West Seattle, Washington
Criminal cases often take many months to work their way through the legal system. In recent months we’ve received multiple inquiries about one case in particular, the rape charge filed in April 2020 against then-18-year-old Jackson U. Sullivan. He was accused of raping a 16-year-old girl who was incapable of consent, “intoxicated to the point of loss of motor functions … (during) what should have been an enjoyable high-school party” in November 2019. Both were West Seattle High School students at the time. As with many cases, there have been routine status hearings during those months. A notation appeared in the online case file recently, saying that a plea agreement was expected. We checked back on the case tonight and learned that Sullivan, now 19, pleaded guilty Thursday to a reduced charge, third-degree rape; the original charge was second-degree rape. The standard sentencing range is six months to a year; case documents say prosecutors are recommending a nine-month sentence. Sullivan has been out on bond since spending four hours in jail shortly after he was charged last year. His sentencing is scheduled before King County Superior Court Judge Josephine Wiggs-Martin on August 6th.
In case you also wondered about that temporary camera at 59th/Alki – it’s labeled as having been placed for an SDOT traffic study, but without elaboration on what’s being studied, so we asked. An SDOT spokesperson replied, “This camera on Alki Trail at 59th Ave SW is for the SDOT’s annual bike counting program, done at about 40 locations across the city and during the warm-weather months. More details about this type of count are available in our annual traffic reports on this webpage.” The most-recent report there, from 2020, cited a 2019 “average annual daily traffic” count for that spot as 340.
As previewed in our daily “what’s happening” list, Emerald Water Anglers in The Junction (4502 42nd SW; WSB sponsor) is open this evening for some shopping, socializing, and a celebration of art. It’s the shop’s first event post-reopening, with many more to come, says proprietor Dave McCoy. If you haven’t been to the shop, it’s dedicated to outdoor gear, particularly for fly fishing.
DeLorme is also a professional guide for EWA and is working on new in-shop art.
Tonight’s event is on until 8 pm.
SDOT‘s weekly update on the repaving-and-more project preparing for the RapidRide H Line is complicated this week – some continuing closures, some new ones, some reopenings. First the good news:
*Southbound Delridge between Holden and Thistle, “by Monday,” and with that, the following:
*Long-closed SW Thistle east of Delridge – the project team says, “The east side of SW Thistle St will reopen as soon as we are done with upgrades on Delridge Way SW between SW Holden St and SW Thistle St. The final upgrades and subsequent reopening of SW Thistle St are planned to happen by Monday.”
*SW Henderson east of Delridge – this too is expected to reopen by Monday
*Once the aforementioned work is done and southbound Delridge reopens between Holden and Thistle, southbound Delridge then will close between Thistle and Henderson (24/7)
*SW Trenton will close east of Delridge once SW Thistle has reopened
*26th SW northbound, between SW Barton and SW Roxbury “soon” (this is King County work, no start date yet, more info expected next week)
*”For the weekends of July 30 – August 1 and August 6 – 8, all travel lanes on Delridge Way SW between SW Henderson St and SW Cambridge St will be closed to people driving and taking transit.”
The full weekly preview for the entire project zone is here.
Meet the Silver Seals of the Salish Sea, a group of swimmers whose members have all been on the planet for at least 60 years. This Sunday, six of them – including two West Seattleites – hope to become the first swimmers to swim a relay from Bremerton to Alki Point. One of the swimmers, Guila Muir, says, “We’ll set two records, because no one has ever swum this as a relay, much less swimmers over 60.” She will swim with West Seattleites Scott Lautman and Greg Rolnick, as well as Rachel Price, Zena Courtney, and Michael Palmer. They’re expecting to start from Bremerton around 6:30 am and hope to arrive off Alki Point in the 12:30-1:30 pm vicinity. As it’s a relay, they’ll each swim for half an hour, with each swimmer doing that at least twice. “The distance each swimmer covers during that time will vary, according to currents and their swim speed. Those lucky enough to be swimming in Rich Passage may have the time of their lives, swimming with a super-fast current. That will feel like flying,” Muir says.
She says the Silver Seals are “an ad-hoc team that I put together because swimming this with over-60’s has been my dream for two years.” They’re all veteran open-water swimmers who swim in Puget Sound and/or Lake Washington year-round; Muir herself is also an “ice swimmer.” (She says the Puget Sound temperature on Sunday will be a comparatively bathtubby 57 degrees.)
Side note: The Northwest Open Water Swimming Association tells us a solo swimmer is planning to take on the Bremerton/Alki route Saturday – Melissa Kegler of Sammamish “will be swimming a double lap of the Amy Hiland Swim (Bremerton to Alki and back to Bremerton). She will be starting in Bremerton around 6 AM, and is expected to make the turn at the Alki Lighthouse sometime around 11 AM – 12 PM.” (Kegler and Muir were featured here in 2019.)
You can track both swims – once they begin and the tracking boat is sending a signal – here.
LOW-LOW TIDE: Out to -3.3 feet as of moments ago. Seattle Aquarium volunteer beach naturalists are ONLY at Lincoln Park today and this weekend because of the sewer break south of Alki Point; you’ll find them at LP until 12:30 pm.
LEMONADE & TREATS: Happening 11 am-5 pm today and tomorrow at 42nd/Charlestown:
Hi! My name is Harper and me and my friend, Akemi, are 11 year old scouts who just completed our bronze award by making the inclusion fence at HPIC. We are having a lemonade stand this weekend to help raise money to go to Costa Rica in 2022 so we can learn about sea turtles and explore the amazing rainforests. Marine animals have always fascinated us and this trip will be an amazing experience, especially because Akemi wants to be a marine biologist when she grows up! Please help us reach Costa Rica by buying lemonade, iced coffee or treats!
ARTIST NIGHT: Emerald Water Anglers (4502 42nd SW; WSB sponsor) welcomes you 6 pm-8 pm to socialize and enjoy art – blown-glass fish and wood-cut prints – plus, an artist will be working live. More in our calendar listing.
DJ NIGHT: The Spot West Seattle (2920 SW Avalon Way) features live DJs, starting at 5 pm, on Friday nights.
(What are we missing? Text 206-293-6302 or email email@example.com – thank you!)
King County Elections projects only a 40 percent turnout for the August 3rd election. That, despite a ballot including Seattle Mayor, two citywide City Council positions, City Attorney, County Executive, and a major levy. You can prove them wrong – get your ballot in! If you didn’t get your ballot yet but are registered, request a replacement here, or call 206-296-VOTE. If you didn’t get a ballot because you’re NOT registered, Monday is the deadline for registering online or by mail. After that, you can still register in person, but you have to go to King County Elections’ Renton HQ or a Vote Center.
Family and friends are remembering Marty Dirks, and sharing his life story with his community:
The extraordinary life of Martin (“Marty”) C. Dirks, family man, adventurer, and master storyteller who also made significant contributions to Seattle and King County infrastructure as a civil engineer, ended on July 16 in a Seattle hospital, surrounded by his loving family. He was 87.
Marty split his time between Seattle, where he was born on April 9, 1934, and Camano Island, where he was raised. Highlights of his teen years were chronicled in the Seattle Post Intelligencer by his father, Clarence, a sportswriter-turned “City-Bred Farmer” columnist. Clarence frequently wrote about his oldest son’s raising of award-winning Holsteins, rearing chickens and sheep, pitching hay, learning to drive a tractor, and of Marty’s numerous exploits with friends on the island.
Marty once listed 34 duties he had as a youth, from farm chores to working summers as a boatman at Camano fishing resorts to logging and, at age 16, spending one summer in a gold mining camp near Fairbanks before working as a cook in a forest fire fighting camp. He drove heavy equipment during the construction of the Hood Canal Bridge and other road projects and worked briefly as a commercial fisherman around Neah Bay. He had owned 13 vehicles, all in various states of repair, by the time he hit 18.
Following his 1952 graduation from Twin City High School in Stanwood, where he lettered in football, Marty attended Central Washington College in Ellensburg for a year before enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps. He attributed his years as an avid hunter to his excellence in marksmanship ratings while in boot camp. He finished top in his class in aviation radio repair school before his assignment to airfield duty in the Mohave desert. Sgt. Dirks later took part in the “Operation Teapot” nuclear bomb tests in Frenchman Flats, Nev.
After three years in the military, Marty earned a degree in civil engineering from the University of Washington. He married his wife of 61 years, Ann K. Smith, on Oct. 16, 1959 in West Seattle. He landed his first professional engineering position with Western Electric in New Jersey, where their twin sons Greg and Brian were born, but then took a position with Boeing so they could return to their beloved home state of Washington, settling in West Seattle, where Ann was raised. The couple would have three more sons in Seattle over the next 11 years: John, Stephen, and Tom.
Marty left Boeing after a year to work at Metro Engineers, a consortium of consulting engineering firms deployed by King County Metro to address the badly polluted Lake Washington and other civic projects. That led to Marty’s long career as a principal officer (and eventually president) of the Seattle firm of Kramer, Chin and Mayo (KCM). At KCM Marty had strong leadership roles over the design of several noteworthy projects, including the original sewage treatment plant at West Point in Seattle and later its extensive upgrade, several fish hatcheries and wastewater treatment plants across Washington, Alaska and the United States, municipal sewage systems, lake restoration projects, and stormwater systems. Marty was KCM’s project manager for the Seattle Aquarium. One of his proudest professional moments was traveling with his teammates to Washington, D.C. to accept his professional association’s national Grand Conceptor Award for the aquarium’s innovative design. In 1974 KCM won a contract with China to design a prawn rearing operation, one of the first of its kind to be awarded after China-U.S. relations were normalized. Marty went to China on behalf of the company for a few weeks to oversee its initial construction, his first of several trips there for other jobs. He also made numerous project trips to Alaska and other parts of the globe. He is credited with bringing in much of the company’s work through his extensive relationships in his field.
Marty was known through his many professional and personal life circles as a trouble-shooter, artful negotiator, problem solver, and relationship builder. Marty was regarded as one of the region’s foremost experts in tunnels and sewer systems and his advice was sought even long after his retirement in 1995. He was a recipient of the Consulting Engineering Council of Washington’s Engineer of the Year award. Following his retirement Marty served on the boards of the Seattle Museum of History and Industry, the Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka, Alaska and the South Seattle Community College Foundation, as well as a dispute-resolution board for major public-works projects. He kept in close contact with many of his high school classmates in Stanwood, even hosting a few class reunions on his property.
More significant to Marty than his professional life was his family and outdoor life.
In the 1960s Marty built a small cabin on Camano Island where the family spent most summer weekends and vacation time and lived for a year while he remodeled an older home in West Seattle. In 1972 Marty won the statewide, summer-long Seattle Sporting Goods fishing derby by catching a 44-pound chinook salmon off Camano and took home a boat as first prize. Marty helped his sons with their paper routes, became deeply involved in their Boy Scout activities, and often took them salmon fishing and hunting.
Marty made annual fishing trips to British Columbia over the years and in the late 1990s began taking his sons along too until mostly hanging up his fishing rod eight years ago. Marty was known for his quick wit and humor and was generous with his time (and stories) with his family, many friends and neighbors. He served as a mentor to many young people, and nurtured professional mentorships. After learning to snow ski in his late 40s, he co-organized annual ski trips of family and friends to McCall, Idaho.
He and Ann, who died in early January, enjoyed a long and fulfilling retirement. When not traveling to points around the world, Marty and Ann spent time with family and friends in their West Seattle and Camano Island homes and volunteered for Ryther and other non-profits. When Ann became infirm, Marty became her primary caregiver for several years.
Besides his sons and their spouses (Nancy, Dee, Ellen and Suzy), Marty is survived by his brother Mike in Spokane, 10 grandchildren, and three great grandchildren, all of whom live in the greater Puget Sound region.
Arrangements are by the Emmick Family Funeral Home in West Seattle. A limited-capacity memorial service for Marty will be held at 11 a.m. on August 28 at the Fauntleroy United Church of Christ in West Seattle. The family is arranging for additional seating and online viewing at the Hall at Fauntleroy across the street, followed by a “Party for Marty” there. The service will also stream online – please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for details. The family suggests donations in his name to Seattle Ryther or to the Stanwood-Camano Area Foundation, which has posted a special link at the top of its web page at https://s-caf.org
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
6:07 AM: Good morning, Today’s forecast – more sunshine and another high in the 70s..
Delridge project – Southbound Delridge is still closed between Holden and Trenton. So is Henderson on the east side of Delridge. We should hear today if they’ll end within a few days as planned – but new closures are to follow.
SW Genesee – Genesee is scheduled to continue as one lane, alternating, between 26th and 30th, because of vehicles working on the nearby “pond.” As explained here, work hours are 7 am-6 pm.
Weekend reminder – Highland Park Way/West Marginal intersection: Work will be 3 am-1 pm with lane reductions this weekend, as previewed here.
Buses are on regular schedules – except for the Route 120 reroute because of the southbound Delridge Way work and the Route 128 reroute because of the SW Henderson closure east of Delridge. Watch @kcmetrobus for word of bus cancellations.
For ferries, regular schedule. Watch and @wsferries for updates.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
487th morning without the West Seattle Bridge. Here are the views of other bridges and routes:
Low Bridge: Automated enforcement cameras remain in use; restrictions are in effect 5 am-9 pm daily – except weekends; 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.
Across the bay from the northeast West Seattle shore, one of those cranes at Terminal 46 (south of Colman Dock) just got a new lease on life, and it’s partly because of the Terminal 5 project over here. The Pacific Maritime Association is leasing the one on the left, Crane 80, from the Northwest Seaport Alliance for a new training facility. Two weeks after NWSA managing members – the port commissioners of Seattle and Tacoma – approved it, there was a media briefing at the terminal Thursday. Among those speaking, Seattle port commissioner Stephanie Bowman:
The PMA – 70 ocean carriers and terminal operators operating at the 29 West Coast Ports – has been conducting training at West Seattle’s Terminal 5, but won’t be able to do that once the first modernized berth there opens early next year. PMA’s Nairobi Russ talked about the training’s role in worker readiness:
ILWU Local 19 president Rich Austin said this fills a growing need.
To get ready for use in training, NWSA documents say, Crane 80 needs about $600,000 in work. The cranes became port property after Total Terminals International left T-46 at the end of 2019.
For use of the crane, part of T-46, and office space, the PMA will pay about $1.2 million a year. T-46’s longterm future remains unsettled – a proposal to convert part of it into a cruise-ship terminal was shelved last year. But the training facility won’t be its only near-term use – it’ll be used for container overflow too, incoming and outgoing.