West Seattle, Washington
Over the weekend, we published an update from Byron, the dad who wrote an “open letter” after his 8-year-old daughter’s bicycle was stolen – he reported a suspect had been arrested and the bicycle returned. Wanting to track the case through the system to see what happens along the way, we requested and obtained the police-report narrative today, and it tells a complicated story.
For those wondering how Byron found the bicycle, the report says he spotted it on Craigslist, made initial contact with the person who listed it, and went to the Southwest Precinct, where the Saturday day shift was in the morning briefing. Officers came up with a plan. (This isn’t the first time SPD has done this – we’ve seen past reports, like this one in West Seattle last year, and this one elsewhere the year before.) The report described it in part as:
Our approach was to set a predetermined meeting location and when the bicycle was determined to be Lhe one in question and a specific suspecL was found to be in possession of this bicycle we would move in, affecting a stop, at which time we would verify the serial number and combination to the lock on the bicycle as given to us by (the dad). The combination on the bícycle lock was given as (xxxx) and the serial number was given as (xxxx).
They originally agreed on a meeting place near Roxbury Safeway but they eventually found the suspect near 15th and Roxbury, with the bicycle, and took him into custody.
The bicycle was taken to the Southwest Precinct, as was the suspect, who was eventually released, as explained in the report, after a lieutenant who had stayed back at the scene showed up at the precinct with three children. The circumstances of their discovery was not described in the report, but it did say this:
.(They) were identified as (the suspect’s) children. All were … found to be in acceptable health but it should be noted that their clothes were dirty and the children themselves were unbathed to a point of being unsanitary. … (N)oting that the children’s mother had a no-contact order against her from being in contact with the children, it was collectively determined that in the best interest of the children, that (the suspect) be released to tend to the children’s needs. It was expressed by the children that (he) is the only parent that feeds them (and he) stated after he had invoked his right to remain silent that he wanted to change his mind, and stated that his girlfriend, who is the mother of (the children), had given him possession of the bicycle. (He) knew that the bicycle was not hers, but that he was trying to sell the bicycle to feed his children.
His release does *not* mean he isn’t facing charges; he was arrested on suspicion of trafficking in stolen property, which is a felony, and the report says the case has been forwarded to the Major Crimes Unit for investigation. We don’t know the suspect’s name, so we don’t know if he has a record.
The only West Seattle item in today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin is the one marked by this sign (in the city’s new format) – 1709 Harbor SW, where it’s comment time on the application for this project:
Land Use Application to change the use of an existing building from office and residential to all residential. The project includes a five story residential addition on the south side of the building for a total of 17 apartments. Parking for 17 vehicles proposed. Existing two-story single family residence to be demolished.
The official notice says comments will be taken until September 20th on various aspects of the project, including its environmental impacts (including traffic, and the fact it’s close to the shoreline). Here’s how to comment.
Now that the new Fire Station 32 is open, the city is moving ahead with plans for the future city park at the site that held the temporary station. Thanks to Justin at Sound and Fog for the photo and first word of a poster up at the site (4723-4731 40th SW, which is right next to his shop); we have since received the city postcard with the announcement. An “open house” is planned during the West Seattle Farmers’ Market on Sunday, September 10th, 10 am-2 pm, “to show site options and hear what you like the most for your new park.” The project’s page on the Seattle Parks website also includes a link to this quick (one page) survey. The city bought the two-thirds-of-an-acre site for $1.4 million in 2012 and has almost $2 million budgeted for park development; it’s one of three “landbanked” future park sites in West Seattle, along with 48th/Charlestown and the Morgan Junction Park expansion site.
2:55 PM: Today’s eclipse event was just one of many cool things at local Seattle Public Library branches, as often featured in our calendar and daily highlight lists. Dave at Southwest Library just e-mailed with the news that there’s still room for a Tuesday-Thursday kids’ program that he promises will be “great”:
Minecraft and Reading is a technology-based Reading/Art class. Students will use the widely popular Minecraft game to create artistic representations of popular storybook scenes. They learn technology skills, and hone their artistic sensibilities. They have opportunities to work collaboratively and to develop leadership skills through class presentations.
This is a three-part series and will take place from 2:30-4 on Tuesday 8/22, Wednesday 8/23, and Thursday 8/24. Please call Southwest Library at 206-684-7455 to register. Online registration is closed, but registration is still possible.
The branch is at 9010 35th SW.
5:29 PM: Dave says in a comment below that the “guaranteed” spots are now filled, so they’ve started a waiting list.
9:12 AM: We’re starting our eclipse coverage as more of a weather report. While it’s been sunny here in Upper Fauntleroy at ~300 feet, the fog’s rolling through again. We’re headed to check higher elevations. Updates to come.
9:22 AM: In general – if you’re socked in, head east/south. We’re at 35th/Thistle, and the sky’s blue both to the east (Highland Park/Westwood) and now to the north as we head toward High Point.
Myrtle Reservoir Park (35th/Myrtle; photos added above) is near the highest point in the city, lots of open space, and people are watching.
9:40 AM: Now arriving at High Point Library at 35th/Raymond. Big crowd. If you need a parking space, be prepared to walk a ways.
9:57 AM: The viewing party here is inside and outside. Outside, the view of the sun is on the east side of the library:
Thanks to everybody who offered to share their glasses – we took a quick look and even at partial, it’s amazing! Meantime, inside, the recently upgraded library meeting room has NASA’s live broadcast on the big screen:
The NASA stream includes a feed from the special Gulfstream aircraft that’s flying over the path of upcoming totality in Lincoln City, Oregon (read about it here) – it took off this morning from nearby Boeing Field, and is scheduled to return there around 12:30 pm.
10:04 AM: A lady here in the meeting room just announced to everyone that her daughter in Ocean Shores reports it’s “getting dark” there. In here, the NASA feed is having trouble due to overload.
Meantime, if you’re just going outside to see the near-totality, Lora Swift from the West Seattle Junction Association tells us skies are clear for their viewing party too (Junction Plaza Park, 42nd/Alaska, photo above).
And Jamie Kinney just tweeted the telescope-camera photo above.
10:34 AM: Maximum coverage has come and gone; the sun won’t be fully revealed again for about an hour in our area. More photos: First, eclipse “shadows” on the ground at High Point Library:
Peak-coverage crowd at High Point, with some “wows” and cheers:
At Junction Plaza Park, where Lora (who sent the photos from there) says about 200 people showed up!
Not far away, a few people went up to the roof at West Seattle Christian Church and sent this photo:
(added) At Jack Block Park – here are West Seattle High School teachers Joy Patman and Renee Phelps, eclipse-watching (thanks for the photos!):
Back to the sun and the moon – another photo from Jamie Kinney, taken at the 92 percent peak:
(Added: Here’s a gallery of Jamie’s images.) We will add video later that we rolled during the peak coverage. No, it did not get dark.
ADDED 12:45 PM: More photos – first, perhaps the most-enthusiastic eclipse viewer we saw:
Here’s High Point librarian Nathalie, who worked energetically to keep everyone informed of the eclipse status and what was going on at the library, inside and out:
Unique viewing apparatus included a colander:
Everyone we saw heeded the “don’t look without glasses” warnings:
One other unusual view – two Alki residents sent us this view of a “white rainbow” in the fog during the eclipse, looking across the low tide – this photo is from Lynn Hall:
Another gathering spot – Providence Mount St. Vincent. (Thanks for the texted photo!)
ADDED 5:32 PM: Thanks to Greg Snyder, a West Seattleite who went to Cascade, Idaho, to be in the totality zone, and shared this image:
And thanks to those who are sharing photos in the comment section below!
AND MORE: From Tom Stoner, another view of the “vegetation shadows” that showed the eclipse:
Another totality view – this one from Alki photographer David Hutchinson, who went south to watch, from “south of Baker City, Oregon, at the Weatherby Rest Area along I-84”:
P.S. The next solar eclipse visible in the U.S. will be in April 2024 – but nowhere near here.
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
WHERE TO WATCH THE ECLIPSE: In our area, it starts in minutes, peaks with 92 percent coverage at 10:20 am, and will be entirely over by 11:40 am. You’ve probably now heard this many times but DON’T LOOK AT IT WITHOUT SPECIAL EQUIPMENT – whether it’s approved protective glasses, or, without looking toward the sun, a pinhole viewer. Here’s our list of potential places to watch around here (with links to online coverage if you’d rather just watch from your computer or phone).
LAST LOW-TIDE BEACH NATURALIST DAY THIS SUMMER: You’ll find Seattle Aquarium volunteer beach naturalists out one more time, 10 am-12:30 pm, at Lincoln and Constellation Parks. Low tide is -1.8 feet at 11:08 am.
WADING POOL AND SPRAYPARK: The only wading pool still open for the season is Lincoln Park (8011 Fauntleroy Way); it’s open 11 am-8 pm today, as is Highland Park spraypark (1100 SW Cloverdale), both open daily through Labor Day.
AFTERNOON BOOK GROUP: 2 pm at Southwest Library. “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” by Rachel Joyce is this month’s book. (9010 35th SW)
MORE OPTIONS … on our complete calendar!
6:30 AM: If you use 26th SW in North Delridge, be aware that some SFD units may still be in the 4700 block and vicinity in the aftermath of an early-morning house fire.
Otherwise – it’s Eclipse Day. If you’re not already taking the day – or at least the morning – off to watch it, remember that near-totality (92 percent coverage) arrives in our area at 10:20 am. Provided the weather cooperates – here in Upper Fauntleroy, we’ve been watching a fog bank advancing this way from Vashon …
Other things you should know about today:
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL: Ninth-graders start today at Summit Atlas, West Seattle’s first charter school, on the southwest corner of 35th SW and SW Roxbury. That means about 100 students arriving around 8 am. The school also is starting its first year with a sixth-grade class, and their first day is tomorrow. (Here’s Summit Atlas’s calendar.) Our area’s other schools are generally not starting until early September.
4TH AVENUE S. REPAVING: This is the start of the second week for repaving between Spokane St. and the stadiums.
4:26 AM: The fire is described via radio communications as “well-involved” on at least one side of the house – mostly exterior but partly extended into the house’s kitchen.
4:38 AM: The fire also is reported to have extended into the attic. Two more engines have been requested. Our crew is just arriving.
4:51 AM: This is not yet under control, firefighters have radioed, and our crew verifies they’re continuing to haul more hoses toward the house; they’re also reporting roof collapse on a shed-type structure behind the main house. No injuries reported so far, and they’re dismissing a medic unit.
4:56 AM: Now it’s been declared under control.
5:07 AM: … now “tapped” in both structures, and they’re calling for the investigator to find out how this started.
5:29 AM: That official determination won’t come until later this morning, but SFD spokesperson Capt. Shata Stephenson just talked with us at the scene and says the fire appears to have started toward the back of the house, which actually has two non-residential structures behind it, and the one with the roof collapse is the one all the way at the rear of the lot. (added – video from his briefing)
Two people were home at the time, both checked out for possible smoke inhalation, but both found to be OK. We’ve also confirmed that the address is 4737 26th SW. Crews will be here at least another hour, so you’ll want to avoid 26th SW – which is an official greenway – in this area.
10:35 AM: SFD says the fire was accidental, started by a candle; damage totals $150,000 to the structure, $100,000 to contents.