West Seattle, Washington
Three days ago, thanks to sightings reported by WSB readers, we were first to report on a story that since has been picked up by multiple citywide news organizations – cameras and wireless equipment that appeared on utility and streetlight poles along Harbor/Alki Avenues and Beach Drive.
Inquiries and research subsequently brought information – reported here Thursday – that it’s all part of a Seattle Police-led project funded by a federal Homeland Security grant.
This afternoon, SPD offered news organizations covering the story – including WSB – the chance to talk with Assistant Chief Paul McDonagh, who as the commander of the Special Operations Bureau is heading up the project. We talked with him late today, and while a detailed story will follow, there are a couple points we wanted to report tonight:
Biggest one: The cameras are not just along Alki. Nine are up now, and SPD says there will be 30 in all, from Shoreline to Fauntleroy, by the time they’re turned on, likely this spring:
The lines represent fiber connections – the dots, the camera locations. In West Seattle, in addition to the six we counted along Alki/Harbor/Beach, locations you see on the map include Alki Point, the West Seattle Bridge vicinity, Harbor Island, and one in Fauntleroy, which we found right over the southbound RapidRide bus stop at the ferry terminal:
(This one is installed on the inland side of the pole – a problem that Asst. Chief McDonagh confirmed had been fixed for some of the Alki cameras when it came to light in the past day or two.)
Another point of note: While the cameras’ primary mission is homeland security, McDonagh confirmed they can and will be deployed for many other things, including criminal investigations. He also said that there are no plans for community meetings or briefings about them, though he expected to update City Councilmembers at some point.
We recorded our conversation at SPD HQ downtown on video and will have that with the full story this weekend.
Got stuff stacked up to shred? Tomorrow morning, you have a chance to get it done and do a good deed. A local team for the upcoming blood-cancer-fighting Big Climb is having a shredding event, $10 donation per box (cash/check), at 3703 California SW, 9 am-noon tomorrow. Here’s the calendar listing with details.
SDOT warned that there would be an occasional all-weekend-long intersection closure as part of the Delridge repaving project – and they’ve just announced the first one, Delridge/Henderson, starting one week from tonight:
To reduce impacts to the community, intersection construction will be done on weekends, working around the clock. The first intersection closure is at Southwest Henderson Street from 7 pm Friday, Feb. 8, until, at the latest, 6 am on Monday, Feb. 11. Look for final detour information early next week.
To expedite construction, evening work under the conditions of a noise variance, including pavement removal using impact breakers, may be performed until 10 pm.
Reminder: for traffic safety, the intersection of 25th Avenue Southwest and Southwest Barton Street is temporarily a four-way stop.
This is a five-phase project. At the completion of the first phase, between Southwest Henderson and Southwest Trenton streets, the construction activity will move to the section of Delridge Way Southwest between Southwest Trenton and Southwest Thistle streets.
Seattle Police Detective Mike Magan says he has never seen anything quite like Thursday afternoon’s Belvidere estate-sale robbery (WSB coverage here) in his 26-year career – and he and his colleagues are working hard to catch the robber. They are hoping someone who lives nearby might have security-camera video or photos that will help them find him, and Detective Magan asked if we would put out that request. He says police combed the area thoroughly and as a result of their search (which included the K-9 team in our photo at right), they think that anyone in the area with camera(s) running 3:15 pm-4:15 pm yesterday might have something that will help, particularly along what they believe was the robber’s escape route:
*Westbound on Hinds from Belvidere
*Southbound on 38th to Manning
*Eastbound on Manning to 35th
*Southbound on 35th
He says they believe the robber eventually got away in a car, likely parked near 38th and Hinds. If you have any kind of imagery from that time frame on Thursday, you can get it to police and remain “completely anonymous,” he says. Det. Magan can be reached at 206-684-5540 or 206-786-4744.
(If you live in this area, please help get this word out – you can use the “Share This” link below to share this update via Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, dozens of other ways.)
Today we’re welcoming one of our newest WSB sponsors – Alki Party Treasures. Here’s what proprietor Jackie Clough, shown below with daughter Elissa, would like you to know about her new business:
Alki Party Treasures isn’t Party City or Birthday Express. There’s nothing wrong with large party-supply chains, but we strive to have the ultimate customer-service experience. We have heart and take great care with each product order. Our mission is to help people celebrate the special moments in their lives. You don’t have to travel all over Seattle to find party supplies or overspend with your event. Relax and let us take care of things for you. We’ve partnered with fantastic vendors to be able to offer the best prices. We also decided to purchase our inventory. We don’t rely on other companies for drop ship, and because we’re local, we ship next day to West Seattle families. Don’t stress if you’re behind the power curve with getting things ready for your celebration.
Alki Party Treasures is a family-run business. My brother Mike Kresek and I came up with the idea of party supplies. We are lifetime West Seattleites. We were discussing special times and celebrating even the small moments that mean so much and realized it was something we felt strongly about. As a mom, I know firsthand how hard it is to find party supplies in West Seattle and got tired of driving all around the city and over to the Eastside. We wanted to have great products here in West Seattle. My two kids are 7 and 10 years old and help us with what characters are popular and help us test products. The whole family is involved with the handmade products. Customers love that we have created party kits and make it easy for people to purchase everything they need at a low cost. We have boutique-style products and spend time looking over the hundreds of party styles and trends to bring the freshest themes with affordable prices. We believe in “going green” and have a nice selection of Eco-Friendly products, including plates, utensils, recycle bins, garlands, and art supplies made out of edible ingredients. We also hand-make banners, cupcake toppers, and food tents. We can match themes and colors for your event.
Alki Party Treasures is also involved with the community – including Jackie’s role as the new co-leader of the Admiral 4th of July Kids Parade, and also as a backer of Team Tracy. You can find Alki Party Treasures online at alkipartytreasures.com, or call 855-263-3892.
We thank Alki Party Treasures for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
Quick look at highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar for tonight (follow that link to the calendar for even more!):
‘THE STAGES OF HOMELESSNESS’: Think you know how and why people become homeless and stay that way? What you don’t know might surprise you – and might lead to solutions Be part of a community forum tonight, St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, 6 pm, details here.
IMMIGRANT/REFUGEE YOUTH RIGHTS: That’s the central topic of High Point Neighborhood Night, 6 pm at High Point Neighborhood Center, 6400 Sylvan Way, details here.
‘CORNER BAR’ NIGHT IN HIGHLAND PARK: The monthly edition of Seattle’s one and only “pop-up bar” – all ages! – is tonight, starting at 6 pm, Highland Park Improvement Club, 12th/Holden. See what it’s all about!
NORTHWEST WINES: Bin 41 in The Junction has “Northwest Medley” for its Friday night tasting theme tonight, 6-7:30 pm, including “a new Albarino and Tempranillo from WA, a Syrah from two collaborating Walla Walla winemakers, a delicious Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Oregon…(and) a Zinfandel from CA.”
One of the lesser-discussed combined-sewer-overflow (CSO) facility projects in the works for West Seattle – a retrofit for the city’s facility in Delridge – will also include a “1% for Art” project. That’s the fund created by the Public Art Ordinance more than a quarter-century ago. The announcement of this comes by way of this call for applications from interested artists:
The Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, in partnership with Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), seeks an artist or artist team to develop a permanent, site-integrated artwork for the North Delridge Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Retrofit Project. The project is located in West Seattle’s Delridge neighborhood. The call is open to established professional artists residing and eligible to work in the United States. Applications are due 11 p.m., Monday, March 18, 2013 (Pacific Daylight Time). Go to www.seattle.gov/arts for a link to the online application.
Beginning in late 2014, SPU will install new hydraulic controls and active-control technology at the facility, with gates, pumps and sensors that monitor and control the amount of flow that is allowed to enter the downstream sewer system. Based on SPU’s work to retrofit the CSO tank, the selected artist will work with the CSO project design team, SPU staff and community members to design, fabricate and install an artwork at the CSO Tank 168 facility at 2106 S.W. Orchard St. The artwork should focus on the agency’s system-wide stormwater infrastructure and solutions designed to protect local water quality. The artwork should also address stormwater management as it relates to SPU’s work, the local community and natural elements of the nearby Longfellow Creek watershed. The artwork can include a variety of media including light, stone, steel, glass, sound and passive water features.
The Delridge CSO control and storage facilities were constructed in 1982 and were among the first CSO facilities built by the city. They are the city’s largest existing CSO storage facilities, with each tank providing 1.6 million gallons of sewer and stormwater overflow storage. Despite being sized to store a 10-year flood event, sewer overflows into local waterways from each facility have continued to exceed a long-term average of one overflow per year. The retrofit project’s improvements will optimize the performance of the facilities and reduce the frequency and volume of untreated stormwater and raw sewage overflows into Longfellow Creek.
The CSO project is currently in design through mid-2014 and construction is expected to begin in late 2014. Project completion is expected in late 2015. The artist will work with SPU and its consultants to develop an artwork that will be constructed within the project schedule.
The total budget for the artwork project is $200,000 inclusive of all costs to design, fabricate and install the artwork. The artwork is funded by SPU 1% for Art funds and administered by the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs.
When the Belvidere armed robbery happened on Thursday – no updates so far today – that coverage postponed our semi-daily West Seattle Crime Watch reader-report roundup. Here’s what was in queue:
Victims and police are trying to identify that bicycle thief caught in the act on a private security camera at an East Alki condo building. He is believed to have stolen one bike on January 18th while also trying to break into storage units; the image is from an early-morning return on January 27th. Call police if you have any tips on his identity.
Meantime, be on the lookout for this motorcycle:
It was stolen this week from a yard near 20th/Barton; its owner says the thief “left a Novarra mountain bike in exchange.” The motorcycle didn’t even have fuel in the tank, so it was rolled away, down an alley. If you see it, let police know.
One car-prowl reader report: Katherine says it happened Wednesday night in the 8000 block of 36th Ave SW: “Primary object stolen was a Champion Generator. If you have any information regarding this theft please contact the Seattle Police Department.”
Meantime, Chris tells us his neighbor’s stolen pickup – reported here Wednesday – has been found, “near the Tug Inn” by Delridge/Orchard.
Next weekend, you have two chances to support young performers and their school – parents from Alki Elementary want you to know that second- through fifth-graders have been working hard on their production of “Annie Jr.,” which will take the stage in the West Seattle High School Theater at 7 pm Friday, February 8th, and 2 pm Saturday, February 9th. It’s the third year that Alki students have worked with a director from Youth Theatre Northwest in an intensive six-week after-school program – and the results of their work (along with all the parent volunteers who are helping) will be all the more sweet if they’re performing to a packed house of West Seattle supporters. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids, and you can order them via e-mail – contact Nikki Eisenhut at firstname.lastname@example.org or Davina Dilley at email@example.com.
If you are a hardcore runner and haven’t heard of this somewhat informal tradition yet – it has tended to fly below the radar, but this year we’ve received multiple requests for a mention (and it even has a Facebook page), so here goes: This Sunday, before the Super Bowl, dozens of people will be running either 25K or 50K, starting at 8 am at the south end of Lincoln Park. It’s not a race – in fact, the website describes it as “a no fee, no shirt, no aid, no whining type event” – but registration is suggested, and you can do that here.
(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; see other cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
Some traffic-affecting notes as the day begins:
-No classes today for Seattle Public Schools.
-No I-5 / Spokane St. Intersection Bridge Repair closures this weekend.
-If you use the Highway 520 bridge across Lake Washington, note that it has a closure this weekend – 11 pm tonight till 5 am Sunday.
-As of late last night, the southbound 35th SW sinkhole near SW Juneau was still blocked off (we’re asking today about repair ETA).