West Seattle, Washington
ORIGINAL FRIDAY NIGHT REPORT: Six years after 36-year-old Harold Felton died in a trench collapse at a West Seattle worksite, his then-employer was sentenced today to 45 days in jail. We last reported on the case in 2018, when Phillip Numrich, owner of Burien-headquartered Alki Construction LLC, became what the state described at the time as ““the first … Washington employer (who) has faced felony charges for a workplace fatality.” He was charged with manslaughter. Earlier this year, in a plea agreement, Numrich pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of attempted reckless endangerment, a gross misdemeanor. The charge carried a maximum sentence of three months in jail; prosecutors agreed to recommend one month. The court file for this afternoon’s hearing includes this letter from state Labor and Industries supporting jail time, which L&I called unprecedented, detailing what its investigation found:
After several days of heavy rainfall, (Numrich) allowed Mr. Felton to enter an eight- to ten-foot deep trench to work on the sewer replacement. It had been raining heavily, but Mr. Numrich had only brought enough shoring (safety equipment) to protect two of the four sides of the trench from a cave-in. It’s common knowledge that soil becomes less stable following heavy rains. While Mr. Felton was working inside the trench, the sides collapsed, burying him under a massive amount of dirt and killing him. The requirements to protect an excavation such as this one have been in place since the 1970s, and are well known to everyone in the industry.
The defense filed a document quoting Mr. Felton’s co-worker at the site as suggesting insufficient shoring was not at fault, but rather “tunneling” done by the victim. Today’s hour-plus-long hearing also incorporated sentencing for a charge to which Numrich’s company agreed to plead guilty, “violation of labor-safety regulation with death resulting.” King County Superior Court Judge Michael Diaz ordered the 45-day sentence for Numrich on the attempted-reckless-endangerment charge; the sentencing minutes don’t show whether a fine was ordered for the company charge, but the plea bargain included a state recommendation that he be fined $100,000. (We’ll follow up Monday for additional details.)
ADDED MONDAY: Court documents that weren’t available until today show that the judge ordered a $25,000 fine.
The Admiral Neighborhood Association isn’t just for Admiral residents – it’s also for business owners, workers, students, shoppers, diners, anyone with an interest in the neighborhood. And ANA would love to connect with you at its next meeting, set for Tuesday night (March 8th), 7 pm. You can participate either in person (Admiral Church, 4320 SW Hill) or online (link’s in our calendar listing). ANA also is reminding you that it’s launched a new website – connecttoadmiral.org.
That’s some of the art by Alaina Bryan that’s on display at Locust Cider on Alki. It’s her first show, and you can meet her during a 4-10 pm reception there tomorrow (Saturday, March 5th). Here’s her story:
I’m a 24-year-old artist from West Seattle specializing in a unique art technique that I call “claynting”- that is, painting with polymer clay on glass surfaces. I invented the technique in 2019 while recovering from a traumatic brain injury. Nearly 3 years later, I am fully recovered, much thanks to my art therapy. I work now as a full-time self-employed artist while studying UX Design in online grad school. My injury has made me determined to do what I love with the time I’m given, and given me a passion for accessibility, especially in the arts & entertainment industry.
I have approximately 50 works of art, all for sale, currently being displayed at Locust Cider on Alki, including many of my original clay works. All of my works are created from secondhand or ‘upcycled’ materials, including the large polymer clay windows. Also, many of my pieces are UV fluorescent and/or glow-in-the-dark! This makes for very fun night-time viewing over a delicious glass of cider.
Locust is at 2820 Alki SW, open to all ages.
Winter’s not over yet, and colder weather is ahead. Keith Hughes of the West Seattle Veteran Center and American Legion Post 160 says he plans to reopen the overnight shelter there at 5 pm tomorrow (Saturday, March 5th). He plans to keep it open through at least next Wednesday, adding, “I will be staffing it myself and with volunteers from 5 pm until 10 am each day.” He says the King County Regional Homelessness Authority still is not funding the shelter, which is the only one in West Seattle – if they would , he says, “we could increase our staffing and increase our capacity to help the homeless community in the Southwest corridor.” Meantime, we asked if they need any particular donations right now, volunteers or food/clothing or money. His reply: “The community response over the past two cold spells has been wonderful and very generous, so I really don’t have any pressing needs for supplies or clothing this time around. I have also been able to build up my list of willing volunteers, so I am able to get at least one break per day for a run of 5 or 6 days of cold. I just want to keep up the awareness that winter is not over and there are still people out there without food and shelter. When you see them, help them. If you can’t help them directly, point them to the West Seattle Veteran Center Shelter.” It’s at 3618 SW Alaska.
That’s the view from Schurman Rock at Camp Long. After a long period of pandemic closure, the 68-acre park at 5200 35th SW has “soft-reopened,” and that opens opportunities not only for visiting, but also for helping guide its future. First, here’s what we’ve learned from Camp Long supervisor Matt Kostle:
Camp Long Park is open, hours as follows:
Tuesday through Sunday – Gates are open from 10 am-6 pm
(Comfort Stations may close slightly earlier to allow staff time to close the whole facility)
We are now accepting rentals at full capacity for the following:
-Main Lodge rooms (upstairs room, basement, kitchen)
-Outside large fire ring
We are planning to open rentals to our cabins soon
Our Challenge Course and Rock Wall are also available for groups to register for programming!
For rental and general park information, contact Nancy Mitchell 206-684-7434 email@example.com
For Educational Challenge Course Programs, contact: Maggie Riederer firstname.lastname@example.org
Kostle adds, “We are transitioning to these new hours and rentals and with limited staff on hand so we may not have as much availability for rentals and park opening and closure may not be at exact times published but we are making every effort to move to these times and availabilities to keep the park open and rentals available to use.”
He also told us, “During the pandemic we have also been able to make some major upgrades to the facilities, the biggest of which is the addition of WIFI now available at the main lodge in addition to some large Smart TVs so folks can host meetings, conferences, presentations, etc. here and still reach a wider digital audience!”
Now, here’s where you come in. Camp Long is revitalizing its Advisory Council and would love to hear from prospective members. Here’s that announcement:
Help Make Camp Long an Epic Destination – Become an Advisory Council Member:
Represent and engage the community
Advocate on behalf of the community
Advise on programs and activities that meet community needs
Assist with fundraising and promotions
Event planning and volunteer participation
RSVP today to join us for a virtual information and interest session on Tuesday, March 15th at 6:30 pm
Or contact email@example.com – 206-265-1378
West Seattle’s representative on the Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors, Leslie Harris, was the only “no” vote this morning as the board voted to offer interim superintendent Dr. Brent Jones the permanent job. The 6-1 vote came during a special board meeting. The board had hired a consulting firm that launched a “national search” two months ago, but no other candidates had been announced. Dr. Jones has been interim superintendent for 10 months, following the departure of Denise Juneau after just under three years. The announcement of today’s vote says contract negotiations will start immediately; the interim role carried a $315,000 salary.
Just in from the White Center Food Bank, which also serves part of West Seattle:
CALL FOR BABY FORMULA DONATIONS!
There was a recall of formula, and White Center Food Bank is running extremely low on supplies for our baby pantry.
We could use our community’s help to restock the shelves!
Here are the recall guidelines so you can check before you buy.
Donation hours at the food bank are 8-3:30 Mondays-Fridays (10829 8th Ave SW)
If those hours or location are not convenient, we have donation barrels located at:
– BECU in Roxbury Safeway
– Burien Press
– Moonshot Coffee
– Good Day Donuts
– Future Primitive Beer
– White Center and Fauntleroy Starbucks locations
You can also donate online at: whitecenterfoodbank.networkforgood.com
New information today about Thursday’s sewer-pipe leak beneath Beach Drive, north of Lowman Beach. As noted in a late-night update added to our original coverage, it’s a King County Wastewater Treatment Division pipe, and right now, a crew is on scene using a video camera to get a closer look at the problem. We’ve talked with KCWTD spokesperson Marie Fiore, who says the pipe carries West Seattle sewage to the West Point treatment plant across Elliott Bay. It runs parallel to another pipe, so they had to “hand dig” to get to it for investigative purposes, so the other pipe isn’t damaged in the process, Fiore explained; that one is now carrying what would have been routed through the leaky pipe. She says they’re 70-year-old concrete pipes. Once the camera crew – whose work has traffic down to one lane, with flaggers, in the area right now – is done, they’ll know the timing and scope of repair work. Meantime, the Lowman Beach shore – affected by the seawall construction work right now anyway – will stay closed at least through the weekend, as Fiore says water-testing results aren’t expected back until Monday. They’re also working on an estimate of how much sewage spilled before the leak was stopped last night.
9:22 AM: Thanks for the tip. SW Roxbury is blocked at 16th by a large police/sheriff’s response. We are told at the scene that they are attempting to arrest “a person with a knife” who is outside the T-Mobile store at that intersection. The closure continues to the east. Updates to come.
9:30 AM: This is primarily a KCSO situation, although SPD is there too. Deputies tell us they had dealt with the suspect earlier and that he had threatened them with a knife, so that’s what preceded this standoff. 16th and Delridge are both blocked to the north of Roxbury. (added) Metro has rerouted the 120, 128, and 60, according to an alert.
9:42 AM: The man is now in custody. Our crew was still on scene and reports that the man moved toward a line of shielded deputies and was within Taser distance, so they used that weapon to subdue and arrest him. They tell us the streets should reopen in 15 to 30 minutes.
10:21 AM: As shown on the nearest traffic cam, the scene has cleared and the streets are open again. Metro has also sent an update that buses are back to their normal routes.
Here’s what’s happening on March’s first Friday:
POP-UP CLEANUP: 10 am-noon, join Erik Bell in a pop-up family-friendly cleanup starting at EC Hughes Playground (29th/Holden). Our calendar listing has details of how to participate, for all or part of it.
MAYOR ON PUBLIC SAFETY: Mayor Bruce Harrell plans a speech about public-safety collaboration at 10:30 am, joined by agencies that work on it, at the federal, state, county, and city level. You can watch live via Seattle Channel.
DJ NIGHT AT THE SPOT WEST SEATTLE: Friday night DJ’ing starts at 6 pm. (2920 SW Avalon Way)
SCHOOL MUSIC SHOWCASE ON RADIO: Thanks to Dawn for the tip:
Tonight’s episode of NW Focus Live on Classical KING FM 98.1 will feature a panel of Seattle-area music students and teachers. Taking part in the discussion on their experiences with music education are Chief Sealth Band Director Joey Roberts and student musician and Sealth junior Riley Tobin. Riley will also be performing live on the show along with the other student panelists. NW Focus Live airs on Friday evening at 8 PM.
AUTHOR EVENT AT C&P COFFEE: 7-9 pm at C&P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor), “join author and musician Gerald Elias for a Special Free Book and Music Event and light refreshments … Elias will present his 7th and newest Daniel Jacobus murder mystery, CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MURDER.” More info in our calendar listing.
‘A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD’: Second weekend starts for Twelfth Night Productions‘ presentation of this whimsical musical, 7:30 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW). Our calendar listing includes the ticket link.
Anything to add to our calendar? Email us – firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
6:03 AM: Good morning! Welcome to Friday, March 4th.
Cloudy, cooler forecast, with a high in the 40s.
Saturday and Sunday, repaving resumes on West Marginal Way SW south of Highland Park Way; Sunday, there’ll be work at the 5-way intersection as well as sign work further west on Spokane. Details on all three projects are here.
BUSES, WATER TAXI, FERRIES TODAY
Metro is on its regular weekday schedule. Watch @kcmetrobus for word of reroutes/cancellations.
Water Taxi‘s on its regular schedule.
Ferries: WSF continues the two-boat schedule for Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth. Check here for alerts/updates.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
710th morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
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 here for some categories of drivers.)
1st Avenue South Bridge:
South Park Bridge:
West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way:
Highland Park Way/Holden:
The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):
Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Text or call us (when you can do so safely) – 206-293-6302.