West Seattle, Washington
From Seattle Public Utilities:
SPU crews are planning to do a hydrant flow test tonight near 6537 35th Ave SW, between 11 PM and 5 AM. The test is conducted at night to minimize impacts to customers. Crews will run water from a hydrant to test the volume coming out of the pipe to ensure there is adequate fire flow protection.
Any time there is a disturbance in the water main, discolored water can happen. Customers can visit our website for information about discolored water. If the problem persists, customers can call Seattle Public Utilities’ 24/7 Operations Response Center at 206-386-1800.
Late-breaking news from the West Seattle Timebank: The man who founded and leadsTimeBanks USA will be in West Seattle on Sunday (September 30th), and you’re invited to meet him. Dr. Edgar Cahn also is a legal professor and served as a speechwriter for Robert F. Kennedy, among other roles on his resumé. Timebanking is growing locally and this is your chance to learn about its history and its future, 1-2:30 pm Sunday at Neighborhood House High Point (6400 Sylvan Way SW). Refreshments provided; everyone welcome!
2:41 AM: Just checked this out after a tip. SFD and all but one Seattle Police officer had already cleared the scene in the 7100 block of 29th SW. SPD says it was a “person in crisis” situation and that the person has been taken to the hospital. We’ll add any followup information we get later.
12:53 PM: Update from SFD: The person who was transported was taken to the hospital in stable condition with what was determined to be a self-inflicted wound.
Upton Flats – the High Point mixed-use development at 35th SW/SW Graham – “isn’t as close to complete as you might think.” That’s what Seattle Housing Authority spokesperson Kerry Coughlin told us when we checked in after receiving multiple recent e-mails wondering about its status. Coughlin explained, “The developer is facing the same issues that a lot of construction projects are right now. It’s difficult to get certain subcontractors, which creates delays.” Most of those e-mailing us to ask about the project’s status were particularly curious about its commercial space. As we’ve reported previously, most of it will become offices for SHA; Coughlin says that will total about 5,300 square feet, and they’re now expecting to move into that space next summer. No tenant yet for the retail space, about 1,200 square feet. In addition to those spaces and the ~100 apartments, which Coughlin says are still under construction, Upton Flats will include a “nearly 3,000-sf community room with kitchen and restrooms.” (If you’re interested in more information about the 6058 35th SW project, here’s our report from its final Southwest Design Review Board meeting in 2016.)
6:03 PM: A “full response” from Seattle Fire is arriving in High Point, at an apartment building in the 6000 block of Lanham [map]. More to come.
6:06 PM: Firefighters say it’s a kitchen fire; they’ll be ventilating.
6:19 PM: Added a photo from our crew at the scene, where they’ve confirmed the fire’s out. No one hurt.
Today marked the third year of a unique welcome for West Seattle Elementary students on their first day back to school – community members greeting them with a “Be There Rally.”
It’s a tradition in many places around the U.S., where the call goes out for community members to “be there” for the students as they start a new year of studying.
The students get high-fives and cheers as they enter the school on a red carpet.
West Seattle Elementary continues to grow, with a projected enrollment of more than 450 this year. And principal Pamela McCowan-Conyers says its students’ successes continue growing too:
That’s Mayor Jenny Durkan standing next to her – also there in support of the students, School Board president Leslie Harris:
But this was an event where the real VIPs were the students and everyone there to show them the community cares:
Side note: While Wednesdays are usually early-release days at Seattle Public Schools, today is a full day around the district.
It’s been a couple weeks since we first mentioned this, so one more reminder before Wednesday arrives … the new school year starts at West Seattle Elementary at 7 am tomorrow (Wednesday, September 5th) with the “Be There Rally.” You’re invited to be part of the line of people “dressed for success” and welcoming students with high-fives, applause, and cheers as they arrive. More backstory in our August preview. The school is at 6760 34th SW.
Next week is the last full week of summer break for students who aren’t already back at school, and the Seattle Public Library is starting it off by inviting you to “a special West Seattle-wide celebration of the end of summer!” It’s happening 4-7 pm Monday (August 27th) at High Point Library:
We will have family entertainment for little children, kids, tweens, and teens – everyone is welcome. There will be bubbles, a tinfoil boat competition, create and design your own t-shirt activity (for youth ages 11+), crafts, games, prizes and an ice cream sundae bar (starting at 6 pm) for all.
No charge, and no registration required – just show up! HP Library is at 3411 SW Raymond.
Thanks to Erin for the tip: The High Point Play Area relocation/renovation project is starting work. It’s been more than a year since the Seattle Parks open houses on this playground project – one of several in the works – so it fell off our radar. The project website has full details, noting that the $700,000 project will more than quadruple the playground’s size while also improving safety and accessibility. The contractor is LW Sundstrom.
3:37 PM: Just in from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office: 16-year-old Loyan A. Ahmed has been charged as an adult in the shooting death last Thursday night of 37-year-old Taylor Fehlen. He is charged with second-degree murder and unlawful gun possession. We don’t have the charging documents yet but we have the probable-cause document, from which the following is taken, with all but suspect and victim names redacted. It also reveals what preceded the murder:
On August 09, 2018 at approximately 2309 hours, Seattle Police Officers responded to a shooting at 35 Ave SW and SW Morgan Street. Officers arrived and located a victim down on the ground suffering from gunshot wounds. Witnesses told them that after shooting the victim multiple times the armed male suspect ran northeast across 35 Ave SW. The victim was lying on the sidewalk near the northwest comer of the intersection.
Seattle Fire Medics transported the victim to Harborview Medical Center where he died from his injuries. The victim was identified as 37-year-old Taylor C. Fehlen. Homicide detectives were called to the scene.
Metro Coach #7003 was parked beside where the victim fell. Officers located several shell casings and the Coach appeared to have been struck by gunfire. Officers learned that the victim and the suspect had both been passengers on board the Metro Coach.
Witnesses consistently described the shooter as a young Black male, wearing a dark colored hoodie and long pants. Officers scoured the area immediately but did not find the suspect. An SPD Police Dog (PD) verified witness testimony that the suspect ran to the NE, across 35th Ave SW, through a parking lot of a Walgreens drug store. During the determined PD search, a semi-automatic firearm was discovered in some shrubs on the east side of that store. The gun was out-of-battery as if it had recently been used. A single bullet was “stove-piped” in the firing chamber.
The caliber and brand of ammunition in the gun were the same as those found at the shooting scene. The PD also alerted to on fenced yards east of the alley but the suspect was not located. Detectives determined that the Metro Coach was equipped with security cameras that recorded the incident.
A review of that footage showed the suspect boarded the Coach at 16 Ave SW and SW Roxbury. When he boarded the coach, he paid for his fare by “tapping” his ORCA card. During their investigation, detectives leamed the card had been issued to Loyan A. Ahmed … The victim, and several other passengers were already on board. Ahmed sat directly behind the driver. To the ire of the passengers, Ahmed repeatedly pulled the stop cord on the coach. The driver stopped the coach each time but Ahmed didn’t disembark. The driver and passengers, including the victim, expressed their anger at Ahmed. Ahmed and the victim quarreled … After this occurred the Ahmed appeared to ready himself by deliberately dawning his hood, synching the drawstring to conceal his face and by tucking in his pant legs. As the coach neared the intersection of 35 Ave SW and SW Morgan Street the victim raised from his seat and pulled the stop cord. Ahmed got up and moved to the back door where he manipulated something under his hoodie in his waistband. When the door opened, Ahmed got off, walked a short distance and waited for the victim. Ahmed yelled for the victim to get off the bus. The victim exited the front door and started walking toward Ahmed. Ahmed drew a handgun from his waist, shot the victim multiple times and ran off.
Still images depicting the suspect were disseminated to local media.
Detectives obtained a recent school photo of Ahmed and he matched the suspect depicted in the Metro video. Further, they determined that Ahmed lived with his mother … The residence is blocks from the crime scene and in direct line with the suspect’s direction of travel from the scene.
Detectives were preparing to arrest Ahmed for the murder when his mother unexpectedly called 9ll. She reported that her juvenile soon wanted to talk to police about being a murder suspect. (A detective) called Ahmed’s mother … She informed me that she had seen images of her son on the West Seattle Blog and identified him as being the murder suspect. SPD SWAT responded to their residence where Ahmed was taken into custody without incident.
The suspect’s arraignment – initial hearing for entering a plea – is set for August 29th.
ADDED 3:56 PM: We now also have the charging documents, with the additional details that prosecutors requested $1 million bail and that the suspect has “no known criminal history.”
We’re only three weeks from the first day of 2018-2019 classes at Seattle Public Schools. (Yes, we know, some independent schools start even sooner!) Again this year, West Seattle Elementary in High Point welcomes community members to a unique first-day-of-school event. Here’s the announcement we received today:
The community is invited to attend the third annual Be There Rally at West Seattle Elementary on Wednesday, September 5th, from 7:00 am to 8:00 am. The school, in partnership with Seattle Housing Authority/High Point, is rolling out the red carpet and asking community leaders, school supporters, family, and friends to line up to cheer, clap, and high-five students as they enter into the new school year.
School leaders are calling for 100 men and women to line the red carpet, dressed for success and ready to lead by example and cheer on High Point youth. Research shows that children whose family and community take an active role in their educational lives earn better grades, score higher on tests, enjoy school more and are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college.
Your presence at the school on the first day will support efforts to build valuable partnerships with families and members of the community to support student learning and positive academic outcomes.
Questions? Want to RSVP? Contact Hanna Ory at email@example.com or 206-252-9450. WSE is at 6760 34th SW.
3:31 PM: Police have now confirmed that they’ve arrested a 16-year-old suspect in last Thursday night’s deadly shooting of a 37-year-old man after the two got off a bus on the west side of the 35th and Morgan intersection. He was arrested in High Point – where detectives have been on scene along Lanham north of Graham for a while, though when we asked for comment about an hour ago, after taking the photo above, we were told they had nothing to release yet. SPD’s announcement adds, “Detectives are interviewing the teen and plan to book him into the King County Youth Service Center for investigation of murder. Thank you to everyone who called in with information about this case.” The arrest comes one day after police released Metro surveillance video of a person they described as the murder suspect. This is the fifth murder case of the year in West Seattle and the first with an arrest.
7:52 PM: The victim has been identified as Taylor C. Fehlen; a commenter shared this link to his obituary, which says a memorial gathering is planned tomorrow.
First – as reported here Saturday morning – police released still images of a person they say is the suspect they’re seeking in Thursday night’s High Point bus-stop murder. This morning, they have released video from Metro bus security cameras. Police said Friday that they believe the 37-year-old victim (who has not yet been publicly identified) and his killer were involved in a “disturbance” on board before exiting the bus on the west side of the 35th and Morgan intersection, where the shooting happened. Here’s the description of the suspect: “16-21 years old, 5’7” to 5’9”, has a thin build, and was last seen wearing a dark gray hoody & jeans.” If you have any info on his identity, the SPD tipline is 206-233-5000, or call 911.
11:23 PM: Thanks for the tips. There’s a “scenes of violence” response at 35th and Morgan. Some texters report having heard gunfire. More details soon.
11:29 PM: Per scanner, a victim is being taken to Harborview Medical Center.
11:40 PM: Also per scanner, the victim is a 20-year-old with two gunshot wounds. A gun has been found nearby. Our crew has just arrived and we are adding a photo from the west side of the intersection.
11:55 PM: No arrest reported so far. Since a bus/bus stop is involved, county officers are there along with SPD. Also, our crew says the intersection of 35th/Morgan is closed off.
1:42 AM: Police at the scene refused to comment and pointed us to media relations, but they aren’t commenting yet. So our crew finally left. Homicide detectives were among the police at the scene, though we’ll note that doesn’t necessarily indicate anything about the victim’s fate – they respond to some non-fatal incidents too.
Meantime, we just heard via the scanner that most of the intersection (except for the scene on the northwest side) is reopening.
8:07 AM UPDATE: Just talked to Det. Mark Jamieson of the SPD media-relations team. The victim, now described as a 37-year-old man, died at the hospital. No arrest yet. He says they believe the victim and the killer got into an argument on a bus, got off at the westbound Morgan stop (shown in our photos), it escalated, and that’s when the killer shot the victim. No description of the killer. They are asking anyone with information to call the tipline at 206-233-5000.
9:09 AM: This is also now on SPD Blotter. Meantime, we need to also note that it’s the fifth West Seattle homicide of the year – all in the past three months – after the deadly shooting of Micaiah Kotthoff in the east Highland Park area in July, the stabbing deaths of Michael Abay in South Delridge in July and Jonathan Pecina near Luna/Anchor Park in June, and the shooting death of Lorenzo Marr in May at West Seattle Stadium. No arrests reported in any of these cases so far.
Until 7 pm, fresh flowers and vegetables await you at the High Point Market Garden‘s first farmstand of the season … steps from where they were grown:
What we saw during our brief stop included beets, onions, carrots, zucchini, and greens. Also under the tent at 32nd SW and SW Juneau, other fresh-grown produce, including fruit, brought in by ROAR (Roots of All Roads):
You can shop the High Point farmstand every Wednesday through September.
That’s what SDOT has in mind for 35th/Graham in High Point, and they’ve just announced a drop-in feedback event for that and other elements of the West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway‘s Phase 2. You’re invited to stop by Neighborhood House High Point (6400 Sylvan Way SW) 5:30-7 pm Wednesday, July 18th. It’s slightly more detailed than the design featured in our April report (which was more about 35th than the greenway). You can read more about the greenway project here.
We just took that photo of the mini-farm that’s known as the High Point Market Garden, after the city Department of Neighborhoods sent word of the opening date for its farm stand – Wednesday, July 11th, 4 pm-7 pm, and every Wednesday thereafter through September 28th. The stand sells fresh-picked organic produce from the garden, tended by nearby residents. As the DoN announcement adds, the stand “accepts EBT cards and participates in Fresh Bucks, which double consumers’ SNAP dollars when they choose to spend them on fresh fruits and vegetables. … The High Point Farm Stand will again host ROAR, the mobile farm stand that sells produce to neighborhoods with limited access to healthy food.” It’s at 32nd SW and SW Juneau (map).
12:09 PM: That’s just part of the line of demonstrators who marched around High Point Commons Park and then up to and north along 35th. No roads blocked – all on sidewalks. They were planning to turn back to the park after reaching the library. It’s one of many similar rallies/marches around the US today. Photos and video when we are back at HQ.
1:09 PM: A few more photos:
2:31 PM: Panorama from the middle of the march while it was still winding around the park:
Tamsen Spengler sent this photo:
She explained, “The most remarkable thing about today was that the organizers never showed up. This lady just led it on her own with input from us as to where to March. We stayed on public sidewalks. Wish I had gotten this lady’s name!” The original announcement was published via the moveon.org website, which listed hundreds of marches/rallies around the country; the nearest to West Seattle was held outside the federal detention center in SeaTac.
Thanks to Tamsen for sending word of this update received by people who RSVPd for Saturday’s march:
Due to a permitting issue, event has been moved to High Point’s Commons Park. Park in the lower lot. Will be assembling at 10 am. Check in with hosts wearing lanyards for free refreshments and handouts. Signs and sign making materials will be available as well. Will be starting to March on Sylvan Way SW towards the Southwest Precinct at 11:30!
Commons Park is just north of Neighborhood House, which is at 6400 Sylvan Way SW.
As of Friday afternoon, Seattle Public Schools students are out for summer. Before the school year is too far in the rear-view mirror, a Seattle school-software company wanted to give a shoutout to one local school with which it continues to partner. The photos and report are from Claire Douglas at MasterTrack:
MasterTrack Solutions was delighted to host a Happy Hour at Salty’s for the staff of West Seattle Elementary School. We celebrated the end of a successful school year as well as the 5th year of the ongoing partnership between MTS and WSE – which has improved student performance in mathematics! It was great to enjoy some food and drink, hear about all the gains students are making, and celebrate some very special, very hard-working teachers.
Thanks to both the MTS and WSE families. Happy summer!
10:53 AM: As the West Seattle Bee Festival ramps up to full buzz – with the parade coming up at 11 am – we’re seeing other creatures too:
That’s Gamma the python, one of the creatures you’ll see inside Neighborhood House – which is the venue for the festival’s indoor component, at Sylvan/Lanham [map]; the latter street is closed to motorized vehicles for the vendor fair, where we and dozens of other community organizations and businesses are boothing (officially starting at 11 am, but most are set up already); and there’s the West Seattle Bee Garden itself on the north end of High Point Commons Park. Here’s the bright and bzz-y schedule:
And what would a Bee Festival “bee” without honey?
11:31 AM: The Big Bee led the parade a short time ago – here’s a bit of video:
The Big Bee leads the way in the West Seattle Bee Festival parade! pic.twitter.com/oc1LXyCEg2
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) May 19, 2018
Lots of people here and the sun is out. Dog-friendly, too. Just ask Frankie:
We’re about to take a stroll along the vendor fair – here’s the map of who’s where. Lots to be learned – it’s not just vendors, but also community organizations!
NOON: Live music is about to start, and the International Finger Food Buffet is getting going inside Neighborhood House. And Seattle Fire Engine 37 is here:
About that music we mentioned:
Bell and the Bees kick off live outdoor music (jazz!) at the West Seattle Bee Festival. (Continuing until 2) pic.twitter.com/lcRVY01Xb0
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) May 19, 2018
12:17 PM: Back inside Neighborhood House, we’ve also spotted Tut the tortoise:
And the sewing pop-up is under way:
It’s a day to express yourself. Marco has a beard of bees!
12:55 PM: One thing that’s impressed us, boothing here at the festival today – a turnout of all ages, from babies to seniors, and people from all over West Seattle (at least judging unscientifically by those who have stopped to say hi). And we’ve even spotted a bee in the wild:
The bee-attracting lupins are in the pollination garden borders around the Bee Garden itself, where Puget Sound Beekeepers are ready to talk with you about the stars of today’s festival:
That’s at the north end of the festival – all along its west side on Lanham is the vendor (etc.) fair:
As mentioned in our Admiral Neighborhood Association report published last night, SDOT is here to talk with you about the West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway (or any other project you have a question about):
1:24 PM: More music!
Mississippi Jones performing now at the West Seattle Bee Festival. Just half an hour left to ‘bee’ here! pic.twitter.com/6l2xkeI9JW
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) May 19, 2018
And along vendor-fair row, it’s photo op time:
Woodland Park Zoo is busy inside and out here at the Bee Festival, which continues until 2!
1:53 PM: Since it’s all about the bees, we checked back with the Puget Sound Beekeepers for the final word on today’s festival (which by the way is hosted by the Events Committee of the High Point Open Spaces Association). They tell us they sold out of all 21 cases of honey they brought – 50 percent more than last year! – and that the turnout was great, lots of people curious about bees and prepared with good questions. The Bee Garden, by the way, is open year-round for visiting.
Running a small business? And/or launching one? The Seattle Public Library has free consultation appointments open starting soon for its Library to Business program. Librarian Nancy Slote, who’s part of the L2B team, explains, “We help research business questions, particularly with market research. The library has great subscription databases, available in the branches and remotely, with a library card, which can provide consumer buying data and identify competitors and market trends. We meet with entrepreneurs in all stages of business development, from people with an idea, to those writing business plans, to those operating businesses.” They have appointments at the Delridge, High Point, and South Park branches – this flyer shows the day/time windows, and the number(s) to call to get yourself set up to go in for help (or, Nancy says, you can schedule via e-mail at L2B@spl.org).
(2017 Bee Festival photo: The Big Bee, which led the parade)
The almost-summer fun has just begun. One week from today, the West Seattle Bee Festival will fill the heart of your Saturday with free fun. It’s headquartered at the West Seattle Bee Garden in High Point, starting with the Honey Run at 9:30 am, and continues until 2 pm. From festival spokesperson Karen Berge, a preview:
HONEY RUN: The Honey Run leads off the festival at 9:30 AM. It’s a free, informal, fun run for all ages that takes place in High Point Commons Park. One lap around the park is 1K. Participants compete to see how many laps they can do, and in how short a time. No registration required. Just show up and run/walk/roll!
PARADE/PARADE PREP: Face painters and balloon twisters will be on hand from 10 to 11 inside Neighborhood House to help get everyone decorated for the costume parade, which begins at 11. Everyone is welcome to join the parade – pets too! No experience needed, just follow the Big Bee!
From 11 until 2, many festival activities will take place concurrently.
VENDOR FAIR: This includes sustainable organizations, businesses, and community groups. Tilth Alliance will be there with their popular worm bin, info about their Master Composter Sustainability Steward program, and the Garden Hotline. Members of the High Point Resource Coalition will be there. Camp Long will be back with science activities — last year, their Naturalists brought microscopes so that attendees could look closely at bees, bugs, flowers, and other natural things. The SW Precinct plans to be there with the mobile precinct and some of the CPT officers. SFD is bringing a firetruck. Deb Greer will be there with info about West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network. New Hub Captains, Robert Landis and Johnny Schmidt, will host the West Seattle Be Prepared booth.
PLANT SWAP: This is part of the Vendor Fair again this year. People can bring their excess plants, seeds, tools, or anything gardening-related … and take home others that they find! No need to bring a plant in order to take a plant!
ANIMAL AMBASSADORS: Woodland Park Zoo will be back again with their live “animal ambassadors.” Their Up CLOSE program, “Pollinators: Little Animals, Big Job,” will be located inside Neighborhood House. They will also host a “Pollinator Party” outdoors at our Vendor Fair.
POP-UP SEWING: This is a hands-on workshop. People can bring torn clothes and learn to repair them, to minimize what ends up in landfills. People can also learn how to make items that they need. The goal is to promote sustainability and the idea of buying less. Last year, many of the participants made handbags or reusable shopping bags.
STARTING AT NOON
Noon – Bee Garden creator, Lauren England will give a Bee Hive demo; Krista Connor will narrate and explain what is taking place and why.
Noon – 2 PM, Puget Sound Beekeepers will host an Open House in the Bee Garden. They’ll have local honey available to taste and to buy. Beekeepers will field bee-related questions and are also happy to answer questions about plants.
Noon – 1 PM, enjoy international finger foods inside Neighborhood House. Free for low-income residents – contributions are welcome!
10 – Noon: DJ Arlo and DJ Nate Prudhon: They’ll put together family-friendly, fun, eclectic international music, “Break BEEts and Dance Music from around the Globe.”
Noon – 2 PM, enjoy live music by Mississippi Jones, followed by jazz with Bell and the Bees.
MISSISSIPPI JONES: Find out more about them here.
BELL AND THE BEES: A group of young jazz musicians from Garfield High School.
The West Seattle Bee Festival is hosted by the Events Committee of the High Point Open Spaces Association. Deborah Vandermar is the Chair of the committee. Leslie Skavland is arranging the food and entertainment, and managing the logistics. This year’s festival is again a team effort that includes Asmeret Habte, Janell Gonyea, Zach Chupa, Terry Hirata, Tram Chung, Megan Demeroutis and others who live or work in the High Point Community.
WSB is a co-sponsor of the Bee Festival and we look forward to seeing you there!
P.S. Not sure how to get to the Bee Garden? Scroll down this page for a map.