West Seattle, Washington
12:10 AM: A water break in north Arbor Heights has led to a slide that’s taken out part of a dead-end section of California SW north of SW Roxbury and forcing residents of one house to evacuate.
A sizable Seattle Fire response is here and Seattle Public Utilities crews have arrived too. No report of injuries.
12:18 AM: Police are on scene too and as you can see, California SW is taped off – we are being kept back for safety. “West of Fauntleroy Park” is probably a better description of this area – here’s a map.
About 30 people gathered in the ArtsWest Playhouse lobby tonight as part of the nationwide “Ghostlight Project” – reaffirming “a commitment to values of inclusion, participation, and compassion for everyone – regardless of race, class, religion, country of origin, immigration status, (dis)ability, gender identity, or sexual orientation.” The original plan was to gather out front, but they moved inside for several reasons. Another change: AW artistic director Mathew Wright explained the concept:
He said that instead of keeping the “ghostlight” on for a limited time, as first planned, the playhouse will leave theirs on for the next four years. Each participant held their own small light for the brief gathering.
And they sang “Imagine”:
This was one of hundreds of similar gatherings around the nation tonight. At ArtsWest, once it was over, most continued on into the theater, where ArtsWest’s new production “Mothers and Sons” debuted tonight.
We start West Seattle Crime Watch with two reader reports:
IF THESE ARE YOURS … From Jeff:
I found two pairs of skis in the bushes near the top of the stairway that ends at SW Brandon and 37th Ave SW.
This stairway climbs east from the Fairmount Park playground. Since the skis seemed to be in good condition, I assumed that they were stolen and discarded. I reported the items to SPD and they have an entry on their Twitter feed that appears to indicate that they have recovered the skis as indicated below. I could not find a name on the skis and I am not sure how SPD would reconnect the items with their owners if the theft was not reported so I am attaching a picture of the skis in case someone recognizes their property. They should be able to recover them from SPD.
Now, from the SPD files, the newest reports available online with narrative information – we found five of note, two robberies and three burglaries. First, a report on an incident mentioned here briefly on Monday, at which time all we knew was that the Avalon 7-11 had been held up early that morning:
AVALON 7-11 HOLDUP: Just before 3 am Monday, police were sent to the 35th/Avalon 7-11. The clerk told officers he was mopping when two people came in, described as”two males with brown skin … both wearing all-black clothing.
One of the males was approximately 5’6″ with a slim build. The other suspect was approximately 6’3″ with a heavy set build … both males had their faced covered with red bandanas, and were wearing gloves.” The report says “the larger suspect pointed a black handgun at him and told him to “save your life” and “give me the balance” … (the clerk) obeyed the suspect’s demands and opened the registers. One of the suspects then leaped over the front counter, while the other suspect ran around the counter to the opening on the rear. The suspects emptied all of the cash from the registers … and placed the money into a paper bag that was sitting nearby. While the suspects were behind the counter, (the clerk) believes that they may have taken several cartons of cigarettes from the display case (and) other unknown items from a nearby aisle as well.” The report says one robber also demanded the “safe money” but the clerk didn’t have the code. The robbers then left. (UPDATED: SPD has released the surveillance video – added above. If you have any information about the robbers, call the SPD Robbery Unit at 206-684-5535.)
AT ANOTHER 7-11: Less than two hours later, the clerk at the South Delridge 7-11 “noticed two masked suspects walking up to the business” and locked the front doors. They tried to open it by pushing on it; then one suspect “pulled out a firearm and pointed it at (the clerk),” who ran to the back of the store to call 911 and hide. The suspects, meantime, left. No descriptive information in this report except “green handkerchief” around the suspects’ faces. Here too, police were expecting to get video surveillance footage.
Meantime, details on three burglaries are now available:
2900 BLOCK FAIRMOUNT AVENUE SW: Reported Monday morning, a garage break-in last weekend, with a rock used to break a window. Three tools were stolen but others were left behind.
9000 BLOCK 20TH SW: A construction-site burglary was discovered here on Monday morning. A worker arrived and discovered a garage gate open, a fence cut, and tools stolen.
8200 BLOCK NORTHROP: Someone returning home here on Monday evening discovered front-door damage – broken wood around the deadbolt. Nothing appeared to have been stolen.
Going to the Womxn’s March on Seattle this Saturday? Victoria at VAIN (WSB sponsor) in The Junction just e-mailed to say you’re welcome to stop in (4513 California SW) tonight or tomorrow for a free hand-folded origami-flower corsage:
VAIN is open until 8 tonight, and 10 am-8 pm on Friday.
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
In light of some disturbing, recent trends, we feel compelled to speak out.
In the last few months, we have seen a rise in hate crimes against members of immigrant, LGBTQ, and Muslim communities. Harassment of women and people of color has been reported at higher rates locally and nationwide. We’ve seen increased hateful, divisive dialogue in the media, online, in our schools, and at public gatherings. From the neighbors we serve, to our volunteers and supporters, to our own friends and families, fear for safety of self and others has become far too common.
Additionally, we are seeing signs at the federal level that social safety net programs and protections may be scaled back or terminated; loss of health insurance, accelerated deportations of immigrant families, and cuts to social benefits critical to the safety and well-being of local families may be on the horizon. These actions threaten to hurt members of our community, including those that we support as they recover from crisis or hardship.
We, at the West Seattle Helpline, are dedicated to serving all of our neighbors and to help foster a caring and cohesive community. This letter affirms our commitment to do the following in solidarity with our underserved neighbors:
Continue to offer services to every member of our community regardless of race, age, sex, gender identity, immigration status, religion, and sexual orientation.
Continue participation in the Safe Place Program (providing safe haven from and reporting anti-LGBTQ hate crimes) and extend our promise to be a safe space for anyone experiencing hate-based harassment or threatening behavior.
Work with local community leaders in underserved communities to continue to improve the cultural and language accessibility of our services.
Refuse to voluntarily provide federal immigration officials data that could put our clients at risk of deportation (in alignment with Seattle’s status as a Sanctuary City).
Continue to advocate at the local and state level for policies and resources to support low-income, marginalized community members and protect them from harm.
We want West Seattle to continue to be an inclusive, caring, and safe place for all our neighbors. We look forward to working with local leaders, partner organizations, elected officials, and all who share our vision of an inclusive, safe, and welcoming community.
Your Friends at the West Seattle Helpline
Apparently the drive-up/ride-up box outside the West Seattle Junction Post Office has been out of service for a few weeks; we didn’t hear about it until a flurry of inquiries that started just before the three-day MLK Day weekend. We subsequently inquired with USPS back on Tuesday and got this response today from regional spokesperson Ernie Swanson:
The drive-up mail collection box at the West Seattle Post Office has been run into by vehicles and tampered with by vandals over the years. USPS maintenance personnel have been able to repair it to keep it in service, but it became no longer serviceable. Thus, a new box has been ordered and will be placed in service as soon as it arrives. We do not have a date for delivery of the new box. We do apologize for the inconvenience this is causing our customers.
The Westwood Village drive-up/ride-up box (which had its own downtime in 2015) is in service, last we checked. And at the Junction branch, the lobby mail slot is available for walk-ins.
Washington State Ferries is out with its ridership numbers for last year, and says it hit the “highest level in a decade.” Here’s the breakdown, route by route:
(If you can’t see the document via Scribd, here’s the PDF, on the WSF site.) The busiest route is Seattle-Bainbridge, with 4.5 million people last year, while Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth came in fifth, with 3 million people and 1.7 million vehicles. The South Vashon to Tacoma route (officially Tahlequah-Point Defiance) had the biggest growth rate, WSF says.
Sally Jewell, the West Seattleite who has been serving as President Obama‘s Secretary of the Interior, has published her “exit memo.” It’s pointed out in a Seattle Times interview with the outgoing secretary, who told Times reporter Lynda Mapes that she is not “retiring” but plans to take a break before figuring out what’s next. While the former REI CEO’s “exit memo” touts the department “restor(ing) our nation-to-nation relationships with tribes,” it does not mention those – including the Duwamish Tribe – that did not get treaty rights restored. It’s been almost a year and a half since Duwamish chair Cecile Hansen went to Jewell’s neighborhood to make her case, after another denial. Meantime, Jewell’s memo touts a variety of resource and land accomplishments, and notes challenges for the future that don’t often get headlines, such as:
With approximately one-third of the Department’s more than 70,000 employees eligible to retire within five years, workforce development must continue to be a priority. We need to ensure a new generation of wildlife biologists, park rangers, tribal experts, scientists, and other professionals are ready to care for our nation’s public lands and waters.
(Juvenile Cooper’s Hawk, photographed at Lincoln Park by Mark Ahlness, shared via WSB’s Flickr group)
Lots going on this Thursday, from community-involvement opportunities to entertainment, and more. Here are highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
INAUGURATION MEDITATION: The labyrinth at Tibbetts United Methodist Church (WSB sponsor) is open again today for contemplative walking – 9 am to 2 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm. Details in our calendar listing. (3940 41st SW)
COLLEGE FINANCIAL HELP: Need help applying for college financial aid? College Goal Washington has another drop-in help session 2-7 pm today at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), in the library – details in our calendar listing. Open to all, whether SSC is your target school or not. (6000 16th SW)
CANCELED – SEE COMMENTS:
LAFAYETTE ELEMENTARY KINDERGARTEN TOURS: Future kindergartener in your family? Lafayette is offering tours 3-5 pm today. (California SW/SW Lander)
ADDED! WEST SEATTLE TIMEBANK: 6 pm new-member orientation, 6:30 pm potluck and meeting, at the Senior Center/Sisson Building:
West Seattle Timebank Gathering – bring a dish -it’s a potluck.
Guest speaker: Grace Stiller, Burien Arts Association
New member orientation: 6:00 pm-6:30 pm
Potluck: 6:30 pm- 7:00 pm
Speaker: 7:00 pm-7:20 pm
Members & guest sharing: 7:30 pm-8:00 pm
(4217 SW Oregon)
HALA REZONING MEETING PREP @ JuNO LAND USE COMMITTEE: Tonight brings the second of two Junction Neighborhood Organization meetings this week to get ready for the city’s upcoming West Seattle Junction Urban Village Community Design Workshop meeting about the HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability rezoning proposals. 6:30 pm at the Senior Center/Sisson Building. (4217 SW Oregon)
THE GHOSTLIGHT PROJECT: All are invited to this brief gathering outside ArtsWest Playhouse, 6:45-7 pm tonight, as previewed here – “to reaffirm a commitment to values of inclusion, participation, and compassion for everyone.” (4711 California SW)
ALKI COMMUNITY COUNCIL: 7 pm at Alki UCC, with this announced agenda:
1. Review of 2016 HALA and Urban Village activities
4. City Neighborhood Council (CNC) possible Parks & Street Funding Opportunities 2017
(6115 SW Hinds)
LOTS MORE, INCLUDING NIGHTLIFE! See our complete calendar.
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:59 AM: We start with trouble on NB 99 – the Battery Street Tunnel is closed because of a crash – big backups.
7:07 AM: No injuries in 99 crash, apparently, as it was not on the 911 fire/medic log. And now SDOT says the tunnel is open again. Will take a while to clear the backup, of course.
7:21 AM: Since that’s settled, let’s look ahead to the next couple days. Here’s the citywide alert from SDOT about marches/rallies. (While it mentions only a Capitol Hill student rally, as published here, at least one local school walkout is planned, and Seattle Public Schools has said there might be other middle/high school walkouts Friday afternoon.) And for those participating in the Womxn’s March on Saturday, Metro plans to add buses, as we reported yesterday.
Toplines from last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting: The Southwest Precinct has new bicycle officers who, among other things, are tasked with patroling for car prowlers. That’s still the biggest crime problem in our area, so the precinct is hopeful this is a new way of making a dent in it.
As always, the heart of the meeting was the opportunity for attendees to discuss neighborhood crime/safety concerns. Most of the three dozen or so attendees were there because of concerns related to last Thursday’s stabbing (WSB coverage here) at a house in the 6700 block of 18th SW on Puget Ridge.
The suspect is still at large, confirmed precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis, and the investigation continues. Some attendees who identified themselves as parents and PTA members at nearby Sanislo Elementary wanted to know why the school hadn’t been in lockdown while police were searching that afternoon. Capt. Davis said he and Operations Lt. Ron Smith would see what they could find out about how that decision was made.
Others pointed out that this wasn’t the first trouble at the house in question, reminding police that it had been brought up at a Crime Prevention Council meeting about a year and a half ago. Taking action against “nuisance houses” is not a fast process, Lt. Smith noted, saying the precinct is aware this is a trouble spot. Community Police Team Officer Jon Flores will be out to talk to neighbors, he promised, to figure out what steps can be taken next.
The scheduled guest for the meeting, scheduled to talk about “active shooter” situations, was a no-show. So that made extra time for the community-concerns discussion. Next WSCPC meeting is set for February 21st, 7 pm, at the precinct (2300 SW Webster).
Do something different this year … delight your West Seattle neighbors by helping make a festival happen! The community members who have been making Delridge Day happen each summer are looking for a new planning coordinator:
2017 could be the twelfth Delridge Day celebration, but it needs you! Yes, YOU!
Do you have a passion for the neighborhoods along the Delridge corridor? Have you enjoyed the Delridge Day celebrations in the past? Can you step up to take on the leadership needed to help this growing festival continue?
It is expected that a new leader will bring their own vision of what Delridge Day can be … but there is help, too. For example, the music coordinator has committed to continuing this year. Past organizers have built a network of contacts and action item lists for organizing Delridge Day, so a blueprint is in place.
A new leader should have commitment; great organizational skills; time to contact and follow up with participants to organize music, food, booths, and equipment; and the ability to build a team of volunteers to assist with the event. You will work with Parks and the city for permitting. Planning begins in January for the August event.
We’ve been fortunate over the years to have dedicated people step up to make this fun and growing event happen. Community doesn’t happen by accident … it takes people willing to build. We are only as strong as our relationships to each other.
First step – contact Nancy, even if you just have a question. She’s at email@example.com.
That photo of A-board artwork was sent by Natalie W., 12 years old, with this question:
I have been seeing these paintings around West Seattle and I have been wondering what they are for. What’s the scoop? It would be awesome if you could put this on the West Seattle Blog with the question, why are these around West Seattle. Thank you!
We have to admit, we’ve wondered too. We’ve seen them along Fauntleroy now and then. If you know the backstory – please comment (or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org) – thanks!
If you’re out for a walk tonight and notice signs south of Alki Point – the King County Wastewater Treatment Division now says its overflow during the storm was from the Alki Point treatment facility across from Constellation Park, not a pump station. No word yet how much of an overflow, but KCWTD says “the wastewater is disinfected between 63rd and Alki, so we aren’t expecting anything from the water quality samples.” They posted signage just to be on the safe side. Meantime, Seattle Public Utilities says one of its new gauges, at High Point, measured the most rain during the 24-hour peak of the storm – 2.57 inches.
We’ve received numerous inquiries about transit plans for Saturday, when tens of thousands of people are expected to participate in the Womxn’s March on Seattle. First: No, the Water Taxi will NOT be running – it doesn’t run on Saturdays this time of year and does not add extra service for special events. But Metro will be running extra buses – here’s the announcement they’re making this afternoon:
Plan ahead and leave early if you’re riding King County Metro Transit Saturday to join the Womxn’s March on Seattle. Tens of thousands of participants are expected to attend the event, which will start at 10 a.m. with a rally at Judkins Park. Transit riders should prepare for significant delays.
Metro will operate on a normal Saturday schedule and will have additional buses assigned to provide extra service on key routes. However, those buses will not have regular schedules, will not appear in the Metro’s online Trip Planner or One Bus Away, and will be dispatched based on demand. Riders should prepare for overcrowding and buses that are too full to accommodate more passengers. Sound Transit plans to operate all three-car Link light rail trains and extra trains to help with expected crowds.
Transit riders should use regularly published timetables, plan ahead, allow plenty of time and prepare for traffic delays. Metro will have extra supervisors to monitor crowds in downtown, the International District, and Pioneer Square, and will adjust to accommodate transit needs when possible.
The march is expected to leave Judkins Park at 11 a.m. and proceed through downtown to Seattle Center. Those planning to ride transit to the march can use Metro’s online Trip Planner to find service to the vicinity of Judkins Park. Service that travels to or near the area includes routes 4, 7, 14, 48, and Sound Transit Express routes 550 and 554. When planning your trip, check Metro’s Service Advisories page to find out about any known revisions to your routes.
Transit users also can follow these tips:
· Plan to arrive early to avoid traffic congestion and full buses.
· Prepare for overcrowding on buses.
· If possible, ride transit to locations near Judkins Park and walk into the park. Judkins Park is about 1.3 miles east of the International District along South Jackson Street.
· Prepare for significant delays – as tens of thousands march through downtown, buses may be stopped up to an hour at some locations.
· Have your transit fare or an ORCA card ready
· Sign up for Transit Alerts on Metro’s website.
Metro spokesperson Scott Gutierrez adds these specifics for our area:
For West Seattle residents planning to take transit – depending where their trip starts — they can take the C Line, 21, 120 or 125 to Third Avenue and catch routes 4 or 14 SB on 3rd Avenue. Route 7 also is a possibility but it will get them a few blocks farther from the park.
The man convicted of murdering Seattle Police Officer Timothy Brenton (right) in 2009 has died in prison, according to multiple regional-media outlets including The Seattle Times. Officer Brenton’s murder hit hard in West Seattle because of his roots here, including graduating from West Seattle High School in 1988. According to The Times, the Department of Corrections says Christopher Monfort, convicted in 2015 of killing Officer Brenton and wounding his partner Officer Britt (Sweeney) Kelly, was found dead in his cell this morning at the State Penitentiary in Walla Walla. He had been serving a life sentence. Monfort was found guilty of another crime that had a West Seattle connection, firebombing the city’s Charles Street yard, destroying vehicles including what was at the time our area’s Mobile Precinct, not replaced until a little over a year ago. According to today’s reports, Monfort’s death did not appear to be suicide. He had been a paraplegic since being shot during his arrest in Tukwila the day of Officer Brenton’s memorial.
(Common Goldeneye, photographed by Mark Wangerin)
Quick look at four calendar highlights for the rest of your West Seattle Wednesday:
LABYRINTH WALK: This is the first of four days that Tibbetts United Methodist Church (WSB sponsor) is opening its labyrinth for contemplation during Inauguration Week – details are in our calendar listing. It’s open until 2 pm and then again 6-8 pm. (3940 41st SW)
MORGAN COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION: 3:13 PM UPDATE – The meeting starts at 7 at The Kenney, the REGULAR time. The website info we linked to earlier was inaccurate. Here’s the updated agenda:
7:00 Welcome and Introductions
7:02 Board Elections
Slate of Officers
President – Deb Barker
Vice President – Phillip Tavel
Treasurer – Eldon Olson
Secretary – Natalie Williams
Community Information – Cindi Barker
SW District Council Representative – Tamsen Spengler
7:05 Morgan Minute Updates
· Morgan Junction Mural status
· Morgan Park Expansion Planning Committee Upcoming Meeting on Feb. 20
· High Point Library Upgrades-Community Celebration for reopen: Sun. Jan 29 1- 3
· Lowman Beach Park status
7:10 Old Business
· SW District Council News
· Murray CSO Update
· SW Precinct Advisory Group
· Morgan Junction Festival – June 17, 2017
8:00 Special Presentation Councilmember Herbold’s Office – Update on Homeless Issue
8:30 New Business
· 2035 Comp Plan/MJ Urban Village Housing Targets
· MHA and HALA Next Steps
· New Morgan Development and how to comment
(7125 Fauntleroy Way SW)
DELRIDGE NEIGHBORHOODS DISTRICT COUNCIL: As with the Southwest District Council, eastern West Seattle’s neighborhood district council is continuing despite the cutoff of city support. You’re invited to be part of it at 7 pm tonight, NEW LOCATION for next three months – Highland Park Improvement Club. (12th SW/SW Holden)
WORDSWEST LITERARY SERIES: 7 pm at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), this month’s edition of WordsWest:
Langston Hughes famously asked America, “What happens to a dream deferred?” Tonight, on the Wednesday between Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Inauguration Day, journalist/memoirist Claudia Rowe and writer/poet/performance artist Anastacia Tolbert join WordsWest to examine the causes and consequences of “Dreams Deferred.”
You may know Claudia from her investigative journalism about education in The Seattle Times, including a recent piece on the Garfield High School principal. Her book The Spider and the Fly, which will be released at the end of this month, examines her complex relationship with a serial killer who killed 8 young women in upstate New York. You may know Anastacia, a super-shero of color, through her poetry, prose, performances of her one-woman show, or her documentary, “Got Breast?”
(5612 California SW)
LOTS MORE … on our complete calendar page.
If you’re noticing a foot ferry in Elliott Bay that didn’t appear to be one of the King County Water Taxi fleet – that’s the Kitsap Transit fast ferry Rich Passage 1. It’s out on the bay right now after an official showcase on the downtown Seattle waterfront this morning, with King County Executive Dow Constantine and County Council Chair Joe McDermott speaking, because the King County Department of Transportation’s Marine Division will be operating the 78-foot Rich Passage 1 for KT. Kitsap voters approved a sales-tax increase to fund the new service; it’s scheduled to start running between Bremerton and Seattle this year, Kingston and Seattle next year, and Southworth and Seattle in 2020. The Rich Passage 1 is to be the first of six boats comprising the Kitsap Transit fleet. It was built by All American Marine in Bellingham, which also built the Doc Maynard and Sally Fox for the KC Water Taxi service.
Longfellow Creek bubbling up near WS Health Club. Rain has all but stopped. pic.twitter.com/mTHxH70pSh
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) January 18, 2017
11:14 AM: During the brief break in the rain – just ending, with more falling now – we went out for a look at the high water of Longfellow Creek. At the SW Yancy street end, just before Longfellow Creek goes back underground (by West Seattle Health Club), it’s been bubbling up through the utility covers, as you can see in our video above. We checked out the creek after Josh shared these photos via Twitter:
— Josh (@skwash) January 18, 2017
Thanks to those who also reported road puddling – mostly in recurring trouble spots, like Delridge at Myrtle (Amber posted a photo in a comment on the morning traffic watch). Forecast says the next round of rain could bring another inch. And after a dry start to January – we’re catching up – only half an inch behind the average as of midnight.
ADDED 12:15 PM: King County Wastewater Treatment says its Alki pump station had an overflow during the heavy rain. We’ll publish a separate story when we get details – but if you see warning signs at the beach sooner, that’s what’s up.
Still a few things to catch up on from yesterday’s very busy news day – and here’s one. With Lynne Griffith retiring at the end of the month as the head of Washington State Ferries, her successor has been announced. Amy Scarton is WSDOT’s assistant secretary for Community and Economic Development and will become assistant secretary for WSF next month. The news release quotes state Transportation Secretary Roger Millar as saying, “Amy’s national experience managing programs and projects across all transportation modes, combined with the top-notch crews, will help ensure the ferry division remains on course.” That experience includes, WSDOT says:
… senior roles in both the Obama and Bush administrations at U.S. Department of Transportation; legal counsel to former Chairman James Oberstar of the U.S. House of Representatives Highway and Transit Subcommittee; and managing the WSDOT offices that support the agencies’ rail, freight, aviation, local programs, planning, and public transportation activities.
Scarton takes over at a time when major initiatives include figuring out how to solve recurring problems with the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route; formation of a task force is one of the next announced steps.
Not everything this Friday is inauguration-related. Here’s one example: The second annual 5 Minutes or Less Fly Fishing Film Fest at Emerald Water Anglers (42nd SW/SW Oregon; WSB sponsor) in The Junction. It starts at 7 pm Friday and admission is free, but space is limited, so you need to RSVP ASAP – email@example.com or 206-708-7250.