West Seattle, Washington
This just out of the inbox, from Teresa (thank you!):
Was at the Westwood Starbucks this morning and there apparently is a man that is approaching women and actually trying to touch them inappropriately. One of the employees of Starbucks was calling the police as I was leaving. He apparently approached a grounds worker while I was getting my coffee. PERV!
No word so far if anyone was caught.
From the files at the Southwest Precinct: We start with a robbery yesterday afternoon that targeted a very young victim — an 11-year-old boy. He told police he was at the 16th SW/SW Holden bus stop after 3 pm yesterday when three men walked up to him and began “throwing him around,” demanding his iPod Shuffle, then finally knocking him to the ground, pulling it out of his pocket, and taking off. He tried to chase them but stopped when he found a crossing guard at 16th/Myrtle; she called 911 after he told her what happened. The robbers are still on the loose at last report, described as 3 “very dark-skinned” men 18-20 years old, all about 6’tall, all wearing blue jeans. (11 PM UPDATE: A reader tells WSB a note went home today to parents at the victim’s school, telling them what happened and suggesting they remind kids to keep a low profile with valuable items and to walk to and from school in pairs or groups.) Several more notable incidents ahead:Read More
Among the latest police reports filed at the Southwest Precinct, here are some of the most notable: In the 4500 block of 56th SW, at least four vehicles were broken into Sunday night-Monday morning. An SUV owner told police that a window was smashed and a GPS was taken; another owner said someone got into three of his vehicles, breaking the window of a truck and stealing a camera and gas card, then looking through the 2 other vehicles without damaging or stealing anything. More ahead:Read More
One of the police reports we reviewed at the Seattle Police Southwest Precinct late today got even better with some added information forwarded by Lt. Steve Paulsen – turns out that one arrest following a gas-station break-in early yesterday helped detectives solve 9 burglaries in all. It all started just before 5 am Thursday, with calls to police reporting someone smashing in the front door of the Chevron station at 35th and Holden. The callers gave police excellent information — describing the suspect and his car, and which way he headed after he took off. An officer spotted the car, a white T-Bird with a sunroof, at 35th and Morgan, and pulled it over in the 7100 block of Delridge. The car’s registered owner gave police permission to search its trunk, where officers found items including 33 unopened packages of cigarettes. One of the detectives who questioned the suspect, Detective Donald Henderson, picks up the story from there, in an e-mail forwarded to WSB by Lt. Paulsen:
A consent to search was obtained from the registered owner. Stolen Property and Burglary Tools were recovered, and placed into evidence. Detectives were able to solve eight commercial burglary cases in West Seattle, and one from North Seattle. Well done to West Seattle Citizens for getting involved, and reporting suspicious activity to 9-1-1.
Lt. Paulsen adds, “This all began with a citizen call and one of our newer police officers on the morning watch (Officer Melissa Wengard). Great example of the public calling in things that don’t look right!” You may recall another WSB report three weeks ago about another stack of burglary cases solved by the Southwest Precinct team. Meantime, here are half a dozen more new and noteworthy West Seattle police reports:Read More
Good news from our latest review of Seattle Police reports at the Southwest Precinct — no major crimes reported in West Seattle over the New Year’s holiday. Not to say things were completely quiet, of course – here are four incidents of note:Read More
As of right now, we’re testing two new features – both in hopes of better fulfilling the WSB mission of serving you with West Seattle news, information, and discussion, 24/7/365.
MORE DISCUSSION: We have finally launched “forums” — another HUGE thanks to the fabulous STUART MAXWELL for making this happen (same guy who got WSB onto a better server earlier this morth) — but before we build them out with a slew of categories and other enhancements, we would like you to try them and then let us know how you would want to use them. You will find them by clicking the FORUM tab at the right side of the row of navigation tabs under the sunset header (or click here). We’ve started with two general areas — we’d like to see if forums are the best, well, forum for Reader Recommendation Requests — start a new topic when you have one, and see what happens — this means RRRs won’t have to wait for us to get to them amid all the other West Seattle news of the day. Also, there’s an OPEN DISCUSSION area where you can post a topic you’d like to talk about. Sometimes the main page is the right place for that — like the “walk all ways” opinion sent to us that resulted in this well-discussed post — but again, maybe there’s something you just want to say NOW – go to the forums and say it. One note, you will have to register to post in the forums (but anyone can read them). And right now, since we’re considering this a “beta” test before possibly tying it into more of the site, that registration does NOT link to the comment feature on WSB posts, so you will still have to enter your name and e-mail address separately if you want to comment on those. Try out the forums, let us know what you think, with comments on this post OR by e-mailing WSB. Thanks!
MORE NEWS/INFORMATION: With the help of the fine folks at the Southwest Precinct, we are now able to bring you lots more information about West Seattle crime reports, safety concerns, and crime-prevention advice. Starting right now – with police-report highlights from the past several days:Read More
While we were at the Seattle Police Southwest Precinct this week meeting with Lt. Steve Paulsen, he showed us this photo and we asked for a copy to share with you. It’s from Arbor Heights, during one of the many school-zone safety patrols that SW Precinct officers routinely handle; the trunk-mounted display is another variant on those unmanned mobile signs you see from time to time (like the longrunning one on Fauntleroy by Lincoln Park). After “early dismissal” today, school is out for the next two weeks, so you won’t see a scene like this, but many school zones are in residential areas where you’re going to want to keep the pedal a little lighter on the metal anyway.
Two things to mention, unrelated so far as we know except that they involve Seattle Police and are both of course in West Seattle:
-First, reminder that – per what we reported Friday afternoon – you may notice an increased police presence around West Seattle High School again today.
-Second, this photo (and the reader report beneath it) came in last night from “Bob Loblaw”:
SPD said it was a “routine traffic stop,” but they had three cruisers present nonetheless. A big thank you goes out to them for being highly visible on 38th Ave. SW when a suspicious-looking vehicle with a flat tire and smashed headlights showed up on our normally quiet street near Fairmount Park. Thank you, SPD.
— Bob Loblaw
Thanks to LyndaB for forwarding this reminder of an important Seattle Police Department meeting Tuesday night that’s not happening in West Seattle but involves a plan that definitely will affect us. Here’s the full text of the city announcement:
The Chief’s quarterly City Wide Advisory Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, December 11th from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at the Seattle Vocational Institute (SVI) in room #509 (5th floor). SVI is located at 2120 S. Jackson and we have permission to park, at no cost, in the lot directly behind the building.
The entire meeting will focus on the new Neighborhood Policing Staffing Plan that will begin to be implemented in January 2008. Deputy Chief Clark Kimerer will present the plan and answer any questions. This plan affects anyone who lives or works within the City of Seattle. If you know community members who are interested in this plan please bring them to the meeting.
“The Neighborhood Policing Staffing Plan is the most significant change to how we police our city in more than 30 years. It will not only expand our patrol force, it is a faster, stronger and smarter approach to protecting our neighborhoods: faster response time regardless of the time of day, day of the week, or season of the year; stronger police presence when responding; and smarter use of patrol resources to focus on persistent problems that can affect quality of life in the city. The plan puts officers where they’re needed when they’re needed.”
Out of the WSB inbox, from “The Velvet Bulldog,” as the heart of December brings the longest nights of the year:
In the past month during evening driving (read: dark) I’ve had three incidences of narrowly missing bicyclists who were riding without adequate visible materials. One guy was in all black, had no reflectors on his bike and wore no helmet. I kinda wonder if he’s even still alive to tell his tale. Thursday night it was a guy with a few strips of reflective material on his coat (covered by his backpack) but no rear light. I also recently had the unsettling experience of coming around the bend on the uphill side of Admiral near the infamous crosswalk at Alki Mail and Dispatch and a woman was running in the street facing oncoming traffic. She also didn’t have bright clothes on. (Also, I’m really curious – why are runners in the street rather than onthe sidewalk? It seems dangerous.) I just want to ask any of you who are bike riding or running (again–why??) in the street, or if you know someone who does, to ensure you’ve got the gear to be visible in the dark. I’m all about sharing the road with bicycles, but I have to be able to see you to safely share with you!! Thank you!
-As of this writing, the West Seattle Bridge ramp to northbound I-5 is STILL closed because of the situation which, piecing together various accounts (see comments on post below), appears to involve public-safety/emergency workers trying to talk someone off their perch on that ramp. This has been ongoing for almost 11 hours, according to the city 911 log, which shows the incident open since units were first sent to a “rope rescue” at Columbian/12th at 10:27 this morning.
-WSB reader Venkat found an advance link to an article in this Sunday’s New York Times about “what you get for $900,000” in several real-estate markets. One is right here in “West Seattle, Washington,” where the article features an Alki condo.
-We mentioned last week that the city Parks Department is holding meetings all around the city in the next few weeks to gather thoughts about what should be in its forthcoming Strategic Business Plan. We also promised to let you know when a link was up for an online survey to be offered to people who couldn’t attend those meetings. Now it’s up — go to this page and follow the “short online survey” link.
In the predawn darkness outside Alki Mail/Dispatch this morning, the bright orange pedestrian flags waited, as did their counterparts across Admiral. One year ago today, at this intersection, 47th/Admiral, where so many busy drivers roar by, heading to/from Alki or Beach Drive, one driver hit a man crossing the street. It happens, just like it happened last month at 35th/Othello to Oswald Clement (whose memorial is today, by the way). This time, it drew citywide notice, because the man who was hit — who later died at the hospital — was 29-year-old Tatsuo Nakata, chief of staff to City Councilmember David Della. Some things have changed at the intersection since then — the city placed temporary and permanent safety measures. Then yesterday, Tatsuo Nakata’s old boss and other councilmembers came to West Seattle – though nowhere near 47th/Admiral — to publicize their “Pedestrian Safety Initiative.” But also during the year, the city has removed crosswalks in areas of West Seattle (on Avalon, along 35th, and along Fauntleroy) where it felt they didn’t meet safety standards, while adding new markings on a California crosswalk. So we ask you — has enough been done? Do you feel safe crossing the street, wherever you cross, or is it just a hazard of everyday life?
As we noted a couple months ago in a slightly different context, “‘arterial’ doesn’t mean ‘open somebody’s arteries’.” Many people who have to deal daily with 35th SW (one small section shown above), whether as pedestrians or drivers, bike riders or transit users, would probably agree. Two recent accidents have put the 35th SW problems back in the spotlight – the one that killed 85-year-old Oswald Clement weekend before last, and the one that shut down a section of the road this past Friday night. The High Point Neighborhood Association has been lobbying for safety improvements on this busy straightaway and hopes to gain some traction from two high-profile visits this week: Mayor Nickels will be in High Point this morning to celebrate the development’s recent award, and City Council President Nick Licata is coming Thursday night for a walking tour focused on the safety concerns. The group’s been working on these issues for quite some time, and here’s where they stand and what they are trying to get the city to do:Read More
In one of the early stories about yesterday’s bicyclist death on Eastlake, a local bike advocate was quoted as saying the city usually averages one such death a year. Last year, there were two in West Seattle alone. In March 2006, on the eastern edge of WS, a teenage driver veered onto a bike path along Highland Park Way, killing 58-year-old Marvin Miller. His death didn’t get the sort of citywide attention that followed the September 2006 bike/van collision at 35th/Graham that killed 27-year-old Susanne Scaringi, just six weeks after she moved to WS. (Susanne’s family maintains a tribute page here.) As noteworthy and tragic as the deaths are – they are outnumbered almost 100 to 1 by the crashes that leave bicyclists injured. Interesting and important information here. For a refresher on Seattle traffic laws regarding bicyclists and driving other vehicles in their presence, look here.
As the new school year starts its second day, our inbox is full of implorings from concerned WS folks who want to remind everyone to SLOW DOWN IN SCHOOL ZONES. Don’t wait for this to become reality; do the right thing. Also, make sure you know the law — Eric Baer from the Pathfinder K-8 PTSA (their school fronts a busy straightaway on Genesee Hill) pulled up the fine print, including some things that might surprise you:Read More
From Admiral Junction to Morgan Junction on foot, much to be seen. Including:
-Dangerous driving at Cali/Genesee and Cali/Fauntleroy. At the former, a car turning right/north onto Cali (by Divina) almost took out a bicyclist that the driver would have seen with a good look south before the turn. The bicyclist shouted indignantly for a while, the driver paused, then both finally continued on. At the latter — a car almost took us out, turning right/west onto Fauntleroy (by the Corner Inn) as we stepped into the crosswalk. We’re not much for shouting so we just glowered.
-Banner up for a new business in the mixed-use building at 5446 Cali: “On the Way Maternity.” According to its city business-license classification, it’ll sell clothing. Doesn’t look too close to opening; various renovations are under way inside.
Despite three crosswalks with pedestrian-activated lights, crossing Fauntleroy Way SW along the length of Lincoln Park remains hit-and-miss, at best. Sometimes literally. And right across from LP’s biggest parking lot, the city plans to take away a remaining non-signalized crosswalk, this one at Fauntleroy/Rose, while another problem percolates …
What makes this stretch of road more problematic than others, besides the presence of a big busy park on one side, is the traffic bound for the Fauntleroy ferry dock. Gary Dawson of the Fauntleroy Community Association says the crosswalks and ferry traffic aren’t mixing well, to say the least:
If you use any one of (the Lincoln Park crosswalks) during the afternoon commute period you put your life at great risk, stop lights or not. The reason is, the line to the ferry dock going southbound moves when queued, whether there are pedestrians in the crosswalks or not. Another near-miss (yesterday) afternoon. A neighbor going southbound stopped so a young boy could cross over to the park. The ferry queue did not. The lad had to run for his life. This, sadly, is more typical than not.
This time the Fauntleroy Community Association is contacting the Mayor’s office (the neighbor already has) to find out how serious he is with his pedestrian safety program.
We’ll stay in touch to find out what FCA hears back.