About the crane at the Fauntleroy ferry dock

Thanks to the reader who sent that photo and asked what the crane is doing at Washington State Ferries‘ Fauntleroy dock. We asked WSF, and spokesperson Ian Sterling replied that it’s there for “routine annual maintenance work that we’re doing at a bunch of terminals and it just happens to be Fauntleroy’s turn.” He says the crane is expected to be at Fauntleroy for about a week and a half and its work is not expected to affect dock operations. The WSF website describes the work as “Landing Aid Repairs, Steel Pile in trestle, Hanger Bar Replacement.”

CONGRATULATIONS! President’s Volunteer Service Awards for 4 young West Seattleites

The photo and report are from Sheryl Guyon:

Husky Deli has been a pillar of the community for generations. So, it’s not surprising that they attract quality employees.

What is a coincidence is that four of the young men serving ice cream have all been awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award for exceptional service to their community.

It is a nationally recognized honor which was started by President Obama. It recognizes citizens who give back to their community in a significant way, each dedicating their time for the betterment of others.

Each student logged 150 hours or more of service in the past year, including time spent serving the homeless, participating in All City Band, helping freshmen at West Seattle High School through Link Crew, volunteering to help at sporting events, promoting the Crop Walk for Hunger, and helping younger students succeed.

From left in the photo are West Seattle High School seniors Peter Guyon, Aidan Day, and Neil Gromlich, and Chief Sealth International High School junior Chase Gaither. Congratulations to all!

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Foggy Monday watch

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

7:06 AM: Good morning. Foggy and freezing out there, so beware of slick roads. No incidents reported so far in/from West Seattle. Two notes:

COLUMBIA PROJECT: As explained here, if you use Columbia Street downtown, note that work is scheduled to start today on the first phase of a major project.

LAST WEEK BEFORE SCHOOL BREAK: Seattle Public Schools and those who follow the same calendar will be on winter break after this week – school on Friday (December 15th) will be out one hour early.

7:12 AM: Metro alert just in:

Proposed Schmitz Park expansion goes before City Council committee this week

One of West Seattle’s biggest parks will get a little bigger, if a proposal for the city to buy an adjacent parcel gets final approval. The announcement was sent tonight by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society:

109-year-old Schmitz Park is on track to be expanded by a parcel at its southeast corner.

The plan, which has secured approval by the Seattle Mayor’s office, is headed for consideration by a Seattle City Council committee on Tuesday morning, Dec. 12.

Working on this plan for nearly three years is a group calling itself Friends of the Historic Schmitz Park Addition, including former Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, Schmitz family spokesperson Vicki Schmitz Block, and the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.

SWSHS is pleased to congratulate and support this recent announcement, which would involve legislation for the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation to acquire the property of West Seattle resident Bruce Stotler, located at the southeast corner of historic Schmitz Park in West Seattle (see map).

This issue will be voted on in Seattle City Council committee on Tuesday, December 12, during the meeting of the Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development, and Arts Committee chaired by Lisa Herbold, which begins at 9:30 am and is open to public comment. If passed in committee, the legislation will go to full Council in early January.

The process began in 2015 when property owner Bruce Stotler reached out to former Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen about donating or selling (below cost) his property abutting the park. Councilmember Rasmussen led Parks Superintendent Jesús Aguirre and others on tours of the Stotler property.

(2015 photo: L-R, Bruce Stotler, Tom Rasmussen, Vicki Schmitz Block, Rasmussen staffer Evan Clifthorne)

Rasmussen and property owner Stotler later met with Councilmember Lisa Herbold in 2016, presenting goals to:

• Expand Schmitz Preserve Park by adding Bruce Stotler’s property to the park
• Allowing Stotler to live on the property through a life-estate agreement with the Parks Department
• Potential increase future accessibility to the Park at its southeast corner, potentially improving ADA access
• Establishing this agreement at a time that the property owner was willing to do so with a large donation component

Fast forward to today: Former Councilmember Rasmussen expresses his own appreciation to Mr. Stotler, Councilmember Herbold, and others for championing this issue and bringing it to the fore. “I believe this is an important step toward the preservation of our parks, and Mr. Stotler is setting a remarkable example of how an individual resident can continue in the tradition of the Schmitz family’s original gift of the park land to the City of Seattle.”

Representing the Schmitz family, Vicki Schmitz Block said, “The Schmitz Family is grateful to Mr. Stotler for his vision of adding his property to Schmitz Park, the Seattle Parks Department for agreeing to purchase this piece of land, and Mayor Jenny Durkan for shepherding the project forward. We are hopeful that this action will generate renewed interest and involvement by the community to ensure the future of this forest-like park.”

Jeff McCord, Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director, added, “We hope to continue to provide outreach, support and advocacy for projects like this one which help to enhance our wonderful West Seattle character and environment. The prospect of having better public access to a great asset like Schmitz Park, as well as helping to expand and preserve the park for all to enjoy, is great news for our community.”

The proposed purchase agreement that’s part of the committee’s Tuesday agenda lists the price the city will pay for the 5,000-square-foot parcel as $225,000, about half its current assessed value.

West Seattle mom’s quest for closure, 3 years after baseball-player son’s death in a crash

The holiday season is a time to give … and a time to reach out.

It is also a time to try to cope with the loss of those who are no longer with us.

Three years ago, Jenny Taylor lost her 26-year-old son Jay Taylor in a car crash.

His loss was also a loss to the community. Jay was a star baseball player at West Seattle High School, helping the Wildcats win the league championship. (That’s Jay in the photo at right, with recently retired WSHS baseball coach Velko Vitalich.)

He also played college baseball at multiple schools, and his potential had been recognized by pro-baseball teams. Before all that, Jay mentored many younger players.

His promising future was taken away in August of 2014, on the night before he was to return to Kansas for his final year of playing college baseball. He crashed near Lincoln Park in a summer downpour. Jenny explains that he suffered a brain injury that took his life 9 days later.

“The loss of our son is something we will never get over in my lifetime. I wake up every morning trying to remember how his hug warmed my heart and how proud I was of him and maybe someday I will be able to feel love in my heart again. It’s just horrible to lose a child of any age.”

Before WSHS, Jay went to Schmitz Park Elementary and Madison Middle School. His love for baseball started with T-ball at age 5. Along with playing in youth leagues, Jenny says, her son “played all year around on select teams that traveled around … during the summer also.”

His achievements are detailed in part in his obituary. During his senior year, in June 2006, the Colorado Rockies drafted him, and interest was shown by other teams including the Boston Red Sox and San Diego Padres, Jenny recalls. “He didn’t sign and accepted a full ride to Lewis-Clark in Idaho that year.” His college career took him to several other schools, finally Sterling College in Kansas, “where he met his girlfriend, the captain of the softball team, and gave her a promise ring in May.” She too was from western Washington (Renton).

Then came the crash. “The night of the accident, he had been at Lincoln Park and left his backpack and went back to get it during a downpour, and was seen by a RapidRide bus driver rounding the corner on an a oily roadway, sliding into a pole and not getting aid soon enough …” Jenny says the bus driver did not call for help, while her son remained at the scene, gravely injured. But separate from that, she is seeking closure in the form of a headstone in tribute to her son. “I feel that all of his friends and teammates need some closure and a place to grieve, to process this horrible accident. I as a mother can only now think of putting his ashes to rest here in West Seattle in the (J) section that is still open after 3 years was just meant to be. My family is starting over and can’t afford the plot and headstone that Jay deserves.”

She is asking for community help via crowdfunding, hoping that those touched by Jay’s life might be able to make the memorial happen.

“My son never gave up on his dream, and deserves a nice headstone … he brought scouts to his school for other players to follow their dreams.” She hopes to be able to fulfill this last one she has for him.

TUESDAY: Admiral Neighborhood Association’s final 2017 meeting

Still a few more community meetings before holiday break – including the Admiral Neighborhood Association, 7 pm Tuesday (December 12th). Here’s the agenda, as announced by president Larry Wymer:

We welcome our Admiral neighbors to our last meeting of 2017 where we have a full agenda to address a variety of issues of interest to all, which includes:

1) ALKI PUBLIC SAFETY & HEALTH SURVEY (rescheduled from an earlier meeting)
Newell Aldrich, Legislative Assistant for City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, will be presenting the results of this recent survey initiated by Councilmember Herbold, which generated responses from 817 area residents (including 197 from Admiral). Mr. Aldrich will discuss both the survey, and the City Council’s response to it.

2) HALA MHA FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT COMMUNITY APPEALS
Seattle Fair Growth, along with at least 15 neighborhoods around the City, have filed an appeal, which Deb Barker will discuss.

3) EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION HUB (Volunteer needed)
The Admiral neighborhood is in need of a volunteer to take on the “Admiral Emergency Communication Hub Captain” position. This volunteer would help ensure Admiral is ready to be resilient after a disaster by setting up a communication point so Admiral neighbors can help Admiral neighbors, as well as maintain communication with other neighborhood hubs throughout West Seattle, and greater Seattle. If interested, please come find out more.

4) ADMIRAL CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS (Volunteers needed)
ANA would like to initiate a discussion among neighbors and businesses to consider establishing a committee to raise funds and assemble a group volunteers to purchase Christmas (and/or generic “holiday”) decorations which we would use to decorate the Admiral core in future years. Let’s discuss to gauge interest, and see if we can find volunteers!

5) ANA OFFICER NOMINATIONS/ELECTIONS – It’s that time!

ANA meets at The Sanctuary at Admiral (42nd/Lander), and all are welcome to attend.

UPDATE: House fire in Highland Park; no injuries reported

(Added: WSB photos, unless otherwise credited)

5:48 PM: Seattle Fire is sending a “full response” to a fire reported “on the exterior” of a house in Highland Park, in the 7500 block of 14th SW [map].

5:52 PM: Per scanner, the fire may have extended into the house. Everyone is reported to have gotten out OK.

5:56 PM: The fire’s reported to be burning in the attic. SFD confirms no injuries reported.

6:10 PM: Traffic alert – SW Holden is blocked in the area. The fire is now reported to be under control. The Red Cross is being called to help the house’s residents.

(Seattle Fire Dept. photo)

6:19 PM: One resident told our photographer that they believe the fire was electrical and started in a wall in the back of the house. She confirms everyone got out OK, but they’re currently looking for their two cats.

7:19 PM: Holden is open again.

Shopping, snacking, sipping to help West Seattle nonprofits @ St. Nicholas Faire 2017

Soft light, refreshments, low-key holiday shopping … it’s like the anti-mall right now in the basement of First Lutheran Church of West Seattle during the 9th annual St. Nicholas Faire, continuing until 7 pm. The shopping is actually bidding – for dozens of unique gift baskets, gift items, and gift cards, all donated so the money that’s raised can go to the West Seattle Food Bank and West Seattle Helpline. Item themes range from sports to cooking to reading to gardening to relaxing to snacking …

Art, too – this Alki painting is by Paul Smith:

There’s an admission charge (as detailed in our calendar listing) to raise money for those nonprofits too, discounted if you bring nonperishable food for the WSFB. And for an extra $5, you can do some wine tasting – every year Rich Marshall from award-winning Maryhill Winery is there; he also happens to be brother of FLCWS pastor Rev. Ron Marshall. Parking lot’s behind the church (4105 California SW), entrance is in front; go have a good time while doing good. (More photos shortly.)

CONGRATULATIONS! STEM K-8 girls win LEAF Challenge

The photo and report are from Louisa Boren STEM K-8 principal Ben Ostrom:

STEM K-8 Girls Team takes first place in the Lindbergh Electric Aircraft Flight STEM challenge against high-school competition! The competition involves designing, building, and flying electric planes that carry cargo.

Go Girls!

You can read more about the competition here.

Remembering Phyllis Chesterfield, 1936-2017

Family and friends are remembering Phyllis Chesterfield, and sharing this tribute with the community:

Phyllis Jean Chesterfield (Johnson) passed away peacefully at her home on November 16, 2017 at the age of 81. She was born February 20, 1936, in Seattle. She grew up in Seattle and graduated from West Seattle High School.

Phyllis loved her family, music, reading, history, cooking, genealogy, guitar, and so much more.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 58 years, Donald R. Chesterfield, June 1, 2011.

Phyllis is survived by her six children Kris Ohanu, Kip Chesterfield, Karen Brown, Kitty Chesterfield, Karli Shanklin, Kilian Chesterfield, and their families, many grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her brothers Walt, Keith, Jim, and Jerry Johnson, and their families, including many nieces and nephews.

A gathering for family and friends will be held in her honor at a later date. Please contact Kris Ohanu (krisohanu@yahoo.com) for details.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

HAPPENING NOW: Free rides on the West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays Santa Trolley

Yes, there is a Santa Claus … aboard the Santa Trolley. Today brought the debut of this new West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays feature – free rides around The Junction until 2 pm, during the Farmers’ Market – next Sunday (December 17th) too!

The trolley is from Emerald City Trolley; the rides are free thanks to sponsor Westside School (which also sponsors WSB, and we too sponsor Hometown Holidays). Junction Hometown Holidays events in the week ahead include Cocoa Cris Cringle photo sessions at Easy Street Records on Wednesday, Holiday Art Walk on Thursday night, Caspar Babypants at Easy Street next Saturday, and the cocoa-and-coat drive at the Farmers Market next Sunday … all listed here (and in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, too!).

WEST SEATTLE WEATHER: Stage 1 burn ban ordered

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is adding King County to its burn-ban list. As of 2 pm today, a Stage 1 burn ban will be in effect. Here’s what that means:

*No burning is allowed in wood-burning fireplaces, uncertified wood stoves or uncertified fireplace inserts unless this is your only adequate source of heat.

*Even those using a certified device or those for whom this is their only adequate source of heat cannot generate visible smoke.

*All outdoor burning is prohibited, even in areas where outdoor burning is not permanently banned. This includes wood- and charcoal-fueled recreational fires.

Also, the National Weather Service‘s air-stagnation advisory continues.

SEEN OFF WEST SEATTLE: USS Nimitz, headed home

(Added: Photo by Tom Stoner)

After six months away, the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) arrives home in Bremerton today, and the grouping of Navy vessels rounding south Bainbridge Island and entering Rich Passage, as shown on MarineTraffic.com, indicates it should be visible from here.

What’s up for your West Seattle Sunday

(Ruby-crowned kinglet, photographed by Mark Ahlness; photo shared via WSB Flickr group)

Happy Sunday! Here’s what’s up, morning through night – from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide and Event Calendar:

SANTA PHOTOS AT CAPERS: 9 am-noon at CAPERS in The Junction. Donations benefit the West Seattle Food Bank. (4525 California SW)

SANTA AT THE SCHOOLHOUSE: Santa photos at Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, 9 am-4 pm Saturday with Gail Ann Photography. Walk-ins welcome. Packages start at $30, and 20% of all sales will be donated to the Fauntleroy Community Service Agency. (9131 California SW)

RIDE THE SANTA TROLLEY! 10 am-2 pm in The Junction, free ride with Emerald City Trolleys taking you on a loop around the Junction. Sponsored by Westside School (WSB sponsor). Catch the trolley at the south end of the Farmers’ Market. (California/Alaska)

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: Year-round market open today 10 am-2 pm. (California SW between Oregon and Alaska)

GREYHOUND MEET AND GREET: 11 am-1 pm, Greyhound Pets Inc. at Mud Bay in Admiral. (2611 California SW)

OPEN HOUSE AT MODE MUSIC AND PERFORMING ARTS: 3-6 pm, come find out about this new venture at its first open house:

Mode Music and Performing Arts (MMPA) is a new nonprofit performing arts organization based in the West Seattle neighborhood, providing classes and workshops in the Seattle area. Founded by Kristina Rowell (Studio East Education Director) and Erin Rubin (Mode Music Studios in West Seattle), MMPA is out of West Seattle and ready for launch in January of 2018.

MMPA strives to provide exciting and innovative performing-arts training. We believe that it is vital every child experience the arts and have the opportunity to create on and off stage. Our professional teaching artists are skilled at offering a wide variety of performing arts classes from acting technique to musical theater to play creation and performance.

It’s two doors down from Mode Music Studios (WSB sponsor) and next to Skylark. (3801 Delridge Way SW)

HOLIDAY SINGALONG: Songs of Christmas singalong, 3 pm. All ages, following festive refreshments at 2:30 pm, at Admiral Congregational UCC. (4320 SW Hill)

‘IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE’: Matinee today for Twelfth Night Productions‘ holiday show “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Show.” 3:00 pm at Kenyon Hall. Get ticket(s) online at this Brown Paper Tickets link, or at the Kenyon Hall box office. (7904 35th SW)

ERYN BENT: Singer-songwriter performs at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 3-5 pm. (5612 California SW)

LADIES’ MUSICAL CLUB: Free classical concert at West Seattle (Admiral) Library, 3 pm. Program details in our calendar listing. (2306 42nd SW)

ST. NICHOLAS FAIRE: 4:30 pm-7 pm, enjoy the 9th annual St. Nicholas Faire, raising money for the West Seattle Food Bank and the West Seattle Helpline: “Appetizers and spiced cider or mulled wine, silent auction of gift baskets featuring
beer, wine, tea, kitchen items, games, puzzles, art activities, Seahawks & Mariners gear, baked goods, children’s books, etc, and gift cards from local merchants and restaurants. Plus a ring toss game and wine tasting. Lower level of First Lutheran Church of West Seattle. $5 person admission with non-perishable food item or
$15 per family with food donation for each member. If no food donation, $10 person/$25 family.” (4105 California SW)

HOLIDAY CONCERT: South Seattle College Community Choir‘s free holiday concert, 7 pm, SSC’s Olympic Hall. Park in south lot. (6000 16th SW)

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Street robbery; mail prowler

Two reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch:

STREET ROBBERY: We have heard from several people about this incident in The Junction late today. From Kevin:

At 4:35 p.m. today, I was walking past the alley behind Northwest Art and Frame, near California and Edmunds. I heard a woman’s screams. The woman screamed “they stole my phone, stop them” and I saw three black males, I would estimate between 14 and 18, run south through the alley. The three individuals ran east on Edmunds. The woman was chasing after them and crying and screaming. I took the best photos I could of the three individuals as they ran by.

I heard from other witnesses that another bystander chased after them, as they ran east on Edmunds. I am not sure if the woman made a report to the police, however. I spoke with the police, gave them my name and showed them the photos. The police were trying to locate the victim.

We were contacted separately, via text, by the person who reported chasing the suspects; they also did not know if anyone was caught, saying, “Several people joined me in chasing them to 40th and Edmunds, where we think they were hiding in a yard. Police took it from there.” we just checked the jail register and the only person booked for robbery since this afternoon is way out of the described age range, so likely not related. We will pursue more details on this Monday, but in case the suspects are still at large, a heads-up seemed in order.

MAILBOX PROWLED: From John:

Thought your readers might want to watch out for this:

It occurred at about 5:20 pm on December 7th. This guy walked up to our front porch, took a quick look in the mailbox (empty) then walked away. We were not at home at the time, but it happened so fast it would not have made any difference anyway. This is in the Genesee area just west of the Junction.

P.S. If you happen to be downtown right now, a reader reports that a shooting investigation at 3rd/4th/Pine has led to the rerouting of the C Line. We don’t know anything else about the incident but thought we’d mention it since we were writing Crime Watch anyway.

VIDEO: Christmas Ship’s big night in West Seattle

(WSB photos/video unless otherwise credited)

5:17 PM: After a late-afternoon stop in South Park, the Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship sailed into West Seattle waters by Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor) for the first of tonight’s three West Seattle stops.

In our short video clip, you hear Emerald City Voices, serenading those on board and ashore. (added) More photos from this stop – first, spectators viewing through the Luna Girls on Alki sculptures:

The Christmas Ship headed downtown to change passengers and singers before its second voyage of the night brings it back to West Seattle – The Dickens Carolers will be on board for the 8:10 pm visit to Lowman Beach Park and the 8:55 pm stop by the Alki Bathhouse.

9:46 PM: We made it to Alki for the final visit of the night – a chattier crowd ashore, and you can even hear the water:

(Added) More photos – first, thanks to volunteers and Seattle Parks, treats inside the Bathhouse:

A beach bonfire:

The enduring wish on the stern of the Christmas Ship:

And thanks to Molly Al-Jawad for this photo of the brightest of the 9 boats that accompanied the Christmas Ship to Alki:

Meantime, the Christmas Ship will be back in West Seattle for an encore next Thursday – 9:10 pm at Don Armeni, with The Dickens Carolers.

UPDATE: House-fire response in Arbor Heights

4:33 PM: Seattle Fire has a “full response” headed for a house in Arbor Heights, in the 9900 block of 37th SW. More to come.

4:49 PM: The log shows most of the SFD units have been dismissed from the call, so it’s not major. We are en route in hopes of finding out.

5 PM: Last SFD crew (Engine 37) left just as we were arriving in the area and the call is officially closed. No one else around to ask but note that 99th is blocked off in the area – looks like downed wires/cables of some kind, on the other side of the yellow “caution” tape.

SUNDAY NOTE: Lynn explains here what happened.

100+ students compete in first West Seattle Elementary-hosted chess tournament

(Everyone helped get 50 chess boards ready for play)

Story and photos by Judy Pickens
Special to West Seattle Blog

Since the first West Seattle tournament for elementary students, in 2013, chess has been proving its benefit in area schools. Now West Seattle Elementary has hosted its first state-qualifying tournament.

(Chess Mates coach Jeremy Higgins briefed players and parents about how the tournament would proceed)

The all-day scholastic event today drew 104 participants from schools across the city, including multi-grade teams from Fairmount Park, Lafayette, Alki, Holy Rosary, Genesee Hill, Roxhill, Arbor Heights, and West Seattle elementaries. At the end of the day, Chess Ratings Northwest updated each student’s rating based on performance after five rounds of play. Those who earn high-enough ratings in multiple meets will qualify for the state elementary tournament in April in Pasco, the largest state meet in the country.

West Seattle Elementary introduced chess in 2012. According to teacher Ritchie Garcia, the game of strategy is proving especially helpful for the school’s many English-language learners.

“Chess provides a different way for students who are not yet proficient in English to demonstrate their abilities, especially critical thinking,” he said. “They have the immediate reward of making a smart move and even winning.”

Chess is on the schedule every week in every classroom at the school, plus students can join the after-school chess club.

(Chess play starts early at West Seattle Elementary when younger siblings of players get interested)

Given that many West Seattle Elementary families are recent immigrants, only about a dozen students usually have funding to attend a tournament, Garcia explained. “By hosting, our club members were able to compete for free in a rigorous event and we could offer other students a discount on registration.”

West Seattle weekend scene: Bridges in the fog

Yes, there’s an air-stagnation advisory … but the still, foggy air also has brought scenes of beauty, like this one photographed by Jim Edwards. (Big thanks to Jim and everyone who has been sharing memorable West Seattle images here for 10 years now.)

UPDATE: Admiral/California signal fixed

12:21 PM: Thanks to everyone who’s messaged about the Admiral/California signal flashing red – a recurring problem lately. We checked with SDOT‘s 24-hour dispatch line (206-386-1218) and they told us, “We’re on it” – took a while because they had to call in a crew. Meantime, remember that a flashing signal means stop all ways!

1:42 PM: Just went through to check; fixed.

BE A BUILDER! First-ever West Seattle Gingerbread House Contest

Got some spare time this weekend (maybe between cheering for the Sounders today and cheering for the Seahawks tomorrow)? Consider planning a gingerbread house to enter in this first-ever community contest announced by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society:

Come join with us in celebrating the warmth and sweetness of the season!

The Log House Museum, Husky Deli, and Northwest Art & Frame are so excited to bring you a holiday gingerbread house contest! Fill your senses with the smells of spice and gingerbread; spend quality time with family & friends and celebrate the spirit of creativity and imagination with the community.

Completed houses can be dropped off at Husky Deli between December 15th through December 29th. Judging will be held January 6th. There are three categories, each with lovely prizes! No kits please.

The 2017 Theme: “Our Wonderful West Seattle Community”

Go to loghousemuseum.info for online forms and information, or stop by Husky Deli at 4721 California Avenue SW.

P.S. Don’t worry, you’re not expected to build a gingerbread mansion! The rules, including size parameters, are all here.

West Seattle Saturday: From cleanup to choirs to Christmas Ship, and much more!

(Common goldeneye, photographed at Jack Block Park by Mark Wangerin)

Welcome to the weekend! We start with highlights from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide:

HOLIDAY BAZAAR: 8:30 am-3 pm at DutchBoy Coffee in Highland Park: “Shop for treasures inside the Christmas bus. Local art, vintage bags & accessories, dog fashion, and more.” (1513 SW Holden)

GIVING-TREE DEADLINE AT THE WEST SEATTLE AND FAUNTLEROY YMCAs: Last day to take cards and return them with the requested gifts for the giving trees – more than 1,100 requests this year and every gift matters. (36th/Snoqualmie and 9140 California SW)

TOY-DRIVE DEADLINE: Last day to participate in the Toy ‘n’ Joy Drive at Bartell Drugs stores, partnering with the Salvation Army, collecting new, unwrapped toys. You can donate items, or cash at Bartell registers. Bartell has stores in Admiral (2345 42nd SW) and The Junction (4706 42nd SW).

SANTA PHOTOS: Santa is back at CAPERS in The Junction, 9 am-noon. Donations benefit the West Seattle Food Bank. (4525 California SW)

SANTA AND PANCAKES: Santa photos with a free community pancake breakfast, 9 am-1 pm at John L. Scott in The Junction. (4445 California SW)

SANTA AT THE SCHOOLHOUSE: Santa photos at Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, 9 am-4 pm: Gail Ann Photography will be taking holiday photos in a living-room scene with Father Christmas. Walk-ins welcome! Bring the family, and the dog, too! Packages start at $30 and 20% of all sales will be donated to the Fauntleroy Community Service Agency. (9131 California SW)

ENDOLYNE CHOIR CONCERT: 11 am at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, as previewed here. DECEMBER 9: Endolyne Children’s Choir “Winter Fantasy” Concert, 11 am at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church. Free (suggested donation $5/person, $20/family). (3050 California SW)

SEASONAL SOUNDS ON THE SOUND: Hosted Christmas Ship-viewing party benefiting the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. 3-6:30 pm. Details in our calendar listing. (1727 Harbor SW)

CHRISTMAS SHIP: Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship stops off the shores of West Seattle and South Park!

-3:30-3:50 pm at Duwamish Waterway Park in South Park (7900 10th Ave. S.)
-4:35 to 4:55 pm at Salty’s on Alki (1936 Harbor SW; WSB sponsor)
-8:10-8:30 pm at Lowman Beach Park (7017 Beach Dr. SW)
-8:55-9:15 pm at Alki Beach Park (near the Bathhouse, 2701 Alki SW)

Emerald City Voices are aboard for the first two performances, The Dickens Carolers for the second two.

BEFORE AND DURING THE NIGHT’S FINAL CHRISTMAS SHIP STOP: During the Christmas Ship’s Alki visit:

Calling West Seattle families, friends, and neighbors to gather at the Alki Bathhouse for the Argosy Christmas Ship’s annual visit. Enjoy special performances by the Seattle Lutheran High School band and Hope Kid Choir, and join in Christmas caroling accompanied by a live band. Alki Community Center and Seattle Parks Department staff will be on hand to offer hot drinks and cookies.

(60th/Alki)

CELEBRATION OF LOVE AND LIGHT, 5:30-7:30 pm at The Kenney, with harp music, storytelling, hors d’oeuvres, desserts and beverages. “Decorate our tree with your personalized ornaments remembering and honoring those you love. All proceeds benefit The Kenney Foundation Resident Care Fund … Additionally, we have a unique raffle gift of a beautiful antique lace quilt, made by local quilter Judy Pickens, and several paintings to auction by local artist Kathy Johnson.” (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW)

BELLS OF THE SOUND AT TIBBETTS: Bells of the Sound handbell choir in concert at Tibbetts United Methodist Church (WSB sponsor): This year’s holiday concert is “Peace on Earth,” featuring “traditional carols and songs of peace from around the world.” Come see and hear Puget Sound’s premier handbell ensemble at 7 pm – show and ticket details here. (3940 41st SW)

‘IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE’: Join Twelfth Night Productions for this year’s second performance of “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Show.” 7:30 pm at Kenyon Hall. Get your ticket(s) online at this Brown Paper Tickets link, or at the venue box office. (7904 35th SW)

Now, top options from our year-round WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

ADMIRAL ADOPT-A-STREET CLEANUP: Start your Saturday by devoting some time to clean up the streets in The Admiral District. It’s the Admiral Neighborhood Association‘s quarterly Adopt-A-Street cleanup, starting at 9 am – meet at Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor), which donates treats before and after the cleanup. (41st/42nd/Admiral)

WEST SEATTLE LINUX USERS GROUP: Back to the regular meeting spot this time, the Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor), 9 am. More info in our calendar listing. (9140 California SW)

SOUTHSIDE REVOLUTION JUNIOR ROLLER DERBY: Season-opening bouts for two of the Southside Revolution teams! 5:15 pm-8:30 pm at Southgate Roller Rink in White Center; more info in our calendar listing. (9646 17th SW)

AFROCOP FT. BILL HORIST: 9 pm psychedelic jazz & groove-based jams at Parliament Tavern. $7 cover, 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)

We wish you an awesome Saturday!

CONGRATULATIONS! 4 West Seattle Road Runners to compete in Junior Olympics on Saturday

Saturday will be a huge day for those four young West Seattleites! The photo and report are from Eric Linxweiler:

West Seattle has a new running program for youth started this past fall. After running cross country with Seattle Parks and Rec for the past few years, we decided this year to make a USA Track and Field youth club called West Seattle Road Runners. We started training in August, and in September moved to Lincoln Park for our 2-day-a-week running sessions. The kids ran over every square inch of that park!

This year, especially, all of the regional running teams are amazed at how fast we’ve grown, how our team supports each other, and yes – how fast our kids are (especially our 7&8 year old girls, who placed second in the Pacific Northwest).

All told, we’ve grown from 12 runners in 2014 to 48 this year, ranging in age from 5 to 14. It’s been fantastic to see them all grow and develop, all with the support of a vibrant West Seattle running community (including West Seattle Runner).

Through the season we had many teams qualify for Junior Olympic races and qualified a handful for Nationals. In the picture (above), we have Cailin Ross, Macy Powell, and Lincoln Sitzmann (front) and William Frederick (back). They will be representing West Seattle at the USATF Junior Olympics (Saturday) in Tallahassee, Florida.

Coaches were Brandee Paisano, James Powell, Ashlee Lymann, Derek Bair, and myself.

Eric (who reminds us he had local runners at the Junior Olympics in 2015, too) promises to let us know how it goes!

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