West Seattle, Washington
Three days until three hours of fun await you at this year’s Fauntleroy Fall Festival! Tonight we have the schedule for what you’ll be able to see and do during the festival 2-5 pm Sunday (October 21st):
(Note: Updated version substituted Friday night. If you can’t view what’s above, here’s the PDF version.) The festival happens at and around the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse/Hall and Church/YMCA grounds, across the street from each other in the 9100 block of California SW:
Crossing guards make sure you can get back and forth safely. Everything’s free except food/drink – just show up and be ready for a great time! And remember that if you enjoy baking, contenders for the cake-decorating contest and donations for the cake walk are welcome – here are those details. See you at the Fauntleroy Fall Festival (looks like it’ll be sunny)!
Two reader reports – first, from Tammy in the Alki area:
Someone broke into our garage either late last night or today and stole my son’s (10 years old) dirt bike. He is devastated. It was a little red motorcycle made for a kid – Honda. Had a plastic piece on the front of it where there would normally be a number but has a pic of someone riding a motorcycle instead. Please let me know if you saw anything or saw someone pushing it around.
We’ll add the police report # when we get it. Same with the next report, from Dave:
A brand-new Salsa Journeyman Bicycle (700cX54cm) was stolen in front of the Southwest Library on 35th Avenue at approximately 6:00 pm on September 28th.
Dave is offering a reward for its return.
Those are three of the RVs parked along SW Andover across from the West Seattle Health Club that have just been tagged by Parking Enforcement. That’s one of the developments since the club was damaged early Wednesday by a gas fire that erupted after the building was hit by a vehicle – initially described by Seattle Fire as an “RV” and later as a “shuttle van.”
Seattle Police confirmed to WSB today that the vehicle’s driver has yet to be found; they said on Wednesday that it matched the description of a vehicle that fled Admiral Safeway after a shoplifting incident shortly before the crash.
West Seattle Health Club management has told its members that the pool, in the wing of the building that was damaged by the crash and fire, will likely remain closed for a couple weeks. A Puget Sound Energy crew was at the scene this morning when we went to the area to check on a commenter tip about the tagged RVs.
WSHC says it’s been dealing with camping in the area long enough (we first reported on it almost three years ago) and “enough is enough” – they’re demanding city action. (We also chronicled an early-morning incident last July in which an RV careened through the WSHC lot and ended up on the bank over Longfellow Creek.)
City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s staff, meantime, shared with us what she’s been telling constituents who have contacted her about the incident and the nearby RV camping, including:
Councilmember Herbold has contacted the Seattle Police Department, including Chief Best. She has also contacted Fire Department Chief Scoggins, Mayor Durkan, Deputy Mayor Fong, and other Mayor’s Office staff about this. Mayor Durkan responded swiftly and personally to let Councilmember Herbold know that Chief Scoggins would be in touch. Chief Scoggins responded to say that he did not believe that this was an RV fire. Councilmember Herbold understands that people in the community believe that, RV or otherwise, that this was a vehicle that was being occupied as a residence. Councilmember Herbold has spoken with Dan Lehr, the V.P. of Operations at the West Seattle Health Club and he assured her that not only was this a vehicle modified for living in, but that it was a vehicle that was being resided in at this particular location.
(Several WSB commenters reported familiarity with the vehicle in the area.) Also from Herbold’s reply to constituents:
The City has an RV remediation program designed by SPD and SPU. Below is SPD Deputy Chief Wilske’s description of that program, in response to Councilmember Herbold’s request several months ago to clarify for her, and for the public, the approach SPD is taking to address the impacts upon residents and businesses resulting from several hundred RVs parked throughout the City serving as dwellings:
“As everyone has noticed, we are seeing an increase in people who are living in vehicles, both cars and RV’s. In some cases we are seeing significant impact to the surrounding neighborhoods, and have partnered with Seattle Public Utilities to implement a RV remediation program to address these problematic sites.
The ultimate goal of this program is to try to connect the people to services, insure that they move their vehicles in conformance to city law (primarily the 72 hr ordinance), and ensure we clean up any debris that is left behind. Using a team concept also allows us to insure we are consistent with recent court decisions regarding vehicle residents, so that we do not inadvertently expose the city to unnecessary legal jeopardy. The goal is not to impound these vehicles, but instead have them move regularly and be less impactful on the locations where they park.
The team uses specific criteria to determine which site will be prioritized for clean up, with an emphasis on Public Health (large amounts of debris, rodents, needles etc) and Public Safety (crime statistics, 911 responses, officer anecdotal information). We are currently doing 6 plus clean ups a month on large locations, with some additional work being done via the precincts and the parking enforcement officers, but again using the same prioritization criteria.”
One court case decision Wilske references is a Superior Court decision from earlier this year raised challenges about the city charging fees for impounded vehicles that serve as residences.
Herbold’s staff said she asked SPD and SPU when the area near the club was “most recently assessed for remediation.” Their reply: Last month, but it “did not qualify for priority cleanup for the month of September.” At Herbold’s request, they went back yesterday and still said “it did not score high enough for service.” She subsequently spoke with Mayor Durkan, her office tells us, saying the mayor then “agreed to reassess the Andover St. area to potentially move it up the list for remediation.”
–Tracy Record, WSB editor
Taking cover under classroom desks was only part of the plan as Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor) participated in today’s Great Washington ShakeOut earthquake drill. No matter how ready you are, an earthquake or natural disaster can lead to injuries, so EWMS practiced dealing with those too:
Preparedness means having supplies on hand (this includes suggestions):
And it means everyone’s involved. Here’s EW head of school Evan Hundley:
There was a communications component too – this text was sent to EWMS parents:
P.S. As mentioned in our daily highlights list and calendar, Explorer West has the first of three open houses for prospective families tonight – 6:30-8 pm, 10015 28th SW.
1:32 PM: Police are searching for three people believed to be involved in a street robbery in the Morgan Junction area. We don’t know exactly where the robbery happened – per scanner, a “phone and belt” were taken – but police are focusing on the south end of the Morgan business district right now (south of Fauntleroy). More to come.
1:39 PM: K9 has joined the search, which is also extending into nearby residential areas. And now there’s a report of three people “detained” somewhere in the search area.
1:46 PM: The search continues while police sort things out. The actual robbery apparently happened on Fauntleroy, west of where the search has been focused. Added a photo above of the K9 team that has been searching – some possible evidence was found in that strip mall off California south of Fauntleroy; the area where possible suspects were detained is east of there. Meantime, the victim is described as a juvenile.
2:10 PM: Arrests have been made (photo added – in west Gatewood).
If you’re seeing continued police activity in the business area, that’s because more potential evidence was reported to have been found in/near the nearby McDonald’s.
3:44 PM: All three suspects taken into custody were juveniles, SPD confirms. We’ll be checking tomorrow for details from the official report.
Thanks to Greg for the tip. A week after damage – reportedly from a driver – took it out of service again, the West Seattle Junction Post Office outdoor mailbox has been taken away. Last year it was gone for seven months. Our track record of getting official USPS responses to mailbox questions has been pretty bad, so if you have any inside info, firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks!
The ballots are in the mail. The ballot dropboxes (including the brand-new one in The Junction) open today. What you’ll see on your ballot includes only one contested, open local seat: 34th District State Senator. Last night was the second-to-last West Seattle forum for the two candidates who survived the 11-candidate primary. Above, our video of the entire forum, presented by the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council (in place of its regular monthly meeting), at and with South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) on Puget Ridge; below, our notes with key points – NOT full transcriptions – from the candidates’ replies to the 14 questions asked at the forum (including some “different ones!” as they observed with some measure of delight).
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
PRESCHOOLERS’ DROP-IN ART: 11-noon at Delridge Library, “join our guest teacher, Miss Lisa, to complete art projects using nature, recycled materials, and more.” Free. (5423 Delridge Way SW)
SUPERINTENDENT IN SOUTH PARK: Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Denise Juneau visits Concord International Elementary tonight for a listening session in Spanish and English, 6-8 pm. (723 S. Concord)
‘ANGST’: Come watch this film about anxiety and then talk about it at the Denny/Sealth Auditorium – all welcome, even if you’re not a student and don’t have one in the family – anxiety can affect/afflict people at all ages. 6:30 pm. (2600 SW Thistle)
ONE MORE LOOK AT THE CANDIDATES: For the second night in a row, 34th District State Senate candidates Shannon Braddock and Joe Nguyen will answer your questions at a forum in West Seattle. (Our report on last night’s forum, with video, will be published later this morning.) The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce is presenting this one, promising a focus on business and transportation issues. Doors open at 6:30 pm at the Disabled American Veterans Hall; ballot initiative discussion at 6:45; candidates at 7. (4857 Delridge Way SW)
With a week and a half to go until this year’s West Seattle Junction Harvest Festival, here’s one last call for your business/school/organization to be part of it by offering an activity! More options mean more fun for the festival, which happens in the heart of The Junction 10 am-2 pm Sunday, October 28th – an ever-growing extravaganza involving not only activities, but also a costume parade (11:30 am), trick-or-treating (noon), the Farmers’ Market, chili cookoff to raise money for the West Seattle Food Bank, a root-beer garden, and more. A few booth spaces remain – here’s where to register for one.
7:02 AM: Good morning! No outbound incidents or traffic alerts reported so far.
HIGHWAY 99 CLOSURE REMINDER: The details of this weekend’s closure have changed – while the SB side will be closed starting at 9 pm Friday as planned, scheduled to last all weekend, the NB closure plan has been shortened, to start at 6 am Saturday and end by 5 pm that day.