West Seattle, Washington
3:58 PM: We’ve received two reader reports that Highland Park Spraypark is out of service so we’re sharing the news here before anyone else heads that way and is disappointed. We’re trying to find an after-hours number for Seattle Parks to see if we can find out whether help is on the way; we’ll check at the park shortly, too, and will update when we get word it’s working again.
5:15 PM: Not fixed yet.
SATURDAY NIGHT NOTE: We never did get word on its status before official closing time but will check as close as we can to 11 am opening time on Sunday.
(Added: WSB photos)
2:45 PM: Big police response right now in the 10th/Roxbury vicinity, where police have found “multiple shell casings” after a report of gunfire. No shooting victim(s) reported so far but a crash nearby might somehow be related.
Per the scanner, police say witnesses reported seeing at least one person shooting on the passenger side of a “black Impala,” described only as a “black male, bald, white shirt, firing out the window.”
3:05 PM: We are in the area; Roxbury is closed 9th to 12th for this investigation.
Our photographer says King County Sheriff’s Deputies (some units are Burien PD, which is part of KCSO) also are investigating; they and SPD are canvassing both sides of the street looking for witnesses.
4:05 PM: Photos added. We’re heading back over shortly to see if the street has reopened.
5:16 PM: Finally got back over to check. All clear and open.
1:42 PM: A big Seattle Fire response to the 4800 block of Beach Drive, south of Emma Schmitz Viewpoint, has just been scaled back, but several fire units are in the area and two SFD boats are still on the way. We’re en route to find out what happened.
1:48 PM: The call has just been described (as monitored via scanner) as “two people resting on an overturned kayak.”
1:53 PM: Both people are reported to be OK, “just cold.” A rescue boat will be taking them to Seacrest to catch up with medics on shore.
1:56 PM: Our crew just arrived at the Beach Drive scene and has been told that two men were rescued and are being checked out for possible hypothermia while being taken to Don Armeni/Seacrest vicinity. Meantime, from the scanner, it sounds like boats including one from the Coast Guard are still out at midchannel between Fauntleroy and Vashon, looking for the kayak that was involved.
2:04 PM: That kayak has now been recovered and also is being taken to Seacrest/Don Armeni.
After 54 years, it’s down to three weeks before students and staff have their last classes at Schmitz Park Elementary, before moving to the new Genesee Hill Elementary, opening this fall.
Last night, hundreds of people gathered at the school to celebrate its half-century-plus history.
They included members of the extended Schmitz family, which not only donated the land on which the school was built, but has stayed involved with the school all these years:
At the event, we photographed Dietrich Schmitz, great-grandson of Ferdinand and Emma Schmitz, with wife Mary Howland Schmitz and mother Vicki Schmitz Block. Family photos and memorabilia were part of what was displayed around the school last night:
The “love (the Schmitz) family has for this community” was subsequently acknowledged by high-profile Schmitz Park alum, King County Executive Dow Constantine, speaking while holding toddler daughter Sabrina, acknowledging “fond memories of a place that did quite right by us.”
For eight years, Gerrit Kischner has led Schmitz Park as its principal:
He recalled arriving at the school in 2008, when its enrollment was 315 and it was something of a well-kept secret; it has more than doubled since then, to 650, the capacity of the new campus half a mile away.
New memories will be made from the moment that school opens on September 6th, but those from last night will linger as well. The event was organized by parent Fiona Preedy:
After speeches in the courtyard, last night’s celebration moved on to group photos – see some of them after the jump: Read More
Good morning and welcome to the first weekend of June! Lots going on, but first:
WEATHER ALERT: Noon today through 9 pm tomorrow, the National Weather Service has a “heat advisory” in effect, so be mindful of that – stay hydrated and take extra good care of vulnerable people and pets (don’t leave them in cars!).
TRAFFIC NOTES: No West Seattle Bridge closure tonight – next one is Sunday night – but starting at midnight tonight, crews are scheduled to start installing the new “zone” signs on the bridge, and until about noon Sunday, that could mean “rolling slowdowns.”
Now, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar for today/tonight:
ADMIRAL NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION ADOPT-A-STREET: Meet at 9 am at Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) to help ANA with the quarterly cleanup. Treats and a sack lunch are your reward, as well as knowing you’ve helped your community. (41st/42nd/Admiral Way)
SHOREWOOD STREETS OF GARAGE SALES: If you loved West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day last month, you’ll love Shorewood Streets of Garage Sales, just south of southwest West Seattle, 9 am-4 pm today. Here’s the map.
EMERALD WATER ANGLERS FLY FEST: The annual big-fun day with Emerald Water Anglers (WSB sponsor) happens today at Me-Kwa-Mooks Park. Here’s the updated schedule:
10 AM – Double Hauling and Dealing with Wind w/ Bill Wheeler
11 AM – Trout Spey w/ Tom Larimer
12:30 PM – EWA Guide Cookoff and Free Lunch
2 PM – Fly Fishing the Puget Sound w/ Dave McCoy
3 PM – Fly Fishing the Cascade Mountain Creeks w/ EWA Guide Staff
All free! (4503 Beach Drive SW)
BEACH CLEANUP WITH SEAL SITTERS: 10 am, meet at Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza to join the “Sentinels of the Sound” beach cleanup with Seal Sitters and the Alki Community Council. Today’s low tide means just a couple hours of helping out can have a big effect on the marine-debris problem that threatens seals and other wildlife. (61st SW/Alki SW)
LOW-LOW TIDE WITH BEACH NATURALISTS: 10 am-2 pm, volunteer Seattle Aquarium beach naturalists will be out at Constellation Park (south of Alki Point) and Lincoln Park (near Colman Pool) to help you explore safely and informatively. Today’s low-low tide bottoms out at -2.7 feet at 10:55 am.
GATEWOOD ELEMENTARY FAMILY FUN FEST: 10 am-2 pm, “FUN free community event with face painting, sidewalk chalk paint, giant bubble wands, arts and crafts, music, jump rope demonstration, and a science demonstration. You can support Gatewood’s 5th grade camp by trying your chances to win a yummy dessert at the cake walk. Express Mexican Grill food truck will there to cover all your hunger needs!” (4320 SW Myrtle)
HIGHLAND PARK SPRAYPARK: Open 11 am-8 pm today and every day until Labor Day – free, fun, and cool. West Seattle’s only spraypark. (1100 SW Cloverdale)
BENEFIT BARBECUE LUNCH: 11 am-4 pm at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) – look for the tent and get lunch with the proceeds going to a good cause! (California/Morgan/Fauntleroy)
COLMAN POOL’S 2ND PRESEASON WEEKEND: Three swim sessions noon-7 pm at West Seattle’s only city-run outdoor pool, on the shore at Lincoln Park. See the schedule here. (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW)
ALKI LIGHTHOUSE TOURS: 1 pm-4 pm, free tours at historic Alki Point Lighthouse with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary – be there by 3:40 pm for the final tour of the day. (Alki SW/Beach Drive SW)
WEST SEATTLE HIGH SCHOOL ALL-SCHOOL REUNION: 2-5:30 pm, it’s the biggest reunion of the year, with all WSHS alums invited to the school to catch up and celebrate another year. (3000 California SW)
LEGO MANIA! 3-5 pm at West Seattle (Admiral) Library, for ages 5-12. Free! (2306 42nd SW)
ANNIVERSARY: Help the Community Acupuncture Project of West Seattle celebrate its 7th anniversary, 3-5 pm, live music and more. (4545 44th SW)
WEST SEATTLE MEANINGFUL MOVIE: “Love Is a Verb” will be screened tonight at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center. 6:30 pm doors open, 7 pm movie; more info in our calendar listing. (6400 Sylvan Way)
AT C & P: 7 pm, Dog House Prayers perform at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) with “country-ish rock ‘n’ roll.” (5612 California SW)
AT PARLIAMENT TAVERN: Three bands, 9 pm. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
Thanks to Highland Park Elementary PTA president Holly Briscoe for photos and a report on “an exciting event” at the school Friday morning:
Cristian Roldan, Seattle Sounders FC Midfielder, came to HPE for the morning assembly. He was there to help the school celebrate the successful completion of their Breakfast Challenge, which is a part of the Fuel Your Future campaign.
The campaign is a joint effort between United Way and the Seattle Sounders to help reduce food-insecurity. School Nurse Tina Urso worked to bring both the campaign and Cristian to HPE. Go, Sounders!
ORIGINAL REPORT, 8:23 PM: Heads up if you’ll be traveling Delridge Way near Edmunds any time soon – utility crews are working in the middle of the street. We noticed running water on the edge of the northbound side of the street, and we just received one reader note saying they had called Seattle Public Utilities and been told there’s a water-line break. They also report reduced water pressure at their residence. We’ll be checking with SPU’s media team ASAP to see if we can find out more.
9:44 PM: We haven’t heard back from SPU yet but multiple commenters in the area say they’re without water.
10:33 PM: Now we’ve heard from SPU, which says an 8-inch line broke, no obvious cause. It was first reported by someone who saw the water bubbling up in the street late this afternoon; they cut off service in the area around 7:30 pm for repairs. 110 customers (homes/businesses) are affected, and they’re hoping to restore service by midnight.
11:03 PM: Marieke from SPU just called again with an update – she says they’re turning the water back on right now. It was a “horizontal break” and 10 feet of pipe had to be repaired. Your water might be discolored for a while when it comes back on, so let it run a bit, she says, and it should clear up.
Police investigated a report of gunfire at 15th and Roxbury after 5 pm tonight; we found out about it after a texter (thank you) reported multiple police cars heading south. Police say witnesses told them that two men exchanged words and “gang signs”; one fired a shot at a car, possibly an Acura, that subsequently took off. No injuries reported, and no arrests so far.
Thanks to Patrick Kelly for the tip – the National Weather Service has upgraded the weather alert to a “heat advisory” for most of the weekend, noon Saturday through 9 pm Sunday. (See the alert here.) Temperatures in the 90s are possible both days. Our most-recent lists of air-conditioned spots are a few years old now, so if you have new favorites, suggestions appreciated!
P.S. A reader requests that we remind you to NOT leave your pet in the car, especially during the extra-warm weather!
2:25 PM: Retiring last year as PE teacher at Pathfinder K-8 didn’t keep Lou Cutler from coming back for his traditional birthday-month run to raise money for Make-A-Wish. One lap for every year, which meant 65 today – and this time, battling asthma, he walked more than he ran, but nonetheless made it through every one of those laps over the span of five hours, from just after 9 am to just after 2 pm. Above is our iPhone video as his final lap wrapped up, in the company of Pathfinder students who streamed out of the building to finish it with him, chanting “Go, Lou! Go, Lou!” Many were with him at the start:
We’ll be adding photos a bit later. You can still donate to Make-A-Wish, for whom Lou’s been a wish-granting volunteer for more than 20 years – just go here.
ADDED 9:53 PM: Two photos that, like our video above, bookend this year’s inspiring-as-ever event. First, from the morning:
And then, right after that 65th lap, the group photo:
Today was the 17th time Lou’s done this, by the way.
Three West Seattle restaurant notes:
IRASHAI NOW OPEN: While covering the “Group Hug for The Admiral” this morning, we noticed the banner across the street at Irashai, the Japanese restaurant that took over the former Mawadda Café space. When it opened at 11 am, we ducked in to ask a few questions. This is the second day of the restaurant’s “soft open,” we learned; its operators have another restaurant by the same name in Alaska. The hours might change depending on how things are going, but for now they are posted as 11 am-9 pm Mondays-Thursdays, 11 am-10 pm Fridays and Saturdays, noon-9 pm Sundays.
PECOS PIT OPENING DATE: Pecos Pit BBQ at 35th and Fauntleroy has announced it will open on June 21st. It’s totally remodeled and expanded the former Beni Hoshi/Yasuko’s Teriyaki space. According to an announcement sent to the Junction Neighborhood Organization, a ribboncutting is planned at 3 pm on June 21st, and the restaurant will welcome its first customers at 4 pm.
SHELBY’S OPENING DATE: It’s been two months since we reported on Shelby’s Bistro and Ice Creamery, taking over the former Westside Public House space on the northeast corner of California and Edmunds in The Junction. This establishment has also announced an opening date: July 19th.
(Photo by Jean Sherrard, courtesy Southwest Seattle Historical Society; click here to see full-size version on SWSHS website)
10:58 AM: After a burst of excitement this morning, with a crowd including about 800 elementary-school students and former mayors Greg Nickels and Norm Rice, The Admiral District is getting back to the usual dull roar. The “Group Hug for The Admiral” photo event, organized by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, went off flawlessly, with photographers Jean Sherrard and Brad Chrisman atop a lift truck across the street from the historic theater, hailed as a classic “neighborhood moviehouse.” (Updated) Here’s what the crowd looked like on the ground:
The speakers included theater operator Far Away Entertainment, Sol Baron told WSB that the renovations to convert it into a fourplex – the reason to capture this moment in time – are expected to start by mid-August, provided the final permits come through. (added) You’ll hear him in this clip, introduced by Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals, who emceed and organized the event:
12:37 PM: More of how it unfolded: Plenty of orange-vested adults (the vests were loaned by Highland Park Elementary) were there to help ensure the safety of the students, who walked from each participating school – we rolled a bit of video as each arrived:
First, the most distant school, Schmitz Park:
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) June 3, 2016
And here come the Alki Elementary students. Former mayors Rice and Nickels are here to greet them. pic.twitter.com/xE7aq7f0m1
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) June 3, 2016
Finally, the nearest school – about half a block south – Lafayette:
Third and final school to arrive, nearby Lafayette Elementary, crossing at California/Admiral pic.twitter.com/K4XOTJD31w
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) June 3, 2016
Along with those we’ve mentioned earlier, speakers also included the principals of all three participating schools – Shannon Hobbs-Beckley from Alki, Gerrit Kischner from Schmitz Park, and Robert Gallagher from Lafayette – as well as Jim Kelly from 4Culture (which donated $95,000 to the Admiral renovation project) and Shannon Braddock from County Councilmember Joe McDermott‘s office:
The principals voiced appreciation for their students’ chance to be part of a moment in local history:
The theater, its operators stressed, will remain open throughout the renovation work later this year. We’ll find out more about the specifics as the plan goes to the city Landmark Preservation Board – whose approval is required because of the theater’s landmark status – later this month.
Mayor Nickels, as introduced by Eals, represented this area on the King County Council when The Admiral closed – in danger of never reopening – in 1989. The Admiral enhances our area’s “sense of community,” he pointed out, also lauding Eals for organizing the campaign to save the theater, which reopened in 1992. Mayor Rice was in office at the time of the reopening and said The Admiral continues to “symbolize West Seattle … and the people who care so much about it.”
P.S. From-above SWSHS photo added 10:30 am Saturday!
Family and friends will gather next Monday to remember John W. Sisson. Here’s the notice they’re sharing with the community:
John W. Sisson, beloved husband and father, passed away at home in his sleep May 25th.
He was born in Minnesota in 1932. He was the son of Frank and Ruth Sisson. He spent a 35-year career in public service as an auditor for the General Accounting Office. He loved horses, boats, camping, reading, dogs, sports cars, WWII aircraft, and especially his family. He would always make time for his family.
His funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 am on Monday, June 6th, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 7000 35th Avenue SW in West Seattle.
In lieu of flowers please consider a gift to either the Union Gospel Mission or the Seattle Humane Society.
Please visit his memorial web page here.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Today’s themes – schools and history. Here are the highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
LAPS WITH LOU: As previewed here last week, retired Pathfinder K-8 PE teacher Lou Cutler is returning to the school on Pigeon Point for his annual Make-A-Wish-benefiting run/walk around the field, a birthday celebration with one lap for every year – 65 this time! 8:45 am was the scheduled start time, so he should be on the field now – as we publish this, we’re headed for the school to check in. All welcome to come share a lap or two or more, and/or to donate here. (1901 SW Genesee)
GROUP HUG FOR THE ADMIRAL: The Southwest Seattle Historical Society is gathering students from three local elementaries, plus two former mayors, for a “group hug” photo op to celebrate its soon-to-start renovation, almost a quarter-century after local residents rallied to save the landmark movie theater. It’ll be unfolding between 9:30 and 10:30 am. (2343 California SW)
WORDS, WRITERS, WEST SEATTLE: 5-7 pm at Barnes & Noble/Westwood Village, Lisa Richesson talks about her book, “White Lady, Black Sons.” Here’s her video invitation:
This ongoing series is presented by the SW Seattle Historical Society. (2800 SW Barton)
CORNER BAR: Tonight’s the monthly pop-up bar, with tunes, at Highland Park Improvement Club, starting at 6 pm – full details here. (12th/Holden)
SCHMITZ PARK ELEMENTARY CELEBRATION: Before the school community at Schmitz Park Elementary concludes its final year before moving to the new Genesee Hill Elementary in the fall, its history and legacy will be celebrated tonight, 6:30 pm – details in our calendar listing. (5000 SW Spokane)
WSMA AT C & P: Performers/composers from West Side Music Academy perform tonight at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7 pm. (5612 California SW)
THE SKYLARK TURNS TEN: 9 pm anniversary show – details in our listing. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
MORE … on our complete calendar!
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
7 AM: After many uneventful mornings, this one is getting busy. There’s a crash on northbound 99 at Lander, blocking the left lane.
Also, Metro has just sent word that two trips are canceled this morning – Route 57 leaving The Junction at 7:06 am, and Route 56 leaving Alki at 7:23 am.
7:13 AM: Just for the record, Matt points out that Metro also tweeted the 6:40 am Route 116 run was canceled too. And we have other reminders:
*No bridge closure tonight – the Fauntleroy Expressway work was on its regular Sunday-Thursday night schedule this week, so the next one is Sunday night (9 pm-5 am)
*Reminder that the “Group Hug for The Admiral Theater” will bring about 800 students to The Admiral District later this morning for a photo outside the soon-to-be-renovated landmark – here’s our preview from last night. No road closures but they’re walking, so be ready for some big pedestrian groups.
7:25 AM: SDOT says the vehicles involved in the NB 99 crash have moved to the shoulder, so “all lanes are clear.”
7:37 AM: Back to previews – here’s the SDOT lookahead for this weekend, including a big soccer game at CLink on Saturday night, and Race for the Cure through part of downtown on Sunday.
Story, video, and photos by Tracy Record and Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers
The last speaker at Thursday’s West Seattle YMCA expansion groundbreaking celebration, member Michelle Silver, used that term for her enthusiastic view of the Y, whose director Josh Sutton picked it up and ran with it.
It was perfect for the energy and enthusiasm that marked the event outside the Triangle headquarters of the Y (a longtime WSB sponsor).
Though members of the Y board posed for the top photo, this wasn’t really a groundbreaking about, well, breaking ground – the shovels were mostly for fun:
Major work on the Y’s long-in-the-works expansion had started last week with demolition of the old Youth Programs building. The event was more a chance to honor those who made the project possible, and to celebrate a side benefit, the new “festival street” designation for SW Snoqualmie in front of the Y, recently finalized and used for the first time for this party, which included a bouncy house, free barbecue, and even the West Seattle High School Band:
And it was a chance to recap what the expansion will bring – Sutton hit the highlights: “When this project is done, we’ll have a whole new Y from the outside and new tools to help the community.” They include a meeting room, kitchen, expanded fitness space, new family room with “active play for all ages,” a new cycling room. (More details here.)
With its perch in the West Seattle Triangle, part of the “urban village” at the heart of the peninsula, and within walking distance of thousands of new apartments, the Y also has to have its eye on the future. That was noted by Mark Tabbutt, who spoke after Sutton’s introduction, a West Seattleite representing the Greater Seattle Y’s board.
“There’s a ton of new people coming in – this organization, this Y, is going to be a big part of drawing those people in.”
Without money to pay for the expansion, it wouldn’t be happening, and about $800,000 came from the state, so the program included an area legislator, 34th District State Senator Sharon Nelson.
“Why should the state support this?” she asked rhetorically. “Because it’s about youth and families.”
From the WS Y board, Scott Hitchcock hailed the “hard work” by so many, over the decade it took for this to become reality:
Those gathered in the new “festival street” also heard from Dino Vasquez and Steve Sundquist, co-chairs of the capital campaign. Sundquist, a former Seattle School Board member, voiced appreciation for the Y’s work at local schools.
A donor whose family made the first gift to the campaign, Sue Chamberlain, recalled her membership dating back 30 years, when she said she walked into the Y with her then-1-year-old son. The Y goes back almost a century here, she said, so those enabling its expansion are “continuing a great legacy.”
Gratitude was threaded through all the speeches, not just for those who gave money, but for those who gave time.
But the show was stolen by final speaker Michelle Silver, from the moment Sutton introduced her while making note that Silver was wearing a Cleveland Cavaliers T-shirt and obviously had to get home in time for the game. First, here’s some of what she described, memorably, as Y-Tastic:
The speeches wrapped up, and the party continued for guests of all ages.
Here’s what happens next, according to a timeline Sutton shared: The main building stays open throughout the project, Later this month, the entrance will move to the festival-street side. More changes will be ahead in August, when the first Y-hosted West Seattle Outdoor Movies screening will happen (last one of this year’s season, before the entire series moves next year). Then a new entrance is expected in October, and more of the new building will be open around Thanksgiving, with the project largely wrapped up by year’s end, meaning that 2017, in Sutton’s words, will bring a “new Y for a new year.”
In the chapel at Providence Mount St. Vincent tonight, worldwide celebrities drew a crowd. They are the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, best known for a documentary titled “Landfill Harmonic.” As the website about the documentary explains, they are a “Paraguayan musical group of kids that live next to one of South America’s largest landfills. This unlikely orchestra plays music from instruments made entirely out of garbage.” Like this violin, made from paint cans, kitchen baking pans, wood from pallets, and a fork:
And this cello, also made from pallet wood and an old oil can:
Here’s video with an introduction, translated, from their leader, followed by tango music starting at about 2:45 in:
Two ways to do a good deed this weekend and leave your community a little cleaner – both happening this Saturday morning (June 4th):
SEAL SITTERS ‘SENTINELS OF THE SOUND’ CLEANUP AT ALKI: As first mentioned here almost two weeks ago, a very-low tide will enable Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network and friends to get out on Alki Beach for a 10 am-noon cleanup. Everybody’s welcome – find out more on the Seal Sitters website, and RSVP if you can, though Seal Sitters stress that you also are welcome to just show up.
ADMIRAL NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION ADOPT-A-STREET: Meet at 9 am at Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) in Admiral to be part of this quarterly cleanup. Incentive: Treats beforehand, sack lunch afterward – just spend a few hours helping clean up your community. The Admiral Neighborhood Association also invites you to its upcoming monthly meeting, says president Larry Wymer – Tuesday, June 14th, at 7 pm at The Sanctuary at Admiral (42nd SW/SW Lander), with the agenda featuring HALA (Housing Affordability and Livability).
In case you missed our original mention and are going to be in The Admiral District at midmorning tomorrow (Friday), a reminder that almost a thousand students will be there too, for the “Group Hug for The Admiral” event. As reported here last week, it’s a big photo op to commemorate the soon-to-start major renovations at the historic Admiral Theater, organized by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, which did the same thing for the Alki Homestead/Fir Lodge on the first Friday of June last year. SWSHS executive director Clay Eals says neighbors in the area all have received a notice; students will start arriving, on foot, around 9:30 am, from Alki, Lafayette, and Schmitz Park Elementary Schools. The ceremony/photo is set for 10 am; former mayors Norm Rice and Greg Nickels (an Admiral-area resident) are scheduled to speak to them briefly. No streets will be closed but a few parking spaces in front of the theater will be off-limits for the duration of the event.
(Click for full-size PDF version)
That map shows confirmed shots-fired incidents around the city so far this year. We obtained it from Mayor Ed Murray‘s office in connection with this afternoon’s announcement that the city is again seeking “acoustic gunshot detection.” This comes four years after his predecessor announced a plan to budget for a gunfire-detection system – a plan that never came to fruition. Back then, part of West Seattle was suggested as ripe for such a system; today’s announcement focused more on other areas of the city including South Park – you can see the map above includes clusters there and in North Delridge.
The mayor was joined by Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole in making the announcement on Gun Violence Awareness Day. The announcement also says he will “work with the Seattle City Council to require that all surplus firearms from the Seattle Police Department are only sold to other law enforcement agencies.”
Regarding the potential detection technology, the announcement says:
Gunshot locators actively listen for gunshots and detect the exact location where guns are fired. Unlike reports from nearby residents who may be uncertain, these systems’ advanced technology reliably report when and where the shots were fired. A video camera attached to the system is activated to capture the incident. Law enforcement authorities are notified immediately and a police officer can be dispatched to the vicinity without delay. …
A federal grant would pay for a pilot system, says the announcement, which you can read in its entirety here. It also says that while the number of confirmed shots-fired incidents to date this year is smaller than last year – 144 this year, 154 a year earlier – they’re deadlier, with five shooting deaths this year, two last year.
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has issued a Request for Proposals to gather interest from potential contractors who could construct the system. The city says the system would be paid for with a federal grant.
Thanks to the texter who tipped us about police with “armored vehicles” in the 8800 block of 14th SW. We got there just as they were wrapping up; turned out to be Bellevue Police again, saying they could only tell us they were “serving a warrant.” You might recall our report about BPD at another Highland Park location (9400 block of 9th SW) back in April; two days later, they announced that was linked to an “ID theft ring.” We just talked to BPD’s PIO and he said he does NOT believe this investigation is related to that one, but he can’t comment further than to say it was a “search warrant … safely completed” by Bellevue SWAT officers and “investigators.”
Five development/construction updates:
COMMENT TIME FOR 3856 21ST SW: Another West Seattle project going through “streamlined design review” has just opened for comment. According to the notice in today’s city Land Use Information Bulletin, you can comment through June 15th on a three-story, 2-unit townhouse building proposed for 3856 21st SW on Pigeon Point. The notice explains how to comment.
COMMENT TIME FOR 4505 23RD SW: This is another three-story, 2-unit townhouse building. This one, however, is not going through design review; it’s being built behind 4506 Delridge Way SW, where the existing structure will NOT be torn down, the city website says, but it’s open for comments on potential environmental effects, as the notice explains.
FORMAL APPLICATION FOR 5908 FAUNTLEROY WAY SW: We first reported last September that a six-townhouse “rowhouse” building is planned for this once-commercial site northeast of Morgan Junction:
The formal application has just been filed, so watch for an official notice soon.
BLOCKS AWAY, AT 6311 FAUNTLEROY WAY SW: Another “rowhouse” project, four units this time, is in the early stages for this site that currently holds a 72-year-old single-family house (but is zoned Lowrise 1).
4505 42ND SW UPDATE: NLB, who sent the original tip yesterday about site-clearing work for this Junction project, tweeted this video of the house coming down this morning:
— NLB (@g7on) June 2, 2016
As noted again in our update last night, this is a mixed-use project with residential units, commercial space, and lodging.
You’ve probably already heard it’s going to be very warm this weekend – but you should also know that the National Weather Service says it could get very *hot*. It’s issued a “special weather statement” warning that the hottest temperatures of the year are possible this weekend, maybe into the mid-90s.