West Seattle, Washington
(Avalon Way photos by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
11:33 PM: Police and fire are at the scene of a shooting reported in the Charlestown/Avalon area of the Luna Park business district. We heard the first police call on the scanner – someone reporting possible gunshots or fireworks – then came the word someone had been shot, and after that, there was word of a silver car possibly speeding away from the scene. Initial description of the shooting victim sounded like multiple, potentially life-threatening gunshot wounds, with CPR being done. The victim is being taken to Harborview Medical Center. More to come.
11:43 PM: Police are searching the area.
Still no word of any suspect(s) in custody.
11:49 PM: From the scanner, more information on the possible car involved – gray or silver, windows with heavy tint, possibly a late 90s four door sedan.
11:51 PM: Now there is a second scene – police and fire responding to a report there might be another shooting victim in a car in the 5600 block of Delridge (map). We’re sending one crew that way. There is word the car at this scene might be the one that reportedly left the Avalon Way scene.
(Delridge Way photo by Patrick Sand)
MIDNIGHT: We have one crew at each scene. At Delridge (above), our crew says traffic is blocked at Findlay, on the south edge of the small business district there. The victim at this scene is being attended to in the middle of the street.
12:08 AM: Because this is suspected to have been an “exchange” of gunfire, police have been checking with area hospitals for any other possible victims, per scanner traffic. Meantime, the victim found on Delridge also is described as having multiple gunshot wounds, but has been stabilized.
Crime tape is now up across Delridge in the 5600 block.
12:42 AM: We still have crews at both scenes (Christopher Boffoli on Avalon, Patrick Sand on Delridge) but no new information – police are carefully searching both scenes.
SPD Blotter, meantime, has put up something, but it only mentions the first victim – with a bit of new information, describing him as 27 years old, with life-threatening injuries.
12:55 AM: A second SPD Blotter item is now up, saying that the two incidents have not definitively been linked (though what we’ve heard/seen at scenes and via radio suggested there wasn’t much doubt), and saying the Delridge victim is a 19-year-old man, with non-life-threatening injuries.
1:20 AM: CSI team members are at both scenes gathering evidence, our crews say.
3:09 AM: Adding more photos to the story from both scenes, including the one above, of a gun lying at the Avalon scene. No new information yet from police. We have a note from one person who was in the area where the first victim was found, and says, “I heard approximately 5 to 6 gunshots … I didn’t hear any voices prior to the gunshots, but heard a man yell ‘let’s go’ about ten seconds after the shots.” (That corroborates what we heard in early scanner traffic.)
TUESDAY MORNING UPDATE: No arrests reported so far.
That’s a bit of Mudhoney‘s in-store show tonight at Easy Street Records in The Junction (if you want to jump ahead, the music starts around 1:40 in) – marking the release of the band’s new album Vanishing Point, along with the 25th anniversaries of Easy Street, Sub Pop Records, and Mudhoney itself. Fans lined up in the early-evening sunshine along SW Alaska …
… filled the California SW sidewalk (and then some) by showtime –
… as well as every bit of spare space inside too:
Just steps away from Easy Street, Mudhoney played West Seattle Summer Fest back in 2009.
8:51 PM: If you’ve been awaiting an update on what time tomorrow we’ll see the ship carrying “Bertha,” the custom-built machine that’ll dig the Highway 99 tunnel, WSDOT’s newest estimate via Twitter tonight is for a “midday” arrival – get the backstory here. It’s in 41 pieces on board the Jumbo Fairpartner, a heavy-lift ship you’ll recognize for its giant cranes (see a photo in our story on its departure). The live monitoring website MarineTraffic.com still labels it “out of range”; we don’t know if that’ll change as it gets closer, since it’s already reported to be in Washington waters, but WSDOT promises updates via its Twitter account @BerthaDigsSR99, and we will have updates tomorrow morning in all our channels too.
EARLY TUESDAY: Got a tip around 1:30 am that Fairpartner now shows up on MarineTraffic.com – just put its name in the “vessel” box.
TUESDAY 8:30 AM: We’re tracking Bertha right now in the daily traffic report, and will switch that over to a standalone report a bit later.
Two notes tonight from West Seattle Autoworks (WSB sponsor) – co-owner Todd Ainsworth says, “We are happy to announce that we have received our AAA approval here at the shop. It was a process that took months to complete, but it’s official now” – and that’s why the logo is now on the sign (photo at right). Todd also says WSAW is “participating in a new campaign sponsored by the State Department of Ecology and ASA called ‘Don’t Drip and Drive’ – aimed at educating consumers about the problems that can be caused by fluids leaking from vehicles. Runoff from the streets go directly into storm drains and, in turn, into the streams and creeks that feed Puget Sound.” Watch for a promotional campaign this month by the state, in which, Todd says, “participating shops such as ours will provide the customer with a free leak inspection. If leaks are found, the customer will be entitled to a coupon for 10% off (up to $50) toward the leak repairs.” You can find out more at fixcarleaks.org and pugetsoundstartshere.org.
That’s one of several photos that Jason e-mailed to us this morning – showing tagged trees, as well as a trash-surrounded picnic table, at Me-Kwa-Mooks Park on Beach Drive. (We’ve blurred the trees so as not to clearly show the tags, which were done in white paint.) By the time we got there for a firsthand look at noontime, the picnic table had been cleaned up, but the vandalism on the trees remained. Seattle Parks spokesperson Joelle Hammerstad tells us that Parks’ graffiti team plans to go to the park tomorrow morning and see what can be done about it: If the bark is thick – like on a fir tree – we can spray it with a combination of water and sand. That assumes that we can get a truck close enough to spray it – because our graffiti trucks have water tanks and spray equipment on them.” For deciduous trees, which appear to be what’s involved here, Hammerstad says it’s a little dicier, but they’ll give it a try.
One more reason Arbor Heights Elementary can’t vacate its crumbling building a minute too soon – this weekend, a classroom flooded in bone-dry weather. We went over for photos after parents forwarded a note from principal Christy Collins talking about the damage suffered by Room 9 when a water filter burst over the weekend. The principal wrote in part:
It appears the water ran all weekend with several inches of water soaking all material on the floor. The water and warmth of the room appear to have caused significant condensation on the windows, thereby increasing the possibility of more damage to materials in the room. … a crew from Seattle Public Schools’ maintenance department have worked diligently to move furniture and absorb the standing water with machinery and fans. Unfortunately, it appears the flooring in room 9 is beginning to buckle, so the room most likely will not be habitable for a while. … Teacher and student materials were removed from desks and wooden shelves due to the risk of additional water damage from the accumulated moisture on materials within the room. Students’ personal supplies were transferred to room 19 by morning recess. We were able to salvage most all of the items in the students’ desks that were not made of paper. The classroom computers were turned off and appear to be working.
Here’s the scene in a hallway:
Arbor Heights’ aged facilities are a major reason why it was written into the Building Excellence levy in February for a rebuild – and why after community clamor, the rebuild has been moved up three years from the end of the levy list, to be complete in 2016. As reported here last week, the school is taking applications to be part of its Design Advisory Team – tomorrow’s the deadline.
Just announced today by Chief Sealth International High School‘s athletic director Sam Reed, the plan for the third annual Sealth Athletics Golf Tournament – at a new location this year, with other changes:
If this past weekend’s sunshine wasn’t enough to get you excited for spring and summer, how about an e-mail about golf sent on the opening day of the newest MLB season! Selfishly, I’m hoping to capitalize on that excitement and to invite you all to join me for the 3rd Annual Chief Sealth Athletics Golf Tournament, coming Friday, June 7th to Foster Golf Links.
After two great years at Rainier Golf and Country Club, I’m excited to announce that we’re moving this year’s event to the recently updated Foster Golf Links in nearby Tukwila. The new location will allow for this event to continue to grow and help to raise even more money for our athletic programs and student-athletes – all while actually lowering the price to participate in the event!
For the second year in a row, April began with a celebrity bagging battle at Admiral Safeway to kick off a monthlong fundraising campaign through Special Olympics and Easter Seals – with the help of the KING 5 Morning News team. News anchor Mark Wright, traffic reporter Tracy Taylor, and meteorologist Rich Marriott each partnered this morning with a Safeway employee who’s also a Special Olympics athlete, to face off in a grocery-bagging competition – see the video above, and click ahead for the results and photos!
We can say that with relative certainty because this is the SECOND West Seattle sighting of this exotic bird that’s been brought to our attention in the past few days. The first one – from Scott, who saw it Friday at 16th and Kenyon – was a little too blurry to use, but when Chelsea sent this photo from Delridge and Webster this morning, we thought it might be time to see if anyone is missing this long-tailed bird that she described as a golden pheasant.
9:58 AM: We’re downtown at Metro HQ in Pioneer Square for GM Kevin Desmond’s upcoming briefing on the cuts that are foreseen if “sustainable funding” isn’t found (here’s our background report from last night). The top of the news release we’ve just been handed is “65 bus routes face elimination when Metro Transit’s temporary funding expires.” **The cuts, if needed, would start taking effect in fall 2014, not this year.**
UPDATED: Full list of 65 routes that might be cut: 7EX, 19, 21EX, 22, 25, 27, 30, 37, 48NEX, 57, 61, 76, 77EX, 82, 83, 84, 99, 110, 113, 114, 118EX, 119, 119EX, 123EX, 139, 152, 154, 157, 159, 161, 173, 179, 190, 192, 197, 200, 201, 203, 205EX, 210, 211EX, 213, 215, 216, 237, 243, 244EX, 250, 257, 260, 265, 268, 277, 280, 304, 308, 601EX, 907DART, 910DART, 913DART, 914DART, 919DART, 927DART, 930DART and 935DART.
Full list of 86 routes that might be cut: 1, 2S, 2N, 3S, 3N, 4S, 4N, 5, 5EX, 7, 8, 9EX, 10, 11, 12, 14S, 16, 21, 24, 26, 26EX, 28, 28EX, 29, 31, 36, 41, 43, 47, 48N, 60, 65, 66EX, 67, 68, 70, 71, 72, 73, 106, 107, 116EX, 118, 121, 122, 125, 148, 156, 177, 181, 182, 186, 187, 193EX, 202, 204, 209, 214, 221, 224, 226, 232, 234, 235, 236, 238, 241, 245, 246, 248, 249, 255, 269, 271, 309EX, 311, 312EX, 331, 355EX, 372EX, 373EX, 901DART, 903DART, 908DART, 909DART and 931DART.
A Metro summary of what West Seattle/White Center might face, with a clearer view of the map shown above, is here.
10 AM: Metro GM Kevin Desmond begins his briefing. “We have a lot to share with you, a lot of information.” He says the system is at a “crossroads. … Unfortunately, bus service cuts are on the horizon again.” After some background about Metro’s second-highest ridership last year, and the increasing use of the service, he gets to the explanation of why they are in money trouble, including sales-tax revenues and the impending expiration of the “Congestion Reduction Charge” approved by the Legislature as a bridge that runs out next year. Metro also has raised fares, reduced staff, improved productivity, drawn on reserves, cutting its capital program to cover the budget gap, Desmond says. He says they are still looking for belt-tightening ways, but when the CRC expires, “we are still facing a very considerable hole in our budget” – $75 million. And that doesn’t even speak to needs, he says, such as retiring aging buses.
10:08 AM: Desmond explains that what’s being released today are not just projected cuts/reductions, but also the annual route-performance report mandated by the County Council for delivery on this date. He says that ideally, they should be increasing service by 10 percent “right now” to serve underserved corridors and improve quality of service – including relief of overcrowding – and that he wishes he were here talking to us about such improvements and increases. “What we’re facing right now based on the initial analysis is reduction of about 600,000 hours of service” – a 17 percent cut. He says the 65 routes potentially to be cut are those falling in the bottom 25 percent of ridership and other criteria. “Mind you, that’s just relative – that does not of course mean that people don’t use those routes – a lot of people do in fact use those routes.” But he says only half the 600,000 hours to be cut could be taken from the bottom 25 percent – some of the lowest-use routes have to be kept to serve certain areas.
Metro currently has 200 routes – discontinuing 65 would be a cut of about a third, and “the effect on our customers cascades.” Routes that aren’t ended or cut would become more crowded, and overall, the reduction would affect an estimated 70 percent of the system. And he says they will certainly lose ridership, including those who are no longer served, and those who say it’s too inconvenient and go back to driving. “Particularly in the context of a growing economy … this will place more and more pressure on the region’s highways and arterials that are already crowded by more and more traffic.”
10:16 AM: He says they are announcing the possible cuts now – even before knowing for sure if the Legislature will provide relief by giving permission for seeking new revenue sources – because they have to prepare. None of this would kick in till fall. And this doesn’t even cover possible restructuring – such as what happened in West Seattle last September. Overall, he says, sustainable funding is not just about staving off cuts, but also enabling Metro to grow, which it needs to do. **We have added the full lists of routes that MIGHT be cut and routes that MIGHT be reduced, above. Please let us know if we’re missing identifying which ones are West Seattle-linked.**
10:23 AM: Q/A. First one: What about fare increases? Desmond says they have had many already, and “that’s raised a lot of money.” They are already assuming a fare increase in 2014, he says, “and that’s built into the deficit.” He says they haven’t lost hope for this legislative session – Desmond says he’s heard talk it may go overtime. “We think the time is now,” since even though these cuts wouldn’t kick in until NEXT year, so much preparation is needed, they need new revenues flowing by the time the Congestion Reduction Charge expires in the first half of next year. He says that if there is a statewide solution, great – the state used to provide a lot more money – but if not, “we need local options,” such as a Motor Vehicle Excise Tax, but “we’d be open to other tools.” He doesn’t think more sales tax is the solution – relying on it so much in the past has left them vulnerable, because of sales tax’s “volatility” as the economy fluctuates.
10:32 AM: Going through more of what Metro has put online – here’s a close-up look at how our region might be affected if these dire cuts are needed. There’s a map, too, which we’ll add to this story as soon as we can process it. Meantime, Q/A continues – Desmond says they are continuing to “work with our labor unions to find ways to contain cost growth” as well as other ways to be “smarter” about spending, but he insists that the King County Auditor’s finding have already resulted in changes and there is not much more they can do. “We will continue to push reforms, we will continue to push working as smart as we can …” If the Congestion Reduction Charge can be extended – $20 for every motorist – it would still only cover a third of the money problem they have, he says. If the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax suggested by regional leaders including King County Executive Constantine and Mayor McGinn is implemented, it would go to roads as well as to transit (which would get 60 percent of it, more than $80 million). But that would only leave $10 million to cover growth, and Desmond says they need to be growing to the tune of $30 million a year, because “the demand for transit is insatiable in this county, frankly.”
10:39 AM: Asked if cuts are inevitable given all the pressure, Desmond says he’s an “optimist by nature. … King County needs to succeed.” He says he thinks even people who don’t use transit will understand the need to “dig deeper into their pockets” because of the road capacity and the fact transit helps with that. “It makes the overall network work better.” So what would he want to see? He’s not specifying exactly which funding source he thinks would be best, just a source that’s “progressive enough and consistent enough … for a sustainable future.” Asked to reiterate the timeline of these possible cuts, he says what’s being discussed today is just “a starting point for our planners,” who would be coming up with something to take to the public starting late this year. Asked again about raising fares, which one reporter says people are suggesting on Twitter, he reiterates that another fare hike is in the works for next year and the farebox recovery – how much of the expenses are covered by fares – is already at more than 27 percent. But, he says again, a quarter fare increase only covers about $10 million. “At some point, you start raising the fare too much, and a lot of people will not be able to afford transit,” or quit because it’s not cost-effective.
10:49 AM: The other shoe dropping on transit funding, the looming expiration of the “mitigation money” covering 45,000 hours of service – mostly in our area – has been brought up. Desmond says he has not spoken to Gov. Inslee yet about that problem (or transit funding in general), but they remain hopeful that the state will find money in WSDOT’s budget to extend that. He says the mitigation money so far has resulted in a “roaring success” – more people on transit, fewer people driving on “that very congested corridor.”
No, it’s not Photoshopped, but yes, it’s a prank. We thought someone was just trying to be April Fool’s funny via Twitter when they tweeted at us this morning, “Uh, they’re putting a Wal-Mart in the hole at Fauntleroy and Alaska?” THEN came the note from a local resident reporting their spouse saw a sign about Wal-Mart and was therefore wondering when the LA Fitness plan changed. So of course we had to go take a picture. Sorry, Wal-Mart fans, it’s still going to be an LA Fitness with apartments on top … whenever construction gets going. (The last public review was three months ago.)
(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; see other cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
Welcome to April! We start with word of a stall on northbound 99 “just before the Viaduct,” according to KING 5’s traffic reporter Tracy Taylor. Updates as we get them.
News for bus riders later this morning: Metro has been warning for a while about looming cuts if two funding sources run out next year. As noted here last night, its GM will talk with the media at 10 am today about a new report promising more specifics on how that might look.
Bicycle riders – a reminder of WSDOT’s alert that the crossover point on the shared-use path down along the downtown waterfront has shifted as of today.
ADDED 2:29 PM: If you missed our coverage earlier of the Metro briefing – here it is.