day : 03/04/2017 12 results

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Thieves and vandals, some on video

First, three reader reports, two with video; then, details on an arrest in the Genesee Hill area on Sunday:

PACKAGE THIEF: Fabio says this happened near 14th/Henderson at 6:24 pm Sunday (April 2nd):

If you know the person in the video, you can inform SPD and refer to incident #17-115548.


Just wanted to let the community know about a package thief working in the vicinity of SW Hudson and Fauntleroy. I was working in my home office at about 2:45 PM (today) and saw a man get out of a ’70s VW Bug (bright red) and approach my neighbor’s. He took a package that Fedex delivered earlier. I ran out yelling at him. He apparently was having difficulty getting it in gear so I opened the passenger door and grabbed the package. He took off and headed north on Fauntleroy. Man had a goatee and was wearing a Navy blue/blackish hoody. I called 911 and also just spoke to an officer. Officer said that that car description is a new one for them but should be easy to find since it is distinct.

EGGING VANDALS: While this next clip is not crystal-clear, Timothy is hoping that someone will recognize the vandals throwing eggs at his house, and/or their car:

He says, “I’m hoping someone recognizes the car or the characters inside. I realize the video quality isn’t great, but enough to be identifiable to the right person. It’s also disconcerting that the perpetrator is heard gleefully exclaiming that he’d hit a window. They were trying to do damage.” It happened last Friday night and he says he’s heard reports of other houses hit too.

HIT & RUN ON 35TH: Maybe you know who hit James’s car sometime Saturday night or Sunday morning:

“Someone sideswiped their car into mine (a black 2013 Mazda hatchback). My car was parked on the east side of busy 35th Ave SW in the 7500 block. The hit & run caused body damage along my driver’s side door and broke-off my driver-side mirror. The police have been notified. If anyone was an eyewitness to this incident and/or knows any information, please call me, the vehicle owner, James @ (206) 658-5295. Thank you.”

SUSPECT FOUND IN STOLEN CAR: From SPD Blotter today, the details on a sizable police response in the Genesee Hill area on Sunday morning. In short, police found a 43-year-old suspect asleep inside a stolen car, “in possession of other unreported stolen items.” The 2016 Nissan had been taken early Sunday from the 3500 block of SW Trenton, and its owner used a tracking system to show it was in the 4700 block of SW Dakota, engine running, “full of unreported stolen items (clothing, power tools, air compressor, etc.). Officers took the suspect into custody without incident.”

MISSING MAN UPDATE: Back home, safe

9:53 PM UPDATE: The developmentally disabled West Seattle man police have been looking for since this afternoon is back home and safe, they just tweeted.

EARLIER: Read More

West Seattle Lions presenting 1st annual Easter-egg hunt for blind/visually impaired kids

The next two weekends are full of egg hunts around the area – but only one like this:

The West Seattle Lions – part of a century-old organization – are proud to be presenting their first egg hunt for blind and visually impaired kids next Saturday (April 8th), 11 am at Seattle Lutheran High School‘s Menashe Family Gym (4100 SW Genesee). As the flyer says, it’s free, but they request pre-registration so they know how many people to expect – call 206-619-1029 or use this online form.

BERTHA BREAKTHROUGH: Highway 99 tunneling machine digging its final feet Tuesday

(Image from disassembly-pit camera tonight)

Four years and two days after the Highway 99 tunneling machine arrived in Seattle, in pieces, after a trans-Pacific trip from Japan, it’s scheduled to finish its part of the tunnel-building job tomorrow. WSDOT announced this afternoon that the machine is on the brink of “breakthrough”:

Crews will spend this evening making final preparations. Then, early tomorrow, the massive machine will begin mining through the wall and into the pit where it will be disassembled. Machine operators will proceed slowly through the wall, so it may take several hours for the cutterhead to emerge.

And even once it does, it won’t be done, as WSDOT’s update explains – “it will be weeks until the machine is in its final position in the disassembly pit.” Then, it will be broken apart to be removed from the pit. Live-stream and time-lapse cameras are already embedded on the “Follow Bertha” page, since the public isn’t allowed at the construction site to watch in person. The latest advisory from WSDOT suggests this will happen no sooner than midmorning, but timing is subject to change – the project Twitter account is a good place to watch for updates (and we’ll be tracking it here on WSB too).

Breakthrough will come on the north side of downtown, at the end of a 9,270-foot tunnel route along which there’s still road-building and other work to be done before the tunnel’s projected opening in early 2019 (here’s the newest progress report).

ORCAS OFF WEST SEATTLE: Elliott Bay sightings

April 3, 2017 3:54 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | Wildlife

It’s been seven hours since our first report today of orcas in the area – and now a caller tells us they’re right off West Seattle; he’s watching from the Don Armeni Boat Ramp vicinity. Just checked the Orca Network thread and they too have someone seeing orcas in Elliott Bay. As always, sighting reports appreciated – in comments or via text/voice at 206-293-6302 – thank you!

UPDATE: Heavy-rescue call for flipped car on Harbor Avenue

(WSB photos by Christopher Boffoli)

2:39 PM: Thanks for the tip – The “heavy rescue” call in the 1500 block of Harbor Avenue SW (updated address) in the Don Armeni Boat Ramp area is for a flipped car, according to a caller. Avoid the area for now. More to come.

2:48 PM: This is now described as a flipped car vs. a parked car. No word on injuries so far.

3:05 PM: Just added a photo from WSB’s Christopher Boffoli at the scene. Meantime, SFD is dismissing all units that are still on the call, except for Ladder 11. He reports that a woman driving a Prius northbound on Harbor hit a parked Mini Cooper; she appears to have a hand injury but otherwise appears OK. The medic unit was also dismissed from the call, further confirming no serious injuries.

3:24 PM: One more photo added. As noted in comments, we don’t know the circumstances, but if we find out anything more, we’ll update.

New Seattle, King County collaboration on homelessness, with $68m/year county sales tax instead of $55m/year city property tax

(King County photo: County Councilmembers Jeanne Kohl-Welles, speaking, and Claudia Balducci, with McDermott, Constantine, and Murray)
Elected officials including King County Executive Dow Constantine, Mayor Ed Murray, and County Council Chair Joe McDermott have just announced a new regional collaboration on homelessness. As part of it, the mayor is dropping his proposal to ask Seattle voters for a property-tax increase to raise more money for homelessness-related efforts, and instead, county voters will be asked next year to approve a one-tenth-of-one-percent sales-tax increase. Here’s the full announcement, published as a city news release:

Today, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine announced a new regional effort to help people experiencing homelessness receive services and access to a permanent home.

Along with city leaders, service providers and All Home, Mayor Murray and Executive Constantine will convene a joint task force to assess needs and resources, and propose a strategy that will get people living unsheltered into permanent homes, keep people in their homes and out of homelessness, and coordinate responses to root causes such as behavioral and mental health and substance use disorders. The scope of the effort reflects the reality that homelessness is a regional crisis, and presents an opportunity for a robust, coordinated response.

The effort would be funded by a 0.1 percent sales tax increase that would go to King County voters in 2018. Seattle, King County and other jurisdictions have been working together closely to address this regional crisis, creating a more coordinated system that focuses on the individual needs of people living outside and that uses a data-driven approach to ensure programs are accomplishing the goal of getting more people into permanent housing. Today’s announcement will lead to increased coordination and accountability, while the City of Seattle continues its work to address other impacts, such as increased trash and needle cleanup.

This region-wide, $68 million per year funding package would replace the previously-proposed, Seattle-only property tax levy.

Read More

UPDATE: ‘Shoreline Substantial Development’ approvals for proposed Terminal 5 expansion

image1 (52)
(July 2016 aerial of West Seattle with Terminal 5 at left, shared by David)

12:48 PM: From today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin, a notice of approvals for the proposed expansion of Terminal 5 in West Seattle: It’s the “conditional grant(ing) of permission for “Shoreline Substantial Development” to both expand the terminal and do the dredging necessary for the project – you can read the full decision here. Other approvals are needed – and we have an inquiry out to the port to ask about the project’s overall status; in the meantime, as the notice says, “This decision is appealable to the Washington State Shoreline Hearings Board until at least 4/24/2017,” and this page explains how. The last public discussion of the project was at a City Council meeting in January; at that time, the projected completion date was described as 2020.

2:59 PM: Here’s the statement so far from the Port. We’re still trying to get information on what remains for a final go-ahead:

Today the City of Seattle published the Master Use Permit (MUP) Analysis and Decision with Draft Conditions for the Terminal 5 Improvements Project proposed by the Port of Seattle and the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA). Publication of the MUP Analysis and Decision is an important but routine step for large, public capital projects like Terminal 5.

The Port and NWSA have worked with the City to utilize best practices to mitigate and track air quality and noise issues related to renewed operations at T-5, including a commitment to provide shorepower for ships calling at Terminal 5. Best practices will also be incorporated around gate management, truck parking and signal optimization on Spokane Street that will manage and reduce congestion, along with air and noise concerns. Further, the Port and the NWSA are committed to being good neighbors by minimizing train horn noise with a “quiet zone.”

The Port and NWSA are moving forward with the Terminal 5 project in order to enhance and maintain the competitiveness of our trade gateway, providing economic benefits including jobs, market access for exports grown and made in the region, and imports beneficial to the regional and national economy.

ADDED MONDAY NIGHT: The answer to our followup question about what’s still ahead, from port spokesperson Peter McGraw: “We will complete the acquisition of building permits and Army Corps permit. We will be looking to fund the project later this year.”

ANOTHER JUNCTION LANDMARK? Campbell Building decision this week

April 3, 2017 11:42 am
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news

(Campbell Building. Above, WSB photo, March 2016; below, undated photo from landmark-nomination document)


A month and a half after the city Landmarks Board designated the Hamm Building on the northwest corner of California/Alaska as an official city landmark (WSB coverage here), it will decide this Wednesday (April 5th) whether to do the same for the Campbell Building on the northeast corner, built incrementally in 1911 and 1920, named for West Seattle real-estate entrepreneur and civic booster WT Campbell. The agenda is out for the meeting in the Boards and Commissions Room at City Hall downtown (601 5th Ave.) and the hearing on the Campbell Building is expected to start about an hour into it, around 4:30 pm. If you can’t be there but have a comment about it, you can still e-mail landmarks coordinator Erin Doherty (; if you are interested in testifying in support of it, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society suggests contacting SWSHS board vice president and We Love The Junction campaign co-chair Peder Nelson (

BACKSTORY: It’s been 13 months since SWSHS announced its campaign to seek landmark designations for the Campbell and Hamm Buildings, and half a year since the nominations were submitted to the city. You can see the full Campbell Building nomination document – history, photos, and more – by going here.

What’s up on your West Seattle Monday

(Photo by Jim Borrow @ Constellation Park)

From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

FREE TAX HELP: The federal deadline is nearing and the Seattle Public Library, United Way of King County, and AARP continue offering free drop-in help around the area. Today’s session is 2-7 pm at Delridge Library – details in our calendar listing. (5423 Delridge Way SW)

COMMUNITY ORCHARD OF WEST SEATTLE: Should be a perfect spring day for the regular Monday work party/meetup at the orchard on the north end of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus, and you are invited to stop by, help out, learn more about the orchard, 3-5 pm. (6000 16th SW)

MONDAY QUIZ: 7:30 pm at The Skylark, free, all ages. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

CRACKER FACTORY: Live music at West Seattle Brewing Company in The Triangle, 8 pm. (4415 Fauntleroy Way SW)

And a reminder …

2 DAYS UNTIL WEST SEATTLE COMMUNITY GARAGE SALE DAY REGISTRATION: Signups for this year’s WSCGSD (which happens on Saturday, May 13th) start this Wednesday (April 5th) – we’ll publish the announcement here and on the WSCGSD website when it’s on!

ORCAS: Back in Puget Sound today

8:33 AM: Thanks to Kersti Muul for the first tip – orcas are back in central Puget Sound today! As Orca Network commenters also are chronicling, they were seen by ferry riders – including state ferries and the Vashon Water Taxi – headed for Rich Passage, the waterway to and from Bremerton – but they could just as easily head back this way, so we’re publishing this heads-up. Let us know if you saw/see them!

1:28 PM: The orcas have spent the past few hours delighting fans in Kitsap waters – here’s a photo gallery on

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: First Monday of April

April 3, 2017 7:02 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

7:02 AM: Good morning and welcome to the first workweek of April 2017! No incidents in/from West Seattle so far.

A few notes looking ahead:

-Last week of classes before Seattle Public Schools’ spring break (April 10th-14th)
-Last week of the West Seattle Water Taxi‘s five-day-a-week schedule (summer schedule starts April 10th)