(WSB photo taken this morning, looking southeast at the slide zone)
Five months after the city announced a settlement in the legal fight over the Beach Drive slide zone, there’s finally a sign that slope-stabilization work will start soon. As reported here in August of last year, mediation led to an agreement for “insurance monies and private funds” to pay for retaining walls and a drainage system to stabilize the slope below the 6000 block of Atlas (map), site of repeated slides, including this one in 2010:
Homeowners below the slope had sued the city and Atlas homeowner Peter Saladino, who, for agreeing to build the walls and drainage, would be spared “the majority of fines” the city could have levied (they had sued him too). Browsing the city Department of Planning and Development site last night, we discovered permits had been issued for at least some of the work, so we followed up today with DPD spokesperson Bryan Stevens, who explains:
Permit #6239617 includes 6067 Atlas, 6053 Atlas, and 6049 Atlas. This permit covers the construction of two retaining walls (one upper, one lower along Beach Drive), installation of subsurface drainage and revegetation of the hillside across the three properties.
Work can begin on the lower wall, as we have conditionally granted their request to work in this area during the wet season. The upper wall is in a more sensitive location and will have to wait until after April 1st, when conditions are typically dryer.
This work is of interest not just to those who live in the area, but also to those who use that much-rutted stretch of Beach Drive – once the slope work is done, the road can be fixed. (After last year’s agreement was announced, the city repaved a nearby section of Beach Drive that wasn’t directly beneath the unstable slope.) The whole mess even came before the City Council Transportation Committee two years ago this month. We don’t know yet exactly when the first phase of work will start, but we’ll update whenever we find out.
If you’ve driven up or down the California SW hill through Gatewood today and noticed that wrecked car in the 7300 block … so did Lawrence, who sent the photo. It’s from an incident just before 6 am today involving something of a double crash. Seattle Police spokesperson Det. Renée Witt says first two vehicles collided and while the drivers were exchanging information, another car came along and hit one of them. The police records note – as you are probably well aware – roads were icy at the time. Seattle Fire spokesperson Kyle Moore says they responded to what originally was called in as a car versus a pedestrian, with a 26-year-old woman hurt; she had “minor pain and a few lacerations” and didn’t need to be taken to the hospital, he said.
8:21 PM UPDATE: Commenter Kira says that contrary to what SFD told us, two people were hurt and did go to the hospital, along with sharing some additional clarifications – see Kira’s comment here.
(Post-event note: We’ve taken down the video window but will add the recorded version once it’s available. Photo above, in the meantime, is from the mayor’s Twitter feed.)
10:09 AM: As reported here last night, the city and county are announcing a new gun-safety initiative this morning, including a “buyback” program.
Click above to see live Seattle Channel web-only video of the announcement event, happening at Mount Zion Baptist Church in the Central District, as it happens live; we’ll publish key points here during and after the announcement.
NOTES: “If we can take one gun off the street, and save one life, it will be worth it,” said Mount Zion’s senior pastor Rev. Aaron Williams, opening the event, paraphrasing a Biblical saying by suggesting that guns could be “beaten into laptops.” The mayor, speaking next, noted the 1992 buyback program (mentioned in our preview last night) as the most recent one in Seattle. Details:
-’Monetary incentive … process will be simple and anonymous … bring unloaded gun to dropoff site … police will take possession of the weapon and offer a gift card in return … valued up to $100 for handguns, rifles, shotguns, up to $200 for weapons qualified as assault weapons’
-First event: January 26th, location: Under I-5 between Cherry and James. [Added: 9 am-3 pm] Gift cards will be offered in exchange for guns – up to $100 for most types, up to $200 for “assault weapons.” More dates – “would like to make this a sustainable program,” says the mayor. “We’re looking for more partners.” Amazon is the first to donate gift cards.
-”This is one tool in the toolbox,” says the mayor, who also noted that trigger locks and gun-safety information would be offered at the buyback event(s). Honorary co-chairs include four former mayors; two are there, two not (including West Seattleite Greg Nickels).
10:16 AM: King County Executive Dow Constantine speaking now. “Buyback programs – they get guns off the street,” he begins, noting the recent L.A. program bringing in 2,000. He notes that by law, he is not allowed to enact gun regulations, and adds that “gun violence is a public-health issue” – that includes mental health. He is followed by county Public Health Officer David Fleming, who says dealing with gun violence “on a community-wide basis” is part of his job: “We have to do better.” He says “guns are no different” from other public-health challenges, from tobacco to seat belts.”If you can turn in a gun, do it; if you choose to keep one at home, be sure that it’s stored, unloaded, in a safe location.” He says gun violence is a leading cause of premature death in the U.S. and “This is a fixable problem.”
10:21 AM: Seattle Deputy Police Chief Nick Metz talks about having seen the aftermath of countless deaths involving guns. “We’ve seen so many shattered lives,” he says, mentioning accidental shootings involving children outside Seattle as cases in point, moving on to “the intentional shootings … it’s not uncommon to find out that the gun that was used was stolen.” Storing guns safely would mean “that particular gun would not have been used in that situation,” he said, saying that a gun can be “a time bomb waiting to go off,” particularly if there is one in your home or office that you don’t really want. “If we are able to take one unwanted gun out of circulation, we can guarantee that at least one life will not be harmed by that gun … and if we can get a thousand unwanted guns out of circulation, that’s a thousand lives we can guarantee will not be harmed by those guns.” He is followed by Renee Hopkins, the West Seattleite who leads the Seattle Police Foundation, who says SPF is proud to be a founding sponsor of this initiative.
10:29 AM: Former mayors Norm Rice and Charles Royer speak. Royer recalls the public-health campaigns against indoor smoking and unsafe automobiles. “We gotta do this thing, although it’s a small piece of the puzzle,” he says. “…I think we can beat this thing.” After him, Mayor McGinn returns to the podium to answer questions. What will happen to the guns? West Seattle’s Nucor Steel will melt them down (and what happens to that metal/steel hasn’t yet been decided), he says. Will any of the guns “be preserved”? he’s asked. “That is not our intention,” he replied, adding that none will be kept for criminal investigations, and none will be resold.** How much money do they have for this so far? $70,000, and they’re hoping to launch with at least $100,000. (That’s much more than the $20,000 with which the 1992 “$50 for a gun” program started, it was later pointed out.)
10:43 AM: As Q/A continue, Deputy Chief Metz: “Ask yourself how you are going to feel” if you have an unsecured gun in your home, it’s stolen in a burglary, and then you find out it was used in a homicide. “(This can) ensure a gun won’t be used to destroy a life.” Even if a “tiny fraction” of the guns in the city are turned in, that’s still a potential saving of lives, he continues. Meantime, if people want to turn over a gun and don’t care about getting compensation, he adds, you can call police and they’ll come pick it up. **Metz also clarifies something said earlier – the turned-in guns WILL be checked to see if they’re stolen, and if they are, the owners will be contacted.
10:49 AM: The event has just concluded. Last to answer a question was County Executive Constantine, who said, “I reject the cynicism” that he saw in the questions about whether this would do enough to fight crime or violence – anything accomplished, any life potentially saved, is enough, he declared.
A media event is planned tomorrow morning at Mount Zion Baptist Church in the Central District to announce the Seattle-King County Gun Safety Initiative, described as including “a new gun-buyback effort in Seattle and the surrounding region.” The invitation says it’ll be announced by leaders including County Executive Dow Constantine and Mayor Mike McGinn, with four former mayors co-chairing the initiative, including West Seattleite Greg Nickels. Business and community sponsors listed include West Seattle’s Nucor Steel as well as the Seattle Police Foundation, Amazon, and others, with community partners including the Associated Recreation Council (which runs programs at community centers and park facilities around Seattle). This is all from an e-mail invitation sent to media organizations including ours; we’ll add any other details we find. P.S. This won’t be the first one in our area – in 1992, this Seattle Times (WSB partner) story reminds us, more than 1,200 guns were collected in a matter of days. Some of them were “entombed” in a sculpture donated to the city two years later by the group that sponsored the buyback.
10:10 AM: Thanks for the calls/texts. Another stoplight is having trouble in the Junction/Triangle area – this time, 35th and Alaska (the past few weeks have seen problems at 35th/Avalon, 42nd/Alaska, and California/Fauntleroy). When we checked with SDOT at the end of last week, they told us information on what’s causing these glitches wasn’t expected till post-holiday. P.S. If you see a significant road problem like a broken signal, BIG pothole, road obstacle, etc., the city hotline is 206-684-ROAD, unless it’s after-hours, in which case a major problem would go to 911.
10:25 AM UPDATE: Our crew says it’s stuck on red in all directions. So far, people are doing what they should be doing in case of malfunction – treating it as a 4-way stop (in this case, three ways).
Tomorrow morning will mark exactly one week since the Sandy Hook school massacre in Connecticut. Many will pause to remember, in West Seattle as well as elsewhere – as noted here last night, a moment of silence is requested at 9:30 am Friday, and all are invited to the 5 pm Saturday vigil on Alki. Today, Seattle Public Schools‘ Superintendent José Banda has just shared another update on campus security:
As we head into winter break, I know many of us are still reflecting on the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut and how we can work together to ensure our schools are a safe place for our students.
I want to take a moment to let you know how important safety is at Seattle Public Schools, what steps we’ve taken since last Friday and what we plan to do in the future to protect our students.
We take the safety of our students very seriously. Once a month, each school conducts at least one safety-related drill. Every school has a safety plan that outlines procedures for prevention, mitigation, response and recovery in the event of a crisis. We have a team of security specialists divided by region who are in schools and able to respond quickly in times of a crisis.
After hearing of the news last Friday, we asked our principals to be extra vigilant in their schools.
West Seattle Bike Connections, Chief Sealth Bike Club meet with SDOT to review draft Master Plan updateDecember 16, 2012 at 1:36 am | In Safety, Transportation, West Seattle news | 11 Comments
(Photo by Eileen McHugh; from left, Adrian Verdugo and Sara Zora from SDOT, Stu Hennessey from West Seattle Greenways and Sustainable West Seattle, Bob Anderton and Bill Gobie of West Seattle Bike Connections)
Two reports on meetings this week to advance the cause of safe bicycling in West Seattle, both shared by Don Brubeck of West Seattle Bike Connections. First:
Thursday evening, a group of West Seattle residents met to review the draft Seattle Bike Master Plan Update map with Seattle Department of Transportation representatives. Ten members of West Seattle Bike Connections and Stu Hennessey of West Seattle Greenways met at the West Seattle Library with Sara Zora, SDOT transportation planner and traffic engineer Adrian “AJ” Verdugo, who also lives in West Seattle. They discussed bicycle, pedestrian and vehicle routes shown on SDOT’s draft map, concentrating on two dozen locations where members of the groups have specific suggestions for revisions, AJ Verdugo knew the areas already, and gave frank opinions on challenges and opportunities for each area, and pointers for further action. Sara Zora gave more information about the plan status and process.
From WSBC: We are impressed by the quality of work the SDOT bike planners are doing, and the attention they are now giving to West Seattle, including potential “greenways” routes and difficult spots like the 5-way intersection by the Chelan Café, and parts of Avalon and Fauntleroy.
Some great pieces of information for easier cycling access with less conflict with car, bus and truck traffic:
*The Greenway supported by North Delridge Community Council and West Seattle Greenways is funded.
*A cycle track (basically, a bike lane separated by curbs or other barriers) is in the plan for East Marginal Way / Alaskan Way from Spokane Street to the bike path that exists north of S Atlantic St; and, in South Park, SDOT has funding from bonds for South Park Neighborhood Association’s request to pave S Portland St to 8th Ave S and do a separated 10 foot wide multi-use path to extend the West Marginal Trail into South Park, allowing pedestrians and cyclists to bypass heavy traffic in the industrial area to get to the Green River trail.
Don also sends word of the Chief Sealth International High School Bike Club‘s meeting with SDOT, ahead:
Crime Watch roundup (and more): Car stolen, car found, package-theft redux, plus 2 suspicious-person sightingsDecember 14, 2012 at 1:27 am | In Crime, Safety, West Seattle news | 16 Comments
One car stolen (and another left in its place), one stolen car found, two package-theft suspects arrested, and two “suspicious person” sightings – all in tonight’s roundup. First, the stolen-car report, from Amy:
My car was stolen from in front of our house at the corner of 34th Ave SW and Willow St. The theft took place some time between Tuesday evening December 11 and Wednesday morning. The theft took place while we were home, and the thieves left a different stolen Saab in its place. We reported both cars to the police. If anyone has seen a gray SAAB 900T 3-door hatchback, license plate 574 SCO, please contact the police department.
The previous stolen car reported here, by the way, has been found, not far from where it was taken. Tuesday morning, we published Nicole‘s account of her stolen Saturn; this morning, she wrote a comment with word it had been found blocks away.
And one more Crime Watch note – from the Shorewood neighborhood; King County Sheriff’s Deputies intercepted two suspected package thieves on Thursday morning – the details are on our partner site White Center Now.
We also have two reports of suspicious-seeming people – possibly no crimes involved, but those who reported the sightings wanted to make sure you know: Click to read the rest of Crime Watch roundup (and more): Car stolen, car found, package-theft redux, plus 2 suspicious-person sightings…
In case you missed the Seattle Parks announcement on Friday – tree removal is under way along Jacobsen Road (uphill from Beach Drive); Parks says more than 20 alder trees that are in bad shape are being taken down by contractor Asplundh. En route to check on that work, we happened onto another area where trees were being planted:
That was the scene along SW Graham in Seaview this afternoon – not far from the neighborhood project mentioned here back in October; we’re checking to see if it’s related.
Last Sunday, it was the Delridge/Andover “bike box” … this Sunday, more West Seattle road work, this time for lane reconfiguration in the 3200 block of Avalon Way (map). Thanks to Avery for the tip, and the photo; when we went through the area earlier this afternoon, crews were removing the yellow lines that currently bracket the center lane. To the northeast, the Avalon/Genesee signal is in the works; bike lanes on Avalon between the bridge and 36th are on the SDOT “current project” list from the recent Delridge Greenway open house. We’re checking with SDOT tomorrow to find out about the full scope of exactly what crews were up to today, and doing next.
Thanks to Chris for the tip – he tweeted this morning that SDOT was out painting West Seattle’s first “bike box” along with the bicycle lane on eastbound Andover at Delridge, so we went over to get the photo. The “bike box” plan was mentioned during the September meeting of the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council (WSB coverage here), and may well come up when DNDC meets jointly with Highland Park Action Committee next Wednesday (November 28th), 7 pm, at HP Improvement Club (12th/Holden).
If you’re not familiar with bike boxes, here’s the SDOT explanation:
The bike box is an intersection safety design to prevent bicycle/car collisions. It is a painted green space on the road with a white bicycle symbol inside. In some locations it includes a green bicycle lane approaching the box. The box creates space between motor vehicles and the crosswalk that allows bicyclists to position themselves ahead of motor vehicle traffic at an intersection.
That’s from this SDOT webpage, which has information for both drivers and bicyclists on how the bike box works – what to do, what not to do. One particularly important note – you must stop behind the bike box, whether there is a bicyclist using it at the time or not:
When the traffic signal is yellow or red, motorists mush stop behind the white stop line. Don’t stop on top of the green bike box. Keep it clear for cyclists to use. Typically at bike box locations, right turns on red will not be permitted .
Thanks to Mark and Jeanne for sending the photo and raising the flag about a sinkhole on Pigeon Point. They explain:
On the 3800 block of 19th Ave SW, there has been an existing crack/depression in the street for some time. It worsened recently, and yesterday it broke through to expose a void between the street and the ground. A truck traveling down the street sustained damage to tire and axle and required a tow. Seattle Police and SDOT responded late yesterday and put up barriers. I spoke with the SDOT responder and was told SDOT would return to fully diagnose and address the issue.
Note (that) 19th Ave SW has been used starting this school year by school buses traveling to and from Pathfinder K-8 … school buses will have a very difficult time turning around on the corner of 19th Ave SW and SW Charlestown.
Here’s a Google Map aerial grab they also shared to show where this is (19th just south of Charlestown – top of the image is north, bottom is south):
The concern might be moot if the sinkhole is fixed by Tuesday morning (no school tomorrow because of Veterans Day), but they fear that’s unlikely, so they’re sounding the alarm. Sometimes – as was the case in Admiral last year – these problems run a lot deeper than you’d think.
Thanks to Amy for sharing the photo from the Myrtle Reservoir Park playground and this report:
Eleanore and Mimi (were the) first kids to use the new slide after they removed the yellow tape about 12:45 pm today.
Checking the WSB archives, we are reminded that the Myrtle slide was taken out nine months ago after a nationwide recall following at least 16 injuries involving that particular type of slide.
(Photos by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
10:57 AM: Fire crews are working right now between Fauntleroy Schoolhouse/Church and the Endolyne business district, because a work crew is reported to have cut a gas line at California SW/Brace Point Drive (map). They’ve called in police for traffic control – this is a major route between 35th SW and the ferry dock, too. No injuries reported, and Puget Sound Energy is reported to be on the way.
11:16 AM UPDATE: On the west side of this situation, traffic is blocked at 45th/Wildwood – and that’s affecting at least one Metro bus.
We’re checking on where it’s stopped on the east side. But again, don’t head west on Barton from 35th SW till this is cleared up, if you’re expecting to head to Fauntleroy Church/Y/Schoolhouse, the ferry terminal, or Endolyne businesses.
11:26 AM UPDATE: On the east side of the area where the line was cut, the road is blocked at 42nd/Barton.
12:03 PM UPDATE: Per a comment, pedestrians and cars are “being slowly let through.”
12:11 PM UPDATE: Per the scanner, PSE has turned off the gas, so the Seattle Fire units are clearing. And if you hear/see a helicopter, it’s a TV chopper checking out the scene.
5:29 PM UPDATE: Buses apparently still are not being allowed through, and there’s no update on when that will end.
6:57 PM UPDATE: The bus reroute has just ended, according to Metro.
Back in August, we brought you first word that Seattle Police planned to place the city’s first fixed automated speed-detection cameras in school zones including Fauntleroy Way SW by Gatewood Elementary. SPD has just announced that camera and three others around the city are officially in operation as of today – read about it on SPD Blotter. There’s been a speed-camera-equipped van in the area for the past four years – and it’s the subject of this hot topic on the WSB Forums – but no fixed cameras till now. SPD says violations caught on the new camera will be “warnings only” until November 26th, when school reopens following the Thanksgiving break. That’s when ticketing – $189 per – will kick in.
In the neighborhood you might call south Morgan Junction or western Gatewood, neighbors are joining forces to take the most effective action in fighting crime – watching out for each other. They’ll be going around the neighborhood with invitations, but here’s an early alert, in case you’re in that neighborhood or know someone who is:
Our townhome complex has noticed increased suspicious behavior and crime in our neighborhood, so we are coming together to start a Block Watch. Join us for a kick-off meeting, where we can all meet each other and a Seattle Police Department Crime Prevention Coordinator will help us get organized and share crime prevention tips.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Gatewood Elementary’s Lunchroom (4320 SW Myrtle St)
Being a part of the Block Watch will not require much work on your end – just a commitment to watching out for each other and reporting any suspicious activity. For more information, visit seattle.gov/police/blockwatch. Hope you can join us!
Your neighbors in the townhomes off California & Myrtle
c/o Kati Davich
Kati says the area they’re targeting is roughly “on California from Frontenac to Othello and on Myrtle from Fauntleroy,” but others in the vicinity are welcome too. (And to everyone who has or is forming a Block Watch – be sure to get involved with the West Seattle Blockwatch Captains Network, too!)
Though we haven’t had enough rain yet to run the risk of landslides, the city wants to get the word out about the risks, and how to reduce them. October through April is landslide season, and 20,000 properties are in landslide-prone areas – if your property is among them, you’ll want to be at South Seattle Community College this Saturday morning for the first of two free landslide-awareness meetings presented by the city:
The landslide-awareness meetings will include a presentation that discusses the causes of landslides, proper drainage for sloping sites, and vegetation maintenance on slopes. The presentation will be followed by a question and answer session and time for one-on-one discussions with professionals in the field, including the City of Seattle, and volunteers from The American Society for Civil Engineers, The Association of Engineering Geologists, The International Society of Arboriculture, and Associated Building Contractors.
Join them 10 am-noon Saturday (October 27) at the Judge Warren and Nobie Chan Education Center on the north side of the SSCC campus on Puget Ridge (6000 16th SW).
Last weekend, we reported on a North Delridge case involving a woman bitten in the face by a neighborhood dog – injured so badly, she had to go to the hospital. The Seattle Animal Shelter had not cited the dog’s owner at the time, pending more investigation; we just talked again with SAS’s enforcement supervisor Ann Graves, who says they determined the animal met the criteria to be deemed a “dangerous dog” and cannot be allowed to stay in city limits. She says her agent just went out this morning to check back, and verified with the owner that the dog is no longer in the residence or in the city. If it comes back, Graves says, the owner will be charged with a criminal misdemeanor (here’s the full text of the city law) – so if neighbors see it back in the neighborhood, they should report it. (She added that the 10-day in-house quarantine of the dog, to check for rabies, “ended without incident.”)
The house at 36th and Morgan that has been a hotspot of concern for its neighbors is boarded up tonight, with NO TRESPASSING signs.
It came to light here five weeks ago after this Crime Watch report about a suspected thief being chased there. In comments on that story, neighbors described frequently reporting the house to authorities for concerns including suspected stolen property. Then it came up at the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting two weeks later (WSB coverage here), where City Attorney’s Office precinct liaison Melissa Chin talked about what could be done to deal with the situation. And late today, we got a tip about the boards and signs. We checked with Chin, who tells us that the owner had been under pressure from not only her office but also Seattle Police, the Department of Planning and Development (which had issued a citation for junk storage), and King County Public Health – so, Chin said, the owner “voluntarily kicked out the tenant, posted up ‘No Trespassing’ signs, cleaned up the yard, and told us she was going to board up the house.” Which, as our photo shows, was done. Meantime, the man whose arrest was noted in the original report has, so far, not been charged.
Highland Park Elementary students gathered for a group photo after a memorable International Walk To School Day stroll. Not only were they basking in October sunshine, they also were celebrating new safety improvements in the area (crosswalk, speed bumps, stop signs) – with a VIP guest on hand:
Actually, those are both VIPs. Photographed with Mayor McGinn, that’s Rachael Wright, a parent volunteer who has worked hard to get safety issues addressed, including securing grants to fund them (as mentioned in previous WSB coverage including this big safety celebration last spring). This morning, she was part of the crowd crossing at the 11th/Holden crosswalk that’s become a reality
Carrying the banner – CityYear corps members who work at HP Elementary:
They huddled with the mayor too:
And, as the walk proceeded, Highland Park Elementary principal Ben Ostrom chatted with the mayor:
Highland Park community leaders were on hand too – we saw HP Action Committee co-chair Carolyn Stauffer, and members of nearby Highland Park Improvement Club.
ADDED: Wouldn’t be an appearance without a speech – we recorded that too:
Find out more about Safe Routes to School here.
7:27 AM: Safety reminder this morning – depending on where you drive/ride/walk/run, you may see more students on the sidewalks and in the crosswalks, because it’s International Walk to School Day. Some schools are doing special “Walking School Buses” (and some do them daily). In the Highland Park Elementary area, there’ll be some extra pomp-and-circumstance with Mayor McGinn coming to help dedicate newly completed safety improvements along routes to school. Schmitz Park Elementary also sent word of their “Walking School Buses,” and even this map of routes that students (and parents if available!) are welcome to join. If your school has a special event and somebody takes photos – please consider sending/sharing one that we can include in our coverage. Thanks!
8:34 AM: Just added the Instagram photo the mayor tweeted from the Highland Park crosswalk; we have a crew there too and will publish their work in a separate story later.
(Photo courtesy Rachael Wright)
Tomorrow is International Walk To School Day, and while many schools are planning special events here and elsewhere, Highland Park Elementary has the biggest West Seattle celebration, since – as first noted here last Wednesday – Mayor McGinn is coming to help dedicate “Safe Routes to School” grant-funded safety improvements along the route to HPE. Parent volunteer Rachael Wright has been working on this for a long time and in addition to the 11th/Holden crossing and speed bumps on 10th, she e-mailed us this morning to point out an “unexpected (but much appreciated) result of the improvements”: New stop signs on 9th SW at SW Henderson (map). Rachael quotes longtime Highland Park resident and parent Monica Benshoof:
“The recent placement of the stop signs located at the intersection of 9th & Henderson, has made it tremendously easier for me & my children to cross the street- to enter the park & trails on the other side. I have resided in Highland Park for 41 years, and up until now, it has always been difficult to cross there, being as it is a very busy arterial road. Even now that I am a driver, it is also less difficult to utilize this intersection, because other vehicles don’t have a choice of stopping to rotate traffic flow. It’s awesome!!!”
In our correspondence, Rachael added:
I love that Monica mentions access to Westcrest park and trails. Because of the nature of Highland Park, located in the most SW quadrant of West Seattle, and crisscrossed by arterial roads, it can be very difficult for local children and adults to safely access our amazing parks. As kids walk to school, they also walk to parks, and we have been very fortunate that the Safe Routes project, by creating safer routes to school, also created safer routes to our local parks: Riverview Park, Highland Park Playground and Playfield, and Westcrest Park.
You’re invited to join in tomorrow morning’s ribbon-cutting, followed by a walk to HPE with the mayor – be at 11th and Holden (map) at 8 am.
What do West Seattle and South Park residents want from their police? That was one of the key questions as the first Safe Communities Initiative gathering brought more than 100 people to Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in North Delridge last night. Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Paulsen told those gathered, “We’re here to listen.” While much of the meeting was held in small-group conversations – like the one in our top photo – Capt. Paulsen and Mayor McGinn spoke for a few minutes at the start, and we recorded that on video:
Among the police there to listen – out of uniform – was Community Police Team Officer Jonathan Kiehn, at left:
Each group recorded its requests and ideas, and the pages of notes were collected after about an hour. Here’s one representative page:
If you couldn’t get to the meeting – scroll down this page for a form you can use to tell SPD your top safety concern. That same page lists the “Safe Communities” meetings to be held in SPD’s other four precinct areas later this fall.
P.S. The mayor’s office also points out that SPD is still offering “Living Room Conversations” if you’d like to get your neighbors together for a face-to-face with local police – we covered one in Arbor Heights last spring.
P.P.S. The Vicious Puppies Crew – local breakdancers – performed at the event, and we recorded that too:
Two quick followups, shared by community members:
That’s the brand-new slide at Sanislo Elementary, in a photo shared by Lynette Jeung from the Sanislo PTA. Vandals blew up the left side on the 4th of July, as we reported the next day; the district metal shop confirmed to the PTA about three weeks later that it would make a replacement, and Lynette tells WSB, “Needless to say, the kids are enjoying having their slide back. We appreciate everyone’s support and concern during this time.”
Next, a police car on Delridge means good news for the new opened K-5 STEM at Boren:
As reported here earlier this month, there are “School Zone 20 mph” signs along Delridge Way SW by the school, but no flashing “school zone” beacons, and parents have been standing out in front of the school with signs of their own to try to convince passing drivers to slow down. So today, according to April, who shared the photo, the Aggressive Driver Response Team came out to add some extra muscle.
Like most community groups, the West Seattle Blockwatch Captains Network has reconvened, now that summer’s over, and had a fairly low-key meeting last night at the Southwest Precinct. Without a featured guest on the agenda, the spotlight was on members’ recaps of how the summer went. Relatively quiet, most agreed, aside from some car prowls and thefts including bicycles. SWP Operations Lt. Pierre Davis (standing, photo left) said that matched the official stats. One trend that some participants said seemed to be back on the rise is mail theft; WSBWCN leadership will consider bringing in a guest speaker to tackle the topic. Some also wondered if city grants might be available to bring locked mailboxes to areas where theft is a problem. Reminders of upcoming events: Thursday night, the Safe Communities city-facilitated conversation at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 7 pm (more info here), and Saturday, National Drug Take-Back Day – drop your expired/no-longer-needed medications off at the precinct, 10 am-2 pm (more info here).
West Seattle Blockwatch Captains Network meets on 4th Tuesdays; watch for updates on their website, here.
West Seattle Crime Watch has quieted down a bit, according to both inbox in-flow and a check of the police-activity map. Danielle, however, shares a two-part alert for her neighborhood (and advice for everyone):
I wanted to give those who live near 8th & Roxbury a heads-up that in the last two weeks we have had a car prowler on our block as well as a mail thief.
Car Prowler – A car prowler was seen at approx. 10:30PM on a week night approx. two weeks ago peeking in the windows of my husband’s work vehicle that was parked on the street. The police were called but my husband, who is extra weary of prowlers after his work vehicle was stolen from our street last fall, yelled at the prowler who left the scene on foot before police arrived. He was tall, thin, and wearing a hooded sweatshirt with jeans. I urge everyone to park their vehicles in driveways and garages.
Mail thief – We discovered (Monday) that a check we placed in our mailbox on 09/06 was removed from our mailbox, washed with a new name and check amount, and cashed at a local check cashing center. We are in the process of working with the bank to file all of the necessary paperwork.
One more reminder that, as mentioned in today’s daily preview, the West Seattle Blockwatch Captains Network is back in action tonight, 6:30 pm at the Southwest Precinct, and you don’t have to be a captain to come attend and talk/hear about community crime prevention/trends.
(April 2012 photo of Officer Mike Hope & the SW Precinct Drug Take-Back Day dropoffs)
The most recent Drug Take-Back Day, in April, netted a big take here in West Seattle … biggest of any precinct, though this is the city’s smallest precinct! Can West Seatttle and South Park do it again? Tonight, Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Pierre Davis sends word that the next national Drug Take-Back Day is just one week away – 10 am-2 pm Saturday, September 29th – and the SW Precinct will again be your local drop-off spot. Lt. Davis reminds you of the rules:
Our West Seattle community members can simply bring their expired and or unused medication to the Southwest Precinct for safe disposal. Any type of prescription and/or over-the-counter medications are acceptable collections. If liquid, please ensure that the lids are tight. Please note that intravenous solutions, injectibles, syringes, or medical waste are not collectable items.
The precinct lobby is off the parking lot, along SW Webster west of Delridge.
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