Safety 1047 results

FOLLOWUP: Arrowhead Gardens water-break aftermath

(WSB photo, Monday evening)

The two buildings at Arrowhead Gardens that were without water after Monday’s pipe break will get it back this afternoon, if it’s not back already, according to a spokesperson for AG’s parent nonprofit Senior Housing Assistance Group (SHAG). We followed up after commenters raised concerns in the discussion following our original story. SHAG’s Karen Lucas tells WSB that water was expected to be back around 3:30 pm. While it was off, she says, those affected were able to use facilities in the two buildings that weren’t affected, and water and meals were provided. Eight units were evacuated and the Red Cross was brought in to help; Lucas says those who didn’t have relatives/friends to stay with were put up in hotels. Lucas confirms that the broken pipe is on their property so it’s their responsibility to fix, not Seattle Public Utilities (which is what SPU told us, too), and she said they’re still not sure why the pipe broke, flooding the underground parking area after, she was told, breaking through concrete like “a geyser.” She also wanted to thank the Seattle Fire and Red Cross crews who responded, for doing a “fabulous” job.

Reader report: Lincoln Park neighbor’s warning for you

Last week, in comments following a West Seattle Crime Watch report about car-prowls at local parks, the discussion turned to suspicious activity in and around the north end of Lincoln Park..

Today, Lila e-mailed us this detailed account of recent incidents, wanting to warn others:

Me and my family live right next to Lincoln park…a few days ago a woman walked through with her dogs while we and the neighbors were all playing outside, she informed us about calling the cops on a man who made her very nervous – she saw him scoping out cars/homes to rob. About five minutes later he walked through our side entrance in the park and right by us, he got uncomfortably close to my friend/neighbors son and said something along the lines of, “what’s up little man” everything about his mannerisms were extremely uncomfortable (and extremely inappropriate to approach a child like that-it was simply uncomfortable) and felt by all of us, he walked on and that was that.

The next day my baby and I went on a walk in the rain, it was clear right when we entered the trail that we were the only ones in the park…as we walked for a minute the same man jumped out from the side shrubbery on the North end of the park sort of near the picnic table (like he was waiting for someone to leap out at) where all the homeless people hang out and drink. He was alone and jumped out right in front of us and turned around looking under the hood of my stroller at my son then looked at me up and down licking his lips and whipping a dirty cloth against his leg, he slowed down so much he had it so we couldn’t get passed him and he walked backwards as he continued to check us out, like we were his lunch.

It takes a lot to make me uncomfortable, I have bartended for many years and I have seen men at their worst. But this? This was something different, something dark and terrifying. I know this park like the back of my hand so I knew there was a side trail coming up, and as soon as he looked away to watch where he was going I made it to that opening and headed straight to the street, where he followed us the whole way looking pissed and mumbling. I took a moment to call 911 because I had that unfortunate thought of, ‘this is just what men do. You’re safe, it’s fine’ But what about the next woman? Or child? And that thought, that shook me to my core, so we called. The operator was impatient and kind of over it, as seems to be the theme to emergency operators; two police SUV’s and one trooper entered the park and that was that. I let my neighbors know, shook it off and got on with our day.

This morning at 4-5 am my husband woke up to do his exercise routine and heard a woman screaming on the top of her lungs for help in the park, he called the cops immediately, a bit later he heard a man erratically screaming. We still don’t know what happened. However, my husband and I want to make certain that everyone knows what is happening. I don’t know if the two incidents are related, but I do know that West Seattle isn’t the same place we moved into. And specifically at the North end of Lincoln Park, as well as the parking lots, thing have been getting extremely sketchy and dangerous and there have been uncountable car and home burglaries.

I have seen coyotes walk in and out of the park, I have been almost decapitated by a hawk catching a fish on my paddle board down there, I have seen unleashed erratic dogs with no owner in sight … none of this has scared me. You know what scares me? Our own species.

First: We suggested to Lila that she (or someone from her household/neighborhood) bring this up at tonight’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, when precinct leadership is in attendance and there’s a specific time for voicing questions/concerns. (7 pm, Southwest Precinct, 2300 SW Webster)

Second, calling 911 IS the right thing to do if you see illegal activity happening in a park – that’s reiterated here. The “alcohol & drugs” section of that page begins: “Use of alcohol, cannabis, and illegal drugs is prohibited in our parks.” The “code of conduct” section specifically refers to threatening and harassing behavior and reiterates, “If you see illegal or threatening activity in a park or facility, call 911.” The more someplace is reported as a trouble spot, police say, the more likely it is that patrol resources – not just reactive responses – will be assigned.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Car-prowl suspect caught, thanks to watchful neighbors

We heard much of this unfold on the scanner early today, but not enough for a report until the Block Watch captain sent this in:

:We reported, and SPD arrested, a car prowler on our block, 8800 block of 42nd Ave SW, last night/this am @ 12:30 AM.

From our front window we observed a man getting out of the car that is not working parked across the street … This was suspicious as that car does not move. The suspect moved down the block, zig zagging, trying every car and getting into some and sitting – probably stealing. By this time we had called 911. SPD response was within 3 min. They were able to apprehend the suspect … and they took him to jail. Hope he spent the night thinking about his actions! … Please keep a sharp eye out for any suspicious behavior and don’t be shy about calling 911. Their quick response time was commendable. We had no less than 8 SPD cars on the block within a few minutes of our call.

Response times, of course, can vary depending on what else was going on … before that, it was pretty quiet in this area. There was also a big response this morning when a neighbor near 25th/Roxbury called in a report of someone entering a house through a window .. the house turned out to be “registered as vacant,” according to police-radio traffic. We don’t know how that one turned out.

Speaking of strengthening crime prevention and safety in your neighborhood – Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Burbridge just sent word that registration is open for this year’s Night Out – Tuesday, August 1st:

National Night Out registration is officially open! Registration remains open until 5 pm on Monday July 31st. Community members can visit to register and access printable invitations, street closure signs, and logos for your event.

Night Out is a national event promoted in Seattle by Seattle Police Department Crime Prevention. It is designed to heighten crime prevention awareness, increase neighborhood support in anti-crime efforts, and unite our communities.

Reader report: Truck trouble south of The Junction

The photos are from Eric, who says this truck took a wrong turn down residential 41st SW south of The Junction around 11:15 am, “squashed” an SUV, and got stuck “near the Hudson stairs”:

Eric says he empathized: “Driver was really young. I used to drive big rigs, felt for him. He was planning on trying to reverse all the way to Edmunds. I tried to help for half an hour but had to leave.” We don’t know where the truck was trying to go, but the city does have a map of “major truck streets” – Fauntleroy, two blocks east, is the major one in that area.

UPDATE: Wrong signs installed before Harbor Avenue SW speed-limit drop

2:02 PM: Two weeks ago, we reported that SDOT told a City Council committee the Harbor Avenue SW speed-limit drop from 35 mph to 30 mph would happen “soon.”

Now we have a date: Tomorrow. And a reader just called to say that signage is going up – we’re off to check.

SDOT originally planned to reduce speed limits on five West Seattle arterials, including Harbor, by the end of 2015, but the changes have been rolling out more slowly.

2:50 PM: Down here on Harbor, all the signage we’re seeing so far says 25 mph, not 30 as announced. We’re checking with SDOT.

4:08 PM: SDOT spokesperson Sue Romero just confirmed to WSB that those are the wrong signs: “We are redirecting a crew to install the proper signs, which will be 30 mph, before the end of the day today.”

P.S. This isn’t the first mistake involving speed-limit signs in our area – remember the “20 HPM” signs two years ago?

10:36 PM: We went back to Harbor Avenue to check:

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Car window smashed; package prowler

Two reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch:

CAR WINDOW SMASHED: The photo above is from Deborah in the 4100 block of Beach Drive SW, who says, “My car, parked in the apartment parking lot, had its rear passenger window smashed in around 5:00-5:20 this afternoon. Nothing was removed from the car, and no signs of tampering to the ignition and steering column. Called it in to the police, but they’ve not had any similar reports in the area.”

PACKAGE PROWLER: The photo above is from a reader who says this person was prowling their neighborhood on Thursday afternoon, in the 5600 block of 40th SW, “looking under vehicles and pretending to check the garden of the area. He looked over our gate for packages or anything that could be grabbed; he has rain boots on that come just below the knee, green shorts, a black hoodie with an insignia, black hat, sunglasses, and it looked to be dark brown hair.” One neighbor reported a stolen item; the suspect was reported to be associated with a silver Ford Focus Coupe, tinted windows. Police were notified.

TUESDAY: WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF THERE WAS AN INTRUDER IN YOUR HOME? That’s the focus of next Tuesday’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting, 6:30 pm at Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster). The presentation will feature Community Police Team Officer Todd Wiebke. All welcome – in a Block Watch or not.

Reader report: In time for Bike Everywhere Day, improvements on East Marginal Way

It’s Bike Everywhere Day – and a busy route between West Seattle and downtown has some improvements in place, Scott Morgan tells us:

I wanted to send a big thank-you to Lisa Herbold, who has helped to improve East Marginal Way for all the West Seattle Bikers who use it. I brought up the issue of trucks parking in the bike lane last November which happens multiple times a week as they wait for the Port to open their gates in the mornings. She has persistently worked with Chris Eaves at SDOT to add delineator posts to this stretch. The desire is that these posts will be a small reminder that the bike lane are for bikes and not parking trucks.

I’ve included pictures from my commute (Wednesday – above) and one from last week (below).

It’s a route where many have long advocated for improvements, and more are on the way.

MYERS WAY HOMELESSNESS: Many questions, some answers, at third ‘community conversation’

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The city and county reps on hand at the third “community conversation” about Myers Way-related homelessness issues almost outnumbered the community members who showed up.

But a smaller turnout than the previous “conversation” did not result in fewer questions; this crowd had plenty. Read More

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Student reports being followed, grabbed

An incident this morning led to the principals of Chief Sealth International High School and Denny International Middle School sending this letter to families a short time ago. It was sent to us too:

We want to share with you information regarding an incident that was reported today involving one of our scholars as she exited a Metro bus on her way to school. At approximately 8:50 AM, a 9th grade female scholar reported that she was followed off the bus by a man when she disembarked at the corner of Delridge and Thistle. She stated that the man grabbed her wrist and asked her if she wanted to go with him. She was able to free herself from his hold and then she ran to school. She reported the incident to Chief Sealth staff, who notified the police. The Seattle Police Department is investigating the incident.

The safety of our scholars is our top priority. We will continue to collaborate with the Seattle Police Department and Seattle Public Schools Safety and Security to help monitor the surrounding area before and after school.

You can help your children stay safe by talking to them about personal safety. Tips to discuss are:
• Walking in pairs or groups and being aware of their surroundings at all times.
• Leaving for school at times where there are high levels of pedestrian traffic.
• Immediately reporting anything suspicious to trusted adults (school staff and family members).
• Keep earbuds off and expensive phones out of sight.

WATER SAFETY: State, county experts visit Alki Beach to remind you about seasonal testing/warning program

May 15, 2017 6:39 pm
|    Comments Off on WATER SAFETY: State, county experts visit Alki Beach to remind you about seasonal testing/warning program
 |   Environment | Health | Safety | West Seattle news

Cathy Phillips from King County Public Health and Julianne Ruffner from the state Ecology Department (below) visited Alki Beach this morning, to sample the water while providing a quick media briefing on the BEACH program, which monitors the water at “high-use saltwater beaches” between Memorial Day and Labor Day. (Here’s the draft list for this year.)

Whether you’re going to Alki or one of the other beaches on the list, their message is to “surf the web before you surf the beach” – check online before you go into the water – look at this map to see if there’s an advisory where you’re going. The BEACH program samples water at its designated beaches every week; Phillips explained that the water is shipped to the lab the same day it’s gathered, and they find out within about 24 hours whether there’s a problem. Be careful after a storm, she warned, because rain can change the water quality even from whatever a previous day’s tests showed. You can help keep the water safe, the program advises – “pick up after your pets, have toddlers wear swim diapers, make sure young children get frequent bathroom breaks, and pick up your trash. Avoid feeding the wildlife.”

FOLLOWUP: Three-times-burned 9029 16th SW not torn down yet

Eight days ago, we reported that demolition equipment finally arrived at 9029 16th SW, the scene of at least three fires in five years, including one this past February. After that, the city had finally ordered its owners to do something about it, eventually extending the deadline to April 21st; when the demolition equipment arrived on Thursday, May 4th, we actually had an inquiry out to the city about what would happen if nothing happened. SDCI told us they had been informed the fire-gutted house would be torn down the next day.

That was a week ago. We’ve gone by daily. No activity. A new complaint is still pending. So we will renew our inquiry with the city on Monday.

Meantime, we’ve noted in our previous followups on this property that the city is considering new rules regarding what owners of structures like this can be required to do. They’re going before the Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee at 9:30 am next Tuesday (May 16th). The slide deck for the hearing contains a lot of alarming stats – and photos of derelict properties that actually look better than 9029 16th SW.

FOLLOWUP: ‘Vision Zero’ briefing touches on Harbor SW, 35th SW

May 12, 2017 5:09 pm
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 |   Safety | Transportation | West Seattle news

(Seattle Channel video from this morning’s committee meeting; Vision Zero briefing is first item, after public comment)

Earlier this week, we reported that a document prepared for the City Council Sustainability and Transportation Committee meeting today included a bit of information we’d been seeking for a while – what’s up with 35th SW Phase 2.

We monitored the meeting via Seattle Channel to see what would be said. When SDOT’s Darby Watson presented the Vision Zero” program update this morning, she had two notes of West Seattle interest: One was about 35th – she said the report on Phase 1 (a precursor for Phase 2) is expected next month. So if you’re watching for what’s next on 35th, sounds like we’ll find out in June.

The other was about Harbor Avenue SW – Watson mentioned its speed limit would be cut from 35 to 30 mph “soon.” It’s been more than two years since Harbor and four other West Seattle arterials were announced in the original Vision Zero plan as destined for lower speed limits. As reported in our February 2015 coverage, SDOT said it expected to make all of those cuts by the end of 2015. But the timeline has lagged; Fauntleroy Way was lowered in February 2016, and Delridge in December 2016.

P.S. The Sustainability and Transportation Committee meets again next Tuesday with an agenda including a report on the first full year of the Move Seattle levy and a briefing about bicycle theft.

STREET SAFETY: Greenway or green light? Drivers ignoring 17th SW stop signs

(If you can’t spare 3 minutes, the stop-sign-running is particularly prolific in the final minute-plus)

That video was recorded in November at 17th SW and SW Trenton by area resident Darryll Wolf. He sent it to various city reps then – and sent it again yesterday, after a close call. This time, we were on the CC list. His e-mail:

Dear SDOT, SPD, and Councilmember Herbold,

(Thursday) morning, as I was running to catch the bus to work at 7:53 am, a driver accelerated into and through the intersection at SW Trenton Street and 17th Ave SW, refusing to stop at the stop sign while I was in the lane! She did this as I was in front of her car, forcing me to run backward to avoid being hit. I’ve reported rampant violations at this intersection before and was even hit by one car (hit and run) and nearly hit by several others in the past several months. I shared this 3-minute video in this same email thread in November showing fully 85% of drivers fail to stop or yield right of way at this clearly signed intersection.

The incident this morning felt like a deliberate attempt by the driver to threaten or injure me with her car. I am very worried about my own safety as well as the safety of my family and neighbors who live, work, and play along the 17th Ave SW greenway.

In 2016, the Seattle Greenways project team created this new sanctioned pedestrian and bicycle greenway on 17th Ave SW north of SW Henderson Street and then placed stop signs at each of the east-west intersections along the greenway where no stop signs had ever existed for likely near 100 years. But they and SDOT failed to do any awareness campaign or enforcement follow-up to ensure the safety of those who use the greenway. I am disappointed that after having reported the frequent violations and one known hit and run at 17th and Trenton in the past few months to SPD, CPT, and the Greenways project team, we have only seen about an hour of SPD enforcement at this intersection with no ticketing for violations, and the Greenways team and SDOT have been a complete no-show here.

I have been documenting the continued pattern of violations at the 17th and Trenton intersection since last November and will continue to report this problem to SPD. I have reported similar incidents of speeding and aggressive or threatening driving through school crossing zones, and the general failure to yield to pedestrians along 16th Ave SW, and along SW Trenton Street from Delridge to 16th Ave SW. But I have seen zero SPD presence in those areas during rush hour and have never seen a single person ticketed for this blatant and common recklessness.

As the increased densification under HALA upzoning increase car, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic in our area, it is my hope that SPD, SDOT, and the City will take this seriously and do real traffic calming, enforcement, and ticketing before we see people killed by reckless drivers. Throughout the area from 16th Ave SW to SW Delridge, between Holden and Roxbury, there are many children and public transit users who are vulnerable to death and disfigurement by reckless drivers every day. And these drivers must be shown that traffic laws are not optional and that drivers cannot threaten and maim pedstrians with their cars with impunity. We need your help to send this message!

I look forward to hearing from SPD, CPT, SDOT, and the City in the near term on how each of you plan to address this very real public safety issue in our area. I am happy to discuss this in person or over a phone call if it will result in quick action.

From the list to whom Wolff sent the video, the first response (at least, the first to the entire CC list including us) was from Councilmember Herbold:

I watched your video and I’m aghast that of a dozen cars going through that intersection over the 3 minutes you filmed, only two cars made a complete stop at the stop sign. By the way of this message, I’m asking that Chief Davis consider an enforcement at this intersection. Thank you for your advocacy on behalf of pedestrian safety.

As mentioned here Thursday morning, SPD’s Traffic Unit chief, Capt. Eric Sano, is the scheduled guest for the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council next Tuesday (7 pm May 16th), so if you have neighborhood concerns, it’s a good time to bring them up.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR 35TH SW: Phase 2 later this year, says city report

We’ve been trying to get an update on Phase 2 of SDOT‘s 35th Avenue SW project, which has gone without a public update for 9 months now, since an “open house” last August and a followup walking tour. Today, we found an update in the Vision Zero progress report published as part of the agenda for the City Council’s Sustainability and Transportation Committee meeting Friday morning. The report includes summaries of several road-redesign projects around the city, including 35th, which was rechannelized south of SW Holly in fall 2015:

35th Ave SW

On 35th Ave SW, a 1.75 mile redesign and speed limit change has reduced collisions and speeds.

Left-turn collisions have been virtually eliminated. The street redesign has also allowed SDOT to mark new pedestrian crossings.

While we’ve successfully reduced speeds on this street, it took some tinkering with signal timing and public feedback to get operations dialed in.

After initial implementation, we nearly eliminated collision types like sideswipes and left turn crashes.

We did, however, see an increase in rear-end crashes, on Saturdays in particular (which is not uncommon with projects of this nature). We collected additional data and began tweaking signal timing on Saturdays. Since then, we’ve improved operations on 35th and rear-end crashes on the weekends are down by 72%.

To date, there have been zero serious or fatal collisions since redesigning the street.

We’ll release a before and after report in summer 2017 and our work on the northern segment of the corridor will begin in earnest shortly thereafter.

That’s the full text of what the new Vision Zero report says about 35th SW (you can find it on page 15 of the report). When the city held an open house last August, it had promised the next discussion of Phase 2 would be “early” this year.

FOLLOWUP: Demolition equipment arrives at thrice-burned 9029 16th SW

The end is finally near for 9029 16th Avenue SW, the South Delridge house that’s been the scene of three fires in five years, most recently February 25th. One month after a demolition permit was issued, heavy equipment arrived today. Just yesterday, we had sent an inquiry to the city Department of Construction and Inspections, which had ordered the owner to take care of the situation and then issued an extension to April 21st. Since as recently as yesterday afternoon (we’ve been going by to look every day or two), there was no sign of activity, we asked the city what would happen if it didn’t happen. The online log for the site shows yet another complaint filed by neighbors as of about a week ago. While writing this update, we just heard back from SDCI spokesperson Bryan Stevens, who says the city’s been told that demolition will start tomorrow. (If you see it any sooner, let us know – we’ll go by again later.) There’s a redevelopment proposal for the site, described as a “mixed-use building.”

POTHOLE PALOOZA: The postmortem

(Reader-texted photo from 35th/Othello last Thursday, final official day of SDOT’s ‘Pothole Palooza’)

It started loudly, and ended quietly. After commenter Bolo asked if SDOT‘s trumpeted Pothole Palooza had ended, we asked, and got the reply today.

Short version: Yes.

Longer, from SDOT spokesperson Sue Romero: “Our Pothole Palooza campaign has finished, although pothole-filling is always ongoing for our crews. During the 11-day campaign (April 17 to 27), crews filled about 8,400 potholes; in the 2-week period of the campaign that included Friday, April 28, crews had filled 8,700 potholes.” (No regional breakout.)

According to an SDOT video wrapping up Pothole Palooza, that’s close to half the number of potholes their crews fixed in the entirety of 2016 (19,074). SDOT workers got extra help from Seattle Parks workers during PP. And as Romero said, they’ll continue responding to pothole reports – you can file them online here (see the pothole-report map here), call 206-684-ROAD, and/or use the city’s Find It, Fix It app.

P.S. As for repaving instead of just pothole-filling – here’s our most-recent followup on the Roxbury and Avalon projects that are planned “as soon as 2019.”

MAY DAY: What you need to know about what’s planned, and unplanned, in Seattle on Monday, so far

(WSB photo of police awaiting protesters under east end of West Seattle Bridge, May Day 2016)

Lots of alerts have been circulating for the past few days about how May Day protests and marches might affect downtown and the surrounding areas tomorrow.

Nothing is specifically planned in West Seattle – but last year, you might recall, we picked up coverage in the evening as one group of demonstrators got close to the east end of the bridge – police kept them from actually getting onto the bridge.

So we’ll be monitoring everything closely throughout the day..

TWO MARCHES WITH PERMITS: A small demonstration is planned to start around 8:45 am downtown, south from 2nd and University; a much-larger march is expected from Judkins Park to Seattle Center starting at 1 pm. More details on both are in this SDOT alert.

METRO’S PLAN: Read it here. Bottom line: “All bus service that travels near or through the downtown Seattle area might be subject to delays during and after Monday afternoon’s events. Bus riders are advised to plan ahead for longer trips, revise travel plans if necessary and allow plenty of travel time.”

THE WILD CARD(S): Demonstrations that haven’t applied for permits can’t be predicted. And last year can’t be used as much of a comparison since May Day was on a Sunday. But a websearch for May Day 2017 in Seattle brings up mentions of an 11 am “March on Amazon” from Westlake Park plus two 6 pm rally/marches – one from Judkins Park, one from/at Westlake Park. We’ll add anything more we find.

SAFETY ALERT: Sealth/Denny families receive letter after student reports being followed

April 28, 2017 2:26 pm
|    Comments Off on SAFETY ALERT: Sealth/Denny families receive letter after student reports being followed
 |   Safety | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

A safety alert has been sent to Chief Sealth International High School and Denny International Middle School families. It’s signed by principals Aida Fraser-Hammer of CSIHS and Jeff Clark of Denny IMS, who just sent it to us:

We want to share with you information regarding an incident that was reported this morning involving one of our scholars on her way to school.

At approximately 8:35 am, a 12th grade female scholar reported that she had been followed by an older-model blue van from Delridge and Trenton as she walked toward school today.  She reported the incident to Chief Sealth staff right away, who notified the police. The Seattle Police Department is investigating the incident.

The safety of our scholars is our top priority. We will continue to collaborate with the Seattle Police Department and Seattle Public Schools Safety and Security to help monitor the surrounding area before and after school.

You can help your children stay safe by talking to them about personal safety. Tips to discuss are:

 Walking in pairs or groups and being aware of their surroundings at all times.

 Leaving for school at times where there are high levels of pedestrian traffic.

 Immediately reporting anything suspicious to trusted adults (school staff and family members).

 Keep earbuds off and expensive phones out of sight.

We’ll add PDF copies of the letter in English and Spanish momentarily.

GETTING AROUND: Take a few minutes to answer the ‘Sidewalk Survey’

Some parts of the city have great sidewalks … some have not-so-great sidewalks … some have no sidewalks. An online survey that’s open until Monday has questions about sidewalk conditions, prioritizing repairs, and about “what kind of online, interactive maps would help aging and disabled users get around the city.” If you can spare a few minutes to answer – go here.

TOMORROW: Fun, free, life-saving April Pools Day @ Southwest Pool

April 14, 2017 1:31 pm
|    Comments Off on TOMORROW: Fun, free, life-saving April Pools Day @ Southwest Pool
 |   Fun stuff to do | Safety | West Seattle news | Westwood

(WSB photo @ Southwest Pool, April 2016)

In case you haven’t already seen it on the calendar already – tomorrow (Saturday) morning brings the annual fun, free, potentially life-saving April Pools Day event at Southwest Pool (2801 SW Thistle), which invites kids and their families into the water to learn about:

Preventing open-water drowning
Life-jacket use and promotion
Cold-water awareness
Basic water rescue for children

No pre-registration necessary – just show up at SW Pool, 10:30 am-noon. (It’s one of seven Seattle city-run pools participating.) That’s conveniently right after the 10 am egg hunt at adjacent Southwest Teen Life Center!

VIDEO: More unsheltered people accepting housing and/or services, City Council committee told

With one sanctioned encampment in our area, and two areas swept nearby, you might be wondering about the city’s newest stats on its homelessness-related effort. Above is the slide deck used when city staffers briefed the City Council’s Human Services and Public Health Committee this afternoon (here’s the PDF version). It included many West Seattle datapoints, so after taking notes while monitoring the briefing via Seattle Channel, we requested the deck to share with you. (Added – here’s the video; the briefing starts at 46 minutes in.)

Of interest:

*Camp Second Chance at the Myers Way Parcels has 33 residents now, four weeks after it was officially sanctioned – that’s about twice what we were told when we visited for this story last month, and about half its ultimate current capacity.

*The Navigation Team has contacted 291 people in the past 8 weeks, and 116 accepted housing/shelter options – a higher percentage than the city had been noting previously.

*In the Spokane Street area that’s being swept this week, the team made 38 total contacts, and eight have moved to indoor shelter or authorized outdoor encampments in the past two days – others got repair assistance or other help in getting their vehicles running, and “1 person accepted entry into a longterm inpatient substance abuse treatment program.” Others who have not accepted shelter/housing did accept other services such as case management.

*The council briefing also talked about encampment-clearing protocols and about other services available, such as sharps pickup and showers (751 unsheltered people have been served by the availability of showers at Delridge Community Center, the presentation noted), as well as trash service.

Meantime, we went over to the Spokane/East Marginal area late this afternoon, and it appeared to be about three-fourths cleared.

FOLLOWUP: RV clearing under West Seattle Bridge to start Tuesday, city says

(WSB photo from last Thursday morning)

Four days after the fire that burned those RVs along SW Spokane Street west of East Marginal, the city says its operation to clear out RV campers beneath the bridge will start tomorrow. The accelerated clearing was announced that same day (and by Friday, the burned RVs already had been taken away), and this evening, the timeline was published as part of a long online update, which starts with backstory and then gets to the heart of what happens next, where, and when:

… The City is addressing the immediate hazard where the RV fire occurred last week, clearing that area of any RVs, vehicles, tents and other materials. SDOT has set a perimeter that encompasses the median along Spokane Street, from under the base of the West Seattle Bridge to Colorado Street on the east [map], that must be cleared. That area will then be fenced off to allow SDOT and Seattle City Light to perform repairs and maintenance, including following up on necessary lighting system repairs.

On Friday, April 7, the City provided notice to individuals who were on site that clearing of the area within the perimeter described above would begin on Tuesday, April 11. Recognizing the large number of RVs and other vehicles present, many of which are not operational, the City expects this effort will take several days, possibly into next week. The Navigation Team has also been offering services and alternative shelter to these individuals, outreach that will continue as long as necessary.

Additionally, on Friday the City began notifying RVs and vehicles parked all along the median under the Spokane Street viaduct to the east of the perimeter at Colorado Street that the City will be focusing enforcement of the 72-hour parking law. SPD is assisting with notification and will be leading that enforcement effort as the Navigation Team focuses its outreach efforts on people living in tents in that area.

We got notification of this update too late to ask followup questions such as where the inoperable RVs will be taken to, but will pursue the answers tomorrow. This all is happening a little over two weeks after the city started paying attention to the area, following an attack on a woman bicycling home from her job in West Seattle; days later, tent campers encroaching on the path were cleared, and a trash cleanup began in the RV area nearby. At that time, the city said it was working on “a plan” for the RV camp, but there was no timeline until the aftermath of last week’s fire.

FOLLOWUP: State cites contractors for West Seattle Junction project crane/power-line incident that sent 2 to hospital

(WSB photo from emergency response on September 26, 2016)

Six months ago, we reported on a construction-related electrical incident in The Junction that sent two workers to the hospital. Today, the state Department of Labor and Industries announced that its investigation into what happened at the 4505 42nd SW construction site has led to citations:

Two King County contractors face large fines from the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) for safety violations after a crane boom made contact with high-voltage power lines at a construction site in Seattle. Two workers were severely injured during the incident when 7,200 volts of electrical current traveled down the crane’s hoist line to the men working below the power lines.

As a result, Marpac Construction, of Seattle, has been cited for six workplace safety violations, including three “willful,” and fined $133,500. A subcontractor, Spartan Concrete of Kirkland, faces five violations, including two “willful,” and $90,000 in fines. Also, Shaffer Crane & Equipment Inc., another subcontractor, was cited for three serious and one general violations with a total fine of $5,700.

The investigation began last September when news outlets reported that two workers had been taken to Harborview Medical Center after suffering severe electrical burns.

L&I investigators at the site found that a mobile crane and a forklift with a crane-boom attachment had been operating under live high-voltage power lines. The power lines were scheduled to be moved underground, but rather than wait for that work to be done, the companies continued to work under them.

A Shaffer Crane employee was operating the crane and a Spartan foreman was giving signals when the incident happened. Seven workers were put at risk by being exposed to the potentially deadly electrical shock.

(WSB photo, September 26, 2016)

Cranes and power lines a known hazard

The danger from a crane contacting overhead power lines is well-known. From 1999-2012, there were nine deaths in Washington from crane contacts with power lines, including a double fatality in 2010.

In 2012, L&I issued an alert to warn companies of the deadly hazard after receiving reports of six power line contacts by cranes over six months.

Companies operating cranes must make sure that all power line requirements are implemented. That includes putting protective measures in place to prevent crane booms from contacting energized power lines, designating a qualified “lift director” to ensure the safe operation of the crane, and maintaining a safe radius from power lines.

Willful, serious and general violations
The willful citations are for not ensuring that protective measures were in place and for not prohibiting work below energized power lines. Marpac was cited for an additional willful violation for not designating a qualified “lift director” who was aware of the voltages of the power line and the safety requirements for working around them. The investigation found that Marpac’s lift director was not aware of the voltages involved or the specific safety requirements.

Marpac was also cited for three serious violations related to inadequate training and for not ensuring an effective accident prevention plan, with penalties totaling $7,500.

The investigation found that Spartan’s employees were not trained or aware of the danger of working under power lines. Consequently, the concrete company was cited for two serious safety violations and fined $6,000 for not ensuring that employees clearly understood the hazards of overhead power lines and for lack of training and supervision. Spartan was also cited for one general violation for not holding and documenting walk-around safety inspections at the beginning of the job and weekly.

A willful violation is one where L&I finds evidence of plain indifference or an intentional disregard to a hazard or rule. A serious violation is one where there is a substantial probability that worker death or serious physical harm could result from a hazardous condition.

As a result of the violations and the severity of the injuries, both Marpac Construction and Spartan Concrete have been identified as severe violators and are subject to follow-up inspections to determine if the conditions still exist.

Marpac and Shaffer have appealed the citation, and the appeals are pending. Spartan has until April 14 to appeal. Penalty money paid in connection with a citation is placed in the workers’ compensation supplemental pension fund, helping workers and families of those who have died on the job.

We don’t know how the workers are doing now – we’ve never even had their names – but when we followed up three days after the incident (noting that the state investigation was under way), they both had improved, to satisfactory and serious condition.

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