UPDATE: One person shot in North Delridge, expected to recover; witnesses tell police they suspect gang involvement

November 17, 2015 at 11:12 pm | In Crime, Delridge, West Seattle news | 18 Comments

(WSB photo)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 11:12 PM: Police and medics are on the way to an apartment in the 4800 block of Delridge Way SW, where a man is reported to have a gunshot wound to the back. Officers are starting a search for a suspect or suspects last seen northbound on Delridge. Police are blocking Delridge near the scene. Updates to come.

11:34 PM UPDATE: We just arrived near the scene. Before getting here, we heard via scanner that the victim’s wound is not life-threatening, and that there might be multiple suspects who reportedly fired from outside. Delridge is reopening.

12:09 AM: No new information was available at the scene, but we’ll pursue the report in the morning and add whatever more we find.

12:37 PM: We just received the narrative from the official report. With names redacted as is SPD policy, here it is:

(The victim) was over at his friend’s house playing video games.

He went outside with (two people) to try to locate a set of car keys that he may have dropped outside.

(Those two) were on the west side of Delridge while (the victim) was on the east side of the street near (the victim’s) van. All three said that they heard shots and dropped to the ground. All three said that the shooters were three B/Ms [black males], younger, possibly in their twenties, wearing dark clothing.

(One person) said that they came out from behind 48xx Delridge (east side of the street), fired approximately 3 times, then ran off to the north and then back behind the buildings on the east side of Delridge where they were no longer in sight. (Witnesses and victim) retreated back into 48xx (west side) Delridge Way SW #A where they contacted 911 to report the shooting.

When officers arrived (the victim) walked out to Delridge where he was treated by SFD Engine 11 and Medic 32. He was transported to HMC [Harborview Medical Center] for further treatment. (The two others and a third person) all believed that this was a gang-involved shooting. They implied that they knew who had done this. (One) said that he had heard the three shooters on previous occasions yell out (gang name), but all three believed that they were associated with a (different gang). All three witnesses were shaken up and did not want to provide statements at the time of the incident. I advised that detectives would be contacting them and they would be able to tell them what had happened. … Officers were unable to locate suspects or any evidence at the scene.

FOLLOWUP: Delridge/Orchard overflow blamed on non-watertight covers

November 16, 2015 at 9:45 pm | In Delridge, Environment, Utilities, West Seattle news | No Comments

(WSB photo from Sunday)

Seattle Public Utilities has figured out part of what went wrong before a sewer overflow flooded Orchard just north of Delridge on Sunday (here’s our original report). From SPU’s Andy Ryan:

Crews were in the vicinity again today investigating the cause of the sewer discharge in the right of way near Delridge Way SW and SW Orchard Street. They determined that the overflow was caused by two maintenance-hole covers that were not watertight. We are exploring ways of sealing the holes to prevent future overflows at the location.

Crews also found that the new Delridge combined-sewer-overflow (CSO) project construction is working as designed.

By Sunday evening (11/15), crews responded to and contained the sewage overflow. They removed warning signs once the area had been cleared, and the road was reopened to traffic. We will let you know when we have figured out how, and when, we seal the maintenance holes that caused the overflow.

WEDNESDAY: City’s dogs-in-parks plan @ Delridge District Council

November 16, 2015 at 8:48 pm | In Delridge, Pets, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 9 Comments

If you’re interested in the city’s policies regarding off-leash dogs in parks – whether you think current policies are too lenient, too tough, or just right – you’ll be interested in this Wednesday’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting. The agenda includes a discussion of the People, Dogs, and Parks Strategic Plan (previously called the Off-Leash Area Strategic Plan) that’s under development, with a draft plan to go public in early January. Scheduled guests include reps from Seattle Parks and from the Seattle Nature Alliance. The under-development plan was a topic at last week’s Fauntleroy Community Association meeting, as reported here. The DNDC meets at 7 pm Wednesday (November 18th) at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW.

P.S. If you can’t be there, the city is also taking comments via this form.

UPDATE: Flooded road at Orchard/Delridge after sewage overflow

November 15, 2015 at 8:03 am | In Delridge, Environment, West Seattle news | 9 Comments

8:03 AM: Multiple texters report road flooding has closed Orchard at Delridge. We’ll be checking on it shortly.

10:06 AM: We’ve since learned from Seattle Public Utilities spokesperson Ingrid Goodwin that this is a sewage overflow:

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) has responded this morning to a sewage overflow in West Seattle at Delridge Way SW and SW Orchard Street. The sewage is discharging north on Delridge to SW Myrtle Street and eventually overflowing into Longfellow Creek. SPU crews have posted signs alerting residents to stay out of the water, which may be contaminated. Orchard Street near Delridge Way is closed while spill response and drainage and wastewater crews contain the overflow and begin the clean-up. The volume of the spill is unknown at this time.

This is primarily happening on the east and north sides of the Delridge/Orchard intersection. You might recall that SPU worked in recent months on what was supposed to be a combined-sewer-overflow-control project, so we’ll be following up to see what went wrong.

9:36 PM: While Orchard east of Delridge was still closed in late afternoon, it’s now open, but narrowed – one lane each way, with an area blocked off at curbside on the westbound side for a short distance. No crews on scene now so we’d have to guess this will continue into the morning commute; we’ll check back by 7 am or so.

Driver to hospital after crashing into tree at 18th/Delridge

November 14, 2015 at 3:12 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 1 Comment

Thanks to the texter who sent that photo from Delridge/18th. We subsequently headed over to check out the scene and found the northbound lane is blocked. One person was being put into Medic 32, and police told us he’s being taken to Harborview.

(Added: Photo e-mailed by Amelia)
Avoid the area for a while.

SATURDAY: Help look for salmon on and in Longfellow Creek

November 6, 2015 at 8:45 pm | In Delridge, Environment, West Seattle news, Wildlife | 4 Comments

(Quick clip of salmon in Longfellow Creek last year, contributed by Josh)
Tom e-mailed earlier this week to report spotting salmon in Longfellow Creek, by Dragonfly Pavilion in North Delridge – two last Friday, and “four big ones” last Monday. If you want to go look for salmon, tomorrow morning brings an excellent chance – go on an educational walk 10 am-11:30 am Saturday with Puget Soundkeeper volunteers. You’ll learn about their ongoing study of pre-spawning mortality, too. Meet up at the pavilion (4107 28th SW); you’re advised to “wear clothes you don’t mind getting wet/stinky.”

P.S. On the other side of West Seattle, no salmon sightings in Fauntleroy Creek yet, as of our last check.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Police investigating gunfire on Delridge

November 6, 2015 at 5:50 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 45 Comments

(Added: WSB photo outside Super 24, taped off after shell casings were found in the parking lot)

5:50 PM: Thanks for the tips – police are investigating gunfire in the Delridge area, with a report of shell casings found near Delridge and Findlay, and possibly other locations. No word of any injuries so far.

6 PM: Police were also investigating reports from the 17th/Elmgrove area, but aren’t finding anything, per scanner.

6:21 PM: At Delridge/Findlay, the investigation centers on the Super 24 store’s parking lot. The casings found there are proof of gunfire, but still no indication of any victims. The officers there had no further information beyond the basics as reported here. We’re off to see if anything turned up at 17th/Elmgrove.

6:26 PM: The Guardian One helicopter (operated by the Sheriff’s Office but assisting with other law-enforcement agencies in the region, including Seattle Police, which does not have its own chopper) is now headed toward Delridge/Webster to search for something possibly related in that area. So is our crew, which didn’t find anyone on 17th.

6:37 PM: We talked to police searching across Delridge from the precinct. What they’re checking out there is a report that someone heard what sounded like a shotgun being “racked.” We asked them if they have any description(s) to share – they said no, they’ve just been chasing reports, as have we. Our crew is headed back to Delridge/Findlay to see if anything’s new there.

6:53 PM: Two things – regarding the shotgun, we heard via scanner that the sound might have been attributable to a piece of metal in the road. Second, we did speak to officers back at Delridge and Findlay who say three vehicles might have been involved in all this – they have partial descriptions of two: A blue Chevy Impala and a light-colored Mercedes.

West Seattle Halloween 2015: Delridge Community Center’s glow-in-the-dark party, plus pumpkins

October 29, 2015 at 10:12 pm | In Delridge, Fun stuff to do, West Seattle news | Comments Off

(WSB photos)
Tonight at Delridge Community Center – a Halloween carnival that had everyone aglow. It was lights-out in the gym for the Glow-In-The-Dark Party, with crafts and games.

Best part – all this fun was for free:

So was the Delridge Grocery “pop-up pumpkin patch,” sporting little spotlights:

Partygoers had the chance to take pumpkins home – just in time to turn them into jack-o-lanterns!

P.S. This was one of the events listed in our WSB West Seattle Halloween Guide – still dozens more ahead for tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday – go here to see what’s yet to come.

West Seattle Crime Watch update: Suspect jailed in double shooting that killed 1 man

October 24, 2015 at 5:19 am | In Crime, Delridge, West Seattle news | 77 Comments

(UPDATED 11 AM with confirmation of arrest)

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)

ORIGINAL REPORT, 5:19 AM: Two people were shot in West Seattle early this morning; one did not survive. It happened before 2 am in the 6900 block of 23rd SW (map). Multiple 911 callers reported hearing gunfire; police say officers found the victims lying in the street. One was dead at the scene; the other was taken to Harborview Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. No arrests reported so far; homicide detectives ask that anyone with information call 206-233-5000.

This is the first deadly shooting in West Seattle since December 31st, 2013, when 40-year-old Stephen Jeffries, Jr., was killed in the 9200 block of 16th SW, a murder that remains unsolved.

5:46 AM UPDATE: Detectives are still at the scene (photo above), where we just spoke with Homicide Unit Capt. Steve Paulsen. He tells WSB the victims are both men in their 20s, and that investigators believe an “altercation” preceded the gunfire. They’re still looking for others who might have been involved.

11 AM: More than two hours after a SWAT operation at 26th and Holden – less than a mile from the shooting scene – that resulted in one man being detained, police are confirming that a suspect in the shooting is in custody. We’re still working to confirm details.

1:44 PM: As we noted in the comment discussion, we’ve since found via other court documents that the 25-year-old man in jail right now for investigation of homicide lives or has lived at the 26th/Holden house where police converged this morning. He does not have a felony record; he was charged in connection with a nearby street robbery in 2009 but the case was dismissed. We might not find out much more before Monday but we’re still looking.

ADDED LATE SATURDAY NIGHT: We have learned a little about the man who was killed. We don’t know whether next of kin have all been notified, so we aren’t identifying him at this point, but he was 24, had a culinary career – working at a downtown restaurant – and was an alum of West Seattle High School. We are also told the man who survived is 34, not in his 20s as police had told us, but we don’t yet know anything more about him.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen bicycle to watch for

October 18, 2015 at 5:55 pm | In Crime, Delridge, West Seattle news | 10 Comments

Maybe you’ll find this stolen bicycle dumped in the bushes somewhere – that’s what happens to so many stolen bikes. From Kathleen:

Unfortunately today my 14 year old brother rode his bike to the Delridge Library and left it unlocked when he went inside and it was gone when he came out. It’s a red and white Trek bicycle in an older youth size. Sadly it was the last gift our mom gave him before she passed away of cancer so it also has great sentimental value. I’ve reported it to the police but we don’t have a picture or serial number so it’s a long shot to get it back. Hopefully someone will see it somewhere.

Design Review doubleheader, final report: 9021 17th SW project sent back because ‘it feels like a mini-fortress’

October 16, 2015 at 9:49 pm | In Delridge, Development, West Seattle news | Comments Off

In the second part of Thursday night’s Southwest Design Review Board doubleheader, a 31-apartment, 31-offstreet-parking-space building proposed for 9021 17th SW was told to give Early Design Guidance a second try – though board members agreed the design had promise from the start, they were most concerned about how the building would relate to its setting.

Four SWDRB members were on hand – chair Todd Bronk and Matt Zinski, who are West Seattleites; Donald Caffrey from Beacon Hill; Alexandra Moravec from the Central District.

With them, Tami Garrett (at right in photo above), the DPD planner assigned to the project.


Bob Guyt with Bremerton-based Blue Architecture and Design said it’s a 4-story building over underground parking “optimiz(ing) the zoning for the site,” which is LR3, and noted that all three of their massing (height and shape) alternatives are “code-compliant” – no zoning exceptions. “The scale of the neighborhood per zoning is beginning to change and become more dense.” The single-family house that used to be on this site has been torn down, he said. The architects pointed out the transitions in the area – some single-family housing, some apartments, some commercial zoning. “This is kind of a middle ground.” They tried to respond to a couple of large trees on the south side of the site, regarding solar shading.

Option #1, the project team’s “preferred option,” has some pitched-roof elements, and a larger residential-amenity area “on the sunny side of the area.” 20 spaces would be under the building, 11 on the north side of the building, all accessed off the alley (and later noted, on the lower point of the site). A raingarden is planned on the site to divert rainwater.

Option #2 “would take advantage of the entire zoning envelope,” including 4 feet of additional height and a flat roof. No overhangs at the top, so the building would be closer to the south property line, with less shading of the properties on the north side.

Option #3 “brought back the shed roof elements,” with a raingarden space, but the parking “flipped over to the south side,” with the building pulling back a bit from those two big trees on a neighboring property.

BOARD QUESTIONS: Bronk said he wasn’t really seeing much difference in the massing – at the Early Design Guidance stage, there are supposed to be distinct options. He also wondered why they hadn’t gone for entirely underground parking. It had to do with circulation, the architects said, while promising the surface-parked cars would be in carport-type enclosures to “minimize the impact.” The cars wouldn’t be parked directly at units’ window level, they said.

Zinski asked for elaboration on the amenity area. Guyt said it would be a place for residents to “barbecue, hang out,” and noted that they are required to have a certain amount of square footage devoted to that. Moravec asked about the private patios and whether they’d be basically equal to the shared spaces. The architects are still working that out.


Three people spoke. The first did not identify himself. He said the building looks a lot like many other buildings in West Seattle. “What distinguishes this building from a lot of the other buildings” in the area? “Is this a building they can be proud of, want to go and spend their life there?” He also wondered if the roof for the outdoor parking could be a green roof. And he wondered about the need for outdoor barbecuing space. Finally, he said rectangles and squares seem to be the “operative word in architecture,” but maybe there’s some other way to go about it. “I don’t see this as being that welcoming to passers-by.” He wondered “what’s the personality of this building? If I seem rather critical … that’s the general environment we’re facing in the community now … I would like to see more character, quite frankly. This building’s going to be here for quite a while, and people are going to be living with it in their neighborhood.”

The second was Deb Barker, former Design Review Board member, who pointed out that the architects had erred in declaring that this was White Center. She pointed out it was the Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village. She voiced concern that too much would be crammed into the site – that drew applause from the dozen or so attendees 0 and also noted that the three options didn’t have much differentiation in massing. She also felt the applicant had jumped to far ahead by setting up the unit counts before seeing what the site could accommodate. She also pointed out that the “underground” parking is NOT underground, that the site’s not being dug into, that it’s really “at grade,” and if it was being dug into, the building’s units would’t be separated from the street. “To set your whole facade in a seating wall, you’re really separating your pedestrians from the residents.” She also said she’s a fan of roof overhangs as seen in Option 1. She urged the project to come back with other massing options, maybe a U shape with internal courtyard.

The third person to speak didn’t identify himself. He said he likes the U shaped idea and he expects at least half the units to have kids so there should be a courtyard for them to play in. He said he was nervous about fencing because graffiti vandalism is a problem in the areae and landlords usually aren’t very responsive about painting it over. He also said he “really really really appreciate you guys putting parking spaces in.”


Starting with concerns: Moravec said she didn’t think it was a bad design but would have liked to see more options. She also voiced concern about at least three units in the shade and looking at parked cars. Caffrey’s concerns included the interaction with the site – retaining walls, fences, etc. Bronk said he doesn’t see the project doing anything to be of value to the neighborhood. He doesn’t “feel great about approving a project that gets a bonus for having only half of its parking underground.” Taking a single family lot and putting 15 cars on there just feels “not in concert with being a good neighbor.” He also is “not in love withthe big ramp that’s going to be necessary at the entrance.” He also voiced concern about the “self-constrained program of 31 units.”

Issues of concern for the board include topography. They gave props to the project team for trying to save plants/habitat, and expressed appreciation for the raingarden that’s proposed; some “significant” but not “exceptional” trees are proposed for removal, and that requires replacement, Garrett noted. One of the architects pointed out that this building is not required to have parking but “street parking there is a mess” and so they have opted to provide some.

Adding 31 people to the block without a real “meet your neighbor” aspect to it is a problem, said Bronk, looking at the public life/open space guidelines for the area. They asked to see a “window study” to see how nearby residents will be affected. They asked the team to consider where people would park bikes and how bikes would be brought into the building, as that wasn’t shown in the presentation. Zinski said he didn’t think the building had to be a “jumble” of facade treatments. Bronk voiced concern about the size of the outdoor amenity space, and whether it would be accessible to more than the people next to it.

Ultimately they wanted to see another Early Design Guidance round because they weren’t seeing three distinct options. Though this isn’t a bad design, a majority of board members said, they would like to see a U-shaped option among others. Bronk said he doesn’t think the building’s design is in the best interest of the neighborhood. He’d like to see another massing option “with the building on the ground.” Moravec agreed that she’d “love to see another option.” Zinski said he saw a “lot of unresolved (issues) … all of the unresolved pieces of this are really going to drive the massing.” Bronk said that when issues are left unaddressed in Early Design Guidance, the building might wind up having the next phase of the Design Review process stretched out. “It feels like a mini-fortress,” is how Bronk summarized the concerns about the current massing. But while saying the changes might just be “little tweaks overall,” cumulatively they are “big enough that we need to see it again.” That means at least two more meetings; in the meantime, if you have comments on the project, contact planner Garrett, tami.garrett@seattle.gov.

VIDEO: Delridge ‘Find It, Fix It’ walk sees mayor, big city contingent considering concerns from safety to drainage

October 3, 2015 at 8:01 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 12 Comments

Story, photos, video by Tracy Record and Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers

Successes, challenges, even tragedy took turns in the spotlight as Mayor Ed Murray and a strike force of city staffers descended on North Delridge today for their 12th Find It, Fix It Community Walk, first one in West Seattle.

This was no “drop in and we’ll wander around” event. It was meticulously planned for months, with a community committee involved in planning the route and who would speak where and when. An audio system was carted from stop to stop, and speeches – by community members as well as the mayor and staffers – took up about a third of the hour and a half it actually lasted. With so much planned, it was far more thorough than the last mayoral walking tour we recall in the area, by Murray’s predecessor Mike McGinn five years ago, though part of the route was the same.

We’ll begin at the beginning:

At the starting point, the Louisa Boren STEM K-8 school at 5950 Delridge Way SW, the mayor was introduced by Neighborhood District Coordinator Kerry Wade, who spent months working with community volunteers to ensure this happened without a hitch. With a podium, PA system, and the full crowd, speeches ensued, starting with the mayor explaining what the walks are about:

He introduced the many department heads who were along for the walk:

From left, Seattle Public Utilities’ Ray Hoffman, Seattle City Light’s acting GM Jim Baggs, SPD Deputy Chief Carmen Best, Department of Neighborhoods’ Kathy Nyland, SDOT’s Scott Kubly, Parks Superintendent Jesús Aguirre, budget director Ben Noble, Department of Finance and Administrative Services’ Fred Podesta. Also taking a turn at the podium, City Councilmembers Tim Burgess and Tom Rasmussen:

The school was also the official first stop on the walk, highlighting the success story of its new crosswalk, installed just before this school year began:

Ironically, as community member Craig Rankin pointed out – having been deeply involved in making it happen (as reported here in March 2014) – it wouldn’t be where it is if the city had had its way:

After he spoke, it was off to the next stop, with residents Michelle Whelan and Maketa Wilborn pointing out one of the many places where the Delridge area – mostly a narrow valley, the “dell” between the “ridges” – has drainage challenges:

Using a tablet, they showed the mayor and SPU director Hoffman some images of problems in the past, and pointed out that nearby slopes are slated for development, wondering just how much worse things will get because of that, if something’s not done.

Stop number 3, as the group headed north, was a piece of city-owned property that will remain greenspace thanks to a community organization’s efforts to keep it from being sold off.

That’s Willard Brown from the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, which – as reported here recently – will be using grant money and donations to buy one of City Light’s surplus substation sites; here’s the aerial look from SCL’s website.

During the Find It, Fix It walk, Brown spoke about how preserving the greenspace will benefit students from the nearby school:

But some “fixing” is still needed here, he noted, adding his voice to those clamoring for drainage and water-routing improvements in the area. Turning west, the group crossed Delridge Way, and stopped by the planting strip on the south side of the Super 24 store, where, as previewed here last week, the Nature Consortium had a cleanup project under way:

(You might recall some controversy over that planting strip – which previously had been part of a small perpendicular-parking area, and then, when converted, was overpaved, leading to the creation of the beds that were weeded today.) NC executive director Merica Whitehall spoke here during today’s event:

She told the mayor and participants about her organization’s work with the community and with the West Duwamish Greenbelt, in tandem with thousands of volunteers every year:

The alley leading toward Delridge Library was the next segment of the route:

While walking northbound in the alley, community advocate Pete Spalding (above right) talked about neighbors’ watchfulness and the principle “if you see something, say something.” The mayor also heard from library manager Jane Appling, whose staffers and clients have to deal with what happens in the alley, too, and with North Delridge Neighborhood Council‘s Michael Taylor-Judd (below left):

(At right in the photo above is city traffic engineer Dongho Chang, seen at many a local project meeting.) Concerns related to the alley, besides its overall condition, continue to range from vandalism to drug use; the mayor mentioned the ongoing work to hire more officers for SPD, as well as rampant problems attributed to the nation’s “drug epidemic.” Finding needles and syringes was a problem also mentioned by Delridge P-Patch volunteers, who spoke at the next stop:

They also spoke of successes including their Giving Garden – growing food-bank donations – and how they were able to convert some young area troublemakers into garden volunteers. Some of the walkers moved on through the garden, still beautifully in bloom for fall …

… while some stopped for treats, including the mayor:

Food was the focus at the next stop, the space reserved on the ground floor of Cottage Grove Commons for the Delridge Grocery Co-op‘s future permanent home:

DGC volunteers met the visitors and talked about their years of work to get a store open to help make Delridge less of a “food desert.” This week, they announced to their 400+ members that they had been told “informally” that DGC would be declined for a loan it had hoped would bring a big boost toward opening – but they vow to push on and find financing some other way. This stop was a rare chance, by the way, to look inside their future space at 5444 Delridge Way SW – mouse over our Instagram clip to play a :15 clip panning around inside:

In the courtyard of Cottage Grove Commons, those who hadn’t straggled off along the way heard about the building – open now for almost two years as housing for people who were previously homeless – and that one of residents and managers’ biggest concerns is nearby traffic and safely crossing the street. This is where tragedy was mentioned – the death of a CGC resident hit by a car in November of last year. This next clip also includes the mayor’s closing remarks:

With his promise to return, the first West Seattle “Find It, Fix It” walk wrapped up after about an hour and 20 minutes – a visit that had been months in the making.

Perhaps one of the most important exchanges was back at the P-Patch, where the garden volunteers said they didn’t know how to ask for help with some of their problems – where to go in city government. The mayor said for one, speaking up at the event was the same as asking for help. For two, he said, his staff is working on ways for people to navigate the tangle of city departments and services more easily. Sometimes it might seem like departments are in silos – but a sighting along the way was a reminder that it doesn’t have to be that way:

Staffers from multiple departments – including the firefighter in our photo – carried grabbers and bright yellow bags, picking up trash and debris as they walked in the Saturday sunshine.

P.S. Both candidates for West Seattle’s new District 1 City Council seat were there too; photos to come, in a separate report looking ahead to Election Day, now exactly one month away.

P.P.S. Lots of side conversations – we’ll be adding notes about the ones we hear of, like this mention from Sanislo Elementary, whose reps brought up the illegal dumping that’s a chronic problem nearby.

TOMORROW: Delridge neighbors host the mayor for his first Find It, Fix It Community Walk in West Seattle

October 2, 2015 at 1:20 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | Comments Off

From 11 am to 1 pm tomorrow, many eyes will be on Delridge Way SW as the first Find It, Fix It Community Walk in West Seattle travels along about a mile of the busy arterial. It’s happening one year into the mayor’s program, which describes each walk as “a gathering of community members, City officials, and the Mayor to help identify issues that affect the safety and aesthetics of a neighborhood.” In addition to the mayor and community advocates, Councilmembers Tom Rasmussen and Tim Burgess are also expected, according to a council tweet. A group of residents has spent many weeks planning for this, and some events are already scheduled – we mentioned the Nature Consortium-led beautification project (volunteers appreciated!) – and the Delridge P-Patch has announced that it will host a Cider Social 1-4 pm, starting right after the walk, which ends at the garden. You don’t have to register to be part of any or all of this – either be part of it from the start (11 am, Louisa Boren STEM K-8, 5950 Delridge Way SW) or join along the way (should be hard to miss). See you there!

YOU CAN HELP! Delridge beautification projects during ‘Find It, Fix It’ Walk

October 1, 2015 at 1:12 pm | In Delridge, How to help, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

From the Nature Consortium, which is looking for volunteers to help with this during the two-hour Saturday period that coincides with Mayor Murray‘s visit for the “Find It, Fix It” Walk:

Let’s Beautify Delridge!
Saturday, October 3rd at Delridge Way SW & SW Findlay Street in West Seattle
11 am-1 pm

Join us this Saturday, October 3rd for Mayor Ed Murray’s visit to Delridge for the Find It Fix It Community Walk. Find It Fix It is a campaign to help improve neighborhoods one block at a time.

We’re proud to announce that this year Nature Consortium has been selected to lead two neighborhood beautification projects along Delridge Way Southwest.

These curbside plantings on Delridge & Findlay are in need of extra care. Four planting strips were installed last year by SDOT in response to community request, but they have not been maintained and are now overgrown with weeds. This spot is an eye-sore and does not reflect the pride and care of Delridge area residents.

You are invited to join your neighbors on Saturday to beautify Delridge! We will be removing weeds, placing weed barrier fabric and mulching the planting strips. Saturday’s event will be the first step in a longer term effort that will provide raised planter beds for neighbors to garden and will result in a plan/schedule for maintenance of these mini public spaces. Tools and snacks provided.

For more information, contact Lizzie Zemke at 206-923-0853 or email Lizzie@naturec.org

Delridge’s ‘Find It, Fix It’ Walk: Full details, & you’re invited

September 24, 2015 at 2:08 pm | In Delridge, How to help | Comments Off

Two months after first word that Mayor Murray will come to Delridge on Saturday, October 3rd, for West Seattle’s first-ever “Find It, Fix It” community walk, one year after the program began, we have full details today: It’ll start at Louisa Boren STEM K-8 (5950 Delridge Way SW) at 11 am. In addition to the traditional Find It, Fix It issues, Delridge-specific concerns will be discussed, as explained here – you can also follow that link to find out about applying for city grants to fund community projects aimed at “fixing” problems. Whether you want to do that or not, you’re invited to join the walk.

Two more West Seattle sewer-overflow-reduction projects almost done

September 22, 2015 at 4:00 pm | In Delridge, Utilities, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

Last Sunday, the county celebrated completion of its raingarden/stormwater-diversion project in Sunrise Heights and Westwood (formally known as the Barton CSO Control Project). Now, the city is announcing it’s almost done with its two Delridge-area CSO (combined-sewer overflow) reduction projects – the two that also were affecting traffic in the work zones at times in recent months. From Seattle Public Utilities:

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is wrapping up work at CSO 2 and CSO 3, two sewer improvement project sites in the Delridge neighborhood. Crews are finishing construction next month and both sites will be fully operational by the end of the year. Thanks for your patience during construction!

Over the past year, we installed:
* A “smart” system, including valves and sensors to better monitor and control the amount of stormwater and sewage that is allowed to enter the downstream sewer system
* A new ventilation fan to improve air quality and safety for workers in the large storage tank
* Roadside cabinets to transmit flow information to SPU
* Pedestrian and landscaping improvements

During heavy rainstorms, combined sewer overflow (CSO) storage tanks hold excess storm water and sewage until there is capacity in the downstream system to carry it away, reducing the chance of sewage overflows into Longfellow Creek. As CSO 2 and CSO 3 aged, they became less efficient, resulting in more frequent overflows. This project increased the efficiency of these storage tanks, which will reduce overflows of untreated stormwater and sewage into Longfellow Creek.

* Landscaping at both sites (through fall 2015)
* Installation of permanent public art at CSO 3, commissioned through the city of Seattle Percent-for-Art program (2016)
* Ongoing equipment testing at both sites and the diversion structure

Details of the art project are in our coverage of last May’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meeting.

Next step for North Delridge Action Plan: Your priorities – but it’s not just about ‘north’ Delridge

September 21, 2015 at 1:21 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

A draft “North Delridge Action Plan” has been taking shape with feedback including discussion at gatherings such as the one above at Delridge Community Center back in June and at the Delridge Day festival last month. But does it align with YOUR priorities for the area? Come talk about it at DCC, 6-8 pm Tuesday, September 29th (one week from tomorrow) – child care and snacks provided. Important note – it’s not just about “North” Delridge, the announcement points out:

The North Delridge Action Plan team is collaborating with two other City projects, and will help direct their ongoing work. The Delridge Way SW Multimodal Corridor Study seeks to transform Delridge Way SW (from SW Roxbury St. to the West Seattle Bridge) into a safer and healthier public space with more predictable movements of people and goods. SPU is developing a Natural Drainage Systems (NDS) Partnership Program. This program will achieve the water quality goals identified in the Plan to Protect Seattle’s Waterways by working with sister agencies and community partners to deliver high-value neighborhood improvements.

Delridge Community Center, site of the Sept. 29th meeting, is at 4501 Delridge Way SW.

City Council District 1 candidates Lisa Herbold & Shannon Braddock face off in first local post-primary forum

September 17, 2015 at 7:35 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 35 Comments

(Photo substituted for video window post-event, until archived video is available; thanks to County Councilmember Joe McDermott for permission to republish)

7:35 PM: Click the play button and you should get the live feed of tonight’s Youngstown Cultural Arts Center faceoff between the City Council District 1 candidates who made it to the general election, Shannon Braddock and Lisa Herbold. This is one of a citywide series of forums/debates presented by Town Hall and the Seattle Channel; lead moderator tonight is your editor here, with community moderators Cecile Hansen, chair of the Duwamish Tribe, and Fernando Mejia-Ledesma of OneAmerica, and Q&A moderator Edward Wolcher from Town Hall. You can e-mail a question to debates@townhallseattle.org or ask one via Twitter with the hashtag #seacouncil.

7:40 PM NOTE: This program is intended to run an hour, by the way, so it will go until about 8:35 pm. After that – we’ll be watching for the archived video.

8:38 PM UPDATE: The forum’s over, so the live feed is too; Edward from Town Hall says it will be on Seattle Channel (cable) Monday night. Archived video will also be available via the SC website, and we’ll add it here when it is. Thanks to everyone who came to Youngstown to be in the “live” audience – the lights were bright and we didn’t get a count, but in a quick early glance, seemed like most of the seats are filled. Town Hall is doing these in all the districts – this was the first one. Also, if you missed it but want to be sure to see the candidates in person before you vote, you’ll have at least four more chances – we know of four forums in West Seattle next month – stand by for those dates.

You can help! Volunteer for salmon survey in West Seattle’s Longfellow Creek

September 16, 2015 at 10:57 am | In Delridge, Environment, West Seattle news, Wildlife | Comments Off

(WSB photo from November 2014)

Last November, we reported on Puget Soundkeeper Alliance‘s project to track what happens to salmon in Longfellow Creek – which has much more of a toxic-runoff problem than West Seattle’s other urban salmon creek in Fauntleroy. This year, we have advance word that they’re looking for volunteer help, with an orientation event coming up in two weeks, so this is your chance to get involved:

Join Soundkeeper as we investigate the health of our local salmon runs at Longfellow Creek this fall! Volunteers will assess the effects of urban runoff on wildlife by conducting a pre-spawn mortality survey of Coho salmon. Volunteers needed for weekly surveys from October to early December.

Volunteer Orientation in West Seattle:
Thursday, October 1, 2015
6 pm-7:30 pm
Chaco Canyon Café
3770 SW Alaska St.

RSVP to michelle@pugetsoundkeeper.org

As Soundkeeper noted in this update last year, federal scientists have discovered a pre-spawn death rate of up to 80 percent in urban creeks – compared to one percent in rural creeks. The results of this work, including what you can do as a volunteer, will help support more cleanups, education, and enforcement to help clear the waters and save salmon.

BACK TO SCHOOL: New speed-enforcement cameras on Delridge

September 15, 2015 at 9:45 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 35 Comments

So now that we know Seattle Public Schools will start classes on Thursday … one reminder: There’s a new speed-ticket camera zone in West Seattle, on Delridge Way SW by the home of Louisa Boren STEM K-8 and interim home of Arbor Heights Elementary.

Before the strike pushed back the start date, we had been trying to get specifics from SDOT verifying the grace period when only warnings would be handed out, as was done when the new cameras on Roxbury were put in last year, but never received an answer (we’ll be checking again tomorrow). In June, they said it would be a 30-day grace period starting September 9th, which of course was supposed to be the first day of school.

This makes four speed-ticket-camera zones in West Seattle – the other three are along Fauntleroy Way SW near Gatewood Elementary and along SW Roxbury by Roxhill Elementary and Holy Family School. The times when beacons are supposed to be flashing at those schools and others in West Seattle (plus the rest of the city) are listed on this SDOT document; for a map showing only the schools with speed-enforcement cameras here and around the city, go here.

Next phase of Delridge-Highland Park Neighborhood Greenway: 21st SW repairs start Monday

September 11, 2015 at 10:12 pm | In Delridge, Highland Park, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

The first phase of Delridge-Highland Park Neighborhood Greenway work began last month with repaving and other work on SW Myrtle, east of Sanislo Elementary. Now a new phase starts Monday, also with a road closure, according to this alert from SDOT:

Construction on the Delridge-Highland Park Neighborhood Greenway has begun. The Delridge Greenway will connect West Seattle to White Center and run generally north-south on 21st and 17th avenues SW. See the fact sheet for specific improvements planned for the corridor. You can also view a PDF of the full project plans.

What’s happening now?

Beginning Monday, September 14, SDOT will be making street repairs on southbound 21st Ave SW between SW Andover and SW Genesee streets. This work is expected to take 3-5 days to complete. The following traffic and parking changes will be in place during this phase of construction:

Click to read the rest of Next phase of Delridge-Highland Park Neighborhood Greenway: 21st SW repairs start Monday…

UPDATE: Big initial response for small fire on 23rd SW

September 9, 2015 at 3:09 am | In Delridge, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | Comments Off

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)

3:09 AM: Seattle Fire crews are arriving at a small house fire near 23rd SW and SW Willow – the caller didn’t have a precise address so it’s taken them a while to find it. Some of the units are already being turned back. More to come.

3:21 AM: Our crew has arrived and says this happened at a vacant house (confirmed by city complaint records) in the 6700 block of 23rd SW and was so small that SFD didn’t even need to roll out hoses to get water on the fire, but instead used extinguishers to put it out and are now ventilating the house. No injuries reported. The cause is under investigation.

West Seattle schools: Introducing Louisa Boren STEM K-8

September 8, 2015 at 12:44 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

The West Seattle public school permanently located at 5950 Delridge Way SW will be starting the year with a new name: Louisa Boren STEM K-8. This reflects not only the grades being added to what originally was called K-5 STEM, but also, an acknowledgment of the woman for whom the school’s now-permanent home is named (first as Louisa Boren Junior High School, later as the Boren Building). The announcement:

Only four years ago, Seattle Public Schools’ option school K-5 STEM opened its doors offering Kindergarten through 5th grade. One of the only STEM dedicated (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) elementary schools in the Seattle Metro area, the school is adding a middle school, beginning with 6th grade this coming school year.

With the addition of a middle school and a permanent location in the Boren building in West Seattle’s Delridge neighborhood, the school is now being called Louisa Boren STEM K-8.

“We are very excited to start our 4th year as Louisa Boren STEM K-8. We remain true to the school’s original goals of providing a strong STEM program rooted in project based learning, while our expanding vision is geared towards 21st century readiness in a community that values equity, sustainability and the whole child.” said principal Ben Ostrom.

STEM K-8’s 6th grade students will start this fall. Each coming year will add another grade, serving Kindergarten through 8th grade in the 2017-18 school year. Although current students ‘roll-up’ into the new middle school automatically, there is limited space for new enrollment as the school expands.

Louisa Boren was one of the Washington Territory pioneers and a founder of the city of Seattle. It’s fitting that STEM K-8 is located in the Louisa Boren building because Louisa herself loved science, particularly chemistry, botany and astronomy. “Liza” had a love of learning and a natural curiosity about the world.

Louisa Boren’s legacy continues today. Not only in the city of Seattle and the brave pioneering spirit she engendered, but also in her hard work supporting the women’s suffrage movement and her advocacy for Chinese workers settling in the area.

Arbor Heights Elementary school currently shares the Boren site for the second year while their school is built and ready for students in Fall 2016.

You can read all about the school’s namesake via this page on the school’s website, and at HistoryLink.org.

THURSDAY: Explore Youngstown Cultural Arts Center ‘After Hours’

August 24, 2015 at 5:04 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

(WSB file photo)

This Thursday night, you have a chance to find out all about Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in the historic Frank B. Cooper School building, courtesy of the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s monthly “After-Hours” event, which this month is open to everyone, not just Chamber members. The announcement:

Typically, After Hours is a members-and-their-guests-only event. However, in August, the event is open to non-members interested in learning more about the WSCC. Join us for drinks and appetizers and find out what all the buzz is about at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.

Founded by the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association (DNDA) in 2006, the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center is an inclusive, contemporary multi-arts space that incubates and inspires new arts participants, art-makers and organizations from our multicultural, intergenerational communities to engage in civic dialogue and meaningful community transformation.

Youngstown is home to groundbreaking arts education and is a hub of cultural vibrancy in Delridge. Youngstown provides office space for seven outstanding nonprofit organizations (Arts Corps, Nature Consortium, the Service Board, Reel Grrls, Totem Star, Twelfth Night Productions, and the West Seattle Tool Library) as well as a second-chance alternative public high school serving some of Seattle’s highest-need students. DNDA partners with Youngstown tenant organizations and others to drive forward collaborative programming for local youth and adults.

Rentable spaces at Youngstown include the Theater, Movement Studio, Kitchen, Recording Studio, and Classroom spaces, perfect for corporate events, weddings, performances, workshops and meetings. Rentals directly support programming. 36 affordable housing lofts for artists occupy the facility’s top three floors. The building is in the national register of historic spaces and hosts more than 30,000 participants annually.

The event is 5:30-7:30 pm on Thursday (August 27th); Youngstown is at 4408 Delridge Way SW.

UPDATE: Police investigating shooting in North Delridge after robbery in Admiral; 1 person shot

August 18, 2015 at 10:53 pm | In Crime, Delridge, West Seattle news | 68 Comments

(UPDATED WEDNESDAY MORNING with new information from police)

FIRST REPORT, 10:53 PM TUESDAY: An “assault with weapons” response is on the way to 25th/Findlay – and we’re hearing from several people who say they heard multiple gunshots. Per scanner, a male victim has a gunshot wound in his upper leg. Police say they’re finding shell casings. More to come.

11:09 PM: We’ve just arrived at Delridge and Findlay – while most of the SFD response has been dismissed, a private ambulance is here. We hope to find out more from police about scanner traffic suggesting this might be related to a robbery at Hamilton Viewpoint Park in Admiral.

11:28 PM: Police are still trying to sort out what exactly happened and why it all wound up here after starting at the park in Admiral. No one is in custody so far. The victim’s been taken to the hospital and his injuries are not life-threatening. The car he was in is here at Delridge/Findlay and police are talking to possible witnesses.

11:52 PM: As pointed out in comments, there are shell casings on 25th near Puget.

Police are here too and crime tape is up (so if you’re out driving or riding at this hour, 25th is blocked).

12:46 AM: We went by Hamilton Viewpoint Park – no police cruisers with lights on, but there appeared to be an officer with a flashlight; gates were closed and not close enough for us to reach safely, so we’ll have to verify in the morning what if anything was found there, as well as whatever other details police have determined.

SIDE NOTE: While there have been other incidents involving gunfire, this is the first time someone has been shot in West Seattle since this incident near 35th and Morgan more than four months ago. One person was “grazed” in the June road-rage incident that started under the bridge.

ADDED 10:52 AM WEDNESDAY: A few additional details are in what police just posted to SPD Blotter, including the victim’s age and confirmation that shots were fired at Hamilton Viewpoint as well as in North Delridge:

Police are investigating a robbery with shots fired that took place at Hamilton Viewpoint Park in West Seattle last night.

Two men arrived at the park at 10:45 PM to meet with some friends. One of the victims got out of his car and was immediately confronted by a suspect armed with a handgun. The suspect demanded the victim’s backpack and he complied. But when the suspect demanded the victim’s belt, the victim refused. As he started walking back to his car to leave the suspect fired several shots in his direction.

The suspect then ran to a silver or bronze BMW, that was being driven by another male, and drove off southbound from the park. The victims took off after the suspect vehicle and followed them until the 5000 block of 25 Avenue SW where the suspects fired more shots at the victims’ vehicle.

One of the victims, a 19-year-old man, was struck in the leg by a bullet. Medics responded to the scene and he was transported to Harborview Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

(WSB photo of police examining ‘the victim vehicle’)
The victim vehicle also sustained damage from multiple bullets.

Officers flooded the area but were unable to locate the suspect vehicle.

The Robbery Unit responded and processed the scene for evidence. Detectives are still working to gather more details about the suspects—the victim described them only as a Samoan male and a white or Hispanic male both in their early 20s. Police are also investigating the nature of the meeting between the suspects and victim.


August 8, 2015 at 11:29 am | In Delridge, West Seattle festivals, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

11:29 AM: Sunbreaks and a pleasant breeze are gracing the opening hour of this year’s Delridge Day festival, presented by VIEWS (Visualizing Increased Engagement in West Seattle). Come join hundreds of your neighbors at Delridge Community Center Park and enjoy live music …

That’s Quarter Past 8, first of today’s four bands. The stage is next to the community center, where you’ll also find two food trucks in the driveway:

More to come!

NOON: Hour 2! The skating competition is back this year, and from our booth, we can hear the cheers from the skatepark a few yards away – if you’re not competing, go watch, and cheer!

You can also find out more about a variety of community organizations and projects – for starters, you can talk with city reps about the Delridge Action Plan and the upcoming Find It/Fix It Walk:

You can also come sign up for an ORCA or ORCA LIFT card, find out about becoming a member of the Delridge Grocery Coop (WSB sponsor), and talk with organizations including South Seattle Co-op Preschools (next to our booth), West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network, West Seattle Be Prepared, West Seattle Food Bank (buy a raffle ticket), 34th District Democrats, West Seattle Democratic Women, West Seattle Timebank, and that’s just one row – we have to wander over to take a look at row 2 soon!

12:28 PM: Current Delridge Day visitors include Mayor Murray and Police Chief O’Toole:

And the music continues:

Back over at the Community Center, if someone in your family needs a backpack for school – just go inside! A backpack giveaway is on until 3 pm.

1:30 PM: Time is flying here at the festival – so many cool people. Here are two of them – Seattle Police Explorers, and twin sisters, Christina and Rebecca:

One more reminder that the police “Picnic at the Precinct” is part of Delridge Day again this year and is over on the 26th SW side of the park, including free ice cream, so don’t miss the chance.

(At right, Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith, pitching in with ice-cream operations.) Also here: Straight Blast Gym (WSB sponsor), which is headquartered here in North Delridge – we recorded a quick Instagram clip of the demonstration under way at SBG’s booth:

Straight Blast has classes and programs for all ages. Speaking of spanning age groups – West Seattle Community Orchestras are all about that too, and they also are here:

WSCO’s new season will start in the fall – watch for information on how to join.

2:01 PM: Last hour already! Still time to come down and check things out. More skating!

And more music.

3 PM: The festival’s wrapping up. We have lots more photos – will either add them here after we get back to HQ, or possibly a second report. Thanks to everybody who came by and said hi!

ADDED 12:44 AM: Our additional photos made more sense as part of this report, so they’re added throughout, including, below, a few more of the people who stopped by – first, we always photograph candidates who stop by our booth at festivals, and today there were two – City Council District 1 candidate Shannon Braddock:

And School Board Position 6 candidate Leslie Harris:

Patricia London, a new WSB sponsor via her Independent Living Skills/Etiquette Factory classes, also stopped by:

So did Southwest Precinct Captain Pierre Davis, seen below with Deb Greer and Karen Berge of the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network:

WSB was among the sponsors of today’s festival. Presenting organization VIEWS plans to donate a portion of festival fees to the scholarship fund at Delridge CC.

Also at Delridge Day tomorrow: Join the Delridge Grocery Coop

August 7, 2015 at 4:18 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Six and a half years after the Delridge Grocery Cooperative was launched as the Delridge Produce Cooperative, it’s at a key point in its growth toward making its store a reality. You can help by talking with DGC volunteers about becoming a member when you see them at their pop-up farm stand during tomorrow’s Delridge Day festival (11 am-3 pm Saturday in Delridge Community Center Park). According to the community e-mail update they’ve sent this week, they’re looking for a “substantial surge in membership” as Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund reviews their application for the loan they need to get the store open; the potential build-out money set aside by DESC, owner of the Cottage Grove Commons building in which the store would be located, is contingent on that loan. DGC says, “The next two weeks are critical. … When we get our loan, permitting and buildout can begin immediately. We’ve come so far and just need a few more members to secure final funding. Become a member now, or ask a friend to join the co-op.” The update continues:

Co-op members can vote on important co-op decisions, run for a seat on the board, and share in profits. Most importantly, members help bring healthy food to the Delridge neighborhood.

Co-op memberships can be paid in installments starting at $5, paying as you can. A full lifetime membership costs $100. We ask members to pay the full $100 if they are able, however, no members are turned away for lack of funds and any amount helps us reach our goal.

Join (or make an installment payment on your balance) online here or by mailing a check to: Delridge Grocery, PO Box 16792, Seattle, WA 98116.

We’ve been chronicling the group since its launch in February 2009. The name changed to Delridge Grocery Cooperative in 2013 to reflect the focus on opening the store. (DGC is also a member of the WSB sponsor team.)

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