UPDATE: Seattle Fire ‘full response’ to Alaska House apartments – no fire

9:56 AM: Seattle Fire has a full response arriving at Alaska House apartments in The Junction for a report of a possible fire on the (update) ninth floor Updates to come.

9:59 AM: Firefighters have not yet confirmed a fire – but an alarm is sounding.

10:02 AM: Firefighters are telling dispatch that it appears the alarm was set off by dust from concrete grinding – but they’re checking every floor to be sure.

10:04 AM: And that’s now verified. They say the grinding is happening in the basement but the dust apparently has spread to multiple floors.

10:06 AM: However, firefighters have just said they “recommend to have all residents stay down in the hallways – the air is not good for breathing.” That’s of note particularly because the building is primarily for senior/disabled tenants.

10:25 AM: Just talked to the incident commander. They don’t think it was a lot of dust – they’re using a fan to clear the air.

FYI: No Alki Point Lighthouse tours Sunday

(2015 photo by Long Bach Nguyen)

Heads up in case you were thinking of touring the historic Alki Point Lighthouse this Sunday – it won’t be open because the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary volunteers who make the tours possible will be involved with supporting safety and outreach during Seafair,” explains Debra Alderman from the Auxiliary. The free tours are scheduled to continue for the remaining summer Sundays after that, though, through Labor Day weekend – find tour info here.

TRAFFIC, TRANSIT, WEATHER: Friday notes + weekend alerts

6:01 AM: Good morning! It’s Friday, August 5th.

WEATHER

Today’s forecast says it’ll be sunny and breezy, high around 70.

FERRIES, BUSES, WATER TAXI

Ferries: WSF is on the 2-boat schedule for Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth. Check here for alerts/updates.

Metro buses are on their regular weekday schedules; watch @kcmetroalerts for word of reroutes/trip cancellations.

The West Seattle Water Taxi is on its regular schedule.

WEEKEND ALERTS

One more reminder: NO bridge closures for the Blue Angels. But SDOT has some work planned this weekend:

On Saturday and Sunday, we will be working at 16th Ave SW and SW Cambridge St to update curb bulbs and curb ramps. Work will begin as early as 8 AM and conclude at 5 PM. We’ll maintain traffic throughout
the area, but people driving can expect delays.

On Saturday, our signal crews will be working to replace overhead signs and complete wiring activities on 14th Ave S and S Cloverdale St. The work is anticipated to begin as early as 8 AM and conclude by 3 PM. For people driving, we may need to briefly close lanes directly below the signs while this work takes place. Please navigate the area with caution.

On Sunday from 6 AM to 3 PM, our landscaping crews will be cleaning the parking strips and medians on Olson Place SW and SW Roxbury St. Clean-up efforts will begin on Olson Place SW where we will close a single eastbound lane and proceed to SW Roxbury St where we will close a single westbound lane. Please anticipate delays while traveling in the area.

BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES

866th morning without the West Seattle Bridge. 37 days until the week SDOT hopes to reopen it.

Low Bridge: Automated enforcement cameras remain in use; restrictions are in effect 5 am-9 pm daily – except weekends; the bridge is open to all until 8 am Saturday and Sunday mornings. (Access applications are available here for some categories of drivers.)

1st Avenue South Bridge:

South Park Bridge – camera malfunctioning, as are a few others in eastern West Seattle (they’ve been reported to SDOT, still no estimate on when they’ll be fixed)

Highland Park Way/2nd SW (one of four recently installed cameras):

The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):

Are movable city bridges opening for vessels? Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed; 1st Ave. S. Bridge openings are tweeted by @wsdot_traffic.

All city traffic cams can be seen here, many with video options; West Seattle and vicinity-relevant cameras are also on this WSB page

Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Please text or call us (when you can do so safely) – 206-293-6302.

West Seattle author Madeline Ostrander’s first book explores our changing lives ‘At Home on an Unruly Planet’

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Madeline Ostrander wants you to know her newly published first book is not a work of “doom.”

If the subject of climate change makes you uncomfortable, that might be an important distinction.

Ostrander, a longtime science journalist, says “At Home on an Unruly Planet” is the result of about a decade of work – particularly the past three years, since she signed a contract for it. Now it’s in bookstores and online (as audio), and she’ll be talking about it at an event downtown tomorrow night (Friday, August 5). More on that later. First, about the book.

The second word in the title, “home,” is key. (Hers is on Pigeon Point, where she sets this scene: “In the distance, the groaning undersong of the highway and the port nearby and its sounds, a train whistle, metal shipping containers cracking loudly against one another in the distance, the moan of a cargo boat, the roar of a jet plane above.”) In her book, Ostrander tells the story of four communities facing change because of the climate crisis – again, not in the “impending doom” sense, but in what they’re doing, how they’re reacting, how they’re talking about it.

One of those communities – Richmond, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area – is seen in the context of conversations about how to evolve from being a community built around an oil refinery. Talking to environmental-justice activists there gave her the idea for the book. The other three communities span the country from Alaska to Florida. The sense of “home” she addresses isn’t simply about geography, but about the way you feel when and where you’re at home. – and the way you feel when things change, things out of your control. It’s addressed in “At Home on an Unruly Planet” as “solastalgia,” which Ostrander observes is evoked by this: “Even if we stay, we experience a kind of homesickness because (home) changes … (it) helps to name this kind of feeling. That can be really powerful, (such as) collective anger, like the BLM movement, struggle and loss and anger …. if people come together and talk about it.”

She hopes that she’s helping people talk about climate change in a fresh way. “The way it’s often talked about is not that empowering,” including “when we talk about, ‘what can you do’,” too often it’s just “push back against politicians.” Or else potential action is described at the “very micro-individual level,” recycle one more can, burn one less gallon of gas. “That’s still not very empowering” – it doesn’t get to the question of “how do we protect the places that we care about?” That’s something you can address on a neighborhood level, she says. “It just seemed much more real to me, a much more useful way of talking about climate change. It’s being talked about as this big global existential crisis – which it is – but talking about it in this way helps people feel” less hopeless.

That also brings inspiration for others. “Sometimes I feel like what I see in small communities (is that) the whole discussion isn’t so siloed off … that’s kind of powerful.” Big cities – ours included – have more money for adaptation; smaller communities have harder choices to make. “You can see it in the book when I compare St. Augustine, Florida … with centuries of history … they’re going to be more impacted … to Miami (where they have) a budget to lift streets.”

A different crisis presented a challenge after Ostrander got the contract to finish and publish her book: The pandemic. She had gone to Alaska in fall of 2019, but in 2020 and 2021, travel was not always an option. Ostrander said she managed to arrange a few trips “when it was possible to take enough safety precautions.” The featured community she mentions the most is St. Augustine, Florida, where “lessons from the past (frame its) longterm future … we need to think about that and not always look away.”

History is referenced elsewhere in her book, even the century-long history of her Pigeon Point home. The prologue and epilogue of “At Home on an Unruly Planet” reference her own home. She notes toward the end of the book, “And while many of the problems we face are global, some of the most imaginative, powerful, passionate solutions come from home.”

Ostrander doesn’t have any promotional events scheduled in West Seattle yet, but says she’s working on it. Meantime, if you happen to be – or can get to – downtown tomorrow, her book launch/signing event is at 7 pm, outdoors at The Collective (400 Dexter Ave. N.) with KUOW’s John Ryan, presented by the Northwest Science Writers Association. She also has an event 7 pm August 12 at Brick & Mortar Books in Redmond, in conversation with former broadcast meteorologist Jeff Renner.

Besides looking for the book at your favorite local bookstore, it’s also available online as audio – go here. If you want to read an excerpt first, here’s one published by The Atlantic, and another published by High Country News.

HELPING: Pencil Me In For Kids school-supply drive success – and it’s not over yet

Four weeks ago, we noted the Pencil Me In For Kids school-supply drive was collecting donations. The item collection is over, but there’s still a way you can help. Here’s an update from Pencil Me In For Kids volunteers:

Fourth-grade teacher Angela de Ita knows that her students at Sanislo Elementary will be happy to have their share of the supplies collected during West Seattle Rotary‘s annual Pencil Me In For Kids drive. The project endeavors to equip every student in area elementary schools with the supplies needed for success – an especially challenging goal this year as families cope with record inflation.

(Photo by Phil Sweetland: Fauntleroy Church member Judy Pickens led the effort to collect this truckload of school supplies in her neighborhood, all destined for West Seattle American Legion Post 160’s Pershing Hall for sorting out to schools)

Fauntleroy Church spearheaded the drive in its neighborhood, with the West Seattle & Fauntleroy YMCA, Canine Casa, Treo Organic Salon, Wildwood Market, and Keller Williams Seattle also hosting donation boxes. The drive continues to welcome cash donations (here) to purchase high-demand items in bulk.

WHALES: Orcas back in the area

Thanks to Kersti Muul for the tip. She says transient orcas have just emerged from Colvos Passage along the west side of Vashon Island and are close to Southworth, visible (with binoculars) from central west-facing West Seattle, heading northbound. Let us know if you see them!

WEST SEATTLE ART: Pigeon Point street mural to be repainted

(Photo courtesy SDOT)

Thanks to Kate for the tip, via a question about a big circle in the intersection of 21st and Genesee on Pigeon Point – too big to signal a future traffic mural, as she described it. SDOT tells us they’re planning to repaint the mural that community members painted in that intersection in 2015 (WSB coverage here), with “durable, long-lasting paint.” SDOT says they “got in contact with the original artist and have been working with her to design a refreshed version of the artwork that can be installed with more durable paint that will last for years to come.” Here’s that design:

The repainting is expected to happen within the next month or so; some prep work will be done this Sunday – grinding the road to “create a smooth surface for the plastic-based paints to stick to.” As noted in this flyer for the project, which is on the Delridge-Highland Park Greenway, they also plan some paving work, “filling cracked pavement,” and “improved trail lighting” along the greenway.

UPDATE: Seattle’s chief librarian at High Point Library

4:05 PM: That’s Seattle’s chief librarian Tom Fay, and he’s at High Point Library (3411 SW Raymond) for a conversation with whoever shows up. It’s the first in a series of “Community Conversations” around the city with the Seattle Public Library‘s new chief. You have until 5 pm to stop in and speak up. You can also answer an online survey to share your thoughts about SPL’s future.

5:47 PM: A few notes from the conversation, for which about a dozen people showed up: The Southwest Branch, one of two in West Seattle that had closures last week because of the heat, will be fully air conditioned by next summer. The afterschool homework-help program is expected to come back this fall. In a discussion of how libraries and users dealt with the pandemic, an attendee noted that the curbside service was greatly appreciated – as were ebooks.

PARTY! Spend part of your Labor Day weekend in C & P Coffee’s garden for a good cause

C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) is throwing a garden party Labor Day weekend and you’re invited! The occasion: To raise money for the West Seattle Food Bank (which helps people stay housed as well as fed) – C & P co-proprietor Cameron Moores says they’re hoping to make it an annual fundraiser, but the pandemic got in the way the past two years. The “We (Heart) West Seattle” party is exactly one month from today – 3 pm to 6 pm Sunday, September 4th – but tickets are available now. $45 gets you a sandwich from food truck Now Make Me A Sandwich plus a drink. Live music too! You can go here to get your ticket(s).

SURVEY: Questions for you as planning continues for West Duwamish Wet Weather Storage Facility million-gallon overflow tank

The return of rain today is a reminder that summer won’t last forever. Heavy rains in other seasons sometimes bring sewer overflows into local waterways. As we’ve been reporting, another big storage tank is planned for West Seattle to reduce overflows into the Duwamish River. A 1,250,000-gallon underground storage tank is at the heart of what’s now being called the West Duwamish Wet Weather Storage Facility. As shown on the map above, it will be west of the 1st Avenue South Bridge (on land currently owned by the port), with other components of the project nearby. The planning process has now arrived at the next phase of public comments, with an online open house and survey now available. The King County Wastewater Treatment District‘s announcement explains, “This project will not only protect the future health of the Duwamish River, but can also benefit the neighborhood through creative design elements – and you can help us decide what elements to include on site. Additionally, our team will seek opportunities to support community-driven initiatives in the nearby neighborhoods. Help us design a facility and support local projects that are true to your values.” Info about the project is in the online open house; the survey is here. If the planning process proceeds as currently scheduled, construction would start in 2025.

P.S. You can also talk with KCWTD reps about the project at this Saturday’s Duwamish River Festival, noon-5 pm at the new Duwamish River People’s Park (8700 Dallas Ave. S., South Park).

UPDATE: West Seattle low bridge reopens after ‘mechanical issues’; here’s what caused today’s trouble

10:42 AM: SDOT has just acknowledged the “mechanical issues” that have kept the West Seattle low bridge closed to surface traffic for more than half an hour. Above is the latest webcam image. Updates to come.

10:56 AM: Metro has officially rerouted buses, according to alerts just sent. As for the low bridge, after a tip (thank you!) we watched the webcam for a few moments, and the problem appeared to prevent the bridge leaves from completely rejoining – they swung partly open and tried to close a second time, and then came SDOT’s confirmation. A similar problem happened July 9th and kept the low bridge out of service for more than two hours; that problem was eventually deemed “electrical.” That’s also what was blamed for an hourlong closure in May.

11:01 AM: And the low bridge has just reopened.

2:21 PM: We asked SDOT if these “issues” were related to the ones that caused the May and July closures. Spokesperson Mariam Ali says no: “Today’s issue is different from the problems in July and May. Today, crews were doing preventative maintenance work around the far side pier. During the cleanup work, a rusted coupler (a device for engaging and disengaging the interlocking connection between the shore and a movable bridge span) for one of the conduits containing wires to one of the sensors separated and damaged the wire. The damaged wire was unknown until the bridge had cycled through an opening request and was going back to a closed position. At that time, an alarm had sounded noting that the computer was not receiving a signal, due to the damaged wire, from the sensor. The electricians were able to pinpoint the issue quickly and replace the broken wire.”

WEST SEATTLE THURSDAY: Here’s what’s happening

(Tuesday sunrise under the fog over downtown, photographed by Theresa Arbow-O’Connor)

Here’s what’s happening for the rest of today/tonight – there’s even more on our West Seattle Event Calendar:

BLOCK DROP DIY CLEANUP SUPPLIES: Until 6 pm, today’s Block Drop is at Henderson/Barton, for Fauntleroy Park.

WADING POOLS CLOSED, SPRAYPARK OPEN: Cloudy and cooler today, so the city will NOT open the wading pools. Highland Park Spraypark at 1100 SW Cloverdale will be open as usual, though – 11 am-8 pm.

BLUE ANGELS PRACTICE: Various time windows 11 am-4 pm, per the schedule in our report on their arrival.

COLMAN POOL OPEN: Noon-7 pm, go swimming in the saltwater pool on the shore at Lincoln Park (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW).

LIBRARY CONVERSATION: Meet Seattle’s chief librarian Tom Fay for a conversation at High Point Library (3411 SW Raymond), 4-5 pm.

DESIGN REVIEW: Online meeting of the Southwest Design Review Board, taking another look at the mixed-use development planned for 4448 California SW, 5 pm. Public-comment period included.

ULTIMATE AT FAIRMOUNT: 6 pm, Thursday night summertime Ultimate pickup games are back at Fairmount Playfield (5400 Fauntleroy Way SW).

PIANO MUSIC: Solo piano at Otter on the Rocks (4210 SW Admiral Way), starting at 7 pm.

WARTUX: West Seattle-based Wartux is on a triple bill at Drunky Two Shoes (98th and 16th in White Center), doors 7 pm, music 8 pm.

THEATER: The new ArtsWest (WSB sponsor) production, “Here There Be Dragons,” has a performance at 7:30 pm. (4711 California SW)

BENBOW GOES COUNTRY: Thursday “Nashville Nights continue at the Benbow Room (4210 SW Admiral Way), 9 pm. 21+.

Have something to add to our calendar? Email info to westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!

Celebration of Life planned August 28 for Kathleen Mackanzie-Fortney, 1953-2022

Family and friends will gather August 28 to celebrate the life of Kathleen Mackanzie-Fortney. Here’s the remembrance they’re sharing:

Kathleen Mary Mackanzie-Fortney left us on July 2, 2022 at the age of 69.

Kathy was born in Oklahoma but grew up in West Seattle, graduating from West Seattle High School in 1971. Kathy spent some of her adult life working with disabled children, which she found very fulfilling. She was also very crafty, always trying new art forms to share as gifts with family. Kathy was passionate about her family, her kids, and her dogs.

Kathy passed away at home surrounded by husband Don and youngest son Aaron, who were her round-the-clock caretakers until the end.

Kathy is survived by husband Don Fortney; mother Patricia Smith; sister Shannon Zimmerman; children Jon Morin, Kelly Barnett, & Aaron Fortney; and grandchildren Matthew Morin, Kaleb Barnett, Maali Morin, Jake Barnett & Emma Barnett. She was preceded in death by her father Roger Mackanzie.

To honor Kathleen Mary Mackanzie-Fortney’s memory, we are holding an open house to celebrate her life on August 28th from 1 pm-4 pm. Please email us at jon.erika@gmail to RSVP and for location. We invite anyone who knew her to attend and remember her wonderful life. We ask attendees to wear bright colors.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to westseattleblog@gmail.com)

TRAFFIC, TRANSIT, WEATHER: Thursday notes

10:35 AM: The low bridge seems to be having trouble – it’s been closed to surface traffic for more than half an hour and the webcamera suggests repeated tries at closing it. We’re checking with SDOT.

10:50 AM: Confirmed – the low bridge is out of service at the moment with “mechanical issues.” We’re updating separately.

11:05 AM: Back in service.

========

6:03 AM: Good morning! It’s Thursday, August 4th.

WEATHER

Today’s forecast is for clouds and possibly some rain, high might not even make it to 70.

FERRIES, BUSES, WATER TAXI

Ferries: WSF is on the 2-boat schedule for Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth. Check here for alerts/updates.

Metro buses are on their regular weekday schedules; watch @kcmetroalerts for word of reroutes/trip cancellations.

The West Seattle Water Taxi is on its regular schedule.

BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES

865th morning without the West Seattle Bridge. 38 days until the week SDOT hopes to reopen it.

Low Bridge: Automated enforcement cameras remain in use; restrictions are in effect 5 am-9 pm daily – except weekends; the bridge is open to all until 8 am Saturday and Sunday mornings. (Access applications are available here for some categories of drivers.)

1st Avenue South Bridge:

South Park Bridge – camera malfunctioning, as are a few others in eastern West Seattle (they’ve been reported to SDOT, still no estimate on when they’ll be fixed)

Highland Park Way/2nd SW (one of four recently installed cameras):

The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):

Are movable city bridges opening for vessels? Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed; 1st Ave. S. Bridge openings are tweeted by @wsdot_traffic.

All city traffic cams can be seen here, many with video options; West Seattle and vicinity-relevant cameras are also on this WSB page

Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Please text or call us (when you can do so safely) – 206-293-6302.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Bus rider shot

10:47 PM: Seattle Fire and Police are arriving at 26th/Barton for a report of a person on board a Metro bus with a gunshot wound to the arm. Whether they were shot aboard the bus isn’t clear; police had been on their way to check out a report of shots heard at another location when this call came in.

11:07 PM: Thanks to Regina for the photo. The victim, whose wound is in the forearm, is being taken to Harborview. Meantime, a texter reports they live near Westwood and heard the shots” and adds, “A man who was on the bus told us that the shooter was intoxicated and had been arguing with the victim, then pulled a gun and shot 4 times into the bus. Unclear if the shooter was still on the bus or had exited.”

11:45 PM: They’ve been searching with a K-9 team, and now it appears the Guardian One helicopter is headed this way to help look, too.

3 AM NOTE: No further information tonight; we’re following up later this morning.

ADDED THURSDAY: The King County Sheriff’s Office (which includes Metro Transit Police) is handling the investigation and says there’s nothing additional to report, aside from confirming no one’s been arrested. SFD says the victim is a 26-year-old man, in stable condition when taken to the hospital.

BIZNOTE FOLLOWUP: Till Dawn close to opening

The texter who sent that photo is one of several who pointed out the new signage at 5048 California SW, the former vehicle-licensing office. As we first reported last October, it’ll be the home of Till Dawn. In February, we got a few more details from co-proprietor Andrew Spence (who’s also a co-founder of South Delridge’s 2 Fingers Social) – who described Till Dawn as a “super-nerd bar,” for “beer nerds, coffee nerds, gaming nerds.” We checked in with him today; he says they’re ready to go, just waiting on inspections. And yes, he confirmed that as the window signage suggests, Boon Boona Coffee will be their roaster.

NEW MAPS: See proposed boundary changes for City Council districts, including ours, and how you can comment

Before the elections next year for Seattle’s seven by-district City Council seats, the boundaries for those seven districts will be redrawn, to reflect population changes. For months, a volunteer commission has been working on drafting new boundaries – we reported on their initial four draft maps in February. Now the commission, chaired by Admiral resident and former mayor Greg Nickels, has come up with one final draft, and is seeking opinions. Above is the section including the proposed new boundaries for District 1, which currently spans West Seattle and South Park, but would expand to add SODO, Georgetown, and part of downtown. See the full citywide draft map here in PDF, or here in an interactive format. From the city’s announcement:

Over the past five months, the Commission has hosted or participated in more than 50 community information sessions, a community survey, and seven public forums to gather feedback from the public about the redistricting process and its potential impact on neighborhoods. This process has resulted in the Commission adopting a draft map of new City Council District boundaries. Members of the public are invited to submit public comment on the draft map and its proposed district boundaries. …

The Commission’s draft map was generated at an open public meeting of the Seattle Redistricting Commission on August 2 and was informed by the public comments submitted over the last five months. The map follows City Charter and state-mandated criteria using geographic information system (GIS) expertise and 2020 Census data to draw new boundaries and establish districts that are compact, contiguous, and approximately equal in population. The map also accounts for additional factors such as – to the extent practical – following existing district boundaries, recognizing waterways and geographic boundaries, and preserving Seattle’s existing communities and neighborhoods.

Public Comment

A discussion of the final draft map will now begin and both public comment and participation are requested by the Seattle Redistricting Commission. Members of the public can review the final draft map and offer feedback at seattle.gov/redistricting/how-to-participate.

The designated public comment period is open from (today) until the date the Commission files the final district plan, which is currently scheduled to be November 8, 2022, and shall be no later than November 15, 2022.

If you would like to obtain a physical copy of the draft map, please contact Logan Drummond at Logan.Drummond@seattle.gov. You can also find a copy at the customer service desk in Seattle City Hall, located at 600 Fourth Avenue.

Public comment can be made:

In-person at one of three Public Forums
Public Forum #1: Tuesday, August 9th, 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Physical Location: Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Avenue, Boards & Commissions Room L280
Virtual Link: us06web.zoom.us/j/84697105761
-Public Forum #2: September – date and time TBD
-Public Forum #3: October – date and time TBD
-In-person at any regularly scheduled Seattle Redistricting Commission meeting. Check the Seattle Redistricting Commission website for dates and times.
-In writing using the Seattle Redistricting Commission’s public comment submission form.

If you would like more information or to request interpretation services for any of the public forums, please contact Elsa Batres-Boni at Elsa.Batres-Boni@seattle.gov or 206-256-6198.

To compare the proposed boundaries with the current ones – which reflect how the districts were drawn for the first by-district elections in 2015 – see the current map here.

ELECTION 2022: Second round of primary results

checkbox.jpgNo changes in who’s leading the six races in which our area voted this primary. King County Elections is out with the second round of results. First four races below are from the full King County result list, last two are from the statewide results linked to the race tutle, all percentages rounded:

34TH DISTRICT STATE HOUSE REP. POSITION 1 (no incumbent)
Emily Alvarado (D) – 52%
Leah Griffin (D) – 32%

34TH DISTRICT STATE HOUSE REP. POSITION 2
Joe Fitzgibbon* (D) – 83%
Andrew Pilloud (R) – 17%

34TH DISTRICT STATE SENATOR
Joe Nguyen* (D) – 83%
John Potter (R) – 10%

DISTRICT 7 U.S. HOUSE REP.
Pramila Jayapal* (D) – 84%
Cliff Moon (R) – 8%

U.S. SENATOR
Patty Murray* (D) – 54%
Tiffany Smiley (R) – 33%

WASHINGTON SECRETARY OF STATE (no incumbent)
Steve Hobbs (D) – 41%
Julie Anderson (NP) – 13%

As of tonight, the county has received almost 38 percent of West Seattle/South Park ballots; countywide, almost 37 percent, with more than a third of those still to be counted, along with whatever’s received by mail in the days before the election is certified.

CRIME WATCH UPDATE: Man charged with felony hate crime after shoplift-turned-assaults in Westwood Target

ORIGINAL WEDNESDAY REPORT: A man is in jail for investigation of hate crimes and assault after an incident at Westwood Target on Tuesday afternoon. Police say they got first word around 1:12 pm when a store manager called 911 to ask for help with a “previous shoplifter who had returned and was causing a disturbance.” Target security asked him to leave; the police summary says the man then “made racially biased comments and indicated he intended to fight with someone.” Target security offered him food to try to “de-escalate” while escorting him out, but the man, police say, “began randomly assaulting people, apparently based on their race, resulting in one person being (choked) and four being assaulted by various means.” That’s when police arrived and took him into custody. Seattle Fire says no one suffered major injuries; SFD treated one person, a 36-year-old man, for what they called “minor injuries.” The photo is from a person who texted us about this yesterday; we didn’t get details until today. The texter says they and others inside the store at the time intervened to keep things from getting worse before police arrived. We don’t yet know the suspect’s name so we don’t know whether he’s still in jail.

ADDED THURSDAY AFTERNOON: We’ve obtained the probable-cause documents from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office – in essence a far-more detailed version of the police report. Here’s the narrative, with the 36-year-old suspect’s name redacted as he is not yet charged (though the KCPAO tells us a charging decision could happen later today):

At 1312 hours on 08/02/2022, a disturbance call was generated at 2800 SW Barton (Target store). The following was advised: “INSIDE, MALE SHOPLIFTING, STATING THAT HE WANTS TO HURTS PEOPLE AND “IS WILLING TO GO TO JAIL THE RIGHT WAY”, NO ASLT, NO WPNS SEEN.”

Upon arriving to the location, it appeared the store had been evacuated as dozens of people were standing outside the front door. Officers were guided to the location of (suspect) who appeared to be waiting for police around the checkout area. He was detained by officers without incident.

Store security provided a recorded statement relating the following: He observed (suspect) steal two energy drinks earlier in the day, exiting the store without payment. Store security observed (suspect) reenter the store, talking to himself. Store security approached (suspect) who related he was in his predicament due to privileged white people. Wanting to get (suspect) out of the store peacefully, store security offered to provide (suspect) with food if he’d leave. (suspect) remarked that he wanted to hurt people. Store security was alarmed, raised his palms in defense, and made a, “whoa,” remark. (suspect) replied he would not harm the store security officer because he was a person of color. (suspect) then remarked loudly that he wanted to hurt white people. While in the store, (suspect) approached a family of four adults, yelling it was all their fault whilst kicking their cart and trying to get the family to fight. (suspect) threw an open energy drink in the face of one, causing the liquid to enter his eyes and struck the same subject in the lower left hip with an avocado from a distance of between 5-15’, causing significant swelling. The victim’s father was struck in the back of the head by what he believed to be a muffin which did not cause injury.

(suspect) approached an adult male and punched him in the back of the head without any provocation, causing pain. (suspect) threw a full, unopened plastic water bottle which struck an adult female in the back of the head, causing pain. (suspect) approached an adult male, placed his hand around his throat and squeezed for a duration of approximately ten to fifteen seconds. The victim (name redacted), related he did not think he lost the ability to breathe but had visible redness/bruising around his throat and stated it hurt to swallow; he was seen by SFD medics on scene. All of the aforementioned victims appeared to be either Caucasian or of fair complexion. (suspect) was placed under arrest for investigation of hate crime and investigation of assault. I am additionally requesting charges for the four other victims of assault in the fourth degree.

(suspect) was advised of his “Miranda Rights,” which he stated he understood. (suspect) wouldn’t speak at length with me, but when asked why he assaulted the people inside the store, he related they knew why. He declined to speak further. (suspect) was transported to KCJ for booking.

The suspect’s bail was set at $25,000, as requested by the KCPAO.

ADDED 3:50 PM: The KCPAO has just charged the suspect, Kevin Parkman Jr., with one felony count of hate crime. The documents filed with the charge have the same narrative as published above. The document also mentions Parkman has “five active warrants and seven convictions for violating court orders.”

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: Could concrete dispute push the schedule back again?

(July photo sent by John Bennett)

You might have forgotten, but the concrete drivers’ strike never really ended – drivers just decided to go back to work in April while continuing to negotiate, and that enabled a restart of stalled aspects of the West Seattle Bridge repairs. Then this week, a reminder that the drivers are still working without a contract – the drivers, represented by Teamsters Union Local 174, voted down the newest contract proposal this week. The union called it “subpar” but so far has not announced another work stoppage, Still, the prospect is certainly a source of concern. With less than six weeks to go until the week that SDOT is hoping to reopen the bridge – the week of September 12th – how much concrete is still needed, and for what? we asked SDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergerson. Reply: “The remaining concrete work to pave the bridge deck and parts of the Spokane St Viaduct and Fauntleroy Expressway leading to the bridge requires about 450 cubic yards of concrete over the coming weeks.” We asked what’s being done to try to avoid having that interrupted. Bergerson said, “Anticipating potential risks and making contingency plans for unexpected factors beyond our control has always been critical to the West Seattle Bridge project. Our construction contractor is currently working with concrete suppliers to attempt to speed up the concrete delivery timeline. We are trying to order as much concrete as we can, as soon as possible.” For now, though, as reported here last week, “the week of September 12th” remains the estimate, with a promise that we’ll get a more specific date when they’re 30 days out.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Arraignment tomorrow for man charged with raping Highland Park woman and suspected in another attack

A man charged with raping a Highland Park woman will be arraigned tomorrow and is also facing possible charges in another rape two weeks earlier. So far, 46-year-old Sonny Borja (Department of Corrections photo at right) is charged in a July 14th attack, in which he is accused of breaking into the 38-year-old victim’s apartment while she slept and raping her repeatedly. According to the charging documents, his apartment was in the same block as the victim’s, and he had approached her multiple times in the days before the attack, including following her to a park and asking her to unnecessarily jump-start his car. Borja was arrested July 20th and charged two days later, at which time his bail was set at, and remains at, $1 million.

At the time of that incident, Borja had been out of jail for eight days, having spent five days there for allegedly raping another woman on June 30th, this time in his own Highland Park apartment. Court documents say he was released in that case because prosecutors did not yet have the evidence required to consider chargesm, but the case remains under investigation. In the documents for the charges on which he’ll be arraigned tomorrow, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office says Borja has a “shocking and extensive” history of violent crimes. The cases comprising that history happened in Thurston and Pierce Counties, as far back as 1999, when Borja was in his early 20s. One of those cases began with a rape charge but ended with a plea to a reduced charge of assault.

SEAFAIR: Blue Angels arrive in Seattle

1:10 PM: Thanks to Kevin for the photo (and Gill for the tip by phone) – the Blue Angels are back in Seattle. A few reminders: They’re based at Boeing Field but near the terminal, NOT in the publicly viewable areas of years past, because of the bigger new jets and the equipment required for them … They’ll be practicing Thursday (added: times)

Thursday, August 4
11:00 AM – #1-4 Practice Flight
12:00 PM – #5-6 Practice Flight
2:20 PM – #1-6 Practice Flight
3:20 PM – Fat Albert Practice Flight

And they’ll be flying their performance routine Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (3:05 pm is the scheduled time those three days) … no freeway closures but you’ll likely notice different air-traffic patterns over West Seattle when they’re flying … the Museum of Flight has a special (admission required) Jet Blast Bash event (with pilot-autograph sessions promised) all weekend.

ADDED 2:53 PM: Thanks to Monica Zaborac for sending these photos:

(That middle photo is “Fat Albert,” the Blue Angels’ support plane.)

UPDATE: Seattle Fire rescue response for car in ravine

10:58 AM: Seattle Fire has a “rescue extrication” response headed to the 2100 block of Arch SW (map) for a report of a car into a ravine. This will affect traffic in the Fairmount Ravine area – access to the incident area is “tight,” as firefighters are pointing out to dispatch. Updates to come.

11:01 AM: Firefighters confirmed to dispatch “We have a car in the ravine.” Now they’re trying to determine the status of occupant(s). … Update: “One patient, appears to be fine.”

11:09 AM: They’re still working to get that person out of the car.

11:20 AM: The person is out and described in “stable condition.”

11:42 AM: SFD is wrapping up its response, so most emergency vehicles should be cleared out of the area soon.