West Seattle, Washington
7:28 AM: As first mentioned in our traffic report, Seattle Fire has sent a “full response” to an apartment building at 2331 42nd SW. Units arriving are NOT finding a fire, so far.
7:30 AM: Via scanner, firefighters report this was a “dryer fire” and it’s out. They’re dismissing most of the responding units.
7:42 AM: “Small dryer fire” confirmed by our crew after arrival, just as more firefighters were leaving. This was in the apartment building over the Admiral District Bartell Drugs. No injuries reported.
7:20 AM: Good morning! No incidents in/from West Seattle so far. Remember that Seattle Public Schools get out two hours early today.
7:22 AM: Seattle Fire “full response” headed for the 2300 block of 42nd SW in The Admiral District. First unit arriving isn’t seeing anything – we’ll break this into a separate story if they do find a fire.
7:30 AM: As updated separately here, this turned out to be a dryer fire, according to firefighters, and it’s out, so most of the units will be leaving.
7:50 AM: One downtown note – the Seattle Center vicinity is busier than usual because of the annual Starbucks shareholders meeting @ McCaw Hall, with ~2,700 expected. Doors open shortly, meeting’s at 10. This is part of the SDOT citywide alert list for this week.
8:03 AM: Reminder that SDOT‘s week of RapidRide H Line outreach in Delridge continues with a scheduled visit to 21st/Dawson 5-6 pm today.
Continuing to count down to big springtime events … the ninth annual West Seattle 5K is now two months away, on Sunday, May 21st (9:20 am start). And if you think you’ll be walking/running in it … you really want to sign up right now, because the early-bird discount rate is available for just ten more days, through March 31st. You’ll be going “to the anchor and back” (Anchor/Luna Park, from and back to 61st/Alki) on behalf of educational programs at West Seattle High School. Youth and adult participants get a T-shirt – new logo this year (by Erik Bell) – and a reusable tote bag full of sponsor swag. Kids 6 and under run/walk for free. Sign up here, now.
That’s our video from the “grand entrance” during last year’s Niksokowaaks Community Pow-Wow at Highland Park Elementary. Organizers of this year’s Pow-Wow are inviting you, your neighbors, and everyone in the community to join them this year: “There will be incredible dancing, beautiful arts and crafts from vendors all over the United States, delicious food, and drumming.” It’s happening 6-10 pm Friday inside HPE, 1012 SW Trenton. Its main goal, organizers add, is to “help support the Native youth” in the community, especially in deepening their connection with Native culture, and to bring everyone together “to share in this celebration.” Here’s the flyer with more info.
Last weekend, several local Scout troops gathered food donations in a variety of ways as part of Scouting for Food. One of them sent a photo and a report, with words of thanks for the donations they were able to gather:
West Seattle Boy Scout Troop #282 participated in Scouting for Food. We are grateful for our neighborhood’s generosity. We collected 713 pounds of food for the West Seattle Food Bank. Looking forward to next year!
Speaking of the Food Bank, next Saturday (March 25th) is when you’re invited to its open house, 3-6 pm (35th/Morgan), to see its new “shopping” model.
6:49 PM: Quick followup: The package-theft suspect arrested last night after reader videos/photos led to tips and a police search is out of jail. 35-year-old Kelly W. Klein was charged with misdemeanor theft and pleaded not guilty at a hearing this morning; he was set free on personal recognizance. We haven’t seen court documents related to the charge yet and will likely have to get them from the city attorney – which handles misdemeanor cases – tomorrow. State records show no felony record for Klein.
9:26 PM: One side note to this emerged at tonight’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting (full meeting report tomorrow) – while officers were staked out/searching for Klein last night, they made another arrest in the area after spotting someone in a stolen car.
Thanks to the texter who just let us know that transient orcas (the ones who are NOT the Southern Resident Killer Whales) have been seen off Bainbridge, southbound, this afternoon. According to Orca Network commenters, they’re closer to the Kitsap side, so if you go to look, bring good binoculars. Our texter says Whale Scout will have a volunteer looking from Alki Point around 4:30.
Six months after the three-alarm fire at the Lam-Bow Apartments complex (6955 Delridge Way SW), the building left “unsalvageable” (as the Seattle Housing Authority deemed it) is being demolished. We just went by for a look, after two reader tips (thank you!). SHA spokesperson Kerry Coughlin had told us in January that they were waiting for permits so they could tear it down, and now the work is under way. The September 27th fire displaced more than 40 residents; no one was hurt, and investigators never determined the cause, just that the fire started on the building’s exterior. Coughlin told us this afternoon: “Rebuilding will not start immediately and we don’t have any plans or details. We had to get the damaged structure down as soon as possible but need due diligence time to make sure we maximize the opportunity to replace.”
Just got information about the reason for a police search northwest of The Junction this morning – which included containment units at spots including the one in our photo above. Scanner traffic at the time talked about burglary – but now police say it was as a home-invasion robbery. Just published via SPD Blotter:
Robbery detectives are searching for a man who broke into a West Seattle home this morning and robbed a woman as she was watching TV.
The victim was watching television at her home in the 4400 block of 47th Avenue Southwest around 8:45 AM when she realized there was an unfamiliar man standing in her room. The man told the woman he wouldn’t hurt her, and said he only wanted cash. The woman pointed the suspect towards her purse beside the bed.
The suspect removed the cash and walked out of the home.
Officers searched the area, even employing a K-9 unit, but were unable to locate the suspect. The woman described the suspect as white, 5’8″ with a medium build, and sandy blonde hair. Police believe (he) entered the woman’s home after kicking in the back door. Robbery detectives are investigating. …
12:01 PM: Nickel Bros is getting ready to rescue another West Seattle house. This one is a 1912-built Craftsman in the 7000 block of Beach Drive SW, between Lowman Beach and the north shore of Lincoln Park, on a site where a new house is set to be built.
The house-moving firm was originally scheduled to be barging the house away right about now, but the tides will be more conducive late tonight, so they’ve rescheduled for 11 pm.
The twist here: The house does not have a new owner, yet, but Nickel Bros decided to take a chance on it, and it will be taken to a storage yard. You can see inside the house via its listing on the Nickel Bros site.
P.S. Nickel Bros tells us they’re working with six moving-or-movable West Seattle houses right now. We’ve already told you about this one at California/Findlay. Listings on their site include three from the Alki area – here, here, and here.
ADDED 8:22 PM: If you have a late-night eye on the water – you might see the house go by, as the storage spot it’s going to is on the Duwamish River. We also wanted to say thanks to local journalist Jenny Cunningham (with whom we worked long ago in local TV news) for the original tip on this; she’ll be covering it for KCTS and we’ll let you know when the story is set for broadcast.
Last weekend, a huge volunteer turnout worked at West Seattle Little League‘s home field, Bar-S Playfields on Alki Point, to get it ready for the start of the season next weekend.
They put in hundreds of volunteer hours, league spokesperson Kathy Powers says.
Then Monday, the league’s field maintenance director went to Bar-S – and discovered vandals had struck, in a big, heart-sickening way.
Buildings were broken into, and facilities were tagged.
Also, Powers says, “The infields, already in rough shape from all the rain, were trashed by a vehicle. Most frustrating was the damage done to the newly rebuilt pitchers’ mounds and batters’ boxes.”
They’re working to fix the damage – only part of which is shown in the photos – and you can help – in two ways.
For one, Powers says, “We hope the entire West Seattle community will join us in keeping watch and reporting behavior that tries to steal our kids’ opportunity to play baseball.” (Call 911 whenever, wherever you see a crime or possible crime in progress and it’s happening now, or has just happened.)
For two, you can join in one or both work parties planned to clean up and fix up at Bar-S:
*Thursday night (March 23), 5:30-7:30 pm
*Friday night (March 24), 5:30-7:30 pm
The fields and facilities are off SW Admiral Way a short distance west of 63rd SW [map].
P.S. Yes, the vandalism has been reported to police.
(Northern Flicker woodpecker, photographed in Fauntleroy Park by Mark Wangerin)
Busy day and night ahead!
WHITE CENTER SHELTER JOB FAIR: The new family shelter in the old King County Public Health building in White Center opens today. Mary’s Place, which is operating it, is first having a job fair, 10 am-11:30 am – more info here. (8th SW/SW 108th)
CANNABIS EDUCATION FOR SENIORS: 1-2 pm at the Senior Center. (4217 SW Oregon)
DIY BIKES: You bring the bike, and a willingness to learn how to fix and maintain it! 5-7:30 pm at the West Seattle Tool Library. (4408 Delridge Way SW)
YOUR VOICE, YOUR CHOICE – HELP REVIEW PROJECTS! 5:30-7:30 pm at Highland Park Improvement Club, it’s the third of four meetings – previous attendance NOT required – to take a look at park/street projects proposed by your West Seattle/South Park neighbors, and see which ones could be put up for a community vote in June. Backstory here. (12th SW/SW Holden)
FAUNTLEROY COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIP MEETING AND FOOD FEST: 6 pm at The Hall at Fauntleroy, it’s the annual membership meeting for the Fauntleroy Community Association, dubbed “Food Fest” because local eateries provide bites for attendees. Free but FCA hopes you will renew/launch your $25/year membership while there. (9131 California SW)
WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL: 7 pm at the Southwest Precinct – this is your monthly chance to bring neighborhood crime/safety concerns/questions directly to local police, face to face, and to hear their updates on local crime trends. (2300 SW Webster)
GLOBAL READING CHALLENGE: Good luck to the Literature Lions of Genesee Hill Elementary School, the only West Seattle team in the finals of the Seattle Public Library Global Reading Challenge, as previewed here – 7 pm in the auditorium at the Central Library downtown – spectators welcome! (1000 4th Ave.)
UNPLUGGED – A MUSICAL GATHERING: Open-microphone event for acoustic musicians at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7 pm. (5612 California SW)
THE PISTOL SISTERS: Live music at Parliament Tavern, 8-11 pm. No cover. 21+ (4210 SW Admiral Way)
MORE AS ALWAYS … just check out our complete-calendar page!
Since our technical overhaul last year, some have lamented the loss of the comment-editing function. As noted in responses to those laments, the software “plug-in” we were able to use in the old format is no longer supported by its developers, so we weren’t able to bring it along. But we’ve finally been able to install something similar. If you write a comment, after you send it, you should see a line appear in the window with the invitation “click to edit” and a 4-minute countdown during which you can do that. If you click that line, it should show your comment above while opening a window in which you can make changes and then save, delete, or cancel. It’s an optional function – if there’s nothing you want to fix/change, you can ignore it. Please let us know if you have any trouble (email@example.com – please include what device/browser you’re using). Thanks for your patience.
7:24 AM: Good morning! An earlier crash on the West Seattle Bridge has cleared to the shoulder, per SDOT, but the backup remains, so it’s slow going.
Also, you may see SFD vehicles headed eastbound on the bridge, being dispatched to a fire call at the VA Hospital complex on Beacon Hill.
DELRIDGE RAPIDRIDE: Again this morning, through 9 am, SDOT reps are scheduled to be at bus stops along Delridge Way to talk with people about the planning process under way for converting Route 120 to RapidRide H Line.
WEDNESDAY NOTE: Tomorrow, Seattle Public Schools get out 2 hours early.
8:12 AM: The aforementioned Beacon Hill fire call is closed.
As promised, followups on two cases from the past few days:
FAUNTLEROY/ALASKA STABBING: When we reported on this attack Saturday night, we didn’t know whether the person being questioned by police had been arrested. Tonight, we know the suspect, a 49-year-old Tukwila man, did get arrested and was jailed for investigation of assault. This afternoon, a judge set his bail at $100,000. The probable-cause documents say the suspect attacked two people that night – both strangers – first punching a man who was walking out of the Junction QFC at 42nd/Alaska. That victim’s wife yelled at him to stop; the documents say he did, and left the area. A few minutes later, the suspect turned up in the mini-mart at the Fauntleroy/Alaska Shell station, where, police say, he attacked a man paying for a purchase at the counter – stabbing him several times with a screwdriver. The suspect then ran from the store to a nearby bus stop, according to court documents; the store clerk ran after him, and police arrived shortly thereafter, taking the suspect into custody. The victim was treated at the scene but did not need hospitalization. The suspect is due back in court Wednesday.
JUNCTION GUNFIRE: We also asked the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office today about the two 17-year-olds arrested early Friday after a nearby police officer heard/saw gunfire and stopped them at 40th/Alaska, finding a gun in their car. KCPAO spokesperson Dan Donohoe tells us they had a detention-review hearing later that day; the 17-year-old boy, who police say already has a felony conviction, was ordered to stay in detention, while the 17-year-old girl was released to her father (whose 2008 Dodge Avenger she was driving). Both suspects are listed in court documents as living in Tacoma. The report does not mention ownership of the gun found in the car, described as a black Glock 9mm semi-automatic handgun; it says four 9mm casings were found at the northeast corner of 40th/Edmunds. Charges could be filed as soon as tomorrow (Tuesday).
Chief Sealth International High School‘s varsity baseball team is 4-1 on the season so far after another win this afternoon – 5-3 over visiting Franklin HS. The Seahawks outhit the Quakers 11-2. Pitcher Albert Roque got the win, with three strikeouts in four innings. Hitting star of the day was Evan Moe, going 3-4 with a double and triple, scoring two runs. Next up for Sealth, a road game at Ingraham, 4 pm Wednesday. (Their full season schedule is here.)
Instead of a colorful sunset, colorful umbrellas were in view during Alice Enevoldsen‘s 32nd quarterly change-of-seasons sunset watch at Solstice Park tonight. Light rain had begun, but it takes a downpour to cancel, so as Alice put it on Twitter afterward, “It was cold, and the sun was a no-show, but we had fun and discussed the summer eclipse.” (That’s coming up on August 21st.)
Maybe the sun will show up for summer solstice – exactly three months away! (9:24 pm our time Tuesday, June 20th.)
What’s up with the HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability rezoning proposal right now – besides doorhangers in urban villages? That’s one of the topics set for tomorrow night’s Junction Neighborhood Organization meeting, 6:30 pm at the Senior Center/Sisson Building (4217 SW Oregon). JuNO director René Commons says other topics will include an update on the SDOT review of a Restricted Parking Zone application filed by a Junction resident, as well as updates on the Fauntleroy Boulevard project (now that the walking tours are past), a “Greenspace Park/Library/Community Center Plan for the West Seattle Junction,” and the future of the Avalon Substation site.
Three stretches of West Seattle streets are due for new sidewalks this year, as shown on the map above, made public as Mayor Murray spotlighted the city’s updated Pedestrian Master Plan today.
*35th SW in Arbor Heights between 100th and 106th adds to the sidewalks built north of there 5 years ago
*Arbor Heights also will get a block of sidewalk along SW 104th between 35th and 36th, just east of AH Elementary
*In Delridge, sidewalks are on the way to SW Orchard between Myrtle and Dumar
Today’s full announcement says the mayor is sending the plan to City Council later this week. If you’d like to look into the future to see where future work might be focused, the “priority investment network” map for our area starts on page 60 of the full Pedestrian Master Plan.
(UPDATED Monday evening with arrest, Tuesday morning with status)
4:11 PM: Just got this from Megan – and if you compare the photos to the person shown in the video in this package-theft story, there’s a definite resemblance (assuming he doesn’t have an identical twin) – and she’s reporting a theft from this afternoon:
This individual has now stolen 3 of my packages since January. All have been reported to SPD. Since I caught it real time today, they said they were going to look for him. I know he must be hitting all the houses nearby as well. Just wanted to share in case anyone else has been having packages go missing, or has a better picture of this guy to share with police.
I live off Fauntleroy Way, near Morgan Junction. This happened around 2:30 pm.
We don’t have Megan’s incident/report number yet, but the one in the case from the reader report published here Saturday is 2017-902386.
7:30 PM: As discussed in comments, there’s an active search under way, thanks to people’s tips, so if you see/hear anything/anyone suspicious, please call 911. Also, we have the incident/report number for Megan’s case – 2017-98442.
8:46 PM: As noted in comments, just got word from SPD that they have made an arrest. This followed an intensive search, K-9 team included, following tips called in to 911. We photographed police in the Seaview/North Morgan Junction area, where they had been searching:
We’ll of course follow the case through the system.
7:51 AM: The suspect, 35, was booked into King County Jail late last night. His bail currently is $1,000, as he’s being held for investigation of theft, a misdemeanor. He’s scheduled for a hearing today and we’ll have a followup after that.
Robotics students from Louisa Boren STEM K-8 in North Delridge are going to the VEX IQ Challenge World Championships next month! This is just the second year for the robotics program at the school, launched by technology teacher Julie Schmick last year, and the STEM students are the only team from a Seattle school to make it to worlds. Here’s the announcement:
A team of fifth-grade students from Louisa Boren STEM K-8 is headed to Louisville, Kentucky to represent the school at the VEX Robotics World Championship. Four robots from STEM competed in the Washington State VEX IQ Challenge Championships in Ellensburg, Washington on March 11th. Two robots made it to the final matches, and a third took home the competition’s top honor, qualifying the team for the world championships April 23-25, 2017.
The Excellence Award, the highest honor at a VEX robotics competition, was presented to the drivers of Robot 10966C, Zaid Bezzaz, Ryan Colby, and Sampson Lee. The award goes to a team that exemplifies overall excellence in building a high-quality VEX robotics program, taking into consideration a team’s behavior, sportsmanship, and professionalism at the event, in addition to robot design, driving skills, and performance in tournament matches. The approach demonstrated by the STEM K-8 teams in working on their robots and participating in competitions is representative of the school’s project-based learning curriculum, as is the student engineers’ ability to clearly articulate the work they put into designing and building their robots.
In VEX competitions, teams of students are tasked with designing and building a robot to play against other teams in game-based engineering challenges. The VEX IQ Crossover Challenge provides elementary and middle school students with exciting, open-ended robotics and research projects that enhance science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills through hands-on, student-centered learning. Two robots compete as an alliance in 60-second teamwork matches, working collaboratively to score points. Additional points are earned through skill tests, documentation reviews, and team member interviews.
Thanks to parent Lisa Dawson for first word on this, and for the photos, including this one of all the students who competed at the state championships:
In all, more than a thousand teams from around the world will be competing at worlds – but the STEM students are the only ones at elementary level from a Seattle school. Robotics is a before-/after-school enrichment program at STEM, whose PTA is covering the event-registration fees for the students, while their families must cover the cost of traveling to Louisville. They’re crowdfunding for help with that – if you’re interested in helping, here’s the YouCaring page.
Sometimes what sounds like gunfire turns out to be fireworks – or something else – unless evidence is found, such as casings and/or property damage. What you see above is evidence. A neighbor shared the photo and this report from Highland Park:
Last night at around 9:45 pm, we heard load gunshots near our house on 10th and Elmgrove [map] and a car speeding away. We called 911 as did some of our neighbors. This morning my husband found bullet casings in the intersection, underneath the 10th and Elmgrove sign. He called the police again; they came out, collected the bullets, and took his statement.
We are feeling very rattled today. Even though we live near some dangerous spots like 16th and Holden, we’ve never had gunshots this close to our home. This street (10th Ave SW) is home to lots of kids and Highland Park Elementary.
If you saw something related to this and haven’t reported it – you can call police at 206-625-5011 and refer to incident 17-097562. And if you hear what you think is gunfire anywhere, even if you’re not sure where it’s coming from, call 911 to report it ASAP – the more calls they get, the better the chances of finding evidence, a suspect, and/or … if there is one … a victim. (Consider then letting us know for Crime Watch, as this neighbor did.)
P.S. SPD’s SeaStat data reviews track “shots fired” around the city to look for trends; the last page of this slide deck from the most-recent briefing shows that confirmed gunfire incidents are up slightly citywide so far this year, compared to last.