Thanks for the tips – we just checked out an incident that drew fire, police, and a private ambulance to Westwood Village, outside Marshall’s. SFD spokesperson Lt. Sue Stangl tells us the initial report was that two people were hit by a driver. We were told at the scene that one was being taken to the hospital by AMR, a woman who apparently had just been shopping at the store; her injuries were not major – she was talking with emergency personnel as they took care of her.
TUESDAY MORNING: Quick followup to our Monday report answering questions about where the Westwood Village Post Office‘s drive-up/ride-up dropoff mailbox went: Regional USPS spokesperson Ernie Swanson tells WSB this morning that instead of having to wait for a new one: “Our maintenance department will be able to repair the damaged collection box. We expect it to be back in place by this Wednesday, March 11.” Until then, you’ll have to go inside, or use the drive-up/ride-up box by the Junction PO (4412 California SW).
WEDNESDAY MORNING NOTE: The installation was under way when we went by around 9:45 – we tweeted a photo:
As promised, the outdoor dropbox at Westwood Village is returning. Installation under way now. pic.twitter.com/c9Zi7XtoTJ
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) March 11, 2015
ADDED THURSDAY: Just for the record, a photo:
Over the weekend, we started getting questions about what happened to the drive-or-ride-up drop-off mailbox at the Westwood Village Post Office – it was suddenly gone, with no sign to say what happened or whether it would return. We checked first thing this morning with regional USPS spokesperson Ernie Swanson, who replied, “The collection box was hit by a car and incurred significant damage and had to be removed. A new one has been ordered.” No word yet on the expected timeline; in the meantime, the lobby maildrop at Westwood is open 24/7, or you can go to the drive-or-ride-up mailbox at the Junction Post Office (4412 California SW).
Just two days after the Westwood transit hub took centerstage at the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meeting, a new illustration of a not-so-new concern presented itself:
(Thursday photo courtesy Joe Szilagyi)
On Thursday, WWRHAH secretary Joe Szilagyi took that photo in the middle of a very recognizable crosswalk on SW Barton between the Roxhill Park bus stop and Westwood Village. He sent the photos to city leaders with this note:
I am writing about the crosswalk from the Rapid Ride terminal site at Westwood Village in West Seattle. At some point overnight or today, a car plowed through the crosswalk and demolished it, while leaving debris all over.
We have asked repeatedly for nearly two years for assistance and budgetary relief to fund proper, full, and safe mitigation for pedestrians crossing here in the form of a controlled crosswalk if possible, and failing that at minimum a user-activated flashing visual beacon. As of yet we have only heard several variations on how this is not feasible, beyond current budget realities, or ‘not proper’ or appropriate for this location due to the nearby streetlights at Barton and 26th for the Westwood Village entrance.
There is a user-controlled full crosswalk one block south on Roxbury adjacent to the intersection of Roxbury and 26th, by the Safeway supermarket. Why is that location appropriate for these controls to service that Rapid Ride C stop, while the full end-of-line terminal a block away on another arterial is not? It’s a miracle that no one was in the crosswalk when this happened.
If this slows traffic down on Barton that is an irrelevant concern to the safety issues. Please advise us with a schedule as soon as possible of when this specific crosswalk’s dangerous conditions will be rectified to the satisfaction of the community.
Please note that we are not asking for assistance or guidance on applying for a grant on our own for this. We are asking for SDOT and the City of Seattle to immediately begin remediation of the dangerous conditions at this location.
We were CC’d on that note, and on several replies so far. Councilmember Tom Rasmussen told Szilagyi that he would ask SDOT to respond. SDOT director Scott Kubly said, “I will have my team work with King County to get the shelter repaired and to evaluate what we can do to improve safety at this location.” One of the people from whom he requested followup, city traffic engineer Dongho Chang, replied this morning that he would get it reviewed, then wrote again this afternoon:
The sign was repaired today. We’ll need to chip out the concrete and install a new post anchor. I had staff review our records and we didn’t have any specific concerns that I was able to find today for the crossing. However, I spent some time observing and walking the area and I have some thoughts that I’d like to have a quick conversation with the community.
We verified before sunset that the sign has indeed been repaired:
(WSB photo taken late today)
But that doesn’t address the ongoing issue. The e-mail chain continued late in the day with WWRHAH co-chair Amanda Kay Helmick pointing out that the safety issue had been discussed with SDOT’s new transit division director Paulo Nunes-Ueno at the last West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting (WSB coverage here) and that she had a walkaround tour set with him for March 30th. All involved are now deciding whether that is soon enough for an assessment, or whether the timetable needs to be accelerated.
The transit-hub-related issues discussed at WWRHAH’s monthly meeting last Tuesday at the Southwest Branch Library involved more than safety. Helmick had already announced that Metro had committed to sidewalk and lighting improvements; Metro’s Paul Roybal was at the meeting to confirm all that, saying the sidewalk work will go from 26th to 29th on the south side of SW Barton, and ADA improvements will be included. Preliminary engineering work is under way, he said, and a survey crew will be out soon; if all goes well, work could start late in the year (which would be two years after WWRHAH’s original walking tour with Metro and other reps).
Also at the meeting, Metro’s Doug Johnson talked about Metro changes that will take effect June 1st as a result of Proposition 1 money. Area residents remain concerned that the 21 isn’t getting much and the previously slashed 22 isn’t getting anything, with Arbor Heights service still suffering as a result. Johnson said this isn’t the only round of improvements; there will be more in the future. Helmick is gathering comments on how the 21/22 reductions have affected riders.
With some other routes – particularly the RapidRide C Line – getting added service, Helmick asked the Metro reps if that meant more layovers and more buses stacking up at the Westwood hub, where the “Wall of Buses” along Roxhill Park has been notorious. Johnson said drivers will still have breaks there but the buses will be moving more frequently to keep up with schedules, so it won’t be that noticeable.
Also at the meeting, Andy Thompson from Westwood Village’s owners, Madison Marquette. WWRHAH told him the center isn’t as walkable as it could be. He said they’re continuing to look into pedestrian safety concerns and questions, but that overall safety has been improved since the Seattle Police bike patrols began.
WWRHAH also talked Tuesday night about Roxhill Bog, one year after its first big discussion; a new report about its issues – particularly, why the bog isn’t much of a bog any more – is out. We’ll publish that part of the March WWRHAH story this weekend.
The Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meets first Tuesdays, 6:15 pm, SW Branch Library.
1:39 PM: Thanks for the tip about the police search in Westwood. Officers were out with a K-9, looking for suspects in an attack that left someone hurt. Very few details so far, according to our check with SPD public affairs – they’re not sure if it was also a robbery, and it’s not clear exactly where the man was assaulted; the Seattle Fire medical response was to 30th/Cloverdale (map). The only description available so far is “five or six males, Hispanic and black, last seen headed southbound on 30th SW.” We’re checking with SFD to see if we can find out whether the victim had to be hospitalized.
4:40 PM UPDATE: SFD tells us that the victim was a 16-year-old boy, treated for “multiple scratches and abrasions over his body, after (saying) he was assaulted and forced to jump into blackberry bushes,” and taken to Highline Hospital in stable condition.
The Westwood transit hub is a perennial hot topic, for a variety of reasons, particularly safety at the bus stops as well as in Roxhill Park and at Westwood Village. If it interests you, consider making time to be at tomorrow night’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meeting. We just received the agenda and it includes a discussion of the hub, with reps confirmed from both Metro and Westwood Village. The meeting is at Southwest Branch Library (35th/Henderson), starting at 6:15 pm Tuesday and wrapping up by 7:45 at the latest, when the library clears everyone out in advance of closing time – all welcome.
(WSB photo taken on northeast corner of 35th/Roxbury)
If you’ve noticed the police activity at Westwood Village and/or the 35th/Roxbury bus stop – here’s what’s happening: Police have arrested at least one suspect in a case of shoplifting-turned-robbery at the Westwood Target. Seattle Police spokesperson Det. Drew Fowler says it was first reported as juveniles stealing liquor from the store, and one “sprayed” a security guard (that’s apparently why Seattle Fire medics were called to the scene). The police search included buses in the area and several possible suspects turned up on one at 35th/Roxbury; while we were talking to Det. Fowler, he confirmed a witness had positively identified at least one suspect. That’s all we know so far; more if and when we get it.
Spotlight topics at this week’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meeting included how the area’s “urban village” has fared in city spending, plus, potential White Center/North Highline annexation.
(WSB file photo: Roxhill Park-side ‘wall of buses’)
The Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Neighborhood Council has been working for more than a year to push Metro and the city for safety improvements in the area of the Westwood “transit hub.” One year ago, WWRHAH led a walking tour with Metro, county, and city reps. Progress on some of the issues was reported four months later; other changes have included SPD bicycle patrols. Today, WWRHAH co-chair Amanda Kay Helmick sent an update on more of what they’ve been working to get:
We are pleased to announce that Metro Transit will be upgrading the sidewalks along the bus stop from the Rapid Ride stop to 29th Ave SW this year. In addition to new ADA-compliant sidewalks, Metro will also be adding lighting in the same area.
Metro asked King County for additional funds for capital improvements to the Rapid Ride, and that includes $170,000 for sidewalks and lighting for the bus stop along Roxhill Park.
Design work has started, with implementation this year. No firm date has been given as of yet. We have asked Metro to come to our March 3rd WWRHAH meeting for further updates in regards to the Transit Hub. We will also be asking SDOT to be there as well to discuss Barton Street concrete panels that are sinking, and crosswalk improvements to critical intersections.
WWRHAH meets first Tuesdays (next one, February 3rd), 6:15 pm at Southwest Library.
With a week to go until Christmas Eve, a little extra holiday cheer emerges almost everywhere you look – and listen. Tonight, Shorewood Foursquare Church‘s Ignition Youth Group kept its promise to head out on a caroling journey, walking to Westwood Village, where we caught up with them:
Along with giving the gift of song, they handed out candy canes with an invitation to their church’s Christmas Eve service (one of a dozen churches listed in the “services” section of the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide – if yours isn’t, please get us the info ASAP!).
For the second time in nine days, Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) at Westwood Village has been burglarized. It happened this evening – exactly when, the proprietors and police were still trying to figure out when we heard about it from a texted tip and went over a little more than an hour ago. Once again, someone broke the front door to get in, same way entry was made during the early-morning break-in on December 7th. We’ll be following up with them and police tomorrow.
Should the issue of improving safety on 35th SW also take into consideration the proliferation of signs at some businesses? An attendee at Tuesday night’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meeting brought that up, according to meeting notes from co-chair Joe Szilagyi. And from pre-scheduled agenda items, what he describes as “a rolling discussion about the Mayor’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda and future growth impacts on the Westwood/Highland Park Urban Village” yielded a dozen discussion points.
— WWRHAH Council (@WWRHAH) December 3, 2014
See those points, and the rest of the meeting notes, here. Next WWRHAH meeting: 6:15 pm January 6th, Southwest Branch Library.
12:31 PM: Thanks to Deb and Melissa for the notes about this. A power outage is affecting some of the stores at Westwood Village. Melissa says it’s in the center of the mall, including Barnes and Noble, which is closed for the day since repairs are not estimated to be complete until after 4 pm. Again, this has not closed ALL the WWV stores, but if you’re headed that way in the next few hours, you might check first if your destination is open or closed.
4:15 PM: The outage is no longer on the City Light map, which indicates it’s fixed.
The annual month-long Community Art Showcase at Southwest Branch Library is over, and SPL’s Jane Gibson is sharing that collage of the participating artists with their work – click the image to see it as a full-size PDF. It’s not only a celebration of the participants – it’s also a reminder: If you’re among them, it’s time to go back to the library and pick up your work, if you haven’t already. The branch (35th/Henderson) is closed for today but tomorrow and Tuesday – the two remaining pickup dates – it’s open 10 am-8 pm. The annual show is open to all – just watch for the next call to artists, in fall 2015!
(Photo courtesy Amanda Kay Helmick)
Thanks to Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council chair Amanda Kay Helmick for sharing the photo of liftoff for the community-created turret at Roxhill Park‘s “castle” play structure. She observed its removal this morning and said the Parks staffers worked very carefully and respectfully.
(This photo and next by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
As first reported last Thursday, safety concerns regarding the turret led to the closure of the castle until it could be removed. We got there this morning after the turret, created during the play structure’s construction a year and a half ago, was bundled onto a Seattle Parks truck:
Helmick says she’s been told that Parks hopes to replace it on the structure by reinforcing the area beneath, and the structure itself, so it can bear the weight. No timeline yet; we’ll be checking in with Parks. Meantime, the play area is expected to reopen today (if it hasn’t already reopened since we were over there about an hour ago).
12:59 PM UPDATE: Just went back over – fence is gone, play structure is reopened:
Fence is down at Roxhill Castle – playtime! pic.twitter.com/9G36CJnXJa
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) October 29, 2014
Following up on last month’s joint meeting of Highland Park Action Committee and Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council, WWRHAH chair Amanda Kay Helmick invites you to a Tuesday meeting:
The Westwood / Highland Park Neighborhood Planning Committee is holding its first informal meeting tomorrow night at Big Al’s. 7:00 pm. We are starting the discussion on what a Westwood / Highland Park update would look like and what people see as the future of our area. The meeting is open to anyone who might be interested.
(WSB photo from last Thursday afternoon)
The community-built play area at Roxhill Park is closed for a fifth day, according to Seattle Parks, because removing its distinctive turret isn’t going to be as easy as hoped. That’s according to Parks spokesperson Joelle Hammerstad, who says an onsite meeting is planned with its artist tomorrow, to strategize. As first reported here last Thursday, the metal turret was noticed early this month as leaning significantly; after checking that out, a Parks structural engineer voiced concern that the turret’s tiles might be too heavy for the play structure to bear. They subsequently closed and fenced off the play area as a precaution. They had hoped removing the turret to take it away for reinforcement might be an easy job, but now have found its not. Other parts of the play area are closed; the fencing is just around the “castle” at the heart of the play structure put up in a community collaboration a year and a half ago.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
In the city’s stack of neighborhood plans, Highland Park and Westwood share one. Last night, the community councils for the neighborhoods shared a meeting.
More than 40 people in attendance as Highland Park Action Committee‘s regular monthly meeting was joined by Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council, with the focus on crime fighting and prevention.
If you’re picking up a student at Chief Sealth International High School – where classes are ending for the day – it’ll be more difficult than usual to navigate the parking lot/dropoff zone, where you’ll see police cars, a fire engine, an ambulance, and a tow truck. That’s because of what’s in the photos – a car that somehow wound up on the embankment between the parking lot and the exit driveway alongside the auditorium.
Thanks to the person who texted to let us know about this and shared the top photo; at the scene, police told us the car was driven by a student, who wasn’t hurt, but had passengers who were still being checked.
(WSB photos by Katie Meyer)
6:09 AM: Thanks for the texts about all the sirens. There’s a “fire in building” callout at 26th/Barton.
6:38 AM: It’s a residential building across from Westwood Village. No injuries reported.
6:52 AM: Some of the units have been dismissed – again, this was a large initial callout just because that is standard operating procedure for a building fire call until crews arrive. Others are leaving now for a separate fire call in High Point.
7:06 AM: No word of the cause yet – fire investigator is still on scene.
7:47 AM: 26th SW is still closed at the scene, though the fire’s been out a while.
8:28 AM: Seattle Fire spokesperson Kyle Moore says that while the home was indeed boarded up – as noted in comments below – the “house and backyard were full of combustible materials.” Though neighbors mention squatters, he says firefighters didn’t find anyone inside when they searched the house. They’re not sure yet how it started; damage is estimated at $55,000.
8:47 AM: SFD will be keeping “fire watch” at the house (which is in the 9200 block of 26th) for a while; Ladder 11 (above) just arrived to help with that.
4:50 PM: SFD published a wrap-up report on its Fireline site, noting that “evidence of transient activity” was found inside the house, which was “released (to its) owner” this afternoon. The cause remains officially listed as “undetermined.”
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The state Department of Early Learning (DEL) has temporarily suspended the license of a West Seattle in-home day care after the death of a baby this week.
We have been looking into this since a reader asked about a major medical response at a home in Westwood at midday this past Monday; later, two other readers e-mailed to ask about rumors they had heard of a death at a local day care. This afternoon, we confirmed with three local and state agencies that an investigation is under way.
That’s a quick spin around the heart of the Westwood Village Street Fair (WSB sponsor), which continues until 6 pm – still time if you haven’t stopped by yet!
Along with rides and entertainment, you’ll find Westwood businesses – including Massage Envy-West Seattle (WSB sponsor):
The Radio Shack folks told us they’re offering raffle tickets until 4:30 and then big prize drawings at 5. Across the center’s central drive, Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) has a table in front of its store:
Proprietors Joni and Kirk Keppler are there – and were handing out (what else would you expect from jewelers?) Ring Pop candy when we stopped by. Free jewelry cleaning, too. Here’s the band/stage schedule; more photos in a moment.
(WSB file photo of mini-train at Westwood Village)
Clouds or sun, the Westwood Village Street Fair is on for tomorrow, and sponsoring WSB this week to get the word out. The fair runs 10 am-6 pm on Saturday; organizers promise “amusement rides for the kids as well as the little train that goes around the center … (also) a couple food trucks and plenty of vendor booths to check out.” Here’s the on-stage event schedule, including bands playing from 1-6 pm:
10:00 AM 24 Hour Fitness – Group -X Class
11:00 AM West Seattle Wellness – Nutritionist
11:30 AM Chico’s – Fashion Show
12:00 Noon West Seattle Wellness – Yoga Instruction
1:00 PM Band #1 Gunn
2:15 PM Band #2 Neal Storme and his Band of Amazing Friends
3:30 PM West Seattle Wellness – Hip Hop Instruction
4:00 PM Band #3 Red Sun Revue
5:00 PM Band #4 F-Holes
Thornton Creek did it – can Roxhill Bog do it too? That’s one of the neighborhood issues on the agenda for today’s featured calendar highlight, the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meeting. Live/work in any of those neighborhoods? Go check out WWRHAH at 6:15 pm, Southwest Branch Library (35th/Henderson). See the agenda in our calendar listing, and the calendar itself has many more events for today/tonight, including nightlife!
Busy agenda at last night’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council (WWRHAH) meeting – police, transit, and more.
TRANSIT HUB UPDATE/WESTWOOD SAFETY: More progress in a longrunning major issue for WWRHAH – chair Amanda Kay Helmick says Metro is going to make small adjustments to the “wall of buses” stop along the south side of Barton (WSB photo, above, from coverage of December WWRHAH walking tour). First, the 21: Instead of being outbound from 26th/Barton, they’re going to move up to layover and leave from 35th/Roxbury. Helmick said 3-6 pm was the prime time for the “wall.” Helmick said she toured Westwood Village with an SDOT rep who said the 30th/Barton crosswalks would be reinstalled/repainted, as will those at 35th/Henderson, by the library, and 25th/Henderson on the east side of Westwood Village. They also plan crosswalk studies at 25th/Trenton and 29th/Barton. The 26th/Barton RapidRide stop will not get a 3-way stop, she added, but some sort of visibility signage is being evaluated. The bus zone was pushed back as promised, Helmick said, but she thinks it would benefit from a little more distance. Meantime, what if a transit hub were created IN Westwood Village – on the northwest side by the post office? WWRHAH wondered. One attendee brought up the problematic area near McDonald’s on the south side; Helmick said she’s heard that the McDonald’s is going to be remodeled and that will address some of the challenges. She said later that WWRHAH is also wondering if maybe Westwood Village should be included in the pedestrian-retail zone review that is under way at the city level right now.
That’s Jan Hogan, soon to retire from Southwest Branch Library in Westwood (35th/Henderson) after more than a quarter-century! Her library colleague Jane Gibson shared the photo and this note:
Congratulations to Children’s Librarian Jan Hogan on her retirement. Stop by this month and thank Jan for her nearly 26 years of wonderful stories and many happy memories she created at the Southwest Branch Library.
Jane says Jan is leaving in early April.
(1st photo in, from Patricia - thanks!)
2:58 PM: Seattle Fire crews are responding to a report of a car hitting a building in the 9000 block of 25th SW, with a “heavy rescue” response.
(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
3:02 PM: It’s a car into the front window of Pet Pros at Westwood Village, according to texters and address cross-reference. No injuries reported so far. Thanks to Patricia for the top photo.
3:12 PM: Our crew is there and confirms nobody hurt. The car has already been backed away, though the sidewalk there is blocked off for cleanup (thanks to the person who texted the photo above this line).
(Another photo added: Jessie shared the view from across 25th SW – thanks!)
Police are still talking with people to determine whether this was a case of hitting the wrong pedal, a medical problem, or something else.
(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
3:33 PM: It’s now a cleanup scene – all that broken glass you see above, for examples. Also lots of onlookers, and at least one TV crew. We’re told the store is closed right now (we’ll check back later). In case you were trying to remember (we were), we looked up the date for a somewhat similar incident at the Westwood post office – May of last year.
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