West Seattle, Washington
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.
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.
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.
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
• 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
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.
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.
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.
Illusions Hair Design (5619 California SW; WSB sponsor) is collecting books for local kids and families through November 15th! Here’s the announcement:
*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.)
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.
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.
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)
(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+.
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 email@example.com or 206-686-3228.
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.
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)!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks!
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).
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
PRESCHOOLERS’ DROP-IN ART: 11-noon at Delridge Library, “join our guest teacher, Miss Lisa, to complete art projects using nature, recycled materials, and more.” Free. (5423 Delridge Way SW)
SUPERINTENDENT IN SOUTH PARK: Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Denise Juneau visits Concord International Elementary tonight for a listening session in Spanish and English, 6-8 pm. (723 S. Concord)
‘ANGST’: Come watch this film about anxiety and then talk about it at the Denny/Sealth Auditorium – all welcome, even if you’re not a student and don’t have one in the family – anxiety can affect/afflict people at all ages. 6:30 pm. (2600 SW Thistle)
ONE MORE LOOK AT THE CANDIDATES: For the second night in a row, 34th District State Senate candidates Shannon Braddock and Joe Nguyen will answer your questions at a forum in West Seattle. (Our report on last night’s forum, with video, will be published later this morning.) The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce is presenting this one, promising a focus on business and transportation issues. Doors open at 6:30 pm at the Disabled American Veterans Hall; ballot initiative discussion at 6:45; candidates at 7. (4857 Delridge Way SW)
With a week and a half to go until this year’s West Seattle Junction Harvest Festival, here’s one last call for your business/school/organization to be part of it by offering an activity! More options mean more fun for the festival, which happens in the heart of The Junction 10 am-2 pm Sunday, October 28th – an ever-growing extravaganza involving not only activities, but also a costume parade (11:30 am), trick-or-treating (noon), the Farmers’ Market, chili cookoff to raise money for the West Seattle Food Bank, a root-beer garden, and more. A few booth spaces remain – here’s where to register for one.
7:02 AM: Good morning! No outbound incidents or traffic alerts reported so far.
HIGHWAY 99 CLOSURE REMINDER: The details of this weekend’s closure have changed – while the SB side will be closed starting at 9 pm Friday as planned, scheduled to last all weekend, the NB closure plan has been shortened, to start at 6 am Saturday and end by 5 pm that day.
Home safety was the spotlight topic at the final West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting of the year, Tuesday night at the Southwest Precinct, so we’re starting with what the ~15 people in attendance heard from Jennifer Danner, the precinct’s crime-prevention coordinator:
She began by going around the room and asking people what they wanted to know about. Most had questions about video and cameras. Danner reminded everyone that she can do home-security assessments. She started with some myth debunking – “when a door is kicked in, it’s not the door that breaks, usually it’s the frame.” Changing the length of the screws with which your door is fastened is an easy, cheap way to help secure it, Danner said. When it comes to locks, exterior doors should have deadbolts – there too, the length is important; an inch-and-a-half throw is even better than the more-standard inch.
Window security – “You always want to add one more thing to your window,” since most windows can be broken into from the outside.
This fall sunshine has been a boon for outdoor activities – including a benefit golf tournament organized by members of the local real-estate community to raise money for the West Seattle Food Bank. Don Bereiter from Windermere has sent photos and a wrap-up on the event held at the WS Golf Course last Friday – all totaling a $7,000 donation to the WSFB, from $3,500 in sponsorships and donations matched by PepsiCo. All from a first-ever tournament that was pulled together in just two weeks! Don continues:
Michael Mallagh and Stephanie Quam (Berkshire Hathaway HS Real Estate) are the brains behind it. They wanted to do something for the Food Bank and get others involved in the Real Estate community. Agents, lenders, title companies, etc., all pitched in a very short time period to make this happen. Below are a list of sponsors and volunteers just to show how everyone came together for a good cause. This was the first annual, and with more time for planning for next year, the dollar amount raised will be significantly larger.
The picture below is the winning team (from left to right) Mike and Debbie Kerns, Jill and Jim Campbell, with a score of 10 under par:
Pepsi – Kenny Turner: Matching Donation Sponsor
JetClosing – Nate Eisele: Beverage Ticket Sponsor
Stewart Title – Cathy Steger & Mary Forrey: Check-in Sponsor
The Westy, Connelly Skis, & The Bridge: Prize Supporters
Ballad Pictures / Adam Bale & Kent Colony: Photos
Garrett Wheadon – Sign Pros
Kelli Strand – Chicago Title
Ron Ballman – American Home Shield
Chris Dutton – Guild Mortgage
Holmquist + Gardiner Attorneys at Law
Nick Perovich – HomeStreet Bank
Shari Kruse – Windermere
Napoleon Williams – Cornerstone Home Lending
Kathy Sheldon – Berkshire Hathaway
Jennifer Ruemping – Berkshire Hathaway
Sally Hardwick (and Emily!) – Windermere
Jennifer Whip – Windermere
Stephanie Quam – Berkshire Hathaway
1st Place with a 62 (-10): Jill Campbell / Jim Campbell / Debbie Kerns / Mike Kerns ($300)
1st Place (Mixed Division) with a 69 (-3): Stephanie Quam / Marian Padgett / Tonya Hamilton / Chris Dutton ($200)
2nd Place with a 63 (-9): Napoleon Williams / Tyler Martinez / Matthew Martinez / Carsten Olufsen ($100)
Closest to the Pin (Hole 11): Jeff Dabbs & Nancy Spiro ($50 Gift Card)
Long Drive (Hole 12): Tyler Martinez and TBD for the women (the long drive results went missing, so if you hit the fairway let me know ;) ($50 Gift Card)
Motivated to join them in donating to the WS Food Bank? Here’s how.