Call it ‘Radio Friday’: KUOW in West Seattle as well as KEXP

May 26, 2015 at 5:16 pm | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | No Comments

(From the WSB semi-vintage radio collection; we know, KEXP is actually 90.3 FM and KUOW is 94.9 FM)
Thanks to Liesbet for the tip on this: Not only is KEXP broadcasting live from West Seattle on Friday, so is KUOW. In KEXP’s case, the Hood-To-Hood Day event will last most of the day and into the night, while KUOW’s just visiting for an hour, but it’s still a live broadcast, so in case you’re interested: The station is touring all seven of the new City Council districts, and the first stop is District 1. 10-11 am Friday, KUOW’s “Week in Review” will broadcast live from Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. The lone announced West Seattle guest: Former Mayor Greg Nickels. (The show is hosted by Bill Radke, with panelists Joni Balter and C.R. Douglas.)

Congratulations, WSHS softball team! Trevor Leopold is Metro League ‘Coach of the Year’; 9 players honored

May 26, 2015 at 3:16 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

(WSB photo: Coach Leopold and some of his players at SWAC last week)
As the West Seattle High School softball team looks ahead to its first state-tournament game on Friday, it’s celebrating a stack of Metro League honors! Just in from WSHS:

Metro Coach of the Year
Trevor Leopold

1st Team All-Metro
Gabby Wenn – Pitcher
Annalisa Ursino – Outfield

1st Team All-Division (Mountain)
Sam Hemmert – Catcher
Emma Atkinson – 1st Base
Lucy Mead – 2nd Base
Charli Elliott – Shortstop
Spritle Hirano – Outfield

Honorable Mention
Bryn Snodgrass – Outfield
Rachel DeVore – 3rd Base

Congratulations to all!

WEST SEATTLE BOOSTER CLUB FUNDRAISER FOR SOFTBALL TEAM: As was the case when the WSHS girls’ basketball team went to state, the softball team’s trip is expensive as well as exciting. The nonprofit West Seattle Booster Club is collecting donations to help them cover costs. From the letter they’re circulating in the community:

After taking second place in the Metro League Championship and making it through both Districts and Regionals, the team plays their first State Tournament game on Friday, May 29th at 9:00 am in Lacey, at the Regional Sports Complex.

They would love your support and to hear West Seattle fans loud and proud cheering them on. Additionally, since the team will be in Olympia May 28-30th for the tournament, they are seeking donations of any amount to assist with meals and lodging.

Donations are being accepted by us, the West Seattle Booster Club (WSBC). We are a nonprofit organization devoted to supporting ALL athletic programs at WSHS. Our goal is to further athletic programs and activities at the high school that the school budget cannot cover. We would love to have you join us in this particular case to help our girls with their amazing season.

Your tax-deductible donation, no matter the size, would be of great benefit to ease the financial burden on the school ,and on the girls and their families.

Easiest way to donate is online:

FOLLOWUP: Madison Development buys PCC West Seattle site, ‘exploring possible ideas’

May 26, 2015 at 1:22 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 22 Comments

1:22 PM: Exactly two months after we reported on the potential sale of the Admiral District site where PCC Natural Markets-West Seattle (WSB sponsor) has long been located, the sale has closed.

(WSB photo from March)
The buyer, as suggested by the documents we found in city files in March, is Madison Development Group, whose project Spruce (apartments and gym) just opened on the east edge of The Junction, three years after they completed Element 42 (also mixed-use) in The Admiral District. The purchase completion was confirmed today in this statement from a spokesperson for Madison:

Madison Development Group purchased the property located at 2741 California Ave SW on May 21, 2015 from its previous ownership, Development Services of America – a wholly-owned subsidiary of Services Group of America. We’re excited about this opportunity to expand our presence in West Seattle … We’ll begin exploring possible ideas for the site and don’t have immediate plans for any redevelopment.

The statement didn’t mention the price, but it’s shown on the county website as $5,750,000. The spokesperson confirmed that the purchase includes the parking lot, which is shown in county records as covering 29,000 square feet, while the store is 17,000 sf.

We have a request out to PCC for comment; no reply yet, but PCC CEO Cate Hardy (a West Seattle resident) had told us at the time of our March report that the store’s lease runs “through most of this decade” and that they had expected at the time to be introduced to and start talking with the site’s new ownership. It’s zoned NC2-40, which allows for mixed-use (residential/commercial) development with a four-story height maximum.

3:22 PM: A spokesperson for PCC says they have nothing more to say right now beyond what they told us in March.

West Seattle lacks an ‘inclusive’ playground, but Explorer West students’ ‘Change the World Project’ could help change that

May 26, 2015 at 10:30 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 8 Comments

(WSB photo: From left, Cyrus, Tessa, Makenzie, Ellen)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Not counting schools, West Seattle has more than a dozen public playgrounds.

None, however, is an “inclusive” playground.

Though years past playground age themselves, a group of 8th graders at Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor) is hoping their work will change that.

And they hope someone reading this – maybe you? – can and will help make it happen.

Click to read the rest of West Seattle lacks an ‘inclusive’ playground, but Explorer West students’ ‘Change the World Project’ could help change that…

West Seattle Tuesday: Neighborhood safety with WSBWCN, & more

May 26, 2015 at 9:04 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | No Comments

(WSB photo: ‘Retired’ but not off the job yet, the M/V Evergreen State @ Fauntleroy dock)

Happy Tuesday! From the calendar:

HIGHLAND PARK SPRAYPARK: In case you’ve been gone all weekend … the season started Saturday and West Seattle’s only spraypark is open daily, whatever the weather, 11 am-8 pm. (1100 SW Cloverdale)

DROP-IN CHESS: 4-5:30 pm at the High Point Library, kids/teens are invited to stop in for informal chess play. (35th SW & SW Raymond)

BLOCK WATCH CAPTAINS’ NETWORK: 6:30 pm at the Southwest Precinct, it’s an “open discussion” edition of the monthly WSBWCN meeting. Come share your stories/concerns/ideas/questions about neighborhood safety and crime prevention! (Webster/Delridge)

FAMILY STORY TIME: 7 pm, bring the family for stories, songs, and rhymes with Miss Bea at the Delridge Library. (5423 Delridge Way SW)

BABY KETTEN KARAOKE: 9 pm, 21+, no cover, at The Skylark. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Post-holiday Tuesday updates

May 26, 2015 at 6:31 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | No Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:31 AM: Back to work and school for most today; so far here in the early going, nothing unusual in, or outbound from, West Seattle.

ROAD WORK ALERTS: Seattle Public Utilities says the Monday-Saturday lane closure at Orchard/Delridge will continue into mid-June … Tomorrow (Wednesday), SDOT plans to inspect the Schmitz Park Bridge 9 am-3 pm.

9:09 AM – MORNING COMMUTE SUMMARY: Quiet. No “motor-vehicle incident” responses in or near WS. But we continue tracking it all around the clock, with your help … if you see or hear about something (and it’s safe/legal for you to call/text), please let us know, 206-293-6302. Thank you!

Election 2015: Your next 2 chances to see/hear City Council District 1 candidates

May 25, 2015 at 9:19 pm | In Pigeon Point, South Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | No Comments

Made a decision yet on who you’re voting for in the first-ever City Council District 1 race? Still lots of time to decide, with primary ballots due August 4th, and your next two chances to see and hear the candidates are coming up within the next two weeks:

MAY 27 (THIS WEDNESDAY): “South Park Shows Up!” is not your standard candidate forum, South Park community members promise. They are planning a pop quiz on South Park facts, in fact. But West Seattleites are invited too – and kids’ activities are promised as well as food. 7 pm Wednesday at the SP Neighborhood Center, 8201 10th Avenue S.

JUNE 8 (2 WEEKS FROM TONIGHT): Most local neighborhood councils have had visits from several City Council candidates. The Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council is planning a full-fledged forum, 7 pm June 8th at Pathfinder K-8 (1901 SW Genesee), all welcome.

Any other D-1 forum dates locked in? Please let us know – editor@ – thanks!

VIDEO: West Seattle Memorial Day ceremony commemorates ‘day of conflicting emotions’

May 25, 2015 at 4:32 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

(WSB video of speeches, closing poem, and song)

By Tracy Record and Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers

“Let us never lose focus on what Memorial Day really means.”

So said John Phillips from American Legion Post 160 during this afternoon’s short, moving ceremony at Forest Lawn Cemetery (WSB sponsor) east of High Point.

Standing-room-only attendance looked to us to be the biggest we’d seen in years of covering this event, people of all ages there to honor the heroes who had fought for the USA – the heroes who, as Phillips also said, “are not just statistics, but real people.”

(Post 160 adjutant Kyle Geraghty, a Marine Corps veteran, presenting the colors)
The ceremony was co-presented by Post 160 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2713, whose commander Nate Hemphill, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and U.S. Coast Guard reservist, called the holiday “a day of conflicting emotions for each of us,” a day to “look hard at who we are … and aspire to be the best we can be.”

He exhorted everyone present to care for America’s veterans, rather than forgetting about them “when the last troops come home.” The country’s determination and resilience were also in his exhortation: “Our destiny as free people is entirely up to us.”

Phillips (above), a Marine Corps veteran and U.S. Army reservist who works as a veterans-transition specialist at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), followed him, telling the story of two fallen heroes – U.S. Marine Corps Private Dale M. Hansen, whose actions in World War II led to a Medal of Honor, and U.S. Army intelligence officer Brittany Gordon, killed by a bomb in Afghanistan in 2012.

Also part of the ceremony, Pete Kirkman and Al Keith with echoing “Taps,” singer Ross Hauck with the national anthem and “God Bless America” (plus a reading of “In Flanders Fields“), and pre- and post-ceremony music from the Duwamish Jazz Band. For the first time, the ceremony was followed by a reception at the West Seattle Veterans’ Center, co-housed with Post 160 in The Triangle. We went over with no idea of the presentation we would happen onto:

With Post 160′s Geraghty is Paul Chiarello, 92 years old, a paratrooper who landed
at Sainte-Mère-Église on D-Day. He came to present Post 160 with a photo from a memorial ceremony on the 55th anniversary of D-Day in 1999:

As Post 160′s Phillips had said earlier – “remembering once a year is not enough.”

FOLLOWUP: Plan for West Seattle’s first proposed charter school proceeding on multiple fronts

May 25, 2015 at 1:46 pm | In Arbor Heights, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 29 Comments

Less than five months after we discovered the plan for what would be West Seattle’s first charter school, its prospective operator has officially submitted its application to the state.

California-based Summit Public Schools is asking the Washington State Charter School Commission for authorization to open what would eventually be a 6th-through-12th-grade campus at what’s now the Freedom Church/Jesus Center, a former supermarket site on the southwest corner of 35th SW and SW Roxbury. Summit says it would phase in the seven grade levels, starting in fall 2016 with 6th and 9th grades. (Charter schools are publicly funded but privately operated, as explained here.)

Summit has approval to open its first two schools in our state this fall, both high schools – one in the International District and one in Tacoma. Last week, when Seattle Public Schools were closed on May 19th, Summit brought members of the future first Seattle class over to the Roxbury/35th site to paint murals for the school opening in the ID this fall, which is still being remodeled.

They were advised by Native American artist Andrew Morrison, who also worked with young artists on the signal-box mini-murals along Delridge two summers ago:

But back to the Roxbury/35th plan. It’s making its way through the city system, with a site plan now on file showing more details than the one we first reported on at the start of the year:

In addition to renovating the main building – the former grocery store – two 2-story additions are planned along the Roxbury side of the property (shaded in the “site plan” sketch above), and a one-story addition to connect the one at the Roxbury/35th corner to the main building. The site-plan document says the additions will total more square footage – more than 27,000 – than the existing building (23,000+).

For parking, 65 motor-vehicle spaces and 52 bicycle spaces are proposeed. Though the document says the school could eventually bring 125 cars, the prospective school operators say they only will be required to have spaces for half that many because the site is close to frequent transit – the RapidRide line stops right across the street. The bicycle-space count is 22 more than the city requires.

HOW TO HAVE A SAY: The land-use-permit application is in the system as #3019454, if you’re interested in commenting. No public meeting is required, as this is not going through Design Review. Meantime, the process for approval of the charter school itself is outlined here; the Charter School Commission must set a date for a public forum on Summit’s application to open the school, but as far as we can tell from the commission’s calendar, it has yet to be announced. We don’t yet have the official application document for the proposed school, but hope to procure it later this week, and will publish another followup when we do.

West Seattle coffee: Starbucks’ local epicenter adding 4th spot

May 25, 2015 at 10:38 am | In West Seattle news, Westwood, WS beverages | 27 Comments

You could call Westwood Village the epicenter of Starbucks in West Seattle, with a standalone shop, a stand inside the QFC supermarket, and Starbucks coffee featured in the Barnes & Noble bookstore café. If that isn’t enough for coffee-loving shoppers – city permit files show that another one is on the way: While digging through recent applications overnight, we found this project filing for 2800 SW Barton, carrying the notation: “Addition of a new Starbucks within existing food service footprint in existing Target store.” While that page doesn’t show an application date, the permit number suggests it was filed within the past week. Not a new concept, as the two chains have been working together for more than a decade, but we thought you’d want to know.

BY THE NUMBERS: This will boost the number of West Seattle Starbucks outlets, existing and planned, to 13, by our count: Along with the aforementioned four in Westwood, there’s Admiral Way, Admiral Safeway, Alki, Avalon, Jefferson Square Safeway, Junction QFC, Junction 47 (planned), Morgan Junction, Roxbury Safeway.

West Seattle Memorial Day 2015: What you need to know

May 25, 2015 at 7:31 am | In Holidays, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

(WSB photo: Residential flag-flying along Alki Ave. SW on Duwamish Head)
Info you might find useful for Memorial Day 2015 in West Seattle:

TRANSPORTATION: Metro is on a Sunday schedule … The West Seattle Water Taxi too (no Vashon WT service) … Sound Transit Route 160 also is on a Sunday schedule … The Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth state-ferry route is on a regular weekday schedule.

SCHOOLS: Seattle Public Schools and Highline Public Schools are closed, as is South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) and most if not all independent schools.

LIBRARIES: Seattle branches are closed, as are King County branches.

FREE CITY-STREET PARKING: Going to a neighborhood with city-operated pay stations/meters? No charge to park today.

U.S. POSTAL SERVICE HOLIDAY … according to the official USPS list.


COLMAN POOL AND HIGHLAND PARK SPRAYPARK ARE OPEN! The outdoor pool on the Lincoln Park shore is open today at noon, as its first pre-season weekend concludes; the spraypark (1100 SW Cloverdale) continues daily operations, 11 am-8 pm.

MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY AT FOREST LAWN: 2 pm, all are welcome at Forest Lawn Cemetery (WSB sponsor) east of High Point for the traditional Memorial Day event with American Legion Post 160 and VFW Post 2713. (6701 30th SW)

P.S. No traffic cams this morning for obvious reasons, but if you need to check them … find them here.

See Áegis Living’s 4700 SW Admiral Way early-stage design plan

May 24, 2015 at 9:51 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 19 Comments

That’s the “early design guidance” document for Áegis Living‘s planned retirement center at 4700 SW Admiral Way, providing the most details yet on what the Redmond-based company plans for the former Life Care Center site. We first reported in November 2013 that Áegis had bought the site, and subsequently reported more details about the project over ensuing months, including this February 2014 report. According to the project page on the city Department of Planning and Development website, no public meeting is planned for the project because it’s going through “administrative design review,” which means the review is done by city staff without involvement of the Design Review Board, though written public comment is solicited and accepted. The document now available online summarizes the project:

The proposed project will demolish the existing structure and construct a new Aegis community composed of approximately 48 Assisted Living apartments and 32 Memory Care apartments.

Both the Assisted Living and Memory Care units will be grouped into smaller neighborhoods that focus on community activities and dining as well as events with the other neighborhoods. These spaces will include dining, living rooms, activity rooms, and a cafe – all of which are distributed throughout the building which will activate various portions of the façade. Outdoor gardens and terraces will be provided, allowing residents to have access to the outdoors.

The proposed project will be a three-story wood structure over a one-story concrete parking level. The terracing of the building and the utilization of the natural site grade will present a facade more in line with a two- to three-story structure at the adjacent street levels on SW Waite and SW Admiral.

A covered drop-off area will be incorporated along the driveway on SW Admiral Way for resident use. The front entry will be in close proximity to both bus stops along SW Admiral. Visitor vehicle access and staff parking will be accessed off of SW Waite Street.

If you can’t see it in the full design document by architects GGLO, embedded above (which also can be accessed on the city website here), this is the massing (size/shape) option described as “preferred”:

Perhaps of more note than before, due to the Admiral Way Safety Project discussion, 36 offstreet parking spaces are proposed for the building – mostly in a garage, with its entry off SW Waite. Also of note from the design document: “The proposed project aims to use a stucco facade in keeping with the client’s vision of a Mediterranean oasis.” And: “For an urban neighborhood the site has an extensive tree canopy. On site there is a steep slope with a dense ravine of trees on the south corner. This large stand of trees will be preserved and there will be limited disturbance of the steep slope areas.”

HOW TO COMMENT: According to the city website, the official notice of this will go out on Thursday (May 28th), and that will start a two-week comment period, through June 10th. You can get a jump on that by e-mailing comments to the assigned planner, Holly Godard, at, referring to project 3017747, 4700 SW Admiral Way.

High-school sports updates: WSHS’s state-bound track athletes; 1st state opponent set for softball; Ultimate league championship

May 24, 2015 at 7:09 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

More state-championship news about local high-school athletes. First – from the update earlier this month on West Seattle High School track athletes who were headed for districts, WSHS athletic director Trevor Leopold has news of who qualified for state:

Cass Elliott (300 Meter Hurdles)
Chris Nunez (300 Meter Hurdles)
Chaaka Trahan (110 Meter Hurdles, Long Jump)
Natalie Fuller (Triple Jump)
Lexi Ioane (Shot Put)
Lani Taylor (100m, 200m, 400m)

The State Track championships will be held at Mt. Tahoma High School in Tacoma starting Thursday May 28th – 30th

Leopold coaches the softball team, which as we’ve been reporting, is also state-bound, and he shares an update on the schedule:

Their first game is against North Central High School out of Spokane on Friday, May 29th, at 9:00am. The games take place at the Regional Athletic Complex (in Lacey).

And congratulations to the Westside Ultimate Coed team, which won its first League Championship and sent us the photo and update:

West Seattle High School’s ultimate frisbee team, Westside Ultimate, in its 3rd year of existence, wins its Disc NW divisional League Championship. Westside finished the season undefeated with wins over Garfield, Chief Sealth, Bainbridge Island and others and entered the season-ending tournament as the number 1 seed. With a win over Bainbridge Island 2 weeks ago and wins over Aviation and Mercer Island in the final 4 last Saturday, Westside Ultimate takes its first championship after losing close games in the finals the last 2 years. Westside also graduates 4 seniors; Shadid Baker, Devon Dascher, Greg Rosas, and Daniel Thomas.

Championship game:
Westside 15 – Mercer Island 7

Final 4:
Westside 13 – Aviation 4

(Any updates on other schools’ athletes/teams headed to state? – thanks!)

HAPPENING NOW: Bid on cool local stuff, help Nepal quake survivors

May 24, 2015 at 5:04 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

The patio at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) is a nice place to be on a quiet Sunday afternoon … especially when you have the chance to do a good deed:

Those are some of the donated items up for silent-auction bids this afternoon in a fundraiser organized by Jilyan Perry, to help with earthquake relief through volunteer-run Changing Lives Nepal, as previewed here earlier this week. Stop by until 7 pm, have some coffee, beer or wine, enjoy some music:

That’s James Terrano, who was playing when we stopped by. C & P is at 5612 California SW.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Prowler alert; recognize this shoplifter?

May 24, 2015 at 4:02 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports to share today:


Just wanted to get the word out that sometime overnight (Saturday night into Sunday morning) someone entered our backyard through our alley gate and looked through our garden shed. They also tried to get into the garage. Nothing was taken, but it’s a little unnerving that someone was checking it out. They had removed our floodlight from the outside of the garage (probably fearing it would come on when they went in). They left lots of footprints in the soft dirt in our back yard. We live in the 2100 block of 47th Ave. SW.

On the SPD incident-report map, the only other burglary/attempted-burglary report in West Seattle so far in the past 24 hours was in the 5100 block

RECOGNIZE THIS SHOPLIFTER? A man was caught on video stealing at The Beer Junction and they asked if we’d share photos. He spent six minutes in the store on Thursday, May 14th, asking about a 750-milliliter bottle of Rogue Farms Savior, and eventually was caught on camera stuffing it in his pocket

(We don’t publish photos of not-charged suspects in circumstances like this unless photos/video show them clearly committing the crime; we’ve seen the store surveillance camera video of that actually happening, in this case, but are not publishing it because most of the frame shows people who weren’t involved.) Another image caught his face:

While that’s not a massive amount of shoplifting, TBJ proprietor Morgan Herzog notes, “We are hoping there’s someone out there that recognizes this individual. Shoplifting is costly for all of us, especially small business owners like ourselves. West Seattle is a wonderful place to live and work, and except in a very rare case like this, we are super lucky to have great customers who love beer as much as we do!” If you have any idea who the thief is, please contact Seattle Police and refer to incident number 15-164144.

@ West Seattle Crime Prevention Council: Crime trends; ex-gang members; how you can help

May 24, 2015 at 2:09 pm | In West Seattle Crime Prevention Council, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

From this month’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting:

CRIME/SAFETY TRENDS: Capt. Pierre Davis of the Southwest Precinct said key categories of crime are seeing “steep drops” lately because of “some specific arrests.” He referred to the recent “robbery spike” (two last weekend on Alki; here’s our latest report), mentioning that it’s happening in the early-morning hours, saying they’re checking on specific “individuals … who have a propensity toward that type of thing.”

About Alki overall, Capt. Davis said a “comprehensive emphasis” is planned for summer, including bicycle officers. “If our plan is not working and you’re seeing something out of the ordinary … let us know … we can revamp our plans and take a closer look at your neighborhood.” One attendee asked for an update on what was the Bamboo Grill and is now Alki Huddle; Community Police Team Officer Jon Flores said the name is different, the ownership the same, butname but that they haven’t had serious problems for quite some time.

One attendee from North Admiral said that locking the Hamilton Viewpoint Park gate at night has helped cut down on nighttime trouble but there’s still some in the daytime.

Capt. Davis referred people to the SPD website to check specific crime-stat numbers and also encouraged people to keep vigilant and keep reporting what happens. And he said he’s hoping Assistant Chief Steve Wilske - his predecessor as SW Precinct commander – “will bless us with more resources.”

After his briefing, it was on to the featured guests at the meeting (held this past Tuesday night in the community room at the precinct):

FORMER GANG MEMBERS: WSCPC president Richard Miller brought four people, all self-identified as former gang members, to speak to and with the group. They were from a program affiliated with the Top Hat branch of Victory Outreach, a church with locations in more than 20 states, founded almost half a century ago.

One man said he’d spent 16 years in prison; he got involved in drugs, and that helped lead him onto the wrong road. He said Victory Outreach helped him find a better way, and he graduated from its program and became a minister. They go through White Center “reaching out to men to pull them off the streets,” he said, and are currently working with two dozen people.

He said the criminal-justice system helped him learn discipline. He also said “There’s a lot of gang activity” in the area of their church, and though they try their best to combat it, “there’s not enough of us” – they need help, and “more programs to help youth.” He and his wife “look after” 20 men who he says are on a “new path.” They do community service work while getting back into society, he said. “There is hope for those guys” who come out of gangs and drugs – “don’t give up on them,” he exhorted. He said their program has a 70 percent success rate.

How did he wind up in gangs in the first place? He said his siblings were gang members, his parents were heroin addicts, and “I thought that was life” – though that “life” had included being shot five times, he noted later, and many of his “old friends” are already dead.

Another man had a similar backstory, saying he had been “born into gangs … because my home was messed up, I decided to go get some training somewhere … six months ago, I was (at the) Salvation Army to satisfy the courts … I remembered where Victory Outreach was in Ballard, and walked from Rainier to Ballard, found out the house wasn’t there, then walked from Ballard to West Seattle, and they said ‘Come on in’. … If I’d had this chance when I was younger … there’s a lot that needs to be fixed within us.” In addition to spiritual assistance, he said he had addressed the source of anger within him. He said he’d been at VO for six months

The third speaker said he too had grown up in a dysfunctional family. “Next thing you know you’re doing things a real family wouldn’t do.” He said he was strung out on drugs and then “one day I was tired of being a loser … found myself on the phone with a guy who graduated (from the VO) program … and within 15 minutes talked me into going into the program.” He said it was “awkward at first” to have people caring about him so much, but then he found himself giving back.

And the fourth speaker said he too had grown up in a dysfunctional family with a rough upbringing and found himself looking “for love and fellowship on the streets,” and wound up involved in gangs, having “to fight other kids just to walk down my own block.” He said he too had been involved in drugs and through the church he’s now “saved” and making changes in his life.

How do they get the word out about the program? Word-of-mouth, said the minister, as well as doing odd jobs in the neighborhood like yard work – that, he said, is where some of their funding comes from, as well as car washes and house painting. And they also try to be a positive force in the neighborhood, including dealing with nearby trouble. They also talk to parole/probation officers to look for potential program members.

The program supervised by the minister is a first step, it was explained; in the second step, members have to get jobs, and VO works with local businesses to facilitate that – from metal-fabrication shops to sports organizations.

Did you have trouble with the gangs letting you leave? a meeting attendee asked.

You just disappear, said one man. The minister said he has a brother who’s still involved, and he counsels him as best he can. He added that they try to move participants around so that they’re not tempted or approached by people they knew.

Why do gang members tag? was another question. Reply: To announce their presence at a particular location, and/or give someone a warning.

Who’s not eligible for the program? Reply: Exclusions include anyone with a sex-crime or arson background.

If you’re interested in anything from referring someone to VO to donating – they said items are welcome from toiletries to clothing – you can reach the Top Hat location at 206-781-1655.

WSCPC NEEDS YOU: If you are interested in helping this group continue – it’s been limping along with little volunteer help, not even someone to update its bare-bones website – please contact Richard Miller, who’s been keeping it going despite serious health challenges. Come to the next meeting (June 16th, last one before summer break) and/or contact him via e-mail –

West Seattle road work: SW Orchard lane closure continuing

May 24, 2015 at 12:17 pm | In Delridge, Utilities, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Looking ahead to next week, and a few weeks beyond: Seattle Public UtilitiesEmily Reardon sent word going into the holiday weekend that its work at Delridge/Orchard isn’t over yet:

Quick update re. SPU’s ongoing sewer improvement project near Delridge Way SW and SW Orchard St. The daytime single lane restriction on SW Orchard Street (east of Delridge Way SW) will remain in place off-and-on through mid-June as crews complete sidewalk work and paving. The lane will remain closed Monday through Saturday, 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., and will be opened to traffic during non-work hours. During the closure, all westbound traffic will be diverted to the eastbound lane with the assistance of a traffic flagger.

The project page for this site, upgrading the combined-sewer-overflow-reducing facilities, ” target=”_blank”>is here.

West Seattle Sunday: Log House to Lighthouse, & 6 more options

May 24, 2015 at 6:25 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | No Comments

(Savannah Sparrow, photographed at Lowman Beach by Trileigh Tucker)

Day 2 of the long holiday weekend – here’s what’s up:

INFO MEETING FOR RUNNING PROGRAM: 8 am at West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor), find out more about the West Seattle Runner Distance Training Program Coached by P3 Running, with Michele from P3 and Lori from WSR. More info in our calendar listing. (2743 California SW)

GET YOUR MEMORIAL DAY POPPY: 8 am-4 pm, American Legion Post 160 and Auxiliary Unit 160 again will be distributing poppies, made by veterans to raise money to help veterans, at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) in Morgan Junction. (California/Fauntleroy/Morgan)

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm – see this week’s highlights here. (44th/Alaska)

SPRAYPARK AND COLMAN POOL, DAY TWO: Whether or not we see the sun today, it’s Day 2 for these Seattle Parks outdoor water facilities – Highland Park Spraypark (1100 SW Cloverdale), open 11 am-8 pm, and Colman Pool at Lincoln Park, with its preseason-weekend schedule starting at noon.

VISIT THE LOG HOUSE MUSEUM: Noon-4 pm, the home of West Seattle’s history is open and awaiting your visit. (61st/Stevens)

TOUR THE ALKI POINT LIGHTHOUSE: As previewed on Saturday, it’s the first weekend of the season for free tours of this West Seattle icon – first tour at 1 pm, last at 3:40 pm. (3201 Alki SW)

SEE ‘ANGRY HOUSEWIVES’: 3 pm matinee at ArtsWest Playhouse (WSB sponsor) – a few seats left as of early this morning, and remember the run’s been extended through next week, so shop for those tickets now too. (4711 California SW)

HELP NEPAL EARTHQUAKE SURVIVORS: 3-7 pm, a silent auction and more, to raise money for Nepal earthquake survivors, as previewed here. (5612 California SW)

Congrats! National championship for West Seattle’s ‘Archer Addy’

May 23, 2015 at 11:01 pm | In West Seattle news, WS & Sports | 12 Comments

It’s been a while since our last update on West Seattle’s “Archer Addy,” who’s been notching archery achievements for a long time despite her young age. Erik and Tracy Nachtrieb shared this news:

11-year-old Addison “Archer Addy” Nachtrieb, a Schmitz Park Elementary student, won the NFAA 3D National Archery Championship and she was awarded the highest-scoring female of all age groups for the second year in a row. This year she also set the NFAA National scoring record for her age division, the last record being held for 10 years.

After 21 total hours of shooting over 3 days, in 90F+ weather, and after shooting a 6-hour Pro-AM the day before the three day National Tournament, Addy held it together over miles of rugged terrain and hills along the shooting course to only drop 7 points! Addy shot 1533 out of a perfect score of 1540! An amazing feat for an 11-year-old.

Addy has been shooting for 3 years and logs over 18,000 practice arrows a year. She recently placed 3rd in the World Archery Festival, 4th in the US Indoor National Championships, has had a book written about her first year in archery, and has recently been brought on as Pro Staff for ArcherZUpshot.

Seattle Public Schools says it’s closing Middle College High School’s West Seattle program

May 23, 2015 at 5:48 pm | In High Point, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 21 Comments

(WSB photo from MCHS High Point’s 2014 graduation ceremony at The Hall @ Fauntleroy)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

With just a few weeks to go in the school year, Seattle Public Schools has abruptly announced that one of its high schools in West Seattle won’t reopen next year.

In a letter dated May 18th, the district told families that it’s closing alternative Middle College High School‘s High Point campus, also known as the School for Social Justice and Community Engagement, after almost 20 years, citing declining enrollment. (If you’re not familiar with the overall MCHS program, it’s explained here.)

A statement on MCHS’s staff-maintained website suggests they’re not going without a fight:

The faculty and staff at Middle College High Point are very disappointed with this decision and are working with our community supporters, parents and students to prepare an organized response to this decision and to challenge the justification for closure.

It’s only been three years since MCHS’s West Seattle program went through a major transition:

Click to read the rest of Seattle Public Schools says it’s closing Middle College High School’s West Seattle program…

West Seattle Crime Watch: Have you seen this scooter?

May 23, 2015 at 3:38 pm | In Crime, Highland Park, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

A thief stole Cynthia‘s scooter overnight:

2009 Genuine Buddy Scooter (orange) with trunk box stolen last night/this morning on
the 8100 block of 13th, between Elmgrove and Thistle. [map] License Plate is 4B9633. Police report
has been filed under incident number: 2015-169636

If you see it, call 911 and refer to that case number.

SIDE NOTE: We just checked the incident-response map and so far that’s the only vehicle theft reported in this area today.

West Seattle weekend scene: Memorial Day poppies

May 23, 2015 at 2:56 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

This weekend, be part of a Memorial Day tradition – get an American Legion poppy. West Seattle’s Auxiliary Unit 160 president Andrea Geraghty and Post 160 adjutant Kyle Geraghty (a Marine Corps veteran) were at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) this morning with Tom Bucy (an Army veteran), assisted by their daughter Ana. Post 160 will be there until 4 today and again 8 am-4 pm on Sunday, offering the veteran-made poppies and accepting donations. Post 160 and VFW Post 2713 also will partner for Monday’s Memorial Day service/ceremony at Forest Lawn (WSB sponsor), where flags now adorn veterans’ graves:

Local Scouts place them each year and will also assist at Monday’s event, which starts at 2 pm and will be followed by a community reception at the Legion Hall (3618 SW Alaska) in The Triangle.

Also starting today: Tour season at Alki Point Lighthouse

May 23, 2015 at 12:01 pm | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

(Photo by Long Bach Nguyen – click image to see larger version)
The summertime tour season at Alki Point Lighthouse (lower left in the photo above) is starting early. Debra Alderman from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary says they had to make sure they’d have enough volunteers for this weekend – they do, and so it’s on:

FREE lighthouse tours this weekend! The Alki Point Lighthouse begins its tour season this weekend! We will be open Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. First tour is at 1 p.m.; last tour enters at 3:40 p.m. We will be open most Saturdays and Sundays between now and Labor Day. Three days this summer that we will NOT be open: June 13, August 1, and August 2. U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary volunteers provide tours free of charge. Location: 3201 Alki Avenue SW. Visit our website for tour information and updates:

Find out more about the lighthouse in this WSB story from its centennial year (2013).

VIDEO: Biggest turnout yet for annual Denny-Lincoln Bike Classic

May 23, 2015 at 11:23 am | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 3 Comments

If you saw a big group of bicycle riders this past hour or so in Westwood or Fauntleroy – this is probably who you saw: The Denny-Lincoln Bicycle Classic‘s almost 50 riders. Biggest group yet, the ride leaders announced as they gave everyone a big round of safety reminders before taking off from the path on the north side of Denny International Middle School (2601 SW Kenyon).

After heading out on the western path through the Denny-Sealth campus, they mustered on 26th SW, bound for SW Thistle. This, by the way, is the third annual Denny-Lincoln ride – so named because the destination is Lincoln Park, where the group planned a lunchtime barbecue.

West Seattle Saturday: How your holiday weekend begins …

May 23, 2015 at 7:56 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 2 Comments

(WSB photo from a recent misty morning)

Happy Saturday! From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

AMERICAN LEGION MEMORIAL DAY POPPIES: 8 am-4 pm today and tomorrow, American Legion Post 160 and Auxiliary Unit 160 will distribute traditional Memorial Day poppies at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor), as previewed here. (California/Fauntleroy/Morgan)

TAI CHI AT ALKI: 9 am, free, with Lao-Shi Caylen Storm. Details here.

DENNY-LINCOLN BIKE RIDE: 10 am, an all-ages group from the Denny International Middle School community takes off on the annual ride, which ends with a barbecue at Lincoln Park. Cheer ‘em if you see ‘em.

EVERYBODY IN THE WATER! Highland Park Spraypark and Colman Pool both open for the first time this season. The spraypark (1100 SW Cloverdale) is open 11 am-8 pm daily starting today; Colman Pool (on the Lincoln Park shore) is open at noon for the first day of its first pre-season weekend; details and schedule links here.

PLANT SALE: South Seattle College (WSB sponsor)’s Garden Center is open 11 am-3 pm today – bring your own boxes. North end of campus. (6000 16th SW)

WOD WITH WARRIORS: Free functional-fitness tribute workout at 11:30 am at South Seattle Crossfit – explained here. (4101 W. Marginal Way SW)

ACADEMIC ELDERS: Panel at the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse, 1 pm, on new books by Dr. Ken Tollefson and Vi Hilbertdetails here. (4705 W. Marginal Way SW)

COMEDY AT THE LONGHOUSE: 7 pm at the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse, comedian Chad Charlie, with humor, poetry, and surprise guests. $8 suggested donation; details in our calendar listing. (4705 W. Marginal Way SW)

LIVE MUSIC TONIGHT: Listings for C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), the West Seattle Eagles, and The Skylark – all on our calendar. Plus one more listing that came in via e-mail from the singer in the band:

Seattle’s Original Cheap Trick Tribute Band, In Color, is doing its first public appearance in 10 years! Live, for one night only!! We’re still the same four wild ‘n’ crazy guys and promise you a fun + exciting evening of rock ‘n’ roll surprises + musical hijinks.

The Feedback Lounge in Wayout West Seattle is hosting the party … please join us!!

!! NO COVER !!

That’s tonight at 9 pm. (6451 California SW)

PHOTO SESSIONS TO BENEFIT FIRE VICTIMS: Happening today and Monday, as a benefit for victims of the recent Pelly Place multi-house fire:

What: 15-20 minute photography mini-session with your family or loved one to raise money for the West Seattle fire victims: A few amazing professional images of your loved ones delivered via an online gallery.

Where: Lincoln Park near the south parking lot, closest to the ferries.

Price: This is donation-based and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the fire victims to help sustain during this difficult time while insurance claims are hashed out. My mini sessions are valued at 200.00 each and with a donation of 50.00 or more, you get some gorgeous images and can feel good that your donation will be used to help rebuild the lives of those struck with tragedy in our backyard.

E-mail photographer Katie DeLorme at directly for questions/scheduling

Softball postseason: West Seattle HS takes 4th in district tournament

May 23, 2015 at 7:01 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

(WSB photo: From left, WSHS’s Charli Elliott and Annalisa Ursino, with Ballard’s Savannah Furia sliding into 2nd)
Next up for the West Seattle High School softball team: State tournament play in Lacey on Friday, after their fourth-place finish in the district tournament at Southwest Athletic Complex last night. In a rematch of the Metro League final a week earlier, Ballard HS went home with the win over the Wildcats, 7-1. WSHS put the ball in play against Ballard pitcher Sage Nicholson more than they had last time, but not enough to get on the scoreboard in a big way. Charli Elliott pitched, with WSHS’s Gabby Wenn still out with an injury; Elliott also got the RBI for the Wildcats’ lone run, which was scored by Lucy Mead. The state-tournament brackets aren’t out yet; we’ll update with the WSHS game time and opponent when they are.

Shell @ T-5: New scrutiny for Polar Pioneer & ‘Solar Pioneer’

May 22, 2015 at 11:56 pm | In Seen at sea, West Seattle news | 18 Comments

(WSB photo)
From around the Web tonight: Updates on the drilling platform Polar Pioneer and the protest barge Solar Pioneer, both still in West Seattle waters. We’d photographed the latter tonight from Don Armeni Boat Ramp after noticing it had moved, which was expected after it ran afoul of the Coast Guard, among others, as Sydney Brownstone of The Stranger has been chronicling. Tonight our partners at The Seattle Times had an update too; here’s their backstory about the barge. It’s now anchored out of the prime dive zone.

Meantime, Brownstone reports tonight that the state Department of Natural Resources is concerned Polar Pioneer might be taking up too much space in the West Waterway adjacent to T-5. So it’s asking Shell some questions, with a June 1st deadline for answers. That’s three days before the deadline for Shell, T-5 interim lease-holder Foss Maritime, and the Port of Seattle to respond to the city’s Notice of Violation, as reported here last Tuesday.

SIDE NOTE: No new protest plans reported here. But in Bellingham tonight, an activist is reported to have fastened herself to the anchor chain of a Shell barge, the Arctic Challenger.

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