day : 01/05/2015 8 results

SCAM: West Seattleite’s warning for you, after she was defrauded by ‘Jury Duty’ scammers

Another scam warning from a West Seattle resident. Cheryl says, “I got scammed today,” and continues:

I was told that I had a warrant for my arrest for failing to appear to two summons to be on Jury Duty.

After a horrific afternoon, and paying money to these crooks through a PayPal cash account, I then met a neighbor downtown who was able to think better than I and said that she was sure that I had been scammed.

One of the points that they made is that I was to meet with one of the Superior Court Judges who would release the warrant and not make me pay money as, actually, they don’t ask folks over 75 to serve. So, at this point, I began to think about this situation, and I went on the King County Superior Court Judges site and lo & behold, there was a section, ‘Senior Fraud.’ It was Alert #1. I totally fell for this scam; it was at the point where “Officer Randall McKenzie” told me that he could not guarantee that a deputy would not come to take me to jail over the weekend. THAT got me and I rushed off to get the money through the PayPal cash card.

There were several hints that I was not dealing with “real” officers, but the threat of jail made me lose focus. Although I had gotten a name and badge number, it was all bogus.

So I am encouraging you to copy and send this note out to your Elderly friends and relatives — wherever they live – because this sort of fraud is ubiquitous. There is also a Seattle City Light scam going around, folks phoning Elders, telling them that their SCL bill has not be paid and that they need to pay it right now.

That one targets businesses too, as mentioned here earlier this week (and SCL has its own page about scams).

Seattle May Day: If you’re wondering about demonstration status…

4:03 PM: Just wanted to mention it in case you’re about to head home or to downtown and are wondering what’s going on: Demonstrators have been marching much of the afternoon but no problems have been reported. Seattle Police are tweeting locations and, when applicable, traffic effects; the best place to monitor is the SPD Twitter account (you don’t have to be a Twitter member to see it) – SDOT is tweeting traffic updates, too.

7:33 PM UPDATE: Now there’s trouble, with what the SPD tweets described as the “unplanned” demonstration. Rock-throwing and window-breaking is reported. They’re facing off with police on Capitol Hill, who have issued a “dispersal order.” As the commute period is over, we’re moving on with other news, but the same links above still apply, as do all the citywide news orgs, and our friends at are tweeting, too:

9:43 PM: The city Emergency Operations Center has issued two statements from the mayor – this, just a few minutes ago:

Seattle celebrates free speech, the right to assemble and freedom of the press. People are raising their voices across the nation, working constructively to advance issues of racial equity and justice in our society. During this moment in history, peaceful protest and civil disobedience can be effective vehicles of social change. The City of Seattle prepared extensively to protect the rights of peaceful protesters to express their anger at racism and injustice.

What erupted tonight is a very different story. Tonight we saw assaults on police officers and senseless property damage, which cannot be tolerated. Those who are violent will be arrested. We will work to disperse groups that are threatening the safety of our residents and businesses.

3-HOUSE FIRE FOLLOWUP: SFD says fire started by ‘improperly installed heater’; donation drives begin for victims; about the water supply…

(UPDATED FRIDAY NIGHT with fire’s cause, more fundraisers)

(Photo from this morning, by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
ORIGINAL 1:10 PM REPORT: No announcement yet from Seattle Fire regarding what caused the 2-alarm, 3-house fire in the Pelly Place area southwest of Morgan Junction on Thursday afternoon. We went back this morning, and the investigation was still under way. If that information emerges today, we’ll add it to this followup.

7:45 PM UPDATE: SFD announced the cause this evening: “Improperly installed heater on a back porch.” Damage estimate for all three houses and their contents: $2.7 million. (That same link is to the SFD story including more details on the firefight.)

Two other updates:

HOW YOU CAN HELP: So many people have asked how they can help the fire victims. Today, two crowdfunding campaigns have emerged, one for each of two households affected – the links are here and here. We know others are working on finding out if the affected families have any immediate material needs, and we will update.

(7:45 pm update) Three Morgan Junction food/beverage establishments – Peel & Press, The Bridge, Beveridge Place Pub – will be donating a percentage of proceeds on Tuesday, according to Dan from P & P.

(9:36 pm update) Another fund has just been set up for the third family involved.

ABOUT THE WATER SUPPLY: In discussions both here on WSB and on the WSB Facebook page, concerns have arisen about reports that firefighters apparently had some initial challenges. Here’s what we’ve found out so far.

(This photo and next: Thursday photos by WSB’s Christopher Boffoli)
SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore tells WSB:

Because we had multiple hose lines running off one hydrant, we asked SPU to boost water pressure on the Fauntleroy hydrant. When we have a multi-alarm fire, its standard procedure for SPU to respond to monitor water pressure. An example was the Christmas Eve multi-alarm fire in the International District 2 years ago when SPU made sure we had enough water pressure to charge multiple hose lines.

It was a long hose lay and we had 2 engines maintaining water pressure. It’s called relay pumping. Firefighters train on this type of pumping.

The hydrants are actually owned/maintained by Seattle Public Utilities, so we are following up with them as well. You might recall the hydrant issues that followed the 2011 Arbor Heights house fire – new hydrants and lines were installed in parts of AH; then in 2013, there was another round of hydrant discussion, including a map of remaining lower-flow hydrants in West Seattle. You can also check the location of hydrants (or at least the proximity) near your residence by zooming in via the city’s MyNeighborhood map.

ADDED 2:45 PM: SPU has sent these responses to our questions, which included an invitation to include any other information that might help people understand how the system works:

1. How far apart are hydrants spaced in the City of Seattle?
Most hydrants are spaced between 300 and 500 feet apart. The closest hydrant in yesterday’s fire was 400 feet away.

2. What is the standard size for a fire hydrant?
Standard-sized hydrants range from 5 to 6 inches in diameter.

3. Is there a standard sized water main for residential areas?
Water mains that are eight inches in diameter are the standard size for new development in residential areas. The nearby water mains in yesterday’s fire were 8-inches and 16-inches in diameter.

4. Were there any low-flow hydrants in the area?

5. Is there a performance level for fire flow?
For single-family, residential homes, spacing and flow performance developed in partnership with the Seattle Fire Department include:
• Minimum fire flow at hydrants of 1,000 gallons per minute
• Hydrants within 1,000 feet of fire hose length from any home

6. What can you say about the performance of the water system in yesterday’s fire?
While we are still reviewing, our initial indication is that the water system operated as expected and there is no indication of restrictions in water flow. The water mains and hydrants in this area meet hydrant spacing and flow performance developed in partnership between Seattle Public Utilities and the Seattle Fire Department.

7. Why were Seattle Public Utilities water crew called to respond to the fire?
It is standard practice for SPU crews to respond to large fires. They are available to support the fire department and operate the water system if additional water flow can be achieved. They also act as a liaison between Fire and SPU’s Water Control Center.

You can help! Tents, tarps, duffels being collected in West Seattle for Nepal earthquake survivors

While many people’s minds are on helping the Pelly Place fire victims (here’s the latest on that), there’s one other donation drive, involving different kinds of items, that we wanted to tell you about quickly, as it’s time-sensitive. West Seattleite Chris Mackay is collecting tents, tarps, and duffels for the earthquake survivors in Nepal, to be shipped out on Monday. If you have a tent or tarp in good condition, you can drop it under the canopy (WSB photo above) at 3250 46th SW, which is two houses north of the north side of Madison Middle School.

P.S. Here’s more about the overall relief effort in which Chris is involved.

One person taken to hospital after collision in The Junction

If you saw the emergency vehicles on 44th SW in front of Junction True Value – one woman has been taken to the hospital by Seattle Fire medic crews after getting hit while walking, in a collision that SFD told us also included multiple vehicles. Police were also on the scene. Her injuries are not life-threatening. Most of the activity was in the store’s front lot and on the southbound shoulder of 44th, so traffic was still getting through.

What you’ll see at sea (and in port): 3 notes for today & tomorrow

Three things West Seattle water-watchers might want to know about in the next two days:

TERMINAL 5: The car carrier Ryujin, which the Port of Seattle expected at Terminal 5 earlier this week, wound up stopping at Port Angeles for a while, and port spokesperson Peter McGraw says it’s now due in Seattle tonight:

We are now expecting the Ryujin to arrive at T-5 at 10:00 PM on Friday May 1st,
offloading to begin at 8:00 AM on Saturday May 2nd, leaving at 5:00 PM that day.

Speaking of Port Angeles, if you’re awaiting the big oil rig Polar Pioneer‘s arrival at T-5, it hasn’t left PA yet (the Chamber of Commerce’s webcam is still pointed at it).

SPOT SHRIMP SEASON: Last year, we didn’t know about this in advance, and were surprised to see Don Armeni packed with trailers, and the bay full of boats. This year, we’ve been watching for it, and we can tell you that tomorrow is the first day in which spot-shrimp fishing is allowed in this area, so you are likely to see a TON of traffic from the boat ramp and offshore. 7 am-3 pm Saturday (and then again on May 13th)

CRUISE SHIP SEASON: First one is Holland America Line’s Westerdam, and the port says it’s scheduled to enter the bay around 6:30 tomorrow morning. It’ll be docking at the Magnolia/Smith Cove terminal, leaving around 4 pm. This year’s cruise-ship schedule is here.

West Seattle Friday: What’s up for today and tonight

(Pine siskin, photographed by Mark Wangerin)

Quick look at highlights for today/tonight from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

ST. JOHN’S RUMMAGE SALE: Day 1 of the big sale at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church – on now until 7 pm. (3050 California SW)

THRIFTWAY TENT SALE: First day of West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor)’s three-day tent sale. (California/Fauntleroy/Morgan)

TONY’S OPENING: Speaking of tents – today’s the day Tony’s Market in Westwood told us they plan to open for the season. (35th/Barton)

FAIRMOUNT PARK POETRY: Celebration of student poets at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 1 pm. (5612 California SW)

MARY McGOUGH’S CLOSING RECEPTION: Also at C & P, 4 pm today – details here.

WORDS, WRITERS, WEST SEATTLE: 5-7 pm at Barnes & Noble/Westwood Village, it’s the next installment of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society-presented author series, this time featuring Jan Koutsky:

Words, Writers & West Seattle presents … from Avenue Collection on Vimeo.

Read more about it on the SWSHS website. P.S. You can be a volunteer for SWSHS – next orientation 11 am tomorrow! (2800 SW Barton)

FOOD BANK ‘INSTRUMENTS OF CHANGE’: Ticket sales are over but if you have yours, here’s your reminder that the West Seattle Food Bank‘s big annual benefit (with co-sponsors including WSB) is tonight at the Seattle Design Center.

CORNER BAR: Highland Park Improvement Club‘s monthly Corner Bar is tonight starting at 6, featuring music by the Cold 102’sdetails here. (12th/Holden)

THE MAMA-LOGUES: “A comedy about motherhood,” benefiting organizations including WestSide Baby, 7 pm tonight at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center – details here. (4408 Delridge Way SW)

BELLS OF THE SOUND: Puget Sound’s premier handbell choir is in concert, 7:30 pm at Tibbetts United Methodist Church (WSB sponsor) – details here. (3940 41st SW)

SOULFUL SONGWRITERS: Three, count ’em, three, in concert at 7:30 pm at Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Gatewood – details here. (7141 California SW)

MORE! on our calendar – check it any time.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Friday updates; looking ahead

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning – no problems so far on the routes through/from West Seattle, and SDOT describes traffic overall as “relatively light.” You’ve probably heard the citywide media previewing how demonstrations for May Day *might* affect traffic later; we’ll be monitoring everything too and will be updating during the afternoon/evening commute if there’s anything you need to know while headed this way.

METRO NOTES: Starting next week, bus-stop closures downtown will affect some lines serving West Seattle. Read about them here.

FERRY FARES: Washington State Ferries’ seasonal fare changes took effect today.

WEEKEND I-90 ALERT: Eastbound I-90 is reduced to one lane east of I-5 for another round of tunnel work this weekend, so heads-up for those traffic effects.