UPDATE: Sprinkler credited for controlling apartment fire south of West Seattle Junction before firefighters arrive

(Added: WSB photo)

3:47 PM: Seattle Fire units are arriving at The Blake Apartments at 5020 California SW for what’s described as a fourth-floor kitchen fire.

3:52 PM: This will tie up traffic for a while because of the big response, so avoid California just south of The Junction for a while. Meantime, firefighters report that the fire is under control thanks to a sprinkler.

(Added: Texted reader photo)

3:56 PM: Fire now reported “tapped” (out).

4:01 PM: No injuries reported, says SFD, which is dismissing some of the responding units.

4:06 PM: Firefighters on scene tell us this was a “room fire” and confirm that the sprinklers got it under control even before they reached it. Traffic on California is currently shut from Edmunds to Brandon. Residents of the building, meantime, aren’t being allowed back in just yet, while firefighters check a few more things to be sure it’s safe.

4:55 PM: Police have told dispatch that traffic is now getting through via the center lane and southbound lane.

SPORTS: West Seattle Little League softball, baseball All-Star teams’ latest big wins

Congratulations to three West Seattle Little League softball and baseball teams for big wins! The updates are from WSLL’s Kristin Widman:

Juniors softball secures spot in district 7 championship

Three cheers for the Juniors (13-14 year olds) softball team, who won their game on Wednesday to advance to the WA District 7 championship game in their inaugural season with West Seattle Little League! The game starts at 10 am on Saturday, July 2 at Mt Rainier High School (22450 19th Ave S) in Des Moines. WSLL is excited to field 2 softball All-Stars teams (Juniors and 10s) this year and watch the teams thrive and represent the best of West Seattle.

12s baseball – state-bound

The 12s All-Stars baseball team went undefeated in their tournament run and fought off a tough South Highline National LL team on Thursday, winning 7-2. Parker Manderino launched a home run in the first inning. The 12s move on to the state tournament starting July 16 at 4:30 pm at Lynndale Park (18927 72nd Ave W) in Lynnwood.

11s baseball – state-bound

The 11s All-Stars baseball team also won big on Thursday, defeating Renton LL 13-3. They tallied a total of 10 hits in the game. Brookes Kalivoda drove in 5 runs on 2 hits including a home run. The 11s state tournament run begins July 16 at Federal Way National Little League Complex (450 SW Campus Dr).

For the All-Stars tournament schedule, visit the WSLL website: https://www.westseattlelittleleague.com

BIZNOTE: New ownership blossoms at Flower Lab

Flower Lab in The Admiral District has a new owner. But if you’ve been a customer, you probably already know Katie Ellison. Here’s the announcement:

Wendy and Paul Damoth, the previous owners of Flower Lab, have sold the business to longtime employee and florist Katie Ellison.

Katie and her husband Ryan, who’s been a postal carrier working at the West Seattle Post Office for more than 10 years – along with their children Roman (age 4) and Malcolm (age 2) – are excited for the opportunity to continue serving the West Seattle community for all their floral needs.

Located in the Admiral Junction, and sharing their location with Bebop Waffle Shop, Flower Lab is open for walk-in shopping and city-wide flower delivery.

Current Flower Lab hours are 8:30 am-3:30 pm weekdays, 9 am-2 pm Saturdays, closed Sundays.

FOURTH OF JULY: Seattle Parks’ lights-on plan to discourage fireworks will last three nights this year

(Reader photo of fireworks debris at a local park in 2020 – one that did NOT have lights on)

11:54 AM: Seattle Parks has made its annual announcement that some playfields will be illuminated to discourage fireworks use. This year the plan stretches across three nights, Saturday through Monday (July 2-4). At the affected West Seattle fields, it’ll be lights on at 8:30, lights out at 11. One other difference: Last year’s announcement said the fields will be “monitored” 9 pm-4 am, but this year it’s 9 pm-2 am. Here are the four West Seattle fields affected:

Delridge Playfield, 4458 Delridge Way SW
Hiawatha Playfield, 2700 California Ave. SW
Walt Hundley Playfield, 6920 34th Avenue SW
West Seattle Stadium, 4432 35th Ave. SW

This announcement only involves Seattle Parks facilities – we don’t usually get similar announcements from other entities that have fields in the area, such as Seattle Public Schools (though we’re inquiring).

4:54 PM: SPS says they have no lights-on plans but will have security monitoring their fields.

Six options for July’s first West Seattle Friday


(Photo by Caitlin Gerhardt)

If you’re not busy getting ready for a holiday-weekend trip, here are five possibilities for the rest of this sunny Friday:

(added) FOOD FUNDRAISER: Chef Gino of TheHomeSkillit.com is cooking and selling food to help fundraise for his July 4th event feeding people in need. Find him until 6 pm today outside The Home Depot (SW Webster west of Delridge).

WADING POOLS OPEN: Sunny and warm today, so the city will open the pools that are scheduled for Friday operations. In West Seattle, that means Delridge (4501 Delridge Way SW), noon-5:30 pm, and Lincoln Park (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW), noon-7 pm. Highland Park Spraypark at 1100 SW Cloverdale is open 11 am-8 pm, too.

COLMAN POOL: The outdoor pool at Lincoln Park will be open today as its 7-days-a-week schedule continues, noon-7 pm.

(added) BASEBALL: The DubSea Fish Sticks host Diamond Sports at Steve Cox Memorial Park (1321 SW 102nd, White Center) at 7:05 pm. Tickets here!

MIKU, AND THE GODS. 7:30 pm curtain for the world-premiere play at ArtsWest (4711 California SW; WSB sponsor). Tickets are available here.

LIVE MUSIC AT THE SKYLARK: Kayce Guthmiller, Marina Demarco, Anna Preston perform at The Skylark. 7:30 pm doors, 8 pm music. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

Have something to add to our calendar? Email info to westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!

Celebration of Life planned July 23rd for Kevin D. Kerstetter, 1958-2022

Family and friends will gather July 23rd to celebrate the life of Kevin Kerstetter. Here’s the remembrance they’re sharing:

Kevin Dean Kerstetter
October 10, 1958 – June 24, 2022

Kevin Dean Kerstetter, aka “Papa,” age 63, passed away peacefully at his home in Wenatchee, WA with loved ones on the evening of Friday, June 24, 2022 at 8:56 PM after a courageous 3.5-year battle with Metastatic Prostate Cancer.

Born in Chehalis, WA, to Sharon Lee Dry and Marlin Dean Kerstetter, Kevin grew up in the small town of Twisp, WA with siblings Kimon, Brian and Marcus – where he attended Liberty Bell Junior and Senior High – wreaking havoc as a young adult, but leaving wonderful memories with whomever he met along the way. After leaving Twisp for work, Kevin settled in West Seattle with his now-divorced wife Kelli and raised two beautiful children- Kayleigh and Kelsey. Kevin studied at South Seattle Community College and worked in Calibration at Pyrometric Service Co with his best friend Larry, where he left after 32 yrs and 9 months and was unfortunately diagnosed with cancer soon after. Kevin left West Seattle after 40 years, settling in Wenatchee, closer to his home town, but near enough to the hospitals for treatment.

During his battle with cancer, Kevin spent every day enjoying life to the fullest. Kevin loved spending time with his children, grandchildren and partner of 14 years- Peggy. Kevin’s hobbies included hunting, fishing, basking in the sun with a beer, finding fossils, rock tumbling, gardening, and yelling at Trump via Twitter.

Kevin always had a positive outlook on life, smile on his face, and never gave up when it came to battling his illness. Kevin always said “everything will work out” and it did too soon for him – but he is now in heaven (pain-free) with his mother Sharon, father Marlin, brother Brian, Aunt Doris, and many other loved ones smiling down on us.

Kevin is survived by his partner Peggy, daughters Kayleigh and Kelsey and granddaughters Kennedy, Tilia, and Karter. A Celebration of Life will be held in Wenatchee on Saturday, July 23rd from 1-4 PM. Please contact his daughters for exact location. Relatives and friends are welcome to join.

You are invited to view Kevin’s online tribute at www.heritagememorialchapel.com to share a memory or leave a condolence. In Lieu of flowers, Kevin would prefer a donation to support causes that impacted his life. We suggest either Seattle Cancer Care Alliance at www.seattlecca.org or the Genetic Disorder that affects his granddaughter Karter at www.scn2a.org. Arrangements are in the care of Heritage Memorial Chapel, East Wenatchee.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to westseattleblog@gmail.com)

YOU CAN HELP: New West Seattle DIY cleanup concept, starting today

The report and photo are from community-cleanup superhero Erik Bell:

I’m excited to announce a new West Seattle cleanup initiative my daughter and two of her Girl Scout troop mates are launching this week called Block Drops for their Silver Award project — the highest service award for Girl Scout Cadettes (6th-8th graders).

Block Drops are an open invitation to the community to come out and clean West Seattle on your own time, using cleanup stations we’ll drop off in different neighborhood locations each week. We then come back later in the day to take care of the collected trash with the help of Seattle Public Utilities.

Paige, Evelyn, and Emma developed their project over the pandemic hoping to engage fellow West Seattleites to become the solution to a cleaner community. Their program offers weekly opportunities to live up to the Scouting ideal of leaving the world a better place than we found it.

Read more about their program at byandby.org/block-drops and join in on their first Drop Friday at Alki Beach (9 am-3 pm), or any of the four Drops they’ll be making next week.

Block Drops…the easiest cleanup in town!

TRAFFIC, TRANSIT, ROAD WORK, WEATHER: Friday watch + holiday-weekend alerts

6:02 AM: Good morning; welcome to a new month – it’s Friday, July 1st.

WEATHER

Sunny and 70s again today.

ROAD WORK THIS WEEKEND

From SDOT:

On Saturday and Sunday, we will be repairing potholes on the Spokane Street Viaduct in the eastbound direction. The repairs will close the access to the Spokane Street Viaduct and the SR 99 Loop Ramp. People driving will have access to East Marginal Way S, 1st Ave S, 4th Ave S, and I-5. However, there will be a detour in place. Work will begin as early as 6 AM and conclude by 4:30 PM both days.

We’re planning to complete two projects this Saturday, July 2. For all planned construction, we expect to begin work as early as 6 AM and conclude by 5 PM. Please anticipate delays, drive safely in work zones, and follow directions from signs and flaggers.

-We’ll be finishing the repairs on eastbound SW Spokane St in the vicinity of 11th Ave SW near Harbor Island. This is phase three of three phases to repair the damaged lane divider. Traffic impacts include closure of the East Marginal Way S and the lower SW Spokane St ramps. There will be a detour in place for those traveling in the area.

-Updating signal lights on 7th Ave S and S Cloverdale St in South Park. A majority of the work will be completed on 7th Ave S with minimal impacts to S Cloverdale St.

P.S. WSDOT plans more “Revive I-5” lane closures this weekend, too.

BUSES, WATER TAXI, FERRIES

Metro buses are on their regular weekday schedule; watch @kcmetroalerts for word of reroutes/trip cancellations. (Monday will be on the Sunday schedule, with extra late-night service.)

The West Seattle Water Taxi is on its regular schedule. (Here’s the schedule it’ll run for the Fourth of July on Monday.)

Ferries: WSF continues on the two-boat schedule for Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth – and WSF says that probably won’t change before next spring. Check here for alerts/updates.

BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES

831st morning without the West Seattle Bridge.

Low Bridge: Automated enforcement cameras remain in use; restrictions are in effect 5 am-9 pm daily – except weekends; the bridge is open to all until 8 am Saturday and Sunday mornings. (Access applications are available here for some categories of drivers.)

1st Avenue South Bridge:

South Park Bridge:

West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way (one of four recently installed cameras!):

Highland Park Way/Holden:

The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):

Are movable city bridges opening for vessels? Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed; 1st Ave. S. Bridge openings are tweeted by @wsdot_traffic.

All city traffic cams can be seen here; West Seattle and vicinity-relevant cameras are also on this WSB page

Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Please text or call us (when you can do so safely) – 206-293-6302.

FOLLOWUP: SDOT plans ‘half-signal’ at California/Findlay, 2 months after deadly crash nearby

After a driver hit and killed 30-year-old Nicholas Wolf on California Avenue SW just north of SW Findlay, much discussion ensued about pedestrian safety in the area. But neighbors have been working on it for a long time.

Today, neighbors received word that SDOT plans to upgrade the California/Findlay intersection to a pedestrian-activated half-signal. Here’s the letter they got from interim SDOT director Kristen Simpson:

… I am following up on my previous email to let you know that we recently completed our engineering evaluation of this location, and to share with you our plan for making improvements.

In our study, we considered several factors including traffic volumes along both California Avenue SW and SW Findlay Street, turning movement counts, numbers of people walking and biking, transit ridership, travel speeds, roadway geometry, adjacent land uses, proximity of neighborhood greenway connections, potential school crossings, nearby signalized crossing opportunities, existing intersection traffic control, and the collision history of the intersection. Based on our analysis, we plan to upgrade the existing yellow flashing beacons at the intersection to a pedestrian half signal. The pedestrian half signal can be activated by push buttons and will stop traffic on California Avenue SW with a red signal indication. This pedestrian half signal design and operation will be similar to that of the traffic control at the nearby Fauntleroy Way SW and SW Findlay Street intersection. We will be funding this upgrade through our existing programs – including the Levy to Move Seattle – and intend to deliver this improvement by the end of this year, barring unforeseen issues.

In addition, we will be implementing a painted curb bulb in the southeast and northwest quadrants to improve sightlines for pedestrians crossing at the intersection, and installing a median island on the south leg of California Ave SW, in close proximity to the intersection to reduce the open feel of California Avenue SW, prevent the use of the center turn lane as a through lane, and potentially reduce vehicle speeds. We anticipate implementing these improvements by the end of this year as well.

The intersection has two RapidRide C Line stations, southbound just south of the crosswalk, northbound just to the north.

As for the deadly crash – the investigation continues but the initial police narrative was obtained by independent journalist Ryan Packer and provided to WSB. In it, police say the 16-year-old driver who hit Mr. Wolf returned to the scene, with his father, about an hour after the crash. The narrative says he told officers that he was driving “50 to 55 miles per hour” northbound at the time of the crash. Mr. Wolf and his wife had just been dropped off by a friend on the west side of the street and were crossing to get to their residence on the east side of the street.

WHALES: State issues emergency rules to give resident orcas more space

Images like those from SR3 researchers have led the state to order emergency rules requiring whale-watching boats to give Southern Resident Killer Whales more space. The state’s announcement today explains the latest concerns about the endangered orcas:

With numerous whales in poor body condition and several pregnancies reported, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) today issued an emergency order requiring commercial whale-watching vessels to keep at least one-half nautical mile away from endangered Southern Resident killer whales this summer, and all boaters are urged to Be Whale Wise and do the same.

Using measurements from drone photographs, researchers from SR3 Sealife Response, Rehabilitation, and Research identified several pregnancies among the Southern Resident killer whale population and a dozen members in poor condition between September 2021 and April 2022.

“While we have reason to remain hopeful with the reports of recent pregnancies, the reality is that there are several Southern Residents that aren’t doing well and we’re very concerned about the population at large,” said WDFW Director Kelly Susewind. “We’re taking action today to address these immediate concerns, and we continue working with our partner organizations to implement the Governor’s Task Force recommendations for the long-term health of these orcas.”

According to SR3’s measurements from aerial images, three K-pod whales (K12, K20, and K27) were in the last nine months of pregnancy, and likely within the last six months (from a typical full term of 17-18 months), as of September 2021. Based on recent online videos showing a calf with K pod, it is likely that at least one of these pregnancies was successful. Another whale, L72, was determined to be in the last six months of pregnancy as of January 2021, and we expect this whale is still in late-stage pregnancy. These females had body widths consistent with those of females who subsequently gave birth in the past.

Twelve J- and L-pod members were in poor condition based on measurements of the fatness behind the skull, which puts them at a two-to-three-times higher risk of mortality. Concerningly, one of the dozen whales in poor condition (L83) also appeared to be pregnant when last measured in January 2022.

In addition to the pregnancies and orcas in poor body condition, SR3’s results identified two young whales (J53 and L123) that were exhibiting slower-than-expected growth, which is measured by length. One of these (J53) is also exhibiting lower-than-average body condition. …

Read the full state announcement here.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Another work truck, stolen (update: found)

6:47 PM: Via text:

Our neighbor’s work truck was just stolen off the street in front of our house, about 6:05 pm.. White box truck, no cab overhang, no marking on the doors. License plate C85192U. Spotted driving toward White Center near Westwood Village a (short time) ago. Stolen from Juneau St near 37th.

Call 911 if you see it.

7:19 PM: It’s been found in Burien.

BIZNOTE: West Seattle Thriftway wraps up Great Grocery Giveaway

A West Seattle Thriftway shopper named Lisa just won big. For the past three months, shoppers have been entered into a “free groceries for a year” contest, just to say “thanks” for their patronage these past few tough years. This afternoon, the winning ticket was drawn.

Thriftway (a longtime WSB sponsor) chose a random shopper named Brennan to pull the ticket. Thriftway management immediately got busy notifying the winner, who gets one $150 gift card a week for the next year!

CLOSURE ALERT: Eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct work this weekend

(Image from SDOT webcam)

SDOT says it has more pothole work to do on the eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct – the older side of the West Seattle Bridge continuation east of the Highway 99 overpass – so it’ll be closed for much, though not all, of the weekend:

On Saturday, July 2 and Sunday, July 3, from 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day, we will close the on-ramp from eastbound SW Spokane St (West Seattle Low Bridge) to the Spokane St Viaduct, as well as the eastbound lanes of the Spokane St Viaduct.
A signed detour will be in place along SW Spokane St.

FOURTH OF JULY: West Seattle Kids’ Parade now four days away!

(WSB file photo)

Four days until the return of the West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade, which starts at 10 am Monday, from 44th/Sunset in North Admiral – just show up and you’re in, all human-powered except Seattle Fire Engine 29 and the famous “neighborhood blue truck” leading off the parade. The parade winds along a few neighborhood blocks, then crosses California SW to Hamilton Viewpoint Park, where kids’ activities, sack races, and treats await. We asked parade co-organizer Nicole Lutomski for updates on the plan:

*National Anthem will be sung by Sloane Pothier from the West Seattle School of Rock

*Kids activities will be hosted at Hamilton Viewpoint by neighborhood businesses and parade sponsors

*Sack races will be held in these groups:

-3 & Under
-4-5 year olds
-6-7 year olds
-8 & Up
-“Last call” race, kids of all ages
-Adults

Also at Hamilton Viewpoint, until noon, the All City Ice Cream Truck, All City Hot Dog Truck, and Home Bites will be there. Again, this all starts when the parade gets rolling at 44th and Sunset at 10 am Monday. (If you’re new and wonder what it’s like, we record video every year – here’s the 2019 parade – lots of bicycles, strollers, wagons …) Spectators along the route are welcome, too.

FOURTH OF JULY: Can you be a West Seattle Junction flag volunteer?

(WSB file photo)

Again this Fourth of July, the West Seattle Junction Association will place dozens of American flags along the heart of the business district – but it can’t happen without volunteers. All ages welcome – you can sign up to help put them up at 9 am Monday and/or to take them down at 4 pm. Just go here.

Here’s what’s on the list for the rest of your West Seattle Thursday

(Seen in Fauntleroy)

Edging closer to the long holiday weekend – here’s what’s up for the rest of today/tonight:

WADING POOLS OPEN: Sunny and warm today, so the city will open the pools that are scheduled for Thursday operations. In West Seattle, that means Delridge (4501 Delridge Way SW), noon-5:30 pm, and Lincoln Park (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW), noon-7 pm. Highland Park Spraypark at 1100 SW Cloverdale is open 11 am-8 pm, too.

COLMAN POOL: The outdoor pool at Lincoln Park will be open today as its 7-days-a-week schedule continues, noon-7 pm.

DONATE BLOOD: The Bloodworks Northwest pop-up continues today at Our Lady of Guadalupe (35th/Myrtle) and then resumes after the holiday – book an appointment here.

BASEBALL: The West Seattle Little League 12s All-Stars play for the district title, 6 pm at Bar-S (64th SW/SW Admiral Way), spectators welcome.

BOARD GAME NIGHT: Come try something new at Meeples Games (3727 California SW), 6:30-10 pm.

MIKU, AND THE GODS. 7:30 pm curtain for the world-premiere play at ArtsWest (4711 California SW; WSB sponsor). Tickets are available here.

Have something to add to our calendar? Email info to westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!

Celebration of Life planned July 12th for Dennis R. Capalby, 1950-2022

Family and friends will gather July 12th to celebrate the life of Dennis R. Capalby. Here’s the remembrance they’re sharing with his community:

Dennis Robert Capalby
April 23, 1950- June 11, 2022

Dennis passed peacefully in his home with his family by his side.

Dennis was a lifelong resident of West Seattle and had many wonderful memories of growing up and living in this community. He loved boating and was a longtime member of the Jim Clark Marina.

He leaves his wife Teri and their children Tyler (Kerri), Amanda, and Nick (Robyn), and his five grandchildren whom he adored, Henry, Kate, Charlie, Eloise, and Zoey.

A Celebration of Life well lived will be held at The Hall at Fauntleroy on Tuesday, July 12, from 1:00 – 3:00. All are welcome.

To share memories and condolences of Dennis with his family and friends, please visit: www.emmickfunerals.com/obituary/Dennis-Capalby.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to westseattleblog@gmail.com)

SUMMER: Youth tennis lessons in Arbor Heights

Registration opens tomorrow morning for upcoming youth tennis lessons at Arbor Heights Swim and Tennis Club. Here’s the announcement they’re sharing with the community:

Our next two-week tennis-lesson session starts Tuesday, July 5. Key information includes:

Two separate 45-minute lesson sessions offered: 12.30 pm-1.15 pm and 1.15 pm-2 pm

Each session includes 10 lessons: Tuesday-Friday, July 5-8, and Monday-Friday, July 11-July 14

Ages 8-18 and all abilities welcome

Cost is $108 for 9 lessons

Registration opens Friday, July 1, at 9 am. Click on Lessons – Arbor Heights Swim and Tennis Club to register.

Questions at AH-tennis@ahstc.com

TRAFFIC, TRANSIT, WEATHER: Month-ending Thursday watch

6:03 AM: Good morning; welcome to Thursday, June 30th.

WEATHER

Hope your holiday weekend starts early – sunny and 70s today and tomorrow, then clouds Saturday through Monday.

BUSES, WATER TAXI, FERRIES

Metro buses are on their regular weekday schedule; watch @kcmetroalerts for word of reroutes/trip cancellations.

The West Seattle Water Taxi is on its regular schedule. (Here’s the schedule it’ll run for the Fourth of July on Monday.)

Ferries: WSF continues on the two-boat schedule for Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth – and WSF says that probably won’t change before next spring. Check here for alerts/updates.

BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES

830th morning without the West Seattle Bridge.

Low Bridge: Automated enforcement cameras remain in use; restrictions are in effect 5 am-9 pm daily – except weekends; the bridge is open to all until 8 am Saturday and Sunday mornings. (Access applications are available here for some categories of drivers.)

1st Avenue South Bridge:

South Park Bridge:

West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way (one of four recently installed cameras!):

Highland Park Way/Holden:

The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):

Are movable city bridges opening for vessels? Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed; 1st Ave. S. Bridge openings are tweeted by @wsdot_traffic.

All city traffic cams can be seen here; West Seattle and vicinity-relevant cameras are also on this WSB page

Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Text or call us (when you can do so safely) – 206-293-6302.

CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: West Marginal racing-rage gunfire suspects charged with shooting at deputies hours later

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has charged two teenage boys, 17 and 15, in a case involving shots fired at sheriff’s deputies. Reading through the documents, we learned that investigators suspect they were responsible for Last Friday afternoon’s West Seattle gunfire case, involving a man shot at after “confronting” alleged racers. The charging documents say this was part of a reported spree involving “young males … in a silver-green Honda firing shots over a 24-to-48-hour period,” starting in Burien last Thursday, continuing in White Center, and then the West Seattle incident the next day. Last Saturday, prosecutors say, deputies spotted the Honda and a seven-mile pursuit ensued, during which shots ere fired at the deputies’ car. The suspects’ car and a law-enforcement vehicle eventually collided and three people ran away. Prosecutors say the 17-year-old was found hiding nearby with two 9mm “ghost guns” at his feet. Ammunition that had been ordered online was found in the vehicle and in two bags belonging to the two teenagers. The 17-year-old was believed to be the passenger and the 15-year-old, the driver.

Here’s how the charging documents say their alleged spree unfolded:

At 8:40 am last Thursday, a call came in about gunfire in the 600 block of SW 120th in Burien. Deputies found two casings but no injuries or property damage. People in the area mentioned a 4-door Honda Civic. About an hour and a half later, a call came in from a man who said he was riding his bicycle on SW 107th in White Center when someone in a Civic almost hit him. He and the car’s occupants “exchanged words” – and then a passenger in a car shot twice at the rider, missing him the first time, then hitting him in the leg. This shooting was recorded by the security video system of a nearby Metro bus. Detective circulated images from the video.

The next day at 3 pm, Seattle Police were called to investigate gunfire on West Marginal. Here’s how these documents say that happened:

The suspect vehicle … was driving erratically and was possibly racing another vehicle on West Marginal Way. The vehicle was passing other vehicles in the center turn lane. As they all approached the busy intersection, (the victim) ended up beside the suspect vehicle for a red light. (The victim) began exchanging words with the suspect driver about his driving. (The victim) then got out of his vehicle and continued the exchange of words. At some point (the victim) says he kneed the suspect vehicle, At this, the driver and passenger each pulled out guns and pointed them at (the victim, who says) they said something to the effect of “You don’t want to mess with us.” (The victim) then backed away and the driver took one gunshot at his vehicle. The gun then appeared to have jammed (and then) the front passenger leaned across the driver and fired two shots into each of (the victim’s) vehicle’s tires.

Witnesses took photos/video that enabled investigators to match the vehicle with the one involved in the White Center shooting the day before. And WC is where, 7 hours later, deputies spotted the car, parked, but it was driven away before they could move in. Four and a half hours later, they spotted it again, this time on the move in downtown Burien. They pursued the vehicle south, and it was around Des Moines where deputies say they were shot at. The pursuit ended after the driver wound up in a dead-end cul-de-sac. That’s where three people bolted, all caught within a few hours after what the documents describe as a massive search.

Two boys are charged in connection with the pursuit and that gunfire – charges are not yet filed in the other cases, including the West Seattle incident. The 17-year-old passenger alleged to have done most of the shooting is charged as an adult, so we’re identifying him, Evan T. Nguyen of Burien. He is charged with two felonies, first-degree assault with a firearm and second-degree unlawful firearm possession. The 15-year-old is charged with three felonies, first-degree assault with a firearm, second-degree assault with a deadly weapon, and attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle. (The third boy who was in the car has not been charged.)

Before the charges were filed, at their first appearances this past Monday, prosecutors argued that both should remain in juvenile detention. The judge agreed for the 15-year-old, but allowed the 17-year-old to be sent home with electronic monitoring. Now that he’s charged, prosecutors say, a judge has agreed to a $500,000 warrant to book him back into custody; we don’t know his current status. Nguyen has a previous felony firearms case pending in a case that killed a 19-year-old man in Burien (he’s not charged in the death because it was possible self-defense); the 15-year-old has no record.

WEST SEATTLE SCHOOLS: Nonprofit Hazelwood Preschool opens in Fauntleroy

(Teachers Holly Bennett & Sarah Longino, photographed by Judy Pickens)

By Judy Pickens
Special to West Seattle Blog

Fauntleroy Church, United Church of Christ, has welcomed Hazelwood Preschool as a partner in its building.

As COVID shutdowns continued, the church reached the difficult decision in 2020 to close its Little Pilgrim School, which had served West Seattle families since 1952. Now Hazelwood will again fill the church’s lower level with the energy of young children.

“We had several programs consider our space,” said the Rev. Karyn Frazier, associate pastor. “Hazelwood offers the child-centered and inclusive values that matter to us.”

The school focuses on helping young children develop awareness of themselves, others, and the environment around them. Teachers have set up their classrooms with materials and activities that reflect the school’s welcome of every family’s make-up, culture, and economic status.

“As a non-profit preschool, we are committed to raising the funds necessary to enable us to offer scholarships to families in need,” said Executive Director Jessica Beckwith. “Our commitment to these families extends to offering them supportive resources until their kids finish high school.” She also plans to host free parenting classes for enrolled families and open them to the public on a donation basis.

Hazelwood is now enrolling children 2 years to first grade in five-day camps through the summer. Fall enrollment for ages 2 to 5 is also open, with the option of half or full days, three or five days per week. Details are at hazelwoodseattle.org.

26TH/JUNEAU: City says it will ‘remove’ encampment site

The city says the encampment site at 26th/Juneau will be removed/cleaned up. That, following a fire less than a week after last week’s murder, all of which have neighbors at wit’s end after what they say has been two years of a “nightmare.” We were CC’d on photos one group sent with a note to City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, including this one showing burned debris.

The photos also showed containers like these:

Neighbor Molly pleaded in the note, after detailing two years of trouble, “I urge you to do something immediately to clean up this toxic site on our once-beautiful Longfellow Creek and help the campers before they do even more damage to themselves and our beautiful green-space.”

Seattle Public Utilities spokesperson Sabrina Register has been a conduit for city info about removals/cleanups/remediations, so we asked her on Monday about the site and got this reply today:

Seattle Public Utilities has not scheduled the site for remediation as it does not meet the criteria of five or more RVs. Seattle Parks and Recreation has scheduled crews to remove the encampment and clean up the area. Removal and cleanup dates are not shared publicly as resources such as staffing can change.

Seattle is partnering with the King County Regional Homelessness Authority and outreach providers to coordinate outreach to encampment locations that may be subject to removal with the goal of offering shelter to all those residing onsite.

In a reply yesterday to Molly’s note, Councilmember Herbold said she had spoken to Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Martin Rivera about the site last week, before the fire, and said that she too had heard the site was scheduled for cleanup. Herbold also noted that Rivera “told me how people experiencing homelessness who had previously lived at that location had been very helpful in the investigation leading to them identifying the murder suspect for arrest.” And she said that she regularly meets with Fire Chief Harold Scoggins, adding, “I have reviewed locations in District 1 that SFD data demonstrates have a history of repeat fires and that may be vulnerable to fire damage, including around encampments. This has, in some cases, resulted in City efforts to reduce likelihood of fires by cutting nearby brush.” But otherwise her reply included nothing else specific about this particular site. Molly, meantime, told us today there’s been some cleanup, but “it’s still a very toxic site. You can smell the plastic etc.” And she says campers that have already left the site have just moved to another spot along the creekside trail.

FOLLOWUP: Fencing removed at Lowman Beach Park

(WSB photo, this morning)

2:29 PM: If you’re looking forward to full access at Lowman Beach Park now that the seawall-removal/habitat-restoration project is over, you don’t have long to wait. More of the fencing has been removed – the south section that had temporarily displayed art by Gatewood Elementary fourth-graders – and the rest, which is mostly near the park’s big trees, will be down soon, confirms Seattle Parks spokesperson Karen O’Connor: “The fencing on Lowman Beach should all be down this week and the district crew will finish mowing around the trees to make the area more accessible to the public. The grass did get long during the construction.” The construction lasted about eight months, which was the duration estimated when work on the $1.2 million project began last fall.

7:50 PM: Just went by again – the rest of the fencing is now gone.