day : 17/11/2022 10 results

VIDEO: Questions, answers, updates as community members and police talked face-to-face at West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

For the first time in more than two and a half years, tonight the Southwest Precinct meeting room was filled with community members there to hear from and talk with local police.

This was technically the return of the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council, but for several years the council was really just whoever showed up for the meetings, plus longtime chair Richard Miller. Tonight the precinct’s Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner announced Melody Sarkies as the WSCPC’s new chair. And with that, the meeting was off and running. We recorded it on video – first, here are the introductions, and the first speaker, the precinct’s Operations Lt. Dorothy Kim:

If you don’t have time to watch the video, here’s our summary of what Lt. Kim said:

PRECINCT UPDATES: Current focuses include the Harbor Ave. and 2nd/Michigan (near the 1st Avenue South Bridge) encampments. She said some “firm dates” are set for cleanup of the latter – which had to be worked out with state agencies since it’s state land (this was pointed out to us last time we asked the city homelessness-response spokesperson about plans for that area). She said it’s more a “criminal enterprise” site than an encampment. “We all know what’s going on there … but with staffing issues,” they haven’t been able to do much. So rather than put a longterm investigation into motion, they’re just going to “clean it up.” She also explained how encampment reports are handled in the Find It Fix It system – they’re assigned a point value, and certain sites, such as those in parks and near schools, get higher point values. Then a city team. goes out to offer services; after that the city interdepartmental team, which meets weekly, will talk about what resources are needed for the cleanup. … Lt. Kim also noted that the summertime Alki “emphasis patrol” is over so now they’ve moved those resources to Westwood Village and are putting officers there at times determined by data or the past two years. She said WWV’s new management is “responsive to law enforcement.” Regarding staffing, Lt. Kim said “it’s challenging” – 10 new officer recruits are in the pipeline and she says the Southwest Precinct probably won’t get any of them. Currently they’re continuing to “augment” – volunteers working double shifts to bring staffing to minimum levels – but she notes that’s voluntary – “at some point that’s not sustainable.” She reiterated that there’s no Traffic Unit in SPD any more, a bare-bones motorcycle unit that generally deals with “big events.”

CITY ATTORNEY: Ann Davison (above) was the second speaker. That’s where the rest of our meeting video begins, followed by our summary:

She says she’s been to the precinct previously to speak to SPD roll calls. “We are closing in on my first year of being in office,” she noted. She said she “walked into a 5,000-case backlog” of cases waiting for months on charging decisions. That sent the wrong message to both victims and suspects, she said.

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WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: Checking in, two months after reopening

(WSB photo, September 17)

Two months ago tonight, the barricades and signs came down and the West Seattle Bridge opened back up, two and a half years after its sudden shutdown. We checked in with SDOT this week on two matters – first, what are the current traffic volumes? Not long after the reopening, traffic was reported to be about two-thirds what it was pre-pandemic. This week, SDOT spokesperson Mariam Ali replied to us that it hasn’t changed: “Traffic volumes on the West Seattle Bridge are still approximately two-thirds of what they were in 2019. (~60k vehicles per day vs. ~90k per day in 2019).” Also: “Volumes on the Spokane Street low bridge corridor are roughly half of 2019 levels. (4,500 vehicles per day vs. 9,000 vehicles per day in 2019).” (We haven’t yet checked on the 1st Avenue South Bridge or South Park Bridge – our main interest was the high bridge.) We also asked about the ongoing inspections, when the next one was scheduled, and whether any new cracks had been seen. Ali replied, “(Today) will be the next scheduled inspection. No new cracking other than normal new construction shrinkage is occurring. The electronic monitoring is ongoing 24/7.”

FOLLOWUP: West Bay Coffee and Smoothies reopening Friday, two weeks after theft of power system

(File photo)

Two weeks ago, we reported on the electrical meter/wiring theft that left West Bay Coffee and Smoothies (2255 Harbor Avenue SW) literally powerless. It’s been an arduous two weeks for proprietor Jennifer to get reconnected so she can reopen her small business, but they’re finally on track to reopen Friday morning (November 18). “We’ve overcome a lot of adversity these past few years, but this time there were quite a few steps to have us operational again,” she explained. Not just dealing with electricians, insurance adjusters, and City Light, but also the direct effect of the temporary shutdown:

With 2 weeks of lost revenue due to this petty theft that impacted myself, 5 employees and their families, this time it really hit us hard. I seriously contemplated to (not) even reopen due to the unwavering fact that this can happen again and nobody is held accountable. We’ve always had systems in place like surveillance cameras, a security alarm, there’s never any cash left at night, and we’ve always closed at 5 pm to avoid late-night safety concerns. We now have 2 people on morning shifts just to have support with all the morning RV activities happening at 5:30 am. These people are busy in the mornings. Usually outside cutting metal, shuffling stuff to and from, fights, and blasting the music, to name a few observations.

With all the crime and break-ins we’ve had to overcome these past few years, there’s no budget for that with a small business, it’s directly from my profit which is how I support my family. There’s small business grants on rebuilding business storefronts, which I haven’t been successful at receiving. (Any tips on that, I’d gladly appreciate it)

Overall we are the only drive-thru on Harbor Ave/Alki, which serves much of the high school population, walkers on the trail and morning commuters. It’s really put a wrench in people’s schedules and routines. I would like to thank my amazing team, and the extended support from our dedicated West Bay coffee community. Without all of you, we wouldn’t be here, so thank you for your continued love and support. We hope to see you this weekend!

Or tomorrow, starting at 6 am.

UPDATE: Alki power outage

3:32 PM: Thanks for the tip. 14 Seattle City Light customers near 57th/Alki have been out of power for going on an hour now. The outage map does not yet indicate a cause; we’re asking SCL.

5:04 PM: No reply from SCL yet but the map now attributes the outage to “equipment failure.”

WEST SEATTLE THANKSGIVING: 2 days until 2 turkey giveaways

Reminders from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide: If you need some help with affording Thanksgiving dinner, you have two options in West Seattle this Saturday (November 19) for getting a free turkey and bag/box of groceries:

(WSB file photo)

EASTRIDGE CHURCH, 9 AM-NOON: This year the church at 39th/Oregon is going back to walk-up distribution. Between Eastridge’s West Seattle and Issaquah campuses, they plan to give away 1,500 turkeys and bags of groceries, so they should have enough for all who show up. The line usually forms on 39th.

WEST SEATTLE FOOD BANK @ SSC, 10 AM-1 PM: In the north lot at South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor), the West Seattle Food Bank plans another drive-up/ride-up distribution. They have 500 turkeys and grocery boxes (which include fresh produce) to give out. Approach from the northbound side of 16th.

*Neither of these events requires proof of eligibility – just show up to be served. Also note that there are now three free community Thanksgiving dinners planned in West Seattle on the holiday – see the list in our Holiday Guide.*

BIZNOTES: Two West Seattle shops plan to close storefronts at year’s end

Two independent West Seattle retail shops have just announced their storefronts will close at year’s end – but in one case, that does NOT mean they’re going out of business.

VIRAGO GALLERY: After 10 years, proprietor Tracy Cilona has decided to go 100% online. In her announcement, she explains, “Deeper artist development and new professional and academic opportunity can only happen when I am free from the constraints of maintaining a full-time space. … My ambition was to create THE ONLY space in Seattle to amplify women and queer creatives and I have shared this space with some of the best and hardest-working people I have ever known. I want to take us MUCH further.” She plans to close that space at 4537 California SW in The Junction at year’s end. Virago is online at viragogallery.com.

SUPPLY CHAIN: After five years at 3830 California SW, proprietor Katie Meurk has announced her jewelry/accessories shop will close at year’s end. Her message for the community includes, “I humbly request that you continue to support artists, especially the women represented at Supply Chain, and small businesses in our community.” She notes that she will continue being involved with one of those – Current Coffee, the shop her family opened in February at 2206 California SW.

*Again – both Virago and Supply Chain are open through year’s end, so that means they’re there for your local holiday shopping.*

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Stolen gray Toyota pickup truck

Reported by Blair:

My truck was stolen Sunday night from in front of the PCC in the Admiral District. 1989 Toyota pickup, license number B73718K.

UPDATE: SPD incident # 2022-306014.

Community meetings about crime, Alki Point Healthy Street, Terminal 5, more for your West Seattle Thursday

(Photo by David Hutchinson – seal pup recently protected by Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network)

Here’s what’s up in the hours ahead, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar and Holiday Guide:

LIVE AT EASY STREET: The Mysterines perform in-store at 6 pm. Free, all ages. (4559 California SW)

WEST SEATTLE TRANSPORTATION COALITION: 6:30 pm online, with guests from the Northwest Seaport Alliance to talk about Terminal 5. Awaiting connection information – will add here when we get it. ADDED: Here it is:

Meeting ID: 896 6616 4412
Passcode: WSTC

On the web us02web.zoom.us/j/89666164412?pwd=dFA4c0orMTg0YkdiL01OK1EvRXEzdz09

BOARD GAME NIGHT: Go play at Meeples Games (3727 California SW), starting at 6:30 pm.

COMMUNITY MEETING WITH POLICE: 7 pm in-person meeting at the Southwest Precinct (Delridge/Webster). Bring your questions and concerns. Speakers will include local police leadership and City Attorney Ann Davison. (Update: This meeting also can be accessed remotely – via Microsoft Teams here.)

ALKI COMMUNITY COUNCIL: 7 pm in-person at Alki UCC (6115 SW Hinds) or online. The agenda, which is in our calendar listing along with connection information, includes an SDOT guest to discuss the Alki Point Healthy Street design proposal (here’s our coverage of last week’s “open house”).

NEW OPEN MIC: All are invited to a new 7 pm open-mic event at West Seattle Church of the Nazarene (4201 SW Juneau).

‘THE CURIOUS MRS. SAVAGE’: Another chance to see the West Seattle High School production, 7:30 pm in the school theater (3000 California SW). Our calendar listing has the synopsis and ticket link (note that this production offers a streaming option too).

Have something to add to our calendar? Email info to westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!

HOLIDAY HELP: Winter-clothing donation drive @ Dave Newman State Farm Insurance Agency

If you are able to give during this holiday season, the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide includes a list of donation drives. The newest addition is this year’s drive at Dave Newman State Farm Insurance Agency (longtime WSB sponsor), collecting items to help people stay warm. Here’s the announcement:

The 9th annual winter clothing drive has begun at Dave Newman State Farm Insurance Agency.

In conjunction with the West Seattle Food Bank/West Seattle Clothesline, we are collecting donations of clothes, coats and shoes until January 1st. The Clothesline has told us there is a great need for warm coats. Please drop off your donations at 3435 California Ave SW. The office is open for donations Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. For undergarments and socks, please donate only new and unopened packages of clothing items.

Pickup may be available for those who have donations but are unable to transport them.

For further information contact the State Farm office at (206) 932-1878.

Thank you, West Seattle, for your generosity and spirit of giving.

TRAFFIC, TRANSIT, WEATHER: Thursday notes

6:02 AM: Good morning! It’s Thursday, November 17th.

WEATHER

More sunshine today, with a high around 50. (Wednesday’s high was 51, one degree below normal for that date.)

TRANSIT STATUS

Metro buses are on regular schedules; watch @kcmetroalerts for trip cancellations/reroute alerts.

-The West Seattle Water Taxi is running its fall/winter schedule (still daily, all dayparts, but no late Friday/Saturday runs).

-Still a 2-boat schedule for WSF’s Triangle Route (check here for alerts/updates).

SPOTLIGHT CAMERAS

High Bridge – here’s the camera at the top.

High Bridge – the view from its southwest end (if SDOT points the 35th/Avalon/Fauntleroy camera that way).

Low Bridge: Or nearby, depending on where SDOT points the camera.

1st Ave. S. Bridge: The south route.

Highway 99: Here’s the northbound side at Lander.

All functional city traffic cams can be seen here, most with video options; West Seattle and vicinity-relevant cameras are also on this WSB page … Are movable city bridges opening for vessels? Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed.

If you see trouble on the roads/paths/water, please text or call us (when you can do so safely) – 206-293-6302.