West Seattle, Washington
Saturday is the semi-annual Drug Take-Back Day, and the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster) will accept your no-longer-wanted/needed and/or expired prescription drug dropoffs between 10 am and 2 pm. Calling it “life-saving” is no exaggeration – even if there’s no one living or visiting your home who’s at risk of overdose, if something’s sitting around in your medicine cabinet, it could be taken by burglars and end up on the street. Just drop by and drop off, no questions asked.
Police mentioned to community groups including the Highland Park Action Committee last month that the unauthorized-camping area near 1st Avenue S. and SW Kenyon, along the west side of Highway 509, was scheduled for a cleanup. Today, it began. We found the cleanup under way when we went down to the area after hearing an in-passing mention on police radio. Our photos show the cleanup activity visible from the roadside, with heavy equipment much like the operation on the east side of Myers Way last fall:
Roadside trees were posted with this notice, indicating a fairly wide area [map] planned for cleanup today and tomorrow:
In addition to that area, “No Parking” signage stretched northward along 1st and to the west along Highland Park Way east of W. Marginal. To find out more about the cleanup, we contacted city homelessness-response spokesperson Will Lemke, who replied: “The area was posted as a ’72-hour removal,’ which means occupants of the area were given 3 days’ notice and received advanced outreach ahead of the clean-up. Shelter is available for everyone living unsheltered at the site and we will store suitable possessions (not destroyed by water, soiled, etc). Navigation Team was concerned about the accumulation of garbage and waste on site, and the impacts to the natural environment.” He said six people were found in the area before the cleanup: “There were 30 shelter beds available today — including 24/7, enhanced shelter options. 6 people on-site. No word yet if they took shelter.”
When the West Seattle Junction Business Block Watch meets this Wednesday afternoon, a short free class in “Mindful Self-Defense for Employees” will be featured – and there’s still room to RSVP. Lora Radford from the West Seattle Junction Association says it’s “geared toward employees and staff of small businesses.” If that includes you and you can be at Windermere West Seattle (4526 California SW) 2-3 pm Wednesday (April 17th), go here to RSVP ASAP (and to read more about the class).
Thanks to David for the photo and alert about that beached pallet on Alki. He writes, “Thought you might want to know a very large, approximately 4×6 ft pallet is along our shoreline … I especially wanted to reach out and let the swimming community know about this. It’s a hidden hazard to many, regardless; I estimate it weighs just under 200 lbs.” This gives us a reason to remind you about something we learned about while covering the creosote removal from Fauntleroy two months ago – the MyCoast app, which even has a specific reporting category “large marine debris.”
You might recall that back in 2017, SDOT said Roxbury repaving between 15th SW and 35th SW “might” move up to this year, two years sooner than the original 2021 plan. Not only did that not happen, now there’s another indication the project is on indefinite hold. This document attached to a City Council committee agenda item next Tuesday (Bicycle Master Plan implementation) lists statuses on a variety of projects, including Roxbury repaving. Page 37 says Roxbury is delayed until “after the levy” – an apparent reference to the Levy to Move Seattle, which runs through 2024. The levy’s revised work plan, published just last fall, had listed Roxbury as a 2019-2024 project (see page 6). West Seattle does have two other major repaving projects in the not-too-distant future – Avalon/35th/Alaska, starting next month, and north Delridge Way, starting next year.
If recent high-profile incidents have you wondering about the next chance to talk with SPD leadership at community meetings, two things you should know:
WEST SEATTLE BLOCK WATCH CAPTAINS NETWORK: Though WSBWCN usually meets fourth Tuesdays, they’re skipping this month and inviting you to their next meeting at 6:30 pm April 23rd (at Southwest Precinct), at which you’ll hear from the Guardian One helicopter crew.
HIGHLAND PARK ACTION COMMITTEE: At 7 pm this Wednesday (March 27th) at HP Improvement Club, the HPAC meeting will include a crime-trends update from precinct operations Lt. Steve Strand and a presentation by Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner.
What you see in that framegrab from the SDOT traffic camera looking south along California SW in The Junction is the raised midblock crosswalk in the 4700 block. WSB reader Karen copied us recently on a note she sent City Councilmember Lisa Herbold about safety concerns:
The painted markings are worn off and make crossing nearly invisible to drivers, particularly northbound drivers in the curb lane, and especially in rain and darkness.
We use that crosswalk weekly and during three of our last four crossings we witnessed, waved at and yelled at drivers speeding through the occupied crosswalk. In talking with local business we learned that repeated requests to SDOT have not been addressed. Action needs to be taken before there is a serious injury or fatality. Please address this ASAP with SDOT.
Today, Karen forwarded this note from SDOT:
As part of the Levy to Move Seattle, SDOT has moved to a four-year rotation schedule for all marked crosswalks in Seattle to ensure that all crosswalks are maintained on a regular basis. SDOT repaints approximately 1,500 crosswalks throughout the city per year. Pavement marking work such as crosswalk repainting requires dry weather, so most of this work occurs during the dry spring and summer months.
We have shared your feedback with our Signs and Markings staff. The crosswalk on the 4700 block of California Avenue SW is scheduled to be repainted this year.
Four weeks to tax-return deadline, so this alert from Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner is timely:
Tax season is in full swing- and during this time we often see an increase in tax fraud and various forms of scams. In order to combat this, the SW Precinct would like to provide our community with some helpful prevention information about these scams, as well as the most effective way to report them! Certain subsets of the population are more vulnerable to these types of scams- but everyone can help protect themselves by keeping the following ten practical suggestions in mind, provided by the Federal Trade Commission:
1. Spot imposters- scammers will often try to disguise themselves as someone you trust (such as a government official, family member or charitable organization). Never send money or give our personal information in response to an unexpected request.
2. Do online searches- try typing in the company or product name into a search engine with key words like ‘review’, ‘complaint’ or ‘scam’. You can also look up phone numbers to check on their validity.
3. Do not believe caller ID and hang up on robocalls- technology makes it simple for scammers to fake a caller ID. If you receive a call asking for personal information or money, hang up. If you feel the caller is legitimate- try calling back a number, you know is genuine for that person or company. If you answer the phone and hear a recorded sales pitch, hang up and report this to the Federal Trade Commission and/or to local police. These calls are illegal and are often fake. Do not follow prompts, just hang up.
4. Do not pay upfront for a promise- scammers may try to ask you to pay up front for debt relief, loan offers, mortgage assistance or a job (such as handy work or lawn maintenance).
ORIGINAL REPORT, 7:18 PM WEDNESDAY: Multiple Chief Sealth International High School parents forwarded us this letter emailed tonight by CSIHS principal Aida Fraser-Hammer:
Dear Chief Sealth Families,
I would like to let you know of an incident which occurred at school yesterday around lunch. It involved a small group of girls but was witnessed by many scholars and may cause them to feel unsafe at school. I want to share information regarding the incident in case your young people have questions.
The situation started out as a disagreement between scholars outside of the school and spilled into school resulting in a physical fight that eventually included several non-students. Because of the escalating confrontation,. the Seattle Police Department (SPD) and medics were called, and families notified. One student was hurt badly enough to necessitate on-site medical attention.. One scholar was arrested and the student has been disciplined consistent with district procedures.
Please be assured that the safety and security of our scholars is a top priority at Chief Sealth International High School. This incident, although infrequent, emphasizes the need of good communication between school and home. Our staff continues to discuss personal safety and conflict resolution strategies as well as district rules and state laws with our scholars.
Most importantly, I wanted to let families know about these conversations and ask families to help all our students understand the importance of sharing critical safety information immediately with adults at school. The more we know, the better we can work to address it appropriately and proactively.
Thank you for your continued support.
ADDED THURSDAY, 1:30 PM: We requested and obtained the police-report narrative from SPD. Here’s what police wrote:
Ün 03-12-2019 at about 1127 hours I was working uniformed patrol within the City of Seattle as 2-Frank-01. I was dispatched to 2600 SW Thistle St (Chief Sealth High School) to investigate an assault.
The remarks on the call stated, “ADMIN REQ SPD FOR BROKEN UP PHYS FIGHT BETWEEN 2 STUDENTS AND TWO PARENTS, ALL PARTIES SEPARATED. MEDICS DECLINED, NO WPNS.” Upon arrival, I spoke with School Resource Officer Vargas, Jose A (#8457) who stated that an assault had occurred inside of the school. During the assault, (victim) was struck in the head with a wrench. (Suspect) was identified as the suspect who struck (victim) with a wrench. (Victim) was being attended to by SFD Engine 11. SFD’s initial assessment of (victim) revealed a laceration about 1 inch in length above her right eyebrow. This laceration would require stitches. There was swelling and bruising to the side of as head. He made complaints of pain to her head and reported feeling dizzy.
(Redacted) stated the following: There was supposed to be a mutual fight between her and (redacted). However, a physical fight began between her and another student named (redacted) occurred in the school hallway.
(Redacted) stated that she hit (redacted) first who then hit her back. As the two were fighting, (redacted) was struck in the head several times from someone behind her. She identified the individual who struck her in the head as (redacted). (Victim) was transported to HMC.
Officer Eby (#8498) took photos of injuries. He noted that the wounds on the side of (victim’s) head were actively bleeding. The photos were uploaded to DEMS.
Officer Vargas viewed cell phone footage of the assault. He stated the following: In the cell phone video, he witnessed (redacted) physically fighting with a student. (Redacted) appears in the video and is standing behind (redacted) … (Redacted) is seen clutching a wrench in her hand and approaches from behind. (Redacted) strikes (redacted) in head with the wrench in 3 consecutive strikes.
I spoke with (redacted) who stated the following: She has had rising tension with (redacted) which was leading up to a physical altercation over the past several weeks. She believed that (redacted) was going to attack her so she began carrying a wrench on her person as protection. (Redacted) stated that she used a wrench to strike in several times. The wrench was in her bag with her other personal belongings. She does not know where or who has her bag.
(Redacted) was placed into custody and read her Miranda Rights with the additional Juvenile Warning at 1206 hours. She was arrested for Assault in the Second Degree (RCW 9A.36.021).
The redactions – where police block out names before releasing a report – make it difficult to tell whether more than two people were quoted, aside from the very start, where suspect and victim (the injured girl) are clearly labeled. SPD spokesperson Det. Mark Jamieson adds, in response to our request for information: “The victim is a 14-year-old girl, the suspect is a 15-year-old girl. Suspect was arrested and booked into YSC for felony assault. Precinct detectives are doing the follow-up.” (YSC is the juvenile-detention center.)
There are three culverts along Fauntleroy Creek. The culverts located at 45th Avenue SW near SW Wildwood Place and California Avenue SW near SW Brace Point Drive are in extremely poor structural condition. Due to the culverts’ age, condition, and permitting restrictions related to fish passage requirements, the culverts need to be fully replaced.
The third culvert, which is located under Fauntleroy Way and includes a fish ladder, was replaced in the late 1990’s and is not part of this project.
The replacements also would improve conditions for salmon in Fauntleroy Creek, says the city. Right now, SPU is evaluating options for the replacement, before entering the design phase. At this early stage, you have three opportunities this month to hear from and talk with SPU reps:
*Fauntleroy Community Association business meeting, 7 pm Tuesday (March 12th), Fauntleroy Schoolhouse (9131 California SW)
*FCA annual meeting and Food Fest, 6 pm March 19th, The Hall at Fauntleroy (9140 California SW)
*Project-specific open house, 5-7 pm March 20th, The Hall at Fauntleroy
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Four and a half months after a vehicle hit the West Seattle Health Club and sparked a fire, repairs are finally wrapping up at the fitness facility. And its management is still trying to get the city to take action to eliminate residential-RV parking nearby.
We went to WSHC to talk with its vice president of operations Dan Lehr after his ongoing requests – and frustration – resurfaced in an email discussion started by nearby resident Jill, concerned about trash by the RVs, with WSB among the CCs. (The photo above this paragraph is from Jill’s email.)
City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda was the spotlight guest at this month’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting. Before the Q&A with her, WSBWCN heard the local crime/safety update:
CAPTAIN’S UPDATE: Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis said they’re working on strategy for the warmer months and also planning a variety of “emphasis” enforcement focuses. Crime dropped during the recent snow, he noted. “Rogue street robberies” centered on cell-phone thefts continue to be an issue but they’ve identified suspects and are “developing the probable cause” to make arrests.
The recent snow hit right in the middle of the prioritizing process for what those map markers represent – proposed Neighborhood Street Fund projects, first mentioned here three weeks ago. So today, there’s word the city has extended the deadline, and also rescheduled a snow-canceled meeting in our area. You now have until Friday, March 1st, to rank the 20+ projects in West Seattle/South Park that are up for a share of the grant money – just go here. And/or – if you want to help do that ranking in person, you can go to South Park Hall at 6:30 pm next Monday (February 25th).
If you’re headed out before the next expected wave of snow – be very careful. Some trouble spots haven’t been fixed and may not be. Above is one example – Monica sent that photo from 38th/Hanford, first reported yesterday and not yet fixed. Meantime, no photo but Sayoko wanted to warn people about 48th at Graham:
I wanted to let drivers know that the corner of 48th and Graham is very icy and dangerous. Since 48th is an arterial, people are driving way too fast, and coming down from Graham is super icy . We saw many cars just sliding into 48th and almost have accidents.
We just heard that mentioned by SPD dispatch. Certainly there are other trouble spots. But particularly if you haven’t been out, proceed slowly and carefully.
Another city grant program is seeking your thoughts on what should get funded. This time, it’s the Neighborhood Street Fund, and more than 20 projects are being considered in this area (West Seattle/South Park) alone – here’s the city’s clickable Google Map showing them:
Starting today, the “prioritization” process is under way, and the city’s asking you to do the prioritizing, as explained here. First, take a look at details of each project via PDFs linked here; then you can rank them online by going here – or at an upcoming meeting. There are two in D-1 – in West Seattle on Saturday (10:30 am February 2 at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW) or South Park a week from tonight (6:30 pm February 4 at South Park Hall, 1253 S. Cloverdale).
The NSF is an every-three-years grant program; one of the two projects approved for West Seattle in the 2016 cycle isn’t even complete yet (the Spokane/Harbor/Avalon intersection changes – just last week we learned the bicycle-crossing signal is still about two months away). The next phase after prioritizing of this year’s proposals, by the way, will be voting this spring.
Just received from SDOT, updates on three intersections that are getting safety improvements as part of 35th Avenue SW Phase 2 (first reported here last spring) :
35th Ave SW/SW Juneau St
As soon as Monday, January 28, we will sawcut all 4 corners of the intersection, then begin drainage work on the west side of 35th Ave SW/SW Juneau St intersection, followed by installation of curb ramps. To complete work on the west side of the intersection safely and efficiently, SW Juneau St will be closed to through traffic from 35th Ave SW to 36th Ave SW. Once the west side is complete, crews will move to the east side of the intersection and follow a similar procedure.
We anticipate delivering the construction notification later today to residents near the 35th Ave SW/SW Juneau St intersection.
35th Ave SW/SW Dawson St
Last week, we completed utility potholing in the sidewalk and planter strip area to help determine the location of future signal poles at this intersection. To reach underground utilities, crews removed some concrete/asphalt in planting strips near the 35th Ave SW/SW Dawson St intersection. They then backfilled holes with pea gravel and replaced loose concrete/asphalt over the top and sectioned off the area with cones. This site will remain as-is until work to add new curb ramps, repair pavement begins as soon as February. Actual signal installation will occur this fall once we receive the necessary equipment.
This schedule is subject to change depending on weather conditions and contractor availability.
35th Ave SW/SW Kenyon St
We expect to begin similar work to install accessible curb ramps and make drainage and pavement repairs at 35th Ave SW/SW Kenyon St as early as February 2019.
If you have questions, the project inbox is NeighborhoodImprovements2018@seattle.gov.
P.S. SDOT also notes, “Folks may also notice our Pothole Rangers next week working the length of 35th Ave SW from White Center to Spokane St.” (You can report potholes online here.)
Story and photos by Jason Grotelueschen
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Neighborhood advocates gathered on Tuesday night at the Southwest Precinct for the first 2019 meeting of the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network (WSBWCN), to discuss issues and opportunities for the community.
It was the group’s first meeting since October, and featured idea-sharing for neighborhood improvement, an update from police leadership and a presentation about 9-1-1 effectiveness.
WSBWCN co-leaders Deb Greer and Karen Berge called the meeting to order and asked attendees to go around the room and share thoughts regarding two key questions:
As announced by the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network for Tuesday night ([corrected] 6:30 pm January 22nd):
Our main presentation topic is 9-1-1, something most of us take for granted until something goes wrong…
Our guest speaker will be Kayreen Lum, the E-911 Outreach and Training Specialist for King County. She will talk about the recent 9-1-1 outage, what caused it, and what to do if it happens again. She’ll also explain when and how to use the relatively new option, to send text messages to 9-1-1 (which is now available in Seattle and King County).
As always, a police briefing/Q&A will be part of the meeting too. WSBWCN meets at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster), all welcome – you don’t have to be a Block Watch captain or even member.
11:29 AM THURSDAY: The photo is from Stephanie at 35th SW and SW Dawson (by the entrance to Camp Long). She reports:
They are starting the work for the traffic light. I spoke with the survey team; the plans show four light bar posts.
SDOT announced the long-requested “full traffic signal” for 35th/Dawson as part of the “35th SW Phase 2” work first outlined here last April. Last fall, SDOT said crossing improvements at three 35th SW intersections including Dawson would start as soon as November, but then announced an indefinite postponement. We’ll be checking on whether they have a construction timetable yet.
9:04 AM FRIDAY: SDOT tells us, “While we don’t expect signal construction to begin until next month at the earliest, we’re surveying in preparation of utility potholing . This is necessary prep work for the installation of the new traffic signal.”
The frosted fishing pier at Seacrest was the clearest photo we got of the slickness that caused some trouble around West Seattle on Monday morning. With a similar forecast for Tuesday, and patchy fog already out there with near-freezing temps tonight, you’ll want to be extra careful whether driving, riding, or walking. We asked SDOT what’s planned; spokesperson Dawn Schellenberg replied, “Our crews will be out tonight treating right-of-way as needed.” If you encounter an icy patch of public path/road that needs attention, call 206-684-ROAD. (And then please let us know so we can include it in our coverage, which will start again Tuesday at 5:30 am.)
Thanks to Pigeon Point’s Pete Spalding for the photo and word of SDOT work at Delridge/Andover today. We confirmed with SDOT’s Dawn Schellenberg that they were installing a turn signal for people turning east onto Andover from Delridge: “The Delridge/Andover intersection was identified through our Bike and Ped Safety Assessment as a priority location. We evaluated the location in 2016 and determined a protected left-turn phase was warranted to reduce potential vehicle and bicycle; and vehicle and vehicle collisions. This Vision Zero project was completed today.”
ORIGINAL REPORT, 6:03 PM SUNDAY: This weekend we’ve heard from several readers pointing out that the Beach Drive speed humps south of Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook have been removed, and wondering if they’ll be replaced. The signage is now covered.
Apparently nearby residents were not notified, as some of them are among the readers who’ve contacted us. We’ll be asking SDOT first thing tomorrow, but in the meantime, we’re mentioning it so area drivers/riders are aware and in case someone out there does know what the removal is all about. These speed humps date back to the ’00s and are on a straightaway section that was particularly popular with street racers; Beach Drive then got another set, near Constellation Park, just two years ago.
UPDATE, 12:42 PM MONDAY: SDOT spokesperson Dawn Schellenberg tells WSB the speed humps WILL be replaced, but not for a while:
The speed humps were damaged, and we removed them so that they wouldn’t be a hazard. Multiple maintenance visits had been made and they’d reached the point where we could no longer maintain them. We anticipate replacing them with permanent (asphalt) humps this summer in the same spot and generally the same configuration.