West Seattle, Washington
I want to share an update on an incident that occurred at our school today. This morning, we had an unknown adult enter our building before students arrived. Gatewood staff immediately notified both the Seattle Police Department and the SPS Safety and Security team. There were no students in the building at the time this occurred.
The individual stayed on campus (outside) during arrival with staff present the entire time, waiting for additional support to arrive. Students did not interact with this individual while outside.
Please know that we take safety in our building very seriously and the security and wellbeing of our students is our top concern. Our Safety and Security team is working with SPD to investigate and identify next steps. As always, please let me know if you have any questions.
We asked SPD about the incident. Here’s what Det. Valerie Carson tells us: “Officers were called around 7:45 am for a woman causing a disturbance at a school and then in the area around the school. Police determined the woman needed mental health services and had her taken by private ambulance to the hospital for evaluation.” This is the second time this year Gatewood has reported an intruder on campus, after an incident in June.
5:42 PM: Big emergency response near California/Portland [map] in Gatewood; the call is classified “scenes of violence.” We’ve just arrived to find out what’s happening.
5:47 PM: According to police, one person was shot in the leg. Officers on the scene tell us they believe it happened somewhere else “south of here”; the driver of the vehicle the victim was in pulled over in this neighborhood to call for help. They’re still trying to find out more about the circumstances.
6:05 PM: If you’re noticing a helicopter, that’s just TV, not law enforcement.
6:17 PM: SFD says the victim is an 18-year-old man who’s been taken to Harborview Medical Center and was in stable condition when transported.
6:56 PM: Update from SPD:
At 5:23 p.m., a woman in the 7800 block of 44th Avenue Southwest called 911 to report her 18-year-old son had been shot in the leg. When police arrived, the victim told officers the shooting had happened in Burien and he then drove himself home to West Seattle. He refused to provide any additional information about the incident. SPD officers coordinated with King County Sheriff’s Office deputies, but a shooting scene was not located.
One reader report tonight in West Seattle Crime Watch:
The photo is from a texter who says that happened to their pickup truck near 41st/Austin in Gatewood on Friday night. “Appears someone smashed the window and didn’t even go into the truck or take anything. Terrible and probably the 6th time this truck has been vandalized in the past year.”
Gatewood Elementary was vandalized overnight with what the principal described in email to families as “horrific racially-charged graffiti.” Principal Kyna Hogg wrote that, before students arrived for the day, “Our team took immediate action and covered the graffiti (until it can be permanently removed), we called 911, and informed the SPS Safety and Security team.”
District spokesperson Tim Robinson tells WSB the work order for permanent removal is already in and work should happen soon. Gatewood has been hit with racist crime before; we reported earlier this year on the fourth theft of a Black Lives Matter banner from the school fence, The racists won’t win, Hogg assured families: “I believe it is important to continue to emphasize that Black Lives Matter at Gatewood Elementary School and throughout Seattle Public Schools.”
Christina’s stroller was stolen Sunday afternoon in Gatewood and a security camera caught this photo of the thieves:
(Here’s the theft on video.) In case you find an abandoned stroller – here’s what it looks like:
Police reoport # is 21-213914.
Bus stops along two West Seattle Metro routes have been bagged like that for the past half-year. This September, one set of stops will reopen. Metro plans to continue “suspension” of Route 37. But it is planning to bring back Route 22, which runs between Arbor Heights and The Junction. This was not in the tentative plan Metro had presented to a County Council committee earlier this year, but it was added by the time Metro returned to the council’s Environment and Mobility Committee last week. (Here’s the presentation, which notes that the Route 22 restoration was added to its fall plan because of survey feedback.) We didn’t hear about it until local transportation writer Ryan Packer mentioned it in a WSB comment discussion; we followed up with Metro spokesperson Jeff Switzer, who confirmed, “Route 22 will be returning with weekday service with the fall service change, operating between 6 AM-9 PM. Similar to service levels pre-pandemic, service will be hourly.”
The report and photo are from Jonathan:
Seeking the help of our West Seattle neighbors to locate my daughter’s powder blue bike. Her Jamis Coda Sport, size 18”, was stolen from the back yard of a friend in the 3600 block of Othello, late night Saturday (June 26) or early morning Sunday (June 27). The bike had a gel-style white front LED headlamp and red LED rear light.
Here’s a stock photo of a similar bicycle. We’ll add the police-report number when it’s available.
If you saw or heard a sizable police response in Gatewood this afternoon, here’s what was happening: Police were called to a potential person-in-crisis situation near 37th/Rose after 3 pm and say they ended up arresting a woman for allegedly assaulting a family member and two officers. None of the victims were hurt badly enough to require hospital care, police say. The 52-year-old suspect was booked into King County Jail.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
You don’t have to have a sprawling valley full of farm fields to celebrate flowers.
The West Seattle neighbors who created “Gatewood Gardens” have done it with boxes and borders along a busy city street.
Walking in Gatewood, we had seen the flowers but didn’t realize they were part of a unified neighborhood project until an email from Krista Billinghurst. She explained that the pandemic stay-home time inspired neighbor Aaron Smith to plant tulip and daffodil bulbs along a 2-block stretch of California Avenue SW – including her corner (at SW Portland) where, she said, “he asked if he could plant some tulips in a garden box we had on our parking strip. It was an overgrown mess of weeds that I’m sure everyone was tired of looking at.”
The results drew attention from passersby.
We reported Tuesday that the old emergency-communications tower at Myrtle Reservoir Park was finally coming down, more than a year after its replacement went up next to it. By the end of Wednesday, the old tower was in pieces on the ground. But the Puget Sound Emergency Radio Network says at least one more day of work is ahead: “There will be demolition work – jackhammering – off and on throughout the day, Monday, April 19, and potentially on Tuesday, April 20. The Project team greatly appreciates the patience of neighbors during these challenging times as we work with multiple partners to finish.” The upgraded emergency-radio network was authorized by a countywide ballot measure approved six years ago. This is one of more than 60 towers comprising the network, which is about to start.a major testing phase. The West Seattle tower is at the city’s highest elevation.
Thanks for the tip! Almost.a year and a half after a new communications tower went up at Myrtle Reservoir Park, the old one it’s replacing is finally coming down. The crane on the right side of our photo will be used to take down the old tower (above right) by Friday, according to the Puget Sound Emergency Radio Network. As explained in our November 2019 coverage;
PSERN will primarily be used by law enforcement, fire fighters, and other emergency personnel to communicate with each other during E-911 activities – from small incident responses to major emergencies like earthquakes. The PSERN system is comprised of 61 radio towers engineered to provide the best coverage available using direct, line-of-sight technology between towers to communicate with each other, in combination with other technologies.
The cost of the new West Seattle tower – at the city’s highest elevation – was estimated at $800,000, a fraction of the PSERN’s nearly $300 million cost. Voters approved the creation of PSERN by passing a ballot measure in April 2015; this slide deck from a 2014 discussion has more of the backstory. We’ll be checking back on the demolition as the week goes on.
Even with campuses mostly closed, schools have continued to be hubs of support for students and families, and local PTAs and PTSAs have continued their vital role in that. So we’ve been featuring PTA/PTSA fundraisers throughout the year. The next one has just launched – a weeklong online auction for the Gatewood Elementary PTA starting today, leading up to an online event Friday night. Here’s the announcement:
Gatewood in Color – Community Celebration + School Auction
All of West Seattle is Invited! Join us and help support a local elementary school!
Starting Monday, March 15, join us for the Gatewood School Community Celebration + School Auction – Coming to You in Color! This year’s auction will be held virtually, with our Silent Auction open all this week and a Live Streaming event starting at 6:00 pm on Friday, March 19! Tell your friends, family and neighbors! All are welcome to bid and participate in this community celebration and fundraiser!
HOW IT WORKS:
You can bid on any of our amazing silent auction items. Items will be released today, Tuesday (3/16), and Wednesday (3/17). Most items will close before our livestream auction begins, with some Super Silent Items left up for the live stream.
Links available at gatewoodpta.org/auction-2021
HOW TO GET READY:
Preview and bid on Silent Auction items at Gatewood2021.ggo.bid
Set your dinner plans for Friday night by ordering from West 5! Treat yourself to dinner the night of the big event! Gatewood parents are delivering [locally] from West 5 the night of the auction! Pre-order no later than noon, Wed March 17th and your order will be delivered Friday, March 19th in time to tune into our live stream!
Tune In at 6:00 pm on Friday, March 19 at https://www.gatewoodpta.org/auction-2021 and get ready to make this the best fundraising year, yet!
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
*Want to do more? Come visit our shop and take a look at our merch! Order your 2021 Auction Gator Pins and screen printed art prints now! Order from our shop link and 100% of the money goes to the Gatewood 2021 Auction for the Gatewood PTA.
Thanks to Troy for the tip. If you are having any water trouble in Gatewood, could be related to a problem in the vicinity of 39th SW/SW Rose, where that crew has been working. Nothing is showing on the Seattle Public Utilities water-outage map, so we have an inquiry out and will update with whatever we hear back.
ADDED WEDNESDAY NIGHT: We have yet to get a response from SPU. But as noted in comments, Arbor Heights had an outage today too, near 37th and 106th. That one did turn up on the map.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports:
STOLEN-CAR-ON-SIDE CRASH: The crash happened in the construction zone at 22nd/Delridge just before noon. According to SPD, the Subaru was stolen from the Arco station qt Delridge/Orchard and the thief “fled northbound on Delridge Way SW at a high rate of speed. The suspect lost control of the vehicle in an active construction zone.” He then fled on foot; officers pursued and arrested him. Police add, “Thankfully no construction workers were hit or injured.” Some were on scene doing Saturday work, as the photos show.
The suspect was taken to jail.
CAR PROWL LOOT TO LOOK FOR: Katie says this happened at 37th/Ida in Gatewood:
I left our car unlocked last night and my son’s backpack was taken. It’s pretty bright, so easy to spot. [stock photo] It also had his favorite hat, a black and white Vans beanie with a pom pom, and a blue fleece blanket with snowflakes. Also, bright blue fingerless gloves. If you see any of this, please let me know! Nothing is worth much, I’d just like to recover anything that was dumped!
If you find any of the above, contact us – firstname.lastname@example.org – and we’ll connect you.
Austin Street Lights is back. Mark Bader sent the video, photo, and an invitation to come enjoy the music-synched show:
Our Christmas light display on Austin Street is up and running! This will be our 5th year with our lights set to music. We enjoy putting this together each year, and hopefully this helps put a smile on your face during these difficult times.
The best way for you to experience the lights is from your car – tune your radio to 99.5 and listen to a number of songs synchronized to the lights. Please be respectful of the neighbors and of course, if you feel the need to dance in the street, make sure you social-distance.
The songs will play from 4 pm to 10 pm through New Year’s Day. We are easy to find, on SW Austin Street and 37th Ave SW [map], at the top of Gatewood hill.
This might be West Seattle’s only music-synched light show this year, since West Seattle Lights is no more and West Seattle Yuletide is taking a pandemic break. We’re adding it to the list in our West Seattle Holiday Guide and welcome suggested additions, with or without photos/video – email@example.com – thank you!
12:25 PM: Two incidents of note this midday:
GATEWOOD: That tipped forklift at a construction site in the 3700 block of SW Ida briefly led to a rescue callout – but it was downsized before most of the units arrived. We talked to a supervisor at the scene who told us the forklift driver lost footing and went sideways. The driver was not seriously hurt. (added) SFD says he’s a 62-year-old man taken to the hospital by private ambulance, in stable condition.
HIGHLAND PARK WAY: An incident logged as a medical response brought out fire and police near the bottom of the Highland Park Way hill. Police have just reopened westbound lanes, and Metro Route 131 has resumed service on the hill, but we’re waiting for word back from SFD to see what the incident was about. (added) SFD says it was a crash (though not logged that way), with two people taken to the hospital by private ambulance, in stable condition – a 30-year-old man and 28-year-old woman.
ADDED 5:40 PM: From SPD, the rest of the story on the Highland Park Way incident:
Officers arrested a woman and recovered a stolen vehicle in West Seattle this morning after struck another motorist while trying to flee from police.
Around 10:45 AM officers responded to the 800 block of SW Trenton Street for a report of two people passed out in a gray Honda, which was partially blocking traffic.
Officers approached the car — which had no license plates — saw a man and a woman asleep inside, and knocked on the female driver’s window.
The driver awoke and quickly sped away, colliding with another driver in the 6800 block of Highland Drive SouthWest. The female suspect then fled on foot into a wooded area nearby, where police found her a short time later.
Police learned the Honda had been stolen in Renton and its driver was in possession of a modified key, commonly used by auto thieves.
The suspect and her passenger were taken to Harborview Medical Center for injuries sustained in the crash. Police also sought a warrant to draw the suspect’s blood to investigate whether she was intoxicated.
Officers interviewed and released the male passenger and booked the female suspect inot the King County Jail for possession of a stolen vehicle and felony hit and run.
The driver struck by the suspect, was injured and checked out at the scene of the crash, but declined to be transported by medics.
Construction staging and signage are in view along SW Holly in the 40th/41st vicinity, as
Seattle City Light gets ready for a monthlong project. The work is “to repair and reconstruct” underground wiring for area streetlights, and to replace the fixtures and poles. The work will involve trenching, which SCL notes might affect traffic along SW Holly, which some use as an alternate to Fauntleroy Way. They’re planning to have flaggers on hand for that. SCL says no outages are expected during the work, which will be done on weekdays between 7 am and 3:30 pm, possibly starting later this week. Here’s the official flyer.
Two quick West Seattle Crime Watch notes before our bridge-decision coverage continues:
STOLEN VEHICLE: Alison reports, “I live in the Admiral District and my car (1997 white Subaru Outback Impreza) was stolen last night off California. License plate BHA1397. Small bear sticker on the back, crack in windshield.” Call 911 if you see it (or any other known stolen car).
PACKAGE THIEF ON VIDEO: The security video (see it here) is from Molly, who says the theft happened on her Gatewood porch last night, near 41st/Holden.
6:51 PM: Thanks for the tips. We’re hearing from multiple people in Gatewood, mostly along SW Holden, from California SW east, who say they lost power about 10 minutes ago. The City Light map initially only showed 1 customer affected but has just updated to 73. We’re checking on the cause; we’ve been hearing some scanner traffic tonight about wires downed in the wind.
7:15 PM: We just drove SW Holden, confirming that the outage goes east to 37th SW. No sign of City Light in the area, though (if you see them working anywhere, let us know).
7:43 PM: A caller tells us City Light now has a crew at 41st/Holden.
10:40 PM: Outage is in its fifth hour. No official update from SCL.
11:46 PM: The map now shows most of the outage resolved. We’ll follow up with SCL tomorrow regarding the cause.
ADDED THURSDAY EVENING: SCL spokesperson Julie Moore tells WSB the outage was caused by “equipment failure.”
Two more West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports:
STOLEN JEEP WRANGLER: Layne‘s blue Jeep Wrangler was stolen near 34th/Thistle sometime late last night or early this morning.
Its plates read BMODE24. If you see it, call 911.
CAR BREAK-IN/THEFT ATTEMPT: Not far from the pickup-truck theft reported earlier today, this happened to Kristi‘s car: “I wanted to alert neighbors that my vehicle was broken into this morning, probably around 12:30 am. I called the police and described what was done to my Honda, and they suspect it was a theft that got interrupted for some reason. The area is SW Portland and 41st. … I park my car on the street right in front of our house.”
We live on Portland & 39th and early this morning (12:40 a.m.) our truck was stolen. It’s a 1998 blue Chevy Silverado with a 6-inch lift on it. There’s a decal on the back left corner of the cab window that says “Sanchos Tacos.” The rims are very distinct as they have skulls in the center of them. Per our night-vision cameras, we could only tell that the thief was male and wearing a high-visibility vest, light-colored pants, and dark sneakers with a little white on them. He had his hood up to conceal his identity.
(Added: Plate – WA B55189Y.) Call 911 if you see it.
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.