West Seattle, Washington
In West Seattle Crime Watch tonight:
ADMIRAL STABBING CASE UPDATE: Today brought another hearing for Kierra Ward, in jail in lieu of $400,000 bail since last October, when she was arrested and charged with attacking a woman out for a walk with her baby in Admiral. Ward’s trial has again been delayed, this time because, court documents say, a mental evaluation has been requested, as her defense lawyer plans to contend that she was insane at the time of the attack. The order resulting from today’s hearing also says she will be evaluated for competency to stand trial. The results should be available before her next scheduled hearing July 13th.
Also in Crime Watch, one reader report from the inbox:
CAR BREAK-IN: Jackie e-mailed to report, “I just wanted to make my fellow neighbors aware that my car was broken into last evening in the Fauntleroy/Arbor Heights neighborhood. I lived in Capitol Hill for years and never had an incident, but apparently, West Seattle is different. The break-in occurred between the evening of 6/7 to the morning of 6/8. Please make sure to be vigilant and not have any personal belongings in your car.”
5:05 PM: Thanks for the tips. Avoid 35th and Avalon – big emergency response; we’re en route to find out what happened.
5:18 PM: We’re there. 35th is closed between Avalon and Fauntleroy and police are putting up scene tape. No one’s commenting yet on what happened.
5:21 PM: Lt. Steve Strand tells us that someone suffered major injuries, so the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad is on the way and that means this part of 35th is going to be closed for hours.
5:29 PM: SPD confirms a driver hit a pedestrian, who has been rushed to Harborview.
5:36 PM: SPD says the victim is a man and SFD says he’s “approximately 35 years old.” The driver stayed at the scene and has been talking with police.
6:04 PM: No further information. This SDOT traffic camera shows the scene from a distance if you want to check on the closure, which we of course will be doing too.
7:49 PM: Just went back to the scene to check; TCI is still working and told us it might be a couple more hours before they’re done and the street reopens. No word yet on the man’s condition.
8:46 PM: The street just reopened to traffic.
10:15 PM: The official SPD account:
Detectives from the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad (TCIS) are conducting the investigation following a serious injury vehicle/pedestrian collision in West Seattle Thursday evening.
Shortly before 5:00 pm, a 35-year-old man was attempting to cross 35th Avenue SW mid-block in the 4400 block when he was struck by a Nissan sedan travelling northbound on 35th. Patrol officers from the Southwest Precinct, along with Seattle Fire Department medics responded to the scene. Medics transported the victim to Harborview Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.
TCIS detectives responded to the scene to begin their investigation and process the scene.
The adult driver of the Nissan remained at the scene. Per protocol, a DUI/Drug Recognition Expert officer evaluated the Nissan driver for any signs of impairment. No intoxication or impairment was detected, and the driver was allowed to leave after being interviewed by detectives.
35th Avenue SW was shut down for the investigation between Avalon and Fauntleroy for several hours but has since reopened to traffic. This remains an active and on-going investigation.
Two more ways to meet your neighbors tomorrow!
BARTON STREET P-PATCH PIZZA PARTY: You’re invited to visit the community garden at 34th/Barton between 11:30 am and 2:30 pm on Saturday – not only can you take a self-guided tour of its dozens of plots, mosaics, and concrete sculptures, but they expert to be firing up the community pizza/bagel oven. Free, but donations accepted.
A few blocks east …
COMMUNITY BARBECUE AT ROXHILL PARK: Noon-2 pm at 29th/Barton:
Stop by to meet your neighbors at our first annual community BBQ in Roxhill Park, tomorrow June 9th from 12 noon-2 pm near the playground.
Free hot dogs for the first 100 people, local entertainment, & wetland tours on site. Share your ideas of what you’d like to see in the park. Event is free and open to the public – all are welcome! Join us!
Find out more by going here.
As we reported earlier this week, Seattle Public Schools has finally announced what will happen to the Roxhill Elementary building after the school moves to renovated EC Hughes a mile and a half north: It’ll house special-education and alternative-high-school programs. Last night, district reps invited community members to hear details and ask questions. Here are the new details we learned:
Special Education programs, moving from the “original Van Asselt” campus on Beacon Hill:
-Two sections of BRIDGES, up to 20 students total, up to age 21, learning independent-living and vocational skills. Some are expected to work at local businesses
-Two classes of In Tandem, up to 14 students total. These students are in their “middle years,” according to the district, with “unique social and learning needs.” They are “super strictly supervised (by) highly trained staff.”
High-school program moving from Youngstown Cultural Arts Center:
-This is one of about a dozen locations of the Interagency Academy program around the city. It averages about 50 students but could go as high as 70.
-The Interagency schedule is roughly 9 am-3 pm; the special-education programs vary, but mid-morning is a common arrival time.
-The two groups – special education and high school – will use different entrances and different sections of the building. They’ll share the gym and lunchroom.
-Interagency has a citywide principal; the special-education programs won’t have an on-site principal, but there’ll be a program manager on site and an administrative person in the main office.
-Transportation for the special-education students, from buses to private cars, will arrive on the main entrance (30th SW) side of the school. The high-school students are expected to mostly walk or take Metro.
-Though the Roxhill Elementary name will go with the elementary program to EC Hughes, the signage won’t change at this building.
-The special-ed programs could add classes/sections if the need arises.
-This is a permanent move, not temporary or interim, TFN; Roxhill is not currently on a levy list for rebuild (as we noted during the district’s BEX V planning meeting).
Some of the students will be starting at the Roxhill building sooner rather than later, with summer school, and that’s why some necessary maintenance is being done now, such as painting.
We published the city Human Services Department‘s announcement of another year for Camp Second Chance shortly after receiving it on Thursday afternoon. Since then, the two community councils closest to the sanctioned encampment – the Highland Park Action Committee and North Highline Unincorporated Area Council – have sent HSD interim director Jason Johnson this expression of disappointment:
The neighborhoods of Highland Park and the various neighborhoods comprising the unincorporated urban area of North Highline are extremely disappointed to hear that the City of Seattle has extended the permit for Camp Second Chance for an additional 12 months at the Myers Way Parcels (Fiscal and Administrative Services PMA #4539-4542). With this extension, the camp will have effectively been present at the current site for 2 years and 8 months, easily exceeding the allowed 2 year stay duration for encampments as outlined in Seattle Municipal Code Section 23.42.056, subsection E.1.
Camp Second Chance established itself on the Myers Way Parcels on July 23, 2016 (“Myers Way Parcels,” 2016), 10 days after former mayor Edward B. Murray declared that the property would be retained by the City of Seattle for the purposes of expanding the Joint Training Facility and for expanding recreational space (“Mayor Murray announces,” 2016). Polly Trout of Patacara Community Services—the organization which would become the sponsor for the camp—is reported to have used bolt cutters to break the lock on the fence that had been securing the property (Archibald, 2017a), thereby allowing the group of campers, who had defected from SHARE Tent City 3 earlier that year (Archibald, 2017b), to trespass and establish their new camp. The status of the camp remained in limbo for some time thereafter.
In a post on her blog concerning a possible eviction of the camp, Seattle City Council member Lisa Herbold (2016), who represents the district in which the camp is located, relayed that she had “urged the Executive [branch of city government] not only to have its work guided by established public health and safety prioritization criteria, but…asked whether outreach workers have the ability to ask for more time if – in their estimation – more time would help get campers access to services.” Seattle City Council member Sally Bagshaw and King County Council member Jean Kohl-Welles, who are not representatives of the area where the camp is located, had requested from Mayor Murray that the camp not be immediately evicted (Jaywork, 2016). Within 5 months of the camp’s establishment on the Myers Way property, the Murray administration proceeded to officially sanction the encampment (“West Seattle Encampment,” 2016), thereby delaying the community’s request to have the Myers Way Parcels relinquished to the Parks and Recreation department for future development of the site in accordance with community wishes.
I want to make clear that the communities surrounding the encampment are not strangers to disadvantage. Our neighborhoods have suffered from a lack of investment going back at least a century, and from redlining in the 1930s. The lasting effects of this lack of investment in our neighborhoods are palpable to this day!
Data from the American Community Survey (5-year Series, 2009-2013) show that Highland Park (Census Tract 113) has a lower median income ($53,182) and a higher proportion of residents who identify as a race or ethnicity other than White (49.8%) than Seattle as a whole ($65,277 and 29.4%, respectively). The King County census tract immediately to the South of Highland Park, which encompasses the land area where the Myers Way Parcels are located, shows even starker demographic departures from Seattle.
Census Tract 265 overlays the southeastern-most portion of Highland Park in the City of Seattle, as well as a portion of White Center, which is part of the North Highline unincorporated urban area. There, the proportion of residents who identify as a race or ethnicity other than White increases to 60.1%, while the Median Household Income drops to $35,857.
Like most Seattleites, residents of our neighborhoods are compassionate and wish to address the homelessness crisis with empathy. However, in as much as the City claims to promote equity, we ask that neighborhoods like ours not continue to be overwhelmed with the responsibility of shouldering the burden of the City’s homelessness policies while wealthier, less diverse neighborhoods remain largely unscathed.
Over the past decade, Highland Park has hosted three encampments and served as a staging area for a proposed safe lot for individuals residing in recreational vehicles. This burden has impacted not only our neighborhood, but the neighborhoods immediately south of us along the city limit. No other neighborhood in Seattle has willingly or unwillingly taken on as much and to the same extent!
Given this history, the Highland Park Action Committee (HPAC) has sought resolution from the Human Services Department on a number of items, including
1) The adoption of a set of best practices (manifested as our “Neighborhood Protocols for Sanctioned Encampments” which have been provided to the department on many past occasions and are again enclosed below) by which the City of Seattle will abide prior to sanctioning an encampment in any given neighborhood.
2) That the Finance and Administrative Services Department accelerate the relinquishment of the Myers Way Parcels to the Department of Parks and Recreation.
3) A plan resolving jurisdictional issues that arise from the presence of sanctioned and unsanctioned encampments at the interface of city, unincorporated county, and state land.
4) A 10% increase in the number of police officers assigned to the Southwest Precinct Patrol to help mitigate the increased burden on our current resources. (At 124 Full-Time Equivalents for budget year 2018, the Southwest Precinct Patrol Budget Control Level is the lowest in the city.)
Despite a reply on April 18 from Catherine Lester, the previous director of the Human Services Department, the Highland Park Action Committee does not feel that our requests have been satisfactorily addressed. We understand that some of our requests will require coordination with other departments. However, it is our belief that the City needs to take a holistic approach to its encampment-sanctioning process. To date, the methods employed have lacked transparency and eroded neighborhood trust in city government.
In an effort to allow residents of Highland Park and surrounding neighborhoods to get a better understanding of the City of Seattle’s homelessness response, the Highland Park Action Committee invites the Director of the Human Services Department (whomever that may be at the time) to attend our scheduled meeting on September 26, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. PDT for a moderated discussion on homelessness policy.
We kindly ask for confirmation of acceptance or declination of this request by August 17, 2018.
Chair, Highland Park Action Committee
President, North Highline Unincorporated Area Council
Highland Park’s decade-long history with encampment goes back to the first camp that called itself “Nickelsville,” which was evicted from public land at Highland Park Way and West Marginal Way SW less than a week after it set up in September 2008.
Last Saturday, volunteers built it – next Saturday (June 16th), you can help wrap up the finishing touches! From Friends of Roxhill Elementary:
The new playground for Roxhill Elementary at E.C. Hughes needs you again. This volunteer opportunity is open to all-ages — but you have to promise not to climb on anything. Join Friends of Roxhill Elementary at the renovated E.C. Hughes Elementary, where we are moving in the fall, on Saturday, June 16, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Address: 7700 34th Ave SW)
Many hands make light work — and we’ll need as many hands as possible to help move the wood chips safety surface into place. We’re planning for 50 to 60 people for each two-hour shift. It’s Father’s Day weekend — invite your whole family to come on down! The more the merrier.
This volunteer opportunity is open to anyone — even kids (as long as they don’t play on the equipment). All community members are welcome, not just those with a direct Roxhill connection.
Sign up here: signup.com/go/QixMZHL
This project has been made possible by a Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Neighborhood Matching Fund grant and a partnership between Friends of Roxhill Elementary and Seattle Public Schools. The Roxhill Elementary at E.C. Hughes playground will be open to the public in September.
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
‘PEACE IN THE HOOD’ JOB FAIR FOR YOUNG ADULTS: 3-5 pm at Steve Cox Memorial Park in White Center:
The PITH Job Fair provides employment and mentorship opportunities to youth ages 16 – 24 and is presented in partnership by Southwest Youth and Family Services, Worksource, Educurious and the King County Parks and Recreation White Center Teen Program. 200+ youth, 30+ employers, and 10+ resource providers are expected to attend. Resume & employment application assistance will be provided in advance and on-site interview options are scheduled day of with select employers. SWYFS is once again providing their extremely popular youth PITH Basketball Tournament immediately following the Job Fair. More details are available here.
In the park’s Log Cabin. (1321 SW 102nd)
JILL AND LYLE: Alt-Country, Country and Americana music at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)
ART LOUNGE: Highland Park Improvement Club welcomes you to bring your art and work in a congenial 21+, bar-open atmosphere starting at 7 pm. No admission charge. Live (clothed) models for you to draw/paint starting around 8 pm. (1116 SW Holden)
FOUR BANDS … at The Skylark, 8 pm, $8 cover, 21+. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
Something for our calendar? Just send the info as far in advance as possible to firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
7:03 AM: Good morning and welcome to Friday. No West Seattle incidents reported so far.
WEEKEND 99 CLOSURES: If you’re leaving the peninsula this weekend, note the plan for Highway 99 lane closures on Saturday (tunnel-related work) and a full northbound closure from early morning to mid-afternoon on Sunday (Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon) – details here.
OTHER WEEKEND ALERTS: Here’s the full SDOT roundup.