West Seattle, Washington
Though they are still a few years away from voting, some West Seattle High School students are having their voices heard this election year.
They’re participating in a nationwide project called Letters to the Next President. Each student is writing a letter to tell the next president about the most important social issue s/he should address.
WSHS teachers Kira Hopkins and Nicholas Rose decided to have their classes participate. The benefits are many, Rose told us – for one, the students, though too young to vote, “want to be heard.” Also, this project is honing skills from argumentative writing to research. That’s also what Hopkins told us in her original invitation to us to cover the project: “As a teacher, I’m excited about this project because students are practicing research and argument skills to become informed voters for the next generation. My students are excited about it because they get to write about an issue that matters to them and get involved.”
We visited the WSHS Library last week while some of Rose’s 9th-graders were working on their letters. We talked with two of them on video:
Karen wants the next President to focus on teen homelessness:
Morgan, meantime, is writing to the next President about health-care spending:
We asked Rose about other topics that students have chosen for their letters; immigration and police-related issues are popular, he told us.
The students’ final drafts are due this week. Their letters eventually will be uploaded to the Letters to the Next President website, which already is featuring more than 3,400 letters.
Thanks to Alisa Minnig for the photo and report:
John Van Lierop, Jr. held his annual Halloween Piano Recital at Tibbetts United Methodist Church. There were over 20 costumed piano students performing appropriately spooky selections, capped off with Danse Macabre by Saint-Saens. There were also fun games like “Name that Tune” and “Spooky Musical Chairs.” There was even a surprise guest (see the back row) – looking for a few more last-minute votes, we think. :)
That photo was tweeted at us earlier this evening by Peter, who says he spotted the deer on Pigeon Point. Though we have published many wildlife sightings over the years, none of them involved deer, aside from this WSB Forums post from someone wondering earlier this year if there were any around. They are not uncommon around Western Washington overall, though, according to this state Department of Fish and Wildlife one-sheet.
Is an electric vehicle in your future? The city has set a bold goal to dramatically increase the use of electric vehicles in Seattle, and that was the spotlight topic at this month’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting.
West Seattleite Chris Bast works with the city’s Office of Sustainability and Environment and spoke to the WSTC on Thursday night about Drive Clean Seattle, pursuing a goal of 30 percent electric vehicles by 2030:
The photo is from G, who says his dark red 2014 F-150 pickup truck was stolen early this morning, between 1 am and 6 am, from the 7100 block of 47th SW. License plate C27527B. Call 911 if you see it.
ORIGINAL REPORT, 3:28 PM: Just got the word from Judy Pickens — salmon drumming at the Fauntleroy Creek overlook (SW Director & upper Fauntleroy Way) is a go for 5 pm. Judy adds, “In the event of rain, come to the green house below the viewpoint and we’ll drum briefly from the porch. The spawners we know to be in the cove will surely hear!” See you there.
Gathering to sing and drum coho home to Fauntleroy Creek moves to a covered porch. pic.twitter.com/9jP62GGiSX
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) October 31, 2016
8:38 PM: Adding video and photos.
About 30 people gathered on and around the porch to listen to Pickens tell the story of the salmon along with a few rounds of drumming and singing led by Jamie Shilling.
While no coho have been seen in the creek since five ventured in (and apparently out) briefly almost two weeks ago, Pickens told the gathering that some have been seen circling the mouth of the creek in Fauntleroy Cove. “The intent (of the singing/drumming) is to honor the determination of these fish to get to fresh water.”
Volunteers are watching the creek, and if any spawners are seen, the locations will be noted with ribbons, and then those spots will be checked early next year for possible hatches. A few months later, hundreds of local students will visit to release 2,000+ salmon they’ve raised from hatchery eggs, as part of the Salmon in the Schools program, which Pickens and husband Phil Sweetland shepherd locally. The program was in danger earlier this year but as reported here recently, has been spared.
10 AM: It’s on! Joining the Farmers’ Market for the next four hours, it’s the 2016 West Seattle Junction Harvest Festival. Starting right now, on Alaska between 44th and 42nd, and on California south of the market, Alaska to Edmunds, local businesses, schools, and organizations are offering fun activities. Everything’s free except the Chili Cookoff starting at 11 am – a $10 donation gets you a taste of each of the eight competing chilis, plus a vote, and the money goes to the West Seattle Food Bank. Then at 11:30, it’s the costume parade from Junction Plaza Park (42nd/Alaska) around the festival/market zone, and at noon, business trick-or-treating begins. Explore the side-street businesses too –
ReMAX, for example, has a noon-2 pm Haunted House on the NW corner of 44th/Alaska (that was canceled).
10:14 AM: Our first activity feature – “melting pumpkins” at the West Seattle Timebank booth. Here’s volunteer Cupcake, showing one off:
Thanks to Timebank leader Tamsen Spengler for the photo. The Timebank booth is on SW Alaska across from Twilight, which is just west of Easy Street. Go visit! We, meantime, are right in the heart of California/Alaska, and immediately west of us you’ll find free facepainting:
The costumes just might be the most-fun part of the festival every year. Even with more than an hour to go until the parade, many costumed people of all sizes are wandering. We’ve even seen Darth Vader (and survived the encounter):
This festivalgoer is costumed as cotton candy:
By the way, there’s free cotton candy (while it lasts) on SW Alaska by Easy Street.
11:07 AM: Chili time! That’s the number one question we’re being asked right now – where’s the chili? Answer: Look for the West Seattle Food Bank canopy right in front of KeyBank on the SW corner of California/Alaska. Here are the competitors:
Number two most popular question – where does the Costume Parade start? Junction Plaza Park is on the NW corner of 42nd/Alaska, and the parade will head west from there, starting at 11:30. Many awesome costumes this year. Check out Sharknado and friend:
11:44 AM: The parade is making its way through the festival. And this year it’s MASSIVE! Hundreds of people. Led by the West Seattle High School Band:
Here’s video from the start (looks like we’ll have to wait until we’re back at HQ for the full 6 1/2 minute clip):
the start of the Costume Parade. Harvest Festival & Farmers Market continue until 2! pic.twitter.com/G6QzCivVvc
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) October 30, 2016
Next up: Business trick-or-treating at noon. We’ve been asked how that works – look for merchants with candy OUTSIDE their businesses throughout The Junction.
12:15 PM: Trick-or-treating is now on! And activities continue. Westside School (WSB sponsor) is one of your stops on California between Alaska and Edmunds – there, you can play Plinko:
Coworking center West Seattle Office Junction (also a WSB sponsor) is nearby and has a “critter pit”:
Meanwhile, the Farmers Market continues until 2 pm as usual. Many vendors are in the spirit!
We have some music here at California/Alaska, too – WSHS Band members, post-parade, are busking, as they’ve been doing to raise money for new instruments. And all the while, more cool costumes:
12:58 PM: Final hour. The crowd has thinned a bit but still really festive – we are talking with organizers and participants about how big the festival is this year, so many people here in The Junction, it reminds us of Summer Fest. Thanks to everyone who’s stopped by to say hi – from our booth in the heart of Walk-All-Ways, we’ve had a front-row seat for it all.
1:19 PM: The crowd’s thinned further because the rain has returned. Next big thing: Vote-counting for the chili cookoff. Here’s a tweet with a look at the contenders’ offerings:
— Ginny Weir (@yes0virginia) October 30, 2016
Still some good stuff at this week’s market, too.
1:30 PM: And the chili winners are:
#1 – The Westy
#2 – Brookdale Admiral Heights
#3 – Shadowland
2 PM: The rain hasn’t stopped but the festival’s wrapping up.
P.S. We will have a separate photo gallery plus some other festival followups at midday Monday.
Photos by Leda Costa for West Seattle Blog
While putting together this year’s WSB West Seattle Halloween (etc.) Guide, we’ve noticed more community Dia de los Muertos events than previous years … and we were invited to visit Thursday night’s big party at Highland Park Elementary. And along with food, games, and crafts, participants got to learn about this way of honoring the dead – above, HPE dad Miguel Gudino explains the altar he set up. Traditionally, you put fresh flowers, candles, and your loved one’s favorite foods on an altar like this, and on November 1st, all of these items are taken to the grave.
It’s a celebratory time. And so the HPES event offered fun activities including facepainting – which drew a line:
That’s fourth-grader AJ. Ahead, 10 more photos: Read More
Happy Sunday! First, from the WSB West Seattle Halloween (etc.) Guide:
(WSB photo from 2015 Harvest Festival)
WEST SEATTLE JUNCTION HARVEST FESTIVAL: In the heart of The Junction, 10 am-2 pm, on California between Oregon and Edmunds, and on Alaska between 42nd and 44th. Schedule:
10 am-2 pm: Activity booths (free!)
10 am-2 pm: Farmers’ Market
11 am: Chili competition (KeyBank corner – 9 competitors – $10 gets you a taste of each and a vote, to benefit the West Seattle Food Bank)
11:15 am: Start gathering for costume parade
11:30 am: Costume parade, led by the West Seattle High School Marching Band
Noon: Trick or treating
ART GLASS PUMPKIN PATCH: At Avalon Glassworks in Luna Park, the Art Glass Pumpkin Patch continues: “Dozens of handmade glass pumpkins in all colors are available for purchase to decorate your home or give as gifts. See live glass blowing and pick your pumpkins. Glass-blowing demonstrations are free to watch; Pumpkins cost $20-$95 each. Also at the pumpkin patch, limited-edition glass apples to benefit White Center Food Bank.” Live glass-blowing 11 am-5 pm today. (2914 SW Avalon Way)
‘I SCREAM’: Halloween Hop at Shelby’s Bistro and Ice Creamery, noon-2 pm during Harvest Festival. Games, prizes, DJ. (4752 California SW)
HAUNTED HOUSE: Go get spooked in the Haunted House at the new location of ReMAX in The Junction, noon-2 pm during Harvest Festival. (4400 SW Alaska)
TRICK OR TREATING IN WHITE CENTER: Trick-or-treating 3-6 pm at participating businesses. More info on this Facebook event page. Plus, Kimya Dawson in concert at Full Tilt Ice Cream, 3 pm! (9629 16th SW)
PARTY AT THE LONGHOUSE: Duwamish Longhouse Halloween Party, 5-7 pm, Duwamish Longhouse & Cultural Center: “Lots of Halloween fun. Children of all ages. Family-friendly event. Games, prizes & refreshments. Free/$10 suggested donation per family welcome.” (4705 W. Marginal Way SW)
LIGHT SHOW: Halloween Light Show by the people who bring you West Seattle Yuletide. 5-10 pm. New zombies this year, plus a talking pumpkin, and more. (38th SW between Genesee and Dakota)
HEEBIE-JEEBIES: The Heebie-Jeebies’ “all ages (kids encouraged) Halloween show at The Skylark – Seattle’s only Halloween band. $5 cover. 7 & 9 pm. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
GHOST GAME X: The Cabiri in “Ghost Game X: For Life Eternal” dessert-theater cabaret at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 7:30 pm. Ticket info – see if any are left! – is in our calendar listing. (4408 Delridge Way SW)
And from the year-round WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: If you missed it above – yes, there IS a Farmers’ Market during the Harvest Festival, in the street as usual, 10 am-2 pm as usual. (California between Oregon and Alaska)
UKESTRA SEATTLE: Ukulele music, live, at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 3-5 pm. (5612 California SW)
SING & DRUM THE SALMON HOME: 5 pm, join the gathering at the Fauntleroy Creek overlook to sing, drum, dance, and wish for the coho’s homecoming. All welcome, all ages. BYO drum. (SW Director and upper Fauntleroy Way SW)
LAST SUNDAY FOR WATER TAXI, AND EXTENDED SERVICE: This is the last weekend day of the year for the West Seattle Water Taxi, with the fall/winter schedule starting Monday, and it also will have extended service because of tonight’s Sounders FC playoff match, 6:30 pm vs. FC Dallas.