Safety 1175 results

Stalking giant hogweed – and other noxious weeds – in West Seattle

(Photos courtesy King County Noxious Weed Control)

King County Noxious Weed Control Program specialists were in West Seattle again today – for the second time this week, removing an infestation of a plant that’s one of the most noxious they tackle: Giant hogweed.

We contacted them after two WSB readers suggested we follow up on TV reports about a patch of this weed getting removed in West Seattle earlier this week. Sasha Shaw answered our inquiry and explained, it’s not that West Seattle is a particular hotbed of giant hogweed, but rather, the TV folks contacted her looking for a local angle on a story from the East Coast about someone getting badly burned by this weed, and it just so happened that West Seattle was where their most-recent report of a giant hogweed happened to be. Here’s a photo from that first stop, in the Genesee Hill area, on Tuesday:

Shaw is the communications specialist for the program, which is part of the county Natural Resources and Parks department. She explains, “Our program has the big job of stopping the spread of state-regulated noxious weeds such as giant hogweed throughout King County, including in the cities. For the Class A noxious weeds such as giant hogweed, which are limited in distribution in the state, we offer to help people with the control work because of the huge public benefit to stopping these highly invasive and damaging plants from becoming established. Giant hogweed also poses a serious health risk because of the potential of the sap to cause burns and blisters.”

(Here’s their info sheet about giant hogweed, so you can find out more about it.)

She also clarified that the removals in Genesee on Tuesday and Admiral today aren’t the first discoveries of this scary weed in our area: “We have responded to locations of this plant in West Seattle many times. It isn’t the neighborhood in Seattle with the most giant hogweed, but we have found several hundred sites there over the past 15 or so years that we have been working on this plant. We typically find some new sites every year, but more locations are closed than opened as the plants get controlled.”

She points out that you can use the county’s map to “zoom in and see the locations of all the giant hogweed sites we have found in West Seattle, as well as other regulated noxious weeds.” Go to https://gismaps.kingcounty.gov/iMap/ – and, she advises, “turn on the Noxious Weeds layer, select ‘Most Widespread Noxious Weeds,’ zoom in to West Seattle and look for the little green icons that look like pine trees.”

She continued: “At this point, most of the giant hogweed in West Seattle, and other parts of the city, is out of sight in ravines, alleys and backyards. Typically we find new sites when people contact us either about their own hogweed or their neighbor’s plants. Hogweed spends several years as small plants and can be inconspicuous especially in areas overgrown with other vegetation like blackberry. When they flower they are 10 to 15 feet tall so that is often when people discover them. Sometimes people get burned by the sap while working in the yard and then contact us to find out what they have. That’s what happened in the case of the West Seattle homeowner that was featured on KING5 News, although they actually got burned last year but didn’t know why until they found a flowering plant in their alley and identified it online. … People do get seriously burned by this plant so getting the word out as widely as possible is very important.” Also note, this is already toward the end of giant hogweed’s season, and most of the plants are dying back.

This isn’t the only “big problem” noxious weed/invasive plant out there – “but few that are regulated noxious weeds, highly dangerous to people and very invasive,” Shaw notes. We’re going to take her up on her offer to talk with us for a separate story about other weeds you should watch for. (You can start reading about them all here!)

VIDEO: State’s first-ever Paddle Safe Week previewed in West Seattle waters

That’s Greg Whittaker of Alki Kayak Tours demonstrating rescue techniques during today’s Paddle Safe Week media-preview event at Seacrest. Also participating in the Washington State Parks-organized event: Seattle Police and U.S. Coast Guard personnel and vessels:

Portraying a paddler in need of rescue was Jim Virgin:

Jim chairs the state park system’s Paddle Advisory Committee. The big message from today’s event, promoting the first-ever Paddle Safe Week, which starts Friday: If you’re headed out paddling, have your life jacket on at all times! Dress for the cold water, NOT for the warmer air temperatures. If you heed a few simple rules like that, you might help reduce the number of rescue calls – hundreds every year – that these responders have to answer:

Even if you THINK you know all the rules – review them here just to be sure, before your next trip out on the water.

West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway: Speed humps today, drop-in meeting tomorrow

Yet more transportation-related news: West Seattle’s newest speed humps are in place on 30th SW as part of the WS Neighborhood Greenway project. We took the photo this afternoon, after a note from area resident Debbie earlier today:

A few months ago I called SDOT to see if speed humps were going to be built but they said that was not in the plan … but sure enough, they are right now putting in speed humps – one just north of Cambridge and the other closer to Barton. I think there are plans for more further north on 30th. Our block is very happy about this, because, as you know, cars tend to use it as a bypass from Roxbury to Barton.

And remember that you can get an update on/share comments about the greenway project at a drop-in event tomorrow (Wednesday, July 18th) – 5:30-7 pm at Neighborhood House High Point (6400 Sylvan Way SW)

WEDNESDAY: Unusual activity you might notice in the Seacrest vicinity

Especially for the eagle-eyed residents along West Seattle’s north/northeast waterfront, here’s unusual activity you might notice at Seacrest (and vicinity) at midday Wednesday: The U.S. Coast Guard, Seattle Police, Alki Kayak Tours, and other participants will be demonstrating rescues and safe paddling techniques as part of a media event promoting Paddle Safe Week (which starts Friday, July 20th, by proclamation of the governor). This is described in the announcement as “the first statewide public safety campaign focused solely on paddlesport safety … (it) aims to educate the public about laws that apply to paddlecraft users and raise awareness about precautions to take before heading out on Washington’s diverse waterways. The event is set for late morning Wednesday, so in case you notice an unusual presence of public-safety vessels and media crews that day, now you know!

FOLLOWUP: Arbor Heights 35th SW closure change explained

SDOT confirms, no more round-the-clock closures on 35th SW as its Safe Routes to School sidewalk project continues in Arbor Heights. On Tuesday, it looked like the announced 2-week shutdown of 35th between 102nd and 104th had finally begun – but a commenter noted that the stretch reopened later in the day. So we checked today with project spokesperson Ching Chan, who explained:

Our contractor’s concrete sub for paving 104th – 106th was delayed by a couple of days two weeks ago, which pushed back our schedule a little. We had originally planned for a full closure between 102nd – 104th just as we did with 104th – 106th. However, we were getting complaints from neighbors on 34th that cars are using 34th as a detour/shortcut. We intended the closure because it will allow our crews to complete the work in the shortest length of time. So we came to a compromise of only fully closing 102nd – 104th during our work hours, 7 am – 4 pm (depending on our workload, this may shift a little) and then reopening it at the end of each day to accommodate commuters. This temporary closure will last through end of July. And once we complete this section, we will apply the same plan for 100th – 102nd.

A plea for pets’ sake, among others, as fireworks season returns

(File photo, fireworks debris at Highland Park Playground)

The 4th of July is exactly one week away, and tomorrow, fireworks go on sale next door in unincorporated North Highline, where they’re still legal despite bans in cities on both sides. Here within the Seattle city limits, fireworks are illegal, but that doesn’t deter users, especially in light of the annual sort-of-non-enforcement alert. Might a plea like this bring a change of heart? It was sent to us by Anna:

In anxiety and dreadful anticipation, I write asking for your help in alerting the public to the fear, dangers, and irresponsibility of our neighborhoods in allowing fireworks to be blown up for “freedom and fun’s sake”! Unfortunately, my pets and small children are already feeling anxious…last year my neighbors disrespected these laws and our dog ran away at 5 pm on the 4th of July. She buried herself in a culvert until 5 am the next morning. I pleaded, screamed, and yelled at my neighbors all night and they disregarded my pleas. I watched one of their trees nearly burn down due to their stupidity and disregard…I am going in the offensive this year and will name them and call them out! Please help by broadcasting safe and sane and a quieter 4th for my family’s freedom! Sincerely, Anna

Meantime, the Seattle Animal Shelter published its annual reminder about how to keep pets safe and ensure you can get yours back if it runs (including a recommendation for the WSB Lost/Found Pets page – we hope you won’t need it, but we’ll be here if you do). If you’re new here – the big Seattle fireworks show is the Summer Fourth on Lake Union, after 10 pm on Independence Day night, visible from many north-facing spots in West Seattle. The usual mid-July Jubilee Days fireworks in White Center are NOT happening this year because work at the usual spot – Steve Cox Memorial Park – has made it unavailable (the carnival IS on, at White Center Heights Elementary instead).

Burglary investigation update, community Q&A, farewell, and more @ West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network

(UPDATED 2:15 PM with date that new noise-enforcement ordinance was signed)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

No arrest yet in the south West Seattle break-ins in which residents came face to face with intruders, but they were a major topic at last night’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting at the Southwest Precinct.

CAPTAIN’S UPDATE: Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis reminded the 20+ attendees that “watching out for each other” is the most important thing they can do. Property crime is still the prevalent type in West Seattle right now. He said it doesn’t generally ease until they “arrest a lot of people” and then “appeal to prosecutors and judges” to deal harshly with the repeat offenders.

Sheds and outbuildings were the big targets for burglars until recently, when the “anomaly” series of occupied-home burglaries happened (our most-recent coverage is here and here) on 11th SW, 12th SW, 13th SW along several blocks just north of Roxbury between June 17th and 19th.

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Four West Seattle events to check out if you’re concerned about crime/safety

June 26, 2018 9:28 am
|    Comments Off on Four West Seattle events to check out if you’re concerned about crime/safety
 |   Crime | Safety | West Seattle news

Concerned about crime/safety in your neighborhood? Four meetings are scheduled this summer for feedback on neighborhood Microcommunity Policing Plans. These groups are not organized/conducted by SPD but by researchers from Seattle University, which – working in conjunction with SPD – provides the feedback, which in turn informs these policing plans.

Admiral Neighborhood – Wednesday, June 27th at 5 pm, West Seattle Library (2306 42nd SW)

Westwood/Roxhill/Arbor Heights Neighborhoods – Thursday, June 28th at 5 pm, Southwest Library (9010 35th SW)

Delridge Neighborhood – Saturday, June 30th at 2 pm, Delridge Library (5423 Delridge Way SW)

High Point Neighborhood – Saturday, August 11th at 2 pm, High Point Library (3411 SW Raymond)

These are not the only local neighborhoods with Microcommunity Policing Plans, but they’re the only meetings scheduled so far. You can also provide feedback online, wherever you live – you can do it online via the Online Focus Group.

More tree trouble, this time in Gatewood

June 20, 2018 3:10 pm
|    Comments Off on More tree trouble, this time in Gatewood
 |   Gatewood | Safety | West Seattle news

Reader report via text:

SDOT is on the scene to remove a huge downed tree branch on SW Willow St between 37th and 38th. The branch broke sometime after 10 pm last night. I noticed it down this morning. They said they have to clear the sidewalk.

Falling branches can result from heat stress, as we noted when another reader reported a Fauntleroy Park problem the other day.

READER REPORT: Close call in Fauntleroy Park

The photo and report are from Mara:

Today my husband and I went into Fauntleroy Park and were enjoying our packed lunch along one of the trails and sat on one of the park-made platforms. There is a breeze going thru the trees and didn’t seem like much wind really. Then we heard cracking start, and lo and behold, a tree top was heading our way! We jumped up and it didn’t get near us thankfully. But the entire top of a tree came down! Be careful – the trees are dry and we saw bigger branches on the trails as we headed back that were not there beforehand.

It indeed doesn’t take a windstorm to bring down a tree limb – hot, dry weather (today got into the upper 80s) can do it too, according to a variety of references we found like this one.

FOLLOWUP: Fact-finding visit in advance of mayor’s now-postponed Highland Park visit

(WSB photos. Foreground from left, HPAC vice chair Gunner Scott, mayor’s rep Kyla Blair, HPIC board member Kay Kirkpatrick, pas HPAC co-chair Michele Witzki, HPAC chair Charlie Omana, Dutchboy Coffee’s Jenni Watkins)

Mayor Jenny Durkan‘s promised visit to Highland Park has been postponed – Highland Park Action Committee still meets June 27th as usual, but will feature other guests. However, a member of her staff, Kyla Blair, kept her date to meet with HPAC leadership and other community advocates to scout out top concerns – particularly the SW Holden/Highland Park Way traffic mess.

We were invited to go along with the delegation as they walked Blair down from Highland Park Improvement Club (12th/Holden) to the problem-plagued intersection during the Wednesday morning outbound commute. They got to show her, firsthand, driver cut-throughs on side streets (above, SW Portland) to escape the logjam at the intersection.

And they told the story of the roundabout that has gone unfunded, despite a state grant application that had high-profile support plus more than 400 community members’ petition signatures. The mayor’s assistant got to see students and others crossing Highland Park Way without benefit of a crosswalk.

The roundabout saga is just the latest in 80 years of traffic concerns at the intersection, as shown in city records – and in WSB coverage (a few high-profile crashes were brought up). Overall, there’s long been a “lack of city investment” in Highland Park, as HPAC chair Charlie Omana described it. “It’s a historically redlined neighborhood,” vice chair Gunner Scott added. Durkan’s predecessor Ed Murray visited for one of his Find It, Fix It Walks last year, but little has resulted. Meantime, as noted along the way, both Highland Park Way and Holden are seeing redevelopment, further adding to traffic.

Though the actual walk on Wednesday morning had to be limited to the Highland Park Way/Holden visit, there was also discussion about the need for improvements at 16th/Holden; Jenni Watkins, in her second year of operating Dutchboy Coffee at that intersection, talked about seeing crashes and helping people who got hurt. Before long, Blair had to get back to City Hall, and promised she’d convey what she heard. Meantime, Omana will be booking a new date for the mayor’s visit.

HARBOR/SPOKANE PROJECT: New info, with work starting as soon as tomorrow

New construction/detour info for the Harbor/Spokane safety project from SDOT:

>As soon as tomorrow, Wednesday, June 13, crews will begin construction of the Harbor Ave SW and SW Spokane St Intersection Improvements project. This Neighborhood Street Fund project will increase the visibility and safety for people walking and biking across Harbor Ave SW and SW Spokane St. We expect construction to last about 6 weeks.

Nighttime and weekend work

One of the first construction activities will be pavement breaking at the intersection of Harbor Ave SW and SW Spokane St in preparation for safety improvement work on the Alki Trail. This work will be done at night and over the weekend to reduce impacts to people driving. For details about what to expect, please see below.

Traffic impacts:

Westbound SW Spokane St will be reduced to one lane of traffic at Harbor Ave SW, except during peak hours (3 PM to 7 PM, Monday through Friday), when it will remain fully open
A uniformed police officer will direct right turns onto northbound Harbor Ave SW from SW Spokane St during work hours
Crews plan to work continuously from 7 PM on Friday, June 15, to 5 AM on Monday, June 18
Sidewalks will be maintained for people walking and biking

Construction impacts:

Noise, dust, and vibration from breakers and heavy equipment
Increased truck activity, back-up alarms, and workers communicating in the field
Additional nighttime and weekend work may be required at this intersection
Crews have a noise variance for this work

Looking ahead:

Starting as soon as Monday, June 18, crews will begin safety improvement work on the Alki Trail. Crews will begin by replacing segments of the jersey barrier along the trail. Please note: This work may require a partial closure of the Alki Trail at the intersection of Harbor Ave SW and SW Spokane St. We’ll share more information on detour routes for people walking and biking as the work approaches.

What you need to know during construction:

Typical construction hours are Monday – Friday, 7 AM – 5 PM
Occasional night and weekend work
Temporary lane, crosswalk, and sidewalk closures
Detours for people walking and biking
Possible parking and loading restrictions
Please expect typical construction impacts such as increased noise, dust, truck activity, and vibration
Impacts and schedule are subject to change

Here’s the official SDOT construction notice (PDF).

Also about to start work: Walkway improvements in Westwood

As promised, we have an update on the other Neighborhood Street Fund community-initiated project that’s about to start work in West Seattle, the Chief Sealth International High School Walkway Improvements. The pathways south of the school between SW Cloverdale and SW Trenton, north of Westwood Village, will be improved. From the new “construction notice,” which you can see in full here:

As soon as Monday, June 11, we’ll start construction on improvements for people walking along 26th Ave SW and 25th Ave SW between SW Cloverdale and SW Trenton streets. Work will last approximately 6 weeks. During this work, crews will:

■ Install two 10-foot-wide walkways on 26th Ave SW and 25th Ave SW that
■ will connect SW Trenton St and the cul-de-sacs to the north
■ Install lighting along the two paths
■ Replace vegetation along the two paths, where appropriate
■ Add a concrete curb bulb extension and ADA curb ramps at 26th Ave SW

The 26th Ave SW walkway will be constructed with asphalt. The 25th Ave SW walkway will be constructed with compacted gravel. SDOT crews will install asphalt on the 25th Ave SW walkway at a later date.

The 25th SW part of the project is also the one that SDOT was at one point last year going to drop entirely, relying on a potential future development to deal with it. To date, no development proposal has emerged. Meantime, as noted yesterday in our report on the other NSF project that’s about to get going, the contractor is C.A. Carey.

Starting soon: Harbor/Spokane intersection safety project

A busy summer ahead for road/trail/sidewalk projects in West Seattle. SDOT has just sent a sheaf of notices about more work that’s about to start. We’ll spotlight each of them, starting with the Harbor/Spokane Intersection Improvements, a community-initiated project via the Neighborhood Street Fund. The official pre-construction notice (see it here) explains:

As soon as Monday, June 11, we’ll start construction of safety improvements for people walking, biking, and driving at the intersection of Harbor Ave SW and SW Spokane St. Work will last approximately 6 weeks. During this work, crews will:

■ Install a bike-only signal at the northeast corner of Harbor Ave SW and SW Spokane St and bike-only crossing across to the southwest corner of the intersection

■ Add a curb bulb at the northeast corner of Harbor Ave SW and SW Spokane St intersection

■ Restripe the crosswalks at the intersection

■ Replace existing jersey barrier and vegetation along the Alki Trail approaching Harbor Ave SW

■ Install a bike ramp on SW Avalon Way at SW Spokane St

There’s some backstory on this project in this WSB report from two years ago. Meantime, the new info above isn’t on the project website yet but we’re told it will be soon.

P.S. According to the city bidding website, the contractor will be C.A. Carey, which submitted the winning bid for a package of five projects in the south section of the city, including this one and the walkway project in Westwood (our next update!).

New school-zone beacons in West Seattle – near school that’s about to move

If you drive SW Barton west of Westwood Village [map], you might have noticed those hand-lettered signs. Residents on the block tell WSB they were startled to find out that a school-zone flashing beacon was about to be installed there – considering that the nearest school, Roxhill Elementary, is about to move, as we’ve been reporting for the past 2+ years. We also noticed a flashing beacon being installed Sunday in the same spot on SW Trenton, near 30th SW:

30th SW in that area is slated to be part of the new West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway, with work starting soon, so first we checked with that SDOT project’s spokesperson; he said the beacons aren’t part of their project, and pointed us to SDOT’s Safe Routes to School program. Here’s how that program’s manager Ashley Rhead explained it, replying to us today:

The SDOT Safe Routes to School program evaluates speeds in school zones on arterial streets on an annual basis and makes recommendations for improvements based on this data. SW Trenton St has an existing 20 mph school speed zone. Last year, Seattle Public Schools assigned SW Barton St and 30th Ave SW as an adult crossing guard location. For that reason, we evaluated speeds on this corridor as well.

On both streets, we found an 85th percentile speed of 34 mph, considerably higher than the 30 mph speed limit. 30th Ave SW is a walking route to school for Denny Middle School and Chief Sealth High School. SDOT is also installing a neighborhood greenway along this corridor later this year. We expect this improvement to further increase the number of people walking and biking along this route.

With that said, we are revisiting the decision to install 20 mph flashing beacons on SW Barton St and collecting additional information. The plan to install the beacons is on hold for the moment. We have reached out to the school district to confirm whether SW Barton St and 30th Ave SW will continue to be an assigned crossing guard location, how many Denny Middle School and Chief Sealth High School students live southwest of this intersection within the school walk zones, and what education program will be housed in the Roxhill building next year.

We actually reported on the latter yesterday, with more information added to our story this morning. The programs include special education and one location of the alternative high school Interagency Academy; other details are expected at the community meeting planned for 6 pm Thursday at Roxhill (9430 30th SW). On Thistle, by the way, which borders the Sealth/Denny campus, the existing school-zone beacons don’t start until east of 28th SW.

From repeat offenders to RVs, at West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network

A wide-ranging discussion at this month’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting. Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith presented SPD information in place of precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis, who was unable to be there. He had an announcement, too. But first:

CRIME STATS: Crimes against persons have “calmed down drastically,” down 9 percent from a year earlier – that category includes violent incidents from assault to robbery to homicide. Crimes against property are up 1 percent but some categories are spiking:

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Will Highland Park’s roundabout ever be funded? SDOT update Wednesday

(Early design concept for proposed Highland Park Way roundabout)

Tomorrow night, the Highland Park Action Committee gets an update on the long-in-the-works roundabout proposed for Highland Park Way and SW Holden. SDOT’s James Le is expected to be at the meeting with the newest information. After last month’s meeting, HPAC chair Charlie Omana learned from SDOT that SDOT has been “performing a survey of existing site conditions which should be completed within the next month. Once the survey is complete, project design can proceed, and SDOT intends to engage the public with multiple opportunities for feedback.” But, he added, only $200,000 of the project’s estimated $2.5 million cost has been committed. SDOT says it’s applied for a grant from the WSDOT City Safety Program but won’t hear until later this year. (It’s been half a year since the project was turned down for a different WSDOT grant.) Omana says, “After 5 years of working on this project in its current capacity, to have only $200k committed is disappointing. HPAC is concerned about the effects that increasing construction costs will have on the feasibility of this project over time. … HPAC will continue pushing to bring this project to fruition sooner rather than later.” And that includes Wednesday night’s discussion (7 pm at Highland Park Improvement Club, 1116 SW Holden).

ID-protecting advice in the spotlight as state attorney general visits South Seattle College

(Photo courtesy AARP)

State Attorney General Bob Ferguson was in West Seattle today as part of an event presented at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) by a coalition led by the AARP. It was the first in a new series, “Taking Charge of Your Digital Identity,” with other events to be held around the state. AARP spokesperson Jason Erskine says consumer-fraud experts advise taking these “three key steps” to better protect your personal information:

1) Take Charge of Your Credit File
Getting a credit freeze is one of the three primary recommendations of security officials to help protect your identity. With a credit freeze in place, a criminal is unable to access your credit file or open new credit accounts. According to AARP’s report however, fewer than one-in-six Washington adults (14%) report having ever ordered a security freeze on their credit.

“Along with checking their credit reports regularly and reviewing bills promptly, many consumers find that freezing their credit is a simple thing they can do to protect themselves from crooks looking to set up phony credit accounts,” says Federal Trade Commission Regional Director Chuck Harwood. “A new Washington state law will soon let all consumers freeze their credit and lift the freeze at no cost.” AARP and the State Attorney General’s Office lobbied for the successful passage of the “Free Credit Freeze for All” law this year, offering free credit freezes and thaws for Washington consumers beginning in June of 2018. Prior to the laws’ passage, consumers had to pay around $10 to each of three credit reporting agencies to freeze their credit files, and another $10 per bureau to thaw their files.

2) Check Your Online Accounts
With the ever increasing number of data breaches, experts say almost all of us have had our personal information exposed to potential identity thieves. So it’s vital that consumers have online access to all of their important bank accounts, credit cards and retirement accounts and to check them frequently. According to AARP’s report however, only four-in-ten (38%) of Washington adults have set-up online accounts for all of their bank accounts, while one-in-five (21%) admit they have not set up online access to any of their bank accounts. Similarly, only half (50%) of Washington adults have set-up online access to all of their credit cards, while more than one-quarter (27%) haven’t set up access to any of their credit cards.

To make matters worse, some consumers who say they are staying offline are doing so for all the wrong reasons. Nearly half of respondents who have not set up online access to some or any of their bank or credit card accounts (45%) say they haven’t because they are afraid their personal information will get stolen; about four-in-ten (41%) say they feel safer without an online account; and over one-third (36%) say they don’t trust the internet. “It’s ironic and unfortunate that fear and mistrust of the internet is actually putting people in greater danger that their personal information will be stolen and used by ID thieves,” says AARP State Director Doug Shadel. “Crooks have told us that people without online accounts are the perfect targets. It allows the criminals to set up online access themselves, and to even set passwords and identifying information locking people out of their own accounts.”

3) Strengthen Your Passwords and Privacy Settings
The difference between secure computing and falling victim to online fraud or identity theft often comes down to a dozen or so keystrokes – your password. However, nearly half (45%) of Washington adults report using the same password for more than one online account. Younger adults are more likely to report doing this compared to older adults (18-49: 49%; 50-64: 46%; 65 and older: 33%). Using the same password across multiple accounts is a very risky practice. If hackers are able to break just one of your codes, they can now access each of your accounts . “Our members know we are very vigilant about protecting their data and often ask us what else they can do. We tell them to treat their passwords like toothbrushes,” says Kyle Welsh, BECU’s Chief Information Security Officer. “Change them frequently; don’t share them; don’t leave them lying around; and the longer you brush, the better.”

Privacy concerns over users personal information on Facebook has also been in the spotlight lately. AARP’s survey shows that among Washington Facebook users 18+, nearly three-quarters (72%) report having changed at least some of their privacy settings from the default settings. However, significantly fewer adults aged 65-and-older (33%) have done this. “Social media sites can be a great way to stay active and engaged, just be careful what you share,” says Jeff Lilleskare, Online Safety & Security Risk Management, Microsoft. “Check your settings to make sure only friends can see what you post, or at most friends of friends. Don’t post when you’re going to be traveling. Don’t share your address, and be careful about taking pictures with sensitive information in them,” he says.

Also at the SSC event, AARP released a new report surveying adult internet users in our state, “Up for Grabs”; Erskine says it revealed that “a lack of awareness and knowledge of online dangers may be contributing to increased dangers for Washington consumers” You can see the report here.

FOLLOWUP: 35th Avenue SW ‘Phase 2’ info now online

Three weeks ago, we brought you first word of SDOT‘s decision about Phase 2 for 35th Avenue SW. The relatively small changes will include adding a stoplight at 35th/Dawson, turn restrictions at 35th/Juneau, the already-promised 35th/Graham stoplight, turn signals at 35th/Barton (which is in the Phase 1 zone), but no continuation of the rechannelization that comprised Phase 1 south of Morgan. When we talked with SDOT’s Jim Curtin on April 2nd, he said the plan would soon be added to the project website, and would be sent to many West Seattle homes in a mailer. That mailer arrived over the weekend, and the website is now updated – including the map shown above (here’s the full-size PDF version) – so if you want to see the official final version, here’s the project page. No further meetings planned, but if you have questions, Curtin says, you can e-mail the project team at 35thAveSW@seattle.gov.

Drop-in meeting Saturday morning, survey open now for West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway extension to North Admiral

April 13, 2018 7:18 pm
|    Comments Off on Drop-in meeting Saturday morning, survey open now for West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway extension to North Admiral
 |   Safety | Transportation | West Seattle news

Two weeks ago, we reported on the plan to build the West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway all the way into North Admiral, instead of having its north end at The Junction. The city also announced two drop-in meetings for feedback, and plans for a survey. The first of those meetings is tomorrow morning – and the survey is open now. You can answer it here, and/or stop by Uptown Espresso at California/Edmunds/Erskine, 10:30-noon on Saturday. Meantime, from an update sent by SDOT, more information about the greenway plan:

Our final route for the West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway reflects many of the needs we heard from the community to connect people with schools, parks, local businesses, and the greater transportation network. The new neighborhood greenway will bring affordable, active transportation options for all ages and abilities.

Below are several community priorities we incorporated into our final design:

*Design the pedestrian safety islands so they’re wider to give people adequate space for their bikes

*Time the new traffic signal at 35th Ave SW and SW Graham St with the rest of the 35th Ave SW traffic signals to reduce corridor-wide delay as much as possible
*Upgrade access to the existing signals for people walking and biking at
30th Ave SW and SW Barton St
30th Ave SW and SW Roxbury St

*Install traffic calming near Our Lady of Guadalupe School

*Minimize any on-street parking loss

*Reduce gravel on the sidewalk and street along SW Kenyon St

*Enhance traffic calming on 30th Ave SW and SW Thistle St

We’ve been able to incorporate all these elements into our work plan. Thank you for sharing such helpful insights.

Phase 1 Construction
The first phase of construction for the West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway will begin later this spring and is expected to continue through 2018. This phase of construction, which begins at SW Roxbury St and ends at SW Graham St, allows us to open a large section of the Greenway an entire year earlier than expected!

During phase 1 construction you should expect temporary detours, parking changes, and crossing closures so that we can install greenway pieces such as pedestrian safety islands and new crosswalks at intersections. We’ll be in constant communication throughout construction to ensure we coordinate with residents and businesses directly affected by specific projects.

We recognize that construction is an inconvenience and appreciate your patience and communication as we begin creating the West Seattle Greenway for you and your neighbors to enjoy.

Schedule …

Construction is broken up into three phases. This will enable us to start installing greenway improvements earlier than expected. We are excited to help people get to important community locations like Roxhill park by walking and biking in 2018, a full year earlier than anticipated.
The three phases are highlighted below:

Phase 1: SW Roxbury to SW Graham St on 30th Ave
Construction starting in spring 2018

Phase 2: SW Graham to SW Edmunds St
Construction as soon as fall 2019

North Admiral Connection: SW Edmunds St to SW College St
Outreach & planning beginning spring 2018
Construction as soon as 2020-2022

This will be West Seattle’s third greenway, after North Delridge and Highland Park/South Delridge. You can find more project information here. And if you can’t get to tomorrow morning’s drop-in discussion, the second one is Thursday (April 19th), 4:15-5:45 pm, at West Seattle (Admiral) Library, 2306 42nd SW.

A conversation about a costly crisis: The price being paid, and not paid, to save young lives

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The two scenes could scarcely have seemed more divergent:

A comfortable waterfront home in Fauntleroy / a crowded complex in Burien.

The sound of small talk and laughter / the crackle of gunshots, followed by chaos.

A colorful rug adorning a wood floor / blood staining the pavement.

The scenes were five miles and eight days apart – with one connection: A crisis.

In Burien, that crisis, youth violence – youth, in reference to the victims and/or perpetrators – stole two young women’s lives.

In Fauntleroy, that crisis, youth violence, brought together an extraordinary assemblage of people who all had the ability to do something about it.

Read More

Expired, no-longer-needed prescription medication in your home? Drug Take-Back Day 2018 is 3 weeks away

Don’t flush it, don’t toss it – if you have expired or unneeded prescription medication to get rid of, Drug Take-Back Day is only three weeks away. Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis sends the reminder that the national event is set for 10 am-2 pm on Saturday, April 28th, and the precinct is a drop-off spot as usual, 2300 SW Webster. P.S. If that day doesn’t work for you, note that the Junction QFC pharmacy is now a year-round dropoff spot. (Photo – start of 5th bag filled by dropoffs during last October’s Drug Take-Back Day at the SW Precinct)

See SDOT’s final design for Chief Sealth Walkway Improvements Project in Westwood

SDOT has announced the “final design” for the Chief Sealth Walkway Improvements project in Westwood, which you’ll recall was at one point going to be reduced, and then was restored to full size. From SDOT:

This project will improve connectivity, walkability, and safety for residents and students who currently use two unimproved and overgrown paths on 25th and 26th avenues SW, between SW Trenton and SW Cloverdale streets.

Project elements include:

• Two 10-foot-wide asphalt walkways on 25th and 26th avenues SW connecting SW Trenton St and the cul-de-sacs to the north
• Pedestrian lights along the two paths
• Removal of overgrown vegetation and installation of new trees and plants, where appropriate

This document has backstory from the original community proposal. Construction could start as soon as mid-May, says SDOT, which also says the final design is available for another NSF project, Harbor/Spokane, but as of right now still has not updated that project website to show it. Also, both projects will be handled by the same contractor, and SDOT says the bid/award process isn’t complete yet.

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