FERRY ALERT: Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth back to 3 boats

M/V Cathlamet went back into service this morning, after mechanical trouble took it out on Friday, so the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route is back to 3 boats.

VIDEO: ‘This one’s for Nino.’ Halftime tribute to Nino Cantu, ‘the heart and soul’ of Southwest Athletic Complex

“This one’s for Nino.” Chief Sealth International High School football players dedicated last night’s game to Nino Cantu, the longtime grounds manager at their home field, Southwest Athletic Complex. Mr. Cantu died suddenly a week earlier. His friend Doree Fazio-Young led the halftime tribute:

The team kept the ovation going, chanting Nino’s name, and went on to win the game, 42-37, over Roosevelt. Seattle Public Schools paid tribute to Mr. Cantu in this statement:

We are deeply saddened by the loss of a beloved staff member, Nino Cantu. Nino passed away on the night of October 11. He had been a valued SPS colleague for 18 years and was the heart and soul of the Southwest Sports Complex. His dedication to student athletes in Seattle and beyond showed every day in the pride he took in his facility as well as the enthusiasm he brought to every event at his complex. Everyone that knew Nino was touched by his energy and enthusiasm for life. His bombastic style and huge grin would greet old friends and new. He was one of a kind and his passion for life never failed to lift the spirits of those around him. You could not speak with Nino and not end up with a smile on your face. His passing has deeply affected our community. We are grateful that his legacy and leadership will live on for many years to come.

Mr. Cantu was just 51 years old.

Amazing array of alternatives for your West Seattle Saturday!

(Pileated Woodpecker eating Pacific Madrone berries, photographed by Mark Wangerin)

Welcome to Saturday – and a sizable stack of options. First:

TRAFFIC/TRANSPORTATION ALERTS: Southbound Highway 99 closed late last night and that’s supposed to continue through the weekend. Northbound Highway 99 is scheduled to be closing right about now and reopening by 5 pm. We’ll update if anything changes (early reopenings, etc.). … Check here on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferry run’s status, since it was down a boat for much of Friday.

And now, from our calendar and Halloween Etc. Guide:

SALTY HALF MARATHON: No same-day signups for this half-marathon, so we’re just mentioning it in case you wonder about those runners who’ll be out this morning headed from Don Armeni Boat Ramp to Lincoln Park and back starting at 8:30 am. No road closures. (1222 Harbor SW)

THIS YEAR’S FINAL TAI CHI AT THE BEACH: 9 am at Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza, it’s your last chance until next year to experience by-donation Tai Chi with Lao-Shi Caylen Storm. (61st SW/Alki SW)

DUWAMISH ALIVE! 10 am-2 pm at multiple locations along the Duwamish River and in its watershed, hundreds of people will be busy with a variety of tasks. If you didn’t register in advance, take a look at the site list and just show up somewhere not marked “full”!

PANCAKE BREAKFAST/BENEFIT: 10 am-1 pm, pancakes for a cause at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, benefiting SafeFutures, “a West Seattle nonprofit that has served WS and South King County for over 20 years by empowering and advocating for immigrant and refugee youth from low-income communities and communities of color.” (4408 Delridge Way SW)

SEATTLE YARN GRAND-REOPENING PARTY: The shop’s new owners invite you to stop by and celebrate 10 am-6 pm: “There will be a couple of pop-up shops, a needle tasting (3 PM), giveaways, cookies, and more.” (5633 California SW)

WOMEN-ONLY SELF-DEFENSE CLASS: 10 am-noon at Combat Arts Academy, for ages 13+, donation-based. Details in our calendar listing. (5050 Delridge Way SW)

WEST SEATTLE SKI SWAP: 10 am-5 pm, it’s day one of shopping the ski and snowboard swap presented by Mountain to Sound Outfitters at the VFW Hall. (3601 SW Alaska)

SEE ART, MAKE ART: 10:30 am at Southwest Library, you’re invited to be a creator in this week’s project! (9010 35th SW)

INDULGE DESSERTS GRAND OPENING: The new dessert shop we told you about last month is celebrating its grand opening 11 am-9 pm today (and noon-5 pm Sunday) with “a drawing for free cupcakes, and a limited supply of small freebies for little kids.” (9003 35th SW)

HARBOR SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: Ferry over to Vashon Island and visit independent K-8 Harbor School (WSB sponsor) during this noon-2 pm open house. (15920 Vashon Hwy. SW)

CHURCHILL’S CLUB: Next best thing to time travel! Fall event with Somewhere In Time, Unlimited, 12:30-5:30 pm at Whisky West (WSB sponsor), as explained here. (6451 California SW)

SPIDERS OF THE DUWAMISH: Talk and walk. Free! 1-3 pm, starts at Duwamish Tribe Longhouse. (4705 W. Marginal Way SW)

BEER GARDEN TRICK-OR-TREATING: Bring the kids to trick-or-treat around the beer garden at Ounces in North Delridge, 1-4 pm. (3809 Delridge Way SW)

SEATTLE LUTHERAN HOMECOMING GAME: 1 pm at West Seattle Stadium, cheer for Seattle Lutheran High School as they play football against Tacoma Baptist. (4432 35th SW)

TALK WITH YOUR SCHOOL BOARD REP: 3-5 pm at Delridge Library, community-conversation time with West Seattle/South Park’s Seattle School Board director, and board president, Leslie Harris. Comments? Questions? Concerns? Bring ’em. (5423 Delridge Way SW)

SEE ART, E-ART: 4-5:30 pm at Southwest Library. “Learn to create in 3D with Putty 3D, a digital sculpting tool for the iPad.” Bring your own iPad or use one that belongs to the library. (9010 35th SW)

WHITE CENTER FOOD BANK BENEFIT: Tonight at the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) Brockey Center – 6 pm reception, 7 pm dinner, and tickets will be available at the door if you don’t have yours already! More info here. (6000 16th SW)

ROO AND THE FEW: 7-9 pm at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), live music for your Saturday night. (5612 California SW)

WHAT ELSE IS UP? Check our complete calendar and Halloween Etc. Guide!

FOOTBALL: Chief Sealth ends regular season atop division after victory over Roosevelt

FRIDAY NIGHT: “What a game, what a night!” exclaimed the announcer after tonight’s Chief Sealth International High School football victory over Roosevelt, 42-37, at Southwest Athletic Complex. It was, for many reasons, including the Seahawks’ finish atop their division. We’ll add details and photos, including the postgame Senior Night honors, later.

ADDED SATURDAY MORNING: This was Sealth’s sixth-consecutive win, wrapping the regular season 6-2 after two season-opening losses that they proved were anomalies.

The Seahawks erupted with enthusiasm even before the game, players shouting as they bounded from their sidelines post-anthem.

After that first TD by #8 Dontae McMillan (video above) – capping a drive that had Sealth in a second-and-22 situation at one point – Roosevelt didn’t get on the board until a field goal with 3:42 to go in the first quarter.

Second TD came two minutes later, by #6 Jalanie McMillan, who had the next one too, just a minute into the second quarter. And another about three minutes later by #22 Jessie Brown:

At halftime, the Seahawks were up 35-17. Their scoring wrapped up with one more TD mid-third quarter, and then it was all a matter of holding off Roosevelt, second in the same division, and that they did, with – after two final minutes that seemed to take forever – the 42-37 win. The game was followed by Senior Night honors for players and band members who will graduate next year (no seniors on the cheer squad, we were told), including the McMillan twins, whose entourage was led by grandmother Vera Jimerson:

(If you haven’t already, read Seattle Times reporter Jayda Evans‘ story about the McMillan brothers here.) Other Senior Night scenes:

P.S. Last night’s beneficiary of the $100 donation from Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) in nearby Westwood Village: Sealth’s Native education program Šǝqačib:

Now it’s on to the postseason – we’ll update when we find out where/who/when.

West Seattle scenes: Above the fog

Thanks for the photos from above the fog! Top pic is by Eugene Lee, looking west from Gatewood, near Myrtle Reservoir Park. Below, by Susanna Moore, looking northeast toward downtown:

And from Twitter:

And one more sunset view e-mailed to us, from Gatewood, by Stephen Sills:

Forecast says we might have “areas of fog” tomorrow morning too.

FOLLOWUP: Street robbery followed bus confrontation, police say

As promised, we procured the police report about the Thursday street robbery that led to a search through south Morgan Junction and three arrests in west Gatewood.

(WSB photo, Thursday)

The report says it all started on board a bus headed northbound on Fauntleroy Way. The victim – 18 or 19, not a juvenile as first reported – said he got on board at the ferry dock. He said he was confronted on the bus and asked where to buy “weed.” The victim said he didn’t know but that the people who asked him continued staring at him. He felt uncomfortable so he got off the bus at Fauntleroy and Myrtle. They followed him. He crossed the street and they kept following him. Two of them demanded he give them his stuff and swung at him with closed fists. He tried to get away from them by going into nearby retirement center The Kenney but its doors were locked. So he ran north and wound up in the yard of a nearby house. Witnesses told police they saw the victim being beaten and kicked in the yard. The victim said they tried to steal his backpack and eventually got away with his iPhone and Gucci belt. The robbers/attackers then ran eastbound and by then police had been called. Three suspects were spotted at the Morgan Junction McDonald’s. When police arrived there, the three took off running eastbound. Patrol and K9 officers tracked them into the west Gatewood neighborhood where three juveniles were arrested near 41st SW/Heights Place SW [map]. The report says all three were booked into the juvenile-detention center. The victim, meantime, got his phone and belt back; police say he was curled up on the ground in “great pain” when they found him and that SFD medics recommended that he go to a hospital but he declined. We’ll follow up next week to see whether charges will be filed.

NOISE ALERT: If you’re taking the Water Taxi this weekend, things might get loud

Just in from the West Seattle Water Taxi:

This coming Saturday, Oct. 20 and Sunday, Oct. 21, construction will take place on the south side of Pier 52 between the Water Taxi’s temporary facility and the Colman Dock Terminal. A large construction barge, a.k.a., the “Pacific Lifter,” will be driving new piles into the ground. Riders who are in this vicinity may experience high levels of noise as a result of the work. For Water Taxi riders who need hearing protection while waiting for the West Seattle boat during these periods, our terminal agents can provide ear plugs upon request.

Side note: This is the second-to-last weekend before the Water Taxi goes weekdays-only until spring; that schedule starts Monday, October 29th.

ROAD WORK ALERT: It’s not a roundabout, but it’s a start – Highland Park Way/Holden changes ahead

While Highland Park continues fighting to get the city to build a roundabout at Highland Park Way and Holden, the city has repeatedly mentioned that it can make other, smaller changes to improve safety at the intersection in the meantime. Today, SDOT announced that those changes will be made in the next few weeks. The following letter has been sent to nearby residents, after notification to the Highland Park Action Committee, whose chair Charlie Omana forwarded it to us:

Subject: Highland Park Way and Holden Intersection Improvements

Dear Highland Park residents,

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will be making some enhancements to the
intersection of Highland Park Way SW & SW Holden St (see below and graphic). The purpose of these
enhancements is to increase safety and make the intersection more predictable.

The work that SDOT will be doing includes:

• Enlarging the painted triangles in the northwest and southwest quadrants of the intersection
(gore areas)
• Extending the southbound right-turning lane and installing advance lane configuration signs and
• Installing yield signs and markings
• Repainting the northbound left-turn arrow markings
• Installing a barrier to prevent eastbound left-turning vehicles from turning into the outside curb
lane of northbound Highland Park Way SW
• Converting SW Austin St to right turn in and right turn out only

We expect to make these changes within the next few weeks, when the weather is dry enough for us to apply paint to the road.

Please note, this work will not preclude a potential future roundabout at this intersection. SDOT has
applied for the Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) 2018 City Safety Grant for funding the full design and construction of the roundabout. We expect a decision about the grant in
January 2019.

If that grant is not received, Mayor Jenny Durkan promised HPAC last month that the city would come up with a “Plan B” for funding the roundabout.

REMINDER: Halftime tribute tonight for Nino Cantu at SWAC

In case you missed the mention in today’s highlight list – at halftime of tonight’s Chief Sealth-Roosevelt football game, a tribute is planned to longtime Southwest Athletic Complex groundskeeper Nino Cantu, who died suddenly a week ago. We’re told that family and friends will gather on the field, and the tribute will end with a request for a standing ovation rather than a moment of silence – as his longtime friend Doree Fazio-Young (who provided the photo) says, “Nino is not a moment of silence.” The game starts at 7 pm and is the final scheduled home game of the season for Sealth; SWAC is at 2801 SW Thistle, across from the school.

FERRY/TRAFFIC ALERT: Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth down to 2 boats

4:05 PM: Friday afternoon outbound ferry-rider traffic from Fauntleroy is usually backed up even in the best of times, but we’re getting word it’s worse than usual today, and that the run is down to two boats. The M/V Cathlamet is out of service. Here’s the latest word from Washington State Ferries:

The M/V Cathlamet is out of service for the remainder of the day due to the issues with the ship’s service generator. While technicians continue to troubleshoot and assess for repairs, the Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth will being following the weekday two-boat schedule beginning with the Fauntleroy 4:05 pm sailing to Vashon, the Vashon 4:30 pm to Fauntleroy, and the Southworth 5:25 pm to Vashon and Fauntleroy.

4:23 PM: Here’s the Fauntleroy-Vashon 2-boat schedule; here it is for Fauntleroy-Southworth. WSF says the wait is now 2 hours at Fauntleroy.

10:21 PM: Still 2 boats and as of last WSF update, a one-hour wait at Fauntleroy.

YOU CAN HELP: Illusions Hair Design book drive for kids/families via local nonprofits

Illusions Hair Design (5619 California SW; WSB sponsor) is collecting books for local kids and families through November 15th! Here’s the announcement:

We’re having a BOOK DRIVE
The West Seattle Helpline

The West Seattle Food Bank Library

*NEW BOOKS* for kids of all ages… Along with simple recipe Cookbooks! (Easy, family meals such as: soups or casseroles, or fun kids’ recipes are what they’re looking for.) Drop off your donations here at the salon in our great big BLUE barrel!


*(They do prefer NEW books, but gently used/barely read are ok too! They just want to make sure that they are clean, and free of moisture & debris. NEW books are often gifted to kids in need through the Helpline, whereas the gently used are used to fill the Food Bank library shelves.)

Illusions is open until 6 tonight, closed weekends, but open until 8:30 pm three weeknights, so you have plenty of options for dropoff. (Hours are on the Illusions website.)

West Seattle Crime Watch: Smashed windows; found – likely stolen – items; Junction’s new Block Watch

Three notes this afternoon:

SMASHED WINDOWS: That’s one of two cars we spotted with broken windows in the Alki area after a tip this morning. Haven’t heard directly from any victims so we don’t know whether these were break-ins or vandalism.

FOUND ITEMS: William found items behind his apartment building in the 3900 block of California SW, dumped and likely stolen, and would like to get them back to their owner(s):

While walking my pooch this morning I found several items that look like they were stolen from someone’s car.

There are two bins, and one fairly nice bag. I am sure that the owner of these items probably wants them returned. Maybe the owner can email me at dempsey.w (at) hotmail (dot) com and describe the items?

JUNCTION BUSINESS BLOCK WATCH: While passing through The Junction on Thursday, we spotted police on foot patrol and tweeted the photo:

Today, SPD Blotter has just published the news that The Junction has become the first business district in the city to launch a Business Block Watch.

FOLLOWUP: Date set for next Alki house move

(WSB photo taken this afternoon, substituted for file photo originally published with this report)

As we reported here in August, another Alki house is set to be moved. This one is at 1254 Alki SW, part of the future ~40-condo project at 1250 Alki, next to the site where a house was removed and moved back in January. And now the date is set. A project spokesperson tells us the move is scheduled for one week from tonight, Friday night/Saturday morning (technically the window opens at 12:01 am Saturday, October 27th). Like the last one, this house will be trucked to nearby Don Armeni Boat Ramp and placed on a barge for the rest of the move.

Square dance, meet a Sounder, and other options for your West Seattle Friday

(59th/Alki Halloween tree. WSB photo)

From the WSB calendar and inbox:

MEDICARE CHOICES INFO: Free presentations at 1 pm at West Seattle (Admiral) Library (2306 42nd SW) and 3 pm at High Point Library (3411 SW Raymond):

These informative 45-minute presentations will cover Medicare choices & options while not being focused on any one insurance company or product. Attendees will learn about important updates & changes to Medicare coming in 2019 and following will receive a FREE pie! (choice of Apple, Dutch Apple, Marionberry or Cherry) To guarantee your gift, please RSVP @ 844.314.0799

WEST SEATTLE SKI SWAP DROPOFF: 3-7 pm at the West Seattle VFW, drop off your items for this weekend’s Ski Swap. Not registered as a seller but interested? Go here. (3601 SW Alaska)

GIRLS’ NIGHT AT CLICK! Annual shopping/sampling/giveaways event in the Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor) loft in The Junction, 5-8 pm – here’s the plan! (4540 California SW)

MEET JORDAN MORRIS: The Sounders FC player will be at West Seattle Brewing Company in The Triangle, 6-7 pm, to meet fans. (4415 Fauntleroy Way SW)

(added) HIGHLAND PARK ELEMENTARY SQUARE DANCE: Everyone welcome! 6-9 pm (with dinner at 6): “It’s time again for Highland Park Elementary‘s 5th Annual Square Dance. Come on down and enjoy some delicious food at this fun, free family event. Swing your partner to the live band and dance caller, vote for your favorite in the pumpkin decorating contest between our classrooms, and sashay by the caramel apple bar. Yee Haw!” (1012 SW Trenton)

HIGH-SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Senior night for division-leading Chief Sealth International High School, vs. Roosevelt, 7 pm at Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle), with a halftime tribute to Nino Cantu, the SWAC groundskeeper who died recently. West Seattle High School plays on the road at Bainbridge HS, 7 pm (9330 NE High School Rd.). At West Seattle Stadium (4432 35th SW) at 7 pm tonight, it’s Seattle Prep vs. Rainier Beach.

GARY BENSON: Songs old and new at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)

THE SLAGS: They’re playing Poggie Tavern at 9 tonight. No cover. 21+.

PREVIEW THE WEEKEND! Halloween/fall-festival-type fun is in our seasonal guide; full list of events is on our complete calendar.

Help make holiday wishes come true: WestSide Baby and Childhaven need temporary space

If you have even a suggestion for WestSide Baby about this, executive director Nancy Woodland would love to hear from you ASAP:

Together, WestSide Baby and Childhaven are looking for space to rent for one month to fill holiday wish-lists for children as well as to extend the holiday giving spirit to help children all year long. We hope to solidify this location by October 25th.

These two organizations are partnering to execute the collection and distribution of a “giving tree” program that will benefit children served by Childhaven for the holidays and then will also benefit children served through WestSide Baby’s 114 other partner agencies helping children year-round.

Time frame needed: December 1st – December 31st (including set up and break down)

Ideal location areas: SODO, Georgetown, White Center, West Seattle or Central area Central/South Seattle areas

Space: Minimum of 3000-4000 sq ft of “open” space with parking for 3-4 cars and easy access to double wide or roll-up doors accessible without stairs (rolling carts)

Price: Up to $2000 considered (and holiday giving spirit encouraged too!)

For approximately 2 weeks, (roughly Dec 5 – Dec 20th), the space would be used for:

The drop off of and storage of new items donated through Childhaven “giving tree” collection drives. Drop off generally by private vehicles.

Volunteer and staff activity (most days 3-4 people and occasionally “group” days with 10-15 people sorting donations and filling specific wish lists for children

Items would then be picked up by staff and volunteers to fill “wishes” with the excess inventory being packed up and returned to WestSide Baby for distribution over time.

You can reach Nancy with offers or even suggestions at at nancy@westsidebaby.org or 206-686-3228.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Friday watch; Highway 99 closure reminder; downtown gas leak

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

7:03 AM: Good morning! No transit alerts or outbound traffic incidents reported so far.

HIGHWAY 99 CLOSURE REMINDER: The weekend closure is in 2 phases – SB starting 9 tonight and lasting all weekend, NB starting at 6 am Saturday and end by 5 pm that day.

9:50 AM: Sorry to be late catching onto this. A gas leak has caused closures downtown in the 1st/Columbia/Cherry vicinity. Some of this seems to be easing, according to what we’re hearing on police radio, at least for pedestrians in the area.

9:59 AM: There’s also a gas-leak call at Holden/Highland Park Way. Apparently not major as two of the three dispatched units have been dismissed, but please let us know if you are seeing otherwise.

10:20 AM: A downtown update from police radio – while sidewalks in the area are being opened, 1st will remain closed to traffic between Columbia and Yesler. 2nd is being reopened.

10:50 AM: 1st also has reopened between Yesler and Marion, per SDOT.

Fauntleroy Fall Festival 2018: Here’s the fun awaiting you Sunday!

(WSB photo, 2017 Fauntleroy Fall Festival)

Three days until three hours of fun await you at this year’s Fauntleroy Fall Festival! Tonight we have the schedule for what you’ll be able to see and do during the festival 2-5 pm Sunday (October 21st):

(Note: Updated version substituted Friday night. If you can’t view what’s above, here’s the PDF version.) The festival happens at and around the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse/Hall and Church/YMCA grounds, across the street from each other in the 9100 block of California SW:

Crossing guards make sure you can get back and forth safely. Everything’s free except food/drink – just show up and be ready for a great time! And remember that if you enjoy baking, contenders for the cake-decorating contest and donations for the cake walk are welcome – here are those details. See you at the Fauntleroy Fall Festival (looks like it’ll be sunny)!

West Seattle Crime Watch: 10-year-old’s motorcycle, brand-new bicycle stolen

Two reader reports – first, from Tammy in the Alki area:

Someone broke into our garage either late last night or today and stole my son’s (10 years old) dirt bike. He is devastated. It was a little red motorcycle made for a kid – Honda. Had a plastic piece on the front of it where there would normally be a number but has a pic of someone riding a motorcycle instead. Please let me know if you saw anything or saw someone pushing it around.

We’ll add the police report # when we get it. Same with the next report, from Dave:

A brand-new Salsa Journeyman Bicycle (700cX54cm) was stolen in front of the Southwest Library on 35th Avenue at approximately 6:00 pm on September 28th.

Dave is offering a reward for its return.

FOLLOWUP: What’s happened since crash/fire that damaged West Seattle Health Club, whose management said ‘enough is enough’

Those are three of the RVs parked along SW Andover across from the West Seattle Health Club that have just been tagged by Parking Enforcement. That’s one of the developments since the club was damaged early Wednesday by a gas fire that erupted after the building was hit by a vehicle – initially described by Seattle Fire as an “RV” and later as a “shuttle van.”

Seattle Police confirmed to WSB today that the vehicle’s driver has yet to be found; they said on Wednesday that it matched the description of a vehicle that fled Admiral Safeway after a shoplifting incident shortly before the crash.

(Photo courtesy West Seattle Health Club)

West Seattle Health Club management has told its members that the pool, in the wing of the building that was damaged by the crash and fire, will likely remain closed for a couple weeks. A Puget Sound Energy crew was at the scene this morning when we went to the area to check on a commenter tip about the tagged RVs.

WSHC says it’s been dealing with camping in the area long enough (we first reported on it almost three years ago) and “enough is enough” – they’re demanding city action. (We also chronicled an early-morning incident last July in which an RV careened through the WSHC lot and ended up on the bank over Longfellow Creek.)

City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s staff, meantime, shared with us what she’s been telling constituents who have contacted her about the incident and the nearby RV camping, including:

Councilmember Herbold has contacted the Seattle Police Department, including Chief Best. She has also contacted Fire Department Chief Scoggins, Mayor Durkan, Deputy Mayor Fong, and other Mayor’s Office staff about this. Mayor Durkan responded swiftly and personally to let Councilmember Herbold know that Chief Scoggins would be in touch. Chief Scoggins responded to say that he did not believe that this was an RV fire. Councilmember Herbold understands that people in the community believe that, RV or otherwise, that this was a vehicle that was being occupied as a residence. Councilmember Herbold has spoken with Dan Lehr, the V.P. of Operations at the West Seattle Health Club and he assured her that not only was this a vehicle modified for living in, but that it was a vehicle that was being resided in at this particular location.

(Several WSB commenters reported familiarity with the vehicle in the area.) Also from Herbold’s reply to constituents:

The City has an RV remediation program designed by SPD and SPU. Below is SPD Deputy Chief Wilske’s description of that program, in response to Councilmember Herbold’s request several months ago to clarify for her, and for the public, the approach SPD is taking to address the impacts upon residents and businesses resulting from several hundred RVs parked throughout the City serving as dwellings:

“As everyone has noticed, we are seeing an increase in people who are living in vehicles, both cars and RV’s. In some cases we are seeing significant impact to the surrounding neighborhoods, and have partnered with Seattle Public Utilities to implement a RV remediation program to address these problematic sites.

The ultimate goal of this program is to try to connect the people to services, insure that they move their vehicles in conformance to city law (primarily the 72 hr ordinance), and ensure we clean up any debris that is left behind. Using a team concept also allows us to insure we are consistent with recent court decisions regarding vehicle residents, so that we do not inadvertently expose the city to unnecessary legal jeopardy. The goal is not to impound these vehicles, but instead have them move regularly and be less impactful on the locations where they park.

The team uses specific criteria to determine which site will be prioritized for clean up, with an emphasis on Public Health (large amounts of debris, rodents, needles etc) and Public Safety (crime statistics, 911 responses, officer anecdotal information). We are currently doing 6 plus clean ups a month on large locations, with some additional work being done via the precincts and the parking enforcement officers, but again using the same prioritization criteria.”

One court case decision Wilske references is a Superior Court decision from earlier this year raised challenges about the city charging fees for impounded vehicles that serve as residences.

Herbold’s staff said she asked SPD and SPU when the area near the club was “most recently assessed for remediation.” Their reply: Last month, but it “did not qualify for priority cleanup for the month of September.” At Herbold’s request, they went back yesterday and still said “it did not score high enough for service.” She subsequently spoke with Mayor Durkan, her office tells us, saying the mayor then “agreed to reassess the Andover St. area to potentially move it up the list for remediation.”

–Tracy Record, WSB editor

Great Washington ShakeOut: How Explorer West handled today’s earthquake drill

(WSB photos)

Taking cover under classroom desks was only part of the plan as Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor) participated in today’s Great Washington ShakeOut earthquake drill. No matter how ready you are, an earthquake or natural disaster can lead to injuries, so EWMS practiced dealing with those too:

Preparedness means having supplies on hand (this includes suggestions):

And it means everyone’s involved. Here’s EW head of school Evan Hundley:

There was a communications component too – this text was sent to EWMS parents:

P.S. As mentioned in our daily highlights list and calendar, Explorer West has the first of three open houses for prospective families tonight – 6:30-8 pm, 10015 28th SW.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Suspects arrested after Morgan Junction-area street robbery

(WSB photo)

1:32 PM: Police are searching for three people believed to be involved in a street robbery in the Morgan Junction area. We don’t know exactly where the robbery happened – per scanner, a “phone and belt” were taken – but police are focusing on the south end of the Morgan business district right now (south of Fauntleroy). More to come.

1:39 PM: K9 has joined the search, which is also extending into nearby residential areas. And now there’s a report of three people “detained” somewhere in the search area.

1:46 PM: The search continues while police sort things out. The actual robbery apparently happened on Fauntleroy, west of where the search has been focused. Added a photo above of the K9 team that has been searching – some possible evidence was found in that strip mall off California south of Fauntleroy; the area where possible suspects were detained is east of there. Meantime, the victim is described as a juvenile.

2:10 PM: Arrests have been made (photo added – in west Gatewood).

If you’re seeing continued police activity in the business area, that’s because more potential evidence was reported to have been found in/near the nearby McDonald’s.

3:44 PM: All three suspects taken into custody were juveniles, SPD confirms. We’ll be checking tomorrow for details from the official report.

FOLLOWUP: West Seattle Junction outdoor mailbox gone

(WSB photo)

Thanks to Greg for the tip. A week after damage – reportedly from a driver – took it out of service again, the West Seattle Junction Post Office outdoor mailbox has been taken away. Last year it was gone for seven months. Our track record of getting official USPS responses to mailbox questions has been pretty bad, so if you have any inside info, editor@westseattleblog.com – thanks!

VIDEO: 14 questions for 34th District State Senate candidates @ Delridge District Council/South Seattle College forum

The ballots are in the mail. The ballot dropboxes (including the brand-new one in The Junction) open today. What you’ll see on your ballot includes only one contested, open local seat: 34th District State Senator. Last night was the second-to-last West Seattle forum for the two candidates who survived the 11-candidate primary. Above, our video of the entire forum, presented by the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council (in place of its regular monthly meeting), at and with South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) on Puget Ridge; below, our notes with key points – NOT full transcriptions – from the candidates’ replies to the 14 questions asked at the forum (including some “different ones!” as they observed with some measure of delight).

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