West Seattle, Washington
(Click here for full-size PDF flyer)
In case you haven’t already seen it in our calendar – we’re spotlighting Sunday’s Lantern Festival and Competition because lantern-makers interested in competing need to make theirs in advance and bring them to the festival. It’s set for 4:30-8 pm Sunday (September 23rd) at Southwest Teen Life Center (2801 SW Thistle). The competition is optional; prizes will be awarded, as you can see on the flyer. The festival also will feature performances, a Lion Dance, and kids’ arts and crafts. It’s presented by Van Lang Vietnamese Cultural Language School and Seattle Parks, and everyone is invited.
As reported here Friday, Seattle Parks cut short the planned monthlong closure of Southwest Pool, citing permit/contract trouble. But it’s operating on a limited schedule during the month instead. So what IS being worked on during that time? Parks has updated this post with info, including:
SPR will take advantage of the pool’s reduced operating schedule to conduct a complete interior LED conversion to the facility, including changing approximately 430 fluorescent tubes to LED. This effort will reduce the facility’s lighting energy consumption by 55%. This project will help us meet the City’s goal of reducing energy consumption by 20% by 2020, as set out by the Seattle Climate Action Plan. SPR will complete this project prior to the pool returning to its full operating schedule on Monday, Oct. 15.
The limited schedule, meantime, can be seen here (PDF).
Today was supposed to be the second day of a monthlong closure of Southwest Pool for accessibility renovations. Instead, we’ve just received word that the closure plan has changed dramatically because of permit problems – the pool will instead reopen Monday, and will be on a “limited schedule” for the next month. The announcement:
Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) will be making a variety of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) improvements to Southwest Pool (2801 SW Thistle St.). Most of the work will take place this fall and will include improvements to the restrooms, driveway, entrance, and parking lot.
SPR originally planned to close Southwest Pool from Sept. 13-Oct. 14; however, contracts and permits were unable to be secured in time to meet the planned closure dates. Instead, Southwest Pool will now operate on a limited schedule from Monday, Sept. 17 to Sunday, Oct. 14 to facilitate this work. The pool will resume operating on its normal schedule on Monday, Oct. 15. Details on Southwest Pool’s limited schedule can be found on their website.
SPR will continue ADA improvement work on Southwest Pool’s restrooms throughout October and November; however, this work will not impact facility hours. SPR will also work on improvements to Southwest Pool’s front driveway, entrance, and parking lot in October and November, which will require users to access the facility via the rear entrance. ADA improvements to the pool locker rooms will occur in spring 2019.
The “limited schedule” that will be in place starting Monday can be seen here (PDF). Southwest Pool is at 2801 SW Thistle.
With another tentative agreement for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 302, work is expected to resume on many projects in the region, including two that SDOT has going in West Seattle. One is the Arbor Heights sidewalk project along the west side of 35th SW between SW 100th and 106th; SDOT’s LeAnne Nelson tells WSB, “We are working with crews to plan work starting on Monday, but it’s not yet known if there will be challenges in getting materials—with many public and private projects resuming concrete/asphalt work at the same time. It’s expected that the concrete work will take place first.” The other is the Chief Sealth Walkway Improvements project on 25th and 26th north of SW Trenton. Nelson says, “This work requires asphalt, which ended up with more of a backlog from the strike than did concrete. The team is checking with the contractor to determine when the asphalt subcontractor will be available to finish the trails.”
Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes:
GUARDIAN ONE: Thanks to those who messaged us a few minutes ago that the law-enforcement helicopter was in the Westwood area; it wasn’t showing on flight tracker so we didn’t know until then. We checked in with them on Twitter and the reply: “Assisted Seattle PD with taking a felony suspect into custody near Westwood Village.”
STOLEN CAR: Alex e-mailed this report a short time ago: “My car was stolen outside of Southwest Youth and Family Services, at 25th SW and SW Alaska St. Blue Ford Taurus, 2005, WA license plate AVD0257. There is a Rover.com magnet on the back that may have been peeled off.” Call 911 if you see it. (SATURDAY UPDATE: Alex says his car has been recovered.)
8:13 PM: Thanks to the texter who sent that photo of a car fire at the 35th/Barton 7-11. Seattle Fire is still on the scene, according to the incident log. No other details.
ADDED 11:43 PM: Thanks to Ben for sending the video:
As you can see, firefighters got it out quickly.
11:23 PM: A report of gunfire in Westwood has police searching for up to five suspects. Per scanner, they were most recently reported to have fled behind the 35th/Barton 7-11 southbound and then westbound. A K-9 team is joining the search. The person reported to have fired one shot is described as a young “light-skinned black male” wearing a “sparkly red jacket.” No injuries reported.
11:29 PM: The gunshot reportedly happened near the Southwest Library (35th/Henderson). Also, the Guardian One helicopter is joining the search.
11:35 PM: Per radio communication, this involved someone “chasing (the suspects) with a two-by-four” when one “turned around and shot at” that person.
11:49 PM: The search is scaling down; they’ve exhausted the possibilities and there are other pending calls.
ADDED THURSDAY AFTERNOON: We have obtained the report narrative from SPD. The person who said he was fired at told police that he was chasing the suspects because they had assaulted his girlfriend. He said the two of them are squatting in an empty house in the 9000 block of 35th SW. She was walking in the alley and around the 34th/Barton P-Patch, looking for cigarette butts, when she encountered the suspects. One asked her for cigarettes; she said she had none and was looking for them herself. Then, the boyfriend told police, the suspects called her names, punched her in the face, knocked her down, and kicked her. She screamed for help; her boyfriend went to the house where they were squatting, got a 2 x 4, and chased the suspects after calling 911. That’s when one turned and shot at him, he said, as they were running southbound behind the 35th/Barton 7-11. He said he lost track of them at that point. While he insisted that’s where the shot was fired, police did not find a shell casing nor any other evidence of gunfire. Nearby residents also said they heard the shot. As we reported last night, helicopter and K9 assisted in the subsequent search, but no one was found.
Thanks for the tips! The driver of that car has been taken to a hospital to be checked out after hitting the outside of NK Nails at Westwood Village. Damage to the building is largely confined to the exterior, and the salon remains open for business.
From the little train to the big bouncy toys, it’s been a day of fun at Westwood Village. The annual street fair moved to Sunday this year. We even saw a hint of winter:
Among the vendors and organizations … Ginger’s Pet Rescue, with adoptable dogs:
If you haven’t been yet, there’s still time to get over to the center at 26th/Barton … this is scheduled to continue until 5 pm.
One more early-morning incident that woke up more than a few people early today – suspected gunfire heard in South Delridge, Westwood, and as far north as Sunrise Heights. This security video is from a camera near 17th and Cloverdale. We couldn’t find a police report number showing that any evidence of gunfire had been found; if anyone reading this knows of a related report number, the video’s owner was wondering how to call it to police’s attention in case the vehicle seen going by in the background was related. Meantime, just a reminder, if you think you hear gunfire, call 911, because the more calls they get, the more chance they have of figuring out where it happened and if there’s any damage/evidence.
Renovation work continues at Southwest Athletic Complex, and Seattle Public Schools says it’s on track to be temporarily open for the June 21st high-school graduations between work phases. So far, district spokesperson Tom Redman tells WSB, the surface demolition of the existing track is complete, as is the new track’s base layer, with top-coat installation expected to have been finished by the end of the week. Here’s what’s next:
*Line painting is scheduled for the week of June 11th and the track will be complete on June 15th (minimal odor)
*Field turf replacement is scheduled to commence on June 25th
*Baseball infield will start June 25th, complete July 20th
*Softball infield will start June 28th, complete July 31st
*Utility Field will start August 1st, complete September 27th
*Project substantial completion October 3rd
Redman’s update also recapped what’s being done – “the resurfacing of the stadium track, new stadium synthetic turf field with cork infill, resurfacing of the baseball and softball infields, conversion of the overflow baseball infield to synthetic turf with cork infill, a new shotput cage, upgrade lights to the scoreboard, new high-jump mats, elevator upgrades, and new fence in security-problem areas.” Work on the $1.5 million project began in May.
As promised, we have an update on the other Neighborhood Street Fund community-initiated project that’s about to start work in West Seattle, the Chief Sealth International High School Walkway Improvements. The pathways south of the school between SW Cloverdale and SW Trenton, north of Westwood Village, will be improved. From the new “construction notice,” which you can see in full here:
As soon as Monday, June 11, we’ll start construction on improvements for people walking along 26th Ave SW and 25th Ave SW between SW Cloverdale and SW Trenton streets. Work will last approximately 6 weeks. During this work, crews will:
■ Install two 10-foot-wide walkways on 26th Ave SW and 25th Ave SW that
■ will connect SW Trenton St and the cul-de-sacs to the north
■ Install lighting along the two paths
■ Replace vegetation along the two paths, where appropriate
■ Add a concrete curb bulb extension and ADA curb ramps at 26th Ave SW
The 26th Ave SW walkway will be constructed with asphalt. The 25th Ave SW walkway will be constructed with compacted gravel. SDOT crews will install asphalt on the 25th Ave SW walkway at a later date.
The 25th SW part of the project is also the one that SDOT was at one point last year going to drop entirely, relying on a potential future development to deal with it. To date, no development proposal has emerged. Meantime, as noted yesterday in our report on the other NSF project that’s about to get going, the contractor is C.A. Carey.
Back in March, we wrote about renovation work planned this spring/summer at Southwest Athletic Complex – and now Derek McCloud from Seattle Public Schools (which owns SWAC) sends word that work has begun:
Construction has started on the track at SWAC … most of the old track has already been torn up. It looks like the installation of the new track will begin next week! Graduation for Chief Sealth (5 PM on the 21st and West Seattle on the 21st @ 8) will still take place at the complex.. After graduation the field, will be torn up, and our hope is it will be ready by mid- to late August/early Sept for high school football practice. We would like to let the public know the field will be closed most of the summer, and to please stay out of the complex (which is locked) during the construction project!
District documents say the $1.5 million project “will include replacement of the existing synthetic turf at football, softball, and baseball fields using cork infill, refurbishing the existing rubberized running track, and associated work.”
If you are in the Westwood area and noticing police at Chief Sealth International High School: They’re questioning three students in connection with what was first reported as an assault – another student hit and knocked down near 26th and Thistle – and then changed to a report of “strong-arm robbery” (no weapon). Police spotted someone described as a possible suspect and two companions walking into the school. We went down to find out more; police say they’re still talking to everyone involved to sort it out, and principal Aida Fraser-Hammer tells us school is proceeding normally. We’ll check back with SPD later.
You still have some time to get over to Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) in Westwood Village and wish the Keppler family a happy 13th anniversary! Wyatt’s is an independent family-owned business but as is traditional for many businesses celebrating anniversaries, they’re offering you the gifts – they’re having a sale! Open today until 5 pm. If you haven’t been there before, it’s in the middle of the shopping center, a couple doors north of Barnes & Noble. Tomorrow, by the way, if you’re going to WestSide Baby‘s CommuniTea, you’ll see Wyatt’s proprietors Kirk and Joni Keppler, who are the chairs of this year’s fundraiser. (WSB is a media sponsor, and we’ll be there too.) Their older son Wyatt is the shop’s namesake – he’s in the pic above too, as is brother Ryan.
9:25 AM: Thanks to Josh for the tip! We just confirmed via a trip to the Westwood Village post office that its drive-up/ride-up mailbox is being reinstalled, almost four months after removal last December. The removal came more than a week after it had been taped off, with a handwritten sign declaring it “broken and unsecure.” Its last removal, in 2015, also lasted about four months. As you can see in our photo, it’s just arrived, so don’t go rushing off to use it just yet.
10:36 AM: Just went back to the post office to check; the mailbox is operational.
SDOT has announced the “final design” for the Chief Sealth Walkway Improvements project in Westwood, which you’ll recall was at one point going to be reduced, and then was restored to full size. From SDOT:
This project will improve connectivity, walkability, and safety for residents and students who currently use two unimproved and overgrown paths on 25th and 26th avenues SW, between SW Trenton and SW Cloverdale streets.
Project elements include:
• Two 10-foot-wide asphalt walkways on 25th and 26th avenues SW connecting SW Trenton St and the cul-de-sacs to the north
• Pedestrian lights along the two paths
• Removal of overgrown vegetation and installation of new trees and plants, where appropriate
This document has backstory from the original community proposal. Construction could start as soon as mid-May, says SDOT, which also says the final design is available for another NSF project, Harbor/Spokane, but as of right now still has not updated that project website to show it. Also, both projects will be handled by the same contractor, and SDOT says the bid/award process isn’t complete yet.
Today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin includes the notice for a hearing appealing the approval of plans to build a 66-unit, no-offstreet-parking apartment complex at 2222 SW Barton, just uphill from the southeast edge of Westwood Village.
(Image from Design Review packet by Cleave Architecture)
According to documents in the online files, the appeal was filed by residents who live a block away from the site, saying they don’t believe the city adequately addressed concerns including crime, traffic, and parking, and alleging that the site is incorrectly characterized as being in an “urban village.” Lawyers for the developers have filed a request to have the appeal dismissed, showing that the site is indeed in the middle of the Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village as well as calling other concerns “without merit on their face.” Regarding the parking concerns in particular, they note that the city has no authority to require it because the project is close to “frequent transit.” They cite a traffic study as showing that the project could result in a “peak demand” for 66 parking spaces on the street, but that, they say, would still not come close to maxing out what’s available now. Unless the motion to dismiss is granted, the hearing is set for the city Hearing Examiner‘s chambers on the 40th floor of the Municipal Tower downtown at 9 am May 3rd.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council continues to evolve.
Co-chair Kim Barnes says it’s now meant to function as more of a “support group for committees” – each one, small now and hoping to grow, taking on a particular area of interest. If any are of interest to you – or if there’s something else you’d like to help make happen in the area – jump in!
Among those areas of interest discussed at this month’s WWRHAH meeting:
ROXHILL PARK: The recent kickoff meeting for getting Roxhill into the Park Commons project went well. This would be a two-to-three-year project, Barnes said, “for us to develop ways and means” – some through assistance, some through guidance – “to create more interactive activities in the areas of the park that are less utilized and need ore positive activities in them.”
5:03 PM: Thanks for the tips about a police response on the east side of Westwood Village. It was wrapping up when we got there but the sergeant on scene was able to tell us that it wasn’t an incident response – they were there to arrest someone on a warrant. We don’t yet know who or what kind of warrant, but we’ll be watching the jail roster.
P.S. Crime concern/question? Tomorrow night is the monthly West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster), 7 pm. The briefing/Q&A with local police precedes the featured guest – this month, find out about regional drug trends from Steve Freng of the Northwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.
ADDED TUESDAY: According to online records, the person arrested is a 19-year-old man wanted in connection with an assault case. He got out of jail less than three weeks ago after two and a half months behind bars.
FRIDAY: Just heard from Southwest Pool – it was originally expected to reopen tomorrow after almost three weeks of maintenance, but they won’t be ready to go because it’s not heating up fast enough for the water to be warm enough for Saturday swimming. They’re hoping to be able to reopen on Sunday, instead. (We’ll check in again tomorrow.)
2:26 PM SUNDAY: As noted in comments, we’ve verified that the pool did reopen today. (Here’s its schedule.)
FIRST REPORT, 4:18 PM: After-school activities like athletics were in shelter-in-place mode for a while at the Chief Sealth International High School/Denny International Middle School campus but it’s just ended. Police were searching in that area of Westwood, they tell us, because of a secondhand report that someone might have been seen in the area with a gun. Nobody found, and again, the shelter-in-place is over.
UPDATE, 7:35 PM: We’ve just received from Denny principal Jeff Clark the letter that he and Sealth principal Aida Fraser-Hammer sent to families about the incident:
At approximately 3:30 pm today, two hours after Denny scholars had been released and one hour after Chief Sealth scholars had been released, we had a report of someone driving erratically on 27 Ave SW. School staff went up the hill to assess the situation. As a part of this disturbance, a car had hit a parked car. The police quickly arrived. As the police investigated, a report was made that someone had possibly seen a gun. As a safety precaution, the schools went into a shelter-in-place, securing the exterior doors and bringing in scholars who were still in the area. The shelter-in-place was lifted after the police had searched the neighborhood and deemed that the situation was now safe. Please let us know if you have any questions.
If you pay bills at, or have other business to transact with, the city’s Southwest Customer Service Center (2801 SW Thistle), just a reminder – it will be closed for floor work next week, Monday 3/12 through Friday 3/16. This is scheduled to be concurrent with the last week of the maintenance closure at adjacent Southwest Pool; co-housed SW Teen Life Center will be closed too, per Seattle Parks.