West Seattle, Washington
Three notes tonight:
ARSON SUSPECT CHARGED: A 35-year-old man is jailed in lieu of $200,000 bail, charged with arson and burglary, in the White Center fire that gutted a former funeral home almost two weeks ago. The full story is on our partner site White Center Now.
GUNFIRE INCIDENT: Several reports of “gunshots or fireworks?” over the weekend, but we found just one confirmed case of gunfire, early Sunday in South Delridge. Here’s the narrative we obtained from the police report:
The victim got into an argument at a local club with an acquaintance, the suspect. That suspect made a comment that the victim took as a threat. Later, on 7/19/2020 at about 0235 hours, the victim returned home (8600 block of Delridge Way SW) and was walking to her apartment. The victim observed a vehicle pull into the block being driven by the suspect. The suspect pointed a firearm at the victim and fired two shots before leaving the scene, then the victim called 911 to report the incident.
A spent shell casing was located in the street and collected as evidence. There were no reported injuries or property damage. The suspect was not located.
BICYCLE FOUND: Missing a green and black Specialized bicycle? Someone found one and posted in the WSB Community Forums.
6:30 PM: Thanks for the tips. Lots of SPD just south of Holy Family and Guardian One overhead. It’s a very active scene. SPD says one person was hurt in a shooting. They are questioning people at a house near 18th/98th and trying to get someone to come out. More…
6:52 PM: The possible suspect has come out. G-1 is gone. The sergeant at the scene tells us it turned out no one was hurt.
7:31 PM: SPD update via Twitter: “Officers investigating probable shooting at residence. No victims located at this time. One person contacted, but refused assistance. Officers collected evidence, this remains an active investigation.”
For a second year, White Center Pride has held a flag-raising ceremony in Triangle Park, where the south end of Delridge meets 16th and Roxbury. Tonight’s ceremony – streamed online – raised the Progress Flag, with organizers explaining that this enhanced Pride flag also “celebrates POC and Trans communities, in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.” (The flag was created by Portland designer Daniel Quasar.)
P.S. The West Seattle Junction will display Pride flags June 27-28 – a few are still available for adoption.
12:07 PM: Two days after Saturday’s huge demonstration in the West Seattle Junction, protests against racism, for justice and equity, continue around the city, region, and nation. For everyone asking what else s ahead, we have word of two more this week.
TONIGHT: ‘Take a Knee for Justice’ is something you are invited to do at 8 pm outside yuur own home – or, outside Alki UCC, which just sent this announcement:
Alki United Church of Christ invites you to a vigil tonight, June 8, to “Take a Knee for Justice,” part of the worldwide peaceful demonstration of support for people of color who have sustained systemic injustice for far too long.
At 7:50 pm, we gather at outside at 6115 SW Hinds in West Seattle; the church bells will be rung promptly at 8:00 and 8:08 pm.
For those who choose not to kneel, bring a lawn chair to sit on, or stand by/sit in your vehicle. Please maintain social distancing and wear face masks. Questions/information: firstname.lastname@example.org
ADDED 3:45 PM: Two more churches have let us know they are participating: Tibbetts UMC (3940 41st SW; WSB sponsor) is gathering outside at 7:45, kneeling at 8. Also Fauntleroy UCC Church (9140 California SW): “Park in the church lot and be sure to wear a mask. We’ll social distance along the sidewalk. Bring a folding chair if you cannot kneel or simply stand in support of a bias-free society.” (One more addition: Per comments, Admiral Church, 4320 SW Hill.)
UPDATED 4:04 PM – 2 ON WEDNESDAY: At noon, a family rally outside Louisa Boren STEM K-8 (5950 Delridge Way SW), “to proclaim that Black Lives Matter.” You’re asked to wear masks and spread out along the sidewalk.
Also Wednesday, the Community March for Black Lives is planned, starting at Greenbridge Plaza:
People of White Center, we stand together in solidarity to fight for justice for our black brothers and sisters.
-We will gather at Greenbridge Plaza at 4 pm
-Hear from community members and leaders
-Begin Peaceful March towards 16th AVE at 5 pm .
Please bring your face mask.
The plaza is on 8th SW just south of SW Roxbury.
Anything else coming up in West Seattle, White Center, South Park this week? Please let us know so we can add it to the list – email@example.com or text 206-293-6302 – thank you!
Tonight, more details on a Saturday food distribution we mentioned previously, briefly:
Catholic Community Services of Western Washington (CCSWW) is partnering with United States Department of Agriculture contract awardee Pacific Coast Fruit Company to distribute over 200,000 lbs. of Farmers to Families Food Boxes weekly through the end of June. CCSWW will partner with parishes across Western Washington to disseminate the food via 25-pound boxes of dairy, produce, and protein across 17 sites.
On Saturday, May 30, Holy Family Parish at 9622 20th Ave SW in White Center will host a pop-up pantry and provide 2,250 boxes from 10 am – 2 pm to the general public. Holy Family Parish is partnering with Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in West Seattle, local faith communities, schools as well as multiple St. Vincent de Paul Conferences to organize volunteers and ensure that families experiencing food insecurity are aware of the pantry.
Holy Family Parish serves 1,100 families across Greater Seattle. Pastor Fr. Alvarez expressed the profound need for the food boxes, “At Holy Family Parish, we are in the middle of the community that has been most affected by unemployment and we are happy to host the pop-up pantry. Due to the pandemic, many people lost their jobs or have had their hours of work reduced and are having difficulty paying their bills. Food is the last thing they should worry about and the distribution of food will help tremendously to improve their quality of life.”
With over 170 programs, CCSWW is the largest private social service provider in the state, serving nearly 100,000 people in need each year. Organizer and Network Builder at CCSWW, Erin Maguire expressed her deepest gratitude for all the partners that have made the event happen, “With great compassion our partners have enthusiastically united in service to their communities. We know that the need is great and I am proud that so many organizations have responded with even greater love.”
Physical distancing practices and masking will be followed during delivery and distribution.
This will be happening in the parish parking lot. All are welcome, no questions asked.
Like the West Seattle Food Bank, the White Center Food Bank – which serves part of WS too – is among the food banks getting help from the Washington National Guard. And today, the helpers got some help themselves – eight bicycles!
That’s Stephen Rowley from Cascade Bicycle Club. Today, he delivered loaner bikes to the WCFB for the National Guard members to use. Their leader, Sgt. Aaron Smith, explained:
Rowley told us that these bicycles are usually used in activities at schools, but since those aren’t happening right now, they were available.
The borrowers are expected to keep them for several weeks.
It’s been almost two months since King County sparked an uproar by announcing a site in Top Hat, surrounded by apartment complexes, would be set up as a quarantine/isolation site for COVID-19 patients. More than 30 modular units have since been set up there. But now the county says the site is “on hold” and might never open. The latest update is on our partner site White Center Now.
While out checking on a few things a little while ago, we stopped in downtown White Center, where West Seattle muralist Sarah Robbins is working on the boards covering the windows at Beer Star and its (also closed) co-housed businesses. She told us she’s working on the next panel (to the south) after this.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Nobody’s in the Top Hat quarantine/isolation facility (206 SW 112th) yet. But the county is launching weekly community phone meetings for updates and Q&A. We participated in the first one this afternoon.
John Taylor from Local Services, Callie Knight from the Executive’s Office, Brad Binder from Public Health, County Councilmember Joe McDermott were among those on the call.
Regarding the timeline, Knight said the timeline for opening is still “at least a week and a half” away. April 3rd is the target date, to be open for 8 four-unit trailers, including one unit to be used as an on-site office, added Christina Gonzales of Facilities, who joined the call later. Read More
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
New information on the King County quarantine/isolation facility planned at 206 SW 112th [map] in Top Hat, just east of White Center, first announced Tuesday. The new details emerged in a conference call meeting that county reps organized for community members; we were on that call, which just concluded, for WSB and partner site White Center Now.
The site will start up with two 4-room trailers, with up to six more when a vacant building on the site is demolished. (Above is our photo of the first trailer that was delivered Tuesday – the county had 14 in storage on Harbor Island.) The county has now decided NOT to open the site until utilities including water/sewer are hooked up to the trailers’ built-in bathrooms – they originally had said they would start with portable toilets and hand-washing stations but have scrapped that plan. They expect the connections will be complete by the middle of next week.
The site will NOT have medical staff – but the county plans to “check in” with people at least twice a day. They also plan to deliver food and other supplies. And they will have 24-hour security who will “notify” county reps if someone leaves the site.
Who will be there? Criteria are still being developed, the county reps said. Three scenarios were mentioned for starters – people who are traveling and have nowhere else to go, people who are unhoused, people who can’t “self-quarantine” because of a situation at their home such as an at-risk person also living there.
How long will someone stay? If they’re being tested – until the test results are in, if those results are negative. If they’re ill, “until they’ve recovered.”
The call wasn’t strictly informational – strong opposition was voiced, primarily by people pointing out that the area is home to low-income people and other marginalized populations and should not have to bear this burden and risk. “10,000 people are opposed” was mentioned – apparently a reference to this online petition. But county reps were clear – this decision has been made and will not change.
Those on the call, besides several staffers from various county departments such as Local Services, included County Councilmember Joe McDermott and Burien Mayor Jimmy Matta. McDermott said County Executive Dow Constantine‘s request for emergency funding will be approved at next Tuesday’s King County Council meeting.
We have a few other details to add shortly.
ADDED 12:58 PM: First, for those wondering about the other two quarantine sites, the county has provided these addresses – 531 Elliott Avenue West [map] in Interbay and 1132 N. 128th Street [map] in North Seattle. The Top Hat site was formerly home to the Wilderness Technology Alliance.
Julie Hiatt of the North Highline Fire District, which serves the area, was on the call and said NHFD had not even had a meeting with the county to talk about this; one was promised. County reps also said they were not intending for NHFD to have to transport patients to/from the site; they are working with potential providers such as Tri-Med.
One community member on the call was aghast at the single-security-guard plan: “You’re bringing this into poor communties and telling us there’s going to be one security guard for people who might leave?” Security plans would be re-evaluated along the way, county reps said. Another community member: “If this is going to spread, this is not the community you want it to spread in – most (nearby) people don’t even have health insurance.” The site is in a densely populated area of North Highline, with neighboring apartment complexes including the huge new Southside by Vintage across SW 112th.
Another community member: “It seems like an experiment. … The community does not want this facility here. It’s going to cause death … There is death attached to this facility.” County reps countered that this was meant to save lives; Local Services director John Taylor countered, “The consequence to the community of not doing this could be disastrous.”
The call ended after an hour but more communication including an email list was promised.
After years of clamor for a fireworks ban in unincorporated King County – including White Center, just south of West Seattle – a deadly fire has finally ignited action.
As promised, King County Councilmember Joe McDermott – whose district includes West Seattle, White Center, and Vashon Island – is about to introduce legislation that would ban fireworks in the unincorporated areas of the county. See a summary below (or here in PDF):
See the full text of the legislation below (or here in PDF):
We talked this afternoon with Councilmember McDermott, who will officially get it into the system tomorrow.
McDermott notes that 25 jurisdictions within King County – including Seattle and Burien, which bookend White Center – already ban fireworks. And in addition to the deadly fire in North Highline, he’s heard from constituents with other concerns, including wildfire worries on Vashon Island.
Yes, he’s heard the concerns raised before – what does this really do if there’s no extra enforcement? “It sets a new norm,” McDermott contends, and use will be reduced. What about the organizations that have raised money through fireworks sales? They’re going to have to find a new, not potentially deadly way to raise money. McDermott says the fundraising-related concerns were a factor in a related bill that has died for the year in the State Legislature, 34th District Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon‘s proposal to change state law so that fireworks bans could take effect faster. The stalling of that bill means that if McDermott’s proposal passes, it wouldn’t take effect until next year, so fireworks would still be legal in unincorporated King County this summer.
What are the chances it will pass? McDermott says he can count on support from at least a couple council colleagues, but he’s not taking anything/anyone for granted. If you have a strong opinion on the proposal, contact all the county councilmembers (here’s how). There also will be a committee hearing on the proposal, in the Local Services Committee chaired by Councilmember Reagan Dunn (no date for that yet).
P.S. Professional fireworks displays would still be allowed in unincorporated King County – as they are in the cities with fireworks bans – by permit.
Two Crime Watch notes tonight:
WHITE CENTER SHOOTING: Thanks for the tips on this. One person was found in White Center tonight with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound, after deputies responded to a report of shots heard near 16th/Roxbury. The story’s on our partner site White Center Now.
BURGLARY ATTEMPT: We asked SPD about this early-morning incident near 34th/Morgan. Their summary:
Officers responded to the 6300 block of 34th SW for a reported burglary in progress at about 2:15 am this morning. According to the victim, an unknown person attempted to enter the house via the dog door. The homeowner was able to scare off the suspect before they got inside. According to the victim, the suspect, possibly two, fled the area before the officers arrived. Officers conducted a thorough search of the area, but did not locate the suspect(s).
One more stolen vehicle to add to the list: Araceli‘s black 2015 Nissan Altima, plates BAE1041, taken in White Center on Monday. (As there’s a lot of cross-city/county-border vehicle dumping, we’ll report WC thefts when we hear about them too.) Looks like this stock photo. Call 911 if you see it.
Volunteers of all ages – and multiple faiths, including Judaism and Islam – spent part of this Christmas Day providing food and warmth to neighbors in need
They served Christmas lunch in White Center, in the parking lot between 14th and 15th SW, just south of Roxbury. Volunteers from local congregations and other groups usually serve a meal there on Saturdays, but this was special for the holiday.
We heard about this from Kate at Kol HaNeshamah, who said they were also distributing “gift bags comprised of donated socks, hats, blankets, snacks, hand warmers,”etc., collected and assembled by the congregations that are part of the Westside Interfaith Network.
Good news if you don’t make it to Good Day Donuts (9823 15th SW) by 1 pm for Chief Sealth IHS senior Emily Un‘s “Bringing Warmth” caat/blanket collection – the folks at the shop say they’ll keep a bin throughout the holidays so you can drop off a donation some other day. GDD is open 7 am-2 pm Tuesdays-Fridays, 8 am-2 pm Saturdays, 9 am-1 pm Sundays.
Today we’re welcoming a new WSB sponsor, Urban Animal, a pet-care clinic now open at 17th/Roxbury in White Center. Here’s what they would like you to know
We strongly believe in “people and pets over profits” and that all pet owners should have access to affordable, high quality, option-based pet care. To that end, we employ some of the most highly trained general-practice veterinary professionals in the area who are committed to providing “gold standard” veterinary care to every patient that visits Urban Animal. Most of our doctors have advanced training beyond veterinary school, and many of our staff have worked in referral and specialty medicine practices. Our unique walk-in model allows us to help people and pets when they need it most. Whether it’s a routine exam, vaccine, or an urgent-care situation, they don’t have to wait to get an appointment to have their pet’s needs taken care of.
Our clients often say they feel the difference with Urban Animal immediately when they walk thru the door. Our staff is not only focused on the patients (pets) but also on our clients’ individual needs and situations. We often hear that people appreciate our candor and “zero up-sell” approach, which is part of our option-based, affordable-care philosophy. We firmly believe that the cost of owning a happy, healthy pet shouldn’t be overwhelming.
We are committed to giving back to the communities we serve and support a number of non-profit organizations throughout Seattle including Mary’s Place and Pet Project. This allows us to provide pet care for those who often need it most but can’t afford it. The pets in these people lives often make a world of difference to them.
Urban Animal‘s White Center location is at 9610 17th SW, open 8 am-8 pm Mondays-Tuesdays, 9 am-6 pm Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays (closed Thursdays), 206-257-1524.
We thank Urban Animal 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.
Took a while to get the details on this but for everyone who asked why the Guardian One helicopter was looping over White Center and South Delridge for a while – it was part of a search for someone who robbed an employee of Proletariat Pizza (9622 16th SW) in the alley behind the business, says King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott. He says a robber armed with a handgun took the employee’s wallet and cell phone “and fled northbound into Seattle on a bike.”
With a few months to go until the state Legislature starts its next session, maybe you have a question or comment for 34th District State Sen. Joe Nguyen. Tomorrow afternoon, 3-4 pm, you can talk with him during a “coffee hour” unlike the typical elected-official coffee hour – he’ll be at the White Center Starbucks (9862 16th SW) “serving lattes and meeting with constituents to chat and take questions from behind the bar!” as his staff describes the plan. All welcome.
Three and a half months after we first reported that Biscuit Bitch would expand to White Center, its opening date is set. We talked with proprietor Kimmie Spice at the new location (9602 16th SW) today and she told us it’ll open Thursday, September 5th. It’s just about ready to go:
Biscuit Bitch already has three locations downtown; see the menu here.
ORIGINAL TUESDAY REPORT: We’ve received multiple inquiries about this case and contacted the King County Sheriff’s Office to find out more. Spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott told us a news release would be out shortly, and here it is:
Francisco Carranza-Ramirez, a 35-year-old male from White Center, was just released from jail on June 13, 2019 on a rape charge from a 2018 incident.
As part of his guilty plea, Carranza-Ramirez was issued a sexual assault protection order that stated he cannot have any contact with the victim or her residence. On June 15th, a few days after his release, Carranza-Ramirez violated the protection order by being within 1000 feet of the same victim. The following day, the suspect assaulted the victim, knocking her out of her wheelchair, strangled her, and threatened to kill her. Deputies arrived on-scene but the suspect fled prior to their arrival. He was not located.
Detectives believe Carranza-Ramirez is still in the White Center area and is homeless. He is also believed to still have long hair like his photo. The Sheriff’s Office urges anyone with information of where Francisco Carranza-Ramirez is to call 9-1-1.
According to the court documents in the original case, Carranza-Ramirez and the victim were acquaintances in passing, living in the same WC neighborhood, and then he started stalking her, raping her twice last September, both times with her 2-year-old son in the apartment. He was arrested after the second incident and had been in jail since then, almost nine months, until his release on June 13th after pleading guilty.
THURSDAY UPDATE: KCSO says they now believe Carranza-Ramirez is in Mexico.
Over the little park at Delridge/Roxbury/16th, the official White Center Pride flag is flying after a celebration and ceremony tonight, launching five days of first-ever festivities. The small plaza outside Mac’s Triangle Pub filled with more than 100 people:
Among them, two elected officials from West Seattle – King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht and County Councilmember Joe McDermott:
Though they both spoke briefly, the program was heavier on entertainment, with drag performers and and dancers:
For video clips from the performances as well as the flag-raising countdown and cheering, see our coverage on partner site White Center Now.
4th Avenue SW, closed for a month of work south of SW Roxbury, is open again. We just noticed it while passing by – and construction manager Joshua Bowen with the King County Housing Authority just sent the notice confirming most of the work is complete:
Following the successful construction of 4th Avenue SW, we are reopening the road! Please note
that there will be no parking for the first few weeks as we complete landscaping, concrete detailing, and pedestrian lighting. Also, we will need to close the road briefly to complete a few details in the roadway (painting/striping). Thank you for your patience as we beautify your road.
This road improvement of 1,300 feet of 4th Avenue SW in the Greenbridge Community of the White Center neighborhood includes surface water runoff water quality upgrades, storm water infrastructure, channelization, signage, traffic calming measures, improved pedestrian crossings, street paving, pedestrian lighting, and landscaping.
The project was originally planned for earlier this spring but had to be delayed to a late-April start.