West Seattle, Washington
Three West Seattle Crime Watch reports, starting with a robbery arrest far from the crime scene:
ROBBERY SUSPECT TRACKED TO FEDERAL WAY: Published on SPD Blotter tonight:
Just after 2 p.m. this afternoon, Southwest Precinct police officers responded to a report of an armed robbery at a bus stop near Delridge Way and Kenyon Street. The teenage victim reported to officers that a teenage suspect brandishing a handgun approached him, stole his iPhone and ran away.
Police called for a K9 officer in the hopes of tracking the armed suspect nearby. Those efforts did not prove fruitful. Fortunately for police, the suspect also left an electronic trail.
Using the phone’s location software, Officer Ernie DeBella followed the e-trail to Burien and then later to Federal Way. Officer DeBella successfully tracked the phone to an occupied silver minivan and called for back-up. With assistance from King County Sheriff’s Office and Federal Way Police Department, officers stopped the minivan. All four passengers got out and ran, but didn’t get far, and were detained by police.
The victim called his iPhone and officers could hear it ringing inside the mini-van on cue. Officers could also see a handgun in the minivan’s interior.
Three of the four occupants were interviewed and released from the scene. The fourth occupant, determined to be the robbery suspect, remained with officers. While they were questioning the suspect, a recent crime victim approached officers and reported that he recognized the teenage suspect as the person who had robbed him the day before. Federal Way Police will continue to investigate that robbery separately.
Officers impounded the minivan pending receipt of a search warrant. Officers transported the suspect back to Seattle and booked him into the Youth Service Center.
Also tonight, two reader reports, both related to mail/package theft:
PACKAGE THIEF: From Brittany in High Point, with frame grabs from security video:
A package was stolen off my front porch in West Seattle at 12:29 pm today.
If you see this navy blue car (possibly a Ford Focus 4-door sedan) or this person anywhere, please let me know.
This has already been filed with the Seattle Police Department.
If you have any info, the SPD incident number is 17-274738.
AFTERMATH OF PACKAGE THEFT: From Ray, also in High Point:
Boxes from two blocks away made it to 34th and Graham. Happened between 12-1 on 7/27.
Looks like they choose a driveway to turn into and dump the boxes.
8:23 PM: Thanks to @MetPatrick22 for the photo and word that 35th SW near SW Webster* is getting some spot-paving repairs this week. No advisories from SDOT, so we checked in with spokesperson Sue Romero – who explained that “spot repairs” do not usually generate advance alerts – and asked about any other smaller paving projects coming up. She mentioned these:
Paving Beach Dr. SW between SW Andover St. & SW Charlestown St., August 1-2 & August 8-9, 9 am-4 pm
Paving 63rd Ave SW between Alki Ave SW & SW Admiral Wy, August 3rd & August 10th, 9 am-4 pm
The 35th SW spot repaving plan was noted here twice last month, most recently in an update last month from City Councilmember Lisa Herbold.
8:54 PM: Right after we published this, Chas Redmond mentioned the repaving in the waning moments of the West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting, also noting that it had been done near SW Thistle. So after the meeting, we drove 35th to see exactly what’s been repaved: Northbound lane, Cloverdale to Thistle, and Holden to Othello.
6:54 PM: Still time to get to the east lawn at Hiawatha Community Center for the second of this summer’s six Summer Concerts at Hiawatha, presented by the Admiral Neighborhood Association.
In our photos are Nick Drummond and Friends, bringing their “alt-folk” sounds to the crowd enjoying tonight’s free show, which continues until about 8 pm, along Walnut south of Lander.
7:55 PM: Photos updated; video to come (added: here it is):
Next week, the “Jet City rock” of The Adarna, 6:30 pm Thursday, August 3rd.
(Photo from 2015 pre-parade float procession out of West Seattle)
We’ve been mentioning all week that the northbound Alaskan Way Viaduct will be closed for a while Saturday evening for the return of the Seafair Torchlight Run, before the downtown parade (which is NOT on The Viaduct). There’s one other way you might be affected – though we don’t have official comment from Seafair, “no parking” signs along both sides of Harbor Avenue SW indicate that the parade floats will again be traveling to/from, and stored at, Terminal 5 before Saturday night’s parade, as has been done in in past years. South of the Harbor Ave. gate to the port facility, the signs on the south/eastbound side prohibit parking 2 am-10 am Saturday morning, while north/westbound signs prohibit parking 7 pm Saturday night-2 am Sunday morning. The past few years, the floats have headed out around 8 am Saturday, but pending an official response from Seafair, we don’t yet know this year’s schedule.
Looks like the south play area at Lincoln Park will NOT be reopening any time soon. Two weeks ago, we reported on its closure, with Seattle Parks citing safety reasons, but saying at the time that it would have to decide between repairs and rebuilding – which is what the signs still up at the site say:
We asked Parks spokesperson Rachel Schulkin for an update, and she told WSB today: “Planning staff are meeting soon to create a timeline for a rebuild.”
While the play equipment remains fenced off, the swing set to its north remains open, as does the recently rebuilt play area in the north area of the park, by the wading pool. We’ll continue to follow up.
Last Sunday afternoon, we reported on a house fire in Highland Park, in the 8100 block of 14th SW. No one was hurt, but it turns out the damage was greater than first assessed, and the longtime West Seattle resident and Denny International Middle School employee who lived there has lost most of his belongings, as well as a place to live, so a family friend has organized a crowdfunding page for community members to help. Michelle Whelan explains:
Lifelong West Seattleite Roger Baker, or “Mr. Baker” as he’s known to students at Denny Middle School, recently lost his house and most of his belongings to an electrical fire. The home had been in the Baker family for about 40 years and … is essentially a total loss due to internal damage and the prohibitively expensive cost to rebuild.
This is the same home Roger returned to 20 years ago help care for his ailing parents. In 2009 he obtained his current position as custodian at Denny MS. In the intervening years, while also working full time, Roger helped provide elder care for his parents — driving them to and from appointments, family events, and taking care of the home. His mother passed away several years ago, followed by his father more recently.
The Baker family, tribal members of the Turtle Mountain band of Chippewa, has deep, longstanding roots in West Seattle. Multi-generational graduates of West Seattle schools, the Bakers are a strong and close-knit family…which makes Roger’s loss all the more upsetting as he no longer has a place to live.
There’s even more to the story, which you can read on the GoFundMe page, which also has post-fire photos of the house’s interior. (SFD says the fire was accidental, sparked by a battery charger.) The GFM page also has details on non-monetary donations that would be helpful as well.
The latest government service/agency/etc. asking for your feedback via an online survey – the King County Water Taxi. The new survey is phrased as if you are on board, so if you aren’t riding it today, you might consider answering from the standpoint of your most recent ride, or the reasons you usually use it, even if you only ride a few times a year. The survey starts here.
The WT website Captain’s Blog also provides two updates of potential interest to Water Taxi riders. The newest is about the soon-to-start Colman Dock overhaul that will result in a new foot-ferry terminal; read it here. It’s also a reminder that one week from Monday – starting August 7th – Water Taxi service will be interrupted for up to a week while its downtown terminal moves to an interim location north of Colman Dock.
The other notable update has some new numbers on Water Taxi ridership, including a 7.2 percent increase on the West Seattle run last month over the same period last year. But month-by-month numbers on the “data” tab of this WT-website page have not been updated since the end of last year.
Heads up, in case you see the “No Parking” signs and/or plan to be on the road in the early morning – three portable classrooms will be removed from the Louisa Boren STEM K-8 campus next week, to be relocated to other schools outside West Seattle. The information just received from Seattle Public Schools spokesperson Tom Redman says one portable will be moved from Boren (5950 Delridge Way SW) to Ballard High School early Tuesday (August 1st), and two will be going to Ingraham High School, one each on Wednesday and Thursday (August 2-3). For all moves, Redman says, they’ll be moved via a southbound/eastbound route:
Transports will leave from Louisa Boren at about 3:00-4:00 a.m. to meet SDOT requirements for transports to be off city streets by 6:00 a.m.
These transports are coordinated with required SDOT transport permits and will be accompanied by Seattle Police escorts for additional traffic control as they leave Louisa Boren and head south on Delridge Way towards Roxbury and further to Hwy 509 as they leave West Seattle.
“No parking” signs will be installed on the streets along the north side of Louisa Boren, in order to allow for adequate width in the roadway for the trucks to maneuver the oversized loads.
Additional “no parking” signs may be placed at different locations along the route to allow for adequate width in the roadway.
P.S. While it’s not directly related to this, you might be wondering where the possible move of STEM K-8 itself stands, now that almost two months have passed since the district-led meeting about it. We’re checking on that.
A gray start to our day, but it’s not expected to last. Here’s what’s happening for the rest of today/tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
MEET YOUR COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT COORDINATOR: Yun Pitre, our area’s Community Engagement Coordinator for the city Department of Neighborhoods, has drop-in “office hours” now through 2 pm at the Southwest Neighborhood Service Center. Got a city-related question/concern? Stop by and talk with her. (2801 SW Thistle)
SUMMER CONCERTS AT HIAWATHA: Tonight’s the second of six free Thursday night concerts on the east lawn at Hiawatha Community Center, brought to you by the Admiral Neighborhood Association, with co-sponsors including WSB. As previewed here last night, Nick Drummond and Friends will take the stage tonight at 6:30 pm – bring a chair/blanket/picnic dinner and enjoy music until ~8 pm. This morning’s drizzly weather is forecast to clear up long before showtime. (2700 California SW, Walnut side)
WEST SEATTLE TRANSPORTATION COALITION: As previewed here last night, WSTC talks with the Northwest Seaport Alliance about Port of Seattle truck backups and related issues; the agenda also includes a discussion of last month’s light-rail-routing workshop. All welcome. 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House High Point. (6400 Sylvan Way SW)
‘CHASING ICE’: The West Seattle Democratic Women invite you to a screening of “Chasing Ice” during their 6 pm monthly meeting at the West Seattle Golf Course. Too late if you haven’t RSVP’d for dinner, but you can RSVP for dessert and coffee/tea to cover the per-attendee room charge – info is in our calendar listing. (4600 35th SW)
AND THERE’S MORE … on our complete-calendar page, which also explains how to send us YOUR event info!
From the “in case you were wondering” file: The city Department of Neighborhoods had promised results by July 18th in the “Your Voice, Your Choice” voting for park/street projects – the first time it was trying “participatory budgeting.” The date came and went and the project website changed its languaging, unannounced, to a promise of August. Finally an explanation appeared this week on the department’s Front Porch blog-format website, saying “the delay is caused by more voter participation than expected”: 7,500 votes in all from around the city, with 2,000 of those on paper ballots. The online update did not mention that the project also had a personnel change – it was noted at a local community meeting earlier this month that Jenny Frankl, who had launched and evangelized it, was no longer with the department; the YVYC website now lists Kraig Cook as the project’s coordinator. DON now says it “hope(s) to announce the final vote results in each council district by early August.” Each district was allotted up to $285,000 to fund three park/street projects; we first reported on the plan last January.
P.S. The projects that were in the running in District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) are shown and described in the “voter’s guide.”
(HERE’S THE REVAMPED SDOT MAP with travel times/video links)
7:15 AM: No incidents in/from West Seattle right now. Looking ahead:
PORT TRUCKS: As previewed here last night, the West Seattle Transportation Coalition will talk port-truck backups tonight with a rep from the Seattle/Tacoma port partnership Northwest Seaport Alliance – 6:30 pm, Neighborhood House High Point (6400 Sylvan Way SW).
TORCHLIGHT RUN SATURDAY NIGHT: The route includes the Alaskan Way Viaduct, so expect closures. This WSDOT webpage has specifics: “The northbound lanes of the State Route 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct between Royal Brougham Way and Harrison Street will be closed from 5 to 7:45 pm.”
12:10 AM: Getting multiple messages (thank you!) about people hearing at least one explosion type of sound somewhere in central West Seattle a short time ago. We heard it – albeit in the distance – too. No indication yet what it was, but police have been dispatched to check areas where it’s been reported. If you think it was close by, be sure to call 911 and let them know.
12:24 AM: From the scanner – the dispatcher’s continuing to relay to officers what they are hearing from callers. We heard one fragment about it possibly having been “fireworks in a church parking lot” but didn’t catch the location. No reports of fires, damage, or injuries, if that’s any reassurance.