West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Concerned about what can seem to be a “revolving door” for crime suspects? The guest at last night’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network offered some frank insight into it.
FROM THE PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE: Alex Voorhees, a senior prosecutor with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, was invited to offer insight into how the justice system works, and doesn’t work. She opened by explaining she’s worked in various units during her 14 years in the office. “One of the things I’m most proud about …is a program called CTI.” That dates back about a decade, when the late Norm Maleng, then KC Prosecutor, came up with a plan to tackle the fact that the county was among the nation’s top hotspots for vehicle theft. “We started working with a number of proactive law-enforcement groups around the county,” including Seattle Police. Participants had quarterly meetings and targeted suspects and cut the auto-theft rate in half. But, she said, a lot has changed since then.
The KCPAO handles felonies throughout the county as well as misdemeanors from the unincorporated area. It includes these units:
Special Assault Unit
Domestic Violence Unit
Homicide and Violent Crimes Unit
Property Crimes Unit
When someone is arrested for a felony property crime, they appear in front of a District Court judge within 24 hours, and “an initial bond is set.” That calendar has dozens of suspects on it some days. “We send a prosecutor to that hearing, and in cases involving burglary and auto theft, we ask that people be held. I hear this frustration about revolving doors …” Read More
Several people have pointed out the traffic snarl caused by a section of northbound 35th Avenue SW being torn up between Avalon and Alaska, near West Seattle Stadium. There was no advance warning of, nor alert about, this, so we don’t know (yet) exactly what’s being done here nor whether it’s related to the almost-complete mixed-use project nearby. But unless a crew returns sometime tonight, this could still be in place tomorrow morning, so this is a heads-up that you might want to avoid the area while outbound, if you can.
We’ll check on it by 7 am for an update in our morning traffic coverage, so check for an update on whether it’s fixed by then.
FUGITIVE ARRESTED: What started as a Narcotics and Gang Unit “emphasis operation in South Park” last night wound up including the arrest of a fugitive wanted on a felony warrant from Oregon, according to SPD Blotter. The officers found a stolen pickup truck at 5th Ave. S. and S. Kenyon in South Park, then checked out a Jaguar parked nearby and found it “belonged to a wanted fugitive.” They “watched the vehicles until two men approached the vehicles and drove away. Detectives followed and SWAT officers made the stops at two separate locations. The stolen truck was stopped in the 5900 block of 1st Avenue South and the 35-year-old man was arrested for auto theft. Police stopped the Jaguar at 9th Avenue SW and SW Roxbury and arrested its 27-year-old driver, who had a felony fugitive warrant out of Oregon. Officers also recovered a loaded 9mm Glock handgun on the floorboard of the car. Detectives impounded both vehicles and booked both suspects into the King County Jail.”
Another stolen vehicle has been found, with a WSB reader’s help:
TRUCK FOUND: We reported on Sunday about the theft of Caleb’s truck. As noted in the comment section, Adam spotted it on Pigeon Point, reported it police, and mentioned it here. Caleb’s friend, who had sent in the report, confirmed it was recovered.
And a Crime Watch reader report today:
READER REPORT: Anonymous message: “Car prowl last night (in the 8800 block of) 36th Ave SW. Took a green wallet with all my credit cards, ID, etc. Police report done, but wanted neighbors to be aware. (Wallet fell out of my purse, apparently.)”
3:05 PM: Almost 24 hours to the moment after the 3-alarm Lam Bow Apartments fire broke out in Delridge, more than a dozen people from the Seattle Police and Fire Departments and Seattle Housing Authority stood behind Mayor Ed Murray, Fire Chief Harold Scoggins, and Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole at City Hall, as they announced honors for heroes.
“These public servants saved a lot of lives,” said the mayor. At the top of the story is our phone video of what he and the chiefs said; we have more to add, including photos, names, and our conversation afterward with SHA’s Thaddeus Perry, who was working on a project in the main office when a tenant came running in yelling, “Fire, fire, fire” – he rushed into the building to get people out.
4:23 PM: Here’s SHA employee Perry, at center:
He told us he just started working for SHA in the West Seattle area – assigned to several buildings/complexes including Lam Bow – as of about two weeks ago. After he ran into the building and discovered a “barrage” of smoke on the 3rd floor, he was soon joined by SPD Sgt. Britt and they went up and down the hallway, “banging on doors,” to tell people to get out. They all did, and as SFD said yesterday, everyone escaped without injury.
4:55 PM: Here are the names of the SPD personnel who were honored:
Sgt. Jim Britt
Officer Aaron Briggs
Officer Nick Meyst
Officer Garth Lindelef
Officer Nick Burk
Officer German Barreto
Officer Sandro Fleming
Officer Ryan Levens
Officer Jack Johns
1:28 PM: Here’s what’s happening so far today in the aftermath of the 3-alarm fire that displaced almost 50 people at the Lam Bow Apartments at 6955 Delridge Way SW (our Tuesday afternoon-through-evening coverage is here):
*Seattle Fire remains on “fire watch” at the site, in case of hotspots. We stopped by the scene this morning and that’s when the photos in this update were taken.
*No cause announced yet, but SFD spokesperson Lt. Harold Webb tells WSB the information should be available before day’s end.
For everyone asking how to help the 47 people who are unable to return to their apartments:
*The Red Cross will have a shelter again tonight for residents who need it, at the Delridge Community Center. But a spokesperson tells us, “In terms of tangible needs, we have not heard any reports of unmet needs in the shelter.”
*They and the Seattle Housing Authority, which owns the Lam Bow, have not heard yet of organized donation drives, nor of a specific request for specific items.
*A commenter says Sanislo Elementary is organizing a food drive for two families. We’re awaiting details on that. (Today was a 2-hour-early dismissal day for Seattle Public Schools, so don’t go to the school now.) 6:24 PM UPDATE: They’re collecting items during tomorrow night’s Multicultural Potluck, as explained here.
*This afternoon at City Hall, the mayor, police chief, and SHA director will “formally recognize the heroic efforts of Seattle Police Department and Seattle Housing Authority personnel in responding to yesterday’s apartment fire.” We will be covering that separately.
More updates as we get information. For everyone who wants to help, please keep in mind that those who lost their homes and belongings will be affected for a long time, and it might take a while for “how best to help” to emerge, so be patient and keep that good energy going until we hear where best to apply it.
2:18 PM: We’re at City Hall for the aforementioned recognition event and have talked to the Seattle Housing Authority rep, Kerry Coughlin, who’s here. She said the Fire Department has just turned the damaged building – one of two that comprise the Lam Bow – to them, and they’re boarding it up; a long list of inspections and assessments is ahead. They’re also continuing to work, she confirms, on organizing a list of needs and who can coordinate donations.
3:02 PM: SHA director Andrew Lofton elaborated on that during Q&A after the ceremony. He said that they are working to identify a fiscal agent for donations, among other things, and hope to have some news on that “within 48 hours.”
6:25 PM: There’s lots of coordination going on between people who are trying to organize ways to help and we’re expecting to have a clearer picture tomorrow (Thursday).
(WSB file photo of The Kenney)
Tomorrow (Thursday) night, the retirement center at 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW is hosting a “community meeting” announced earlier this month with this description: “We want you to hear about changes that have taken place in our community over the last 18 months and to share with you some of our plans for the future.”
The meeting’s been listed in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar a while. In the past few days, The Kenney has distributed hard-copy invitations to nearby residents, prompting several to contact us about it.
This morning, we talked with Larry Foss, The Kenney’s executive director, to find out more about those “future plans.” First, we checked online files, and the only thing that’s in the city-permit system is for what he called some “internal renovations.” But, Foss said, there’s one potential project they’re considering, and want to talk with neighbors about: “Increasing the amount of independent senior housing” on The Kenney’s campus.
Right now, the “independent” housing on site is at the Ballymena Apartments on the west side of The Kenney. Foss says that 34-unit building has a waiting list, so that’s why they want to talk with neighbors as a “first step” toward a possible expansion. (In the original circa-2008 Kenney expansion plan, that building was to be demolished and new apartments were to be built around the campus. But The Kenney has gone through a lot of changes since then, including adding a memory-care unit in 2012.)
He added that the meeting is also a chance for community members to learn more about Heritage. It’s at 6:30 pm Thursday (September 29th) in the community rooms on The Kenney’s lower level, all welcome.
ORIGINAL REPORT, 10:27 AM: After more than 80 years, West Seattle Hi-Yu – the last Seattle neighborhood organization with a traveling parade float – might be history.
Hi-Yu’s been pleading for community support and warning that it can’t continue without some emerging.
It apparently hasn’t, according to this announcement that just arrived, which concludes with one last opportunity to get involved:
The newly elected West Seattle Hi-Yu, Inc. officers on the board have decided to not have the Hi-Yu float go to the Issaquah Salmon Days parade on Oct. 1st and discontinue attending the Fauntleroy Fall Festival and Alaska Junction Fall festival and not have any of the Jr. Court, Teen Ambassador or Sr. court scholarship programs this upcoming year.
Due to the lack of volunteers and West Seattle community and business financial support, the West Seattle Hi-Yu, Inc. will be taking a break from all activities for a year or more to reorganize.
Unless there is a lot of community support the West Seattle Hi-Yu Summer Festival will have had its final year ending on Sept. 30, 2016, after 82 years of existence,
The archives of West Seattle Hi-Yu, Inc. history will be turned over to the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.
Thanks to all of the past Hi-Yu volunteers and court members for their involvement over the years. The scholarship programs will be discontinued. We know the experiences have been beneficial to those who have participated in the various community events and parades over the years.
We wish the best to the reorganizing team.
Jay Murray, West Seattle Hi-Yu president 2014-2016
Joanne Murray, West Seattle Hi-Yu historian, 2014-2016
The next meeting will be on Monday Oct. 3, 2016 at the West Seattle Library in the Admiral district at 7 pm in the community room on the lower level. If you are interested in the future of West Seattle Hi-Yu, come to the meeting and voice your opinion.
ADDED 1:32 PM: As discussed in comments, Hi-Yu does NOT produce the summer parade. But the reorganization could have effects on it. Here’s a statement we just received from Michelle Edwards on behalf of the parade committee:
Despite the possible reorganization of West Seattle Hi-Yu, the West Seattle Grand Parade will continue to be produced by the West Seattle Rotary Club Foundation and will be held on July 22nd, 2017 at 11am. The only impact to the West Seattle Grand Parade will be the possibility of losing visiting festival parade floats and entries, as there will no longer be a West Seattle float attending festivals around the region. This impact will be addressed by the West Seattle Parade Committee in 2017. We wish the best to the West Seattle Hi-Yu team. – West Seattle Parade Committee
Five possibilities for your Wednesday:
CAREGIVER SUPPORT GROUP: 3 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle, caregivers are invited to come “share your challenges, frustrations, successes with other caregivers.” More in our calendar listing. (SW Oregon/California SW)
FARM-STAND FINALE: 4-7 pm today, it’s the last day of the season for the High Point Market Garden Farm Stand, fresh produce sold steps from where it was grown and harvested. (32nd SW/SW Juneau)
HIGHLAND PARK ACTION COMMITTEE: 7 pm at Highland Park Improvement Club, HPAC is back for the fall monthly-meeting season. Lots to talk about – see for yourself here. (12th SW/SW Holden)
MUSIC OF JERRY GARCIA: That’s what you’ll hear from tonight’s featured band at Parliament Tavern in The Admiral District, 9 pm. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
MORE! on our days-and-weeks-at-a-scroll WSB West Seattle Event Calendar page.
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
7:25 AM: No incidents to report so far this morning, in West Seattle or on the major outbound routes from here.
*West Seattle Bridge west-end closure 12-9 am Saturday to replace damaged jersey barriers
8:02 AM: Trouble on northbound I-5 – a medic response in the Convention Center area. Left two lanes are blocked, according to WSDOT.
8:16 AM: That scene is reported to be almost fully blocked. And you know how morning NB I-5 backups compound quickly. So if you’re heading out soon, we’d advise not trying to get onto NB I-5 for a while.
8:47 AM: The NB I-5 crash scene is now down to one lane blocked. The backup, of course, will take a while to ease.
10:33 AM NOTE: We checked the Admiral Way project zone a bit earlier this morning – no signs of crews yet – we’ll check back later.