West Seattle, Washington
You might have seen regional-news reports about more than a dozen arrests today in what federal agents describe as “an investigation involving armed drug trafficking.” We’ve learned that one of the warrants was served in West Seattle. A reader told us a major law-enforcement response including federal agents and local officers had been at her apartment building near Westwood Village early today. We didn’t get an address but did confirm with authorities that one of the search warrants involved today was for an address on SW Barton. We don’t know yet if an arrest resulted at that location; the court documents made public so far don’t match addresses to names. In all, the U.S. Attorney’s Office says 12 people were arrested today in King and Pierce counties, indicted for alleged drug-distribution conspiracy. Its announcement adds, “Today alone officers seized 48 guns, 2 kilograms of cocaine, 2 pounds of methamphetamine, several thousand fentanyl pills and two illegal marijuana grows. An additional $120,000 cash was also seized.” Agencies participating in the raids included FBI, DEA, Seattle Police, HSI, Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, King County Sheriff’s Office, Valley SWAT, Kent Police Department, ATF, and Narcotics/Currency/Firearms K9 support from seven agencies.
If you can donate blood, now’s the time. You can even set an appointment for upcoming West Seattle pop-ups, to donate without leaving the peninsula. Here’s the message Bloodworks Northwest asked us to share:
Transfusion rates are 10% higher than normal due to hospitals catching up on a backlog of procedures from COVID. Meanwhile, our community blood supply is at precarious levels due to the PNW heatwave which caused many donors to cancel or no-show to appointments. Additionally some donation sites had to close due to A/C in the room not being able to keep up with the extreme outside temperatures.
Now, more than ever, we need to be community-ready and strengthen our blood supply. Every person can do more this summer for our community. With every donation, we can save more lives in our community. Join us by donating blood every time you’re eligible to give and learn more about how you can win incredible prizes at savemorelivesgiveblood.org (fill out form to enter).
When you donate during the month of July, you will automatically be entered to win a Peloton Bike! More info HERE.
Masks and appointments are required. Please sign up NOW at one of these West Seattle locations/dates!
Our Lady of Guadalupe (7000 35th Ave SW) in the gym on July 6, 7, 8 and Aug 30 & 31
Salty’s on Alki (1936 Harbor Ave SW) in the Alki Room on Aug 3, 4, 10, 11 and Sept 7 & 8.
Please sign up HERE.
6:22 PM: Just heard on emergency radio, West Marginal Way SW is being closed between Highland Park Way and Spokene Street. The SFD 911 log has a “wires down” call. Working on more info.
6:57 PM: Per radio communication, a tree brought down wires. (Added: See the City Light truck in the background of our photo.)
Westbound traffic is backed up south of the closure.
7:18 PM: West Marginal is open again.
8:21 PM: More info – and something you should know if you were forced to detour onto the low bridge during the closure – in this note we received from the Southwest Precinct‘s Sgt. Ron Hylton:
A large tree fell across three lanes of travel and the tree was being held up by live power lines that spanned all lanes of travel. Unfortunately I was forced to shut the roadway down in both directions in order to keep the public safe. Seattle City light, SDOT, SRT, Parking Enforcement, and Seattle Police Patrol Officers responded to the scene quickly. I understand that several roadways and bridges are blocked/unusable currently and that is causing some headaches for the public of West Seattle (and surrounding areas) and shutting down a major roadway was not something I did lightly. However, for the safety of the public, I felt it was absolutely necessary to shut it down completely.
Another problem is that several vehicles had no other place to go other than the lower Spokane St. Bridge. That bridge is photo enforced…. I have emailed the photo enforcement office of SPD and asked that no citations be issued to drivers that were forced to use the bridge for this incident. I also put an update on the call that drivers should not be cited for using the bridge as they had no other route to travel due to the closure. If you receive complaints from drivers that were forced to use the lower bridge hopefully this email will assist them in fighting the citation. Please have them refer to incident number 21-164025 to verify the date/time of the closure to W. Marginal. WY SW.
We apologize for any issues the road closure may have caused and assure you that it was absolutely necessary for the safety of the public.
3:35 PM: Seattle Police have announced a 19-year-old man is in custody for investigation of homicide, suspected in the Monday night shooting that killed one person and injured three on Alki (WSB coverage here). The update on SPD Blotter says the suspect actually was arrested “several hours after” the shooting, though SPD told us yesterday afternoon there were no new developments. Working on more details, which we’ll add as we get them.
4 PM: The jail roster shows the suspect was booked around 9 am yesterday. So far the only thing we’ve found on his record is an arrest last November for allegedly threatening to shoot a cousin at their mutual great-grandmother’s house in Seattle’s Judkins Park area. The police report from that case shows a Des Moines address for the suspect (added: today’s court documents confirm that).
4:37 PM: A bit more information from the probable-cause documents just received from the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. First: The suspect is the person we mentioned in our original coverage as having been detained at the hospital after one of the shooting victims was taken there in a private vehicle. Police say that where the suspect was sitting in that car, they found “two semi-automatic handguns.” Also in the court document: One of the shooting survivors, who had a gunshot wound to the leg, told police the gunfire was preceded by “a dispute over fireworks.”
10:13 PM: The victim’s family identifies him as Tilorae Shepherd, 22, of Federal Way, and is crowdfunding for funeral expenses.
For most of us, this week’s record heat was mostly a matter of discomfort. For some – it was deadly. At least two people lost their lives in King County. And there was a wildlife toll. We’ve learned that on a rooftop near the Duwamish River – the heat killed more than 100 baby birds, Caspian Terns and Gulls. The report comes from West Seattle wildlife advocate Kersti Muul of Salish Wildlife Watch.
Even if you don’t know Caspian Terns on sight, you’ve probably heard them – they have a distinctive guttural call that resounds as they fly over the peninsula to the nesting spot where an overheated roof led to the chicks’ deaths. The spot is atop a vacant building on Port of Seattle property on the eastern shore of the Duwamish River. Kersti explains, “This colony is a fragment of a very large colony that was dispersed from Destruction Island [off the Olympic Peninsula coast]. They took up residence here because the cement factory puts out dust that they look at as ‘sand’ and it’s by a river, etc.” But the roof got so hot, they either overheated or else died trying to fly/jump off it.
Kersti’s been involved in rescue efforts for three days now. She says some have been saved and taken to PAWS – the regional wildlife rehab center – but some had to be euthanized, and some died on the way. “It is a very sad scene.” She is raising money for PAWS to handle this and other rescues – you can donate here or via PAWS’ website.
About 50 people showed up online Tuesday evening for the third meeting about a possible racket-sport court for Lowman Beach Park once the current one is removed along with the failing seawall nearby. Here’s what it boiled down to: Seattle Parks says it’s open to the idea of a pickleball court in currently open space on the south side of the park, but not another tennis court. And Parks doesn’t have money for any added features, so if a pickleball court is proposed and approved, the estimated $450,000 cost would have to be covered by a community fundraising campaign. A community group, the Seattle Sports Complex Foundation, got a grant to cover the cost of the process up to this point, working with HBB Landscape Architecture on concepts, but as was made clear last night, this meeting marked the end of that process. Furthermore, Kliment said Parks’ approval wasn’t guaranteed if this community group or someone else decided to pursue the pickleball option – just that Parks isn’t opposed to it, as long as it wouldn’t require removal of the park’s popular swing set, but Parks is opposed to a new tennis court. So now the ball is in community advocates’ court, so to speak. As for how much longer the current court will be available, the removal project (also grant-funded) is out to bid right now and expected to start later this summer. As explained in a separate series of public meetings, it will result in beach restoration and Pelly Creek daylighting.
P.S. Parks says it’ll post video of last night’s meeting on this page soon – we’ll add that link here when it’s available.
Here’s a place where Reopening Day is also Grand Opening Day. In our photo above is the team at West Seattle’s new vehicle/vessel licensing office, right after they cut the ribbon to officially open the new office on the north side of Westwood Village. The grand opening ends a year and a half without a licensing office in West Seattle, and comes eight months after we first reported a new licensing sub-agent would open the office (Randy Lais, at right in photo above, holding the banner, who also has a licensing office in Port Orchard).
(The newly remodeled space previously held a liquor store.) Seattle Auto Licensing, Inc. will be open 9 am-5 pm Mondays-Fridays, 10 am-2 pm Saturdays, but there are two changes in the days ahead: This Saturday (July 3rd) all licensing offices around the state will close at 1 pm for a statewide system upgrade; Monday, the office will be closed for this year’s official Independence Day observance. As noted in our preview last week, they’re temporarily accepting only checks/cash.
We’ll be publishing reopening news as we get it (firstname.lastname@example.org if/when your business/organization announces changes) – among the first announcements in, transit systems around Puget Sound have sent word that they’re returning to full capacity. Here’s the news release, with dates for the systems operating in or near West Seattle:
Riders soon will have more public transportation options as buses, trains and ferries in the Puget Sound region are returning to full capacity and opening all seats starting in July.
Governor Inslee is dropping state social distancing restrictions for transit as part of his decision to reopen the state. As vaccination rates continue to climb in the Puget Sound region and other state restrictions are relaxed, even more people are expected to use transit this summer.
Passengers still must wear masks on transit and at indoor transit facilities in compliance with the federal Transportation Security Administration mandate. Passengers also must continue to maintain a six-foot distance from bus drivers, except when paying fare.
The following agencies are removing signs or barriers that have blocked off seats during the pandemic: Community Transit, Everett Transit, King County Metro, Kitsap Transit, Pierce Transit, Sound Transit, and Washington State Ferries.
[From that list, here are local-to-our-area dates]
Starting Saturday, July 3, normal passenger capacity will resume on Metro buses, on-demand services such as Via to Transit, Seattle Streetcar, water taxis, community vans and shuttles, vanpools, and Access paratransit.
Starting July 3, normal passenger capacity will resume on Link light rail and ST Express bus routes operated by King County Metro (Routes 522, 542, 545, 550 and 554). On Sounder, Tacoma Link and all other ST Express routes, normal capacity will resume starting July 1.
Starting July 1, normal passenger capacity will resume on ferries, and customers will no longer be encouraged to stay in their vehicles.
American flags will fly along the streets in the heart of the West Seattle Junction on the Fourth of July, this Sunday – and you can be part of the volunteer power! Here’s how:
It’s another flag event Sunday, July 4th – this time we’re flying the Stars and Stripes in the Junction – with an additional 20 flags (that’ll make 60) thanks to the generosity of the folks who funded a flag (new in 2021). The funders will have plaques affixed to their flags showing their support of the program.
Volunteers always welcome too! Folks can sign up through the volunteer form for updates. Or they can simply show up! We’ll always meet at Cupcake Royale at 8:30 AM and again at 4 PM to place and remove the flags.
Despite the heat, Cub Scout Pack 799 from Arbor Heights made good on their door-to-door food-drive pickup promise this past weekend. Here are photos and the wrapup report:
Cub Scout Pack 799 completed our food drive this past Saturday, collecting 1,446 pounds of nutritious and/or necessary household donations for West Seattle Food Bank.
The heat was already building Saturday morning, but Scouts started early, braved it, and did a great job collecting from all their fantastic neighbors who continue to support our diverse and growing West Seattle community. Thanks, West Seattle, for your tireless acts of kindness.
For those that missed our drive, and still want to help, consider volunteering at the White Center Food Bank
6:03 AM: Good morning, Might be almost seasonal today, with the forecast suggesting we might even stay in the 70s. Here’s a Tuesday sunset view from Lynn Hall:
Buckled pavement – Repairs on West Marginal Way north of Highland Park Way might stretch into this morning’s commute hours. (UPDATE: Complete before 9 am, says SDOT.)
Delridge project – Station work as well as road work is in this week’s Delridge-and-vicinity plan.
Regular schedule for buses and ferries. WSF has announced that the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route will run two boats on Sundays starting this weekend. Holiday preview: Limited West Seattle Water Taxi service Monday (July 5th).
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
464th morning without the West Seattle Bridge. Here are the views of other bridges and routes:
Low Bridge: 25th 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.)
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:
Trouble on the streets/paths/bridges/water? Please let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.