West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Deb Greer and Karen Berge, founders of the West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network, launched its first meeting of 2014 by announcing proudly that WSBWCN is starting its fifth year.
They have always noted that you don’t have to be a captain, or even a Block Watch member, to attend, and in fact, about a third of the ~15 attendees said they were not – though some were getting ready to organize one. Others, meantime, identified themselves as longtime captains.
Also on hand for the meeting in the Southwest Precinct‘s meeting room: The precinct’s current top two leaders, new commander Captain Pierre Davis and Operations Lt. Ron Smith.
Capt. Davis told the group that Block Watches are the first step to “helping us catch the bad guys” and that the setup here in West Seattle is “second to none,” a “true partnership.” Lt. Smith echoed the appreciation and reiterated, “If you see something suspicious, report it.”
Centerpiece of the meeting was an appearance by Stephen Padua of SDOT, talking about the city’s Neighborhood Traffic Operations program – making clear he’s taking about neighborhood streets, not arterials. (Volume defines which streets are arterials and which are not – there’s a different process for arterials.)
The West Seattle Cup aims to engage and build community by creating opportunities to play, teach, learn, and connect across generational and cultural differences. The free event will bring together teams of 448 elementary-age children and their parents representing different countries to participate in a World Cup-style tournament that celebrates soccer, culture, and community.
We’ve learned that for the West Seattle Cup to happen, more local businesses and organizations must sign up as sponsors by the end of this week. Choose one of two levels, $500/$100, and make a commitment online. Volunteers are urged to sign up ASAP too – here’s where you can do that (check out the wide variety of things you can help with, starting now!).
Thanks to Jon Barker at Holy Rosary School for the photos and report:
Catholic schools around the country are celebrating Catholic Schools Week this week and today Holy Rosary’s focus was on community appreciation. The school collected canned food, coats, socks, hats, gloves, diapers, and general clothing to donate to places of need. Here are a few pictures of students bringing the items into the church …
The 4th graders were also delivering Thank You certificates to local businesses; a tradition we started about 20 years ago!
That photo is from Sunday night – another crash on 35th Avenue SW, this time a motorcycle rider waiting to turn, rear-ended by a driver. Just eight days earlier, a memorial walk organized by local transportation-safety advocates called for action by the city, following the death of James St. Clair, hit by a driver while crossing 35th. As reported in our story about the post-walk discussion, similar calls had resounded for years – so far, none bringing much action.
So today, an online petition drive has launched to amplify the call for change. As its introduction notes, a deadly crash brought fast action in a north-end neighborhood last year, so why not, after five deaths in seven years and dozens of other crashes, here?
West Seattle cannot wait any longer – we need safe streets now! We the undersigned ask the Mayor, City Council, and Seattle Department of Transportation to fund and construct rapid improvements as they did in the case of the NE 75th St tragedy.
If you want to sign the online petition, go here.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports – one, an alert for local businesses about an potentially prolific shoplifter; second, yet another report of a mysterious doorbell ring that in this case preceded a crime – read on:
(WSB photo from Sunday morning)
Sunday morning’s fire at a Roxhill-area home was far more devastating than it looked. Even the damage estimate Seattle Fire announced later – $300,000 – doesn’t tell the whole story of how hard this family was hit.
We heard this morning from Kristine Elliott, whose mother, father, and sister – Eileen, Greg, and Catherine Riddle – are the three residents who escaped the fire, along with the family dog. Even before the fire, the family was dealing with an indescribable challenge: Kristine’s dad is fighting lung and liver cancer.
They are talking with their insurance company now to sort things out, but they need some immediate help. For one – they need a home to rent in West Seattle, one-story rambler type so it’s not tough for Kristine’s dad to get around, two bedrooms so there’s room for her parents and her 23-year-old sister, pet-friendly for their dog.
They also are accepting monetary donations through a GoFundMe account online – find it here – and through an account at Sterling Savings Bank (tell Sterling you want to donate to the Riddle Family Trust). Kristine says her family will need some household items, too, since they lost pretty much everything when the fire spread so quickly through the attic of their home, but they’re not entirely sure what yet; nonetheless, they are collecting donations at Boulevard Park Place in Burien, owned by a friend of the family.
If you have any rental suggestions, please comment or let us know via e-mail and we will forward to Kristine.
(Sunshine! Seen on Sunday; Lincoln Park photo by JayDee)
Some of what’s up today/tonight (please see our calendar for even more):
AFTER-SCHOOL NATURE HIKE: Naturalist Stewart Wechsler has a new series of after-school nature hikes in Lincoln Park, starting at 3:15 pm – pre-registration requested but you can check to see if there’s last-minute room; full details in our calendar listing. (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW)
SOUTH PARK GREEN SPACE: For those who work and/or live in South Park, it’s time to speak out about a greener future – a 5-8 pm event tonight:
South Park provides a ripe and exciting opportunity for the creation and enhancement of parks, trails, and green spaces. Today, the neighborhood has fewer parks per than many other communities in the city, and public access to the Duwamish River is limited.
However, this is poised to change. Through the South Park Green Space Vision Plan, neighbors are coming together to collectively envision a different future for their shared public spaces. The South Park Green Space Vision Plan is engaging residents, businesses and workers to identify needs, opportunities and priorities for improved public spaces, such as parks, playgrounds, trails, greenways, viewpoints, dog parks and sidewalks. Based on community feedback, a vision plan for a network of connected public spaces will be developed for South Park, as well as designs for the top priority opportunities.
5-6 pm open house, 6-8 “fun and interactive design game.” Refreshments and child care. South Park Neighborhood Center. Also: Online survey, here. (8201 10th Ave. S.)
HEALTHY FOOD FOR WOMEN IN DELRIDGE: Community workshop presented by the city, 6-7:30 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center – come talk about ways to improve access to healthy food in eastern West Seattle. Dinner and child care provided. More details on the flyer you’ll see here. (4408 Delridge Way SW)
LAFAYETTE KINDERGARTEN OPEN HOUSE: Have a kindergartener going into West Seattle’s most populous elementary school next year? Kindergarten open house tonight at Lafayette Elementary, 6 pm. (California/Lander)
WEST SEATTLE BLOCK WATCH CAPTAINS’ NETWORK: 6:30 pm at the Southwest Precinct meeting room, come find out about neighborhood traffic safety – how to help improve yours – and also share information on crime (etc.) concerns. You don’t have to be a BW captain, or even in a BW (though every neighborhood should have one!), to come – all welcome. (Delridge/Webster)
‘BLUES TO DO,’ WEEK 4: Fourth week for the new Tuesday series at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), live blues, streamed online too. Tonight it’s Rod Cook & Toast, 8 pm. Full details in our calendar listing. (6451 California SW)
The Seahawks‘ trip to the Super Bowl isn’t just about sports. For local students, it’s about … writing! Last week, a local elementary teacher shared students’ thoughts on the now-legendary Richard Sherman interview. Now, teacher Kathy Saxon from Denny International Middle School shares the “persuasive essay” written by sixth-grade student Della (photo at right) – as a letter to Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, explaining why the Seahawks deserve to win. It came in as a scanned PDF so we’re publishing it in the reader window below (or, click here to download):
Thanks to Della and teacher Kathy for sharing! More West Seattle Super Bowl updates to come today. P.S. In case you missed it last night – here’s our story about what’s billed as the world’s largest 12th Man flag, going up in West Seattle Thursday (and you’re invited to be there).
6:45 AM: So far, nothing out of the ordinary reported on West Seattle’s main outbound/inbound routes. Here are the bridge cams:
And the northbound Alaskan Way Viaduct view:
Find more cameras, and other info, on the WSB Traffic page. We’ll update as always if/when we get word of anything you need to know.
7:56 AM: Police are checking out a report of a possible crash on the eastbound bridge near the 1st Avenue South offramp. Let us know if you’re on a passing bus or carpooling and see anything.
8:10 AM: Via scanner, we’re hearing police have confirmed this, and are saying two lanes are blocked.
8:20 AM: Thanks to Ben Blain for e-mailing the photo showing the lane-narrowing (with flares) right before the 99 overpass:
In comments, Lura reports a tow-truck sighting.
8:38 AM: Low bridge not a good alternative at the moment, as it’s closed to vehicles, so marine traffic can go through.
8:45 AM: Via Twitter, Kim says Admiral Way traffic is “backed up past the top of the hill.”
8:50 AM: Also via Twitter, Mike says Delridge Way traffic is backed up to Youngstown. Joe says the bridge crash cleared but police still have a lane blocked off; that’s believed to be for cleanup, as a small spill was reported at the crash scene. Meantime, the low bridge is open again for non-marine traffic.
9 AM: The bridge lanes are reopening – Jessica tweeted that an officer was clearing the flares minutes ago.
9:37 AM: In comments, “Enough” says there’s now an incident blocking the left lane by Nucor. Meantime, photo added above was sent by Ben Maldonado – showing the traffic-times sign a bit earlier on Fauntleroy Way. (added) Another reader sent this helmet-cam video showing how tempers flared on the bridge during the earlier backup:
10:07 AM: For bus riders – interesting Seattle Times story, asking the question about whether RapidRide has worsened local service rather than improving it.
1:48 PM: Small crash on the westbound bridge, off to the right lane, no injuries reported. Thanks to Vanessa, Lura, and Patrick for the tip.