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

November 6, 2015 at 9:36 am | In Highland Park, Utilities, West Seattle news | 10 Comments

(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

October 30, 2015 at 9:33 am | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 7 Comments

(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 at 7:54 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | Comments Off

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 at 4:42 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | Comments Off

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!

October 4, 2015 at 10:44 am | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 16 Comments

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 …

September 25, 2015 at 8:13 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

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:

Click to read the rest of @ Highland Park Action Committee: Crime, safety, cleanup, special events this fall ……

UPDATE: Fire response at 9th and Cloverdale

September 12, 2015 at 3:27 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | Comments Off

3:27 PM: Seattle Fire is sending a full-size response to the 8600 block of 9th SW in Highland Park for a possible house fire. More to come.

3:32 PM: The first units on scene say it appears to be just a fireplace problem, so the response is being scaled back. Our crew, on arrival, has confirmed: Fire in fireplace, flue not opened, smoke got out of control, no problem otherwise.

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

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

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

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

What’s happening now?

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

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

Driver crashes through fence, into Highland Park apartment

September 6, 2015 at 3:13 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Thanks to the texter who let us know about this – a driver crashing through a fence and into the edge of the apartment building on the southwest corner of 15th SW and SW Holden. When we got over there, the car was already out of the building and firefighters were covering up a basement window that had been broken out.

They told us no one was seriously hurt.

UPDATE: Flipped-car crash on Highland Park Way

August 23, 2015 at 2:56 am | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, WS breaking news | Comments Off

(WSB photo by Tracy Record)

2:56 AM: If you’re hearing the sirens in southeast West Seattle – Seattle Fire and Police are headed to a crash involving an overturned vehicle on the Highland Park Way hill. No word yet on injuries.

3:06 AM: The SFD response has been canceled, generally an indication of no serious injuries.

3:55 AM: The crash was midway on the hill, south/west-bound side. Trying to determine that, we were stopped for a short time as the tow truck brought the vehicle upright and temporarily blocked all lanes (that’s over now). We weren’t able to talk with police to get information but will follow up when we can.

Reader report: Cleanup crew at Highland Park ‘nuisance house’

August 7, 2015 at 11:12 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

The photos are from Dina Johnson, showing a house in the 9200 block of 12th Avenue SW being cleared out today by a company called Aftermath (specializing in, according to its website, “trauma cleaning and biohazard removal”).

Dina says the house generated complaints for years, and that the crew told neighbors “this dumpster they’re loading is the SECOND one – the first was filled up with every kind of trash – in one room ‘up to the ceiling’,” including what was described as “drug paraphernalia.”

The home’s owner died earlier this year; city records show complaints and citations about junk storage over the years.

TRAFFIC ALERT: Crash blocks 8th SW in Highland Park

August 6, 2015 at 12:52 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | Comments Off

(ADDED 1:06 PM: WSB photo)

Thanks to the tipster who let us know about a crash at 8th south of Barton. We just got to the scene; 8th remains blocked south of Barton while tow trucks are awaited. Police tell us one person was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The tipster says a Route 131 bus has been stuck at the scene too.

You can help! Be part of the ‘town hall’ about Highland Park Elementary

August 3, 2015 at 2:17 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | Comments Off

On August 17th of last year, an important conversation was convened at the Highland Park Improvement Club – community, city, and school leaders talking about how best to support Highland Park Elementary School.

On August 17th of this year – two weeks from tonight – you’re invited to the school library for the next installment in that conversation. Announced today:

*Highland Park Elementary School Town Hall Meeting*

Monday, August 17, 2015 @ 6:30 pm
Highland Park Elementary School Library, 1012 SW Trenton

The Highland Park Elementary PTA invites the community to a meeting to discuss our neighborhood school. We will learn about results from this past year, what the plan is for continued improvement, and the long-term vision for the future of Highland Park Elementary.

*Questions? Contact HPE PTA President Holly Briscoe,*

The school’s population continues to grow, projected at about 385 students in the coming school year.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Police investigating attack on teen

August 1, 2015 at 2:36 pm | In Crime, Highland Park, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

Just published on SPD Blotter:

Detectives are asking for your help finding a man who attacked a girl late Wednesday night.

A 15-year-old female was walking along 14 Ave. SW approaching SW Cambridge St. at 11:15 p.m. Wednesday when a Hispanic male in his mid 40s grabbed her from behind, tried to cover her mouth, and began pulling her toward a parked SUV.

The girl screamed, alerting two witnesses who stopped to help. The suspect fled to his waiting blue SUV, possibly a newer Jeep, with a plate beginning in “A,” and sped off, leaving the girl behind.

Detectives are now requesting your assistance in finding the suspect. Witnesses said the suspect is heavyset, five foot eleven, and was wearing blue jeans and a blue shirt. If you have any information in this case, please call (206)625-5011 and speak with officers.

PHOTOS: Celebrating Westcrest Park’s expansion

July 25, 2015 at 5:45 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 3 Comments

More than six years ago, work began to “bury” West Seattle Reservoir in Highland Park, creating land for a Westcrest Park expansion. And now, the park work is finally done. A ribboncutting ceremony this morning kicked off the official celebration, two weeks after the fences came down to open the expansion to the public. See the man with the white beard helping cut the ribbon? That’s Marshall Dunston, who named the park Westcrest decades ago:

We’re told that was the result of a contest (update: see a 1976 photo on the Parks website). At the podium in the photo above is Brian Hawksford, who represented Mayor Murray’s office today; Michael Shiosaki from Seattle Parks represented Parks Superintendent Jesús Aguirre. Also represented in abundance: West Seattleites having fun at the 20-acre park expansion!

In addition to the newly built features including ziplines and play equipment, Parks brought in a bouncy house for today’s celebration:

Also invited, local food vendors, including White Center-headquartered Full Tilt Ice Cream, whose founder Justin Cline was staffing the truck:

If you haven’t checked out the park, the expansion end is near 8th/Cloverdale.

SATURDAY: Westcrest Park celebration to include bouncy house, art dedication, obstacle course, food truck, music…

July 20, 2015 at 2:37 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 4 Comments

2:37 PM: When Seattle Parks officially opened the five-years-in-the-making Westcrest Park expansion almost two weeks ago, they mentioned a July 25th celebration. That’s coming up Saturday, and today Parks shared more details: Music, balsa-wood planemaking, a bouncy house, and an obstacle course from Camp Long will all be part of the 11 am-1 pm party next Saturday. Plus the dedication of Flyers (part of which is in our photo above), the park expansion’s wind-spun public art by David Boyer. If you’re new – this all happened because the city decided to bury what had been an open-air reservoir in this area of Westcrest Park, and that made room for more park space on top, including a new permanent play area.

6:16 PM: We’ve verified a few more details with Parks spokesperson Karen O’Connor: The What Up Dog food truck will be there (maybe you’ve seen it recently at Don Armeni Boat Ramp) and music will be by Correo Aereo.

Open house tomorrow to show off Fire Station 11′s million-dollar upgrade

July 17, 2015 at 8:37 am | In Highland Park, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Just announced by the Seattle Fire Department: You’re invited to an open house 11 am-1 pm tomorrow at Fire Station 11 in Highland Park (northeast corner of 16th/Holden) to see the results of its million-dollar safety upgrade. See the details here. (The time is concurrent with the West Seattle Grand Parade, but if you want to go to both, our tip – watch the parade from the start of the route at California/Lander.) SFD has two other projects under way in West Seattle – upgrades at FS 29 in Admiral and a complete rebuild of FS 32 in The Triangle; both are at interim locations as a result.

The wait is over: Westcrest Park expansion atop West Seattle Reservoir finally opens tomorrow

July 7, 2015 at 2:05 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 11 Comments

(City of Seattle photo by Jason Huff: ‘Flyers,’ installed @ park expansion last year)
More than five years in the making, the Westcrest Park expansion at West Seattle Reservoir finally opens tomorrow.

On Wednesday, July 8, 2015, Seattle Parks and Recreation will open the 20-acre expansion of Westcrest Park at the West Seattle Reservoir, located at 9000 8th Ave. SW in the Highland Park neighborhood of West Seattle. The new park expansion is the fifth reservoir lid-park collaboration between Seattle Parks and Recreation and Seattle Public Utilities (SPU).

The 20-acre expansion of the park captures panoramic views of the mountains and city skyline, while integrating a range of multi-generational amenities. Features include a flexible great lawn, a new play area with two zip-lines and a hillside slides, swaths of native prairie, strolling paths, parking and streetscape improvements, restrooms, and public art.

(Added: WSB photo taken today)
A mix of oak species will provide strategic shading, frame views and contribute to Seattle’s urban forest and habitat for generations to come. Site Workshop collaborated with the community, Seattle Parks and Recreation and SPU on designing the park and Mid-Mountain Construction built the park.

A new public artwork by David Boyer, “Flyers,” was installed in the park [photo above]. The piece consists of 15 bird- and plane-like kinetic sculptures mounted on steel poles. Grouped in three locations around the park, the sculptures will move to face the wind and the articulating tails will pivot as the wind blows. His inspiration for Flyers comes from airplanes in the SeaTac flight path and birds in the Duwamish Greenbelt. The artist worked with Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle Parks and Recreation and local community members to develop the wind-driven artwork. Flyers was commissioned with SPU and Seattle Parks and Recreation’s 1% for Art Funds and managed by the Office of Arts and Culture.

In addition, the Department of Neighborhoods constructed a P-Patch in Westcrest Park featured in our park design. This feature is funded by the community garden funding included in the Parks and Green Spaces Levy.

Seattle Public Utilities has replaced open reservoirs with underground structures to improve the quality and security of Seattle’s water supply. That replacement also provided for new park space at Jefferson Park, Cal Anderson Park, Myrtle Reservoir Park and Maple Leaf Reservoir Park.

Seattle Parks and Recreation will host a community celebration for Westcrest Park expansion at West Seattle Reservoir on Saturday, July 25, 2015 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

City-authorized West Seattle encampment? Former site listed as ‘potential future’ site on new map the mayor just made public

June 29, 2015 at 4:56 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news | 54 Comments

When the city launched a process to come up with three sites to house up to 100 homeless people each, it was promised that they’d come up with a list of city-owned properties as the next step. Now, we have the first list. No West Seattle sites on the “preferred” list, but one familiar site is on the “potential future locations” list – while the address on the new map (7115 2nd Avenue SW) is slightly different, the “Glassyard” description indicates it’s at the site of the original home of the encampment calling itself “Nickelsville” (which was evicted almost two years ago). See the map above; here’s what the mayor’s office announced:

Today Mayor Ed Murray released a map of City-owned properties most suitable for new permitted encampments to serve at least 200 individuals experiencing homelessness. The mayor will transmit a resolution on the encampment sites to the Seattle City Council tomorrow.

The three preferred City-owned sites for 2015 are:

· 2826 NW Market Street for approximately 52 residents.
· 3234 17th Avenue W for approximately 70 residents.
· S. Industrial Way between 5th and 6th Avenue S for approximately 78 residents.

Four City-owned sites were identified as potential future locations:

· 8030 15th Avenue NW for approximately 36 residents.
· 3830 4th Avenue NE for approximately 64 residents.
· 7115 2nd Avenue SW for approximately 95 residents.
· 7110 Rainier Avenue S for approximately 32 residents.

“Permitted encampments are not a permanent solution to the crisis of homelessness we are experiencing in Seattle,” said Murray. “These encampments will provide a safer community environment than sleeping under a highway overpass or on a park bench. Residents will have improved access to services and we hope to open the door to permanent housing as quickly as we can.”

This year the mayor proposed and the City Council unanimously adopted an ordinance that allows up to three permitted encampments of no more than 100 persons each on City-owned or private property. Each location will be permitted for one year, with the possibility of permit renewal for an additional year. Each site must be vacant for one year between encampments.

“The One Night Count, tells us that there were over 2800 people in our community living without shelter this year,” said Councilmember Mike O’Brien. “Identifying city-owned sites for transitional encampments is an important next step. I look forward to working with community to establish up to three sites where people can stay safely and in community as we seek permanent housing solutions.”

“I am right by Mayor Murray’s side as we create safe spaces for community members who are without shelter,” said Councilmember Sally Bagshaw. “Managed encampments will offer the most basic resources for people, such as a 24-hour shelter with public health services, hygiene facilities, and potentially access to electricity. I wholeheartedly support this approach which will make our city better for all of us.”

Before recommending the sites, Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development reviewed more than 135 vacant City-owned parcels. The ordinance adopted by the Council limits encampment locations to unused property in non-residential zones, excluding park properties. Each encampment must be at least one mile from other legal encampments.

The City estimates that one-time start-up costs for the encampments will be $32,000, with annual lease costs and services for encampment residents of approximately $200,000 already provided in the 2015 budget.

Seattle’s Human Services Department (HSD) has selected two encampment operators through a qualification review process: SHARE and Nickelsville. The encampment ordinance requires that operators have prior experience managing shelters, low-income housing or homeless encampments. The Murray Administration continues to reach out to other faith-based and non-profit organizations that may be interested in operating an encampment.

The encampment operators are responsible for safety and security within the camp and residents will be screened by the operators for acceptance. A third organization, Low Income Housing Institute, will provide case management services to individuals living in the encampments.

HSD contractors and staff will make regular site visits to support SHARE and Nickelsville, and coordinate public health, medical outreach and food assistance.

“A place to store your things, sit and talk with friends, and rest your head at night are taken for granted by most of us,” said Mark Putnam of the Committee to End Homelessness in King County. “For many, however, these are not givens. Encampments can offer a temporary safe place for people to be human, while working to get back into stable housing.”

“The Mayor rightly sees the crisis facing people experiencing homelessness as requiring a response that includes the safety and community of sanctioned encampments,” said Michael Ramos of the Church Council of Greater Seattle. “We welcome this step to expand the continuum of care to meet this most basic of human needs.”

Encampment operators will form a Community Advisory Committee to respond to community concerns, review operations standards, and work with neighbors when encampments move to new permitted sites.

More information is available on HSD’s website.

On that page you’ll find this FAQ as well as backstory. The previous encampment site was known as 7116 W. Marginal Way SW so we have a followup question out to the mayor’s office regarding the address discrepancy.

5:04 PM: Quick reply from Murray spokesperson Jason Kelly, just after we published this: He confirms the “potential future location” on 2nd SW is the same site where there’s been an encampment in the past, an SDOT-owned parcel adjoining state-owned land.

West Seattle safety: Next set of ‘rectangular rapid-flash beacons’ going in @ Highland Park intersection

June 23, 2015 at 9:57 am | In Highland Park, Safety, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

Thanks to Beef for the photo from 11th SW and SW Holden in Highland Park, where SDOT’s installing another set of “rectangular rapid-flash beacons” in hopes of making it safer for people to cross. West Seattle’s first set has been up for about a month at California/Dakota north of The Junction, as reported here; a third set is in the works for the new crosswalk in front of the Boren Building at 5950 Delridge Way SW, home to K5 STEM and interim home to Arbor Heights Elementary (for one more year).

UPDATE: 1 taken to hospital after Highland Park motorcycle/car collision

June 9, 2015 at 11:46 am | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 5 Comments

11:46 AM: A reported motorcycle/car collision at 11th and SW Holden in Highland Park is leading police to detour traffic off Holden. (Westbound traffic is being diverted at 9th, per scanner.) No information yet about injuries or circumstances.

12:07 PM: Police say the motorcycle rider, described only as “male,” was taken to Harborview Medical Center by a Seattle Fire medic unit. Our photo shows the motorcycle, which has already been righted and moved to the roadside. The road likely will be reopened soon, as the victim does not have life-threatening injuries and so the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad will not be called out, we’re told.

UPDATE: Kitchen fire in the 8600 block of 13th SW

June 8, 2015 at 3:47 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | Comments Off

3:47 PM: Seattle Fire has a big callout going to a house in the 8600 block of 13th SW (near SW Trenton). The first units on the scene report seeing “light smoke.” More to come.

3:51 PM: Via scanner, this has just been confirmed as a kitchen fire, “food on the stove.” Lots of smoke in the house, though. Most SFD units are being canceled.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Parkgoer’s warning; stolen chairs

June 3, 2015 at 8:55 am | In Crime, Highland Park, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes this morning:

PARKGOER’S WARNING: Police were in Highland Park Tuesday afternoon looking for what was dispatched as a man asking women for hugs. Then overnight, a reader e-mailed us to say that the man “groped” her while she was at Westcrest Park playing with her child “and attending to the garden.” She added, “This same man also appeared at the park next to the Highland Park Elementary playground, which I happened to be at after the P Patch. I informed the other parents and then called the Police.” She says he is known to him, is developmentally disabled, and apparently “tends to run away from his foster parents and go to the parks where he asks for hugs from girls. If you ever see him, he is about 6’3″ about late teens with blondish hair, call the police and let them know.”

HAMMOCK CHAIR THEFT: Also in Highland Park, a case of chair theft:

Our hammock chairs were stolen off our front patio Monday morning between 5:30 and 8 am. We live on the corner of 11th and Holden Street. Chairs are rare (made in Hawaii, available only [online]) and we have never seen anything like them. Any and all help relocating them is much appreciated.

Please call police if you’ve seen them.

West Seattle scene: Sunshine finally catches up with spraypark

May 27, 2015 at 4:09 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | Comments Off

Thanks to Alicia for the photo – finally, sunny, warm weather, on the sixth day of the 2015 season at Highland Park Spraypark, open 11 am-8 pm daily at 1100 SW Cloverdale until summer’s end.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Have you seen this scooter?

May 23, 2015 at 3:38 pm | In Crime, Highland Park, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

A thief stole Cynthia‘s scooter overnight:

2009 Genuine Buddy Scooter (orange) with trunk box stolen last night/this morning on the 8100 block of 13th, between Elmgrove and Thistle. [map] License Plate is 4B9633. Police report has been filed under incident number: 2015-169636

If you see it, call 911 and refer to that case number.

SIDE NOTE: We just checked the incident-response map and so far that’s the only vehicle theft reported in this area today.

Reader reports: Recognize either of these ‘found’ bicycles?

May 20, 2015 at 9:13 am | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, Westwood | 2 Comments

Within minutes of each other late last night, two reader reports came in ( about bicycles found in West Seattle – stolen and dumped? or? – Above, Alicia spotted that child-size bicycle in the 8800 block of 30th SW, “lying out on the grass parking strip across the street from our house – for a few days now. It’s a newer bike and looks like it was ditched. Perhaps stolen.” Below, Alan spotted this bicycle “in a location where we have had multiple dumped stolen bikes (14th & Holly)”:

He added, “This one looks like someone may have found it in the woods and brought it out to the street. The tires are flat and the chain is rusted. Still, it looks like a bike that someone cared about at some point.” We’ve suggested to both that the bicycles be reported to police, but in the meantime, in case they look familiar, we’re sharing the photos and reports.

West Seattle scene: Highland Park Community Spring Clean-ers

May 8, 2015 at 9:22 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

This e-mailed photo solved a mini-mystery for us …

Someone texted us last weekend and said they were pleasantly surprised to have seen people picking up trash in Highland Park. They didn’t know who or why. Neither did we, and the busy pre-WSCGSD week proceeded without further word – until the photo above arrived with this explanation:

We thought we would share a little neighborhood news for Spring Cleaning inspiration. A group of us from the 9000 block of 12th and 13th cleaned up 10 bags of trash all along Henderson and south of Henderson on 11th, 12th and 13th Ave this past Sunday.

If other blocks want to join in, the city is holding their annual Spring Clean and
they will give you supplies and pick up the trash from your block. All info here.

We know at least one other West Seattle neighborhood has Spring Clean plans this weekend. Get yours going too! (And you’re welcome to send us a photo afterward so we can let your West Seattle neighbors know what a cool thing you did. From left in the pic above are Irene Davis, Blair Johnson, Sarah Rudinoff, Wendi Sargent, and Jessica Bomball.)

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