West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Mac McElroy was not impressed.
Two-thirds of the sidewalk-blocking tent encampment across Delridge Way from his establishment, the Triangle Pub, is gone. But three tents remain. And when a delegation of outreach workers and City Councilmember Lisa Herbold stopped by his place last night, he didn’t get a commitment on how long they’ll be allowed to stay.
“Nobody’s accountable,” he observed.
McElroy is one of the South Delridge business owners who have been asking the city for months to tell the campers to clear the sidewalk.
As we reported two weeks ago, the CoLEAD program – part of a nonprofit – started working with the campers about a month ago, and got several to agree to accept shelter. They’re doing well, said the four people from outreach programs who were at Wednesday night’s sidewalk chat outside the Triangle Pub. Two of them went over to check in with what they say is just one actual remaining resident of the three tents – the others are for her stuff, they said.
ORIGINAL THURSDAY NIGHT REPORT: Police arrested a suspected shoplifter tonight after a four-figure theft from Ulta Beauty in Westwood Village. Their preliminary summary says officers responded to a report of “multiple fragrances” stolen from the store. They found the suspect on foot nearby and recovered $3,094 worth of stolen items. The suspect was booked into jail; the items were returned to the store.
ADDED NOON FRIDAY: More details from the full-length police report – the suspect is a 31-year-old man. Police found him after checking the Longfellow Creek Legacy Trail in the Roxhill Park area south of Westwood Village; the report says the trail “is commonly used by shoplift suspects as it allows significant cover and provides multiple access/exit points.” They found him with a backpack that looked “overstuffed”; a witness had told them he was in the store wearing a backpack and “carrying a large laundry bin” into which 34 bottles of fragrance products had been placed. The witness said he was then seen in the parking lot near trash bins, removing tags from the stolen products, and transferring them from the laundry bin. Police found the 34 bottles in the backpack. According to online records, the suspect has a lengthy criminal history going back more than a decade and is currently awaiting trial on charges from two building burglaries downtown early this year. The documents from that case say his record includes at least 55 failure-to-appear warrants from past cases.
8 PM: Thanks for the tips. An emergency response is at the scene of what witnesses say is a motorcycle crash on West Marginal Way just north of Highland Park Way. Avoid the area.
8:21 PM: Our crew says the scene has cleared. We’re checking with SFD on injuries.
9 PM: SFD spokesperson Kristin Tinsley tells us a ~21-year-old man was taken to the hospital in stable condition.
Thanks for all the tips. A film (actually TV) crew staging in Fauntleroy today will be working in Lincoln Park tomorrow. Here’s what we’ve found out.
A crew member we found at the park today would only confirm that it’s a show for Adult Swim, a late-night block of programming on the Cartoon Network. According to a post on a social-media group for film-extra gigs, the Adult Swim series “Three Busy Debras’ has been shooting at the Harbor Island soundstage recently unveiled by King County, so that could be it.
The note on the door of that rental truck says “Alive and Kicking Inc.,” which is the Cartoon Network entity that produces live-action programming including “Three Busy Debras.” The signage in the Lincoln Park north parking lot says they’ll be filming 5 am to 9 pm tomorrow, using the lot as well as some of the trails.
After a year of “stay-at-home” orders, our members are experiencing real challenges with mental health, isolation, and loneliness. As we draw near the end of this pandemic, we know reconnecting our community can best help the seniors of West Seattle overcome these challenges.
We know this to be true, because we hear it from the seniors in our Aging Well group as they discuss the true toll the pandemic had had on their mental health and how relieved they are to be able to express vulnerability to a group of sympathetic friends. We see it in our Quilters Group, a gathering of artists that feels more like a socially distanced family reunion after a year apart. We feel it when we see Veterans sharing coffee again in person and with our film buffs coming to watch movies together at the Senior Center.
As the Senior Center of West Seattle steadily adds back more in-person programs to meet the strong desire for community, we are calling on our neighbors to support the “Reconnecting Our Community” campaign.
Between now and July 31st, the Senior Center of West Seattle is aiming to raise $25,000 via a crowdfunding campaign.
To get involved:
–Make an online donation today
–Become a Champion and rally your friends, family, and neighbors to donate through our crowdfunding campaign
That’s video of the governor’s big announcement this afternoon that the state plans “incentives” for getting vaccinated. Not just for those who have yet to get a shot, but for those who are already vaccinated, too. The “Shot of a Lifetime” promotion includes five weekly drawings for cash – $250,000 weekly for four weeks and $1 million for the fifth – plus prizes from state-parks passes to college-tuition credits. (See the complete list in the news release.) Everybody who’s in the state database is eligible; the drawings start June 8th. One big question: How do you verify that you’re in the state database? You can do it online here, or by calling the state hotline at 833-VAX-HELP.
When the ST3 ballot measure was passed, it promised West Seattle light rail in 2030. Since then, the schedule has slid to 2031. And as a result of the “realignment” process on which Sound Transit has embarked because of projected revenue shortages and cost increases, it could be pushed back even further. The ST Board – mostly local elected officials from King, Snohomish, and Pierce Counties – is supposed to adopt a realignment plan next month. At a special board meeting today, three possible scenarios were presented – they’re in the slide deck starting on page 3:
(If you can’t see it there, read it here. Note that these are not necessarily what the board will consider in its final vote.) While the third scenario would deliver all of West Seattle light rail by 2032, the other two would phase it in, starting no sooner than 2035.
Comments during today’s meeting continued to show disagreements between board members on the process itself. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan declared that the board is “barreling toward a decision that’s one of the worst decisions we could make as a board,” amending the plan based on financial projections that already have seen major changes and could see more. King County Executive Dow Constantine also warned against making monumental decisions based on “speculative” information. He suggested the decision could be delayed a bit further until the ST budget process gives them a better picture of finances. King County Council Chair Claudia Balducci, meantime, has been advocating working on scenarios to cut costs rather than delay projects, and she is said to be working with ST staff on an “alternative” along those lines, though it was not ready for presentation today.
No votes were taken at the meeting, but board chair Kent Keel (from the University Place City Council in Pierce County) asked members to send him their thoughts before the next full board meeting June 24th. He also noted that the System Expansion Committee will get an update one week from today on the evaluation of those dramatically increased costs first revealed earlier this year.
A new chapter – and new name – for one of West Seattle’s most distinctive new buildings.
Thanks to Stewart L. for the tip about the new “For Lease” sign at 1307 Harbor Avenue SW (across from Don Armeni Boat Ramp), completed last year and built primarily as a “campus” for a Korea-based apparel firm, with offices, “light manufacturing” space, and even housing units. Its planning and construction drew extra attention because one of the buildings demolished to make way for it held a longtime West Seattle dive bar, the Alki Tavern (closed in 2013, but not torn down until four years later). The project was completed last year, and at least one business tenant has moved in (WSB sponsor Lake Washington Physical Therapy) – and suddenly it’s seeking one or more new tenants for 21,000 square feet of space – which, according to project documents, is the entirety of the office and “light manufacturing” space.
Digging into the online listing, we find the building now has a name, Denali (after the highest mountain in North America). Office and deck space is offered for lease (here’s the brochure) on five of its floors.
We inquired with the listing brokers to see what happened to the original plan; so far, no reply. We also have a message out to a local executive of the entity that built the project. We’ll update if we get any responses. The listing indicates the spaces are available separately or together – from 2,100 square feet up to the entire 21,000.
SIDE NOTE: Before getting news of the lease listing, we had been researching something else about the building:
Back when the project was going through Design Review, one feature that drew positive comments was a promised “hillclimb” stairway that the public would be able to use to cut through the building from Harbor Avenue to California Way. This spring, we received two inquiries from people who noticed the stairway hadn’t been built and wondered if it was to be added later. Answer: No. We read through dozens of project documents and found one showing the stairway was removed from the plan in 2018. The revision, approved by the city, said that while part of the stairway was “to be supported on old residential foundations,” those foundations were found to be in “no condition to support additional loads.” They couldn’t find a way around it, adding, “Furthermore, SDOT limitations to access to adjoining California Way SW and the steep slope complicates exponentially the construction of this stair.”
That’s the jack left behind by two would-be thieves who tried to steal the catalytic converter from Andrew‘s pickup truck at 45th SW and SW Stevens at 4:45 am today. Andrew says he chased them off; he did not get a good look at the second person but “the one doing the cutting” was a man in his late 20s to early 30s, white, wearing a red hoodie” and, Andrew says, tried to hit him with his Sawzall before fleeing. He is specifically wondering if anyone might have gotten security video of the two and/or their car, which “was parked a block south on 45th Street and appeared to be a black or dark colored F-150. The police asked that if anyone had any footage of the thieves walking back to their car to add it to the police report. He would be holding a Milwaukee red Sawzall and walking southbound on 45th Street around 4:50 AM.” The SPD incident number is 21-136648.
Here’s what’s happening in the hours ahead:
LIGHT RAIL: Will Sound Transit‘s “realignment” process lead to delayed or reduced light rail for West Seattle? Board members’ next discussion is in a special meeting 10:30 am-12:30 pm today, online. The agenda includes information on watching/commenting.
GET VACCINATED AT SSC: 11 am-3 pm at the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) Brockey Center, people 18+ can get the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Appointments recommended (but not required); more info here.
GOVERNOR’S BRIEFING: 2:30 pm, Gov. Inslee talks about the pandemic, with planned guests including the state lottery director. Watch the livestream here.
DEMONSTRATION: 4-6 pm, join organizer Scott in the twice-weekly streetcorner sign-waving for racial justice, 16th/Holden (signs available if you don’t have your own).
NORTH HIGHLINE UNINCORPORATED AREA COUNCIL: The community council for White Center and vicinity meets at 7 pm online, with guests on topics including parks, permitting, roads, and youth. Participation info is on our partner site White Center Now.
6:03 AM: Good morning. The forecast is for more sunshine – but at least 10 degrees cooler than Wednesday (which had an 85-degree high).
ROAD WORK UPDATES
Delridge project – The Delridge/Orchard work ahd north-end Delridge paving are finished; the west side of Delridge/Barton/Henderson and the east side of Delridge/Thistle are still closed. Here are details of this week’s plan.
SW Yancy – Still closed west of 28th SW.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
438th morning without the West Seattle Bridge. Here are the views of other bridges and routes:
Low Bridge: 21st week for automated enforcement cameras; restrictions are in effect 5 am-9 pm daily – except weekends, when the bridge is open to all until 8 am Saturday and Sunday mornings. (Access applications are available for some categories of drivers.)
Here’s a low-bridge view:
West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way:
Highland Park Way/Holden:
The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):
And the 1st Avenue South Bridge (map):
For the South Park Bridge (map), here’s the nearest camera:
Are bridges opening for boats or barges? Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed.
Trouble on the streets/paths/bridges/water? Please let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.