West Seattle, Washington
Several readers have asked when the sidewalk in front of the 4312 SW Admiral Way 7-11 – missing for many weeks – will be restored. We took the question to SDOT, whose spokesperson LeAnne Nelson looked into it and replied:
The 7-11 hired contractors to repair the sidewalk, but they removed the sidewalk without any Street Use permits, so they were issued a citation and required to submit a traffic control plan and field review; that’s due to the amount of sidewalk removed. They were not allowed to work until both were approved, which happened last week, I’m told. Our inspector has called the contractor to ask for a completion timeline.
We will check back on that if there’s no work-crew sighting at the site soon.
Received this afternoon from Southwest Precinct crime-prevention coordinator Jennifer Danner, it’s the latest newsletter with prevention/safety advice:
As we head into the fall months, there are a few important messages the SW Precinct would like to remind our community about. We would like to emphasize general property crime prevention (including residential burglary and auto theft/car prowl prevention), as well as pedestrian and traffic safety- specifically as it relates to schoolchildren.
When it comes to prevention techniques for residential burglary- there are several important things to remember. All exterior doors should be strong enough to withstand force and should be secured with a deadbolt lock that has a minimum one-inch throw. Try not to leave valuables (such as packages, electronics or cash) in plain sight through windows or doors. The main entrance door to a home/apartment should have a door wide-angle (180 degree) viewer/peephole. Make the home appear as if there is someone there by leaving lights, music and/or televisions on. Install motion sensor lights to be specifically directed and focused on entry points and vulnerable areas, use lights set to a timer or leave lights on. Secure and lock all windows and doors when leaving the premises- even if you plan to return within a short amount of time! Do not leave a spare key out. Secure and maintain yard, patios and outdoor spaces – making sure you trim back all concealing shrubbery. Engraving your items and keeping a household inventory list can be extremely helpful in investigations and it allows recovered items to be returned to you – the SW Precinct has engravers that community members can check-out to engrave their electronics and personal belongings with an identifying number such as your Driver’s License number. Be consistent, and always stay vigilant and observant to what is going on around you; remember to always call 9-1-1 immediately to report suspicious behavior and if you see something- say something!
Other than residential burglary, the SW Precinct is also seeing an increase in auto thefts. Here are a few important prevention techniques to keep in mind for auto theft-
-Never leave your car running or the keys in the ignition when you’re away, even for ‘just a minute’, please remember this is illegal in Seattle and in Washington (SMC 11.70.160, RCW 46.61.600)
-Remove remote garage door openers from vehicle
-Always lock doors and roll up windows, even if the car is parked in front of your home
-Never leave valuables in plain view, even if your car is locked
-If possible, park vehicle in a busy, locked, monitored and/or well-lit area
-Utilize anti-theft devices
-If possible, activate alarm
With children back in school, it is crucial to be reminded about general traffic and pedestrian safety as well! Pedestrians must be very mindful of how they are utilizing the street, sidewalks and crosswalks- children should be reminded to be extra cautious when walking to and from school. Motorists and cyclists must pay attention to traffic conditions and all pedestrians. The most important overall advice for any kind of pedestrian and traffic safety is PAY ATTENTION!! Drivers, please be aware that with school back in session, children will be walking to and from schools and transit stops. As autumn approaches- there will be less daylight; please pay extra attention, as children may be out early in the morning/late in the evening and may be more difficult to see.
The full newsletter, including contact info, upcoming events, and resource links, is here (PDF).
Just in from SDOT:
Saturday morning, we’ll be closing (the inside lanes along) 500 to 1000 feet of the Fauntleroy Expressway portion of the West Seattle Bridge. Approximately 9 Jersey Barriers struck in a recent vehicle collision must be moved back into their protective alignment.
What you can expect:
Our Roadway Structures team will maneuver and realign the jersey barriers, in an area currently coned and taped off.
September 29 | 7 AM – 3 PM
500 to 1000 feet of WB and EB left lanes of Fauntleroy Expressway, just E of 35th Ave SW
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
For the fourth time in two weeks, the big headline in a community-meeting update from Southwest Precinct police leadership was the Myers Way east-side cleanup – now under way.
This time, the update was at the first West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting since the group’s summer hiatus (most community groups skip at least a month of meetings in the summer). The meeting also included a briefing on Mental Health First Aid training. But first:
POLICE BRIEFING: Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis said they’re trying to “not spend a lot of time reintroducing ourselves to old problems … there’s a lot of frustration with problems that pop up over and over again.” He said RVs and encampments are a recurring concern and insisted “we go after them very vigorously until we get them gone.” He said they have been “dismantling that monstrosity,” referring to the illegal encampment on Myers Way where a major city-led cleanup is in its second day – we went by again this afternoon and saw 29 city vehicles large and small, including SPD’s Mobile Precinct.
No weapons means no weapons. That’s the reminder from Chief Sealth International High School principal Aida Fraser-Hammer in this letter sent to families this evening after an incident on campus today:
We have had a strong and focused start to the school year and been excited to see our students and families. We continue to work with students to ensure that we have a positive school culture and a welcoming environment for all students.
We also want to ensure that our schools remain safe, therefore I am updating you on an incident at Chief Sealth today. Although no one was threatened or hurt, the situation raises concerns. Today, a pellet gun was found in one of our student’s backpacks. Because of the zero-tolerance policy around weapons, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) was called. Our investigation, in conjunction with SPD is complete, and the involved parents have been contacted. Additionally, the student has been disciplined consistent with district procedures.
As you are aware, adolescent students have complex social dynamics. Ensuring that students know appropriate behavioral expectations and that all students are safe is our goal. We occasionally hear from students that they feel unsafe in the community and therefore maintain carry weapons for protection. Our staff continues to discuss personal safety with students as well as district rules and state laws.
Most importantly, I wanted to let families know about these conversations and ask families to help all our students understand the importance of keeping schools weapon-free as well as the importance of sharing critical safety information immediately with adults at school. I am providing a link to some additional information that might be helpful during these discussions. seattle.gov/police/community-policing/youth-safety-tips
Please be assured that the safety and security of our students is a top priority at Chief Sealth International High School. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Aida Fraser-Hammer, Principal
Chief Sealth International High School
Thanks to the Sealth parent who shared the letter. We appreciate tips and info about all schools’ news and events of all types – good and not-so-good – email@example.com or 206-293-6302, text or voice, any time.
After summer hiatus, the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network resumes monthly meetings tomorrow (Tuesday, September 25th, 6:30 pm, Southwest Precinct). The spotlight topic: Mental Health First Aid. From the announcement:
Most of us are familiar with or have attended First Aid classes to learn CPR, how to respond to someone experiencing a heart attack or identify signs of a stroke. As well, many of us are aware of the newer First Aid courses offered locally such as Stop the Bleed, and Disaster Response First Aid.
But, did you know that there is also a worldwide movement to train the public in Mental Health First Aid?
Our guest speaker will be Sue Wyder, King County Mental Health First Aid Coordinator and Valley Cities Mental Health Program Manager. Please join us to learn more about Mental Health First Aid and King County’s new free 8-hour certified course on this topic.
How can learning Mental Health First Aid help you help someone? Why is it important? Statistics suggest that you are more likely to encounter someone in emotional or mental crisis than someone having a heart attack. It’s especially important to recognize the signs that someone close to you — family, friends, co-workers, neighbors — may be in crisis, and to learn and understand Mental Health First Aid techniques so you can help them and others who may be in need.
As this first fall meeting gets underway, we’ll also have introductions; a few announcements; and an in-depth update from SW Precinct leadership, Captain Pierre Davis on recent crime and safety issues.
The precinct is at 2300 SW Webster. You don’t have to be a Block Watch Captain – or even in a Block Watch – to attend; everyone’s welcome.
Seattle Parks is considering changing the hours at Riverview Playfield (7226 12th SW) in hopes of enabling more police enforcement in response to problems there. Next Thursday, the city Board of Park Commissioners‘ meeting will include a public hearing on changing the hours from 4 am-11:30 pm to 6 am-10 pm. Here’s the rationale as listed in the city briefing paper for Thursday’s meeting:
At this site, there have been continuous complaints about illegal behavior occurring at the park. Drinking and vandalism occur in the evening hours and people congregate at all hours. Neighbors and Parks staff cite four specific reasons for requesting the change in hours:
1) Maintenance workers are burdened with cleaning beer cans, broken glass, and laden trash. The park benches were often found damaged.
2) Tagging is pervasive especially late at night and after the park has closed. At sites with similar issues, changing the closing time to 10:00 p.m. enabled SPD to do a sweep through the park and enforce the closure time.
3) Neighbors frequently call 911 because of the late night activities which often include loud and boisterous behavior, in addition to illegal activity.
4) Community members do not feel safe confronting those who loiter in the park after hours and the earlier closure time enables the police to enforce the rules.
Perhaps the biggest incident in recent years – the 2016 arson that left a new restroom/storage building at the park closed for a year (top photo). The Parks Board hearing is during its regular meeting at Parks HQ downtown next Thursday (September 27th), 6:30 pm, 100 Dexter Ave. N.
In case you haven’t seen this in our calendar, last call for Sunday’s all-day boating-safety class presented by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary in West Seattle, 8:30 am-5 pm at the Veterans’ Center (3618 SW Alaska): “This course qualifies all those who successfully complete it to get a Washington State Boater Education Card. Great for families, couples, and friends who boat together.” $35 per person – and there’s still room; go here to sign up. If Sunday doesn’t work, the next session after that is November 18th, and you can sign up for that via the same link.
From the WSB inbox:
In the interest of warning other early morning runners/walkers, I had a disturbing encounter this morning around 6:10 while running north on California between Genesee and Charlestown.
A vehicle moderately slowed down beside me just north of Genesee and must have circled the block and did it again north of Dakota, but this time paced me for a few seconds. I then noticed the vehicle pull off to the side north of Charlestown as I approached that intersection. I crossed the street to the 7-11 and watched the vehicle proceed south on California after slowing in front of the 7-11. It was an old (’70s/maybe early ’80s) two-tone brown large “SUV” with the rear window rolled down or missing. Be alert, runners and walkers!
Special thanks to the 7-11 employee and Vanpool at the gas pump for being so helpful to me!
4:39 PM: Just announced by Seattle Parks: Because of the unhealthy air, it’s closing its outdoor pools as well as the remaining still-in-operation wading pools, through tomorrow. Colman Pool is closing at 4:45 pm, and wading pools (including Lincoln Park) were to begin draining an hour ago. (Sprayparks weren’t mentioned, so we’re checking on their status.)
5:06 PM: Parks’ Christina Hirsch replied that sprayparks are staying open. (West Seattle’s lone spraypark is in Highland Park at 1100 SW Cloverdale.)
Our photo taken a short time ago from Alki Avenue is about what you CAN’T see: Normally on a sunny summer day, looking across Puget Sound from that spot, you’d see Bainbridge Island, with the Olympic Mountains as a backdrop. Right now – that’s all entirely obscured. While visibility improved a little early this morning, this afternoon it’s worsened in a big way, and the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has joined regional health departments in renewing their health alert:
Air pollution levels are rising across Puget Sound region again and levels are expected to be UNHEALTHY for everyone today. Smoke is expected to impact air quality over the next few days. Air pollution levels will rise and fall, so we encourage you check the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency air quality map to see the latest air quality nearest you.
Right now, the level is indeed UNHEALTHY in all directions. The Washington Smoke Information website says we can expect some clearing Thursday. Meantime, a Stage I burn ban has been ordered, to take effect at 5 pm. That means:
No outdoor burning during a Stage 1 air quality burn ban including:
• No charcoal barbecues or similar solid fuel devices
• No campfires or bonfires
• No fire pits, chimineas, fire bowls, or similar free-standing devices
• No fireplaces, uncertified wood stoves, or uncertified inserts*
• No agricultural fires (as described in the agricultural burn permit)
• Local fire districts do not grant Native American ceremonial fire permits outside of tribal lands during air quality burn bans.
It is OK to use natural gas and propane grills, stoves, or inserts during a Stage 1 burn ban.
* The only exception to using fireplaces and uncertified wood stoves or inserts, is if the homeowner has a previously approved ‘No Other Adequate Source of Heat’ exemption from the Clean Air Agency
The Arbor Heights sidewalk project along 35th SW between 100th and 106th is nearing completion, according to SDOT‘s newest update, sent this afternoon:
We’re in our final stretch of construction work! This week, we have accomplished the following:
*Our crews completed pouring concrete on all sidewalks on the west side of 35th Ave SW, between SW 100th St and SW 104th St
*We completed asphalt paving on the roadway against curb on the east side of 35th Ave SW, between SW 100th St and SW 102nd St
*We installed temporary striping (roadway markings) on 35th Ave SW
Next week, our crews will:
*Complete pouring concrete at curb corners and build ADA-compliant curb ramps on west side of 35th Ave SW (Please note this work was pushed back to next week due to limited concrete availability this week)
*Begin demolishing and pouring concrete at curb corners and build ADA-compliant curb ramps on east side of 35th Ave SW
This work will require maintaining existing closure of 35th Ave SW, between SW 100th St and SW 106th St during our work hours, 7 AM – 5 PM
In addition, eastbound traffic at the intersection of 35th Ave SW and SW 100th St will be intermittently closed next Monday, 8/20 between 9 AM – 5 PM. Vehicles traveling eastbound at this intersection between these hours, please do so at 35th Ave SW and SW Roxbury St. Flaggers will be on site to help direct traffic during this work.
Completed sidewalks will be accessible early next week. Pedestrians will be detoured to use sidewalk across the street during our curb ramp construction work.
Our crews will do their best to keep their equipment-staging footprint to a minimum and allow for more on-street parking available for impacted households to temporarily park their cars on the east side of the street and/or on the side streets. Please note that we will reopen 35th Ave SW at the end of each work day.
Be part of shaping your nearest Microcommunity Policing Plan, while sharing your feedback about neighborhood crime, safety, and policing. You can do that by participating in one of the focus groups that will be conducted by Seattle University – SPD won’t be present, but will get the eventual findings. Here’s what’s coming up this month in West Seattle:
–High Point Community: 8/11, 2-3 pm, at High Point Library [3411 SW Raymond]
–Fauntleroy Community: 8/15, 5:30-6:30 pm, at Southwest Library [9010 35th SW]
–Morgan Junction Community: 8/19, 3-4 pm, at High Point Library
–Commercial Harbor Island Community: 8/20, 6-7 pm, at Delridge Library [5423 Delridge Way SW]
–Pigeon Point Community: 8/25, 11:30-12:30 pm, at Delridge Library
–Commercial Duwamish Community: 8/27, 6-7 pm, at Delridge Library
–Alki Community: 8/29, 6-7 pm, at West Seattle Library [2306 42nd SW]
You can contact the Southwest Precinct‘s Seattle U intern Tiana Lee with questions, and to RSVP, at firstname.lastname@example.org
6 PM: Hundreds of West Seattle block parties for Night Out start now, with “street closed” signs all over the peninsula, We’ll be making some stops and we also appreciate a photo from your party – email@example.com – thank you!
6:17 PM: First pics in are from Ben via Twitter:
— Ben Weagraff (@weagz) August 8, 2018
6:24 PM: Our first stop also happened to be in Arbor Heights:
JoDean, who invited us to stop by, says this is the eighth year they’ve had a Night Out party and it’s the biggest turnout ever!
6:38 PM: We’re in Sunrise Heights right now, at Julie‘s party, where the food is of special note:
Julie won the contest to have West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) cater a Night Out party. What’s in our pic is just part of it. This is also just part of the turnout – more people are on the way after they get home from work:
6:52 PM: Thanks to Norm for sending pics from his block’s party on 51st SW:
At right above is Helen – Norm says this is her 30th block party with neighbors on 51st!
7:02 PM: We’re now in a Gatewood neighborhood that invited us to stop by. Look who else is visiting:
If you register your party and get your request in early, police and firefighters do make some stops on Night Out. This block is always one of the area’s biggest parties – here’s the group shot, Mounted Patrol visitors included:
They’ve got a band, too!
7:15 PM: Thanks to Laura for the photo from her Night Out party in North Delridge at Dragonfly Park:
7:24 PM: We just left Gatewood, where we also made a stop at Naomi‘s party:
Like just about everyplace else we’ve visited, lots of kids enjoying the night with their parents and neighbors!
7:35 PM: We’re now west of The Junction, where Sara invited us to stop by. Bouncy house for the youngest block-party’ers!
7:51 PM: And on the east side of The Junction, thanks to Stephanie for the invitation to stop by and say hi:
It’s about time for us to switch to Election Night mode, but we’ll add any more block party pics that come in – firstname.lastname@example.org or text to 206-293-6302 – thank you!
9:07 PM: Thanks to the folks in the 8800 block of 17th SW for texting a photo:
9:27 PM: The 41st/Portland block party in Gatewood, photographed by Long Bach Nguyen:
11:17 PM: Added photos from the Pigeon Point party, courtesy of Pete Spalding:
Pete’s at right in the photo below, with SW Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis at left.
Below, former SWP commander Capt. Steve Paulsen, and Community Police Team Officer Ken Mazzuca.
As of the last time we checked with Southwest Precinct crime-prevention coordinator Jennifer Danner, more than 260 block parties were registered for tonight for our area. Night Out is a nationwide tradition with more than 30 years of history.
ADDED WEDNESDAY MORNING: Jennifer says the final total was more than 300 – most ever! She shared photos from some stops she made last night – here she is with local firefighters:
And she shared this photo of Chief Carmen Best visiting a South Park party:
Night Out is always the first Tuesday in August, so next year, it’s on August 6th.
Thanks to Scott Amick for spotting the posted notice that work is about to start on a new stairway at SW Myrtle between Sylvan and 25th. This wasn’t on the list of scheduled West Seattle stairway projects that we published earlier this year, nor could we find it on the city website, so we checked in with SDOT‘s Greg Funk. He explained that funding found to replace a 50-foot-long dirt path here is coming from the Safe Routes to School program. Grading work is scheduled to start “as soon as” this week; then the stairway itself will be built in October. He also provided an update on other projects, following up on our March check-in:
*SW Director (between upper and lower Fauntleroy Way across from the ferry terminal) is complete
*SW Willow and pathway (at California) are complete
*SW Hill (between 42nd and California) is under construction, 1 more month or sooner
*SW Hill (another one across from that one), added because of savings on “a couple projects”
*SW Holly (at Beveridge) is under construction, closed for 2 months. Funk adds: “This will be a stairway we are going to reset and will be one of our historic streetcar slab stairways – one of 5 we will be doing in the future.”
Thanks to Fiona Preedy for the photo and tip: That new crosswalk is in place at 45th SW and SW Charlestown. Safety at that intersection was one of the concerns voiced by the community committee convened to review a zoning “departure” required for 4 portables to be added to nearby Madison Middle School. Those portables recently arrived – thanks to Luckie for this photo, taken as they were being assembled last week:
We first reported on the portable plan back in January; they have been added to handle growing enrollment at Madison. The zoning departure required for their installation on the northeast side of the campus involved removing six offstreet parking spaces. The first day of school is September 5th – four weeks from tomorrow.
(Photo courtesy Pete Spalding. P.S. For Delridge Day info, here’s our most-recent update!)
Clever sign like that one from Pigeon Point NOT required – but if you want to close a (non-arterial) street for your Night Out block party tomorrow night, you have until 5 pm today to register it. Just go here. And you can go here to find templates for street-closure signs and neighborhood invitations. If you won’t be at your own block/building party – remember that as of last count, more than 260 parties were registered in this area, so be mindful of many closed side streets between 6-9 pm tomorrow!
Less than a week until Night Out – next Tuesday is the night when neighborhoods around the nation have block/building/etc. parties to celebrate community and safety. We checked in with Southwest Precinct crime-prevention coordinator Jennifer Danner, who says 266 Night Out events are registered so far in our area (still the second-highest total in the city, though SW is the smallest precinct). If you want to close a (non-arterial) street and/or request a Night Out visit by public-safety personnel, register your event ASAP (you have until Monday afternoon, but why procrastinate?) – just go here. If you’re already registered, that page is also where you can download invitations, street-closure signs, and other Night Out collateral.
They of course read the classic “No Dragons for Tea” (written by Jean E. Pendziwol and illustrated by Martine Gourbalt), which teaches kids about fire safety. They also brought along gear so that if kids ever find themselves face to face with suited-up firefighters in an emergency, they will remember not to be scared.
SFD sends crews around the city to visit libraries periodically for Firefighter Story Times. This was the only West Seattle stop in the current round, but one month from today, you have another chance to bring the family to meet firefighters and learn about fire safety – “Fired Up Family Day” at the Homestead parking lot on Alki (2717 61st SW), 11 am-1 pm August 25th – explained in our calendar listing.
After several questions about when work would resume on the weeks-idle Harbor/Spokane Neighborhood Street Fund project, we asked SDOT about it today – and found out that work in fact had JUST resumed. Here’s the update we received as a reply to our inquiry, including a new timeline for completion:
Crews began paving today and plan to continue paving this week. Paving has been scheduled in coordination with equipment needs for other Neighborhood Street Fund projects under construction right now, which is why it has appeared that the site has had limited construction activity. Crews currently anticipate completing work for this project in mid-August.
Crews plan to complete paving at the corner of Harbor Ave SW and SW Spokane St over the course of 3 days.
Work will be completed in sections, allowing a pathway to the Alki Trail to be maintained for people walking and biking. People biking will be asked to dismount and proceed through the work area with caution. A flagger or uniformed police officer will be present to escort people through the work zone. Please take note of wet concrete in the area.
Crews have made great progress on this project to date. Once paving and installation of new sidewalks and ramps is complete, crews will:
-Install striping on the road
-Turn on the bike-only signal
Crews will need to wait approximately 3 weeks after paving before they can stripe the road. This is to ensure that the asphalt has properly cured. Once striping is complete, crews will be able to turn on the bike-only signal.
As soon as October, crews will begin replanting the area. The timing of this work is restricted by the City of Seattle’s planting season.
When work on the project started last month, SDOT had estimated it would take about six weeks – which would have had it wrapping up about now.
SDOT‘s updated plan for the 35th SW/SW Juneau intersection, as part of the 35th SW Safety Project‘s Phase 2, was featured in our Morgan Community Association quarterly-meeting report last week – including the draft version of a notice for businesses/residents in the area. Today, SDOT’s Dawn Schellenberg tells us, that notice is being circulated. Here’s the final version (PDF). As the notice says, the work at 35th/Juneau will start soon, and will include turn restrictions as well as parking removal; while the notice doesn’t list a number, we asked SDOT’s Jim Curtin at the MoCA meeting, and he replied it would be at least 20 spaces, described as little-used. As for the rest of 35th SW Phase 2, here’s what we first reported back in April.
All set for a block (or building, or …) party to celebrate Night Out? It’s exactly two weeks away – Tuesday, August 7th. If you want to close the street for your party, you need to register with Seattle Police, and Southwest Precinct crime-prevention coordinator Jennifer Danner provides the link – just go here. Side note: Though the SW Precinct is the smallest in the city, Jennifer says it had the second-highest number of parties signed up as of a few days ago!
P.S. We’ll be out stopping by Night Out parties as always – if you wouldn’t mind us stopping by yours for a photo, please e-mail us the location, email@example.com – thank you!
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!)