West Seattle Blog... » Safety http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Sat, 28 Nov 2015 03:29:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 STUDENT SAFETY ALERT: Denny students report luring attempt http://westseattleblog.com/2015/11/student-safety-alert-denny-students-report-luring-attempt/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/11/student-safety-alert-denny-students-report-luring-attempt/#comments Thu, 19 Nov 2015 05:32:12 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=329610 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:


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.

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Alaskan Way Viaduct still sinking and cracking, inspection finds http://westseattleblog.com/2015/11/alaskan-way-viaduct-still-sinking-and-cracking-inspection-finds/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/11/alaskan-way-viaduct-still-sinking-and-cracking-inspection-finds/#comments Fri, 13 Nov 2015 19:39:51 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=329010 Almost two weeks after the last Alaskan Way Viaduct inspection closures, the results are in. From this WSDOT webpage summarizing years of inspection results:

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.)

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Westwood ‘transit center’ lighting, sidewalk improvements delayed until next year, Metro says http://westseattleblog.com/2015/11/westwood-transit-center-lighting-sidewalk-improvements-delayed-until-next-year-metro-says/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/11/westwood-transit-center-lighting-sidewalk-improvements-delayed-until-next-year-metro-says/#comments Mon, 09 Nov 2015 23:40:17 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=328648

(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.

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FOLLOWUP: 30 mph still on the way for Delridge, Fauntleroy, Harbor, Olson/Roxbury http://westseattleblog.com/2015/11/followup-30-mph-still-on-the-way-for-delridge-fauntleroy-harbor-olsonroxbury/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/11/followup-30-mph-still-on-the-way-for-delridge-fauntleroy-harbor-olsonroxbury/#comments Fri, 06 Nov 2015 21:00:24 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=328368

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 Delridgee-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.”

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HAPPENING NOW: Morgan Junction sidewalk work begins http://westseattleblog.com/2015/11/happening-now-morgan-junction-sidewalk-work-begins/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/11/happening-now-morgan-junction-sidewalk-work-begins/#comments Thu, 05 Nov 2015 19:25:16 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=328234

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.

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VIDEO: Arson investigation, holiday-season crime prevention, and more @ West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/video-arson-investigation-holiday-season-crime-prevention-and-more-west-seattle-block-watch-captains-network/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/video-arson-investigation-holiday-season-crime-prevention-and-more-west-seattle-block-watch-captains-network/#comments Wed, 28 Oct 2015 04:45:29 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=327324 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:

Davis was asked about a recent case of auto theft in which officers didn’t respond until hours had passed and multiple calls were made, the victim said. They wanted to know why that happened, saying they had looked at a list of other incidents around the city at the same time and could not find anything major that would have kept police from responding sooner. They also said they needed an incident number at the time so that the car’s LoJack could be activated.

Capt. Davis asked for the incident number so he could investigate. The victim said the car was found and that the officer with whom they eventually dealt “was fantastic,” but that didn’t make up for the frustration over what it took to get that response. They also said they had called the non-emergency number, and the captain said that might have been a factor – as police have often said at community meetings, call 911, since the same call-takers handle that line, and they can re-route you if necessary.

The next attendee to ask a question spoke about the chronic dumping problem near the Sanislo Elementary schoolyard, which was brought up during Mayor Murray‘s Find It/Fix It visit earlier this month.

“It’s a huge safety issue in the area,” explained the attendee, saying that concerned community members are hoping to put up a surveillance camera, so, he asked, “If you had video of a vehicle dumping trash and drugs in the area, could you do anything about it?” Capt. Davis said yes, provided they have the license plate and are able to identify who was driving the car.

He also spoke briefly about SPD’s new Crime Data Dashboard, which breaks out crime data by neighborhood (he had also explained it at the Morgan Community Association meeting last week, as featured in our coverage).

CRIME PREVENTION: Next to speak was SPD’s Southwest and South Precincts Crime Prevention Coordinator Mark Solomon.

He first talked about arson deterrence, with the same flyer that was circulated last week:

Solomon then moved on to a short tutorial on how to talk with 911, when you are reporting a crime or other emergency: “Let the call-taker control the conversation, let them ask the questions, answer to the best of your ability, you’ll feel a lot less like a suspect.”

Car prowls is one of the biggest problems in our area, “and it’s also very prevalent during the holiday season,” because purchases are left in the car, and criminals know that. “I look at people committing car break-ins as like shopping – somebody somewhere is going to leave it open and available.”

Solomon urged people to report car prowls, even if nothing is taken, so that the full picture of the problem can be known. The online tool isn’t always easy to work with, said one attendee, and he said that’s important feedback. WSBWCN’s Deb Greer reminded people also to let their Block Watch captain know so they can share the information.

If you’re out shopping, Solomon continued, don’t carry a lot of packages. And don’t just walk around flaunting your electronics. Solomon borrowed an attendee’s phone, held it up and said “What am I holding?” Answer: “200 dollars. … If you wouldn’t walk down the street with two 100-dollar bills in your hand, don’t (walk around with the phone).” Also: Maintain control over what you do carry, like a purse or other bag – hold it close, don’t just let it swing free in a way that might tempt a criminal to try to grab it.

How far can you go to protect yourself? asked one attendee.

Do what you feel you need to do – but in this case, “it’s just stuff – they want stuff – they don’t want you. You can replace stuff. You can’t replace you,” Solomon said.

He’ll be circulating the official annual newsletter with holiday-safety tips later this week – in the meantime, you can see a previous year’s edition here. And for Solomon’s most-recent newsletter, with package-theft-prevention tips – go here.

One more note:

COMMUNITY SAFETY SURVEY: Have you taken it yet? If not – go here to find the link, and the backstory.

This was the last meeting of the year for the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network, since the regular end-of-month meeting dates will be during the holidays – until the next one in January, keep watch on the WSBWCN website for updates.

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West Seattle Crime Watch: FOUND Stolen SUV to watch for; Block Watch Captains’ Network briefings Tuesday http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/west-seattle-crime-watch-stolen-suv-to-watch-for-block-watch-captains-network-briefings-tuesday/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/west-seattle-crime-watch-stolen-suv-to-watch-for-block-watch-captains-network-briefings-tuesday/#comments Tue, 27 Oct 2015 03:50:10 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=327233 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.

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FOLLOWUP: November 5th announced as new start date for Morgan Junction sidewalk work; bus stop might move http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/followup-november-5th-announced-as-new-start-date-for-morgan-junction-sidewalk-work-bus-stop-might-move/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/followup-november-5th-announced-as-new-start-date-for-morgan-junction-sidewalk-work-bus-stop-might-move/#comments Fri, 23 Oct 2015 21:42:41 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=326930

(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:

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.

It is unlikely that SDOT will complete the entire project prior to Thanksgiving. If the entire project is not completed before Thanksgiving, everything we have disturbed will be “buttoned up” into a finished state before Thanksgiving. SDOT will not carry out this construction project from Thanksgiving through the winter holiday season. This schedule will avoid conflicts with holiday shopping. Any remaining work will be completed in early 2016 when dry weather provides appropriate conditions for the work.

Business owners should remove all street furniture including tables/chairs/planters/newspaper boxes, etc. prior to Nov. 5th on California Ave SW between Fauntleroy Way SW and the Subway driveway approach.

Metro will be advised to move the bus stop during construction. More details to come. It is our intention to retain all street trees, but once the concrete sidewalk is removed, city arborists may determine that tree(s) cannot be safely root-pruned. We thank the community for patience during construction, we apologize for any inconvenience, and we look forward to this improved sidewalk in Morgan Junction.

This $104,000 project is part of $2 million in NPSF-funded projects that were announced as approved back in January.

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TRAFFIC/SAFETY ALERT: Orchard closed north of Dumar http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/trafficsafety-alert-orchard-closed-north-of-dumar/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/trafficsafety-alert-orchard-closed-north-of-dumar/#comments Thu, 22 Oct 2015 21:47:50 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=326836

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.

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FOLLOWUP: Morgan Junction sidewalk repair NOT about to start, after all http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/followup-morgan-junction-sidewalk-repair-not-about-to-start-after-all/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/followup-morgan-junction-sidewalk-repair-not-about-to-start-after-all/#comments Sat, 17 Oct 2015 19:08:49 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=326315

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.

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Tired of construction closing sidewalks? New city rule in the works http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/tired-of-construction-closing-sidewalks-new-city-rule-in-the-works/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/tired-of-construction-closing-sidewalks-new-city-rule-in-the-works/#comments Fri, 16 Oct 2015 20:45:55 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=326212 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 leanne.nelson@seattle.gov 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.

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West Seattle safety: ’5-way intersection’ improvements under way http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/west-seattle-safety-5-way-intersection-improvements-under-way/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/west-seattle-safety-5-way-intersection-improvements-under-way/#comments Fri, 02 Oct 2015 19:20:51 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=324721

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).

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‘Drastic turnaround,’ for the better: West Seattle crime stats and more as West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network reconvenes http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/drastic-turnaround-for-the-better-west-seattle-crime-stats-and-more-as-west-seattle-block-watch-captains-network-reconvenes/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/drastic-turnaround-for-the-better-west-seattle-crime-stats-and-more-as-west-seattle-block-watch-captains-network-reconvenes/#comments Wed, 23 Sep 2015 05:57:49 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=323770 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:

MICRO-COMMUNITY POLICING PLANS: Jennifer Burbridge, who’s in the middle of a year-and-a-half embed with the precinct as a research intern from Seattle University, is continuing to work on these. She mentioned the 10 neighborhood-by-neighborhood focus groups she conducted over the summer – most previewed here – and as a result of those group discussions, she said, they’re revising the early-stage plans that had been published months ago. (You can see them pre-revision by going to this page on the SPD website.)

For those just tuning into the existence of the plans, she explained, the first ones were worked on with existing neighborhood councils, before expanding beyond the neighborhoods that have them. She’s turned in the revised plans – some, such as the one for Alki, “changing quite a bit” – and waiting for them to be uploaded to the SPD site. Next step for your feedback: In mid-October, she said, a citywide “community survey” will be circulated, with questions about crime/safety issues and community relationships with police. It won’t just be available online – Burbridge plans to be at locations such as community centers and libraries to catch up with people in person, too.

ALERT SEATTLE: 14,300 people have opted in since this new system launched last month, the group was told by Kristin Tinsley from the city, who announced that everybody here is now an honorary ambassador for it. says they’re hoping to sign up Block Watch captains as ambassadors for the new system – which you can sign up here. It’s not just for citywide alerts – it can also be used to “push out alerts” to a specific geographic area, she said. If you were an early adopter, you probably got the first-ever message sent – during the late-August windstorm power outages. She explained the types of situations for which the alerts will be deployed eventually – including disruptions in utility schedules (such as trash pickup). Special-event alerts would be sent out – one was sent out for the Chinese president’s visit, and if the service had been available, the Seahawks post-Super Bowl parade a couple years ago would have been a candidate. They’re planning to host sign-up events at local libraries, for people who can’t or don’t want to do it online.

The West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meets fourth Tuesdays most months, 6:30 pm at the precinct – watch its website for updates.

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NEXT SATURDAY: Drug Take-Back Day dropoffs at SW Precinct http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/next-saturday-drug-take-back-day-dropoffs-at-sw-precinct/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/next-saturday-drug-take-back-day-dropoffs-at-sw-precinct/#comments Sun, 20 Sep 2015 17:03:51 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=323511

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.

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FOLLOWUP: Warning period recalibrated for West Seattle’s new speed-camera zone. Also: New price for school-zone tickets http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/followup-warning-period-recalibrated-for-west-seattles-new-speed-camera-zone-also-new-price-for-school-zone-tickets/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/followup-warning-period-recalibrated-for-west-seattles-new-speed-camera-zone-also-new-price-for-school-zone-tickets/#comments Sat, 19 Sep 2015 18:59:58 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=323426 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.)

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