West Seattle, Washington
11:45 PM: Thanks for the photo and tips about that crash in the 4800 block of Delridge Way. It’s blocking both ways. We are on the way to find out more.
12:05 AM: Here’s what we found out at the scene: The driver was headed north on Delridge and lost control, hitting at least six other vehicles (parked, as far as we know) before ending up at Delridge and Alaska. The driver and passenger are expected to be taken to the hospital by private ambulance – no major injuries.
12:55 AM: Went past the scene again a few minutes ago; the road is still blocked both ways. Meantime, thanks to Patrick O’Connor for more photos, including some of the other cars that were hit:
1:12 AM: SDOT says the road has reopened. Meantime, Patrick O’Connor also sent security-cam video in which you can hear – and somewhat see – the collision:
ADDED THURSDAY AFTERNOON: The 19-year-old driver was booked into King County Jail for suspected DUI, according to police, jail, and court records.
This sign has been up in Katie‘s yard in Fauntlee Hills since April 22nd:
You have probably seen that sign – or something similar – in more than a few yards. This one was undisturbed until last night, when, Katie says, somebody taped this scrawled screed over it, making accusations against the Black Lives Matter movement. Katie says:
We were disappointed to discover that our property was defaced last night. Our yard sign which displays OUR values was defaced. Apparently this person felt that their right to free speech was somehow more important than mine. While we feel that the alternative view lacks empathy and the ability to see a bigger picture, we invite this person to simply place a sign reflecting their beliefs in their own yard, instead of covering mine.
They checked their security video and discovered this snippet from about 11 pm:
Katie says they do not recognize the person in the video, and adds, “I notified the hate/bias crimes unit of SPD. SPD encouraged me to file a police report if it happens again.”
Please watch for a kids’ bicycle that was taken from Sommer‘s yard:
My son’s bike was stolen out of our front yard. Nearly brand new.
20″ boys BMX bike
Matte black w/ neon green and white writing ‘Hyper Spinner’
Foot pegs on back wheels
If whomever took it could return it to 4045 45th SW, that’d be great.
Though this transportation project is just outside West Seattle, it’s a vital route for many who live here, particularly bicyclists headed to and from downtown. So we’re sharing the newest update from the SDOT’s East Marginal Way project, following up on their “online open house” this spring:
For the north segment (S Atlantic St to S Spokane St) we heard a preference for a westside multi-use path to accommodate simplistic bicycle travel. We also heard that some people favor a 2-way protected bike lane on the east side of the road to avoid Port driveways, and to separate people biking and people walking. A smaller number of people expressed support for enhancing existing conditions (with a bike lane on both sides of the road).
Based on that feedback, we are doing further analysis of the 2 options that received the most support: the westside multi-use path and the eastside 2-way protected bike lane. The 3 options can be viewed in the online open house materials.
From the survey, we also learned that the top 3 improvement priorities for the south segment (S Spokane St to S Michigan St) are a multi-use path for those who walk and bike between S Spokane St and Diagonal Ave S, pedestrian crossing and safety, and sidewalk conditions. We also heard a desire for more improvements, outside of those being proposed in this project, for people walking and biking in the South Segment.
Common themes emerged from community comments:
*Physical separation of bikes and vehicles is a priority for safety
*South segment needs better options for people walking and biking
*North segment bike route should have minimal driveway crossings
*Improve signal timing for bikes
*A continuous option for a bike route is preferable
*Near-term improvements are needed
… We will be back in touch later this summer with a project update, including a preferred option for the north segment and the scope of improvements for people walking and biking in the south segment.
3:14 PM: Big emergency response on the northbound side of the 5000 block of Fauntleroy because of this:
The driver reportedly went into the wall inside an apartment-building garage. Firefighters were working to get the driver out.
3:22 PM: The driver is being taken to Harborview via SFD Medic 32. She has a possible fracture, we are told.
3:59 PM: Just went back to check; SFD and SPD have cleared the scene.
From last night’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting – the return of SPD’s Community Service Officers, plus an update/Q&A on local crime trends.
COMMUNITY SERVICE OFFICERS: This SPD program is being revived after more than a decade. Presenter Angela Socci from SPD talked about its history from 1971-2004 as a bridge between the police and underserved neighborhoods. Now, for 2018, there’s money in the budget, and she is making the rounds seeking input about what the new CSO program should look like and how it might fit into the current existing structure, which includes Community Police Team Officers and Crime Prevention Coordinators. The major public outreach and rollout is expected to start in January.
One thing for certain: As they were back in the day, the CSOs will be uniformed but unarmed. No mission statement yet, though. So, Socci asked meeting attendees, what skills should the new CSOs have, and what would you like to see them do?
Many said the skillset should include things like de-escalation, conflict management, knowledge of group dynamics, and a general understanding of psychology. That came up again when someone asked if the CSOs might interact with homeless people and others who are dealing with mental illness.
As far as what they should do, there were requests to send CSOs into schools to deal with troubled kids and also to get involved when kids get interested in gangs. Also there was talk about dealing with
runaways and families who are having issues.
According to Socci, SPD is largely just listening and pulling all the comments together from people like this group, for now. She and her team will also be working with the city’s Office of Civil Rights to see how the CSOs can work to apply the social-equity toolkit.
CRIME TRENDS AND CONCERNS: The meeting began with Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis giving toplines on recent crime trends. Overall, crime is down from this time last year, he said, and SPD continues to work with judges and prosecutors to try to slow down the cycle of catch/release, catch/release for people arrested for crimes such as car prowls. Attendees told Capt. Davis that they would like to see more traffic enforcement, particularly for drivers failing to stop for pedestrians, as well as speeding. No info yet on plans for enforcement of the new cell-phone law, which takes effect next month. Though it didn’t come up in open discussion, we asked Capt. Davis afterward if he had an update on last month’s Alki murder; short answer, no, but longer answer, detectives are continuing to work on identifying the suspected killer.
The West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network will not meet in July or August, so next meeting will be the fourth Tuesday in September – that’s 6:30 pm September 26th.
If you’re a runner with some time to spare to help others in your community – Jim McCue has an offer for you. We’ve featured him on WSB recently in his role as head coach of the Chief Sealth International High School cross-country team, but he’s also a program manager with the Somali Family Safety Task Force, which has a youth mentorship program coming up titled Run For Change. Jim explains that it “combines long-distance running, health education, and civic engagement” to assist immigrant and refugee youth, many of whom attend Chief Sealth or Denny International Middle School: “Our plan is to align our program with the start and end of each academic year (approx. August to June), culminating in the running of the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. We’re currently in the process of recruiting potential running mentors that would be paired with each student to guide them through both (a) the highs-and-lows of pursuing a dedicated training schedule and (b) a discussion of ways for each student to better approach their personal lives through making healthier decisions for greater behavior change!” Further details:
Mentor Ages: Anyone 20 years and older, preferably in or graduated from college
Gender: all welcome
Skill Levels: all welcome. We’re hoping for a range from technology professionals to artists to engineers, and everyone in between!
Commitment: Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm and Saturdays from 8:00 am-10:00 am. We start August 19 and end with a Turkey Trot during Thanksgiving weekend. We’re hoping to continue the program until the June Rock ‘n Roll Marathon, but that depends on securing additional funding.
An information session is coming up on July 10th at the task force HQ in NewHolly – you can RSVP and get more info here. You’re also welcome to e-mail Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
(Spotted towhee, photographed by Mark Wangerin)
No midweek malaise here. Lots to do:
DINE-OUT FUNDRAISER FOR HIGHLAND PARK ELEMENTARY: The HPE playground project will get half the proceeds if you eat at Chipotle today and tell them it’s for Highland Park Elementary. (4730 California SW)
WADING POOLS AND SPRAYPARKS: Three local wading pools are open today – Lincoln Park is open 11 am-8 pm; it’s the first day for EC Hughes, noon-7 pm, and the first day for Hiawatha, noon-6:30 pm. The Highland Park Spraypark is open 11 am-8 pm. (Addresses are all here)
PEACE IN THE HOOD: Go see youth basketball! Tournament presented by Southwest Youth and Family Services at Steve Cox Memorial Park in White Center, starting at 3 pm. (1321 SW 102nd)
SEATTLE SCHOOL BOARD: As previewed here on Tuesday, several issues of interest are on the School Board’s agenda. They’re starting with a “work session” at 4:15 pm, district HQ in SODO. (3rd Avenue S./S. Lander)
BOOK SIGNING & IN-STORE CONCERT: Easy Street Records in The Junction hosts Gillian G. Gaar’s “Sgt. Pepper at 50” book signing at 6:30 pm, followed by Beatles tribute band Creme Tangerine at 7:30. Free, all ages. (California/Alaska)
HIGHLAND PARK ACTION COMMITTEE: The Highland Park Way roundabout, the HALA MHA DEIS, and more are on the agenda for tonight’s HPAC meeting. 7 pm at Highland Park Improvement Club – all welcome. (1116 SW Holden)
POEMS AND STORIES AT C&P: The monthly Poetrybridge event is at 7 pm tonight at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), featuring Katherine Grace-Bond and Lew Jones, plus a community microphone. (5612 California SW)
JOE ROSS AND THE BIRD-WATCHERS: 8 pm at Parliament Tavern, New Orleans jazz and honkytonk. No cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
SO MUCH MORE! Check our complete-calendar page for the full list.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: WSB and WCN are participating in the multiple-media-outlet #SeaHomeless day of special coverage. For the occasion, we revisited what is the White Center/West Seattle area’s only fulltime shelter, which opened in late March.)
By Tracy Record
Editor, West Seattle Blog and White Center Now
It’s the shelter that almost wasn’t.
At an acrimonious community meeting last September – when King County revealed it was weeks away from opening a shelter at its former Public Health clinic in White Center – some threatened legal action to stop it.
But that’s not what happened.
Instead, community leaders and other residents formed a task force. They made a counter-proposal. Instead of the low-barrier, adults-only, overnight shelter that the county wanted the Salvation Army to operate, the counter-proposal was for a 24-hour family shelter to be operated by Mary’s Place, which specializes in helping homeless families.
The county agreed. Mary’s Place agreed. The followup community meeting in January had applause instead of shouting. And three months ago, the shelter opened at 8th SW/SW 108th. No lawsuits. No protests.
We toured on March 21st, just before the first families arrived. And that was the last time we visited the shelter – until this week, when we requested to drop in for a followup.
Our tour guide and interviewee was Liz McDaniel, family-shelter developer for Mary’s Place, who has been with the organization for eight years, dating back to when it was just the operator of a “day center” – now, it’s so much more. She understates her role: “I get to open all our new sites.” And in fact, she had opened a new one the night before our conversation, at the opposite end of King County, up in Shoreline.
But we were there to talk about White Center, the only fulltime shelter in the WC/West Seattle area. As of our Tuesday morning interview, 15 families were there, 55 people – 20 adults and 35 children. And there’s still room for more – official capacity is 70 people.
Another statistic: Since opening June 21st, the shelter “has served more than 3,400 bed nights.”
“Guests,” as Mary’s Place refers to the people it’s sheltering, are referred by the county program Coordinated Entry for All, which works with the 211 hotline.
And McDaniel says they are keeping “the promise that we made to the community, that we would prioritize families that are already in this neighborhood.”
Three months in, they are still completing renovations/additions that are needed so that the former clinic can truly serve as a livable space. One that catches our eye immediately upon entry fills a small atrium/courtyard:
The play area is the work of the Seattle University College of Engineering, we’re told. And like so many other things at the shelter, volunteers helped make it happen, including those who cleared the area of its weedy plantings.
Other work that is expected to be done by mid-July is adapting a restroom to make it accessible, and adding two showers in what was a storage area so the building has three – the Evergreen Aquatic Center, a mile away, has in the meantime been making its showers available to shelter families.
Crews also are converting another storage area into a laundry room:
In the meantime, all the laundry has to be sent offsite. And a “small kitchen” is being added as well, so some cooking can be done at the shelter.
So what happens during the course of a day at the shelter?
For the adults- “services that focus on housing and employment.” Throughout the open spaces in the shelter, there are signs, and set-aside areas, devoted to those focuses.
They get help working on applications, determining what are their barriers to housing, getting “tools to move forward.” The shelter has been open almost the exact length of an “average stay across all our locations” – 87 days. But three families already have moved out into housing, despite the challenge of rising rents, “harder and harder for families to afford, particularly if they’re a single-parent household – it’s challenging to find something to afford within Seattle. We spread the branches wide and look all over the place, White Center, Burien, Renton, Kent, places that families can afford.”
Mary’s Place also has launched a new “diversion program to help divert families from shelter directly into housing,” which requires “flexible funding,” so if you’re looking to donate money – that program could use it, she adds.
For employment, guests spend time filling out resumes, looking for openings, getting practice in “mock interviews.”
For the kids, there’s an immediate effort to be sure they are enrolled in school, and to arrange for transportation “within 48 hours of arriving.” This location is on school-bus routes, though at some of the other Mary’s Place sites in the region, they work with Metro, taxicabs, “whatever.” Now that school is out for the summer, the focus is on activities; McDaniel says they have been “working all year” on getting scholarships to day camps around the area, and kids are already out at camps ranging from art to environmental activities.
Health care also is available through the shelter, with a nurse on site part of the time.
Some aspects of shelter life involve clearing up misconceptions. McDaniel says some presume that shelters can be “a scary place – but we work hard to create a safe and welcoming community, where families can sit down and have a meal together, where kids can play appropriate to their age, where people feel welcomed as soon as they walk in the door … A lot of families are afraid they’ll lose their children when people find out they’re homeless. But your kids can’t be taken away simply (because of that).”
While Mary’s Place works on “a 90-day model … some families have more extended barriers” and it takes longer for them to get back onto their feet. Especially refugee families, McDaniel notes. Most of those who Mary’s Place is serving now are from East Africa, particularly Eritrea, though MP also has seen “our first few Syrian families,” as well as some from South Asia and Central America.
Wherever they are from, Mary’s Place emphasizes “the inherent belief that our families are good enough, and have the capability, to take care of their own families – they were housed at one point and they’ll be housed again. They have the tools to meet their own needs. There’s just a one-time gap – 97 percent of families experiencing homelessness will never experience it again. We help them navigate a really hard system at a traumatic time in their lives. We do it better together.”
Those working “together” at this shelter include about 20 staffers as well as the 55 guests, and volunteers. The guests have responsibilities beyond seeking housing and (if not already employed) work: They are assigned chores, for which points are awarded.
Those points can be spent at an on-site “store” with items such as clothing.
The youngest guests are able to earn points, too, and they have what the sign on the door dubs the “mini-mart” (top photo).
We asked McDaniel if the process of getting the shelter up to full speed has brought any surprises. “I think the biggest kind of joy and surprise has been the way the community has surrounded the space … we saw that in the work group and the process to get in. That has not waned. Between the schools and organizations already in the neighborhood” – she mentions White Center-headquartered WestSide Baby in particular – “(people) have stood alongside us and provided tools and resources to be sure this is a sustainable program in the community … White Center is such a strong community. People continued to bring in meals and donations and volunteer, and that excitement hasn’t gone away.”
A far cry from last September’s rancor.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: There’s a “daily need” for volunteers at the shelter – especially to help with the kids, “with outings, and during the school year with homework help,” McDaniel says. No prerequisites except to be “people who like people.” Information on volunteering is on the Mary’s Place website.
For donatable items – blankets and diapers remain their biggest need. (Yes, the kids at the shelter right now include babies.)
And the biggest need of all is space – this shelter is open, the aforementioned new one in Shoreline is open, but the need for more shelter space around the metro area continues. Despite that, this shelter is not intended to be permanent; the county and nonprofits are working on a long-range plan for a mixed-use project at the site that would include housing as well as headquarters for several nonprofits. That’ll be the topic of a separate followup.
7:25 AM: Good morning! One crash just reported in the area – at 4th Ave. S. and Spokane. No details yet.
7:43 AM: Seattle Fire’s response to that scene has closed out. Meantime, from SDOT, a SODO reminder – the Mariners play a day game, 12:40 pm vs. the Phillies.
12:01 AM: Police are investigating multiple reports of possible gunshots – or fireworks – in North Delridge. We’ve heard from someone near Delridge/Genesee; via the scanner, dispatchers have told police about calls from areas including the Delridge Library and a few blocks northeast of there. Officers can’t confirm gunfire without finding casings and/or property damage and/or a victim – no word of any of that so far. But they reiterate that they want to hear from anyone who even thinks they heard gunfire, just in case, so if you do, call 911.
SIDE NOTE: The nights ahead are likely to be noisier. Though fireworks are illegal in Seattle, they are still legal in unincorporated King County, which includes White Center, and sales start in those areas at noon tomorrow, though they can’t be set off there legally until the 4th of July.
2:09 AM: We’re now hearing reports of suspected gunshots heard in South Delridge; might be related to an incident in White Center that King County Sheriff’s Office deputies are dealing with near 14th SW/SW 102nd (in which they are reported to have multiple suspects in custody).