FOLLOWUP: After second shooting, Councilmember Herbold asks mayor’s office to ‘consider prioritizing’ Andover encampment for action

(WSB photo, last Friday)

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.

101 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: After second shooting, Councilmember Herbold asks mayor's office to 'consider prioritizing' Andover encampment for action"

  • Morgan May 16, 2022 (9:23 pm)

    Struggling to write a comment that doesn’t come across as too flippant; but why on earth wait until this horrible moment to finally say something this measured? 

    • flimflam May 17, 2022 (7:15 am)

      She really seems to just go whichever way blows…there’s an number of reasons these camps aren’t a good idea.

  • Vee May 16, 2022 (9:50 pm)

    Herbold now just acting like she cares cause she knows we want her out and her previous actions against not supporting police and enabling crime are now a real problem

    • Geno May 17, 2022 (3:38 pm)


  • HD May 16, 2022 (10:35 pm)

    Couldn’t agree more.  Our council rep certainly didn’t reflect the sentiment of the 150 comments/posts on WSB.  I’m afraid the Mayor already forgot what she said.  We need a champion!WSB, great job on the links, summaries and follow-ups on this critical issue.  

  • Graham May 16, 2022 (10:48 pm)

    This feckless, walking on egg shells response  does not match the gravity of the situation. We need an advocate. Someone who can rally the community. Council member Herbold, use your stature, call a press conference, and haul the media down to make some points about public safety. You chair the committee. Demand action. This is too tepid. Is the relationship the council member has with the mayor so tenuous that this passive messaging is what she believes is our best hope for action?

  • Neighbor May 17, 2022 (2:23 am)

    400 RVs?  In a city of 737,000?  That sounds like a rounding error.  Here’s a radical idea, it’s not ok to live in an RV on the street.  Or in a park.  Or anywhere that isn’t zoned for residences.  You know, the rule of law.  There’s no other option in a city.  Just provide housing for these people.  Don’t make it optional.

    • John May 17, 2022 (10:37 am)

      I think RV’s and encampments should be metal-detector swept, or at least surveyed by a SPD special firearms task force.  There are laws regarding secure storage of firearms.  If there are loose firearms (without CCW permit, etc.), ie: guns in tents, cars or RV’s, they should be impounded until a secure storage solution is verified.  To replace any impounded firearm, a bottle of Pepper Spray could be provided.  I realize this sounds draconian, expensive and not very ‘PC’, but it would provide some self-defense capability to the camper and might save lives. The Granola folks may rest easier, knowing that that being hit by Pepper Spray, while still dangerous, is far less lethal than a GSW.

      • bill May 17, 2022 (11:19 am)

        You’re calling for arbitrary search which is unconstitutional. Expect massive blowback from the gun lovers.

      • Rhonda May 17, 2022 (11:28 am)

        Sorry, but you don’t know what you’re talking about. Under federal and state law, an RV, vehicle, or tent becomes a residence/dwelling and one is legally allowed to have a loaded firearm. There are no storage laws for “loose” guns in occupied dwellings. A CPL permit is not required by anyone to carry a firearm in a fixed location that becomes their overnight residence. The law states that one is liable if a person who is ineligible to have custody of a firearm acquires your firearm. It’s illegal for any intoxicated person or person with illegal narcotics to possess a firearm, so SPD has a tool there. But officers need a warrant to simply search tents, boats, vehicles, RVs, or any place a person is inhabiting. 

  • 935 May 17, 2022 (4:29 am)

    Up for re-election next year.

    Guess its time to start looking busy!

  • CheeseWS777 May 17, 2022 (4:50 am)

    Both times the shooter wasnt from the rvs. Makes sense with all the coments on here saying to go burn them down.So somebody down there gets shot and now you want to take away his home. I wonder who the next group of people who will be hate targeted, maybe you will find yourself in those shoes then

    • Mel May 17, 2022 (8:47 am)

      Do you believe the shootings would have occurred if the RVs weren’t there? Just because someone doesn’t live there doesn’t mean they aren’t attracting a bad clientele. I drive by them every day and am appalled at the things I’ve personally seen. I can’t believe our city reps have allowed this to go on for as long as they have. There’s a daycare next door with over 100 children. They haven’t been able to walk to the parks, or go anywhere near this area due to the safety issue.

    • sam-c May 17, 2022 (10:05 am)

      “The shooter wasn’t from the RVs”I asked this on the previous thread, but it was never answered;”Is this what happened in this instance, was this scenario confirmed by the police? “

    • sam-c May 17, 2022 (12:40 pm)

      It seems to be an important detail, but haven’t seen it confirmed in the SPD report of the incident or in any of the WSB stories.  Did police confirm that the person shot was a resident of the RV camp, and the suspect was NOT someone living in the RV camp area???  I didn’t see a response from CHEESEWS777 in the WSB May 13, 2022 article comment thread, when I asked, either.

      • CheeseWS777 May 18, 2022 (4:09 pm)

        Yes he is a resident and police know this. Detectives stood talking to him down there for quite sometime.

  • Marcus May 17, 2022 (5:38 am)

    However I did not see any call for increased police staffing or presence.  Just a minimal acknowledgment that “we need to do something”.  This is the problem in a nut shell, habitual crime is only decreased when police presence is increased.  The Andover and other high crime areas are just not going to go away.  With all the gun play a stray bullet is going to finds its way to an innocent person and that tragedy will be the fault of the indirect enablers including counsel woman Herbold.

    • Neighbor May 17, 2022 (9:57 am)

      Right because SPD has done such a great job with homelessness.

      • JRH May 18, 2022 (7:27 pm)

        SPD is not in the business of taking care of homelessness.  They are supposed to take care of crime.  Since there is crime in the homeless camps, then police can officially react.

  • Meeeee May 17, 2022 (5:48 am)

    Herbold is the Susan Collins of West Seattle.

    • My two cents May 17, 2022 (12:45 pm)

      Meeee  – a much more ineffective Susan Collins. Collins just waffles, Herbold is just looking for a press mention to prove her value. 

  • Steve May 17, 2022 (5:56 am)

    So glad they are Reinforcing the 72hr parking law. Maybe they will “suggest” they move again. Hopefully while they are at it, they will “suggest” people don’t shoot anyone. I have a good feeling about this.

  • Business Owner May 17, 2022 (6:11 am)

    Hoping for a positive outcome for our community and city. 

    Small businesses of the area like ours with 4+ reports in and all time time, effort and dollars in repair, replacement spent are exhausted.  We’re spending our off day today paying thousands to repair another damaged vehicle.

    The pace and severity of the incidents has been increasing.  We’ve moved we’ll beyond the RV Community of law abiding down on their luck folks some time ago.  We’ve entered chaos, disorder, assault and shootings.There are tax paying neighbors here, there are tax paying community contributing businesses here, there are children here. Our staff works in pairs and usually locks themselves in for safety.

    It’s way past time for the chaotic encampment to be dismantled.  I am hoping those with drug and mental issues can get help and assistance.  And I am hoping the law abiding can find a safe place to land elsewhere.

  • anonyme May 17, 2022 (7:14 am)

    Herbold painted herself into this corner.  She spoke out vehemently against the police, so can’t very well now demand more of them.  Which means she can’t do her job.  I suspect the next election will see some new council members with more respect for the law – as well as for their fed-up constituents.

    • Patrick May 18, 2022 (5:22 pm)

      Doubt that any change in voting bloc will happen.  Herbold held all these same views openly, and was just as ineffective as a councilmember a couple years ago when up for reelection. West Seattle residents had an opportunity to get her out of office at that time.  Now the community continues to pay the price for failed Herbold ideology.  

  • Jane May 17, 2022 (7:21 am)

    What I’m not seeing here is information on what is being done to protect those living in the RVs.  I agree the situation is bad, but the shooting victim was a resident, correct?  Enforcing the 72-hour rule only moves these folks to another location and doesn’t solve the problem of what happens when someone tries to victimize them.  Those of us who are safely housed are much less at risk of gun violence than people who are living in an encampment. Taking the “not in my backyard” approach simply puts this problem in someone else’s neighborhood and does nothing to solve anything.  I get the real fear.  There are people roaming our neighborhood who are armed and dangerous.  That’s caused me to be even more vigilant as I move about my formerly sleepy surroundings.  But real solutions are complicated, messy, and require solid policies for getting and keeping people out of having to live in rat-trap RVs.  It requires solid and unflinching gun laws with prosecution for violaters.  I’m very happy to have my tax dollars go to comprehensive solutions.  I want safety – for all of us, including those most marginalized. 

    • Tax Payer May 17, 2022 (9:03 am)

      What kind of solutions do you think will work with people who refuse to take advantage of services being offered to them?  There are multiple reports out there where people living in RVs and encampments refuse services because they don’t want  the rules and regulations required by those services.  If you offer people services multiple times and they continue to refuse, what do you do?  There has to be a point where it is no longer society’s responsibility to help people who are refusing to take responsibility for themselves.

      • Lagartija Nick May 17, 2022 (9:57 am)

        Tax Payer, if onerous rules and regulations are a barrier to people accepting services/shelter then you get rid of those rules and regulations. The puritanical notion that charity requires punishment is outdated and should be scrapped.

        • Frustrated May 17, 2022 (11:19 am)

          Some rules and stipulations are there for a good reason. I’m sure a lot of student drivers would love it if they could just be handed their licenses without having to pass a (minimal) test first. Likewise, requirements like being drug-free (or at least being enrolled in a drug treatment program) are on the books for a reason.

          • Lagartija Nick May 17, 2022 (12:47 pm)

            Holy non sequitor Batman, teen driver’s tests??? What a ridiculous comparison. You do understand that sobriety is just ONE of many barriers to temporary shelter, right? Also, how on earth do you expect people to get sober without the security of permanent shelter? And again, requiring people to jump through hoops to access the minimum of services is not the moral high ground you think it is.

        • bill May 17, 2022 (11:22 am)

          Jane and Lagartija Nick: Who knew reasonable and thoughtful people still live in West Seattle?        

        • wscommuter May 17, 2022 (11:56 am)

          LN, I have spent more than a little time talking with different city folks and charitable organization folks who are in the business of helping homeless folks.  The rules that are “onerous” for these folks are those that involve not being allowed to use drugs in shelters, etc.  That is almost all of it, in terms of barriers to shelter (the minor stuff is rarely a real impediment for most homeless folks who do want help).  It is not “punishment” to say that you can’t shoot up or smoke fentanyl in a shelter.  The hard and tragic truth is that in too many instances, people who are addicted would rather live in squalor, able to use drugs, than move to a sober-living environment.  I fully support funding massively more drug treatment facilities – but in the meantime, letting people live this way wherever they choose to camp or park an RV isn’t working.  

          • CAM May 17, 2022 (3:38 pm)

            Incorrect. Please don’t phrase this as people refusing shelter because they can’t use substances INSIDE the shelter. It is an issue of barriers to shelter being that you can’t have used substances prior to showing up and needing shelter or can’t have an ongoing substance use problem. Low/no barrier housing is the only research backed means for decreasing homelessness. 

          • Lagartija Nick May 17, 2022 (3:56 pm)

            Wscommuter, Thanks for sharing the service provider’s perspective. But I think I’ll go with why people who are homeless say they don’t want to use the shelters. First, lack of privacy, most are dormatory style shelters. Second, crime, many feel their belongings and persons are not safe. Third, unreasonable curfews and kick out times (in by 10pm out at 6am). Fourth, gender segregation, couples/families can’t shelter together (most “family shelters” don’t allow men at all). Fifth, criminal background checks. Sixth, no pets. Seventh, religious affiliation, a lot of non-profit religiously run shelters proselytize at a minimum and some require participation and/or conversion. These are the most common (but not all) reasons (read rules and regulations) why people don’t accept the offer of temporary shelter/services. So no, it’s not just “because they can’t use drugs or drink” though that is definitely a primary concern for some. Now you and others might not think these rules are onerous but think about it. As an adult would you WANT to subject yourself to any of these just to get away from the “freedom” of the street for a night or two?

          • WS Res May 17, 2022 (7:19 pm)

            LN, you left out one other reason people give that is important:  mental health/trauma.  Ranging from “I have PTSD from being institutionalized or incarcerated in the past and can’t cope with congregate spaces without having flashbacks,” to “I was raped in a congregate setting in the past and literally can’t sleep in them now for fear of it happening again,” to “when I can’t get up and walk around in the middle of the night and talk myself down from my panic/hallucinations/etc. I start screaming and people arrest/hospitalize me,” and on and on.

      • JRH May 18, 2022 (7:42 pm)

        Way more complicated than not accepting shelter.  I am taxpayer too but rent in Seattle is over $1200 per month up to $3000.  Since I am now in my 60s I can afford more.  We are all just one or two paychecks away from paying rent.  Those of us lucky enough to buy a while back are thankful now. Not to mention younger adults with children. People with drugs or shooting guns in RVs or living in  houses and dealing drug or shooting guns,  gotta go.  They can get housed in prison (oops they get let out).  Both shooting guns at people and dealing drugs  are criminal activities and police will respond.   Yes the RV people are not safe too but if any of those RVs are in working condition, they should not have to be towed,  they can turn the key and move.

    • flimflam May 17, 2022 (9:12 am)

      Unfortunately nobody can be forced to accept shelter or services. It really shouldn’t be an option to say “nah, I’ll stay in the park instead”, etc. I realize some shelter options are less than ideal but we simply cannot have encampments and RVs as an acceptable solution. The city council has created an environment where there are two sets of laws/rules for the city and have exacerbated the situation by explaining away and trying to normalize the squalor, crime and violence that as exploded since the end of the city’s “10 year plan to end homelessness” ground to a failing halt.

      • WS Res May 17, 2022 (11:42 am)

        So what would you like to do? Shoot them?  If anyone here who regularly complains that people “won’t take what’s offered” would spend five minutes reading a story where people talk about why they don’t accept offers of congregate shelter (health problems, access problems, separation from partners/family, cannot work their jobs due to curfews, medical danger if they’re forced to undergo rapid unsupervised detox), you wouldn’t be so facetious about “well they just REFUSE what they’re GIVEN.” Shelter is not housing. It is not unreasonable to refuse something unstable and insecure in favor of the tiny sliver of security you’ve built for yourself and your community.

        • flimflam May 17, 2022 (12:34 pm)

          WS Res – when you’ve taken that “sliver” from the rest of the public by rendering certain areas, parks, etc unsafe and unusable by the rest of us, that’s a problem. I simply believe this should not be a legal option, and it largely is not. Furthermore, if folks are trespassing/illegally camped the police should at least  check for warrants and unregistered sex offenders since the trespassing provides a legal reason to do so. Wouldn’t work for RVs probably…

          • WS Res May 17, 2022 (1:13 pm)

            Again, so what would you like to do with the rest of the people? Shoot them?  Jailing them costs more than housing them.  And the jail is increasingly becoming unmanageable and a death sentence for people

          • flimflam May 17, 2022 (3:56 pm)

            I’m fully in support of jailing criminals, absolutely. At this point it’s better to spend money on that than allow neighborhoods to be under constant threat of theft or worse. When, by the way, did I ever say anything about shooting anyone?

          • WS Res May 17, 2022 (7:46 pm)

            You didn’t say anything about shooting anyone, but I ask since inevitably conversations about this issue get down to a place where the person in  your position is saying “I want them gone” and my question is “to where?” and the answer, AFAICT, is “anywhere but here.” But that isn’t a place, and actual physical bodies have to actually be a place. Whether that is a tent, an RV, a sidewalk, some other sidewalk, a jail, a hotel room, or a morgue, it has to be an actual place. And I can never get people to actually say “this is where I want the human bodies to go.”  Because when they say “jail” and then it is pointed out that 1) not having a home to go to is not a jail-able crime, 2) nor is “blocking a sidewalk,” or “camping,” etc., 3) the jails are already  understaffed and dysfunctional and would need more money in order to house more people, 4) it would be a major human rights violation to put people in jail for daring to exist without having enough money for housing, and 5) PUTTING PEOPLE IN JAIL COSTS MORE MONEY THAN HOUSING THEM, the conversation about “where do actual people’s actual bodies go?” kind of peters out. So what I think folks like you are really saying, is “make them be NOT HERE by any means necessary.” Which is why I’m asking, what do you want to do, shoot them? Because that would be the fastest, cheapest way to make them be NOT HERE, which seems to be your priority.  That, and making sure people don’t “get something for free,” I guess.

    • Andy J May 17, 2022 (6:20 pm)

      Hi Jane, the answer to your question is “very little”. I asked Council member Herbold in an email exchange after the first meeting “Have sheltered housing or alternative parking locations been offered and/or do any really exist in Seattle?”. The answer was “none currently exist”. There have been very limited efforts to explore safe RV lots, but for perspective only $500,000 was allocated towards that effort (which the previous mayor rolled into more a general homeless outreach program).As a neighbor I can say there were some increased police patrols following the first shooting, but naturally those are sporadic. The situation is however very unstable down there. Weapons are commonplace and regularly reported, and neighbors brave enough to go look have found their stolen property around the vehicles. In all it’s clearly a very unsafe place period. I wish there was some alternative (and it’s ridiculous to me that Seattle has none because this is not new), but I think disbanding what has clearly become a dangerous place/target is better than just letting it get further out of control until someone dies. 

    • Andy J May 17, 2022 (7:02 pm)

      Fundamentally any meaningful creation of alternative housing or safe RV sites requires a lot of money, which Seattle does not currently have. And no politician in Seattle is willing to propose the taxation that would be needed to pay for it, even before considering whether people would support it. So there is no prospect of a long term solution.  In the meantime, the SW Andover Street encampment is clearly unsafe and is getting more and more unstable. I wish it wasn’t the case, but the safest and fairest thing to do for everyone is disband it before someone else gets injured or killed. Yes, that will mean the RVs move elsewhere, but I don’t think that’s unreasonable. As people have said, it’s been six years supporting an encampment down here. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for those people to ask a different “backyard” to bear some of the burden for a while. 

      • different neighbor May 18, 2022 (11:17 am)

        Except that a few years ago the city hired a nationally recognized expert on homelessness to study and make recommendations, and that expert determined that Seattle could end homelessness by simply reallocating the money we’re already spending. Everyone thought that was great until it was time to stop giving money to the homelessness service providers that didn’t produce results… and the city council couldn’t tell anyone no. Now we spend even more than we did then, but we’re not doing any better because we still haven’t stuck to the plan. (Facepalm)

        • JRH May 18, 2022 (8:25 pm)

          Don’t forget Mayor Murray;  I remember him hiring a high paid person bicycle executive.  not to say that bicycling safety is not important but the salary of the person was very good.  West Seattle had less crime then and Mayor Murray was often seen in parades. I am not sure what he did.    Since i work in housing, way more complicated, Murray was kind of fighting with housing groups at that time. No one was coming together.  So really it is a big issue requiring many people and housing groups.  The word is out come to Seattle and we will take care of you.  But really it is pushing out so many people who grew up here too who are young with such a huge expense.  I paid $200 a month and got paid $3.50 an hour in 1973 and I shared the house with 3 other roommates.  Everyone needs to have a place to live and food or else they will become all of our problems.

  • Al May 17, 2022 (7:35 am)

    Not sure why we never hear from Mosqueda on this, she lives about 2 blocks away from that encampment, and has young kids herself… there’s no way she’s pushing her stroller past those RVs. 

  • Mellow Kitty May 17, 2022 (7:36 am)

    Ah yes, the American classic: one useless, do nothing politician asking another useless, do nothing politician to do something. We all know the ending of this story. 

  • Villagegreen May 17, 2022 (8:39 am)

    Jane, thanks for your intelligent response. Exactly what I’m feeling/thinking.

  • Jay May 17, 2022 (8:40 am)

    Am I hearing this right? There was approved funding for a parking lot with services for the RVs and Durkan killed it and gave the money to the county for general purpose? A supervised location with sanitation service would be an excellent temporary step, along with enforcing the 72 hour rule.

    • Andy J May 17, 2022 (6:47 pm)

      $500,000 was allocated for a “safe RV lot”. The mayor seemed to feel that it wasn’t anywhere near enough (which it probably isn’t) and rolled it into general homeless outreach programs. I think there’s a lot of trying to push the problem around different branches of government so that someone else gets blamed.I asked Council Member Herbold directly “what alternative housing or RV sites have been offered to SW Andover street and/or do any really exist in Seattle?” The answer was “None currently exist”.

  • Pessoa May 17, 2022 (9:18 am)

    In the distant past, many of these RV’ers would have been always been able afford a cheap apartment, somewhere.  Those days are apparently long over and the lack of affordable housing is a genunine crisis for millions of people and it’s a downward spiral from there.  Predatory capitalism? If that’s the case, let’s be honest with ourselves,  we’re all predatory petite bourgeosis capitalists every time we check our portfolio’s.   No one is sinless here. 

  • Cogburn May 17, 2022 (9:32 am)

    Nice to see people realizing that the council is not effective at solving social problems, bridge maintenance, traffic management, business support and caring about the majority of Seattle residents. 

  • Audifans May 17, 2022 (9:32 am)

    Well, that was certainly a very ‘strongly worded’ appeal to the Mayor.  

  • Mj May 17, 2022 (9:42 am)

    flimflam – agreed, enough already!

  • Lagartija Nick May 17, 2022 (9:43 am)

    Bruce Harrell campaigned on the promise that he had a plan ready to implement on day one of his administration to address homelessness and crime. Where is that plan? Why is he getting yet another pass here? You all are so quick to vilify Lisa Herbold when she is just one of a nine member council. He is the Mayor. And yet again he gets a pass here and she doesn’t. He spent 12 years on a City Council that many of you claim caused this problem, she has only been on the council for 6 years. Not only did he get a pass for that but you all elected him Mayor. According to this article Herbold has pressed Harrell several times over the last few months for a prioritized response to this situation and gotten nothing in return. Yet still all the ire is directed at her and he gets another pass. Where are all the angry comments demanding that he fix this problem? Or are you all going to give him yet another pass?

    • different neighbor May 17, 2022 (10:20 am)

      Harrell’s plan has been underway for some time, if you haven’t noticed. He prioritized getting encampments out of city parks first, and has done so at Green Lake and Woodland Park. Roadside encampments are obviously lower on the priority list than parks, but we are seeing clear signs that he’s doing what we asked of him. I would love to be able to say the same about Lisa Herbold, but I unfortunately cannot.

      • Lagartija Nick May 17, 2022 (11:14 am)

        Weird because I just drove by Woodland Park yesterday and it’s still closed and full of tents.

      • bill May 17, 2022 (11:25 am)

        Different neighbor: You do realize the mayor is the person who actually gives orders to the city employees? Herbold and the other council members can’t actually command anyone to do anything.

      • WS Res May 17, 2022 (11:34 am)

        IOW, he has pushed people from one place to another. Also, he’s placed people living at Woodland Park (in the north) in the new tiny house village in Ranier Beach (meant for unhoused people living in the south). He could have prioritized housing people at Andover and has not.

        • different neighbor May 17, 2022 (11:49 am)

          You’re not wrong in your critiques of Harrell’s actions. On the other hand, Lisa Herbold has let this encampment get worse and worse for over six years. While Harrell’s plan may be imperfect, I think many of us are encouraged just to see something being done. It’s a start, at least, and more than we’ve seen in a long while.

  • KT May 17, 2022 (9:47 am)

    I am waiting for the 73 member “task force” to be established by the Mayor and Herbold.

    • WSB May 17, 2022 (9:57 am)

      I didn’t get into the non-Andover-specific details (such as the ongoing RV safe-lot proposal noted by another commenter) that were also mentioned, but CM Herbold did mention that the (semi-new) regional homelessness authority has a “Vehicle Residency Work Group.”

  • marcus May 17, 2022 (10:10 am)

    When people do not accept help to better their lives then they are free to live there own lives.  However, when the same people are breaking laws, destroying either public or private property or creating a health concern–then socielty does have the inherrent right to direct these individuals.  Just drove by the Health Club and the garbage that has been thrown near the commercial gas meter is just shameful.  Andover is a crisis and a shame that we the people allow others to live in such conditions.  That is not a compasionate society!!  Some times society needs to interceed and help direct people to a better existence.  

    • Cozy May 17, 2022 (11:00 am)

      What has society done to contribute to and allow for the conditions and circumstances of these people?

      Another question that may be asked?

      • JRH May 18, 2022 (7:51 pm)

        What?  Are you saying they are so deprived that they do not know how to pick up their own litter and think it is ok to toss in neighbors yard?  Most people learn at an early age that it is not nice to toss your garbage for someone else to pick up.  It is how we keep Seattle to not become a garbage pit.  Someone has to pay the garbage bill and we want the trash to stay out of our greenspace.  Not to mention attracting rodents.

  • Sasquatch May 17, 2022 (11:14 am)

    the elephant in the room is drug addiction. these fights and stolen property are the result of addiction. As a teacher, I’ve had two students mothers OD and die from fentanyl. I have heard from Police that cartels deliver the drug by the truckload to dealers in West Seattle. My students say their mothers could get the drug easily down at Alki. 

  • WSB May 17, 2022 (11:14 am)

    Just added two updates above.

  • dave virnig May 17, 2022 (11:24 am)

     Andover SW has zoning of IG , industrial General on the north side next to Nucor and NC , neighborhood/commercial on the south side . The Duwamish Manufacturing and Industrial Center Plan under Policy LU 2.6 states the plan is to ” ensure the separation of the general public from the M&I centers activities by limiting the potential for conflicts with pedestrian oriented areas” By the City Council simply changing the zoning on the north side to IB , Industrial Buffer, by definition it would ” provide an appropriate transition between industrial areas and adjacent areas having a residential orientation and or pedestrian character” Since it is a minor zoning change and all the effected area is owned by the city all that is needed is for the Council’s Land Use Committee to approve itWith this change oversize vehicles would not be allowed to park in the rezoned area between midnight and AM. I have made this proposal to Council woman Herbold and the 5 members of the Council’s Land Use committee and Mayors office  for the area along Harbor Ave SW, that has the exact same issues, Over a month ago with no response even after following up.If the city is going to allow their failed policy on RV’s to continue at least locate them in areas with no residential component to them. Protect the citizens

    • Business Owners May 17, 2022 (12:54 pm)

      This sounds like a workable, sensible process to enable our police and other groups to require the dismantling of this now chaotic encampment.  I am hopeful that we can get a number of folks to contact their representatives, the mayor and others with this proposal.Are there downsides to changing the zoning of this small space to Industrial Buffer?  Would it adversely affect the homeowners and other land owners in the area?

  • ltfd May 17, 2022 (12:07 pm)

    Sweep early and often, and of course, offer supportive options to the swept.    

  • Cozy May 17, 2022 (12:15 pm)

    There is a sentiment that echos in these conversations, that I’ve heard time and again, that I find concerning. The tone is seemingly this, that people in the community who are in a position to pay taxes vs homeless or impoverished community members who may not be, are better, and perhaps more entitled and deserving to have their concerns and needs met. This call-out to me seems to lack humanity, and understanding, for human conditions which could happen to any person, given different set of circumstances, experiences, and luck. People can turn their life around and more positively contribute, when they receive the assistance, help, and equity they are needing.  I think about students who were raised in poverty, possibly having to live out of a car as a kid, who were able to work hard in school and survive their circumstances, and then are fortunate to receive some scholarships which cover their college education and housing, and they go on to have a successful career, maybe in the public sector even, and helping to make the world a better and safer place. But what about all of those other difficult circumstances, and folks who didn’t get that kind of assistance in early adulthood, or adults who fall on some bad luck or make some honest poor choices, or have difficulties that are very human, such as health issues, or job loss, which result in a downward spiral into a hole they can’t get out of? Those are some of the people you are differentiating yourself from when you say ‘tax paying.’ There isn’t necessarily a one size fits all solution, and the issues may be complex, and true not everyone will be able to rehabilate the same, but believe we should try, and care for the weak and those suffering among us, not turn our backs away from fellow humans.The negative implication almost seems to be that these folks are choosing not to pay taxes, choosing not to positively contribute to the community, whereas you are, and I would argue, most in these circumstances, certainly would rather be in your shoes. Would rather have a safer place, a job, own a home, and pay taxes. I wish we could do more to help solve the disparities that exist, where possible, and all would treat neighbors as they would want to be treated, if dealt a different hand of cards.

    • Business Owner May 17, 2022 (1:01 pm)

      You are hearing that we, the tax payers, don’t care. 

      That isn’t the case.  We do care. 

      What we are saying is that leaving people in RVs in filth on public streets near residences, near parks, near day care centers, near businesses with no repercussions to theft, drug use and more is not sustainable.  

      I believe we should have a better safety net.  More mental health, more drug treatment and more hands to assist.   

      However, the drug ridden, rat infested stolen property consortium on Andover has turned a very negative corner.  People are being hurt and the trash and incident reports are going up precipitously.    I don’t think we need to suspend all laws and societal norms until we have the new safety net up and in place.    Should we support a safety net, yes. 
      Should the remainder of us also suffer in squalor and risk of bodily injury in the meantime, no.I believe it is less supportive and less safe to allow it to continue for the immediate area and all the folks in it.

      • JRH May 18, 2022 (7:57 pm)

        yes taxpayer here too and born here and parents did not have a lot of money. Pick up your trash and don’t deal drugs and not remembering the greenspaces allowing camping ever.  The greenspaces in Seattle were supposed to be for community enjoyment and kept clear of trash, plastic all sorts of junk others have to pick up.

    • marcus May 17, 2022 (1:33 pm)

      With all the money spent on homelessness offering services, counseling and health referals.  All the religious organizations helping and the Salvation Army.  Why then do people continue to live in dirty encampments with garbage thrown on both public and private property?   There are alternatives, maybe not enought but there are alternatives.  However mental illness and drug abuse appear to be the overriding cause in my opinion.  I cannot look at society and say we are at fault.  Not everyone is going to be on equal prosperity and just because others cannot live like you and me does not mean they choose to then live in unhealthy squalor.  Sometimes I think advocates of this type of homelessness really do not want to help, they just want to point the finger at society and say “see it is your fault”.  There has alway been people who just want to blame society for the ills of all rather than seek or expect solutions.   It appears to me that many on this blog subscribe to blame society but have no interest in any solutions because then there would be no one to blame.  

      • Lagartija Nick May 17, 2022 (5:32 pm)

        Marcus, literally nobody is an “advocate of this type of homelessness”. None of us want people living like this anywhere in our cities, it is unsafe and unsanitary for everyone involved. What we don’t like is the pervasive “burn it to the ground” mentality that is espoused by the “law and order” folks who frequently call for unconstitutional measures to “eradicate” the problem. What we do want is a housing first approach coupled with a robust mental health and drug addiction recovery system. While we are pleased to see the city, county and state have started to allocate funds for permanent housing, it is not nearly enough and is not happening quickly enough. Additionally, the state, once again, failed to increase access to mental health and addiction services this last legislative session. In a state and country as wealthy as ours, this is unacceptable.

      • Danky May 17, 2022 (5:53 pm)

        BINGO ! Nice to see some people still get it! 

    • point May 17, 2022 (1:43 pm)

      For me, society needs at least a basic set of rules we all have to follow, or we’d have anarchy and chaos.  The RV situation seems to be an example of that (perhaps mild) – but demonstrates what happens when not all people aren’t held to a basic standard (laws we’ve all agreed on, by voting and existing, not just paying taxes).  It is not subject to public health standards of hygiene (plumbing, waste disposal) – and if there is some sort of commerce going on, it does not appear to have business licenses and follow zoning and other business requirements.  Now, if this sounds onerous for everyone to follow, I would point to the fact that most tax authorities have minimum income levels where no tax liability is incurred.  But business and safety requirements are in place to protect all of us.  I just can’t imagine that anyone who sees that RV village thinks it’s a decent standard of living for a country of wealth and means like the US.   Why does it seem cruel to have laws apply equally?  Illegal parking, littering, criminal activities, if those laws were applied to that situation it would not have developed.We definitely need to have places for people to land though.  It’s too bad we can’t agree to have a large parking facility for RVs where sanitation and waste disposal is provided.  And policing to shut down criminal activities such as drugs/theft if any occurs (definitely not saying all the occupants are doing that – could be a tiny percentage!)  Services for folks who want to work/find permanent housing.  And just a safe, sanitary place to live in a RV for those that prefer it (without judgement!).  Indeed we are all different and some may not want to work/pay taxes/contribute according to the general definition of a “good citizen”.  But all our choices have consequences (or at least they should have). 

    • Sigh May 17, 2022 (1:44 pm)

      Your sentiment has also come up time and time again.  And it lacks any clear solution.  OK, so you have empathy, loads of it.  What is your next step? I am seeing in the comments a LOT of empathy for people living in tough situations, being unhoused.  They would have been swept long ago and locked up for vagrancy if that were not the case.  But the issue at hand is that unhoused should not be allowed to pose safety risks for themselves or others. There should be one set of rules for EVERYONE whether you are housed or not.  That includes, for example, not being allowed to dump garbage wherever you want or blocking a public right of way.  It’s that simple.  One set of rules for everyone.  

      • Frustrated May 17, 2022 (4:56 pm)

        THANK YOU. I don’t understand why we can’t seem to hold everyone to the same standards of conduct. 

  • Cozy May 17, 2022 (12:27 pm)

    Also, I know people are frustrated, and angry, and tired of seeing and experiencing the disparities and issues all around. But, ‘tough love,’ is not the answer. It just isn’t. It’s potentially more harmful and aggravating of issues, or ineffective, at best. Perhaps ‘love’ is the answer.

    As stated in this article on the subject, ‘isn’t the world already hard enough?’

    • Danky May 17, 2022 (5:54 pm)

      Neither is “let them do what they want”.

  • BB May 17, 2022 (12:30 pm)

    Longtime West Seattle resident with a business in Interbay.  Our block (north of Albert Lee and south of Magnolia Bridge) has had the exact situation as Andover for 2 1/2 years.  We were the major clean up right after Woodland Park.  I cant say enough about the new approach by Mayor Harrell.  This is how it went down. The City came on a Friday and posted no parking notices along the entire block.  Parking enforcement came on Monday and did the notification warnings on the RVS.  Monday also saw the first outreach people from the city including Union Gospel Mission to try to get people into housing.  The RVS that could start their motors left on Tuesday.  On Wednesday everyone showed up….City Outreach, Police, SPU and tow trucks.  Thursday was a major clean up of the mountains of trash. By Thursday afternoon there were only two tents left.  On Friday the street was empty except one porta potty we are trying to get removed.  We power washed the street over the weekend.   We and our employees are thrilled that the block has returned to normal.   I really hope Andover gets addressed soon. 

    • WSB May 17, 2022 (12:52 pm)

      How long ago was this?

      • BB May 17, 2022 (2:13 pm)

        Last week.  The head of the Queen Anne Community Council reached out to us about organizing a May 21 clean up on our block.  All of the business were united in saying it was not safe for volunteers.  We shared our stories (including my life being threatened) and they advocated for us with the City.

    • JRH May 18, 2022 (8:01 pm)

      thank you and good time to give a shout out to UGM, they are there for these people too.  I give to them because I see them helping all the time, as I drive past their building in Seattle.

  • 4thGenWestide May 17, 2022 (12:48 pm)

    V O T E.

  • Mark47n May 17, 2022 (1:18 pm)

    A few quick points:The police cannot simply go in and search the encampment or vehicles without a warrant for the same reason they cannot enter your house and poke around. It requires a warrant. This was acknowledged above but bears repeating.Lisa Herbold doesn’t run the city, doesn’t have the power to do anything about anything. She’s a representative. She cannot order the police or any other department to do a thing.The city has had its hands tied by the Washington Supreme Court last August. To make a long story short, the Supreme court ruled Washington’s Homestead Act (yes, it’s that old)  forbids, not towing, but auctioning off a vehicle that someone lives in. What this means is that it can be towed but the tow company isn’t getting paid. Since the RV or other vehicle cannot be auctioned, no one is, again, getting paid. If the City chose to eat the cost of towing the RVs where does it put them, how do the owners get to redeem them (Seattle was also found to be levying unconstitutional fines) and, if unclaimed what to do with them…they cannot be auctioned. It’s a pretty knot, really.Herbold may have participated in the Defund the Police movement but that doesn’t remove her agency either personally or as a representative. Seattle’s police department has committed many unconscionable acts over the years. Furthermore, Seattle police issues revolve around things more complex than budget. Many have quit for many reasons and the City has been unable to refresh the ranks. This probably lends to the perception that Seattle doesn’t do anything about crime…and I tend to agree. That said requiring a politician to hold firm on a position despite new information or input from constituents is ridiculous.I would hate to be a politician in this town. There isn’t a thing that you could do that wouldn’t lead to being harassed and harangued. That Lisa Herbold is willing to put up with the lot of you would pillory her says more about her than it does her. While I don’t love her she’s been better than the other options that have been placed before me…whatever that’s worth.Finally, I would love to see this encampment go away. It’s an eyesore, unclean, crime-ridden and full of folks that are…problematic. While the larger personalities may not reflect some of the quieter inhabitants they are, alas, defined by them in the eyes of the public. If they will not control their own population then those controls will become external. 

    • Scubafrog May 17, 2022 (5:23 pm)

      Apologists for herbold will quickly remember her vociferous anti-SPD rhetoric, and attempts to defund the SPD.  And it should be noted that the majority of the Seattle council’s anti-SPD rhetoric contributed to mass-resignations by Chief Best, and innumerable SPD officers (a big  contributing factor to WS’s suffering during this crime wave).  A wise electorate would quickly recall herbold, and replace her with a pro-police, anti-crime council-person.  Sadly, Seattle doubled-down on the anti-police mantra, and reelected Mosqueda in the last election.   Democrats nationwide, per their pre-2000 anti-police stance/protests/riots/mass-vandalism, are almost wholly to blame for blue cities’ (Chicago/Houston/St Louis/Jacksonville/Atlanta/LA/SF/Seattle et al) rise in violent crime:  There’s been an “historic police exodus” – NYTimes.   As someone who usually votes D, I have no problem admitting this.

      • WS Res May 17, 2022 (7:51 pm)

        Chief Best resigned because she was going to be implicated in the “who said to vacate the East Precinct? I dunno, why do you ask” debacle and then the “texts, what texts?” scandal that the city (us) is now paying hundreds of  thousands of dollars in fines for, and because she was able to “fail upwards” into the centrist corporatist machine for far more money.

    • flimflam May 18, 2022 (9:27 am)

      @mark – of course they can’t just search anyone for no reason, but if they camp is trespassing, which is illegal, then that’d be a perfect time to check for warrants, etc. Homeless camps are an easy place for criminals on the run to hide out. Why not take every opportunity to be sure no wanted felons are there?

  • Sarge May 17, 2022 (1:45 pm)

    Noted that many RVs on SW Trenton were gone this week.  Perhaps the 72 hour rule is making some change?  

  • Jeepney May 17, 2022 (2:55 pm)

    Whether or not you approve of Harrell’s performance, his approach is most assuredly different from his past few predecessors.  Hopefully the next mayor we vote in will share the same philosophies.  The last few elections have seen multiple “activists” running for leadership positions, and they usually don’t make good leaders for the city as a whole.

  • Mickymse May 17, 2022 (4:59 pm)

    Just because you haven’t heard Lisa complain about it in a public meeting doesn’t mean she hasn’t raised this issue previously… I know she has. And “a measured response” as one commenter put it is what I expect from an elected official sitting in an official government business meeting and not the tone or wording of an anonymous angry blog commenter. Now, I don’t know if she or her staff are angrily emailing Chief Diaz or yelling at him on the phone, but I can promise you that would be better done NOT in public if you want good results and a working relationship with the police department.

  • WS environmentalist May 17, 2022 (6:28 pm)

    Question:  Why are Seattle and King County spending so much on small house villages – so expensive to build and maintain – instead of buying custom made Tuff Sheds from Home Depot for less than $10,000 ea?  Why not convert a few, not many or beloved city or county parks into small house village sites?  Is it because of graft and corruption?  There are entities  making 100s of millions dollars from the homeless crisis in the same way that these same types made billions from state and federal wellfare in the 1980s/90s.  These people/entities prey on the disadvantaged along with the well meaning public while lobbying the local, state and federal governments to keep the spigot on so they can live off our society’s instinct to help our fellow humans.  We are being duped by the opourtunitic for profit crooks with politicians in their back pockets.  This kind of mis-management of public trust and funds is what breeds populist candidates like Trump.  Keep it up and he or someone of his ilk will be elected president with a Trump playbook no balances from the other two federal branches or the state/local governments.

  • Westseattlite May 17, 2022 (6:48 pm)

    We need more gun laws so the criminals can continue to break them and not be prosecuted. Kidding aside… criminals will never follow gun lawsUntil we make drugs illegal again. Until we are no longer a sanctuary state allowing criminals to come across the border with the drugs and distribute them in King County. As long as we continue not to prosecute criminals and continue to turn them loose again to commit more crimes. Until we stop the double standards of lawlessness in our city with illegally  parked RV’s, shoplifting and other crimes.  Until people like Jay Inslee on down to Herbold,  grow some do you know what’s and make a change for the community, nothing will change. You can lump any soft on crime public servant into this category including Dow Constantine and Attorney General Bob Ferguson  Inslee doesn’t care about our state anymore. He never addresses the crime. Only global warming. And btw did you know that we are the ONLY state currently without a rainy day fund? IE Government savings. 

  • Pessoa May 18, 2022 (7:47 am)

    Now for some cold hard awkward truth about the “tough love” some are proposing for others.  Your house values that have skyrocketed over the last few years?  Thank the government’s monetary policies and a massive infusion of money into the economic system that has enriched you and made your home unaffordable for others, even despite low interest rates.  The fed, by the way, now owns 24% of mortgages.  That  stock portfolio that has been fattening nicely over the last few years and made you feel almost giddy at times?  Again, thank a massive infliux of government dollars into the economic system that has profited you, somewhat obscenely, during a pandemic that was devastating for others.   Inflation?  Let them eat cake. So, thank the rest of America who continues to subsidize your lifestyle while some of you obscenely and hypocritically lecture the less affluent about grit and “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.”   

  • WSB May 18, 2022 (11:25 am)

    One note I just added above for the record: While police aren’t releasing the full narrative report on the incident, we did get one question answered, which I have added above for future reference, since some have asked: According to SPD, the victim lives at the encampment.

  • anonyme May 18, 2022 (2:11 pm)

    It’s no coincidence that the problem of homelessness has grown in parallel to the bloated bureaucracy created to contain it.  We have Tsars, workgroups, outreach, case managers, etc., etc., etc., and little to nothing to show for it.  Time for an all-new approach, starting with a culling of the remoras attached to this whale. Oh, and one law for everyone.

  • JRH May 18, 2022 (6:03 pm)

    David Rose of Q13 has a program “The Spotlight”  2 weeks ago, he spotlighted Police recruiting wars, Seattle faces looming safety crisis.  He interviewed Lisa Herbold and I think Teresa,  Google and take a look,  She was not really recognizing the whole problem.  If I remember right she just thinks shifting police around Seattle will work. Let’s face it Jenny Durkin left because of Sawant (who was bold enough to let people into City Hall with her key) during the take over of Seattle downtoan and the police chief at the time had enough too.  Now I don’t know who would even want the job of running our beautiful emerald city but we need someone. In comes Bruce Harrell, a long time Seattle resident, lawyer with roots here.  Went to high school in Seattle and I do believe he is honest. Whatever the solution, I would never blame one person for all of this.  I did not pick up on that  the Lisa Herbold I voted for is same Lisa Herbold now.  Something happened after the downtown riots.  All of a sudden the police became the bad guys.  We need to support our police, get rid of the bad ones.  Yes we need to have help with mental issues too but we all should have thought of that before.  Who knows it could be my family. Seattle is working on having mental health professional help in responding.   Everyone realizes that now.  We need a budget for both. The Spotlight: Police recruiting wars as Seattle faces looming public safety crisis

  • CheeseWS777 May 18, 2022 (7:03 pm)

    I think i was in high school when i stoped blaming drugs for my actions. But i bet most of you have never been poor so of course you wont end up with any viable solutions

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