West Seattle, Washington
1:54 AM: Big Seattle Fire response for what’s described as a structure fire at 16th and Roxbury. We’re on our way to find out more.
2:07 AM: The fire is being fought by King County units as well as SFD, per radio communication – we’re still waiting for word from our crew regarding the fire’s specific location, as the real-time log has not been updated beyond “16th/Roxbury.”
2:29 AM: The public-information officer on scene tells us it’s in the commercial building on the west side of 16th just south of Roxbury. Still trying to determine which business(es).
2:37 AM: Our photographer has confirmed the building that holds LumberYard Bar and Rat City Tattoo is involved. We’re told a city crew was first on scene of this – Engine 11 (based in Highland Park) was on a medical call a short distance north on 16th when someone ran up and told them a building was on fire.
3:10 AM: The fire’s not entirely out yet – firefighters are still dealing with hotspots and trying to ensure the fire hasn’t spread. No reports of injuries, and it’s too soon for the investigation to begin into the cause.
3:48 AM: Not out yet. Firefighters from multiple departments are still working on it from both sides of the building (16th and 17th). Of note: This is a 2-alarm fire, according to the public-information-officer team.
4:32 AM: The LumberYard’s Instagram feed notes it was closed Sunday night because of a power outage. We don’t know details of that outage, but the City Light map shows 32 customers now out in that area because of the fire, so this may affect businesses beyond the ones damaged by the fire itself. We’ll of course be following up.
ADDED 10:37 AM: We went back this morning – in the view above, you are looking into the building from the alley side. Fire crews are still there:
We talked to Chief Mike Marrs of Fire District 2, which includes North Highline and Burien. The investigator finally got into the building a few hours ago to try to determine the cause.
Other businesses to the north were damaged – including broken glass. Firefighters were expected to be on scene, with 16th remaining closed in that block, until noonish. We will check back again.
11:58 AM: As linked in comments, a crowdfunding campaign has been set up for the LumberYard.
1:45 PM: Fire District 2 public-information Shauna Sheppard says they do NOT believe this was caused by fireworks. So far they’ve traced the origin to the LumberYard’s basement, and they believe it was accidental, though the specific cause remains under investigation.
7:54 PM: Along with the crowdfunding link for the LumberYard, here are three others for those affected: For the Boxing Gym; for staff of the affected businesses; and for Nuggi, a boba-tea shop that was opening soon.
If you’ve gone to a Highline Bears baseball game at Steve Cox Memorial Park in White Center, you know it’s a fun time, more up-close-and-personal (and affordable) than a major-league matchup. The Bears have to play mostly on the road this year because of the pandemic but they’re taking the opportunity in the meantime to get ready for a re-branding: They’re looking for a new name, and accepting suggestions through the Fourth of July. The full story’s on our partner site White Center Now.
4:11 PM: We’re covering this on partner site White Center Now but wanted to let you know here because deputies are blocking 16th SW in the heart of downtown White Center and may extend the closure to Roxbury: At least one person has been shot on 16th SW just south of SW 98th. No arrest reported so far. Updates to come.
4:39 PM: We’re continuing to update the WCN report; the investigation is likely to keep the center of downtown WC blocked for hours to come.
Multiple shell casings have been found and other apparent victims have shown up at Harborview Medical Center.
5:27 PM: Our crew is still at the scene and we expect a briefing soon by KCSO’s spokesperson; we’ll add the update on both sites when that happens. Also, if you’re noticing a helicopter in the area, that’s TV.
5:50 PM: KCSO’s Sgt. Tim Meyer confirms that, as we reported on WCN, four people were shot – and he says two have died. He would not confirm anything else, though, not even whether anyone was in custody. (Added – our video of his briefing:)
This is Pride Month, and the White Center Pride Flag is flying high at Delridge/Roxbury. We were there for tonight’s ceremony – also a flag-swapping; new flags replaced the worn American and Pride flags that had been atop the flagpole just south of Mac’s Triangle Pub.
After the flags were hoisted, decorations closer to ground level went up too.
Shown at the White Center welcome sign in South Delridge are three of the 65 volunteers who answered the call (published here two weeks ago) for volunteers to help with Spring Clean/Refresh the past two weekends. The photo is courtesy of Mark Ufkes, who sent a full report and words of gratitude from the White Center Community Development Association – see it on our partner site White Center Now.
After a pandemic year-plus largely devoid of ceremonial events, they’re starting to rev up again. Today at Steve Cox Memorial Park in White Center, elected officials and transportation directors gathered for a “groundbreaking” photo op as preparation work for the RapidRide H Line expands to construction of its 51 stations. The actual bus-line launch is currently set for fall 2022, reaffirmed Metro general manager Terry White:
Once Route 120 is converted into the H Line, White noted, it’ll mean every-7-minute service during peak hours, both ways between South Lake Union and Burien. The mayor of the latter city was among those participating today:
That’s Burien Mayor Jimmy Matta elbow-bumping King County Councilmember Joe McDermott. Matta said improvements (and Transit Oriented Development planning) are getting under way for Ambaum Boulevard as part of the preparations. Here in West Seattle, the Delridge Way road work that started almost a year ago is on schedule to wrap up this fall, said SDOT director Sam Zimbabwe. The most enthusiastic participant was Aaron Garcia, who’s with the White Center Community Development Association (and is also a Highline Public Schools board member):
— White Center Now (@whitecenternow) May 18, 2021
King County Executive Dow Constantine said the 120 is the sixth-busiest in the entire Metro system (which is now making 85 percent of the daily bus trips made pre-pandemic, he added). The RapidRide concept goes back to his predecessor, Ron Sims, he recalled, and while the system is planned through “the first third of the alphabet … there are plenty of letters to go.” If the H Line indeed launches in September 2022, that’ll be exactly a decade after the launch of West Seattle’s first RapidRide route, the C Line.
In case you haven’t already seen this on partner site White Center Now: Help is needed at a long list of sites on both sides of the city-limit line for this year’s White Center Refresh! The invitation is from Mark Ufkes:
We need “I Love White Center” Volunteers!
White Center “Refresh” Spring Clean 2021
White Center Needs Volunteers for two 2-day sessions :
Friday and Saturday, May 21 and 22
Friday and Saturday, May 28 and 29
Volunteers who want to earn a “I Love White Center” T-shirt must sign up and help complete one of the 15 projects listed below. The free T-shirt supply is limited so sign up soon.
You can sign up by sending a message by e-mail or text to volunteer Project Coordinator Mark Ufkes (email; firstname.lastname@example.org or Text; 206-595-7124). In your sign-up email or text, include your name, your shirt size, and the number of the project you want to volunteer for and show up at the location at the listed day and time. The Project Coordinator will promptly confirm your project assignment.
Once you arrive at the location on the day and time listed below, our crews will have all the gear you will need to complete the project and help you make White Center more beautiful.
We cannot be responsible for your children at these clean-up events. Please bring work gloves and rakes if your project includes yard work. All paint, brushes, rollers, etc. will be provided.
If you are a White Center business owner, we encourage you to clean up the area in front of your business while our volunteers do the larger White Center projects. Consider adding hanging flower baskets in front of your business, clean your front windows and nicely cover over or remove nearby graffiti. Our goal is to help you transform White Center during this two-week period.
White Center Projects include;
Friday, May 21
White Center Welcome Sign (4th SW and SW 108th) Mow and rake area, plant flowers under the sign. 4 volunteers, 2 hours (Friday, May 21; 2 pm)
White Center Welcome Sign (Delridge and 18th SW) Mow and rake area, plant flowers under the sign. 3 volunteers, 2 hour (Friday, May 21, 4 pm)
Back Alley (SW 96th and Delridge SW) Paint over graffiti, match previously used brown and white paint to make the walls look nice. 4 volunteers, 2 hours (Friday, May 21, 3 pm)
Saturday, May 22
Touch Up Murals on both sides of street (107th at 16th SW) Touch-up existing murals on both sides of 107th, paint new murals, mow median strips. 10 volunteers, 3-4 hours (Saturday, May 22; 9 am)
White Center Plaza Building (98th and 15th SW) Paint over graffiti, paint walls to make them look nice. 6 volunteers, 3 hours (Saturday, May 22; 10 am)
White Center Bus Stop (100th and 15th SW) Paint over graffiti. 4 volunteers, 2 hours (Saturday, May 22, 10 am)
Alley between 15th and 16th SW (Behind Proleteriat Pizza); Paint over graffiti. 4 volunteers, 2 hours (Saturday, May 22, 11 am)
Friday, May 28
White Center Community Events Board (100th and 16th SW) Clean the Events Board display, paint the display. 3 volunteers, 2 hours (Friday, May 28, 2 pm)
Lions Mural Building (Roxbury and 17th SW) Touch up painting on murals, paint over graffiti. 5 volunteers, 2 hours (Friday, May 28, 3 pm)
Saturday, May 29
White Center Welcome Sign (Roxbury and 20th SW) Clean sign, plant flowers below sign, and rake and clean the hillside around the sign. 6 people, 2 hours (Saturday, May 29, 9 am)
9800 Block of 16th SW (Northmart and Starbucks area) Paint over graffiti, clean and sweep the area, pick up trash. 10 volunteers, 2 hours (Saturday, May 29, 9 am)
White Center Welcome Sign (10th SW and Roxbury) Mow and weed eat along the sidewalks between 9th to 11th, touch up mural, paint upper guard rail white. Park at the 10th dead end. 10 volunteers, 3 hours, (Saturday, May 29th, 10 am)
Saars Market Evergreen High School Art Class Mural; Touch up the painted areas next to mural, make wall and area look nice. 4 volunteers, 2 hours (Saturday, May 29, 10 am)
100th Block of 16th (south of Autozone); Paint over graffiti on walls, rust red; make the walls look nice. 4 volunteers, 2 hours (Saturday, May 29, 11 am)
White Center Eagles on 15th, paint over graffiti, clean up area. 4 volunteers, 2 hours (Saturday, May 29, 11 am)
White Center Refresh Spring Clean 2021 is organized by the White Center Community Development Association (White Center CDA) and the all-volunteer Eagle Scout White Center Improvement Club.
We need you to eat ice cream, cookie dough, and cotton candy for a great cause!
The past year has brought all sorts of challenges for schools. Our local preschool, the White Center Co-Op Preschool (part of the larger South Seattle College Cooperative Preschools) has seen a huge increase in financial assistance requests, and outdoor classes and remote learning has meant new demands for class materials. But through it all, the school has kept kids learning and playing, and given families invaluable support through community and the parent education program. Now we are offering our newest and most sugary Covid Pack ever to help raise money for this incredible school.
The Sugar Rush Covid Pack includes a pint of ice cream, a pint of vegan chocolate chip edible cookie dough, and a quart of cotton candy. You’ll also get a one of kind piece of art from one of the kids you are supporting. The cost is $30, with half going straight to the school.
Order online now through Thursday, April 29 and pick up starting Friday, April 30th at Full Tilt in White Center
Full Tilt is at 9629 16th SW.
For a year and a half, the King County Conservation Corps has brightened the streets of urban unincorporated areas including White Center, while providing work for people who need it. Today King County Executive Dow Constantine joined KCCC members in a street cleanup to showcase part of his newly announced $600 million pandemic-relief budget addition – a $40 million program to create hundreds more jobs. Full coverage is on our partner site White Center Now.
Two Crime Watch reports today:
BUSINESS BURGLARY, VIA CAR: Also published on our partner site White Center Now:
That security video shows a burglar inside Grocery Plus at 16th/98th on Saturday night around 10:30 pm – a burglar who got in by crashing a car into the doors:
A member of the store owners’ family provided the video and photos, saying the burglar(s) “drove a mid-sized car/suv in a dark forest green color that police found was stolen into the front doors of the shop. Witnesses across the street have live footage they shared with the police, and the store also has a few surveillance videos that show the suspect rummaging through cigarettes and scratch tickets.” One of those clips is above; here’s a screengrab:
A plate from the car was left behind, and deputies told the victims it was stolen. If you have any information, report it to KCSO, and refer to case # C21005703.
HARASSMENT ARREST: A Highland Park case was spotlighted today on SPD Blotter:
An alert officer spotted a suspect from a harassment call involving a gun days later outside the location of the original altercation.
Police were originally called to the 8800 block of 9 Avenue SW on February 13th for a report of a man who had entered the business and threatened a clerk with a firearm. Witnesses said the man left the scene in a green Honda Pilot SUV. Officers searched the area but were unable to find the suspect or the vehicle.
On February 19th an officer on patrol in the same area spotted the suspect’s vehicle parked nearby and even recognized the man based on a tattoo over the suspect’s eye that was visible on surveillance video. The officer quickly moved in and arrested the 30-year-old suspect and recovered a firearm. The suspect is a convicted felon and legally prohibited from possessing a firearm. Police booked the man into King County Jail for investigation of harassment as well as unlawful possession of a firearm.
Though fireworks are illegal in Seattle, Burien, and Tukwila, some are legal for the area between them – unincorporated North Highline, including White Center, just south of West Seattle. Early last year, a ban proposal was launched in the King County Council – and then the pandemic hit, shelving all but emergency actions for months. Now a proposed ban is back in consideration, starting with a discussion in the council’s Committee of the Whole last week. The proposal is sponsored by our area’s County Councilmember Joe McDermott, who also represents unincorporated areas including North Highline and Vashon Island. He cites the July 2019 North Highline fire that killed a 70-year-old man as major motivation. You can read the proposal here; watch the discussion in the meeting video here. The proposal is expected to return to the committee for action, and then one month’s notice is required before it would go to a vote in the full County Council.
The photo and report are from Mark Ufkes:
The Scout Motto is “Do a good turn daily.”
One of the $5,000 White Center Welcome signs was so damaged by graffiti that it was unreadable and parts of another sign were stolen. Eagle Scouts Josh Paley (age 23) and Mark Ufkes (age 65), (Once an Eagle Scout, always an Eagle Scout!) spent the day replacing the damaged sign at 18th SW and Delridge Way, and cleaned and re-installed the White Center Rainbow and Welcome in 10 languages portions of the sign at 4th Ave SW and SW 108th that had been stolen.
They did this as their “good turn” and to remind everyone that White Center is spectacular, and to celebrate that just this month, we had 12 local girls who became the first group of female Eagle Scouts in American history. Many adult Scout leaders, including Ufkes, pushed Scouting for years to allow equal access to its exceptional programs regardless of sexual orientation or gender.
After years of advocating by hundreds of adult Eagle Scouts and parents, in 2018, girls and kids of any sexual orientation were included in Scouting programs and began the minimum two-year process required to complete the rather challenging requirements to become an Eagle Scout.
You can read about those requirements here.
First the Seattle City Council did it, then the Burien City Council did it, and now the King County Council is considering also requiring “hazard pay” for grocery workers. The new proposal (read it here) would cover unincorporated King County; that would include White Center and the rest of unincorporated North Highline immediately south of West Seattle. The proposal would mandate $4/hour hazard pay – same as Seattle but $1 less than Burien – at “larger” grocery stores. Here’s the full announcement, which quotes a worker from Roxbury Safeway, Jeanette Randall, as saying, “Every day when I go to work I put myself and my family at risk, King County passing a hazard pay ordinance would make sure workers like me receive the same compensation for the essential work that I do as workers in neighboring Burien and Seattle.” The proposal has just been introduced; we’ll be checking on when it’s likely to come up for a vote.
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.”
Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes:
SUSPECT ARRESTED: A big SPD and KCSO presence drew attention at the Dollar Tree store in White Center late this afternoon. We don’t have full details on this but officers at the scene told us they arrested the suspect they were seeking, wanted for using a knife to threaten people at one or more West Seattle locations before he was found at the store. Concerns about a standoff drew the big response but the suspect surrendered before long. MONDAY FOLLOWUP NOTE: The SPD “significant incident” summary published today indicates the person was in crisis and was taken to a hospital.
PACKAGE THEFT: Kendra says her building in North Admiral (44th/College) started having a problem with missing packages about two weeks ago. On Monday, she received a notice that a package had been delivered around noon, but returned home at 8 to discover the torn-open, empty box in the parking lot. A neighbor told her the package was seen in the lobby with another one around 6 pm. That same night, a suitcase belonging to a resident was taken from a locked storage area and dumped in the parking lot. Last night, Kendra saw a suspicion-stirring driver in the alley, in a dark sedan missing its front plate; when confronted, she said, the driver claimed to be an Amazon driver, but when she called to confirm, the company told her they were unable to look up anything more than package info.
8:15 AM: We’re getting word of a power outage – Highland Park, Riverview, Greenbridge checking in so far. Apparently a crash on the Highland Park Way hill is related, per emergency radio. Updates to come.
8:19 AM: City Light map shows 2,100+ out. The outage also stretches into South Park.
8:50 AM: Police are still at the scene of the crash. No serious injuries reported. We are headed that way.
8:57 AM: Crashed car is off the road on uphill side, close to bottom of hill. Both directions of traffic still open. Signals are out at top and bottom of hill. Remember, that means all-way stop!
9:04 AM: Texters report power restored.
9:29 AM: Updated map shows 281 still out, mostly Puget Ridge.
10:19 AM: And now the map shows everybody’s back on.
Eat local! Three West Seattle/White Center food notes:
BIZZARRO ITALIAN CAFE: We first reported last month that Bizzarro Italian Café, a north Seattle fixture, was adding a White Center location, in the ex-Noble Barton space at 9635 16th SW. Tonight is opening night; they’re offering takeout and third-party delivery 5-8 pm nightly for starters.
LA RUSTICA: While we’re talking about Italian food, we have an update from La Rustica (4100 Beach Dr. SW):
We at La Rustica just wanted to remind everyone in West Seattle that our covered, heated patio is open for dining. Our patio is super-cozy and we are making sure all tables are socially distanced. We can take reservations for 5 or 5:30 pm. We also offer online ordering for takeout at email@example.com. There are delivery and pick-up options available.
We are open Tuesday-Sunday 5-9 pm, Friday and Saturday until 10 pm. We really appreciate all of the support we have received from the community. If you have aany questions or to take a reservation, please call us at 206-932-3020 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SHUG’S: And now, for dessert:
I am having a Holiday Pop-Up at our Shug’s Mini spot – 3800A California Ave SW, at the corner of Charlestown. The Pop-Up starts on Thursday, 12/17-12/23. Hours are 2-7 pm, and then 12/24, 2-5 pm.
We will be offering ice-cream gift boxes, pints of ice cream, bottles of dessert wine, and a bonus Pike Place Market Favorite foods table of goodies!
Got a business note, food or otherwise? email@example.com – thank you!
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.
Thanks to WestSide Baby for the photo of that brand-new mural on the north-facing wall of the nonprofit’s White Center HQ. It’s by artist Angelina Villalobos, who painted it last weekend. The organization explains:
The mural is the end result of many conversations for many years, but was pushed forward by the organization’s desire to communicate their values of Humanity, Resilience, and Intention OUTSIDE of their huge warehouse walls in response to the murder of George Floyd in late May and the continued fight for justice in our community and beyond. The building has been tagged with graffiti a number of times over the last couple months, with messages of support for Black Lives and racial justice, and it was important for WestSide Baby to honor that sentiment.
The artist elaborated on her work:
I centered a circle and honed in on shapes growing out, emulating pages of an open book. From the open book I filled it with words of justice, love, and equity, and more words brainstormed by WestSide Baby staff, including their values of Humanity, Resilience, and Intentionality. This design color and type was pulled from 1960s-styled protest posters, reminding us of the fight for civil rights and love during that time, and now in 2020.
WestSide Baby has distributed more than 1.6 million diapers to local families so far this year, and says that’s more than during any other full year in the organization’s 20 years of work. You can support them in two ways: Donate dollars or diapers. For online donation info, go here; for in-person donating, they’re accepting boxes or packages of all sizes of diapers and pullups, plus wipes and other hygiene items, 10 am-2 pm Wednesdays at the White Center HQ (10002 14th SW).
7:40 PM: Thanks for the texts. Guardian One was circling South Delridge/White Center for a while earlier this evening; just as we were headed out to look on the ground for any signs of a related response, the online flight tracker showed that the helicopter moved on. Then Mike saved the day by tweeting that he’d seen a sizable response in the O’Reilly Auto Parts lot at 17th/Roxbury. We were able to talk briefly to a King County Sheriff’s Office sergeant there; he told us they’re looking for a “fugitive” but would not elaborate further, aside from confirming that the helicopter presence was indeed related. We’re trying to find out more and will update if we do.
9:09 PM: KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott says the person they were seeking is “a homicide suspect wanted out of Seattle.”
Thanks for all the tips about this SWAT raid just west of the busy 16th/SW 107th intersection (Taco Bell, etc.), at the east end of a popular route between south West Seattle and White Center. We got there just as the operation was wrapping up. Some research revealed that it was NOT a King County Sheriff’s Office operation, though that’s their jurisdiction – it was led by Renton PD. They weren’t able to provide us information immediately – but we just got some from KCSO’s Major Jeffrey Flohr, speaking at the North Highline Town Hall that we’re covering right now for our partner site White Center Now. He said the operation was indeed in partnership with Renton PD – it started with officers pulling over a car last night (where, he didn’t say) and finding 10 pounds of meth, leading to warrants being served today, including this one.
Maj. Flohr said several people were taken into custody today at locations including this one, and that drugs and money were seized.
We’re hoping for additional info from Renton PD tomorrow.
The Wash Dog has a spacious new home, and the “bath house and spa for pets” is sponsoring WSB to make sure everybody knows about the move. Here’s what they would like you to know:
The Wash Dog has moved! We are very happy to be able to welcome furry customers to our new and larger location: 10623 16th Ave SW in White Center [map].
At The Wash Dog, there’s a grooming service for every need:
*Self-Service Dog Wash Rooms – Walk-In Service
*Professional Bathing Service – by appointment
*Professional Grooming – by appointment
*Nail Trims – Walk-In Service
Customers can also drop by with their dog just to say “hi” and pick up a treat.
The Wash Dog is located at 10623 16th Ave SW, on the west side of the street. Hours for walk-in services are Monday–Friday, 10 am to 7:00 pm, and Saturday/Sunday, 9 am to 5:00 pm. Holiday hours are always posted online at thewashdog.com or on The Wash Dog’s Facebook page.
We thank The Wash Dog for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.