West Seattle, Washington
As we first mentioned a week and a half ago, next weekend brings what just might be the last of the Alaskan Way Viaduct‘s twice-yearly inspection closures. It’s officially scheduled for two days as usual – 6 am-6 pm Saturday, March 24th, and 6 am-6 pm Sunday, March 25th – but these closures have tended in recent years to just need the first day.
For history fans, summaries of the inspections going back more than 15 years can be read here. As for why we note that this might be the last semiannual inspection, yet another briefing last Thursday (like this one three weeks ago) suggested the AWV might be out of service before October arrives.
Three items in West Seattle Crime Watch so far today:
STOLEN CR-V: From Taylor:
> Wanted to put the word out my car was stolen sometime between Monday afternoon at 3pm (last seen) to 5:00 am Tuesday morning (today). Car was stolen out of my apartment building’s parking lot, which is open off the street (no garage or gate) on 35th Ave between the blocks of Barton and Trenton. Car is a silver 1999 Honda CR-V. Police report has been filed. License plates AMY0339.
TUESDAY EVENING UPDATE: Taylor tells us the car was found in Burien.
CAR PROWL: TM on 42nd SW in Gatewood reported this morning, “My car was run through some time last night. Parked on the street, must have been unlocked. Looks like just change taken from closed console but hard to tell right now.” If you live in the area and have a car, TM suggests, you might consider checking to see if you got hit too.
BUSINESS SAFETY: Monday afternoon, we mentioned tip-jar thieves reported in The Junction, all too common of a crime. Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner reminds us that one of her roles is to “provide safety/security assessments for businesses- using Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles, in addition to supplying tips based on recent crime trends and patterns.” (And yes, that includes talking about tip jars.) This is a free service. You can e-mail her at email@example.com or call 206-256-6820.
SDOT says the long-planned sidewalk project along 35th SW in Arbor Heights will start construction soon – possibly before the end of the month. It was originally scheduled for last year, but as reported here in December, it slid to this year. And now, we have received an update from SDOT project spokesperson Ching Chan, along with the “fact sheet” and map embedded above (and visible here):
As you may know, this project to improve the intersections along 35th Ave SW, from SW 100th St to SW 106th St near Arbor Heights Elementary and Westside School, has been in the planning stage for a couple of years now. Due to a number of factors, the project was placed on hold previously. I am writing to inform you that the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will be moving forward with the construction work and may begin construction as early as the week of March 26. We hope to complete this project before school starts in September.
Chan says SDOT already has “reached out to Arbor Heights Elementary, Westside School, Seattle Public Schools Transportation Department, and sent construction notices to nearby residents to inform them of the upcoming construction work,” but that still doesn’t include everyone who drives/rides/walks in the area, so they asked us to get the word out too. Chan also says SDOT is working to schedule a “public meeting to help provide more project information to community members in a couple of weeks” – we’ll publish a followup when there’s a date/time/place for that.
If you have a gun in your residence, the Southwest Precinct has a free cable lock if you need one. Here’s the reminder sent today:
Due to recent incidents nationwide, the Seattle Police Department’s Southwest Precinct would like to remind our community about firearm safety, specifically when it comes to proper and safe storage of firearms and ammunition.
The SW Precinct has free firearm cable locks for interested community members! And we would also be happy to speak with you about firearm safety, safe storage, and general questions.
If you are interested in firearm cable locks, or in speaking with the Seattle Police Department about firearm safety, please contact Jennifer Danner, the SW Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator, at Jennifer.Danner@seattle.gov or 206-256-6820.
P.S. If you missed her presentation on Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design at this week’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting – we covered it here.
We want to share information regarding an incident that occurred yesterday. We are sending you this letter to update you and to assure you that we are always doing everything we can to support our scholars.
Late yesterday afternoon, it was reported that a Denny scholar made a threat toward the school. School administrators immediately took action to assess the situation and reported to the Seattle Police Department (SPD) and the District Safety and Security Office. The parents of scholar who made the threat have been contacted, and the scholar is being disciplined consistent with district procedures and provided additional social/emotional support. SPD has concluded its investigation and determined that it was not a credible threat.
As you are aware, our adolescents have complex social dynamics. Ensuring that our youth know appropriate behavioral expectations and that all scholars are safe is our goal. Our staff continues to discuss personal safety with scholars. We will continue to follow up about the importance of SPD’s campaign regarding “See Something, Say Something” in order to maximize safety. We are very proud of how our scholars and families responded to this incident and reported their concerns appropriately.
At school, we differentiate “reporting” from “tattle-telling.” Reporting is a responsibility when someone is hurt, in danger or in an unsafe situation. I am providing a link to some additional information that might be helpful during these discussions with your families: http://www.seattle.gov/police/community-policing/youth-safety-tips.
Please be assured that the safety and security of our scholars will always be our top priority. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
We’re checking with police to see if any additional information is available.
If you missed the first “project development” meeting tonight for this year’s Your Voice, Your Choice process to figure out which of hundreds of community-suggested park/street projects will get a share of $3 million … you have four more to choose from. Participants at each meeting are evaluating a specific group of projects – different at every meeting – as grouped and color-coded on this map. Next one is tomorrow night in South Park (6 pm at SP Community Center, 8319 8th Ave. S.), to review the suggestions for that area; then there are three more meetings in West Seattle, one daytime and two nighttime (all listed here). And if you can’t make it to the meeting for the project area you’d like to evaluate, the city says you can access the project lists for all areas of each district (ours is D-1) at any meeting in that district. After this round, the next step is voting, with online and in-person opportunities starting in June.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Every year, the Chief Sealth International High School PTSA devotes one of its monthly meetings to school safety – talking about procedures, answering questions.
This year, the meeting was held off-campus at Neighborhood House in High Point, where about two dozen people gathered last Wednesday night, including faculty, parents, district managers, and even elected officials with past and future Sealth students in their families.
Teacher Susie Clark organized the meeting and introduced Sealth principal Aida Fraser-Hammer. Safety is about being “prepared to respond to the unthinkable crisis,” the principal said, and about being able to “react to unexpected events in ways that avoid panic and maintain an atmosphere of calmness.”
Almost a year and a half after they were chosen for funding, two Neighborhood Street Fund projects proposed by West Seattleites are going out to bid. A notice in today’s Daily Journal of Commerce announces that the city is seeking bids on a package of five NSF projects meant to improve walking and biking safety, two of which are in West Seattle – the Chief Sealth Walkway Improvements and the Harbor Ave. SW/SW Spokane St. Intersection Improvements Project. The notice says bids will be opened March 7th; we’ll be checking with SDOT on the anticipated construction schedule.
Tonight’s March for Peace in South Park was not a march to protest, complain, or oppose, organizers stressed as more than 100 people gathered outside the SP Library before it began. It was to envision what neighbors want South Park to be, to have.
The catalyzing event was what neighbors want South Park to NOT have … violence. Two nights ago, a 16-year-old boy was critically injured by a shooter who has yet to be caught. That was one week after a shooting that injured two men. The two incidents are unrelated, police told us, yet both left people in South Park determined not to go back to the way things were long ago. With that determination, hope, and love, “this is the new South Park,” organizers declared.
With bicycle officers riding alongside, and police at every cross-street, marchers walked on eastbound Cloverdale and southbound 14th.
The march turns onto South Park's main business street, 14th Ave.S. pic.twitter.com/JehlFRrSnF
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) February 10, 2018
They carried signs, some made outside the library minutes before the march began.
And when their silence was finally broken, as the march ended at the service station near the scene of Wednesday’s shooting at 14th/Trenton, first it was by music, some softly singing along to “Lean on Me”:
At the gas station near Wed's shooting scene. Bill Withers' classic 'Lean on Me' is being played; some softly sing along: 'We all need … somebody to lean on …' pic.twitter.com/7QKEF1fzCy
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) February 10, 2018
Then, there were words of support, urging the youth in the crowd to know everyone was there to support them – and there were many young participants there to hear the message:
Also there, dignitaries who took care not to hold the spotlight for long, if at all. Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best had a few words before the march began.
City Councilmember Lisa Herbold did not take the microphone
Nor did Councilmember Lorena González:
Both councilmembers have worked to advocate for increased safety resources for South Park; Herbold wrote about it again in her weekly online update hours before the march. But first – a young man remains in the hospital, and before the gathering ended, organizers requested prayers and thoughts for his recovery.
Often, city projects that seem to appear out of the blue were actually in the works for years, contained in voluminous city Master Plans. So we thought you might be interested in a plan that was presented to a City Council committee this afternoon – the Implementation Plan for the recently updated Pedestrian Master Plan. It contains lists of specific evaluations and projects planned for specific intersections and streets around the city, so we broke out what’s on the lists for West Seattle, and when (for the full citywide lists, see the document, embedded above or here in PDF):
UNSIGNALIZED CROSSINGS & CROSSING EVALUATIONS
35th Ave SW & SW Graham St – New Signal
SW Roxbury St & 32nd Ave SW – Pedestrian Refuge Island
SW Roxbury St & 28th Ave SW – Pedestrian Refuge Island
SW Roxbury St & 23rd Ave SW – Pedestrian Refuge Island
SW Roxbury St & 21st Ave SW – Pedestrian Refuge Island
35th Ave SW & SW Snoqualmie St – Evaluate for Signal
29th Ave SW & SW Barton St – Evaluate for Crossing Upgrade
62nd Ave SW & SW Admiral Way – Evaluate for Crossing Upgrade
Delridge Way SW & SW Webster St – Evaluate for Crossing Upgrade
California Ave SW & SW Brandon St – Evaluate for Crossing Upgrade
24th Ave SW & Delridge Way SW – Evaluate for Crossing Upgrade
28th Ave SW & SW Thistle St – Evaluate for Crossing Upgrade
23rd Ave SW & Delridge Way SW – Evaluate for Crossing Upgrade
Delridge Way SW & SW Cambridge St – Evaluate for Crossing Upgrade
26th Ave SW & SW Cambridge St – Evaluate for Crossing Upgrade
8th Ave SW & SW Cambridge St – Evaluate for Crossing Upgrade
Olson Pl SW & SW Cambridge St – Evaluate for Signal
18th Ave SW & Delridge Way SW – Evaluate for Crossing Upgrade
21st Ave SW Turn Road & Delridge Way SW – Evaluate for Crossing Upgrade
60th Ave SW & Alki Ave SW – Evaluate for Crossing Upgrade
9th Ave SW & SW Cloverdale St = Evaluate for Crossing Upgrade
Garlough Ave SW & SW Admiral Way – Evaluate for Crossing Upgrade
16th Ave SW & SW Orchard St – Evaluate for Crossing Upgrade
48th Ave SW & SW Admiral Way – Evaluate for Crossing Upgrade
9th Ave SW & SW Trenton St – Evaluate for Crossing Upgrade
3rd Ave SW & Olson Pl SW – Evaluate for Signal
California Ave SW & SW Findlay St – Evaluate for Crossing Upgrade
25th Ave SW & SW Barton St – Evaluate for Crossing Upgrade
10th Ave SW & SW Henderson St – Evaluate for Crossing Upgrade
51st Ave SW & SW Admiral Way – Evaluate for Crossing Upgrade
35th Ave SW between SW 100th St and SW 106th St – 6 blocks
SW Orchard St between SW Myrtle St and Dumar Way SW – half-block
24th Ave SW between SW Thistle St and SW Barton St – 4 blocks
SW Edmunds St between Cottage Pl SW and 23rd Ave SW – stairs
SW Kenyon St between Delridge Way SW and 24th Ave SW – walkway
The implementation plan also mentions the new RapidRide corridors around the city – including the scheduled-for-2020 H Line on Delridge – as providing “potential crossing improvements and curb ramps,” and mentions Delridge, Fauntleroy, and 35th SW as “Vision Zero corridors.” No specifics on what’s next for 35th SW, which is running behind previously announced timelines for Phase 1 updates and Phase 2 plans. As for the Implementation Plan itself, SDOT says it will be updated each year. Committee members voted in favor of the resolution that formally adopts this plan, though that doesn’t mean everything in it will become reality – scheduling, funding, and other details would be separate.
ADDED TUESDAY NIGHT: Seattle Channel video from today’s meeting:
Scams and fraud aren’t always as obvious as you might think. Here’s more advice about how to protect yourself, sentby Southwest Precinct crime-prevention coordinator Jennifer Danner:
As we head into tax season, we often see an increase in tax fraud and various forms of scams.
In order to combat this, the SW Precinct would like to provide our community with some helpful prevention information about these scams, as well as the most effective way to report them! Subsets of the population are more vulnerable to these types of scams- but everyone can help protect themselves by keeping the following ten practical suggestions in mind, provided by the Federal Trade Commission:
Just in from SDOT:
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) advises travelers that work is being done at six intersections in West Seattle to install new traffic control components so that they are compatible with the latest traffic control operating system. The new equipment will allow improved system operations and updated pedestrian crossing times. This work is a part of collaboration with community feedback over pedestrian crossing times along SW Admiral Way and California Way SW. Work is scheduled for Tuesday, February 6.
What to expect:
Revised signal operation timings and updated pedestrian crossing cycle length during a.m. peak, p.m. peak, and off-peak hours. The locations are as follows:
41st Ave SW and SW Admiral Way
42nd Ave SW and SW Admiral Way
California Ave SW and SW Admiral Way
California Ave SW and SW Lander St
California Ave SW and SW Stevens St
California Ave SW and SW Hanford St
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
For the first time in three months, the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network reconvened at the Southwest Precinct last night – and most of the meeting could be summarized as the multiple faces of the opioid crisis:
First, a crime update from local police, who say much of the area’s property crime is tied to drugs, and people trying to get money for them; second, an emotion-stirring presentation from people who have been caught up in the crisis, mostly through family members, some of whom have lost their lives to it.
The two-dozen-plus attendees, in around-the-room introductions, listed neighborhoods all around this area, from Beach Drive to Top Hat.
POLICE BRIEFING: First up, Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis talked about property crime, still our area’s most pervasive crime problem.
A group of neighbors gathered last night to talk about what they could do to find solutions to recurring problems.
The area at issue is between 24th and 26th SW, and SW Hudson to SW Graham – part of the Cottage Grove area. Organizer Patrick Baer circulated an invitation saying:
The 5400 block of Delridge Way and surrounding community is having ongoing public safe issues including rampant drug activity, drinking in public, panhandling, and littering (needles). Despite the City of Seattle being fully aware of these issues, they are void of solutions or willingness to address them.
He made it clear at the start of the meeting at Delridge Library – which is in that area – that it wasn’t time to be spent listing complaints, but to brainstorm and plan action.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch items this afternoon, plus a reminder:
STOLEN CAR: From Jake:
Our silver 2013 Subaru Outback was stolen out of our driveway last night at the corner of Barton and Director st in the Fauntleroy neighborhood. Plate #BBY1565. It is our only vehicle and contained our car seats and garage door opener.
If you see it, call 911. Police report # is 2018-026262.
STREET ROBBERY FOLLOWUP: On Saturday night, we reported on a street robbery in Morgan Junction, at the northbound C Line stop on California north of Fauntleroy. At the time, we heard only that the victim’s phone had been taken; a friend who provided additional information said the victim’s wallet was taken too. We obtained the police-report narrative today, and it confirms that. The report says the two robbers demanded his phone and wallet – “no physical contact, no weapons seen” – and ran into the nearby parking lot (alongside Cal-Mor Circle). They were not found. The descriptions are close to the ones we published that night – “a white male, approximately 20-30 years old, 5’8″, wearing a gray hoodie with the hood up and covering his face, and red or plaid pajama type pants. The second suspect was described as a black male, 20-40 years old, approximately 6 ft tall, wearing an unknown colored golf style hat, (dark)-colored jacket, and blue jeans.” If you have any information, the police report # is 2018-024745.
REMINDER: Your next chance to hear, and ask, about crime trends in West Seattle is tomorrow night – 6:30 pm, WS Blockwatch Captains’ Network, at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster). You don’t have to be a captain – or even part of a block watch – to attend. This month’s meeting – as previewed here – also includes a panel discussion of the opioid epidemic, from people whose lives have been directly touched by it.
That long-running sight at California and Orchard in Gatewood – water (or ice, on the December day we photographed it) on the road, coming from the southeast corner – may finally be a thing of the past. It’s been a problem for some time – you can even see it in Google Street View from last fall. Some neighbors contended that it had to be a pipe break of some time, but Seattle Public Utilities investigated and was adamant that its tests showed it was groundwater. That assessment even wound up marked on the sidewalk at the corner:
SPU says it’s a “seep” like so many others around the city, from a water source in the ground – springs, for example. You’ve probably seen them in other spots around West Seattle; one that comes to mind is along California Way between Harbor SW and Hamilton Viewpoint. SPU told us they’ve identified more than 150 “surfacing groundwater” spots around the city, and shared this map:
SDOT and SPU have been collaborating to investigate trouble spots like these, though even once they’ve been identified, finding a way to fix it – and/or the money to do so – can be a challenge.
In the California/Orchard case, neighbors had been working with City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, insisting something had to be done about the chronic water on the road, which also was leading to moss/algae growth on the sidewalk. Initially, the city said all it could do was be sure that SDOT salted/sanded the spot when it froze over. But then came a breakthrough, Herbold reported this week: “Drainage and Wastewater operations staff discovered an abandoned stormwater pipe. This allowed SPU to correct the problem of the water collection because they could use the abandoned stormwater pipe as a connection to newly route the water away from the street surface.” She added that, “The observations of residents in this area monitoring the occurrence of this accumulation of water was critical to the identification of a solution.”
After the Admiral/California stoplight went into flashing-red mode again over the 3-day weekend – far from the first time – we promised to follow up today to see what SDOT is going to do about it. Here’s what SDOT spokesperson Karen Westing found out from the department’s Transportation Operations staff:
This signal you’re referring to is one of our older ones (circa 1980s), which explains why it’s been acting up recently. Our Transportation Operations team has been troubleshooting the problem and did a fix this weekend that they think will solve the issue. If it doesn’t hold, then we’ll replace the signal in the next few months.
If you do see a problem at this or any other signal, please report it as soon as you can. During regular business hours, SDOT has a hotline at 206-684-ROAD; the rest of the time, the 24-hour dispatch number for urgent problems is 206-386-1218.
Management at the Nucor steel mill in northeast West Seattle says they’re “working … to mitigate the problem” that’s caused startling booms in recent days. The one reported here on Saturday evening, after hearing from readers, was such a jolt, some said, they didn’t think it was from the plant because they’d never felt anything like it. We talked this afternoon with Nucor’s environmental manager Patrick Jablonski. He explained that this can happen “when we add wet scrap metal into our furnace … I think we are particularly vulnerable to it because of our climate; it happens more often in the wintertime.” He said Nucor is “certainly not happy” about this, and is trying to find out why it’s happened repeatedly in recent days, so they can work “to mitigate the problem.” Jablonski also told WSB, “We’ve worked over the years to minimize it … As far as I know, we are the only mill that built a large canopy to keep the rain off the scrap in our scrapyard … We’ve developed additional procedures over the years.” But that doesn’t get all the rain – or snow, if the scrap was brought over the mountain passes – off the steel, and when the wet scrap metal goes into the furnace (which is on the north side of the main building), the evaporation happens quickly and loudly. No one was hurt, he added. Some commenters asked about contacting the plant in case of an incident; you can call the general number, 206-933-2222, around the clock – if it’s after-hours, security can get in touch with someone to check into it, Jablonski said.
If your New Year’s resolutions include learning new skills – we’re spotlighting interesting classes coming up in early 2018. Including this one, announced by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary:
Suddenly In Command
Sunday, January 7, 2018, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
A class for the inexperienced boater to prepare you for an emergency situation on board and what to do if something were to happen to the “skipper.” Free and open to the public! Taught by volunteers from the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. Venue: West Seattle Library meeting room. 2306 42nd Ave SW. To sign up and for more information, go to our registration page or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you were traveling along the SW Genesee hill between Avalon and Delridge earlier this week, you might have noticed that startling sight – two flipped cars alongside a residential building on the north side of the street. Several who missed our original coverage have asked what happened. We published this story late Christmas Eve about the first crash there, after several hours of snow; about two hours later, the second crash happened, as reported by commenters – including the second car’s driver. No injuries, so no SFD callout for the second crash; the owner of that car told us today that their insurance company arranged for its removal last night. As of less than an hour ago, though, the first car is still there.
Thanks to Highland Park Action Committee co-chair Michele Witzki for the tip: SDOT crews have been out today finishing the installation of pedestrian-activated flashing-beacon signs for crosswalks on 16th SW – the one in our photo, at 16th/Trenton, as well as 16th/Thistle, 16th/Kenyon, and 16th/Webster. Along with the recently installed speed humps on Trenton, these are related to the Highland Park Greenway project, as detailed on this SDOT mailer, which includes a map of the project zone.
P.S. The beacons aren’t active yet – we learned while reporting on an unrelated project elsewhere in West Seattle recently that it takes a separate crew, with electrical specialists, to do that part of the work.
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.