West Seattle, Washington
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:34 AM: Good morning! So far, no incidents in/through/from West Seattle. Reminder for tonight:
OVERNIGHT BRIDGE CLOSURE STARTS LATER: The ongoing closures of the west end of the bridge start later if a major event is expected to have a certain level of attendance, and that’s the case tonight because of the big Copa America Centenario soccer game downtown. Tonight’s closure is scheduled for 11 pm-5 am. (If you haven’t been on the westbound bridge on a late night during the closures, it means you will have to exit at Delridge.)
It’s been more than a month since the Southwest Design Review Board met – but a project has just turned up on their calendar: The third review for 9021 17th SW is tentatively set for July 21st, six months after the second one (official city report here). The plan is still for a 32-apartment building with 32 offstreet parking spaces; its new design doesn’t seem to be in the city’s online system yet.
7:05 PM: If you’re interested in tonight’s Boundary Review Board hearing – the next major step in Seattle’s proposal to annex White Center and vicinity – but couldn’t be there, we wanted to let you know we’re chronicling it live on partner site White Center Now – just go here.
9:36 PM: The first night of the hearing is over; more people are on the list to testify, and that will resume at 7 pm Tuesday. When everyone who wants to speak has spoken, the board will deliberate; if that’s not done within a few hours tomorrow, the board also has set aside Thursday as a potential third night.
(WSB photo, Sunday afternoon)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 4:07 PM: Less than 24 hours after West Seattleite Sam Samaniego and her wife put up that banner at the Alki Statue of Liberty expressing condolences for the Orlando massacre and inviting people to sign it – as reported here on Sunday afternoon – it’s gone:
We went by at midday and thought maybe Sam had removed it – but she said it wasn’t her. So we asked Seattle Parks if their crew had for some reason removed it – as has happened on occasion in the past (though, in this 2013 incident, with warning). Spokesperson Dewey Potter just responded to say yes: “The crew removed it after receiving complaints.” She added that Sam would be able to retrieve it.
6:01 PM UPDATE: Parks has just tweeted that “removing the banner was an error and it will be replaced in the AM.”
8:33 AM TUESDAY: Heather tweeted this photo showing the signature section of the banner is back, but not the sash:
— Heather Campbell (@RealLowVibe) June 14, 2016
We were just about to head down to Alki to follow up, and were already planning to check with Parks.
Thanks to Matt for the tip via Twitter. West Seattle no longer has a 24-hour-a-day QFC supermarket. Orange flyers on the Junction QFC doors announced that as of yesterday, the store’s hours are 5 am-midnight; same hours are posted at the Westwood QFC. Too late in the day for us to reach their corporate spokesfolk now, but we’ll be asking tomorrow; at least one other store in the region cut overnight hours in the past year. West Seattle still has other around-the-clock grocery stores, including Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) and the Safeways.
(September 2015 photo by Cameron Harris, USA Baseball, used with permission)
Thanks to everyone who tipped us that the Seattle Mariners‘ recent draft picks included West Seattle High School standout Morgan McCullough, seen above in a photo from last fall, when he was on the USA National team that won the world title in Osaka. The Mariners chose McCullough in the 33rd round. Before publishing that news, we checked with his mom Jane Muxen McCullough, to ask about his plans, since WSHS had celebrated his signing with the University of Oregon just last fall. She tells WSB, “Although he is proud and honored to be drafted, months ago Morgan decided he planned on going to college and communicated as much to the MLB. After graduation, he will play for the Cowlitz Black Bears and then head to the University of Oregon in August.”
SIDE NOTE: Tipster Mark also points out that the most recent WSHS star drafted by the M’s, Sam Hellinger in 2013, continued with his college plans too and now plays for Gonzaga.
With three of Seattle Public Schools‘ “international schools” in this area, the program’s future is of great interest. The district has a task force studying it right now; its recent community meeting at Chief Sealth International High School wasn’t widely publicized, but another one has been scheduled, this time at Concord International (Elementary) in South Park, 6-7 pm June 20th (one week from tonight). This flyer has full details. The district says Mandarin, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese interpretation will be provided.
10:03 AM: Thanks for the tips about a big police response at Cal-Mor Circle in the 6400 block of California SW. Officers responded to a report of a gunshot in the building. No reports about any victim(s) so far. But SPD confirms SWAT is being called out. We are at the scene and working to find out more.
10:16 AM: Some of the building’s residents have been evacuated. Also, police are closing off the California/Fauntleroy intersection.
10:29 AM: Avoid the area – California is blocked off between Holly and Graham, Fauntleroy about one block each side of California, and the side streets you’ll be detoured onto are mostly one lane because of parking on both sides.
By the way, if you’re seeing/hearing the helicopter, it’s TV, not law enforcement.
10:42 AM: To be clear (in response to questions in comments), there is no one “on the loose” or being sought here. Police have confirmed that the person they are focused on, who they believe fired a shot, and who they’ve apparently had contact with before, is in his apartment. Again, please stay away from California/Fauntleroy because police have it blocked off until this is resolved.
10:57 AM: The person is in custody. The roads will be reopened shortly. No injuries reported.
11:18 AM: Bus reroutes (128, C Line) also lifted. We’re still at the scene waiting to ask police a few more questions.
11:23 AM: The person who was taken into custody will be taken to Harborview Medical Center to be evaluated. Meantime, the building’s residents are being allowed back into their apartments. We don’t know yet if a gun was found.
1:44 PM: We just checked back with SPD. So far, no gun or related evidence found, but the incident “remains under investigation.” (Also, we’ve added a few more of our photos from this morning.)
(Cedar Waxwing, photographed by Mark Wangerin)
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar for today/tonight:
BLOOD DRIVE: Peace Lutheran Church in Gatewood was already planning to host a BloodWorks Northwest mobile donation drive, and it’s sadly all the more timely, as BWNW has answered a call from Orlando and needs to replenish local supplies. The van is there 1-7 pm, closed 3-4 pm for a break. (39th/Thistle)
WSHS CHEER FUNDRAISER AT TALARICO’S: A portion of tonight’s proceeds at newly remodeled Talarico’s Pizza go toward the West Seattle High School cheer squad, for uniforms and camp. 5-10 pm. (4718 California SW)
NORTH DELRIDGE NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL IN THE PARK: This time of year, NDNC meets outdoors when it can, and that starts tonight, 6:30 pm, at Dragonfly Pavilion:
Please join us for our monthly meeting of the North Delridge Neighborhood Council as we kick off our annual Summer in our Parks series.
1) Focus Group on our SPD Micro-Policing Plan with Jennifer Burbridge
2) Meet the new Director of DESC’s Cottage Grove Commons, Colin Fournier-Maloney
3) Development in North Delridge
4) “Put the Arts in Parks” — Learn more from Brian Judd, Seattle Parks & Recreation
5) And learn about other events happening around Delridge this summer!
WHITE CENTER ANNEXATION? The next major step toward whether Seattle annexes White Center and vicinity starts with the King County Boundary Review Board’s public hearing tonight and tomorrow at Bethaday Community Learning Space in Dick Thurnau Memorial Park. Speaker signups at 6:30, hearing begins at 7, previewed on our partner site White Center Now. (605 SW 108th)
EVENING BOOK GROUP #1: 6:45 pm at Southwest Library. This month’s title is “Just Kids” by Patti Smith. (35th SW/SW Henderson)
EVENING BOOK GROUP #2: 6:45 pm at West Seattle (Admiral) Library. This month’s title is “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven” by Sherman Alexie. (2306 42nd SW)
SEE OUR COMPLETE CALENDAR here, for more of what’s up today/tonight/beyond!
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:33 AM: Good morning. No incidents to report so far in/from West Seattle.
BRIDGE CLOSURES CONTINUE: Again tonight, the west end of the West Seattle Bridge will close 9 pm-5 am for the Fauntleroy Expressway seismic-safety project. As announced last week, the closures start later Tuesday and Thursday nights.
VIADUCT CLOSURE NEXT SATURDAY: Early reminder that the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon is next Saturday (June 18th), and that means road closures including the northbound Alaskan Way Viaduct from 4 am-10:30 am.
From the website of Bloodworks Northwest, the regional blood bank: “Our inventory has been low in the past few weeks, yet we have shipped blood components to OneBlood, the blood center in Florida, in response to their emergency appeal. We have now been notified that their immediate needs for blood have been satisfied as a result of additional shipments from us and others.” But that means Bloodworks NW needs to replenish the local supply, and if you can donate, there happens to be a blood drive already scheduled for tomorrow in West Seattle, 1-7 pm at Peace Lutheran Church in Gatewood (39th/Thistle) – more information in our calendar listing.
For five years, OutWest Bar has been West Seattle’s only LGBTQ bar. Today, after news of the massacre at LGBTQ nightclub Pulse in Orlando, OutWest opened its doors early; a small table outside holds a card and flowers, with messages of sympathy and solidarity.
The Alki Statue of Liberty has long been a place to gather, a place for tributes, and today it becomes that again: Sam Samaniego decided to make a sash for Lady Liberty, as a show of love in the wake of this morning’s Orlando massacre. It’s inscribed ‘From Our Coast to Yours’ and as we write, they’ve added a banner along the base that you’re invited to sign:
Sam says she’ll of course be sending the banner to Florida – but before then, she sees power in the photographs people will take, and hopes that they’re seen in Orlando so people there know people here care:
15 years ago, Alki’s mini Statue of Liberty became a gathering place to mourn the 9/11 victims, and five years ago, it drew hundreds for a tribute on the 10th anniversary of the attack.
‘PEACE TO ORLANDO AND EVERYWHERE’: On a fence in West Seattle, photographed by a reader:
BANNER PLANNED: In a comment on our earlier report of the mayor’s statement about the Orlando massacre, Sam announced plans for a support banner at Alki Statue of Liberty around 3:30 pm this afternoon.
Artists, music, barbecue, and drinks, outside Ola and Duos in the 2900 block of SW Avalon Way, until 4 pm.
ADDED 3:15 PM: A card and flowers are outside OutWest Bar (California/Brandon).
10:44 AM: If you’re wondering about the big Seattle Fire response at Fauntleroy Church right now: It is categorized as an automatic fire alarm. Scanner reports indicate sprinklers went off, possibly because of an electrical fire. We are en route to find out more.
10:56 AM: Church member Peter Yanacek, who also posted this in comments, says the fire was in the library, and happened during the Music Sunday service; everyone is reported to be safe outside.
SFD has dispatched its investigator. Our photographer just called in and said the sprinklers discharged “a lot of water,” according to SFD, so that will require cleanup.
11:06 AM: Church attendees are being allowed back in to get their personal items. The church also has put out a call for wet-dry/shop-type vacs that they could use with the cleanup. The co-housed Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor) is closed, we’re told, for water cleanup, and they don’t yet know if they’ll reopen later today.
3:33 PM: Rev. Leah Atkinson Bilinski sent this to her church’s congregation:
This morning, during our worship service, we experienced a small fire in our fourth floor library. The fire was accidentally caused by a child (who was not physically harmed, but who is quite emotionally upset). The sprinkler system worked as it should, and the fire was contained to a very small area within the library.
Water did soak walls and flooring on the fourth floor outside the library, office floor below (outside of offices), lobby, and one bathroom in the narthex as it came through the ceiling.
A big thank you to all of our volunteers who jumped right to work cleaning up what water we could before the professionals arrived this afternoon. Bless you, bless you, bless you!
Our annual meeting will be rescheduled and we will be in touch with that new date within the next few days. If pieces of Music Sunday are able to rescheduled, we’ll also let you know that.
The fire was small, and we are a strong, healthy church. All will be well!
As we rejoice in that wellness, let us remember to pray today for those who are not well, notably those involved in the horribly tragic loss of life in Orlando. Let us pray for those lost, their families, LGBTQ families everywhere and a world in which so much hate still exists and is allowed to fester.
And to those prayers, I ask a smaller, but special additional prayer — for one very scared child and her family today, who need to know us as their church family. Love is so powerful, and I thank God for a church that loves well and adds love to a world in such desperate need of it.
5:28 PM: We stopped by a short time ago. The water cleanup continues:
A professional cleanup crew is on site now, but Rev. Bilinski says they are thankful for the many volunteers who pitched in earlier today.
5:42 PM: The Fauntleroy Y will reopen tomorrow.
After this morning’s Orlando massacre, Mayor Ed Murray has sent a statement including a note that “Seattle Police Department has increased security for Pride events and other large gatherings”:
Mayor Edward Murray made the following statement today regarding the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando early Sunday morning:
“Americans woke up this morning with the all-too-familiar feeling of incomprehension at another act of mass violence, and LGBTQ Americans awoke with the sickening, all-too-familiar feeling of fear that our community has once again been attacked.
“Words cannot adequately encompass the feelings of grief I am feeling for the loss of so many of our LGBTQ and allied brothers and sisters in Orlando during the largest single act of violence against LGBTQ people in United States history. For too long, our community has been the target of violence throughout the world. It will never make sense to me that love is met with such hate.
“On behalf of the people of the City of Seattle, my heart and my thoughts go out to those whose lives were forever changed by the events last night. Today our community draws closer to one another for comfort, support and healing, and to honor those who were tragically lost.”
Murray will speak to the Seattle LGBTQ community at a candlelight vigil at 8:00 pm at Cal Anderson Park this evening.
Murray said that all SPD officers have received substantial active shooter training, and the Seattle Police Department has increased security for Pride events and other large gatherings.
He has ordered the flags at City Hall to be lowered to half-staff.
TRANSPORTATION NOTES: Washington State Ferries‘ summer schedule takes effect today, continuing through September 17th – find it here. Meantime, another week of overnight closures begins tonight on the west end of the West Seattle Bridge, 9 pm-5 am. And remember that the closures will start later next Tuesday and Thursday nights.
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm in The Junction. You never know what you’ll find – but last week, we noticed an abundance of strawberries, lettuce … and buskers! (California SW between SW Oregon and SW Alaska)
LUNA PARK STREET MARKET: At Duos Lounge (2940 SW Avalon Way) and Ola Salon (2942 SW Avalon Way) in the Luna Park business district, a full day of fun – music, art, drinks, barbecue more – benefiting the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and Seattle PrideFest. 11 am-4 pm, all ages.
COLMAN POOL: Another preseason Sunday for the outdoor pool on the shore of Lincoln Park – swim sessions noon-7 pm; see the schedule breakdown here. (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW)
KITTY HARBOR: Open for adoptions, noon-4 pm, second day of opening weekend. (3422 Harbor Avenue SW)
RETIREMENT CELEBRATION @ WEST SIDE PRESBYTERIAN: As previewed here, West Side Presbyterian Church invites you to an open-house celebration 1-4 pm (program at 2) in honor of longtime pastor Dr. Paul Smith. (3601 California SW)
SUNDAY FUNDAY: The Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s first “Sunday FUNday” is for the whole family – 1-3 pm at the Log House Museum, “family-focused history activities, including arts and crafts, story time and refreshments.” Here’s a SWSHS volunteer inviting you to be there:
You’re also invited to the museum for its regular hours, noon-4 pm, and it’s the final day of the Ivar Haglund exhibit. (61st/Stevens)
CHORAL CONCERT: 1 pm at Providence Mount St. Vincent‘s chapel, the NORCO College Choir performs a free concert. (4831 35th SW)
SILVER LINING: “Neo-retro” duo performs at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 3-5 pm. (5612 California SW)
PREVIEW NEXT WEEK, and beyond, via our complete calendar!
Two incident reports from readers – first, from Libby:
(Saturday) at 1:45 pm, my husband, kids, and I were merging onto I-5 south from the West Seattle Bridge. We were in the merging lane when, seemingly out of nowhere, we saw a giant wooden doghouse fly out of the back of a navy blue pickup truck and bounce onto the freeway. The body of the house bounced up 8 feet into the air and then landed behind a semi truck in the middle lanes while the roof flew onto the freeway directly in front of our car. My husband attempted to swerve to avoid it but did not want to risk getting hit by oncoming traffic in other lane so was ultimately forced to drive right over the structure which caused tremendous damage to our white Subaru Outback. We pulled over at the next exit (Michigan exit) to call 911 about the debris and the possible aftermath. We were told a state trooper would call us back to get a statement. As of (late Saturday night), no call has come our way.
We never got a license plate of the driver of the truck and would like to know if anyone else witnessed this. It happened in just seconds and we weren’t fast enough to grab plates. There were several cars behind us coming off of the West Seattle bridge to merge onto I-5 south and if anyone at all has any information we would so appreciate it.
We can be reached at 206-782-9671 call/text (Jay) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Highland Park resident here, wanted to shoot you guys a heads-up about a weird hit and run outside our home to our two cars on 13th between Elmgrove and Kenyon – one car had the side mirror removed (no other damage, and the mirror is nowhere to be found, so whomever removed the darn thing either ACTUALLY removed it, or hit it and cleaned up after themselves), and the other car was hit with such force it shoved the rear wheels up onto the curb. No other vehicles on the road seem to be damaged, but there’s suspiciously little debris in the street. No bueno.
That was reported on Saturday morning.
No helicopters at this earthquake drill – it was all about the people. Neighborhood Emergency Communication Hubs around the city “activated” today, including the one behind Neighborhood House’s High Point Center.
We previewed this one earlier in the week – “citizen actors” were sought to help, and organizers tell us more than 70 volunteers showed up. But it wasn’t the stereotypical drill where volunteers were splayed out on the grass hamming it up, pretending to be hurt – in this case, they were asked to show up with a specific request for information or help, and work their way through the hub setup. In some cases, they were assessed for the skills they could offer:
That’s Lynda, who has first-aid skills and multiple language skills – both of which would be useful in case of catastrophe. And of course, there was a radio tent too:
The High Point hub was in communication with other hubs around the city, as would happen in a real disaster. The hubs are meant to be places where neighbors can help neighbors, knowing that if something major happened, the official rescuers would be stretched too thin to come to the rescue immediately, if ever.
So be sure to know where your nearest hub is (see the map above) – just in case. And if there’s not one near you, consider volunteering to organize one – West Seattle’s newest hub, by Hope Lutheran in The Junction, had an info-table today just to start raising awareness:
The Seattle Police Department is now accepting applications for the 2016 fall SPD Community Police Academy. The Academy will start on Thursday, September 8th and will meet once a week for eleven consecutive Thursday evenings, 5:30 – 9:30 pm, ending on Thursday, November 17th, 2016. Participation is free.
The Community Police Academy is an eleven-week program designed to educate community members about the operations of the Seattle Police Department, while also giving the Department an opportunity to obtain valuable feedback from the community. The purpose of the Community Police Academy is to increase understanding between the Seattle Police Department and the community members of Seattle through education and interaction.
Community participants will become familiar with various facets of the Seattle Police Department and gain insight into law enforcement’s role in the criminal justice system and the daily work of police employees. With increased understanding, Seattle’s community and police can work together and achieve realistic solutions to neighborhood problems relating to crime, fear of crime, and neighborhood decay. It is hoped that increasing community awareness will respond to some of the myths and images of law enforcement and provide a realistic view of police procedures.
If you are interested in applying, please go here. When filling out the application, please include a copy of your Driver’s License. Space is limited and applications are processed on a first come, first serve basis. The application deadline is Friday, July 29, 2016.
To apply, you have to be at least 18 years old.
If you went to the overlook at Jack Block Park expecting to see nonstop activity during today’s aerial-rescue drill, you would have been disappointed. But every so often, helicopters did take off – during the span of about half an hour, we saw the military chopper above, as well as the Airlift Northwest medevac helicopter below:
On the otherwise mostly empty expanse of T-5 – popular with drills since it’s closed as a cargo terminal while the port prepares to expand its facilities and capabilities – land-based emergency vehicles were in view, including a Seattle Police Mobile Precinct larger than the van-style one based at the Southwest Precinct.
Seattle Fire led today’s drill and tweeted a photo of the big show (which came after we had already left to check out the Myers/Olson car flip) – rescuers hoisted on a platform:
Air platform used to transport rescuers including search dogs during regional drill at Terminal 5. pic.twitter.com/yzNwq0wjfC
— Seattle Fire Dept (@SeattleFire) June 11, 2016
(You might also have seen some of the aerial activity in southeast West Seattle – while covering the aforementioned crash, we spotted the same military helicopter over SFD’s Joint Training Facility.) This was part of Cascadia Rising, the weeklong regional drill – years in the planning – practicing scenarios based on the 9.0 megaquake that scientists think will hit someday.
This morning we also stopped by the grass-roots Emergency Communication Hubs drill that happened citywide, including a West Seattle location, and that report’s coming up.
(WSB photo, July 2012)
Whenever you see an otter in West Seattle – it’s a river otter, not a sea otter, even if you see it splashing and diving in saltwater Puget Sound. Here’s how to do more than just gawk at them:
Woodland Park Zoo is reaching out to the community to become otter spotters to help collect information on North American river otters, which are virtually unstudied in Washington waters.
Anyone can participate in the new community science project and become an otter spotter. Information and an otter spotter form can be found at www.zoo.org/conservation/otterspotter. Otter spotter tips and etiquette, and how to distinguish a river otter from a sea otter are included.
“This is a great opportunity for our community to get directly involved in science in our backyard. The more reports of sightings we can collect, the more data we’ll have on the range and behavior of river otters,” said Michelle Wainstein, Ph.D., a local ecologist and conservationist, and the field scientist for the project.
The zoo also is launching a new field study, River Otters of Western Washington: Sentinels of Ecological Health, which will focus on otter population biology and the contaminant loads in their scat along the length of the Green-Duwamish River. This river in particular traverses a diverse mosaic of habitats, including wildlands and parks; agricultural, industrial and residential areas; and the highly contaminated Lower Duwamish Waterway.
The Green River flows from undeveloped Washington wildlands through increasingly urbanized areas to become the Duwamish River—Seattle’s major industrial corridor since the early 1900s. According to Wainstein, river otters are an important species in aquatic ecosystems because they can serve as sentinels, telling us about the health of their local environment. Wainstein and the project team hope to determine if river otters are found along the entire 80-plus miles of this important waterway. …
North American river otters are amphibious members of the weasel family and live in water systems all over Washington state. Their habitat ranges over most of North America in coastal areas, estuaries, freshwater lakes, streams and rivers. Otters prey on what is readily available and easiest to catch, with a primary diet of fish, crayfish, amphibians and birds.
All otter species are considered threatened while five of the 13 species are endangered due to water pollution, overfishing of commercial stock and habitat destruction. …
Its spring-release celebration is part of today’s multi-venue “Spring at South” event on campus, inviting you to explore semi-hidden treasures including not only the NWWA but also the Seattle Chinese Garden, and nearby, the SSC Garden Center, where you’ll find frequent sales of student-grown and -propagated plants:
While the plant sale’s over for today (watch our calendar for the next one!), the SCG is having an open house until 5 pm, and the spring release/wine tasting event at NWWA continues until 7 pm, with tastings, appetizers, prepared by SSC’s much-lauded culinary program:
There’s also a food truck – Seattle Mamak, Malaysian street food – on the patio. And you can view art in the NW Wine Academy building and the Chan Education Center by the entrance to the Chinese Garden. SSC is at 6000 16th SW – use the northernmost entrance, which leads to a large parking lot, with NWWA toward its east side, the Chinese Garden on its north side.