West Seattle, Washington
Story by Tracy Record
Photos by Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers
An unusual backdrop for this morning’s annual Westside Awards breakfast … fog.
Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor) was the location as usual and as you know if you’ve been there, that usually means a spectacular view of the city skyline and Elliott Bay right outside the banquet-room doors. This morning’s fog meant nothing was visible behind the speakers but the deck and a couple of Canada geese strolling (and honking) on it.
Nobody seemed to mind. The spotlight was fully on the award-winners, after a few words from West Seattle Chamber of Commerce leadership – board chair Paul Prentice‘s welcome, and CEO Lynn Dennis‘s appreciation for the organization’s 200+ members and spirit of collaboration. That last attribute, in fact, played into one award-winner’s unique acceptance presentation – including the sign atop our story – you’ll see it later.
Keynote speaker was King County Chair Joe McDermott, introduced by Dennis as a third-generation West Seattleite, running down his local cred including scooping ice cream at Husky Deli, as well as his academic and political chops.
McDermott described the theme of his talk as “why we do what we do.” But first – history – the Beach Broiler, which was on the pier that now holds Salty’s, half a century earlier. Two years ago, he said, his family gathered to celebrate his parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.
His career, McDermott said, traces back to the question “What are you going to do when you grow up?” For a while, he thought he would become a civil engineer, bui;ding bridges. A trip back east in his senior year changed everything. “I saw government up close and realized I wanted to go into public service.” His mother warned “there’s no money in that” – though, he said, she had spent her career in education!
“I believe I am still solving problems and building bridges,” he said. That included the resilience fund newly approved by the county on behalf of immigrants and refugees: “These are our friends, our neighbors, our co-workers” – and immigrant-owned businesses are worth $1.2 billion to the local economy. He talked about the fear sown by President Trump’s executive orders. “I’ve heard the real fear and apprehension in these communities.”
But with the resilience fund and education, “this further affirms that King County is a welcoming place … for everyone who resides here.” McDermott acknowledged similar work by the Seattle City Council – represented at this morning’s event by District 1 City Councilmember Lisa Herbold – having passed a defense fund for immigrants.
McDermott also spoke about the Access For All sales-tax measure sent to the August 1st ballot by the County Council this week. He singled out West Seattle’s ArtsWest and Southwest Seattle Historical Society as expected beneficiaries. “We will invest in programs that change lives and give kids more access to the same opportunities and help our communities thrive. Everyone in King County will benefit.” McDermott said the program also includes money for transportation, to take kids to sites such as the Pacific Science Center, Museum of Flight, and Woodland Park Zoo.
“The resilience fund and Access for All are two key King County Council achievements since the first of the year,” he declared. “… Know that your involvement is essential. E-mail me. Call me. Come to testify on legislation … let me know what your thoughts, your concerns, your interests are … not just me, but all your elected officials. … Let us know what’s on your mind.”
Then, to the awards, which Dennis explained are not a popularity contest – nominations are solicited from the community (not just Chamber members) each year, and carefully reviewed before decisions are made.
Strength, integrity, equality are qualities of hers, Evans said, recounting Throop’s background as a leader in not just elder care, but also in the LGBTQ community. “She is an amazing person,” Evans said.
He had also mentioned Throop’s mom, who she cited as inspiration. Ten years ago, Throop said, her mom declared she was moving to Seattle, and when she looked around to find support for her, she couldn’t. With what she learned, she started a business. “I truly love what I do,” she said – helping people, referring them to trusted professionals, “many of whom are in this room.” She spoke warmly of collaborating with other businesses, including many WSCC members. “They say beside every woman stands another great woman,” she declared, pointing out and thanking her wife Angela. She said the award was not only gratifying, but touching.
Next, Pete Spalding, chamber vice chair, introduced Dan Austin, proprietor of Emerging Business of the Year winner Peel and Press (WSB sponsor) in Morgan Junction. Spalding, who has long advocated for the West Seattle Food Bank, talked about Austin’s enthusiastic contribution to it, and to other fundraisers (like this one). He also is opening a second restaurant (in Boulevard Park).
Austin said he was humbled to accept the award “on behalf of my great team” – three of whom are in the photo above, with him – and said he felt it was on behalf of the entire small-business community in West Seattle, listing many others that “have all stepped up and helped contribute in these events.” He said working with the Food Bank has “been a blast,” and thanked his wife and two children for their help and inspiration. “To give back to the community is something I learned growing up and watching my parents,” he explained, recounting their volunteerism. “I feel incredibly blessed that (Peel and Press) has been received so well in the community … and we just want to continue to give back.”
While Austin said that concern about the City Council’s dealings with businesses was part of his motivation to expand outside Seattle, he thanked Councilmember Herbold for “sitting down and listening” to those concerns.
Spalding also introduced Southwest Youth and Family Services, recipient of the Not-for-Profit of the Year award. He talked about SWYFS’s evolution and addition of programs, with programs focused on youth development, mental help, family support, and education.
Executive director Steve Daschle and board chair Laura Ware accepted the award.
“It’s always meaningful to be recognized by your family and friends,” she said, noting that SWYFS has a “low profile … we’re known but not that well known.” She said “there are a lot of kids in our community who are scared… they need a safe place to go after school … if they come to this country and don’t know our language they may need (help) and Southwest Youth and Family can provide that.”
Daschle spoke of a recent event honoring kids, all children of immigrants and refugees, receiving scholarship awards to inspire them to complete their education and go on to college. “This will be the first time anyone in their family has completed high school, let alone going on to college … that’s what we’re all about … we’re about partnerships in transforming their lives.”
Finally, Prentice introduced Westsider of the Year honoree Maria Groen, someone he said he had known for 20 years. He spoke of her volunteer service as well as her professional work with nonprofits.
“So many other people deserve this,” Groen declared as she began, saying she was accepting it “on behalf of countless behind the scene volunteers … and do-gooders in our community.” She brought up some other “do-gooders” and said she wanted to inspire “anyone who is not yet engaged in their community” to change that and do something. She listed a long (and at times rhyming) list of all the ways you can help. “When you work for a greater good, you are forever changed.” Here’s how it unfolded, including audience participation toward the end (the sign-waving starts 2 1/2 minutes in):
That brought a standing ovation, after which Prentice wrapped up the event by urging everyone to check the Chamber website for upcoming events including a chance for everyone to honor Groen’s philosophy of being a “do-gooder” – by joining in a community cleanup on May 18th.
“All is looking good for our festival this weekend,” Seattle Chinese Garden spokesperson Sandy Marvinney tells WSB, as they get ready for the rescheduled Peony and Bamboo Festival. “The garden should be at or close to full bloom this weekend!” The garden is at the north end of the South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor) campus on Puget Ridge, and the festival is set to run 10 am-4 pm both days this weekend (Saturday and Sunday, May 6-7). Here’s the latest update on the blooms; here’s the festival flyer. $5 suggested donation for adults; all ages are welcome to visit. The lion dance at 11:30 am Saturday will be a highlight; other activities continue all weekend. You’re advised to check seattlechinesegarden.org before you go, in case of schedule updates.
The life of Gladys M. Herreid will be celebrated this Sunday. Here’s the remembrance her loved ones are sharing with the community:
Gladys M. Herreid of West Seattle, 92, passed peacefully at home on April 29, 2017. She leaves a legacy of deep faith, strength, wonder, laughter, and a celebration of all creation through artistic expressions.
Gladys attended the University of Puget Sound. She was a nursing-home activities director, writer, painter, sculptor, and chorister. An active member of Seaview United Methodist Church for 50 years, she served as a NOMAD missionary before joining Admiral Congregational, UCC. Gladys enjoyed local and world travel, always exuding a sense of wonder and awe.
She will be greatly missed by her children: Bonnie Gwinn (Robert), Joyce Beals, Vini Nielson (Don), and Marni Herreid, along with her brother John Jones (Allen) and sister Janet Miller (Bob), 10 grandchildren and many nieces, nephews, and great-grandchildren. We rejoice in her reunion with beloved husband Ardean, daughter Natalie, sisters Helen and Marian, and parents John Herbert and Agnes Cooper Jones of Montana.
A celebration of life will be held at The Kenney on Sunday, May 7 at 1:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Mary’s Place or The Kenney Foundation.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
(UPDATED EARLY FRIDAY with more lightning photos – scroll down)
3:57 PM: Just in time for the commute home – the predicted thunder and lightning have arrived. The National Weather Service has a “short-term forecast” alert, warning that “small hail and heavy downpours” are possible. And as we get ready to publish this – the downpour has arrived. Updates to come.
4:13 PM: While it’s brightening a bit, @WestSeaWx – who has been tracking this on Twitter for days – says another thunderstorm, currently warned to be “severe,” is moving this way from the Olympia area.
For our area right now, there’s an updated short-term alert.
4:58 PM: More thunder.
5:22 PM: And the rain followed. Also a potentially related traffic alert: Colby tells us via Twitter that the traffic signal at 26th/106th/107th is flashing red.
Downpour & thunder pic.twitter.com/xgWXRsjzrm
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) May 5, 2017
5:54 PM: Our short video clip is more for the audio than the video – pouring rain, and some thunder. We’re waiting for it to calm before heading out to our evening meeting coverage. Looks like the clouds are lifting to the west. (added) Sound Transit just sent an alert saying its express buses, including West Seattle/White Center-serving Route 560, are delayed because of the storm.
6:01 PM: If your pet got lost in the storm – or if you found someone else’s pet – remember that WSB has the only all-West Seattle lost/found pets page – e-mail us photo, info, phone #. Just added lost dog Shasta a minute ago.
7:58 PM: The weather’s calm now but one last thing – not sure if it was weather-related or not but it wasn’t too long after that last big burst, a car flip on the Delridge offramp from the westbound West Seattle Bridge:
Thanks to “Westwood Charlie” for the photo. No details but checking the SFD log for the response to this incident, no medic or aid unit was in service long enough to transport someone, which means no major injuries.
ADDED EARLY FRIDAY: More lightning views! The first is a frame from video by David Hutchinson:
From Chris Frankovich, lightning in the clouds:
(WSB file photo, Lincoln Park wading pool)
With temps passing 70 degrees this week, we started wondering when wading pool/spraypark season would start. The city’s list is up – here’s the local dates:
HIGHLAND PARK SPRAYPARK**
May 27-September 4, 11 am-8 pm every day, 1100 SW Cloverdale
(**The city’s website carries the caveat that maintenance work under way now – during the big playground construction project – could push the schedule back.)
LINCOLN PARK WADING POOL
June 24-September 4, 11 am-8 pm every day, near the north play area, 8011 Fauntleroy Way SW
DELRIDGE WADING POOL
June 26-August 20, noon-6:30 pm Mondays, Tuesdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 4458 Delridge Way SW
SOUTH PARK WADING POOL
June 26-August 17, noon-7 pm Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, 738 S. Sullivan
E.C. HUGHES WADING POOL
June 28-August 18, noon-7 pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, 2805 SW Holden
HIAWATHA WADING POOL
June 28-August 19, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, noon-6:30 pm, Walnut SW/SW Lander
And remember that the city only guarantees wading pools will be open on sunny days with temps 70 and up – you can check the hotline every morning during the season at 206-684-7796.
P.S. Seattle Parks‘ communications team tells us its big mega-announcement of not only wading pools but also swimming pools and beaches will be out soon.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Underscoring the interconnectedness of Seattle’s transportation network, looming changes downtown are stirring concerns and questions here on the other side of the bay. They re-emerged at the West Seattle Transportation Coalition‘s most-recent monthly meeting.
The changes are being discussed under the umbrella title One Center City; we first wrote about it back in January, and then WSTC talked about it in February, agreeing to arrange for an official briefing, which is what happened last Thursday night.
It’s all about a variety of major downtown projects and changes converging, to increase demand on downtown streets, starting next year – including buses getting booted from the downtown transit tunnel to facilitate convention-center expansion. And WSTC members and attendees asked some pointed questions. Read More
The end is finally near for 9029 16th Avenue SW, the South Delridge house that’s been the scene of three fires in five years, most recently February 25th. One month after a demolition permit was issued, heavy equipment arrived today. Just yesterday, we had sent an inquiry to the city Department of Construction and Inspections, which had ordered the owner to take care of the situation and then issued an extension to April 21st. Since as recently as yesterday afternoon (we’ve been going by to look every day or two), there was no sign of activity, we asked the city what would happen if it didn’t happen. The online log for the site shows yet another complaint filed by neighbors as of about a week ago. While writing this update, we just heard back from SDCI spokesperson Bryan Stevens, who says the city’s been told that demolition will start tomorrow. (If you see it any sooner, let us know – we’ll go by again later.) There’s a redevelopment proposal for the site, described as a “mixed-use building.”
Quick look ahead to tonight, before the afternoon arrives…
INCOME-TAX TOWN HALL: This was scheduled even before the City Council’s vote this past Monday on a resolution of intent to pursue a city “high-earner” income tax. The resolution’s co-sponsor Councilmember Lisa Herbold is on the program for the organization Trump-Proof Seattle‘s “town hall” meeting tonight in Olympic Hall on the south end of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus. Program starts at 6 pm. (6000 16th SW)
DESIGN REVIEW X 2: The Southwest Design Review Board meets tonight at the Senior Center/Sisson Building, with two projects on the agenda: 6:30 pm, it’s an Early Design Guidance review for the downsized 1250 Alki SW project, now proposed as a six-story building with ~44 condominiums, 66 offstreet-parking spaces. See the design packet here. Then at 8 pm, another EDG meeting, this time for the newest proposal for 4800 40th SW, a four-story building with 67 units, 46 underground parking spaces, and 5,400 square feet of commercial space. See the design packet here. Both meetings will have public-comment periods. (4217 SW Oregon)
HELP PLAN HIGHLAND PARK’S FIND IT, FIX IT WALK: First meeting of the community “action team” planning the May 25th event – everyone’s invited to be part of it, just show up! – is tonight, 6:30 pm, at Highland Park Elementary. (1012 SW Trenton)
GETTING READY FOR HIGH SCHOOL, PART 2: 7 pm tonight at Madison Middle School, it’s the second part of this two-part series, this time for Madison parents/guardians only. RSVP requested – our calendar listing shows how. (45th SW/SW Spokane)
EVEN MORE … on our complete-calendar page!
The driver in the crash that closed 35th/Morgan for four hours two weeks ago is charged wth vehicular assault, felony hit and run, and reckless endangerment. The charges filed against 27-year-old Treveon R. Smith were first reported by seattlepi.com; we just obtained the court documents, which summarize what investigators say happened as Smith drove his 2002 Dodge Intrepid northbound on 35th SW with “three acquaintances” inside on the afternoon of April 20th:
He was speeding at highway speeds on a 30 mph arterial. He lost control and crashed into a parked van and then spun into trees coming to an explosive uncontrolled stop. The defendant was ejected during the crash. Witnesses to the crash rushed to help the passengers exit from the car which caught on fire and began to burn. The defendant was seen “jogging” away from the scene wearing only a t-shirt and boxers, but was soon caught in an alley. He initially fought, but became more cooperative when it was pointed out that he had injuries and the firefighters were trying to help him. The defendant admitted he was the driver and admitted smoking PCP or methamphetamine and marijuana earlier.
One of Smith’s passengers, a 35-year-old woman, was described as still being hospitalized in critical condition as of the court filing last week. Another passenger suffered minor injuries, and the third was reported to have declined medical attention. The police report accompanying the charging documents says Smith, a South Seattle resident, was likely going at least 60 mph when he first crashed into a parked Seattle Housing Authority van before his car went on to stop in the 35th/Morgan intersection. He remains in the King County Jail, with bail set at $50,000.
Two updates at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor):
NEW PARTNER FOR AVIATION MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM: SSC has announced that it’s been selected by Delta Air Lines “as an approved partner college in training future aviation maintenance technicians for careers with the global aviation company.” The AMT program is FAA-certified and has been training technicians since the 1970s. This is the second partnership between SSC and Delta, which launched a paid internship program there in 2014. The college’s announcement says that this means “Delta will also help recruit future AMT professionals to the program and look to hire South-trained graduates for positions in their global workforce.”
Meantime, here’s an aerial look at progress on the new building at SSC:
INTEGRATED EDUCATION CENTER UPDATE: Eight months have passed since we wrote about SSC’s Integrated Education Center project. After West Seattle pilot/photographer Long Bach Nguyen shared that recent photo of progress on the project, we asked SSC communications director Ty Swenson how it’s going. His reply: “We are still aiming to have the new IEC building ready to open for Fall Quarter, which starts September 25.” Read more about the new building here.
Another quick reminder before the day’s news flow gets going: West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day 2017 is now just nine days away. It’s our 10th year of coordinating WSCGSD – which started three years before that, so this is the 13th year! – and we are in the final stages of making the maps. Plural, because we have a clickable online version that includes the numbered list of sales and, when you click any sale, its description, as well as a printable map/listings packet. And yes, we’re on track to make them available here and at westseattlegaragesale.com this Saturday as promised. Starting tomorrow we’ll be rolling out some previews, too. 300+ sales again this year, north to south, east to west, all sizes, all sorts of stuff. The official sale window is 9 am-3 pm Saturday, May 13th – some listings promise earlier openings, later closings, even extra days, so get ready for advance planning starting THIS Saturday (May 6th). Questions about WSCGSD? firstname.lastname@example.org any time!
6:45 AM: Good morning. Fog is the big factor this morning. The Water Taxi is running late because of it, according to an alert a few minutes ago.
OVERNIGHT BRIDGE CLOSURE: SDOT is scheduled to set to start at 9 pm tonight, close the west end of the West Seattle Bridge again tonight, ~9 pm-5 am, for streetlight work.
STADIUM ZONE: 7:10 pm, Mariners are home again vs. Angels.
7:19 AM: Washington State Ferries says the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run is 15-20 minutes behind because of the fog.
8:33 AM: The delays are now up to almost an hour.