West Seattle, Washington
EDITOR’S NOTE: With one week until the solar eclipse, West Seattle’s best-known sky-watcher is continuing to offer helpful info – in this report, the basics about the eclipse and safely watching it. Still to come, a list of where to eclipse-watch in West Seattle!
By Alice Enevoldsen
Special to West Seattle Blog
Are you ready for the big solar eclipse that’s now one week away, on August 21?
Don’t worry, I’ve got your back.
Monday, August 21, 2017
Start of partial eclipse: 9:08 am
Maximum eclipse: 10:20 am — Coverage of the Sun: 92%
End of partial eclipse: 11:56 am
Visible from West Seattle? Yes … but read on for caveats
VIEWING FROM WEST SEATTLE
(WSB file photo: ‘Wall of buses’ along Roxhill Park, across from Westwood Village)
Another “years in the making” project is about to get going. Even before the south side of SW Barton across from Westwood Village became a major transit hub, there was talk of more lighting – it’s mentioned in this WSB story from 2009. Four years later, the lack of lighting was still an issue when the then-new Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council led various government reps on a walking tour including the transit hub. In early 2015, Metro promised the lighting, and sidewalk improvements, would happen that year. Then the time-frame estimate shifted to mid-2016.
Now here we are in the second half of 2017 … and the work is apparently finally about to begin. Metro’s Paul Roybal responded to an inquiry from former WWRHAH leader Amanda Kay by saying, “Currently the construction work is scheduled to begin on August 28th, but subject to slight modifications (contractor is finishing up other work for Metro elsewhere, so the start date may be a few days later).” We subsequently checked with Metro spokesperson Scott Gutierrez about the planned scope of the work; he says it’s “to repair the sidewalk along the south side of SW Barton … and to add 4 pedestrian-scaled light fixtures to improve visibility and safety from the layover [area] to the existing RapidRide bus stop.”
Exactly 16 months after demolition of the old Fire Station 32 began, the new three-story, four-bay station is about to open. Seattle Fire Department spokesperson Kristin Tinsley tells WSB that firefighters will be moving in tomorrow. The new station will house Engine 32 and Ladder 11, which she says will be out of service until about 4 pm for the move, and Battalion 7 and Medic 32, which “will be on radio watch throughout the day until they are settled in.” E32 and L11 have been operating from a temporary station at the future city park site on 40th SW between SW Edmunds and Alaska, while M32 has been temporarily based at Station 37 in Sunrise Heights. The addition of B7 makes this the lead fire station for our entire area.
The new Station 32, designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and budgeted at $18+ million, is opening 10 years after the original projection of a 2007 opening when it was funded by the 2003 Fire Levy, as we reported in 2015. It’s on the same site as the old one – on SW Alaska in The Triangle, between 37th SW and 38th SW.
The victim, 40-year-old Court Heeter, remains in the hospital, according to a comment from a family friend, recovering from multiple stab wounds. Cox also was taken to Harborview after the attack last Tuesday night, with what police say was a self-inflicted stab wound.
According to charging documents, “the defendant is unemployed, homeless, and has been diagnosed with schizophrenia but does not take medication. He has been booked 28 times since 1997 and has had 26 warrants issued for his arrest.” The documents also include a more-detailed police-provided narrative that notes “Cox is a known transient, living in West Seattle, not only to the SPD officers that work in the Southwest Precinct, but to the citizens that live in the area.” That’s dated back to at least 2009, as we detailed in our Wednesday followup.
The narrative says that one witness saw Cox and Heeter arguing on August 2nd, and that they saw Cox pull a knife during that incident, though no one was injured. When Heeter was well enough to speak with police in the hospital last Thursday, the narrative says, he told them that he and his 3-year-old daughter were at a nearby gas station about a week earlier when Cox was there. Cox, he said, was yelling at everyone, including racial slurs. Heeter told police his daughter had become frightened and that Cox looked at them and said he better hold his daughter tight or he might get her. Hester said he told Cox to stop talking about his daughter and left. He told police he saw Cox again a few days later and tried to talk to him about frightening his daughter, but Cox started to yell. The night of the attack, Heeter said, he saw Cox walking near the Westside Unitarian Universalist Church and pulled into its lot, got out of his car, and yelled at Cox. That, he said, is when Cox lunged at him and started slashing.
The charging documents also include Cox’s side of the story, claiming he was being “stalked” by the victim, as well as detailing tirades at the hospital. (added) Here are the documents – please note that they contain the racial and homophobic slurs Cox is alleged to have used after his arrest. They do not include names of witnesses or any other third parties besides police and prosecutors, which is why we are uploading them directly rather than transcribing as we would otherwise do. Cox is scheduled to be arraigned – to enter an initial plea to the charge – on August 28th.
After a stopdown of about two weeks, the sidewalk construction on the south side of SW Roxbury between 28th and 30th has resumed, we noticed this morning. The work was running ahead of schedule when it paused in late July; King County Roads spokesperson Brent Champaco told us at the time that the roadway panels already had all been replaced “and more than half of the sidewalk poured.” But then utility-related work had to be done, and as of last week they were “working with Seattle City Light to adjust the traffic signal equipment before the concrete panel work can resume.” Now that crews are back at work, we’re checking to see if they expect to finish up before school starts across the street at Roxhill Elementary. (When we first reported on the project back in February, it was expected to begin before the school year ended.)
This morning’s City Council briefing meeting included a reminder of a major West Seattle item that’s on the calendar for the Sustainability and Transportation Committee tomorrow afternoon (as announced last month), including public comment if you have something to say about it – a “street vacation” sought in connection with the West Coast Self-Storage project proposed for 3252 Harbor Avenue SW. Above (or here), you can scroll through the slide deck that shows not only what’s proposed and where – one slide notes they expect the building to include ~850 units – but also what’s being offered in exchange for the “vacation.” It’s a request for the city to “vacate” what is currently publicly owned property, technically part of the street system but not being used as such. These requests have to include a “public benefit” package – the slide deck includes a list of what West Coast Self-Storage is offering, valued at more than $300,000, from moving a utility pole off the Alki Trail to including art panels in its building’s exterior. Eventually, the property that’s approved for vacation is sold at fair-market value. Also of note in this case: Nearby Nucor is a party to the vacation request for land that’s technically part of 29th SW and SW City View, seeking “to accommodate” railroad tracks. The proposed “vacation” area otherwise would be covered by the new 4-story self-storage building.
If you have something to say about the vacation request (see the full 81-page document here), be at City Council chambers at City Hall (600 4th Ave.) downtown at the start of Tuesday’s 2 pm committee meeting. If you can’t be there, you can e-mail comments to firstname.lastname@example.org – Councilmember Mike O’Brien chairs the committee.
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
WADING POOLS AND SPRAYPARK: Seattle Parks says they’ll be open today – in West Seattle, that means Highland Park spraypark and Lincoln Park wading pool, 11 am-8 pm; also, Delridge wading pool, noon-6:30 pm – note that it’s the last week for Delridge, closed after next Sunday. (Find addresses here)
ECLIPSE STORY TIME: 6:30 pm at High Point Library: “Bring children of all ages to enjoy stories and activities that will teach us about the upcoming total solar eclipse” – which is now just one week away. (35th SW/SW Raymond)
EVENING BOOK GROUP AT SOUTHWEST LIBRARY: 6:45 pm at Southwest Library. This month’s title is “The Widower’s Tale” by Julia Glass. (9010 35th SW)
MORE OPTIONS … on our complete calendar!
6:52 AM: Good morning! No incidents reported in/from West Seattle. This morning’s notes:
WATER TAXI BACK: The West Seattle and Vashon Water Taxis are both back in service today; WS resumed service on Saturday. The downtown dock is now north of Colman Dock, and the schedule has changed.
TRIANGLE ROUTE BACK TO 3 BOATS: After being down to 2 boats over the weekend, Washington State Ferries has the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route back to 3 as of today.
4TH AVE. S. REPAVING: A six-month repaving project on 4th Avenue South between Spokane St. (the West Seattle Bridge) and Royal Brougham Way begins this morning. Details are here.
ADMIRAL WAY REPAVING: Tomorrow through Friday, SDOT plans to repave SW Admiral Way between Lander and Stevens. Details are here.
On an Alki-area patio Sunday night, one last “group hug” photo for the man who has orchestrated them outside local landmarks as part of the job he’s just left. The occasion, a gathering to wish Clay Eals good luck in his next round of adventures, after four and a half years as the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s first executive director. That’s Clay in the red shirt, with wife Meg, to the left of “It Takes a Village”; his successor Jeff McCord is second to the right of it. In a short speech not long before the photo, Clay recalled deciding to take a risk in jumping from a full-time job to what was potentially a very part-time, short-term role that became so much more. “Don’t be afraid to take a risk,” he urged all within earshot, voicing gratitude for everyone who helped make SWSHS a “happening organization.”
P.S. This is just our unofficial photo; Sunday night’s “official” group-hug photo – like the ones for the Log House Museum totem pole (2014), the Alki Homestead rescue (2015), the Admiral Theater renovations (2016), the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse and West Seattle High School centennials (both this year) – was taken by Jean Sherrard.