Thanks to the Denny International Middle School parent who shared this e-mail sent to the school community tonight:
This afternoon, two of our 8th-grade scholars reported to us that they were approached by a man in a red Sports Utility Vehicle who called to them to get in the back of the vehicle as they walked home from school yesterday. The scholars did the right thing by running away and telling an adult at home and at school. Seattle Police have been informed.
As a precaution, we reminded our scholars this afternoon about safety tips for walking to and from school. We would appreciate your help by having a similar conversation at home. The walking-safety advice includes:
GENERAL SAFETY TIPS
Pay close attention to your surroundings, avoid “automatic pilot.”
Walk with a purpose; project an assertive, business-like image.
Use common sense; plan your route to avoid uninhabited parks, parking lots, garages and alleyways.
Stick to well-lit areas.
Develop a plan before you see trouble. Crossing a street or entering a store may get you out of a potentially bad situation.
If a car follows you or beckons you while you are walking, do not approach it. Instead, turn and quickly walk the opposite direction.
Consider wearing clothing and shoes that you can move freely and quickly in, especially when walking or waiting for the bus.
Carry minimal items; overloading yourself can make you appear vulnerable.
Always plan your route and stay alert to your surroundings. Avoid shortcuts. Walk confidently. Scan your surroundings and make eye contact with people.
Avoid walking alone at night. As much as possible, walk or travel with a friend, even during the daytime.
As always, thank you for your help and partnership!
Jeff Clark, Principal
That’s the e-mail in its entirety, with no location-specific information regarding where the incident happened; Tweets by Beat notes a “lewd conduct” call not far from the school, at 28th SW and SW Elmgrove, but we likely won’t be able to check that directly with police until tomorrow morning.
Survey crews detect between 1/4 and 1/2 inch of additional settlement between University Street and south of Seneca Street since the last inspection. The settlement is uniform in nature. Inspectors also note some additional cracking on columns and girders in the same general area, along with up to 1/2 millimeter widening of a few existing cracks. No additional repair work is necessary.
We know what you’re going to ask – here’s how WSDOT answers it: “It’s important to note that not all settlement is significant. In the case of the viaduct, no single number represents an acceptable level of settlement.” Bottom line, WSDOT says: “The viaduct remains vulnerable to earthquakes but remains safe for everyday use.” (In case you missed it, here’s the latest tunnel-machine update, published here Thursday.)
(WSB file photo: ‘Wall of buses’ along Roxhill Park, across from Westwood Village)
It’s been two years since the Westwood-Roxhill Community Council started seeking safety improvements along the Roxhill Park section of the Westwood-area “transit center” – particularly lighting. We’ve covered walking tours of the area going back to the end of 2013, where WWRHAH leaders including co-chair Amanda Kay Helmick pointed out the safety issues. In January of this year, Metro told WWRHAH that they had procured a $170,000 county grant for lighting and ADA sidewalk upgrades to the area – but it hasn’t happened yet, so Helmick just followed up again, with various people in the loop, including King County Executive Dow Constantine‘s transportation adviser Chris Arkills, who investigated and then forwarded this update from Metro’s Paul Roybal:
Thank you for your inquiry about the status of King County Metro’s project to construct sidewalk and lighting improvements at the Westwood Village C Line Terminal. Over the past several months, Metro’s preliminary design work has included:
· coordination with the City of Seattle to address technical design issues,
· completion of federal environmental review requirements, and
· identification of City of Seattle permitting requirements.
Certain project elements, including the lighting improvements, trigger requirements of the City of Seattle Street Improvement Permit process. This process requires additional coordination with various City departments, and is typically completed in a three- to six-month time frame. Concurrently, Metro is actively working with the City of Seattle to identify options to reduce the construction duration once permitting is complete. Metro’s design team now estimates that construction will be complete in mid-2016.
Some of the other problems pointed out by WWRHAH in the 2013 walking tour have already been addressed.
Four West Seattle roads are still in line for a five-mph speed-limit reduction. That’s what we’ve learned since a reader calling himself “A Dad on Dangerous Delridge” e-mailed us Thursday to wonder what happened to SDOT‘s plan to reduce the speed limit on 5 West Seattle arterials by year’s end. We wrote about it in mid-February, when SDOT released details of its Vision Zero plan. “Dad” CC’d various city officials, including Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who asked SDOT to respond, even before we started inquiring. SDOT’s Jim Curtin responded: “We will be reducing the speed limit from 35 mph to 30 mph (on Delridge Way) north of SW Orchard Street in December.” We then asked about the other roads on the list. Curtin’s reply: “35th was reduced to 30 between Roxbury and Holly in September. … Fauntleroy, Delridge, and Harbor will be reduced to 30 before the end of 2015. We’re designing additional countermeasures for the Olson Pl SW/Roxbury reduction to 30 mph. This will include radar speed signs for both Roxbury and Olson Place along with flashing beacons to add additional emphasis to our curve-warning signs (where we’ve had some trouble over the years as you know). Still aiming to implement in 2015.”
Crews are in Morgan Junction right now, starting work on the sidewalk-repair project along the west side of California south of Fauntleroy. As previewed here last month, here are the key points you need to know:
Work hours will be 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Parking will initially be restricted 24 hours a day up to the driveway to the Subway parking lot driveway approach. After we complete the northerly section, we will then restrict parking 24 hours a day south of the Subway parking lot driveway approach. To maintain business access during construction, we will install ADA-compliant ramp “bridges” into each affected business until the new sidewalk is ready.
The sidewalk work is a community-requested project funded by the Neighborhood Park and Street Fund.
VIDEO: Arson investigation, holiday-season crime prevention, and more @ West Seattle Block Watch Captains NetworkOctober 27, 2015 at 9:45 pm | In Crime, Safety, West Seattle news | Comments Off
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
No arrest yet in the West Seattle arsons.
That’s what Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis told the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network tonight, almost one full week since the last fire in the string of half a dozen arsons that have been under investigation for more than two weeks. Here’s video of his update:
That most-recent fire was early last Wednesday, set in a recycling bin outside a house at 40th SW and SW Morgan, half a mile from the October 12th firesetting shown on surveillance video made public last Thursday:
Capt. Davis told the more than 30 attendees that the investigation remains open and active, with multiple agencies working on it. Call 911 or 800-55-ARSON if you have information.
He was asked about last Saturday’s double shooting, in which a 24-year-old man was killed and a 34-year-old man seriously wounded, with a 25-year-old suspect arrested hours later. Capt. Davis had no additional information on that beyond pointing out that – as we reported after the suspect’s bail hearing – the victims and suspect were known to each other.
Also brought up by attendees:
West Seattle Crime Watch: FOUND
October 26, 2015 at 8:50 pm | In Crime, Safety, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 4 Comments
Stolen SUV to watch for; Block Watch Captains’ Network briefings Tuesday
8:50 PM: In West Seattle Crime Watch tonight:
STOLEN SUV: Have you seen Matt‘s stolen dark blue Chevy Tahoe? It was taken from his driveway in the 6000 block of California SW sometime midday last Friday (October 23rd). License plate 899-ZBW. If you see it – call 911.
9:51 PM UPDATE: See comments – SPD found Matt’s SUV and are reported to have made an arrest, too.
(back to original report) CRIME UPDATES AT BLOCK WATCH CAPTAINS’ NETWORK: Want to hear firsthand updates about the recent arsons and Saturday’s shootings? And/or ask questions? The West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network meets tomorrow (Tuesday, October 27th) for the last time this year, and has announced that Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis will be there with updates, as well as Crime Prevention Coordinator Mark Solomon, who, WSBWCN says, “will focus on prevention and things you can do to make your property less of a target for arson or property theft. Come learn about things you and your neighbors can do to be vigilant.” 6:30 pm, SW Precinct (2300 SW Webster), all welcome – you don’t have to be a BW captain or even a BW member.
FOLLOWUP: November 5th announced as new start date for Morgan Junction sidewalk work; bus stop might moveOctober 23, 2015 at 2:42 pm | In Safety, West Seattle news | 4 Comments
(WSB photo from October 14th)
Just in – the new start date for the sidewalk work coming up along the west side of California SW, south of Fauntleroy Way SW, in a community-requested Neighborhood Park and Street Fund project:
SDOT crews plan to start work on Thursday, November 5th. We will start near Starbucks and work our way south. To minimize disruptions, we will only remove as much sidewalk as we can fully replace within four business days.
The announcement continues ahead: Click to read the rest of FOLLOWUP: November 5th announced as new start date for Morgan Junction sidewalk work; bus stop might move…
A tree-vs.-power-line situation has led to Seattle Police and City Light blocking off SW Orchard north of Dumar (map) until crews can get there to take care of the problem. They’re not sure how long that’ll take – could be a few hours. No crash involved, just a spontaneous problem, but we recall from past storms that this can be a trouble spot during wind and rain, so damage might have lingered.
Last week, as reported here, SDOT was circulating word that a grant-funded sidewalk-repair project in Morgan Junction could start as soon as next Tuesday. It won’t be that soon after all, we’ve since learned via another update from SDOT: “Crews will start the sidewalk repair project in Morgan Junction after Oct. 20. Crews are currently completing other projects. SDOT will provide a schedule update by the end of next week and SDOT will provide notice to adjacent businesses at least three days before construction starts.” The work will be along the west side of California south of Fauntleroy, paid for by a Neighborhood Park and Street Fund grant.
Tired of seeing sidewalks blocked because of construction? The city’s proposing a new rule, and taking comments right now – see how to have a say, at the end of this announcement:
Requests for construction-related closures of Seattle sidewalks will soon come under more stringent city review in an effort to make it easier and safer for people to walk here. The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is proposing a revised Director’s Rule for Pedestrian Mobility in and Around Work Zones (SDOT DR 10-2015). The expanded rule emphasizes sidewalk closures as a last resort, when there is no other reasonable solution to keep a public walkway open.
“We want contractors and pedestrians to know what to expect, and we want to provide swift and certain enforcement when pedestrian access regulations are violated,” explained SDOT Director Scott Kubly. “Seattle considers safety for people walking and riding bikes a top priority because if they are hit, the likelihood of injury is almost 100 percent.”
The newly updated rule establishes standards for meeting Seattle Municipal Code requirements, including materials, their placement, and steps to ensure American Disability Act (ADA) compliance. These include calling for water-filled barriers to protect pedestrians around construction sites, and eliminating the orange tube delineators known as candlesticks as an option on arterials. This change alone could be life-saving, as the barriers were September 8, 2015 when a car crashed into them near a very busy bike lane along 2nd Avenue, near Pike Street. The driver was arrested for speeding but no one was hurt; the barriers worked as designed.
“This new rule means fewer people walking into traffic or zigzagging across intersections on their way home,” said Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, Chair of the Council’s Transportation Committee. “This is the result of SDOT’s collaboration with businesses, pedestrian and bicycle groups, and disability advocates. It’s heartening to know it’ll be easier to get around town as construction continues to boom.”
“We make safety personal; the people who interface with our projects are not only our end users, but also our own family and community members,” said Howard S. Wright Senior Safety Health & Environmental Manager Brian Sorensen. “It is important to see a refocus on the significance of safe pedestrian mobility and to “raise the bar” for our community.”
In the past, if contractors kept pedestrian access on the same side of the street as construction they could get a mobility credit; now that pedestrian routing approach is the proposed standard. The updated rule is supported by a new progressive enforcement procedure that focuses on providing clear direction to reduce infractions, and heightened attention on those with cumulative violations.
“The Alliance for Pioneer Square strongly supports improvements to pedestrian safety around construction zones,” said Alliance Public Realm Director Liz Stenning. “With an unprecedented number of development and construction projects throughout Pioneer Square and the rest of downtown, safe and efficient travel for all users and those with limited mobility should be prioritized.”
The complete DR 10-2015 is posted online at seattle.gov/transportation/drules.htm. Comment is being accepted now through October 29, 2015. To provide comment, contact LeAnne Nelson in the SDOT Street Use Division at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-684-3897. You may also drop off a written comment to the Street Use offices located on the 23rd floor of the Seattle Municipal Tower, at 700 5th Avenue downtown.
It’s #9 on the new West Seattle Bridge-Duwamish Waterway Corridor “action report,” but the 5-way intersection at West Marginal/Chelan/Delridge/etc. has been in line for improvements since long before the report came out. One of the people who’s been closely involved, West Seattle Bike Connections president Don Brubeck, shares the photo and an update on what’s happening at the intersection today:
Work is beginning on Chelan 5-way intersection short-term improvements. SDOT electricians were out this morning, working on installing rapid-flashing beacon lights at the blind corner at the bridge pier where the Delridge Way right turn lane to Spokane St Bridge crosses the West Seattle Bridge Trail. They will install sensors for bikes and pedestrians to trigger the beacon. Other safety improvements include pavement markings to increase bicycle predictability, and bicycle ramps to minimize conflicts at this complex intersection.
Rapid-flashing beacon lights are a relatively new arrival in West Seattle – they’ve gone up this year at California/Dakota, Holden/11th, and in the school zone in the 5900 block of Delridge Way. As for the 5-way intersection plan, you can find out more at the WSBC website, and remember, a discussion of the entire corridor’s future – all modes and a multitude of issues – hosted by City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, is planned for October 19th, 6:30 pm, at the Sisson Building in The Junction (California SW & SW Oregon).
‘Drastic turnaround,’ for the better: West Seattle crime stats and more as West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network reconvenesSeptember 22, 2015 at 10:57 pm | In Crime, Safety, West Seattle news | 3 Comments
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
As the temperatures have dropped, so has West Seattle crime. The report heard by the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network tonight was basically what the WS Crime Prevention Council heard last week (WSB coverage here), and what online reports have borne out: After an early August spike, and some key arrests, things have slowed way down.
From tonight’s meeting at the Southwest Precinct:
CRIME TRENDS: Operations Lt. Ron Smith told the 15+ WSBWCN attendees that the Anti-Crime Team has “made some great arrests,” about a dozen people. While back during the week of August 9th, there were 32 car prowls in West Seattle – “that’s a lot” for this area – that fell to 8 car prowls a week in mid-September, and this past week, 3 car prowls, after some arrests with the help of watchful neighbors – “our K-9 is running down the street and a citizen will come out and identify which shed someone is hiding in.” Lt. Smith declared that drop “That’s a drastic turnaround.” One commercial burglary this past week, also a drop, and residential burglaries are also down on average – peaking in early August at 14 burglaries one week, declining to 4 the week of September 6th, 7 the most recent week (as shown here last night). Year-to-date compared to last year, residential burglaries are down 5 percent in this area – 349, compared to 370. (At right, the city map for the past week, filtered for burglaries, car prowls, and robberies.)
Auto thefts are reported to be up a bit lately but down 5 percent year-to-year – Lt. Smith says some of the more recent arrestees are “back on the streets” so the Anti-Crime Team is back on their case. The robbery rate is more or less unchanged, averaging three per week, which includes shoplifting cases that were classified as robberies because the thief used force. Lt. Smith also mentioned that the recent Hamilton Viewpoint Park concerns seemed to be under control. Asked about the Community Police Team status, it’s still at half-strength, down to two officers, but three candidates are being evaluated, Lt. Smith said.
Two other major topics tonight:
Next Saturday – September 26th – you can get expired/no-longer-needed prescription drugs out of your home and into a safe drop-off container at the Southwest Precinct, during National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, 10 am-2 pm. The announcement is from SW Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis. Nationally, it’s a DEA initiative, as explained:
The National Prescription Drug Take-Back addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards.
The precinct is at 2300 SW Webster; the public entrance is off the east side of its parking lot on Webster west of Delridge.
FOLLOWUP: Warning period recalibrated for West Seattle’s new speed-camera zone. Also: New price for school-zone ticketsSeptember 19, 2015 at 11:59 am | In Safety, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 14 Comments
Once it was determined that Seattle Public Schools would start this past Thursday, we published a reminder about West Seattle’s new speed camera zone, its fourth one, on Delridge Way SW by Louisa Boren STEM K-8 and interim Arbor Heights Elementary (as first confirmed in June). We have since obtained followup information about the warning period for that camera – and it includes news of the new increased fine for school-zone speeding. From Chris Steel of SPD’s speed-camera program:
The new sites [this one and others in the city] will have a 30-day warning period starting on the first day of school, 9/17/15. Drivers who exceed the posted speed limit while the school zone beacons are active will receive a Courtesy Warning Notice. This notice explains the school zone safety program and advises the driver:
· This is a Courtesy Warning Only
· There is No Penalty for this Notice
· These is No Response needed
· This Notice will not be reported to the Department of Licensing
The notice goes further on to explain that once the warning period ends, the current fine for this violation is $234. This is an increase from last school year as mandated by the Washington Supreme Court and in effect as of July 1, 2015.
Again, the “grace period” applies only to the ticketing *camera* in the STEM/AH zone – if an officer tickets you, or if you get an in-person or camera ticket in any other flashing-beacon school zone, it’s official from the school year’s start. (Here’s the map of speed cameras citywide – West Seattle has three that were in use before this school year, Fauntleroy Way SW near Gatewood Elementary and two on SW Roxbury, by Roxhill Elementary and Holy Family School.)
Just in from SDOT:
Starting on Saturday, September 19, 2015, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will mark the existing eastbound bus-only lanes on the West Seattle Bridge with high visibility red markings. Similar to those installed in locations such as Battery Street and NE Pacific Street, these markings raise the profile of the transit-only lane and improve driver compliance with the restriction.
You might have missed this if you don’t read the daily road-work alerts in the traffic/transit coverage we publish each weekday morning: SDOT crews are due back out on Roxbury and 35th tonight, as marking, restriping, and “hydroblasting” removal of the old striping continues in both projects. We saw this crew on 35th north of Thistle less than an hour ago:
As we showed in this morning’s traffic/transit notes, the Roxbury rechannelizing north of White Center was mostly finished overnight. That’s far from the entirety of the Roxbury project, which is detailed in this presentation first shown at the April meeting of the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council, and has been in the works for more than a year and a half:
Jim Curtin, managing both projects for SDOT, says, “Our crews will be out on Roxbury again tonight since there’s still some work left,” as well as working on 35th (plan below, as announced two months ago):
If it does rain Wednesday, that could delay some work, Curtin adds: “We can remove paint in the rain but re-painting is impossible.”
We’ve just received confirmation that the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council WILL resume its monthly meeting schedule as planned, starting tomorrow night (Tuesday, September 15th), 7 pm, at the Southwest Precinct‘s community meeting room. If you have a neighborhood concern to bring up with SPD, and/or want to hear local crime trends firsthand, this is the one open, public, monthly chance to do that. Each meeting usually also has a featured topic and/or guest; this time around, it’s self-defense, discussing with SPD and attendees, according to WSCPC president Richard Miller, “(the) relative advantages and disadvantages of various personal protection/self defense devices (stun guns, tasers, pepper spray, handguns, etc.).” The precinct is at Delridge and Webster; the community-room entrance is off the parking lot on Webster.
West Seattle bicycle rider Al survived a frightening collision with a semi-truck/trailer on Thursday – and it’s all on video, recorded by his helmet cam. He asked if we would share it here as, at the very least, a reminder of why it’s important to be aware of everyone and everything on the road – it can be a matter of life and death. It happened as he was riding southbound on East Marginal Way near its turn into Alaskan Way, as he headed back to West Seattle after yesterday’s Mariners game. WARNING: LOTS OF PROFANITY – the video is not edited and so, Al says, “A word of warning…If you don’t want to hear a bunch of words and phrases most parents don’t teach their children, hit the ‘mute’ button.” You have lots of time once you hit “play,” as the truck does not come into view until almost a minute into the video, and the collision happens shortly thereafter. Al adds, “I was very lucky and I’m okay (a scratch on my left elbow and thigh), my bike was mended (rode straight to Alki Bike with a rubbing I couldn’t find).” He says the crash was reported to police and that Port of Seattle PD took a report. East Marginal Way S. was in the spotlight in 2013 after a deadly crash (less than a mile south of Al’s incident), and is one of the “multimodal corridors” that SDOT is currently studying for safety improvements.
SDOT has just gone public with the revised SW Admiral Way Safety Project plan, ahead of a briefing at tonight’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting. This is the plan that originally stirred controversy for seeking to remove more than 200 parking spaces along parts of Admiral Way west of California SW. Some residents launched a petition drive and campaign, with concerns including SDOT having made decisions based on a parking study conducted in the winter. SDOT agreed to do another parking study in the summer, and this is the revised version just announced:
Our revised proposal maintains on-street parking on both sides of the street, constructs a buffered bike lane, adds a new crosswalk and a westbound radar feedback sign. It also helps motorists maintain speeds closer to 30 mph by reducing travel lane widths. We are doing this by removing the center turn lane, while maintaining left turn pockets at four intersections with high left turn demand. Providing these left turn pockets would require removing a limited amount of on-street parking at 59th, 49th and 47th Avenues SW (no changes proposed at California Ave SW). The design is not at a point where we know how many spaces, but as you can imagine it will be much less than the initial concept shared in May.
While the revised proposal significantly reduces impacts to parking, we still wanted to honor our commitment to studying parking during the peak summer season. A parking study was conducted from July 30 through August 11 along SW Admiral Way by an independent consultant. Here is an overview of what we learned (the full report is available online).
We are looking forward to engaging the community in a conversation about the revised proposal. A public meeting is being held on September 17 from 6:15 to 7:45 PM at the Hiawatha Community Center and more information is available at our project website. We will be taking comments until October 1, 2015.
Your first opportunity to do that will be at tonight’s ANA meeting, 7 pm at The Sanctuary at Admiral (42nd SW & SW Lander).
Traffic-safety issues are high on the priority list for the Fauntleroy Community Association, and FCA shares the photo with word of one more safety feature in place. From Gordon Wiehler: “The FCA installed a convex mirror at Roxbury, Marine View SW and 45th Ave SW to better see what’s coming down the hill, typically at high speed.”
P.S. The FCA is another of the community councils that’s getting back to regular meeting schedules now that summer’s ending. Its board meets at the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse (9131 California SW) next Tuesday, September 8th, at 7 pm.
Among a series of new SDOT-placed signs staked beside the bicycle/foot trails along Harbor and Alki Avenues are at least two with that design – silhouettes of two people on a bicycle, without helmets, which are required by law.
After the signs were pointed out by Jackie from Upper Alki, which has a safety controversy of its own going on, we went out to see for ourselves, and then asked SDOT about the signs. Marybeth Turner said they’ll be fixed:
This sign is one of a set of five signs, each with a different image. One of the signs shows a silhouette with a retro image of two people without helmets on a tandem bicycle. My understanding is that sets of five signs were placed at six trails around the city. The signs inform people about the Seattle Trails Upgrade Plan (see SDOT web page about this).
A different bicycle image was originally planned for the set, but was replaced by the image you’ve seen by project staff and did not get our usual thoughtful review for public information materials. Although the image seems to portray bicyclists at a time before helmets were commonly used, we definitely want to promote helmet use, and would not normally approve an image of bicyclists without helmets. We are adding helmet stickers to the signs.
Only one of the sign designs we saw was clearly a promotion for the trail:
The others (including silhouettes of a runner, a dog walker, and someone with a small child on their shoulders) bore only the logos for SDOT and for the city’s Vision Zero safety campaign, including the one with the unhelmeted riders.
Lifesaving lesson: Engine 32 crew and Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins visit Delridge Library for Firefighter StorytimeAugust 5, 2015 at 3:35 pm | In Delridge, Safety, West Seattle news | Comments Off
Is there a preschooler or toddler in your family? Has s/he ever seen a firefighter up close, in full gear? Heard the household smoke alarm? Been told what to do in case of fire?
(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
While this morning’s Firefighter Storytime at Delridge Library looked and sounded like fun … at the heart of it was a life-and-death lesson: Teaching small children what to do in case of fire. With the help of Junction-based Engine 32′s crew members, Fire Chief Harold Scoggins was the guest reader:
He read the same book that’s usually read at Firefighter Storytimes … “No Dragons for Tea,” Jean E. Pendziwol‘s book about a visit from a friendly dragon who sneezes and accidentally sets a house on fire. What follows in the story helps kids understand what to do and what not to do. After the reading, the kids got to see Firefighter Jeff from Engine 32 suit up into full gear, including the rebreather that, as Chief Scoggins noted, made him sound like Darth Vader. Then he got down on the ground to demonstrate getting below the smoke in a smoke-filled room and crawling to safety:
Chief Scoggins also got down onto the floor for some prizes and high-fives:
The storytime audience got to go outside and see the fire engine:
They also learned that firefighters go to many different types of incidents, including medical calls, so you might see them even if nothing is burning. The hope of course is that they’ll never need to put the lessons into action, nor have to see the firefighters at work, but one boy said he had: “Grandma started a fire,” he said. Uh-oh.
P.S. Chief Scoggins assigned “homework,” including asking the grownups to show the kids what the smoke alarm sounds like, and making a plan about how to get out of the house and where to go. All important stuff you can and should do with your family even if you don’t get the lesson directly from SFD. But if you’d like to check out Firefighter Storytime firsthand – next one isn’t too far away, a week from today (August 12th) at 11:15 am at South Park Library (8th Ave. S./Cloverdale).
6:14 PM: It’s Night Out 2015 – which means dozens of side streets closed for block parties, with neighbors celebrating each other and intensifying their commitment to look out for each other. We’ll be stopping by some parties for photos; we’re also happy to receive yours and add it to the coverage. Different e-mail address than usual – email@example.com – or you can share via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (you’ll find us at all three as /westseattleblog) so we can re-share here – thank you!
6:30 PM: First photo in, above, is from Imelda‘s block party at 61st/Beach Drive – we’re hearing about lots of parties with live bands this year! We’re stopping at another one right now, 35th/105th in Arbor Heights – thanks to Darren for letting us know.
Pop-A-Shot (photo above) and Putt-Putt Golf are happening at the AH party, as are hot dogs, hamburgers, popcorns, and dozens of neighbors having a great time.
6:49 PM: We’re heading north now, just arriving in Gatewood, where Ellen‘s party is getting a visit from Reptile Man.
(WSB photo, substituted for the not-as-clear Instagram image originally posted)
Lucy the alligator is one of the friends he brought along. This party was near 41st/Rose.
6:59 PM: Just tweeted by Amanda:
— Amanda Kay Helmick (@ak_helmick) August 5, 2015
We’re now arriving at the 37th/Raymond/Graham block party, invited by Aaron (thank you!) – these neighbors also are celebrating with a barbecue. Some party participants just paused to pose for us:
(Update – here’s our full-group photo from that party:)
Another block party’s youngest attendees are in these photos shared via Twitter:
— Bit of Butter (@BitofButter) August 5, 2015
— Bit of Butter (@BitofButter) August 5, 2015
Headed now to the Fairmount neighborhood south of The Triangle, where four streets of neighbors are gathering for Night Out. This seems to be the Year of the Band at Night Out, peninsula-wide:
Sharonn invited us to this party, which is bringing together neighbors from 35th, 36th, 37th, 38th, as well as Edmunds itself. We’ll add the group photo later. (Added – here it is!)
7:20 PM: In High Point, the big party’s in Commons Park – that’s where Tim photographed Lucy dancing to the music near the bouncy house:
Many parties double as informational events; at the HP party, until about 8 pm, you can also talk with SDOT about the 35th SW Safety Project. From one HP to another – the next tweeted photo is courtesy of Marcia in Highland Park:
— Marcia Ventura (@marciaventura) August 5, 2015
7:38 PM: Night Out and Election Night parties are about to overlap (22 minutes left to vote!) – but we’re still in Night Out mode, stopping now in the 3200 block of 36th SW, thanks to Andrea‘s invitation. This party has guinea pigs!
(Added: We learned via an Instagram comment that they are Oreo, Vanilla, and Marshmallow.)
8:05 PM: Still partying:
— Matthew Boehm (@mjboehm267) August 5, 2015
9:08 PM: Had to break away from Night Out coverage to report on the election results and talk to a few candidates. But we’re back at HQ, where we’ll add the photos we took, and we’re now adding several more photos e-mailed to us (thank you!). First, from the 6700 block of 38th SW:
From Sara in Belvidere:
— Sara Gaccione (@saragaccione) August 5, 2015
Also from Sara – 24 kids at that same block party!
From Westwood – e-mailed by Michael:
He explained, “Our annual block party is still going strong but we wanted to share this awesome cake our neighbors Michael & Randi brought. We’re on 34th between Kenyon & Elmgrove, and we love our neighborhood!”
Next, from Chris at 15th and Trenton:
“Great turnout in our neighborhood!” Chris added. Next – Darryll‘s photo from 8800 block of 17th SW, when firefighters stopped by:
Max sent the next photo from the 2700 block of 36th SW:
From Long Bach Nguyen in Gatewood, the California/Portland block party:
Also in Gatewood – the 45th/Austin party – thanks to Kera for the photo:
On 36th SW between Findlay and Brandon, Jenny’s block-party neighbors gathered for a group pic:
At 45th and Edmunds on the southwest side of The Junction, a traffic-stopping street-closure sign:
Thanks to Michelle for that photo. Over at 16th/Trenton, Steve says his party got a little “goofy”:
He also reports, “We had an awesome time tonight. Engine 11, ping pong, basketball, bikes, soccer, hand-turned ice cream and tons of great neighbors.”
Earlier in the week, we showed you one of the Night Out signs on Pigeon Point. Here’s part of the party:
Thanks to Pete for the pic; Pigeon Point visitors included Southwest Precinct Captain Pierre Davis.
Near 48th/Morgan, Deb‘s party was visited by Matt from AlertSeattle:
That’s the new city service we mentioned on Tuesday morning – sign up for emergency alerts (and more). Finally, on 34th SW south of Camp Long, Susan says she and her neighbors had a “lovely evening” at their party:
“Close to 50-60 folks attended, enjoying great food, wonderful neighbors and awesome music from Hoo Doo Boogaloo” – featured in the video clip she shared:
One more time – THANK YOU to everyone who shared photos and/or invited us to come by (sorry the election overlap cut our travels short) – and congratulations on a neighborly night all over West Seattle.
The city has opened signups for AlertSeattle, which its announcement describes as “a new, real-time emergency alert and notification system … a way to send out messages to the public with information on what to do when emergencies like earthquakes, explosions, flooding, or other disasters happen,” as well as “community notifications about severe weather, safety, health, utility-service disruptions, major traffic incidents, preparedness events and more.” You can register by going to alert.seattle.gov and creating a profile. Set aside a few minutes before you start – it’s a bit complicated, with numerous optional fields you can (but don’t have to) fill out beyond the basic notification information; it’s linked to Smart911, so you’ll also be asked, for example, if you want to provide information about your household that could be displayed to emergency providers if you call 911 from the phone number you register.
(One side of Pigeon Point’s Night Out sign; art by Jim Sander, photo from Pete Spalding)
Tomorrow night, hundreds of neighbors around West Seattle – among thousands citywide – will hang out together in their neighborhoods during the annual Night Out, which started with a focus on crime prevention and safety, and evolved to an all-around celebration of neighbors’ solidarity. If you want to close your (non-arterial) street for a Night Out party, you need to be sure it’s registered via Seattle Police by 5 pm today – go here to do that, and to find printable flyer/signage templates. Registered parties also have a chance for police or firefighters to stop by during the official 6-9 pm party timeframe.
P.S. If you’re photographing your Night Out gathering, we’d be thrilled to get a photo, to include in our as-it-happens coverage tomorrow night – firstname.lastname@example.org (or share via the WSB Facebook page, since we can download from there for website use) – thank you!
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