West Seattle, Washington
Police are in the vicinity of 17th/Henderson, where they’ve confirmed gunfire – two types of shell casings were found. So far it does NOT appear anyone was shot – they’re calling SFD for other medical problems, one described as a “glass shrapnel” cut. A collision was apparently involved in this too. They’re working on a suspect description.
9 am Saturday, West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day begins! (And for a few sellers, even earlier.) Some final WSCGSD-eve notes:
1. Don’t forget to put your bag of nonperishable food out for Stamp Out for Hunger pickups on Saturday!
2. Here again is the map page.
3. Here are the two final mini-lists we promised, first the sales mentioning plants (check their descriptions on the map/list for more info):
#16: 3703 SW 107th (Lung Force Walk fundraiser)
#28: 6757 40th SW
#32: 7400 Fauntleroy Way SW (Solstice P-Patch Giving Gardens fundraiser)
#35: 7558 44th SW
#69: 7615 California SW (Keeping Up with the Roses)
#88: 6041 California SW
#95: 3935 SW Kenyon
#96: 4411 SW Rose
#105: 5621 40th SW
#113: 7323 Bainbridge Pl SW
#122: 5914 34th SW
#133: 9368 32nd SW
#213: 4150 39th SW
#220: 4845 48th SW
#225: 3258 57th SW
#288: 4000 54th SW
#303: 3419 Walnut SW
#352: 3823 47th SW
#364: 7527 19th SW (Wanderlust Nursery)
#376: 6715 12th SW
#386: 1262 SW Orchard
#387: 6945 23rd SW
#392: 8425 13th SW
#401: 7713 11th SW
And here’s the sales mentioning pet stuff:
#56: 6043 48th SW (“so much small-dog items”)
#111: 5056 48th SW
#114: 6059 48th SW
#131: 2929 39th SW
#133: 9368 32nd SW
#136: 3432 37th SW
#179: 7143 31st SW
#217: 4029 46th SW
#316: 2611 49th SW
#337: 3018 45th SW
#405: 3848 21st SW
Check the top of the online-map page again in the morning for any late changes/cancellations, as well as links to all the mini-lists! We’ll have as-it-happens coverage throughout the day.
If you’re going to the beach this weekend – watch out for tiny, spiny larval crabs. We’ve heard from two readers today reporting they’re back on Alki, and one reported a painful encounter. The other, Kaitlin, emailed to say:
As people hit the beach this weekend, just wanted to let neighbors know that there are large bands of crab larvae washed up on the beach. These spiny little friends are uncomfortable to walk on, so make sure to bring water shoes.
They’re called zoae and we published this reader report about them last year. That report noted, “It feels like glass or an itchy pinch” if you encounter them with bare hands/feet (etc.). This state Ecology Department page has more about them. Kaitlin reports seeing them just east of Alki Bathhouse.
It’s not a West Seattle mayoral visit without a stop for ice cream at Husky Deli. During the second part of his West Seattle “Community Connections” tour today (our first report is here), Mayor Bruce Harrell made that stop, and received a cone of Raspberry Decadent from Husky proprietor Jack Miller. A different type of Husky was discussed on his previous stop:
Harrell, a University of Washington alum, was pointed by Menashe and Sons Jewelers‘ Josh Menashe to the restroom decorated with Husky sports memorabilia. At that stop and most of the rest of his Junction tour, the mayor chit-chatted cheerily with the entrepreneurs and employees who welcomed him, but there was a more serious undercurrent – the crime and disorder with which they’ve had to deal. Menashe and Sons, for example, is about 80 percent done with work significantly fortifying their storefront after the Christmas Eve crash-and-grab burglary attempt. Back down the street, the mayor stopped at Pegasus Book Exchange, which too has dealt with crime:
Harrell and Pegasus’s Eric Ogriseck talked books – the mayor confessed to a weakness for romance novels. A few doors down at Easy Street Records, we learned a bit about his musical tastes, as he took an interest in ESR’s vinyl including Curtis Mayfield and Macklemore, although he admitted his turntable is “in storage.”
After browsing, he and Easy Street proprietor Matt Vaughan sat down for a one-on-one chat in the café, out of earshot of us and his entourage. The mayor also met with a small group of other businesspeople in a discussion that his office declared closed to media, though they tweeted a photo:
We did get a chance to ask a question before he headed off for that meeting at Great American Diner and Bar. We asked him about the current controversy over drug laws; the Junction Association is one of the signatories to a business-coalition letter supporting a proposal by City Attorney Ann Davison and Councilmembers Sara Nelson and Alex Pedersen. Harrell told us that the city proposal won’t be heard before state legislators’ special session to try again to set a drug law, and he would rather see a statewide law than have the city pass its own. In general, though, he said he supports “treatment, treatment, treatment,” and expressed doubt that a heavy criminalization focus would work with the city’s ongoing police-officer shortage.
The mayor’s first stop in The Junction, by the way, was at Snip-Its Haircuts for Kids
, owned by Kimora Lee:
Two big events in The Junction next week – the annual arrival of hanging flower baskets on Monday morning, and the next Wine Walk (sold out!) Friday night (May 19th).
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Crime updates and parking enforcement were the primary topics at last night’s Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Council meeting, facilitated in person and online by chair Melody Sarkies and the precinct’s Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner.
POLICE UPDATE: Lt. Dorothy Kim, the precinct’s second-in-command, offered the same overview we’ve heard at other recent community meetings – most categories of crime are down, except for auto theft, which remains way up. One other category that’s up, homicides – West Seattle has had four unsolved shooting deaths in the past six months. Lt. Kim said she had checked with homicide detectives about the most recent two. In the case of 20-year-old Ka’Don Brown, found dead a month ago on the Chief Sealth International High School campus, investigators are “waiting on search warrants” and also still hoping to hear from people with tips, information, or security video that might help (206-233-5000 is the tipline).
In this week’s shooting death of 41-year-old Chad Anderson, found dead on 15th SW between Barton and Cambridge, Lt. Kim said the murder was “probably associated with a house we’ve had issues with in the past,” though she didn’t know whether that house was near where the victim was found (there was some question that morning about whether the shooting had happened there or elsewhere).
There also was a question about the unauthorized encampment at Myers/Olson. No new information since the meeting we covered at Arrowhead Gardens on Monday, just a reiteration that “working with (multiple jurisdictions’ bureaucracies) is slow.”
PARKING ENFORCEMENT: Clayton Harrington, who’s been with city for barely a month, is Parking Enforcement Manager. RV remediation “is a big issue for us,” They have rules and laws to follow. Also there was SDOT’s engineering and design manager Matt Beaulieu – “we’re doubling down on Vision Zero” to improve safety. He said various strategies are being emphasized – “no turn on red” is a big one, Home Zones, trying to focus on where the majority of our collisions occur. Safety work is not its own silo, Beaulieu said. What are you going to do to solve the safety problem? asked Sarkies. “If it was easy, we would have already done it,” Beaulieu acknowledged.
Fauntleroy residents were there to ask about concerns regarding the Residential Parking Zone going to “virtual permits,” no more tags hanging in cars, so no simple way to know if someone’s in violation, and they don’t want to call a police officer to come scan a car to see if they’re permitted or not. Over time, people from Vashon and Kitsap may go back to parking on the streets overnight, if they find it’s not being enforced. Another Fauntleroy resident said houses were long unmarketable in that area because the streets were overparked. The RPZ solved that, but now, “It’s being violated every day,” he said.
Another attendee brought up the RV-parking situation and wondered what PEOs can really do. Harrington said he was at the meeting to hear about challenges and concerns like that. Harrington said he couldn’t commit to bringing on personnel in the middle of the night to check for RPZ offenders, though. “Right now we barely have resources to deal with the stuff we need to deal with in the middle of the day.”
And there’s an important point, said Lt. Kim – SPD doesn’t have the technical capability to read whether plates are signed up with the RPZ system; their plate numbers can detect if a car is stolen or not, and that’s it. Harrington said he wasn’t previously familiar with that issue so he doesn’t know yet what’s being done about it. It could run afoul of the city’s surveillance policies – as city attorney liaison Joe Everett noted, another review process might be needed to expand the readers to check something else, such as whether a vehicle is permitted to park in a certain zone. This might require City Council changing the laws. Lt. Kim suggested one problem regarding junk RVs might be that Lincoln Towing‘s yard is out of room to store more.
Next question again from Fauntleroy – the plan for getting speed bumps seems to have changed, with residents having to pay part of the cost, she said. And, she said, SDOT told her the process of getting a speed bump could take four years. “It seemed like a lost cause,” she said. She said another block had paid to get an unauthorized speed bump installed at their own cost and maybe her block would just do the same, “since SDOT never came and took it out.” Beaulieu said that the formerly well-supported Neighborhood Traffic Control Program went away around pandemic time and was largely replaced by the Home Zone program that installed many dozens of traffic control bumps and other things while the West Seattle Bridge was closed. What they’re asking people to do now is to go through Neighborhood Matching Fund – and that’s where the neighborhood covering part of the cost comes in. “We recognize that’s not an ideal process,” Beaulieu acknowledged. But right now “that’s the best tool we have.” The attendee said, “But the more the city puts speed humps on arterials, the more people gravitate toward residential streets.” She mentioned rogue traffic-calming attempts like putting garbage cans in the street to try to slow people down.
An online attendee asked about no-parking signs that have been discussed for Harbor Avenue – “no parking 11 pm to 5 am,” for example, even if it’s not regularly enforced. The Harbor Avenue rep at the in-person session said there are also proposals out to change zoning so that RV parking wouldn’t be legally allowable on the water side of the street. He said that all the residents’ proposals have been turned over to the mayor’s office.
NIGHT OUT: Registration opened this week. Danner said the registration process is a bit different this year – you can opt into a “public-facing map” of street parties if you want to. SPD will also proactively send out important info to registrants, such as how to properly close their street, how to tell whether their street is an arterial, etc. Night Out is Tuesday, August 1st, this year.
NEXT MEETING: Tentatively set for Thursday, June 8, 6 pm, with Jim Fuda of CrimeStoppers as a spotlight guest.
We’re now less than 24 hours away from West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day 2023, with ~400 sellers and sales of all sizes, all around the peninsula. Some started early, with bonus hours today, like #170:
And #141, major downsizing of a tool shop, so tons of tools (until 3 pm):
The full map – click on any sale’s list line or marker to open the bubble with its description – is here, and the printable version is here. The online map page also includes notes such as late cancellations and links to the mini-lists we’ve been publishing. Two more mini-lists are coming tonight – plants and pets – but in the short run, we just wanted to get this note out now. Official sale hours on Saturday are 9 am-3 pm; check the list for sellers who are starting early and/or ending late.
12:59 PM: Multiple 911 callers (and texters to us) have reported hearing two explosions a few minutes ago – possibly in the Seaview area – , and some reported seeing smoke, at least briefly, but no particular incident/location has surfaced yet. We’ll update.
1:09 PM: Still a mystery.
1:24 PM: Nothing has surfaced. One commenter says they saw “mortars” launched from a yard in Seaview.
Mayor Bruce Harrell is just wrapping up almost 3 hours in West Seattle. It was a two-part visit, so we’ll present two reports, starting with his first stop, Fairmount Park Elementary, where Seattle Public Schools superintendent Dr. Brent Jones joined him (top photo). It’s Teacher Appreciation Week around the visit, so the mayor stopped in two classrooms – first, Molly Sisson‘s third-graders, who sang their class song:
“That song was FIRE!” enthused Harrell, who has three children and two grandchildren and was in full dad mode as he interacted with the students. They had questions, too – “can you make laws?” (no, but he can propose them) – “what’s your favorite part of the city?” (diplomatically, he said he couldn’t choose just one part of Seattle’s 84 square miles) – “have you visited Ukraine?” (no, but he recently met with five Ukrainian mayors, and pronounced them “such brave people”).
The visit was coordinated by the Fairmount Park PTA, whose president, Alicia Saka (below right), helped usher the mayor around. Also present was her husband, City Council District 1 candidate Rob Saka, and city Education and Early Learning director Dr. Dwane Chappelle.
In Becky Christl’s fifth-grade classroom, no song, but the students had more questions. What’s his favorite book? “Talking to Strangers” by Malcolm Gladwell. Does he like pizza? Yes, pepperoni and cheese. Then one student wanted to know why Harrell had turned down a chance to go to Harvard. He said he didn’t want to leave Seattle, although he advised, “If you ever get accepted to Harvard, you might want to (go).” A few questions about his job, too:
What’s the most cause for reflection? “Recruiting good police officers” and finding shelter for people living in tents. How does he plan on “reactivating downtown Seattle”? He said it’s important to get treatment for people with drug problems, but overall, it’s vital to make downtown “cool.” He was also asked for an autograph.
At one point, the mayor described his work to students as, “My job is to keep you safe.” That duty came more into view on the second part of the visit, a walking tour stopping at five Junction businesses. We’ll have that part of the story later. The mayor’s staff says today’s visit is part of a series of “Community Connections” tours that also have taken him to the University District, Capitol Hill, Beacon Hill, and Lake City.
For the rest of your Friday, here are the highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
GARDEN CENTER OPEN: Need more plants for your garden, containers, etc.? You can shop at the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) Garden Center, open with a wide variety of plants, until 3 pm. (North end of campus, 6000 16th SW)
SCRABBLE CLUB: Come play 12:30-1:30 pm at Margie’s Café in the Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon).
TRACK AND FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Field events today, starting with a 3 pm coaches’ meeting at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle).
VISCON CELLARS: Stop by Viscon Cellars (WSB sponsor) for wine by the glass or bottle, 5-9 pm (5910 California SW).
SILENT DISCO: Dance like nobody else can hear the music! 5-7 pm at Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza (61st/Alki).
DRAG COCKTAIL HOUR: 6-7 pm at The Locol (7902 35th SW), preceding and featuring performers from the next entry …
KENYON HALL CABARET: 7 pm, all-ages drag show, hosted by Jizzuhbell Johnson. (7904 35th SW)
MUSIC AT THE SKYLARK: Bad With Birds, Pent Up!, Hillwood take the stage tonight. Doors at 7 pm, show at 8 pm. 21+. $10. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
MUSIC AT C & P COFFEE: Songwriters’ Showcase at 7 pm (5612 California SW).
Something to add to our calendar? firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
Four months have passed since a leaky cylinder was removed from the West Seattle low bridge (officially known as the Spokane Street Swing Bridge). Soon after that, the bridge reopened to surface traffic after a three-week closure. But the bridge has been running without that cylinder ever since, and that means it takes longer to open and close for maritime traffic; a post-reopening briefing noted that other cylinders would be removed for refurbishment one at a time. So what’s happened since then? We asked SDOT, whose spokesperson Ethan Bergerson replied:
We’re continuing to work on overhauling the damaged cylinder that was removed in January. This involves dismantling the cylinder and conducting a forensic evaluation of each of the parts to determine if there are any modifications that we can consider to improve the life of the cylinder. It will likely be a few months before we complete this overhaul and reinstall this cylinder. When we reinstall the repaired cylinder, we will also remove a cylinder which is currently in service so that we can complete an overhaul of that one as well.
Over the next five days, some other work is planned that will affect maritime traffic (but not vehicles/pedestrians/bicyclists) – here’s the SDOT advisory on that:
Between 1 AM Saturday, May 13 and 1 AM Wednesday, May 17, maritime vessels will have limited access under the Spokane St Swing Bridge to navigate the Duwamish Waterway. We do not expect impacts to people driving, walking, or biking.
During this time, only the east span (side) of the bridge will swing open and closed for maritime vessels on the Duwamish Waterway. We’ve been communicating with the U.S. Coast Guard about this work, which will limit when some larger vessels can pass through.
This work is necessary for us to perform service and inspection on one of the bridge’s hydraulic pumps. The bridge has three hydraulic pump units at each pier to push hydraulic fluid to the bridge’s cylinders, allowing the cylinders to lift and swing the bridge open and closed.
We’re completing maintenance on all the hydraulic pump units for both piers in 2023. We’re starting with the west side of the bridge and will return later in 2023 to work on the east side.
This city webpage chronicles the ongoing work.
6:03 AM: Good morning. It’s Friday, May 12th.
WEATHER & SUNRISE/SUNSET TIMES
The Excessive Heat Watch is still scheduled to take effect mid-afternoon Saturday and last until Monday evening. Today’s forecast: Sunny, mid-to-upper 70s. Sunrise was at 5:36 am; sunset will be at 8:36 pm.
Saturday is West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day, so expect more traffic on residential streets, with 400 sales on the map, especially during official sale hours, 9 am-3 pm.
Water Taxi – Continuing the spring/summer schedule, including later runs Friday and Saturday nights.
Washington State Ferries‘ Triangle Route continues on the 2-boat schedule but with the chance of sailing cancellations on short notice, so check here for alerts/updates and see Vessel Watch for boats’ locations.
SPOTLIGHT TRAFFIC CAMERAS
High Bridge – the main camera:
High Bridge – the view from its southwest end (when SDOT points the 35th/Avalon/Fauntleroy camera that way):
Low Bridge – east-end vicinity:
1st Ave. S. Bridge – another route across the river:
Highway 99: – the northbound side at Lander.
BRIDGE INFO: Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed to see if the city’s movable bridges are opening for vessel traffic.
If you see trouble on the bridges/streets/paths/bay, please text or call us (when you can do it safely, and after you’ve reported to authorities). Thank you!