Before this week’s round of community meetings gets under way, we have one more to recap from last week – the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council‘s first meeting since June.
CRIME FOLLOWUP: As WWRHAH co-chair Amanda Kay Helmick pointed out, the June meeting (WSB coverage here) focused on crime, especially chronic problems in the South Delridge area. Some action had ensued – “some flare-ups, some diedowns.” And then Community Police Team Officer Jon Flores got up to speak. He’s one of two Southwest Precinct CPT officers right now – the team had been up to 4 just a few months ago, but, he said, one member has been promoted and another has been assigned to a technology project.
In this area in the past two months, he said, SPD has tallied:
-112 calls for suspicious activity/circumstances
-19 residential burglaries
-13 harassment/threat calls
-6 car prowls
-2 armed robberies
After the June WWRHAH meeting, Officer Flores said, they were clear on what needed to be done in the South Delridge area – they met with several other city departments, got some CPTED principles applied to the area, but they are still working on some things, like graffiti-vandalism cleanup.
They’ve also obtained some help from the King County Sheriff’s Office Metro Transit Police, more of a “presence.” He summarized, “What we’ve tried to do is change the look of that area.” One attendee asked, “Were there patterns to the residential burglaries?” Flores said, no; some burglary arrests have been made around West Seattle, but he didn’t know offhand if any were related to burglaries in the WWRHAH coverage area.
He said the “suspicious” calls were heartening because “since we’ve really been able to deal with community members directly, we’ve stressed, please call and let us know what’s occurring … so when we see numbers like 112, it means the community is heeding that advice.”
Overall, “it was a pretty average summer” in Officer Flores’s view, voiced after Helmick asked for a comparison, but overall, “busy.” The bicycle patrol is not yet being staffed full time, after a couple of departures, Officer Flores said. To be part of it, officers have to go through bike training, he said, and the next round isn’t until October.
Another attendee asked what would happen with school starting: “Because of some of those high-profile incidents, we had regular meetings (at the end of last school year) at Denny … (Mark Solomon, crime prevention coordinator) and I are going to have an assembly … if we can communicate with the kids and make them comfortable right off the bat … get a line of communication off the start, get these things reported as quickly as we can.” He said there will be emphasis patrols “in and around” the schools (WSHS and Madison as well as Sealth and Denny), not necessarily every school day, but often. (Here’s our June coverage of the Denny followup he mentioned.)
Community concerns subsequently brought up included a now-phoneless phone booth outside a store at 16th – it was suggested that it be reported via the city’s Find It, Fix It smartphone app.
TRANSPORTATION: Chris Stripinis of the WWRHAH Infrastructure Committee reminded everyone that the Roxbury rechannelization work was scheduled to start soon (and indeed it did, days later). There also was discussion about any city followup from the last walking tour in the area; short answer – none, though Helmick mentioned some interesting discussion with city traffic engineer Dongho Chang including wondering whether a walk-all-ways might be the solution for pedestrian challenges at the southwest entrance to Westwood Village.
DUWAMISH ALIVE! Helmick mentioned the upcoming October 17th Duwamish Alive! event. Roxhill Bog steward Scott Blackstock will lead a work party there – you should be able to sign up for that or any other of the day’s events online soon.
METRO TRANSIT STOP UPDATE: Helmick says the lighting and sidewalk improvements are still in the works, and encourages others to keep renewing the requests. … Blackstock mentioned that people are relieving themselves along the east trail of Roxhill Park and suggested that Parks or Metro might consider a portable toilet on that side.
ROXHILL BOG & PARK: Other quick updates -they’re still looking at how to help the bog be more of the true wetland it’s meant to be; one discovery, its trees are taking in much of the water. As for the park, grant money remains for environmental-interpretation signage, and discussions continue. WWRHAH also is trying to get park officials, potentially including the new Superintendent Jesús Aguirre, to confer with them to help make it happen.
(October 2014 photo courtesy Amanda Kay Helmick)
And an update on the turret that had to be removed after the Roxhill Park play structure project out of safety concerns – Parks has finally come up with a plan to reinforce the area with concrete so that it can be returned, and that likely will be in October, according to Helmick.
WHAT SHOULD BE ON FUTURE WwRHAH AGENDAS? After the November election, City Council District 1’s new City Councilmember should be invited, co-chair Eric Iwamoto said. Another suggestion: Have David Goldberg from DPD come talk about the Delridge Action Plan … and bring in the White Center-assigned planner who works for the county. Another suggested topic: P-Patches, and how to get one for the area. Helmick said she had been trying to get someone from Summit Public Schools – which now has state approval for a charter school at 35th/Roxbury – to come to a meeting, but isn’t getting callbacks. (Note: This was a few days before the State Supreme Court ruling that public funding for charter schools was unconstitutional.) It was also suggested that a discussion about what it takes to get an intersection mural would be a topic. And the new Department of Neighborhoods director Kathy Nyland was a suggested guest.
NEIGHBORHOOD GRANTS: Iwamoto encouraged everyone to look into applying. Here’s the info on that.
WWRHAH meets on first Tuesdays, 6:15 pm, in the upstairs meeting room at Southwest Library.
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