West Seattle, Washington
One more week left in our day-by-day project to build your “Go Bag“/emergency kit – full of essentials to help you and your family get by in case of catastrophe.
Tonight’s advice from West Seattle Be Prepared has to do with the most basic of needs:
This is something new that has come up for preparedness lists: Put a bucket with a lid, some plastic sheeting and box of large garbage bags with ties in your kit today. Think of these as your emergency bathroom kit. People who are recovering in Christchurch were bathroomless 18 months after their earthquake; they emptied personal toilet buckets into larger city-provided waste containers placed on the streets. If you don’t have the room for a bucket (and it certainly won’t fit in an average backpack), at least put the garbage bags in – they can be used in multiple ways.
We’re going into the final weekend of Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month. No, nobody’s grading you, but think of the increased peace of mind you’ll have when your kit is done – or at least well on its way. So catch up if you need to. Our installments are all archived, newest-to-oldest, here.
October is Fire Safety Month, and Arbor Heights Elementary had two firefighters, both parents of students, visit on Friday to teach fire safety.
The firefighters also reminded the students to have their families check their smoke detectors and to make sure the students could give their addresses in case of emergency. (When was the last time you changed the battery in *your* smoke detector?)
This brought up another point among the parents afterwards: Is your house number/apartment number clearly visible? Can it be seen easily from the street? How about in the rain? Trim away anything that might block the address, and make sure it the numbers are easy to see (are they a different color than the background?) from the street. The firefighters thank you!
… Around 2 p.m., a man who is a parent of a student at our school, entered the main office and was acting suspiciously.
Security was called and in talking to the man, noticed he had a knife attached to his belt buckle. This is a violation of our zero tolerance of weapons rule. 911 was called and the Seattle Police Department arrived quickly. The man had left our school already, but was arrested outside and taken into custody.
We are proud of our staff and security for acting so quickly. No students were in the area or involved in the incident.
We are looking forward to a safe and fun homecoming dance tonight, and we want to let families know that we will continue to be vigilant when it comes to safety in our school.
We don’t have any other details about this yet, nor do we know the man’s status. Meantime, we have a reader report from Jude, asking you to be on the lookout for a car stolen early today:
My Infiniti FX35 was stolen from right in front of my house at 3 am on Friday, 10/25. I live on the 3700 block of 35th Ave SW. The vehicle is brown with a silver roof rack. Plate 520-XWQ. I have all spare keys so it interesting how this was done given that a key fob is required to allow ignition — not to mention how the door was opened. Hope the car died out somewhere for lack of a RFID key on the perpetrator. Wishful thinking. I did file a police report this morning with the Southwest Precinct.
If you see it or have information about it, call 911.
P.S. This isn’t crime but it does involve the local precinct – if you have leftover/unneeded/expired drugs in your home, TOMORROW is the day to drop them off at the Southwest Precinct (Delridge/Webster) front desk, 10 am-2 pm, for the fall edition of National Drug Take-Back Day.
One more reminder tonight from King County – the West Seattle Water Taxi starts its winter schedule on Monday, which means the next two days will bring its final weekend runs until spring. The winter schedule runs Mondays-Fridays, morning and afternoon/evening commute time periods only, with the first run from West Seattle to downtown at 6 am, and the last run back from downtown to West Seattle at 7 pm. See the full schedule here.
This morning’s arrest near Chief Sealth International High School (WSB coverage here) was actually the second flasher-type arrest in West Seattle in less than 12 hours. We’ve obtained the report on an indecent-exposure arrest last night at Westwood Village; the 35-year-old man arrested in that incident got out of jail about an hour ago. The suspect in this case is reported to have exposed himself to two workers at an unidentified Westwood business through its front window, as they were closing up around 9 pm last night. The police report says the same man is believed to have caused “disturbances” at “a total of about six different businesses” at Westwood last night and that he also is believed to have “inappropriately touched women.” The report SPD provided to us on request concludes:
Routine records check of (the suspect) shows that he is the subject in a previous indecent-liberties event and is a documented officer-safety hazard. In speaking with (him), he appears to be suffering from some kind of mental disorder and if left untreated could very easily escalate his actions.
Despite that, the jail register shows his bail was set at $1,000 and that he got out of jail at 2:02 pm, a “conditional release,” according to the register. Indecent exposure is a misdemeanor; we are checking with the City Attorney’s Office to see if they can tell us more about the status of this case.
Didn’t get a chance to publish these photos on Thursday because of everything else that was going on; it’s another view from the California/Alaska demolition work at the future site of two 7-story apartment/retail buildings that Chicago-based Equity Residential will build over an underground parking garage. Unlike the building torn down next door at 42nd/Alaska, the one to the west had a basement, and that’s what’s shown in our photos. Some say it included a morgue back when the building included a second-floor hospital; in later years, ArtsWest used some of the space for storage. Today, the demolition equipment is pushing debris into this basement area, but yesterday at midday, it was mostly exposed:
The sidewalks around the site will be open in time for Sunday’s Harvest Festival in The Junction, which will close California and Alaska between Oregon, Edmunds, 42nd, and 44th, starting fairly early in the morning for setup, and continuing until everything is cleared after the festival ends at 2.
(Photo by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
10:12 AM: Police have just confirmed the arrest of the man at the center of our photo, taken into custody after a student reported seeing him masturbating inside that van parked near Chief Sealth International High School this morning, though they don’t know yet if he is connected to any of the “flasher” incidents over the past few weeks. Here’s the report just published on SPD Blotter:
Southwest Precinct officers arrested a 34-year-old man for lewd conduct earlier this morning in the 2400 Block of SW Thistle Street.
At about 8:30 this morning, a 17-year-old female student was walking to school when she passed a dark blue mini-van parked on the street. As she passed the van, she observed the suspect inside masturbating. The girl immediately ran to school and reported it to the principal’s office. Officers immediately responded and located the van and contacted the suspect. He was positively identified and arrested by officers.
The suspect was transported to the Southwest Precinct where he is being interviewed by detectives. He will later be booked into the King County Jail. It is unknown at this time whether this man is connected with the previous incidents near other West Seattle schools.
We heard the original call – which drew quite the police response, given the recent incidents – and took the photo above while officers were questioning the man at the scene (we’ve blurred out the suspect’s head and the van’s license plate). But we had not confirmed, prior to the SPD Blotter post, that the person taken in for questioning had been arrested and would be jailed. We’ll update with anything else we find out later today.
2:42 PM: The suspect is not on the King County Jail register as of last check, and the official police report as it currently stands does not indicate any link to other incidents, so far. He is a Highland Park resident who does not have a felony conviction record.
4:53 PM: The suspect, Danen Romine, is charged with misdemeanor indecent exposure in Seattle Municipal Court – as opposed to King County Superior Court, when you are cited, it is an official charge. His bail is set at $500 and he is scheduled to answer the charge tomorrow morning (the jailhouse courtroom has arraignments in city cases on weekends).
9:58 PM: The jail register shows Romine posted bail and got out after less than five hours, just before 7 pm tonight.
As wearisome as the fog might seem from beneath it, we (and many others) just can’t resist the beautiful views from outside it! The Wednesday view is from Max (thanks!). Now, on to highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
WEST SEATTLE GARDEN CLUB: Meeting under way now and continues until 2 pm – drop in for all or part of it (afternoon program focuses on the Seattle Chinese Garden on Puget Ridge) – agenda details in our calendar listing.
HALLOWEEN CARNIVAL AND FREE FAMILY SWIM: From the WSB West Seattle Halloween Guide – Southwest Pool is hosting a carnival and family swim tonight; details in our calendar listing. Carnival starts at 6; free swim starts at 7 pm. (2801 SW Thistle)
MORE HALLOWEEN ACTIVITIES: Three other community centers – Alki, Delridge, Hiawatha – have Halloween/Fall carnivals tonight too, and that’s not all – check the Halloween Guide to see what’s up.
FRIDAY NIGHT TRIBUTE TO SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER: The Gee Bees, paying tribute to the Bee Gees‘ Saturday Night Fever music, perform at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor) at 9 pm. Disco ball? White suits? Go see (and hear) for yourself. (6451 California SW)
Lots more on our calendar!
9:48 AM: It’s not on the Seattle City Light map yet, but we’re getting multiple reports of a power outage involving more than 100 residences south of Alki Point. We’re calling SCL to see if we can find out more.
9:58 AM UPDATE: SCL’s Scott Thomsen tells WSB that the outage involves “265 customers. A bird got between two wires and created a short. Estimate for restoration is 10:20 am.”
10:05 AM UPDATE: Or maybe sooner. Tipster Keith says his power just came back.
(Photos by Christina Chacharon)
In case you haven’t seen it for yourself yet, shining alongside the West Seattle Bridge ramps to/from I-5, there it is – the brand-new “R” atop the old Rainier Brewery. West Seattle photographer Christina Chacharon was among those at last night’s gala unveiling, which even included a “Batman”-style call into the clouds … er, fog:
After almost half a century, the old “R” (now on display at the Museum of History and Industry) came down 13 years ago, succeeded by a big green “T” for Tully’s Coffee. The newly installed replica, funded via a partnership between Rainier Beer’s owner Pabst and Columbia Distributing, weighs more than half a ton, has 235 light bulbs on each side, and is being permanently welded into place today.
(2011 photo from Fauntleroy Creek, courtesy Dennis Hinton)
Last year, volunteers watching Fauntleroy Creek counted a record number of returning spawners – 274! What will happen this fall? You can help find out. From creek/watershed steward Judy Pickens:
Salmon Watch 2013 on Fauntleroy Creek will get under way October 28 with veteran watchers. As soon as they start seeing spawners, though, any and all new volunteers will be welcome to join. That will most likely be on or about November 1, when high tides will be in the 12-foot range. To get on the “I’m interested” list, email email@example.com.
Right before Salmon Watch begins, it’s time to call the salmon home, with the annual gathering at the creek overlook (across Fauntleroy Way from the ferry dock and up the embankment), 5 pm this Sunday (October 27). All welcome, all ages; bring a drum if you have one, but it’s not mandatory since there are also songs and chants to which you can add your voice. Judy says that this year for the first time, there’ll even be salmon humor. Be there!
(East-facing camera on the West Seattle Bridge; see other cams on the WSB Traffic page)
7:06 AM: Nothing major on the usual routes from West Seattle this morning BUT if you are headed south on I-5, a huge pileup blocking northbound I-5 at mid-Boeing Field might affect things in terms of a lookyloo slowdown on the opposite side, if nothing else. It’s a 10-car crash that WSDOT says is already causing a 14-mile backup.
7:40 AM: As just noted in the comments, there is indeed some emergency-vehicle activity on the SOUTHBOUND side parallel with the massive crash scene.
7:55 AM: Now there is a SOUTHBOUND crash on I-5 in the same area, while on the northbound side, they’ve reopened two lanes.
8:41 AM: All of the above has been mostly cleared up.
Belated update in our “building your ‘Go Bag‘ one day at a time” series. The next addition, as advised by West Seattle Be Prepared:
Dry goods are the food of the day – graham crackers or other dry and durable crackers, dry cereal, powdered milk, spices, sugar, coffee or tea, and candy. Put them in smaller ziplocks to save space, and mark with the date packaged.
If you haven’t started your bag yet, not too late! Just do SOMETHING. Get a bag, review the previous installments and see what’s easiest for you to get into it, then do the rest as you can. Something > nothing. It’s all archived (newest to oldest) here.