(UPDATED 5:20 PM FRIDAY with ordinances to be reviewed by council committee next week)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
two three followups today to the “Nickelsville” developments first reported here last Tuesday, one day after the second anniversary of the encampment’s return to West Seattle.
Those developments centered around a letter from Mayor McGinn to Council President Sally Clark a letter (read it here) suggesting two options for the site’s future: Sell it to Food Lifeline as that agency has sought, provided the council passes a bill allowing more encampment sites at “non-religious” locations – or vote to allow the site to become a “semi-permanent” encampment.
Today’s developments (editor’s note – third development, added 5:20 pm, is at the bottom of this story – the two ordinances to be reviewed next week, including the mayor’s alternative proposal for the Nickelsville site):
HPAC PETITION AND MEETINGS: The Highland Park Action Committee, which says its area has hosted the encampment for long enough – 2 years – and is demanding a move-out date, has started an online petition. The petition calls on the city to either move it before summer, or start a public-review process for HP and Riverview immediately. Find the petition here. Here’s the statement we received along with that link:
Please pass this link on to anyone you know who owns property in the city, or to anyone that supports a better solution for the homeless. The Mayor’s actions to date have repercussions for everyone. We appreciate all the support we’ve gotten on this, we have a lot of irons in the fire right now. We are working on legal papers to file and are focusing the next few weeks on a more political route while all this legislation is coming to a head in City Council.
We are meeting with Council President Sally Clark’s aide this afternoon, and plan to meet with the Mayor at his office next Friday. We hope to have as many signatures as possible by Wednesday, May 22nd. That day there is (a) meeting of Nick Licata’s Housing, Human Services, Health and Culture Committee at Seattle City Council from 2-4 where he’ll be presenting encampment legislation. Anyone who can make it to that, it would be great to try to have some community to encourage a change to the current situation. That night we have our regularly scheduled HPAC meeting, where we will discuss next steps. Join us at 7 pm, Highland Park Improvement Club on 12th and Holden.
FOOD LIFELINE: As mentioned in the mayor’s letter published here on Tuesday, Food Lifeline already has commitments from the encampment site’s other two owners to sell their parts of the parcel to FLL.
A day before the West Seattle Bee Garden debuts with a celebration in High Point next Sunday, another new local community garden will debut in Highland Park on Saturday – a section of the new Westcrest Park P-Patch dedicated to growing food for the White Center Food Bank. The “Presto Garden” project is being led by Sustainable West Seattle, incorporating donations from local businesses and organizations listed in this update on the SWS website. Here’s where you come in: Many hands, light work. Be there on Saturday (May 18th) 1-5 pm for the planting party that will help make it happen. Westcrest is at 9000 8th SW (for those not familiar with the park, we’re tracking down specific directions to the planting site, and will add them here).
With this record-setting heat, we’ve been getting questions about when the city’s wading pools open. Schedule’s not out yet, but the short answer: Not till next month. The questions, however, inspired us to check in on the new addition to West Seattle’s outdoor aquatics scene this summer – the Highland Park Spraypark, going in at the site of the wading pool that’s hasn’t been open since 2008. Seattle Parks project manager Kelly Goold says the spraypark is currently on track for completion by the end of this month, and shared construction photos with WSB:
The top photo, he explains, “shows concrete being poured in one pad and forming for the next – concrete for this project is part of the final phase.” The second photo shows “the very cool bronze inlays that tie to the planetary theme of the spray-park.” As he notes, most of the work has been “in-ground; a lot of piping for the spray-park equipment.”
This year’s wine-tasting event/fundraiser at Highland Park Improvement Club has gone totally uncorked. So much so, that’s what they’re calling it now – “Highland Park Uncorked.” It’s less than a week away – next Saturday, May 11th, doors open 6 pm, tasting at 7 – so time is running out for pre-registration, which carries a lower “suggested donation” rate – $15, otherwise $20 at the door, and a $15-or-under bottle of wine for the tasting event. You can sign up here (and read more about how the event will unfold, and why you’re bringing a bottle of wine).
West Seattle coyotes – and other urban wildlife – on Highland Park Action Committee agenda Wednesday nightApril 23, 2013 at 6:19 pm | In Coyotes, Highland Park, West Seattle news, Wildlife | 12 Comments
(Video sent by Bob Mohr, recorded by son Jack, in Genesee Hill around sunset Monday, between 55th/54th/Genesee/Dakota)
While that short clip of a coyote on the run in a West Seattle neighborhood – watch the sidewalk at :25 and :40 – isn’t from Highland Park, that neighborhood’s plan to talk about coyotes and other urban wildlife tomorrow night would seem to be of interest to all. A federal wildlife biologist is on the Highland Park Action Committee‘s agenda, 7 pm Wednesday at HP Improvement Club (12th/Holden), and all are welcome. Also on the agenda: The proposed Duwamish River cleanup plan, and why, with a month left for public comment, it should matter to you.
Police are looking for three men who they say kicked in the door of a Highland Park residence this morning, overpowered the woman who was asleep inside, and robbed her of items including her car. They say it happened around 7 am in the 7900 block of 9th SW (map). The robbers are described only as “three young black males, light-skinned”; they demanded the woman’s car keys and made off with her purse and some cash as well as her 2006 white 4-door Chevrolet Malibu, which has a magnetic cat’s-paw print on the passenger-side door. The robbers did not show a weapon, police say, and the victim was not seriously hurt, but did suffer a bloody nose because one of them put his hand over her face to keep her from screaming. She ran out of the house right after they left and saw them driving away in her car; police were nearby and say they arrived quickly but were not able to find it. If you see the car, call 911.
After almost two unsanctioned but unchallenged years at the West Marginal Way/Highland Park Way site where it was founded, the encampment that calls itself “Nickelsville” is coming under increasing scrutiny, particularly after its open admission of turmoil last month, first reported here. After again discussing the encampment at its last meeting (WSB coverage here), followed by a letter to the city, the Highland Park Action Committee community council has just sent a formal letter to Mayor McGinn and the Seattle City Council with a deadline:
To Mayor McGinn, his staff, and members of Seattle City Council,
The Highland Park Action Committee (HPAC) would like to request a move out date for the homeless encampment that calls itself “Nickelsville” at 7116 West Marginal Way at the base of Highland Park Drive. HPAC represents the Highland Park and Riverview Neighborhoods in Southwest Seattle. It has come to our attention that it has been difficult for the residence of Nickelsville to keep order in the camp and the management technique used to try to restore order recently included the “Show of Force Team” removing the Porta Potty Service. As the residents of Nickelsville wrote:
“The reason for this decision (to remove the Porta Potty Service) was our inability at Nickelsville in preventing the overrun of our community by meth dealers and barred, violent former campers. Progress was made yesterday, but the situation is still teetering on the brink.”
A new letter has been released from the encampment stating that things are “returning to stability.” The intent of their letter was to express dismay with the Seattle Police for not helping them with security. The Seattle Police are in a bind because the entire encampment is squatting illegally, so they cannot enforce one group’s illegal presence there over another group. The situation at Nickeslville has gotten out of hand, we have noticed a shift in the population from what was originally there, and this has been verified by campers living in Nickelsville. We were surprised, however, at the threatening management technique. As we have continued to hear stories of how the camp is currently being run, we were struck by the realization that there really is no oversight whatsoever for this encampment- it is illegal after all, and we have a lot of concerns with how it’s being managed at this point.
‘Nickelsville’ updates: No Food Lifeline decision yet; federal sentence in 2012 eviction firebombingMarch 29, 2013 at 7:22 pm | In 'Nickelsville' encampment, Highland Park, West Seattle news | 15 Comments
Two updates in our ongoing coverage of the West Seattle encampment that calls itself “Nickelsville”:
FOOD LIFELINE SITE DECISION DELAY? Though some word from the city was expected any day now by both Food Lifeline – which wants to buy the public land that currently houses the encampment – and the Highland Park Action Committee, which says the encampment has overstayed its welcome and wants a move-out date (as first reported here Thursday), Mayor McGinn‘s office says the next move may still be a few weeks away. Spokesperson Aaron Pickus answered our query this morning with: “We expect to have a report from our Finance and Administrative Services department in early to mid-April regarding the possible property sale to Food Lifeline.”
SENTENCING IN APRIL 2012 ‘FIREBOMBING’: It’s not in our coverage archives, but the U.S. Attorney reports that not only was there a firebombing at the encampment almost exactly a year ago – related to an “eviction” – but the repeat offender arrested for it and another crime two days later has just been sentenced to 11 years in federal prison. The U.S. Attorney’s Office sent a news release about it today – saying 37-year-old Shane Anello had pleaded guilty to charges stemming from having thrown a Molotov cocktail at the car of someone who had evicted him from Nickelsville on April 1 (a “car fire” is shown on the 911 logs for that day at 6:10 pm), and to shooting at a car in Beacon Hill on April 3rd. Read the full news release here.
15th and Holden ‘resolution’ soon? Neighbors face police @ West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meetingMarch 28, 2013 at 2:48 am | In Crime, Highland Park, West Seattle news | 28 Comments
(March 19th photo by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
Police are often heard to exhort neighbors to get involved – because they ultimately can have more effect on the crime situation in their neighborhood than can police. And so, neighbors from Highland Park’s 15th/Holden vicinity (map) came to the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting on Tuesday night to show their intensifying concern about a neighborhood trouble spot.
Ongoing problems started coming to something of a head on March 19th, when the big police response shown in our photo responded to what Lt. Pierre Davis told us at the time was a case of cell-phone theft – but at Tuesday night’s meeting, pressed for information by neighbors, precinct commander Capt. Joe Kessler admitted it was something more: “Ten police cars don’t show up for a stolen cell phone.” (Toplines in the police-report system later indicated the call also involved “threats.”)
“The current situation raises serious concerns about Nickelsville’s ability to protect the health and safety of its residents.”
That was part of Mayor McGinn‘s response to WSB today, after we requested comment on the situation reported here on Sunday – centering on the encampment’s Central Committee declaring that it was having trouble “preventing the overrun of our community by meth dealers and barred, violent former campers,” blaming police for not supporting camp decisions to evict such people. Our story, meantime, included an incident one week ago in which the SPD report indeed quoted police saying that people on public land had no right to tell others to get off that public land – while also including a would-be evictee claiming they were getting booted for going to police about an alleged crime.
The mayor, meantime, says more police help is in order; the second and final sentence of his reply to us was, “The immediate next step is to increase our police presence through the use of directed patrols from the Southwest Precinct.” We hope to hear something about that when precinct commander Capt. Joe Kessler speaks to the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network on Tuesday night (6:30 pm, SW Precinct, Delridge/Webster); then on Wednesday night, the Highland Park Action Committee, the neighborhood council closest to the encampment, plans a Nickelsville update during its regular monthly meeting (7 pm, HP Improvement Club, 12th/Holden).
Sunrise Heights residents who thought they heard gunfire around 4:30 this morning have found proof, and police have gone back for further investigation. The report we received mentioned a yellow or light-colored “muscle car” at the time shots were fired near 32nd and Kenyon (map) – police got there fast, we’re told, but the car was gone. Then this morning, our tipster found spent casings (including the one shown above) and a needle in the gutter, across the street from the east wall of the Westside School campus:
They counted five, but just texted us to say that while police were there a short time ago, a sixth was found, all 9mm. No reports of injuries or property damage.
In a separate incident, we have a report from Tom in Highland Park, who reports three shots fired from a car last night around 10:30 pm at 15th and Holden (map), by the apartments that drew a major response back on Tuesday. The call is noted in an SPD auto-tweet but as with all auto-tweets, no further details.
One more Crime Watch note that does NOT involve gunfire – an Arbor Heights resident reports a house in the neighborhood was broken into during the day Friday, 39th and 106th (map), and urges “vigilance,” observing that it went unnoticed until the resident discovered it later.
(Photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
HAPPENING NOW: Thanks to those who texted/e-mailed about a big police response in Highland Park a short time ago. Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Pierre Davis tells us that officers were after somebody who bolted into an apartment complex near 16th and Holden after reportedly stealing somebody’s cell phone. Not an armed holdup, but “a crime of opportunity,” he explains.
SEPARATE CASE – RECOGNIZE THESE SUSPECTS? SPD has just gone public with video from another case:
Per SPD Blotter, this video shows two suspects from an armed street robbery in The Junction on February 2nd. It doesn’t show the actual holdup but does show suspects on a store surveillance camera afterward. Can you help detectives identify them? Call the SPD Robbery Unit at 206-684-5535.
The photo is courtesy of the Rotary Club of West Seattle, which heard today from Linda Nageotte, CEO of Food Lifeline, regarding its proposal for a new facility on the site that currently houses the encampment that calls itself Nickelsville, but primarily about the organization’s main job, as Rotary publicity chair Dave Nichols notes:
She talked about all the great things Food Lifeline conducts to help people who need help. A couple of facts that stuck out:
*97 cents of every dollar is spent on feeding people
*1 in 4 children in our community is at risk of being hungry
For an update on the Nickelsville-site plan, join the Highland Park Action Committee at its meeting tomorrow night. As the closest community council to the encampment, they’ve discussed it more than a few times, and will hear from Food Lifeline tomorrow (Wednesday) night. The meeting’s at 7 pm, Highland Park Improvement Club HQ (12th/Holden), all welcome.
12:50 PM: As several people texted and e-mailed to report, a TV chopper was over Highland Park for a little while this morning and we are pretty sure this was why – this car went up on the lawn of a home in the 8100 block of 9th SW. We’re still checking on the circumstances with police and fire – it didn’t originally catch our attention because it was a simple call on the SFD log without even a medic unit – but so far we understand one person was hurt, not major injuries, transported by private ambulance.
1:17 PM UPDATE: Seattle Fire spokesperson Kyle Moore says the car was reported to have gone onto the lawn after hitting a parked car, and the 46-year-old driver was in stable condition when taken to the hospital. One person was inside the house, he says, but wasn’t hurt.
4:55 PM: Thanks to Beef and Mark, both of whom e-mailed notes and photos (that’s Beef‘s picture above) to let us know that demolition is under way at the old Highland Park wading pool, to make way for West Seattle’s first spray park, which will be built in its place. Back when the idea of converting the wading pool into a spray park was first proposed in 2009, construction was expected to start the next year, but there’ve been changes along the way, including extra Parks and Green Spaces Levy money to take the project beyond a bare-bones spray feature. The Seattle Parks project page says it should be done in mid-May and open this summer. That’ll be five years after the wading pool was last open; in late 2008, the federal government mandated safety retrofits that were never installed because Parks expected to redevelop the site. You can see the spraypark’s design plan on the Parks website.
6:39 PM UPDATE: After Beef and Mark sent word of the construction work, we sent an inquiry to project manager Kelly Goold at Seattle Parks, to look for a few more specifics. Kelly’s reply:
Yes, it is exciting news that we are finally breaking ground. Current schedule is to have construction complete and the spray-park operational by May 27th (the typical opening day for spray-parks and wading pools).
Also, the art installation project is moving forward. The artist Leo Berk is doing great work on the project you have described in WSB in previous posts.
The art project involves the building at the site; here’s our report, with renderings, from last November.
(Photos by Nick Adams for WSB)
It’s not loud – and no explosives are involved – but the Highland Park Improvement Club‘s New Year’s Eve “Sage Comet” always puts the fireworks to shame. That’s Chris Huson spinning the briefly blazing display tonight outside HPIC, following the fourth annual “Not-So-Silent Night Parade“:
Highland Park’s big party is actually still under way right now – since midnight hasn’t arrived yet – with a special edition of HPIC’s “Corner Bar,” which usually happens the first Friday of the month – and you’re welcome to go join the fun at 12th/Holden:
Meantime, more of WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams‘ photos from the parade and show that started the night are ahead:
Seattle Police are trying to solve an armed robbery at a local store. Via SPD Blotter, police say a man walked into El Quetzal, which is in the Arrowhead Gardens complex in the 9200 block of 2nd SW, around 7:30 last night, and pointed a black revolver at the clerk. The robber ordered the clerk to lie on the floor; then the robber opened the register, took cash, and left. He was last seen walking southbound. The clerk, who was not hurt, described him as “a Hispanic male, between the age of 18-20, 5′8″ tall, 200 pounds, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black jacket, and gray pants,” according to SPD; no arrest so far.
(New Year’s Eve 2011 video by Randall G. Hauk for WSB)
For the past three New Year’s Eves, the Highland Park “Not-So-Silent Night Parade” has been West Seattle’s liveliest all-ages way to ring (and drum, and shout…) out the old year. We knew a fourth annual parade was in the works, followed by the “Sage Comet,” but now we know what else is in store at the Highland Park Improvement Club next Monday night – starting shortly after 7 pm, the first-ever New Year’s Eve “Corner Bar” :
Live music from
Sedagive: eclectic, centering around rock, roots rock, classic stuff
Justin Hoffman: original folk rock with a reggae punch
Woody Moses & friends: jam session, starting around 11 pm until after midnight. Anyone who’s interested is welcome to sit in.
Your favorite local beer on tap, wine by the glass and the return of the awesome Sangria – all for $3 each. Non-alcoholic drinks $1 each. Peanuts and pretzels for all! Champagne toast at midnight. No cover charge – but bring some dollars to support the bands.
P.S. For the parade, HPIC reminds everybody, “Bring noisemakers, flashlights, lanterns, umbrellas – whatever is necessary! Parade starts when everyone is ready!” (Around 6 pm – 12th and Holden.)
P.P.S. More New Year’s Eve/Day events in the WSB Holiday Guide!
The photo is from Highland Park’s Dina Johnson, who explains:
Yesterday a bizarre sculpture appeared on the Henderson street sidewalk near the corner of 13th Ave [map] in Highland Park.
We thought the thing might have fallen off a passing car, or stolen from someone’s yard. Or maybe it was part of an art installation in a rather unconventional gallery? Maybe someone is looking for it.
It’s the size and shape of a sitting child. It’s heavy; it appears to be made of plaster covered with fabric and wire mesh and glue. The face is a strange painted mask. A tuft of onion grass is attached to the head. It’s slightly damaged – one foot is missing, the other has broken off next to it.
We left it there all day and night, but no one came to retrieve it. We will put it out for garbage pickup if you post the pic and no one claims it. I have respect for art, but really, it’s kind of creepy.
It’s a Very Hairy Christmas with your own Cousin Itt Christmas tree. You can find it – er, Itt – at the Highland Park Improvement Club holiday bazaar till 3 pm (12th and Kenyon) – along with other handcrafted creations such as Andy and Keandre‘s work:
We’ve also been to the Schmitz Park Elementary arts/crafts sale – also till 3 pm (5000 SW Spokane) – where a bake sale is raising money for WestSide Baby:
Bonnie‘s offering popsicle-stick puppets:
Julian and Reed are raising money for West Seattle High School Global Visionaries travel:
And at Diva Espresso (4480 Fauntleroy Way SW) – here’s a gift idea:
The Mason-jar drinking “glasses” are on sale during the Diva “Art Pageant,” which like the aforementioned events, runs till 3 pm. Also under way right now – a sale till 7 pm at the Log House Museum on Alki, which will host the Christmas Ship‘s final West Seattle stop of the season at 5:25 pm, with a shoreside music extravaganza starting at 4.
It might be West Seattle’s smallest community tree, and it won’t have a gala lighting ceremony, but it will be the center of community festivities these next few weeks in Highland Park. Tonight, HP Improvement Club volunteers trimmed the tree at HPIC’s historic headquarters (12th/Holden). Events ahead include the monthly Corner Bar – all ages! – this Friday night and the Highland Park Holiday Bazaar on Saturday – details on both events are here, and you can look them up on the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide page, too.
Thanks to “GBaldwin” for sharing the photo taken a short time ago as cleanup and towing crews showed up to take away the trashed trailer that’s been alongside Riverview Playfield at 12th and Myrtle for more than a week and a half – tagged with a 3-day warning notice on November 21st. We’ve been covering it all week long since hearing about it from Monica on Monday; last night, our friends at KING 5 News picked up the story too. And as both we and they were told last night would happen – it’s out of here. After GB shared the photo, we sent a WSB crew over and found there’s nothing left but trash on the curb, which will be Seattle Public Utilities‘ responsibility to come get.
(Photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand, added 11:05 am)
As noted in our story last night, anybody with information on the trailer’s owner should contact Community Police Team Officer Jonathan Kiehn via e-mail at email@example.com. If you have an abandoned vehicle (trailer or not) in your neighborhood, you can report them online by going here.
Spraypark construction, school partnerships, Delridge paving, more @ 2-in-1 meeting in Highland ParkNovember 29, 2012 at 10:47 pm | In Delridge District Council, Highland Park, West Seattle news | 3 Comments
DNDC chair Mat McBride led the meeting. He pronounced it “very exciting” since, as he said, there’s been talk of “cross-pollinating” neighborhood councils. Among the topics:
HIGHLAND PARK SPRAYPARK, AND ART NEARBY: In about two weeks, Burien-based TF Sahli Construction will start construction of the long-awaited Highland Park Spraypark. We confirmed that today with Seattle Parks project manager Kelly Goold, who couldn’t be at last night’s meeting but sent the info with the team that came to talk about a proposed art project next to the spraypark.
Eight days since the mangled trailer dumped on the street alongside Riverview Playfield was tagged with a three-day warning – and it’s still there. It came up at last night’s Highland Park Action Committee/Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting (full meeting report to come); commenters on our previous report believe it can be traced to a house on Puget Ridge. We went back a short time ago to check on its status, and found two people talking nearby: One was a Seattle Parks employee who said she’s been working to find out what can/will be done about it; she said she has talked with the area’s Community Police Team officer and is also contacting Seattle Public Utilities, since they deal with illegal dumping, but she said she has no answers yet. The other person was a man who said he wanted to salvage the tires off the trailer, but appeared to be rethinking that, given the police notice. Meantime, we also have a message out to SPD to see what happens from here.
4:36 PM UPDATE: Haven’t gotten that answer from SPD yet. But we do hear that our friends at KING 5 are picking up the story – Jim Forman is on the case as of about half an hour ago. We suspected it might have attracted citywide-media attention after our tweet during last night’s meeting:
Trashed camper from hell just came up at Highland Park meeting. “My kids keep asking me if there are dead people in there,” one woman said.
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) November 29, 2012
5:40 PM UPDATE: Got a little context from Community Police Team Officer Jon Kiehn – this isn’t a simple tow job because it appears the trailer has debris that could fall off.
Since it’s been abandoned/dumped on SDOT property, that agency has to figure out how to stabilize it for towing. And as we learned during our stop today, Parks has a stake in it too since it’s adjacent to their facility. He’ll be checking tomorrow on the bottom line – how soon it’ll be removed.
6:59 PM UPDATE: Further followup from Officer Kiehn – he’s contacted SPU too, with whom he hopes to work ASAP to get it removed – as soon as the debris are removed so that it can be safely taken away. The delay, he thinks, might have been some crossed wires regarding one department thinking another had it handled. Regarding the issue of who did this and who might own it, he says those who believe they know who it belong(ed/s) to can e-mail him with that info and he’ll contact the suspected owner to investigate: Jonathan.Kiehn@seattle.gov is his address.
5:38 PM MONDAY: The photo and report are from Monica:
There is a lot of good stuff happening in Highland Park and there is the bad stuff, like this dumped, smashed RV, located at 12th SW & SW Myrtle….such a “gift” for our neighborhood. A neighbor stopped by as I photographed the “thing,” mentioning that he saw this heap of junk over by Westwood Village earlier in the week.
Monica says it has been “tagged” by the police, so it should be a candidate for removal soon. Here’s one way to report this type of thing online.
ADDED TUESDAY MORNING: We went by at 9 am and it was still there, though the tag was from 11/21, warning that it needed to be gone by 11/24. Here’s the view of its east side – right along Riverview Playfield:
(WSB staff photo)
If it’s still there tomorrow, we’ll start checking with the city to see about a timetable.
Vietnamese Cultural Center organizing volunteers again to offer free flu shots, haircuts, food on ThanksgivingNovember 21, 2012 at 11:17 am | In 'Nickelsville' encampment, Health, Highland Park, How to help, West Seattle news | 1 Comment
Vietnamese Cultural Center director Lee Bui sends word that the center, along with Puget Sound Pharmacy, will bring flu shots, haircuts, and hot food to Nickelsville tomorrow – as they did last Thanksgiving (WSB coverage here). It’s not only for Nickelsville residents, he says, but for others who are low-income/homeless, too – just show up. Along with pharmacist Rosalie Nguyen and Dr. Khanh H. Tran, volunteers will be there offering the service 11 am-1 pm on Thanksgiving Day. Nickelsville is at West Marginal Way SW/SW Highland Park Way.
(Photos taken this morning by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
For a while this midday, it was raining again – just as they’re trying to pump out the floodwaters at the homeless encampment on the southeast edge of West Seattle that calls itself Nickelsville, as it has since it was founded at that site four years ago, the site to which it returned a year and a half ago. After publishing these photos by WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams during Monday’s deluge, we went back this morning to see what’s needed, since many are asking. The campers we talked with said about half the residents had gone to emergency shelters when their tents became uninhabitable in the floodwaters. But even tiny residents are poking around, like Coffee the cat:
You may have heard via our friends at KING 5 News that a pump donated this morning was making progress in clearing out the standing water – before the rain resumed. Here’s what they told WSB they need:
Gas for the existing pump
Another pump, as this pump was donated but has to go back tomorrow morning
Dry blankets and dry bedding
Labor needs are up in the air, as they need to get the standing water out before they can determine what needs to be done
With donated items or any other offers to help, just show up at their main gate, which is off the small parking lot on the southwest side of the triangle of land they are on, at West Marginal Way and Highland Park Way.
SIDE NOTE – NICKELSVILLE’S FUTURE: The water woes are bringing new light to the camp’s situation – a year and a half without either authorization or eviction on a government-owned site. We’re waiting for a reply from Mayor McGinn’s office regarding its stance on what’s happening there. We also checked this morning with Food Lifeline, the nonprofit which is pursuing a possible purchase of the site, as reported here in October. From spokesperson Amy Lee Derenthal: “We’re still in conversations with both the city and state and nothing has changed since we first shared we were interested in the property for our Hunger Relief Center.”
12:59 PM UPDATE: We had asked Mayor McGinn’s office earlier today for comment on the situation and just got the official reply via spokesperson Aaron Pickus: “Our Human Services Department is working with Public Health to help place families with children in shelter tonight. We have opened our severe weather shelter at Seattle Center and are providing bus tickets to residents who wish to access shelter. Our shelters at City Hall and Frye Hotel are also open. Our Public Utilities and Finance and Administrative Services department are also assisting, as appropriate.”
All contents copyright 2013, A Drink of Water and a Story Interactive. Here's how to contact us.
Header image by Nick Adams. ABSOLUTELY NO WSB PHOTO REUSE WITHOUT SITE OWNERS' PERMISSION.
Entries and comments feeds. ^Top^