West Seattle, Washington
The song list for West Seattle’s biggest synched-to-music Christmas-lights show, West Seattle Lights/Helmstetler Family Christmas Spectacular, always includes fun as well as tradition – and our first clip from tonight’s lighting ceremony qualifies. It’s “What Does the Hawk Say?”, the Bob Rivers Show takeoff on Ylvis‘s international megahit “What Does the Fox Say?”
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Before that and other light-show songs, tonight’s event began with caroling, and then the announcement of the name of the new “emcee” – “Sir Charles” the light-up snowman. Two people suggested “Charles” (as in Charlestown, the street the show is on) in the summertime naming contest, including Tim VanLiew, whose name was drawn by WSL creator Jim Winder for the honor of pushing the button tonight.
In that photo, Jim’s on the right, Tim’s on the left, holding his baby daughter Lucy, who helped with the button-pushing. The first song was sung live by Jim’s own daughter, Julie:
West Seattle Lights isn’t just a 32,673-light labor of love for family and friends – the Helmstetlers are the family who live in the house, and Jim is a longtime friend who makes the show happen every year – it’s also, with your help, a community fundraiser and foodraiser:
That’s the West Seattle Food Bank donation bin you’ll find out front; last year alone, more than half a ton of food was donated by WS Lights visitors. You can also donate money to the show’s designated charities, WS Food Bank and Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation, on this page of the official website. It all goes to charity, Jim points out – the time and money it takes to put on the show is 100 percent donated.
6:24 PM: The outlook for the next few days keeps evolving – as does the content of the “special weather statement” alert from the National Weather Service. Now, it looks like:
-Very rainy, starting tonight
-Much colder by Monday, with lows in the mid-teens/20s much of next week
-Snow? Maybe a little … and then, the long-range outlook suggests, a chance again toward week’s end
P.S. Here’s Cliff Mass‘s take on it all.
8:28 AM SUNDAY: No special advisories added for this morning’s wind, but the newest forecast warns it could gust up to 40 mph.
You might THINK you’ve already seen this year’s edition of the Menashe family’s legendary Christmas lights if you have driven by this past week or so, but everything up until now has been a partial test. We took that photo last night; tonight, we stopped by late in the day, and they were still out working on it. Tomorrow, we’re told, is when the Menashes expect to officially throw the switch on the finished 2013 edition of the display, around 5 pm. 5605 Beach Drive SW (map) if you don’t already know it by heart.
3:26 PM: Emergency crews are rushing to the 9700 block of 33rd SW (map). It’s an “assault with weapons” call per 911 log.
3:31 PM: Most of the units are being called off, per scanner. Our crew is still on the way to seek details at the scene.
3:38 PM: Whatever this was, radio traffic indicates no serious injuries. Police are talking to at least two people. Our crew is awaiting a chance to get info.
3:43 PM: Police say two roommates got into a fight; one accused the other of stabbing him. They’ve confirmed, no serious injuries. A private ambulance has arrived. Noisy scene because pets at the home were audibly agitated, including a dog and a goose.
Almost looks like a circus or carnival coming to town in North Delridge, with semitrucks delivering big white “boxes” to the east side of 26th SW south of SW Genesee, along the west side of Delridge Community Center/Playfield/Park. It’s actually staging for a development project nearby:
What’s being delivered today is scheduled to be craned onto that site at 2816 SW Genesee next week, as part of a project installing three prefab modular townhouses. We received a news release about the impending installation (read it here in its entirety), but it didn’t mention the staging zone, so it was in queue for the next WSB roundup of development updates, accelerated now because of this!
In addition to the dozen or so modules that the trucking crew say they’re bringing from the Ferndale factory to the staging zone along 26th SW, the project also will involve intermittent closures on SW Genesee during installation, which the developers told us is currently expected to happen Tuesday and Wednesday, depending on the weather. (Added: Map with “A” marking the construction site – the staging zone outside the park is on the lower right)
The company putting in the modular townhouses is called Method Homes. Company spokesperson Courtney Peterson told us via e-mail, “The homes will be installed in 12 pieces over 2 days … The project was built to near-completion in our factory, complete with windows, floors, kitchens, baths, and appliances.”
Once the modules are installed, the official news release says, finishing touches will follow: “On site work will involve joining the modules at the seams, utility connections, and installing remaining siding, which typically takes 6 to 8 weeks.” The townhouses are described as:
Designed by Method’s architect partner Chris Pardo Design: Elemental Architecture, each 1,630 square foot, 4-Star Built Green home is 3 levels with 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, an attached garage, and rooftop deck.
Two of the units have a shared wall and the third is a stand-alone unit. All of the townhomes share a parking court. … The townhomes were developed by RITCS Holdings, Inc. and are being listed through Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate (formerly Prudential Northwest Realty) starting at $450,000.
The city project page for this site is here.
Side note: A different company installed a prefab standalone house in Admiral last July.
North to south, you’ll find shopping specials at many independent local businesses today. But don’t just make it a one-day thing, because all season long:
The WSB West Seattle Holiday Events and Info Guide includes a standing invitation for local businesses to let us know about their shopping events – open houses throughout the season, as well as this special day. Here’s what we’ve received word of for today, north to south – lots more out there, we’re sure, so if YOUR West Seattle business has something special going today, please let us know ASAP!
Various Admiral merchants: On behalf of his shop and fellow merchants in The Admiral District, Stu Hennessey (photo above) from Alki Bike and Board sent this roundup for today:
A variety of offers and events are happening, like West Seattle Fabric Co.‘s (2210 California SW) effort to bring the holidays back home with discounts on fabric bundles, make-and-take sewing demos, and a discount on sewing kits. They are also offering a 5% discount for nonperishable food donations. The B-Full Salon (2609 California SW) is offering gift certificates for a variety of relaxation services at 20% off.
The Atomic Boys retro toy store (4311 SW Admiral Way; proprietors Parris and Kent Sadow, photo above) is covering the tax on every purchase as well as giving away their tote bags (while supplies last) with a $50 or more purchase. Alki Bike and Board (2606 California SW) has a variety of products on discount and will be serving healthy refreshments during the day. Stop in to warm up with some hot drinks. Speaking of drinks, The Cask (2350 California SW) is offering $4 draft drinks all day.
Other businesses are signed up for the big day including Mind Unwind art gallery (photo above).
BETWEEN ADMIRAL AND ALASKA JUNCTIONS
White Crane Wellness: Massage gift certificates on sale noon-4 pm; handmade wreaths on sale to benefit Pathfinder K-8 environmental-education programs. Free mugs, coffee, tea, cookies. (3435 California SW)
(Firefly proprietor Charell Estby; WSB photo taken today)
Firefly Café and Creperie: Firefly is celebrating its first anniversary! $1 for 8 or 12 oz lattes all day, free drip coffee, free apple cider with tangerine ginger for the kids, balloon artist 10 am-noon. (NE corner of California/Genesee)
(West Seattle Cyclery proprietor Brad Loetel; WSB photo taken today)
West Seattle Cyclery (WSB sponsor): Sale today – everything is 25% off, and 2013 closeout bikes are an additional 10% off. (4508 California SW)
(Fleurt’s holiday decor; WSB photo taken today)
Fleurt (WSB sponsor): Make a purchase between 10:30 am and 4:30 pm today and get a rose! (4536 California SW)
BETWEEN ALASKA AND MORGAN JUNCTIONS
Second Gear Sports: From Second Gear Sports: Extended hours, free coffee and treats, $5 off a $25 purchase and $15 off $75 or more. Seahawks-themed gift items, among other things. (6529 California SW)
Duwamish Longhouse Native Gift Fair: Day 2 of vendors offering Native-created crafts, art, jewelry, clothing, and more at the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center in West Seattle, until 4:30 pm. (4705 W. Marginal Way SW)
(Great blue heron photographed by Danny McMillin, shared via the WSB Flickr group)
Happy Saturday! Today’s preview is in two parts; since this is a big day for holiday-gift shopping at local independent businesses, we’re breaking that out separately next, following this list of non-shopping highlights:
BASKETBALL JAMBOREE: As previewed here (with schedule), it’s a big day of high-school basketball in the gyms on the adjacent campuses of Chief Sealth International High School and Denny International Middle School, noon-~8 pm. Sealth is at 2600 SW Thistle; Denny is at 2601 SW Kenyon.
KITTY HARBOR: Just a few weekends left this year at West Seattle’s cat/kitten adoption center north of the bridge – if you can offer a forever home as your gift this holiday, check ’em out, noon-6 pm. (3422 Harbor SW)
WEST SEATTLE LIGHTS/HELMSTETLER FAMILY CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR: The peninsula’s brightest music-synched light show officially launches its season with a lighting ceremony at 7 pm. This year’s new features include a talking-snowman emcee, whose name will be revealed during the ceremony; more info in this preview. No admission charge but bring nonperishable food for the West Seattle Food Bank! And note that the 3900 block of SW Charlestown will be closed for the event – the only time of the season that you can watch in the street; otherwise, viewing areas are from the sidewalk or in/on a parked vehicle. (3908 SW Charlestown)
‘LITTLE WOMEN, THE MUSICAL’: Night 2 for the ArtsWest (WSB sponsor) holiday-season production of the classic story, 7:30 pm – details in our calendar listing. (4711 California SW)
LIVE MUSIC: Various venues, as you’ll see on the calendar, including: Vocalist Travis Bracht @ Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor) tonight at 9:30 pm, in a show that’s being recorded by local filmmaker Jamie Chamberlin for a live DVD. (6451 California SW)
As holiday-shopping season began around West Seattle on Friday, this was the most unique scene we came across — Santa Claus rocking out, guitar and all. The jolly ol’ soul was outside a one-of-a-kind West Seattle business, Thunder Road Guitars (WSB sponsor), where this weekend marks the first anniversary of proprietor Frank Gross‘s bricks-and-mortar storefront:
Today is the second day of Thunder Road’s three-day anniversary sale – details in our calendar listing. The shop at 3916 California SW is open today 10 am-6:30 pm.
SIDE NOTE: Find other businesses’ special deals for today in the WSB Holiday Guide and our forthcoming West Seattle Saturday highlights.
High-school basketball season is about to tip off, and Chief Sealth International High School is getting a double jump on it this weekend. First of two big events was tonight’s 2nd annual Nels Enquist Alumni Game, first one organized by new athletic director Ernest Policarpio. Above, the women’s game featured alums vs. current varsity players; the alums won, 44-30. The men’s game, with alums comprising both teams, went into overtime after tying at 69-all with 13 seconds to go.
The minute-and-a-half overtime ended with the blue squad victorious, 75-70. Sealth head coaches Katie Jo Maris and Colin Slingsby lead their teams into the regular season soon, but first, the boys host a Jamboree tomorrow afternoon/evening in the Sealth and Denny (next door) gyms, with participants including West Seattle High School and, from White Center, Evergreen – the schedule’s in our preview.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Some confusion tonight regarding notices sent to past/present members of the former Allstar Fitness club at 2629 SW Andover in North Delridge.
We’ve heard from three people so far who received the notices in postal mail today and assumed they have something to do with current concerns at what has since last March been West Seattle Athletic Club.
The new notices do NOT have anything to do with current ownership.
They are part of the pre-existing bankruptcy proceedings for West Seattle Fitness, the official name of the ownership from the club was Allstar Fitness. You might recall that back before the club was sold to its current ownership, the previous ownership had been going through bankruptcy proceedings (here’s our coverage archive, newest to oldest) and there was some discussion of when members should get notices regarding those proceedings. According to images of the court documents in the new notices, they relate to a hearing December 20th on setting the amounts to be paid to people involved with those bankruptcy proceedings, including the trustee who for a time oversaw the former Allstar Fitness, and lawyers. The notices invite recipients to respond, and note that if no responses are received, the motions might be granted without a hearing.
We just checked the online file for that pre-existing bankruptcy case involving the prior owners, and that appears to be all that is going on (although we urge you to review anything you receive for you reading any legal-type notices you receive.
Separately, after a flurry of e-mails from members in recent days, we have been checking on the situation with the club under current ownership.
Though a few local businesses have had trees since last weekend, today is the traditional start to Christmas tree season, and so it is Day 1 at the Holy Rosary School Tree Lot on the north side of campus. It was already bustling at midday. The HRS tree lot (a WSB sponsor again this season) has a few unique attributes: Besides being a fundraiser for the school, the tree lot gives 15 percent of its proceeds to local charities (West Seattle Food Bank, West Seattle Helpline, the Salvation Army’s Hickman House domestic-violence shelter). Also – it has a comprehensive website with lots of info. And this might well be the only tree lot distributing doorhangers, like the example shown here by Henry:
Holy Rosary Tree Lot is open until 9 tonight, 9 am-9 pm weekends and 2 pm-9 pm weekdays, through December 15th. And next Friday (December 6th) at 6 pm, you’re invited to the annual Celebration of Trees holiday event.
OTHER PLACES TO BUY TREES: We are continuing to update a comprehensive list in the WSB Holiday Events and Info Guide, with tree sellers from Alki to White Center; if you know of someplace we’re missing, please let us know!
Thanks to longtime WSB’er Mike (aka “miws”) for the tip – Delridge Way is detour-free from Roxbury to Orchard for the first time since January, when repaving work began. The southernmost stretch has reopened with no announcement, and no update on the project website, which as of two weeks ago projected the south end of Delridge would remain a detour zone until the end of the year.
This last leg of work included pedestrian-safety upgrades, such as the permanent closure of a stub of 17th SW between Cambridge and Delridge; 17th/Delridge is now an all-way stop.
While Delridge is completely clear, cones, signs, and some equipment are still in evidence here and there; we’ll check with SDOT on Monday to see what finishing touches remain and how long they’re expected to take.
It’s National Native American Heritage Day, the Duwamish Longhouse points out, as its three-day Native Holiday Gift Fair begins. Some artisans are even at work as shoppers visit, including Jimmy Price, in our photo above. Below, some of the items created and offered for sale by Louie Gong – skateboards and smartphone cases:
(See a closeup of the cases in this photo we shared on Facebook.) Most of the artists are in the main longhouse gathering room, but don’t pass through the museum area too quickly – that’s where we spotted Paul D.G. Eubanks and friend, right next to the Christmas tree:
Clothing and jewelry are among the other items you’ll see – and drinks and snacks are available for purchase too. The Duwamish Longhouse is at 4705 W. Marginal Way SW (map) in West Seattle, and the gift fair continues until 4:30 pm today, then 10 am-4:30 pm again tomorrow and Sunday.
Did you go downtown for the Macy’s Holiday Parade this morning? Dozens of West Seattleites were part of it:
Among them, two groups in the clip above – the Salty’s (WSB sponsor) Nutcrackers, followed immediately by the West Seattle High School Marching Band, directed by Ethan Thomas. Below, their counterparts from Chief Sealth International High School, directed by Marcus Pimpleton:
The Sealth band also will be part of the 10th annual West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays Tree Lighting one week from tomorrow – Saturday night, December 7, 5 pm, at Junction Plaza Park (42nd/Alaska), also featuring emcee Brent Amaker, the Endolyne Children’s Choir, and more.
A few quick notes for the busy post-holiday:
TRANSIT: Metro’s on the “reduced weekday/no UW” schedule today. No Water Taxi.
CLOSED/OPEN NOTES: Seattle Parks-run community centers and Southwest Pool are closed again today. Most if not all schools are closed. Seattle Public Libraries are open.
PARADE DOWNTOWN: 9 am is start time for the My Macy’s Holiday Parade, with West Seattle participants including the West Seattle High School and Chief Sealth International High School bands, the Salty’s (WSB sponsor) Nutcrackers, and more. See our preview for the route; note there are detours downtown around that route (and there’ll be others for the star lighting and fireworks at 5 pm).
NATIVE HOLIDAY GIFT FAIR: First of three days for the annual gift fair at the Duwamish Longhouse, 10 am-4:30 pm. Details in our calendar listing. (4705 W. Marginal Way SW)
THUNDER ROAD GUITARS ANNIVERSARY SALE: Don’t go to the mall – “shop small” (businesses) EVERY day this holiday season! One of the West Seattle shops where you can do it today is Thunder Road Guitars (WSB sponsor), celebrating its 1st anniversary with a big sale. (3916 California SW)
CHRISTMAS TREES: Opening day for the Holy Rosary School Tree Lot (WSB sponsor) at 41st and Dakota and Son-In-Law Tree Farm on Alki; most others are already open, and listed in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Events and Info Guide.
SANTA PHOTOS: At Westwood Village, they start today; Sunday is the big day in The Junction; you’ll find other opportunities elsewhere later in the season, and that info is also in the Holiday Guide.
Our foggy Thanksgiving ended with a colorful sunset – if you were up over those low clouds, as was Mark Dale, who shared the views above and below from Gatewood Hill:
From Upper Fauntleroy, Holly‘s view includes part of the Olympics:
And on the northeast side of the peninsula, Brewster Johnston saw the downtown skyline peeking over the clouds:
Thank you to everyone who took the time to share photos tonight!
Volunteers from West Seattle’s Vietnamese Cultural Center kept their tradition of Thanksgiving giving for the encampment residents of “Nickelsville,” even though it moved on to three new locations three months ago. Center director Lee Bui shares the photos. He says the group led by Dr. Tran Hai Khanh, M.D., went to all three sites within a few hours at midday today, first Skyway, then the two encampments in central Seattle. The brought clothes and seafood gumbo and gave haircuts and vaccinations.
Bui says that while it was foggy, it was more beautiful than last year since it wasn’t raining!
The Vietnamese Cultural Center, if you haven’t been, is at 2236 SW Orchard, a block west of Delridge, and is open to the public on Saturday afternoons. This is the third year it’s brought a group of volunteers to Nickelsville – at the West Seattle site in 2011 and 2012, and now the three others – for Thanksgiving.
We feel fairly confident in saying that most West Seattleites are thankful for the beauty all around our peninsula. In honor of that, we’ve been saving this video shared with us earlier this week by Greg Daly, who explained, “I built a tricopter to get some cool ski footage … I’ve been practicing around West Seattle and the end result is pretty cool!” It is! See for yourself.
P.S. Greg in fact shared a skiing video here almost two years ago – Gatewood to Lowman!
3:38 PM: Washington State Ferries says the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route is now on a two-boat schedule because M/V Klahowya is out for repairs – compounding the challenges of thick fog and heavy holiday traffic. We’ll update if/when this changes.
8:59 PM: Back to three boats.
If you’re not having Thanksgiving with family and/or friends, you still don’t have to be alone. A room full of your neighbors is enjoying the 15th annual free community dinner presented by Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering owners David and Meg Haggerty and David Meckstroth. The tables are beautifully set with centerpieces featuring donated flowers:
The kitchen crew is hard at work (last year we joined T&TS executive chef Michael Chase for an early look at everything that goes into this mega-meal):
While T&TS caters the dinner, donated desserts are welcomed every year:
And while you don’t have to be in need to come enjoy the meal – it’s truly offered as an all-community event – for anyone who is, these donations are available too:
The Haggertys’ son Andrew (below, with his dad, who is also president of the Fauntleroy Community Association) is among the volunteers helping out:
Still time to get there if you see this before 3 pm; The Hall is on the south side of the historic Fauntleroy Schoolhouse at 9131 California SW.
We’re continuing to keep an eye on the National Weather Service‘s long-range forecast and that possibility of wintry weather late in the weekend and/or early in the week. Today’s mid-morning update continues to warn of mountain snow toward weekend’s end – important info if holiday-weekend travel requires a trip through the pass(es) – but isn’t too bullish on the prospect of lowland snow beyond perhaps a few showers. Forecasters DO seem certain it will be colder than normal, at least for the first few days of next week. As for tomorrow – shopping! parade! – might see some rain.
(Common Mergansers, photographed by Trileigh Tucker)
Thanksgiving Day 2013 is off to a foggy start in West Seattle (see traffic cams here, and the forecast here). We wish you a joyful holiday! Here’s the annual reminder that if you are looking for information on:
–Coffee shops that are open
–Restaurants/bars that are open
–Free community dinners (there are two!)
–Morning workout opportunities
…as always, you can find ALL that information here on WSB, in the Thanksgiving section atop the WSB West Seattle Holiday Events and Info Guide.
If you’re taking transit – Metro is on a Sunday schedule; the Water Taxi is not running; Washington State Ferries is on a normal weekday schedule.
If you’re looking for a way to do a good deed today – starting at 10 am, you can donate desserts and/or warm clothing at The Hall at Fauntleroy (9131 California SW), where the annual free community dinner happens noon-3 pm.
More to come!