By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Every Monday afternoon, City Councilmembers offer individual updates at what’s known as the “briefing” meeting – what they’re working on, what are issues of concern in their district, among other things. We watched today to see if West Seattle/South Park Councilmember Lisa Herbold would mention Friday’s shooting alongside the SW Andover RV encampment. She did, as you can see/hear starting at 19:01 into the video recording of the meeting.
Herbold said she had talked with Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Martin Rivera recently and asked for a report on police responses in the area around the Andover encampment. She didn’t summarize that report in her remarks, but we requested and received it from her immediately after the meeting. You can see it here; it is dated April 30th, though the councilmember reported obtaining it last week – before the shooting – and if you’re familiar with the area, you’ll note that it covers a multi-block radius, stretching up to Avalon on the west, for example.
Herbold also said she had been in contact with the mayor’s office again, now that it’s been announced full enforcement of the 72-hour parking rule will resume. In our post-meeting email, we asked for clarification on what she had asked them to do regarding Andover, and she forwarded us the email she’d sent earlier this afternoon to Deputy Mayor Tiffany Washington (whose portfolio includes homelessness) and city Public Safety Director Andrew Myerberg:
I am writing to you regarding the ongoing situation at SW Andover Street around 26th Ave SW. A shooting took place there on Friday afternoon. This is the second recent shooting in this area, and has resulted in significant community alarm. I’ve been contacted by numerous constituents since Friday afternoon.
This location has been one that RVs have been parking at for at least 3 years, if not longer. I regularly hear reports of crime from constituents in this area, and have discussed this with SW Precinct Captain Rivera, and his predecessor, on numerous occasions. These reports have increased during the last several months, including from constituents who rarely contact me about crime-related issues. Please see the attached document for a summary provided to me last Thursday by Captain Rivera, upon my request.
I understand that the work the Mayor’s Office is doing regarding the 72 hour parking law includes working to develop prioritization criteria for the various areas throughout the city where nearly 400 RV are reportedly parked with people residing in them. I understand that you must look at the city as a whole in determining where to take action. I am restating the request that I have made verbally in meetings with you since the start of this administration, that you consider prioritizing this location for engagement and enforcement, as the public safety-related issues here appear to be escalating.
(The first paragraph of the email includes two links to WSB coverage, including linking “significant community alarm” to our report from last Friday with 150+ comments.) Nucor‘s top priority is the safety of our team and the community where we operate. This specific encampment on Andover along the southern fence-line of our mill has been the source of serious safety concerns that we have shared with city officials over the past several years. We are continuing to engage with our neighbors in hopes that city officials will soon identify a solution for addressing this proven public safety issue. Meantime, the encampment has long been a concern for the large businesses on both sides of it, including the Nucor steel mill. We asked for comment today and received this response tonight from the mill’s vice president/general mayor Matthew J. Lyons:
Nucor‘s top priority is the safety of our team and the community where we operate. This specific encampment on Andover along the southern fence-line of our mill has been the source of serious safety concerns that we have shared with city officials over the past several years. We are continuing to engage with our neighbors in hopes that city officials will soon identify a solution for addressing this proven public safety issue.
Meantime, no arrest in Friday’s shooting so far, SPD told us today, and we haven’t been able to get information on the victim’s condition.
ADDED TUESDAY MORNING: While no current condition/status is available without knowing the victim’s name, we have since learned from SFD that he is 39 years old and was in stable condition when transported on Friday. (Added Wednesday, for the record, we’ve also learned that police say the victim is a “resident of the encampment.”) We also have an update from Councilmember Herbold, who forwarded a reply she received this morning from Deputy Mayor Washington:
The Nucor site is currently scheduled for remediation for June 16th. This date is tentative and can be changed if circumstances shift but you should start to see a surge of outreach efforts to prepare vehicle owners prior to remediation day. Outreach will advise owners to get back in the habit of regularly moving vehicles to avoid a possible warning and citation. Our goal is to get as much compliance as possible or to offer services to those whose vehicles are not operable prior to the 16th.
The city Human Services Department and county Regional Homelessness Authority are supposed “to schedule outreach efforts as soon as possible.” But the question remains whether this “remediation” – the third in a little over half a year, after the ones in December and April – will result in anything more than temporary junk removal.