West Seattle Blog... » Safety http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Fri, 09 Oct 2015 08:37:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 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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West Seattle Bridge bus lane to get red paint tomorrow http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/west-seattle-bridge-bus-lane-to-get-red-markings-painting-starts-tomorrow/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/west-seattle-bridge-bus-lane-to-get-red-markings-painting-starts-tomorrow/#comments Fri, 18 Sep 2015 23:01:37 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=323344 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.

“As new bus service comes on line, this improvement will buses flow more freely from West Seattle to Downtown,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “Painted bus-only lanes have been effective in increasing driver awareness in other areas of the city, and we will continue to use the approach in other key transit corridors.”

The red lane markings and “BUS ONLY” legends will be installed at the beginning of the bus lane and spaced approximately every 500 feet. The markings are intended to make drivers more aware of the bus-only lane, making transit more reliable and a more competitive choice for thousands of bus passengers each day. This addition to the existing transit lane will help 378 buses each day reach their destinations more quickly.

“As West Seattle continues to grow and welcome new residents, it is critical that we continue to improve infrastructure and operations in this corridor,” said City Council Transportation Committee Chair Tom Rasmussen. “We have been working with neighbors over time to make West Seattle roads safer and to create more transportation choices throughout the peninsula. We will continue to work with the community on this and future efforts to move Seattle in the right direction, and I look forward to this and other improvements that will keep vehicles moving safely and efficiently across the bridge,” Rasmussen concluded.

Last year, SDOT marked bus lanes with this treatment on Battery Street (Third Avenue to Denny Way) [photo here], Midvale Place, NE Pacific Street and Wall Street (Denny Way to Fifth Avenue). The most notable impact was on NE Pacific Street where violation rates have dropped from 59 percent prior to installing the treatment to 17 percent afterward.

“These are important first steps in providing effective solutions over concerns that have been raised by West Seattleites for a long time,” said SDOT Director Scott Kubly. “Our goal is to improve the experience for those traveling in and out of West Seattle.”

The red bus lane is one of several priorities for improving traffic conditions and connectivity between the West Seattle Bridge corridor and downtown Seattle identified in a new report commissioned by Mayor Murray and City Council Transportation Committee Chair Tom Rasmussen.

This report compiles recommended improvements in traffic operations, transit enhancements, bike connections and new infrastructure from a variety of existing studies and project proposals, and prioritizes these improvements for funding and implementation over the next 10 years.

Along with the red bus lane, the report also recommends immediate implementation of various recommendations from a study on Traffic Incident Management jointly produced by the Seattle Department of Transportation and the Seattle Police Department. The entire report and list of prioritized improvements will be presented to the Council Transportation Committee at Council Chambers on Tuesday, September 22 at 9:30am.

The total cost of the improvements is estimated at $200,000, and will be paid for using Bridging the Gap levy funds.

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ROAD WORK TONIGHT: Roxbury, 35th painting, marking, ‘hydroblasting’ continues http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/road-work-tonight-roxbury-35th-painting-marking-hydroblasting-continues/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/road-work-tonight-roxbury-35th-painting-marking-hydroblasting-continues/#comments Tue, 15 Sep 2015 01:57:42 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=322926 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.”

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Yes, the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council IS meeting tomorrow http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/yes-the-west-seattle-crime-prevention-council-is-meeting-tomorrow/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/yes-the-west-seattle-crime-prevention-council-is-meeting-tomorrow/#comments Mon, 14 Sep 2015 17:20:11 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=322859 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.

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VIDEO: West Seattle bike rider survives collision after truck turns into his path http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/video-west-seattle-bike-rider-survives-collision-after-truck-turns-into-his-path/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/video-west-seattle-bike-rider-survives-collision-after-truck-turns-into-his-path/#comments Fri, 11 Sep 2015 16:51:59 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=322533

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.

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JUST IN: New plan for SW Admiral Way Safety Project, announced ahead of tonight’s ANA meeting http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/just-in-new-plan-for-sw-admiral-way-safety-project-announced-ahead-of-tonights-ana-meeting/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/just-in-new-plan-for-sw-admiral-way-safety-project-announced-ahead-of-tonights-ana-meeting/#comments Tue, 08 Sep 2015 22:34:54 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=322178 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).

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SAFETY: FCA installs mirror at Marine View/45th/Roxbury http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/safety-fca-installs-mirror-at-marine-view45throxbury/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/safety-fca-installs-mirror-at-marine-view45throxbury/#comments Fri, 04 Sep 2015 06:16:05 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=321798

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.

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Oops: City safety campaign touted on signs showing helmet-less bicycle riders http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/oops-city-safety-campaign-touted-on-signs-showing-helmet-less-bicycle-riders/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/oops-city-safety-campaign-touted-on-signs-showing-helmet-less-bicycle-riders/#comments Sat, 15 Aug 2015 03:30:12 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=319987 Maybe it’s just something about north West Seattle and SDOT signage. First came the “HPM” speed-limit-sign saga, and now:

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.

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What the Bicycle Advisory Board heard about the Admiral Way Safety Project http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/what-the-bicycle-advisory-board-heard-about-the-admiral-way-safety-project/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/what-the-bicycle-advisory-board-heard-about-the-admiral-way-safety-project/#comments Thu, 06 Aug 2015 07:39:21 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=319042 No revelations Wednesday night when the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board was briefed about the Admiral Way Safety Project, but the briefing did contain a few small updates.

We went to the meeting at City Hall to see if anything new would come to light, following the most recent update from SDOT director Scott Kubly, who told the City Council Transportation Committee last week that “some changes” were in the works for the project, which initially proposed adding a bicycle lane, as envisioned in the city’s Bicycle Master Plan, while removing 200 parking spaces.

Here’s what we heard at the meeting:
-SDOT is “currently refining our recommendations,” said project manager Emily Ehlers
-The promised summertime parking study is under way now, with data expected by mid-August
-They’re considering adding pedestrian crossings at Schmitz Park and near Alki Elementary (59th/Admiral)
-They’re considering the suggestion of removing the center turn lane so that a buffered bike lane could be included without removing parking

Two board members voiced concern about the idea of potentially losing the center turn lane, including West Seattleite Don Brubeck, who also happens to be a resident of the project zone (Admiral Way west of California SW), and says that when driving, “I have to go down this hill with people following me at 45 miles per hour and then back into a garage – if there’s no center turn lane, people won’t have any way to pass.” Brubeck added that suggestions of finding a greenway parallel to Admiral were unrealistic, as there’s nothing that runs parallel. Some had suggested speed humps/bumps or cushions to calm traffic, he noted, wondering if SDOT had obtained feedback from Metro or emergency responders. Ehlers said those kinds of traffic-calming features aren’t allowed on roads steeper than 8 percent grade, though Admiral apparently falls within that range. Reflective lane markers also are being discussed.

Dawn Schellenberg of SDOT noted, “We committed to the neighborhood that we would consider everything.” Ehlers said they would go for the “least-aggressive option” in the short term and see if it works before trying “more-aggressive traffic calming.”

They’re expecting another community meeting in mid-September; you can comment in the meantime by e-mailing emily.ehlers@seattle.gov and dawn.schellenberg@seattle.gov.

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Lifesaving lesson: Engine 32 crew and Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins visit Delridge Library for Firefighter Storytime http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/lifesaving-lesson-engine-32-crew-and-seattle-fire-chief-harold-scoggins-visit-delridge-library-for-firefighter-storytime/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/lifesaving-lesson-engine-32-crew-and-seattle-fire-chief-harold-scoggins-visit-delridge-library-for-firefighter-storytime/#comments Wed, 05 Aug 2015 22:35:34 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=319019 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).

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AS-IT-HAPPENED COVERAGE: Night Out 2015 neighborliness, at block parties all around West Seattle http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/happening-now-night-out-block-parties-all-around-west-seattle-beyond/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/happening-now-night-out-block-parties-all-around-west-seattle-beyond/#comments Wed, 05 Aug 2015 01:14:56 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=318876 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 – westseattleblog@gmail.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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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.

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AlertSeattle: How to sign up for city’s new notification service http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/alertseattle-how-to-sign-up-for-citys-new-notification-service/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/alertseattle-how-to-sign-up-for-citys-new-notification-service/#comments Tue, 04 Aug 2015 16:00:35 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=318833 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.

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