West Seattle, Washington
Toplines from the Fauntleroy Community Association board’s first 2021 meeting, online last Tuesday night:
FERRY TERMINAL: Frank Immel, the board’s point person for ferry issues, said the Fauntleroy terminal-replacement project is now expected to start construction in 2025. (WSF’s official name for it is “terminal preservation project.”) The budget will be $93 million and the project will address issues such as sea-level rising and seismic safety. A meeting with WSF in early December was informational but, he observed, did not seem to be open to comments or dialogue. FCA will “develop a list of what we will and won’t accept” regarding elements of the long-anticipated project. They also are considering seeking other West Seattle community groups’ support once they have an official position. A major concern is that the state will seek to expand the dock; environmental sensitivities on both sides – including the mouth of Fauntleroy Creek immediately south – might preclude that, he said. The board debated for a while about how much the rest of the peninsula might or might not care, while some members pointed out that in the end this boils down to traffic, and almost everyone cares about that. The FCA’s ferry subcommittee will discuss further.
COMMUNITY SURVEY: FCA’s every-two-years community survey is complete. Postcards went out to 3,000 households. 450 responded (including 100 on the final day after we published a “last chance” reminder, coordinator Catherine Bailey noted). 333 of the 450 respondents were nonmembers; more than half said they weren’t previously aware of FCA, while others cited reasons from not knowing how to join to not being interested in membership. Almost half the community, responding to one of the questions, reported they’d been a victim of a car prowl. Burglaries and car prowls were the crime issues respondents reported interested them most – though it was noted, the question wasn’t open-ended. Many other insight/summaries from the survey will be rolled out soon on the FCA website and in the quarterly “Neighbors” newsletter.
COMMUNITY CONCERNS: The survey did not address current issues such as housing and food insecurity, observed a community member who implored the board to diversify its membership and agenda. Members agreed the board needs to “open up.” One pointed out that the group has already broadened its interest and membership in the relatively short time she’s been involved. They talked about setting aside time at a future meeting to strategize. One member noted that schools in the area are very diverse, so reaching more community members through the schools might be one tactic.
POLICE UPDATE: Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Sina Ebinger is retiring and will be leaving within the month, she told FCA (as noted here earlier this week). Joining her at the start of the FCA meeting was the precinct’s new second-watch Lt. Dorothy Kim, who spoke about the recent tire-slashing suspect arrest and how an officer compiled evidence to both find the suspect and solidify that it was a felony crime. “Auto thefts are up everywhere in West Seattle – 75% – 23 in 2019, 40 in 2020 – in Fauntleroy. Everything else is down,” including burglaries, which are down citywide. Lt. Kim said they hope to have SPD represented at future meetings by an officer who patrols the area.
NEXT MEETING: The FCA board meets, online TFN, most second Tuesdays at 7 pm, so February 9th will be the next meeting. Watch fauntleroy.net for updates and the link to register to attend.
As with other transit/transportation, Washington State Ferries has seen usage fall during the pandemic. Today WSF went public with its year-end report, showing just how much. Systemwide, 2020 ridership was down 41 percent from a year earlier. That includes 2020 becoming the first year ever – since WSF began operations in 1951 – that the system carried fewer passengers (6.4 million) than vehicles (7.6 million). The two routes serving downtown Seattle, from Bremerton and Bainbridge Island, saw the biggest drops. For Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth, WSF reports that total riders were down 39%, vehicles down 31% (of the three legs of the so-called Triangle Route, Fauntleroy-Southworth saw the biggest drops). The other route serving Vashon Island – Tahlequah-Point Defiance – was the route with the smallest drop. See the full 2020 report here. P.S. WSF says ridership has been rebounding, lately back to 60 percent of pre-pandemic levels, with vehicle usage at 70 percent of 2019 usage levels.
Kaari Higgins died 10 years ago today, the victim of one of West Seattle’s unsolved murders.
One of her two children, now a grown woman, continues trying to find justice for her mom. Lindsay Higgins asked that we publish her plea:
Kaari Higgins was found brutally beaten in her Fauntlee Hills home on December 31st, 2010, and succumbed to her injuries one week later on January 7th, 2011. The attack occurred sometime between 6 am and noon on that New Year’s Eve. On the 10th anniversary of her death, I want to remind the West Seattle community of this unsolved homicide. I was 12 at the time, and now that I am older I still hope to find answers.
Unfortunately, my mom’s case was not widely covered in the media, but there were a few articles published. This Seattle PI story most accurately reported the key details surrounding the case:
It was a few minutes past noon on New Year’s Eve 2010 when a medic dispatcher received a call about a woman unresponsive in West Seattle.
“There’s someone unconscious bleeding from the mouth, face down on the floor in the hallway,” a man said, directing medics to the 4000 block of Southwest Concord Street.
Homicide detectives were unaware of Higgins’ case until after her death – more than a week after her injuries were reported. It was only when her body was examined that investigators realized that it was unlikely her injuries came from a simple fall.
Police say Higgins had a split lip, two black eyes, a bruise on her lower left back, a bruise on her shoulders and a fractured bone. Investigators think she was beaten that New Year’s Eve – her 47th birthday.
I hope that somebody knows something, and that this post might trigger a memory. I urge anyone with possible information or tips on Kaari’s death to contact SPD’s Homicide Tip Line: 206-233-5000.
We reported on Ms. Higgins’s death in 2012, after SPD brought the case to light via a list of unsolved murders.
Despite the disruption in school operations, the pandemic isn’t stopping the Salmon in the Schools program. Local volunteer organizers Judy Pickens and Phil Sweetland obtained hatchery eggs this week for participating teachers, and arranged a distanced pickup from their home near Fauntleroy Creek, into which fry will be released this spring.
Stopping by while we visited for a photo were Rita Gazewood, first-grade teacher at Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Claudia Rodriguez, preschool teacher at The Cove School. In “normal” years, volunteers led by Phil and Judy deliver the eggs to schools.
This year, Judy tells WSB, “The eggs are destined for eight tanks – four elementaries, three preschools, and the volunteer who rears fish for schools that have crop failures. Some teachers and their tank volunteers have moved their tanks into garages and others have arranged access to their tanks in school buildings. All will be following COVID protocols to keep themselves safe while engaging students remotely in the rearing process. If all goes well, at least 1,300 coho fry will be ready to release into upper Fauntleroy Creek in May. They will have the habitat to themselves as we had no spawning last fall to produce ‘home hatch’ in the lower creek.”
These items are generally too big to be simply “lost” so we’re mentioning them here rather than in our Lost/Found (non-pets) forum board:
T. found that bicycle abandoned on a Fauntleroy sidewalk. Older bicycle with a blown tire. Recognize it? Let us know and we’ll connect you. Meantime, in Seaview, Gwyneth found this:
She says, “It doesn’t seem like it’s in the best of shape but it got dumped on my corner either last night or this morning and in case someone is missing it, it’s sitting on the corner of Raymond and 47th SW.”
(Republished with permission from the Fauntleroy Community Association’s December 2020 newsletter Neighbors)
By Judy Pickens
When the Fauntleroy Children’s Center opened as the Fauntleroy Day Care Center in September 1978, Kim Seaman Sheridan wasn’t there to welcome the eight children as they entered a room at Fauntleroy Church.
But she was there the following year as a teacher, and she has been there every year since as the center’s director, welcoming nearly 5,000 infants and children over her 42 years of service.
Come January 1, Kim will begin the next chapter of her life – one not so abundantly populated with children.
She sees a change in directors as a plus for the center, enabling new leadership to run with new ideas. Also, she said, “After 42 years, it’s time to be home.”
Just heard from Mary Jane near Lincoln Park – we published her Camry theft report on Saturday; now, another vehicle’s just been stolen from her home:
We were just hit again. We had my Toyota Camry stolen from outside of our house last night and we just woke up to someone stealing our Dodge Ram 2500 from our driveway. There was a van or hatchback following it as they pulled off and headed south on Fauntleroy. The police were called and just left.
DARK BLUE DODGE RAM 2500
BLACK TOOL BOX and HEADACHE RACK
License Plate #: C65590T
Call 911 if you see either vehicle.
STOLEN CAMRY: Keep watch for Mary Jane‘s silver 4-door 1987 Toyota Camry, stolen late last night or early this morning near Fauntleroy/Monroe, across from Lincoln Park. License plate BSG2643. Call 911 if you see it.
UNDER-THE-CAR THEFT #1: From Laura:
Heads up to folks in North Delridge:
Sometime between 2 am and 4 am on 12/19/2020, someone in a dark colored SUV was pulled up close to my Prius in front of my residence near the Dragonfly Pavilion. A friend woke up to the sound of some sort of pneumatic tool and yelled at them out the window. They crouched down, got back in their car and took off. Unfortunately, my friend wasn’t able to see anything identifiable about the person or vehicle. By the sound of my car when I turn it on, I assume they got away with my catalytic converter and/or muffler but I have to have it looked at to know for sure.
UNDER-THE-CAR THEFT #2: This summary is from SPD’s Significant Incident Reports file:
On 12-18-2020 at 0355 hours, a male was inside his house sleeping located at the 9000 BLK of 3 Ave SW. The victim heard a loud noise outside his window. The victim saw that a male was under his truck cutting something, and there was a second male standing up being the lookout. The victim saw the suspects get in a green small van, and one of the suspects shot a round in the air. The suspects drove away Southbound on 3 Ave SW. The suspects took the muffler from the victim’s vehicle. Officers checked the area for the suspects and evidence, but nothing was located. King County was notified about the suspect’s vehicle.
INTRUDER ARRESTED: Also from the Significant Incident Reports:
On 12-17-2020 at 1723 hours, officers responded to a burglary in the 6300 block of 34 AV SW. The suspect, who does not live at this apartment building, made entry via the south stairwell door and then proceeded to the 2nd floor. Once on the 2nd floor, the suspect forcibly kicked in the victim’s front door after she refused to let him in and then entered the apartment. Suspect was still inside the victim’s apartment when officers arrived on scene. Suspect was arrested and booked into the King County Jail for Investigation of Burglary without incident.
Endolyne Joe’s in Fauntleroy is temporarily closing, until indoor sit-down dining is back again. Libby Bills from Chow Foods, which owns the restaurant, tells WSB, “Endolyne Joe’s is temporarily suspending service. We tried to make a go of the curbside/delivery services that we have been offering for the last several months, but we are at a point that we need to preserve enough capital to re-open when this nightmare is at least close to over.” Joe’s general manager Jeff Andrew adds, “We did not come to this decision easily and want to thank the West Seattle community for all their support. We look forward to having our West Seattle family back in our restaurant enjoying our food and drink the way it was meant to be enjoyed.” (added) The restaurant’s last day for now will be Tuesday (December 22nd).
Our area’s only neighborhood group with a regular community survey has a last call for participation:
If you live or work in Fauntleroy, the Fauntleroy Community Association would like to hear from you through their every-other-year community survey. First announced last month, the window is closing to participate with the deadline set for today (December 13). This year’s survey includes questions about transportation, traffic, car prowls and break-ins, police funding, and historic preservation. Survey responses help the FCA to establish priorities for action and most of all, to hear about what is important to community members. If you haven’t already participated, start the survey here.
1 PM: Washington State Ferries says M/V Issaquah needs emergency repairs, so it’s going out of service, leaving M/V Kittitas the lone boat on the route for now. WSF’s alert says: “The 1:10 p.m. from Southworth, the 1:30 p.m. from Vashon, and the 2:00 p.m. from Fauntleroy are cancelled.”
2:57 PM: The M/V Sealth is replacing the Issaquah (which was experiencing “oil pressure alarms”), but it has less capacity, and WSF says #2 sailings might be delayed by half an hour.
3:55 PM: Thanks for the tips. Avoid 37th/Trenton in Upper Fauntleroy – major SFD/SPD response. We are headed over to find out more.
4:10 PM: Though passersby said it looked major, the scene has totally cleared. We are following up with SFD.
5:31 PM: SFD spokesperson David Cuerpo tells WSB, “Our crews treated a 29 year old male who is in stable condition. He was transported to (Harborview) by AMR. Reported as a vehicle and pedestrian collision.”
As noted in our West Seattle Holiday Guide, we’re spotlighting lights again this year. We noticed while out this evening that many have theirs up already – from houses’ yards to apartments’ balconies – not surprisingly (today’s dry weather might have helped). We’ve already received a few spotlight suggestions, including this announcement from Ken Arkills:
“The Arkills home on the corner of 39th Ave SW and SW Trenton in Fauntlee Hills is in full display mode. The response from the children and parents and those walking and driving by has been incredible and has touched our hearts as we see their smiles and hear their words of appreciation during such difficult times. With all the challenges in 2020. we knew we had to turn up the electricity here and deliver for our Community. … We are on a corner off the beaten path and folks are able to walk or drive by and enjoy the display from many vantage points and still maintain social distancing and they do.”
Lots of cheery characters – some animation, too. Here’s a map.
If you have – or know of – decorations/lights to share, let us know! Photos welcome but not required; we’ll be out with our camera many nights. firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
Every year for more than two decades, The Hall at Fauntleroy has hosted a free community Thanksgiving dinner for everyone who shows up. Last month, its proprietors announced a pandemic plan – takeaway meals on the holiday. But since then, COVID-19 has surged, and tonight they’ve announced that plan is now off:
With the recent government orders, the rise in Covid-19 cases in our area and in the interest of the health and safety of our community, we are unable to move forward with our annual thanksgiving meal.
Though it is difficult to come to terms with not being able to gather with you all this Thanksgiving, we are overflowing with gratitude for every person who has shown up as a volunteer, contributor, or guest over the past 21 years.
Wherever you may find yourselves on this day of thanks, we will be holding you and yours close to our hearts.
Oh. the stories we will have to share when we gather again in 2021!
We will continue to collect new warm clothes, new blankets, new socks, and new hats throughout the holiday season. If you would like to make a donation, please feel to reach out to Meg Haggerty 206-353-8382 with text or voice questions.
David and Meg Haggerty
If you were counting on this because you can’t afford a holiday dinner – three food-distribution opportunities are coming up on Friday and Saturday – we listed them in last night’s pandemic roundup.
By Judy Pickens
Special to West Seattle Blog
Despite perfect conditions, salmon watchers on Fauntleroy Creek recorded only two coho spawners this year, both at the mouth.
The watch began October 18, when a record 60 people attended the annual drumming to call in spawners. Nearly 30 volunteers kept watch through November 15.
“We had more singles and doubles and families watching this year than in any year I can remember,” said veteran watcher Dennis Hinton. “We even had an artist who came many times in search of the right light for a painting.”
Without the spawners needed to host an “open creek” event, watchers nonetheless welcomed 45 visitors to get a close look at the fish ladder and spawning habitat.
The two spawners they documented were at the mouth near the ferry pier, not in the spawning reach on the east side of Fauntleroy Way SW. He speculated that the female may have ventured into fresh water, then fallen back to the tidepool where she died, near where a male carcass was later found.
High winds and tides caused logs to jam tightly under the ferry pier, which may have prevented fish from reaching the creek. Volunteer Mark Sears led two work parties to untangle the logs (photo above) and checked every day when tides were especially high to see of more logs were blocking.
The last time the creek had zero spawners was 2015. Coho and chum numbers were also low in Longfellow and Piper’s creeks, as was the sport catch in the Sound.
Last year’s count was 19; in 2018, 18. A record was set in 2012, when watchers counted 274.
Every two years, the Fauntleroy Community Association conducts a survey of more than 3,000 residents in Fauntleroy. We ask questions about current issues affecting the Fauntleroy community, West Seattle, and Seattle as a whole. This allows us to understand what is important to our community members and helps the board set priorities.
The FCA exists to consider and act on concerns affecting the quality of life and character of the Fauntleroy community. Examples of issues and projects we have engaged in include public safety, the ferry, zoning and parking. We also sponsor or co-sponsor events such as the Fall Festival, the Fauntleroy Food Fest, the business triangle planter boxes, and this year’s Halloween pumpkin hunt.
Start the survey here.
The survey was launched just before FCA’s monthly board meeting. We were there for toplines – they’re after the jump:
The Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth Washington State Ferries run is down to 1 boat right now – MV Issaquah is “out of service until further notice due to lack of crew.” Until that’s remedied, the only runs are the ones served by vessel #, MV Kittitas.
Another Hallo-week activity! The photo and announcement are from the Fauntleroy Community Association:
In an effort to bring some fun to the dwindling daylight, throughout the week of October 26-30, The Fauntleroy Community Association is sponsoring a community pumpkin hunt. If you search around the Endolyne/Fauntleroy area, you may find a white pumpkin — or even a beautiful blown glass pumpkin — with a note attached. Some even include a gift certificate for use at our local merchants, compliments of the FCA board members. We hope you’ll participate. We encourage you to take your pumpkin home with you, then take a picture of yourself with your pumpkin, and post it on social media, with #FCApumpkins
Fauntleroy Community Association
2020 Board Members
We’re also adding this to the WSB West Seattle Halloween page – which we’re updating multiple times daily this week, as new decoration-location reports and trick-or-treat events/locations come in!
In a normal year, it would seem a bit too early to talk about Thanksgiving. But … well, it’s 2020. The Hall at Fauntleroy, which usually presents a free sit-down community feast, has announced its plan for this year, and how you can help:
The 22nd annual Hall at Fauntleroy Community Thanksgiving meal will be on Thanksgiving Day – Thursday, November 26th – from 11 am to 2 pm.
This year’s feast will be Take-out style.
We will be in front of the Hall at Fauntleroy handing out fully prepared Thanksgiving meals and totes with other essentials.
The Hall at Fauntleroy is located at 9131 California Ave SW.
To our amazing volunteers, we can’t wait to gather for full service dining next year!
For now, we invite you to breathe deeply into this pause and come on by to pick up a meal for you, a friend, family member or a neighbor.
We are accepting, and would truly appreciate, donations:
~ Reusable grocery/tote bags
~ Hand sanitizer
~ New blankets
~ Hand warmers
~ Cash donations
Please call Meg Haggerty 206-353-8382 to arrange for drop off of donations by Friday November 20th.
In the spirit of our core mission of gathering to feed the heart, soul and bellies of the community, we would like to put out a special thank you and invitation to our colleagues in the hard hit hospitality and arts industries.
We hope to see all of you as we navigate this different kind of year ~ even if it is just a drive by with a honk and wave!
Brought you to by Seeds of Love, the Haggerty Family, and from the generous donations of our neighbors and community.
Meg & David Haggerty
5:52 PM: Seattle Fire has a water-rescue response headed by land and sea to a report of a sailboat in trouble north of the Fauntleroy ferry dock. Updates to come.
5:56 PM: The callout is being canceled – per scanner, a resident says the sailor is a neighbor and is already safely out of the water.
The Southern Resident Killer Whales have come home because the salmon are returning. And if Fauntleroy Creek advocates and neighbors are lucky, they’ll see some of those fish any day now. That’s the reason for the annual drum circle to call the salmon home, organized by Judy Pickens steps from the creek on Sunday afternoon:
Judy told the all-ages attendees that the annual volunteer salmon watch was on, and there’d been a good sign – a female salmon spotted near the mouth of the creek, though she didn’t make it up the creek and her fate is unknown. Jamie Schilling led a bit of singing and drumming, as she does every year, but then – something new:
Visitors were invited to take a stone from a plate of river rocks longtime volunteer Dennis Hinton had brought back from a trip to Yakima, and to write a word or two with a wish for the salmon:
Before taking their rock-borne messages over to the creek banks, everyone was invited to share what they wrote – Messages of welcome, like “you are welcome here”; messages of encouragement, like “Go for it” and “Keep swimming”; and messages of hope, like “glory,” “love,” “peace,” “healing.”
If spawners show up in the creek, watch for word of an “open creek” chance to visit on an upcoming weekend.
19 showed up last year – we’ll know soon how this year turns out. As Jamie observed, despite the pandemic, “life goes on.”
No Seahawks game on Sunday, so here’s a reason to go outdoors: Fauntleroy Creek advocates are ready to host you at the pandemic-era version of an autumn tradition – drumming to call the salmon home. Volunteers are keeping watch on the creek starting today in hopes of seeing spawners, so it’s time: Wear a mask and bring any kind of drum to the 4 pm-4:45 pm drumming event Sunday at 4539 SW Director Place (just off upper Fauntleroy Way SW and SW Director, across from the ferry terminal); drumming will guide you into the (distanced!) circle.
Another way to support local arts/crafts creators, who also have been hard-hit by the pandemic, while doing early holiday shopping – Judy Pickens sends word that what would usually be an in-person event is happening online this year, and it’s already begun!
COVID has edited but not deleted the Fauntleroy Fine Art & Holiday Gift Show from the calendar of community activities at Fauntleroy Church, United Church of Christ. The show that has been an annual fall event for more than a decade is happening online this year, through November 30.
Visit the church website to see samples and details from each of the 13 participants, including SML Design (handcrafted home-decor products), Tom Costantini (below – watercolors), Johanna Lindsay (above – woven earrings/pendants), and Angel Luna (skincare products).
Entries include websites to see more and contact information to purchase directly from the artist or crafter.