to or from Southworth – you can’t. The terminal is out of service TFN, says WSF, after “a car somehow smashed the control panel for the dock.” WSF says “maintenance crews have been dispatched”; in the meantime, service between Fauntleroy and Vashon continues.
8:56 PM: Just in from WSF – repairs are finished and the terminal “will be back in service with the 9:35 pm sailing from Southworth to Vashon.”
Four years ago, Seattle Public Schools proposed moving what was then K-5 STEM to what was then Schmitz Park Elementary.
Eventually, it was decided instead that what started as STEM’s temporary home, the former Louisa May Boren Junior High School, would be its permanent home.
Or maybe not permanent after all.
This week, a Louisa Boren STEM K-8 parent is calling attention to new talk of a possible move, and a district official coming to the school next week to talk about it.
When we asked district spokesperson Tom Redman what’s under consideration, his reply included the meeting announcement:
Dr. Flip Herndon, Associate Superintendent for Capital Projects and Planning and Enrollment Planning, will meet with the Louisa Boren K-8 STEM School Community on June 1st from 6:30-7:30 at Louisa Boren School to provide information and answer questions.
With growing student enrollment and the McCleary class size student-teacher ratios for grades K-3 issue, we’ll need additional classrooms in our elementary school buildings. With this in mind, we need to identify short and long term capacity solutions for Genesee Hill, Alki and Lafayette elementary schools. At the same time, we need to identify interim locations for future school capital construction projects: we will consider the use of Schmitz Park, Louisa Boren and Roxhill school buildings as options.
Just a few of the factors that might be playing into this: The Roxhill building is already scheduled to be vacated after next school year; as we’ve been reporting for more than a year and a half, its program is scheduled to move to EC Hughes Elementary, which is about to start renovation work to get ready to reopen in fall of 2018. Schmitz Park, meantime, has been home to preschool and after-school-care programs this year, since its former elementary program moved into the new Genesee Hill building last September. It, Lafayette, and Alki are already being studied for the BEX V ballot measure that the district will send to voters in 2019. Stay tuned.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Just after 9 am Tuesday, we noted here that a City Council committee had scheduled a briefing today about gun violence.
Just before 9 pm Tuesday, West Seattle’s second shooting in three days took the life of a 23-year-old man.
This morning’s briefing ended a little over an hour ago, and while much of it was focused on citywide trends, prepared long before the deadly shots last night on Alki Beach, councilmembers did ask repeatedly about the case and what will be done to try to prevent more violence and to reach out to neighbors.
The stats regarding the number of gunfire incidents/shootings are through May 15th, councilmembers were told. So that does not include the two West Seattle shootings in the past three days – Sunday in High Point, last night on Alki.
About the deadly shooting itself. SPD management at the briefing said the same thing that had been sent out as an SPD Blotter update earlier in the morning – it’s not believed to be random. Some sort of confrontation preceded it, with a large group in the area “because it was a nice day.”
West Seattle/South Park Councilmember Lisa Herbold – not a member of the committee but in attendance – asked about plans for increased patroling on Alki. The main part of the answer: Bicycle patroling was being stepped up.
She also asked about use of the mobile precinct – after years without one, the SW Precinct got its own in late 2015 (WSB file photo above) – and how that’s decided. It’s up to the precinct commander, she was told.
At that point, we messaged SW Precinct leadership and talked with Operations Lt. Ron Smith. The mobile precinct has spent some time on Alki already this year, he said, but they have to balance it with deployment to our area’s other trouble spots – Westwood, Roxhill Park, Don Armeni Boat Ramp (last weekend), South Park, among others.
Councilmember Lorena González, the West Seattle-residing at-large councilmember who chairs the committee that was briefed today, said she had heard good things about the mobile precinct’s use and wondered about its funding and staffing. She also asked what SPD’s plans are regarding reaching out to neighbors and others worried about what happened last night and about safety in general. She referred to a woman who had spoken about the Alki shooting, emotionally, during the public-comment period at the start of the meeting.
The response started out with a mention of Community Police Team outreach and eventually circled around to a suggestion that SPD could call a community meeting to provide information and answer concerns. And what we hear at every police briefing at neighborhood meetings was reiterated – call 911 if you see something that makes you “feel uncomfortable … we need to come out and see what’s going on.”
Again, this briefing was scheduled long before what happened last night, and was more intended to address a wave of shootings in the South Precinct jurisdiction earlier this year, as well as citywide trends. Toplines on that included SPD reps saying that Seattle’s violent-crime rate is lower than it was a few years ago – same number of incidents, more residents.
But the number of gunfire incidents this year is higher than previous years, and here’s some of what’s being done to address that:
SPD says they’re looking at “street segments” where there are repeated problems and trying to analyze how to address it – for example, one such location somewhere in the city was a convenience store, so they were looking at talking with the business owner about better lighting. (There’s no grant money to help with that, so far as SPD knows, though – that was noted in response to a question.) Somewhere else in the city, a house that was repeatedly fired at was once the home of gang members, and though they had moved, their “opponents” continued to go by and shoot at it.
What about public perception that safety could be improved by police visibility in known trouble spots? Herbold asked. SPD says they do ask officers to drive through such areas, spend “down time” in such areas. Data-gathering is a big part of their effort to reduce the problem. So is regional collaboration to put what happens into context and try to prevent future instances, and the recognition that some of the trouble stems from people “coming into and out of our city.”
Collaboration with other agencies includes tracing shells/firearms with help of ATF.
Video of the entire briefing should be available via Seattle Channel‘s video archives by day’s end, and we’ll embed it here when it is. (Added: Here’s the video.)
We’ve also asked the Southwest Precinct for any additional details of what’s planned in terms of a presence on Alki for the upcoming holiday weekend, which is likely to be a busy one at the beach with sunshine predicted to return starting Friday and continuing into next week.
Calendar highlights for the rest of today/tonight:
ADMISSIONS WORKSHOP: South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) invites future students to this workshop to help with the admissions and enrollment process, 4:30-6:30 pm in the library on campus. (6000 16th SW)
WSHS MULTICULTURAL POTLUCK: Everyone’s invited, 6-8 pm tonight – bring a dish to serve 6-8 people if you can, you’re still welcome if you can’t – for food and performances and community, at the West Seattle High School Commons. (3000 California SW)
HIGHLAND PARK ACTION COMMITTEE: 7 pm at Highland Park Improvement Club, including a look ahead to tomorrow night’s Find It, Fix It Walk. (1116 SW Holden) CANCELED: We’re told the HPAC meeting is off, with the FIFI Walk coming up tomorrow.
MADISON MS PTA & BIRDS-BEES TALK: After a short Madison Middle School PTA meeting at 7 pm, stay for a 7:30 presentation with Amy Lang on “The Birds & The Bees for Parents of Middle Schoolers.” Details in our calendar listing. (45th SW/SW Spokane)
BOB DYLAN BIRTHDAY BASH: 8-11 pm at Parliament Tavern. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
9:17 AM: Big SFD response to the former Schmitz Park Elementary School building, 5000 SW Spokane. Crews on scene are finding smoke but not its source.
9:19 AM: What crews are seeing is now described as a “large volume of steam,” but no related fire, so far.
9:35 AM: WSB’s Christopher Boffoli reports that the response is winding down. The building, by the way, is currently used primarily for child care outside school hours, though the district is taking another look at its future (separate story later). Christopher says he’s told that the students who would be brought to the SP building after school today will stay at Genesee Hill instead.
9:43 AM: Christopher also has just found out that this indeed was a steam issue in the boiler room. Seattle Public Schools engineers are on scene. No one was hurt.
6:54 AM: Good morning. No incidents reported in/from West Seattle right now.
7:33 AM: SDOT reports a stalled vehicle on the eastbound bridge is blocking the right lane just past the Delridge ramp.