You can help! West Seattle High School girls’ basketball players are making history – but need an assist

March 2, 2015 at 9:40 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

We spotted that poster at West Seattle High School tonight, as the school cheers for the athletes who are making history by being one of the eight girls-basketball teams in the state 3A championship tournament. It’s a big accomplishment, but it also comes with a price tag, so the West Seattle Booster Club is hoping that proud community members can help out a bit. They asked us to share this letter:

Dear Local Business Owners, Friends, and Fans of WSHS:

West Seattle High School Girls’ Basketball team is going to the 3A State Tournament for the first time in school history!

After winning the Metro League Championship and making it through both Districts and Regionals, the team plays their first State Tournament game on Thursday, March 5th at 2:00 pm at the Tacoma Dome. They would love your support!

More specifically, the girls would love to hear the West Seattle fans loud and proud in the crowd. Additionally, since the team will be in Tacoma from March 5-7th 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, and we would love to have you join us in this particular case to help our girls with their record-setting 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. You may donate by mailing a check to the address below, or going online to the WSBC website. For either donation type, please be sure to note “Girls Basketball” as the “Purpose” so we ensure the donation supports the girls.

WSHS and WSBC thank you in advance for your support in helping our girls reach their goal!


Donna Veenhuizen and Karin Beck
West Seattle Booster Club Representatives

West Seattle Booster Club
5318 SW Orleans St.
Seattle, WA 98116-3130
Tax ID # 91-1250127

The Wildcats’ opponent at 2 pm Thursday is Lynnwood, from Snohomish County. The WSHS girls earned their ticket to state with a huge win over Sumner in regional competition Saturday night at Renton (WSB coverage here).

UPDATE: Fire response in 7000 block Delridge Way

March 2, 2015 at 8:33 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | No Comments

8:33 PM: Seattle Fire has a full response out on a reported house fire in the 7000 block of Delridge Way SW, and one person is being checked out for a possible injury. More to come.

8:47 PM: Delridge remains open at the scene, which is just north of Myrtle, but SFD vehicles are on the west side of the street and other traffic is going around them, so it’s a little precarious – avoid the area for a while if you can.

8:55 PM: Turns out this was a kitchen fire. Two people were home. The one who was being checked out did not need to go to the hospital. They’ll both be allowed back in shortly, and fire crews will be leaving.

10:50 PM: One person, a 65-year-old man, did get taken to the hospital after all and was described as in stable condition.

Tomorrow night: Talk about the Westwood transit hub with WWRHAH

March 2, 2015 at 7:23 pm | In Arbor Heights, West Seattle news, Westwood | No Comments

The Westwood transit hub is a perennial hot topic, for a variety of reasons, particularly safety at the bus stops as well as in Roxhill Park and at Westwood Village. If it interests you, consider making time to be at tomorrow night’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meeting. We just received the agenda and it includes a discussion of the hub, with reps confirmed from both Metro and Westwood Village. The meeting is at Southwest Branch Library (35th/Henderson), starting at 6:15 pm Tuesday and wrapping up by 7:45 at the latest, when the library clears everyone out in advance of closing time – all welcome.

Rapist Michael Stanley, once in trouble in Admiral, accused of rape again; sixth time in jail since end of sentence in WS crime

March 2, 2015 at 4:37 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 23 Comments

4:37 PM: Almost a year after our last mention of convicted rapist Michael S. Stanley – who first gained fame for fleeing monitoring in Canada and eventually turned up in here – he’s in jail again. And it’s not the first time he’s been arrested since the end of his sentence in relation to his West Seattle crime.

This new arrest wasn’t in West Seattle, but as pointed out by several readers, it’s of note since he turned up here before. Stanley, who’s 49, is jailed right now for investigation of rape and burglary in the Bryn Mawr area northwest of Renton. The King County Sheriff’s Office announced today that Stanley was arrested Friday. We reported last March on the end of his jail time for a harassment conviction that followed his arrest in an Admiral alley in October 2013. When he left jail a year ago, his sex-offender registration listed a Queen Anne address, but today’s KCSO announcement says he was listed as homeless, and had continued to check in as required. The jail register, however, shows this is the sixth time he’s been there in the past year – three times for failing to appear in connection with the harassment case; then a four-month stay related to alleged vehicle theft and possession of stolen property; then two more months, ending just a week ago, in a burglary case involving a nursing home in Des Moines; he was caught there last December with two knives and a stolen employee-ID badge. He pleaded guilty to a reduced charge in late January and got out of jail on February 21st, according to the register.

The original conviction that made Stanley a sex offender was for sexually assaulting an 81-year-old woman. He was due for a bail hearing this afternoon in connection with the new case; we’re checking with the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for an update on that.

4:55 PM: Our partners at The Seattle Times report that charges were “rush-filed” against Stanley today – rape and burglary – and that he’s being held in lieu of $1 million bail.

6:25 PM: We’ve obtained today’s documents from the PAO. Stanley is set for arraignment on March 16th and could face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty of the new charges filed against him.

Another transportation note: You can apply now for city’s new Transit Advisory Board

March 2, 2015 at 3:38 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

If you’re interested in being on the city’s new Transit Advisory Board, it’s time to make your move, since the City Council officially approved its creation with a vote this afternoon. Ahead, the announcement, including how to apply:

Click to read the rest of Another transportation note: You can apply now for city’s new Transit Advisory Board…

UPDATE: What’s proposed for West Seattle in just-announced ‘Move Seattle’ plan

March 2, 2015 at 12:30 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 22 Comments

(WSB photo: SDOT director Scott Kubly at podium, next to Mayor Murray)
12:30 PM: At a media event in Ballard, Mayor Murray is officially unveiling “Move Seattle,” the city’s transportation focus for the next decade. It includes 24 major projects citywide; those listed as priorities for the next decade in West Seattle include:

FAUNTLEROY WAY/CALIFORNIA TRANSIT CORRIDOR – projected to cost at least $70 million
*Transit improvements including a “full transit station on Fauntleroy Way near the West Seattle Bridge
*Also described as “add(ing) real-time arrival information at all bus stops and transit centers” and “link(ing) discontinuous bus-only lanes along the corridor to complete the transit-priority system
(added) *Page 62 in the PDF

FAUNTLEROY WAY SW BOULEVARD – projected to cost at least $13 million (separate from the cost of undergrounding, as has been discussed recently)
*This project is now at 60 percent design, but funding hasn’t yet been discussed/identified
(added) *Page 63 in the PDF

DELRIDGE COMPLETE STREET – projected to cost at least $38 million
*This is described as adding “transit lanes and improv(ing) transit speed and reliability”
*”Includes protected bike lanes, sidewalk improvements, and amenities for walkers and transit riders along the corridor”
*”Streamlines traffic operations and improves multimodal connections between transit, freight, people who walk, and general-purpose vehicles”
(added) *Page 47 in the PDF

All three of those projects are described as likely requiring “Bridging the Gap replacement funding” to happen. Also of major interest to our area:

LANDER GRADE SEPARATION/RAILROAD CROSSING – projected to cost at least $100 million
*This is a long-shelved project that West Seattle leaders have targeted as vital to mobility between West Seattle and SODO/downtown

1ST AVENUE/1ST AVE. S. CORRIDOR - projected to cost at least $10 million

EAST MARGINAL WAY CORRIDOR IMPROVEMENTS – projected to cost at least $40 million

In a briefing before the mayor’s announcement, SDOT director Scott Kubly discussed the plan with reporters – his topline, “It’s not about doing a new plan, it’s about integrating the plans we have.” He started with trends, including the decline in driving, particularly among millennials, quoting a study as saying that up to a third of that generation doesn’t want to own a car. He segued from there into principles starting with safety.

With a nod to the city’s recently unveiled “Vision Zero” strategy, Kubly reminded, “Speed kills.” While the number of crash-related deaths has dropped – 40 deaths a year a decade ago, down to 15 a year now – more needs to be done, he said. Another principle: The city is working to “re-orient to a multi-modal system … one that works for everybody.” That includes bringing transit service within walking distance of as many Seattle residents as possible, and making city streets safer for bicycle riders of all ages and abilities – Kubly used City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw (who rode in Delridge as the greenway project was getting under way) as an example of the atypical bicycle rider. Freight mobility is a key value for SDOT too, he said, as is affordability – including “lower out-of-pocket transportation costs” for people. The average household spends 17 percent of its budget on transportation, he said. Affordability also relates to the city budget, he noted, so the city will do more repair/maintenance work, including microsurfacing, which has been done extensively in Arbor Heights.

Kubly also said the city intends to “innovate in how we reach people,” saying the traditional public meetings held regarding proposals and projects only reaches a narrow slice of the population. And he discussed an intricate prioritization process, starting with overlays of the city’s various transportation-related plans, to see where priorities intersect. That’ll be the role of a new Project Development Division, he noted, as part of an intradepartment reorganization.

We’re now listening in on the mayor’s part of the briefing, and will add details here afterward, including weblinks with more details.

1:13 PM UPDATE: The mayor’s briefing, outside Swedish Hospital in Ballard and alongside busy Market Street (used as a backdrop to emphasize the city’s continued growth), is over. No additional details on the specific projects as mentioned above, but he did say that details of the proposed funding – ostensibly a ballot measure – will be made public within a few weeks. Full video of his briefing should be on Seattle Channel‘s website a bit later, and we’ll add the video here when we find it. The official webpage for Move Seattle is here; the full document with details on the projects mentioned above (and others around the city) is here, as a PDF.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Car prowls, recent robberies, more

March 2, 2015 at 10:56 am | In Crime, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

In West Seattle Crime Watch, an incident early today and several from reports we’ve recently obtained:

CAR BREAK-IN THIS MORNING: Early today, a car was broken into in the 3800 block of Beach Drive SW, its side and rear windows smashed, and, writes Mary, “a very important work suitcase was stolen. The alarm went off & we saw a white car take off driving.”

That’s not the only recent car prowl in the Beach Drive area. While we didn’t get reader reports on these, we found two more in recently obtained police reports, which are followed by summaries of reports related to other West Seattle incidents of note:

Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Watch: Car prowls, recent robberies, more…

Followup: Port to be sued over leasing West Seattle’s Terminal 5 to Foss/Shell

March 2, 2015 at 9:16 am | In Environment, West Seattle news | 23 Comments

(T-5, empty since last summer, in center of photo tweeted in September by Peter West Carey)
9:16 AM: A coalition of environmental groups says it’s making good on its threat to sue the Port of Seattle for leasing part of West Seattle’s Terminal 5 to Foss as a homeport for Shell’s Arctic-oil-drilling fleet. Members of the coalition spoke at last week’s Port Commission meeting – as previewed here – asking the port to cancel the lease. They’re briefing reporters later this morning; the pre-briefing announcement says:

Represented by the national public interest environmental law firm, Earthjustice, Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, Sierra Club, Washington Environmental Council, and Seattle Audubon Society will announce the filing of a lawsuit against the Port of Seattle. The lawsuit alleges the Port of Seattle violated the State Environmental Policy Act and Shoreline Management Act by leasing Terminal 5 to serve as a homeport for Shell’s Arctic drilling fleet because there was no basis for the Port’s conclusion that a homeport is the same as Terminal 5′s previous use as a container terminal and because use of the terminal as a homeport could impair water quality from damaged vessels and vessel repairs.

Earthjustice attorney Patti Goldman and representatives of the groups bringing the suit will also explain why the lawsuit was a necessary response to the Port of Seattle’s attempt to sign a lease for Terminal 5 with Foss Maritime for home-porting Shell’s Arctic drilling fleet with virtually no public process.

The lawsuit seeks to vacate the lease, freeing the elected Port Commissioners to work with the community to find better options for creating jobs, providing revenue to the Port, and achieving the Port’s goal of being “where a sustainable world is headed,” as the Port’s website asserts.

The lease was signed February 9th and announced by Port CEO Ted Fick in a letter to this coalition two days later; the negotiations were kept secret until news of the potential lease emerged via the agenda published a few days before the January meeting at which commissioners were briefed. More to come.

ADDED 11:11 AM: Here’s the full announcement, as released minutes ago (also, ADDED 1:43 PM, Foss’s reaction and a statement from the port):

Click to read the rest of Followup: Port to be sued over leasing West Seattle’s Terminal 5 to Foss/Shell…

West Seattle Monday: School-tech ‘town hall’; Hi-Yu help; more…

March 2, 2015 at 9:00 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 1 Comment

(Varied thrush, photographed recently in Fauntleroy Park by Mark Wangerin)

Welcome to the first full week of March! Notes for today/tonight:

LUNA PARK CAFE CLOSED: It’s closed all day today for spring cleaning and equipment updates, expected to reopen tomorrow.

SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS’ ‘TECH TOWN HALL’: As a followup to the school district’s Tech Summit, SPS is holding “Tech Town Halls” around the city, and tonight in the West Seattle High School cafeteria, it’s the one for our area. Doors at 5:30 pm to preview info from the summit, “town hall” starts at 6. (3000 California SW)

FREE ESL CLASSES: All levels of English-language learners are welcome to come work on their skills at the weekly free classes, 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center. (6400 Sylvan Way)

WEST SEATTLE HI-YU MEETING: 7 pm at Admiral Congregational Church. Float help needed, and all volunteer help appreciated. Plus, the application deadline is nearing for the Hi-Yu Senior Court – details on the Hi-Yu website – scholarship money for the winners. (California/Hill)

MEDITATION CLASSES: Start your week with an extra helping of serenity! 7:30 pm, all welcome for a nonprofit-presented Buddhist meditation class at Sound Yoga (WSB sponsor) – details in our calendar listing. (5639 California SW)

NIGHTLIFE: Trivia, pub quiz, karaoke … see the listings/venues on our calendar.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Monday updates; road-work reminders

March 2, 2015 at 6:56 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 2 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning and welcome to the first weekday in March. No trouble spots reported so far but we do have road-work reminders for projects that were previously announced as starting today (we’ll be checking later):

-Delridge/Andover/23rd safety improvements – details here
-15th/Roxbury lane closures for fiber installation – details here
-Lane closure at Fauntleroy dock for Barton Pump Station Upgrade next door – details here

METRO FARE CHANGES NOW IN EFFECT: Sunday was the first day of the new fares for Metro – a 25-cent increase in regular fares, and the availability of the new ORCA LIFT reduced fare for those who qualify.

8:28 AM: Still uneventful. One “in case you missed it” link – our full report from the West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting is up, with details including the new SDOT transit-division director Paulo Nunes-Ueno‘s conversation with WSTC, and other updates. Read it here.

VIDEO: Record-setting WestSide Baby Benefit Tea crowd gives big, encouraged to ‘look for the hidden need’

March 1, 2015 at 9:53 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 1 Comment

(Auction-style cards were held up at the tea to answer calls for donations)
Story by Tracy Record
Photos by Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers

While a room packed with more than 630 people giving to a nonprofit is a visible sign of caring and support, the people they’re helping are too often not so easy to see. That reminder – to “look for the hidden need” — was the theme of this year’s WestSide Baby benefit tea this afternoon at the SeaTac Hilton Conference Center.

The festive and friendly event not only set an attendance record, it raised more than $300,000 – up from last year, which in turn (despite a snow-suppressed turnout) was more than the year before. The increase in donations is vital because of an increase in what WS Baby is doing already, and what more it could be doing, as the nonprofit’s leaders explained.

(Tea chair Beth Wright with WS Baby executive director Nancy Woodland)
The first speaker of the event, tea chair Beth Wright. said she is in awe of “neighbors helping neighbors” via WS Baby. When it began in the early 2000s, almost 200 children were served. This past year – more than 27,000 children. “So how do we get all of this done?” Wright answered her own question: Through donations and volunteers, comprising “an amazing network of support.” Its partners number more than 120 – social-service agencies and other organizations serving families. “In supporting WestSide Baby,” said Wright, “you are actually supporting those agencies” as well.

While WS Baby is known best for getting diapers to families who cannot afford them – executive director Nancy Woodland, who’s been with WS Baby for nine years, told the tea attendees that so many other needs exist: “Every single baby deserves to have a safe place to sleep,” for example, she said. Last year, WS Baby received 600 requests for cribs – a number roughly equal to those in attendance. But two-thirds of those requests could not be fulfilled. Here’s video of her full speech:

That can change with actions beyond attending today’s event, Woodland said: “Spread the word – host a donation drive – invite others to hear our stories – have members of the WestSide Baby board of directors come speak to your friends, or your workplace.”

WestSide Baby needs to grow, said Woodland, explaining that it hopes to move to another location in White Center, “just down the block.” And it needs a better online-ordering system. When they last increased their space in 2010, she noted, they were able to serve 26 percent more kids immediately: “More things can go in, more things can go out.” She said WS Baby is now helping 1/20th of the number of families in need, around the county, illustrating this by having a few tables of teagoers stand up – about 1/20th of those in attendance. She stressed repeatedly that those in need don’t display it – “to truly understand it, we need to look for the hidden need. … keep our eyes open so that our heart can act on this.”

Those in the room got to meet one of WestSide Baby’s clients, Karen, first via a video, then when she came up to speak.

She talked about having been homeless, and having become a mom at 16. She and her family have a home now, but she and her husband, both working full time, “live paycheck to paycheck.” She spoke of having dreams for their sons, including a 4-month-old held by Woodland as his mom spoke, with his big brother standing alongside:

An early life of financial struggles was also described by featured speaker Kathy LeMay, founder/CEO of Raising Change:

“When Nancy talks about hidden need … I spent all my time (in childhood) trying to hide how poor I was.” Her mother scraped to enable LeMay to go to college, and she talked about how surreal it seemed to have classmates asking “where do you summer?”, and talking herself out of “the Pennsylvania mill-town accent.” She also spoke of compassion – everyone is your neighbor, not just someone who lives by you – yet she is troubled to see “the shift away from compassion,” as people try to set themselves apart from those in tough times, especially those who have made mistakes, though those are the people who need it most.

LeMay lauded those on hand for “showing big business and government what it’s like to help people without judgment. … You just showed people what your character is. … We are all just trying to bring each other home.” Compassion transforms you, she said. And she lauded the attendees again, for spending a Sunday afternoon to gather in an airport hotel to give. That preceded the card-raising gift-making opportunity.

After the speeches, the event moved to raucous rounds of giving and receiving. Cards were waved as calls were made to donate certain amounts, some of which were matched; emcee Ian Lindsay thundered through what seemed like amazingly endless lists of numbers, of people choosing to give beyond what they had donated for entry to the tea, with the hundreds of donors including County Councilmember Joe McDermott:

As for receiving, first, necklaces were sold as entries in the Tombola drawing – as modeled by Josh Sutton of the West Seattle YMCA (tea sponsor and WSB sponsor), at right below with City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen:

Woodland’s children McInnis and Phineas helped with the drawings, as has become a WS Baby Tea tradition:

What they are holding in our photo are two of the famous Baby Cakes that also are available for purchase at the tea each year – created by Avalon Glassworks. The twist is that one box also included a $1,000 necklace donated by Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) – so purchasers are asked to wait and open theirs simultaneously to see who got the necklace.

This year, it was Aileen, who was clearly thrilled:

The tea concluded with Lindsay’s announcement of the grand total, which we recorded in this quick Instagram clip:

ALSO AT THE TEA: As seen in our video above of Nancy Woodland’s speech, two volunteers were honored with the Donna Pierce (WS Baby founder) Service AwardJerry Johnson of First Student, for making the “Stuff the Bus” diaper-drive bus happen every year (even though it’s usually his birthday weekend!):

And devoted volunteer Laurie Pinard was honored too:

SPONSORS: The local businesses and organizations backing the tea included WSB sponsors too – Ventana Construction, Jackson, Morgan, & Hunt PLLC, Budget Blinds of West Seattle, West Seattle Thriftway, WEdesign, Inc., West Seattle Design Build, and as mentioned earlier, West Seattle YMCA and Wyatt’s Jewelers; Alki Party Treasures donated part of the kids’ birthday party package that was one of the Tombola prizes. Other organizations on the long list of sponsors included the West Seattle Food Bank and White Center Food Bank; WCFB’s executive director Rick Jump posed with board member Kari Holsberry (and a “babycake”):

HOW TO HELP WESTSIDE BABY ANY TIME: Money, volunteering time, items – how to give to WS Baby is all explained online. (Speaking of online, Woodland gave the crowd a quick sneak peek of a remodeled WS Baby website, launching soon!)

@ West Seattle Transportation Coalition: SDOT’s new transit director isn’t just about buses

March 1, 2015 at 8:01 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The Seattle Department of Transportation‘s new Transit Division isn’t just about buses, its new leader told the West Seattle Transportation Coalition.

It’s about many aspects of getting around the city, Paulo Nunes-Ueno told the WSTC in his guest appearance during their monthly meeting Thursday night – more aspects that were mentioned in the announcement of his hiring back in December.

With the new division’s deputy director Bill Bryant, formerly of Metro, at his side, Nunes-Ueno told WSTC their division’s work is about transit and mobility, including parking, streetcars, bike-share and car-share operations, all part of “building a transportation network.”

Click to read the rest of @ West Seattle Transportation Coalition: SDOT’s new transit director isn’t just about buses…

The need for seeds: What the West Seattle Seed Library is looking for, to get going and growing

March 1, 2015 at 5:09 pm | In Gardening, How to help, West Seattle news | No Comments

We have city libraries, we have Little Free Libraries, we have a Tool Library, and soon, West Seattle will have a Seed Library. But first, organizers Krista and Katie are looking for two things:

*An old library-catalog-style cabinet
*A place to host the Seed Library

The Tool Library would have loved to do it, Katie and Krista tell us, but they’re out of room. So the search continues: “We are hoping for a business that is open to the public during regular business hours, plus evenings and weekends and has good foot traffic already…something like a coffee shop, community center, etc.,” according to the full announcement about the search. If you have something to offer or suggest regarding either component of the search, please e-mail - thanks!

P.S. As a prelude to the library launch, seed donations will be accepted as part of the Great Seattle Seed Swap on March 15th at the West Seattle (Admiral) Library.

West Seattle weekend scenes: Cookie sales continue

March 1, 2015 at 1:39 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

A photo posted by Holli Margell (@photoholli) on

Something else you can do today – buy Girl Scout Cookies. We’ve been talking about the annual sale for a few weeks. Above, Holli shared the Instagram photo of Troop 44398 members selling cookies until 2 pm outside Menchie’s in The Admiral District; below, a photo from cookie-selling Saturday at Junction True Value:

Kristiana shared the photo, explaining that the cookie-costumed chaperone and friends are “Michael Lockman from WEdesign Inc. with his daughter Ruby and co-scout Bella.” (WEdesign is a longtime WSB sponsor.) If you somehow aren’t seeing a troop everywhere you turn, you can use the cookie-finder search tool to find one nearby, by going here.

West Seattle(ites) weekend scene: Local Hot Chocolate runners

March 1, 2015 at 12:17 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | No Comments

Thanks to Brenda for the photo. She reports:

11 of us women from West Seattle participated in and finished the Hot Chocolate 15k from the Space Needle. Beautiful day and a great race!

By the way, now that the race is over, the Highway 99 closure north of downtown is over too, and SDOT confirms that 99 has reopened both ways.

SIDE NOTE: Upcoming runs in our area (with online registration under way right now) include the White Center 5K on March 28th and the West Seattle 5K (co-sponsored by WSB) on May 17th!

What’s up for the rest of your West Seattle Sunday

March 1, 2015 at 10:30 am | In West Seattle news | 4 Comments

(Saturday morning photo by Lynn Hall)
Happy March! Nothing on your schedule for this sunny Sunday? Five possibilities from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar (which you can also browse for what’s up tomorrow and beyond):

‘UNTANGLING THE SENIOR HOUSING MAZE’: Whether you’re making the decision for/with your aging parent(s) or yourself, a little expert guidance can help. That’s what you’ll find in a free presentation at the West Seattle (Admiral) Library at 2 pm – details here. (2306 42nd SW)

JAZZ AT C & P: 3-5 pm, live music by Jazz Hands at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), no cover. (5612 California SW)

‘GODSPELL’ CLOSING PERFORMANCE: 3:30 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, your last chance to see the Twelfth Night Productions presentation of the 1971 classic “Godspell.” (4408 Delridge Way SW)

FREE ‘THRILLER’ DANCE CLASS: 3:30 pm, EQ Fitness (WSB sponsor), learn how to do it – details here. (3270 California SW)

SUNDAY NIGHT TRIVIA: Wrap up your weekend with trivia at West Seattle Brewing Company, 7:30 pm. (4415 Fauntleroy Way SW)

P.S. REMINDER IF YOU’RE RIDING THE BUS – today’s the day Metro’s fare changes start: 25-cent increase in “all current Metro fare categories”; 50-cent increase for Access paratransit trips; and the new $1.50 ORCA LIFT fare is now available if you qualify for it. Read about all the changes here.

Traffic alert: Highway 99 closure north of downtown this morning

March 1, 2015 at 5:13 am | In Alaskan Way Viaduct, West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 3 Comments

One more reminder in case you’re heading north this morning: Highway 99 is scheduled to be closed both ways from the Battery Street Tunnel to N. 47th for the Hot Chocolate 15K/5K, 6 am-11 am.

Update: Fire response in 6500 block of 35th SW

February 28, 2015 at 10:31 pm | In West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 10 Comments

10:31 PM: Big Seattle Fire response now in the 6500 block of 35th SW. Updates shortly.

10:37 PM: 35th northbound is blocked at SW Holly, according to the scanner. We’ve just arrived in the area; there’s also an engine in the southbound lanes at 35th north of Morgan.

10:42 PM: No fire, though alarms were going off, firefighters have determined (this is in the apartments next to WS Food Bank). So they’re packing up.

West Seattle Crime Watch: About the police search on Alki

February 28, 2015 at 10:13 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 5 Comments

Thanks to everyone who texted/messaged about a big police response on Alki, centered at 62nd SW/Alki SW. We just arrived and have confirmed with police what one neighbor told us – there was a report of a burglary in progress in an apartment/condo. No one in custody so far; no other details yet.

UPDATE: West Seattle HS girls’ basketball to state after big regional win over Sumner; first opponent, Lynnwood

February 28, 2015 at 9:25 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 6 Comments

(UPDATED SUNDAY AFTERNOON with WSHS’s first state opponent)

(Instagram video of a moment from the game, basket by Emily Fiso, one of four Wildcats who scored in double digits)
9:25 PM: We’re at Renton High School, where a big win by the West Seattle High School girls’ basketball team means they’re heading to the state tournament next weekend in Tacoma. They beat Sumner in a win-or-go-home game, 56-18. Photos and details to come.

ADDED EARLY SUNDAY: The victory’s afterglow lasted a good long while. Walking back to the parking lot from the gym, we passed the WSHS bus, with its windows open and the cheerleaders on board, heard chanting, “WE’RE GOING TO THE DOME! WE’RE GOING TO THE DOME!”

That’s the Tacoma Dome, of course, where the state tournament starts Thursday. We’ll find out today (Sunday) when and who the Wildcats will play.

But first – the story of their resounding comeback after two defeats. The 38 points by which they topped Sumner represented the largest victory margin of any game in this weekend’s 3A girls’ regionals. Perhaps the ensuing eight days of rest were exactly what they needed. Or maybe it was just time to think. A season in which they had risen to #2 in the state and beaten last year’s state champs for the Metro League title was too good to end just yet.

While the Renton HS gym was intended to be a “neutral” site for the game, Sumner was the designated “home team” and its big, booming band added to that feeling. (The school’s marching band performed in West Seattle twice last summer – in the Grand Parade and the Band Jam.) The pregame songs included Macklemore‘s anthemic “Can’t Hold Us.”

But it was the WSHS girls who could have been singing that line.

While the Spartans scored first, the Wildcats answered fast, with Emily Fiso striking first. West Seattle dominated the boards from the start and made their own second (and third) chances over and over and over again. Even in the late going, with a big lead, they refused to relinquish the ball without a fight. Scenes like these abounded:

Head coach Sonya Elliott talks a lot about her players’ teamwork, and tonight they really showed it. Not just in the scoring, with four in double digits – Lexi Ioane with 13:

Lydia Giomi with 12:

Annalisa Ursino with 10:

And Emily Fiso with 10:

… but also in the clutch moments. Charli Elliott showed her knack for tearing the ball away from the opponents – or swatting in a save when the Wildcats were in danger of losing possession:

In her moments off the bench, Lani Taylor was tenacious:

By two minutes into the second quarter, the West Seattle lead was up to double digits. And that’s when they started to pull away. On one series, Fiso missed an outside shot but managed an inside basket that widened the lead to 18 points with a little over two minutes left in the first half.

Yet no one was taking anything for granted. The West Seattle fans were bemoaning the misses and holding their breath for the near-baskets as halftime approached. A sharp series of passes led to a basket for Taylor with a minute to halftime, and the score was 29-8. After a Sumner basket, a solo drive by Giomi had the fans chanting MVP! MVP! in a nod to her Metro League honors. And at 31-10, halftime arrived.

While the injury absence of Sumner star Jamie Lange had to be noted, that could not entirely explain the third quarter, in which the Spartans failed to score a single point. West Seattle just kept building on its lead, clearly taking nothing for granted. They built a 30-point lead by just under 2 minutes to go in the third quarter – which ended with WSHS ahead 46-10.

Sumner’s first points of the second half came at 6:47 to go in the game. By that point, coach Elliott was resting her starters, at least for a few minutes.

No matter who was on the court, the Wildcats remained in charge, drawing fouls as Sumner tried again to spark a comeback; what resulted instead were foul shots. Izzy Turk was at the line to bring West Seattle to a 40-point lead, 55-15. With 1:46 to go, more WSHS reserves came in to get a bit of playing time. By then, with a lead that big, even standing at the foul line with unlimited shots couldn’t close the gap, so the clock ran out and the Wildcats were able to bask in the realization that they’re state-tournament-bound.

We’ll publish an update when the first state game is set.

ADDED 3:47 PM SUNDAY: Lynnwood will be the Wildcats’ first state opponent, 2 pm Thursday in Tacoma.

West Seattle weekend scenes: February’s final sunset & moonrise

February 28, 2015 at 8:46 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 2 Comments

Sights tonight, shared by community contributors – above, Danny McMillin caught sunset colors over Mount Washington toward the south end of the Olympics; below, the rising moon, photographed by Chris Frankovich:

By the way, Daylight Saving Time returns one week from tonight – 2 am Sunday, March 8th, we’ll spring forward to 3 am.

Log House Museum leadership change: You’re invited to farewell reception Thursday for manager Sarah Baylinson

February 28, 2015 at 6:21 pm | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news | No Comments

After two and a half years as manager of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s Log House Museum, Sarah Baylinson is heading south; you’re invited to a farewell reception next Thursday (March 5th). SWSHS executive director Clay Eals has announced that Baylinson is departing to become collections manager at the Bowman Museum in the Central Oregon town of Prineville. She joined SWSHS as a volunteer in 2010 and became museum manager in fall 2012. Her farewell reception is set for 3-4 pm Thursday, March 5th, at the museum (61st/Stevens). If you attend, you’ll also get a chance to meet new interim LHM manager Lissa Kramer, a Morgan Junction resident who started volunteering for SWSHS last year and has 15 years of experience in museums and public programs. Baylinson’s last day is Sunday, March 8th; recruitment of a new permanent manager is expected to start shortly thereafter. The full announcement with more information is on the Log House Museum website. (Photo of Sarah Baylinson, left, and Lissa Kramer, courtesy SWSHS)

UPDATE: Seattle Lutheran HS boys’ basketball team advances to state, will play Cusick first

February 28, 2015 at 3:21 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 4 Comments

(SCROLL DOWN FOR SUNDAY UPDATE: SeaLu’s first state opponent has been drawn)

(Our Instagram clip is from the final seconds of the game – photos a bit later)
We’re at Bellevue College, where the Seattle Lutheran High School boys’ basketball team has just secured a spot in the state tournament, defeating Yakama Nation Tribal School 52-49 in a regional playoff game at Bellevue College. More to come.

ADDED 7:24 PM: This was a close game most of the way, but Yakama was as much as 10 points ahead a few times, before the Saints finally clawed back ahead toward the end.

The first quarter was low-scoring, ending with the Eagles ahead by one, 10-9. Their crisp passing was a strong suit, as was rebounding, until they faltered in the final quarter.

Along the way, the Saints’ winning ways were the result of a team effort – no single player dominated, though Roberto Duenaz (below) finished as the top scorer with 19, including a trio of 3-point shots.

Xavier Turner (1st photo below) and Josh Meyer (2nd photo below) – recipient of the sportsmanship award given to one member of each team postgame – had 11 each.

A run-and-gun series of tradeoffs saw Yakama threaten to pull away by the middle of the second quarter, leading 19-9 until Lutheran started a comeback, including two foul shots representing Duenaz’s first two points of the game, and a resurgence in rebounding. By halftime, they were behind by just four, 25-21.

In the third quarter, it wasn’t yet clear that the Saints would be able to regain the lead. After they cut the Eagles’ advantage to two, they fell behind by 9. Another of Duenaz’s threes kept that margin from growing. His next one provided a few seconds of drama, swirling the rim what seemed like half a dozen times before finally dropping through the net.

Two successful foul shots by Turner brought SLHS to within three with a little over 3 minutes to go in the third quarter, and that’s where the tide really started to turn. Meyer was often there when the Eagles missed a shot, and the Saints would head back to their side for another chance. They were down by just one, 38-37, at the end of the third, and a foul shot by Ryan Okabayashi tied it up just seconds into the fourth. SeaLu went up by two shortly thereafter, 40-38. A three-pointer from Yakama gave them the one-point edge, and a short bout of see-sawing ensued.

The Saints’ defense got even more aggressive.

The Eagles seemed to lose their confidence a bit as Lutheran kept it close. Their last lead was with three and a half minutes left in the game, when a three-pointer by Joseph Sanchey put them up 46-44. DEFENSE! hollered the Saints’ fans, and they obliged, with a three by Garrett Ball putting them up by one, 47-46.

With the final moments still in cliffhanger status, both sides called multiple timeouts to strategize.

The lead seesawed again – Yakama had it one last time at 49-48, with Duenaz then scoring four points – a basket and two foul shots – for the final score, 52-49. The jubilant Saints now look ahead to the state tournament in Spokane, with their first game next Thursday (opponent TBA).

12:05 PM SUNDAY UPDATE: Just drawn – SeaLu’s first state opponent will be Cusick, 3:45 pm Thursday at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. The Cusick district is 50 miles north of Spokane and serves the Kalispel Tribe as well as the towns of Cusick and Usk.

After-school pancakes with the Chief Sealth IHS Link Crew

February 28, 2015 at 3:04 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

The school year is about two-thirds of the way through, and what a relief for high-school freshmen, who have finally settled in. At Chief Sealth International High School, that feeling of belonging has been fostered by the Link Crew mentor/buddy program. This past Thursday, they invited us to the Sealth Galleria to stop by and check in again, as we’ve done a few times already this year. The occasion: “Hotcakes Hangout.”

Yes, that’s hotcakes, as in pancakes. Link Crew ambassador Lincoln Vuong explained it wasn’t just about the pancakes – they played games while cooking and consuming, such as pancake trivia, with the answers written and held up on whiteboards:

Link Crew brings the freshmen together with volunteer upperclassmen mentors. This is Sealth’s third year with the program; we first checked in with this year’s group on September 4th.

Traffic alert: If you are heading to the Eastside this weekend …

February 28, 2015 at 1:48 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | No Comments

Even with our every-weekday-morning traffic watches, we somehow managed to miss the alerts about this weekend’s eastbound I-90 closure – explained by WSDOT here:

The resulting backup/slow going from the eastbound bridge to northbound I-5 to (and on) eastbound I-90 caught us by surprise as we headed out to Bellevue to cover the Seattle Lutheran HS boys’ basketball postseason game. All vehicles are routed onto the express lanes, and that added 15+ minutes until the logjam broke just past the Mount Baker Tunnel. So in short: Eastbound I-90 is not completely closed, but it’s constricted for the weekend, and you’ll want to allow extra time.

P.S. And remember one more alert we HAVE shared a few times – 6-11 am Sunday, Highway 99 is closed at the Battery Street Tunnel and northward because of the Hot Chocolate 5K/15K

You can help! Fairmount Park Elementary auction’s online encore

February 28, 2015 at 11:02 am | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

The Fairmount Park Elementary PTA is hosting an online auction as a followup to its recent “live” auction. You can support FPES students via any of more than a hundred items – among them, getaways for destinations such as Alderbrook Resort and Stevens Pass, unique items such as a Little Free Library or a 3-hour photo-booth rental, and/or theme baskets put together by classrooms, including “Family of Scientists,” “Northwest Craft Beer Sampler,” and “Jaunt in the Junctions.” The online auction is open until 9 pm next Friday night (March 6th) – go here to browse and bid.

11 ways to spend part of your West Seattle Saturday

February 28, 2015 at 7:20 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | No Comments

(WSB photo of Troop 45165 cookie-sellers Primavera, Maddy, and Shea at West Seattle Thriftway [WSB sponsor] on Friday)
Buying Girl Scout Cookies is one of many things you can do in West Seattle today – use the online cookie-finder lookup to see where and when. Here’s what else is going on:

RESTORE THE FOREST: Join South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) students in the West Duwamish Greenbelt, 9:30 am-2 pm, as previewed here, including information on meet-up location on the north side of the SSC campus. (6000 16th SW)

CHILDREN’S ACADEMY OF SEATTLE OPEN HOUSE: 10 am-1 pm, you’re welcome to tour the Spanish-immersion preschool Children’s Academy of Seattle (WSB sponsor) during its open house. (2401 SW Juneau)

PINE LAKE CELLARS WINE TASTING: New WSB sponsor Pine Lake Cellars invites you to its tasting room, noon-5 pm today. (3400 Harbor SW)

HIGH-SCHOOL BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS: Both local high-school basketball teams that are still going in the postseason have games today/tonight, as first reported here last weekend: The Seattle Lutheran HS boys play Yakama Nation Tribal School at Bellevue College (map/address) at 2 pm; the West Seattle HS girls play Sumner HS at Renton High School (map/address) at 8 pm.

(added) LOVE SEAFOOD? 4-7 pm at Alki Masonic Center, fundraiser for WSHS/Sealth student-awards program – crab, clams, mussels, chowder, fixins for $30. (40th/Edmunds)

(back to original) COMMUNITY MOVIE NIGHT IN ARBOR HEIGHTS: Go watch “Wreck It Ralph” at Arbor Heights Community Church, 6 pm, only price of admission is three cans of food for the White Center Food Bank. Full details here. (10213 41st SW)

SECOND AND FINAL WEEKEND FOR ‘GODSPELL’: Twelfth Night Productions presents the Bible-story-based musical at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 7:30 pm. (4408 Delridge Way SW)

RONNY COX AND FRIENDS: He gained fame as an actor but now spends most of his time making music, and will be onstage at Kenyon Hall, 7:30 pm tonight with keyboard and fiddle friends – details here. (7904 35th SW)

TOM PRICE DESERT CLASSIC: Heading up a three-band slate, 9 pm, $5 cover, at the Benbow Room. (4210 SW Admiral Way)

KIRK DUBB AT THE FEEDBACK: 10 pm, live at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), no cover. (6451 California SW)

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