West Seattle, Washington
Thanks for the tips about that crash on the southeast corner of 42nd/Admiral this past hour, before the downpour that’s moving through now. WSB’s Christopher Boffoli photographed it and also reported an incident a bit further west on the other side of Admiral. Both led to some slowdowns but we’ve since been through the area and can report the scenes are now cleared. Police told Christopher no one was seriously hurt.
Earlier this week, in our latest report on SDOT‘s plans for, and Alki Elementary parents’ hopes for, the 59th SW/Admiral Way intersection, we mentioned crews were out doing some work. Above are the results so far at that intersection; SDOT had planned painted curb bulbs with plastic posts, a painted median island with plastic posts, and new crosswalks for this intersection. The painted curb bulbs are also in at 61st SW/Admiral, and SDOT has been working at SW Stevens/Admiral too. As originally announced in June, they have work planned at three other crossings.
Just received from Southwest Precinct crime-prevention coordinator Jennifer Burbridge, one of the occasional notifications that a Level 3 sex offender has moved into the area:
In an effort to keep you informed, and in our constant attempts to reduce future victimization, we want to let you know about one level 3 sex offender that has recently moved into the Southwest Precinct area.
Douglas Cole, a 49-year-old White male, is a level 3 registered sex offender who has recently moved to the 9400 block of 4th Ave SW. Mr. Cole is no longer under Department of Corrections supervision.
Detective Foster from the Seattle Police Department’s Sex Offender Detail is responsible for verifying his addresses as long as he is living there.
To learn more about this offender and for additional safety tips please visit the website at www.waspc.org and search by his name. [Editor’s note: You will find his photo and background here.]
If you have further questions about this offenders, contact Michelle McRae of the Seattle Police Sex Offender Detail at (206) 684-5581 or e-mail at email@example.com.
To register to receive an email alert whenever a published offender registers within one mile of your desired addresses, go to this link.
Level 3 sex offenders pose the highest risk to re-offend. It is normal to feel upset, angry and worried about a registered sex offender living in your community. The Community Notification Act of 1990 requires sex offenders to register in the community where they live. The law also allows local law enforcement to make the public aware about Level 2 and Level 3 offenders. Since these offenders have completed their sentences, they are free to live where they wish. Experts believe sex offenders are less likely to re-offend if they live and work in an environment free of harassment. Any actions taken against the listed sex offenders could result in arrest and prosecution as it is against the law to use this information in any way to threaten, intimidate or harass registered sex offenders. The SPD Sex offender detectives will check on these offenders every 3 months to verify our information.
The single most effective means of protecting your child is communication with your child. They have to feel comfortable discussing sensitive matters with you. Teach your children that they should not be asked to touch anyone in the bathing suit areas of their body or allow anyone to touch them in those areas. Teach them types of situations to avoid. It is not good enough to tell a child to avoid strangers. Please remember that children are most often molested by someone they or their parents know.
Please call me to schedule a Block Watch meeting if your block is interested. My office phone at the precinct is (206) 256-6820.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
But more are needed, contend the Alki Elementary parents and staffers who formed a Traffic Safety Task Force to campaign for safety improvements at the intersection. On Monday, they met with SDOT managers at the school to seek answers about what’s possible, what’s not, and a timeline for what’s next.
Representing SDOT were traffic engineer Dongho Chang (who had gained some fame earlier in the day) and Brian Dougherty, who has long worked on Safe Routes to School. From the TSTF, Merkys Gomez, Barbara Ott, teacher Alia Delacour, and parent Emily Cier. Brianna Thomas from Councilmember Lorena González‘s staff was there too (a representative from Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s office had planned to attend but took ill). Here’s how it went.
Two reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch, plus crime-prevention advice:
STOLEN LAND CRUISER: That’s Ketsy‘s Toyota LandCruiser, “stolen from in front of our house near 47th and Erskine sometime between 10 pm and 6 am last night/this morning. Keep an eye out. She’s easy to spot and identify with a black hood and roof.” Call 911 if you see it. (added) Plate # ASL1277 – police report # 17-438713.
Meantime, from the found-and-apparently-stolen file:
WERE YOU AWAITING THAT STAR? From Grandma and GiGi:
This beautiful star was found in opened packaging, with no shipping information, discarded along a street in WS. We want the owner to have their star.
If it might be yours – let us know.
PREVENTING HOLIDAY-SEASON CRIME: Just as we were getting ready to publish the two reports above – Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Burbridge sent her latest newsletter, with seasonal advice – read it here (PDF) or as embedded below:
(Early design for proposed Highland Park Way roundabout)
Just in from Highland Park Action Committee co-chair Michele Witzki – word from SDOT is that the hoped-for state grant to help pay for a roundabout at Highland Park Way and Holden did not come through. Witzki forwarded this response she received from SDOT’s Jim Curtin, after asking for an update on the grant status:
Somehow, we did not receive the grant for this project. We are extraordinarily disappointed and I know you are as well. I have raised this issue to leadership here at SDOT. We will be meeting soon to discuss our next steps. As you know, we have allocated more than $200k in local funds for design and survey/design will continue into 2018. I hope to have more information soon.
As reported here in September, there was big support for the $1 million-plus state Transportation Improvement Board grant that SDOT had sought to supplement $500,000 in money that it had allocated. Part of that had been announced by Councilmember Lisa Herbold during last May’s Find It, Fix It Walk in Highland Park – after Witzki recounted the long history of problems at the intersection and disappointment in trying to get it fixed:
The roundabout was first proposed by Highland Park community advocates almost five years ago, as a way to calm the dangerous and increasingly busy intersection at the top of the Highland Park Way hill.
Two weeks left for this year’s Seattle Public Safety Survey – with a holiday right in the middle of those two weeks, so we’re reminding you today: If you haven’t answered the survey’s questions about crime, safety, and police, consider setting aside some time for it before the November 30th deadline. The survey is overseen by Seattle University, which will provide the results to SPD, and also works with the department on analyzing crime trends, via interns at local precincts. The survey starts here and is available in 11 languages.
Just in from Southwest Precinct crime-prevention coordinator Jennifer Burbridge, one of the occasional notifications that a Level 3 sex offender has moved into the area:
In an effort to keep you informed and to reduce future victimization, we want to let you know that recently one Level 3 registered sex offender has moved into a SW Precinct neighborhood.
Please see the below message from Michelle McRae from the Seattle Police Department Sex Offender Detail Unit.
Elijah Vincent is a level 3 registered sex offender who has recently moved to the 5600 block of Delridge Way SW in Seattle and is currently under Department of Corrections supervision.
Detective Foster is the detective responsible for verifying his address as long as he is living there.
If you have any questions please contact me. Thank you
Seattle Police Department
Sex Offender Detail Unit
ph – (206) 684-5581
(From Jennifer Burbridge:) Level 3 sex offenders pose the highest risk to re-offend. It is normal to feel upset, angry and worried about a registered sex offender living in your community. The Community Notification Act of 1990 requires sex offenders to register in the community where they live. The law also allows local law enforcement to make the public aware about Level 2 and Level 3 offenders. As all of these offenders have completed their sentence, they are free to live where they wish. Experts believe sex offenders are less likely to re-offend if they live and work in an environment free of harassment. Any actions taken against the listed sex offenders could result in arrest and prosecution, as it is against the law to use this information in any to threaten, intimidate or harass registered sex offenders. The SPD Sex Offender detectives will check on these offenders every 3 months to verify our information. You can use 9-1-1 to report any and all suspicious activity.
Please call me to schedule a Block Watch meeting if your block is interested. My office phone at the precinct is (206) 256-6820.
Never mind waiting for a developer to maybe have to be responsible for a walkway along 25th SW – the city has decided to build it after all:
We just got word from SDOT that the community-requested Chief Sealth Walkway Improvement Project is back to the original plan, along 25th SW as well as 26th SW, three months after the announcement the project would be halved.
In August, we announced that we’d be removing from our plans the paving of the walkway on 25th Ave SW between SW Trenton and SW Cloverdale streets. After further evaluation and feedback from the community, we’re happy to report that plans to pave the 25th Ave SW walkway are back on. The walkway on 26th Ave SW will also be improved, as has been the case throughout design. We’ll be finalizing the design soon and expect construction to start in mid-2018. Please see the project website to view the updated project design.
This announcement comes just a few hours before this month’s meeting of the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Coalition, which had been pushing back against the city’s decision to cut the project. Since the city’s announcement the project would be cut, the unimproved 25th SW walkway has been the scene of incidents involving students, including this one last month.
The days are getting shorter, and lighting matters more than ever – especially at transit stops. But the very-long-awaited lighting improvements for the area along the north side of Roxhill Park aren’t in place yet, even though the other part of the project – an upgraded sidewalk – is complete. Community advocate Amanda Kay, who fought for the improvements as a founder and co-chair of the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Coalition, asked Metro why. The explanation arrived this week: The four “pedestrian-scale” lights that were to be installed were damaged during shipping. So they’re now awaiting replacements. They’re hoping to have the lights in place before the end of the month, along the stretch between the layover area and the passenger waiting area.
After Drug Take-Back Day dropoffs filled four bags at the Southwest Precinct, what you see above is the start of the fifth. It’s your chance to get expired, unneeded, and/or unwanted prescription drugs out of your home, safely and securely. No liquids, sprays, gels, inhalers, needles. This is on until 2 pm at 2300 SW Webster.
Earlier this week, we reported on what the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network heard from this month’s guest, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold. Now, the other part of the meeting – what they heard from police:
That sign installed today in The Junction is related to crime-prevention work that police are doing with the West Seattle Junction Association. Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis and crime-prevention coordinator Jennifer Burbridge talked with WSBWCN about working with WSJA executive director Lora Swift to discuss and address chronic issues. Right now, the precinct’s bicycle patrol is active in The Junction, Capt. Davis said. But the precinct only has a budget to deploy them in the daytime, so requests for nighttime bicycle patrolling might take a while to work on. Capt. Davis also said they’ve made some arrests and written some tickets, so they’re making progress. (Side note – Officer John O’Neil is now the Community Police Team officer assigned to the West Seattle sector that includes The Junction.)
Capt. Davis also talked about the Westwood Village-emphasis area that’s been mentioned at previous community meetings, and said they’re making progress in cleaning up Roxhill Park – via patrols as well as via steps such as locking the restrooms overnight and getting Parks to clear some of the overgrowth. They’ve had a sharp decline in the number of 911 calls about the park.
The West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meets fourth Thursdays most months – but not November and December – 6:30 pm at the precinct (2300 SW Webster).
1:37 PM: Another update from SDOT today about 59th/Admiral, two days after the without-warning end to its almost-two months as an all-ways stop, a change that led to parents from nearby Alki Elementary voicing safety concerns: SDOT communications director Mafara Hobson tells WSB that “We plan to visit the intersection today to do layout for the new decorative curb bulbs, median, and crosswalks. We’ll spray paint outlines for our crews. Pending weather, installation could occur as soon as Nov. 7. Installation will happen during normal working hours.” So if you see new markings – that’s what it’s about. Meantime, changes at other intersections – as first announced four months ago – are still in the works, and SDOT says that they’re tentatively scheduled to work at 61st/Admiral and SW Stevens/Admiral as soon as mid-November. Here’s how those intersections are scheduled to change, according to the SDOT graphics made public in June:
This is all part of the SW Admiral Way Safety Project, which included rechannelization of much of Admiral west of California a year ago.
4:02 PM: Thanks for the tips – we’ve since been back to the area and photographed two things – top photo shows the workers doing what SDOT told us they’d be doing; next photo, apparently Traffic Enforcement officers have been out in the area all day – this is one of two we passed on the uphill side of Admiral not far east of the intersection:
The Traffic Safety Task Force parents are “encouraged to see movement,” says Merkys Gomez.
ADDED FRIDAY NIGHT: The TSTF’s official response sent to SDOT’s Dawn Schellenberg, related to what transpired earlier this week – read it in its entirety after the jump:
Now that we’re in the heart of Halloween (etc.) season, you might be interested in safety advice – which goes far beyond trick-or-treating! It’s from the Southwest Precinct, whose Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Burbridge shares what you can read below (or here, in PDF):
(Our guide to local activities for all ages, running through next Wednesday, is here.)
Thanks to Denny International Middle School principal Jeff Clark for sharing this letter that he and Chief Sealth International High School principal Aida Fraser-Hammer sent to families tonight, so that we can share it with the wider community:
Dear Denny and Chief Sealth Families:
We are continuing to actively share any safety information related to any of our scholars when they are out in our community on their way to and from school.
Today, three middle school scholars were getting off the Metro bus at 35th Ave. SW and SW Elmgrove St. An adult male followed them off the bus and continued following them in a suspicious way. A neighbor observed this and called the police, who responded right away and are now investigating. We are very proud of how our scholars responded to this situation and appreciative of the neighbor who called the police.
Please be assured that the safety and security of our scholars is a top priority at both Sealth International High School and Denny International Middle School. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
THURSDAY MORNING NOTE: The helpful neighbor’s wife has added more information via this comment.
We took that photo this morning before 8 am at 59th/Admiral, where, after weeks of concern over the effects of SDOT changing it to an all-way stop, a crew showed up pre-dawn and changed it back without warning or even a “traffic revision” sign (as subsequently reported in our morning traffic coverage). Then at noontime, we got a tip that a crew was back to add signs and do some other work, so we went over and found this:
Before that, we had asked SDOT’s Dawn Schellenberg this morning what’s next for the intersection now that it’s suddenly been “changed back” – which doesn’t answer all the safety concerns that parents at nearby Alki Elementary had voiced. Her reply just arrived in the form of a copy of the following e-mail to them and other concerned parties:
Many of you have followed the SDOT ‘Signal to All-way Stop’ pilot project at SW Admiral Way and 59th Ave SW, installed August 31. As part of our Vision Zero efforts, the Department is considering alternative crossing designs at various intersections throughout the city. The SW Admiral Way and 59th Ave SW location was selected for an All-Way Stop, curb bulbs and additional marked crosswalks based on community input received through the SW Admiral Way Safety Project during the SDOT Walk and Talk last August; and a review of traffic volumes, operations and crossing use.
Once installed, we committed to monitoring the crosswalk for up to six-months to determine whether the new All-Way Stop design was a good fit for the intersection. Over the past month and a half, we collected feedback from community members as well as the Traffic Safety Task Force at Alki Elementary regarding their concerns on how drivers and pedestrians are adjusting. Through our evaluation of the new design we concluded that the benefits of the All-Way Stop are similar to the original Pedestrian Signal. With that in mind, coupled with some community members’ concern, we decided to revert to the original design.
Unfortunately, an internal snafu within in the Department resulted in the premature start of the work. The community should have been alerted prior to the installation and ‘traffic revision ahead’ signs placed. We deeply regret any inconvenience this caused drivers and pedestrians this morning. Signs are now in place.
Going forward, here’s what you should except as we install phase 2 (see graphic below):
· Two decorative paint and post curb bulbs
· One decorative paint and post median at 59th Ave SW
· Two new crosswalks
· Two Flashing ‘School, 20MPH’ signs
As promised, we’ll accelerate installation of the curb bulbs, median and crosswalks to get them installed within the next two months, weather permitting. The flashing signs are expected to be installed during first quarter 2018, once equipment has arrived.
Councilmember González (Citywide, Pos. 9) and Councilmember Herbold (District 1) have engaged with us on this matter, and both continue to advocate for pedestrian safety along SW Admiral Way. We have committed to maintaining good communication with both Councilmembers, their staff, and the community; and they have conveyed the expectation that we work towards implementing solutions in lockstep with community.
We can note firsthand that the change without warning was a little more than “inconvenience” – going through the intersection both ways on Admiral at noontime, we experienced near-collisions both ways involving people turning and expecting us to stop. Meantime, here’s the graphic Schellenberg mentioned:
The initial change to an all-way stop was also installed pre-dawn, but that was with four weeks of warning that the change was going to happen. It’s all a followup to the rechannelization of much of Admiral west of California, with initial work done a year-plus ago.
The city’s out with a progress report on its efforts to handle discarded needles/syringes, which is a two-part program that includes dropboxes placed earlier this year in locations including West Seattle’s Roxhill Park and Westcrest Park, as well as cleanups in response to complaints. First, Seattle Public Utilities shared this map of where it’s received the most requests/complaints:
This news release from SPU explains not just the stats but also that they’re surveying people in multiple ways to decide how to improve the program:
In its first 15 months of operation, Seattle Public Utility’s pioneering Sharps Collection Pilot Program has collected and safely disposed of 32,012 hypodermic syringes, improving both the safety and cleanliness of the city’s neighborhoods.
Since February, people disposed of 26,647 syringes in nine SPU sharps disposal boxes around Seattle. (See attached map.) Another 5,365 needles have been removed from public property since the program began, in August 2016, in response to 1,113 complaints. Complaints were filed online, with the City’s Find It, Fix It app, or phoned in to 206-684-7587.
It is believed Seattle is the first U.S. city to combine syringe complaint response and disposal boxes as a standalone sharps program.
Two weeks after our first report on Alki Elementary School parents contending that SDOT changes at 59th/Admiral made it unsafe rather than safer, they’ve launched an online petition so other concerned community members can show support.
They say they’re continuing to see near-collisions every morning, including this one last week, detailed by parent Merkys Gomez, one of the founders of the school’s Traffic Safety Task Force:
Another parent and I with our block school bus were standing on the intersection of 59th and Admiral on the south side ready to cross. Jeanne, the crossing guard, normally has us wait there until she’s standing in the middle of Admiral waving her flag for us to cross. She was about to step into the intersection. There was a line of cars on Admiral heading eastbound. A driver in a black Audi decided that he didn’t want to wait. He crossed the double-yellow line, floored it through the turning lane and across the intersection as the first car heading eastbound was getting ready to cross the intersection, and nearly missed a Metro bus heading westbound. You could hear his wheels spinning in the rain. The trajectory if he would’ve hit the bus would’ve sent the car our way. … We were all stunned, and none of us wanted to enter the intersection, not even Jeanne. We just stood. The children were clutching our arms. The crossing guard has been told that she must get a license plate number to get anything to happen. That’s impossible when we’re holding flags and kids’ hands and someone hauls across the intersection. SDOT needs to capture this data of near-misses.
Meantime, the extra stop sign recently placed in the center lane a half-block east of the intersection is gone – last seen in pieces on the planting strip. And the parents say they’re still waiting for a formal response from SDOT: “While we wait, we plan to continue our efforts to do outreach to the community regarding our proposed solution, which includes an all-way traffic signal that is pedestrian and vehicle activated. We want all users of the intersection, whether crossing Admiral on foot or turning onto Admiral from within a car, to feel safe.” They also have taken their concerns to City Councilmembers, including West Seattle/South Park’s Lisa Herbold, and citywide (but West Seattle-residing) Lorena González. SDOT said on October 11th that it will “accelerate” stop-sign relocation, painting of a crosswalk across 59th, and addition of painted curb extensions – by year’s end. The parents’ task force ultimately wants to see a full signal at this intersection, and that’s what their petition requests.
Wondering what your West Seattle/South Park City Councilmember Lisa Herbold is doing about crime, safety, policing concerns? Here’s your chance to ask her: She’s the guest at Tuesday night’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting, 6:30 pm at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster). Right now, in addition to representing our area on the council, Herbold is also chairing its budget committee, which is making spending decisions for the next year; she ascended to that role after the shakeup that started with former Mayor Murray’s resignation. You don’t have to be part of a Block Watch to attend the meeting, which will also include updates from local police leadership – just come to the precinct meeting room, which is right off the parking lot, entrance off Webster west of Delridge [map], east of the south side of Home Depot.
Thanks to the parents who shared this letter sent to Chief Sealth International High School families:
Dear Chief Sealth families,
As you are probably aware, tonight is our Homecoming game and Dance. Homecoming is an exciting event for our students. There is increased activity around the school including more former and non-district students. We want to ensure that we have a safe and fun Homecoming celebration and have been developing plans to make this a wonderfully memorable occasion.
Yesterday after school a student alerted us to a rumors of a potential disruption at Homecoming. Although no specific threats were identified, we alerted the Seattle Police Department (SPD). Because of recent community violence, we wanted to make sure that the Southwest Precinct was aware of our student’s concerns, so that they could support our Homecoming. In an abundance of caution, SPD will be assigning additional officers to our event today. We appreciate their support.
Please know that we take safety on our campus very seriously, the well-being of our students is our top concern. We are committed to doing everything we can to keep our students safe during all school activities. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. I will be happy to speak with families and guardians directly. In the meantime, please join us for our wonderful Homecoming activities tonight.
Principal, Chief Sealth International High School
This time of year, we’re at Southwest Athletic Complex every Friday night, covering whichever team is playing a home game, so we can tell you that police are almost always on hand at SWAC games, whether there’s an incident or not. We usually see them in local high-school gyms during varsity basketball games, too.
No special guest at last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, so it was a shorter-than-usual meeting devoted to police updates and community concerns. Read More
Emily sent the photo of another stop sign that was in place by Monday morning (we checked this morning – still there) facing westbound Admiral Way, about half a block east of 59th, “adding to the confusion,” as she put it, because: “It doesn’t say ‘stop ahead,’ just stop. Which watching a couple cars as we were walking by, (they) didn’t quite seem to know what to do about it.” This is the same intersection we first told you about a week ago, where parents from nearby Alki Elementary School say the conversion to an all-way stop has made things more dangerous rather than safer. As noted in our first followup, SDOT said it would make some changes while continuing to evaluate the intersection until March, but they didn’t mention adding a mid-block stop sign.
Just in from Jennifer Burbridge, Southwest Precinct crime-prevention coordinator – the date’s set for the next Drug Take-Back Day:
The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.
The DEA’s Take Back Day events provide an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths. The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and anonymous means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse and medications.
The SW Precinct’s DEA Drug Take-Back Day will be on Saturday, October 28th, from 10 am-2 pm at the SW Precinct (2300 SW Webster).
Whatever you need to drop off, just take it to the precinct lobby – right off its parking lot along SW Webster, east of the south Home Depot entrance – that day.