West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
What’s everybody talking about in Olympia? was our first question when we sat down to talk with our area’s two State House representatives after the first week of the new legislative session.
Water, replied Reps. Eileen Cody and Joe Fitzgibbon, both West Seattle residents who represent the 34th District, which also includes White Center, Vashon/Maury Islands, and part of Burien. (The 34th District’s State Senator Sharon Nelson, now Senate Majority Leader, couldn’t join our Friday afternoon chat at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) because of extra business in Olympia.)
So back to the water issue. Read More
We’ve heard from several people wondering about unspecified “unfortunate incidents” mentioned by The Seattle Times in a note to some West Seattle subscribers explaining delivery troubles. After the first inquiry yesterday, we checked with The Times, and they explained the problem is a carrier shortage. We replied to the lone reader who had inquired – but then several more asked today, so we’re publishing this, in case others are wondering. Here’s how Times marketing VP Kati Erwert replied to our question asking for more information on the “unfortunate incidents”:
We’ve had a transition in staffing for a variety of reasons that is impacting some of our newspaper delivery routes in the West Seattle area. This is not uncommon. Unfortunately, there are several that have happened at once and it is impacting delivery service as we onboard and train new members of the carrier force. Our home delivery and customer service teams are very hard at work to expedite a return to our traditional service levels. However, in the spirit of care for our valued subscribers, we’ve opted to communicate with them that we are aware that some of them are impacted.
In fact, our West Seattle Jobs Offered section (free posting if you have a local job opening!) had a recent post looking for a local carrier, though it has since been marked as “filled.”
Next Saturday, family and friends will gather to remember Francis “Frank” Keller. Tonight, they’re sharing the story of his life – from statewide political involvement to a woodworking hobby that inspired a public artwork you’ve likely seen:
Born on May 1, 1924, in Mitchell, South Dakota, he attended a one-room school house and worked on his parents’ farm until he left home as a teenager. Frank hitchhiked across the country to Seattle, finally settling in Bremerton in the 1940s. He joined the Navy at 18, during World War II, and was sent to serve in the Pacific on the USS South Dakota.
In 1944, he returned to Bremerton and married Viola (Sally) Gonzales. They had a child, Patricia Lee, and ran a restaurant on Bainbridge Island named The Hi Shoppe. It was the place to hang out then.
Frank and Sally divorced in 1945, and Frank went to work for Pepsi. He married Betty Horton in the 1950s. While working as a truck driver at Pepsi, he commuted to Seattle University on the ferry at night, earning his Bachelor’s degree in Finance in 1961. He had three children then, Cindy, Francine and Mary Lisa. By that time, Frank had been attracted by the excitement of politics. He was selling insurance to support his family, but also got involved in local election campaigns. The family increased by one, with the birth of his son, Robert. Betty passed away in 1964.
At this time, Frank was elected State Chair of the Democratic Party and he relocated his whole family to the house in West Seattle in 1965. He married Carol Grabner in 1965, and they were married until 1968.
Frank continued his commitment to politics and was Democratic State Chairman throughout the 60’s, when he managed the reelection campaigns of US Senator Warren Magnuson, gubernatorial campaigns of Albert Rosellini and Dixy Lee Ray, as well as fundraising and doing advance work for the presidential campaigns of Robert and Ted Kennedy, then Henry Jackson. It was an exciting life, and Frank was the chair of the Washington State delegation to the Democratic convention several times. He even attended the Presidential Inauguration of President Lyndon Johnson in 1964.
At the end of the ’60s, Frank tried to settle down to more stable work, first working for the newly formed Office of Emergency Preparedness, but being a bureaucrat was not his calling. He eventually went back to Pepsi as sales manager for Glacier Beverages in Rainier Valley, where he met the love of his life, Joanne Welch. They married in 1969, and the Keller clan became a family of 9, adding Carolann and Jim, launching Frank into his next chapter. All the younger six kids lived in the house until reaching adulthood, then came back often with their children and even grandchildren.
Frank got laid off from Pepsi in the ’70s. He used his political and business experience as an opportunity to launch a consulting and lobbying venture. He enjoyed much success with such clients as the Washington State Superior Court Judges, the beverage industry, the vending machine industry, among others. He was named several times to the list of Top Lobbyists in Washington State. Frank was known as a straight talking, honest person, and always told it like he saw it.
When Frank retired from politics and lobbying, he took up woodworking, reaching back to his younger days as an apprentice cabinetmaker. He started making wooden toys, wooden ornaments, jewelry boxes, and even furniture. All from scrap wood that he would find in different places, and has supplied so many family and friends with his amazing creations. He has given toys to many organizations that help children, hoping to bring some happiness to those who might not be as blessed. His fire truck gift to the West Seattle Fire Station was the inspiration for the artist who created the West Seattle Fire Station 32 sculpture, unveiled just this past year.
Frank and Joanne also did some traveling, going back and forth to Hawaii almost every year, among other places. Frank also spent many years going to the West Seattle YMCA for his daily workout and sauna, and became somewhat of a fixture there.
When Joanne had her stroke in 2001, Frank assumed the role of devoted caretaker. He would be by her side daily, ever diligent to make sure that Joanne had what she needed. They were the storybook example of love, and his world revolved around her until she left us in 2008.
After Joanne passed, Frank was lifted up by the love of his family. He would get joy from watching all the grandchildren grow up and celebrate their life landmarks. He even was able to hold and play with his great granddaughter, which brought him so much happiness. He would sit in the living room nightly, sipping his bourbon (or two), eating his chocolates and watching CNN. He would have questions or comments about the state of the world, and would let us know what he thought.
Frank Keller lived large — he filled up the room when he was in it. There is a big gap in our lives now that he is gone, but the lessons he taught and the memories he made will be with us always. Go in peace, Dad, we love you and miss you.
Frank’s memorial Mass is on Saturday, January 20th, 11 am, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in West Seattle. In lieu of flowers, Frank’s family would ask that donations be made to Wounded Warrior Project or the Seattle YMCA
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
(WSB file photo)
As reported here on Monday, the owner of the 5612 California SW site where C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) has been in business for 15 years has put it up for sale. The listing touts the 7,500-square-foot site as a “terrific development opportunity.” After an outpouring of support and ideas, C & P proprietors Cameron and Pete Moores have made their decision on what to do – and as part of it, they’ve just launched a crowdfunding campaign via GoFundMe. In addition to pursuing some funding this way, they tell us, “We are getting closer to being able to make an offer, but are still actively looking for investors to join us with the purchase of the property.” And as they explain on the new GoFundMe page:
We’ve started this fund with two goals in mind: First, to help collect enough for a down payment. Second, there are a lot of accompanying expenses — lawyers’ fees and other costs. We need help with those too.
Given more lead time, we might have been able to figure this out on our own. But we’ve been told that our landlord is looking at offers in three weeks.
Pete and I are forever changed by this moment. We have been overwhelmed with offers of love and support from a community that recognizes how very important it is to provide a place for life to happen. Our customers have become neighbors and friends, and they all feel this historic property belongs to them. It is place where couples have been married, children have had parties, memorial services have been held, art classes and book clubs form, local musicians gather to jam, community gardens are planted in the back yard and most importantly, people gather to talk to each other face to face!
In Seattle these days, this kind of place is disappearing.
If we are successful in our goal, Pete and I are dedicated and determined to giving back to this neighborhood that has so generously supported us. We are forever changed by your belief in us to be stewards of your second home. We want to continue doing what we do and share that journey with you.
The site owner is asking $1,250,000. In addition to being the home of C & P Coffee since 2003, the Craftsman home on the site has some history too, as a WSB commenter pointed out following our Monday report.
12:41 PM: Thanks for the tip – a couple of Orca Network commenters are reported orcas seen off West Point, across Elliott Bay, described as “drifting southward” as of about 20 minutes ago. So this is early heads-up that they *might* be visible here before long. We’ll be heading out with our binoculars to look.
1:31 PM: We looked too soon. Just got a call from Jeff Hogan of Killer Whale Tales that they turned into Elliott Bay and at least half a dozen have just passed Seacrest and are “headed [northeast] toward the Space Needle.”
2 PM They have changed direction and are headed back west toward the mouth of the bay. We have also heard from Donna Sandstrom of The Whale Trail, who is watching from Luna/Anchor Park, while Jeff is with a group at Don Armeni Boat Ramp.
3:36 PM: They turned north within the past hour, Dan on Alki tells us. We ourselves caught one glimpse as they headed back out of the bay – and then lost sight.
4:00 PM: Photos added – thanks to everyone who sent them! These were transient orcas, not residents, were told – one major difference is diet; transients eat mammals, too, which means the sea lions we saw in the vicinity were being extra brave and/or foolhardy!
Relatively quiet Saturday, as is often the case on a 3-day weekend. But if you haven’t already browsed the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, here are some highlights:
OPEN HOUSE: 10 am-1 pm, the Community School of West Seattle has an open house for prospective families. (9450 22nd SW)
VIETNAMESE STORY TIME: 11:30 am-noon at Delridge Library. (5423 Delridge Way SW)
LOG HOUSE MUSEUM: The home of West Seattle’s history is open noon-4 pm. (61st SW/SW Stevens)
‘MIGRATION AND THE WORLD’: The 2018 “Let’s Talk Race” series starts at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center with “Migration and the World,” 1 pm-6 pm. Free child care and community dinner. (4408 Delridge Way SW)
BILL DAVIE: Acoustic singer/guitarist performs “alternative folk” at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)
NESTORIA, VIGILANTE SANTOS, SAINTS BY DAY: “Dreamy soundscapes” and more at Parliament Tavern, 9 pm-midnight. $5 cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
ORIGINAL SATURDAY MORNING REPORT: Thanks to the reader who just called to share the news that she discovered while out for a walk this morning that a tree is down across the Schmitz Park pathway near the Alki Community Center entrance to the park. We asked her to report it to the Parks after-hour maintenance hotline, which is reachable via 206-684-7250.
SUNDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Still blocked, another reader reports, sending the photo we have added above.
6:18 AM: Reminder that the Battery Street Tunnel closure is under way right now – closed for an inspection related to plans for its decommissioning after the Alaskan Way Viaduct is taken out of service. The closure is scheduled to continue until 10 am; if you are headed northbound on 99, you will have to exit at Western, and if you are headed southbound, you will have to exit at Denny.
10:19 AM The SDOT webcam above verifies the tunnel has reopened.
Home games tonight vs. Lakeside for both West Seattle High School varsity teams. First, the girls continued their Metro-leading ways, beating the Lions 57-35:
#32, sophomore Meghan Fiso, was top scorer with 17 points.
Her total included the final basket of the game, which we caught on video:
Final: West Seattle girls 57, Lakeside 35 at WSHS. (Video: Fiso basket at 1:30 to go in game) pic.twitter.com/xIxadnT5Pa
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) January 13, 2018
#11, junior Jasmine Gayles, was strong on the assists – opening the second half, in less than a minute, she threw to two teammates who subsequently netted three-pointers, Fiso and then #4, junior Kelsey Lenzie.
Lenzie and #20, junior Grace Sarver, tied for second-most points, with 11 apiece.
The boys’ game got off to a low-scoring start – Lakeside 12, West Seattle 10 at the end of the first quarter. First basket was by #23 Anthony Giomi:
WSHS boys' first basket, #23 Anthony Giomi. 2-2 WSHS-Lakeside with 6:10 left in first quarter pic.twitter.com/fDA3CP5VhT
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) January 13, 2018
He led Wildcat scoring with 14 points, on the way to a 50-42 win over the Lions. #2 Elijah Nnanabu was right behind with 13 points.
Next home games for West Seattle are against Seattle Prep, 7:30 Tuesday for the boys, 7:30 Wednesday for the girls.
Chief Sealth International High School‘s varsity basketball teams hosted the Franklin HS Quakers Friday night.
The girls’ game was especially hard-fought – ending in a one-point overtime loss, Franklin 54, Chief Sealth 53.
(No box score available as of publication time.) With the overtime, and two JV games before it – for the first “quad” game night of the season at Sealth – the boys’ game didn’t tip off until close to 10 pm.
Halftime at CSIHS – Franklin boys 44, Sealth 34. (Video: Last Sealth basket of the half.) pic.twitter.com/QIjikfDljk
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) January 13, 2018
Our short video clip shows #14, senior Sadique Calloway, with the final basket of the first half, which ended with the Seahawks behind the Quakers 44-34. The box score shows Calloway with 12 points on the night; top scorer for Sealth was #22, senior Elijah Jackson, with 21.
#0, senior Javaun Jones, was number-two scorer for Sealth, with 16. Franklin pulled away in the fourth quarter and went home with the win, 88-62. Next home games for the Seahawks are against Lakeside, 7:30 pm Tuesday for the boys, 7:30 pm Wednesday for the girls.