West Seattle, Washington
We’ve heard from residents of Highland Park and South Delridge about possible gunfire heard around 12:30 am. 911 calls were made. This time, so far, no word of any shooting victims, and we haven’t heard whether any casings or damage turned up either.
(UPDATED TUESDAY AFTERNOON with fire’s cause)
12:17 AM: The first units to arrive report flames and heavy smoke from what’s described as a 3-story house.
12:22 AM: More engines are being sent.
12:35 AM: Just added first photos sent by our photographer, who says flames and smoke can still be seen pouring from the house.
Via scanner, we’ve heard firefighters say they’ve finished searching and have not found any victims in the house.
12:59 AM: SFD’s public-information officer Kristin Tinsley has arrived at the scene. She confirms no injuries are reported so far. Meantime, two nearby residents have sent photos – this first one via text:
This is via e-mail from Bryan:
1:11 AM: SFD tells us 4 people were home when the fire started. They all got out OK, no one hurt. SFD isn’t certain yet if more people live at the house. The Red Cross is being called to help. (Added – our video of spokesperson Tinsley’s briefing:)
Fire’s still not out, one hour after initial dispatch.
1:18 AM: The fire is now declared officially “under control.”
1:29 AM: And now they’re describing the fire 90+-percent out. Meantime, the people for whom they’re calling for Red Cross assistance are described as 3 women and 3 men, all adults.
2:05 AM: SFD has dismissed some of its crews. Investigators will be working to try to figure out the cause – we’ll have updates later this morning.
9:18 AM: SFD’s fire investigator is back out at the scene right now. Engine 11 is also keeping “fire watch” – an engine usually stays at major fire scenes for a while in case of flareups – you can see the hoses in our photo taken a short time ago:
We will update whenever new information is available.
2:01 PM: SFD just announced that “overheated electrical equipment in the void space above the basement kitchen” is what started the fire. Damage is estimated at $450,000.
Highland Park is the only neighborhood in West Seattle where you can start your New Year’s Eve with a parade – and tonight’s 9th annual Not-So-Silent-Night Parade through the streets near Highland Park Improvement Club was huge, with more than 100 participating, all ages as always:
The light of the almost-full moon shone on the parade, with participants invited to bring drums, noisemakers, musical instruments, lights, whatever adds to the cheery stroll along the sidewalks – here’s what it sounded like near the start:
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) January 1, 2018
The weather was about as good as it gets – dry and not too cold (it’s a no-matter-what-the-weather parade, and we even recall icy 2010). Things warmed up considerably once everyone was back in the HPIC lot, as the Sage Comet Performance returned after skipping NYE 2016:
Then everyone moved into the historic HPIC building to join the Corner Bar party, usually on first Fridays except for New Year’s Eve:
For the holiday, there was the extra element of a masquerade party – those in costume include DJs Dr. Lehl and Evan:
The DJs and musician McTuff are providing the HPIC sounds for as long as the party goes on – 1 am or so. And we suspect it’s the only West Seattle NYE party with a hot-dog stand in the courtyard:
You’re invited, 1116 SW Holden.
You can make it a neighborhood New Year’s Eve again this year by celebrating with Highland Park Improvement Club – starting with the all-ages Not-So-Silent-Night Parade along nearby streets. As also featured in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, here’s the full night’s lineup for Sunday at HPIC:
Join us in our annual celebration of the New Year. We’ll be hosting a Masquerade Party, so come donning your best masks, disguises, or alter egos.
Not So Silent Night Parade – Assemble at 6 pm. We will head out into the neighborhood when everyone is ready. Bring your noisemakers, lights, umbrellas – whatever is necessary!
DJ Dr. Lehl & DJ Evan will provide us the tunes that take us to the main event.
The HPIC Hot Dog Stand will be open in the Courtyard, courtesy of Nickie Jostol!
McTuff will provide us with the life-sustaining music that will power us to and through the New Year from 9ish until late (1-130?)
RL Carroll will be here again for all your keepsake photos!
Beverages – Draft beer, wine, special cocktail and champagne! As always, we offer a wide assortment of non-alcoholic beverages as well. Please remember that no outside alcohol is allowed.
HPIC is on the northeast corner of 12th SW/SW Holden. (If you’ve never seen, or been part of, the parade, check out our coverage from last year.)
Got a New Year’s Eve/Day event in West Seattle that’s not already in our Holiday Guide? Please e-mail us the info ASAP so we can add it – firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
Thanks to Highland Park Action Committee co-chair Michele Witzki for the tip: SDOT crews have been out today finishing the installation of pedestrian-activated flashing-beacon signs for crosswalks on 16th SW – the one in our photo, at 16th/Trenton, as well as 16th/Thistle, 16th/Kenyon, and 16th/Webster. Along with the recently installed speed humps on Trenton, these are related to the Highland Park Greenway project, as detailed on this SDOT mailer, which includes a map of the project zone.
P.S. The beacons aren’t active yet – we learned while reporting on an unrelated project elsewhere in West Seattle recently that it takes a separate crew, with electrical specialists, to do that part of the work.
STOLEN CAR FOUND: Thanks for the text about a sizable police presence at 16th and Henderson this past hour. Officers were questioning someone after finding a stolen car.
Two reader reports:
CAR PROWL: From Cheryl:
Wanted to let you know that I filed a police report on 12/12 regarding a break in of my car parked in front of my apartment building (in the 3500 block of) SW Ocean View Drive, Arbor Heights. They took several personal items including leather gloves (which were in a compartment), my phone holder, CDs (in the trunk) and my handicap parking permit (in the side compartment of my door). Other silly items taken as well.
ABANDONED BICYCLE: Lisa says this has been on a Fauntleroy corner for almost two weeks:
Yours? Let us know.
11:44 PM: A “full response” is headed to a possible house fire in the 7700 block of 8th SW [map]. Initial description is that it’s believed to be an electrical fire in the basement.
11:48 PM: Per scanner, first crews to arrive report “light smoke.”
11:51 PM: It’s been assessed as an electrical problem but no flames; most of the SFD crews are being dismissed.
With just under two weeks until Christmas, it’s time we start showcasing more lights, so we photographed a few displays on 16th SW tonight after getting this note from Meredith – the subject line, “Love the lights in Highland Park”:
Just wanted send some love out to my neighbors. I live in Highland Park near the fire station. I have to drive down 16th to Burien everyday for work. I just ADORE all the winter holiday lights everyone has put up on the stretch between Holden and Barton on 16th. It literally brightens my day and warms my spirit. Thanks and don’t stop!
We traveled the stretch at dusk and photographed a few displays. Nothing really big and flashy … just enough to warm the heart. This one is just south of Holden:
Next to that, lights are shining on DutchBoy Coffee:
Let us know where you’re seeing lights – we hope to feature some nightly through Christmas – e-mail email@example.com (photo if you have one, if not, just let us know where to look and we’ll go get one ourselves).
5:52 PM: Per scanner, the fire may have extended into the house. Everyone is reported to have gotten out OK.
5:56 PM: The fire’s reported to be burning in the attic. SFD confirms no injuries reported.
6:10 PM: Traffic alert – SW Holden is blocked in the area. The fire is now reported to be under control. The Red Cross is being called to help the house’s residents.
6:19 PM: One resident told our photographer that they believe the fire was electrical and started in a wall in the back of the house. She confirms everyone got out OK, but they’re currently looking for their two cats.
7:19 PM: Holden is open again.
Just received from Southwest Precinct crime-prevention coordinator Jennifer Burbridge, one of the occasional notifications that a Level 3 sex offender has moved into the area:
In an effort to keep you informed, and in our constant attempts to reduce future victimization, we want to let you know about one level 3 sex offender that has recently moved into the Southwest Precinct area.
Douglas Cole, a 49-year-old White male, is a level 3 registered sex offender who has recently moved to the 9400 block of 4th Ave SW. Mr. Cole is no longer under Department of Corrections supervision.
Detective Foster from the Seattle Police Department’s Sex Offender Detail is responsible for verifying his addresses as long as he is living there.
To learn more about this offender and for additional safety tips please visit the website at www.waspc.org and search by his name. [Editor’s note: You will find his photo and background here.]
If you have further questions about this offenders, contact Michelle McRae of the Seattle Police Sex Offender Detail at (206) 684-5581 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To register to receive an email alert whenever a published offender registers within one mile of your desired addresses, go to this link.
Level 3 sex offenders pose the highest risk to re-offend. It is normal to feel upset, angry and worried about a registered sex offender living in your community. The Community Notification Act of 1990 requires sex offenders to register in the community where they live. The law also allows local law enforcement to make the public aware about Level 2 and Level 3 offenders. Since these offenders have completed their sentences, they are free to live where they wish. Experts believe sex offenders are less likely to re-offend if they live and work in an environment free of harassment. Any actions taken against the listed sex offenders could result in arrest and prosecution as it is against the law to use this information in any way to threaten, intimidate or harass registered sex offenders. The SPD Sex offender detectives will check on these offenders every 3 months to verify our information.
The single most effective means of protecting your child is communication with your child. They have to feel comfortable discussing sensitive matters with you. Teach your children that they should not be asked to touch anyone in the bathing suit areas of their body or allow anyone to touch them in those areas. Teach them types of situations to avoid. It is not good enough to tell a child to avoid strangers. Please remember that children are most often molested by someone they or their parents know.
Please call me to schedule a Block Watch meeting if your block is interested. My office phone at the precinct is (206) 256-6820.
Jeff asked us on Twitter about the speed-hump installation on SW Trenton, so we checked out the work and checked in with SDOT. From 18th SW eastward, they’re going in on an average of one per block, along with other features to make the street more walking/biking friendly, as an extension of the Highland Park Greenway. SDOT’s Dan Anderson says it’s a continuation of the work described in this alert that was sent to area residents a while back.
The speed humps on SW Trenton St are part of an extension of the existing neighborhood greenway to Highland Park Elementary School and playground. … SW Trenton St and 11th Ave SW will get our typical neighborhood greenway traffic calming treatment of about one speed hump per block. We’ll add pavement markings in about a month – weather permitting – and we’ll be adding stop signs for side streets and other wayfinding and safety signage.
The speed-hump installation is moving eastward – when we took a look earlier this afternoon, SW Trenton was closed east of 13th, while work west of there continued with the road remaining open.
(Early design for proposed Highland Park Way roundabout)
Just in from Highland Park Action Committee co-chair Michele Witzki – word from SDOT is that the hoped-for state grant to help pay for a roundabout at Highland Park Way and Holden did not come through. Witzki forwarded this response she received from SDOT’s Jim Curtin, after asking for an update on the grant status:
Somehow, we did not receive the grant for this project. We are extraordinarily disappointed and I know you are as well. I have raised this issue to leadership here at SDOT. We will be meeting soon to discuss our next steps. As you know, we have allocated more than $200k in local funds for design and survey/design will continue into 2018. I hope to have more information soon.
As reported here in September, there was big support for the $1 million-plus state Transportation Improvement Board grant that SDOT had sought to supplement $500,000 in money that it had allocated. Part of that had been announced by Councilmember Lisa Herbold during last May’s Find It, Fix It Walk in Highland Park – after Witzki recounted the long history of problems at the intersection and disappointment in trying to get it fixed:
The roundabout was first proposed by Highland Park community advocates almost five years ago, as a way to calm the dangerous and increasingly busy intersection at the top of the Highland Park Way hill.
A judge set bail at $30,000 today for a 20-year-old man arrested after allegedly breaking into a Highland Park home early Saturday, awakening a sleeping family, including David, who shared his firsthand account, saying screams woke him up:
“Uncle David! Uncle David! There’s a man in the house!!!” I shook the sleep out of my eyes, sure that I must have heard incorrectly. The screams continued as I exited my room to find a man inside the home, confronting my niece and her three children ages 1, 3, and 5. I demanded that he leave immediately, but he delayed, as though he was considering his options. Meanwhile, my niece was calling the police on her cell phone. Still the man did not move.
David finally pushed the intruder out of the house and watched him disappear between neighbors’ homes before police arrived. While they searched near his house, he decided to drive a wider circle to look for him, and spotted him near the South Seattle College campus. He called 911 to get that information to police, and that’s where they made the arrest. According to the police report, which we obtained along with documents from today’s bail hearing, “The suspect was not wearing shoes when contacted by officers. The suspect’s shoes were found inside the victim’s residence.” (Blue and white Nike Air Jordans, according to the police report.) Arrest paperwork includes the notation that police would be against releasing the suspect, as he is a convicted felon with a record including robbery, and a weapons history. The King County Jail Register says he spent a month in jail last summer in an assault case; his listed “last known address” is also in Highland Park.
More library news! Thanks to Melinda Jankord-Steedman for the video! Two months after the Highland Park Elementary library was officially named in honor of longtime volunteer LouAnne Rundall, a plaque was unveiled today, displaying the new name over the library entrance. She was there for the short ceremony in her honor – as she has been for so many days in the past 45 years! – led by principal Chris Cronas, with HPE librarian Chris Robert (who uncovered the plaque).
Three reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch:
STOLEN CAR: Be on the lookout for Robert‘s car:
Our car is a 2013 Chevy Sonic LT hatchback with noticeable bumper stickers.
It was stolen from the parking lot of our apartment at the Overlook at Westridge on 600 SW Kenyon St between 6:30 and 9 PM last night 11/17. The police incident # is 17-426990. License plate # ANU8386.
Call 911 if you see it.
ROCK THROWN THROUGH WINDOW: This also happened in Highland Park, near 12th/Thistle:
Around 10:30 pm (Wednesday, November 15th), 3 boys walked past our house, threw a rock, broke our bay window, and ran away.
Luckily, no one was injured. The victim has security video and has filed a police report – the number is 17-910494.
HEAVY-LIFTING BACKYARD THEFT ATTEMPT: From Christopher in High Point:
Our back porch light went out and I hadn’t had the time to replace it for about a week or two – in the meantime someone (last night 11/17/17) went into our backyard and tried to steal my BBQ. It’s a green egg so they could not do it (it’s ceramic and weighs over 200 lbs). The reason I know it happened yesterday sometime is that I was in my backyard before work about 8:30am on 11/17 and everything was in order. I woke up this morning to find the following:
Moral of the story – keep your porch lights on and if your BBQ doesn’t weigh > 200lbs like mine then lock it down.
P.S. Another reminder that the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meets Tuesday, 7 pm at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster) – if you have a neighborhood crime concern/question, bring it so you can ask about it.
11:41 AM: Police are investigating after the driver of a Ford F-150 pickup truck is reported to have hit other vehicles, ending with a crash on Highland Park Way. We have heard the location described as being near West Marginal and being near Othello – and more officers are being summoned for traffic control, so avoid the hill if you can. At least one person is reported to have been injured.
12:16 PM: Adding photo. This is on the uphill (southbound) side, near SW Othello.
This is one of the few holiday bazaars where you’ll find a bar. Drinks and even lunch are available as the Highland Park Improvement Club‘s 2017 Holiday Bazaar continues until 3 pm. You can buy home-baked treats too, cookies, of course, and also Mike’s peach cobbler and sweet potato pie (available in individual sizes!):
(That’s Christie with Mike – she’s HPIC’s bazaar organizer, among other roles.) On behalf of Highland Park Elementary PTA, these guys will sell you cookies:
And so will a group of Girl Scouts:
Lots of non-food items, of course, including Lashanna‘s unique wares:
And if you like to celebrate your sense of place – stuff stocking with these switch plates and other items made with local maps:
HPIC is at 12th and Holden. Next holiday event is on Sunday, November 19th – wreathmaking (bring your own greens, tools, etc. and enjoy good company with your neighbors, 1-4 pm)!
Want to step up your cooking/serving game a bit as the holiday season nears? Highland Park Improvement Club tells us there’s still room in a unique “class” – it’s also a demo and a dinner – set for tomorrow (Sunday) night. Master Sommelier Reggie Daigneault and classically trained Chef Jennifer Asmundson will lead you through “a magnificent food and wine extravaganza” with the menu including pumpkin-spice brie, smoked-salmon crudite, pumpkin soup, roast turkey, and dessert, plus two wines paired with each course, bubbly on arrival, sherry at the end. HPIC’s info page, with a ticket link, is here.
By Linda Ball
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Dr. Jean Nokes, her beloved mare Cielo, and Luna, the three-legged cat who used to ride Cielo in her heyday, are still holding the fort down at Falconridge Farm, the 4.2 acre oasis in Highland Park.
As West Seattle Blog first reported in early September, Nokes and her husband Milt Ghivizzani put the horse farm up for sale because Nokes, an experienced equestrian, is no longer riding. We checked back on its status after the topic came up at last week’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting.
Highlights from the Highland Park Action Committee‘s last meeting until January (since the fourth Thursday conflicts with winter holidays in November and December):
SEATTLE PUBLIC UTILITIES DRAINAGE & WASTEWATER SOUTH OPERATIONS CENTER: SPU project manager Tom Fawthrop presented details of the new facility at the bus yard at 4500 W. Marginal Way SW. It’s a retrofit/remodel project. SPU wants a center here to “position ourselves to be (on this side of) the bridge in case of The Big One” plus reduce the distance their crews go to serve this part of the city – one-fourth of Seattle, Fawthrop pointed out.
The Highland Park Elementary School PTA invites you to have fun with them on Friday night – free! It’s the fourth annual Square Dance, 6-9 pm at the school (1012 SW Trenton), starting with dinner until 7, then dancing with a live string band. “All ages and abilities welcome (and) every kid goes home with a pumpkin.” No admission charge at all – dinner and dancing are free, as are the pumpkins – if you are able to donate, it’s a fundraiser for the PTA, but if not, they’ll still be thrilled to see you.
9:33 AM: Seattle Fire has a “full response” headed to a possible apartment fire in the 9000 block of 9th SW [map]. More to come.
9:44 AM: Still waiting to hear from our crew but the SFD log shows most units responding to this have been canceled.
9:47 AM: It was a small kitchen fire. No injuries reported.
Toplines from last night’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting:
ROUNDABOUT UPDATE: $500,000 of funding is in place so far for the proposed roundabout at the top of the Highland Park Way hill – the $200,000 announced at the Find It Fix It Walk in May, and another $300,000 from the Move Seattle levy. They’re now awaiting word on a state grant of more than $1 million, with hundreds of community members expressing support as well as city, county, and state elected officials plus U.S. Rep Pramila Jayapal. HPAC co-chair Michele Witzki says they hope to find out in November whether that grant will happen – it would virtually finish the funding for the roundabout. “This is exciting!” resounded around the room. Co-chair Gunner Scott noted that it’s far from the area’s only transportation need, though (as also discussed during the FIFI Walk). Witzki said that they’re awaiting a city report that will show the status of some of those other projects.
CRIME UPDATES: Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith told HPAC that car prowls in Highland Park are down 49 percent from this time last year but “crimes against persons” – anything from domestic-violence assault to lewdness incidents like indecent exposure – are up five percent.