West Seattle, Washington
Three West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports tonight:
SNACK SHACK BURGLARIES: We took that photo two months ago today, the day West Seattle Baseball proudly dedicated their long-awaited new “snack shack” at the Pee Wee baseball field in Riverview. today, WS Baseball board member and parent Zach Jones sent this reader report for Crime Watch:
The new snack shack at the Pee Wee Fields has been broken into twice in the past week. The first break-in happened last Thursday night 8/3 and again Tuesday night 8/8. The thieves broke in through side vents (which have since been secured with welded bars) and stole our iPad min, a small amount of cash, all of our snacks/food, and other miscellaneous items. They also destroyed our cash register.
They also tried to gain access through the side door by some sort of torch but were unsuccessful. There was a trail of snacks going east down the hill where there are several homeless camps. It’s likely that one of them has committed this crime. We have filed a police report with SPD.
Lots of parents in West Seattle Baseball worked especially hard to raise money and hundreds of volunteer hours went into opening this for all the families of our league. It’s disappointing to put so much effort into this project and have someone ruin it. If any of your readers have experience with storage container security measures, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org, we would appreciate any help.
Two other Crime Watch reader reports:
BACKPACKS & HAT STOLEN: From Shannon in Seaview:
We had our car loaded with camping gear for a camping trip and parked in our front yard just a few feet from our front door, and someone smashed the window, on 48th between Findlay and Juneau.
Luckily, they weren’t interested in our camping gear, but they did steal our backpacks. I suspect they probably ditched them once they realized there weren’t any electronics or anything easily pawned inside them. I am writing in hopes someone will come across them dumped in the bushes or something. One taupe-colored Camelback-brand day pack with first-aid kit inside and one blue and gray Kelty daypack with a Camelback, bright lime green North Face raincoat, and a baseball hat. The baseball hat is dark blue with a light pink script capital “I” on it. I really really want the hat back more than anything, for sentimental reasons. I can be contacted at email@example.com.
PACKAGE THEFT: Anita e-mailed today to report, “We had a package stolen from (SW) Findlay yesterday sometime after 12:00 noon that was delivered by UPS … Don’t know if this is something going on with other people in the area or not.”
TALK WITH POLICE SATURDAY: Another reminder that Southwest Precinct police’s “Picnic at the Precinct” is part of the Delridge Day festival again this year – and it’s Saturday, 11 am-3 pm, at Delridge Community Center park (4501 Delridge Way). See you there.
As noted here, we asked the county for a Water Taxi update earlier today – how the move to the new temporary dock is going, and whether service might resume short of the “up to one week” that they said they’d need. Tonight, Water Taxi spokesperson Brent Champaco tells us that West Seattle service could resume as soon as Saturday – and that’s also just been published on the Water Taxi website. So – definitely no service tomorrow (Friday, August 11th), but the county will determine whether they’ll be ready to go on Saturday, which would be good because the Mariners and Sounders both play at home. (The Vashon Water Taxi would resume Monday, since it doesn’t run weekends anyway.) So watch for an update tomorrow.
Two days after the Gatewood attack that left a 40-year-old West Seattle man in the hospital with serious injuries, two new developments, including the first hearing for the suspect. First, for everyone who asked how they could help the victim and his family – this crowdfunding page has been set up, identifying the victim as Court Heeter. From the page:
As many of you have heard, Court was the victim of a violent knife attack on Tuesday, Aug. 8, near his home in West Seattle. He sustained many life-threatening stab wounds and was fortunate to have Good Samaritans and first responders get there in time to save his life. He is now recovering in the hospital with his wife and family at his side.
Court is a strong man and is expected to recover from his physical wounds beautifully. He is indeed also a very lucky man to have survived an attack of this magnitude – we are so thankful he is here with us.
People are asking how to help. Meals are always thoughtful but in some cases can be disruptive to a household with small children that is already experiencing stress. In addition, a steady stream of visitors is overwhelming for this private family.
Obviously, there will be medical bills and other costs associated with this tragedy. As friends of the Heeter Family we are concerned about what lies ahead as he starts to work through what has happened.
Let’s come together and raise some money to ease any extra burdens we can for this family. Whether it be for a family vacation, medical bills, groceries, house cleaner – Whatever the Heeter Family needs money for let’s help provide it. Thank you for any donation amount or positive thoughts and prayers you can provide.
Again, the link is here.
Next – the hearing information, just in: As we first reported yesterday morning, police identified the suspect as 39-year-old Ryan J. Cox, who has been in and out of the criminal-justice and mental-health systems, as detailed in this followup yesterday afternoon. After police first took Cox into custody at the scene of Tuesday night’s attack, he was taken to the hospital for what investigators said were self-inflicted stab wounds; last night, he was medically cleared to be booked into King County Jail, and this afternoon, he had what was scheduled to be a bail/probable-cause hearing. According to King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office spokesperson Dan Donohoe, Cox “refused to appear in court”; the judge ruled there was probable cause to continue holding him, and set a bail hearing for tomorrow afternoon. The document provided for the hearing has the same narrative information that we included in yesterday afternoon’s followup, with the addition of Cox’s claim that he stabbed Heeter – who police say was unarmed – in self-defense, claiming he had clashed with the victim the night before. The probable-cause document also notes that law enforcement does not want to see Cox released, because he is “very aggressive” and because the incident involved “assault with a deadly weapon.”
We will update again tomorrow after the second hearing.
Thanks to the texter who just sent that photo, saying they were seeing whales from Colman Pool on the shore at Lincoln Park, headed northbound.
One day after a City Council committee was briefed on recommendations by a task force considering “vehicular living,” Councilmember Mike O’Brien has announced his proposal – which he says is different from an early version that was circulated earlier this week. He also says it’s not going to be officially introduced this month, but he’s interested in feedback. Here’s the news release we just received, including links to relevant documents:
Councilmember Mike O’Brien (District 6, Northwest Seattle), Chair of the Council’s Sustainability and Transportation Committee, issued the following statement regarding his proposed legislation intended to help respond to the needs of people living in their vehicles:
“In 2016, City of Seattle funding helped thousands of people exit homelessness and move into permanent housing, and I’m proud that the City continues to build on these efforts. However, the vast majority of the City’s focus is on individuals completely without shelter, while vehicle residents account for more than 40% of the unsheltered homeless population in Seattle. Moreover, during the past seven years, as the number of people unsheltered has increased by over 50%, the number of vehicle residents have more than doubled, from 590 individuals in 2010 to 1,550 in 2017.
“It’s clear what we’re doing hasn’t been working at the scale we need, and the challenges of vehicular living continue to increase without a clear policy direction. We’ve made efforts to help serve that population through our Road to Housing program, and through our previous attempts to provide supervised safe lots and safe zones. But our current approach to vehicular residency elsewhere often leaves vehicle residents with parking tickets, fines, and towing fees that puts them further away from housing, and isolated from services that they need.
“Today I’m putting forward draft proposals that take lessons from these previous efforts and expands on what has worked.
“Firstly, we need more parking options for people living in vehicles. Our previous attempts to provide parking have been unnecessarily expensive, and I intend to work with our Departments to develop a streamlined, more cost-effective parking program for vehicles to move to during their pathway to housing. In addition to identifying City-surplus property, I am confident that prioritizing social service and real estate management can also leverage spaces at faith-based organizations, non-profits, and business properties. It will still require a significant financial investment, and I intend to work with my colleagues and the City Budget Office during the budget review process this fall to identify available funding.
“Further, I’m putting forward a resolution that calls on the City to do additional analysis into recreational vehicle campgrounds, an auto-maintenance training program, and increasing mobile healthcare services for vehicular residents. I also plan to pursue a community needs assessment on the vehicular living population to further inform our policy directions.
“Next, I am putting forward draft legislation that would set up a Vehicular Residences Program in which social service providers would directly connect with people living out of their vehicles. Only when a user or users participate in the program would they be deprioritized for booting and impoundment from Scofflaw eligibility and diverted to an alternative enforcement mechanism through a social service program. People living out of their cars and minivans would be provided amnesty from monetary penalties resulting from parking enforcement, again, only if they’re participating in the program. For people living in RVs or other commercial vehicles, this amnesty would only apply if they are parked in industrial zoned areas. Seattle Police would still have every right to arrest people for breaking laws, including sexual exploitation. Nothing would prevent SPD or a social service provider from asking a vehicle to move and assisting them to move their vehicle.
“To be clear, the legislation I’m announcing today differs from the outdated version that some news media were provided and reported on that I had not intended to advance. The outdated version resulted in several news stories that have inspired constituents to call-in to express their opposition to elements that are not included in the newer version of the bill. I’m glad the public will now have an opportunity to respond to the complete proposal I had intended.
“In currently allowing vehicle residents to continue to accrue parking and impoundment fines, we only exacerbate their challenges in a pathway to housing. If someone is willing to work with a service provider and is committed to stabilizing their living situation, I think we should enthusiastically try to meet that need.
“This legislation is a starting point, and I don’t intend to introduce or consider this bill in August. I’m very receptive to any ideas to improve this legislation or to entirely new solutions. But I know that doing nothing is not an option.”
First, Don and Jason told us about those goats spotted along the bicycle/pedestrian trail under the high bridge, west of the low bridge. When we went over to see for ourselves, we discovered it was part of an official – albeit temporary – installation – this explanatory sign is along the trail behind the goats, for example:
And the goats weren’t alone. There’s more art along the trail – on bridge supports:
And more in the ivy:
The art under the bridge/along the trail is part of Art Interruptions 2017, which stretches further into North Delridge, we found out from Erika Lindsay of the city Office of Arts and Culture. She shared this map/postcard, with locations and information:
As you can see on the map, this is scheduled to continue through year’s end, with a walking tour scheduled for Saturday, October 7th, 10 am-noon – more info as that gets closer.
From today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin: The Department of Construction and Inspections has approved a change of use for 7500 35th Avenue SW, the former John’s Corner Deli, which is becoming the brewery/taproom Best of Hands Barrelhouse, as first reported here in February. The decision approving the plan to “change 2,455 sq. ft. of retail use to drinking establishment(; p)roject includes interior and exterior repair and alterations” can be read here. The official notice opens a two-week appeal period and explains how to file one.
Big day/night in and around West Seattle – and here are highlights:
DINE OUT FOR COMMUNITY SCHOOL OF WS: Until 9 tonight, dine at Zippy’s Giant Burgers in White Center and a percentage of the proceeds will be donated to the Community School of West Seattle. (9614 14th SW)
SUMMER AT SOUTH BARBECUE: Come to South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) and learn more about attending and paying for college during today’s barbecue, 11 am-1 pm. At the Arboretum on the north side of campus. (6000 16th SW)
ASL-FRIENDLY FIREFIGHTER STORY TIME: 11:30 am, firefighters read to kids at High Point Library, and an American Sign Language interpreter will be there. (35th SW/SW Raymond)
TRIANGLE TASK FORCE MEETING: 4:30-7 pm at Fauntleroy UCC, the task force working on Washington State Ferries’ “Triangle route” issues meets. Here’s the agenda (PDF). (9140 California SW)
WEST SEATTLE ART WALK: Here’s the venue list/map for tonight’s WSAW, “5 pm to late”:
Highlights include a Makers’ Market at Junction Plaza Park, Ladies’ Night at Menashe and Sons Jewelers (WSB sponsor), extended happy hours and specials at various food/drink venues – and while many venues are in The Junction, not all! To the north, for example, you can stop at Welcome Road Winery (3804 California SW; WSB sponsor). A long list of highlights, including some images to get you thinking about where you want to visit, can be found here.
VIADUCT DEMOLITION OPEN HOUSE: Questions about the Alaskan Way Viaduct’s demolition once the tunnel opens (expected to be in early 2019)? Drop into tonight’s downtown open house, 5-8 pm. (1400 Western Avenue)
FLIGHT PATH GRAND OPENING: Peel and Press (WSB sponsor) proprietor Dan Austin‘s new Flight Path bar opens tonight, 5 pm-1 am, in nearby Boulevard Park, and you’re invited. (1832 S. 120th)
SUMMER CONCERTS AT HIAWATHA, WEEK 4: 6:30 pm on the east lawn at Hiawatha Community Center, it’s this week’s free concert presented by the Admiral Neighborhood Association, featuring Adrian Xavier:
“Fun, engaging musical fusion” is what you’ll find. Bring your own chair/blanket/picnic. (Walnut/Lander)
MUCH MORE GOING ON! See our complete calendar.
West Seattle pilot/photographer Long Bach Nguyen sent that photo, saying he thought neighbors here would be interested to see just how far out, and high up, the wildfire smoke has spread. If you’ve been wondering about relief – forecasters say it’s on the way, even before the chance of showers predicted for this Sunday. The updated Air Quality Alert for the region says, “Conditions are expected to begin improving Thursday night, but even more so on Friday as strengthening southerly flow aloft pushes the smoke out of the area.” So all those eerie views should soon be a memory – including sunset/sunrise views that even revealed sunspots, as Kersti Muul‘s photo shows:
As for the source of the smoke – British Columbia expects some rain, but not enough to extinguish the wildfires.
6:59 AM: Good morning! We’ve looked around and no incidents are currently reported in/from West Seattle.
WATER TAXI-LESSNESS, DAY 4: The King County Water Taxi for both West Seattle and Vashon Island continues to be out of service while its downtown dock is moved to a temporary (year and a half) location on the north side of Colman Dock. KCDOT said this could last up to a week and has not issued any formal updates; we’ll be asking today how it’s going.
STATE FERRY TASK FORCE: The Triangle Route Task Force meets today to talk about ongoing attempts to address backups at Fauntleroy. Riders say boats are continuing to leave less-than-full at peak times. The public is welcome at the meeting, 4:30-7 pm at Fauntleroy UCC (9140 California SW).
8:17 AM: SDOT reports a crash at West Marginal and SW Andover.