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

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.

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.

FOLLOWUP: West Seattle will have a vehicle-licensing office again

Almost a year after the sudden shutdown of the West Seattle vehicle-licensing office, a new operator is getting ready to open in a new location. As noted in our coverage of last year’s closure, though licenses are issued by the state, the offices are “sub-agents” whose contracts are administered in this area by King County, which subsequently launched a search for a new West Seattle sub-agent. Last June, the county told WSB they had chosen six applicants for interviews. Now, there’s a winner: We spoke today with Randy Lais, who already runs a licensing sub-agency in Port Orchard. He hopes to open in West Seattle next March and has a location already – the former liquor-store space on the north side of Westwood Village.

The county confirms they’re finalizing the contract and reminds us that these offices handle vessel licensing as well as vehicle licensing. Until the new West Seattle office opens, you can get licenses online, or at not-too-distant offices including Georgetown and Burien.

LIBRARY NOTES: New ‘curbside service’ location; Election Day changes

November 2, 2020 3:23 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | Westwood

Two Seattle Public Library notes this afternoon:

SOUTHWEST BRANCH GETS ‘CURBSIDE SERVICE’: Starting Wednesday (November 4th), West Seattle’s southernmost SPL branch (35th/Henderson) will be added to the “curbside service” list. That means on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, you’ll be able to go there to pick up materials you put on hold. Only walk-up service is available, so you won’t need an appointment. Southwest will be one of the first branches to “serve patrons from the lobby,” says SPL’s announcement, adding: “Safety precautions include physical distancing markers, limits on numbers of patrons in the area, plexiglass barriers, and the same contactless checkout experience as at the outdoor locations.” The other West Seattle location with “curbside service” is High Point.

ELECTION DAY CLOSURES: SPL says no services will be available tomorrow (Tuesday, November 3rd) at High Point and other SPL branches with ballot drop boxes, to reduce crowds (though King County Elections acknowledges it won’t be the usual last-minute crowding, since so many people have already voted – as of noon today, 79.3 percent in Seattle).

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Stolen blue Wrangler; car break-in/theft attempt

Two more West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports:

STOLEN JEEP WRANGLER: Layne‘s blue Jeep Wrangler was stolen near 34th/Thistle sometime late last night or early this morning.

Its plates read BMODE24. If you see it, call 911.

CAR BREAK-IN/THEFT ATTEMPT: Not far from the pickup-truck theft reported earlier today, this happened to Kristi‘s car: “I wanted to alert neighbors that my vehicle was broken into this morning, probably around 12:30 am. I called the police and described what was done to my Honda, and they suspect it was a theft that got interrupted for some reason. The area is SW Portland and 41st. … I park my car on the street right in front of our house.”

MAILBOX ALERT: Westwood Village

3:43 PM: Thanks to Gunner for the tip, which we just verified with an in-person look: The Westwood Village USPS drive-up/ride-up mailbox is full. No Sunday pickup time listed, so if you have something to mail, try another box or wait until tomorrow.

4:50 PM: Thanks to everyone in comments who said the box has since been emptied.

City ‘learning hubs’ still have room for middle- and high-school students

(WSB photo from March, Southwest Teen Life Center)

One month ago, the city announced it was creating “learning hubs” for middle- and high-school students, with Southwest Teen Life Center among the sites. Now, there’s a reminder, because there’s still room:

… Free, with wifi, these spaces are equipped with community center and youth program staff who can help your student get engaged in learning.

To help support local students during the pandemic, Seattle Parks and Recreation has opened these hubs for the 2020-21 school year. The facilities offer a stable, productive environment by providing access to Seattle Public Schools’ virtual learning portals, along with recreational, enrichment and mentoring programs and in-person assistance with connectivity and academics. Breakfast and lunch are provided daily.

The hubs adhere to current public health standards by performing regular cleaning, sanitizing and daily wellness/temperature checks. All staff and students are required to wear masks, and social distancing and room occupancy limits are followed. …

Today’s reminder includes information on how to register.

WESTWOOD VILLAGE: Repaving work closing southeast, central lots

The Westwood Village QFC parking lot isn’t something you’ll usually see empty at 5 pm – but it’s emptied out and closed off right now because of the ongoing repaving project at the center. Also closed off, the Rite-Aid lot south of there:

And the central lot between Bed Bath Beyond and Ulta Beauty:

The businesses are all still open, as are the sidewalks in front of them. Meantime, the driveway between the Barton and Trenton sides of the center has reopened, so you can get to the Post Office and Trenton-fronting businesses from either side. The repaving work is expected to continue into late October.

WEEKEND ROAD WORK: New concrete on SW Barton

October 2, 2020 3:26 pm
|    Comments Off on WEEKEND ROAD WORK: New concrete on SW Barton
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts | Westwood

Just in from SDOT, word of more West Seattle road work this weekend:

This weekend: concrete panel replacement on SW Barton St

On Saturday, Oct. 3, we will be replacing some concrete panels on SW Barton St approximately 100 feet on each side of the intersection with 32nd Ave SW.

Vehicle traffic will be alternated in each direction during the work while a single lane of traffic is maintained and flagged by police officers to accommodate both directions. Work will start as early as 8 AM and will continue until nearly 7 PM. People in the area can expect construction noise, as well as crews, trucks, and equipment in the work zone. One lane in each direction will be reopened when the work is completed on Saturday evening. Parking will be restricted in the vicinity until Monday morning to allow the concrete to cure.

FOLLOWUP: Westwood Village repaving moves southeast

Thanks to Robin for the tip. The Westwood Village parking-lot repaving continues, section by section, and now it’s moved to the south and east, closing off the lot north of QFC. All the businesses remain open, but be patient with the detours. Part of the north-central lot remains closed, too, so you can’t get to the Post Office from the SW Barton side.

The work, which we first mentioned three weeks ago, is expected to last into late October.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Westwood gun incident; sign vandalized again

Two more West Seattle Crime Watch reports today:

WESTWOOD VILLAGE GUN INCIDENT: We didn’t hear about this at the time, but have received two notes since, including Karen‘s firsthand report:

Two young men were fighting outside of the Hair Masters salon today at approx 3:45 pm. The fight quickly escalated as one man pulled out a gun and was waving it around. Employees and customers went inside the bathroom and stayed there until the police arrived (five of us were in the bathroom). Not sure if both men were arrested, or just the one with the gun. Police arrived VERY quickly and de-escalated the situation within a minute or so. Not sure what started the fight.

HPIC SIGN TARGETED AGAIN: Volunteer Rhonda reports the Black Lives Matter sign on the Highland Park Improvement Club fence has been vandalized again: “This is the third time we have had this happen. … Luckily we have another sign to replace it with. … This seems like these vandalism attacks are escalating. I plan to report it to the police.” This time somebody painted a phrase in yellow paint that could be interpreted as a death threat.

NEED FOOD? Where to get some free on Saturday

(WSB photo, last Friday)

Hunger is on the rise because of the pandemic-fueled economic crunch. In hopes of helping neighbors in need, the Greater Seattle Filipino-American SDA Church in West Seattle has another drive-up distribution coming up this week, open to all – 1:30 pm-4:30 pm this Saturday (September 19th), 2620 SW Kenyon. It’s a no-contact-style event – just drive up and volunteers will load the food into your vehicle.

FOLLOWUP: Getting around Westwood Village with repaving closures

Just went over to Westwood Village to see how the repaving project – first mentioned here last week – was affecting traffic flow around the center. One big thing: Unless you are going to the Post Office, don’t use the SW Trenton entrance; a fence and ROAD CLOSED sign are blocking the north-south route just south of it. Fencing and signage are also placed across the east-west route at the northeast corner near the Marshalls entrance.

In addition to the lot south of the Post Office that’s blocked off as a result, the lot by DaVita is closed off too. Signage says the work will continue around the center through late October; businesses are all open.

UPDATE: Rescue response for flipped-car crash in Westwood

(WSB photo)

12:28 PM: Just dispatched: Seattle Fire rescue-extrication response for a crash at 32hd/Trenton [map]. Two vehicles are reported to be involved, one flipped with a person trapped inside. Police are already there and say the trapped passenger is conscious. Updates to come.

12:34 PM: SFD says the trapped passenger has been extricated.

12:43 PM: Photo added. No serious injuries reported so far. Police say they are investigating whether this might be the result of one of the drivers running through a stop sign.

NEED FOOD? Drive-up, no-contact food distribution Friday in West Seattle

September 10, 2020 6:57 pm
|    Comments Off on NEED FOOD? Drive-up, no-contact food distribution Friday in West Seattle
 |   Coronavirus | West Seattle news | Westwood

Need food? We have word tonight of a free distribution tomorrow (Friday, September 11th) open to all, 9 am-noon outside the Greater Seattle Filipino Seventh-day Adventist Church in West Seattle (2620 SW Kenyon, across the street from Denny International Middle School). Pastor Eddie General says you can just drive up and volunteers will load the box into your vehicle. It’ll contain apples, potatoes, and onions. Questions? 206-923-0887.

About those new portable signs at Westwood Village

Thanks to Tory for the tip. Last night we noticed several portable messageboards like that one parked in a line near the Westwood Village post office; today, they’re deployed around the shopping center with news of “parking changes” and “paving projects” starting September 13th. The center has long had a permit application in for parking-lot repaving, first filed in 2018, when it was described as “pavement maintenance for the entire 50,000-square-yard asphalt surface parking lot at Westwood Village Shopping Center in West Seattle. Anticipated maintenance activities include: 50,000 square yards of asphalt overlay, edge grinding, 1,800 square feet of existing asphalt replacement down to subgrade, crack sealing, restriping, and select replacement of curbs and landscaping.” We’ll check with center management tomorrow about scope and timeline; one of the signboards indicates work is expected to last into late October.

CELEBRATION: Daystar Retirement Village’s ‘COVID-free’ party

The photos and report are from Eva Thomas at Daystar Retirement Village (WSB sponsor) in Westwood:

Daystar Retirement Village is having a “crazy hat” party today, to recognize that all residents and staff have tested negative for COVID-19. This is a huge accomplishment. We could not have done it without the support of every single staff member, resident, and residents’ family members. These have been very trying times and every single individual involved with Daystar Retirement Village have gone above and beyond to keep our residents safe. We want to send out a HUGE thank you to everyone for keeping our residents safe.