West Seattle, Washington
The photos and report are from Ron:
My 1999 Honda CR-V was stolen early AM on Thursday morning (3:55 am) from Village Square Condominium complex directly across from Westwood Village. We were able to obtain fairly good photos of him. Really upset about this – the vehicle has been stolen more than once and regrettably the alarm and other potential (prevention) measures were yet to be implemented.
Color of vehicle is Navy blue (Honda calls it “Midnight Pearl Blue”). It has stock alloy wheels and brand new Michelin tires. The car was in great shape for its age and hopefully still is.
(Updated) Plate #009-YQY; report # is 20-167310. Call 911 if you see Ron’s car.
10:23 PM: Though this ss NOT related to a helicopter some reported hearing over the Admiral area a bit earlier, the Guardian 1 helicopter is currently over Highland Park/Puget Ridge, helping police track a suspect who is reported to be wanted for eluding. (The helicopter’s track before this was in south King County, so the Admiral reports remain a mystery.)
10:30 PM: According to radio exchanges, this all started in Kent. The search has now moved on to Westwood, where police have converged on a reportedly related vehicle.
10:42 PM: Kent Police are reported to be on the way too, and a possible hit-run crash along the way on Puget Ridge is factoring into all this too.
11:02 PM: One clarification in the Guardian One crew’s post-departure tweet – they report the suspect “abandoned [the first] car in West Seattle and got into another car.”
ADDED THURSDAY AFTERNOON: We asked Kent PD for more details, and Cmdr. Robert Hollis replied:
Around 2200 hours on 05/20/2020, a on-duty Kent Officer noticed a red vehicle driving at a high rate of speed eastbound in the 10200 block of SE 240th St. The officer was able to catch up with the vehicle and when he activated his lights and siren, the suspect vehicle started driving away at a high rate of speed. Officers pursued the vehicle until speeds became too great and stopped pursuing the vehicle. Because King County Guardian One was up and following the vehicle, officers determined they could stop and locate the suspect at a later time. … Our officer did take the suspect into custody for Eluding.
More south West Seattle redevelopment: That 99-year-old house at 9238 20th SW [map] is proposed to be replaced by an 8-unit rowhouse/townhouse project, with 8 offstreet-parking spaces. Nearby resident Colleen tipped us after an Early Design Review Community Outreach flyer arrived via mail. It points to this website, which includes the design packet by John Trieger Architects, as well as a survey.
Back in March, the city announced the Southwest Teen Life Center (2801 SW Thistle) had been identified as a site for expanded shelter space. It wasn’t put into use, though – until now. Just received from city spokesperson Will Lemke:
Beginning (today) the City’s Southwest Teen Life Center (SWTLC) will temporarily shelter up to 30 young adults from YouthCare’s Jackson Street overnight shelter. The move provides 24/7 shelter space, supportive services, and more space for social distancing per public health guidance. The program supports youth between the ages of 18 to 24. Youth will be provided access to showers and three meals per day.
This new de-intensifying shelter builds on the City and King County’s effort to reduce density in large, high capacity shelters to slow the spread of COVID-19. While de-intensification efforts have focused on improving health conditions for existing shelter clients, these de-intensifying shelters also offer expanded services for many clients including the provision of meals, hygiene and cleaning services, and 24/7 access to a safe space that they are not required to leave every morning.
Here’s more information on the YouthCare shelter he mentioned. This was one of nine “de-intensiifying” sites announced around the city and county in late March.
We’ve gotten lots of questions about the new solar-powered surveillance-video trailers at Westwood Village.
Five are in place around the center. The company that makes them, Utah-based LiveView Technologies, says 3,500 are in use at a variety of sites – construction, energy, retail, government. According to the company’s website and a promotional video, the trailers send streaming video, and have the potential for features from thermal detection to “vehicle recognition.” You might also have noticed they have speakers, so warnings can be delivered (as in this marketing video).
They’ve drawn media attention in other places where they’ve been used or considered – Walmart stores use them under the name Lot Cops, for example. In Eugene, Oregon, the police are considering using them; a cost of $20,000 to $85,000 each was cited in coverage there.
So you’re being watched. But who’s watching? We took that question to Westwood Village management. The center’s managers aren’t allowed to talk with the media, so they sent our inquiry to the communications team at their company, Madison Marquette. The resulting response was basically “no comment”:
Thank you for your inquiry. Because the safety and security of our shoppers, employees, restaurants and retailers is of the utmost importance, we do not share the specifics of our security programs or procedures since doing so could comprise our security efforts.
Right now, many WWV storefronts are vacant or closed by government order, so the security need is different than pre-COVID-19. But it was just a year ago that you might recall police had planned to deploy a monitoring tower at the center and elsewhere; that ultimately never happened.
Two business updates from the WSB inbox:
THE GROVE: From general manager John Coney at West Seattle’s only hotel/motel, in The Triangle:
Just letting you know that The Grove is open for anyone needing a room for a few days. We have lowered our rates to help out in this difficult time. We are all practicing safe distancing, wearing masks, cleaning everything with disinfectant cleaner and do our own laundry in house so it’s not being touched by anyone off property. If anyone just needs to get a way for a few days, they can call or drop by.
The Grove is locally owned, at 3512 SW Alaska, 206-937-9920.
STAPLES: From general manager Deena Knapton at the Westwood Village Staples:
I wanted to let you know that Staples has been deemed an essential business; we are open and ready to serve our community. We see it as a privilege and a large responsibility to continue serving our community. As such, we’ve compiled a few services to specifically help the restaurant industry and provide just a little more relief.
Local restaurants can immediately take advantage of 250 free full-color menus from our in-store Print & Marketing department, as well as free full-color CDC health awareness posters and complimentary faxing, scanning, and computer workstation services. We are also offering curbside pickup to all customers for any orders from our print center and for products from our floor.
In addition, we are excited to share that Staples stores (are) accepting donations of the following types of personal protective equipment (PPE) for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals: unused N95 respirator face masks, disposable face masks, face-shields, goggles and eye shields, and isolation or surgical gowns. If you have any of the above, please drop it off at the Westwood Village Staples store or any Staples location and we will get it in the hands of our heroes. Check out cmnh.com/staples for additional information.
We checked – Seattle Children’s Hospital is the nearest CMN hospital.
Got a business update? Please let us know – email@example.com preferred, but text/phone 206-293-6302 if you can’t email.
While neither of these is directly related to Camp Second Chance, both bits of information emerged during this afternoon’s meeting (by videoconferencing/phone) of the CSC Community Advisory Committee (full report later): 2 elements of COVID-19 response that are dropped or on hold because the West Seattle Bridge closure has suddenly rendered our area a lot less accessible.
One is the plan for the Southwest Teen Life Center to be used as an additional shelter space for up to 50 people, so that existing shelters in the city could be made less dense. Shawn Neal of the city Human Services Department said that site is on the back burner now because transportation logistics between here and, for example, downtown services are a lot more complex without the bridge. Also, Rev. Leah Atkinson Bilinski of Fauntleroy UCC (now the camp’s sponsor) said a plan for the co-housed Fauntleroy YMCA to be used as a child-care space for medical personnel/first responders hit the same snag – suddenly it’s a lot harder to get to/from WS – so the church is now exploring “other (interim) uses” for its building.
10:20 PM: Thanks to a texter for that photo. SFD is responding to what firefighters describe as a “pretty large brush fire” in the wooded area near Longfellow Creek east of Chief Sealth International High School.
10:31 PM: Firefighters are accessing the scene through the Longfellow Creek P-Patch off Thistle. No structures are reported to be threatened.
10:43 PM: The nearby resident who called it in (and sent the photo and video) says it looks like firefighters have it under control.
ADDED 11:32 AM MONDAY: Regarding the cause, SFD spokesperson David Cuerpo tells WSB, “Fire investigators were not dispatched for this incident. No injuries were reported and no other people were present when our crews arrived.”
As noted in our nightly COVID-19 local-news roundup last night, the city and county have announced a list of sites where they plan to add shelter space to enable “social distancing” in existing shelters. Two of the sites are in our area – Southwest Teen Life Center (2801 SW Thistle) and county-owned space on Harbor Island. We followed up today in search of more details on who would be served and how the expansion shelter would be managed. For the city, Will Lemke replied, saying most details haven’t been worked out yet: “We have not yet identified a shelter to move clients into the SW Teen Life Center or the Harbor Island site. These spaces are being made available in anticipation of this need. … As with the other de-intensifying shelters we are standing up, the City and County will partner with shelter operators to arrange for transportation, 24/7 staffing, food, and cleaning services at locations being used in response to COVID-19.” The announcement says SW Teen Life Center will have room for 50 people and that Harbor Island will have room for 24, both to be ready sometime in April. These are NOT quarantine/isolation sites – just meant to create literally more space for unsheltered people.
While the weather is still good – if you are in Westwood, you can visit the puzzle/game exchange! Alison sent the photo and says it is in the 8600 block of 24th Avenue SW: “Would like to invite anyone to exchange puzzles or games.” Or if you are not in the area – you might consider one of your own.
From city-run Southwest Pool:
Due to a contamination, Southwest Pool will be closed all day, Tuesday, March 10th. All drop in and lesson programs are cancelled. Participants will receive a credit on their account for the missed lesson. We expect to reopen for our regular schedule at noon on Wednesday, March 11th.
We asked – the “contamination” is NOT related to COVID-19.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch items:
WESTWOOD SEARCH: As we write this, police are searching for an auto-theft suspect near 26th/Barton. The stolen car was apparently found at Westwood Village; the suspect took off running toward the east side of Roxhill Park. The description we’ve heard via radio is a white man in his 20s/30s, blue ball cap, blue jacket, tan pants. (2:34 PM UPDATE) They have a suspect in custody. You might still see some searching – per radio exchange, they’re looking for items the suspect might have discarded.
STOLEN SKI GEAR? Lose your ski gear in a car prowl or burglary? Tessa might have found it: “Looks like someone lost their ski gear among other things on 35th and Findlay. Put the boot, goggles, helmet and poles at the 21 bus stop.”
P.S. When lost/found items seem more like simple “lost/found,” you can post in the Lost/Found (Non-Pets) section of the WSB Community Forums.
After losing some space in Seattle Public Schools facilities, the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) has been working to find more new preschool space – and is finally ready to announce it’s planning a new Early Learning Center at Westwood Village. Here’s the Y’s announcement:
The YMCA of Greater Seattle is expanding early learning programs in King County with a new center in West Seattle, expected to open in January 2021. The YMCA Early Learning Center at West Seattle, located at 2600 SW Barton Street in the Westwood Village Shopping Center, will serve 124 families from birth to five years.
For over 30 years, the Y’s values-based preschool program in West Seattle has helped kids learn essential cognitive, social, and physical skills that are the building blocks for successful adulthood. The Y is proud to build on their tradition of empowering our youngest learners.
The YMCA of Greater Seattle thanks the Washington State Department of Commerce, in partnership with the Department of Children Youth and Families for funding $800,000 of the construction costs through the Early Learning Facilities Program. The Early Learning Facilities program supports Washington’s commitment of developing high-quality early learning opportunities for children across the State of Washington.
“We already know the impact that quality early education can have on kids, it means they start reading earlier and begin to grasp math and science concepts before they start elementary school so they can hit the ground running.” said Loria Yeadon, President & CEO of the YMCA of Greater Seattle. “We believe that child care shouldn’t bankrupt families, and that child care can, and should be integrated into the family and community circles. By expanding child care in West Seattle, we’re expanding opportunities for kids for years to come.”
The Y is where everyone is welcome. The YMCA of Greater Seattle is committed to access for all kids regardless of financial circumstances and stands behind that by raising funds annually to bridge the gap for families. The Y accepts State of Washington Working Connections Child Care and City of Seattle subsidies with no enrollment caps.
The Y is a leader in youth development and in helping to ensure all kids have the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. For more information on the new YMCA Early Learning Center at West Seattle or to sign up for the interest list, please visit seattleymca.org/ws-elc
The space they’re moving into is the two-story former eye-clinic space on the north end of the mall.
Two restaurant biznotes this afternoon:
PHORALE LOCATION CONFIRMED: That sight in the window at 9418 Delridge Way SW connects the dots on two things. The closure of the Vietnamese restaurant Hoang Kim last week (as reported here) and the announcement that Phorale – known for its food truck since closing in South Park – was opening “in White Center.” The Eater report that broke the latter news did not specify a location, nor did Phorale respond to our followup, but we went to South Delridge to check on our suspicions and indeed, the windows are now papered over with Phorale’s distinctive logo.
WESTWOOD VILLAGE MOD PIZZA: On our way back from that run, we went through Westwood Village and noticed this:
The signage for West Seattle’s second MOD Pizza is up. We first reported last March that city permit files showed MOD would move into the ex-Baja Taco and ex-Giannoni’s Pizzeria spaces. MOD declined comment as recently as August, saying they were still negotiating the lease; we’re checking back with them now to see if they have a projected opening date.
ADDED 4:50 PM: They’re hoping to open “end of March.”
As first reported here last Saturday, starting next month, the Westwood Village post office (2571 SW Trenton) will start closing at night next month, as the West Seattle Junction post office has been doing for almost two years. Since the signage at Westwood didn’t cite a specific reason, we followed up with regional U.S. Postal Service spokesperson Ernie Swanson. Here’s what he tells WSB:
Homeless people began sleeping in the lobby of the Westwood Village Station, harassing our customers who came in to check their mail in the evening. The homeless people also left trash behind including syringes and human waste. With regard for the safety of our customers, the decision was made to close the lobby from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. each night. This problem has become more prevalent in the city as we feel the need to close our lobbies during night-time hours.
Thanks to Mike for the tip: That sign is now posted at the Westwood Village USPS branch (2721 SW Trenton), with advance warning that its lobby will start closing from 7 pm to 7 am as of February 1st. It’s been almost two years since the West Seattle Junction post office made a similar announcement. That news in March 2018 followed a theft incident; we checked and haven’t found any such recent reports for the Westwood branch, but will be inquiring further on Monday.
The next three West Seattle safety projects in the Neighborhood Street Fund program are in the planning phase and ready for your comments, SDOT says. Each has its own webpage with project info and an explanation of how to comment:
*New walk and bike signal at the intersection of Delridge Way SW and SW Barton St
*New marked crosswalk at the intersection of Delridge Way SW and SW Barton St
New curb ramps and crosswalks at the intersections of SW Barton St & 25th Ave S and SW Barton St & 24th Ave SW.
New left turn arrows for eastbound and westbound movements at SW Barton St and 26th Ave SW to separate pedestrian movements from left turning vehicles
Install new pedestrian activated flashing beacon at the intersection of SW Barton St and 25th Ave SW.
This project is a combination of two community proposals to enhance the connection between the Delridge Neighborhood Greenway and the West Seattle Bridge Trail:
Improvements to SW Andover St between 26th Ave SW (Delridge Neighborhood Greenway) and Delridge Way SW, as well as the intersection of SW Andover St & Delridge Way SW. These include protected bike lanes, green pavement markings, a new left turn pocket for people riding bikes, right turn on red restrictions, and other changes.
A new railing on the onramp from the Delridge Way SW to the West Seattle Bridge. This on-ramp hosts a multiuse trail that links to the West Seattle Bridge Trail, but it currently lacks a railing between the trail and traffic using the onramp. This project will include a new railing, trimming overgrown plants to increase the usable width of the trail, and spot pavement repairs.
You have until the end of January to send your thoughts on any or all of the projects.
We mentioned earlier this holiday season that John L. Scott Real Estate – Westwood (WSB sponsor) had a giving tree up to collect holiday gifts for teens. Today, they share this report and photos on how it worked out:
Last week we had the privilege of donating 100 gifts to teens at the Southwest Boys & Girls Club in White Center.
We wanted to give a big thank you to our agents, clients, and Westwood Village community for all of your kind donations. It was satisfying knowing that we helped make the holiday season a little bit brighter for an often-forgotten age group.
Pictured are some of the happy teens with their gifts, along with the owners of John L. Scott Westwood, Scott and Chantille Henry, and brokers Jennifer Cross, Chris Cruz, and Daniel Henry.
Thanks again to everyone who helped make this happen. We hope to make this a reoccurring event in the future.
ORIGINAL FRIDAY REPORT: Thanks to Aaron for the photo! The long-promised left-turn signal lights are finally installed, though not yet activated, at 35th/Barton. They were promised when SDOT announced Phase 2 of the 35th SW Safety Project more than a year and a half ago. We will be checking Monday for the activation timeline.
SATURDAY NIGHT UPDATE: No need to check – just went through the intersection and the new turn lights are now working.
This is a followup as well as a traffic alert – that crew is working on 26th SW between Roxbury and Barton right now, as part of investigative work previewed here last week. As explained in the notice featured in that preview, the crew is “drilling 6 geotechnical boreholes in the roadway” to learn more about the pavement failure that neighbors say shakes their homes when buses go by. Metro says new paving is expected as part of the RapidRide H Line conversion, though I-976 might affect funding availability. This work is expected to continue through tomorrow.
Thanks to Mike for the tip – the Westwood driver-licensing office (8830 25th SW) is closed today, and its website attributes the closure to a “facility issue.” We checked with the Department of Licensing and were told the office is closed for water-line repairs and that they’ll assess at day’s end whether it will reopen tomorrow. So if you were planning to go there tomorrow – check first!
If you’ve traveled 26th SW between SW Roxbury and SW Barton, you’re familiar with its problematic pavement. It’s been an issue for years, with the road serving as a busy bus corridor, and nearby residents complaining the traffic shakes their homes. Some road panels were repaired in 2016. But the problem continues, and resident Richard tipped us that neighbors have just gotten this notice of upcoming testing:
SDOT pointed us to Metro for more information. From spokesperson Travis Shofner:
Those notices went out from our contractor to notify residents of the area of upcoming work. As part of the permitting process with the City of Seattle, before any paving work can be done, we have to perform environmental testing of the existing conditions of the pavement. Our goal is to pave the center travel lanes of that section of 26th as part of the H Line, pending funding availability. Partial funding for the H Line project comes from the Regional Mobility Grant that was impacted by I-976. It’s unclear if those funds will be available or not. However, we’re moving forward with the environmental testing for the project.
The H Line project is the conversion of Metro Route 120 into a RapidRide line, also scheduled to include paving work on much of Delridge, starting next year, although the H Line launch isn’t planned until September 2021.
The holiday season at Westwood Village kicked off tonight with the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s monthly After-Hours event. In our photo above are board chair Lauren Burgon with new Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) co-proprietor Lauren Wiggins; attendees started the evening at Wyatt’s and roamed to other businesses. The Chamber has an even-bigger holiday event coming up – featured in our West Seattle Holiday Guide – Mix, Mingle, and Jingle on December 5th.
P.S. One big change at WWV this holiday season – no Santa photos, except for two Saturdays you can come take “selfies with Santa,” 2-4 pm December 14 and 21st.