West Seattle, Washington
That’s 4-year-old Aaron, photographed before a fall off the Alki seawall left him badly hurt. His grandmother Teri has written an open letter both to say thanks to the strangers who helped, and to voice concerns about safety:
On Tuesday, April 7th, at approximately 5:30 pm, my husband David, my 4-year old grandson Aaron and I were riding bikes along the 1300 block of Alki Avenue. We were in the bike lane, with Aaron following David, and I was bringing up the rear so I could keep a watchful eye on Aaron. Part way through the ride, Aaron apparently decided he wanted to ride along the path on the other side of the sidewalk and veered off in that direction. Despite my calls for him to stop, Aaron continued on toward the path and the unprotected bulkhead. He managed to stop his bike before it went over the edge, but he went flying over the handlebars and over the edge of the bulkhead, landing face first on the boulders 6-8 feet below street level.
As I scrambled off my bike and ran, horrified, toward where I had just seen Aaron flying over the wall, passersby had already leapt into action. By the time I got to the edge, there were people down on the rocks lifting the very terrified Aaron up to safety. Others standing around also clamored to help, and one woman was an absolute angel. She sat with Aaron and kept him talking, focusing on calming him down while we waited for the 911 response team that was summoned by still others. I was in a state of shock at the time and can’t tell you enough how grateful I am to all of these people who stepped up to help us.
Fortunately, Aaron was properly outfitted with a Bern bike helmet at the time of his accident. Without it, he would not be with us today. This helmet literally saved his life. It was cracked and dented as a result of the fall, clearly showing us where significant brain damage was avoided. I am now a staunch bike-helmet advocate! I see so many children out riding bikes with helmets that are ill-fitting and barely more than a styrofoam hat in the shape of a shark, unicorn, or kitty and wonder whether one of these helmets would have stopped the significant damage that was avoided by wearing the well-fitting, hard-shell Bern helmet. Our children and grandchildren are irreplaceable, so only the best in protection is good enough for them.
Aaron spent just under 4 days at Harborview, and was helped by many fine, caring doctors and nurses both in the Emergency Room and PICU. Our eternal gratitude goes out to them as well.
At Harborview, we learned that Aaron had fractured his skull. He also had several fractures around both eye orbitals, multiple deep nose fractures, and his upper right jaw was fractured as well. Right now he is back home, and back to playing with his trains and cars, colors and crafts as he continues to heal. The doctors are waiting for the significant eye swelling to subside before they can determine whether he is in need of surgery to repair some of the fractures as there is the possibility that they may be impinging facial nerves and eye muscles. Right now we call him our little puffer fish!
Since the accident, we have heard that there have been several other incidents along the unprotected stretch that runs around Alki Avenue and drops off to large boulders. I walk that path several afternoons a week, and with the warmer weather I am seeing more and more children along the way either walking, running, or riding scooters and bikes. Knowing how the younger ones can rapidly dart away and put themselves in danger, I have to wonder what the City of Seattle can do to make this a safer place for us all. We came so close to losing a precious 4 year old that day. God forbid another child, or even an adult, is lost forever due to a slip or fall and lack of fencing along this area.
We don’t know who any of the people are who helped us on the beach last Tuesday, but we really want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to them for them being there and stepping up to help. I don’t know what we would have done without their help! We are blessed to live in a community with so many caring people.
Teri says they *do* know some of Aaron’s rescuers – the Seattle Fire Department personnel – and that they plan to visit those fire stations soon (the log from Tuesday shows units from 3 stations) to say thanks in person.
While West Seattle was spared power outages during this afternoon’s blustery weather (areas north and west of downtown got hit instead), we often aren’t so lucky. And this brings to mind new outage-response technology that Seattle City Light announced earlier this week. While WS isn’t part of the first round of testing, it might not be far behind if the pilot project works out. Ahead, the SCL news release, and what we found out on followup:
The countdown continues: Four weeks until West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day 2015, which is coming up on Saturday, May 9th. The newest toplines:
–We’ve set the registration deadline – sign up by Thursday night, April 23rd
–More than 120 sales are registered so far – all sizes!
–If you have no room and/or just a little bit of stuff to sell, check directly with multi-seller spots Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (4410 California SW; WSB sponsor) and C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor)
–If you’re just looking forward to browsing – the map (which we make in 2 formats, online/clickable and PDF/printable) will be ready a week in advance as usual, which means you’ll find it here and at westseattlegaragesale.com starting May 2nd
Ready to sign up and sell? Go here! Questions? firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks!
2:24 PM: Thanks to everyone who messaged us about this. The situation in Morgan Junction right now with police taking three people into custody at gunpoint involves a stolen car. That’s all we know so far; whenever a felony is suspected, the procedure for a “felony stop” requires guns to be drawn. More details if/when we get them.
3:12 PM UPDATE: We went down the hill to try to find out more. The owner of the vehicle, a black Mercedes SUV, was already back in it, in the parking area north of Cal-Mor Circle (on California north of Fauntleroy).
ADDED: Police weren’t able to tell us where the car was stolen from, but they say that the owner herself spotted it being driven around in West Seattle, and called 911. The driver was booked into King County Jail; two others from the car were questioned and released.
If you were planning to donate items to WestSide Baby via its main HQ in White Center – they’re asking you to wait a few days, because of a power outage caused by a small fire. From WS Baby executive director Nancy Woodland:
WestSide Baby’s White Center Main Operations Center experienced a small electrical fire in an outside meter that has caused us to lose power. We are awaiting landlord-directed repairs and must remain closed until those repairs are made. We hope this will happen quickly and we are exploring other options to continue operations in the meantime. We’ll post updates on our website and/or Facebook. Thank you to everyone for your concern, and please know we are making every effort to be up and running very soon as children are counting on us.
We will have our donation bin out during the regular hours but, if you have item donations and you are able to hold them for us during this time, we would be very grateful. We are in the dark and unable to sort things and a pile up can be difficult to address.
We are hopeful, our landlord will address this quickly but we expect to be closed at least a week at our White Center Donation and Volunteer Center. Our administrative office and our Central Branch location at 23rd and Jackson are both open for full operations!
We stopped by two of the stores where Kiwanis and Key Club volunteers are collecting food until 3 pm:
At West Seattle Thriftway (California/Fauntleroy/Morgan; WSB sponsor), we found, from left, Chief Sealth International High School Key Club members Ariana, Cameron, and Johnny were there with Kiwanis’s Shari Sewell and West Niver. Then at PCC Natural Markets-West Seattle (California/Stevens; WSB sponsor):
In our photo, Rosemary and Hana from the Key Club at West Seattle High School (right across the street!). The Kiwanis’s third location is the Junction QFC (42nd/Alaska). Your nonperishable food donations matter more than ever right now – while there are food drives aplenty at some times of year, especially the winter holidays, the need is great year-round.
P.S. Separate from the Kiwanis food drive but toward the same goal – making sure fewer people are hungry – the West Seattle Food Bank has volunteers at Metropolitan Market (41st/42nd/Admiral; WSB sponsor) until 3 pm, too.
(Golden-crowned sparrow, photographed by Mark Wangerin)
Happy Saturday! First, a transportation note:
WATER TAXI NOW RUNNING WEEKENDS TOO: This is the first Saturday since the West Seattle Water Taxi moved to its spring/summer schedule, which includes weekends. See the schedule here.
Now, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
FOOD DRIVE: The Kiwanis Club of West Seattle will have volunteers at West Seattle Thriftway (California/Fauntleroy/Morgan; WSB sponsor), PCC Natural Markets-West Seattle (California/Stevens; WSB sponsor), and Junction QFC (42nd/Alaska), 9 am-3 pm, to collect food for local food banks. Buy extra while you’re shopping, or if you already have nonperishable items ready to give, go to any location to drop it off.
MEGA-RUMMAGE SALE: 9 am-3 pm on the Oregon side of Hope Lutheran Church, a big rummage sale to raise money for missionary work in Mexico. (Oregon/California)
OPEN HOUSE & SALE: 10 am-6 pm, Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) continues its 10th anniversary open house with giveaways, refreshments, specials, and the ongoing storewide sale. (added) We stopped by for a pic of proprietors Kirk and Joni Keppler:
(Westwood Village, north of Barnes & Noble)
INTERNATIONAL TABLETOP DAY: 10 am-midnight, celebrate at Meeples Games (the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s Emerging Business of the Year) with a day of FREE fun – competitions, raffles, learn-to-play sessions, and more – see the calendar listing for details. (California/Charlestown, upstairs)
LOVE LEGOS? Ages 5-12 invited to the West Seattle (Admiral) Library, 3-4:30 pm – details here. (2306 42nd SW)
(added) BASEBALL BENEFIT DINNER/AUCTION: West Seattle Booster Club Spaghetti Dinner and Auction benefiting the West Seattle High School Baseball Team is tonight, 5 pm to 8 pm at West Side Presbyterian Church (WSB sponsor), $10 donation per person for a delicious meal and great time. (3601 California SW)
DIVERSE HARMONY: 7 pm at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, free concert by the singers whose choir made history as the first “queer/straight alliance” chorus – see our preview. (3050 California SW)
COFFEE & MUSIC: Steve Beck, Steve Peterson, and Jim Moore perform at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)
THAT’S ONLY PART OF WHAT’S UP TODAY/TONIGHT … full list on our calendar.