West Seattle, Washington
Three West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports about vehicle break-ins:
MAIL STOLEN: A reader tells us that he saw someone stealing mail from a parked U.S. Postal Service truck this morning around 10 am near 37th/Warsaw [map] in Gatewood. He alerted the carrier and called police. The SPD incident # is 23-85951.
LACROSSE GEAR STOLEN: Ketsy is hoping what her son lost to car prowlers might turn up dumped somewhere:
It’s the middle of my son’s senior lacrosse season and now all of his West Seattle gear has been stolen from his locked car. Prowled last night and they took his whole lacrosse bag similar to the bag pictured. If you see any abandoned gear, please let us know! Car was parked south of Morgan on 38th. SPD incident #23-905222.
CAR BREAK-IN: Another car break-in was caught on camera – Paul sent the video, which also partly shows the getaway vehicle:
We don’t have the police incident # for this one yet. (Update: This happened in the 6000 block of Beach Drive SW and what was taken from the car was a window washer’s professional gear, in two backpacks, while they were at a residential job site.)
Jak’s Grill is revealing a new community-minded mural this Thursday, March 30th, 2023, 6PM at its 4548 California Avenue location.
That depiction of an early-20th-century streetcar is at the heart of West Seattle’s newest mural, “Birth of the Junctions.” It’s on a wall inside JaK’s Grill, and tonight artist B Anthony Nelson drew cheers as he signed it:
Nelson explained in his event announcement, “For generations, the West Seattle community has played, celebrated, thrived and connected around the Junctions. With such a rich tradition of murals and fine art throughout the area, it felt like a hole in the West Seattle story not to represent where the Junctions come from. This is my small contribution to how much they mean to those of us who live here.” Nelson’s mural comes as JaK’s has done some simple interior “refreshing” – new window coverings, for example – and added a few new menu items (including Wagyu beef).
You’re invited to a birthday party this Saturday! Two years have passed since Meaghan Haas opeened the doors at Highland Park Corner Store (7789 Highland Park Way SW), and you’re invited to visit 1-3 pm Saturday to be part of the celebration. HPCS has become more than a store – it’s become a community gathering place, helping fill some of the void left by Highland Park Improvement Club’s headquarters being unavailable until rebuilt. On Saturday, Meaghan says, HPCS will celebrate with cake and ice cream – the latter “marks the official return of our soft serve!” She also has a special offer for Southwest Little League players who swing by in uniform after their jamboree on Saturday – $1 off ice cream. HPCS opened in March 2021 with coffee and grab-and-go food; about half a year later, it expanded operations as a “true corner store.” Since then, HPCS has hosted a variety of events, including some recurring favorites like Thursday food trucks (always featured in our daily preview lists). It’s also the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s reigning Emerging Business of the Year.
No, the Seattle Public Utilities workers near 45th/Wildwood were not there for a water break again. This time, it’s related to Fauntleroy Creek; thanks to creek steward Judy Pickens for explaining. She says they were working on a partial blockage of the culvert that carries the creek underground in the area. Judy says SPU started assessing the situation a few weeks ago, and then came to work on it today. The blockage had resulted in a “duck pond” about 12 feet deep and they needed to drain some of that water away to get to the culvert itself. Creek volunteers have been keeping watch to be sure fry in the creek weren’t disturbed – as Judy notes, “It’s a delicate time for fish in the creek. Smolts have been heading to saltwater earlier than last year and we have lots of home hatch in the lower creek.” She says this culvert has had a blockage before, about a decade ago. SPU has had a culvert-replacement project on the drawing board for years.
So far this year, you’ll be voting on a $1.25 billion behavioral-health levy in April and the half-billion-dollar renewal of the Veterans, Seniors, Human Services Levy in August. Those are both countywide proposals. Now, one from the city – Mayor Bruce Harrell has gone public with his $970 million proposal to renew/expand the Seattle Housing Levy, aiming for the November ballot. The city has had a housing levy since 1986; the one that’s expiring now was passed in 2016 and was for $290 million, less than a third the size of the new plan. From the mayor’s office, here’s how this version would break out:
Rental Housing Production & Preservation: $707 million
Creates and preserves affordable rental housing, including Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH), for seniors, people exiting homelessness, working families with children, people with disabilities, and other low-income households.
Operating, Maintenance, and Services (OMS): $122 million
Ensures safe, sustainable operations at in Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) and creates a new wage stabilization fund for workers in PSH buildings.
Homeownership: $51 million
Creates new permanently affordable for-sale homes, provides down-payment assistance for low-income homebuyers, and stabilizes low-income homeowners through emergency home repair grants and foreclosure prevention assistance.
Prevention & Housing Stabilization: $30 million
Provides short-term rent assistance and housing stability services to help low-income households avoid eviction or homelessness.
Program Administration: $60 million
Ensures continuous and effective administration of all Housing Levy-funded programs by covering costs associated with project selection and contracting, development underwriting, construction monitoring, project performance and compliance, fiscal management, program policies and reporting.
Tax rate: $0.45/$1,000 assessed value
Cost to median Seattle homeowners: $383/year or $31.92/month (based on assessed value of $855,136)
The City Council will review the levy proposal in a series of meetings before deciding whether to put it on the November ballot.
FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE: She’s been found safe, her father tells us.
Almost a year and a half after 3010 SW Avalon Way cleared the first phase of Design Review, the project has taken the next step – applying for land-use approval. That opens a new two-week comment period, as announced in today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin. The official city description of the project is “an 8-story, 87-unit apartment building” with 4 offstreet-parking spaces for cars/trucks (the project will include bicycle parking). The site originally held two old houses, as noted when we first reported on an early-stage plan in 2019. Today’s notice explains how to send the city a comment on the project; there also will be another opportunity to comment whenever a meeting is scheduled for the second and final Design Review phase.
(Photo by Mark Dale, July 28, 2022)
11:27 AM: The state ferry damaged when it hit a structure known as a “dolphin” at the Fauntleroy dock last July (WSB coverage here) is about to return to service. Washington State Ferries\ spokesperson Ian Sterling tells us, “Cathlamet is undergoing sea trials today and tomorrow. If all goes well, it will return to service this weekend for a short stint filling in on the Edmonds/Kingston route. Then it’s expected to move to the Triangle in about a week.” This news comes as WSF says its own investigation into the collision is complete, and that it lays blame for the collision on “human error and a failure to follow existing procedures.” But the federal investigation into the Cathlamet incident is not yet over. From today’s WSF announcement:
… In the case of the Cathlamet, where the vessel struck offshore pilings on July 28, 2022, causing an estimated $7.7 million in damage to both the ferry and the piling structure, WSF immediately initiated an internal investigation to determine cause and to ensure something similar does not happen again. That investigation is now complete. Separate United States Coast Guard and NTSB investigations into the incident are ongoing. The USCG is the lead agency in the overall investigation and has not yet provided a timeline or date their findings would be released.
The WSF internal investigation found that human error and a failure to follow existing procedures led to the incident. That investigation and recommendations are here.
An experienced captain was at the controls of the Cathlamet as it made its way to Fauntleroy on the morning of July 28 when the vessel, off course at approximately 17 mph, struck the pilings.
The captain resigned the following day and has not provided an explanation as to what happened. Ultimately the captain is responsible for the safe operation of the vessel while in command. A contributing factor was existing landing procedures were not followed by the captain ensuring a witness is present on the bridge and that the witness is engaged and aware of their duties. The quartermaster was present in the wheelhouse but was engaged with reading work-related materials when the incident occurred.
WSF operations sent a safety notice reinforcing landing procedures immediately following the event. As a result of the internal investigation additional policies and training are under development and ‘black box’ data recorders have been installed aboard the Cathlamet. These recorders will now become standard equipment on WSF vessels with installation occurring fleet-wide over the coming months. WSF will also enhance and improve upon Bridge Resource Management (BRM) standards and practices, continue growth and development of operational route focus groups, and consider the implementation of psychometric wellness checks with WSF captains, like current cruise ship practices.
WSF remains in constant contact with federal investigators and further changes may be implemented upon Coast Guard recommendations.
We’ll be reading the WSF investigation report and will update this report with notes of interest.
4:09 PM: The report redacts all names, so in some spots the narrative of what happened before/during/after the incident is a little hard to follow. It notes that another captain from a different shift was on board and took control after the ferry hit the dolphin – which led to a “brief” grounding – and backed the boat away to bring it in to the dock. The report confirms only one injury – minor – and one vehicle damaged. It also says everyone tested negative for drugs/alcohol, and that no mechanical issues were found. The captain – who resigned and retired the next day – had been with WSF since 1985, as a captain since 1995, and had a disciplinary action in 2018 for a “dependability concern” that was followed by a three-day suspension in 2021. After the incident, he refused to answer questions, saying that was “on the advice of my attorney.” Regarding changes prompted by the incident, WSF says that a type of training in “standards for vessel-bridge watchkeeping” had been eliminated some years back to save money, but will be reinstated starting this year. The report also notes that WSF vessels should have Voyage Data Recorders that they currently do not have.
(Western Trillium, photographed at Fauntleroy Park by Rosalie Miller)
Here’s what else is happening in the hours ahead, mostly from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
WEST SEATTLE UKULELE PLAYERS: All levels welcome to this weekly 1 pm gathering. Email email@example.com to see where they’re playing today.
TRACK MEET: Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle) hosts another track meet this afternoon, and volunteers are welcome (as explained in our calendar listing) – show up around 2:30 pm.
FREE INDOOR PLAYSPACE: 2-6-year-olds welcome 3:30-5 pm at the Salvation Army Center (9050 16th SW).
THURSDAY FOOD-TRUCK POP-UP: 4-8 pm at Highland Park Corner Store (7789 Highland Park Way SW), the Carver Kitchen Shawarma truck will be visiting.
MURAL CELEBRATION: You’re invited to JaK’s Grill in The Junction at 6 pm for a mural-signing event – artist B Anthony Nelson has created an 8′ by 14′ mural titled “Birth of the Junctions,” described as “Created entirely in black and white, showcasing an original West Seattle streetcar from the early twentieth century.”
HIGHLAND PARK RUN CLUB: Meet up at Highland Park Corner Store at 6:30 pm Thursdays for a ~3-mile run.
LIVE MUSIC: Piano with Chris Crow at Otter on the Rocks (4210 SW Admiral Way), 7 pm.
‘LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS’: West Seattle High School‘s spring musical continues tonight at 7:30 pm! Our calendar listing has details and ticket info. (3000 California SW)
If you have something to add to our calendar, please email info to firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
9:49 AM: As mentioned in our morning traffic watch, it’s opening day for the Seattle Mariners, with their first game of the season starting just after 7 pm at T-Mobile Park. We’ve also just learned that you might notice U.S. Army helicopters in the area this afternoon and evening because of a planned flyover. The 16th Combat Aviation Brigade from Joint Base Lewis-McChord (south of Tacoma) says that four of its AH-64E Apache helicopters (from Alpha Troop, 4-6 Air Cavalry Squadron), are set for the flyover around 7, preceded by up to three practice runs around 3:20 pm. The 16th CAB says their path will be north-south, so they might not be as noticeable over West Seattle this time.
ADDED 5:08 PM: Thanks to Carolyn Newman for practice-run video of the four helicopters:
6:03 AM: Good morning! It’s Thursday, March 30th.
WEATHER & SUNRISE/SUNSET TIMES
The forecast for today: Partly sunny, high in the 50s, showers possible tonight. Sunrise 6:52 am, sunset 7:36 pm.
If you travel through SODO, be aware that it’s Opening Day for the Mariners, playing Cleveland at home, 7:10 pm.
Metro – Regular schedule, but trip cancellations remain possible. Also: New survey launched, concurrent with more than a dozen other transit services around the country.
Water Taxi – Regular schedule.
Washington State Ferries‘ Triangle Route continues on the 2-boat schedule; check here for alerts/updates and see Vessel Watch for boats’ locations.
SPOTLIGHT TRAFFIC CAMERAS
Delridge cameras: Besides the one below (Delridge/Henderson), cameras are also up at Delridge/Genesee, Delridge/Juneau, Delridge/Orchard, and Delridge/Oregon.
High Bridge – the camera at the top:
High Bridge – the view from its southwest end (when SDOT points the 35th/Avalon/Fauntleroy camera that way):
Low Bridge – looking southwestward toward it:
1st Ave. S. Bridge – another route across the river:
Highway 99: – the northbound side at Lander.
MORE TRAFFIC CAMS: See all working traffic cams citywide here, most with video options; West Seattle and vicinity-relevant cameras are on this WSB page.
BRIDGE INFO: Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed to see if the city’s movable bridges are opening for vessel traffic.
If you see a problem on the bridges/streets/paths/bay, please text or call us (when you can do it safely, and after you’ve reported to authorities if needed) – 206-293-6302.
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