West Seattle, Washington
As promised, followups on two cases from the past few days:
FAUNTLEROY/ALASKA STABBING: When we reported on this attack Saturday night, we didn’t know whether the person being questioned by police had been arrested. Tonight, we know the suspect, a 49-year-old Tukwila man, did get arrested and was jailed for investigation of assault. This afternoon, a judge set his bail at $100,000. The probable-cause documents say the suspect attacked two people that night – both strangers – first punching a man who was walking out of the Junction QFC at 42nd/Alaska. That victim’s wife yelled at him to stop; the documents say he did, and left the area. A few minutes later, the suspect turned up in the mini-mart at the Fauntleroy/Alaska Shell station, where, police say, he attacked a man paying for a purchase at the counter – stabbing him several times with a screwdriver. The suspect then ran from the store to a nearby bus stop, according to court documents; the store clerk ran after him, and police arrived shortly thereafter, taking the suspect into custody. The victim was treated at the scene but did not need hospitalization. The suspect is due back in court Wednesday.
JUNCTION GUNFIRE: We also asked the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office today about the two 17-year-olds arrested early Friday after a nearby police officer heard/saw gunfire and stopped them at 40th/Alaska, finding a gun in their car. KCPAO spokesperson Dan Donohoe tells us they had a detention-review hearing later that day; the 17-year-old boy, who police say already has a felony conviction, was ordered to stay in detention, while the 17-year-old girl was released to her father (whose 2008 Dodge Avenger she was driving). Both suspects are listed in court documents as living in Tacoma. The report does not mention ownership of the gun found in the car, described as a black Glock 9mm semi-automatic handgun; it says four 9mm casings were found at the northeast corner of 40th/Edmunds. Charges could be filed as soon as tomorrow (Tuesday).
Chief Sealth International High School‘s varsity baseball team is 4-1 on the season so far after another win this afternoon – 5-3 over visiting Franklin HS. The Seahawks outhit the Quakers 11-2. Pitcher Albert Roque got the win, with three strikeouts in four innings. Hitting star of the day was Evan Moe, going 3-4 with a double and triple, scoring two runs. Next up for Sealth, a road game at Ingraham, 4 pm Wednesday. (Their full season schedule is here.)
Instead of a colorful sunset, colorful umbrellas were in view during Alice Enevoldsen‘s 32nd quarterly change-of-seasons sunset watch at Solstice Park tonight. Light rain had begun, but it takes a downpour to cancel, so as Alice put it on Twitter afterward, “It was cold, and the sun was a no-show, but we had fun and discussed the summer eclipse.” (That’s coming up on August 21st.)
Maybe the sun will show up for summer solstice – exactly three months away! (9:24 pm our time Tuesday, June 20th.)
What’s up with the HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability rezoning proposal right now – besides doorhangers in urban villages? That’s one of the topics set for tomorrow night’s Junction Neighborhood Organization meeting, 6:30 pm at the Senior Center/Sisson Building (4217 SW Oregon). JuNO director René Commons says other topics will include an update on the SDOT review of a Restricted Parking Zone application filed by a Junction resident, as well as updates on the Fauntleroy Boulevard project (now that the walking tours are past), a “Greenspace Park/Library/Community Center Plan for the West Seattle Junction,” and the future of the Avalon Substation site.
Three stretches of West Seattle streets are due for new sidewalks this year, as shown on the map above, made public as Mayor Murray spotlighted the city’s updated Pedestrian Master Plan today.
*35th SW in Arbor Heights between 100th and 106th adds to the sidewalks built north of there 5 years ago
*Arbor Heights also will get a block of sidewalk along SW 104th between 35th and 36th, just east of AH Elementary
*In Delridge, sidewalks are on the way to SW Orchard between Myrtle and Dumar
Today’s full announcement says the mayor is sending the plan to City Council later this week. If you’d like to look into the future to see where future work might be focused, the “priority investment network” map for our area starts on page 60 of the full Pedestrian Master Plan.
(UPDATED Monday evening with arrest, Tuesday morning with status)
4:11 PM: Just got this from Megan – and if you compare the photos to the person shown in the video in this package-theft story, there’s a definite resemblance (assuming he doesn’t have an identical twin) – and she’s reporting a theft from this afternoon:
This individual has now stolen 3 of my packages since January. All have been reported to SPD. Since I caught it real time today, they said they were going to look for him. I know he must be hitting all the houses nearby as well. Just wanted to share in case anyone else has been having packages go missing, or has a better picture of this guy to share with police.
I live off Fauntleroy Way, near Morgan Junction. This happened around 2:30 pm.
We don’t have Megan’s incident/report number yet, but the one in the case from the reader report published here Saturday is 2017-902386.
7:30 PM: As discussed in comments, there’s an active search under way, thanks to people’s tips, so if you see/hear anything/anyone suspicious, please call 911. Also, we have the incident/report number for Megan’s case – 2017-98442.
8:46 PM: As noted in comments, just got word from SPD that they have made an arrest. This followed an intensive search, K-9 team included, following tips called in to 911. We photographed police in the Seaview/North Morgan Junction area, where they had been searching:
We’ll of course follow the case through the system.
7:51 AM: The suspect, 35, was booked into King County Jail late last night. His bail currently is $1,000, as he’s being held for investigation of theft, a misdemeanor. He’s scheduled for a hearing today and we’ll have a followup after that.
>(L-R: Ryan Colby, Sampson Lee, Zaid Bezzaz interviewubg with judges at 2017 Washington State VEX IQ Challenge Championships)
Robotics students from Louisa Boren STEM K-8 in North Delridge are going to the VEX IQ Challenge World Championships next month! This is just the second year for the robotics program at the school, launched by technology teacher Julie Schmick last year, and the STEM students are the only team from a Seattle school to make it to worlds. Here’s the announcement:
A team of fifth-grade students from Louisa Boren STEM K-8 is headed to Louisville, Kentucky to represent the school at the VEX Robotics World Championship. Four robots from STEM competed in the Washington State VEX IQ Challenge Championships in Ellensburg, Washington on March 11th. Two robots made it to the final matches, and a third took home the competition’s top honor, qualifying the team for the world championships April 23-25, 2017.
The Excellence Award, the highest honor at a VEX robotics competition, was presented to the drivers of Robot 10966C, Zaid Bezzaz, Ryan Colby, and Sampson Lee. The award goes to a team that exemplifies overall excellence in building a high-quality VEX robotics program, taking into consideration a team’s behavior, sportsmanship, and professionalism at the event, in addition to robot design, driving skills, and performance in tournament matches. The approach demonstrated by the STEM K-8 teams in working on their robots and participating in competitions is representative of the school’s project-based learning curriculum, as is the student engineers’ ability to clearly articulate the work they put into designing and building their robots.
In VEX competitions, teams of students are tasked with designing and building a robot to play against other teams in game-based engineering challenges. The VEX IQ Crossover Challenge provides elementary and middle school students with exciting, open-ended robotics and research projects that enhance science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills through hands-on, student-centered learning. Two robots compete as an alliance in 60-second teamwork matches, working collaboratively to score points. Additional points are earned through skill tests, documentation reviews, and team member interviews.
Thanks to parent Lisa Dawson for first word on this, and for the photos, including this one of all the students who competed at the state championships:
In all, more than a thousand teams from around the world will be competing at worlds – but the STEM students are the only ones at elementary level from a Seattle school. Robotics is a before-/after-school enrichment program at STEM, whose PTA is covering the event-registration fees for the students, while their families must cover the cost of traveling to Louisville. They’re crowdfunding for help with that – if you’re interested in helping, here’s the YouCaring page.
Sometimes what sounds like gunfire turns out to be fireworks – or something else – unless evidence is found, such as casings and/or property damage. What you see above is evidence. A neighbor shared the photo and this report from Highland Park:
Last night at around 9:45 pm, we heard load gunshots near our house on 10th and Elmgrove [map] and a car speeding away. We called 911 as did some of our neighbors. This morning my husband found bullet casings in the intersection, underneath the 10th and Elmgrove sign. He called the police again; they came out, collected the bullets, and took his statement.
We are feeling very rattled today. Even though we live near some dangerous spots like 16th and Holden, we’ve never had gunshots this close to our home. This street (10th Ave SW) is home to lots of kids and Highland Park Elementary.
If you saw something related to this and haven’t reported it – you can call police at 206-625-5011 and refer to incident 17-097562. And if you hear what you think is gunfire anywhere, even if you’re not sure where it’s coming from, call 911 to report it ASAP – the more calls they get, the better the chances of finding evidence, a suspect, and/or … if there is one … a victim. (Consider then letting us know for Crime Watch, as this neighbor did.)
P.S. SPD’s SeaStat data reviews track “shots fired” around the city to look for trends; the last page of this slide deck from the most-recent briefing shows that confirmed gunfire incidents are up slightly citywide so far this year, compared to last.
The development proposal for 1250 Alki SW – once proposed for more than 100 apartments – has been downsized. Though the previous version made it through the first round of Design Review on its second try in January 2016 (WSB coverage here), it never went to the second round, and when we checked in with developers SolTerra a few months ago, they said they were still considering their options. Now, city files indicate they have a new plan. 1250 Alki is penciled onto the city schedule to go to the Southwest Design Review Board on May 4th as “a 6-story structure with approximately 44 residential units” and 66 underground parking spaces. (1.5 spaces per unit is mandated by what’s known as the Alki Parking Overlay.) No new site plan or design packet in the system yet; we have messages out to SolTerra seeking comment on the change.
(The Olympics’ snowy peaks turned pink from spring’s first sunrise – photo by James Bratsanos)
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar and inbox, what’s ahead for the first day and night of spring 2017:
DELRIDGE RAPIDRIDE CONVERSATIONS: 11 am-1 pm, SDOT reps are scheduled to be out at unspecified “bus stops along Delridge” to talk with riders about the plan to turn Route 120 into the RapidRide H Line. Go here for more on the questions they’re asking, and how to comment even if you don’t find yourself at a bus-stop meetup.
CROSSTOWN RIVALRY SOFTBALL: 4 pm at Southwest Athletic Complex, West Seattle HS and Chief Sealth IHS play each other in softball. (2801 SW Thistle)
FAMILY STORY TIME: Bring kids of all ages to High Point Library 6:30-7 pm for tonight’s free and fun family story time. (35th SW/SW Raymond)
SPRING-EQUINOX SUNSET WATCH WITH ALICE: 6:45 pm-7:15 pm, be at Solstice Park (uphill from the tennis courts) to watch the first sunset of spring with NASA Solar System Ambassador (aka volunteer astronomy educator) Alice Enevoldsen. Learn about the seasons, the planets, and what the equinox really is, and means. Informal, fun, free. (7400 Fauntleroy Way SW)
ILLUMINATED SCULPTURE: The West Seattle Junction Association says tonight’s the first night you’ll see the Junction Plaza Park sculpture Transpose – dedicated four months ago – illuminated. (42nd SW/SW Alaska)
TO SEE WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING … please go to our complete-calendar page!
On the first day of spring, if you’re thinking “spring cleaning” … we have some information that might help. Just in, the list of what will and won’t be accepted at the spring edition of the always-popular Fauntleroy Church Recycle Roundup – see it here (PDF). The free-dropoff event is set for 9 am-3 pm Sunday, April 23rd (9140 California SW).
(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)
6:56 AM: Good morning and welcome to spring 2017.
No incidents outbound from West Seattle right now, but if your commute takes you southbound TOWARD West Seattle, there’s a lane-blocking crash on Southbound I-5 just before (north of) the West Seattle Bridge.
7:26 AM: The SB I-5 crash is reported to have cleared.
9:49 AM: If you’re out at a bus stop on Delridge 11 am-1 pm, you might see the second wave of SDOT outreach on the conversion of Route 120 to RapidRide H Line in 2020. (Let us know if you do!)
Camp Second Chance – the newly city-sanctioned, but not new, encampment on the west side of Myers Way S. on the southeastern edge of West Seattle – is now officially on the road to expansion.
Its first city referral happened this week, and as of Saturday, the camp had 17 residents, according to operator Polly Trout of Patacara Community Services. The city envisions up to 70 residents. We talked with her at CSC this weekend after a demonstration watched by campers and visitors, related to a key question: Will camp residents have anything more than tents to sleep in?
The demonstration was by Pallet, a sideline of Square Peg Development. They’re making prefab shelters that can sleep four – and can be assembled in minutes, starting with a pile of components as shown in our photo above.
Aluminum-framed components, built by 'incarcerated individuals,' company explains. Potential disaster relief use too. pic.twitter.com/kFD4pzCZTn
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) March 18, 2017
That’s a short segment of what turned out to be an almost 9-minute assembly time. The shelters are aluminum framed, made from a honeycombed, light “yet very strong” material, and can be assembled, disassembled, and reassembled repeatedly with no sign of wear and tear.
Each one costs almost $5,000. There’s no official city RFP or other process to fund these (or any other structures) for Camp Second Chance, so for the encampment to get some would be a matter of private fundraising, separate from the services the city is providing. (One person with city ties was there to observe, though – Councilmember Lisa Herbold.)
Still, the price tag is a challenge. Trout mentioned after the demo that the camp has a donor who will be picking up the tab for 15 Costco pre-fab structures that go for $1500. Pallet, meantime, says it’s working on a proposal to provide some shelters for Seattle’s forthcoming Navigation Center low-barrier shelter. They’re also working on a double-size version of the shelter that would have a bathroom and kitchen.
Pallet is currently having these built by state Department of Corrections inmates (at Stafford Creek). The company also says its parent company hires people who are rebuilding lives on the outside – those who are formerly incarcerated or in recovery, for example.
Meantime, we asked Camp Second Chance leadership more about what’s happening there, now that they’re sanctioned. A potable-water cistern is due soon. They’ve also applied to get an electric hookup. And they’re hoping for a portable toilet – to replace the Honey Bucket type – and shower. Trash service already has begun. The city, meantime, promises a third community meeting soon.
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