West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The Alki Community Council‘s been lamenting low meeting turnout for some time now. Not tonight. The room at Alki UCC was full, and the online turnout hit double digits too.
Last weekend’s trouble at the beach, including a deadly shooting, was the main motivation, judging by the discussion, so Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Martin Rivera was the guest who drew the most questions.
ALKI MURDER: No arrests yet in the shooting that killed 25-year-old Davonté Sanchez near Whale Tail Park on Saturday evening. But Capt. Rivera said detectives are getting ready to “put something out to the community” making another plea for information and video in the case. He also revealed one new piece of information – the crowd on Alki were there because of an “event on TikTok” that police got “late word of” via a Parking Enforcement officer. He said SPD was mobilizing to address the situation when shots were heard, “and you know the rest.” He said the “follow-up units” are still actively working the case.
Beyond that, attendees wanted to know about plans for dealing with disorder, especially reckless driving.
Capt. Rivera said Alki “emphasis” will start this weekend and continue most Fridays-Sundays through Labor Day and that they’ll get the mobile precinct there when they can. “All depends on what’s going on in the whole precinct at the time.” Would a petition for more staffing help? “We’re in a little bit of a staffing crunch,” and the “emphasis” patrols are already made up of people on overtime, Rivera said, so there’s really no place else from which to draw “more staffing.” He also noted that shifts do have some overlaps. But if big events – like last night’s two Delridge gunfire incidents – happen elsewhere, the officers have to go there, regardless of how busy the beach is.
He also noted that they do what they can – the traffic-calming measures took a while but finally got implemented – “it’s hard to move those things along” but can be done, especially with community partnership.
One attendee observed that “car culture” overlaps with violence and wondered if SPD is working with SDOT on more calming. Short answer, yes, but budget challenges have kept them from expanding those measures beyond where they are now.
At that point, City Council D-1 candidate Rob Saka stood up and said to attendees, “My heart hurts for you” regarding the shooting by Whale Tail Park, saying his kids were playing there just a few hours before the murder. “We need anti-cruising emphasis patrols, anti-gun violence … I would like to see police be able to be more proactive and less reactive.” Capt. Rivera said he agreed that “we need more officers.” (Saka was the only candidate in attendance, though someone in the gallery identified themselves as Phil Tavel‘s campaign manager.)
The support for more traffic calming was strong; one attendee suggested crowdfunding if money is what it takes; talk to SDOT, Rivera suggested. What about paid parking on the beach to raise money? asked another attendee, or charging people to visit the beaches? Capt. Rivera said that hasn’t caught traction because it would inequitably affect community members.
Another attendee said he wanted to ensure that the early closing time starting Memorial Day weekend stretches all the way to Don Armeni, the entirety of the shore, not just the beach itself.
Two other guests from the city spoke relatively briefly.
SDOT SHARED-MICROMOBILITY PROGRAM: Kim Pearson from SDOT was the guest. She focuses on scooter and bike share. Four companies offer five device types – three scooters, two bikes. \\
In 2022, more than 3.7 million trips were taken, more than a million-trip gain from the previous year. Each trip averages 11+ minutes. Pearson talked about various related programs including free helmets available from city customer-service centers (including Southwest).
Here’s how to report problems:
PUMP STATION 38: Valerie Tokumoto from Seattle Public Utilities said PS 38 – the under-renovation station in the 1400 block of Alki SW – is one of 70 pump stations in the city’s system ‘and we have plans for all of them.” Landscaping will stretch 50 feet on both sides of the pump station. She wanted to ensure people knew how to surface questions and concerns, and recommended Find It Fix It for the latter. (The project’s webpage is here.)
NEXT MEETING: ACC president Tony Fragada and vice president Randie Stone expressed hope that the first-timers would be back next month. The group’s meetings are usually at 7 pm third Thursdays at Alki UCC (6115 SW Hinds).
10:29 PM: If you’re headed for the eastbound bridge – don’t try to go via either northbound Avalon or southbound Harbor. The traffic-camera screengrab above is from just before emergency responders arrived at the scene of a crash blocking part of the intersection. Note one vehicle went over the sidewalk (screen left) and another is pointed the wrong way in the lane alongside it. No serious injuries reported.
11:02 PM: Tow trucks are on scene.
12:05 AM: Scene’s clear
8:58 PM: Thanks for the tips. A hit-and-run driver hit and damaged the Taquitos Feliz taco truck at the gas station/mini-mart north of Lincoln Park around 7 pm. Police told us the driver was trying to turn into the gas station but hit the truck instead.
No serious injuries reported, though SFD was called to the scene a second time to check someone out. The driver was reported to have left the car near the station and gone into Lincoln Park on foot; we don’t know yet if police ever caught up with him.
11:21 PM: Still on the loose, police say. But they did impound his car.
11:52 AM: The truck is open for business, by the way. And so busy, we couldn’t even get close enough to ask a question (we’ll try again later).
One day left in King County Elections‘ Filing Week. No one new filed today to run for the three major local offices whose incumbents are leaving – Seattle City Council District 1, King County Council District 8, and Seattle School Board District 6 – so the lineups, so far, are the same ones we reported last night. Anyone still planning to jump into the race for any of those (or other) offices has until 4 pm Friday to file; here’s how. Primary Election Day is August 1st.
Get your Foxy Latte or any other drink on Friday, May 19th, 2023. Hotwire Coffeehouse has supported Genesee Hill Elementary School all year by donating 20% of proceeds to our PTA on the 3rd Friday of each month. This month, we are donating it back to them. Hotwire was recently hit (for the 3rd time in a year) with a break-in where their safe and baked goods were stolen. Let’s support our beloved local coffeehouse by giving them your business – buy coffee for your office mates, significant other, teachers, or a coffee gift card to last throughout the summer!!
Hotwire is at 4426 California SW, open 6:30 am-6 pm.
Jana emailed us wondering if we knew anything about a “pest” problem that she said had closed the book drop at High Point Library for a while, and led to an early closure of the entire branch on Tuesday. So we asked Seattle Public Library for details. Here’s what we heard back from SPL spokesperson Laura Gentry:
Staff at the High Point Branch discovered a bed bug issue two weeks ago in the book drop and around the computer area, which they believe (but is hard to confirm) to be an isolated situation involving a single patron. Staff locked the book drops, quarantined computers, discarded or quarantined impacted materials as appropriate, sanitized book bins, cleaned the impacted computer area, and have been in conversation with the patron.
After containment and cleaning, staff have not seen additional bedbugs for over a week. The book drop has reopened.
The Library conducted a chemical treatment of the branch on Tuesday evening as a precautionary measure. It is considered safe to enter the treated space two hours after chemical treatment, but we let the branch sit overnight as another extra precaution. The pest control company we are working with will return at the end of the month to examine the branch and ensure the issue is fully resolved.
The Library has an integrated pest management program to prevent and contain bed bugs and other pests we might encounter in or around our facilities. Elements of the program include education, good housekeeping, regular inspections, professional custodial practices and immediate response to sightings. These efforts play a vital role in reducing the chance of a major infestation.
Thanks for the question from your reader.
Don’t know much about bed bugs? Read this.
For those wondering about the police presence in Westwood – they were looking for a suspect described as wanted in connection with cases including a stolen car and stolen gun. He has been described by dispatch and officers as a Black man in his mid-30s, medium build, no shirt, black shorts, a black hat, white and blue shoes. Officers blocked off the trails north of the shopping center for a while but they’re reopening them now. If you’ve seen anyone matching that description, call 911.
Four biznotes today:
NEW BARBERSHOP: Tommy Andrade, whose charitable work we told you about in March, is opening a new barber shop at 3614 California SW. Southpaw Barbershop will have a grand opening noon-6 pm on Friday, May 26th, benefiting Amara foster-care services. He explains his community philosophy:
I was previously an engineer who worked at SpaceX and made the switch to barbering. My business partner Jeff Chou also made the switch from corporate America, working for Amazon’s corporate offices. We met in barber college and had the dream to open our own shop and give back to our community. We both are ambassadors for Amara foster care and we offer our services free to foster kids! We are cultivating a culture of community first and want to give back as much as we can. All of my barbers are encouraged to donate services to a cause near and dear to them. One of my barbers offers free haircuts to homeless veterans and another offers free head shaves and haircuts to cancer patients for the entirety they are undergoing treatment. We will also be donating 20% of every dollar we make the first week of the month to a different cause in the community.
SUNDAY SOUL SPAS: Maari Falsetto from Inner Alchemy is hosting Soul Spas on Sundays at Jet City Labs (4547 California SW) during Farmers’ Market hours so you can stop by while you’re in The Junction. Here’s the plan:
We are open from 10 am-2 pm, same hours as the Farmers’ Market.
We offer mini-sessions of reiki, massage, hypnosis, and acupuncture. There is local jewelry, candles, tea, and more.
Inner Alchemy Soul Spa is a fun community experience of meeting our talented local healers, makers, and artists right alongside the Farmers’ Market. Mini sessions, shopping, connecting, and Timmy cooking brunch!
First one is this Sunday, May 21st, and then almost every Sunday through August 27th – it’ll be in our event calendar.
NEW DECK: We stopped by C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor) for a latte earlier this week and noticed this out back:
C & P co-proprietor Pete Moores told us they’re building another deck to enhance their outdoor seating area, as they’ve done with other parts of the C&P grounds.
FUTURE PRIMITIVE ALKI FOLLOWUP: One week ago today, we broke the news that Future Primitive Brewing is expanding to add a taproom at 2536 Alki Avenue SW. At the time we reported on it, we didn’t have information on what happened to the previously announced plan for the site, renovating its two business spaces and adding a residential level above. We have since spoken with Matt Schilling, who was working on that plan; he told us he sold the property a month ago, back to its previous owner, local entrepreneur Tom Lin, and he expected the property will now remain unchanged for the foreseeable future. Meantim, Future Primitive told us they hope to open next month.
As reported here Tuesday, part of the under-construction 4-story apartment building at 5952 California SW fell onto the property next door during windy weather Monday night. No one was hurt, but the fallen material did some damage. A complaint was subsequently filed with the city Department of Construction and Inspections. We asked SDCI if an inspector had been to the site, and if so, what was the result. Here’s what spokesperson Bryan Stevens tells WSB today:
We completed a site visit yesterday morning and saw that most of the fallen material had been removed and cleaned up. Some damage occurred to the neighboring property and was actively being repaired by the builder. We spoke with the contractor from the site, and they increased their temporary bracing to ensure the wall framing is supported per best practices.
The Washington State Dept. of Labor & Industries has been contacted and will be visiting the site to do an investigation of worksite safety and best practices.
We went back to the site Wednesday and took this photo:
Side note: While checking SDCI’s website, we noticed this is Building Safety Month.
We’re on 42nd Street between Hinds and Hanford, just south of West Seattle High School. Appear to be experiencing brown water this morning. Noticed about an hour or so ago. And it has yet to resolve.
Discolored water usually results from “sediment” – mostly rust – stirred up in lines for reasons from a pipe break to hydrant testing. We’re also asking SPU about a commenter’s note that there’s been a change in the latter procedure at the utility’s direction. Whatever the cause, it’s important that you report it if you see it – 206-386-1800.
9:22 PM: SPU spokesperson Sabrina Register responded tonight to our original inquiry about Gatewood water woes earlier this week, and to the hydrant-testing change:
The Seattle Fire Department tests fire hydrants annually to make sure they will work properly in emergencies to save lives and property. Recently, firefighters have tested hydrants within the Gatewood neighborhood and are expanding throughout West Seattle. Testing hydrants can sometimes disturb sediment in the pipes and cause the water in nearby homes to be temporarily discolored. If this happens, the water will usually clear on its own in a couple of hours or by running the cold water for a few minutes. Customers can also call the Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) 24/7 Operations Response Center at 206-386-1800 for assistance or visit SPU’s website for information about discolored water and how to clear it.
From 2017-2022, fire hydrants were tested without flowing water. In 2023, fire hydrant testing protocol is returning back to its pre-2017 approach, which involves gently flowing water out of the hydrant to remove any sediment that may be trapped in the pipe feeding the hydrant. This change in practice may increase the likelihood of temporary discolored water. We apologize for any water quality issues that may be caused by this change, and we’re working diligently to test the hydrants in a manner that minimizes water quality issues for our customers.
Options for your Thursday afternoon/evening, from our 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.
HIGHLAND PARK RUN CLUB: Also at HP Corner Store, meet up at 6:30 pm for a three-mile run!
ARTISTRY OF THE BOOK: 6 pm at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor):
Artistry of the Book: How a novel becomes a work of visual art
Two West Seattle-ites — debut author, Rebekah Anderson, and book designer, Lauren Grosskopf — will discuss the collaborative process of putting a book cover and interiors together for a new novel, “The Grand Promise,” that reflect the story’s themes.
“The Grand Promise” is a work of literary fiction about the real communities impacted by the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam in the 1930s. The novel was called “a gripping debut” by best-selling local author Jonathan Evison, “a thoughtful look” by Kirkus Reviews, and “enthralling” by Publishers Weekly.
The talk between author and designer will be followed by a reading and book signing.
ALKI COMMUNITY COUNCIL: The ACC meets at 7 pm at Alki UCC (6115 SW Hinds) or online (access info is in our calendar listing), with scheduled guests from SDOT (scooter share), SPU (Pump Station 38), and SPD. All welcome.
PIANO REQUESTS: You ask, they’ll play, 7 pm at Otter on the Rocks (4210 SW Admiral Way).
There’s even more in our calendar!
The Westside Friends program, offered by the Senior Center of West Seattle, has plenty of volunteers – but is looking for people they can help! Maybe you or someone you know? Here’s the announcement the SCWS asked us to share:
The Westside Friends program matches West Seattle seniors and people with disabilities (“WSF Friends”) with volunteers for companionship, help with projects, and assistance with tasks like grocery shopping.
Many of our WSF Friends and their volunteers create deep, long-term connections that are both meaningful and fun. If you decide you’d like to be matched with a volunteer, the same person will visit with you each time.
Our volunteers will meet with you in your home and do things like listening and sharing stories, taking walks, occasionally driving to errands or appointments, going with you to a movie or out to lunch, sharing a cup of coffee, planting flowers in pots, and watching sports on TV.
Westside Friends volunteers are kind and interesting people from your neighborhood. They’ve been interviewed, oriented, background-checked, and are fully vaccinated.
Interested or Have Questions? Contact ~
Michele Fawcett-Long, Senior Center of West Seattle
206-928-1730 or firstname.lastname@example.org
6:03 AM: Good morning. It’s Thursday, May 18th.
WEATHER & SUNRISE/SUNSET TIMES
Today’s forecast: Sunny, high around 80. Sunrise was at 5:28 am; sunset will be at 8:44 pm.
-Friday is Bike Everywhere Day; West Seattle Bike Connections plans treats and info for riders at the west end of the low bridge, 6-9 am.
-Saturday brings the West Seattle Bee Festival back to High Point, and Lanham Place alongside Commons Park will be closed to traffic for the street-fair component.
-Sunday is the first West Seattle 5K since 2019, which means morning road closures in the Alki area between 61st SW and Luna/Anchor Park.
Metro – Regular schedule, but trip cancellations are still happening.
Water Taxi – Continuing the spring/summer schedule, including late-evening runs Friday and Saturday nights.
Washington State Ferries‘ Triangle Route continues on the 2-boat schedule; sailing cancellations remain possible 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: – 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 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). Thank you!