Sunrise Heights residents who thought they heard gunfire around 4:30 this morning have found proof, and police have gone back for further investigation. The report we received mentioned a yellow or light-colored “muscle car” at the time shots were fired near 32nd and Kenyon (map) – police got there fast, we’re told, but the car was gone. Then this morning, our tipster found spent casings (including the one shown above) and a needle in the gutter, across the street from the east wall of the Westside School campus:
They counted five, but just texted us to say that while police were there a short time ago, a sixth was found, all 9mm. No reports of injuries or property damage.
In a separate incident, we have a report from Tom in Highland Park, who reports three shots fired from a car last night around 10:30 pm at 15th and Holden (map), by the apartments that drew a major response back on Tuesday. The call is noted in an SPD auto-tweet but as with all auto-tweets, no further details.
One more Crime Watch note that does NOT involve gunfire – an Arbor Heights resident reports a house in the neighborhood was broken into during the day Friday, 39th and 106th (map), and urges “vigilance,” observing that it went unnoticed until the resident discovered it later.
(County map – the larger, shaded area is the entire “basin” that feeds the Barton Pump Station)
After the latest round of research and feedback, King County says fewer bioswales (19, instead of the original 31) are planned for Westwood and Sunrise Heights neighborhoods where “green stormwater infrastructure” is planned to reduce combined-sewer overflows at the pump station the area feeds – and fewer streets will be involved. That’s part of an announcement they’ve just sent about an open house coming up a week from Saturday:
Neighbors are invited to an open house on Saturday, Oct. 13 to learn about design updates to King County’s Barton Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Control project in West Seattle.
The open house is set for 10 a.m. to noon at Westside School, 7740 34th Ave. S.W., Seattle.
Combined sewer overflows occur during heavy rain when stormwater fills sewers to capacity in older parts of the city. To comply with state water quality requirements, King County will control CSOs from the Barton Pump Station through a system of bioretention swales and Green Stormwater Infrastructure in West Seattle’s Sunrise Heights and Westwood neighborhoods.
Project staff will share a number of design updates that reflect new technical information and community member feedback, including:
· A reduction in the number of bioswales and impacted streets.
· Fewer and smaller curb bulbs to preserve parking.
· Preservation of property access and tree canopy.
· Rebates and financial incentives for residents to voluntarily install raingardens and cisterns through Seattle’s RainWise program.
Additional information is available at the Barton CSO Control Program website, or by contacting Kristine Cramer at 206-263-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Area residents are receiving a flyer – if you haven’t gotten it already – that you can see here.
In West Seattle Crime Watch today – Carole reports her mom was robbed while out for a walk, and she is sharing the story to “reach as many people who care for the elderly to be very cautious if the person is able to walk or travel by themselves”:
My 82 year old mother went for her daily walk around the block (Sunrise Heights). She was approached by two males in a vehicle who talked to her like they knew her. Somehow, the driver of the vehicle managed to get her wedding ring off of her, saying he would get it cleaned and bring it back to her. My mother has Aphasia – she knows what she wants to say or do, but cannot get the words out in a coherent manner. Because of this condition, she has difficulty in telling us what happened. She was not hurt but is very upset. She is now frightened to go outside for any reason.
The ring was purchased in 1957 – white gold, about size 4 or 5, one big stone in the center with smaller stones on either side (I think it is called emerald cut). It is a 3-band ring, with the 3rd band added by my dad for their 25th anniversary. The third-band stones are cubic Zirconias.
The police have been notified and a report taken.
Carole says this happened around 1:45 pm Tuesday.
As sunset approaches, Sunrise Heights is just getting warmed up. Tonight’s their big neighborhood block party. And we have photos courtesy of a member of one of the bands that are playing – Rick Price from BottleRockit. Here’s the first band, MoonGirl:
You probably recognize Rick’s name – when not onstage, he’s onscreen, a longtime local TV journalist, working for KIRO (Channel 7). Where’s Sunrise Heights, you ask? Roughly – east of 35th between High Point and Westwood.
ADDED: And thanks to Tom for sharing this photo:
The party is a volunteer-powered annual event, part potluck, part contribution-funded, with proceeds benefiting the Sunrise Heights Neighborhood Association.
(2011 WSB photo of ex-Fire Station 37)
When we checked in with Colliers International vice president Arvin Vander Veen last week regarding the sale of 87-year-old ex-Fire Station 37 in Sunrise Heights, he told us the deal would close this week, and to watch the public records. We did, and while checking online records last night, we noted that the sale was registered. The former fire station’s new owner also owns a business in The Junction, where WSB contributor Katie Meyer went this morning to see if she would talk with us about her plans for it. She told Katie that she does not want to comment, nor does she want to be identified. We have a request out to the city to ask about the purchase price, as it was not part of the public document; as reported previously, minimum bid was $250,000, and Colliers requested a second round of offers from the highest bidders in the original round. Since the former fire station is a city landmark, its new owner would have to get city Landmarks Board approval before altering any of its landmarked features; it’s in a single-family residential zone. The city gave final authorization to the sale plan last fall, one year after the new Station 37 opened a few blocks south.
1:03 PM UPDATE: The city says the ex-station sold for $613,000. Minus commission and closing costs, that means $579,807 into the city’s Fire Levy Fund. (added) City spokesperson Katherine Schubert-Knapp explains, “Levy proceeds and other funding, such as the sale of former fire stations, are being used to upgrade, renovate and replace 32 neighborhood fire stations, among other things. Seattle voters approved the levy in November 2003. (It will be funding future WS upgrades at other stations including 32 and 36.)
(WSB photo from April 22nd)
It was high noon on a sunny Sunday last month when a man walked into John’s Corner Deli at 35th/Webster, robbed the store, and got away. Now, two and a half weeks later, there’s news of an arrest – from SPD Blotter:
… Detectives received information from Yakima possibly identifying the suspect. The suspect was already in the Yakima County Jail on a different matter. A robbery detective showed the victim a photo lineup and the suspect was positively identified. The detective travelled to Yakima and took custody of the 39 year old suspect. He was brought back to Seattle where he was interviewed and then booked into the King County Jail for Investigation of Robbery. The Robbery Unit will continue to investigate this case.
Read the full SPD Blotter report here.
11:56 AM: Police are rushing to 35th/Webster where an armed robbery has just been reported. We have this description so far – white male, around 6 feet tall, in his 30s, black/gray hair, black baseball cap, black jeans, dark vest, green T shirt, unshaven (with “a little” facial hair), tinted gray sunglasses, last seen running north “and then headed back east” from the area, per the scanner. More as we get it.
12:20 PM UPDATE: At the scene (adding a photo), we have confirmed with police that the business robbed was indeed John’s Corner Deli – not the first time. No injuries reported. In addition to the robber description above, police say they are looking for an apparent accomplice driving a getaway vehicle (there was one scanner report of a possible dark SUV headed east on Holden).
12:52 PM UPDATE: No word of any luck so far finding the robber/s.
MONDAY UPDATE: We just called SPD to ask for any additional details. Aside from what’s reported above, two things – one, confirmation that the robber WAS armed; he “removed a handgun from his waistline, pointed it at the clerk, demanded money from the till, the victim handed over an undisclosed amount of cash and the (robber) fled the store,” Det. Mark Jamieson tells WSB. There’s also a different description of a POSSIBLE getaway vehicle – white early-to-mid ’90s Buick or Oldsmobile.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
After two community meetings in the past five days, residents of Sunrise Heights and Westwood know exactly which planting strips the county is eyeing for potential “bioswales” to keep rainwater from causing combined sewer overflows (CSO) at Barton Pump Station, miles downhill – specific spots along the 31 blocks identified in early March.
They also know how the county hopes to keep them from “ponding” during all but the heaviest rains – through a complex underground “underdrain” system.
The ghost of that problem-plagueed city project has long loomed over this county plan, despite reassurances, promises, and explanations of how the two situations differ. There were more of those Wednesday night at the first gathering inside Westside School (the second meeting was Saturday at High Point Community Center), even as project manager Mary Wohleb tried to keep Ballard from being the proverbial elephant in the room.
(7900 block of 30th SW)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Tonight, Sunrise Heights/Westwood residents are expected to find out if the county thinks the planting strips in front of their homes are the best prospective sites for raingardens to reduce sewer overflows miles away.
The plan has been two-plus years in the making, as the county’s preferred solution to the problem of Puget Sound overflows from the Barton Pump Station near the Fauntleroy ferry dock – but only now is it becoming less abstract, more real, as final decisions get closer. And that is worrying the people who live in the 7900 block of 30th SW, who have asked County Executive Dow Constantine to stop the project.
After the county announced two meetings for tonight and Saturday morning, resident Sabrina Urquhart sent a “media advisory” to make sure the meetings would be covered.
We asked if she and her neighbors would be willing to talk in advance about their concerns. So a small group gathered in her living room Monday evening – joining Sabrina were neighbors Heather, Jim, and Kevin.
During the 9 years that Jo Ann Yockey has been head of school at Westside School (WSB sponsor), enrollment has doubled, from 130 to 268, and a middle-school program has launched, among other achievements. Now, Yockey is moving on to a new challenge, with a new job starting in July at Abiqua in Salem, Oregon. Her successor, Kate Mulligan, chosen by Westside’s board earlier this year, was at the Sunrise Heights campus this morning, visiting from her current job at Hualalai Academy, a K-12 school in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. We stopped by the school as Mulligan, at left in our top photo with Yockey, was finishing a school-community meet-and-greet. It’s a big week at Westside for other reasons – one of which you can glimpse toward the right side of the photo, a sign about the 23rd annual auction coming up Saturday. Even if you’re not going – you can bid in the online auction, continuing through Thursday night – the listing/bidding site is here.
Also happening at Westside, as we found out from communication/development director Jana Barber, who showed us around, new raised beds for an edible garden:
Barber says a grant from the Medina Foundation is helping fund the garden, where the students will grow food to donate to the West Seattle and White Center food banks, and they’re already raising seedlings in classrooms for short-season crops they hope to be able to harvest before this school year ends in June. Also growing inside the Westside building – this year’s baby salmon:
Westside second-graders raise salmon ever year, and these baby fish will be released into Fauntleroy Creek this spring.
(WSB photo of test site at 34th/Trenton, March 2011)
Fifteen months after announcing its plan for “green stormwater infrastructure” to reduce combined sewer overflows (CSOs) at Barton Pump Station by the Fauntleroy ferry dock, the county has narrowed down the potential sites where it might place raingardens and swales to keep stormwater from overwhelming the system. (It’s been testing in the neighborhoods – with equipment like the truck above, as well as drill rigs – for the better part of a year.) Here’s the map showing which streets (in green) have been identified for closer study:
(Sorry, the streets weren’t named on that map, but you can see a larger version, along with the accompanying letter and “fact sheet,” by going here.) News of the map follows King County’s announcement of two meetings, March 28 and March 31, promising status updates. Read the announcement in full, ahead: Click to read the rest of Where will ‘green stormwater infrastructure’ go? County reveals potential sites…
One more postscript to the process, now in high gear, of selling the 87-year-old former Fire Station 37 (Othello/35th). Last Friday, we published an update with photos from a brief tour with broker Arvin Vander Veen – how about that mega-garage, above!? – plus the dates set for open houses and submittal of offers. Today, the brokerage, Colliers International, has announced the website for two ex-fire stations they’re representing, including 37, is live – seattlefirestations.com (with more photos). Again – the open houses are 10 am-2 pm March 10th and April 7th, with offers due by 5 pm April 20th.
A fireplace in a fire station! Somehow, you might think it would be the last thing firefighters would want to look at when they’re not out at a burning home – but on the other hand, everybody has to stay warm. The fireplace is inside ex-Fire Station 37, which as reported here last week, is now officially up for sale. We joined broker Arvin Vander Veen from Colliers International there (35th/Othello) this afternoon for a quick peek inside- and the latest information on how you can get a closer look, too.
(That’s the kitchen.) The open-house dates are now set, Vander Veer told us: March 10th and April 7th, 10 am-2 pm. The deadline for offers will be April 20th (as noted before, $250,000 minimum, cash, no contingencies). Since the former fire station is an official city landmark, you can’t change the outside without city permission, but there’s a lot you can do with the inside:
Vander Veer says he’s fielded about 100 inquiries so far, and many have been from people who think this would be the ultimate “man-cave” – and whatever the gender, imagine having a cavernous garage like this for your vehicles, or maybe some creative project you’re working on, or both!
Sizable basement, as well:
In case you’re just coming in on this story – the city built a new fire station a few blocks south, and is selling this because it’s considered surplus property not needed for any other city purposes.
P.S. Two years ago, a student journalist on assignment for WSB toured the now-ex-station before it closed; this report includes a video tour.
From Sunrise Heights, Laura shared the photo and note:
My daughter, Becca (age 8), is selling homemade mini-donuts to raise money for her favorite charity, WestSide Baby, this morning. We are at 34th and Holden across the street from the 37 fire station. We’ll be here until (at least 1 pm) or until the donuts sell out. 3 donuts for one dollar.
12:44 PM UPDATE: Laura mentioned on the WSB Facebook page that they were almost sold out – so if you haven’t gone, probably too late.
1:10 PM UPDATE: Becca raised almost $59, according to her mom.
Just in from King County – your next chance to get an update on plans to reduce sewer overflows into Puget Sound by building “green stormwater infrastructure” like rain gardens in neighborhoods feeding the Barton Pump Station:
People are invited to learn about King County’s progress on a project to control combined sewer overflows (CSOs) from the Barton Pump Station in West Seattle through green stormwater infrastructure.
A public meeting is planned on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at Westside School, 7740 34th Ave. SW. from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
The announcement continues ahead: Click to read the rest of Community briefing February 8th for West Seattle ‘green stormwater infrastructure’ project…
The kindergarten classes taught by Marsha and Sarah at Westside School (WSB sponsor) helped make this Christmas merrier for lots of other local kids by collecting more than 170 toys during their annual Toys For Tots drive. Firefighters from nearby Station 37 picked up the donations, and that was part of the holiday giving at Westside, along with third-graders making baby blankets to donate to WestSide Baby:
Though today is still only midway through winter break, the school is looking ahead to what will be a busy time next week after classes resume – with a January 5th Middle School Information Night (6 pm), a January 6th tour (9:15 am) for families interested in preschool-4th grade, and an all-school Open House on January 7th (10 am-noon).
Following up on Monday’s story about John’s Corner Deli joining the Healthy Foods Here program – we stopped by for a photo as the FEEST (Food Empowerment Education and Sustainability Team) volunteers got ready to visit the surrounding neighborhoods with info about, and coupons for, the store’s new offerings. From left in our photo are Leoma, Katt, Dureti, Matthew, Celina, and Megan. (They wanted to get John’s owner David Ji in the shot too – but he was too busy with customers, and for a store, that’s a GOOD thing!)
If you live in Sunrise Heights, you may get a visit tomorrow from youth volunteers. Their mission: Getting the word out about what you see in the top photo – fruit and vegetables that are a brand-new addition to John’s Corner Deli at 35th/Webster. Yes, that’s the store known even by passersby as “the store with the cow on the roof.” Now it’s also the store with brand-new banners announcing what’s fresh inside:
Freshening up the John’s inventory, so to speak, is part of the city-and-county-sponsored Healthy Foods Here program, which currently also includes High Point Mini-Market, Delridge Deli Mart, and the High Point Walgreens. Tomorrow, members of FEEST – the Food Education/Empowerment/Sustainability Team – will be seeking out neighbors by canvassing the neighborhood, according to an announcement sent to WSB today. They’ll be equipped with coupons and information about John’s new produce offerings, meant as healthier options for those who live nearby and have no supermarket within walking distance. The volunteers from FEEST – who meet weekly at Chief Sealth International High School to cook with and learn about healthy food – are scheduled to gather at the store at 3:30 pm tomorrow before setting out.
From Cafe Osita owner Andrea Ramirez:
My business was just robbed and I’m hoping to advise other businesses (especially along 35th) to keep an eye out.
I own Cafe Osita in the Sunrise Heights area of WSea (7349 35th Ave SW). White male, approx 18 – 25 yrs old, dirty blonde hair cut short (part on right side) wearing baggy jeans and oversized sweatshirt with graffiti graphics. Also has a black eye on right side and carrying a backpack. Came into shop asking for change, then hot water and then ice water. He managed to take a full tip jar off the counter while my back was turned. The police have been notified.
(Photos by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
12:48 AM: On our way to a house fire that’s being fought in the 7100 block of 29th SW (map). The scanner describes “significant fire damage” on the home’s second floor.
1:08 AM: We have two crews there. Smoke is still coming from the top floor but via scanner, we have heard crews declare the fire “tapped.” No report of injuries so far.
1:27 AM: SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore just briefed us at the scene. Neighbors called the fire in after seeing flames shooting out of the house. No one was sure for a while if anyone was inside but the house has been thoroughly searched and no one was there.
Too soon to say what caused it. A “fire watch” will be kept all night, just in case of flare-ups. (added) Here’s our video from the briefing:
Adding more photos too. And we’ll update this story when there’s information about the cause.
8:50 AM UPDATE: Moore says SFD is ruling the fire “accidental caused by electrical in the attic. The damage estimate is 80,0000 to the structure and 5,000 to the contents. The family is staying at a motel because of the damage and the power being turned off to the house.”
West Seattle Autoworks (WSB sponsor) at 35th/Webster isn’t usually open on Saturdays, but Todd Ainsworth and Chris Christensen threw open the doors today to celebrate their first anniversary. Throughout their first year, they’ve continued to evolve the services they offer – including the “green oil change” – and they’re continuing to look ahead. We asked what’s on the horizon, and they mentioned they’ll be studying electric-car conversion, hoping that “down the road” they’ll be able to offer that type of service as well as repair and maintenance work. Whether you’re a customer already or you’d just like to meet them and say “Congratulations on making it through the first year,” they’ve got snacks and smiles till 5 pm today.
Both of King County’s West Seattle projects to reduce combined-sewer overflows (CSO) are proceeding, and we have updates tonight.
In the area of Sunrise Heights/Westwood where the map above is shaded – part of the “basin” feeding the Barton pump station north of the Fauntleroy ferry dock – the plan is to install “green stormwater infrastructure” including rain gardens, and another round of field work is imminent, according to spokesperson Annie Kolb-Nelson. She says residents in the affected area have been sent a letter (see it here), and will get more notification whenever something is happening on their block, but they wanted to get wider word out too. This is what will be happening, according to an online update about the project:
• Project team members conducting land and utility surveys, and looking at topography, stormwater and groundwater patterns, existing parking strip uses, trees, driveways, accessibility for residents with disabilities, and other physical features of the project area
• Geotechnical borings to better understand soil and groundwater conditions
• Infiltration testing to see how long it takes water to soak into the ground
• Parking and traffic pattern survey
• Potential installation of additional groundwater monitoring wells
• Examination of roof downspout connections/disconnections to the existing combined sewer system
All that will start over the next few weeks, Kolb-Nelson tells WSB. There’s also a map showing specific properties in the project area – you can see that here. The county says construction won’t start until 2013.
We also asked what’s new in the neighborhood that is going to be affected by the plan for the basin feeding the Murray pump station at Lowman Beach Park, where a separate pump-station maintenance project is under way right now. For Murray, you may recall, the county has decided to build a huge underground storage tank across the street from the park, which requires buying and demolishing the residential properties that are there now. Kolb-Nelson says, “We’re in contact with property owners and have begun making offers. We’re also notifying people about eligibility for relocation benefits.” She adds that community meetings are planned next month, but the dates aren’t set yet. This project also is set for construction in 2013; an aerial view is here.
Thanks to the WSB’ers who have e-mailed and called about a car-motorcycle crash at 35th and Holden, by Fire Station 37, whose Engine 37 was dispatched to check out the people involved. Helen reports
the motorcycle ridera woman was seen on a stretcher.
3:55 PM: As the photo sent by Fulay shows, the crash actually was north of the fire station, right by the Chevron station. We’re checking to see what we can find out about the rider’s condition and the crash circumstances. This was dispatched as an aid call, not a more-serious medic call, so that would generally suggest NOT-life-threatening injuries.
4:05 PM: Updated information from Seattle Fire, via Lt. Sue Stangl: The motorcycle rider “refused treatment.” The car driver was taken to the hospital as a precaution; she was reportedly complaining of arm pain. Police at the scene tell us they’re still trying to sort out the circumstances of the collision; tow trucks have arrived so the scene should be clear soon. By the way, the 35th SW safety rally is still on for 4 pm this Wednesday, at 35th/Juneau, which is roughly a mile north of today’s crash scene.
(County map showing where the “green stormwater infrastructure” is proposed for the area feeding the Barton pump station; go here for larger version)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
There was a bit of myth-buster flavor to the first major community meeting since King County’s December announcement that it wants to solve the Barton Pump Station‘s overflow woes with “green stormwater infrastructure” in a 17-block area of Westwood and Sunrise Heights:
No, there won’t be a raingarden in front of every home in the area.
No, the raingardens aren’t expected to fill up and sit stagnant as mosquito-breeding ponds or child-drowning risks.
No, they won’t block you from getting between your street-parked car and your front door.
So – what will they do, and how?
(March 10 WSB photo)
That’s the east side of Westside School in the backdrop of our photo from last month, showing a drilling crew out doing preliminary testing for King County’s “green stormwater infrastructure” project to reduce combined-sewer overflows into Puget Sound – and Westside is where county staffers will be tomorrow night for a community meeting updating the plan. While hundreds of households in Sunrise Heights and Westwood will be directly affected, thousands more may be interested for a variety of reasons, and you don’t have to be part of the project area (map here) to attend. The meeting is set for 6:30-8 pm tomorrow (Wednesday, April 6) at Westside, which is at 7740 34th SW; you can read more about the proposal (which is still under environmental review) on the King County Wastewater Treatment Division website.
We would just like to let you know that we saw a coyote walking south down 44th St. at the intersection of Portland St. (Gatewood area) this morning about 10:15 am. It was a very healthy-looking animal, maybe 35 lbs. It trotted to the dead end of 44th just south of Portland [map] and disappeared down the slope toward Lincoln Park. Beautiful animal!
Via Twitter, James reported a coyote sighting on New Year’s Day – 27th/Othello vicinity (map). He says, “They were going after cats. I threw rocks at them.” (That is part of the official advice offered on this federal-government webpage.)
(WSB photos by Ellen Cedergreen)
This might have been West Seattle’s hottest (free!) ticket today – the long-awaited community open house at brand-new Fire Station 37 in Sunrise Heights, two months after crews moved in. Outside, visitors got to check out various SFD vehicles; inside, there was face painting, coloring, stickers, beverages, and treats. The next view is from the workout room on the second floor (living quarters are on the ground floor):
One of the big attractions – the sculpture “Lifter” outside the station (discussed here extensively, with a photo of the entire sculpture, in case you haven’t seen it), whose artist Pete Beeman came up from Portland for the occasion:
He helped kids figure out how to turn its crank – and offered prizes to everybody who gave it a try:
Visitors got to meet firefighters from all over the city:
In a nod to history, the Last Resort Fire Department (famous for appearances in parades including the West Seattle American Legion Post 160 Grand Parade) had an engine on hand too. Bob Carson told WSB he thinks historic engines like this will probably outlast the new ones!
And as much as everyone enjoys meeting firefighters, the goal is to not ever meet them in more urgent circumstances – so educational displays were part of today’s event as well, as were free batteries for smoke detectors (change yours every year!):
Fire Station 37 is at the corner of 35th and Holden, a few blocks south of its predecessor, whose fate hasn’t been determined yet – the city intends to sell it, but since it’s a landmark, tearing it down is not an option.
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