West Seattle, Washington
For neighbors in need, Peace Lutheran Church in Gatewood now has a Little Free Pantry, stocked with food and hygiene items, built with volunteers, donations, and grant money. It’s on the open patio by the church’s lower-level doors at the corner of 39th SW and SW Thistle. The church’s youth/family director Nicole Klinemeier emailed to share the news, explaining, “The top has food items, and on the bottom there is a bin with hygiene items such as diapers, menstruation supplies, deodorant, etc.” She also says the church grounds will soon feature a prayer walk focusing on hunger, similar to the Black Lives Matter prayer walk we featured in June.
Last November, we reported on the new communications tower that was going up by Myrtle Reservoir Park, next to the one it would replace. It’s part of the Puget Sound Emergency Radio Network (PSERN), described to us at the time as a “critical upgrade” of an existing countywide network used by public-safety responders, authorized by voters in 2015. The West Seattle tower project time frame was described then as “six to nine months” of construction, followed by removal of the old tower.
Last week, a City Council vote approving the “interlocal cooperation agreement” for PSERN reminded us that it was time to follow up on the West Seattle tower’s status, since eleven months have now passed. Here’s what we found out, via King County Information Technology:
*COVID-19 has affected everyone’s work on/at this site, especially supply chains and construction services. City of Seattle and King County Metro also have work at this site, including needing to move their antennas and other emergency radio equipment to the new tower in coordination with vendors and in compliance with Federal Communications Commission licensing processes. This equipment must be removed by these agencies before PSERN can dismantle the original tower and complete work at the site. The PSERN Project (Project) does not have the legal authority to force those agencies to move to the new tower, but all agencies are coordinating their efforts.
*Work on the West Seattle tower location began in late summer 2019 and the main construction was finished in April 2020. However, work continues with some service trucks and a crane in the area to move equipment from the old tower to the new PSERN tower. This duration of this work has lengthened and will likely last through April 2021. Construction work is expected to be intermittent throughout this time.
*The PSERN project team has been actively working with the City of Seattle and King County Metro to solidify the schedule. Once those other agencies have completed their work, the project team can dismantle the old West Seattle tower. That should take about a month.
*Every effort is being made to remove the original West Seattle tower as quickly as possible, so that transition to the upgraded emergency radio system can continue on schedule. The project team says they greatly appreciate the patience of neighbors during these challenging times while collaboration between multiple parties and transition preparations continues.
The cost of this part of the ~$281 million PSERN project was cited last year as about $800,000. Meantime, we’re told site neighbors should receive an update via postal mail sometime this month.
Two reader reports:
ROCK INCIDENT: We got multiple reports from Gatewood about someone in a car throwing a rock at a letter carrier on Saturday, as shown toward the end of the short video above, sent by Keith. One of the other witnesses, Carter, reported retrieving the rock afterward and saying it “could have done major damage.” So far as we know, the letter carrier was not hurt.
ABANDONED MOTORCYCLE: We’ve received word of two sightings in the past three days of this motorcycle near Longfellow Creek, which suggests it’s been dumped there:
That photo is from Jeff; there’s a plate on the motorcycle, starting with 2E. We’ve already checked with the person who emailed about a similar motorcycle stolen in Top Hat recently; not theirs. Police also have been notified.
From Joey in Gatewood:
Last night (9/6), our garage was broken into and two of our bikes were stolen. My wife’s new blue Specialized Rock Hopper (size small), mine… men’s Specialized Sirrus Sport (size large). We live (in the 4100 block of) SW Rose St. Our garage faces the alley, which is between Rose and Southern (right off California).
Yet another incident in which a catalytic converter was targeted – but this time, Steve reports, the would-be thief/thieves failed:
This morning a little after 5 am on the 3900 Block of SW Rose Street, my neighbors and I were awoken by my car alarm. The windows of my Prius were not smashed but my catalytic converter was cut and damaged. The culprits were presumably scared off by the alarm before they could take it.
A neighbor told me he saw an older powder-blue BMW next to my car (which was out of place) and which had two male occupants, one was possibly Caucasian or Asian. Another neighbor also saw this vehicle near mine with two men, although she couldn’t make out any specific attributes.
The SPD incident # is 2020-253114.
Four reader reports:
MORE GATEWOOD GUNFIRE: Late last night, we heard a dispatch for possible gunfire in the 7100 block of California SW. Did not hear any report of what if anything officers found at the time, but we just received this via text:
Shots fired again in Gatewood last night, same alley as the car shooting 3 weeks ago. This time shots were fired directly into our neighbors’ house, through the kitchen and bedroom windows. Police have been notified. Fortunately no one hurt.
BUSINESS BURGLARY: The report and photo are from Mark:
Just popped in the Rite Aid on California Ave south of the Junction, saw a shattered window to right of door. Asked the employee on duty, says around 5 am someone broke in and stole cartons of cigarettes and about 30 or so airplane bottles of liquor. They were caught on camera, though.
RACK THEFT ATTEMPT: From M:
Someone tried to steal the kayak rack off my SUV (Friday) night, while it was parked in my driveway in Seaview. Both the rack and the crossbars have locks, but they still managed to break off the end cap and try to slide it off the crossbar. My car was broken into a few months ago in the same location, though there was nothing in it to take. There’s a very bright motion light in the driveway, but doesn’t seem to bother them. They must’ve spent a good deal of time trying to get the rack off.
FROM THE ‘DUMPED/LIKELY STOLEN’ FILE: Recognize these camping chairs?
Texter just spotted them at the California/Fontanelle bus stop.
REMINDER – CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL MEETING TUESDAY: Hear from and talk with Southwest Precinct police at 7 pm Tuesday (August 18) during the first West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting in six months. Online, of course – connection info is in our preview.
9:55 AM: SFD is arriving at a house-fire dispatch in the 8200 block of California SW. So far, they believe it’s just a dryer fire.
9:58 AM: Most of the units are being dismissed. Our crew confirms the dryer itself has been pulled out of the house.
10:03 AM: Added above – photo of dryer. No one hurt.
Two reports so far today:
ANOTHER CAR DAMAGED BY GUNFIRE: If you heard gunshots early Saturday in the Gatewood/Morgan Junction area – here’s what the police report we obtained today says it turned out to be:
(Saturday morning) I was dispatched to (the 7000 block of) California AV SW, unit to investigate the report of property damage in the form of bullet holes in (victim’s) vehicle that occurred overnight.
I contacted (the victim) in the alley behind his building (east of California AV SW) where his vehicle was parked, backed in to a parking spot perpendicular to the alley. It was immediately obvious that the front and hood of his vehicle was riddled with fresh bullet holes. (He) stated that he approaches his vehicle from behind so he noticed a large wet spot running away from his vehicle but did not notice anything was wrong until he attempted to start his vehicle and “a bunch of warning lights went off” and it would not start.
(We) located 8- spent 9mm Blazer brass shell casings scattered around the alleyway in front of (the) vehicle. We also located 8 separate bullet holes in the front bumper, grill, and hood of (the) vehicle. There were vehicles parked directly on both sides of the’s vehicle as well as in many other spots of the parking strip. None of the other had any damage to them. (The victim) stated that he had just bought the vehicle approximately a month ago and just moved into this apartment building approximately a week and a half prior and did not know of anyone in his personal or professional life that would do something like this. I agreed with that the incident did seem to be targeted toward him or at least his vehicle specifically. A check with SPD dispatch showed a shots fired call with multiple callers from the east of this address at approximately 0048 Hrs this morning (2020-222259). Officers responded and did not locate anything.
No indication whether it might be related to last week’s incidents; police said the weapon in those appeared to have been a shotgun.
STOLEN BACKPACK: Tina hopes you can help find her child’s backpack, stolen Sunday at Lowman Beach Park and containing some items of hers as well: “The backpack is black with Super Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog. We were at the beach just past all of the houses at the very end of the road.” If yu see an abandoned backpack like that, let us know and we’ll connect you.
P.S. Thanks to the person who found Linda‘s stolen documents and got them back to her after seeing the report here!
Shared by a father who wanted to alert others:
(Thursday) evening around 730 pm, my 12 yo daughter and 5 yo son walked from our home a couple blocks heading north to the water tower on 35th Ave near Our Lady of Guadelupe church.
They were testing the safety watch I just bought for my 5 yo son (Wednesday).
They were stalked by a man, 6 foot to 6 foot 6 inches, in 50s or 60s, thin build, gray straight shoulder length hair and a bald patch on the back of his head. He wore a blue gray tee shirt and blue jeans.
My daughter described seeing him arguing with someone across the street. He then noticed my children and walked past them heading opposite their direction of travel and on the opposite side of the street. My daughter’s instincts kicked in and she noticed once out of sight behind them he had turned around and crossed the street now following behind them.
He followed them when they crossed the street two separate times and changed pace to keep up with them. At the water tower play structure park, a neighbor noticed the man following my kids. She overheard my daughter tell her brother she was concerned about the man. Our neighbor stepped in to offer help. My daughter and son went straight home while (the neighbor) observed the man. He knew he was being watched, spit on the ground in her direction, making eye contact with her, and then left.
During this stalking he went so far as to follow my kids several blocks, keep pace with them, cross the street following them while my daughter attempted to ditch him, then tried to make himself appear as if he was taking photos on his phone at the park. This person is dangerous. The neighbor was thankfully in the right place to help and my daughter was savvy.
This incident is reported to Seattle Police as of the writing of this email. Please share this story to help protect our community and our children.
9 PM: Thanks for the texted tip! 74 customers are without electricity right now in the south Morgan Junction/west Gatewood area, near California/Myrtle.
The City Light map says the cause is under investigation, but the texter reports a big clue – a dead crow.
9:55 PM: The City Light site now confirms “bird/animal” as the cause.
11:51 PM: Thanks to Sue for those tips plus word it’s over after four hours.
FIRST REPORT, 10:12 PM: Thanks to Jason for the photo from a crash scene this past hour in Gatewood, in the 42100 block of SW Othello [map]. The driver is reported to have hit parked cars before crashing into a tree, and was taken to a hospital.
ADDED EARLY SUNDAY: Another crash was reported a few blocks away, at 41st/Austin, just after 10:30 pm:
The owner of a parked F-250 pickup truck that was hit and damaged sent that photo, showing blue paint from the hit-run vehicle. He says it was a “small blue car” that crashed shortly thereafter, according to the police officer who took his report.
Educators, parents, and students lined fauntleroy Way by Gatewood Elementary earlier this hour, in the first of two planned West Seattle protests this afternoon on the day of action called for by regional Black Lives Matter leadership.
The school community also wanted to show it’s undaunted despite the theft of a BLM support banner the PTA had placed along the fence.
Coming up at 2 pm, groups are planning to march silently, also in support of the BLM call, to The Junction from Morgan Junction and Alaska Junction. Meantime, more than 50 local businesses have closed to support the general strike that’s also happening today – our list is here.
If you can’t, or choose not to, march, but want to contemplate action against racism, injustice, and inequity – take a short walk around Peace Lutheran Church. We happened onto this while out walking earlier this week. The signs are small – requiring a close look:
Along with explanatory signs, there are simple hand-lettered signs including these:
The church is at 39th/Thistle.
The photo and report are from Julie:
I am writing to share the upsetting and disappointing news that a Black Lives Matter sign our PTA placed on the Myrtle St. fence at Gatewood Elementary School was removed and stolen last night. Someone was trying very hard to block this message of solidarity and support for people of color in our community, and we ask that people be on the lookout.
We are planning to print another and post again.
In summer 2018, we reported on the city’s plan to expand the Seattle Parks-owned area of Orchard Street Ravine by buying 7137 38th SW, a 5,600-square-foot parcel (map) holding the century-plus-old house shown in the King County Assessor photo above. Today, Parks announced it will be tearing down the house soon:
Seattle Parks and Recreation is moving forward with the structure demolition in the Orchard Street Ravine at 7137 38th Ave. SW. SPR purchased the property in 2018 to increase the green space in the Orchard Street Ravine, a natural area and important green space connector for the West Seattle community.
Watterson Excavating will be working in late May to demolish the structure on site. Between May and September, the Seattle Conservation Corps will put in erosion control measures and hydroseed the site. The property was purchased with community support and funding provided by the Seattle Park District.
In 2018, the city said the purchase price would be $235,000 (records verify that’s what was paid), and that it expected additional costs of $25,000 for “staff time, title insurance, and closing cost,” plus “up to $100,000 for demolition of the house.”
5:17 PM: Just received this from Seattle Public Utilities:
Friday evening, May 22, Seattle Public Utilities will begin an emergency repair on a large, 16-inch water main that is leaking in West Seattle near SW Holly Street between California Ave SW and 39th Ave SW.
The repair work is expected to be completed by early Saturday morning, May 23, to avoid construction over the Memorial Day weekend.
In order to safely complete this work, crews must temporarily shut off water to about 65 homes in the area. Impacted customers will receive a door hanger from SPU on May 21 with information about the water outage, which starts at 9 pm on Friday, May 22 and ends at 5 am on Saturday, May 23.
The noisiest construction work will occur between 8 pm and 10 pm on May 22 when crews are breaking pavement to access the leaking water main. However, customers in the area may also experience some overnight noise while crews work to repair the pipe.
During the repair, if customers have questions about the work or their water service, they should contact SPU’s 24/7 Operations Response Center at 206-386-1800.
7:14 PM: We went over for a look and found the NO PARKING signs along Holly in the 41st/42nd vicinity, so looks like that’s expected to be the main work zone.
Another local PTA invites everyone in the community to bid – and dine!
The Gatewood Elementary PTA 2020 Auction is going virtual!
Silent bidding will begin on Monday May 25.
Live streamed event is on Friday May 29 @ 7 pm.
Please visit www.gatewoodauction.org and click the online auction link to register for the event. Everyone has to register for online bidding. Anyone can participate – registration is free!
A special meal from Elliott Bay Brewery is available for purchase to be delivered in West Seattle on Fri May 29. Please order by this Friday May 22 at www.gatewoodauction.org.
Kid-made art, restaurant gift cards, Pearl Jam poster, vacation homes, and more!
Questions – please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your support of the Gatewood Community.
– Lauren Fabella and Matt Hoffman
Gatewood Auction 2020 co-chairs
The photo is from David, who says, “This bike has been sitting along the fence in the alley to the west of Myrtle Reservoir for at least a couple of weeks.”
Someone stole Danielle‘s fiance’s truck:
It is a 2000 black Dodge Dakota. Is has a gray canopy and a lumber rack on top, along with some sun spots on the roof. License plate number is B20979D. We live on SW Mills St by Gatewood Elementary, where it was taken from. It had all his work tools and supplies. He has been working up in the Northgate area every day through all of this COVID-19 stuff and it was his dad’s truck, who is no longer with us, so this is difficult for him.
If you see it, call 911.
A #TurkeyTuesday full of more sightings of The West Seattle Turkey in Gatewood, where it has been since at least Friday. Today started with this video – listen closely to hear The Turkey, as well as Ben’s narration, from near the Thistle stairway:
A bit later, Tanya sent this photo from 39th/Kenyon:
Please be watchful if you’re driving – The Turkey likes to walk in the street, as seen in Dave‘s photo from 39th/Austin:
That’s also where Jessica got this picturesque view also featuring blossoms:
Susan and Jerry got a backyard visit:
And this one came in last night but we can’t resist the Napping Turkey … from Mike near 44th and Southern:
If you’re new here – readers have been reporting turkey sightings since tt first showed up (in Arbor Heights) 11 months ago.
We were SO close. Got multiple reports of The West Seattle Turkey in Gatewood again today, in one instance just a block from WSB HQ. After 11 months of writing about it, maybe it’ll visit us, we thought.
Alas, no. But enjoy these reader photos anyway.
And let us know if YOU see it!
As noted the other day, The Turkey was first seen in SW West Seattle last April but has spent most of its time in southeast Admiral/Belvidere since then … until now.
4:47 PM: Thanks for the tip! We found that Seattle Public Utilities crew wrapping up at 41st and Webster after some research following a report that water was out near 35th/Webster. SPU explains that a water main in the area was leaking, so to prepare for full repairs, they had to turn the water off for a while today and do some rerouting. This is the notice SPU said it had sent out:
On Friday, February 14, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) crews will disconnect a water main in your neighborhood that is leaking underground. The broken water main will remain out of service until a permanent repair can be made.
To continue providing you with water service while plans for the repair are made, your water service will be connected to a nearby water main in the adjacent pressure zone. The water pressure in the adjacent zone is lower than what you may have experienced in the past, but still within the acceptable range of 65 to 70 PSI.
The change in your water pressure will remain in effect until a repair can be made to the broken water main.
An emergency water shutdown on February 14
A reduction in water pressure.
Construction activity near the work site
The crew told us they’d just turned the water back on. No word so far how many customers are affected or when the permanent work will be done.
8:56 PM UPDATE: SPU’s Sabrina Register tells WSB, “Today’s work affected about 70 customers … Roughly a dozen customers could experience lower water pressure.” No time frame yet for the permanent fix.
ORIGINAL REPORT: If you’re wondering about the sizable Seattle Fire “scenes of violence” response in the 6700 block of 36th SW in Gatewood: Police say one person who was “in crisis” is being taken to Harborview Medical Center. No word on his condition.
ADDED: The victim’s father says in the comment section below that he did not survive.
ADDED WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Important information we neglected to include earlier: If you are considering self-harm, the local 24-hour crisis line is 866-427-4747..