West Seattle, Washington
If you live, work, shop, and/or travel through South Delridge, your help is sought for a community project to reclaim the “Triangle Bus Park” at Delridge/Barton, long plagued by problems including substance abuse and illegal dumping. Here’s the announcement from organizer Kim Barnes:
As part of a Roxhill / Westwood Find It, Fix It Community Project, the Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village community members, in partnership with the SDOT Office of Community Development, will host an informal two-hour community workshop to kick off the community-led goal to improve the safety and public usability of the public right of way, currently known as the “Triangle Bus Park” located at 9200 Delridge Way SW at SW Barton Street [map].
Please join us on Saturday, January 28th to learn about the best practices of urban design and contribute your thoughts about the untapped potential of this neglected and underutilized gathering place.
Reimagining The South Delridge “Triangle Bus Park” Workshop: Help Our Community Reclaim This Public Space
Date/Time: January 28th, from 10 am-12 noon, doors open 9:45 am
Location: Highland Park Improvement Club, 1116 SW Holden Street
· Street parking is available nearby
· Metro Routes 125 and 128 stop at 16th Ave. SW at Holden; walk east on Holden to 12th Street
· Light refreshments will be available
· Volunteer Spanish translator will be available
For more information:
– See the original grant application that details the background, scope, desired outcomes and photos here (Dropbox link).
– Contact Kim Barnes, the project lead, at firstname.lastname@example.org or subscribe for email updates.
Just in from Richard Miller, president of the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council – the plan for its meeting next Tuesday (7 pm, January 17th):
As always, Southwest Precinct police will be there with updates on local crime trends and the chance for you to ask about/bring up neighborhood concerns. And a special guest has just been confirmed: SPD Officer Edward Anderson, a Firearms and Tactics instructor who “will lead an interactive active-shooter-mitigation presentation.” This will be the shorter version of the presentation, about an hour including 15 minutes for questions, shorter than the full version, but worth your time to come hear from an expert. All are welcome at the meeting, which is in the community room at the precinct (2300 SW Webster), right off the parking lot.
This week’s removal of two bus shelters in The Junction traces back to an October tour that kicked off a “problem-solving” process. Another walking tour is tonight, and West Seattle Junction Association executive director Lora Swift says all are welcome. The focus this time is on the Junction’s parking lots on 44th SW and 42nd SW, in particular, issues such as lighting, but if you have other Junction safety concerns/questions/comments, bring those too. The group will meet at 5 pm in the lot behind KeyBank at California/Alaska.
Thanks to Eddie for the tip – the two much-discussed Metro bus shelters on the west end of the south side of SW Alaska between California and 44th are gone, removed this morning. The removal comes one week after the final decision on their fate was announced, two months after the plan was first made public via posted notices that for some came out of the blue (Metro subsequently opened a public-comment period).
The plan dates back to an October 6th “problem-solving” meeting involving a variety of government-agency, business, and community reps. Issues at and near the corner included safety and sanitation; other steps taken, and planned, to address concerns include shrubbery clearing, lighting, increased public-safety patrols, and increased maintenance for the city-funded portable toilet near the corner.
7:29 AM: Texter reports, “Water is pouring out of a manhole cover and into the street at 18th Avenue SW and SW Thistle Street (northeast corner).” Could be extra-dangerous since the temperature is still below freezing, so we wanted to let you know. They’re reporting it to Seattle Public Utilities (206-386-1800). We’ll check on it a bit later.
10:25 AM: As pointed out in comments, an SPU crew is at the scene, and some neighbors are without water; we just went by for a photo. 18th SW is closed north of Thistle.
We’ve mentioned the Seattle Public Safety Survey several times since it went live more than a month ago. It’s designed to find out what you think about crime, safety, and policing in your neighborhood. And for 11 West Seattle neighborhoods, a key component is the micro-community policing plan:
(added) South Park is in the Southwest Precinct area, too, so here is its MCPP plan.
Those are all PDFs, obtained from Jennifer Burbridge, the Seattle University researcher who’s been working with the Southwest Precinct for more than a year. But you don’t have to be in a neighborhood with a plan (those without one likely don’t have organized community groups with which SPD could work on a plan) to answer the survey. Burbridge says they are hoping for thousands more replies before the survey’s scheduled close next Wednesday (November 30th), to better chronicle neighborhoods’ crime/safety/policing concerns. If you can spare a bit of time, go to publicsafetysurvey.org; you’ll find links to the survey in seven languages.
From Johanna Fischer, health-center coordinator at West Seattle High School:
All teens are welcome to come to a FREE training on self defense, sexual-assault awareness and relationship-violence education, put on by FIGHT THE FEAR at West Seattle High School on Monday, December 5th from 3:30 to 6 pm in the WSHS Library. This event is OPEN and welcome to students of ALL genders and identities who are interested in learning more about these important topics. Teens under the age of 18 need to have their parent or guardian sign a permission slip in order to participate. Please call Johanna Fischer at 206-658-8048 or email at JohannaF@neighborcare.org for more information.
Here’s a printable PDF of the permission slip. Again, while this is at WSHS, all teens are invited, regardless of where you go to school.
Last Friday was the deadline set by Metro for comments on the proposal to remove the two westernmost bus shelters on the south side of SW Alaska, east of 44th SW. It originated as part of a “problem-solving plan” promised by Metro and Transit Police (who are part of the King County Sheriff’s Office) reps following a walking tour/outdoor meeting in early October that also included reps from Seattle Police, the city Department of Human Services, the West Seattle Junction Association, and the WS Chamber of Commerce, as well as some local merchants.
Metro subsequently announced, via posted paper notices, that the two shelters, considered a draw for loitering and drinking, would be removed in mid-November; a subsequent uproar led them to “pause” the plan and take comments through November 18th. Now that the deadline has passed, we checked today with Metro to see what’s next; spokesperson Jeff Switzer replied, “We’re reviewing the comments that we received and will make a decision in coming weeks.”
Photos by Leda Costa for West Seattle Blog
That silhouette placed today at 35th and Othello is in memory of Oswald Clement, hit and killed by a driver while crossing there nine years ago, just days before what would have been his 86th birthday. The silhouette is one of 24 that were to be placed around West Seattle for World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, to raise awareness of deaths on and by the roads, as silent reminders of 24 deaths in this area since 2006.
Before fanning out this morning, volunteers, led by Bob Anderton, gathered at Ampersand Café on Alki to mark the silhouettes and get the list of locations:
They wrote on each one with the victim’s age and date of death, plus a short description of the circumstances, adding a sticker explaining World Day of Remembrance:
Then they headed out – below, Kathy Dunn from West Seattle Bike Connections:
She and WSBC’s Don Brubeck put up silhouettes along Alki Avenue, where four people were killed in incidents in 2006:
The Alki deaths happened in 2006, which, according to the spreadsheet that was created for today’s efforts, was a particularly deadly year in West Seattle – 10 people killed. One of the Alki Avenue silhouettes was for 21-year-old Travis Gracey, hit and killed while skateboarding; the motorcyclist who hit him also died.
You’ll also see a silhouette at California/Oregon in The Junction, where 62-year-old motorcycle rider Larry Keller died in a collision with a truck in 2013 – Dunn installed it with Michael Sedgewick:
Silhouettes have been placed in other areas around the city, too; as listed on the Seattle Greenways website, the Alki gathering was one of 11 today in Seattle. From the World Remembrance Day flyer:
Over the past 10 years, 200+ people have died by walking, biking, or driving on Seattle’s streets. These 4-foot tall silhouettes are installed at the places people have died to remember these people and highlight the need for traffic safety everywhere.
In a startling moment of irony … while WSB photojournalist Leda Costa was photographing the silhouette shown at the top of this story, at 35th and Othello, two cars got into a fender-bender nearby. No injuries reported.
3:59 PM: That’s the new notice that you’ll find soon in the bus shelters on the west end of the south side of SW Alaska in the Junction transit hub, just east of 44th SW – if it’s not posted already. The notice offers a more-detailed explanation of the plan to remove the two westernmost shelters on that side of the street, and invites comments, with a deadline of November 18th.
The shelter-removal plan first came to light when notices went up last weekend; as we reported on Saturday, it was the first major result of a walking tour/meeting on October 6th, following concerns about those shelters being magnets for loitering, drinking, and other illegal behavior. In our Monday followup, West Seattle Junction Association director Lora Swift detailed other steps that are being taken to try to improve safety and security in the area, and Metro promised it would “press ‘pause'” on the removal plan so there could be a formal comment process, and that’s what’s starting today.
Metro also has answered a couple remaining questions we asked earlier this week. First, about the decisionmaking process on shelter removal and who has the final say:
Metro regularly evaluates issues with Metro bus shelters and makes decisions on the installation and removal of bus shelters, as ridership and circumstances change at bus stops. The Transit Route Facilities group within the Service Development section, takes the lead on evaluating these issues and makes the decision on installation or removal of bus shelters.
We also asked if other hubs in the Metro system had had shelters removed for similar issues: “Shelters have been removed from other high ridership bus stops due to chronic security issues that are unresolvable despite Metro’s best efforts. One example, is 2nd Avenue S & S Washington Street where the Metro bus shelter was removed due to chronic misuse of the shelter.”
Meantime, if you have something to say about the prospective removal of these shelters, e-mail email@example.com or call 206-553-3000.
4:30 PM UPDATE: Our crew just went to The Junction to check, and verified that the new notice IS up:
11:08 PM: Thanks for the photo and the tips – Fauntleroy and Raymond [map] is one of the spots that has flooded worse than usual during tonight’s deluge. (We’ve already advised one person who called about it to report it to Seattle Public Utilities, whose 24-hour dispatch is 206-386-1800.) We’re also hearing about deep water at spots including Harbor/Spokane. So if you’re headed out any time soon, be extra careful, and if you see what looks like a totally flooded roadway ahead, you’re advised not to drive/ride through it.
\11:30 PM: And just five minutes after we published that, the National Weather Service issued a flood advisory for areas including Seattle, until 2:15 am. Meantime, Darlene mentions in comments that the Delridge ramp to the bridge is swamped too.
12:15 AM: Michelle reported in comments that her husband and neighbors cleared the Fauntleroy/Raymond drains, and she sent a photo:
Meantime, another “standing water” report on the scanner – 9200 block of 35th SW.
From last night’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting @ the Southwest Precinct:
WHERE POLICE ARE FOCUSED: Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis says their current emphasis patrols to get a step ahead of car prowlers include The Junction and Morgan Junction. As he has said at earlier community meetings, they made progress in former hotspot Highland Park over the summer. Data helps them figure out the hotspots – so if it happens to you, even if nothing is taken, please report it. And, he reiterated, please reduce car prowlers’ incentive by keeping stuff out of your vehicle.
Capt. Davis also said police are patroling Roxhill Park and some other area parks, as well as keeping an eye on certain people and places. He made mention of last week’s arrests near South Park, after officers spotted a stolen car linked to multiple West Seattle robberies.
By the way, court documents show that the adult suspect arrested in that incident, 19-year-old East Admiral resident Ayub M. Rage, is now charged with one count of second-degree robbery and one count of attempted second-degree robbery for two incidents last Thursday – a holdup at the Admiral 7-11 and an attempted holdup at the 41st/Admiral Chevron. His bail is set at $75,000, though prosecutors had requested $200,000.
Also discussed last night: Read More
Thanks for the tips about the new signs announcing Metro‘s plan to remove two bus shelters on the west end of the south side of SW Alaska in The Junction’s transit hub.
This is part of the “problem-solving project” we first told you about back on October 6th, after a walking tour involving reps from Metro, Metro Transit Police, Seattle Police, the city Department of Human Services (HSD), the West Seattle Junction Association (WSJA) and some of its merchants, the West Seattle Farmers’ Market, and the WS Chamber of Commerce.
The major complaint involved loitering in those shelters and in the nearby parking lot, with multiple police calls resulting from fights, disorderly conduct by intoxicated people, and maintenance issues. According to a preliminary follow-up report from Metro planner Dale Cummings that was sent to walking-tour participants, a Metro ridership study showed removal of those shelters was feasible because the RapidRide shelters on the east end of the block – which are NOT proposed for removal – get most of the use. Cummings wrote, “Since the RapidRide bus stop was added at The Junction, ridership at this bus stop that serves Rts. 37, 50, 55, 128 has dropped to around 400 boardings per day.”
The Junction had already taken steps to try to reduce the problems through changing the environment, including removing some of the vegetation and seating areas on the southeast corner of Alaska and 44th. The organization also planned to evaluate lighting in the parking lot, and to look at how to remove access to electrical outlets that have been in place by the SW Alaska bus shelter dating back to the Farmers’ Market use of the parking lot.
According to the Metro notices that just appeared in the shelters, they are to be removed in mid-November. We’ll be following up with the Junction Association about any other impending steps from the “problem-solving plan.” Meantime, if you have a comment for Metro about the impending removal, the notices point you to its Customer Service division – contact info is on this page of the Metro website.
MONDAY AFTERNOON NOTE: We’ve spoken this afternoon with Junction Association director Lora Swift and, as noted in comments, she confirms that despite Metro’s posting of all four structures west of the parking-lot driveway behind KeyBank, the two on the west are the only two slated for removal. We also talked about the other area challenges discussed during the October 6th walking tour and will have updates in our upcoming followup – we’ve been waiting all day for Metro to answer some questions before finishing the story.
(May 2016 photo contributed by Chris, showing one traffic-choked morning at south section of the project zone)
The final official list isn’t out yet, but West Seattle Bike Connections says its proposal for improvements at Harbor/Avalon/Spokane/Manning topped the list last night when the citywide Levy to Move Seattle Oversight Committee voted on which proposals should get Neighborhood Street Fund money.
The proposal won top ranking from the Southwest District Council in neighborhood-level voting. Here’s the SDOT document explaining the proposal by WSBC’s Jodi Connolly, and estimating it at $352,000; here’s a WSBC report from February detailing the intersection’s challenges.
WSBC president Don Brubeck summarizes it as “The project will improve driver sight lines, traffic signals, and signage for safety for people crossing Harbor and Avalon on foot and on bikes. It’s a blind corner at the Spokane ramp to Harbor Ave SW for people driving low vehicles. At SW Manning to Avalon Way, the signage is confusing for the little pocket left turn bike lane and right-only vehicle lane.”
He adds – and note that one key change was made after SDOT’s version of it came out – “This grant application had strong community support, including Alki Community Council, Nucor Steel, Luna Park neighbors (who have their own Neighborhood Park & Street Fund project to improve the appearance and commemorate the history of this gateway to West Seattle). Our grant is for safety for people crossing the street on foot and on bikes. The Luna Park businesses has concerns about parking loss at Avalon and Manning by Luna Park Cafe. We discussed that, and modified the request so that no street parking spaces would be lost on Avalon (the SDOT link shows it before that modification). David Whiting, president of Southwest District Council and a founding member of West Seattle Bike Connections, helped us present to the council and obtain their recommendation.”
Following up on Brubeck’s note, we asked SDOT for an official list from last night’s meeting, but spokesperson Norm Mah said that wasn’t available yet: “This list of project recommendations has been transmitted to the Mayor for final approval. SDOT expects project applicants will be notified next week about final funding selections, with an official public release shortly thereafter.” A list tweeted by Seattle Neighborhood Greenways shows the only other West Seattle project to make the citywide top 10 was the “26th SW proposal” for the walking corridor between Chief Sealth International High School and Westwood Village.
Quick reminder that this Saturday is the next Drug Take-Back Day, coast to coast, with the Southwest Precinct accepting your expired and/or no-longer-needed prescription drugs, 10 am-2 pm. Free, anonymous, no questions asked, an easy way to remove the possibility of abuse, poisoning, etc. – drop yours off at 2300 SW Webster [map].
Story by Tracy Record
Photos by Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers
Metro Transit Police promise to “put together a problem-solving project” for the transit hub in the heart of the West Seattle Junction.
That was one result of a meeting/walking tour this morning that also included reps from Metro Transit itself, Seattle Police, the city Department of Human Services (HSD), the West Seattle Junction Association (WSJA) and some of its merchants, the West Seattle Farmers’ Market, and the WS Chamber of Commerce.
The gathering was intended to seek solutions to concerns including safety and sanitation issues surrounding the bus shelters on both sides of SW Alaska between California SW and 44th SW. Recent police responses to the area even included a death investigation in late August (not a criminal case; the police report indicated witnesses had seen the victim become ill after drinking heavily earlier that morning). Read More
(UPDATED WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON with message to Denny/Sealth families)
ORIGINAL TUESDAY NIGHT REPORT: Seattle Public Schools says it’s working with police to investigate social-media posts related to a nationwide wave of school threats that accompany photos of clowns. The district sent this message late today (thanks to the parents who forwarded it to us):
The Seattle School District has been contacted by a number of individuals concerned about an ongoing national social media trend related to “Scary Clowns.” There have been a few local news stories related to this and some of our students have received pictures of clowns. We are communicating to families to remind you and your student that if they see suspicious individuals while at school, please have them inform their teacher or principal immediately. We also ask you to report any threatening social media activity that involves Seattle Public Schools or our students to your school or the district’s Safety and Security Office at (206) 252-0707. This office is open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
We take safety seriously, and the security of our students is a top priority. We are working closely with Seattle Police Department to investigate all concerns related to this social media trend.
West Seattle High School is among the schools dealing with this – its families got this message from principal Ruth Medsker:
You may be hearing from your students and or the media about threats to West Seattle High School involving “creepy clowns.” This is part of a national social media trend that has impacted schools and districts nationwide. Within the last 48 hours it has come to the Pacific Northwest. Many schools, including West Seattle, are named in various Instagram and Facebook posts. It was brought to our attention this morning by district security and our students.
West Seattle High School administration notified police and currently there is an open investigation. Police have increased patrols in the community.
Please talk with your student about media safety and encourage them to report anything that makes them feel unsafe.
On the national level, this all goes back at least a month, according to one East Coast news publication.
ADDED 2:34 PM WEDNESDAY: The district message above has been sent today to Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School families, according to Denny principal Jeff Clark, and prefaced with this:
Good Afternoon Denny and Sealth Scholars and Families,
Below is a message that was sent out to all families in Seattle Public Schools last night to address the concern of “Scary Clowns” that is happening across the country through social media. Here at Denny and Sealth, we have also been checking into these social media rumors about clowns. To ease any anxiety, we wanted to let you know that we are not aware of any threatening posts related to either of our schools at this time.
Jeff Clark, Principal
Denny International Middle School
Aida Fraser-Hammer, Principal
Chief Sealth International High School
If there are one or more preschool-age children in your family, next month brings two chances for them to learn life-saving lessons: The Seattle Public Library has just announced its next round of Firefighter Story Times, when crews from local stations come read a special book that helps the little ones learn what to do in case of fire. The two set for local libraries are 11:15 am Wednesday, October 19th, at South Park Library (8604 8th Ave. S.) and Wednesday, October 26th, at Delridge Library (5423 Delridge Way SW). All are welcome and ASL interpretation will be available.
Three days after two workers were seriously hurt when a portable crane touched power wires at a Junction construction site (WSB coverage here), they’re both improving. That’s what we’ve heard both from a co-worker and from Harborview Medical Center, which says that both men “continue to improve” – one man is out of intensive care and listed in satisfactory condition, while the other remains in intensive care but has been upgraded to serious condition, from critical. We don’t have any information about possible community contribution drives to help them and their families but the co-worker promised to let me know if there was anything to be made public. Both were on the ground near the crane, whose operator was apparently unhurt, when it touched the wires, according to early word from investigators at the scene on Monday.
Meanwhile, the state Department of Labor and Industries tells WSB that they are investigating two companies because of what happened at the 4505 42nd SW mixed-use-building project site. According to L&I spokesperson Tim Church, the companies are Spartan Concrete, a subcontractor that he says is the employer of the two injured workers, and MarPac Construction, the general contractor. Spartan’s record shows a power-line/crane-safety violation at a jobsite in 2012, marked as “corrected.”
L&I has up to six months to finish its investigation.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Concerned about what can seem to be a “revolving door” for crime suspects? The guest at last night’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network offered some frank insight into it.
FROM THE PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE: Alex Voorhees, a senior prosecutor with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, was invited to offer insight into how the justice system works, and doesn’t work. She opened by explaining she’s worked in various units during her 14 years in the office. “One of the things I’m most proud about …is a program called CTI.” That dates back about a decade, when the late Norm Maleng, then KC Prosecutor, came up with a plan to tackle the fact that the county was among the nation’s top hotspots for vehicle theft. “We started working with a number of proactive law-enforcement groups around the county,” including Seattle Police. Participants had quarterly meetings and targeted suspects and cut the auto-theft rate in half. But, she said, a lot has changed since then.
The KCPAO handles felonies throughout the county as well as misdemeanors from the unincorporated area. It includes these units:
Special Assault Unit
Domestic Violence Unit
Homicide and Violent Crimes Unit
Property Crimes Unit
When someone is arrested for a felony property crime, they appear in front of a District Court judge within 24 hours, and “an initial bond is set.” That calendar has dozens of suspects on it some days. “We send a prosecutor to that hearing, and in cases involving burglary and auto theft, we ask that people be held. I hear this frustration about revolving doors …” Read More
3:05 PM: Almost 24 hours to the moment after the 3-alarm Lam Bow Apartments fire broke out in Delridge, more than a dozen people from the Seattle Police and Fire Departments and Seattle Housing Authority stood behind Mayor Ed Murray, Fire Chief Harold Scoggins, and Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole at City Hall, as they announced honors for heroes.
“These public servants saved a lot of lives,” said the mayor. At the top of the story is our phone video of what he and the chiefs said; we have more to add, including photos, names, and our conversation afterward with SHA’s Thaddeus Perry, who was working on a project in the main office when a tenant came running in yelling, “Fire, fire, fire” – he rushed into the building to get people out.
4:23 PM: Here’s SHA employee Perry, at center:
He told us he just started working for SHA in the West Seattle area – assigned to several buildings/complexes including Lam Bow – as of about two weeks ago. After he ran into the building and discovered a “barrage” of smoke on the 3rd floor, he was soon joined by SPD Sgt. Britt and they went up and down the hallway, “banging on doors,” to tell people to get out. They all did, and as SFD said yesterday, everyone escaped without injury.
4:55 PM: Here are the names of the SPD personnel who were honored:
Sgt. Jim Britt
Officer Aaron Briggs
Officer Nick Meyst
Officer Garth Lindelef
Officer Nick Burk
Officer German Barreto
Officer Sandro Fleming
Officer Ryan Levens
Officer Jack Johns
Thanks to “Diver Laura” James for the tip – the Beach Drive/Constellation Park speed bumps are in, a week and a half after we spotted the SDOT markings, which in turn was shortly after City Councilmember Lisa Herbold announced they were in the works. Neighbors had long been seeking traffic calming along this stretch, because of problems like this:
(May 2016 racing video)
The three bumps are installed on Beach Drive between the stormwater-treatment plant and 63rd SW.