• March 11, 2015

He’s now Assistant Chief Steve Wilske: Southwest Precinct commander promoted


Before Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole returns to West Seattle tonight, she’s formally introducing her new command staff downtown this morning, and a locally familiar face is in the lineup. One of the new Assistant Chiefs is Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Wilske, as announced via SPD Blotter this morning. From that announcement:

Steve Wilske, currently the commander of the Southwest Precinct, has served for more than 28 years with the department in a variety of roles, including Homicide and Crime Scene and Use of Force investigation. At Southwest, Steve brought his CSI background to bear, as he pushed the importance of scouring every single crime scene for fingerprints.

I was looking for a commander who could plunge right into leading the patrol operations section, so it seems fitting that Steve has a degree in commercial diving.

Wilske has led the Southwest Precinct (which covers South Park and West Seattle) for 13 months, since January of last year, following the one-year encore by Capt. Joe Kessler. No mention yet of a successor. The chief’s “Continuing the Conversation” meeting in West Seattle is at 6:30 tonight at the precinct (Webster/Delridge); she will introduce her new team to the media downtown at 11 am. (File photo from June 2014)

  • March 7, 2015

West Duwamish Trail extension celebration: It’s open!

Thanks to Don Brubeck from West Seattle Bike Connections for sharing that photo of the ribbon-cutting this morning at the West Duwamish Trail extension. As explained by SDOT:

In addition to the bike trail, the project includes other much needed improvements in South Park-the installation of a storm drain system and the improvement of a previously unpaved section of South Portland Street. The work was a combined effort among SDOT, the Seattle Public Utilities and the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation. …

The north end of the Duwamish Trail connects with Alki Trail and the West Seattle Bridge trail. The new section extends the trail to the south, from South Holden Street and Second Avenue South to the paved roads in South Park that lead to the Green River Trail. It is a multipurpose pathway – dedicated to both bicycles and pedestrians – that creates a safer environment for all modes of travel including vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists.

“This project advances our goal of providing pedestrian and bicycling facilities that serve all ages and abilities,” said SDOT Director Scott Kubly. “It also furthers our goal of improving connections around the city and the region”

The West Duwamish Trail Project began in 2008 when it was identified by the Park and Green Spaces Levy. The South Park Neighborhood Association applied for a grant from SDOT’s Neighborhood Street Fund program to extend the trail on Eighth Avenue South.

Construction for the most recent trail extension began in July 2014 and was substantially complete in mid-January. This work was largely funded by the 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy, Seattle Public Utilities, SDOT’s Street Maintenance Division and the Bridging the Gap transportation levy.

An inaugural bike ride started on the new trail segment and continued into the South Park business district.


  • March 4, 2015

Student approached while headed to school bus stop

You might have read about this on the Yahoo! mailing list this morning – then this afternoon, Seattle Police published this on SPD Blotter:

Police are investigating a possible luring incident in the South Park neighborhood where a man followed around a 14-year-old girl, who was waiting for a school bus Wednesday morning.

The girl told police she was by herself at the bus stop around 8:30 AM when a man in an older, four-door car with dull silver paint pulled up and began asking questions like, “what are you doing,” and “where are you going.”

The man repeatedly followed the girl in his car after she became nervous and walked away from the bus stop a couple of times. The suspect eventually turned around and the girl got on the school bus and called police. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 911.

According to the Twitter log of police calls, it happened near 10th S. and S. Trenton.

  • March 4, 2015

Zumba-Thon at Concord School this afternoon/evening!

Fun(draiser) at Concord today, for your nearest YMCA – here’s the announcement:

West Seattle & Fauntleroy YMCA Annual Campaign ZUMBA-THON(r)
Wednesday, March 4th, 4:00 to 6:00pm

Get your heart pumping, feet stomping and hips shaking while you dance for a great cause. This fundraiser supports the youth in our community by providing scholarships for summer camps, teen learning centers, youth obesity programs, swim lessons, youth sports and much more. Suggested minimum donation amount of $15.00 but more encouraged! Brought to you by the Concord CLC, Concord School-Age Program and Concord Preschool.

Concord International School Gymnasium – 723 South Concord Street, Seattle

No registration necessary. This event is open to the community so invite your friends, family and neighbors.

Noreen Johnson-Latour, 206 768 1164

  • February 26, 2015

West Duwamish Trail celebration planned March 7th

Almost party time!

  • February 24, 2015

Suspected chop shop under investigation on South Donovan

Published on SPD Blotter by Jonah Spangenthal-Lee today – an update on an investigation that started over the weekend:

A burglar who tried to make his getaway on a bicycle in the South Park neighborhood Saturday afternoon led officers right to a half-dozen stripped down stolen cars and a suspected chop shop.

Police received a report around 3:15 PM that two men had smashed their way into a garage in the 1000 block of S. Donovan Street and fled. Officers arrived at the home and learned one suspect had fled on foot, while the other had pedaled away on an orange bike.

Officers caught the first man on foot and followed the bicycling burglar as he ran into the yard of a home in the 1200 block of S. Cloverdale. When police caught up with the second suspect, he no longer had the bike with him.

When police went looking for the bike in the secluded backyard of the home, they came across the disassembled shells of a half-dozen cars, primarily 1990s Hondas. Police discovered discovered the cars were missing their license plates and engines, and found the vehicles had all been stolen from Queen Anne, Ballard, Federal Way and Tacoma.

Major Crimes Task Force detectives joined the investigation at the home, where officers also seized two tow trucks. SPD evidence specialists also recovered a number of fingerprints from the stolen cars, and have identified a possible suspect connected with the chop shop.

Detectives interviewed the two burglary suspects and continue to investigate the suspected chop shop.

  • February 24, 2015

Followup: South Park Bridge repairs under way

So far, so good for the South Park Bridge, after last Saturday’s breakdown. Update from King County:

Repairs to a transmission pump that caused the South Park Bridge to close for several hours Saturday are now being completed by the bridge contractor. Upon closer inspection, engineers determined that repairs can be made locally. Once repairs are complete, the pump will be reconnected to the drive shaft. That work is expected to take a day or two and can be completed while the bridge continues to be open to vehicle traffic. At this point, engineers do not believe the work will result in significant traffic delays.

In the meantime, adjustments have been made that allow for the bridge to operate under auxiliary power – which means the bridge spans can still be raised and lowered to accommodate marine traffic. The raising and lowering of the bridge just may take a bit longer than normal.

King County appreciates your patience as it works to complete repairs.

  • February 21, 2015

Update: South Park Bridge back in service as of early Tuesday

11:42 AM: The South Park Bridge remains “stuck in the open position,” and has been that way most of the morning. No ETA for repairs yet, but we’re mentioning this in case you haven’t already heard. Whenever you refresh this page, it’ll show you the newest image from the 14th/Cloverdale traffic camera, so you can check back here to see if it’s fixed.

1:54 PM: SDOT now says the bridge might not reopen before Tuesday. Barricades are up to keep vehicles and people entirely off it.

6:10 PM: Update from King County Roads:

King County has determined that the cause of this morning’s South Park Bridge mechanical malfunction was a faulty transmission pump that will need to be rebuilt or replaced under warranty. Replacement parts are expected to arrive Tuesday. In the meantime, the county is evaluating whether the bridge spans can be safely lowered to allow for vehicle traffic.

Until the bridge reopens, motorists should use the 1st Avenue South Bridge as a detour. The county understands how important the bridge is to the community and motorists – every effort is being made to get the bridge reopened to both vehicle and marine traffic as quickly as possible.

3:08 AM SUNDAY: The bridge is back in service as of very early today, though the repairs haven’t been completed yet. This could change, but for now, both KC Roads and KING 5 confirm it’s working.

  • February 15, 2015

Update: Police investigation after woman found dead

9:10 AM: Seattle Police just tweeted: “Officers investigating after a body was found in 1200 block S Sullivan St. More details to come.” This started with what’s shown on the Seattle Fire log as a medical call just after 8 am. We’ll update when there’s more info.

10:23 AM: We are at the scene. Police have taped off 12th south of Sullivan. The CSI team is here as are three TV crews. We have also just seen Capt. Steve Paulsen from the homicide unit (former SW Precinct captain).

10:45 AM: Capt. Paulsen tells us the body is that of an “adult female,” found by a passerby in the alley between Sullivan and Cloverdale, east side of 12th. “Possible trauma” is why they are investigating her death as a possible homicide. He expects they’ll be out there a few more hours.

ADDED: From the SPD Blotter post:

People began calling 911 shortly after 8 AM Sunday to report a woman down and unresponsive in an alley of the 1200 block of S. Sullivan Street. When Officers and Medics arrived on scene they attempted CPR on the woman, but were unable to revive her. The woman had suffered some type of trauma but it is unclear at this time who or what caused it.

CSI and Homicide detectives are working with the Medical Examiner to determine the cause of death. If you have any information in this case please call the Homicide/Assault tip line at 206-233-5000.

  • February 10, 2015

February’s South Park Neighborhood Association meeting tonight

As announced by South Park Neighborhood Association co-chair Brooke O’Neill via the e-mail list:

It’s time again for our monthly community meeting. Last month, everyone had a blast at our semiannual potluck, with great food, prizes, and fabulous music. This month, we’re back to business. Topics for (tonight) are:

Getting a crosswalk across E. Marginal Way from the new bridge to the sidewalk in front of Boeing to allow people to cross the street safely without using the underground tunnel. One of our Georgetown neighbors is applying for grants to fund the endeavor and is seeking support from South Park.

Michell Mouton from the Office of Emergency Management is coming to tell us about how we can prepare as a neighborhood for disasters, upcoming trainings, and new job opportunities for community members.

Envious of all those raingardens your neighbors have? You too can have one, totally free! Vicki Raya will be there to tell you how.

Tonight’s meeting is at the South Park Neighborhood Center, 8201 10th Avenue S.