West Seattle, Washington
Two items in West Seattle Crime Watch this morning, starting with this followup:
CHRISTMAS MORNING INCIDENT WAS STABBING, NOT SHOOTING: In the first hour of Christmas Day, we reported briefly on someone found at the Junction 7-11 with what medics initially described – in transmissions monitored via scanner – as two gunshot wounds. We were finally able to get followup information just now from Seattle Police. The report says it was eventually determined that the victim, 17 years old, had been stabbed, not shot. The original call was a report of a suspicious person outside the store, appearing high or drunk, “staring up at the sky.” The officer started talking to him, noticed blood on his hands, asked about it, and the response was that he punches walls when he gets mad. His hands, however, didn’t look injured; the officer then noticed the teen’s clothes were bloody, and eventually the victim lifted his shirt and the officer saw his wounds and called Seattle Fire. The victim overall was uncooperative, police say, including identifying himself with a name that actually was that of his brother. That name came up with a felony arrest warrant – and so did the victim – so he was going to be booked into juvenile detention once out of the hospital. How – and even where – he got stabbed remains a mystery; the 7-11 clerk said the victim had been in the store for a while about half an hour earlier and he didn’t notice anything wrong.
STOLEN SKATEBOARD: Kevin reports his son’s Christmas present was stolen “right in front of him” last night at Jack Block Park – this skateboard:
He sat his longboard down and walked over to his cousin. A car pulled up and a young man jumped out, grabbed his board and sped away. Two males, early twenties. Older white American sedan. The board is brand new and is made by Omen. If you know of a guy that has recently come into possession of a similar board…please let me know. 206-650-2214.
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, four ways to spend your between-holidays Thursday:
LOG HOUSE MUSEUM: Noon-4 pm, visit the home of West Seattle’s history, headquarters of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. (61st SW/SW Stevens)
‘STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS,’ FREE: 3 pm at West Seattle (Admiral) Library, all are welcome to the branch’s “family movie” screening of Episode VII. (2306 42nd SW)
HORSE AND TIGER: “A night of funky improv” at Parliament Tavern, 8 pm, 21+, no cover. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
THE W LOVERS: Live at Whisky West, 8 pm, 21+. (6451 California SW)
LOOKING AHEAD TO NEW YEAR’S EVE/DAY? Check the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide. And please let us know if you have something to add!
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
7:25 AM: Good morning! No incidents in/from West Seattle so far.
EARLY REMINDER: Since New Year’s Day, like Christmas, falls on a Sunday, next Monday is again the “observed” holiday. (School doesn’t resume until Tuesday.)
That’s a new 360-degree video shared by “Diver Laura” James – while the video is playing, you can grab and pull it with your cursor to look all around (provided your browser/device is compatible). She was experimenting “with the Samsung Gear 360 in a home-brew housing,” diving at Cove 2 by Seacrest Pier, a few days ago at dusk.
The agenda is out for next Wednesday’s Landmarks Preservation Board meeting, which will include consideration of the Hamm Building in the West Seattle Junction as a potential city landmark. The board will meet at 3:30 pm in the Boards and Commissions Room at City Hall downtown; if the estimated time for the agenda items before this nomination run as projected, it will be about an hour and 45 minutes until the board gets to this nomination (4:45 pm). The public is welcome, and there will be a time for public comments, which also can be sent via postal mail (this notice explains how). The Hamm Building is on the northwest corner of California/Alaska and is best known as home to businesses including Easy Street Records. From the 54-page nomination document, which you can see here, the “statement of significance”:
The Crescent-Hamm Building is a pivotal commercial building in West Seattle. Completed in 1926 during a decade of rampant growth, the building remains a familiar visual anchor at the center of “the Junction,” West Seattle’s most prosperous business district. It was designed by the prolific architect Victor W. Voorhees at the behest of W. T. Campbell, a highly successful local developer and community booster of the period. Although altered in minor ways, the building retains typical massing, spatial arrangements, and distinctive terracotta detail of a 1920s business block.
If the board gives its approval to the nomination, it would have at least one more meeting to consider formally designating the building as a landmark. Meantime, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society also is proposing landmark consideration for the Campbell Building on the northeast side of the same intersection; no date set yet for its consideration by the board.
From Admiral to Arbor Heights, four reports from the WSB inbox:
PACKAGE THEFT: Erika reports that this happened about 11:45 am today in the Fairmount Park area:
Please be on the lookout for a white, late model Tahoe or like-looking SUV. The driver-side back window was covered with a black tarp/plastic. The driver was white, male, ~30 yo, short/balding hair; I think he was wearing a dark jacket & white t-shirt. The passenger was white, female ~30 yo, dark, curly shoulder-length hair. Please call the police if you see this vehicle.
CHRISTMAS CAR PROWL: Melissa says this happened in Admiral last Sunday:
We had our car rummaged through early Christmas morning on 41st and Lander. No broken glass (must have accidentally left car unlocked) – nothing major stolen, just an emergency kit, a CD set and some snow chains. As far as we know, no one else on the street had their cars broken into.
IT HAPPENED ON CHRISTMAS NIGHT: A Delridge resident reports:
We live on SW 18th. My husband and I got home from dinner with our family (Sunday night) around 8 and found two strange cars parked in front of our house. Two men were sitting in the first car, (a green Jetta plate # AWG19–) with no lights on and this seemed odd so we went inside but watched from our house as they began smoking something off of tin foil through glass pipes. My husband went back outside and got license plate numbers for both cars and I called 911. I could clearly see them continuing to light up in the car while we waited for the police. One man got out and drove away in the second car, a dark blue sports car (plate number ANU3933) and drove off. The Jetta then backed into our car and drove away just as police arrived.
In a second note, the resident said the second car was listed by SPD as stolen. Then on Monday night, she says, “the guy came back in a different stolen car” (this one). They again called 911, but the man/car left before police arrived.
VANDAL IN ARBOR HEIGHTS: This happened Monday night:
I live in the Arbor Heights area. My husband left in our car, and shortly thereafter there came a knock on the door. I looked out and saw a man, probably in his early to mid-30s, with long curly hair and a ski cap. I did not open the door and asked him what he wanted. He said that his “GPS” was wrong; he was looking for his aunt’s house. He left on foot, and as he walked up my driveway he intentionally damaged one of our Christmas decorations. I ran up the driveway to see where he was going, and he turned around and saw me, and started back toward me. I ran into the house and called my husband, who returned home immediately. We saw him walk by our house again a few minutes later. I have called the police. Because he turned around and started back toward me, I feel that this guy is up to no good.
Today we welcome a new WSB sponsor – FitBody Solutions, two well-experienced Personal Trainers from the West Seattle area, Dave Williams and Rick Cavender. Here’s what they’d like you to know about their business:
You might remember these guys from a corporate gym in the area; Dave and Rick decided that it was time for change. The biggest reason was they left was to provide a better personal-training experience for their clients and the people of the West Seattle area.
The two of them combined have more than 15 years of experience, 25,000+ session hours, a 4-year degree in exercise science from WWU, and 10 certifications from different fitness organizations including NASM, NSCA, and NPTI.
At FitBody Solutions, their passion is to help change lives through fitness, by encouraging, motivating, and inspiring people to reach their fitness goals. With their guidance, they will hold you accountable and work with you, no matter what age or fitness level. From couch potato to 5k to ironman, they will get you where you want to be.
Here are things people are saying about FitBody Solutions:
“Incredibly knowledgeable, fun, caring”
“Will cure whatever ails you and help you achieve more than you think you can do”
“Best Trainers Ever, such great guys, they know their stuff”
“The best new personal training studio in West Seattle with awesome owners/trainers”
“Great workouts and great trainers, worth getting out of bed for”
Spend your mornings with Dave and Rick. Start the New Year off right at FitBody Solutions, offering 5 am, 6 am, or 7 am results-driven bootcamps on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Also at 9 am Saturday mornings. They offer a Senior Fitcamp at 10 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays to help older adults gain strength, balance, flexibility, and pain-free movement. There is something for everyone, so check them out at 1521 SW 98th.
We thank FitBody Solutions for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
As we continue spotlighting New Year’s Eve options from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide: Say goodbye 2016, hello 2017, neighborhood style, as Highland Park Improvement Club welcomes you again this year for the Not-So-Silent Night Parade and Corner Bar.
Even if you plan to be somewhere else at midnight, join HPIC for the early going, especially the parade – bring noisemakers, drums, lights, and continue the tradition! Full details are on the HPIC website. (One change this year, by the way … the brief, fiery Sage Comet display that usually follows the parade is on hiatus.)
As Seattle City Light continues getting ready for “advanced metering” (explained here), it’s installing taller utility poles in some neighborhoods. The work plan for next month has just been announced, including three West Seattle areas:
From the City Light announcement we received:
Seattle City Light is continuing to support Advanced Metering services throughout the utility’s service territory by replacing existing utility poles with taller poles, which will host wireless utility data collection equipment. The new poles will be 70 feet tall, which is about 20 feet taller than the existing poles.
From the fliers [that will be distributed to neighbors]:
· This project is part of the communications network to support Advanced Metering, which will automate meter reading and enable enhanced services.
· There are no maintenance power outages planned for this work. Some traffic and parking impacts are expected in the immediate work areas. Crews will be careful to maintain access to driveways.
· Daily work hours are from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In most instances, the work to transfer existing equipment and install the data collection equipment can be completed in one day.
If you have questions about the pole installation and/or “advanced metering,” City Light says you can contact JoAnna Perley, Advanced Metering Deployment Manager, 206-733-9648 or email@example.com.
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
5:45 AM: Launching traffic watch earlier than usual because of a crash on the bridge. Thanks for the tips! SDOT says all westbound lanes are blocked on the Fauntleroy end and one eastbound lane. No injuries, apparently, because SFD was not dispatched. If you are headed WSB, Donna says, you’ll be detoured off at Admiral.
5:53 AM: This photo tweeted by @metpatrick22 shows a bus hitting the jersey barrier, and a car facing the wrong way toward screen right:
— Patrick kelly (@MetPatrick22) December 28, 2016
C Line and Route 21 are as a result of this routed off westbound Fauntleroy, Metro says.
6:02 AM: SDOT says one westbound lane has reopened. This camera view shows the bus being towed.
6:10 AM: All lanes have reopened, per SDOT. No other incidents working in or near West Seattle right now.
6:20 AM: We should mention again that the South Vashon ferry route (Tahlequah-Point Defiance) remains out of service, at least until Friday, so Fauntleroy terminal traffic will continue to be heavier.
9:04 AM: If you’ll be on southbound 99 on the north side of downtown today, be aware of this: “SDOT will close left lane of SB SR99 … today north of Battery St tunnel to Virginia St from 10 am-2 pm for rail work.”
9:56 PM: Thanks for the messages – stuck our head out the door and heard it too. Fireworks of some kind? We’re checking.
10 PM: At least one person who saw them from north West Seattle says they were visible in the north.
Tonight, the Harbour Public House is celebrating their 25th anniversary and has been issued a permit for a public fireworks display. The display will begin around 9:45 pm and last 5-8 minutes. The display will be launched from a barge in Eagle Harbor, similar to the 4th of July show, but much smaller. A safety zone has been set up around the barge.
10:09 PM: Corrected the spelling – the restaurant spells its name Harbour Public House. (While it’s 25 years old, it’s in a building with a much-longer history.)
Thanks to Kathleen for the tip – a power outage at the bottom of the Highland Park Way hill is affecting the West Marginal Way/Highland Park Way intersection. She says City Light and Seattle Police are there. The SCL outage map shows only nine “customers” out, on the south side of the intersection, but in that area, one customer can represent a sizable business facility. The map attributes the outage to “equipment failure.”
Though the Southern Resident Killer Whales were declared an endangered species in 2005, they’re not recovering, the federal government acknowledges, saying that the population “remains small and vulnerable and has not had a net increase in abundance since the mid-1980s.” The three pods together now number just 79 after J34’s death last week in British Columbia. Tonight, West Seattle was one of three locations where people concerned about the iconic orcas held vigils. More than 25 people gathered by Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza, with flowers and candles in memory of and tribute to the resident orcas lost this year.
The vigil was organized “in solidarity with” one held by the Orca Network at the same time at the Langley Whale Center on Whidbey Island; another was planned in the San Juans.
Following up on one of the incidents we covered right before Christmas weekend:
Three suspects remain in jail in connection with what happened at the Junction 7-11 last Thursday night, and probable-cause documents say they are the ones who told police where they were.
The suspects are a 29-year-old Puget Ridge man, a 30-year-old Rainier Valley man, and a 33-year-old Delridge man.
Police first responded to a report of a fight at the store, and were told the people involved had left in a white car. The 53-year-old man on duty at the 7-11 told police he recognized them as previous shoplifters and told them to leave, but they didn’t. They picked up “several items,” he said, and walked toward the door, which he was blocking. They became argumentative, he said, then he and they went outside, where, he told police, they started hitting and kicking him, knocking him down, and leaving him with cuts and bruises on his face. He said they also stole his phone and about $100 cash he had in his pocket, and a witness told police they had hit his car as they left in theirs.
Meantime, the 30-year-old called 911 to report the incident, saying he was near the Bank of America at 41st and Alaska and wanted to talk to police. Officers found all three men there. The 30-year-old claimed the clerk had assaulted them, and that the phone theft was a mistake. The 33-year-old told police he had just gone into the store to use the ATM and that he had a job and didn’t need to steal.
All three were arrested, in part because of identification from a witness. They’re all being held for investigation of robbery and due back in court tomorrow afternoon, by which time we might find out about charges; the 33- and 30-year-old suspects’ bail is set at $10,000, while the 29-year-old is being held in lieu of $7,500 bail.
(SIDE NOTE: We have not yet been able to obtain the report on another incident at the same location, a man found outside the store early Sunday with gunshot wounds, but will continue trying tomorrow.)
Last week, we reported on SDOT’s online survey looking ahead to 2017 work on the much-used SW Thistle stairway east of Lincoln Park, and nine other stairways around the city. That led to a variety of questions, and today we have answers, thanks to a comment from, and followup e-mail exchanges with, project manager Greg Funk. First:
Funk sent those photos in response to our question about when it was built. While he hasn’t found the exact date, he says records show that it “was approved in May 1945” and that the photos show “the stairway was close to being done in February 1948.”
He also notes that the Thistle stairway includes historical materials: “The stairway is constructed of concrete slabs that used to be the base for the old streetcar, and the R/R tracks were cut up into sections for the rail posts and painted white. The slabs are stacked on top of each other with a brick spacer to give a roughly 6-7 inch rise.”
Since Funk’s comment mentions what sounds like extensive work – “The stairs will be updated so there will be more consistent run rise and upgraded rail on both sides” – we asked what will happen to those historical materials: “If we can, we will build over the existing stairway – it saves on disposal cost, and that’s the plan for this location. Old rail will be cut and scrapped.” (No lighting changes, he says, in case you were wondering.)
As for the project timeline and duration: “It will be closed for about 2-3 months; we have not set a date, but we want to try and be done before summer kicks in, as this is a heavily used stairway.” (Among those who use it – the project manager himself.)
P.S. He says that next year, they’ll get word out earlier about the stairway-work list for 2018 – you should see that list by next March. And if you haven’t responded to the stairway survey for 2017, it remains open through Friday.
The Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route will remain the only way to get to and from Vashon Island until Friday, according to the newest update from Washington State Ferries on the aftermath of the Christmas Eve incident that took the other Vashon route out of service:
The Point Defiance/Tahlequah route remains out of service through the morning of Friday, December 30 due to ongoing dock repair at the Point Defiance terminal. The damage to the dock occurred when the captain of the M/V Chetzemoka suffered a major medical emergency as the vessel was preparing to depart the Point Defiance ferry dock. The captain collapsed and hit the control panel as he fell, causing the vessel to break away from the dock and damage the dock apron (the articulated ramp at the end of the dock). No passengers on the Chetzemoka were injured, and the captain of the Chetzemoka is expected to make a full recovery. However, the damage to the dock is significant, and as a result, the Point Defiance/Tahlequah route is expected to remain out of service until December 30 while crews work around the clock to repair the apron.
Still making your plans for New Year’s Eve on Saturday night? From the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, here’s a party with a purpose:
“Exceptional artists and hilarious comics” are promised at The Skylark‘s big New Year’s Eve event, presented by RocksAnn Promotions, raising money for local musician Rachelle DeBelle‘s medical bills as she fights cervical cancer. It’s all ages 3-10 pm, and then a 21+ dance party. $10 suggested donation. Skylark is at 3803 Delridge Way SW.
While the bigger development projects get more attention (like the new Triangle proposal we discovered last week), more of the day-in, day-out proposals in city files are like these two:
7716 DELRIDGE WAY SW: From today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin, the 65-year-old house below is proposed to be replaced with six homes – four single-family houses and a two-unit townhouse building.
County records show the house’s 9,500-square-foot site is on the books as three lots, zoned Lowrise 1. The notice published today is formal announcement of your chance to comment on the application (here’s how) – deadline January 9th.
5015-5017 FAUNTLEROY WAY SW: These addresses are on one 8,200-square-foot lot zoned Lowrise 1, according to county records, currently housing a 67-year-old duplex to be replaced by seven 3-story homes:
The proposals for both sites are shown on the “site plan” in city files as a four-unit rowhouse building facing Fauntleroy, and three single-family houses behind it. The formal application is not on file yet – these are early-stage proposals.
If you’re off today, take some time to enjoy our area’s beauty – the snowcapped Olympics made an appearance this morning, and while it looks like clouds are creeping back over the peaks, at least we have James Bratsanos‘s photos capturing the view!
Meantime – highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
LEGO SPACE WARS @ THE LIBRARY: 2-4 pm, as previewed here yesterday, kids are invited to Southwest Library to build spaceships (and more) with Legos! Free; no registration required. (35th SW/SW Henderson)
CANDLELIGHT VIGIL FOR THE ORCAS: 4:45 pm, meet at Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza to remember and honor the Southern Resident Killer Whales lost this year. (61st SW/Alki Avenue SW)
WEST SEATTLE TOOL LIBRARY: Get ready for a project you’re planning in the New Year! Visit the Tool Library tonight, 5-8 pm on the northeast side of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. (4408 Delridge Way SW)
GET FIT, WEST SEATTLE! INFO NIGHT: 6:30 pm at West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor), come find out about the couch-to-half-marathon training program for beginners, with its next session starting early in the New Year. (2743 California SW)
Nothing from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide for today/tonight, but it has a growing section of New Year’s Eve/Day events – if yours isn’t there, let us know ASAP via firstname.lastname@example.org so we can add it – thanks!
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
7:02 AM: Good morning. While transit schedules are back to normal today, Metro has sent word – after the fact – of one West Seattle trip that didn’t happen:
Transit Alert – Route 37 to downtown Seattle due to leave SW Alaska St & 35 Av SW at 6:46 AM did not operate this morning.
— King County Metro (@kcmetrobus) December 27, 2016
Washington State Ferries’ south Vashon run (Tahlequah-Point Defiance) is still out of service, so Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth will likely be seeing heavier usage again today.
On the roads – no problems reported so far this morning.
With the Southern Resident Killer Whale population down to 79 after the death of J34 in B.C. waters last week, many who love our orcas continue to wonder what can they personally do – if anything – to try to help keep the endangered whales from dwindling to extinction. Donna Sandstrom, the West Seattleite who founded and leads The Whale Trail, shares these thoughts, republished with permission from TWT’s website:
Let the untimely death of this young whale inspire us to address the issues that are impacting these orcas: lack of salmon, toxin accumulations, and noise and stress from boats. It is not one of these things, but all.
A well-meaning and concerned public has been led to focus exclusively on bringing down the Snake River dams, as if that was the only or even the best thing we can do to help these whales.
Bringing down dams is a complex challenge that will take decades to accomplish. Meanwhile, these pods are disappearing before our eyes. There are plenty of things each and all of us can do *right now* to help.
Watch from Shore. Noise and stress from boats makes it harder for hungry whales to catch the fewer salmon that *are* there. The next time J, K, or L pods are near, find a Whale Trail site near you and watch them from shore. Know that by reducing sound in their environment, you are giving them a better chance to make it.
Support a Whale Protection Zone. Orca Relief and others have petitioned NOAA Fisheries to establish a protected zone for orcas on the west side of San Juan Island. Sign the petition now, and encourage NOAA to give the whales acoustic space in a critical part of their range.
Reduce Toxins. Living on the edge of the Sound, the choices we make in our daily lives have an impact on whether these whales will survive. Orcas are at the top of the ocean food chain. Toxins like PCBs, PBDEs and DDT bioaccumulate in orcas, stored in lipid cells like blubber and mother’s milk. When the orcas are stressed, the toxins may be released into their bloodstream, and make them more susceptible to diseases. Any actions we take to reduce toxins from entering Puget Sound is a win for the whales.
A few simple suggestions:
*Don’t use pesticides on your lawns. Plant a rain garden, or a native plant, to filter toxins and prevent them from entering the Sound as runoff.
*Walk or take the bus instead of driving once a week, and reduce the oil that runs off pavement into the Sound.
Learning from Success:
Next year we will celebrate the 15th anniversary of Springer the orphaned orca going home. In 2002, she was rescued, rehabilitated and reunited with her pod on the north end of Vancouver Island. Three years ago, she had her first calf. It’s the only successful orca reunion in history.
Why does this story matter, and what bearing does it have on the survival of the southern residents?
To get the whale home, we had to learn how to work together, as individuals, and across organizations, agencies and nations.
Above all, we put the whales’ best interest first.
What hope there is for the whales begins with being honest about the issues that are impacting them. That means, putting their best interest ahead of our own, whether commercial, financial, or simply a desire to get closer that puts them further at risk.
We must encourage and embolden our governments to move urgently to protect this population. We must also understand that NOAA and DFO can’t do this alone—as with Springer, we each have a role to play.
As the days lengthen, let’s match the sadness we feel about J-34’s death with a strengthened resolve to protect his family. Their fate is in our hands — that is our challenge, and our hope. Together, we’ll find light in the dark for the whales.
While early necropsy results showed that “blunt-force trauma” killed J34, researchers have not yet conclusively identified the source. This was the third J-pod orca death announced in less than two months.
Not that we’re urging you to rush your tree out the door. But if it overstays its welcome … that could be dangerous. Here are three ways to recycle it:
TRANSFER STATION: You also have until the end of January to take your tree and/or holiday greens to a city transfer station, fee-free (three trees maximum per vehicle). Nearest one to us is the South Transfer Station (130 S. Kenyon in west South Park).
RAINBOW GIRLS: 9 am-1 pm Saturday, January 7th, drop off your tree at Alki Masonic Center in The Junction. By donation; sponsored by West Seattle Assembly #18 Order of Rainbow for Girls. (4736 40th SW)
(Anyone else having a tree-recycling drive/event? Please let us know so we can add to the WSB Holiday Guide and Calendar!)
Traffic is likely to be heavier than usual again tomorrow on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route of Washington State Ferries, which expects the Tahlequah (South Vashon)/Point Defiance (Tacoma) route to still be out of service tomorrow morning: “… due to ongoing dock repair at the Point Defiance terminal. … We apologize for the inconvenience and advise alternate routes, Southworth and Fauntleroy, for travel to and from Vashon Island.” The dock was damaged by a ferry after its captain suffered a health problem on Christmas Eve.