West Seattle, Washington
11:02 PM: Thanks for the texted tips about gunfire heard in eastern West Seattle. This time there was a scanner report too, reportedly a bullet through a window in the 4700 block of 21st SW. No report of injuries. We’re headed out to find out more.
11:24 PM UPDATE: We found officers searching right where 21st and 22nd SW meet [map]. They confirm one gunshot hit a house there; they haven’t yet found casings from the other shots multiple 911 callers reported hearing.
FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Finally obtained the report narrative from police. Here’s the full transcription of what an officer wrote and filed:
I responded to shots fired (in the 4700 block of) 21 Av Sw. The call read as follows, “CALLER JUST HEARD 7 SHOTS, SOUNDED LIKE THEY WERE MOVING FROM SOUTH TO NORTH, NO VEH(ICLE) HEARD, THOUGH.”
I made contact with (victim), advised (victim) he was being audio recorded. (He) stated he was sitting in his office, which was on the south side of the house on the second story. (He) stated while he was on the
computer he heard several gunshots outside of his residence. (He) stated one bullet hit his window, and missed his head by a couple of inches.
(He) led me inside his residence, where I saw a bullet hole in the plastic framing on the wíndow. (He) stated he was sitting in the chair right next to where the bullet went throuqh. I observed a bullet hole in the closet, through the closet wall, and in the room behind the office, the bullet was located. The bullet was located in a small bedroom, behind the door. The bullet was taken into evidence.
Officers photographed the scene and the photos were uploaded … Three bullet casings were located outside of (the) residence, in the roadway, and near trees. There was a bullet hole in a nearby tree as well. The bullet casings were 9mm. (The victim) stated he did not see a vehicle, and did not see the gunman. We were unable to get any description or direction of travel.
SPD Gang Unit responded to the scene. SGT. Unger responded to the scene. The bulÌets were packaged and submitted into evidence.
With just one day left until the two-weeks-or-so Alaskan Way Viaduct closure starts, a precautionary closure while the tunneling machine goes under the structure, a few points to mention/reiterate tonight:
*WSDOT says the onramps will “start closing” at 10 pm Thursday night. Having driven on The Viaduct to and from a meeting north of downtown in the past few hours, we can confirm that the signage we saw at ramps tonight all carried that message, as does the official infopage at 99closure.org.
*10 pm Thursday night is also when Metro says its rerouting will begin. (See the maps here.)
*The closure is expected to be in full effect by midnight Thursday night. (Some messaging says 11:59 pm Thursday, some says 12:01 am Friday, but basically, it’s midnight tomorrow night.)
*Surface streets/sidewalks/paths under The Viaduct are expected to remain open.
*WSDOT says it’s expecting to update its “tunneling progress” webpage around 11 am and 8 pm weekdays, 2:30 pm weekends, during the closure. Its contractor plans to tunnel 24/7 while going under The Viaduct. But, as photojournalists were told during Monday’s tunnel photo-op, it’ll be slow going at the start.
*If you still have a question, it might be answered on WSDOT’s FAQ page. If not, please comment, and we’ll chase down an answer (reps of every agency involved, and then some, are having another megabriefing tomorrow morning).
Spectacular sunset, including a “sun pillar” – thanks for everyone who’s sending photos! Above, the first one we received, by Terry Blumer, from Cormorant Cove south of Alki Point.
Next, a more-intense version of the same color show, by Marc Milrod:
Don Brubeck shows a closer view of the “sun pillar” in the sunset:
We have a few more to add soon!
Our two most recent reader reports about West Seattle coyote sightings both included photos:
First, Aimee sent that photo tonight, saying:
Just wanted to give North Admiral neighbors a heads up of a coyote I saw this afternoon. The coyote crossed California heading east on Hill Street. Sorry the picture is not the best, he was fast.
We also had this in queue from Lori‘s Fauntlee Hills sighting last week:
She saw the coyote running through her backyard at 9:15 in the morning and thought it had been hanging around that area for some days.
Wondering what to do if you see one? Best thing to do is to scare it away – coexistence depends on us and them keeping apart – as explained on this state Department of Fish and Wildlife infopage.
One more reminder that if you’ve been waiting to sign up for West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day 2016, time’s running out – 11:59 pm tonight is when we close registration. If you haven’t signed up your sale yet – do it here! And whether you’ll be selling or shopping, get ready for the 12th annual WSCGSD, 9 am-3 pm Saturday, May 14th.
P.S. Any questions, or problems with registration? E-mail email@example.com – thanks.
5:17 PM: A big Seattle Fire response is arriving at a possible house fire in Gatewood, in the 6700 block of 36th SW [map].
5:20 PM: Early arrivals have made the preliminary assessment – as monitored via scanner – that it’s a “small smoldering fire in the attic.”
5:22 PM: All but three SFD units are being dismissed. Those remaining on scene report “water on the fire.”
5:28 PM: Our crew has arrived and confirms that firefighters have extinguished the small fire in the attic, believed to be electrical in origin. No injuries reported.
Tomorrow night at 10 pm, the onramps to the Alaskan Way Viaduct/Highway 99 start closing. Within two hours – by 12:01 am Friday – the entire stretch of 99 from the West Seattle Bridge to the Battery Street Tunnel will be closed. More vehices will be on the “low bridge” – officially, the South Spokane Street Swing Bridge – than usual, both bicycles and pedestrians, which have no other nearby path across the Duwamish River, and motor vehicles, because of detours.
(2015 photo by Don Brubeck – bicycle riders waiting while barge goes through opened ‘low-bridge’)
The “low bridge” will continue to be opened for vessel traffic. One difference from the 2011 weeklong Highway 99 shutdown: Those openings are now communicated via Twitter, @SDOTBridges. But the tweets tend to be sent just as the bridge starts to open, meaning they’re no help with advance planning, if you’re leaving your residence and wondering if an opening is imminent.
With that in mind, a WSB commenter wondered if there is any way for SDOT to tweet sooner about impending bridge openings. We asked SDOT communications director Rick Sheridan, who talked with the Bridge Division and replied:
We are required by federal law to open a bridge when a boat makes a request for an opening. Typically, we have less than three minutes notice from the boat making its request to an opening occurring. Part of the opening process is to alert our Transportation Operation Center, which then puts the information out via Twitter.
The presence of a boat on a nearby waterway does not necessarily mean that an opening is required. Boats will sometimes stop prior to the Ship Canal bridges or the lower Spokane Street Swing Bridge and not request an opening at all.
We will continue to tweet notices of bridge openings as soon as they are requested and look for opportunities to speed up the transmission of that information.
We’ll be adding the bridge-opening tweets to our expanded commute coverage during the Viaduct closure. You can also find the link any time on the WSB Traffic page (which will have some renovations before Friday).
(WSB file photo of Coach Carr)
3:28 PM: Just announced by Chief Sealth International High School athletic director Ernest Policarpio:
Chief Sealth International High School welcomes Luther Carr III as the Seahawks’ newest head football coach.
Carr comes to Chief Sealth with over 21 years of coaching experience, 10 at the college Division 1 level. In 2012 to 2013, Coach Carr led the Seahawks to two playoff berths and two Huling Bowl victories.
The Chief Sealth community is excited to have Luther Carr back as a Seahawk.
Simon Iniguez coached the Sealth football team the past two seasons. (added) AD Policarpio confirms he left “in good standing.” We also confirmed with him that in a way, Coach Carr has never left – he’s continued on the teaching faculty at Denny International Middle School next door.
That’s our video from Det. Scotty Bach‘s presentation last night at the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network – looking at the car prowl/auto theft epidemic from an police perspective.
Det. Bach’s presentation was rather remarkable in that he began, as you’ll see and hear, with some frankness about what happens once a suspect is caught, as well as some insight into what he really does vs. what the public might think he does. “I arrest repeat offenders all the time,” he said – and he offered advice directly from one (end of the clip), while also showing “how things go out on the street,” as well as photos of a few local suspects they’re still trying to find.
He had statistics, trends, and much more. So far this year, for example, in all of King County, he says, auto thefts are up more than 18 percent – 2900+ compared to 2500+ during the same period last year. And in this area, “car prowls are off the hook,” he said. And he repeated what you’ve hopefully heard many times before: DON’T LEAVE ANYTHING IN YOUR CAR. Even if you think it’s “covered up,” thieves know that and will break in. Lock your car – thinking that leaving it unlocked is a deterrent, is a myth, he said.
He also mentioned the rise in license-plate thefts (take a look at yours at least daily!), as noted here in recent reader reports.
Our video, focusing on his slide deck while you hear from him offcamera, is 21 minutes and includes much more – it’s worth a listen.
Also at the WSBWCN meeting:
Southwest Precinct Capt. Pierre Davis started with the crime-trend update, including what he had said at another recent meeting, that south Highland Park, near Roxbury, has been hit especially hard with car prowls lately because the thieves work in teams and shift back and forth across the county line, depending on where they think they’ll find less law enforcement at any given time. He repeated the prevention advice – don’t even leave a jacket or other clothing on a car seat because thieves will assume it’s concealing something. And if you didn’t already know this, in response to questions, Capt. Davis confirmed that Westcrest Park and Lincoln Park remain high-prowl areas.
He also, as he did during the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting earlier this month, spoke to the ongoing gunfire incidents. Any suspected gunfire incident gets a police response, he said; most gunfire incidents have a reason – the people shooting are not just firing at random; sometimes it’s a drug deal that went awry, or some kind of disagreement between acquaintances. Nuisance properties often play into these incidents and the precinct is working with the City Attorney’s Office on known problem spots, he said.
The West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network meets on fourth Tuesdays, 6:30 pm, at the precinct. Keep an eye on the WSBWCN website for updates.
With telecommuting encouraged as an alternative during the upcoming Viaduct closure, WiFi-equipped coffee shops are likely to be busier than ever. Sure, you could stay home and work from there. But those aren’t your only alternatives. West Seattle Office Junction (6040 California SW; WSB sponsor) is the only coworking center in WS – shared office space. We checked with WSOJ co-proprietor Christine Deppe to see if their doors will be open for people who will have to get back to the office eventually. While WSOJ doesn’t have single-day rates, she says, they do have “free trial days and we pro-rate monthly memberships and offer our 5, 10 and 15 days per month month-to-month, which gives a lot of flexibility, even for short use. If an individual needs an office for 1 week it’s $125 and for 2 weeks $250.” Our inquiry has inspired a “WSB Viaduct-Closure Special,” she adds: “We will waive the one-time registration fee of $100 from now to May 10th, making it easier for short term use during the closure.” Find out more here. P.S. They’ve recently added a few new desks for added capacity. Questions? Contact info is here.
11:33 AM: A Metro RapidRide bus and car have collided, blocking
northbound westbound SW Alaska at 40th SW in The Junction [map]. No serious injuries, so no one will have to be taken to the hospital, we’re told at the scene, and it should be cleared before too long, but if you’re headed this way, avoid that side of Alaska for a while. Southbound is not affected.
NOON UPDATE: Just went by again. The bus and the car are still in the right lanes, but with SPD assistance, traffic is getting by both ways to the south of the crash scene.
(Killdeer, photographed by Mark Wangerin)
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar and inbox for today/tonight:
FIRE TRAINING CONTINUES: The Seattle Fire training at 50th/Hudson continues daily through the end of the week – so you’ll see SFD vehicles and personnel there as well as smoke. Some area residents also are seeing brown water from the hydrant use. Here are our photos from Tuesday morning, when the training fires began.
ENTREPRENEUR MEETUP: Noon-1:15 pm at West Seattle Office Junction (WSB sponsor), the weekly coworking/home-office/etc. meetup is focused on local entrepreneurs. By the way, if the upcoming Viaduct closure has you giving new consideration to the concept of working without leaving the peninsula, check out WSOJ, West Seattle’s only coworking center. (6040 California SW)
VIETNAMESE COMMUNITY TEA TIME & CAREGIVER SUPPORT GROUP: 1-3 pm at Greenbridge Community Center; details in our calendar listing. (9800 8th SW)
EVERGREEN’S FUTURE: Also in White Center, – two meetings tonight related to the Evergreen Campus and the citizen campaign to change it back to Evergreen High School. A Highline School Board work session is planned at 5 pm regarding “small schools”; the community meeting follows at 6. Both are at Evergreen. (830 SW 116th)
‘THE HUNTING GROUND’: Film screening at 6 pm tonight in the Little Theater at Chief Sealth International High School, “The Hunting Ground.” April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the film will be “followed by a Q & A, with sexual-assault nurse examiners, and representatives from the UW and Seattle University. … Campus sexual assault is a nationwide, pervasive problem. Young people have a 1 in 5 chance of experiencing sexual assault while a student at a university. “The Hunting Ground” is a well -regarded, powerful documentary examining this. … All are welcome. Please be advised that this can be a very sensitive topic, please use discretion for yourself and if you have children.” (2600 SW Thistle)
COED ULTIMATE FRISBEE: Everyone’s invited to the 6:30 pm pickup game at Fairmount Playfield. Rain cancels. (5400 Fauntleroy Way SW)
HIGHLAND PARK ACTION COMMITTEE: 7 pm tonight at Highland Park Improvement Club – here are the agenda points:
*“Action Plan to Save Myers Parcels from Development — What does it mean for Highland Park?”
*Seattle Neighborhood Group – Crime Prevention Workshop – Vehicle Security: How to protect your car from crime.
*Highland Park Elementary School Principal Chris Cronas of Highland Park Elementary is excited to partner with HPIC/HPAC.
*Leslie Harris Seattle Public School Board Director District 6
*Highland Park Improvement Club Updates
*Saturday, April 30, 2016 Highland Park Neighborhood Cleanup Day – 10 am – 2 pm
(12th SW/SW Holden)
POEMS AND STORIES: Monthly Storybridge event at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7 pm. Featured readers Carrie Gilstrap-Nettle and Arleen Williams. Plus, a community microphone! (5612 California SW)
SEE THE FULL LINEUP for today/tonight on our complete calendar – the events above are just SOME of the highlights!
A day and a half to go until the Alaskan Way Viaduct is closed early Friday so that the Highway 99 tunneling machine can start going under it. If you work in or near downtown, you might be planning to use the West Seattle Water Taxi, which has a new boat twice the capacity of the one it had during the 2011 Viaduct closure, among other attributes (the Doc Maynard is faster, too). Ideally, you will get to and from the dock at Seacrest by busing, biking (the boat has room for 26 bikes), walking, or getting dropped off at the dock. If none of that is possible – here’s what you need to know about the parking situation, with added spaces during the closure, as detailed in this special brochure:
That’s the sign at the entrance to Pier 2, right across from the 7-11 in the 2400 block of Harbor Avenue SW, and that’s where you will drive in – these gates will be open:
This lot has about 200 parking spaces and a free shuttle to and from Seacrest – separate from the regular WT shuttle – but because it’s a “secured facility,” it also has restrictions:
It will be staffed Monday through Friday, in the morning from 5:45 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. and in the afternoon between 4 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. Cars will not be accessible outside of these hours. We suggest you park here 20 minutes before sailing time. The shuttle will run the .6 mile route continuously between Pier 2 and Seacrest Park.
The county Department of Transportation, which operates the Water Taxi, says the “staffing” means people will be there to point you in the right direction and answer questions.
Closer to the pier, more street parking along Harbor Avenue SW should be available because – as the now-in-place no-parking signs warn – parking is off-limits 2-5 am along the water side of Harbor Avenue during the closure. ONE CHANGE:
Thanks to nearby resident Carolyn for catching this – there’s a change in where that restriction is in place. While the Water Taxi’s closure-related brochure said they would be only south of Seacrest, they instead stretch north to just east of the small angled-parking area at Duwamish Head. Again, these street-parking spaces are available except for 2-5 am.
Finally, about 40 spaces will be available in this unpaved area south of Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor), which is the city-owned Bronson street end – look for the Parks sign so you know you’re in the right place:
Where NOT to park: Don Armeni Boat Ramp. While some spaces were made available there in 2011, that was late October and not much boating going on. This time it’s not part of the plan.
Other points if you’re new to the Water Taxi:
*The sailing schedule is here. The Doc Maynard leaves West Seattle every half-hour from 6:15 to 9:15, and then takes a break until 11 am.
*You can buy your ticket(s) via machines at the dock – at Seacrest, on the east side of the building – or else pay as you board, with exact-change cash or an ORCA card.
*Find the shuttle-bus schedules via this page on the Water Taxi website – follow the “buses” tab and then click the route number for the schedule. (Almost forgot to mention – as announced last week, these buses will be upsized during the closure, 39 passengers.)
And again, here’s the special Viaduct-closure-related brochure for the West Seattle Water Taxi. We’ll have a crew at Seacrest on Friday morning to report on how things are going, as part of our expanded commute coverage during the Viaduct closure.
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:34 AM: Good morning! Two days until the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure – which the city’s electronic signage warns will start at 11:59 pm Thursday. As for this morning, no incidents in/from West Seattle and vicinity so far.
8:14 AM: Still quiet this morning, and the impending Viaduct closure remains the big topic. WSDOT has just sent a media alert clarifying the start time – the alert says 12:01 am Friday BUT “onramps will start closing at 10 pm Thursday.”
9:52 AM: More times from WSDOT – the promised online updates about tunneling progress during the closure are now expected to be around 11 am/8 pm weekdays, 2:30 pm weekends.
It’s been a while since we’ve had a report about one of Alki’s road-crossing river otters; Crispin Garrott saw that one near Duwamish Head around 11 pm Sunday. So we’re reminding you to be careful – as discussed here before, the otters have dens inland and cross the road to go looking for food, among other things. More than a few have been hit and killed. So, especially at night when you might not see them, be careful in the area.
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