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WEEKEND ROAD CLOSURE: Here’s what’s being done on Sylvan Way

As noted in today’s morning traffic watch, one of West Seattle’s major east-west routes, Sylvan Way, will be closed much of this weekend, without major advance notice aside from sparse signage. Today SDOT was finally able to tell us this is a Seattle Public Utilities project, and we have obtained more information through SPU spokesperson Sabrina Register:

This is SPU drainage crew work. They are responding to some localized flooding issues that were reported by the community last year. SPU is installing one inlet and one catch basin and needs to trench across the street to connect to them to the drainage mainline.

This work will occur Saturday and Sunday, 8 am to 5 pm, and a detour will be in place. Outside of working hours, the crew will be able to reopen the roadway and allow traffic on Sylvan.

The work will be focused in the 6900 block of Sylvan Way [map]. It also means a reroute for Metro Route 128 – here are those details.

About the big police response in High Point

(Added: Photo tweeted by @deviantollam)

Big police response scaling down in High Point. Police have just arrested a suspect in what was originally described over radio as a robbery or robbery attempt, involving a knife, at the 35th/Morgan Walgreens. The suspect wound up on a roof at Stewart Manor across the alley. Police called in reinforcements, even negotiators – then the suspect came down and officers arrested him.

BIZNOTE: Nos Nos Coffee House celebrates first anniversary

Tomorrow Nos Nos Coffee House (35th/Graham) in High Point is celebrating its first anniversary. They’re marking the occasion with a giveaway. The announcement:

It’s been a crazy year, so to thank you all for sticking with us, we’re having a little giveaway: 1 Nos Nos Coffee House t-shirt, mug, and gift card for the coffee or tea beverage of your choice.

Two ways to enter: You can drop your name and contact info in a jar at the shop tomorrow (it’s open 7 am-2 pm), or you can enter via Instagram (as explained here). The winner will be notified on Friday.

GIVING: Nucor employees’ two-ton gift to West Seattle Food Bank

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand unless otherwise credited)

It’s a special delivery that the West Seattle Food Bank welcomes every holiday season, and it happened today despite the pandemic. Employees at West Seattle’s Nucor steel mill donate food and cash. Today was delivery day.

This year’s food donations totaled 4,380 pounds – more than two tons!

US Army National Guard members Nicholas Delvaux and Shelina Lal helped food bank and Nucor staffers with the unloading.

Nucor employees also donated more than $22,000 in cash this year.

P.S. Nucor thanks Tacoma Hydraulics for its help transporting the donations every year:

(Photo courtesy Nucor)

WSFB has more need than ever this season, not just because of the pandemic, but because it merged earlier this year with the West Seattle Helpline, which means it’s helping prevent homelessness as well as hunger. You can help too – here’s how. (If you have nonperishable food to donate, a local student is sponsoring a drive-thru food drive this Saturday – details in our calendar listing.)

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Convicted killer charged in attack; plus, three reader reports

Four West Seattle Crime Watch reports today:

ATTACK CHARGE: A convicted killer is back in jail, charged with attacking a 73-year-old man in West Seattle. We didn’t hear about this incident when it happened, but learned of the charge: Court documents say the victim was walking with his wife near 35th and Morgan last Wednesday morning when 42-year-old Lonnie W. Jones punched him, unprovoked, knocking him down and sending him to the hospital. Police found Jones nearby, and learned he had been in the area a while, kicked out of the West Seattle Food Bank earlier in the morning. Charging documents say Jones was convicted of murder for killing a man during a home-invasion robbery in Federal Way in 1996. Court records show he was released in 2013, and found guilty the next year of assaulting his wife during a fight at her sister’s Highland Park apartment. His bail is set at $100.000.

Three reader reports:

VANDALISM: Senior Center of West Seattle executive director Amy Lee Derenthal tells WSB that a second-floor window was broken by someone overnight. “Looks like maybe a wine bottle was used because there’s a broken one on the sidewalk below the window,” she added.

PACKAGE THIEF ON VIDEO: Soren sent the clip and report:

Just reaching out regarding a package theft (in the 4800 block of) 26th Ave SW. Got a phone call from a neighbor right after it happened, camera footage is super clear; unfortunately, no license plate number is visible.

MAIL THEFT: From Philippe:

I wanted to report that our & the neighbors’ mailbox at Delridge & Trenton was broken into sometime Saturday afternoon to Sunday early afternoon. All of the mailboxes for us and neighbors were opened. Not sure if the thieves got away with anything. One neighbor reported also Monday that some of those same boxes were re-opened.

Everyone should, if they can, remove their mail ASAP after it is delivered, to be safe.

UPDATE: Power outage in High Point, blamed on ‘switch failure’

1:05 PM: Texter in High Point says they heard a boom, and they’re out. Here in Upper Fauntleroy, we had a big flicker, but power returned fast. While we await the map update, anyone else out?

1:07 PM: 893 customers, per SCL map.

1:12 PM: Added screengrab of map, showing this is centered in High Point. No word yet what the aforementioned “boom” was – no area calls on the SFD log so far.\

1:38 PM: A texter tells us they’ve spoken to the crew working on the problem – they said the crew was doing maintenance at 32nd/Juneau when a transformer blew, and that it could take up to four hours to fix.

3:48 PM: After almost three hours, it’s fixed, according to messages we’re getting (thank you!).

4:35 PM: We asked SCL spokesperson Julie Moore for details on the cause, and the report that a crew was in the area doing work when it happened. Her reply: “Crews were in the area doing maintenance on an unrelated piece of equipment. A switch failure caused the outage.”

COVID CLOSURE: West Seattle Food Bank – Friday too

10:37 AM: Another closure just announced because of a positive COVID-19 test. We received this from West Seattle Food Bank executive director Fran Yeatts:

The West Seattle Food Bank will be closed for distribution today, Thursday, November 12. Last night we learned that a helper at the Food Bank tested positive for COVID-19. We’re not too concerned about exposure as all were wearing masks, socially distanced, and outside most of the time, but we do want to make sure we follow all protocols and keep everyone safe.

We will keep you all posted as we determine our operating status moving forward. Anyone needing food today can call 211 for additional resources.

We thank you all for your support and are truly sorry for any inconvenience this will cause anyone in the community. We will work diligently to reopen as quickly as possible.

As mentioned in our daily preview, with the pandemic in a surge, the governor has an address to the state planned tonight at 5:30. Meantime, all our ongoing pandemic-related news can be accessed any time by going here.

4:28 PM: An update:

The West Seattle Food Bank will be closed for food distribution again tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 13th. However, home deliveries already scheduled will be going out tomorrow. We are waiting to confirm with King County Public Health that we can get back to normal hours next week.

Community update planned as West Seattle Elementary addition/renovations advance toward construction

October 23, 2020 2:14 pm
|    Comments Off on Community update planned as West Seattle Elementary addition/renovations advance toward construction
 |   High Point | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

Next school year, West Seattle Elementary will be closed regardless of the pandemic status; construction will be under way on the project that will expand and modernize the school, including a 2-story, 20,000-sf addition east of the current building, with 12 new classrooms and two learning commons, plus a new entrance, upgraded mechanical systems, new play areas/fields, and technology upgrades. The project is in the permit phase, and Seattle Public Schools has scheduled a community-update meeting. It’ll be online at 6 pm Thursday, November 12th; information on how to watch/participate is on the project webpage, where you can also preview more of the design. The BEX V-levy-funded project, designed by Miller Hayashi Architects, is now budgeted at $28 million; when last we wrote about it in July, the cost was listed as $22 million. Assuming in-person learning has resumed by the 2021-2022 school year, WSES students and staff are expected to spend that year at the former Schmitz Park Elementary, returning to their newly expanded school in fall 2022.

UPDATE: Seattle Fire ‘full response’ on 29th SW, quickly downsized

September 29, 2020 1:55 pm
|    Comments Off on UPDATE: Seattle Fire ‘full response’ on 29th SW, quickly downsized
 |   High Point | West Seattle fires | West Seattle news

1:55 PM: Seattle Fire has sent a “full response” to the 6400 block of 29th SW. The first units arriving are seeing “light smoke” but have assessed it so far as a kitchen fire.

1:58 PM: The fire is already out and the response is being downsized.

UPDATE: ‘Scenes of violence’ response in High Point

5:43 PM: Another major emergency response, this time in High Point, near 32nd/Juneau. A 24-year-old man is reported to have suffered a gunshot wound inside a home. Police are trying to sort out the circumstances, while SFD tends to the victim. (The call classification “scenes of violence” applies generally to injuries or deaths involving a weapon.)

5:58 PM: The wounded man is being taken to Harborview Medical Center.

6:05 PM: We went over to check, as there was early radio communication that this might have been self-inflicted; officers on the scene are not commenting but they’re wrapping up, so thus far it’s not being treated as a crime scene.

Walgreens confirms reason for temporary High Point closure

Late in the day Friday, we got a couple questions about a sudden closure of the Walgreens store in High Point, which continued Saturday, with the store reopening Sunday. The closure notice posted on the store door did not cite a reason. We asked corporate media relations on Monday via email: “Was this a COVID-related closure?” and corporate spokesperson Erin Loverher responded this morning:

Yes, this location was temporarily closed and is now open. When notified of a confirmed or presumed positive COVID-19 case, we take actions meeting or exceeding recommendations from the CDC, OSHA, public health officials and other credible sources while following federal, state and local health advisories. Our clinical and safety teams work closely with our field and store leadership to respond accordingly, which may include identifying and contacting individuals who may be at risk in order to self-quarantine or self-monitor their health, as well as third-party, industrial cleaning and disinfecting the location or impacted areas of the store. Cleanings may require temporarily closing a store, at which time customers may visit a nearby store location for their prescription needs.

We are actively reviewing our policies and procedures as guidelines evolve, and will continue to adjust our safety protocols accordingly to promote the safety and wellbeing of our team members and customers.

As we reported in this July story, businesses are not required to disclose to customers if one or more staff members tests positive. Some have done so proactively anyway, or in response to inquiries like this.

BOOKS: ‘High Point: The Inside Story of Seattle’s First Green Mixed-Income Neighborhood’

Just published – a book about West Seattle’s biggest redevelopment project, the years-long makeover of High Point. The author spent almost a decade working there and sent us the announcement:

How did a rundown public-housing project become an award-winning poster child for a green, mixed-income neighborhood? A new book, “High Point: The Inside Story of Seattle’s First Mixed-Income Green Neighborhood” answers that question.

Author Tom J. Phillips spent nine years directing the redevelopment of one of Seattle’s largest public housing projects, the 120-acre High Point neighborhood. The book chronicles the undertaking of what was a visionary and highly risky experiment and the strong leadership, grit, and determination that was required along the way to make the vision a reality.

A federal grant of $35 million kickstarted this $550 million master-planned community. High Point debuted several ground-breaking healthy and green features, including the country’s largest natural drainage system and 60 “Breathe Easy” homes for children with asthma, capturing the attention of forward-thinking local governments and developers across the country. …

Ron Sims, former King County Executive and Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, provided the foreword of the book, in which he noted, “This\ book will inspire others to act upon their dreams.”

You can read more about the book and author here, or take a video tour of some High Point highlights – produced by local journalist/historian Clay Ealshere.

P.S. Phillips tells WSB that Paper Boat Booksellers in Morgan Junction (6040 California SW) will have autographed copies later today.

FREE FRUIT! Two more City Fruit pop-ups in West Seattle

Back in July, we told you about City Fruit‘s “Fruit for All” pop-ups, offering free homegrown fruit to anyone who wants it. Two more are coming up in West Seattle – this Wednesday (September 2nd) and two weeks later (September 16th), both at the 32nd/Juneau community garden in High Point, 4 pm-6 pm. Free fruit is first-come, first-served (unless you are a City Fruit member, in which case you can reserve some!). Two High Point pop-ups have happened already, and City Fruit’s Lisa Miyashita tells WSB, “We are usually joined by the P-Patch gardeners (pending the availability of their produce) who offer FREE veggies from the community garden. Together, we are making sure people in our community have access to fresh, nutritious food.”

NEED TESTING? West Seattle pop-up has room for walk-ups today, tomorrow

August 12, 2020 11:59 am
|    Comments Off on NEED TESTING? West Seattle pop-up has room for walk-ups today, tomorrow
 |   Coronavirus | Health | High Point | West Seattle news

Just got word that a health fair offering free COVID-19 testing in West Seattle today and tomorrow has room for more walk-ups, so they asked us to share a public invitation. It’s happening on the basketball courts behind Neighborhood House in High Point (6400 Sylvan Way), until 3 pm today and again 8 am-3 pm tomorrow (Thursday). Neighborcare Health‘s Mobile Assessment Team is doing the testing at this site (NOT their nearby clinic), and Neighborcare’s Kate Greenawalt tells WSB that everyone is eligible, no charge, just show up.

YOU CAN HELP: Neighborhood House diaper drive

Announced by Neighborhood House, which serves many local families from its center in High Point:

Neighborhood House, a community organization that serves 16,000 people in King County, is hosting a diaper drive to meet a critical need.

Did you know that diapers are not covered by public benefits such as WIC or food stamps, even though they are essential items for families with young children?

We live in a region that is powered by one-day deliveries and bulk purchases but the reality is that many people cannot afford and do not have access to these services.

Join Neighborhood House in making sure families and children have diapers right now.

$25 covers 2 weeks of diapers for one child.
$50 covers 1 month of diapers for one child.
$150 covers 3 months of diapers for one child.

You can even host your own campaign. Reach out to arturom@nhwa.org to learn more. To make a donation, please visit www.nhwa.org.

FRUIT FOR ALL: City Fruit plans West Seattle pop-ups

July 24, 2020 11:00 am
|    Comments Off on FRUIT FOR ALL: City Fruit plans West Seattle pop-ups
 |   High Point | West Seattle news

Nonprofit City Fruit plans pop-ups to distribute homegrown fruit to anyone who wants/needs it – including four events in West Seattle. Here’s the announcement:

City Fruit is bringing fresh, hyper-local, FREE fruit to your neighborhood!

Fruit for All is a program designed to ensure that everyone in our community, regardless of their finances, has access to fresh, healthy fruit grown in the city. Over the next few months, City Fruit will host 12 Fruit for All Pop-ups, especially focusing on Seattle’s underserved neighborhoods, to share FREE fruit with community members.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an increasing number of Seattleites are experiencing food insecurity, and demand for fresh, nutritious produce is particularly high. City Fruit puts our city’s fruit trees to their best and fullest use by harvesting otherwise unutilized fruit and sharing it with those who need it most.

The fruit will be super fresh, picked just a few days earlier or even that morning. The selection and quantity available will vary depending on the week’s harvest.

To ensure the safety of the community, everyone will be required to wear a mask and follow the safety protocol detailed here.

Those who wish to support City Fruit’s Harvest and Fruit for All programs can do so by becoming a member. City Fruit members can RSVP for up to 6 pop-ups and receive a full assortment of fruit at each pop-ups. For more information please visit www.cityfruit.org/join-us/fruit-all-pop or contact lisa@cityfruit.org.

The West Seattle dates are August 5, August 19, September 2, and September 16, all 4-6 pm, all at the High Point Community Garden (32nd/Juneau).

SCHOOLS: Feedback time for West Seattle Elementary addition

Another major Seattle Public Schools project is in the feedback phase for its environmental checklist – the levy-funded West Seattle Elementary School addition in High Point.

July 27 – next Monday – is the deadline or public comment on the project’s Draft SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) checklist. Documents like these are far more comprehensive than the term “checklist” would suggest. This is 218 pages long, as you can see here or below:

The document includes many project details, including that it’s planned for a site east of the current WSES building, and that if it stays on schedule, WSES would move to the former Schmitz Park Elementary for 2021-2022 (as we reported last January), while construction proceeds. The document says WSES’s existing capacity is 320 students, but enrollment this past year was 100+ more. The addition would create room for up to 130 students. The $22 million project’s funding includes a state grant as well as the SPS BEX V levy. The document adds, “As part of the project, existing recreation space on the campus would be expanded and renovated, including an expanded and renovated hard surface play area, new play structures, a new student garden area, and a renovated grass field area. The project also includes an option for an approximately 3,000 sq. ft. covered play area in the southwest corner of the campus.”

If you’re interested in commenting, this page on the SPS website explains how, via either email or postal mail.

LIBRARIES: 2 in West Seattle will start accepting returns Tuesday

After a trial run, some Seattle Public Library branches – including two in West Seattle – are about to start accepting returns. Here’s the announcement:

The Seattle Public Library announced today that it will accept book returns three days a week at nine locations starting Tuesday, July 21. The Library’s 27 locations have been closed since March 14, 2020, and continue to remain closed to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Five Library locations have been offering limited public restroom access during the systemwide closure.

“Although the Library has added digital services while our buildings are closed, we know our patrons are very eager to access physical books and materials,” said Andrew Harbison, assistant director of collections and access at The Seattle Public Library. “Processing returns safely is the first step toward checking out books again.” Harbison added that when the Library closed its buildings in mid-March, more than 400,000 items were checked out.


The following locations will allow returns at outside book drops on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m., or until book drops are full. Materials will not be accepted by staff.

· Ballard Branch, 5614 22nd Ave. NW

· Broadview Branch, 12755 Greenwood Ave. N.

· Douglass-Truth Branch, 2300 E. Yesler Way

· Green Lake Branch, 7364 E. Green Lake Dr. N.

· High Point Branch, 3411 SW Raymond St.

· Lake City Branch, 12501 28th Ave. NE

· Northeast Branch, 6801 35th Ave. NE

· Rainier Beach Branch, 9125 Rainier Ave. S.

· Southwest Branch, 9010 35th Ave. SW

In accordance with the Library’s new COVID-19 protocols, returned materials will be quarantined for at least 72 hours before being checked in. Materials will remain checked out on your account while being quarantined.

Signage at each location will remind patrons where to return materials, and to maintain social distancing.

Please don’t rush to return materials, especially if these branches are not your home branch. Due dates for all checked-out materials have been extended until Aug. 15, and the Library does not charge overdue fines.

Patrons can help with the reopening process by checking your account for holds placed on physical items and deleting those that are no longer needed. Please note that the Library is not accepting book donations until it has had a chance to process returned materials first. Please hold on to your donations until further notice.

SPL’s announcement also says they hope to start no-contact curbside pickup in early August.

WEST SEATTLE PROTESTS: Hundreds march from High Point to Delridge

2:06 PM: We are at Walt Hundley Playfield, where West Seattle’s next protest march is about to start. Organizers just told us they plan to go west on Myrtle, north on 35th, east on Morgan/Sylvan, then on Delridge to Boren STEM K-8. Updates to come.

3:05 PM: After several speeches (added: some video above, including Karen Taylor singing the Black National Anthem), the march is about to leave the playfield.

3:17 PM: Headed out, NB on 35th.

3:47 PM: Approaching Delridge.

3:54 PM: Now on Delridge, stopping just north of the precinct, chanting “no justice, no peace, no racist police” and “Black rights are equal rights.” Also, “Say his name/George Floyd.”

(added) And an invitation for the police whose building was yards away:

4:07 PM: The hundreds of marchers have now headed northbound for the endpoint, Louisa Boren STEM K-8. The organizers were a group of 5friends who say they just came up with the idea less than a week ago because they thought there should be more marches “in more urban communities.’

4:37 PM: The march is over; some participants are still rallying in the Boren parking lot.

(Photo courtesy Alex)

More photos later.

6:01 PM: We’ve added some photos above. Still to come: Video from just before the march. The speakers had many messages, including this one that was repeated by multiple speakers: Marching is not enough. “You have to put in the work,” said Amanda Scott. “There’s so much work to be done.”

VIDEO: Helicopter drill at Walt Hundley Playfield

2:25 PM: We are at Walt Hundley Playfield in High Point, where an Airlift Northwest medical helicopter has just landed for the second day of West Seattle drills with SFD.

It’s the same thing they did at Alki yesterday – but the weather’s worse. Updates to come.

2:50 PM: Helicopter has departed. 2 more drills – 2 pm tomorrow at Alki, Thursday at Walt Hundley. Spectators welcome, around the edges of the field.

ADDED 8:41 PM: More photos/video, with a closer look at the helicopter:

Firefighters had a training class before they came to the field for the drill.

SFD has said, air transfers are likely to be very rare if they happen at all- but in case of, say, a total transportation logjam at peak hour, without the West Seattle Bridge, the option needs to be available, and they need to be ready to assist.

Airlift Northwest offers memberships; we asked spokesperson Stephen LeMay about them. “Airlift Northwest membership works with insurance carriers to offset any remaining balance on an aeromedical bill, which can be very expensive. Patients with a membership will *not* receive a bill for their transport, or any services provided during the transport. Membership is *not* required to be eligible for transport. We will fly any patient in need to any hospital regardless of membership or payor status. Airlift Northwest provides over $2 million in charity care every year.”

PROTESTS: West Seattle sign-making event, organized by students

(WSB photos)

Planning to participate in upcoming protests? You’re invited to join the group making signs at Walt Hundley Playfield (34th and Myrtle) right now, materials provided.

Above are organizers Taylor and Celia, both high-school seniors. They’re expecting to be there until 6 pm – please wear a face covering and keep your distance!

P.S. Our ongoing list of local protests in the days ahead is here.

UPDATE: Crash on Sylvan Way

11:40 PM: Another big emergency callout -this time on Sylvan Way by Sylvan Heights, reported as a driver hitting a tree. At least one person is reported to be hurt.

12:10 AM: A neighbor sent the photo and word that Sylvan is closed while a tow truck is awaited. The person in the car was rescued and taken to a hospital via ambulance.

12:34 AM: The street is open again.

CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Charges filed in High Point attack

Three days after a police search in High Point resulted in the arrest of a suspect in an attack/robbery, he is charged, and his bail has been tripled. The 27-year-old suspect, Abdikadir A. Khalif, is charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree assault, and attempted indecent liberties. The latter charge is an aspect of the attack that wasn’t previously revealed – that the victim was sexually assaulted as well as beaten and robbed. The charging document says Khalif has a criminal history going back 13 years, with more than 20 convictions. At the time of the April 16th attack, the Department of Corrections had his status listed as “escaped” from community-custody supervision. Other new details in the charging documents allege Khalif tried to strangle the victim in addition to hitting her while she struggled to get away, and that he left a gun magazine behind at the scene. The documents also reveal how he was identified – through security video at the 16th/Holden 7-11, where he allegedly used one of the victim’s cards. Police sent the photo around and heard from a corrections officer who recognized the man in the photo as Khalif. As noted in our report on the arrest, patrol officers spotted him Monday, not far from where the attack had happened, and arrested him with K-9 assistance. Because of his history and the additional violent details of the attack, his bail was increased today, from $100.000 to $350,000. The King County Jail Register says he’s still there.