West Seattle, Washington
Next Monday and Tuesday, you have the chance to have your infant/child car seat checked, free, at Swedish Automotive (WSB sponsor). Both days, 10 am-2 pm, certified child-safety passenger technician Victor Gonzales will be checking seats to be sure they’re properly installed. Just stop by Swedish Automotive during those hours, those days (February 20-21), 7901 35th SW (corner of Kenyon). Questions? Call Swedish at 206-539-1984.
If you weren’t able to get to last night’s annual PTSA-sponsored Chief Sealth International High School/Denny International Middle School safety meeting – we recorded it on video. The major headline: This year has been much less eventful than last year, which meant no major controversies or crime concerns to talk about last night, unlike the same meeting last March (WSB coverage here).
Most of last night’s presenting participants were the same as last year: Read More
11:11 AM: Thanks to the parents who forwarded this note sent to Highland Park Elementary families this morning by principal Chris Cronas:
Yesterday afternoon during dismissal, a student was approached by a man on the corner of 11th Ave SW & SW Cloverdale while he waited for his ride home. The student claims the man demanded he go home with him. The student fled on foot, running home where his family found him, safe.
The man was described as having a dark complexion with black hair. He was reported to be wearing a dark green ascot and a dark jacket. We have no further information. The family contacted the police yesterday and provided the school with an incident number. We have notified Safety & Security as well. We will also be increasing our presence during afternoon dismissal by placing adults in different areas throughout the campus to increase our overall supervision.
This is a good reminder to talk with your student about what to do in the event something like this occurs. Please tell your student to immediately go to a nearby adult they know to ask for help.
If we are provided any additional information about this incident that could help the community identify this person, we will let you know.
We’re also asking police if they have any more details.
1:02 PM: SPD tells WSB it’s an open investigation; no other info to share so far.
Elite Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu of Seattle (WSB sponsor) invites you to a free self-defense seminar this Sunday – one session for women/girls, one coed session. From coach/proprietor Sonia Sillan:
When you think of self-defense, what’s the first thing you think of?
For us at Elite BJJ of Seattle, it’s about awareness, empowerment, setting boundaries, having confidence. It’s about finding your voice and believing in yourself. Join us on February 5th for a two-hour clinic, where our goal is to leave you with more knowledge, feeling more empowered, and understanding of what self-defense really means (both mentally and physically).
We’re going to show you a wide range of practical techniques and more importantly, the concepts that are critical to learning how to avoid becoming a victim of violence. We’ll be going over basic, EFFECTIVE, self-defense movements and techniques, capitalizing on leverage and momentum.
This seminar isn’t your typical self-defense seminar, so make sure to reserve your spot, bring some friends … and get ready to learn.
Who: No experience necessary, open to all, ages 10+
Women’s only: 10 am-12 pm
Co-ed: 12:30 pm-2:30 pm
Although our food drive for the West Seattle Food Bank officially ends 1/31,, we are still collecting food and would like to ask for donations as entry.
RSVP by going here. Elite BJJ is at 5050 Delridge Way SW.
(Image from community grant application)
One more reminder if this isn’t already in your Saturday-morning plan: You are invited to a community workshop 10 am-noon tomorrow to talk about the future of the “Triangle Bus Park” in South Delridge (as first previewed here two weeks ago). Here’s what the workshop at the Highland Park Improvement Club is all about:
Centrally located in the Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village, the “Triangle Bus Park” was aptly named for lack of any true identity. For years it has been noted as a badly conceived space attracting illegal dumping and suspicious activity while repelling community members from proper use. We aim to change the trajectory of this space.
Through the City of Seattle’s Find It Fix It Walk for the Westwood/Roxhill neighborhood, the community has been awarded a small grant of $1500 to kick-start the process of reclaiming and redeveloping the Triangle Bus Park.
With SDOT, the workshop will explore and document community-led findings centered on the space’s history, safety needs, envisioned improvements, and community identity of the area. Community members will be shown examples of best practices in urban design to spark and inspire innovative ideas.
This is just a first step toward figuring out what could and should be done, but there’s no second step without a first step, so all are invited to come get things started. Doors at HPIC (12th SW/SW Holden) open at 9:45; the schedule for the 10 am-noon workshop, and more backstory, can be seen here.
From tonight’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting – first one since before the holidays:
FIGHTING CRIME: Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis said the new bicycle officers added to the precinct, mentioned at other recent meetings, will help police patrol proactively. They’ll be patroling outside the purview of 911 response, which means they can be deployed in areas that have been hot spots for problems such as car prowling.
Capt. Davis also said SPD is continuing to work with prosecutors and judges to help get repeat offenders sentenced to more time behind bars.
DEALING WITH HOMELESSNESS: Special guest was SW Precinct Community Police Team Officer Todd Wiebke, who is the CPT point person on homelessness-related matters.
City rules only allow SPD to do so much, Officer Wiebke explained – it’s up to nonprofits to deal with directly helping those in need. Police, ultimately, are there for the security of the public. A few minutes into his talk, someone brought up the campers and vehicles along Myers Way. Wiebke stressed that he and other officers do arrest people who are breaking the law, but it’s not illegal to be homeless, and not all unsheltered people are breaking the law. The people at Camp Second Chance, which is slated by the city to become an authorized camp, are overall “clean and sober” as per their rules, Wiebke said, but that’s not necessarily the case for the people living elsewhere along Myers Way. He, by the way, said CSC has about 30 residents, with a similar number of people living on the slope across the street.
RV residents, he continued, are not all law-breakers either. Some are employed and the RV just happens to be the only place they have to live. Some vehicles, meantime, had been associated with crimes, and they had been investigated, with, in some cases, Wiebke said, property seized. Overall, though, the city has a lot of rules on the books to be followed when police and other agencies deal with campers, and the discussion at the meeting veered into some of those details (here’s some of what’s on the books).
Some attendees also wanted to know how to help the people at Camp Second Chance; Officer Wiebke said water is always needed, but that people could visit and talk with camp leaders to see specifically how to help.
The West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meets on fourth Tuesdays most months, 6:30 pm, Southwest Precinct. Watch the WSBWCN website for updates between meetings.
11:58 AM: Work continues today in the Fauntleroy neighborhood hit by a slide late Thursday night, which crews at the scene said had resulted from a water break, a 2-inch-line break that Seattle Public Utilities was still investigating when last we checked. Meantime, they’re the lead agency on the cleanup; the view above is looking east at the dead end of SW Cambridge, toward California SW (this vicinity).
Among the city departments with which we checked for our Friday followup was the Department of Construction and Inspections. They had sent inspectors to the area to check on houses by the slide, but the results weren’t in until this morning. Spokesperson Wendy Shark says they checked two houses; one in the 4300 block of SW Cambridge was found to have some structural damage, according to the “green tag” city posted to advise “limited access,” while the other, in the 9300 block of California SW, had “no structural damage found.” The specific condition placed on the Cambridge house is “entry limited in garage until slide has been removed.”
ADDED 2:43 PM: We have a cleanup update from SPU’s Andy Ryan: “SPU crews are currently vactoring excess mud from around people’s homes. A contractor is stabilizing the slide area. This should be done by end of the day tomorrow. The length and scope of full cleanup area is still unknown.” Asked about the latest on the investigation, he also says, “The cause of the slide is not known at this time, and may never be known. We know that when the slide was over, there was a broken main. We just don’t know which came first — slide or break.” What does someone with property damage do? “People who have had property damage should contact our Claims Office. … Visit our Claims website, http://www.seattle.gov/filing-a-damage-claim, or call our claims advisor Allison Micheli directly, 206-684-3124.”
City inspectors are checking more apartments today at a Junction building where they ordered one unit vacated for health/safety concerns. Readers asked us Friday night about the posting on the door at the San Juan Apartments at 4840 California SW; we made contact this morning with Department of Construction and Inspections spokesperson Bryan Stevens:
Last week our code compliance inspector responded to a complaint from a tenant related to water damage in their unit. After inspection, it became clear that significant leaks were coming from the flat roof above. That specific unit is no longer habitable or safe to occupy, so our inspector notified the property manager informing them we’ve issued an Emergency Order to Close and Vacate. The tenants had already moved out most of their belongings before inspection, but this formal notice from SDCI now allows the tenant access to financial relocation assistance from the property owner. A low-income household will receive $4133; if not low-income, they will receive the equivalent of two months’ rent for relocation assistance.
Today, we’ve received additional complaints from two other tenants in the top floor and are scheduling inspections. At this point in time, the damage appears to be limited to portions of the top floor. We have not ordered the entire building to be vacated, but could see additional top floor units deemed unsafe to occupy, depending on the scope of the damage. The property owner has scheduled a roofing company to begin making repairs next week.
We asked Stevens for a copy of the full order that’s partly visible on the building’s door; read it here.
P.S. If you have concerns about conditions in any rental unit – here’s what the city says you can do.
Tuesday night at the Southwest Precinct, the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meets for the first time since before the holidays. You don’t have to be a captain – or even part of a block watch – to be there. Tentatively scheduled guest is the SW Precinct’s Community Police Team officer who focuses on homelessness-related situations, Ofcr. Todd Wiebke. The WSBWCN announcement explains there’s a chance he might be diverted – in which case, that will extend the meeting’s time for participants to talk with other SWP police and with each other. The meeting’s at 6:30 pm Tuesday (January 24th) in the meeting room off the precinct’s public parking lot at 2300 SW Webster.
Big crowd at West Seattle Fish House (35th SW/SW Henderson) just before lunchtime today – but they weren’t there for the fish, chips, and chowder. It was a big media event to show off the new restaurant-rating system and signage that Seattle-King County Public Health is rolling out, starting now. Above are King County Council Chair Joe McDermott and County Executive Dow Constantine – both West Seattleites – with WSFH proprietors Senait Beyene, Muzit Evans, and Stan Evans. Here’s a closer look at the new emoji-inspired signage:
As explained in the official announcement of the new system, the first in the nation that takes an average of inspections:
The four food safety ratings are:
Needs to Improve: The restaurant was either closed by Public Health – Seattle & King County within the last year or the restaurant needed multiple return inspections to fix food safety practices.
Okay: The restaurant has had MANY red critical violations over the last four inspections.
Good: The restaurant has had SOME red critical violations over the last four inspections.
Excellent: The restaurant has had No or Few red critical violations over the last four inspections.
The window signage will eventually be displayed in all restaurants in King County. Here’s more about what they mean:
Executive Constantine pointed out that he spent a lot of time working in the food and beverage business – starting out by making fish and chips “down at Alki Beach.” Also at today’s event, inspector Ann Jackson demonstrated some of what she and other inspectors do:
Though West Seattle was chosen for today’s announcement, you won’t see the rating signs in restaurants here until April, the second phase of this year’s four-phase countywide rollout – that’s when they’ll be posted in zip codes including 98106, 98116, 98126, 98136, and 98146. Meantime – you can look up restaurants’ inspection results here.
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