Your time, everyone’s river: Sign up now for Duwamish Alive!

October 9, 2015 at 1:00 pm | In Environment, How to help, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Those are the sites where you can help Seattle’s only river by giving a few hours of your time to be part of this fall’s edition of Duwamish Alive! – one week from tomorrow, 10 am-2 pm on Saturday, October 17th. Organizers would love to hear from you ASAP, so use this list to choose one of the sites on the map – which include five in West Seattle – and sign up.

YOU CAN HELP! Be a tutor for program at 2 West Seattle schools

October 6, 2015 at 1:50 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 4 Comments

A tutoring program serving schools around Seattle, including two here, is looking for help. Maybe you can answer the call. Here’s the announcement:

Invest in Youth is a Seattle-based non-profit organization that provides free tutoring to local elementary students across the city, including at Roxhill Elementary and Fairmount Park Elementary, both in West Seattle. We are looking for volunteer tutors to work with students this school year. Will you join us this fall?

Tutoring begins in early October, runs through May and takes place once every week at one of our six conveniently located schools across the city.

The program is pretty straight-forward. Each tutor is matched with the same student for the whole school year and the pair works together on things like playing math games, reading stories or working on homework, for an hour once a week. Educational materials and activities, training and support, and heartfelt appreciation are provided at every session.

The impact of Invest in Youth’s tutoring program is dramatic:

· 100% of classroom teachers agreed that Invest in Youth was a valuable resource for their students.
· Students in our program made an average gain of 10 points on their MAP tests, which is twice the national average.
· Our volunteers collectively provided more than 3,000 hours of FREE academic support to students in need during the 2014-2015 school year.
· Tutors felt that the lasting bond they form with their student is the most meaningful element of the program.

We are looking for volunteer tutors to join us this fall. Apply today!

For more information or to apply to be a tutor, please visit our website: or contact Alison at Can’t commit to the full school year? Become a substitute tutor or share this with your friends who might be interested.

West Seattle weekend scene: On their feet to fight hunger

October 4, 2015 at 9:00 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | No Comments

(WSB photos by Katie Meyer)
If you weren’t part of today’s CROP Hunger Walk – you might have seen those who were, with red shirts and signs, on a 3-mile route along Alki this afternoon.

The walk calls attention to the struggle many around the world have in obtaining drinkable water as well as getting enough food to stave off hunger. As one walker explained, the distance of the walk – 3 miles – signifies how far many people around the world have to walk to obtain drinkable (or any) water each day.

The West Seattle walk was one of two in the city today, with pledges helping people in need globally as well as locally; you can donate to the cause here.

CONGRATULATIONS! West Seattle’s Chuck Diesel Invitational raises $26,000 for youth golf

October 4, 2015 at 12:01 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, WS & Sports | No Comments

If you missed this year’s Chuck Diesel Invitational Golf Tournament – two weeks ago at the West Seattle Golf Course – you’ll want to plan to get on the list for next year. It’s a benefit for The First Tee of Greater Seattle, whose mission is to “impact the lives of young people from all backgrounds by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.” This year’s CDI raised more than $26,000 for The First Tee, more than double last year’s haul, and the money’s going to help build a citywide clubhouse for TFT, in particular its “Crooked Club Room.” Thanks to TFT’s volunteer director Shelby Lanting for sharing the shoutout (including the photo) for the CDI crew, Charlie Anderson and friends, who have been teeing up this fundraiser since 2006.

YOU CAN HELP! Fight MS through music and dance with the West Seattle Big Band on Saturday

October 1, 2015 at 9:05 pm | In Fun stuff to do, How to help, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

(Photo courtesy West Seattle Big Band)

This Saturday, enjoy the music of the West Seattle Big Band – and dance if you want to – to make a difference in the fight against multiple sclerosis! Here’s the announcement:

You can make a difference, and enjoy live music from the West Seattle Big Band at the same time! The third annual Dance MS is being held at the West Seattle Senior Center (4217 SW Oregon) on Saturday, October 3rd, from 7-10 pm. Come ready to dance, or just to listen to some great music.

The event also includes a small live auction, and several silent auction items, ranging from coffee at C&P to vacation packages to drum lessons. All of the event proceeds will go toward the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, since event expenses are either covered through the band or donation.

You may know the West Seattle Big Band from our connection to the Seattle schools: while we perform for events such as weddings and concerts throughout the Seattle area, rather than taking pay, musicians in the band donate any income back to assist school band programs, primarily in the West Seattle area.

Dance MS strays from the band’s mission statement, but holds a special meaning for the group. In 2012, our piano player Brooke Yool was diagnosed with MS. She asked for the band’s support and arranged the first Dance MS in 2013, and the event was a huge success.

So, we ask for your support to make the third Dance MS even more successful than the first two. In order for this to happen, we ask you — the local community — to help us in the fight against MS.

Come down to the West Seattle Senior Center on Saturday, October 3rd. Doors open at 7, and we’ll be going strong until 10. Suggested donation is $15. Hors d’oeuvres and soft drinks are included. You may buy tickets online at , or you can reserve your spot by email or phone at or 206-659-9391. Tickets will also be available at the door.

YOU CAN HELP! Delridge beautification projects during ‘Find It, Fix It’ Walk

October 1, 2015 at 1:12 pm | In Delridge, How to help, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

From the Nature Consortium, which is looking for volunteers to help with this during the two-hour Saturday period that coincides with Mayor Murray‘s visit for the “Find It, Fix It” Walk:

Let’s Beautify Delridge!
Saturday, October 3rd at Delridge Way SW & SW Findlay Street in West Seattle
11 am-1 pm

Join us this Saturday, October 3rd for Mayor Ed Murray’s visit to Delridge for the Find It Fix It Community Walk. Find It Fix It is a campaign to help improve neighborhoods one block at a time.

We’re proud to announce that this year Nature Consortium has been selected to lead two neighborhood beautification projects along Delridge Way Southwest.

These curbside plantings on Delridge & Findlay are in need of extra care. Four planting strips were installed last year by SDOT in response to community request, but they have not been maintained and are now overgrown with weeds. This spot is an eye-sore and does not reflect the pride and care of Delridge area residents.

You are invited to join your neighbors on Saturday to beautify Delridge! We will be removing weeds, placing weed barrier fabric and mulching the planting strips. Saturday’s event will be the first step in a longer term effort that will provide raised planter beds for neighbors to garden and will result in a plan/schedule for maintenance of these mini public spaces. Tools and snacks provided.

For more information, contact Lizzie Zemke at 206-923-0853 or email

YOU CAN HELP! Ticket time for White Center Food Bank’s Harvest Dinner and Auction

September 29, 2015 at 11:11 am | In How to help, West Seattle news, White Center | No Comments

Earlybird price is about to expire for one of this fall’s biggest benefits. Kristina at the White Center Food Bank (which serves West Seattle from SW Myrtle southward, too) sends the reminder:

The White Center Food Bank’s 11th Annual Harvest Dinner & Auction is coming up on October 17, 2015 at South Seattle College’s Brockey Center. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year, and helps us to continuing feeding our community; in 2014, we served 64,473 people from West Seattle, White Center, and Burien. The auction is really fantastic this year, with items ranging from restaurant gift cards to a week in Mallorca, Spain, and everything inbetween; the dinner is a delicious steak and salmon entrée (vegetarian also available). Tickets are on sale now, and the price goes up October 1st, so the time to buy is RIGHT NOW! Last year, the event sold out, and we hope for the same this year. Information, tickets, and a preview of items up for bid, all available at

WestSide Baby gets County Council spotlight for Diaper Need Awareness Week

September 28, 2015 at 11:43 pm | In Health, How to help, West Seattle news | No Comments

You probably recognize WestSide Baby‘s executive director Nancy Woodland at left-center of the photo, provided by the King County Council, whose members hosted her and Eastside Baby Corner‘s Renee Zimmerman on Monday in honor of Diaper Need Awareness Week. We feature WS Baby’s big drives throughout the year, and those donations are vital – to stay dry, clean, and healthy, a baby/toddler needs an average of 50 diaper changes a week, and diapers can’t be purchased with food stamps or WIC vouchers. That fact affects 10,000 babies/toddlers in King County whose families are living below the federal poverty level. The county announcement quotes Woodland as noting, “Diapers for one child can cost upwards of $70 per month, and most daycares won’t accept children without an adequate supply, leaving parents without child care unable to get to work and trapped in a cycle of poverty.” Here’s how to help.

YOU CAN HELP! Crop Walk in West Seattle next Sunday

September 28, 2015 at 1:36 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | No Comments

(Photo courtesy Liann Sundquist: Fauntleroy Church kids have signs ready for Sunday’s Crop Walk)
Take a walk along Alki this Sunday, and help fight hunger with every step – locally and globally. Judy Pickens shares the invitation:

Scores of West Seattleites are lacing their shoes for the annual Crop Hunger Walk on Sunday, October 4, and more walkers and donations are welcome. The three-mile walk along Alki Beach aims to raise $23,000 for nutritious food and clean water, plus awareness of hunger concerns here and around the world. Start time is 1 pm at Alki United Church of Christ (6115 SW Hinds).

Program coordinator Church World Service will direct 25 percent of the funds raised to local food initiatives such as the West Seattle and White Center food banks. The remainder will go to initiatives around the world, including on-the-ground assistance as Syrian refugees cross Serbia.

The West Seattle walk is one of 1,300 happening across the country this fall. Ten West Seattle congregations will have contingents.

You can register to walk, and/or donate, right now – just go here.

In case you wondered: Big Blue Truck’s not gone, just moved

September 25, 2015 at 2:21 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | No Comments

(WSB photo)

If you wondered where Northwest Center‘s Big Blue Truck has gone – recently vanished from the 44th SW & SW Edmunds parking lot – it’s not far away. From Denise at NW Center:

Northwest Center’s West Seattle Big Blue Truck donation drop off is on the move. Now located 1/2 block NORTH, behind Taqueria Guaymas in the Key Bank (ATM) parking lot: 4718 44th Ave SW

Visit them at their new location and drop off your donations of clothing and household goods to benefit children and adults with developmental disabilities.

Truck not there? Can’t get there during regular hours? Visit

Delridge’s ‘Find It, Fix It’ Walk: Full details, & you’re invited

September 24, 2015 at 2:08 pm | In Delridge, How to help | No Comments

Two months after first word that Mayor Murray will come to Delridge on Saturday, October 3rd, for West Seattle’s first-ever “Find It, Fix It” community walk, one year after the program began, we have full details today: It’ll start at Louisa Boren STEM K-8 (5950 Delridge Way SW) at 11 am. In addition to the traditional Find It, Fix It issues, Delridge-specific concerns will be discussed, as explained here – you can also follow that link to find out about applying for city grants to fund community projects aimed at “fixing” problems. Whether you want to do that or not, you’re invited to join the walk.

HELP! Memorial plaque planned to honor Chief Sealth graduates killed in action – can you help find their families?

September 22, 2015 at 12:21 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 7 Comments

After its 50th-anniversary reunion this year, the Chief Sealth Class of 1965 is working on a special project, and needs your help. The request we were asked to share:

The class of 1965 will be presenting a granite and brass Memorial Plaque of all Sealth graduates that were killed in action in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan at sometime in the near future. We were hoping that you might be able to assist us in notifying the families of these brave soldiers so they might attend if they wish or are able. Date to be determined.

Vietnam -
Sigrid Karlstrom ’61 (family notified)
Lewis Nelson ’62
Allan Potter ’64
Luigi Filbanese ’65
Thomas Foster ’65
Thomas Harding ’65
Richard Krogh ’65
Norman Chaney ’66
Dick DeGraaf ’66 (family notified)
David Lauritsen ’66
John Rauen ’66
Mark Knollmeyer ’67
Donald Douglas ’68
Clarence Risher ’68

Iraq -
Tracy Melvin ’95

Afghanistan -
Jarod Newlove ’03

Only 2 families have been notified so far. If we can at least get the contacts made in the next few weeks, it will be much easier to notify these families once a date has been set for the presentation of this memorial at Chief Sealth High School. Any assistance will be greatly appreciated.

Ron Templin
Sealth ’65

If you are a relative of anyone mentioned – or if you know how to reach them – please e-mail Ron at – thank you!

West Seattle Junction Harvest Festival 2015 is on! Time for activity providers & sponsors

September 14, 2015 at 8:29 pm | In How to help, West Seattle festivals, West Seattle news | Comments Off

(WSB photo, 2014 Harvest Festival)
It’s on! Fall’s biggest festival returns to The Junction in just six weeks. And it’s time now to jump in if you’re interested in providing an activity – and/or sponsorship – for this year’s Harvest Festival:

The Junction’s Harvest Festival will be Sunday, October 25 from 10 am till 2 pm. You’ll find the West Seattle Farmers Market in its new permanent location on California Ave, community groups and businesses offering kids’ projects, the costume parade at 11:30, and trick-or-treating starting at noon.

If your organization or business would like to help create a wonderful day for West Seattle families by offering a “Harvest Activity,” please visit the event’s announcement page for an application.

You also can support this beloved community event through sponsorship! Find it on the same page.

If you’d like to volunteer at the event, please email Junction Association Director Susan Melrose at

New here? Check out our coverage from last year – the 3rd annual Harvest Festival – or the year before.

More service: The Mission Continues & friends, @ American Legion and VFW posts in The Triangle

September 13, 2015 at 9:55 am | In How to help, Triangle, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

In the West Seattle Triangle, the headquarters of two organizations for veterans and active-duty servicemembers are almost directly across SW Alaska from each other: American Legion Post 160 (home of the West Seattle Veterans’ Center) and VFW Post 2713. On Saturday, volunteers of all ages gave both a boost with repairs and renovations via The Mission Continues.

TMC is an organization helping veterans readjust via new “missions” – as the slogan on the T-shirts says, “Reporting For Duty In Your Community.”

Both buildings needed lots of help – the indoor painting you see is at the VFW, which also had tangles of weeds to clean up.

Debris, trimmings, and old junk from both locations filled this trunk:

Volunteers from companies including Starbucks, Nordstrom, and Safeway joined in, we’re told. Also in the midst of it all, below: Kyle Geraghty from Post 160, with daughter Ana, and Joshua Arntson, national resource specialist from The Mission Continues:

Here’s how to get involved with TMC’s Seattle 1st Service Platoon.

HAPPENING NOW: 2 ways to give @ West Seattle Thriftway

September 12, 2015 at 1:30 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | Comments Off

As mentioned in our West Seattle Saturday preview – two ways to give at WS Thriftway (California/Fauntleroy/Morgan; WSB sponsor) right now:

BACKPACK PROGRAM FOOD DRIVE: One more hour to drop off food to help kids in need when they’re NOT at school, via the West Seattle Food Bank Backpack Program. Outside the store, Lynn Stanton and Alice Kuder from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices NW Real Estate (WSB sponsor) are outside the store accepting donations until about 2:30 pm. Here’s the list of what’s most needed for the program.

BENEFIT BARBECUE: Just a few more Saturdays in summer, so benefit-barbecue season is almost over:

Michele is THE ruler of the grill at Thriftway – which donates the proceeds from these barbecues, and today’s beneficiary is the Humane Society of Seattle-King County. Fresh-grilled burgers and hot dogs are available until 3:30 or so.

West Seattle Discovery Shop: Welcoming a new WSB sponsor

September 11, 2015 at 2:26 pm | In How to help, West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

This afternoon, we’re welcoming a new sponsor, the West Seattle Discovery Shop, where you can shop, donate, and/or volunteer. Here’s their explanation of how it works:

(L-R: Patricia Barber, Suzanne Rowe, Michele Rhilinger, Betty Korhonen, Mike Warlum, just a few of the volunteers helping out at the Discovery Shop)


Looking for a piece of vintage jewelry for a special occasion? What about a set of Midcentury Modern glasses for your newly remodeled retro kitchen? Or a cashmere sweater to wear this fall? Well, you are in luck! For more than 24 years, the Discovery Shop has offered customers a chance to “discover” that one-of-a-kind treasure. Our store features high quality, gently used, donated clothing for men and women, accessories, artwork, antiques, collectibles, books and household items, all priced for the savvy shopper. But perhaps the best thing about making a purchase at the Discover Shop is knowing that all proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society. Since opening our doors in 1990, over 2 million dollars has been generated to fight cancer. When you spend your money in our store, not only do you walk out with a great find at a great price, but your dollars help to fund cutting edge research and much needed services provided by the American Cancer Society, such as patient lodging assistance and transportation to treatments.


Conveniently located in the heart of The Junction, the Discovery Shop accepts a variety of gently used items such as clothing, accessories, home decor, small kitchen appliances, artwork, antiques, glassware, lamps, and dishes. Items may be dropped off at our shop during normal business hours. All donations are tax exempt. Your support is central to the American Cancer Society’s mission of fighting cancer through research, education, advocacy and service. Together, we share a hope for a tomorrow free of cancer.


Our store, which is open 7 days a week, is run entirely by volunteers. They are the heart and soul of the Discovery Shop. Currently, more than 70 people help keep us in business, doing a variety of things such as bookkeeping, cashiering, receiving donations, sorting, ironing, pricing, and merchandising. Interested in volunteering? We are always looking for people to join our team. No special skills are necessary, just a desire to share your energy and enthusiasm a few hours a week.

Come check us out and discover why we are more than your run-of-the-mill resale shop. We are a place to make new friends, find great bargains, and gain a sense of hope. Plus, you will always leave with a cheerful smile from one of our many volunteers. The West Seattle Discovery Shop is at 4535 California SW, 206-937-7169.

We thank the West Seattle Discovery Shop for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.

SCHOOL STRIKE, DAY 3: Updates including – negotiations resume Saturday; city’s child-care offer; educators’ community-service projects; district’s daily briefing

September 11, 2015 at 11:15 am | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 74 Comments

(SCROLL DOWN for updates, which include toplines of 3 pm district briefing & union’s 4:20 pm announcement of negotiations resuming Saturday)

11:15 AM: Updates on Day 3 of the Seattle Education Association strike:

COMMUNITY CENTER CHILD CARE, IF STRIKE CONTINUES MONDAY: If school is still out Monday, the city says it will open community centers for drop-in activities that can serve up to 3,000 kids. Unlike this week’s plan, this is for all families, not just those already participating in before-/after-school programs at the centers. See details in the city’s news release here.

EDUCATORS’ COMMUNITY SERVICE PROJECTS: We’re making stops and also receiving photos (thank you!) from many sites:

LAFAYETTE ELEMENTARY FOOD DRIVE UNTIL NOON: Thanks for the photo (shared via Facebook)! You can drop off food in front of the school (California SW & SW Lander) until noon. See our service-project list for suggestions of what’s most needed for the Backpack Program.

ROXHILL ELEMENTARY, WORKING AT ROXHILL PARK: We stopped by a short time ago and found volunteers getting a briefing:

They’ve been working along the east side of the park and before this phase, Parks employees were explaining what needed to be cut – the park/bog has natural spaces and what looks like weeds might not be! – and how to pile it up once cut. Roxhill crews are planning a barbecue lunch at noon.

ALKI BEACH CLEANUP: Multiple schools have joined forces for a cleanup at Alki – thanks to Schmitz Park Educators for tweeting this photo:

Two other beach cleanups under way:

ARBOR HEIGHTS ELEMENTARY: Thanks to Laurence for tweeting the photo:

FAIRMOUNT PARK ELEMENTARY: Their cleanup was anchored, so to speak, at Luna/Anchor Park on Duwamish Head:

LOUISA BOREN STEM K-8: This cleanup is spread out along Delridge, on the roadside, up the slope, all in the Longfellow Creek watershed:

We stopped by too, for this photo:

CHIEF SEALTH IHS & DENNY MS: Also working to support Longfellow Creek, Chief Sealth International High School and Denny International Middle School educators. Thanks to Sealth teacher Noah Zeichner for the photos:

They’re also having a read-in by the P-Patch:

The CSIHS & DIMS crews were walking over to Roxhill Park at last report to join the lunch BBQ.

SANISLO ELEMENTARY: Some visited the Southwest Precinct and Fire Station 11 to deliver food to first responders (thanks for texting the photo!):

Others cleaned up along Myrtle near the school – we’ll add our photo when back at HQ.

(added) HIGHLAND PARK ELEMENTARY: At the Salvation Army Center on 16th:

Plus we’ll be checking in on the Alki Beach Read-In after its 12:30 pm start. Photos from other sites? or tweet to @westseattleblog – thanks!

ADDED 1:08 PM: The district has announced another mid-afternoon media briefing, 3 pm. We’re planning to be there again. Meantime, the union has now posted its daily strike newsletters – today’s edition, we notice, has a breakdown of the two sides’ salary offers, if you’re still trying to make sense of them. Read it here (PDF).

ADDED 1:37 PM: We’re at the Alki Beach Read-In right now. It’s east of the Bathhouse instead of at Statue of Liberty Plaza, which is getting some Parks Department maintenance work today.

Here’s a quick video panorama (mouse over the image to show the “play” button):

One teacher tells us they’ve heard a plan for a rally Monday at district HQ. More on that if and when we get it. We’re also still adding a few more photos to the section above covering the morning service projects.

3:01 PM: From the district briefing – SPS has been speaking with mediators and doesn’t know if SEA has. “We’ll let families know as soon as possible if there’ll be school on Monday.” Spokesperson Stacy Howard reiterates that the district believes it’s made a “generous” offer to SEA but that there is a large gap between the two sides. She says if they chose to meet their request from “new revenues,” the district believes it would take from textbooks, instructional support, special-ed and ELL student support. She adds, “We’re starting to take a look at our calendar year to figure out how we can reconfigure it … we’ve got to start extending the school year, we just have to figure out where.” The strike is costing the district $100,000 day in operations costs – $55,000 in school staff that will be working extra days, $25,000 food staff, $15,000 in school security, $5,000 in contract support.

“We are hopeful – we don’t want to be in this for the long haul … so we are in planning meetings every day, preparing for that just in case, new issues arise each day. … We have been here every single day, sitting and waiting, ready to negotiate.” The district did not consider the Tuesday offer a final offer, but they still haven’t received a counteroffer. She says they still are not talking about legal action.

Asked why athletics are continuing (note that they actually started before the school year was scheduled to begin) – coaches belong to a different union. However, athletic directors are members of SEA, Howard said, so they are not present. We asked about a couple commenters’ contention that some non-SEA personnel had been locked out; Howard says that’s not true.

Asked if it’s true that security is being hired for superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland, Howard said that’s being discussed because of some “concerns.” She said there’s “animosity out there right now,” apparently involving a specific incident of Nyland’s car having been blocked.

4:20 PM: Just texted and tweeted by the union – negotiations will resume tomorrow, for the first time since the strike was declared Tuesday night:

We’re working on a full updated separate story for a little bit later.

6:42 PM: Our ETA for the wrap-up story is now around 8:30 pm, so in case anyone wants to see the promised video of the district briefing before we publish that, it’s here. Reminder that the briefing was at 3 pm, more than an hour *before* the union announced via text and tweet that official negotiations would resume tomorrow.

FOLLOWUP: Volunteers, district crew clean up school vandalism at Schmitz Park, Madison

September 7, 2015 at 11:43 am | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 10 Comments

(1st two photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand)

11:43 AM: Volunteers of all ages were out cleaning up paint vandalism at Schmitz Park Elementary this morning – two days after we published reader reports about vandalism there and at Madison Middle School, blocks away. The first person to mention it, Nathan, was organizing an army of volunteers but then found out the district had sent a pressure-washer-equipped crew out first thing this morning:

As Nathan put it in this comment, “The district got the really big stuff cleared, but we have a crew of kids and adults really making the place shine.” He was hoping some volunteers would make it to Madison by day’s end, too.

ADDED 5:02 PM: Thanks to Sean for sending this photo:

Sean points out that the young signmaker’s message is: “No Graffiti.”

ADDED 10:44 PM: Thanks to Mark for sharing photos from Madison Middle School, where volunteers indeed showed up in force:

In the photos, he notes, are “Superheroes: Helen Schlacter, Mary Schlacter, Anne Wainwright, Hayden Wainwright. A few other families helped out earlier in the day.”

West Seattle Crime Watch: Vandals hit Schmitz Park Elementary, Madison MS; volunteer cleanup in the works

September 5, 2015 at 2:34 pm | In Crime, How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 27 Comments

At least two West Seattle schools were heavily vandalized overnight, according to multiple reader reports we’ve received. First we heard about graffiti vandals painting a serious amount of damage at Schmitz Park Elementary, the most populous elementary on the peninsula (600+ students), and then a mention that Madison Middle School, a few blocks east of SPES, was hit too. One parent sent photos, with tagged walls plus large tags/drawings over two sets of double doors including the one partly shown above (we follow media-coverage best practices and don’t show tags in their entirety); the photos we saw included at least two taggers’ “signatures” as well as the crude depiction of male genitalia that’s been seen at vandalized sites around WS recently, as well as paint dumped on play equipment in the same courtyard where a playset was damaged by fire last year:

A concerned community member is organizing a work party for 9:30 am Monday – contact him at if you can help.

ADDED: We’ve also received photos showing taunts painted on walls at Madison – with at least one of the same “signatures” – as well as more flat-out paint-splash damage:

HOW TO REPORT GRAFFITI VANDALISM: Call police if you’re the victim; if you see vandalism in progress, call 911. If you see graffiti on public property, call 206-684-7587. Wherever you see it, police advise taking a photo before cleaning it up, as it could be helpful as evidence to trace a pattern; then get it painted over as soon as possible, as that’s considered the most effective form of deterrence, not to have the vandals’ “work” visible for long.

National Day of Service: Volunteer to help fix up West Seattle’s American Legion and VFW posts

September 3, 2015 at 11:44 am | In How to help, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Every year, we’re asked about volunteering opportunities for the National Day of Service. Here’s one just out of the WSB inbox – sign up now:

On Saturday 9/12 from 9 am to 3 pm The Mission Continues Seattle 1st Platoon will be supporting American Legion Post 160 and VFW Post 2713 to help restore their buildings while bringing the community together in support of The National Day of Service on 9/11. The community is encouraged to volunteer and to register here for the service project in West Seattle next Saturday.

The Mission Continues Service Platoons are teams of veterans working together with local community organizations to address tough challenges like homelessness & disadvantaged youth. We empower veterans to find a new unit: Members work together not only to solve community challenges, but also to support one another in navigating the reintegration into civilian life. Through a unique model that provides reciprocal benefit for the veteran and the local community, The Mission Continues: • Focuses veterans’ spirit of service through volunteerism • Mobilizes a network of supporters • And, through service helps solve tough challenges facing veterans and communities. By empowering veterans to serve at home, we seek to change the national conversation so that this generation leaves a positive legacy of service & personal success.

The project locations, Posts 160 and 2713, are right across the street from each other on SW Alaska in The Triangle.

West Seattle scene: Pencil Me In For Kids back-to-school party

September 3, 2015 at 12:10 am | In How to help, Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

It’s one of the most fun nights of (almost-)fall for Rotary Club of West Seattle members … the back-to-school sorting party for Pencil Me In For Kids, their signature charity distributing donated school supplies to local students. As Rotarians and friends gathered Wednesday night in a Westwood backyard, they knew that every local elementary has kids getting a boost from PMIFK (that was noted at this week’s Rotary meeting). Member or not, you can help too, through PMIFK – here’s how.

Know what to do if you see a seal pup? ‘Share the Shore’ banners now up at Alki, as reminders

August 31, 2015 at 2:43 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, Wildlife | 3 Comments

(Photo by David Hutchinson: Seattle Parks’ James Lohman installing a banner)

Along the heart of Alki Beach, near the Bathhouse, “Share the Shore” banners are up as a reminder – it’s peak pupping season and if you see a baby seal, keep clear and notify Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network, 206-905-SEAL – Here’s how Robin Lindsey explains it:

The banners are hung annually during September and October to remind people that there is a good chance they might come across a harbor seal pup resting on shore. These Fall months are usually Seal Sitters MMSN’s busiest time and is considered the height of pupping season in West Seattle and surrounding areas. Some pups are now being weaned all across South and Central Puget Sound and have begun to strike out on their own, leaving the safety of the rookeries. They often end up on urban beaches.

So, it is a good time to remind folks that if you see a pup on the beach: please stay far back, keep people and dogs away, and call your local stranding network. Allowing a pup to rest undisturbed could truly save his/her life. Because seal pups are so vulnerable as they struggle to survive, it is especially important that dog owners respect the law this time of year. Dogs are NOT allowed on Parks beaches leashed or unleashed at any time. It is a fact that each year in Puget Sound, dogs injure and/or kill harbor seal pups.

For marine mammals on West Seattle shoreline, please call Seal Sitters MMSN @ 206-905-SEAL (7325); in downtown Seattle and areas north, please call Sno-King MMSN @ 206-695-2277; for beaches south of Brace Point to Redondo Beach, please call MaST Center Stranding Team @ 206-724-2687.

When in doubt for what network to call, you can always give the Seal Sitters’ hotline a call and we will refer you to the right network. Additionally, here is a link to a map with contact numbers for NOAA’s Marine Mammal Stranding Networks in the Puget Sound region. There are links to maps for the entire states of Washington and Oregon here, as well.

We ask that boaters and kayakers be alert to the marine life around them. Seals of all ages will use often use offshore platforms, docks, buoys and marinas to rest. Harassment can have dire consequences. If you are out on the water and see yellow tape and cones on the beach, it means an animal is resting there. Please give seals (and sea lions) a wide berth so as not to disrupt their rest. Please respect NOAA guidelines and stay 100 yards away whenever possible.

It has been oddly quiet as far as marine mammal response the past two months, but we anticipate a big spike in responses soon. Seal Sitters is so thankful for the West Seattle community’s support in protecting wildlife!

Seal Sitters have been caring for local shores and sea life for eight years now – here’s our first story on them from September 2007, baby-seal video (via mega-zoom) and all.

You can help! West Seattleites rounded up donations for firefighters battling the wildfires, and hope you will want to, too

August 29, 2015 at 9:04 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

Have you been wondering what you could do to help the firefighters who’ve been battling our state’s massive wildfires? This group of West Seattleites wanted to let you know, you can do what they did:

The photos are from Rachel, who explains:

Yesterday West Seattleites collected, organized and packed care packages for fire fighters helping battle the fires in eastern Washington. We’re headed to Gold Bar today to drop them off to the volunteer group who then drives the donations into the most-in-need fire fighter camps. If other West Seattleites would like to have similar donation drives, pop onto the Wildfire Donation Round-up Facebook page and you can see what donations are needed as well as drop off points. These people are doing amazing work! Thank you to all of the West Seattleites who helped!

Here’s a direct link to the page Rachel mentioned; it also includes ideas for helping fire victims and evacuees.

You can help! 2016 West Seattle Garden Tour needs tending

August 28, 2015 at 8:15 pm | In Gardening, How to help, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

(WSB photo from 2015 WS Garden Tour)

You love gardening … you love helping others enjoy gardening … how about helping grow a 2016 >West Seattle Garden Tour that will inspire and delight? From the WSGT:

The West Seattle Garden Tour is looking for new committee members to join the West Seattle Garden Tour to help produce our July,2016 Garden tour.

We have open volunteer opportunities, including PR & Marketing, Sponsorship, Graphic Design as well as several administrative positions. We’re a lively committee that meets monthly to discuss the business processes of moving the West Seattle Garden Tour forward toward our July, 2016 tour day that benefits many local non-profits.

For more information, please call Clay Swidler — PR Chair at 206-669-4653.

Ticket time! Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s gala this year at Salty’s will celebrate ‘Coming Home to the Homestead’

August 28, 2015 at 5:04 am | In How to help, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

Story and photos by Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

A “small organization with a big heart … the heart and soul of West Seattle.”

That’s how the Southwest Seattle Historical Society was described at a gathering to preview and celebrate an upcoming event that’s anything but small … its annual Champagne Gala Brunch fundraiser. As mentioned here a week ago, the date is set – Saturday, November 7th, 11 am, at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor). The theme is an in-progress success story that was only a long-held dream at the time of last year’s gala – the restoration of the Alki Homestead/Fir Lodge.

More than 50 people, including SWSHS board members past and present, attended the gala preview Wednesday night at another historic West Seattle property, the Colman Estate on the Fauntleroy waterfront.

Its current owners were there for the preview too. Midway through the sips-and-bites event, SWSHS executive director Clay Eals took centerstage to formally announce the gala, themed “Coming Home to the Homestead.” The man who bought the fire-damaged landmark in March and has begun restoring it, Dennis Schilling, was also among the preview attendees.

While last year’s gala was “supremely successful,” SWSHS circulated a survey afterward to seek ideas for improving it this year, and so they determined it will be more focused, shorter, and with a little more room to roam in the Salty’s special-event rooms. The menu, Eals promised, will be reminiscent of the old Homestead – minus, he joked, the Jello (in a room full of history fans, laughter rippled around the room, which also filled with applause multiple times during the event).

Fittingly, one special presentation will feature, as explained on the SWSHS preview page, “Catherine Gruye Alexander and Rob Gruye, daughter and son of 1950s Alki Homestead chef and manager Robert Gruye.” Also planned for the Champagne Gala program, returning from last year’s gala – West Seattle personality Marty Riemer, who recorded this short sneak preview to explain:

You really, really don’t want to miss “Wait, Wait,” do you? Then don’t wait – assure yourself a seat with an early ticket purchase – go right here, right now.

P.S. One more announcement during the preview – SWSHS will lead a cruise group again next fall, this time to view autumn foliage along the Northeast coast, New York to Quebec. And if you’d like to join the group for this year’s Alaska Totem Cruise, September 19th-26th, it’s not too late to book a spot – scroll down this page to see how.

VIDEO: Alki Beach 5K brings out more than 1,000 runners and walkers to help breast-cancer patients

August 23, 2015 at 1:17 pm | In Health, How to help, West Seattle news, WS & Sports | 4 Comments

(WSB video of all runners and walkers as they left from the starting line)

Yes, it was a race, but the biggest winners in today’s Alki Beach 5K are the cancer patients helped by the organization that presents and benefits from the annual run/walk, Northwest Hope and Healing, whose unique work supporting breast-cancer patients is explained here. This year, 1,040 people were signed up by race time, according to NWHH executive director Shari Sewell.

At right, above, with Shari is Kristi Stone, who was today’s official race-starter. She’s undergoing breast-cancer treatment after being diagnosed late last year. Shari told us that in addition to all the usual fundraising from race participants, one person walked up with a check for $5,000!

(Updated) Full results are here. Below, the top runners, each shown in the photo under her/his name.


1. Kelly Lakeman, 30, 19:25:

2. Margaret Lang, 45, 21:18:

3. Emily Ehlers, 30, 21:20:


1. Kelly Spady, 28, 16:23:

(Our archives show Spady was also first finisher at the Alki Beach 5K in 2012.)

2. Travis Gradjian, 17, 16:47:

3. Michael Drogalis, 24, 17:02:

Other Alki Beach 5K sights – first, Team Saxby:

As always, it was an all-ages event:

This might just have been the tiniest participant:

Along with runners, walkers, pledgers, donors, and volunteers, major contributors to the Alki Beach 5K’s success include its sponsors – including West Seattle Runner (also a WSB sponsor), whose Lori McConnell and Tim McConnell were there as always:

See the full sponsor team here (it features two other WSB sponsors, Fauntleroy Chiropractic and Salty’s on Alki). This is one of three major fundraisers Northwest Hope and Healing holds annually, along with the “Style” fashion show in the spring, and Women Winemakers of the Pacific Northwest in the fall, coming up November 18th in Georgetown – go here to find out more. You can also donate to the organization any time by going here.

TOMORROW: Buy a treat, help Gwen and Muriel help animals!

August 22, 2015 at 9:20 pm | In How to help, Pets, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Goodies for a good cause, tomorrow – the photo and preview are from Carey:

Gwen and Muriel, Madison 6th graders, are putting their love for animals to work again through their third annual Humane Society bake sale! Delicious cupcakes, cookies, brownies, and more! They’ll be back at the corner of 36th and Dakota this Sunday, August 23rd, from 10 am-3 pm. The girls are also sponsoring a barrel from the Humane Society to collect cat or dog food (wet or dry), animal toys, or new scratching posts. Cash and check donations are very welcome; all proceeds go to Seattle Humane Society.

Here’s a map.

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