West Seattle, Washington
By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog
This edition of our periodic feature The WSBeat contains summaries written from reports on cases handled recently by Southwest Precinct officers – generally cases that (usually) have not already appeared here in breaking-news coverage or West Seattle Crime Watch reports, but that might at least answer the question “what WERE all those police doing on my block?” Or on the bridge, or the beach, or …
*Sunday afternoon, bicycle officers were patrolling in the 3400 block of Beach Drive SW in response to citizen complaints about narcotics and narcotics dealing during summer months. As they approached an Audi they saw a man leaning into the driver’s window, exchanging cash with the driver for a small plastic bag. Coming alongside, they saw the passenger trying to hide more plastic bags under the seat, and spotted a wad of bills (totaling $1738) on the driver’s lap. Both individuals were taken into custody for Violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act (VUCSA) with intent to deliver and manufacture. The small bags tested positive for cocaine and were packaged as evidence. In accordance with law, the money and the cellphones of both men were seized due to their likely association with drug sales. The driver was dismayed to learn that his vehicle (“But I have only one more payment!”) would be seized as well.
*(Editor’s note: This was one of the Alki-area street-robbery reports we had been trying to find out more about:) Late Saturday, friends were socializing in Whale Tail Park (5800 block of SW Lander) when a group of seven or eight males approached. One grabbed a gold chain from around the neck of the victim, who responded with profanities. At this, the robber pulled a semi automatic pistol from his waistband, shoved it into the victim’s torso and then demanded his belt (an expensive one…it is unclear how the robber knew about the belt, which was hidden under the victim’s shirt). The robber and his friends walked off southbound. Only description of the group members: A mix of Samoan and Black males in their late teens or early twenties. One wore a bright red cap. The primary suspect was described as a Samoan male. The victims, who all live in West Seattle, said they did not know any of them.
We heard police dispatch to a report of a purse theft on Pigeon Point tonight – didn’t hear the circumstances, but this reader report has since come in:
We (were) at Pathfinder School 8th grade graduation; my cousin had a emergency call to make, she left her purse on her seat, and she came back. it was gone – not even a few minutes. It’s a pink Michael Kors purse, has all her ID, passport, and all her important information. Today 6-8 pm. We didn’t see who took it; we called police, let the principal know; she had a sick family member (who) had a seizure and needed to take the call. If someone knows who took it, please return it – thanks.
Or, if you find it discarded somewhere – let police know.
That’s an official alert that you should read if you are likely to travel through or near Lowman Beach, the north end of Lincoln Park, or 48th SW/Lincoln Park Way/Beach Drive SW in that area any time in the next few weeks. It’s about the Murray Combined Sewer Overflow Project‘s next phase, starting Monday, which includes work in the streets as well as work on the million-gallon tank across the street from Lowman Beach Park. Please note that the alert includes words of warning for bicycle riders and bus riders, as well as drivers.
Thanks to Lamont Granquist for that photo from earlier this week – yes, taken from a distance, while a Seal Sitters Marine Stranding Network volunteer guarded the pup near Alki Point Lighthouse. We saved it so we could publish it with this reminder of tomorrow morning’s beach cleanup on Alki – meet Seal Sitters at Statue of Liberty Plaza (61st/Alki) at 9 am; the cleanup continues until 11:30, but whatever time you can give to it will be appreciated. The cleanup is in honor of Sandy the seal pup who died in 2012 after getting tangled in marine debris, and the Arroyos gray whale whose 2010 necropsy revealed a belly full of trash. Whatever you clean from the beach tomorrow (or any other day) will be that much less pollution in our waters – if it’s left on the beach, it’ll get into Puget Sound eventually.
If you liked the May 29th KEXP Hood-To-Hood victory party in West Seattle … or if you missed it and want another chance … good news: WS just “won” the challenge again. As mentioned in our daily preview, this was the designated day for donations, with neighborhoods “competing,” and when it all ended at 6 pm, West Seattle was about a thousand dollars ahead of Capitol Hill and vicinity, so we get the party next year too. It’ll be a while before the date and other details are set, but stay tuned.
4:06 PM: Thought this one would be clear by peak pm commute, but it isn’t yet, so: A crash is blocking the right lane of the westbound bridge, Spokane Street Viaduct section, right by the 1st Avenue South ramps and Harbor Island exit. Scanner-monitored discussion seems to indicate tow availability is an issue. So if you are heading this way sometime soon, southbound 99 might be a better bet than anything to the east of it.
4:51 PM UPDATE: The traffic camera has been turned, so we can’t see the original scene, but checking other cameras, the westbound Spokane Street Viaduct seems to be moving OK. However, we’ve just heard police dispatched to the Marginal/Chelan/Delridge/etc. intersection for this afternoon’s anti-Shell protest. Can’t tell from the SDOT cameras what’s happening there (except that police are just arriving, and then going out of frame); we’re on the way to check it out.
5 PM: Also happening now: A mid-level SFD response on Bradford west of Avalon. They’re handling a deck fire.
5:25 PM: The fire response is way uphill from Avalon toward the Bradford dead-end, not affecting traffic. We also have just passed the five-ways intersection; police and a few demonstrators, one with a megaphone, are visible, and westbound traffic on West Marginal is backed up to a block south of the bridges.
5:35 PM: Passing back westbound 10 minutes later – the demonstrators aren’t there any more; a group of bicycle officers are under the flyover a short way north off the spur of West Marginal.
5:42 PM: TW pointed out in comments that RapidRide C Line is running slow; Metro has just texted to blame “traffic.” No further elaboration.
SDOT‘s been saying for months that it was about to announce its next round of school-zone speed cameras, and every time we’ve checked with them, they’ve said the most likely contender in West Seattle would be Delridge Way, by the Boren Building (home to STEM and interim home, for one more year, to Arbor Heights Elementary). Now it’s official. Just in from SDOT:
To reduce speeding and improve safety for school children, contractors working for the City of Seattle will begin installing speed enforcement cameras for six schools starting Monday, June 15.
[The only West Seattle location is]:
* Delridge Way SW for K-5 STEM at Boren
Once functional the cameras will take photos of vehicles that exceed the school zone speed limit of 20 m.p.h., and drivers will receive citations in the mail. The school zone speed limit is in effect for approximately one hour in the morning as students arrive at school and one hour in the afternoon when students are dismissed. Flashing beacons have been installed to emphasize the times when the school zone speed limit is in effect.
The camera installation work will occur from June through August. Seattle Police will issue warnings for 30 days beginning September 9 and will start issuing citations on October 9.
See the full announcement, including the other five new camera sites around the city, by going here. West Seattle already has three school-zone speed cameras: Fauntleroy Way by Gatewood Elementary, and two on SW Roxbury, by Roxhill Elementary and Holy Family Bilingual Catholic School.
From Johnny and Kalynn on SW Austin in Gatewood:
We woke up this morning and our truck had been stolen. It’s a Red 1994 Ford F150 XLT. The license place is C89822C. Only the back license plate is on. The front has no plate. If anyone has seen it, we would really like to get it back.
If you see it – as SPD advises, call 911.
More news in the works, but first – a photo break! Bald eagles are increasingly common sights along West Seattle’s waterfront – but have you ever seen one this up-close-and-personal? Lynn Hall shares the view from Anchor (Luna) Park on Duwamish Head. It’s been almost eight years since bald eagles came off the Endangered Species List, but as this page explains, they are still protected.
ORIGINAL REPORT, FRIDAY MORNING: Thanks to everyone who called and messaged this morning with word that Zatz A Better Bagel in The Admiral District has announced it’s closing its doors after Sunday. We went to the shop to confirm this, and also have spoken with its proprietor. Zatz has been listed for sale for a while, but no buyer has come forward, owner Don Nolan told WSB by phone. He says they’re closing because the business has been “in Chapter 11.” He’s owned the shop for 9 years, and it had been open for a decade before he took it over. Zatz’s closure will leave four restaurant/bar spaces shuttered within one Admiral block, following the Benbow (ex-Heartland Café) in March, The Cask last fall, and Royal India Grill in May 2014.
ADDED SUNDAY NIGHT: We went by late this afternoon in hopes of catching the final bagel buyers, but by 4 pm (an hour earlier than posted), Zatz was already closed, empty racks visible through the window. Here’s the sign on the door:
We heard from several readers who said Saturday was busy too; Christine sent us a note Saturday morning pointing out the crowd and saying that, as a regular, she was shocked to hear about the imminent closure: “We’re here this morning having our last Scrambagel and thanking the great staff for all the years of wonderful memories and.delicious bagels!”
(Bushtit fledgling, photographed by Mark Wangerin)
Big fun on the way this afternoon and evening – here are a few highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
LAST DAY OF SCHOOL: Some independent/parochial schools are already out for the year; today is the last day – with early dismissal – for several more, including Tilden School (WSB sponsor), Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Holy Rosary. (Anyone else?) Seattle Public Schools‘ last day of classes isn’t until next Tuesday.
‘OUT OF SCHOOL BASH’: 4-7 pm at High Point Community Center, a celebration of the fact school’s ALMOST out, with free hot dogs and hamburgers, plus games, bouncy toys, and entertainment, all kids welcome. (6920 34th SW)
CARNIVAL: You’re also invited to Mount View Elementary School in White Center for a carnival and benefit 4-6 pm today, raising money for its PTA and also for its sister school in Honduras. Facepainting, bouncy houses, raffle prizes, games, more. (10811 12th SW)
‘PARTY PROTEST ON THE SOUND’: In case you missed our early-morning roundup of updates related to Shell at Terminal 5, another Friday night concert has been announced for the protest barge off Don Armeni Boat Ramp, titled “#BringTheBoom: Party Protest on the Sound,” 4-9 pm. Here’s the tentative lineup as tweeted by sponsor Hollow Earth Radio. (1220 Harbor SW)
WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON? See for yourself – for today/tonight, this weekend, and beyond – on our calendar.
P.S. Two weeks after the West Seattle party thrown by KEXP for our neighborhood “winning” the Hood-To-Hood pledge drive last year, today is THIS YEAR’S chance to donate and potentially bring it back next year.
FRIDAY MORNING: Thanks to Janna for the photo and news of the sighting – what she described as the “little ferry” seen off West Seattle this morning is the Pierce County ferry Steilacoom II. Looks like it’s headed to Vigor for maintenance in drydock.
ADDED SUNDAY NIGHT: We happened to catch this photo while visiting Jack Block Park; adding it for posterity:
9:03 AM: Police and fire are responding to an address in the 1900 block of 48th SW. The early report indicates someone might have a stab wound. More info to come.
9:06 AM: We’re headed that way, but in the meantime, information via scanner says this might not be a stab wound, but rather some other type of assault. They’re canceling most of the units.
9:23 AM: Our crew talked with a neighbor who says this started with someone suspected of prowling cars near 48th/Hill; construction workers in the area tried to stop that person. (update) Someone was injured in the course of this, and
has been taken to the hospital – we’re hearing conflicting unofficial reports at the scene, trying to sort it out.
11:26 AM: Seattle Fire spokesperson Kyle Moore tells us a 57-year-old man was treated for a “minor bite wound” at the scene but declined transport to the hospital. We’re following up with SPD and will add whatever we find out from them about the hopefully-sorted-out-by-now circumstances.
12:35 PM: The full report isn’t in the system yet and what is in the system doesn’t clarify exactly what role in all this was played by the bite victim, according to Det. Patrick Michaud in SPD media relations. But he was able to tell us that the car-prowl suspect – who at one point was reportedly being held down by two people – was arrested. Another incident in the system indicates that, whether they’re all the work of the same person(s) or not, there were multiple car prowls reported/noticed this morning in that area of North Admiral.
Thanks to Madison Middle School science teacher Fred Jenner for sharing word of students’ success at the districtwide Science & Engineering Fair – and congratulations to the winners!
Madison students received many awards at the 17th Annual Science & Engineering Fair! There were more than 200 projects displayed from around the district. We are proud to say that we had students from every grade level win awards. Here they are:
Engineering Category (This was the first year that engineering projects were officially part of the fair):
From the 6th Grade:
Best Data Analysis: Will Cell (Project Title: All The Eggs, Less The Mess):
Best Young Inventor: Natalie Hinkey (Project Title: Water Monitor Alarm):
Most Likely To Be Patented: Livia Woelfle (Project Title: The Convertible High Heel Shoe)
From the 7th Grade:
Best Aeronautics Project: Svetoslav Nikolov (Project Title: Which Airplane Wing is the Most Useful and Aerodynamic?)
From the 8th Grade:
Most Original: Alina Guyon (Project Title: Homes For All)
Inquiry Category – From the 8th Grade:
Most Original: Angelique Brock & Madeline Rainwater (Project Title: Fear Factor)
Congratulations to all!
(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Happy Friday! It’s been quiet outbound, so far. Looking ahead:
THIS AFTERNOON/EVENING: As mentioned here, “Shell No” protesters say they will be back at Chelan/Marginal/etc. 4-6 pm.
SUNDAY: The West Seattle Farmers’ Market moves into its new home, California SW between Alaska and Oregon (see the vendor map here). Hours remain the same, 10 am-2 pm; no parking/vehicles on that block 7 am-4 pm. The 44th/Alaska lot, previously home to the market, will be open for parking. … Also on Sunday, Washington State Ferries‘ summer schedule takes effect.
Congratulations to the Seattle Lutheran High School Class of 2015, shown in our video as they walked up to the entrance of the Menashe Family Gym on campus for their commencement ceremony on Thursday night.
Inside the gym, they became the 35th class to graduate from SLHS. The program listed 28 graduating seniors, including class president Maddy Winter, who gave the welcome and invocation.
Later in the program, the grads were to hear from valedictorian Jeffrey Baxter and salutatorian Alexandria Naftchi. Proud families, friends, and faculty filled the gym to cheer them on:
The class scripture exhorted them to “… Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
One local graduation remains … Chief Sealth International High School, 2 pm Saturday at Southwest Athletic Complex.
We’re now in what had been reported as Shell’s window for heading north to drill offshore in the Arctic; as of this writing, the Polar Pioneer is still at Terminal 5, and the drillship Noble Discoverer is still in Everett, but one support vessel is reported to be on its way to Alaska. That’s the first of several related developments, including events in West Seattle today/tonight:
ARCTIC CHALLENGER HEADS NORTH: This barge, intended to help in case of a spill, had been in Bellingham but is now on the way to Dutch Harbor, AK, reports Alaska’s KTUU, quoting a Shell spokesperson.
SPILL-RESPONSE PLANS UPHELD: As reported Thursday by SeattlePI.com, three federal judges upheld an approval of Shell’s spill-response plans.
SIX LABOR GROUPS SIGN ‘SHELL NO’ LETTER: This announcement lists OPEIU 8, SEIU 6, UAW Local 4121, UFCW 21, UFW, and Pride at Work/King County Chapter as signatories to a new letter opposing Shell‘s presence at Terminal 5, although, as a preface acknowledges, “We recognize that other labor unions have a position of support for this Oil Rig here.” The preface continues, “We respect their decision, but we feel compelled to speak today given the stakes of climate change and the immediate and long term effects that this has on all people in the US and around the world.”
NEXT WEST SEATTLE PROTEST: According to this frequently updated webpage, picketing is planned at/near the five-ways intersection west of the low bridge this afternoon (Friday, June 12th), 4-6 pm.
FLOTILLA HQ AT DON ARMENI: Organizers are continuing to plan for a “rapid-response” kayak-flotilla protest once they get word the Polar Pioneer is readying to leave. They’re using Don Armeni Boat Ramp as home base and have also set up text messaging to alert potential participants when it’s time.
FRIDAY NIGHT CONCERT ON THE BARGE: A lineup of DJs and musicians are being promoted on social media as #BringTheBoom – Party Protest on the Sound tonight on the barge off Don Armeni, 4-9 pm.