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West Seattle Crime Watch: Highland Park bust

(Seattle Police Department photo)

Just in via SPD Blotter – a drug bust in Highland Park last night:

Police found a big bag of crack stashed away inside a Ford Bronco after arresting a dealer Thursday evening in West Seattle.

Members of the West Precinct Anti-Crime Team were able to call in an order to the 42-year-old dealer, who offered to meet at a convenience store in the 1600 block of SW Holden Street around 10 PM.

Police saw the suspect circle the block in his Ford Bronco before pulling him over and taking him into custody.

Officers got a warrant for the car and found a bag of crack rocks inside the vehicle’s console.

In total, police found 44 grams of crack, a not-insignificant amount, and another 3 grams of powder cocaine during the search. Police booked the man into the King County Jail for a narcotics violation.

We just verified with SPD Public Affairs and yes, as written, this was initiated by West Precinct investigators (downtown and vicinity), not Southwest Precinct (in whose jurisdiction it happened). The officers go wherever the dealer offers to meet them. You can see more photos on SPD Blotter.

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TUESDAY: Westwood and White Center’s future @ WWRHAH

They’re next door … yet currently, they are officially treated as if they are a world apart: The Westwood/Highland Park Urban Village (WWHPUV) in the city, and White Center in unincorporated King County. This Tuesday night, city and county reps will join the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council to talk about it all together, including the potential of WC annexation and the Seattle 2035 “comprehensive plan.” If you’re interested in either or both sides of the line, be in the upstairs meeting room at Southwest Library, 6:15 pm Tuesday (February 2nd).

VIDEO: Emotional, informational Highland Park Action Committee conversation on RV ‘safe lot’

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

It was an emotional meeting, but not an angry one, when the Highland Park Action Committee convened a community conversation tonight about the city’s plan for a “safe lot” to host people living in their vehicles.

There were a few shouts, a few tears, and more than a few rounds of applause.

Even some laughter, when Deputy Mayor Hyeok Kim thanked the crowd for being “so much nicer than the Ballard neighborhood” – not long after she had choked up while revealing that she had experienced homelessness as a child.

Ballard is the other neighborhood where the city plans to open a “safe lot” within a month. And tonight, Highland Park – already weary from the years of an encampment next to the future lot – learned more about the plan.

Like the answer to the big question: How many vehicles?

About 15, said Sola Plumacher from the city Human Services Department v, each expected to have 1 to 3 people, so a maximum of about 45 living in the “safe lot” – less than half the 100 or so who lived in the unauthorized encampment that was on the adjacent site for years.

Where will they come from?

IMG_1514 (1)
(WSB photo of newly added canvas-covered fencing at the future lot, Wednesday afternoon)

A big question, as the “safe lots” were first portrayed as a reaction to north-end neighborhood’s discomfiture with unauthorized RV camping – prompting people to ask if this lot would just be where some of the north-end parkers moved.

According to Plumacher, police and service providers will be making referrals from West Seattle and SODO.

Now – how the meeting unfolded. (We recorded it all on video, [update] added above.)

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West Seattle Crime Watch: Admiral break-in; stolen mail found; more

In West Seattle (and vicinity) Crime Watch:

THANKS FOR THE TIPS: Received a few about a sizable law-enforcement presence at 15th and Roxbury this past hour. Headed that way and found King County Sheriff’s Office deputies had converged on the gas station at the southwest corner of the intersection. They were searching what one deputy told us was a stolen car; we’ll be following up on our partner site White Center Now.

ADMIRAL BURGLARY: Tyler e-mailed this weekend to share the word about this:

On Wednesday at exactly 12:44 am we had a person enter our property at 53rd and Admiral and break into our garage, stealing wire and several small tools. They then moved a camera out of the way and tried to gain access to a small basement window. They were on site for over 20 minutes.

The house is being sold, so there was no one home and only various tools on site. Police report filed Thursday.

Suspect was wearing black jeans and hooded sweatshirt also in black. He knew there were cameras as face was covered. Had a distinctive large rectangle style back back with straps.

MORE HIGHLAND PARK MAIL THEFT: Shirley in Highland Park wants her neighbors in the 11th/12th/Barton vicinity to “please be aware that there is a lot of mail being taken and thrown on the ground and or put in other mailboxes. On my dog walk this am I found some of my neighbor’s mail in my paper box. This afternoon walking the dog, I found another neighbor’s mail in the alley … Also noticed several mailboxes open along the way.”

STOLEN MAIL FOUND IN SEAVIEW: A reader “found someone’s mail from Ballard (Friday morning) dumped at the corner of 44th SW and SW Graham.” They planned to take it back to the Post Office but added, “I just wanted to let people know to be watchful for thieves using our neighborhood like this.”

West Seattle Crime Watch: Diaper-bag-stealing car prowler(s); package and mail theft; more

The newest reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch:


Wanted to report that our Chevy Tahoe had two windows busted out last night. Perp(s) took diaper bag with my wife’s wallet inside along with various other property, daughter’s new bday purse, CD’s….Theft occurred at approx. 3 am and set off car alarm. Car was parked at curb in front of our house.

Shaun is near 39th SW/SW 106th in Arbor Heights; when we followed up to get that information, he added, “I’ve learned that the perp/s attempted to rent 4 video games at a Redbox at 5 am. The kiosk in question is located at a 7-Eleven near 112th St S and 8th Ave S.” (We found it on Google Street View.)

HIGHLAND PARK PACKAGE THEFT: Erika near 17th SW/SW Kenyon thought her package had been stolen, then contacted Amazon and was told it actually hadn’t been delivered – and then the sad truth: “My neighbor just came by with a ripped-open package that she found in our alley near her garbage, with one item found intact on the ground and another taken out of its packaging and it’s gone. … The contents included a bag of dishwashing detergent pods and a tub of Honest brand pregnancy belly balm. What a score.” She says this stirs up bad memories from a burglary last summer, but want to be sure everyone’s aware of “activity in our neighborhood.”

MAIL THEFT: From Corey:

I wanted to report continued mail theft in Highland Park neighborhood. I have now found mail discarded on lawns and stuffed in bushes on
three different occasions/3 different addresses, around 18th-20th Ave SW and Trenton St. The first occasion was in late November, the second
right before Christmas, and (Friday) January 22nd. The mail has all been from homes in Highland Park and within a few block of where I found it.

MAILBOX BREAK-IN: Mike reports this happened to his mailbox in the 7300 block of 35th SW in Sunrise Heights.

ALSO IN SUNRISE HEIGHTS: Todd at West Seattle Autoworks (WSB sponsor) reports a potential case of casing outside the shop at 35th/Webster around 9 pm Thursday night. They reviewed video from their surveillance camera after noticing it was “tilted up – as if someone had pushed it out of place.” The video shows someone walking in front of the camera and hiding his face, then a few minutes later walking back and pushing the camera up while walking under it. Todd says they didn’t find anything else out of place or damaged but wanted to alert the neighborhood.

Thanks to everyone who shares reports via West Seattle Crime Watch – once you’ve reported it to police, share it with your neighbors all around the peninsula by e-mailing editor@westseattleblog.com – for breaking news (once you’ve called 911), text/call 206-293-6302 – thank you!

YOU CAN HELP: Outdoor-education camp for Highland Park Elementary students

Outdoor-education camp is a highlight of the year for many students in our area. But it comes with a cost, and that’s a challenge for some schools and families. The fifth-grade teachers at Highland Park Elementary are trying an online fundraiser to help make sure none of their students are left behind, and one of their colleagues asked if we could share the link in hopes of inspiring some community generosity. From the teachers’ explanation:

Every year, we get to watch our students learn in a way that cannot be provided inside the four walls of a classroom. It is absolutely amazing to see the transformation under which many students go as they see a world beyond the one where they live.

You’ll find the fundraiser here. (For more on some of HPES’s challenges, read our report on a community conversation in 2014.)

West Seattle Crime Watch: Fast-acting burglars

This report is from D in Highland Park, who was only gone for a short time when the burglar(s) hit:

We had a break-in this morning at our home on 18th/Trenton. The thief (or thieves) kicked in our locked back door and stole my iMac, speakers, mouse, keyboard, and a Kindle Fire right off my desk. I was gone from the house for less than 30 minutes picking up my daughter at preschool. The iMac wasn’t worth anything (2009 model) and it contained all our family pictures and videos. A good reminder to back up digital information and pictures to the cloud.

As we were processing this, D e-mailed again to add that the burglar(s) also stole video equipment, a spare set of their house keys, and even roller-derby gear.

City plans to reopen former encampment site in Highland Park for RV ‘safe parking’


1:35 PM: Just announced by Mayor Ed Murray: One of the “safe parking” lots that will be opened for RVs is the former site of the encampment that still, in other locations, calls itself “Nickelsville” – in Highland Park, at the West Marginal Way/Highland Park Way intersection.

We went down to check the site, where the parking lot – which appears to have been recently cleaned up – still holds signage from the last encampment closure, September 2013. In addition to our photo above, here’s an aerial photo from the city’s announcement:


We’d been working to confirm this since hearing that citywide reporters had mentioned this morning that a “Delridge” site would be announced, but without any information on the location. (The city refers to all of eastern West Seattle as the “Delridge” district.)

Unofficial RV parking zones have turned up in West Seattle recently – including the one mentioned here in mid-December, along SW Andover adjacent to the Nucor plant. But they haven’t generated the furor that had been reported in some north-end neighborhoods.


From the city’s news release, which says the lot is expected to be open within a month:

In response to the continued crisis of homelessness on the streets of Seattle, Mayor Ed Murray issued an emergency order to expedite the siting of two safe lots in Ballard and Delridge for homeless individuals and families living in recreational vehicles and cars.

“These are not long term solutions to end homelessness, but temporary locations that can be managed to provide a safer environment for those living on our streets and have less impact on our neighborhoods,” said Murray. “The City’s active case management services will reach out to those experiencing homelessness and living in their vehicles, with the goal to help move them to permanent housing as quickly as possible. These safe lots will also help reduce the public health issues currently impacting several of our neighborhoods.”

The new safe lots are part of the City’s overall actions under Mayor Murray’s Proclamation of Civil Emergency on homelessness that has spurred the opening and expansion of new shelters and authorized tent encampments, and increased investments in services and outreach. Opening the new safe lots will occur along with additional trash pickups in neighborhoods, as well as renewed enforcement of the City’s existing parking rules and addressing public safety issues that have arisen in recent months.

“When Mayor Murray declared the state of emergency, the direction given to us was to take significant steps to immediately help those in need living on our streets and address underlying causes of homelessness. Since then, Seattle has expanded outreach services, opened up space for nearly 300 individuals in new shelters or authorized tent encampments and we have invested more in prevention services. Today’s announcement of new safe lots is another part of this larger effort under the state of emergency to provide immediate, short term assistance,” said Catherine Lester, Director of Seattle’s Human Services Department. “In addition to the authority under the Mayor’s emergency orders, we will be able to stand up these safe lots quickly thanks to the fast work of our partners including local service providers, other City departments and WSDOT.”

To expedite the siting and permitting of the safe lots, Mayor Murray is exercising powers invoked under his Proclamation of Civil Emergency on homelessness issued on Nov. 2, 2015. The mayor will send the emergency order to the City Council today, where it can be approved, rejected or amended.

Expected to begin operations in 30 days, the two safe lots can hold up to an estimated 50 vehicles. Each site will have sanitation and garbage service, as well as case management assistance for those experiencing homelessness in order to build pathways to permanent housing. All residents must abide by a code of conduct policy that will prohibit drugs and violence, and require residents to be good neighbors.

The Ballard site, the Yankee Diner parking lot at Shilshole Ave. NW and 24th Ave. NW, is owned by Seattle Public Utilities. The Seattle Department of Transportation has been in negotiations with the Washington State Department of Transportation to acquire the Glass Yard lot at West Marginal Way and Highland Park Way SW for the Delridge site. The City and WSDOT are discussing the terms of the sale of the property and will likely require future legislation to finalize the purchase and sale agreement. But to accommodate the Mayor’s emergency order, WSDOT has agreed to allow the City to use the site as a safe lot in the intervening period during these negotiations. …

Read the entire news release here. We’ll continue to update, and we’re told this is expected to be on the agenda for the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting at 7 pm tomorrow (Wednesday) night at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.

5:27 PM: The Highland Park Action Committee has confirmed that Councilmember Lisa Herbold – who led a council briefing about the city’s policy on encampment sweeps shortly before this announcement – will be at HPAC’s next meeting, 7 pm Wednesday, January 27th, at Highland Park Improvement Club (12th SW/SW Holden).

10:44 PM: Councilmember Herbold has written about the RV-lot decision, briefly, at the end of a report on her concerns about the recent sweeps and this morning’s briefing about them – read it in its entirety here.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Student attacked after getting off a bus

We finally have some information on the assault case that brought police to 15th/16th/Elmgrove/Kenyon and vicinity this morning: The reader report is from Hilari:

Today just after 11 a.m., my nephew got on the 128 at South Seattle College to return home from classes. He sat in the back of the bus and noticed a man staring at him. He didn’t think much of it in the moment.

He exited the bus at 16th SW and Kenyon. The man who had been staring at him exited just after.

Once on the sidewalk, the man approached my nephew and asked him if he wanted to get “knocked out.” Before my nephew could respond, the man punched him hard across the face and then proceeded to walk briskly south on 16th SW.

A construction worker nearby called 911. Fire and police came. My nephew’s nose isn’t broken, but he was pretty freaked out by all of the blood. Police tried to find the suspect but were unsuccessful. A case # has been filed, and I am hoping that bus cameras will be used to identify the man exiting the bus.

He was African American, mid-20s, wearing a gray beanie and either a gray or navy hoodie. He was about 5’10” or 5’11”.

If you have any information for police, the case to refer to, per Tweets by Beat, is 16-008602.

VIDEO: Noisy, fiery, fun New Year’s Eve 2015 at Highland Park Improvement Club

(WSB video and photos by Patrick Sand)
If you weren’t part of it, watch the video to see and hear the boisterous Not-So-Silent Night Parade as it headed out from Highland Park Improvement Club tonight, to kick off HPIC’s three-part New Year’s Eve celebration. Noisemakers, costumes, and lights were the order of the night.

The parade crossed SW Holden at the newly enhanced crosswalk just east of HPIC, walking and rolling along several blocks before returning to the historic community center – note the flashing beacons at left in the next photo:

Immediately afterward, everyone gathered in the parking lot for the Sage Comet Performance, a fiery farewell to the old year. First, torchbearers stood at the ready to light the sage:

Then, the mesmerizing twirling and whirling began – see it in our video:

And then, everyone headed inside for an early edition of HPIC’s popular monthly Corner Bar, usually on the first Friday night of the month.

The youngest revelers had a space of their own.

DJs and a costume contest are part of the fun, which is continuing into 2016.

Along with the monthly Corner Bar, HPIC also hosts activities including free Movie Nights, community meetings, classes, and more – it’s where we presented West Seattle’s first candidate forum in the District 1 City Council race back in February. Info’s at hpic1919.org.

West Seattle Crime Watch followup: Video shows gunfire at busy intersection, as investigation continues

“I can’t stand that this is happening in my neighborhood. We have kids walking around. Screw these guys.” So wrote Colton Lloyd in the WSB comment that informed us he had uploaded that surveillance video to YouTube, showing the December 15th gunfire outside Seamart at 16th and Holden in Highland Park. We reported on the incident that day, while police were searching; they found shell casings outside the store, and found a possible suspect vehicle in White Center, but we had few other details until now. After seeing the surveillance video that Colton, an employee, posted, we followed up with SPD and obtained the official report, which has more details, including what officers found at the scene besides casings:

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Christmas Eve crashes: Car through fence in Highland Park; Fauntleroy & Oregon collision

ORIGINAL REPORT, 10:42 PM: An unpleasant Christmas Eve surprise for a Highland Park household – a driver crashed through their fence in the 8600 block of 20th SW and partway down the embankment into their yard. Our photo shows the car and the driver of the tow truck that pulled it up the embankment shortly after we arrived. No injuries reported; the car’s driver was being evaluated for possible DUI.

ANOTHER CRASH, 10:55 PM: Now another crash, with traffic effects: Southbound Fauntleroy Way is blocked at Oregon because of a multi-car crash. Injuries are reported.

11:53 PM: That crash cleared shortly after we arrived in the area. No major injuries. SFD crews at the scene did have to deal with a person reported to be “in crisis” – per the scanner, a “nude man” approached firefighters, who quickly found a blanket for him. It’s not clear whether he had anything to do with the crash.

Delridge-Highland Park Greenway and Natural Drainage Systems: What’s under construction now, and what’s next

City crews continue working on West Seattle’s second neighborhood greenway, Delridge-Highland Park, and concurrently, on roadside raingardens and other “natural drainage” elements in part of the area. Some of this work will involve temporary water shutoffs, according to this update just sent by project managers:

Seattle Public Utilities began constructing the natural drainage system along 17th Ave SW from SW Cloverdale Street to SW Thistle Street.

Construction crews are installing curb ramps that are compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act standards in this area, and pedestrian detours are in effect. To perform water-service relocations, SPU water crews will shut down the water main two blocks at a time. If your water is going to be shut off, you will receive a door-hanger notification 48 hours in advance. Curbs and sidewalks that were removed for the water service relocations will then be re-installed.

The project webpage says some of that water work was expected to happen today and tomorrow, and includes a reminder that once the water’s back on, you might see discoloration for a while.

Meantime, the city’s update continues with information on the next round of road and sidewalk work:

Construction to build a pedestrian pathway connecting areas north and south of the cul-de-sac on 17th Ave SW between SW Myrtle and SW Webster streets has been delayed and will begin as early as January 4, 2016.

When construction begins, parking will be limited and pedestrian detours will be in place around the work area. This work is expected to take up to two weeks to complete.

Final work to be done at the intersection of 15th Ave SW and SW Holden St includes pouring curb ramps and sidewalk. We expect this work will be complete by Monday, December 28.

Crews began preparing the intersection at 16th Ave SW and SW Webster St for pedestrian safety improvements, including new crosswalks, new sidewalk, and new ADA-compliant curb ramps.

Crews began pouring sidewalk and curb ramps. Weather permitting, this work is expected to be complete by December 28.

Crews will return to the west side of 21st Ave SW, south of where 21st Ave SW and 22nd Ave SW merge, to rebuild the sidewalk. We expect this work will begin as early as January 4 and will include pouring concrete for sidewalk and asphalt for driveways. Both pours require dry days. Weather permitting, this work will take 2 weeks to complete. Residents will be notified in advance of driveway closures.

Construction is complete at 16th Ave SW and SW Kenyon St.

And the city notice includes the caveat that much of this is weather-dependent, so rain can change the schedule. More updates, and links to the full project plan, can be found here. The work’s been under way since late summer.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Gunfire in Highland Park leads to search in White Center; car, house break-ins

We start this West Seattle Crime Watch roundup with a story that’s still developing:

GUNFIRE & SEARCH: For the second consecutive afternoon, police are investigating gunfire, with no injuries reported. This time it happened at or near the Seamart store at 16th and Holden. Police we talked to there say that one person was reported to have left on foot northbound afterward while a vehicle described as a green SUV – in which the shooter reportedly was riding – headed south.

What’s believed to be that vehicle has turned up in downtown White Center, on 16th south of Roxbury, but police are still looking for the person believed to have been driving. We’ll update with anything else we find out about this incident.

All that happened as we were putting together a roundup with other reports from the inbox, so on with those:

CAR PROWL ON VIDEO: Mike‘s surveillance camera caught what happened early Monday morning on the street outside his home in the 6300 block of 41st SW:

Mike is a firefighter and says the thief/thieves “got some of my Firefighting gear. Brand new boots (still in the box) and gloves worth about 500. Some DVDs.”

ANOTHER CAR PROWL: Bill says this happened last night near 41st and Barton in Upper Fauntleroy:

After removing Christmas tree from car at 8:30 pm 12/14, I forgot to lock the vehicle. Approximately at 1 am on 12/15, just before going to bed, I was in the kitchen getting a drink. I looked out to where my car was parked, I noticed a pick-up truck suspiciously parked in the middle of the street next to my vehicle. I went out to my car noticed that the driver side door was ajar, and the contents of my glove compartment and middle console compartment were dumped on the seats. Some personal items, a pair of Nike sunglasses ($75) and a tray of coins/change < $5.00. The prowler sped off when he saw me, but I got a pretty good look at the vehicle and have reported its description to the police.

CAR PROWL/HOUSE BREAK-IN CONCERN: Mia at 42nd and Findlay writes, “Over this past weekend, we experienced our 3rd car break-in (we’ve also had a couple home break-ins in the past 5 years). Fortunately, we didn’t have any valuables inside the car, but we’re very worried that we are being watched, or, rather, there is a very shady crew combing our streets on a regular basis.”

Train-crash survivor makes it to his benefit breakfast at HPIC

That’s Vince Hance, the West Seattle 18-year-old who survived being hit by a light-rail train in Columbia City two days before Thanksgiving. He is now in rehab after getting out of the hospital, but has a long road to recovery. Vince was doing OK enough this morning to be at Highland Park Improvement Club, which hosted a pancake breakfast to benefit Vince and his family.

Vince, a former Chief Sealth International High School football player, was crossing the tracks after waiting for one train to pass but didn’t see the one that hit him; he had to be rescued from under it. If you missed the breakfast, they’re also continuing to fundraise online.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen car leads police to Highland Park holdup suspect

An armed-robbery suspect is in jail after police tracked him down in the stolen car they say was used in the robbery. From SPD Blotter:

Officers responded to a convenience store in the the 1600 block of SW Holden St just before 1 AM on Monday after three subjects robbed the store of cash and cigarettes. After killing some time purchasing Scratch lotto tickets and browsing the food aisles, one displayed a handgun and threatened the clerk. The other two acted as lookouts as he went behind the counter and stole cigarettes and cleared out the cash register.

The suspects fled the scene in a white Honda Accord that was stolen the previous day from South Seattle.

Just after 9 PM last night, Officers Brandon McDougald and Nick Evans spotted the stolen vehicle used in the robbery that morning. The driver, and sole occupant, was placed under arrest. Officers found methamphetamine in his pockets as well as the scratch tickets he likely bought just before the robbery. The 40-year-old suspect was booked into King County Jail for robbery, auto theft, and narcotics.

We followed up with SPD to ask where the vehicle was spotted, since it’s not in the SPDB post: 20th SW/SW Henderson. (added) We checked on the suspect’s background; he does not appear to have a felony record.

FOLLOWUP: Why power lines aren’t, and won’t be, undergrounded along falling-tree-prone Highland Park Way hill

(WSB photo: City Light truck on Highland Park Way during Sunday night’s outage)

The question came up again after Sunday night’s 2,100+-customer power outage from Puget Ridge to White Center: Since the line along the Highland Park Way hill seems to be particularly vulnerable, wouldn’t it make sense to put that line underground? We took the question to Seattle City Light.

Short answer: No.

Long answer, via SCL spokesperson Connie McDougall:

I’m told that the utility is aware of that area’s outages, and of course regrets the inconvenience, but City Light does not consider an underground system to be a viable solution for that area.

As one person told me, these kinds of projects are not only enormously expensive, but also very complex. Some folks might think it’s just a matter of digging a trench and then installing power lines but it’s not that simple. There’s a lot to consider.

Part of it is environmental. Crews would have to remove hundreds of healthy trees in the greenbelt area to make way for such a system, which in turn would damage roots of nearby trees. Also, by mayoral executive order, when crews remove one tree, they must replace with two suitable trees. Just making room for that scope of planting would mean thinning out hundreds of additional trees, adding to the cost to say nothing of aesthetic issues. Also, there are protected wetlands in the area, which further complicates it.

The other reason City Light would not consider an underground system viable for that area is our commitment to cost effectiveness. Even if you could somehow overcome all of the environmental issues, this would be a multi-million dollar job, using funds the utility simply does not have. Like everyone else, City Light has to stick to a budget and must make decisions and choices that are fiscally responsible.

To reduce tree-related outages, City Light’s vegetation management folks did trim the trees immediately around the wires in that area in May of this year. They trim about 10-feet around the powerlines, perhaps a few feet more depending on the situation. They try not to cut any more than is necessary for both practical and aesthetic reasons. The tree that caused your recent outage last weekend was not in that trim zone, but had a large reach, so when it went down, it went into the lines. This is just the nature of a greenbelt. And again, for practical and aesthetic reason, crews never trim trees deep into an area, but only around the wires.

This may not be any consolation, but you may also want to tell readers that when there’s an outage underground, it takes much longer to find it and repair it. Crews literally have to look into all the vaults in the area until they find the one with the problem. Overhead outages are a lot easier to find and repair, so customers get their power back sooner.

In newer construction of course, developers and contractors can plan for underground systems and build it into the cost and scope of the project.

Other tree-linked outages traced to that stretch include last August and March 2014; in November 2013, a car-vs.-pole crash there caused an outage with the same basic footprint. Those are just the ones we found easily in our archive, which also includes the signature sign of the 2006 Hanukkah Eve windstorm aftermath,

Rezone ex-substation at 16th/Holden? Proposal emerges in city budget docs

(Aerial-photo graphic via Seattle City Light)

Again today, the City Council has a marathon meeting to go through potential additions/changes in next year’s budget, which will be finalized before Thanksgiving. Reviewing today’s long list – just made public, minutes before the meeting – we see one for potentially rezoning the former City Light substation at 16th and Holden and other nearby properties. This is something community advocates including the Highland Park Action Committee have pushed for, in hopes of expanding the mini-business district at that intersection, as the city continues determining the fate of eight ex-substations in all. Here’s the text of the document – remember, this is a proposal, and a final decision about including it in the budget won’t be made today:

Council requests that the Department of Planning and Development’s (DPD) Planning Division, or the proposed new Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD), develop and execute a scope of work to consider zoning and land use changes for the properties in and around the intersection of 16th Ave SW and SW Holden Street, including the former Seattle City Light Dumar Substation (“Dumar”) at 1605 SW Holden Street. DPD/OPCD should add this to the scope of work for either the Delridge Action Plan or to the work called for in Resolution 31612 to consider zoning and land use regulation changes in certain single-family areas (implementing recommendations from the Housing Affordability and Livability Action Agenda Committee’s proposal).

The Executive is requested to submit a report to the Council with a project scope, timeline and implementation plan for potential changes to zoning and land use regulations that could apply to this area by July 1, 2016. The project scope must include working with the Highland Park Action Committee (HPAC), property owners of lots being considered for a rezone (to include 1605 SW Holden Street) and other community members to develop recommendations. The rezone analysis should consider the most appropriate zone(s) for the area, including considering the addition of a Pedestrian zone designation.

Seattle City Light (SCL) has submitted legislation (CB 118512) for Council consideration that would declare eight substation properties as surplus and authorize the sale of these properties. The Dumar site is one of the eight properties being considered for disposition.

The Dumar site is located on the southwest corner of the intersection of SW Holden Street and 16th Avenue SW in the Highland Park neighborhood; this property is in a Single Family zone. The other three corners of the intersection are zoned Neighborhood Commercial with a 30 foot height limit. The northwest corner is occupied by a 7-Eleven store, the northeast corner by the City’s Fire Station No.11 and the southeast corner by a two-unit strip mall. As requested in Resolution 31424, SCL conducted outreach to the community about the potential disposition. This included attending district council meetings, community council meetings, soliciting comments through letters and emails and two formal public hearings.

SCL heard from HPAC and from emails from community members, a strong interest in seeing the Dumar site rezoned to Neighborhood Commercial (or an alternative commercial zone) to implement their vision that this intersection will be built out as a small, pedestrian-friendly commercial center. SCL also heard from the abutting owners to the Dumar property who requested that the property not be made a park and, instead, be sold for development as a single family residence. Whether the City disposes of the Dumar property or retains it, this SLI directs DPD/OPCD to initiate an evaluation of the zoning and land use regulations that apply to this site and the surrounding area to determine if a rezone is appropriate and to implement any identified needed changes.

Sponsors are listed as Councilmembers Tom Rasmussen, Bruce Harrell, and Nick Licata. You can watch today’s budget meeting live on Seattle Channel, online or cable channel 21. The budget will be finalized before Thanksgiving; you can send comments about this or any other aspect of the budget via a feedback form you’ll find on this page.

TRAFFIC ALERT: Crash blocks one lane on Highland Park Way hill

October 17, 2015 7:54 pm
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 |   Highland Park | West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

Thanks for the tips – one uphill lane is blocked by a crash on Highland Park Way hill. No injuries so far as we have heard, and Seattle Fire cleared the scene quickly; police are reported to be still onscene.

UPDATE: Fire call in Highland Park

October 17, 2015 4:42 pm
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4:42 PM: Seattle Fire has a big callout for a possible house fire at 11th SW and SW Henderson. We’re en route to check.

4:55 PM: Last truck was driving away, no sign of a fire or of water use, as we arrived, so looks like this was another didn’t-pan-out call.

Playground plea for Westcrest Park: Please don’t take the toys!

This reader report is from Vanessa, whose daughter plays at Westcrest Park:

Recently kids in Highland Park have started donating riding toys to the playground at Westcrest. Everyone here loves Ercolini with all the riding toys, and the new playground and trails are a perfect place to ride.

Unfortunately most of the toys have been stolen from the playground. Everything has been clearly marked “donated to Westcrest playground.” There are a few toys that are still there but the thieves have taken a big wheel, a tricycle, and a push car. The kids that are donating these toys are also frequent visitors to the park and one mother shared how her girls were upset to go back and see that the toys they put there to share with their neighbors had been stolen.

Maybe you could share this story in Crime Watch or somewhere. I know that there isn’t actually a crime here but it’s still a bummer to see this happening.

That’s Vanessa’s daughter in the photo, taken last weekend, featuring a donated toy that’s since disappeared.

@ Highland Park Action Committee: Crime, safety, cleanup, special events this fall …

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The Highland Park Action Committee reconvened after summer recess with an information-packed meeting. Crime and safety comprise a major concern, as is the case for most neighborhood groups, so that’s where the meeting on Wednesday night at Highland Park Improvement Club began.

CRIME, SAFETY, AND THE POLICING PLAN: Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith was at HPAC to talk about crime and safety. HPAC meetings previously have been attended by one or both of the Community Police Team officers who, as we’ve reported in coverage of other meetings, have advanced – Erin Nicholson is now an acting sergeant in another precinct, and in line for a promotion; Jonathan Kiehn has been working on a citywide technology-related project. (As he had told the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network the previous night, there are three “very good candidates” who will get tryouts in the role before they decide who will succeed Nicholson and Kiehn.)

First, it was a review of HP’s “micropolicing plan” – the first version of the plan listed five primary concerns for HP:

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