West Seattle, Washington
The work of running a small business continues around the clock much of the time. That was the case last night at Q Cleaners in The Junction. Monica Colgan – herself a small-business owner (HeartBeat SuperFoods Organic Café in Morgan Junction) – sent us that photo and noted, “It’s not every day that you drive by your local dry cleaners to see the windows have been removed from the entire storefront and what appears to be the installation of a whole new dry cleaning machine!” Today we stopped in to follow up. What was brought in via those open windows was actually two new machines, we learned, replacing equipment described as “really, really old.” The installation work was continuing. (The shop is under semi-new ownership.)
5:47 PM: The man arrested July 9th outside the Arbor Heights home of U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal is now charged with felony stalking. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office filed the charge today against 48-year-old Brett A. Forsell, who also lives in Arbor Heights. He was released from jail four days after his arrest because he hadn’t yet been charged, but as prosecutors said at the time, that didn’t mean he wouldn’t ever be charged. And now, he is. A KCPAO spokesperson says, “Additional evidence was gathered by police investigators and referred to prosecutors prior to this charging decision. As part of the felony charge, we note that the defendant was armed with a deadly weapon and that the victim was stalked in connection with her elected position.” That night, he was found with a holstered .40-caliber Glock handgun; the charging documents say nearby security-video cameras recorded him yelling vulgarities and suggesting Jayapal should kill herself. Today, prosecutors argued for a $500,000 warrant, and a judge agreed, though the county jail roster does not currently show Forsell in custody. The KCPAO says the Extreme Risk Protection Order to keep him from possessing guns – for which a hearing was scheduled yesterday but was postponed – remains in effect. The charging documents say in part:
After the defendant was arrested, and while still in police custody, he continued to mark remarks picked up by the police audio and video recording. Those remarks demonstrate that he is focused on getting his Glock .40 caliber semiautomatic handgun back as quickly as possible and that he also plans to obtain an AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle. He also stated that that he intends to continue his pattern of returning to Representative Jayapal’s house until, in his words, she “goes back to India.”
The documents also say Forsell told FBI agents that in the week and a half before the July 9th incident, he had driven past Jayapal’s home three to seven times as a “protest” of Jayapal and her politics. Also noted, an email she received from him in January, described as not threatening but expressing dislike of her politics, and other possible incidents as far back as April. Forsell is scheduled to be arraigned – to enter a plea to the charge – on August 10th.
ADDED 8:05 PM: Rep. Jayapal’s office sent this statement from her:
The news today from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s office that they have charged Mr. Forsell with felony stalking demonstrates that the justice system is doing its work. I am grateful to the King County Prosecutor’s Office for holding this man accountable for his dangerous actions, to the victim’s advocate for her assistance throughout the process, and to the Seattle Police Department, U.S. Capitol Police, and the House Sergeant at Arms for continuing to keep my family, me, and my staff safe. Now, the Prosecutor’s Office and the courts will do their important work to protect all of us.
It won’t be the final decision on West Seattle light-rail routing and station locations – but it’s close. Tomorrow (Thursday, July 28th) the Sound Transit Board is expected to vote on the “preferred alternative” to send into final environmental studies, which would then be followed by a final vote next year on what/where to build. Two weeks ago (WSB coverage here), a board committee recommended passage of a motion that included the 41st SW “medium tunnel” alternative for The Junction, the Andover alternative for Delridge, and a south-crossing alternative for a new light-rail-only bridge across the Duwamish River. Much of the rest of the light-rail extensions , from the International District to Ballard, is still mired in enough controversy that the West Seattle/Duwamish section may be the only part advancing for now. The meeting is scheduled for 1:30 to 5 pm Thursday at Sound Transit’s downtown board room and online; public comments are accepted both ways, and the agenda includes information on how to offer your opinion.
Still no word of any arrest in the hit-run killing of 63-year-old Robb Mason, the West Seattle massage therapist hit while heading home to Magnolia on Friday evening, July 15th. This Friday (July 29th), the monthly Critical Mass bike ride will be in memory of Mr. Mason, leaving Westlake Park downtown around 7 pm and expecting to arrive at the crash site on SW Spokane, east of the low bridge, around 7:30 pm for a memorial, all welcome. Friends also have launched a crowdfunding account for Mr. Mason’s widow Claudia – donations are being accepted here. Police have not released any information aside from the initial description of the car as a white or silver sedan; anyone with information is asked to call the SPD Violent Crimes Tip Line at 206-233-5000. The incident number to refer to is 2022-183308.
11:51 AM: We’re on Beacon Hill, where Mayor Bruce Harrell has just announced his choice for the new director of SDOT: Greg Spotts, the Executive Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer at the Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services. You can watch live on Seattle Channel. From the news release:
Spotts currently serves as the Executive Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer at the Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services, which oversees 1,500 staff positions, an annual budget of $230 million, and a capital program of more than $350 million. He has led the delivery of over $600 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects as well as efforts to make Los Angeles more walkable, bikeable, transit-friendly and sustainable.
Spotts will begin at the department in early September as acting director until Council confirmation. Later today, he will join SDOT crews to tour current bridge infrastructure and see maintenance efforts in action. As he settles in at SDOT, Spotts will tour Seattle’s vibrant neighborhoods by riding transit, cycling, and walking with neighbors and community groups.
The mayor says his choice “fits the bill,” saying Potts is the “transformational leader” he was looking for. He says Spotts has the ability to “consider the academic approach first,” with data and research. Spotts’ online profile quotes him: “I get a thrill from delivering innovative mobility and sustainability projects that revitalize the Los Angeles streetscape.”
12:01 PM: Spotts is now speaking. He says he’s used to working with neighborhoods – L.A., he says, has 99 of them. He says he’ll launch a “listening tour” in September. He says, among other things, he’s “thrilled” to be joining as the Sound Transit light-rail project revs up, and says he worked on light rail in L.A. He says his first day will be September 7th. After his remarks, the mayor goes into some backstory about the search process, which involved an advisory committee.
12:25 PM: The event is over. During Q&A, we asked Spotts what experience he has with bridges. While he’s not a civil engineer, he noted, in short, plenty. We’ll take a closer look at that when back at HQ. The event was held on the Roberto Maestas Festival Street near the Beacon Hill light-rail station to stress themes of equity and multimodality, noted the mayor. Also of note, the choice of someone from L.A. is a coastal change from the past two SDOT directors, both of whom came here by way of Washington, D.C.
1:39 PM: We’re back at HQ and uploading video from the event (update: added above). Here’s Spotts’s biography on the L.A. Bureau of Street Services website. Here’s the city news release; the position requires City Council confirmation, and according to the job listing posted through early July, pays up to a quarter-million dollars a year.
Maybe you can help find Sarah‘s stolen vehicle:
Sometime between last night at 9 am and this morning at 9 am, a red 2001 GMC Jimmy was stolen near Genesee Hill School, on 51st Ave SW and Oregon St. The license plate is Idaho K 614234. It looks like this (sans canoe). Thanks for any help in helping us locate it!
No incident number yet – we’ll add that when it’s available.
9:43 AM: Thanks to Lorrie for the tip that the work to get that Cessna 150 out of the water off the Alki promenade was under way a little earlier than we expected. It’s been 17 hours since the pilot crash-landed the plane in the water, with no injuries reported A company called AvTech Services is partly dismantling the plane so it can be transported; the US Coast Guard and state Ecology Department are at the scene monitoring the salvage operation (no word of a fuel spill so far).
ADDED 2:20 PM: We went by the beach on our way back from the SDOT director announcement on Beacon Hill and noted as of about an hour ago, everything was over and the plane and truck were gone. As for what caused the crash – a Seattle Police summary says the pilot told them “an oil-pressure malfunction” was to blame. David Hutchinson reports the pilot returned to the scene this morning – he sent photos and info:
Once the plane was towed up on the beach and lifted to the promenade, the fuel was drained from the wing tanks, the wings were removed and the fuselage was lifted by crane onto a flatbed trailer for transport.
As the operation was finishing up, the pilot dropped by to check on things. His t-shirt said “I SURVIVED HAWAII TSUNAMI.”
There was a suggestion made that he get a new one saying “I SURVIVED ALKI BEACH.”
Federal authorities are handling the official investigation.
8:14 PM: FSX Aviation has taken the pilot/air-traffic-control audio from public archives and uploaded it:
Family and friends will gather Saturday to remember Mark E. Morrison. Here’s the remembrance they’re sharing:
The Morrison family announces the death of Mark E. Morrison, 62, who passed on July 14, 2022, in Portland, Oregon.
Mark graduated from West Seattle High School in 1977 and was a National Merit Scholar.
He is survived by his mother, Nancy Morrison, a longtime resident of West Seattle; his children, Ansel and Davis Morrison; and his sister Alice DesGranges (nee Morrison).
A memorial will be held on July 30th at 4:30 PM. For more information, please contact email@example.com.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mostly from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, here’s what’s happening in the hours ahead:
PLACES TO STAY COOL: Mentioning this again today – the city is circulating this list of where you can go to cool off if you need to. For West Seattle, the Senior Center (California/Oregon) is air-conditioned and is open until 4:30 pm today; the Delridge and High Point branches of the Seattle Public Library both are fully air-conditioned – both are open (corrected) 11 am-6 pm today. (UPDATE: The no- and partial-A/C local branches are shortening their hours – Southwest and West Seattle [Admiral] will both be open only noon-3 pm, per this SPL page)
A/C RESTAURANTS AND BARS: We’ve heard from Arthur’s and Admiral Pub. Anybody else?
PAINTING IN THE PARK: Free watercolor-painting workshop, outdoors at Roxhill Park (29th/Barton), geared to ages 50+, 10 am-noon.
FOOD POP-UP: Chef Gino of TheHomeSkillit.com is set up today at the Delridge DSHS building (4045 Delridge Way SW) 10 am-2 pm “doing a one-day special of our house signature Creole fried rice … with the choice of shrimp or salmon.” He’s trying to raise $10,000 for inventory so he can sell food at Seahawks games.
WADING POOLS OPEN: In West Seattle today, the pools scheduled to be open are Delridge (noon-5:30 pm) and Lincoln Park (noon-7 pm). (Also, Highland Park Spraypark at 1100 SW Cloverdale is open 11 am-8 pm.)
COLMAN POOL: The outdoor pool at Lincoln Park will be open today as its 7-days-a-week schedule continues, noon-7 pm.
NETWORKING: Wind Down Weekly networking at Junction Plaza Park, presented by Work and Play Lounge, 6-8 pm. (42nd/Alaska)
LIVE AT LOCOL: Locöl Barley & Vine (7902 35th SW) spotlights live music 6:30-8:30 pm Wednesdays, no cover, 21+, rotating artists.
MUSIC BINGO: Now weekly at The Good Society (California/Lander), 7 pm.
KUNDALINI YOGA, MEDITATION, SOUND BATH: New night and location – Inner Alchemy now presents this at Solstice Park, 7 pm Wednesdays. (7400 Fauntleroy Way SW)
SKYLARK OPEN MIC: 7:30 pm signups @ West Seattle’s longest-running open mic – no cover to watch. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
TRIVIA x 4: Larry’s Tavern (3405 California SW) hosts Wednesday-night trivia starting at 7:30 pm; also tonight at 7:30 pm, you can play trivia at the West Seattle Brewing Mothership (4415 Fauntleroy Way SW); trivia starts at 8 pm at Beveridge Place Pub (6413 California SW); at 8:30 pm, trivia is back at Talarico’s (4718 California SW) with Phil T.
Calendar event to add? Please email email@example.com – thank you!
6:02 AM: Good morning! It’s Wednesday, July 27th.
Sunny and hot, with the “excessive heat warning” alert continuing, and a high in the 90s expected (Tuesday’s official high was 94, a record for that date).
BUSES, WATER TAXI, FERRIES
Metro buses are on their regular weekday schedules; watch @kcmetroalerts for word of reroutes/trip cancellations.
The West Seattle Water Taxi is on its regular schedule.
Ferries: WSF continues on the two-boat schedule for Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth – and WSF says that probably won’t change before next spring. Check here for alerts/updates.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
857th morning without the West Seattle Bridge. 46 days until the week SDOT hopes to reopen it.
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 (one of four recently installed cameras):
Highland Park Way/Holden:
The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):
Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Please text or call us (when you can do so safely) – 206-293-6302.