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SUMMER: Drive-in/walk-in outdoor movie next Friday

Clear, warm weather is expected all week. That’s good news for the city’s Rec’N The Streets program, which is offering a free outdoor movie next Friday (June 25th) in the Southwest Teen Life Center parking lot (2801 SW Thistle). It’s billed as “drive-in/walk-in”; bring your own chairs and snacks. The movie will be the original 1984 “Karate Kid” (here’s the trailer). All ages welcome, no RSVP/tickets necessary. The movie’s expected to start around 7:30 pm and runs just over two hours.

NEED SHREDDING? Here’s your next chance in West Seattle

(WSB photo from last year’s event)

It’s a popular question this time of year – when’s the next chance to get no-longer-needed documents shredded for free in West Seattle? John L. Scott Westwood (WSB sponsor) has announced that it’s presenting its annual shredding event/food drive in two weeks – Saturday, June 26th – in collaboration with Evergreen Home Loans. Bring your shreddables to the northwest parking lot at Westwood Village (2600 SW Barton) 10 am-noon. The shredding is free of charge, but please bring nonperishable food (or cash) to donate to the White Center Food Bank. Last year’s shredding event brought in a half-ton of food and more than $4,000 in cash, along with 4+ tons of shredding!

UPDATE: Man stabbed in Westwood

2:45 AM: A sizable Seattle Fire and Police response is headed to the 2200 block of SW Barton for what’s reported as a person “assaulted with a weapon.” Updates to come.

2:49 AM: Officers at the scene – a building lobby – have told dispatch that the victim says he was stabbed at a nearby bus stop. He is reported to be wounded in an arm and leg.

2:54 AM: The victim will be taken to the hospital by SFD medics. No word so far of any arrest(s).

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: 4-figure shoplifting arrest (updated)

ORIGINAL THURSDAY NIGHT REPORT: Police arrested a suspected shoplifter tonight after a four-figure theft from Ulta Beauty in Westwood Village. Their preliminary summary says officers responded to a report of “multiple fragrances” stolen from the store. They found the suspect on foot nearby and recovered $3,094 worth of stolen items. The suspect was booked into jail; the items were returned to the store.

ADDED NOON FRIDAY: More details from the full-length police report – the suspect is a 31-year-old man. Police found him after checking the Longfellow Creek Legacy Trail in the Roxhill Park area south of Westwood Village; the report says the trail “is commonly used by shoplift suspects as it allows significant cover and provides multiple access/exit points.” They found him with a backpack that looked “overstuffed”; a witness had told them he was in the store wearing a backpack and “carrying a large laundry bin” into which 34 bottles of fragrance products had been placed. The witness said he was then seen in the parking lot near trash bins, removing tags from the stolen products, and transferring them from the laundry bin. Police found the 34 bottles in the backpack. According to online records, the suspect has a lengthy criminal history going back more than a decade and is currently awaiting trial on charges from two building burglaries downtown early this year. The documents from that case say his record includes at least 55 failure-to-appear warrants from past cases.

LIBRARIES: Hours expanding at branches open for in-building services

(Southwest Branch, WSB file photo)

The Seattle Public Library isn’t adding more West Seattle branches to the in-building “open” list yet – but the one that is allowing people inside will expand its hours and capacity next week. As of Tuesday (June 1st), Southwest Library (9010 35th SW) will be open 10 am-6 pm, Tuesdays-Saturdays, at 50 percent capacity. That will be divided into two public-use sessions – 10 am to 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm to 6 pm, with a cleaning break between them. You’ll still be able to pick up on-hold items during the break, though. SPL will also start phasing in browsing, too.

UPDATE: Garage fire in Westwood

May 18, 2021 7:00 pm
|    Comments Off on UPDATE: Garage fire in Westwood
 |   West Seattle fires | West Seattle news | Westwood

7 PM: All those sirens are for SFD units arriving at a garage fire at a house just west of Westwood Village, in the 9000 block of 31st SW. The first arrivals report smoke from a garage that’s about 20 x 20. Updates to come.

7:18 PM: The fire was confined to furniture in the garage, firefighters tell us. No injuries, no structural damage.

BIZNOTE: Another new tenant planned for Westwood Village

Last week, we reported that an Xfinity store is on the way to the center of Westwood Village. Today, news of another tenant for that same section of the center: The updated directory map included in listings for center vacancies shows Pet Supplies Plus as “coming soon” to the spaces next to Ulta Beauty.

Pet Supplies Plus is headquartered in Michigan and has more than 400 stores, operating on a franchise model, though a check of its website suggests this would be its first Northwest location. We have an inquiry out to the company to ask about the opening timeline. Westwood Village currently has one pet-supply store, Pet Pros – a Seattle-headquartered mini-chain – on the center’s east side.

BIZNOTE: Xfinity store on the way to Westwood Village

Looking through city permit-system files, we happened onto a new tenant on the way to Westwood Village. The former Sprint (and before that, Radio Shack) space in the middle of the shopping center is slated to become an Xfinity store. We contacted Comcast‘s regional spokesperson Nick McDonald for confirmation. The reply: “This is going to be one of our standard Xfinity Retail Store locations that Comcast operates. It will offer a welcoming and modern retail environment that highlights the complete line of Xfinity Home and Comcast Business technology offerings,” including, he added, “Xfinity Mobile, Xfinity X1, Xfinity Home, the Xfinity Flex 4K streaming device, and Xfinity Internet.” No opening date yet. The site-plan layout suggests it’ll be something like this one in Ballard; the company’s nearest retail outlets are downtown and in Tukwila.

REMINDER: Free shredding in West Seattle at Daystar Retirement Village on Saturday

April 15, 2021 3:43 pm
|    Comments Off on REMINDER: Free shredding in West Seattle at Daystar Retirement Village on Saturday
 |   West Seattle news | Westwood

Another reminder for this Saturday (April 17th), if you missed the original announcement and haven’t seen the listing in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar – you can bring up to three boxes of paper to Daystar Retirement Village (2615 SW Barton; WSB sponsor) for free shredding with Shred-it, 10 am-1 pm. It’s a drive-up/walk-up event, masks required.

Seattle Public Library to reopen Southwest Branch for indoor service

(Southwest Branch, WSB file photo)

It’s the news Seattle Public Library patrons have been awaiting – SPL is reopening some branches for in-building service. OF the first three branches to reopen, one is in West Seattle – the Southwest Branch at 9010 35th SW. Here’s the SPL announcement of what it’ll offer starting Tuesday, April 27th:

The schedule for in-building services will be Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. with closed cleaning breaks between public use sessions. Patrons will be able to enter the buildings at 25% capacity during public-use sessions to pick up available holds and check them out, use a physically distanced computer, use a restroom, speak to a Library staff member, charge a device, or sit and read. Masks will be required of all patrons and staff.

The opportunity to browse a branch’s collection or use meeting rooms or study rooms will not be available initially. The Library will continue to expand services and access to the collection and other Library spaces as state health guidance, Library safety protocols, and staffing allow.

These are the first three branches to offer in-building services since the Library’s systemwide building closure in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More locations will open incrementally as it is safe and feasible to do so, similar to the rollout of the Library’s Curbside Pickup Service that began last August and is now provided at 15 libraries.

Highlights of in-building services include:

· Public sessions: Patrons may enter the building when a public-use session (around 90 minutes) begins; once the capacity limit is reached, the Library will allow new patrons to enter only as others leave. Patrons may enter the Library for multiple time blocks a day. In between public sessions, Library staff will clean and reset the interior space.

· Physically distanced layout: Seating, tables, computer stations, and other furniture have been rearranged to enable physical distancing. Plexiglass will be installed between computers and in other service areas.

· Computers, wi-fi, printing: Library cardholders can use public computers on a first-come first-served basis for up to two hours a day. Patrons will be able to print, copy or scan up to 10 pages of black-and-white pages for free a day (faxing is also available at the Beacon Hill Branch). Staff assistance with technology support or information requests will be offered at a distance. Free wi-fi is also available.

· Charging stations: Two charging stations at each location will allow patrons to charge their devices. As with computers, these will be available on a first-come first-served basis.

· Safety first. Masks will be required for all patrons, staff and visitors entering Library buildings; disposable masks and hand sanitizer will be available on site. (If you require an accommodation, call 206-386-4636.) Eating and drinking in public areas of the building will not be allowed. As always, the Library Rules of Conduct will be enforced to ensure the safety of patrons and staff.

· No meeting room use: For now, meeting rooms and study rooms will remain closed to the public.

Learn more about in-building Library services at spl.org/InBuilding. Curbside Pickup Service for holds will continue to be available at 12 other locations and bookdrops (which also accept DVDs and audiobooks) will continue to be open at 19 locations. Check www.spl.org/Hours for a complete list of services and hours at each branch.

The other two branches that will offer in-building service starting April 27th are Beacon Hill and Lake City.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Shoplift-turned-robbery

One West Seattle Crime Watch incident to report so far today: A shoplifting case classified as robbery because it turned violent/threatening. It was reported just after 10:30 this morning at the Westwood Village Ulta Beauty store. The initial police summary says three people – two female, one male – were in the store grabbing “many items” and stuffing them into bags. One threatened to shoot store staffers who confronted them, and then claimed he had COVID before lowering his mask as if he was about to spit on the staffers. The trio subsequently fled the store with an estimated $5,000 worth of merchandise. No description in the report we obtained, but police say the store has security video.

BIZNOTE: Tony’s Market opening for the 2021 season

Thanks to Arlene for the tip! Tony’s Market, the produce stand under the big red/green/white tent at 35th/Barton, is opening for the season. We went by late this afternoon and found out they were wrapping up a “soft open” day but planning to open for full hours tomorrow and beyond: 9 am to 7 pm.

Tony’s – named for its founder, proprietor Joey Genzale‘s dad, gone a decade now – is usually open through the spring and summer, on into Halloween pumpkin season, then closes for a while before switching to Christmas trees, and then a winter break before spring produce season.

BIZNOTE: 2 days to Ross Dress for Less grand opening at Westwood Village

5:03 PM: Back in January, Ross Dress for Less told us the company’s new Westwood Village store was expected to open March 6th. With that date just two days away, we checked back – Saturday is indeed the planned “grand opening” day; Ross is also opening stores in Florida, Missouri, and Texas that day. The Westwood Village store hours will be 8 am-11 pm Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays; 9 am-11 pm Saturdays; closed Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. More than a year and a half has passed since we first reported on Ross’s plan to move into the ex-Barnes & Noble space at the center.

7:47 PM: As pointed out in comments, since we published this story, Ross has updated the linked page to say the store will be open on Wednesdays too, 8 am-11 pm, so closed only Thursdays and Fridays.

ADDED EARLY SATURDAY: Checking their website again, now the store is listed as being open every day but Friday.

UPDATE: 2 burglary suspects arrested in big police response at Westwood Village

(WSB photos)

7:50 AM: Thanks for the tips. Big police response at Westwood Village right now. Officers at the scene tell us there was a break-in at the building that houses businesses including Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) and Chico’s. They believe one suspect might be in the future Ross building to the south. Target is closed until police give them the go-ahead to reopen. K-9s are helping with the search; police say there is concern the suspect might have a weapon. More later.

9:17 AM: We just went back to check on the status. No one in custody yet. SWAT officers have arrived.

10:09 AM: No arrest yet. Target remains closed (see photo above). But the east side of the center remains open. We have a crew remaining on scene so we’ll update as soon as there’s a change.

10:21 AM: Suspect in custody. Photo just in from our crew:

(Updated photo substituted at 12:03 pm)

We’re expecting more info shortly in a police briefing.

10:59 AM: Police say they initially responded to an alarm around 5:30 am. They made one arrest early on, so the person just arrested (added: found on the roof) is a second suspect. They say the burglary did some damage to businesses including a hole punched in a wall. No injuries reported. We’ll add video of the briefing when our crew’s back. (added – here’s what Officer Judinna Gulpan told media:)

In case you’re wondering – the businesses in the same building as Ross/Target haven’t reopened yet.

2:07 PM: We went back over to check – Target is going to remain closed until tomorrow morning.

We’re still checking on the other businesses.

5:08 PM: Wyatt’s and Chico’s were still closed when we went by a short time ago; Sport Clips was open.

Why Westwood Village Target had to be evacuated Friday night

(Photo sent by Marlo)

After tips that Westwood Village Target had to be evacuated Friday night, we finally have information about what happened – it was a “person in crisis” situation, according to police, The SPD summary says it started just before 9 pm:

A person in crisis telephoned 911 from within the Westwood Village Target store and made threats to kill themselves. This person is known to Seattle PD for similar incidents. Southwest patrol officers responded to the location. Officers ascertained the location of the crisis subject, contained them, and evacuated the store. Patrol officers verbally contacted the subject and used de-escalation techniques to calm the subject. An on-duty Hostage Negotiator responded from the South Precinct and took over communications with the crisis subject. The HNT member was able to convince the person in crisis to surrender peacefully.

That happened around 9:45 pm, about 15 minutes before the store’s scheduled closing time.

BIZNOTE: Another sign of Ross Dress For Less’s impending Westwood Village opening

ORIGINAL FRIDAY REPORT: Noticed today that the sign is up at the future Ross Dress For Less at Westwood Village, a year and a half after we first reported their plan for the former Barnes & Noble bookstore space (empty two years now). As the banner says, they’re currently hiring for the new store (search 98126 here and you’ll see the openings). We have a message out to a corporate spokesperson to see if they have an update on the opening timeframe.

ADDED MONDAY: We heard back from a corporate spokesperson who says the current expected grand opening date is March 6th.

UPDATE: Power outage in south West Seattle, White Center, same area/cause as December outage

7:11 AM: Thanks for the texts. More than 3,700 homes and businesses have lost power, including Westwood, South Delridge, and White Center. No hint yet of the cause. Updates to come.

7:28 AM: No indication yet what caused this. Note that the outage zone includes parts of Roxbury and 16th SW, both arterials, with signals, so if you travel through an intersection that’s affected, it’s a four-way stop. Also remember that SCL’s restoration estimates are just guesses. (Added: The latest guess has already changed dramatically, from 2 pm to 8:54 am.)

7:51 AM: We have one report that power’s back. The SCL map lags so we won’t get the full picture for a bit.

8:01 AM: Map shows one pocket remains, almost 400 customers in the Greenbridge area. We’ll update later when we find out the cause. (So far, SCL has attributed it to an “underground issue.”)

8:15 AM: Checking the archives – this outage footprint, and cause, is similar to this December outage. We’re following up on that.

6 PM: City Light spokesperson Julie Moore responded: “Today’s outage was due to a switch failure that caused a substation feeder breaker to lock out. It was the same breaker as the Dec. 12 incident, so that’s why we saw a similar footprint. However, it was a different switch in a different location on the feeder that failed this time.”

WEST SEATTLE ART: Desmond Hansen’s newest signal-box mural

Thanks to Dan Kearney for the photo. West Seattle artist Desmond Hansen painted that signal box at 35th/Henderson, just north of Southwest Library, this weekend. He wrote on Instagram that the box is dedicated “to children living with disabilities and special needs” – read his full explanation here.

BIZNOTE: 24 Hour Fitness permanently closes Westwood Village gym

11:52 AM: Hours before last night’s nearby shooting, we got a couple of tips that equipment was being moved out of the 24 Hour Fitness gym in Westwood Village. We inquired with their media-relations department via phone and email. Still no reply – but members just forwarded this communication from the company:

After many years of serving the West Seattle community, we are sorry to say that we were unable to reach an agreement with our landlord and have had to permanently close our West Seattle Active club.

The company had previously announced more than half a dozen other club closures in the region, but this one wasn’t on that list. An online search turns up a bankruptcy-court document from October involving unpaid rent, noting that the club’s rent was almost %50,000 a month.

2:33 PM: In case you wondered, before this, WWV had nine other open spaces available for lease.

UPDATE: Gunfire at Westwood Village, 1 wounded

8:52 PM: The day’s second “scenes of violence” dispatch in West Seattle is headed out now, this time to Westwood Village. First police were looking for someone reported to have fired a gun near the closed 24 Hour Fitness; now there’s a report of a man in his 20s with a gunshot wound to the leg. More to come.

(WSB photos)

9:04 PM: At the scene, SFD tells us the wound, to the back of the man’s left thigh, is not life-threatening. He’s being taken to Harborview. We are trying to find out if a suspect is being sought.

9:25 PM: Police say they are still seeking a suspect. Also still piecing together the circumstances; one person is reported to have told police a fight between two men preceded the gunshots.

2:40 PM FRIDAY: We requested the police report this morning; haven’t received it yet, but did notice bullet holes in the ex-24 Hour Fitness window today, so we’ve added that photo above.

ADDED EARLY SATURDAY: SPD has posted the Significant Incident Report summary of the incident, with a few more details, so we’re adding it here:

On 12-17-2020 at 2040 hours, officers were on a call for service at Westwood Village Shopping Center, 2600 SW Barton St when they heard a volley of gunshots from nearby. This was later determined to be at the shuttered gym at this shopping center. The officers determined that a shooting had taken place and a person had fled from the scene on foot. That person (17 years old) returned to the scene and had a gunshot wound to one of his legs. Officers provided life safety first aid including a tourniquet. The victim was transported to the hospital where he was being treated. He was expected to survive. The initial investigation showed that a fight may have broken out between a work crew member that was removing the gym equipment and the person who had a gunshot wound. The victim and work crew were not hostile but were also not uncooperative with the investigation. Evidence was located inside the gym. Bullet holes were located in several exterior facing gym windows. The Gun Violence Reduction unit responded to the scene, took photographs and processed the scene for evidence. No other victims were located. No bystander witnesses. No firearms were located.

UPDATE: Power outage in South Delridge, Westwood, White Center, Highland Park

2:34 PM: Getting word of a power outage – hearing from South Delridge and White Center so far. Not mapped yet. Anyone else?

2:37 PM: 3,760 without power – just came up on City Light map. No cause yet.

2:58 PM: The outage is affecting some traffic signals, including on Roxbury – remember that an out or flashing signal becomes a 4-way stop. Also reported to be affected: At least part of Westwood Village.

3:20 PM: There’s a multi-vehicle crash at an apparently affected intersection, 16th/107th, with one car reported on its side. King County Sheriff’s Deputies are on scene. Meanwhile, we have a message out to SCL seeking the latest on the outage’s cause.

3:32 PM: Via Twitter, City Light just said it’s “troubleshooting” the cause. But we just got a text that power’s back for at least some.

3:39 PM: The map shows just under 400 customers now still without power, mostly in the Greenbridge area. Adding the updated screengrab above.

3:51 PM: Here’s the crash scene at 16th/107th, east side of the intersection:

Deputies say three cars were involved and the signal (back on now) was out at the time. No injuries. They’re just waiting for tow trucks.

5:56 PM: SCL map shows everybody’s back on.

6:07 PM: SCL tells us that “underground cable failure” is what they believe was the cause.

1 West Seattle project on list of city’s newest affordable-housing investments

A Habitat for Humanity homebuilding site near Westwood Village is the only West Seattle project on a list of new affordable-housing investments announced today by the city. The “additional investments of $55.8 million to support 840 low-income and affordable rental and homeownership opportunities” touted by the mayor at a media briefing include $400,000 for the four-house project at 2117 SW Trenton [map]. The Habitat for Humanity project webpage describes the plan as:

-4 units, three 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath, 1130 sq. ft.; one 4 bedroom, 2 bath, 1300 sq. ft.
-Homes will be owned by families earning <80% AMI [area median income] -Homes will be resale-restricted to provide for permanent affordability -Buyers must be willing to partner and complete sweat equity hours -Buyers must meet lender requirements and secure financing to meet minimum mortgage amount -Buyers must reside or be employed in King County for 1+ years

Another webpage for the project says they expect to start taking applications from prospective buyers next spring.

GRATITUDE: Food-drive success!

Earlier this month, we published the John L. Scott Real Estate-Westwood (WSB sponsor) call for pre-Thanksgiving donations to be delivered to the White Center Food Bank. What you see above is just part of what generous donors brought in. The office wanted to share its gratitude:

Thank you, everyone, for making the John L Scott Westwood food drive, benefiting the White Center Food Bank, a success. People came from all over, and our bins were overflowing!

Please remember this holiday season to continue to give to our local food banks, as the need is great this year.

Donation information for the WCFB, which also serves part of West Seattle, is here.