West Seattle, Washington
Early Sunday, we posted 3 reader reports about gunshots at 17th/Trenton and promised to follow up with the Southwest Precinct. Just heard back from Sgt. Jeff Durden, who shared this info from the report: A 22-year-old was having a party for a friend’s birthday; “uninvited guests” showed up, a fight ensued, “several rounds” were fired into the air. The shooter(s) took off. No arrests, no injury, no property damage … no description of the suspects’ car, either. Regarding readers’ reports that this house had problems before, Sgt. Durden, who leads the Community Police Team, says it wasn’t on their radar but CPT officer Adonis Topacio will investigate — that’s who to contact (info here) if you have info to share.
E-mailed late last night by Justin:
Just wanted to let our neighbors in the 9200 block of 12th Ave SW (Highland Park) know about our break-in . Sometime between 8:30 Monday morning and 5:30 Monday afternoon someone skinny broke one of our very small basement windows out and shimmied into our house. We lost very little (the window, a Dell laptop, a blue iPod shuffle and a Dell PDA) so we feel very lucky. The officer that stopped to take the report left with several liquor bottles that had been handled and a few batteries that were relocated in the house. None of the neighbors that were home this evening saw anything unfortunately. In addition the officer thought that the perpetrator was likely a juvenile due to the fact that they looked very carefully through our underwear drawers and scattered multiple brassieres around our driveway. The scene was so profound I backed my car into our rockery causing a minor fender bender in addition to our break-in. All in all a very troubling evening. If anyone thinks they have any information, call the southwest precinct and ask for Officer DeBella. Thanks.
Seattle Public Library managers just announced that eight teams of fourth- and fifth-graders citywide have made it to the finals of the 2008 Global Reading Challenge, an event set for 7 pm April 22 at the downtown library. Among those eight teams are the “Flaming Reader Raiders” of Highland Park Elementary School and the “Concord Cougars” from Concord Elementary. Here’s the full announcement:Read More
THE NOTE: As first mentioned last month, today and tomorrow are the days West Seattle’s only official off-leash park area, Westcrest Park Off-Leash Area, will be completely closed, so the Parks Department can do maintenance work. It’s scheduled to reopen Friday.
THE PIX: Left over from Tuesday but too good not to share now. First, taken by Meredith @ Lincoln Park:
Second, Forrest P captured pre-sunset rays @ Emma Schmitz Viewpoint on Beach Drive:
Two Three West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports to share — as discussed elsewhere, primarily in the interest of all of us watching out for each other. First from Erik in Westwood:
My neighbor’s house just got vandalized. Their fence was tagged by graffiti vandals at 8:15 tonight at the corner of 16th and Trenton in plain view right across from a street lamp. I scared the vandals away (before I got their license plate! D’oh!) but called 911 and the police took a report and were circling the block. I think other neighbors should be aware of this, and I think it’s worth sharing the “tip” that I should have gotten the license number before scaring them away. Keep an eye out for a red Mazda or Toyota with three vandals out looking for property to destroy and property values to drop.
ADDED MONDAY MORNING: This one from Shannon may be related:
There was a lot of tagging going on behind our townhouses on 18th Ave SW near Barton. We didn’t see it happen and, surprisingly, our dogs didn’t bark but we saw flashing lights when the police officer arrived. The vandals tagged our fences and a van parked in the lot of the apartments across the alley with the “M13” gang sign. The neighbor who reported it said they were driving a white car. His daughter saw them and he ran outside. When he did run outside, they drove away quickly before he could get their plates.
Just wanted everyone to be on the lookout. The officer says this is a known gang sign but, for some reason he didn’t make very clear, he believed it was a fake… not that he had any evidence that it was a fake he just said he had a “feeling” it was a fake. Needless to say, that didn’t make any of us feel any better.
(back to the original Sunday night post) And from Dunsany:
Last night, someone broke the lock off my gas cap and siphoned my tank. We’re in Highland Park near 12th and Holden. Savages, I only had maybe 5 gallons in the tank. I hope it was worth it.
Remember, police stress that if you see someone or something suspicious NOW, call 911. If you want to report something that happened some time ago, the non-emergency number is 625-5011.
You may have heard that Seattle Parks will soon put out their first recycling containers for park visitors, beginning with parks in West Seattle as well as the city’s southeast section. They’ll collect glass bottles, plastic bottles, and aluminum cans. Suspecting this didn’t mean ALL West Seattle parks, we asked the Parks Department for a list of exactly where those containers will go, and Dewey Potter from the communications team obliged:Read More
Westcrest Park Off-Leash Area steward Steve McElhenney reports West Seattle’s only official off-leash park area will be closed for two days next month — April 2-3 — for maintenance work, and that’s GOOD news! Here’s how he announced it to users:
Finally, after many years of complaining, my persistence is paying off. On Wed. and Thurs. April 2nd and 3rd. Westcrest will be completely closed! Parks will be trenching a water line from the entrance to the main area to replace my garden hose. They’ll also be repairing the fences and other maintenance issues. They are bringing in heavy equipment and have requested for full closure so we don’t interfere with their work. Thanks for your cooperation and understanding.
Again, that’s the off-leash area, not the rest of the park. Looking for an alternative OLA those two days? Here’s the city Parks Department’s full list.
As you can tell from the photo, a lovely afternoon to visit Westcrest Park in southeastern West Seattle (home to the only WS off-leash area; here’s a map) — the occasion, a chance for Parks Department and Police Department to review citizen concerns about public-safety issues. Officer Brian Ballew from the Southwest Precinct Community Police Team was there, as were three Parks employees — Carol Baker, Steve Langley, and Cheryl Fraser. They say that Westcrest safety concerns are definitely high on their radar, thanks to ciizen concerns, particularly “inappropriate behavior” at the “comfort station” as well as the poisoning concern involved in the “Mo” case, though there have been no similar reports since that one. They also urge community members to continue to keep close watch, even to organize citizen walkthroughs if they’re so inclined (if you’re interested in talking more with them about that, their e-mail addresses are linked to their names above). Also a key group to get involved with if you are a Westcrest user, since these folks already are closely involved with taking care of the park, is the Westcrest Off-Leash Area group; find its Yahoo! e-mail group here, and park steward Steve McElhenney is reachable through the group, which we wrote about last year.
Some good news about the dog-poisoning concerns at Fauntleroy Park and Westcrest Park (background in previous WSB coverage here): Seattle Parks security supervisor Larry Campbell was at tonight’s West Seattle Community Safety Partnership meeting, and he says nothing more has been reported since the most widely publicized case, in which “Mo” the Katrina survivor (photo left) got sick after romping at Westcrest. However, he says, the Parks Department has put up flyers saying it’s keeping close watch on the parks, and asking that anyone who sees anything suspicious, or thinks their dog’s been poisoned, call 206/684-7457. Meantime, “Mo” continues to recover, and we just got word tonight of a fundraising party this weekend:Read More
Thanks to Justin Fallstrom for sending that photo. He writes:
Generally there is not much exciting going on down here in Highland Park; however, this morning, while working outside on the second sunny day in a row, the local murder of crows caught my attention. Apparently crows and bald eagles do not get along very well, however, the fellow in the attached photos did not appear to be too bothered by the very noisy crows. Thought the readers might be interested. The high voltage pole the eagle is perched on is at the intersection of 13th Ave SW and SW Cambridge.
Two days after we reported the story of “Mo” the Katrina-survivor dog getting seriously ill from suspected poison at Westcrest Park‘s off-leash area, at least two citywide media sources are picking up the story tonight, and Pasado’s Safe Haven — which rescued “Mo” from New Orleans and brought him here, where his “mom” Cammie Owen adopted him — is reported to be offering a reward, as some WSB readers hoped would happen. We are checking directly with PSH to be sure we have the facts straight, since at least one of the citywide reports so far seems to be confusing the Westcrest case with the Fauntleroy Park poison alert also circulated on Friday. But according to the e-mail forwarded to us, PSH will be posting artwork on its site for flyers to print out and post. Not there yet, but we’re keeping watch. Stand by for more. 11:40 PM UPDATE: Pasado’s Safe Haven tells us it’s working on the website update. Citywide coverage from tonight is here and here.
That’s Mo, a Chow mix who lives with Cammie Owen — after being rescued from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, plagued by mange but ready to thrive in a new home. You would think the hurricane would have been enough of an ordeal that this dog should have had smooth sailing ever since, but then came a sudden, life-threatening sickness:
That’s Mo just days ago, his belly shaved after an ultrasound, as vets tried frantically to figure out what was wrong with him. Cammie says they believe he ingested rat poison — and she suspects that happened at Westcrest Park, where she has put up warning flyers. And she says he’s not the only dog that runs there that’s gotten sick:Read More
Major fire callout at 8638 10th SW (map). Crews aren’t saying much on the scanner about how big it is; heading over to check it out. 11:53 PM UPDATE: Only two trucks were still there, no frantic activity, no visible smoke, so nothing big (though whatever happened may have forced the residents out for the night; after returning, we heard a scanner call to bring in the Red Cross to assist them).
-The collection of links on the WSB right sidebar formerly titled WEST SEATTLE MISCELLANY is now WEST SEATTLE NEIGHBORHOOD GROUPS — several local activists have suggested it, and we hope it will be a reminder to everyone that West Seattle has some great groups well worth getting involved with. We’re pretty sure our list has all the big ones; if you have a smaller neighborhood group (whether it has a website or an e-mail group) and we missed it, please let us know.
-While checking in with those neighborhood sites, we noticed that the Highland Park Action Committee is looking for a 2008 chair, with this pitch: “Become the new HPAC chair and make a positive difference in our neighborhood. And what perks! like a cool secret handshake. You’ll find out the rest after you’re sworn in.” Interested? In Highland Park? Here’s the HPAC website.
-Tomorrow is when the full City Council is scheduled to take up the industrial-zoning issue that’s attracted the most coverage regarding how it could affect our neighbors to the east in Georgetown, but could affect some industry-/port-neighboring land in eastern West Seattle too. Here’s the full text of the proposal. Lots more coverage at Blogging Georgetown (multiple posts currently linked from its home page); Mid Beacon Hill wrote about it too (here); the measure passed a council committee last week (P-I story here). If you’ve got strong feelings on this issue, get them to the City Council (e-mail addresses and phone numbers here) by tomorrow morning.
Tonight, we found ourselves wandering the streets of Highland Park, where we came across this house at 7925 9th Ave. SW (map; also, we have added it to our clickable map of all the displays featured on WSB this season, which you can access any time from our new Holidays page). Rolled the window down to get the picture and even heard Christmas music. By the way, tomorrow evening, we’ll bring you a narrated video tour of West Seattle’s most famous display, the Menashes’ lights on Beach Drive.
DOG OWNERS, TAKE HEED: A post on the Westcrest Park Off-Leash Area Yahoo! group says Animal Control officers were at the park this week citing owners of license-less dogs. (The crackdown’s been under way citywide all year.)
BEACH DRIVE RESIDENTS ON ALERT: Beach Drive Blog shares a warning about car prowlers.
END OF AN ERA: We didn’t realize how sad we are going to be on Election Day until we saw the phrase in “print” in the online version of the newsletter for Fauntleroy Church, which plans a bake sale and bazaar for visiting voters (and others) that day and begins its pitch for volunteers this way: “For this last in-person election ever in King County …” BWAAAA! Seriously, we’re sad. We’ve voted in person every election, every place we’ve ever lived, since the very first elections for which we were eligible after turning 18, and as you have probably figured out by now, that wasn’t exactly yesterday. For some, trying to carve out time to get to “the polls” may have been a hassle, but for us we always found a way to make it a wonderful ritual and a time to remember how lucky we are. Sitting at the cluttered table marking up the ballot at our leisure just won’t be the same.
Just out of the inbox, from Steven:
My shed has been broken into twice within the last six months. I live on 11th Avenue, SW (Highland Park). There have been a string of automobile window-bashing within that same timeframe (12th Ave.) Don’t know if they’re at all related.
I want to replace the shed door with a steel or fiberglass unit, and also replace my basement door with the same…and also swap the deadbolt on the balcony/deck door to a two-way-keyed deadbolt. I’ve been quoted prices as high as $500 installation PER DOOR. That strikes me as a bit outrageous…considering the cost of the actual door itself.
I’m about to head out to both Home Depot and McLendon’s for some guidance help … but seriously, I have a wife and baby that I need to protect. What was stolen isn’t important, keeping my family safe is. Readers, please help me find a trustworthy WestSeattlite (or surrounding contractor) who performs good work at reasonable prices!
We’ve said it dozens of times and want to say it again today: West Seattle Blog works because of you. The photos, the information, the tips, the rumors, the questions, the comments, the announcements, or even simply reading WSB and using the info to become more involved in community events and concerns … thank you to everyone who contributes in every way. That said, we have a big shoutout today to someone who agreed to cover the White Center/South Delridge Community Safety meeting for WSB last night, when we realized neither WSB editor could go. Here’s his report, full of information that might be of value to you even if that’s not your end of WS, including more on the latest West Seattle crime trends:
By Evan Baumgardner
This was my first time attending a Community Safety Meeting. I have to say, it was a real eye-opener for me, and I highly recommend checking one of these out if you haven’t yet. …Read More
This per attendees at two major community-group meetings the past two nights (thank you!), West Seattle Community Safety Partnership and Delridge District Council: Police leadership at those meetings said the 59th/Admiral shooting is believed to have been drug-related and that neither suspect nor victim lived in West Seattle (the Medical Examiner, by the way, has yet to publicly identify the victim); also, police reported that crime stats in WS are at a “two-year low.” The Westcrest Park problems were discussed, according to the report we received, but police said at the meetings there is no current plan to change the level of patrol at Westcrest.
Westcrest Park, home to West Seattle’s only off-leash area, got a microburst of attention recently after a tv report about public sex in the park. However, frequent visitors are focusing right now on a different concern — theft. A member of the Westcrest Off-Leash Area Yahoo! group asked us to get the word out about two thefts this week alone. The victim of the first one reported that a man stole her purse out of her car while she was just feet away unloading dogs. The purse contained her cell phone; here’s what she tried a while later:
“I also called my cell phone and the guy answered it. I told him I would be filing a police report with a description of him and his car and the theft and he told me to F off.”
The other theft happened today, according to a note posted by park steward Steve:
“We got hit again this morning, Wednesday, about 10 am. This is getting really ridiculous. I’ve been to the south precinct on Delridge to ask if they could patrol the lot once in a while, but no one was even there. Perhaps others could stop by there to ask as well ..squeaky wheel theory. Once again, I don’t think anyone is looking out for us except for us.”
-Following up on the process of choosing a new State House Representative for West Seattle (and the rest of the 34th District), now that the King County Council has formally appointed ex-Rep. Joe McDermott to the State Senate: The 34th District Democrats now have the date, time, and place set for their meeting to make a recommendation: 7 pm November 1st, Hall at Fauntleroy. That will be eight days after their candidates’ forum.
-For everyone who helped out with the Prudential NW Realty food drive at three local supermarkets a week ago, Bill Barna sent the final numbers and a big thank you: 2,575 pounds of food donated, $1,805 cash donated. By the way, you can donate to the West Seattle Food Bank online any time here.
-If you happened to see the tv story about public sex at Westcrest Park, you may be interested in the Slog take on it today. (Also, we received a note from a WSB reader who has written to the city about the Westcrest situation twice and hasn’t even received a reply.)
-Speaking of Slog, our favorite citywide news blog, we are honored to have finished right on its heels in a contest we didn’t know was happening till a reader wrote to tell us WSB was among the winners – the Evening Magazine Best of Western Washington “Best Local Blog” category. WSB is the only neighborhood site, and the only not-owned-by-a-bigger-media-business site, on the BoWW list (along with Slog, which is run by The Stranger, the other winners were a blog by the Seattle Times and Citizen Rain, which is a production of KING5.com). If you were among those who voted, THANKS!
E-mail received this afternoon from Mike in Highland Park:
I thought you might like to pass on to your readers that some cars (including mine) were broken into last night on the 10th Avenue block between Henderson and Barton. My car’s lock was broken and the car rummaged through. My next door neighbor’s car window was broken and possessions were stolen. This is the second time a car was broken into for my household, and the 5th time for my neighbors. Please be on the watch and hopefully, the reports we make with the police department will result in more steady surveillance of the area.
Here’s the area Mike is referring to:
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