West Seattle, Washington
Though the weather’s been relatively calm otherwise, Friday’s breeziness might have reminded you that windstorm season is getting closer. And with – sometimes without – wind, comes power trouble. That’s why Seattle City Light invited media crews to its SODO yard (the one next to the West Seattle Bridge on 4th Avenue South) today. The message was twofold: City Light is working to upgrade technology to shorten outages – and urges you to be ready for them. Here’s spokesperson Scott Thomsen:
The briefing included an explanation of what some describe as “transformer explosions” – they are actually fuses that blow protectively:
When a tree falls into power lines, or heavy ice and snow weigh down branches that then cross two or more power lines, it creates a short circuit. The resulting power surge that could damage equipment. Utilities have circuit breakers and fuses in place to protect equipment, such as the transformers that reduce the voltage of electricity from the distribution grid to the service level voltage for your home or business. Those breakers open and fuses blow to isolate damage and protect other equipment, which reduces the likelihood of prolonged power outages for entire neighborhoods.
Once power is out, crews have to both fix the problem and route power around it. New technology is being tested that will automatically handle the latter. In the meantime, SCL continues to take preventive measures such as tree-trimming and vegetation-clearing along 600 miles of power lines every year.
Though SCL is also starting to install automated meters that will give the system a better idea of who’s out and where, they still ask you to call when the power goes out – 206-684-3000 – keep that number in your phone. And check out these preparedness checklists – before the weather gets into the potential-outage zone.
Three reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch, starting with the theft of a classic car:
STOLEN 1965 PLYMOUTH VALIANT: You would know it if you saw it. Devon sent that photo with this report:
One of our daily drivers was stolen from outside of our house within the last month and police have had no luck tracking it down. The thieves broke into our home, found the keys, and as well as taking other valuable things from inside, they took our car. It is a 1965 Plymouth Valiant 4 door that is a creamy white color and has areas on the doors where it is just primer (white). It was taken from 28th Ave SW between SW Holden & SW Webster. We made a police report as soon as it happened with the Southwest Precinct and the case number is 17-343770. It is a one-of-a-kind car in this area and we’re hoping someone has seen it or knows something! Thank you.
ANOTHER HOLE-IN-GAS-TANK CASE: Last Wednesday, we mentioned a report of multiple punctured gas tanks. Nick reports it happened to him today:
This morning around 9 am, my Toyota Tacoma truck had its gas tank drilled out and emptied of 17 gallons of gasoline while I volunteered at Fairmount Park Elementary. This was in front of 5437 Fauntleroy Ave SW, near SW Findlay St.
I plugged the hole with a bolt and made it to the Toyota dealer in SODO, where I was told this has been happening lately, especially to pickups. I filed a police report, but with no suspects or witnesses, I don’t see the vandals being caught…yet. Keep an eye out for people lurking around vehicles with a drill…
BROKEN CAR WINDOW: This too is not the first such report we’ve received lately. Kyle sent the photo and report from Arbor Heights:
This morning I came out to my car to find the rear windshield had been broken. We live on 100th and 39th.There are never any valuables kept in the car; as a result no items were taken. This appears to be just vandalism. We thought that we lived in a safe neighborhood and we have a street light right in front of our house, but now we are thinking we need to invest in a security camera.
He later sent an update, mentioning finding a one-inch marble inside the car, suspecting that is what was used to break the window.
P.S. Next West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting – when you can bring neighborhood concerns to, and hear about crime trends/crimefighting emphases from, local police – is a week from tomorrow, Tuesday, October 17th, 7 pm at the Southwest Precinct.
5:04 PM: A $6.8 million Port of Seattle project to remove 2,000 creosote pilings from the north end of Terminal 5 is about to start. Port commissioner John Creighton mentioned it in his “State of the Port” speech to the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce last month, and port spokesperson Peter McGraw tells WSB it’s about to begin:
he Port of Seattle will remove more than 2,000 creosote treated piles and 5,000 sq. ft. of overwater coverage from Elliott Bay, off the north end of Terminal 5, beginning this week.
The port has worked with the EPA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, NOAA Fisheries, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington State departments of Ecology and Natural Resources and the Muckleshoot and Duwamish Tribes to plan and execute removal of the piles/overwater cover. The work is being done in advance of a Superfund cleanup project being undertaken by the Lockheed Martin Company in the same area.
Removal of the piles is required as part of a lease termination agreement with the Department of Natural Resources.
Through 2016 the port has removed 11,420 creosote treated piles and is on track to remove 80 percent of all creosote treated piles from port-owned facilities by 2026.
The Terminal 5 pile removal project is expected to be completed by the end of March, 2018.
There’s more backstory in this document from a Port Commission meeting back in June, and we have followup questions out about exactly how the pilings will be removed and disposed of.
ADDED TUESDAY MORNING: Port spokesperson McGraw has answered those questions with information from the contractor’s Demolition Work Plan – read on for the details: Read More
As announced last week, this Wednesday, October 11th, is a multiple-venue fundraiser for hurricane and earthquake victims, West Seattle Night Out for Disaster Relief, organized by three local service clubs – the West Seattle Rotary, Kiwanis, and Lions. Five restaurants are donating part of their proceeds, 5-9 pm, according to organizers:
Be’s Restaurant (4509 California SW; checking on hours, since it usually closes earlier)
Great American Diner and Bar (4752 California SW)
Kizuki Ramen and Izakaya (4203 SW Alaska)
Puerto Vallarta (4727 California SW)
Spiro’s Pizza and Pasta (3401 California SW)
At those venues, you also can drop off checks for direct donations to disaster relief – made out to the Rotary Service Foundation with the specific codes and designations mentioned on this page. We’ll have another update tomorrow.
12:55 PM: If you’re wondering about the police response in Admiral – they are dealing with a woman reported to be in crisis, reported to have a knife, according to scanner traffic. This is happening near 41st SW and SW College [map]. An “assault with weapons” SFD response also has been dispatched. More as we get it.
1:01 PM: Still per scanner, they are trying to talk the woman into dropping the knife. We don’t know if anyone has been injured.
1:08 PM: Please avoid the area; the police presence is continuing to grow.
1:20 PM: We’ve spoken to a witness who lives near the scene. We’ve also learned that another woman was injured and has been taken to the hospital – she’s who the SFD response was for – and the woman with whom police are dealing is a suspect. The witness tells us that he first saw two women, one of them clearly having been injured and yelling for help, the one that police are now trying to take into custody. SWAT officers have arrived.
1:25 PM: Our crew confirms what we just heard via scanner – the suspect is in custody.
1:35 PM: Lieutenant at the scene tells our crew that the victim has “cuts,” not life-threatening injuries. The suspect will be booked into jail; she is described as having surrendered voluntarily (no force used, though police had a Taser-equipped officer standing by as well as SWAT). 41st SW has just reopened.
2:48 PM: Christopher Boffoli, one of two photojournalists who were at the scene for WSB, recorded this video of the suspect’s surrender and arrest:
We will follow the case through the system.
3:54 PM: Here’s what has just been posted on SPD Blotter. The only detail in it that we didn’t have is the suspect’s age, 26.
Though November 7th is Election Day, ballots go out a lot sooner – October 18th, less than a week and a half away. If you’re not already registered to vote, today is the last day to do it the easiest way – online. If you’re into procrastinating, you can do it in person until October 30th, but why wait? Find more how-to info here.
P.S. Besides the mayor’s race, you’ll also be voting on:
-Two citywide City Council positions
-Three School Board positions
-Three Port Commission positions
–County Proposition 1
–Three state “advisory measures,” including one about the education-funding tax increase
P.P.S. The only major West Seattle forum of the general-election campaign is one week from Thursday – 6:30 pm October 19th, presented by the WS Chamber of Commerce and WS Transportation Coalition, focused on business and transportation issues, at American Legion Post 160 (3618 SW Alaska), with candidates for mayor and City Council Positions 8 and 9 expected.
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
MOBILE BLOOD DRIVE: If you can donate blood, you’ll find the mobile donation van at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) today, by the Clock Tower, 10:30 am-4:30 pm, closed for a break 12:30 pm-1:30 pm. Walk-ups welcome. (6000 16th SW)
NEW ALL-GENDER SCOUTING GROUP: Tonight’s the first evening meeting for the new all-gender scouting group, part of the Baden-Powell Service Association, forming in West Seattle: “The group is divided into Chipmunks (age 2-4), Otters (age 5-7), Timberwolves (age 8-11), Pathfinders (age 12-17), and Rovers (ages 18+).” 6-7:15 pm at High Point Library. (35th SW/SW Raymond)
EVENING BOOK GROUP: 6:45 pm at West Seattle (Admiral) Library. This month’s title is “My Brilliant Friend” by Elena Ferrante. All welcome! (2306 42nd SW)
MONDAY NIGHT MEDITATION: 7 pm at Sound Yoga (WSB sponsor): “Each week we will explore a different aspect of Buddhist psychology and the practical ways we can apply it within our modern, busy lives.” This week, the topic is “Consideration for Others.” (5639 California SW)
6:59 AM: Good morning. No incidents reported in/from West Seattle so far this Monday. While it’s a federal holiday, it’s not observed locally, so transit and schools are on normal schedules.
8:39 AM: A stalled/stuck semitruck is blocking Genesee’s eastbound lane 2 blocks west of Delridge. SPD is directing traffic.