TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday updates & reminders

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

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

7:11 AM: Good morning – no incidents in the area so far. Reminders:

FAUNTLEROY/ENDOLYNE TRIANGLE WORK: SDOT’s work here is under way, albeit a couple weeks later than expected. This includes closure of a block of Brace Point Drive while it’s converted to one way, eastbound.

IN THE STADIUM ZONE: Mariners are home vs. the Yankees today at 12:40 pm, and the Seahawks host Dallas at 7 pm tomorrow.

ALKI BEACH 5K ON SUNDAY: Sunday at 9 am, it’s this year’s Alki Beach 5K, to help Northwest Hope and Healing, closing Alki SW and part of Harbor SW for a few hours.

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West Seattle Crime Watch: Attempted child luring; prowlers on video; package thief takes wedding items

Three reports tonight:

CHILD-LURING ATTEMPT: From Stephen:

Man in black SUV on Findlay/33rd tried to lure our kids into his car at about 8 pm tonight. Asian, 50-something, freckles, glasses. He had a clipboard with multiple addresses recorded on it. Seattle PD initiated a suspicious person report and searched the neighborhood for any sign of him.

We have a followup question out for any further details on what the man said/did.

PROWLERS: Jeff sent three videos, with the explanation you see under this first clip:

We had what looks like a “team” of prowlers on our alley last night. It is the alley between 38th and 39 Ave SW, 6500 block. The attached videos show both a man and a women probing our driveway and carport. We had no loss but others in the area may not have been so lucky. The images of the woman are pretty good but the man seems to have been a little shy when the lights came on, maybe because his pants were about to fall off!

See the other clips here and here.

STOLEN WEDDING ITEMS: From S & B, package-theft heartbreak:

A UPS package left at our door @~4:15pm was stolen from our porch before we arrived home ~4:50pm. It contained customized wedding items for our wedding on the 1st. Completely useless items for anyone else.

Ribbon, signs, napkins are all little things we can replace or do without. (All with our names and wedding date on them). However, there was also a customized memorial glass cylinder (vase?) for my partner’s mother who passed last Xmas. Her name is inscribed on the cylinder, and it will be missed.

A neighbor found the box–open and empty–only a few napkins left nearby. He brought the box back to us.

We’d just like the items back before our wedding on Sept. 1st. They can put them in the mailbox. No questions asked.

This happened near 32nd SW and SW Barton.

About the emergency response on Myers Way

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Thanks for the text about the police/fire response along Myers Way south of 1st (map). We just talked to police at the scene – right after SFD left – and here’s what they told us: They got a report of shots fired somewhere on the slope east of the road. They have searched – and Guardian One was out here searching too – but cannot find a victim; they’ve been talking to a person who claims to have seen someone with a gunshot wound, but he is described as seeming to be under the influence of something.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! Pagliacci 20th anniversary tomorrow, with freebies

Pagliacci Pizza sends word that it’s celebrating its 20th anniversary in The Junction tomorrow. And you get the gifts: Free slices (limit two per person) 11 am-4 pm, tomorrow only, at the West Seattle location (4449 California SW) only. If you’ll be off-peninsula during those hours, take note that Pagliacci says its other locations (except for the UW campus) will have a deal in honor of the WS milestone – buy one slice, get one free. Again, all this is tomorrow (Wednesday, August 24th) only.

ELECTION FOLLOWUP: New High Point dropbox a hit

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(August 1st photo of High Point dropbox, courtesy Ken @ High Point Library)

While overall voter turnout wasn’t so great, there were some positive numbers associated with this month’s primary election – including the number of voters using the new permanent ballot dropbox by the High Point Library. A King County Council committee got a briefing from KC Elections today on how the new dropboxes – this was one of 19 in the county – did; here’s the resulting news release:

…Nearly 36 percent of voters (more than 160,000 voters) cast their primary ballots via drop boxes. This is a substantial increase compared to the 2015 general election, in which 26 percent of ballots were returned via drop boxes. This year, over 100,000 primary ballots were returned to drop boxes on Election Day, 20,000 more than any previous Election Day total….

…In December 2015, the King County Council passed a motion asking King County Elections to develop a plan to improve access and convenience of ballot drop-off locations throughout King County. A primary aim of the motion was to lower barriers to voting. The Elections Division’s plan, which was approved by the Council on May 2nd, 2016, adds 33 additional ballot drop-off locations in King County for a total of 43 locations.

For the August primary election, a total of 29 ballot drop box locations were ready for voters. The remaining locations will be open in time for this fall’s general election. Once the plan is completed later this year, more than 90 percent of King County residents will live within three miles of a ballot drop box.

Among the most used new locations are the Lake City Library, University of Washington – Schmitz Hall, and High Point Library drop boxes, all located in areas that scored highest in the evaluation for key equity demographic characteristics. Scores were based on an Equity and Social Justice metric that considered a combination of diversity, household income, and English proficiency. Strong return rates at these locations signal progress for King County’s ongoing efforts to lower barriers to voting and strengthen the ability for all citizens to exercise the right to vote.

We followed up to get the West Seattle-specific numbers: 5,548 ballots were turned in via the High Point drop box for this year’s primary. King County Elections spokesperson Nancy Standifer tells WSB more than 4,300 of them were dropped off on Election Day (August 2nd). While it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison given that ballot vans only were sent over for a few days and limited hours each election, we asked for those numbers: August of 2015, 1,725 ballots at the West Seattle Stadium dropoff van; August of 2016 (two days) at the HP Library dropbox, 4,912 ballots.

SUNDAY: First-ever Central American festival coming to Westcrest Park

A first-of-its-kind festival is happening in West Seattle this Sunday! Here’s the announcement we received for Festival Centroamericano, coming to Westcrest Park:

The first festival in Seattle that is dedicated to learning and sharing the cultural expressions from Central America, the Festival Centroamericano, will bring together members of the various Seattle Neighborhoods that are from Central America or have family from the seven Central American countries (Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama).

Embracing our Central American heritage and culture to a community that is not well exposed to it can also offer a great opportunity to learn something new especially with the different ethnic groups (Indigenous, African, Mestizo, Latino) that are involved in the festival. The organization will unite the different ethnic groups from each of the Central American countries to exchange cultures and learn from one another.

The Festival Centroamericano will be a family-oriented and free-for-the-public event, therefore, everyone is welcome to experience a Central American community at Westcrest Park, 9000 8th Ave SW on August 28 from 11AM to 7PM. The festival will have live performances and vendors providing food, art, information, other great services, and more!

FROM CITY HALL: Mayor hires ‘director of homelessness’

Just in from City Hall – while it’s not West Seattle-specific, it deals with a citywide challenge, so we thought you might be interested. Mayor Murray has just filled the announced-last-April cabinet-level position of “director of homelessness.” The news release:

Mayor Ed Murray today announced that George Scarola will serve as the City’s first ever cabinet-level director of homelessness. Scarola will be responsible for leading the City’s homelessness efforts across departments, providing oversight and evaluation of outcomes, strategic guidance, and leading community engagement.

“Homelessness is a national epidemic, leaving cities like Seattle stepping in to fill the large gaps left behind by state and federal agencies,” said Mayor Murray, “We have made unprecedented investments in homelessness prevention and services. Because of the growing scope of work around homelessness, Seattle needs a proven manager to ensure we are achieving our desired outcomes. I have known George for many years, working alongside him in Seattle and Olympia, and know him as a unifying leader that excels at creating successful results through community engagement.”

Scarola is an experienced public affairs and community relations manager having led advocacy organizations in Seattle and Olympia for over 25 years.

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UPDATE: Police arrest car-prowl suspect after helicopter-assisted search

1:57 PM: Sorry it took a while to find out why the helicopter was over Morgan Junction, but Guardian One itself just solved the mystery, tweeting – after leaving the area – that it was helping SPD with a car-prowl suspect who has since been “detained in Lincoln Park.” We’re now seeing police along Fauntleroy toward the park’s north end and hope to ask them for a little more information. (P.S. Thanks for all the texts and calls.)

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2:10 PM: Just talked with police by the park. They tell us it was reported as a car prowl in the 7000 block of California SW and they tracked the suspect to the park. (Our photo was taken as they placed him in a police vehicle.) Guardian One wasn’t called out specifically for this – but happened to be in the area and asked if they’d like some help. Police are still looking for possible car-prowl loot the alleged prowler might have ditched in the area.

See inside new Arbor Heights Elementary, with ‘sea to sky’ theme

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Story by Tracy Record
Photos by Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers

Two weeks from today, Seattle Public Schools will dedicate two new elementaries in West Seattle. We’ve already taken you inside the new Genesee Hill Elementary; now, our first look inside the new Arbor Heights Elementary.

This is the school that principal Christy Collins and families fought hard for. As recently as four years ago, Arbor Heights wasn’t scheduled for a rebuild until 2019 – despite the old school being in such bad shape, it even flooded without rain one day in 2013.

By then, the campaign had worked, and the BEX IV levy called for Arbor Heights’ rebuild to be complete this year, and now it is. This morning, district officials, school board members, and architects from Bassetti led a VIP tour of the new school. It incorporates the eSTEM philosophy – environment plus science, technology, math, engineering – that was announced by Collins in 2013. As we were shown during the tour, the school’s theme is “sea to sky,” and it’s incorporated inside and out. Like the new Genesee Hill, it’s awash in natural light, with windows and skylights throughout. Here’s a look around inside the cafeteria and stage area:


It’s also built to a capacity of about 660 students, though unlike its crosstown counterpart, it will not be near capacity at opening – more than 400 students are due here. Read More

More new West Seattle businesses: MOD Pizza, BECU, 2 others signed for The Whittaker

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The biggest development under construction in West Seattle, The Whittaker, has just announced four more commercial tenants.

The two-building mixed-use development at 4755 Fauntleroy Way SW has of course long since announced its first and biggest tenant, Whole Foods Market (opening in about a year, fall 2017, we’ve reconfirmed).

According to Weingarten Realty, joining Whole Foods will be:

MOD PIZZA – This chain was founded in Seattle in 2008 and has since expanded nationally; its story is here, and its menu is here. Its nearest Seattle location right now is downtown.

BECU – The financial institution formally known as Boeing Employees Credit Union has long been rumored to be opening a full-service West Seattle branch, and this is finally it. (Its membership eligibility is explained here.)

CITYMD URGENT CARE – This health-care organization started back East and is expanding.

T-MOBILE – The cell-phone provider.

All will front on Fauntleroy Way; you can see the locations on the site-plan graphic atop this story. These tenants, too, are expected to open in fall of next year. Meantime, for restaurant fans, it’s been pointed out to us that Whole Foods’ presence in the building – with a lot of takeout food – means the rest of the development is restricted to 6,000 square feet of additional food uses. MOD Pizza will take 2,500 square feet, so The Whittaker has one more restaurant space, between 2,300 and 3,448 square feet, with the location shown in the graphic.

P.S. In case you’re wondering, The Whittaker will have 276 offstreet parking spaces for its businesses, separate from the spaces for its 389 apartments.

4 options for your West Seattle Tuesday

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(Osprey at Lowman Beach – photographed by Trileigh Tucker)

Highlights for today/tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar.

LUNCH AT THE LIBRARY: 12:30 pm-1:30 pm at Delridge Library, free lunch for kids/teens, as this summer’s effort continues to make sure no youth go hungry before school starts up again. (5423 Delridge Way SW)

FREE TAI CHI ON THE BEACH: The new expansion class for the popular Saturday Tai Chi at Alki. Free. All levels welcome. 6 pm. (60th SW/Alki SW)

DREAMERS AT EASY STREET: 7 pm, live in-store performance at Easy Street Records, celebrating the first album release for Dreamers. Free, all ages. (California SW/SW Alaska)

BABY KETTEN KARAOKE: 9 pm, 21+, free karaoke at The Skylark – not your average singalong! (3803 Delridge Way SW)

GOT SOMETHING FOR THE CALENDAR? We list West Seattle, White Center, South Park events for free; send the info in plain text in the body of your e-mail (*not* as an attachment, please), at least a week in advance, to editor@westseattleblog.com – thanks!

BIZNOTE: New bar at the beach

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The photo is courtesy of Pegasus Pizza (2770 Alki SW), which just added another component to its recent remodel – a bar. Last night was opening night, says Pegasus spokesperson Sean McVeigh, who adds that Pegasus’s owners “had a designer from California come up to design and build the bar and it turned out great!” Previous remodeling work included moving the restaurant entrance to its east end; what was its west end is now a property-management office.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday updates and reminders; Endolyne Triangle work

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

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6:43 AM: Happy Tuesday morning! Another look at this week’s reminders, first:

SURFACE SPOKANE ST. PROJECT: Here’s this week’s update, including a bike-trail detour, for this project east of the low bridge.

IN THE STADIUM ZONE Mariners are home vs. the Yankees again tonight at 7:10 pm, Wednesday at 12:40 pm, and the Seahawks host Dallas at 7 pm Thursday.

ALKI BEACH 5K ON SUNDAY: Sunday at 9 am, it’s this year’s Alki Beach 5K, to help Northwest Hope and Healing, is next Sunday (August 28th), 9 am, closing Alki SW and part of Harbor SW for a few hours that morning. (Want to run or walk in it? Sign up here.)

Back to today … no incidents in West Seattle or on the major outbound routes (NB 99, NB 5) so far.

7:47 AM: A couple weeks later than previously announced, the Fauntleroy/Endolyne Triangle work is getting under way – we just went by and noticed ROAD CLOSED signage for the block of Brace Point Drive that will become one way, eastbound:

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Details are in our most-recent report, from early August.

UTILITY WORK: City Light to start project in Hillcrest area

If you live in the Hillcrest area, you should be getting – if you haven’t already – a notice from Seattle City Light about a project starting in early September, “to increase electrical reliability … by rebuilding parts of the underground electrical system.” Here’s where they’ll be working:

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The city is circulating this flyer, and says its key points are:

· Three sections of the neighborhood, each one block or slightly longer, will have conduit and vaults installed. The work is the next phase in the refurbishment of the system.

· Trenching in the public right-of-way is planned from the first week of September through February 2017. Planned power outages may be required during this phase of the project. If required, customers will be notified in advance.

· Affected landscaping, sod, driveway aprons, and sidewalks will be restored to City standards.

Actual cable replacement will happen next year, according to the project webpage (see it here); no contact information there yet but SCL says customers with questions can take them to David Mannery, Electrical Service Representative, david.mannery@seattle.gov or 206-386-4245.

What brought all those King County Transit Police to The Junction

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Just back from checking out that big King County (Sheriff) Transit Police response in The Junction – thanks for the tips about it. Four cars were at California and Alaska, lights flashing. They told us they were called because of a combative person causing trouble on a bus; the person was removed and was in one of the Transit Police cars, shouting, while we were there.

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No injuries reported.

BICYCLE FOUND: Stolen? Lost? Take a look

Missing a bicycle? Dora says this one has been in the backyard of a foreclosed house next to hers in east Gatewood for a few days:

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She also sent a photo of the serial number – e-mail us if you think it might be yours and we can crosscheck. (And she has reported it to police.)

P.S. Separate from this case, a stolen bicycle has been reunited with its owner – a local business – thanks to a WSB Forums lost-and-found post by Gina this morning; go here to see how it played out.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen car found, but personal items missing.

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If you see either of those plates, you might be able to help find some of Sarah‘s stolen stuff.

She serves in the U.S. Coast Guard and thought her car was safe in a gated garage in North Delridge while she was on leave. It wasn’t. It was stolen a week ago; it was found two days ago in Burien, but what was inside it is still missing.

Trying to spread word about my car being stolen from my gated garage of my apartment on August 15. They have now recovered the vehicle but everything stolen from inside. Only thing I wanted back was I had boxes of personal files and my military medical record. They also stole uniforms, camping stuff and other personal items.

I live in Youngstown Flats [4040 26th SW] and the week it happened the management office said they reported a suspicious white Ford Explorer to the police and then a few days later broke into another Ford Explorer in my building and stole my Ford Explorer. Seems like they were targeting this kind of vehicle. The plates that were recovered on my vehicle are registered to a white Ford Explorer so very possible they put my plates on another Ford Explorer.

Would like to pass to everyone to look at plates on all Ford Explorers and if it is AXF2314 to please call the police. Also my old Hawaii plates (2CHIVE) might been in a side compartment and could be used by the criminals but would draw attention, being Hawaii vanity plates.

… Other items missing are: Coast Guard uniform items (light blue top, dark blue pants, white shirt, black belt with gold buckle, combo cover (hat with name inside), hat bag, large blue medical file, Bill Murray Pillow, tan sleeping bag, tent in black bag, cooler with wheels and expanding handle, 2 Tommy Bahama chairs (red & blue), queen-sized air mattress, air pump, lantern and random camping stuff, Garmin GPS, red Hawaiian seat covers, solar powered Hulu girl, New Zealand Starbucks cup, blue VS water bottle, grey Santa Cruz hoodie, grey zip hoodie with Kauai on the left arm, Black “Hunter” boots, 2 slip on airwalk shoes(black with white dots and one with white skulls), hard hat (with YN2 on the back), black steel toe boots, gold color basket with clothes inside, white comforter, tan fleece blanket, 2 black crates with files, black box with papers, and box of Coast Guard papers.

If you find any of the above: The car theft is incident 2016-294604, with Seattle Police; the recovery is C16042085 with King County Sheriff’s Office.

‘Hillclimb’ stairway from 35th SW to The Triangle now open

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When the 159-unit mixed-use building at 4435 35th SW now known as Aura went through Design Review three years ago, its most-acclaimed feature wasn’t actually part of the building – it was the “hillclimb” stairway proposed for the south side of the property. That side is actually city right-of-way, technically part of SW Oregon Street, but previously undeveloped. Now, the stairway is open; the photo is courtesy of Josh Sutton from the nearby West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor). This is envisioned as an easier way to walk between The Junction, The Triangle, and Seattle Parks facilities to the east (West Seattle Stadium, Golf Course, Camp Long, Rotary Viewpoint Park), and the growing number of residences and businesses in the area.

YOU CAN HELP! Louisa Boren STEM K-8 painting party Saturday

Back-to-school time edges ever closer … and there’s still a little work to do to get some campuses ready. If you can spare a little time this Saturday, Louisa Boren STEM K-8 could use your helping hands:

Parking Lot Painting Party!

WHO: Louisa Boren STEM K-8 community and any community member willing to help!

WHEN: August 27th 9 am-1 pm (drop in as you can!) but rain cancels event

WHY: Safety!

WHAT TO BRING: Wear old clothing! PTA / SPS will provide painting supplies, water, coffee and donuts. Kids more than welcome with parent supervision.

Need more info? Robin Graham – robingraham26@gmail.com

As of June, the school was expecting almost 500 students this fall – up from about 400 last fall. They’ll have a little more room to roam because after two years of sharing the campus, Arbor Heights Elementary is moving into the new building on its “old” site.

P.S. Any other schools that could use community help to get ready for returning students – volunteer labor? donations? or? – please let us know and we’d be glad to announce/calendarize – editor@westseattleblog.com – thank you!

UPDATE: 2 West Seattle marijuana biznotes

ORIGINAL REPORT, 12:28 PM: Notes today on the first two recreational-marijuana stores licensed in West Seattle:

NEW LOCATION FOR ORIGINS? We reported back in March about the opening of the first West Seattle recreational-marijuana store, Origins at 1416 SW Roxbury. According to a filing with the State Liquor and Cannabis Board, Origins is now looking to move into the heart of West Seattle – The Junction. It’s asking the licensing board for permission to relocate to 4800 40th SW, a building on the southeast corner of 40th/Edmunds that’s had two early-stage development proposals in the past two years and also currently houses a fitness business. We have a request out for comment but have yet to hear back.

NAME CHOSEN: Origins was the second West Seattle marijuana store to be licensed, but the first to open. Now there’s a name for the first one to receive its license – 5440 California SW will be Canna West Seattle, according to its website. It’s been six months since we reported on the licensing of this shop, but we don’t know yet when it’ll open – we’re awaiting a reply here too.

ADDED 7:45 PM: We’ve heard back from Canna:

… It took a very long time for the city to permit the project. We finally got the permits last week and plan to begin renovations ASAP.

The project will take several weeks, so we will be temporarily opening in the space across the street at 5435 California Ave SW (previously Alternative Medicine Collective), which will eventually be the Canna Glass and Accessories Shop. We plan to be open at this location in four to five weeks.

(AMC was a medical-marijuana dispensary; the dispensaries that did not get recreational licenses had to close by July 1st, and that’s led to a few other vacant storefronts in West Seattle, including two at 35th and Roxbury.)

YOU CAN HELP: Volunteer meeting tomorrow for The Whale Trail; run, or help with, the Orca Half next month

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(Southern Resident Killer Whale breaching in Puget Sound last November – photo by M. Sears, permit #16163)

Get some more joy into your life – the joy of helping. Donna Sandstrom from West Seattle-headquartered The Whale Trail has two ways to suggest:

The Whale Trail is hosting a Volunteer Meeting tomorrow [Tuesday] night at C & P Coffee in West Seattle [5612 California SW] from 6:30 to 8:30. We’ll be planning for the Orca Half/Seattle Summer Parkways, our next season of Orca Talks, and more! A great chance to meet other orca enthusiasts, and put your passion to work for the whales! Learn more and RSVP at Brown Paper Tickets.com. Hope to see you there!

PLUS:

Run, Walk or Volunteer for the Whales and The Whale Trail! The Whale Trail is the beneficiary of the Orca Half, a half-marathon in West Seattle on September 25! We’ll also be participating in Seattle Summer Parkways, 11 to 4 on the same day.

–We need help handing out water at the water tables 9:00 to 1, and staffing our booth at Seattle Summer Parkways from 11 to 4.

–To help with the water tables, sign up at orcahalf.com, and tell them you’re with the Whale Trail! Join us tomorrow at C & P to learn more, or get in touch with Donna – donna@thewhaletrail.org206-919-5397

P.S. We notice on the Orca Half website that it has participation capped at 500 runners and is up to 439 signups as of this writing – so if you’ve been procrastinating, time to get going.

5 options for your West Seattle Monday

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(Male Anna’s Hummingbird, photographed by Mark Wangerin)

For today/tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

SUMMER GAME CLUB: For kids and teens – drop in and learn a new game at Meeples Games (WSB sponsor), noon-3 pm. See what else is on the Meeples calendar for today/tonight. (3727 California SW)

GIVE THE GIFT OF LIFE: 1 pm-7 pm, Peace Lutheran Church in Seattle is hosting a mobile blood drive. Walk-in donors welcome, except during the 3-4 pm break. (39th SW/SW Thistle)

FAMILY STORY TIME: Stories, songs, rhymes, and fun at High Point Library, 6:30-7 pm. (35th SW/SW Raymond)

ALL-AGES QUIZ NIGHT: 7:30 pm at The Skylark. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

PUB QUIZ: 8 pm at Shadowland in The Junction. (California SW/SW Oregon)

AND MORE … on our full calendar.

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